CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 15th May
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Hedge funds prepare EMI bid
- The funniest picture in the whole wide world: Spector trial update
- Meffys shortlists out
- The Game arrest over basketball gun incident
- Universal to distribute Macca Starbucks release
- Air release haiku single
- Calvin Harris release dates
- The Flies arrive
- Bruce says another Cream reunion unlikely
- M&S drop Ferry, but not over Nazi comments, ok?
- Klaxons apologise over ticket mix up
- Great Escape cancellations
- Bonde Do Role cancel London show
- The Fray announce new dates
- Ian Brown tour
- Farrell has global ambitions for Lollapalooza
- More Glade additions
- Next MySpace secret gig buzzes bigtime
- Oldfield not impressed with Tubular Bells covermount
- Tunetribe launch consultancy
- The Orchard partner with MusicIP
- Live Nation post losses
- Eagle Rock buy out majority investors
- Rubin Columbia US role confirmed
- Recordstore hire new manager
- Healy on depression and songwriting
- Manson on vampirism and sex
- Hawkins disses Scooch
- Meffys award nominations in full

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TOP BIT>>
So, the wonderful Brighton Festival is now in its second week, and is becoming more and more relevant to us CMU types, because Barfly's big music convention by the sea, The Great Escape, kicks off there on Thursday, sitting alongside the rest of Brighton's cultural festivities. For the uninitiated, The Great Escape works a bit like SXSW and their ilk - that is to say, one pass gets you into numerous venues across the city, all hosting a great line up of bands from all around the world. You can buy one day or three day passes - I'm told some of each are still available. Or, if you are an industry type (which most of you presumably are) you might want to get a full delegate pass that also gets you into all sorts of daytime seminars, talks and panel type debate type things. There are some delegate passes still available also - more info at http://www.escapegreat.com.

If you are in Brighton for The Great Escape, we definitely recommend making some extra time to take in some of the wider Brighton Festival or its Fringe. For those uninitiated in this, the Brighton Festival and its Fringe is a bit like a mini-Edinburgh Festival, offering a brilliant programme of theatre, comedy, cabaret, talks, art and loads and loads of music (some of which you will have seen reviewed here in the Daily). If you're looking for a guide to what is on offer well, you're in luck, because CMU's sister publication ThreeWeeks is reviewing it all, as we speak, and you can check out all our news, reviews and interviews at http://www.threeweeks.co.uk. Once in Brighton you can also pick up our rather snazzy ThreeWeeks magazine, which is free inside Latest 7 magazine.

If you're in Brighton this weekend, enjoy, if not, well we'll keep you up to date with all things Great Escape and all the other Brighton Festival music highlights in our CMU At The Brighton Festival slot until the end of the month.

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CMU AT THE BRIGHTON FESTIVAL

The Brighton Festival is fully under way with its brilliant programme of theatre, comedy, art, dance, talks, debate, cabaret and music, music music. CMU's sister publication, ThreeWeeks, is covering it all, and you can check the coverage at http://www.threeweeks.co.uk, with music reviews here each day in the CMU Daily. Look, here are some now:

Einzigartig: Live Art Music Song
Mr Eugene & Nickova
This show can at best be described as mixed, for whilst it began with an extremely interesting and innovative performance, it was steadily downhill from there. This opening consisted of paint being splattered onto a canvas fitted with a contact microphone accompanied by a violin. This produced results which were both visually and aurally stimulating, as well as being truly Einzigartig, that is, unique. However, despite this promising start, what was to follow was largely an embarrassing attempt at either musicality or sexuality. Nickova's performance at least held a fair amount of feather boa and fake beard fuelled charm, but Mr Eugene's efforts were enough to make me cringe and fall asleep in my chair all at once.
Caroline Of Brunswick, 10, 17 & 24 May, 8:00pm, £6.00 (£5.00), fringe pp49.
tw rating 2/5
[sc]

Shooglenifty
Komedia
Globetrotting Scottish band Shooglenifty played their long-awaited Brighton debut last night to a delighted audience with former Swamptrash fiddler Angus Grant leading the band in a very confident and exciting performance. Their music took us around the world starting with a western highland "jig in the brain", with flamenco and samba rhythms influencing some of the sexier tracks. Fusing the sound of traditional acoustic instruments such as fiddles and guitars with the lilt of more exotic ones such as the electric banjo and the mandolin, and incorporating some interesting samples, they produced sonic patterns which were very intriguing, and Celtic dance rhythms which were difficult to resist. Brightonians were jigging tirelessly for the entire set and everyone was agreed, we'd just love to have them back!
Komedia, 11 May, 9:00pm, £12.00 (£10.00), fringe pp27.
tw rating 5/5
[sf]

Nick Pynn's Box of Acoustic Delights
Roundhill Music
Nick Pynn's solo performance at the intimate Bom-Bane café last night was both dynamic and breathtaking. This celtic-king of string instruments and renowned 'Devil's Fiddler' - the name of his 1996 worldwide commercial release - charmed the audience with a devilish mixture of traditional folk and electro-acoustic innovation. In a performance which featured a beautiful self-made dulcimer, electric and acoustic guitar, and violin, Pynn's delightful melange kicked off with 'Bad Tooth', a fiddle number dreamt during a bout of toothache, and included such Pynn originals as 'Steam Train' and 'The Brightest Star'. Live-sampling all manner of sounds from the singing rim of wine glasses to the slap and shuffle of a deck of cards, Pynn transformed the warm basement of Jane Bom-Bane's into a magical music-box.
Bom-Bane's Cafe, 11 and 12 May, 9:00pm, £7.00 (£5.00), fringe pp26.
tw rating 4/5
[sf]

ThreeWeeks in Brighton is only possible because of the kind support of Latest 7 http://www.latest7.co.uk - plus tune into the Latest radio show, every afternoon on Radio Reverb, listen online via http://www.latest7.co.uk/radio

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HEDGE FUNDS PREPARE EMI BID
Following that confirmation from the EMI Group earlier this month that it had been approached by possible buyers expressing a preliminary interest in acquiring the music company, the Telegraph has reported that two US hedge funds are now preparing a formal bid for the London based major.

However, the investment firms, thought to be Cerberus Capital Management and Fortress Investment Group, are expected to make an offer below the 260 pence per share offer made by Warner Music back in March, an offer EMI rejected. Insiders say that the two investment firms hope that because their offer would not come with the regulatory risks of a Warner takeover - which would have to be approved by European competition regulators, of course - EMI may be willing to accept a lower bid.

However, as those paying attention to these things are surely now shouting at their monitors, it is not the first takeover offer to come EMI's way without regulatory risks, and they didn't take the last one. As previously reported, the major turned down similar offers from private equity types Permira towards the end of last year.

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THE FUNNIEST PICTURE IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD: SPECTOR TRIAL UPDATE
More testimony from waitress Kathy Sullivan in the ongoing Phil Spector murder trial.

As reported yesterday, Sullivan has told the court that she spent time with the legendary producer on the night actress Lana Clarkson was shot at his Beverley Hills home, and that, despite what ex-girlfriend Rommie Davis said last week, he was not excessively drunk, or in a downbeat mood, in the hours preceding Clarkson's death.

Although Sullivan's testimony has generally painted Spector in a positive light, especially in the run up to Clarkson's death, she did add another one of those 'run in with Spector and a gun' incidents to the equation. She admitted that the producer once escorted her and a friend out of his mansion while carrying a rifle and shotgun.

Sullivan says that she and a friend stayed the night at Spector's home one night in the late nineties (she didn't seem to remember whether it was 1997 or 1998). As they were preparing to leave the next morning she says Spector appeared carrying the guns, and kept them in hand as he essentially escorted them off his premises. When she asked him what they were for, he replied "protection". She says that he never pointed the guns at anyone, and that at the time she thought it more comical than anything else - comparing the producer to gun carrying cartoon character Elmer Fudd (he was wearing plaid at the time) and adding that she has since referred to the incident as "the funniest picture in the whole wide world". However, she admitted both she and her friend were a bit shocked by the incident at the time, and that after they'd left the mansion's grounds she said to her friend "I'm so glad we're out of there".

The case continues.

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MEFFYS SHORTLISTS OUT
So, are you interested in the Meffys, the awards for the mobile entertainment sector? Well, are you? Well, if you are, organisers of the awards have just announced their shortlists for this year, and they are at the bottom of today's Daily. In the music categories both 3 and Orange's respective music stores are up against the previously reported soon-to-launch-here mobile music subscription service from Omnifone for the Music Service Award, while mobile campaigns involving Christina Aguilera, Sugababes, Lily Allen and Ludacris are all up for the Artist Campaign Award. The winners will be announced at a gala dinner, in Monte Carlo, no less, on 5 Jun.

Commenting on this year's shortlists, MEF Executive Director Rimma Perelmuter told CMU: "This year's entries proved that the mobile entertainment industry is set to meet its global revenue target of $38 billion by 2011, with an array of applications and services that make it easy and appealing for the consumer to discover and purchase content on the go. The stage is now set for an amazing awards show in Monte Carlo which is a fitting location to showcase the leading mobile entertainment companies from around the world".

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THE GAME ARREST OVER BASKETBALL GUN INCIDENT
Ah, I'm getting it now. The incident back in February that got The Game arrested for 'making criminal threats' this weekend involved the pulling of a gun during a basketball game. That is to say the rapper, real name Jayceon Taylor, is accused of pulling a gun during a pickup game of basketball in a park in LA back in February. Quite why the police had to search Taylor's home for three hours before making the arrest we're not sure - but it is the gun pulling and not anything the rapper did during that search that allegedly constitutes a "criminal threat". As previously reported, Taylor is on $50,000 bail, but says he's innocent of all charges, thank you very much.

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UNIVERSAL TO DISTRIBUTE MACCA STARBUCKS RELEASE
The Universal Music Group has signed an agreement with Starbucks' music company Hear Music which will see them distribute the previously reported new Paul McCartney album worldwide. As previously reported, the latest Macca solo effort, 'Memory Almost Full', is the first release of the recently stepped up Starbucks music outfit, now a joint venture with the Concord Music Group. Universal will distribute the album as part of a longer term partnership with Hear Music.

Confirming the deal, Universal International top man Lucian Grainge told reporters: "The opportunity to bring new music by Paul McCartney to his millions of fans worldwide comes along once in a lifetime. We're excited by this ground-breaking partnership with Hear Music, Starbucks and Concord. Everyone at Universal Music is determined to create new milestones for the popularity of Paul's work".

Hear Music chief Ken Lombard added: "Our goal at Hear Music is to seek out and develop artists with a keen sense of purpose and we are committed to connecting those artists to the widest audience possible. We are proud to team with Universal Music Group to deliver great music from Hear Music artists to traditional music channels around the world".

The relationship with Universal is not an especially surprising move on Hear Music's part, parent company Concord having had an international distribution agreement with the uber-major since 2004.

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AIR RELEASE HAIKU SINGLE
Air's Nicolas Godin has described his new single 'Mer Du Japon' as "haiku music". He says: "J'ai perdu la raison dans la mer du Japon. I lost my mind in the sea of Japan. It's just one simple line".

Bandmate Jean-Benoît Dunckel explains in a little more detail: "When you go to Los Angeles or Japan there is something special in the air, and we wanted to capture this special Pacific touch. It's almost like a perfume. It sounds a little bit like a French band Taxi Girl, Mirwais' first band. We were big fans of this band and there is a similar feel in the production".

'Mer Du Japon' is the second single to be taken from recent album 'Pocket Symphony', though the single release is a brand new version of the song, which has been reworked by Nigel Godrich. It's due for release on 11 Jun. Press info from Sainted.

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CALVIN HARRIS RELEASE DATES
So, some release dates relating to Mr Buzz Calvin Harris. His rather good single 'The Girls' will be released on 4 Jun (with a digital release on 28 May), while much anticipated debut album 'I Created Disco' will arrive on 11 Jun. Don't go saying we didn't tell you.

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THE FLIES ARRIVE
Former Spiritualized member and Lupine Howl frontman Sean Cook has a new band called The Flies and they will release a mini digital album on 4 Jun, including a cover of The Rolling Stones' much covered song 'Ruby Tuesday'. The six tracks on the digital release are as follows:

All Too Human
The Lord Of The Flies
Ruby Tuesday
One Less Heart Beats
In This World
Harmonica

If you're interested, the band will be playing these gigs:

23 May: Oxford Jericho Tavern
31 May: Bath Moles
15 Jun: Taunton Aura

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BRUCE SAYS ANOTHER CREAM REUNION UNLIKELY
Cream's Jack Bruce says that another reunion of the sixties supergroup ain't likely to happen (you remember they briefly reunited in 2005) because "none of us want to do it", though he does add that that "doesn't mean it won't [ever] happen".

The big issue is the ongoing acrimony that exists between him and former bandmate Ginger Baker. He told the Scotsman: "It's all Ginger's fault. He's a terrible guy. Ask anybody, ask his ex-wife. Although, according to my wife it's as much my fault as it is his. I can be quite annoying with Ginger; he thought I should always stay the little guy he first met who was always in thrall to him. Nowadays we're happily co-existing in different continents, with Ginger in South Africa, although I was thinking of asking him to move. He's still a bit too close".

But Bruce accepts that such acrimony doesn't always stop bands reuniting if and when the right deal comes along. After all, The Police have just reformed, and Bruce observes: "The Police were worse than us. I'm a good friend of Andy Summers and he has told me some stories. The Police were much more physical than Cream ever were".

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M&S DROP FERRY, BUT NOT OVER NAZI COMMENTS, OK?
Marks & Spencer have said that their decision to drop Bryan Ferry from the ad campaign for its Autograph menswear range is nothing to do with the outrage that followed those previously reported comments he made in which he had the nerve to suggest the Nazis of the Third Reich might have produced some "beautiful imagery". The retailer says it is "highly unlikely" they will use the singer for future campaigns, but they stress that their contract with Ferry was already at an end, and the decision regarding future marketing had nothing to do with the Nazi remarks.

As previously reported, Ferry told German newspaper Welt Am Sonntag that he found Nazi iconography impressive, adding: "I'm talking about the films of Leni Riefenstahl and the buildings of Albert Speer and the mass marches and the flags. Just fantastic - really beautiful". The comments caused outrage in some quarters, especially among Jewish groups, and some called on M&S, originally founded by Russian Jewish refugee Michael Marks, to cut its ties with Ferry at the time.

But M&S stress that their decision not to use Ferry for the promotion of its upcoming Autumn Autograph range is not related to the comments. A spokesman said: "While we are still planning our autumn advertising campaign, it is highly unlikely any model will be used for more than two seasons for the Autograph range", adding "We welcomed Mr Ferry's apology over his remarks and he completed his existing contract".

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KLAXONS APOLOGISE OVER TICKET MIX UP
Klaxons have apologised on behalf of promoters SJM and Ticketline following a mix-up that left some fans unable to get into the band's 13 May gig at the Manchester Ritz. The fiasco came about because 600 tickets for a matinee show were accidentally printed with information for the evening show, meaning that an extra 600 tickets were in circulation for the concert in question; thus a number of fans who legitimately bought tickets were unable to get into the gig.

The band's statement reads: "We would like to apologise to any genuine ticket holders who did not get in. If anyone had a valid ticket for either show but was not let in, we ask that in the first instance they should contact the ticket agent from who they bought tickets with ticket numbers and booking reference. The ticket agent will then be able to check if tickets were sent out and how they slipped through the net".

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GREAT ESCAPE CANCELLATIONS
Damn Arms and Dananananaykroyd have cancelled their appearances at the aforementioned The Great Escape event in Brighton, apparently due to financial reasons.

Damn Arms have pulled their entire UK and European tour, in fact, telling their fans via their MySpace page: "We've been offered tours in the USA and Japan for later this year (which are really AWESOME shows)... and being the poorest band on earth we can't afford to go overseas twice this year. So now we're going to change our tickets to 'ROUND THA WORLD' tickets and play in the UK/Europe, Japan & the USA later in the year."

The other band, Dananananaykroyd, apparently can't afford to hire a van to get from Scotland down to the south coast. Crikey, it can't cost that much. Can't one of their Dads help out?

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BONDE DO ROLE CANCEL LONDON SHOW
Brazilians Bonde Do Role have cancelled a show at London's Barden Boudoir on 22 May. No reason has been given for the cancellation of the show, which was due to take place as part of their upcoming UK tour, dates of which are as follows:

19 May: Brighton Komedia
23 May: Manchester Tramp
24 May: Bristol Thekla
25 May: Sheffield Plug
26 May: Leeds Faversham
27 May: Nottingham Dot to Dot
28 May: Newcastle Orange Evolution Festival
30 May: Dublin Crawdaddy
31 May: London Corsica Studios

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THE FRAY ANNOUNCE NEW DATES
Buzz band The Fray have announced a whole lot of new UK tour dates. They're appearing at the V Festival on 18 and 19 Aug, but that's sold out, so the following dates might be of use to you if you want to catch them:

23 Oct: Ireland Castle Bar Royal Theatre
24 Oct: Ireland Dublin National Stadium
26 Oct: Glasgow Academy
27 Oct: Leeds University
28 Oct: Newcastle Academy
30 Oct: Birmingham Academy
31 Oct: Nottingham Rock City
1 Nov: Manchester Apollo
2 Nov: Bristol Academy
4 Nov: Portsmouth Guildhall
5 Nov: London Hammersmith Apollo

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IAN BROWN TOUR
Ian Brown has announced a really long tour. And further dates are yet to be announced. He's going to be knackered. Anyway, tickets for the gigs, which will promote the release of the new album he's currently working on, will go on sale this Friday at 9am. Here are the dates:

27 Sep: Newcastle Academy
28 Sep: Hull City Hall
29 Sep: Sheffield Octagon
1 Oct: Middlesbrough Town Hall
2 Oct: Lincoln Engine Shed
3 Oct: Halifax Victoria Hall
5 Oct: Leeds University
6 Oct: Warrington Parr Hall
8 Oct: Dundee Caird Hall
9 Oct: Motherwell Civic Hall
10 Oct: Edinburgh Corn Exchange
12 Oct: Llandudno Venue Cymru Arena
13 Oct: Preston Guildhall
15 Oct: Derby Assembly Rooms
16 Oct: Nottingham Rock City
18 Oct: Reading Hexagon
19 Oct: Birmingham Academy
20 Oct: Cambridge Corn Exchange
22 Oct: Southampton Guildhall
23 Oct: Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall
25 Oct: Bristol Academy
26 Oct: Liverpool University

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FARRELL HAS GLOBAL AMBITIONS FOR LOLLAPALOOZA
Former Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell has told MTV he would like to transform his festival, the Lollapalooza Festival (obviously), into a global franchise within the next decade.

The Lollapalooza Festival, founded by Farrell as a US-wide touring festival in 1991, became an iconic live music event of the nineties, returning after a six year break in 2003. But poor ticket sales in 2004 led to the cancellation of the tour, and in 2005 the festival was reinvented as a one city event staged in Chicago in early August. But, with that format now seemingly a success, Farrell has admitted he is keen to expand the venture once more.

Speaking to MTV he said: "I'm going to look to take it global. I want to put together an event around the world in the next 10 years that will refashion, redress, and transform. It's something I'm looking into now, and if it happens, it will happen quick. That's my ambition".

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MORE GLADE ADDITIONS
More acts have been added to the line up for the CMU favourite of dance fests (apart from all our other favourites, obviously), the mighty Glade. Topping the bill this year will be Trentmoller (full live band), UNKLE (live), Derrick May, Hybrid (live), Craig Richards and Digitalism, but, on top of that, just added to the bill are Adam Freeland, Younger Brother, Richie Hawtin and Squarepusher. Glade 2007 takes place from 20-22 Jul - more info at http://www.gladefestival.com, press info from Leyline.

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NEXT MYSPACE SECRET GIG BUZZES BIGTIME
The next one of those MySpace Secret Show thingimies will take place in Manchester and bring together two of those buzzy buzzy buzz band types - The Gossip and CSS. The press release calls them "two of rock's coolest, sexiest and most charismatic bands", but I still prefer "buzzy buzzy buzz band types", much more descriptive.

The Secret Show will take place this Friday, 18 May, at the city's Roadhouse venue. Given that's the day, date and venue, I'm not sure what the secret is with this one, but there you go. If you want to go you need to, [a] make yourself a friend of the three MySpace pages below, [b] make each of the pages one of your Top 8 friends on your own MySpace, [c] print out your MySpace profile showing your Top 8 friends, [d] take the print out to the branch of Fopp on Brown Street, Manchester at 6pm that day, [e] be first in the queue to get a wrist band. Which sounds like an awful lot of hassle, even for two cool, sexy, charismatic, buzzy buzzy buzz band types, but there you have it.

Anyway, the MySpaces you have to befriend are...
http://www.myspace.com/secretshowsuk
http://www.myspace.com/gossipband
http://www.myspace.com/canseidesersexy

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OLDFIELD NOT IMPRESSED WITH TUBULAR BELLS COVERMOUNT
Mike Oldfield has been criticising EMI for giving away the complete 'Tubular Bells' album with the Mail On Sunday last month, claiming no one formally told him about the cover mount promotion and that he only heard about it on the grapevine. The Sunday paper gave away the CD last month alongside a promotion around Richard Branson's latest book - 'Tubular Bells' being the first album Branson's Virgin Records ever released back in 1973.

Contactmusic quote Oldfield thus: "EMI's decision to give away Tubular Bells was taken without my agreement or even the simple courtesy of EMI telling me about it. I heard about the campaign by pure chance. To group real music with cheap loan leaflets and the other freebies that fall out of most publications is to devalue it. I have no desire to push my music to someone who has not sought it out. I know that other artists feel the same".

His comments may renew opposition to covermount promotions among the artist and management community. Opposition from those communities a few years back, coupled with pressure from the big music retailers, meant many record companies introduced blanket bans on their labels getting involved in covermount CDs. Although some artists and labels re-warmed to the covermount proposition when they could be linked to the promotion of key album releases or tour activity, others, EMI included, remained opposed to the format. Why EMI approved the 'Tubular Bells' covermount isn't clear, though it would have delivered some useful extra profits to add to the balance sheet.

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TUNETRIBE LAUNCH CONSULTANCY
Independent download platform TuneTribe has launched a new b2b offshoot called TT Digital Solutions which will, and I quote, "help music/media companies strategically use music and new media to strengthen their connection with the consumer and enhance brand image, as well as break into new markets and ultimately increase sales". TuneTribe say they already have the technical expertise in house, and that they will be recruiting a new person from a creative branding background so to offer an end to end solution.

Confirming the new division, TubeTribe's Ronnie Traynor told CMU: "We bring our technological expertise and substantial experience in the music industry to offer input and guidance at every stage of the process, from initial creative direction and exploration of ideas to build, activation and management. As such, we are unequalled, in terms of both our comprehensive approach at every stage of the process and our technical attention-to-detail".

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THE ORCHARD PARTNER WITH MUSICIP
Independent digital aggregator types The Orchard have announced a new partnership with digital music technology people MusicIP which will see the latter's MusicSearch technology being used to offer anyone working in the wacky world of synch rights (looking for music for films, adverts and TV shows) use of a new tool which will enable them to easily search The Orchard's vast catalogue of independent music. The new tool will be called Trackdown.

The Orchard chief Greg Scholl told CMU yesterday: "As The Orchard continues to transcend traditional notions of 'distribution' and redefine what it means to be a true business partner to artists and labels, our new Trackdown service, powered by industry-leader MusicIP, ensures our music supervisor clients have a powerful, easy to use tool to find what they need in our peerless catalogue".

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LIVE NATION POST LOSSES
Live music conglom Live Nation yesterday reported that it made losses of $45.6 million in the first quarter of its current financial year, up on both the previous quarter and the same period last year - in fact in the same quarter last year the company returned a profit of $5.3 million. The loss this year was despite a year on year rise in revenues, from $516.6 million to $884.2 million, a sign that the conglom's operating costs have increased in the past twelve months, mainly due to its previously reported acquisitions of the House Of Blues empire and merchandise firm Trunk Ltd.

That fact was cited by the company as one of the reasons for the overall loss - ie that the increased operational costs have impacted on the bottom line in what is always a quiet quarter for the conglom's core touring business. However, that doesn't necessarily mean a dramatic turnaround will be seen in the second busier quarter because Live Nation bosses admit they have two cycles in play - an annual seasonal cycle, but also a 2-3 year cycle which often sees the highest earning bands all touring at the same time. The first quarter last year benefited from concurrent tours from big hitters like U2, Coldplay, Billy Joel, Aerosmith, Toby Keith, Rascall Flatts and Depeche Mode - a similar collection of big hitters is not expected this year.

Live Nation chief Michael Rapino admitted that cycle, but was optimistic nevertheless. He told reporters this week: "The concert business is a seasonal and cyclical business with a cycle of generally one to three years. If a major artist tours in one year, it is typically unlikely for that artist to tour for the next year or two". But Rapino says the "three year window" is an opportunity for business change within the conglom, which is expected to include a more aggressive move into the merchandising and ticketing markets.

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EAGLE ROCK BUY OUT MAJORITY INVESTORS
Management at UK music firm Eagle Rock have bought out their main financial backers - HG Capital - with the help of private equity firm Beringea and Edel Music AG. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although it's known that Eagle Rock management have been looking for a replacement investor to HG since 2005, when their majority shareholder let it be known it was looking to "redeploy" its investment portfolio. It's somewhat ironic that Edel are one of the new backers, given it was Edel that HG bought out in 2001.

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RUBIN COLUMBIA US ROLE CONFIRMED
All those rumours that began back in March that legendary producer Rick Rubin was taking a job at SonyBMG's Columbia US division were true. The major confirmed Rubin was now on the Columbia exec team yesterday, adding that he would "form a dynamic and creative executive partnership" with Columbia chairman Steve Barnett. Exact details of Rubin's role are tbc. Though we do know Rubin will take his own label, American Recordings, to SonyBMG as part of the deal.

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RECORDSTORE HIRE NEW MANAGER
Recordstore.co.uk has a new Manager in the form of Steve Wheeler, formerly Rock & Indie Buyer for HMV UK. Wheeler's new role will include responsibility for growing and developing the Recordstore.co.uk website in the coming years.

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HEALY ON DEPRESSION AND SONGWRITING
Travis chap Fran Healy has said that he was a bit worried about getting therapy for his depression, as he feared that curing it might lead to the loss of his songwriting talent. Some might argue that it has in fact, led to the loss of his songwriting talent, but I wouldn't, because I'm a latter day Travis fan and less fond of their early stuff.

Anyway, here's what the yearn-pop pixie says: "I wasn't really comfortable talking about this at the time it came out, but [2003 album] '12 Memories' was about going into therapy and the record was the therapy sessions. So I had three months of hypnotherapy instead, where you went back and fixed your memories. Because I'm the biggest blab, I will confide in everyone. But my worry about going into therapy was, what if I can't write songs anymore because I fixed the thing that makes me do it".

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MANSON ON VAMPIRISM AND SEX
Marilyn Manson has compared himself to a vampire, and says the idea of consuming someone is quite appealing. Well, I've sort of twisted his words there, because I'm a typical scurrilous media type. Here's what he actually said: "I've always thought that association, with the romanticism of vampires, was a bit too obvious a fit for me. But a vampire is only something that can be killed by stabbing it through the heart. And that's my weakness, metaphorically. Love can destroy you. But also a vampire is a character that only comes out at night-time, and ultimately preys on young women. And drinks blood. This idea of consuming someone, whether it's literal or a metaphor, is quite romantic".

Manson, who is, of course, dating a woman half his age - 19 year old actress Evan Rachel Wood - added some unsavoury - well, savoury, in a sense - details about some game he's played recently with fish eggs. He said: "I can order caviar and throw it away. That's decadent, isn't it? I did it last night! The record company were paying though. And there was sex involved".

I hate to use this phrase, because I don't like people who use it all the bloody time. But, really, Mr Manson, too much information.

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HAWKINS DISSES SCOOCH
Justin Hawkins has been mouthing off about Scooch's performance at the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday. As previously reported, the cheesy pop quartet came second to last after only picking up points from two countries. The block voting that has become the norm at Eurovision in these days of Eastern European involvement and phone voting is probably to blame for the especially poor performance, of course, but Hawkins, who had hoped to represent the UK there this year, reckons Scooch and the BBC should take responsibility for the poor performance. He rants thus: "I think Scooch lost because they were rubbish. The BBC shouldn't have put it forward. It was supposed to be different this year. The clues in the title, Eurovision Song Contest. It should have been a song".

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MEFFYS AWARD NOMINATIONS IN FULL

The Games Award
Digital Chocolate - Tornado Mania!
Glu Mobile - Brain Genius Java Game
Electronic Arts - UEFA Champions League 2006-2007
Gameloft - Miami Nights
I-Play - The Fast And The Furious Tokyo

The Music Service Award
Omnifone - Musicstation
Mercora - Mercora M
Hingi - Hear It 'n' Get It
Groove Mobile - 3 Musicstore
Orange - Orange Music Store Powered By Musiwave

The Artist Campaign Award
Sony Ericsson - Christina Aguilera Campaign 2006
Nokia - Dirty Pretty Tunes: Nokia N91 Launch
Endemol Digital Media - Get Close To...Sugababes
Parlophone/New Visions - Lily Allen Mobile Site
Mercury Music Group - Ludacris Three Front Room

The Tv & Video Service Award
The Hyperfactory - Adidas +10 Challenge 3g Campaign
Endemol Digital Media - Get Close To...Sugababes
Ktf-Mbc-Net&Tv - Mobile Tv Project
Qualcomm - Mediaflo System
Rhythm Newmedia - World's First Ad-Supported Video

The Technology Innovation Award
Bango - Bango Billrank Technology
Alltel Wireless - Celltop
Graphico New Media Ltd - Momentum Mobile Platform
Realeyes 3d -Motioncortex/Motionized Handset
Shozu Inc - Shozu

The Content Award
Refresh Mobile - Mobizines
Hungama Mobile - Kingfisher Mobile Calendar
Fox Mobile Entertainment / Jamba - Boratisodes
Endemol Digital Media - Get Close To...Sugababes
Player X - Geektv

The Innovative Business Model Award
3 Uk - Ad-Funded Content On 3uk
Admob - Admob Marketplace
Amobee - Amobee Media System
Muzicall - Rbt.4.All Programme
Mx Telecom - Unified Short Codes

The Communities & Ugc Award
Orange - Buff Or Rough?
Jumbuck Entertainment - Fast Flirting
Loop Mobile - Moko
Pitch Entertainment Group - Pitch
Mowave - Self Central

The Search & Discovery Award
Mcn - Docomo D903i Fm Radio Search
Mobilepeople - Liquid Mobile Search
Infospace Europe - Infospace Mobile Search
Orange - Orange Mobile Search
Roundbox - Tv Guide Mobile Esg

The Handset Application Award
Didiom Llc - Didiom
Newbay Software - Pixota
Shozu - Shozu
Sprint - Sprint Nfl Mobile
Roundbox - Tv Guide Mobile Esg

The Marketing Campaign Award
Qwikker - Branded Mobile Application
Hungama Mobile - Hutch & Casino Royale Campaign
The Hyperfactory - Johnson & Johnson Define 3g Campaign
Nokia - Music Recommenders
Vibes Media - Vibes Media's Pirates Campaign

The Mobile Entertainment Handset Award
Nokia - 'N95'
Sony Ericsson - W880
Htc - Htc Advantage

The Mobile Entertainment Operator Award
3 Uk - X-Series
Orange - 'Content Everywhere'
Telenor Norway - Mobile Entertainment For Customer Empowerment

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