CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 7th February
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Britney released from hospital
- Danish courts order ISP to block Pirate Bay
- No Led Zepp for Bonnaroo
- Spice Girls issue video comments on tour decision
- Aretha parts company with Arista
- Who will make it to the Grammys?
- Feist gets five nods in Juno nominations
- 50 Cent clothing line not closing down we think
- Missy Elliot asks fans to name album
- Beastie Boy forms film company
- Flav to star in new US sitcom
- Meet Me In St Louis split
- White Stripes to release Spanish single
- Lordi star in new movie
- Chavs may record something
- Modest Mouse working on new stuff
- Cut Off Your Hands single
- Latest acts for Summer Sound System
- Big Strides at Scala tonight
- Bee Gee re-signs to Warner publishing
- Album review: Various - Kitsune Maison compilation 5
- Some confusion over Chrysalis bidding
- New GM for Universal Publishing classical division
- Apple announce increase in iPhone capacity
- Universal considering involvement in Google's legit Chinese music search engine
- Single review: Yila feat. Scroobius Pip - Astronaut
- J-Lo's having twins
- Fiddy didn't make Paris cry, okay
- Ireland may send turkey to Eurovision
- Birdsong recording wins fans

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TOP BIT
A Top Bit courtesy of the CMU city desk today - you may laugh, but we do have desks in EC2 in this office you know, we're a real fast moving news operation.

The Warner Music Group released its latest financials yesterday, and revealed losses of $16 million. Ironically in a sector where the traditional record companies are looking to branch into live music as a way of overcoming declining record sales, Warner's misfortune came from an unsuccessful investment in live music.

The major's recordings divisions actually did OK, especially in the US where revenues were up 10.5% despite a 14.6% decline in album sales last year. The loss was caused by $18 million haemorrhaged by an unsuccessful attempt to enter the live music space by acquiring US based concert promoters Bulldog Entertainment, an acquisition that went pear shaped almost as soon as the deal was done, and which the major decided to close down before losses got further out of control.

Commenting on the figures, Warner chief Edgar Bronfman Jr told Wall Street types: "The recorded music industry pressures persisted in the quarter. The industry's physical sales declined further and digital growth, particularly mobile, remained on a slower trajectory. Nevertheless, we once again outperformed the marketplace [in recordings] and continued to establish a framework for becoming a business with more diversified revenue streams".

Is Bronfman right to be so upbeat?

Well, most believe, rightly in my opinion, that all the majors need to diversify into other areas of the music business where they don't traditionally operate - in particular touring, merchandising and brand partnerships - even more so now that Live Nation, a live music conglom, is moving into the record companies' traditional territory (and stealing flagship artists like Madonna off majors like Warner).

And for those major record companies who need to reassure city types who are nervous about the ongoing decline in record sales - and that specifically means Warner, as the only major directly trading on a stock exchange - such talk of diversification is a good way to demonstrate there is a future for the dinosaurs of the music industry. But the talk, and even the occasional 360 degree artist deal, is only going to persuade investment types for so long - and disastrous dabblings in diversification isn't going to help.

All that said, I still believe the 'd' word is the right word for the major music companies - I'm just not convinced any of them have really cracked quite how that diversification can be achieved as yet, especially when old school record company types surround the board table. Which means that if I were a city type with financial interests in music (and not just someone with a desk in EC2) I'd be keeping a very close eye on EMI, where Terra Firma's potentially radical new approach remains as interesting as it is risky.

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JOBS N STUFF

JUNIOR PRODUCT MANAGER - BAUER MUSIC (FORMERLY EMAP)
We are looking for an enthusiastic music fan to work in Bauer's music department, overseeing commercial music projects across our extensive portfolio of brands and platforms, which include Kiss, Magic, The Hits, Q, Mojo and Kerrang! As Junior Product Manager, you will be responsible the product cycle of a record release or music project, overseeing a product's creation and delivery, developing marketing campaigns, and will hold responsibility for the project's financial accounting. You will have strong communication and time-management skills, a love of music and an understanding of the broadcasting and publishing environments. You will be able to adapt easily from working with programme directors and magazine editors, to looking after routine administrative tasks, and will be exceptionally organised, with the ability to deliver a project on time and within budget.

Please send a CV and covering letter to: helen.pendlebury@emap.com

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EVENTS N STUFF

FREE CV WORKSHOPS
unicornjobs.com, the new graduate careers website run by the team behind CMU, is launching a programme of free careers seminars for students and recent graduates. The first is an interactive CV workshop led by Financial Times columnist Mrs Moneypenny. The workshops will be held at the unicornjobs.com HQ in Shoreditch on Wednesdays 13 and 27 Feb. This free 2-hour workshop will help anyone embarking on their career to compile the best possible CV. Places are limited. To come, email your name, a contact phone number and details of which date you want to attend, to events@unicornjobs.com.

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SNAP OF THE DAY: MAGIC WANDS
Even a hard bitten cynic, ie myself, would concede that the story of how the Magic Wands came together is really rather sweet. Chris heard a song by Dexy on MySpace which he listened to again and again, and then contacted her. In fact the pair had already met briefly at a gig a year before. They began to exchange ideas for songs over the internet, sending each other presents and gradually bonding. Dexy was in LA and Chris was in Nashville and they eventually decided that the 2000 or so miles between them was too many and they met up and started recording together. The improbably named Chris and Dexy Valentine release their appropriately romantic 'Teenage Love' as a 'free for one day only' download on Valentines Day, with a proper release date coming on the 18 Feb (Ark Recordings). This is pretty much perfect dreamy pop. "Meet me down by the soda machine," sings Dexy. The guitars shimmer and the vocals swoon like the best retro girl groups. One might even say it's magical.

www.myspace.com/themagicwands

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BRITNEY RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL
According to reports, Britney Spears has been released from the psychiatric unit at the UCLA Medical Center, despite recent reports that she was to be held for a further two weeks following her seventy-two hour commitment and evaluation. Due, possibly, to the fact that sources close to Spears had confirmed that she'd be detained for a further fortnight, the singer was able to make a quiet exit from the facility.

The press caught up with her eventually, however, when she left her home some time later and travelled to the Beverley Hills Hotel in a black Merc with an unidentified man. Spears' journey was monitored by paparazzi vehicles and a news helicopter overhead. I'm not surprised she's been having mental trouble, when she can't even leave the house without someone watching.

According to Associated Press, the singer's parents are upset that she's been allowed to leave, releasing a statement via their lawyers that reads: "As parents of an adult child in the throes of a mental health crisis, we were extremely disappointed this morning to learn that over the recommendation of her treating psychiatrist, our daughter Britney was released from the hospital that could best care for her and keep her safe. We are deeply concerned about our daughter's safety and vulnerability and we believe her life is presently at risk. There are conservatorship orders in place created to protect our daughter that are being blatantly disregarded. We ask only that the court's orders be enforced so that a tragedy may be averted".

As previously reported, the singer's welfare and estate have been placed in the conservatorship of her father James, a move which, according to Spears' lawyer, she opposes. That ruling will hold good, however, until 14 Feb. Another report suggests, meanwhile, that Spears senior is planning to move in with Britney and look after her, and that the pop star is happy with the idea.

According to other reports, Britney's friend/manager Sam Lutfi is planning to write a book about the popstress' personal life, which seems like just the sort of thing a 'friend' ought to do. Lutfi, who as you know, has been served with a restraining order and told to stay away from the singer, told Rolling Stone magazine "we've been doing dictation, she's been telling me her story, and I've been writing it all down. It would make a great book!"

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DANISH COURTS ORDER ISP TO BLOCK PIRATE BAY
So, this one brings together two ongoing CMU stories - the increasing pressure on rogue BitTorrent tracker The Pirate Bay, and the resistance of the internet service providers to take on a more proactive role in policing copyright infringements online.

Following the news Swedish prosecutors last week charged four men behind The Pirate Bay, on Monday the Danish courts ordered ISP Tele2 to block access to the BitTorrent tracker, meaning anyone accessing the internet in Denmark via Tele2 will no longer be able access the Bay.

So far Tele2 has complied with the order, though there are various reports that the company is seriously considering fighting the ruling they being, like most ISPs, unkeen to become the content owners' online policemen. InfoWorld reports that bosses from Tele2 will meet with counterparts at other internet service providers in Denmark to see if there is an industry consensus on the matter

Needless to say, The Pirate Bay and their supporters have been critical of the move. In reality, dedicated Bay users will probably have the know-how to sidestep the block - because Tele2 will only remove The Pirate Bay from its DNS records, and the tracker's owners are sure to put in place various different and changing 'routes' to its website that also circumvent the block.

That said, the block will stop casual and less committed filesharers from accessing the service, and, while Tele2 is only one of several ISPs in Denmark, the legal precedent could be extended to other internet providers, and beyond the Danish jurisdiction also - the Finnish division of the IFPI is reportedly already considering pursuing a similar order through the courts there. The record and movie industries' battle against the Bay is far from over, of course, but after several false starts, that battle might just be gaining some momentum.

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NO LED ZEPP FOR BONNAROO
Those of you reading media reports over night regarding this year's Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee might be wondering how our report on their line up in yesterday's Daily managed to miss the biggest story of all - that Led Zeppelin would be headlining. The reason we didn't report that is because we know the difference between a 'd' and a 'z', though they are very close to each other on the keyboard.

The rather wonderful all-female Led Zepp tribute band Lez Zeppelin will be playing Bonnaroo. However, unless a big announcement is still pending, Led Zeppelin will not be following up their much hyped The O2 reunion concert with a Bonnaroo set, though Robert Plant and Alison Krauss are playing, so who knows, perhaps the rest of the band will join him to give a quirky twist to yesterday's false reporting.

As previously reported, Metallica, Pearl Jam and Kanye West will headline this year's Bonnaroo festival.

As also previously reported, it's not the first time a 'letter confusion' has led to reports of further Led Zepp reunions. Last year when Ian Astbury of The Cult told a crowd he would be touring this year with a band with the initials 'LB' (ie Limp Bizkit), some heard 'LZ' and so other Led Zepp reunion rumours circulated. There are lots of people out there really really keen for a full-on Led Zepp reunion. They should all learn to listen and read.

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SPICE GIRLS ISSUE VIDEO COMMENTS ON TOUR DECISION
Elsewhere in the world of reunions, the Spice Girls have issued a video apologising for the previously reported announcement that their reunion tour will not get to all the cities it originally set out to visit. As previously reported, a spokesman for the Girls said that the extended run for the tour in London had meant that the tour had run out of time to make originally planned visits to Australia, China, South Africa and Argentina.

Rumours are rife that actually demand for tickets in those countries was poor, or that extra dates couldn't be added to the end of the tour because the Girls now hate each other so much they couldn't bear the thought of spending more time together than was absolutely necessary. The Spice Girls' people deny both rumours.

In their video message the Girls themselves don't comment on the rumours, instead explaining the whole reunion has gone on much longer than anyone anticipated, and that they have other mainly family commitments to attend to. Mel C says: "We're very sorry we've not been able to get to other places that we really, really wanted to". Geri adds: "The tour's gone actually longer than we anticipated. We thought we were going to go with one gig, that's how it started - then we planned until the end of January, and then we actually extended it".

The video was released as Australian fans set up Facebook groups for those pissed off that the tour will now not visit their country, with names like Spice Girls Suck and Spice Girls Dogged Australia.

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ARETHA PARTS COMPANY WITH ARISTA
Aretha Franklin has confirmed that she will self-release her next album after deciding to not re-sign to SonyBMG's Arista Records, bringing to an end a 25 year working relationship with the label and its founder Clive Davis. She says she remains on amicable terms with both, but just couldn't reach an agreement regarding how to move forward within the SonyBMG division.

Associated Press quote her thus: "I wanted to stay [with Arista] and he [Davis] wanted me to stay, but we just didn't meet halfway in the middle there. So I decided not to re-sign and just go ahead and start my own label and be distributed by some fabulous company".

Franklin adds that a major label partnership is no longer so necessary for an artist of her level, explaining "we'll go online and we'll go on TV with 1-800 ads" when asked how her own label plans to get her new long player to the masses.

Aretha is in the news this week because she will be presented with the Person Of The Year prize at the annual pre-Grammys dinner held by Recording Academy charity MusiCares this Friday.

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WHO WILL MAKE IT TO THE GRAMMYS?
Talking of the Grammys, there is much speculation that Michael Jackson will be in attendance at the big awards bash this weekend, though it's very unlikely he will be performing. Whether he will present an award isn't clear - presumably he would be there to promote the upcoming 25th anniversary re-release of 'Thriller' so would want a highish profile role. As previously reported, there were rumours Jacko would make an appearance at last weekend's Superbowl, but he didn't.

Speculation also remains rife as to whether Amy Winehouse will make it to the Grammys - ie whether she'll be up to performing and, more importantly, whether US officials will let her in given the issues surrounding those drugs charges in Bergen last year. Word has it there is a final meeting with US immigration re visa issues on Friday and, if she's granted a visa (the consensus is she will be), then it will be up to her doctors to decide if she's up to a quick jaunt to LA on Saturday to be in town for the awards show on Sunday. Even if she is, some wonder if she'll have time to rehearse. Her people are reportedly bothered that an unprepared and still unwell Winehouse could fail to impress, which, given she'll be under the spotlight of the world's media, could land her in the same position as Britney when she attempted that comeback at the VMAs.

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FEIST GETS FIVE NODS IN JUNO NOMINATIONS
More awards, and Feist has added to her Shortlist Music Prize win and four Grammy nominations with five nominations in her home country's flagship music awards - Canada's Juno Awards. Among the Juno shortlists on which her name appears are Album Of The Year, Artist Of The Year and Single Of The Year.

Just ahead of Feist in the nomination stakes was Celine Dion, who got six nominations, while Avril Lavigne is also up for five gongs. Other nominees for the April awards include Arcade Fire, Timbaland, Bon Jovi, Fergie, Rihanna and Josh Groban.

For fans of full lists of nominees there's a full page of them here: http://juno-awards.ca/08_nominees.php

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50 CENT CLOTHING LINE NOT CLOSING DOWN WE THINK
There are rumours about the future of 50 Cent's fashion line G-Unit Clothing, with some saying it's about to close down. But those rumours are being denied, and may stem from other rumours that the workforce there is about to be downsized, or from reports that Fiddy's people are re-evaluating their business relationship with Marc Ecko Enterprises in relation to the clothing operation. AllHipHop.com quote a source as saying: "They aren't shutting down. They may be leaving their partner, but the G-Unit brand is a base business of $75 million dollars annually".

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MISSY ELLIOT ASKS FANS TO NAME ALBUM
Missy Elliot has asked fans to suggest a title for her new album, because, she claims, she's stuck, and can't come up with one herself. She's offering a prize to whoever comes up with a good name for the new LP - a credit in the sleeve notes, and a $500 Adidas gift card. Wow, an Adidas gift card. Might have to have a go at that myself. The album's expected out in May.

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BEASTIE BOY FORMS FILM COMPANY
It's mostly in the headline, to be honest. Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch has formed a film company in partnership with one David Fenkel of ThinkFilm. It's called Oscilloscope, and will be based in New York.

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FLAV TO STAR IN NEW US SITCOM
Flavor Flav is to appear in a new sitcom for US network MyNetworkTV. 'Under One Roof' sees the Public Enemy star as Calvester Hill, an ex-con who moves in with his wealthy, conservative brother and his family, no doubt bringing his inappropriate street-type behaviour with him and providing an endless stream of hilarious sit-com set pieces.

Flav says: "I am real excited about my new sitcom 'Under One Roof'. I want to thank MyNetworkTV for believing in your boy because we are about to blow this out of the water. I am about to take MyNetworkTV and make it MY network".

Elsewhere in Flavor Flav's TV career, the hip-hopper is preparing to launch a third season of his hit VH1 vehicle, 'The Flavor Of Love' on Monday.

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MEET ME IN ST LOUIS SPLIT
Guildford band Meet Me In St Louis have announced that they are to split, a shame given the acclaim that greeted their debut album 'Variations In Swing' last year. The group had struggled following the loss of their singer Toby in November, and now another member, Paul, has left, bringing things to a close.

A statement said: "I'm writing with great regret to inform everyone that Meet Me in St. Louis has reached its end. This is due to a loss of another member (Paul) and the agreement that the band would not be the same if that member were replaced. It came as a shock to the rest of us as our plans for the next few months were extremely positive after such a bumpy ride at the end of 2007".

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WHITE STRIPES TO RELEASE SPANISH SINGLE
The White Stripes are to release a Spanish language single, a new version of latest hit 'Conquest'. The band will release the track - 'Conquista' - as Las Rayas Blancas on 18 Feb in the US. They're calling the song a "blistering nouveau flamenco number that climaxes in a violent musical battle between Mexican trumpeter Regulo Aldama and Jack White in his fastest solo on record".

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LORDI STAR IN NEW MOVIE
Actually, I think we might have reported a while back that this was going to happen, and now it has. Eurovision winning monster rockers Lordi are back, and this time they're starring in their own horror movie. 'Dark Floors' is set in an American hospital but features a British cast as well as the Finnish fivesome, and follows the tale of a small group of people trapped in the deserted building. Lordi play the monsters, incidentally. The film goes on general release in Finland on Friday, and will also be screened at the Berlin Film Festival, which opens this week.

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CHAVS MAY RECORD SOMETHING
Carl Barat says that The Chavs - the impromptu, previously live-only group consisting of the Dirty Pretty Things frontman, Tim Burgess, and Jamie Reynolds from Klaxons - may actually record some material together soon. He told Xfm: "It's just been suggested by Tim Burgess that me and the other semi-permanent Chav member Jamie Klaxon write a song each and sort of go head-to-head and maybe record it...but I might be a little busy for that. But certainly these things have a habit of materialising very quickly which is why they're usually so rubbish but it'd be good to do the first good Chavs thing".

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MODEST MOUSE WORKING ON NEW STUFF
Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock has said that the band - including Johnny Marr - will enter the studio in March to start work on a new album. He also says that they're just finishing a new EP of outtakes from the group's previous two albums. Modest Mouse support REM on their upcoming North American tour, of course.

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CUT OFF YOUR HANDS SINGLE
New Zealand band Cut Off Your Hands have announced that their new single 'Oh Girl' will be released on 18 Feb on Sixsevenine via digital download and 7" vinyl. You can also catch them at the following live dates:

16 Feb: York, Barfly
18 Feb: Brighton, Barfly
19 Feb: London, Barfly
21 Feb: Birmingham, Barfly
22 Feb: Glasgow, Barfly
15 Mar: Preston, 53 Degrees
17 Mar: Edinburgh, Cabaret Voltaire
18 Mar: Nottingham, The Bodega Social Club
19 Mar: Birmingham, Yardbird
20 Mar: London, The Old Blue Last
21 Mar: Bristol, Thekla
22 Mar: Poole, Mr Cs
23 Mar: Peterborough, Metropolis Lounge
25 Mar: London, ULU
26 Mar: Manchester, Club Academy
27 Mar: Glasgow, King Tuts Wah Wah Hut
28 Mar: Leeds, Cockpit
29 Mar: Newcastle, Carling Academy

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LATEST ACTS FOR SUMMER SOUND SYSTEM
Gatecrasher have announced the latest additions to this year's Summer Sound System, and they include Justice, Pendulum, Paul Oakenfold, Armand Van Helden, Meat Katie and Annie Mac. The event, which returns after a hiatus of six years, will feature headline sets from The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, CSS, Dizzee Rascal, Soulwax Nite Versions and Simian Mobile Disco. Tickets are available now from http://www.summersoundsystem.com.

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BIG STRIDES AT SCALA TONIGHT
The lovely Big Strides are playing a homecoming gig at Scala tonight, and I'm sorry that I can't be there, because I love em, and what's more, I hear they'll be playing some brand new material. Also on the bill this evening are Spokinn Movement and Tom Mansi and The Ice Breakers, never seen either of them, but they're both a bit buzzing and are, by all accounts, great. It's all happening from 7pm, tickets from Scala or Ticketweb.

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BEE GEE RE-SIGNS TO WARNER PUBLISHING
Warner/Chappell has announced it has re-signed a worldwide publishing deal with Bee Gee Barry Gibb, who has been signed to the major music publishing outfit since 2002. I know this because Warner/Chappell CEO Dave Johnson just said so. Look. "Barry is one of the premiere pop artists of our time, whose song writing talent and production abilities have contributed to the success of numerous hit projects. We are honoured to work with an artist of his calibre and we are thrilled with his choice to stay with Warner/Chappell Music".

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various - Kitsune Maison Compilation 5
I gather that this series of compilations by Kitsune Maison is well regarded by trend spotters like Pitchfork, and the rest of Team CMU seemed to be excited by its arrival before I grabbed it, but this is actually the first one I've been personally acquainted with, which, it turns out, is my loss, as this is a cracking collection of songs. One superb tune follows after another. Listening to the impressive opening track, 'The Best Revenge', I was surprised to see that the artist was Ficherspooner, who I had more or less written off as being all style and no substance electroclashers. Now they are sounding a lot more substantial, and, like Digitalism and Justice, are making electro pop cool - their time could finally be here. The aforementioned Digitalism offer one of the mightiest tracks here with a remix of 'Pogo'. The Teenagers' 'Homecoming' brings some great New Order style beats to the party, while Alan Braxe is more minimalist but effective on 'Addicted'. Meanwhile cyber punk brats Does It Offend You, Yeah? convince with an extended mix of 'Lets Make Out', as do silicon teens Late Of The Pier with 'Broken'. Conventional indie music seems to be in something of a slough at present, and it really seems as if electronic pop is moving in to fill the gap. You might even say electro pop is the new indie. JW
Release date: 4 Feb
Press contact: Nile On [O]

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SOME CONFUSION OVER CHRYSALIS BIDDING
Following the previously reported deadline for bids to buy Chrysalis Music, word has it the company's founder and chairman Chris Wright may ask some of the six suitors who have reportedly made an offer to submit a more detailed bid. Or he may open up the bidding to other parties, despite this week's deadline. As previously reported, although Wright has expressed an interest in selling his music assets after selling off his radio business to Global Radio last year, he is in no rush to offload what remains of the Chrysalis empire, and will only do so if the right price and deal is offered. EMI, Warner and Sony/ATV are believed to be among the six parties who have made offers.

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NEW GM FOR UNIVERSAL PUBLISHING CLASSICAL DIVISION
Universal Music Publishing's classical unit Ricordi London has announced the appointment of Jonathan Bird as General Manager. He moves from within the Universal Music Group where he has worked at both Decca and Universal Classics & Jazz.

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APPLE ANNOUNCE INCREASE IN IPHONE CAPACITY
Apple have announced the release of an increased capacity iPhone, taking the music/mobile device up to 16GB, up from the current standard 8GB, and the original capacity of 4GB. The iPhone inspired iPod Touch, which already has a 16GB model, will be available with 32GB of memory.

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UNIVERSAL CONSIDERING INVOLVEMENT IN GOOGLE'S LEGIT CHINESE MUSIC SEARCH ENGINE
Universal Music has confirmed it is in talks with Google and a Beijing based download company called top100.cn about participating in a new Google backed music search service in China. A spokesman for Universal Music South East Asia told reporters: "Universal has expressed interest in participating in Google and top100.cn's legal music search", though they provided little information about how the proposed service might work. The Google service would seemingly provide a legal alternative to the MP3 search services provided by its Chinese rivals Baidu.com and Yahoo! China which, as previously reported, have pissed of the record companies because they provide so called 'deep links' to illegal sources of music. The record companies are re-suing Baidu over their MP3 search facility, and have applied for court assistance in upholding a court ruling that banned the Yahoo MP3 search engine last year.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Yila feat. Scroobius Pip - Astronaut (Sunday Best)
Having helped produce the up-and-coming Dan le Sac and Scroobius Pip album, Yila has partnered with the latter half of the dynamic duo to release the potential first underground hit of 2008, a la 'Thou Shalt Always Kill'. Having said this, I wouldn't equate 'Astronaut' to 'Thou Shalt Always Kill'. Yila has a distinct sound, dabbling in more experimental electronic sounds, which moves Scroobius further from his spoken word roots into urban territory. The result is a departure for both artists. Comparisons to The Streets would be appropriate, only Yila manages to sound edgier and more synthetic (in a good way). The result is less prominent vocals and an emphasis on cleaner instrumentals. In the end, it is hard to compare Yila and Scroobius' partnership to that of Dan and Scroobius. Nonetheless, Mr Pip has the magic touch when it comes to such collaborations, and this track proves no exception. EO
Release Date: 18 Feb 2008
Press Contact: Sunday Best IH [CP, RP, NP] Alchemy [CR, RR, NR]

PS: We've been told to tell you to go check the video to this single at this URL and, as has been widely documented, we always do as we're told...

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=l8UfvHnna38

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J-LO'S HAVING TWINS
Jennifer Lopez' father has said that his daughter is having twins with husband Marc Anthony. David Lopez told television show Escandalo TV: "It's twins. The thing is in my family, my sister also had twins, so it's a hereditary thing. I'm very proud. Jennifer has yearned to be a mother for many years". The singer is expected to give birth very shortly.

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FIDDY DIDN'T MAKE PARIS CRY, OKAY
DJ Whoo Kid, who was on stage with 50 Cent at that pre-Superbowl event where Fiddy is supposed to have made Paris Hilton cry, says that's absolutely not what happened. Whoo Kid told MTV.com: "It's no way we would kick Paris Hilton off the stage... We ain't that heartless. I know 50 hates Ja Rule and Fat Joe, but he ain't that heartless to throw Paris Hilton off the stage. Somebody called me and asked me if Paris got kicked off. I was like, 'Huh?' She was dancing the whole time. She was having a good time. We hung with her afterwards. I guess people wanna hear, '50 threw Paris Hilton off the stage'".

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IRELAND MAY SEND TURKEY TO EUROVISION
And perhaps not the kind of turkey you might think. According to reports and the bookies, a kid's TV show puppet Dustin The Turkey may end up representing Ireland at this year's Eurovision Song Contest. It's open to a public vote, of course, with a winner from a shortlist of six being selected later this month.

The puppet was created by the same folks as made puppet breakfast TV stars Zig and Zag, and Dustin has already released three albums and a host of singles. His proposed Eurovision entry is called 'Ireland Douze Points', and references Terry Wogan, Westlife and Bono as well as apologising for Riverdance. Not before time if you ask me.

So, sounds like a future classic. But not everyone is amused, Frank McNamara, who has written two Eurovision winners says the songs inclusion was "giving two fingers to Irish songwriters", whilst Shay Healy, writer of Johnny Logan's Euro-winning track 'What's Another Year' questioned "how any bunch of grown-ups could come up with this as a solution". Well, when everyone in the English speaking world takes Eurovision seriously, those arguments might well apply.

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BIRDSONG RECORDING WINS FANS
Word has it that since digital radio station Oneword was closed down last month it has been winning a whole new audience - to the looped recording of birdsong that is currently playing on the digital channel until it is reassigned. Similar to the birdsong recording that was played by Classic FM during its test transmissions back in the day, the Guardian reports that 10,000s of people have been tuning in to hear the tweets, and its getting lots more positive listener responses that the former spoken word station that closed down after Channel 4 handed back its 50% stake in it. The Guardian quote one blogger who has written: "It is a lot more enjoyable than some of the rubbish on air these days and definitely better than phone-in shows full of 'oiks' shouting at each other". Though quite how anyone could commercialise birdsong in the long term isn't clear - though perhaps the BBC could consider a licence fee funded 'sounds of nature' channel as part of its digital expansion.

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