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Job ads
Classified ads
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Thousands gather for Stephen Gately's funeral
Is P2P on the wane?
Live Nation and Ticketmaster talk to DOJ about merger concessions
In The Pop Hospital
Sugababe books into clinic
Reunions & Splits
Cranberries reunite for tour
In The Studio
Flaming Lips to cover Pink Floyd
Release News
Madness to reissue debut album
Classic album covers to appear on stamps
Gigs N Tours News
Whitney Houston to tour
Anti-Pop Consortium announce UK tour
Reviews
Album review: Espers - Espers III (Wichita)
The Music Business
HMV considering acquiring the flagship Megastore, possibly
ASCAP lose ringtone lawsuit
New UK chief for Imagem
The Media Business
Absolute site compares radio station artist preferences
MTV relaunches TMF as Viva
Chart Of The Day
Chart update
And finally...
Reznor weds
Diddy loses ring while throwing money around
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts
 
MONDAY 19TH OCTOBER


TURZI
Hailing from France, Turzi are a five-piece rock band led by Romain Turzi. Signing to the Air-founded Record Makers label in 2005, they released their debut EP, 'Made Under Authority', written and recorded by Romain in his kitchen, the same year. The debut album, 'A', followed in 2007. Turzi define their sound as 'rock disciplinaire', with their most noticeable influences situated in krautrock and progressive rock. Their second album, 'B', is out on 26 Oct and features vocal cameos from Bobby Gillespie and Brigitte Fontaine, as well as remixes by Sebastian Tellier. The band are set to play the Borderline in London on 20 Oct along with Teeth Of The Sea and Don't Wait Animate. We spoke to Romain to find out more.
 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
When we were kids, my friend Sky took the drums, Arthur took the bass, and Judah the keyboards, so I was left with playing guitar. My first guitar heroes were Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore, because they would not use a guitar like it's supposed to sound, but with a personal approach. For a beginner, it's more interesting to bang a guitar with a drumstick than to learn your craft, trying to emulate solos by Slash. The other turning point was My Bloody Valentine, a guitar band on whose album nothing sounded like guitars at all. We generally listen to bands that try to create their music by starting from scratch instead of jumping on someone else's train. There are masters, and followers.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Voyage. Travelling with your mind. Each track is named after a city (starting with the letter B), so that the listener will be in a certain mood, we're guiding their ears to a geographical place they've likely never been to. We didn't want to ghettoize our music in one genre. Our first album, 'A', was widely described as krautrock when it was more than that, so we tried to open up the scope, because what matters to us is not the destination but how you get there. The most important thing for us is our personal approach, even if the tracks end up being different genres of music, they're made with the same approach, and sound like nothing but ourselves, thanks to our savoir faire. Call it as you want, we call it 'Camembert Rock'.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
The most important thing is spontaneity. We're not about being technical or structured, but about mood, about how it makes you feel, levitate, travel.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
There are masters and followers. Perrotin le Grand, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Ravi Shankar, the Stooges, Hawkwind, Manuel Göttsching, Peter Baumann, Joel Vandroogenbroek, Ennio Morricone, Jean-Michel Jarre, John Cale and his former band, are masters. But our music is guided more by feelings than by trying to reproduce something we like. We play for our own pleasure, if it works it ends up on the album, otherwise we throw it in the garbage can (or on MySpace).

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Play this record as loud as possible, as stoned as impossible, and thank you everybody. Warning: only play this record once a day or your brain might be destroyed. Record Makers take no responsibility if you don't follow these orders.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
To reach out to a wider audience - without compromise. We wanna get out of the circle of people who like us because they share our references or collect analog synths, we wanna open up the minds of others. The album must be played in full, not individual tracks, because the different styles explored only make sense in the context of the whole album. Sorry, iTunes.

MORE>> http://www.myspace.com/turzi

 
MJ HIBBETT & THE VALIDATORS - MY BOSS WAS IN AN INDIE BAND ONCE
If this doesn't bring a smile to your face on this cold Monday lunchtime then you have officially died inside. MJ Hibbett & The Validators' new single, 'My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once', is out today and it features a joyous video that we highly recommend you watch at the earliest possible opportunity. Also, given that our rebranding of this section as 'CMU Approved' was partly inspired by Hibbett's label Artists Against Sucess and their tendency to stamp 'VALID' on everything they think is good, it seems only fitting that the man himself should feature here. Anyway, watch this bloody video, will you?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYfOfrTvpNs



 

 
SECRET PRODUCTIONS SEEKS OPERATIONS MANAGER
Secret Productions specialises in cutting edge outdoor & indoor event programming, design and production. Amongst the events it runs is The Secret Garden Party; twice voted the best festival in the UK. We are looking for a new Operations Manager who will primarily be focused on all areas of budget and systems management relating to production of Backwoodsman's projects, which includes the Secret Garden Party. In addition he/she will be required to oversee all back office processes and suggest and design improvements. Operations Manager will be also responsible for overall operational efficiency and general business administration eg PAYE, systems data integrity, providing accurate and timely forecasts and processing of customer invoices. They also need to offer input on decisions that require sound business practices and perspectives.

Please send CVs to James Brennan at brennan@secretgardenparty.com, or call 020 8617 3017 for more information.

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Advertise your jobs here: £100 for five editions - ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

 

 


Name are one of the UK's leading music PR and marketing agencies, with unrivalled specialist knowledge and direct links to the heart of the UK music industry.

With over 10 years of experience, Name deliver full-spectrum PR services for a wide range of music clients, both trade and consumer. These include [PIAS] Entertainment Group, the Association of Independent Festivals, Merlin, Digital Stores, MusicTank, WeGotTickets, Blink TV, Corsica Studios and the Soundwave Festival.

For more information or to see how Name can help your business, visit www.namemusic.co.uk or email sam@namemusic.co.uk

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SHOREDITCH OFFICE, 764 SQUARE FOOT (15-20 DESKS), £1000 PER MONTH
Self-contained office space available in the centre of Shoreditch, on the corner of Shoreditch High Street and Great Eastern Street, next to the CMU HQ. 5-8 minutes walk from Liverpool Street and Old Street tube stations. A top floor workspace with plenty of natural light in an exciting neighbourhood that is home to numerous music, media, PR and creative companies. 764 square feet, with room for 15-20 desks plus its own kitchen area and adjacent toilets. £1000 per month plus service charge and business rates (full breakdown available on request). Includes heating. Available from November. For more information contact ashka@unicornjobs.com.

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Advertise your stuff here: £120 for five editions - ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

 

THOUSANDS GATHER FOR STEPHEN GATELY'S FUNERAL
Thousands of people gathered outside St Laurence O'Toole's church in Dublin on Saturday to pay their last respects to Stephen Gately who, of course, died the previous weekend while on holiday in Majorca. Boyzone fans cheered as celebrity mourners arrived for the service, including Louis Walsh, Jason Donovan, members of Westlife and Gately's bandmates, though fell silent as the service itself was piped into the streets. The rest of Boyzone had spent the night in the church alongside Gately's coffin, as is customary in some Catholic traditions.

In an emotional eulogy during the service, Ronan Keating said: "We have lost our brother and I have lost my wingman. He will live on in the songs and whenever us four are together, his spirit is alive". Remarking on Gately's most recent project, a children's book called 'The Tree Of Seasons', the Boyzone frontman added: "He was putting the finishing touches to his book. There are only a few pages left. By hook or by crook, those who loved him, and there's so many in this room, we're going to finish that book".

Some sort of tribute concert in Gately's memory is now being considered, most likely to be held in Dublin. Boyzone's next album, planned for a 2010 release, is also likely to be billed as a tribute to the group's late bandmate. Meanwhile Gately's civil partner, Andy Cowles, has returned to London with Gately's ashes which the late singer's family agreed should stay with the grieving widower.

Saturday's funeral followed internet outrage on Friday to a piece written by Daily Mail columnist Jan Moir. Noting that there remains some unanswered questions about Gately's sudden demise (medical experts say the 'fluid on the lungs' noted in the singer's autopsy report is more likely a result, rather than cause, of the heart attack that most likely killed him), Moir basically suggested that aspects of the Boyzoner's lifestyle led to his death, and that that lifestyle was basically a result of his homosexuality.

This despite her previously listing a number of heterosexual celebrities who, she claimed, also lived "dangerous lifestyles" in the spotlight - some of whom have, or have had, drug dependencies on a whole different level to the dope smoking it was revealed Gately was partial to last week. Even if you do believe that something on the peripheries of a rock n roll lifestyle was in someway responsible for the Boyzoner's death - and no evidence so far has actually suggested so - but even if you did, Moir's own introduction contradicted the subsequent suggestion the late singer's sexuality was somehow relevant.

Many concluded Moir was really participating in some casual homophobia, a theory strengthened by the Mail hack's conclusion that Gately's death "strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships". As if civil partnerships had somehow been positioned to the Mail-reading faithful as being fairy tale unions in a society where most straight marriages ultimately fail. The conclusion seemed to be that because a man in a civil partnership had died, the whole concept should be abolished.

As cries of "shame" and "homophobe" started to fly on Twitter, rallying into action thousands of people previously apathetic towards the Boyzoner's demise, Moir issued a statement insisting she'd been misunderstood, and suggesting gay campaigners were instigating some sort of impromptu internet campaign against her. To be fair to the Mail whiner, she is a terrible journalist, so the chances of confusion are high whenever she writes. Perhaps she assumed Mail subs would fix her incoherent ramblings. Or perhaps she knew they wouldn't, given the widespread inference of her work - despite being an incorrect interpretation according to Moir - is, after all, classic Daily Mail copy.

Anyway, as online opposition to the Mail and Moir rose, thousands submitted complaints to the Press Complaints Commission. The PCC has admitted that Moir's piece is the most complained about article in its history (21,000 complaints so far, more about that one article in one weekend than the whole PCC has received in the last five years!). That said the PCC, unlike media regulator OfCom and the BBC Trust, isn't really mandated to respond to general public outrage, and would need a formal complaint from the Gately family to launch an investigation. So don't expect any PCC action on this.

A complaint was also made about the column to the police, on the basis that the article amounted to a hate crime, I think. It will be interesting to see how the police respond. Though there again, serious action is unlikely to follow, and if the police put too much resource into investigating the accusation they will provide Moir with the source material to pen a (no doubt terribly written) ramble on the Daily Mail's very favourite topic - "it's political correctness gone mad".

So did anything come from all the online ranting? Well, not really, though one Facebook group did provide the phone numbers of all the brands who had advertising next to the article, in print or online. While advertisers are always keen to stress their ads should not be associated with the editorial they sit next to, targeting brands whose ads appear alongside offending copy is actually an increasingly effective way to cause embarrassment and irritation (though not really actual commercial harm) to publications that piss you off.

Marks & Spencers quickly requested their ads be removed from Moir's section on the Mail website, and the paper subsequently replaced commercial advertising on the page with house ads. Though the Google ads still appear as of this morning, so perhaps there is still room for more online campaigning for anyone still angry about Moir's missive.

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IS P2P ON THE WANE?
So, perhaps P2P file-sharing was, after all, a short term distraction that the music industry really shouldn't have got so stressed out about. Though there's been such conflicting research on the scale of file-sharing over the years, I'm never sure what to believe in this domain.

But it is surely entirely believable that P2P file-sharing is finally on the wane now that broadband internet access is the norm, and user-friendly on-demand streaming music services like Spotify, We7, YouTube and MySpace Music are more prevalent.

Well, that is the trend being reported by Arbor Networks who, as everyone knows, are "global providers of flow data analysis and deep packet inspection solutions for network security and visibility". So they should know.

According to Arbor, P2P now accounts for 18% of all internet traffic, down from 40% in 2007. Web page based traffic now accounts for 50% of net traffic, up from 10% in 2007 - a result of the growing popularity of streaming services, and the relatively recent tendency to provide such streaming through web browsers rather than digital media players.

Arbor Networks' Craig Labovitz told C-Net that there is a simple explanation for the change - compared to the engaging and easy to use streaming services that have arrived on the market in the last few years, "P2P is a headache".

Of course Arbor's figures could, at first glance, exaggerate the actual decline in P2P usage. File-sharers are possibly still file-sharing, it's just that enough newcomers to the net are using legit streaming services to skew the overall percentages. And let's not forget, email-to-email and offline file-sharing has been the big growth area in the last eighteen months, alternative ways to illegally share music without utilising P2P technology. And even if Arbor's stats do show people are drifting from P2P to streaming services, not all those streaming services are yet fully licensed.

On the flip side, perhaps music file-sharing has declined even more than Arbor's stats suggest. The illegal sharing of films and TV shows has certainly boomed in the last few years, and with the movie and TV industries generally slower to offer compelling on-demand archive-rich online services, perhaps an increasingly large amount of that 18% of net traffic which goes on P2P is used up for sharing video rather than audio files.

So, all in all, Arbor's stats possibly don't tell us very much at all. Though there is a certain logic to the theory that as legit services get better, and the number of digital music consumers grows, the relative size and significance of the file-sharing community will decline. So, while it doesn't necessarily mean record companies should stop pursuing authorising/contributory infringement lawsuits against the providers of unlicensed content sharing platforms, nor even drop ambitions to get some sort of three-strikes system on the statute book, I still think there's a high chance that, like with home-taping in eighties, the record industry will ultimately learn to live with, and prosper despite, P2P file-sharing.

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LIVE NATION AND TICKETMASTER TALK TO DOJ ABOUT MERGER CONCESSIONS
Live Nation and Ticketmaster are reportedly in talks with US regulators regarding possible concessions they would consider to win approval for their proposals to merge. As previously reported, the UK Competition Commission has already raised concerns regarding the merger plans, and it's thought their US counterparts will follow suit.

With that in mind the two live music congloms have reportedly starting talking to officials at the US Department Of Justice about ways they can overcome "serious competitive concerns". This might include selling off some of Ticketmaster's ticketing outfits, especially TicketsNow, the ticket resale website the ticketing giant acquired, with controversial results.

Insiders say that talks between the two firms and the DoJ have been positive, and both Live Nation and Ticketmaster bosses reckon a merger will still go ahead, without so many concessions that the benefits of the deal would be lost.

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SUGABABE BOOKS INTO CLINIC
Sugababe Amelle Berragah has been admitted to a private health clinic after being diagnosed with a "severe bout of nervous exhaustion", the band said in a statement on Friday.

Her bandmates, Heidi Range and Jade Ewen said: "It seems that with all the recent events in the band right up to Jade joining us a few weeks ago, the stress over a period of months has unfortunately taken its toll on Amelle and she is now suffering from a severe bout of nervous exhaustion. For the next three weeks, Amelle will be staying at a private health clinic in Europe where she will be able to rest and recuperate under expert supervision".

Range added: "Both Amelle and I have been through a very traumatic time together in recent months and particularly over the past few weeks".

She was referring, of course, to the departure of the group's last remaining original member, Keisha Buchanan, who was forced out after Berrabah and Range told their management that they were no longer willing to work with her. Her replacement, Ewen, is currently in the process of re-recording the vocal parts on the band's new album that had originally been sung by Buchanan.

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CRANBERRIES REUNITE FOR TOUR
The Cranberries have confirmed they are getting back together for a tour, and that they will record some new tracks. Dolores O'Riordan has confirmed the plans on the band's website, writing: "I've decided to reunite with my former band members in The Cranberries and we will be writing new songs and performing tracks off my new album as well as our greatest hits during the shows. I'd love to see you out there".

The tour will kick off on 12 Nov. The Cranberries, it should be noted, never actually split, but have been on hiatus since 2003.

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FLAMING LIPS TO COVER PINK FLOYD
The Flaming Lips are set to follow up new album, 'Embryonic', with their own version of Pink Floyd's 1973 album 'Dark Side Of The Moon', reports the LA Times.

The band revealed the news at a Q&A session following a MySpace show at LA's Nike/Ricardo Montalbán Theater last Thursday. The album will be a collaboration with frontman Wayne Coyne's nephew Dennis Coyne's band Stardeath And Whit Dwarfs, and will also feature guest appearances from Henry Rollins and Peaches. It's apparently planned for the album to released exclusively through iTunes.

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MADNESS TO REISSUE DEBUT ALBUM
Thirty years ago next month Madness released their debut album, 'One Step Beyond'. And what better way to mark this milestone than by releasing it all over again?

The expanded two-disc version of the long player will feature the original album plus the videos for 'The Prince', 'My Girl', 'Night Boat To Cairo', 'One Step Beyond' and 'Bed And Breakfast Man' on disc one, with disc two housing a John Peel session plus various other b-sides and live tracks.

It will be released via Union Square Music on 26 Oct.

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CLASSIC ALBUM COVERS TO APPEAR ON STAMPS
Okay, this isn't really release news, but we don't have a stamps news section and I'm not sure there would be much call for it if we were to set one up. But, yes, the Royal Mail are going to put some album covers on stamps in January in a series that they've cunningly called 'The Classic Album Covers Series', celebrating the artwork by making it really small.

Say the post folks: "This band of designers and photographers have not only reflected the visual styles of many musical cultures, but have also defined and created them, too. The stamp issue explores some of the most potent graphic images of modern times, many of which have provided a visual soundtrack to people's lives".

The albums chosen for the series are these:

Pink Floyd - The Division Bell
Coldplay - A Rush of Blood To The Head
Blur - Parklife
New Order - Power, Corruption And Lies
Henri Fantin-Latour - A Basket Of Roses
The Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed
The Clash - London Calling
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells
Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV
Primal Scream - Screamadelica
David Bowie - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars

They'll be available from 7 Jan. Hopefully by then it will be possible for people to send things to each other via the Royal Mail again.

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WHITNEY HOUSTON TO TOUR
Whitney Houston will tour the UK next April. Tickets cost a heck of a lot.

Tour dates:

8 Apr: Manchester, MEN Arena
11 Apr: Glasgow, SECC Arena
13 Apr: Birmingham, LG Arena
22 Apr: Newcastle Arena
25 Apr: London, O2 Arena

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ANTI-POP CONSORTIUM ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
Anti-Pop Consortium will be in the UK for tour dates in support of their very good new album, 'Florescent Black' next month. They also promise not to "fall for the classic rap template of shit shows and shouting", by completely rebuilding their tracks from scratch every single night. Be there or be at something not nearly as good.

Tour dates:

4 Nov: Brighton, Audio
5 Nov: London, The Scala
6 Nov: Leeds, Wire
7 Nov: Bristol, Croft

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ALBUM REVIEW: Espers - Espers III (Wichita)
Espers have quietly built up a loyal following without getting the sort of attention (well, at least commercially) other acts in the new folk scene have garnered; hopefully 'III' will go some way to changing that.

The Philadelphia group's sound has been fleshed out on this, their third album proper, with the move from a trio to a five-piece band. Essentially this means a fuller sound, with bass, drums and electric guitars being more prevalent than on previous albums. But we're still in the same musical realm - delightful chamber pop and slightly frazzled acid folk, all shot though with effortlessly melodic arrangements and song-writing that make 'III' just delightfully enjoyable as its two predecessors.

The hazy vocals of Greg Weeks still recall Pink Floyd's David Gilmour (and it's hard not to think of the early 70s Floyd at their most simple and sedate on certain Espers tracks), and contrast effectively with the pristine evocative beauty of Meg Baird's vocals. 'Colony' - a foreboding piece of Wickerman-esque swirling psych-rock - is particularly memorable, but the whole album is a beguiling listen from start to end. MS

Physical release: 26 Oct
Press contact: The Art Of Agency [O]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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HMV CONSIDERING ACQUIRING THE FLAGSHIP MEGASTORE, POSSIBLY
HMV is rumoured to be considering taking over the old Oxford Street home of the Virgin Megastore, next to Tottenham Court Road tube station. According to Retail Week, the former Virgin/Zavvi site, currently occupied on a temporary basis by fashion retailer Hyper Hyper, is scheduled for renovation. They say that both HMV and fashion chain H&M are interested in the site, possibly taking a chunk of the store each.

Whether that would be instead of one of HMV's two existing Oxford Street outlets isn't clear. In fact they are being rather vague about the rumours, neither confirming nor denying. When asked for a comment by both Billboard and Music Week they said that they are currently under taking a routine review of their London property, and that that has probably resulted in the rumours.

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ASCAP LOSE RINGTONE LAWSUIT
A US court has ruled against ASCAP in what, it has to be said, was one of the American publishing collecting society's more ambitious royalty claims: that every time a ringtone plays it counts as a 'public performance' of the song, so the phone network to which the phone is linked should pay a royalty.

No offence to ASCAP, but they are in danger of taking over from the Recording Industry Association of America as being the primary hate figure for American music fans. Certainly such legal claims do little to overcome the music industry's reputation as being run by a bunch of delusional money-grabbing bastards.

As much previously reported, in the US the so called mechanical royalties and performance royalties due to music publishers are collected by different collecting societies, where in the UK all publishing royalties are collected by PRS For Music (albeit the mechanical ones via its MCPS division). This has caused confusion with digital services where, arguably, both a mechanical copy of the song is made and a performance takes place as part of a transfer. Providers of said services often do a deal with the collecting society representing one set of royalties, only to get a call from the collecting society representing the other set asking for cash.

Because a mechanical copy of a song is made when a ringtone is downloaded to a phone, agencies representing mechanical rights - so the Harry Fox Agency in the US - will be the primary licensing body for ringtone sellers. But, in their rather ambitious lawsuit, ASCAP claimed a performance royalty was also due, and sued phone firm AT&T accordingly.

But Federal Judge Denise Cote was not impressed by the claim. She ruled that a ringtone going off did not constitute a "public performance", not least because it was impossible to tell whether the ringtone played long enough, or went off in a public place, or in the earshot of enough people to constitute "public performance". So, no money for ASCAP then.

AT&T welcomed the ruling, obviously. A spokesman told Digital Music News: "We're gratified that the court agreed that neither AT&T nor its customers are liable for performance rights infringement when a ringtone is sold or played".

ASCAP were less impressed, telling the website: "While ASCAP is disappointed with the ringtones summary judgment issued yesterday by the US District Court, this ... is about much more than just ringtones. We have always pursued fair payment for individual music creators whose creative works are used to build the businesses of others and that effort will certainly continue".

Some commentators wonder whether aspects of Cote's ruling could spoil ASCAP's chances of convincing the courts services like iTunes should pay a performance royalty for providing thirty second preview clips on their iTunes Store in the US. As previously reported, the collecting society is currently pursuing a legal action to that effect.

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NEW UK CHIEF FOR IMAGEM
André de Raaff, the CEO of the young but already significant independent music publisher Imagem Music, has announced the appointment of John Minch as CEO of Imagem Music UK. Minch currently leads classical publisher Boosey & Hawkes, which Imagem acquired last year. He will continue to oversee the classical division on a worldwide basis.

De Raaff said this: "I have only known John for just over a year, from the time when we purchased Boosey & Hawkes. I've been impressed from the first day with John's vision as to how to make our catalogues, writers and companies more successful and also to look for non-traditional ways of managing our businesses and people. I'm convinced that the success John and his team have created for Boosey & Hawkes will be applicable for all activities of Imagem UK now and in the future, and I'm convinced that he will contribute towards the further growth of our worldwide group as well".

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ABSOLUTE SITE COMPARES RADIO STATION ARTIST PREFERENCES
Absolute Radio's previously reported digital development team - One Golden Square Labs - have launched a website which tracks the music being placed by all sorts of BBC and commercial radio stations, utilising online 'now playing' data, and designed to help music fans identify which radio service best suits their music tastes. Just in case they weren't sure. Some are speculating that OfCom might tap into the service to check radio stations are fulfilling the music policy requirements of their licences. Though surely OfCom have their own ways of measuring such things.

The website is at CompareMyRadio.com.

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MTV RELAUNCHES TMF AS VIVA
MTV has relaunched its TMF channel as Viva, which will include comedy and reality shows as well as music. It's a significant move because it means there will be more non-music based MTV content available to Freeview viewers - TMF and now Viva airs on the free to view digital network as well as via Sky and Virgin Media. The change is possibly a response to the relaunch last year of TMF's Freeview rival The Hits, as 4Music. A greater range of programming was added to The Hits as a result of the JV between Channel 4 and the channel's original owners Bauer.

Confirming the launch of MTV Viva last week, MTV Networks Director Of Telly Heather Jones said this: "Viva is about fun and frivolity and not taking yourself too seriously, it's a real antidote to the daily grind. It is not simply a new-look TMF but instead a completely new channel with a unique blend that only we at MTVN can create because of our hefty credentials in producing and broadcasting music, comedy and entertainment programming".

She continued: "TMF has for a long time been about more than just music, so it deserves an identity that reflects its output. MTV has a long history of ensuring the look and feel of our channels remains current and vital and in tune with the 16-34 year old audience. VIVA will fulfil these objectives and deliver a fresh, independent general entertainment channel to viewers whilst continuing to utilise TMF's strong music heritage including The Official Chart Show, a firm favourite of TMF viewers".

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CHART UPDATE
Hallelujah! There's a new number one. Last year's 'X-Factor' winner Alexandra Burke has gone straight to the top of the singles chart with her second single, 'Bad Boys', which feature bonus rap-style vocalisations by Flo Rida. Not only has it shot straight to number one, but the single has racked up the highest first week sales this year, selling 185,000 copies, more than double the amount shifted by the previous holder of that crown, Dizzee Rascal with 'Bonkers'.

Alexandra is followed by another new entry at number two, Robbie Williams with 'Bodies'. There have been some who've said that this (ie second place) means Robbie's big comeback has been a flop. But in any other week, 90,000 sales would have comfortably put him at the top and everyone would have clapped and said how great it was that Robbie is back on top. So be quiet for the moment, will you?

Look, here's what The Official Charts Company's MD, Martin Talbot had to say: "To have two such strong singles in one week is phenomenal and demonstrates how many people are passionate about great records". I'm not sure "great" is quite the right word, but you get the point.

Also new in the top ten is Michael Buble at nine with 'Haven't Met You Yet', while in the rest of the top 40 other new entries come from (deep breath) Lostprophets with 'It's Not The End Of The World But I Can See It From Here' at 16, Mr Hudson with 'White Lies' at 20, Editors with 'Papillon' at 23, Black Eyed Peas with 'Meet Me Halfway' at 26, The Big Pink with 'Dominos' at 29, Jennifer Hudson with 'And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going' at 32, and Medina with 'You And I' at 39.

It's all change at the top of the album chart, too. Editors have kicked like a sleep twitch all the way to number one with their third album, 'In This Light And On This Evening', while Chipmunk steps up to number two with his debut, 'I Am Chipmunk'. Shakira, meanwhile, is new at four with 'She Wolf' and The Saturdays complete the top ten's new entries for this week with 'Wordshaker' at nine.

Moving on, Taio Cruz goes straight in at 14 with his debut, 'Rokstarr', crap-puntastic choir Only Men Aloud are at 21 with 'Band Of Brothers', Amy Winehouse's god daughter Dionne Bromfield is in at 33 with 'Introducing', The Veronicas are in at 35 with 'Hook Me Up", Blake are at 38 with 'Together', and bringing up the rear is Bob Dylan with his dubious Christmas album, 'Christmas In The Heart'. This is probably fitting, as all the Christmas decorations seem to have gone up in London this weekend. Apparently this isn't painfully premature at all.

The charts are decked with boughs of holly by The Official Charts Company.

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REZNOR WEDS
Trent Reznor and his fiancé Mariqueen Maadig tied the knot this weekend. Nine Inch Nails guitarist announced the event on Twitter by saying: "Goths the world over will mourn this day - off to a wedding..." He later posted a picture of the couple sharing their first dance, but it was pretty poor quality, so the most certain thing I can tell you is that there was a balding man in attendance.

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DIDDY LOSES RING WHILE THROWING MONEY AROUND
P Diddy launched a search of the studio audience at BET music video show '106 & Park' last week, after he lost a ring worth $20,000.

He was performing with rap group Dirty Money, who were throwing fake $100 bills into the air. When the audience realised that there was real money mixed in with the dodgy bills, it sounds like there was a bit of a stampede, and while all this was going on, Diddy managed to throw one of his rings off his finger.

When he discovered the loss, he had the building locked and refused to let the audience leave until all 160 of them had been searched. He reluctantly let them go after security staff found nothing.

Commenting via Twitter later, Diddy said: "A lot of people are asking about a ring I lost. Yes I did. And that's OK. I lose things too. You win some you lose some. My loss is another's gain. It's OK to lose things because it makes you appreciate what you still have! I didn't like that ring any way!"

I'm sure that makes all the people he treated like criminals feel a lot better. I wonder if he asked for all the money he'd been throwing at them back, too.

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