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Top Stories
Universal talking to YouTube about new video service
Rihanna drops charges, as she and Brown marry?
Jackson announcement today
Oasis deny rumours about China gigs
In The Pop Courts
Drugs charges against Lil Wayne dropped
In The Pop Hospital
Fatboy Slim enters rehab
Awards & Contests
Jape win Choice Music Prize
Reunions & Splits
Full Blur reunion may not last long
Dammers denies Specials' reunion claims
Release News
Phish to offer live set downloads
New Super Furry album
Gigs N Tours News
Ting Tings cause painty chaos
Macca and Ringo to join up for charity?
Festival News
Festival line up update
Single review: Air France - No Excuses (Something In Construction)
The Music Business
Scruffy Bird rejig and rebrand
New man at Motion
Motion girl launches Sure Shot
Edel go the Absolute route
RSK take logistics to Trilogy
Confidential man joins Mission Control Group
Liverpool Sound City announce conference speakers
The Media Business
Peebles goes Smooth nationally
Bauer want less talk at City
Arena to close
Heat launch new c'leb-free spin off
Chart Of The Day
This week's playlist
And finally...
Martin says Imbruglia track is his best ever
Winehouse gets fitness help from Mel B
Miley Cyrus confirms speculation about bitter single
CMU Daily Archives
Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
Advertise with CMU
Electro-indie duo Milke are inspired by a mix of French Kitsune artists and musical stalwarts such as The Cure, Talking Heads and The Eurythmics. Andrew 'Friendly' Kornweibel has honed his art as a DJ, producer and remixer, while Ra has worked hard on perfecting his vocals, having grown up in a hippy commune in Australia. Milke have played with many darlings of the electro world, including The Faint, Fugiya & Miyagi and Hadouken, and are receiving much love from The Guardian, BBC 6Music, Popjustice and many more. The duo's debut single 'Love Get Out Of My Way' is out on 16 Mar, with an album due later in the year. Andrew Friendly has taken a moment to answer our Same Six Questions.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
Originally, it was because as a kid I would bang away at the piano, so my parents decided to give me lessons, at least then my banging away would be harmonic. Then I bought a Yamaha DX7, a tiny sampler and a Boss DR Rhythm. They all sounded terrible, but I'd spend hours looping things, or making my DX7 freak out. I then moved onto DJing, and expanding my studio, unlearning my classical piano training, and learning programming and production.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
We're very inspired by the things around us, other humans, relationships, interactions. A lot of the album is observations. Sometimes I feel like I'm an astronaut reporting back to the mother ship, where Ra digests the data and turns it into beautiful poetic lyrics. Sometimes we feel like we're explorers in human emotions, adventurers, or even deep sea divers, stuck in an alien environment, feeling disconnected from our usual world, and from those around us. We're reporting back our observations through the lyrics. I think a lot of people feel this disconnected aspect in their lives.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
We start in a few ways, either a melodic hook and some sketchy lyrics from Ra, or maybe I'll come up with some beats and some bassline melodic ideas. Or sometimes we'll have a concept for a song, a situation or observation, which steers its musicality. Then we bounce it backwards and forwards between us, lock down the lyrics and structure, and finish off the production.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
It's split into two broad categories - song writing and production. For production we love people like Soulwax, Daft Punk, a lot of current electro and indie-dance stuff, MGMT, Does It Offend You Yeah, Roisin Murphy, Ladyhawke, and then more club stuff like Danger, Lifelike, Kitsune artists. But to be honest, a lot of the undergroundy peeps can't write a song, and they're fun, but pretty forgettable. For the song writing and musicality side we much prefer looking to Stevie Wonder, The Cure, Talking Heads, Eurythmics, Motown, Bowie and early Prince. People who were amazing song writers, who are still getting played and influencing creativity.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
If we wanted to say something, we'd put it in the music. If we could convey everything that we are trying to say in one sentence, we wouldn't bother writing the music, we'd just write that sentence down.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your debut album, and for the future?
Our ambition is quite simple, and it's a paraphrase from Bill Drummond. We want to shift popular culture. We're not saying we want to be Prince, but we want to impact culture, to be referenced in some way, to move things about, shake things up, to influence. We want to have people remember us as the soundtrack to them falling in love for the first time, or their best road trip, or a club night out, or a particular time in their lives. To leave some legacy, and then continue on our way.


Recent Ninja Tune signee King Cannibal (aka Dylan Richards aka Zilla) returns with 'Virgo', his second single for the label, this month. Featuring vocals from French crew Face-A-Face it sees him exploring the darkest depths of electronic music yet further with his mouth-watering mix of dubstep, dancehall and drum n bass. As with each of his singles so far, it takes a sharp turn away from previous releases whilst still holding on to something that makes it instantly recognisable. And he's not just casting this magic on his own originals, any introduction to King Cannibal should include a blast of his stunning remix of The Qemists' collaboration with Wiley, 'Dem Na Like Me'. The album is still at least six months away and already I'm boiling over with excitement, check out the MySpace and join me.
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]

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 [email protected] 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 [email protected]


Word has it Universal Music is close to negotiating a deal with YouTube regarding the two companies collaborating on a premium music video service.

The new service, working title Vevo, would be a video-based website featuring pop promos from across the Universal catalogue, plus other content made bespoke for the site featuring artists signed to the major's labels. In essence it would be an extension of Universal's channel on YouTube, already the most watched channel on the video site, though it would be a Universal-owned platform powered by YouTube technology, rather than just a Universal channel on the YouTube-owned platform.

Crucially, Universal would control advertising sales on the new service, which would presumably give them a much bigger cut of ad revenues generated by their content than their current YouTube deal, although they take more risk in return in terms of developing, marketing and selling the platform. It's also thought Universal execs reckon they could command higher advertising fees because of the official nature of their service over videos uploaded to video sharing sites like YouTube.

Universal insiders talk about Vevo as being their version of Hulu, the US-based online ad-funded video service provided by American TV giants NBC and Fox. It's thought that means Vevo will be available both via its own website and also via other web partners - Hulu is syndicated by web portals like AOL, Yahoo!, MSN and MySpace.

YouTube's involvement is both logical and interesting. Universal would probably initially run its existing YouTube channel in tandem with its own Vevo service, though if the major wants to secure premium advertising rates on its new service it will have to make sure consumers get more from its own platform than from its channel on YouTube's website or, in other words, ensure that consumers get less from the latter than the former.

YouTube are, therefore, involved in a new venture that will compete with and probably reduce the attractiveness of the biggest channel on its own website. But as Universal are aiming to do that anyway, it's better for YouTube to be involved in its new competitor than not to be. Moreover, given rumours that YouTube owners Google are struggling to secure sufficient advertising sales to make their video platform pay for itself, letting someone else run the front end - and the ad sales that go with it - and just taking a cut of someone else's revenues for providing the technical delivery of content is probably a business model that sounds good to the execs heading up YouTube.

Also interesting is reports Universal are - as they have been with most of their digital music ventures - interested in getting some or all of the other majors involved in Vevo.

Of course all the major record companies have dabbled in setting up and running their own digital music services ever since the early days of the internet - both individually and together - though not with much success. That said, all of the majors have been adding more multi-media to their label and group websites in recent years, which they may see as the forerunner for launching their own Vevo style services. EMI, of course, are currently experimenting with their own new multi-media service at

The challenge for the record companies is to balance their ambitions of owning their own direct-to-consumer digital media platforms with the more lucrative - in the short term certainly - licensing deals they can do with media giants and start ups also dabbling in that space. The record companies would ultimately prefer to control the consumer and advertiser relationships rather than just licence their content to other brands with consumer/advertiser relationships, though doing so assumes record companies are any good at servicing consumers as a media and selling advertising to brands, neither of which should be taken as read.

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Well, given that there's been almost no official information released on this story, it's been gliding along on rumour and idle speculation for some time now. But who are we to stop the flow of rumour and idle speculation?

The latest twist in the Rihanna/Chris Brown affair, following the claim that the couple are back together, is that Rihanna has dropped all charges against her ex-ex and that they have got married. According to a 'friend' of the couple: "[Rihanna] believes in fairy tales, and she wants to live hers with Chris". Well, I guess fairytales like those of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen do tend to have a dark side.

Married or not, it does sound like Rihanna won't be all that much help to the prosecution who could, of course, continue to press charges against Brown without the singer's support, given that it's quite common for the victims of domestic violence to make up with their beaters once they've come round, and subsequently drop any charges they previously made. That said, with no witnesses to this altercation, Rihanna not cooperating could seriously hinder the prosecution's case.

On that side of the story, a police source apparently told The Sun: "Rihanna says she doesn't want to testify against him. She has had a change of heart and doesn't want the case to proceed. However detectives are still building their case based on what she originally told them and accounts of witnesses. If the DA decides they have enough evidence, they can proceed without Rihanna's testimony".

As far as we are aware, police continue with their investigation into the altercation with the intent of providing the District Attorney with the evidence he needs to make a decision regarding prosecution. In the mean time Brown is reportedly due in court later today, I think for a routine hearing relating to his $50,000 bail.

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It's thought that Michael Jackson will this afternoon announce an open-ended residency at The O2 in East London to kick off on 9 Jul. Basically he'll continue to perform at the Dome until demand for tickets stops or he drops down dead, whichever comes first I guess. There will a minimum of ten dates from what we gather. All this should be confirmed at a press conference at 4pm this afternoon.

The deal between Jacko and Dome owners AEG has reportedly been in development for two years, which would explain all the past Jackson comeback show rumours that have done the rounds. AEG have a record for putting on successful residencies at The O2, of course, it having hosted multiple night runs by The Spice Girls, Take That, Kylie and Prince's 21 night run since opening in 2007.

The residency will see Jackson's first proper shows since 2001 taking place, and presumably Jacko and AEG hope they will bring out the Jackson faithful in their hordes, helping put a few million quid into the singer's bank account to help tackle those much previously reported debts. That said, some say that while Jackson's megafans remain insanely dedicated, there's a lot less of them now than a few years back - though the shows would still have a certain curiosity factor that could boost ticket sales.

There's already speculation as to whether Jackson would be fit enough to do a multiple night run, given all the recent reports of his ill-health, though a residency is a lot less gruelling than a proper tour and Fox News gossip man Roger Friedman wrote this week that the singer had undergone and passed medical tests that gave him the all-clear to do the London shows. Nevertheless, William Hill are already taking bets on whether Jackson will show up for the first O2 gig - they are offering 5/1 odds he won't.

Elsewhere in Jacko news, the singer has reportedly begun legal action to try and stop an auction of his belongings at the LA-based auction house run by Darren Julien. Jackson's people had been involved in planning the auction, but it seems Jacko had asked to see an inventory of the proposed goods for sale before it was published, and he claims the auction house announced what was under the hammer without doing so. Julien is yet to respond to the lawsuit.

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Oasis have denied reports that suggested that it was financial considerations that forced them to cancel two planned concerts in China, which the band claimed had been called off, as previously reported, because of Chinese objections over Noel Gallagher's appearance at a Free Tibet gig back in 1997.

Following the group's initial statement that the authorities in China had revoked their licences, a subsequent report appeared on Reuters quoting promoters Beijing All Culture Communication Co Ltd as saying the cancellations had come about as a result of cash flow problems. Oasis insist that this is not the case, a spokesperson telling "We don't want to dignify this nonsense with a response", but then responding: "Our promoter, as already documented, was Ticketmaster China and the shows had each already sold in excess of 3,500 tickets and were on course to sell out. End of story".

A show in Hong Kong on 7 Apr, as well as the band's other world tour dates, will go ahead as planned.

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Drugs charges brought against US rap star Lil Wayne have been dropped after a judge in Atlanta agreed to disregard evidence which had been discovered as a result of an illegal search. The case relates to an incident which took place in Aug 2006 in Atlanta, when Wayne, real name Dwayne Carter Jr, was arrested after police found marijuana, hydrocodone and Xanax in a hotel room. His attorney told the court that Wayne wasn't actually staying in that room, in any case. Carter is, however, still facing those previously reported drugs charges in Arizona and a weapons charge in New York.

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Fatboy Slim, or Norman Cook if you prefer, has gone into rehab to be treated for a drinking problem.

The DJ and producer's manager Garry Blackburn said: "Norman's gone in voluntarily to sort out his drinking problem". But given that I just told you that, he probably needn't have bothered.

A more cynical journalist might say something here about the fact that Cook's new album, recorded under the moniker The Brighton Port Authority, was released this week.

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Electronic rock band Jape have won the Choice Music Prize for Irish Album of The Year for their latest LP 'Ritual'. The Choice Prize, if you weren't aware of it, is like the Mercury Prize, but Irish. The winning album was selected by twelve judges from the following shortlist:

Fight Like Apes - Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion
(Model Citizen)
Mick Flannery - White Lies (EMI)
Halfset - Another Way of Being There (Casino Gravity Records)
Lisa Hannigan - Sea Sew (Own label)
David Holmes - The Holy Pictures (Canderblinks)
Jape - Ritual (Co-Op)
Messiah J & The Expert - From The Word Go (Inaudible)
Oppenheimer - Take The Whole Mid-Range And Boost It (Fantastic Plastic)
R.S.A.G. - Organic Sampler (Psychonavigation)
The Script - The Script (Sony Music)

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Although Blur are apparently planning to continue touring after their previously announced shows in June and July, it seems unlikely that drummer Dave Rowntree will be involved. He told The Independent in an interview that he is hoping to concentrate on his law career following the reunion shows.

Rowntree revealed that his currently doing part-time work experience with a London law firm whilst training as a barrister and hopes to find a full-time job as soon as his commitments with Blur have passed.

He said: "I only went along for a day but then they said I could go in once a week as work experience. Now I go in three times a week. Hopefully I can go and work there when I'm finished with the Blur tour".

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The Specials' Jerry Dammers, who, as previously reported, claimed that he has been excluded from the band's upcoming reunion despite being a founder member and main songwriter, has responded to counter-claims by the group's Terry Hall that it was Dammers' own decision not to get involved.

Last month Hall told reporters: "I've read Jerry's statement and I just don't get it. 'They're trying to kick me out of the band' - not at all mate, not at all. I spoke to Jerry night after night all through 2008. He wanted to do one date, in Coventry, in front of 30,000 people, at the football stadium. I thought that was a bit of a Take That thing. We wanted to play 2,000 to 3,000-sized venues. I don't think he likes the idea of touring, to be honest. I think he hid that a bit in his statement. But apart from that, I have no idea why Jerry isn't doing it. Hand on my heart, this is what I feel is a bit sad for Jerry. He's fucking missing out. He's missing out on being in this incredible band. We haven't changed that much, we still take the piss out of each other, there's an understanding that hasn't gone away. And he's missing out on that, and it's sad for him, to be honest".

Now Dammers has written a response in a letter to The Guardian. Dammers said: "The fact is that I would not have been invited to the first 'reunion' meeting at all had John Bradbury not told me about it. Terry's manager circulated emails from which I was excluded. Rehearsals were held without me, and I only managed to attend two - one of which was attended by only four people".

On Hall's claim that he was "missing out", Dammers added: "Whether that is supposed to be his way of trying to say I'm still welcome in the band would be hard enough to work out if, at our meeting, he had not also said to me of the reunion: 'I promise I won't do it without you, hand on heart.' Despite all this I never give up hope of some sort of reconciliation".

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Phish have announced that they will offer free downloads of their upcoming live gigs in Virginia soon after the events take place. The band play their first concerts in four years on 6, 7 and 8 Mar at Hampton Coliseum, and will offer the high quality MP3s for a limited time 24 hours after each gig takes place. The downloads will be available from Fans will also be able to buy CD-quality FLAC downloads or custom 3-CD sets.

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Super Furry Animals have announced details of their new LP. 'Dark Days/Light Years', the band's ninth studio album, will be out on 13 Apr, and the tracklisting is as follows:

Crazy Naked Girls
The Very Best Of Neil Diamond
Moped Eyes
Inagural Trams
Cardiff In The Sun
Helium Hearts'
White Socks/Flip Flops
Where Do You Wanna Go
Lliwiau Llachar

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A 'secret' Ting Tings gig in Manchester on Friday became something of a chaotic affair when the band and fans covered the completely white venue in paint. Fans attending the 'paint party' had been advised to take advantage of free Adidas tracksuits on offer at the concert, and were armed with paint-guns and pens and encouraged to colour in the walls as well as the performers. The band's Jules De Martino explained beforehand: "It's really simple. We just wanna paint on walls and throw paint around!"

Not sure if it's supposed to be 'art' or not.

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Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are to appear at a charity concert in New York next month but it's not clear whether they will play together or not. McCartney has been named headliner of the event at Radio City Music Hall on 4 Apr in aid of The David Lynch Foundation, and Starr has been named as one of a number of special guests. The foundation's UK HQ initially said that the two former Beatles would perform together, but a spokesman for McCartney would only confirm that he is set to perform "a few songs on his own".

The David Lynch Foundation, set up by the film director, promotes meditation through schools, and the show is being held with the aim of raising enough cash to teach one million at-risk children how to meditate. McCartney said in a statement that he's been meditating for forty years. "In moments of madness, it has helped me find moments of serenity", he said, adding, in reference to the children he hopes to help: "I would like to think that it would help provide them a quiet haven in a not-so-quiet world".

McCartney and Starr last performed together at a George Harrison tribute in 2002. The likes of Sheryl Crow, Moby and Donovan are also on the bill for next month's gig.

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ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL, Newport, Isle Of Wight, 12-14 Jun: Neil Young just announced as headliner (so, does that mean he's not headlining Glastonbury, as widely rumoured?).

UNDERAGE FESTIVAL, Victoria Park, London, 2 Aug: The Pigeon Detectives, LadyHawke, Hadouken!, Metronomy, Rolo Tomassi, Esser, Tinchy Stryder, Kissy Sell Out, First Aid Kit and The Whip all announced for the line up of this under 19s only festival.

HARTERA FESTIVAL, Rijeka, Croatia, 12-13 Jun: Klaxons and Sasha added to the bill.

JERSEY LIVE, Jersey, 5-6 Sep: The Kooks joined Basement Jaxx as co-headliners.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Air France - No Excuses (Something In Construction)
Without an official release, Air France have been piling coal into the hype machine and firing it up to overdrive with forum filling speculation. Why? With the pre-release of their album reaching number 14 in music bible Pitchfork's countdown of '08, avid internet users have already stormed the fortresses and found a gem. As we approach summer the future is looking so bright for this band you can probably expect either avian endorsement or a lawsuit very soon. The hype stems from their effortless originality. 'No Excuses' seats itself silkily in your ears and develops through a crescendo of samples to sheer luxury. An eighties vibe swoons in, but just holds back from the verge of cheesiness by being calm and collected. If you want to be transported from the barren snowed-in lifestyle of Britain's winter '09, Air France will succeed better than any airline - at least in economic terms. GB
Release Date: 9 Mar
Press Contact: Freeman PR [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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Lots of stories from the world of music PR stacking up for you this week. First up, an update from Scruffy Bird, the London based music PR and artist management firm.

Their PR and management divisions are to become two separate companies, the former to be known as Anorak London and the latter as Scruffy Bird Mgmt. Laura Martin and Emily Cooper, two of the three Scruffy Bird co-founders, will head up Anorak, while their co-founder Duncan Ellis will take over the management business.

Commenting on the rejig, and the rebrand of the PR business, Martin and Cooper told CMU: "Well, we're never ones to turn down the opportunity to talk about ourselves and have a good party. We felt changing our name would mean we would be able to do both! With the split away from the management arm and the start of a new year we decided to live out the old saying; out with the old in with the new. It's important to us that our staff at Anorak London are all part of something new and exciting for 2009".

Although now two separate companies, they add: "Anorak London and Scruffy Bird Mgmt remain working together on various acts and wish each other all the best in the future".

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Elsewhere, online music PR specialist Motion have announced the appointment of Mark James, previously of Partisan PR and Hero PR, to co-lead integrated digital, online and print campaigns for their clients.

Confirming his appointment, James told CMU: "I am very excited by the move to Motion PR as this is a great opportunity to combine my existing roster with developing new artists and platforms".

Motion PR MD Stuart Knight added: "Mark is a fantastic addition to the team here and will help us to increase the services we offer not just our artist clients but also lifestyle and brand clients as well".

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And in related news, Giovanna Ferin, previously Head Of PR for Motion, has left the company to set up her own online and digital marketing agency Sure Shot PR. She will take most of her clients from Motion with her, so her roster will remain unchanged. There's more at

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Into music distribution, and German independent Edel has announced it is entering into a partnership with London-based label services agency Absolute who will manage the UK sales, distribution and marketing of releases from Edel's new international imprint earMUSIC, which will include new albums by Christopher Cross and Ian Gillan.

Absolute, who specialise in providing independent labels or individual artists with the kind of logistical and marketing support traditionally provided by a record company, have appointed former Really Useful Records MD John Waller to handle the earMUSIC account.

Confirming the new partnership, Absolute MD Henry Semmence told reporters: "By taking advantage of our fully managed service, Edel will be able to release product and compete effectively in this market without having to put a large overhead and infrastructure in place in the UK."

earMUSIC director Max Vaccaro added: "We are excited to have found in Absolute a UK partner who shares our philosophy and ambitions, and who is able to offer our artists both the visibility normally associated with a major label and the skill and dedication of an independent label".

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More distribution news, and Berkshire-based music distribution firm RSK Entertainment, who represent in the UK, among many of other artists and labels, CMU's favourite favourites of the moment, The Deer Tracks, have announced a new partnership with Trilogy Logistics regarding the physical distribution of product from the labels they represent. The deal sees RSK opting for the Northampton-based independent logistics firm over their previous partner, Bertelsmann-owned Arvato.

Confirming the decision, RSK joint-MD Simon Carver said they had moved from Arvato to Trilogy for "strategic reasons", adding that he felt Trilogy would be better equipped to help them deal with the "new challenges and ever-changing opportunities of the music and wider entertainment industry".

Trilogy, who are probably better known in the gaming and DVD industries, say they hope the RSK deal will be the first of many in the music sector. Billboard quote their MD, Matthew Allen, as saying: "This signing is a clear statement of our intentions within the music market and will give us a strong foothold within this channel".

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Harry Cowell has left the publishing and production firm he helped launch back in 2005, Private & Confidential Group, to set up new publishing and production companies for Albert Samuel's Mission Control Group.

The new Mission Control outfits will look to develop new acts, and to provide production and songs for acts represented by both their sister companies (which include management agency ASM Damage and the Mission Control booking agency) and third parties. The first artist to work with the new Mission Control company will be Welsh classical singer Annelies.

Music Week quote Cowell thus: "It is an amazing opportunity to work with Albert and an existing company run by forward thinking people and it gives the acts an amazing set up. I honestly believe there is no UK company that can offer this set up with the level of experience and success that all the Mission Control team can offer artists".

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Organisers of Liverpool Sound City have announced details of some of its industry conference programme, which is being staged in association with the MUSExpo team, and which will have the theme of Starmakers, Chameleons, Mavericks and Svengalis.

Lined up to speak will be Steve Schnur, who is Head Of Music & Marketing for EA Games; Aaron Axelsen, who is Programme & Music Director for San Francisco radio station KITS Live 105; and Michael Kramer, who heads up TBWA-owned 'branded entertainment' agency Stream.

As previously reported, the conference part of Liverpool Sound City will also include an event where the music industry is put "on trial" by young music fans inside the old Victorian Law Courts in Liverpool's St George's Hall.

Commenting on their conference programme, Liverpool Sound City Festival Director Dave Pichilingi said: "These are transient times for the music industry. While we are going through a period of unfamiliarity and uncertainty, this doesn't mean it can't be exciting. What we don't want is people talking about the 'future' of the business or exposing the latest 'model'. This is tiresome and more often than not wrong. What we will be encouraging speakers to do is inspire delegates with real stories about their journey through the quagmire and challenges of the music business".

More at

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Former Radio 1 presenter Andy Peebles, who currently presents a weekday evening show on Smooooooth Radio in the North West, is to be syndicated from the end of the month across the Smooth network, meaning he'll also be heard in London, the Midlands, the North East and Glasgow. Peebles' weekly Soul Show is already broadcast across the Smooth network.

Smooth Radio's Brand Programme Director Steve Collins says this: "Andy has a wealth of radio experience and his show in the North West has grown from strength to strength and become a must listen across the region. Now the rest of the country will be able to experience this great show".

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Bauer Radio's Liverpool-based talk station City Talk, the only local all-talk station outside of London since the closure of Edinburgh's Talk 107, is taking advantage of those previously reported changes in OfCom rules in a bid to add music to its off-peak programmes.

As previously reported, OfCom recently dropped rules that stopped radio stations from changing their programming formats within their first two years on air. The rule existed to stop radio stations from proposing regulator-friendly services - say all talk radio - to win a licence, and then immediately switching to a much cheaper or more mainstream service, say pop music programmes, once on air.

Bauer says that, having heard that rule was being dropped, they reviewed the output of City Talk, which went on air in January 2008, and decided that including some music in off-peak programmes would work better for them.

Confirming it was applying to OfCom to make the format change, Bauer Radio's Travis Baxter told reporters: "We believe the proposed changes will keep a significant part of the original character of the station intact while maintaining the current competitive dynamic in Liverpool and increasing listener choice overall. Introducing music and other elements to the format which listeners have clearly said they would like added to the output will secure the future of the station and listener choice in the City for the future".

OfCom is considering the application, and will consult with the station's stakeholders and competitors before making a decision next month.

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Bauer Media has announced it is closing down monthly men's mag Arena. The closure of the 22 year old title will put 12 jobs at risk, the magazine firm say they are currently consulting affected staff about redundancies. The magazine's April edition, out next week, will be the last. The closure shouldn't affect Arena's international titles, nor its twice yearly spin-off magazine Homme Plus.

Arena had an ABC last year of just over 17,000, putting it along way behind rivals GQ and Esquire, and a long long way behind sister title FHM which, although traditionally not in Arena's territory, has been moving more upmarket in recent years.

Arena was, of course, created by The Face founder Nick Logan in 1986 as a more mature version of his original magazine. Both titles were somewhat controversially acquired by Bauer predecessors EMAP in 1999. The Face was closed down in 2004.

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From Bauer closures to new titles from the publishing firm. C'leb title Heat has launched a new offshoot called Heatworld, which will come as a supplement to its parent title several times a year.

The new supplement will be celebrity free - it's strapline is "because there's more to life than Celebrity (who knew?!)" - though from what I can see the celebs will be replaced with the publishing equivalent of a freak show, so I'm not sure it's going to do any more to the average reader's intellect that the latest embarrassing photos of some Big Brother contestant of old.

Explaining the motivation for the new magazine, Heat Editorial Director Julian Linley told reporters: "Heatworld magazine will be unlike anything else on UK newsstands. The idea came from us realising that the daft and the downright hilarious stuff we find ourselves obsessing about in the office isn't always to do with celebrities. And there's nothing more valuable to our audience than laughing out loud".

The first issue of Heatworld is in the current edition of Heat. Somewhat confusingly, Heatworld is also the name of Heat mag's website, though that is mainly celebrity focused like the main magazine.

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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].

Akon feat. Colby O'Donis & Kardinal Offishall - Beautiful*
Comic Relief - (Barry) Islands In The Stream*
Fleet Foxes - Mykonos
Katy Perry - Thinking Of You
The Killers - Spaceman
Lady Gaga - Poker Face*
Ladyhawke - Paris Is Burning
Oasis - Falling Down
The Prodigy - Omen*
The Pussycat Dolls feat Missy Elliott - Whatcha Think About That?*
The Saturdays - Just Can't Get Enough*
Snow Patrol - If There's A Rocket Tie Me To It*
Take That - Up All Night*
TI feat Justin Timberlake - Dead And Gone*
U2 - Get On Your Boots

B List
Asher Roth - I Love College
The BPA - He's Frank
Dan Black - Alone*
Frankmusik - Better Off As Two*
In Case Of Fire - The Cleansing
Karima Francis - Again
Kids In Glass Houses - Dance All Night
La Roux - In For The Kill*
Metro Station - Shake It
Nickelback - I'd Come For You*
Noisettes - Don't Upset The Rhythm
Red Light Company - Arts & Crafts
September - Can't Get Over
VV Brown - LEAVE!
The Wombats - My Circuitboard City

Tip List
Animal Collective - My Girls
Brakes - Hey Hey*
Casiokids - Fot I Hose*
Doves - Kingdom Of Rust*
Filthy Dukes - This Rhythm
Goldie Lookin Chain - By Any Means Necessary*
Hockey - Too Fake*
The Hot Melts - Edith
Operahouse - Genius Child*
Peter, Bjorn & John - Nothing To Worry About
Steve Angello & Laidback Luke feat Robin S - Show Me Love*
Sneaky Sound System - I Love It

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Chris Martin says that the track he gave to Natalie Imbruglia for her upcoming 'Come To Life' album is the best track he's ever written. The Coldplay frontman says: "A bit annoyingly we've given her the best Coldplay song of all time, but because we're off-cycle we can't do it ourselves. Half of me wishes we still had it. But she sounds fucking brilliant on it. I think she has a very unique talent and an incredibly unique voice".

Ah well. They can always do a version of it in a few years time. And then people will say things like "I preferred Natalie Imbruglia's original". Which will no doubt be frustrating.

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According to reports, Amy Winehouse is planning to get fit with the help of Spice Girl Mel Brown's new Totally Fit workout DVD. Well, it was apparently amongst bags of shopping delivered to the singer's new home in Barnet this week. How do they find these things out? Honestly.

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US singer Miley Cyrus has coughed to the fact that her single '7 Things' was written about her ex-boyfriend Nick Jonas, of the Jonas Brothers, and the end of their two year relationship. The track's often bitter lyrics have prompted much speculation about this, and now Cyrus confirms that it's so in her forthcoming book 'Miley Cyrus: Miles To Go', confirming that she wanted to "punish him, to get him back for hurting me", but ultimately saying that the track is "about forgiving, not forgetting".

Cyrus adds: "It's hard to imagine that our love is a story with an end. But you know, at least I'm getting some really good songs out of it".

Miley Cyrus and Nick Jonas are both sixteen years old.

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