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TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Cowell: Sorry about Boyle and crying kids, Brookstein can fuck off
Noel not impressed with 20,000 fans asking for refund
Winehouse has applied to live in St Lucia
In The Pop Courts
Man arrested in connection to pre-release file-sharing
Madonna taken off Maverick Films lawsuit
Italian judge seizes 2.4 million off long accused pirates
In The Pop Hospital
DJ Sonique undergoes operations for cancer
Obituaries
Techno musician Loveday dies
Sarod musician Ali Akbar Kahn dies
Awards & Contests
Various stars inducted into Songwriters' Hall Of Fame
European Festival Awards in the pipeline
Charts, Stats & Polls
Streaming stats could be incorporated into main singles chart
Festival News
Fatboy's beach party cancelled
Final five bands for Supajam competition announced
Talks, Debates N Trade Fairs
No Popkomm for 2009
Reviews
Album review: The Phenomenal Handclap Band - The Phenomenal Handclap Band (Tummy Touch)
Brands N Stuff
Orange launch all new GlastoNav
The Music Business
Sony Corp top team rejig
The Digital Business
Will Jammie ruling help Tenenbaum?
MySpace Music to launch in UK in September? Probably not
Chart Of The Day
Chart update
And finally...
Cher supports daughter's sex change
Beatles contract is competition prize
Bill Bailey to join big Beatles sing along
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts
 
MONDAY 22ND JUNE


BIBIO
Cutting 'field recordings' and 'found sounds' into his songs, Stephen James Wilkinson, aka Bibio, creates a diverse range of music that covers everything from folk to R&B. Inspired by artists like Aphex Twin, Autechre and Boards Of Canada, he began releasing music while still studying 'sonic arts' at the University Of London, via Mush Records. He has since signed to Warp, and today they release his brand new long player 'Ambivalence Avenue'. You can download a sampler of the album here. Meanwhile, we caught up with him to find out more.
 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
It's difficult to consider a starting point, it would seem arbitrary. But certainly way back as a little nipper. My parents thought my older brother was going to be the musical one, with his interest in radio and tapes, but it turned out I was the one with natural musician capabilities. My brother introduced me to sound recording, on a ghetto blaster. We used to load it full of D-cell batteries and take it with us shopping on a Saturday, recording the hum of the car and whatever other background noises occurred, then eagerly listening back when we got home. I'm still not sure why I find this fascinating, but it hasn't left me. I've even taken a hefty analogue portable reel to reel and various cables and microphones on holiday to the Algarve with my girlfriend! It's an obsession. Going back to the childhood days, my brother taught me how to cut and paste with a twin cassette deck ghetto blaster, and then we discovered, together, a crude way of overdubbing and therefore multi-tracking. This is where I took off and ran with it. I had little equipment other than a cheap guitar and amp, a plastic karaoke mic and cassette decks. I blew up my mom's karaoke machine once using it as a guitar amp, I was slightly proud of that at the time. My first encounter playing music proper was probably when I was tall enough to reach the keys of my brother's Bontempi organ, which was on a keyboard stand in our shared room. I think I remember learning 'Silent Night' by ear - I was probably five or six.

Q2 What inspired the song 'Ambivalence Avenue'?
The lyrics were initially influenced by an experience I had when visiting London in 1999. My girlfriend and I were checking out universities before we moved there. I had an outlandish sensation travelling down an avenue (a road like the one on the front cover of the record) - it was a sort of daydream that left a strong impression on my mind. I can't explain the emotion, so I labelled it as 'ambivalence'. But it was powerful, strange, sad, happy, blissful and fearful all at the same time. The nature of this experience haunted me, and influenced my music. It was originally reflected in 'London Planes' on my debut 'Fi', but has now been more literally and explicitly expressed in 'Ambivalence Avenue'. I know other people experience these mystical feelings, and hopefully the music and the atmosphere in the track will evoke something for the listener, even if it is irrelevant to my lyrics. As far as music production goes, it was strongly influenced by Marcos Valle's album 'Previsao Do Tempo', I wanted it to sound like a lost South American 70s pop song, but with English lyrics, obviously. I don't speak Portuguese, unfortunately.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating an album?
It's different with each track. Beaty tracks may start off with me jamming something on an MPC, using vintage drum machine samples, drum sounds I've recorded myself or just household objects like dripping gravel into a watering can. Then I'll create a sequence, perhaps, and jam some guitar or bass over it, or maybe synth. When I stumble upon something I like, I'll record it into Logic and then the rest can snowball from there. As soon as the first melodies or chords are down, I'm pretty fluent in coming up with counterpoints or extra layers. That's often my favourite part of music making - multi-tracking. The ageing or saturating process to achieve a more textured and colourful sound may be achieved during or later on, using reel to reel recorders, cassettes, valves etc.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Too many to list. But the most important ones: Steve Reich, Boards of Canada, Marcos Valle, Incredible String Band, Nick Drake, J Dilla, Madlib, My Bloody Valentine, Sea and Cake, Joao Gilberto... and many more.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Nothing. That's what the music is for. If anything, lie down and put your headphones on and close your eyes.

Q6 What are your ambitions for 'Ambivalence Avenue', and for the future?
I'm just writing music constantly, no real direction, I just go with the flow and let my influences come naturally. If I make it too contrived, it'll suffer. The best music is the music without rules or preconceptions. If I have an idea beforehand, it'll be an aesthetic idea that cannot be translated into words, I can only communicate it by making the music. That's why I make music, it's partly trying to realise ambiguous ideas or just 'playing' with sound, intuitively learning how sound and technology behaves and organising it into something I think is beautiful, but simultaneously allowing chance to be a big part of it. As far as ambitions for 'Ambivalence Avenue', that's between me and Warp at the moment.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/mrbibio

 
BLACK METEORIC STAR
Black Meteoric Star is the solo project of Gavin Russom, one half of DFA's in-house ambient creators Delia And Gavin, a duo that dug deep into the sounds of Brian Eno and Steve Reich, contemporary composers that are undercut in this project for more traditional techno and acid house tools. On 'Death Tunnel', for example, an endless line of synth arpeggios pulse over an (over?) familiar beat, while the overall sound is notably distorted with a slight hiss is the background that is off kilter from the perfected, unnatural sound of other electronic recordings. Of course, it's a process that's familiar and a result that could reel off a thousand comparisons, but this is Russom throwing his hat into the ring and the result is undeniably interesting.

hypem.com/search/black%20meteoric%20star




 

 

 

COWELL: SORRY ABOUT BOYLE AND CRYING KIDS, BROOKSTEIN CAN FUCK OFF
In a long piece for the Daily Mail this weekend, music mogul Simon Cowell has admitted mistakes were made by him and the 'Britain's Got Talent' producers in the handling of Susan Boyle's meteoric rise to fame. He also admits the show might need to find a better way of handling young contestants in a bid to avoid the on-screen tears. But when it comes to former finalists of his telly talent shows whining when they don't quite hit the big time post-win - well, he's got no time for whiners.

With Boyle pulling out of several nights on the 'BGT' post-series tour, and more reports of erratic behaviour back stage and at her hotel, Cowell was defending his involvement in the showtune warbler's life since she became an overnight internet sensation. He wrote: "After she sang [on the original audition show], I thought she had come over well, but not sensationally. I certainly didn't think: 'Here comes a phenomenon who is going to become the most famous woman in the world, I wonder if she can mentally cope with it?' I thought she looked a bit eccentric and certainly a character, but that was all".

But once Boyle was global news, Cowell admits, he and 'BGT' bosses probably could have done things better. He continued: "I'm the first to hold my hands up and admit I've made mistakes. Looking back on it all, it has become clear to me that we didn't handle the situation with Susan as well as we could have".

He says that once it became clear Boyle was finding the competition stressful he insisted she have a close friend with her throughout the proceedings, and for a time that seemed to work. He continues: "[Before the final] she was nervous, yes, but no more nervous than Paul Potts had been before his live final two years previously. She understood the significance of the night. Then, during the final show, at the crucial point when the dance group Diversity won, I looked over at her face and thought: 'Christ, she doesn't know how to deal with not winning'. It was a bad moment. Afterwards, I went over and gave her a hug and tried to reassure her. 'Susan,' I said, 'my offer to record an album with you still stands'. And we agreed that we would work together; that it wasn't the end of the road for her. After that, I left the studio. I remember having a drink that night and trying to relax, but still feeling a bit strange. Something just didn't feel right. And sure enough, it wasn't".

But, while lessons can probably be learned, he says, he thinks Boyle is still better off now than had she not done the show, adding that both she and her family have said as much to him directly since the TV show's final aired, and since and despite the whole Priory thing.

As for the weeping kids on the show, Cowell, like fellow 'BGT' judge Piers Morgan, reckons children should still be allowed to take part, even though two broke down on live TV during the semi-finals and final of this year's series, one - eleven year old Aidan David - because of Cowell's harsh critique.

Calling that incident "my biggest regret of this year" he writes: "I made him cry by describing his performance as lacklustre compared to his appearance the night before, and that made me feel worse than anything else. It was a huge, huge mistake. It almost ruined the whole evening for everybody. Looking back, I know I could have been kinder. In the heat of the moment, I had treated him as I would an adult, forgetting that he was only an 11-year-old child with a dream. I apologised to him afterwards, but it didn't make me feel any better about it. Moral of the story? I don't always get it right".

He continued: "We have to go through a ton of regulatory bodies and red tape to get [children] to appear. It would be far easier not to have them, but I like having youngsters on the show. Why shouldn't they have a chance to show off a talent if they've got one? And win or lose, I want it to be a fun experience for them. We take as many precautions as we can. They have minders or their parents with them at all times, and we take great care of them, too. Yes, on stage things can go wrong, as it can with any live broadcast. I suppose we could have pre-recorded the 'Britain's Got Talent' final, then edited the whole sequence to cut out the crying, but that feels like censorship to me and would open up accusations of hiding the truth from the public".

So, so far, so reasonable. What's going on Cowell? I know, let's ask him what he thinks about original 'X-Factor' winner Steve Brookstein writing a tell all book about his experience of winning the show, in which he will accuse Cowell of caring little about his talent show winners, quickly cutting them off as soon as it's clear they are not going to replicate Will Young/Leona Lewis level record sales for his SyCo record company. And what does he think of all the other less successful 'Idol'/'X-Factor'/'BGT' finalists, who often give press interviews saying similar things once the dream has crumbled?

Cowell: "Steve is not a happy bunny. He never was. He is just a bitter man who the public never warmed to. Steve proved to me that just because you have a winner, it does not always mean that you have a star. Then there's [2005 'X-Factor' runners up] Journey South. They came to us in debt and were at the point of totally giving up on the music business. Even though they didn't win, I did everything I could to help them once the show was over. We released an album. They also did a tour on the back of it and they made hundreds of thousands of pounds. Yet, now, they are complaining that I treated them unfairly. The way I see it, we put them in front of millions of people and gave them an opportunity to make some money in the process. Anyone who is signed to my label is given a fair shot, but it's not a guarantee of enduring riches. It never is in any branch of showbusiness. Sometimes you make a commercial decision not to continue a relationship with an artist. That's how it works".

He concludes: "From the way some of the contestants go on, you would think they had been locked up and tortured instead of voluntarily taking part in a televised talent show. Win or lose, I don't make any false promises about them earning untold millions and neither do I give people a bad deal. I don't mind being cast as the 'bad guy', it goes with the territory, but I do believe I am fair in business. Don't believe me? Here's a fact: there are at least 25 people in this country alone who have made hundreds of thousands of pounds, or who have become multi-millionaires, after appearing on my shows. You don't hear them complaining. Yet a few ungrateful whingers still have the nerve to complain that they 'only' made £500,000 out of the process - for six weeks of work. If the acts who have appeared on my show have been unable or unwilling to capitalise properly on their prime-time exposure, just do what most normal people do - get a job".

So that's you told Brookstein. You can read the full Cowell Mail article here.

Talking of the Daily Mail - not that this is anything to do with music, but it's funny - everyone's favourite tabloid asked a particularly loaded question on the poll section of its website on Friday. In response to a story that NHS guidelines had recommended that GPs treat patients from the travelling community as fast as possible - presumably so they are treated before they move on (or are forced to move on) - the Mail asked its readers "should the NHS let gipsies jump the queues". Assuming the aim of the survey was to get a stat along the lines of "Mail readers outraged at NHS's gipsy queue jumping", the Twitter community got into action with tweeters encouraging their friends to go and vote "yes" in the Mail's survey to skew the stats. The result of that action led to the amusing survey result seen in the screen grab on this Media Guardian blog post.

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NOEL NOT IMPRESSED WITH 20,000 FANS ASKING FOR REFUND
I think tour promoters might need to start adding a new line of small print on the back of their tickets: "any promises made by artists while on stage are not binding".

Noel Gallagher has hit out at Oasis fans who are asking for their money back in relation to that previously reported technical trauma hit show at Manchester's Heaton Park. As previously reported, the band had to leave the stage twice during the first of their homecoming shows when a key generator failed. The second departure led to a 45 minute break in proceedings. At the end of the show Noel told his audience that they were making the gig a free event because of the technical problems, and that fans would be able to get a ticket refund if they wanted one. Though he almost immediately said he regretting making that offer.

Anyway, it seems that 20,000 of the 70,000 fans at the gig have asked for a refund, sparking Noel to blog thus on the Oasis website: "It seems that around 20,000 of you have asked for a refund from that night at Heaton Park!! 20,000!! So you were genuinely disappointed? I don't recall seeing a 20,000 gap in the crowd. Cheeky cunts! Tsk ..some people".

I'm not sure if the event's organisers plan to make good on Noel's ticket refund offer, some estimate that doing so could cost the band and their promoters £900,000.

Elsewhere in Oasis news, there have been reports that the band's gig at Edinburgh's Murrayfield Stadium last week - you know, the one that led to a nearby school being closed for the afternoon - was nott without incident, though it had nothing to do with technology this time. Rather, rowdy fans started fighting before Oasis had even taken to the stage - alcohol and Edinburgh/Glasgow rivalry seems to have played a part. Police have confirmed eight people were arrested at the gig, that there were two reports of assault, and one man was hospitalised after being beaten by a gang of thugs.

Eye witnesses didn't have much good to say about security at the event. One told the Daily Record: "Stewards were looking on and not doing anything. It was a proper beating this guy was taking. Even when he was out cold, they were attacking him", while another said: "At one point, one of them actually stamped on the guy's face or body. What angered me more was that security stood by".

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WINEHOUSE HAS APPLIED TO LIVE IN ST LUCIA
According to a report by The News Of The World, Amy Winehouse has applied to become a permanent resident of St Lucia. The singer has, as previously reported, been staying on the Caribbean island since the end of last year and apparently feels that being there has been very beneficial to her.

One of these 'insiders' told the tabloid: "Amy loves St Lucia and never wants to leave. She thinks the island has done her the world of good and she's writing more than ever". An unnamed St Lucian official is reported as saying that he is "aware of Amy wanting to live here on a permanent basis", and that her application to do so is under consideration.

All of which probably explains why Jeff Fedee, a St Lucian former government advisor, hit out at the singer in a recent article in the island's Star newspaper, saying that "she is not a good model for St Lucian citizens".

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MAN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION TO PRE-RELEASE FILE-SHARING
A man in Portsmouth has been arrested on suspicion of supplying pre-release music to be leaked onto file-sharing networks which, as you know, has become the primary focus of the average record label execs' paranoia in recent times.

The man is linked to the so called DV8, a network of file-sharers who are believed to have put 2500 albums onto file-sharing networks before their official release. The arrest follows collaboration between record label trade body the BPI, the City Of London Police and the government's Intellectual Property Office. A load of promo CDs and computers believed to be used in uploading the pre-release material has also been reportedly seized.

Commenting, David Wood, Director of Anti-Piracy at the BPI, told CMU: "Although the investigation continues, even at this early stage we believe that a full forensic examination of the equipment recovered will yield a lot of useful evidence and intelligence about the 'scene' and the criminal activities of those involved in pre-release music uploading".

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MADONNA TAKEN OFF MAVERICK FILMS LAWSUIT
Madonna has been removed as a defendant on a lawsuit against her movie company Maverick Films. Jay Dykes Jr sued the singer and her film enterprise claiming that money he had invested in one of their projects had not been paid back as promised, plus he hadn't been credited as a producer in accordance with his investment agreement. It's not known what deal has been done between Madge and the money man, but he confirmed last week she was now longer being personally named in his litigation.

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ITALIAN JUDGE SEIZES 2.4 MILLION OFF LONG ACCUSED PIRATES
An Italian judge has ordered that 2.4 million euros in frozen assets belonging to alleged internet pirates be permanently seized, and that servers belonging to the net operators be destroyed.

The ruling related to a long running campaign by the country's Federation Against Music Piracy working alongside the Italian Fiscal Police. They had targeted a number of websites which were making unlicensed digital music available over the net, including one called MP3download.it. The investigation led to 54 people being charged for copyright infringement crimes, and various sites targeted being taken offline. However, true to form, the Italian legal system took rather a long time to deal with the action, and a six year window for prosecuting the pirates passed without the case being resolved.

However, a judge has nevertheless ruled that assets belonging to the accused, including 2.4 million euros in frozen cash reserves, can be seized for good, on the basis he is satisfied the offences of which the alleged pirates were accused were in deed committed.

In related news, a local Italian prosecutor, based in the northern town of Bergamo, is still trying to bring a criminal case against the founders of The Pirate Bay on the basis they are committing copyright crimes in his jurisdiction by providing access to their BitTorrent search engine in the country. The three founders and primary funder of the Bay, of course, have already been found guilty of copyright crimes in their home country of Sweden, though they are appealing the judgement and are yet to serve any of the jail time they were given or pay any of the damages they were ordered to pay.

According to paidContent:UK, the Italian record label trade body FIMI has confirmed that that Bay action is unrelated to last week's anti-piracy ruling, adding that the Pirate Bay case is expected to reach Italy's Supreme Court in November.

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DJ SONIQUE UNDERGOES OPERATIONS FOR CANCER
DJ Sonique has undergone surgery for breast cancer, and will have to undergo a second operation after her Harley Street surgeon discovered that the disease had spread. The forty year old, real name Sonia Clarke, found out that she had the disease last week, and had an immediate procedure to remove a tumour, but has been told that a further lumpectomy will be necessary. The release of a new single 'World Of Change', which was due out next month, has been delayed because of the DJ's ill health.

Sonique's agent Cath MacKenzie said: "As you would imagine she was very distressed. The surgeon doesn't feel he got all the cancer out. She is bearing up very well but yesterday was a difficult day when she heard the news".

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TECHNO MUSICIAN LOVEDAY DIES
Rave producer Ian Loveday has died from complications of a sudden attack of pneumonia.

The dance music pioneer released his music under a number of different names, amongst them Ian B, Ian Beta, Minimal Man and the Rio Rhythm Band, although it was probably as Eon that he became best known, releasing tracks via Vinyl Solution, Hooj Tunes and XL Recordings, amongst them the influential tracks 'Spice' and 'Basket Case'.

Considered an influential link between early techno and modern breakbeat, he was a favourite of John Peel, and recorded a number of sessions for his radio show. He is survived by his partner Jo Christophe, his parents and a sister.

A friend of Loveday has posted a fuller tribute on this blog here.

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SAROD MUSICIAN ALI AKBAR KAHN DIES
Ali Akbar Khan, a virtuoso of the Indian instrument the sarod, has died at his home in California ar the age of 87. Khan, who was named a living national treasure by the government of India in 1989, and who often played with his famous brother-in-law Ravi Shankar, followed in the footsteps of his father Allauddin Khan, who taught some of India's most celebrated musicians, including the aforementioned Shankar. He was considered "an absolute genius" and "the greatest musician in the world" by violinist Yehudi Menuhin.

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VARIOUS STARS INDUCTED INTO SONGWRITERS' HALL OF FAME
A number of high profile music types were inducted into the US's Songwriters' Hall Of Fame last week, as well as some you may not actually know the names of.

Jon Bon Jovi and bandmate Richie Sambora were amongst those honoured, as were Crosby, Stills and Nash, Eddie Brigati and Felix Cavaliere of sixties soul/rock group The Young Rascals, and songwriting duo Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway. Jon Bon Jovi said: "It's the closest thing to immortality that we're ever going to see here".

Other awards were presented at the induction ceremony, including the Hitmaker Award, which went to Tom Jones, and the Most Promising Talent gong, which went to Jason Mraz. Former winner Rob Thomas presented the latter award, joking: "I hate you. You've ruined the curve for everybody. You're kind of young, and you're cute. You're just too talented and I think you should stop".

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EUROPEAN FESTIVAL AWARDS IN THE PIPELINE
The European Festival Association is joining forces with VirtualFestivals.com, who they've worked with before on various projects, to launch a European Festival Awards event, modelled on VF's UK Festival Awards. The new awards bash will take place in January in the Netherlands, and any festival listed on the VF Europe website - eu.virtualfestivals.com - will be eligible. We'll have more info when we get it.

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STREAMING STATS COULD BE INCORPORATED INTO MAIN SINGLES CHART
Following the news earlier this year that a streaming music chart would be launched, tracking the music being most played on services like Spotify and We7, the boss of the company behind to the UK music charts has admitted such data may well be incorporated into the flagship singles charts moving forward, though he's not sure when that would happen, though admits it could be sooner than we all expect. Although the main singles chart has included digital data for a while, of course, it currently only counts tracks which are sold via a la carte download platforms like iTunes and Amazon MP3.

Interviewed by the BBC about the ever changing make up of the music charts in the digital age, Official Charts Company chief Martin Talbot said: "The key task that we've been getting to grips with over the past 18 months has been ensuring that post-download, and post-permanent ownership of music, we're also counting how consumers are consuming their music in other ways. The charts have always been there as a popularity poll, as a means of identifying what are the hottest records of the moment. That's been relatively simple when people have bought stuff to keep forever. But that's going to become increasingly more complicated".

Asked about whether data from streaming services would be incorporated into the main chart, Talbot said: "I think ultimately it's bound to happen. But that could be five years, it could be 10 years, it could be 20 years". He said it would all depend, to an extent, on if and when streaming music services started to result in a slump in a la carte download sales, and started to become the primary way at least some demographics consume music. He admitted: "I'm sure [that scenario] will come upon us quicker than we might anticipate but none of us really know when it will happen".

If and when streaming stats are incorporated, Talbot says an equation will have to be identified that recognises one listen on a streaming service probably shouldn't equate someone paying 79p to download a track. He concluded: "Knowing what a stream is worth compared to a purchase of a download, for instance, is very difficult to identify at the moment, but that's obviously going to be the next step".

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FATBOY'S BEACH PARTY CANCELLED
According to reports, Fatboy Slim's Brighton Big Beach Boutique 5 event, which had been planned for the 4-5 Sep, has been cancelled because it was expected to attract too many people to the city. It's not the first time concerns have been raised about the issue, after 250,000 people descended on the seaside town for the DJ's second beach event back in 2002, though more recent bashes have gone off successfully with a more formal ticketing system that gives preference to local music fans.

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FINAL FIVE BANDS FOR SUPAJAM COMPETITION ANNOUNCED
The final five bands have been chosen in the unsigned band competition the prize of which is a slot at the lovely Benicassim festival. More than 100,000 music fans voted online in the Supajam Fast Track To FIB Heineken Competition. The five finalists will now be judged by a panel of music industry types at a live event at London's Pigalle Club tomorrow.

The five bands hoping to win the big prize are Paris Riots (www.myspace.com/theparisriotsmusic), Lost Knives (www.myspace.com/lostknivesband), Suds and Soda (www.myspace.com/sudsandsodamusic), Polly Mackey and the Pleasure Principle (www.myspace.com/pollymackey) and The Doups (www.myspace.com/thedoups).

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NO POPKOMM FOR 2009
I hope you didn't pen this year's Popkomm into your diary, cos it ain't happening and I'm not sure we've got any Tippex we can lend you here at CMU HQ.

Yes, organisers of the German music business conference, one of the European industry's biggest annual conventions, have confirmed they have cancelled this year's event because they anticipated a considerable slump in industry delegates (rumours say insiders were predicting a 50% slump) making the event unviable, because trade fair exhibitors would not get a fair deal if the number of industry execs on hand to be schmoozed was dramatically less than previous years. The company behind the convention says it will return in 2010, but "with a different general concept".

Here's what Popkomm MD Dr Ralf Kleinhenz said: "A situation that was becoming clear early this year at MIDEM in Cannes also seems to be affecting Popkomm in Berlin. Despite positive reactions to the new event location and a satisfactory number of bookings by exhibitors, because of the economic situation we anticipate a considerable decline in trade visitor attendance. Out of responsibility towards the exhibitors we have therefore decided to postpone Popkomm for one year".

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Phenomenal Handclap Band - The Phenomenal Handclap Band (Tummy Touch)
The Phenomenal Handclap Band are a nine-member supergroup collective, and are the sly product of mass collaboration that started in Brooklyn and ended in Manhattan. Though undeniably tied close with the New York indie scene they were born into, they incorporate a mass of genres into their sound, from funk to dance, to electro and disco, even a bit of Brazilian beat not too dissimilar (though perhaps too similar) to the likes of Tetine and CSS. Self-titled debut 'The Phenomenal Handclap Band' is a melting pot of those genres - though it's not as messy and convoluted as one might imagine. Certainly more funk-swayed than anything else, the entire play of 'TPHB' is slick and cool, despite the seemingly patchwork-esque formation of the band in question. Heavy bass and warm beats lilt the album and raise it above the kind of background music you might hear in a Camden vintage boutique. That said, '15 To 20', 'TPHB's swaggering highlight, sounds so much like CSS's 'Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above' it's practically musical robbery; and that is the album's one downfall - it's cool, but we've heard it all before. Nevertheless, despite The Phenomenal Handclap Band's blatant copy-cat syndrome, this is a decent album for the summer, full of cool, catchy tunes. Next time, though, TPHB should push a few more boundaries if they want some decent shelf-life. TW
Release date: 6 Jul
Press contact: Darling Department [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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ORANGE LAUNCH ALL NEW GLASTONAV
Orange, the phone people, have announced that they have revamped their GlastoNav application, the mobile phone app which enables people going to this weekend's Glastonbury Festival to make and share a personal digital planner on their phone, and to get onsite information. The revamped app is better, apparently. There'll also be the opportunity for app users to win side-of-stage access for some Pyramid Stage performances with a promotion that involves a model bull, or something. Well, Orange are obsessed with animals these days.
Commenting on the all new GlastoNav, Orange UK Brand Director Spencer McHugh told CMU: "Orange GlastoNav is the best way to plan the perfect Glastonbury weekend. Sharing your schedule with friends means you will never miss meeting up for your favourite bands and GlastoNav will keep you up to date with the latest news and the chance to win side of pyramid stage passes everyday".

The weather forecast for Glasto, by the way, is now looking quite good. The Worthy Farm monsoon previously predicted is now seemingly off the agenda.

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SONY CORP TOP TEAM REJIG
Shareholders of Sony Corp have approved a new management structure at the top of the group which will see Chief Executive Howard Stringer controlling the company with support by a small team of "younger executives". Well, they're in their forties while Stringer, of course, is in his sixties. It's also been confirmed that Masao Morita, son of Sony co-founder Akio Morita, will head up the conglom's music and film operations in home country Japan. Stringer reportedly told his shareholders the recently struggling entertainment and electronics giant is now on track to turn round its fortunes after a massive restructure that has resulting in $3.1 billion cost savings this year.

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WILL JAMMIE RULING HELP TENENBAUM?
So, does last week's mega-bucks damages ruling against file-sharing mother Jammie Thomas ruin the case of those legal academics who have been increasingly vocal of late in their criticism of the US record industry's internet copyright litigation - even though the Record Industry Association Of America have officially stopped pursuing lawsuits against individual file-sharers? They're all still talking about it, even though the RIAA has started distancing itself from its former excessive individual file-sharer litigation programme, because of the still-outstanding RIAA v Tenenbaum case, which is being led for the defence by Harvard law professor Charles Nesson. The prof hopes to fight the case, in part at least, on constitutional matters which, he reckons, overrule any recent interpretations in court of US copyright law regards file-sharing. In that regards, one fellow RIAA critic says, the Jammie ruling may go in Nesson's favour. Responding to the news Thomas had been ordered to pay $1.92 million in damages following her second copyright infringement trial, Lawyer Ray Beckerman wrote last week: "The nonsensical exorbitancy of the verdict actually enhances the constitutionality argument, demonstrating how open-ended the statute is if the RIAA's wild-eyed interpretation of it is allowed to survive".

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MYSPACE MUSIC TO LAUNCH IN UK IN SEPTEMBER? PROBABLY NOT
The Telegraph last week reported that "senior sources" at MySpace had told them the full on MySpace Music service, the one with a much bigger catalogue of music to choose from and playlisting functionality, which launched in the US last year, was now due to launch here in the UK in September.

There had previously been plans to launch MySpace Music UK in April, but that was before a complete overhaul of the senior executive team at the social networking firm. And also before MySpace Music chief Courtney Holt, who took over at the MySpace division after the streaming service's US launch, basically admitted the current service was a bit shit and needed to be reworked before global roll out.

Whether the Telegraph rumours means Courtney Holt has now done the reworking we don't know, though a spokesman for MySpace told Music Week the broadsheet's report was just "speculation".

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CHART UPDATE
Look at that, another new number one. This week it's that David Guetta with former Destiny's Child member Kelly Rowland telling us all about 'When Love Takes Over'. Last week's number one, Pixie Lott, steps down to two, pushing last week's number two, Black Eyed Peas, into third place. Take That have moved into the top ten at eight, up from last week's 48. Lady GaGa is also new in the top ten with 'Paparazzi', which proves without question that normal people should not be allowed to buy records.

New in the chart this week are Paloma Faith with 'Stone Cold Sober' and The Yeah You's with '15 Minutes'. That's all. Unless you count Gossip, who are at number 40, up from 42 last week.

Over in the album charts, things aren't much more exciting. Kasabian are still number one, George Harrison is a new entry at four with 'Let It Roll', and The Jonas Brother are new at nine with 'Lines, Vines And Trying Times'. I'm not sure what trying times The Jonas Brothers have had to go through, but I'm sure the lives of pure of heart Disney-funded teenagers can be very tough.

Moving down the chart, there are new entries from Enter Shikari, Black Sabbath, Blur, Michael Buble, Ray Davies & The Crouch End Chorus, The Proclaimers and The Seekers, several of which are best of compilations. Why not amuse yourself by trying to guess which? Also claiming to be new on the chart are Jeff Wayne's 'War Of The Worlds', which must have been there before but is nice to see nonetheless, and 'The Very Best Of Cat Stevens', which was also a new entry last week and so is being a little greedy.

The charts are written on sheets of A4, folded up into paper aeroplanes and thrown out of the window by The Official Charts Company.

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CHER SUPPORTS DAUGHTER'S SEX CHANGE
Cher has said she will support her daughter's decision to have a sex change. The singer said in a statement about Chastity Bono, henceforth to be known as Chaz: "Chaz is embarking on a difficult journey, but one that I will support. I respect the courage it takes to go through this transition in the glare of public scrutiny and although I may not understand, I will strive to be understanding. The one thing that will never change is my abiding love for my child".

Chaz's stepmother, congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, who was married to the late Sonny Bono, has also commented, saying: "Chaz has always been a loving and important part of our family who has supported us all through thick and thin. This is a very difficult decision that Chaz has fully vetted, and over the past decade, has discussed the matter thoroughly and consulted therapists and medical experts. As he moves forward, I will be there to support him and love him every step of the way".

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BEATLES CONTRACT IS COMPETITION PRIZE
A contract with Brian Epstein, signed by each of The Beatles, is to be the prize in a compettion organised by The Imagine Corporation. Fans will be asked to guess the actial value of the document, which is apparently insured for £500k. Ted Owen, Business Development Director of The Imagine Corporation, says: "During my 30 years of experience in the memorabilia business, there has been nothing more exciting than this opportunity to reward a lucky fan with popular music's ultimate prize, something that Beatles fans around the world could only dream of! I am delighted that we will be able to change one person's life with the winning of the contract in our inaugural competition".

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BILL BAILEY TO JOIN BIG BEATLES SING ALONG
More Beatles, and musical comedian Bill Bailey is set to join 4700 children at a massive Beatles singalong session at the O2 Arena next month. The school pupils, aged 10-14, are to perform 34 of the fab four's tracks, accompanied by a live orchestra, to raise money for charity. Proceeds from the event, set to take place on 1 July, will go to Arts By Children and Global Angels. Also expected to appear are EastEnders star Cheryl Ferguson and comic actor Kevin Eldon.

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