CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 16th May
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- House of Commons committee backs copyright extension
- Amazon confirm they'll launch MP3 store this year
- Industry backs Mike Oldfield in covermount CD debate
- I think I killed somebody: Spector trial update
- Chesney triumphs again at Country Music Awards
- Angels & Airwaves bassist gets the push
- Dylan on Beatles
- Wolf on that old retirement thing
- MP makes demands for Eurovison change
- The Thrills album news
- Hawley announces tour
- Nine Black Alps dates
- New Jack Penate single
- Beastie boys for Brixton
- ZZ Top cancel euro tour
- Bestival sells out
- New campaign hopes to stigmatise piracy in UK
- Napster and Motorola enter strategic alliance
- Sufjan writes book intro
- Bono plagued by problem fireplaces
- Lily blames Cheryl, handbags

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TOP BIT>>
Woooah, as I believe I said last time the Daily came out this late in the day. Apologies, it's been all kinds of manic round here, mainly celebrating the news that a House Of Commons committee has thrown its weight behind extending the recording copyright term, which means millionaire rock stars and multi-national music congloms will be able to screw a few more pounds out of dusty recordings from the 1950s. Woo. We won't be this late again, honest. Well, not till August anyway. Well, providing Caro doesn't go into labour midway through Daily production time. That might delay us slightly.

Anyway, the last time we were running so late I dropped in a CMU Recommended plug here in the Top Bit because that's quick, so I see no reason to do otherwise this time. And it's a very exciting plug. Remix Night returns to Cargo in East London this Friday night, 18 May, and the one and only Terry Hall will be live on stage with CMU favourites the Dub Pistols, which is why it's so exciting. Well, that and the fact there's support from Alloy Mental and Border Crossing, and that Rhysmix, aka Tom Bellamy from The Cooper Temple Clause, will be joining Remix host Eddy TM on the decks. I think this deserves another woo. It all takes place on 18 May at Cargo in East London - full info at http://www.leylinepromotions.com/theremix.

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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:

Brighton's Finest
Friday Night Hero, Silvermaker, Two Spot Gobi
After waiting for an hour and a half in the rain for this late starting show, the last thing I needed was the childish and unoriginal novelty music of the tragically bad unbilled support Zooface. And things didn't improve much once they were gone either, as next up were Silvermaker, a poorly named and unoriginal radio rock band distinguished only by their very attractive singer (call me). With two more bands to go, things were looking very bleak, when suddenly things took a dramatic turn for the better. The DJ spun some Talking Heads, Two Spot Gobi struck their opening chord and the dance floor erupted. Two Spot Gobi absolutely embarrassed every other band on the bill with their original dub-inflected funk, spiced up with cello and trumpet. After this, Friday Night Hero's smooth rock was something of an anti-climax, but then, anything would've been.
Ocean Rooms, 11 May, 8:00pm, £4.00 (£3.00), fringe pp26.
tw rating 3/5
[mh]

Alexander Sitkovetsky
What a pleasant way to spend an afternoon! Violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky's incredible talent shone through with his accomplished, engaging performances of classical pieces by composers such as Bach and Elgar to rapturous applause from his extremely receptive and eager audience. Also a delight to the ears was Olga Sitkovetsky's piano accompaniments which added a depth and richness of sound to her son's playing. Unfortunately, however pleasing this performance was to listen to, it was less so to watch: Alexander was almost completely still on stage and failed to fully engage with his audience whilst performing his pieces. This is a musician who needs to work on his overall performance before he can be called a truly great violinist.
Brighton Dome, Pavilion Theatre, 10 May, 1:00pm, £7.50, festival pp14.
tw rating 3/5
[rw]

Kris Drever
Talent, charm and a beautiful deep brogue... what's not to like about Kris Drever? Living up to his reputation as "one of Scotland's finest folk singer/guitarists", Kris delivered an intimate and very enjoyable performance to his greatly appreciative older audience. Introducing each of his songs with the story of its origins, Kris's friendly and relaxed banter complemented his own brand of gentle, melodic folk. The Celtic tradition so apparent in his music was well-represented by his rich and audibly accented voice, and both the heart-rending and the more upbeat songs were performed with equal skill. A certain treat for any Celtic folk enthusiast, the concert was a pleasurable hour which left one with a very real sense of warmth and contentment.
Pavilion Theatre, Brighton Dome, 11 May, 1:00pm, £7.50, festival pp14
tw rating 4/5
[ah]

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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HOUSE OF COMMONS COMMITTEE BACKS COPYRIGHT EXTENSION
Ah, some good news for the recording industry on all things copyright. While the government commissioned Gowers Report into intellectual property laws failed to be convinced by the argument that the copyright on recordings should last more than the current fifty years, the House Of Commons Culture, Media & Sport Committee has recommended that the copyright term be extended.

As previously reported, the record industry has been busy pushing for an increase in the recorded music copyright, pointing out the discrepancies between the recording copyright term and that for music publishing (life plus 70 years), and also between the European recording copyright term and that in the US (which is now 95 years). The need to extend the 50 year term is becoming increasingly pressing because many of the legendary rock n roll recordings of the late fifties and early sixties will come out of copyright in the near future.

The Culture Committee has dealt with the issue in a document published today called 'New Media & The Creative Industries', and they report that: "We have not heard a convincing reason why a composer and his or her heirs should benefit from a term of copyright which extends for lifetime and beyond, but a performer should not". They suggest that the term should be "extended to at least 70 years, to provide reasonable certainty that an artist will be able to derive benefit from a recording throughout his or her lifetime".

Observing that its findings were in contradiction to those of the Gowers' Report, the Culture Committee said it felt that review had "failed to take account of the moral right of creators to choose to retain ownership and control of their own intellectual property".

Needless to say, all sorts of record industry bodies have been welcoming the Committee's findings. Fran Nevrkla of UK record royalties collecting society PPL told CMU: "The Select Committee has conducted a thorough and rigorous investigation and should be commended for the quality of their report. They have recommended extending copyright term for performers and producers to bring them in line with other creators. Calls to extend copyright term have now been backed by 75 MPs across the political parties and when the Government responds to the Select Committee we hope they will show their support for musicians and the record industry".

Meanwhile BPI top man Geoff Taylor was on the phone first thing telling us: "The Committee's report understands and supports the role of copyright as the means by which creators earn a living and drive the creative economy. The Committee is quite right that the term of copyright should be extended as a matter of fairness to artists - there is indeed no convincing argument why recording artists have shorter copyright protection than other creators. We agree with the Committee that the Gowers Review focused too heavily on economic analysis and did not sufficiently consider this fundamental point. We urge the Government to respond positively to the Select Committee and now make the case in Europe for fair copyright protection for British performers and record companies".

And that IFPI bloke John Kennedy had a few things to say about the matter. Well, one thing really, that the committee had "given a ringing endorsement for fair treatment of the UK music industry".

So there you go. All lovely. The copyright term issue was just one of many covered by the Culture Committee's report that also considered what new measures could be introduced to further combat online content piracy - in particular what role internet service providers and search engines could and should have in that (something which should also please record label types, who have long said ISPs should take on more responsibility for stopping the illegal distribution of copyright content online).

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AMAZON CONFIRM THEY'LL LAUNCH MP3 STORE THIS YEAR
Confirmation at last that Amazon will launch a digital music store later this year, and also that the music it will sell will be free of that pesky digital rights management stuff. There has, of course, been speculation for a while that Amazon would launch a DRM free download service - speculation that increased when EMI recently announced it would start selling its music online without insisting restrictive DRM be embedded.

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos confirmed earlier today his company's intention to launch an MP3 download service later this year, telling reporters: "Our MP3-only strategy means all the music that customers buy on Amazon is always DRM-free and plays on any device".

Presumably Amazon are hoping that by the time they launch their new service later this year the other three major record companies, who still occupy that deluded 'DRM protects our assets' world, will have had their own reality checks and made their catalogues available in MP3 format. Opinion on DRM policy seemingly remains split at the top of Universal, Warner and SonyBMG, though rumour has it at least one of them will follow EMI's lead sooner rather than later, though probably not Warner.

MP3 downloads have been generally the domain of independent digital music platforms like eMusic to date, though the MP3 space is likely to get more crowded in the next twelve months, with the Snocap enabled MySpace download platform also pushing the generic non-DRMed file format (though not quite so proactively as they once were, given that they've agreed to stock Warner's music with DRM). The MP3 services will differ from Apple's planned no-DRM service, which will have exclusivity to the EMI DRM-free catalogue at launch, which will be making music available in non-DRMed AAC files which are more user-friendly than DRMed AAC files, but which will still not work on many non-Apple manufactured digital music players.

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INDUSTRY BACKS MIKE OLDFIELD IN COVERMOUNT CD DEBATE
A poll in Music Week has shown overwhelming support for multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield who, as previously reported, has hit out at that decision by EMI to give away his classic album 'Tubular Bells' free with the Mail On Sunday last month.

As previously reported, the paper gave away a copy of the album to every reader in a covermount CD promotion tied to a feature about Richard Branson's latest book - 'Tubular Bells' being the first album ever released on Branson's Virgin Records back in 1973. But Oldfield wasn't party to the deal between the paper and EMI, who now own Virgin Records of course, and last week he wrote to Music Week saying: "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".

Since that letter, Music Week's website polled its industry readership about the issue, asking "Is Mike Oldfield right to be angry over EMI doing a deal with The Mail On Sunday to covermount his classic album Tubular Bells?" 89.9% of those who answered said yes.

As observed in this bit yesterday, this debate is sure to reignite opposition in the UK artist, management and music retail communities to the concept of covermount promotions. That opposition originally led to many record companies shying away from getting involved in such promotions, though the newspapers are increasingly willing to pay substantial fees for the right content - EMI reportedly received £200,000 for the 'Tubular Bells' promotion - fees which will be attractive to major labels desperate to secure new revenue streams.

Defending the 'Tubular Bells' promotion, Simon Stanford of Upfront Promotions, the agency behind the free CD, told Music Week this week: "Far from hurting album sales, there is a positive effect on sales of albums after a covermount promotion - the sales of 'Tubular Bells' increased the week after its promotion and our recent Dolly Parton covermount promotion helped sales of SonyBMG's greatest hits album because of the massive exposure given to Dolly by the newspaper. If the music industry is serious about looking for new revenue streams and markets, it should fully exploit newspaper covermount promotions as they offer large incremental revenue streams and free mass market promotion for their artists' catalogues".

Of course he's not entirely wrong in what he says there, though some covermounts benefit artists much better than others - financially and in terms of promotion. Whether giving away 'Tubular Bells' in its entirety at a time when Oldfield has nothing new to sell or promote can really be said to benefit him, I don't know, I'm not convinced it can. What I am sure of though is that if labels want to utilise the revenue and marketing potential of covermounts, entering into high profile promotions like this without consulting the artist whose music is being given away is probably not the best way to do it.

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I THINK I KILLED SOMEBODY: SPECTOR TRIAL UPDATE
We already knew that Phil Spector's former chauffeur Adriano DeSouza would testify that the legendary producer told him "I think I killed somebody" moments after Lana Clarkson was shot, because that evidence was central to the prosecution's opening remarks, but yesterday we heard it from the horse's mouth. Or, rather, the chauffeur's mouth.

DeSouza gave his testimony to the LA courts yesterday in the third week of the ongoing Spector murder trial, in which, of course, the music producer stands accused of shooting dead actress Lana Clarkson at his Beverley Hills home back in 2003. DeSouza told the court how he had been sitting in the producer's Mercedes behind Spector's home at the time of Clarkson's death. He says he heard a loud "pow" from the car and went to investigate, thinking the noise came from outside the mansion, but after failing to find the source of the noise he returned to the car. A few minutes later he saw Spector leave the house by a side entrance, holding a gun and with blood on his hand. Asked by prosecutor Alan Jackson if Spector had said anything after appearing at the side of the house, DeSouza responded: "He said 'I think I killed somebody'". The chauffeur claimes he then asked Spector what had happened, but that the producer simply shrugged his shoulders.

Of course the defence have already responded to DeSouza's version of events in its opening address, accusing the driver of being asleep at the time of shooting, and of mishearing Spector when he told him "I think somebody was killed". Spector, of course, claims that Clarkson shot herself that night in 2003.

The case continues.

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CHESNEY TRIUMPHS AGAIN AT COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS
Former Mr Renee Zellweger, Kenny Chesney, has won a third consecutive Entertainer Of The Year award at the Academy of Country Music Awards. Receiving the gong, he paid tribute to fellow musician Keith Whitley, telling the crowd assembled in Las Vegas: "When I first started playing music, I was in college and I would go rent all my equipment and put it in the back of a pick-up truck. The only thing I wanted to do was cut a record as good as Keith Whitley did, and I listened to that music over and over again".

Elsewhere, former American Idol Carrie Underwood was awarded the top Female Vocalist, whilst Rascal Flatts got Best Vocal Group, whilst veteran duo Brooks & Dunn won Best Vocal Duo for the fourteenth time.

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ANGELS & AIRWAVES BASSIST GETS THE PUSH
According to reports, Angels & Airwaves bassist Ryan Sinn has been kicked out of the band, and aint too happy about it. He's quoted as saying this on fansite thearmyofangels.com: "I received a phone call the evening of April 19th that concluded my relationship with Angels And Airwaves. I could go into an entire novel about my opinions of the whole matter and why I was given the axe, but to me, throwing dirt just seems desperate and tabloidial. All I'll say as to why I was kicked out, the reasons I was given weren't at all honest, and severely hypocritical to the point of abhorrent disgust".

Oh dear. Rumour suggests that he may be replaced by one Matt Wachter, a former member of 30 Seconds To Mars, actor Jared Leto's band.

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DYLAN ON BEATLES
Bob Dylan has spoken to Rolling Stone magazine about his friendships with the Beatles, making particular reference to George Harrison, and his struggle to express himself because of the dominance of Lennon and McCartney in the band. The singer says: "George got stuck with being the Beatle that had to fight to get songs on records because of Lennon and McCartney. Well, who wouldn't get stuck? If George had had his own group and was writing his own songs back then, he'd have been probably just as big as anybody".

On this he's not wrong. George was always my favourite Beatle. Anyway, Dylan went on to say some really nice stuff about the aforementioned John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The singer says: "They were fantastic singers. Lennon, to this day, it's hard to find a better singer than Lennon was, or than McCartney was and still is. I'm in awe of McCartney. He's about the only one that I am in awe of. He can do it all. And he's never let up... He's just so damn effortless".

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WOLF ON THAT OLD RETIREMENT THING
As previously reported, Patrick Wolf recently made a statement saying he would retire from music shortly, but then retracted it. Now he's been talking about why all that happened. It sounds like he was having a bit of a hissy fit. And I say that in a completely non-judgemental way.

The singer, who recently toured the US with Amy Winehouse, and is set to headline US dates as part of promotional duties for his new album 'The Magic Position' told NME.com: "With the retirement thing, I was a bit drunk and I went to the internet and I checked this message board and I thought it'd be really interesting to see what people thought of the shows. But it was like walking into the wrong conversation at the playground".

Explaining his upset at the negative comments on the message board he continued: "I said, 'You know I'm a human being as well and I'm not going to act like I don't feel anything'. So I wrote about how I was feeling. I just wanted people to know that I'm not going to be around forever so enjoy the shows while they're there and enjoy the positive thing I'm trying to give them".

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MP MAKES DEMANDS FOR EUROVISON CHANGE
Liberal Democrat MP Richard Younger-Ross has called for the voting system for the Eurovision Song Contest to be changed because, he says, countries vote for their neighbours instead of the best song, something which, he maintains, is "harmful to the relationship between the peoples of Europe". Don't know whether his constituents have called for this in anyway, but, nevertheless, he's spent some of his no doubt valuable time tabling an EDM (early day motion) which has been backed by fellow Lib Dem Colin Breed as well as two Labour MPs, John Robertson and David Drew.

Actually, not everyone agrees with Younger-Ross that Eurovision is 100% biased. One Derek Gatherer (really, that's his name) has spent some of his own no doubt valuable time studying Eurovision voting patterns and he says voters aren't quite as biased as many say, although he admits geography can be a factor. He says: "Less than a third of the total votes for the winning entry were ones which seemed to have been influenced by block voting. It does make it rather harder for us to win, but it's not to suggest that all the votes are necessarily given out according to these local alliances".

That said, Younger-Ross isn't alone in expressing concern about Eurovision voting rules this week. Elsewhere, the Malta contingent have implied that it's all a bit of a fix, and that the phone voting system isn't being properly monitored in eastern Europe, whilst Germany's national tabloid Bild is asking why the Western entrants should be paying shitloads of cash to fund a contest they're seemingly no longer in with a chance of winning. I've been thinking similar thoughts myself, though Bild perhaps aren't taking into account the cash that it also generates for those countries. However, Bild do have something that I don't, and that's a quote from this year's German entrant Nicole, who says: "It is obvious that Eastern European countries engage in dirty trade with points every year. Germany should withdraw from the competition".

What a palaver, eh? Last word to Paul Gambaccini, who told Radio 4 that he thinks it's all political: "Britain's votes plummeted with the invasion of Iraq and have stayed in the basement with the occupation. There has always been a political dimension to Eurovision, the love-fest between Greece and Cyprus has been noted for a long time. Now with the public voting instead of the panel voting it is really extensive".

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THE THRILLS ALBUM NEWS
The Thrills' previously reported new album has a release date! Hurrah. Lovely Thrills. 'Teenager' will be out on 23 Jul, and the tracklisting is as follows:

The Midnight Choir
This Year
Nothing Changes Round Here
Restaurant
I Came All This Way
Long Forgotten Song
I'm So Sorry
No More Empty Words
Teenager
Should've Known Better
There's Joy To Be Found
The Boy Who Caught All The Breaks (hidden track)

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HAWLEY ANNOUNCES TOUR
The rather good Richard Hawley has announced a new series of tour dates to follow the release of his new album, 'Lady's Bridge', out 20 Aug. Here they are:

2 Sep: Southampton Guildhall
3 Sep: Cambridge Corn Exchange
4 Sep: Brighton Dome
5 Sep: London Roundhouse
7 Sep: Birmingham Symphony Hall
8 Sep: Liverpool Philharmonic
9 Sep: Oxford New Theatre
10 Sep: Bristol Colston Hall
12 Sep: Sheffield City Hall
14 Sep: Edinburgh Queens Hall
16 Sep: Glasgow City Hall
17 Sep: Gateshead Sage
19 Sep: Leicester De Montford Hall
20 Sep: Bradford St Georges Hall
21 Sep: Manchester Bridgewater Hall

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NINE BLACK ALPS DATES
Nine Black Alps have announced a clutch of tour dates for this summer, ahead of the release of their new album in the autumn.

18 Jun: Manchester Roadhouse
19 Jun: Glasgow ABC 2
21 Jun: London Islington Carling Academy
22 Jun: Birmingham Carling Academy 2

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NEW JACK PENATE SINGLE
Jack Penate has announced that his next single - 'Torn On The Platform' - will be out on 25 Jun, which'll coincide with his upcoming tour, which I'm pretty sure we already reported on. In case we didn't, and it's possible, because Penate seems to be a bit of a touring machine and I may just be remembering the last set of dates, here's where he'll be playing music in various locations in the coming weeks:

16 Jun: Glasgow King Tuts
17 Jun: Leeds Cockpit
18 Jun: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
20 Jun: Liverpool Academy 2
26 Jun: Birmingham Barfly
27 Jun: London Scala
28 Jun: Manchester Academy 3
29 Jun: Brighton Concorde
30 Jun: Bristol Thekla
10 Jul: Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms

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BEASTIE BOYS FOR BRIXTON
Beastie Boys have announced that they'll play a show at Brixton Academy on 4 Sep as part of their upcoming European tour in support of previously reported new long player 'The Mix-Up'. The group are also doing a few festival appearances this year, of course - at Bestival, Dublin's Electric Picnic, Scotland's Connect Festival and Sonar in Barcelona, plus they will also do a set at the London leg of the Live Earth gigs.

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ZZ TOP CANCEL EURO TOUR
ZZ Top have cancelled their European tour so that bassist and singer Dusty Hill can undergo treatment for a benign growth in his inner ear. The tour was due to kick off in Germany on 15 Jun and run into July, but Hill's treatment has now taken priority. The singer's doctor, Dr Shawn Nasseri, says they hope to treat the growth without surgery, telling reporters: "In the near term, we plan to stabilise Dusty's hearing and symptoms with medication and a conservative management strategy". Commenting on the treatment, Hill himself said: "I'm looking forward to dealing with this problem and getting back out there with Billy and Frank. I'm sure we'll put this behind us very shortly". It is hoped that the treatment will be complete before the band's US tour, due to kick off in mid-July.

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BESTIVAL SELLS OUT
We knew that Bestival had sold out a couple of days ago. But we didn't report on it. Perhaps because we're rubbish, I don't know. But now everyone else is reporting on it. And frankly, we don't want you to hear it from them, we want you to hear it from us.

Bestival has sold out, everyone. All the tickets have been sold. They're all gone.

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NEW CAMPAIGN HOPES TO STIGMATISE PIRACY IN UK
A multi-million pound marketing initiative will be launched in the UK next month in another bid to combat copyright piracy. The campaign, being organised by the Industry Trust for IP Awareness (a cross-sector organisation, though whose past work has centred mostly on film piracy), aims to attach a social stigma to copyright theft of all kinds.

The campaign, which will include media advertising, and outdoor and ambient marketing, will take a light-hearted approach to changing public opinion and will centre on a "shabby" character called Knock-off Nigel who buys "knock-off" DVDs at the pub, illegally downloads music, and generally grabs what he can for free.

Liz Bales, Director General of the Trust, says that the campaign will take a "slow burn" approach, with the aim to change opinions towards copyright theft over a three year period. Billboard quote Bales as saying: "We really need to drive a new message to consumers. We've had some success in raising awareness... but there's still a huge amount that needs to be done. And we know that lecturing and hectoring people can make them switch off, so we hope to connect and involve them through irreverence and humour".

Hmm, dealing with serious issues with irreverence and humour. Where did I see that before?

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NAPSTER AND MOTOROLA ENTER STRATEGIC ALLIANCE
Motorola, who manufactured the first ever iTunes compatible mobile, have put their Apple alliance behind them and announced a wide-ranging marketing alliance with Napster.

The new partnership will see Motorola promoting the Napster To Go subscription service, which allows users to listen to any tracks from the Napster catalogue on their portable devices, including a mobile, just as long as their subscription is valid. The link between the two companies coincides with the release of the Motorola Rokr Z6 and Z6m, both optimised for Napster access.

Confirming the partnership, which will launch in the US, UK and Germany initially, Napster boss Chris Gorog told reporters: "Motorola's powerful global brand image, music-enabled handset portfolio and exceptional market positions present tremendous potential for Napster to further deepen and broaden its global presence".

Motorola, of course, made much of their original alliance with Apple when they launched their iTunes compatible Rokr phone in 2005, but they soon became disillusioned with the handset, which got a poor critical reception and which Apple failed to proactively back. Some of the cynical persuasion reckoned Apple only worked with Motorola as a research exercise to help them develop their rival iPhone, which is due to launch in the US very soon, of course.

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SUFJAN WRITES BOOK INTRO
Sufjan Stevens has written an introduction to acclaimed US author Dave Eggers' new book 'The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007'. So there you go. But did you also know that acclaimed US author Dave Eggers is appearing at the Brighton Festival on 26 May? I know this because I'm a highly cultured individual, of course, and not because, as repeatedly hammered home to you, our sister publication ThreeWeeks is currently covering the Brighton Festival.

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BONO PLAGUED BY PROBLEM FIREPLACES
Big news this. Bono has taken issue with management at the Manhattan apartment building he shares with his family, because smoke from other flats' fireplaces is escaping into his penthouse duplex. Nice, wish I had one of those. Anyway, he seems to have also taken it up with the building's residents board. I think. Because a woman called Leni May is quoted as saying "Bono was so nice. He said, 'Listen, whatever I can do to get these things working, but it's emptying into my apartment and I can't have smoke like that'." Apparently one of his four children has asthma.

Anyway, the singer's management company has said made a statement about it all. "This is not a Bono issue," they said. "It's a building issue. It's about health and safety regulations".

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LILY BLAMES CHERYL, HANDBAGS
I don't think we reported on Lily Allen's recent 'I'm fat and I hate myself' rant on her MySpace page in which she claimed to be contemplating gastric bypass surgery, not that any doctor would agree to that, of course, given that she's not fat. The latest is that she blames Cheryl Cole, nee Tweedy, of Girls Aloud, for her self hate session, because the singer apparently called her a "chick with a dick" when she appeared on Gordon Ramsey's The F Word show recently.

Her latest post apologises for the miserable rant, and adds: "After reading Cheryl Tweedy (nee Cole)'s comments branding me a 'chick with a dick' I was feeling pretty low... Cheryl if you're reading this, I may not be as pretty as you but at least I write and SING my own songs without the aid of Autotune. I must say taking your clothes off, doing sexy dancing and marrying a rich footballer must be very gratifying for you, your mother must be so proud, stupid bitch".

She also pointed out that the hate-rant's subject line, which seemed to be dissing Amy Winehouse - "Fat, ugly and shitter than Winehouse" - wasn't an actual dig at Amy Winehouse , saying: "As for the Amy Winehouse bit, someone sent me a link to a picture blog where there were some paparazzi shots of my brother and there were hundreds of comments from mean, sad people, saying I was a fat, ugly bitch and how much better Amy is than I".

As I'm sure you'll remember, Allen recorded a track called 'Cheryl Tweedy', which actually includes the lyrics "I wish I looked like Cheryl Tweedy".

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