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TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Stone Roses probably not reforming
EMI sign Martin Luther King, sort of
Canadians love stealing music and would like to continue
Kanye records guest spot for Family Guy spin off
In The Pop Courts
Winehouse pleads not guilty to assault
DJ-AM sues over plane crash
In The Pop Hospital
Pete Burns suffers kidney failure
Awards & Contests
Awards dished out at live music conference
Reunions & Splits
Kid Cudi to retire
In The Studio
Stars line up for Jacko album
Release News
Fiddy to release two albums
Regina Spektor announces new album
Mastodon album streaming on MySpace
Grizzly Bear give away free album track
Films N Shows News
Julien Temple to direct new Madness movie
Weinsteins acquire rights for Lennon movie
Gigs N Tours News
Passion Pit headline Rob Da Bank tour
Festival News
Heavenly Planet cancelled
Festival line up update
Reviews
Album review: Love Is All - A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night (What's Your Rupture)
The Music Business
Hands steps out of CEO role at Terra Firma
Hedge fund acquire Sheridan Square - will probably sell
The Digital Business
7digital announce Songbird tie up
Is Spiralfrog about to go offline?
AIM announce next Music Connected event
The Media Business
Murray to leave Radio 1
Virgin planning to close Trouble
Chart Of The Day
MTV2/MySpace chart
And finally...
McFadden and Goodrem to wed

Important Cheryl Cole news

 

WEDNESDAY 18TH MARCH

EXLOVERS
Five-piece Exlovers make wistful dream-pop melodies which have got all the right people muttering their name, even though they only formed in early 2008. They've already toured with the likes of Pete & The Pirates, Cheeky Cheeky & The Nosebleeds and Golden Silvers, and still found time to release a 4-track EP 'Just A Silhouette', which came in a handmade case; needless to say, they only made 200 and it's highly sought after. Now is a good time to get on the bandwagon and head over to see them play at Twisted Licks at The Macbeth in Shoreditch on 21 Mar (more info here), ahead of the release of their single 'Photobooth' on 30 Mar. We got all the gossip from the band when they answered our Same Six Questions.

 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I was forced to play instruments from a young age. It was probably a good thing for me in retrospect. Then when I was about fifteen I started playing Nirvana covers in a band at school. I started writing some songs at about this time but never had the courage to play any of them to anyone until I was in my twenties.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
Quite often I'll find it hard to summarise what inspired me to write a song, I mean occasionally I will write something that has one theme running through it but not in this case. 'Photobooth' is more of a feeling, it documents a specific time period for me when there were several things happening to me at once, there was someone else involved who tried to help but only made things worse. That's about as vague as I can be, sorry about that.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
I'll usually just play around with different chord changes and hum some melodies until I find a hook or some kind of idea to work on. Lyrics will often just form whilst I'm humming away and playing the melody or chords. Having said all that, it's never happened the same way twice, it constantly changes - I never set out to write something in a certain style, I tried to do it once and it sounded shit. One I have the basics, I usually record a demo on my own acoustically before we rehearse it as a band. Sometimes when we arrange the song as a band it'll be a really quick and painless process, other times it can be arduous. If we feel that there's something not quite write we won't stop until we've figured out what it is.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
The Beatles, My Bloody Valentine, Deerhunter, The Beach Boys and many others. I've always loved hearing harmonies and creative chord changes.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Don't concentrate on the negatives.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your album, and for the future?
I want to make a million bucks and maybe become an evil dictator. I'd like us to go away for a while, we've been touring lots, which is a good thing for now, but when we start recording for the album I don't want any distractions. I don't ever want to get stuck in a genre or for the music to be predictable. I'd rather try something different to what we've done before and fail miserably at it than to keep regurgitating the same thing.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/weareexlovers

 

THE PENNY BLACK REMEDY
It's probably almost exactly one year since I first stumbled across these guys while judging the 2008 Indy Music Awards where they were up for (and went on to win) the award for Best Alternative Act. My personal favourite of all the bands I checked out during that particular judging stint, we invited them to play the CMU Social last May, and they didn't disappoint with their fine collection of rousing hand clapping, foot stomping sing-along songs. I should note that at the Indy Awards the 'alternative' gong is a bit of a miscellaneous category, and the Remedy are only really 'alternative' in the sense that it's quite hard to pigeon hole them into any other genre. There's bits of ska, rock and country in their sound, though they're not really ska, rock or country. The best I can do is to say they wouldn't be out of place if they were racked in the record shop next to The Pogues, and not just because they both begin with P. But rather than me fumble around trying to describe their sound, why not check out the MySpace below and sample three of their songs for yourself, including first single and stand out track '95 Charing Cross Road' - which is officially launched with a gig at The Enterprise in Camden from 9pm tonight. And if you like them, check out the new fangled Reverb Nation widget at the second link below, and embed their tunes onto your own website. Hurrah.

www.myspace.com/pennyblackremedy
bit.ly/12XVSh

 


 

JUNIOR PRODUCT MANAGER – FABRIC RECORDS
Highly motivated and creative person required to join fabric (a leading London-based club with affiliated record label and publishing company) to work on our growing roster of artists. Successful applicant must be able to put together a cohesive campaign strategy and implement from start to finish. Must have previous experience working in a marketing department. Salary commensurate with experience, private health care and other benefits.

Please send CV and covering letter to info@fabriclondon.com.
http://www.fabriclondon.com

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GET IN WITH US
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 www.getinpr.com. 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 jobs@getinpr.com

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

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EAST PECKHAM FLAT
Amazing duplex loft-style 3-bedroom house in converted school. Gated development in East Peckham/Old Kent Road with secure parking. 16' high ceilings throughout. Large reception room with beautiful exposed brickwork and oak floors, measuring 20’x11’ widening to 20’ with a mezzazine of 10’x10’ above. Dining kitchen (15’4” x 10’3”) with dishwasher, washer/drier, fridge freezer, double oven & gas hob; exposed glazed brickwork & parquet flooring. 3 Bedrooms (13’x10’ (+ ensuite), 20×10’ and 14’9) all with original period sash windows, original wooden floors and 16’ ceilings. Bathroom with shower over bath; downstairs cloakroom. Secure gated covered parking. Freshly decorated and floors newly sanded. Private garden and shared communal grounds. 10 minutes to Queens Road train, lots of buses on Old Kent Road. £1760 pcm on 12 month AST, four people max occupancy. Please email chrismtownsend@googlemail.com for further details, photos or viewings, or click here for photos

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CAMDEN FLAT
Bright and airy top-floor two bedroom flat in large detached period house on Camden/Kentish Town Border (corner of Camden Road / Camden Park Road). Very well appointed, clean and well maintained, with superb sitting room including open fire and working shutters, modern kitchen with washer/dryer & full size fridge freezer, and modern bathroom with bath & great power shower. Large double bedroom (9'x15') with built in wardrobes, second double bedroom (7'6 x 11'). Plenty of storage space including large loft space. 10 minutes walk to Camden Town and Kentish Town tubes, 253, 29 and 390 buses are 30 seconds walk. Secure cycle storage in building. Secluded shared garden for use. Ideal for young professional couple/sharers. Unfurnished. Available 1st April. £1275 pcm. For more information or to arrange viewing, please email camdenroadflat@gmail.com

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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 ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk for information or to book.

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STONE ROSES PROBABLY NOT REFORMING
According to The Mirror, The Stone Roses are planning to reform to play 21 shows this summer, including one at the Coachella festival, to coincide with a re-release of their debut album.

Though, if they are, they should probably tell Ian Brown and John Squire about it, them being pretty important members of the band. Brown's publicist told the Daily Mail yesterday: "We know nothing about a reunion. Ian is working on his new studio album which is due out later this year". Squire's spokesperson, meanwhile, has just told the NME the reports were "unfounded from John Squire's perspective". Still, the reunion rumours continue.

So, who is telling the truth? Only time will tell. Let's hope it's the publicist. A Stone Roses reunion would be awful. Worse than a Smiths reunion, even. Well, maybe not worse than a Smith reunion. Certainly worse than a Blur reunion, though. But that'll never happen...

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EMI SIGN MARTIN LUTHER KING, SORT OF
Well, this is an interesting new signing for EMI Music Publishing. The publishing division of the London-based major has signed none other than Martin Luther King. Or, rather, they have been engaged by the King Estate to help administer the copyrights they hold in the civil rights campaigner's famous speeches.

King himself began to register copyrights in his work before his assassination in 1968 (copyright registration being required in the US), and his widow Corette subsequently made sure pretty much all of her late husband's speeches were registered shortly after his death. The King Estate has since initiated a proactive licensing programme around the copyrighted work, generating income for the not-for-profit King Center in Atlanta. The Estate already utilise the services of a company called Intellectual Properties Management who administrate King's name, image, likeness and recorded voice, but are looking to EMI to help them expand their licensing operation, and to help monitor and protect use of the civil rights man's work, especially in the digital domain.

Interest in King's speeches has grown considerably in the last year thanks to Barack Obama's election campaign, which, of course, frequently alluded to King and the civil rights movement of his era. Insiders say that the Estate is aware that that renewed interest has led to the distribution of speeches and recordings they own on the internet, much of it unlicensed. The internet is an area where neither the Estate nor IPM have much experience, and they hope EMI, who already monitor the net and deal with online content services with regards the licensing of recordings, will be able to both restrict the unlicensed distribution of King's work, and promote it to those who want to legitimately stream or sell it. That may include doing deals with the likes of YouTube and iTunes.

Confirming his company's new partnership with the King Estate, EMI Publishing top man Roger Faxon told reporters: "We have been engaged to use the skills we have refined defending the rights and expanding the market for music to do the same for the works of Dr King. His works are the expression of a man who helped to transform our society, and to this day his words continue to inspire the world. Assuring that Dr King's words are accorded the same protection and same right for compensation as other copyrights works is a profound responsibility, and we are proud of the confidence that the Estate has placed in us to fulfill that responsibility".

While the financial terms of the arrangement are not known, this is a good deal for EMI in terms of PR, in that it demonstrates how both record and music publishing companies can diversify by utilising their expertise in 'rights management', and applying that expertise to content outside the traditional music domain.

While EMI will also have an involvement in licensing the use of King's speeches for inclusion in musical productions (eg sampling of his speeches in pop songs, such as in Gwen Stefani's 'Love, Angel, Music, Baby' and various versions of the song 'State Of Independence'), their role in protecting and promoting the civil rights campaigner's work online is more interesting in terms of the way it expands EMI Publishing's remit. And it's a move which fits in well with the aim of EMI owners Terra Firma, who are seemingly keen to transform EMI into a leading 'service provider for rights holders', specialising in helping content owners sell, distribute, promote and protect the content they own.

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CANADIANS LOVE STEALING MUSIC AND WOULD LIKE TO CONTINUE
Following remarks made by the boss of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry, John Kennedy, at the Canadian Music Week conference last weekend - to the effect that Canadian politicians are not taking online piracy seriously enough and that that is destroying the country's music industry - we have stats today that suggest no one in Canada, outside the record label and artist community presumably, is taking the P2P phenomenon all that seriously or, rather, they don't believe there's anything intrinsically wrong with downloading music without the content owner's permission.

The stats come from a survey conducted by Angus Reid Strategies and published at the end of Canadian Music Week. They say that 45% of Canadians believe that using P2P services to download music and movies for free is "doing what people should be able to do on the internet". Which is some pretty weird wording, but basically it means nearly half of the country think they should have the right to access any content online for free if and when they choose to.

Not only that, but the survey also says that only 3% of Canadians feel that filesharing is a criminal act that should be punishable under the law. Of course, according to some Canadian judges, under the country's existing copyright laws filesharing isn't a criminal act that is punishable under the law, but the music industry is busy lobbying political types to change the law so it is. Given public opinion - according to this survey - it's perhaps unsurprising the political types are procrastinating in doing so.

That said, 23% of respondents in the survey said that they had downloaded files from P2P services in the last month, and 12% had used legal services - both of which are low figures, suggesting large numbers of Canadians, or at least a large portion of those surveyed, aren't accessing any digital music, legal or otherwise, which possibly skewed the results a little. Certainly it would explain why 73% are against the idea of internet service providers charging a levy to compensate content owners who lose out to piracy.

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KANYE RECORDS GUEST SPOT FOR FAMILY GUY SPIN OFF
Kanye West has recorded a guest voice spot on new cartoon series 'The Cleveland Show', which is a spin off from Seth McFarlane's 'Family Guy' featuring the already established character of Cleveland Brown. West plays an aspiring rapper called MC Kenny West for the show, which will be launched on US network Fox in the autumn. According to reports, the episode featuring West will air in the new year.

Mike Henry, voice of Cleveland Brown and executive producer, explained how it came about, saying: "We knew Kanye was a big 'Family Guy' fan because he invited Seth [MacFarlane] to his house a year or two ago". Fellow executive producer Richard Appel added: "Before we came to the table ... there was only one line he didn't love, and he came up with another idea and in a completely modest, nice way said, 'Would you mind if I changed just this one line?' And our feeling was, how many raps have we written? One? And how many has he written? Be our guest".

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WINEHOUSE PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO ASSAULT
Amy Winehouse pleaded not guilty to assault at Westminster Magistrates Court yesterday morning. As previously reported, Winehouse is accused of assaulting Sherene Flash at a charity ball in Berkley Square, Westminster last September.

After she arrived late, the singer's lawyer, Mark Haslam, apologised on her behalf, assuring District Judge Timothy Workman that she had left her house at 8.15am but had been delayed in transit. Winehouse then gave her legal name (at least at the moment), Amy Jade Civil, and entered her plea of not guilty before fidgeting her way through the rest of the proceedings.

Asked how she was feeling as she wrestled her way through the waiting scrum of photographers Winehouse said: "I'm all right, thanks".

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DJ-AM SUES OVER PLANE CRASH
Adam Goldstein, aka DJ-AM, has filed a lawsuit seeking damages of $20 million relating to that much-reported September 2008 plane crash in which he and Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker were the only two of six on board to survive.

Following on from similar suits filed by Barker and the wife of Barker's security man Charles Still, who was one of those killed in the crash, Goldstein is suing the manufacturer of the plane, Learjet, as well as several other companies. He is seeking $10 million for medical expenses and lost earnings, as well as a further $10 million for non-economic losses, such as mental and physical pain.

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PETE BURNS SUFFERS KIDNEY FAILURE
Dead Or Alive frontman Pete Burns is currently being treated at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington after suffering double kidney failure last week. Surgery apparently uncovered 16 kidney stones but doctors were unable to remove them.

In a message to fans, given via the forum on his official website, Burns said: "I collapsed on Wednesday and was rushed to hospital. Going in [both my] kidneys [failed] and [I was] rushed for emergency five hour surgery where they found eight stones in each kidney but were unable to remove them as they were blocking both the kidney, the urethra and bladder. I'm in a very serious condition, on 24 hours intravenous morphine for the pain. Intravenous fluid as I'm so dehydrated and the kidneys cant retain the liquid. I also have diabetes insipidus, which is pulling water from my lung, liver, heart and brain. I'm critically ill and under 24 hour observation and will be in hospital for quite along time".

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AWARDS DISHED OUT AT LIVE MUSIC CONFERENCE
Aside from all the debate on the value of the live sector versus the record industry, on the pending impact of the recession on the live scene, on the need for more collaboration between music sectors, and on what to do about the continued growth of secondary ticketing, some time was dedicated at last weekend's International Live Music Conference to hand out the Arthur Awards, gongs that celebrate the great and the good of the live sector. Nominations are selected by a panel made up of past winners, and then ILMC's 3500 live industry members vote. And the winner's were...

Venue Award: The Royal Albert Hall, London
Promoter Award: Simon Moran, SJM Concerts, UK
Festival Award: Isle of Wight Festival, UK
Booking Agent Award: Mike Greek, Creative Artist Agency, UK
Service Company Award: Eat Your Hearts Out, UK
Best Tour Award: Leonard Cohen
Production Award: Chrissy Uerlings, CUP, Germany
Rising Star Award: Kim Bloem, Mojo Concerts, Netherlands
Bottle Award For Outstanding Contribution To Live Music: Thomas Johansson, Live Nation Sweden/EMA Telstar, Sweden

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KID CUDI TO RETIRE
It's fairly common for rappers to announce their retirement (and then completely fail to retire), but more do at least wait until after they've released their first album. However, Kid Cudi has bucked the trend and announced that his first album will be his last as a solo artist, and a planned collaboration with fellow Cleveland rapper Chip The Ripper will be his swansong.

In a post on his official website, the rapper cited the "drama" that comes with being a famous musician as his reason for bowing out, saying that he has already achieved all of his goals and made enough money to pay off his mother's mortgage. He also apologised to all his fans, but pointed out that they would still be able to follow his acting career and that he would continue to play live shows for "real Kid Cudi fans". Wait... what?

He said: "The drama that comes with it [pop fame] is more overwhelming than the shit I was dealing with when I was piss poor broke. ... I don't look at it as quitting, for I have already accomplished my goal. ... I am going to focus all my attention on the HBO show which we start shooting in August and my acting career in general. I'll continue to do shows for the real Kid Cudi fans, and I'm planning a big concert this summer, [where] I will perform my entire mixtape from beginning to end and new songs from my album".

Presumably if there's no drama in his acting career it won't last too long.

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STARS LINE UP FOR JACKO ALBUM
Yeah, so it was only a matter of time before the Jacko comeback album rumours resurfaced. But, if he's going to go all out with this comeback thing (and a 50 night residency at the O2 Dome would suggest he is), then an album would seem like a logical step. As would a tedious documentary, a disappointing ghost-written autobiography, and some sort of self-congratulatory charity event. Maybe that unreleased Hurricane Katrina benefit single could be rewritten and used for 'Children In Need'.

But anyway, first things first, let's get on with this album. The word on the street is that Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Kanye West, Ne-Yo and Will.I.Am are lined up to appear on Michael Jackson's first album since 2001's 'Invincible'.

AEG Live's Randy Philips certainly seems to think this is more than idle speculation, saying: "Michael has got some new music and he is looking for a new way of disseminating his material to his fans". Well, if he's open to suggestions, may I be the first to propose using carrier pigeons?

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FIDDY TO RELEASE TWO ALBUMS
The trend for cobbling together all your studio outtakes in order to bury any good tracks you might have recorded and then releasing it all as two albums is back. Eminem, U2, Patrick Wolf and Prince are amongst the artists planning one too many album releases this year. And now 50 Cent has announced that he is, too.

Fiddy told MTV News: "The new announcement is that I'm dropping two albums. I've had an opportunity to record since I thought I was releasing an album in December. But the portion of my record that I recorded with Dr Dre was incomplete, because there was no opportunity to mix it. The only song that was mixed that I worked on with Dr Dre is 'I Get It In' - that one is out now. It's cool, but I need the rest of them to be mixed before I can present my project to the public".

The first of the albums, 'Before I Self Destruct', will be released in June. Before that, the rapper will be touring the US with floppy emo types Fall Out Boy.

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REGINA SPEKTOR ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM
I'm not really a big fan of longevity. If I had my way, all but a handful of artists would be banned from ever releasing more than two albums. Generally, if you can't say all you need to in that time then you're not trying hard enough (see also: my views on reunions). If nothing else, it would probably put an end to the tedious, and previously mentioned, practice of releasing two albums in one year, unless artists were particularly keen on getting out of the industry fast.

That said, there are (and would have to be) exceptions to that rule, Regina Spektor being one of them. She has plenty to say and I'm quite happy for her to keep on saying it. Which means she would be able to release her fifth album, 'Far', which is pencilled in for a 30 Jun release via Sire in the US.

For the new album, Spektor has worked with a number of producers, starting with David Kahne who produced her last album, 'Begin To Hope', but also dallying with Jacknife Lee, Mike Elizondo (Fiona Apple, Maroon 5), and ELO frontman Jeff Lynne.

The final touches are currently being put on the recordings, with the final tracklist still to be decided. However, a couple of tracks that have long been features of her live shows but have never made it onto a record, 'Folding Chair' and 'Genius Next Door', are said to be among those being considered for inclusion.

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MASTODON ALBUM STREAMING ON MYSPACE
Supremely awesome metallers Mastodon are streaming their new album, 'Crack The Skye', in full on MySpace. Check it out at www.myspace.com/mastodon

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GRIZZLY BEAR GIVE AWAY FREE ALBUM TRACK
Otherwordly folkers Grizzly Bear are currently preparing for the release of their new album, 'Veckatimest', the follow-up to 2006's 'Yellow House', which will be released by Warp on 25 May.

That seems like an awfully long time away, though. Luckily the band are giving away a track from album for free to tide you over (or raise your excitement to unbearable levels, as is more likely). To download the track, entitled 'Cheerleader', go here:

www.warprecords.com/grizzlybear/grizzlybear-cheerleader-taken-from-veckatimest.mp3

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JULIEN TEMPLE TO DIRECT NEW MADNESS MOVIE
Madness frontman Suggs has revealed that the band are making a new film with director Julien Temple, which will be part fiction, part documentary, and part concert film. All of which makes it sound like it might be a sequel to their 1981 film 'Madness: Take It Or Leave It', in which the band (badly) acted out the story of their formation and the recording of their debut album. I hope it is.

Suggs told Undercover: "We're supposed to make a really great film with Julian Temple. He's been working with us and it's coming along I think. We did three nights at the Hackney Empire. We did some acting for that as well, we went down by the river and we did some stuff, and we did some shows with Luke Cresswell, the guy who did 'Stomp', so it's a combination of all three, it's a live concert, a documentary and some theatrical pieces".

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WEINSTEINS ACQUIRE RIGHTS FOR LENNON MOVIE
The Weinstein Company, the movie firm opened by Harvey and Bob Weinstein following their departure from Miramax, has acquired rights for the US, Latin America and Germany for the film about John Lennon currently shooting in Liverpool. 'Nowhere Boy', artist Sam Taylor-Wood's debut feature as a director, covers the late musician's teenage years and has been written by Matt Greenhalgh, who adapted the screenplay for Ian Curtis biopic 'Control' from Deborah Curtis's book 'Touching From A Distance'. It stars Kristin Scott-Thomas, Anne-Marie Duff and Thomas Sangster.

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PASSION PIT HEADLINE ROB DA BANK TOUR
US band Passion Pit are to headline the first Rob da Bank & Friends UK tour. The DJ has already championed the buzz band via his Radio 2 show, and will now take them on the road to perform gigs all around the country in May, which will coincide with the release of their debut album 'Manners', out on the 18th of that month. They will also play at The Great Escape on 15 May and at Rob da Bank's Bestival on 11 Sep.

Rob da Bank says this: "I'm delighted to be taking Passion Pit out on the road for my Rob da Bank & Friends tour. They are my top tip for 2009 and I have been playing them on BBC Radio 1 for months. And after seeing them at CMJ last year, I can safely say this will be a rare opportunity to see them playing in small venues in this country".

Also on tour with Rob da Bank are Ebony Bones and Dan le Sac, both signed to the DJ's Sunday Best label. The dates are as follows:

9 May: Trinity Ball, Dublin (not including Passion Pit)
11 May: MOHO, Manchester
12 May: The Leadmill, Sheffield
13 May: Heaven, London
14 May: Orange Rooms, Southampton
16 May: O2 Academy, Bristol (including DJ Yoda and DJ Derek)

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HEAVENLY PLANET CANCELLED
The inaugural Heavenly Planet Festival, which was scheduled to take place from 10 - 11 Jul in Reading, has been cancelled. Joint organisers Festival Republic, the local council and WOMAD artistic director Thomas Brooman have blamed the current economic climate for the pulling of the world music event. Festival Republic's Melvin Benn said in a statement: "The worsening economic crisis and circumstances beyond our control have been major factors in the final decision". He and Reading Borough Council have not ruled out the possibility of launching the event at a later date, however, saying that they plan to "monitor the recession and any economic recovery with a view to planning for possible festivals in future years".

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FESTIVAL LINE UP UPDATE

SECRET GARDEN PARTY, Abbots Ripton. Cambridgeshire, 23-26 Jul: Jarvis Cocker, Emiliana Torrini and Phoenix all announced for the 2009 edition of this brilliant festival. www.secretgardenparty.com

BENICASSIM FESTIVAL, Benicassim, Spain, 16-19 Jul: Lily Allen, Glasvegas, Mystery Jets, Magazine, TV On The Radio, Laurent Garnier and Late Of The Pier all added. www.fiberfib.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Love Is All - A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night (What's Your Rupture)
It had to happen sometime. In the inevitable passing of years, things change. Bound by the unwritten law associated with marriage and kids, Love Is All had an ultimatum: mature or crumble. Some bands can't take the heat and choose the latter - look at Be Your Own Pet when they realised that, painful as it is to admit, the drugs don't always work. But Love Is All carried on, and like a formidable stilton, matured. This doesn't mean to say they've lost their edge. If anything, the pace is increased and the vocals are more aggressive. What they have gained is control and knowledge about how to structure an album. There's the viscous brass stabbings of 'New Beginning' contrasted with the lay-back sunset haze of 'Last Choice'. There's the tasteful marching indie slice 'Rumours' confronting the wildly chaotic 'Big Bangs, Black Holes, Meteorites'. Lyrically, Josephine Olausson has found purpose and depth, capturing the loneliness of creativity: "I need a new Beginning/I want an extra inning". She urges her point with as much angst as a room full of heartbroken teenagers. They fully strike gold when they reach single 'Wishing Well'. Like a Scandinavian Scott Walker discovering that everything sounds better through twelve distortion pedals, Love Is All know their sound is fresher than all the daisies in 'The Sound Of Music'. Taking advantage of this proud fact, they have constructed an album which deserves recognition as proof that you can still stick it to the man with a cradle in your hands. GB
Release Date: 23 Mar
Press Contact: Goldstar [NP, RP, O]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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HANDS STEPS OUT OF CEO ROLE AT TERRA FIRMA
Who'd have thought we'd end up reporting on executive changes in the private equity sector here in CMU? But yes, Guy Hands has stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of Terra Firma, the private equity firm best known round here, and probably overall, as the owners of EMI. He isn't leaving the equity outfit he co-founded though. He'll become Group Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, while his board colleague Tim Pryce, currently the firm's legal man, will become CEO.

I'm never sure what job titles like this mean in the investment sector, but I'm guessing that the move means Hands wants to spend more of his time talking to and possibly placating the people whose money Terra Firma is spending than overseeing the day to day affairs of the equity company and the companies it in turn owns. Given that the value of Terra Firma's overall assets has slumped, mainly because of its EMI purchase, it would make sense that Hands' top priority in the short term is keeping his investors sweet, which will seemingly be his main role in the CIO job.

Confirming the job change, Hands said in a statement: "Terra Firma has grown significantly since its creation in 2002. Over this period, staff numbers have increased from approximately 60 to over 110 people and assets under management have grown from 2 billion euros to 11 billion euros. As Chief Executive, Tim will be responsible for Terra Firma's day-to-day operations while I will concentrate on investments, investors and developing the business internationally".

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HEDGE FUND ACQUIRE SHERIDAN SQUARE - WILL PROBABLY SELL
Elsewhere in investment firm news, US hedge fund DB Zwirn has acquired the assets of Sheridan Square, the independent American music firm which bought the rights to all sorts of indie recording catalogues - most notably the V2 America and Artemis Records catalogues - seemingly with a view to profiting from digital sales, re-release projects and licensing deals.

Zwirn became one of the music company's main money-lenders in 2006, and reportedly provided the firm with $31 million, mainly to get it out of an existing loan arrangement with another lender, Fortress.

It's not quite clear what led to the sale of the company to its money lenders this week - for $5 million - though it's thought that Zwirn foreclosed on Sheridan Square's outstanding loans earlier this month basically engineering a situation whereby they could force the various people with equity interests in the company out, and take sole ownership, presumably with a view to know selling the firm on in a bid to reclaim as much of its $36 million investment to date as possible. Or something like that.

Certainly it's thought that Zwirn will now look to sell the music company, and insiders say they will try to offload it as a going concern, meaning it's business as usual for the time being. That said, some analysts question whether Zwirn will be able to reclaim anywhere near the money they have lent the firm by selling it as a whole, with some suggesting that breaking its catalogues and selling them to existing larger music companies will generate more quick win cash if that's what the hedge fund is after.

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7DIGITAL ANNOUNCE SONGBIRD TIE UP
London-based download platform 7Digital has announced a partnership with the people behind Songbird, the free open-source digital media player. The deal will mean Songbird users can access the digital music store's download service via the player, and that MP3s bought will automatically appear in a user's Songbird library, in the same way tracks brought from the iTunes Music Store automatically appear in a user's iTunes player. 7Digital will also make song recommendations based on the most recently played songs in a user's Songbird player.

Confirming the tie up, 7Digital top man Ben Drury told CMU: "7digital and Songbird is a killer combination for anyone who wants a dynamic, open music player. Songbird blows other media players away in terms of device support and extensibility and we're very excited to be partnering with them to allow users to buy, download and transfer MP3s onto a multitude of devices. The Songbird Platform made it quick and easy to integrate 7digital into Songbird".

Songbird Biz Development chief Ethan Bauman added: "7digital and Songbird is a serious music lover's dream come true. 320kbps MP3's are downloaded directly into a library that keeps fans abreast of local gigs and band news, as well as displaying live concert photos, artist bios and more. We're happy to have a way for our fans to buy and download high quality MP3s in the US and Europe that supports artists and Songbird".

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IS SPIRALFROG ABOUT TO GO OFFLINE?
Oh, lots more rumours about ad-funded download platform SpiralFrog, once heralded as the future of digital music, but subject to 'they're going under' rumours since before even their North American launch. Following recent rumours of cashflow problems and pending loan repayment deadlines, CNet is now reporting that founder and chairman Joe Mohen has told associates that he may have to hand the company over to investors in the next few days, and that as a result the ad-funded music website may go offline as soon as next week. CNet say that when they called Mohen he said he was unable to comment because of poor mobile phone coverage! More when we get it.

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AIM ANNOUNCE NEXT MUSIC CONNECTED EVENT
The Association Of Independent Music has announced details of the latest edition of its digital music trade fair event Music Connected, which aims to link independent music companies with those operating in the digital domain. The event includes a trade fair, conference style sessions and lots of networking opportunities. Digital companies already confirmed to attend this time include 7 Digital, eMusic, Finetunes, iTunes, Juno Download, Microsoft Xbox, MUZU.TV, peoplesmusicstore and We7.

It all takes place on 21 Apr at Glaziers Hall in London. You can book places at this URL:
www.musicindie.org/242.asp?sub=Events

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MURRAY TO LEAVE RADIO 1
Colin Murray is leaving BBC Radio 1 after ten years, and will become a sports presenter for sister station Radio 5 Live, where he already presents Saturday morning show 'Fighting Talk'. Nick Grimshaw, who currently presents weekend mornings on Radio 1, will take over Murray's weekday late night slot. Commenting on his new appointment, Grimshaw said this: "Doing an evening show for Radio 1 is something I've always dreamed of and I can't wait to start".

In sort of related news - well, it's Radio 1 news - the nation's favourite has announced that their Big Weekend mini-festival will take place in Swindon this year, on 9 May. N-Dubz and Snow Patrol have already been confirmed.

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VIRGIN PLANNING TO CLOSE TROUBLE
Virgin Media is planning on closing down its youth channel Trouble, replacing it instead with another version of its Living franchise. The cable TV company has already replaced the Trouble plus one service with Living2 plus one. While a date for closing down Trouble is yet to be finalised, it's thought plans for a third Living channel are already being developed.

Virgin Media is planning on selling its TV channel business, which it inherited from one of its cable network forerunners, Telewest, and which also owns the Bravo, Challenge and Virgin 1 brands as well as half of the UKTV network (Dave, GOLD, Blighty etc). It's thought that Trouble isn't a profitable channel, while the Living brand is a good earner for the Virgin channel network, and bosses there are keen to cut loss makers and boost revenue generators before selling the business.

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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. [2] Fightstar - Mercury Summer
2. [1] You Me At Six - Save It For The Bedroom
3. [3] The Maccabees - No Kind Words
4. [1] Oasis - Falling Down
5. [NE] Danananananaykroyd - Black Wax
6. [5] Kids In Glass Houses - Dance All Night
7. [8] White Lies - Farewell To The Fairground
8. [NE] The Virgins - Rich Girls
9. [9] Fei Comodo - Behind Bars
10. [NE] Twisted Wheel - We Are Us

Calvin Harris - Not Alone
Franz Ferdinand - No You Girls
Mastadon - Divinations
The Enemy - No Time For Tears
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Zero

More at www.myspace.com/mtvtwo

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MCFADDEN AND GOODREM TO WED
Brian McFadden, who, as you'll remember, we've all forgotten about, has said that he and his girlfriend, Aussie singing star Delta Goodrem, plan to marry at the end of next year. The former Westlife star told Herald.ie: "We're looking at the end of year, Christmas time, in Australia. During the next couple of weeks, we'll definitely be setting a date".

He added that he has some pity for ex-wife Kerry Katona, who we all wish we could forget about but can't because she's always in the bloody papers. Asked about his ex's recent and highly publicised troubles with husband Mark Croft and her "missing millions", McGoodrem said: "I do feel sorry for her. It is like a soap opera. I just watch it like everyone else".

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IMPORTANT CHERYL COLE NEWS
According to reports, Cheryl Cole has been beaten by bandmate Nadine Coyle in this year's all important FHM Sexiest Woman In The World poll. Do they do a Cleverest Woman In The World poll too? Ach. Anyway, this is quite the news, because last year Cole was top Girl Aloud in the list at seven whilst Coyle was way down the list at 46. Sarah Harding, for your information, was at 36, Kimberly Walsh was at 66 and poor old Nicola Roberts brought up the rear at 96.

So, Coyle has this year shot up the list, for some reason, though Cole will still be placed in the top twenty. An FHM spokesman is quoted as saying: "'Nadine's appeal is clear and her sexy rating has rocketed in recent days. It's her natural beauty and Irish charm that has sent her ahead of the pack".

Elsewhere in Cheryl Cole news, former Spice Girl Mel Brown has been offering the Girl Aloud some advice on how to succeed in the US. Not sure exactly why, but it may relate to the fact that earlier this year there was talk that Simon Cowell was planning to help Cole launch a US career, if they can get over visa problems caused by her 2003 assault conviction.

Anyway, here's what Mel B says: "I don't know her, and I don't know how well she sings, but Brits can do really well out here if you have determination, drive and talent - and it seems she has it! The only advice I'd give Cheryl is that out here, you have to prove yourself. You can't just come out and tell everyone you're going to be a star - she'll need to entertain people. If she's going to sing, then she should get her vocal chords in order and blast herself off with a big show".

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