CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 23rd January
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Def Jam sued over Chrisette Michele dealings
- Label comment on Amy's crack fracas
- Cowell says Britney knows what she's doing
- Klaxons promise ridiculous Brit set
- Lil Kim to go independent
- P Diddy Doddy Sean Daddy Combs continues with identity crisis
- Fiddy not working with Jacko, okay
- Skinner talks about new Streets album
- Velvet Revolver album plans
- Weiland promises Stone Temple Pilots reunion
- Tapes n Tapes album stuff
- Bloc Party guitarist's side project prepares release
- Benn promises less corporate Reading and Leeds
- Coachella confirmations
- Strummer charity offers slot at Glasto
- Glasto registration period extended
- Exit dates confirmed
- Enchanted dominates original song Oscar shortlist
- Writers won't picket Grammys
- Single Review: Goldfrapp - A&E
- Trade bodies to consider format shifting
- EMI Publishing appointments
- MAMA announce new deal with Ticketmaster
- Apple post record finanicals - though iPod growth levels
- Orange France launch new online music service
- BBC3 launch new identity
- RAB's new research tool goes live
- Arctic Monkeys may boycott Brits
- Pigeon Detectives diss Brits
- Ringo pulls out of US TV show over slot dispute
- Kylie makes beds

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TOP BIT RECOMMEND
If we knew anything about our breaks we'd know that a new Slyde album is something to get excited about. And we do know some something about our breaks, so we do know it's something to get excited about.

Which is why we're recommending this great night from the nuskoolbreaks.co.uk posse which is doubling up as a very upfront launch party for new Slyde album 'Everyone's Entitled To Our Opinion'. It's very upfront because the Finger Lickin release isn't actually out until March.

Slyde lead the bill, obviously, but there's plenty of other things to get breaksy types excited too - including two Breakspoll award winners - Far Too Loud and NAPT. Plus you also get Lazer, Richie Balboa, Dr Fish, Western Allstars, That Girl DJ and B Proof. Which is making this all kinds of exciting.

It all takes place at Herbal just down the road from CMU HQ on Friday night, 25 Jan, from 9pm to 3am. Tickets are a fiver in advance, a tenner on the door, students eight quid. Tickets in advance from Ticketweb, more of that info stuff from this URL:

http://www.nuskoolbreaks.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=88809

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JOBS N STUFF

SPRING PR - SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
An excellent opportunity is now available for a Senior Account Executive with a colourful boutique PR agency in London who specialise in music, art and youth lifestyle. The successful candidate will be dynamic, enthusiastic, creative and dedicated with great organisational skills. They will be able to work to deadlines, be passionate about music, have excellent communication skills and at least 2 years PR experience preferably within music media. This vacancy will be as part of our account team looking after high profile clients in music, festivals and lifestyle brands. The successful candidate would be responsible for reporting to clients, liaising with media, attending gigs/festivals, admin support and assisting with both strategy development and implementation. The position would also involve some international and national travel so a valid passport would also be required. Please email your CV with a covering letter to Liana@spring-pr.com no later than Wednesday 13th February.

PART-TIME MUSIC VACANCY
We are looking for a dynamic, self motivated individual with previous sales experience to generate advertising sales on our music website www.3barfire.com. Relevant experience is essential and you will need to have a proven track record. You must also have an excellent and confident telephone manner. This is an ideal job for that sparkly individual who loves new media and / or music. A large part of the role is developing relationships with brand managers and media buyers to develop advertising business. The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate a successful track record with knowledge of our key target sectors. This is a part time vacancy. Salary dependent on experience with generous commission. Think you fit the bill? Then email advertising@3barfire.com and tell us why we should take you on!

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Or email ben@maisonjardinmer.com

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SNAP OF THE DAY: THE HOT 8 BRASS BAND
If you've been listening to some of the more adventurous BBC radio shows over the past few weeks, it's fairly likely that you will have come across The Hot 8 Brass Band already, them being the musicians behind the incredible funk-tastic version of 'Sexual Healing' that's doing the rounds. Signed to the ever-reliable, Brighton-based Tru Thoughts label (home of Quantic etc), they've also got a host of original tunes available on their MySpace, with 'Rock It With The Hot 8' a celebratory carnival-esque party tune that takes The Roots' jazzy hip hop edge and layers (predictably) plenty of brass on top. Heading out on a UK tour soon, catch them at one of 6 dates at various cities throughout the UK for something that little bit different.

http://www.myspace.com/hot8brassband

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DEF JAM SUED OVER CHRISETTE MICHELE DEALINGS
Universal's Island Def Jam is facing a $20 million lawsuit over allegations they were involved in attempts to get Grammy nominated R&B singer Chrisette Michele out of contractual obligations she had entered into with New York based Four Kings Productions.

The owner of Four Kings, Douglas 'Biggs' Ellison, says his company played an integral part in launching Michele's career, securing her recording contract with Def Jam and producing tracks for her debut album 'I Am'. But, Ellison alleges, as Michele started to taste success her family decided to take over the management of her affairs, and, with the support of Def Jam A&R Shalik Berry, tried to cut Four Kings out of the picture. That, Ellison argues, breaches exclusive contracts Michele entered into with his company.

The new lawsuit is part of an ongoing dispute between Ellison and Michele and her family. She sued him last July claiming he embezzled money generated from the Def Jam contract and harassed her. She later withdrew those allegations, but not before he had countersued for breach of contract.

The new lawsuit targets Berry and the Universal record label, and Michele's parents Lynette and Lemuel Payne. According to AllHipHop.com, the lawsuit alleges: "As soon as the artist's mother saw that Chrisette was receiving money, all a direct result of the efforts of the production company under its contracts with the artist, Lynette Payne quit her job as a teacher and, in wilful disregard of the artist's contractual obligations to Four Kings, usurped management functions regarding her daughter's newly found success, in an effort to keep the money in the family".

The lawsuit also claims a meeting took place at Def Jam's New York offices involving Ellison, Berry and the Paynes where the defendants attempted to persuade the Four Kings man to release Michele from her contracts with him. Subsequent business decisions by Berry and the Paynes, the suit adds, prevented Four Kings from receiving income from the sales of Michele's debut album 'I Am'.

Def Jam and Michele are yet to comment.

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LABEL COMMENT ON AMY'S CRACK FRACAS
Amy Winehouse's label, Universal/Island, have commented on that previously reported Amy-smoking-crack video that was exposed in yesterday's Sun. They told the BBC: "We are deeply disappointed and upset by these latest revelations and are doing everything we can to offer Amy our full support in dealing with her problems".

Meanwhile, fans of the singer have been on her website begging her to sort things out. One said: "Amy, please get some help before it's too late. You are an amazing talent that is going to burn out way too fast".

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COWELL SAYS BRITNEY KNOWS WHAT SHE'S DOING
Or thinks she does. Idol-master Simon Cowell has aired his opinion that Britney Spears, far from being the unwilling lamb to the paparazzi slaughter, is deliberately flirting with the media for maximum publicity.

Cowell has previously spoken out in support of the seemingly beleaguered pop star, but now he tells PageSix.com: "Everyone thinks it's breakdown this and breakdown that. From the kind of stunts she's pulling now, I think she is the puppet master and completely in control".

He continued: "I really felt for her at one point, I thought she was heading for a meltdown and everything was out of control, but, especially over the past week, I thought she was honestly in control and, more to the point, wants to be in control. If you don't want to get any press attention, just keep your head down, don't drive yourself anywhere and sit in the back of blacked-out limousine. But if she thinks she knows what she is doing, then good luck to her".

So that's her told.

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KLAXONS PROMISE RIDICULOUS BRIT SET
Klaxons say they're planning a big surprise for their set at the upcoming Brit Awards. Nominated for two awards, the band will appear alongside other confirmed acts such as Kaiser Chiefs and Mark Ronson at the Brits bash, which, as previously reported, takes place at Earl's Court on 20 Feb. Here's what Klaxon Jamie Reynolds has to say about his band's plans for the evening: "We're doing something absolutely massive, something ridiculous. It's a large collaboration, something really big. It's the most surreal collaboration. The plan is in place".

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LIL KIM TO GO INDEPENDENT
Lil Kim, currently out of recording contract, has said she isn't planning on re-signing to Warner's Atlantic Records, preferring instead to self-release future releases. Speaking to DJ Kay Slay on his Sirius radio show, Kim said she hadn't fallen out with Atlantic, but that she thought now was the right time in her career to go independent, something she'd not have felt confident doing until recently. Some are speculating Kim will form a relationship with Imperial Records, the urban bit of EMI's Caroline Distribution which aims to provide distribution, marketing and digital support to independent releases by R&B or hip hop artists - though Kim's people have not commented on that as yet. The rapper already has a new album in the bag, which is now expected to be released in April or May this year.

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P DIDDY DODDY SEAN DADDY COMBS CONTINUES WITH IDENTITY CRISIS
Puff Daddy P Diddy Sean Diddy Combs has apparently said that from now on he'll be known as Sean John and is, for the moment, dropping that whole P Daddy Puff Diddy concept. Perhaps he thinks his aftershave is more famous than him now.

Oh no, that's not it. He has something to say on the matter: "I have always evolved and taken a different name each time," he explains. "Right now I want to be Sean John because that's where I am right now".

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FIDDY NOT WORKING WITH JACKO, OKAY
50 Cent says that reports that he has been helping out with Michael Jackson's new album are all bunkum. He says: "It's not true. Anyway, what can you possible teach Michael Jackson about music? Nothing".

Non-involvement is probably the best policy here. Look what happened to Wyclef.

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SKINNER TALKS ABOUT NEW STREETS ALBUM
Mike Skinner has spoken to NME.com about the new The Streets album, which is expected to be released in April. As previously reported, Skinner scrapped his entire fourth album last year, starting again from scratch, and now explains what a hard time he's had getting to this point.

"I just read an interview with Radiohead and they were saying you always forget how hard albums are", he says, "I think that's true. It's been two years in the making really and keeping up...knowing that the light at the end of the tunnel is really far away, the task is a very hard task, but I think you always forget how hard the albums before were as well".

On the scrapped material, he continued: "It was quite well written and the rhyming was really good from a rap point of view but you were just left kind of empty so there wasn't much to really stimulate people. So I got rid of about 80 percent of the songs on the album and then started again. I felt pretty disastrous really. It was a year's work up till that point, it wasn't a very happy place".

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VELVET REVOLVER ALBUM PLANS
According to Billboard, Velvet Revolver are planning to go into the studio in April to start work on their third album. Slash is really jazzed about doing it. Don't believe me? Read this: "I'm really jazzed about doing it," he says. "I've been working on new ideas, and we've had a couple times where the guys all got together and worked on some stuff. I'm itching to see what this third record's gonna be, cause I think it's gonna be fuckin' awesome".

He also revealed that he's planning a solo album once all that's done, saying: "It's really in the back of my mind, but I haven't gotten the wheels in motion to get it produced. It'll be coming. Probably the next thing I do after the next Velvet Revolver record".

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WEILAND PROMISES STONE TEMPLE PILOTS REUNION
In related news, Velvet Revolver frontman Scott Weiland has told fans of his previous band, Stone Temple Pilots, to prepare themselves for a reunion later this year, which presumably means he's planning on being rather busy. Speaking at a solo gig in Florida last weekend he reportedly said a reunion of some kind could happen in the next few months. STP split in 2003.

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TAPES N TAPES ALBUM STUFF
US indie rockers Tapes n Tapes have announced details of their second album, which is called 'Walk It Off' and is set to be released via XL on 7 Apr. Frontman Josh Grier told Pitchfork that 'Hang The All' is expected to be the first single release. Here's the full tracklisting for your delectation.

La Ruse
Time of Songs
Hang Them All
Headshock
Conquest
Say Back Something
Demon Apple
Blunt
George Michael
Anvil
Lines
The Dirty Dirty

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BLOC PARTY GUITARIST'S SIDE PROJECT PREPARES RELEASE
The side project of Bloc Party guitarist Russell Lissack - Pin Me Down - will have their first proper release this Spring - March I think. The track to be released is 'Cryptic', which will firstly appear on an upcoming Kitsune Maison compilation, and then on a remix 12".

Meanwhile, Lissack and his Pin Me Down partner Milena Mepris are reportedly busy writing new material. Merpis wrote on the band's blog: "We're also hard at work rehearsing. I just bought a Microkorg keyboard, which I've wanted for a long time, and it has been amusing me with weird sounds. Also Russell and I are writing some new UK garage-tinged jams".

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BENN PROMISES LESS CORPORATE READING AND LEEDS
Melvin Benn has been talking to 6Music about this year's plans for less corporate Reading and Leeds Festivals and has also confirmed that three American acts are to headline, but has not confirmed who they are. As previously reported, the festivals will no longer be sponsored by Carling, and it seems that no replacement sponsor is being sought.

Benn says: "I wanted it to be - as I'm sure fans wanted it to be - slightly less corporate. I wanted to reclaim the name Reading Festival and the name Leeds Festival. I wanted them to return to their roots, so to speak. I didn't want the events to be called after a sponsor. I'm not asking another sponsor to come in. Interesting this year is that - probably for the first time, in my memory - we're actually going with three American headliners".

He added that he wants the two events to be more environmentally friendly, and cited the green successes of Reading and Leeds, but also his Latitude Festival. "Latitude, for instance, won the first ever award for the most green festival. All of the bars at Latitude were made from reclaimed wood. Deposit-led beer glasses was another way that we did it. At Reading and Leeds we put a 10p deposit on all the paper cups that we sold all the pints in. We had a 96% return rate on those paper cups".

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COACHELLA CONFIRMATIONS
Rumours from a couple of days ago that The Verve would be playing at this year's Coachella festival have been confirmed; also lining up to appear at the US fest in April are Kraftwerk, Roger Waters, Portishead, Rilo Kiley and Hot Chip.

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STRUMMER CHARITY OFFERS SLOT AT GLASTO
Jo Strummer charity Strummerville are teaming up with the KG Unsigned Heroes contest to offer bands a shot at winning a slot on the Strummerville Stage at this year's Glastonbury Festival. Unsigned groups over the age of 18 and consisting of three or more members can enter via http://www.unsignedheroes.co.uk. The winning group will also get one of their tracks remixed by UNKLE's Aidan Lavelle.

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GLASTO REGISTRATION PERIOD EXTENDED
Talking of Glastonbury, organisers of the festival have already extended the period for registering for tickets, before registration has even opened. As previously reported, in a continued bid to beat the touts, festival-goers hoping to buy tickets for Glasto this year will once again have to pre-register before tickets actually go on sale. People will be able to register online or by filling out forms available from outdoor stores Millets. Originally registration had to be done between 1 and 29 Feb, but now wannabe Glasto-goers will have until 14 Mar to register their interests

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EXIT DATES CONFIRMED
More festival news, and organisers of Serbian music fest Exit have announced that this year's event will take place from 10-13 Jul. Having won the Best European Festival prize at last year's UK Festival Awards, organisers are hoping to build on the 10,000 odd UK music fans who went to Novi Sad for the fest last year. Tickets are on sale now for £72.

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ENCHANTED DOMINATES ORIGINAL SONG OSCAR SHORTLIST
Disney film 'Enchanted' dominates the Original Song category at this year's Oscars, nominations for which were announced yesterday. No less than three songs from the Alan Menken/Stephen Schwartz soundtrack are on the short list - 'Happy Working Song', 'So Close' and 'That's How You Know'. The other nominees in the song category are 'Raise It Up' from 'August Rush' and 'Falling Slowly' from 'Once'.

In the Best Original Score category the nominees are Dario Marianelli for 'Atonement, Alberto Iglesias for 'The Kite Runner', James Newton Howard for 'Michael Clayton', Michael Giacchino for 'Ratatouille' and Marco Beltrami for '3:10 To Yuma'.

As with the Golden Globes, there were other nominations with a musical theme, with Johnny Depp getting a Best Actor nomination for his title role in the movie version of musical 'Sweeney Todd', Cate Blanchett getting a Best Supporting Actress nod for her portrayal of Bob Dylan in 'I'm Not There' and Marion Cotlillard being shortlisted for Best Actress for her portrayal of French singer Edith Piaf in 'La Vie en Rose'.

Speculation remains rife regarding whether the Oscars will be able to go ahead as planned on 24 Feb, or whether the ongoing writers' strike will cause it to be cancelled, like the Golden Globes. Organisers remain adamant Hollywood's big night will go ahead, but not everyone in the film industry is so sure.

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WRITERS WON'T PICKET GRAMMYS
Talking of awards and the writers' strike, the Writers' Guild Of America has said they won't picket next month's Grammy Awards, meaning the US record industry's big night out should now go ahead as planned. A previously reported, it was originally assumed the Grammys would escape picketing, but more recently concerns had grown that the writers might protest outside the awards show, which might in turn make more left leaning musicians prone to skip the event. But the WGA announcement means none of that will happen.

However, moves by Grammy producers the US Recording Academy to have a formal agreement with the WGA that would allow the two writers they employ to work on the show are still in the air. Without that agreement Guild members will not be able to work on the awards bash. Perhaps they could just use last year's gags again, I don't think anyone would notice.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Goldfrapp - A&E (EMI/Mute)
Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory have been recording in their own studio, deep in the English countryside, which might explain the floaty and haunting sound on this, the first single from the upcoming Goldfrapp long player 'Seventh Tree'. True to their promise that this album would be a bit different to its predecessors, 'A&E' begins with the strumming of an acoustic guitar, then slight electronic tones, and then heavenly vocals softly delivered by Alison. Unknowing at the start, you're led to believe 'A&E' is going to be a beautifully articulate love song but no, once again Goldfrapp's almost surrealist style shines through, and you discover this song is all about heartbreak. The lyrics clash with the sound - the latter being lovingly romantic but the former coming from a painful place, with Alison singing about dealing with heartbreak - and how doing so landed her in the accident and emergency department of the title. Ms Goldfrapp has said the entire new album comes from painful personal experiences, but her voice, flowing from a gentle depth to an high pitched yet calmly delivered chorus, draws you in despite the theme. It won't drag you onto the dance floor this time, but should have you humming the infectious chorus for the rest of the day. TT
Release date: 11 Feb
Press contact: EMI IH [all]

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TRADE BODIES TO CONSIDER FORMAT SHIFTING
A committee of the trade body of trade bodies, the Music Business Group, will meet today to discuss the always fun topic of format shifting. The topic is up for debate because of the much previously reported Gowers Review of UK copyright law.

The government is considering Gowers' proposals to remove restrictions that mean, in theory, it is illegal for music fans who own CDs to rip tracks on them onto their own computer or copy them onto their own iPod. The consensus is that everyone makes such private copies any way, so calling it illegal just makes a mockery of copyright law, and arguably trivialises other more justifiable copyright restrictions.

No one really advocates keeping format shifting restrictions in place, but some in the music business do propose a levy system to compensate content owners when music fans rip tracks off a CD rather than, say, downloading them from a digital music store like iTunes - the latter route, of course, requiring the customer to pay a new per-track fee.

Such a levy system would parallel levies charged in many other countries on blank cassettes and CDRs. Under that system a tax is added to the sale of any blank cassettes and CDRs which is then passed back to the music community by one route or another. The idea is that blank cassettes and CDRs are, in the main, used for making private copies of copyright material, and that therefore the music community deserves to be compensated. As people increasingly make private copies of tracks to PC or MP3 player rather than cassette or CDR, some countries have actively considered adding a levy to those devices also - a levy often dubbed the iPod tax.

It is whether or not, and how, to introduce such a levy in the UK that will be considered by representatives of the Music Publishers Association, the BPI, the Association Of Independent Music and the always mysterious British Music Rights later today.

Some feel that now - as the government considers legalising format shifting in the UK - is the time to introduce such a levy system. But not everyone is of that opinion. Some feel the music industry should accept the removal of the private copy anomaly from UK copyright law without pushing for compensation through levy, fearing any lobbying for such a levy will be spun as the greedy music industry trying to screw more money out of consumers.

Given that many people have already bought their music three times over (once on vinyl, once on cassette, once on CD) it is easy to see why they may be pissed off at being told they need to pay a levy to make a digital copy of that music. Moreover, it is especially tricky adding levies to MP3 players when [a] some people will buy a player with the intent of only acquiring digital music through legit download platforms and [b] any iPod tax will be vehemently opposed by the MP3 player makers, putting the music business back into a PR war with the always popular Apple boss Steve Jobs. Putting the levy on the CD albums themselves (based on the assumption tracks on them will be ripped to PC) will also be unpopular, given the increasingly competitive nature of the CD market, and the fact that move will put the music business up against the supermarkets.

All that said, such levy systems are expected to be seriously discussed at the MBG meeting later today. Whether an industry wide consensus on the issue will be reached remains to be seen - insiders say the publishing community and some indie labels are pushing for such a levy while other labels, and especially the majors, are less keen.

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EMI PUBLISHING APPOINTMENTS
Senior appointments at EMI Music Publishing yesterday, though, as previously reported, new EMI chief Guy Hands isn't planning anything like the radical revamp happening in recorded music in publishing, so these are internal promotions rather than controversial appointments from outside the music biz. That said, both men originally came from a investment background, so already probably talk Hands' language.

First up Leo Corbett, who has been coordinating the publisher's global strategy and technology programmes in the last year, will become COO, while Thomas Kelly, CFO for EMI Publishing USA, will become CFO for the whole company.

EMI Music Publishing chief Roger Faxon told reporters: "Leo has played an instrumental role in the development of EMI Music Publishing over the last two and a half years, as we build a world class sales and marketing organization to ensure that we are able to respond to the dynamics of the developing music marketplace. Leo's analytical awareness and deep understanding of process transformation will be key as we continue to grow our business. [Thomas'] financial stewardship and ability to work effectively with both creative and sales teams will allow him to help us further improve our financial performance and discipline, and give us a solid platform for our ongoing development".

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MAMA ANNOUNCE NEW DEAL WITH TICKETMASTER
The ever growing MAMA Group yesterday announced it had selected Ticketmaster as its official authorised ticketing provider. The deal means Ticketmaster's AccessManager entry control system will be installed at many of MAMA's venues including the Hammersmith Apollo, Forum and the Barfly venues.

Chris Edmonds, Ticketmaster UK MD, told CMU: "MAMA Group is a rapidly emerging major player within the UK live music market and I am delighted that they have appointed Ticketmaster as their official authorised ticketing partner. Through our commitment to offer our clients innovative solutions, I am confident that we will make a real difference to their ongoing business development".

MAMA bosses Adam Driscoll and Dean James added: "We are delighted to be able to continue offering Ticketmaster's services to customers using our live music venues. Our live venue business has grown substantially this year and as an operator of 18 music venues around the UK we now play host to over 2 million customers a year. Our aim is to offer a wide choice of ticketing options to customers and as delivery mechanisms continue to evolve our deal with Ticketmaster secures an important component of that approach".

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APPLE POST RECORD FINANICALS - THOUGH IPOD GROWTH LEVELS
More good news for Apple who have just posted record financial results for the most recent quarter, though iPod sales are starting to level out and good sales of Mac computers were really behind the boost. Despite the good financials the computer firm's share price took a tumble, though given all the chaos in the investment community this week that's not really much of a surprise. Lower than expected revenue projects for the current quarter from Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer and the slow down of growth in the iPod market were both cited by Wall Street types as reasons to be cautious.

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ORANGE FRANCE LAUNCH NEW ONLINE MUSIC SERVICE
Orange France have announced the launch of a new customisable online radio service for their broadband customers. The new service is called Musiline and is a JV between Orange and media group Lagardère. Like, say, Yahoo's Launchcast, users can customise what stream they receive by telling it their favourite genres, artists and tracks. The services, which will be available for free to Orange's 7 million French broadband customers, will also link to a download service where users can download featured tracks for 99 euro cents per track. Orange is thought to be considering integrating the new service with its mobile music offer in France. It's not thought there are any immediate plans to expand the service into other territories.

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BBC3 LAUNCH NEW IDENTITY
BBC3 has launched a new identity, even though the blobs used by the youth channel since its transformation from BBC Choice five years ago are, in my humble opinion, the only thing that has been consistently good on it. But the channel's current bosses say that viewers find the blobs "cold and shouty" and would rather have a new bright pink logo and corresponding idents, a bargain at £380,000. Still, five years without an identity revamp is quite unusual in TV channel land. There will be six new blob idents airing in the coming weeks which will see the plasticine characters singing goodbye. Then the pink stuff will arrive. The revamp was announced as the station revealed its Spring schedules.

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RAB'S NEW RESEARCH TOOL GOES LIVE
Time for some quantative research anyone? The Radio Advertising Bureau's new research programme RadioGauge goes live this week, with over 50 advertisers signed up to use the service in the next nine months to measure the effectiveness of participating brands' radio advertising.

Thomas Balaam, Account Director at media agency Mindshare, which represents Ford and Specsavers among others, told reporters: "RadioGauge is a great tool to allow us to understand the specific effects that radio advertising achieves for our clients and we're delighted that both Ford and Specsavers are taking part in the first wave".

Said Simon Redican, MD of the RAB: "When radio is used as part of a wider media plan, advertisers get more effect for the same investment. With RadioGauge we're putting our money where our mouth is and offering advertisers quantifiable research - advertisers will be able to see for themselves how radio is working for them and use the results to build their brand awareness further".

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ARCTIC MONKEYS MAY BOYCOTT BRITS
The Arctic Monkeys reportedly can't decide whether or not to attend this year's Brit Awards, despite their three nominations. The unsure-ness is allegedly because the band fear Take That are going to storm the event, and they have had something of a feud with Gary Barlow et al since the 2006 Q Awards, when they declared the reformed boy band as a "load of bollocks". But a source has told the Mirror that they hope an invite to an after show party that may or may not be held by Outstanding Contribution winner Paul McCartney might persuade the Monkeys to attend. I not sure I buy any of this. It sounds a bit like one of those stories that is, erm, a "load of bollocks".

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PIGEON DETECTIVES DISS BRITS
More Brits, and those Pigeon Detectives have been dissing the awards saying this years bash is shunning guitar music. The band's Matt Bowman told the Daily Star: "I think they're a load of rubbish. I'm really glad Arctic Monkeys and Kaiser Chiefs are up for an award this year, but guitar music seems to be out of favour again with the organisers".

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RINGO PULLS OUT OF US TV SHOW OVER SLOT DISPUTE
Ringo Starr pulled out of US talk show 'Live With Regis And Kelly' at the last minute this week after producers told him he'd have to cut short his song. The former Beatle was due to perform 'Liverpool 8' off his new album on the show, but refused to go on when the show's producer said the performance couldn't be any longer that 2 minutes and 30 second - Ringo said he needed at least 3 minutes to perform the track. Starr's publicist tried to persuade the show's producers to cut the interview time with Ringo instead, but they refused, so the whole appearance was pulled. Dave Stewart, producer of Starr's new album, who was due to perform with the Beatle, criticised the show for being disrespectful to artists, though Ringo himself seemed willing to let the dispute quickly pass, saying he'd go back on the show in the future if they could agree on his performance time.

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KYLIE MAKES BEDS
Or, to be strictly accurate, makes bedding. Not that she's sat down at a sewing machine and made them herself of course. But she is, apparently, launching a range of bedlinen in March, having confirmed as much in a recent radio interview. Just shows you. I don't know what, something about celebrities becoming too commercial and branded and stuff.

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