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Top Stories
Seven grand settlement to stupid Santangelo saga
Pirate Bay funder calls for retrial over judge's alleged bias
ASA say Iggy insurance ads misleading
BBC pulls Kershaw interview
Spanish hip hop group cancel London gig after Cuban members refused visas
In The Pop Courts
More Britney restraining orders issued
Lil Wayne launches lawsuit over lawsuit
In The Pop Hospital
Franz Ferdinand guitarist hurts his foot
Pop Politics
Cocker backs Conservatives
Reunions & Splits
Wannadies wanna split
Artist Deals
BMG sign Beanz
In The Studio
Le Sac Vs Pip Vs Rascal
Release News
Faith No More announce big greatest hits album
Gigs N Tours News
The View to play venue benefit
Ladyhawke announces UK tour
Festival News
Festival line up update
Album review: The Maccabees - Wall of Arms (Fiction)
The Music Business
EMI appoint new global HR chief
Best Buy reintroduce vinyl to their stores
The Digital Business
Is Twitter just a passing fad?
The Media Business
OfCom chief calls for immediate rethink of local news provision
Broadcasting unions propose public service levy on satellite, cable and web TV providers
Chart Of The Day
MTV2/MySpace chart
And finally...
Pete Wentz murder fears
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts

Formed in 1998 by classically trained musician Warren Fischer and performance artist Casey Spooner, Fischerspooner (see what they did there?) made big waves with their 2001 debut album, '#1', and the live performances that went with it, bringing the so called electroclash scene to a wider audience. The follow-up, 'Odyssey', was released in 2005 to yet more acclaim and saw the duo change their musical direction towards something more synthpop-like. The duo's third album, 'Entertainment', is set for release on 4 May. Ahead of that, this Friday, they will be headlining the Neon Noise Project at the Coronet Theatre in London (more info here). We spoke to Casey Spooner to find out more.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I have always been around musicians and artists. And I have always been floating around this juncture between art and performance and music. In art school my first performance art piece was a kinda fake band where I did spoken word stuff. Funny word pieces about language and family and desire. Warren and I later did stuff where I told stories and he played violin. And I wrote scenes, songs and dialogue for the experimental theatre company I was in, Doorika. This all kind of fed into lyricism. Later I fell into a band called Sweet Thunder and then FS started. Warren is really the mastermind behind the composition and the music. I work with him almost like an actor and a director. I give him material and he shapes and focuses it. He picks and chooses the material that he connects to and our dialogue goes from there.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
We wanted to make something more electronic and more fun. Though, of course, we always tend towards the darker side of things, and it was a time full of challenges for us, so this album is a funny mix of serious and fun. Lyrically, I think it may be the most direct and concise I have ever written - most of it was done in a burst of energy all at once, and that gives it a certain cohesion. Meanwhile, Warren was free from the constraints of a label and worrying about format and marketing and strategy. It is easier to define us by all the things we are NOT. This is something we like and strive for. I want to exist between.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Basically, it can happen any number of ways and usually we try them all. Warren can come in with the entire song laid out and I just fill in the words. Or I can give him a full idea which he will re-programme and stylise. This time I wrote a lot of material with our touring band from [previous album] 'Odyssey'. Ian Pai, Ben Bromley and Sam Kearney had lots of ideas and handed them over to Warren, who picked the things he liked and would then take it all apart and put it back together. I would then step back in and work on them some more. And we would go back and forth like that for months.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
I am influenced by things that are not necessarily musical. I was really influenced on this album by Shakespeare and The Wooster Group. I have been involved in their production of 'Hamlet' for the past three years. It is a very experimental production. I never had any interest in Shakespeare. It was not something I could hear or connect to. But after being immersed in this language for two years solid, I can appreciate it now. It helped me write better, and the staging of their show has really inspired me to make a very unusual live show for this album. Really more like a hybrid between a play and a pop show.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Hmmmmmmmmm... probably nothing. The work should speak for itself.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
To keep working, That's really the only thing that makes me happy. Just to continue to grow and build and be creative. I would like to explore more aspects of performing and to work with other people. I would like to do more theatre and film. I would love to do something with Pedro Almodovar or Michel Gondry. And of course, make more music. I feel like we are really hitting a stride now and we have a great team. Jeff Saltzman - who produced this record - is ready to get started on the next one and so are we.

MORE>> and

So, yes, second day at the top of the Daily for Mr Go (he did the SSQ yesterday, ahead of that iPhone set at the Apple Store), though as he's about to start delivering on all the hype that has built around him since he scored the Take That support slot earlier in the year, that seems justified. And given that we declared him a 'CMU favourite' on 6 May 2004, we should probably keep tipping him now the rest of the world is catching on. For those still to investigate what's behind the hype, Gary Go is a one-man pop machine. Specialising in moribund lines like, "whatever happened to truth, lost without a trace?", delivered in an earnest, yearning fashion, he possesses a whole host of the traits required for chart types. Single 'Open Arms', for example, is sprinkled with more than a touch of Coldplay, and while that might not go down well with all my CMU colleagues, I doubt the millions that bought Chris Martin and co's last record will mind all that much. Go see what's behind the hype at this URL.




UnLimited Media is seeking an intern to begin working with us this Spring/Summer. The successful candidate will work primarily on CMU projects, helping process and manage review CDs, update databases, expand the CMU Directory and assist on upcoming marketing programmes. These are unpaid positions, but interns will get an unrivalled introduction to the music and media businesses, editorial, administration and marketing experience, and the opportunity to make great contacts.

To apply send a CV and a short note telling us what you'd like to get out of an internship to [email protected].

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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


Desk spaces available in attractive and creative Central London office. Perfectly positioned 5 mins from Liverpool Street and Old Street, the office is spacious, bright and has a friendly and sociable atmosphere. You'd be working alongside a film PR, online advertiser, events company, graphic designer, publishing company, filmmaker/media trainer so lots of useful contacts to be had.

Rent is £250 per month per desk and includes service charges. Please drop me a line if you're interested to find out more - [email protected] - Pictures are available.


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

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You know how we always said from the very start that record companies suing individual file-sharers was counter-productive and an unnecessary expense that would never be compensated for by out-of-court settlements or damages payments? Yeah, well, read this.

One of the longest running and highest profile P2P lawsuits pursued by the good old Recording Industry Association Of America has reached its conclusion. With an out of court settlement of seven grand - a sum that will barely cover the trade body's lawyer's lunch expenses.

It's the Santangelo case. As much previously reported, the RIAA sued Patricia Santangelo in 2005 after discovering that unlicensed music had been uploaded to a file-sharing network via her computer. Although offered the customary four grand out-of-court settlement option, Santangelo, who struggled even turning on her family computer, let alone using it to access and share music files, defended herself in court, despite the cost of doing so (and on occasion without legal representation, because she couldn't afford it).

It seemed likely that it was Santangelo's two children, Michelle and Robert, who did the file sharing via the internet connection registered in their mother's name, though at one time a friend of the children was blamed. It was an interesting test case because the RIAA tried to say that Patricia should be held liable for the actions of her children on her internet connection - Michelle and Robert were both under 18 at the point the alleged file-sharing took place - but the courts didn't respond favourably to that viewpoint and eventually the RIAA was forced to dismiss its lawsuit. It was an embarrassing stand down for the RIAA who were trying to convince the world that its infringement claims against suspected file-sharers were incredibly straight forward, and that they - the content owners - should always have the benefit of the doubt.

Having dismissed the case against Patricia Santangelo, and presumably keen to win this one whatever the cost, the RIAA began proceedings against Michelle and Robert. The former failed to respond to the lawsuit against her, and so a judge found in the RIAA's favour by default and ordered her to pay $30K in damages. It was a short lived victory for the trade body in relation to the Santangelo saga though, because an appeal judge subsequently voided the decision, saying he was uneasy with this kind of case being ruled upon by a default judgement, preferring cases like this to be decided on their merits.

Robert Santangelo, meanwhile, defended the action launched against him. His defence claim was lengthy and not entirely convincing legally speaking (a lot of the defence claims used had been unsuccessful elsewhere), though it meant the whole costly and embarrassing Santangelo saga continued for the record company reps. Good news for their lawyers, less good for the labels.

Anyway, to now, and following a testimony by a friend of Robert's to the effect that the defendant used Kazaa on an "almost daily" basis to access illegal sources of music, and a deposition by Michelle in which she admitted to accessing music via P2P, a settlement has finally been reached. For seven grand.

OK, more than the original out-of-court settlement offered to Patricia back in 2005, but given the cost, both financial and in PR terms, of the endless legal battles since the original lawsuit was filed, the RIAA, nor the record companies they represent, are hardly the winners here. Especially as the family's attorney has told the Associated Press that the two children haven't even admitted wrongdoing as part of the settlement, choosing to pay up simply to draw a line and put the whole thing behind them.

There seems little doubt that many hundreds of unlicensed tracks were downloaded and possibly uploaded by the Santangelo children, and, despite claims used in Robert's defence, such action has generally been deemed illegal under US copyright law in various American courts. But that's not really the point. What the Santangelo case proves is that the policy of suing thousands of individual music fans for file-sharing was dumb. It was never going to work as a deterrent, and the damages that could be raised would never cover the costs of running the litigation.

Moreover it made the major record companies - in the US and elsewhere (even in the UK where lawsuits against fans were incredibly few and far between) - seem like a bunch of money grabbing litigious cunts who didn't deserve public or political support in their bid to find a business model and copyright system that works in the digital domain.

Even the judiciary, while normally ultimately ruling in the record labels' favour on issues of copyright law, often held the litigious record companies in contempt. As shown from my favourite quote to come out of the Santangelo case, delivered by a judge in response to an RIAA lawyer who argued that Patricia, at that point unable to afford a lawyer, should instead make a deal with the record companies via the call centre the trade body had set up to deal with its litigation campaign.

The judge hit back thus: "Not once you've filed an action in my court. You file an action in my court, your call centre is out of it. They have nothing to do with anything. You're taking up my time and cluttering up my calendar, so you will do it in the context of the court. And if your people want things to be done through the call centre, tell them not to bring lawsuits".

The RIAA have, of course, now brought to an end their music-fan-litigation programme, though they are proceeding with outstanding cases, one of which - the previously reported and high profile Tennenbaum case - is sure to make them look even more like a bunch of money grabbing bastards in PR terms, however good their legal case may be.

So what can record label chiefs learn about the whole Santangelo saga now it's at an end?

Well, first, be suspicious when lawyers suggest litigation solutions to business problems. Second, don't pretend complex legal matters are simple, or that vague laws definitely go in your favour, you'll look stupid when the complexities come up in court. Third, where possible try and avoid suing web-illiterate mothers and teenage music fans.

And fourth, remember both business models and copyright systems need reforming from time to time. You'll be able to rework the former better if you're not wasting time and money suing your customers. And you'll have more success lobbying for changes in the latter if the world at large don't think you're a bunch of money grabbing bastards.

And fifth, when CMU tells you something you're doing is stupid take note. Scientific research has proven we're always right.

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The legal rep of The Pirate Bay's money man, the fascist loving (allegedly) Carl Lundstrom, has requested a retrial for him and the rogue BitTorrent tracker's three founders after those revelations last week that the judge who ruled on the original trial is a member of two intellectual property organisations who advocate stricter copyright regimes.

As previously reported, Swedish media revealed last week, just a few days after The Pirate Bay Four were given a year in jail for their role in enabling mass infringement via their search engine service, that Judge Tomas Norstrom was a member of The Swedish Association for Copyright and the Swedish Association For The Protection Of Industrial Property. One of which also counts various lawyers associated with the prosecution as members.

Norstrom maintains his involvement with those bodies did not influence his ruling, though some commentators reckon that - even if that is true - he should never have accepted the case because the accusations of bias were inevitable.

All four defendants, so that's Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm as well as Lundstrom, have already lodged appeals against their convictions, but Lundstrom's lawyer Per Samuelson yesterday filed new legal papers calling for a complete retrial based on the bias allegations against Norstrom.

According to Reuters, Samuelson's legal submission said: "Tomas Norstrom was biased during the trial [and] he neglected to inform the defendants and their lawyers of the facts that constituted the bias".

The Swedish Court Of Appeal will now consider both the appeal and retrial applications made by Samuelson and the other defendants' lawyers, and decide whether to hear an appeal themselves, or send the case back to the District Court for a retrial under a new judge. The latter would be more embarrassing for prosecutors and content owners, and would presumably set aside the original judge's sentence pending the retrial.

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The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that those slightly scary Iggy Pop ads for insurance firm Swiftcover were officially "misleading" when they first aired because they imply the rocker himself has cover from the insurer when, in fact, they didn't offer packages for musicians at the time.

As previously reported, shortly after the ads started to air there were media reports of musicians who applied for insurance from the company only to be knocked back because of their profession. Musicians, you see, smash up too many hotel rooms to be worth insuring.

The insurer has since introduced a package for musicians, but when the ad campaign began they did not offer such a product. Following twelve complaints, possibly from musicians who had been knocked back by the insurer, the ASA investigated and ruled yesterday that the advert would lead "some viewers to believe the policy covered those who worked in entertainment, when it did not". Pop, the Authority confirmed, is not himself insured by the AXA Group owned online insurer.

The ruling is perhaps a little too late given that, as we said, and presumably because of the negative coverage that followed the launch of the Pop campaign, Swiftcover have now introduced a package for music types. Something which, it says, few of its competitors currently offer.

A spokesman for the insurer added that their choice of Iggy Pop for the campaign wasn't influenced by his rock star status, but more his reputation for having a "fast-living lifestyle". The company claims that it's online service provides faster insurance cover than that offered by traditional insurers.

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The BBC yesterday announced that it would not air an interview with former Radio 1 DJ Andy Kershaw on Radio 4's 'On The Ropes', which looks at "the lives of successful people who have weathered storms in their careers". The interview with John Humphrys about Kershaw's efforts to rebuild "his life and career" after a series of much reported personal problems had been scheduled to run twice yesterday, but at the last minute it was decided that the broadcaster could not offer an "appropriate degree of privacy" to "other parties involved".

As previously reported, Kershaw was jailed for three months for breaching a restraining order barring him from contacting his former partner, Juliette Banner in January last year. He served 44 days of his sentence, but was then arrested again three days after his release for another breach, at which point he was given a six month suspended sentence and advised to leave his home on the Isle Of Man. He returned to Rochdale to live with his mother, but went on the run after a further breach resulted in a warrant for his arrest being issued in September. He was arrested again in December after returning to the Isle Of Man and given a second six month suspended sentence.

In a statement, the BBC said: "The aim of the programme was to explore the events leading to Kershaw's breakdown and his subsequent efforts to recover, whilst providing the other parties involved with an appropriate degree of privacy. This, however, did not prove possible. The programme was recorded and edited very close to the day of broadcast, hence the lateness of the decision to cancel".

It added that Kershaw's "behaviour throughout the interview was in no way an issue and had nothing to do with the decision to pull the programme".

Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer also spoke about the decision, via the official Radio 4 blog. He wrote: "We were mindful of the background and, in particular, the strained domestic circumstances surrounding the break-up of Andy Kershaw's long-term relationship and the legal order, the result of which makes it very difficult for him to have significant access to his children".

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A Grammy Award winning Spanish hip hop outfit Ojos de Brujo, who fuse flamenco into their act, had to cancel a gig in London on Monday when two of their number were refused visas to come to the UK. The two members in question are Cuban, which is why they couldn't just come here automatically under European citizenship rules.

Ojos de Brujo were due to play the Roundhouse on Monday, ahead of two other UK gigs later this week. The show was cancelled at the last minute when the UK consulate in Madrid confirmed it would not issue visas for Carlitos Sarduy (trumpet, keyboard) and Enrique Ferrer (drummer). The band's reps are still pushing for visas in a bid to get the two Cubans to booked shows in Liverpool and Edinburgh later this week, though the nine piece combo say they will play stripped down shows in those cities if their two bandmates are still refused admission into the country.

It's not clear why Sarduy and Ferrer were refused admission, because the group have toured widely in recent years, and played in numerous European countries. The visa application was filed a month ago, and the band says that their UK agent has brought many Cuban performers into the country previously without any problems.

The group's manager, Jemima Cano, told Billboard: "This is a terrible hassle. London is really important for us, it's the music capital of Europe. Apparently, the consulate was not happy with the sponsorship certificate, which requires a letter of invitation from the promoter [in London]. They [also] refused to accept that Enrique and Carlitos had enough money for the visit - it's absurd, we [the band's management] were going to pay everything. Enrique and Carlitos are legal residents in Spain, but with Cuban passports. The problem in this case is that they are Cubans, and we know how many people in the West view that".

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I'm sure we report on Britney's various restraining orders every other day - there's only three in operation, the legalities behind them must be very complicated. Anyway, an LA judge issued new restraining orders against Ms Spears' former sort-of-manager and attorney yesterday ordering them to stay away from the singer for no less than three years.

Legal reps for both Osama Lutfi and Jon Eardley argued that neither man posed any actual threat to Britney, and that their previous actions were not sufficient for the instigation of a restraining order. However, the judge, having heard a testimony by Spears' father and conservator Jamie, issued the restraining orders anyway. Lutfi, who the Spears family accuse of drugging Britney in order to control her life (this was during her particularly loopy stage), has vowed to appeal.

As previously reported, Eardley questioned why Spears, currently on tour, wasn't deemed fit enough to give testimony in court if she's fit enough to wobble around on stage. The judge, however, said it wasn't necessary for her to testify.

As also previously reported, a third restraining order against another man involved in that loopy stage of Spears life, ex-boyfriend and paparazzo Adnan Ghalib, has already been issued, though he did run over the man who tried to hand it to him, so I'm not sure he's necessarily read it.

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Lil Wayne's legal people have launched legal proceedings against a production company the rapper previously worked with in relation to another lawsuit issued against the hip hopper.

As previously reported, Wayne and his record label have been sued by folk singer Karma-Ann Swanepoel who claims the hip hop star used a sample of his song 'Once' in one of Wayne's 'mix-tape tracks', 'I Feel Like Dying', without getting his permission.

The legal squabble is complicated because 'I Feel Like Dying' wasn't actually properly released. Rather, it was performed by Wayne at live shows and given away as a free download while the rapper was promoting his album 'Tha Carter III'.

The performance and free distribution of the song amounts to infringement in itself, but assuming infringement was proven it would be harder to assess damages because the infringing track didn't itself generate any income.

However, Swanepoel's publishers argue it was used to promote sales of Wayne's chart topping 2008 album, and that damages should be calculated according to the revenues generated by the album, which were substantial. To that end the publishers, Urband & Lazar Music Publishing, recently won a court order forcing Wayne's people to hand over financial information in relation to 'Tha Carter III'.

Anyway, presumably Wayne's people now accept the 'Once' sample was used without permission, and are worried about any claim Swanepoel may make over 'Tha Carter III' profits, because they are suing the people who produced the mix-tape track, claiming it was their responsibility to clear any samples.

The producers, and defendants in the new lawsuit, are Rebel Rock Productions Inc. Interestingly, they are yet to respond to the lawsuit and media reports say their listed phone number is no longer working. Whether Wayne et al can avoid liability in the Swanepoel lawsuit by blaming Rebel Rock, who may or may not still be trading, remains to be seen.

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Franz Ferdinand's Nick McCarthy is currently performing on the band's US tour sitting down after suffering from a leg injury.

The causes of the injury are not known, but the guitarist says he's relieving the pain by employing a trick he picked up when growing up in Germany. McCarthy: "I'm sitting around all day with my foot over my heart, which will get the swelling down, they tell me. This is the old Austrian tradition of the Kneipp Kur, which I learned back in my childhood in the Bavarian Alps. Who'd have known it would ever come in handy?"

He's not just sitting round though - the band have posted a video of him hobbling round the American countryside set to Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman's 'Time To Say Goodbye'. You can check it here:

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The Labour government can be blamed for many things. I'm not going to write a list, it would take too long. But if you are collating such a list, you can now add "Sent Jarvis Cocker insane" to the end of it. He's been pushed so far that he actually thinks that a Conservative government would be better.

Speaking to Q, the former Pulp frontman said: "I think [Gordon Brown's] behaviour just makes a mockery of the whole system. A Conservative government is necessary. There is no credible alternative. You can sense an era passing".

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Okay, put your hand up if you even knew The Wannadies were still together, given that they released their last album, 'Before And After', in 2002. True, the band put a new song, aptly titled 'Kill The Musikk', on their MySpace page in 2007, but they've done little since.

Now, according to Teletext's Planet Sound, the band have decided to officially call it a day, with frontman Pär Wiksten abandoning performing altogether and becoming a songwriter. A 20 track best of album is apparently being prepared for release as we speak.

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US producer/songwriter Jim Beanz, real name James Washington, has signed a multi-year exclusive publishing deal with BMG Rights Management, the new music company set up by German media giant Bertelsmann since they sold off their traditional BMG publishing and record companies.

Beanz has worked with the likes of Jamie Foxx, Britney Spears, Jennifer Hudson, Craig David, Nelly Furtado, Shakira, Ashlee Simpson, Lemar and Leona Lewis, is is currently signed to Timbaland Productions.

Confirming the deal, the UK boss of BMG Rights Management, Tony Moss, told reporters "This represents a great start for us and I'm sure that we'll have a fruitful cooperation adding to his success".

BMG Rights Management works more like a music publishing company, in that it aims to represent and exploit the rights of artists on its rosters without actually releasing any music itself, though it aims to work in all sorts of music related (and may be even non-music related) copyrights, both licensing content to media and advertisers, and forging alliances with other music firms when necessary to enable recording-based ventures.

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Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip have written a track for their new album that would "suit" Dizzee Rascal, but they're not pinning all their hopes on working with him now that he's had a number one single.

Scroobius Pip told BBC 6music: "We've done a few gigs now with Dizzee Rascal and we want to have a chat and, if he's got time, get him on one; but we've never been one for just picking names because they're names. We'll send over a beat and an email and if it happens it happens, if not there's a lot of great people out there as well".

He said that they were also hoping to work with Riz MC and CMU favourites Peggy Sue on the album, which is due for release at the end of this year.

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The newly reformed Faith No More will release a new two disc compilation of hits and rarities entitled 'The Very Best Definitive Ultimate Greatest Hits Collection' on 8 Jun via Rhino Records. You should really just buy all Faith No More's albums, if you don't already have them, because, with the exception of the ones with Chuck Mosely on, they're all still ace. Although the rarities disc in this set does have some pretty ace stuff on it, too.

Disc 1:

The Real Thing
From Out Of Nowhere
We Care A Lot
Land Of Sunshine
Be Aggressive
Midlife Crisis
A Small Victory
Everything's Ruined
Digging The Grave
Ashes To Ashes

Disc 2:

Absolute Zero (b-side on Digging The Grave single 1995)
The Big Kahuna (b-side on Ashes To Ashes single 1997)
Light Up And Let Go (b-side on Ashes To Ashes single 1997)
I Won't Forget You (previously released on Who Cares A Lot? Greatest Hits album 1998)
The World Is Yours (b-side on 'I Started A Joke' single 1998)
Hippie Jam Song (previously released on Who Cares A Lot? Greatest Hits album 1998)
Sweet Emotion (given away with Kerrang! magazine in 1989)
New Improved Song (given away with Sounds magazine in 1988)
Das Schutzenfest (b-side on Evidence single 1995)
This Guy's In Love With You (b-side on I Started A Joke single 1998)

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The View are to play a benefit gig to raise money for the venue where they used to rehearse and perform regularly before hitting the big time. The Doghouse in Dundee was closed down last month as it had failed to pay its council rates.

The View's show, the second event organised to raise money to pay the debt and get the venue re-opened, will take place at Fat Sam's in Dundee on Saturday. Assuming frontman Kyle Falconer isn't too drunk, that is.


Ladyhawke is coming to the UK. But I'm on holiday when she does, so I don't care. Here are the tour dates anyway:

15 May: Glasgow, Oran
16 May: Leeds, Cockpit
17 May: Manchester, Academy 2
19 May: Brighton, Concorde 2
20 May: Birmingham, Academy 2
21 May: London, Koko

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GREEN MAN FESTIVAL, Glansurk Park, Brecon Beacons, Wales, 21-23 Aug: Jarvis Cocker has been confirmed as the final headliner this summer's Green Man festival. Noah And The Whale, Emmy The Great, Blue Roses, Broken Records and Dent May And His Magnificent Ukulele are also set to perform.

READING AND LEEDS, Little Johns Farm, Reading, Branham Park, Leeds, 28-30 Aug: Billy Talent and Anti-Flag are among the latest acts announced for the Reading and Leeds festivals, along with Alexisonfire, Bouncing Souls, Leftover Crack and The Aggrolites. Streetlight Manifesto, Fake Problems, The Ghost Of A Thousand, Riverboat Gamblers and The Plight have also been added to the bill.,

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS FESTIVAL, Zilker Park, Austin, Texas, 2-4 Oct: Pearl Jam, Beastie Boys and Dave Matthews Band have been confirmed as headliners for this year's Austin City Limits festival. They join previously confirmed Sonic Youth, Kings Of Leon and Lily Allen.

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Maccabees - Wall Of Arms (Fiction)
When embarking on their sophomore album, The Maccabees made a bold decision and recruited producer Markus Dravs to help focus their musical identity into something fresh and contemporary. This appears to be a wise choice and one that is validated as the album unfolds. Dravs helped to create Arcade Fire's 'Neon Bible', of course, and has clearly left his mark, because The Maccabees musical evolution edges their sound a bit closer to that of the Canada-based baroque pop combo. The trademark tremolo picking and staccato guitar remain, but it is used with increasing effectiveness here, bringing rhythm and drive where it is needed. Brass also makes a notable appearance on this record, adding a further dimension to the group's tweaked sound. The two singles released already, 'Love You Better' and 'No Kind Words', seem like trespassers in an album that at times recalls The Annuals or Sufjan Stevens' multi-instrument, harmony laden folk. The two singles are much darker in comparison, but when one listens to the album in its entirety their darkness is a soothing counterpoint and is a reminder of The Maccabees' complexity. Orlando Weeks' vocal remains a focal point, and none more so than on 'Bag Of Bones' where his heartfelt and sombre timbre is well balanced among a complement of instruments. Indeed it is his powerful vocal that is characteristic of The Maccabees sound, at once carefree and spirited but with a breadth of soul that keeps them from stagnating. SJS
Release Date: 4 May
Press Contact: Universal IH [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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One for all you fans of, erm, HR news. EMI have appointed a new Global President Of Human Resources, who should be kept busy, given how much personnel turnover there seems to be at the major these days. Jenny Bryant, currently with Vodafone, will take over EMI Music's HR operations at the end of June.


US electronics retailer Best Buy, who also stock CDs and DVDs, are reportedly planning on setting aside eight square feet in 1000 of its stores to introduce a vinyl department. The retail giant has reportedly piloted selling good old fashioned records in 100 of its stores, and saw enough sales to justify reintroducing the format across its chain. Another sign that vinyl will outlive the CD as a physical music format me thinks. As previously reported, Best Buy, who now own half of the Carphone Warehouse retail chain, are looking into launching branches of their consumer electronic and home entertainment stores here in the UK.

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Before we all decide that Twitter is everything the internet was ever intended to be, and stop using MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Google, iTunes, Wikipedia, email, across the desk conversation and any sentences constructed of more than 140 characters, new research in the US suggests that the micro-blogging website, while certainly the big internet phenomenon of the last six months, could be just another passing internet fad.

Based, I think, on US Twitter usage, Neilsen Wire reports that "currently, more than 60 percent of Twitter users fail to return the following month, or in other words, Twitter's audience retention rate, or the percentage of a given month's users who come back the following month, is currently about 40 percent. For most of the past 12 months, pre-Oprah, Twitter has languished below 30 percent retention".

So quick people - sign up and enjoy the CMU Twitter feed now before the whole phenomenon becomes yesterday's jam.

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The boss of media regulator OfCom yesterday admitted that the provision of regional news on ITV was becoming untenable. The commercial broadcaster has been trying to get its obligations to provide local as well as national news on its flagship channel ITV1 cut back, because the costs of such services are high, and no one really wants to advertise during those programmes.

OfCom's Ed Richards accepted that ITV could no longer be expected to fund such news programming at a local media conference yesterday, saying that government and the media industry needed to find a new way to fund and provide local news provision over and above that already offered by the BBC.

His preferred option is the creation of 'local media consortia' involving various local media owners, and possibly in part funded, at launch at least, by government money, possibly the surplus of the BBC's digital switch over fund. To be honest, I don't completely understand what he's proposing, but the main message yesterday was that ITV local news as it currently stands won't be around much longer so a new system for providing local news needs to be found pretty quickly.

Personally I'm not sure why, if the BBC is providing local TV news, it's really that necessary for any commercial media to offer similar competing services if it aint commercially viable to do so. Surely the provision of programmes that are important socially but not provided commercially is the very reason the Beeb exists?

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In related news, ie the funding of public service programming over and above that funded by the TV licence fee, the two main broadcasting trade unions, BECTU and the National Union of Journalists, have proposed imposing levies on Sky and Virgin Media, as the providers of the UK's main non-terrestrial broadcasting networks, which would be redistributed back to the makers of non-BBC public service programmes, which is mainly ITV and Channel 4. ISPs, who arguably benefit from the public service content provided online by the three public service broadcasters, may also be made to pay a share.

The proposal comes in a report from the Institute For Public Policy Research commissioned by the two unions. It notes that similar systems exist elsewhere in Europe, and that both Sky and Virgin benefit from others' investment in public service broadcasting (because they provide BBC, ITV and Channel 4 programmes on their networks) but don't currently contribute to the cost of making such programmes. It concludes: "Levies continue to present a possible solution to bridging the funding gap in order to maintain current levels of public service broadcasting".

Commenting on the proposals, NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear told reporters: "All the plans we've seen so far suggest ways of spreading diminishing resources more thinly. Now the government has detailed evidence that shows new funding could be found - all it needs is the political will to get behind public service broadcasting. We suspect that companies will vehemently resist these proposals but sometimes what's good for the public has to come first".

Yeah, assuming Sky and Virgin did vehemently resist these proposals, that would require the government to take on Rupert Murdoch and Richard Branson. This proposal won't happen.

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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] Elliot Minor - Discover
2. [NE] Maximo Park - The Kids Are Sick Again
3. [3] Go Audio - Drive To The City
4. [NE] Magistrates - Heartbreak
5. [2] The Maccabees - Love You Better
6. [NE] You Me At Six - Finders Keepers
7. [NE] Team Waterpolo - Route 44
8. [4] Bombay Bicycle Club - Always Like This
9. [5] Madina Lake - Never Take Us Alive
10. [NE] Ebony Bones - The Muzik

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

Dizzee Rascal - Bonkers
Green Day - Know Your Enemy
Kasabian - Fire
Placebo - For What It's Worth
Slipknot - Sulphur

More at

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Pete Wentz has got over the fear that he will one day murder someone close to him. However, because of that, he's now convinced that someone close to him is going to cause his death. Pete Wentz is weird.

He told Now Magazine: "I used to think that some day I'd end up murdering a close friend or relative. Now it's reversed and I'm convinced it's going to happen to me. That's the way I'm going out, I'm completely sure of it. So I refuse to answer the front door - it greatly minimises that risk".

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