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Top Stories
Jackson to announce O2 shows
Neil Young supports Warner in YouTube dispute
Robert Smith says more about Radiohead release
Flaming Lips track named official song of Oklahoma
In The Pop Courts
Defence sum up: Pirate Bay trial update
Charts, Stats & Polls
New U2 album will equal Stones record
Procul Harum top funeral song chart
Artist Deals
Universal Publishing sign U2 collaborator
In The Studio
Cypress Hill are in the studio
Imbruglia very happy with ex's album contribution
Release News
New Eels album due this summer
Jimmy Eat World live album
Cornell to stream new album for limited period
Gigs N Tours News
Jarvis Cocker announces UK tour dates
N-Dubz add dates to sold out UK tour
Gong announce 40th anniversary tour
Festival News
Faith No More to headline Download
Eavis says Jay-Z helped give Glasto new life
Snowside cancelled
Festival line up update
Album review: Various Artists - Fabric 45: Omar S - Detroit (Fabric Records)
The Music Business
Universal financials - this time actually for the year 2008
19 Entertainment profits up
Seatwave says secondary ticketing booming
FAC reschedule London meeting
Blockbuster on the brink, maybe
The Digital Business
Three MySpace execs depart
The Media Business
ITV announces cutbacks
Chart Of The Day
MTV2/MySpace chart
And finally...
University creates Beatles MA
Noel Gallagher hopes for a continuing crunch
Lindsay Lohan's dad says Judaism is a phase
Jay Kay's Ferrari damaged

McGee argues with Eno?

CMU Daily Archives
Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
Advertise with CMU


London-based three-piece the Noisettes formed in 2003 and have since been working hard on their distinct indie-rock sound. The trio have played with the likes of Tom Vek, TV On The Radio and Bloc Party and have toured relentlessly, across both the UK and US. Their latest single 'Don't Upset The Rhythm' is released on 23 Mar followed a week later by their album 'Wild Young Hearts' on 30 Mar. Noisettes are playing a handful of UK dates in mid-March before heading off on tour with Maximo Park in May. We caught up with the band and put to them our Same Six Questions.


Q1 How did you start out making music?
Dan's dad had a blues band and when he left school he skipped Uni and joined the band and played in pubs and blues festivals. Shingai's family includes lots of afro-beat musicians and she was always stepping over them when they'd be crashed out on her living room floor. Jamie fell in love with the drums and once locked himself in his room for a week and would play each single drum till he felt like it was a personal friend

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
A lot of alcohol and then a lot of hastily gained and lost relationships and the feeling that time is passing but the 'chase' is always a thrill. Maybe the time passes the way it does cos of the alcohol. I never thought of that til now.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating an album?
Well, there is exhaustive demo-ing. Visualising what we wanted the album to sound like by making each other mix tapes and recording demos over the top of really overt top 10 stuff then deleting the original and listening to what was left. Pre-production which took three weeks and then tracking and overdubs which was three months. We all had our birthdays during the sessions. Eating well is very important.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
So many - it's hard to feel like the list is ever complete. Stevie Wonder, Prince, Sly And The Family Stone, Steely Dan, INXS, Van Halen, AC/DC, Simon And Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, TV On The Radio.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Don't make your judgement on hearing just one song cos they all sound radically different. Also, we rip it up live.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
We have massive ambitions for it. It would be great if it linked up all sorts of different people who liked different styles of music. It really can do that. We plan to tour and travel further afield than we did last time round and our next album will make peoples jaws drop. We're planning it to be a musical.

MORE>> and


A Girl And A Gun is 18 year old Alabama resident Sophie B who claims to be "taking over the world with her hotness". That's as maybe, but she's got some pretty awesome tunes under her belt as well. She's a potential thorn in the side for the current trend for female electro-pop artists, given her apparent attitude that there's really no need to gently excite your listeners with retro synth sounds when you can ramp up the gain and beat them around the head with more immediate effect. Her debut album was released last summer by Jet Fighter Records, but a better starting point is a newer track, 'Send More Cops', which you can find streaming on her MySpace profile.


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ADVERTISE WITH CMU - classifieds £120 per week, job ads £100 per week, banner ads £150 per week, leader box £200 per week - call 020 7099 9050 or email for information or to book.


Leyline Promotions are looking for an enthusiastic, web-savvy intern to work alongside the events and PR teams in Westbourne Studios. The internship is 3-5 days per week, 6 weeks long, with the possibility of a long term position. Leyline runs several indie/electro/alt-rock/dance nights in London as well as a PR department who represent various artists and festivals. Applicants should be very passionate about music, active on forums/online, willing to learn and able to hit the ground running! Applicants must be prepared to work occasional evening shifts and will be reimbursed for travel. Contact Tamsin for more info on



Michael Jackson is expected to announce a summer residency at the O2 Arena later this week.

The star will appear at the venue tomorrow to make a "special announcement". Of course, the special announcement could be something entirely different, but the BBC's entertainment news team are claiming via their Twitter feed that they have had it confirmed that the gigs are set to go ahead.

If this is so, then it'll be quite a summer of troubled stars at the Dome, with Britney Spears also performing eight nights at the venue in June. It will also be the first time Jackson has performed in London since he disappointed fans by singing just a few lines from 'We Are The World' at the World Music Awards in 2006.

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Neil Young has come out in support of Warner Music in their licensing squabble with YouTube.

As much previously reported, just before Christmas Warner pulled all its content from the video sharing website after the two companies failed to agree on new licensing terms. Insiders say that the record company, the first major to licence its music to YouTube back in the day, wanted to use contract renewal negotiations to increase the income it receives from the video service, but YouTube owners Google, who are struggling to make the market-leader video site actually pay for itself, refused.

Young, who is signed to Warner's Reprise label, has posted a letter on his website saying that the major was forced to step back from YouTube because they were offered less good terms than their rivals. He admits that he recognises the value of YouTube for artists like him, but adds that he thinks it is unfair one label might be offered less favourable terms than another.

He writes: "Warner Reprise records was one of the very first to embrace YouTube. YouTube was in its fledgling stages when Warner made an early deal to work with them. Today, other labels have made more lucrative deals for their artists at YouTube".

Giving his support to the concept of YouTube, and expressing a little disappointment that he can no longer utilise the service, he continues: "Today's web world has created a new way. Artists today can go directly to the people. There is nothing standing between the artists and their audience. Freedom of expression reigns. [But] when that conduit is broken, the connection is weakened".

But he clearly blames YouTube for the breakdown of their talks with Warner, adding: "If all artists were compensated equally, and the people decided who had the hits and misses by virtue of number of downloads and plays, there could be no grounds for disagreement that would cause the facilitator of the art to break the conduit between an artist and an audience. That is what has happened to Warner artists caught in YouTube's web. YouTube has a responsibility to respect the artists it facilitates and resist punishing them to make a business point".

He concludes: "It is time for industry wide standards of artist's compensation on the web. Reprise and Warner Bros artists deserve what artists from other labels are getting. Let the people decide what constitutes success. Warner Bros and Reprise are looking for a level playing field. Until they get one, these problems may not go away. That is the essence of the issue between Warner Bros Reprise and YouTube".

A YouTube spokesman, sort of missing the point of Young's argument, told reporters: "YouTube connects music, musicians, and fans. We have deals with all of the other major record labels and with musicians, songwriters, and other independent creative producers. It is the record labels' responsibility to represent and pay their artists".

Perhaps Neil could have a word with Warner - who are, remember, shareholders in MySpace Music, like all the majors - about them adopting "industry wide standards of artist's compensation on the web" too, by giving the indies, via digital rights group Merlin, the equal equity stake in MySpace's music company they've asked for.

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Robert Smith has been having another go at trying to explain what he meant, after he appeared to criticise Radiohead's 'In Rainbows' pay-what-you-want scheme. As previously reported, the Cure man was quoted as saying that he "disagreed violently" with the way the album was released, but now he has reacted to the media response to his comments and clarified via his blog that it wasn't especially an attack on Radiohead, though he's sticking to his point, which is basically that giving music away for free devalues it.

Explaining that what he is questioning is the "dumb acceptance of the 'Freemart is the new paradigm - that's just the way it is' mantra", he goes on: "These idiot critics have tried very hard to turn my general point - a point I made using Radiohead's 'In Rainbows: pay what you want' marketing ruse [as an example] as it is the most widely known example - into a mock shock horror: 'how dare anyone question the famously independent and anti-capitalist Radiohead, they sell more 'product' than The Cure so their strategy obviously 'worked' (huh?!!)... and anyway, Robert Smith is way too old to comment on contemporary culture" moment...'"

The full rant is here, if you want to read it: It's all in upper case, though, so don't say you weren't warned.

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The wonderful if slightly depressing Flaming Lips song 'Do You Realise' has been named the official song of the band's home state Oklahoma. The state held a big vote to select their song, with 450 being put forward to a long list. A public vote got that down to a shortlist of ten and the State legislature picked the overall winner. Whether that now means the song has to be added to the musical 'Oklahoma' I'm not sure.

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It was the defence's chance to sum up in the ongoing Pirate Bay trial yesterday.

They again stressed that no infringing content is stored on or moves through the Pirate Bay's servers, a common defence in these kinds of trials and, technically speaking, a correct statement, though the record companies would argue it's an irrelevant point, because the Bay so blatantly helps the actual infringers infringe (and, arguably, profits from them doing so) that they should be considered active players in the infringement anyway.

The defence team also again stressed that the Bay had legitimate uses, claiming the prosecution had failed to show that it was mainly unlicensed content that is shared by Pirate Bay users. And they again made the claim that the Bay is no different to other search engines - if they are guilty of infringement, they argue, so are Google.

The legal men added that the prosecution had not presented any actual uploaders or downloaders who connect via the Pirate Bay's search engine during the trial, nor shown that those file-sharers' actions were illegal in their country of origin. They raised this point, presumably, because the court needs to be sure people who use the Bay's services are guilty of primary infringement in order to charge the owners of the BitTorrent tracker with the more abstract crime of 'authorising infringement'.

And in regard to the damages situation, the legal men said the record companies and film studios had grossly exaggerated the Pirate Bay's advertising income, and equally overstated the sales they themselves lose as a result of file sharing. They reminded the court of academic witness Roger Wallis who said that the content industries at large benefited from the file sharing phenomenon, because it helped promote new artists and reduced the costs of distributing content.

It's quite hard to predict how the court will rule on all this, because both sides have failed in some ways in presenting their side of the argument. The content owners embarrassingly dropped half their charges at the outset, and then relied in the main on the same old arguments and easy-to-question statistics. But the defence have, in my opinion, fared even less well. Their bullish "we're here to stick it to the man" attitude outside the court was replaced with questionable claims of ignorance regarding copyright laws and their role in enabling infringement when they took to the witness stand, plus all the usual defences used by P2P service providers, many of which have been previously rejected in court, albeit in other jurisdictions.

Nevertheless, the Bay's spokesman Peter Sunde, a defendant himself of course, remained confident outside the courtroom. According to Ars Technica he said this: "A guilty verdict would 'be a huge mistake for the future of the Internet. It's quite obvious which side is the good side".

Although a verdict was expected as soon as next week, it looks likely one won't now be reached until mid-April.

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According to the Official Charts Company (though it's possibly a no-brainer), U2's new album 'No Line On The Horizon' will top the album chart this weekend, and will mean that the band will have equalled the Rolling Stones' record of ten UK number one albums. Only Elvis and The Beatles have had more number one albums.

Bono et al's new LP, their twelfth, will probably also be this year's fastest selling album so far.

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In some domains I think it's the old people who get it right. I mean, I'm all for contemporary music at funerals, but surely sliding into the fire to 'What a Wonderful World', 'You'll Never Walk Alone' or 'Jerusalem' is preferable to U2's 'With Or Without You' or Westlife's 'You Raise Me Up' or REM's 'Everybody Hurts'? Or Joy Division's 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' - I mean, classic song, but at a funeral? But hey, look at the bright side, James Blunt's 'Goodbye My Lover' topped this poll in 2007, and now it's nowhere to be seen.

Anyway, The Bereavement Register, a body which tries to stop junk mail from being sent to dead people by logging deaths, has released their 'songs most played at funerals' charts for 2009, based on a survey of funeral directors and organisers, and the top tens by age group and then overall are as follows...

Generation X/Y (age 20-44)
1. Jeff Buckley - Last Goodbye
2. REM - Everybody Hurts
3. The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
4. Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares To U
5. Robbie Williams - Angels
6. U2 - With Or Without You
7. Westlife - You Raise Me Up
8. Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
9. Crowded House - Don't Dream it's Over
10. Gary Jules - Mad World

Baby Boomers (age 45-69)
1. Procul Harum - Whiter Shade Of Pale
2. Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water
3. The Beatles - Let It Be
4. Eric Clapton - Tears In Heaven
5. Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody
6. Frank Sinatra - My Way
7. Ave Maria
8. Bette Midler - Wind Beneath My Wings
9. Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
10. Elvis Presley - Love Me Tender

Seniors (age 70+)
1. Amazing Grace
2. Vera Lynn - We'll Meet Again
3. You'll Never Walk Alone
4. Louis Armstrong - What A Wonderful World
5. Ave Maria
6. Jerusalem
7. Nessun Dorma
8. Over the Rainbow
9. Psalm 23
10. Nat 'King' Cole - Unforgettable

Overall Top Ten
1. Procul Harum - Whiter Shade Oof Pale
2. Amazing Grace
3. Vera Lynn - We'll Meet Again
4. Jeff Buckley - Last Goodbye
5. You'll Never Walk Alone
6. Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water
7. The Beatles - Let It Be
8. Louis Armstrong - What A Wonderful World
9. REM - Everybody Hurts
10. The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony

Launching the charts, The Bereavement Register's Manager Luci Penn told CMU: "I think it's fascinating to see which songs speak to each age-group. Be they pop and rock favourites, traditional hymns or even opera arias, specially-selected music adds a wonderfully individual and moving dimension to every funeral. It's food for thought, actually: What song would you like played at your farewell? We hope our latest Top 10's will provoke some lively office as well as dinner party discussion and debate over coming weeks".

I'd quite like Leftfield's 'Open Up'. And Caro CMU once said she wanted The Firm's 'Star Trekkin'. Yeah, come to think of it, I take back all my criticism of other contemporary music choices.

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Universal Publishing have signed up songwriter/producer Daniel Lanois, which seems like a good plan, given he co-wrote and co-produced the U2 album that's about to top the charts. Universal Publishing's David Renzer said this: "We are thrilled to welcome Daniel Lanois, one of the most distinctive and celebrated composers, songwriters, artists, and producers of our time, to our publishing family".

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According to reports, Cypress Hill are at work on their first album for five years, their last output dating back to before their 2004 split from Columbia Records.

The hip-hop group's B-Real told "We're mixing right now. It's gritty. It's aggressive. It's like hip-hop straight-up. We just felt like we needed to go back to that raw, gritty hip-hop sound but try to find a way to bridge it with what's going on now".

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It would seem that Natalie Imbruglia's split from former spouse Daniel Johns was genuinely amicable, as claimed at the time, as the Aussie singer has been waxing lyrical about her ex's contribution to her upcoming new album, due out later this year.

Imbruglia told Melbourne's Herald Sun: "He did some beautiful work on there actually. In fact one of the parts he wrote in one of the songs is my favourite two notes on the whole album. It sounds really weird but they run through the whole song, and it makes the whole song for me. [He's a] very clever boy".

Asked who else had helped with the album, she replied: "I've got some Chris Martin songs that have come in at the last minute [which are] really cool. So that's been really exciting. I'm a very lucky girl".

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Eels will release their first new album for four years this summer, it has been announced. This is good news, because we really like Eels round these parts and those two compilations they released last year, 'Essential Eels' and 'Useless Trinkets', really got us in the mood for some more.

The new album, 'Hombre Lobo', will be released by Vagrant Records on 2 Jun. Hurrah!


Jimmy Eat World have announced that they'll release a digital live album recorded on their current Clarity x 10 tour, on which they are, as that name might suggest, playing ten shows at which they play their 1999 album 'Clarity' in full. 'Clarity Live', which will also include a digital booklet featuring tour photos, will be released on 7 Apr via the band's website,

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Chris Cornell announced starting yesterday that he'll stream his new Timbaland-produced album 'Scream' on MySpace for 48 hours a week ahead of the LP's official US release. Anyone wanting to preview the record has until 12pm EST on 3 Mar.

The former Soundgarden/Audioslave star says of the album: "Musically, this is the most ambitious thing I've been a part of. It's almost like a movie soundtrack". It's out on 10 Mar in the US and 23 Mar in the UK.

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Jarvis Cocker has announced a brief string of UK tour dates to coincide with the release of his as-yet-untitled second solo album. Good.

Tour dates:

10 Jun: Blackpool, Empress Ballroom
12 Jun: Glasgow, ABC
16 Jun: Brighton, Dome
17 Jun: London, Troxy

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The bizarrely underrated by the British media, but definitely in demand by urban music fans, N-Dubz recently added five more dates to the end and two 'warm-up' dates to the beginning of their upcoming UK tour because pretty much every other one of their existing dates, mainly in Academy venues, had already sold out. Oh, and look, one of those extra dates, in Yeovil, has just sold out too. The full tour is now as follows - sold out dates (as of yesterday) marked with an *.

27 Mar: Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
28 Mar: Brighton Concorde
30 Mar: Norwich UEA*
31 Mar: Ipswich Regent*
1 Apr: O2 Academy Sheffield*
3 Apr: Glasgow ABC*
4 Apr: O2 Academy Newcastle*
5 Apr: O2 Academy Leeds
6 Apr: O2 Academy Liverpool*
8 Apr: Manchester Academy*
9 Apr: O2 Academy Birmingham*
10 Apr: Southampton Guildhall*
11 Apr: O2 Academy Bristol*
13 Apr: O2 Academy Oxford*
14 Apr: Cambridge Corn Exchange*
15 Apr: Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall*
17 Apr: Southend Cliffs Pavillion*
18 Apr: O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire*
19 Apr: London Indigo2
22 Apr: Nottingham Rock City
23 Apr: Portsmouth Pyramids
24 Apr: Yeovil Westlands*
25 Apr: Manchester Academy

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Owen CMU is very excited about this, and insists we tell you all about it, even though he's technically speaking on holiday this week. Progressive psychedelic rockers Gong are celebrating forty years of touring by, erm, touring, returning to play the UK at the end of the year for the first time in almost a decade. Founding member Daevid Allen will be joined by Gong members Steve Hillage, Gilli Smyth, Mike Howlett, Miquette Giraudy, Chris Taylor, Theo Travis and John McKenzie on the tour. The tour will follow the release of a new album, out in September. Dates are as follows, tickets are on sale now, press info from Noble.

19 Nov: Bristol O2 Academy
20 Nov: Exeter Lemon Tree
21 Nov: Manchester Academy 2
22 Nov: Edinburgh Picturehouse
23 Nov: Sheffield Leadmill
25 Nov: Leamington Spa Assembly
26 Nov: Cambridge Corn Exchange
27 Nov: London HMV Forum
28 Nov: Oxford Regal Theatre
29 Nov: Brighton Corn Exchange

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Oh dear, if you're running a rock and/or metal festival this year and it's not Download, you should probably pack up and go home because you cannot top this. Download has just announced that Faith No More will headline its 2009 event, which takes place at Donington Park between 12-14 Jun. Not only will this be the newly reformed band's first UK show since 1998, it will be their only UK show this year (and possibly even their last UK show ever).

Live Nation VP of Promotions Andy Copping told reporters: "Faith No More were the band that started the whole alternative music scene. To have them play for the first time in eleven years exclusively at Download is amazing! They had so many huge hits, I can't wait to see the set list - 'We Care A Lot', 'From Out Of Nowhere', 'Epic', 'Falling To Pieces', 'Midlife Crisis', 'A Small Victory', 'Digging The Grave' and not forgetting their awesome covers of Black Sabbath's 'War Pigs' and The Commodores' 'Easy'. They are one of my favourite bands of all time and being able to see them headline at Donington will be unbelievable. This is like the second coming of Christ!"

And as if Coping planning their entire setlist and comparing them to Jesus wasn't enough already, Kerrang! editor Paul Brannigan added: "Faith No More were not only one of the great rock bands of the 90s, but also one of the greatest rock bands ever. A hugely entertaining thorn in the side of mainstream rock throughout their 17 year history, the band's unique, eclectic and uncategorisable sound has been a massive influence on every forward-thinking rock band of the past 20 years and their return is a huge cause for great celebration. I couldn't be more thrilled that they're back".

The band join a line-up already bulging with big names, including Slipknot, Def Leppard, Korn, Marilyn Manson, Whitesnake, Limp Bizkit, Pendulum, ZZ Top, Mötley Crüe, The Prodigy, Dream Theater, Trivium, Killswitch Engage, Billy Talent, Dragonforce, Buckcherry, Anvil, The Blackout and Devil Driver.

Further info and tickets are available from

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Emily Eavis has been talking to the BBC about this year's Glastonbury line-up, and credited Jay-Z with helping to bring about commitments from the high profile acts expected to be playing; the likes of Blur and Bruce Springsteen. Eavis said: "We have got the best possible line-up that we could get this year and I think Jay-Z, we've got a lot to thank him for, because we've never had so many bands wanting to play".

Eavis also spoke about plans for the 2010 festival, which will mark the event's fortieth anniversary. "We're talking to lots of bands at the moment about that" she said. "We want to have a band from every year on the Pyramid Stage over the weekend. And we'll have a lot of the biggest performances on some of the tiniest stages, so we're gonna do something really special for our 40th anniversary".

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Organisers of the Alpine music fest Snowside have announced that they have had to pull this year's inaugural event, but that they hope to be able to stage a similar event next year.

The festival's Rupert Wood said in a statement yesterday: "It is with deep regret that due to circumstances beyond our control we have been left with no other choice but to cancel with immediate effect Snowside Festival, due to be held in Nassfeld Austria between March 23-29th 2009".

He added: "A huge effort has been maintained right throughout the campaign to successfully produce our first Alpine festival however due to certain unforeseen factors including the current economic climate, the pound-euro exchange rate resulting in rising costs, the knock on effect is that ticket sales have been too low. All these factors combined have contributed towards us at Snowside having to make this very difficult decision. Under the circumstances we are unable to proceed any further this year. We will continue to pursue our ambition to hold a festival in the region next year".

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ATP V THE FANS II, Minehead, 8-10 May: Recent SSQ answerer Casiotone For The Painfully Alone has been fan selected for the fest, while Team ATP have added Grouper, Nico Muhly and Sian Alice Group to the line up.

THE GREAT ESCAPE, Brighton, 14-16 May: The Maccabees, White Denim, James Yuill, The XX, The Brute Chorus, Dan Black, Magic Magic and School Of Seven Bells all added to Kasabian headlined bill.

EDEN SESSIONS, Bodelva, Cornwall, July: Razorlight to play on 9 Jul, join programme that already includes Kasabian (4 Jul), Oasis (14 Jul) and The Kooks (18 Jul).

GREEN MAN FESTIVAL, Glanusk Park, Brecon Beacons, 21-23 Aug: British Sea Power, Bon Iver, Wilco, Wooden Ships, Peggy Sue and 6 Day Riot all added to bill.

OXEGEN, Punchestown Racecourse, County Kildare, Ireland, 10-12 Jul: Manic Street Preachers, TV On The Radio, The Game, Crookers, Of Montreal and Friendly Fires all added to The Killers, Snow Patrol, Kings of Leon and Blur headlined line up.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - Fabric 45: Omar S - Detroit (Fabric Records)
Who offers to add to one of the finest club mix ranges in the world and uses ONLY tracks made by themselves, and originally released ONLY on their own record label? Either an arrogant fool or someone who's pretty damn sure they make good tunes. Detroit's Omar S has put his head above the parapet and I was lining up to take a shot, but having listened to his entry to the Fabric compilation series, there's no need to take him down. Omar S aka Alex Smith grew up on 60s Motown records and caught the producing bug in his teens after discovering the burgeoning Chicago house scene. These days he operates in a niche inside a niche, sitting on the techno side of tech house, and runs the FXHE label. After the silliness of the intro, 'Polycopter', we get on track for a great mix - from the tech of 'Flying Gorgars' and 'Strider's World' this man has been influenced by videogames for sure. 'Oasis 4' takes it deep tech, 'Crusin Conant' is a tad dull, but 'U' is awesome with some soul chants thrown in on a tune that leans heavily on Joey Beltram's seminal 'Energy Flash' cut. '1 Out Of 853 Beats' is a bit too introspective, and 'Simple Than Sorry' gets overly mechanoid on us, but it soon picks up with his dazzling 'Psychotic Photosynthesis', which is reminiscent of Ame's lush melodies and epic grandeur. Then he takes us soul with 'The Maker' with its strong AfroAmerican feel female vocals, which shows great diversity. His 'Oasis 1' has a stonking tribal beat to it, and 'Blade Runner' has a definite tech-noire feel, then into US garage beats with 'Day' and rounded off with soul lyrics in 'Set Me Out'. All in all I'd love to have been able to slate this CD simply for the quote in the press blurb where Omar stated: "Over the last year I haven't really been feeling anybody's music, there's been no music that I feel. I don't need other people's music; I got over 100 songs released". But listening with open ears this is a well crafted mix, and I'll have to admit that Omar S does have talent. PV
Release Date: 2 Mar
Press Contact: Fabric IH [all]

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Obviously, when we said yesterday that Universal Music's profits for 2008 were down 6.6% to 278 million euros, we meant their *quarter four* profits, and anyone who thought otherwise was nearly as stupid as the person who forgot to put the words "quarter four" in yesterday's story, which may or may not have been me, I'm not sure there's any point wasting time trying to remember.

Apologies to any Vivendi shareholders reading CMU who might have wondered how Universal Music had suddenly managed to lose 408 million euros - because, yes, the world's biggest music company actually had pre-tax profits of 686 million euros in 2008, despite a slight fall in revenues. That means profits for 2008 were up 9.9% on 2007, which is rather unfashionable, don't they know posting record-breaking losses is in vogue at the moment? I don't see any Universal execs getting a job at a bank, they'd never pass the "ability to piss away millions" test.

As previously reported, revenues and profits in quarter four were down on 2007, but the mega-sales of some key earlier-in-the-year releases, like Duffy's debut 'Rockferry', the mega-mega-seller 'Tha Carter III' from Lil Wayne and the non-chart listed 'Mamma Mia!' soundtrack, all helped ensure revenues were healthier for the whole year. As also previously reported, a boost in digital revenues (up 31% for the year) plus Universal's recently expanded interests in music publishing, merchandising and management all helped with the profits increase, as did subtle but significant cuts in overheads, including headcount.

Parent company Vivendi posted profits of 4.95 billion euros, up 4.9% on the previous year, with revenues also up, 17.2%, to 25.3 billion euros. The conglom's CEO, Jean-Bernard Lévy, said in a statement: "We reached the goals that we set in the beginning of 2008. Despite an unstable environment, our business units' operating performances were excellent".

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More profit boosts. Revenues are up 15% and profits 37% at Simon Fuller's music, telly and c'leb management company 19 Entertainment. The company's profits have been revealed in the finance report from parent company CKX Inc. Profits for the last year were $92.5 million.

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More good-news-despite-the-recession news. Well, good news for those in the secondary ticketing market. Less so for those promoters and artist managers who hate the growth of ticketing touting. Secondary ticketing website Seatwave has said that the ticket resale market continues to grow despite the current economic climate, with the number of overall transactions up 66% compared to the third quarter of 2008, and up 232% year on year. There was most increase in the resale of tickets for theatre productions and sporting events, possibly because audiences for theatre and sport are only just discovering the online ticket tout markets. That said, concert transactions were up 154% year on year too.

Seatwave founder and CEO Joe Cohen said this: "The huge rise in transactions is evidence that the secondary market is filling a genuine customer need. Our open marketplace is lowering prices, increasing transparency and providing greater choice and opportunity, allowing real fans the chance to attend the events that matter to them".

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Remember how the recently formed Featured Artist Coalition were going to have their first proper meeting in London on 2 Feb? Well, that was the day when it snowed and everyone (except the CMU team) stayed in bed. As a result the meeting has been rescheduled for a week today, 11 Mar.

Explaining the purpose of the meeting, the FAC say on their website: "This will be an opportunity for us to discuss how we can promote our rights and those of our fans. Acting alone, artists' voices will not be heard. Acting together, we can be a powerful force. Our rights are our power. By strengthening featured artists' rights, asserting our interests and fighting for what's fair, the future can be ours".

The meeting is for featured artists only. Interested featured artists should check the body's website for more information -

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In Music Week's recent review of music retail it was noted that one glow of hope came from the Blockbuster chain which has started stocking CDs in the UK while many other CD sellers disappear from the high street. Possibly scratching away at that silver lining is news in the US that the Blockbuster parent company is facing major financial problems and may as yet apply for bankruptcy protection. The video rental giant denies things are that bad, though they have appointed law firm Kirkland & Ellis and investment bank Rothschild to advise on their current financial woes, and rumours of pending bankruptcy have caused the firm's share price to nose dive, so much so sales of their shares were suspended by the New York Stock Exchange. More on this when we get it.

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Three top execs have reportedly left MySpace - COO Amit Kapur, Senior VP Of Technology Jim Benedetto and Senior VP Of Product Strategy Steve Pearman.

MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe reportedly confirmed the departures in an internal memo, and encouraged staff there to make an effort to get to know the company's more recently appointed senior execs. The memo apparently goes like this: "[Co-founder] Tom [Anderson] and I want to reiterate how passionate we are about MySpace - we love the people, the product, and we believe in the future of the company. I encourage everyone to get to know our executive team as they are an enormously capable group of professionals from successful media and internet powerhouses such as eBay, Yahoo!, MTV, and Symantec that will lead our company into its next phase".

The reason for three senior execs departing in one go isn't clear, though it's possible one of them actually tried to use their website one day and realised just how frustratingly rubbish it is, despite its popularity. Joking aside, rumour has it that some senior technical types at MySpace are increasingly frustrated at the general shoddiness of their website, which has come about because such a big network has been built on the company's original social networking framework, which was never great. The inadequacies are all the more obvious because many of MySpace's competitors in the social networking domain operate much better platforms.

Insiders say that those frustrations, coupled with Kapur et al's departure, are having a serious effect on morale of the Rupert Murdoch owned social networking company - and the somewhat lacklustre response to the US launch of the revamped MySpace Music, which the social networking company had previously been touting as big big news in the world of digital music, hasn't helped. The fact DeWolfe felt the need to reaffirm his own commitment to the company seems to back up those rumours.

Still, while Facebook and increasingly Twitter dominate in the world of true social networking, it has to be said MySpace does still lead when it comes to band-fan networking so, while the new look MySpace Music may itself have been a bit disappointing, there is still surely some potential for MySpace to take a good slice of the digital music pie longterm.

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ITV has released details of its much expected cost cutting programme. As previously reported, there has been much speculation as to how ITV boss Michael Grade would make his books balance in light of the major shortfall caused in part by the advertising recession (the broadcasting union BECTU argues it's mainly a result of mis-management), and most of what is included in Grade's official cost cutting plan, released today, was already known. The cost cutting plans were revealed as ITV admitted its profits had slumped in 2007, and that it was being forced to reduce the perceived value of its assets.

600 jobs will go, mainly in Leeds where the broadcaster plans to close its studios, what was once the home of ITV franchise Yorkshire TV. The network's £1 billion programme budget will be cut by £65 million this year, online businesses Friends Reunited and Scoot will be sold, and it's network of ITV local web services will be scaled back. The board is also recommending holding back one dividend payment to shareholders.

The big cut in the programme budget may mean ITV will look to renegotiate its costly deals with big names like Ant & Dec and Simon Cowell, possibly reducing fees in return for releasing them from 'golden handcuff' arrangements which stop them working for rival broadcasters.

The telly firm also confirmed it is considered its options regarding its bit of the Freeview network - its SDN company - which is profitable but which could bring in some useful extra cash if sold (such as deal would not effect ITV's channels on Freeview, which aren't even broadcast on ITV's bit of the Freeview network).

Announcing the cost saving programme, Grade told reporters: "Current conditions in the advertising market are the most challenging I have experienced in over 30 years in UK broadcasting. Our priorities have to be aligned to the changed economic context. The [ITV] board therefore recognises that the 2012 revenue targets set in 2007 are no longer appropriate and we are focusing on our core business as a producer-broadcaster, on reducing our costs and on cash generation".

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It's the MTV2/MySpace chart, based on votes by MTV2 viewers on MySpace. The top ten this week is as follows...

1. [2] Oasis - Falling Down
2. [1] In Case Of Fire - The Cleansing
3. [9] The Prodigy - Omen
4. [8] Friendly Fires - Skeleton Boy
5. [5] Funeral For A Friend - Rules and Games
6. [4] White Lies - Farewell to the Fairground
7. [NE] The Maccabees - No Kind Words
8. [RE] Coldplay - Life In Technicolour
9. [NE] Doves - Kingdom Of Rust
10. [NE] The Virgins - Teen Lovers

Meanwhile, added to the list for viewer voting this week are...

Fightstar - Mercury Summer
The Gaslight Anthem - Great Expectations
Fei Comodo - Behind Bars
Master Shortie - Dance Like a White Boy
Bat For Lashes - Daniel

More at

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Liverpool Hope University has launched a new MA called The Beatles, Popular Music and Society. The one year master's course will cover the history of Liverpool and how social and musical issues led to the formation of the Merseybeat and Beatles sounds. Mike Brocken, senior lecturer in popular music says: "There have been over 8000 books about The Beatles but there has never been serious academic study. The Beatles influenced so much of society, not just with their music, but also with fashion from their collar-less jackets to their psychedelic clothes".

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Noel Gallagher has said that he hopes that the economic crisis gets worse, because the music gets better when people are in straitened circumstances. He told That's Shanghai: "I hope the financial crisis gets a bit worse - at least we'll get a few good albums out of it. When we started in the early 90s it was a pretty grim time when the Conservative [party] was still in power. Times of crisis usually bring out the best in music and fashion and politics and things like that."

Not sure whether this was a joke or not. Probably. He no doubt realises that whilst his own lifestyle is unlikely to be changed by a worsening economic climate, other people might lose jobs, homes, everything. Right?

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Rumours have been going around that actress/singer Lindsay Lohan is planning to convert to Judaism to please Jewish girlfriend Samantha Ronson after she was spotted visiting a London synagogue recently, but her dad says it's just a phase. Of course, one should bear in mind that his relationship with his daughter is at best 'strained'. Plus, he says her relationship with Ronson is an act.

Anyway, The Daily Mail quote Michael Lohan as saying: "She's exploring Judaism right now. She's explored the Church of Scientology, she tried Kabbalah, and now this. I think it's just another phase. But either way, she's involving God in her life, and I'm happy about that".

Lohan Senior works as a minister, apparently having 'found god' after nearly dying in a car accident five years ago.

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Well, this is the really big news of the day. Jay Kay's Ferrari, reportedly worth $1m (less now, I would have thought), has been damaged whilst outside a hotel in Suffolk. The car apparently had its front and driver-side windows smashed, apparently, and a 21 year old man was arrested shortly after the incident. No comment from Jay Kay himself.

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Alan McGee has been insulting Brian Eno, or probably someone pretending to be Brian Eno, on Twitter. Which is, er, nice. The argument apparently began after McGee suggested that Eno's production work was only good for lulling people to sleep. He then asked, "Was it your idea to dress up Coldplay as the Beatles?"

'Eno' responded yesterday with a simple, "Fuck off, wanker". To which McGee responded: "Morning Brian, wondered when you would wake up. When are you going to make a decent record again it was 1972 was the last one cunt".

Eno refused to respond again, despite a barrage of insults from McGee. Although whether or not Eno ever responded in the first place is in some doubt. Calvin Harris recently revealed that he had asked Eno which of a number of Twitterers claiming to be him was real at the recent Music Producers Guild Awards, where the former picked up the Best Remixer gong and the latter picked up the Joe Meek Award for Innovation in Production. Eno replied that he was not signed up to Twitter and that all of them were fake. Something Harris pointed out to McGee following his tirade. Mogwai's Stuart Braithwaite also called the authenticity of Eno's account into question, but McGee insisted that it really was the producer he was lambasting.

McGee has now gone back to regularly announcing how much swearing he's done on Twitter.

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