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Top Stories
New Zealand put three-strike on hold
Orange's input on the rights agency proposals: Fuck off
ONS drop MP3 players for its typical shopping basket
Jacko tops all of Tixdaq's ticket resale charts
New Hendrix footage to be released
In The Pop Courts
DOJ defend damages formula in Tenenbaum case
Allman Brothers Sony lawsuit gets green light
A conscious disregard for human life: Spector trial update
Awards & Contests
Indie Idle finalists announced
BBC axes world music awards
Reunions & Splits
Spandau Ballet dates to be announced soon
In The Studio
Amy's new songs not up to scratch
The Horrors on new album, sandwiches
Release News
Snoop Dogg takes on Bollywood (again)
Gigs N Tours News
U2 extend tour
Vaselines to play first London date for 20 years
Patrick Wolf tour
Festival News
Festival line up update
Single review: Franz Ferdinand - No You Girls (Domino)
The Music Business
Another digital chief exits EMI
Universal promote commercial director
Entertainment part of Woolies v2.0 - though mainly gaming
Borkowski buy Beatwax
The Digital Business stream WMC parties to your PC
The Media Business
Express apologises over Dunblane non-story
Moyles officially criticised for Will Young spoofs
Chart Of The Day
Total Rock World Album Chart
And finally...
Cornell defends Scream
MIA's son shall not be known as Edgar Bronfman Jr Jr Jr
Mayer dumped over Twitter updates

Lionel Richie's life too boring to mention

After completing a degree in Furniture Design, Jack Allsop, aka Just Jack, didn't quite take the path that people expected. You know, designing furniture and that. Instead, armed with some knackered old equipment and some rudimentary training, he started making music. Well, furniture designs loss is our gain, because he's done pretty well for himself. Although he released his debut album, 'The Outer Marker' in 2002, it wasn't until the release of his second album, 'Overtones', and the single, 'Starz In Their Eyes', in 2007 that things really took off. Now he's back again, with a new single, 'Embers', out on 30 Mar and his third album, 'All Night Cinema', out on 8 Jun. We caught up with Jack to ask our Same Six Questions.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I finished my degree and didn't know what to do with myself. I met someone in a pub who was running a local council subsidised music tech course. Ten weeks later, having completed the course, I bought a knackered old sampler and computer and began putting tracks together made with samples from records I had begged, stolen and borrowed from various places. At first the results were laughable, but after around two years I was beginning to write the songs that would eventually appear on my first LP.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Families, love, lack of love, death, betrayal, hope, London, films, books, alienation and dancing.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
I don't really have a process. I just layer things together until they sound okay, sometimes starting with a title or lyric, sometimes a concept, other times just a beat. Often, I'll spend ages coming up with a fresh concept, I want my songs to be ABOUT something. I edit lyrics extensively until they sit exactly right and the melodies are just free-styled over the chords or track. Then I'll get friends who are musicians to play parts over the track, and myself and Jay Reynolds edit and beat the whole thing into shape.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Cee-Lo Green, Damon Albarn, The Beatles, ?uestlove, J Dilla, Gang Starr, Pedro Almodovar, Raymond Carver and pretty much everyone else in some way, shape or form.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Listen closely.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I have already fulfilled my ambition for this album, which was to make a record that I thought was good. I don't think too much about the future at the moment, it's far too uncertain! I'm just happy to be doing what I'm doing and hopefully connecting with people in some way.


Londoner Banjo Or Freakout, aka Alessio Natalizia, operates in the space that some of my very favourite artists sit in, right between the laptop-electronica of Four Tet and the avant-garde harmonies of Animal Collective. Gorgeous stratospheric fuzz glides over a clattering smorgasbord of sounds, with floating, gravity-free vocals harmonizing on 'Mr No', while the other tracks streaming on his MySpace compel similar superlatives. Definitely worth your time.

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


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The New Zealand government has backtracked a little on its controversial three-strike law, though says it remains committed to hardline measures to combat online piracy.

As previously reported, New Zealand were the first country to make the three-strike system law, though the French government are busy pushing similar proposals through its parliament. The law means that if web users continue to knowingly access illegal sources of content online after receiving two, maybe three, warning letters, then their internet service provider will be forced to cut them off.

The proposals have been much discussed in France for over a year now, but seemed to arrive on the New Zealand statute book with relatively little comment - until they were passed that is. Critics of the new law argue that in their rush to get the three-strike system into the recent amendment of the country's Copyright Act, New Zealand ministers failed to give consideration as to how the three-strike system would work, seemingly hoping content owners and net firms could work that out for themselves.

That particularly angered those against the three-strike system, who said that falsely accused web users were in danger of losing their internet access without any proper route of appeal. If the only way those accused of file sharing could stop disconnection was to take their own legal action against a record company's file-sharing order, then that amounted to 'guilty until proven innocent', which is sort of the wrong way round.

As for how many falsely accused web users there might be under the proposed system, Google issued a statement reporting that a high number of the copyright claims issued against its various services - ie orders from labels and studios for content to be removed on copyright grounds - turned out to be false claims for one reason or another. The implication being that when a record company or film studio claim someone is illegally file-sharing, we shouldn't take their word for it.

Content owners and internet service providers in the country have been discussing how they can make the new law work, but New Zealand's biggest tel co TelstraClear last week said it was still concerned about the workability of the whole venture and, as a result, was in no rush to get the system up and running.

With all that in mind, not to mention the online campaign against the new laws that has won support around the world, New Zealand's Commerce Minister Simon Power yesterday said he was putting the new law on hold so that his government could consider the various issues raised by those who oppose the new rules. It seems likely some kind of government agency to police the three-strike system, similar to that outlined as part of the French three-strike proposals, will be needed.

Although in theory it's a temporary postponement of the new system, it is a set back from those in the label and studio community who see more hardline measures against P2P file sharing as important for the future of their industries. And also for those in the music and film industries around the world who saw New Zealand's introduction of the three-strike rule as a good pilot for the system to be used in their lobbying efforts for similar measures elsewhere in the world, including the UK and US.

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Talking of government agencies to police online piracy, mobile and internet firm Orange are not thrilled by the idea of such an agency being launched here in the UK.

As previously reported, some sort of independent body to monitor the protection of intellectual property rights online, maybe or maybe not aligned to media regulator OfCom, but most likely paid for by interested industries, was proposed in the recent 'Digital Britain' report produced by the government's Comms Minister Lord Carter. As also previously reported, the government's IP Office has begun a consultation on what form such a body might take.

In reality the body would sit between content owners, such as record companies, film studios and TV producers, and content distributors, in particular the internet service providers. It might have a primarily coordinating role, assisting in the creation of voluntary codes between the various industries, ie encouraging more talks like those that are already underway between the major labels and the ISPs. Or it might have proper powers and an actual anti-piracy policing role - so that if the three-strike system was introduced over here (not that the government is currently seriously considering it) this agency would manage any disconnection penalties.

For the record companies, who had hoped that 'Digital Britain' might propose more specific obligations on the part of ISPs in policing piracy than just helping them obtain the real identities of suspected file-sharers so they can take legal action against them, should they wish to, the proposed Rights Agency is potentially a way of getting more severe measures against piracy into the debate - ie give the agency power, and the music and film industries' anti-piracy efforts might have more bite.

Presumably aware of this, Orange, in its general response to the 'Digital Britain' report, is very against the idea of the rights agency, reckoning that it will exist primarily for the content owner's benefit, but partly at their expense. They write: "We do not think it is appropriate for our industry to fund a rights agency that would only be to the benefit of the rights-holders. This would ultimately become an 'anti-piracy tax' on all consumers, whether or not they infringe. Orange does not understand why one industry should be asked to fund the protection of another industry's commercial interests".

Even though it's not mentioned in Carter's report, nor is it within the remit of the proposed Rights Agency, Orange also specifically referenced the three-strike proposal, remarking: "This proposed solution, which is still strongly advocated by the music industry despite public statements to the contrary, cuts across basic principles of common law, user rights and ISPs' legitimate commercial interests and would fail a straightforward cost-benefit analysis".

They conclude: "The real key to combating unlawful file-sharing and copyright infringement online is (a) education and (b) the development and popularisation of legitimate and compelling content distribution business models".

I'm not sure what that means for the chances of a Rights Agency being launched any time soon. It certainly suggests that ISPs like Orange are not that keen on compromising with the record companies - either through the two industries' current talks, or any future rights agency talks - on being any more proactive in the fight against online piracy over and above the warning letters they have already agreed to send out to suspected file sharers.

To be honest, and assuming they are still committed to ISP-action to stop piracy, it seems increasingly likely that the record industry may have to demand that the government, who have made past commitments to legislate on this matter, and in tougher ways than proposed in 'Digital Britain', come good on those commitments. Though I think we all know - and the ISPs are certainly relying on this - that the government isn't going to want to introduce draconian new laws that could lead to people losing their internet connection in the run up to the next General Election.

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The Office For National Statistics has dropped MP3 players from its statistical "shopping basket" which it uses to monitor the rising and falling costs of commonly purchased goods in order to calculate its Retail Prices Index inflation rate. MP3 players are being dropped from the list of 650 items in favour of MP4 players, ie players with video or visuals.

CD singles, of course, came off the list last year, sort of marking an end of an era for the record industry. It would make sense to put MP3 downloads into the basket rather than MP3 players, but I'm not sure whether the ONS's basket can hold binary based products. The zeros and ones might slip through the holes.

High Street DVD rentals and wine boxes have also been removed, while online DVD rentals, Blueray discs and Freeview TV receivers have been added. I'm not sure what any of that means.

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Ticketing research firm Tixdaq has reported that not only did the million odd tickets available for Michael Jackson's upcoming O2 residency sell out in record time, but the This Is It concerts have topped all three of their weekly ticket resale charts.

Tixdaq monitor how many tickets are being sold for any one artist on the secondary ticketing market, what the average price being paid for those tickets is, and what the average resale profits on each sale are. They publish weekly charts tracking the artists who have the most resales, the highest resale prices and the highest resale profits, and last week Jacko topped all three in the same week - the first artist to ever do so.

Commenting on that fact, Tixdaq Exec VP Steve Machin told CMU: "Clearly tickets for the record breaking Michael Jackson residency were priced to sell as the most expensive tickets cost only £75.00. Even now demand is unprecedented, and that is reflected in the resale charts as we are seeing a lot of the best tickets now being resold at their market value. The average resale price for Michael Jackson tickets last week was over £200".

Elsewhere in Jacko news, the latest gossip is that Jackson is hoping to adopt a child while over here doing his O2 residency. According to tabloid reports, he's consulting a British adoption agency about them finding another child to join his family while he's over here. I think it's fair to say any attempts by Jacko to adopt a British kid aren't going to be without some controversy.

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A new DVD of candid footage of Jimi Hendrix, shot back in 1969, is to be released by the Hendrix estate. According to The Guardian, the film will be co-released with the Universal Music Group, and sees the musician relaxing off stage and in between gigs.

Elsewhere in unreleased Hendrix news, a tape of 14 previously unheard acoustic tracks is expected to raise between £50k and £100k when it goes up for auction next month. The tape, which the guitarist gave to his neighbour Carl Niekirk as a thank you after he lent him milk and sugar, features rehearsals of songs which would later appear on 1968 album 'Electric Ladyland'.

According to The Independent, Niekirk gave the tape to his sister, who sold it for a nominal fee to Mark Sutherland and Paul Jackson, who run east London's Cafe Music Studios. The pair have had to negotiate with the aforementioned Hendrix estate in order to be able to sell the item, which will be auctioned by the Fame Bureau on 28 Apr.

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The US Department Of Justice has supported the Recording Industry Association Of America regarding a technicality in relation to the much previously reported Sony Music v Tenenbaum P2P file sharing case.

This is one of the last P2P file sharing lawsuits being pursued against an individual file sharer - it having been launched prior to the RIAA's announcement that they were going to stop suing individual music fans. It's proving to be a high profile case because student Joel Tenenbaum is being advised by Havard law professor Charles Nesson who has been quite vocal about the whole thing. He's also asked for the court hearing to be webcast, which has complicated things because while the judge hearing the case supported that proposal, the RIAA oppose the idea and have appealed the judge's ruling on the matter.

Anyway, the DoJ got involved on a different issue relating to this case - damages. Tenenbaum's team argued that the damages formula being used by the record companies - which range from $750 to $1500,000 per file - was overly punitive and unconstitutional. But the DoJ has filed a legal brief saying that the formula, as set out in the US Copyright Act, is both correct and fair, and should therefore stand in this case.

Some in the pro-P2P movement say the DoJ's ruling on this matter has been influenced by the fact a number of lawyers who have previously represented the RIAA were recently given senior jobs at the Department. I'm assuming the DoJ would refute those claims, so haven't even bothered asking them.

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When the producers of some of Eminem's early work, who get a royalty from those releases, were in court the other week arguing that Universal should pay them a bigger cut of Slim Shady's digital revenues, we noted the similarities between their lawsuit and the case being pursued by the Allman Brothers against Sony Music. We reported that case was ongoing, and low and behold, there's an update on it right now.

Both cases are based on how an artist's digital revenues are classified. Labels currently treat download sales as being the same as physical track sales - ie CD sales - but some artists argue that download revenues should be treated like other licensing revenues that come in from radio and TV stations, and increasingly online streaming services, because the process (and cost) of distributing tracks to a download store has a lot more in common with making music available to media platforms than manufacturing and distributing CDs.

It's an important distinction, because under many traditional record contracts artists get a much bigger share of money generated through licensing than they do of record sale revenues. If either sets of brothers - the Eminem-producing Bass Brothers or the Allman Brothers - were successful in their litigation then any artists whose recording contracts do not specifically discuss digital revenues could argue their record companies owe them a much bigger share of all past and future download sales. It could cost the record companies millions.

The Allman Brothers case was first filed in 2006. It was initially dismissed by the court because of the wording of the lawsuit, including issues surrounding the use of the terms "leasing" and "licensing". But it was known that the Allman Brothers' legal people were busy addressing that dismissal, and, according to, last week they were successful because a US judge overruled the dismissal and gave the green light for the case to properly proceed to court.

Confirming the latest court ruling on their case, a spokesman for the Allman Brothers' lawyers told reporters: "We are pleased with Judge Daniels decision to move forward and are looking forward to this case going before a jury on the merits of our claim".

Of course, it's worth remembering the Bass Brothers' aforementioned claim regarding their share of Eminem digital royalties was unsuccessful. Asked how their case differed, the Allman Brothers' legal people say that the Slim Shady case was affected by the wording of a 1998 agreement that specifically dealt with downloads - whereas no such provision is given in their client's contracts with Sony.

They told "In [the Bass Brothers] case there was an amendment to the subject 1998 recording agreement that dealt with 'the sale of albums by way of permanent download...' which treated downloads as a general royalty generating activity like the sale of a CD. In our case, no such language exists and the subject record agreements simply state that the artist is entitled to 50% of the licensing income Sony received from the lease of the artist's master recordings. The judge in the Eminem case opined that the agreement between iTunes and Universal Music was a license".

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As expected, the prosecution began its closing arguments in the second Phil Spector murder trial yesterday.

According to Reuters, Prosecutor Truc Do revisited the various stories of incidents whereby Spector had pulled a gun on other women during his late night angry moments, again arguing that actress Lana Clarkson's death at the legendary producer's Beverly Hills home in 2003 was an accident waiting to happen. Do told the court: "When he's ignited, he always does the same thing - he grabs a gun. In every single one of these incidents, Mr Spector demonstrates conscious disregard for human life... Her death was a death waiting to happen in his world".

If the prosecution can convince the jury that Spector was holding the gun that shot Clarkson, and that the gun was fired because of his recklessness, then the producer can be convicted of murder, even if the shooting was actually an accident. If the jury is troubled by the idea of recklessness leading to a murder conviction, they may opt for the crime of involuntary manslaughter which, as previously reported, will be an option open to this jury which was not offered to the jury of the first trial who, of course, failed to reach a verdict.

Spector, of course, maintains that Clarkson shot herself. Closing arguments by both prosecution and defence are expected to be completed by end of play tomorrow.

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Gigwise have announced the finalists of their Camden Crawl Indie Idle competition. The talent contest, which attracted more than seven hundred entrants, has narrowed it down to twenty acts, who are now the subject of a public vote, which opened yesterday and which will end on 6 Apr, with results to be announced the following day. The ten bands who accrue the most votes will appear at the first day of the Camden Crawl, to face the judgement of a panel of music industry types.

The twenty bands selected are Das Filth, Come On Gang!, Sharks, Youth In Colour, Pocket Lips, Lion O'Brien, Personal Space Invaders, Lego Castles, The Young Machines, Before I Explode, Future Social Junk, Pooch, Death By Mau Mau, The Vivians, Viva City, Benjamin David & The Goliaths, Milke, The Brownies, Kids Love Lies and Laura Hocking.

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The BBC has announced that its Radio 3 Awards For World Music are to be axed.

The annual awards were established back in 2002 in an attempt to raise the profile of so called 'world music', and in the last few years have honoured the likes of Nitin Sawhney, Ry Cooder and Baaba Maal. All of whom should be honoured, so it's a shame the awards are no more.

A statement released by Radio 3 explained that the broadcaster felt "it was time to develop a new direction in world music coverage and to develop new plans beyond the awards".

Though they also claim that their "commitment to broadcasting world music remains the same", so one can't help wondering if it's economic cutbacks, in fact, that have forced the canning of the event. The news follows Director General Mark Thompson's previously reported announcement that the Corporation need to make £400m worth of budget cuts over the next three years because of the recession, though he did say that the cuts would most likely mean pay freezes for executives, no staff bonuses and job losses.

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Following the previously reported news that they are getting back together, Spandau Ballet are expected to announce dates for a world tour tomorrow.

Here's what the band's Tony Hadley says about it all: "The boys are back in town and we can't wait. It's going to be brilliant. We're very excited, but it will be very different. There will be all the hits, the nostalgia, but there will also be a new take on what Spandau Ballet are about".

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Now, I should start by saying that this story is based on quotes from an unnamed source who spoke to The Sun, but reportedly Island Records aren't happy with songs Amy Winehouse wrote in St Lucia for her third album. Apparently the heavily reggae-influenced songs feature some pretty dark lyrics and the label feel that the change of musical direction coupled with a bombardment of lyrical misery might be too much for the singer's fans. Although, given that the music on her last album, 'Back To Black', featured a new musical style and some fairly dark lyrics, I'm not sure how likely this is to be true. The source does reckon these lyrics are particularly dark, though

But anyway, the source told The Sun: "Amy was very productive during her stay in St Lucia. She wrote a hell of a lot of songs, but the majority of them just aren't hitting the mark. She seems to have ditched her trademark vintage soul sound and is now heavily influenced by reggae. Her bosses don't think it's a wise move to change her style so sharply and have told her that".

On the subject of the lyrics, they added: "The lyrics are very dark indeed. While she's known for her confessional style and has been very successful with it, many of the tracks are near the knuckle. Everyone understands that Amy is an artist and she must be true to her instincts. In the past, she's written frequently about broken hearts and boyfriends, but this time round she's delving into harrowing terrain".

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The Horrors' Faris Badwan has explained that the direction of the band's new album was brought about by keyboardist Tomethy Furse's proximity to a sandwich shop.

He told "Tom recently moved near a Pret A Manger and discovered they throw out all the uneaten sandwiches at the end of the day. Upon making this discovery he decided to give up spending money on food and instead buy synths".

He also explained why the first single off the second album, 'Sea Within A Sea', isn't being released on vinyl. He said: "It's such a long song that you can't really get it on seven-inch without the sound quality being fucked". It is, however, available to download for free from

In related news, the band's Joshua Third can apparently be seen waiting for a bus on Google Street View. I am really worried about the fact that I might be on Google Street View somewhere. If I weren't so tired, it might be keeping me awake at night.

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Snoop Dogg is no stranger to Bollywood, having recorded a track for Indian film 'Singh Is Kinng' last year. However, his latest track might be little a misjudged. Using Chase & Status' 'Eastern Jam' and the hype surrounding 'Slumdog Millionaire' as a base, 'I Became A Snoop Dogg Millionaire' sees the rapper boast generally about his wealth, and at one point says that he's now so rich that he could "feed a starving nation". Nice work Snoopy, particularly in these times of global recession.

Listen to the track at

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U2 have added dates to the European leg of their upcoming and previously reported 360° world tour in response to demand for tickets. According to promoters Live Nation, the band sold 6,700 tickets in 60 seconds for their 14 Aug Wembley Stadium gig, whilst 160,000 tickets for two dates at Dublin's Croke Park in July went in 60 minutes. New gigs in Gothenburg, Amsterdam, Nice and Milan have now been announced, as well as a second date in Sheffield.

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Kurt Cobain favourites The Vaselines will play their first London date for 20 years this Friday at The Forum in Kentish Town. The band's founder members Eugene Kelly and Francis McKee reformed last year to play two shows in Scotland and their first ever US shows, including Sub Pop's 20th anniversary festival.

The London show precedes a deluxe re-issue of their 1992 Sub Pop release 'The Way Of The Vaselines', which brought together the band's two EPs and their sole album release, 'Dum Dum'. The remixed and remastered new version will also include an extra disc including never before heard demos and live recordings. It will be released in the UK on 4 May.

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Patrick Wolf has announced details of a forthcoming UK tour. Fans who buy tickets for these dates will have the opportunity to buy the musician's new album 'The Bachelor', out 1 Jun, at a discounted price.

Gig dates as follows:

15 May: Northampton, Roadmender
18 May: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
19 May: Oxford, O2 Academy
20 May: Leeds, Cockpit
22 May: Liverpool, Stanley Theatre
25 May: Birmingham, O2 Academy
27 May: Norwich, Waterfront
28 May: Sheffield, Leadmill
29 May: Glasgow, Classic Grand
31 May: Manchester, Ritz
1 Jun: London, Electric Ballroom

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CAMDEN CRAWL, Camden (duh!), London, 24-25 Apr: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Fall, 808 State, The Maccabees, The View, Hockey, The Virgins, Dinosaur Pile Up, The Big Pink, Hot Leg all announced to play the multi-venue queuing event.

HAMMERFEST, Pontins, Prestatyn Sand, North Wales, 24-25 Apr: Sepultura to co-headline Saturday night with Saxon. RAWK!

WIRELESS, Hyde Park, London, 4-5 Jul: Kanye West announced as Sunday headliner.

LATITUDE, Southwold, Suffolk, 16-19 Jul: Pet Shop Boys to headline. The Gossip, Editors, Bat For Lashes and Doves also announced.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Franz Ferdinand - No You Girls (Domino)
As the second single from their third studio album, 'Tonight: Franz Ferdinand', 'No You Girls' packs a heavier punch than the last, 'Ulysses', ultimately pulling the band back to those big, foot-stomping sounds we've all come to know and, mostly, love about them. Even if it's all getting a little bit samey now, you'd be a fool not to admit this isn't a song that gets stuck in your head all damn day long. And then maybe a day after that... or perhaps a week. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though - 'No You Girls' is actually pretty damn good; it has everything you'd expect from a Franz Ferdinand tune. Punchy guitar hooks, sexy lyrics and a sexier set of vocals ("kiss me, flick your cigarette then kiss me" - yes please!), and of course, that ever so important element of catchiness. Not their best, but certainly not their worst, either - try not to like it. I dare you. TW
Release Date: 6 Apr
Press Contact: Domino IH [NP, RP], Wild [CP]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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One of the all-new EMI's most interesting Terra-Firma-era exec appointments has proven to be short-lived.

Former Google exec Douglas Merrill was put in place to head up the struggling major's digital division after it was bought by private equity firm Terra Firma. But less than a year after joining the record company, Merrill is to leave and his digital unit is to be closed down. EMI say that digital is now such an important part of what they do that digital operations are being integrated with other music distribution operations across the company, rather than them being in a stand-alone department.

Merrill's departure has led to the promotion of Cory Ondrejka, the Second Life co-founder who joined EMI shortly after Merrill. He'll become Exec VP Of Digital Marketing.

Commenting on the exec changes, EMI Music CEO Elio Leoni-Sceti told CMU: "Cory is a highly talented executive with a passion for music and a unique technology-based skillset. He will help us deliver our goal of leveraging the power of digital across our business, particularly in the key areas of consumer understanding and analytics, content creation and digital marketing in order to strengthen the relationship and interaction between our artists and their fans. [Meanwhile] I would like to thank Douglas for his contribution to the company and to wish him well for the future".

I'm not sure what we should read into Merrill's departure. He had, after all, been appointed at COO of EMI's new music division in addition to his digital unit role, so the closing of that latter unit doesn't seem like a completely satisfactory explanation of his sudden exit. Perhaps as a former Google man, he realised it is ingrained in his very being to hate all music business people, and everything they stand for, the money-grabbing, business-model-destroying bastards.

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Universal Music UK Commercial Director Brian Rose will be Commercial Director no more. No, now he's Managing Director of Commercial, and I'd appreciate it if you'd not get that wrong. The promotion will see Rose take responsibility for all digital and mobile sales within the UK division of Universal Music.

He'll report to Universal Music UK CEO David Joseph who says this: "Brian's dynamism and strategy have already made a huge contribution to Universal Music. His new role reflects that, as well as the fact digital is no longer an extension of our business but at the centre of it".

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The former Woolies Commercial Director who, as previously reported, is planning on launching a new retail chain which will follow the Woolworths formula - because it worked so well first time round - has confirmed entertainment products will be an important part of his offer, though gaming and DVDs will feature much more heavily than CDs which, lets face it, was already the case in most Woolworth's stores before they went under.

As previously reported, Tony Page has acquired some of the former Woolworths' old stores for his new retail chain, name tbc (he can't use the Woolworths brand, because that was bought by etailer Shop Direct), and he now says he hopes to open up to 300 stores around the country.

He confirmed that entertainment would be part of his business to gaming magazine MCV, but added: "As far as our entertainment offer goes, games will be at the heart of it. Games and DVD will play a really key role there and should take up much more shelf space than music".

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PR firm Borkowski has acquired London-based youth and event marketing agency Beatwax in a bid to extend the range of PR and marketing services it is able to offer.

Beatwax was once well known in the music business, and led PR campaigns, mainly in the youth and student sector, for numerous artists, especially those signed to EMI. However, over the years they branched out into more profitable sectors, leading youth-focused PR and marketing campaigns for consumer and non-music entertainment brands, ultimately leaving the music PR space altogether.

Borkowski have bought the agency off its current owners PPC Group in a cash deal. Confirming the purchase, the company's founder, Mark Borkowski, told reporters: "There is a similar culture fit and we do what they can't and we do what they can't. This will strengthen our ability to do measurable ground-breaking work and deliver what clients need now and into the future".

Moving forward, Beatwax will be branded as [email protected]

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New music website, which officially launched in the UK last week, has announced it will stream thirteen events from this week's Winter Music Conference in Miami. is an interesting streaming music service which streams DJ sets live from clubs and venues around the world. Among the parties being streamed from the WMC will be those organised by Beatport, Fingerlickin and Secretsundaze. For more info check

Talking to CMU about last week's official launch in the UK, Awdio CEO Julien Ulrich told us: "We are very excited to launch Awdio in the UK, land of some of the best clubs and of the most passionate music addicts. Awdio is eager to add even more British clubs to its venues base and offer the world and the British fans in particular more quality music".

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The Scottish edition of the Sunday Express has apologised for that previously reported 'scoop' it ran in which it criticised the survivors of the Dunblane massacre, now 18, for basically being normal teenagers.

The tabloid's journalist raided the Bebo and Facebook profiles of the teens, picked out the usual references to sex, alcohol and partying that you'll find on many 18 year old's social network profiles, and ran an "outraged from Morningside" type piece accusing the teenagers of disrespecting the memory of their murdered school mates, presumably by not locking themselves in a cupboard for the rest of their lives.

While other newspapers were slow to criticise this incredibly low form of journalism - turning a complete non-story into a bit of cheap sensationalism while treading on the emotions and invading the privacy of the Dunblane survivors - a campaign in the blogosphere led to 10,000 people signing an online petition. The Press Complaints Commission is also investigating after receiving more than 60 complaints.

In a page five piece in yesterday's Scottish Sunday Express, the paper wrote: "It's hugely important to us that the Scottish Sunday Express reflects the feelings of the people of Scotland. On 8 Mar we got that all wrong. Our front-page story about the teenage survivors of the Dunblane massacre and their use of social networking websites has caused terrible offence, not only in that town, but across Scotland and around the world. It is our belief that nobody was misquoted, but the story was undeniably inappropriate. It has upset the young people we named and caused great distress to their parents. Where possible, we have spoken to the families involved and given them a heartfelt apology. Today we apologise to you, our loyal readers".

It's not the first time the dying Daily Express has been forced to apologise over its feeble attempts to sell a few more copies by running over the top non-stories. It was forced to pay £550,000 in damages to the parents of Madeleine McCann and publish an unreserved apology after running a series of nonsense stories relating to the McCann case. The PCC says it will continue to investigate the Dunblane story despite the apology.

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Chris Moyles was wrong to mock Will Young's sexuality in two spoof songs on his Radio 1 radio show, or so say media regulator OfCom. They say the songs, spoofs on Young's 'Evergreen' and 'Leave Right Now' which mocked the former Pop Idol's homosexuality, condoned "negative stereotypes based on sexual orientation" and had the "potential to cause considerable offence". Moyles performed the spoofs to mark Young's thirtieth birthday last year.

OfCom say that while they recognise Moyles is known for his "on air homophobia and misogyny", oh, hang on, they actually said "irreverent style and studio banter". Same thing really. Anyway, they said that despite the style of the Radio 1 DJ's show, this particular routine went too far.

As previously reported, the BBC has already acknowledged the routine was inappropriate, and bosses at Radio 1 say they've "had a word" with the presenter. So that's alright then. I look forward to reading Moyles side of the story in the third edition of his autobiographical 'toilet book trilogy', which I know all Stewart Lee fans are waiting for with considerable anticipation.

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It's this week's Total Rock World Album Chart, as counted down on Total Rock last weekend - New entries and re-entries marked with a *.

1. Bruce Springsteen - Working On A Dream (Sony/Columbia)
2. Lamb Of God - Wrath (Warner/Roadrunner)
3. Nickelback - Dark Horse (Warner/Roadrunner)
4. AC/DC - Black Ice (Sony/Columbia)
5. Guns N Roses - Chinese Democracy (Universal/Geffen)
6. Metallica - Death Magnetic (Universal/Mercury)
7. Kid Rock - Rock - N Roll Jesus (Warner/Atlantic)
8. Bruce Springsteen - Greatest Hits (Sony/Columbia)
9. Slipknot - All Hope Is Gone (Warner/Roadrunner)
10. Shinedown - The Sound Of Madness (Warner/Atlantic)
11. Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (Warner/Roadrunner)
12. Guns N Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)
13. Linkin Park - Minutes To Midnight (Warner Bros)
14. Rise Against - Appeal To Reason (Universal/Geffen)
15. Disturbed - Indestructible (Warner/Reprise)
16. Fall Out Boy - Folie A Deux (Universal/Island)
17. Led Zeppelin - Mothership (Warner/Atlantic)
18. Rush - Retrospective III 1989-2008 (Warner/Atlantic)*
19. Hinder - Take It To The Limit (Universal)
20. Linkin Park - Road To Revolution (Warner Bros)

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Chris Cornell has defended his new solo album, after it was criticised by fans and critics, as well as, as previously reported, Trent Reznor, who labelled the Timbaland-produced LP "embarrassing" via Twitter.

Cornell said in an interview with "Older American fans don't like it because they are typically my core fans that really supported me in Soundgarden and really loved that band. To them that's kind of who I am, I'm that guy in that band, and I'm that guy who wrote those songs".

He continued: "I'm thrilled with the album that I made. I think it's really exciting. I have listened to it as much or more than any album I have ever made. As a songwriter and creative person, I have to do what makes me happy. That changes, it goes into different worlds".

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The name of MIA's new baby, which seems to be strangely preoccupying some in the gossip website community, is - according to one such site, TMZ, who claim to have got a copy of the child's birth certificate - Ikhyd Edgar Arular Bronfman.

As you'll remember, there was much gossip shortly after MIA gave birth that her child was to be called Ickitt, though she went online to deny those reports and questioned, quite rightly, why it was really anyone's business as to what he child was called. Though given we're now reporting on this TMZ story, I'm not sure why we're getting all high and mighty about MIA Junior's privacy.

The newborn's surname caused a little stir in the blogosphere yesterday given that it confirmed that the baby boy's grandfather is Warner Music chief Edgar Bronfman Jr. Though given MIA's engagement to Bronfman's son Benjamin Brewer was widely reported last June - including here in the CMU Daily - I'm not sure that was really all that much of a surprise.

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According to the US's Star Magazine, rocker John Mayer was dumped by his ex-girlfriend, actress Jennifer Aniston, because he spent too much time on Twitter. A 'friend' apparently told the publication: "Jen was fuming. There he was, telling her he didn't have time for her and yet his page was filled with Twitter updates".

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Lionel Richie has revealed that while he has been approached on numerous occasions by people who want to write books or make films about him, discussions always fall down when they discover how dull his life has been.

Richie told The Telegraph: "I've been approached in the past by Hollywood about a book or a movie about my life but you know it never happens. They said to me, 'Let's talk about your ghetto experiences', and I said, 'Well, I lived on the college campus so I didn't really have any'. So then they asked: 'Ok, let's talk about your father and mother breaking up..'. and I said: 'That never happened, my mother, who was a school principle, and my father, who was a systems analyst, were fine..'. So then they asked, 'Let's talk about the struggle within your group The Commodores'. And I said, 'Excuse me but I had (a) hit record in my senior year in college'. Then the producer turned round to me and replied. 'This is the worst story I've heard in my whole life. There is no tragedy'".

No tragedy? That explanation was quite tragically dull. I'm not sure a film about a dull man explaining how dull someone else once found his life would make a good film either, though.

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