|CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 4th April
In today's CMU Daily:
- Talk Talk chief hits back at labels over calls for action against their file-sharing customers
- MySpace confirm download service
- Harris loses new album at Terminal 5
- Brown blames Houston for drug addiction
- 50 Cent sued over house for ex and son
- Lil Jon launches wine brand
- Astbury denies ever saying LZ tour support in offing
- Borrell to play murder victim in movie
- Fatboy plays pop
- Proud relaunches
- Jacksons' Devon home could be for reality show
- Pete Tong launches new Ibiza night
- Massive reunion tour for Stone Temple Pilots
- Connect festival line up out
- Creamfields additions
- Free Radiohead download everybody
- Single review: The Accidental - Wolves
- Southern Fried form alliance with Aussie label
- Government expected to comment on secondary ticketing
- Mix tape pirates jailed
- Apple biggest music seller in US?
- Live Nation recruit EMI exec
- Music Week award winners
- Absolute may or may not be about to get Virgin Radio
- Slash on his concerns and pride for Appetite For Destruction
- Indy Award nominations in full
(ANOTHER RATHER LONG) TOP BIT (ON P2P AND ISPS)
What, with all the shameless self-promotion that has been going on here in the Top Bit of late, there's not been much ranting has there? Well, lets get all polemic again shall we, and what better topic to polemicise about than the old 'should the ISPs do more to combat illegal file sharing' debate? It's back in the news today because the boss of Carphone Warehouse, who own the Talk Talk internet service provider, has hit out at demands from the record companies that the net providers take a more proactive role in policing illegal file sharing. The BPI want the ISPs to send out warnings to and ultimately cut off net users who persistently access or share unlicensed music. But Mr Talk Talk doesn't think that's his job, and reckons the record labels are just trying to pass the buck for failing to adapt to the digital age.
So, ladies and gentlemen, who's right? Well, I have to say, that while we at CMU have been more critical than most over the years of the way the record industry has adapted to the brave new digital world, and in particular to the ways they have approached the problem of online file sharing via peer-to-peer networks (which consisted, in the main, of excessive litigation and flawed, expensive and unpopular digital rights management technology), I'm finding myself becoming an ever more vocal supporter of the record companies in this part of the P2P debate. It's scary I know - perhaps I'm getting old.
But the point is this. We've never questioned a record company's right to enforce its copyrights. For all their incompetencies, occasional dubious behaviour and arguable over charging, the labels should be able to earn money from their content. It remains a fact that good music costs money, and that a lot of that money has to be spent before the music generates any revenue, which means that someone needs to take the risk and invest the cash at the outset. The record company model, in principle, is a good one - labels invest in new music, securing their investments on future copyright-based revenue. Therefore it stands to reason that said companies are going to want to enforce their copyrights whenever they can, and if society wants commercially driven cultural innovation, then it has to award and respect some rights over creative works and provide the tools to let the owners of those works to enforce them.
The proviso on that, however, is that any copyright owner has to accept that it will never be able to enforce all its copyrights all the time. The fact is it is incredibly easy for individuals to infringe copyrights, often on a daily basis, often without actually realising that they are - and no content owner is ever going to be able to stop every infringement. As a copyright owner, a record label has to decide which of the rights it is given by the copyright laws are worth enforcing, and what techniques are appropriate to do so, generally based on practical and commercial considerations. Prioritising the suing of emerging P2P networks, with the aim of suing them out of business, rather than investing in consumer-friendly alternative and legit digital services was not a commercially sound decision. Pursuing thousands of lawsuits against individual file-sharers, like the Recording Industry Association Of America has done, is neither practical nor commercially sound. And nor is the strategy of hindering legit download stores by insisting on the use of clumsy DRM technology based on the misguided principle that it will stop tracks from appearing in P2P networks.
But what about asking internet service providers to send out letters to customers who are suspected of illegally file sharing, with the threat of suspending or ending their net access if they continue to infringe? Actually, I'm more positively inclined to this proposal than most that have gone before, especially as we are now at a stage (or soon will be) where those who file-share could, if they wanted to, access pretty much all music in user-friendly DRM-free formats from legit digital operations. The labels identify individuals who are illegally sharing music via their IP address, then the ISP sends the bill payer for that IP address a letter. No clunky technology. No expensive and unpopular litigation.
Of course, it's not a perfect solution. Although it is relatively easy to monitor P2P file sharing (in most of the lawsuits based on such monitoring the defendants have quickly settled, surely demonstrating that the labels had correctly identified a file sharer), those who do so on behalf of the labels will occasionally make mistakes, and the ISPs won't want to be suspending those falsely accused of infringement. And, of course, the serial file sharers are cleverer than the agencies working for the labels - those who really want to access illegal content will find ways of doing so that are not being monitored by the labels. And, of course, there is a strong argument that the labels have generally exaggerated the real impact of P2P file sharing on declining record sales, and should just accept the changing nature of music spending and adjust the revenue streams on which they secure their initial investments (as most labels are, in deed, slowly starting to do).
But the ISPs' reasons for objecting to taking on this new copyright-protecting role aren't really based on these facts, rather they say it's simply not their job to help combat copyright infringement, that privacy laws prevent them from helping the labels, and, in Mr Talk Talk's case, that it is the net firms role to "protect the rights of our users to use the internet as they choose". But I'm not sure I buy any of that. By keeping all contact with file sharers between ISP and customer, said customer's privacy is surely being protected. And, according to copyright laws, Talk Talk's customers don't have 'a right' to choose to use the internet to infringe copyright, so there's no right to protect. Moreover, if you are made aware that someone is breaking the law, and you are uniquely positioned to encourage that person not to, and to ultimately stop them from doing so, shouldn't you do it?
The ISPs are presumably really concerned [a] about the cost of taking on any role in enforcing copyrights (ie administration and lost business costs), especially given the ever tightening profit margins these companies operate on given the recent price war in the broadband market, and [b] about the precedent of accepting any responsibility or, worse still, legal liability for the actions of their customers on the net. (It's worth noting that in the statements issued by the BPI this week, it has been clarified that the record labels only see the ISPs doing the 'warning letter bit' - original reports suggested the ISPs would have to do the monitoring bit too, the really costly bit, but the labels trade body is clear the labels will take on that task).
But surely in the same way the record companies have to accept they can only protect their copyrights to a point, and that they have to adapt their business models accordingly (which they now are, albeit fives years too late), the internet service providers have to accept that if they are building a business around providing access to compelling content, they are going to have to do a little to help the owners of that content to protect their investments, otherwise there won't be any decent content to access.
So, to conclude, we all know the major record labels screwed up big time in adapting to the digital age, and many of us suspect that some senior label types are still making bad or short-termist decisions in the digital domain. But if you want good music, you've got to recognise copyright and a label's right to enforce it to a point. And when practical systems can be found to do the enforcing, I think they should be used - albeit in a sensible way, and without the misconception doing so will be some kind of panacea for the wider problem. And finally, those who resist supporting such systems shouldn't be able to automatically portray themselves as the defenders of the common man.
And here ends today's sermon. Wow, I just looked back at it, that's quite a long rant. See what happens when you don't polemicise for a few weeks? I apologise.
JOBS N STUFF
NEW MEDIA COORDINATOR
Cherry Red Records, a West London based independent record company founded 30 years ago, is looking for a New Media Coordinator to look after it's fast growing catalogue. The ideal candidate would be very organised, have good initiative, a decent level of new media knowledge, and a genuine affinity with, and enthusiasm for, the unique and very diverse Cherry Red catalogue. Please write with a detailed CV and name your favourite Cherry Red album to [email protected]
KUDOS RECORDS REQUIRES A SALES AND LABEL MANAGER
Based in our busy Kentish Town office, core responsibilities include developing our distribution roster, project managing releases for our distributed labels, and maintaining sales to a selection of UK and overseas accounts. The successful candidate will be scrupulously organised and an effective communicator. He or she will posses relevant industry experience, a genuine enthusiasm for the music we distribute, along with a passion for discovering new music. Salary will be based on experience. We also offer a generous performance related bonus scheme. Application by email only, attaching a copy of your CV to [email protected]
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 [email protected] 07966 555 857
CMU FRIDAY TIPS
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Troublestock at The End
We've already reported on this, but it just had to be tipped too. Breaks night Chew The Fat! hosts Troublestock - in aid of its founder and dance music pioneer, Paul 'Trouble' Arnold, who was diagnosed with leukaemia in late 2007. I've personally spoken to Arnold in the main in his capacity as Certificate 18 Records head honcho, and can confirm, in case there was any doubt, that he is a top bloke, which is why so many of the world's finest DJs have sprung at this opportunity to help him out. Sporting a wicked line up that someone has been calling a "breakbeat fan's wet dream", rocking the decks will be, Plump DJs vs Stanton Warriors, Krafty Kuts vs Freestylers, Evil Nine vs Elite
Force, James Zabiela vs Nic Fanciulli, Paul Woolford vs Yousef, and Bestival's Rob Da Bank and more in Room 2, and ghetto-tech-off-kilter-house nuttas Speaker Junk, Count Of Monte Cristal, Sinden and Kissy Sell Out preparing to pack out the lounge. This may just be one of the best nights of the year. And keep fighting on Paul.
Wed 9 Apr, The End, 18 West Central Street, WC1A, 9pm-4am, £10 (£8 in advance), more at http://www.thefatclub.com, press info from [email protected]
CHRIS' CLUB TIP: Sunday Service at The Mason's Arms
Let's re-plug this CMU Recommended event shall we? Our old friends TuneTribe.com have got a new regular acoustic session going on, which is sounding especially good. Taking place at The Mason's Arms on Harrow Road on the first Sunday of the month - so this Sunday, 6 Apr - from 7pm-11pm, the Sunday Service describes itself as "a monthly ceremonial proclaiming the glory of acoustic live music", which sounds very good to me. This month you will get to experience Steve Pilgrim, a great acoustic talent, Colorama, a cross-cultural collage of uplifting and often eclectic musical stylings, and Matt Johnson, a guy who Jim Gellatly from Xfm Scotland has described as "bridging the gap between the Kinks and Arctic Monkeys". Damn good. Go see.
Sun 6 Apr, Mason's Arms, Harrow Road, 7pm - 11pm, £4, info from http://www.tunetribe.com/
TALK TALK CHIEF HITS BACK AT LABELS OVER CALLS FOR ACTION AGAINST THEIR FILE-SHARING CUSTOMERS
The boss of Carphone Warehouse yesterday took up the gauntlet thrown down by record labels trade body the BPI and hit out at proposals by the music industry that internet service providers, like their Talk Talk division, should take a more active role in policing illegal file sharing online.
As much previously reported, the music business has long accused the ISPs of doing too little to combat the copyright infringement conducted by many of their customers via their internet connections. The need for the ISPs to do more has risen up the agenda of the music companies more recently, and become a really hot topic since the start of the year. The record labels' work in this domain was boosted when the government indicated that, if the ISPs would not sign up to a voluntary system and take on a more proactive role in combating illegal file sharing, they would introduce new laws to help the content owners protect their copyrights online. But from the start the ISPs have been very resistant to take on any such active role, arguing that they simply provide access to the internet, that they can't be expected to police the way people use that access, and that there would be big privacy issues to consider if they were to do so.
While the ISPs opinion on this matter has been widely known throughout, partly through low key statements from their trade body, the ISPA, and through off the record remarks from execs at some of the net firms, so far no big cheeses from that sector have publicly stated their case. Carphone Warehouse and Talk Talk CEO Charles Dunstone changed that yesterday by issuing a statement criticising the BPI and rejecting their demands for assistance in fighting online copyright infringement.
He told reporters: "We are the conduit that gives users access to the internet, we do not control the internet nor do we control what our users do on the internet. I cannot foresee any circumstances in which we would voluntarily disconnect a customer's account on the basis of a third party alleging a wrong doing. We believe that a fundamental part of our role as an internet service provider [ISP] is to protect the rights of our users to use the internet as they choose". He added that he was of the opinion that the record industry, who were struggling because of their own failures to adapt to the digital age, were simply looking to "foist their problems on someone else".
The BPI quickly responded to Dunstone's statement, claiming that the Talk Talk boss was seriously misrepresenting, or possibly misinterpreting, their requests. The trade body's top man Geoff Taylor told reporters: "In claiming that the music industry is asking any ISP to become the "internet police", "impinge customers rights" or "restrict freedom to use of the internet", Talk Talk either seek to misrepresent our position, or just doesn't get it. At heart of this issue is ensuring that creators are fairly rewarded in the digital age, and we passionately believe that working in partnership with ISPs to develop first class, safe, legal, digital music services is the way forward. But no successful partnership can be established with ISPs who refuse to do anything to address the problem of illegal downloading on their networks".
He continued: "Contrary to Talk Talk' claims, passing advice on to their customers is not "unreasonable" or "unworkable". No ISP is being asked to police the internet. We ask that they act on information that is provided to them. Talk Talk claims it is their role to "protect the rights of their customers to use the internet as they choose". We strongly disagree on this point when that usage is illegal, and the government's position in this area is also clear. We believe that any socially responsible ISP should, as a core part of its business, put in place steps to help their customers avoid engaging in illegal activity, and deter those who knowingly break the law. We firmly believe in an internet where property rights are respected, and creativity is fairly rewarded. This will grow our digital economy, which is in the interest of all of us. Talk Talk should understand that time has moved on, and should choose to be part of this future".
As previously reported, the BPI recently posted a short essay on the whole Record Labels v ISPs debate on its website, stating its case and outlining what it is looking for the net companies to do. You can read it here: http://www.bpi.co.uk/isp-partnership
MYSPACE CONFIRM DOWNLOAD SERVICE
As expected, MySpace yesterday officially announced its plans to launch a MySpace Music download service, a fully fledged digital music store. So, here's what we now know about it.
First, Universal, Warner and SonyBMG are signed up. EMI are not, though word has it that's simply because those previously reported changes in senior management there have delayed the deal making. The indies are not involved yet, but the social networking outfit says that's simply because it wanted to get the majors on board first to ensure the whole venture was commercially viable, and that they will now seek to get the indie labels and aggregators on board as soon as they can.
As expected, the new service will be accessible via its own page within the MySpace network, but also via existing artist and fan pages. As also expected, the service will offer DRM-free downloads plus ad funded previews (audio and video). And will sell tickets, merchandise and ringtones for most artists too. And as also also expected, there'll be a mobile dimension powered by Jamba, a mobile content company in which MySpace's parent News Corp also have a stake.
The service will go live over the next few months, which different aspects of it going live one after the other so that that whole thing is in place by the summer, though, that said, MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe indicated that technology partners are only just being put into place for some components, suggesting a summer deadline may be optimistic.
The specifics of the deal between MySpace and the majors are not known, though Billboard reckons that the music service has been set up as a stand-alone company and that the major record companies have been given a stake in it.
Although MySpace is operating in an increasingly competitive marketplace when it comes to social networking, some are optimistic about its chances of gaining a fair share of the digital music market, despite its relatively late entry in that sector. MySpace remains the social networking service of choice for labels and artists, so enjoys a particularly high traffic of music fans. And many labels already using their artists' MySpace pages as key tools in their marketing campaigns, so it will make sense for them to use the social network's inbuilt download store to simplify and increase sell-through from that activity. The company also has a good advertising and sponsorship division in place who could successfully capitalise on the potential of the ad-funded preview components of the new service, which in turn will benefit from the fact many music fans already use MySpace artist pages to preview new songs.
The only caution, really, is that this isn't MySpace's first attempt at adding download functionality to its social network. Previously it worked with SnoCap to offer a service enabling artists to sell their music directly off their MySpace pages. That service didn't take off at all, though was hindered by a lack of interest from the majors, and the insistence of the only major which did participate - Warner - that music be sold in DRMed WMA formats, which aren't iPod compatible. But MySpace, despite its relatively rapid rise and continued popularity among some web users, isn't known for being the most technically sound web service, with some of its facilities confusing or irritating to use, or just pretty unreliable. The social network will need to get its technical solutions just right to capitalise on the albeit large potential of creating a digital music service that can compete with iTunes.
HARRIS LOSES NEW ALBUM AT TERMINAL 5
Who would have thought the Terminal 5 debacle at Heathrow Airport would have had a musical dimension - but yes, as British Airways attempts to rescue its brand and reputation after all the bad press their T5 services have been getting, now the whole thing is getting reported in the music media. And all because that Calvin Harris doesn't know that [a] you never put your laptop in the hold and [b] you always make a back up.
Yes, the laptop belonging to Scottish electro-monkey Calvin Harris is among the many thousands of pieces of luggage that have been lost in the system at the disastrous new Heathrow terminal, and on it is the only copy of his work to date on a second album. Ouch. Of course BA are slowly working through a large warehouse full of lost luggage and hope to return the bags to their rightful owners, but it remains to be seen if Harris is reunited with his bag, PC and potential chart topping hits.
A spokesman for his record label, Columbia, told reporters: "He has lost the only copy of the new album. It is a big cause for concern - months of work have gone into that. Live performances won't be affected because he doesn't use this laptop in them, but the loss could set back work on a new album. They [BA] have offered about £750 in compensation but you can't really put a price on something like a new record".
BROWN BLAMES HOUSTON FOR DRUG ADDICTION
Bobby Brown has blamed ex-wife Whitney Houston for his hard drug addiction. The former R&B star is writing his autobiography, and writing about his high profile drug problems he says: "I never used cocaine until after I met Whitney. Before then, I had experimented with other drugs, but marijuana was my drug of choice. At one point in my life, I used drugs uncontrollably. I was using everything I could get my hands on, from cocaine to heroin, weed and cooked cocaine". Both Brown and Houston have had their drugs issues of course, though who she blames for her's I don't know.
50 CENT SUED OVER HOUSE FOR EX AND SON
More former relationship woes, and 50 Cent is being sued by a former girlfriend who claims he is trying to evict her and their son from a multi-million dollar home which he had promised her she could live in. In her lawsuit, Shaniqua Tompkins says Fiddy is guilty of breach of contract and unjust enrichment by going back on that promise and forcing her and their son out of the property.
Her lawyer, Paul Catsandonis, told reporters: "This was a house that was promised to Shaniqua. Then he decided not to put it in her name. Now he's trying to put her out of the house. This would mean evicting his own son".
Fiddy's people are yet to comment.
LIL JON LAUNCHES WINE BRAND
Elsewhere in hip hop, US rapper Lil Jon has started his own wine label after some promotional bottles he issued under his name got such a good reception.
Explaining the background to the Little Jonathan Winery, he told the Associated Press: "It kind of came out of nowhere. We were just going to do some private label stuff [for parties] and we did it, and people was like, 'Hey, it's pretty nice'".
Asked about his wine credentials, he admits: "I'm not no 'drink wine every day' kind of dude. I'm not like an expert, so don't ask me no questions ... I just like the taste".
It's not Lil Jon's first dabblings in the drink industry, he already has an energy drink named after his particular style of rap - so called crunk.
Jon should have some spare time to invest in his drink projects - he has a new album ready to go but is signed to struggling US indie TVT, and admitted to reporters: "I want to get it out asap, but TVT has to figure out their business, and that's about all I can say".
ASTBURY DENIES EVER SAYING LZ TOUR SUPPORT IN OFFING
The Cult's Ian Astbury has been explaining that incident last year when he seemed to tell an audience at a US gig that his band had been book as support on a Led Zeppelin reunion tour. He reportedly remarked that The Cult would soon be touring with another band who had the initials 'LZ'. Coming around the much hyped The O2 Led Zepp reunion show, and with a constant appetite for 'Led Zepp reunion tour' stories, many assumed Astbury had indeed been booked, and that a reunion tour was about to be announced.
But it turned out he hadn't been booked, and that no such reunion tour was in the offing. After Led Zepp's people confirmed that fact, some (including us, possibly) speculated that The Cult may have been booked to support Limp Bizkit, and that Astbury's audience had misheard his saying "a band with the initials LB" (given the American pronunciation of 'z').
But it turns out that wasn't it either. Astbury claims that he never said his band were playing with Led Zeppelin, rather that he remarked that, with the legendary rockers reforming for a one off reunion concert, "wouldn't it be great if The Cult could tour with them". Such ponderings, it would seem, were misinterpreted in the noisy gig venue. Jam Showbiz quote Astbury thus: "The only reason I said it is because I'd read about them playing at the [reunion] concert. I didn't think anything of it beyond that. It really goes to show you how naive people are, and how these things can get blown out of proportion. It's been embellished by journalists".
So there you go, it was you journalists' fault. That's that cleared up.
BORRELL TO PLAY MURDER VICTIM IN MOVIE
Oh joy, Johnny Borrell is turning to acting. Though he'll be murdered in his first film, so there's something to look forward to. Only joking. Though not about the acting. Word has it the Razorlight frontman will appear in a new Irvine Welsh film to be called 'The Meat Trade' and based on the 19th centry story of the 'Westport Murders', though reworked so that it takes place in modern day Edinburgh. Robert Carlyle and Colin Firth will also star. Borrell is quoted thus: "It's going to be so much fun. I love horror and I'm a really big fan of Irvine Welsh's work. I loved 'Trainspotting'".
FATBOY PLAYS POP
Talking of 'Trainspotting' - hey, here's a seamless link - 'Trainspotting' soundtrack star Iggy Pop has recorded a track with Fatboy Slim for his new album. Mr Cook told reporters: "We met in Miami, partying. He then came round the house and had a cup of tea. Iggy off-stage is a very gentle and polite man. I told [his son] Woody 'This is Iggy, he's from America'. I didn't tell him the stories. Iggy would tell these over a glass of wine after we'd finished in the studio".
The Proud venue in Camden reopened last night having switched buildings in the Stables Market complex. Those The Enemy boys played a short acoustic set at the opening, which was lovely. I assume. Lethal Bizzle did some tunes too, as did Babyshambler Drew McConnell with his side project band Helsinki. The launch party was held as a fund raiser to help those affected by that recent Camden fire.
JACKSONS' DEVON HOME COULD BE FOR REALITY SHOW
Rumours that the Jackson family are planning on buying a big house in Devon continue, but with an added dimension. Now the gossip is that the family will use the UK home as the setting for an Osbournes style reality TV show involving the whole Jackson clan. It will revolve primarily around Tito Jackson and his family, though cameos from Jermaine, Janet and maybe even Michael could be included. Tito is currently working on an album with his three sons - who perform as 3T - which would definitely be a motivation for turning them into a TV show.
PETE TONG LAUNCHES NEW IBIZA NIGHT
Pete Tong has announced a new 'concept night' for Ibiza this year. Called Wonderland and taking place at Eden in San Antonio, it all kicks off on 13 Jun and will run each Friday through the summer season to 26 Sep. The press release says "combining state of the art technology with a cutting edge line up each week, this will be Ibiza's roadblock night of 2008". Make of that what you will, though the fact Groove Armada are involved, and Stuart Price, Eric Prydz and Timo Maas will all be DJing over the season, certainly wins my approval.
Commenting on the venture, Pete told CMU: "I'm very excited about bringing Wonderland to Ibiza this summer. It's time for me to start a new mission; Eden and San Antonio match my ambition to create something fresh on the island. With their desire and my experience we aim to create a ground breaking clubbing experience. San An deserves an international party and that's what we want Wonderland to be. We have been working hard during the winter months, putting together a fantastic and talented team of people to make this happen. Working alongside Groove Armada, Microchunk and Goldie has been very inspiring, I'm sure once people check it out, Wonderland can become one of the island's legendary parties".
MASSIVE REUNION TOUR FOR STONE TEMPLE PILOTS
Now well and truly out of Velvet Revolver, of course, Scott Weiland has double confirmed his previously reported Stone Temple Pilots reunion by announcing a 65 date US tour, which is rather mega. No wonder Slash et al were questioning Weiland's commitment to their band. There first Pilots tour in almost eight years will kick off on 17 May, with a new band website launching on 7 Apr.
CONNECT FESTIVAL LINE UP OUT
Into festival news everybody, and Franz Ferdinand, Paolo Nutini and Kasabian are all on the bill for this year's Hydro Connect Music festival which takes place at Inverary Castle in Argyll, Scotland over the very last weekend in August - 29-31 Aug - that being the weekend after the Bank Holiday Weekend. Duffy, The Gossip and Manic Street Preachers are also set to appear. Tix go on sale today. In fact they're already on sale now.
Creamfields additions for you now, and John Digweed, James Zabiela and Yousef have all been added to the bill, as have live sets from Deadmau5 and the rather splendid The Whip. As I'm pretty sure we've already said, this is Creamfields' tenth birthday, and is a two dayer for the first time. Fatboy Slim, Kasabian, Ian Brown and Underworld will headline. It all takes place over the aforementioned August Bank Holiday weekend, on 23 and 24 Aug. Tickets go on sale on 21 Apr.
FREE RADIOHEAD DOWNLOAD EVERBODY
The BBC is making a free Radiohead download available - of their performance of 'Videotape' from Steve Lamacq's 6 Music show, which is great news for Radiohead fans who like their music for free, which is lots of people if some of the rumours around the band's 'pay what you want' download promotion are true. You can get the download at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radiohead but it's there for a limited time, so go do it now. The Lamacq session was just one of various Radiohead guest spots across BBC radio earlier this week, which included a special concert in the Beeb's Radio Theatre aired on the Mark Radcliffe show.
SINGLE REVIEW: The Accidental - Wolves (Full Time Hobby)
If you ever need the perfect song to cap off another Friday or Saturday night spent 'on the prowl' as it were, The Accidental's 'Wolves' might appeal to you. It exudes a subtle desperate need, almost tragic in its persistence, against the background of a tribal backbeat, suitably fitting the primal nature of the subject of the song. The mood is perfectly orchestrated, and halfway through the song you can imagine raindrops falling on wild foliage. The simple, almost child-like, vocals accentuate the animal urges described by the lyrics ("they can smell the blood on the summer air" or "when the fear dissolves itself they find the means to execute the first move" compete for top billing). Closing on the moody notes of violins, this song encapsulates the experience of urban singles everywhere using refreshing metaphors and lyrical techniques. EO
Release Date: 31 Mar
Press Contact: Ian Cheek Press [CP, RP] Full Time IH [NP, CR, RR, NR]
SOUTHERN FRIED FORM ALLIANCE WITH AUSSIE LABEL
More Fatboy Slim, and Norman Cook's Southern Friend Records has entered into a partnership with Liberator Music, one part of the Australian based Mushroom Group Of Companies (which, confusingly, no longer includes Mushroom Records). The deal will see the UK indie work with Liberator on their Aussie releases, which will include releases there from the likes of The Whip, The Black Ghosts, Crookers, Mighty Dub Kats, Audio Bully, Deadly Avenger and anew project Brighton Port Authority.
Confirming the alliance, Undercover quote Liberator A&R chief Nick Dunshea thus: "Working with Garry, Norman and the team at SFR has always been an absolute pleasure... they know how to pick-up the hottest artists and make them even hotter. Looking at what they have planned for 2008 makes me very excited about the talent they continue to uncover".
Southern Fried's Garry Blackburn added: "Nick's a good bloke and runs a great outfit. He also claims to cook a good BBQ, so we will bring some sausages with us next time we visit. Our bands love Australia because the weather is good and the people know how to party".
GOVERNMENT EXPECTED TO COMMENT ON SECONDARY TICKETING
Music Week says that the government is close to responding on that previously reported report from the parliamentary select committee for culture, media and sport into that thing they call secondary ticketing, which called on the websites and agencies that have enabled the rapid growth of online ticket touting to "clean up their act".
The report said the ticket resale market needed to better service the interests of consumers and artists, but recommended a voluntary system of regulation rather than legislation. Proposals for such voluntary systems have since been forthcoming - in particular the management and promoter back Resale Rights Society idea - though the ticketing sites are so far not keen on signing up.
It remains to be seen if the government will try to encourage settlement by threatening new laws - but we do know the government should be giving its delayed take on the whole issue in the context of the select committee's report, very soon, next week probably.
MIX TAPE PIRATES JAILED
Three traders were this week jailed for their role in running an operation that imported pirated CDs (mainly unofficial urban music mix CDs) from the Czech Republic for sale in shops and market stalls in the UK. One Farhat Nissa got four years - one of the lengthiest ever handed down for bootlegging crimes - while co-defendents Wasim Mir and Naveed Shaikh got two years and six months, and one year respectively.
Welcoming the sentences, BPI Director Of Anti-Piracy David Wood told CMU: "This type of fake CD can fetch significant sums, and it's wrong that none of those involved in creating the music received a penny for their work. These sentences confirm that the UK authorities take a dim view of those who line their pockets at the expense of a creative community whose work should be respected and paid for".
APPLE BIGGEST MUSIC SELLER IN US?
While Apple's digital music competitors squabble over who is second place in the US download market after iTunes, the iPod maker is more interested in claiming the first place spot in the wider US music retail sector.
And according to New York based research firm NPD they've already done it - they reckon iTunes is now a bigger seller of music in the US than former market leader WalMart. A claim leading to Apple's VP iTunes saying: "We launched iTunes less than five years ago, and it has now become the number one music retailer in the world".
America's not the world, of course, and some even dispute the NPD claim because it was based on sample consumer interviews rather than comparable sales data. Still, the fact iTunes is being touted as number one in US music retail surely tells us something about the continued rapid growth of digital in the overall music market.
Of course, WalMart would never claim to be number one in the download market, and their digital music operation could be about to lose market share even more following reports that SonyBMG and Warner have removed large parts of their catalogue from the mega-retailers download store.
Digital Music News says it has heard rumours of a licensing dispute between the majors and the supermarket chain, and says that when they checked out a number of artists from the two majors on WalMart's website they found that many tracks were marked "not available for download".
DMN cite a source as saying the supermarket has fallen out with the record companies as a result of negotiations regarding licensing the two major's only recently available DRM-free MP3 catalogues, like those accessed and sold by Amazon.
LIVE NATION RECRUIT EMI EXEC
As EMI ship in people from outside the record industry to help with their digital ambitions (most notably, this week's appointment of former Google exec Dougle Merrill), live music company Live Nation are busy employing people from within the record industry to help with their record label ambitions. The ever expanding, ever diversifying conglom has just appointed Bill Hein, formerly VP and GM of EMI Music's Caroline Distribution, to become GM of the recordings bit of their new Live Nation Artists division.
MUSIC WEEK AWARD WINNERS
Well done one and all who won at the Music Week Awards in London last night, the annual awards bash from the trade mag celebrating all that is groovy in the music industry and music media. Here goes with the wins...
Recognition Of Services To Music Retail: Paul Quirk
Distributor Of The Year: Universal Music
Regional Radio Station Of The Year: 102.5, Clyde 1
National Radio Station Of The Year: BBC Radio Two
Regional Promotions Team Of The Year: Polydor Regional
National Promotions Team Of The Year: Island Record National Promotions
High Street Retailer Of The Year: Rough Trade East
Digital Achievement Of The Year: Now Play It
Sales Force Of The Year: PIAS
Online Store Of The Year: Play.Com
Concert Promoter: Simon Moran
Venue Of The Year: The O2
Publisher Of The Year: EMI Publishing
Producer Of The Year: James Ford
The A&R: Island Records Group
Music And Brand Partnership Of The Year: The O2 And AEG Europe
Music Sync Of The Year: EMI Music Publishing, EMI Records And I10Q
PR Campaign Of The Year: Stuart Bell at The Outside Organisation for Paul McCartney's Memory Almost Full
Catalogue Marketing Campaign Of The Year: Hik Sasaki At Warner Music For Led Zeppelin
Artist Marketing Campaign Of The Year: Ted Cockle And Tom March For Mika's Life In Cartoon Motion
Independent Record Company Label Of The Year: Ministry Of Sound
Record Label Of The Year: RCA
Manager Of The Year: Raye Cosbert
The Strat: Tony Wadsworth
ABSOLUTE MAY OR MAY NOT BE ABOUT TO GET VIRGIN RADIO
There have been reports this week that Absolute Radio is now the preferred bidder for Virgin Radio, which current owners SMG have been looking to sell for a while now. That said, SMG then said this week that they were no longer in such a hurry to flog off the national rock station after the successful sale of its billboard advertising business Primesight last year for £95.1 million helped reduce the company's debt load in the last financial year to £47 million. Discussing his company's latest financials, SMG CEO Rob Woodward wouldn't comment on the rumours that a deal with Absolute regarding Virgin Radio was now in the pipeline, telling reporters: "We are involved in a process that has been highly speculated about. When we are ready to do so we will make a formal announcement. We are not in a position where we need to sell. We will only sell if we think we can deliver to our shareholders".
SLASH ON HIS CONCERNS AND PRIDE FOR APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION
After two Guns N Roses riffs were included in that previously reported top ten of guitar riffs this week, the band's former guitarist Slash has admitted that he once had reservations about the album that both came from - 1987's 'Appetite For Destruction'. Talking to Zane Lowe during a Radio 1 feature celebrating the classic long player, Slash said: "Who would have thought? I remember thinking, 'Maybe the record isn't that great'. When I was a kid, there were certain records that anybody who was anybody, who was cool, had in their collection. And we actually made one of those records, I'm very proud of that".
INDY AWARD NOMINATIONS IN FULL
As promised yesterday, here is the full list of nominations for this year's CMU Recommended INDY Awards, the celebration of great new musical talent where the bands are initially nominated by independent venue and gig promoters around the country, and then voted for by fans. The final winners will be picked from these shortlists by a team of industry and media pundits, including good old CMU. More details, and info on the INDY Awards bash on 25 Apr and how to attend, are online at
BEST FEMALE SOLO ACT
Naama Hillman, London - http://www.naamahillman.com
Nominated by The Bury Winelight Club
Dawn Kinnard, Lancaster West/State College PA USA - http://www.myspace.com/dawnkinnard
Nominated by Making It Live
Tara London, Essex/London - http://www.myspace.com/taralondon
Nominated by London Unplugged
Katie Skilling, Bristol/Leicester - http://www.myspace.com/katieskillingmusic
Nominated by Bed Springs Music Promotions
BEST MALE SOLO ACT
Dave Arcari, Glasgow - http://www.myspace.com/davearcari
Nominated by The Smugglers, Hastings
Vince Freeman, Cheltenham/Plymouth - http://www.myspace.com/vincefreeman
Nominated by The Winelight Club, Norwich
Simon Jaymes, London/Crouch End - http://www.myspace.com/simonjaymesmusic
Nominated by SEB Collective & de bees
Gene Linford, London - http://www.myspace.com/genelinford
Nominated by FeedMe Music
BEST ELECTRONICA ACT
Full Fat, London - http://www.myspace.com/fullfat
Nominated by Bull & Gate, London
Reverse E, London/Rome - http://www.myspace.com/reverseengineeringweb
Nominated by The Drawing Room, Chesham
PauseBreakRiot, Swindon - http://www.myspace.com/pausebreakriot
Nominated by Riffs Bar, Swindon
You Love Her Coz She's Dead, Bath/Brighton - http://www.myspace.com/youlovehercozshesdead
Nominated by The Queens Hotel, Weymouth
BEST PUNK/SKA ACT
Drookit Dogs, Brighton - http://www.drookitdogs.com
Nominated by UNIFY Events
Thee Vicars, Bury St Edmunds - http://www.myspace.com/theevicarsuk
Nominated by Bald Monkey Promotions
The Riddles, Hastings - http://www.myspace.com/theriddlesuk
Nominated by The Smugglers, Hastings
The Supernovas, Holloway, London - http://www.myspace.com/supernovan19
Nominated by Nambucca, London
BEST HEAVY ROCK ACT
Firebird, London - http://www.myspace.com/firebirdpage
Nominated by The Underworld, Camden
Ivys itch, OXFORD/York/Edingburgh/Darlington via Australia - http://www.myspace.com/ivysitch
Nominated by Quick Fix
Litmus, London - http://www.myspace.com/litmusspacerock
Nominated by The Underworld, Camden
Mondo Cada, Oxford - http://www.myspace.com/mondocada
Nominated by Quick Fix
BEST NEW WAVE/PROGRESSIVE ACT
Molloy, Shoreditch / London - http://thisisfuckingbrilliant.co.uk
Nominated by Broccoli Music
Shuffle, Islington - http://www.myspace.com/shuffleshuffle
Nominated by Bugbear
Stars Of Track And Field, Carlisle - http://www.myspace.com/starsoftrackandfielduk
Nominated by Blakey Music Promotions
Joana and The Wolf, London - http://www.myspace.com/joanaandthewolf
Nominated by Broccoli Music
BEST POP ACT
Arny SUUN, London - http://www.myspace.com/suun
Nominated by FeedMe Music
Miss Pink Shoes, Staines - http://www.myspace.com/misspinkshoesmusic
Nominated by FeedMe Music
Sean Seraphim, Norwich - http://www.seanseraphim.com
Nominated by The Winelight Club, Norwich
The Lightyears, Clapham/Reading - http://www.thelightyears.com
Nominated by Clapham Grand, London
BEST URBAN ACT
b-loco, London - http://www.myspace.com/blocolondon
Nominated by The Bull & Gate, London
Don't Talk To Strangers - West Yorkshire - http://www.myspace.com/dttss
Nominated by Different Folks
Excentral Tempest, SouthEast London - http://www.myspace.com/excentraltempest
Nominated by The Wilmington Arms
THE IRS, Lewisham - http://www.myspace.com/theirsonline
Nominated by The Primrose, Leeds
BEST SOUL/FUNK/JAZZ ACT
Bijoumiyo, Cambridge - http://www.myspace.com/bijoumiyo
Nominated by The Halo, London
FOE, London - http://www.myspace.com/foeism
Nominated by Djangos Riff, Liverpool
Louise Golbey, London - http://www.myspace.com/louisegolbey
Nominated by SEB Collective
Vimala, Hampstead - http://www.myspace.com/vimalaspace
Nominated by The Halo, London
BEST FOLK/COUNTRY/BLUES ACT
FELDSPAR, Manchester/Leeds - http://www.myspace.com/thefeldspar
Nominated by London Unplugged
Dana Immanuel, London (Northwest) - http://www.myspace.com/danaimmanuel
Nominated by Ginglik, Shepherds Bush, London
CuteLoony, Newbury/Bath - http://www.myspace.com/cuteloony
Nominated by Axiom Live Music
Katey Brooks, Bristol - http://www.myspace.com/kateybrooks
Nominated by Colston Hall, Bristol
THE MUSIC UNCHARTED BEST INDIE ACT
Friday Night Hero, Brighton - http://www.myspace.com/fridaynighthero
Nominated by FeedMe Music
Nicki Rogers, London - http://www.myspace.com/nickirogersnicki
Nominated by Soho Review, London Bar
Stornoway, Oxford - http://www.myspace.com/stornoway
Nominated by The Jericho Tavern, Oxford; Fab Promotions; Truck Festival, Steventon and Lost Sunday
The Brent Flood, Tooting, London/Bangor NI - http://www.thebrentflood.co.uk
Nominated by Fierce Promotions and FeedMe Music
GUITAR HERO BEST ROCK ACT
Eden James, http://www.myspace.com/edenjames
Nominated by CHP, Japan and Unhappy Birthday Club
FLUID LINES, Beaconsfield/Berkhamsted - http://www.myspace.com/fluidlines
Nominated by FeedMe Music
Little Fish, Camden Town/Oxford - http://www.myspace.com/littlefishmusic
Nominated by Bull & Gate, London; The Drawing Room, Chesham; Cross Kings, London; and The Legendary Kitten Alley
Sketchbeat, Elephant & Castle London/Hereford - http://www.myspace.com/sketchbeat
Nominated by The Melting Pot
GIBSON GUITAR BEST ALTERNATIVE ACT
Services Rendered Club, South West London - http://www.myspace.com/servicesrenderedclub
Nominated by The Clapham Grand, London
Smoke Feathers, London - http://www.myspace.com/smokefeathers
Nominated by ElectroAcoustic Club
The Penny Black Remedy, Camden - http://www.myspace.com/pennyblackremedy
Nominated by Bloody Awful Poetry
Voodoo Hussy, Camden - http://www.myspace.com/voodoohussy
Nominated by FeedMe Music
PRS PUB OF THE YEAR
Bull and Gate, London - http://www.bullandgate.co.uk
Nambucca, Holloway Road, London - http://www.myspace.com/nambucca
The Halfmoon, Putney, London - http://www.halfmoon.co.uk/
The Slaughtered Lamb, Barbican, London - http://www.electroacousticclub.com/
PRS BAR OF THE YEAR
Tao Bar, Bristol - http://www.myspace.com/taobar
The Halo Bar, Battersea, London - http://www.myspace.com/thehalobar
The Pleasure Unit, Bethnal Green, London - http://www.thepleasureunitbar.com
VIVA VIVA, Hornsey, London - http://www.viva-viva.co.uk/
PRS CLUB OF THE YEAR
93 Feet East, Brick Lane, London - http://www.93feeteast.co.uk/
Brixton Jamm, Brixton, London - http://www.brixtonjamm.org/
SOHO REVUE BAR, London - http://www.sohorevuebar.com
Punk, Soho London - http://www.fabbars.com/categoryRender.asp?categoryID=3453&cCID=15
VIRTUAL FESTIVALS FESTIVAL OF THE YEAR
TRUCK Festival, Oxford - http://www.thisistruck.com
The Secret Garden Party, Huntingdon - http://www.secretgardenparty.com
Sunrise Celebration, near Yeovil - http://www.sunrisecelebration.com
The Wickerman Festival, Kirkcudbright - http://www.thewickermanfestival.co.uk
PROMOTER OF THE YEAR
Bloody Awful Poetry, London - http://www.bloodyawfulpoetry.com
Broccoli Music, London - http://www.broccolimusic.co.uk
Feedme Music, London - http://www.feedmemusic.co.uk
SEB COLLECTIVE, London - http://www.myspace.com/sebcollective