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TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
America puts Canada on its infringement most wanted list
Swine flu shuts down music industry as world ends
In The Pop Courts
Chris Brown's lawyers seek dismissal
DMX ordered to pay $250k damages in impersonation civil suit
Awards & Contests
Dita Von Teese to jiggle for Germany
Charts, Stats & Polls
Eavis, MIA, Rahman make Time's influential list
Reunions & Splits
CSS banned from music until 2010
Artist Deals
Ice-T launches record label
In The Studio
Beyonce invites Adele to duet
Release News
Shitness nearly scuppered Gallows album
Eminem promo to debut on movie channel
N-Dubz release new single
Gigs N Tours News
Dears tour bus stolen
Festival News
What's this all about then?
Festival line up update
Talks, Debates N Trade Fairs
What's the future of applied music?
Reviews
Album review: Trip - ShortCuts (Autonomy)
The Music Business
EMI make brand partnership and sync appointments
Warner appoint commercial innovation chief
Wildlife appointments
PRS revenues up up up
MAMA group profits up up up
The Digital Business
Motown celebrate 50 years with new UK website
The Media Business
BBC not keen on sharing licence fee money with ITV News
Hallwood step up their TLRC offer
Another local radio station closes
And finally...
Allen celibate for inspiration
Nas and Kelis split
Led Zepp keep crickets at bay
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CMU Credits + Contacts
 
FRIDAY 1ST MAY


MAGIK MARKERS
Elisa Ambrogio and Pete Nolan first met while they were both travelling in Hungary and upon returning to America formed Magik Markers, a prolific noise rock band who have put out over 30 releases (many of them self-produced CD-Rs) since 2002. Their latest effort, 'Balf Quarry', is set for release via Drag City on 4 May and continues to prove that quality and quantity can go together. Just check out the trippy psychedelia of '7/23' from the new album and try to tell us otherwise. We made Elisa and Pete stop for a moment and answer our Same Six Questions.

 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
Elisa: My father plays the drums and he taught me guitar to accompany him at gigs when I was very young. It was kind of a novelty thing, I certainly was not very good at guitar, but we would play rock n roll standards at county fairs and VFW halls. Just three chord stuff. Once I started to get older I kind of rebelled and stopped playing the guitar, but then picked it up again in college.

Pete: I haven't started yet, and I'm getting kind of old to pick up any new time wasting, expensive, and potentially dangerous hobbies. If I were to start anything now it would be with something more stylish like the Olympic long jump event on skis. Or maybe Egyptology.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Elisa: It is actually a direct soundtrack to a film. If you play the album at the same time as the film, it matches up in a similar way to playing 'Dark Side Of The Moon' to 'The Wizard Of Oz'. I can't tell you what movie yet though!

Pete: Sleeplessness and drunken Estonian blood orgies.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Elisa: We jam on Coke! One thing about the Magik Markers is soda! Can after can of Coke until we're stoked and ready.

Pete: I start to get this tickly feeling in my stomach. It gets bigger and bigger, than the tickly feeling pulls me along.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Elisa: I know it seems pat to say [50s/60s Oscar winning US movie star] Debbie Reynolds, but for as long as I can remember, she has influenced my work. Her humour, her dancing, and her constant optimism in the face of adversity have always propelled me forward artistically. She barely knew how to dance before 'Singin' In The Rain' but she worked hard, long hours, and held her own against Gene Kelly. She is humble and calls herself a "hoofer" not a dancer, but come on.

Pete: Michaelangelo, Rafael, DiCaprio

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Elisa: For anyone who is playing the vinyl version of 'Balf Quarry', there is a backwards 'mask' at the beginning of the first track that I think says it all.

Pete: Strap yourself in and feel the G's.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Elisa: Just hoping we can get this whole environment thing together. It is just getting to be too much with the pollution and the weather. Recycle!

Pete: I just wanna go out there, play a clean game, and do my best for the team and my lord.

MORE>> www.themagikmarkers.com and www.myspace.com/theemagikmarkers

 
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Secretsundaze Summer 2009 Opening Party
Secretsundaze are kicking off their eighth season of summer parties with an Opening Party at THAT, formerly known as The House and Terrace, in Greenwich, and it's an all day line up of top quality stuff. First up you have Brothers' Vibe, aka Tony Rodriguez, aka Brother Tony, bringing his 25 years of experience on the decks all the way from New York to bring just the right vibe to the open air terrace. Also on the bill are Melon, who has been touring with none other than House legend Doc Martin, and Move D, a German ambient beatmeister. It's a bank holiday on Monday remember - so this isn't a school night. Most advance tickets are already snapped up, so get there early and buy on the door, because this should be one of the best parties this May Day weekend.

Sunday 3rd May, THAT, 338 Boord Street, Greenwich, SE1, 2pm to 4am, £16.50 advance / £20 on the door, info at www.secretsundaze.net and www.myspace.com/secretsundaze.

 

 


 

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

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

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DESK SPACE AVAILABLE
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.

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

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IT'S MAY DAY WEEKEND, EVERYBODY
We assume you already knew this, but just to confirm there'll be no CMU Daily on Monday but we will return super refreshed on Tuesday. Happy maypolling!
 

AMERICA PUTS CANADA ON ITS INFRINGEMENT MOST WANTED LIST
Bloody Canadians. If they're not clubbing seals to death they're nicking your tour bus. And if they're not nicking your tour bus they're blatantly stealing your intellectual property. Bastards. Only joking. Some of my best friends are Canadians. Well, I knew one once.

Anyway, the US has added Canada to a list of countries which persistently fail to protect intellectual property rights, which puts them in the same league as Algeria, China, Russia, Pakistan and Indonesia. While there has been much criticism in the past from the US and elsewhere regarding Canada's copyright laws, and their failure to take on physical bootleggers as well as the ever growing population of online pirates, it is the first time the Americans have put their Northern neighbours on their "priority watch list" of IP abusers. The move is probably an attempt to move copyright reform up the agenda of the current Canadian government who have vowed to act in the issue but have so far done little more than that.

The report from the US Trade Representative that revealed Canada had been added to the watch list noted: "We urge Canada to enact legislation in the near term to strengthen its copyright laws and implement relevant World Intellectual Property Organisation treaties [which Canada signed up to over a decade ago but never incorporated into its copyright laws]. The United States also continues to urge Canada to improve its IP enforcement system to enable authorities to take effective action against the trade in counterfeit and pirated products within Canada, as well as curb the volume of infringing products transshipped and transiting through Canada".

While some Canadians might be quietly smiling that their outdated copyright laws are pissing off the Americans, the boss of the Canadian Recording Industry Association, Graham Henderson, said the his country's inclusion on the watch list was "unfortunate and embarrassing".

Needless to say, he wants his country's politicians to get on top of copyright issues. He told reporters yesterday: "Unfortunately, it's too late to avoid this rebuke after years of ignoring our closest trading partners' pleas to rein in the rampant theft of intellectual property. But it's not too late to take the measures needed for our country to be removed from this list of the world's most notorious pirate nations. We can quickly restore Canada's good name by strengthening our laws and enforcement against physical counterfeiting and digital piracy. This includes the long-overdue fulfillment of our commitment under the 1996 WIPO Treaties to reform our copyright laws".

There have been various attempts to reform the Canadian copyright system, especially since judges there said current laws were insufficient to enable them to actually rule that file-sharing of unlicenced content was, in itself, illegal. However, past attempts at reform have been fought off by those who oppose tighter copyright controls, or just run out of steam as other issues dominated the political agenda.

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SWINE FLU SHUTS DOWN MUSIC INDUSTRY AS WORLD ENDS
Yeah, we knew there was a music angle to this whole swine flu thing. Earlier this week Pete Doherty reportedly hugged someone with the virus, but that wasn't quite good enough to get our juices flowing. Now, though, it's a different story: Glastonbury, and probably all music events this summer, are going to be cancelled, bands are pulling out of gigs left right and centre, Madonna is spreading digital swine flu, record labels are shutting down their Mexican HQs and Nokia ComesWithMusic is still rubbish.

According to reports, this year's Glastonbury Festival may have to be shut down if there is a large scale outbreak of swine flu in the UK, as the virus is easily transmitted between humans so big gatherings of people would be a no no. This would, of course, also apply to any and all large public gatherings but, hey, Glastonbury is like the king of large public gatherings. The festival's press office told Xfm that there were currently no plans to cancel the event, but that they are "watching the situation to see how it develops".

While all events in the UK may not yet have been cancelled, some in other countries have. Peterborough-based Bhangra-rock band Kissmet have revealed that a planned 60,000 capacity gig in Mexico City they were due to play this week has been cancelled, because getting 60,000 people together in the middle of a flu epidemic is apparently not a good idea. The band's Ron Singh told Peterborough Today: "As soon as they started talking about people having stay indoors, I knew there would be a problem. Right on the nose, we were told we couldn't go. We are really gutted". Finnish comedy goth band Rasmus and British electronic type Four Tet have also confirmed that they are cancelling shows in the city.

US rapper Young Jeezy is not planning to go to Mexico City but has cancelled a gig at the University Of Delaware due to take place tonight after ten students there displayed symptoms of swine flu. The University's President Patrick T. Harker said: "While the Centres For Disease Control have not yet confirmed any swine flu diagnoses, I have no doubt that these suspected cases are causing a great deal of concern among the entire campus community. The University's first priority is the health and well-being of our students and employees. Therefore, we are working closely with the Delaware Division Of Public Health to safeguard student, staff, and faculty health".

Meanwhile, Madonna has been spreading swine flu via the internet. No, not the actual swine flu, a computer virus using its name. And Madonna hasn't actually been spreading it herself. An email which claims that Madonna has come down with swine flu has been doing the rounds. Opening links in the emails launches a computer virus which does bad stuff to computers. A spokesperson for anti-virus software company McAfee said: "We see attackers all the time trying to trick us into infecting ourselves through the use of current affairs and popular topics and here's a big celebrity who people want to follow the gossip from". Rumours that all computers are set to be culled remained unconfirmed.

Back in the real world, both EMI and Universal have confirmed that they have closed their Mexico HQs until the flu outbreak is contained. EMI are shutting down until further notice, while Universal will re-open its offices in the country on 5 May. A spokesman for Universal told Music Week: "It is apparently considered complicated and risky to travel around the city at present".

And finally, Nokia ComesWithMusic. Nokia's unlimited-within-certain-limits music download service launched in Mexico yesterday. You might be thinking that it's unfortunate timing, but at least they'll have a better excuse when very few people sign up for it this time.

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CHRIS BROWN'S LAWYERS SEEK DISMISSAL
Lawyers representing Chris Brown in his much reported Rihanna assault case have called for charges to be dismissed on the grounds that leaks of information to the press amount to "outrageous governmental misconduct".

Brown, you'll no doubt remember, is accused of beating his then girlfriend Rihanna unconscious in the street after the couple got into an argument on the way home from a pre-Grammy party back in February. Following the attack, someone from the LA Police Department leaked a photograph of Rihanna's facial injuries, which is what the lawyers are taking exception to. Although it has taken almost three months for them to do so.

Brown's lawyer Mark Geragos told E! News: "The leaks can form the basis for a motion to dismiss the case in regards to outrageous governmental misconduct".

The judge presiding over the case has granted a delay, with the next hearing now set for 28 May, at which point it will be decided if there is enough evidence for the case to go to trial. Although a plea deal may be reached before then.

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DMX ORDERED TO PAY $250K DAMAGES IN IMPERSONATION CIVIL SUIT
DMX has been ordered to pay $240,000 in a civil suit related to that much previously reported incident in which the rapper, real name Earl Simmons, impersonated an FBI agent at New York's JFK Airport back in June of 2004.

A jury in New York's Westchester county this week heard the case of Sergei Priporin, who brought the suit alleging assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Simmons used a police light and siren to force Priporin, who was accompanied in his vehicle by his mother and daughter, to pull over in one of the airport's parking lots. The 36 year old says that the rapper, having claimed to be an FBI agent, attempted to forcibly remove him from the vehicle. Priporin, who originally sought $4million in compensation, told the Journal News: "It really doesn't matter whether he's a celebrity or not. Every person has to be accountable and responsible for their actions".

Rich Corde, DMX's attorney, apparently claims that his client believed he was justified in making a citizen's arrest, which is some crazy shit if ever I heard it. He's quoted as saying: "His vehicle looked like it was a police vehicle and he believed Mr Priporin should've gotten out of the way. When Mr Priporin didn't get out of his way, he decided he should pull him over. He readily admits to making believe he was an FBI agent and telling Mr Priporin to get out of the car. He denies striking him or trying to pull him out of the car".

Simmons is, of course, currently serving time in Arizona in relation to charges of theft, animal cruelty and drugs possession.

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DITA VON TEESE TO JIGGLE FOR GERMANY
Germany have a secret weapon to help them win this year's Eurovision Song Contest, and it's not their song. Well, it might be, we've not heard it. But right now we're talking about Dita Von Teese, who will perform the title role of the country's song, 'Miss Kiss Kiss Bang', alongside singers Alex Christensen and Oscar Loya.

The former Mrs Marilyn Manson, possibly stating the obvious a bit, told Bild.com: "I hope that our collaboration will win".

You can find out if that happens on 16 May, when this year's Eurovision takes place in Moscow.

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EAVIS, MIA, RAHMAN MAKE TIME'S INFLUENTIAL LIST
Michael Eavis, MIA and AR Rahman are amongst the high profile types who have made it on to Time magazine's 2009 list of the world's most influential people.

As you may know, each person on the list gets a citation written by a fellow celebrity. Coldplay's Chris Martin wrote one for the Glastonbury founder, saying: "Michael is one of the people to whom I owe my life and career. Every year he does a thank-you for the surrounding village where the festival takes place. He asked Coldplay to play this little fete and picked us up at the airport. It was like being met by a friendly uncle. We were sitting in the back of his farm vehicle that smelled of cheese and cattle when he said 'Maybe you'd want to headline next year?' We spat out our drinks! It remains the biggest event in our band's life. It changed everything. We've headlined other festivals, but Glastonbury is the only one that feels like - and is - a family event. It's also the only one where we received some handmade cheese as a thank-you".

Other music types wrote on non-music entries on the list; Bono did a piece on George Clooney, Lou Reed wrote about artist William Kentridge, and Rick Astley did the piece about 'moot', the young chap who created the hugely popular website 4chan.org, which spawned the rickrolling phenomenon.

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CSS BANNED FROM MUSIC UNTIL 2010
CSS frontwoman Lovefoxxx has placed a self-imposed ban on herself, stopping her from making music until next year because touring in support of her band's underrated second album 'Donkey' has worn her down.

Speaking to the NME, she said: "I'm not thinking about music at the moment. I don't like making music now. Touring is great but if you're doing too much it sucks your soul. When I'm on tour I'm very stressed, it got to the point where it was quite hard".

At the same time, however, she was plotting the band's return, saying: "When we did 'Donkey' we were thinking about the live show, it was all we had in mind. Next time we're going to do something crazy and very 'dance'. I think it's going to be more experimental. We'll just go crazy and not worry about how to do it live".

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ICE-T LAUNCHES RECORD LABEL
Rapper Ice-T has confirmed he's set up a new digital record label as part of EMI's empire with a view to rescuing hip hop from, as he sees it, becoming too mainstream.

T told New York Daily News: "I'm starting a digital label through EMI. I'm trying to get back to more hip-hop. To me, music right now is like disco. It's very sing-songy, and nobody's dealing with content. That's what I miss. I miss Tupac and Big. You got Lupe Fiasco and TI now, but in general, we're swamped with bubblegum pop".

Not wasting any time, he revealed that he has already begun signing artists. "We signed about five groups", he said. "We've got an artist from LA, a group called Certified from Washington state, Born Twice from Houston, and a Korean kid from New York. I'm playing the whole map".

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BEYONCE INVITES ADELE TO DUET
According to reports, Beyonce has made Adele's youthful dreams come true by inviting her into the studio to record a duet with her. A source told The Sun: "Beyonce loves Adele's voice and her music, and Adele is really excited - she grew up listening to Destiny's Child and they are still her favourite group. It's her dream to record with Beyonce".

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SHITNESS NEARLY SCUPPERED GALLOWS ALBUM
Gallows have revealed that they nearly came to blows after frontman Frank Carter told the band that initial tracks they had recorded with producer Garth 'GGGarth' Richardson (RATM, RHCP), were "shit". The band began work on material for their second album, 'Grey Britain', without Carter while he was suffering a gastro-oesophageal reflux condition.

Guitarist Laurent Barnard told Kerrang!: "This was our chance to make a big fucking record, in a massive studio, with a massive producer, and we didn't want to blow it".

Bassist Stuart Gili-Ross continued:"[After we'd demoed some tracks] Frank came in with a fresh pair of ears and said, 'It's shit'. So we said 'Fuck you'".

Pointing out that he was actually right and he is best, Carter said: "They had all the pieces to make an incendiary bomb but they didn't have the instructions".

Presumably they started again. The results of all that - 'Grey Britain' - is set for release, all shitness removed, on 4 May via Warner Bros.

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EMINEM PROMO TO DEBUT ON MOVIE CHANNEL
Eminem's video for his new track '3AM' is to debut uncensored on US movie channel Cinemax on 2 May, following the release of a thirty second trailer showing Eminem escaping from previously reported fictional rehab facility Popsomp Hills. It's the third single from the hip hop star's new album 'Relapse', which is set for a 15 May release.

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N-DUBZ RELEASE NEW SINGLE
Following a tour and that number one hit with Tinchy Stryder, N-Dubz are set to release a new single, 'Wouldn't You'. The track, out 1 Jun, is taken from their album 'Uncle B' released at the end of last year.

Tulisa from the band says this: "'Wouldn't You' was a real fan's favourite on our tour so it seemed the perfect choice to release as our next single. It got an amazing reaction at all the gigs and is definitely one of our favourites from the album".

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DEARS TOUR BUS STOLEN
Oh dear. According to reports, The Dears' tour bus has been stolen in Montreal, just prior to the start of the Canadian band's North American tour. The vehicle was taken on 29 Apr from the parking lot of the Comfort Inn Hotel in St Jean, Pointe-Claire, where the bus driver was staying that night. A statement from the band revealed that no luggage or gear was aboard the bus, so they are planning to begin their tour as planned, though, obviously, they are keen to locate the vehicle.

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WHAT'S THIS ALL ABOUT THEN?
We all know that the real heart of the late eighties/early nineties music scene that became known as Madchester and subsequently spawned Brit Pop was, in fact, not in Manchester at all, but 17 miles South in Northwich. Says the late eighties/early nineties music fan who grew up just down the road from Northwich. Anyway, there's a newish music festival that takes place in the Cheshire town in July called Whatfest, and this is their second year. My Britpop references are relevant because they have The Bluetones, Dodgy and former Inspiral Carpets front-man Tom Hingley on the bill for this year. It all takes place from 17-19 Jul, you can get full weekend tickets from as little as forty quid, and you'll find more information here: www.whatfest.co.uk

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FESTIVAL LINE UP UPDATE

THE GREAT ESCAPE, various venues, Brighton, West Sussex, 14-16 May: Dinosaur Pile-Up, Rogues, Black Lips, The Twilight Sad, Chew Lips and Dananananakroyd have been announced for Levi's OnesToWatch shows at the Great Escape. Hockey, The Soft Pack, Mika Miko, To The Bones and Fight Like Apes will also be performing. www.escapegreat.com

CAMP BESTIVAL, Lulworth Castle, Dorset, 24-26 Jul: Kid Creole and The Coconuts have been announced as Friday night headliners for this year's Camp Bestival, joining PJ Harvey and Mercury Rev. www.campbestival.co.uk

FIELD DAY FESTIVAL, Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, London, 1 Aug: Micachu & The Shapes, The Big Pink, Audion, The XX, The Temper Trap, Rusko and Plugs have all been confirmed to perform at Field Day this year, joining Mogwai, The Horrors and Little Boots. www.fielddayfestivals

RELENTLESS BOARDMASTERS, Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay, Newquay, 5-9 Aug: The Noisettes, Fanfarlo, Filthy Dukes and Fionn Regan have all been confirmed for this year's beach bash, along with Tommy Sparks, Hexes, Haunts and The Ghost Of A Thousand. www.relentlessboardmasters.com

THE BIG CHILL, Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire, 7-9 Aug: Music video director Chris Cunningham, best known for his work with Aphex Twin and Bjork, is set to play a rare live performance at this year's Big Chill; combining a mix of original and remixed music and new music videos over three screens. Hexstatic have also been confirmed to play a special 15th anniversary performance, with Max Romeo, Mulatu And Heliocentrics, Getatchew Merkuria and The Ex also added to the bill. www.bigchill.net

OFFSET FESTIVAL, Hainault Forest, Essex, 30-31 Aug: The Horrors, The Slits, A Certain Ratio and Future Of The Left are among the first acts confirmed for the second Offset festival. CMU favourites Rolo Tomassi, Architects, Factory Floor, Throats and Nuke Them All are also set to perform. www.offsetfestival.co.uk

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WHAT'S THE FUTURE OF APPLIED MUSIC?
Do you know, I'm suddenly a big fan of Audio Network, the vast online catalogue of music available for use by media owners or TV producers or advertisers, all neatly filed and navigable in hundreds of different ways. Though that might be because Stephen Fry just gave me a personal demonstration of how it all works.

Anyway, it's a website which gives media and advertising types access to stock music which is not only easily accessible but also relatively cheap, and available on stock licences that don't require any tedious negotiations. And in fact for personal or student or charity use, you can licence tunes for a few pounds, or even less. The logic, presumably, is that it encourages people who would have previously nicked music to licence it properly, and a few pounds from every bedroom and student film-maker is better than no money at all.

But - and here's the but - won't this encourage the TV and advert makers with bigger bucks to spend to go the cheaper stock tune route rather than commissioning original works off jobbing songwriters, or licensing top pop tracks off record companies providing labels and artists with much needed sync rights money, especially given that both the media and advertising industries are about to slump into a cataclysm that makes recent problems in the music business look like an albeit slightly damp picnic?

No, wait a second, don't go answering that question right now, your PC can't hear you. Collect your thoughts in your mind, and then head on over to the PRS For Music headquarters in London on Thursday 4 Jun for the next MusicTank Think Tank debate, which will be on this very issue.

Phil Bird of commercial music licensing agency Ricall, Richard Kirstein of music for brands company Leap Music, Jonathan Goldstein of The Society For Producers And Composers Of Applied Music (which does really exist, I checked), and Chris Smith of applied music specialists Final Touch and board member of the The British Academy Of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (remember the new name people) will all take part.

More details and ticket booking type info at www.musictank.co.uk/events

I think everyone who speaks at this event should have some kind of soundtrack that plays as they stand to speak. I plan to say something very controversial and will stand to the top track here...

www.audionetworkplc.com/production-music/pesante_10307.aspx

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ALBUM REVIEW: Trip - ShortCuts (Autonomy)
Alex Child, otherwise known as Trip, has been an MC on the live circuit with the likes of Scratch Perverts and Grooverider for a while now. His debut album sees him spit amusing and well observed lyrics over a backdrop of indie rock with beats, making his stuff slightly reminiscent of The Streets and Just Jack, ie you get the tales of everyday life infused with a sense of humour. From orgasms at the laundrette to a hilarious wait for an £8.99 Olympic Breakfast, it's a ride that is both fun and funny. Single 'River Phoenix' is a catchy pop song that has been all over the radio of late, but there are better tracks on offer - not least 'Rented' or opener 'Applecheeks', which has a great line about Christian rock group Guns N Moses (although I'm a sucker for a pun). There are darker moments too, notably 'The Gambler', which sees the protagonist considering suicide, but overall the feel is uplifting, with new love themes combined with catchy riffs and some clever production. It finishes with 'Who's That' which gives an idea of how much of a ball the album was to make, breaking down into a list of pet hates from "people who clap when planes land" to Bono and Noel Edmonds, causing the studio to break down into laughter. IM
Release Date: 25 May
Press Contact: LaDigit [all]

Buy from iTunes
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EMI MAKE BRAND PARTNERSHIP AND SYNC APPOINTMENTS
Do you think children these days go into see their careers advisor at school and say, "Well, what I really want to be when I grow up is a director of brand partnerships, you know, sync for a living"? Or, "well, I've been thinking about what I'm good at, and I think, on balance, I'm going to aim for a career that involves the direction of commercial innovation".

Well, if that is what the kids aspire to do these days, they should speak to Bob and Hannah to get some pointers. EMI announced a number of new appointments on its UK brand partnerships and synchronisation team yesterday.

Bob Workman, previously of music marketing and covermount agency Spin, has joined the major to become Senior Director Of Brand Partnerships Europe, while Hannah Partridge, who previously worked for marketing agency BD Ntwk doing music marketing nonsense for Coke, and was involved in the fizzy drink's short-living dabbling in the download market (yeah, you'd all forgotten about Mycokemusic.com hadn't you, it was big news for seventeen minutes), becomes Brand Partnerships Manager for the UK.

On the sync side of the table, EMI's UK sync rights team is to be expanded and split into two, with one bit handling contracts and the likes when people say they want to use a bit of EMI-owned music in their TV show or ad, the other bit going out there and persuading TV makers and advertisers that they really want to use Kajagoogoo's 'Too Shy' in their next film. Hywel Evans will head up the former pen-pushing team, Rich Robinson the latter pop-pushing one.

It's all part of EMI's attempts to boost its sync right revenues, and convince its artists they should be giving the major a cut of their brand partnership income as well as a share of the fifty two pounds you can make releasing an album these days.

Confirming the new appointments, EMI's VP of all things brandified, Rafael McDonnell, told CMU: "Our ability to grow and drive new revenues in brand partnerships, licensing and synchronisation, is dependent on us having people in place with the skills and understanding of how to operate in these complex and competitive areas. These changes and key appointments will enable us to deliver great service for both our customers and EMI's artists". You can't tell here, but in the TV version of today's CMU Daily I synced that quote with John Lennon's 'Imagine'. Or may be The Sex Pistols' 'Anarchy In The UK'.

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WARNER APPOINT COMMERCIAL INNOVATION CHIEF
In case you were wondering, here's your Director Of Commercial Innovation. Warner Music UK have just made that title up, which was very innovative of them, and given it to Raoul Chatterjee, whose just joined the major having previously been MD of the now defunct though still subject to litigation Trinity Street Direct.

In his new role, Chatterjee will, and I quote, "pioneer new configurations of digital, physical and merchandising formats to find original ways to connect artists with fans and help drive new sources of revenue". You've probably no idea what that means, but commercially innovative people like me know exactly what they're on about.

Confirming Raoul's appointment, Warner Music UK top man John Reid said: "Whether it's collectible physical product, value-added digital experiences or innovative combinations of both, we continue to demonstrate our leadership in the development of new forms of music consumption. It's clear that Raoul possesses the crucial combination of industry experience, commercial acumen and original-thinking needed to work with our first-class roster of artists and make this exciting new function a success".

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WILDLIFE APPOINTMENTS
Artist management firm Wildlife Entertainment, who manage the likes of Arctic Monkeys, The Last Shadow Puppets, Stephen Fretwell, Travis, The Rascals and Detroit Social Club, have announced the recruitment of Dave Wallace, previously of the Primary Talent booking agency.

Confirming the new appointment, Wildlife MD Ian McAndrew told reporters: "Dave has all the qualities to become a leading artist manager and brings with him an extensive knowledge and passion for live music. I am delighted he is joining our management team".

Elsewhere in Wildlife news, the firm has also announced that Jodie Harkins, who has worked alongside McAndrew for over two years, will become the firm's General Manager, while Giuliana Hilton has been appointed as a Management Assistant.

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PRS REVENUES UP UP UP
Following the recent report that songwriter collecting society PRS For Music would be distributing record breaking royalty revenues for the first quarter of 2009, news today on the society's 2008 financials, which are also pretty rosy in the main. Income was up 8% year on year to £608.2 million, with broadcasting and online revenues collectively up 16%, public performance income up 10% and international earnings rising 15%. Needless to say, given the continued slump in record sales, mechanical revenues from record companies were down 7%. Ringtone revenues were also down, by 11%.

Public performance royalties include the money paid by venues and promoters for the performing rights to songs performed at gigs, as well as money from shops, clubs, cinemas, workplaces, hotels, restaurants and pubs who have piped music playing. The live sector's contribution was up, as you might expect given the live industry is - in the main - in good health, while revenues from shops and workplaces and the like were also up, probably because bodies like PRS are getting better at enforcing the need for such establishments to have a music licence.

Interestingly, royalties paid by pubs were down 2%, even though this remains the biggest earner within the public performance category. This may be partly to do with the growing number of pubs shunning piped music (I have to be honest, as big a music fan as I am, I've never understood the need for blarring music in pubs), but also reflects problems in the pubs and bars sector - their trade body reports six premises are closing down each day. That is most likely caused by a combination of the recession and the smoking ban, which makes some smokers more likely to drink at home, where fags and booze can be consumed together, as God intended. See, New Labours' good intentions on public health matters are costing you songwriters money too.

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MAMA GROUP PROFITS UP UP UP
Talking of the live sector doing well, which we were, briefly, the London based MAMA Group, which operates across the music business but most prominently in the live domain, saw revenues rise by 38% in the half year up to 31 Jan, while the company's previously reported deal with HMV, which gave the retailer a stake in part of the live firm's venue network, helped MAMA wipe clean its debts.

Revenues for the six months up to the end of January were £17.5 million, up from £12.7 million in the same period a year earlier. Profits were £4.9 million, a massive increase from the £152,000 the previous year, though that boost was aided in part by the aforementioned HMV deal.

Commenting on the latest figures, MAMA chiefs Adam Driscoll and Dean James said in a statement: "The directors are delighted to be reporting a significant profitable result for the period coupled with a continued strengthening of our balance sheet. The cyclical nature of the income delivered by our festival and management businesses mean that we are anticipating stronger revenues and operating profit in the second half of the year".

On the HMV deal, they continued: "The cash consideration that the group received for this deal recapitalised the business at an ideal time. We are free of bank debt and have cash at hand. This is a very good position to be in, especially given some of the external economic factors at play".

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MOTOWN CELEBRATE 50 YEARS WITH NEW UK WEBSITE
I'm not sure I can cope with two Universal Music divisions celebrating their fiftieth anniversaries at the same time. But yes, amid all the celebrations for Island Records' big 50, now my brain has to cope with the idea that Motown Records is marking its half century too. Which is interesting, because I think I always assumed Motown was quite a bit older than Island, I think because in my head Motown is older than it really is and Island younger.

Anyway, I'm telling you this because there's a special website been set up to celebrate Motown's anniversary, and it's going to be selling a range of limited edition collectable releases, the first being a set of five limited edition 7" singles featuring ten Motown classics from the likes of the Four Tops and the Supremes. Purchasers of the records will also get download codes enabling them to get digital versions of the tracks too.

The website also includes a wiki where Motown fans are encouraged to come and share their nerdy knowledge of the seminal label and all its many artists. All of this is at www.Motown50.co.uk

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BBC NOT KEEN ON SHARING LICENCE FEE MONEY WITH ITV NEWS
The BBC has responded negatively to proposals made yesterday for former Beeb chief and current ITV boss Michael Grade that between 1% and 2% of the licence fee be used to fund regional news programming on ITV.

Grade's comments followed that previously reported speech by the boss of media regulator OfCom, Ed Richards, who admitted that ITV could not be expected to fund the bill for providing local news programming on the third terrestrial channel because doing so is expensive and currently delivers very little commercial return. He proposed creating 'local media consortia' involving various media organisations and maybe partly funded, initially at least, by government money, may be the surplus that is expected to be left from the money the BBC put aside to help fund the big switchover from terrestrial to digital telly.

As previously reported, the BBC is very sensitive about any suggestions that other media firms with public service obligations or ambitions should get a share of licence fee money arguing that they've had over eighty years experience of pissing licence fee payer's money up a wall, and so it's in no one's interest to let anyone else have a go. Well, that's not the exact argument they use, though the arguments they've put forward - that sharing any of the licence fee money would have a "significant impact" on its ability to make high quality content and threaten its independence - aren't much more convincing.

The Beeb, of course, prefers the idea of making its resources available to commercial broadcasters, rather than handing over cash. With that in mind, a spokesman for the BBC Trust responded to Grade's suggestions the licence fee fund ITV regional news by telling reporters: "The BBC Trust supports the principle of a strong regional news sector with a range of providers and the BBC has been working directly with ITV on this. But to start hiving bits of the licence fee off to other causes and to commercial players on a completely unplanned basis mid-way through a settlement period would have a significant impact on the BBC's ability to provide high-quality content for audiences and would threaten its independence".

The spokesman continued: "Any new proposals for plurality of public service broadcasting must enhance and not just transfer value - weakening the BBC to strengthen other public service broadcasters cannot be in licence fee payers' interests".

So, there you go. The government and OfCom have previously been wary of proposals that non-BBC organisations get a cut of the licence fee - it was rejected as a solution to Channel 4's funding woes. But OfCom seem less bothered about spending the aforementioned digital switchover surplus on non-BBC public service media ventures, and some wonder if that might be the beginning of the end of the Beeb's monopoly over the licence fee pot.

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HALLWOOD STEP UP THEIR TLRC OFFER
So, the Local Radio Company take-over battle continues. As previously reported, local radio firm UKRD are trying to take over their rivals TLRC, in which they already own a minority stake. But TLRC's biggest existing shareholder, Hallwood, are resisting.

When UKRD originally offered TLRC's other shareholders 2p a share, Hallwood said they'd pay 2.5p. UKRD upped their offer price to 3.25 per share earlier this week, so Hallwood came back yesterday with a 3.5p a share offer. Both bidders seem to have their supporters among the rest of the firm's shareholders, so it will be interesting to see what happens here.

Hallwood's offer is technically speaking conditional on them getting 90% of the company (enough to force a total sale), though it might end up with UKRD and Hallwood having commitments to acquire half the company each, and I'm not sure what would happen then. Neither side really wants to work with the other.

The currently loss making TLRC owns 21 local radio stations around the UK, while UKRD owns 13.

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ANOTHER LOCAL RADIO STATION CLOSES
Why anyone would want to fight so much to own a share of the local radio business is anyone's guess. A terrestrial radio licence was once seen as, well, a licence to print money, but, as much previously reported, a number of smaller terrestrial stations have gone off air in the last year. The latest is Valleys Radio, the South Wales station owned by UTV Radio. It went off air yesterday morning.

UTV had asked OfCom for permission to relocate the station's operations to Swansea so it could share facilities with other Welsh stations in the group, but the media regulator refused. A similar refusal regarding the co-location of UTV's stations in the North West led to the firm selling off one of it's stations there - Stockport's Imagine FM - for a time it looked like that might also close down.

It is the second local UTV station to close in the last year - their Edinburgh speech station Talk 107 closed last year. Other local stations to close in the last year or so include Fen Radio in Cambridge, Abbey FM in Barrow-in-Furness, New Pennine FM in Huddersfield, Time 106.8 and South 107.3 in South East London and Zee Radio in central London. Mersey 106.7 also went off air, though that was as much to the outfit's new owners dodging OfCom rules as anything else.

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ALLEN CELIBATE FOR INSPIRATION
Lily Allen has said that it's sometimes good to stay celibate because it's better for her music. Which is a sacrifice, I suppose. But I'd like to say here and now that she mustn't do it on my account.

The singer is quoted as saying: "Sometimes it helps. It's good to get out of your comfort zone and test yourself. I'm just going to see how it goes for a bit. I haven't set a time limit or anything. I've actually broken up with boyfriends for inspiration. When I hit a period of not being able to write music, I get up and I walk away. It's pretty mean - but it's true".

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NAS AND KELIS SPLIT
According to reports, Nas and Kelis are officially over, after Kelis filed divorce papers yesterday, citing verbal abuse and infidelity as reasons for why. A rep said in a statement: "We request the media to respect her privacy during this very difficult time". Rumours that they would separate began more than a year ago, but the divorce comes as the pair are preparing for the birth of a first child, Kelis being currently seven months pregnant, apparently with a son.

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LED ZEPP KEEP CRICKETS AT BAY
Residents in a town in Nevada who have to put up with swarms of crickets invading their town each summer have found that playing loud rock music - The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin in particular - keeps the insects at bay. So the people of Tuscarora have started turning their stereos on as soon as the Mormon crickets start to wake each morning.

One resident, Laura Moore, told the Wall Street Journal: "Crickets kind of sleep at night, so I would wake up first thing in the morning to get the music on and we would shut the music off at night". Apparently another local, Elaine Parks, discovered the power of rock songs in deterring the crickets after reading an article about how in the thirties residents found sounding a large gong had a similar effect.

Presumably it's the vibrations the insects don't like. Look, that's what's Neveda State Entomologist Jeff Knight reckons: "The vibrations may deter the bugs, but I don't know of any research that says yes or no".

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