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Top Stories
More of the same - industry takes to the stand at Pirate Bay trial
Burnham outlines government's five point plan for music
Brown/Rihanna update
In The Pop Courts
EMI sue SeeqPod
Former Trinity Street directors deny company under-performed under their leadership
Britney's ex charged with various acts of violence
Britney stylist testifies against Lutfi
Fielder-Civil back on the streets
DMX facing new charges
Pop Politics
MGMT take on French government
Former Billboard man dies
Awards & Contests
Muse, Oasis are NME Award winners
Stevie Wonder gets Library Of Congress award
Charts, Stats & Polls
New mobile music chart launched
In The Studio
"Quite psychedelic" Klaxons album nearly complete
Yeasayer guitarist working on new musical
Release News
New Enter Shikari for free
Von Bondies album and tour
Films N Shows News
U2's Spidey musical to open next year
Gigs N Tours News
Bell X1 tour
Yeah Yeah Yeahs announce some gigs
Festival News
New under-age sister festival to Camden Crawl
Festival line up update
Single review: Will Young - Let It Go (Sony/RCA)
The Music Business
Former Pinnacle man goes to Essential
AIM event looks global
The Digital Business
eMusic connects with Facebook
The Media Business
Grade proposes an ITV-C4-Five merger
Kapranos resigns as Guardian food critic
Chart Of The Day
This week's playlist
And finally...
Nash and Jarman to marry
Hooky on Joy Division covers
Pet Shop Boys don't approve of BRITs
Cowell bets on Minogue's X Factor return
CMU Daily Archives
Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
Advertise with CMU
Sudha Kheterpal has been percussionist with Faithless for 11 years, and has also performed live and on record with artists such as Dido and The Spice Girls, but now she's stepping out into the limelight with her debut solo album, 'Anti-freeze', released by Bish Bash Records on 2 Mar. Recorded in London, Paris and Berlin with a whole host of collaborators, Sudha mixes her Asian roots with a love of old school electro and deep electronica, merging melodies and samples from the likes of Shilpa Shetty and Lata Mangeshkar with 808 drums and vintage keyboards. The first single from the album, 'Leche', is out now. We caught up with Sudha to ask our Same Six Questions.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
It was around the early 90s and I'd been playing live as a session musician for a few years. I took a sound engineering course up in Manchester and began messing around with the music programme, Cubase. That was it. Me. A slave forever to the blips and bleeps.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
What inspired 'Anti-freeze?' The concept - finding ways of becoming unstuck or unfrozen - came about after endless conversations on the tour bus and with friends about stuck relationships, political dead ends and spiritual stagnation. Also being really bloody cold in the winter in Paris, where I wrote most of it, helped.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
First I find the all-important drums and groove. Then the bass line. Then sit for hours layering bits of percussion, bit of crushing and filtering until I'm happy with the texture. Then the melody with layers and hooks. The vocals come at the end.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
At the time of writing my album I was listening to loads of French and German Electronica like Joakim and Isolee and getting into the world of 'Super Collider'. I was also rediscovering my youth with Newcleus and Mantronix - wickee wickee!

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Imagine holding up an ice cream that you've never tasted before. You're curious. Then you taste the bit at the top. Mmm. Tastes interesting with intricate nuances. Nice textures too. You go in for more. Ooh, that's lovely. As you delve in more and more the ice cream begins to melt, the mesmerizing taste gripping all your senses. Now stick on 'Anti-freeze'. Same.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single/album, and for the future?
For my single, 'Leche', I want it to reach as many ears as possible. It's such an incredibly emotive song that I wrote with Zoe Johnston (Faithless, Bent). For the album - world domination! For the future - to do a killer remix of 'Agadoo!'


A Bright Eyes compatriot and alt-folk artist in his own right, M Ward has been winning plaudits for his past couple of albums and this looks set to continue with new record, 'Hold Time'. Up tempo cuts like 'Never Had Nobody Like You' are an anomaly, though he successfully cuts his teeth into bluesy numbers, including 'Rave On', which is layered in reverb-led slide guitar. Unfortunately, there are moments where he breaches the soporific, hinting at coffee table folk artists like Jack Johnson and the nu-rock of John Mayer. If he could elude these comparisons and cut the filler then he could produce something very special indeed, though.
EMMS Publicity's spacious office boasting loads of natural light has one lovely desk available to rent, for £60 a week. It's a bright and airy corner office in Aberdeen House, a converted factory in Highbury. Shared facilities include WI-FI, Fridge, Water cooler, Microwave, Kettle, Toilets, Bike storage, 24/7 secure access to building. There's a cafe on site. Electricity and water included. Phone, printer, franking machine and photocopier negotiable. Contact Steve Rose 020 7226 0990 [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]

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While I have little sympathy for the Pirate Bay Four, or their in-court claims of ignorance ("what, people use the service we decided to call 'The Pirate Bay' to access pirated content, I don't believe it"), nor their out-of-court suggestions that being able to infringe someone's copyright is some sort of basic human right, it has to be said that the record industry rarely do themselves any favours when they line up to deliver their protestations over illegal file sharing.

Ignoring the fact they often demonstrate ignorance as to how different file sharing systems work (which leads them to make technically incorrect statements that plays into the hands of the pro-P2P lobby), they nearly always present that same argument against illegal file sharing: that illegal file sharing has grown hugely in the last ten years; that CD-sales have slumped in the last ten years; that one caused the other; that file sharing is therefore leading to a slump in record companies' profits; which prevents them from investing in new talent.

While there are elements of truth in all those statements, there are a number of other reasons why CD sales have slumped in the last decade - eg the boom in back-to-back music media, the growth of on-demand music services, the arrival of new music-based products like ringtones, increasing competition from other entertainment sectors and the tendency to sign quick-win but short lived pop acts in the nineties. Meanwhile, many file-sharers continue to buy music as well as accessing it for free via illegal file sharing networks.

And while CD sales may have slumped, the costs of producing, distributing and marketing music has also come down. And other music-related revenue streams have grown in recent years - publishing, merchandising, brand partnerships, live. If record companies had spent less time employing clueless lawyers and DRM-makers ten years ago and more time honing the strangely out of fashion 360 degree business model, perhaps they could be benefiting from those growing revenue streams by now. And if they'd more quickly embraced the sales potential of the internet - ie before Apple chief Steve Jobs forced them to - digital revenues may now be higher too.

Unfortunately, the representatives from the Swedish record industry who took to the witness stand in The Pirate Bay trial in Stockholm yesterday again showed ignorance as to how the BitTorrent tracker worked, and again relied on the 'file sharing equals CD sales slump equals less money for investing in new talent' argument. Which allows the defence and pro-P2P lobby to pick the above mentioned holes into the industry's argument.

To be fair, the boss of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry, John Kennedy, did an OK job of explaining why it was particularly irritating when services like The Pirate Bay helped distribute albums ahead of their official release. He told the court: "In any industry when you are bringing a product to the market there is a critical stage at which you choose to make your connection with the public - it's a particular stage at which you launch your product. And all marketing spend, particularly in the music industry, is designed to make an impact, particularly in week one after release".

He also made an effort to distinguish search services like The Pirate Bay from mainstream search engines like Google, which will, of course, also bring up links to illegal content sources if you search for an artist's name. But, as Kennedy said, Google will bring up millions of varied references to any one artist, while services like the Bay hone in on BitTorrent sources of audio and movie files. And, of course, those mainstream services which offer search functions more akin to the Bay - China's Baidu in particular - have also been targeted with legal action by the music business.

But core to Kennedy's testimony was the text book record business argument. There had been a 38% drop in CD sales between 2001 and 2007. That was a period which saw a sharp rise in file-sharing. Music industry research shows a definite link between the two trends. File sharing - and The Pirate Bay in particular - costs the record companies money, which means less profits to invest in new talent. On that logic, Kennedy says, the 2.1 million euros in damages the record labels want from the Bay is justified and maybe even conservative".

While trade bodies obviously can't use the kind of language employed by Abba man Bjorn Ulvaeus in his recent opinion piece on The Pirate Bay trial - in which he asked why is it "so damn hard to understand" that creative ideas only see the light of day when creators and their financial backers can be sure of payment, before concluding "Is it really so damn difficult to pay your way?" - Ulvaeus' more simplistic and brutal argument seems much stronger to me.

That argument goes like this. Good content costs money to develop and distribute (less money than it used to, but it still costs mone). Most artists start off poor, they need a rich person (or company) to loan them the money. The investors will want to secure and profit from their investment. While there may be performance revenues to share in, intellectual property is a more secure security. Therefore, copyright enables the investment good content requires.

A copyright is only of any value if the law provides an owner with the tools to protect it. Of course, given the intangible nature of copyright, you can only protect it to a point - at some point you have to draw the line and accept it's not commercially viable to block all infringement. But when a company or group of people launch and promote a website that exists primarily to enable others to infringe, and make no efforts - technical or communicative - to stop it being used for infringement, and if said company shows little interest in compromising with content owners to develop a licensed service, surely the law has to do something to stop them?

Anyone from the prosecution in the Pirate Bay trial is welcome to use that paragraph in their summing up statement next week. I promise not to sue you for copyright infringement.

The trial, meanwhile, continues.

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Culture Secretary Andy Burnham was on a bit of a charm offensive at a BPI/ACM organised meeting the other night, which isn't that surprising. After a year of getting up close and personal with the music business, talking up his support for the industry and making vague commitments to help it tackle its biggest issues of the moment, Burnham's colleagues haven't really delivered.

Yes, the government has reversed its position on extending the copyright term - the UK will support European moves to increase the term from the current fifty years - but IP Minister David Lammy has made it very clear he's no interest in extending the term beyond 70 years (the industry wants 95 years), and that he's only doing it for the benefit of aging musicians; record labels he has little time for.

And then there's the ISPs and internet piracy debate. While Burnham has been putting pressure on the internet service providers to take a more proactive role in policing online piracy, hinting at possible new laws to force them to take that role if they won't do so voluntarily, Communications Minister Lord Carter, in his much anticipated Digital Britain report, proposed the record industry sue anyone they suspect of file sharing. A strategy considered, adopted and then sensibly dropped by the UK record industry several years ago.

But Burnham remains confident he's the man to help the music business survive these tricky times, and used the BPI/ACM event at the Houses Of Parliament this week to outline his five point plan to help the industry in the next twelve months. Though three of those points are basically educational initiatives which, while important, are hardly anything new, and with cross-sector trade body UK Music already developing a number of new education programmes, I'm not sure we need any more just yet.

The other two points of the plan deal with the aforementioned 'big issues'. Copyright extension and piracy.

On the first point Burnham reconfirmed the government's position. Lammy will support extending the European recording copyright when it reaches the EU's Council Of Ministers, though only to 70 years, and with stepped up measures to ensure musicians benefit most from the extension. With some European countries against extension, and others supporting the 95 years that EU commissioner Charlie McCreevy proposed and the industry is asking for, presumably Lammy sees his proposals as being a neat compromise.

On the second point, Burnham turned attention away from the somewhat lacklustre recommendations in 'Digital Britain' regarding getting ISPs more involved in the fight against piracy, and instead stressed that this was also an international issue. Covering much of the same ground as at the Music Tank debate on the issue late last year, he said he would dedicate time in 2009 to speaking to his European and US counterparts

He told the meeting: "I am working towards an international memorandum of understanding, it is time for much more serious dialogue with European and US partners. No solely national solution will work. It can only be durable with international consensus". He added that he hoped to use the global creative industries conference he'll stage in October (what he insists on called the "Davos for creative business", though with less snow presumably) as a forum for debate on this issue. Record labels would presumably like it if the French and New Zealanders got to speak most at any such debate, them being most hardline to date when it comes to forcing ISPs to act on online piracy, mainly by introducing the sometimes controversial three-strike system.

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So, how about another quick Chris Brown update? Word has it that the disgraced R&B star has signed up for anger management classes after allegedly beating up superstar girlfriend Rihanna. The New York Daily News reports he has enrolled in classes in Glendale, California. With police investigations ongoing, there's no legal obligation for him to do so - yet - though cynics says his decision to take the classes may be linked to reports he's hired a new publicist to help him repair his career, which is looking even more fragile since those pictures of a beaten Rihanna circulated on the internet.

Talking of that damaged career, rapper Flo Rida has dropped a highly anticipated collaboration with Brown from his upcoming album 'Roots'. The track, called 'Sweat', was likely to have been a single release off the album, and given Brown's popularity pre the Grammy weekend altercation should have delivered Rida a big hit. But he told reporters this week: "I recorded a great song with Chris. But I won't be releasing it now because of what's going on with him and Rihanna. It could have been my next No1".

But more important than all of that, what does 50 Cent think about the whole Rihanna/Brown escapade? Well, the aforementioned photos of Rihanna have changed his attitude. Fiddy admitted he had made light of the couple's fight when news of Brown's arrest first broke, but says he's changed his ways since he saw pictures of the bruised singer on

Speaking to MTV, he said the incident initially seemed like something "you could use for humour", which is why he posted a short animated video depicted the pair as characters from the 'Street Fighter' videogame.

But he adds: "I didn't have any information on it. You're just going on what the public actually had. It [the photo] shifts the whole thing. Even if you're saying you're in a dysfunctional relationship, I understand that. There's a point when you're already past a woman fighting you back. You look at [that photograph], and it's obviously past that point. There's some issues there that definitely gotta be addressed. Not to take any shots at Chris or Rihanna or take sides in any way, [but] it's really not cool. It's not funny anymore, so there will definitely be no more reference to that from me in any way".

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EMI has filed a lawsuit against SeeqPod, the MP3 search engine which lets you play tracks found on a search through its own player.

Although SeeqPod's owners claim they are just a search engine which offers a useful content preview function - ie the player - which is technically speaking true, in reality the website provides a user-friendly one-stop player that taps into numerous illegal sources of music files (as well as some legal ones) for its content.

Warner started legal action against the service way back in January 2008. EMI's action not only sues SeeqPod directly, it also names its CEO, founder and a major investor, Shekhar Lodha of eSynergi Ventures, in its legal papers. Not only that, but they are also suing another service called Favtape, which utilises SeeqPod technology to deliver music content.

A spokesperson for SeeqPod said they still believe their service is legal, and that they will continue to operate and fight the action against them.

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A spokesman for the two former Trinity Street directors who are suing the company's financial backers have responded to allegations made about the performance of the music-focused e-commerce firm under their leadership.

As previously reported, David Robson and Andy Murray, who acquired Trinity Street back in 2004 and who formed an alliance with music investment firm Ingenious in 2007, were fired from the company and pushed off its board at the end of last year. They announced last month that they planned to sue the e-commerce firm's parent company, Trinity Universal Holdings, claiming they were unlawfully removed as directors in what they describe as a "boardroom coup".

When Ingenious announced they were putting Trinity Street into administration earlier this month, Robson and Murray issued a statement saying their former company had been allowed to collapse after new managers put in place by the investment firm "failed to secure new business and allowed loyal, long-term clients to take their business elsewhere".

Sources at Ingenious said Robson and Murray's claims were a "grotesque distortion", insisting that the plaintiffs had been removed because of concerns about Trinity Street's financial performance, and that since their departure a more thorough investigation had revealed the company's situation to be worse than originally thought, hence the decision to close it down. There are rumours the firm has debts to the tune of £5 million, much of that owing to Ingenious.

But a spokesman for Robson and Murray has hit back, reaffirming the two former directors' original claims that the company was doing fine prior to their removal, and that they were unlawfully removed from the firm's board. Arguing that the £5 million in debts that has been rumoured relates to Ingenious' investment in the company, for which they receive equity, rather than actual debts, he told CMU: "As late as last month Ingenious, via their lawyers, confirmed [to Robson and Murray] that the company was solvent and also continued to positively represent the company's stability and future to clients since they took command of the company last year right up until unexpectedly ceasing trading on Friday 13 February".

On the suggestion that their investors weren't fully aware of Trinity Street's financial position until after their departure, Robson and Murray's spokesman adds: "Since their investment in 2007, `Ingenious have had continuous financial visibility via their board position, management accounts and weekly reviews".

So, very differing opinions on either side then. Our sources at Ingenious stand by their claims that Trinity Street was "under-performing" before the departure of Robson and Murray, and that that fact was the reason for them being removed. Expect some lively debate if and when the Trinity Two's lawsuit reaches court.

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I think I might follow Britney Spears' lead and get a restraining order against Adnan Ghalib. Except I might struggle to find anyone willing to serve him with the papers.

Britney ex Ghalib was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, battery and hit-and-run on Tuesday, the LA Country District Attorney's office has confirmed. All three charges relate to an alleged incident earlier this month when, it is claimed, Ghalib ran down a man who was trying to serve him with the restraining order filed last month by Spears' father. And just in case you're adding those charges together, the deadly weapon is his Mercedes and the battery is the act of hitting someone with his car.

The victim apparently jumped onto the car as it came towards him and hung on as Ghalib swerved to shake him off, which he did, breaking the man's wrist in the process. Ghalib then drove away without stopping (there's the hit-and-run, you see?).

Prosecutors have requested that bail be set at $110,000. If Ghalib is found guilty he faces up to seven years in prison.

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More Britney, and Spears' hair stylist Roberta Romero has testified against the pop star's former manager Sam Lutfi at a hearing to decide whether the restraining order against him should be extended. As previously reported, the singer's father, Jamie Spears, and his attorneys claim that Lutfi attempted to sabotage the conservatorship that gives them control of Britney's personal and financial affairs. The original order was put in place when Lutfi was, amongst other things, accused of drugging the star in order to keep his control over her.

Romero claims that Lutfi spent three weeks over the Christmas period desperately trying to get information about Spears from her. She told the LA court yesterday: "Someone kept calling me from a private number... He said his name was Sam. He wanted information about Britney. He said he was on her side. I told him, 'Leave me alone, stop calling me'".

She added that Lutfi sent her a number of text messages, protesting his innocence over his alleged part in her mental breakdown, one of which she alleges read: "Please relay the truth to her. I did not do this to her". Another stated: "I've done everything I can to free her from this. (I'm) very close to getting her free now". Romero says that she continually asked him to leave her alone, and ultimately informed Spears about his attempted contact on 27 Dec.

Orders against Lufti, as well as ex-boyfriend Adnan Ghalib, as aforementioned, have been extended until 18 Mar.

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Lock up your daughters! CMU's favourite thug, Blake Fielder-Civil, has been released from prison. Amy Winehouse's estranged husband left HMP Edmunds Hill at 10am yesterday, a spokesman for the prison confirmed. You might remember, he was briefly released at the end of last year, before being locked up again for breaching his conditions of bail.

No word yet on whether or not he's beaten up any more pub landlords, though we've not heard from Al Murray for at least 24 hours.

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According to reports, the chap I like to call a one man challenge to US law enforcement, DMX, has incurred further charges whilst serving a ninety day sentence, after he apparently threw a tray of food at a Maricopa County detention officer. As previously reported, the rapper, real name Earl Simmons, in in the klink because of a number of offences, including theft, drug possession and cruelty to animals.

County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is said to have confirmed that Simmons was charged with aggravated assault this week. The altercation apparently arose because Simmons took a meal he was not supposed to take, as he was on a bread-and-water diet because of an earlier transgression. Which sounds quite archaic. Is that a widespread practice? Answers on a postcard, please.

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MGMT have hit out at French president Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party for repeatedly using their song 'Kids' without permission. They say the cheeky song stealing is ironic given the UMP is behind the hardline anti-filesharing rules that are being introduced in France.

MGMT's French lawyer told Le Monde: "It seems that those who led the charge against internet users are not the most respectful of copyright". He highlighted two meetings in January where the song had been used, as well as videos on the party's website, where the song was used without express permission from the band.

Of course, the chances are that both the event and website were covered by blanket licences, which is normally the case when political types use music without an artist's permission. Certainly that's what the party's new secretary general, Xavier Bertrand, says. He responded to MGMT's complaints by saying that the use of the song was cleared with French royalty collection agency SACEM, adding: "The UMP is very respectful of copyright. Compensation has to be expected ... and we are presently looking at whether the band was fairly compensated".

Given that when political parties use known songs it sort of implies featured artists endorse them, some reckon blanket licences shouldn't cover events or media staged or owned by political parties.

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Former Billboard man Mike McGeever has died at the age of 48 after suffering a heart attack. McGeever worked as Radio Editor for Billboard-owned trade publications Music Monitor and Music & Media throughout the nineties, but later returned to his hometown of Pottsville, Pennsylvania, to work for Schuylkill Community Action. He also hosted a weekly show on classic rock station WPAM 1450.

Jon Heasman, Ofcom's manger of commercial radio licensing, who worked with Mike at Billboard and Music and Media, is quoted by Radio Today as saying: "Mike was genuinely loved by all who knew him. He was a very warm, incredibly generous man who - above all - possessed an enormous sense of fun. He was a great journalist and, with his experiences drawn from both sides of the Atlantic, he was also a real authority on music radio, which was a medium he loved".

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Muse won on points at last night's NME Awards in London, picking up three awards, but Oasis beat them to the title of Best British Band. The Gallaghers were nominated in seven categories, but only took the one gong, though Noel Gallagher got an award for his band blog. Muse won Best Live Band, Best Album Artwork, and, er, Sexiest Man for the group's Matt Bellamy.

Other winners on the night included The Killers, who were voted Best International band, Kings Of Leon, who took Best Album for 'Only By The Night', MGMT, who got Best New Band and Best Track for 'Time To Pretend', and Elbow, presented with the honour for Outstanding Contribution To Music.

Dizzee Rascal and Calvin Harris, the latter the recent winner of the CMU sponsored Best Remixer award at the MPG Awards, won Best Dancefloor Filler for 'Dance Wiv Me', despite Harris not being invited to the NME's award show. On hearing of his win he Twittered: "What kind of award ceremony has you win an award yet still doesnt invite you? NME admit it you fucking love me. Would you have loved 'Dance Wiv Me' with no music? When's the last time an accapella got to no 1? Fucking 'Caravan Of Love'". I'm assuming there's some history here because earlier in the day Harris Twittered: "I am not going to the fucking NME awards. They didn't invite me because I am the worst producer on the planet and also a cunt, their words. I am a cunt but Swizz Beats is the worst producer on the planet".

Back to the NME winners list, and in the silly section, The Jonas Brothers were pronounced Worst Band, as well as being responsible for the Worst Album, whilst hero and villain of the year were Barack Obama and George W Bush respectively.

Best Venue went to the now closed though not quite yet demolished Astoria. As previously reported, The Cure were appointed this year's Godlike Genius, and they closed the show - which featured appearances from Elbow, Glasvegas and Franz Ferdinand - with a half hour set. The ceremony is to be broadcast on C4 on Friday.

Your full list of winners goes like this:

Best British Band: Oasis
Best New Band: MGMT
Best Live Band: Muse
Worst Band: Jonas Brothers

Best Track: MGMT - Time To Pretend
Best Dancefloor Filler: Dizzee Rascal feat Calvin Harris - Dance Wiv Me
Best Album: Kings Of Leon - Only By The Night
Best DVD: Arctic Monkeys - At The Apollo
Best Album Artwork: Muse HAARP
Worst Album: Jonas Brothers A Little Bit Longer

Best Solo Artist: Pete Doherty
Best International Band: The Killers
Best Video: Last Shadow Puppets - My Mistakes Were Made For You

Best Live Event: Glastonbury Festival
Best Venue: London Astoria

Best TV Show: The Mighty Boosh
Best Website: YouTube
Best Blog: Noel Gallagher

Sexiest Male: Matt Bellamy from Muse
Sexiest Female: Hayley Williams from Paramore

Worst Dressed: Amy Winehouse
Best Dressed: Alexa Chung

Hero Of The Year: Barack Obama
Villian Of The Year: George W Bush

Phillip Hall Radar Award: The Big Pink
Outstanding Contribution: Elbow
Godlike Geniuses: The Cure

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Talking of Barack Obama, which we were, briefly, in the context of him being considered a hero by the readers of NME, the new US president presented Stevie Wonder with the US Library of Congress's Gershwin Prize For Popular Song yesterday.

Obama said of Wonder: "Stevie has always drawn on the incredible range of traditions in his music and from that he's created a style that's at once uniquely American, uniquely his own and yet somehow universal. Indeed, this could be called the American tradition - artists demonstrating the courage, the talent to find new harmonies in the rich and dissonant sounds of the American experience".

He added: "I think it's fair to say that had I not been a Stevie Wonder fan, Michelle might not have dated me, we might not have married. The fact that we agreed on Stevie was part of the essence of our courtship".

receiving his award, Wonder responded: "What is truly exciting for me today is that we truly have lived to see a time and a space where America has a chance to again live up to the greatness that it deserves to be seen and known as, through the love and caring and the commitment of a president - as in our president, Barack Obama".

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The Official Charts Company has launched a new chart tracking mobile downloads because, obviously, downloads bought via a mobile phone are totally different to those bought over the internet. The new chart is timed to coincide with launch of a new chart app for the iPhone.

Confirming the new chart, Charts Company MD Martin Talbot says this: "This new chart reflects the changing ways in which consumers are accessing and consuming music and underlines the Official Charts Company's commitment to offering data on all types of music consumption. 2008 saw the launch of the world's first Subscription Plays Chart in the UK - and 2009 will see the development of even more charts and data showcasing the fast-growing digital environment".

In case you wondered, number one in the first mobile download chart is Lily Allen, which is interesting, because number one in the main download chart is Lily Allen, whereas number one in the overall singles chart is, erm, Lily Allen.

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Klaxons have almost completed work on a "quite psychedelic" second album, Simian Mobile Disco's James Ford has revealed.

Ford, who produced some of the album, told BBC 6music: "[The album is] kind of most of the way there. There's still some things to do, but it's gonna be really good, I think. They've tried to push forward, as they like to do, but also I think there's quite a lot of stuff that people would recognise as Klaxons on there as well".

Ford said that he is also working on a new Simian Mobile Disco album with his cohort, Jas Shaw. He said: "The main thing I'm working on at the minute is obviously the Simian thing, because we want to get the record done. So, that's been the main focus but I've also done, recently, tracks with Klaxons and Florence And The Machine. What with that and touring, it's been keeping me pretty busy".

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Anand Wilder, guitarist with CMU Favourites Yeasayer, has revealed that he is working on a new musical, which is set to hit the stage and be released as an album at some point in the future. Entitled 'Break Line', Wilder is co-writing it with pianist Max Kardon and has roped in collaborators, including a gospel choir and members of MGMT, Chairlift, Dirty Projectors and Man Man, to help out with the recording.

A spokesperson told Pitchfork: "The story revolves around an interracial love affair in a coal mining town around the turn of the century".

In addition to this, Wilder is working with the rest of Yeasayer on the follow-up to their 2007 debut album, 'All Hour Cymbals'. News of which is seriously lacking on the band's recording news blog, here:

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Enter Shikari have posted a new song for free download via their website, which you can download from in return for an email address. It's called 'Antwerpen' and is from the band's second album 'Common Dreads' which is due out in May.

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Von Bondies have announced the release of a new album, 'Love, Hate And Then There's You', on 4 May via Fierce Panda. They also have a UK tour planned, dates as follows:

23 Apr: London Kings College
25 Apr: London Camden Crawl
26 Apr: Glasgow King Tut's Wah Wah Hut
27 Apr: Manchester The Ruby Lounge

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That previously reported Spiderman musical featuring music by U2 is reportedly to open in February next year. 'Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark', for that is its name in full, is apparently to preview on Broadway from 16 Jan then open on 18 Feb. The £31million show hasn't officially been cast yet, but Marilyn Manson's former squeeze Evan Rachel Wood has claimed that she is set to play Mary-Jane.

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The lovely Bell X1 have announced a series of tour dates to coincide with the release of their new album 'Blue Lights On The Runway' on 16 Mar.

5 May: London, Barfly
16 May: Brighton, The Great Escape, venue tbc
18 May: Birmingham, Barfly
19 May: London, Scala
20 May: Manchester, Club Academy
21 May: Glasgow, King Tuts

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The Yeah Yeah Yeahs will be in the UK to promote their new album, 'It's Blitz', in April with some gigs. Not many, though. They will play one show in Manchester and then two nights in London. Then they'll be off and will never return. Well, they probably will return. I don't know why I said that. Sorry.

Tour dates:

22 Apr: Manchester, Academy
25 Apr: London, Shepherds Bush Empire
26 Apr: London, Shepherds Bush Empire

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Organisers of the Camden Crawl have announced they have teamed up with Red Bull to stage a special mini-version of the cross-Camden music festival especially for 14-18 year olds (well, those who don't have fake ID). The Red Bull Bedroom Jam X-Crawl will take place on 25 Apr, and feature 25 up and coming bands and DJs at venues curated by Artrocker, Visible Noise and the Red Bull Bedroom Jam team. There's more info at The main Camden Crawl takes place on 24 and 25 Apr, info at



T IN THE PARK, Balado, 10-12 Jul: The Streets, Ladyhawke, Foals and Florence And The Machine added to line up, headlined by The Killers, Kings Of Leon and Blur.

GLADE FESTIVAL, location tbc, 16-19 Jul: Underworld added to the bill, BLOC Weekend curators to host tent.

SONISPHERE FESTIVAL, Knebworth, 1-2 Aug (and elsewhere in Europe on other dates): Bullet For My Valentine added to lined up, which already includes Metallica, Linkin Park, Alice In Chains, Avenged Sevenfold and Machine Head.

ROSKILDE FESTIVAL, Roskilde, Denmark, 2-5 Jul: Oasis have been announced as headliners, line up already includes Coldplay, Slipknot, Madness and Marnie Stern amongst others.

SOUNDWAVE FESTIVAL, Petrcane, Croatia, 17-20 Jul: Initial line up announced including DJ Yoda, Hexstatic, The Bays and Alice Russell.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Will Young - Let It Go (Sony/RCA)
Will Young returns to form with the third release from his well-received fourth album. A simple acoustic offering from the former Pop Idol allows Young to showcase his enormous talent at its best, utilising his soulful voice with the surprising range and vulnerability that Young's music has become renowned for. As the titular track from his album, 'Let It Go', is clearly an important track, both for Young himself, and in terms of characterising the album. He is a master of understating his music, and letting the lyrics and his voice set the tone for the record. After a disappointing third album, it is certainly pleasing to see that Young has managed to silence the naysayers with a release such as this. TA
Release Date: Mar 2
Press Contact: RCA IH [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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The former MD of Pinnacle Records, Joe Cokell, has joined Cooking Vinyl and their sister sales and distribution company Essential Music as a Business Development Director. He told reporters: "Over many years, the [Cooking Vinyl and Essential] business model has been proved to be totally viable and the company could not be better positioned to become the perfect home for artists or labels who are looking for a pro-active working partnership, whether it be a one-off project, or a long term relationship".

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The Association Of Independent Music will stage an event on 2 Apr all about the global music market, offering tips to indie labels looking to expand their sales overseas. Sessions will include discussions on how to build a buzz for your acts globally, on the merits of exporting CDs versus licensing your albums to local labels, and on how new technology is changing global sales and distribution. Government body UK Trade And Investment, which promotes UK business abroad, is supporting the event and will also explain what they do and how they work. This all takes place on 2 Apr at the offices of PRS For Music in London, from 6-10pm. Info at

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eMusic have announced a tie-up with Facebook which will allow subscribers to the independent download service to share with their friends album ratings, personal reviews and artist links from their eMusic profile. There will also be an eMusic Daily Download widget which will offer a free download every day, and which people can post on their social network pages or blogs.

Announcing the new social networking add-ons, eMusic SVP Deirdre Stone told reporters: "Back in the day of the corner music store, word-of-mouth was one of the best ways to find out about new music. Facebook is the modern day equivalent and we want to empower the eMusic community to engage in this way. eMusic has always offered a richer experience than mass market digital music retailers, and integrating Facebook Connect will make it an even better place for fans to share information about their favourite music".

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ITV top man Michael Grade has suggested that one solution to the current problems being faced by both his company and commercial public service broadcaster Channel 4 would be for the two companies to merge, and for that merged company to then merge with Channel 5, basically putting all of the non-BBC terrestrial telly channels into the ownership of one body.

It's a radical plan, but then again Grade can be a bit radical when he wants to be. Such a move would, of course, need government backing, as it would technically speaking breach media ownership and competition laws. And BSkyB would be sure to lobby hard against the creation of a competitor as powerful as Channel-ITV-Four-Five. Especially given that their being forced to sell their share of ITV.

Grade's radical plan is being mooted as he tries to make ITV's books balance in the face of a major advertising recession and growing competition for other digital services. As previously reported, Grade is expected to sell Friends Reunited and ITV's bit of the Freeview infrastructure, and then slash programme budgets and cut jobs, in a bid to make things add up. And even then he may still have to cut dividend payments to shareholders.

Another radical plan Grade is reportedly putting about is for Channel 4 to become a wholly publicly funded enterprise - presumably funded by the licence fee - thus taking a major competitor for terrestrial TV advertising out of the marketplace. Though given the government's unwillingness to give Channel 4 bosses a share of the licence fee to supplement advertising and sponsorship revenues, they are unlikely to support those proposals.

As previously reported, the government's recent Digital Britain report smiled on proposals for Channel 4 to either merge with Channel Five, or to forge a closer alliance with the BBC's commercial division BBC Worldwide, in a bid to overcome their future financial problems. Channel Four prefers the latter of those proposals, and is already in talks with Beeb Worldwide - with proposals that C4 buy Virgin Media out of the UKTV network, so that that becomes a C4/BBC joint venture, seen as a stepping stone towards the Beeb and Channel 4 launching a combined commercial broadcasting enterprise with public service objectives, assisted though not funded by the licence-fee funded main bit of the BBC.

That said, the BBC Worldwide/C4 partnership is reportedly raising concerns among some political types, and a parliamentary report leaked to the Guardian opposes those proposals, saying it will make BBC Worldwide too commercially dominant and "aggressive". The report apparently suggests a number of new rules to restrict the operations and growth of BBC Worldwide, with or without a Channel 4 alliance.

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Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos has resigned from his role as food critic for The Guardian because he's not hungry any more. No, wait, he doesn't want to be seen as a food critic. He wants people to think of him as a musician. Good luck with that.

Kapranos told the newspaper: "I remembered working in my first restaurant in Fort William when a chef asked, 'Hey, you want a slice of shark?' And my response was, 'Shark? What the fuck?' I figured it would actually be interesting to write from a naive perspective. [But] I had a couple of calls from TV stations asking if I wanted to present food programmes, and I thought, 'God, this has got to stop. This is not who I am'".

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These, in case you wondered, are the videos being played on the network of screens in students' unions around the UK this week. New entries marked with a *. More info from [email protected].

Asher Roth - I Love College
Chase & Status feat. Kano - Against All Odds
Fleet Foxes - Mykonos
Friendly Fires - Skeleton Boy
Glasvegas - Flowers and Football Tops
In Case Of Fire - The Cleansing
Katy Perry - Thinking Of You
The Killers - Spaceman
Ladyhawke - Paris Is Burning
Madcon - Liar
MGMT - Time To Pretend
NASA - Money
Oasis - Falling Down
Red Light Company - Arts & Crafts
U2 - Get On Your Boots
The Virgins - Teen Lover
VV Brown - LEAVE!
The Wombats - My Circuitboard City

Animal Collective - My Girls
The Asteroid Galaxy Tour - The Sun Ain't Shining No More
The BPA - He's Frank
Esser - Work It Out
Fever Ray - If I Had A Heart
Flithy Dukes - This Rhythm
The Hot Melts - Edith
Karima Francis - Again
Kids In Glass Houses - Dance All Night
Metro Station - Shake It
Noisettes - Don't Upset The Rhythm
Peter, Bjorn & John - Nothing To Worry About
Ra Ra Riot - Can You Tell
Rex The Dog - Bubblicious
September - Can't Get Over
Sneaky Sound System - I Love It
Starsailor - Tell Me It's Not Over
The Voluntary Butler Scheme - Multiplayer

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Kate Nash and Cribs frontman Ryan Jarman are planning to get hitched at a ceremony in Portland, Oregon this Saturday, according the The Sun.

A source told the tabloid: "Both of them are very excited about the wedding but they didn't want any fuss. That's part of the reason why they decided to do it in America".

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Former New Order, Revenge, Monaco, Ad Infinitum and current Freebass bassist Peter Hook has been discussing covers of songs by another of his former bands, Joy Division.

Hook told Filter: "The great thing about age is you end up taking your life in stride, so that has gotten easier. You learn not be too precious about it. Because of Ian's death I was more protective of Joy Division songs than with New Order. I was on a flight once and there was a French cover version of 'Love Will Tear Us Apart', and it was great. It's something I have gotten used to. A friend sent me a house remix of 'Love Will Tear Us Apart', that was just fantastic. It's when you get something that's so odd that works when it's great, but then there is as ugly side of it: cover versions that don't work".

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The Pet Shop Boys have said that they don't really approve of the Brit Awards, unless it's them, receiving an Outstanding Contribution Award. Chris Lowe told Q Magazine: "We don't really approve of the awards. But this one is a little different. It acknowledges the importance of pop in the world. You know, it's not all rock".

Band mate Neil Tennant expressed his surprise at the accolade: "I didn't think we'd get it. EMI phoned and said, 'If they give you this award, (a) will you accept it? And (b) will you turn up?' I was impressed that that was how they still thought of us! When we got the award for 'West End Girls' in 1987 for best single, Chris didn't turn up".

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Okay, Dannii Minogue is definitely going to be on the judging panel of next year's series of 'X Factor'. Well, probably. She's still got to agree to do it, but Simon Cowell wants her to be there. Following the previously reported rumours that Minogue was to be booted off the show, Cowell has confirmed that he doesn't foresee any changes to the current roster of judges.

Cowell told The Mirror: "As far as the judging panel is concerned, let's just say that if I was a betting man my money would be on Dannii returning to the show. She was great last year and I am adamant she should be there for the next series. All being well, pen will be put to paper this week".

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