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Top Stories
FAC is go, three-strike rule is a no
Three-strike system gets discussed in French parliament
Manson quits music
Rihanna/Brown duet confirmed
In The Pop Courts
Defence is done: Spector trial update
Cyrus fanclub members win lawsuit
Canadian judge raises legality concerns over torrent index
The Arabian Prince sues over Fergilicious cut
Madonna and Guy reach custody agreement
In The Studio
Radiohead start work on next album
Klaxons sent back to the studio
Release News
Ficek to release Roses Kings cassettes
White and Mosshart to release album
Let Catherine AD smash your ex's stuff
Gigs N Tours News
Jacko residency extended to fifty plus dates
Festival News
You Me At Six do the Slam Dunk
Festival line up update
Album review: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Beware (Domino)
The Music Business
19 do deal with Universal Publishing
London Calling gets bigger
The Media Business
Shortlist considering women's freebie mag
Sunday Mirror showbiz hack resigns
And finally...
McFly to cameo in Hollyoaks
Reznor slags off Cornell album
Phoenix fights heckler
CMU Daily Archives
Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
Advertise with CMU
Formed back in 1997, New Found Glory's energetic pop-punk has garnered them fans across the globe, with something of a cult following. Their music has earned them past support slots alongside the likes of Blink 182, and they are now legends in their own right. With five studio albums already under their belts, NFG have just released their sixth, 'Not Without A Fight'. Before the band head off on an almost non-stop world tour from late March to mid-June, bassist Ian Grushka took a moment to answer our Same Six Questions.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
We were all in different local bands. [Guitarist] Chad was singing in Shai Hulud at the time. My horrible band at the time (Inner City Kids) kicked its singer out and asked [frontman] Jordan to join. Me and Jordan wanted to change the band name so people didn't think we still had that old singer. So basically the whole band quit. Jordan then said, 'I don't want to sing and play guitar, I only want to sing'. So we had a singer and a bassist. We asked [other guitarist] Steve to join, who then asked Chad to join. Then we had an old drummer for about four shows, and that didn't work out. So we got Cyrus, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
All of our albums are inspired by what goes on in our lives in between albums. Once an album is released we start gaining influences for the next record. Steve writes the lyrics in our band, and all of his lyrics are based on real life experiences. A song can be created from something one of us is going through or a conversation we've had.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Chad writes the music in our band. Chad teaches us all to play the music. Then we each give input on if we think the music needs changes. Then we will usually record a live version of the music. That could be on tour at a soundcheck, or at practice. Then Steve puts it on a CD or iPod, and listens in headphones. He writes the lyrics and vocal patterns for the most part. Then once he takes that to Jordan, he will change it around a bit to better suit his voice - add harmonies, etc. And that's the backbone for most of our songs.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
That's impossible to say. We all like different music. Chad likes everything from Björk to H20 to Shania Twain. Super wide range. Cyrus likes everything on the radio, and rap. I like 80s stuff, mostly pop and metal mixed with pop country, Jordan likes every band you've never heard of, and Steve likes most of the bands I dislike... hahahaha. Just kidding.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Our albums are the soundtrack to our live show. You need to see us live to understand our band. I enjoy our albums, but LOVE playing live.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
We want to tour and travel the world as long as we can. My goal for this album is to sell more copies then we did of 'Coming Home'. We are so happy to be on Epitaph now. Our old A&R guy at Geffen was a tool (only in my opinion) so it would be like a 'fuck you' to him when we sell more CDs.


VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Carbon presents Paradox & Alaska at The Volks
The Club Tip tends to be London-centric, I know that, and I do try to occasionally look further afield. Though I'm not sure "London by the sea" really counts, but this is definitely worth tipping. The Volks, just down the beach from Brighton's famous pier, has had a new sound system installed, and this night should put it to proper use. Paradox, aka Dev Pandya, aka Alaska, has been touring for nearly two decades and has racked up 163 live PAs all over the world. He's a top notch performer who I have witnessed twice - not only does he hybridise breakbeat and drum & bass, but he is an infectious showman, raving and ranting to the crowd about the samples he feeds into his trusty battered Amiga while truly blurring the line between beats and breaks. He really is not to be missed. And tonight he'll be showcasing his new album 'Isolationist', and maybe even throwing a few free copies into the crowd. Support comes from Instra:Mental, Insight, Voytek, and Escher.

Friday 13 Mar, The Volks, 3 The Colonnade, Brighton, 11pm-5am, £6, more info from


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So, Robbie and Billy and Kate and KT, and members of Blur, Radiohead, Travis and even Marillion were at the big first London meeting of the all new Featured Artist Coalition on Wednesday night, and as I think this photo superbly demonstrates, they all know how to put their fist in the air. Well, not quite all.

One of the benefits of having a trade body that includes some of the more famous names of British music among its membership was immediately apparent as news studios across the UK TV and radio networks threw open their doors on Wednesday to some of those famous faces providing them with a very public platform to state their case. The interviews got hijacked a little by the YouTube/PRS squabble that preceded the meeting by two days, though that was probably good news for the business side of the music world as it's one of the areas where most artists are in agreement with their record companies and publishers - they too believe that mega-gloms like Google really should be paying artists a fair fee if they want to build their business using said artists' music.

Though of course we shouldn't expect the FAC to be in agreement with the labels and publishers on every issue. Indeed, the reason it has been set up is because of a growing feeling amongst the artist community that, as the old fashioned record industry declines and a new kind of music business rises in its place, lots of deals are being done between label and publishing execs and the business' new customers - web firms, brands, new media etc - and artists have so far not been particularly involved in those deals.

As Radiohead guitarist Ed O'Brien told the BBC ahead of the meeting: "A lot of the rights and revenue streams are being carved up, and we need a voice. We need to be in there and we need to be discussing it, and I think all the major players want to hear what we have to say".

Quite how FAC will interact with the Music Managers' Forums is less clear. Managers are, of course, in theory at least, there to work in their artists' interests, and the MMF has very much facilitated the launch of the Coalition. But the artists are in control and it will be interesting to see how much they develop their own agenda apart from that of the MMF.

The first issue on which the FAC may come into conflict with the corporate side of the industry is that old favourite, how to deal with illegal file sharing. According to Billboard, sources at the press-free meeting report that the topic came up during a discussion on the government's much previously reported 'Digital Britain' document, on which interested parties have been asked to feedback by this week. The also much previously reported three-strike system, which would see persistent file-sharers who do not heed warnings from their ISP about their file sharing having their net connections terminated, was also raised. This isn't mentioned in 'Digital Britain', though both France and New Zealand are introducing it, and some in the UK music business do see it as a very really option as part of their mission to increase the role internet service providers play in policing piracy.

FAC it seems won't back those proposals, should they become a reality in the UK. Those sources say there was a unanimous show of hands when it was asked who opposed any measures that criminalised file-sharing fans, or led to them losing their internet connection. Where the body would stand on services like The Pirate Bay, who enable, in one way or another, the file sharing their fans do, normally through a profit making business, isn't clear.

Either way, I think its fair to say the record companies and publishers and music corporates will find that the FAC is both a friend and a foe. When the industry tries to keep artists out of the deal making they'll have a new vocal and media-friendly opponent. But on issues where the industry and many key artists agree - like the PRS/YouTube thing - they'll have a credible body of familiar faces to speak out on their behalf. And because the FAC will presumably be known as a bit of a dissenter at times, when the body's board does speak in support of the industry's viewpoint it should be a whole load more credible than when the majors somewhat embarrassingly wheeled out big pop stars to speak out against file sharing back in the very early days of the P2P phenomenon.

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Talking of the three-strike system, France's proposals to introduce said system have been discussed in the French Parliament this week. The new laws which, as previously reported, would see the creation of a new government agency with the powers to order internet service providers to cut off persistent file sharers, was passed by the French Parliament's upper house, the Senate, last year, but still needs to get through the lower house, the French Assembly.

Although the French music industry considers itself to be on a roll with this, having successfully convinced the country's government of the need for legislative action against online piracy, there are still plenty of politicians and lobbying groups who very much oppose the three-strike proposals, and needless to say, they've been out in force this week.

Alain Bazot, the boss of French consumer rights group UFC-Que Choisir, said at a press conference in Paris this week: "We won't accept such a repressive project", adding concerns that the new rules did not sufficiently take into account that it is possible to hack into other users' WiFi connections and file share via their IP addresses. Such hacking, some argue, will only increase if the three-strike system is introduced.

French economist and former government advisors Jacques Attali, meanwhile, wrote on his blog this week that the proposals were "scandalous and absurd" adding: "It is absurd, because people no longer download, they stream audio and video... absurd because it would deprive entire families of Internet access... because real artists have nothing to lose by letting people know their work. It is scandalous because, instead of for once giving something for free to young people, the main victims of the crisis, we prefer to fatten up big record and film companies".

The music industry has been busy lobbying too, of course. A long stream of top French artists have been wheeled out to back the proposals, while the boss of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry, John Kennedy, told reporters: "The music industry internationally strongly supports the 'Creation And Internet Law' proposed by the French government. The proposal is good for a thriving music market in the 21st century, good for music consumers and good for artists, creators and producers whose rights need protecting in the digital world".

The Assembly will return to the issue later in the month before moving to a vote on the proposals.

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Former Garbage frontwoman Shirley Manson has revealed that she has quit the music business in favour of acting. Recently she has become best known for her role in TV series 'Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles', but speaking at the WonderCon convention in America she revealed that the change of career is permanent.

She told the audience at the convention: "I was sickened by my record company's approach, which was, to me, essentially an uncreative process. I felt like there was nothing I was ever going to be able to do that was going to please them. I didn't want to play the corporate music gig where they want women to make nursery rhymes. I wasn't prepared to do that. They keep churning out pop hits that no one gives a fuck about a year later. The business is not being run in a smart fashion".

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A publicist for producer Polow Da Don has confirmed that he has produced the rumoured, and previously reported, duet between reconciled couple Rihanna and Chris Brown. According to CNN, The producer said in a statement: "My heart goes out to both Chris and Rihanna for what has happened in the past. They are both great artists to work with, and I wish them well".

reports claim that the track was originally written just for Rihanna, and Brown only came to be involved following the alleged incident on 8 Feb in which Brown is accused of beating up his girlfriend following an argument over a text message. Can't help thinking it's all just part of a big push to minimise the impact of all this on Brown's career. Whether he can truly reform his character or not remains to be seen.

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So, back to the good old Phil Spector re-trial where the defence rested their case yesterday, again without Spector himself taking to the witness stand.

Defence lawyer Doron Weinberg - who has been much more dashing and severe than any of the defence attorneys involved in Spector's first trial - ended his case with forensic psychologist Elizabeth Loftus who is an expert in memory and witness testimony, and who was there to cast further doubt on the testimony of Spector's former chauffeur who, as previously reported, claims he heard Spector say "I think I killed somebody" shortly after actress Lana Clarkson was shot dead at the legendary producer's home. Loftus said that it is possible for witnesses to become influenced by information received after an event, so that they seem to become increasingly certain about things they were unsure about at the time - even though their certainty may be misguided.

With Weinberg's case done, Judge Larry Fidler called yet another recess. The jury will reconvene next week for the final stages of the trial.

As much previously reported, Spector is accused of shooting dead Clarkson at his Beverly Hills home in 2003. He claims she shot herself. His first trial was declared a mistrial after the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict.

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Ah, badly run fan clubs, I've run at least one of them in my time. Miley Cyrus' fanclub has been ordered to extend the memberships of 700 Pennsylvanian fans free of charge as part of a settlement relating to complaints that they were not given priority access to tickets for a sold out show in Pittsburgh in January 2008, despite possibly being led to believe they would be. Nashville-based Interactive Marketing will also have to pay a $20,000 fine and put a notice on the fanclub's website explaining that paying for membership does not guarantee early access to tickets. Although it agreed to the settlement, the company maintains that it did nothing wrong.

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The Canadian courts have not been especially kind to the music industry in their fight against online file-sharing - with one judge once saying the country's copyright laws didn't actually make the sharing of unlicensed content online illegal at all - but a judge in British Columbia has refused to rule in favour of a major BitTorrent tracker without a full trial to consider the legalities of what the service does.

Possibly encouraged by those past Canadian court rulings with regards P2P file sharing, the owner of one of the most popular Torrent indexing services, isoHunt, which provides links to over 1.5 million BitTorrent sources of content, much of it unlicensed, went to court himself to ask for a ruling that his operation did not contravene the country's copyright laws.

Such a ruling would, of course, stop the record companies from taking action against him, and would presumably help him raise investment and sell advertising. Aside from the Canadian court's history of being ambivalent towards file-sharing, isoHunt founder Gary Fung also presumably wheeled out the usual defence of indexing and tracking services - that he doesn't himself host any illegal content, he merely links to it.

British Columbia Supreme Court Judge Victor Curtis didn't say that Fung was acting illegally as such, but he refused to provide the declaration the Torrent man requested, saying a full trial would be required to assess the legal status of isoHunt.

Curtis also raised some concerns regarding the service, comparing isoHunt to a gun seller (perhaps the word 'hunt' stuck in his head) and arguing that Fung, like a gun dealer, isn't liable whenever a customer uses his services (or guns) for illegal purposes, but can be held responsible to a certain extent if he knows a customer's intentions are illegal when providing the service (or gun). Basically he was saying Fung may be guilty of so called 'authorising infringement' and a full hearing would be needed to consider that fact.

Whether that means the Association Of Canadian Gun Dealers will now come out in support of Fung we don't know. Nor do we know whether Fung will now, in fact, request a full trial or, instead, go and hide in his gun cupboard and wait for a new barrage of cease and desist letters to arrive.

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THE ARABIAN PRINCE SUES OVER FERGILICIOUS CUT reports that former Nigga With Attitude The Arabian Prince, aka Kim Nazel, is suing NWA's former label for royalties he claims to be owed as a result of a song he co-wrote and produced being sampled in the Fergie track 'Fergilicious'.

A 1988 track called 'Supersonic' by US female rap trio JJ Fad was sampled in the Black Eyed Peas' second solo single release in 2006. Nazel co-wrote and produced the track and says that, as a result, he owns 20% of it, but that he hasn't received any royalties in relation to the Fergie sample off Ruthless Records, the hip hop label who manages the song.

His lawsuit names Ruthless, the widow of his former bandmate Eazy-E, Tomika Wright, who now heads up the label, and former NWA manager and co-founder of the record company Jerry Heller. He claims he has tried to collect his cut of the royalties from Ruthless on several occasions, but his approaches have been knocked back.

Ruthless are yet to respond to the litigation.

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I'm not sure I knew that this was still going on, but apparently Madonna and Guy Ritchie have reached an agreement over the custody of their natural son Rocco and adopted son David. When their marriage was dissolved in the British courts last year, the pair agreed to share custody of the two boys, but Madonna then took the case to court in New York to make custody arrangements legal in the US. The final arrangement will see the two children living in the US with their mother, but will be visited regularly by their father. They will also spend time during school holidays in the UK with him.

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Radiohead have started work on new material and are planning to tour this summer, too.

Speaking to BBC Newsbeat, guitarist Ed O'Brien said: "We are working on new material. We'll be doing some more recording. It's business as usual. We've sort of finished the bulk of ['In Rainbows'] touring. [Though] we will be doing a little bit of touring in the summer, watch this space!"

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Klaxons have been sent back to the studio by their label, Polydor, to rework some of their forthcoming second album, the band have revealed.

Speaking to The Sun, the band's Jamie Reynolds said: "We've been asked to re-record part of the album because we've made a dense, psychedelic record. We've made a really heavy record and it isn't the right thing for us - I understand and know that. First and foremost, we're a pop band. I haven't thought about that for a long time, and now it's in the forefront of my mind. We've got another four weeks and at the end of that time everything should be dealt with".

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Roses Kings Castles, the other project of Babyshambles man Adam Ficek, is to release a limited edition cassette tape of new material. One hundred copies of 'Roses Kings Cassettes', which features six demos recorded in the drummer's bedroom in recent weeks, will be released via Ficek's own label The Sycamore Club, on 30 Mar.


Side A
Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid
I Killed You
Shut Your Stupid Little Mouth

Side B
My Senses Bomb
You Alone A Mess
Outer Love Inner Space

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Jack White and The Kills' Alison Mosshart, Dean Fertita of Queens Of The Stone Age and The Greenhornes' Jack Lawrence have announced that they will release their first album together, under the name The Dead Weather, this summer.

The group played their first gig at a private showcase in Nashville on Wednesday, after which White told reporters: "The idea was to do a 7" single and be done with it, but we started writing songs and something happened".

The album, 'Horehound', will be released in June, and will be preceded by a single, 'Hang You From Heaven'. You can hear the single and the band's cover of Gary Numan's 'Are Friends Electric?' on their website at

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You know how it is, you go out with someone for a bit, then it all breaks down in a fit of acrimony and you're left with a load of things you don't want that have thousands of memories attached that stab you like a knife to your heart every time you look at them. Right? Well, Catherine AD is here to help.

The singer is about to shoot the video for her new single and wants you to give her all of that stuff so that she can smash it up for you. She explained: "As part of the video we will have some scenes of destruction where I will do my best to slay your demons and exorcise any possession of your choice that you are happy to part with and see destroyed on film. Suggested object might include: CDs, books, stuffed animals/toys, clothing - tshirts, wedding dresses, photos, trinkets, vinyl records, video tapes/VHSs, giant valentine's cards/birthday cards, love letters, mixtapes etc etc. You get the idea. If you would like to send a short note with the item to explain its history or origin we may also utilise this as part of the artwork/film (although we haven't firmed this up yet) but I am pretty nosy and love hearing stories..."

Items should be sent to the address below by 29 Mar. Any items not used will be given to charity:

c/o Russell Cherrington
University of Cumbria
Brampton Road

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Well, they kept on adding more and more and more Michael Jackson O2 gigs yesterday as more and more and more people kept registering for tickets. At last count there were going to be fifty shows in total, though they'll probably add more in the time it takes me to write this story, so I'd say here are somewhere between fifty and infinity shows planned. The 50 shows won't go back to back, meaning that the residency will now run into 2010.

As previously reported, promoters of the Jacko This Is It shows, AEG Live, had let it be known they would continue to add extra dates while there was demand for tickets. AEG's Randy Phillips said yesterday: "Not only are these concerts unparalleled, these records will never be broken. We knew this was show business history, but this is a cultural phenomenon".

Despite the ticket demand, at least one music fan is more excited about Neil Young's UK festival and headline show dates than Jacko's dome residency and has created a spoof advert to say so, which is good news for AEG's big rivals Live Nation, who will promote Young's UK appearances. The video is here:

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The Slam Dunk Festival, a one-day alternative rock fest which takes place at Leeds University, has announced its line up for 2009, and buzzy boys You Me At Six are among the headliners. They, by the way, have been gigging around the UK this week to mark the re-release of their single 'Save It For The Bedroom', and play the Roundhouse in Camden tonight before heading off to SxSW in Austin, Texas next week.

Back to Slam Dunk, and also on the bill this year are The Blackout, Cobra Starship, Silverstein, We The Kings, Anti Flag, Hundred Reasons, Hollywood Undead, Defeater, Random Hand, The Skints, In Case Of Fire, Canterbury, Paige, and The Auteur. It all takes place on Sunday 24 May, more detail on their MySpace at



ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL, Newport, Isle Of Wight, 12-14 Jun: Pixies just added to Sunday line-up.

GLASTONBURY, nr Pilton, Somerset, 26-28 Jun: Headliner Neil Young's old mates Crosby, Stills & Nash have been confirmed, oh yes.

WAKESTOCK, Abersoch, 10-12 Jul: The Pigeon Detectives, Goldie, Just Jack, Kissy Sell Out and the marvellous Cuban Brothers all added to the bill, Moby is to headline.

CORNBURY FESTIVAL, Cornbury Park Estate, Oxfordshire, 11-12 Jul: Scouting For Girls, Sugababes and The Pretenders announced as headliners, plus Joe Jackson, The Magic Numbers, Imelda May, Teddy Thomson, Sharleen Spiteri, Eddi Reader, The Damned, Shortwave Set, Dodgy, I Am Kloot, Boy Least Likely To, Amy Lavere, Kingsize 5, The Love Trousers, Relay, Peatbog Fairies, Mary Coughlan, Coute Diomboulou, Stornowa, 3 Daft Monkeys, Laura & The Tears and Ava Leigh also all confirmed.

GLADE, nr Winchester, 16-19 Jul: All these now confirmed on the bill - Underworld, Booka Shade, Squarepusher, Juan Atkins, Freeland, Plump DJs, Krafty Kuts, Venetian Snares, Rusko Live, Japanese Popstars, The Qemists, Femi Kuti & The Positive Force, Nitin Sawhney, Finley Quaye, Digital Mystikz, Kid 606, Atomic Drop, Antix, Rennie Pilgrem & Mc Chickaboo, The Bays Feat. Beardyman, Tristan, Perfect Stranger, Paul Taylor, Kasey Taylor, Lucas, Lurk, Earthling, Chromatone Sensient, Dick Trevor, Dimitri, Spoonbill, Ishq, Waterjuice, Kuba Live, DJ Zinc, Deekline & Wizard, Jay Cunning, Vent, Stereo: Type, The Egg, Los Albertos, Orchestra Del Sol, Tragic Roundabout, GaDJo, The Correspondence, Jim Masters, Duran Duran Duran, Far Too Loud Hexidecimal, Toddla T, Tayo and Napt. Phew.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Beware (Domino)
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy is one of those artists with that uncanny ability to cast a spell over the lot of us. Be it a southern state pickup truck driver blasting out Country FM on his way to toss hay-bails, or a bedroom bound indie-kid meandering through internet forums with every increment of his spare time, Billy can strike a chord and, unbelievably, relate to our common humanity. This common humanity is clearly that, however latent, we'd all love a good barn dance. Billy is on form as usual with 'Beware', his trademark gruff warble accentuating every melody with heartfelt grace. In the background guitars slide in and out of the haze of his delicate instrumentation. Standout track 'You Can't Hurt Me Now' sways along like a night on the prairie with brass punctuating the great pale moon in the sky. Then nearing the end the Bonnie Prince is given the chance to soar - these are the moments of transcendence that most albums don't even come close to - the common humanity is in full swing. The rest of the record is dotted with this dynamic pattern, until we're left with Billy's closing gesture - 'Afraid Ain't Me'. As with his past history, he reminds us that he will struggle steadfast out of any pigeonhole using any tools available - this time tribal drumming and an untamed flautist. Then a perfect vocal crescendo dollops wads of icing on an already well decorated cake, and as usual pleases us all. GB
Release Date: 16 Mar
Press Contact: Domino IH [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment has entered into a new long term agreement with Universal Music Publishing which will see the major pubbery administering all future publishing interests created or acquired by the music and telly management agency.

The new deal does not effect the old 19 Songs catalogue, which was acquired by Dutch publisher Imagem, ironically off Universal Music, who in turn acquired it as part of their purchase of BMG Music Publishing. Selling 19 Songs was one of the conditions for the Universal/BMG deal getting European Commission approval.

Commenting on the new publishing deal, 19 founder and CEO Simon Fuller told reporters: "19 Entertainment is continuing to expand in music and across other areas of entertainment both here in the UK and in the States. We need to partner with the best commercial organisations, and Paul Connolly [UK and Europe chief of Universal Publishing] and his team here in London are second to none. We have ambitious plans for the next few years and I'm delighted to have concluded this deal with Universal Music".

Connolly himself added: "19 Entertainment have been one of the dominant music and entertainment powerhouses for years and Simon Fuller and his team have consistently delivered success at the very highest level. We intend to build a wonderful musical legacy together and we are delighted to be representing their music publishing interests throughout the world".

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The people behind music business conference London Calling will be expanding their programme this year to create what they are calling International Music Industry Week. The programme will include the usual industry conference, plus a free-to-enter trade fair open to everyone, and a week of gig showcases around London. The gigs will take place from 16-20 Jun, the conference and trade fair on 17 and 18 Jun. More on this when we get it.

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The publishers of my favourite free magazine, men's mag Shortlist, have said that a freebie women's mag is among the new product ideas they are currently considering. Shortlist founder and CEO Mike Soutar told the Media Guardian that, following the relatively quick success of Shortlist since its 2007 launch, he is now considering other projects, though nothing has been confirmed as yet.

Soutar: "We're ambitious to grow and haven't been sitting on our hands - we've been developing a range of other concepts, none of which are ready to launch yet but all of which have a degree of promise. The range of concepts involved could potentially include brands targeted at women".

Asked about reports in advertising industry mag Campaign that he'd been sharing plans for a female version of Shortlist with ad agencies, he stressed it was early days yet: "There's nothing imminent - I would define 'imminent' as anything in the next few month. Nobody can see past the summer at the moment with the state of the economy as we find it".

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The Sunday Mirror's showbusiness columnist, Zoe Griffin, is leaving the title after two years to take on an "exciting new project" of which she's revealed very little. Griffin will work her three-month notice period with the Sunday tabloid before moving on to the new venture. She told reporters: "I have had a fantastic time at the Sunday Mirror but it is time to move on to pursue an exciting new project".

Prior to joining the Mirror Griffin wrote for News International's London Paper, though it's not thought she is returning to the Rupert Murdoch owned media firm who, of course, also own the Mirror's main rivals The Sun and News Of The World.

As previously reported, Griffin had her own moment on the gossip pages earlier this year when Kelly Osbourne was arrested in January in relation to an altercation with the showbiz hack last summer where Ms Osbourne allegedly slapped the journo in revenge for her describing the singer-come-misc-celeb's model boyfriend Luke Worrall as stupid.

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In my opinion, not a match made in heaven, because I like McFly and despair of 'Hollyoaks'. But the boys haven't taken my advice on this matter and have reportedly decided to make a cameo appearance on the poorly scripted/bad-actor-magnet soap, following in the footsteps of girl band The Saturdays, who appeared on the show at the end of last year. A Hollyoaks source is quoted by Digital Spy as saying that McFly are almost confirmed: "We've yet to finalise all the details yet, but we hope that they'll be singing one of their classics".

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I suppose Twitter is a good way to exchange insults, though I've never done it myself. Perhaps I'll start. Trent Reznor, meanwhile, is no slouch in this matter. The NIN man has slagged off that previously reported new album by former Soundgarden/Audioslave man Chris Cornell via that very medium. Reznor says of 'Scream', which has been produced by Timbaland: "You know that feeling you get when somebody embarrasses themselves so badly YOU feel uncomfortable? Heard Chris Cornell's record? Jesus".

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Well, we talked about Shirley Manson quitting music in favour of acting earlier, now on to someone doing it the other way around. Although perhaps with less well-received results. Yep, it's that Joaquin Phoenix fella and his definitely-not-a-joke rap career again.

At a show in Miami's LIV nightclub on Wednesday evening, Phoenix dealt with a heckler by leaping into the audience and throwing a few punches. Having arrived four hours late for his performance, the, er, rapper initially tried to calm the heckler by reminding him that he was actually quite wealthy, saying: "We have a fucking bitch in the audience. I've got a million in the bank. What have you got bitch?"

During the attack the audience chanted "beat him up, beat him up", which was nice of them. It's not entirely clear who they wanted beaten up, though. I assume most people go to a Joaquin Phoenix show because they've missed the memo about it not being a joke, rather than out of a genuine interested in his music.

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