CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 7th April
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Brooker wins back A Whiter Shade Of Pale
- Glastonbury: fast sales, but not so fast
- Are Jay and Beyonce married?
- Remy Ma planning jail wedding
- Foxy Brown expected to get early release
- Borders Agency to try and block Snoop UK visa again
- Malawi official backs Madonna adoption
- New Kids confirm reunion
- Ronnie says Faces reunion could happen
- Abbey Road innovator dies
- Former fed claims Sonny Bono was murdered
- Morrissey and Meighan condemn Canada's seal hunt
- Kasabian 80% done on new album
- Radiohead launch new social networking thing
- Portishead to premiere Third in Portishead for Current TV
- Rick best of incoming
- A-ha songwriter releases side project best of
- Sex Pistols live DVD in the pipeline
- Harris cancels UK shows
- Lollapalooza line up leaked
- Supergrass added to Hop Farm bill
- Get a support slot, for One Night Only
- Royal Opera House partner in cinema screening project
- See how to play Nirvana, for free
- Single review: Grovesnor - Drive Your Car
- Universal France launch brand partnerships company
- Stones take questions on new YouTube channel
- Motley Crue man to head up Eleven Seven
- Havas buys Cake
- Tourdates company appoint new commercial director
- Mixmag celebrates 25 years
- Will Talk Talk become market leader through Tiscali takeover?
- Top Gear host to take over from Wogan one day?
- Chart update
- playlist
- Total Rock world album chart
- Dad bigs up Lily
- Property presenter fancies opening a tea shop with Jacko


After Friday's very long rant on all things ISP, a much shorter plugging Top Bit for you today. Having gone on at great length about the whole issue of Talk Talk refusing to play ball with the record labels over P2P in the CMU Daily on Friday, I then provided a much more concise summary of our opinions on the matter on Radio 5's 'Wake Up To Money' show and on BBC World's 'World Business Report' programme. And I tell you this why? Well, first, if you find an overly long Top Bit rant in your Daily on a very current issue in the music business, keep an eye on other news media where you may well find a much more concise take on CMU's opinions. Second, if you are a media type and you ever need expert comment on a music business topic - or on more intellectual matters like Amy Winehouse's new hair cut or Britney Spears falling over - CMU is here to help. Just drop us an email to [email protected] or call 020 7099 9050. And don't forget, we can put our ThreeWeeks hat on too if you ever need a comment on the Brighton or Edinburgh Festivals. Here ends our short plug.



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]

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]


There's no nepotism tainting today's SNAP despite one third of Kopek, Marcus, being a former reviewer for CMU sister publication ThreeWeeks. Together with permanent multi-instrumentalist band mates Susie (clarinet, saxophone and glockenspeil) and Helen (flute, violin and melodica), and seemingly semi-permanent percussionist Danny and bassist Jacob, they successfully blend the soaring melodies of post-rock with the alt-folk of artists like Adem and the calming electronica of Icelandic band Mum on standout track 'Lost At Sea'. Indeed, one of their greatest inspirations appears to be the music coming out of the Nordic state, with the band having even played a Saving Iceland show with another SNAP artist, Caroline Weeks, recently. Their MySpace page, linked below, is your guide.


Procol Harum frontman Gary Brooker is once again the sole owner of the music that you hear in 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale' after an Appeal Court ruling last week.

To recap in as few words as I can, the music to Procol Harum's biggest hit had always been credited to Brooker since its 1967 release, but in 2005 Matthew Fisher, who played the organ on the song, claimed co-ownership. He argued that Brooker's original score did not include the organ part, and that he had, in fact, composed that bit while in the studio recording the song. If true, of course, that meant Fisher had written by far the most famous part of the track, and the bit that had proved especially popular (and profitable) as a ringtone. With that in mind Fisher sued for a share of the royalties, explaining to those who questioned why it had taken nearly forty years for him to make a claim that there had been an informal understanding back in the day that Brooker would compensate Fisher by giving him a share of other Procol Harum songs.

In 2006 Fisher's claim came to court, and he succeeded, with the court awarding him 40% of the royalties generated by the song - a not insignificant reward.

But Brooker quickly appealed, the crux of his appeal being the time gap in between the song being released and Fisher making his claim. Whether or not you bought Fisher's claims about old agreements, Brooker argued that the organist's claim to ownership was made too late in the day for the courts to rule on the case, not least because several people involved in the original recording - possible witnesses as to who wrote what - were no longer alive.

And last week judges in the Court Of Appeal agreed, overturning the 2006 ruling and giving Brooker back complete ownership of the music in 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale'. The Appeal Court said that it did, in fact, believe that Fisher contributed the organ theme to the song, but added that he had left it far too long to make a claim to royalties through the courts. "Matthew Fisher is guilty of excessive and inexcusable delay in his claim to assert joint title to a joint interest in the work", one of the judges said, "he silently stood by and acquiesced in the defendant's commercial exploitation of the work for 38 years. [The delay in making a claim] made it unconscionable and inequitable for him to seek to exercise control over the commercial exploitation of the copyright in the work".

Needless to say, Brooker, who was not present at the Appeal Court ruling, welcomed the judges' decision, saying in a statement: "For nearly three years, this claim has been a great strain upon myself and my family. I believe the original trial was unfair and the results wrong. Justly, the decisions of the Court of Appeal have gone some way to putting this right and I would hope that now we can all get on with our lives".

Fisher still has the right to appeal the appeal, taking the case to the House Of Lords. Whether he does so remains to be seen. Meanwhile, there is the unresolved matter of whether Fisher will now be forced to pay Brooker's legal costs to date. The Appeal Court will rule on that issue at a later date.


Following a fall in the number of people registering for Glastonbury tickets this year compared to last, the actual sale of tickets to the uber-festival were also slower that usual yesterday. 100,000 tickets had been sold by late afternoon, which is pretty good going really, but there wasn't quite the phone line melting, server crashing surge for tickets that there have been in recent years.

As previously reported, Glasto chief Michael Eavis has previously admitted he thought this year's headliners were not quite as showstopping as recent years, and that that may have reduced demand for tickets this year. Daughter Emily, meanwhile, thinks the bad experience some Glasto regulars went through during last year's rain-filled water-logged Glastonbury may have put some off returning this year. Pessimists might also wonder whether, as long predicted, the UK festivals market is slowly reaching saturation point - with the plethora of newer, smaller, niche audience festivals that have launched in recent years perhaps competing for Glastobury's purist audience.

Or perhaps Michael's right and it is headliner Jay-Z's fault. Given how many reports I've seen of Glastonbury 2008 which have felt the need to add the word "rapper" before the name "Jay-Z", with the seeming assumption their readers may not know who one of the biggest names in US hip hop is, perhaps Eavis was taking a risk in booking the former Def Jam chief for his prestigious Sunday night headline slot. Certainly it seems that Jay's people have been watching coverage of his Glasto set with increasing concern - so much so that Eavis has said he plans to personally introduce the rapper when he takes to the stage, hoping that doing so will win over any of the Glastonbury faithful not so keen on a bit of hip hop for their grand finale. Eavis admitted to his festival's website that Jay's management had told him they were "slightly worried about the [Glasto] audience not being a London or Birmingham urban crowd. So I said, 'OK, I'll do something that I haven't done for the entire 38 year history of the Festival - I'll take you on stage and introduce you to the audience'". Which is very nice of him.

Though some gossipers are saying that Jay won't be there to be introduced, gossiping as they are that the hip hopper is planning to pull out of the festival. The gossip says that Jay will pull out of Glasto not because of the seeming lacklustre response to his headlining it, but because of conditions of his previously reported new 360 deal with Live Nation, though given that the live music conglom have a stake in Glastonbury via their stake in Festival Republic, I can't see that being true. Who knows?

Let's stop reporting gossip and report some Glasto facts shall we? Details have been announced about the Left Field stage at this year's Glastonbury, with the news that both Levellers and Alabama 3 will appear on it - which deserves a 'hurrah' I reckon.


More Jay Z for you now, and lots of reports this weekend that the hip hop mogul has wed girlfriend Beyonce Knowles, reports that follow the news last week that the couple had got themselves a marriage licence. As I write this, there have been no official confirmations of the marriage, and with that Aston Kutcher fronted 'fool the press into reporting on made up stories' TV show still in production I'm treading extra carefully with these stories at the moment (the marriage licence, let's not forget, was processed on 1 Apr). But sources have told that a top secret wedding did take place at Jay's Manhattan home on Friday, with Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, Solange Knowles, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, Beyonce' parents and Jay-Z's mother all in attendance. Other media have reported on lots of comings and goings at the property on Friday, with some reporting that a minister was seen arriving early on in the day. Meanwhile, Mary J Blige, currently on tour with Jay, reportedly congratulated the happy couple during a concert on Saturday night. We await the official confirmation or the 'we gotcha' call.


More hip hop weddings, and rapper Remy Ma is reportedly planning to marry her fiancé, rapper Papoose, in a behind bars ceremony. As previously reported, Ma was recently found guilty of shooting another woman after a fight over money last July. She is currently in jail awaiting formal sentencing, and could face anywhere up to 25 years for her crime. With an uncertain future, Ma is reportedly proceeding with plans to tie the knot with Papoose, with her lawyer, Ivan Fisher, telling reporters last week: "They're very committed to each other, and had intended to marry one way or another". It's not uncommon for weddings to take place at New York's Rikers Island jail where Ma is currently incarcerated - in fact around 200 weddings are reportedly performed each year at the prison by the jail's chaplain. Only two guests will be permitted for the ceremony.


And talking of hip hop divas incarcerated on Rikers Island, Foxy Brown will reportedly be let out of jail early at some point in the next two weeks, just in time to launch a new reality show with VH1.

As much previously reported, Brown was sentenced to a year in jail last September after breaking parole conditions relating to a conviction that followed a fracas in a nail salon back in 2004. She asked for an early release earlier this year because she needed treatment for an ongoing ear condition and claimed the only medics who could help her were based in LA, but that request was denied.

However, a spokesman for the rapper has now told "The past year has been a difficult one for Foxy, but now, the countdown has started. She will be out in the next two weeks, so we are aligning everything for her now".

If reports of an early release are true, Brown will be out in time to promote her new album 'Brooklyn's Don Diva', which is scheduled for a May release. The reality show will presumably aim to cash in on the media coverage of Brown's jail time, and to promote the album release. Her spokesman continued: "The show will chronicle her life and what's she's been doing. The music business has changed, she's been away for eight months, so the show will show her getting her life back on track".


More rappers in trouble with the law, and the UK's Border Agency, a government department I'd never heard of (though, to be fair, it only came into being last week), are reportedly planning on appealing a ruling of the British Asylum & Immigration Tribunal which gave rap star Snoop Dogg clearance to enter the country.

As you'll probably remember, Snoop was refused a UK visa last year after being charged with violent disorder at Heathrow Airport in 2006. The visa issues led to the cancellation of UK dates on a 2007 Snoop/Diddy co-headline tour.

But the rapper's people appealed the ban on the rapper entering the country, and Snoop himself revealed on US TV recently that that appeal had been successful and that he had been given the OK to come to Britain.

Though that OK may not stay in place. The Border Agency announced on Friday that it would challenge the Tribunal's decision this week. It remains to seen if they are successful and, if they are, what Snoop will have to say about the "men in white wigs" and "laws from the 1800s" he has previously blamed for denying him access to his UK fans.


Getting a better reception from authorities abroad is Madonna, whose somewhat controversial adoption of little Malawian boy David Banda has been given the green light by a government official in the country.

As you'll remember, Madge and husband Guy Ritchie took the sort-of orphan home with them in 2006, undoubtedly giving him a much better life, but causing criticism in some quarters [a] because although he was living in an orphanage his father was still alive and [b] because of allegations the superstar had used her celebrity status to sidestep adoption rules.

Following that criticism, a Malawian court is due to consider the adoption this month, but ahead of that a government official from the country, who has visited the Ritchie's London home since they adopted Banda, has said the adoption was "in the best interests" of the two-year-old.

While the official's comments should help Madonna's case for winning court approval of her adoption of Banda, critics of the adoption are unlikely to be satisfied, not least because Malawi's Child Welfare Ministry admitted last year that it has received money from the singer to fund the education of one of its employees, who had been sent to study in the UK at her expense. While no bias on the part of the ministry has been proven, and the idea that the funding was a bribe has been vehemently denied by Madonna's people, those who oppose the adoption are sure to interpret it as such.

The court hearing on the adoption is scheduled to take place this week, though Madonna is hoping to have it postponed to a more convenient time (for her) later in the month.


As expected, those New Kids On The Block will return. All five members of the former boy band appeared on the Today show on Friday (the US TV show, not the Radio 4 news programme, obviously), and confirmed that they would be back on the show on 16 May to perform together for the first time in fourteen years, and to premiere new material from an album the band have almost completed, penned by Donnie Wahlberg, Jordan Knight and Joey McIntyre. Two live shows, in New Jersey and Boston, will follow, with plans for a bigger tour around the album's as yet unconfirmed release date. So, there you have it. Look forward to it all, if you so wish.


More reunions, and Ronnie Wood has told reporters that a Faces reunion "could happen". Asked about the possibility of reuniting with the Rod Stewart fronted band, Wood said: "Yeah, I have heard rumours about us reuniting. There just aren't enough hours in the day are there? We'd love to do it if we could, yeah. It could happen". Wood's comments follow remarks last year from Faces drummer Kenney Jones who told reporters a reunion had "every chance of happening".


A long time engineer and reputed innovator at EMI's Abbey Road studios has died. Mike Batchelor joined the London studio in 1949, and aside from his work on numerous albums there, was especially known for his audio inventions which, according to Music Week, included the universal tone control, the disk de-clicker, the DDD disk defect detector and the TG12345 mixer, all used in EMI studios around the world. He worked at Abbey Road until 1987, when a heart operation required him to take early retirement aged 59.

Paying tribute to the sound engineer, Brian Kehew and Kevin Richards, who have been researching a book about one of the studio's most famous inhabitants, The Beatles, told Music Week: "His name was so common with Abbey Road's revered equipment, that it became one of our quests to know more about him and which pieces he had created - his thinking and approach were obviously far ahead of others in his field. Invariably, when we turned up anything connected to his name, it would be one of those vintage devices that modern studios would kill to have around".

One of Batchelor's Abbey Road colleagues, Ken Townsend, confirmed his constant technical innovation, adding: "Mike Batchelor was [a] pioneer, to whom everyone owes a debt of gratitude for the sheer brilliance of his work particularly in the field of mixing consoles, limiters, compressors, curve benders and a host of similar devices".


In a slightly bizarre twist to an old story, a former FBI agent has claimed that late pop star turned US politician Sonny Bono - as in 'and Cher' - was assassinated. Bono died in 1998 while skiing in Nevada, in what has always been reported as a tragic accident that involved the singer/congressman colliding with a tree. However, in an interview with the American Globe, former Fed Ted Gunderson, who claims to have been investigating the case for over a decade, says Bono was, in fact, deliberately killed in a "corrupt political sting".

He told the magazine: "It's nonsense for anyone to now try to suggest that Bono died after crashing into a tree. There's zero evidence in this autopsy report ... to show such an accident happened. Instead, there's powerful proof he was assassinated. This was an evil plot that was carried out to almost perfection by ruthless assassins". Bono's death, Gunderson alleges, was ordered by people involved in an international drug and weapons ring which the congressman was about to expose.

Neither Bono's family nor the FBI have as yet commented on Gunderson's allegations.


Morrissey has confirmed he is continuing to refuse to play in Canada because of their seal clubbing ways. Mozza missed out Canada on his most recent world tour, and has now reportedly turned down three offers to play festivals there. Quoted on the matter on the website, the singer says: "The horror of the Canadian seal-kill is untranslatable, and although I fully realize that highly concentrated evil exists in other countries - Japan's dolphin slaughter, Iceland's newly-revived whaling, the cat-skinning trade in Switzerland, and China with just about every injustice imaginable - there is something especially menacing about Canada's seal-kill. This Canadian government is happy to drag the global image of its own country down, and make it a place that people such as I couldn't bear to visit".

On the seal issue, Morrissey is supported by Kasabian, who recently signed up to a petition by that People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals outfit against Canada's authorisation of the seal hunt. The band's Tom Meighan told reporters last week: "I think it's just common sense really, I mean, of course I don't think it's OK to smash a baby seal's skull. I'd never wear fur, it's such an ugly thing to do".


More Kasabian, and the band's bassist Chris Edwards has told the Sunday Mirror they are now about 80% done on their new album, which they have been working on for a while now. He told the tab: "We go to the studio, potter around, eat sandwiches and it's hard to get things finished. We're about 80 per cent done now". But how quickly the long player will actually be finished could depend on one bit of upcoming feedback - he continued: "We're going to play it for Noel Gallagher in a couple of weeks. He speaks his mind".


Radiohead's latest digital venture is their very own social networking whatnot. They've launched a web-based forum called WASTE where fans can share photos and personal details, as well as view videos, news and tour dates from Radiohead and some other artists, including Nick Cave and Battles.

On the new forum thingimy, the band have written: "For those who are interested and want to stick around, we'll be adding plenty more bits and pieces in the coming weeks and ironing out any wrinkles or annoyances the best we can. Hope you find something interesting to play with".

If you want to try to, go to


Portishead have announced that they will premiere their long awaited third album 'Third' on youth telly channel Current TV. The band will perform eight songs from the new album on 11 Apr at a live show for the station that will take place in, yes, you guessed it, the Somerset town of Portishead. The recording will then be available via the Current TV website for three weeks in the run up to the release of the album.


Presumably this was timed to coincide with the upcoming 'Here & Now' tour, though the fact its release will come so soon after the Rick-Rolling phenomenon will surely be a happy boost for SonyBMG. Yes, the major label will release a Rick Astley best of on 28 Apr, ahead of his appearance on the eighties nostalgia tour. The hits collection is set to include all of the following...

Never Gonna Give You Up
Together Forever
My Arms Keep Missing You
Whenever You Need Somebody
She Wants To Dance With Me
When I Fall In Love
Cry For Help
Take Me To Your Heart
It Would Take A Strong Strong Man
Hold Me In Your Arms
Move Right Out
The Ones You Love
Never Knew Love
Body And Soul
Full Of You

The 'Here & Now' dates are as follows...

9 May: Nottingham Arena
10 May: Glasgow SECC
13 May: Manchester Evening News Arena
14 May: Liverpool Echo Arena
15 May: Brighton Centre
16 May: London Wembley Arena
17 May: Birmingham Nec
18 May: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena

As previously reported, Astley has come back to global attention in the last few weeks because of the Rick-Rolling phenomena, where internet pranksters post what seem to be intriguing or news-worthy videos, all of which link to the pop promo for Astley's 1987 hit 'Never Gonna Give You Up'. The prank led to the video getting 21 million views and, at one point last week, filling the entire YouTube 'most watched' home page. A cynic might say the whole thing was a set up by SonyBMG to pre-promote the hits album, though I'm not sure the average viral marketer is that clever.


Talking of eighties pop sensations, Savoy are also releasing a best of. Who, you say? Well, while Savoy aren't an eighties pop sensation, one of their key members is - he being Pal Waaktaar, one third of and the main songwriter in a-ha. Waaktaar's side project with his American wife, filmmaker Lauren Savoy, and drummer Frode Unneland, may not be so well known in the UK, but they have enjoyed quite a bit of success in his home country Norway, and those of you just a little bit curious about the project will be able to sample a collection of their songs when 'Savoy Songbook Vol.1' is released via Genepool Records on 5 May. The band will also play the Royal Albert Hall in London on 24 May with supporter by fellow a-haers Magne Furuholmen and Morten Harket who will both play solo slots at the show.


The Sex Pistols' first ever concert movie, filmed at a 2007 reunion gig at the Brixton Academy by experienced Pistols filmer Julien Temple, will be released on DVD under the title 'The Sex Pistols: There'll Always Be An England'. The DVD, due out later this year, will also include a Temple directed documentary called 'The Knowledge', which will show each band member revisiting the neighbourhood of his youth.


Calvin Harris has cancelled all upcoming UK shows, though it's not clear if that has anything to do with him losing a laptop containing the only copy of his work to date on a second album in a bag that has been caught up in the Heathrow Terminal 5 debacle. When a spokesman confirmed the missing laptop last week they said the lost PC shouldn't affect Harris' live shows, and the official reason for pulling gigs in London, Birmingham and Glasgow is conflicting "European commitments". An online posting confirmed the cancellations says: "We'll be back as a band for some festivals and then I'll be spending the rest of the year in my new purple studio, making the album".


The line up for US festival Lollapalooza is due to be announced today, though those of you out there who like their line-ups leaked ahead of the official announcement might want to know that Radiohead, The Raconteurs, Kanye West, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against The Machine, Girl Talk, Cat Power, The Black Keys, Broken Social Scene, Bloc Party, Wilco, Battles and Stephen Malkmus are all reportedly on the line up this year - or that's what the Chicago Sun-Times are saying.


UK festivals now, and the brilliant Supergrass are the latest addition to the previously reported Hop Farm Festival, which will take place on 6 Jul in Kent, and which will be headlined by Neil Young and Primal Scream.


One Night Only are doing one of those 'win a support slot' things, giving unsigned bands the chance to play the opening slot at the ONO show in their local town. The best of those chosen to play will also get two days in the studio at the expense of ONO's label Vertigo. Bands interested in entering should go to this URL for more info and to upload a track...


The dates where support slots will be given are as follows...

8 May: Glasgow Garage
9 May: Newcastle, Northumbria University
12 May: Sheffield, Leadmill
13 May: Manchester Academy 2
14 May: Norwich Waterfront
18 May: Exeter, Lemon Grove
19 May: Southampton, University
20 May: London, ULU
23 May: Coventry, Kasbah
24 May: Wrexham, Central Station


So, this is interesting. The Royal Opera House in London has signed a deal with Arts Alliance Media and DigiScreen Corp to make video recordings of its operas and ballets - and performances in other major European opera houses - available to watch in cinemas across Europe. The partnership is with the ROH's own DVD-production arm, and will look to screen the performances in high-definition video with 5.1 surround-sound audio. The ROH production of Mozart's 'The Marriage Of Figaro' will be first, with Pietro Mascagni's 'Cavalleria Rusticana' from Madrid's Teatro Real to follow. Thirteen Odeon cinemas and those in the arthouse Picturehouse chain will screen the initial recordings from the venture, beginning later this month.


Remember, the music tutorial website we reported on late last year? It's an online community designed to give aspiring musicians a place to network, showcase and hone their musical skills, as well as enjoy the music of others, including established artists and musicians.

I'm pretty sure we mentioned before that the site has a thing called the 'multi-player' through which you can download - at 99p a time - special videos of famous tracks being played, filmed from four angles, the idea being that they help you teach yourself how to play it. Well, I'm mentioning all this again now because the site are currently giving away a free download of the multi-player video of Nirvana's classic 'Smells Like Teen Spirit', but only for a limited time, so go to this URL now if you fancy testing the whole thing out while teaching yourself some classic grunge.


SINGLE REVIEW: Grovesnor - Drive Your Car (Greco Roman)
It seems that the cars + 80s electro-pop concept is all the rage at the on the heels of Neon Neon's awesome new John DeLorean-themed album is this, the second single from Grovesnor, which is a different kind of driving experience but just as much fun. Like a more chilled out Chromeo, this is full of crunchy crisp synths and soulful Hall and Oates style 80s vocals with a lovelorn chorus for whom the word infectious just doesn't do it justice. There's also the faint (though possibly misleading) scent of Daft Punk about it, but via New York or LA. Ultra smooth retro electro-pop then, perfect for hot summer nights or, er, snowy days in April. MS
Release date: 7 Apr
Press contact: Darling [all]


So, who's keeping track of all these 'brand partnership' departments being launched by major record companies around the world? I hope some one is, because I meant to but never did. Anyway, Universal Music France is the latest major owned division to launch a new venture designed to forge partnerships between brands and bands. The new venture will be called U Think!, and will be headed up by Olivier Nusse, an existing Universal France exec who will continue to run the major's ULM label as well as overseeing the brand partnerships company.


More from Universal, and they have teamed up with YouTube for a promotion around the release of the album to accompany the new Rolling Stones concert movie 'Shine A Light' which, as previously reported, is being released by Universal labels as part of a one album deal. To promote the album, YouTube will make the Stones the subject of a new channel on the video site called Living Legends, and at the core of the whole thing will be the opportunity for fans to ask the band questions. Fans are encouraged to film themselves asking questions, and the best ones will then be answered by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. So, if you have a burning question, like "so what's the truth around all this gossip of you doing a 360 degree deal with Live Nation", upload yourself asking it at and keep your fingers crossed it will appear on the band's 'good enough to answer' list.


Motley Crue man Nikki Sixx has been appointed as President of US independent Eleven Seven Records, the label that released the 2007 album 'The Heroin Diaries' from Sixx's other band Sixx:AM

Confirming his new role, Sixx told reporters last week: "I find it very interesting to take the artist's craft, the art, the music, the image, and get it out there. It comes under the heading of 'record company president,' but it's a little more than that".

Eleven Seven was founded by Allen Kovac, and has enjoyed most commercial success with Buckcherry. Billboard says that Kovac "believes Sixx can blend his rock acumen, marketing/imaging skills and patience into a force that can tap into a wide range of outlets to follow up the label's platinum success with Buckcherry". So there you go.


Global marketing and advertising group Havas has announced it has acquired London based agency Cake, which will become part of its Havas Media division. Cake work with brands looking to market themselves through entertainment based projects, and are perhaps best known in the music space for their involvement in Carling's rather mega marketing activity in the music domain.

Confirming their move into the Havas group, Cake CEO Mike Mathieson told reporters: "This is a great moment for Cake to be joining with a global network of Havas Media's stature. For a while we have been looking for a partner that can further Cake's ambitions and allow us to service our international clients such as Vodafone, Motorola and Nintendo to a new level. Havas Media offers us the opportunity to really expand our horizons to deliver brand entertainment in new territories".

Havas Entertainment's Global CEO Juan Bascones added: "Our group's strategy for expansion is to focus on organic growth, start ups and targeted and timely acquisitions. The integration of Cake into the Havas Media network is therefore a significant move for us - not only do they operate within a growth sector for our group, but they are also recognised as the UK's branded entertainment pioneers. Cake's specialist expertise combined with the team's cultural fit with our existing network will offer a huge benefit to all our clients".


Cultural Times, one of the companies involved in the website, and the publishers of the free London Tourdates magazine, have announced the appointment of former EMAP exec and more recent digital media consultant GiGi Dryer to the role of Commercial Director.

Confirming the appointment, Cultural Times MD Richard Hodkinson told CMU: "GiGi couldn't be better placed to take the company to the next level of development. Her experience in cross platform media companies is second to none and her instinctive understanding of the business and our commercial aims makes this an ideal appointment for us".

Dryer herself added: "The growth in live music and the increasing importance of cross-platform media puts Cultural Times at the forefront of the next generation of entertainment companies. The seamless integration of print and digital platforms is the most exciting development in arts media for some time, and I'm delighted to be a part of it".


Dance mag Mixmag is 25 years old - yeah, the quarter century - and to celebrate they have various retrospective features going on. Firstly, the next edition of the magazine, out 17 Apr, will include a foldout cover featuring what they consider to be the 25 biggest names in electronic music from the last quarter century - so, that includes the likes of Daft Punk, Fatboy Slim, Basement Jaxx, LCD Soundsystem, The Prodigy, Moby, Mylo, Dizzee Rascal, Richie Hawtin, Goldie, Sven Vath, Felix Da Housecat, Sasha, Faithless and Underworld. There's also a free mix CD, also featuring tracks from the last quarter centry, mixed by the legend that is Laurent Garnier. Meanwhile online, they're polling readers as to the best tune, club night, DJ and act to have appeared on the scene since their launch. Details on that and other stuff is here:


Hmm, the fact that it is the Carphone Warehouse owned internet service provider Talk Talk that seems particularly against helping the record industry in its fight against online piracy may be about to become even more irritating for trade body the BPI, because Talk Talk might be about to become the UK's biggest provider of net access.

That is because Tiscali last week put its UK operations up for sale and, according to The Times, Carphone Warehouse is among the bidders and, according to their sources, the company most likely to successfully acquire it. Tiscali has an estimated 1.7 million customers which, if merged with Talk Talk's existing customer base, would put them ahead of existing market leaders BT and Virgin Media.

Carphone Warehouse, though, are not the only companies rumoured to be bidding for Tiscali UK - in fact pretty much every other mainstream ISP is reportedly interested, with the exception of Virgin - so that's BT, Sky and Orange.

In reality, which company is successful in buying Tiscali, while perhaps strategically important for the record industry, probably won't make much difference to the ISP's customers. Except, that is, for those that have taken up the Tiscali TV service, which came about after the net firm acquired the original TV-on-demand service Homechoice back in 2006, and which delivers multi-channel television to TV sets over broadband, and which has been positioned as a rival to Sky's satellite TV services and Virgin's cable TV packages. Carphone Warehouse might look to Tiscali TV as a way of launching itself into a new part of the net industry, BT would almost certainly merge it with their rival TV-over-the-net service BT Vision, but Sky - well - would they add it to their existing TV packages, or look to turn Tiscali TV customers into Sky satellite TV viewers?

Time will tell. Given recent gossiping that Tiscali was struggling financially, especially given the increased demand for bandwidth as a result of the growing popularity of online video services, some wonder how many bidders will be able to justify the relatively high price Tiscali are reportedly demanding for their UK operations.


More idle speculation as to who might replace Terry Wogan if and when British radio's second biggest institution (after the Shipping Forecast) chooses to retire (I say 'if', presumably he'll have to go one day). And the latest favourite to front the BBC Radio 2 breakfast show post-Terry is Top Gear presenter, and everyone's favourite near-fatal crash star, Richard Hammond, who has filled in for Wogan in the prime time slot on the national station a few times already. According to The Sun, Hammond is now top of the Radio 2 bosses' wish list for a presenter to take on the tricky task of taking over one of the UK's highest rating radio shows when the job becomes available - even though Wogan is contracted to the show until at least 2009. A source told the tab: "They are excited about Hammond taking over. But they don't want anyone to know as it may offend Terry or look like they want him to go by planning a replacement". Hammond is also being rumoured as a the frontman of a new chat show on Channel 4 to fill the space left by Richard & Judy.


Oh, so Estelle is still number one I see, lovely. And Flo Rida and T-Pain are still at number two I see. All of which means we rely on those Kooks for a bit of innovation in the singles chart Top 3 this week - which isn't necessarily a place where we want to be is it? 'Always Where I Need To Be' goes in at 3. Other new entries come from Mariah Carey with 'Touch My Body' at 5, Courteeners with 'Not Nineteen Forever' at 19, Radiohead with 'Nude' at 21 and Fragma with 'Toca's Miracle' at 29.

Albums chart, and REM go straight in at one with 'Accelerate', pushing that Duffy back into second place. Other new entries go Estelle and 'Shine' at 6, Gnarls Barkley with 'The Odd Couple' at 19, Snoop Dogg with 'Ego Trippin' at 23, Michael McDonald with 'Soul Speak' at 27, a Specials best of at 28, Flo Rida with 'Mail On Sunday' at 29, Gabriella Cilmi with 'Lessons To Be Learned' at 31, and Black Keys with 'Attack & Release' at 34. Which is quite a lot.


Here they are again, the videos being played this week on the video screen network in students' unions all over the UK. New entries marked with a *.

Black Kids - I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend... (Almost Gold)
The Black Keys - Strange Times (Universal/Cooperative)
Estelle feat. Kanye West - American Boy (Warner/Atlantic)
Funkerman - Speed Up (Defected)
Goldfrapp - Happiness (EMI/Mute)*
The Hoosiers - Cops and Robbers (SonyBMG/RCA)
Justice - DVNO (Ed Banger)
Kanye West feat Dwele - Flashing Lights (Universal/Def Jam)
Kelly Rowland - Daylight (SonyBMG/RCA)*
The Kooks - Always Where I Need To Be (EMI/Virgin)
The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age Of The Understatement (Domino)
Mariah Carey - Touch My Body (Universal/Mercury)
Natasha Bedingfield - Love Like This (SonyBMG/RCA)
One Night Only - It's About Time (Universal/Mercury)
Scouting For Girls - Heartbeat (SonyBMG/Epic)
The Wombats - Backfire At The Disco (Warner/14th Floor)

Against Me! - Stop (Warner)
Blood Red Shoes - Say Something, Say Anything (Universal/Mercury)
Captain - Keep An Open Mind (EMI)*
Delays - Hooray (Universal/Fiction)
Elliot Minor - Parallel Worlds (Warner/Repossession)
The Envy Corps - Story Problem (Universal/Vertigo)
Forward Russia - Breaking Standing (Warner/Cooking Vinyl)
Hadouken - Declaration Of War (Warner/Atlantic)*
Los Campesinos! - My Year In Lists (Wichita)*
Make Model - The LSB (EMI)
Noah and the Whale - Shape Of My Heart (Young & Lost Club)
Pendulum - Propane Nightmares (Warner)*
Plain White T's - Our Time Now (Charisma)*
Portishead - Machine Gun (Universal/Island)
The Script - We Cry (SonyBMG/RCA)*
White Denim - Let's Talk About It (Full Time Hobby)*


It's this week's Total Rock World Album Chart, as counted down on Total Rock over the weekend - New entries and re-entries marked with a *.

1. Linkin Park - Minutes To Midnight (Warner Bros)
2. Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (SonyBMG)
3. Simple Plan - Simple Plan (Warner/Atlantic)
4. Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (Warner/Roadrunner)
5. Eagles - Long Road Out Of Eden (Universal)
6. Led Zeppelin - Mothership (Swan Song)
7. Eddie Vedder - Into The Wild (SonyBMG/J Records)
8. Bullet For My Valentine - Scream Aim Fire (SonyBMG)
9. Daughtry - Daughtry (SonyBMG)
10. Bon Jovi - Lost Highway (Universal/Mercury)
11. Buckcherry - 15 (Eleven Seven Music)
12. Paramore - Riot! (Warner/Atlantic)
13. Queen - Greatest Hits Vols. 1, 2, 3 (EMI)
14. Bruce Springsteen - Magic (SonyBMG/Columbia)
15. Black Crowes - Warpaint (Silver Arrow)
16. The Mars Volta - The Bedlam In Goliath (Universal)
17. Airbourne - Runnin' Wild (Warner/Roadrunner)
18. Danko Jones - Never Too Loud (Bad Taste)*
19. Nightwish - Dark Passion Play (Nuclear Blast)
20. The Eagles - The Complete Greatest Hits (Warner Bros)*


Keith Allen has been bigging up daughter Lily, who has, let's be fair, had a difficult year, what with the miscarriage, breakdown of her relationship with Chemical Brother Ed Simons and the poor critical reception to her new TV show for BBC 3. Dad Keith told reporters last week: "It was a very, very tough time for her. [But she has] come out fighting. To wake up the day after your show basically being told that you're talentless and useless, it's pretty tough. She carried on, and power to her. It seems unfair because I think the show is absolutely fine".

Despite the poor critical reception, Lily's show did pull in an OK audience for a digital channel and, as previously reported, it has been commissioned for a second series. Making the show after all those personal traumas, though, may have taken its toll. Allen pulled out as a judge of the Orange Prize for women's literature last week, having only made one of the judges' meetings, and that by phone, citing ill health as an excuse. A spokesman for Lily told reporters: "Lily had read extensively for the first stage of the judging process and was looking forward to the shortlist meeting but recently found that she was unable to commit 100 per cent to the role due to ill-health".

More Allen news, though back to Keith, and the news that the Sheriff Of Nottingham actor is planning a return to music - following his two football related music projects of old, New Order's 'World In Motion' and Fat Les. Allen says that he is working on a solo album after Lily rejected some songs he wrote for her in the early days of her pop career. He told reporters last week: "I worked very hard on these eleven songs for Lily, and she decided not to use them. A 15-year-old girl sounded ridiculous singing the lyrics of a 40-year-old man, but it inspired me to write the album we're working on".


Sarah Beeny, presenter of Channel 4's 'Property Ladder' show, says she'd like to run a tea shop with Michael Jackson. She suggested the business partnership after news that the Jackson family was looking to buy a property in Devon - what now seems likely to be mainly a home for use on a new reality show centring on Tito Jackson. But with the thought that Michael may also be spending more time in the county, Beeny observed: "I can see Michael running a little tea shop. I've always wanted to do that, so maybe we could do it together. It would be full of lace doilies and waitresses in aprons!" Though, I'm not sure Jacko will be rushing to go into business with the TV property type, given her comments on his appearance - "A little plastic surgery can improve people but it's sad when people get addicted. Michael Jackson was a really good looking guy before he had surgery. It must be awful to know you have messed up your face up so much".

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