CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 14th May
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Remy Ma gets eight years
- No more job cuts at EMI, well, other than the upcoming job cuts
- Spector collaborator dies
- Nate Dogg not dead
- Glasvegas in New York car crash
- Pete Doherty cheated drug test
- Weiland completes prison sentence. Did you miss it?
- Parliamentary jazz winners
- Jay-Z responds to Noel Gallagher
- Longwave release free download
- Outkast man readies solo album
- Arcade Fire soundtrack new film
- Santogold names P Diddy as anti-inspiration
- Health warning: Slipknot will rip your face off
- Courtney Love scraps solo album?
- I Was A Cub Scout UK tour
- Welsh rugby plans big free concert on bank holiday
- Single review: Late Of The Pier - Space And The Woods
- Ticketmaster dabble in new paperless ticketing set up
- HBO get variable pricing for TV downloads on iTunes
- Zune passes two million sold mark
- SonyBMG make DRM-free tracks available via US mobile service
- Warner promote US comms chief
- In The City announced 2008 plans
- 6Music idiot warned
- BBC Trust chief says no licence money to C4 thank you very much
- Sky Freeview pay-per-view plans delayed
- Usher on his Manchester greetings
- Muse man on his annual trip


Hello there. Where's the sun gone, that's what I want to know? It's not shining on Shoreditch today, and we'd got used to it being there. Ah well, too much going on here to be worrying about that.

First up, CMU is ten years old this weekend. Yes, ten years old, can you believe it? Presents and cakes can be sent to the usual address, but more important than that we have a load of exciting things going on over the next six months to mark our first decade. You'll get an email later today telling you about some of those things, plus we'll give you a full lowdown at our Great Escape get-together tomorrow.

And it's those Brighton things that are also keeping us busy. The Brighton Festival is at halfway point and CMU's sister publication ThreeWeeks is covering it all. You can check our coverage online at, plus we have some music reviews from there in today's CMU Daily.

The Great Escape sits in the middle of the Brighton Festival, of course, and a combined Team ThreeWeeks/CMU will be taking it all in - you can check their coverage next week here in the Daily. Plus don't forget the CMU events taking place at TGE tomorrow - details are given just below.

So, as you can see, busy busy busy. No time to be worrying about the sun. Except that while I've been writing this Top Bit it's started to break through the cloud, so that's all doubly brill.



Cooking Vinyl, a leading independent record label, is looking for a digital and marketing assistant. The role will include working with the company's Digital Manager on digital marketing and distribution, online PR and website maintenance, as well as working with the Product Director organising promotional items, sales sheets and adverts. The candidate should be web savvy, with good IT skills and at least a basic knowledge of html. They will be up-to-date with the latest digital and music industry trends and have a passion for all things online. CVs should be sent to [email protected], the closing date for application is the 21st May.


Small independent record label is looking for a sharp & meticulous accounts assistant. The successful candidate will be a team player with a keen eye for detail, be brilliantly numerate & have a minimum of 12 months experience. You will have a varied role dealing with all accounts payable and sales ledger functions, perform all reconciliations, issue supplier payments and be responsible for general ad hoc duties, as well as assisting the financial accountant with the preparation of monthly reports. This is an excellent opportunity to join a well established music company who have huge plans to continue their successful growth. In return you will receive an excellent package with lots of opportunity to progress. Please email your c.v. to [email protected] and [email protected]


We are looking for someone to join us within the fabric Press Department. We're looking for someone who has a few years experience within a London/UK music based PR agency or in-house department; experience in plugging/managing radio campaigns (London, national, regional & international experience all advantageous); who understands radio globally and has contacts appropriate to fabric within radio - online, digital, commercial, pirate, community, government subsidised radio, podcasts; has experience with print/online/digital PR campaigns (London, national, regional, student & international experience all advantageous); has experience with industry, trade, internal business, corporate and event press (advantageous but not essential); has strong copy writing skills; is friendly, passionate, savvy, honest, hard working, highly organised, very diligent and a completer finisher; has very strong administrational and organisational skills, is computer literate and numerate; is extremely flexible in time and outlook; has a good understanding of electronic music and knows what fabric's ethos is. Salary to commensurate on experience; start date is immediate. Please send CV and covering letter emailed to Pearl Jones - [email protected] Closing date for applicants: 5pm Wednesday May 21, 2008.



Intern wanted for 360 degree young, successful and friendly music company. Label, music publisher and management company with international success and rapidly expanding roster in indie pop / alt-country genres seeks bright spark with a thirst for knowledge and a great sense of humour. Get your hands dirty and in return you'll learn about every aspect of the music industry and we'll get your travel / lunch. SE London near New Cross. Hours to suit min 16 p/w. In 100 words, tell Nathaniel why it should be you at [email protected]



Music company has desk space for up to 2 desks in beautiful grade 2 listed building. Includes all bills and reasonable use of phone and unlimited cable broadband internet. Bright room divided by mezzanine with nice carpets, central heating, kitchen and bathroom. Would suit nice people in media / arts based businesses who like topping up the biscuit barrel! Contact Nathaniel at [email protected]


It wasn't surprising to discover that this lot had supported electro types Ladytron, what with the sharply cut lead singer, the synth-reliant backline and homages to The Cure, Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode on their webpage. Yet while there are certainly a few points of comparison, their throwaway riot grrrl sounding racket distinguishes them from their more established cousins; it's Huggy Bear with synths, Kathleen Hanna fronting The Stooges (with synths) and, erm, more synths, but all with a grim lyrical wit, which is best exemplified on last year's single, 'Kevin 1989': "Said he'd fucked the aids out of her, that stupid barmaid cocktease whore". Keith Optimo and DJ Joakim have already leant their kudos to the pile, and with a new video up (apparently only four days ago) there's no better time to head to the link below.


The Brighton Festival takes over our favourite seaside city for the whole of May with a brilliant programme of comedy, theatre, dance, art, talks and whatnot, and, of course, lots of music. Our sister publication ThreeWeeks is reviewing it all, and you can check out the ThreeWeeks music team's reviews here in the CMU Daily.

Terence Allbright (Piano): 'Modern British Music'
Bramber Press
Terence Allbright aims to highlight the variety within modern British piano music, and introduce new elements to a genre where novelty has been almost impossible for 200 years, exploiting every facet of his instrument, and introducing several gimmicks - such as augmenting his piano with pegs - to do so. His own work is edgy and suspenseful, yet throughout, his wit, only hinted at in banter, is evident. A highlight was Thorogood's 'Fantasy Variations On A Danish Folksong', where a simple tune is traced from deep sorrow to the peaks of joy, a performance undoubtedly enjoyed by Thorogood himself, present in the audience. Allbright's perfect performance was only slightly marred by an overabundance of background noise, yet throughout Allbright brought humour and novelty to a genre which risks repetition.
Friends' Meeting House, 3 May 5:15pm, £7 (£4), fringe pp14.
tw rating 4/5

Martha Tilston
For those who don't know Martha Tilston by sight, there is no mistaking the celebrated sound of her voice as it rises above the din. Right from out of the din in fact, as she begins to sing from the audience. The sparse instrumentation is well arranged but ultimately plays second fiddle to Martha's voice, characterised by a unique, trembling vibrato, stressed until it stutters. The economy of her guitar work is enjoyable too, making a welcome change from self-indulgent support act Nathan Bell. The plainly narrated nostalgia of numbers like 'Songs That Make Sophie Fizz' is a little sickly sweet, but her lyrics are otherwise charming and thoughtful. 'Does anybody else get me?' Oh yes, everybody here tonight at least.
Komedia, 7 May, 8:30pm (11:00pm), £10.00 (£8.00) fringe pp. 35
tw rating 4/5

Andrew Cronshaw and Tigran Aleksanyan
Brighton Festival
After surprising the audience by appearing from the back of the auditorium on one of his many pipes multi-instrumentalist Cronshaw takes to the stage and strums sweet Finnish tunes on his intricate 74-string electrified zither. Armenian Aleksanyan accompanies him with the breathy resonance of his double-reeded duduk. The pair jump around the globe with music for Finnish weddings and recounting Irish drownings, with a wry commentary. Cronshaw's demonstration of the Slovakian shepherd's flute creates a ridiculously priapic profile, but the sound is well-worth the struggle with this 6ft-long monster. Both an exhibition of some of the world's most fascinating looking musical instruments and a concert to show that the sound outshines their mere visual eccentricity, with haunting and inspiring beauty.
Pavilion Theatre, 6 May, 01:00pm (2:00pm), £7.50, festival pp28.
tw rating 3/5

Part of the Brighton Festival is The Great Escape, the three day music convention for music business types which takes place in Brighton this week. Don't forget that CMU will be running some events on day one at The Globe pub just round the corner from the main convention venue. Line up as follows...

12.30-2.00pm - CMU & Guide To Making It In Music
A beginners guide to working in or with the music business, for anyone looking to work in the industry, or hoping to make it as an artist. Find out how the music industry works, what jobs are available, and who aspiring artists should be looking to meet, and where they'll find them. Run by Chris Cooke, Co-founder and Editor of music business news service the CMU Daily, and Publisher of, the new graduate careers website. To come to this free workshop just email your name and number to [email protected]

2.30-5.30pm - CMU-Tube from the Great Escape
Come and hear from artists and industry people who are appearing elsewhere at The Great Escape this year. CMU Daily Editor Chris Cooke will be interviewing both artists and industry people for the all new CMU-Tube video clip service, coming soon to the CMU Music Network website. Any Great Escape wristband holders are welcome to come and nosey, and even throw in some questions.

6pm-8pm - Come Say Hello to CMU
Come meet us. Yes, us. And we'll tell you all about our tenth birthday celebrations, which will take place over Summer 2008.

To buy your tickets for The Great Escape, go to this URL:


Grammy-nominated hip hop type Remy Ma was sentenced to eight years in jail yesterday, which is quite a lot, though she could have got 25. The jailing came after her being found guilty back in March of shooting one Makeda Barnes Joseph during a dispute over money last July.

Ma, real name Remy Smith, begged the judge for leniency when it came to sentencing for the sake of "my little boy", adding that she had grown up "surrounded by failure, violence and poverty", but had, nevertheless, "made something out of nothing" in her life. She also issued an apology to Joseph, to whom she said: "I feel so bad for all the physical and mental pain you've gone through. This has taken a toll on us and both our families. I would never wish you harm and I pray the best for all of us".

State Supreme Court Justice Rena Uviller said she recognised Smith had had a difficult childhood, and took on board her other comments, but that she thought the rapper was "a young woman whose anger is out of control", adding that she couldn't ignore that Joseph nearly died as a result of the shooting, and that she would never be physically the same as a result of the incident.

Smith was reportedly tearful at the sentencing, while her fiancé, rapper Papoose, seemed to be more angry than upset, and was reported seen screaming in the hallway outside the courtroom "All you want is money!", possibly a reference to Joseph's concurrent civil lawsuit in relation to the shooting.

Smith and Papoose had planned to marry last year at Rikers Island jail, where Smith was incarcerated after the shooting, but the wedding was halted after jail guards found what they thought was a handcuff key on Papoose. However, no action has been taken against him, and the couple reportedly plan to tie the knot behind bars later this year.


EMI has no plans to downsize its operations over and above the jobs cuts confirmed by top man Guy Hands at the start of the year. Well, that's what they're saying. They were forced to comment on their job cut plans after the Daily Telegraph reported plans at the major to undergo a second round of cuts later this year. The current restructure will, as previously reported, have downsized EMI's recorded music staff count by a third once it is complete, leaving about 2700 people. The Telegraph said there were plans to lose another 700 later this year. But a spokesman for the major said yesterday: "There are no additional redundancies to those already announced in January. The restructuring is on plan and the new organization will be fully up and running by the end of June". So, there you have it.


The recording engineer who helped Phil Spector develop his legendary Wall Of Sound technique has died, aged 80.

Larry Levine began his career as a recording engineer after returning from fighting in the Korean War, picking up the tricks from his cousin, Stan Ross, who was an owner of the Gold Star Recording Studios in Hollywood. He first worked with Spector in 1962 on the Gene Pitney penned chart topping The Crystals track 'He's A Rebel', and later took on an engineer role on a number of other tracks produced by the legendary (if, now infamous) producer, including 'Da Doo Ron Ron', 'You've Lost That Lovin Feeling' and 'River Deep-Mountain High'. With Spector's habit of using dozens of instruments on any one track, creating the final mix was no small task, but that was Levine's job, and in that role he had a key role in getting the unique sound of Spector's work on tape. Despite Spector's unpredictable personality, the producer and engineer remained good friends, with Levine telling reporters he was "sad" when the producer was accused of murder back in 2003.

Although he is most famous for his Spector collaborations, Levine worked with many artists and producers over his career, including Eddie Cochran, The Beach Boys, Sonny and Cher, Wings, The Carpenters, Dr John and Herb Alpert. It was for the latter's 1965 hit 'A Taste Of Honey' that Levine won a Best Engineered Recording Grammy.

Levine, who died on his eightieth birthday, is survived by his wife, three sons, and four grandchildren.


No CMU obituary for Nate Dogg, please note. There were rumours on the net earlier this week that the US hip hopper, who suffered a stroke at the end of last year, had died, but it has been confirmed that that is very much not the case, and he is, in fact, proceeding well with his recovery. The website where the story seems to have originated from are saying someone hacked into their site to post the story - which seems a bit morbid, hacking into a website to declare a recuperating hip hop star to be dead - but we do live in a strange world.


Writing on his band's MySpace blog, Glasvegas guitarist Rab Allan has revealed that the Glaswegian quartet were recently involved in a car crash in New York, where they have been recording their debut album.

Allan wrote: "One night after the studio we were heading home in a taxi and it crashed into another car. The other guy had gone through a red light and we drove side on into him. The front of our taxi was ripped off and we went into a spin. It was like slow motion. Anyways everyone was okay. The fuckin' idiot said it was our taxi's fault cause we hit him. We got back into the cab to take us home and the driver hit another car's wing mirror off (just before we clashed mirrors Kev had 'quote of the tour' when he winced 'he's gonnae dae it again!'). The driving in NYC is nuts!"


Pete Doherty has admitted to cheating on a drugs test prior to his recent imprisonment for breaching probation. He wrote all the answers on his arm. Sorry, old joke. Though the chemical codes of different illegal substances written in marker pen may cover up the needle holes. Not that that will help in a urine test. Better to supply someone else's urine, which is what he did. Speaking to the NME about it all he said: "[Prior to going to jail] I was pretty much back into the [heroin] cycle. I was banging it. The only time I tested clean was when I used someone else's piss. It was a fair cop, really".

He added, though, that the certificate he obtained in prison confirming he was drug free was completely legitimate, and that he is now committed to staying clean. He said: "I can't go back to that. I don't think I've ever been healthier".

Doherty's Babyshambles bandmate Adam Ficek has also been talking about Pete's new drive. He told BBC 6music: "We drove up to his house and saw him and he was really on good form. He seemed really focused. He came out of there really knowing what he wanted to achieve and it was him that was calling for rehearsals. He was saying, 'Right we have got to rehearse every day, make a new song every day to get ready for the Forum'. So all respect to him for that. He's had some time to think in there and he's back on his game".

Although, Ficek did admit that the band are still concerned that Doherty might go back to drugs: "It is always a concern it will happen again. In his mind he always wants to stay focused and clean and free from all those problems but as anyone knows who has dealings with anyone who has addiction problems, it is sincere when they say that but there are times when they are going to fall. Unfortunately Peter is in the position where wherever he does fall people are in the position to take a photo or have a kick at him when he's on the floor. But his pledge is always to remain on the straight and narrow. It is up to us and the people around him to try and maintain that integrity and keep him on that good path".

Of course, Doherty may be off the hard stuff, but he's still on the ciggies, which isn't illegal, of course, unless you smoke one in a public building. Which he reportedly did. During his somewhat raucous 'I'm out of prison' gig at the London Forum yesterday. Lock him up again, that's what I say.


Stone Temple Pilots and former Velvet Revolver frontman Scott Weiland has reportedly been released from prison just 10 hours into a 192 hour sentence, handed down last month for drink driving charges, according to

The website reports: "Weiland turned himself in at 8:55am yesterday, was officially booked at just after noon, and then assigned a housing location at 6:41pm. But that wasn't quite necessary, since he was released just 13 minutes later".

As previously reported, Weiland was stopped on a California freeway last November and arrested after he showed "signs of impairment" and subsequently failed sobriety tests. Although he pleaded not guilty to the charges, the court took a different view, giving him a fine, prison sentence and ordering him to attend an 18 month alcohol program.


More awards everybody, and it was the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group Awards last night, which may not roll off the tongue all that well, but which is worthy of a mention nonetheless. Staged at the House Of Commons, sponsored by royalty body PPL, presented by Paul Gambaccini and supported by jazz fan MPs like Ken Clarke, Charles Kennedy and Culture Minister Andy Burnham (actually, he was presumably there cos he had to be, I don't know whether he actually likes jazz), the winners this year were as follows...

Jazz Musician of the Year: Liane Carroll
Jazz Broadcaster of the Year: Helen Mayhew
Jazz Venue of the Year : Tithe Barn
Jazz Educator of the Year: Dennis Rollins
Jazz Publication of the Year: Jazz UK
Jazz Journalist of the Year: John Fordham
Services to Jazz: Paul Pace
Jazz CD of the Year: The Amadeus Project' (Guy Barker)
Jazz Ensemble of the Year: Empirical

Confirming their support for the event, PPL chief Fran Nevrkla told CMU: "PPL is delighted to continue as the main sponsor of the APPJAG and specifically the Parliamentary Jazz Awards. This prestigious event is becoming increasingly important and we are very proud to be able to champion jazz music and the very talented jazz musicians in this country. My congratulations and compliments go to all the winners together with many thanks to Michael and Tony without whose sterling work none of this would happen. A very special thank you must go also to Paul Gambaccini whose unique talent as the regular host of these Awards makes the event so special".


Now that everyone else seems to have stopped passing judgements on Noel Gallagher's recent comments about Jay-Z's planned headline appearance at Glastonbury, the rapper himself has finally waded into the debate.

As previously reported, Gallagher said that hip hop was "wrong" for Glastonbury, adding "I'm sorry, but Jay-Z? No chance".

The Sun yesterday quoted the rapper as saying: "We don't play guitars, Noel, but hip-hop has put in its work like any other form of music. This headline show is just a natural progression. Rap music is still evolving. From Afrika Bambaataa DJing in the Bronx and Run DMC going platinum, to Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince winning the first rap Grammy, I'm just next in the line. We have to respect each others' genre of music and move forward".

Jay-Z also added that he's enjoying the controversy surrounding his Glastonbury appearance: "I've never ever had a show that's caused this much of a stir so I'm really looking forward to it. I've never been involved in anything this controversial. What's the big deal about doing a show? I guess it's heritage and people hold that dear to their heart and see it one way but that's how the world is".


New Yorkers Longwave, who have just completed a brief tour of the UK, have released a new song, 'Songs From The Deep Sea', from their upcoming fourth album. To get hold of it, for free, head over to or to the band's MySpace page at


Outkast's Big Boi is putting the finishing touches on his first (or second, if you count his half of 'Speakerboxxx/The Love Below') solo album, 'Sir Luscious Left Foot, Son Of Chico Dusty'.

Speaking to Billboard, the rapper said: "I'm shooting to finish the album by the end of August. This album is Big Boi to the extreme. It's like a recession special. I'm talking about what's going on in the world, with everything from rising gas prices to the election. It's just my insights on life up to this point".

Although details of the album, including its release date, are still being kept under wraps, it seems it will feature a formidable list of guests. The first single, 'Royal Flush' was released in March and includes vocals from Big Boi's Outkast partner Andre 3000 and Wu-Tang's Raekwon. Single number two, 'The World Is Too Big', will feature Mary J. Blige.

Last month, a ballet collaboration between Big Boi and The Atlanta Ballet debuted at the city's Georgia Fox Theatre. The rapper is now in talks with AEG and Live Nation to take the show on an international tour. No word on how this would affect the release of 'Sir Luscious Left Foot, Son Of Chico Dusty'.


Arcade Fire are currently recording the soundtrack for a new film by 'Donnie Darko' director Richard Kelly. The film, entitled 'The Box', stars Cameron Diaz and James Marsden.

News of the soundtrack came from producer Markus Dravs, who also worked on the band's 'Neon Bible' album. He said, via his website: "Having finished Coldplay's forthcoming album Viva LaVida - now off to Canada to work with Arcade Fire on a soundtrack for the forthcoming Richard Kelly film".


Santogold has told the newly relaunched Loud & Quiet magazine that it was P Diddy, in his earlier Puff Daddy incarnation, who inspired her to quit her A&R job at Epic Records to become a full-time musician.

She said: "You think it's going to be a creative job and it ended up being a completely administrative one. I was working in the urban department which was all R&B and hip-hop, which at that time started to be really bad - it was all Puffy, at a time when music stopped being good. And I was never a fan of R&B anyway, except for old R&B like Aretha [Franklin] and Marvin Gaye. Anything that was cool that I wanted to sign, they'd be like 'Wow! You're weird'".


Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor has told Billboard that his band's as-yet-untitled fourth album will "rip your face off", adding: "I don't think the world will be ready for this album", which is currently scheduled for release on 12 Aug.

He continued that the album, the follow-up to 2004's 'Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses', will see the band taking a new approach to their music, making their sound darker and more melodic. He said: "I got to the point where I was tired of pretending that I couldn't sing every time I made a Slipknot album, so this time I'm going all out. [The music] has so much power in it and yet there are so many great spots for melody. It's a controlled chaos that hits you right out of the gate. I think we're all in way better places now. We're not afraid to speak up and say what we like and don't like. With that kind of confidence and maturity, you really get to explore different stuff".

He also said that the band will appear in new masks and outfits for this album: "[They are] very dark and will fit in everything image-wise that we're making with this album".


According to, Courtney Love has scrapped songs written and recorded with songwriter Linda Perry for her forthcoming second solo album, 'Nobody's Daughter', in order to start again with former Larrikin Love guitarist Micko Larkin, who has been a member of her live band since last summer.

Linda Perry is, of course, a former member of 4 Non Blondes, and has written songs for artists including Pink, Christina Aguilera, Avril Lavigne and James Blunt. She also produced and co-wrote Love's debut solo album 'America's Sweetheart' in 2004.


I Was A Cub Scout have announced new UK tour dates, beginning at the end of this month. They also revealed that James Spence from Rolo Tomassi and Sam Hudson from Youth Movies will remain members of the duo's live band, following on from recent dates supporting The Wombats, which can only be a good thing, if you ask me.

Tour dates:

30 May: Liverpool, Korova
3 Jun: Cambridge, Barfly
4 Jun: Leicester, Charlotte
5 Jun: London, Dingwalls
6 Jun: Sheffield, Plug
7 Jun: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
8 Jun: Manchester, Academy 3
9 Jun: Leeds, Cockpit
10 Jun: Barfly, Brighton
11 Jun: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms

Support comes from Data.Select.Party, ExLovers and CMU favourite Sportsday Megaphone.

I Was A Cub Scout, who release a new single 'Hunter's Daughter' on 9 Jun, have also just made a cover of 'Close To Me' by The Cure available via MP3 blog Good Weather For Airstrikes. Download it here: test/2008/05/12/first-look-post-war-years/


A free gig is being staged in Wales to celebrate what I'm told has been a very good year for Welsh Rugby. Tickets will be distributed via rugby clubs around the country. Among the bands due to play at the Millennium Stadium event are Stereophonics, Feeder, Heather Small and X-Factor runner-up Rhydian Roberts. It all takes place on the upcoming Bank Holiday Monday, 26 May.


SINGLE REVIEW: Late Of The Pier - Space And The Woods (Zarcorp/Parlophone)
Originally released last year, Late Of The Pier have had a good old fiddle with this track, with the help of indie-dance hero Erol Alkan. It's a whirlwind of noise that is like being thrown around in the middle of the crowd at sweaty, bouncy gig. And it's great. Late Of The Pier pick you up, shake you quite violently then neatly pop you back down, leaving you to feel a little bit dizzy, but in a good way, of course. 'Space And The Woods' has a racing, stomping beat mixed with the hyperactivity of new rave, plus pop, electro and psychedelic garage rock that punches you in the face right from the start. The rampant and slick sound of Late Of The Pier, with jutting synths plus Sam Eastgate's vocals in this track showcase them as more than a storm in a teacup. They deserve attention, if only to try to understand what goes on in the minds of these boys to come up with such loopy, yet ingenious music. DH
Release Date: 19 May
Press Contact: Darling Dept [All]


Ticketmaster in the US is launching a new paperless ticketing service which will use customers' credit cards as the main proof of purchase - and will use it for an upcoming Tom Waits US tour.

Ticketing companies have, for a while, been dabbling in ways to give punters their tickets without mailing them physical tickets, partly to reduce costs, partly to make it more difficult for touts to resell tickets, and, on occasion, for the good of the trees. With the new system punters will be asked to hand over their credit card when arriving at the venue. The card will be swiped in a special machine which will reveal how many tickets have been bought on it. A receipt will then be given to the gig goer to gain access to the relevant part of a venue. Photo ID will also be required, presumably to stop people mugging Tom Waits fans on their way into the venue in order to get the tickets stored on their credit cards.

Although the ticketing company hasn't confirmed use of the new system on any other tours as yet, a spokesman did say the credit card readers would be installed at major venues across the US and elsewhere in the next 12-18 months to allow roll out of this new paperless system.


US TV network HBO has persuaded iTunes to sell its TV programmes at two different price points - $2 an episode for shows like 'Sex And The City', 'The Wire' and 'Flight Of The Conchords' and $3 an episode for 'The Sopranos', 'Deadwood' and 'Rome'. That's only relevant because Apple have generally been resistant to having variable pricing for single file products like songs and TV shows. Though it is probably an exaggeration to assume that means Apple is any more open to the idea of having variable pricing in the single music track domain - something some of the record labels have pushed for ever since the start of the download era, but with little success. HBO had a strong hand at the negotiating table given that rivals NBC withdrew their content from iTunes in a revenue split dispute, so HBO's content is key to maintaining iTunes position in the slowly emerging TV download market.


Apple's keenness to get HBO on board maybe in part influenced by that recent news that NBC, having withdrawn its content from iTunes, had done a deal with Microsoft's Zune Marketplace. The Zune player is still very much a minority device, though it has now passed the 2 million players sold mark, and has a reported 4% of the US MP3 player market, so it is slowly growing in significance. Though the iPod still has 71% of the market, while SanDisk have 11%, so it is still someway off being even second.


SonyBMG has announced it will be making DRM-free music available via a US mobile music download store in which it also has a stake - Dada. I say it's a mobile music download store, it's actually one of those where you download the tracks over the net to your PC, and then transfer them to your phone. Other content is available straight to phone though, including ringtones and wallpapers. Over-the-air (ie direct to phone) DRM-free full track music downloads will presumably follow at some point.


Warner Music US has announced the promotion of Will Tanous, previously VP Corp Comms, to the job of Exec VP and Chief Communications Officer, reporting directly to Warner chief Edgar Bronfman Jr, who said of his new top comms man: "He has been a key member of our executive team, and plays an integral role in shaping and communicating the company's business strategy".

One of the first things Tanous can communicate is that US royalty collecting society SESAC has named the major's publishing division, Warner/Chappell, Publisher Of The Year for the sixth year in a row. Which is nice.


With The Great Escape kicking off tomorrow, let's talk about a music convention happening in the Autumn shall we? Makes sense. Organisers of In The City have announced that this year's convention will take place from 5-7 Oct under the headline of 'It's All About The Music, Stupid', which it is.

Commenting on this year's event, In The City co-founder and Director Yvette Livesey told CMU: "It's a pretty blunt statement, but we want people to get back to focusing on the core issues affecting the industry and everything, everything starts with the music. Somewhere along the way, amidst all the gloom and panic that has gripped the global music industry in recent times, we've somehow forgotten the fact that great artists keep coming along and that great music continues to be made. With all the debates over delivery systems, pricing, formats and so on we have, I think, lost sight of the fact that the music is the starting point for everything. In The City this year is going to be about celebrating the music, about recognizing the fact that music isn't going away".

Livesey also revealed plans to adopt a more consumer faciling profile for the showcase part of the In The City programme this year - that is to say, to better promote the gigs that form a key part of the convention to Manchester locals. Livesey: "We will also be opening up our live music programme to a wider audience creating an authentic festival feel in Manchester throughout the 3 days of In The City 2008. We will obviously still be putting on the very best of unsigned bands but also working closely with labels around the world to showcase both newly signed acts and established bands throughout the city".

Demo submissions for this year's ITC are now open - demos (minimum of three tracks), biographies and photos should be sent to: In The City, Unit 8, Brewery Year 0Deva Centre, Trinity Way, Salford, Manchester M3 7BB, or online submissions can be made via


BBC 6Music has issued a warning to its morning presenter George Lamb, though not because he's incredibly irritating and totally inappropriate for the Beeb's digital music station, but rather because he appeared to pledge on air support for Boris Johnson during the recent London mayor elections.

On the day of the election Lamb told his listeners "I know who I'm going to vote for, who has blond hair?". Although this wasn't explicit enough in its support for Boris to breach OfCom rules on political impartiality (the rules that James Whale broke, leading to his sacking from TalkSport), which is why he isn't being fired (much to the disappointment of every 6Music listener I know), his comment did breach the BBC's own editorial guidelines, hence the warning.

A spokesman for the digital station told reporters: "The problem is it breached BBC editorial guidelines on impartiality. It wasn't a breach of [the Ofcom broadcasting code] as there was with James Whale. [But] this was a breach of the guidelines which we do take seriously".


The head of the BBC Trust doesn't want any of that licence fee money going to Channel 4. Oh no. He wants it all for the Beeb. And to be fair, if you're going to start insisting the BBC actually passes on money made from charitable phone ins to charity, well, they can't be having any more of their licence fee billions being spent anywhere else, can they?

Speaking to the Royal Society Of Arts, Micheal Lyons said that making Channel 4 a licence recipient risked turning it into BBC 5, and that a licence fee funded supplement would "weaken rather than cure the patient". He said: "Has Channel 4's audience been properly consulted about the risks such an arrangement might entail? Put bluntly, the question is this. Who gains if the effect of well-meaning regulatory intervention is to turn Channel 4 into BBC Five? The debate about the future of public service broadcasting in the UK must be about much broader issues than the future of Channel 4".

As much previously reported, giving the publicly owned Channel 4 a subsidy from the licence fee is one proposal that has been put forward to solve the commercial channel's increasing struggle to fund its public service activity through advertising and sponsorship.


Plans by Sky to launch a pay-TV service via Freeview have suffered another set back because of media regulator OfCom's ongoing review of the pay-TV market, prompted by the previously reported spat between cable telly firm Virgin Media and the satellite broadcaster - a spat which led to Sky's non-premium channels being removed from Virgin, and renewed accusations being made that Sky is too dominant in the pay-TV market.

Sky, who currently have three free-to-watch channels on Freeview, want to scrap them and make four pay-to-watch channels available instead, one for news, sport, film and entertainment. Those channels would work like the Setanta and TopUpTV services that already operated on not-completely-Freeview. But in light of concerns regarding Sky's dominance in pay-TV-ville, those plans will now have to be delayed until OfCom have completed their report on the sector, which aint gonna be till next year at the earliest.


Usher has commented on him greeting the Radio 1 Big Weekend audience in Maidstone with the line "hello Manchester". He says his remark wasn't a result of a mix up of Britain's 'M' cities, but was a big up for his favourite British football team Manchester United. A few Maidstoners booed when the R&B star seemingly greeted a totally different city. If only they'd known he was referring to United, because presumably even more people would have joined them in the booing.


Muse man Matt Bellamy says he takes hallucinogens once a year because doing so has 'opened new doorways' for him. Yeah, whatever. Bellamy told Q: "I'm not really in favour of drugs. [But] setting aside one day a year for hallucinogenics definitely opens up new doorways". The last such trip was apparently on a bouncy castle at a Las Vegas fancy dress party. He continued: "Dom [Howard, Muse drummer] had a dog mask on and he ran off into the desert and I ran after him. For a minute I was actually in a Salvador Dali painting. If you look at his painting The Elephants, I was the little person at the bottom of those elephants' legs". I'm not sure if that's because of the drugs or just a rush of blood to the head because of excessive bouncing. You rock stars really should stay off the bouncy castle you know.

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