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DID YOU KNOW?
Our sister media ThreeWeeks is the biggest reviewer at the Edinburgh Festival, it all kicks off next week - more here
Job ads
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
"The internet was not Joel's fault": Tenenbaum case update
Another helping of Jacko news
Culture Committee chair criticises government's licensing review
Sneaky man claims Empire sound as his own
In The Pop Courts
Movie studios launch new Pirate Bay litigation, Rosso walks from Bay purchase plans
Qtrax sued by Oracle
Awards & Contests
Culture minister launches Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards
UK Music Video Awards to return in October
Release News
No Age announce new EP
James Ford on new Monkeys
New track from former Panickers
Books News
Good Charlotte man writing autobiography
Gigs N Tours News
David Byrne to play The Roundhouse
U2 tour nearly delayed by pissed off Dubliners
Festival News
Big Green Gathering fans offered ticket swaps
Reviews
Single review: The Nextmen - Lion's Den (feat. Miss Dynamite) (Universal)
The Music Business
IFPI file complaint over Russian collecting society
The Digital Business
Orange launch mobile music service for pay as you go customers
The Media Business
HMV boss a favourite for ITV top job
Coldplay to appear on The Simpsons
And finally...
Blake Fielder-Civil is a dick
The Game vows to fight Jay-Z
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts
 
WEDNESDAY 29TH JULY


MAGISTRATES
Magistrate's pop sound has been taking them places of late, gaining them a record deal with XL and support slots with the likes of La Roux, Friendly Fires and Blur. Their debut single, 'Heartbreak', was released in May, and their debut album is set to follow later this year. The band play the Wonky Pop stage at this year's Big Chill festival on Friday 7 Aug, followed by a tour with The Temper Trap in September. We caught up with the band to find out more.
 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
We've all played music in many forms from a young age, it's always been part of our make-up as people. So when each of our paths crossed, we put all our heads and hearts into one big melting pot, and what came out of it was Magistrates.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Our debut album is a reflection of many different things - us, the universe, sex, loss, lust, pain and elation.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
There's no set formula really. It can come about in an array of ways. But predominantly it comes from a core idea; chord progression, hook, drumbeat or riff - which is then mingled with other stuff until it's painted into a cohesive form. But we like to keep our minds open for spontaneous happenings too, like if we're in the studio and something just clicks without too much thought. Even accidents seem to make perfect sense when they are blended into something else...

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
From David Bowie to Chopin, Prince to Captain Beefheart, Oscar Wilde to Georges Bataille, and all of the in between.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Would you like an orange with that?

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
To have a massively successful debut album that is owned by as many people as there are eyeballs in the world, and to be able push the boundaries of pop music forward continuously. To keep progressing and maturing as a band, and to create something that stands the test of time and makes a big 'M' shaped imprint in the surface of the Earth.

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

 
GEGGY TAH
Word of mouth is still the most effective, unusual and unexpected way of finding new music, and it's how I discovered Portland's Geggy Tah, having been sent a YouTube clip of a young girl hoola-hooping to their track 'Holly Oak'. Digging deeper revealed that they were signed to Luaka Bop, which is David Byrne's world music label and boasts talent including Shuggie Otis and Nouvelle Vague. I'm not really interested in either of those acts, but being a huge fan of Byrne's work I will investigate further anything on his label, so dug even deeper on Geggy Tah. And their track 'Whoever You Are' isn't a bad ditty, either, despite being tarnished by the rap monologue around two and a half minutes in. Take a listen at the link below, where you'll also find the aforementioned YouTube video handily embedded.

www.myspace.com/geggytah

 


EXPERIENCED DANCE MUSIC PUBLICIST WANTED
Get In! is a tried and tested PR agency based in east London serving the GLOBAL electronic dance music industry and beyond. Our expanding roster means we're looking for a new publicist to join our young and dynamic team. You'll be enthusiastic, have a least one-year's experience in PR, a real passion for and knowledge of dance music and that 'something extra' that makes you the right person for the job. An ability to write exciting, engaging copy and generate creative PR ideas is essential. This is an ideal opportunity to work with the best people in dance music. Salary negotiable depending on experience. Interested? Send a creative email explaining why you'd be a great addition to the Get In! team, along with your CV, to: Jonathan Llewellyn, jonathan@getinpr.com. Closing date for applications is 27 Aug.




 

 

ROCKHAL - BOOKER/PRODUCER
Boasting two concert halls (1,200 / 6,500 cap), the Rockhal (www.rockhal.lu), co-financed by the Luxembourgish State, is the premium concert venue in the Greater Region (France/Germany/Belgium/Luxembourg) with an international audience. We are recruiting a Booker/Producer

Required skills: confirmed experience in booking/promoting shows, international contacts, fluent in French and English.

Tasks: book shows and assist with the planning of concerts and festivals, negotiate, manage, organise and coordinate concerts and festivals.

Expected date of entry: 1st September 2009 or to be negotiated. Please apply with CV, diplomas and letter of motivation to:

Monsieur le Directeur Général de l'Etablissement public, Centre de Musiques Amplifiées, 5, Avenue du Rock'n'Roll | L-4361 Esch-sur-Alzette.

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"THE INTERNET WAS NOT JOEL'S FAULT": TENENBAUM CASE UPDATE
I'm pretty sure at one point it there were questions as to whether Harvard law prof Charles Nesson would actually be able to represent file-sharing student Joel Tenenbaum in the Boston court in his fight against the Recording Industry Association Of America's last big P2P lawsuit, because he wasn't licensed as a lawyer in Massachusetts. Or perhaps I dreamt that. Or perhaps they let him lead the P2P defendant's case in court anyway because they knew he'd be entertaining.

The outspoken legal expert certainly pulled no punches during day one of the Tenenbaum trial yesterday, telling the court, in no uncertain terms, that while his client may have shared music via P2P on the internet without the content owner's permission, and while technically speaking that permission might be required, it is ridiculous to hold the defendant liable for copyright crimes for simply doing what millions of other people were doing every day all over the world.

As expected, Nesson isn't going to fight this case with evidential or procedural arguments - even though both have had some success in past P2P lawsuits - but rather by taking the approach "if the law says you can sue a young music fan for doing what every young music fan does, then the law's an ass". The success of Tenenbaum's case will partly depend on whether Judge Nancy Gertner will tolerate what is basically a academic legal debate to take place in her court room.

With the jury in place by end of play Monday, the case against Tenenbaum kicked off proper yesterday. As previously reported, the student, now 25, was one of the thousands of American file-sharers who were sued by the Recording Industry Association Of America during the trade body's self-harming anti-P2P litigation campaign, a campaign which was ended late last year having achieved ever so slightly less than nothing.

Whereas most of those threatened with legal action quickly agreed to an out of court settlement with the record industry (pay a few grand in damages and promise never to file-share again), Tenenbaum decided to fight the action against him. Though, unlike some others who decided to fight an RIAA legal action (Patricia Santangelo in particular), he's not doing it because he claims he was unaware his internet connection was being used for file-sharing. Although he did initially deny sharing music via P2P, he subsequently fessed up in a deposition. Rather, he is fighting the RIAA because he thinks it is just wrong to be sued for doing something which - to him - is just a normal way to access music used by everyone. This viewpoint is shared by Nesson, hence his agreement to work on the case.

The record industry kicked the proceedings off in the Boston court yesterday, stating the facts as they stand. Speaking for the RIAA, Tim Reynolds said that Tenenbaum had downloaded and distributed thousands of songs, owned by major record companies, without paying to do so. And he continued to file-share, Reynolds added, even after he was sued for his actions. According to Ars Technica the lawyer told the jury: "We are here to ask you to hold the defendant responsible for his actions. File-sharing isn't like sharing that we teach our children. This isn't sharing with your friends".

Reynolds talked the court through data collated by net monitors MediaSentry, who tracked Tenenbaum's activities on his Kazaa account, though noted that the labels' evidence of the defendant's file sharing, while available, was not so important because the student had admitted he had used the P2P network to access and share unlicensed music.

Though, interestingly, the legal man added that Tenenbaum didn't initially admit he was the person using Kazaa at the IP address 68.227.185.38. Possibly in a bid to counter any natural sympathy among the jury for the little guy taking on the big bad record industry, Reynolds alleged the student "tried to blame others for his conduct - he didn't take responsibility" and initially tried to pin blame on his friends, his sisters, a foster child living with his family and even a "burglar". Damn those burglars who break into your house and quickly log on to Kazaa and give away your MP3 collection.

Quickly moving on to counter the argument P2P file-sharing is a victimless crime, Reynolds continued: "The exact amount of harm is incapable of exact proof. But make no mistake about it: the defendant's activities caused significant harm". He talked about how the labels' endured "significant lost sales" as a result of piracy, reducing those companies' ability to invest in and develop new artists. Reynolds later wheeled out Sony Music's Deputy General Counsel Wade Leak to explain how record labels work and to big up a record company's role in funding and nurturing new talent. Leak added that Sony Music's work force had halved in the last decade, and blamed a chunk of that decline on the file-sharing boom.

None of that meant bull to Charlie though. "Everyone could download [songs] for free", he observed, according to Ars Technica. "And millions and millions did. Joel was one of those millions. In his way he's like every other kid. There's nothing that distinctive about Joel". Nesson reckons that the RIAA is trying to punish the digital generation simply for embracing the potential of the internet, adding "they listen to music with the technology available, and enjoy it with the technology available. The internet was not Joel's fault. Joel did not make the internet".

Expanding that viewpoint, Nesson added that the internet moved the goal posts so much, that just because the record companies did eventually start offering legit digital music services - iTunes etc - that is still no reason to punish those who continue to access music for free via file-sharing. His message for the record companies: "If you're in the desert and it starts to rain, you need a new business".

While Gertner seemed happy to allow Nesson to fill his opening address with as much legal opinion as facts relating to the case, she did have to rein the legal man in once he started questioning aforementioned Sony man Leak. Whenever his questions verged off topic and, arguably, into legal debate, RIAA attorney Matthew Oppenheim was quick to raise objections, most of which were sustained by the judge - one before Oppenheim had even had a chance to speak! When Nesson responded to one sustained objection by trying to explain to the judge what he was trying to say she quickly responded: "You're not supposed to be saying anything. You're supposed to be asking questions".

Away from the legal debate, plaintiffs ran through some of the other people Tenenbaum originally accused of using his PC to file-share, getting one friend in court to deny he'd used the student's computer for P2P activity, and reading depositions from his two sisters making similar denials. Given the defendant had subsequently admitted his file-sharing I'm not too sure why they bothered, except, perhaps, to reinforce to the jury Tenenbaum's past alleged lies.

The final witness of the day was Tenenbaum's father, Dr Arthur Tenenbaum, called by the RIAA to testify. Not really helping his son's case too much, he said Joel had once shown him how to use Kazaa. Not only that, but he recalled how he once called his son at college, in 2002, to warn him he may be sued if he continued to use the P2P client. He told the court his son responded: "You only get sued if you do it a lot".

The case continues. The plaintiffs are expected to finish presenting their case today, with the defence possibly taking over as soon as this afternoon. Gertner has said she'd like it all wrapped up by Friday.

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ANOTHER HELPING OF JACKO NEWS
Back to Jacko, and the feds have searched both the home and office of Michael Jacks0on's personal physician who remains at the top of the agenda of those investigating the circumstances around the late king of pop's death.

As previously reported, while the results of toxicology tests are still pending, most involved in the case now seem certain Jackson died from a cardiac arrest brought on by the use of a powerful anaesthetic, probably propofol, administered by Dr Conrad Murray about twelve hours before the singer's death.

The raid on Murray's home was reportedly designed to find any hidden files relating to Michael Jackson's health, including any that had been filed under fake names. Murray was apparently present at the time of the search and complied with investigators.

Although police have confirmed Murray is of great interest to them, they have shied away from calling him a suspect. Assuming the doc didn't give Jackson an overdose of propofol, whether deliberately or by accident, then it's debatable whether the physician could be held liable for the singer's death.

Some may argue the administration of a drug like propofol seemingly as a cure for insomnia is in itself reckless, and that there might therefore be grounds for manslaughter. But given the singer allegedly received the drug on a regular basis, and at his insistence, others would air caution about transferring liability to Murray for Jackson's demise.

Elsewhere in Jacko news, Katherine Jackson yesterday asked the courts for the power to press the administrators of her son's estate for more information about the state of his affairs, but the judge hearing the application did not comply. As previously reported, Michael Jackson's mother is taking legal action to try and get herself named as a trustee on her late son's estate alongside the two administrators named in the singer's will, John Branca and John McClain.

There is a hearing on that matter next week, and the Jackson camp said they needed more information from the existing administrators to help them prepare. They wanted the court to order Branca and McClain to give interviews to Mrs Jackson's attorneys, and to force the two men to hand over some key documents about Jackson's affairs. But Judge Mitchell Beckloff refused to consider the application before next week's hearing, which essentially amounts to him declining the Jackson clan's request.

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CULTURE COMMITTEE CHAIR CRITICISES GOVERNMENT'S LICENSING REVIEW
The chair of parliament's culture select committee, John Whittingdale, has criticised the government for ignoring some of his key recommendations for reforming licensing rules.

As previously reported, the live music sector was recently disappointed when a government review of the 2003 Licensing Act failed to deal with a number of the issues the music industry had raised and rejected various proposals it had made, such as the introduction of a licence exemption for smaller venues and the scrapping of the controversial Form 696 used by London authorities when considering live event applications.

It was all the more disappointing because Whittingdale's committee had backed the live industry's proposals when it reviewed the impact the 2003 act had had on the live music community. According to Music Week, Whittingdale gave a hard hitting speech on the matter at the Musicians' Union conference yesterday, calling the government's response to licensing issues "utterly pathetic and hopeless".

The Tory MP also spoke out on two of the other big policy issues affecting the music industry just now - the sound recording copyright term extension and the three-strikes debate, supporting the former and advocating the 'graduated response' system proposed by the record companies in the latter.

The viewpoints were welcomed by his audience of jobbing musicians, it seems, though interestingly the views might have got a less well reception had he been addressing that other body of musicians, the Featured Artist Coalition. As previously reported, while the MU and FAC are in agreement on licensing issues, the latter, while supporting copyright extension, isn't so keen on the current extension proposals as approved by the MU, BPI and PPL (the FAC say they favour the labels too much), and on the file-sharing issue they oppose anything that might result in music fans losing their internet connections.

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SNEAKY MAN CLAIMS EMPIRE SOUND AS HIS OWN
Sneaky Sound System's Donnie Sloan has claimed responsibility for the Empire Of The Sun sound, telling Australian newspaper The Herald Sun that he wrote four of the songs on the duo's debut album, 'We Are The People', 'Walking On A Dream', 'Half Mast' and 'Without You', in 2005. He is credited with doing so on their debut album, so it's safe to assume he's telling the truth. Though the credits were only added after the threat of legal action, Sloan says he still has a good working relationship with the pair, The Sleepy Jackson's Luke Steele and Pnau's Nick Littlemore.

He told the newspaper that he had written the songs for a possible solo project, and had asked Littlemore to consider creating Pnau remixes of them, saying: "I created these tracks, on my own in 2005, long before Empire Of The Sun existed. Musically, the template for Empire Of The Sun is mine. They pulled the rug from under my feet and took my sound. I told Nick I didn't want him to use the tracks. I was hoping to save them for my own project".

It was only two years later that Sloan heard the songs again, reworked by Littlemore and Steele. Realising that if they wrote new songs based on his original tracks he would have little chance of claiming any royalties from them, he allowed the duo to use his original versions instead. He said: "They were trying to copy and recreate my music. This would have, in effect, left me with nothing. So my hand was forced into allowing them to use the backing tracks".

However, it still took the threat of legal action to get acknowledgement of his involvement. He revealed that he hired a team of lawyers who successfully convinced Steele and Littlemore to credit Sloan as a writer, performer and producer on their album. He explained: "It did not quite get to the legal stage, but I had to threaten it in order for them to recognise my contribution. It has been a bittersweet experience. But I have worked hard to move on. I'm not bitter about it any more".

Following the publication of the interview, Sloan took to his MySpace blog to clarify things a little, and denyied that there is any bad blood between him and Empire Of The Sun while revealing that he will also play a role in the duo's second album. He wrote: "For anyone who may have read any recent press regarding my involvement with Empire Of The Sun I would like to make it absolutely clear that I am very happy with my credits and thank you on the album art. Any statements to the contrary have been taken out of context. I enjoy a great working relationship with Empire Of The Sun and we're all very excited about continuing this especially in the form of the second Empire LP".

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MOVIE STUDIOS LAUNCH NEW PIRATE BAY LITIGATION, ROSSO WALKS FROM BAY PURCHASE PLANS
The movie industry has launched new litigation against The Pirate Bay who seem - unsurprisingly - a little pissed off that, despite the content industry scoring an historic win against the BitTorrent tracker in the Swedish courts earlier this year, the file-sharing enabling website is still operating.

As previously reported, while the Swedish courts ruled the Bay's founders and funder - Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde and Fredrik Neij, and Carl Lundström - were guilty of contributory copyright infringement, sentencing them each to a year in jail and ordering them to pay massive damages to the content industries, none of the four has done any jail time or handed over any money. The Pirate Bay, meanwhile, operates as normal, and is now, as also previously reported, subject to a $7.8 million takeover by Swedish IT company Global Gaming Factory. Whatever you think about the Swedish court's ruling on this issue, and the logic of the record industry suing the rogue file-sharing service to start with, you can understand why the victorious content owners are getting a bit pissed off.

Speaking for the studios who have launched the new legal action, which includes Columbia Pictures, Disney Enterprises and Universal Studios, lawyer Monique Wadsted told the AFP: "We have filed a complaint against The Pirate Bay because they have not stopped their activities after they were sentenced to prison".

A spokeswoman for the Motion Picture Association Of America added: "The Pirate Bay continues to facilitate the wholesale illegal infringement of film and television works in an organised and commercial manner despite the criminal conviction handed down by Stockholm District Court. The studios have simply applied to the Court to require the three operators and the ISP hosting the Web site and trackers to cease this infringement".

Of course there have been various attempts in recent years to physically close down the Bay, one going as far as to seize their servers. But it has to be said, whatever you think about TPB and the people behind it, they're pretty resilient when it comes to moves to shut them down. It remains to be seen whether this lot have any more success in closing the Bay than those that have tried previously.

Talking of The Pirate Bay, news over night that former Grokster boss Wayne Rosso is no longer working for the aforementioned GGF in relation to their Bay acquisition, despite only joining them less than a month ago. Wayne Rosso had been brought in my GGF to try and turn The Pirate Bay legit, by doing deals with the record companies. The all new Bay hoped to pay rights holders via advertising revenues and money raised by selling on the spare network capacity of P2P users to internet and media firms. Or something like that.

But barely a week after talking up GGF's plans in media interviews, Rosso has quit, telling CNET the ambitions of the IT firm and its boss Hans Pandeya to launch a legit Pirate Bay are unrealistic, adding that he now doubts Pandeya has the money in place to buy the BitTorrent tracking business in the first place.

Rosso: "I and my colleagues have very strong doubts that the funding is in place. And there are other issues regarding Mr Pandeya's credibility that trouble us greatly". The former Grokster man added that he is yet to be paid for his work for GGF.

But Pandeya says he remains committed to his Bay plans, telling reporters: "Everything is going to plan. We have plenty of investors that are interested in this and Wayne is just one of our many consultants... he might have been too impatient. We pay everyone we do business with".

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QTRAX SUED BY ORACLE
More from the world of P2P, though this time sort of legit P2P service Qtrax. The digital music company is being sued for $2 million by software firm Oracle for copyright infringement and breach of contract. Basically it seems Qtrax have defaulted on a $1.8 million bill to pay for technologies licenced to the P2P company by Oracle.

The lawsuit throws new doubt on the future of Qtrax, one of a number of start ups who have promised to launch a fully licensed P2P file-sharing network that satisfies both file-sharers and content owners, only to quietly disappear off the radar eighteen months later.

To be fair, Qtrax did actually launch a service of sorts (lots of other legit P2P businesses never got that far) though the company itself has admitted to problems with that service, and that those problems have delayed to the firm's expansion plans.

Qtrax's CEO Allan Klepfisz recently wrote in a company blog post: "We've tried hard but the truth is that if total efficiency is the goal, we've failed. I've failed. We have had several iterations of the software. We chucked out the earlier ones and built something that is unparalleled, we believe, in its functionality... We've also been inefficient in going through two sets of expensive licenses with the music industry. We threw out the first set. They were too restrictive".

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CULTURE MINISTER LAUNCHES YOUNG CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR AWARDS
The government's culture man Ben Bradshaw launched the UK Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards for 2009/10 earlier this week. These are awards for entrepreneurs who are both young and creative, or that's what I've been told. Eight awards are given out, one in each of eight different creative disciplines, one of which is music. Launching the scheme for this year, Bradshaw said this: "The creative industries are one of the UK's success stories and we are known worldwide for the strength of our creative talent. Therefore it's only right that we celebrate our young creative entrepreneurs and give them an opportunity to gain further experience and knowledge at an international level. The creative industries are worth £57.3bn to our economy annually, and we need to do all we can to foster the emerging talent of the future to make sure this success continues to grow".

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UK MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS TO RETURN IN OCTOBER
Organisers of the UK Music Video Awards, which launched last year, have announced their 2009 gong distribution bash will take place on 13 Oct at the Odeon West End on London's Leicester Square. So that's nice. There'll be info on it all at www.ukmva.com I reckon.

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NO AGE ANNOUNCE NEW EP
Noise pop duo No Age have announced that they will release a new EP, entitled 'Losing Feeling', as a piece of vinyl or some downloads on 5 Oct via Sub Pop. The release follows their acclaimed second album 'Nouns', which was released via the same label last year.

Tracks contained within it have been assigned these names:

Losing Feeling
Genie
Aim At The Airport
You're A Target

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JAMES FORD ON NEW MONKEYS
James Ford says people will be "shocked" by the new Arctic Monkeys album, which he, of course, has produced. Speaking to Gigwise, the Simian Mobile Disco man says of the new Monkeys long player, out next month: "[It's] a lot slower, deeper and desert-like. [There's] really great lyrics and melodies, [but] I think anyone who only liked the first album might be a bit shocked. They're trying to be an interesting and creative band and move things forward and they're a talented enough band to achieve that".

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NEW TRACK FROM FORMER PANICKERS
The two members of Panic At The Disco who quit the band earlier this month have formed a new band, to be called The Young Veins, and they've already posted a new track online. How lovely. You can hear it on their MySpace - myspace.com/theyoungveins

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GOOD CHARLOTTE MAN WRITING AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden has revealed that he is currently working on the first of what will surely be many volumes of his autobiography. Although he admits he's going to have to work hard to make it of any interest to anyone at all. Something like that, anyway.

He told Kerrang!: "[My autobiography] would be about, mostly, the big changes in my life: kids, relationships, moving to LA, the big life changes that I've gone through. I'm lightly working on one, but I don't want to put a book out there if it's not actually meaningful. I'm not going to go there unless I can deliver. If I put a book out, I want it to be something that matters to me. It has to be real, you can't just put a book out, to put a book out".

Despite these non-committal comments, Madden's book is expected to be published next year.

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DAVID BYRNE TO PLAY THE ROUNDHOUSE
When I say David Byrne is going to play The Roundhouse, I don't mean he's going to get up and strum a guitar a bit, I mean he's actually going to play The Roundhouse as a musical instrument. No, I don't really understand it either.

The former Talking Heads frontman has apparently devised a way to draw sound from the building by attaching various mechanical devices to its beams, pillars and pipes, which can then be channelled into a keyboard that can be played by visitors.

The 'Playing The Building' sound installation has already been staged at the Battery Maritime Building in New York and the Färgfabriken building in Stockholm. It comes to the Grade II listed London venue between 8-31 Aug.

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U2 TOUR NEARLY DELAYED BY PISSED OFF DUBLINERS
Locals near Dublin's Croke Park nearly stopped U2 from going to Sweden, though not at the insistence of the Swedes, as you might assume.

Residents near the Dublin stadium were rather pissed off about the U2 shows that took place there last weekend. Though it wasn't so much the band's loud musical playing that bothered the locals, nor Bono's tedious and often flawed 'save the poor' ramblings, but the fact the band's crew dismantled the shows' rather ambitious stage set up overnight. Rather loudly.

So pissed off were the Dubliners, in fact, they formed a picket line outside the gates through which the band's trucks needed to get in order to pick up all the '360 Degree Tour' set to take it to Sweden ready for shows planned for there next weekend.

For a time it looked like the picket line might seriously delay U2's tour crew and jeopardise the Swedish dates, though someone seemingly managed to placate the locals enough to get them out of the trucks' way. Perhaps they told them Bono had said the overnight staff clanking would save some African children from poverty and disease.

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BIG GREEN GATHERING FANS OFFERED TICKET SWAPS
People who had bought tickets for the cancelled Big Green Gathering have been offered ticket swaps for next month's Big Chill or next year's Sunrise festivals. Some speakers who were to give talks at BGG will also now appear at The Big Chill.

Big Green Gathering tickets will be accepted, along with an additional £20, at the Big Chill's gate. For full details, go to www.big-green-gathering.com

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Nextmen - Lion's Den (feat. Miss Dynamite) (Universal)
Featuring the vocals of Miss Dynamite, who sounds more like MIA and a lot more raw than I've heard her before, and additional production from Groove Armada's Andy Cato, this Nextmen track is a grower that I predict will be ripping up the dancefloors over the coming months. The Nextmen have taken London's trendier clubs by storm with their rip-roaring hip hop inflected mixes and albums, and this new track couples that with some typical fat beats and breakdowns from Cato which couple well with Dynamite's belting voice. Watch out for the duo's new album, 'Join The Dots', also due in August. If it lives up to this single, it'll be awesome. IM
Release Date: 3 Aug
Press Contact: LaDigit [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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IFPI FILE COMPLAINT OVER RUSSIAN COLLECTING SOCIETY
The boss of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry, John Kennedy, has sent a letter to Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin expressing concern that a Russian collecting society is collecting royalties for labels represented by the IFPI, even though the society doesn't have deals in place with those labels.

Presumably there's a concern the collecting society has dodgy motives and won't pass royalties back on to actual rights holders, or will dish out licenses at rates not agreed to by the record companies (when rouge Russian download service AllofMP3.com was big news, it was often reported it was actually licenced, but through some dodgy Russian collecting society that allowed them to sell DRM-free music at a fraction of the usual cost).

The collecting society causing concern is a privately owned operation called VOIS. The IFPI is appealing to Putin because a copyright law introduced in Russia last year regulated collecting societies, and societies now have to be accredited by the country's government. VOIS is not, it seems, accredited. It remains to be seen in the Russians will investigate VOIS on Kennedy's behalf.

A spokesman for the society denied the IFPI's claims, telling Russian business paper Kommersant: "We only collect royalties for rights holders we have direct agreement with".

But the boss of a rival Russian collecting society told Billboard: "There are questions about transparency of operations of VOIS. For instance, it collects royalties from Russian RailWays [on music played on the stations and trains operated by the state-run company], but it is not clear, what rights holders actually receive from them".

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ORANGE LAUNCH MOBILE MUSIC SERVICE FOR PAY AS YOU GO CUSTOMERS
Orange have launched a pay as you go mobile phone package that includes free music, which is something of a first I think. The new Orange Monkey package (Orange still have the whole naming packages after animals thing going on) is the result of a partnership between the tel co, Universal Music and Channel 4. Customers who put ten pounds worth of credit in their Monkey-enabled pay as you go phone will be able to stream hundreds of thousands of tracks via their mobile or the t'internet. Channel 4 will promote the service via its various media outlets, but in particular the 4Music channel.

Confirming all this, Orange UK top dog (or monkey, I suppose) Tom Alexander, told CMU: "Unlike some music services which are either restricted to high-end more expensive handsets or have download costs, Monkey is for everyone. All you need to do is top up to get free music on any handset or online. Orange, Universal Music and 4Music will benefit from the success of Monkey - and each partner will contribute by doing what they do best. Universal Music has the best content and artists; 4Music has the best capability to reach the target audience and has the most respected editorial voice in this space; and at Orange we've got a great brand, great distribution and know how to develop and sell innovative mobile propositions".

Universal Music UK CEO David Joseph added: "We are excited to work with Orange on Monkey, an innovative service which meets the high expectations of today's young music consumers. Unique partnerships like this are changing the shape of the music industry".

Andy Duncan, CEO of Channel 4 said: "Aligning our brands in this way works well for Channel 4 and Orange. We have a very strong relationship with young audiences and so can deliver optimum exposure to this key audience for the new Monkey service. And Channel 4 gets to extend its offering into mobile, with an exciting and innovative business model which fills a gap in the market".

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HMV BOSS A FAVOURITE FOR ITV TOP JOB
The boss of HMV and the head of Apple's European operations are reportedly now favourites for the top job at ITV. As previously reported, the struggling commercial broadcaster is looking for a new CEO to take over from Exec Chairman Michael Grade, who will take a more backseat role moving forward. Six candidates have seemingly met the ITV board so far, but according to the Guardian HMV CEO Simon Fox and Apple's Pascal Cagni are reportedly the favoured two from that lot.

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COLDPLAY TO APPEAR ON THE SIMPSONS
Coldplay will appear in the next series of The Simpson, which is due to begin airing in the US in September. Insert your own "and it was all yellow" joke here.

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BLAKE FIELDER-CIVIL IS A DICK
Now that he's all divorced from Amy Winehouse (more or less), Blake Fielder-Civil is finally free to discuss their private life in detail in the tabloids. Mainly this means he's telling anyone who'll write a him a cheque how awful and shocking his ex-wife's crack addiction used to be. That's a crack addiction he is credited with signing her up for.

Earlier this week he revealed that he had once watched her "die right in front of me" after a particularly heavy drugs binge in 2007, after which she was revived in hospital.

Yesterday he told The Sun that she used to take drugs a lot, which is basically what he said the day before, but anyway. This time he spoke of how she would take drugs during live performances and under tables in restaurants.

He said: "Amy would stumble off [stage], with her hands out waiting for the crack pipe. She smoked after every song and without her next hit, she wouldn't go on. It's no wonder she couldn't sing properly. The only thing she cared about was her crack pipe. We carried a crack pipe with us all the time. If we went out to dinner, Amy would get it out and hide under the table so she could have a quick hit. She was quite blatant about it, and no one ever questioned her. Amy [also] took to heroin like a duck to water, same as me".

Just in case you were unsure, simply adding "same as me" to the end of that statement doesn't vindicate you from selling your story to the papers.

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THE GAME VOWS TO FIGHT JAY-Z
If The Game stopped having feuds with other rappers, would he cease to exist? Now he's got his sights on Jay-Z, even though Jay-Z isn't having it. Still, there's nothing like using a more famous person's new album release to get yourself in the press, is there. Look, it's working.

The problem started when Jay-Z reportedly said something derogatory about The Game on his new album, 'The Blueprint 3'. Despite the fact that Jay subsequently played down the lyrical slight, claiming it wasn't actually a reference to the other rapper at all, and that there was no need to get into a silly argument over it, The Game still branded his new nemesis an "old ass nigga" and got audiences on his European tour to chant "Fuck Jay-Z".

Bearing in mind that that Jay-Z has specifically said that he doesn't want a war, here's what The Game had to say when he spoke to MTV this week: "What better way to talk about somebody than to not talk about 'em? Why you gotta say you're not talking about 'em? If you're not talking about them, then you just don't talk about 'em. He's slick, man. You gotta watch that cat, man. I'm probably the only rapper in this world besides Nas that's really not scared to go at this dude's neck. He knows if he goes to war with me, then it's going to be never-ending, man".

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