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Top Stories
Manslaughter now an option: Spector trial update
Kerry Katona dependent on drugs
Madonna's nanny told to shift
Late Of The Pier get into an onstage fight at SxSW
In The Pop Courts
Big damages for Rained off tour
Awards & Contests
Eddy Current Suppression Ring win Australian Music Prize
Sid Vicious tops controversy poll
Reunions & Splits
Chamberlin leaves Pumpkins
Duran Duran working with Mark Ronson
Big Boi promises new OutKast album
Release News
Nirvana vinyl reissues planned
Free Jane's Addiction, NIN & Street Sweeper tour EP
Festival News
MIA replaces Amy at Coachella
Love Music Hate Racism heads to Stoke
Festival line up update
Album review: Whitest Boy Alive - Rules (Bubbles)
The Music Business
SxSW debates: Artist fan connection is the key
SxSW debates: Is licensed P2P the future?
Former Pinnacle clients go to SRD
Lastminute announce Dome partnership
The Digital Business
Move to per-stream system behind PRS/YouTube squabble
Buzznet gets millions more to spend
The Media Business
Idol employee claims sweat shop conditions
Bauer cut jobs in digital radio division
Chart Of The Day
Chart Update
And finally...
Natasha Bedingfield weds
Eddie Vedder on Kurt Cobain
The Edge bothers his neighbours in Malibu

Former X-Factor winner criticises Cowell

Joe And Will Ask? combine their respective loves for underground drum n bass and hard house techno to create their very own electro-club tracks which are attracting a lot of interest from DJs and club-goers across London. The pair have remixed all sorts, from La Roux and Crystal Castles to Mystery Jets and Milke, and they're consistently impressing the masses. Now, to satisfy everyone's appetites, they've put together the three track 'Mongozo' EP, set for release on 30 Mar through Gulp Communications. We caught up with Joe Ashworth to put to him our Same Six Questions.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I had been making drum and bass and other bits and pieces since my early teens, but our collaboration just started from a drunken conversation about how funny it would be. We didn't really know how we wanted to sound when we began, but just made one song after another, played a few gigs, and eventually started to settle on a sound that matched both our tastes and sounded new and exciting. That's the only way we could have done it - I couldn't imagine being in one of those 'concept' kind of bands, with a theme. Doing everything electronically gives you so much freedom, as well - you aren't tied down by the characteristic noises of your instruments, or how well you can play them.

Q2 What inspired your latest EP?
'Mongozo' was kind of made as a track to do the most possible damage to a dancefloor, but with a really melodic, pretty element in the breakdown. The track itself is inspired by producers like Soulwax and guys who aren't afraid to distort their dance music. The other two tracks are cleaner, more subtle and melodic, and were inspired by producers such as Dominik Eulberg, 'melodic techno' I believe is the term du jour - haha.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
We start so many tracks, some with melodies, some with drums. Most fizzle out, but the ones we finish never end up how we think they will - it always has to be a fluid, spontaneous process. Everything is made at home, partly because of the price of a studio in London, but at the same time, the idea of booking studio time sounds horrible to me. I like chancing upon something at 6am when I can't sleep. Normally we will think a song is finished, give it to a couple of our DJ friends to try out, and straight away pick faults and change stuff - this happens a few times for each song.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Leftfield, Aphex Twin and Orbital are always going to influence what we do, although we do take a lot of inspiration from the songs we hear in clubs, or play out ourselves. We are also influenced heavily by acid house, and techno from the past 20 years, not just new dance music. We like to think about dance music and how it has come to how it sounds now. We are usually inspired by production methods and stuff rather than the songs themselves.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I get shy playing our music to people - hopefully it's in a loud packed club, that's where it sounds best. I would say that I hope they like it!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your EP, and for the future?
The EP we would just like a lot of people to be playing it, it is a catchy song and when we play it people already seem to know the track, which is great. For the future, we are working towards an album. No name for it yet, but we are gradually getting an idea of how we want it to sound. We are working with a few vocalists over the next few months, really excited to see how it turns out!


Baltimore's electronic prince Dan Deacon has created something of a triumph with his new record, 'Bromst', a smoother, arguably more polished follow-up to 2007's 'Spiderman of the Rings'. First track 'Build Voice' is a prime example, a euphoric salute to Deacon's talent for concocting soulful bliss within his vast understanding of electronic instrumentation (hey, he does have a degree in computer music composition, a fact that wasn't always entirely noticeable on 'SOTR'). The track available for streaming on MySpace, 'Get Older', arrives at the other end of the album track-listing, but is equally blissed-out in hazy layers that are so intricately put together that it wouldn't be a surprise to see Jason Pierce or Kevin Shields' name on the record next to Deacon's. It's this that makes 'Bromst' stand out against his previous work, as he seems to have developed a real gift for writing 'proper' songs that, though still fun, don't always follow the path to a shouty chorus or pop-averse toy town glitches. It's going to sound brilliant live.


Leyline Promotions - better known as one of the capital’s leading independent promoters (The Remix, Kill All Hippies, Insomniacs Ball, Twisted Licks, Breaking Ground) - have created a new publicity department headed up by Nick Bateson and Adrian Leigh. The pair have worked on major campaigns including a-ha, Glade Festival, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Standon Calling Festival and Hervé amongst others.

In addition to their wealth of experience in the live arena, Leyline Publicity now specialise in bespoke PR services including online and offline music and lifestyle press, radio plugging, brand development, digital marketing and blogging. For further information please contact: [email protected] or [email protected] t: 020 7575 3285


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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Bright double bedroom with adjoining bijous living room and bathroom to let in a very large three bedroom luxury townhouse in Brondesbury Park NW6. The house has a large and spacious modern kitchen, large living and dining areas and a southwest facing garden with barbeque areas. There is free access to an onsite fitness complex with gym, full size heated swimming pool, Jacuzzi and sauna! The townhouse is situated in a beautiful private development with gated access and comes with a free off road parking space and visitor parking. Queens Park village is just a five minute stroll with lively pubs, deli's and eateries, a Sunday farmer's market and the park itself. Queens Park Station (Bakerloo) and Willesden Green (Jubilee) are both a five minute walk. The space is ideal for a professional single/couple. Rent: £795 pcm - includes internet/service charge. Call Adrian on 07971 555020 or email [email protected]


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 [email protected]


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.

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So, over six years have passed since actress Lana Clarkson died from a gun shot wound at Phil Spector's Beverly Hills mansion, and this week, for the second time, lawyers for the prosecution and the legendary producer's defence will sum up their arguments- that Spector shot dead Clarkson in a typical late-night-loony moment, or that the depressive Clarkson shot herself - before the second jury tries their best to reach a verdict.

As much previously reported, the first time Spector was tried for the murder of Clarkson the jury reached a 10-2 deadlock in favour of conviction. Not enough for the court to pass a guilty verdict, a mistrial was declared leading to the second court hearing relating to the case that has been in full flow for the last few months. Media interest in the second case soon waned - including our own - when it became clear that both prosecution and defence would basically present the same arguments and, in the main, the same witnesses, to fight their respective cases.

Again the prosecution wheeled in various former girlfriends of Spector who confirmed that the producer had a split personality, and was prone to switch, often late at night, from the charmer they loved to an angry man who made violent threats towards women, often involving guns. They presented the producer's former chauffeur, who was outside Spector's house the night Clarkson was shot, and who claims his former boss said the words "I think I killed someone" shortly after gun fire had been heard. And they relied on various forensic experts who claims blood splatters and the like proved Spector must have been holding the gun.

The defence - although slightly more together under Doron Weinberg than the somewhat chaotic defence team who represented the producer first time round, and without the distraction of all those allegations that Spector's original defence attorneys hid potentially crucial evidence - also relied in the main on similar evidence to the first trial. They questioned the reliability of the chauffeur's testimony (they say there was a noisy fountain and the driver's English wasn't brilliant, meaning he could have easily misheard), brought in their own forensic experts who say the blood splatters actually show Clarkson shot herself, and then went through various correspondences of the late actress to show she was depressed and maybe even suicidal. Weinberg, in an interesting move, also provided evidence that Spector, when grumpy, made threats to men as well as women - an admission of Spector's ability to flip personality wise, but also an attempt to reduce the impact of the misogyny claims against the producer.

Closing arguments in the second case will be begin later today. It remains to be seen if this jury is able to reach a verdict. Given the 10-2 split, the prosecution clearly won the argument if not the case first time round, so it will be interesting to see if Weinberg's more cohesive defence case can turn that around.

That said, it is possible that Judge Larry Fidler, aware how similar the two cases have been in terms of evidence presented, if not media interest and sideline dramas, is concerned that another deadlock may occur. That would explain why on Friday the judge told the jury they could consider the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.

The jury first time round were not offered that option. Some have speculated that the two who opposed a guilty verdict last time may have been affected by the fact little discussion was made about Spector's intent during the trial, ie did he want Clarkson dead. The issue wasn't discussed because under Californian law it isn't a requirement that the producer intended to kill the actress in order to get a second degree murder conviction - ie an accidental shooting could still amount to murder if Spector had acting with sufficient negligence. His intent therefore was irrelevant. But juries often find the concept of a murder charge without an intent to kill a bit confusing.

Offering the manslaughter option may go in the prosecution's favour. Although they have always pushed for the full murder conviction, and while in theory the burden of proof for manslaughter is the same as murder, a manslaughter conviction is, in reality, easier to secure. For Spector a manslaughter conviction would result in a lesser penalty, but it would be a conviction nonetheless.

Closing arguments could last until Wednesday.

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According to reports, former Atomic Kitten Kerry Katona has developed a serious drug habit, allegedly claiming that it's the only way she can deal with her troubled relationship with husband Mark Croft.

The News Of The World claim that she's been binging on cocaine, amphetamines and anti-depressants. The one time pop star, as previously reported, recently discovered a millions-large hole in her finances, and found out that her other half had been helping himself which led to Katona's announcement that she was planning to file for divorce. They have since reconciled, however, God knows why.

Anyway, NOTW claim that Katona has told friends: "Cocaine is the only way I can function. It's the only way I can get this sorted", and quote one of those so-called friends as saying: "Kerry is completely addicted to drugs. It is worse than ever and she is close to the edge. She takes them all day every day. She simply can't cope without her fix".

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A nanny looking after Madonna's adopted son David Banda was apparently sent packing the moment she handed in her notice, the Daily Mail reports. They quote a source as saying: "The rumour is that Madonna was furious that Angela was leaving and dismissed her before she had the chance to complete her full notice. All Madonna's employees work incredibly long hours, so it's no surprise that Angela had had enough. If you work for Madonna you are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There's no such thing as a weekend".

A spokesman for the singer said: "I do not comment on household issues but I can assure you that David and Madonna's other two children are very well taken care of at all times".

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The members of Late Of The Pier reportedly got into a fight with bouncers at Austin's Cedar Street Courtyard on Friday. The band were performing a SxSW gig at the outdoor venue when staff switched off the power because they thought that the set had overrun its time slot, and a physical tussle broke out between security and band/sound staff. Late Of The Pier apparently won, though, because they went on to finish their set.

The band's Sam Eastgate explained what happened: "The bouncers went behind the sound desk and grabbed Steve, our sound guy, right off the desk. They turned off the power but I found a guitar microphone that was on, used that for a bit, then all of a sudden the bouncer had one of us by the throat. I saw red. It was quite a big jump, because he's such a big bouncer. Someone grabbed me and threw me down the stairs".

He added that he feels confident that fans won't judge them over the incident. "The crowd saw everything so they were really sympathetic", he said. "That's a good thing, I suppose, that they could see my frustrations translated into simple terms - as in the venue are fighting us, literally".

Elsewhere in fights-happening-at-SxSW news, Iglu & Hartly's Jarvis Anderson was arrested in Austin on Thursday, after he allegedly assaulted a hotel security guard. According to the city's police department, the incident occurred when Anderson's bandmate Sam Martin took off his clothes and stood on a bench in the sixth floor lounge of the Hilton Garden Inn. When security guards arrived to move Martin, or to tell him to put his clothes back on, the apparently also half naked Anderson rushed at one and punched him three times in the face.

The singer claimed that he thought the guard had physically attacked his band mate, which was why he reacted as he did. He was charged with assault on a public servant and bail was set at $7,500. It's not clear if or when he was released, or whether it affected the band's subsequent SxSW sets.

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A South Korean pop-star-come-actor called Rain, real name Jeong Ji-hoon, and sometimes dubbed "the Justin Timberlake of Asia" (or perhaps Justin is the "Rain of the West") has been ordered to pay a Hawaiian promoter over $8 million in damages in relation to a cancelled tour in 2007.

This particular lawsuit relates to a concert that was due to take place in Honolulu in 2007 at the start of an American tour. The show, and the tour for that matter, was cancelled at the last minute and promoters of the Hawaii show, Click Entertainment, argued that the last minute cancellation had cost them $1.5 million and caused furthered damage to the company's reputation. They also argued that they had since found out none of Rain's entourage had applied for visas ahead of the show suggesting that, despite the last minute cancellation, they never intended to come to the gig.

A US court found in Click's favour, ruling that Rain, his agency JYP Entertainment Co and two South Korean promotion companies were guilty of both breach of contract and fraud. Nearly $5 million of the damages payment are punitive, with Rain himself and JYP ordered to pay half each.

A legal rep for Click told reporters last week: "That was the best we certainly could've hoped for under the circumstances. I hope they send a message that people can't do the kind of things that this entertainer and his agents did. I think he received very bad advice... The decisions here were just horrible". It's thought the ruling will prompt other local promoters in the US who had been due to host other gigs on Rain's cancelled tour of the country to take similar legal action.

Rain's lawyer John Crocker argued that his client acted with good intent, and pointed out that Click's deal was actually with an American company called Revolution Entertainment, who held the rights to the singer's live activity in the US, and not with Rain or JYP directly. He said his client did fully intend to do the US tour - and Rain himself testified to that effect - and that the cancellation was out of his control. He added that other circumstances - such as a trademark dispute regarding the use of the name Rain in the US - had also had an impact on the tour plans, and also argued that Click had failed to build a proper stage for the singer.

Commenting on the court's ruling on the matter, Crocker told reporters: "We're obviously very disappointed with the jury's decision in this matter. We maintain our position that both JYP and Rain fulfilled all their obligations with regard to the Hawaii performance. We will continue to vigorously defend them, wherever these promoters bring these baseless lawsuits".

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Melbourne rockers Eddy Current Suppression Ring have won the Mercury-like Australian Music Prize for their second album 'Primary Colours', and will receive a prize of AUS$30,000.

Here's who was on the short list:

Apocalypso - The Presets
Beaches - Beaches
Havilah - The Drones
In Ghost Colours - Cut Copy
Jungle Blues - CW Stoneking
Love Is Gone - Jack Ladder
Presque Vu - Tom Cooney
Primary Colours - Eddy Current Suppression Ring
Sympathy For the New World - Ross McLennan

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Sid Vicious has been named most controversial rocker ever in a new poll by Twenty five percent of respondents named the Sex Pistols star as their top controversy-causer, ahead of the likes of usual suspects like Ozzy Osbourne, Keith Richards and Amy Winehouse. Madonna is tenth on the list, which I find interesting as I tend to think of her as more 'corporate' than 'controversial' these days.

Anyway, here's the top ten:

1. Sid Vicious
2. Ozzy Osbourne
3. Keith Richards
4. Amy Winehouse
5. Michael Jackson
6. Marilyn Manson
7. Pete Doherty
8. Britney Spears
9. Courtney Love
10. Madonna

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Billy Corgan has announced that drummer Jimmy Chamberlin has left The Smashing Pumpkins, which means that Corgan is the only member left.

A statement posted to the band's website on Friday read: "The SMASHING PUMPKINS' guitarist, singer, songwriter and founding member Billy Corgan has announced that drummer Jimmy Chamberlin has left the group. Chamberlin joined the band Corgan founded in Chicago in 1988 and played on all their albums except Adore (1998). Corgan will continue to write and record as SMASHING PUMPKINS with plans to head into the studio this spring."

According to reports, recent gigs have been a bit tense, with Corgan apparently berating his audience from the stage, which doesn't sound very nice.

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Duran Duran have announced that they are working with Mark Ronson on their thirteenth album. The band say via their blog: "Working with Ronson is a natural next step for the band, who continue to challenge themselves with each new phase of their career". Ronson has previously admitted to idolising Duran Duran in his youth, saying that he "used to take a picture of [bassist] John Taylor with me to the barber shop".

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Big Boi has told Rolling Stone that he and Andre 3000 will start work on a new OutKast album as soon as his fellow musician finishes his solo LP, though he adds that they've been working on new material together off and on of late, in any case.

The hip hop star is quoted as saying: "As soon as Dre finishes his solo record, we'll get the Kast cranking. Since we've both been working with Organized Noize on our solo projects, we hear different records and be like, 'Well, we're gonna keep this one for the Kast album'. We're cooking up tracks, all right. Never stop. That's an everyday thing."

Big Boi appeared at SxSW last week and previewed tracks from his own upcoming solo album, 'Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty', which is due for release this summer.

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Primary Wave who, as previously reported, have seen only modest returns from their $50 million investment into Kurt Cobain's publishing catalogue, will be pleased to hear about this. US based vinyl label Original Recordings Group, or ORG, has announced it is planning to re-release much of Nirvana's back catalogue on high-fidelity vinyl. The re-release campaign - a JV between ORG and Nirvana's label, Universal's Geffen - will include re-releases of 'Nevermind', 'In Utero' and 'MTV Unplugged', the latter of which has never before been available on old fashioned vinyl LP.

Ahead of officially announcing the re-releases at SxSW this weekend, ORG's Monti Olson told Billboard: "We spoke to Mike Davis at Universal Music who we do a lot of business with and he thought it was a great idea. Ultimately [Nirvana's management] Michael Meisel and John Silva approved it. We had worked with them on Beck's 'Odelay Deluxe' project and they thought we were the right company to do something this special. [Leading audio engineer] Bernie Grundman remastered the recordings specifically for us. To our knowledge this is the first time 'Unplugged' has ever come out on vinyl. They might have done a limited promotional thing but I doubt it".

Although vinyl re-releases will always be a niche interest product, Nirvana fans are an obvious audience for such products, so this set of special editions could be good for everyone, including Primary Wave who will get a cut of the royalties due to the Kobain estate.

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Just in case the upcoming Nine Inch Nails/Jane's Addiction co-headline tour, with support from Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello's new band Street Sweeper, wasn't exciting enough already, all three bands feature on a free download EP promoting the tour.

Each band has provided two unreleased tracks. Oh, and the Jane's Addiction tracks are produced by Trent Reznor. Oh, and it's available in MP3, FLAC, lossless M4A, and 24bit studio quality WAV formats. And it's all free. I think I said that already, but it's worth mentioning again after all that.

To download it, just go to and try not to weep too openly.

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MIA will replace Amy Winehouse on the bill for this year's Coachella Festival. Winehouse withdrew from the US festival earlier this month due to visa issues. Devendra Banhart, The Orb, Chemical Brothers, Murder City Devils and Etienne de Crecy have all also just been added to the bill for the Coachella festival, which takes place from 17-19 Apr.

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The Love Music Hate Racism people have announced they will stage a one day festival in Stoke On Trent on 30 May, aka my birthday. The gig will take place at Stoke City football club's Britannia Stadium.

Confirming the event, Love Music Hate Racism spokesman Lee Billingham told reporters: "Love Music Hate Racism is proud to be working in partnership with Stoke City FC and Stoke-on-Trent City Council to bring our national event this year to the Britannia Stadium on May 30th. Love Music Hate Racism is about celebrating what we all have in common - and music has always been a powerful force for bringing people and undermining the division and misery that racism can bring to our communities".

He continued: "The festival at the Britannia will be the most exciting music event that Stoke has ever seen! Some of country's biggest bands and DJ's will join with top local performers in a fantastic day that will have something for everyone. The event will involve thousands of people in Stoke itself, from schools and colleges to community organisations and music venues, but will also show those from outside the city who join us on the day that the majority of people in Stoke prefer living, working and enjoying themselves together to racism and division".

The line up for the event is tbc, though the likes of The Libertines, Kasabian, The Enemy, Bloc Party, Doves and Estelle have supported past Love Music Hate Racism events.

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ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES, Butlins, Minehead, 15-17 May: Wire, Times New Viking and The Bronx all added to The Breeders' curated ATP.

GLASTONBURY, nr Pilton, Somerset, 26-28 Jun: Doves to headline the John Peel tent.

WOMAD, Charlton Park, Wiltshire, 25-27 Jul: Soloman Burke to headline, plus Ethiopiques, Fat Freddy's Drop, Nneka, Oumou Sangare, Rokia Traore, Darbar Morchang Party and Gypsies of Rajasthan all confirmed for world music fest.

ONE LOVE FESTIVAL, Blackstock Farm, Hellingly, 21-23 Aug: Saxon Sound System, Macka B and
Royal Roots Band, David Rodigan, Nick Manasseh, Earl Gateshead and Friends, Smith and Mighty, Mixmaster Morris, Drum Monkeys, Lol Hammond, Stuart Patterson, David Hill and Skitz all confirmed.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Whitest Boy Alive - Rules (Bubbles)
In 2001, Norwegian Erland Øye helped define the then flavour of the month 'new acoustic movement' genre as one half of Kings Of Convenience. A growing interest in electronic music inspired his next project, Whitest Boy Alive, who began as an electronic outfit, but by the release of 2006's 'Dreams', their sound had been scaled down, excluding any programmed elements. 'Rules' maintains their minimalist indie-pop sound but increases the electronic influence, as well incorporates aspects of other genres, especially on the opening track 'Keep A Secret', which recalls seminal German krautrock band 'Can' during their mid-1970s peak. 'Courage' and 'Dead End' demonstrate the influence of more contemporary sounds; guitar driven but with added electronic touches and flourishes. 'Island', the closing track, that had previously been previewed on the band's MySpace page, remains one of the standouts, showing the band at their most ambitious sonically, embracing all the different directions the album had gone in one fell swoop. Erland Øye's voice is slight and ethereal, like Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip, which would also be a pretty accurate reference point for anyone coming to Whitest Boy Alive blind. Øye still tours with Kings Of Convenience and there's every chance of future recordings, which reveals him to be something of a diverse musical talent (he's also a respected and in-demand DJ); able to turn his hand to whichever genre takes his fancy. KW
Release date: 30 Mar
Press contact: Anorak London [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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So, away from the mid-gig bust ups and half-naked arrests, and the hype surrounding Metallica and Kanye West's not-really-much-of-a-surprise appearances, what were people taking about in the music business convention bit of this year's South By Southwest?

Well, the importance of social media was perhaps unsurprisingly talked up at a session called 'Fan Based Marketing', with some of the experts on the panel saying success increasingly relied on artists connecting directly with their fans, and that meant artists managing their own social network artist pages and, if nothing else, utilising social networking phenomenon of the moment - Twitter - which is, after all, probably the simplest online communication device available to artists since the dawn of the internet.

According to Billboard, Don VanCleave, formerly of the Coalition of Independent Music Stores, and now with the Artist Organisation, said one of his acts, reggae musician Matisyahu, has very high fan interaction, especially through Twitter, and that, VanCleave says, is directly leading to new sales. He also recommended utilising fan recommendation technology - equipping fans with merchandise or ticket selling widgets - so that artists who connect with fans then connect with those fans' friends, further widening their potential market.

On the same panel, Jo Lenardi of Seattle indie Barsuk Records also talked up more direct fan communication for artists, though not only through the wonders of modern social media. She said she increasingly encourages newer artists to man their own merchandise stands at gigs, not only because it drives more fans to the t-shirt/CD stand, but because it helps build more long lasting artist-fan relationships.

All of this is easier, presumably, if you happen to be working with literate artists who have something interesting to say outside their lyrics and tunes. Which isn't, it has to be said, all artists.

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At another SxSW panel, regarding that holy grail, finding a way to monetize P2P, there were mixed opinions on both the viability and desirability of finding a way to make file sharing pay - most probably by charging a file sharing levy onto ISP bills.

As previously reported, some argue that no legit a-la-carte download service, or subscription-based or ad-funded streaming or all-you-can-eat download service, is ever going to truly compete with the concept of P2P file sharing among young net users. Therefore, rather than continuing with trying to stop file-sharing, through litigation against those who assist in it (LimeWire, The Pirate Bay etc) or who actually do it, or by lobbying for the controversial three-strike rule to be applied to internet access, record companies would be better off trying to find a model that makes P2P pay.

The most likely model is the ISP file-sharing levy. The system is not without its problems though. Do you apply the levy to all, which content owners have a right to a share of the money, how is content sharing monitored and royalties distributed, and does such a system completely degrade the value of music?

Most of those issues were raised by panellists at the SxSW 'Is Collective Licensing For P2P File Sharing A Future Source For The Music Industry?' debate.

Warner consultant Jim Griffin was there to talk about his previously reported Choruss project, which will introduce the levy system within the college sector in the US, whereby universities will pay a content levy (passed onto students through their fees) meaning that students using their college internet connections can file-share legally. Some speculate that Choruss, if it works, could be a forerunner of a more mainstream P2P levy platform. Griffin, though recognising the possible future development of Choruss, wouldn't be drawn on specific future plans.

Others on the panel had concerns about the 'collective licensing for P2P' model. McGill University's Sandy Pearlman wondered if a licensing system based on tracking file sharing was already outdated, raising the growing 'dark internet' and the growth of device-to-device sharing as possible problems. Music lawyer Dina LaPolt worried that however good tracking and royalty distribution systems might be, the system would never be perfect and emerging talent would lose out.

Meanwhile, Rick Carnes, President of the Songwriters Guild of America, argued that giving a green light to all file sharing, even if there was a levy income attached, was not desirable, because to the consumer it gave the impression all music should be free. According to Billboard he told the session: "If music is free, you don't get music that is good, you get music that is free".

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Back to the British music business, and Southern Record's UK distribution division SRD has announced deals with five new indie labels, all former Pinnacle clients. Light In The Attic, Marine Parade, A-Wave, Tru Thoughts and Z Records all used the now defunct Pinnacle for distribution until the end of last year, and will now be distributed by SRD.

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Tickety people has become an official partner of The O2 which means they will now sell tickets for gigs at the Dome complex, and for the new British Music Experience based at East Greenwich venue. Lifestyle Sales Director Mark Bower told reporters: "The O2 offers some of the best entertainment in the world in one of the most exciting venues and we are thrilled to be offering such quality to our customers. This is a perfect association of two leading brands thriving to give the best to the public".

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According to Music Ally, it's thought that the much previously reported dispute between royalty collecting society PRS For Music and YouTube has come about because the former wants to move from a lump sum system to a per-stream system, which seems fair enough, but which would probably cost the video website much more.

Music Ally says that the existing PRS/YouTube deal, which was done in the early days of the video service, saw the royalty society take a lump sum from the Google owned video site. Given the subsequent success of YouTube as a music video destination, PRS reckon Google got a very good deal. They now want a per-stream fee so to share in that success. That changes the nature of the deal for Google quite a bit, though it's not clear whether Google are resisting the move to a per-stream deal completely, or just the per-stream rates PRS are proposing.

The change in system would explain why songwriter data was raised as an issue in the PRS/YouTube fallout. As previously reported, it's rumoured YouTube want PRS to hand over its membership database so they can pay songwriters direct, while PRS want YouTube to hand over their viewing stats and a cheque so they can distribute the money.

Premium music videos are still inaccessible on YouTube in the UK as the PRS/Google stand off continues.

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As Spiralfrog's demise was confirmed last week, as investors lost patience with the loss making venture as big debt repayment deadlines approached, there was more upbeat news for another online music venture who have raised a whole load of new investment.

Buzznet, the previously reported blog aggregator which has bought up various music blogs in the last year or so, including Stereogum, Idolator, Just Jared and Absolute Punk, has just raised $12.5 million in new investment from private equity groups like Anthem Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Redpoint Ventures and Sutter Hill Ventures. As previously reported, an existing Buzznet investor includes Universal Music.

I'd like to think that investing in music-based ad-funded content platforms which provide quality editorial content and well-thought-out recommendations, rather than just distributing tracks, is a safer bet, though I'm not sure how a blog-based media business will ever make back the sort of money that has been invested in Buzznet to date. But what do I know? Actually, on this kind of thing, quite a lot.

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Three former employees of the LA division of TV producers Fremantle Media have accused the company of making them work under "sweatshop" conditions. In a lawsuit in LA, the three former telly execs, one of whom worked on 'American Idol', say they were forced to work seven days a week, sometimes up to 20 hours a day, and that they were then asked to falsify their time cards so their unpaid overtime couldn't be seen on the records.

The lawyer representing the plaintiffs told reporters: "There's no Hollywood glamour for the below-the-line people who work on 'American Idol' and other reality shows, who are grossly underpaid, worked 24/7 and receive no rest or meal breaks and no health coverage contrary to California labour laws".

A Fremantle Media spokesperson refused to comment on the lawsuit.

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Up to fifteen employees at Bauer Media's radio division will be affected by the decision to move the operations of currently London-based digital radio stations Q and Heat Radio into Bauer radio facilities in Birmingham and Manchester respectively (the current homes of Kerrang! radio and Key 103/The Hits Radio respectively).

The move will streamline Bauer's digital radio operations and will see up to fifteen jobs go from the division, though the media company says it hopes to redeploy as many affected as possible elsewhere in the group.

The media firm said in a statement: "We are immensely proud of both Q Radio and Heat Radio. We will be announcing new spring-summer programming schedules in due course and our commitment to the stations and the quality programming they deliver remains the same as ever".

Q and Heat Radio will still have a smaller London facility for recording sessions and interviews.

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Now, you know me, I'm not one for being cynical, but Lady GaGa was in the press a lot last week, talking about how she used to be a drug addict, how she loves being naked, how she used to be a stripper, and so on. And now her single, 'Poker Face', is at number one, despite it being awful. But I'm not saying those things are connected, after all, that single has been rising up the charts for weeks. It's like the charts were in the olden days, when you could get to number one just with sheer persistence. And I guess Christina Aguilera not being around much at the moment helps, too.

Anyway, GaGa's at number one, then Flo Rida holds fast at number two (don't worry, I'm not about to suggest that Pete Burns suffering kidney failure has helped him, it's just a very catchy tune), and the two Comic Relief singles, the Bryden/Jenkins' cover of 'Islands In The Stream' and The Saturdays' cover of 'Just Can't Get Enough', drop to three and four respectively. Beyonce, meanwhile, breaks into the top ten, stopping at number nine with her new single 'Halo', despite it not being officially released as a single yet.

Outside the top 10, La Roux just misses out, hitting 11 with 'In For The Kill', as do the Pet Shop Boys, who make it to 14 with 'Love Etc'. Another single not officially released for a few weeks yet, AR Rahman and The Pussycat Dolls' collaboration for the 'Slumdog Millionaire' soundtrack, 'Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)', is at 20. Franz Ferdinand's new single, 'No You Girls', rises from 52 to 27, though with it being featured on the new iPhone ad, I'd expect to see it go higher this Sunday (it's certainly got itself stuck in my head). And rounding off this week's new entries, Enrique Iglesias and Ciara stop at 30 with 'Takin' Back My Love'.

Over to the album chart now, and U2 have quite embarrassingly been knocked off the number one spot (and right down to number six) by Ronan Keating's tribute album to his mother. An album coincidentally released the same week as Mothering Sunday. Mums don't like U2, they like ballads. Everyone knows that. Which will be why Bette Midler has risen from number 21 to number nine this week, and Lionel Richie is another new entry at 10. CMU Weekly's recent competition prize for the mums of readers, Barry Manilow's 'Greatest Songs Of The 80s' faired less well, only making it to number 22 - though possibly because people were waiting to see if they'd won it before buying it, rather than the fact that Manilow's 80s covers only serve to remind you that the originals were much better.

Probably not a new entry powered by mums is Pete(r) Doherty's new solo album, 'Grace/Wastelands', which goes it at 17. You have to travel right down at the bottom of the chart for this week's final new entry, 'My One And Only Thrill' by Melody Gardot at number 40, but before that there are some re-entries worth noting. Following an actually quite good edition of 'The South Bank Show' on Will Young, the singer's latest album, 'Let It Go', is back in the chart at 30, Enrique Iglesias' 'Greatest Hits' is boosted by his new single, making it to 36, and another possibly mum-fuelled purchase, Luther Vandross' 'Lovesongs' compilation (originally released for Valentine's Day) is back in at 38. In between the last two is Michael Jackson's 'King Of Pop' compilation, proving that he might be able to sell out the O2 Dome 50 times over, but people are more interested in seeing a freakshow than listening to his music. Possibly.

The chart is written on Post-It Notes and stuck on the wall by The Official Charts Company

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Natasha Bedingfield reportedly got married in Malibu last week, to California businessman Matthew Robinson. Well, I say 'businessman', because that's what most other reports say, but I've also seen him referred to as a 'documentary maker', so who knows? Anyway, the pair apparently tied the knot on Wednesday at a quiet sounding ceremony at the Church Estates Vineyards with around 150 guests in attendance.

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Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder has said that he thinks Kurt Cobain just didn't understood his band when he accused them of "pioneering a corporate, alternative and cock-rock fusion", but that he'd have come round to them, had he lived.

Vedder told The Sun: "I don't think Kurt understood us at the time, but we became friends and I'm glad we had some of the great conversations we had, that I'm always going to keep up here".

He continued: "I don't talk too much about him in respect to Krist [Novoselic] and Dave [Grohl] and I know he said that early stuff about not liking us. But there's a couple of complimentary things that he said in public about me as a human being, which I'm proud exist. But if Kurt were around today, I know he'd say to me, 'Well, you turned out OK'".

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U2's The Edge has pissed off his neighbours with plans to build five houses on land near his home in Malibu. One Jim Smith, who lives nearby, says this: "Two years ago he pulled up outside my house and mentioned he was going to be my new neighbour. He was friendly and charismatic. I was happy knowing he was buying the land, as I assumed he would be sensitive to the environment - though that's not the case".

Oh dear.

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Steve Brookstein, who won the first series of 'X-Factor', has criticised Simon Cowell over his treatment of the more recent winner Leon Jackson, who triumphed on the TV talent show in 2007. I imagine Brookstein feels that Jackson got much the same treatment as he did.

As previously reported, Jackson was dropped by Sony Music last week, despite an upcoming tour, because of disappointing sales of his debut album 'Right Now', and amid rumours Cowell's team didn't try so hard on making a success of his long player because they didn't believe he should have won the talent show. Brookstein was dropped within eight months of his win.

Writing on his blog, Brookstein said: "If they cared anything about Leon they would have announced his departure after his tour and not before it, they would have kept his fans informed, his website up-to-date, and not put comments from Simon into the press saying: 'nice guy but not gonna set the world on fire, Rhydian should have won'".

He continued: "It reminds me of his 'G4 were the real winners!' I'm surprised he allows the public to vote when they've only got it right once in four years. When they spent their money deciding Leona Lewis had more 'X' than the ice skater Ray Quinn. Phew, tough choice".

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