CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 28th March
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- LA Times apologise for Tupac story
- Inquest confirms overdose theory re Rae's death
- Remy Ma found guilty of assault
- TI pleads guilty to gun charges
- Can Dr Pepper bring about Chinese Democracy?
- Leona Lewis tops US pop chart
- Soulja Boy hot property - official
- Wood wants Winehouse for covers album
- Fall Out Boy cancel Antarctica gig
- Emo fans targeted in Mexico violence
- Foals stuff
- Plant says more Led Zepp reunions possible
- Guilfest headliners announced
- Underage line up
- MIA roundhouse gig
- Vessels tour
- Robyn tour
- New venue for Huckster night
- Scruffy Bird launch new live night
- Bumblebeez launch art show
- PPL AGM date set
- Indian entertainment industry loses billions to piracy
- last.fm open German office
- Stones album previews on Imeem
- Jimmy Carr joins GCap's regional network
- Texas judge calls on banks to stay in Clear Channel bid
- Katona dropped from ITV reality show
- Madonna don't like London transport

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TOP BIT - CMU SOCIAL LAUNCHES NEXT WEEK
Hey, one last plug for the CMU Social, our new networking showcasing come-have-fun-with-us type event which is happening at 229 next to Great Portland Street tube station on Tuesday. Doing the impressing with their music bit will be Sportsday Megaphone and Big Strides. Let's write some stuff about each of them.

Big Strides describe their sound as "lo-fi, funked up, double-bass fuelled rock 'n' roll", which hopefully communicates that they belong in that "pretty hard to categorise, which is why we love them" category of music. They've been very busy doing the global thing since the 2006 release of their CMU Album Of The Year 'Cry It All', having played British Music Week in Berlin and the NxNE festival in Toronto, and toured Japan, where they are signed to EMI. They are now safely back in the UK working on a new album, hence why they are able to grace the CMU Social stage next week, hopefully giving us a sneak preview of some of their new tracks, while reminding us why they are one of CMU's favourite bands.

As far as we're concerned, Sportsday Megaphone is one of the main reasons to be excited about music in 2008. We first discovered Hugh Frost proper at Bestival 2007 where his quirky laptop-meets-guitar-meets-jumping-about-a-lot live set was without doubt one of our highlights of the weekend. Now signed to Bestival's sister label, Sunday Best, we await his debut long player with considerable anticipation, and will be able to enjoy a snippet of it all when he takes to the stage at the CMU Social. Bring on the laptops, guitars and jumping about a lot, that's what we say.

To enjoy both of these and our glorious company, for free, just email your name and the names of any guests you plan to bring with you to social@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk. If you have already emailed, you should get an email confirming your guest listing later today.

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JOBS N STUFF

DIGITAL ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE, SHINE COMMUNICATIONS
Shine Communications is an award winning consumer PR agency based in London. We are looking to expand our digital team and have a vacancy for an account executive. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone looking to enter into digital pr and work across music, film, fashion, gaming, events etc. Our clients include PlayStation, EA Games, Paramount Home Entertainment, Vodafone Music, GHD and Ebay to name a few see www.shinecom.com for further details. Applicants must be team players committed to delivering outstanding results. They must have at least one years experience in PR and an excellent understanding of digital media such as blogging, social networking, seeding and viral. Please apply by email to david.farrer@shinecom.com with a CV and covering letter which explains why you're right for us. Salary dependant on experience. No calls or follow up emails please, successful candidates will be contacted for interview.

ONLINE PROMOTIONS
Independent rock label looking for an online promo person with experience of social networking sites (Facebook, Myspace, Bebo, Rec Center, Last Fm, Habbo Hotel etc) and online music promo for download sites. Additional responsibilities would be viral marketing, maintaining and expanding the label and band street teams, club promotions, newsletters etc. Basic knowledge of Photoshop. Flash, HTML would be useful. Must be an all rounder and happy to get involved with all aspects of an expanding label with substantially successful artists. Please send an email with CV, covering letter and current salary to: Julie Weir - Julie@visiblenoise.com. Closing Date is Thursday April 3rd.

OUTPOST FREELANCER/TEMP REQUIRED
Outpost is a successful music and events PR agency based in London. A raft of new business wins means we are looking for a freelancer/temp with AT LEAST 6-12 MONTHS MUSIC PRESS/PR EXPERIENCE to assist in some of our key music and event campaigns. You will be tenacious, enthusiastic and willing to get stuck into a variety of projects. Computer literate and possessing first-class writing skills, you will also have an outstanding knowledge of cutting edge music. The post is temporary in the first instance and may lead to a more permanent role.__Please apply in writing to letitia@outpostmedia.co.uk, with cover letter and CV explaining why we're right for each other!

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CMU CLASSIFIEDS

ALIVE ADVERTISING - ACCESS ALL AUDIENCES
Reach the audience of Camden Crawl via advertising in the official programme or placing your swag in the official goodie bag. Deadline for this highly targeted opportunity is this Friday and we have just a few opportunities available starting at just £195. Call us now to find out about advertising opportunities in Plan B, Fact, Loud and Quiet, Disorder and Super Super, plus over 20 festival programmes this season starting with the Camden Crawl. Contact Gary@alive-advertising.com 07966 555 857

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CMU FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: La Raza at the Carling Academy Islington
La Raza, I'm reliably informed, means 'the race' or 'the people', as you'd probably have guessed, though it is more commonly used to describe people or cultures of a Latin, or perhaps specifically Mexican, descent. But tonight La Raza is all about a soundclash between hip hop and Latin - which sounds rather interesting to me, especially given this rather impressive line up. On the hip hop side, they are flying in US star Joell Ortiz - signed to Dr Dre's Aftermath label - who will be spitting some lyrical bizness for the first time in Europe. He'll be supported by one of London's most rated Latin hip hop outfits Cultura Londres, who in turn will be shored up by hip hop DJ Sarah Love (from BBC 1 Xtra) and El Moreno (from the La Bomba nights). A big venue for big night.

Friday 28 Mar, Carling Academy Islington, 16 Parkfield Street, London, N1, 10.30pm-4am, £12 advance £15 door, info at http://www.reggaeton.co.uk, jo at Phuture Trax

CHRIS' CLUB TIP: NuSkoolBreaks.co.uk Presents Drumattic Twins
Well, this one's CMU Recommended, so what more do you need to know? And the title line gives away one of the big reasons why this is going to be a very fine night - yes, the mighty Drumattic Twins will be bringing their legendary Dex & FX set to Herbal, a stones throw from CMU HQ (I just threw a stone to check this fact, by the way). One of Fingerlickin Records and, for that matter, the whole breaks scene's finest outfits, these guys know how to control the party. But, actually, they're not the only reason to check out this breaks and quality dance night. Also doing the breaks thing in the main room will be Chew The Fat's Baobinga and NSB Radio's Richie Balboa, while in the And Now Hear This room up the stairs you'll find Hint, Tom Central, John Power and Hard-Fi collaborator Wrongtom. Simply storming.

Friday 28 Mar, Herbal, Kingsland Road, London, E2, 9pm-3am, £10 (£8 NUS, £7 advance), more info from jim@nuskoolbreaks.co.uk.

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LA TIMES APOLOGISE FOR TUPAC STORY
Following all that speculation yesterday that the documents on which a bold LA Times article that alleged Sean 'P Diddy' Combs and Czar Entertainment chief Jimmy Rosemond had advance warning of the 1994 shooting of Tupac Shakur were faked, the newspaper yesterday staged a significant climb down, apologising to the hip hoppers for having published the allegations.

As previously reported, Pulitzer prize winning reporter Chuck Philips claimed in an LA Times piece to have seen FBI documents which he alleged gave credence to allegations that Combs and Rosemond were told about the 1994 shooting of Shakur before it happened. Although Tupac survived that shooting, many believe it acted as a catalyst to the rising tensions in hip hop town in the mid-nineties which did ultimately lead to his death, and the murder of rap rival the Notorious BIG. Combs and Rosemond quickly denied having any involvement in or prior knowledge of the Tupac shooting, and earlier this week Philips' article came under new attack when the SmokingGun website claimed the FBI docs the reporter referenced had been faked by one James Sabatino, a former (and slightly shady, by all accounts) Combs associate who is currently suing the hip hop mogul in a dispute over money.

Although Philips initially seemed to be standing by his story, yesterday he reportedly admitted he had been "duped" by the seemingly forged documents, after his paper admitted they should never have run a story based on that evidence. The paper's editor, Russ Stanton, said yesterday: "The bottom line is that the documents we relied on should not have been used. We apologise to both our readers and to those referenced in the documents and in the story".

Philips says that a former FBI agent examined the documents in question and gave the opinion that they were genuine, but he says he now wishes he had gone to greater lengths to investigate their authenticity before submitting his story. When the story was published the paper said it was based on the documents as well as eyewitness accounts and the evidence of an FBI informant, though given the climb down presumably the forged FBI papers were what gave the story credibility.

Stanton has promised an internal investigation into why editorial staff at the paper didn't raise any concerns about Philips' sources before publication, meanwhile speculation is rising about whether legal action will now follow from Combs or Rosemond. The two hip hop types' lawyers have added to that speculation by both welcoming the Times' apology, but at the same time making implied threats by saying a simply sorry is not enough.

Diddy's lawyer Howard Weitzman issued a statement yesterday saying the "apology is, at best, a first step, but it doesn't undo the false and defamatory nature of the story, or the suspicion and innuendo that Mr Combs has had to endure due to these untruthful allegations and the irresponsible conduct of this particular reporter", while a legal rep for Rosemond told Reuters: "Their apology does not go far enough".

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INQUEST CONFIRMS OVERDOSE THEORY RE RAE'S DEATH
An initial inquest hearing into the death of the husband of Corinne Bailey Rae, saxophonist Jason Rae, yesterday formally heard what we already knew, that the Haggis Horns member died of a suspected drugs overdose, but that the results of toxicology tests are required to confirm that.

Deputy Assistant Coroner Roger Chapman told the inquest hearing at the Leeds Coroner's Court that there were no signs of trauma or violence or any significant natural disease signs, and a pathologist's report pointed to a "suspected drugs overdose", though more test results were still needed. As a result the hearing was adjourned to a date tbc, though the initial hearing means Rae's body can now be released to allow a funeral to take place. Rae's family did not attend the hearing.

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REMY MA FOUND GUILTY OF ASSAULT
Into the hip hop courts, and Grammy-nominated rapper Remy Ma was found guilty of assault yesterday in relation to that much previously reported shooting incident.

As previously reported, Ma, real name Remy Smith, shot a friend outside a club in July last year after a dispute over money. Her defence argued that the two women had been struggling with each other when the gun went off by accident, but the prosecution argued Smith deliberately shot the victim, Makeda Barnes Joseph, and then sped off leaving the wounded Joseph to fend for herself. Assistant District Attorney Michael McIntosh told the court that Smith took "every step you had to take to shoot somebody".

The New York court found Smith guilty yesterday, and she was ordered to stay in jail until sentencing in next month. She could face up to 25 years in jail for the charges, though she is expected to get a lesser sentence.

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TI PLEADS GUILTY TO GUN CHARGES
More guilty hip hop types. TI has pleaded guilty to various weapons charges following that arrest just before the BET Awards in Atlanta last Autumn where he was found to be in possession of various unregistered firearms, a crime all the worst given he was already on probation.

The rapper, real name Clifford Harris, originally tried to have a bulk of the charges against him and some of his early police statements withdrawn on the basis police had failed to follow the correct procedure in searching his home and questioning him. But yesterday he pleaded guilty to three charges, possession of an unregistered firearm, possession of machine guns and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

In a slightly confusing ruling, the rapper was ordered to do 1500 hours community service, but the rest of his sentence will not be decided for a year. He will have to do at least 1000 hours of the community service before then, and presumably the severity of the subsequent sentence will depend on his community efforts. As I understand it, he could get up to ten years in jail for the charges he has pleaded guilty to.

He is expected to do his community service by working with youth groups and telling the kids about the dangers of guns, gangs and drugs.

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CAN DR PEPPER BRING ABOUT CHINESE DEMOCRACY?
The much-bigger-in-the-US-than-here fizzy drink Dr Pepper has challenged Axl Rose to release his several-millennia-in-the-making new album 'Chinese Democracy' by the end of the year, and has vowed to give every single person in the States a free can of the drink if the band does so, which is a lot of cans.

Guns N Roses' follow up to the last album of original material, 'Use Your Illusion' back in 1991, has not only been a long time coming, but has had numerous unfulfilled release dates. This time last year we were assured we'd have a 2007 release.

The drinks company say they have made the offer simply because they are fans of the band, and that while they understood "Axl's quest for perfection", they were increasingly keen to hear the results of his long labours.

The band quickly responded to the offer, posting on their website: "We are surprised and very happy to have the support of Dr Pepper with our album 'Chinese Democracy'". Dr Pepper's spokesman said there would be a can of the drink for everyone in America, bar Guns N Roses' former and estranged guitarists Slash and Buckethead, though Rose said on the band's website: "As some of Buckethead's performances are on our album, I'll share my Dr Pepper with him".

Whether the fizzy drink can succeed where Rose's label, management and 100,000s of fans have failed in getting 'Chinese Democracy' into the shops remains to be seen.

Talking of Rose's management, the rocker has announced that he and the band will now be represented by Irving Azoff and Andy Gould, who will replace former manager Merck Mercuriadis who Rose stopped working with in late 2006, reportedly over disagreements regarding 'Chinese Democracy'. On the new managers, Rose said: "We are very excited and look forward to working with them and hope our relationship proves beneficial for everyone, especially the fans".

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LEONA LEWIS TOPS US POP CHART
Leona Lewis has become the first British woman to top the US pop charts in more than twenty years, which is, me thinks, quite an achievement, whatever you think of the song that got her there - 'Bleeding Love'. Personally I'm not convinced it's even in the same league as Kim Wilde's 'You Keep Me Hangin On', the last single from a British female artist to top the US pop charts, but I seem to remember we're being nice to Lewis in CMU these days, so well done her.

Writing about her successful arrival in the US market, Lewis says: "I'm so excited to be able to spend some time in the US and showcase my music to everyone here. Its been a dream of mine since I was a little girl and I can't wait".

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SOULJA BOY HOT PROPERTY - OFFICIAL
Rock throwing twelve year olds may not like this (see yesterday's Daily for reference), but US teen pop rap star Soulja Boy has been declared the hottest music star of the moment by Forbes.com.

Forbe's Louis Hau said of the teen star, who rose to fame in the US and beyond through the net success of his single 'Crank That (Soulja Boy)': "Could there be any doubt that this kid would top our list? 'Crank That' was a multi-platform phenomenon. Heavy radio play propelled the single to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. The YouTube video generated millions of clicks and spawned a dance craze. And the single's success helped Soulja Boy sell more than 3.4 million downloads and more than 2.6 million ringtones [in the US alone]."

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WOOD WANTS WINEHOUSE FOR COVERS ALBUM
Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood is in talks with Amy Winehouse in a bid to get the singer on his new solo album, a collection of seventies cover versions apparently. Kasabian's Serge Pizzorno is also reportedly on Wood's wish list of collaborators.

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FALL OUT BOY CANCEL ANTARCTICA GIG
Fall Out Boy's plan to play a gig in Antarctica, an attempt to break some world record for playing on every continent, has been called off because bad weather has made the trip impossible. The gig had to be postponed earlier in the week when the weather made a flight to Antarctica impossible, but the band had hoped to get there later this week, possibly by using a plane especially designed for travelling in bad whether. But they've now admitted that it aint gonna happen.

Bassist Pete Wentz, who had the idea in the first place if I remember rightly, told MTV: "It's an utter fucking disappointment ... it's so insane. We had this idea, and then to not be able to fulfill it is just disappointing, especially when you put it out there. But what are you gonna do, wait until winter's over?" Well you could, yes.

Frontman Patrick Stump added: "I'm sure 'Guinness' won't ever return our phone calls again, I'm sure a lot of people are going to laugh at us, but the fun thing is I'll be laughing with them, because it's pretty funny that we made it all the way down to Chile. And we got really freaking far. It's still pretty cool. If we lost, and our name is never in some book for breaking some record, it's still pretty freaking cool". It's not really, but if it makes him happy to think it is, then we're happy to let it lie.

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EMO FANS TARGETED IN MEXICO VIOLENCE
Genre rivalries have got strangely violent in Mexico, where riot police have been brought in to defend groups of emo fans who were being attacked, seemingly by groups who adopt other music preferences such as punk, metal and rockabilly.

How much the genre preferences are the cause of the violence, and how much the music choices are merely representative of the backgrounds of rival social groups I'm not sure, but this is being very much spun as a war against emo kids in the Mexican press and elsewhere.

The sudden rise in violence against emo fans - who are, obviously, generally quite easy to pick out in a crowd given the fashion dimension of the scene - is possibly in part down to an on air rant by a high profile TV personality in the country who called emo "fucking bullshit". Since then violent attacks against emo fans have been reported in both Querataro and Mexico City. Emo fans have responded by staging a peaceful march in the two cities. Similar attacks on emo fans have also been reported in Chile.

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FOALS STUFF
With Foals' debut album out this week, various Foals promotions to report on.

First up, a free download. The band have made two live tracks available to download for free via their website - 'Hummer' and 'Two Steps Twice' recorded at an Astoria gig. You can get them from this scary looking URL:

http://www.wearefoals.com/y57943675896g7854678t4593265784932.php

Second, the band have also teamed up with last.fm to give fans the chance to remix their song 'Electric Boom', with a promise to release the best one submitted via 7Digital as part of a future digital single package. For details go here:

http://www.last.fm/group/foals

And third and finally, the band did a takeover day on Guardian UnLimited yesterday, basically commissioning features to appear on the site. This included Metronomy reviewing singles, Liars writing about Public Image Limited, and a Foals photo gallery. You can still check their features at http://music.guardian.co.uk.

Here ends Foals stuff.

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PLANT SAYS MORE LED ZEPP REUNIONS POSSIBLE
Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant has said the band may perform together again, maybe even doing a reunion tour, but that they would only do it in the right circumstances.

Asked if the much hyped reunion at The O2 tribute event to the late Atlantic Records chief Ahmet Ertegun last year was a one off, he told Uncut: "No not at all. I really enjoyed it. And hopefully, one day, we could do it again for another really, really good reason".

As previously reported, there has been much speculation of a Led Zepp reunion tour since the success of the O2 event, though all such speculation does seem unfounded so far.

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GUILFEST HEADLINERS ANNOUNCED
A bucket full of live news now, and Guilfest has announced that Blondie and The Levellers will headline this year's event, which will take place in Stoke Park, Guildford from 4-6 Jul. Other artists set to perform include Kula Shaker, From The Jam, Cerys Matthews and jazz act Freak Power. More at http://www.guilfest.co.uk/2008

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UNDERAGE LINE UP
The previously reported Underage Festival, the festival specifically aimed at the under 18s, has announced its line up for 2008, and on the bill are Gallows, Foals, The Horrors, Bonde De Role, The Teenagers, Bombay Bicycle Club, Cheeky Cheeky And The Nosebleeds, Count And Sinden, Florence And The Machine, Fryars, Ipso Factor, Operator Please, Poppy And The Jezebels, Scum, Sons And Daughters, Team Waterpolo, The Rifles, Those Dancing Days, and Wild Beasts. As I'm sure we've mentioned before, this all takes place in London's Victoria Park on 8 Aug.

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MIA ROUNDHOUSE GIG
CMU favourite MIA is set to play a one off gig at Camden's Roundhouse on 1 Jul. Tickets go on sale this morning.

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VESSELS TOUR
Leeds rockers Vessels have announced a stack of tour dates ahead of the release of their debut album 'White Fields And Open Devices' in June. Dates as follows...

28 Mar: The Library, Leeds (with The Twilight Sad, I Concur and Wintermute )

2 Apr: The Vine, Sowerby Bridge (with I Concur)

4 Apr: Escobar, Wakefield (with I Concur)

5 Apr: Notting Hill Arts Club, London (with The Monroe Transfer, Broken Records & Drowned in Sound djs)

6 Apr: Corporation, Sheffield (with This Will Destroy You)

7 Apr: Frog & Frigate, Southampton

8 Apr: The Cavern Club, Exeter (with This Will Destroy You)

9 Apr: George II, Luton

12 Apr: Water Rats, London (with Pure Reason Revolution)

18 Apr: Cafe Saki, Manchester (with Laymar)

25 Apr: Kolor Bar, Preston (with Spokes, Her Name is Calla, Elohymn & Charlies Hero)

6 May: Bardens Boudoir, London (with Glissando)

15 May: The Cockpit, Leeds (with Black Mountain and The Paper Chase)

21 May: The Ruby Lounge, Manchester (with Keith & Light Syndicate)

22 May: The Old Swan, Wrexham (with Spokes)

24 May: Tiggas Bar, Exeter

25 May: The Cooler, Bristol

26 May: Frog and Frigate, Southampton

27 May: Engine Room, Brighton

28 May: 10 Feet Tall, Cardiff (with Stray Borders and State the Obvious)

29 May: Moo Bar, Leamington Spa (with Keith)

30 May: Industry, London (with Eat Lights, Become Lights and Prego)

31 May: Linnet & Lark, Hull

2 Jun: The Magnet, Liverpool (with The Laze, Metro Manila Aide, Your Daily Briefing)

5 Jun: End Bar, Newcastle

6 Jun: 13th Note, Glasgow

14 Jun: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds (with The Smokestacks)

19 Jun: Cave Fest, Hull

20 June: Bar 1:22, Huddersfield

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ROBYN TOUR
Robyn has announced a series of live dates in addition to her planned appearances at the Camden Crawl and V Festival. She will play as follows...

6 Jun: Glasgow Arches
7 Jun: Birmingham Academy
8 Jun: London Astoria
10 Jun: Manchester Academy 2
11 Jun: Norwich UEA
12 Jun: Bristol Academy

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NEW VENUE FOR HUCKSTER NIGHT
Marsha from Xfm's Huckster Club night has moved venues to The Fly on New Oxford Street, and the next one takes place on 8 Apr and will feature Hot Rocket, New Cassettes and Caimbo, plus Marsha and Cerian on the decks. Tix are a fiver in advance, six quid on the door. More at: http://www.myspace.com/hucksterclub

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SCRUFFY BIRD LAUNCH NEW LIVE NIGHT
And a new night for you know from the lovely people at Scruffy Bird. They will be staging a weekly live night at The Star of Bethnal Green, with the first one taking place on 2 Apr. An impressive line up of quality and buzzy acts are already in their diary, as follows...

2 Apr: Martina Topley Bird, White Denim
9 Apr: Cage The Elephant, The Lost Boys
16 Apr: Bombay Bicycle Club, Friskaviljor
23 Apr: Micachu & The Shapes, The Laurel Collective
30 Apr: Dead Pixels, The Invisible

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BUMBLEBEEZ LAUNCH ART SHOW
A date for your diaries of the artistic kind now. Aussie hip hoppers The Bumblebeez are showcasing their visual work at the Goodhood store on Coronet Street in Hoxton, they being as arty as they are musical. The art show precedes the release of the outfit's debut long player later in the year.

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PPL AGM DATE SET
A date for your diary of the annual general meeting kind now. The AGM of recording royalties society PPL will take place at the British Museum in London on 4 Jun. Don't go saying we didn't tell you.

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INDIAN ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY LOSES BILLIONS TO PIRACY
The Indian entertainment business loses $4 billion per year because of piracy, or at least that's what a new report published this week reckons. Of the money supposedly lost $2.68 billion is lost to the TV sector, the film studios lose $959 million, all of which means the $325 million lost by the Indian music business doesn't seem so bad by comparison. The report was prepared by Ernst & Young for the US/India Business Council, and the spin that surrounded the publication of it focused in particular on the 820,000 jobs it reckons are lost because of piracy. Ernst & Young spokesman Farokh T Balsara told reporters: "Our Mumbai office collected data for this study from on the ground - via direct interviews with stakeholders from the Bollywood entertainment industry. We looked at the industry from every angle - the story was the same across the board: if we can slow or stop piracy, a direct correlation in the generation of wealth and employment will be the result".

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LAST.FM OPEN GERMAN OFFICE
Last.fm has announced plans to expand into Central and Northern Europe by opening an office in Hamburg. Former Google executive F Scott Woods has been hired to be a Senior VP and MD for the German office. Last.fm already has a pretty big user base in Germany, and the new office will look to capitalise on that, and to further promote the CBS owned sevice elsewhere in mainland Europe.

Last.fm co-founder Felix Miller told reporters: "We're serious about creating more and bigger sales and business opportunities in Germany, a country that's always been hugely supportive of the Last.fm enterprise, as we look to increase awareness and grow our traffic across Europe. We're confident that Scott is the perfect person to take control of this, and we're excited to have him on board".

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STONES ALBUM PREVIEWS ON IMEEM
The Rolling Stones' upcoming album - the one to support the Martin Scorsese documentary about the band - is available for preview via music based social networking thingy Imeem, presumably part of the service's licensing alliance with Universal, who are releasing the album. Imeem confirmed the album was previewing on their website earlier this week, it's released in the US next Tuesday to coincide with the cinema release of the doc.

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JIMMY CARR JOINS GCAP'S REGIONAL NETWORK
GCap have announced that they have signed Jimmy Carr, who formerly presented a show on their alternative station Xfm, to host a show that will be networked across their One Network of regional stations. No word on a launch date yet.

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TEXAS JUDGE CALLS ON BANKS TO STAY IN CLEAR CHANNEL BID
A Texas judge has sided with equity types Thomas H Lee Partners and Bain Capital in their bid to take over US radio giant Clear Channel.

As previously reported, the two institution's long drawn out attempts to take over Clear Channel may be thwarted at the last minute because the banks who originally agreed to back the deal are getting cold feet because of the change in the economic climate between the start and conclusion of the takeover negotiations.

The two equity companies are suing the banks, claiming that they can't pull out of the deal at this late stage and that the contract provisions which technically speaking enable the pull out should never have been included. The lawsuit, which was backed by Clear Channel in Texas, is attempting to force the banks to honour their original commitments to the deal.

The Texas court has issued a temporary order telling the banks they can't "interfere with or thwart" Thomas H Lee and Bain's Clear Channel deal by now refusing to fund it. Clear Channel welcomed the ruling, though it isn't really the end of it because it is a temporary order that is really pending the hearing of the equity groups' other lawsuit on the matter, which is being pursued through the New York courts. All of which means this story still has some way to run.

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KATONA DROPPED FROM ITV REALITY SHOW
Former Atomic Kitten Kerry Katona, who we keep on reporting on despite her increasingly tenuous links to music, has been axed from a new ITV1 telly show called 'All Star Mr And Mrs' because of the former singer / occasional TV presenter / celebrity mum's recent personal woes.

Pregnant Katona was recently admitted to hospital amid fears she was suffering from the very serious condition of pre-eclampsia, though subsequent reports suggest her symptoms, while similar to those of that condition, could also be caused by less serious things like water retention and low iron levels. The hospital scare followed Kerry's latest stint in rehab amid talk of depression.

Katona and husband Mark Croft, who have recently appeared together in an MTV show, were also set to appear in the ITV celebrity programme, which will also feature the likes of Laurence Llewellyn Bowen, Anthony Head, Christopher Biggins and Vic Reeves. But an ITV source told The Sun this week they were being dropped from the series because: "It wouldn't be responsible to have her on in light of her recent troubles". The MTV show, 'Crazy In Love', was already on hold following Katona's latest rehab stint.

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MADONNA DON'T LIKE LONDON TRANSPORT
London based pop queen Madonna ain't impressed with the transport system in the British capital - she's been busy dissing our buses, our tube network and our lovely congestion charge zone (I say 'our', because of course CMU owns London).

Speaking to Q about the upcoming London mayoral elections, Madonna says: "Will Ken Livingstone get my vote? No. The traffic in London is worse than ever now. All Red Ken wants is roadworks going on everywhere. Don't use The Tube; can't use the roads? No. I'll just have to walk I guess". Showing similar distain for Ken's congestion charge zone road tax system, she continued: "I would make it so that young musicians, aspiring musicians wouldn't have to pay the congestion charge or pay taxes. They would be exempt from those kind of things so they would have more money to do other things"

It's not the first mini-rant Madonna has had about living in the UK, having previously dissed the UK's lazy builders, over-zealous traffic wardens, fuel prices, hospitals and even the weather. Is it just me or do you find that, even though those of us who live in London probably whine about the same things every day of the week, when a millionaire American pop star joins in you suddenly find yourself getting all patriotic and shouting "well if you don't fucking like it here, why don't you just fuck off home". What, that is just me? Oh well.

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