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Top Stories
Vodafone to offer DRM-free music to mobile
Brown's manager denies sending that text message
Doherty says he was conned into MTV documentary
In The Pop Courts
C-Murder to stay in prison until trial
Varg Vikernes granted parole
In The Studio
Pet Shop Boys write song for Bassey
Release News
Prince to promote new album set with three night Leno residency
Filthy Dukes go free music crazy
New Jarvis Cocker album news
Gigs N Tours News
Jacko residency up to thirty nights
4000-seat Macca gig sells out in seven seconds, apparently
Metallica man struck down by oyster
Super Furry Animals only do it outdoors
Festival News
Great Escape, punter early bird deadline approaches
SXSW - UK showcase guide
Album review: AK Momo - Return To NY (Peacefrog)
The Music Business
Corgan supports Live Master
ETT and Cutting Edge form AE2
Proper Note to properly launch next month
Nova to distribute Munsey
Leyline launch publicity division
The Digital Business
New Shuffle - smaller and chattier
The Media Business
Kerrang! plan to bury their listeners
Chart Of The Day
This week's playlist
And finally...
Adams and Moore marry
Halliwell ends engagement

Noted mathematician Amy Winehouse seeks TV job

CMU Daily Archives
Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
Advertise with CMU
The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band is a family affair, comprising of the Reverend Peyton (a genuine reverend) on guitar and vocals, his wife Breezy Peyton on washboard and his brother Jayme Peyton on drums. Playing rowdy and raucous punked up country, they are signed to US punk label Sideonedummy - home to the likes of Gogol Bordello, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Flogging Molly and Bedouin Soundclash - and they released 'Mama's Fried Potatoes', the first single from their new album this week. The album, 'The Whole Fam Damnily', is out on Monday, and they will be in the UK for some live shows in April. We got chatty with the Reverend to ask some questions and try to find out exactly what 'Mama's Fried Potatoes' is all about.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
My dad taught me how to play guitar. My brother and I have been playing together since we were little kids. When I started out I played guitar eight hours a day.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
'Mama's Fried Potatoes' is about my Mama's fried potatoes! We spend 90 percent of the year on the road, and sometimes you miss being home. I got to thinking about how good those potatoes are, and I got homesick and wrote that song.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Well what we usually do is I come up with a song in my head, and I work it out a few times by myself. Then I bring it to the band, and we go over it a few times. When we record in the studio we do the meat of it all live to tape. Even the vocals.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Country blues artists like Charley Patton, Furry Lewis, John Hurt, Bukka White, Fred McDowell, and Son House. I also love great songwriters like John Prine, Otis Gibbs, Greg Brown, and John Fogerty.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
These songs are taken from my life, and they are played with all my heart, and with my family, but sometimes maybe with a grin and a wink too.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I want this album to get to as many folks as possible, and we are gonna work as hard as we can to make it happen. We are going to continue playing 250 shows a year.

MORE>> and

Hell, I already covered Neil Young acapella so why not Prince-it-up on a solo record, right? So goes the thinking of Tunde Adebimpe, vocal guy for TV On The Radio. Perhaps taking a sly dig at his proximity to the Purple One's falsetto in the name, this is a one-off 7"/DVD project so far, released through Heartfelt Records back in January and mixing up droning organ-style synths, industrial glitches and air raid sirens over 3 minutes on 'OMG!!!FMV!!!'. TVOTR detractors should stay well away.

Take the next step in your career by joining the dynamic music PR team at Get In! We're looking for a confident PR Account Manager with at least two years experience to join our expanding company. Naturally, a passion and understanding of Electronic Dance Music is vital, as well as a flair for creative and interesting writing. Knowledge of Ibiza and current dance music trends, coupled with a determination and willingness to succeed, will put you in pole position.

Get In! - a London-based company that works the global market - is the leader in providing creative PR for the dance music industry. Our expanding roster is testament to our skills and commitment to providing the best PR service. Find more info about us at We're looking to fill this position immediately. Salary negotiable depending on experience.

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY BEFORE APPLYING: To apply, send an email with your CV, recent picture and exactly 135 words telling us why you're perfect for the job to [email protected]


Espionage, the branded content and talent management agency, is looking for a talented, ambitious online specialist to help deliver music-led projects for a major global brand. The successful candidate will have 3-5 years' experience of delivering creative digital projects in an agency or in-house in an organisation with a strong digital focus, and be: highly motivated; extremely organised; a fluent, confident communicator, in person and in writing; obsessed with all forms of digital media, both at work and at play; versatile; and passionate about music. Salary and package will be dependent on experience. Contact: Graham Hodge: [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.

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NEW TO CMU - advertise any flats or rooms you are looking to rent out, or flats or rooms wanted, for just £25 a week. Call 020 7099 9050 or email [email protected] for information or to book.


Vodafone yesterday announced it had deals in place with three of the four major record companies to provide digital rights management free music via its mobile download platform. Universal, EMI and Sony (but not the increasingly stay at home Warner) will all provide DRM-free music to Vodafone's download service, which provides tracks to both your PC and, crucially, your mobile phone.

While web-based download services have all been busy moving over to DRM-free tracks for over a year now, the mobile music domain has been a little slower to lose the restrictive DRM technology that limits the transfer of tracks once they've been bought. Vodafone's latest deals means that it will be able to start selling mobile downloads in a DRM-free format, instead of the DRMed Microsoft WMA file format it has previously used. The phone firm will also offer anyone who has previously bought DRMed tracks from their download store the option to swap them for DRM-free tracks at no extra cost.

Confirming the new deals and his firm's new DRM-free music offer, Vodafone's Internet Services Director Pieter Knook told CMU: "Music is central to many of our customers' lives. By Vodafone pioneering DRM-free on mobile and offering MP3s on PC, they will now have the freedom to download tracks from their favourite artists without any device restrictions allowing them to experience their music however they want it, wherever they are".

Reps from each of the participating majors lined up too, and said the following...

Universal's Digital SVP Rob Wells: "Vodafone has been a business partner of Universal Music for six years. This new deal shows how serious Vodafone is about music, and opens up new opportunities for both companies - but, more importantly, for consumers and artists".

Sony Global Digital Strategy bloke Thomas Hesse: "We are thrilled that this agreement will provide Vodafone's millions of customers in Europe with access to music by our popular local artists and global superstars. Vodafone's convenient mobile and PC solution gives fans another great way to integrate music into their daily lives and forge an even stronger connection with the artists they love".

EMI Digital Business supreme Douglas Merrill: "EMI has long been a proponent of DRM-free music because of the benefits it brings to fans and so we are very supportive of this initiative from Vodafone. With its international reach and commitment to music, Vodafone is taking a major step forward for our industry by offering consumers more flexibility and choice".

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Chris Brown's manager, Tina Davis, has denied that the text message which seemingly sparked the violent altercation between her client and his girlfriend Rihanna came from her.

As previously reported, court papers say that Brown and Rihanna started arguing after a pre-Grammy party because the latter saw a text message on the former's phone seemingly from another woman. The argument, of course, led to Brown beating his other half unconscious, him being a lovely chap and all.

Rumours this week have been circulating to the effect that Brown has been having a fling with Davis and that it was she who had sent him a suggestive SMS message. But Davis' lawyer issued a statement yesterday denying all those rumours.

The statement read: "The relationship between Ms Davis and Mr Brown is that of manager and client. There has never been any other relationship. The rumours in circulation are false. There are no emails between Ms Davis and Mr Brown of the type which have been described in media reports. If the source of the false rumors is identified, legal action will be taken. Given the nature of the legal issues affecting Mr Brown, Ms Davis will not be making any further statements".

In other Chris Brown news, the singer has announced that he has requested his name be taken off the shortlists for the upcoming Nickelodeon Kid's Choice awards. As previously reported, he is up for Favourite Male Singer and Favourite Song at the viewer-voted awards, and a spokesman for the TV network this week said his nominations would remain despite an online petition to have him removed from the shortlists. However, Brown's people told the Associated Press yesterday that they had requested the singer be taken out of the running for the awards this year, adding that Brown thanks his fans for their support, and would speak directly to them but can't for legal reasons. Or something like that.

Brown is due back in court to face the charges against him in relation to his Rihanna beating on 6 Apr.

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Pete Doherty says that he was conned into taking part in that TV documentary that aired on MTV last month. The programme, 'Pete Doherty In 24 Hours', followed the singer as he took part in a Gio Goi fashion show, and also featured footage of him at his home in Wiltshire. In a new interview Doherty claims that Gio Goi founder Anthony Donnelly tricked him into participating with the documentary.

The Babyshambles frontman, who releases his debut solo 'Grace/Wastelands' on Monday, told Xfm: "I was conned into it. A fella called Anthony Donelly, of Gio Goi fame, said would I mind giving him some stuff for his fashion show and doing a little turn? And then he turned up with a whole film crew. He slipped me a monkey and then the next thing it was being shown every five minutes on MTV".

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A judge has decreed that Corey Miller - the rapper formerly known as C-Murder - is to remain in prison until his upcoming murder trial. As previously reported, Miller was taken into custody earlier this week after apparently breaking the terms of his house arrest.

Sheriff deputy Mike Dawson testified that he was alerted at 3am on Monday by Miller's electronic monitor that he had left the house, his grandmother's, where he has been confined. Dawson explained that he called the house at 3.17am and the phone was answered by Miller's fiance, Sabrina Green, who passed the hand set to Miller, and that as he spoke to the rapper, he heard the noise that the monitor would make if Miller re-entered the house. Miller maintains that he was in bed asleep when Dawson called, and his grandmother, cousin, aunt and fiance all testified that this was the case. His lawyer claims that a malfunction of the monitoring equipment was to blame, as Miller took an earlier warning on the issue far too seriously to risk leaving his home.

As much previously reported, Miller is to go to trial on 20 Apr over the killing of 16 year old Steve Thomas during a brawl at a night club near New Orleans back in 2002. He previously stood trial and was convicted of the murder but has since been granted a re-trial. Since his arrest, he has mostly gone by the name C-Miller.

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Varg Vikernes, aka Count Grishnackh, he of early nineties Norwegian black metal outfit Burzum, will soon be released after serving 15 years in prison for the murder of Oystein Aarseth, aka Euronymous, guitarist with another Norwegian black metal band called Mayhem. Vikernes was also convicted for burning down a number of churches.

The musician was sentenced to 21 years in 1993 and has been denied parole four times, most recently in September last year. In 2003, he was granted a week long release but failed to return to prison and was found several days later driving a stolen car with various weapons and a fake passport, which is never a great idea if you're trying to prove to a parole board that you're a reformed character. This incident saw him receive an extra 13 months on his sentence. However, more recently he has been allowed out to walk around the local area and visit his family, and two weeks ago his latest application for parole was accepted.

Vikernes told Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet: "I will have to report [to a parole officer] for one year - initially every two weeks, and then once a month".

The early nineties Norwegian death metal scene and the power struggle that lead to Vikernes murdering Aarseth was the subject of Michael Moynihan and Didrik Soderlind's excellent book, 'Lords Of Chaos'. You should read it.

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Chris Lowe has confirmed rumours that the Pet Shop Boys have written a track for Shirley Bassey. Asked by Gigwise if the rumours were true, Lowe responded: "How do you know this? My goodness the internet's bloody good isn't it? I didn't think anyone knew about that. Well... we've written a song for Shirley Bassey which we've heard she likes so that's all I know and I think she's making an album with John Arnold so... wow, I'm amazed that's on the internet!"

On the subject of the duo's recent receipt of the Outstanding Contribution Brit Award last month, he said this: "Awards are not the be all and end all to us, they remind me a bit too much of prize giving at school, I've always thought that the music itself was the reward, but this one was nice because it was all the record companies who voted to give it to us and that means something".

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Following U2's recent five night residency on David Letterman's 'Late Show' to plug their new album 'No Line On The Horizon', Prince has confirmed he will play three nights in a row on rival US TV show, 'The Tonight Show With Jay Leno'.

The artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince will appear on the Leno show to promote the previously reported release of his two new albums 'LOtUSFLOW3R' and 'MPLSoUND' which, as also previously reported, will be released as part of a three CD set alongside the debut album from his new protégé Bria Valente. The album will be sold via Prince's website and, in the US, the Target retail chain from 29 Mar. We're not sure if the album will get a physical release over here just yet.

Prince is also expected to reappear on the 'Tonight Show' in May for what will be Jay Leno's last time fronting the talk show.

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Filthy Dukes release their debut album, 'Nonsense In The Dark' (which was reviewed very favourably in yesterday's Daily), on Monday. But you don't have to wait until then to hear it, you can listen to the whole thing right now on their MySpace page at

What's that, you don't like streaming music? Well, how about a 320kps MP3 of one of the tracks from the album, instead? Yes, you can download the track 'Light Skips Cross Heart' in the highest quality MP3 can manage right here:

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Jarvis Cocker has announced details of his second solo album. The new LP, 'Further Complications', has been produced by veteran/legend Steve Albini, and is to be released on 18 May. Cocker will complete a number of tour dates shortly after that, as follows:

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

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As expected, promoters of the upcoming Michael Jackson O2 residency yesterday announced a whole stack of extra performances due to the huge number of people registering for tickets (enough to cause the ticket registration website to wobble a few times). Twenty more dates have been added to the original ten gigs announced, meaning Jacko will play a record breaking thirty nights at London's big dome. It seems anyone who doubted Jacko's ability to shift tickets was wrong. Those who doubt his ability to get through a ten night residency, let alone a thirty night run, will, obviously, have to wait to see if their prediction is right. Despite the widely known plan to run the Jacko O2 shows for as long a ticket sales demand, therefore presumably meaning anyone who wants to get in should get in, tickets for the residency are already being advertised for resale on auction sites like eBay at a considerable mark up.

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Also in high demand, though he's playing a much smaller venue, were tickets for an upcoming one off Paul McCartney gig at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. Promoters of the show, which will take place on 19 Apr, say the 4000 tickets for the gig were sold in just seven seconds when they went on sale last month. That's 600 seats a second. While I don't deny the demand for a show like this, I'm not sure it's actually technically possible to sell 4000 tickets in seven seconds, but there you go. A spokesman for the show's promoter said the relatively intimate (by his standards) Macca gig would be "a night like Vegas has never seen before".

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Metallica's James Hetfield was taken ill with stomach trouble on Sunday, causing the group to cancel the last date on their European tour, and the frontman says it might have been an oyster that caused the problem. 16,000 fans had already arrived at the Globe Arena in Stockholm when drummer Lars Ulrich announced that the gig would not go ahead.

A statement since posted on the band's website says that doctors say it could have either been "a 24hr virus or a bad oyster", with Hetfield adding: "Yes, hate to admit, an oyster could have taken me down".

He continues: "I acknowledge and apologise for any inconvenience this has caused fans who had travelled near and far for the show. I had done everything possible to make it, and was at the point of falling if I stood up. On a lighter note since my illness, the support band 'Swedish Oyster Cult' will be thrown off the tour. More Cowbell?...More barf bagz!!"

The cancelled show should be rescheduled for later in the spring.

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Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals has told that the band are only playing outdoors for the moment, joking that they have yet to perfect technology that will optimise the "epic" sound of their new album, 'Dark Days/Light Years', when played inside.

He's quoted as saying: "There are no more indoor gigs for Super Furry Animals The music is on an epic scale - it'd be wasted indoors", and adding jokingly: "We're developing a piece of equipment called Festyval Wynds. Once we've sorted it we'll be able to play indoors".

The band are set to play at this year's Wychwood Festival, RockNess, Bundoran's Sea Sessions and Brighton's Beachdown. The new LP is out as a download via from 16 Mar.

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OK everybody, anyone who is planning on doing The Great Escape as a punter this year - ie they're looking for a pass to get into the numerous gigs and showcases that take place across Brighton between 14 and 16 May (but not the conference bit), well take note that early-bird discount tickets are on sale until tomorrow, so go buy one now.

The three-day early-bird pass is £39.50 and among the bands you can choose from once you have one are Kasabian, British Sea Power, The Black Lips, The Big Pink, Holy Fuck, Little Boots, The Chapman Family, Passion Pit, Lightspeed Champion, Metronomy, The Handsome Family, Future Of The Left, Johnny Foreigner, Danananakroyd, The Joy Formidable, Chew Lips, To The Bones , Kasms , Your Twenties, Esser, Pulled Apart By Horses, The Soft Pack, Cage The Elephant and Kissy Sellout.

Oh, and don't forget The Pipettes, VV Brown, Lets Wrestle, Official Secrets Act, Televised Crimewave, Golden Silvers, Ben Kweller, Beth Jeans Houghton, Micachu and the Shapes, The Invisible, Ox. Eagle. Lion. Man., It Hugs Back, Screaming Tea Party, Artefacts for Space Travel, Vivian Girls, The Pains of Being Pure of Heart, The Miserable Rich, and Woodpigeon.

Then there's Beast, A Grave With No Name, Yves Klein Blue, The John Steel Singers, Middle Class Rut , The Arkells, An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump, Fanzine, Cassie & The Cassettes, Ipso Facto, S.C.U.M, Hunting the Minotaur, Apples, Mika Miko, The Maccabees, White Denim, School Of Seven Bells, Chairlift /James Yuill and Boxer Rebellion.

And it would be frankly careless of me not the mention The Mae Shi, DM Stith, Fan Death, We Were Promised Jet Packs, Heartbreak, The XX, Abe Vigoda, Hot Silk Pockets, Casiokids, Ulterior, Rainbow Arabia, Harry's Gym, Three Trapped Tigers, The Week That Was CD/ Skint And Demoralised, Trailer Trash Tracy's, Dan Black, The New Wine, Rodney Fisher, Futurecop!, Magic Magic, Rogues, Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, Moriarty, Heartless Bastards and Conan Mockasin. Oh, and Marina & The Diamonds. And Meme Love. And Miranda Lee Richards. I did mention The Brute Chorus yes?

Tickets and info from, press info from Get Involved.


Talking of music-festivals-come-conventions that take over whole cities for a few days, the meister of such things, South By Southwest, is getting very close, with periphery proceedings kicking off tomorrow no less.

For those of you packing your bags, printing out your flight tickets, desperately trying to remember where you safely stored your passport, and wondering just how much you can sneak onto expenses in these tough economic times, here is a guide to some of the SxSW showcases and parties and whatnot being staged by British (and Irish) magazines and organisations.

It might seem odd going all the way to Austin, Texas and then spending your time seeing mainly British bands who you could probably catch in Camden next month, but it's good to fly the flag and all that, or perhaps you should go see bands from other countries but make sure you tell any foreigners you meet to check out these...

18 Mar, 12.30pm: The Belfast Nashville Songwriters Party, Latitude 30, 512 San Jacinto
Featuring Lost Brothers, Ben Glover, Bap Kennedy, Eilidh Patterson, Ken Haddock, Anthony Toner, plus Nashville artists and "some fine food and drink for party guests". Sign up at

18 Mar, 7pm: Moshi Moshi Records & Fused Magazine Present, Club 1808, 1808 E. 12th St
Featuring Transmography, Still Flyin', The Mae Shi, Suckers, Casiokids, The Chap, Slow Club and Pictish Trail. Info at

18 Mar, 7.30pm: The British Music Showcase, Latitude 30, 512 San Jacinto
Hosted by Nic Harcourt and featuring Dananananaykroyd, The Electric City and Slow Club. This event, though, is invite only and I'm not sure how you get invited.

19 Mar, 2pm: New Music From Northern Ireland, Latitude 30, 512 San Jacinto
Featuring Fighting With Wire, In Case Of Fire, The Beat Poets, General Fiasco and Skibunny. Sign up at

19 Mar, 2pm: Kerrang! Party, The Wave, 408 E 6th St
Featuring Enter Shikari, The Bronx, Attack! Attack!, Rolo Tomassi and Frank Turner. Email [email protected] to get on the guest list.

20 Mar, 2pm: Showcasing Scotland, Latitude 30, 512 San Jacinto
Featuring Come On Gang, Found, My Latest Novel, The Pictish Trail, Twin Atlantic, Camera Obscura, Dananananaykroyd, National, We Were Promised Jetpacks, My Latest Novel and Alex Smoke. Sign up at

20 Mar, 11.30am: Full Irish Breakfast Party, BD Riley's, 204 E. 6th St
Hosted by First Music Contact and featuring Kiernan McMullan, The Lost Brothers, Lisa Hannigan, One Day International, The Mighty Stef, The Urges, In Case of Fire, Fight Like Apes, Republic of Loose and Fighting With Wire. Email [email protected] to get on the guest list.

21 Mar, 12pm: Yorkshire Launch Party, Latitude 30, 512 San Jacinto
A brand new event, featuring CMU favourites Rolo Tomassi plus Wild Beasts, Sky Larkin, Paul Marshall and Talk To Angels. We're also promised some fine Yorkshire themed food and drink! Sign up at

21 Mar, 2pm: Q Magazine Party, The Parish, 214-B E. 6th St
Hosted by Q and the Guitar Hero World Tour and featuring You Me At Six, Graham Coxon, Pete & The Pirates, Jay Jay Pistolet, Fanfarlo and Delta Spirit. Email [email protected] to get on the guest list.

21 Mar, 3pm: Liverpool Sound City presents The Best Of The Northwest, Latitude 30, 512 San Jacinto
Featuring The Hot Melts, Wave Machines, The Whip and Liverpudlian themed food and drink, whatever that is. Scouse all round I say. Sign up at

SxSW runs from 13-22 Mar, with the music stuff kicking off on 18 Mar. Info at

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ALBUM REVIEW: AK Momo - Return To NY (Peacefrog)
This delightful debut album from Swedish duo Anna Karin and Mattias Olsson taps into the 60s in a way that the likes of Broadcast used to do, but whereas that group couched their art in a slightly clinical retro futurist sound, straight from the lab, 'Return To NY' has a more organic feel, with, in the album's gorgeous sampled string sounds, some of the best use of the mellotron since OMD's 'Architecture & Morality'. The high-pitched, slightly twee vocals of Karin also recall chanson and modern day noirish torch songs (think Portishead, Alison Goldfrapp or even Gamine), whilst there's a slight kookiness to the vocals which will go down well with fans of Kate Bush, Bat For Lashes and Joanna Newsom. Admirers of Saint Etienne's Scandinavian period may well find much to enjoy too. Sonically beguiling in its use of vintage electronics and radio crackle, 'Return To NY' is equally alluring in the fatalistic black white portraits the richly warming melodies and haunting vocals help paint. You could fault the running time (only 35 minutes seems criminally short), but little else - this is an intoxicating listen. MS
Release Date: 16 Mar
Press Contact: Bang On [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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Oh, there have been plenty of people standing up to knock the proposed Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger, but what they don't realise is how much good it will do for independent musicians by giving them back "the power in the music industry".

We know this to be true because The Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan, who's been getting involved in all kinds of Congressional investigations this week, has written a letter to Senator Herb Kohl, chairman of the US Congress' Committee On Antitrust, Competition Policy And Consumer Rights, to give his support to the somewhat controversial merger between America's biggest live music conglom and the world's biggest ticketing firm.

Before reading on, it's possibly worth noting that The Smashing Pumpkins are managed by the Ticketmaster-owned Front Line management, founded and headed up by Irving Azoff, who is CEO of Ticketmaster and who will be one of the top two execs at the merged Live Master. Front Line manage lots of artists, and Azoff has personal relationships with many of them, so expect quite a bit of artist support for this deal should it look like political types are seriously considering blocking the proposals.

Corgan, of course, is also generally rather bitter about the hold EMI's Virgin US have over his band's early back catalogue, and has been quite public (and occasionally legal) about his frustrations with the way they work, or don't work, those albums. For an artist who hates the fact a major record company controls his creative work, you can see why a merged Live Master would, by comparison, be a good thing - their business model isn't based around owning artists' work, and their existence would be a threat to the likes of EMI.

Anyway, here's the contents of Corgan's pro-LiveMaster letter, as obtained by and published in the Chicago Sun Times, in full:

Dear Chairmen Kohl & Leahy and Ranking Members Hatch & Specter:

The merger as proposed before you on the surface may seem to be too much power in the hands of the few, and I can understand the need for Congress to review this matter. Here I would hope that my 20 years in the recording and touring business will allow me some candid authority on these issues, and would help shed some light for you on some of the nuances that perhaps could easily get missed.

The 'system' that was once the modern record business, essentially ushered in with the meteoric rise of the Beatles, is now helplessly broken. And by almost every account available cannot be repaired. Personally I would add to that a healthy 'good riddance,' as the old system far too often took advantage of the artists as pawns while the power brokers colluded behind the scenes to control the existing markets. This control often saw the sacrificing of great careers to maintain that control. Look no further than the major record labels' intense fight to slow down the progress of internet technologies that more readily brought music and video to the consumer because they couldn't completely control it. This disastrous decision on their part has destroyed the economic base of the recording industry. It is now a shadow of its former self.

Artists now find a heavy shift of emphasis to the live performance side, and this is where this merger finds its merit. The combination of these companies creates powerful tools for an independent artist to reach their fans in new and unprecedented ways, all the while restoring the power where it belongs. In today's ever changing world, the ability for artists to connect to their fans and stay connected is critical for the health of our industry. Without sustainable, consistent economic models upon which to make key decisions, it is both the music and the fans that suffer.

In short, we have a broken system. This is a new model that puts power into the hands of the artist, creating a dynamic synergy that will inspire great works and attract healthy competition. The proposed merger you have before you helps create those opportunities by boldly addressing the complexity of the existing musical and economic landscapes.

Billy Corgan
The Smashing Pumpkins

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The US-based Alan Ett Creative Group and the UK-based Cutting Edge Group have launched a new joint venture company called AE2 which will work in the production music and sync rights sector, marketing the music catalogues and services of both companies to film and TV producers and the advertising sector.

Both companies already specialise in providing music and music services to these sectors, as well as sitting on their own catalogues of music, and representing the catalogues of others. Each company will continue to have its own catalogues and operations, but will work together marketing their services.

The Cutting Edge Group includes Air-Edel, one of the best known names in the UK in the film music sector. Cutting Edge acquired the company of the then floundering Sanctuary Music back in 2007.

Confirming the deal, Alan Ett told reporters: "We are delighted to create this partnership with the Cutting Edge Group. [Cutting Edge MD] Phil [Hope] and I have talked about this for a long time, and this co-venture is the beginning of the realisation of a vision of a truly international world-class music company. By working together we'll be able to create a dynamic organisation that is unparalleled anywhere in the world".

Hope added: "We are very excited about our new joint venture with AECG. AE2 Music will provide the UK with an exciting approach to the marketing of both bespoke and production music. In Alan and his team, we have a partner that matches our ambition and will help us move even further towards the aim of being the leading provider of music".

The London office of the new venture will be headed up by Gareth Owen, formerly of Universal, BMG and Zomba. He told reporters: "Where AE2 Music differs is in our adaptability. We have a comprehensive collection of works already licensed under the MCPS and have the set-up to create bespoke and tailored pieces".

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Into the world of music distribution, and Proper Music have announced that their new venture with New Note - to be called Proper Note - will kick in at the start of next month, and will take over the distribution of many of the labels that New Note previously managed.

New Note, which specialised in the distribution of jazz, classical and world music, previously used Pinnacle for the physical distribution of the CDs it represented. When Pinnacle went under late last year, New Note quickly announced a new alliance with Proper. That alliance became a more formal joint venture when Pinnacle's demise forced New Note itself into administration.

Proper Note will be headed up by former New Note owners Eddie Wilkinson and Graham Griffiths, and four of their former staff will join them at the new venture.

Commenting on Proper Note, Wilkinson told CMU: "It's been a very difficult time for all involved. All of our labels have lost money, as we have ourselves. But we've been delighted with the support and understanding that we've received and we're very excited about future opportunities for the business in partnership with Proper. We've already received commitments from key labels such as ECM, Telarc, Avie, and World Music Network and are in advanced discussions with others such as World Circuit and Naïve".

Proper have picked up a lot of new work following Pinnacle's collapse, of course. Commenting on his new venture with New Note, Proper chief Malcolm Mills told CMU: "Having been in talks with New Note prior to Pinnacle's closure, we've long been aware of the benefits of this move. We're delighted with the support we're getting from former New Note labels and confident about the future".

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More distribution, and Nova Sales & Distribution have announced a new deal with Infinity Music, the label of composer Adrian Munsey. Infinity is best known for releasing Munsey's own music, including last year's 'Requiem'. Nova will handle the sales and distribution on Infinity's releases, including Munsey's in development third album 'Based On A True Story', which will include guest appearances by Blake, Janice Graham, Will Martin, Honor Blackman and the English Sinfonia.

Confirming the deal, Nova MD Wilf Mann told CMU: "We are pleased to sign an artist of Adrian's stature and his excellent catalogue of memorable and melodic symphonic music can be recommended to anyone that appreciates music of this genre".

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Our good friends Leyline Promotions, co-promoters of the CMU Social and the people behind Remix Night, Twisted Licks and the Insomniacs Ball, have launched a new publicity division headed up by Leyline supremo Adrian Leigh and music PR specialist Nick Bateson, who between them have previously led PR campaigns for events like Glade and Standon Calling and artists as varied as Fat Freddy's Drop, Herve and A-ha.

The new division will be providing online and print PR services as well as radio promotions, digital campaigns and brand development. Contact [email protected] or [email protected] for details.

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Apple have revealed the latest version of their economy line iPod shuffle, and it's got even smaller. Soon these things won't be visible to the human eye. The other innovation withthe new version of Apple's flash-memory-based player is that it talks. That is to say it will announce each song as it starts to play, utilising the meta data stuck to a track. I should note that service is optional, given that it's the sort of thing that will probably get very irritating very quickly. That said, if only Apple could work out how to make the Shuffle announce the time and occasional travel updates as well, the device could replace pretty much every daytime DJ in commercial radio.

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Kerrang! Radio is planning on burying its listeners. Literally. The latest promotional stunt being staged by the Birmingham FM station is called The Grave Danger and will see listeners put into specially made coffins and buried in the grounds of Warwick Castle. Whoever stays underground the longest will win a prize. Five listeners will be buried, though apparently more than 350 have applied to take part. Nutters.

Kerrang! Programme Director Gordon Davidson says this: "Our listeners are fantastic, in the last year they've stripped off in public, been shot at and now they getting buried! We keep coming up with the weirdest, craziest challenges we can think of and they keep matching us, they really are what make this station very special".

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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].

A List
Akon feat Colby O'Donis & Kardinal Offishall - Beautiful
Comic Relief - (Barry) Islands In The Stream
Katy Perry - Thinking Of You
Lady Gaga - Poker Face
Metro Station - Shake It
Noisettes - Don't Upset The Rhythm
Oasis - Falling Down
The Pussycat Dolls - Whatcha Think About That
The Prodigy - Omen
Red Light Company - Arts & Crafts
The Saturdays - Just Can't Get Enough
The Script - Talk You Down*
Snow Patrol - If There's A Rocket Tie Me To It
Take That - Up All Night
TI feat. Justin Timberlake - Dead And Gone

B List
Asher Roth - I Love College
The BPA - He's Frank
Dan Black - Alone
Doves - Kingdom Of Rust
Frankmusik - Better Off As Two
Goldie Lookin Chain - By Any Means Necessary
In Case Of Fire - The Cleansing
Karima Francis - Again
Kids In Glass Houses - Dance All Night
La Roux - In For The Kill
Nickelback - I'd Come For You
Peter, Bjorn & John - Nothing To Worry About
September - Can't Get Over
Steve Angello & Laidback Luke feat. Robin S - Show Me Love
The Wombats - My Circuitboard City

Tip List
Animal Collective - My Girls
Brakes - Hey Hey
Casiokids - Fot I Hose
Dananananakroyd - Black Wax*
Filthy Dukes - This Rhythm
Funeral For A Friend - Rules and Games*
Hockey - Too Fake
Jazmine Sullivan - Dream Big*
Operahouse - Genius Child
Sneaky Sound System - I Love It
Theory Of A Deadman - Hate My Life*
The Virgins - Rich Girls*

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Ryan Adams and popstrel turned actress Mandy Moore have got married. Reports say that Moore's publicist Jillian Fowkes confirmed that their wedding had taken place quietly in Savannah, Georgia, on Tuesday. So that's nice.

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Geri Halliwell has reportedly broken off her engagement to Italian millionaire Fabrizio Politi. As previously reported, the couple got engaged in January after meeting in a nightclub in December.

A source told The Sun: "She loved being in a relationship but decided that all she needs is her daughter Bluebell to keep her happy. Fabrizio is upset but totally respects Geri's wishes. Her friends are not surprised - Geri has a track record for getting cold feet".

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I'm not elderly, unemployed, part-time, or a student, so I don't know, but apparently Countdown isn't the same since Carole Vorderman was forced off our screen by evil Channel 4 bosses who can't see the value of being able to add stuff up quickly. I do know one thing, though, it would be very different is Amy Winehouse was doing it. And the singer apparently reckons she's got what it takes, according to The Sun.

A source told the tabloid: "[Amy] has always loved the show but since she's come back she's had to get used to it without Carol. She thinks new girl Rachel Riley is all right but reckons she could do a much better job herself".

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