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TODAY'S NEWS

More of the same expected: Spector trial update

Barenaked Page cuts deal, apologises
Spears conservatorship extended
Goldsmith tells Led Zep not to tour
Madonna offers Guy £20m for the kids
Jeff Healey's family angry about new release
Bloc Party may drop CD singles
EP review: Mumford & Sons - Love Your Ground (Chess Club Records)
Brand new Fat Freddy's Drop
Gallagher readies next Oasis album
December release for Eminem album?
Jay-Z signs Lil Wayne?
School Of Seven Bells sign to Full Time Hobby
Album review: Bob Sinclar - House Masters (Defected/ITH Records)
LL Cool J quits Jackson tour
Take That announce summer stadium tour
The Faint announce new tour dates
Crazy P announce tour dates
Underage Festival announces Christmas Special
Album review: Empty Boat - Waitless (Poo Productions)
Canada introduces online royalty
EMI European publishing chief steps down
EMI deny involvement in new Baidu service
Wal-Mart gets all majors DRM-free - starts price war
MTV launches on demand video service
Edge invest in the Monkey
Ministry relaunch website - more etail
Global Radio appoint new commercial director
UTV to sell Talk107
OfCom send warning to KCR
Astley rumoured to be performing at MTV awards
Cypress Hill man on Chinese Democracy
Everyone impressed at Wentz's 29 years
Girls Aloud aren't bitches
Jonas Brothers to star in a movie that stinks
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CMU Directory
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WEDNESDAY 29TH OCTOBER

SNEAKY SOUND SYSTEM
Antipodean electro superstars Sneaky Sound System have been carefully honing their art since 2001 and took Australia by storm in 2006 when their single, 'I Love It', stayed in the charts for a massive 70 weeks. Record companies had initially told co-founders Angus MacDonald and Daimon Downey that they weren't likely to go very far, so they set up on their own Whack Records, and have now sold hundreds of thousands of albums and singles. With Connie Mitchell's amazing vocals, the group have put themselves in position for world domination. Support slots with the likes of Robbie Williams, Jamiroquai and Scissor Sisters have put them at the top of their game, and high profile fans such as Kylie and Jake Shears certainly haven't hurt them. New single 'UFO' is out this week, and the band are touring the UK in November, before heading back home to play across Australia in January. We spoke to producer and songwriter Black Angus, aka Angus McDonald.


 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
In a dodgy band at school. The first song we attempted was 'Shout' by Tears For Fears and then 'Town Called Malice' by The Jam. Everything sounded so shit we decided to make up our own song, which we thought sounded marvellous. Of course it wasn't marvellous at all, but at least it was a start.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
A late night documentary about UFOs on the Discovery Channel. When I turned the TV off I started singing "I saw a UFO but nobody believes me", picked up my guitar and the riff and chords just fell out. Next day I played it to Connie and she wrote the verses and presto, there it was - delivered fresh from out of space. I wish every song was that easy.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
It's different every time but often a musical idea pops into my head and the little orchestra in my brain gets to work on it and when I get home I test it out in the guitar. Sometimes I might have a vocal idea, sometimes not. Then I demo it up in the studio with Donnie Sloan, our bass player and co-producer and play it to Connie. We usually put down a couple of melody/vocal ideas, one hers, one mine, and then we pick the best bits. Then the lyrics follow. I'm more of a chorus guy and Connie is more verses, but, like I said, it's different every time.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
The list is ridiculously long, wide and deep. In one corner is glorious stadium pop, in the other is deep minimal techno, in the other corner is party mayhem and in the last corner is anything with a hint of melancholic beauty. It all goes in a big pot and something else comes out.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Absolutely nothing, I'd be more interested in what they thought.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single/album, and for the future?
Straight to number one and then world domination, of course.

MORE>> www.sneakysoundsystem.com and www.myspace.com/sneakysoundsystem

 

NOW, NOW EVERY CHILDREN
Having lived with Now, Now, Every Children's 'In The City' EP for a month now it's high time I espoused my appreciation for their brand of sugar-laced indie. Creating a similar sound to fellow girl/boy outfit The Concretes, with vocals comparable to ex Belle and Sebastian member Isobel Campbell, 'Friends With My Sister' is one of their more charming numbers, rising from a sole, monotonous chugging guitar and tinkling xylophone into crashing cymbals and fast paced indie dancefloor loveliness. And despite a notably grammatically incorrect name, there's enough to the tracks on their Myspace to let such trivial matters pass you by.

www.myspace.com/nownoweverychildren

 
 

 



Don't forget you can now check out CMU favourites old and new on CMU-Tube, our online music video service powered by MUZU.

Set up your own MUZU channel, select tracks from the MUZU catalogue, and embed your own MUZU Player on your own website or blog - simple. Sign up here.

 

 

HUNT FOR SLABOVIAN DICTATOR'S TOP 100 LIST
The hunt for General Schmerdiakov's Top 100 tunes is on after he decreed that all whistling be banned in Slabovia.

Following yesterday's controversial ban - enacted after Slabovia's dictator overheard a rendition of 'Freedom' by Wham - citizens have united to come up with a list of what music is currently playing on The General's gramophone. Only by knowing The General's top music picks, will citizens be able to avoid the "whistle and die" ruling.

Suggestions so far include 'Leader Of The Pack' (Shangri Las), 'Master Race Rock' (The Dictators), 'The Tractor Song' (Wurzels), 'We Are The Pigs' (Swade) and 'Mud Glorious Mud' (Flanders & Swann).

www.slabovia.tv

 

 

MORE OF THE SAME EXPECTED: SPECTOR TRIAL UPDATE
As previously reported, the second Phil Spector murder trial kicks off in LA later today, and could run into the New Year.

Insiders say that we can expect the retrial to run much the same course as the original court hearing, certainly in terms of the prosecution's case, which will again be led by chief prosecutor Alan Jackson. They seem confident they can win this time, even though last time round two jurors could not be convinced of Spector's guilt, leading to a mistrial being called. The District Attorney's spokeswoman, Sandi Gibbons, recently told reporters: "The facts don't change. The evidence we'll be presenting is the same evidence as the first trial. We feel that we have a very strong case".

As much previously reported, Spector is accused of shooting dead former actress Lana Clarkson at his Beverly Hills home in 2003. He claims she shot herself.

If the prosecution's case runs the same course as last time, we can expect a lengthy description of the night Spector picked up Clarkson at the LA club where she worked, up to and including the testimony of the legendary producer's former driver who was parked outside Spector's mansion when Clarkson was shot, and who claims his former boss appeared at a door with a gun in his hand declaring "I think I killed somebody".

The prosecution will also bring forward various women who will claim that at some point in the past Spector threatened them with violence, normally gun based, while they were alone with him, normally late at night. At least five such women are expected to testify, including Diane Ogden, who may be presented as a witness for a second time despite dying shortly after the original trial - some say a video of her original testimony will be shown to the jury. All this will be followed up with a bunch of forensic experts who will claim that blood spatters and the like at the crime scene they inspected the night of Clarkson's murder suggest Spector held the gun.

On the defence side, Spector has a new team in place led by one Doron Weinberg, so it's not clear if the producer's defence will follow the same course as last time. First time out the defence said its forensics case - with experts saying the blood spatters in fact suggested Clarkson shot herself - was stronger, though that all got caught up in that side show regarding allegations the defence team removed what could have been a key bit of evidence (a bit of nail) from the crime scene. In the end the defence's star forensic expert Henry Lee didn't appear.

Spector's original defence also did much to paint Clarkson as a tragic depressive on the verge of suicide. It is unclear if that line will be pursued so aggressively this time, with Weinberg simply telling reporters "we intend to rely on the same basic evidence" adding that at the core of the case is the theory that: "she fired the fatal shot".

Both sides will provide opening remarks in LA today.

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BARENAKED PAGE CUTS DEAL, APOLOGISES
Barenaked Ladies' Steven Page has managed to cut a very reasonable deal in relation to those previously reported drugs charges, incurred back in July in Fayetteville, New York. The deal is the result of extensive negotiation between the Onondaga County District Attorney's office and lawyers for Page, his girlfriend Christine Benedicto and her roommate Stephanie Ford, and has resulted in an agreement that will result in Page's acquittal, as long as he stays out of trouble for the next six months.

Page, Benedicto and Ford were arrested, of course, after Fayetteville officers found a suspiciously parked car with the driver's door open. Investigating further, they knocked on the door of the nearby apartment, were invited inside by Page and Ford, and subsequently found them in possession of cocaine. Lawyer Mark Mahoney said in relation to the deal regarding the subsequent charges: "We are very appreciative of the fact the district attorney's office... was sensitive to the fact that this was simply a charge of possession, everyone has a clean record and the exemplary performance of all the accused since the time of the arrest".

Page himself read out a statement expressing his gratitude and apologising for his actions. "The respect and responsibility I have earned over the course of my life and my career thus far are important to me and I am moving forward from this with gratitude and with hope. I also apologize to all of those I have hurt or embarrassed during this episode. It has meant a great deal to me to be shown the impact I have on others' lives, from people on the street who've stopped me to share their support and encouragement, to those friends and loved ones closest to me who've opened their homes and their hearts, I am deeply moved and thankful. The greatest gift a person can know is to not go through their life alone and I am fortunate enough to have been afforded that gift".

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SPEARS CONSERVATORSHIP EXTENDED
Britney Spears' father Jamie has had his status as the singer's conservator extended indefinitely. As previously reported, Spears senior was handed the conservatorship, which put him in control of Britney's personal and financial affairs back in February, following her public breakdown and admission to hospital. The decision is apparently approved of by Spears herself, despite the fact that it means that her father and some attorneys are in charge of everything now until the end of her life, essentially. Of course, she could later petition to have the order removed.

Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Reva Goetz explained that she was granting the permanent conservatorship partly because the singer still seems susceptible to undue influence.

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GOLDSMITH TELLS LED ZEP NOT TO TOUR
Harvey Goldsmith has said that he "can't see the point" of a Led Zeppelin tour, and has warned the band against going on the road again, with or without Robert Plant. I've been saying that for ages, though, and they haven't taken any notice of me.

Speaking to BBC News at MUSexpo, Goldsmith said: "I certainly don't think they should do a big tour because I can't see the point of it. I just think it's a lot of talk, I think it's wishful thinking. Whether they all come together and do something in the future, they may. I think some of the band really want to go out and do it and other parts of the band need to understand why they're doing it, and if there's no compelling reason to do it, then they shouldn't do it. I think that there is an opportunity for them to go out and present themselves. I don't think a long rambling tour is the answer as Led Zeppelin. It's a question of whether they want to do it, and you've got to want to do it. Otherwise it's done for the wrong reasons, and when things are done for the wrong reasons, they don't work".

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MADONNA OFFERS GUY £20M FOR THE KIDS
Madonna and Guy Ritchie have reached a stalemate in negotiations over their divorce, according to Hello! magazine. They apparently disagree over where their children should live and go to school. Madonna has now offered Guy a £20m settlement to allow her to move the children to New York with her, which he has reportedly declined.

Madonna's biographer J Randy Taraborrelli told Hello!: "There was a great deal of haggling about this matter last week, with Madonna upping the amount of Guy's settlement to more than £20million in the hope that he would acquiesce".

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JEFF HEALEY'S FAMILY ANGRY ABOUT NEW RELEASE
The family of blues guitarist Jeff Healey have spoken out against a new double-CD of the late musician's early singles and unreleased live material. The family say that they've not authorised the release, which is entitled 'The Jeff Healey Band - Legacy: Volume One', and is set to be issued by Canadian label Arbor Records and distributed by EMI Music Canada. The two disc collection, set for a November release, includes unreleased material and appearances by the likes of George Harrison, Paul Shaffer and Jeff Lynne.

The family say that the content of the album came from former Jeff Healey Band drummer Tom Stephen, who was engaged in a legal battle with Healey over alleged unpaid royalties. The guitarist's wife Cristie Healey said in a statement that the family are "deeply and sadly disappointed" to hear that the LP is set for release, and added: "We ask that Jeff's fans please refrain from purchasing this compilation out of respect for Jeff and his family. This release is not authorised or supported in any way by Jeff's estate".

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BLOC PARTY MAY DROP CD SINGLES
CD singles have been dead in the water for a long time, as we all know. In the independent world, there are already numerous labels who only release singles as downloads and, maybe, on vinyl. But now a band you've heard of are talking about shunning them, which will hopefully speed up their long overdue death.

Bloc Party bassist Gordon Moakes told BBC 6music that their latest single, 'Talons', may be the last to appear on CD. He said: "I don't think our digital release was eligible so this is our only shot at the charts - but the kind of band we are, isn't one you were going to see on Top Of The Pops really. We've never entirely played the game. Maybe we'll find out that it's a great success, but maybe we'll find out that people just aren't buying CDs any more. Our record company's been behind our ideas for this record and future singles. We're talking now about not doing any more physical formats for singles meaning we won't have any more eligible singles after 'Talons'".

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EP REVIEW: Mumford & Sons - Love Your Ground (Chess Club Records)
A new and intriguing wave of upbeat folk music is currently blipping on the outskirts of the musical radar. Mumford & Sons, formed a little over a year ago, are the latest to hop aboard that bandwagon with this new EP. And though 'Love Your Ground' is undoubtedly a selection of giddy tunes upheld by waves of diverse instrumentation and vocals howling at the moon, any spark of originality is unfortunately a faded flicker of what could be. Take 'Little Lion Man', which rides a hammering acoustic rhythm with interesting lyrics, but eventually sounds like a Dodos song in a stiff shirt. 'Banjolin Song' on the other hand has a beautiful campfire ambience, yet sounds too similar to Noah & The Whale to maintain itself. Comparisons aside, this is a promising EP; Mumford & Sons just need to know where they want to go and how to get there. GB
Release Date: 3 Nov
Press Contact: Scruffy Bird [all]

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BRAND NEW FAT FREDDY'S DROP
New Zealand rootsy soul types Fat Freddy's Drop have completed their second album, and the first single off it, 'Pull The Catch', will be released via Kartel on 1 Dec. I'm telling you this now because the video has just gone live exclusively on MUZU, so you can check it out via the band's own rather snazzy MUZU TV channel - www.muzu.tv/fatfreddysdrop - or inside the CMU-Tube at www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk. The band will be in London at the end of their European tour in December, and have just added a second night at the Roundhouse on 5 Dec.

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GALLAGHER READIES NEXT OASIS ALBUM
Noel Gallagher has revealed that he has already written and demoed the next Oasis album. He told Billboard that the new material was similar to The Kinks and is a bit psychedelic. In fact, he said that two of the new songs, 'I Want To Live In A Dream In My Record Machine' and 'Come On It's Alright' are "psychedelic epics', which is probably a little more than a bit psychedelic.

Gallagher said: "[The new songs] all seem to be based around the same four or five chords," he expalined. "It's vastly different from what ['Dig Out Your Soul'] is. There's stuff about soldiers and religious people and rock stars and travellers. They seem to be all songs about people, but not people I know. And they all seem to have a narrative; it's kind of like a story which follows on from song to song".

He also said that he was hoping to begin work on a solo album soon: "I'm going to do one sooner or later - hopefully sooner rather than later. I'm kind of hoping Liam might be arrested soon, and then I'll have time to see it through".

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DECEMBER RELEASE FOR EMINEM ALBUM?
Officially, there is no release date set for Eminem's new album, 'Relapse'. However, Amazon.com yesterday listed the album with a release date of 23 Dec - although that date was subsequently removed. In the UK, an even earlier release is being predicted, with HMV's website listing the release date at 1 Dec.

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JAY-Z SIGNS LIL WAYNE?
Rumour has it Jay-Z has now successfully signed Lil Wayne to his Roc Nation label, paying his current label, Cash Money, $5m to get him out of his existing recording contract. A source told MediaTakeOut "The deal was in the works for a while; they just needed to get on the same page as to price. And [everyone's] there now".

Meanwhile, Wayne has failed to show up at a gig in Boston where he was due to play alongside Ne-Yo, Brandy, Yung Berg and his reported new label boss Jay-Z. The rapper was supposed to appear at a radio station organised Monster Jam event, but, according to the Boston Herald, was "unable or unwilling" to make his way through the event's security, so pulled out of the show last minute. No official comment from Wayne's people as yet.

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SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS SIGN TO FULL TIME HOBBY
Indie label Full Time Hobby have announced that their latest signing, Brooklyn trio School Of Seven Bells. The band is made up of former Secret Machines guitarist Benjamin Curtis and identical twin sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza, formerly of On! Air! Library! They take their name from a mythical South American pickpocket academy which may or may not have existed in the 1980s.

School Of Seven Bells release their debut album 'Alpinisms' via Full Time Hobby on 17 Nov. You can download a track, 'Connjur', from the album here (do it, it's ace).

Check them out live style at these dates this week:

29 Oct: London, The Social
30 Oct: London, Pure Groove (in-store - 6pm)

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ALBUM REVIEW: Bob Sinclar - House Masters (Defected/ITH Records)
House Master? Parisian DJ Bob Sinclar has had this arrogant title applied to him by Louie Vega. Fortunately, it is well-founded and he has presented some euphoric and slick house music. Nevertheless, there are problems, such as some seriously laughable vocal samples. 'Wonderful World' is a saccharine attempt to make those coming up on ecstasy act like a bunch of loved up chumps. Imploring listeners to imagine a world without pain etc. It's a bit of a clich‚ - if I'm being kind. Come on, as if house fans need an excuse to hug each other and get all utopian on us. By this you may be able to feel the general tone of the album. It does not present us with much more than proficiency. Instead it cannibalises sonic cornerstones of the genre. Especially the 'Everybody Dance Now' sample (vomit). It is eminently danceable and will entertain, however, it leaves me pretty cold and possibly requires a lobotomy to truly enjoy. Really it's a Euro-pop bastardisation of the house sound. I know this is popular, but can't bring myself to like it. It's a pretty needless addition to a shit DJ's bag that will be the background to inebriation; not the focal point of a night out. PG
Release Date: 3 Nov
Press Contact: Defected IH

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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LL COOL J QUITS JACKSON TOUR
LL Cool J announced on Monday that he is pulling out as the support act on Janet Jackson's 'Rock Witchu' tour, due to "scheduling conflicts". As previously reported, Jackson was forced to cancelled several shows earlier this month and last month after contracting migraine-associated vertigo.

Jackson played without LL Cool J at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan last night and is due to play another rescheduled concert at Madison Square Gardens in New York on 1 Nov. She is also expected to rescheduled the other cancelled shows shortly.

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TAKE THAT ANNOUNCE SUMMER STADIUM TOUR
Those cuddly old duffers Take That have announced eight stadium tour dates for next summer, one of which is on Daisy CMU's birthday. But that one's in Glasgow and I can't actually remember if she likes Take That or not. Anyway, that's probably irrelevant at the moment. If you like Take That and have a birthday, maybe you'd like to go to one of these dates. Tickets go on sale on Friday.

Tour dates:

6 Jun: Sunderland, Stadium Of Light
16 Jun: Cardiff, Millennium Stadium
20 Jun: Glasgow, Hampden Park
26 Jun: Manchester, Old Trafford Cricket Ground
27 Jun: Manchester, Old Trafford Cricket Ground
28 Jun: Manchester, Old Trafford Cricket Ground
3 Jul: London, Wembley Stadium
4 Jul: London, Wembley Stadium

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THE FAINT ANNOUNCE NEW TOUR DATES
The Faint are back on this side of the Atlantic next month for a handful of dates to promote their new album, 'Fasciinatiion', which is out now.

Tour dates:

17 Nov: Dublin, Crawdaddy
18 Nov: Glasgow, Oran Mor
19 Nov: Manchester, Academy 3
20 Nov: London, Scala
21 Nov: Brighton, Digital

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CRAZY P ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES
Crazy P, who release their new album 'Stop, Space, Return', earlier this month, have announced a month of tour dates beginning tonight.

Tour dates:

29 Oct: Nottingham, Browns
1 Nov: London, Matter
7 Nov: Sligo, The Clarence
8 Nov: Dublin, Sugar Club
15 Nov: Belfast, Mynt
19 Nov: Cardiff, Soda Bar
20 Nov: Southampton, Orange Rooms
22 Nov: Leeds, Mint Lounge (DJ set)
27 Nov: Leeds, Faversham
28 Nov: Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
29 Nov: Bristol, Fiddlers

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UNDERAGE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
The organisers of Underage Festival have announced a special Christmas version of the event, which will take place at The Scala in London on 20 Dec. Artists playing the Underage Festival Christmas Special will include Metronomy, Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip, Rolo Tomassi, Golden Silvers, Mystery Jets (DJ set), White Lies, Cheeky Cheeky & The Nosebleeds and Tommy Sparks, with more special guests and DJs to be announced soon. To get in, you'll have to be aged between 14 and 18, and the whole thing will take place in the bedtime-friendly timeslot of 12pm-6pm. Tickets cost £11.50.

More info from www.myspace.com/underage_club

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ALBUM REVIEW: Empty Boat - Waitless (Poo Productions)
Apparently it's World Toilet Day on 19 Nov. I'm still unsure as to what this day actually entails (I may go to the toilet in some form of celebration that day, though), but I thank Empty Boat for bringing such an event to my attention. It's not the only toilet issue this collective of 15 musicians and vocalists from all over the planet want to bring to highlight though. Behind such comic trivialities and festive music, there's a very serious message about the inadequate sanitation in developing countries. Produced in collaboration with Pump Aid, a charity aiming to provide clean water in African communities, each copy of 'Waitless' sold will help such admirable efforts become a reality with sanitation being provided for one person for life. Musically, what's heard is just as exciting and welcome a project, combining elements and influences from the broadest of musical spectrums. Numerous voices are heard as a variety of languages sing out for joy and sorrow. African drums are prominent, too, as are eastern-European brass, Mediterranean jives and even jarringly modern dubstep can be found on this eclectically enthusiastic record. 'Eu Vivo Neste Mundo (I Live In This World)' is what Sufjan Stevens aspires to with when he tries to escape his western influences, and the use of children's vocals on 'Up Up And Away' and 'Mamae Iemanja (I Call The Stars)' are a sweet success. An admirable effort for a worthy cause, even if it won't quite appeal to the popular taste. TM
Release Date: 3 Nov
Press Contact: Ilkamedia [All]

Buy from iTunes
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CANADA INTRODUCES ONLINE ROYALTY
The Canadian Copyright Board has finally ruled on internet music royalties - yes, it really has taken this long to decide whether online music services in Canada should have to pay royalties like radio and TV stations, despite the Society Of Composers, Authors And Music Publishers Of Canada first pushing for such a royalty back in 1995. The ruling, which is retrospective back to 1996, sets out what royalty internet radio stations and other websites that make a high use of music have to pay content owners.

However, the Canadian Copyright Board wasn't persuaded to extend online royalties to non-commercial podcasts and social networking services like MySpace et al. The Board said it was not extending the royalty to these services because they didn't profit from playing music, or music was not a significant enough part of what these websites do. That said, there was dissent in the Board on this issue, so SOCAN are sure to continue to lobby for a royalty for podcasts and social networks which include music.

It's not clear what kind of money will now be collected from online services, but it could be considerable give that the decision is retrospective for twelve years.

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EMI EUROPEAN PUBLISHING CHIEF STEPS DOWN
The President and CEO of EMI Music Publishing Continental Europe, Peter Ende, has announced he will step down at the end of next month after 28 years with the major publishing firm.

He will continue to consult for the major, and won't be replaced as such, with the top execs in each European country reporting directly to the company's overall CEO Roger Faxon and the firm's COO Leo Corbett.

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EMI DENY INVOLVEMENT IN NEW BAIDU SERVICE
More EMI, this time recordings. EMI Music has denied that it has signed up to a new streaming music preview service operated by Chinese search engine Baidu, which will offer previews of new music by local artists ahead of release.

Baidu announced that EMI was a partner on the new 'New Song Debut' service, but the major has said it is not on board. The confusion probably comes about because of EMI's relationship with Hong Kong-based Typhoon, which does work with the search engine company. EMI used to have a stake in Typhoon, and they also distribute some of EMI's Chinese catalogue in the region.

Typhoon has worked with Baidu on streaming services since the start of last year, when EMI was still a part owner of the Hong Kong company, and its relationship with the search engine saw EMI step back from legal action being pursued by the other major record companies against the Chinese search outfit.

However, EMI says that, while Typhoon does continue to licence a "limited quantity of local EMI Cantonese recordings" to Baidu for streaming, the major itself is not participating in the new preview service. And given that EMI is no longer involved in signing any new local talent in the Chinese region, and that the new Baidu service previews new domestic artists, it does seem unlikely EMI would be involved.

As much previously reported, the other majors are suing Baidu over allegations its MP3 search facility infringes their copyrights by providing Chinese web users with easy access to illegal sources of music. Although initially unsuccessful in the case, a change in China's copyright rules means the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry is having a second go.

Meanwhile, IT website The Register has reported that there are servers full of unlicensed music that is only available via Baidu's MP3 search engine, servers that conveniently change their IP addresses whenever a copyright action is taken to try and stop illegal distribution. All in all, Baidu aren't very popular among the international record companies, which is presumably why EMI are keen to not be to closely linked to them.

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WAL-MART GETS ALL MAJORS DRM-FREE - STARTS PRICE WAR
US supermarket giant Wal-Mart has announced that it now has DRM-free MP3s from all four major record companies in its digital music store, bringing it in line with Amazon, which has been leading the way in legit MP3 provision in America (although Wal-Mart's catalogue is reportedly not as big as Amazon's).

With its DRM-free offer now fully in place, Wal-Mart seems to be planning to compete in the digital music market by cutting prices. The standard track price will be 94 cents, compared to 99 cents on iTunes and Amzon, while the Top 25 will be available for 74 cents each.

As previously reported, UK etailer Play.com recently announced it had all four majors on board for its DRM-free MP3 service and it too plans to compete on price, selling tracks for 70p (compared to standard 79p) and chart tracks for 65p.

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MTV LAUNCHES ON DEMAND VIDEO SERVICE
MTV has launched its own ad-supported on-demand video website, MTVmusic.com, albeit only in the UK. The site clearly aims to take on YouTube et al, who have become the starting point for many looking for music video online, despite MTV's heritage as the home of the pop promo. It is a very clean and seemingly easy-to-use site, with space for advertising but nothing overly complicated. And presumably the videos will be in a much better quality than those uploaded by punters to the likes of YouTube. Whether web surfing video hunters will be persuaded to go back to MTV for music vids, though, remains to be seen.

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EDGE INVEST IN THE MONKEY
Entertainment venture capital investment types Edge have announced they are backing an upcoming London run of Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett's previously reported opera type show 'Monkey - Journey To The West'. The money firm has invested a million into a new live promotion company Saravid Promotions, headed by Daniel Lycett, who are producing the Monkey show's 31 day O2 run, which opens on 8 Nov.

Confirming the investment, Edge Group founder David Glick told reporters: "Monkey is a truly spectacular show and a fantastic project with which to begin our relationship with Daniel and Saravid".

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MINISTRY RELAUNCH WEBSITE - MORE ETAIL
Ministry Of Sound has relaunched its main website to coincide with the release of this year's 'The Annual' compilation.

Confirming the new look site, which has lots of new fangled e-commerce built in, MoS's Head Of Internet & Innovation, Rudy Tambala, told reporters: "For too long we have allowed third party retailers to be the sole guardians of the relationships with our consumers. Today's relaunch of ministryofsound.com is central to our strategy to establish direct relationships with our customers whilst also having control over the price, promotion and fulfilment of our products and events".

He continued: "We've worked closely with the industry's most dynamic and experienced agencies [Trinity Street on back end, Delete on front end] to create a retail proposition which reflects our brands innovative approach, and we'll be looking to replicate this model for our other brands over the next 12 months".

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GLOBAL RADIO APPOINT NEW COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR
Global Radio has announced the appointment of Mike Gordon to the job of Group Commercial Director. Gordon joins the radio major from News International, and will report to another former newspaper man in his new job, former Mail On Sunday MD Stephen Miron, who has been appointed CEO of Global Radio.

Global Radio's founder and Group CEO, Ashley Tabor says this: "Mike brings a wealth of commercial experience across both the offline & online media markets, and is another significant signing for this company, completing our new Board structure. Mike's appointment further reinforces the calibre of talent now being attracted to commercial radio".

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UTV TO SELL TALK107
More radio news, and UTV has announced it plans to sell Edinburgh-based talk station talk107, possibly because it has dropped plans to launch a national service under the 'talk' brand on Channel 4's now defunct second national DAB network. Talk107 launched in the Scottish capital in February 2006, but recently changed its on air sound a little, from a "confrontational talkback approach" to "informed and entertainment-based debates".

Confirming the plan to sell the station, UTV Radio CEO Scott Taunton told reporters: "The sale of talk107 makes both strategic and commercial sense for UTV Radio. It will allow us to focus resources on our flagship national station TalkSport and our ILR music stations, which are based predominantly in the north-west of England and south Wales".

Taunton says that given that 15 companies applied for the Edinburgh FM licence back in 2004 that he expects lots of interest in talk107, despite these uncertain economic times and all that.

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OFCOM SEND WARNING TO KCR
More on Merseyside radio station KCR which, as previously reported, has dropped all its programmes and gone to back to back music since last weekend. It is still not clear why the station, which recently fell into new ownership, has suddenly gone all music. But media regulator OfCom has told Radio Today they are investigating as we speak. They told the radio website: "We are aware of the situation and have been in contact with the station. We have emphasised the need to return to compliance with their format as soon as possible and they have informed us they are making every effort to do so. We will continue to monitor the situation closely".

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ASTLEY RUMOURED TO BE PERFORMING AT MTV AWARDS
Rumour suggests that Rick Astley is set to perform at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Liverpool on 6 Nov. As previously reported, the singer has found himself nominated for Best Act Ever, after his eighties heyday hit 'Never Gonna Give You Up' sparked the 'rickrolling' phenomenon that swept the internet/US in the last year. I haven't seen any hard evidence that this is true, however, so don't hold your breath.

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CYPRESS HILL MAN ON CHINESE DEMOCRACY
So, what does Cypress Hill frontman B Real think about the new Guns N Roses album 'Chinese Democracy'? Well, he told the Sun: "It's Guns N' Roses only in the sense of the name, it's not them". So, now you know.

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EVERYONE IMPRESSED AT WENTZ'S 29 YEARS
Pete Wentz has revealed that his management company were convinced that the Fall Out Boy bassist would die at 27, just like Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain because he was taking so many drugs at the time.

Wentz said: "I spent most of the year I was 27 toxic, just completely over-medicated. I was stoked to make it past 27. Everyone was really worried. My management company were panicked, because I was out of the office, and 'pharmaceutically engaged'.

The band's Patrick Stump added "There was a countdown clock and everything. I remember, our manager called me up on Pete's 28th birthday and screamed, 'We made it!'"

As everyone knows, it's not possible to die after the age of 27.

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GIRLS ALOUD AREN'T BITCHES
Following on from Boyzone's guest musings in The Daily Star last week, Girls Aloud have had a crack at hard-hitting journalism in the paper this week.

Nicola and Sarah managed to put their heads together and come up with this: "People think cos we're five girls that we're a bunch of bitches and we're so not like that unless someone really pisses us off and then we stand together. No one ever says that about male bands... We're actually normal girls up for a laugh. Some people can get a bit carried away about getting into catfights and trying to get publicity. There's nothing attractive about being in a bitchfest".

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JONAS BROTHERS TO STAR IN A MOVIE THAT STINKS
It was bound to happen eventually. No squeaky clean celebrity can stay perfect forever. Eventually they all go off the edge and show their dark side. Well, now The Jonas Brothers have gone and done it. Yes, they've signed up to star in a very edgy sounding movie - 'Walter The Farting Dog'. Apparently it's a film about a dog that farts, which the boys have to look after when its owner dies. Sounds hilarious.

Director Peter Farrelly says: "By the time they've driven the dog home, everybody's head is out the window of the family station wagon but Frankie [younger brother of the three in the band], and only because he has a serious sinus problem and doesn't notice the stench coming from Walter".

Nurse, my sides.

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