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CMU in Liverpool
Top Stories
Jacko fans petition for postponement rethink
EMI order Danger Mouse trailer be removed from YouTube
Slipknot does not cause self harm, says Taylor
Gory Eminem commercial banned by TV
In The Pop Courts
Labels sue P2P maker through Spanish courts
Martin says that being sued is helpful
Dolla shooting suspect claims self defence
Nas files papers over divorce
In The Pop Hospital
Gahan's ill health causes more Depeche Mode cancellations
Natalie Cole recovering after transplant
Pop Politics
PSB change their legacy for Chinese market
Former Billboard man dies
Awards & Contests
Ivor's big bash

Jazz award winners

Artist Deals
Jay-Z confirms Def Jam departure
In The Studio
Arctic Monkey on new album
Films N Shows News
Spandau Ballet planning rockdoc
Festival News

iTunes festival line up announced

CMU's big Great Escape review
Album review: MSTRKRFT - Fist Of God (Universal/Geffen)
The Music Business
New career skills website for creative types
The Digital Business
Universal sound out rivals over Vevo
C4 do revenue share deal with YouTube
The Media Business
Knowledge goes online only, Plan B goes
Five Bauer digital stations to come off Sky
Jobs will go following format change at City Talk
OfCom chief recognises radio sponsorship rules need relaxing
And finally...

Bette Midler and Fiddy up a tree

Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts


Woah, a bit late today then. We're coming to you live from Liverpool SoundCity, from CMU's hi-tech mobile media unit, aka a corner of the Hard Days Night Hotel bar - that and some earlier technical difficulaties are behind the lateness. But good news people, you have a whole three days to read this edition before we return in your inboxes on Tuesday morning, post Bank Holiday. Have a good weekend.
Moon Unit are Belfast girl Rosalind Blair and Berlin resident Paul Mogg, who you might know as a former member of the Mo Wax signed outfit The Psychonauts. If you wonder how the geographical gap thing works - they do a lot of their collaborating over the net. Having been showcased on a DFA compilation, and through a double a-side release from Supersoul Recordings earlier in the year, they have a brand new track coming out this month on Mogg's own label Off The Uncertain Button, called 'Hot Chocolate Boy'. We fired our SSQ off in Rosalind's direction to find out more.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
Inauspiciously, with friends in bands as a youngster - which is how it should be. The desire to make music has persevered, flourished and taken over our lives. It's great!

Q2 What inspired your latest single/album?
Our next one is called 'Hot Chocolate Boy'. It's a love song about sleepy sex. The title is stolen from Beat Happening. There are loads of references to my favourite bands in it. It's about bedroom rituals, and the joy of sharing sleep with someone. Falling asleep with your lover listening to your favourite music is a cool thing to write a song about, I think.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Well I live in Belfast and Paul [Mogg] lives in Berlin, so we have an unconventional arrangement in that we write over the internet. I usually write songs on guitar with vocals and he writes sequences and beats and we mail them back and forth until we have a track. Then we meet up and record it. It's very cute.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
There are voices that move me; Scott Walker, Alison Statton of Young Marble Giants, Elizabeth Fraser, Morrissey. We also owe a debt to Silver Apples, Harmonia, Kraftwerk... There are a lot of indirect musical, visual art and literary influences... I went to St Martins so my training is reflected in the breadth of influences I have and the ease with which we reference them. What did Teenage Fanclub call it? A Catholic Education.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Give it a proper listen. No sprinkle baptisms please, total immersion only.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single, and for the future?
We want to do a video for 'Hot Chocolate Boy'. We've been playing live with Leo Taylor [Hot Chip/The Invisible] and we're really enjoying developing the live aspect of our sound. We want to play all over the world. We're writing our album at the minute and as it's been a difficult year for me personally, every chance I get to work on music is a tremendous release. We just want to keep building.

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Broadcite Loft Party
I've never actually been to this bar, despite it being just round the corner from Cargo and very much in CMU's neighbourhood. But boy, this is the night to go check it out, with a special Sunday night loft party, capitalising on the sleep-in of a bank holiday the next day, of course. Broadcite team up with Broken Souls for a heavy session of beats for the street. The main attraction is one of the original Co-op crew - Dom Stanton, aka Domu - a man responsible for some of the best busted beats, crazy grooves and heaviest assed bass; a bit of a scoop for this night methinks. Also on the decks will be Ok_Ma (from r2 records), Lazer Cru, T-Roy and Souled Afterculture. Resident DJ Young Lee may be down too - hope so, cos he's often joined by flautist/sax player Jake Sax for a journey into house, jazz and broken beats with some real Latin/Afro influences which, at this bar with Eastern influences, would make for quite a multi-cultural evening.

Sunday 24 May, Bedroom Bar, Rivington Street, Shoreditch EC1, 9pm-3am, £5.00, more info at



So we're at Liverpool SoundCity as we speak, having already done our Inside Guide event and some brilliant CMU Insights interviews. But the day is young, and there are two more nights of gigs and showcases to come from SoundCity yet. We've been chatting to bands playing all week, and have one last special LSC-style SSQ interview with a great band who play the Merseyside music festival tonight coming right up. More on all this at

I don't know whether the sun is going to be shining for the final two days of Liverpool SoundCity, but it's very sunny as I write this, on a train bound for Merseyside central, so let's hope so. Not that sunshine is essential for enjoying Tim And Sam's Tim And The Sam Band With Tim And Sam, though their new single 'Summer Solstice' is a perfect soundtrack to a lazy sunny evening, whether that evening be spent in the middle of a field, or in the heart of an urban sprawl like Liverpool. The single, which comes complete with a cover of Elbow's 'One Day Like This' (which is apt because Elbow's Guy Garvey was bigging them up on 6Music recently), is released on 21 Jun, obviously, via Static Caravan. But you can enjoy their gorgeous tunes much sooner, by catching their gig at Liverpool SoundCity this weekend. Ahead of that, we asked Tim our SSQ...

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I started playing guitar when I was eight. My brother used to play guitar all the time and one day he taught me how to play the 'Pingu' theme tune, and I was instantly hooked. Ever since then I've been making my own music of some form, but it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I started Tim and Sam.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
I started Tim and Sam to try and make beautiful music with lots of instruments, which was a side-step from the heavier rock music I was making before that. The album is a realisation of that; inspired by everything from the Welsh countryside where I grew up to the endless cups of tea we all drink. It is a celebration of life.

Q3 How do you go about creating a track?
Guitar is my main instrument, so most of the tracks start out with anywhere between two and twelve guitar layers. We usually start with a loop of some kind, and build up layers of music, filling it with little hooks and intricate details. Once most of the instrumentation is done we chop it and change it until we get the kind of structure we're after. Then when we work out how to play the tracks live (usually a very difficult task!), and they change further. Some of the older songs like 'Join The Dots' and 'Stepping Stones' have evolved almost beyond recognition as a result of playing them live so many times.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
I always try and listen to as much music as I can. At the moment I'm listening to a lot of old folk and blues music like Bert Jansch, as well as more modern records by the likes of James Yorkston and M Ward. The long standing influences include Radiohead, Board Of Canada, Four Tet, Sufjan Stevens and Adem.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Before people hear our music I usually refer them to my favourite press quote: "Tim and Sam make music for the entrance foyer of heaven". I think that gives a nice indication of what we do. I'd like to think it has a calming effect of people.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
We're really looking forward to getting the album out and touring it. It will be great to have an album to our name and to be able to move on from the older songs to try something new. There are a lot of things we'd like to do once that's all done. I've just built my own studio, and am adding to my equipment all the time. I'd like to add some electronic tinges to the next record, and maybe focus more on rhythm and beats. I'd also like to try my hand at producing other people's music and making music for film. I've just done my first remix, too. Maybe I'll do some more of that, we'll see.


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Yeah, it's all going to pot already, and there are still two months to go till kick off. With continued rumours about Michael Jackson's ill-health, despite insistent spokespeople insisting he's fighting fit, and with reports Jacko hasn't actually made it to a rehearsal yet, the doom and gloom mongerers are increasingly predicting Jackson's big comeback residency at The O2 dome either won't happen, or will be a disaster (some suggest Jacko himself may not even be performing during the majority of the show). With previous reports only half the fifty night residency is insured, some are already speculating what impact a last minute cancellation would have on promoters AEG Live.

But we're refusing to participate in such speculation, I mean, with budgets as big as the one enjoyed by this show, in the worse case scenario, won't they be able to employ a hologram to do Jackson's bits? And there's still the elephants to look forward to. But one thing we know for certain is this. Not every Jacko fan is happy that the first night of The O2 residency has been pushed back five nights nor that the next three shows have been postponed into next March.

Some fans have launched an online petition calling on Jacko to reconsider the postponements, which were announced by AEG earlier this week. The petition states: "Many of us now are left unable to go or are feeling disappointed in having taken so much effort to get tickets for the opening performances to be put to the very end of the concert run. While we have no idea who's fault this is, we...are asking for the management of the concert to please reconsider this decision".

The petition adds that while refunds are available on tickets, many fans have already paid for travel and hotel accommodation for the original dates. Though, not wishing to be unsympathetic or anything, but in the same way Pete Doherty not showing up at the Babyshambles show you'd paid to see used to be part of the true "Babyshambles experience", and in the same way that paying to watch Amy Winehouse forget her lyrics and fall over on stage is part of the true "Winehouse experience", surely getting caught up in politics, delays and postponements is part of the true "Jacko experience". Actually, to enjoy the full "Jacko experience" there needs to be a lawsuit - perhaps some of the petitioners could sue.

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More on the dispute between Danger Mouse and EMI over the former's new musical venture 'Dark Night Of The Soul'. As previously reported, the producer has announced he will not release the new long player, a collaboration with Sparklehorse, because of unspecified legal action by the major record company. Instead he has published the David Lynch photography book that accompanies the album along with branded blank CDRs, implying fans should download the album from the P2Posphere as it is unlikely now to ever get an official release.

Details of the legal action in relation to 'Dark Night Of The Soul' have not been released by either party, though insiders tell us it has nothing to do with any EMI-owned samples on the album, as some had speculated, nor is the dispute anything to do with Sparklehorse's involvement in the project - he being previously signed to the major.

Anyway, whatever the nature of the dispute, as part of its legal action EMI has reportedly ordered that a trailer for the project be removed off YouTube. According the Pitchfork, the major demanded the video site stop hosting the 15 second trailer even though it seemingly contains Lynch's photos with no musical accompaniment. A spokesman for Danger Mouse told reporters: "What EMI pulled from YouTube is a 15 second clip of David Lynch's photographic images from Dark Night Of The Soul. It's perplexing why they had it removed and questionable that they even had the right to censor it".

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Slipknot's Corey Taylor has rejected suggestions (I imagine not for the first time) that his band encourage young people to self-harm, because of the grim subject matter of some of their song lyrics. Taylor points out that such fans would want to damage themselves anyway, and the fact that they are Slipknot fans is irrelevant.

The frontman says: "If you're setting out to hurt yourself, it's not the music that's causing it. There's something else wrong. We get a lot of kids that cut themselves but I go out of my way to try and stop it. It may feel artistic to carve our names in your arm but to us, it's just hurting yourself. As bleak as Slipknot can be, it's supposed to be positive in the long term and the last thing we want is for anyone to hurt themselves. used to be one of those kids and I always try to explain to them that I know what it's like to feel like you're the last person on Earth. All you have to do is reach out and someone will be there".

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A commercial promoting Eminem's new album 'Relapse' has been judged "too gory" to appear on US TV. The ad apparently contains scenes which show a crazed looking Slim Shady sitting in a bath full of blood, punctuated by shots of severed limbs and TV censors, perhaps not unsurprisingly, decided that it was too horrific for US viewers to stomach.

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It's been a while since there's been a high profile trial against the maker of P2P software, though the US industry's litigation against Limewire is still going through the motions. But there is one such case in court right now in Spain, where the music industry is suing one Pablo Soto and his company MP2P Technologies over allegations that he has contributed to widespread copyright infringement by making available three P2P file-sharing clients, Blubster, Piolet and Manolito P2P.

The lawsuit, of course, is based on the assumption that the vast majority of people who download Soto's software then use it to access unlicensed content off other file-sharers. The record companies and publishers are suing for 13 million euros, based on the allegation that 25 million people have downloaded his software and the presumably conservative estimate that all those people have used the software to download at least one track, with a 50 euro cent wholesale value.

P2P litigation in Spain against individual file-sharers has not generally been successful because judges there say the country's copyright law only classify file-sharing as infringement if individuals profit from their sharing. The lawsuit against Soto claims that his company did profit from the provision of the P2P technology, which was supplied to consumers to enable them to share unlicensed music.

You might thing a so called 'contributory infringement' case (which is what this is, because Soto himself didn't host or distribute unlicensed music) may fail given that the people using the software are not themselves infringing under Spanish law. But there is some precedent in the record companies' favour, albeit from Italy. There, where a lack of 'commercial intent' also makes it hard to 'do' individual file-sharers for infringement, the owner of a BitTorrent tracker was successfully pursued through the courts for contributory infringement because he profited from aiding others to locate unlicensed content.

Commenting on the case, the boss of Spanish music business group Promusicae, Antonio Guisasola, told reporters: "[Soto's business] is parasitical towards ours, and he is getting rich by doing it. He has created a tool for fraud, and for that he must be made responsible".

Speaking to reporters outside the Madrid court this week, Soto said he simply doesn't have the money to pay the kind of damages the labels are asking for, while adding the usual defence used by though accused of infringing by providing technology that helps others to file-share: "Technology is always neutral, and you cannot accuse the developer of a program because of the use made of it by its users".

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Coldplay's Chris Martin has said that being sued by guitarist Joe Satriani over claims that their 2008 single plagiarised his 2004 track 'If I Could Fly' has helped the band get better.

In an interview for the group's official website Martin explained: "Some people are suing us at the moment and although it was initially a bit depressing, now it's become really inspiring. You think, 'Right, if everyone's trying to take away our best song, then we'd better write 25 better ones'. And so just at the point where I was thinking about getting fat and becoming complacent, I've been finding more inspiration. Now we've got more to prove than ever before".

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The man charged with the previously reported shooting of up and coming rap star Dolla at a Californian mall earlier this week has told police that he shot his fellow Atlantan in self defence. report that the suspect, 23 year old Aubrey Berry, acted out of fear for his own life when he gunned down the hip hopper, real name Roderick Burton, apparently because of an altercation that took place in a club in Atlanta a few weeks ago. Lawyer Howard R. Price claims that when the pair subsequently ran in to each other in a restaurant in an LA mall, Berry alleges that Burton threatened him in the toilets; he also maintains that the late rapper was connected to LA gang The Crips.

Berry was apprehended at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday evening, of course, and charged with murder and two assault charges and is being detained on a now raised bail bone of $5million. He is due in court today to enter his plea.

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As previously reported, Nas and Kelis have gone their separate ways after four years of marriage, though are, of course, expecting their first child later in the year. As the divorce makes its way through court, Nas has filed papers requesting that his estranged wife be denied spousal support, and also asking that she pay her own legal fees. Both are seeking custody of the unborn child.

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Depeche Mode have been forced to cancel another three dates because of singer Dave Gahan's ill health. As previously reported, Gahan was taken ill with gastroenteritis on 12 May, shortly ahead of a gig in Athens, which was subsequently cancelled. Further shows in Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia were axed, and now concerts planned for Poland, Latvia and Lithuania will now not take place, bringing the total to nine postponed shows.

It's hoped he'll be well enough to play the O2 Arena in London on 30 May. A statement released on behalf of the group said this: "Doctors have advised that more time is needed to allow singer, Dave Gahan, to fully recover from his recent illness and ensure that the tour can resume shortly. Depeche Mode apologise to all their fans for this inconvenience and wish Dave a speedy recovery".

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Natalie Cole has undergone a successful kidney transplant, and will be recuperating for the next three to four months, meaning that her summer tour will be postponed.

As previously reported, the singer told chat show host Larry King earlier in the year that she was facing a lifetime of dialysis if a suitable kidney donor could not be found, and was inundated with emails from viewers offering to donate their organs to her. It isn't one of those fans that provided the kidney, however.

Cole was diagnosed with hepatitis in 2008, a disease which she believes was the result of her drug use in former years.

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The Pet Shop Boys have apparently been forced to censor their latest album prior to its release in China because the government there objected to the line in the track 'Legacy' which goes: "Governments fall/ Glaciers melt/ Hurricanes bawl.../ Resentment remains/ both east and west". Commenting on the edit, Neil Tennant told reporters: "Does the Chinese government really fear the power of a song to bring about change?"

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Former Billboard chairman William D. Littleford has died at his home in Princeton,. New Jersey, at the age of 94.

It was Littleford's grandfather William H. Donaldson who founded the trade publication in 1894. Born in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, Littleford attended the University of Cincinnati before joining Billboard in 1934, following in the footsteps of his brother Roger, who began work at the company in 1933. Both brothers worked as apprentices in the composing room. From 1943 until 1958 he was general manager, and following that became Billboard's president and CEO, and remained in the job until the sale of the magazine in 1985, when he became chairman emeritus, preserving the company's relationship with the family that had run it for more than ninety years.

Littleford is survived by his sister, four children and and three grandchildren. A memorial service is to be held on 28 May in New York.

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It was the songwriting community's big awards bash this week, the 54th Ivor Novello Awards, and it was Elbow's night to a certain extent, yet again, as they took home two gongs, one for 'Grounds For Divorce', named Best Contemporary Song, and one for crowd pleaser 'One Day Like This', which won Best Song Musically And Lyrically.

Other winners on the night were Massive Attack's Robert del Naja and Grant Marshall, who won the PRS Award For Outstanding Contribution To British Music, Smokey Robinson, who won the Special International Award, and Eg White, who was named Songwriter Of The Year. The full list of winners were as follows...

Best Contemporary Song: Elbow - Grounds For Divorce

Album Award: The Ting Tings - We Started Nothing

Best Television Soundtrack: Julian Nott - Wallace And Gromit (A Matter Of Loaf And Death)

Outstanding Song Collection: Vince Clarke

Classical Music Award: James Macmillan

Best Selling British Song: Coldplay - Viva La Vida

PRS For Music Outstanding Contribution To British Music: Robert Del Naja And Grant Marshall (Massive Attack)

Best Song Musically & Lyrically: Elbow - One Day Like This

Best Original Film Score: Jonny Greenwood - There Will Be Blood

The Ivors Inspiration Award: Edwyn Collins

PRS For Music Most Performed Work: Duffy - Mercy

Songwriter Of The Year: Eg White

The Special International Award: Smokey Robinson

The Academy Fellowship: Don Black

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Also dished out in London this week were the PPL sponsored Parliamentary Jazz Awards, gongs given to jazz types by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group. And the winners were...

Jazz Musician: Phil Robson

Jazz CD: The Sam Crockatt Quartet 'Howeird'

Jazz Ensemble: Ryan Quigley Sextet

Jazz Venue: Fleece Jazz (South East England)

Jazz Journalist: Kevin LeGendre

Jazz Broadcaster: Sarah Ward

Jazz Publication:

Jazz Education Richard Michael

Services to Jazz Val Wilmer

Excellence in Jazz award presented to Ronnie Scott's in the year of their 50th anniversary.

Commenting on this year's awards, PPL boss Fran Nevrkla told CMU: "PPL is delighted to continue as the main sponsor of the APPJAG and specifically the Parliamentary Jazz Awards. This prestigious event is becoming increasingly important and we are very proud to be able to champion jazz music and the very talented jazz musicians in this country".

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Jay-Z has confirmed he has parted company from Def Jam, the Universal division which he headed up as President for a while, and which he has still been officially signed to since stepping down from his exec role there in order to develop a new business venture with live music conglom Live Nation. It's thought Jay had one more album to deliver under his existing Universal contract, but he successfully bought himself out of that commitment (some gossipers say by handing over millions of dollars) so that he can release his next album via his new JV label with Live Nation, the previously reported Roc Nation.

Speaking to, Jay said he was parting company with Def Jam on good terms, thanking his former executive colleagues at the label. He said he was leaving the Universal division after enjoying "a unique and fulfilling experience" with them.

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Arctic Monkey Alex Turner has been talking to about their upcoming new album, which apparently started life with a band outing to last year's Latitude Festival. "We went to Latitude, ripped it up, wrote on our faces and eventually wrote some songs," Turner said. "We spent the first day there on the most complicated riff you've ever heard. It goes round in seven-and-a-half-time. We used it in the end, it's on an intro. It was like [Black] Sabbath."

The group confirmed that they expect the new record to be out ahead of their performances at the Reading and Leeds Festivals in August.

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The now talking again and set to tour together Spandau Ballet have reportedly been to this year's Cannes Film Festival to finalise plans for a rockumentary about the band's history. The film would follow the band through their 80s high, the subsequent falling out and lawsuits, through to the recent reunion providing, presumably, a happy ending. Well, unless the October reunion tour goes pear-shaped before the documentary can be filmed.

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Apple have announced the line up for their next iTunes Live festival in London, which will take place every night in July at The Roundhouse in Camden. And with Oasis and Snow Patrol on the bill, this is seemingly the download store's biggest festival to date. Rida, Kasabian, Paolo Nutini and The Saturdays will also all play. Tickets will be given away via competitions, with recordings of the gigs available to buy via iTunes, and some also featured on ITV and/or the most relevant Global Radio station - Xfm, Capital Radio, Choice FM or Heart.

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The final night and, citywide, this year's Great Escape was set to finish in style. With headliners including hype-mongers Bombay Bicycle Club and Little Boots, artsy favourite Patrick Wolf, eco-warriors British Sea Power and the mighty Kasabian, the selection was mouth-watering. My Great Escape had already taken in the musical delicacies of Spain, the Netherlands and Australia, but Japanese DJ De De Mouse was an essential dash of the orient. His electronic quirk transported the cluster of onlookers to downtown Tokyo. So much so, heading for some English rock'n'roll courtesy of Leeds finest Sky Larkin straight afterwards was a real culture shock, suddenly plunged, as I was, into thrashy Grates-esque pop with cutesy vocals. Hindered by technical problems, the band's perseverance was admirable and they gave a good show. As the hype began to build on and off stage for Honey headliners, Idlewild, Johnny Foreigner began an energetic set, only to storm off like eight year olds sent to their bedrooms when instructed to make a slightly earlier than expected exit. Time for a more mature injection of class into proceedings. For the sake of European's biggest new music festival, Idlewild showcased brand new material, which complimented a selection from their punky past; proving that exciting new sounds don't have to come courtesy of brand new bands. They were a fitting end to another glorious Great Escape. [cs]

Drowned In Sound
Idlewild are simultaneously the musical definition for 'under-rated' and 'misunderstood'. Both these things were suggested in conversations between crowd members, expressing concern that the sentimental Scots would make for an anti-climax after the adrenaline pumped support acts; little did they know, they were to be blown away. The band have achieved a rare thing in that they've never lost comprehension of what it means to be young, and their profound anthems still strike a chord after 14 long years. Their show was skewed towards reviving the storming punk songs that broke them onto the 90's rock scene; but for fans this didn't detract from a stunning showcase of what's still to come from the band. All doubt banished, Saturday's crowd left enlightened.
The Honey Club, 16 May, tw rating 5, [cs]

Sky Larkin
Drowned In Sound
According to Sky Larkin, their namesake is a bird which "boisterously frolics", and this seems to be the connection between bird and band. Gigging on the only night of the festival with a decent sunset, Leeds-based trio make music with attitude for hot summer days. The nearest thing to birdsong about the show is singer Katie's vocal that dances prettily over energetic guitar driven clamour. On the night they had technical problems, which was shame because it seemed to hinder their confidence a little, but they strove on regardless, and exultingly celebrated the end of their set by delegating the very last strum to a perplexed member of the audience. Watch out for Sky Larkin, because they look set to soar.
The Honey Club, 16 May, tw rating 4/5, [cs]

Johnny Foreigner
Drowned In Sound
It's unfair to three-pieces with girls on bass and vocals to throw about Subways comparisons but, unfortunately for Johnny Foreigner, it was difficult to see past the similarity which seemed even to dictate the bassist choice in shorts. This said, aggressive indie music and screaming girl/boy vocals seem to go down well, and though the performance was not in the slightest original, the set pleased the capacity crowd. With more grit than the Subways, they lacked the atmosphere of the more established band, and embarrassingly made a bit of a scene when told they needed to finish up. This was music for a pubescent generation; it's just a shame for them that the Subways got there first.
The Honey Club, 16 May, tw rating 3/5, [cs]

De De Mouse
Watching De De Mouse climb to the decks in Komedia's tiny studio bar at 7.15pm, you got the impression that the Japanese DJ was in unfamiliar territory. This was De De Mouse's first show in Britain, and though it was probably an odd one for a man accustomed to heaving Japanese nightclubs, it was a memorable premiere. "I make fucking sexy MUUSIC!!!" he screamed into the microphone to conservative British chortling. Refreshingly, the DJ was obviously besotted with his sexy Japanese pop songs and his sparkling electronica was like a musical version of the glitter ball shining from the ceiling. It didn't matter that De De Mouse's English was a little obscure because in this culture clash the music spoke for itself.
Komedia Studio Bar, 16 May, tw rating 4/5, [cs]

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ALBUM REVIEW: MSTRKRFT - Fist Of God (Universal/Geffen)
The second album from MSTRKRFT (pronounced Masterkraft, for any late starters worrying about the lack of vowels) carries on the party with a riff-tastic collection of dance floor fillers. Featuring guest vocals from the likes of Ghostface Killah and N.O.R.E - who, on 'Bounce', has us jumping - 'Fist Of God' does offer some variety, though only on 'Heartbreaker' does the upbeat mood slow down at all. John Legend takes vocal duties on that one and it makes a nice counterpoint to the rest of the album. The title refers to a 70s synthesizer so big it takes up an entire room, and that seems apt considering that this album cries out to be played loud, proud and to a room full of sweaty dancers. There is nothing particularly new or particularly thought provoking on here, but if you want to get the party going you could do much worse. IM
Release Date: 1 Jun
Press Contact: Darling Department [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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Creative & Cultural Skills, Skillset and Skillfast-UK have all teamed up to launch a new website designed to help young people aspiring to work in the creative and cultural industries to pick up, yes, you guessed it, skills. The website will provide case studies and job profiles and what not on the music, film, TV, fashion, design and other creative industries. Which is lovely.

Announcing the new venture, the boss of the first of those government funded skills type organisations, Tom Bewick, told reporters: "We are creating a new portal into a huge portfolio of quality content. Each partner organisation has authoritative content for the audiences they serve; this collaboration is about bringing some of that content together and signposting what's available to support individuals and businesses across the dynamic and fast-changing creative industries".

The site, in case you wondered, which you might have done, is at

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Universal Music is now in active negotiations to try and get the other three major music companies on board for its previously reported Vevo venture. This, as we've mentioned before, is Universal's latest digital music venture.

They plan to provide a premium music video website powered by YouTube's technology, but controlled by the major, who would sell advertising at, they hope, a higher rate than the likes of the Google-owned video platform have so far managed, because of the official nature of the service (ie the music videos wouldn't be ripped off MTV or sit alongside videos of drunk people pretending to dance or cats falling off tables). The service would only work, many reckon, if the service offered music from all record companies. Whether the other majors will be willing to provide its catalogue to aid a rival's digital ambitions without demanding an equity stake, and whether Universal are willing to offer equity deals, is not known.

With Warner and the collecting societies on the publishing side of the industry having problems with the royalties offered by YouTube, any service which aims to maximise the advertising revenue potential of music would presumably be attractive. That said, word has it EMI, Sony and Warner in the US are all also talking to American video-on-demand service Hulu about providing their videos for a new music service there.

Hulu is already building a substantial subscriber base in the US by providing TV-on-demand content from a number of US TV networks. Hulu and Vevo deals are unlikely to be mutually exclusive, but if the other three majors reckon Hulu type deals offer a favourable alternative to making videos available to UCG sites like YouTube, then they may be less desperate to get into bed with rivals Universal.

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Talking of YouTube, which you were, just then, Channel 4 has struck a deal with the Google-owned video service which will see the broadcaster let some of its content officially stream via the video website on a revenue share basis. The deal utilises YouTube's new advertising system that runs mini-ads before a video plays, similar to C4's own 4OD video-on-demand catch up service. Some hope the in-video advertising will be more attractive to advertisers, and bring in more revenues for YouTube and content owners alike. BBC Worldwide and National Geographic have also done revenue share deals with YouTube which will utilise in-video advertising.

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Your local newsagent will have two less music magazines on his selves from this summer - well, that's assuming he had the kind of music section that included drum & bass mag Knowledge and independent music mag Plan B. The former has announced it is going online only as of July, while Plan B's publishers have said the current economic climate would force them to cut staff and resources, and they'd rather quit while they're ahead than do that.

Knowledge mag say that their all new website makes their print version look outdated, though back issues of the magazine will be featured online in digital form, and past cover CDs will be available for download. Some will point out that many former print music mags have gone the online only route shortly before disappearing completely, though some music media do work very well thank you very much in a primarily online format. I seem to remember CMU once went from print to online only and look, we're still here.

Plan B's publishers, meanwhile, said in a statement earlier this week: "We've come to the decision to close Plan B Magazine after the June issue after a lot of deliberation. The current economic climate, combined with the situation of the music industry - to which, whether we like it or not, the fortunes of a commercial monthly music mag are inextricably linked - has made it ever harder for us to continue producing the magazine the way we want to. To keep going, we'd need to make cuts in staff, content, size, frequency, print quality - and we're not prepared to do that. We're still above water, we're making some beautiful magazines, and we are quitting while we're ahead".

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Bauer Radio has announced it is taking five of its national digital radio stations off the Sky satellite platform, preferring instead to concentrate on building audience and advertisers via its Freeview broadcasts.

One of the issues for radio firms dabbling in the various different outputs for digital radio services (ie Sky, Virgin, Freeview, Freesat, DAB networks, the internet) is that each additional platform costs money to operate, and the longer it takes for any one platform to take off as consumers' preferred service, the more costs are associated with developing what are in the main loss-leader digital services.

Bauer's Q, Heat, Kerrang!, The Hits and Smash Hits services will be withdrawn from Sky, though the Kiss and Magic services will remain. Confirming the decision, Bauer's strategy man Travis Baxter told Radio Today: "We have fantastic coverage and huge audiences on Freeview. We can't be in everything. We can't invest in every platform that's going".

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Elsewhere in the Bauer empire, staff at Liverpool based Radio City are bracing themselves for job cuts after media regulator OfCom gave the all clear for the broadcaster to cut the amount of speech output on its City Talk service, the speech based sister station to music service Radio City which was launched 16 months ago. City Talk was originally all talk, as its name might suggest, but OfCom have allowed the radio firm to cut back on speech output in off-peak times, which will presumably mean less journalists and producers will be required.

A spokesman for the station told Radio Today: "With great reluctance, Radio City has entered into consultation with a small number of staff regarding a proposal to re-shape the business. The external environment remains challenging and we, in line with many in the sector, are continually investigating all ways to operate more effectively to carefully manage our way through the current trading difficulties".

Radio Today also report that there may be job cuts at some of Bauer's other local stations, including CFM and Metro Radio.

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Talking of OfCom, which you were, the boss of the media regulator has confirmed they are looking into relaxing rules governing sponsorship and promotions on commercial radio stations. Ed Richards was speaking at the Radio 3.0 conference in London, and was responding to calls from within the struggling commercial radio industry to relax rules governing the infringement of sponsor brands of actual programmes, in order to help radio firms maximise sponsorship profits.

Richards said: "We know that the [radio] ad model is changing - spot advertising is at the limits of what it can do. It is often considered intrusive by listeners. These changing circumstances mean we have to adapt. We need to balance the benefits of flexibility for the industry with what listeners want, and ensuring listeners are not misled. [But] e think there is scope for the relaxation of the rules".

A review of such things is ongoing, and Radio Today reports a consultation will be launched on radio sponsorship next month.

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Bette Midler has been dealing out glowing praise for 50 Cent, who has been helping the singer's New York Restoration Project build a public garden in his childhood neighbourhood. She says: "He is one of the newest members of our tribe. He has really made my life worth living. 50 has been with me through thick and thin."

And it's not all one sided. Fiddy seems quite taken with Midler and told reporters at a spring picnic for the Restoration Project: "Look how beautiful things are and how nice it feels when I'm around her. Me and Bette collaborating would be really hot. But I'd need to make something new for her. For the right song, we'd definitely get together."

Midler added: "I really can't rap, but I'd like to sing in the background on 'Get Rich or Die Tryin'. He is such a gorgeous star - holy cow! He's like the Godfather of Jamaica, Queens."

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