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TODAY'S NEWS
More chatter on Bertelsmann SonyBMG stake sale
Bo Diddley dies
Campbell Burnap dies

She wouldn't know the truth if she tripped over it: R Kelly trial update

Universal Music deny recordings lost in studio fire
Ono loses Imagine lawsuit against creationist film
Winehouse attends Blake’s latest court hearing
Doherty's prison debts called in
Single review: We Are Scientists - Chick Lit
Tori Amos goes independent
New Morrissey album on the horizon
Snow Patrol album delayed by bats
Nas reveals controversial album cover
Martin promises to release Kylie collaboration
Rhys Ifans forms new band
Eavis responds to Gilmour snub

iTunes fest returns to capital

Neil Young builds battery-operated car
Sunrise celebration moves to Big Chill after wash out

AEG buy into Rockness

Galbraith joins Bloodstock board
Handleman exit North American music industry
Sextron promoted to new partnerships role at EMI

Bebo music chief leaves

Spiralfrog sign up EMI
BPI announces latest Japan jaunt
Hockman takes chairman job at Cutting Edge
Virgin Radio chair to step down after takeover

Blackburn show to be expanded across Smooth network

Album review: Lykke Li - Youth Novels
Fuller gets married
Wogan blames racism for Eurovision loss
Johnny has rotten teeth fixed
Ricky Wilson says Oasis are yesterday’s news
Sugababes boring? Surely not?
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TUESDAY 3RD JUNE

IT IS THE CMU SOCIAL TONIGHT EVERYBODY!
Yes, everybody, it's the CMU Social tonight – hurrah! And it's gonna be extra special, it doubling up as our tenth birthday party. I hear a rumour that my co-Editor Caro Moses may even be coming into town for it with Team CMU's youngest member, so you've got to come along and say hello.


Plus there's the music. In the CMU Introducing slot we have a brilliant band from Brighton who count members of Electric Soft Parade and The Brakes among their number - Restlesslist - while in the main slot we have a secret headliner - of which I will say this: the universe will be in reverse when some topboys we can't get enough of explode onto the CMU Social stage, a bit like Semtex - don't make mistakes, be there. If you are still not sure who we mean, well our good friend Eddy Temple-Morris might be dropping some big hints with the t-shirt he's wearing on his MySpace.

On top of that there is the CMU Pop Quiz, the new trivia quiz for all you music business types, an opportunity to show the world that your company is the most up to date when it comes to pop trivia. To play you just need to come to 229 for 7pm and pick up a quiz form - ponder over the questions (on recent and classic CMU stories) with your colleagues while having some cheap food and drink (happy hour at the bar and well priced burgers available till 8pm) and then submit your forms and cross your fingers. There's a crate of beer for the winners, plus you get to add your name to the Pop Quiz Champion honours list - Something In Construction are already on there having won the first ever Quiz last month.

So, come to 299 for 7pm for the quiz, see the mightY secret headliners do their thing at 8.45pm, and stick around for the brilliant Introducing band at 9.45pm.

Oh, and don't forget, this is all free for Daily readers - just drop an email to social@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk to get your name on the guest list, telling us your name, your company and details of any guests you plan to bring. And if you want to book a table for the quiz at 7pm, let us know that too. Simple.

   

GIRLS
How the name 'Girls' hasn't been taken by a band yet I don't know (of course there's The Girls, but this is the first time I've seen just Girls), but this all-male duo, including Christopher Owens of California's Holy Shit, clearly spotted the gap in the market, claiming the moniker for their new project. They're already writers of a rather wonderful single, 'Hellhole Ratrace', which has been described by one reviewer as "one of those songs you would have discovered in high school, where you would sit on your bed and play it over and over again, crying over a break up", something I agree with entirely. It owes a debt to Teenage Fanclub and Brian Eno's production values, sounding as if it was recorded entirely in a chapel, with an echoing, wistful quality that's packed with teen spirit. With a 7" release of their alternative offering, the Sonic Youth-esque 'Morning Light', imminent, head to the link below to bring yourself up to speed.

http://www.myspace.com/girlssanfran

   

INTERN OPPORTUNITY AT LEYLINE
Leyline Promotions are currently looking for a web-savvy intern to join their team in west London. Main duties include managing online communities and liaising with agents, artists and press during the build up to events. Applicants must have an interest in indie and electro and be available to work some nights. Leyline's events include: The Remix, Twisted Licks, The Insomniacs Ball, The (wonderful) CMU Social and they also look after the PR for the Glade, 229 the venue and seOne.

More info: tamsin@leylinepromotions.com


 
 

MORE CHATTER ON BERTELSMANN SONYBMG STAKE SALE
Yes, even more speculation regarding Bertelsmann wanting to sell their half of SonyBMG. There have been rumours that the German conglom are looking to get out of the recorded music business ever since they merged their BMG record company with Sony Music back in 2004. So far those rumours have proven unfounded, but a new report in the New York Times claims that the board there are stepping up discussions regarding selling their SonyBMG stake. The Bertelsmann top guard are remaining tight lipped, but media commentators have latched on to the fact that the company's CEO Hartmut Ostrowski has been careful to not deny that a sale is on the agenda, and the fact that he has, of late, been talking about the future of Bertelsmann as being a leading "international media specialist", a phrase that many infer to mean "not recorded music". If Bertelsmann were to sell it remains to be seen if Sony would and could buy out its partner – or whether the German firm would sell to one of the private equity firms reportedly interested in buying 50% of the record company.

Elsewhere in SonyBMG news, Maarten Steinkamp has confirmed to Billboard rumours that he has stepped down as President Of Continental Europe. The major are yet to formally comment on Steinkamp’s departure, though a restructure of the company’s mainland European operations is expected now that he is gone.

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BO DIDDLEY DIES
As you may already have heard, legendary rock star Bo Diddley died yesterday, at the age of 79, from heart failure. He had, as previously reported, suffered a stroke and a heart attack during the course of 2007, and his health never really returned.

Diddley, born Ellas Otha Bates in McComb, Mississippi, moved to Chicago at the age of seven. He took violin lessons as a child, but became inspired to play the guitar by seeing John Lee Hooker and began his musical career playing on street corners with friends. In 1951 he obtained a regular gig at Chicago's 708 Club, and adopted the name Bo Diddley.

Known for creating the distinctive 'Bo Diddley beat', he also developed many special effects and innovations for the guitar. He reached the peak of his fame in the fifties, when he recorded and released such tracks as 'I'm A Man', 'Who Do You Love?', 'Mona', and 'Road Runner', and also got barred from appearing on 'The Ed Sullivan Show'. He was a prolific artist – between 1958 and 1963, Diddley released a total of 11 albums via Checker Records, and in addition to performing songs he also wrote them for other people – Mickey and Sylvia's 'Love Is Strange' being the most notable. His output slowed down in later years, but he continued to tour into his late seventies.

Over the course of his career, he received many awards and honours, including induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame back in 1986, a Grammy Lifetime achievement award in 1998 and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm And Blues Foundation in 1996.

Diddley died at home, surrounded by more than thirty five family members.

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CAMPBELL BURNAP DIES
Jazz trombonist and former radio presenter Campbell Burnap – aka 'Mr Charm' - has died at the age of 68 from cancer.

Burnap, who performed as a musician across the world, and alongside the likes of Acker Bilk, began his radio career in the early 1980 on BBC Radio 2, where he created a series of hour long biographies devoted to such jazz greats as Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke. He later went on to host the BBC World Service programme Jazz For The Asking, most recently working on a three hour weekly show on Jazz FM. 

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SHE WOULDN'T KNOW THE TRUTH IF SHE TRIPPED OVER IT: R KELLY TRIAL UPDATE
So, another dramatic day at the R Kelly trial in Chicago yesterday as the prosecution's previously reported star witness took to the stand. 27 year old Lisa Van Allen claims that she had "three-way sexual encounters" with the R&B star and the girl who the prosecution allege appears in the sex tape at the heart of the trial. It is estimated the girl in question would have been about 13 at the time the tape was recorded.

Allen cried a little during her three hour testimony, in which she described her encounters with Kelly and the girl, some of which, she allegess, the singer filmed. She claimed to have first participated in a threesome with Kelly and the alleged victim in 1998, when she was 18, the R&B star 30 and the young girl would have been 14. She says Kelly told her the other girl was 16, which presumably seemed acceptable at the time, even though the age of consent in Illinois is 17 (the prosecution had already offered to grant the witness immunity should she say anything self-incriminating during her testimony). The first, and a second, encounter occurred, she claims, at Kelly's North Chicago home, where the sex tape at the heart of the case is alleged to have been filmed. A third threesome took place in a trailer during a pop promo shoot in Chicago, during which the alleged victim had to hide in a bathroom after someone knocked on the trailer door. Kelly often filmed his sexual encounters, Van Allen added, and often carried a duffel bag containing past videos. She told the court: "He carried it everywhere with him. Wherever he was at, the bag would follow him". As the under-age sex allegations against the singer gained momentum, Van Allen says, the singer offered to buy a copy of one tape which he new she had a copy of off her – he offered $250,000 but, she says, she only received $20,000 after handing it over.

Van Allen's testimony is crucial to the prosecution's case, because all other witnesses have just been called on to try and identify the man and woman in the sex tape, a screening of which kicked off the trial last month, whereas Van Allen, assuming her claims are true, is an actual witness to Kelly's alleged sex crimes. Needless to say Kelly's defence team, who had previously tried to prevent the woman testifying at all, are keen to throw doubt on her reliability as a witness. They question why Van Allen only came forward to speak to prosecutors last year, six years after Kelly was first charged, arguing that she only decided to make the allegations about the singer last year in a bid to win a more lenient sentence for a man she lives with who was caught up in a weapons case. They also claimed to have evidence that Van Allen was dishonest, alleging she once stole a valuable watch belonging to Kelly back in 2001. 

Speaking after Van Allen's possibly landmark testimony, Kelly's business manager Derrell McDavid further attempted to rubbish her claims, saying in a statement: "Van Allen is an admitted thief and liar who wouldn't know the truth if she tripped over it".

Van Allen was the finale act for the prosecution, who rapped up their case after her testimony. The case for the defence will begin tomorrow. Kelly faces up to fifteen years in jail if found guilty of filming himself having sex with a minor.

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UNIVERSAL MUSIC DENY RECORDINGS LOST IN STUDIO FIRE
Universal Music have denied online reports that "thousands of original recording masters" were lost in that fire at the Universal Studios in LA that destroyed one of the 'Back To The Future' sets and a King Kong exhibit last weekend.

There had been reports that some recordings owned by Universal labels like Decca, MCA and ABC were stored at the studios, and had been destroyed in the blaze. But, while the music major does rent storage space at its sister company's studio complex, and one of those storage spaces was affected by the fire, a spokesman for the major has said there was no major loss of recordings.

The spokesman told Billboard: "We had no loss, thankfully. We moved most of what was formerly stored there earlier this year to our other facilities. Of the small amount that was still there and awaiting to be moved, it had already been digitized so the music will still be around for many years. Moreover, in addition to being digitized, we also had physical back up copies of what was still left at that location, so we were covered".

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ONO LOSES IMAGINE LAWSUIT AGAINST CREATIONIST FILM
Yoko Ono has lost in that legal attempt to stop an American film called 'Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed', which criticises those who criticise creationism, from using a snippet of John Lennon's 'Imagine'.

Ono, both of Lennon's sons and EMI all took action against the film makers, Premise Media, after they used the song without permission. But the film's producers argued they were allowed to use the snippet under the Fair Use doctrine in US copyright law – which allows you to use appropriate samples of copyright material without the owner's permission if you do so in order to criticise or discuss the material, or the opinions it expresses. I didn't think Premise would succeed with that defence, though I've not seen the film, perhaps they do actually criticise or discuss Lennon's lyrics rather than just use it as backing music.

Welcoming the ruling, Anthony Falzone, Exec Director of the Fair Use Project, which led the filmmakers defence, told reporters: "This case is not just about fair use, it is about free speech. The right to use portions of copyrighted works in order to criticise them and discuss the views they represent lies at the heart of the fair use doctrine because that right is essential to the free flow of ideas, thoughts, and debate".

Premise boss Logan Craft added: "We are happy that Judge Stein has removed this legal impediment to our continued distribution of 'Expelled'. Yoko Ono attempted to stifle free speech. We look forward to the movie's Canadian release on June 27, our expanded theatrical run in the US this summer, and its DVD release this fall".

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WINEHOUSE ATTENDS BLAKE'S LATEST COURT HEARING
Despite some reports last night that Amy Winehouse had missed her jailed husband's latest court hearing, the singer was, in fact, in attendance in the front row of the public gallery at Snaresbrook Crown Court yesterday. At one point she reportedly gave a court official a hand written note and asked them to pass it to other half Blake Fielder Civil, who faces charges of conspiring to pervert the cause of justice.

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DOHERTY'S PRISON DEBTS CALLED IN
IOUs written by Pete Doherty to other inmates during his stay at HMP Wormwood Scrubs are now being called in, report The Daily Star. This relates to stories of drugs reportedly given to him on credit by prison dealers, which Doherty and his management denied. However, if the tabloid is correct, then the singer racked up a fairly hefty debt and will have to pay up soon. A source from the Wormwood Scrubs exercise yard reportedly said: "Pete should definitely still be looking over his shoulder. He was terrified when he was inside - he was getting threatened all the time and [is] still not safe now. They'll even wait until they come out or send someone else".

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SINGLE REVIEW: We Are Scientists - Chic Lit (Virgin)
What has chasing herds of corgis like Queen Lizzy's personal canine cowboy, trashy books aimed at hormonal housewives and indie rock stars' attempts at dance all have in common? We Are Scientists it seems. The American band seem to think all these ideas go hand in hand, resulting in 'Chic Lit', the second single from their latest album 'Brain Thrust Mastery', and its accompanying video. With 80's crooning, synthetic squeaks and a heavy guitar riff that is practically Daft Punk's 'Robot Rock', WAS have produced a hand clapping single that, coming from a band who describe themselves as "vaguely danceable", could be their most danceable. Within 'Chic Lit' beats the familiar WAS spasmodic drumming and stock catchy chorus, but gone are the jangling indie guitars. 'Chic Lit' could prove to be the band's biggest hit, but be warned, 'The Great Escape' this is not. RL
Release Date: 9 Jun
Press Contact: EMI IH

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TORI AMOS GOES INDEPENDENT
Tori Amos has ended her relationship with SonyBMG's Epic Records US in order to "devise new and exciting ways of getting her music to the masses without the boundaries and limitations of the major music companies", her manager John Witherspoon has told Billboard.

Amos signed to Epic in 2001 after concluding her previous deal with Warner's Atlantic Records. Witherspoon said she is now working on "a project of new music and visuals". She is also writing a musical for the National Theatre in London called 'The Light Princess', and will release a graphic novel, 'Comic Book Tattoo', based on her songs, in July.

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NEW MORRISSEY ALBUM ON THE HORIZON
The new Morrissey album will reportedly be called 'Years Of Refusal', will be produced by Jerry Fin, and will be released in the Autumn. The first single will be called 'Immigrants Go Home'. No, not really, it will be called 'All You Need Is Me' and will be released later this month, apparently, ahead of his headline performance at the Wireless Festival.

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SNOW PATROL ALBUM DELAYED BY BATS
Snow Patrol are currently holed up in a recording studio in Ireland, working on the follow-up to 2006's 'Eyes Open'. However, it seems they are not the only ones there; they've apparently been joined by a large group of bats.

Writing on the band's MySpace blog, frontman Gary Lightbody said: "As the sun goes down the bats come out. They swoop just outside the bay windows of the living room and we watch and 'ohh' and 'ahh'. Two nights ago Tom closed the window after I joked about the potential chaos that would ensue if one flew through it. ... I went to my room turned on the light to find what? Yes, a bat. ... 'Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh, bat!' I proclaimed with manliness aplenty. The calm was introduced by our good friend, drum tech and general legend Graemo Hunter [who made] a few slow movements and an open window later and he was out among his bat pals again. ...  Graemo [then] worked out an ingenious lights off, door open, door closed, lights on system that seemed to do the trick. If it weren't for our Graeme we'd be covered in bats still. Clothed in them. Like the batsuit but made of live bats and no superhero within".

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NAS REVEALS CONTROVERSIAL ALBUM COVER
Just when you thought Nas was going soft and giving in to pressure, after he changed the title of his new album from 'Nigger' to 'Untitled', he's gone and unveiled the artwork for it. The title may be gone but its cover, which shows the rapper's back with a large N carved into it, is unlikely to pull his detractors back on side. Nas told Billboard: "It speaks for itself. It says 'nigger' real loud".

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MARTIN PROMISES TO RELEASE KYLIE COLLABORATION
As previously reported, Coldplay bumped a collaboration with Kylie Minogue from their new album 'Viva La Vida'. However, Chris Martin has now said that the song will see the light of day on another release next year.

Asked why the band had chosen not to use the song, Martin told Q Radio: "Well, it's just too sexy. At this point we cannot be that sexy, also we haven't quite finished it. It's a song called 'Lunar' and Kylie is particularly brilliant on it. I'm going to tell you exclusively that it will be on a record that we will put out at the end of next year. It'll be track nine, I imagine, and then track ten will be a song called 'Life In Technicolour', which is the song of a piece that we put on this album and it will neatly wrap up things for the end of the decade".

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RHYS IFANS FORMS NEW BAND
Actor Rhys Ifans has made a return to music (he was the original Super Furry Animals frontman, but left before they became famous) by forming a new band, The Peth, with former SFA bandmante Dafydd Leuan plus Dic Ben, Kris Jenkins and Nick Hilton. The band will release their debut album 'The Golden Mile' in September.

The band will also tour the UK (well, mainly Wales) next month:

2 Jul: Portmeirion, Town Hall
3 Jul: Bala, Golf Club
4 Jul: Llanerfyl Hall
5 Jul: Llanddewi Brefi Hall
6 Jul: Cwmaman Institute
10 Jul: London, Hoxton Bar and Grill
20 Jul: Lovebox Festival
17 Jul: Greenman Festival

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EAVIS RESPONDS TO GILMOUR SNUB
Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis has responded to claims in The Sun that he refused to add Pink Floyd's Dave Gilmour to the line up because he doesn't appeal to a young enough audience.

A source told The Sun: "Dave has always had a soft spot for Glastonbury. He's got a window in his touring plans and thought he'd contact Michael about performing. While Michael was grateful for the offer he turned it down. He wants the event to appeal to a younger generation, and feels that Dave wouldn't".

However, Eavis said in a statement: "I got a call three or four weeks ago from Gilmour's people. But by that time all the bands were already in place for this year. It's a wonderful line-up and I couldn't bump one of them off, even for him".

Dave Gilmour is now settling for the Chelsea Festival instead, where he will perform Pink Floyd's 'Atom Heart Mother Suite' album with a Pink Floyd tribute band. Gilmour will join Italian band Mun Floyd, a 10-piece brass ensemble from The Royal College Of Music, a choir called Canticum, cellist Caroline Dale and the piece's co-writer Ron Geesin to perform the six part instrumental, taken from the 'Atom Heart Mother' album, on 15 Jun at Cadogan Hall in Chelsea.

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iTUNES FEST RETURNS TO CAPITAL
The iTunes festival is set to return to London this year, and is taking over a bigger venue, with a total of sixty free gigs set to take place at Koko in Camden during the month of July – last year's events were held at the much smaller ICA. Confirmed artists for this year's line up include James Blunt, N.E.R.D., Pendulum and Chaka Khan, with more acts to be announced. The download platform will of course record the sets and sell them via all of its 22 online stores.

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NEIL YOUNG BUILDS BATTERY-OPERATED CAR
Neil Young is full of bright ideas lately. Recently, he announced that he would force his fans to buy his music in high quality audio, by releasing his back catalogue on Bly-ray Audio Disc and nothing else. This week he's converting his car to run on battery power, which seems like a better idea. The singer has set up a team with Wichita mechanic Jonathan Goodwin to convert his 1959 Lincoln Continental to run on electricity, investing $120,000 in the project.

Speaking to the Wichita Eagle, Young said: "Jonathan and this car are going to make history. We're going to change the world; we're going to create a car that will allow us to stop giving our wealth to other countries for petroleum".

He said this proactive decision came about because he had realised that music wasn't going to change the world. He continued: "You know, I thought long ago you could change the world by writing songs. Oh, you can inspire a few people, get some of them to change their thinking about something, but you can't change the world by writing songs. But we could change it with this car".

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SUNRISE CELEBRATION MOVES TO BIG CHILL AFTER WASH OUT
Organisers of The Big Chill have announced they will host a restaging of the Sunrise Celebration, a boutique festival that was due to take place in Somerset last weekend but which was cancelled due to local flooding. The Sunrise Celebration team will have their own space at the Big Chill fest in Hereford in August, and anyone who had a ticket to last weekend's Celebration will be able to get in to the whole Big Chill event. Big Chill co-founder Katrina Larkin explains: "We know that Sunrise Celebration can bring something really special to The Big Chill. We admire their green ethos and spirit and we're so pleased they took us up on the offer. We really felt for them when we heard the news at the weekend but we are so pleased to be able to help out and are absolutely delighted to be welcoming them into the Big Chill as part of our happy family".

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AEG BUY INTO ROCKNESS
The UK bit of live music conglom AEG Live has acquired a controlling stake in the Rockness Festival, that there Scottish music festival, which takes place on 7 and 8 Jun this year with Fatboy Slim and Razorlight doing the headlining malarkey. AEG Live President Of International Touring Rob Hallett says this: "It's a great concept in a beautiful location run by excellent operators and we are certain that many of the artists we tour will agree".

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GALBRAITH JOINS BLOODSTOCK BOARD
Former Live Nation UK chief Stuart Galbraith, who founded his own live music firm Kilimanjaro Live in partnership with the aforementioned AEG earlier this year, has joined the board of metal festival Bloodstock.

Bloodstock founder Paul Gregory says this: "We've had to make some pretty defining decisions over the last seven years and I think this is perhaps the biggest and most positive to date. The addition of Stuart as an equal partner means we can expand the original and current management team whilst developing genuine worldwide industry partnerships, which can only improve the profile and performance of Bloodstock".

Galbraith, who developed metal-ish festival Download while at Live Nation, confirmed his involvement in Bloodstock yesterday, saying in a statement: "It's great to be involved in a pure, heavy metal rock festival again. There's always been a need for a pure, hard rock festival and we hope to build on the great work that Paul and his family have put in".

Bloodstock 2008 takes place 15-17 Aug at Catton Hall, Derbyshire and is headlined by Nightwish, Dimmu Borgir, Opeth and Helloween.

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HANDLEMAN EXIT NORTH AMERICAN MUSIC INDUSTRY
US based Handleman, a major music distributor in North America who have been struggling financially of late, have announced they are selling much of their US and Canadian music distribution companies, which is pretty big news really. Handleman boss Albert A Koch told reporters: "Our decision to exit the North American music business was difficult but unavoidable. CD music sales have been declining at double-digit rates for several years both industry-wide and at our customers' stores, resulting in a sharp drop-off in our business. Unfortunately, even the significant steps we've taken over the past two years to reduce our costs have not enabled the company to return to profitability". It is not clear what that news means for Handleman and their non-North American operations.

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SEXTRON PROMOTED TO NEW PARTNERSHIPS ROLE AT EMI
Cynthia Sexton, previously Senior VP Strategic Marketing & Licensing for EMI North America, has been given an even catchier new job title, Executive VP Global Brand Partnership, Licensing & Synchronization. Wow. It's a new role and she will report to Ronn Werre, President of EMI Music Commercial Development. Werre says this: "Cynthia has proven to be a leader in this field and I am thrilled that she will be lending her talents to EMI on a global basis. She has amazing instincts for helping build brands and for working with the TV, film, games and marketing communities to marry the right music with their projects. She will focus on maximizing the revenue potential of EMI artists' works and create strategic partnerships designed to help artists' careers while adding value to brands".

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BEBO MUSIC CHIEF LEAVES
Bebo's Global VP of Music And Content, Angel Gambino, has left the social networking company. The former MTV exec joined Bebo to lead its music operations in April 2007. Her decision to leave follows AOL's previously reported purchase of the social networking site of choice for da kids.

Confirming her departure, Gambino told reporters: "With the business experiencing massive growth now topping 42 million active users worldwide spending on average 30 minutes per session, and ultimately being sold to AOL, I view my decision to leave Bebo at this time very much as a natural progression of my role and career. I am confident that under Joanna Shields leadership of the newly formed People Networks, Bebo will continue to thrive especially with the massive breadth of music, content, communication and publishing tools and other intellectual property that AOL Time Warner brings to this new business".

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SPIRALFROG SIGN UP EMI
Ad funded download service Spiralfrog has reportedly entered into a licensing deal with EMI Music, which will see the US based digital service expand its catalogue of music. Spiralfrog's main deal to date has been with Universal – with EMI on board it remains to be seen if Warner and SonyBMG now follow too – negotiations are reportedly ongoing.

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BPI ANNOUNCES LATEST JAPAN JAUNT
UK record label trade body the BPI has announced details of its fifth annual trade mission to Japan, which is organised in association with those United Kingdom Trade Investment chaps, and which will take place the first week in August. Reps from all sorts of UK music companies will use the venture to meet and network with key people from the Japanese music industry, Japan being the biggest music and entertainment market outside the US.

Julian Wall, Director of Independent Member Services & International Events at the BPI, told CMU: "Japan has always had an incredibly favourable disposition towards UK music, especially of the 'indie' genre, and the trade mission presents an unrivalled opportunity for those labels to begin and develop their business in this market. Everyone thinks that Japan is "difficult"...it's not, but it requires hard work, energy and enthusiasm to succeed there. Through the mission, in less than one week, delegates can meet and develop an invaluable set of contacts there that would normally take years - and possibly several thousand emails - to collect".

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HOCKMAN TAKES CHAIRMAN JOB AT CUTTING EDGE
David Hockman, a former boss of music publishing firms Sony/ATV and Polygram, has joined sync rights specialists Cutting Edge to be their Non-Executive Chairman.

The company's MD, Phil Hope, confirmed the appointment, saying this: "We are delighted to welcome David to our board. His vast experience, industry knowledge and wealth of contacts in the music business will be a considerable asset to the company as we continue to grow".

Hockman himself added: "Cutting Edge has carved out a significant niche in this growing music publishing market and I'm delighted to be joining them at this exciting time".

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VIRGIN RADIO CHAIR TO STEP DOWN AFTER TAKEOVER
Talking of chairmen, though an executive one this time, Virgin Radio's Executive Chairman Richard Huntingford will resign following the station's acquisition. It was confirmed over the weekend that Absolute Radio parent company Times Of India Group will buy the national station, though will not get the rights to use the Virgin name, because Branson, who controls the use of the Virgin name, has a stake in a rival Indian media firm. Hungtingford, who has been in the Chair job at Virgin Radio for less than a year after stepping down from the top job at Chrysalis Radio after its takeover by Global, will stay with Virgin for three months to oversee the transfer, and then step down.

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BLACKBURN SHOW TO BE EXPANDED ACROSS SMOOTH NETWORK
Tony Blackburn's weekend breakfast show on GMG Radio's Smooth Radio, which currently airs on Smooth London, will be networked over the other Smooth stations in the Midlands, North West and, from later this week, Glasgow. The networked version of the show will be sponsored by Sky.

GMG programming chief Jon Simons says: "Tony is a legend and will be an asset to our weekend schedules on other stations in the Smooth Radio network. His show will provide our stations with a strong start to the weekend".

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ALBUM REVIEW: Lykke Li - Youth Novels (LL Recordings)
Sweden: homeland of ABBA, The Hives, Caesars and Jose Gonzalez. Will up and coming musician Lykke Li do her Nordic roots proud with her debut album 'Youth Novels'? Under the mentorship of Peter, Bjorn & John's Bjorn Yttling, Lykke Li has put together a mature album that isn't afraid to experiment while remaining musically sound. 'Youth Novels' has the ambient and strange musical sensibilities of Joanna Newsom and Kate Bush, all harpsichords, flutes and Theremins, with Lykke's vocals sounding like a twelve year old Bjork, which is by no means a bad thing. Lykke's vocals and her song writing abilities are what really makes this album stand out; clearly influenced by aforementioned alternative supremos, she shows a genuine talent. Sometimes she veers too far into a 'far-out' avant garde style, opening track 'Melodies & Desires' being a prime example that sounds more like a New Age Yoga tape than a song. 'Little Bit' has already been released as a single, and I can imagine 'Dance, Dance, Dance', one of the more commercial tracks on the album, appearing on a feel good mobile phone advert in the near future. The album may strike some as being pretentious, and prime muzak for fancy car adverts, but after repeated listens you'll be willing to put your faith in Lykke's abilities. Roll on album number two. RL
Release Date: 9 Jun
Press Contact: Toast Press [all]

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FULLER GETS MARRIED
Music mogul Simon Fuller has married his long-term girlfriend Natalie Swanston in a US ceremony with a guest-list that included members of the Spice Girls as well as the likes of Claudia Schiffer and Matthew Vaughn. The event took place in California's Napa Valley, and was intended to be private. They couldn't, however, stop the paps from flying overhead in helicopters.

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WOGAN BLAMES RACISM FOR EUROVISION LOSS
Was it political voting or racism that meant Britain came last in this year's Eurovision?

Both, says Terry Wogan in his Sunday Telegraph column last weekend. He said that being black made UK entrant Andy Abraham the "elephant in the room" at the competition. "East of the Danube, they won't be voting for any black singer any day soon", he wrote. He also added that fans of the competition "will have had it up to here with the blatant political voting from the former satellites of the USSR".

The deputy head of the Estonian embassy in London, Eerik Marmei told the Telegraph that "the accusation of racism is totally rubbish".

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JOHNNY HAS ROTTEN TEETH FIXED
John Lydon has had the teeth that gave him his Rotten nickname fixed. He told The Daily Telegraph: "All those rotten teeth were seriously beginning to corrupt my system".

You can get a look at his new teeth when The Sex Pistols headline the Isle Of Wight Festival later this month.

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RICKY WILSON SAYS OASIS ARE YESTERDAY'S NEWS
Chief Kaiser Ricky Wilson has told The Sun that he thinks Oasis have disappeared up their own arse. Honest, look: "Oasis have disappeared up their own arse. They think they are Led Zeppelin. They're not. Music has moved on and I think we are the band that most music fans would see as their successor".

I'd agree. That is to say, Oasis have probably always been up their own arse. Not to mention overrated. But I'm not sure whether Wilson's confidence in his own band's abilities is entirely justified. Just my opinion. I mean, I like Kaiser Chiefs. But they're hardly innovators, or anything. Anyway, here's what else Wilson said: "Our new album is shaping up. I reckon it's our best stuff yet. I played it to our manager the other day, who has known us for over ten years, and a smile just spread across his face as soon as he heard it. He reckons that it's the best material we have come up with. Mark Ronson is producing the album. He turned down a lot of people to work with us — a lot of big names, who I won't mention. When he does that to work with us, we must be doing something well".

Well, we'll see, won't we?

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SUGABABES BORING? SURELY NOT?
Sugababe Keisha Buchanan has said that people think she and her fellow band members are considered boring, unlike the tremendously exciting Girls Aloud, who they hooked up with for that 2007 charity single 'Walk This Way'. Buchanan said: "People see us as boring compared to them. When we performed together they were showing us how to do sexy dance routines and they looked great. Me and Amelle have had pole dancing lessons. But everyone still sees Girls Aloud as the sexy ones".

I wouldn't worry, Keisha. All that sexing around makes them look a bit cheap, in my opinion.

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