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TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Now Lammy talks up hardline anti-P2P measures
Michael Jackson buried
DJ AM buried
Reunions & Splits
Pennywise announce new vocalist
Oasis over for good, says waiter
Watts not leaving The Stones
Artist Deals
Efterklang sign to 4AD
Basement Jaxx not dropped by XL
Release News
Nirvana live at Reading release announced
Slayer reveal new album details
New Eels video
Aqua return
Gigs N Tours News
Isis announce tour dates
Transgressive birthday gigs
Jack Daniel's birthday gig
Reviews
Album review: A Mountain Of One - Institute Of Joy (Ten Worlds)
The Music Business
Liles leaves Warner
Proper appoint former Pinnacle digital man
Snow Patrol set up publishing outfit
Madonna has top grossing solo artist tour ever
The Digital Business
Merlin appoint new board
The Media Business
Indy board stand by the UK title
New digital radio body to be set up
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Thom Yorke selects pseudonym
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FRIDAY 4TH SEPTEMBER


BOXER REBELLION
After what might be called a bit of a false start due to the collapse of their former record label and a burst appendix, The Boxer Rebellion have come back with all guns blazing this year. In January, while still unsigned, their single, 'Evacuate' was made the first ever Global Single Of The Week on iTunes, and they saw the album it was taken from, 'Union', shoot to the top of the iTunes charts in the UK and US. On 14 Sep, 'Union' will be released in physical form for the first time, with the album's production and promotional costs paid for by HMV in the first deal of its kind offered by the company. We spoke to drummer Piers Hewitt to ask our Same Six Questions.
 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
Personally, I started out making music with the folks when I was about three or four. They are musicians and obviously used to make music in the house, and I just liked the idea of a drum kit, so used to arrange pots and pans in the shape of a kit on the floor, and bash along. Apparently I was in time, though maybe they were being nice. As for the band itself, it was a case of one advert here and a phone call to a friend there, and the band formed. There was no drawn-out audition process.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
An answer to this question could get quite pretentious, but for me the main inspiration behind the album - or at least the act of making the album - was the struggle against the industry and succeeding in what we were doing. In that respect, at different stages, I suppose we have inspired each other, although obviously that would not come across lyrically. There are some lyrical references to our previous experiences in the industry though, and whatever doesn't kill you off can always act as inspiration, which is what I think happened with this album for sure. I really wanted to just say 'Blade Runner' as an answer to this question and leave it at that, but I just couldn't do it...

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
That depends which track! For the most part Nathan will bring in the bones of something - maybe just chords and a basic melody - and then more often than not we completely change the feel and style of it and it ends up being what it is ('Soviets' is probably a good example of this). Sometimes, if we're feeling inspired we can end up writing a whole song based around a riff ('Watermelon'), a drum loop ('Move On') or a bass line ('Spitting Fire), but not that often.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Collectively a few things, though the things that we agree on musically are few and far between, which I think adds to the dynamic of what we do. Stuff that has influenced us includes The Walkmen, Sigur Rós, The National, Band Of Horses, Doves and BRMC. I think it's clichéd to say Radiohead, but at the same time it's rather rude not to say they are an influence too as they are always so groundbreaking, so I'll have to say them. You know, it doesn't get much better than 'Bodysnatchers'...

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Take your shoes off, make yourself a nice cocktail, preferably a White Russian, whack our tunes on the speakers, sit down and turn your phone off. No eating crisps either, it kind of spoils the sound. Particularly McCoys.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Our tunes are too big to be bust out at 250 capacity venues really... my ambitions for this album are really to take it far enough that we can headline venues that suit our music a little more. No one needs to see any artist at an arena, but you know, headlining Brixton Academy or something like that would be nice, and give our sound guy more of a chance of making it sound exactly how it should sound. Which is big. As for a smaller scale, and for the future, if you get the chance to record albums, get the music out there, and to have people constantly coming to your shows and buying your records and loving it, whilst at the same it is your job, and you are not simply appreciative of that, then you are pretty ungrateful. Sometimes that's all I want, which I think is an important place to constantly remain, while harbouring those Brixton ambitions.

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

 
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Boogie Box at Bar Rumba
W1's Bar Rumba has always enjoyed a bit of a soft spot in my clubbing heart, it frequently providing quality dance music with a lively crowd. The solid drum and bass mash up that was 'Movement', and 'Garage City' with Bobby and Steve, not to mention 'That's How It Is' from Gilles Peterson and James Lavelle and Kenny Hawkes and Luke Solomon's seminal 'Space' have all been fine nights. Now coming up to its sixteenth birthday, the club doesn't boast as much stand-out programming as it did, except the BBE Night on Sundays, but it's still packing them in. Saturdays sees Boogie Box blending the lines between hip hop, house and old school with a touch of swing and house thrown in by Femi from Young Disciples. You also get sets from The Pioneer, Footloose, Lonyo and Manny Norte, and DJ279, who's still mashing things up. If you've not been before it's well worth checking - the sound system kicked ass before and has now been upgraded, and they now have a little back room taking overal capacity up to 450, and all in a super central location.

Saturday 5 Sep, Bar Rumba, London W1D 7EP, 8pm-3.30am, £8 before 9pm/£10 after, more info at www.barrumba.co.uk, press info from james@thebreakfastgroup.co.uk.


 


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NOW LAMMY TALKS UP HARDLINE ANTI-P2P MEASURES
The UK's Intellectual Property Minister David Lammy who, I think it is possibly worth remembering, if only for 19 seconds, once said he thought the three-strikes disconnection approach to combating file-sharing was unworkable and possibly unlawful, has been defending the Peter Mandelson-driven new government policy to introduce measures to combat file-sharing that basically amount to the, erm, three-strikes disconnection approach. Oh to work in politics.

As previously reported, while the government's 'Digital Britain' report was a bit non-committal on forcing internet service providers to reduce, suspend and may be even disconnect the internet access of persistent file-sharers - referring to such measures in only abstract terms, and even then as a future rather than current option - ministers are now talking about such measures as something that should be considered here and now. A change of heart that has been welcomed by many in the music business, but not internet service providers, some consumer groups and the Featured Artists Coalition.

Speaking to the US film industry in Washington yesterday, Lammy justified the UK government's sudden change of heart on this issue - and his colleagues' decision to pursue a policy he previously criticised - as proof British ministers are "not standing still" on this issue. According to Billboard, he continued: "[Our] new work against illicit P2P file-sharing, including possible suspension of internet access for persistent infringers [sends] a clear message: when it comes to piracy and infringement, 'digital is not different'".

Maintaining some of his past opinions on this matter, he stressed that governments needed support from the content industries in any moves to stop illegal file-sharing, not least in providing engaging legal alternatives for accessing content online. He told his film industry audience: "Partnership and innovation by businesses can help consumers understand the problems illegal downloads cause creators and performers, giving them the knowledge and confidence they need to act within the law. If we provide the right combination of enforcement, education and forward-looking policy we can build a culture that provides consumers with legitimate access to the content they want".

Lammy was speaking as those who oppose three-strike style measures to combat file-sharing started to comment on the government's recent change of heart on the P2P issue, ie their putting possible suspension and disconnection of internet access back on the agenda (ministers did imply such measures would be considered in early 2008, it was only towards the end of last year and around the release of 'Digital Britain' earlier this year that they seemed to have been rejected as short term options).

Presumably responding to that letter in the The Times from various content owner trade bodies supporting the new proposals, the bosses of three major ISPs plus various consumer groups wrote their own letter to the broadsheet claiming that the three-strike measures being discussed "threaten broadband consumers' rights and the development of new attractive services", while warning that efforts to combat file-sharing in this way in other countries have led to "consumer resistance".

And while cross-sector trade body UK Music and the record industry's BPI welcomed the government's rethink, not everyone in the music business is in support of measures that could lead to file-sharers having their net connections suspended or disconnected.

The Featured Artists Coalition has been against such measures ever since its formal creation earlier this year, but this time they have been joined by the British Academy Of Songwriters, Composers and Authors and the Music Producers' Guild in airing concern. In a group statement they said: "We have serious reservations about the content and scope of the proposed legislation outlined in the consultation on P2P file-sharing. Processes of monitoring, notification and sanction are not conducive to achieving a vibrant, functional, fair and competitive market for music".

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MICHAEL JACKSON BURIED
After various false starts and delays, Michael Jackson's body was finally laid to rest at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in LA yesterday, just over two months after his death. Keeping them all waiting to the very end, his coffin arrived over an hour after the service was due to begin.

The gold-plated coffin finally arrived in a hearse followed by a procession of 30 other vehicles. The singer's brothers Randy, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon acted as pallbearers again (as they did at Jacko's funeral and memorial event), and again they wore identical black suits and one white glove in honour of their brother.

The singer's children, Prince Michael, Prince Michael II and Paris, sat with their grandparents, Katherine (now their legal guardian) and Joe Jackson in the front row at the burial ceremony. Among the 200 invited guests were Elizabeth Taylor, Macaulay Culkin, Quincy Jones, and Jackson's ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley.

Following the ceremony, Jackson's body was placed in the cemetery's heavily secured Great Mausoleum, which reportedly also houses the remains of stars including Walt Disney, Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable.

In a statement, the singer's family said: "The Jackson family wishes to once again thank all of Michael's fans around the world for their generous outpouring of support during this terribly difficult time".

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DJ AM BURIED
Adam 'DJ AM' Goldstein, who was found dead of an apparent drug overdose in his New York apartment on Friday, was buried at the Hillside Memorial Park And Mortuary in LA on Wednesday, with a separate memorial service held at the Hollywood Palladium yesterday.

The memorial service, slightly bizarrely, had 12-step drug recovery theme. Invitations to the event read: "The format of the evening will be in the style of an open 12-step meeting. Adam's friends both from his life in recovery, as well as those from other areas of his life are welcome. We ask only that everyone adhere to the tradition of anonymity and let what they hear there, and who they see there, stay there".

There has been speculation that Goldstein committed suicide after breaking up with long-term girlfriend Hayley Wood. Responding to these claims, she has denied that they had broken up and called his death a "tragic accident". She told reporters: "Any indication that this horribly tragic accident happened because of a rumoured break up is not only untrue but disgusting. We were very much together at the time of his passing, and I love him very much".

In other DJ AM news, his mother, Andrea Gross, has filed court papers to oversee his estate, which is reportedly worth $1 million (brought down from $3.9 million by outstanding debts of $2.9 million). A court hearing is set for 7 Oct.

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PENNYWISE ANNOUNCE NEW VOCALIST
Well, that was quick. Pennywise have found a replacement for frontman Jim Lindberg, who left the band last week after twenty years at the helm. Ignite vocalist Zoli Teglas will step in for the remainder of the band's US tour dates, although it's not clear if the collaboration will continue after these shows.

Teglas said in a statement: "I'm stoked to be singing these upcoming shows with Pennywise. I'm a huge fan of the band and am super grateful to share the stage with my long time friends Fletcher [Dragge, guitar], Byron [McMackin, drums], and Randy [Bradbury, bass]".

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OASIS OVER FOR GOOD, SAYS WAITER
Well, everyone has been wondering if Oasis can or will try to continue without Noel Gallagher. And the answer is they won't. We know because an Italian waiter told The Mirror, which is good enough for me.

Vincenzo Della Corte, who recently served Liam some food, told the paper: "I had to ask him what the future was and he said it was all over and there was no way he would get back with Noel.He said that Noel had his style of music and he had his and they would be going their separate ways. You hear all these stories about Oasis being real rock and rollers but Liam was really polite and was very happy to talk.They were all having a good time and he didn't seem at all bothered about the fact he had caused one of the world's biggest bands to break up".

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WATTS NOT LEAVING THE STONES
Charlie Watts has not quit the Rolling Stones. We never said he had, but Aussie music site Undercover claimed he had earlier this week. The band's reps were very quick to deny the story, which normally means the story is true, but I'm sure that's not the case this time.

In a slightly bitchy statement (in that it included a subtle diss of Undercover), the Stones' spokesperson told reporters: "Contrary to a fabricated story ... on a small music web site in Australia, drummer Charlie Watts has not left the Rolling Stones".

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EFTERKLANG SIGN TO 4AD
CMU favourites Efterlkang have signed to Beggars-owned 4AD, which is a label we like a lot. They will continue to release via their own Rumraket label in Scandinavia. So far, nothing but good news. And here's some more: The band are working on the follow-up to their 2007 album, 'Parades', due for release under the new deal next year, and will be touring later this year.

The band's former label, The Leaf Label (another one we like a lot), are not finished with them just yet, though. They will release the previously reported live album, 'Performing Parades', on 19 Oct.

Announcing the new deal, Efterklang said: "We are very happy to let you know that we have signed a new record deal with 4AD - one of our absolute favourite labels in the world. We will now be part of a roster that currently counts fine artists like The National, Deerhunter, TV On The Radio, M Ward, Scott Walker, St Vincent and many more. [Our] first project together will be our third studio album, which will be released sometime in the first quarter of 2010".

They added: "We have been releasing our music on The Leaf Label since 2004. It has been absolutely joyful for us and we are proud that we have contributed to their incredible discography. We are still waiting for them to release a record we don't like, but we are beginning to think that it will never happen".

Here are the UK & Ireland bits of their upcoming tour:

4 Sep: Electric Picnic
11 Sep: Bestival
12 Sep: End Of The Road
13 Sep: Cardiff, The Globe
14 Sep: Coventry, St. John's Church
28 Oct: London, The Barbican (performing 'Parades' with The Britten Sinfonia)
29 Oct: Birmingham, The Asylum
30 Oct: Glasgow, Oran Moor
31 Oct: Manchester, The Deaf Institute
1 Nov: Brainwash Festival
2 Nov, Reading, Concert Hall

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BASEMENT JAXX NOT DROPPED BY XL
Another Beggars label, XL Recordings, have issued a statement denying that they have dropped Basement Jaxx.

As previously reported, one half of the duo, Felix Buxton told Teletext's Planet Sound last week: "XL haven't offered us a new deal, but I didn't imagine they would. You don't need a record company now - they aren't so relevant. All you need is someone to distribute your music. Besides, you only make money through touring now".

However, the label said this week: "Contrary to a small number of internet stories that have surfaced over the weekend, XL Recordings would like to clarify that Basement Jaxx have not been dropped by the label.XL Recordings will be releasing the band's new album 'Scars' on 21 Sep along with their new single 'Feelings Gone (feat. Sam Sparro)'".

The question wasn't whether XL were releasing the new Basement Jaxx album, though. It was whether they would be releasing any future material by the duo. The fact remains that 'Scars' is the final album owed to the label under the five album deal they signed a decade ago.

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NIRVANA LIVE AT READING RELEASE ANNOUNCED
You can't move for Nirvana lately, what with the upcoming re-release of their debut album and Kurt Cobain's appearance in the latest version of the Guitar Hero videogame. Next up is the band's legendary headline performance at the 1990 Reading Festival, which is released officially in the UK for the first time on 2 Nov.

One of the most bootlegged performances of all time, it's widely considered to be one of the band's finest moments, and features covers of 'The Money Will Roll Right In' by Fang, 'D-7' by The Wipers, and (on the DVD release only) Shocking Blue's 'Love Buzz'.

It will be available as a combined CD/DVD package, as well as two separate discs. A vinyl version will follow on 16 Nov.

Here's the tracklist:

Breed
Drain You
Aneurysm
School
Sliver
In Bloom
Come As You Are
Lithium
About A Girl
Tourette's
Polly
Lounge Act
Smells Like Teen Spirit
On A Plain
Negative Creep
Been A Son
All Apologies
Blew
Dumb
Stay Away
Spank Thru
Love Buzz [DVD only]
The Money Will Roll Right In
D-7
Territorial Pissings

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SLAYER REVEAL NEW ALBUM DETAILS
Slayer have announced details of their forthcoming tenth studio album, 'War Painted Blood'. It will be released on 2 Nov by Sony/Columbia as a limited edition CD with multiple covers, a deluxe edition CD/DVD set and on 180 gram vinyl.

Oh, the band's drummer, Dave Lombardo said some stuff about the packaging. Look: "As we're so excited about 'World Painted Blood', we wanted to do something special for the packaging, and have been working with some really cool ideas. They've taken time to get just right, and with our headlining the Mayhem tour for most of the summer, it's just taken that much longer to get all these great ideas exactly the way we want them".

He also said: "We hope our fans will like everything about 'World Painted Blood' as much as we do. Recording this new album has been one of the greatest experiences we've had as a band. We were together during the writing process more than we had been for past albums, we worked more collectively, everyone's suggestions and ideas were heard and considered, and that camaraderie is definitely heard in the new album".

Here's the tracklist:

World Painted Blood
Unit 731
Snuff
Beauty Through Order
Hate Worldwide
Public Display Of Dismemberment
Human Strain
Americon
Psychopathy Red
Playing With Dolls
Not Of This God

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NEW EELS VIDEO
Eels have released a new video for 'The Look You Gave That Guy', taken from the band's latest album, 'Hombre Lobo'. It sees main Eel Mark Everett star opposite Salman Rushdie's wife, Padma Lakshmi, and singing dog Bobby Jr.

Explaining one of these hook-ups, Everett says: "I met Padma when we appeared on 'The Late Show with David Letterman' recently. I thought I had a shot with her".

Here's the video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNtlGwYJCUQ

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AQUA RETURN
Why my colleagues overlooked this story I just can't think, it being one of the most exciting bits of music news so far this year, surely. Anyway, I'm sneaking it in. Aqua are back. With a greatest hits album and a brand new single. "Woo" is all I can say. And that's an entirely sincere "woo". I don't want you inferring any sarcasm in that "woo".

There are actually three new tracks on the hits package, including new single 'Back To The 80s', which has apparently already topped the chart in their native Denmark. Alongside the three new songs are sixteen Aqua classics. Yes, sixteen. Just in case you're wondering how they ever managed to get the Aqua back catalogue down to just sixteen 'greatest hits', here is the full track listing for you to digest - 'Barbie Girl', 'Doctor Jones', that one from the 'Sliding Doors' soundtrack, and all your other Aqua favourites.

Back To The 80s
My Mamma Said
Live Fast - Die Young
Happy Boys & Girls
Barbie Girl
Around The World
Doctor Jones
Aquarius
Cuba Libre
Lollipop (Candyman)
Cartoon Heroes
Be A Man
My Oh My
Freaky Friday
We Belong To The Sea
Roses Are Read
Halloween
Turn Back Time
Goodbye To The Circus

The single is out on 21 Sep, the album on 28 Sep. Woo.

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ISIS ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES
Isis have announced UK and Ireland tour dates. Let's all go, it'll be fun.

Tour dates:

21 Oct: London, Koko
22 Oct: Cork, Cyprus Avenue
23 Oct: Dublin, Button Factory
24 Oct: Belfast, Black Box
25 Oct: Glasgow, Stereo
27 Oct: Manchester, Academy
28 Oct: Birmingham, Asylum

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TRANSGRESSIVE BIRTHDAY GIGS
September marks the fifth birthday of Transgressive Records, and to celebrate some of their artists are going to play some gigs at Heaven and Union Chapel in London. There might be cake. I'm not promising anything, though.

Here are the dates and line-ups:

24 Sep: London, Heaven - Young Knives, Esser, Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man
25 Sep: London, Heaven - Foals, So So Modern, Two Door Cinema Club
26 Sep: London, Union Chapel - Johnny Flynn, Jeremy Warmsley, Mechanical Bride and Dan Michaelson And The Coastguards

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JACK DANIEL'S BIRTHDAY GIG
Brett Anderson, Carl Barat and John McClure have been announced as the singers who will join Tennesee's New Silver Cornet Band for a special gig to celebrate the birthday of whisky maker Jack Daniel.

The exclusive Birthday JD Set will take place on 8 Oct at Village Underground in London, with the event's 400 tickets only available to competition winners. For more info (and to enter the competition) go to www.thejdset.co.uk.

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ALBUM REVIEW: A Mountain Of One - Institute Of Joy (Ten Worlds)
Following on from 'Collected Works' (a collection of EP tracks), 'Institute Of Joy' is AMOO's first album, and it's huge, both sonically and emotionally. Whilst the group are essentially a duo (Mo Morris and Zeben Jameson), the resultant music is stadium-esque in scale and sound, touching on everything from gospel to blues, folk and even Balearic ambience. 'Sky Is Folding' sets the tone for the album's decidedly serious psychedelic rock, with its sinister strings, dreamy vocals and plaintive guitars, all of which slowly build and coalesce with a touch of Pink Floyd-esque psychedelics. The Floydian influence is notable elsewhere, most overtly on the epic stadium balladry of 'Lie Awake', which could be The Hours, Coldplay, or even Oasis if they had a bit more imagination. Elsewhere there are nods to Santana and Fleetwood Mac (the sound of 70s is the album's over-riding feel), UNKLE's recent cinematic darkness, plus the Verve at their best or even Spiritualized (but without the tiresome junkie somnambulance). Although the slightly murky production seems a tad overdone at times, there's no denying the power of this majestic, fiercely ambitious music. Don't be surprised to see this omni-present in the Albums Of The Year lists. MS
Physical release: 7 Sep
Press contact: Toast [NP], Bang On [O], Peer Group Music [NR]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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LILES LEAVES WARNER
Warner Music yesterday announced that Exec VP Kevin Liles is stepping down. From his job at the company. Not the table he's been standing on of late. He is leaving the major to pursue his own entrepreneurial projects, though will continue to work for Warner on a freelance consultancy basis. Well, just as soon as he gets down from that table.

Confirming Liles' departure, Warner Music top blokey Edgar B told CMU: "Kevin Liles is an exceptional executive and one of the most dynamically creative individuals in the industry. During his tenure at WMG, he helped to design and implement our industry-leading artist services strategy that in just a few years is already producing meaningful results. With WMG now positioned for future growth, Kevin is following his heart. His presence will be missed in 75 Rock".

In case you think Edgar has gone a bit loopy in that last remark, Warner Music's New York offices are at 75 Rockefeller Plaza. In fact that's where the table Liles has been standing on lives.

Liles himself added: "In the past couple weeks I've made one of the most important decisions of my life - to depart the Warner Music Group in order to focus more on new entrepreneurial endeavours in talent management, entertainment, media and my personal philanthropic and political passions. I am thankful for the opportunities that Edgar and [other top Warner man] Lyor [Cohen] have given me, most recently in entrusting me with driving the company's global artist services strategy, which is redefining the way labels and artists work together. My work here is now complete and I'm excited about the next chapter of my life".

Liles' table was unavailable for comment.

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PROPER APPOINT FORMER PINNACLE DIGITAL MAN
Independent distributor Proper Music has appointed Dominic Jones as Head Of New Media. He previously worked in a similar role for Pinnacle Distribution, before their slip into oblivion last December. He'd been with Pinnacle for 21 years prior to their collapse.

Confirming the appointment, Proper's Commercial Director Drew Hill told CMU: "We're delighted that Dominic has agreed to join us. He brings a wealth of experience, not just in the digital world but across independent distribution generally. We were delighted that our expertise in the physical arena was recognised this year and we're now looking to ensure that our digital offer is also the best available".

Commenting on his new job, Jones said: "I've been so impressed by Proper's ambition and professionalism and am greatly looking forward to assisting in the development of their digital and online offerings".

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SNOW PATROL SET UP PUBLISHING OUTFIT
Snow Patrol are setting up a music publishing company to be called Polar Music. The new venture will see the band seek out and support new songwriting talent. It will be independent of their own publishing deal with Universal, and will be administered by those Kobalt Music guys.

Confirming the new venture, the band's drummer, Jonny Quinn, told Billboard: "We intend to do one-album deals at a time so we don't tie anyone into a five-album deal because we've been through it ourselves. Hopefully if we do a good job they'll come back and do another album with us".

The new publisher's first signing is Johnny McDaid, formerly of Vega4, who, like the Patrol, originally harks from Northern Ireland.

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MADONNA HAS TOP GROSSING SOLO ARTIST TOUR EVER
Madonna's horribly titled Sticky & Sweet tour, which concluded in Tel Aviv this week, has been the highest grossing solo artist tour of all time, generating $408 million. It is second in terms of revenue only to the Rolling Stone's $558 million grossing Bigger Bang tour, but there's just one of her compared to four of them.

Arthur Fogel of the tour's promoter Live Nation had this to say: "She is absolutely one of the great performers of all time. That this tour will take its place as the second highest grossing tour in the history of our business says it all".

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MERLIN APPOINT NEW BOARD
Global indie digital licensing body Merlin has announced its new board, as elected by labels affiliated to the organisation. This lot replace the inaugural Merlin board, who helped bring the association into being back in 2007/8. As previously reported, the board is structured so to have reps from different parts of the world, with the following elected...

North America: Bob Frank, Merlin Chairman; Josh Wittman, Red Eye/Yep Roc Records; Steve Savoca, Domino Records USA; Thomas Silverman, Tommy Boy Records; Geoff Kulawick, IDLA.

Europe: Hein Van Der Ree, Epitaph Records Europe, Netherlands; Horst Weidenmueller, !K7, Germany; Martin Mills, Beggars Group, UK; Michel Lambot, [PIAS] Entertainment Group, Belgium; Thomas Lorain, Naïve, France

Rest Of The World: Colin Daniels, Inertia, Australia; Marcus Seal, Shock Entertainment Group, Australia; Hilton Roth, African Dope, South Africa.

In addition to that lot, Association Of Independent Music chief Alison Wenham will sit on the board in her capacity as President of the World Independent Network, and there will be five "non-voting observer members" as follows: Peter Wright, Virtual Label, USA; Susan Ferris, Long Live Crime, USA; Florian Von Hoyer, Galileo MC Spain; Michael Pohl, Kontor New Media, Germany; Takashi Kamide, Musicmind, Japan.

Commenting on the new board, Merlin CEO Charles Caldas told CMU: "Merlin's inaugural board members have shown an extraordinary amount of energy, passion and dedication in working to establish Merlin as a virtual fifth major, and it has been a privilege to work with them over the past two years. This new board includes some of these founding members of Merlin and incorporates some remarkable new additions, giving Merlin the benefit of some of the best talent in the global music business with a huge range of skills and interests. Merlin's members are truly fortunate to have such a strong group of people representing their interests as we navigate this ever-changing landscape".

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INDY BOARD STAND BY THE UK TITLE
The board of Independent News & Media has resisted calls by one of its key shareholders, Denis O'Brien, to sell or close the company's flagship UK newspaper The Independent and its Sunday sister title.

O'Brien, the company's second biggest shareholder, has been increasingly vocal in his distain for the Indy, insisting the company should offload its struggling British title and concentrate on its newspaper businesses in Ireland and South Africa. But the company's CEO, Gavin O'Reilly, who took over from his father Tony O'Reilly earlier this year, remains committed to the UK paper, as his father did before him. The O'Reilly family control just under 30% of INM's shares.

O'Reilly's board argued that selling off The Independent at this time would be costly, and that it would hinder efforts to restructure the group's finances. Despite retaining board support for the Indy, the O'Reilly clan haven't completely won the war with O'Brien, who is expected to call an Extraordinary General Meeting to try and persuade other shareholders to demand the firm's UK title be dropped.

There has been much speculation in UK media circles that the Independent will be the first of the major daily national newspapers to bite the dust as the industry tries to tackle the challenge of the advertising recession coupled with the threat of all that free news content online.

There has been talk of one of the other newspaper groups buying the title for a nominal sum, in particular Daily Mail owners Associated Newspapers, who do not currently have an interest in a broadsheet title. Such a deal would be aided by the Independent's recent move into the Mail's London office complex. But its debatable if Associated, or any other UK newspaper group, could really afford to take on the Indy's debts and liabilities. Some reckon only a billionaire businessman interested in owning a national newspaper mainly for vanity reasons could be persuaded to take the Indy on.

If O'Brien does get his way and the Indy does close it could have an interesting psychological impact on the UK newspaper industry, which is already only just surviving. Some reckon once the Indy goes, the Express and one of the Scottish dailies could follow soon after.

Or perhaps Rupert Murdoch's efforts to turn the Sunday Times website into a subscription service will work, and other newspaper groups will follow suit, allowing the newspaper industry to see another day without any major casualties. Perhaps.

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NEW DIGITAL RADIO BODY TO BE SET UP
The good old Digital Radio Development Bureau is to be closed down to be replaced by the Digital Radio Delivery Group. The latter, proposed by the much previously reported 'Digital Britain' report, has just advertised for a CEO. I think the Group's remit will be wider than that of the Bureau, but don't quote me on that. Although set up by government, the new body will also report into the recently established industry-wide Radio Council and the existing Radio Centre, the trade body for the commercial radio sector. The Group will be charged with the task of turning the whole of the UK over to digital radio by 2015, so all those analogue transmitters can be turned off, and the air space they use sold off to the highest bidder.

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EVERYONE WANTS TO WORK WITH THE CHEEKY GIRLS
Earlier this year Patrick Wolf revealed that he'd like to work with The Cheeky Girls, now Erasure's Andy Bell has let slip that he actually got as far as submitting songs to the Transylvanian duo. They apparently met in the usual way; Monica and Gabriela used to be regular customers of Bell's boyfriends bread stall on a market in Sussex.

Bell told The Quietus: "There is one song that I wrote not so long ago called 'Going To The Shops' which I think they quite like. I've not seen them for ages though, so I think they might have fled the country, I'm not sure. They're really sweet, really lovely".

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THOM YORKE SELECTS PSEUDONYM
Radiohead's Thom Yorke is set to release a new solo single later this month. But Thom Yorke is such an unwieldy name for a solo project. I mean, what does it really say about the music? Nothing. If he's going to survive in the music industry, he's going to need something punchier. Luckily, Adam Buxton (of Adam & Joe fame, of course) was on hand at Latitude to help him come up with something better.

Producer Nigel Godrich videoed the chat for posterity. Take a look:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=bC9-xPAvv70

'Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses/The Hollow Earth' will be made available by Radiohead's W.A.S.T.E. online store on 21 Sep.

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