CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 6th November
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Universal's V2 acquisition gets OFT approval
- Radiohead get boxed
- Kylie, no tour, no tour cancellation, but lots of networking
- Tone Loc rerecords 'Wild Thing' with Peaches
- Chrysalis sign Marr for publishing deal
- Winehouse tries to get new US visa
- Brace yourselves, Boyzone reunite
- Garth Brooks best selling US artist ever
- Classic Rock honour a roll of rock
- New Futureheads ready
- New Delays
- Footballers crank that
- Cinematic Orchestra film
- Bon Jovi UK dates announced
- Homeless charity gig
- Daniel Johnston screening
- Camp Bestival announced
- Gary Numan replicates
- Smashing Pumpkins postpone US dates
- Single Review: Various - Together In Electric Dreams EP
- More 'revolutionary' Charlatans news
- Swedish band release album via The Pirate Bay
- Canadian government report says no link between P2P and CD sales
- EMI make new Investor Board appointments
- Macca mocks Mills' leg
- Tweedy on Doherty, drugs, stuff
- Doherty mourns the drugs
- Mcfly go the extra mile to sell hits package
- Dion criticised for miming during 'Audience With'

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TOP BIT
In his previously reported, previously commented on memo to his new workforce last week EMI's new chief Guy Hands observed that "as you know better than me, the music industry lends itself to media commentary which is at best speculative and I advise you to take much of what is written with a pinch of salt". Except what you read in the CMU Daily, obviously. He didn't actually say that, but we all know that's what he meant.

With much of the media subsequently spinning that memo to the effect that Hands had called his artists "lazy", that remark is interesting in that it raises one of the challenges the record labels face which we talk about a lot but which few at the majors seem to do much about, and which Hands, despite saying some very interesting things about the future of EMI, is also yet to address.

And that is the need for the record companies to do more to manage their 'corporate brands' or 'corporate reputations'. The fact is that the mainstream population love to hate the major record companies, which are perceived by many music fans as being evil corporates who zap all artists of their creative energy in order to maximise lowest common denominator record sales. That reputation comes partly from the fact some major record companies have been guilty of that behaviour at times over the years, but mainly because many artists eventually fall out with their record companies and when they do go around bad mouthing them - however mutually beneficial their relationship with the label may have been.

Despite sometimes pressuring bands to make questionable creative decisions for commercial purposes, and despite occasionally taking brilliant accessible albums and then fucking up the marketing, major record companies often make incredibly risky investments in brilliant new artists, from which we all get to enjoy those artists' recordings and songs. And some A&Rs and marketers in those labels are as creative as the artists they work with - sometimes more so.

Labels need to make more of their role in developing and launching new talent, and need to appear less like sinister money machines and more like creative enablers, probably by having more engaging, more enlightening and more human label websites, and more consumer facing business PR activity.

Doing so will mean that the media are less likely to negatively spin any development at a record company, and perhaps more importantly, will encourage the best artists to want to work with them, and will make consumers more likely to try out their newer signings, and pay for their releases rather than illegally download them for free.

Yet few major labels seem to dedicate any efforts in this domain - though with such a radical reinvention seemingly in the pipeline at EMI, perhaps Hands' label will.

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SNAP OF THE DAY: Bishi
So, as I said yesterday, a bit of a Bestival theme to SNAP Of The Day this week, [a] to celebrate the announcement of the all new Camp Bestival this week and [b] to make use of the notes I took at Bestival proper back in September which I never got to writing up. First Bestival themed SNAP tip is Bishi, who only did a short PA set in Bestival's Bollywood Bar, but who impressed nevertheless with her mix of bhangra, folk and pop beats - and sitar playing which makes her show as entertaining to watch as listen to, even though her show was just her, the sitar and an amp. Bishi has been building a fanbase by touring with Patrick Wolf and Bat For Lashes and some of them were in the Bollywood Bar that afternoon to see her latest show (including Wolf himself). Hopefully some, like me, were curious newcomers, so that the short set expanded those helping with the word of mouth marketing for this talented songstress ahead of the release of her album 'Night at the Circus' next week. I'm doing my word of mouth bit by pointing you in the direction of Bishi's MySpace where four eclectic tracks are up for streaming. Assuming you like it, you should spread the word also.

http://www.myspace.com/bishimusic

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UNIVERSAL'S V2 ACQUISITION GETS OFT APPROVAL
Good news for, erm, well, no one really. Oh, accept for Morgan Stanley, he's probably a happy chap this morning. And the more acquisitive execs at Universal Music will presumably also smile at the news that the Office Of Fair Trading has given the all clear for the major's acquisition of former Richard Branson owned independent V2, which was sold by its most recent owner, investment bank Morgan Stanley, to the major earlier this year.

The Association Of Independent Music had told the OFT that Universal's latest indie acquisition would stifle competition and narrow consumer choice, but officials there didn't seem to agree. Welcoming the OFT approval, Universal said in a statement yesterday: "We are pleased that the Office of Fair Trading has cleared our purchase of the V2 Music Group, as we had anticipated. Efforts to portray this acquisition as anti-competitive were always without merit. Now we look forward to working closely with V2 and Cooperative Music artists, labels and staff".

The approval gives the green light for Universal to take V2 into a brand new phase, you know, one with no staff or artists, it's all very exciting. As previously reported, V2 will be merged into Universal's Mercury division, who will release new work from the former indie's main artists. Only a handful of V2's workforce will move to Universal, with the majority being made redundant. What portion of V2's artist roster will be dropped post merger is unclear, though the major is known to be keen to continue with the former indie's Cooperative Music scheme, which saw them work with other smaller indies like Wichita, Bella Union, Memphis Industries, Luaka Bop and Rabid.

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RADIOHEAD GET BOXED
With all the hype around Radiohead's new album, surely some kind of catalogue re-release ahead of Christmas is in order, no?

Ah, yes. EMI have announced they will release a limited edition seven CD box set on 10 Dec including all the studio albums Radiohead released while with the major, plus a live album. Those who prefer their music digital will be able to buy a DRM free MP3 box set of Radiohead's EMI catalogue, while those who like their music on a good old fashioned USB stick, will be able to buy a special USB device shaped like that bear logo from the 'Kid A' era which will include WAV files of all of Radioheads songs plus some digital artwork. You can pre-order all this nonsense via http://www.radioheadstore.com.

Confirming the special Radiohead packages, Parlophone MD Miles Leonard said this: "We are particularly excited about the USB stick which gives fans an easy and portable way to carry the box set and provides another way of bridging the world between on-line and off-line content".

As previously reported, the special physical box set version of Radiohead's new album 'In Rainbows' will be mailed to those who ordered it last month before 3 Dec. A full CD release of that album will come via XL Recordings sometime soon, probably January.

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KYLIE, NO TOUR, NO TOUR CANCELLATION, BUT LOTS OF NETWORKING
Now, you there, will you please stop spreading these rumours that Kylie Minogue has shelved plans to stage a world tour in 2008 because doctors expressed concern that a gruelling tour would affect her cancer recovery? Because [a] there never was a tour and [b] doctors have said no such thing. OK? And especially you Daily Mail, source of these rumours, just admit your mistake and print an apology like Kylie's management have requested.

Here is what Kylie's people said yesterday following the Mail report, and others, that claimed Kylie was "heartbroken" after having to cancel tour plans on doctor's orders: "We would like to make it clear that the report in today's Daily Mail that Kylie has cancelled a forthcoming tour on doctor's orders is completely false. When asked, Kylie has said on numerous occasions that she loves touring and that she might tour again in the near future. [But] there were and are no dates currently confirmed. If and when dates are confirmed they will be announced in the normal manner. Thus, reports in the 'Daily Mail' that Kylie has cancelled a tour are not true for the simple reason that no tour had been booked. Kylie has not been told by her doctors that touring "could seriously harm her health". She did not give the quotes reported in the Mail today. And touring is something that she is still considering for the future. Her health remains excellent and she is in the middle of promoting her new single and album".

So, that's you told. If you are still looking for a Kylie story to fill a column inch or two, well, I'm sure her people would have no problem with you reporting on this. Minogue is launching her own social networking site called KylieKonnect where Kylie fans can set up their own profiles and network with other fans, via the web or mobile. The service will also offer access to Kylie songs and priority access to concert tickets (should there be a world tour which, we'd just like to stress, one last time, that there are no plans for, but not because of any advice from doctors). The KylieKonnect service has been created by New Visions Mobile.

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TONE LOC RERECORDS WILD THING WITH PEACHES
Legendary hip hop type Tone Loc is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of his classic track 'Wild Thing' by releasing a new duet version of the song with Peaches. The special version of the track goes on sale in the US via iTunes later today with a limited edition vinyl release due out there on 20 Nov. No word yet on a UK release, we'll keep our ears to the ground.

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CHRYSALIS SIGN MARR FOR PUBLISHING DEAL
Music publishers Chrysalis Music have announced they have just signed Johnny Marr to a new worldwide publishing deal. The deal covers all of Marr's future work, plus a lot of his earlier material, including work with Crowded House, Modest Mouse and Electronic, and his own band Johnny Marr And The Healers.

Confirming the new deal, Chrysalis MD Alison Donald told reporters: "Johnny is one of the most extraordinary talents in music. His virtuosity as a guitarist has been long acknowledged, but Johnny has also been of the UK's prime songwriters and we're honoured to be able to work with him as a result of this new deal".

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WINEHOUSE TRIES TO GET NEW US VISA
Amy Winehouse has reportedly had a meeting at the American Embassy in London in a bid to secure a new US work visa so she can continue to pursue her career over there. Winehouse's people are concerned she may not secure a new visa because of that recent drugs arrest in Norway - US visa officials getting all nervous when you've a drugs arrest on your record. But Amy now claims that an apparent confession she made to Norwgian police after that arrest is not valid, and that she signed it by mistake. Possibly because she was off her face on drugs at the time, we're not sure.

It's not clear if Winehouse is using that argument in a bid to get a visa, or indeed if that was actually why she was at the American Embassy at all - there's a lot of speculation going on here. Chief speculator is Sky News producer Nickie Omer who saw Winehouse arrive at the Embassy. She told reporters: "She looked totally different. She looked really well groomed. Her hair was combed, she'd got a black pencil skirt on and gold high heels. She actually looked healthy for once". Ah, I knew it, the drunken ditzy diva look was just an act.

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BRACE YOURSELVES, BOYZONE REUNITE
Boyzone will reunite for one night only in aid of the BBC Children In Need appeal. Ronan Keating, Stephen Gately, Shane Lynch, Mikey Graham and Keith Duffy will all take part in the charity reunion. I think the plan is that they'll keep on singing until everyone in the country has donated five pounds each. It's a clever move - I'll be on the phone as soon as they take to the stage, and I'm notoriously stingy. It's very good of the Boyzone boys to reunite to benefit Children In Need, though some gossipers say the reunion is also aiming to benefit the mortgages of those Boyzoners who have not enjoyed solo success - as a reunion tour may follow the TV appearance.

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GARTH BROOKS BEST SELLING US ARTIST EVER
Garth Brooks has overtaken Elvis to become the best selling solo artist in US music history, which is quite an achievement. The country star has now sold 123 million units, ahead of Elvis' 118.5 million units. The Beatles are still quite ahead having shifted 170 million units in the US, though Brooks is still going strong and could rival even them in a couple of albums time. Well done him.

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CLASSIC ROCK HONOUR A ROLL OF ROCK
Classic Rock magazine held its Roll Of Honour awards in London yesterday, and look, here are the winners...

Best New Band: Black Stone Cherry
Reissue Of The Year: Kiss - Alive! 1975-2000
DVD Of The Year: Frank Zappa Classic Albums
Album Of The Year: Porcupine Tree - Fear Of A Blank Planet
Band Of The Year: Rush
Event Of The Year: Aerosmith At Hyde Park Calling
Classic Songwriters: Status Quo
Metal Guru: Tony Iommi
Showman Award: Jeff Wayne
The Classic Rock / Childline Award: Ian & Jacky Paice
Tommy Vance Inspiration Award: Mick Ronson
Outstanding Contribution: Storm Thorgerson
Classic Album: Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell
Comeback Of The Year: Heaven & Hell
Living Legend: Jimmy Page

Classic Rock Editor-in-Chief Scott Rowley told CMU: "It's been quite a year for rock music. From the 20 million attempts to get Led Zeppelin tickets to the new album from the Eagles going straight in at number one in the album charts this week, 2007 has proved that fashions can come and go, but rock music continues to move people. Which is weird: because for the last few years, people have been saying that not only is rock'n'roll dead but that the game's up for magazines too. In fact, now that people can get their news from a bazillion different websites, digital radio stations or TV channels, a magazine like ours becomes one of the few things that we all have in common. The Classic Rock Roll Of Honour brings it all to life: an award show run by real music fans and giving musicians the chance to honour their peers. It's something genuine in an industry fuelled by hype".

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NEW FUTUREHEADS READY
The Futureheads have completed their new album, which has been produced by Smashing Pumpkins' producer Youth In Spain. The band plan to play two gigs to showcase their new tunes - one at London's Kings College on 29 Nov and one at Sunderland Independent on 6 Dec - and the first 200 people through the doors at each gig will get a white label seven inch single featuring remixes of two tracks off the new album.

The band's Ross Millard says that we can expect other quirky projects from the band now that they are no longer signed to Warner/679 Recordings. Millard: "Now that we're out of all major label clutches, we can call the shots on what we do, and when and where we do it, a lot more - so keep your ears to the ground and I'll give you a shout back when we've got other important news to break."

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NEW DELAYS
Hey, have we mentioned Delays are now signed to Fiction Records? I can't remember. Anyway, the CMU favourites will release a limited edition EP next Monday, and the video of the lead track from it, 'Love Made Visible', is now on YouTube at this URL:

http://www.youtube.com/user/DelaysWorld

A brand new long player from Delays will be coming our way in the New Year.

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FOOTBALLERS CRANK THAT
Talking of YouTube, we're told that US rapper Soulja Boy is the latest YouTube phenomenon, with - to quote the press release - "EVERYBODY doing the dance" from the video to his new single, 'Crank That (Soulja Boy)', which has been on the video service for a while now.

To reiterate this fact, premiership footballers Anton Ferdinand of West Ham and Nigel Reo Coker of Aston Villa have been making complete twits out of themselves by copying the dance to a tee - and their attempts are also doing the YouTube rounds at this URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9RwpHhBohY

'Crank That (Soulja Boy)' the song is available via iTunes this week, with a physical release out on 17 Dec.

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CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA FILM
Having provided a new soundtrack to a classic film, CMU favourites The Cinematic Orchestra are doing it the other way round this time, by collaborating on a new film made to accompany music they've already made, ie songs from their newish album 'Ma Fleur'.

Film collective Up The Revolution will work with the band to create the new short film, a 12 minute piece that recounts the final hours of a couple's life together. It is (to my knowledge) the second art commision based on the album, the first being a series of photographs by Maya Hayuk that can be viewed on the Domino Records website (The Cinematic Orchestra release through Domino in the US).

Although part one of the film is available for streaming now, fans will have to wait until April next year before they can get their hands on a physical copy, with the entire project set to be included on the DVD release of 'Ma Fleur: Live At The Barbican'.

Catch part one here: http://ninjatune.cachefly.net/qtvideos/tbah_pt1.mov
While Maya Hayuk's photography is here: http://www.dominorecordco.us/mafleur/

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BON JOVI UK DATES ANNOUNCED
I'm not sure what the fuss is about myself, but some people are. Bon Jovi have announced the UK dates on their Lost Highway World Tour. They will visit these shores next June, dates as follows, tickets on sale Saturday:

11 Jun: St. Mary's, Southampton
21 Jun: Hampden Park, Glasgow
22 Jun: City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester
24 Jun: Ricoh Arena, Coventry
25 Jun: Ashton Gate, Bristol
27 Jun: Twickenham Stadium, London

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HOMELESS CHARITY GIG
Cardiff's The Point venue will be hosting a special fundraising gig for homeless charity Llamau's 21st birthday on 24 Nov, kicking off at 6.45pm with a host of Wales' finest talent. The line-up includes Anthony Lee Operation: Eclectic, Ninja Pigeon, One String Loose, sleepgoodfeelgood, May Contain Nuts, Gethin Pearson, Frame 3-13, Omega66 and Texas Radio Band, while the BBC's Huw Stephens will be keeping tabs on proceedings by compering and DJ-ing between the entertainment.

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DANIEL JOHNSTON SCREENING
London's 93 Feet East venue is putting on an exhibition of quirk-folker Daniel Johnston's artwork this month under their Wowsville events banner. The singer-songwriter's cult following and growing popularity ever since the release of the documentary 'The Devil And Daniel Johnston' two years ago should ensure a good turn out, but just in case they're throwing a party with cakes and tea on 15 Nov, starting at 5pm. There you can watch the said documentary on retro TVs, eat free hamburgers and browse the artwork by Johnston and James Unsworth. See their MySpace for further info: http://www.myspace.com/wowsvillelondon

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CAMP BESTIVAL ANNOUNCED
OK, more details on Camp Bestival which we briefly mentioned in the SNAP slot yesterday. This is the new three day festival from Rob da Bank and the Bestival crew set to take place 18-20 Jul next year. Band info won't be out until the New Year, but details have been revealed about the areas that are planned, including the 'Tree Stage', the Rock n Roll tent, the Spiegel tent, a Balearic Bollywood arena and, erm, the Main Stage. There will also be plenty of comedy, film and spoken word. Oh yes, and lots of those Bestival capers - more than ever, actually, give that old school holiday camps are the theme.

All this fun is taking place at Lulworth Castle in Dorset. Tickets at £120 go on sale today - 13 to 15 year olds will cost £60 and under-12s blag it in for free. Unfortunately for those of you under 18, you'll need adult supervision, and camper van fans will also require a campervan ticket at £50. So there you go.

Speaking about his hopes for the new festival, da Bank told CMU: "I can't wait to get to Camp Bestival! It's gonna be a big old family campsite with what we reckon will be the best facilities of any festival from custom furnished tepees and yurts to campfires, maintained barbeques, a massive kids area and our Bestival Bluecoats on hand 24 hours a day to cater for your every need ... and then there's the music - not so much an afterthought as just one part of the whole shebang. Roll on July".

More details at http://www.bestival.net

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GARY NUMAN REPLICATES
Following the lead of a number of artists - including Sonic Youth and Cowboy Junkies, most recently - Gary Numan has announced plans to perform one of his classic works in full at a number of shows next year - the work being classic album 'Replicas'. Throwing in all the b-sides too for good measure, Numan has scheduled dates all over the country so everyone can re-live his breakthrough album in all its glory.

Numan will visit:
29 Feb: Bristol Academy
1 Mar: Sheffield Corporation
2 Mar: Glasgow ABC
3 Mar: Belfast Spring & Airbrake
4 Mar: Dublin Tripod
5 Mar: Nottingham Rock City
7 Mar: Newcastle Academy
8 Mar: Manchester Academy
9 Mar: Norwich UEA
10 Mar: Wolverhampton Wulfren Hall
11 Mar: Cambridge The Junction
12 Mar: Brighton The Dome
13 Mar: Oxford Academy
14 Mar: Southampton University
15 Mar: London indig02

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SMASHING PUMPKINS POSTPONE US DATES
Is it just me or is everyone ill at the moment? The Smashing Pumpkins are the latest band to cancel dates because of illness, though drummer Jimmy Chamberlin has got a partially blocked artery, which is quite a good excuse. Five US gigs were postponed after the drummer was hospitalized after suffering from chest pains.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Various - Together In Electric Dreams EP (Sunday Best)
Take: a CMU favourite label. Add: a famous electro-pop anthem (from a film no-one I know has ever seen, strangely). Result: this EP from Sunday Best, which sees five acts give their take on the Phil Oakey and Giorgio Moroder 80s classic. So, Kish Mauve (of whom it's obligatory to mention that their 'Two Hearts' has been covered by Kylie for her new single) chuck on some guitars and make the track sound a tad rockier, whilst Le Vicarious Bliss Pop Experience's cover won't offend anyone but isn't particularly interesting. Less poppy, but compelling for different reasons, are the interpretations offered up by Daisy Daisy and Subway; the former give 'TIED' a Jamaican bogle beat which contrasts nicely with the subtle synth washes and vocodered vocals, whilst the pulsating electro from the latter bears no resemblance to the original at all but is characteristically evocative. Lastly, Lali Puna's version (dreamy glitchtronica with fragments of whispered vocals) isn't actually new - originally appearing on a Human League tribute CD some years back - but whilst SB might have missed a trick by not getting Grand National, Kompis, Howdi or another act on its roster to come up with something, we'll let them off, seeing as the Lali Puna track still sounds lovely, and we like Sunday Best enough to forgive them anyway. MS
Release date: 19 Nov
Press contact: Sunday Best IH [CP. RP. NP] Darling [CR, RR, NR]

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MORE 'REVOLUTIONARY' CHARLATANS NEWS
Possibly still aggrieved by Radiohead's innovative pricing scheme overshadowing their announcement a few weeks ago about their free album download through Xfm, The Charlatans have taken the opportunity of it being a quiet week for 'revolutions' in music to promote their deal with g8wave Holdings, a mobile media company, which will see the band create a mobile internet site (that's a site accessed on mobile phones, in case you wondered) to promote the new record.

The site will offer fans the opportunity to download ringtones, full tracks, images, videos and other content, as well as get updates from the band for free. Taking the mobile promotion one step further, g8wave and the band are also collaborating on providing mobile ticket sales and a mobile store selling t-shirts and posters, just to make sure you can top up your Charlatans merch at every opportunity.

Band manager Alan McGee says this: "Giving away the music for free is the most intelligent option for bands, as it maximizes other revenue streams and stops this whole notion of stealing music by making it legal. Working with g8wave on adding mobile to this mix was absolutely natural and takes The Charlatans up to the next level with our approach to delivering music to the people."

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SWEDISH BAND RELEASE ALBUM VIA THE PIRATE BAY
You see, if The Charlatans really wanted to get global media attention with their free album release, they should have done this.

Everyone's favourite BitTorrent tracker The Pirate Bay is promoting the new album from a Swedish glam rock band called Lamont. Users of The Pirate Bay are being directed via the mainly illegal file sharing service's home page to full downloads of the band's debut (I think) album. The band themselves send anyone wanting the album over to The Pirate Bay.

They claim over 100,000 have now downloaded the long player, with a posting on their website reading: "Great news! During the first 24 hours that The Pirate Bay supported us on their site, over 100,000 people have downloaded our entire album! And over 60,000 people have watched our video to 'The Golden Daze'...on the first day! That's crazy!" Crazy indeed.

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CANADIAN GOVERNMENT REPORT SAYS NO LINK BETWEEN P2P AND CD SALES
A new report published by the Canadian government concludes that there is no palpable connection between the illegal sharing of music online and the sale of CDs, positively or negatively.

The report, written by University Of Western Ontario professors Birgitte Andersen and Marion Frenz, says: "We are unable to find direct evidence that P2P file-sharing either increases or decreases CD purchases in Canada. That is, in our analysis of the whole Canadian population we are unable to find any relationship between the number of P2P music tracks that were downloaded and the number of CD purchases".

The report conflicts with the viewpoint of the Canadian Recording Industry Association, and their counterparts elsewhere, who claim that widespread P2P filesharing is a key factor in the decline of CD sales. However, the report also said that there was no proof of claims made by those active in the P2P community that music fans who access music via filesharing are more likely to then go on to buy CDs

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EMI MAKE NEW INVESTOR BOARD APPOINTMENTS
The EMI Group has announced the appointment of Mike Clasper and Billy Mann to its Investor Board. Both will help the major's new owners Terra Firma "transform" the company from being a boring old record company into a shiny new multi-stream cross-environment artist-development content-venture-manipulation machine.

Clasper was previously CEO of airport company BAA plc - so, another new appointment from outside the music biz. Mann, though, does have a music background, him being a record producer, song writer and music entrepreneur. As previously reported, Mann had been tipped for a senior role at EMI US, though yesterday's announcement - that he will, in fact, simply join the strategic Investor Board - seemingly backs up claims by Hands that reports that new recruits would take top management roles were untrue.

On the new appointments, Hands said this: "I am delighted to welcome Mike and Billy to the Investor Board of EMI. Mike has had extensive experience of running successful businesses across the world and leading innovation in a variety of business sectors. Billy meanwhile will help balance what is a very business and consumer focused investor board by providing creative input. We are all looking forward to their contributions. The recorded music industry today faces some enormous challenges but also tremendous opportunities to build on the central role that music plays in all our lives. With the arrival of Mike and Billy I feel confident we have a team that can work alongside EMI employees and artists to identify and exploit those opportunities and build EMI's powerful market position over the long-term".

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MACCA MOCKS MILLS LEG
Yep, more Macca/Mills nonsense for you, you lucky people. The latest tabloid throw away story centres on a telephone conversation between Macca and daughter Stella that Mills says she has on tape and which, she claims, includes the former Beatle and his offspring having a good laugh at her false leg. The recording comes from a period when Mills was seemingly bugging Macca's phone line, you know, like you do.

Here's what a friend of Mills told the Mirror: "What she says she heard Sir Paul say on the tape about her amputated leg left her incandescent with rage. She says he used an insulting slang word about disabled people. That he and Stella - her arch-enemy - had a laugh about it. Heather was - and still is - seething about it".

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TWEEDY ON DOHERTY, DRUGS, STUFF
So, Girl Aloud Cheryl Tweedy has been busy paying tribute to Pete Doherty, telling reporters: "Pete Doherty is not a poet. He writes shit. He is a waste of fresh air. Why is he such a genius? Because he went out with Kate Moss? And he gets let off from jail. Kids think, 'Oh, he doesn't even get locked up'. More deserving people are on the waiting list for methadone every single day". Yeah, say what you think Tweedy.

Congratulating herself for avoiding the drugs, she continued: "[When I was younger] heroin was there for the taking. I could have easily taken that route if I'd wanted to. But I always maintained my ambition and I'm proud of myself. I wouldn't be sitting here with an amazing husband and an amazing house [if I hadn't]".

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DOHERTY MOURNS THE DRUGS
Talking of Doherty, he's been talking to the NME about his latest seemingly slightly more successful attempt to kick the drugs. He told NME.com: "It's hard work. I think I miss it [drugs] a bit. After years of entrenched drug abuse, you have a mourning period. I know it's a bit sad, but I'm in mourning. I'm in mourning for an armful". Yeah, Tweedy, Pete's suffering and all you can do is diss the poor boy.

Though fear not, Doherty remains committed to his new lifestyle despite the struggles. He continues: "I really enjoy it and embrace the new way. I'm proud of the new album. I just want to get on the road and play those songs!"

There's a full interview with Doherty in this week's NME I am assured.

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MCFLY GO THE EXTRA MILE TO SELL HITS PACKAGE
Now McFly aren't signed to EMI, but if they were that Guy Hands fella couldn't accuse them of not demonstrating dedication to the cause when it comes to promoting their album releases.

The boy band were back at the G-A-Y club in London on Saturday night to promote their rather fine greatest hits package which, by the way, is out this week, hurrah. In a bid to ensure the G-A-Y regulars still remembered their set come Monday morning the club's host, Jeremy Joseph, suggested they, erm, set light to their pubic hair in an act that is apparently called a 'flaming lady' (instructions: remove trousers, place genitals between legs and set fire to pubic area - nice).

The band's Danny and Dougie eagerly participated, as can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PuHmeoq1Z8. Let's hope their, erm, efforts result in some extra units being shifted this week.

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DION CRITICISED FOR MIMING DURING AUDIENCE WITH
Celine Dion has been criticised for miming through her 'Audience With' programme, which is due to air on ITV this Christmas. A source close to the TV show, designed to celebrate Dion's career, told the Sun: "It didn't wash with the audience, as it was clear she was miming". The bigger problem, of course, wasn't so much she was miming, but that she was miming to her own songs. "If only she'd been miming to something decent" the source didn't continue "but no one wants to sit through another performance 'My Heart Will Go On' mimed or otherwise".

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