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Top Stories
R&B star sues over Snap sample
Topless Britney photos legit, says photographer
Jazzy Jeff shut down for playing hip hop
In The Pop Courts
DMX gets probation
Universal sue Christina Milian
Healey widow sued for criticising box set
In The Pop Hospital
Empire Of The Sun Man gets tired
Songwriter Rankin dies
Awards & Contests
Bee Gees to be Isle Of Man freemen
Artist Deals
American Idol signs to 19/Jive
Alice In Chains confirm EMI deal
In The Studio
Silverchair working on new album
Release News
Jay-Z kills Auto-tune on leaked track
Hafdis Huld stuff
Festival News
Thom Yorke to play Latitude
Festivals set to get wet
Talks, Debates N Trade Fairs
MIDEM to integrate digital bit with main bit more
Album review: Tiny Masters Of Today - Skeletons (EMI/Mute)
The Music Business
EMI Publishing promote Howard to top UK A&R job
Boston College launch online programme for UK music talent
Edge raise more dosh
AIM is ten - AGM to celebrate
Jagger lends support to Walthamstow venue (not church)
The Digital Business
Vevo want dem indies
The Media Business
Five welcomes BBC Trust's canvas stand
Channel 4 to add buckets of archive to free OD service
Sirius XM to blame music royalties for subscription increase
Play Radio acquire Hampshire licences
TLRC sell fire
Chart Of The Day
Total Rock World Album Chart
And finally...
Boyle out of The Priory
Jackson has Neverland-style plans for London residence
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts

Run Toto Run have spent the last few months having their name bandied around, mainly as one of the new bands you'll be hearing a lot more of in the future, and by the sort of DJs and publications people trust on these matters. But the Manchester quartet accelerated their progress last month when they spat a cover of Passion Pit's 'Sleepyhead' onto the internet, which quickly became one of the most popular tracks in the blogosphere and even got the thumbs up from Passion Pit's label, Neon Gold. Check out the video for it here:
The band will headline a special Twisted Licks at The Macbeth in London tomorrow night, alongside James Yuill (DJ set) and Bright Light Bright Light (Rod Thomas). More info on that here.

They also recently released their debut EP, 'Plastic Gold', which is what we got frontlady Rachael in to chat about. Here is what she had to say.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I have been involved in music since I was a teenager and started out session playing. We got together as a band through all being involved in music in Manchester in various other bands. I thought Mike was an excellent guitar player so he ended up playing guitar with me. Matt was playing with half the bands in Manchester, saw Mike and I play a couple of times and knew where we wanted to go with it, so asked if he could get involved. Cazz previously drummed for Stickboy, who's a good friend of mine, and we asked her to come and play keys with us. We've been together as a four piece since about November last year.

Q2 What inspired your latest single, 'Plastic Gold'?
The one that got away.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Usually I write lyrics and melody and have the bare bones of the music in place and take it to the band. We then bounce off each other and build it up together.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Acts like The Postal Service, Au Revoir Simone, Hot Chip, Metronomy, Andrew Bird and Michachu

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I'd recommend them listening to the whole track, we tend to build things during the course of a song, so I often worry that people might miss the beautiful bits at the end.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your album, and for the future?
We'd like to make it. We've only an EP under our belts currently. We're just looking to travel, to meet new people, to have a great time and to make some nice noises.

MORE>> and

Since the SXSW buzz has died down slightly I've been revisiting Local Natives' sparkling repertoire, which means chunks of folksy folk and rousing choruses from the Band Of Horses school of composition. 'Airplanes' is the track most fitting of this description, with the marching band drums complementing the creeping orchestration and less yearning, more warmly intimating calls of "I want you back/I want you back". They also do a mean cover of Talking Heads' 'Warning Sign', which is sure indication that they have their musical history in check as well a knack for – with what is sure to be the adjective du jour of next year's critics – 'Nativising' classic material. Best tip for nudging their way into the mainstream consciousness over a long, well earned course in 2009.

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Not sure why this is happening now, but there you go. R&B singer Jocelyn Brown is reportedly suing over the sampling of her song 'Loves Gonna Get You' in the 1990 dance hit 'The Power' by German combo Snap!. I think the key line "I've got the power" came from Brown's track. She claims the sample was never cleared, and attempts over the years by her and her record company to secure a royalty have been unsuccessful.

Why it has taken the best part of twenty years to go legal really isn't clear. It's possible that there was some confusion as to whether or not the sample was re-recorded by Snap!, or whether the original Brown vocal was used. Certainly Snap! re-recorded some of the other samples in their hit prior to its American release.

Brown is quoted as saying: "They started saying they had re-recorded the vocal with another singer - which was insulting, don't you think I know my own voice? I used to feel depressed they had stolen my voice. Now I've decided to fight".

Brown's lawsuit is seemingly backed by Warner Music, and reports say a "German company" who originally licensed the track off the Snap! team are named as defendants. I'm not sure if that means Sony-owned Ariola, who were definitely involved in the European release of the song somewhere along the line. Brown and Warner want 50% of revenue generated by the song over the years, which could be millions.

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The photographer who took pictures of a topless Britney Spears pole dancing has responded to allegations that they were taken without the pop star's knowledge, insisting that the images were legitimately commissioned.

The snaps, which show Spears sporting temporary tattoos on her breasts during a video shoot for her 2007 single 'Gimme More', were published by News Of The World at the weekend, and are, naturally, now all over the internet. An agent for the photographer, Alec Byrne, has refused to identify his client, but says that there was nothing underhand about the manner in which the photos were obtained.

He told The New York Post: "These pictures were her idea. She was going to use this in the promotion of the video - but obviously, after [she] saw the content, decided not to. These weren't sneak pictures". Presumably Spears fell foul of the fact that, because she decided not to use the photos, the copyright in them stayed with the photographer.

It should be noted, of course, that this shoot took place at a time when Britney was in the throes of that very public breakdown, and her seeming lack of reserve is pretty consistent with her behaviour at that time. No comment, as far as I can tell, has been forthcoming from the Spears camp.

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Jazzy Jeff had a DJ set cut short at a Bacardi B-Live show at the KC Live venue in Kansas City on Saturday, apparently because he was playing hip hop and R&B records, which we don't need round here thank you very much. According to reports, this is the latest incident of alleged racism against black artists in the Power & Light District, the area which contains most of the city's bars and venues, including KC Live.

Jeff explained via Twitter: "My road manager walked up to me and said they were having problems with the music I was playing. I played three more songs and he comes back. I knew something was wrong. They said I had to kick Skillz [who was MCing] off the stage, change the format of the music I was playing or quit. They said if I continued playing they had 30 cops ready to come escort me off stage. So I stopped".

He continued: "They said they didn't like Skillz' posture. They said he made gang-like signs and grabbed at his genitals. I was playing Rihanna, she is Top 40. If they would have let my set play, they would have known I play everything. I play rock, funk, soul, pop, hip hop, reggae. I don't play for a certain genre, race or gender. I play for music lovers... I didn't understand what element they were talking about. I looked out in the crowd and it was multicultural, but about 75% white. Everyone was having a great time. I wondered what was so offensive. I never had a race issue. I didn't know how to feel. I was playing [Biz Markie's] 'Just a Friend'. Is that offensive? What element? It's uncomfortable when you feel unwanted".

However, Power & Light District President Joe Stephens denied the DJ's account of events, saying that he had simply been asked to turn the volume down, and that the incident had nothing to do with the kind of music being played.

He told the Kansas City Star: "The issue that arose with the performance last night was completely about the sound levels. His audio tech was maxing out the sound system to a point that risked damage to the speakers and sound system. His sound techs and management refused to bring the decibel level down. They were told to bring it down or cease performance. They refused to go on... We booked Jazzy Jeff on a Saturday night, the biggest night of the week in the district. We were excited to have him there. It's unfortunate that his sound and management people had problems adhering to the sound and audio rules. We wanted him to play, that's why we booked him".

Last year, Power & Light District was accused of discrimination for adopting a dress code which banned clothes synonymous with hip hop, such as baggy trousers and oversized jewellery, although the city council subsequently passed new rules in April to address some of these issues.

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As expected, rapper DMX has avoided yet more jail time be reaching a plea deal on the latest charges against him. Ironically the hip hopper's latest run in with the law stemmed from an incident in prison, from when Mr X, real name Earl Simmons, was serving time relating to drugs, fraud and animal cruelty charges. He was accused of assaulting a prison employee, seemingly in a squabble over food. Although some thought the altercation could result in more jail time for Simmons, Reuters reports that the rapper will be put on supervised probation for 18 months and forced to receive counselling instead.

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So, are you ready for this? The lawsuits are positively looping in this one, you might need to draw a diagram. Universal Music are suing R&B star Christina Milian and producer Poli Paul in response to Poli Paul suing Universal and Milian in response to Milian suing him in response to her being sued by the owners of a song called 'La Sirena' which was sampled, illegally as it happens, in her 2003 track, 'Dip It Low'. You got all that, right?

Let's do it in chronological order. In 2003 Poli Paul produced the Christina Milian track 'Dip It Low' which was released by Universal's Island Def Jam division. It sampled 12 seconds of an eighties track called 'La Sirena'. There seems to have been some confusion as to whose job it was to clear that sample, and as a result no one did.

In 2005 the owners of 'La Sirena' sued Milian over the sample. That lawsuit was settled the following year, but then last August Milian launched legal proceedings against Paul, claiming he had told her there were no samples in 'Dip It Low', and therefore he was liable for any litigation relating to the unclear sample, and for the legal costs she had incurred fighting the original royalties lawsuit.

In November Paul subsequently sued Universal, saying it was their duty prior to releasing the record to clear any samples, and any liability for Milian's legal fees therefore lay with them. As Universal's deal was with Milian, he subsequently added her as a defendant on that lawsuit, and claimed the singer should cover the legal costs he was incurring in suing Universal.

Universal, who say the creation of 'Dip It Low', samples and all, was entirely in the hands of Milian and Paul, are now suing both of them, arguing that they have been unfairly pulled into a dispute between the singer and producer, and that one or the other or both should pay their legal costs in defending themselves.

All of which sounds like an awful lot of lawyers earning an awful lot of money over a 12 second oversight. Which is good news for lawyers. Milian and Paul are yet to respond to the latest stage of litigation in this story.

Milian was dropped by Universal's Island Def Jam in 2006 and is, I think, now preparing a new album to be released by MySpace Records this Autumn. Assuming MySpace still exists by Autumn.

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The widow of late Canadian jazz blues rock man Jeff Healey is being sued over allegations she conspired with her late husband's former publicist and a Toronto-based radio host to stop people from buying a Healey box set they released.

Winnipeg-based label Arbor released 'Legacy: Volume One', a collection of previously unreleased music by the famous blind guitarist and musician, last Autumn, six month's after Healey's death from cancer.

I'm not sure where Arbor got the recordings from, but Cristie Healey said she didn't endorse the release. She issued a statement at the time saying: "We ask that Jeff's fans please refrain from purchasing this compilation out of respect for Jeff and his family".

That pissed off Arbor, who say their sales were hit by Healey's statement. They are suing her, Healey's publicist and talk shot host Bill Carroll, who is presumably named for publicising Cristie's statement. Arbor say the trio "conspired" to stop people from buying their product.

Under what laws Arbor hope to sue Mrs Healey et al I'm really not sure. The defendants are yet to respond to the litigation.

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Empire Of The Sun's Nick Littlemore has revealed that he was diagnosed with exhaustion after a whirlwind promotional tour of the UK, the US and Mexico.

He told The Sun: "I had to see a doctor to find out what was wrong with me. I arrived back in Australia and couldn't find the energy to do anything. I couldn't move and I hardly ate. The doctor said I was exhausted physically and mentally. I'm now on a high-protein diet and taking shakes to build up my strength. I also go on two kilometre walks every morning with my wife, my daughter and my dog".

He also revealed that there was a positive side to his new more relaxed lifestyle: "Every music video we've filmed so far has been in a different country. We were meant to go to Iceland to film the video for our new single 'Standing On The Shore' but I really couldn't be bothered. In the end I filmed the video on a sand dune a mile from my house in Perth. We got it out of the way quickly and I reckon it's our best one yet".

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Musician and singer songwriter Kenny Rankin, who also wrote songs for the likes of Peggy Lee and Mel Torme, has died at the age of 69 in Los Angeles. He had been suffering from lung cancer.

Rankin was born and raised in New York and encouraged in his musical pursuits by his mother. He began his career as a singer-songwriter, releasing a number of albums in the seventies that made the Billboard Top 100, and which brought him a considerable following.

He was to prove more interested in jazz than pop, however, and as time went on his style developed to have a more jazz orientated sound. He went on, as aforementioned, to write songs for other artists, as well as reworking classic songs, one such being The Beatles' track 'Blackbird', which Rankin recorded on his 1975 album 'Silver Morning', and which impressed Paul McCartney so much that he asked Rankin to perform it at his and John Lennon's songwriters' Hall Of Fame induction.

Denny Stilwell of Rankin's label Mack Avenue Records, said: "That he was still at the top of his game is one of the saddest parts of his passing for me. He performed the new material in our office over the last few months and his voice was still in its finest form - he sounded absolutely amazing. Our hearts and prayers are with his family".

Rankin is survived by a son, two daughters and one grandchild.

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The Bee Gees are to be made freemen of their home town of Douglas on the Isle Of Man. Those of you who always thought that they were a) Manchunian or b) Australian, be informed that the Gibb boys were born in Douglas, before moving to Manchester and thence down under to Brisbane.

The honour will, of course, be bestowed posthumously on Maurice Gibb, who died in Miami back in 2003, but brothers Barry and Robin are expected to attend. Leader of the local council David Christian, who proposed the move, said: "I haven't spoken to Barry but I have spoken to Robin and he's absolutely delighted to have it conferred on them. [There was] no hesitation in accepting and he is looking forward to the event itself".

Christian added that the council are planning to try to allow as many people as possible access to the ceremony, saying: "I went onto the internet to do some research for the speech that I gave to council when the resolution was passed and if you look at the number of websites there are in relation to the Bee Gees it's absolutely unbelievable. We're hoping we might be able to try to do some kind of link up where perhaps people will be able to view the ceremony on the internet".

Other members of the Gibb family are also said to be planning to attend, including Maurice's widow and son.

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As expected, presumably, the winner of 'American Idol', Kris Allen, has signed a record deal with 19 Recordings, which is linked to Sony via its Jive Records division. Jive top man Barry Weiss told reporters: "He's a super-talented singer and all-around gifted musician who has that rare common touch which will give him the ability to connect with the broadest possible audience".

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Alice In Chains have confirmed they have signed to EMI, which I thought they'd already done, but apparently not. The rockers had signed a worldwide deal with the major's Virgin US division, and the first long player to be released under the contract is already done and dusted and should hit record shops and the like in September.

The band's Jerry Cantrell called by CMU HQ yesterday, obviously, and told us: "It's been a meaningful journey and a hell of a story. We're very excited to have a home at Virgin/EMI and are looking forward to writing new chapters in the book of Alice". He then had a cup of tea and a slice of a rather nice sponge cake with the CMU team.

Confirming the deal, EMI's Jeff Kempler added: "There is a tremendous sense of excitement and dedication within EMI around the world as we head into this album release. Alice In Chains' place in rock history is undeniable and when people hear this remarkable new work it will be clear how timeless, potent and visionary this band is". By the time Jeff got here Jerry had eaten all but a tiny slice of the cake, so we just pretended we didn't have any. Sorry Jeff.

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Silverchair have said that they are working on a new album. A statement on their website reads: "Daniel, Ben and Chris recently got together in a remote studio for a bit over three weeks to work on some new songs. They put down a bunch of ideas and Daniel has since gone away to write and develop the songs further".

The band aren't promising that it'll be out any time soon, however, explaining that "there are no release plans yet".

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Auto-tune as a tool to make vocals sound perfect is nothing new, but there has been a sharp rise in people, most notably Kanye West, cranking it up to make their voices sound distorted and shit. It's high time something was done about it. Luckily, someone is.

A new track from Jay-Z's forthcoming album, 'The Blueprint 3' (which is produced by the aforementioned Mr West), has leaked onto the internet. Entitled 'DOA (Death Of Auto-tune)', it sees the rapper take a swipe not only at the vocal manipulation software, but also iTunes, mobile phone ringtones and singing, which he thinks are all shit.

In the track, which samples 'In The Space' by Janko Nilovic and Dave Sucky, he raps: "This is anti-Auto-tune/Death of the ringtone/This ain't for iTunes/This ain't for singalongs".

'The Blueprint 3' Is set for release on 11 Sep in the US. You can check out 'DOA (Death Of Auto-tune)' here:

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Bit of trivia for you. Hafdis Huld's 2006 album 'Dirty Paper Cup' won Best Pop Album at the Icelandic Music Awards, but, more importantly, is really quite good at calming down small children who are being tired and fractious in the back of your car.

The singer, formerly of GusGus, is on tour in the UK at the moment, and recently had this to say about the filming of the video for her new single 'Kongulo': "Kongulo means spider in Icelandic and the song is about a Frenchman they call the human spiderman. He climbs tall buildings using just his bare hands and has his long hair streaming out behind him and he's very cool. His name is Alain Robert and I wrote to him and he wrote back but he couldn't be in my video because he's just been arrested in Australia for climbing another building. So instead I got my friend Ben to dress up in a Spiderman costume and we took a picnic to the woods and while I sang the song, Ben tried to climb a tall tree. He had to use a rope because he's not good at climbing trees - but he wasn't very good at that either and kept getting stuck upside down! He's now got blisters all over his hands, which isn't very rock and roll, but I gave him some chocolate and he's OK now".

Given all of Ben's efforts, you really ought to go watch the video here...

And, assuming you like the music you hear, then go check out one of the following Hafdis gigs (though I can't guarantee Ben will be doing any climbing at them)...

10 Jun: Birmingham, Academy 3
11 Jun: Bath, The Porter
14 Jun: Reading, The Oakford
16 Jun: Brighton, The Freebutt
18 Jun: Glasgow, Brel
22 Jun: London, Pure Grooves - instore
23 Jun: London, Slaughtered Lamb
25 Jul: Secret Garden Party

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Thom Yorke will perform a rare solo set at this year's Latitude festival. Sunday lunchtime on the main stage will be handled by the Radiohead frontman, who will start playing at exactly midday, not one moment sooner or later, on 19 Jul.

Yorke, of course, released a solo album, 'Eraser', in 2006, but aside from the odd acoustic appearance, has rarely played live as a solo artist. Announcing the set, Latitude organiser Melvin Benn said: "That it is a special one-off performance for Latitude only fills me with enormous pride at the statement it makes about the festival".

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Well, it wouldn't be a festival if everything was nice and you had a good time, would it? So thank your lucky stars that bad weather is already being predicted for events taking place in June.

The Download Festival, which will take place at Donington this weekend, got the ball rolling yesterday but announcing via Twitter: "Update from Donington - it's bloody muddy up here. More rain this week. Please bring wellies and waterproofs with you. You WILL need them".

But they were trumped by Glastonbury, who always have to go one better. Worthy Farm is expected to be hit by a monsoon just as 135,000 people all try to pitch tents in its fields. Dr Craig Wallace of the University Of Southampton, who has been running computer models of weather patterns for the last 30 years, told The Times that the pattern of bad weather that has plagued the festival for the last few years, a phenomenon dubbed "the return of the westerlies", is now a highly predictable moment in the annual weather calendar.

And as if that wasn't bad enough, typing "the return of the westerlies" has got 'Return Of The Mack' by Mark Morrison stuck in my head.

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If, like me, you wonder why the top European music business junket MIDEM continue to have a separate event for all things digital, when it's pretty much impossible to separate the record industry from the digital industry these days, well, next year they won't.

Well, they will, except that ticket holders to the main 2010 MIDEM conference will automatically get tickets to the digitally-focused MidemNet, and while the latter will run from 23-24 Jan, ahead of the main MIDEM from 24-27 Jan, there will be digital debates in the main part of the programme too. To be honest I'm not sure why they continue to distinguish between the two programmes at all, and suspect come 2011 they won't.

MIDEM boss Dominique Leguern says this: "When we launched MidemNet in 2000, digital was an up-and-coming segment of the music industry. Now that digital is an integral part of the business, it is logical that we unite MidemNet into the main MIDEM event. This means that we are now able, throughout the duration of MIDEM, to offer conferences on digital developments as well as all other aspects of the industry and introduce an exciting new exhibition zone devoted to truly ground-breaking companies working in digital".

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ALBUM REVIEW: Tiny Masters Of Today - Skeletons (EMI/Mute)
One of the only names that yes, you CAN let fool you, Tiny Masters Of Today are, indeed, quite tiny - fifteen and thirteen years old, to be exact. And this is their second album. This brother and sister team started writing songs together when they were eight and ten, releasing their debut single a year later, so they're almost old pros now. But are they any good, or is this a novelty act that's gone on too long? Well, having continued to cement their position on the Brooklyn indie scene since the release of their first album in 2007, and having adopted MisShapes' Garth Algar lookalike and super-cute Jackson Pollis as their touring drummer, TMOT are growing into their shoes quite nicely. And I can only see them continue to do so as they grow older. They have a sound similar to defunct Nashville garage-rock outfit Be Your Own Pet - the lyrics aren't exactly profound, and they're not going to change the world with them, but who cares when the sound of the music is this fun and energetic? And while there's still something a little bit sinister about listening to a couple of kids play their guitars better than I can, 'Skeletons' is actually a pretty catchy record with a few good, solid tracks on it. From the scuzzy, sweet 'Real Good' to the very cool sound of 'Big Bass Drum', this album certainly has a focus and is not as all-over-the-place as one might imagine. TW
Release Date: 15 Jun
Press Contact: Create Spark [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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EMI Music Publishing has promoted A&R man Felix Howard, a songwriter himself, so that he will head up the publisher's UK A&R team, and work with the major's UK President and Europe-wide creative chief Guy Moot to "drive creative strategy and ensure that the company continues to sign the best songwriting talent around".

Confirming the promotion, Moot told CMU: "Felix has the background in music and songs that give him an ability to connect equally with people making music, and with those who work within the industry created around those people. His track record speaks for itself, and I know that his passion and commitment will help us to stay on top of our creative game".

Howard himself said this: "The best A&R departments are the ones that operate as a team, and I'm lucky that I get to work with a group who can operate across all genres, and who really love the most important things - the writers and the songs. Working for Guy Moot, who is one of the best A&Rs in the business as our incredible roster of songwriters really shows, is a 24 hours a day, 365 days a year experience, and I'm very excited to be involved in the planning and plotting of the next phase of this amazing company's history".

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Boston-based Berklee College Of Music will launch a UK-focused "online learning programme" for aspiring musicians later this week. The programme, called Berkleemusic, gives UK-based music talent the chance to learn off "some of the most notable music instructors in the world". It will be officially launched at the London International Music Show at ExCel on Thursday.

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The Edge Investment Management team have raised another £9.4 million in money to be invested in live entertainment and music projects. The latest round of fundraising means Edge have raised over £50 million in funds since the outfit was set up in 2006.

Edge Group founder David Glick told reporters: "It is clearly a challenging market for any company seeking to raise funds, and we are realistic enough to know we are a minnow compared with giants like Downing and Ingenious. However, these results show the importance of being close to your markets, both the investor market and the companies in which we invest. A boutique operator like ourselves can respond quickly to changing market conditions and we believe our closeness to the markets in which we operate is key to our success".

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The Association Of Independent Music is ten years old, which seems hard to believe, but there you go. The landmark will be celebrated at the trade body's AGM next month, which will be held at the IndigO2 venue within the O2 Dome. AIM members are being invited to submit their 'big ideas' for independent music in the next ten years - with ten to be selected by the trade body's chiefs to be presented at the AGM event on 13 Jul. The big idea debate will follow the formal part of the General Meeting, which will include the election of four new board members. A tenth anniversary party will follow at 7.45pm. More info on all this when we get it.

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Mick Jagger has lent his name to a campaign to save the EMD cinema in Walthamstow, north-east London, which is set to become a church of all things. The venue, once part of the Granada cinema chain, was well known back in the day as a music venue as well as a filmhouse, and The Stones, The Beatles, The Who, The Kinks and some bands without 'the' in their name all played there early on in their careers.

The art deco building was sold to the Universal Church Of The Kingdom Of God in 2003 and they have since been trying to get planning permission to convert it into a centre for worship. But locals would prefer it to stay as an entertainment centre. The UCKG's original proposal to alter the building was turned down, but those campaigning for it to remain a venue say another planning application is in the pipeline.

Jagger is among the celebs to support the campaigners. He told reporters last week: "Cinemas and live venues like the Granada in Walthamstow where The Stones played in the early days, learning our craft on the way, are the lifeblood of our cultural history. They helped launched British popular music on to a world stage and should continue to function as places of entertainment and enjoyment. It's heartbreaking to hear about such a beautiful, important historical building and centre of entertainment being lost to the local community. I fully support the campaign to keep it open and provide film, music and the arts for generations to come".

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US indie label trade body A2IM has said that Universal want to include independent music in their new music video service Vevo.

As previously reported, Vevo is Universal's latest attempt to take a slice of the digital music market for itself, rather than just licensing tracks to other streaming and download platforms. It will be an ad-funded YouTube-powered platform that hopes to generate more ad revenues than YouTube-style user generated content websites who host music videos by being an 'official music video only' service.

Universal hope to licence other label's music for Vevo, and Sony Music are already on board. A2IM chief Rich Bengloff seemed to imply that an indie label deal was also in place when he spoke at this week's National Association Of Recording Merchandisers convention in San Diego, though he subsequently clarified that he meant an interest had been expressed in doing an indie deal, adding that such a deal would most likely be done between Universal and global digital rights body Merlin.

Bengloff has told Digital Music News: "Vevo has expressed interest in including independent music labels in their service to provide a full consumer experience and has indicated to A2IM that they plan to offer terms that give independent artists and labels parity".

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Channel Five has welcomed a decision last week by BBC regulator the BBC Trust to ask for more information about the so called Project Canvas before approving the Corporation's involvement in it.

Project Canvas is a joint venture between the BBC, ITV and BT, and is all about providing TV-over-the-internet services that plug directly into a television via a set top box, rather than being accessed via a PC - the on-demand component of the BT Vision service falls into that category.

This project is fundamentally different to the previously reported and now defunct Project Kangaroo, which saw the Beeb's commercial division collaborating with ITV and Channel 4 with a view to launching a joint TV-on-demand platform (it failed because the Competition Commission considered the alliance of the three major broadcasters, two publicly owned, to be anticompetitive).

Project Canvas isn't about launching joint platforms, but rather it aims to develop "technical standards, programme guide standards and editorial oversight systems" that would mean that any electronics maker could make a set top box compatible with Canvas-affiliated TV-over-IP services, and any on-demand service could offer content compatible with Canvas-enabled set top boxes.

The venture, while seemingly admirable, does have its critics - though they are mainly major electronics companies who like the idea of having their own propriety TV-over-IP systems, giving them control over which content owners can connect to consumers via their products. Because that policy worked so well for Sony et al in the digital music domain - oh hang on, it led to Sony completely losing its position in the portable music device market. Still, Sony et al argue that they dislike the Canvas project because it will be too UK-centric, and might introduce standards in TV-over-IP here that then differ from standards everywhere else.

Anyway, it's because of the slightly controversial nature of the BBC/ITV/BT alliance that the Trust has to give its approval before the Corporation can get too involved. They have been considering the proposals for a few months now, but say that they need more information before they can make a decision. BBC Trustee Diane Coyle said last Thursday: "As part of our assessment process we have just completed a comprehensive consultation of the industry. A common theme that emerged was that more information was needed from the BBC Executive about the Canvas proposal. So in the interests of making a robust and independent decision we have asked the Executive to look at the issues that stakeholders have raised and report back to us. The Trust's processes are designed to give us enough flexibility to reach a final conclusion, whilst maintaining a rigorous assessment of the proposals".

While the Trust's request for more information is a little set back for the Project Canvas team, who want the go ahead sooner rather than later, a spokesman for Channel Five has told reporters that they believe the regulator has responded correctly. Not that they have anything against the project, in fact they hope to use any standards to enable them to launch their own widely accessible TV-over-IP service, but, they say, it is important the partners in Canvas get it right, and the Trust has a role in ensuring that.

The fifth channel's rep told reporters: "Five welcomes the constructive and thorough approach the BBC Trust is taking to Project Canvas. The UK's public service broadcasters have an important role in driving Digital Britain and so, as a PSB, Five is supportive of Project Canvas. The delivery of free-to-air content onto the television in the home via broadband will represent a massive step forward for the industry and will transform the viewing experience. It is therefore important that Canvas is a robust proposition in order to meet with the backing of the television industry as a whole".

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Talking of telly-on-demand, Channel 4 has said it will make 4000 hours of archive content available for free via its 4oD service, the on demand platform available online and via services like Virgin Digital. The entire back catalogues of classic shows like 'Brass Eye', 'Shameless', 'Vic Reeves Big Night Out', 'The Camomile Lawn' and 'Father Ted' will be available.

While some archive content is already available for free (well, bundled in with subscription fees) to 4oD viewers on Virgin Digital style services, 4oD's free online platform has only featured a 30 day catch-up service so far. The move to launch an ad-funded archive service is bold, given that it will arguably harm the recently profitable TV series DVD market. However, as with the music business, the TV industry has to offer compelling legit on-demand services on the net if it is to compete with unlicensed streaming and download services. You just have to hope there is enough advertising and sponsorship money out there to fund the operation.

Confirming the expansion of the 4oD online service so to incorporate archive, C4's Director Of Future Media And Technology, Jon Gisby, told reporters: "We were the first broadcaster to launch a comprehensive video-on-demand service in 2006, and since that time 4oD has become one of the UK's most popular VOD brands. We are extremely proud of the improved service and think the combination of fantastic content that's easy to find and view will prove compelling for all users".

The move by Channel 4 may put pressure on the BBC to include archive content on its popular iPlayer, which only currently offers a seven day catch up service. The Beeb, though, generates a lot of revenue through DVD sales of its programmes - whether the DVDs are sold by its own commercial division BBC Worldwide or through third parties - and as it will have to fund any online archive service through the licence fee, there are issues around the Beeb expanding its online on-demand platform.

In related news, popular US online on-demand TV service Hulu, which is owned by Disney, NBC and News Corp, is reportedly in talks with possible partners for a UK launch. As previously reported, Hulu is currently developing a music video service in the US which could compete with the likes of YouTube.

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Struggling US satellite radio service Sirius XM is reportedly about to add two dollars to its monthly subscription rate, and is apparently internally blaming music royalties for the increase. According to the Wall Street Journal, an internal training manual reveals the planned price hike, and says subs need to rise because "as an ongoing part of our business, Sirius XM must pay copyright music royalties to music companies and music publishers". Some wonder if regulators who approved the merger of former rivals Sirius and XM will have a problem with the price increase, which could be seen as an abuse of the merged company's monopoly in the US satellite radio space, which might be why the increase is being linked to music royalties. Word is that restrictions on price hikes put in place by regulators prior to the merger do allow for the radio firm to pass on increases caused by a change in record company and music publisher royalty arrangements.

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Play Radio, currently an online operation, has announced it has acquired Radio Hampshire's licences in Southampton and Winchester, which will see the service broadcast on FM for the first time.

As previously reported, Town & Country Radio closed Southampton-based Radio Hampshire somewhat abruptly late last month. The closure impacted on Tindle Radio's Winchester FM franchise, because they had been simply syndicating T&C's Southampton service since last November.

According to Radio Today, Play Radio has acquired both FM frequencies off Radio Hampshire Limited's liquidators, and hope to launch a local service in the area asap.

Play operate a number of different services online, some presenter based, some back to back music (somewhat controversially, their talk service includes a weekly show by BNP Deputy Leader Simon Darby). It's not clear how much of the FM service will come from Play's online channels, and how much will be locally produced. Bosses at Play are currently talking to media regulator OfCom about their proposed programming.

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Elsewhere in radio ownership news, The Local Radio Company has sold one of its FM stations to Westward Broadcasting Limited, giving them their first analogue radio service.

The station is Bournemouth's Fire 107.6, which Westward plan to also put on the digital audio broadcasting network. TLRC had a 80% stake in Fire, and will get at least £40,000 for their share - the exact takeover sum will be calculated in September based on the station's performance in its current financial year.

Confirming the deal, Gareth Cottier-Jansen, the CEO of Westward owners Triple Media, told reporters: "Fire is a great station and one we jumped at the chance of buying. Fire has been a part of the soundtrack to life on the coast since it was launched. Triple Media has a strategy of operating unique brands with growth potential. Fire Radio fits this strategy really well. Our plan for Fire will build on the success the station has already enjoyed, adding new branding, the fresher music policy listeners have been asking for and all the information that is essential to life in Bournemouth and Poole".

The sale of Fire is the first major change at TLRC since the departure of old CEO Anthony Gumbiner and much of his exec team. He was replaced by William Rogers, the boss of rival radio firm UKRD, now TLRC's majority shareholder, who has said he is reviewing the whole of his new charge's portfolio, implying further station sales may be in the offing.

UKRD say they now own 63.24% of TLRC, and have again urged other shareholders in The Local Radio Company to sell to them. The aforementioned Gumbiner's company Hallwood, who own 28%, continue to resist selling out. Presumably UKRD would like complete ownership of TLRC so they could instigate a full merger of the two local radio firms.

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

1. Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown (Warner Bros)
2. Nickelback - Dark Horse (Warner/Roadrunner)
3. AC/DC - Black Ice (Sony Music)
4. Heaven & Hell - The Devil You Know (Warner/Roadrunner)
5. Theory Of A Deadman - Scars & Souvenirs (Warner/Roadrunner)
6. Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (Warner/Roadrunner)
7. Shinedown - The Sound Of Madness (Warner/Atlantic)
8. Pearl Jam - Ten (Sony Music)
9. CKY - Carver City (Warner/Roadrunner)*
10. Bruce Springsteen - Working On A Dream (Sony Music)
11. Metallica - Death Magnetic (Universal/Mercury)
12. Mastodon - Crack The Skye (Warner Bros)
13. Kid Rock - Rock - N Roll Jesus (Warner/Atlantic)
14. Disturbed - Indestructible (Warner/Reprise)
15. Lamb Of God - Wrath (Warner/Roadrunner)
16. Guns N Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)
17. Rise Against - Appeal To Reason (Universal/Geffen)
18. Papa Roach - Metamorphosis (Universal/Interscope)
19. Daughtry - Daughtry (Sony Music)
20. Lacuna Coil - Shallow Life (Century Media)

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Surely you all know this already, but we forgot to report on it yesterday.

Susan Boyle left the London branch of The Priory at the end of last week - she had been in the rehab facility since the day after her defeat on the 'Britain's Got Talent' show after show producers and staff at the hotel where she was staying expressed concern over the YouTube sensation's mental state. Boyle left the clinic despite the boss of The Priory organisation saying a one week stay at one of his facilities was of little use to anyone wishing to address mental problems.

Boyle's brother told reporters: "She's much happier. She's seems a lot more like herself. Things are becoming clearer for her now. She's now beginning to believe that, 'Yes indeed, I will be a singer'". It remains to be seen, however, if Boyle appears on the 'BGT' tour, which kicks off in Birmingham on Friday.

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According to reports, Michael Jackson is to stay at the £15 million Foxbury Manor, in Chislehurst, Kent, when he's in the UK for his fifty date residency at London's O2 Arena, and he's apparently asked promoters to make sure it's kitted out with some Neverland-style paraphernalia. It's said that he's requested that a bowling alley be installed, which isn't so very Neverland, but he would also, allegedly, like a fully functioning fun fair in the estate's grounds, which kinda is.

A source is quoted as saying: "Michael is quite particular. He's missed living in Neverland since debts forced him to get rid of it four years ago. He thinks he can recreate a bit of its magic in Kent and concert bosses are happy to indulge him. He loves bowling, so has insisted an alley be created and he's never lost his love of funfairs, so has demanded one be built in the grounds".

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