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Top Stories
More Zavvi stores go
Amanda Palmer video banned for having a point
Axl, happy with Best Buy, less so with Interscope
In The Pop Courts
Lutfi not suing Britney to pay debts, OK?
Satriani's people to bug Coldplay at Grammys
Fiddy's ex's earnings claim thrown out of court
In The Pop Hospital
Official Secrets Act drummer in road accident
Reunions & Splits
Blink 182 to reunite for Grammys
Borland will not rejoin Limp Bizkit
In The Studio
Ronson to work with Robbie again
Gigs N Tours News
BB King to return to UK
Festival News
PJ Harvey to headline Camp Bestival
Metallica and Linkin Park to headline Knebworth
Single review: Wavves - So Bored (Young Turks)
The Music Business
City types pleased with Warner financials despite falling revenues
Greenwald gets chairman title at Atlantic US
Decca not closing, though more mainstream artists go to UCJ
Viagogo secures new investment
The Digital Business
U-Myx relaunches as GoMix
The Media Business
PRS back Sky series celebrating song writers
BBC needs to do more to cut OTT presenter costs
Absolute Radio go backwards for film release
And finally...
Etta's not impressed that Beyonce stole her song
Fitness mag didn't drop curvy Simpson from cover
Cramps man's previous death experience
CMU Daily Archives
Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
Advertise with CMU
French folk-poppers Herman Dune formed as a trio in 1999, although frontman David-Ivar Herman Düne is the only remaining member from that line-up. Now a duo, they released their ninth album, 'Next Year In Zion' last year to much acclaim. The band perform at the Owl Parliament All-Dayer at the Union Chapel in London on 21 Feb, alongside Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn, Peggy Sue, Mechanical Bride, Planet Earth, We Aeronauts, and Stars Of Sunday League. They also release a new single, 'Try To Think About Me', on 3 Mar. We caught up with David-Ivar to ask those Same Six Questions.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
My Parents are both music lovers and I grew up with a piano and a guitar in the house. I started playing the guitar every day when I was six. My parents also liked singing songs a lot, and they taught me a lot of Bob Dylan, Harry Belafonte, and Beatles songs when I was very young. We used to sing them whenever they had friends over. I remember these first kind of performances, it was a lot of fun.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
Our latest single is, as many of my songs, inspired by words and relationship... I remember the "trigger-word" was Providence, Rhode Island, and the trigger-feeling was missing my girlfriend.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Creating a track often starts at night for me. I wake up with a word stuck in my head, then sit at my desk, and write for the rest of the night. I then have to wait until morning to record the track. Then I bring it or send it to the band when it's time to go to a studio, and there, in the studio, we find the right groove and the right tempo for the song, and it's pretty much what it is.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Chuck Berry, Hank Williams, Groucho Marx, Bob Dylan, The Dixie Cups, Leonard Cohen, The Shangri-Las, The Beatles, Woody Allen, Otis Redding, The Velvet Underground, Woody Allen, Jonathan Richman, John Zorn.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I'd say "enjoy".

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
The album is done now. My artistic ambitions have been more fulfilled for this album than for any other album I've been involved in. Then, what the album will become is not in my hands, I hope it will be eventually get to an audience and that people will appreciate it.

MORE>> and

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: FWD at Plastic People
Possibly London's premiere grime night, the FWD team pit in for their Sunday session on Curtain Road, Shoreditch, showcasing a bit of d-step for the peeps in the know. Alongside regulars like Benga and Skream, this week you get Martyn with the 'Lengths' album launch plus Kode-9, D-Bridge and SP:MC with Spaceape. Plastic People is a venue known for its up for it crowd and proper buzzing sound system, and is truly one of the capital's finer small clubs, making this a definite must-go for anyone passionate or curious about this great London scene.

Sunday 8 Feb, Plastic People 147-149 Curtain Road, London EC1, 8.30pm-12.30am, £5 b4 10, £7 after, info at
ANDY'S CLUB TIP: Medicine Jar Music presents Exposé at the Old Blue Last
This new monthly showcase night at the Old Blue Last in Shoreditch, put together by Claire Coulton of One Little Indian's sister booking agency Medicine Jar Music, has rightly been gaining a lot of attention in the run up to its launch next Tuesday. With the simple aim of getting new music heard, the event is free for all. The first event will see live performances from Kill It Kid, Jonjo Feather and Radio Darling. In addition to this, attendees will be able to pick up a copy of an accompanying free fanzine, The Exposé Zine, which will include interviews with industry insiders, bands, venues, promoters and other people involved in music.

Tuesday 10 Feb, The Old Blue Last, Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, London, 8pm-12am, free, more at, press info from [email protected]




Leyline Promotions has two desk suites available in a well-appointed courtyard studio in Westbourne Studios, W10. Ideal for a small creative agency in a very friendly and professional environment. Rent includes: storage, broadband connections, business rates, insurance, 24 hr access, restaurant and bar, conference facilities, natural sunlight. 4 mins walk from Westbourne Park tube station. Call Adrian for more info on 07971 555 020 / [email protected]



Okay, so here we go again, branching away from musicians and into the land of the DJ. This week we have a tale of Mr Steve Lamacq. To be honest, we're feeling a little bit bad about publishing this one, what with Steve being an unflinching champion of new music. This is probably more an insight into what it's like to be a man with a recognisable face and the willingness to give little bands a chance at making it big. Sorry Steve.

Anyway, a reader writes: "A good ten years or so ago, a friend of mine was playing drums in one of those up-and-coming band things. At one gig of theirs that I went to, they were being supported by another such band, who went by the name of Idlewild. My friend spied Steve Lamaq standing by the stage early in the evening, and being the excitable sort, bounded up to him and said, 'Hi, Steve!" Lamacq turned, looked at him, and said, 'Fuck off, I'm here to see Idlewild'".

So, there you go. Have you ever been told to fuck off by a pop star, DJ, presenter, or other public face of the music industry? Send us your stories to [email protected]



And so Zavvi slowly disappears from existence. Administrators for the former Virgin Megastore announced yesterday that another 17 stores would close, bringing the total number of stores in the Zavvi chain down to just 31.

The latest stores to close are in Aberdeen, Blackpool, Camberley, Carlisle, Chester, Coventry, Denton, Derby, Harlow, Hemel Hempstead, Hereford, Loughborough, Sheffield (Meadowhall Centre), Shrewsbury, Swindon, Walton-on-Thames and York.

Confirming the latest closures, and updating reporters on the likely fate of the remaining 31 stores, joint administrator Tom Jack said yesterday: "We will continue to trade the remaining 31 UK stores and remain hopeful that a sale of some or all of these stores can be achieved. We are in detailed discussions with two interested parties and it is our intention to continue to trade all remaining UK stores with a view to their sale as a going concern".

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Several UK TV channels have refused to air the video for Dresden Dolls frontwoman Amanda Palmer's new solo single, 'Oasis', on the grounds that it "makes light of rape, religion and abortion". NME TV, Scuzz, Kerrang!, MTV, Q, The Box and a number of other stations reportedly placed a ban on the song, completely missing the point Palmer is trying to make with it.

Palmer wrote on her blog: "It isn't a simple issue, obviously. But the fundamentals seem clear to me. I sat down one day in or around 2002 and wrote a tongue-in-cheek, ironic up-tempo pop song. A song about a girl who got drunk, was date raped, and had an abortion. She sings about these things lightly and joyfully and says that she doesn't care that these things have happened to her because Oasis, (her favourite band) has sent her an autographed photo in the mail. And to make things even better (!!), her bitchy friend Melissa, who told the whole school about the abortion, is really jealous. If you cannot sense the irony in this song, you're about two intelligence points above a kumquat".

She goes on to suggest that perhaps the song would be better received if she played it in a minor key and cried while performing it, adding: "The song isn't even so much about those topics, it's about denial, it's about a girl who can't find it in herself to take her situation seriously. That girl exists, everywhere. You probably know her. You've probably met her. You might be her".

Read Amanda's full post here:

Watch the video for 'Oasis' here:

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While Bruce Springsteen says he kind of regrets doing an exclusivity deal with US supermarket giant Wal-Mart regarding the release of a recent hits package, Axl Rose says he has no regrets that he did a deal with US retailer Best Buy for the release of 'Chinese Democracy' last year, mainly because it ensured the album a certain amount of promotion without having too rely too much on the publicity teams at his record company, Universal's Interscope.

Rose, it seems, is predictably bitter about the way the Universal division handled the release of his long awaited comeback album, possibly because of the reports - possibly initiated by Interscope - that the reason 'Chinese Democracy' didn't score the level of US sales that some expected was because Axl refused to do any promotion and went AWOL around the album's release.

But in an unusually lengthy interview with Billboard, Rose hits back, saying the decision to not do excessive media promotion was a strategic one, with the band preferring to promote the album initially through the exposure delivered by the Best Buy tie-up, and subsequently through relentless touring.

He told the trade magazine: "The opinions expressed or 'jumped' on publicly regarding promotion seem to be [about] my or our involvement with mainstream media - talk shows, rock magazines and dot-coms - which have generally held negative public stances toward myself or the band for years, [and they] unfortunately have not been resolved. Efforts are being made to understand the relationships and evaluate how best to proceed. Our approach, for better or worse, has always been to work the record over the course of the following tour cycles, with attempts to forge new or better and hopefully redefined relationships with the different forms of media that may be interested along the way".

He continued: "In regard to our promotion, it was based around certain agreements with Universal, Interscope, our management and legal [teams] that unfortunately never happened. I won't get into specifics but am beginning to address some of those issues in my own way as opposed to 'working together', and we'll see how that plays out".

He proceeds to have a mini-rant about Interscope - in general and more specifically regarding their involvement in 'Chinese Democracy' - which you can read at the link below. Though, for those Universal UK people out there who worked on the album, he seems to be OK with you guys, because after saying: "I've asked for information regarding their role in working the record but that hasn't come yet so I'm not able to tell what Universal has or hasn't done. Though whoever's behind the international efforts, is doing great. It's more than appreciated and a welcome relief". So there you go, well done you guys. Now back to the ranting - here's the link...

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Britney Spears' former manager, that Sam Lufti fella, who, as previously reported, began defamation proceedings against the singer and her parents earlier this week, in particular related to a recent book penned by Spears' mother about her daughter, has denied he is taking legal action in a bid to simply raise cash to pay off some debts.

Following news Lutfi was suing the Spears family, some canny reporters discovered the former manager is facing foreclosure on his California home after allegedly defaulting on $12,000 in payments - hence the claims the defamation action was motivated by a need for cash. But Lutfi's lawyer said yesterday that the litigation was about principle, not money, adding that the debts on his client's Californian property were the result of an admin error rather than Lutfi being in dire straits.

Legal man Bryan Freedman told E!Online: "[These claims are] nonsense. The homeowners association misplaced two cheques. The cheques were paid. This is just more lies and misrepresentation about a guy who is a great caring human being".

The Spears family, of course, don't reckon Lutfi is a "great caring human being" at all, and continue to allege he drugged Britney in a bid to control her life and finances during her mental breakdown last year. And, according to The Sun, not only is Britney's father - who legally controls her affairs - planning on defending the defamation lawsuit, he's also looking into pressing criminal charges over the drugging allegations.

The relatively short-lived Britney/Lutfi relationship was always an interesting one, and one way or another we could get the whole affair analysed in detail in either the civil or criminal courts, or both. I suspect there's a studio in Hollywood considering bidding for the film rights to the affair as we speak.

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I'm not sure this is true, but it's a nice story. Well, for everyone but Coldplay. There are reports that Joe Satriani will present legal papers to Chris Martin directly at this weekend's Grammy Awards as part of his previously reported copyright infringement claim against the band. As previously reported, guitarist Satriani has accused Martin of nicking some of his instrumental song 'I Just Wanna Fly' for the title track of Coldplay's 2008 album 'Viva La Vida'. Martin says any similarities are a coincidence. In addition to rumours that Satriani himself will hand legal papers over to the band at the American music business' big night out, there are reports the guitarist's lawyer, Howard King, has hired legal hands to "dog the band" throughout the awards show.

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A New York judge has thrown out the $50 million lawsuit brought against 50 Cent by his ex-girlfriend and babymother Shaniqua Tompkins.

As previously reported, there is no love lost between Fiddy and Tompkins. When the Long Island home that he owns and where she and their son lived burned down she accused her ex of arson and of trying to kill her, and sought a restraining order against him. He's sued her for defamation.

But this lawsuit related to claims made by Tompkins that her ex had made a verbal agreement with her when they were a couple that he'd give her half of everything he earned ever, which is how she'd managed to work out he owed her $50 million. But the New York judge hearing the case wasn't impressed with her claim.

Fiddy's lawyer told reporters: "Ms Tompkins's claims pertaining to a $50 million verbal contract were entirely frivolous. In dismissing the case before trial, the court is sending a clear message. This is a complete and total victory for 50".

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The drummer in hotly-tipped new band Official Secrets Act, Alex MacKenzie, was hit by not one but two cars in a road accident earlier this week, according to the band's label One Little Indian. Knocked off his bike by the first car, he was hit again by the second before he landed. Luckily he escaped with no broken bones and is expected to make a full recovery.

The band are currently supporting The Rakes, and the rest of the band will play the remaining dates on the tour, which ends on Sunday, without MacKenzie. However, doctors are apparently confident that he will be able to rejoin them for their upcoming European tour.

Official Secrets Act's second single 'The Girl From The BBC' is set for release on 16 Mar, with their debut album, 'Understanding Electricity', following on 30 Mar.

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Hmm, sorry Blink 182 fans, I may have made that headline sound a little too exciting. Unless you like seeing the three members of the band standing next to each other more than you like hearing them play. Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge and Travis Barker will share a stage for the first time since December 2004 when they present an award at the Grammys on Sunday night. It's not thought that they plan to do anything else (you know, like perform). Buy, hey, maybe this is the next step towards a proper reunion. As previously reported, the trio met up to mend their frosty relationship following Barker's plane crash last year.

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Wes Borland has said that he has no plans to rejoin the other members of his former band Limp Bizkit, who, as previously reported, are currently working on new material. The guitarist has split acrimoniously from the band not once but twice, first in 2001 and then again in 2004, after a brief reunion. He said that he is now enjoying working with his new band, Black Light Burns, too much to return to the Bizkit, and also took the opportunity to have a sly dig at Fred Durst's frontman abilities.

Borland told "I have no plans on working with Limp again. It's better for me, for sure. I'm having a great time doing [Black Light Burns]. I can write a song and know what it's about and tailor the music about the intensity of the vocals. It all makes sense together, instead of random lyrics on top of music that sounds cool. It makes more sense".

Black Light Burns recently released an album of covers, of which Borland said: "It was probably the most fun I've ever had making a record before. The hard part was done. The songs were written. So it was just having our take on the songs, having our way with the songs and having fun with it. Some of them are more similar to the original. We didn't change that much. And some of them are way different and those were the most fun - adding new parts and taking parts out and try to change them so it would sound like we wrote them, in a way".

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Mark Ronson has confirmed that he is set to go back into the studio with Robbie Williams to work on a song originally intended for the singer's 2006 album, 'Rudebox'.

Ronson told 6music: "That is a track I gave Robbie about two or three years ago when we were working on his last album. He was always fascinated with it so it's not really a new thing. I am planning to go out to LA so we can finish it together".

Williams is also thought to have enlisted his former songwriting partner Guy Chambers, from whom he split fairly acrimoniously in 2002, to work on the album, which is pencilled in for release at the end of this year.

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The legend that is BB King will return to the UK to play four arena dates later this year, despite him definitely saying he wouldn't tour outside the US again back in 2006. The dates are as follows, press type info from Noble PR.

24 Jun: Manchester MEN Arena
25 Jun: Birmingham NIA Arena
27 Jun: Cardiff CIA
28 Jun: London Wembley Arena

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PJ Harvey will headline Camp Bestival this year. I know this because Peggy from 'Hi-De-Hi' just told me. Mercury Rev, Bon Iver, Roots Manuva, Candi Staton, Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip, The Cuban Brothers, Wild Beasts and Ebony Bones will all also appear at the second year of the Bestival spin off, which will take place at Lulworth Castle again, this time from 24-26 Jul.

If you want to hear the line up direct from Su 'Peggy' Pollard yourself, go check the Camp Bestival website at

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Top marks to Thrash Hits for their in-pub eavesdropping abilities this week. According to the website, Metallica and Linkin Park are set to headline a new two day festival at Knebworth this July, which will also tour around several other European cities. Also rumoured to be on the bill are Nine Inch Nails, The Prodigy, Slipknot, Machine Head, Mastodon, and Lamb Of God. An official announcement is apparently due to happen at 10am on Monday but - pffft - who cares? We already know everything we need to know.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Wavves - So Bored (Young Turks)
Wavves new song 'So Bored' doesn't completely convince me. It sounds like a Big Muff fuzz-tone melodic counterpart to The Cure's 'Boys Don't Cry' and Beat Happening's 'Teenage Caveman'. These slightly surfish and noise-pop influences usually appeal to me, and the gaggle of youngsters arriving on these shores from America clutching Azzerad's 'Our Band Will Save Your Life' and some SST records are refreshing. I should like it, and I don't know why I'm not completely taken. Possibly because it's just not as good as the latest offerings from similar bands like Times New Viking and The Vivian Girls. So I do kind of know. B-side 'How Are You?' is a stoned and depressed strum along of loss. However, it is about as sonically nourishing as gruel in comparison to its contemporaries, mentioned above, and its ancestry, which would be Pavement via The Beach Boys and 60s proto-punk lead guitar reverb shards. It's okay, but a little too slow off the mark. PG

Buy from iTunes
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Oh dear, I had a late night experiencing the awesome new live show from the mighty Losers at The Playground @ Proud Camden, and now I've got to work out what's going on with Warner Music's latest quarterly financial report. This will end in tears, I'm sure.

The major label's top man, Edgar Bronfman Jr, seemed upbeat, though I'm assuming his admission of having to face "difficult economic conditions and tough prior-year comparisons" mean it's not all good news. But he told investors: "We executed on our strategy and remain confident in achieving our long-term goals. We continue to develop new music business solutions and maintain our digital leadership position, while managing costs, gaining share and delivering strong returns on A&R investments".

So, what have we got? Well, in the first quarter of the current financial year revenues were down year on year 11.2% to $878 million, though the scale of the slide can be reduced a little when you take currency fluctuations into account, and consider that US sales in the same quarter in 2008 were above average thanks to Josh Groban's hit album 'Noel' shifting 4 million units. Digital revenues were up in the last three months, obviously, though the growth of digital is slowing. They now account for about 19.5% of Warner's overall sales.

But what about profits? Well, based on operating income they would have made a loss, though less than many city types expected. And when you take into account the sale of the major's stake in Front Line Management to Ticketmaster they go into profit, which is more than can be said than this time last year. All of which means, despite the various declines in revenues and overall losses in terms of actual operations, investment types responded well to Warner's report and therefore probably shared Bronfman's optimism. Certainly the major's share price went up 9%, which is nice.

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Elsewhere at Warner Music, Julie Greenwald has been promoted - in job title at least - to become the Co-Chairman and COO of its Atlantic US division. The move means the division's CEO, Craig Kallman, who also has the Chairman job title, will become Co-Chairman. Though he has previously said he sees the management of Atlantic as a partnership between him and Greenwald, so I'm assuming he won't mind.

Confirming the rejig, Warner Music boss Lyor Cohen said this: "With Craig's brilliant A&R vision and tireless entrepreneurial spirit and Julie's thoughtful, cutting-edge approach to artist development, we are fortunate to have one of the pre-eminent executive teams in today's music business. Now, if you'll excuse me, the stock's in the toilet and I've got another earnings report to spin".

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Universal Music is not planning on closing classical label Decca, so will you all stop saying that they're gonna? Rumours about the future of the eighty-year old label seemingly began because Universal is planning on shifting 'classical-crossover' artists signed to it over to its other UK-based classical division UCJ. It's not yet clear which artists will be affected, but some speculated that the move was a first step towards closing down the Decca division.

But Universal issued this statement yesterday: "Decca remains active as a label in the UK, signing and recording artists, with its London office continuing as a creative centre. Decca's classical crossover and other signings will be assigned to UCJ, the UK's longstanding No. 1 classical label. UCJ took 55% of the UK classical market in 2008, with 7 of the top 10 classical albums. Decca Label Group in the US is unaffected by this realignment".

While it's pretty easy to guess from Decca's roster of classical performers who will be heading to UCJ because of their 'crossover' appeal, it will be interesting to see what happens to those Decca signed artists who aren't classical at all, including Morrissey and Donny Osmond.

Meanwhile, some cynics are sure to say Universal's decision to move Decca's more bankable mainstream acts to UCJ is a way of reducing the division's easy revenues, so it can be shuttered on financial grounds at some point in the future. But there's no room for such cynicism round here thank you very much.

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Secondary ticketing website Viagogo has secured another $15 million in funding, which I think proves the online ticket touting phenomenon continues to grow, and is probably here to stay - assuming, as I am, that there are fewer rich people throwing money at nonsense these days. Then again, among the new investors are former tennis stars Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, and I don't know how shrewd they are when it comes to the world of investment.

Anyway, whatever, here's a quote from Viagogo boss Eric Baker and then some words from his new celebrity backers. Baker told CMU: "This new funding further cements our position as Europe's leading secondary ticketing company, and is a huge endorsement of our future plans and aspirations. This capital will allow us to accelerate the growth of our business, as we continue to expand and innovate".

Andre Agassi, meanwhile, phoned in to CMU HQ to tell us: "I am very impressed with Viagogo's experienced management team and I look forward to working with them to help build upon their success. I am happy to share my relationships in sports and my experience in the industry to help Viagogo achieve new growth".

Steffi Graf was waiting outside the office when we got in this morning, keen to let us know that: "Viagogo's growth throughout Europe is very impressive and I am happy to support its efforts. It is especially meaningful for me to get involved with a business that is filling a need in the European marketplace".

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U-Myx, the bit of software that enables novices to remix songs, and which was embedded on a number of CD releases a couple of years back so fans could rework tracks, has been developed and relaunched as GoMix, with new functionality designed to take the remixing tool to the world of social networking. Or something like that.

I'll let the company's founder, Olly Barnes, explain: "Our decision to reposition ourselves as GoMix is about establishing a new environment and revenue model for an acclaimed and recognised product, which in turn will enable us to generate significant revenue for rights owners and artists without compromising either artistic integrity or existing sales. We have proved on numerous occasions that integrating GoMix enabled music into existing artist marketing campaigns can have a very positive effect on sales and believe that by developing applications that enhance the social media experience we can play a major part in the way music is marketed and consumed online".

You can see the revamped tool in action on the Noisettes MySpace -

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Sky Arts is teaming up with publishing royalty body PRS For Music to produce a second series of the Songbook programme that celebrates the work of different song writers. The next series will discuss the art of songwriting with Jarvis Cocker, Albert Hammond, Donovan, Ian Broudie, Bernard Sumner, Duran Duran and, for reasons that escape me, The Feeling.

Confirming their support for the new series, PRS boss Steve Porter said this: "Although the singer often takes the limelight it is the writer at the heart of every great song. Songbook profiles some of the best of these, the men and women [though mainly men] behind the songs that have shaped the UK music scene and done so much to place music at the heart of our cultural life. PRS for Music represents 60,000 creators and we hope that this series will help educate and inspire the creators of tomorrow's music".

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With the commercial radio sector increasingly bunging junior presenters fifty quid for a three hour show, it's going to become harder and harder for the BBC to continue throwing thousands a month at its presenters. And to prove that point, a National Audit Office report, commissioned by BBC regulator the BBC Trust, says the Beeb is spending "significantly" more on presenters than any radio station in the commercial sector. 79% of drive time show budgets and 77% of breakfast show costs went on presenters, which is considerable when you consider the relatively high music royalties the bigger BBC stations have to pay (Radio 4 and 5 excluded, obviously).

The report, which follows that recent confirmation by BBC bosses that it would look to reduce the fees it pays presenters when their contracts come up for renewal, noted that the Corporation was already committed to cutting the costs of its radio programmes, and had already made £11.7 million in savings, beating a target of £11.6 million. However, it said the Beeb should be more aware of what is being achieved in terms of cost savings in the commercial sector, and apply that to its own radio operations.

BBC Radio boss Tim Davie said this: "I welcome this report and am pleased it recognises the £86m we are already committed to saving. However, there are clearly opportunities to do more and I am determined to increase efficiency while maintaining the unparalleled quality of our programmes".

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Absolute Radio is running its programmes the wrong way round today, so the breakfast show will appear in drive time and vice versa, to mark the UK release of the new Brad Pitt movie 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button', in which Pitt's character is born in his eighties and ages backwards. So if you tune in, don't go getting confused.

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Etta James is not impressed that Beyonce Knowles, having portrayed her in the film 'Cadillac Records' (which was out in the US late last year and reaches cinemas here later this month), got to sing one of her signature songs at Obama's inauguration ball last month.

As previously reported, Beyonce sang 'At Last', which James first recorded in 1960 and which Knowles sings as Etta in the new movie, for Obama's first dance with his wife on inauguration day. The Prez proceeded to dance to other renditions of the song at nine other balls that night, apparently.

But James ain't thrilled that the former Destiny's Child girl has been grabbing the limelight with her song. Or at least that's what an audio clip circulating online seems to suggest. The clip seemingly features the 71 year old James chatting to her audience at a recent concert in Vancouver, and she says: "The great Beyonce ... I can't stand Beyonce. She has no business up there, singing up there on a big ol' president day, gonna be singing my song that I've been singing forever".

Neither James nor Knowles' people have commented on the clip.

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Following the news Us magazine had bumped Prez Obama off its cover to make way for a special report on Jessica Simpson putting on weight, there were reports yesterday that another American mag, Self, which is a fitness title, had dropped the actress/singer/budding country star off its cover because her curvier figure was in contrast to the mag's keep fit agenda.

But the magazine's editor has denied that is why Simpson is not on her magazine's cover as planned. Editor-in-chief Lucy Danziger told Access Hollywood: "Self would love for Jess to be on our cover. We've had discussions about it but we couldn't find a date... she's very busy".

Responding to media interest regarding her sister's weight gain, Jessica's pop star sibling Ashlee said she was "disgusted" by some of the headlines and comments published, adding they were "belittling to all women". And say what you like about the Simpson sisters, but she's surely right on that point.

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Cramps frontman Lux Interior, who sadly died this week aged 62, had already experienced what his death might be like in 1987, when rumours that he had died of a heroin overdose prompted fans to send wreaths to his wife and bandmate Poison Ivy.

Shortly afterwards, Lux told the LA Times: "At first, I thought it was kind of funny, but then it started to give me a creepy feeling. We sell a lot of records, but somehow just hearing that you've sold so many records doesn't hit you quite as much as when a lot of people call you up and are obviously really broken up because you've died".

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