|CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 15th June
In today's CMU Daily:
- Universal to buy Sanctuary
- Playmusic mag closes
- More fingernail nonsense: Spector trial update
- Boyband mogul no longer on the run
- Fabolous charges dropped
- Foxy Brown back on basic probation
- Glastonbury tickets selling on eBbay
- Radiohead say new album nearing completion
- Forward Russia back in studio
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs release rarities EP
- Pink Floyd debut to be rereleased
- Editors cut short encore after police raid
- Some tour cancellations
- Ibiza Rocks line up announced
- Hadouken! Dates
- Ozzfest giveaway-out
- Creative delist from Nasdaq
- FTC look to close BurnLounge
- Commercial Radio Award nominations announced
- Homme says Stones rely too much on the oldies
- Britney invites fans to name album
Woah, a very busy week for music news, and just not enough time to tell you about it all. So let's speed over a few stories we missed in this Top Bit. Industry stuff first. And music publishing types the Spirit Music Group has announced a new deal with an investment firm called Babcock & Brown which will give the money types a stake in the publishing house, in return for new funds to enable some catalogue acquisition. Digital, and the company behind French radio station NRJ has announced it is launching a new mobile download service in France. The service is a little like that MusicStation service we reported on yesterday, which launched in Sweden this week, in that it is a subscription based model whereby you pay a monthly fee to have unlimited access to a vast catalogue of music, though you can only listen to it on your mobile. The service will be powered by Musiwave.
Other media news, and UK media regulator OfCom has said that it agrees that Channel 4 will struggle to deliver its public service obligations post-2010 because of new commercial pressures. It has said it will work with the broadcaster to investigate other possible sources of funding - a move welcomed by C4 chiefs. More media news, and as you may have seen, the BBC Trust, the body that oversees the Corporation, has called into question the decision of Beeb chiefs to offer certain TV stars multi-million pound deals to stop them going to rival broadcasters. The Trust says it will investigate decisions to pay the likes of Jonathan Ross, Graham Norton and the Little Britain guys millions of pounds while cuts are ongoing elsewhere in the Corporation. That said, the Trust isn't likely to try to reverse any current agreements, and it stressed decisions on pay packets remain at the discretion of the Director General. The issue is whether the BBC is right in saying it is responding to market rates in setting how much it pays big name stars, or whether it is, in fact, itself pushing up those rates by offering such deals.
Print media, and there is some confusion as to what is happening to US music mag Blender and its sister titles Maxim and Stuff because the company that owns them, Dennis Publishing, had put them up for sale and was expected to announce the results of that sale this week, but as yet has remained silent on the matter. Reports suggested a US company called Quadrangle had bought them, but no official announcement has been made one way or the other.
Sort of media news, and the previously reported Victoria Beckham reality show being made by US TV and following the former Spice Girl's move to LA, has been reduced from a series to a one-off episode. As previously reported, Beckham reduced the amount of filming she was doing for the show in order to return to the UK to watch her husband play for England. More football, and word has it Noel Gallagher is considering buying struggling Manchester City. The long term City fan is rumoured to be considering participating in a consortium to buy the club, along with M People star Mike Pickering. Though these rumours might stem from this throw away remark Gallagher from: "We haven't got a manager, we've not sold any season tickets, brilliant! I'm thinking of mounting a hostile takeover - me and Mike Pickering. I reckon we could scrape together about £400,000 in cash and I reckon we would get it for that".
Artist news, and Victoria Hart, the former singing waitress who came to popular attention when she sang for George Clooney and Brad Pitt at the Cannes Film Festival recently has been signed by Universal. Oh yes. Elsewhere, word has it Courtney Love has appointed a Kurt Cobain lookalike (sort of) to play in the band for her upcoming tour and, also, that she wants Babyshambler Drew McConnell to join her team, though she accepts that that's not likely to happen because he's committed to his own band. And finally, Gorillaz animator Jamie Hewlett is apparently working on a range of vibrators inspired by the cartoon band. Each vibrator in the range will feature a different Gorlilaz character. I kid you not. And that, I think, is enough news catch up.
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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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.gronland.co.uk
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CMU FRIDAY TIPS
VIGSY'S LIVE TIP: The Bays at Audio, Brighton
I'm still intrigued by these eternal CMU favourites, The Bays, the band who only ever play live. As I'm sure I've written here in the tip zone before, The Bays comprise of Andy Gangadeen on drums, the awesome Jamie Odell (aka Jimpster - head of Freerange Records) on keyboards and synths, Simon Richmond (Palmskin Productions) providing effects and samples, and Chris Taylor on bass. With each gig different to the last - taken in whatever direction seems rights on the night, and with no 'songs' as such to perform - these guys are definitely something you all should try to sample at some point. With no albums to promote, no set lists or rehearsals, it is a totally unique experience in more ways than one. Simply put - music with no constraints... Having wowed crowds at the Brighton Festival last month, they return to the seaside city to play Audio tonight.
Friday 15 Jun, Audio, Marine Parade, Brighton, doors 11pm, £7 in advance.
UNIVERSAL TO BUY SANCTUARY
After much speculation the Universal Music Group announced this morning that it had reached an agreement with the board of The Sanctuary Group to buy the struggling London based cross-sector music company. Universal is proposing to buy Sanctuary via its UK based Centenary Music Holdings Ltd company, and will pay 20 pence a share in cash as well as taking on the Group's debts, meaning the deal is worth £104.3m in total.
Sanctuary will hope the takeover can bring to an end a long period of financial instability which followed rapid over expansion a few years back, and was worsened by accusations of financial mis-reporting. As previously reported, the independent had been known to be in talks with a number of possible buyers for a while now, including a number of private equity firms, although more recently rumours of takeover talks with two major record companies - Warner and Universal - became more prevalent.
Confirming the agreement between Universal and Sanctuary regarding a takeover, Universal Music CEO Doug Morris told reporters this morning: "We are delighted with today's announcement as this transaction represents an important step forward for both Sanctuary and Universal. The Sanctuary business will be a good strategic fit for us, and our objective over the coming months is for Lucian Grainge (Chairman and CEO, Universal Music Group International) and his team to work with Frank Presland and the Sanctuary management team, and their artists. We have a great opportunity to strengthen and advance Sanctuary's position as a significant player in artist management, agency and merchandising, as consumers' appetite for music grows worldwide. The union with Universal's global strength and leadership will further develop Sanctuary and its talent on the international music stage".
Sanctuary Chairman Bob Ayling added: "The past few years have proved to be a very difficult time for Sanctuary and a very disappointing one for its shareholders. Much progress has been made under the new Board in the past twelve months. However, growth and profitability will continue to be hampered by the Sanctuary Group's present capital structure and by industry factors. Therefore, we intend to recommend this offer from Centenary, which represents a significant premium to the level at which the shares have traded for much of 2007. Moreover, the Sanctuary and Universal businesses are highly complementary and Centenary's acquisition of Sanctuary can allow the Sanctuary business to benefit from the already well-established relationships between Sanctuary and Universal and from a more supportive capital structure, which is in the future interests of artists and employees."
Quite what the independent sector will make about the largest record company in the world acquiring a significant indie like Sanctuary I don't know - I suppose it's a choice between major labels expanding even more and shady private equity types buying up the industry. Universal will have to inform EU competition regulators about their intentions, of course, and they too may have an opinion about the proposed Sanctuary purchase, though insiders at the major reckon that because a sizable chunk of Sanctuary's business is in management and merchandising, areas where Universal does not currently operate, and given that Sanctuary's share of the recorded music market is quite small (although, with their catalogue, could arguably be a lot bigger), that EU approval may well not be required. We'll see I guess.
PLAYMUSIC MAG CLOSES
Recently launched music magazine Playmusic is no more. The company that was publishing it, Genoa Bay Publishing, was put into liquidation yesterday meaning the newsstand title will cease after just seven publications. Its publishers had planned a revamp for the eighth issue in a bid to boost sales, but in the end it decided it couldn't afford to continue to pump money into the magazine on the off chance the revamp delivered a turn round in sales.
Musical Instrument Professional magazine quote Playmusic Editorial Director Simon Croft thus: "We never hit critical mass. Sadly, the redesign didn't make it to the shelves because it coincided with a fall in orders from the retail chains. We were losing money too fast to take the view that the new-look magazine would turn things round eventually". Looking back on his attempt to launch a new newsstand title, he continued: "We new boys couldn't cope against some very aggressive promotions going on out there. We did seven issues on a low budget, and thoroughly enjoyed it, but in the end we had to face the fact that it was not to be".
Croft's other company, Avant Garde, which has covered the vast majority of Genoa Bay's debt, is likely to buy back the titles Playmusic and Playmusic Pickup from the liquidator, though they have no intent on relaunching the main magazine.
Playmusic Pickup, however, should live on. Playmusic Pickup was the free magazine aimed at musicians distributed free at musical instrument stores, which actually preceded the newsstand title, but which was used as a promotional tool for the newsstand title once it was launched. Avante Garde are expected to have the next edition of the Pickup mag pretty much out on schedule.
MORE FINGERNAIL NONSENSE: SPECTOR TRIAL UPDATE
So, more time was dedicated yesterday to the issue of that there Sara Caplan, who, as previously reported, is nervous about testifying against her former client, Mr Phil Spector, despite recently, erm, testifying against her former client, Mr Phil Spector.
As previously reported, Sara Caplan was part of Phil Spector's original defence team immediately after he was accused of murdering actress Lana Clarkson at his Beverly Hills home in 2003. It was she that accused one of the defence's forensic experts, Henry Lee, of finding and removing a white fragment while he was investigating the scene shortly after the shooting that killed Clarkson. The prosecution say that that fragment was probably a missing bit of fingernail that could be crucial in determining whether or not there was some kind of struggle between Spector and Clarkson before she was shot. Lee, however, denies any such fragment ever existed.
Caplan formally made her allegations against Lee in a private hearing sans-jury earlier in the trial, and the judge hearing the case, Judge Larry Paul Fidler, described her as being a "completely credible witness". However, Caplan is now refusing to formally testify re Lee in front on the jury, citing client attorney confidentiality, but Fidler has ruled that she cannot refuse, and is threatening to hold her in contempt of court if she doesn't cooperate.
The whole thing is an issue because the prosecution in the case have said that if the defence call Lee as a witness, which they are expected to do so, they will call Caplan and question her about what she did or didn't see when Lee investigated the crime scene. The defence, of course, have said that their as yet to be fully disclosed forensic evidence will ensure they win the case. Lee's testimony is likely to be key to that forensic evidence so, of course, the prosecution are keen to do whatever they can to damage the forensic expert's credibility in the court room.
Caplan was in court yesterday in a bid to convince Fidler that she shouldn't have to testify should the prosecution call her - though she had an uphill struggle because the judge had already said he didn't buy her client confidentiality claim. Caplan's main line of argument seemed to be that the prosecution were misquoting her earlier testimony. Actually, I've just realized we misquoted her testimony last week, saying she testified that Lee found a piece of tooth, when she only testified that she saw him taking a "white fragment", which the prosecution (though not Caplan) assume was a finger nail (the tooth was another thing entirely). The point Caplan is making is that the prosecution is implying she is backing up their claims that a bit of fingernail was removed from the scene, when all she is testifying to is that some kind of "fragment" was found. She told the court yesterday: "I don't know what I saw. I don't know that it was removed from the premises. I don't remember where it was".
But, despite that, Fidler still seems to think it is important Caplin testify, because Lee is denying taking anything from the crime scene. He said yesterday: "Ms Caplan has clearly testified she observed Dr Lee put something in a vial. It was white, hard, with rough edges. You cannot reconcile Dr Lee's testimony and Ms Caplan's testimony". That said, Fidler put off making a final decision re Caplan until next week, ordering the trail to continue today without mention of the whole fingernail dispute.
And so the case continues.
BOYBAND MOGUL NO LONGER ON THE RUN
So, as his assets are sold off in New York to pay off his creditors, former boy band mogul Lou Pearlman, the man behind the Backstreet Boys and *Nsync, is out of hiding. As previously reported, Pearlman has been on the run from the FBI ever since his most recent business venture, what was in essence an elaborate pyramid scheme, began to untangle, leaving over a 1000 investors out of pocket. He was last seen promoting a new boy band in Europe, but was found in Indonesia earlier this week. Officials their expelled him and turned him over to the Feds, who have now taken him to the US controlled Pacific island of Guam where he will face criminal charges for bank fraud. In addition to the criminal charges, Pearlman is also facing a number of civil lawsuits and a bankruptcy case. It is expected he'll be taken back to home state Florida once charged, where he can catch up on all that litigation. I bet he wishes he'd stayed on better terms with all his former boy band clients, he could do with some rich supporters just now.
FABOLOUS CHARGES DROPPED
Charges against US rapper Fabolous have been dismissed by the prosecutor handling his case. As previously reported, Fabolous, real name John Jackson, was involved in a shooting incident back in October. He himself was shot in the leg, but he and three associates nevertheless fled the scene. The police later pulled them over and found two loaded guns in their car, which is where the charges came from. However, officials said yesterday that police had been unable to prove that Fabolous or any of his three co-defendants actually owned the guns in question, so no prosecution could be made. Commenting on that ruling, the rapper's lawyer, Alberto Ebanks, said yesterday: "He's more relieved than happy. He should never have been here in the first place". Stressing his clients innocence of all charges, Ebanks continued: "There were four guys in the car. My client jumped in the back seat of the car after he was shot. It was not the car he came to the club in".
FOXY BROWN BACK ON BASIC PROBATION
Foxy Brown is back on standard probation after a period of having to regularly report to court after she broke the rules of her long running probation, which stems from that altercation in a nail salon back in 2004.
As previously reported, Brown, real name Inga Marchand, got into trouble earlier this year when she was arrested following another altercation in a shop, this time in a beauty store in Florida. Aside from the new charges against her, the incident got her in trouble because she shouldn't have been in Florida in the first place - because she must get permission from her probation officer in order to leave her home state, which she hadn't. Since then she's had to attend regular sessions with her probation officer. But a court ruled yesterday that, two months on, the extra restrictions against Marchand should be lifted, despite a probation official suggesting they stay in place for another two months.
Criminal Court Judge Melissa Jackson, assessing Marchand's record from the last two months, said: "I see a positive probation report here. I'm going to restore her to probation. There's no necessity for the court to monitor her".
GLASTONBURY TICKETS SELLING ON EBAY
Despite all the best efforts of promoters of the Glastonbury Festival to stop people reselling tickets for this year's event, a number of tickets are now selling on eBay.
As previously reported, Glastonbury organisers have gone to unprecedented lengths to stop the touting of tickets this year, asking festival-goers to pre-register with a special website and provide a photo which will get printed on the ticket. However, sellers on eBay claim the reproduction of the photos is poor, meaning that anyone vaguely fitting their description could probably get in using it. Some sellers are also offering other personal information should any other ID checks be enforced.
However Glastonbury chief Michael Eavis, while admitting the reproduction of photos on the tickets isn't ideal, is still confident that tickets bought from unofficial sources will be identified and that anyone buying one of these tickets is taking a large risk because there is a high chance they will travel all the way to the festival site only to be turned away.
Eavis told the BBC yesterday: "I'm moving heaven and earth to stop it [the resale of tickets] happening. I have people watching eBay so we will have their information. They're taking a huge risk buying those tickets. When they come to the gate we can check the names of the people who have been advertising them so we know who they actually belong to".
Eavis admitted that he is "slightly disappointed with the quality of the tickets", but added that: "This is the first year of the technology and so it's a trial run for this year. In the long term the photography will improve". He also said he thought that although a few tickets were on sale on eBay, in the whole scheme of things his team's efforts to stop touting had been a success, because so few tickets were up for auction.
Elsewhere in Glasto news, Orange have announced they will be piloting a new wind powered phone charger system at the festival this year. If and when they go on general release the eco-friendly chargers will mean users will be able to charge up their phone wherever there is a breeze. The phone firm, Glasto's official mobile partner, is showcasing the new technology at Glastonbury because being green is such a theme at the music festival this year. Orange sponsorship chief Hattie Evans told reporters: "As official communications partner of Glastonbury Festival, it is important that we continue to innovate and demonstrate how mobile technology can make festival life a little bit easier, whilst respecting Glastonbury's commitment to being environmentally aware. It is a small way that festival goers can enjoy their mobile phones when and where they need them while they are at the festival".
And finally in Glasto news, Banksy has apparently built a Stonehenge style construction out of portaloos on the festival site. The guerilla artist is quoted as saying: "A lot of monuments are a bit rubbish, but this really is a pile of crap".
The Glastonbury Festival takes place next week, by the way, just in case you wondered.
RADIOHEAD SAY NEW ALBUM NEARING COMPLETION
Radiohead have put a post on their website confirming their long awaited next album is almost complete. The update comes from guitarist Ed O'Brian and is short and sweet compared to Thom Yorke's usual ramblings and, unlike Yorke's writings, uses the English language (except when its comes to apostrophe systems) which is nice. He writes this: "Yes I know its been a while ..... but we've been working on this album for a while ...... BUT WE ARE NEARLY THERE."
FORWARD RUSSIA BACK IN STUDIO
Elsewhere in albums in development news, Forward Russia (insert your own exclamation marks as you see fit) have put a posting on their website saying they have begun work on a follow up to last year's debut 'Give Me A Wall'. They are recording the new long player with producer Matt Bayles in Seattle, which has caused a few problems because most of their kit is still in transit. The band explain on their website: "None of our gear has arrived yet - we shipped it on UPS last week, and they're being a pain. Well them and US Customs. We just have two guitars at the minute, but we've kept busy transfering all our electronic MIDI synth-y parts from our computers to Matts". See, should have booked a studio in Sheffield, then they could have driven the instruments there themselves.
YEAH YEAH YEAHS RELEASE RARITIES EP
More new releases upcoming, though not new material this time. Yeah Yeah Yeahs will release a new EP on 23 Jul called 'It Is', but it will be full of old material. That said, old material that, in the main, hasn't been available on CD to date, so that's quite good. The songs come from 2004 and were written while they toured debut album 'Fever To Tell'.
PINK FLOYD DEBUT TO BE RERELEASED
Pink Floyd's debut album 'The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn' will get a special edition re-release in early September to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its original release. It will be a three disk set, including a stereo and mono version of the album, and a third disk containing all of the bands 1967 tracks. It will also come in some nifty packaging including a reproduction of a twelve page notebook made by Syd Barrett.
EDITORS CUT SHORT ENCORE AFTER POLICE RAID
Editors wisely cut short their gig in Cologne on Wednesday night when armed place stormed the venue and ordered them to stop playing because they were playing "excessively loud". The band's bassist Russell Leetch has told the NME about the whole incident: "The venue was an old church over the road from a load of houses and, during our set, they called the police to complain about the noise. The first we knew about it was when the police turned up just as we were starting our encore and told our tour manager to stop the set. Our tour manager bravely stalled them long enough for us to play 'Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors' but we had to finish before doing 'Fingers In The Factories'. [Which means] we owe Cologne a song and we promise to make it up to them next time as long as they don't set the law on us again!" They play the Wireless Festival this weekend, so anyone living near by Hyde Park or Harewood House, why not call in a complaint to the police and demand the SAS step in to stop the noise? Armed raids, it could become Editor's "thing".
SOME TOUR CANCELLATIONS
Just days after parting company with her manager, Kelly Clarkson has had to cancel her upcoming US tour because of poor ticket sales. Confirming the cancellation, she wrote on her website yesterday: "In the craziness of the music business, performing is what I look forward to doing the most, so it really is disappointing for me to have to tell you that I won't be coming out to tour this summer ... The fact is that touring is just too much, too soon". Meanwhile Boy George has cancelled the UK tour he had planned for October, because of "last minute commitments" that clash with the dates. Hardly "last minute", but whatever.
IBIZA ROCKS LINE UP ANNOUNCED
The full line up has been announced for this year's Ibiza Rocks season, the now regular Ibiza indie night, this year being staged at the White Isle's Bar M. The line up is below. Channel 4 have confirmed they'll be filming there, plus Xfm will be recording some of their gigs also (though presumably not the Radio 1 presents night).
19 Jun: The View plus Rumblestrips
26 Jun: The Holloways
10 Jul: CSS plus special guest
16 Jul: Kasabian
17 Jul: Kasabian
18 Jul: LCD Soundsystem
24 Jul: Mark Ronson plus special guests
31 Jul: The Enemy
6 Aug: The Streets Soundsystem plus Zane Lowe
7 Aug: Mika
8 Aug: Hard Fi
11 Aug: Radio 1 Ibiza Rocks special with Zane Lowe & guests
13 Aug: The Streets Soundsystem plus Zane Lowe
28 Aug: Kaiser Chiefs plus Good Shoes
1 Sep: Arctic Monkeys with Zane Lowe
4 Sep: Fratellis
5 Sep: Fratellis
11 Sep: Soulwax / Nite Versions / 2 Many DJ's
Press info from Amazing.
Hadouken! dates anyone? Hey, there's a lot of them. Tickets go on sale at 5pm. Some shows will have 14+ or 16+ age restrictions, rather than the usual 18+, meaning fans in their mid-teens can legally gain access.
27 Sep: Derby, Derby University +14
28 Sep: Leicester, Leicester University +14
29 Sep: Sheffield, Leadmill +14
1 Oct: Oxford, Zodiac +14
2 Oct: Bedford, Hungary Bear +16
5 Oct: Portsmouth, Pyramid Centre +14
6 Oct: Northampton, Road Menders +14
7 Oct: Cambridge, Junction
9 Oct: Norwich, UEA +16
10 Oct: London, Astoria +14
18 Oct: Newcastle, University 14+
19 Oct: Glasgow, ABC +14
20 Oct: Aberdeen, Moshulu +14
21 Oct: Edinburgh, Liquid Rooms +16
23 Oct: Preston, 53 Degrees +16
24 Oct: Tamworth, Tamworth Palace +14
25 Oct: Brighton, Corn Exchange
26 Oct: Southampton, Southampton University +14
28 Oct: Bristol, Academy
29 Oct: Newport, TJ's +14
30 Oct: Exeter, Lemon Grove +14
31 Oct: Yeovil, Ski Lodge +14
3 Nov: Leeds, Metro
4 Nov: Manchester, Ritzy +14
5 Nov: Liverpool, Academy +14
6 Nov: Wolverhampton, Wulfrun
All 428,000 tickets for this year's Ozzfest US tour have now been given away. As previously reported, this year's Sharon Osbourne produced, Ozzy Osbourne fronted rock fest is being funded by sponsors meaning all tickets (except VIP packages) were free. Tickets were given away via sponsors' websites, and the Live Nation site. Organisers say that the Ozzfest tour will amount to the largest number of free tickets being distributed in the history of the US concert business. The tickets have been snapped up by rock fans in less than a week, with 228,000 of the downloadable tickets being distributed on 12 Jun alone.
On it all, Live Nation US Music President Jason Garner told Billboard: "We're just so proud of the result, the demand was absolutely overwhelming. We distributed nearly half a million tickets in about 72 hours, including almost 300,000 in one 24-hour period. It says a lot about the demand for Ozzy and Ozzfest, a lot about the fans perceived value with this tour, and from our perspective we're very happy that livenation.com was able to handle that traffic and deliver such a resounding win for everybody".
CREATIVE DELIST FROM NASDAQ
MP3 player maker Creative Technology is removing itself from the Nasdaq stock exchange, because it says being listed on both the US exchange and the stock exchange in the company's native Singapore is too much hassle. The company said in a statement this week: "The administrative overhead and cost of the evolving and increasingly burdensome US reporting obligations has become significant, especially for Creative, a Singapore company with dual primary listings". Creative have always struggled to compete with market leader Apple in the digital music player market, and this decision is a sure sign that the Singapore firm is all but admitting defeat in the North American MP3 player market.
FTC LOOK TO CLOSE BURNLOUNGE
More pyramid schemes for you. The US's Federal Trade Commission has asked a federal court to close down an interesting digital music service called BurnLounge because it claims the company is operating what amounts to a pyramid scheme, and that a large number of consumers who get involved in the venture are likely to lose out.
BurnLounge is a scheme that allows music fans to sell music from their favourite artists via their own pages on the service's platform, and to earn a cut on any sales generated from their page. However, in order to do that they must first buy a BurnLounge subscription and, the FTC argue, once signed up subscribers are excessively encouraged to sign up other sellers and, in fact, earn much more from recruiting new sellers than selling music. It is that fact which seemingly has led to the pyramid scheme allegations.
The FTC has filed its complaint against the service in the US District Court For The Central District Of California, and a hearing is due to take place next week. In a statement issued yesterday the Commission said: "The BurnLounge compensation program primarily provides payments to participants for recruiting of new participants, not on the retail sale of products or services, which will result in a substantial percentage of participants losing money. The defendants are operating an illegal pyramid scheme".
COMMERCIAL RADIO AWARD NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED
Nominations were announced last night for the Arquiva Commercial Radio Awards, the annual radio industry awards bash where commercial stations don't have to worry about losing out to the BBC. The nominees are as follows, the awards take place on 2 Jul.
Commercial Radio Marketing Award
97.2 Beacon Radio - Bring a Bra to Work, 100.7 Heart FM - Station Marketing, EMAP Radio Events - Rock Against Racism
Local Sales Team of the Year
Citybeat, Heart, Wave 105
National Sales Team of the Year
Classic FM, talkSPORT, Virgin Radio
Commercial Radio Station of the Year < 300,000 TSA
107.4 The Quay, Oxford's 107.9 FM, Rother FM
Commercial Radio Station of the Year 300,000 - 1 million TSA
Citybeat, Red Dragon, TFM
Commercial Radio Station of the Year > 1 million TSA
Choice 96.9 & 107.1 FM, Radio City, talkSPORT
Commercial Radio Programmer of the Year
Francis Currie, Heart; Darren Henley, Classic FM and theJazz; Bill Ridley, talkSPORT
Commercial Radio Presentation Newcomer(s) of the Year
John Bishop, Radio City 96.7; Tom Braham, The Saint; Tom Cocker, XFM Manchester
Commercial Radio Presenter(s) of the Year
Adam Catterall, 97.4 Rock FM; Jo & Twiggy, Trent FM; Christian O'Connell, Virgin Radio
Commercial Radio Station Sound
96.3 Radio Aire, Heart 106.2, Magic 105.4
Commercial Radio News Award
Beacon FM, Hallam FM, Key 103
Commercial Radio Programme or Feature of the Year
Classic FM, Friendly Guide to Music; Radio City, Welcome to Liverpool 8; Real Radio Wales, Aberfan
Commercial Radio Station Creative Award
102.1 Swansea Bay Radio, Trade Centre Wales; 106 - 108 Real Radio Creative Team, WYCR 'GPS'; Wirral's Buzz 97.1 FM, RASA 'I Have Been Raped'
Commercial Radio Technical Innovation Award
Capital 95.8; Chrysalis, EMAP, GCap, Virgin and Switch Digital; talkSPORT
Commercial Radio Digital Station of the Year
Gaydar, theJazz, Planet Rock
Commercial Radio Social Action Initiative Award
Choice FM, 'Gun Crime'; Heart FM, 'Run for Home'; Star Cambridge, 'Liam's Mile'
HOMME SAYS STONES RELY TOO MUCH ON THE OLDIES
Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme, who I saw, fleetingly, from a distance, performing at Wireless yesterday, has been dissing The Rolling Stones, a little, saying they rely to heavily on their older material. Homme, of course, has supported the Stones, and he's been saying that he feels Mick Jagger et al now only record new music as a way of giving them a bit of media profile from which to promote their live shows, which rely primarily on back catalogue.
Homme told the Sun: "I'm really on the opposite side to what those guys are doing. We played with them and I totally enjoyed it. It was great to see. But they only put out albums to remind people they're going on tour. For me it's about creative output. They only go on tour so people can hear their older songs. If I understood that was happening to us, I wouldn't hesitate to take a long break. You should feel lucky to be making music and if you don't you should sit down for a second and burn yourself with a cigarette because you need to feel that luxury and that should be what fuels your tank. If that's not the case then you have been running on empty for too long".
BRITNEY INVITES FANS TO NAME ALBUM
Britney Spears is giving fans the chance to name her comeback album. She is inviting suggestions via her website, though has suggested some of her own. Though I don't know how many of those are serious suggestions. Among the titles she's giving are 'What If The Joke Is On You', 'Down Boy', 'Integrity', 'Dignity' and 'Omg Is Like Lindsay Lohan Like Okay Like', the latter presumably a reference to Lohan's recent rehab adventure. Hey, I've got an idea for a title - 'Kettles And Pots'.