CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 16th May
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Is Fiddy considering 360 deal with News Corp?
- Winehouse family member says leave Amy alone
- Rush drummer dies aged 55
- No handcuff keys on Papoose
- DMX late for court
- R Kelly jury selection completed

- Madonna adoption not now confirmed
- Oasis court Robbie Williams drummer
- Guns N Roses greatest hits set for release
- Fatboy Slim not dead
- The Presets free download
- Pendulum's difficult second album
- Hostess to handle NIN in Japan
- Elton John's mystery Mandela concert duet
- Madness showcase new album in Hackney
- Red Hot Chili Peppers curate new US music fest
- Imeem joins up with OpenSocial
- RIAA told to pay over £100k to successful P2P defendant
- US copyright body adds Canada to concern list
- Culture department appoints agencies for culture conference
- EMI Sales VP promoted to Global music services GM role
- Goodall becomes composer in residence at Classic FM
- Virgin Radio relaunches its Classic Rock station
- GCap set deadline for Global takeover
- Morrissey vetos NME editor's hotel choice
- Lily Allen laughs off topless photos
- Luke Pritchard disses Alex Turner

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TOP BIT
So, a busy busy day for Team CMU yesterday, what with all that Great Escape stuff going on. The good news is that when our all new CMU-Tube video clip service launches on the CMU Music Network website later this month, you'll be in for a treat with a whole host of great interviews from back stage at TGE.

The launch of the CMU-Tube is just one of many new features that will be appearing on the CMU Music Network website over the next six months as we celebrate CMU's tenth birthday. And talking of celebrating the tenth - which is this Sunday, if you're being precise - don't forget that the official CMU tenth birthday party is on Tuesday 3 Jun at 229. We have some very special surprises in the pipeline, not to mention the chance for you and your company to prove you are the kings of pop trivia with the CMU Pop Quiz. Get the date in your diary.

The other big tenth birthday development, of course, is that as of Monday you will be receiving your CMU Daily is glorious technicolour. That is to say we're going HTML. Everything will still be nice and simple, because we all like it that way, but the extra bit of code will make it easier to navigate the Daily, and link to websites mentioned in it. So, we'll sign off from this, the very final texty Daily, and see you in your inbox on Monday, pictures and logos and all.

In the meantime, have a great Great Escape, if you're going, otherwise make that a great weekend. See you Monday.

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JOBS N STUFF

DIGITAL AND MARKETING ASSISTANT
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 jobs@cookingvinyl.com, the closing date for application is the 21st May.

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ACCOUNTS ASSISTANT REQUIRED 18k - 20k AAE
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 patsy@ninjatune.net and peter@ninjatune.net

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FABRIC PRESS DEPARTMENT
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 - pearl@fabriclondon.com. Closing date for applicants: 5pm Wednesday May 21, 2008.

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INTERNSHIPS N STUFF

HELP! WE NEED HELP!
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 nathaniel1975@hotmail.co.uk

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CMU CLASSIFIEDS

DESK SPACE. £60 P/W. SE LONDON. NR NEW CROSS.
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 nathaniel1975@hotmail.co.uk

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CMU AT THE BRIGHTON FESTIVAL
The Great Escape may be in the process of taking over Brighton, but don't forget the city is already in festival mode thanks to the Brighton Festival and Fringe, which takes place there throughout 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.

The Great American Songbook
Alyson Green and her Jazz Trio
A real mix this Friday night at the Joogleberry Playhouse - in 'The Great American Songbook' Alyson Green and her Jazz Trio featured a series of arrangements from both a catalogue of jazz standards and a handful of contemporary pieces. With an elegant sizzle to her voice, Alyson Green charmed her audience - something necessary for the success of this performance, given that she was forced into a musical tug-of-war with a nearby stage whose music was all too audible during her set. With a certain musical grace, if lacking perhaps distinction in range and colour, Alyson Green and her Jazz Trio managed an impressive set, kept together by an impeccable sound and good humour.
Joogleberry Playhouse, 9 May, 10:00pm, £9.00 (£7.00), festival pp37.
tw rating 4/5
[cp]

Caroline Nin
Squeezed into the tightest frock you've ever seen, split so high up the thigh it made my eyes water, the Parisian ambassador for old-school glamour, Caroline Nin, belted out her set accompanied by pianist Sean Hargreaves. Nin has a voice to be reckoned with, one that can sing in three languages and pull off Piaf well, but this was not an evening based solely on music; a seduction mission was clearly afoot. Put it this way, Nin knew exactly where to move her hands over that skin-tight gown. However, the scene-setting stories tended to ramble and her lament that prostitutes are no longer called 'girls of joy' made me splutter. Did I leave seduced? Not really, whilst it is undeniable that the lady is a vamp, it all felt a bit too cruise ship for my liking.
Komedia, 8 May, 11:00pm, £14.00 (£12.00), fringe pp8.
tw rating 3/5
[jh]

A Cappella Sensation
deciBelle
At first glance the brightly attired ladies grouped around the microphones perhaps resembled a hen party about to murder some karaoke; once they broke into their first number, though, it became clear these were pros. deciBelle were a spirited yet well-disciplined group, with tight musical arrangement that made use of the large number of diverse voices. Alongside well-known hits like 'Sweet Dreams', there was country singing from Shreeve 'n' Shaw and comedy songs from The Cocktail Party, including a delightful song about neighbour envy written by the group's singer/guitarist. decibelle's version of Basement Jaxx's 'Good Luck' was probably the highlight, with well-simulated guitar sounds, of what was a well-planned evening of songs from a large group of lively and talented performers.
Hare & Hounds, 10 May, 8:00pm (10:30pm), £6.00 (£5.00), fringe pp32.
tw rating 3/5
[se]

More at http://www.threeweeks.co.uk

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CMU FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Unabombers at Big Chill House.
It's only a few weeks since I last tipped a Big Chill house gig, but they have reeled me in again with another of their interesting nites. This time it's the Unabombers - who hosted Manchester's Electric Chair nites for well over a decade. Luke Cowdrey and Justin Crawford will be rocking the BCH to the max - playing cool house / jazzy beats and generally well good stuff for no less than four hours. If you have heard the awesome 'Electric Souls' compos you'll know exactly what I'm on about. With Nathan Detroit upstairs in this multi-roomed Georgian building - which has a big terrace on top and a basement that looks like a sauna - it should be a top night.

Sat 17 May, 8pm-3am, The Big Chill House, 257-259 Pentonville Rd, N1, 020 7427 2540, free before 10 then only a fiver, more at http://www.bigchill.net, press info from Big Chill.

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IS FIDDY CONSIDERING 360 DEAL WITH NEWS CORP?
So, is another big artist deal with a non-traditional music company in the pipeline? Maybe. There are reports that 50 Cent may be about to sign a deal with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Gossipers say the deal would kick in when Fiddy's current contract with Universal Music's Interscope Records runs out, and would incorporate many aspects of the hip hop star's career, including recordings, touring, merchandise, and the rapper's G-Unit record label. Other reports suggest that the deal would be tied up with News Corp's MySpace, and that the first album made under the deal would be released via the social networking platform. No official word on this from anyone, and I'm also not sure what commitments remain on Fiddy's existing Interscope contract - but it seems unlikely any new deal would actually start until next year.

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WINEHOUSE FAMILY MEMBER SAYS LEAVE AMY ALONE
A member of Amy Winehouse's family has contacted BBC 5Live's Phil Williams show, asking the media to leave the singer alone while she attempts to recover from her drug problems.

The woman, who only gave her name as 'Sue', phoned to complain after Winehouse was used as an example in a discussion about drug use. She said: "You keep bringing up that she's a teenage icon and what example is she setting. She's setting no example. She didn't want to be an example - all she wants to be is a singer and a songwriter. Please let her finish her rehabilitation - let her try to get off the stuff and then we'll have the Amy we all want. There are thousands of families going through the same tragic situation as us all over England and they're allowed to get on with it quietly - and this is all we ask for Amy".

Sue also hit out at the paparazzi who hang around outside the singer's home: "Give it a break - stop printing all those nasty photos. Amy has the press knocking on her door at two o'clock, three o'clock in the morning and some of the photos of Amy at her worst is when she's had no sleep and gone downstairs to say 'leave me alone, shut up, I want to go to sleep'".

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RUSH DRUMMER DIES AGED 55
Drummer and founding member of Canadian prog-rockers Rush, John Rutsey, has died, aged 55. Rutsey played with the band from 1968 to 1974, appearing on their eponymous debut album. However, he was forced to quit due to a lifelong diabetes-related illness. Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson said that Rutsey had become a fitness fanatic after leaving the band, and that the pair had remained in contact until the 90s.

According to his family, via an obituary printed in the Toronto Star, Rutsey's death was caused by "complications from his lifelong affliction with diabetes". News reports on the matter have claimed that he died from a heart attack in his sleep, which would make sense, given that diabetes can lead to exactly that that sort of complication.

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NO HANDCUFF KEYS ON PAPOOSE
US rapper Papoose, the fiancé of fellow rapper Remy Ma, who was jailed for eight years on Tuesday, has hit out at those reports that the couple's wedding in Ryker's Island jail last year was halted after guards found what they thought was a handcuff key on him. He told MTV that the claims were "ridiculous", saying: "Ever since she's been incarcerated, I've been going to visit her consistently. I've always had my key chain that has the key to my truck, my crib. Everything that was on my key chain was always there. The [guards] always seen my key chain".

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DMX LATE FOR COURT
More from the pop courts, and rapper DMX arrived an hour late at Marcicopia County Superior Court yesterday and pleaded not guilty to various drug charges. In November 2005, the rapper was jailed for 10 days after he appeared two hours late for court. However, on this occasion, he was not punished.

As previously reported, as well as the drug charges, two counts of marijuana possession and one for possession of drug paraphernalia, DMX faces charges of animal cruelty. However, he will make a separate court appearance for these. He is due back in court on 2 Jul.

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R KELLY JURY SELECTION COMPLETED
Now, here's the court news you've all been waiting for; jury selection for R Kelly's impending child pornography trial was completed yesterday, despite arguments between the prosecution and defence lawyers, both of whom accused each other of trying to select jury members on racial grounds. The lawyers selected 12 jurors and four alternatives, eight of the 12 jurors being white and four black, whilst of the alternatives, two are black, one is Latino and one is white.

Kelly's lawyers objected to several attempts by the prosecution to have blacks dismissed from the potential list of jurors. One of the defence lawyers, Sam Adam Sr, said: "I think they're using these [challenges] to get rid of African Americans. [The prosecution have] used 50 per cent of their challenges on African Americans". Prosecutor Shauna Boliker countered this, saying: "[The defence have] used all six of their [challenges] on whites". The defence also requested for one juror to be dismissed after she said that she had been raped but could put the experience aside in order to fairly judge Kelly's case. The request was rejected by Judge Vincent Gaughan, who said: "She looked at Mr Kelly and said she could give him a fair trial".

Kelly himself kept his head down and scribbled notes during the process. However, when one of the men chosen as an alternative told the judge that pictures don't always reveal the whole truth, the singer looked up and nodded. So there you go.

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MADONNA ADOPTION NOT NOW CONFIRMED
Well, I'm a bit confused about all this. Following reports earlier in the week that the Malawi High Court had approved Madonna's adoption of David Banda after social workers in the country ruled that he had become a "a happy, thriving toddler" while in the care of Madge and husband Guy Ritchie, and that the whole thing would be rubber stamped yesterday, now there are more complications that could ultimately stop the adoption from going ahead.

Court officials postponed the final session on the matter yesterday after a 'human rights report' was submitted that said the adoption would be illegal. The report came from the country's Human Rights Commission and, while its findings are not binding on the court, judges said they wanted to review it before making a final decision. The chairman of the Human Rights Commission, Dorothy Nyasulu, told Reuters: "What we want is ... consideration of certain procedures that conform with international conventions on child rights and what our law says, otherwise, as it stands, everything is illegal and the person who wants to adopt the child does not qualify until the judge finds solutions to it".

Madonna's lawyer told reporters that both he and his client remained confident that the adoption would still go ahead, despite the latest setback. He said: "I'm confident that the adoption will go through because my client has met all the requirements and the government is satisfied that she qualifies".

Madonna's adoption of Malawi boy David Banda has been a bit controversial form the start, of course, with various local human rights groups claiming the singer had not gone through the right procedure for adoption. Things have been complicated further by comments by the boy's father, who supports the adoption and opposes those who oppose it, but who keeps telling journalists that he didn't know what adoption meant when he originally agreed to it. Those who originally opposed the adoption seemed to have decided to end their opposition earlier this week, which is why the HRC report and the new postponement by the courts have come as a bit of a surprise.

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OASIS COURT ROBBIE WILLIAMS DRUMMER
According to reports, Oasis have approached Robbie Williams' drummer Chris Sharrock to replace Zak Starkey, who apparently left the band due to differences with Noel Gallagher. No official confirmation of Starkey's departure has yet come from the band or their management.

A source said that Sharrock is keen to find a new employer, while Williams takes an indefinite break from music. They said: "Everyone thinks Chris has had enough of sitting on the picket line and not playing music. Oasis aren't striking against anyone so at least he'll be getting a bit of action now".

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GUNS N ROSES GREATEST HITS SET FOR RELEASE
Guns N' Roses are set to re-release their greatest hits album on 2 Jun. Or, at least, their label are, given that the band were none too happy about it the first time it came out in 2006. The re-release comes as the band apparently prepare for the release of the long, long, long-awaited 'Chinese Democracy' album, which we are assured will be out later this year.

The tracklist for the great hits album is:

Welcome To The Jungle
Sweet Child O' Mine
Patience
Paradise City
Knockin' On Heaven's Door
Civil War
You Could Be Mine
Don't Cry (Original)
November Rain
Live And Let Die
Yesterdays
Ain't It Fun
Since I Don't Have You
Sympathy For The Devil

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FATBOY SLIM NOT DEAD
Despite reports in the press, and an apparent quote from the man himself, Norman Cook is not retiring his Fatboy Slim moniker, his label claim. As we reported earlier this week, Cook supposedly told The Sun: "Yes, I am ditching the Fatboy Slim name, but I can't tell you the new one. I'm going to take the Fifth Amendment on that question and not say because I'll get myself into trouble".

However, his label Skint has issued a statement denying these claims, saying that Cook will be performing live under the name at various shows over the summer and has another Fatboy Slim album due later this year.

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THE PRESETS FREE DOWNLOAD
The Presets are celebrating their sold out Australian tour, which starts next month, by giving away a free remix of their track 'Are You The One?'. The track, remixed by French producer Lifelife, will soundtrack a new advert for the BMW Series 1, and the car will also appear in the video for the track.

To grab a copy of the track, head over to http://www.modularpeople.com/thepresets1seriousremix

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PENDULUM'S DIFFICULT SECOND ALBUM
Australian drum n bassers Pendulum, who are currently touring the UK, have revealed that they struggled to find inspiration when writing their second album, 'In Silico', which was released this week and is expected to go straight to number one in the UK charts.

They said: "[We were] determined to avoid the cliché of a second album being difficult, but it was five times harder than we ever imagined it would be. We underestimated the amount of work that had to go into it to make it turn out the way we wanted it to, but I think we've achieved that".

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HOSTESS TO HANDLE NIN IN JAPAN
Tokyo based Hostess Entertainment says it has signed a deal with Trent Reznor to release those new Nine Inch Nails albums 'Ghosts I-IV' and 'The Slip' in Japan, as physical releases I assume. The first of the two long players - originally released in various download and physical formats, including a free download option, via the NIN website - is set to be released on 4 Jun.

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ELTON JOHN'S MYSTERY MANDELA CONCERT DUET
Elton John will perform a duet with a mystery guest at Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday concert in London next month, it is claimed. This has sparked further speculation that Eminem will appear at the show, as the rapper performed his song 'Stan' with John at the Grammy Awards in 2001. A 'source' for the event said that the duet will come after Elton performs a solo song: "He will then duet with a younger artist. This hasn't been confirmed yet. However, we believe it will be Duffy or Eminem".

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MADNESS SHOWCASE NEW ALBUM IN HACKNEY
Madness have announced that they will perform a special show to launch their new album 'The Liberty Of Norton Folgate' on 24 Jun at Hackney Empire. The album is their first original record for ten years and marks their 30th anniversary together. The band will perform the new album in full, before completing the evening with renditions of some of their greatest hits.

A limited number of tickets are available now for £25 and you can hear the album's ten minute eponymous title track in full now at http://www.myspace.com/madnessofficial

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RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS CURATE NEW US MUSIC FEST
US fashion retailer American Eagle Outfitters has announced that Red Hot Chili Peppers have curated a new music festival it is staging, to be called New American Music Union, and which will take place in Pittsburgh on 8 and 9 Aug. Bob Dylan, The Raconteurs, Gnarls Barkley, Roots, Spoon, The Black Keys and Black Mountain, The Duke Spirit, NASA and Tiny Masters Of Today are all set to play the new event, a joint venture between the fashion firm and live music conglom Live Nation. In addition to the established bands there'll be a college band competition which will see fifteen college bands from across the US compete for, well, a prize, I guess. Commenting on their involvement in curating the festival, Red Hot Chili Pepper Anthony Keidis told reporters: "The thrill of seeing Bob Dylan next to the Raconteurs next to Gnarls Barkley next to the Roots is reason for us all to celebrate. Music is still the most inspiring creative force that I know of and this seemed like a prime opportunity to let it shine".

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IMEEM JOINS UP WITH OPENSOCIAL
Music based social networking website Imeem has said it has formed a relationship with OpenSocial, the Google-developed programme that exists to make different online social networking type services compliant with each other and third party plug-in type whatnots. It means that makers of those whatnots will now be able to make versions available that work in Imeem pages.

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RIAA TOLD TO PAY OVER £100K TO SUCCESSFUL P2P DEFENDANT
A federal court in Oregon has ordered the Recording Industry Association Of America to pay Tanya Andersen £108,000 to cover her legal fees in relation to an ultimately unsuccessful P2P lawsuit. As previously reported, the case against Andersen, accused of infringing copyrights by sharing unlicensed music online, was dismissed because of lack of evidence. The US trade body was ordered to pay her fees earlier this year, though the figure they had to pay - the highest award levied against the RIAA in all its P2P cases - was only finalised this week. The RIAA is yet to respond, but Andersen's lawyer told reporters: "This will assist in levelling the playing field in other cases".

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US COPYRIGHT BODY ADDS CANADA TO CONCERN LIST
Add Canada to the list of countries with dodgy copyright practices. Because the US's Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus have.

America have added their neighbour to the list of countries causing problems for they US copyright industries - a list that more often includes countries like Russia and China where bootlegging is rife - because the Canadian courts have proved unhelpful in attempts to fight P2P file sharing. As previously reported, Canadian judges have generally concluded that under the country's existing copyright laws it isn't possible to take legal action against those who share unlicensed music on the internet. The courts have passed the buck to the politicians, who have been slow to review copyright legislation to clarify the file-sharing situation.

The Caucus said Canada had made its 'dodgy country' list because it has "failed to join the rest of its partners in the developed world in modernising its copyright laws to address digital challenges to copyright protection".

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CULTURE DEPARTMENT APPOINTS AGENCIES FOR CULTURE CONFERENCE
The Department For Culture, Media & Sport has announced it has appointed Edelman and Acclaim to work on the World Creative Business Conference, a new event which will bring together people from across the creative industries to discuss and debate the issues affecting the sector. Culture Secretary Andy Burnham told reporters: "This conference represents a unique opportunity to showcase the creative and commercial edge of the UK. It will not only help build on the success of Britain's creative economy but fulfil our ambition to become the world's creative hub".

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EMI SALES VP PROMOTED TO GLOVA MUSIC SERVICES GM ROLE
More senior exec appointments at EMI US - Dominic Pandiscia, who was formerly Senior VP Of Sales for the major's Capitol Music Group. has been named Senior VP/GM of EMI Global Music Services, which, as all you fans of EMI corporate structure will know, is part of the all new EMI Commercial Development Group. He will be responsible for driving sales and profits from the major's third party label and artist distribution deals in the US. He'll report to EMI Commercial Development President Ronn Were in his new job.

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GOODALL BECOMES COMPOSER IN RESIDENCE AT CLASSIC FM
Composer Howard Goodall, known for his telly theme tune work (Blackadder, Red Dwarf) as well as his other musical and classical compositions, will join Classic FM this summer as a composer-in-residence. He will also present a show for the station on Saturdays, and it's on this show that he will air one of his original compositions each month.

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VIRGIN RADIO RELAUNCHES ITS CLASSIC ROCK STATION
Virgin Radio is relaunching its Classic Rock station, presumably in a bid to better compete in the increasingly crowded rock radio market, it being up against GMG Radio's recently launched Rock Radio network and the ever popular (if still possibly about to be closed down) Planet Rock. A number of new programmes will be added to the digital Virgin Radio spin off, and the service will be promoted much more proactively on the main Virgin station. Virgin's Programme & Marketing Director David Lloyd told reporters: "Classic Rock has long been a stalwart of rock music and as a result has an extremely loyal following. Our research amongst our listeners has told us exactly what they want to hear - the revamp means we can give them an even fuller rock experience".

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GCAP SET DEADLINE FOR GLOBAL TAKEOVER
Talking of Planet Rock, its future is still in question, of course, while Global Radio's takeover of GCap Radio is ongoing. GCap boss Fru Hazlitt had said she'd close the digital rock service down, but Global may want to keep it - given its recent healthy RAJARs and Sony Award win. GCap have now set 6 Jun as a deadline for Global's takeover to be complete. Though even if the deal is done on that date, there will still be the matter of an Office Of Fair Trading investigation, which could lead to a Competition Commission investigation, mainly because a combined Global/GCap will have a large share of both the London and Birmingham radio markets. So it's still not entirely clear when, exactly, Planet Rock's future will be properly confirmed one way or the other.

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MORRISSEY VETOS NME EDITOR'S HOTEL CHOICE
Morrissey's ongoing feud with the NME recently stopped the mag's editor Conor McNicholas from staying in a certain LA hotel recently, or so gossipers say. Word has it that Morrissey was staying at the same hotel, and when he discovered the editor of the magazine he is currently suing (over those immigration comments in that NME interview published last year) was also staying there, he pulled some strings to have McNicholas' booking cancelled. Which seems a bit petty, but whatever. Morrissey's spokesman Merck Mercuriadis is quoted as saying: "I have a very good relationship with the hotel, and when I explained the situation they agreed it would not be appropriate for Conor to stay".

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LILY ALLEN LAUGHS OFF TOPLESS PHOTOS
Lily Allen has said she doesn't mind topless photos that have appeared of her. Attending a party in Cannes to celebrate the release of new film 'How To Lose Friends And Alienate People', she was asked if she was upset by the pictures. She answered: "No, it's my body. I heard I was a Page Three girl today".

She was also asked how work on her new album was going. She said: "It's going really, really well. I'm really, really happy, I'm really excited about it". Really.

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LUKE PRITCHARD DISSES ALEX TURNER
Kooks frontman Luke Pritchard has accused Arctic Monkeys and Last Shadow Puppets singer Alex Turner of being arrogant, saying that he once had to kick Turner in the face during a gig.

Pritchard explained: "I had to kick Alex in the face because he was trying to pull the leads out of my guitar pedals while we were on stage. We had done so many shows back to back with them, and it just escalated".

He also said he had recently made a failed bid to reconcile their relationship: "I asked Alex if he wanted to have a bit of a jam in the studio, but he just turned his back and walked away. I suppose [Arctic Monkeys] are quite arrogant - but who can blame them. They've got a lot going for them".

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