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Top Stories
Digital Britain report published
The big file-sharing plan - let's do nothing for now
Stop your digital dithering Mr Minister
Feargal cautious, wants a five-strike system
Cut of licence fee could go to commercial broadcasters
Licence fee and phone tax to fund high speed net rollout
Winehouse needs rescuing, says mum
Doherty compares press to Nazi guards
In The Pop Courts
Spears home intruder given restraining order
Katy Perry sues namesake over name
Do It lawsuit goes Stateside
In The Pop Hospital
Aerosmith chap to rejoin tour next month
Ventures man Bogle dies
Awards & Contests
Iron Maiden, Slipknot, honoured by Metal Hammer
Reunions & Splits
Preston prepares for solo launch
In The Studio
Supergrass chaps do new project
Alex James to replace Hooky (sort of)
Santigold starts work on album #2
Prodigy to work with Dizzee
Release News
Pixies to sign boxset
Emmy The Great announces new EP
Gigs N Tours News
Iceland's finest for Iceland's day
Dengue Fever to play London show
Single review: The Maccabees - Can You Give It (Fiction)
The Music Business
Japanese net piracy law tightened
Vinyl growth limited by industry fears
The Digital Business
MySpace downsize
The Media Business
MTV rename flagship channel
Chart Of The Day
MTV2/MySpace chart
And finally...
Carey gets back at Eminem
Merriweather and Ronson's Smiths death threats
Teyana Taylor not even a bit like Rihanna, right?
Wee started nothing
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts

Creating an unlikely but captivating blend of Pixies and Boards Of Canada, Swimming launched themselves onto the scene last year and were instantly met by a barrage of praise from all over the place. They released their debut album, 'The Fireflow Trade', in May via their own Colourschool label.

The band play Twisted Licks at The Macbeth on London with Mothlite and Chik Budo on 20 Jun. That's this Saturday. More information on all that here.

Ahead of the Twisted Licks show, we spoke to Swimming's frontman, John Sampson, to ask our Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
We've all played in bands since school. We made old dictaphone and four-track recordings when we were kids using a Casiotone keyboard and some guitars plugged into our hi-fi. Me and my brother Peter [drums] were in a band with Andy [keys] that we recorded in Blake's [bass] bedroom long before we were in this band together. It's cool how it has come round to us all being in Swimming.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
The quote "the world is one country and mankind its citizens" really inspired all the songs on the album. A [nineteenths century Iranian] poet called Tahireh was a huge lyrical inspiration, she had such an incredible impact on so many people at a time when it was hard to have a voice, especially for women. Musically it was everything from a simple melody that might kick a song off or listening to too much Boards Of Canada and watching 80s kids films.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
It's different every time. We sometimes record while we write so the song develops quite naturally, like 'All In Time To The Shoreline', which starts with an air-raid siren playing a melody then went off into a massive choral chant thing. We didn't plan that. But sometimes songs are just written on an acoustic guitar and then put together more traditionally, practising as a band and recording in the usual way.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
I know it's obvious but we can't deny it: Boards of Canada, Can, My Bloody Valentine, Sly And The Family Stone, Nirvana, O.lamm, so many artists.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Please have another listen - haha.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your album, and for the future?
For the album, it's that the word keeps spreading, hopefully to distant lands where we can go and play mega rock shows. We also really want to take the headphone-only gigs we do to a larger audience, it's such an ace way to get the music across live. Beyond that we've already started on some new songs... love on.


A new project from London-based producer Hungryghost, aka Alan Dobson (also a member of the Son Records-signed hip hop crew Def Tex), Arcadion is an attempt to put a modern twist on the percussion-heavy funk, or go-go sound, of 70s and 80s, acts like Trouble Funk, Tilt and The Junk Yard Band. Along the way he twists in elements of dub and electro, piling on heavy basslines and infectious beats that pretty much force you to get up and dance. Dobson released his first single as Arcadion, 'Ghost Feeder', back in December via DC Recordings. The follow-up, 'Fly Vision', came out on the same label last month, and sees the project progressing into something really exciting. You can check out both the singles on the MySpace page, linked here.

Did you know that the CMU Daily is now read by over 15,500 music people every single day? That's pretty much every key decision maker and opinion former in music in the UK.

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So, Steve's long awaited 'Digital Britain' report was published yesterday, and presented to the House Of Commons by the government's new culture blokey Ben Bradshaw, because of the loony system whereby Lords can be members of the government but aren't allowed to speak in the Commons, so can't actually be held personally accountable by our elected representatives (well, it's your constitution, people). Lord Stephen Carter, the report's author, had presumably been busy briefing new boy Bradshaw about his big document ever since the latter was moved into the culture minister job as part of Gordon Brown's cabinet reshuffle earlier this month.

The report, the first draft of which was published earlier this year, of course, had a wide ranging remit, covering both the expansion of digital media channels, and the issues facing content providers of all kinds in the digital age. Most reporting and comment on the document so far, however, has dwelled mainly on high speed broadband expansion, the future of the licence fee, and online piracy, and not wishing to be left out or anything, that's what I'm going to dwell on too. Starting, of course, with the bit that has particularly concerned the music business - illegal file-sharing and the internet service providers' role in stopping it.

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As much previously reported, in early 2008 the government made some unusually bold commitments to the effect that they would force the ISPs to act on illegal file-sharing if no voluntary agreement could be reached between the music industry and the net firms on how to deal with the piracy problem. But then previous culture minister, Andy Burnham, spent the latter half of last year telling us all that it would be irresponsible for the government to make good on those commitments until 'Digital Britain' was published - because the issue would be fully dealt with in there.

In the latter months as chief culture man, though, Burnham had switched his delaying tactics to one of telling the record industry that this was "an international problem" and one where government could help most by lobbying their counterparts around the world, encouraging them to also act on internet piracy (most probably focusing on those governments based in warmer climes, it's much more fun lobbying politicians in hot countries, especially in the winter).

That shift in focus, coupled with the lacklustre commitments made regarding tackling the net piracy issue in 'Digital Britain V.1', led to growing pessimism in the music industry with regard to the government's real commitment to forcing the ISPs to take a hardline approach against those who persistently access or upload unlicensed content online. That said, in his parting shot as culture man, Burnham did say he thought media regulator OfCom should be able to force ISPs to implement "technical measures" against the most persistent online copyright infringers.

So what did the final edition of 'Digital Britain' say about file-sharing? Well, very little. The government wants a 70-80% reduction in unlawful file-sharing by 2011, but I want to spend the weekend on a Caribbean island, but however hard I want, I know I'm going to spend it in front of my Mac in Shoreditch. How are they going to achieve this? By forcing ISPs to send warning letters to those who unlawfully file-share, and making it easier for content owners to sue the file-sharers who ignore the letters, by making it easier to access the identity of a file-sharer off their net provider. Brilliant.

To be honest I'm not sure why Carter even bothered putting a file-sharing section in his report. First, all the major ISPs are already sending out warning letters to suspected file-sharers. And second, and most importantly, as anyone who knows anything about digital music (or who reads the CMU Daily, which is the same thing really) knows, DIRECT INFRINGEMENT LAWSUITS AGAINST INDIVIDUAL FILE SHARERS DO NOT WORK. Look it must be true, I put it in capital letters.

Even the thickest and most stubborn of the lawyers at the Recording Industry Association Of America (and let's face it, they employ some of the thickest and most stubborn lawyers in the world) have now accepted that suing individuals who file-share is pointless.

First, these people don't have any money, so even if the content owner wins (which they often do, albeit usually through an out of court settlement or default judgement) the damages paid rarely cover the legal and administrative cost of pursuing the legal action in the first place.

Second, so many people file-share every day of the week, you'll never be able to sue everyone, the legal costs would probably bankrupt the industry.

Third, isolated lawsuits (and let's remember, the RIAA definition of "isolated lawsuits" is thousands of them) have not proven to be a deterrent to other file-sharers.

And fourth, such litigation makes the major record companies look like a bunch of cunts - I mean, even more cuntish than they really are (only joking my major label friends) - which makes the average file-sharer even more prone to steal music, I mean, who cares if those cunts go out of business?

The direct infringement lawsuit option has been open to record companies ever since the first kid downloaded a Britney track off Napster, but it's just not a viable option for protecting copyrights, and simplifying the process a little isn't going to make it any less so.

So the point is this: either you say that P2P is and always has been a distraction, that record companies will never be able to stop people from file-sharing just like they never stopped home-taping, and that they should invest their energy into finding new ways to make money out of recordings, or get involved in other areas of the music industry, and negotiate the kind of artist contracts that allow them to do so.

Or you say that those who continue to file-share will have their internet access restricted, suspended or cancelled, perhaps via a special court to deal with such things, hoping that, while hardcore file-sharers will find ways to circumvent the system and avoid detection, such measures may deter more casual file-sharers from accessing illegal content sources.

But you don't, repeat, don't say: "well, why don't you sue the infringers?"

But what about Burnham's "technical measures".

Well, to be fair, they are in the report. OfCom, the report says, will be given powers to force ISPs to instigate "technical limitations" to the internet access of serial infringers, which might include blocking access to websites and IP addresses which aid file-sharing, capping the bandwidth of file-sharers, or introducing special filters that block the download of infringing content. No suspensions as proposed by the music companies, nor disconnections as proposed in France, but perhaps measures that might sufficiently infuriate those they were instigated against to stop them from file-sharing. Assuming they couldn't work out ways around them. Which some of them probably could.

"But it's a start, isn't it?" you may say. Well yes, except Carter says that these measures, while maybe included in new legislation now, would only kick in once it had been proven the warning letter programme hadn't worked, and he'd want a twelve month test period to check whether it had or not. Given it will take the best part of a year to get the warning letter programme onto the statute book, that could mean that it would be two years before any "technical measures" are used against file-sharers, even though the voluntary warning letter programme is nearly a year old now and clearly hasn't achieved much.

All of which means it will be some time before any tougher sanctions against file-sharers are introduced. By which time there'll probably be a Tory government, voluntary programmes like the Virgin Media/Universal Music partnership announced earlier this week may have solved the problem anyway, or the record companies may have finally accepted P2P is an unsolvable problem, and just found a profitable business model with accommodates that fact. Which may well be what the government is secretly hoping, and the main motivation for the delaying tactics.

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The Tory's culture man Jeremy Hunt, who, needless to say, found problems with pretty much every one of the government's digital proposals, latched onto the buzz word "digital dithering". That, Hunt says, is what the government is and has been doing, and the dithering is putting the British digital and creative industries at risk. We all love a bit of alliteration, of course, and the phrase 'digital dithering' was quickly picked up by other critics to Carter's big report.

Speaking for the record companies, the boss of the BPI, Geoff Taylor, said he welcomed the fact that the 'Digital Britain' report recognised the seriousness of the online piracy issue, and welcomed the ambitious targets set for cutting unlawful file-sharing, but said that further - wait for it - "digital dithering" meant that those targets would never be met, and that immediate action was required to safeguard the future of the UK's content industries. Basically he wants the 'technical measures' to come sooner. Now preferably. Or yesterday if at all possible.

Look, here's what he said in full: "It's clear what government needs to do to boost the digital music market and achieve its stated objective of significantly reducing illegal downloading by 70-80% in two years - that's to act now to require all ISPs to apply a fair system of 'graduated response'. This would comprise a series of notices followed by technical measures to steer consumers away from illegal filesharing and onto legal online services that reward artists and record labels for their work".

He continued: "Evidence shows that the government's 'write and then sue' approach won't work. And government appears to be anticipating its failure by lining up backstop powers for OfCom to introduce technical measures later. This digital dithering puts thousands of jobs at risk in a creative sector that the government recognises as the driver of the digital economy". _

He concluded:_"Music companies are in the forefront of developing new digital services for consumers - such as the deal announced yesterday between Universal Music and Virgin Media - but that innovation needs to be balanced with meaningful action to deal with persistent freeloaders".

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Cross sector trade body UK Music echoed a lot of what the BPI said. They were "cautiously optimistic" that the issue of file-sharing and its impact on the content industries had been given due importance in the report, but they too felt not enough had been proposed to meet this ambitious 70-80% cut in file-sharing.

Rather than waiting for Carter's "technical measures" in two years time, UK Music boss Feargal Sharkey is putting forward for discussion a five stage "graduated response" system that, he says, internet service providers should introduce sooner rather than later. I'm calling it the Feargal Five Way approach, and would like everyone to refer to the final sanction, a two month net suspension, as the file-sharer being "Feargaled", though it's possible I'm not taking this seriously enough.

Commenting on the 'Digital Britain' report, Sharkey told CMU: "We would like to see action now. Over the past twelve months, UK music companies have exceeded themselves in terms of innovation and experimentation, offering unprecedented access and choice to music fans. Yesterday's announcement by Virgin Media and Universal Music of their all-you-can-eat MP3 service comes on the back of free-to-consumer offerings from Spotify and We7 and the removal of digital rights management from the download market. There are more licensed download services in the UK than any country in Europe. I am certain there will be even more in the coming weeks, months and years".

He continued: "We are keen to begin the consultation process [on tackling file-sharing] as soon as possible and to open a dialogue with industry partners. As part of this conversation and to set the ball rolling, UK Music has today proposed a series of proportionate measures, targeted specifically towards persistent file sharers, which we believe would help take forward the debate even further. The express aim of these measures is to encourage them [the filthy file-sharers] to migrate toward licensed music services".

The Feargal Five Way approach is as follows:

1. Warning notice. The ISP will send a letter to the account holder illegally file sharing copyright material.

2. Interactive Notification & Web Redirection. The ISP will redirect the account's web browser to a website which will require the account holder to identify themselves and their responsibility for the account.

3. Should an ISP receive evidence of illegal file sharing on an account for a third occasion, it will send a notification to the account holder that their internet service will be immediately suspended for 72 hours.

4. If there's evidence of illegal file sharing on an account on a fourth occasion, the ISP will send a notification to the account holder that their internet service will be immediately suspended for one month.

5. With evidence of illegal file sharing for a fifth occasion, the ISP will suspend the account for a period of two months and that a further two month suspension will be implemented if a further infringement occurs.

It remains to be seen what the ISPs make of that proposal. I reckon they might go for the first two (well, they're already doing the first) - though I'm not sure what the technical implications of the second proposal would be.

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So what else did 'Digital Britain' say outside the file-sharing domain? Well, the big news, albeit expected, was the proposal that a portion of the licence fee should be taken off the BBC and given to commercial broadcasters with public service remits.

The idea seems to be that the money currently put aside by the Beeb each year to help fund the switchover to digital would continue to be set aside even once switchover is completed, and that that money, about £130 million a year, might be made available to commercial broadcasters like ITV and Channel 4 to fund some of their public service programmes, in ITV's case that would include regional news and kids programmes.

The BBC, of course, hate the idea of losing their monopoly over the licence fee, and bosses there thought they'd successfully derailed such proposals earlier this year when Channel 4's original suggestion that it should get a cut of licence fee cash was seemingly rejected by ministers. But the 'Digital Britain' report, while vague and a bit non-committal on this issue, stressed that the Corporation didn't have any automatic right to all licence fee money, and told BBC bosses that they needed to become "public service partners" with commercial media organisations.

The BBC claim that diverting licence fee money to other media organisations would "damage BBC output", which is nonsense, it might force them to reduce overall output, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. And, of course, the Corporation remains chronically overstaffed in an era when everyone else in the media is streamlining like mad. Nevertheless, BBC Trust top man Michael Lyons has formally stressed his objections to the licence fee sharing plans, and has vowed to fight any such proposals should they be formally put on the table.

Elsewhere with regards public service broadcasting issues, Carter said previously discussed proposals of a merger between the two state owned commercial media firms - Channel 4 and the Beeb's commercial bit BBC Worldwide - would not be forced by government, but that ministers would support such a merger should the two parties want it, and would be willing to help "facilitate" such a deal.

As previously reported, a combined C4 BBC Worldwide has been much discussed since the first draft of 'Digital Britain', the Beeb reluctantly considering the proposal because it's more palatable to them than C4 getting a cut of the licence fee. Such a merger might be preceded by Channel 4 buying Virgin Media out of the UKTV network, which is half owned by BBC Worldwide, and which would see the two companies formally partnering on a TV enterprise.

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And finally from 'Digital Britain', a few words on the roll out of 2MB broadband - one of the big proposals in the report. Carter says that everyone in the UK should have access to 2MB broadband internet because as more government, commercial and content services transfer to the net anyone without that kind of net access is disadvantaged.

The issue, though, is that while much faster internet is already available in many parts of the UK, in more out of the way places, especially in Northern England and the Scottish Highlands, the cost to commercial companies - BT and Virgin Media mainly - to put such a service in place is unlikely to result in sufficient new revenues to make doing so commercially viable.

With that in mind the government is proposing to help fund the roll out of higher speed internet, partly by using some of that aforementioned licence fee money put aside by the BBC to fund the digital telly switchover (not all of which has been spent), and partly by charging all land line phone users a 50p a month levy. A proposal which seems to have come as a bit of a surprise to some in the telecoms sector.

Asked if, in a time of recession, such a levy wasn't going to be very unpopular with the public, Carter observed: "How will the public react? We will find out. Our view as a government is that it's a good exercise of judgement".

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Amy Winehouse's mother has said that her daughter needs rescuing, explaining that although the singer has made some progress in fighting drug addiction, she is still troubled.

In a new interview, Janis Winehouse is quoted as saying: "The need to rescue her is enormous. I just want her to be okay and I would do whatever it took to make that right. Amy is in denial all the time. She probably feels trapped, her body is trapping her. But I know with addiction you do not have the choice because the substance itself directs you".

Father Mitch concedes that "there's been a remarkable recovery" in the last few months, but that there's still a long way to go. "I need my daughter to be a whole person again", he added.

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I think this happened earlier in the month, but our Doherty team got distracted with the druggy arrest stories. Anyway, Pete Doherty has compared the paparazzi to concentration camp guards during a BBC documentary.

Discussing life in the media glare on 'Panorama', in an instalment called 'The Death of Kiss and Tell', Doherty said: "It's going to sound really extreme but you know even the people who were like shovelling bodies into gas chambers were saying 'we're just obeying orders'".

He continued: "You've got to accept responsibility for what you do. If your actions as an individual are directly having a negative affect on someone else's life then you can't say 'you're doing your job.' You know you're not just doing your job, you're doing your job and fucking up someone else's head".

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Miranda Tozier Robbins, that woman who, as previously reported, was arrested outside Britney Spears' home in Los Angeles earlier this year, has been given a restraining order. The 26 year old, who claimed to have been filming a documentary when caught outside Brit's property back in April, was booked on charges of trespass and disorderly conduct. She's now been told that she is forbidden from coming within a hundred yards of Spears, and her home.

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I'd love to know the background to this case. Whose idea was it? Does this come from Katy Perry herself, or some idiot lawyer pushing his luck?

Australian fashion designer Katie Perry says she has received a legal letter from lawyers representing her American pop singing differently-spelled namesake ordering her to stop putting her name - her own name - on the clothes she designs. Even though she spells it differently than the pop star, has been using her name on her loungewear line for two years, ie since before Katy Perry's career-launching pop album debut last summer, and Katy Perry isn't even Katy Perry's birth name.

Commenting on the legal letter, the Aussie Perry told reporters: "I got such a huge shock. It really felt like I was being intimidated and bullied into signing everything away. [The letter] asked me to give up the trademark, withdraw sale of my clothes, withdraw any advertising and any websites, and sign that I will not in the future use a similar trademark to Katy Perry. I pretty much burst into tears. I love my business. I'm not going to give it away without a fight either. I'm not trying to become a singer. I'm not pretending to be her. This is my income. And it's the livelihood of my contractors as well".

Assuming there isn't some sort of confusion going on here, and Katy's lawyers are really making these demands, I really hope it goes to court and the judge tells popstar Perry's attorneys to fuck off and die. And in the meantime we should all boycott Katy Perry's records and buy a nice Katie Perrie jumper instead.

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An ongoing legal squabble in relation to the Nelly Furtado track 'Do It' is about to arrive in the American courts for the first time.

It's been claimed that Furtado and producer Timbaland borrowed bits from a 2000 Finnish track called 'Acidjazzed Evening' for their 2007 single, without permission. Or, perhaps, that Timbaland sneakily sampled a 2002 rework of the Finnish track by Norwegian musician Glenn Rune Gallefoss.

It is Gallefoss who previously sued over the claim, through the Finnish courts, where he launched copyright infringement proceedings against the Finnish branch of Universal, who released the single there. His claim was unsuccessful in court, though he's appealing the ruling.

Now the record company who owned the original 2000 recording are also suing, though they've chosen to do so through the US courts in Florida.

Timbaland, it should be noted, denies stealing from or knowing anything about 'Acidjazzed Evening' or Gallefoss's rework of it.

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Brad Whitford of Aerosmith will rejoin his band on tour on 7 Jul, after being forced to take time out from the group's live dates following a head injury. The guitarist knocked his head as he got out of his car a few weeks ago, and suffered some internal bleeding as a result.

Bandmate Joe Perry explained to Reuters: "It built up pressure and gave him this whoopin' headache. He's not prone to getting migraines, so knew something was wrong. He went right in, they did what they had to do, and now he's getting better".

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Bob Bogle, one of the two founders of legendary and influential band The Ventures, has died at the age of 75 after suffering from non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Bogle first met Ventures co-founder Don Wilson in Seattle in 1958, and the two men initially played as a duo, performing at small clubs and parties. They later became a four piece, which went through a number of line up changes over the years. Their instrumental style made their music palatable to a truly international audience, and they developed a huge following around the world, especially in Japan. Major hits included 'Hawaii Five-O' and 'Telstar/The Lonely Bull', and their work is considered to have been pivotal in the development of the surf sound.

The band were inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame in March last year. At the event, John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, speaking of The Ventures' 1960 hit 'Walk - Don't Run', told the audience: "That song started a whole new movement in rock 'n' roll. The sound of it became 'surf music', and the audacity of it empowered guitarists everywhere".

Bandmate Wilson has paid tribute, saying: "His last four years have not been pleasant at all; it's kind of a blessing he doesn't have to endure that pain anymore. I never had a brother, but he's the brother I never had. But he was much more than a brother to me. He was one of the kindest men I ever met".

Bogle is survived by his wife Yumi, six children, and a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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Metal Hammer's seventh annual Golden God awards have taken place, and Iron Maiden and Slipknot led the field with two gongs each.

Iron Maiden were pronounced Best UK Band for the second year running, as well as receiving the magazine's highest 'Golden God' honour. Slipknot also garnered two awards, receiving Best International Band and Best Live Band. Other winners on the night included Marilyn Manson, who got an Icon Award, and Roadrunner Records, who were declared Best Metal Label.

Here's a full list of winners:

Best New Band sponsored by BIMM: Five Finger Death Punch
Event Of The Year sponsored by Alchemy: Download Festival
Best Underground Band sponsored by Metal Blade: Behemoth
Best Metal Label sponsored by ADA: Roadrunner Records
Spirit Of Hammer Award sponsored by Jagermeister: Saxon
Dimebag Darrell Shredder Award sponsored by GAK: Herman Li & Sam Totman (Dragonforce)
Best Live Band sponsored by Rising Records: Slipknot
Best International Band sponsored by SPV/Steamhammer & Wacken: Slipknot
Icon Award sponsored by Skullcandy: Marilyn Manson
Breakthrough Award sponsored by Transcend Records: Amon Amarth
Best Album sponsored by Rockstar Games: Lamb of God - Wrath
Metal As Fuck sponsored by Adult Swim: Anvil
Inspiration Award sponsored by Killimanjaro: Emperor
Riff Lord sponsored by Blackstar Amps: Steve Vai
Legends sponsored by Activision/Guitar Hero: Def Leppard
Best UK Band sponsored by Roadrunner Records: Iron Maiden
Golden God sponsored by Iron Maiden

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Former Ordinary Boys frontman and celebrity husband Sam Preston, or just Preston, as he is more usually known, is apparently preparing for the release of his debut solo single. The star has reportedly been getting himself in shape in time for the launch of the track, 'Dressed To Kill', which comes out in August.

According to Heat, the singer began a course of self improvement after pictures were published in which he looked rubbish. A source told the gossip mag: "After seeing the picture of himself looking rough, he realised he needed to do something about his appearance. He worked out, cut out booze and got his tooth capped".

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Danny Goffey and Gaz Coombes of Supergrass have teamed up with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich on a new project called 'Hot Rats', and, according to NME, are busy working on a covers album, which will feature new versions of tracks from the likes of The Kinks, Roxy Music and Gang Of Four. The group will play live at the Glastonbury, Truck, Bestival and the Reading and Leeds festivals.

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What with New Order on hiatus and Blur, er, incredibly busy, the members of New Order who aren't Peter Hook have hired Blur bassist Alex James to form a new band, Bad Lieutenant.

Hook, of course, left New Order last year and announced that the band had split up, all much to the surprise of his bandmates, Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris and Phil Cunningham.

Speaking about the new project, who are working on an album to be released later this year, Sumner told the BBC: "I'm very proud of it, it's a very good album. It's pretty guitar-y too because we've got three guitarists in the band".

Asked about the split from Hooky, Sumner said: "Basically he left the band, that's all I want to say about it. We split into two factions. There's me, Steve and Phil. The other is Peter".

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Santigold (that's SantIgold, not SantOgold, and don't you forget it) has begun work on her second album. She revealed to Nylon that Spank Rock is producing and that the album features contributions from Pharrell Williams, Diplo and Switch.

Apparently Williams' input was particularly lo-fi. Santigold explained: "We went in the studio and he was like, 'I'll just play the buckets'. It was like, 'Boom, ah, buh-doom, ah!'"

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The Prodigy have confirmed rumours that they are planning to work with Dizzee Rascal. The band's Liam Howlett has apparently responded to questioning on the matter thusly: "Yeah we are going to do something at some point, but we haven't got to the studio yet."

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Pixies, who played a secret show in London on Monday night that was only mildly overshadowed by Blur's one, have announced that all four members of the band will sign all 3000 copies of the limited edition version of their new 'Minotaur' boxset.

The box, which stands around seven metres tall and weights half a tonne (something like that, anyway), contains all five of the band's studio albums on gold CD, Blu-ray and 180-gram vinyl, plus a 72 page book of artwork, two posters and a DVD of their 1991 Brixton Academy performance. It'll set you back $450. There is a $175 version, but if you buy that you're not a real fan and should be ashamed of yourself.

Discussing the boxset, Pixies frontman Black Francis told the NME: "I saw the prototype at my house and the box was like one-and-half feet by three feet. It's not a typical box set, it's more a combination of CD and DVD materials mixed in with an oversized art book. It's almost fetishistic. It has a sensual 'touch me, open me, look at all my crevices' kind of feel to it".

So massive is it, that it requires you to watch a whole three and a half minute video if you are to have any idea of what's actually in it:

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Emmy The Great will release 'The Edward EP' on 1 Aug, via her own Close Harbour label. The EP sees Emmy and her band revisit some of her older songs, having played them while touring her debut album, 'First Love', which was released earlier this year.

Discussing the EP, she told CMU: "Recording this EP brought back a lot of memories of when songwriting was done on a whim, and before anything got even remotely serious, and it's brought a lot of joy back into my songwriting now. Siouxsie Sioux once said when she sings her old songs she recognises that they were naive, but she stands by them, and I feel the same way".

You can catch Emmy The Great at Queen Elizabeth Hall on London's Southbank this Friday.

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Welcome everybody to Icelandic National Day, one of my favourite national days. You've got your Iceland Day all sorted right, with something suitably Icelandic going on - some sort of Bjork themed costume, a big fish dinner, and then perhaps going bankrupt before tea time?

Well, if your day is looking rather unIcelandic can we suggest a visit to 229 in London tonight, where a rather fine foursome from Reykjavik, For A Minor Reflection, will be playing live. It's gonna be a good night, of that I am certain. For a little preview, check

Hook And The Twin are also playing, though they're not from Iceland so I'm not going to mention it.

Press info on this from [email protected].

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Cambodian psychedelic rock band Dengue Fever will play the Scala in London tomorrow night, with the added bonus of a DJ set from Don Letts beforehand, to celebrate the release of their fantastic new documentary, 'Sleepwalking Through The Mekong'. They will also be doing in in-store performance at Pure Groove in Farringdon tonight at 6.30pm.

'Sleepwalking Through The Mekong' follows the Los Angeles-based band on their recent journey to frontwoman Chhom Nimol's home country of Cambodia to perform classic 60s and 70s Cambodian rock n' roll in the country. Released this week, the DVD also come with the film's soundtrack on CD, which is worth the money on its own.

More information from and

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Maccabees - Can You Give It (Universal/Fiction)
Continuing their evolution from standard indie plodders with cool haircuts, The Maccabees have released their second single in a row that stays in the memory for much longer than the three minutes it lasts. As hinted in the brilliant 'Love You Better', frontman Orlando Weeks' voice has matured into something approaching menace, and the military drums and epic tremolo guitar rival Editors for potential stadium grandiosity. Surely a hit for the busy festival season, and a thankful display of a band overcoming second album syndrome and actually turning talk and ideas into truly worthy output. Hopefully this single sets a precedent for many more to follow. TM
Release Date: 6 Jul
Press Contact: Fiction IH [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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The Japanese parliament has passed a new amendment to their country's copyright law with regarding online piracy. The amendment makes it specifically illegal to knowingly download music from unlicensed services - Japanese copyright rules have in the past focused more on those who upload unlicensed content rather than those who then download it.

The new law, which comes into effect next year, doesn't say what penalties would be issued against those who breach it, and the need for a downloader to know a content source is unlawful might result in evidential problems if someone was charged or sued.

Nevertheless, the Japanese music industry welcomed the move, with Kei Ishizaka of the Recording Industry Association Of Japan telling reporters: "We are thankful to those concerned who supported this statue. Our organisation will continue its work to stop all copyright infringement and will make our best effort to inform the public of the changes to the law".

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Sales of music on vinyl have grown rapidly in the last few years, but it seems that this growth could be hindered, because all the vinyl pressing machines are close to being used at full capacity, and manufacturers are nervous about expanding their operations.

According to one source, this maximum capacity has already been hit, in the US at least. They told DigitalMusicNews: "All plants are producing as fast as they can, and are still behind on fulfilling orders".

But despite business being good at the moment, many manufacturers fear that the current boom in vinyl sales is just a fad and that interest in old fashioned records will soon begin to slump again. As a result, manufacturers don't want to buy new equipment and retailers are unwilling to devote more shelf space to vinyl until they can see where the trend is headed.

The source continued: "No one knows if this rally will sustain, so no one wants to invest money in new equipment to ramp up production capacity to meet increasing demand. Therefore, we're probably stuck where we are for the foreseeable future as far as market share".

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So, following the news that Facebook had crept ahead of MySpace in terms of unique visitors in May, the Rupert Murdoch owned slightly-useless incredibly-frustrating-to-use social networking outfit fired a third of its staff yesterday. Imagine what's going to happen when Twitter becomes the biggest.

About 30% of MySpace's workforce will go, across all divisions. It will bring the social networking firm's US workforce down below 1000. Confirming the cuts, recently appointed MySpace boss Owen Van Natta said: "Simply put, our staffing levels were bloated and hindered our ability to be an efficient and nimble team-oriented company".

He's almost certainly right. I mean, what exactly do a 1000+ people do at MySpace? Not make the website work, that's for certain. Nor deal with customer complaints. I refer you back to my personal blog on that matter from earlier in the year and posted here.

The big staff cull follows a total change of management at MySpace, including the pushing out of co-founders Tom Anderson and Chris de Wolfe. On the upside for MySpacers, a new survey on streaming music services in the US has given the revamped MySpace Music on-demand music platform (which is yet to launch over here) a good score.

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MTV are rebranding their flagship UK channel, so that it becomes simply MTV rather than MTV One. It became MTV One in 2007, before that being known as MTV UK. It's thought that nothing else will change on the channel in terms of output or identity.

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

1. [2] The Chapman Family - The Kids Are Not Alright
2. [1] Lacuna Coil - Spellbound
3. [NE] The Maccabees - Can You Give It
4. [5] The Joy Formidable - Whirring
5. [7] Enter SHikari - Juggernauts
6. [NE] Jamie T - Sticks N Stones
7. [NE] Kings Of Leon - Notion
8. [9] Taking Back Sunday - Sink Into Me
9. [8] Manic Street Preachers - Jackie Collins Existential Questiontime
10. [NE] Bat For Lashes - Pearl's Dream

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

Doves - Winter Hill
Maximo Park - Questioning Not Coasting
Metro Station - Seventeen Forever
Reverend and the Makers - Silence Is Talking
The Twang - Barney Rubble

More at

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You may remember that Eminem has referenced Mariah Carey and her husband in a recent track. Well, now the singer has responded to it, via the medium of song.

The rap star's lyrics, as previously reported, went like this: "Mariah, what ever happened to us, why did we have to break up... Nick Cannon better back the fuck up. I'm not playing, I want her back, you punk".

Carey's response goes something like this: "You're delusional, boy, you're losing your mind... It must be weed, it must be the E... Why are you so obsessed with me? Lying that you're sexing me. You're a mom & pop, I'm a corporation/I'm a press conference, you're a conversation".

So that's him told.

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Daniel Merriweather has revealed that he and Mark Ronson received death threats following the success of their cover of The Smiths' 'Stop Me'. It's okay though, the death threats only came in via the net. That being "true Smiths fan style" of course. As you know, all those eighties Smiths fans only ever communicated via the internet.

Merriweather told Bebo's pop show Beat: "I wasn't really a big Smiths fan and I think that's why I sort of didn't realise how dangerous it was to cover a Smiths song. Mark was making an album, getting all his friends to sing his favourite songs, and he said 'Do you want to sing this?' I said yes and it did really well, [but then] we received death threats. In true Smiths fan style, it would always be via the internet, never face to face. It was like 'I will stab you', 'I will hurt you'. It's fair enough, it's sacred ground, isn't it? The only thing that mattered to me was if Morrissey hated it. But he said he liked it".

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Pharrell Williams protégé Teyana Taylor is getting a bit sick of everyone saying she looks like Rihanna. Something that's started happening more since she was spotted with Rihanna's ex-boyfriend (currently facing charges of beating the 'Umbrella' singer unconscious in the street earlier this year, of course) at a basketball game in Florida on Sunday night. Actually, I think some gossipers actually thought she was Rihanna and started reporting that the couple were back together.

Well, whatever, Taylor isn't happy about it. In fact, it's made her so unhappy that it's been causing her to fall over onto her computer keyboard. She said this via Twitter on Monday: "Omgggggg if one more reporter say that im rihanna im gonna go crazzzzzzzzyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy".

So, for the sake of all electrical equipment near her, please stop saying she looks like Rihanna. Even though she does bear a passing resemblance.

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The Ting Tings' Katie White claims that she didn't go to the loo for the entire weekend at last year's Glastonbury because the toilets were so nasty. This might explain why they're playing on Friday this year.

She told Teletext: "The [toilets] at Glastonbury were unbelievably rank. I had sore kidneys by the end of the weekend, from holding it all in. Every time I needed the loo, I couldn't go for retching".

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