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TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
PRS and YouTube meet, the industry comments
FAC meet tonight
Billy Corgan joins US radio royalty debate
Britney staff sacked after drugs incident
Iron Maiden criticise rioters
Now they're apparently recording together: Rihanna/Brown update
Horrors count down to something or other
In The Pop Hospital
Runrig guitarist collapses
Obituaries
RMM founder Mercado dies
Awards & Contests
Eurovision blocks anti-Putin entry
Release News
Sneaky Sound System to release UK debut
Doherty album streaming on MySpace
Gigs N Tours News
Warp announce 20th anniversary stuff
Turner cancels UK shows
Jackson reveals O2 dates
Festival News
Festival line up update
Reviews
Album review: Filthy Dukes - Nonsense In The Dark (Universal/Polydor)
The Music Business
Disney to Universal deal in Australia
Indie stores sign up for Record Store Day
The Digital Business
Nokia announce some stuff
Sellaband expands into US market
Everyone's gone social networking mad
Chart Of The Day
MTV2/MySpace chart
And finally...
Graham Coxon Fucked Up
Liam on Noel
Notorious unhappy with Biggie screen portrayal

Rossi loses "ridiculous" ponytail

THE CMU WEBSITE...
CMU Daily Archives
Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
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WEDNESDAY 11TH MARCH
POST WAR YEARS
Post War Years caused quite a stir last year, thanks to shows with the likes of MGMT, White Lies, Tom Vek and Does It Offend You, Yeah?, as well, of course, as a headline slot at CMU Social. And they look set to continue that success in 2009. Their sound features a whirlwind of racing synths, samplers, and vocal harmonies and sits somewhere between Joy Division and Talking Heads. Their latest single, 'Whole World On Its Head', is released this week via Chess Club. We caught up with them to ask those Same Six Questions.
 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
The story of how we met is incredibly dull, so I won't bore you with that in detail. Tom, Si and I have been in bands together since our teens and Fred joined us a bit later. He brought a hip hop style of drumming to the band, which immediately mixed things up a bit. We started out as a bog-standard guitar band, but became bored of that formula, so we've gradually accumulated more and more gadgets. It definitely started out as a hobby, but it's the classic thing that someone tells you that you're actually good and the next minute your planning world domination, kind of.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
Lyrically, 'Whole World On Its Head' is based on a philosophical experiment I once read about and then put into practice. It's essentially about totally flipping your perception of the world and imagining that gravity has let go of you, and that you're drifting off into space. It's kind of a meditative trick and can create quite a euphoric feeling. As a result, the song has dreamy moments in it, while remaining up tempo throughout. Basically, the theme is escapism.

Q3 How do you go about creating a track?
There are three songwriters in the band, and the process varies between each one of us. For instance, Si tends to write the basics of a song on guitar or piano and then adds a beat and builds up around it. I usually start with a beat and then build a song around that, which Tom also tends to do. Once the basics are there then Fred will embellish on the beats and the rest of us contribute additional parts. We used to compose together in a rehearsal room, but now we more and more seem to build songs up on a computer first.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Between the four of us we have a broad range of influences, but artists we all share a love for include, Björk, Radiohead, Talking Heads, Beck and Battles. Generally artists who have a lot of variation in their music I suppose.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Definitely don't judge us on the basis of one song because our music varies in styles and moods more than most bands. This is largely due to having three songwriters. Sometimes we want people to dance and sometimes we want people to contemplate and get soaked up in ambience. Be prepared to do both.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Obviously, we hope that the album will connect with as many people as possible. At the very least, it would be nice if people were interested enough to warrant us recording a second album. We've already got loads of ideas about the second record, so hopefully this album is merely an introduction. We've piled a lot of ideas into this album, but we're definitely not dry yet. It'd also be nice to see a bit of the world while touring the live show. We've got some shows coming up in the US, which is more exciting than my 18th birthday.

MORE>> www.postwaryears.co.uk and www.myspace.com/thempostwaryears

 
WHISPERTOWN 200
These guys have some seriously influential fans behind them, having toured with Bright Eyes and Rilo Kiley, and then being signed up as the first act on the frankly brilliant Gillian Welch's label, Acony, and then being picked by The Breeders to appear on their ATP line-up at Minehead this summer. It's all merited attention, of course, with tracks like 'Breathless' sounding like they're taken straight from vintage country albums, with hints at Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and The Magnetic Fields. Another standout, 'Atlantis', is more a sedate piano ballad, lent soothing harmonies from Jenny Lewis and the aforementioned Welch. Fans of this ilk should investigate now.

www.myspace.com/whispertown2000

   
ACCOUNT MANAGER, DIGITAL
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PRS AND YOUTUBE MEET, THE INDUSTRY COMMENTS
Executives from both YouTube and publishing royalty society PRS For Music met in London yesterday to discuss the former's decision to block access to music videos in the UK in protest at the latter's demands regarding future royalty payments.

As previously reported, Google-owned YouTube announced on Monday that it was removing "premium music videos" from its UK site this week because its talks with PRS, who represent British songwriters and music publishers, regarding a renewal of the video site's music licence had faltered. YouTube claim PRS are pushing for more money, and that their demands are just not commercially viable - ie possible advertising revenues would never be enough to pay PRS's proposed rate. PRS argue that YouTube are using the licence renewal to try and pay less money, while adding that they are basing their royalty demands on rates set by the UK Copyright Tribunal on digital royalties.

It's thought that money isn't the only sticking point, with reports that YouTube want PRS to provide it with details of its members and their catalogues, with a view to paying songwriters and publishers directly. PRS prefer it for YouTube to pass over viewing stats and a cheque so they can distribute the money to their members. Both sides reportedly claim the other side's unwillingness to share data and contacts amounts to a lack of transparency.

Interestingly, YouTube's decision to pull music videos from its UK website seemed to come as a surprise to PRS, who told reporters that talks between the two companies were ongoing and that they had, at no point, asked for content to be removed. Therefore YouTube's decision to block access to pop promos in the UK can only really be seen as an attempt to put pressure on PRS to come down in price.

PRS were quite strong in their criticism of YouTube's tactics yesterday, urging the video site to reverse its decision to block access to music videos. YouTube refused and continued with the blockade. Nevertheless, reps from both sides met yesterday afternoon to further discuss the situation and possible compromises on royalty rates.

After those talks, PRS issued this slightly non-commital statement: "Talks between PRS For Music and Google took place today to discuss the licensing of YouTube following Google's sudden decision to block premium video content on the service in the UK. The meeting was positive. We are committed to ensuring our 60,000 songwriter and composers members receive a fair deal and that UK consumers continue to enjoy music videos on YouTube".

As YouTube and PRS continued to talk, others in the industry began to comment on the former's video blocking decision. The record companies, who co-own the blocked videos and most of whom have live licensing agreements with YouTube, have remained quiet on the issue, despite the decision potentially directly hitting their own digital revenues. The music publisher and songwriting communities who PRS represent did comment though, most speaking up for their collecting society.

Representing the music publishers, the UK's Music Publishers Association told reporters: "This action is particularly disappointing in light of the landmark deal agreed between PRS and YouTube in August 2007. That deal, brokered with the assistance of the MPA representing the UK's music publishers, was a pragmatic licensing solution, enabling YouTube to provide copyright content whilst providing the songwriters and publishers a fair return for their creativity and investment".

Speaking with his songwriter hat on, Billy Bragg meanwhile told the Times that "Google, YouTube's owner, is a company that makes billions in profits; we think they should be paying artist royalties from the advertising revenue they make".

And within the digital service provider sector too there was some support for PRS's standpoint. The boss of Dublin based online music video service MUZU, Mark French, said that YouTube's arguments that PRS's royalty demands were not commercially viable did not necessarily mean the collecting society was being unreasonable, there's always a chance that the problem is with Google's business model. He said that because official music content is bundled in with cheap and often low quality user-generated content on YouTube, Google had to charge lower advertising rates, and that's why they can't afford to pay the kind of royalties PRS are talking about.

He told reporters: "It's not the music industry's fault that YouTube's business model doesn't stack up. The model doesn't support paying the current PRS rates let alone the payment to artists, because they cannot command high enough advertising rates. Because sites like YouTube are built off the back of user generated content, and have a storied past of allowing 'illegal' content to be viewed - brands are resistant to pay premium advertising rates. MUZU.TV was purpose built for the music industry with a viable model that protects the CPM (cost per thousand) by its 100% focus on premium music content. While the industry needs to look at the minimum stream rates to make new business models viable and sustainable it should not let YouTube hold it to ransom".

However, others in the digital media domain were less keen to talk down their competitors, presumably because they too are struggling to make their business models work with the royalty rates the collecting society ultimately demands. US-streaming service Pandora has already left the UK market, of course, after failing to reach a deal with PRS, and as news of the YouTube video blockade spread there were rumours that a similar dispute between MySpace and the collecting society was stopping the social networking company from launching their new expanded streaming music service, which launched in the US last year, over here.

Meanwhile the co-founder of a UK-based streaming music service, Last.fm's Martin Stiksel, while not going all out to diss PRS, did express sympathy for Google's situation and confirmed online royalties are a big issue for all digital music providers. He told the BBC: "It has been a bold decision for Google but we are all working in a very competitive environment and the fees need to reflect that. It is a fundamental problem that we have been facing in that online music licensing is getting more complicated and more expensive".

He added that the UK radio sector, who have had their own protracted disputes with the likes of PRS over the years, now had a much better deal than that being offered to online service providers like Last.fm and YouTube, and that content owners needed to consider arrangements more like those offered to terrestrial radio stations. He added: "We pay each time one user listens to a song or watches a clip and, while that is more accurate because it makes sure the more popular songs get paid more, it is also very expensive. Terrestial radio pays a fixed minimum and that works out a lot cheaper. We have to find commercially workable rates otherwise illegal services will win and take over".

Concluding, Stiksel added a sentiment expressed by all sides - neither music firms nor web providers benefit from content blockades like the one instigated by YouTube, because it pushes users towards illegal unlicensed services where no one wins. PRS added last night that "PRS and Google are due to meet again over the next few days". Whether that means a quick resolution to this can be reached remains to be seen.

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FAC MEET TONIGHT
I think it is safe to assume that the YouTube/PRS issue will be one of the things discussed at the first proper meeting of the Featured Artist Coalition which, as previously reported, takes place in London tonight. This, of course, is a new trade body specifically for featured artists, and ensuring said artists get a fair deal in every copyright arrangment is one of their key aims. For them the YouTubes of this world, and the shady record companies, and maybe even the likes of PRS, are all potential enemies in the copyright domain.

Pre-empting tonight's first meeting, one of the Coalition's founding directors, Blur's David Rowntree, told CMU: "The digital revolution has swept away the old music business of the 1960s, and changed forever the relationship between artists and fans. For companies who made their living sitting between the two, these are increasingly hard times, but for music makers and music fans this should be a fantastic opportunity. YouTube's row with the PRS is the most recent example of just how fast the music industry is changing. There has never been a greater need for the collective voice of featured artists, whose music generates 95% of revenue in the industry, to be properly heard".

He continued: "As this revolution gathers pace featured artists must seize the initiative. We are looking to forge a new deal, built on fairness, with our fans, the music industry and governments. To achieve this, we must own our future, take real control of our rights and genuinely work together. Acting alone, artists' voices will not be heard. Acting together, we can be a powerful force. Our rights are our power. By making ourselves heard and arguing for what's fair, we can help reshape the industry for the future so that it serves the interests of those who want to make new music, as well as those who want to hear new music".

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BILLY CORGAN JOINS US RADIO ROYALTY DEBATE
More royalty disputes now, and one which has long since been settled across Europe, but which has been recently renewed in the US - the question as to whether terrestrial radio stations should have to pay to play music. Not what they should pay, mind, but whether they should pay anything.

Traditionally US radio stations, unlike their European counterparts, haven't had to pay the record companies to play recorded music, but moves are afoot to introduce a statutory royalty. The moves are, in part, in response to the decline in record sales which, arguably, reduce the persuasive power of the traditional 'promotional value' argument used by radio stations - ie "we help you sell records so shouldn't have to pay to use your music". As record sales cease to be the primary revenue stream for record companies and licensing income becomes increasingly important, that 'promotional value', although undeniable, becomes, well, less valuable (many in the music industry would argue that the 'promotional value' of airplay, especially for catalogue music, has never been anywhere near as great at the radio station owners would suggest anyway).

As previously reported, the Performance Royalty Act, which would introduce said royalty, was reintroduced into the US Congress earlier in the year (the original proposals having not reached their conclusion before Congress wound down for last year's American elections). The music business has been very busy lobbying political types for their support for the proposals, though the incredibly well connected radio industry who, needless to say, aren't that keen on the proposals, have been busy arguing their side of the case too.

There have been various tedious hearings on the matter in recent weeks, but yesterday Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan gave a testimony, meaning easily distracted onlookers like me actually tuned in to see what was happening.

Despite being no fan of the major record companies who will benefit most from this Act (especially not his original label EMI, who he's always moaning about), Corgan said that it was simply unfair that artists, and their labels, received nothing from radio stations which had built their entire businesses around music the labels and artists had, respectively, funded and created.

Perhaps keen to ensure his own music got future airplay, the Smashing Pumpkin stressed that he appreciated the value of music radio, saying: "I was able to find an audience, in no small measure, because of the long support of my music by terrestrial radio. I am a big fan of radio, and am very interested in its continued health and well being. Terrestrial radio has helped me to discover many of the artists that became influential to my life and artistic pursuits. I by no means see them as the bad guy".

But, he added, "From my perspective, this issue is one of fundamental fairness. These particular performances must have value to the stations or they wouldn't be playing them. It is time to redress an outmoded, unfair practice that factors one participant's needs over another's. This legislation is simply a form of restoration to artists long overdue".

The radio lobby, keen to not be seen as being anti-artist, argue that it is labels who screw artists, not broadcasters, by paying them only a fraction of the money generated by their record sales. If artists got a better deal from their label, they argue, then artists would more directly benefit from the record sales that radio airplay help to create. They add that the Act will make smaller independent radio stations commercially unviable, while arguing that bigger radio stations may be prone to play less music if the new royalties are created.

I'm not sure I buy any of that really, though if you run a small radio station that consistently champions good new music and helps launch new artists, and are then asked to suddenly hand out half your revenues to major record companies I can see why you'd be a bit pissed off. Though I'm not sure that radio station exists in America these days.

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BRITNEY STAFF SACKED AFTER DRUGS INCIDENT
According to reports, three members of staff from Britney Spears' live team have been fired after being caught taking drugs. The firing is possibly linked to reports that the singer's dad, Jamie, who is managing all her affairs these days of course, is running a very strict regime around the pop star's 'Circus' tour, presumably in a bid to ensure his daughter doesn't get caught up with the 'bad crowd' again.

An 'insider' has been quoted as saying: "Because of Britney's past personal problems she now requires more insurance for her 'Circus' tour than before. It's a very rigorous process protecting all of those assets. Backstage her dad is beyond strict and rightfully so. He only wants the best for Britney. He's protecting Britney's comeback with every ounce of his being".

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IRON MAIDEN CRITICISE RIOTERS
Iron Maiden's manager has criticised over 100 people who were arrested for trying to gatecrash the band's concert at Simon Bolivar Park in Bogota on Saturday. Columbian police clashed with a group of people who were attempting to gain entry to the show hours before the band were due to take to the stage.

In a statement posted on the band's website, Rod Smallwood said: "We abhor the inane behaviour of a small minority of people outside. They do Iron Maiden, metal and the real Colombian fans a disservice and sadly just provide a reason for the military to feel they need to be there. Our fans are there for the MUSIC. We definitely intend to return to Colombia and trust the authorities will not be swayed to banning Maiden and metal because of a minority of trouble makers spoiling it for the huge majority of true Iron Maiden fans".

He added that reports of "riots" outside the venue had been an exaggeration: "The 'riots' were basically a lot of kids trying to break into the Simon Bolivar Park to see the show and the park has a big perimeter to protect. There is a large military presence for all concerts in Bogota as can be seen in our forthcoming movie 'Flight 666'. [The] performance was [not] at all affected by the incidents of people outside trying to break in. None of the enjoyment of the show or safety of the band or our audiences was at all compromised".

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NOW THEY'RE APPARENTLY RECORDING TOGETHER: RIHANNA/BROWN UDPATE
Another quick Rihanna/Chris Brown update, because I know you're keen to not miss out on any of the gossip relating to this story.

First up, the latest rumour is that the former power couple of US pop are not only back together after the pre-Grammy bust up that left Rihanna bruised all over and Brown facing assault charges, but they are working together in the studio. The two pop stars are reportedly working on a new track for Brown's next album. I'd say I'd heard it was a thumping tune, though I'm a bit worried we're starting to make too much light of this situation.

If that first rumour isn't true and Brown is still looking for a collaborator, then he should give Akon a call. After a short period when Brown's pop star contemporaries either criticised his actions or stayed quiet on the issue, some stars are now speaking in support of Rihanna's other half, not in relation to what he did, obviously, but to the effect that Brown should be allowed to continue to have musical success despite his mistake.

Asked if he would work with Brown in the future, Akon told the Associated Press: "Absolutely. I wouldn't take anybody's personal issues or problems- I won't hold them accountable for that when it comes to work. I think it's two separate things. He's gonna learn and he's gonna move forward and just hopefully he won't treat the next woman the same way".

In other good news for Brown, sort of, organisers of the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards have said that the singer will remain on the shortlist for the award of Favourite Male Singer and Favourite Song despite an online petition that he be banned from the awards show. A spokesman for the US TV network told reporters: "Like all our KCA nominees, Chris Brown was nominated by kids several months ago based on his body of work as a performer, and the kids who vote will ultimately decide who wins in the category".

I suspect both Nickelodeon and Brown hope the kids don't vote for him to win though, because neither side really wants the PR challenge of him accepting that kind of prize this soon after the pre-Grammy bust up. I suppose they could rename his category to Kid's Favourite Wifebeater, then all sides could attend the presentation without embarrassment.

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HORRORS COUNT DOWN TO SOMETHING OR OTHER
The Horrors have begun a countdown on their website, with no clue as to what it might be counting down to. Given that the band are to release a new album this year, it could be something to do with that, but who knows? The countdown began yesterday at thehorrors.co.uk, and is due to end on Monday.

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RUNRIG GUITARIST COLLAPSES
Runrig have been forced to cancel their upcoming European tour after guitarist Malcolm Jones collapsed at Edinburgh Waverley railway station on Sunday. He is currently recovering in hospital.

A statement on the band's website reads: "We regret to announce that guitarist Malcolm Jones has been taken ill and as a result we have been forced to cancel the forthcoming tour of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We are deeply sorry for the short notice and obvious inconvenience that this will cause. Ticket holders should contact their vendor for refunds. We will give you more information as soon as possible. However, in the meantime we are sure you will join us in wishing Malcolm a speedy recovery".

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RMM FOUNDER MERCADO DIES
The founder of New York based salsa label RMM, Ralph Mercado, has died at the age of 67 after suffering from cancer for the last two years.

Mercado started his career as a promoter in his teens, when he organised parties and events in his local area before moving on to open his own clubs, where he booked up and coming acts such as Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz. Having become an established concert promoter, in 1972 he formed his own management company, Ralph Mercado Management. He founded the RMM label in 1992 as an extension of that company, and over the years took on more than 140 artists, including the likes of Marc Anthony, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, and Domingo Quinones.

According to reports, pretty much any artist carving out a successful career in tropical music during the seventies, eighties and nineties was in some way connected with Mercado, via his concert, management, film, production, label or publishing operations. He received Billboard's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999, and sold RMM to Universal in 2001.

Mercado is survived by a wife, five children, and a number of grandchildren.

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EUROVISION BLOCKS ANTI-PUTIN ENTRY
Eurovision organisers have deemed Georgia's entry into this year's contest unacceptable on account of its unsubtle digs at Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin.

As previously reported, Georgia initially said it would not take part in a Moscow-hosted Eurovision following the military conflict between the two countries, but changed its mind in December and entered the song 'We Don't Wanna Put In' by 3G, which contains the chorus, "We don't wanna put in, the negative move, it's killin' the groove. I'm gonna try to shoot in, some disco tonight, boogie with you".

A spokesman for the contest said the song had been rejected because it broke a rule disallowing "lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political or similar nature".

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SNEAKY SOUND SYSTEM TO RELEASE UK DEBUT
Already massive chart-toppers in their native Australia, Sneaky Sound System are set to release their eponymous debut UK album via 14th Floor on 20 Apr. It will feature the singles, 'UFO', 'Pictures' and the forthcoming 'I Love It', which is out next week.

The band also play Shepherd's Bush Empire tonight.

Tracklist:

I Love It
Pictures
UFO
16
It's Not My Problem
Kansas City
When We Were Young
I Just Don't Want To Be Loved
Because Of You People Say I'm Crazy
Lost In The Future
Don't Get You
I Want Everything
Where Do I Begin?

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DOHERTY ALBUM STREAMING ON MYSPACE
Pete (or Peter, if you want to be accurate about the name on the album) Doherty's debut solo LP 'Grace/Wastelands', is presently streaming in its entirety on MySpace, ahead of its release on 16 Mar. You can hear the Stephen Street produced record, which features guest appearances from Graham Coxon and Dot Allison, at myspace.com/gracewastelands.

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WARP ANNOUNCE 20TH ANNIVERSARY STUFF
Warp20, as I think we may have reported before, is a year long celebration for top indie label Warp's twentieth anniversary, and part of that is going to be a series of live events combining music, film and art, taking place in cities such as New York, London and Paris. More details need to be confirmed, but here's what's planned at the moment:

8-9 May: Paris - Cite de la Musique, music, film and art installation events featuring Aphex Twin & Hecker, !!! , Pivot, Andrew Weatherall, DJ Mujava.
Jul: New York - music, film and art installation events
Aug: Sheffield - homecoming party
Sep: London - music, film and art installation events
Nov: Tokyo - music, film and art installation events

The label are also planning to release "the definitive Warp album", a best of partly selected by music fans, who can vote for their favourites at warp20.net. The voters' top ten will be combined with tracks selected by Warp co-founder Steve Beckett. Fans will also be asked to leave comments about their choices, which may make it onto the album's artwork. It'll be released in the autumn.

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TURNER CANCELS UK SHOWS
Tina Turner has been forced to cancel shows in London and Sheffield this week after being advised by doctors to rest for six days. The singer, who is now 69 and in the UK for the first time since 2000 when she staged her 'retirement tour', is suffering from 'respiratory flu'.

A statement released on the star's behalf read "Tina always wants to give one hundred percent and has been overwhelmed by the reaction from her UK fans at the gigs last week. She regrets this decision to postpone and the inconvenience to all those fans with tickets, but wants to make sure each concert she does is memorable for everyone".

Fans have been advised to keep their tickets, as the dates will be rescheduled, whilst refunds will be available to those who can't make the new dates.

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JACKSON REVEALS O2 DATES
Michael Jackson has revealed the dates of his previously announced ten night residency at London's O2. The pop star will appear at the venue on 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 22, 24, 26 and 28 July. More than a million people have apparently registered to buy tickets for the gigs, which Jackson says will be his last ever in the UK. Those registered will be sent an email with a code allowing them to log on to a website to buy their tickets, which will sell at a cost of between £50 and £75.

As previously reported, it's thought that more gigs will be added if there is sufficient demand. A spokeswoman for promoter AEG Live said: "Nothing has been confirmed yet but those people who miss out this time will be the first to hear if there are any announcements".

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FESTIVAL LINE UP UPDATE

HARD ROCK CALLING, Hyde Park, London, 27-28 Jun: Yeah, Neil Young is playing this too. As are Seasick Steve and Fleet Foxes. www.hardrockcalling.co.uk

WIRELESS, Hyde Park, London, 4 Jul: Paul Oakenfold, Frankmusik, Fischerspooner, Sneaky Sound System and NASA all join da bill. www.wirelessfestival.co.uk

LARMER TREE FESTIVAL, Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset, 15-19 Jul: Oi Va Voi, RSVP, Zong Sing All Stars, Dennis Hopper's Choppers and DJ Derek join a bill that already includes Jools Holland, Richard Thompson and Dreadzone. www.larmertreefestival.co.uk

END OF THE ROAD, Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset, 11-13 Sep: Fleet Foxes, Explosions In The Sky, Malcolm Middleton, The Boy Least Likely To and The Lost Brothers all set to play. www.endoftheroadfestival.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Filthy Dukes - Nonsense In The Dark (Universal/Polydor)
For an album that was recorded entirely on analogue equipment, 'Nonsense In The Dark' sure packs a lot of electrical punch. Hard and heavy from the beginning to the end, the hint of old fashioned dance production is there, particularly in tracks 'Absolute Body Control' and 'Twenty Six Hundred', the latter of which sounds like Oakenfold processed through a blender labelled "dirty electro". The London-based threesome, who name Kraftwerk, Daft Punk and The Chemical Brothers as their major influences amongst others, have created a storming debut that is at once nostalgic, fresh, captivating and, most importantly, hellishly addictive (for one, it hasn't left my player for five days of solid listening). 'Nonsense In The Dark' boasts a long list of contributions from familiar artists of electro and indie persuasions alike, including Late Of The Pier's Samuel Dust, To My Boy, Orlando Weeks of The Maccabees, Foreign Islands and frYars. Two stand-out tracks are obvious from the first play: the rip-roaring instant hit 'Messages', with Tommy Sparks, and dance floor favourite 'Tupac Robot Club Rock' featuring Philadelphia hip-hop outfit Plastic Little, a track that could end up stuck on repeat for hours without getting tiresome. Filthy Dukes look to follow a familiar path set out by the likes of Justice, Simian Mobile Disco and Digitalism: from their Kill Em All club nights and mass appreciation in music blogosphere, to electro-indie stardom. Exquisite listening. TW
Release Date: 16 Mar
Press Contact: Polydor IH [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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DISNEY TO UNIVERSAL DEAL IN AUSTRALIA
The Disney Music Group has reached a deal with Universal Music which will see the latter distribute the former's recordings in the Australian market. The deal will include a forthcoming Jonas Brothers album and the soundtrack to the 'Hannah Montana' movie. Disney use Universal for music distribution in the US market, but have relationships with other firms elsewhere, in particular EMI who previously handled their Aussie releases.

Confirming the Universal deal in Australia, Disney Music Group President David Agnew said this: "We are pleased to expand our excellent business relationship with Universal Music into the Australian marketplace and feel confident that we will do great things together there".

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INDIE STORES SIGN UP FOR RECORD STORE DAY
Over fifty independent record stores from across the UK and Ireland have signed up for the second Record Store Day, which takes place on 18 Apr. The global initiative will see participating stores stage special events and in-stores, and also the sale of some exclusive product through the indie shops, including a 7" vinyl series from Warner's Rhino Records which include tracks from the likes of The Smiths and MC5.

For a list of participating stores check www.recordstoreday.com/UnitedKingdom.

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NOKIA ANNOUNCE SOME STUFF
Nokia have just announced some details about new versions of their music-orientated phones, three new models within the Xpress Music range I think. They've also confirmed Comes With Music will launch in Sweden, Italy and Mexico. News on which I can think of nothing to say.

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SELLABAND EXPANDS INTO US MARKET
Fan-investment website SellaBand is expanding into the US market, and has recruited former CMU columnist Chuck D as an ambassador, which is nice. The US operations of the Dutch/German service, which enables artists to raise investment to fund an album directly from fans, will be handled by a digital media company called BTN Eastlink.

Confirmng their US plans, Sellaband co-founder and CEO Johan Vosmeijer told reporters: "By working with BTN Eastlink and Chuck D we believe their insight will help take SellaBand to the 'next level' and prove invaluable. An integral part of expanding into the US market is building a world class team and together, this is what we are doing".

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EVERYONE'S GONE SOCIAL NETWORKING MAD
Social networking websites like Facebook and MySpace are now the most popular form of internet activity, beating the former favourite net pastime of emailing. According to stats firm Neilsen, 67% of net users have used social networks in the last year, whereas only 65% have used email. Presumably that's partly because people are using social networking services like Facebook as their primary email platform. The research says that in the UK the average net user spends one of every six minutes online using a social network, compared to one in 13 minutes a year ago. Those stats are probably most important for traditional web brands like AOL, Yahoo and MSN, all of whom have traditionally relied heavily on people accessing webmail accounts to boost their traffic stats, and none of whom have managed to launch a social networking service anyone would want to use.

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

1. [NE] You Me At Six - Save It For The Bedroom
2. [NE] Fightstar - Mercury Summer
3. [7] The Maccabees - No Kind Words
4. [1] Oasis - Falling Down
5. [NE] Kids In Glass Houses - Dance All Night
6. [4] Friendly Fires - Skeleton Boy
7. [NE] The Gaslight Anthem - Great Expectations
8. [NE] White Lies - Farewell To The Fairground
9. [NE] Fei Comodo - Behind Bars
10. [3] The Prodigy - Omen

Asher Roth - I Love College
The Virgins - Rich Girls
Twisted Wheel - We Are Us
Danananananaykroyd - Black Wax
Cancer Bats - Deathmarch

More at www.myspace.com/mtvtwo

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GRAHAM COXON FUCKED UP
Turns out that headline might be a bit misleading. But we have two points from the "CMU always gets its label trivia correct, except sometimes on a cloudy Tuesday morning" file.

First, thanks to everyone who spotted the, erm, deliberate error in yesterday's Graham Coxon story. Coxon, of course, does not own Transgressive Records, he owns Transcopic Records. Transgressive are, though, releasing Coxon's new solo album, meaning that Transgressive is Coxon's label, but it isn't *his* label, whereas Transcopic is *his* label, although not his label. We're glad to have cleared that up.

And in a second confirmation of label information in relation to yesterday's Daily, although Fucked Up are currently signed to Matador, it is actually What's Your Rupture? who will be releasing the band's new single, 'Year Of The Rat'.

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LIAM ON NOEL
Liam Gallagher has said that he has no relationship with his brother Noel, and doesn't deal with him unless he has to. Which I can kind of understand, I wouldn't want to deal with either of them.

The singer told That's Shanghai: "Me and our kid haven't got a relationship, to be quite honest with you. He does his thing, and I do my thing. The only time we sort of bump into each other, and that's rarely, is on stage... There's things he don't like about me and there's things I don't like about him. He can't change me, I wouldn't wanna change him. The main thing is that we both love Oasis, so that's about it. We just do Oasis things".

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NOTORIOUS UNHAPPY WITH BIGGIE SCREEN PORTRAYAL
Christopher Wallace, aka Notorious BIG, is apparently quite displeased with his portrayal in the recent film based on his life, 'Notorious', made by his mother Voletta Wallace. There's not a lot he can do about it, though, because he's dead. So, he's having to get Lil' Kim to spread the word on his behalf.

In an interview with RapRadar, Lil' Kim waffled as follows: "I'm a very spiritual person and he's come to me many of times in my dreams. But, I don't think he's happy at all, at all! Because Ms Wallace doesn't know Biggie at all and she barely knows Christopher, if you know what I mean. At all! And I was around. Even before he blew up so crazy, so I know how he felt about his mom. And Biggie was so much more than what they put him out to be in that movie. And to be honest with you, I know for a fact he's not happy. He's not satisfied at all. At all. And regardless of the fact, everybody who is involved in this movie, he has love for. Everybody. But at the end of the day, he knows who's who and what's what. Believe that. And let me tell you something, the way he's feeling is going to come out. Like, trust me. Everything is going to come out later. You're going to see who he really loved and the ones that's standing up for him the right way is the ones representing him the right way".

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ROSSI LOSES "RIDICULOUS" PONYTAIL
In what may be the most significant hair cutting move in MOR rock history, Status Quo's Francis Rossi has lopped off the ponytail he has sported for the last 35 years.

Rossi told The Sun exclusively: "It looked fabulous - I felt like a fashion icon. But in the past few years my hair has got so thin that there's not enough to work into a decent ponytail. A few weeks ago it dawned on me that I looked ridiculous. So I decided to forget about clinging to my youth and that it was time to grow old gracefully".

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