CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 13th June
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- 7digital hope to take on iTunes
- Cat Power wins Shortlist Prize
- Metal Hammer awards
- Tiscali confirm Wireless sessions - register now to get it
- More DNA evidence: Spector trial update
- Pearlman's pop assets under the hammer
- MTV launch global warming campaign
- More Lennon charity covers released
- Prince stuff
- 50 Cent opens virtual boutique
- New Eagles album coming in the fall
- White Stripes play for Chelsea pensioners
- iTunes stage free ICA gigs
- Arcade arenas
- Beastie Boys Roundhouse show
- Smashing Pumpkins Glasgow show
- Dodgy reunion tour
- Athlete tour
- EC to consult industry on collecting society proposals
- CinemaNow relaunch music video service
- Passalong licence EMI's DRM free music
- New Red Alert launches
- Guardian commercial bloke switches to radio
- Mel C says Kaiser's know their Spice
- Muse not impressed with George

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TOP BIT>>
So, Ash have been clarifying things following those reports we reported on earlier in the week that they were planning on splitting up. As previously reported, speculation began re the future of the band when frontman Tim Wheeler, during his band's set at the Isle Of Wight Festival on Sunday, described up coming long player 'Twilight Of The Innocence' as their "last album". But it seems that the remark didn't mean Ash were splitting up, rather that they are planning on becoming clever artists who don't allow themselves to conform to the traditional 'one album ever other year' model everyone in the record industry seems so sold on, even though the logistical reasons for such a model are increasingly redundant in the digital age.

Look, this is what the NME are quoting Wheeler as saying: "The way people listen to music has changed, with the advent of the download the emphasis has reverted to single tracks. It hasn't helped that most people have forgotten how to make a decent album. I'm constantly disappointed with records I buy. I believe our new album is the pinnacle of everything we've done thus far, and I'm proud that this will be remembered as our last album. The future lies elsewhere and we can have a lot of fun by changing things up. It's like the Wild West at the moment and a time to take chances and try out new ideas".

He's right you know, and I do believe we've said just that here in the Top Bit before. The album model was developed primarily because of the logistical and cost implications of recording, manufacturing and distributing physical product. The model was so much more cost effective than any other system, artists soon fell into the idea that their creative process should consist of intense periods of productivity every 2-3 years, out of which comes 8-12 releasable new tracks, while major record labels got into the habit of mounting major marketing campaigns in the six weeks before and after an album release, and then forgetting those artists were on the roster until the next album appeared on the release schedule.

Given the logistics and costs of physical music release it was the sensible way to do things, but as the plethora of new digital channels have started to open up in the last few years it is ceasing to be so sensible, yet many artists and labels are, nevertheless, continuing to operate the major album release system in the digital domain. But I'm pretty sure that once physical formats become a minority revenue stream that model will become redundant, and even while physical formats are still the most important revenue stream, artists and labels should be exploring new creative and commercial models for making and releasing music, which almost certainly involve more regular smaller releases. But of course that will mean a change in the way artists and labels work - a change which I think should be creatively invigorating for all concerned, but which will be understandably challenging and possibly a little scary.

But if you need an artistic advocate for doing just that, I'll hand you back to Mr Wheeler: "When you're tied to the album format, you find yourself waiting six months between finishing a record and releasing it. By leaving this behind we can enter a new phase of spontaneity and creativity. We have our own studio in New York, we can record a track and release it the next day if we feel like it, give it to people while it's fresh. We're the first band to do this, but I very much doubt we'll be the last".

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CLASSIFIEDS>>

ACCESS THE AUDIENCES AT THIS YEAR'S BEST FESTIVALS
Put your brand directly in front of hundreds of thousands of festival goers this summer. Programmedia are proudly representing the best of this year's festival media. Do not miss on out on the opportunity to advertise direct to your target audience in these highly cherished programmes. We have opportunities in the official programmes for The V Festival, The Big Chill, Lovebox and Bestival. We are also representing the unofficial guide to the Edinburgh Festival which offers a very unique way to access this huge audience. Advertising availability is limited so please get in touch to reserve your space asap - gary@programmedia.co.uk or 01494 866337. http://www.Programmedia.co.uk - advertising sales for independent magazines and event programmes.

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JOBS N STUFF>>

JUNIOR NATIONAL PR - WARNER MUSIC
Warner Music is seeking a Junior National PR to work a diverse roster of acts. Candidates must have a minimum of one year's PR experience. The successful candidate will be highly efficient with strong writing skills, flawless spelling and grammar, and a passion for music. Computer literacy, including confidence with Microsoft Office, is essential. Please send a covering letter and CV to victoria.carpenter@warnermusic.com

UK PRODUCT MANAGER - GRONLAND RECORDS
Gronland Records is looking for a UK Product Manager with responsibilities in A&R and label management. The position will become vacant in early July. We are looking for anyone with experience in this field who is looking for a new challenge, and who can fill the role with passion, and who has the ability to contribute significantly to the shape of the label in the coming years (musically as well structurally).

The duties will include a product management role - putting promotional teams in place for each release, monitoring results, initiating and co-ordinating marketing campaigns in the UK and with our distributor (Vital) and liaising between agents and band/band management; and an A&R role - which will include everything from finding artists to contributing to the selection process of artists / producers / songs etc for current and future projects. The applicant will also oversee online activities, and the label's website and online shop. In essence the applicant will learn the ins and outs of all the workings of a record label...

We are looking for a dynamic person with at least 2-3 years experience in marketing/product management, with basic knowledge of the UK media (online, radio and press) and in the tasks mentioned above OR a person that has had frontline A&R experience within a UK label that included minor product manager tasks. Send applications/CVs to: Gronland Records, Rene Renner, 9-10 Domingo St, London EC1Y 0TA or renner@groenland.com. http://www.gronland.co.uk

Advertise your vacancies in the CMU Daily for just £80 for five days. To book your space email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

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HOT OFF THE PRESS

ROCK SOUND JULY
Rock Sound's July issue goes on sale today. From out of nowhere this month's cover stars, Enter Shikari, have stormed to success with their fantastic debut album 'Take To The Skies'. Rock Sound brings you the amazing story of their phenomenal rise to fame. Also this month, we bring you exclusive interviews with Queens Of The Stone Age, Paramore, Pelican, Municipal Waste, Ash, 3 Inches Of Blood, DevilDriver, Tokio Hotel, Tiger Army, Yourcodenameis:milo, Bad Brains and much, much more. FREE with this month's issue an exclusive giant Muse poster-mag celebrating one of the biggest bands in the world right now. PLUS, FREE Sound Check CD featuring all the best new music featured in this month's issue with new and exclusive tracks from: Pelican, Paramore, Will Haven, 3 Inches Of Blood, DevilDriver and many more. Rock Sound - the only music mag that matters on sale now at all good news stockists, see http://www.rock-sound.net for more details

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MYSPACE OF THE DAY: SOUL OF MAN

As I do believe we've mentioned one or two times before, the brilliant Soul Of Man, aka Justin Rushmore and Jem Panufnik, the production duo behind many a fine breaksy tune, the whole Finger Lickin empire and, in Jem's case, those always brilliant Finger Lickin record sleeves, are officially launching their new two CD album 'Relicked', filled with some of the duo's best bits and some great remixes, at the CMU Recommended Remix Night at Cargo in East London this coming Friday. You'll find info on that here on the Soul Of Man MySpace, plus a whole lot more too, including four of those very fine remixes (which I am assuming appear on 'Relicked', though don't quote me on that) and a lots of visual splenditity that just about justifies the whole thing coming in wider that your average screen size. There's a slide show of the aforementioned Finger Lickin artwork and lots of others pic too, plus details on Justin and Jem's current favourite tunes and loads of upcoming DJ dates. Go see the MySpace then go see them at Remix.

http://www.myspace.com/thesoulofman

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7DIGITAL HOPE TO TAKE ON ITUNES
Independent digital music firm 7Digital has said it will "take on iTunes" after relaunching its flagship download portal yesterday.

7Digital bosses say that they will offer "greater ease of use" than the market leader iTunes in a bid to take a significant share of the digital music market, though, to be honest, if anything it is probably the offer of cheaper prices - certain songs will retail for 50p - and the fact that non-DRMed music available via the service will come in the popular MP3 format that might best equip the London based company to take on Apple - whose UK price point remains 79p, or 99p for DRM free music, and whose DRM free files use the AAC codec.

Relaunching the main 7Digital.com platform yesterday, 7Digital MD Ben Drury told reporters: "MP3 is really what the consumer wants. We want our songs to be playable on as many devices as possible".

Drury also said that his company would never store personal details of its customers in the files they sell. Those remarks, of course, relate to the fact that the DRM free AAC files sold via iTunes Plus are 'watermarked' so that they contain personal information about the person who bought the track, mainly to discourage them from sharing the file on P2P networks. As previously reported, some in the IT community have expressed concerns that such a practice could risk those customer's personal data being accessed by hackers.

Another extra feature being offered by the revamped 7Digital is the "digital locker" which will allow people to store their music and video collections in an external server and access them from multiple devices. On that feature Drury continued: "In the future, people will have maybe 20 devices around the home. You don't want to have to keep moving your music around all of them".

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CAT POWER WINS SHORTLIST PRIZE
The winner of this year's Shortlist Music Prize, sort of the US version of the Mercury Music Prize, was announced yesterday, and Cat Power was the winner for her most recent album 'The Greatest'. Well done her. She beat nine other shortlisters, including Regina Spektor, Hot Chip and Tom Waits, and is the first women to win the prize, that has previously gone to Sigur Ros, NERD, Damien Rice and TV On The Radio.

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METAL HAMMER AWARDS
Talking of awards, those Metal Hammer types had their big awards bash on Monday night, and in case you were sitting there wondering just who hell the won, well, here's the full winners list.

Best UK Band: Bullet For My Valentine
Best Live Band: Lamb Of God
Best International Band: Killswitch Engage
Best Underground Band: Job For A Cowboy
Best Newcomer: Deathstars
Best Video: Seize The Day by Avenged Sevenfold
Riff Lord: Slash
Shredder: Bill Kelliher and Brent Hinds (Mastodon)
Best Metal Label: Roadrunner
Album Of The Year: The Blackening by Machine Head
Spirit Of Hammer: Napalm Death
Golden God: Robb Flynn (Machine Head)
Icon Award: Slayer
Best Comeback: Heaven & Hell

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TISCALI CONFIRM WIRELESS SESSIONS - REGISTER NOW TO GET IT
Now, you know how we told you that Tiscali were 'official internet partners' of the Wireless festival? Yes, we told you that last week, right? Do keep up. Well, as well as webcasting footage from the main stage of the Hyde Park bit of the two city fest, the ISP will also be staging its own intimate sessions in its own tent, much as it has been doing at the Reading Festival in recent years. Among the Wireless bands who have been confirmed to play extra exclusive sets in the Tiscali Sessions Tent are The Bees and The Thrills (Thursday), Badly Drawn Boy (Friday), Shy Child and Unklejam (Saturday) and Mumm-ra and Pigeon Detectives (Sunday). Each session will be filmed and footage will be made available via the Tiscali website after the festival (at http://www.tiscali.co.uk/music/sessions).

But here's the important bit for all you media and industry types out there in CMU land. If you want to get in to the Tiscali Sessions Tent and enjoy these exclusive sessions you need to register, and you need to do it now (well, today). Assuming you are already accredited with the Wireless Festival itself, to get access to the Tiscali Sessions you need to email dan@incubator-music.com or debbie.roff@uk.tiscali.com and say you want to pre-register for a VIP Tiscali pass. The press contact for the festival itself is Amazing Media, though you'll have to be pretty damn important to get any press passes/tix at this late stage.

The Wireless Festival, of course, takes place in London and Leeds from Thursday to Sunday (well, Friday to Sunday in Leeds). Tickets for electro-fuelled Saturday are especially in demand, apparently, which I'm only mentioning because we completely forgot to apply for press tickets for that day and are now trying to get our hands on a couple, so if anyone out there in PR land thinks they can help, do get in touch - musicnews@unlimitedmedia.co.uk - eternal love is being offered in return.

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MORE DNA EVIDENCE: SPECTOR TRIAL UPDATE
So, DNA dominated once again at the ongoing Phil Spector murder trial yesterday, as criminalist Steve Renteria continued to testify about his forensic analysis of items found at the crime scene. Spector, of course, is accused of shooting dead actress Lana Clarkson at his Beverly Hills home in early 2003. Spector claims Clarkson shot herself.

The forensics are important, of course, because Spector's defence have said that they intend to win the case based on their own forensic evidence. Renteria was called by the prosecution, but defence lawyers were keen to try and turn his testimony to their advantage.

As previously reported, Renteria had already confirmed that there was no DNA from Spector on either the gun that killed Clarkson, or on the bullets in it, which might help the defence in their claim that the legendary producer never held the gun - ie Clarkson held it as she shot herself. Convincing the jury Spector never touched the gun that night is also helpful for the defence because it throws some doubt on the testimony of one of the prosecution's most important witnesses, Spector's former chauffeur Adriano De Souza, who claimed that shortly after the shooting he saw the producer appear at a side door to his mansion carrying a blood covered gun. If he was mistaken about that, the defence may argue, perhaps he was mistaken in his claim that Spector told him "I think I killed somebody". All that said, Renteria confirmed for the prosecution that there was so much of Clarkson's blood on the gun, that it would be possible for Spector's DNA to be concealed.

Questioning Renteria for themselves yesterday, Spector's defence lawyer Christopher Proud had the criminalist discuss the presence or not of Spector's DNA on Clarkson's body. He confirmed that DNA of a person other than Clarkson herself was found on one of her breasts, and that while he couldn't say with 100% certainty that that DNA belonged to Spector, he was pretty damn sure it did. It is likely that DNA came from saliva (there were no sperm cells present, so that's one possible source ruled out), though Renteria said that the kind of cells found on the former actress' breast would be found in the mucous membranes of all body openings. Lovely.

The prosecution didn't raise the DNA on Clarkson's breast. The defence presumably raised it in another bid to tarnish the jury's opinion of Clarkson - ie while Spector might be a bit weird at times (as a number of prosecution witnesses have testified), Clarkson was not a wholly innocent character either. They are presumably playing on comments by one of the first police officers at the scene of the crime, who told the court last week his immediate thought was that there were "sexual overtones" to the death scene.

The defence were also keen to contrast the presence of Spector DNA on Clarkson's breast with the lack of Spector DNA under Clarkson's previously discussed broken finger nail. Presumably that was raised by the defence in a bid to convince the jury that Spector hadn't touched Clarkson's hands prior to her death - ie rubbishing prosecution claims that there had been some kind of struggle immediately before the shooting. It might also downplay the potential importance of the much reported missing bit of finger nail, which the prosecution claim the defence found and hid.

The trial continues.

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PEARLMAN'S POP ASSETS UNDER THE HAMMER
A range of Backstreet Boys and *Nsync memorabilia is going under the hammer as the assets of one time boy band impresario and MTV star Lou Pearlman get sold off to repay banks, who he allegedly owes over $130 million, and over 1000 investors who he allegedly defrauded of $317 million.

As previously reported, the recent adventures of Pearlman are proving much more entertaining than any of the pop products he manufactured back in the nineties. Having lost much of his pop empire following a string of disputes with the artists he once managed, Pearlman was last year accused of heading up an elaborate pyramid scheme that allegedly defrauded over 1000 Americans, mainly senior citizens, out of their life savings. As the pyramid scheme con unraveled, and with the FBI keen to talk to the former boy band chief, Pearlman went on he run. As authorities moved to liquidate his assets back in April Pearlman's whereabouts was unknown, though he was reportedly touring mainland Europe with a new boy band creation.

Items being auctioned this week include framed posters of the bands he managed, gold and platinum records, album artwork and the key to the city of Orlando.

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MTV LAUNCH GLOBAL WARMING CAMPAIGN
MTV has launched a global climate change campaign involving ten music stars, including Good Charlotte, Kelly Rowland, Shaggy, Xzibit, Enrique Iglesias and Sophie Ellis-Bextor. The campaign, MTV Switch, will promote a website where the network's young viewers are encouraged to make alterations to their lifestyles to reduce the world's carbon emissions. Things like turning off MTV and going to play in the garden. Which should be nice and sunny and warm, thanks to the wonders of global warming. MTV will run ads promoting the campaign on their own channels around the world, and also make the ads available to other broadcasters interested in supporting the campaign.

Announcing the campaign, MTV Networks Vice-chairman Bill Roedy told reporters: "We have launched this campaign because climate change is set to have a far reaching effect on our planet and especially in the future of young people whom our research shows are more influenced and affected by it. It is an important issue for our audience and to our knowledge this is the only global campaign specifically targeting young people".

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MORE LENNON CHARITY COVERS RELEASED
Bonus tracks from the previously reported Instant Karma project in aid of the Amnesty International Campaign To Save Darfur are being made available via iTunes. This was the project where a stack of artists recorded cover versions of John Lennon songs - and from which all the recording and publishing profits go to the charitable cause. The digital only covers available via iTunes are as follows:

Duran Duran - Instant Karma
Deftones - Jealous Guy
Gavin Rossdale - Mind Games
Yellowcard - Oh, My Love
Widespread Panic - Crippled Inside
OAR - Borrowed Time
Ben Jelen - Woman
Me'Shell Ndegèocello - Imagine
Rocky Dawuni - Well, Well, Well
Emmanuel Jal - Mother
The Fab Faux - I Don't Wanna To Face It

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PRINCE STUFF
SonyBMG label Columbia has announced it will release a new album from Prince, what it is describing as "the latest full-length studio collection", whatever that means. It's called 'Planet Earth' and will be released in the UK on 16 Jul. Prince worked with Columbia on the 2004 album 'Musicology', but he signed to Universal for the release of last year's '3121'. On the opportunity to work with Prince again, Columbia Label Group MD Mike Smith told CMU: "We're very excited about having Prince back on the Columbia label. 'Planet Earth' will be a landmark album for him and the whole UK team looks forward to being a part of making this happen".

In other Prince news, he's just added six more dates at the massive The O2 venue, meaning he will now play at the new look Dome on 1, 3, 4, 7, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 24, 25, 28 and 31 Aug, and 1, 6, 9, 12, 13, 16, 20 and 21 Sep, which is all bit insane really. The existing fifteen dates have all sold out, but tickets for the new dates - 24 and 25 Aug, 6, 16, 20 and 21 Sep - go on sale on Friday. That all means Prince will be playing a 21 night residency at the Dome.

I don't know what that means regarding Prince playing any gigs at smaller venues. When Prince's plans to play lots of London dates this summer were first announced it was reported that there would be 21 gigs in total, some at The O2, others elsewhere. Whether the extension of The O2 season means there will be no smaller gigs, or more than the originally planned 21 dates, I don't know.

The plan was do to 21 dates in line with the '3121' thing that Prince is very attached to still. Perhaps he could do 31 gigs instead. Or 121. Or 312. Hell, why not 3121. He could probably sell them all out, he seemingly being in high demand just at the moment.

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50 CENT OPENS VIRTUAL BOUTIQUE
Ah, this is fun. In the run up to the release of his new album 'Curtis', 50 Cent is opening a virtual boutique in the US based virtual community Zwinktopia. The store will enable users of the community to dress their avatars in clothing from Fiddy's G-unit clothing range. Other music based clothing will be available, including Clash, Sex Pistols and Slipknot t-shirts, though users will have to pay for those virtual clothes, while the 50 Cent garb will be free.

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NEW EAGLES ALBUM COMING IN THE FALL
A new Eagles album will be released in late October, which is either exciting news, or not, depending on you ability to get excited by new Eagles material. If you are able to get excited about such news, then you should be getting rather excited, because it will be the first album of new material from the band since 1979's 'The Long Run'.

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WHITE STRIPES PLAY FOR CHELSEA PENSIONERS
Ahead of their headline set at the Wireless Festival this Thursday, the White Stripes yesterday played a gig for an audience of Chelsea pensioners (former soilders who are resident at the Royal Chelsea Hospital and who can often be seen in West London wearing those very smart red coats). Not the band's usual kind of gig, reports say the pensioners provided a happy if slightly bemused audience. The afternoon gig preceded the duo's set at a benefit event raising money for the Chelsea Pensioners' Appeal at the Rivoli Ballroom in south London last night. Jack White reportedly told his elderly audience: "Thanks for letting us into your home, we really appreciate it".

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ITUNES STAGE FREE ICA GIGS
iTunes are sponsoring a series of free gigs at London's ICA down there on the Mall. The gigs will take place throughout July, and will feature the likes of Editors, Travis, Groove Armada, Ash, Athlete, Mika, Mutya, Amy Winehouse and Stereophonics. Tickets will be distributed through a lottery system, and each gig will be recorded for sale on iTunes.

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ARCADE ARENAS
More in demand bands, and Arcade Fire have announced details of an arena tour for the Autumn. Dates as follows, tickets on sale this Friday.

26 Oct: Glasgow SECC
27 Oct: Manchester MEN Arena
29 Oct: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
30 Oct: Cardiff International Arena
31 Oct: Nottingham Arena
17 Nov: London Alexandra Palace

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BEASTIE BOYS ROUNDHOUSE SHOW
The Beastie Boys have announced details of a London show that will come in the run up to their headline set at this year's Bestival. They will play the Roundhouse on 6 Sep with a full live band - so no samples. Tickets also on sale on Friday.

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SMASHING PUMPKINS GLASGOW SHOW
Talking of one off pre-festival shows, The Smashing Pumpkins will play a one off show at the Carling Academy in Glasgow on 22 Aug ahead of their Leeds/Reading festival sets. Tickets for that are on sale now.

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DODGY REUNION TOUR
Hurrah, Dodgy are back. That's a good thing right? Hmm, you're not looking convinced. Ah well, the original line up, Nigel Clark, Andy Miller and Matthew Priest, will all play the following dates...

5 Nov: Glasgow ABC1
6 Nov: Sheffield Leadmill
8 Nov: Birmingham Carling Academy 2
9 Nov: Manchester Academy 2
10 Nov: Liverpool Carling Academy
12 Nov: Northampton Roadmender
13 Nov: Bristol Carling Academy
15 Nov: London Shepherd's Bush Empire

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ATHLETE TOUR
Athlete are also going on tour this Autumn, though this isn't a reunion tour, them not having split up yet. Well, unless they are planning on splitting up and then reforming before the end of the summer. Anyway, here are the dates, new album 'Beyond The Neighbourhood' is out in September. The band also play three Koko dates next month, but they're all sold out, so I won't bother telling you about them.

2 Oct: Nottingham Rock City
3 Oct: Leeds University
4 Oct: Birmingham Academy
6 Oct: Glasgow Barrowlands
7 Oct: Newcastle Academy
8 Oct: Bristol Academy
10 Oct: Southampton Guildhall
11 Oct: London Shepherds Bush
12 Oct: London Shepherds Bush
14 Oct: Manchester Academy
15 Oct: Liverpool Academy
17 Oct: Norwich UEA
18 Oct: Lincoln Engine Shed

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EC TO CONSULT INDUSTRY ON COLLECTING SOCIETY PROPOSALS
"But enough of all those tour dates", I hear you say, "what about the ongoing concerns within the European Commission that the royalty collecting societies of Europe are operating in an anti-competitive way? That's what I want to know about". Well, fear not, here's an update. The EC has announced that it plans to consult the wider music industry regarding proposals by the royalty collecting society sector regarding those very concerns.

As previously reported, the EC issued a Statement Of Objections to the way royalty collecting societies in Europe operate last year, claiming that the various national collecting societies operated a cartel system, essentially giving each society a monopoly in its own territory, and therefore restricting the rights of company's looking to licence music to shop around the European Community, and to secure pan-European or multi-territory deals.

Although denying the allegations of cartel and defacto monopoly, the International Confederation Of Societies Of Authors And Composers (CISAC), which represents the collecting society sector, has pledged to provide a multi-territory licensing framework for musical performing rights.

It is CISAC's proposals that the EC now hopes to discuss with other players in the music industry and music media before reaching a conclusion as to whether or not the collecting societies are still operating in an anti-competitive manner. The collecting societies will hope that the consultation exercise persuades competition officials that they are trading fairly, although the EC stresses that just because they are launching a consultation exercise does not mean officials are themselves necessarily convinced CISAC has gone far enough in its proposals, with a spokesman telling reporters: "These commitments could resolve the problem as they ensure more competition between societies for licenses. The commitments are at least worth testing. But it is not because we are testing them that they are OK".

The CISAC pledges, which have been signed up to by 18 European collecting societies, include three main areas of change, including more multi-territorial licencing, an end to the exclusivity clause from model contracts and a system whereby creators and publishers can move more freely between societies.

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CINEMANOW RELAUNCH MUSIC VIDEO SERVICE
US movie and TV show download site CinemaNow has announced it is relaunching its music video spin off WatchMusicHere.com, and that music from the Warner catalogue will exclusively populate the service for a launch period. Which is good news. For fans of Warner signed artists. And only Warner signed artists. What a stupid promotion. I don't know whether that's because Warner is the only major to have licenced their videos to the service, or whether they've struck some special promotional deal.

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PASSALONG LICENCE EMI'S DRM FREE MUSIC
Talking of digital music in the US, an American digital music back end provider called PassAlong Networks have just licenced EMI's much reported DRM-free catalogue, which means anyone with a download store powered by PassAlong will be able to offer EMI music in non-DRMed high audio quality MP3 format.

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NEW RED ALERT LAUNCHES
The people behind Manchester based plugging company Red Alert Promotions have announced the firm has been forced into liquidation because of a long running legal dispute with The Dead 60s and their label Deltasonic, details of which I know not. While the owners of that company are bailing out, they are endorsing a new promotions firm being set up by one Collette Neild which will be called Red Alert Media. Like the now defunct company, it will offer radio and telly promotions services, but will also run a PR division.

Commenting on the new venture, Neild told CMU: "This is an exciting time for the team here at Red Alert Media. While it is a huge shame that the new company has been born under the shadow of Red Alert Promotions' closure, we intend to continue in the same creative and nurturing vein. Like Red Alert Promotions, the team is committed to having our fingers firmly on the pulse of the music industry. We will continue to work with the hottest acts, including the likes of Reverend And The Makers, The Enemy, The Ting Tings, Neil McSweeney, Vib Gyor and Maps..."

On the closure of Red Alert Promotions, the company's Liam Walsh said: "We had hoped to resolve our case against Deltasonic and The Dead 60s amicably and quickly. However, four years on, ultimately no one wins and Red Alert Promotions has had no other choice, in the face of a legal bill of £290,000, but to close. Red Alert Media has my full, personal support and I look forward to seeing the new and expanded company go from strength to strength. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my friends, colleagues and contacts in the industry that have deluged the office with offers of support, including the offer of a benefit gig supported by national radio DJs and bands promoted by Red Alert during its 17 years".

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GUARDIAN COMMERCIAL BLOKE SWITCHES TO RADIO
Guardian News & Media's Commercial Director, Stuart Taylor, is moving over to the Guardian's radio company to be Commercial Director there. I know this because the Media Guardian has just reported it be so, and they should know. Taylor will also be the MD of Smoooooooth Radio London in the newly created role he's taking on.

GMG Radio top man John Myers says this: "This is a new senior position within GMG Radio to help us unlock the enormous opportunities we see across a variety of different commercial platforms. It needed someone of great experience and stature, and clearly we have found that person in Stuart. The combination of his unique skills across a number of platforms and the strengths of the existing team will mean we are very well placed to drive growth throughout the business".

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MEL C SAYS KAISER'S KNOW THEIR SPICE
Former Spice Girl Mel C has told reporters how impressed she was with Kaiser Chiefs' knowledge of the former girl group, and even added that she may reconsider her decision to not participate in a Spice Girls reunion because the indie band have said she should. Actually, I don't believe that last bit, given how much conflicting reporting there is regarding Mel C's enthusiasm or lack of for a Spice Girls reunion. Either way, here's what Mel C says about the Kaiser's Spice knowledge: "[The Kaiser Chiefs] are brilliant, they're super cool! They knew things about the Spice Girls even I didn't know! It freaked me out!"

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MUSE NOT IMPRESSED WITH GEORGE
Muse, who play those much previously reported Wembley Stadium shows this weekend, have been dissing George Michael, who played the new look stadium's first ever concerts last weekend. The band's drummer, Dom Howard, has said Michael's show was "a joke", adding that their performance will be "the pinnacle" of the new venue. He told reporters this week: "George Michael doing Wembley is a joke. Who cares? Our show is going to be massive, it's the pinnacle".

On how he's feeling about the upcoming shows, he added: "I've been very cocky about it behind closed doors. But I've been shitting myself about it as well".

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