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Top Stories
Chris Brown, Rihanna, police, milk, Malaysia and herpes
Live Nation and Ticketmaster bosses discuss merger
First ever producers awards tonight
Santigold from now on, okay?
TI makes amends by scaring teenagers
Awards & Contests
Springsteen found out about Grammy win in the newspaper
West apologises for MTV award rants
Charts, Stats & Polls
Minogue and Williams are ideal valentines
Reunions & Splits
Original Limp Bizkit line-up reforms
Release News
JJ Cale to release new solo album
FatCat announce super-deluxe vinyl series
New Ray Charles compilation
Grandaddy man to release solo album
Gigs N Tours News
The Black Lips announce UK tour dates
Acts line up for Teenage Cancer Trust gig
Festival News
ATP announce latest confirmations
Single review: Tilly And The Wall - Pot Kettle Black (Moshi Moshi)
The Music Business
Woolies administrators taking bid for EUK CD stock
E1/Koch begin strategic review
B&H announce partnership with video game music specialists
The Digital Business
Warner provide some Qtrax
And finally...
Ryan Adams engaged to Mandy Moore
Lady GaGa on health and safety risks
Phoenix insists that career change is for good
Boy George writing prison song for Robbie
Doherty's taxi blood money
CMU Daily Archives
Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
Advertise with CMU
The dø, aka Paris-based duo Dan Levy and Olivia Merilahti, met while working on a soundtrack. At that time, Dan had never played bass outside a studio and Olivia had never picked up an electric guitar. With both of these issues quickly remedied, the band have already achieved massive success in France, with their debut album, 'A Mouthful', becoming the first album by a French artist sung completely in English ever to top the album charts in the country. Their debut UK single, 'On My Shoulder', is released on Monday and begins their attempts to match their success at home over here. The album release and tour dates are set to make their way to the UK later this year. In the meantime, we asked both Dan and Olivia the Same Six Questions.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
Olivia: Playing piano and guitar from an early age, singing in local bands in my teens, composing for a soundtrack and meeting Dan.
Dan: Playing saxophone from an early age, composing for theatre in my teens, composing for soundtracks and meeting Olivia.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
Olivia: It's a song about abandonment and devotion. I am quite interested in people's ability to let go of everything for one person, or for religion, or art...

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Dan: Usually, we write the core of the songs together, but then Olivia writes the lyrics on her own and I manage the arrangement. Then we polish the song together.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Olivia: Beck, Ella Fitzgerald, Bjork, Pj Harvey, Alicia Keys, WuTang Clan, Thelonious Monk.
Dan: Coltrane, Bela Bartok, James Brown, Frank Zappa, Radiohead

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Both: Enjoy!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single and for the future?
Both: We hope it gives people the emotion that will make them want to hear some more.

Having been pretty lax this week, not really finishing anything, or just not even starting, New Orleans bluesman/accordion master Sunpie Barnes is fitting in quite well on the end of the week playlist, his music being just about the most enjoyable mash of styles you'll hear without having to actually think about what you're listening to. Yet, being forced to think somewhat for this SNAP, Sunpie jams his accordion with Afro Caribbean rhythms and tropical funk throughout the streaming tracks, switching between tribal chant on 'Long Temps Passe' and a street party, carnival-esque feel on 'Lah Lah Song'. There's a hefty slice of the unusual to the whole affair, but it'll still appeal to those more traditional blues fans that find the above description a little bit, well, scary.
Small, friendly indie pop label seeks amiable, charming PR to close campaigns. Passion for our music presides over experience. 8/15 hr P/W flexible home or office. Pay dependent on experience.

Label, publisher and management company with international success and rapidly expanding roster in indie pop / alt-country genres seeks bright spark with a thirst for knowledge. Hours to suit min’ 16 p/w.

Contact [email protected] for both roles.
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, we've been wading through all the rumour and speculation about what went on between Chris Brown and Rihanna on Saturday night/Sunday morning so you don't have to. Well, I say you don't have to, it took quite a while to compile this update, so it would be nice if you read it.

As previously reported, Chris Brown was arrested at the weekend after he allegedly beat up his girlfriend, Rihanna, in the early hours of Sunday morning after a pre-Grammy party. Reports claim that the couple had been seen arguing earlier in the evening and that the argument continued as Brown drove them home from the party. At some point they both got out of the car and Brown attacked Rihanna, leaving her with injuries including a split lip and bite marks on her arm and hand. Brown was charged with making a criminal threat and released on Sunday after posting $50,000 bail.

According to a source who spoke to E! News, Rihanna is now cooperating with police, who have been asked by the District Attorney to expand their investigation into the incident after their initial report on the matter, delivered to the DA on Tuesday, wasn't deemed sufficient enough to make a decision on charges. The source claims that the singer told police that Brown had pulled over his silver Lambourghini in LA's Hancock Park area, at which point she had grabbed the keys from the ignition and threw them out of the window. This act sent Brown into a rage and he allegedly grabbed Rihanna by the neck and shouted "I'm going to kill you". She says that she lost consciousness during the subsequent beating and that when she awoke, Brown had fled the scene.

Rumours pertaining to the cause of the argument have, of course, been spreading like wildfire on the internet. Some sources claim that Brown wanted to end the relationship but Rihanna didn't, others have alleged that Rihanna had given Brown herpes, which, other gossipers say, she had in turn caught from Jay-Z. Meanwhile, other gossip sites say it was Rihanna's jealousy that caused the falling out - though there are differing reports as to what made the singer jealous, some say it was a "booty call SMS" Brown received from another woman, while others suggest she wasn't happy with her other half flirting with good old Leona Lewis at a pre-Grammys bash.

Stirring further, have posted what they claim to be a screengrab of Brown's personal Facebook profile, which shows him in an embrace with a mystery woman and features the status update "Christopher Maurice Brown thinks you'll begin to see her true colors. Believe it!" Although this is one of around 70 profiles claiming to belong to Brown, so I'm not sure there's much need to take any notice of it, or this paragraph.

With neither superstar making any further announcements on the affair, and with the police and DA's office commenting only on the logistics of their investigation, it was family members of Brown and Rihanna that the media began to rely on.

Rihanna's grandmother, Clara Brathwaite, played down the scale of her granddaughter's injuries, and denied she'd suffered a broken nose during the altercation. Brathwaite: "I don't want people to worry. Rihanna is fine and she is doing well".

For Brown, it was a former stepfather, Donnelle Hawkins, getting his voice heard, though the R&B star would probably have preferred it if he hadn't. Asked if he believed reports of Brown's violence towards Rihanna, he said simply "I wouldn't be surprised". Hawkins probably felt the need to make a statement because various news media pondering over the incident have referenced a 2007 interview between Brown and GIANT magazine in which he claimed his former stepfather abused his mother. Hawkins, of course, denies those allegations. He told "There was a lot of arguing between his mom and I. I never raised a hand at his mom. We argued frequently... As far as physical abuse, there was no physical abuse".

And so ends our summary of the idle speculation into the Rihanna/Brown affair. If you want hard facts, then we can give you some of those in regards to the commercial impact of the incident. First, Rihanna has now cancelled those planned performances in Malaysia and Jakarta next week, with the promoter for the latter citing "an assault case involving Rihanna's boyfriend" as the reason for the cancellation in a statement.

Meanwhile, Brown continues to have things cancelled by companies he is associated with. Following the news that he was being dropped from a Wrigleys chewing gum ad campaign, he has now been dropped from one of those US 'Got Milk?' adverts. A statement from the Dairy Council reads: "[We are] taking the allegations against Chris Brown very seriously. We are very proud and protective of the image of the 'Milk Moustache' campaign and the responsible message it sends to teens. Mr Brown's ad is scheduled to end this week".

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The respective chiefs of Ticketmaster and Live Nation yesterday spoke to Billboard about their proposed merger, which was confirmed on Tuesday of course. Coming as the US Department Of Justice confirmed it would review the merger with regard to the country's competition laws, both Irving Azoff and Michael Rapino were keen to stress that the plan to join the two companies was a "marketing decision" rather than an attempt to eliminate all serious competition in the live music and especially the ticketing sectors.

Azoff: "There's a bunch of other ticketing companies out there already, and as technology has changed it's really easy to get into the ticketing business. I think my 11 year old could come up with a system to sell a few tickets here and there. This [merger] is a marketing decision".

The two execs were equally keen to reassure the artist community that bringing Ticketmaster's Front Line Management agency and Live Nation's tour promotion division under one corporate umbrella won't make it impossible to truly represent an artist's best interests - ie screw as much money as possible out of the promoter - even though the promoter may now be working for the same company.

Azoff, who will head up the combined company's artist management division (which is basically the Front Line agency he co-founded and merged into the Ticketmaster empire last year), told the trade mag: "We run a very decentralised operation [at Front Line], our managers make those decisions with their artists, the artist has the final decision. And every artist has an individual manager at Front Line, plus their agent, plus their business manager, plus their lawyer. It's a collaborative process. I would think that [the tour promoters within] Live Nation will probably have to bid harder than they did before".

Rapino, meanwhile, took questions about what the merger meant for Live Nation Ticketing, the new division and e-commerce platform into which the live music firm has invested considerable amounts, and which only launched at the start of the year, after the company ended its longterm ticketing relationship with Ticketmaster. Rapino didn't agree that that investment was a waste given the merger, adding that his company's promoters will still want to enjoy the extra control over ticket selling and fan relationships that their new ticketing enterprise was designed to allow, and that in that respect the new ticketing platform will remain post-merger.

Rapino: "A promoter needs to be in the e-commerce ticketing business. The promoter's job is to buy a show and go and market and sell the tickets. In 2009, you can't be a [successful tour] marketing company if you outsource [ticketing]. All I've ever said for three years is if we're charged to be the greatest marketer and seller of concert tickets then we need to control that mechanism. We'll 100% continue to build on our ticketing platform and insure it's working and firing up some of the early learning curves".

A spokesman for the US Justice Department said they would "vigorously enforce antitrust laws" and therefore "thoroughly investigate" Live Nation and Ticketmaster's merger proposals. It seems unlikely the deal will be blocked, but opposition is mounting to it, and some are spinning it as a test of the Obama government's willingness to take on out-of-control corporates, so approval may not come overnight. To that end, the two companies have already hired the consultants who they hope will secure them approval sooner rather than later. Lobbying firm Public Strategies will represent Live Nation, while Ticketmaster have recruited former Congressman Mel Levine to represent their interests in political circles. The Washington office of financial PR giants Brunswick will handle the communications side of the deal, with one of their newer recruits - Hilary Rosen, former boss of the Recording Industry Association Of America - expected to lead the account.

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It is the first ever Music Producers' Guild Awards in London tonight, which is rather exciting. This new awards bash is designed to celebrate those all too often unsung heroes of the record industry, music producers, and among the awards to be presented are gongs for best engineer, mix engineer and mastering engineer, plus prizes for the best single, album and live release from a production point of view. The overall Producer Of The Year prize doubles up as a BRIT Award, meaning the recipient of that gong will not only get the adulation of the music production community tonight, but will also get a big cheer from the wider record industry at the BRIT Awards next Wednesday - Bernard Butler, Brian Eno and Steve Mac are all up for that award.

But we here at CMU are most excited about the Best Remixer category, not least because we are sponsoring it. CMU has been a champion of the remix community for years, of course, most notably through our partnership with the king of the remix, Xfm's Eddy Temple-Morris, creator and presenter of The Remix show. Every week CMU and Eddy team up to publish the Remix Update, a weekly guide to the world of the remix, finding and tipping the best indie remixes and quality dance tunes, and focusing in on all that is good in the world of the remixer. All of which means it was the Best Remixer category that seemed most logical for CMU to support at the first ever MPG Awards.

The awards kick off at 7pm at London's Café de Paris this evening. I think you might be able to get yourself a last minute ticket to the bash at

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The artist formerly known as Santogold has changed her name to Santigold. The singer songwriter, whose real name, as you may know, is Santi White, announced the name change in a press release which read: "Santogold is now Santigold. She's not telling you why, that's just how it is. No unpronounceable symbol, no numbers where they shouldn't be, no random capitalization, just plain ass Santigold so remember that".

As you can see, there's no explanation as to why the change has taken place. It's possible that it has something to do with the fact that one Santo Rigatuso of Baltimore last year filed a suit against the singer, suing her for using the name Santogold, which he says he's been using since 1983.

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I'm not sure if this is some kind of community service, or, given its title, 'TI's Road To Redemption', perhaps he's looking to make amends with some higher authority than the US criminal justice system, but either way, rap star TI is filling the time between now and his upcoming prison sentence trying to scare misbehaving youngsters onto the right side of the law, which seems like a worthy pastime to me. Even if it does involve showing a teenage drug dealer a dead body on TV.

TI, who, as much previously reported, is due to serve one year in jail after pleading guilty to possessing various illegal firearms, is making the 'Road To Redemption' series for MTV. In the first episode he meets 18 year old drug dealer Pee Wee from his home town of Atlanta, and then tries his best to persuade the teen to stop his illegal ways. In a bid to do this he locks Pee Wee in a police cell for a day and then takes him to the facility's morgue to see the body of another teenager, who I am assuming was killed in some kind of drugs related crime. TI tells the teen: "This is the last stop for a hustler, baby".

No word on whether the show will air over here. Presumably TI has a whole series already in the bag, given the aforementioned prison sentence begins next month.

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I'm not sure I believe this, but Bruce Springsteen has been quoted as saying he didn't know he was nominated for Best Rock Song at last week's Grammys until he read that he'd won the prize in a newspaper on Monday. The Boss won the prize for the second year running with his single 'Girls In Their Summer Clothes'. He told reporters yesterday: "I didn't even know I was up for a Grammy! I opened the newspaper on Monday and saw that I had won, and thought, 'Well, that's great!'"

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From those who didn't expect to win but did, to those that thought they should but didn't. Kanye West has apologised to MTV for his behaviour at the 2007 MTV VMAs, when he had a backstage hissy fit because he hadn't won anything for the second year running. At the time he accused the music channel of disrespecting him and threatened to have nothing more to do with the TV company. He also suggested that producers had chosen to start the show with Britney rather than him because they were racist, remarking "maybe my skin's not right".

But speaking to Ryan Seacrest this week (presumably in the same interview as the one where he commented on the Rihanna situation), West said he was now ashamed of his "spazz out" at the 2007 MTV awards bash. He added: "That was completely immature and disrespectful and non-appreciative of what MTV did for me; MTV made me. I should never do anything to disrespect that... I sincerely apologise for that and I've grown from that".

I'm not sure whether that apology also applies to the 2007 EMAs where West crashed the stage when Justice won the Best Video prize that he thought should have been his, though he did tell Seacrest that he's keen to change his general reputation for arrogance. He continued: "I'm embarrassed by some of the things I say. It's one thing to be confident, it's another thing to just be completely a spoiled brat. I was really spoiled because my first album got the most nominations ever, I was performing at the Grammys out of the blue... As soon as I hit the game, I hit the ground running; I had respect, I had accolades, I had record sales. It's time for the honesty to cut through and to grow up and be a man".

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A new survey from PRS for Music has revealed that the singer-songwriters people would be most interested in dating on Valentines Day are Kylie Minogue and Robbie Williams. Not at the same time, though, obviously. Other datable females include Katy Perry and Duffy included, whilst the likes of Justin Timberlake also appear on the man list.

A second poll revealed the tracks the nation likes to make love to, and they're absolutely predictable. As you might expect, the likes of Barry White, James Blunt and Marvin Gaye are on there, though Kings Of Leon are on there too, which is possibly slightly less predictable.

PRS For Music chairman Ellis Rich says: "Choosing music for your liaison requires careful thought to tempo, melody and volume, they can all play a part. Too fast can sometimes be risky, too slow can induce sleep and boredom. A great track can be distracting (which could be helpful), but too much volume could drown out those whispers of love. For myself, I found that either 'Fire Brigade' by The Move or Benny Hill's 'Ernie', both played very loudly, does the trick."

I'd nominate Star Trekkin by The Firm. It's a track I also intend to have played at my funeral. Incidentally, do people have the chosen song on repeat, or just play it the once? Maybe they make a sex-hits mix tape. Or maybe they only last one song? Singles are usually about three minutes long, after all.

I'm going to stop thinking about this now.

Here's the full list.

1. Marvin Gaye - Sexual Healing
2. Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On
3. Lionel Ritchie - Three Times a Lady
4. Barry White - You're My First, My Last, My Everthing
5. James Blunt - You're Beautiful
6. Chris de Burgh - Lady In Red
7. Aerosmith - Don't Wanna Miss A Thing
8. Kings of Leon - Sex On Fire
9. Celine Dion - My Heart Will Go On
10. Barry White - Can't Get Enough Of Your Love Babe

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As previously reported, the original line-up of Limp Bizkit have been working together on new material, minus guitarist Wes Borland, since last year. There had been speculation over who would play guitar on the new album, but you could be pretty damn sure it wouldn't be Borland. Just last week he told "I have no plans on working with Limp again. It's better for me, for sure".

So you might be surprised to learn that Wes Borland is back with Limp Bizkit. He will join the rest of the original line-up of the band, Fred Durst, Sam Rivers, John Otto, and DJ Lethal, for a world tour, kicking off in May, and the new album, the release date of which is still to be confirmed.

In a joint statement, Borland and Durst said: "We decided we were more disgusted and bored with the state of heavy popular music than we were with each other. Regardless of where our separate paths have taken us, we recognise there is a powerful and unique energy with this particular group of people we have not found anywhere else. This is why Limp Bizkit is back".

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Recorder of CMU's favourite version of 'Hallelujah', JJ Cale, is set to release his first solo album for nearly five years next month. 'Roll On' will be released on 9 Mar via Because Music.

Eric Clapton just popped his head round the door to say this about Cale: "He's a superior musician. One of the masters".

You can here snippets of 'Roll On' here:

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Yeah, all that digital music's all well and good, but there's something about a nicely packaged piece of physical media that still draws me in every time. And FatCat's new DMM vinyl series sounds pretty nice, indeed. The label will be re-releasing albums by Sigur Rós, Animal Collective, Múm, Max Richter and No Age on 180g DMM vinyl, all remastered at Abbey Road Studios and housed in new deluxe packaging.

The series opens with the release of Sigur Rós' 'Agaetis Bryjun' and '( )' albums on 30 Mar, and will be followed by Animal Collective's 'Sung Tongs', 'Feels', 'Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished' and 'Danse Manatee', Múm's 'Finally We Are No One, Max Richter's 'Songs From Before', No Age's 'Weirdo Rippers', and Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and Sigur Rós' 'Angels Of The Universe.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, DMM stands for Direct Metal Mastering, a process where by the master copy of each record is cut straight onto copper, utilising a high frequency specialised carrier system, eradicating groove wall bounce-back, preserving original modulation details in the groove and improving overall stability and depth-of-field in stereo, as well as reducing groove print-through sounds. But everyone knows that, obviously.

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A new Ray Charles compilation is to be released as part of Concord Records' programme of reissues of the late legend's work. The 21-song anthology, 'Ray Charles - Genius: The Ultimate Ray Charles Collection', includes remastered versions of tracks like 'I Got a Woman', 'Busted', 'Georgia on My Mind', 'Hit the Road Jack' and 'I Can't Stop Loving You', and is out in the US on 7 Apr (not sure about UK release).

Preceding that on 30 Mar, is the publication of a very expensive coffee table book ($340, which is about £239) featuring rare photos and essays by music names like Willie Nelson, Tom Waits, Stevie Wonder and Quincy Jones. A DVD featuring footage of Charles performing with Johnny Cash, Nelson, Barbra Streisand and Aretha Franklin is included with the book, royalties from which will be donated to The Ray Charles Robinson Foundation.

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Former Grandaddy frontman Jason Lytle is to release a long awaited solo album later this year. 'Yours Truly, The Commuter' will be out on 18 May via Anti Records. Here's the tracklisting:

Yours Truly, The Commuter
Brand New Sun
Ghost Of My Old Dog
I Am Lost (And The Moment Cannot Last)
Birds Encouraged Him
It's The Weekend
Fürget It
This Song Is The Mute Button
Rollin' Home Alone
You're Too Gone
Flying Thru Canyons
Here For Good

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The Black Lips will be in the UK for some tour dates next week, which you can expect to be raucous, dangerous and possibly even illegal. As previously reported, the band were recently thrown out of India for their on-stage behaviour - something which was documented by Watch the trailer for their documentary series following the band's brief escapades in the country here:

The gigs come ahead of the band's new album, '200 Million Thousand', which is set for release on 16 Mar via Vice Records. The first single from the album, 'Short Fuse', will be released on 9 Mar, but you can download it right now from here:

Tour dates:

15 Feb: Islington Academy, London
16 Feb: Fleece & Firkin, Bristol
17 Feb: ABC 2, Glasgow
18 Feb: Institute, Manchester
19 Feb: Audio, Brighton

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Stereophonics, Antony And The Johnsons and Kasabian are all set to appear at this year's series of Teenage Cancer Trust gigs at London's Royal Albert Hall. The series, organised by Roger Daltrey and now in its eighth year, will take place in late March, and tickets go on sale tomorrow.

Kasabian's Tom Meighan said: "We were inspired after meeting some of the teenagers with cancer at our gigs last year and it really made us want to do more for the charity".

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All Tomorrow's Parties have announced the latest confirmations for their two festival weekends at Butlins in Minehead in May.

For The Fans Strike Back on 8-10 May, the weekend where acts are partly chosen by ticket-holders, fans have decided that they'd like to see Errors, Parts & Labor and Jeffrey Lewis. Those three acts join previously confirmed acts such as M83 and Beirut.

The second weekend, taking place from 15-17 May, is being curated by The Breeders, and the latest additions include LA punk band X, and indie rockers Whispertown 2000. Also appearing at that event are the likes of Bon Iver, Foals, Gang Of Four and Teenage Fanclub.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Tilly And The Wall - Pot Kettle Black (Moshi Moshi)
Tilly And The Wall is more of a project than a band, really. The group comprises five songwriters who gathered together when they discovered that however powerful their music was individually, as a single unit they were a force to be reckoned with. Well, that and the fact that the big bad music world is rather lonely and a lot less fun on your own. Conor Oberst's Team Love label plucked them out of obscurity in Omaha to release two whole albums full to the brim with the joys and hopes gained from loves lost and won. 'Pot Kettle Black' is taken from their third long player, 'O'. On this track the Wall have been done wrong and boy, do they let us know about it in their signature commanding percussive shouty style of chorus. The thunderous drums beat a battle with the Karen O meets The Go! Team style vocals throughout 'Pot Kettle Black'. I don't know who won, but I liked it. MB
Release Date: 23 Feb
Press Contact: Create Spark [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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The administrator of Woolworths' now defunct CD and DVD distribution firm EUK is reportedly planning to auction off the contents of the firm's warehouses later this week, which includes an estimated 2.9 million CDs. According to the Cue Entertainment website, administrators Deloitte are already taking bids for the stock. Some worry any sale, which will presumably provide the buyer with millions of CDs at well below their normal wholesale value, will enable the buyer to sell CDs at vastly deflated prices, perhaps resulting in a mini-price war on the high street which could impact on other record sellers and the labels who are already facing losses because of EUK's collapse. Someone should tell Deloitte that when you have lots of spare CDs you need to get rid of you take them to Music Video Exchange on Berwick Street. Though you get a much better deal for exchange than cash, do you think Woolworth's creditors would except Music Exchange vouchers as repayment?

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The boss of Canadian music and entertainment company E1 Entertainment, which owns the better known Koch Entertainment group (which, as previously reported, is about to rebrand as E1 itself), has said he has launched a strategic review of the business as it faces a slump in revenues as record sales continue to slide across the North American markets.

The review is likely to lead to further downsizing (the Manhattan office of the Koch record label is already being shrunk and shifted to the Koch distribution facility on Long Island), though E1 boss Darren Throop says he doesn't anticipate selling or closing any of his company's divisions.

E1 have also dropped plans to list themselves on the Toronto Stock Exchange. They will, instead, continue to be listed on London's Alternative Investment Market, where they listed themselves two years ago after originally leaving Toronto's share markets.

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Classical music publishers Boosey & Hawkes who, as previously reported, have been branching out into new genres as it expands its sync rights and brand partnerships business, has announced a deal with Platinum Sound Publishing, who specialise in curating soundtracks for video games. The deal will see Platinum represent some of B&H's catalogue, on a non-exclusive basis, in the video games sector and will, presumably therefore, mean more sync deals for B&H's clients in the gaming domain.

Natasha Baldwin, Head of Consultancy at Boosey & Hawkes, told CMU: "We see computer gaming as a huge growth area for our sync business and have teamed up with Platinum Sound to maximise our opportunities in this area. Platinum has a deserved reputation as one of the best music supervision companies in this sector and we look forward to working with them to increase our presence in the computing gaming world".

Adi Winman, Creative Project Manager at Platinum Sound added: "It's an absolute pleasure to team up with Boosey & Hawkes. With much of B&H's extensive catalogue at our fingertips, this will enable us to extend even further our service, providing quality tunes and soundscapes in a wide variety of genres and styles, with quick clearance for the games industry".

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Sort of legit P2P network Qtrax (fully legit, but only sort of a P2P network) has announced a licensing deal with Warner Music, meaning it now has all four major record companies and publishing firms on board for the roll out of its ad-funded music service.

As much previously reported, Qtrax got off to a bad start when they announced major label deals were in place at MIDEM 2008 when they actually weren't. Just over a year on, all said deals are now in place. That said, P2P fans have been generally dismissive of the DRM-heavy Qtrax beta service, so few expect it to really revolutionise the digital music world (ie it won't bring illegal file sharers over to the licenced world of digital music), despite their impressive array of record label and publisher partners.

Still, no reason not to run some quotes re this latest deal.

Qtrax president and CEO Allan Klepfisz says this: "Warner Music Group continues to be a pioneer in the digital music space and we are thrilled to be able to announce our global licensing deal with them. They have one of the greatest collections of iconic American record labels and recognisable artists and we could not be more excited to be partnering with them. The Qtrax platform, among other things, incorporates a unique legal peer-to-peer experience that we strongly believe will compete favourably with illegal sites and will prove the ad supported model to be a viable and valuable alternative in the future monetising of free music".

Warner SVP for digital and biz dvp whatnots, Stephen Bryan: "Today's music industry is undergoing a dynamic transition which has us continually exploring fresh ways of delivering music to consumers. We look forward to leveraging platforms like Qtrax's to broaden the reach of our artists' music and provide consumers with a unique and legal music-discovery experience".

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According to reports, Ryan Adams has become engaged to popstrel turned film star Mandy Moore. And that's really all there is to say about this.

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Lady Gaga has told Now magazine that at one time she used hairspray as an alternative to pyros when she was working on a tight budget. I'm pleased to report that no-one was killed as a result.

The singer explained: "I started playing out in clubs when I was 15 and was really hustling the New York scene. I used to squirt hairspray on stage and set fire to it because we had no money for pyrotechnics or stuff like that, so we played Black Sabbath songs and did our fire display. Looking back, that was a little dangerous, but I'm still here".

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Joaquin Phoenix has said that he is not returning to acting, and is committed to his new rap career. As previously reported, the actor made a lacklustre debut at a gig in Las Vegas recently, leading to speculation that the whole career change thing is a hoax. It all seems a bit nutty to me, frankly, so I wouldn't be surprised if it were.

Anyway, here's what Phoenix told The AP: "I'm not one of those people, like, when I break up with my girlfriend, I don't ever see her again. I see her as friends, but do I ever think about getting back together? No, when I do something, I do it. So I have no intention".

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He may be languishing in jail after being found guilty of beating up male escort Audun Carlsen at his flat in Shoreditch in 2007, but he's not resting on his laurels. His spell behind bars had looked set to scupper a planned collaboration with Robbie Williams on the former Take Thatter's new album, but according to rumours, Boy George is writing a song in his cell.

A source told The Sun: "Robbie had tapped up George to write some tracks for his new album. They had intended to work together on the songs together, but they can't do that now. George has neglected his songwriting and is determined to hone his skills again. Without the distractions of the outside world he is bidding to write Rob a killer ballad from behind bars".

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Pete Doherty has agreed to split the proceeds of the sale of 45 signed prints of one of his blood paintings with a London taxi company owner to cover a £1800 bill. The painting shows the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury from the crowd's point of view and was apparently completed after Doherty had an argument with his management at the festival.

Says Doherty of the painting: "Even if you're in a terrible mood and just painting blind, the finished result is something to look at and cherish. Like writing a song lyric, carving something, anything made out of nothing you can call your own, something that's been worth doing".

The singer told the NME that it was the "best painting" he had ever created. Judge for yourself at

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