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TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Trinity Street ceases trading, former directors expand litigation
Pirate Bay trial update
Morrissey not keen on performing into old age
In The Pop Courts
Lil Wayne sued over no show
Lily threatens to sue over drug quotes
In The Pop Hospital
Gerry Rafferty missing
Winehouse hospitalised in St Lucia
Suge Knight treated in hospital after hotel brawl
Obituaries
Drummer Louie Bellson dies
Awards & Contests
BRIT betting banned
Charts, Stats & Polls
Coldplay album best selling worldwide
Reunions & Splits
No Suede reunion
Spandau Ballet reunion planned
Release News
Art Brut discuss new album
Rumspringa new video
Festival News
Charlatans curate Isle Of Wight stage
The Killers to headline Hove Festival
Great Escape conference event announced
Reviews
Single review: Chase & Status - Against All Odds (Ram Records)
The Music Business
SEG acquire Marot's management company
The Digital Business
Foundation step up campaign against New Zealand's three-strike system
Sony renew YouTube deal
The Media Business
Sirius creditors may push Karmazin out
Mackenzie and Branson might bid for Classic FM's licence
Chart Of The Day
Total Rock World Album Chart
And finally...
Lohan has not split from Ronson, she says
Opera cast perform in bar after power cut
Mike Skinner on Lily Allen
Prodigy reveal porn soundtrack

K-Fed recording second album

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TUESDAY 17TH FEBRUARY

SCANNERS
Formed in 2004, London post-punkers Scanners are a four-piece who have been exciting all the right people for a while now. Their first album 'Violence Is Golden' was released in the UK in 2008, receiving a wealth of great reviews from salivating music types. They've been compared to popular indie bands such as Bloc Party, The Killers and The Cardigans and celebrity blogger Perez Hilton has endorsed them. Is there any greater accolade? Now, with high hopes and expectations for 2009, they will soon release their second album. Ahead of a gig hosted by Twisted Licks at the Macbeth in Shoreditch on 21 Feb (more info here), here are the band's answers to our Same Six courtesy of bandmember Matthew Mole.

 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
The usual way. I failed my exams and started in a band.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
We don't know what our next single will be yet as we are just finishing our second album!

Q3 How do you go about creating a track?
There's no one way of doing anything, is there? Every good song comes in a different way and there's no knowing when or where it's going to hit you.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Too many to mention! It is probably easier to talk about the music we do our best to not sound like.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Did you buy it? Or did you get it free off the internet taking food from my children's hungry mouths? Only joking, we don't have any children.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I would love our second album to reach many more people than the first one did. People are forever coming up to us and asking why they've never heard of us. I want people to hear about this new album as I think it's really good. So buy it folks, it'll be called 'Submarine' and will be in shops near you by the summer!

MORE>> www.myspace.com/scanners

 

ADIAM DYMOTT
There'll be a bit of Swedish overkill in the SNAP slot this week as I spent the weekend there, but there's nothing wrong with that - given they must produce 60% of the world's greatest pop songs. Being signed to one of the country's brightest indie labels, Razzia Records, and recording with a former member of the most popular band in Sweden, Kent, has all helped give Adiam Dymott a rather good start, and her current single, 'Miss You', is capitalising on that well, with its impulsive garage rock hook and Adiam's Courtney Love meets Shirley Manson vocals. UK labels should be scampering to sign her up.

www.myspace.com/adiamdymott

 

FREELANCE MUSIC PR
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.

INTERN FOR 360° MUSIC CO
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 nathaniel1975@hotmail.co.uk for both roles

 

DESK SPACE
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 / adrian@leylinepromotions.com

 

 

TRINITY STREET CEASES TRADING, FORMER DIRECTORS EXPAND LITIGATION
So, this is an interesting development. Trinity Street, a long-standing name in the world of music marketing, and more recently a leading name in artist-to-consumer e-commerce platforms, has announced it is to cease trading with immediate effect.

The board of Trinity Universal Holdings, which owned both Trinity Street and two sister e-commerce companies operating under the QED name, announced yesterday: "Following a difficult period of trading, and after assessing all of the options available, the board of directors has decided to appoint Trevor Binyon of Tenon Recovery who will arrange a smooth run-down of the business".

Trinity Street going into administration is more interesting than most other music-company-succumbs-to-credit-crunch stories because yesterday's announcement comes so soon after the filing of a lawsuit against the company by its former owners and directors David Robson and Andy Murray, who claimed they were pushed out of the firm in a boardroom coup at the end of last year.

Trinity Street had a long history of developing and delivering innovative and often direct-to-fan music marketing programmes, moving more into viral marketing and then e-commerce as the years went by. Robson and Murray acquired the company in 2004, expanding their operations in 2007 after doing a deal with music investment outfit Ingenious Media.

It seems to have been a falling out between Robson and Murray and their investors that led to their departure last December. They specifically named an Ingenious director, Sanjay Wadhwani, as a co-defendant in their lawsuit against Trinity Universal Holdings.

As that company officially went into administration yesterday, Robson and Murray quickly issued their own announcement telling reporters they were expanding their lawsuit to include Ingenious themselves as co-defendants, presumably because there is little to be gained in suing a company which will no longer exist by the time the case goes to court.

They also responded to the Trinity Universal board's implications that the company was not performing well, and that that poor performance was behind the decision to fire Robson and Murray last year, and the subsequent decision to put the company into administration. The poor performance, Robson and Murray argue, is a result of the actions of the board before and since they were kicked out of the company, and not a reflection of the company they had previously headed up.

Murray told CMU: "Since they engineered the removal of myself and David Robson from the company, the management installed by IMAC [Ingenious Media Active Capital] has failed to secure new business and allowed loyal, long-term clients to take their business elsewhere. Before we were ousted, Trinity Street was a growing business with both long-term clients and significant new opportunities. Our lawyers await clarification as to exactly what happened on Friday [when the company ceased trading] but we will continue to vigorously pursue our High Court actions against those who we hold responsible".

Among the music companies to utilise Trinity Street's e-commerce solutions were EMI, Universal, Ministry of Sound and NME, while artists such as Robbie Williams, Snow Patrol and Oasis outsourced their online stores to the company. The managers of Oasis's website said yesterday they were aware of the Trinity Street situation, and had quickly reengaged their old e-commerce partners Digital Stores to manage that bit of their site. They said in statement: "Today we were notified that Trinity Street, the providers of the Oasisinet Online Store, have ceased trading. We have been able to set up a new store through Record Store, our previous online partner, so you may make any new purchases there. We are currently investigating any outstanding purchases/pre-orders and will ensure that these are honoured. This may take a little time so if you have made an order that you have not yet received, please do bear with us".

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PIRATE BAY TRIAL UPDATE
Not since the grand finale of MGM v Grokster do I remember such public interest around an authorising infringement court case, and even that, despite its worldwide ramifications, didn't get quite so widely reported on UK mainstream news sites as day one of the trial of The Pirate Bay four.

Perhaps it's because this case is being fought a bit closer to home in the Swedish courts, perhaps it's because the founders of The Pirate Bay have been so blatant and unrepentant in their bid to help the illegal distribution of content on the net, or perhaps it's because the four defendants could end up in prison if they lose.

That said, yesterday it looked like media and public interest - which led to tickets for seats in court being touted for up to forty quid - might quickly wane after a very dull day in court in which the prosecution spent most of the time describing how BitTorrents and BitTorrent trackers work in tedious detail.

But then this morning things livened up a bit when it was announced the prosecution were dropping half their charges because of evidence issues. Those reports have only just come in, so we'll try and figure out what it all means for the four defendants - founders Fredik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi, and one of their key funders, dotcom millionaire Carl Lundström - before tomorrow's Daily.

If the Pirate Bay four were being sued through the US civil courts, using the aforementioned Grokster ruling as precedent, the record companies would have a strong case. While Grokster was a P2P client and The Pirate Bay is a tracker, both are relying on similar defences: we don't host the infringing content, our service has legitimate non-infringing uses (ie content owners might make their content available for free and promote that fact via Trackers like The Pirate Bay), therefore we can't be found guilty of infringement.

In Grokster that defence was ultimately rejected by America's Supreme Court. Key to the final decision in the Grokster case was the fact that infringement was the primary use of the P2P technology, that the company's owners knew that, that they didn't take enough measures to restrict infringing uses, and that they implied in their communication activity that users could and possibly should use the P2P service to infringe. All those elements arguably apply to The Pirate Bay.

But this case is taking place in the Swedish criminal courts, so such applications of the Grokster ruling are somewhat irrelevant. And while the logic of Grokster would suggest the music and movie companies behind the action against the Bay should have a strong case, online infringement cases which reach court often hit technicalities which prevent the content owners from winning. Given this morning's developments, that could be the case here too.

But whatever the findings in the end, with the normally pro-P2P blogosphere in meltdown discussing this court case, and with the mainstream media sometimes led by those bloggers, the record companies and movie studios will probably come out of this one as the bad guys, even if there are strong legal, moral and commercial arguments as to why they should act to push The Pirate Bay out of business. The fact their suited and booted lawyers look rather dull and corporate next to the more friendly-looking and casually attired defendants doesn't help. Which means even if the labels and studios enjoy some success in court, the case will have furthered their reputations as greedy corporates in the wider online copyright debate.

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MORRISSEY NOT KEEN ON PERFORMING INTO OLD AGE
Morrissey has said that the chances of him continuing to record and perform past the age of 55 are very slim, though I think we've all heard ageing pop stars say that before, and very few stick to their word.

With Mozza approaching his 50th birthday this year, Xfm's Ian Camfield asked the singer about the possibility of retirement. Commenting on how pop stars normally lose their edge in their later years, Morrissey pondered thus: "I assume most people lose it because they become satisfied and they achieve everything they ever set out to achieve. More to the point, they become personally satisfied and that they're quite happy and it doesn't matter any more. It's very interesting that it's very hard to think of anybody who ages and still manages to mean anything".

Brought back to the issue of his own future, when asked about the chances of him still performing past the age of 55, or 60, he responded: "I think it's incredibly slim".

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LIL WAYNE SUED OVER NO SHOW
Lil Wayne and his management are being sued for $1.3m over those repeat cancellations of a gig in Rochester, New York.

As previously reported, the first attempt to stage the performance in October was abandoned when Lil Wayne began the show but walked off because he had issues with the sound, whilst the rescheduled performance in December was cancelled because of "mandatory tour rehearsals". Not sure why the word 'mandatory' is being used there, perhaps police officers were in attendance. Anyway, the third attempted date, in late January, was also cancelled because of worries that because of travelling times, Wayne and band would arrive late for the show and not give as good a performance as they are capable of.

There was talk of a new date for February or March, but it seems that won't happen either. According to reports, Edward Strickland, General Manager of gig promoters RMF Productions, is suing Lil Wayne, his manager and others for the aforementioned sum. Strickland claims he gave Wayne an advance payment of $100,000 but has received nothing in return.

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LILY THREATENS TO SUE OVER DRUG QUOTES
Lily Allen has threatened to sue the News Of The World for incorrectly translating something she said in a Dutch interview. But, hey, I'm sure she gave the interview in English, and we've all tried translating something into another language and then back again with those online translators and it never works

This relates to the latest druggie comments accredited to Allen. As previously reported, the NOTW quoted Allen as saying: "Parents should say [to their children], 'Drugs might seem fun, but they do funny things to your brain. Some people react to it good, some don't. Try it and see what you think'".

In a post on Twitter, Allen said: "Phoning my lawyers and taking legal action, News Of The World need a better Dutch translator, as if I would say that. And they know it..."

She added later: "For the record, drugs are bad, don't do them, tell your children 'Lily Allen said'".

CMU's Dutch translator got quite excited at the prospect of this story, but we haven't been able to find the original interview for him to translate for us. Sorry Jurgen, you're just going to have to go back in your cupboard.

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GERRY RAFFERTY MISSING
It appears that Gerry Rafferty, best known for his 1978 hit 'Baker Street' of course, has been missing for six months.

The singer disappeared last August from St Thomas's Hospital in London, where he was being treated for liver failure having struggled with alcoholism for many years, and has not been seen since. Before being admitted to hospital, he was apparently living in The Westbury Hotel but was asked to leave as he had made quite a mess in his room.

His former Stealers Wheel bandmate, Tony Williams told The Daily Mail: "It's absolutely tragic. If he has liver failure he obviously needs someone to look after him. If he is still alive, somebody must be caring for him".

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WINEHOUSE HOSPITALISED IN ST LUCIA
Amy Winehouse was hospitalised in St Lucia at the weekend after running out of the medication she is using to battle drug addiction, according to her spokesperson. The singer apparently fell ill on Saturday and was taken to hospital on the Caribbean island but was released the next day.

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SUGE KNIGHT TREATED IN HOSPITAL AFTER HOTEL BRAWL
Marion 'Suge' Knight has been admitted to hospital to receive treatment for injuries sustained in a fight in a hotel in Arizona, police confirmed yesterday. The former Death Row Records cheif got into an altercation at the W hotel near Phoenix, which began with "heated words in the VIP area" and ended in a brawl. Officers called to the scene after the fight escalated saw a man punch Knight twice in the head, and subsequently used Taser guns to bring things under control. Two men, Robert Carnes and Leon Anderson were arrested and charged with aggravated assault and disorderly conduct. Knight was apparently treated for facial injuries, but full details have not been released.

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DRUMMER LOUIE BELLSON DIES
Veteran big band drummer and band leader Louie Bellson has died in Los Angeles at the age of 84. He had been suffering from Parkinson's Disease and had recently suffered a broken hip.

An Italian-American, Bellson was born Luigi Paulino Alfredo Francesco Antonio Balassoni in Rock Falls, Illinois, and began playing the drums at the age of 3. He's credited with having pioneered the use of the double bass drum set up at the age of 15, and at the age of 17 beat 40,000 drummers to win a national contest. He went on to drum for some of the biggest names in jazz, performing with the likes of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, as well as leading his own bands.

During the course of his career he appeared on more than 200 albums, and wrote more than 1000 compositions and arrangements for music in a number of genres, such as classical music and swing, as well as jazz. He also published a number of books on drumming and percussion, and received a number of awards, including the American Jazz Masters Award from the National Endowment For The Arts in 1994. He was also a six-time Grammy nominee and he and his late wife, actress and singer Pearl Bailey, who died in 1990, made frequent appearances at The White House.

He is survived by his second wife, two daughters and two grandchildren.

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BRIT BETTING BANNED
Bookmakers William Hill, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power have stopped taking bets on the BRIT Awards after claims that the winners had been leaked. The decision to suspend betting was taken after a number of bets around the £50 mark were placed with William Hill on Paul Weller to win Best Male Solo Artist, which is apparently a strong hint that someone knows something they shouldn't.

A spokesperson for the BRITs said: "Every precaution is taken to keep results under lock and key".

Bets are still being taken on the Best Single category, which is voted for by the public on the night.

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COLDPLAY ALBUM BEST SELLING WORLDWIDE
According to the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry, Coldplay's 'Viva La Vida O Death And All His Friends' was 2008's best-selling album worldwide, selling 6.8 million copies. In second place were AC/DC with 'Black Ice' and in third place the soundtrack to 'Mamma Mia! The Movie'.

Three other albums appearing in the top ten were by British artists, all by the ladies of UK pop: Duffy's debut 'Rockferry' came in fourth whilst Leona Lewis and Amy Winehouse's most recent albums were sixth and seventh respectively, despite the fact that 'Spirit' was released in 2007 and 'Back To Black' came out in 2006.

Also making the top ten were Metallica's 'Death Magnetic' at five, the 'High School Musical 3' soundtrack at eight, Lil Wayne's 'Tha Carter III' at nine, and Rihanna's 'Good Girl Gone Bad' at ten.

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NO SUEDE REUNION
Good news for people who think reunions are rubbish (me, for example), former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler has said that he will never get the old band back together.

Speaking to the BBC after receiving his award for Best Producer at the Music Producers Guild Awards last Thursday, he said: "There's an awful lot of Britpop reunions going on at the moment and I find it embarrassing personally. I think it's got no relevance to what's going on at the moment. I'm obsessively opposed to nostalgia. I hate the idea of it. It doesn't work. And it doesn't interest with me at all. What's important is not what I did last week, it's what I'm going to do next week. I made great records - I love them. My kids play them now. But that's for them and everyone else".

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SPANDAU BALLET REUNION PLANNED
I quite like Spandau Ballet. Well, I love the song 'Gold'. But I'm not sure I'd recommend that they reunite for a new album and tour. But then, I'd've probably told Take That not to bother either, and they've shown me, haven't they?

Anyway, according to reports, manager Steve Dagger says that a new album and tour is exactly what's on the cards, despite the band's famously acrimonious split and the subsequent legal battles over the band's name and catalogue.

The band split at the end of the eighties, of course, with Gary and Martin Kemp moving on to relatively successful acting careers. After the much publicised royalties battle between some of the band and main songwriter Kemp, frontman Tony Hadley won that ITV reality show 'Reborn In The USA' and enjoyed a bit of a revival; so much so he and the other non-Kemp members of the band, Steve Norman and John Keeble, started to play together again, though they were unable to use the name Spandau Ballet.

Anyway, if the news is to be believed, some burying of hatchets has been going on. Dagger is quoted by the Daily Express as saying: "We're not making announcements yet, but yes, basically, the boys are back in town. Not just a nostalgic re-run of the old but a fresh slant on what Spandau Ballet are about".

Meanwhile, the Telegraph have published this mildly amusing quote from Roy Eldridge, who headed up Chrysalis Records when the band were signed to the label back in the day: "Every band on the way down is a band on the way up. But I never thought I'd see this one. Once, they couldn't stand to be in the same room together, let alone play. But now they are older, fatter, poorer, there's every reason to see if the magic still works".

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ART BRUT DISCUSS NEW ALBUM
Art Brut frontman Eddie Argos has been talking about recording the band's new album with Pixies frontman Frank Black (aka Black Francis, of course).

Argos told reporters: "We recorded the album in a punk-as-fuck two weeks in Salem, Oregon. I don't always enjoy the recording process - all that fiddling with guitars and drum sounds waiting for my turn to 'sing'. This time though, we did it just right. We spent a day getting the sound of the instruments perfect, then with all of us in the same room at the same time, with the amazing Black Francis conducting us, we pressed record, jumped around and played our songs. This is how I always thought albums were made and it's definitely how we're doing it from now on!"

'Art Brut vs Satan' will be released on 20 Apr via Cooking Vinyl.

Here's the tracklisting:

Alcoholics Unanimous
DC Comics And Chocolate Milkshake
The Passenger
Am I Normal?
What A Rush.
Demons Out!
Slap Dash For No Cash'
The Replacements
Twist And Shout
Summer Job
Mysterious Bruises

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RUMSPRINGA NEW VIDEO
Rumspringa have released a new video for their track, 'Minds Awake', which is taken from their rather lovely debut EP, out now on Cantora Records. The band managed to get actor Shia Lebeouf to take some time off from being Hollywood's new darling for long enough to come and direct the video, too.

Check it out: www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPIhfB-1TUc

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CHARLATANS CURATE ISLE OF WIGHT STAGE
The Charlatans are apparently curating the line up for the Big Top Stage for the Sunday night of the Isle Of Wight festival. The band are headlining the stage that night, 14 Jun, and festival organisers say they're choosing exactly who will precede them on it. The group's Tim Burgess says this: "I have already approached quite a few impressive new bands (some you will know, some you might not). The Isle Of Wight Festival is a special festival to me, so all up and coming bands, be on the look out - you could be taking the stage".

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THE KILLERS TO HEADLINE HOVE FESTIVAL
The Killers have announced that they are to headline Norway's Hove Festival this summer. A statement on their website says this: "The Killers are pleased to announce a headline performance at Hove 09 in Norway. We look forward to seeing you there on Tuesday 23rd of June".

They'll appear alongside previously confirmed acts such as Slipknot, Metronomy and Bring Me The Horizon. The event takes place on the island of Tromoya from 22 - 25 Jun.

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GREAT ESCAPE CONFERENCE EVENT ANNOUNCED
Now, I've been to so many music business conventions over the years there are very few debates, keynotes and panel events I haven't already seen, but this one I'm rather interested in attending. Among the conference events due to take place at this year's The Great Escape will be one where two execs from Limewire, the last big name in old school P2P file sharing, sit down with leading artist manager Pete Jenner to discuss the rights, wrongs, past and future of file sharing. They'll also be showcasing the next generation of Limewire P2P software.

The US record industry's lawsuit against Limewire is still going through the motions, and if and when it gets to court it could be even bigger news than the current Pirate Bay trial. To have reps from the P2P firm at an event like The Great Escape is quite exciting. And you never know, we might discover there's some common ground worth exploring between the music firms present and the record industry's biggest filesharing foe.

The Limewire session is just one of a string of events that have been announced as appearing during the daytime part of this year's The Great Escape which, as previously reported, takes place in Brighton from 14-16 May. Other events include Jon Savage talking to Jah Wobble, a session from PRS For Music's top economist Will Page on the rights and wrongs of the much touted Long Tail theory, producer John Leckie leading a session on the music industry in India, and MUSExpo chief Sat Bisla discussing the US music market. Oh, and the CMU Insights, with CMU editor Chris Cooke talking in-depth to key music business people. That bit's going to be extra good, but you didn't need us to tell you that did you?

Another interesting session will be a case study on the MAMA Group, the ever-growing music firm behind The Great Escape itself. MAMA are, of course, an increasingly important player in the UK music industry, especially in the live and management sectors, though this session will look in particular at the firm's main media asset, the good old Fly magazine. Various people will take part, including current The Fly editor Niall Doherty and MAMA Digital Development Director Lisa Chadwick. Actually, I should do that one too, I reckon I know more about The Fly and MAMA than anyone who works there, having been reporting on them throughout much of their history. Perhaps I'll suggest it to them.

In addition to the formal conference proceedings, there will be an 'artist village' at this year's The Great Escape where there'll be various events and networking opportunities for artists and industry delegates, some aimed at newcomers to the music business, including the always good value CMU Beginners Guide To The Music Business.

The daytime conference bit of The Great Escape, of course, complements the gigs that take place across Brighton in the evening. Bands due to play this year include Metronomy, Kissy Sell Out, Michachu & the Shapes, Future of the Left and Passion Pit.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Chase & Status - Against All Odds (Ram Records)
London duo Saul Milton and Will Kennard, aka Chase & Status, bring forth a single from their pretty average 'More Than A Lot' LP. But this hip hop track, featuring Kane Brett Robinson, aka Eastside's Kano, was a definitely one of the better tracks from the LP - with its freshly delivered lyrics racked on a funky riff and beats - so I'm glad it's getting a single release. I'm less glad about the remixes that come with it though. The Dave Spoon remix is OK, beginning well with some funky breakbeat, and with a bit of Kano kept in for good measure. But the Xample DnB remix is Ram Records standard fodder - the formula is just too old hat for me, and it lacks Kano's vocal skills. The Dubstep version. Meanwhile, is also average fare - while C&S's B-side 'Saxon' isn't ground breaking either. Go straight for the unadulterated original mix of the A-side, which is good stuff, and skip the rest I say. PV
Release Date: 23 Feb
Press Contact: Electric PR [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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SEG ACQUIRE MAROT'S MANAGEMENT COMPANY
Pan-European sports management agency SEG is moving into music management in the UK by acquiring two London based artist management companies, Marc Marot's Terra Firma and John Arnison's J Management, which is good news, if only because it will stop me getting the Terra Firma management company confused with the investment firm of the same name who own EMI.

The two acquisitions, which will see Marot and Arnison head up SEG Entertainment UK, are part of SEG's bid to operate across the entertainment spectrum across Europe. They also mean that SEG UK launches with acts like Paul Oakenfold, Billy Ocean, Aswad and Lemon Jelly on their books.

Confirming the acquisitions, SEG founder Kees Vos told CMU: "Building a strong UK base for SEG is core to our international expansion. We operate in a world in which London is the European headquarters of the entertainment industry and it is important we are represented here. As the entertainment industry consolidates and professionalises, it is vital that artists and sports stars have access to management which offers the professionalism to match".

Marot added: "Artist management is the last bit of Wild West left in the music industry. SEG Entertainment will offer a structured and professional service to artists to help them develop their careers in the most appropriate and profitable way. We plan to recruit a stable of younger managers and give them the support and leverage a big company can bring. But we are also looking to sign major artists who share our vision".

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FOUNDATION STEP UP CAMPAIGN AGAINST NEW ZEALAND'S THREE-STRIKE SYSTEM
Oh, this is interesting. While we all got distracted with the UK government's Digital Britain report and its somewhat lacklustre proposals regarding forcing internet service providers to take a more proactive role in policing online piracy, the government in New Zealand got the sometimes controversial three-strike system through the country's parliament and its about to become law.

I know this because the country's Creative Freedom Foundation has launched an online campaign to protest the new laws, and have been grabbing net users' attention around the world with an online petition and a campaign that calls on supporters to 'black out' their profile images on social networking websites (which is why Stephen Fry's Twitter picture is currently a black square).

As much previously reported, some music business types have been recently proposing the introduction of a three strike system whereby suspected file-sharers who ignore two warnings that what they are doing is illegal are cut off by their internet service provider, and banned from signing up to another ISP, for a time at least. The system is being introduced in France as we speak, though the UK government hasn't officially proposed it as a way of dealing with online piracy over here, and IP Minister David Lammy recently said he through such a system would be unworkable. But in New Zealand such a measure was introduced in a recent Copyright Amendment Act and becomes law later this month.

Of course the pro-P2P lobby aren't so keen on the proposals, but even if you think the three-strike system is a good idea in principle, you can't deny that making it a reality is full of potential pitfalls - not least who decides whether an individual really is guilty of illegally file sharing. And what if the illegal file sharer is using someone else's internet connection, with or without permission? And what if a virus someone has accidentally installed on their computer is doing the file sharing? The point of the three strike proposal is that individual online infringement cases don't need to go to court before action can be taken, but if no court rules on whether infringement has or has not taken place, then who does rule?

In France the government is introducing a special government agency to manage the whole three strike programme. I'm not sure what the New Zealand government are planning, but it is the process as much as the principle that the country's Creative Freedom Foundation are protesting about because, they say, it could lead to innocent people having their net connections cut off without the opportunity to defend themselves in court - ie, if a web user is accused by a content company, they are assumed guilty and could lose their net connection as a result. That, the Foundation says, goes against the basic innocent until proven guilty principle, hence the slogan of their campaign: 'Guilt Upon Accusation'.

David Farrar, a net expert who opposes the new laws, says it puts too much power into the hands of music and movie companies, many American based, and forces New Zealand-based ISPs to comply with those companies' wishes. He adds that the New Zealand government sneaked the new rules through despite widespread concern, especially in political circles.

The New Zealand Centre For Political Research quote him thus: "The multi-party Commerce Select Committee that heard evidence on the bill, decided unanimously to delete this section from the proposed law. But lobbying continued behind the scenes and the Labour Government decided to over-ride the Select Committee, and reinsert section 92A [the three strike rule] into the bill at the Committee of the Whole consideration. The National Party also voted to reinsert s92A into the bill, despite having voted to remove it at select committee stage".

Those who support the three strike system would presumably argue that innocent parties can appeal incorrect accusations of illegal file sharing after receiving their first and second warning, and take action if a third party or virus is the cause of the infringement. They'd also point out that, while it's not unknown for record companies and movie studios to make mistakes in tracking file sharing, in most cases where individuals have been threatened with legal action over their uploading and downloading of illegal content, most admit their activity and agree to settle almost immediately. Still, with undeniable potential flaws in the proposed system in New Zealand, and with the likes of Fry on their side, the Creative Freedom Foundation are sure to gain much public support as their campaign against the new laws reach their peak next week.

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SONY RENEW YOUTUBE DEAL
Into the world of licensed digital music services, and Sony Music has reportedly re-signed its licensing agreement with Google's video website YouTube. They are the first major record company to re-sign their deal with the video platform. As previously reported, Warner Music, the first major to do a deal with YouTube back in the day, pulled its content from the service just before Christmas when talks regarding its new licensing arrangement failed to reach agreement. Universal and EMI continue to negotiate new terms with YouTube, though neither seem especially likely to follow Warner in pulling their content. YouTube are going to add 'buy' links to clips of Sony acts which will take users through to sell-through websites as part of their new deal with the major.

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SIRIUS CREDITORS MAY PUSH KARMAZIN OUT
A group of Sirius XM's creditors are planning to try and oust the US satellite radio firm's top man, Mel Karmazin, in a bid to protect their interests.

As previously reported, Sirius may apply for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, reportedly in a bid to stop a hostile takeover by another US satellite company called Echostar, which Karmazin is keen to avoid. However, the aforementioned creditors, who would obviously prefer the company to opt for takeover rather than consider bankruptcy, are, according to the Wall Street Journal, preparing to block any attempt to do so, mainly by insisting the company fire former MTV boss Karmazin.

The Journal quotes the lawyer representing the creditors, who said: "Creditors will act quickly and definitively if they perceive that management is [not] acting ... in the best interest of the estate".

EchoStar have been buying some of Sirius' not insubstantial debts after Karmazin knocked back a takeover offer last year. The Sirius boss seemingly hopes he can rescue the US's only satellite radio firm - created by the merger last year of Sirius and XM - through an investment deal with another media company, Liberty Media Group. Sirius said yesterday it had managed to refinance some of its debts, which may in itself buy them enough time to complete the Liberty negotiations.

However, they may as yet have to apply for Chapter 11 protection to stop Echostar forcing a takeover while the Liberty talks continue. If they do, it will be interesting to see how the aforementioned creditors respond, and what affect that has.

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MACKENZIE AND BRANSON MIGHT BID FOR CLASSIC FM'S LICENCE
Kelvin MacKenzie and Richard Branson are both reportedly lobbying media regulator OfCom to sell off the current national commercial radio licences when they come up for renewal, seemingly because both would be keen on bidding for the FM licence currently used by Global Radio's Classic FM.

That licence in theory comes up for renewal in 2011. Some previously thought that by that point analogue radio licences would no longer be of interest because digital and internet radio would have taken over. But with FM stations still dominating the radio industry, Classic FM's frequency will be much sought after if OfCom decide to auction it off.

Branson wanted the natonal FM licence for his Virgin Radio service back in the day, and was never happy with the AM licence he eventually got. MacKenzie's dabblings in commercial radio - as the boss of TalkSport - were also restricted to AM.

If the Classic FM licence was up for grabs and if Branson won it, that might mean a super new Virgin Radio FM service going head to head with Absolute, which only stopped using the Virgin Radio name itself last year.

However, it is not yet clear what OfCom plan to do with the national analogue licences when they come up for renewal.

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TOTAL ROCK WORLD ALBUM CHART
It's this week's Total Rock World Album Chart, as counted down on Total Rock last weekend - www.totalrock.com. New entries and re-entries marked with a *.

1. Nickelback - Dark Horse (Warner/Roadrunner)
2. AC/DC - Black Ice (Sony/Columbia)
3. Guns n Roses - Chinese Democracy (Universal/Geffen)
4. Metallica - Death Magnetic (Universal/Mercury)
5. Bruce Springsteen - Working On A Dream (Sony/Columbia)*
6. Kid Rock - Rock - N Roll Jesus (Warner/Atlantic)
7. Fall Out Boy - Folie A Deux (Universal/Island)
8. Bruce Springsteen - Greatest Hits (Sony/Columbia)
9. Guns n Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)
10. Linkin Park - Minutes To Midnight (Warner Bros)
11. Disturbed - Indestructible (Warner/Reprise)
12. Slipknot - All Hope Is Gone (Warner/Roadrunner)
13. Paramore - Riot (Warner/Atlantic)
14. Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (Warner/Roadrunner)
15. Linkin Park - Road To Revolution (Warner Bros)
16. Rise Against - Appeal To Reason (Universal/Geffen)
17. Hinder - Take It To The Limit (Universal)
18. Led Zeppelin - Mothership (Warner/Atlantic)
19. Shinedown - The Sound Of Madness (Warner/Atlantic)*
20. The Offspring - Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace (Sony Music)

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LOHAN HAS NOT SPLIT FROM RONSON, SHE SAYS
Lindsay Lohan has responded to media speculation that she has split up with girlfriend Samantha Ronson, after the pair cancelled a Valentine's Day appearance. Ronson explained the no show thus: "We really feel bad, and I work sick when I can, but unfortunately I couldn't drive to Miami, so I'm stuck in New York City". Nobody believed it, of course, and everyone decided they had been arguing.

But now Lohan has confirmed that Ronson is unwell. "She's sick. She's in LA," she said. "Everything's fine. I just sent her food from Jerry's Deli, but she slept through the guys banging on the door. So I was texting her saying, 'I'm going to the event, there's food outside the door'".

I know you were all losing sleep over that one, so you can just relax now, and stop worrying.

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OPERA CAST PERFORM IN BAR AFTER POWER CUT
One from the opera files, because we are suckers for 'show must go on' stories. The cast of a new opera were forced to give their press night performance in the bar of the Royal Opera House on Saturday. The performance of Into The Little Hill, an updated take on the Pied Piper story, was due to take place at the venue's Linbury Studio theatre, but the lights went out ten minutes in and the 400-strong audience sat in darkness for twenty minutes whilst technicians attempted to resolve the issue. Unfortunately, they couldn't, so the audience were sent to the bar for a free drink, and the cast of the show joined them a bit later to perform the rest of the opera. Only about a hundred members of the audience had the patience to wait for it, but it sounds like it was worth it. A critic from the times wrote: "In that confined space it was mesmerising. Who needs lights?"

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MIKE SKINNER ON LILY ALLEN
More Lily Allen, and Mike Skinner has responded to Ms Allen's comment that his songs addressing the subject of fame are boring. He said: "I'm glad Lily Allen thinks my music is boring. At least she's not stalking me any more".

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PRODIGY REVEAL PORN SOUNDTRACK
The Prodigy have revealed that they once recorded the soundtrack to a porn film. The music provided backing for the 1999 film, 'The Uranus Experiment', which was actually highly scientific and not gratuitous at all. If anything, it's an educational film and should probably be shown in schools.

Keith Flint told Nuts: "You know the planes they use to train astronauts? They take them up to the curvature of the earth, then plummet really fast, and it gives the astronauts zero gravity for about three minutes. They filmed it in that. When the man climaxes, it all floats around in the air". Nice.

The Prodigy release their new album, 'Invaders Must Die' (not a porn soundtrack), on 23 Feb.

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K-FED RECORDING SECOND ALBUM
Following the massive success of his debut album, K-Fed, aka Britney's ex-husband Kevin Federline, has plans in place to join Bone Thugs-n-Harmony in the studio to record a follow-up. But unfortunately... no, wait, let me start this sentence again... luckily, the project has been put on hold for the moment because of his ex's upcoming tour

As previously reported, Federline and Spears' two children will be accompanying Britney on her upcoming tour, and Federline will be joining them, too. And that is going to impact on the studio plans. He apparently told TMZ: "I'm gonna take the kids on the road [instead] - they need to see their mother, right?"

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