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TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Jammie ordered to pay labels two million
French collecting society sue YouTube
UK and US indie label bodies to collaborate
In The Pop Courts
Perry responds to Perry
Nas v Kelis latest
EMI sue Grooveshark
Poison frontman won't sue over Tony's accident
In The Pop Hospital
Runrig guitarist to undergo heart bypass
Pop Politics
Former St Lucian official blasts Winehouse
Reunions & Splits
Courtney Love reforms Hole (without telling Hole)
Paramore announce new guitarist
Dananananaykroyd bassist quits
A sort of new Evanescence
In The Studio
Flaming Lip on new album
Release News
New Air album
Sting to release Christmas album
Films N Shows News
Milli Vanilli news
Gigs N Tours News
School shut early because of Oasis
Jackson wants disabled child on stage, says Sun
Boyzone play to half-empty arena
The Big Pink announce UK tour
Marnie Stern announces UK tour
Festival News
Glade headliners talk Glade
Camping tickets for Camp Bestival sell out
Reviews
Album review: William Fitzsimmons - Goodnight (Naim)
The Digital Business
Nokia to make downloads DRM-free - but not on Comes With Music
The Media Business
Culture Minister backs licence fee fund for commercial broadcasters
New radio firm acquires five CN stations
New ad campaign as heart rollout completes
Pop stars, pockets, pants
And finally...
Slipknot man backs Boyle
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts
 
FRIDAY 19TH JUNE


PALOMA FAITH
Half-Spanish former burlesque performer and magician's assistant Paloma Faith became a singer almost accidentally. But with a vocal style that more than fills the hole currently left vacant by one Miss Amy Winehouse, it's hard to believe she never considered it as a career before. Backed with a sound that takes her 50s and 60s influences and twists them up with 21st century production in a style that Duffy only got half way towards when she tried it, her latest single, 'Stone Cold Sober', is out this week via Epic. She also plays a sold out show at the ICA next Wednesday and will be appearing at Latitude, Standon Calling and Bestival. We caught up with Paloma to find out more.
 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I began by writing lyrics mainly as poems. Then one day I was in a bar cleaning up glasses and singing along to a CD and this guy heard me and asked if I would want to do some writing with him and I said yes. I have always been very excited by music but I never really knew or thought I would be writing it! I read a lot and this has a massive impact on my songwriting. Mainly fiction and fairy tales.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
The situation (which happens to me often) where everyone who is out is under the influence of something or other. I am not, and they are all lecturing me, telling me what I should/shouldn't be doing and at the end of the night they have all passed out and I am still dancing. It is about the notion that you can still have a great time without being away with the fairies!

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
I live life and I take everything in. I carry a notebook and I write ideas down all the time. It may be a conversation I overhear, a visual stimulus, or a real event that spurs my idea on. I then usually take my idea to a musician/co-writer and they work with me on the music. I generally have a strong idea of how I want the sound to be on a song. Then the producer/writer will interpret my ideas and work alone on the production. It then becomes a series of back and forth emails where we both decide what is or isn't working for the song.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Etta James, Peggy Lee, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaff, Grace Jones, Bjork, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Maria Callas, Dinah Washington, PJ Harvey, David Lynch, Wong Kar Wai, Tom Waits, Tim Burton, Matthew Barney, Anish Kapoor - the list is very long!

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Be prepared for all your senses to be touched. I fly sometimes, though sometimes I land with a thud. I am never what you think, as I am multiple. Sometimes what isn't said is more powerful than what is. I hope to surprise you with what you least expect, but realise that predictability is not a negative thing. The mundane can be beautiful, so can the extraordinary...

Q6 What are you ambitions for your latest single, and for the future?
I would like to make top ten on my first single, and no 1 on my second single, and then sell 2 million albums and then I would hopefully make another 4 or 5 albums, have a family and continue to grow as a live performer. Pushing the boundaries of live performance is my main exploration in music.

MORE>>www.palomafaith.com and www.myspace.com/palomafaith

 
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: FabricLive at Fabric
Drum n bass pioneer LTJ Bukem is a true legend in dance music, and has recently complied the lates edition of the FabricLive series. Today he's using his monthly residency at the club to celebrate. He'll be grabbing hold of a few of his Good Looking Records crew for the party - the smooth, jazzed out sounds of A-Sides, with Utah Jazz and Furney - while Hype and The Playaz will be taking over Room One with their usual straight-to-the-chest mayhem basslines and anthemic dubplates. Other dnb legends in the house will be the mighty mighty Grooverider, the RAM records head honcho Andy C, and Bristol's rather good DJ Die. Then in Room Three comes the Rag & Bone crew - bringing the garage gubbins and all-around rumpus - with breakneck sounds from Warlock, Rafferty and Stagga. The queues tend to go round the block on a Friday as this club is one of the capital's finest, so arrive early!

Friday 12th Jun, Fabric, 77a Charterhouse Street, London, EC1M, 10pm-6am, £14 (NUS £10, £5 after 5am), info from www.fabriclondon.com, press from Danna at Fabric PR.

 



 

 

 

JAMMIE ORDERED TO PAY LABELS TWO MILLION
Well, that all happened quick. A court in Minnesota yesterday ordered the much previously reported on Jammie Thomas to pay the record industry $1.92 million for sharing 24 songs on Kazaa. That's over eight times more than first time round. Ouch. Still, presumably Thomas doesn't have any money, so the large size of the damages is irrelevant.

As much previously reported, Thomas was one of the few people served with a P2P lawsuit by the Recording Industry Association Of America during its self-harming sue-the-fans era that chose to defend herself in court. Which was all very bold, and won her lots of fans among the P2P community, though in the end it didn't work out so well in court.

The only P2P court case in the US to take place in front of a jury, in 2007 said jury sided with the record companies and ordered Thomas to pay them $222,000 in damages. However, the judge in that trial subsequently decided he'd given the jury some false information. The issue is whether, in order to find someone guilty of infringement, it is enough for a content owner to just show that a defendant has made files available via P2P by dragging them into a Kazaa file-sharing folder on their PC. Or whether it must be shown that someone else then downloaded that content. The record labels had done the former but not the latter. The original Jammie judge had told the jury the lack of the latter kind of evidece didn't matter, but then judges in other related US court cases took a different opinion, leading to the Jammie judge deciding the original ruling was unsound. A retrial was duly called.

Which was great news for Thomas and the P2P community, who saw it as a second chance to fight the evil record companies. She got a mouthy new lawyer called Kiwi Camara who told reporters: "What you'll see in Minneapolis will be the first battle in what we think will be a successful campaign against the recording industry".

But in the end it all backfired. In less than a week a second jury also found that Thomas was guilty of copyright infringement, and this time the damages shot up, so that she was ordered to pay $80,000 for each of the 24 songs she (or someone using her PC) made available via Kazaa, which comes out at a massive $1.92 million.

It's a victory for the record industry, of course, and a spokesman for the Recording Industry Association Of America told reporters yesterday "we appreciate the jury's service and that they take this as seriously as we do;' we are pleased that the jury agreed with the evidence and found the defendant liable".

That said, as with all successful P2P litigation against consumers, it's a rather hollow victory. First, Thomas won't be able to raise anywhere near $1.92 million, so the damages the record companies actually receive will be much more modest. Second, the major damages payment will not provide a deterrent to other file-sharers, partly because the RIAA isn't suing music fans any more. And third, the record industry look like a bunch of money grabbing bastards again, which will only make the kids more prone to steal their content.

On the upside for the record companies, I suppose, the previously bullish Camara was much less cocky following the ruling, saying he was surprised by the judgement and the size of the damages, but adding that he would negotiate with the labels on Thomas's behalf regarding an out of court settlement. Though he said if no settlement could be reached Thomas would most likely appeal, with Camara considering using technicalities about copyright ownership in any appeal hearing.

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FRENCH COLLECTING SOCIETY SUE YOUTUBE
The collecting society that represents French independent labels, SPPF, is suing YouTube because a hundred videos owned by its members which it previously asked to be removed from the video website last year have since reappeared on the Google-owned service.

As with most YouTube litigation, this case essentially centres on the question of whose responsibility it is to monitor infringing content on websites where anyone can upload videos. It's unsurprising that music videos that had been unofficially uploaded to YouTube last year, which were then removed at SPPF's request, have since been re-uploaded by fans. The issue is whose job was it to spot that, and block or remove the re-uploads?

In similar lawsuits elsewhere, most notably the ongoing Viacom v YouTube legal squabble in the US, the video site has claimed that by removing infringing content whenever made aware of it by said content's owners they are fulfilling their obligations under copyright laws. Content owners argue that it's unfair that they should have to cover the cost of hiring people to constantly monitor YouTube for infringement of their content.

There's an extra element to the French case though. YouTube points out that it now has a technical system designed to automatically spot and block infringing content called Content ID. Content owners provide copies of their works, and the YouTube system spots when someone unofficially uploads copies of those works and blocks them - at no cost to the content owner. I don't know how well it works, but YouTube say SPPF haven't signed up to it, and that that affects their legal case against the video service, because the Google-owned company is providing tools to help content owners protect their content and SPPF isn't even giving them a try.

A statement from YouTube issued yesterday said: "We can't discuss a pending case but bear in mind that YouTube offers professional content creators and producers powerful and free tools to protect, promote and monetise their content by using Content ID. Many indies as well as major music companies are using these tools to protect their content in France. The protection of copyrights is best achieved by joint efforts between creators and online platforms, not by lengthy and costly lawsuits. SPPF have not used Content ID to protect their content on the platform so far, although several independent labels do".

SPPF haven't, so far, explained why they have gone for legal action without trying out Content ID.

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UK AND US INDIE LABEL BODIES TO COLLABORATE
The trade bodies that represent the indie label community in the UK and US - AIM and A2IM respectively - have announced a new collaboration which will allow members of one association to access members-only online resources published by the other, the idea being it gives the UK labels access to valuable information about the US market, and vice versa.

Confirming the collab, AIM boss Alison Wenham told CMU: "Knowledge is power in business, and having access to market information and relevant industry contacts is vital. This collaboration between AIM and A2IM will allow members of both to increase their knowledge, contacts and understanding of the market across the pond".

Rich Bengloff of A2IM, meanwhile, said this: "Generic member education is one of A2IM's highest priorities to ensure our members operate their companies using the best possible economic plan. The music market is truly a world market and that fact must remain a music label's focus. We all must remain engaged with all of our international friends and continue to work together, as we will at the World Independent Network think tank in New York City later this month".

Both groups say they are looking for other opportunities for collaboration, both with each other, and with other indie label trade bodies affiliated to the World Independent Network.

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PERRY RESPONDS TO PERRY
Well, we did say there might be a bit of confusion behind this story, and according to US popstress Katy Perry, that is the case.

She is denying reports that she is suing Australian clothing designer Katie Perry for having a similar name to her (well, for using her similar name on the clothes she designs), arguing that the legal letter her lawyers sent the fashion lady was a routine correspondence as part of her own trademark application.

The official statement from Katy Perry's people does seem to make much of the fact Katie Perry often uses the name Katie Howell, however, as if to imply that her use of the Katie Perry name on her clothing range is in some way fraudulent. Though, according to Reuters, while the fashion designer does sometimes use the Howell surname, her birth name is Perry. Whereas Katy Perry, of course, often uses the Perry surname, even though her birth name is Katy Hudson. In fact, back when she was being a good God-fearing Christian pop star (no kissing girls then, thank you very much) that was the name she performed under.

Anyway, here's the official statement from sing-y Katy's people: "In the course of securing trademark protection for Katy Perry in Australia, it came to the attention of her representatives that Katie Howell, a clothing designer in Australia, had filed an application for trademark protection under a similar name in connection with her own clothing design business. A routine notice letter was sent to Ms Howell, as is customary in trademark practice, alerting her of Ms Perry's intended application".

Via her blog, pop star Perry herself added: "This is a routine trademark application, and I certainly haven't sued anyone. As usual, some of the press seems to have delighted in creating a story where there is none".

In defence of the press, the story came very much from Perrie's statement that the legal letter she'd received "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". But, as I said, I am willing to except that there is some confusion going on here. It's certainly true that most lawyers aren't capable of writing a letter that doesn't read like a death threat, and the problem here might just be an overly threatening tone used by one of Perry's legal monkeys in what really is a routine trademark application correspondence.

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NAS V KELIS LATEST
The latest news in the Nas/Kelis divorce case is that Kelis has launched a new lawsuit against her estranged husband demanding money for the maintenance of their yet-to-be born child. The 'Milkshake' singer has filed new papers asking for $20,000 towards the cost of medical expenses, baby supplies, and the cost of a nanny. Overstating things somewhat, the suit claims that the unborn child's "survival is based on Nas's will"; Kelis claims that her income is limited, compared to Nas's. Surely it can't be that low?

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EMI SUE GROOVESHARK
According to Digital Music News, EMI has begun legal proceedings against another of those combined search engine and music player services, this time Grooveshark.

Grooveshark lets people search for music files on the internet, and then play and playlist any music files found through a bespoke player, and share those playlists with others. The problem is that much of the content the search engine bit of the operation locates is unlicensed. That makes Grooveshark, like another big player in this area, Seeqpod, liable to copyright infringement litigation, though they, like Seeqpod and others, will argue that they are just a sophisticated search engine, that they don't host any infringing content themselves, and therefore are protected from liability under US copyright law.

Grooveshark is, however, in talks with the majors about getting licences for their service. EMI's lawsuit, it seems, follows a break down in talks between the search service and the London-based major. A spokesman for the shark said: "Recently, EMI Records chose to abandon the template we've built with the help of other major copyright holders and opted for their traditional intimidation tactic of filing a lawsuit as a negotiating tool. We find the use of this negotiating strategy counterproductive, as Grooveshark has been willing to conclude an agreement with EMI Records that is economically sustainable for both EMI Records and a start-up company the size of Grooveshark".

In related news, Seeqpod is now selling its URL, again according to Digital Music News. Apparently they want $125,000 for it. As previously reported, the Seeqpod company applied for bankruptcy protection earlier this year amid legal action against them from both Warner and EMI. The website subsequently went offline. The service's CEO, Kasian Frank, insists a major acquisition of his company is still in the pipeline, which would enable the company to do licensing deals with the majors and get their service back online, this time with legitimacy. There had been rumours Microsoft were interested in buying the firm, though probably for its code rather than its brand or the specific search and play service it offered.

Either way, the fact they are now selling their domain name suggests that Seeqpod will not return in any real form.

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POISON FRONTMAN WON'T SUE OVER TONY'S ACCIDENT
This story should really be in the 'Not In The Pop Courts' section, but we don't have one. Poison frontman Bret Michaels has said he will not sue producers of the Tony Awards after being injured leaving the stage at the big awards show earlier in the month.

As previously reported, after appearing at the big theatrical awards in New York, the singer was hit on the head by a descending piece of set as he left the stage, in what looks like it could have been a pretty serious incident (see it here). After the show his legal rep criticised Tony Awards producers for blaming Michaels for the accident, by saying he just didn't get out of the way quick enough. Noting the awards organisation's lack of concern for the rocker in their comment on the incident, legal rep Janna Elias said: "I feel had this incident happened to Liza Minelli, Dolly Parton or Elton John, the Tonys would have at least issued a letter of concern".

But Michaels has now said that, despite everything, he has no intention of suing over the accident. According to People magazine, the Poison frontman says: "I was honoured to be asked to be at the Tonys. I'd never done it before and in all my life it's not something I thought I'd be on. I was really excited. There's no lawsuit. I'm not doing any of that. I'm taking the high road".

Wow, look at that, a forgiving American who doesn't leap straight for the money-grabbing lawsuit. Who'd have thought there was such a thing? I suppose on the upside the incident may have helped promote Michaels' autobiography, which is due out this summer.

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RUNRIG GUITARIST TO UNDERGO HEART BYPASS
Runrig guitarist Malcolm Jones will undergo a heart bypass operation next week. He was diagnosed with heart problems in March after collapsing at Edinburgh's Waverley railway station.

Announcing Jones' surgery, the band said in a statement that they would be forced to cancel three planned shows in Denmark next week. They said: "We apologise for any disappointment caused by the cancellation of the Danish concerts. Malcolm's health must be our main priority. His doctors assure us that he will make a full and speedy recovery and will be back with us for our concerts in August".

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FORMER ST LUCIAN OFFICIAL BLASTS WINEHOUSE
Former St Lucian government spin doctor Jeff Fedee has hit out at Amy Winehouse in an article for the St Lucia Star newspaper. In it he says that her drunken behaviour is corrupting the island's youth, suggests she should be forced to go to rehab and says that he is "perplexed" by people who have shown her sympathy. He also called her fairly disastrous show at the St Lucia Jazz Festival a waste of taxpayers' money.

He writes: "I had also been perplexed by the number of St Lucians going public to express sympathy and tolerance to the nauseating antics of Amy Winehouse in St Lucia. I had dutifully trekked to Pigeon Point during the Jazz Festival to see how our tax dollars were being wasted, because evidently to our tourism officials a notorious reputation for obnoxious behaviour and not necessarily musical ability was the main criteria for including Amy Winehouse in the jazz line-up. For me it was a stomach churning experience to witness a reptilian looking character with a skeleton frame, staggering onto the stage, barely fitting into what appeared to be a size zero dress, cut just above an unsightly crotch. I thought Amy Winehouse should be locked up, be put in compulsory rehab and force fed to put some flesh on her insect frame".

He continues: "On current form, none of her songs will be remembered one year from now. A career destined to bomb spectacularly. The notoriously fickle public will soon tire of her louche behaviour. Those who sing the praises of Amy Winehouse are missing the point: she is not a good model for St Lucian citizens, particularly the youth, despite the music. And the effrontery of this character who reminds me of a tattooed reptile, offering to help St Lucian youth when it is Winehouse who needs help".

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COURTNEY LOVE REFORMS HOLE (WITHOUT TELLING HOLE)
As reported earlier this week, Courtney Love is still working on her new solo album (the one that was supposed to come out six months ago), 'Nobody's Daughter'. Except it's not her new solo album any more, it's now the new Hole album. That's what she says, anyway.

Before you get all excited/angry about the thought of a full-blown Hole reunion, don't. Because it isn't. The number of original Hole members featuring on the album will be two. And the second, bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur, will only be providing backing vocals.

Courtney revealed her decision to release this album under the Hole moniker in an interview with the NME. She also claimed that the album is almost finished, thanks to Michael Beinhorn, the third producer to have a crack at it, who seems to have reined her in a bit. Beinhorn produced the last Hole album, 1998's 'Celebrity Skin', and his rockier production style (compared to former Four Non Blonde Linda Perry, the album's original producer) may be what has caused Love to think of this as more of a Hole album than a solo work.

'Nobody's Daughter' is apparently scheduled for release, despite having no label as yet, in late 2009 or early 2010. But, hey, by then everything could have changed again. Who knows.

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PARAMORE ANNOUNCE NEW GUITARIST
Paramore have announced the identity of their new guitarist, who replaces Hunter Lamb, who left back in 2007. Actually, the new guitarist is Taylor York, who has been playing live with the band since Lamb's departure, so he's not really new at all.

In a statement, the band said: "We recognise the fact that it's way overdue. Oh well! Today is the day. The four of us (Hayley, Zac, Josh and Jeremy) are proud to announce that Taylor York, a touring member of Paramore for over two years, is now an official member of the band! In case you don't know... And you probably don't... Taylor has been around since the very early days of Paramore. Perhaps even before we began. He actually helped write some of our 'fan-favourite' songs such as 'Conspiracy' off our debut record, 'All We Know Is Falling' and 'That's What You Get' from 'Riot!'. So as you can see, there really isn't anyone else we could find who would fit in quite the same".

Paramore are set to release a new album in September.

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DANANANANAYKROYD BASSIST QUITS
Dananananaykroyd have announced that they have parted company with bassist Laura Hyde.

In a post on their official blog the band said: "It is our sad duty to inform you that Laura is no longer playing bass in Dananananaykroyd. The only way the band can continue is if every member is on the same page musically and that each member's efforts and passions are towards making us the most rocko band possible. We'd like to add that we love Laura and wish her all the best and we will miss hanging out with her all the time. In the meantime, our friend Ryan McGinness will be joining us on bass for our tours this year, so be sure to come over and say 'hiya, pal' to him at shows".

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A SORT OF NEW EVANESCENCE
Remember Evanescence? Yeah, they were terrible weren't they? Well, they are sort of back together. I say "sort of" because technically speaking they never went away, although I think they are officially on "hiatus". More importantly, this band isn't Evanescence at all. But three founding members of the American band have regrouped, including one half of the original creative team Ben Moody. The new outfit, to be called The Fallen, is fronted by a former 'American Idol' finalist, Irish singer Carly Smithson. Throughout her time on the pop talent show Smithson was compared to Amy Lee, Moody's ex-girlfriend and the other creative element, and only remaining original member, of the real Evanescence. Which is presumably why Moody gave Smithson a call when looking to set up a new band, but lacking, as he was, a Lee style frontwoman.

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FLAMING LIP ON NEW ALBUM
Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne has been talking about work on the band's new album 'Embryonic', which is due in September.

Explaining that the band had considering making it a two disc release, he told 6music: "We went into it thinking 'are we going to make a double album?' but it's harder than you would think. Because we want to go in so many strange directions, sometimes we're unfocused and sometimes we're just so wishy washy".

Speaking about the downsides of work on the new LP, he continued: "You have to work on it, you have to really immerse yourself in it and be obsessed and shape it. I think it must be like being a cook in the kitchen. You're preparing this great thing but by the time it's ready you're sick of it because you've been smelling it. You've got it in your hair and in your fingers and all that".

Admitting to being nervous about the release, Coyne continued: "It's great and thrilling but kind of scary because you just don't know if it's going to work".

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NEW AIR ALBUM
Air are to release a new album, their fifth, on 6 Oct. 'Love 2' is the first album the French duo have produced at their own Paris recording facility, Atlas Studio. A first formal single release, 'Sing Sang Sung' will precede the album on 25 Aug.

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STING TO RELEASE CHRISTMAS ALBUM
Sting has announced that he's planning to release a Christmas album on 27 Oct. 'If On A Winter's Night...' will consist of classic carols and traditional songs as well as a couple of new compositions. The singer says of the LP: "The theme of winter is rich in inspiration and material. By filtering all of these disparate styles into one album I hope we have created something refreshing and new".

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MILLI VANILLI NEWS
Ha, I'll bet you thought you'd time-slipped back to the eighties then. But no, it's still 2009, and the reason Milli Vanilli are in the news is two fold.

One, Sacha Baron Cohen's newest character Bruno has a deep love for the notorious pop pair, and this is reflected in the themes of the new film about him, and the gossips are saying that surviving member Fab Morvan may make a red carpet appearance at the movie's Hollywood premiere next week.

Two, a film about the ill fated duo is currently in development, and has been for a while. The movie is to be produced by Kathleen Kennedy and written by Jeff Nathanson, but Kim Marlow, manager of the aforementioned Fab Morvan, is also on board as executive producer.

I am assuming that you all know the Milli Vanilli story already. But if you don't, the duo were basically a couple of models, not musicians, whose vocals were done by someone else and there was this big scandal when it came out. The other member of the act, Rob Pilatus, died of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs and alcohol back in 1998.

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SCHOOL SHUT EARLY BECAUSE OF OASIS
A school near Edinburgh's Murrayfield stadium was shut just after midday on Wednesday, because of the Oasis concert due to be held that evening. Police advised that the closure take place because of the number of people gathering and drinking in the area ahead of the concert.

Some parents were a bit cross about it all because of problems with childcare and suchlike. One such, Angela McGregor, told BBC News: "It's ridiculous that the school had to close early because of the Oasis concert. My son Robert lost half a day's education. If it was the Queen coming then fair enough. I'm a single parent and I had to make other childcare arrangements."

A spokesman for Edinburgh City Council defended the decision, saying: "We took the decision to close the school for the afternoon based on information we received from the police. We also know from past experience that the area will be very busy, access will be difficult and alcohol will be sold in the area".

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JACKSON WANTS DISABLED CHILD ON STAGE, SAYS SUN
The Sun claims that Michael Jackson wants to feature a disabled child in his upcoming O2 Arena shows. The tabloid claims to have seen an email from promoters AEG Live sent to casting agencies looking for children between the age 4 and 16 with "a visible disability."

One of those ever-reliable 'sources' is quoted as saying: "Michael plans to have kids from all backgrounds on stage to fit in with his message of world peace and love".

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BOYZONE PLAY TO HALF-EMPTY ARENA
Take That might be riding on a wave of reunion success that actually outstrips that of their first stint in the music business, but the same can't be said for everyone.

New Kids On The Block this week announced that they have been forced to cancel their Australian tour because of the global recession (and definitely not because no one cares anymore), and now Boyzone's latest UK tour doesn't seem to be going very well. At a show at the Liverpool Arena this week they played to 5000 people, which looks like a lot less when the other 5500 seats are empty.

One concertgoer reportedly told Metro: "Shane looked really pissed off! Ronan and Stephen still carried on like true professionals, they carry the other three..."

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THE BIG PINK ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
The Big Pink will be over here playing their songs over the next few months, with a number of festivals lined up and a full UK tour in October.

Tour dates:

25 Jun: Bath, Moles
26 Jun: Glastonbury
27 Jun: Glastonbury
1 Aug: Field Day
28 Aug: Reading
30 Aug: Leeds
11 Sep: Bestival
8 Oct: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
9 Oct: Brighton, Digital
10 Oct: Oxford, Academy
11 Oct: Covernty, Kasbah
14 Oct: Glasgow, King Tuts
17 Oct: York, The Duchess
18 Oct: Leeds, Cockpit
20 Oct: Liverpool, Academy
21 Oct: Manchester, Academy
22 Oct: London, Electric Ballroom

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MARNIE STERN ANNOUNCES UK TOUR
CMU favourite Marnie Stern has announced UK tour dates. Hooray! What's more, support will come from the also excellent Tartufi.

Tour dates:

20 Jul: Cardiff, Buffalo Bar
21 Jul: Leeds, Brundenell Social Club
22 Jul: Bristol, The Croft
23 Jul: London, Luminaire
24 Jul: Manchester, Islington Mill

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GLADE HEADLINERS TALK GLADE
Some of the headliners of this year's Glade Festival have been lining up to say how brilliant it is. They're right you know, as far as dance festivals go, it really is hard to beat.

First up, Karl Hyde of Underworld, who will play live, told reporters: "Glade Festival is the only live UK show where you'll see Underworld the band this year. We can't wait to play live and think it's fantastic Glade Festival have a Funktion 1 soundsystem as they care about sound very much which is important to us".

Another CMU favourite, Squarepusher, added: "The Glade is the best festival I have ever played in my life. It's always good to play to people that are up for a party and don't get too bothered about what algorithms you're running! It should be good fun checking out their attempts to translate my new emoto-prog / core-thrash songs into frenetic rave dance moves. Also, I might be premiering a new project there which depends on whether it's anywhere near ready. Could be good!"

And finally, Adam Freeland, who will play with his brilliant live band Freeland, said: "The Glade Festival is the perfect English festival experience that's still ALL about the music".

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CAMPING TICKETS FOR CAMP BESTIVAL SELL OUT
Camp Bestival has sold out in "record time", though this is only the second year the Bestival spin off has happened, so that basically means tickets have sold out faster this time that last time. And actually it's full camping tickets that have sold out - some non-camping and day tickets are still available. But this is a Bestival event, and I seem to remember it's written in CMU's constitution somewhere that we never pick holes in Bestival press releases, on account of Bestival and all the people involved in making it being brilliant.

And the more family orientated Camp Bestival will be filling that "brilliant" requirement this year, with PJ Harvey, Kid Creole And The Coconuts, Mercury Rev, Tinchy Styder and Hayseed Dixie among the musical highlights, plus top comedy from Frankie Boyle, Marcus Brigstocke and Andrew Maxwell and a whole host of other great stuff, including loads for the kids. It all takes place in the grounds of Lulworth Castle from 24-26 Jul. Go to www.campbestival.net for more details on how to get those day tickets before the whole thing fully sells out.

Meanwhile, here's a quote from Bestival man Rob da Bank on the "selling out in record time" thing: "Wow, we sold out! Big up respect to all the mums, dads, kiddywinkles, rebellious teens and hangers on that got a ticket and thanks for supporting the Camp Bestival massive. From PJ Harveys only UK solo show to Bon Iver, Mercury Rev, Chic and Tinchy Stryder the music is all over the shop in a good way and bung in SpongeBob, River Cottage, National Ballet and Mr Tumble and we've hit on a weird but surprisingly attractive formula. See you next month!"

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ALBUM REVIEW: William Fitzsimmons - Goodnight (Naim)
Whistling away on the same thread as the likes of Kevin Devine and Iron & Wine is young Mr William Fitzsimmons of Pittsburgh, the youngest son of blind parents, the divorce of whom is the subject of Fitzsimmons' sophomore release, 'Goodnight'. "It was definitely one of the most depressed and dark periods I've ever been through," he says of creating the album. Well then. We can see why you called it 'Goodnight'. Gentle, perhaps a little unassuming, and certainly raw, 'Goodnight' is an acoustic and oftentimes dark ode to William's parents, and, while certainly sombre, is a pretty and delicate piece of work. As a multi-instrumentalist, Fitzsimmons incorporates banjos and the odd electric drumbeat to his primary base of acoustic guitar and soft, lilting vocals, which doesn't steer too far from comparability to British singer-songwriters James Yuill and Jeremy Warmsley. His style of music is unmistakably American though, and could probably feed half of the soundtracks at Sundance. Album opener 'It's Not True' is a beautiful highlight that builds up halfway through to something mercifully more than contemplative acoustic drivel (the trap that this entire album could fall into if it wasn't so sincere), and 'I Don't Love You Any More' more or less speaks for itself and the record's concept. 'Goodnight' is not an uplifting record, and it makes no apologies for this. Save it for a rainy day, though. TW
Release date: 29 Jun
Press contact: Republic Media [all]

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NOKIA TO MAKE DOWNLOADS DRM-FREE - BUT NOT ON COMES WITH MUSIC
Mobile Entertainment magazine reported earlier this week that sources at Nokia had told them that the phone firm hoped to take digital rights management off music it sells on it's a-la-carte download store, following industry trends and relaunching the digital music service as an MP3-based one. Such a development should, those sources say, happen this year.

But more interesting was the rumour that Nokia were also busy negotiating with the labels to remove DRM from its Comes With Music download offer. This, of course, is where you buy a phone and with it get what is basically a year's subscription to an all-you-can-eat digital music service from which you can download as many tacks as you like, and keep them all. The problem with Comes With Music is that the DRM is fierce, locking tracks to the mobile or PC they are downloaded to.

Launching in the year when DRM disappeared completely from most a-la-carte download stores (and with a totally useless PR team who made no effort to communicate why that might not matter to some consumers - in fact we're still waiting for our Comes With Music press release), such a DRM laden offer has struggling to capture the attention of the average music fan.

Cutting the DRM would revolutionise the offer, and with the announcement this week that Virgin are planning on launching exactly that service - a DRM-free MP3-based all-you-can-eat service - later this year, speculation that Comes With Music might got DRM-free was inevitable. And Mobile Entertainment said their sources inside the phone firm confirmed there were now hopes a DRM-less CWM might go live some time next year.

But an official statement was less optimistic about such things. When asked about the rumours by Digital Music News, Nokia executive Henna Pelkola told them: "There currently aren't any plans to get rid of DRM when it comes to Comes With Music".

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CULTURE MINISTER BACKS LICENCE FEE FUND FOR COMMERCIAL BROADCASTERS
That new Culture Minister bloke Ben Bradshaw has basically told the BBC that they have to accept handing over some of the licence fee to commercial broadcasters, to safeguard the future of the telly tax. Though that seemed to be based on the assumption the Tories will win the next election and that they'll be even less friendly towards the Beeb than Labour - meaning the Corporation would be advised to get a deal done with the current government on all things licence fee. The fact a Labour minister was making the assumption the BBC would soon be dealing with a Tory executive was, needless to say, noticed by both Bradshaw's colleagues and rivals.

As previously reported, the government's 'Digital Britain' report this week proposed forcing the BBC to continue putting aside about £130 million a year, a fund which has previously been used to fund the switchover to digital TV, even once the switchover is complete. The money would go to the likes of ITV and Channel 4 to fund public service programming like regional news and kids shows. The BBC hate that idea, and the BBC Trust has let it be known it will oppose the proposals.

The Trust has claimed that the £130 million a year fund would be just "the thin edge of the wedge" which would see more of the licence fee taken away from the Corporation in future years. But Bradshaw disagrees, arguing that by agreeing to this fund now the BBC will safeguard its claim to all the other licence fee money. According to the Guardian, he told an All-Party Parliamentary Media Group meeting: "[This arrangement] is far more likely to secure the licence fee - share it, rather than end it. 'Digital Britain' is a very serious piece of work. I predict that the verdict of commentators will become kinder as they engage with the issues".

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NEW RADIO FIRM ACQUIRES FIVE CN STATIONS
A new company formed by two former GCap execs - Steve Orchard and Wendy Pallot - has bought five local radio stations based in the midlands from Carlisle-based regional media firm CN Group. Many CN stations have suffered a loss in listeners since being rebranded under the Touch Radio name. That said, the regional media firm will stay in the local radio market as it retains ownership of stations nearer is North England base, The Bay and Lakeland Radio in Lancashire and Cumbria, and CityBeat in Belfast.

Orchard's new company is called Quidem, and confirming his first acquisition he told reporters: "Quidem has been formed to acquire commercial radio stations. Lord Carter's Digital Britain report creates a number of significant incentives for this sector to innovate and grow, and our company is well placed to benefit from these exciting new opportunities. Quidem will always strive to deliver compelling local content. Creativity will drive our growth".

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NEW AD CAMPAIGN AS HEART ROLLOUT COMPLETES
Global Radio have launched a new marketing campaign for its Heart franchise featuring former Spice Girl Emma Bunton who, as previously reported, is the network's latest recruit.

The new ads will come as another nine former GCap local stations take on the Heart name, the final stage of the big Heart rebrand that followed Global's acquisition of GCap, and which has seen some of the oldest names in UK local radio disappear from the airwaves - in the final batch Kent's Invicta, North Wales' Marcher Sound and Essex FM will all go.

Commenting on the new ads, Global's outgoing marketing chief Nicola Thomson said: "We are delighted to unveil our first major marketing campaign for the Heart network which includes the third and final phase of the Heart roll-out".

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POP STARS, POCKETS, PANTS
You know how we previously reported on the all new music programme developed by the Sony Ericsson people and available via mobile or YouTube? Go on, you remember, it's called Pocket TV. Well, it's all live now on a very pretty looking YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/pockettvshow. A third instalment of content is now live, and whether or not you're a fan of this week's featured artists - Daniel Merriweather, We Are Scientists, Phoenix and the All American Rejects - you should go and check it out, we think you might find it all rather good fun. Though be warned, Pocket TV presenter Matt Edmondson decided to interview the Rejects in his boxer shorts in a feature called 'Quiz In My Pants'. You should probably prepare yourself for such things.

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SLIPKNOT MAN BACKS BOYLE
Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor has come out in support of 'Britain's Got Talent' runner-up Susan Boyle. No really, he has.

Taylor told The Daily Star: "Susan Boyle is incredible. Somebody told me about the show and I said, 'I have got to see this - 'I Dreamed A Dream', are you kidding me?' I put it on and she was fantastic. The people on that panel were in tears! When Susan leans into it she's great. She's a little bit crazy, but aren't we all? Anyone who's worth their salt is a little bit bent out of shape".

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