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TODAY'S NEWS
I rest my case: R Kelly trial update
Fielder-Civil pleads guilty
Warren G arrested but not charged
Winehouse apologises for racist video
Paramore singer brands stepfather insane
Doherty: Babyshambles are underachieving
U2 to release not-free album
Single review: Boom Boom Satellites – Easy Action
Kitty, Daisy, Lewis, album launch
Ben Folds announces UK tour
Glastonbury tickets for sale in HMV
McCartney to quit touring
McGoff promoted at EMI Publishing
EMI appoint Second Life man to digital role
More EMI exec gossip
K7 appoint new global marketing chief
3G iPhone unveiled
Universal go into drama with Bebo
Indian label get injunction against Yahoo! India
CISAC president calls on Chinese government to deliver on performing royalties
Should the labels fill the gap in music retail in New York?
Radio 2 to run series on dance music
Standard and London Lite news teams merge
Album review: Daedelus – Love To Make Music To
Diddy not puff again, OK
Indie bands in backstage bust up
Why are we reporting on X-Factor again?
No drinking for Lewis
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TUESDAY 10TH JUNE

Look at this, a new name for our opinionated top bits, hurrah. And don't forget, you can respond to anything we say in this editorial spot – and have your say, should you wish to have it - on our Yahoo! blog.

Yesterday I was in Birmingham taking part in the Big Debate, which was part of Birmingham City University's New Generation Arts festival, which is taking place across the city as we speak. The topic for debate was whether this here digital age has given us – as creators, or creative consumers – more or less power.

One group of people who have less power are the traditional content owners. As ranted here at great length in the past, these companies – from the major record companies to the film studios to the traditional broadcasters – will have to get used to the fact that they can no longer control access to their content, drip feeding it through exclusive distribution partners at different times in different territories. Once content is out there people will access it, through official or unofficial channels, and there is nothing you can do about that, however sneaky your digital rights management technology or however litigious your lawyers. What content owners need to do, and some, including some majors, are doing, is learn to make content available everywhere through everyone, and find ways to maximise revenues in doing so.

Another group of people who have less power are the traditional media, and the editors who run them. Traditionally established media brands – national and regional – and their editors, chief reporters and pundits have acted as gatekeepers to the world. People have accessed news and reviews and coverage and comment as selected and reworked by these media and journalists. But now, of course, the gates are open, and it is easier for people to by-pass these media and journalists and go and find alternative content, comment or reportage. And, perhaps more importantly, there's a whole new generation of gatekeepers – bloggers and ezine editors - apart from the establishment, and often without the commercial or political constraints those in the establishment operate within, and sometimes able to garner bigger online audiences as a result – leaving the traditional players with less influence and, as a result, less advertising value.

But while the big and traditional players suffer, the internet has undoubtedly given power to grass roots and independent creators, and to creative consumers. When I was a teenager with aspirations to run my own magazine, said magazine was a hand written A6 newsletter photocopied at my local library and distributed to friends. If I was said teenager now I could communicate to the whole world, in a similar fashion to the biggest media owners, and probably for less that the five pounds it cost me to photocopy my fanzine. Parallels exist in most other creative disciplines, whatever it is you are making it is easier than ever to reach a global audience, to compete with the big boys, and to bypass those gatekeepers, or to find one of the new generation of gate keepers who might be more receptive to your work.

And, of course, there's a big argument that the creative consumer has more power than ever also. Certainly you have more control over what content you see when, and where. And it's easier to skip through stuff you don't like, and re-watch the stuff you do – and to feed back.

So, a power shift for the good then – the evil big boy has less power and the grass roots creative and individual consumer more power – brilliant. Except that, and despite the power shift, it strikes me everyone is facing the same challenges – big, small, recently more powerful, or currently more powerless.

There's the increased competition for audience, the need to stand out from the ever large crowds, and the challenge of navigating your way round everything on offer. There's the need to find business models that work – systems where content creators can make money from their work, but in a way consumers will accept – and without (as most models so far do) relying exclusively on the finite advertising pot or using the net to promote offline revenues. And the need to find the creative models that really work in the digital world – to stop simply repackaging old content for new media, to truly utilise the creative potential of the digital world rather than just the PR potential of the latest internet fad, and to find ways to pull attention-span-lite audiences away from cats falling over and onto more intellectually stimulating creative experiences.

Approaching all these challenges requires the input of all the above mentioned people. It costs money, which the traditional content companies have access o. It requires utilising existing audiences, and archive content, which the traditional media companies possess. But it also requires new thinking, grass roots experimentation with creative and commercial models, and the fresh approach that community have proven they can deliver. And it needs consumers to decide what they want from the internet, and how they want it, and how they'll pay for it – whether that be through increased advertising, increased ISP fees or pay-as-you-go and subscription systems.

So, power may be shifting, but everyone still has a role to play and many potential rewards to chase. Quite how it will all work out is anyone's guess, but the general mood of the panel and audience at the aforementioned Big Debate was that the internet, and any power shifts it causes, is a very good thing, and lots of good things are still to come from it. Which is a nice optimistic message for me to bring back to you all. Which is unusual – the glorious sunshine in Birmingham yesterday must have got to me.

chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

 

THE BON BON CLUB
Something of oddly brilliant side-project of The Long Blondes' rhythm section (the second such project that's featured in the SNAP column recently after Dead Eyed Bitches), The Bon Bon Club are full of contemporary musical references, from their moniker (similar to Tom
Tom Club), to their pseudonyms of Sushi Quatro, Thirsty Moore and Chapatti Smith. And if this isn't enough to endear you, then one
listen to their grimey, stripped-back cover versions will do, whether its their aping of DFA 1979's 'Death From Above' in the style of
Mudhoney or their removal of the mystic, woozy quality from The Cure's 'Lullaby', which thus becomes altogether more menacing in the process. Releasing a 7" single through revered Sheffield-based indie Thee SPC on 23 Jun, make sure you're well prepared to pick up a copy or you'll be stuck streaming them from their Myspace, which is handily linked below.

www.myspace.com/thebonbonclub

 
 

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


I REST MY CASE: R KELLY TRIAL UPDATE
Well, that was over a lot quicker that I expected for certain. R Kelly's lawyers abruptly rested their case yesterday after offering just two days of testimony in his high profile child porn trial.

There were no major revelations, no new evidence, and no conclusive explanations during the two days of argument in favour of the R&B star in the Chicago courts, simply family members of the girl alleged to be in the sex tape at the heart of the case denying it is her, a couple of experts discussing whether or not the man in the vid had R Kelly's mole, and a few attempts to discredit the prosecution's star witness, who claimed to have had threesomes with Kelly and the underage girl.

Of course the defence's relatively brief case can be interpreted two ways – either they are a bit short of any arguments or witnesses that run in their favour, or they are so certain they will win there is no need to drag things out. Certainly Kelly's lawyers seem to have put more effort into picking holes into the testimonies of the prosecution's witnesses rather than presenting compelling witnesses of their own, but that may be strategy rather than necessity. Commenting on the short defence, the Chicago Tribune quote New York attorney Paul DerOhannesian who says: "The goal of the defence isn't to prove what happened. Why assume that burden if you don't have to?"

The one thing that some commentators reckon has weakened the defence's case is their failure to present the alleged victim as a witness. The 23 year old alleged, by the prosecution, to be in the ten year old sex tape – aged 13 at the time it was recorded – continues to deny it is in fact her, and has gone on the record to say so in a grand jury investigation earlier on in the case. But with some gossipers claiming the close links between Kelly and the girl's family – her father reportedly is a guitar player who sometimes works for the R&B star or his associates – may be behind her denial of involvement in the tape, some reckon it would have been good for the jury to hear the denial directly from the alleged victim, so they could form their own conclusions. Instead the defence are relying on three family members to deny her involvement in the tape, against the fifteen friends and associates who the prosecution presented who say they are certain the named girl is in the tape.

The prosecution are now expected to call two rebuttal witnesses, before summing up begins. The jury could be deliberating on it all by Thursday.

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FIELDER-CIVIL PLEADS GUILTY
Ah, so he is a corrupt thug after all. Husband of Amy Winehouse, Blake Fielder-Civil, has pleaded guilty to assault and perverting the course of justice at Snaresbrook Crown Court. He entered the plea on Friday, but a reporting ban prevented it from being made public until yesterday. Otherwise we'd have told you yesterday morning, obviously. As previously reported, Fielder-Civil and a friend, Michael Brown, were charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm on pub landlord James King in 2006. A year later, in November 2007, the pair, along with Anthony Kelly and James Kennedy were also charged with perverting the course of justice. Fielder-Civil now faces up to five years in prison.

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WARREN G ARRESTED
US prosecutors have said they won't pursue charges against rapper Warren G, who was arrested in LA last weekend after a car he was travelling in was found to contain marijuana. The car was stopped by police for jumping a red light on Sunday. Officers then discovered the drugs in the vehicle and arrested the rapper and driver Ryan Butler. A spokesman for the LA District Attorney said there was insufficient evidence to show that the rapper was aware of the drugs in the vehicle.

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WINEHOUSE APOLOGISES FOR RACIST VIDEO
Back to Amy, and Ms Winehouse has issued an apology for a video obtained by the News Of The World, which we reported on yesterday. The apology was apparently issued to the flanks of paparazzi photographers camped outside the singer's London home, so maybe they do have some use. The video, filmed by Winehouse's aforementioned corrupt thug of a husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, shows the singer and a friend singing "Blacks, Pakis, Gooks and Nips, Gooks and Nips! And deaf and dumb and blind and gay!" to the tune of 'Heads, Shoulders, Knees And Toes'. The video also allegedly shows Winehouse smoking a crack pipe, which could see her questioned by police for taking drugs on film for a second time.

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PARAMORE SINGER BRANDS STEPFATHER INSANE
Hayley Williams, frontwoman of metallers Paramore, has branded her former stepfather "insane", after discovering that he is trying to sell her old school work on eBay.

Writing on the band's Live Journal blog, she said: "I saw that post someone made about the 'handwritten book' on eBay. Yes, it's mine. Hahah. I don't remember being a sad child but I definitely loved horror films at a really young age. I guess that was reflected in this particular assignment. Anyway, that's not exactly what I'm posting about. I'm actually posting about the seller of this item. It happens to be my ex-stepfather. Who is... well... insane, hence the reason he is my EX-stepfather. So, while I can laugh at the fact that a bit of my past has surfaced, I have to admit I felt like throwin' shit when I saw the username. To be honest, I'd love to post his full name, where he works, possibly a phone number. Then all of you could show him what it feels like when your personal life is out there for everyone to put their hands on. Fortunately for him... living with him for 7 years wasn't quite enough to make me turn out just like him... or was it? Don't buy it. I'm gonna buy it. Hahaha".

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DOHERTY: BABYSHAMBLES ARE UNDERACHIEVING
Okay, for those of you still looking for proof that Pete Doherty is off the drugs, will a sudden realisation that his band aren't doing as well as they might do? Speaking to MTV News, the singer said that Babyshambles have, up until now, just been "arsing about" and have failed to make any money.

He said: "We've got a few concerns at the moment over issues with management, where the money has been going [and] distribution of wealth. We need to sit down as a band and talk about the future - what's happening and why, when and who with. [After] two years of arsing about, we could actually make money out of this job. I've just realised people are always saying to me, 'Yeah, but you can afford it' and I'm like, 'What's making them say that?'"

Of course if Doherty is concerned about money he should really cut his costs and get some new material out which is presumably why he's, erm, canning all his previous work on a solo album and buggering off to Portugal and Paris to start afresh. Well, that's what he's told NME he'd like to do in a chat about his solo work. He says he rethought his solo plans during that recent jail stay, explaining: "I've re-thought everything about what I'm going to do with the solo record". Though it's not just budget constraints that might hinder those plans to work on the new long player abroad – he admits: "I'm not allowed out of the country until my probation licence is up, which is a little while".

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U2 TO RELEASE NOT-FREE ALBUM
U2 manager Paul McGuinness has said that the band will not follow in the footsteps of Radiohead and give away their new album for free, because U2 love money too much. Something like that, anyway.

He told BBC 6music: "There will be events around the release of the album but for U2 physical sales are still an enormous part of our business and we still sell a lot of actual CDs. We will obviously work with whatever technology is available to make the release of the new record as interesting as possible. We should all be aware that Radiohead's honesty box release of their album to some extent backfired. Even though it was available on their own website for no money at all, if that was what you preferred to pay - 60 to 70 per cent of the people who downloaded the record stole it anyway even though it was available for free".

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SINGLE REVIEW: Boom Boom Satellites – Easy Action (Third Ear)
Pioneers of the Japanese electro-rock movement this duo may be, but when compared to their contemporaries, Boom Boom Satellites lack a certain luminosity. Put in a ring with French electronic powerhouse Justice, they wouldn't last a round. They sound flat, dull and dated in comparison. This is not to say that they should hang up their vocoder just yet. Directorial heavyweights Oliver Stone and Luc Besson have used the band's tracks to accompany key scenes in their movies to great effect, and their signature driving basslines, as demonstrated on 'Easy Action', add layers of immediacy and euphoria to the soundtrack of Vexille (2007), Fumihiko Sori's new 3D animation movie. But, whereas Easy Action's enhancement of Sori's film is noticeable, as a stand alone aural experience, it is forgettable and uninspiring. In a world where electro saturates the airwaves, Boom Boom Satellites need to step it up a gear to compete with the cool kids. MB
Release Date: 26 May
Press Contact: Zzonked [all]

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KITTY, DAISY, LEWIS, ALBUM LAUNCH
The brilliant, and they are brilliant, I checked, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis will officially launch their eponymous debut album at the 100 Club in London on 30 Jul. The album is released via Sunday Best on 28 Jul, with a double a-side single, 'Going Up The Country' / 'Say You'll Be Mine', out on 7 Jul. There's some other performances in the diary ahead of the album launch, as follows, press info from Toast.

20 Jun: Best of SXSW @ The Borderline, London
28 Jun: Glastonbury      
12 Jul: Lounge On The Farm festival, Kent
13 Jul: London Rise Festival - Finsbury Park, London
18 Jul: Camp Bestival - Lulworth Castle, Dorset

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BEN FOLDS ANNOUNCES UK TOUR
Favouritest of all the CMU favourites, Ben Folds has announced UK tour dates for later this year. Hooray! If there's one thing sure to get us all out of the office and dancing like giddy children, it's a Ben Folds gig.

Here are the dates:

24 Jun: Newcastle Carling Academy
25 Jun: London Shepherds Bush Empire
27 Jun: Glastonbury Festival
7 Jul: Nottingham Rock City
8 Jul: Sheffield The Academy
9 Jul: Liverpool The Academy
11 Jul: Oxegen Festival
12 Jul: T In The Park Festival
13 Jul: Bristol The Academy
30 Nov: London Shepherds Bush Empire

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GLASTONBURY TICKETS FOR SALE IN HMV
Having revealed that there were still 10,000 tickets left for his year's Glastonbury Festival last week, the organisers have now announced that tickets will go on sale through selected branches of HMV this week. The tickets will be available from 8am on Wednesday.

Branches of HMV selling the tickets are:

Bristol (Broadmead)
Glasgow (Argyle Street)
Newcastle (Northumberland Street)
Manchester (Market Street)
Birmingham (High Street)
Cardiff (Queens Street)
London (Oxford Street)

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MCCARTNEY TO QUIT TOURING
According to reports, Paul McCartney is planning a massive farewell tour before he gives up the touring for good. The former Beatle apparently wants to spend more time with his daughter Beatrice, but will first head out on a 100 date, two year world tour. It does sound as though he'll still perform the odd one off show after that, though. So, we're not quite rid of him.

A source 'close' to McCartney told the Sunday Mirror: "Paul explained that this tour will be the last big one. He wants to settle down and enjoy Beatrice's childhood. The tour will be the last time he performs in many parts of the world. Beatrice and his family life are going to come first. He does not want to be away for months at a time".

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MCGOFF PROMOTED AT EMI PUBLISHING
I seem to remember interviewing Kenny McGoff at a music business conference once. That's possibly why he has risen even further up the hierarchy at EMI Music Publishing – take note, aspiring music industry execs. McGoff has been appointed Senior VP Head Of A&R for the UK at the major's music publishing house, which sounds like an important job, so I am assuming it is. He will report to EMI Pub's UK President Guy Moot.

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EMI APPOINT SECOND LIFE MAN TO DIGITAL ROLE
More from the EMI appointments file (I've got the EMI redundancies file out on my desk too – that is surely going to be needed any day now), and the major has hired Cory Ondrejka, a co-founder of the company behind virtual world Second Life, into a senior digital role in its recorded music division. I'm not sure whether the idea is that Onderjka gives Guy Hands' record company a second life, or whether it means all bands released by the record company from this point onwards will be virtual, but both could help the struggling major I suppose.

The new recruit will be based in LA and will "draw from past experience to build the digital strategy for EMI Music, drive innovation around new revenue opportunities and build a world-class engineering team for the company". Exciting stuff. EMI Music's chief digital man (and former Google exec) Douglas Merrill told CMU: "Cory shares my passion for driving technology and innovation in the digital music business. His unique experience building online environments, like Second Life, will be invaluable to EMI Music, as we create new digital communities for fans and artists. Adding Cory to the leadership team of the company continues to reinforce our commitment to the digital market".

Ondrejka himself added: "EMI presented me with a rare opportunity to influence the digital music industry, by helping artists reach their fans in more relevant ways and by allowing fans to find and acquire music through new business models.  The technology is available to make the music experience better.  I intend to apply it and to find new ways to drive innovation at EMI Music".

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MORE EMI EXEC GOSSIP
More EMI exec news, though gossip this time. And word has it that when currently London-based former Island Records UK boss Nick Gatfield takes on his new post at EMI as President of A&R Labels North America and UK he will be US-based.

In not 100% unrelated news there is much gossiping at the major regarding what will happen to Jason Flom, who currently heads up Capitol Records in the US. With the senior level restructuring going on in EMI US, including Gatfield's arrival, some wonder if Flom will get a new job or move on.

Some reckon he will be offered his own imprint, similar to the way his label Lava operated within the Warner Music Group, which will help keep one of North America's most highly regarded A&R men within the company.

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K7 APPOINT NEW GLOBAL MARKETING CHIEF
Berlin based indie !K7 has announced the appointment of Jay Ahern, formerly head of Domino Records' German office, to the role of Head Of International Sales & Marketing. In the newly created role he will oversee the indie's five record labels in all non-domestic territories, including the UK.

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3G IPHONE UNVEILED
So, Apple man Steve Jobs was back in announcement mode this week, using Apple's Annual Developers' Conference in San Francisco to unveil the all new iPhone which, as expected, will have 3G access, meaning more and faster over-the-air net access. The new version of the phone will also be quite a bit cheaper than even the reduced price version of the first generation of the mobile/iPod hybrid. The facility to download tunes from iTunes, however, will stay the same – ie users will only be able to download tracks direct to their phone via WiFi internet, and not directly over the enhanced mobile internet. Although 3G mobile internet is more than capable of delivering over-the-air music downloads, Apple are yet to move iTunes into that territory, presumably because doing so requires different (usually less favourable) deals with the record companies, and also splitting profits with the mobile networks. The phone will launch in the US first, of course, using AT&T's 3G network.

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UNIVERSAL GO INTO DRAMA WITH BEBO
Universal Music UK have announced a new partnership with Bebo, the social network now owned by AOL, to create a new online drama series following a (fictional, I think) Universal Music employee who creates and runs a record label. Made by Universal Music's production arm Globe Productions it will be set in the majors West London HQ, feature guest appearances from all sorts of Universal artists, and might be a brilliant new way for a major record company to engage with young music fans, or God damn awful, one of the two.

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INDIAN LABEL GET INJUNCTION AGAINST YAHOO! INDIA
Super Cassettes Industries, who own Mumbai based Bollywood film company and record label T-Series, has obtained an interim injunction from the Delhi High Court against Yahoo! and its Indian subsidiary regarding the unlicensed posting of their content on Yahoo! servers, presumably Yahoo!'s video sharing platform. SCI got a similar injunction against Google and YouTube last year.

Yahoo! are yet to respond to the injunction, though SCI say that when they first approached the web firm about their copyright concerns earlier in the year they pleaded the usual "we'll remove it if you say, so that's not infringement" defence used by all the video sharing websites in these circumstances. It's a defence offered by the US's Digital Millennium Copyright Act, though one that has not really been tested in court because most major web sharing sites reach deals with most major content owners before the latter's threats of copyright infringement action get to court.

However, MTV's action against Google in the US is still heading to court, and the SCI/Yahoo! case is due to go before the Indian courts in September, so the defence may as yet be tested both in the US and elsewhere.

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CISAC PRESIDENT CALLS ON CHINESE GOVERNMENT TO DELIVER ON PERFORMING ROYALTIES
The President of CISAC, the worldwide consortium of trade associations that represent songwriters and other creators, one Robin Gibb, has called on the Chinese government to end all the copyright violations that go on there. Using the upcoming Olympics as a reason for focusing attention on the creative industries in the country, Gibb says that it's not only the country's mass pirated CD market that is a problem, questioning why Chinese broadcasters still do not pay royalties for music they use.

Speaking at the CISAC General Assembly in Rome, the Bee Gee said: "How is it and how can it be that in China, the most populated country in the world and the organiser of the 2008 Olympic Games, the Chinese television and radio stations still pay no royalties to the Chinese and international creators of the works they broadcast? As a composer and in the name of creators worldwide, I call on the Chinese authorities to respect creators' rights!"

Chinese law was actually changed in 2001 to recognise the requirement to pay creators a performance royalty on their work, but CISAC say that so far that has not, in reality, been implemented. Since the new law came into being, the body reckons, copyright owners have been deprived of some $41 million of broadcast royalties they are, in theory, due.

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SHOULD THE LABELS FILL THE GAP IN MUSIC RETAIL IN NEW YORK?
With the previously reported closure of both New York branches of the Virgin Megastore (amid reports the new owners of the US chain only ever bought it to access its real estate), and given the demise of Tower Records and a number of other major record shops in NYC, including branches of Sam Goody, FYE and HMV, US artist manager Frank DiLeo is reportedly putting around the proposal that the major record companies get together and open a "state" retail store so that the record industry has a presence on the high street. And it's got the support of Fox News columnist Roger Friedman, who wrote this week: "It's not a bad idea. Otherwise, the record industry will soon have no public face at all".

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RADIO 2 TO RUN SERIES ON DANCE MUSIC
Radio 2 has announced a series of programmes dedicated to dance music, which will also involve a poll to find the greatest dance record of all time. It will be hosted by Zoe Ball and will feature other DJs and acts who have been influential in various dance scenes over the years, including Chris Coco, Carl Cox and Dave Haslam. Produced by Unique Productions, it will launch on Saturday 21 Jun at 7pm.

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STANDARD AND LONDON LITE NEWS TEAMS MERGE
Well, this was always going to happen. The London Evening Standard and sister freebie paper London Lite are merging their news desks and some production operations in a bid to reduce costs. Some would be surprised just how autonomous the two titles have been to date, especially given that London Lite spun out of the free Standard Lite. The changes have led to the departure of London Lite news editor Michael Leese – Standard News Editor Hugh Dougherty will oversee the news sections of both papers.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Daedelus – Love to Make Music To (Ninja Tune)
Alfred Darlington, otherwise known as Daedelus, is not your typical Ninja Tune DJ, dressing as he does in a Victorian Dandy style, perhaps better suited to the likes of London's White Mischief night or down at one of Bourne & Hollingsworth's prohibition parties. Anyway, an unlikely looking raver he may be but it was his discovery of the UK hardcore scene in a YMCA fifteen years ago that inspired this record. It's an electronic album, and to be any more genre-specific would probably be doing it a disservice, covering as many bases as it does. Opener 'Fair Weather Friends' has a sexy vocal, glitchy beats and draws you in with a tight hook. 'Make It So (feat Michael Johnson)' is the first single and is one of the more hip hop influenced tracks while 'Hrs:Mins:Secs' was a download-only release and sounds like Cornelius in one of his more aggressive moments. Overall this is a fascinating, endlessly inventive and equally listenable album which would make a rather nice soundtrack to a summer hanging out in beer gardens in Shoreditch. IM
Release Date: 9 Jun
Press Contact: Ninja Tune IH [NP, CP, RP], Cool Badge [NR, CR, RR]

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DIDDY NOT PUFF AGAIN, OK
Apparently there have been rumours doing the rounds that Diddy was changing his performing name back to Puff Daddy, but the man himself denied the reports yesterday, insisting he will continue to be known as Diddy, or P Diddy in the UK, there being that other DJ called Diddy and all. The rumours seem to have started when Diddy himself opened up a blog "This is your boy Puff Daddy", said blog has been re-edited to ready Diddy.

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INDIE BANDS IN BACKSTAGE BUST UP
Members of Little Man Tate and The Troubadours came to blows on Saturday when they both played Aston University, apparently after Little Man Tate accused The Troubadours of stealing drinks from their rider. Reports claim that the fight had to be broken up by police.

Little Man Tate quickly issued a statement saying: "The Troubadours were acting like rock 'n' roll thugs all day, stealing bottles of Jack Daniels and winding everybody up. When they threatened Little Man Tate's soundman, vocalist Jon Windle confronted them and it was carnage".

The Troubadours later gave their side of the story, saying: "The Troubadours' first wee festival of this summer turned out to be an interesting affair. After performing our set, we were surprised at an accusation thrown at us from another band about drinking free drinks provided by the promoter. So protective were they over the stash of booze you'd have thought they'd have been down the offie themselves. Troubadours lead guitarist Johnny Molyneux made a comment about this accusation to the other band, a scuffle broke out, and with just two Troubies outnumbered by this other band and their mates, we can only assume they had 'little man syndrome' or something. We'd watched them perform earlier and to be honest the fight was more entertaining!"

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WHY ARE WE REPORTING ON X-FACTOR AGAIN?
Girl Aloud Cheryl Cole – her own career the result of a pop talent show, of course – is reportedly being sounded out to take over from Sharon Osbourne as a judge on 'X Factor'. Or at least that's what Sharon herself says she's heard. She added that she had also heard producers were talking to former Spice Girl Mel B about the role too – as reported in yesterday's Daily.

She told this to Chris Moyles in an interview about her decision to quit as a judge. Amid rumours of pay disputes and an out of control feud with Dannii Minogue, the fourth judge on the last series, Osbourne told Chris Moyles on Radio 1: "I loved it [being a judge]. They were the best four years of my life but I've got to do something else right now". Asked about the rumours she quit over the pay offer, she said: "We were negotiating and they offered me an obscene amount of money. It didn't change anything. I had to walk away when I did. I love the show, I love everybody there, the producers, Simon [Cowell] but it's just time to move on".

Osbourne said she thought Cole would make a good new judge on the show, though some commentators question whether she could do it anyway given Girls Aloud are due to go back into the studio to work on a new album this summer. Sharon didn't comment on the other person who has reportedly been approached about the X Factor judging role, Lulu.

In related news, the Sun is reporting that Osbourne is being lined up as a contestant on the BBC's 'Strictly Come Dancing'.

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