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Top Stories
PRS launch website in ongoing YouTube squabble
Ulrich talks labels, Live Nation and Guitar Hero
Silent disco protest over Astoria replacement plans
70 venues now forced to fill out Form 696
In The Pop Courts
It's all about the science, stupid: Spector trial update
D12 lawsuit dismissed at appeal
Damon Dash's wife files for divorce
In The Pop Hospital
Trick Daddy reveals lupus
Singer found dead in London
Charts, Stats & Polls
Record sales decline not as bad as it could have been
Reunions & Splits
Chamberlin comments on Pumpkins split
TLC to reform for Japan dates
No Talking Heads reunion on the cards
Release News
Marilyn Manson to release free download
Rumble Strips name second album
Gigs N Tours News
New U2 Wembley date confirmed
Lytle album and shows
Metronomy tour and album stuff
Dylan announces Roundhouse gig
Festival News
40th anniversary Woodstock planned
Festival line up update
Album review: Siouxsie And The Banshees - Extended Remasters (Universal/Polydor)
The Music Business
Kudos take distribution logistics in-house
The Digital Business
MySpace try to get bands to tweet via them
Sony go all iPod Touch with new Walkman to charge for radio in most countries
The Media Business
Absolute to sell Planet Rock's advertising
Jack FM celebrate their rival being Hearty but dead
Chart Of The Day
MTV2/MySpace chart
And finally...
Martin failed to get tickets for Jackson gigs

Devo frontman is inside your brain

Alain Clark is an award-winning Dutch pop-musician and producer. He has worked on producing records for the winners of 'Idols' (Holland's version of Pop Idol) and produced a song called 'Vakkenvuller', which was a Dutch-language spoof of Eamonn's 'Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)' no less - remember that? He also performs his own music, and on his latest release 'Father And Friend', Alain sings alongside his father Dane Clark in a soulful, acoustic guitar-soaked ballad. The single is released here on 30 Mar, shortly followed by album 'Live It Out' on 6 Apr. Alain took a moment to answer our Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I guess you could say I grew up in a musical environment. My dad used to sing in an old sixties soul covers band. Then my mom made me take guitar lessons when I was nine. It really started there for me, as the first thing I did after I learnt three chords was to try to write songs.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Really just everything I've been through in the years prior to writing and recording it. Fortunately they were pretty good years for me so it turned out to be a pretty positive record.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
It really depends. I tend to go through phases. Right now when I write I usually start looking for chord progressions on the guitar or keys that inspire a certain emotion. Then I take that to the studio to lay down the groove and a basic idea for the music. I then usually leave it for a couple of days or put it on my iPod before I start writing lyrics to it. Sometimes, however, it starts with the melody or even with words and I just write around that. I'm very happy there's not one way it works because then it would become routine and to me that's not what song writing is about.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
I like to listen to a lot of older music for inspiration. Artists like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Prince, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel... I could go on forever. Any artist with a story and a unique way of telling it can inspire me.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Turn it up and listen to the whole album. Then turn it down and listen to the whole album. If you still like it, do it again.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
One of my biggest dreams and goals is to play in different venues all over the world. Playing live is what I like doing most and really what I'm in this for. The album has been really successful in my home country. It'll be very exciting to see how well my music will do in the rest of Europe.

MORE>> and

We first heard this band about two years ago when our good friend Eddy Temple-Morris played a demo version of their upcoming single, 'Counterpoint', on The Remix on Xfm. Now Delphic are fast becoming Manchester's hottest new property. Their sound is steeped in their home city's musical history but they're taking it forwards like no one has managed for quite some time. The single is released through R&S Records on 14 Apr, but the band have recently signed a deal to run their own label, called Chemeric, as a subsidiary of Polydor. They're signed up to every major social network going and links to all of them are handily provided on their MySpace profile, so you don't have to stay there too long if you don't want to.

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.

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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PRS For Music have taken their battle with YouTube to the internet, which seems like as good a place as any to fight it. The songwriter royalty collecting society has launched a new website called and, possibly aware that their side of the dispute with the Google-owned video service enjoyed more media attention than might have been expected thanks to the fact the squabble went public the week various artists were doing the rounds of the news studios to promote their new Featured Artist Coalition, the PRS have got some of their better known songwriting members involved with the venture.

As much previously reported, earlier this month Google announced it was blocking access to premium music videos on YouTube in the UK because it had failed to negotiate a new licensing agreement with PRS. The net firm said that PRS were being unreasonable in their licence fee demands, and that they could never cover the costs of licensing music at those rates through advertising sales. PRS argued that they were only asking for the fees as set out by the UK Copyright Tribunal when it last ruled on digital royalties, and stressed that they had not asked for any music to be removed while talks were ongoing, arguing that the move was a sneaky negotiating tactic, an attempt to win public support - by implying to YouTube users that "PRS is stopping you from getting your videos" - in a bid to strong arm the collecting society into accepting lower rates.

Announcing the launch of the website this morning, the collecting society restated their position regarding the YouTube squabble. They said in a statement: "On Monday 9 March 2009, internet giant Google began denying UK music fans access to premium music videos on YouTube - the video sharing site it bought for $1.65bn in 2006. Google claimed this was a move to highlight its ongoing licensing negotiations with PRS For Music - the not-for-profit organisation owned by songwriters and composers which licenses content on their behalf. A PRS licence is a legal requirement for any business wishing to play, perform or reproduce music".

They continue: "Google's decision to remove premium content was made unilaterally, without any consultation with PRS, and indeed, PRS did not wish them to remove content In our view this was a tactic by Google to try to influence the commercial negotiation. In reality, it only punishes the music fan and the songwriter/creator. Understandably, many music fans in the UK are confused and angry at Google's decision. The members of PRS - the composers and songwriters of the music that has been removed from YouTube - share UK music fans' concerns".

The statement concludes: "It cannot be in anyone's best interests to block access to music. Fans are denied enjoyment, creators aren't paid and illegal music sites benefit from the resulting displacement of web traffic. Composers and songwriters did not ask for their music to be removed from YouTube, nor would they expect Google to continue to benefit from operating a service that relies so heavily on their music, without properly recognising and rewarding them for providing it".

According to the PRS, the new website is partly part of a campaign to pressure Google to reopen access to music videos on the YouTube UK website while the two side's licensing talks continue, and partly an effort to convince the public that "composers and songwriters should earn what they rightfully deserve from the use of their music in the online space" and that royalties such as those that they want from the video sharing service are important in "nurturing creative music talent".

Among the songwriters supporting the new site are Jools Holland, Pete Waterman, Robbie Williams collaborator Guy Chambers, 6Music-presenter-come-songwriter Tom Robinson, Eastenders-theme-tune-writer Simon May and Abba's Bjorn Ulvaeus, who, of course, recently entered the royalty debate in a column about the Pirate Bay trial in his own country, in which he wrote about those who prefer to use free but illegal sources of music: "Is it really so damn difficult to pay your way?"

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Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich has been talking about the band's future, hinting that they may soon be looking to release their music independently of the major label system. Though that doesn't mean the band are interested in one of those Madonna-style big-bucks 360-degree Live Nation deals. In fact, Ulrich is a bit suspicious about the motives of the live music conglom and their new business partners Ticketmaster, possibly thanks to Trent Reznor' recent ramblings on the topic. Not that Ulrich is necessarily anti-big corporate deals, and he seems to value his band's association with the 'Guitar Hero' franchise very much, if only because it makes his kids think he's cool.

Asked if Metallica need the backing of a major label anymore, Ulrich told the LA Times: "Without offending any of the good people from the record company [here] in the room, no. Let's cut to the chase... The primary, not the only, but the primary, function of a record label is to act as a bank. When you're fortunate enough to be successful and so on, you don't need to rely on record companies as the banks..."

Asked about the possibility of following Madonna and Jay-Z into some kind of multi-stream deal with Live Nation instead of a major record company, he continued: "We haven't sold out to Live Nation, and we are certainly not planning on it. And we are very, very fortunate that we do not need what they offer to continue to be who we are".

With Live Nation brought up, Ulrich admitted to having some concerns about the wheelings and dealings currently going on in the live music market, alluding to the growing controversy surrounding secondary ticketing, and Live Nation's merger partners Ticketmaster's role in it - something Reznor wrote a very critical piece on last week. On the growth of online ticket touting, and Ticketmasters interests in it, Ulrich continued: "Certainly, some of the practices that come in the wake of this, like direct reselling and all the stuff that Bruce [Springsteen] was up against in January, and some of these other things, obviously are very distasteful, and downright... it's just ripping people off. It's impure. So obviously I'd stand up and scream from every rooftop that I think that's... impure".

Whether that means Ulrich will be joining Reznor in the anti-secondary ticketing campaign I'm not sure, though he did admit: "We're doing a bunch of shows with Trent this summer in Europe. I look forward to sitting down and talking to him about what's on his radar".

On the band's tie-up with Guitar Hero, and any accusations that amounted to 'selling out', he said: "When we got a chance to do this, and hopefully score another couple years of being semi-cool in our kids' eyes by having our own videogame, this is something we jumped at pretty quickly. The bigger questions about brandings and perceptions? I really believe that if we sit here five years from now or 10 years it'll be a fairly standard way of releasing music".

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The organisers of a campaign that hopes to ensure that the London Astoria is replaced with a venue of similar size are planning to give the seminal venue a final send off this weekend by staging a lunchtime silent disco outside it.

According to the NME, students Jenny Wong and India Walker have started a campaign after discovering plans to replace the Astoria with a small 250 seat theatre. As previously reported, the Astoria was closed at the start of the year and will be shortly demolished to allow the construction of a new station complex for what will become the Tottenham Court Road station for the capital's new Crossrail network.

The closure of the Astoria has been a long time coming, and when music fans first protested the plans to demolish the building, the then London mayor Ken Livingstone assured them that a replacement would be included in the complex that will ultimately be built on the site. The implication was that the venue would be similar in size or bigger than the Astoria, which had a capacity of 2000.

But Wong and Walker say that planning documents from Westminster Council reveal that developers have been given the go ahead to replace the Astoria with a small studio theatre with a 250 capacity - presumably because they're keen to save most of the new building for more profitable retail, office or residential units. The students say they have tried to take up the matter with the new mayor Boris Johnson, but that his office said it's a matter for Westminster Council, who in turn said it's a matter for the company behind Crossrail, who in turn said it was nothing to do with them.

Of course the whole reason why bands and music fans liked the slightly grimy Astoria was because it was a mid-sized music venue slap bang in the middle of London. While it is true that the demolition of that corner of Charing Cross Road and Oxford Street has also led to the loss of two smaller venues - Mean Fiddler and Metro - there is definitely less of a need for a 250 capacity venue in that part of town than there is for an Astoria-sized performance space.

Anyway, in a bid to force the powers that be to stick by their commitment to replace the Astoria with a similar facility, Wong and Walker have started on Facebook campaign, and will take that campaign to the streets - Charing Cross Road to be precise - with the protest silent disco on Saturday.

Astoria fans are encouraged to make there way to the venue at 12.45pm on Saturday with a digital music player, and to then plug their headphones in and start dancing at 1pm. I'm not sure exactly where the silent disco will take place - ie whether the plan is to bring the traffic outside the venue to a stand-still, or whether the silent dancing will take place across the road where I think there might be some vacant paving in front of the Centrepoint building. But if you turn up I'm sure it'll be obvious where the protesters are silently discoing.

For more information about the campaign check the Facebook profile here:

Word has it that the Astoria will be finally demolished in the next week or so, so if nothing else this really should be the 82 year old venue's last moment of glory.

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According to Music Week, over 70 venues in London are now required to file the controversial Form 696 for every music event they hold, provision of the form having been added to the condition of their live music licences.

As previously reported, the Form 696, an extra licensing requirement introduced by the Metropolitan Police, has been heavily criticised because it asks for the personal details of every artist who performs at a gig, and for information on what genre the artists play. Some artists and promoters have questioned just what happens to the artists' personal data that is collected, while it's feared the genre information is used to make stereotypical judgements about the ethnic and social background of an artist's fans.

As also previously reported, UK Music chief Feargal Sharkey first raised and criticised the controversial form at a review of the 2003 Licensing Act, under which it was introduced, and since them UK Music, the Musicians' Union and Music Producers Guild have joined to formally protest against the dodgy bureaucracy.

According to Music Week, up to 70 venues now run the risk of a £20,000 fine if they don't file the form for each gig they host, and there are fears that police elsewhere in the UK may adopt its use.

Sharkey apparently plans to take up the matter with the minister responsible for licensing, Sport Minister Gerry Sutcliffe, and also plans to meet with the Metropolitan Police themselves to air his concerns. Music Week quote him thus: "It is true that UK Music has been busy behind the scenes for some time regarding Form 696 and I have some very high level meetings over the next couple of weeks. Following those, I am positive we will have a much clearer picture on this issue and how we progress and move forward".

I'm not sure how a venue is meant to decide what genre an artist belongs to, given that genres are generally undefined, loose and constantly changing. Perhaps it's based on MySpace profiles. In which case, every artist performing in London should change their MySpace genre to 'French Pop'. Let's see how the Met cope with the seemingly increasing number of French people filling the capital's gig venues.

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Phil Spector's defence lawyer Doron Weinberg returned to the bold statement used by the legendary producer's previous defence team right at the start of his first murder trial. "It's science that proves it, guvnor".

As you may remember, the then bullish original Spector defence team said that science was on their side as they began their client's defence over allegations that he shot dead actress Lana Clarkson at his Beverly Hills home back in 2003. Forensic evidence, they promised, would prove beyond doubt that Clarkson held the gun that killed her. Unfortunately the forensics bit of the defence's case got all caught up in allegations that their experts had removed crucial evidence from the crime scene, and as a result their star forensics witness - Henry Lee - refused to testify. As a result, their experts, who claimed the blood splatters etc proved Clarkson was holding the gun, were no more convincing than the prosecution's experts who argued the blood layout showed that Spector had held the gun.

But yesterday, as he presented his closing arguments at the second Spector trial, defence man Doron Weinberg again said scientific evidence "proved" Clarkson pulled the trigger of the gun that killed her. He proceeded to list no less than fourteen forensic details - blood splatter, gunshot residue, DNA etc - which he said proved his point. "Every single fact" he concluded "says this is a self-inflicted gunshot wound. How do you ignore it? How do you say this could have been a homicide?"

Responding to the prosecution's emphasis on Spector's past gun-wielding run-ins with former girlfriends, run-ins which, the prosecution said, proved the producer was a "demonic maniac", Weinberg said the prosecutors had had to rely on "drama and accusations" to construct a case against his client, but he urged the jury to "start with the science and forensics".

Referencing the prosecution's other big testimony, by Spector's former driver, who claims the producer said "I think I killed someone" shortly after he'd heard gun fire inside his then boss's home, Weinberg reportedly continued: "If you knew only what the case looks like from the outside, you'd say 'it sure looks like he did it'. If you believe (his chauffeur), you'd probably fold your arms and say, 'Looks like he did it'. [But] Mr Spector did not kill Lana Clarkson. That's what the evidence shows".

Of course the prosecution also presented forensic evidence which they claim proves their case, so it remains to be seen if Weinberg's albeit dramatic presentation of "the science" is enough to win Spector an acquittal. The jury are expected to begin their deliberations later today. As previously reported, unlike the jury in the first trial, this lot have been given the option of convicting Spector of involuntary manslaughter if they aren't satisfied the prosecution proved murder, but don't believe Weinberg and the producer's argument that Clarkson took her own life.

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A lawsuit brought against D12 by the former manager of one of the group's members has been dismissed at appeal by a court in Michigan.

Kenyatta Hudson claims to have signed a management contract with Ondre 'Swift' Moore to run from 1999 to 2003, as well as agreeing to manage D12 as a whole for a minimum of six months. However, when the group signed to Eminem's Shady Records label later in 1999 they ditched him like a pair of old socks. He promptly sued them for "millions of dollars" of lost earnings. But on Friday Michigan's Court Of Appeals upheld a previous ruling that Moore cannot enforce the contract as he never registered to become a licensed personnel agent - something required under Michigan law.

Hudson ain't happy about it. Not one little bit. And he's threatening to write a book about the whole thing, presumably in an attempt to get his money by other means. It doesn't really sound like it would be a very interesting book, though. Maybe I'm missing something. Anyway, he told "I think the courts are wrong in what they are saying. I haven't spoken with my lawyer yet, but this is going to have to go to higher ground because there's just no way for them to have found the way they did. I had a contract with D12 and that is not being honoured. In America, we are supposed to honour contracts. I'm considering writing a book about my experience in all of this".

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Fashion designer Rachel Roy has made moves to divorce her husband, Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Damon Dash, who she married in Mexico in 2005.

According to New York Daily News, papers filed at New York's Manhattan Supreme Court state that she is seeking "non-monetary relief" in the divorce. Which is lucky, because Dash doesn't have a lot of cash knocking around at the moment. He is currently being sued by various law firms and landlords over two properties he owns in Tribeca, New York, as well as reportedly owing $2 million in state taxes.

That's what happens to people who consider shoes useless after they take their feet out of them for the first time. Who knows what happens to people who remember pointless things like that years after seeing it on MTV 'Cribs'. Only time will tell.

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Rapper Trick Daddy has revealed that he has been battling the autoimmune disease Lupus for the last twelve years, but has so far kept the diagnosis from the public. He announced this in a radio interview promoting his upcoming autobiography, 'Magic City: Trials Of A Native Son', in which he presumably talks about it some more.

He told Phoenix, Arizona's Power 98.3fm: "I went to the doctor, like, 12 years ago. She took all kinds of tests, because I was trying to get rid of what we call dry skin; she did biopsies and blood tests and swab tests. She told me I have lupus. I am allergic highly to the sun, that's my worst enemy. It's like an AK-47 with a double clip on it. A lot of people try to cover it up with regular make-up. It makes your skin pigmented. You can go from dark to light and not light to dark. You have to cover it up and conceal it".

He doesn't let it get him down, though. He concluded: "My mama had 11 children from 10 different men. If she can live with that, I know I can live with this".

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Ian Newtion, who had a 1990s hit under the name Scoobie Santino with the track 'Money Honey', has been found dead in an underpass at London's Greenford Roundabout.

The forty-five year old reggae singer was thought to be on his way home after performing at a party at a local venue known as the Scout Hut when attackers slit his throat. A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police explained: "It is unclear at this stage what time he left but it is believed he was making his way home when he was assaulted and received a severe cut to the neck".

The dead man's older brother Cleave has expressed his disbelief that someone of Newtion's apparently peaceable character should have met his end in such a violent way. The BBC quote him as saying: "He was a very kind, mild-mannered, amiable and very amenable person, whose philosophy in life was to try to see the best in everyone. What is difficult is trying to imagine anything so violent happening to someone of Ian's personality."

Reggae star Lloyd Brown has paid tribute to Newtion via his MySpace page, saying "I had only met him once, with Sweetie Irie at a show in Leicester many years ago, a very jovial and respectful man".

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Record sales fell by 1.9% in terms of volume in the last quarter of 2008, while they were down 6.9% in terms of value as the profit margins on music continue to decline. We know this because of figures compiled by the Official Charts Company and published by the Entertainment Retailers Association earlier this week.

Although the quarter saw another decline in record sales, ERA are slightly upbeat about the stats, pointing out this was for the period that saw the collapse of both Woolies and Zavvi and that therefore the falls were relatively modest.

The latter's demise did come right at the end of that period, of course, meaning it will probably have a bigger impact on the current quarter, though the closure of Woolies eUK distribution firm impacted on their website sometime before their administration was announced just before Christmas. And the demise of Woolworths and eUK will definitely have had a knock on effect, especially on the value of sales, given that the dying retailer's administrators instigated a price slashing closing down sale which presumably led to rival retailers pricing CDs as low as they possibly could, despite the natural sales boost the pre-Christmas rush delivers.

ERA chief Kim Bayley told CMU: "After years of bad news about music sales, these figures give hope that the downward trend is beginning to flatten out. The collapse of Woolworths was potentially disastrous, but retailers worked around the clock to secure alternative supplies".

Digital sales continued to boom, which helped compensate for both the usual CD sales decline and the High Street chaos brought on by Woolies' demise (fortunately neither Woolies nor Zavvi were real players in the digital market). Across 2008, single track downloads were up 41.5% to 110.3m units while digital album sales were up 65% to 10.3m units. By the end of the year downloads accounted for 96% of singles sales and 7% of albums sales.

Bayley reckons the move to DRM-free digital music in 2008 helped with the continued growth of the legitimate download sector. She continued: "The increasing move towards DRM-free formats has helped drive download sales to this unprecedented high".

Despite the decline in record sales and the wider recession, Bayley says the sector her trade body now represents - entertainment retail - continued to perform OK, despite the high profile victims of the credit crunch. Though that, she admitted, was mainly thanks to the continued growth of the gaming sector, which many music retailers increasingly rely on. Kim: "The success of video games is helping entertainment retailers withstand the impact of the financial crisis. No sector can be immune from the problems of the wider economy, but these results show that as long as suppliers come up with new and innovative entertainment products, then consumers will respond positively".

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Former Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, whose departure from the group was announced on Monday, has spoken about his decision to leave. He said that there was no acrimony between him and frontman Billy Corgan (now the last remaining original member of the band), but that he just wasn't that into it any more and wanted to concentrate on his solo project, The Jimmy Chamberlin Complex.

Chamberlin wrote on his blog: "I can no longer commit all of my energy into something that I don't fully possess. I won't pretend I'm into something I'm not. I won't do it to myself, you the fan, or my former partner. I can't just 'cash the check', so to speak. Music is my life. It is sacred. It deserves the highest commitment at every level and the Pumpkins are certainly no different. I'm sorry but it really IS that simple. There is no drama, bad blood, or anything else but a full commitment to music. ... I will continue to make music with the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex as well as pursuing other musical interests".

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Despite having officially split last year, the two surviving members of TLC, Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins and Rozonda 'Chilli' Thomas, have announced that they are preparing to perform together again. The group's third member, Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes died in a car crash in 2002, of course.

The pair are currently in rehearsals for a number of dates in Japan later this year. There is no word on whether this will lead to further touring or recording, as yet. However, the tour is reported to be taking place ahead of the release of Watkin's new solo album, which she is currently recording with producers Brian Michael Cox and Kevin 'She'kspere' Briggs, the latter of whom was responsible for TLC's hit 'No Scrubs'.

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It's funny how bands not reuniting has become a subject of news. This time it's David Byrne, formerly of Talking Heads, who has said that he doesn't think his band should get back together, even if it could be lucrative. Explaining to Metro that the group have been offered large sums to stage a reunion, Byrne said: "I'm not keen and it's unlikely to happen. I don't need the money badly enough".

That said, he said he was enjoying revisiting some old material on tour with collaborator Brain Eno, adding: "Some of those songs are still relevant and that's a nice surprise".

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Marilyn Manson is to release a track from his forthcoming new album as a free download. 'We're From America', taken from LP 'The High End Of Low', will be available from the singer's website on 27 Mar. The first single proper from the record, 'Arma...geddon' will be released on 13 Apr, and the album is out on 26 May.

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The Rumble Strips have announced the name of their second album. It'll be called 'Welcome to The Walk Alone' and it's out on 8 Jun via Island Records. The first track, 'London', was released as a lovely free download on the MySpace music homepage - - on Monday. The band are currently midway through a 21 date tour, the remaining dates of which are as follows

25 Mar: London Dingwalls
27 Mar: Derby The Rockhouse
28 Mar: Luton Charlie Browns
1 Apr: Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
2 Apr: Exeter The Cavern
4 Apr: Chatham Tap N Tin
5 Apr: Gloucester Guildhall
6 Apr: Bristol Thekla

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Following the news yesterday that U2 are adding more dates to their upcoming European tour to meet demand, we can confirm today that a second Wembley Stadium date has been added for 15 Aug with Glasvegas as support. Tickets go on sale on Friday. Tickets for the first Wembley gig on 14 Aug apparently sold out in sixty seconds, which I'm not sure is even possible, but they went quick, that's for sure. So expect more phone/internet meltdown when the new tix go on sale on Friday.

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I think we may have already reported on the LP element of this before, but I'm not sure. But former Grandaddy man Jason Lytle is set to release his debut solo album 'Yours Truly, The Commuter' on 19 May, and two UK live dates have been announced to coincide with that. The first is at Manchester's Academy 3 on 26 May, the second at Islington Academy on 28 May.

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I'm slightly confused about whether we reported on this before or not too. Anyway, the fact is, Metronomy will release single 'Radio Ladio' on 20 Apr, and a deluxe edition of their 2008 album 'Nights Out' in June, complete with a bonus CD featuring single remixes from the album. They've also announced a number of upcoming live dates, as follows:

26 May: Norwich Waterfront
27 May: Brighton Concorde
28 May: Birmingham Academy 2
30 May: Newcastle Academy 2
31 May: Manchester Club Academy
1 Jun: Nottingham Trent Uni
2 Jun: Glasgow King Tuts
18 Sep: London The Forum

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Bob Dylan has announced that he will play a gig at The Roundhouse in Camden on 26 Apr as part of his upcoming UK tour. If you're a fan, this is about as intimate as you're going to get with Dylan, unless you're willing to brave his portaloo.

Tour dates:

24 Apr: Sheffield, Arena
25 Apr: London, O2 Arena
26 Apr: London, Roundhouse
28 Apr: Cardiff, CIA
29 Apr: Birmingham, NIA
1 May: Liverpool, Echo Arena
2 May: Glasgow, SECC
3 May: Edinburgh, Playhouse

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Co-founder of the original Woodstock festival Michael Lang is seeking sponsors to fund an event to mark the 40th anniversary of the legendary 1969 hippy free-for-all. You know, because all other attempts to resurrect it have been such an overwhelming success. Lang told The Times: "The chances that something will happen are probable. But I don't really have the answer yet as to what that will be".

According to Billboard, Lang is seeking $10 million in sponsorship to fund "a free event" that will leave "as small a carbon imprint as we can". Although he added: "Depending on how successful we are in raising that sponsorship will determine when and how we do this event". He also revealed that bands he is hoping to convince to play the event include Santana, Joe Cocker and Crosby, Stills & Nash, who all played the original festival, and Red Hot Chilli Peppers, who headlined the 30th anniversary festival.

That event ten years ago, of course, ended with mass looting, violence and large fires, which you might think would deter sponsors. Lang disagrees, though, saying that although there were "ramifications" from that event, they hadn't done "any real damage" to the Woodstock name. Okay, but the top five things I think of when I think of Woodstock are mud, Jimi Hendrix, violence, fire and over-priced water, which doesn't sound that good. Although I might be willing to take a couple of punches in exchange for seeing Jimi Hendrix play. If they can sort that out, I'll be there.

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DOWNLOAD, Donington Park, Castle Donington, 12-14 Jun: Opeth, Messhuggah, Duff McKagan, Five Finger Death Punch, Dir En Grey, Lawnmower Deth and Steadlur announced as the final names for this year's Download. Oh, and You Me At Six, who are added as this year's band most likely to have bottles of piss thrown at them.

GUILFEST, Stoke Park, Guildford, 10-12 Jul: Happy Mondays to close this year's event, in an attempt to shift that 'Best Family Festival' tag. Charlatans added to the line-up too.

T IN THE PARK, Balado, Kinross-shire, 10-12 Jul: Starsailor, 2ManyDJs, Tiga, La Roux and The Dykeenies join the bill.

LARMER TREE FESTIVAL, Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset, 15-19 Jul: Critically acclaimed African singer-songwriter Rokia Traore to headline.

EDEN SESSIONS, The Eden Project, Cornwall, 18 Jul: The brilliant Ladyhawke announced as support for the fourth of this year's series of concerts. The Kooks headline, unfortunately.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Siouxsie And The Banshees - Extended Remasters - A Kiss In The Dreamhouse/Hyaena/Nocturne/Tinderbox (Universal/Polydor)
In 2006, Siouxsie And The Banshees' first four records, 'The Scream', 'Join Hands', 'Kaleidoscope' and 'Juju', were remastered and released with added bonus tracks and unheard before demos, and now, nearly three years later, 'A Kiss In The Dreamhouse', 'Hyaena', 'Nocturne' and 'Tinderbox' are getting the same special treatment. The 1982-1986 era - arguably showcasing some of the band's finest and most theatrical moments - was when Siouxsie and co were at the height of their commercial success, garnering a top forty hit in 'Cities In Dust' and a top five in their cover of The Beatles' 'Dear Prudence'. Each extended album has been overseen by the Banshees' bassist and founding member Steven Severin, and extensive sleeve notes have been provided by NME veteran, music journalist Paul Morley. 'Baby Piano Part 1' and 'Part 2', provided as bonus tracks on 1984's 'Hyaena' (the release that also includes the addition of 'Dear Prudence'), are eerie and dramatic appendages to an already deliciously peculiar and groundbreakingly experimental album; while the extended edition of the amazing 'Cities In Dust' adds to the four bonus tracks available on 1986's release 'Tinderbox'. If there was one thing that Siouxsie And The Banshees did with flair and fantastic exaggeration, it was drama - from the make-up, the hair and clothes, to the colourful album covers and of course to the music itself, with its infusion of echoey strings, erratic percussion and Siouxsie's distinctive howl - everything was theatrical, and a great inspiration to the later sounds of the era. Crisp yet never really taking away the experimental, ethereal sound that the band were and are so famous for, these re-releases are solid and authentic, a welcome addition to the already critically acclaimed series. TW
Release Date: 6 Apr
Press Contact: Polydor IH [NP, RP], La Digit [O]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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Indie music distributor and digital aggregator Kudos Records has announced it is now operating the logistical part of its physical distribution service fully in-house - previously it utilised the services of the now defunct Pinnacle. It will, however, use the services of Trilogy Logistics to get the releases it represents into HMV and the supermarkets.

Kudos MD Danny Ryan told CMU: "Providing in-house fulfilment is now feasible, as the market has shrunk to a point where larger distributors no longer enjoy the same economies of scale advantage. As physical music sales moves away from the high street and on to the web, there are far fewer delivery points. Our digital business has performed its own deliveries from the outset, and we have really enjoyed the direct control over service levels that this gives us. It now feels like it's the right time to apply the same principals to our physical distribution offering".

He concluded: "Since the demise of Pinnacle, we have actually seen our UK business grow, mostly as a result of the more direct relationship we now enjoy with the retail sector. We are confidently looking forward to a more self-reliant future".

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Possibly aware that, after desperately trying to make their flagging social networking service more like Facebook, it turned out that the only bit of their rival people really cared about were the status reports, which they are now filing via Twitter, MySpace has mailed its artist members to encourage them to use their platform to provide fans with Twitter-style mini-updates.

The long and slightly patronising note from the social networking service's founder Tom Anderson says that not many artists are using the 'status' function available via their MySpace artist profile, possibly because they are only really prominent on the new style MySpace profiles which most artists are yet to upgrade to, possibly because artists don't understand what the status update' phenomenon is all about, or possibly - though Tom doesn't mentioned this - because everyone is doing this kind of thing by Twitter these days.

Just in case it's the second of those reasons, Tom explains: "Let's imagine you're the Beatles. (Nice eh?) Updates could be like this: 'Pete Best just left the band.. trying out some cat named Ringo', or 'John is thinking of getting married.. some girl named Yoko', or 'we are backstage at the Ed sullivan show.. about to go on, wish us luck!' These sort of personal, NON-PROMOTIONAL updates are what really engage your fans, and gets them interested in you as people. It makes them pay attention, which means they'll pay attention when you DO market to your fans. If you hit them over the head with constant promotion, they tune you out". He goes onto explain that, like with Twitter, MySpace status updates can be added while on the move via mobile.

The timing of the message is interesting. Although very much the social network in decline, MySpace does still dominate in the artist profile domain, and that remains the social networking platform's strongest USP. That said, an increasing number of artists do now seem to be building an official presence on Facebook, who recently enhanced their artist page platform. Despite them seemingly pissing off half their users with the recent revamp to their standard user interface, Facebook does seem to be slowly encroaching on MySpace's territory as the social network of choice for artists, though their failure to provide user friendly URLs that can be used on promotional material is still a major set back for Facebook's band offer.

Twitter, on the other hand, while obviously not a true competitor to either MySpace or Facebook in terms of providing a full artist profile facility, does have the potential to become the platform through which artists have a constant online relationship with their fans - they being aided by their user-friendly URLs and the fact they are the internet phenomenon of the moment. Providing they can get on top of the increasingly frequent 'lost message' thing, I don't think Twitter need to fear losing their band users to MySpace's status update service, even though their older rival have more established artist relationships.

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Sony have unveiled their latest Walkman which they apparently hope will challenge the market dominance of the iPod, because we've not heard that before have we? It has a lot in common with the iPod Touch apparently, though with Sony's patented OLED display, whatever that is. It's also got built-in noise cancellation which possibly means any Coldplay songs are cancelled out. Oh no, that would be tedium cancellation wouldn't it. The new walkman X Series will be released in May.

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LAST.FM TO CHARGE FOR RADIO IN MOST COUNTRIES have announced that users not based in the US, UK or Germany will have to pay a 3 euros per month subscription to access it radio services from 30 Mar. All other aspects of the site, including on-demands previews and streams, will remain free, and users will be offered a 30 track free trial before being asked to pay to listen to the site's streaming radio.

Announcing the move, co-founder Richard Jones said: "We appreciate the support we get from the 30 million people who use every month - double the number of people since this time last year. We work with over 280,000 labels and artists and have built up the largest catalogue of any web radio platform: over 7 million tracks. In order to keep providing the best radio service on the web, we need to ask our listeners from countries other than USA, UK and Germany to subscribe. In return you'll get unlimited access to Radio, and a promise that we'll be hard at work improving the service for years to come".

As for why those three countries are excluded,'s Head Of Web Product Matt Ogle said: "These are the countries in which we have the most resources to support an ad sales organisation, which is how we earn money to pay artists and labels for their music. We are focused on the US, UK, and Germany as key markets, with the help of the CBS Interactive salesforce and our own sales team here in London. Our headquarters are in the UK and we've always had a strong presence in Germany. And so we've made the decision to focus on these markets for free streaming radio. We are still available worldwide and while listening is subscription, all the other rich content on the site is still free".

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Absolute Radio has done a deal with digital rock station Planet Rock which means the former Virgin Radio will now sell advertising on behalf of their rival. The digital station, formerly part of GCap's digital division but sold off shortly before Global bought the radio major and now independently owned, will continue to handle its own sponsorship and promotions activity. The new alliance may also see Planet Rock move into Absolute's studios, though that hasn't been confirmed. The advertising partnership has been though, with Absolute Radio CEO Donnach O'Driscoll telling reporters: "Absolute Radio has digital at its core and shares Planet Rock's belief in DAB - this is a win-win partnership with extremely compelling benefits to media-buyers".


Oxford based independent radio station JACK fm marked the arrival of Global Radio's Heart franchise in the city by staging a funeral for the FM brand Heart replaces - Fox FM. Global is in the process of expanding out the Heart brand to create an almost nationwide network, mainly by rebranding some of the FM pop stations it acquired when it bought GCap, including some of the oldest radio brands in the UK, like Oxford's Fox FM. As Heart arrived in Oxford (and 11 other cities) this week, reps from JACK fm marched through the city with a coffin and a banner reading "JACK FM, 100% Oxfordshire, Fox fm, 100% dead". Radio Today have a photo of it at this URL...

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It's the MTV2/MySpace chart, based on votes by MTV2 viewers on MySpace. The top ten this week is as follows...

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

Meanwhile, added to the list for viewer voting this week are...

Elliot Minor - Discover
Go Audio - Drive To The City
Marmaduke Duke - Rubber Love
Red Light Company - Meccano
The View - Temptation Dice

More at

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Chris Martin has said that he failed to get tickets for Michael Jackson's upcoming fifty date residency at London's O2 Arena. You would have thought they'd arrange an extra date for someone as important as the Coldplay frontman, wouldn't you?

Commenting on the speed with which all the tickets sold out, Martin said: "I was looking at it on the internet and thought, 'I'd better buy some for myself' and I couldn't. They were totally sold out. To sell out like that is a testament to talent. It is just amazing to sell out 50 shows in one city in a big arena. It's the biggest comeback since Lazarus. It's good news - but not for me".

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Devo frontman Mark Mothersbaugh has an alternative career writing songs for adverts. In some of those songs, he claims, he has placed subliminal messages.

He told Blend: "I have written music for around 400 commercials, with clients that range from Coke, BMW, Mercedes, Pepsi, Target, McDonald's, Burger King to Taco Bell - probably a good majority of the evil empire. When I was younger, and occasionally today, I include subliminal messages, which is shockingly easy to do. Things like, 'Choose your mutations carefully', 'Are we not men?', 'Question authority' and many others".

That'll be why I've always been so careful when choosing my mutations, then.

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