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TODAY'S NEWS
DMX arrested again
Nickelback also on Live Nation's 360 degree target list
Brian May is cross with ITV
Fiddy denies having a go at fellow rapper
BBC London hosts noiseless rave
ZZ Top sign to American
Allen names new album
Annie album news
RATM man announces new project
Panic At The Disco do Abbey Road
Duran Duran wants second Bond theme
Jay-Z's Glastonbury set boosts sales

Coldplay still top in US

Justice, RHCP, Justin Timberlake, Chinese whispers
No Bros reunion, sorry
Single review: White Denim - Let's Talk About It
New Artistic Director at Arches
Boy George cancels US tour
Tricky announces live show
MJ Hibbett gets excited for Edinburgh
Radio 1's Carter announces own stage at Hard Rock fest
More industry types lined up for MusicTank event
Taiwan launch IP court
EMI Latin music veteran retires
Songwriters to express concerns about EC proposals for more collecting society competition
Web radio listening on the up
Radio 1 and 2 should be digital only, commercial radio man says
Album review: The Blakes - The Blakes
Stop talking about Madonna's divorce, please
Harris entertains delayed flyers in Oz
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Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
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THURSDAY 3RD JULY

DAS POP
Das Pop have a brand new single called 'Underground' out on 4 Aug, which is followed by their eponymous debut album out on 18 Aug, both on Ugly Truth Records. All of which is very exciting, but not quite as exciting as the promotional gimmick that accompanies the single, which arrived in CMU HQ the other day - lovely Oystercard wallets with Das Pop imagery where you'd expect London Transport gubbins. They look like official TFL Oystercard wallets, but they aren't! Brilliant! I'd say that might be even better than the snow globe The Presets sent us last month, but I'd have to ask the curator of the CMU snow globe collection for absolute confirmation of that. Perhaps we're too easily pleased. Or too easily bribed. Though not in this case, because we fired off our SSQ to these guys before the Oyster wallet had even arrived, cos we love the album, which is packed full of hook-laden garage-pop songs, produced by CMU faves Soulwax for no money at all because they love the band so much. Soulwax's Stephen Dewaele says: "There wasn't a budget, but we really wanted to do it. Their energy [is] incredible". So, yeah, what he said. Plus, you know, Oystercard wallets.



 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
We met in the school playground when we were sixteen. There was only a guitar with four strings, some bongos and a cello to play on but that was more than enough. We have been practicing pretty much every day since then. Now we have real guitars and drums!

Q2 What inspired your latest single/album?
Life itself. We write about what we know but we try to lift those pedestrian subjects to a higher level. We want the listeners' minds soaring miles above the murky swamp that is everyday life.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
One day you'll find yourself walking down the street for a loaf of bread when - bang - a song enters your head. You then will have to run home and write the song before you get back to the bread fetching business. By then, you'll find the bread is all sold out.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
All of them. It is impossible to go out the door without hearing all kinds of pop music wherever you go. Good and bad. It's all important.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
They should be lured in by the sweet melodies and the insanely hummable chorus only to be knocked off their feet seconds later by the slightly more disturbing stuff you discover when you scratch the surface.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single/album, and for the future?
We hope to lure in everybody and knock a great deal of them off their feet. We wish for our album to be the soundtrack to your life is all.

More>> www.myspace.com/daspop

 

GENTLE FRIENDLY
Amid the explosion of smart Brooklyn indie last year, there was also a lashing of noisier, punchier bands like No Age, Mika Miko and (the British) Fuck Buttons that picked up some press on the fringes of the musical spectrum. Now add another name to that list, London duo Gentle Friendly, who burrow themselves with plenty of noise and unstructured vocal barks on the four tracks they have streaming - admittedly not the sort of thing that is to everyone's taste. From these, 'Ride Symbols' is their signature tune, a wave of crashing cymbals and organ noise, though 'Five Girl Night' is my personal favourite, a slower paced ditty that sounds like it was forged in a garage by rowdy teenagers picking up a bunch of instruments and some kitchen implements only to find that they're actually quite good at making a racket. The link is below, as usual.

www.myspace.com/gentlefriendly

 


 
 

JOBS AT THE EDINBURGH FESTIVAL
We are recruiting for the following four jobs to work on our ThreeWeeks team at the Edinburgh Festival - the largest and most exciting festival on the planet - during August 2008, from Monday 28 July to Tuesday 27 August. All Edinburgh based. They are not the biggest paying jobs in the world, but you get to be part of the team behind one of the most exciting media projects around, a not-for-profit venture that exists to discover, champion and support cultural innovation at the largest arts festival in the world.

DISTRIBUTION MANAGER
To drive our van, and make sure our papers get to our 75 plus distribution points around Edinburgh, and keep our distribution racks nice and tidy. Approx 40 hours a week for four weeks, £1000 fee.

WEB MANAGER
To manage the ThreeWeeks websites and podcasts, including entering lots of content into a CMS, and coordinating our student podcast team. Some Photoshop, CMS and/or sound editing experience an advantage though not essential. Fee approx £500.

REVIEWS COORDINATOR
To manage our team of six student sub-editors and 100 student reviewers, liaise with press offices and PRs, run the massive ThreeWeeks review database and support the Editors. Good organisational and people skills a must, database skills an advantage. Fee approx £750.

LOGISTICS MANAGER
To support the publishers and editors, run the ThreeWeeks Edinburgh office and support the Distribution Manager with the task of getting the newspapers out there. Fee approx £500

To apply for any of these jobs, or for more information about them, email a CV or questions to recruitment@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

Applications to join the student review team at the Edinburgh Festival 2008 are now closed. However, we are still recruiting for student members of our Production and Admin & Liaison teams. These are voluntary roles, but offer unrivalled experience for anyone considering a career in the media. Full details at www.collegemedianetwork.co.uk

   
Advertise your jobs in CMU Daily for just £100 a week (five editions) - more info at www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/advertising, or email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk to book.
 

DMX ARRESTED AGAIN
The one man challenge to US law enforcement that is DMX, aka Earl Simmons, has been arrested again. The rapper was apprehended as he left an aeroplane in Arizona on Wednesday, as he was on his way home after a trip to Miami. Where, you'll remember, he was also recently arrested. Twice. TMZ report that the latest arrest relates to two outstanding warrants in Phoenix, and suggest that the warrants were the result of Simmons having violated the terms of a bond relating to other charges.

As previously reported, DMX was arrested in Florida last week, allegedly for purchasing cocaine and marijuana, and also arrested the previous week for driving in Miami with a suspended licence. It's the latest in a long, long, long line of run-ins with the police, on various different charges, but usually involving drugs or traffic infractions.

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NICKELBACK ALSO ON LIVE NATION'S 360 DEGREE TARGET LIST
With the increased chatter in the media this week regarding the rumoured $70 million deal being negotiated between Shakira and Live Nation, new rumour this morning that the other band on the live music conglom's 360 degree hitlist is Nickelback.

I say new rumour - that the much-bigger-than-you-realise Canadian rockers are on Live Nation's wishlist has been rumoured before, but it seems that they are now favourites to be the final of the four artists the live music firm's CEO Michael Rapino has said he hopes to sign up to his new multi-dimensional Artists division this year. Like Madonna and Jay-Z, Live Nation hope to secure an interest in Shakira and Nickelback's recording, merchandising and brand partnership activities as well as their touring.

A Nickelback deal would see Warner Music lose two of its bankable artists to the live music conglom - Madonna being the first. Jay-Z was previously with Universal while Shakira is currently signed to SonyBMG.

Elsewhere in Live Nation 360 degree news, HitsDailyDouble reports that one of the sticking points between Rapino and Michael Cohl - the CEO of Live Nation Artists who confirmed he was quitting the role last week - was Motley Crue. Cohl was very keen to sign the Crue up to a 360 degree deal, but Rapino didn't think they were right for his company's new division, wanting acts with "a more sophisticated image and more career still in front of them". Ouch.

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BRIAN MAY IS CROSS WITH ITV
Brian May has had a go at ITV for cutting most of Queen's performance from their broadcast of Nelson Mandela's ninetieth birthday concert last week. The band appeared with new vocalist Paul Rodgers and were the final act to appear onstage at the event, which took place in London's Hyde Park recently. May is a bit upset about being cut, which is probably understandable. He says: "It baffles me how, given the privilege of televising an internationally significant event, a TV company can miss the point so badly. All ITV had to do was televise the whole event, with no insertions from them. Well, it seems they largely failed. I wonder who's responsible for these bad decisions?"

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FIDDY DENIES HAVING A GO AT FELLOW RAPPER
50 Cent has denied suggestions that his lyrics on new G-Unit track 'You So Tough' are squarely aimed at fellow rapper TI. The lyrics in question are as follows: "Nowadays this rap shit ain't adding up/How niggers get caught with 10 machine guns, only get 12 months?"

The reason this is thought to be a reference to TI is because the hip-hopper, real name Clifford Harris, as previously reported, allegedly reached tried to buy unregistered machine guns and silencers from an undercover agent last autumn and subsequently reached a plea deal over the ensuing charges which saw Harris sentenced to a year in prison and 1000 hours of community service.

Fiddy, however, says he's not taking a pop directly at his rival, telling MTV.com that rap, like hit US TV show 'CSI', doesn't have to be true, even if it is inspired by real life. Or something like that. Here's what he said verbatim: "It's like 'CSI'. You use real-life situations to create something that's entertaining without being specific. When have you known me to be indirect with an issue? If I had a problem with any artist, trust me, they would know".

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BBC LONDON HOSTS NOISELESS RAVE
Jazzie B will host a noiseless rave in Trafalgar Square from 6pm this Sunday. The music will be broadcast via BBC London 94.9 and revellers are invited to tune in and listen on headphones so that passers-by will not be able to hear any music, just see a mass of people dancing for no obvious reason.

Jazzie B told CMU: "This should be such a cool event - people shimmying away while passers-by look on, agog. Maybe some of the onlookers will get involved - sharing headphones to enjoy the vibe is what I'd like this event to be all about".

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ZZ TOP SIGN TO AMERICAN
According to Billboard, ZZ Top have signed to Rick Rubin's American Recordings and will work with the legendary producer on their next album which, according to their manager Carl Stubner, will be more akin to the band's early seventies 'La Grange' era material than their more recent crowd pleasing releases. Given American and Rubin's association with SonyBMG's Columbia the deal means the band will stay affiliated to that major - having most recently released albums via their RCA division.

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ALLEN NAMES NEW ALBUM
Lily Allen has revealed that her second album will be called 'Stuck On The Naughty Step'. In an interview with Rolling Stone, she explained: "In England, when kids are naughty, they get sent to sit on the naughty step. Like a timeout, you know? I feel like I'm stuck in a hole where people say, 'Lily, you're bad. Go think about what you've done'". She added that she was nervous about how her new songs would be received, saying: "I'm really scared about what people are going to say. I don't know why. Some people will like it and some won't. If people hate it, then I'll just try something else".

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ANNIE ALBUM NEWS
Norwegian popstrel Annie is finally set to release her second album this autumn. 'Don't Stop' will be released via Island in October, nine years after the original release of her debut 'Anniemal'. The first single from the LP will reportedly be 'I Know Ur Girlfriend Hates Me', and the full tracklisting is said to be as follows:

My Love Is Better
I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me
Sweet
Loco
Bad Times
I Can't Let Go
Marie Cherie
When the Night
Heaven and Hell
What Do You Want (The Breakfast Song)
Take You Home
Songs Remind Me of You

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RATM MAN ANNOUNCES NEW PROJECT
Rage Against The Machine frontman Zach De La Rocha has announced details of his new project with multi-project-ing former Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore, a band called One Day As A Lion, which the pair say is a "is both a warning delivered and a promise kept", whatever that means. The duo's first, eponymous EP will be out on 21 Jul.

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PANIC AT THE DISCO DO ABBEY ROAD
Panic At The Disco, who recently finished work on their latest album 'Pretty, Odd' at Abbey Road, have returned to the studio to perform a set for that 'Live From Abbey Road' series.

The band's Spencer Smith explained how it came about, saying: "When we were there mixing our record in January, the producer of the show said he was a fan of our band and he'd love to have us on the show. We were impressed with the production and how intimate it is and how it's about the songs and nothing else. We thought it was a great opportunity to go back into Abbey Road and do something different".

Smith added "There's not a more famous studio in the world than Abbey Road. It's amazing. We've listened to so many things recorded in that studio, from The Beatles to Radiohead. We even got to use some of the original equipment".

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DURAN DURAN WANTS SECOND BOND THEME
Duran Duran, who recorded the theme song to 1985 James Bond film 'A View To A Kill' of course, would like to reprise that role and simultaneously collaborate with Mark Ronson. Nick Rhodes told The Mirror: "We'd love to collaborate with Mark on a single for the next Bond film... With him we may even surpass 'A View To A Kill'".

I'm not quite sure when Mark Ronson became perceived as being the key to writing a Bond theme. It didn't work for Amy Winehouse, did it? They want to work with Shirley Bassey if they're to be in with in any real chance. She is the only artist to record more than one Bond theme. In fact, she has three under her belt, 'Goldfinger', 'Moonraker' and 'Diamonds Are Forever'.

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JAY-Z'S GLASTONBURY SET BOOSTS SALES
Jay-Z's track '99 Problems' has received a massive boost in sales following his Glastonbury performance at the weekend, four years after the single was released. Judging by the midweeks, the track will feature in the top 25 when the charts go official this Sunday. Another of his tracks, 'Encore', which closed his set, should also appear in the top 40. But it's not only his own songs that have received a boost. Oasis's 'Wonderwall', a cover of which the rapper opened his set with, has seen a 200% increase in sales, which will place it in the top 100.

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COLDPLAY STILL TOP IN US
Coldplay's album is still number one in the US album chart by the way, having sold another 249,000 copies last week in addition to the 721,000 shifted in the US the previous week - or so say those Neilsen Soundscan types, who do the counting. So, well done them.

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JUSTICE, RHCP, JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, CHINESE WHISPERS
OK, let's clarify that story we ran on Justice producing the new Red Hot Chili Peppers album yesterday shall we? I say 'clarify' so that it sounds like there was some confusion that needed sorting out, because that's better than telling you the story was completely wrong.

We (and others) said the French duo were down to produce the next long player from Anthony Kiedis et al, and that the boss of Justice's label had said as much. If only we'd read the interview first hand - on the Data Transmission website - and we'd have seen that the story was actually that Ed Banger Records boss Busy P said he would "love to see Justice producing the Red Hot Chili Peppers", not that they were doing it. He added that he knew Kiedis was a fan of the boys, but that nothing had been formally discussed. So, there you go. Consider that, erm, clarified.

In an interview with Mixmag Busy P added that he had personally spoken with Kiedis about Justice, and that's how he knows the RHCP man is a fan, but the conversation was about the producers playing a festival Kiedis was curating. So now we know. He also told Mixmag: "I've been saying for a while that my dream is to see Justice producing albums for other artists like Justin Timberlake or the Chili Peppers". What's that you say? Justice to produce the new Justin Timberlake album, confirmed? Wow, big story.

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NO BROS REUNION, SORRY
Another story extinguished here. Here is Luke Goss's manager's response to comments made by Goss's brother Matt to the effect that a Bros reunion may be in the pipeline. David Wood told reporters: "To clarify recent rumors, at this time Luke is not involved in a Bros reunion". Luke, apparently, wants to continue concentrating on his old acting career.

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SINGLE REVIEW: White Denim - Let's Talk About It (Full Time Hobby)
Why do groups of bands with similar sounding names always seem to emerge from obscurity at the same time? First we had the saturation of 'Fuck' bands, what with Fuck Buttons, Holy Fuck etc. Now, welcome all the bands with the denim connections - White Denim, Pissed Jeans et al. Truthfully, it's makes my brain yearn for an explosion. This single is the poke in the eye I needed to sort White Denim from the rest. 'Let's Talk About It', the lead single from their recently released debut album, 'Workout Holiday' screams of Devo on top form. Having made serious (sound)waves in the US with much media attention gained at their home town festival SXSW, the Texas grown trio have made their way across the water, playing a plethora of UK dates and festivals, including the double billing they played at Glastonbury last weekend. This track blends the Stooges brand of driving punk with elements of The Kinks style psychedelia. James Petralli's vocals alternate a choppy, stilted style with a flowing silky rambling, echoing the certain swagger of the late Phil Lynott. White Denim are one denim band I'll definitely remember. MB
Release Date: 23 Jun
Press Contact: Create Spark [all]

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NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AT ARCHES
I'd quite like to be Artistic Director of fab Glasgow venue The Arches, so I am rather jealous of Jackie Wylie, the venue's arts programmer who has just been promoted to the AD position at the arts and music centre.

We know this because the venue's Chair, Lesley Thomson, just told us this: "We are delighted that Jackie will become Artistic Director as we feel she has the ambition and vision to take the venue forward to even greater success locally, nationally and internationally. We feel there are many opportunities for us to continue our work to encourage ground-breaking creativity, with a year-round programme of live music, club nights, theatre, corporate events and visual art that engages and inspires audiences of all ages".

Wylie told CMU: "My first experience of The Arches was as a young performer in the immensely inspiring atmospherics of the studio theatre with my own emergent theatre company. I am therefore tremendously proud to be in the position of continuing The Arches' ethos of supporting brave new talent and am thrilled to be working with the team to find new ways of rewarding innovation and encouraging courageous creativity".

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BOY GEORGE CANCELS US TOUR
In a not entirely surprising move, Boy George has officially cancelled his US tour just days before it was due to begin. As previously reported, the pop star was refused a work visa by US officials.

Speaking to US news programme The Today Show, George said: "It's a disaster because of the fans". By which I don't think he meant it was the fans' fault. Unless all his fans are US visa officials. Anyway, he added: "If I have to wait it'll be even better".

He also posted a message on his official website, which read: "I am getting my life together and was really looking forward to performing in concert for all my loyal fans. I love America and I am really sad that it appears that I am not allowed to visit a place I have called home at various times in my life. But what has happened to me has nothing to do with the American people - they are kind people with big heart".

Big-hearted spokesman for the US State Department Tom Casey told reporters that he could not comment on individual cases, as immigration files are confidential. Though he did say: "There often are difficulties for individuals who either are currently subject to criminal charges or otherwise may have criminal records".

There are no such problems in South America, though, where Boy George has just announced six dates in September in Brazil.

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TRICKY ANNOUNCES LIVE SHOW
Tricky will play his first live show in five years on 6 Oct at the Barbican in London. The show is primarily to promote his new album 'Knowle West Boy', out on Domino on 7 Jul, but Tricky has promised a whole host of guest vocalists to help him perform tracks from his impressive back catalogue, too.

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MJ HIBBETT GETS EXCITED FOR EDINBURGH
Much loved indie-folkster, MJ Hibbett has announced that he will be performing his one-man show, 'My Exciting Life In ROCK' at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival between 4-9 Aug at the city's Medina venue. But much sooner than that is the press launch for the show, which takes place at The Cross Kings in London on 14 Jul.

The show will tell tales of how Hibbett "has supported Echo & The Bunnymen on the ukelele, had an album of the year in Rolling Stone, written a book that got his editor fired, stayed out drinking longer than Nick Cave and Shane McGowan put together, and had an international hit record about computers that made him famous in basements and in Norway".

MJ Hibbett and his backing band The Validators also release a new single on 21 Jul called 'It Only Works Because You're Here', via Artists Against Success. The single comes backed with six songs from 'My Exciting Life In ROCK', including previous single, 'Do The Indie Kid'.

Press info from mjhibbett@gmail.com and www.myexcitinglifeinrock.com

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RADIO 1'S CARTER ANNOUNCES OWN STAGE AT HARD ROCK FEST
Radio 1's Daniel P Carter has announced that he's going to have his own stage, sponsored by Metal Hammer, at this year's Hard Rock 2 Hell festival at Pontins in Prestatyn on 5 Dec, and says that he'll be showcasing six up and coming new acts including Textures and Johnny Truant.

Hard Rock Hell booker Seven Webster says: "I spoke to Daniel at last year's event and we spoke about him getting more involved with the festival so it is great to have him hosting his own stage and introducing a fresh edge to this year's event with acts like the Cancer Bats, Textures and The Plight".

For more info on the event, which also features the likes of Thin Lizzy and Hawkwind, see www.hardrockhell.com or contact Wired PR for press info.

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MORE INDUSTRY TYPES LINED UP FOR MUSICTANK EVENT
Have we reported on this before? I can't remember. Well, anyway, MusicTank's 'Face To Face With The Millennials' event is getting closer, and more industry participants have been announced.

This event will see Nettwerk Music Group boss Terry McBride, who recently co-authored a report on the future of the music business for MusicTank, advise a real new band on how to succeed in this modern age, producing a road map for them. 'Road map' in the management consultancy sense of a mini business plan, he's not going to give them directions to Croydon or anything.

Anyway, McBride is not the only industry expert who will be giving his two cents worth, also on hand will be all of these people: Martin Stiksel from Last.fm; Steven Hill from Warp Records; Ian Bell from 7Digital; Kim Machray from KLP; Howard Monk from The Local; Daniel Cross from Record-Play; Rachel Wood from Woodwork Music; Suw Charman-Anderson from Fruitful; Alfie Dennen from MoBlog; James North from Rechord; and representatives of gaming giants Electronic Arts.

The band who will receive words of wisdom from the mob of music types has been selected, but will not be officially unveiled until the day before the event, which takes place on 17 Jul at the Imagination Gallery in London. McBride will also give a keynote speech on his report plus a team of young consumers will answer questions about how they engage with music - putting McBride's conclusions about young music fans to the test.

For more information click on this God damn link, OK? www.musictank.co.uk

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TAIWAN LAUNCH IP COURT
Taiwan launched its very first Intellectual Property Court on Tuesday, part of the country's efforts to prove to the West that it is taking copyright crime - rife in the country - really rather seriously.

The court has been based on similar institutions in the US, Japan and Germany, and the judges who sit there will have had specific training on all things IP and copyright ensuring they know what's going on when content owners, including major record companies, take action against those who they reckon are infringing their copyrights.

One lawyer based in Taiwan capital Taipei, John Eastwood, told Billboard: "Once the local confidence in handling IP cases is increased among judges, prosecutors and court staff, we are going to see a big improvement".

While the establishment of the court should make things easier for content owners like record companies to pursue actions in Taiwan, the Deputy Director General of the country's Intellectual Property Office says she hopes content owners will not use the court to pursue litigation rather than negotiating fair licensing deals with the people who use their music.

Billboard say that Margaret Chen says she hopes record companies will not automatically go running to the new court rather than trying to do business with Taiwanese companies looking to establish legitimate music platforms.

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EMI LATIN MUSIC VETERAN RETIRES
Manolo Diaz, a veteran Latin music exec who used to head up EMI Music Spain but who has more recently been involved in the major's US Latin music operations based out of Miami, has announced he is retiring - a decision that may or may not have been influenced by the high number of executives being axed at EMI at the moment. Referencing one of the label's current big hits, according to Billboard, Diaz said in an email that he planned to return to Spain where he would "start a new stage [of my life] in which I will emphasize hedonistic and pleasurable pursuits. But all in moderation, including moderation. Viva la Vida!"

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SONGWRITERS TO EXPRESS CONCERNS ABOUT EC PROPOSALS FOR MORE COLLECTING SOCIETY COMPETITION
Composers and songwriters are expected to arrive in Brussels later today to shout and rant about rumoured plans by European Commission types to force the royalty collecting societies to be more competitive - basically by trying to initiate some kind of price war between societies in different European countries.

As previously reported, the EC has expressed various concerns about royalty collecting societies before, mainly because there is often only one collecting society per country, and they tend to dominate in their home territory.

EC officials have been encouraging collecting societies for a while to start offering pan-European services, so that [a] digital music platforms can get pan-European licences, rather than having to do licence deals with societies in every country and [b] different societies will end up offering the same licences as each other, mean music users can shop around, encouraging societies to be more competitive and to end what some see as a 'cartel' in the world of music licensing.

The EC have released various statements on this issue in recent years, and some music publishers and collecting societies have announced measures to become more pan-European and competitive in response. But according to Music Week the Directorate General for Competition, headed by Neelie Kroes, is expected to call for more action, and in particular that societies to better compete on price.

Some in the songwriting community fear a price war will ultimately force the royalties publishers and songwriters receive down, while jeopardising the future of certain societies who cannot compete on a pan-European level, but who provide important services for their native songwriting communities.

Which is why some songwriters will go to Brussels to state their concerns to Kroes et al today. Among them will be David Ferguson, Chairman of the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters and the Alliance of Popular Composer Organisations in Europe, and Bee Gee Robin Gibb who, as previously reported, now heads up global songwriter body CISAC.

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WEB RADIO LISTENING ON THE UP
Listening to the radio on the web is on the increase, which isn't surprising really. Podcasts are also increasingly popular. Which isn't surprising either. We know this because of a survey conducted by radio ratings body RAJAR and research monkeys MORI.

In any given week this year they reckon 9.4 million people listened to the radio via the net, up from 8.1 million in November last year - that includes live streams and listen-again services. Six million people, meanwhile, download about two podcasts a week.

The average user of listen-again services listens to 1.8 programmes a week (don't know what's wrong with the 0.2 of that second show), while three quarters of those who listen again say the number of hours of live radio they listen too is unchanged, meaning their overall radio listening time is up. A half of those surveyed also said that the shows they access via listen-again were shows they didn't previously listen to - probably because they air on proper radio at an inconvenient time.

Commenting on the web radio survey, RAJAR Research Manager Christel Lacaze said this: "Now in its second instalment, this survey gives a unique insight into the behaviour of the online / offline audio community and the impact of new audio delivery formats on traditional live radio listening. It also provides perspective on the relative impact of each of these activities".

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RADIO 1 AND 2 SHOULD BE DIGITAL ONLY, COMMERCIAL RADIO MAN SAYS
More mutterings from the commercial radio sector about the BBC's Radio 1 and Radio 2 - which some in the commercial sector reckon should be privatised given their mainstream nature. The boss of commercial radio body RadioCentre Andrew Harrison doesn't go that far, but he does reckon the Beeb should make the national services digital only in a bid to boost the switch over to digital audio broadcasting - ie if Radios 1 and 2 were only on digital more people would invest in a DAB device.

Speaking at the Radio Festival in Glasgow, Harrison said: "Radio 1 and Radio 2 should be in the vanguard of converting the listener from a backward-facing analogue medium to a forward-looking digital one. The quicker Radio 1 and Radio 2 are made digital only, the quicker DAB will become the default standard".

Although commercial radio giant GCap said it planned to basically dump DAB as a format and concentrate on analogue and internet services, the BBC and other commercial players remain committed to the digital broadcast format, mainly because they've invested so much into it to date. Of course with new management at GCap as Global Radio take them over their anti-DAB policy is on hold.

Commercial players in particular want to encourage a faster move to DAB so they can start to see a return on their investment in the infrastructure and digital-only radio services, and also to bring to an end the extra cost of having to broadcast flagship services in both an analogue and digital form.

But Radio 2 and 6Music boss Lesley Douglas does not agree that making her analogue station digital-only at this stage would help. According to the Guardian, she told the Festival: "To make Radio 1 and Radio 2 digital-only at the wrong time, and too early, would cripple the radio industry in this country. It's important to remain engaged and drive the platform from FM".

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Blakes - The Blakes (Light In The Attic/Strange Addiction)
Sometimes it feels like we're in a business that is mass-producing up-and-coming alternative-rock bands who come up with a band name simply by sticking a seemingly irrelevant noun next to the word 'the' and then deeming themselves 'edgy', while hiding the fact that they only know one chord by churning out tuneless, non-varying tracks that do nothing other than induce temporary deafness in the listener. However, The Blakes prove this is not always the case with this, their eponymous debut album. Despite originating from Seattle, The Blakes clearly take inspiration from many British influences, The Kinks especially, which is evident on tracks like 'Picture' and 'Lint Walk'. In fact the album shows a wide range of influences, with references to more modern British indie bands also, the Pigeon Detectives in particular on the likes of 'Magoo' and 'Commit', while the post-punk aggression of 'Two Times' bears some similarity to non-British contemporaries like Kings Of Leon or The Hives. There is even a U2-esque guitar riff on 'Don't Bother Me'. One of the best tracks is 'Lie Next To Me', a catchy, alternative song which basically sums up the entire album with its distinct combination of American garage rock and British punk. However, despite the band's obvious talent and their diverse range of transatlantic influences, the album lacks originality and you can't help but feel that you have heard them before. That said, this is the kind of band who I feel would be much better live, as they have a raw, energetic sound to which the conformity of the studio probably doesn't do justice. LM
Release Date: 1 Jul
Press Contact: Motion PR [all]

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STOP TALKING ABOUT MADONNA'S DIVORCE, PLEASE
Madonna and Guy Ritchie are not getting divorced, right? So let's all just stop talking about it. Madonna's spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg has told Reuters that the couple's marriage "does not need saving" and that they are currently together in New York with their children.

She also denied reports that Madonna is dating baseball player Alex Rodriguez. She said: "Madonna and Alex have the same manager, Guy Oseary. They have met. They know each other and Madonna took her kids to a Yankees game last week. There's really not anything to comment on beyond that".

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HARRIS ENTERTAINS DELAYED FLYERS IN OZ
There's an airline strike in Australia at the moment, which has been causing major delays at the country's airports. But the stress was relieved a little (or possibly exacerbated, depending how you look at it) at Melbourne airport by Mr Rolf Harris who dug a ukulele out of his bag and entertained delayed flyers with a few songs. He was in his home country to be inducted in the country's rock n roll hall of fame.

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