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DID YOU KNOW?
We do music and youth marketing too, details here
Job ads
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
New Jacko recordings will be released - eventually
Jacko memorial "cost LA $1.4 million"
Dandy Warhols to make good on Blackbird promise
House speaker disapproves of 'Jacko a legend' resolution
In The Pop Courts
A very long report on a slightly tedious technicality in US copyright law - Premiere League v YouTube
Rapper Pitbull not guilty of DUI
Artist Deals
UMPG sign up AR Rahman
Release News
Stars contribute to Mulcahy tribute
New Genesis live collection set for release
Gigs N Tours News
Paul Weller announces end of year tour
Talks, Debates N Trade Fairs
Cologne music convention to expand, but it's not a Popkomm attack, honest
Reviews
Single review: Twilight Sad - I Became A Prostitute (FatCat)
The Music Business
Big Chill to open bar in Bristol
The Digital Business
Pretend-to-play downloads could be counted in charts
Orange downloads go DRM-free
The Media Business
Harriet Scott expected to stay with Heart
And finally...
Reverend to wed
Oasis draft in SAS for gig security
Free hot dogs at Coldplay US gigs
Samantha Ronson sick of La La insults
Neverland bumper cars for sale on eBay
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts
 
FRIDAY 10TH JULY


GIRLS CAN'T CATCH
The latest girl group on the scene, Girls Can't Catch have already laid the ground work for becoming something big. They supported Girls Aloud on their recent UK tour, and have working with All Saints' Shaznay Lewis and Ivor Novello-winning songwriter Chris Braide, the latter of whom penned their debut single 'Keep Your Head Up'. The single is set for release on 27 Jul via Universal/Fascination, and on the same day they will play with The Saturdays and Sophie Ellis-Bextor at The Roundhouse in London as part of this 2009 iTunes Festival. We spoke to one third of the group, Phoebe, to find out more.
 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I've always written music, as it's like my version of writing a diary. My mum taught me how to play the piano and I was brought up in a house that was always full of music - particularly Motown, which isn't a bad place to start.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
It's a brilliant song which has an empowering message... There's a lot of negativity around at the moment because of one thing or another, so it feels good to be conveying something a little more positive.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Sometimes I wake up with lyrics in my head... I always carry paper around in case I see something that inspires me, but generally the tune and words just flow out of my mind. I'm passionate about what I write about.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
A bit of everything; I'll listen to songs and how the instruments and melodies bond together and that gives me new ideas. I got to spend a couple of days in the studio with Pharrell Williams and his method of writing was genius to observe. Very inspiring.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
There's more to come! And listen to the lyrics - they're very important to me.

Q6 What are your ambitions for you your latest single, and for the future?
I would love to progress as songwriters as my mind is constantly flowing with ideas! The single is a fab summer anthem; the beats and instruments used feel daring and different - I love it!

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

 
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: TCR Breaks BBQ
Yes people, it's that time of year again: one of the definite highlights of any breaks fan's summer - the TCR Breaks All-Dayer and BBQ. And this one is extra special, because it's TCR's fifteenth birthday this year, so there'll be an extra celebratory feel to the proceedings. At this, the seventh All-Dayer event, TCR main man Rennie Pilgrem will be joined by Ellis Dee, BLIM, Tamsin, Vlad Sokolov, Jay Cunning, High Eight, Plaza de Funk and Jurassik. I went to the All-Dayer a couple of years back and the crowd was extremely up for the craic - that, with a bit of help from the dark Stella on tap, led to a crazy ol night - in fact the picture on this year's flyer is pretty much how I remember it. Well, except for the fire. So, a definite recommend. And how they manage to do all this for free is anyone's guess. But get there early, or you just won't get in.

TCR Breaks All Dayer, Saturday 11 Jul, Lockside Lounge, 75-89 Upper Walkway, West Yard, Camden Lock, NW1, 2pm - 3am, free, info from www.tcr.uk.com, press info from Pippa at TCR.




 

 
HEAD OF DIGITAL AT COOKING VINYL
Cooking Vinyl (The Prodigy, Nitin Sawhney, Dolores O'Riordan, The Lemonheads) require an experienced digital manager to head up their expanding digital department.

The role requires a candidate with strong experience in all facets of digital including retail, marketing, mobile, advertising and promotion. Taking the leading role in developing and expanding the department, the candidate is expected to deliver exciting and targeted campaigns for the labels growing roster of artists as well as pushing the company forward as a whole with new digital initiatives.

Reporting to the Managing Director and Product Director, this is a great opportunity for an experienced candidate to help guide the digital future of one of the UK's biggest independent record labels.

Apply with CV and current salary to digital@cookingvinyl.com

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WORK AT THE HEART OF THE WORLD'S BIGGEST FESTIVAL
ThreeWeeks is CMU's sister media, the biggest reviewer at the Edinburgh Festival, the biggest cultural festival on the planet. ThreeWeeks is based around a unique media education programme involving 100 students each year. Between them they review more shows than any other media at the Festival, ensuring hundreds of grass roots shows that would otherwise go unreviewed get the coverage they deserve. ThreeWeeks runs a four week operation in Edinburgh during August, and is looking for the following temporary staff to join the team.

Office Manager
This person will run the ThreeWeeks Edinburgh offices from Friday 31 July to Tuesday 1 September, helping set up and wind down the office space, manage a team of student volunteers, and manage and in part undertake project administration and logistics. Must be energetic, consciencious, Microsoft Office and email literate, and a real people person. Previous knowlege of the Edinburgh Fringe an advantage. Core offices hours are 9am-6pm. Fee: £1000.

Distribution Manager
This person will handle all the distribution of the ThreeWeeks weekly edition and one other magazine from Tuesday 4 August to Tuesday 1 September. It basically means driving around a network of distribution points across central Edinburgh and dropping off papers. It is a flexible role. A full distribution run is required on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, but 3-4 other drop off runs per week can be timed to suit the Distribution Manager. You will drive and care for the ThreeWeeks van so need a full clean driving licence, and will need the patience required for central Edinburgh driving. Knowledge of the city centre an advantage. Fee: £1000

Junior Designer
This person will assist on the design and production of ThreeWeeks' daily print and online publications - typesetting the former in InDesign and the latter in Dreamweaver. Photoshop will also be used. Will suit someone looking for a stepping stone into a media production career with previous experience using these applications. You will be required daily from Thursday 6 to Monday 31 August from 10am-5pm (11-3pm last Bank Holiday weekend). This job is based in the ThreeWeeks Edinburgh office. Fee: £750

To apply for these roles send a CV and covering note to recruitment@unlimitedmedia.co.uk stating in the subject line the job title of the role you are applying for.

Limited space is available in the ThreeWeeks flat in Edinburgh, so it may be possible to accommodate good candidates not based in Edinburgh who apply for these roles. If you are not based at an Edinburgh address you should state if you would need accommodation in your application.

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NEW JACKO RECORDINGS WILL BE RELEASED - EVENTUALLY
The boss of Sony's Epic US division has confirmed that new recordings made by Michael Jackson prior to his death will be released eventually via her label, but said that there's no rush, and that they hadn't yet discussed the specifics of how and when those recordings would see the light of day.

British singer songwriter Amanda Ghost has only been in the top job at Epic US for five months, though she has found herself atop one of the major's most successful divisions in the last fortnight as back catalogue sales of Jackson's various Epic releases go through the roof.

Speaking to the BBC this week, Ghost confirmed that, while Jackson famously fell out with Sony Music following the relatively disappointing performance of 2002 album 'Invincible', he was still working with the label and had intended to eventually release any new material with them. As previously reported, recent recording efforts had seen Jackson collaborate with the likes of Ne-Yo, Akon and will.i.am.

Asked about those recordings by BBC 6 Music, Ghost said: "I have no idea when it's coming out, but it will come out on Epic. We haven't made any decisions because we just want to be respectful for his memory and not be seen in any way as trying to cash in. [But] the appetite is definitely there [for new music]. If we do release any of the unreleased material, it has to be fantastic, it can't in any way damage his legacy or his legend. I won't let that happen at Epic".

Less concerned about being seen to cash in on a dead Jacko are, of course, AEG Live though to be fair they've got a $40 million loss to recoup in relation to the singer's cancelled O2 residency and, unlike Epic, aren't benefiting from the sudden boom in sales in Jackson's recordings.

Following the glorious ticket scam, in which fans of the singer were encouraged to basically pay fifty quid plus in return for a piece of Jacko designed cardboard, the promoter have now put all the merchandise that would have been sold during the O2 residency on sale. Well, if it's sitting in a warehouse, it might as well be sold I suppose.

As 'This Is It' merchandise went on sale online a statement from the promoter was released explaining: "As we mourn the loss of one of the greatest talents the world has ever seen, we are only beginning to feel the impact that Michael left upon us all. A variety of official merchandise commemorates this incredible talent and preserves the legacy that is Michael Jackson". Or, if nothing else, brings in some hard cash that might, as yet, turn Jacko's demise into a profit centre for the live music giant who we all thought would be the big financial losers after the singer's sudden death.

So, if you look down and notice your belt looks a bit lacking without a Jacko branded buckle, or you think your coffee might taste nicer out of Michael Jackson mug, or you just want to put a few more pennies into the AEG pot, go check www.michaeljacksonmerch.com.

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JACKO MEMORIAL "COST LA $1.4 MILLION"
Increased policing, rubbish collection, sanitation, traffic control and moonwalk monitoring before, during and after this week's Michael Jackson memorial service cost the city of LA $1.4 million, the mayor's office has revealed. Do you think the rubbish bags were gold plated too?

Needless to say, the high costs have been criticised by some, who point out the city is already $530 million in debt and could really do without such extra expense. Though, to be honest with you, once you're $530 million in debt, what's another million or so? And prior to the memorial City Councilwoman Jan Perry pointed out that city authority did budget to police and manage large unforeseen events in the city like the memorial.

Nevertheless, criticism over the city's expenditure in relation to the event has only grown since Tuesday. Leading the criticism is LA City Attorney Carmen Trutanich who, according to the New York Times, says he will be investigating why the LA authorities agreed to cover so much of the costs relating to the event, given the city's poor finances. A spokesman for the Attorney's office said: "The city attorney does not want something like this happening again, the city paying for a private event. That's especially in a cash-strapped city, where people have been furloughed or even lost jobs".

Meanwhile City Controller Wendy Greuel has criticised not the concept of the city footing the policing bill relating to the memorial, but the nature of some of the police's expenses, in particular asking the city's emergency management department why $48,826 was spent driving in sandwiches for police officers from a deli 80 miles away, when a similar number of sandwiches bought from local branches of Subway would have cost just $17,491.

Possibly in a bid to silence critics, the LA mayor's office set up a website earlier this week where Jackson's fans could make donations to help cover the city's costs. Though that sort of backfired when too many fans went online to donate and the site crashed, going offline for hours.

A spokesman for the major's office issued a statement reading: "After collecting more than $17,000 from hundreds of donors in support of the Michael Jackson Memorial Tuesday morning, the City's Information Technology Agency could not handle the high volume of traffic or adequately respond to frequent and prolonged server crashes. The City apologises for the inconvenience to those who were unable to contribute to the memorial costs. The Information Technology Agency is attempting to rectify the problems".

Of course, even if the website does raise a substantial sum of money to help cover the city's expenditure it probably won't silence critics who really want to see the Jackson family cover the costs.

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DANDY WARHOLS TO MAKE GOOD ON BLACKBIRD PROMISE
In sort of Jacko news, The Dandy Warhols have said they will be honouring a commitment made in their 2003 album track 'Welcome To The Monkey House', and as a result will soon begin work on a cover version of The Beatles' song 'Blackbird'.

The commitment the band made in the 2003 song came in the lyrics "When Michael Jackson dies/We're covering 'Blackbird'". And Dandy Warhol Peter Holmstrom has told the NME that within an hour of Jackson's sudden death two weeks ago the band were already receiving hundreds of texts and emails asking them if they now planned to make good on that musical promise.

NME quite Holstrom thus: "It's so bizarre - I never thought we'd be doing it this soon. We were flooded with texts within an hour of [Jackson's] death".

Holstrom added that the band would start work on the cover just as soon as they all return from their summer trips. We look forward to it.

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HOUSE SPEAKER DISAPPROVES OF 'JACKO A LEGEND' RESOLUTION
Staying with Jacko, and I must admit that when US congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, speaking at Tuesday's memorial event, announced she would put a resolution to the House Of Representatives asking her fellow reps to formally declare Jackson an "American legend" it sounded like a bit of a mad idea.

Americans are 50/50 split on more or less every political issue, and while Jackson may not be a political issue as such, he certainly divides US public opinion as much as guns, abortion and homosexuality. And I'm not sure anyone really needs a big Congressional argument on whether Jacko's pop genius and charitable donations should outweigh the sinister allegations and squandered millions, it's not as if a resolution in the House Of Reps is going to change anyone's existing opinion of the late king of pop.

And US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi agrees. She says Lee's resolution will simply give a platform to "contrary views" about the pop star, and isn't necessary, given that any House Of Rep member can use an official speech "to express their sympathy or their praise any time that they wish". And proving that Lee's resolution is possibly opening a can of worms which frankly doesn't need opening, Republican rep Peter King, who has already branded Jackson a "pervert" and "paedophile" in a YouTube address, has vowed to do everything he can to ensure the resolution does not get passed.

Also giving voice to those in America with more negative opinions about Jacko was Fox News' resident nutter Bill O'Reilly, though, presumably with Fox's lawyers all too aware that when Jackson faced those child abuse allegations in court he was acquitted, he didn't go as far as to use words like "pervert" and "paedophile". He did, however, declare that it's time for the people of America to put all things Jackson behind them.

He told his audience on Tuesday night, just hours after the LA memorail: "The adulation must stop. It is basically grandstanding and pathetic in the extreme. Yes, the man was an all star entertainer, but that's it. Enough with the phoney platitudes. His incredible selfishness spending hundreds of millions of dollars on himself while singing 'We Are The World' should make any clear thinking American nauseous. [And] Jackson's interaction with children was unacceptable for any adult".

Noting the various speeches commending Jackson for opening the door for black performers to the world of mainstream entertainment, and ignoring the singer's long held claims that the lightening of his skin was due to a medical condition, O'Reilly continued: "Why is Al Sharpton making this a racial deal. Jackson bleached his own skin and then chose white men to provide existence for his in-vitro children. To hear Sharpton speak today, you'd think Jackson was Martin Luther King, Jr. Why is he being held up in the African American community as a pillar of Black America when he bleached his skin?"

And finally he dished out some vitriol in the media's direction, concluding: "A cowardly media will exploit any event for ratings. Remember the same people extolling Jackson today were the same people giving his child molestation trial gavel-to-gavel attention. And after Michael Jackson was found not guilty the American media did not exactly elevate him to hero status. But now that he's dead, he's a hero. How does that work?"

Unfortunately - bearing in mind this is nut job O'Reilly speaking here - in that last remark, he does sort of have a point.

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A VERY LONG REPORT ON A SLIGHTLY TEDIOUS TECHNICALITY IN US COPYRIGHT LAW - PREMIERE LEAGUE V YOUTUBE
OK, this is all a bit complicated, so do bear with me. There was an interesting development in the world of YouTube copyright litigation this week which doesn't really impact on the major outstanding YouTube lawsuit, that being pursued against the Google-owned video site by MTV owner Viacom, but which would be relevant if a British broadcaster were to begin similar legal proceedings.

As previously reported, various content owners are suing YouTube for copyright infringement because at any one time their servers host all sorts of content that has been uploaded by punters without a copyright owner's permission. Because YouTube have a policy of removing this content when made aware of it by a content owner, they argue they are operating within US copyright laws.

Some content owners, however, argue it is unfair that the onus is on them to spot infringing content - because they have to invest in whole departments to monitor the video site - and argue that YouTube themselves have a responsibility to ensure no infringing content ever goes live on their site. YouTube, of course disagree, but would also point out that they have recently launched a new technology system that, in theory at least, blocks content that has been registered by a copyright owner who does not want their content to appear on the site.

Many content owners who have kicked up a fuss have ultimately reached a licensing deal with the video website before any litigation has been launched. However, some significant lawsuits are ongoing - in particular the aforementioned Viacom lawsuit, and a class action suit that names a number of content owners as plaintiffs, though the highest profile is the English Premier League.

And it's the latter lawsuit that has seen a development this week - though not on the key point of whether or not YouTube is liable for infringing content uploaded to its site, despite its 'tell us and we'll remove it' policy - but on the matter of damages and copyright registration.

Copyrights in America have to be registered in order to get legal protection, while here in the UK and elsewhere a copyright exists as soon as a piece of original work is created, it never needs be registered anywhere. Meanwhile, a copyright enjoys protection in territories other than the one where it was created thanks to various international agreements between countries, in particular the Berne Convention.

These two facts present some interesting challenges in the US, because content owners based there have to go to the effort of registering their copyrights by a set deadline to get legal protection, but content owners aboard do not. And it's more complicated than it need be because some elements of US copyright law theoretically, or arguably, only apply to registered copyrights - which means those elements only apply to native copyrights, or international copyrights where the content owner has registered them in the US.

I'm telling you all this, because this is what was being discussed this week in relation to the English Premier League lawsuit against YouTube. It's important because they are suing for 'statutory damages' for the infringement they claim YouTube has committed by allowing some of its content to be posted on their website.

This is the easy damages option if you're suing for infringement because it allows the court to order the infringer, if found guilty, to pay a set fine per piece of infringed content - anything up to $150,000 per infringement. The other option is for the content owner to sue for 'actual damages', but then they need to demonstrate to the court actual losses or gains that have occurred as a result of the infringement.

When a video is posted on YouTube that's quite hard to do. First the consumers haven't paid anything to watch it and Google's short term ad revenues will be modest, though arguably they gain long term brand equity from carrying the content. Meanwhile, on the other side of the equation, it's nigh on impossible to prove that the presence of the infringing content on the video site affected the audience figures of those TV networks and websites that have paid to show the footage, let alone calculate how that would impact on those media's ad revenues. It's not really an avenue you want to go down - which is why most content owners, including the record companies, sue for statutory damages. Much easier to say "we'll have $150,000 per infringement please your honour".

This is all important because the US courts this week ruled that statutory damages can only be claimed for copyrights registered in the US. Which would mean content owners outside of America, while able to protect their copyrights in the US courts, are not allowed to use the easier method for calculating damages.

Lawyers for the Premier League argued that making that distinction violated the aforementioned Berne Convention which says that the enjoyment and exercise of copyright "shall not be subject to any formality". But US District Judge Louis Stanton disagreed. According to Out-Law.com the judge said that US lawmakers had already deemed that interpretation of US copyright law as being compatible with the Convention and, anyway, "even if Section 412 were in conflict with the Berne Convention, Section 412 would be binding. The Berne Convention has no effect on US law unless Congress so provides".

The ruling probably isn't really a big blow to the Premier League or many of the other plaintiffs tagged to this litigation, which includes some music publishes. Firstly because some of those plaintiffs, the music publishers for example, will most likely have registered their copyrights in the US anyway.

But also, in the Premier League's case, because of an exception to the rules regarding infringement of live recordings - ie when users take clips of live broadcasts off the TV and immediately post them onto YouTube. There is an exception here because it would be impossible for the Premier League to register this kind of content in advance of infringement, because it doesn't exist. US law says that if the owners of such content issue an 'advance notice of potential infringement' relating to such recordings then they get the same protection as if they had registered the content - meaning they can claim for statutory damages.

As most of the content the Premiere League is suing over falls into this category, and as the judge ruled the email warnings they had sent YouTube about that content could be deemed as 'advance notices', the link between registration and statutory damages is not so relevant here. Nevertheless, the Premiere League's US lawyers say they might appeal this week's ruling anyway because, while it only applied to the minority of their own content, they say the ruling presents a dangerous precedent of allowing US copyright law to favour native copyrights over those protected by the Berne Convention.

There, told you it was a bit complicated. I know, let's quickly move on to a much simpler drink driving case.

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RAPPER PITBULL NOT GUILTY OF DUI
US rapper Pitbull has been cleared by a court in Miami of charges of driving under the influence of alcohol.

The case relates to an incident that took place in December 2007, in which the hip hopper, real name Armando Perez, was stopped by police on the Palmetto Expressway for travelling at 93mph. He subsequently failed on the spot sobriety tests, and officers claimed to have been able to smell alcohol on his breath. But Perez has always maintained his innocence.

Pitbull, who claims that he was targeted by police because of his celebrity status, told AllHipHop.com: "I had my day in court and justice was served. All my life I have fought for everything I have achieved and we fought this accusation to the end. I want to thank my attorneys Jim Best and Joseph Vredevelt; and all the fans; and, most of important of all, I thank God for letting justice prevail".

The aforementioned Best and Vredevelt added in a joint statement: "It is a vindication for Mr Perez who has contested these allegations for the past two years. Justice truly was done in this case and we thank the jurors for their time and the people of Miami for their support of Mr Perez during this trial".

God was unavailable for comment. As usual.

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UMPG SIGN UP AR RAHMAN
Universal Music Publishing Group have signed an exclusive worldwide publishing agreement with Indian composer AR Rahman, who, as I'm sure you will all remember, won two Academy Awards this year for his original score, and song 'Jai Ho', for the film 'Slumdog Millionaire'. The contract includes an agreement that will see Rahman create an exclusive five CD production music series for Universal Publishing Production Music.

UMPG top dog David Renzer says this: "After seeing 'Slumdog Millionaire' I was thrilled not only to discover that AR was available, but that he had also managed to retain all the publishing rights to the score! The fact that AR has scored music for over 100 films, sold more than 100 million records and is one the world's top selling recording artists, was icing on the cake".

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STARS CONTRIBUTE TO MULCAHY TRIBUTE
Some big names have contributed tracks to 'Ciao My Shining Star', a new compilation being released in tribute to the wife of former Miracle Legion frontman Mark Mulcahy, Melissa. Amongst those who have recorded their own versions of the Miracle Legion man's songs for the album are Thom Yorke, Michael Stipe, Dinosaur Jr, Frank Black, Frank Turner and Juliana Hatfield. All proceeds will go towards helping Mulcahy raise his three children whilst continuing to work as a musician.

'Ciao My Shining Star' will be release via Mezzotint Records on 14 Sep. Here's the tracklist:

Thom Yorke - All for the Best
The National - Ashamed Of The Story I Told
Michael Stipe - Everything's Coming Undone
David Berkeley - Love's the Only Thing That Shuts Me Up
Dinosaur Jr - The Backyard
Chris Harford and The Band Of Changes - Micon The Icon
Frank Black - Bill Jocko
Vic Chesnutt - Little Man
Unbelievable Truth - Ciao My Shining Star
Butterflies of Love - I Have Patience
Chris Collingwood (Fountains Of Wayne) - Cookie Jar
Frank Turner - The Quiet One
Rocket From The Tombs - In Pursuit Of Your Happiness
Ben Kweller - Wake Up Whispering
Josh Rouse - I Woke Up In The Mayflower
Autumn Defense - Paradise
Hayden - Happy Birthday Yesterday
Juliana Hatfield - We're Not In Charleston Anymore
Mercury Rev - Sailors And Animals
Elvis Perkins - She Watches Over Me
Sean Watkins - A World Away From This One

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NEW GENESIS LIVE COLLECTION SET FOR RELEASE
A new Genesis box set is to be released in September, featuring four previously released live albums - 'Genesis Live', 'Three Sides Live', 'The Way We Walk' and 'Live At The Rainbow' - plus some bonus unreleased tracks. 'Genesis Live 1973-2007' is out in the UK on 14 Sep, and in the US on 29 Sep.

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PAUL WELLER ANNOUNCES END OF YEAR TOUR
Paul Weller has announced a UK tour, set to take place towards the end of the year, as follows:

25 Nov: Derby, Assembly Room
26 Nov: Norwich, UEA
28 Nov: Preston, Guildhall
29 Nov: Glasgow, Barrowlands
30 Nov: Dundee, Caird Hall
2 Dec: Halifax, Victoria Theatre
3 Dec: Carlisle, Sands Centre
4 Dec: Bridlington, Spa
6 Dec: Bradford, St George's Hall
7 Dec: Llandudno, Venue Cymru
8 Dec: Portsmouth, Guildhall
10 Dec: Margate, Winter Gardens
11 Dec: Coventry, Warwick Arts Centre
12 Dec: Cambridge Corn Exchange

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COLOGNE MUSIC CONVENTION TO EXPAND, BUT IT'S NOT A POPKOMM ATTACK, HONEST
Organisers of German music convention C/O Pop have denied plans to "takeover" from Popkomm as the country's biggest music business event.

There have been reports in the German media that the Cologne-based event, which has so far been very much focused on the German music community, was planning on becoming more globally focused following the news the mega Berlin-based Popkomm conference was taking a year off. Reports said they were working with the Cologne Fair company, or Koelnmesse, to develop a major music business event for the city, which used to host Popkomm in the nineties.

But organisers of C/O Pop, while admitting they have ambitions to expand the remit of their event, denied it had anything to do with Popkomm's announcement they were taking a year off.

C/O Pop MD Norbert Oberhaus told CMU: "It is true that we have been in talks with the Cologne Fair to develop a new format for C/O Pop, catering for the international as well as the German music and creative industries. But these talks began well before the postponement of Popkomm and are not related to it. When we started C/O Pop six years ago, we never intended to compete with Popkomm, and we have never considered them as a competitor. Our aim has always been to offer a more contemporary alternative".

Cologne Fair boss Gerald Böse added: "We have been in intensive talks with C/O Pop, the city of Cologne and the federal state NRW for a while now. Our objective is to offer a proposition to the increasing demand for a modern and sustainable platform for the creative industry here in Cologne. C/O Pop provides a promising basis for this, which the above mentioned participants seek to develop further collectively".

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SINGLE REVIEW: Twilight Sad - I Became A Prostitute (FatCat)
It's been far too long since their debut album, 'Fourteen Autumns And Fifteen Winters', blew away all competition to be the greatest, most industrious, fearsome and beautiful record of 2007, and, naturally, expectations are high for LP number two. This first glimpse of what we can expect tells us that not much has changed. While also confirming not much needed changing. It's the similar quiet/loud post-rock sound, with James Graham's Scots dialect as pronounced and emphatic as ever, with his mad, shouting Highland poet approach still the ultimate appeal of this glorious band. Bold, big, loud, brilliant and a very happy return for the Twilight Sad. TM
Release Date: 3 Aug
Press Contact: FatCat IH [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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BIG CHILL TO OPEN BAR IN BRISTOL
The Big Chill people have announced they will launch a new bar in Bristol this Autumn, bringing the Big Chill vibe to the city all year round. The festival people have operated two year round venues in London for a while, of course, the Big Chill Bar and Big Chill House.

The new venue will be headed up by two local promoters, Dave Smeaton and James Savage. The former told CMU: "The Big Chill's mix of music, art and great food will be welcomed in a city which has always embraced all of these things in a big way. Now all the many Bristol Big Chillers can get a small piece of the festival every day for free!"

Confirming the new venture, Big Chill founder Katrina Larkin added: "It's not a new home for Big Chill really, it's more providing a roof for the many Big Chill artists and chillers from Bristol all year round. Plus it's a lot closer for us than the London bars after a hard day in our festival fields".

The Bristol Big Chill venture is due to open in October.

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PRETEND-TO-PLAY DOWNLOADS COULD BE COUNTED IN CHARTS
Yet more chart developments, well, possibly. Video game industry magazine MCV reports that the Official Charts Company is considering counting tracks downloaded via games like 'Rock Band' and 'Guitar Hero' for the UK music charts. Users of the pretend-to-play games can, of course, download the original recordings of songs that they might want to pretend to play via the respective games' own download platforms.

Admitting that tracking music downloaded via the games is something being considered, Omar Maskatiya of the Official Charts Company told MCV: "We have been in discussion with record labels and the various games companies that host games which allow users to download master recording versions of artist tracks. In theory they could be eligible to be combined with downloads of the same tracks that take place from the wide range of digital retailing services that currently make up our chart panel".

He continued: "Our brief is to ensure that the charts are the most accurate barometer of the best-selling tracks or singles in the UK. And the information we have to date suggests that the incredibly successful Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises can generate significant volume of master recording downloads that we would like to capture within our weekly survey. We are at various stages of discussion in terms of capturing these additional downloads so we are not talking about inclusion from next week, but it is certainly high on our agenda to follow through between now and the end of this year".

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ORANGE DOWNLOADS GO DRM-FREE
Orange have announced they are now stocking digital rights management free music in their mobile music store, which is nice. DRM-free mobile downloads are available from EMI, Universal and various indies, though presumably the plan is to get Warner and Sony on board in due course.

Confirming the arrival of DRM-free on their online and mobile music portal, Orange's portal man Paul Jevons told CMU: “Orange is committed to providing customers with the widest access to music tracks and content. Upgrading the Music Portal and introducing DRM-free music helps customers enjoy music how and when they want. We look forward to enhancing the DRM-free music catalogue over the coming months".

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HARRIET SCOTT EXPECTED TO STAY WITH HEART
Harriet Scott, co-presenter on the Heart 106.2 breakfast show, is currently renegotiating her contract and is rumoured to be considering jumping ship to a rival station to present her own show, rather than re-signing to co-host with that Jamie Theakston bloke. That said, the Guardian quote sources as saying, while another offer is on the table, Scott is most likely to stick with her current job and re-sign to Heart. So, there you go.

Elsewhere in Heart London news, the presenter of the station's drive time slot, the lovely Emma B, is to leave after nearly four years with the station, having decided to move to Ibiza with her family. Current weekend presenter Neil Bentley will take over the week day afternoon show from August. It'll make things less complicated now that Heart has taken on the other Emma B. As previously reported, former Spice Girl Emma Bunton now presents the drivetime slot for Heart on a Friday.

Confirming the original Emma B's departure, Heart PD Adrian Stewart told reporters: "I'd like to thank Emma B for all her hard work over the past five years on Heart Drivetime. We will miss her a great deal but the Ibiza sun is calling and who could stand in the way of that!"

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REVEREND TO WED
Reverend & The Makers members John McClure and Laura Manuel, who apparently became a couple during the recording of their second album 'French Kiss In The Chaos', have announced that they are to get married in Italy on 13 Aug.

McClure told The Sun: "We're really happy. It was weird in the band before we got together. And it was a bit odd when we split for a while as no-one knew whose side to take. They didn't take sides but if they did it would have been mine".

Manuel added that she's expecting to have to do less heavy lifting now: "I used to just muck in and be one of the boys. I still do but but it's a little different now he's become my fiance. We're due to wed in Italy in August and then we're having another big party up north when we get back. I can't wait. It won't change things in a the band at all as everyone is used to us being a couple now".

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OASIS DRAFT IN SAS FOR GIG SECURITY
Oasis have apparently hired ex-members of the SAS to avoid a repeat of last year's on-stage attack in Toronto, which left Noel Gallagher with broken ribs after he was pushed over by a man who managed to get past security and run at him.

A 'source' told the Daily Mirror: "Noel was seriously shook up after he was attacked. It was a freak moment when someone burst through and managed to get on stage. But he wanted to make sure he never had to go through that again. There was a time when he was genuinely scared of getting back out there and performing... So he told Liam and the others that he wanted extra security. And, of course, they agreed - after all, it could have been any of them. When he heard that a couple of the lads brought in to try out as security were ex-SAS, he knew he was in safe hands".

I'm not sure how likely that sounds, but if the Mirror have got a source to confirm it, who am I to argue?

Meanwhile, Noel has been telling the BBC that his band's 2000 album 'Familiar To Millions' is "atrocious", which is exactly what I've been saying for ages. The BBC should have just asked me about it. But, anyway, they thought Noel would be more interesting, so here's what he said: "I think it's atrocious. If you were involved around the circumstances of actually trying to make that album it was not a very happy time. I heard it in a shop in Japan recently and it didn't sound too good to me".

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FREE HOT DOGS AT COLDPLAY US GIGS
Coldplay are apparently planning on handing out free hot dogs at their upcoming US live shows. Well, I don't think they'll be personally handing out the free food, but fans at the band's gigs will be treated to some free refreshments. It's all part of a bid by those Live Nation people to entice cash strapped music fans to gigs. The promoter has been running various promotions, in the US and elsewhere, designed to save gig goers cash. This includes 'no service fee Wednesday' where booking charges on tickets are dropped, as well as free parking and soft drinks at some venues. I think Coldplay's shows are the first to extend the freebies to hot dogs. Presumably if Live Nation promote a Morrissey gig in the current economic climate it would be free hummus all round.

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SAMANTHA RONSON SICK OF LA LA INSULTS
Samantha Ronson has said via Twitter that she is considering moving to London because of the insulting tour guides that drive past her home in Hollywood, Ronson said in a post: "Just sitting at home and heard a 'star tour' bus go by my house and insult me over a loud speaker - think i'll put nails out tomorrow. Best part - they said that because I'm so talentless [brother Mark Ronson] had to buy me my house... hmmm - it's a rental - dipshit".

A fan then suggested that such a thing would never happen in London, and Ronson replied: "Which is why I plan on moving".

Yeah, nobody ever insults anyone in London, ever.

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NEVERLAND BUMPER CARS FOR SALE ON EBAY
A complete bumper car ride originally designed and built for Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch is up for sale on eBay. The ride was bought by carnival owner Earl 'Butch' Butler of Butler Amusements, along with four other Neverland rides, last year.

According to the listing: "This ride was designed especially for and by Michael Jackson by Majestic Manufacturing in 1992. Michael Jackson put in a amazing sound system along with black lights and disco balls. The ride comes with the 16 costume made bumper cars with Michael Jackson logo on them. The model is an MJ2700 with a length of 96 feet six inches by a width of 44 feet 6 inches. The floor size is 32 feet by 84 feet, 2688 square feet. The pit size is 32 feet three inches by 84 feet three inches, 2717 square feet. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity that no one should pass up".

I'm not sure it would fit in my living room, actually. But feel free to place your bid here.

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