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TODAY'S NEWS

Great White offer $1m to fire victims

More Napster chatter
RATM lead march after show shut down
Metallica take over Radio 1
Bestival prepared for Winehouse no-show
Coldplay nominated for four Q Awards
Single review: The Presets – Talk Like That (Modular Records)
Underworld to broadcast radio show
Squarepusher discusses new album
Patrick Wolf announces double album
Kate and Mignight Juggernauts collaboration
Fucked Up download
London Airwaves details announced
Walkmen really announce tour dates
The End is nigh
Album review: The Faint – Fasciinatiion (World’s Fair/Cooperative Music)
Vivendi profits up, Universal Music profits down
O2 comment on Nokia Comes With Music
7Digital MP3 expansion expected
SonyBMG release soundtrack for new Brad Meltzer book
Rodgers & Hammerstein catalogue up for sale
Google pilot their own browser
ertelsman likely to reduce their RTL stake to fund ITV bid
Commercial radio revenues down
Winehouse takes up meditation
Liam Gallagher roundup
Mel B and Posh Spice not alike
Allen fights with Elton
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WEDNESDAY 3RD SEPTEMBER

MILOSH
Mike Milosh, known to his fans simply as Milosh, released his third album, 'iii' via !K7 last month. A blend of synths, strings and soft acoustics, the album winds through a wide range of emotions and is, overall, rather uplifting, despite having some darker elements too. With comparisons to The Postal Service, Telefon Tel Aviv and Boards Of Canada, 'iii' has been enjoying some high praise. We caught up with Mike Milosh to find out more about him and his music.

 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I have been making music all my life really. I played cello from a very young age, got into playing drums with bands in my teens, but I really starting thinking about making songs and recording them during University. I bought some equipment (an MPC 2000 sampler) and some synths and just starting putting the pieces together. Nothing slows you down when you make tracks by yourself.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
My life in general really. I went to Thailand, Koh Samui, for the year and just lived and let things come to me and wrote.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
First I just jump in and start writing a beat or a melody and I just let it happen. I don't judge it. Then I start adding to it and listen and add and let it kinda hit me. I think about it a lot, let ideas for the words just kinda evolve somewhere in my mind. It's all very organic, really. I do purposely slow myself down though, so the idea or song can mature a bit.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Autechre, Aphex Twin, Telefon Tel Aviv, Bjork, Mozart, Lhasa, Imogen and different techno and electro artists and lots of classical music... They influence me in the way that I love listening. I don't try to copy them in any way really, but little elements about either the song writing or production spark something in me somewhere.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I am not so sure I would say anything related to my music. I think I would just look at their faces, see what their expression says. Of course, I would answer any questions they might have. I don't want to control anyone's experience with my music, I just hope that they listen to it then make up their minds.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single/album, and for the future?
The future... I have recorded an EP that I just finished, which is all live drums, piano and cello. Some guest female vocals... I kinda want to continue down this route where there are some other voices with mine. More strings, more instruments filling the songs. I don't know where the music will go other then I want more strings!

MORE>> www.milosh-iii.com and www.myspace.com/milosh

 

FAMILJEN
We discovered Familjen at the Way Out West festival in Gothenburg last month, playing to an excitable crowd of Swedes in a club at two in the morning. Excitable crowds are something he's having to get used to in parts of Scandinavia, where an ever growing profile means that he's filling bigger and bigger venues. Fingers crossed he'll get a similarly good reception when he visits Australia and the UK later this month. A producer of fantastically danceable, pumped-up techno-rock, his best two tracks, the anthemic 'Huvudet I Sanden' and the lighter, poppier 'Det snurrar i min skalle', have already been highly commended by influential U.S site Pitchfork, who praised both songs' video for their inventiveness. Oh, and he's the proud owner of a Swedish Grammy award. Who doesn't want to know him now? Find out more at the link below.

http://www.myspace.com/familjen

 


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MUZU TV PICK OF THE WEEK: GLASVEGAS
To mark the re-release this week of their rather fine single 'Daddy’s Gone', Glasgow's finest, Glasvegas, are making an exclusive live recording of the track available via MUZU TV. Filmed at the band's homecoming gig at Glasgow's ABC2 back in June, it's a chance to see why Alan McGee called these guys "the best Scottish band for 20 years". You can check out the live exclusive on the CMU Live playlist on the CMU-Tube right now, or by going to Glasvegas’ own MUZU TV channel at www.muzu.tv/glasvegas.


CURRENTLY PLAYING ON THE CMU-TUBE, with MUZU
Selected for your viewing pleasure on the CMU-Tube with MUZU TV this week, check out new videos from Atomic Hooligan, Frightened Rabbit, Kraak & Smaak, IAMX, G Love & Special Sauce and The Robocop Kraus, plus old favourites from Ben Folds, Scouting For Girls, Coldcut, Leftfield and Fiona Apple plus live performances from MGMT, The Futureheads and Glasvegas. Set the CMU-Tube in motion by heading to www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk.

BECOME A CMU/MUZU COLLEGE CORRESPONDENT
MUZU TV has joined up with CMU and the College Media Network to set up a team of College Correspondents at universities across the UK and Ireland. We are looking for students interested in gaining skills and experience in music and media to work with the CMU team to help manage their local MUZU TV college channel. Correspondents will get to network with local music and media people, and influence the music played and artists featured on their local channel. They will also get loads of free training, and make lots of great contacts for a future career in the media or music industries. For more details and an application form go to www.collegemedianetwork.co.uk/muzu.
 


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GREAT WHITE OFFER $1M TO FIRE VICTIMS
80s rockers Great White have reportedly offered a $1 million settlement for victims of that fire caused by the band's pyrotechnics in 2003.

As much previously reported, during a gig at the Station club in the Rhode Island town of West Warwick in February 2003, onstage pyrotechnics sparked a fire that killed more than 100 people, including the band's guitarist Ty Longley, and left more than 200 injured. The band have never been charged, but their former manager, Daniel Biechele, was given a four year sentence in 2004 after he pleaded guilty to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Over the years, dozens of defendants have been named on lawsuits over the blaze, including the club's owners, Jeffrey and Michael Derderian; Clear Channel, whose WHJY-FM radio station had pre-promoted the show; foam companies, who manufactured the foam insulation substance which had been used by the club's owners as sound proofing, and which caused the quick spreading of the fire; and the local fire marshal who failed to tell the club to remove the foam.

Roughly $175 million has been offered in settlements, including $10 million last month from Rhode Island and West Warwick authorities. Now the band themselves are offering $1 million to survivors and relatives of those who died, according to court papers filed on Tuesday, although they still do not admit any wrongdoing. They maintain, as they have done from the outset, that they had permission to use the pyrotechnics, which the club's owners have always denied.

As various smaller lawsuits have been settled over the last year, families of the victims have all but lost the chance of a larger trial, which it was hoped would answer the many questions raised about the circumstances of the fire. Chris Fontaine, whose son was killed and daughter was injured in the fire, told the Associated Press: "I just feel that we're never going to get the answers we need that would put some of this to rest for us". She added that she thought the band were "getting off easy".

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MORE NAPSTER CHATTER
Speculation about the future of subscription-based download platform Napster continues amid reports that the company's management are trying to engineer a takeover, possibly to put the digital music firm into private ownership, or maybe to make it part of a wider group of entertainment or web companies.

Some of the new speculation follows a recent statement issued by the digital firm's management to their shareholders, which in part addressed concerns raised back in June by three renegade minority shareholders - Perry H Rod, Thomas Sailors and Kavan P Singh - who publicly criticised the way the company was being run and suggested it would be worth more to investors if it were closed down.

Responding to those shareholders objections, the management statement said: "The dissidents have offered no specific business plan, other than suggesting a vague review of Napster's business, and have not shown they can contribute to enhancing stockholder value. The dissidents have no significant ownership in Napster and, in fact, have been frequent sellers of Napster stock".

The letter added that "[finance firm] UBS has been actively advising the company with regard to possible strategic alternatives", which some reckon is a sign the board are proactively seeking a new owner.

The legit Napster, of course, has never quite caught the imagination of the wider downloading public, despite the brand's heritage, and certainly is not doing as well as many assumed or hoped it would be in its early days. The fact most of its services are not compatible with the market leader iPod has never helped, plus the firm's decision to concentrate primarily on the subscription based business model - which a number of other players, including HMV and Virgin, have failed to successfully get off the ground - has also been a weakness.

That said, many in the industry still reckon subscription based services, rather than the a-la-carte pay-per-track system operated by iTunes et al, are still the future, and as Napster have - unlike most of their competitors - enjoyed some success in this area, some think if Napster can just stay afloat in the short term it could come good in the long term.

Though, of course, with the launch of Nokia Comes With Music and plans by BSkyB to launch a subscription service, this part of the digital music market is about to become much more competitive again, and it remains to be seen if Napster, who do have the most experience in this area, but who have never quite managed to communicate the excitement that should really come with what was once a credible, renegade brand name, can transform their fortunes or whether they'll just disappear without trace. The financial boost of new ownership, or strategic boost of becoming part of a wider entertainment group, could both aid Napster's attempts to lead the potentially expanding subscription service market.

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RATM LEAD MARCH AFTER SHOW SHUT DOWN
Thousands of Rage Against The Machine fans assembled on the lawn of the Minnesota State Capitol building in Saint Paul last night for a rumoured free show by the band. However, as Anti-Flag introduced the band, which had a legal permit, police shut it down. In an effort to appease angry fans, who began chanting "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me", Zach De La Rocha and Tom Morello appeared to perform an acapella version of 'Bulls On Parade', swapping a megaphone between them - De La Rocha rapping, Morello singing the wah wah-heavy guitar part. Never ones to waste an angry mob, they then led the crowd of between 2000 and 3000 people in a march on the Republican National Convention at the heavily guarded Xcel Center in the city, reportedly getting quite close to it before police started firing tear gas. Most of the protesters dispersed but there were reports of pockets of fighting for several hours afterwards.

Watch footage on YouTube here

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METALLICA TAKE OVER RADIO 1
Metallica have announced that they will perform a special gig for BBC Radio 1 and take part in an evening of programmes surrounding its broadcast. The band will play at the BBC Radio Theatre in London in 14 Sep. The show will be transmitted the next day at 9pm.

As well as the gig, the station will broadcast an evening of programmes devoted to the band. Prior to the gig, Zane Lowe will present a show which will include discussions with the likes of Lost Prophets, Funeral For A Friend and Slipknot about the band's influence, as well as Lars Ulrich's personal guide to Metallica. Afterwards, Radio 1 rock man Daniel P Carter will play an hour of new and classic Metallica tracks, followed by a no holds barred interview with the band.

Just 280 tickets will be available. For your chance to get hold of a pair, go here. Registration closes at 7.30pm on Friday.

Carter says: "This last couple of months have been pretty great for Metallica fans. Like many, I have got that feeling of anticipation back as we await the release of the new album. I personally feel like the kid that sat listening to 'Ride The Lightning' for the first time with the stereo cranked. I got to hear 'Death Magnetic' at an exclusive and very loud playback with a mate and I had that feeling. I got to see Metallica headline and totally destroy the festival that meant so much to me as I was growing up near Reading and I got to speak with the band that not only changed the definition of heavy music but also changed my life. Now I'll get to stand in the legendary BBC Radio Theatre with a small group of truly diehard fans and I know that I will not be able to believe how things have panned out! This show is a first for Radio 1 and a first for Metallica. It's going to be fantastic!"

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BESTIVAL PREPARED FOR WINEHOUSE NO-SHOW
Following Amy Winehouse's last minute no-show at the Rock En Seine festival in France last week, Bestival organiser Rob Da Bank has announced that a back up plan is already in place, should she fail to appear on the Isle Of Wight for her headline set on Saturday.

He said: "Regarding Amy, simply, I do not have any more info. I am in contact with her agent and manager and we'll know what's happening [when we know]. If she can't do the gig, rest assured I do have a very good back-up plan. Have we ever let you down?"

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COLDPLAY NOMINATED FOR FOUR Q AWARDS
Proving that there's no accounting for taste, Coldplay have been nominated for four Q Awards, including Best Album and Best Act In The World. Vampire Weekend and The Ting Tings are up for three each, and Kings Of Leon, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and The Last Shadow Puppets are all up for two each.

The ceremony will take place on 6 Oct at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. In the meantime, fans will vote for their favourite bands on the shortlist. Full nominations below:

Breakthrough Artist: Duffy, Adele, Santogold, Bon Iver, Gabriella Cilmi.

Best New Act: Fleet Foxes, Glasvegas, The Ting Tings, The Last Shadow Puppets, Vampire Weekend.

Best Track: Keane - Spiralling, Duffy - Mercy, Coldplay - Violet Hill, Katy Perry - I Kissed A Girl, The Ting Tings - That's Not My Name.

Best Video: Hot Chip - Ready To The Floor, Coldplay - Violet Hill, The Ting Tings - That's Not My Name, Vampire Weekend - A-Punk, Goldfrapp - Happiness

Best Live Act: Kaiser Chiefs, Kings Of Leon, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, The Verve, Rage Against The Machine.

Best Album: Coldplay - Viva La Vida Or Death, And All His Friends, Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes, The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age Of The Understatement, Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend, Nick Cave And The Band Seeds - Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!!

Best Act In The World Today: Coldplay, Oasis, Muse, Metallica, Kings Of Leon.

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Presets - Talk Like That (Modular Records)
Sydney-based electro duo The Presets returned in June with their second album 'Apocalypso', and are now to release the infectiously beat-driven 'Talk Like That'. Following the critical success of their debut, The Presets have been touring the UK on what seems like a non-stop basis for the past few years, even managing to fit in a supporting slot for electro house giants Daft Punk in 2007. With 'Talk Like That', they deliver another undeniably anthemic slice of perfect dance pop, backed by an unsettling church organ complement, and filled with stammering vocals that sound a bit like the after effects of The Editors receiving a shot of adrenaline to the heart. In fact this synth-pop slammer is almost majestic in nature and should ensure that The Presets continue to please and build their fanbase between albums two and three. Whether they'll continue to tour so prolifically we'll see. TA
Release Date: 1 Sep
Press Contact: Darling Dept [All]

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UNDERWORLD TO BROADCAST RADIO SHOW
Bestival headliners Underworld will broadcast a special radio show from the Isle Of Wight via their official website next week. The show will webcast next Wednesday and will feature a special guest appearance from Bestival main man Rob Da Bank.

To listen to the show, head over to www.underworldlive.com on 10 Sep.

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SQUAREPUSHER DISCUSSES NEW ALBUM
As we recently reported, Squarepusher will release a new album, 'Just A Souvenir', on 27 Oct via Warp. Tom Jenkinson, he who is Squarepusher, has been telling us about his new songs. Well, he's been telling us about something to do with the new songs. Make of it what you will.

He said: "This album started as a daydream about watching a crazy, beautiful rock band play an ultra-gig. At first, a giant fluorescent image of a coat hanger appeared at the back of the stage. A couple of seconds later a full size replica of the Camden Falcon backroom materialised around the glowing coat hanger. Upon the stage was a group composed of five musicians. They seemed to be of differing ages, some young, some old. I noticed that the drummer was an Eskimo. They played instruments either of their own design or conventional ones that were modified such that they could be used to generate a range of sounds not typically associated with a rock band. For instance, one of the musicians appeared to be using a device attached to the body of his classical guitar that allowed him to accelerate or decelerate time in his immediate vicinity. At a certain point he seemed to quickly reverse back to a couple of months ago. I was left with an urgent sense of responsibility that I do honour to this vision of a remarkable ensemble. My memory of it was the only souvenir, and I feared its vulnerability with only a skull to protect it. I ventured forth to the studio shortly after the New Year. I emerged on 15 Jul. This [album] is the result".

So, there you go. You can hear one of the new tracks, 'Delta V', on the Warp MySpace page, if you fancy getting any idea of what they might sound like.

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PATRICK WOLF ANNOUNCES DOUBLE ALBUM
Patrick Wolf, who you might remember once briefly decided he was quitting the music industry, has now announced that he will be releasing a two-disc album in the near future, which will apparently be influenced by The Smashing Pumpkins, Kate Bush and William The Conqueror.

Writing a blog on his MySpace page, he said: "I have to tell you, I have two albums coming out soon. Think, Smashing Pumpkins, Kate Bush. I'm going double, double, trouble - that's why I'm taking so long. One disk is heartbroken and in deep despair, one is in deep dark joy dedicated to my new love, my old and forever love, William The Conqueror. Okay, I'd better leave ... I just realised its been an age and a half since I communicated. The album has been in my blood for a year and much more... the label think it will be a disaster, I'm sure, as it comes more from the bottom of my heart than even lycanthropy, about my fathers cancer, my solitude, my true love, my Irish roots, everything that has touched me to the core in the last year".

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KATE AND MIGNIGHT JUGGERNAUTS COLLABORATION
Aussie dance-rock types Midnight Juggernauts have announced a collaboration with artist Kate Moross who, for those of you not paying attention, was number 18 on the NME cool list year and who, we can confirm, and without any advice from the NME required, is quite cool. Moross has designed a special sleeve and foil print to go with a limited edition release of of the Juggernaughts' brilliant 'Into The Galaxy' single, which will come out via Moross' own Isomorph label. You can order a copy via Pure Groove here.

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FUCKED UP DOWNLOAD
Canadian hardcore masters Fucked Up have released a second free download from their new album, 'The Chemistry Of Common Life', which is due for release on 13 Oct. 'Twice Born' is available to download right now from here.

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LONDON AIRWAVES DETAILS ANNOUNCED
Full details of the London leg of Iceland's Airwaves festival have been announced. The event will be spread across seven venues in Shoreditch - 93 Feet East, Cargo, Bar Music Hall, Hewitt St Carpark, Vibe Bar, Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, Old Blue Last and Last Days Of Decadence - and will take place on 19 Sep.

The full line up is as follows: Florence And The Machine, The Whip, The Teenagers, Metronomy, Crookers, These New Puritans, Herve, Poney Poney, Cazals, Autokratz, David.E.Sugar, The Cock N Bull Kid, Dead Kids, James Yuill, Pnau, Bart B More, My Toys Like Me, Familiijen, Robots In Disguise, Wild Beasts, Pacific, Jerry Bouthier (Kitsune), Hannah Holland, VV Brown and Sam Isaac.

Early bird tickets are on sale now for £20. More info at www.icelandairwaves.com

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WALKMEN REALLY ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES
Remember when we announced The Walkmen's new tour dates recently and they turned out to be The Spinto Band's? No? Good, let's never speak of it again. Anyway, this time we have the actual real dates for The Walkmen's upcoming tour, where The Walkmen will definitely be headlining and not some other band. They (The Walkmen) will be promoting their new album, 'You & Me', which is out on 29 Sep.

Tour dates (for The Walkmen):

28 Oct: London, ULU
29 Oct: Manchester, Academy 3
31 Oct: Leeds, Cockpit
1 Nov: Glasgow, Stereo
2 Nov: Dublin, Button Factory

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THE END IS NIGH
See what we did there? Yes, bad news people, another of CMU's favourite London venues - The End and its AKA bar - is closing its doors for the final time. Though not until January next year, so there's still time to have some happy times there.

Explaining the reason for the closure, a statement from club's management reads thus: "Naturally, it being clubland, everyone will want to know why we're closing. Are there problems? Is everyone leaving fantastically rich? What's happening? The reality is simple. We began in a kitchen with a conversation and a dream. The club has been our life for thirteen fantastic years, but key people in the team were ready to move on, this coincided with being made an offer on the building, and we felt it time to pursue different roads. To be able to walk away now after such a journey means that the timing is right. It's been a difficult decision, and of course we're sad, but The End is, and has been, the most amazing experience, and we want to thank all those who made it possible and all those who have shared in our dream".

The plan seems to be to carry on as normal until the club's 13th birthday on 6 Dec, after which a number of special nights will be held featuring DJs who have been regulars and favourites at the club over the years, leading up to a grand closing weekend on 23 and 24 Jan. More on those events when we get them.

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Faint - Fasciinatiion (World's Fair/Cooperative Music)
It's been four long years since we had an album from The Faint. This time they have done everything themselves, from writing to releasing, so this is a real homemade treat. Given the DIY ethos, and the wait, I really wanted to be totally blown away by 'Fasciinatiion'. And with the opening grumble of bass in 'Get Seduced' I thought I would be; except, while this album is undeniably The Faint, with Todd Fink's brilliant unique voice ever present, 'Fasciinatiion' is totally lacking the balls of their previous monster, 'Wet From Birth'. In fact, the slightly hazy patch of 'Machine In The Ghost' and 'Fulcrum And Lever' almost made me lose hope altogether. While these songs in themselves are not badly executed by any means (and I must admit that just turning them up quite loud does improve them) they lack that dirty, sleazy noise I have grown to love in The Faint - they're just a little too bleepy, and that raw, gravelly blast I expect never comes. However, just as I contemplated giving up, the hungry racing beat of 'Psycho' opened up and suddenly the sun was beginning to peer through the clouds. And when the rumbly, meaty bass of 'Mirror Error' screamed through the speakers that rollercoaster feeling you used to get from The Faint was just within reach. Though, alas, only 'just'. While maybe it's unfair to just compare 'Fasciinatiion' to 'Wet From Birth', I am finding it incredibly hard not to. The latter was such an amazing beast of an album, and while the former is a good album, it could definitely be better. DH
Release Date: 29 Sep
Press Contact: Silver PR [all]

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VIVENDI PROFITS UP, UNIVERSAL MUSIC PROFITS DOWN
City news, and Universal Music owner Vivendi has posted a 3.2% increase in profits to 1.35 billion euros for the quarter up to the end of June. Revenues were up 15.1% to just under 6 billion euro. City types were most pleased by the news that the company is not looking to raise more money through the financial markets in order to fund their recent acquisition of French phone firm Neuf Cegetel and the merger of its gaming division with Activision - management at the entertainment conglom had previously said they may need to do so.

Despite the good news at group level, Universal Music did not enjoy quite so rosey figures for the quarter, with revenues down 5.3% and profits down 9.2%. While such declines are now quite common in the record business, Universal, the biggest music company in the world of course, has so far, in the main, suffered least from the global decline in record sales. Still, a record company is only ever as strong as its release schedule, and a quiet schedule in any one quarter can always lead to a blip in overall financial performance. It will be interesting to see how the major major fairs over the year.

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O2 COMMENT ON NOKIA COMES WITH MUSIC
Following Nokia's announcement yesterday that they would be launching their Comes With Music service in the UK next month, but without a tel co partner, the tel co who have been most proactive in the music space of late, O2, have issued a statement saying they will watch the new Nokia service with interest, but then reminding us about all the music products they are already involved in, including the iPhone.

As previously reported, Nokia Comes With Music phones will give owners access to free downloads from the Universal, Sony and Warner catalogues for a whole year. Any tracks downloaded in that time can be kept when the year is up. The handset manufacturer's music service - which works on the phone itself or via a Nokia website - competes with music services set up by mobile networks like O2.

In his statement yesterday, O2's Head Of Content, Antony Douglas, said this: "We want to make sure we offer our customers a wide choice of options to get the maximum benefit of music through O2 and will be watching Nokia's 'Come with Music' package with interest. O2's strategy is to ensure we partner with the best companies in the music industry. Alongside our sponsorship of The O2, the O2 Wireless festival and O2 Undiscovered, we work with Napster Mobile and Sony BMG, who support our recently launched MyPlay service, to give our customers access to some of the world's most popular and celebrated artists. Similarly, all our iPhone customers have access to iTunes, the world's largest music store".

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7DIGITAL MP3 EXPANSION EXPECTED
More downloading, and London based 7-Digital have reportedly secured Universal Music's DRM-free MP3 catalogue, meaning they can now sell DRM-free music from three of the four major record companies via their own download store at 7Digital.com - ie from EMI, Warner and Universal.

The firm have also announced a press conference for the week after next, and it's thought that might see the download company also add SonyBMG to their DRM-free list, meaning they would be the first UK service to offer music from all four majors without irritating digital rights management technology embedded.

Because don't forget, while all four majors had announced a strategic shift to consumer-friendly DRM-free music by the start of the year, no one UK download store is actually currently selling MP3s from all majors because, as we all know, it takes at least nine months for major record companies to get round to actually doing what they say they are going to do.

7Digital are also expected to announce an alliance with a social networking site. Whether this means they have an involvement in the soon-to-launch all-new MySpace Music I don't know. I hope not, because I was very dismissive when a friend suggested that was going to happen the other day, and I'd hate to have to admit I was wrong.

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SONYBMG RELEASE SOUNDTRACK FOR NEW BRAD MELTZER BOOK
SonyBMG are releasing a digital soundtrack to go with a new book - something which the major reckons could be a rather nice and possibly profitable new sell-through revenue stream moving forward. The book is by American author Brad Meltzer and is called 'The Book Of Lies'. The accompanying soundtrack is plugged in the book and is linked to from the book's page on Amazon.

It's not the first time a record company has had the idea of releasing soundtracks to go with popular novels in the hope they'll cash in from fans of the book, but the financial risk of such projects in the CD age often made the idea unviable. With the risks so much lower in the digital age, it may become a much more common occurance.

SonyBMG Commercial Music Group's John Ingrassia told Billboard: "I would love for it [the 'Book Of Lies' soundtrack] to be successful enough to prove that it's something other writers and publishers would want to do. We've tried in the past to do various promotions with book publishers but the emphasis is on try. Part of the problem in the past was that pairing a physical CD with a book proved to be difficult and expensive. By going digital those problems are eliminated".

Meltzer himself compiled the soundtrack, which takes many tracks from Sony's own catalogue, but the major has also licensed a few from other record companies.

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RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN CATALOGUE UP FOR SALE
The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organisation which, you might be surprised to learn, represents the interests of the estates of the legendary musical making duo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, is reportedly in talks with all of the major music publishing firms regarding the sale of the copyrights in all the duo's music, including hit musicals like 'The Sound of Music', 'The King And I' and 'South Pacific'. By my math, with Rodgers dieing in 1979, there's at least 36 years to go on these copyrights.

EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner's publishing divisions are all said to be considering a bid, and they may face competition from those private equity types that have been trying to get into the music publishing business of late.

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GOOGLE PILOT THEIR OWN BROWSER
Not really music news, but possibly of interest to some of you. Google has started to pilot its own web browser - Google Chrome - a move which sees it take on Microsoft who are still the market leader in the browser space, despite Firefox being approximately 42,500 times better than Internet Explorer. The new browser will be "open-sourced" so that others can modify and improve it if they wish. Remains to be seen if it catches on. If it does we'll have another bloody browser we'll have to test all our websites on. Brilliant.

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BERTELSMAN LIKELY TO REDUCE THEIR RTL STAKE TO FUND ITV BID
BMG owners Bertelsmann are considering following up their sale of their half of SonyBMG by selling some of its 90% stake in RTL, the European broadcasting giant who own Five here in the UK. The German conglom's CFO Thomas Rabe has said they may consider selling up to 15% of their stake in a bid to raise £1.5 billion. It's thought they will use some of their SonyBMG and RTL booty to try and buy a stake in ITV - most likely they'll bid for the 10% stake in the UK broadcaster that BSkyB is being forced to sell by competition regulators (that sale is currently pending Sky's appeal regarding the forced sale).

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COMMERCIAL RADIO REVENUES DOWN
The commercial radio sector saw its quarter two revenues fall 10.2% year on year, a drop that has been blamed on that good old credit crunch.

Simon Redican of the Radio Advertising Bureau explained the drop thus: "We always knew this would be a tough quarter for all media - as recent results from ITV and the newspaper sector have shown - indeed, all sectors have been finding it tough in recent months because of the credit crunch - fortunately for radio, we're well placed to bounce back. The signs are that Quarter 3 is already starting to look brighter; radio works well when marketing budgets are being squeezed, adding bite to media campaigns as well as multiplying the effectiveness of other media".

Andrew Harrison of commercial radio industry body RadioCentre added: "As a medium, radio is well placed to get through an economic slowdown without getting too badly hit; we are always the first to feel the effects because of the flexibility in how radio is booked, but we're confident that this is only a temporary blip following our previous four successive quarters of growth".

The RAB is currently running adverts on its members' stations talking up the benefits of relatively cheap (compared to TV) radio advertising in an economic downturn. Plus radio major Global GCap will presumably be able to cope with the decline in revenues, given that, with all those recent job cuts, they'll surely only have about three employees on the pay roll by the end of the year.

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WINEHOUSE TAKES UP MEDITATION
How about a nice rumour about Amy Winehouse, after all that talk of brain damage and no-shows? The singer has reportedly taken up Buddhist meditation to help her quit drugs. She was apparently introduced to Nam Myoho Renge Kyo Buddhism recently and now chants twice a day. This is the same form of Buddhism that Courtney Love credits her recovery to. I'm very much looking forward to Amy's post-recovery MySpace blog, then.

A source told The Sun: "One of her musician friends introduced Amy to Buddhist chanting. She chants for ten minutes in the mornings and just before she sleeps. Amy has also been watching the interview clip of Tina Turner chanting on YouTube and she reckons it's already affecting her in a positive way. She has a string of Buddhist beads that she chants with, which she keeps in a red silk scarf. She says chanting is filling her life with positivity while she is trying to sort herself out".

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LIAM GALLAGHER ROUNDUP
Liam Gallagher is moving to New York. He is not taking up acting. He doesn't think there's anything clever about the title of the new Oasis album, 'Dig Out Your Soul'. He is Oasis and will not stop.

He told The NME: "I love New York, I love the buzz off it. That's the next step for me. And, I'm not going to do acting or any of that shit. I've been offered a few things but it's not me. I'm just going to a place where I can be me".

He told The Daily Star: "[The new album's title] means fuck-all to me. It's only a lyric. If you use 'dig' and 'soul' you can't go wrong". He added: "I am Oasis. Not saying the others aren't, but I live it and breathe it every day. I'll do it for ever, the way the Rolling Stones have".

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MEL B AND POSH SPICE NOT ALIKE
It turns out that Mel B and Victoria Beckham actually have very little in common, despite the fact that they both live in the same city and both like clothes. Yeah, I know, I could barely believe it, either.

Mel B told Closer magazine: "Victoria and I are very different. People bracket us together because we live in the same city and we're both interested in fashion. Victoria's fashion line has been very successful and hopefully mine will be, too. But that's where the similarities begin and end. We're not in touch much. I don't physically see any of the Spice Girls".

I don't physically see any other Spice Girls either, but you don't see me banging on about it.

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ALLEN FIGHTS WITH ELTON
Lily Allen and Elton John fell out and began traded insults on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, they were hosting the GQ Men Of The Year Awards at the Royal Opera House in London at the time. John apparently grew irritated as Allen drank champagne and gradually became more and more drunk.

So, here's how it went down:

Lily: "And now for the most important part of the night..."
Elton: "What? Are you going to have another drink?"
Lily: "Fuck off, Elton! I am 40 years younger than you and have my whole life ahead of me!"
Elton: "I could still snort you under the table".
Lily: "Fuck off! I don't know what you are talking about!"

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