CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 10th January
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Select committee call for voluntary code on secondary ticketing
- Apple pledge UK iTunes pricing to fall in line with rest of EU
- Amazon expected to confirm Pepsi MP3 promotion
- Kickin Music founder dies
- Choice shortlist out
- Shortlist long list out
- $80 million lawsuit launched over Remy Ma shooting
- Court date set for The Game's basketball charges
- Beanie Sigel gets a day in jail for probation violations
- Lavigne settles infringement claim
- The Coral guitarist quits
- Robbie planning quiet 2008
- Who did Eavis mean?
- Black Keys tracklisting
- New Oasis album near completion?
- Justice tour
- Merz tour
- Album Review: Lightspeed Champion - Falling Off The Lavender Bridge
- Sony/ATV secure full control of Famous catalogue
- Zavvi upbeat despite decline in Christmas music sales
- Ok! sue Heat over Jamie Lynn Spears interview
- Virgin Radio launch podcast service outfit
- Doyle leaves Capital
- Ono needs to lose some friends

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TOP BIT
So, Sting is in the news this morning because of a mini-survey on the 'carbon footprints' of various bands' recent tours undertaken by Carbonfootprint.com for the NME. It seems The Police's reunion tour has been contributing many bags of carbon emissions to the atmosphere, partly through the band's jet setting, but more through the car travel of the thousands of fans who drive to each stadium gig. It's more of a story, of course, because of Sting's past ramblings about the environment.

Picking up on c'lebs whose advocacy for media friendly environmental and fair trade causes is not backed up by their own actions, or the actions of their corporate partners, isn't new of course - the carbon footprint of last year's Live Earth concerts coming under particular scrutiny, as you'll remember. But, with the latest craze for all things eco not likely to decline anytime soon, I have a suspicion the frequency of these stories will increase in the coming year, and with music types often the most vocal eco-warriors, the music business is likely to feature in these kinds of stories more and more often.

The music business has, of course, already responded to the need to be more eco-friendly in part - with the AGreenerFestival campaign getting the live sector to be more green, and each of the majors dabbling in more environmentally sound packaging and office practices.

But, if we're being honest, there's still a lot to be done to really make this business green, meaning that, in among everything else, bosses at the big players in all parts of the music industry should be considering new greener practices, to pre-empt the media scrutiny.

For starters, despite certain moves to make packaging more green, the average CD release still comes with a whole load more plastic than is really necessary, and an increasing number of albums seem to come with an extra layer of cardboard on the outside, which seems mad. For seconds, it always amazes me how often American record companies send their US publicists over with artists to Europe, when they have offices full of publicists over here who could accompany their talent - while saving air fares and reducing those carbon emission whatnots.

I'm no expert, there's no doubt whole lists of things that could be done, many of which could actually save rather than cost money. Given the majors don't need to spend any executive time agonising over DRM anymore, perhaps they could invest their brain power into saving the planet. If only to avoid yet more bad press.

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JOBS N STUFF

CD POOL AND XPRESSBEATS REQUIRE A DESIGNER
We are looking for a young, enthusiastic and creative designer. You must have good knowledge using both Adobe Photoshop & Macromedia Flash. DreamWeaver or other html creation software knowledge preferred but not essential. Training will be provided to perform basic tasks in Freehand and Quark. Design based duties will include regular creation of advertisements in the form of static and animated web banners, magazine adverts and email templates and creation of template based CD artwork. The successful candidate is likely to be fresh out of Uni and MUST have a love of dance music! In addition to the design responsibilities the candidate will also help the technical team ingest music for our range of download stores. Please e-mail your CV to admin@cdpool.co.uk. Interviews will be conducted this month.

CLASH MAGAZINE OPPORTUNITY
Clash is seeking an experienced advertising sales professional to develop advertising and sponsorship revenues across its magazine and website Clash Magazine and ClashMusic.com. Clash is a successful music magazine devoured by the culture vulture download generation with regular advertising from leading brands. A large part of the role is developing relationships with brand managers and media buyers to develop advertising and sponsorship deals typically in our key target sectors of music, drinks, fashion and technology. The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate a successful track record and have over three years cross-platform media sales experience, with knowledge of one or more of our key target sectors. Based in our central London offices we offer competitive salaries and packages to attract the best. Please contact jp@clashmagazine.com

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SNAP OF THE DAY: LORD AUCH/TELEVISED CRIMEWAVE
It's something of a revolution in the SNAP column today with two acts sharing the reverential spotlight, Lord Auch and Televised Crimewave. This is not just an economical form of promotion, though, as there's a link between the two in that they both include former members of Leeds indie band Black Wire - formerly signed to 48 Crash Records - who split up after just one album last year. Thankfully, both new projects sound like they're heading in the right direction with Lord Auch already signed to indie Young And Lost Club and furrowing tunes on the Birthday Party side of indiedom. Televised Crimewave remain unsigned, meanwhile, though by means of comparison I'd like to think that if they had existed 15 years ago they would have released their first single as a vinyl only double A-side with a song from that 90s Richard Hell, Robert Quine and Thurston Moore etc collaboration, Dim Stars, on the other side. I think they'd like that. Take a good listen at the links below and decide for yourself.

http://www.myspace.com/lordauchuk
http://www.myspace.com/televisedcrimewave

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SELECT COMMITTEE CALL FOR VOLUNTARY CODE ON SECONDARY TICKETING
As expected, a government report into the secondary ticketing market has said the current situation is wrong, wrong, wrong, but has done little to address the situation other than issue a strongly worded message to the ticket touting sector.

As much previously reported, the report from the Culture, Media And Sport Select Committee is the latest investigation into the growth of ticketing touting in the online age, and in particular the resale of tickets via internet auctions website like eBay or those specifically set up for ticket auctions like Viagogo.

The report says that the auction websites, who take a cut when people resell tickets for profit, are currently exploiting music fans, who miss out on tickets from official sources and are then forced to pay hiked up prices on auction sites. The MPs said the resale sector should "clean up their act" with a voluntary code of conduct that properly addressed their concerns. Without naming names, they added that "some secondary sellers indulged in dubious or suspect practices". They also criticised live music promoters for having shoddy returns services which forced legit fans who suddenly couldn't make a gig to resell their tickets via auction sites.

The political types again shied away from introducing new rules like those that exist in the football industry which ban the resale of tickets. Committee chairman John Whittingdale said it was "neither practical nor in the interests of consumers" to ban ticket resales calling instead for a "voluntary solution".

Of course, such a voluntary solution has been called for by ministers and industry types for a while, and even the threat of new laws on the matter if self-regulation can't be achieved isn't new, but the report did have some specific suggestions of what a voluntary code should include - cross-industry agreement on when refunds should be available from legit sources, across-the-board commitment that tickets for free or charity events, like last year's Concert For Diana, should not be resold, and that the live and artist communities should themselves benefit some way from any ticket resales.

A system to achieve the latter point has, as previously reported, already been proposed by the artist management community in the form of a Resale Rights Society, where ticket auction sites are awarded legitimacy from the live sector in return for pledging to pass a portion of their profits back to artists and promoters.

But those proposals have had a lukewarm reception from both the auction sites and the live music promoters. The former generally agree some kind of self-regulation is best (well they would, wouldn't they) though they don't seem to think the RSS proposals are the right kind. Some of the latter also advocate some kind of self-regulation, though some promoters are of the opinion a change in the law that just banned touting altogether would be the better solution all round.

So to conclude, government report or no government report, don't expect any resolution in the secondary ticketing debate anytime soon.

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APPLE PLEDGE UK ITUNES PRICING TO FALL IN LINE WITH REST OF EU
Apple has announced it will bring UK pricing on iTunes inline with the rest of Europe within the next six months, which should mean the cost-per-track falls to 74p (or 74.2p by this morning's exchange rate).

The announcement follows that previously reported European Commission investigation into allegations that the iTunes Music Store breached EU rules by charging different prices in the UK than the rest of Europe, while at the same time preventing British music fans from buying music via iTunes services based in other EU countries.

The issue arises because of a slight inconsistency between copyright laws and EU competition regulations that has only really become an issue in the internet age. The former tend to operate on a national level, and allow content owners to limit licensing deals to certain territories, forcing digital music sellers to restrict access to their download stores to internet users in specific countries. But EU competition regulations aim to allow customers in Europe to shop around the Union in order to find a best price. Of course shopping around is much easier with online digital content purchases, because you don't need to physically travel to a retailer, or pay excessive delivery costs for having something shipped from the other side of the continent.

But it is the price inconsistency that really makes this whole thing an issue. Apple's UK licensing deals work out more expensive than those elsewhere in Europe. Under EU rules Apple should allow me, a British music fan, to access iTunes France in order to secure the best price for mainstream downloads. But if they did so, they would breach their licence agreements with the record companies, which restrict the sale of tracks on iTunes France to people accessing the service via a French internet connection.

It was Which? magazine who asked the European Commission to investigate the whole thing, and Apple and the major record companies were subsequently called in for questioning. The former, as usual, blamed the record companies, though to be fair to the IT firm, it is the record labels' licensing restrictions that prevent UK customers from accessing other European iTunes stores, and it is arguably the UK labels' wholesale pricing that forces the 79 pence price point.

Apple's announcement - that they will adjust UK prices so that they match prices elsewhere in Europe - will seemingly bring to an end the EU's investigation on the matter, and EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes is claiming the pledge followed talks between him and Apple boss Steve Jobs.

Though if you look at Apple's statement, the pledge is seemingly more of an ultimatum to the UK labels than a promise to customers. The key sentence in the firm's statement is probably this one: "Apple will reconsider its continuing relationship in the UK with any record label that does not lower its wholesale prices in the UK to the pan-European level within six months". Arguably the statement is a way of forcing the UK divisions of the major record companies to comply with Continental European pricing in the next few months, or risk being publicly identified as the bad guys (again) who are preventing British customers from exercising their rights as EU citizens to get the best possible price for their downloads.

Of course the move by Apple will fix the pricing inconsistency, but not actually overcome the real issue, of whether or not British customers can buy their music from the French iTunes. But that would require some harmonisation between copyright and competition laws, which not even Steve Jobs will achieve through a clever press release.

Though if we're going to push for harmonisation, we'd probably be better off trying to lobby for a free market between us and the USA, where, given the current exchange rate, iTunes downloads are fifty pence each.

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AMAZON EXPECTED TO CONFIRM PEPSI MP3 PROMOTION
Amazon and Pepsi are expected to announce their previously reported MP3 download promotion imminently. This promotion will see Pepsi give away MP3 tracks to US customers in return for the tops off promotional bottles. The promotion is expected to launch during the Superbowl next month and run for much of the year, and will double up as the official launch of Amazon's DRM-free download platform, which soft-launched last year. According to Billboard, EMI, Warner and SonyBMG will take part in the promotion - the latter entering the DRM-free market proper for the firs time. Universal Music, although selling tracks as MP3 via Amazon already, will not take part.

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KICKIN MUSIC FOUNDER DIES
Peter Harris, founder and MD of Kickin Music and Slip N Slide, died last Sunday after losing a drawn out fight with cancer.

Harris formally launched the Kickin Music venture in 1989, the label quickly becoming a pioneer of all things hardcore and rave. A number of imprints were launched over the following years, and the company also moved into music publishing. Harris himself was an active player in the label community, sitting on the BPI's International Committee and PPL's Distribution Committee.

A statement from Kickin said yesterday: "Our dear friend, Peter Harris, founder and MD of Kickin Music Limited, sadly passed away on Sunday January 6th 2008 at 4 O'clock, after his long struggle with cancer. We hope that everyone that had the pleasure of knowing him will be with us when we pass on our sincere condolences to his family and friends. He will be greatly missed. R.I.P Peter".

In good spirits despite his cancer, one of Harris' instructions prior to his death was that his funeral take place at the weekend so friends driving across London to the service could avoid paying the congestion charge! With that in mind the funeral will take place on 19 Jan at All Saints church in Notting Hill. The label's statement added: "All friends of Peter are welcome to attend and we are in the process of organising a bereavement gathering at a suitable venue in his beloved Ladbroke Grove, to follow the funeral service, when details will be given out".

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CHOICE SHORTLIST OUT
The shortlist for the Choice Music Prize, the Irish equivalent of the Mercury Music Prize, was announced last night, and is given below. Picked by a panel of twelve music media types, an overall 'Irish album of the year' will be picked from this lot at an event in Dublin on 27 Feb.

Adrian Crowley - Long Distance Swimmer (Tin Angel)
Cathy Davey - Tales Of Silversleeve (EMI)
Delorentos - In Love With Detail (Cottage)
Dry County - Unexpected Falls (Lazybird)
The Flaws - Achieving Vagueness (Arrivals)
David Geraghty - Kill Your Darlings (Decal)
Kila - Gambler's Ballet (Kila Records)
Roisin Murphy - Overpowered (EMI)
Stanley Super 800 - Louder & Clearer (Sofa)
Super Extra Bonus Party - Super Extra Bonus Party (Alphabet Set)

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SHORTLIST LONG LIST OUT
Taking of foreign versions of the Mercury Music Prize, The Shortlist Music Prize, the American equivalent, recently announced its long list for 2008. As much previously reported, these guys publish a 'long list' of favourite albums before announcing the 'shortlist' in the award's name, and then an overall winner. Any album that sold less than 500,000 in the US is eligible, and the long list boasts 54 such albums. And here they are...

A Fine Frenzy - One Cell In The Sea
Against Me - New Wave
Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Bad Religion - New Maps Of Hell
Biffy Clyro - Puzzle
Bjork - Volta
Blonde Redhead - 23
Brakesbrakesbrakes - The Beatific Visions
Burial - Untrue
Calvin Harris - I Created Disco
Dead Heart Bloom - Chelsea Diaries
Digitalism - Idealism Stolen From Aversion
Dollyrots - Because I'm Awesome
Eddie Vedder - Into The Wild Soundtrack
Feist - The Reminder
Fionn Regan - The End Of History
Future Of The Left - Curses
Gogol Bordello - Super Taranta
Grinderman - Grinderman
Gui Boratto - Chromaphobia
Iron And Wine - The Shepherd's Dog
Jesca Hoop - Kismet
Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests Of Josh Ritter
Juliette And The Licks - Four On The Floor
Justice - Cross
Keren Ann - Keren Ann
Kings Of Leon - Because Of The Times
Klaxons - Myths Of The Near Future
LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver
Le Loup - The Throne Of The Third Heaven
Les Savy Fav - Let's Stay Friends
MIA - Kalastolen From Aversion
Maps - We Can Create
o'Death - Head Home
Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?
Parts And Labor - Mapmaker
Peter Bjorn And John - Writers Block
PJ Harvey - White Chalk
Puscifer - V Is For Vagina
Robert Francis - One By One
Robert Pollard - Standard Gargoyle Decisions
Scout Niblett - This Fool Can Die Now
Serj Tankian - Elect The Dead
Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Stars - In Our Bedroom After The War
Swizz Beatz - One Man Band Man
The Bird And The Bee - The Bird And The Bee
The Hives - Black And White Album
The Thrills - Teenager
Underworld - Oblivion With Bells
Wheat - Everyday I Said A Prayer
Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
Working For A Nuclear Free City - Businessmen And Ghosts

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$80 MILLION LAWSUIT LAUNCHED OVER REMY MA SHOOTING
Into the pop courts, and rapper Remy Ma is facing an $80 million lawsuit in relation to those previously reported allegations she shot a woman in a row over money. The rapper is already facing criminal proceedings over the allegations, and the civil lawsuit comes the day before a pre-trial hearing for the case.

Ma is accused of shooting Makeda Barnes-Joseph twice in the abdomen back in July. The rapper allegedly believed Barnes-Joseph had stolen two grand off her. In a slight twist, Universal Music and Sure Shot Recordings, both of whom work with the rapper, are named as defendants in the lawsuit, which reportedly claims that they were responsible for cultivating Ma's street image, which, I'm assuming, they are trying to say made the rapper more likely to shoot Barnes-Joseph. Presumably her lawyers are keen to name the labels, especially Universal, because they would be more able to get their hands of $80 million. Still, they're stretching the law to extend liability for the alleged crime to the rapper's commercial partners.

Comment on the suit, Barnes-Joseph's attorney, Lauren P Raysor, told the Voice: "Only by pursuing those who we believe are legally responsible for this vicious and callous act of violence, can we hope to put an end to this senseless cycle of violence that is glorified by hip hop marketing".

But Ma's lawyer dismissed the litigation, which follows on and steps up an earlier lawsuit from the alleged victim, telling a reporters: "It strikes me that this is part of a publicity stunt. The claims she makes are inaccurate. She reaches into every conceivable deep pocket... it's grossly irresponsible."

Ma maintains her innocence in both the criminal and civil cases against her.

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COURT DATE SET FOR THE GAME'S BASKETBALL CHARGES
The Game was in court yesterday to face those charges he assaulted a man and pulled a gun during a game of basketball last February. As previously reported, the charges are all the more serious because the basketball game took place in a 'school zone' where the law treats such actions even more seriously. The rapper maintains his innocence of the charges. The court hearing yesterday was concerned primarily with diary dates - a trial was set for 4 Feb. However, The Game's lawyers also brought up the issue of $44,000 that the authorities confiscated from the rapper when they raided his home last May in investigations linked to the gun pulling allegations. The LAPD have so far refused to return the cash, but The Game's legal people question their justification for that. A hearing has been set for 22 Jan to consider that specific issue.

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BEANIE SIGEL GETS A DAY IN JAIL FOR PROBATION VIOLATIONS
More rappers in court, and Beanie Sigel has been ordered to spend a day in jail and then six months in a halfway house after being found guilty of a second probation violation. Sigel has had various run ins with the law in recent years, of course, though his current probation was due to run out next month. But it has been extended by another 18 months after he travelled to Atlantic City without the required permission, and also for making contact with a convicted felon. In addition he will spend a day behind jail and six months in a halfway house, which will prevent him from promoting recently released album 'The Solution'. The court issued the new restrictions on Sigel despite his recent involvement in campaigns against increasing gun violence in Philadelphia.

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LAVIGNE SETTLES INFRINGEMENT CLAIM
Avril Lavigne's people have reached a settlement with two songwriters who claimed her 2007 hit 'Girlfriend' plagiarized one of their songs. As previously reported, Tommy Dunbar and James Gangwer from seventies US band Rubinoos claimed the hit single borrowed from their 1979 song 'I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend'. Lavigne denied any knowledge of the Rubinoos song, and her manager, Nettwerk's Terry McBride, said he had consulted a musicologist who said there were no similarities between the two hits. But he admitted at the time that he might look to settle with the Rubinoos songwriters rather than enter into a costly legal battle. The details of the settlement between Lavinge and Dunbar/Gangwer are confidential, so it's not known if the former has actually accepted any liability for copyright infringement. I suspect not.

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THE CORAL GUITARIST QUITS
The Coral have announced that their guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones has left the group. A short announcement on the band's website reads thus: "The Coral would like to announce that Bill Ryder-Jones has left the band. The Coral will carry on as a 5-piece and are writing and recording new material and releasing 'Put The Sun Back' on 11th Feb".

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ROBBIE PLANNING QUIET 2008
Robbie Williams has said he has now plans to go on tour anytime soon, observing that his last world tour "nearly killed" him. Writing on his blog, the singer said that 2008, like 2007, should be pretty quite on the Robbie front, with no full new album until 2009. He said that "there will be some kind of something this year", but added: "I might just put the B-sides to the next album out first online. Then put an album out in 2009. Which means you won't be seeing a lot of me on stage for a while. Sorry folks". There had been talk of another swing album being upcoming from the Williams camp, aimed at winning over the more mainstream Robbie fans who were less impressed with last long player 'Rudebox', but the singer's latest comments seem to suggest that is not so.

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WHO DID EAVIS MEAN?
When discussing ticket registration details earlier this week, Glasto boss Michael Eavis revealed he had secured "a black American headliner, who's absolutely terrific" for this year's festival. Although there are plenty of absolutely terrific black Americans who could be that performer, gossipers seem convinced he was alluding to Kanye West. Though some are speculating he might have been talking about Jay-Z or Beyonce. Time will tell I guess.

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BLACK KEYS TRACKLISTING
Bluesy rock types The Black Keys have revealed details of their new album, 'Attack And Release', which is due out in April and which has been produced by that Danger Mouse chap. Here, ladies and gentlemen, is that tracklisting...

All You Ever Wanted
I Got Mine
Strange Times
Psychotic Girl
Lies
Remember When (Side A)
Remember When (Side B)
Same Old Thing
So He Won't Break
Oceans & Streams
Things Ain't Like They Used To Be

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NEW OASIS ALBUM NEAR COMPLETION?
Oasis are reportedly in the US putting the finishing touches to a new studio album. The new long player was reportedly recorded at the Abbey Road studios last month, and is being mixed in LA this week. So there you go.

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JUSTICE TOUR
Hurrah for this, here's a Justice UK tour for you. These precede a massive show at New York's Madison Square Garden on 11 Mar. Here's the dates...

7 Feb: Manchester (NME Awards show)
8 Feb: Middlesbrough empire
9 Feb: Sheffield Plug
13 Feb: Nottingham Rock City
14 Feb: London Astoria (NME Awards show)
15 Feb: Oxford Academy
17 Feb: Bristol Academy

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MERZ TOUR
Former CMU cover star (yes, we used to have a cover) Merz will go on tour later this month to promote new album 'Moi Et Mon Camion', which has a 17 Mar release date in the diary. Here's the live dates...

25 Jan: London Roundhouse Studio
27 Jan: Edinburgh Cabaret Voltaire
28 Jan: Manchester Night & Day
29 Jan: Leeds Brudenell Social Club
30 Jan: Nottingham Bodega (formerly The Social)
1 Feb: Northampton Soundhaus
2 Feb: Bristol Louisiana
3 Feb: Portsmouth Cellars
4 Feb: Exeter Phoenix

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ALBUM REVIEW: Lightspeed Champion - Falling Off The Lavender Bridge (Domino)
Dev Hynes, he formerly of Test Icicles, has created a more mellow sound for his solo project, mostly rejecting the punky guitars in favour of a more folky pop feel. Of course there's a twist; the song titles are caustic ('Devil Tricks For A Bitch' or 'Let The Bitches Die' anyone?) and the lyrics are equally as biting, whether about the breakdown of relationships, being hung-over, or the feelings of an unrequited love, there is darkness in the words, but it's well tempered by humour. Let's face it, to release 'Galaxy Of The Lost' as a single with the wonderfully catchy "My neck will burn as we kiss and I'm sick in your mouth" hook line takes confidence, and 'Midnight Surprise', which, at ten minutes, dominates the middle of the album, is another dark one, telling the epic tale of an obsessional man's fantasy world. You couldn't tell from the music though, varied instrumentation and melodic hooks create a lush sound helped by backing vocals from Emmy The Great as well as members of Cursive and Tilly And The Wall. He's doing an in store performance at Rough Trade East on Monday and I for one will be checking him out. IM
Release date: 21 Jan
Press contact: Domino [all]

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SONY/ATV SECURE FULL CONTROL OF FAMOUS CATALOGUE
Music publisher Sony/ATV has fully completed its acquisition of Famous Music by acquiring the international admin rights to the Famous catalogue off Universal. As previously reported, Sony/ATV acquired Famous off Viacom last year. However, the administration rights to the Famous catalogue outside the US and certain Asian territories were controlled by BMG Music Publishing which had, in turn, been bought by Universal Music Publishing. Sony/ATV have now secured those admin rights, giving them full control of Famous' lucrative catagloue.

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ZAVVI UPBEAT DESPITE DECLINE IN CHRISTMAS MUSIC SALES
The record store you once called Virgin Megastore - Zavvi, obviously - has reported it had a good Christmas with sales up 10.8% on the previous year, though that shouldn't be interpreted as a good start to the year for high street music sales. Gaming and DVDs and all that jazz accounted for the increase, with music sales down 11.6%. The decline in music revenues was put down to a combination of a "weak release schedule" and "price deflation" of chart albums. Despite that decline, the retail chain says it remains optimistic about its music sales, with sales of catalogue CDs up overall in the last quarter of last year, plus online sales on the rise and major releases from Oasis, Madonna, Coldplay, U2 and Razorlight expected to each deliver a boost to high street sales later this year.

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OK! SUE HEAT OVER JAMIE LYNN SPEARS INTERVIEW
The owners of OK! magazine, Northern & Shell, are suing EMAP's Heat over allegations it infringed their copyright on an exclusive interview that they had paid handsomely for with Britney's recently pregnant younger sister Jamie Lynn Spears. The OK! owners, who secured the Spears Junior exclusive via its US title, say Heat quoted extensively from their interview in its own piece on her pregnancy, without crediting the source. The OK! bosses were also pissed off that Heat billed the uncredited article as an "exclusive".

Heat, currently being acquired by German publisher H Bauer through their acquisition of EMAP's consumer titles, are yet to respond to the allegations.

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VIRGIN RADIO LAUNCH PODCAST SERVICE OUTFIT
Virgin Radio has launched a new division that will make podcasts and on demand radio shows for third parties. The new outfit, to be headed by Paul Sylvester, formerly a Content Manager at Global Radio, will make its radio expertise available to brands looking to create their own online audio content.

Explaining the new venture, Virgin Radio's Programming & Marketing Director David Lloyd told reporters: "Just about everyone wants to produce audio. However, some of them are frankly not very good at it. They are as bad at producing audio as we would be if we decided to produce a colour magazine. It is not what we do. We are offering our services as a production house, almost as a contract publisher, to brands who need audio. We will make it for them".

The new division will also take over responsibility for Virgin Radio's own podcast output.

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DOYLE LEAVES CAPITAL
Capital Radio has announced that presenter Craig Doyle will leave his Saturday morning show on the station because of his commitments to his other employer ITV Sport, who he joined at the end of last year. A spokesman for the station said: "Due to Craig's ITV schedule and family commitments he can no longer commit to a regular show. However, Craig will remain with the station working on a series of one-off specials".

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ONO NEEDS TO LOSE SOME FRIENDS
Yoko Ono has a problem - she's just too damn popular. She has reached the 5000 friend limit on Facebook, meaning she can't add any other wannabe friends to her Facebook page unless she first kicks out existing friends. Yoko writes on her Facebook blog: "Facebook currently limits users to 5000 friends, so if you have a pending friend request, please be patient, we're looking into getting this limit increased to accommodate all new friends in our family of peace and love. I love you!" Ono has started using her Facebook profile as a primary way for communicating with fans of her and late husband John Lennon. Given Facebook is keen to launch itself as a competitor to MySpace in the band social network market, presumably they'll be quick to comply with Ono's request for an increased friend capacity.

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