CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 17th September
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Virgin sell Megastore
- Spiralfrog launches in US
- Hands hopes EMI is "as bad as he thinks"
- Fiddy and Lil' Kim in royalties lawsuit
- More Marley ringtone nonsense
- Durst gets jail sentence
- Led Zep deadline extended
- New hip hop awards
- KT hasn't changed
- Fran Healy: record our gigs
- Gallows singer splits head open
- Stereophonics balloon for sale
- Soulwax's greatest hits
- Classical idol
- Manu Chao is number one
- Kyte to play Rough Trade
- Bextor Takes That
- Radiohead go DRM-free, but not on iTunes
- iPhone stuff
- Madness plan O2 wide festivities
- AEG sue over unsold Streisand tickets
- Parky says TV execs should take more musical risks
- Chart update
- Total Rock world album chart
- Kylie vs Britney
- Britney watch

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TOP BIT ANNOUNCEMENT
Ladies and gentlemen, if you could avert your eyes from the big Virgin Megastore story for one moment, we have our own big story for you this morning.

Here it is: CMU HQ is moving. What do you mean Richard Branson's departure from the music industry after over three decades in the business is a bigger story? You need to get your priorities right. Yes, CMU and the whole of UnLimited Media is moving to a brand new office on Shoreditch High Street, meaning we'll be on the narrow line between all the corporates and money types in the City, and the trendies and indies in Hoxton and Shoreditch, just where we like it.

We are starting work from our new premises straight away, so those of you that send us nice things in jiffy bags, you should get your databases updated pronto. The new address is UnLimited Media, Unicorn House, 221-222 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6PJ. Meanwhile we'll go and warn the local postman about the barrage of post that he'll have to get through our new letter box.

If you're not as excitable about the new address as we clearly are, then get excited about this. Over the next few weeks we'll be announcing a whole host of new CMU developments, including a brand new look to this here CMU Daily, plus even more news, and loads more reviews. Oh, and the much anticipated return of MySpace Of The Day. Keep your eye here on the Top Bit where you'll find all the info you need on everything that is new in the world of CMU.

Meanwhile, those in the know will tell you that for the last three years we have shared premises in Docklands with our friends BigTime. We will continue to work with BigTime on a number of exciting music projects, though they will continue to be based in Docklands, so if you want your artists and releases to be considered for involvement in those projects we advise you add BigTime to you PR lists separately. CDs and press packs should be sent to BigTime, Fl3 Grampian House, Meridian Gate, London, E14 9YT.

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JOBS N STUFF

ROADRUNNER CLUB PROMOTIONS/OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR
Leading rock label Roadrunner Records are looking for a young, enthusiastic and bright person to run their Club Promotions dept and assist with general office management and administration. It would suit a creative, methodical and highly-motivated college or university graduate looking to get onto the music industry ladder. Previous experience in promotions is an advantage, but not essential. However, a passion for Rock/Metal music is. Please send CV and covering letter to rrguest@roadrunnerrecords.co.uk. Mark your e-mail "CV".

TUNETRIBE DEVELOPER
TuneTribe are looking to recruit a Graduate java/j2ee software developer to join their rapidly expanding B2B department. The right candidate will have a good knowledge of J2EE programming in a Linux environment. Core skills to include Spring, Hibernate, MySQL, HTML and CSS. Please send CV and covering letter to ronnie.traynor@tunetribe.com.

Advertise your jobs here for £80 a week - email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk to book.

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INTERNSHIPS N STUFF

UNLIMITED INTERNSHIPS
UnLimited Media is looking to recruit new interns for the Autumn semester. Interns will work at our London office on Shoreditch High Street and will be involved both with CMU plus other exciting UnLimited projects, including a brilliant new rich-media video service and an innovative new arts festival in development. Full time, part time and short term internships are available. If you are interested email details on what you are interested in and when you are available, plus a CV, to recruitment@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

Advertise your internships here for £80 a week - email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk to book.

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VIRGIN SELL MEGASTORE
Following months of speculation, the Virgin Group has announced it has sold Virgin Megastore to a company called Zavvi Entertainment.

The sale is essentially a management buyout, Zavvi being a company led by Virgin Retail's MD and FD - Simon Douglas and Steve Peckham respectively. The sale means the UK and Ireland wide retail chain will now rebrand as Zavvi. The deal follows the announcement last month that Virgin was selling its eleven US stores to a firm called Related Companies.

UK Virgin Megastores will be rebranded under the Zavvi name by November, with the company's recently relaunched website rebranding at the start of next year. Virgin will continue to have Virgin Mobile and Virgin Media concessions in the stores.

The move sees Richard Branson finally sell one of his earliest business ventures, and all but cut off his ties with the music industry, in which he operated as a label owner and retailer for over three decades.

It is unclear what the deal means for the future of Virgin Digital, the Virgin Group's attempts to take on iTunes, which is also owned by Virgin Retail. There has been speculation Virgin might quietly close down the now UK only service after the US service was wound up last year, with subscribers there shifted over to rival Napster.

In a statement on his purchase of the Megastore chain, Simon Douglas told reporters: "For over 30 years Virgin Megastores has benefited from being part of the Virgin Group and from the unstinting support of Sir Richard Branson. We are delighted to be given the opportunity to build on that legacy. We have a workforce of 2500 people who are absolutely passionate about the products we sell and we will continue to harness that passion and energy and together with an independent ethos and modern outlook, we will deliver a new brand that lives and breathes entertainment and delivers high quality enthusiastic service to existing and new customers".

Branson added: "In the last six years we have been withdrawing from entertainment retailing which is no longer viewed as core to the Group's future. We now choose to franchise our global entertainment retail operations, rather than own them, and this was the last significant Virgin wholly-owned retail business in the world. With that in mind we have agreed to a management buyout with the excellent management team led by Simon Douglas and Steve Peckham. The Virgin brand will continue to be represented in-store through the Virgin Mobile and Virgin Media in-store concessions. I would like to take this opportunity to wish the retail team all the best with their new venture".

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SPIRALFROG LAUNCHES IN US
Spiralfrog, the much hyped ad-funded free download service, which was, of course, in the press for all the wrong reasons earlier this year after a number of senior executive departures and launch delays, has finally launched in the US following the completion of that previously reported invite-only beta-stage in North America.

Both the music and advertising industries will be watching the fledgling service closely, because it will test the advertising based download model that a number of other download and legit P2P firms are hoping to build their businesses around.

According to Billboard, key to Spiralfrog's potential success is its licensing agreement with the Universal Music Group, the only major currently signed up to the service. Unlike most digital services, who pay a per-download or per-stream royalty to the record labels, Spiralfrog have paid a significant upfront sum ($2.2 million according to Billboard) and will subsequently pay Universal a cut of ad revenues, rather than a per-download fee.

Despite the size of the upfront payment, it means Spiralfrog should not now suffer from the problem whereby as they start to build the kind of traffic required to secure significant advertising accounts they start to run up per-stream bills that are just too big to be viable - a problem which reportedly led to Napster putting its ad-supported free-streams service on the back burner.

Spiralfrog's success, though, will depend on them building a big enough audience quick enough to bring in the ad revenue required to recoup investment to date and to encourage new investment to enable other multi-million dollar licensing deals, while persuading other content owners to enter into those deals on the same terms as Universal. Whether either of those things happen remains to be seen.

According to a filing with the US's Securities And Exchange Commission, Spiralfrog now hope to have deals with two other majors and a UK service live by the end of the year.

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HANDS HOPES EMI IS "AS BAD AS HE THINKS"
For those of you wondering what Terra Firma chief Guy Hands has in store for his new toy - the EMI Group - well, he's been chatting about that very thing, a bit, at the Royal Television Society's annual conference in Cambridge.

The main thing to come out of his chattering is that he says rumours he plans to sell off the major's less successful recorded music division pronto, possibly to Warner Music, so to concentrate on the more profitable EMI music publishing business are just not true. According to The Times, he told the conference: "We will definitely keep EMI Music [the recorded music bit]. We are committed to making it viable".

So that's good news for everyone at EMI Music. Well, it would be had he not then started talking about the need for some major restructuring within the recorded music division (yes, even more restructuring, hot on the heels of the restructuring initiated by former chief Eric Nicoli earlier this year). He continued: "We have to get away from the cult of the hit. This can't be an industry where it is only possible to make a profit from selling two million albums". He's right of course, but alas 'restructuring' normally means job cuts, and that was definitely the inference many took from Hands' first formal commentary on his plans for the London based major.

In a bid to motivate his workforce in the face of major job cuts, Hands concluded by, erm, telling them they're rubbish. "[We hope EMI is] as bad as we think it is", he joked, adding that his own team's skills were in turning round companies in "crisis", citing previous acquisition, the then struggling Odeon cinema chain, as an example, on which he remarked "people [there] thought they were in the film business when in fact they were in the popcorn business".

Hmm, I can't help thinking that if EMI wasn't in internal crisis it will be now Hands has gone public about this thoughts on the company. One thing is for certain, interesting times are ahead.

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FIDDY AND LIL' KIM IN ROYALTIES LAWSUIT
Royalty lawsuits are definitely in fashion at the moment. This time it's 50 Cent, Lil Kim and Warner Music receiving the legal papers. The plaintiff is Carlos Evans, aka Phantom Of The Beat, who claims that Warner's Atlantic Records still owe him fees and royalties stemming from his production work on the Fiddy/Kim track 'Magic Stick', which appeared on Lil Kim's 2003 album 'La Bella Mafia' (though was possibly originally intended for Fiddy's 'Get Rich Or Die Tryin'). Evans says Warner's Atlantic division has persistently refused to pay him the £3700 plus royalties advance he is owed for producing, engineering and mixing the track. His lawsuit is looking for just over $1 million. No comment yet from Warner.

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MORE MARLEY RINGTONE NONSENSE
Back to the pop courts (sort of, no lawsuit has actually been filed) and more on the previously reported Bob Marley ringtones dispute.

As previously reported, the Marley family have threatened to sue both the Universal Music Group and Verizon Wireless over a deal that gives the phone firm "exclusive" rights to distribute Marley's music via mobile for a month (mainly as realtone ringtones). The Marley family say Universal had no right to enter into an exclusivity deal without their permission, which was not given. It seems the family are worried the exclusivity deal implies Verizon is being endorsed by the late Marley. Quite why the public at large would think 25 year dead Bob would be endorsing mobile phone companies we're not sure, but whatever.

Universal disputed the Marley family's claims, but Verizon took the ringtones down anyway, while Universal and the Marley family argued it out. That led to Island Records founder and current Marley family advisor Chris Blackwell to announce that the phone firm had "ceded to the Marley family estate demands". Verizon responded by saying, essentially, "no we feckin didn't", and to prove it they made the ringtones available again (albeit only via their mobile platform, not their web platform).

Meanwhile, aware that it was the "exclusivity" bit that pissed off the Marleys, Universal, despite still claiming they had the rights to enter into an exclusivity deal with Verizon, promptly announced it would be letting other ringtone platforms distribute Marley ringtones before Verizon's exclusivity period was up, though without explaining what impact this had on its original deal with Verizon. Although Billboard say that insiders there claim that Universal reckon that Verizon lost its exclusivity rights when it removed the Marley ringtones from its service last week.

As you can see, this is all very messy, and no doubt more shenanigans can be expected before it all irons itself out.

Elsewhere in Marley news, one of Marley's sons, Ky-Mani Marley, has announced he'll be supporting Van Halen on their previously reported reunion tour, showcasing what he reckons is a totally new sound. He told Billboard: "It's really edgy, really urban....I don't want to call it hip-hop, and it's not r'n'b. I like to call it 'Ky-Mani'. I think I've created my own sound now, where you can identify me from everything else". Whatever, I just hope he's sorted out who has the ringtone rights to that stuff.

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DURST GETS JAIL SENTENCE
Fred Durst has been slapped with a 120-day suspended jail sentence after deliberately hitting two people with his car. The Limp Bizkit frontman pleaded guilty to the rather strange deliberate running over thing back on 16 Aug - according to documents revealed by CelebTV.com he has now been ordered to do 20 hours of community service and pay around £750 for the offence, in addition to the suspended jail time. Although the identity of his victims and the reason behind the crime remains unknown, it has been revealed that Durst has also received a restraining order preventing him from going within 100 yards of the anonymous pair, and that he will be unable to own a firearm.

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LED ZEP DEADLINE EXTENDED
The deadline to register for the much previously reported Led Zeppelin reunion gig at London's The O2 has been extended, after the registration website struggled to keep up with demand last week. Of course with the deadline - originally today - now extended to Wednesday it means even more people will apply, meaning the chance of getting tickets will be even less.

20 million people have now reportedly signed up for the chance to buy one of the £125 tickets for the Ahmet Ertegun tribute concert where the reunion will take place, meaning you're almost more likely to win next weekend's lottery than get a ticket (well, sort of).

Let's just say, there's going to be a lot of disappointed people. Though, not Gossip singer Beth Ditto, who when asked about the Led Zep reunion by Xfm remarked: "Call me when X-Ray Specs reunite cos I couldn't care less about Led Zeppeling....Robert who?"

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NEW HIP-HOP AWARDS
Darryl 'DMC' McDaniels, the former Run-DMC man, is launching an awards ceremony that will celebrate hip hop acts that challenge the negative gun crime stereotypes within the genre, which sounds admirable.

Speaking about the JAM awards, McDaniels told reporters: "We're putting the focus back on the positive creative influence of the culture. It's OK to make a record about a gun, but if you make a record about a gun, you gotta make a record about not using a gun. It's not about censorship. You can rap and talk about whatever you want. This is about responsibility".

McDaniels, of course, knows about the horrors of gun crime in the hip hop community first hand, having lost former band mate Jam Master Jay that way back in 2002.

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KT HASN'T CHANGED
KT Tunstall has announced that she "hasn't changed". Which is exciting. Yes, the multi-award winning, US conquering Scot has claimed that success hasn't really affected her, which is something most successful rock stars say at some point. Normally shortly after their success has changed them. But not KT; no, she's the same, remember.

With album number two released last week, KT has told reporters: "The last three years have changed me as an artist. I don't think it's altered me as a person - which is a relief! I think the major part of that change is that my bar has been raised - I've realised what's possible throughout the last three years of making a first album, touring it with a band, seeing how that album can turn into something else on stage, and how we can actually make it better".

Elsewhere, Hard Fi, also promoting album number two, of course, have made similar claims, with outspoken frontman Richard Archer criticising those bands that furrow the celebrity lifestyle, saying: "We wanted to do something different. All my favourite bands are inclusive and it is important that we remain that way for fans".

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FRAN HEALY: RECORD OUR GIGS
As Prince sends in the lawyers to rid the internet of mobile phone recorded snippets of his live shows, Travis' Fran Healy has been encouraging fans to tape gigs and put them up on the internet to share.

Harking back to the good old days of live bootlegs, Healy claims that listening to recordings of themselves playing live helps him and his bandmates improve, and says that he has made sure that security staff at the band's gigs are aware recordings are allowed, after security on their American tour were seen to be confiscating equipment.

Healy explains: "From a purely selfish point of view it helps me. I can go onto the internet and check out a song - at any time you have 100 amateur cameramen taking a picture of your show from all angle. It's a great way of finding out what works and what doesn't. The quality may not be great, but you get the vibe".

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GALLOWS SINGER SPLITS HEAD OPEN
After the rather non-event Gallows story that we published last week, it's good to see UK punk band Gallow providing us with some quality news content this time round. Indeed, it's a story that has all the trimmings - with their lead singer, Frank Carter, having split his head open at a gig in, of all places, Stoke. The frontman, who is becoming relatively well known for his excitable exploits, was forced to cut the gig short after crashing to the ground after fans piled onstage, sending him tumbling. Not that he finished mid-song or anything, mind. Nope, Carter - true to punk tradition - completed the song he was on with blood gushing from his head before announcing: "I'm off to A&E now". Carter's brother then stepped up to the mic for two songs, but the band couldn't continue minus their front man and left the stage soon after.

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STEREOPHONICS BALLOON FOR SALE
Stereophonics have a new album coming out - 'Pull The Pin', due 15 Oct - but getting more column inches than the new long player at the moment is the World War II barrage balloon which appeared in the video to the first single release off the album, 'It Means Nothing'. Word has it the balloon has appeared on eBay with an initial bid price of around £1200. So any obsessive Phonics fans not able to wait until 15 Oct to make a Stereophonics related purchase - well, get balloon bidding.

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SOULWAX'S GREATEST HITS
Oh, this is great news. The original indie/dance crossover specialists Soulwax have announced plans for a greatest hits album, of the remix kind, which is scheduled for release on 22 Oct.

The band have decided to be difficult however, and follow the Fiona Apple school of album titling, calling it 'Most Of The Remixes We've Made Over The Years Except For The One For Einsturzende Neubauten Because We Lost It And A Few We Didn't Think Sounded Good Enough Or Just Didn't Fit In Length-Wise. But Including Some That Are Hard To Find Because Either People Forgot About Them Or Just Simply Because They Haven't Been Released Yet. A Few We Really Love. One We Think Is Just OK. Some We Did For Free. Some We Did For Money. Some Just For Ourselves Without Permission And Some For Friends As Swaps But Never On Time And Always At Our Studio In Ghent.'

See, I told you they were being awkward. Still, exciting news nonetheless.

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CLASSICAL IDOL
Classical girl band All Angels have announced plans for a sort-of Classical Idol type competition to help them find a new singer. The band, whose debut album hit the top ten last year, said: "We feel so lucky to have been given the opportunities that we've had, that we want to help a budding singer in the same way". Whether this rather touching statement is true or not, a host of music industry types have been dragged in to judge on the 'new member search', including record label boss Dickon Stainer. Applicants aged between 16 and 60 have to upload a demo onto the website of classical radio station, Classic FM, with the results to be announced on 12 Nov.

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MANU CHAO IS NUMBER ONE
Manu Chao has hit number one all over Europe with his new album 'La Radiolina', confirming his popularity as everyone's favourite Franco-Spanish musician (not that many others come to mind). His long-awaited fourth album has been well received by critics and is set for release today in the UK, though existing success in the US Latin charts, number ones in Spain, Switzerland and Greece, and number two chart placings in France, Italy and Belgium all surely confirm his status as one of the continent's biggest acts already. Which is why we should all be very excited about the upcoming UK tour, with dates as follows...

2 Oct: London Brixton Academy
4 Oct: London Brixton Academy
5 Oct: London Brixton Academy
7 Oct: Bristol Academy
8 Oct: Manchester Apollo
10 Oct: Glasgow Academy
11 Oct: Nottingham Rock City

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KYTE TO PLAY ROUGH TRADE
The rather fabulous Leicester band Kyte have announced an instore at Rough Trade East in London on 24 Sep, and having seen them live just the once, I can wholeheartedly confirm that it will definitely be worth the visit. Indeed, the band have been rising quickly through the proverbial ranks of indie stardom, going from newly signed upstarts to Soprano soundtracking, Guardian-tipped certainties in a matter of months. And with a debut single 'Planets' out on 1 Oct, an appearance at the legendary (and rescheduled) Truck Festival lined-up, these are exciting times for a band from Leicester that aren't Kasabian (hurrah!). Upcoming live dates are below, and the Rough Trade instore is (I assume) free:

16 Sep: Reading - Sonic Cathedral Sunday Service With Ulrich Schnauss @ Oakford Social Club
23 Sep: Oxford - Truck Festival
24 Sep: London - Rough Trade East at 8pm.
25 Sep: London - Sonic Cathedral at The Luminaire
29 Sep: Leicester - Sumo
4 Oct: London - Club Ac30 with Logh at Industry
24 Oct: London - The Goonite Club at Buffalo Bar
30 Oct: Exeter - The Cavern with The Whip
12 Nov: Coventry - Colosseum with The Whip
13 Nov: Norwich - The Arts Centre with The Whip
15 Nov: Leicester - Sumo with The Whip
24 Nov: Bristol - The Secret Garden' Launch at The Croft with Soundpool
6 Dec: London - BBC 6music / Club Fandango with Oppenheimer at The Borderline

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BEXTOR TAKES THAT
Sophie Ellis Bextor has postponed her scheduled solo tour, instead choosing to go on Take That's new stadium tour as their 'special guest'. Bextor will tour with the group all over Europe and explained the decision via her website, saying it was: "incredibly difficult ... to do both", adding: "I'm thrilled Take That have asked me to tour with them. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity any girl would be a fool to turn down". She did, however, promise to tour her new record as a solo artist next year, just before any hardcore Bextor fans were getting worried there.

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RADIOHEAD GO DRM-FREE, BUT NOT ON ITUNES
Radiohead's back catalogue is now being sold in a DRM-free format, but not via iTunes, despite the Apple platform's recent alliance with Radiohead's former label, EMI, which has seen the bulk of the major's catalogue appear on iTunes without DRM.

Radiohead are one of the bands who still have problems with iTunes' insistence that artists make their music available on a track by track basis, preferring instead to only sell complete albums. Their position on this matter, and the specifics of their recording contract with EMI, means that, with a few exceptions, the band's music is still not available via the market leading download store.

That fact enables London based independent download store 7Digital to score the coup of being the first place to sell the band's music, including albums 'OK Computer' and 'The Bends', in DRM free MP3 format.

The 'single track only rule' remains a bone of contention between Apple and a handful of high profile bands, though Apple insist they are acting in the interest of their customers. Music Week quote a spokesman for the firm as saying: "There are no iTunes rules, but we believe that people want and should be able to buy songs [individually]".

But an EMI spokeswoman confirmed last week that the 'single track only rule' is stopping iTunes from selling the Radiohead catalogue, explaining: "iTunes insists that all its albums are sold unbundled, but 7digital doesn't. Radiohead prefer to have their albums sold complete. The artist has a choice, and if they feel strongly then we respect that".

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IPHONE STUFF
Talking of Apple, more on Apple boss Steve Jobs' promise to give any iPhone owner a $100 credit note after the uproar that occurred online after the computer firm announced they were cutting the cost of the iPod/mobile hybrid by $200.

As previously reported, early adopters in the US who bought the device at launch were angry there would be such a big price cut so soon. In a bid to placate the angry anyone who bought an iPhone before 22 Aug can now claim a $100 credit online, which can be used at any US Apple Store - high street or online. Anyone who bought an iPhone between 22 Aug and the announcement of the price cut earlier this month can't get the credit, but can return their phone and get a full refund.

And talking of the iPhone, with speculation that the European roll out of the much hyped device will be announced this week, it seems certain O2 will be the exclusive iPhone network in the UK, though some in the city are questioning how much the phone firm had to give Apple in order to secure those rights, and whether they are worth it for what is probably a niche interest device, even if it does maintain O2's current status as the lead mobile network for music.

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MADNESS PLAN O2 WIDE FESTIVITIES
Talking of O2, sort of, Madness plan to use London's new The O2 arena to full effect with a programme of events in the complex's smaller spaces leading up to their previously announced show in the main arena venue.

Among the events planned are an exhibition in the former Millennium Dome's exhibition space, a series of Madness and ska related films in the complex's cinema, and a month long ska theme at one of the Dome's bars. On the day of the 14 Dec concert, an array of related events will take place in the mall areas around the arena, aiming to give the show a real festival feel.

Confirming the plans, Madness co-manager Garry Blackburn told Music Week: "Both ourselves [Blackburn and other Madness manager Hugh Gadsdon] and the band went to have a look around in the summer and were pretty impressed and, between ourselves and [AEG Live VP] Rob Hallett, we started coming up with some ideas. This isn't just going to be Madness turning up to play a karaoke set at the Dome, it's the magnificent seven playing all-new stuff and utilising all of the opportunities the O2's facilities offer us".

Hallett adds: "Madness's management already had the idea to do a Christmas show, and when they came down we started to discuss how we could use the various facilities on offer. The building lends itself to the entirety concept. People wander around prior to the show. If someone is coming to see a specific artist, it makes sense to create the atmosphere that the artist and fans would want. The party starts as soon as you get out of the tube - and Madness are the perfect band to create that vibe".

Hallett says he is in talks with other major artists regarding similar complex wide promotions.

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AEG SUE OVER UNSOLD STREISAND TICKETS
Talking of AEG - hey, loads of links today - the live music conglom is suing three ticket agencies - one in the US, one in the UK and one in Netherlands - over unsold seats on the supposedly sold out recent Barbara Streisand tour (you know, the one with ridiculously high ticket prices). AEG claims that the ticket agencies have failed to pay it compensation it is due for the unsold tickets. Quite why the tickets for the sold out tour went unsold, I don't know.

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PARKY SAYS TV EXECS SHOULD TAKE MORE MUSICAL RISKS
Michael Parkinson has criticised TV execs for failing to take risks when it comes to inviting music stars onto TV shows, saying they are too obsessed with chart toppers. In an interview with GCap's jazz station theJazz he recalled how he once featured a then unknown Duke Ellington on one of his shows, adding: "Nowadays if you suggest somebody like that, they say 'Ooh I don't know ... who? What's he done?' It's sad. There's a generation of people running broadcasting, running television particularly, nowadays who have no musical culture beyond that which exists in the top 10". He's right you know.

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CHART UPDATE
Sean Kingston is still number one in the singles chart this week, Plain White T's are still number two, Kanye West is still number 3 and James Blunt is still number 4. Not much of a Chart Update this. New entries as follows: Elvis at 14 with 'Party', The White Stripes with 'You Don't Know What Love Is' at 18, Taio Cruz with 'Moving On' at 26, Chemical Brothers with 'The Salmon Dance' at 27, Andy Lewis and Paul Weller with 'Are You Trying To Be Lonely' at 31, Dave Spoon and Lisa Maffia with 'Bad Girl (At Night)' at 36 and Hi-Tack with 'Let's Dance' at 38. Phil Collins' 'In The Air Tonight' re-enters at 23, presumably on the back of that rather strange Cadburys ad.

Albums wise, Kanye won the big much previously reported chart battle in the UK (and probably will in the US) with 'Graduation' going straight in at number one, with 50 Cent's 'Curtis' in second place. The highest home grown new entry is at 3, with KT Tunstall and 'Drastic Fantastic'. Other new entries on the albums chart are Ultrabeat with 'The Album' at 8, Kano with 'London Town' at 14, the Marc Bolan hits package at 15, Go Team with 'Proof Of Youth' at 21 and Siouxsie with 'Mantaray' at 39. Pavarotti re-enters at 17 with his 'Ultimate Collection', presumably on the back of him being recently dead.

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

1. Linkin Park - Minutes To Midnight (Warner Bros)
2. Korn - Untitled (EMI/Virgin)
3. Daughtry - Daughtry (SonyBMG)
4. Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (Warner/Roadrunner)
5. Fall Out Boy - Infinity On High (Universal/Island)
6. Bon Jovi - Lost Highway (Universal/Mercury)
7. As I Lay Dying - An Ocean Between Us (Metal Blade)
8. The Smashing Pumpkins - Zeitgeist (Warner Bros)
9. Paramore - Riot! (Warner/Atlantic)
10. My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade (Warner Bros)
11. Atreyu - Lead Sails Paper Anchor (Warner/Roadrunner)*
12. Aiden - Conviction (Victory)
13. Velvet Revolver - Libertad (SonyBMG)
14. Ozzy Osbourne - Black Rain (SonyBMG/Epic)
15. Garbage - Absolute Garbage (Warner Bros)
16. Scorpions - Humanity: Hour 1 (SonyBMG)*
17. Good Charlotte - Good Morning, Revival (SonyBMG/Epic)
18. Billy Talent - Billy Talent II (Warner/Atlantic)
19. Sixx: AM - The Heroin Diaries (Eleven Seven)*
20. Queen - Greatest Hits Vols. 1, 2, 3 (EMI)

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KYLIE VS BRITNEY
Back to chart battles, and Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue will go head to head in the battle for number one, with both singers set to release their new singles in the same week. Both Spears and Minogue have been in the media a lot for their personal lives over the last two years, of course, though for very different reasons. Now Kylie's '2 Hearts' will go up against Britney's 'Gimme More', with the loser likely to have their career declared to be over by sensationalists. By 'loser', I mean Britney, obviously.

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BRITNEY WATCH
Talking of which, time for another dose of all things Britney - with more reports from the Timbaland camp on the collaboration that never happened. We reported last week that the super producer was a bit miffed at being rejected by Spears after offering to collaborate on a comeback single, claiming that the singer had been "dissing him".

Speaking to MTV news, Timbaland said Spears had essentially said "screw you" after his people made the collaboration offer, adding: "It'll [the collaboration] never happen... it could've, but it won't [now]". That said, he then admitted that all she needed to do to heal the rift was say "sorry". Awww.

In related chatter, reports have confirmed that Spears and ex husband K-Fed met-up last week to arrange an extension of his spousal support payments. As previously reported, K-Fed is vying with Spears for custody of their two children and in addition to this payment there have been rumours of additional payments from the star that are aimed at settling the custody battle out of court.

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