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TODAY'S NEWS
I have no idea what's going on: R Kelly trial update
Fiddy employee arrested
Stars race to defend emo
Winehouse sacks lover
More sad Winehouse stuff
Court approves Madonna adoption – really this time
Jackson watches fight, goes to party
UK could lose automatic final place in Eurovision review
Pilgrem makes new album available via text
Sigur Ros free download
Razorlight album due this year
Gorillaz animate Olympic coverage
Diddy writing romantic comedy
Cathy Dennis returns to the stage
Duffy backs Jay-Z
Glastonbury sunshine predicted
Radio Aire to host Party In The Park Leeds again
Tokyo Police Club single/live dates
Fast Track unsigned band contest announced
Album review: Midnight Juggernauts – Dystopia
Lala.com launch ten cent stream service
Government looks for live sector input on latest visa proposals
US boutique agency merges with Agency Group
Tickex powers new ilikemusic ticket search
Amazon to launch subscription video service
C4 consider branded twenty quid DAB device
Belgian newspapers sue Google
EP review: Manu Chao - Politik Kills
Ne-Yo says Lohan album is good
Westlife to sing at Rooney's wedding
Doherty's cat dies
Ashlee will take Wentz name
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THURSDAY 29TH MAY

No less than three things to tell you today, all in the realm of blatant plugging, but all very interesting and certainly worthy of your Daily reading time.

First up, don't forget that the CMU Recommended Insomniacs Ball takes place this very weekend, 31 May, and it is going to be a storming night of musical spectaculars throughout the vaults beneath London Bridge station. In case you've forgotten, this is the all night mini-festival at London's seOne providing you lucky insomniacs with Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong, The Ghost Frequency, Dead Kids, Haunts, Riton, Radioclit, DJ Orgasmic, Misty Rabbit, Punks Jump Up, David H, The Lovely Jonjo, Kitty Bang Bang, Roxy Velvet and Lady Ane Angel. Admission is a mere £9.50, plus there's two for one drinks before 11pm. Brilliant. Go here for all your info http://www.myspace.com/insomniacsball.

Second up, also don't forget that it is the next edition of the CMU Social next Tuesday, that's 3 Jun, and it's our tenth birthday so it's compulsory for you all to come. No, not really, but it's going to be a brilliant night. We have one of CMU's very favourite bands of the last few years playing a secret (shush, don't tell anyone) headline set, plus the brilliant Restlesslist in the Introducing slot. And don't forget the Pop Quiz, whatever you do. This is your chance to prove that you and your company are the kings of pop trivia. We can book your company a table for 7pm so you can get your team down to the task of answering our trivia questions as soon as you can. Entry to the Social and the Quiz is free, free, free – just email your name, company and guest names to social@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk. If you want to book a table for the Quiz tell us – first come first serviced.

Finally, a quick heads up on a very interesting debate taking place in Birmingham on Monday 9 Jun as part of the New Generation Arts Festival. Discussing the impact digital technology is having on the creative world – good, bad and ugly – the panel includes CMU's Chris Cooke, plus BBC Technology Correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC Head Of Digital Music Technology Doug Williams and BT Technology Director Doug Williams. Find out more info at www.thebigdebatebirmingham.co.uk and look out for some ramblings on the topic here in the Top Bit next week.

   


MUSIC GO MUSIC
The SNAP column is feeling super topical today in presenting Music Go Music, the first credible band in ages to follow in the footsteps of Abba, whose obvious Eurovision connections make this a well timed tip with this year's Contest happening just last Saturday. Indeed, perhaps the LA trio could apply for citizenship and pitch themselves as the UK's entry for next year's event, such is the dire need for a good ol' pop song to triumph over a novelty hit or the togetherness of the Balkan states. Either way, take a listen to recent 12" release 'Light Of Love', the finest 'classic' pop hit I've heard this year. You'll recognise the vocal similarities to Agnetha and Frida immediately, right down to the "woah, woah, woah, woah", while musically they twist between classic Donna Summers and ELO. Enjoy this (only slightly) guilty pleasure at the link below.

http://www.myspace.com/musicgomusic

   

OFFICE SPACE IN CAMDEN
Backstreet International Merchandise have desk space available for creative/music/media types looking for affordable workspace in central Camden. For enquiries please contact Steve Faye on 0207 428 1107 or email steve.faye@bsimerch.com

Advertise your services here from just £120 a week - full details here

 


 
 


CREATIVE MANAGER
A leading management company based in North London is looking to recruit a Creative Manager. Applicants for this new position within the organisation should have in depth experience of the following: 1. Artwork origination process from concept to production and 2. Video commissioning.
In addition the successful applicant must have great communication skills with both colleagues and artists along with an up to date knowledge of current creative trends. An ability to work under pressure on multiple projects is also essential. To apply, please send your CV and covering letter to creativemanager2008@gmail.com.

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ADVERTISING MANAGER AT ROCK SOUND

Rock Sound Magazine is looking for an Advertising Manager. The role consists of maximising sales and key account management across the display and classified areas of the magazine, as well as the website, and dealing with the music industry at both direct client and advertising agency level. The candidate should be into rock music, have at least one year's display sales experience, good contacts at record labels and advertising agencies and have strong phone and presentational skills. Experience of selling to lifestyle brands would be an advantage. If you think you're the right person please email patrick.napier@rock-sound.net explaining why and attaching your CV.

Advertise your vacancies here from just £100 a week - full details here.

I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT'S GOING ON: R KELLY TRIAL UPDATE
The high profile R Kelly trial was interrupted yesterday after the defence announced they had been approached by a new witness who they wanted to meet. Kelly's lawyers told the courtroom that they had been contacted by a man yesterday morning who claimed to have some important information relating to the trial. Judge Vincent Gaughan agreed to stop the trial for the rest of the day so the man could fly to Chicago from another state and make a deposition. Confirming the temporary postponement to the court, Gaughan observed "I have no idea what's going on", adding that the session will resume later today.

Prior to the news about the new defence witness, the prosecution continued with their case, which, as previously reported, consists so far of bringing forward a load of people who say they know for certain that [a] the man in the sex video at the centre of the case is the R&B star and/or [b] that the girl in the tape is who the prosecution claim it is, and that she would have been around about 13 at the time the vid was made. As previously reported, the video, shown on day one of the trial, shows a man and a young looking girl participating in various sex acts. The prosecution claim the man is Kelly, he denies it, and his lawyers also dispute the identity of the girl.

The latest witness to tell the court that they are sure that the girl in the tape is who the prosecution say it is was a former basketball coach, who said he recognised the female in the video as a girl in a school basketball team which he used to coach. Jacques Conway said the girl was in his basketball team in 2000 and 2001, and that Kelly had come to see her play at the final home game of the year. Estimating that the girl was 14 or 15 in the video, he said he never had any reason to suspect that there was anything inappropriate in Kelly's relationship with the girl, adding that he would have thought the girl would have come to him for help if she had any issues in her personal life.

Prior to Conway's testimony, late Tuesday the prosecution presented their most reluctant witness so far, Bennie Edwards Jr, a relative of the alleged victim who sang in a pop group with her in the late nineties. A video of the family group performing had been show in court earlier that day, mainly as part of a debate as to whether the alleged victim would have had braces on her teeth at the time the video is alleged to have been recorded (and thus making is less likely that it is, in fact, her on the tape). Edwards said that he had only watched a brief moment of the video because he found it too upsetting. He conceded that the participants in the video did look like Kelly and his relative, but, unlike most previous prosecution witnesses, stressed he couldn't be sure.

The temporary postponement of the case yesterday stopped what is expected to be the most controversial part of the trial from happening. The next prosecution witness is a woman who is thought to claim she had a threesome with Kelly and the alleged victim, while said victim was underage. This witness' testimony has already been the subject of much discussion between the judge, the prosecution and the defence – the latter having unsuccessfully tried to prevent the woman from testifying at all. Some reports suggest that the man who approached the defence team yesterday may have evidence that will undermine that woman's testimony, which could prove key to the defence's attempts to convince the jury it is not their client on the tape.

Kelly faces up to fifteen years in jail if found guilty of taping himself engaging in sex acts with a minor. The case continues.

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FIDDY EMPLOYEE ARRESTED
Connecticut police have confirmed that an employee of 50 Cent, one Dwayne McKenzie, was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly attacking a woman at the rap star's Farmington mansion. Officers received a call from a 22 year old woman, who claims that McKenzie choked her and struck her with a belt during an altercation which took place on Fiddy's property. He's been charged with assault, strangulation, breach of peace and unlawful restraint, and is due in court on 15 Jul. Don't wish to prejudice your opinion on just how guilty he might be, but according to reports, McKenzie was on conditional discharge from a previous arrest relating to an incident in which he's accused of pistol-whipping a nightclub promoter.

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STARS RACE TO DEFEND EMO
Elbow's Guy Garvey, The Pigeon Detectives' Ryan Wilson and Kate Nash have all come out in defence of emo, following that suicide of thirteen year old emo fan Hannah Bond and claims in The Daily Mail that the music genre is in fact a "suicide cult".

Guy Garvey told Xfm: "I think music helps a lot more people get round their problems and through their problems than it ever causes them. I think it's an escapist thing. [Music's] about recognising and enjoying things and, if anything, sad music when you're sad let's you know that someone else has felt that way. Music often gets the finger pointed at it and I think it's wrong what happened to [Hannah Bond] but it's ridiculous to blame music for it".

Kate Nash added: "It's not just one factor, it's a lot of things. You can't blame suicide on one thing. I would not blame suicide on one factor ever because it's someone's life; it's really complicated".

Ryan Wilson said: "I think music's an easy thing to blame, in my opinion. It's really unfortunate and everybody's sympathies go out to the friends and family of [Hannah Bond]. I think that if you look into it [emo] and read the lyrics you'll see that it's not really like that and misinterpreted. I just feel that sometimes they point the finger a little too easily and that people if they're down should seek professional [help]".

As previously reported, emo fans will march on The Daily Mail's London headquarters this Saturday in protest against the bad press the paper has given the genre. Details from www.whatthefrank.co.uk.

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WINEHOUSE SACKS LOVER
Yeah, that headline might need a 'sort of' and an 'alleged' to be completely true. Alex Haines, the assistant of Amy Winehouse's manager, who was recently rumoured to be having an affair with the singer, has been sacked by management company Metropolis after allegedly being filmed taking drugs.

A source told the Daily Mirror: "Alex was asked to resign. The last thing Amy needs hanging around her are more [drug] users. Alex was supposed to help her and he crossed the line. Alex was a good friend to Amy but he caused massive rows for her with Blake. He couldn't stand hearing they were sleeping together".

A spokesman for Winehouse added: "We can confirm that Alex is no longer working for Metropolis or for Amy Winehouse".

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MORE SAD WINEHOUSE STUFF
Elsewhere in Winehouse news, images have been published of Amy sporting a fresh cut on her forearm. The pictures were taken on Tuesday night as the singer was taking out rubbish at her home in Camden. God, can you imagine what it must be like, to not even be able to take out your rubbish bags without being photographed? Anyway, it's proof, if any were needed, that all's still not well chez Amy.

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COURT APPROVES MADONNA ADOPTION – REALLY THIS TIME
Following a false start earlier this month, a court in Malawi has now approved Madonna and Guy Ritchie's application to adopt David Banda, the child the couple have been caring for the last eighteen months, after meeting him in a Malawian orphanage.

The couple's lawyer Alan Chinula told Reuters: "We are very happy with what the judge has ruled. Finally the court has granted Madonna full adoption rights of the boy. It is a positive and beautiful judgment that will have an impact on Malawi's adoption laws. She told me she was anxiously waiting for the news. She is relieved and thanks the people of Malawi for allowing them to be family".

Banda's biological father Yohande told reporters: "I am glad this is over now. I am happy for David".

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JACKSON WATCHES FIGHT, GOES TO PARTY
He rarely makes public appearances these days, but Michael Jackson was spotted twice in the US over the weekend. He was seen attending the Ultimate Fighting Championship at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas despite having made efforts not to be noticed, arriving in a wheelchair with sunglasses and the collar of his coat covering his face. He was slightly less cagey at the 50th birthday party of Christian Audigier, where he made a speech, of sorts, in tribute to the fashion designer. Speaking to an audience, which included Britney Spears and Pamela Anderson, Jackson said: "Hello. Christian is the king of fashion".

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UK COULD LOSE AUTOMATIC FINAL PLACE IN EUROVISION REVIEW
The UK could lose its automatic place in the Eurovision Song Contest final in the latest review of how the pan-European music competition works.

Eurovision producers, the European Broadcasting Union, will meet next month to discuss the growing concern in Western Europe regarding the influence of political voting by Eastern European countries in choosing the overall winner, amid chatter that some of the big traditional Eurovision countries will pull out. Quite how stopping the big four Western European countries from having their automatic place in final (the UK, Germany, France and Spain go through because they provide the most funding for the event) will convince said countries to not leave the Contest I'm not sure, given that by current voting patterns it would mean none of the main four funding countries would make it to the last leg of the tournament.

A Eurovision organiser told the Media Guardian that everything about the Contest would be reviewed, including the big four's guaranteed place in the final. I think the logic is that the big four's automatic place in the final pisses off the smaller countries, and may make viewers in those countries more prone to politically vote for each other. Or something like that. Asked about what would happen if the big four were to contribute less money to the Contest because of the risk they wouldn't make the final, Eurovision chief Svante Stockselius said the Contest now pulled in sufficient amounts of sponsorship that it is becoming less reliant on funding from larger EBU members. A BBC spokesman said they were "open minded" about all or any proposals for revising the Contest, including the abolition of automatic places in the final.

For more chatter on the future of Eurovision and the UK's role in it, get thee to the CMU blog.

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PILGREM MAKES NEW ALBUM AVAILABLE VIA TEXT
Breaks meister Rennie Pilgrem is set to 'breaks' the mould (ha, see what we did there) with his new long player 'Skin'. He will be selling the album at gigs and clubs – nothing new there – except that clubbers will be encouraged to buy it by SMS. They will text a special number, be charged three quid to their phone bill, and then receive a special code that lets them download the long player to their PC when they get home.

The new LP, Pilgrem's third artist album, brings the live sound he has been developing with his TCR Allstars band to record, and features collaborations with the likes of BLIM, Uberzone, Arthur Baker, Chickaboo, MC Manic, Larry Love from Alabama 3 and Ruth Carr from Minuit. For more details on the album and its innovative mobile release, go check www.tcr.uk.com/skin. Press info, should you need it, from pip.pippa@gmail.com.

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SIGUR ROS FREE DOWNLOAD
Sigur Ros have made the lead track from their forthcoming fifth album 'Med Sud i Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust' available to download. To get your free MP3 of 'Gobbledigook', head over to www.sigurros.com now.

The album will be released on 23 Jun and will close with the band's first ever English language song, 'All Alright'.

Here's the tracklist:

Gobbledigook
Inni Mer Syngur Vitleysingur
Go An Daginn
Vi Spilum Endalaust
Festival
Me Su I Eyrum
Ara Batur
Illgresi
Fljotavik
Straumnes
All Alright

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RAZORLIGHT ALBUM DUE THIS YEAR
You might have thought that with all these solo projects from various members of Razorlight (well, two of them, anyway) that the band were on hold for the time being. Not so, says drummer Andy Burrows, who played a solo show at Union Chapel last night. Speaking to BBC 6music, he said: "[We're] very busy with [recording] this [new] album and just all really hoping that it comes out this year so that we can get out and tour it. But it's really exciting and we're all incredibly excited".

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GORILLAZ ANIMATE OLYMPIC COVERAGE
The BBC's coverage of the Beijing Olympics this summer will feature animation and music from Gorillaz duo Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. The pair have apparently created a two minute clip based on their opera, 'Monkey: Journey To The West', which opened in Manchester last summer and is due to appear at the Royal Opera House in London next month.

The Olympic Games take place between 8-24 Aug.

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DIDDY WRITING ROMANTIC COMEDY
P Diddy has revealed that he is currently writing a screenplay, and hopes to bag a number of a-listers to star in it. Speaking at the Cannes Film Festival, the rapper told The Daily Star: "I'm writing a film, a comedy. For actresses, I want Angelina Jolie and Sienna Miller. For actors, Eddie Murphy".

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CATHY DENNIS RETURNS TO THE STAGE
Although she's made quite a name for herself in recent years by writing songs for other people – including Kylie Minogue's 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head' and Britney Spears' 'Toxic' – Cathy Dennis is planning to once again perform music herself with a new band called SexCassettes. She says: "There's four of us. It's more of a live band thing and gives me the opportunity to write songs I couldn't get away with for other artists".

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DUFFY BACKS JAY-Z
I didn't think we were talking about this anymore, but apparently we are, because Duffy has just weighed into the Jay-Z/Glastonbury debate. Asked by the official Glastonbury Festival website if she was surprised that Jay-Z's appearance had caused so much controversy, she said: "Well, nothing surprises me any more, but I was quite intrigued by it. It hadn't really crossed my mind that his appearance might be a problem. I've seen him live and it was one of the best shows I've ever been to. He had these great string arrangements and was just an amazing showman. It was really fun and you left feeling good. I'm completely excited about seeing him again".

So, let's put an end to this whole debate, shall we? While everyone's been complaining about an innovative, talented and world famous musician performing at Glastonbury, the likes of Duffy have wormed their way onto the bill.

Speaking of which, the full line-up has now been announced. See who else is playing here.

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GLASTONBURY SUNSHINE PREDICTED
Sticking with Glastonbury for the moment, the festival's organisers have said they are "quietly confident" that this year's event will enjoy good weather. The Met Office, however, are less optimistic. Thanks to an old farmers' adage, this means that superstition and science are going head to head this summer.

Quoting the rhyme "oak before the ash, then we'll only have a splash" (alluding to an early abundance of oak leaves this year), Michael Eavis has been working out contingency plans involving hosepipes, ice sellers, suncream and dermatologists to cope with the expected sunshine. They've also hired a fleet of bowser tanks, which will roam the site, pumping water onto the fields every hour, in order to stop the ground turning into a dust bowl. This is quite different from the drainage pipes and gravel laid in the run up to last year's festival.

However, a spokesman for the Met Office told The Guardian that rainfall was "more likely to be either near, or above average" for the time of year.

It does seem that Glastonbury is preparing for a heatwave next month. However, they say that the weather's going to be great every year, don't they? I have several hundred pounds worth of waterlogged electrical equipment with which to contest their optimism.

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RADIO AIRE TO HOST PARTY IN THE PARK LEEDS AGAIN
Radio Aire has announced that it will work with Leeds City Council again this year to host Party In The Park Leeds. The Yorkshire station will distribute 70,000 free tickets for the event, which will take place on 27 Jul at Temple Newsham. There are also plans for a ticket launch, set to take place on 15 Jun in the city's Millennium Square. A line up has not yet been announced.

Alexis Thompson, Regional Managing Director for Radio Aire owners Bauer, says: "This is a great event for the city of Leeds and we're proud to be playing our part again this year. It's fantastic that 70,000 people can have a free family day out, and tickets are always in very high demand."

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TOKYO POLICE CLUB SINGLE/LIVE DATES
Tokyo Police Club have announced that their next single will be 'In A Cave', and it'll be out on 23 Jun via Memphis Industries. The track is the second single to be taken from the band's debut album 'Elephant Shell', which was released early this month. They've also announced that they'll play an intimate London show at the 229 alongside Semifinalists on 2 Jun in addition to their already-planned UK tour dates, which are as follows:

29 May: Cambridge, Barfly            
30 May: Nottingham, Bodega
31 May: Leeds, Cockpit
1 Jun: Manchester, Night N Day
3 Jun: Birmingham, Barfly
10 Jun: Glasgow, King Tuts
11 Jun: Newcastle, Other Rooms
12 Jun: Oxford, Academy
13 Jun: Hertford, Marquee
16 Jun: Brighton, Digital
17 Jun: Bristol, Thekla
18 Jun: London, Scala

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FAST TRACK UNSIGNED BAND CONTEST ANNOUNCED
Creative community Supajam have announced a competition that will offer an unsigned act a slot at this year's Benicassim Festival, part of the Fast Track To FIB Heineken contest organised with industry bigwig Vince Power.

The competition is open to all bands and artists in the EU who are over sixteen years of age, and will see a public vote select five finalists to perform at Power's Pigalle Club venue in London on 1 Jul. At that final, Power and a panel of industry experts will select a winner to play at the Spanish music festival itself.

Interested parties can apply at www.supajam.com/fasttrack until 8 Jun. The best entries will go up for the public vote from 13 – 20 Jun. Each act that appears on the list for public vote will also have  their track globally released via iTunes.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Midnight Juggernauts – Dystopia (EMI/Capitol)
Just how did Australia become responsible for some of the coolest pop around? Following on from kindred spirits Cut Copy and The Presets come Melbourne's Midnight Juggernauts, a trio whose debut album takes the 70s as its key reference points, with its love of both shiny disco and pompous 70s art-rock (complete with retro-futurist musings on space, death and the future). MJ are more a band who use synths than a synth-pop band as such and, despite the electronic textures, this is music played with all the bludgeoning power of a stadium rock band. There are barely disguised nods to French pop thrown into the mix, too – 'Shadows' sounds like a more poppy Daft Punk 30 years ago, 'Road To Recovery' is pure Justice, whilst plenty of the synths sound a bit like Jean Michel Jarre, come to think of it. The effervescent 'Into The Galaxy', meanwhile, sounds like Electric Six, if they were anything but a novelty band. It's all brilliant fun, of course, despite the band essentially only having one trick. But, my, what a trick. MS
Release Date: 19 May
Press Contact: Darling Dept [All]

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LALA.COM LAUNCH TEN CENT STREAM SERVICE
US based digital music site Lala.com, who have dabbled in various digital services, most of which I've never really understood, have announced details of their latest offering. For ten cents a time people will be able to buy unlimited streaming access to a specific song. There will be no download, but for the nominal fee users will be able to stream the track on demand from any internet connection at anytime. Before parting with their ten cents, fans can preview the track for free. Reports suggest about five million tracks from all four majors and loads of indies will be available via the service – and the first fifty streams are free. 

According to Digital Music News, the new service has been developed by Lala alongside Warner Music, who have made a sweet $20 million investment into the digital firm. Whether it will work remains to be seen – the challenge will be those competitors who are offering on-demand streams for free. Some of those free music streams are in theory limited listen, though arguably services like YouTube offer free on demand streaming access to pretty much any song. Presumably they'll be hoping that a better user-experience and the nominal cost they are charging will enable them to compete with free.

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GOVERNMENT LOOKS FOR LIVE SECTOR INPUT ON LATEST VISA PROPOSALS
The government has asked key live music types for input on draft proposals regarding visa issues relating to foreign artists touring in the UK. As previously reported, the live sector had feared that new rules covering temporary workers coming into the UK would make the admin involved in getting artists into the country tedious, time consuming and costly. Among other things it was proposed that artists would have to have biometric checks before entering the country. However, the new UK Border Agency recently announced a rethink which is expected to make the new rules much less challenging to promoters, artists and managers.

The government is now inviting those involved in the live sector to input on the latest proposals. Paul Fenn of London based Asgard Promotions and the Arts & Entertainment Task Force, who have been lobbying hard on this issue, told Music Week the Home Office was asking for comments, and that, while he was still working his way through the latest proposals, he doesn't see any major problems for those booking non-EU artists on UK tours.

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US BOUTIQUE AGENCY MERGES WITH AGENCY GROUP
US booking agency the Kork Agency has announced it is merging with bigger rival the Agency Group. Kork's owner, Christian Berhardt, and his team, will move into the Agency Group's LA offices at the start of July.

Confirming the merger, Berhardt told Billboard: "After almost two years of negotiations with most major agencies, we finally came to an agreement with The Agency Group, who I believe will not only provide the Kork team with excellent resources, but also give us room to further expand our roster and open doors for our bands beyond music".

The deal follows comments made by Berhardt to Billboard last year in which he admitted it was harder for smaller players in the agency sector because the big guys were increasingly operating in areas previously dominated by the independents. He said: "Giant companies like William Morris and [Creative Artists Agency] are swimming in our pond where we fish for bands They didn't used to do that. Acts that were unsigned were completely not of interest to them".

The Agency Group has bases in New York, LA, Toronto and London, with fifty agents representing over a thousand artists.

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TICKEX POWERS NEW ILIKEMUSIC TICKET SEARCH
Ticket search engine Tickex.com is powering a new ticket search facility on music website ilikemusic.com. Tickex.com boss Richard Robinson says this: "The new I Like Music Ticket Search powered by Tickex gives ilikemusic users a whole new experience for finding tickets to live events, with the best access to the largest inventory in the world of top live music events and a unique price comparison service. This brings together two pioneering business, both independent, and it's a partnership that will benefit consumers and each company alike".

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AMAZON TO LAUNCH SUBSCRIPTION VIDEO SERVICE
Amazon US have said they will launch a subscription based streaming service giving access to on-demand video content in addition to its video download platform. Speaking at a digital content conference in the US, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos observed that "a few different [business] models can be supported in digital content". Few other details about the new service were provided, though giving an indication of cost Bezos added: "If people can skip a latte that day and have it [the video] for free, they will".

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C4 CONSIDER BRANDED TWENTY QUID DAB DEVICE
Channel 4 is reportedly looking into releasing a small C4 branded DAB digital radio device that would plug into iPods and mobile phones, and which would retail for about twenty quid. A similar device is available for £50 already, but C4 would probably look to make their device available as a loss leader to promote their new digital radio network, if and when it finally goes live.

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BELGIAN NEWSPAPERS SUE GOOGLE
A copyright story of a slightly different kind now. A copyright collecting society for Belgian newspapers, Copiepresse, has announced that they are suing Google for publishing and storing their content in the main Google search engine and its news aggregator, claiming damages of between 32.8 million Euros (£25.9 million) and 49.2 million Euros (£38.8 million).

The organisation said that the losses were calculated by a professor at the University Libre de Bruxelles, based on articles stored by Google since 13 Apr 2001 and Google News since it launched in Belgium in 2006. Copiepresse have already successfully sued Google once. In 2006 a Belgian court ruled in favour of a claim to have content removed from Google.be and Google News.

Following that ruling, Google said: "It is important to remember that both Google Web Search and Google News only ever show a few snippets of text. If people want to read the entire story they have to click through to the web publisher's site where the information resides. We believe search engines are of real benefit to publishers because they drive valuable traffic to their websites".

The continued: "If publishers do not want their websites to appear in search results, technical standards like robots.txt and metatags enable them automatically to prevent the indexation of their content. These Internet standards are nearly universally accepted and are honoured by all reputable search engines. In addition, Google has a clear policy of respecting the wishes of content owners. If a newspaper does not want to be part of Google News, we remove their content from our index - all the newspaper has to do is ask. There is no need for legal action and all the associated costs".

Google said they were unable to comment on the new litigation as they have not yet received the legal papers.

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EP REVIEW: Manu Chao - Politik Kills (Because Music)
Hearing Manu Chao, a leftist singer/songwriter who sings in Spanish, French and English and infuses his political ideas into his songs, you could be mistaken for imagining a well-tanned one man Rage Against The Machine busking on the Costa Del Sol. But don't, Manu Chao is more about merging Latin, dub poetry and reggae than merging hip hop with hardcore. The simple reggae offbeat in 'Politik Kills' is given some Latin vibe with mournful trumpets and a great twanging guitar riff. Unfortunately, the vocals are a bit jarring; Manu's vocal melody and lyrics squat in the middle ground between reggae and dub poetry (one of the remixes on the EP features dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson), and the chorus has all the melody of an automated voicemail service. Rude Barriobeat's is one of the better remixes on the EP, and makes it well worth checking out. RL
Release Date: 26 May
Press Contact: Darling Dept [all]

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NE-YO SAYS LOHAN ALBUM IS GOOD
Singer songwriter Ne-Yo has gone on record as saying that Lindsay Lohan is good, and that her new album is great. The R&B star, who has recently collaborated with the actress and singer, admits that he was reluctant to work with her because he thought that she was rubbish, but that she proved him wrong. He's quoted as saying, "[She's done] a ridiculously fabulous job. I gotta admit, we were like...Lindsay Lohan? I mean, I've written for Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, Celine Dion and... Lindsay Lohan? I was so shocked I had to call her and apologise for what I was thinking because she did so good. I think the world is gonna be surprised".

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WESTLIFE TO SING AT ROONEY'S WEDDING
According to reports, footballer Wayne Rooney has persuaded his fiancée Colleen McLoughlin's favourite band Westlife to sing at their wedding next month. Which shows you how out of touch I am – I thought they got married last year or something. But no, they're apparently set to wed in Italy on 14 Jun. Bizarre that anyone's favourite band should be Westlife, isn't it? Sorry, back to the hard facts: one of those ever-reliable tabloid 'sources' confirmed that "Some of Wayne's teammates gave him a bit of stick but he knows how much Coleen loves them".

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DOHERTY'S CAT DIES
Hmmm. Pete Doherty was late for a recent gig in Brixton, and according to NME said: "Sorry I'm late. But considering I've had to bury one of my cats at the roadside I've done pretty well to be here". I would have thought it could wait until after the gig, really. If it's true. He reportedly turned up at the venue carrying a second cat in one of those transportation cage thingies. Crazy.

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ASHLEE WILL TAKE WENTZ NAME
Ashlee Simpson has confirmed that she's to take her husband's name, kinda. She'll use the name Wentz privately, but professionally, she'll be known as Ashlee Simpson-Wentz. "I think that that's something that a woman should do when they're marrying a man", she says. "It's a tradition that I think is a great tradition". I agree, always thought it was important for a woman to allow her identity to be changed for the sake of love. Oh, hang on. No I don't.

Anyway, Wentz says not to blame him, and that the decision to take his name was not anything to do with him. He is quoted as saying: "These decisions with Ashlee and her name are all completely up to Ashlee. I want her to do these kinds of things the way she wants to do them. Oh man, I was like upgrade me! You know what I'm saying? The Wentz family, our Christmas card just got upgraded! It feels insane. It feels unreal".

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