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Top Stories
Michael Jackson dies
An awful lot of tributes
Implications of Jacko's death on his business partners
In The Pop Courts
Robbie quizzed over pap robbery
Former manager sues over Waits biography
Jacko obituary
Sky Saxon dies
Tim Krekel dies
Andy Hughes dies
Awards & Contests
Classic Rock nominations announced
Artist Deals
Winehouse launches wrapping paper and card range
In The Studio
Arcade Fire start work on album #3
Killers recording covers album
Gigs N Tours News
Paloma Faith announces gigs
Festival News
iTunes festival starts soon
Beach Break team on their festival in five days achievement
Bands win Benicassim gig
Talks, Debates N Trade Fairs
Industry conferences galore
Album review: Ear Pwr - Super Animal Brothers III (Carpark Records)
The Music Business
EMI Publishing promote UK legal exec
The Digital Business
French government draft alternative three-strike proposal
Dutch anti-piracy group tweet Pirate Bay litigation
The Media Business
MTV cut US staffers - it's a creative thing though
Local Radio Company shut Mix 107
And finally...
Billy Corgan is hungry for charity
Leaked Chris Brown tracks not new, says rep
Glastonbury weather update
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts

Arguably the world's best-known beatboxer, Killa Kela returns with 'Built Like An Amplifier', the first single from his new album 'Amplified', on 29 Jun.

Mashing his innate vocal abilities with production courtesy of Does It Offend You, Yeah?'s James Rushent (fresh from his work on the latest Prodigy album), the single sees Kella stamp his mark hard on 2009

With the album due later this summer, and a new live show with a full band soon to begin touring, we caught up with Killa Kela to find out more.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I started out ten years or more ago through hip hop. I was about 19 and it was all about skills and creativity. As time went on I went up the ranks from beatboxing at open mics, to getting paid to do shows. The live element was always my big thing - I loved it and still do. There's an element of athleticism in the performance which I get a kick out of.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?

I wanted to make a track that tied in what I did musically. Plus theme wise, put across a habitual point of view to it. Sounds a bit tossy, but I'm sure you'll get the idea once you've heard it. James Rushent from Does It Offend You, Yeah? was my soundman for about four years, so it was only natural to collaborate with him on this. The first single needed to kick arse, so we made it as hard as a roundhouse to the face, hehe.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?

When making a track from scratch, I like a good concept leaning to the trade I'm in, throw down beatboxing/sound effects, then add other vocal disciplines. I write my lyrics, add instruments (normally synths, drums and bass) and that's pretty much it. Anyone can do it.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

Mostly my friends who I've known for ages and hang out with... My band, James/Does It Offend You, Yeah?, Plan B, JackBeats, Shoalin Punks, Martin Rushent, Faith SFX, Jukey, Alan Braxe, Stunt Double Eklips... er... and bands that have a message or morals, creatively or otherwise; Iggy Pop, MIA, Prodigy, Metallica, Goldie, N*E*R*D, er... yeah.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?

Embrace it.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single, and for the future?

For the latest single, the same with everything I set out to do: achieve 100%. And the future? I wanna keep making great music and push myself and the beatbox scene.

MORE>> and

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Deep Funk at Madame JoJo's
Keb Darge is a rare gem of a bloke. He is really underrated, though his Deep Funk night is actually quite legendary in some circles. This mild mannered Scot has a record collection spanning from his Northern Soul days at the Wigan Casino through to much more modern releases, and with this armamentarium he has produced some great compilations on BBE in recent years. I have seen him a few times at Sosho, and he has never disappointed. Add this old cabaret club's velour surroundings and this should be a great night, fusing old and new to the future and beyond. Should be a cracker.

Friday 26 Jun, Madame JoJo's, 8-10 Brewer Street, Soho, London W1 0SE, 9.30pm 'til 3am, £8 all night.




So, as everyone in the world must know by now, last night king of pop Michael Jackson died, aged 50, after suffering a cardiac arrest at his LA home. Three separate attempts to resuscitate the star by his private physician, paramedics and hospital staff all failed. He was pronounced dead at 2.26pm LA time.

The internet went into a frenzy late evening our time as reports that Jackson had been admitted to the UCLA hospital near his home started to surface. Gossip site was the first to report the singer was dead, citing unnamed sources at the LA medical centre. Though, cautious of TMZ's sources and with the UCLA hospital refusing to comment, most other media organisations remained non-committal until the LA Times said it had had confirmation from albeit still unnamed city and law enforcement officials that one of the city's most famous residents had indeed passed away. The city's coroner subsequently conformed the reports, and a few hours later Michael's brother Jermaine Jackson delivered a short statement to the world's press.

Jermaine told journalists: "My brother, the legendary king of pop, Michael Jackson passed away on Thursday June 25th 2009 at 2.26pm. It is believed he suffered cardiac arrest in his home. Our family requests that the media please requests our privacy at this tough time. And may Allah be with you Michael, always. Love you".

Fans, media and onlookers gathered outside the hospital where Jackson died, his home nearby in LA, and in New York's Time Square where coverage of his passing was beamed on the famous news screens. Last time I looked many were still there. Reports say that initial shock and then sadness amongst the fans who had gathered has since been replaced by a more celebratory tone, fans seemingly keen to celebrate the life of one of the most famous and most successful music stars of all time, and the man behind some true pop classics.

There had been speculation about Jackson's health for years, partly, of course, because of his frail appearance. Rumours of serious health scares became more common in recent months, though most were resolutely denied by Jackson's people. And once he had signed up to do a fifty night residency at The O2 in London, promoters AEG Live assured reporters that their insurers had done a rigorous heath assessment which the singer apparently passed with flying colours.

The exact cause of Jackson's death is not known, though an autopsy will be carried out later today with a view to finding out what happened. That said, there is already speculation that Jackson's death may have been in part the result of overuse of prescription drugs which he was taking as a result of various previous injuries and ailments, including a broken leg and broken back. Some reckon he was taking his medication with increasing frequency in a bid to make himself fit and able to perform at his planned fifty night residency at The O2 in London, which was due to kick off next month.

The Jackson family's lawyer has given some credence to this speculation by telling CNN: "The people who have surrounded him have been 'enabling him'. If you think the case of Anna Nicole Smith was an abuse, that is nothing compared to what has taken place in the life of Michael Jackson. I do not know what medications he was taking, but the reports that we have received within the family are that they were extensive. I can tell you for sure that this is something I warned about. Where there is smoke there is fire".

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Needless to say, everyone in pop, and a whole load more people, have been lining up to pay tribute to Jacko overnight. Here are some of their statements.


Howard Stringer, boss of Sony Corp, owners of Jacko's label Sony Music, and co-owners with Jackson of the Sony/ATV music publishing company: "Michael Jackson was a brilliant troubadour for his generation, a genius whose music reflected the passion and creativity of an era. His artistry and magnetism changed the music landscape forever. We have been profoundly affected by his originality, creativity and amazing body of work. The entire Sony family extends our deepest condolences to his family and to the millions of fans around the world who loved him".

Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, current boss of Jackson's label Sony Music: "Michael Jackson's unsurpassed artistry and beloved music brought joy to every corner of the world. We join today with his millions of fans in expressing our profound sadness and we offer our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. It was a true privilege for all of us in the Sony Music family to work with one of the most talented superstars in the history of music. We will miss him greatly".

Marty Bandier, boss of the music publishing firm Jackson co-owned, Sony/ATV: "Michael was the kind of amazing talent that comes along once in a lifetime. He was an incredible recording artist, an insightful businessman, an unmatched performer, and a true icon. To all of us at Sony/ATV Music Publishing, he was also a trusted and passionate partner, who was very proud of our accomplishments. He will be dearly missed. We wish his children and entire family our deepest condolences".

Neil Portnow, chair of the US Recording Academy: "Rarely has the world received a gift with the magnitude of artistry, talent, and vision as Michael Jackson. He was a true musical icon whose identifiable voice, innovative dance moves, stunning musical versatility, and sheer star power carried him from childhood to worldwide acclaim. A 13-time Grammy recipient, Michael's career transcends musical and cultural genres, and his contributions will always keep him in our hearts and memories. We are deeply saddened by this tragic news, and our hearts go out to his family and to music lovers around the globe who mourn this great loss".


'Off The Wall', 'Thriller' and 'Bad' producer Quincy Jones: "I'm absolutely devastated at this news. I just don't have the words. Divinity brought our souls together and allowed us to do what we could do through the 80s. To this day that music is played in every corner of the world, and the reason is because he had it all - talent, grace and professionalism. I've lost my little brother today and part of my soul has gone with him".

Ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley: "I am so very sad and confused with every emotion possible. I am heartbroken for his children, who I know were everything to him, and for his family. This is such a massive loss on so many levels, words fail me".

Long term friend Uri Geller: "I'm just devastated, very very sad. I pray that his soul is up there now. I'm still trying to hold on to the glimmer that it is not true. It is too surreal for me to absorb that Michael is no longer with us. Michael was in good shape because he was practising, he was training, he was rehearsing for the shows. Michael was careful with what he ate, he was just fine. Last time I know and heard of what he was doing he was in great shape. And this is why I'm so absolutely shocked by this news".

Another celebrity friend, Dionne Warwick: "Michael was a friend and undoubtedly one of the world's greatest entertainers that I fortunately had the pleasure of working with. We have lost an icon in our industry".


Civil rights campaigner and Jackson friend Al Sharpton: "As a friend of Michael's for the past 35 years, I call on people from around the world to pray for him and his family".

Arnie Schwarzenegger, in his capacity as Governor of Jackson's current home state California: "He was one of the most influential and iconic figures in the music industry... Our hearts go out to the Jackson family, Michael's children and to his fans worldwide".


Madonna: "I can't stop crying over the sad news. I've always admired Michael Jackson - the world has lost one of its greats but his music will live on forever. My heart goes out to his three children and other members of his family. God bless".

Cher: "I'm having a million different reactions I didn't expect I would feel. He was a great singer - God gives you certain gifts and this child was just an extraordinary child touched by this ability. He could sing like nobody else and he was able to connect with people".

P Diddy: "Michael Jackson showed me that you can actually see the beat. He made the music come to life! He made me believe in magic. I will miss him!"

Wyclef Jean: "He made me believe that all things are possible, and through real and positive music, you can live forever! I love Michael Jackson. God Bless him".

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On a business level, the result of Jackson's sad death is that all eyes are now on AEG Live, owners of London's O2 Dome, promoters of Michael Jackson's upcoming fifty-night residency, and orchestraters of what some hoped would be Jackson's musical comeback. Their London spokespeople last night declined to comment.

There had been much speculation ever since AEG first announced Jackson's return to the live stage as to whether the singer was, in fact, up to performing even a handful of shows, let alone the fifty the promoter eventually announced. That led to much reporting on AEG Live's insurance position, with reports that while the company had secured insurance for some of the shows, or certain aspects of the production, not all the project had been properly insured, insurers concerned about both Jackson's health and his tendency in recent years to pull out of projects last minute. But AEG boss Randy Phillips was bullish, telling reporters Jackson was in good health, that his talks with insurers were going fine, and that the company would insure it all itself if they had to.

Billboard reckon that over £50 million had been taken in ticket sales to date for Jackson's O2 shows, most of which will presumably have to now be returned to fans. The US trade mag cites sources that say the promoter had paid Jackson a $10 million advance, and already ploughed $30 million into the production.

While AEG's insurance position is unknown - and they had previously insisted the project was part insured - many wonder whether insurers will cover the $40 million and any other subsequent costs related to the show's cancellation (and losses resulting from the fact that one of their flagship venues will now sit empty for at least a couple of months before new events can be booked in). Even if the entire project had been fully insured in recent weeks, some experts say that whether or not the insurer pays up will depend very much on the results of the autopsy. If he died of an existing condition or overdose they may not pay.

With so many questions regarding insurance, people wonder just how big a bill the live music major will be landed with. And if it, or its insurers, need to reclaim the ten million advance, that could lead to some messy litigation and difficult PR. Billboard cite one US live music exec as saying that on a business level alone Jackson's sudden death will be, for AEG, "either horrible or really horrible".

There had been plans, of course, to use the London residency as a platform to relaunch Jackson's career, in a bid to put past scandals behind him. And while the O2 shows, and other concerts mooted for elsewhere in the world, were positioned as Jackson's last ever world tour, plans to release a new album in amongst all the live activity might have restored Jacko's status as an active and successful recording artist. Various attempts at new recorded material had been attempted in recent years, none of which saw the light of day, though more recent studio collaborations with younger music stars did seem to be delivering some results which people close to the recordings spoke positively about.

Finally on the business implications, once the shock of his sudden death has passed, Jackson's demise might bring to a head his much documented debt problems. There have been various reports in recent years that the singer was on the brink of bankruptcy as he defaulted on various loan and mortgage agreements. In the end all of his financial crises were averted at the last minute, though seemingly often secured on possible future earnings and his most valuable business asset, his 50% stake in music publishing major Sony/ATV. If a string of creditors now arrive on the scene calling in debts, some or all of his half of the music publisher may have to be sold. Jackson, presumably, would have hoped that lucrative enterprise would have been able to provide for his three children after his death.

A lot of this is, of course, speculation as yet. But the financial and commercial impact of Jackson's passing could remain in the news for some time after the shock of his sudden death and outputting of grief and tributes comes to an end.

PS: Another area of interest regards the cancellation of Jacko's O2 residency will be those who bought their tickets on the secondary ticketing market. While those who bought their tickets direct off promoters will get a refund, those who bought resold tickets may lose out, certainly on the mark up they paid. Of course Viagogo was the official secondary ticketing seller for the residency. I'm not sure what that means, but presumably the idea is there's some protection if you buy touted tickets from an 'official reseller'. But I'm not sure the 'official reseller' protecting consumers thing has really been tested before. Will be interesting to see how it works.

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Robbie Williams has been questioned by police in The Bahamas after two photographers were robbed following an argument over pictures they took of the singer.

Williams is currently on holiday on the Caribbean island and members of his entourage apparently rowed with the photographers, Matt Sanchez and Carlos Mendez, who had their camera equipment and several other items stolen at gunpoint.

Bahamas police chief Ellsworth Moss told reporters yesterday: "We are in the process of speaking to Robbie Williams. I sent a team of officers from Nassau to the island yesterday and I am waiting for them to report back to me. They are going to speak to everybody who would have been party to whatever may or may not have happened on the beach. From the information we get from him we will know exactly where to move with the investigation".

Three men have reportedly been arrested in connection to the crime.

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Tom Waits' former manager Herb Cohen has brought a libel lawsuit against journalist Barney Hoskyns, and his publisher Random House, over allegations of criminality in Hoskyns' book 'Lowside Of The Road, A Life Of Tom Waits', published in May his year.

Cohen is suing for $1 million over the book, which apparently claims that during his period of management - 1971 to 1982 - Cohen robbed from Waits, and that the artist sued Cohen and his company over fraudulent accounting practices. Hoskyns also suggests in the biography that Cohen stole money from other clients, and he also says these claims are untrue and defamatory.

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Singer Michael Jackson died last night, aged 50, after suffering a cardiac arrest at his LA home. He was born in Gary, Indiana, the seventh of Joe and Katherine Jackson's nine children, and grew up very much in the public eye in his role as a member of The Jackson Five alongside brothers Jackie, Tito, Germaine and Marlon. The Five got their big break when they signed to Motown in 1968, releasing their first single when Michael was eleven. They went on to enjoy hits with songs like 'I Want You Back', 'ABC', 'The Love You Save', and 'I'll Be There', making them the first group in US chart history to take the top spot with their first four single releases.

Jackson was to emerge as the biggest star in the band, as he engaged audiences with his endearing youth and evident talent, and he embarked on a solo career alongside his work with his brothers. By the mid seventies, both Michael and The Jacksons, as they were by then known, found their careers slowing.

Michael's subsequent rise to become a global pop superstar began in the late seventies when he met producer and composer Quincy Jones, leading to their first collaboration 'Off The Wall', which spawned four top ten hits, including 'Don't Stop Till You Get Enough' and 'Rock With You'. This was followed four years later by the career defining album 'Thriller', and the release of the single of the same name that spawned the groundbreaking and legendary sixteen minute John Landis-directed video.

Jackson, and 'Thriller', is credited with bringing black artists, and music, to a much wider audience than ever before, when MTV began screening the promo in direct contrast to their otherwise very caucasian output. His third and final Quincy Jones album, 'Bad', was also a global success, if not reaching the height of the 65 million copy selling 'Thriller'. Sales of subsequent albums gradually dwindled but his previous successes had ensured his superstar status.

Of course, a significant factor in the public's ongoing fascination with Jackson was his troubled, and often bizarre personal life. The singer openly shared tales of sometimes horrific abuse at the hands of his father Joe, and appeared to commentators to be clinging to a childhood he'd never had because of his early life in the public eye.

He lost his image as a smart businessman in frittering away his huge fortune on much reported fripperies such as his Neverland Ranch and accompanying accessories such as a fun fair and a menagerie.

He was, of course, also subject to allegations that he sexually abused the children he adopted as friends, successfully fighting off more than one lawsuit, and winning the many times previously reported 2005 trial in which he was acquitted of all charges.

It was during that trial that Jackson began to look increasingly frail, and subsequently promised new work failed to materialise. The singer became increasingly financially beleaguered, of course, adding to his troubles. Jackson was, of course, about to commence a series of comeback gigs at London's O2 venue, which might have solved some of his financial worries.

Jackson was married twice, firstly to Lisa Marie Presley, secondly to Debbie Rowe, who was mother to two of his children. He is survived by three children.

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Sky Saxon of sixties rock outfit The Seeds has died in Austin, Texas, from as yet undetermined causes. He is thought to have been around the age of 63.

The Seeds' lead singer and founder was born Richard Marsh in Salt Lake City and began his career performing doo-wop in the early sixties, before changing his name and moving on to a more psychedelic sound that made his band a favourite with the 'flower power' generation. Saxon had recently moved to Austin, where he played with a new band, Shapes Have Fangs, and was planning to take part in retrospective tour the California '66 Revue.

Rock critic Lester Bangs once wrote: "All the bikers around San Diego thought the Seeds were apocalypse, then, I recall one hog-ridin' couple ... who didn't take the Seeds' first album off their turntable for three solid months".

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Guitarist and singer-songwriter Tim Krekel has died at the age of 58, after his health deteriorated following surgery for cancer.

Krekel, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, released eight albums over the course of his career and collaborated over the years with the likes of Jimmy Buffett, Bo Diddley, Billy Swann and Kris Kristofferson. His songs were recorded by a number of other artists, including Crystal Gayle, who scored a hit with 'Turning Away'.

He is survived by his wife Deborah, and four children.

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Producer and DJ Andy Hughes, best known for his work with The Orb, has died aged 43.

He passed away at the Liver Intensive Care Unit at Kings College Hospital in London on 12 Jun following a short illness.

Hughes originally began working with The Orb as a live audio engineer and his first recorded appearance with the group was on their first release for Island Records, 'Live 93'. He then worked with founder member Alex Peterson and Thomas Fehlmann on the albums 'Orbus Terrarum', 'Orblivion', spawning their biggest hit, 'Toxygene', which reached number four in the singles chart in 1997, and 'Cydonia'.

Hughes left the group in 1999, during the production of 'Cydonia', for undisclosed reasons, although The Guardian at the time reported it as "another acrimonious departure from The Orb".

In 2000 he started working on his own music, and more recently produced artists such as Kovak and Basement Jaxx. He also mastered the latest Orb album, 'Baghdad Batteries', which is due for release on 7 Sep.

He is survived by two children, Gabriel and Circe.

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Classic Rock have announced the nominations for their 2009 awards, and leading the way are AC/DC and Iron Maiden, who have three nominations each. AC/DC are up for Album Of The Year for 'Black Ice', Band Of The Year and Event Of The Year, whilst Iron Maiden are also up for Band Of The Year and Event Of The Year, as well as DVD/Film Of The Year.

Also on the nominations list are newcomers The Parlor Mob, nominated for Best New Band and Album Of The Year; Metallica, who are also up for Album Of The Year; The Raconteurs, again, for Album Of The Year; Kings Of Leon, nominated in the Band Of The Year category; and Spinal Tap, up for the Event Of The Year.

The nominations will now be put to a public vote via the magazine and associated website, and the winners will be announced at a ceremony on 2 Nov at the Park Lane Hotel.

Classic Rock's Editor at large Geoff Barton told CMU: "Now in their fifth year, our awards have established themselves as the most prestigious event on the classic rock calendar. With Classic Rock magazine enjoying its highest ever circulation, and with rock giants such as AC/DC, Metallica and Iron Maiden heading our list of nominations, the music that we embrace in the pages of our magazine is in fine fettle. Everyone tells you the record industry is in dire straits but to be honest there's never been a better time for classic rock music".

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I've often thought to myself that there's a gap in the market for greetings cards for people who are refusing to go to rehab. I should have acted on that hunch sooner, because it looks like that pesky Amy Winehouse has beaten me to it.

In a joint venture with EMI Publishing, Winehouse is launching a range of greetings cards and wraping paper featuring lyrics from her 'Back To Black' album. The lyrics are apparently taken from 'Rehab', Back To Black' and 'You Know I'm No Good'

Vice President of EMI Music Publishing Europe, Jonathan Channon said: "We are looking to create innovative revenue streams from our songs with mainstream retailers and the Amy wrapping paper and gift cards received a very positive response. These are songs which have a great resonance with the public".

See? Wouldn't it be better if infidelity and depression were met with a card with the message "You go back to her and I'll go back to black", instead of all that arguing and crying business?

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Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler has revealed that the band have begun work on the follow-up to 2007's 'Neon Bible', and that fans might get to hear it sooner than they think.

Butler told the NME: "None of us want to take three years making a record. It could be that we'll play live [soon] and maybe we'll end up bashing it [another album] out fast. We're in the middle of writing, things are coming together, it's a great feeling".

He added that he's keen to get back into playing live, too: "If you had asked me [about playing live] six months ago I'd be like 'No, I'm good'. But now I go to a gig and I get the little...I can imagine being on that stage. It's the step before you actually go and do it".

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Since The Killers seem to have forgotten how to write a decent song, they've decided to record their own versions of other people's for their fourth album.

Frontman Brandon Flowers told The NME: "[Recording a covers album is] something that we've always talked about doing and we're still talking about. It's difficult for each of us to pick songs that represent us as individuals. I mean, I have a lot of personalities myself! I've gone through everything from Neil Diamond to The Cars".

Drummer Ronnie Vanucci added that he had been working on versions of songs by "Genesis, Tom Waits, a little Cyndi Lauper, [and] Iggy Pop" as well as "messing around with a couple of Fleet Foxes songs". He said that the band had been recording the album while on tour and that "it sounds excellent".

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Paloma Faith, who is currently in the top 20 with her debut single, 'Stone Cold Sober', has announced three headline shows in addition to her previously announced festival dates. The shows will precede the release of her debut album, 'Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?', which is out on 21 Sep via Epic.

Tour dates:

18 Jul: Latitude Festival
1 Aug: Standon Calling
12 Sep: Bestival
14 Sep: Glasgow, King Tuts
15 Sep: Manchester, Ruby Lounge
17 Sep: London, Scala

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The iTunes festival starts soon, people. The annual event will take place at London's Roundhouse, every day in July, with a total of 62 acts playing the venue over the course of the month, including Oasis, Kasabian, Placebo, Snow Patrol, Simple Minds, Paolo Nutini, Flo Rida, and Franz Ferdinand. The gigs will, of course, be recorded and available to download from the iTunes store. See for more info.

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The people behind student music festival Beach Break Live have commented on this year's event, which took place last weekend. The event was a huge success by all accounts, which is a particular achievement given promoters were forced to move the festival across the country at the last minute after planning permission for its original site in Cornwall was rejected with just a week to go in a controversial and unprecedented move by a local planning committee, who moved against the advice of the Cornish authorities and the planning officer. As previously reported, organisers quickly secured an alternative location in Kent, at Port Lympe Safari Park, meaning the 10,000 ticket holders were still able to enjoy the party, headlined by Dizzee Rascal and Ladyhawke.

Commenting on the event, and the challenge of building a festival site from scratch with five days notice, Beach Break Live co-founder Celia Norowzian told CMU: "I still can't quite believe the event happened. It has literally been the most emotionally and physically challenging weeks of our lives. On Monday the 8th, just seven days before ticket holders were set to arrive we had exhausted all possibilities and were facing the end of Beach Break Live. In a last surge of hope and energy we found ourselves driving through the night 325 miles across the country to Kent. By Tuesday afternoon the event was back on... we just had the small hurdle of building it in only five days! It was totally insane. We can't thank the crew, artists and ticket holders enough for the over whelming support and extra effort from everyone. What this journey created was by far the best atmosphere we've ever had at Beach Break and a real feeling of something special. Thanks for keeping the faith!"

Bearing in mind the name of the event, organisers even built a temporary beach in the safari park to ensure revellers had a true beach experience.

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Two unsigned acts have won the previously reported band contest Supajam Fast Track To Benicassim, in a live final at London's Pigalle club. The groups who have won the chance to play at the Benicassim Festival next month are Paris Riots and Polly Mackey And The Pleasure Principle. The competition was the subject of an online vote earlier on, but the final decision was made by Pigalle's owner, promoter Vince Power, and a panel of judges.

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Is it just me, or is there a music industry conference every week these days? No wonder Popkomm was struggling to get the usual delegate numbers booked in.

A new UK music business conference kicked off at the ICA in London yesterday, called International Music Industry Week the, erm, two day event launched with a debate between the boss of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry John Kennedy and eminent artist manager and music business commentator Peter Jenner, which included a discussion on the modern relationship between artists and record labels.

Jenner argued that while labels pushed for a share of an artists' revenues other than just record sales - the so called 360 degree deals - that artists should be cautious of signing rights away to anyone, given that rapid change in the music industry makes it impossible to predict the outcome of deals done now in the music market of five or ten years time.

According to Music Week, Kennedy conceded that artists should look to secure the best deals they can from their business relationships, telling the conference: "Moving forward I think it is simple. It is down to the laws of supply and demand. If 10 record companies are after you, you can write your own contract. Why would you do a 360 deal if you didn't have a choice?"

Elsewhere in music business conventions, one of my favourites takes place in London next week. MUSExpo Europe. The UK spin off of the popular LA conference launched last Autumn and will return for a second time next week at the Cumberland Hotel in London. You'll find information on that one at

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ALBUM REVIEW: Ear Pwr - Super Animal Brothers III (Carpark Records)
Glancing at the CD case and reading over the Ear Pwr's bio ("a nuclear party grenade that will blow your mind"), I kind of thought to myself, 'Oh Jesus, another hyperactive electro outfit - do we really need this?'. Now, don't get me wrong. I love Yacht. I really fucking love The Death Set. I'm not a huge fan of nuclear grenades, but I've never come across a party grenade before - what does this consist of? Well, Ear Pwr's debut is not about to be dismissed that quickly. After listening to it once, I found myself giving into its stupidly twee charm. Yeah, it might be the kind of record you'd hear on the soundtrack of the next Jared Hess ('Napoleon Dynamite', anyone?) movie, but fuck it, it's fun. And funny. Looking at these kids, you can tell straight away that they're mates with Dan Deacon (and apparently, they are), are fans of dodgy retro recording equipment and may or may not fashion themselves on Velma from 'Scooby Doo'. Annoyingly charming. Or charmingly annoying. You take your pick. 'Super Animal Brothers III' is packed with bleepy-blippy computerised trash pop, sweet girly vocals, and songs about sparkly sweaters, bad grammar, diamonds and Mexican newspapers. Kitschy, abrasive and summer-perfect. Don't knock it till it's given you a headache. TW

Release Date: 12 Jul
Press Contact: In House Press [All]

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EMI Music Publishing has promoted Jo Smith to a new job heading up the company's UK business affairs team. Smith joined the major in 1996 as a legal consultant, and will now oversee the legal side of sales, licensing and A&R for the publishing company. She will report to EMI Music Publishing's General Counsel for Europe Antony Bebawi.

Confirming the appointment, Bebawi told reporters: "The music business landscape continues to evolve at an incredible pace and it's vital that we have a strong, flexible team that have a solid understanding of all the issues that songwriters and publishers face. Jo has a comprehensive knowledge of the industry and her experience will be invaluable as we move forward".

Smith added: "I'd like to think that it's a reflection of the effectiveness of the entire team over the last two years or so," she says. "I'm looking forward to working with everybody here as we continue to build on our successes on behalf of our talented roster of songwriters".

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The French government has drafted a new proposal which it hopes will make the three-strike system law in France. As previously reported, French ministers want to introduce a system whereby people who persistently file-share unlicensed music online would receive two warning letters and, if they continue to file-share, would have their internet connection cut off. The whole system would be run by a government agency called Hadopi who would have the authority to order ISPs to cut off offending customers.

Despite opposition from various quarters, the government eventually got the proposals through the country's parliament, but the disconnection part of the proposals fell down at the final hurdle, the French Constitutional Council, which assesses whether new laws breach the country's constitution. They said that only a judge should be able to deprive a citizen of their internet access.

The whole point of the three-strike system, and the Hadopi body, was to ensure disconnection orders didn't have to go through a traditional court, which would make the disconnection process time consuming and expensive. As expected, French ministers are trying to get around the Constitutional Council's ruling by creating a special fast-tracked judicial process exclusively for the Hadopi, which would basically see a judge rubber stamping the copyright agency's disconnection rulings. Under that system there would only be a formal court hearing if an accused file-sharer appealed.

The new proposals will now have to go through parliament before going back to the Constitutional Council. Music business types remain hopeful the French government will get three-strikes onto the statute book. They hope the French three-strike programme will provide a useful pilot that would provide a strong case for the controversial method for combating online piracy to be introduced elsewhere. Government's in other countries, including the UK, have expressed reservations about three-strikes, while ISPs maintain it won't actually work in reducing online piracy because serial file-sharers will find (or already have found) technical ways to avoid detection.

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Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN have launched legal proceedings against The Pirate Bay ordering the operators of the rogue Bit-Torrent tracker to close their service down in their territory. In an interesting twist the organisation says it has sent a court summons to the three founders of the copyright infringing search engine via Twitter and Facebook, their exact locations being in the air since they were found guilty of infringement in their home country of Sweden earlier this year. BREIN say founders Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde and Gottfrid Warg have been ordered to appear in a court in Amsterdam on 21 Jul. I'm putting money on a no show. Swedish news agency TT tracked Neij down in Bangkok, and he said "I have Twitter and Facebook accounts, but I haven't seen anything about it".

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MTV US laid off fifty staff earlier this week, the latest job cuts at the music broadcaster, though according to Billboard the company claims that the latest redundancies were not recession related, but rather the result of a complete restructure at the media firm to enable it to better compete in this here internet age. They quote MTV President Of Programming Tony DiSanto, who will oversee the restructured and downsized US programming unit, who says: "It was not done for financial reasons, it was purely creative - an overhaul of the organization to better meet the creative needs of MTV".

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The Local Radio Company is offloading another of its radio stations. As previously reported, the local radio firm had been downsizing its roster of stations since rival UKRD became the majority shareholder, and UKRD execs took over the top jobs at the company. The latest station to go is Mix 107 in High Wycombe. Unlike the two previous TLRC stations to go - Fire Radio in Bournemouth and Silk FM in Macclesfield - both of which were sold, Mix 107 will just be closed down and the licence handed back to OfCom.

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Smashing Pumpkin Billy Corgan is reportedly a megalomaniac who's almost impossible to get along with, and what better way to find out than by paying to have lunch with him? Well, a new charity auction posted on by the Songwriters Hall Of Fame is offering just that.

The winning bidder will be granted to eat with Corgan, along with one other person, at a restaurant in either LA or Chicago. But be quick, there are only four days left to get your bids in.

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A spokesperson for Chris Brown's record label, Jive, has denied that a Chris Brown song entitled 'Not My Fault' is a new song about his much discussed assault on his former girlfriend Rihanna.

The song was one of a number to appear on the internet this week, but that one in particular got people talking because of lyric like "Shorty is caught up, from a long night. She's ready to fall, but see, it's all right ... That's not my fault, right?"

However, in a statement the spoekesperson said: "Countering misleading reports of 'new' Chris Brown music: there are no 'new' songs from Chris Brown currently being promoted by Chris or his record label. There are several old demos circulating that are being falsely promoted as new material from Chris".

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Well, surprise surprise, it's raining at Glastonbury. For a very professional and insightful update on the Glasto weather situation from Radio 4, click here:

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