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TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Oasis could continue (but don't mention Noel)
In The Pop Courts
Police apologise for Thirst arrest
Pitbull sued over cancelled gig
In The Pop Hospital
Little Richard recovering from hip surgery
Awards & Contests
European Festival Awards voting opens
Release News
Alicia Keys album details
Errors announce album and tour
Earache release classic live death metal DVD boxset
New Limp Bizkit album named
Gigs N Tours News
Pavement add more UK and Ireland dates
Pendulum announce May tour dates
JLS announce arena tour
Festival News
Additions to Groening ATP
Reviews
Album Review: Sparrow And The Workshop - Into The Wild (Distiller Records)
The Music Business
Former EMI SVP joins Atlantic
Spanish industry rally over piracy
Live Nation expand French operation
The Digital Business
Spotify passes six million users
7digital expand into Norway and Finland
Apple iTunes pass goes all classical
MUZU to power video channel for the O2
The Media Business
ABC to tighten live show rules after Lambert
Record complaints for OfCom
Murdoch talks up subscription websites some more
DAB radio sales pass 10 million - good news or bad?
Amazing Radio to stay on Digital One
Chart Of The Day
This week's Sub.tv playlist
And finally...
Lil Wayne has another son
Waterman disses X-Factor
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts
 
WEDNESDAY 2ND DECEMBER


FOREIGN BEGGARS
Comprised of rappers Orifice Vulgatron and Metropolis, DJ NoNames and producer Dag Nabbit, London hip hoppers Foreign Beggars have roots based in jazz and classical music, as well as years of experience writing, recording and performing hip hop, death metal and drum n bass - resulting in the explosive live performances the group are renowned for. Individually, the members of the group have collaborated with the likes of Björk, Gorillaz, DJ Vadim and Scratch Perverts. Their fourth album together, 'United Colours Of Beggattron', is out now on Dented Records, while the band are set to support The Prodigy in the New Year. We caught up with Metropolis to find out more.
 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
We all came from different musical backgrounds. Orifice is the son of a serious rocker who exposed him to mad dope rock from a very young age, so that kinda explains a little why his musical personality, no... in fact, his actual personality, is so 'out there'. He was making death metal with his twin brothers in Dubai before he started getting into drum n bass and its whole MC culture in his teens. He was close friends with Dag Nabbit, and they started making music and putting on parties from a young age.

I met Orifice through NoNames at university. He had decks, so I would bunk class to go get high and freestyle, which eventually led to me dropping out! I'd been rhyming since I was twelve - I gave up on the keyboard, drums and guitar lessons and picked up the pen and pretty much stuck to it. NoNames, who's first real experience of rap was a Fat Boys tape he somehow found when he was living in Kentucky as a kid, met OV doing the sound for an 'Alice In Wonderland' play where he was cutting up sounds and OV was doing the lighting. He introduced us all to each other and our first gig as we are now was back in 2003. Haven't really looked back since!

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Since we dropped [second album] 'Stray Point Agenda' in 2006 we moved studios and just kept writing tunes and collaborating with different artists. We'd been touring a lot and meeting so many new dope producers and artists from all over the world like Noisia (who we'd been flying out to Groningen to do a project with) and Guilty Simpson whose music we were all crazy into, so we wanted to make something that kinda reflected how this hip hop shit is global, hence the title!

At some point we started wondering whether we really wanted to make another straight hip hop album cos we were all getting into varying forms of dance music, like dubstep and Detroit house. We decided to stop work on 'United Colours Of Beggattron' and maybe go in another direction but the joints we already had were too strong and we kinda felt we had to finish it. Man, this album almost never came out, but we stuck with it and we're all really happy we did, cos we all feel this is our best effort to date!

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
That varies. It almost always starts with the production. For a lot of the joints on '...Beggattron' we were getting beat CDs from Ghosttown, who are hands down the best rap beat makers in the UK. There were something like 40-50 odd beats on each CD, so you can imagine what a bitch it was to actually get working on something! "Yo this one is dope, but so is this... and this... damn!"

I guess the process is to listen to a beat. I always found a beat tells a story and its up to me as an MC to try and translate its sentiment into words. A lotta times me and OV will just skip through beats 'til we find something that works for both of us and get to writing, then whoever finishes first steps into the booth, that's why OV comes up first in a lot of tracks. Cos, boy, he writes fast!

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Well, we're inspired by a lot of different artists from a lot of genres. Hip hop-wise, I was always into deep dirty east coast hip hop like Company Flow, Cannibal Ox and Tribe Called Quest (Midnight Maraiuders, in particular). Nowadays it's all about MF Doom, but I get a lot of inspiration from the grime guys like Ghetto, who is the sickest MC in the UK right now.

Our live show is definitely influenced by a lot of the rock shit OV is into, that's why we always gotta rock out. I think a lot of performers are so caught up in their own music they forget they're actually there to entertain the crowd. We take influence from dudes like Napalm Death in that respect. We ALWAYS try to rock the crowd!

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I would say thanks so much for giving us a listen! Our music is really varied, we do a lot of party tracks, a lot of deep introspective tracks, and a lot of straight up goofin tracks, so don't try to fit us into any particular box. Just know we're all about good music.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
We hope this album has truly global appeal and will get us recognised as a solid force on the global music scene, and I believe it will do that.

In the future, you can expect more craziness from the Beggar camp, more dope live shows and more interesting takes on music. We plan to take it further and further out there in our music, to keep pushing the boundaries. In fact, we're dropping a remix album featuring a bunch of dope producers' takes on tracks of this album and a few new joints featuring the likes of Noisia, Machinedrum, Gothtrad, SBTRKT, Onra, CTRL Z, Gifted and Blessed and L-VIS 1990, to name but a few. So, you all need to look out for that shit.

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

 
STEVE MASON - ALL COME DOWN
Since the split of The Beta Band, frontman Steve Mason has released solo material as the eclectic King Biscuit Time and the more hip hop-focused Black Affair. Now he's back with a new project, this time working under his own name. Taken from his new Richard X-produced album, 'Boys Outside', which is due for release in March next year, 'All Come Down' sounds like one of the finest songs The Beta Band never wrote, a simple piece which echoes Massive Attack's 'Teardrop' in places and is driven by Steve's amazing talent for writing vocal harmonies. You don't have to take my word for it, though. You can download the track for free from this little Sendspace link, with more info at the official website link below.

www.sendspace.com/file/rt2vg3
www.stevemasontheartist.com

 
So, for the last few weeks we've been collecting your votes for Track Of The Year 2009. They've been coming in thick and fast, so throughout December, we'll be hearing what some people have had to say about their favourites, starting this week with Team CMU.

Kurran And The Wolfnotes - Four Limbs
My track of the year has to come from the gorgeous alternative folksters Kurran And The Wolfnotes. Starting out less than a year ago, KATW seem to be cropping up everywhere at the moment and I for one can't get enough. 'Four Limbs' has to be my favourite of the Wolfnotes' tunes -the lyrics and melody are heart-warming and the build of harmonies at the end gets me every time I hear it.
George Stone, Editorial Assistant, CMU

Tell us your favourite track of 2009 here

 

 
PRESS OFFICER WANTED
Leading independent music PR company looking for a Press Officer with experience in both online and traditional PR. Must be passionate, enthusiastic, intelligent, and a creative thinker. Knowledge of communications: PR, marketing, and blogging would be ideal, but not essential. If you are looking for a challenge within a dynamic company, please forward a copy of your CV to: recruitment@mediajunction.co.uk

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

 

 

26 or younger and have never attended MIDEM? Grab your reduction now!
Either studying or working in the music industry and never attended MIDEM, benefit from a special discount rate at 280 euros, more than 50% off October rate.

Networking: Seek out key contacts and extend your professional network; make deals with your partners and identify new business opportunities.

Educational content: access to the renowned MidemNet digital business conference at no extra cost; get concrete, practical knowledge and training from experts through workshops.

Live concerts: hook up with partners and new contacts at the Opening and Closing Night Parties; discover new international artists with Talent showcases.

MIDEM: the one stop destination for the world’s music community, 23-27 January 2010. Register now! Click here

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MIDEM 2010, Cannes: Intimate club venue available for hire in the Palais du Festival - to showcase your artists and bands.

4am license. UK bar prices. 400 Capacity. Private entrance. Staff and DJ supplied.

Leyline has teamed up with Splash Promotions in Cannes to offer production, event management and PR services.

Contact 020 7575 3285 adrian@leylinepromotions.com / info@splashpromotions.co.uk

www.splashpromotions.co.uk - www.leylinepromotions.com

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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 (£275 per month and £600 per month respectively). Includes heating. Available now. For more information contact ashka@unicornjobs.com.

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

 

OASIS COULD CONTINUE (BUT DON'T MENTION NOEL)
It's good to see that Oasis are still as entertaining as ever. Liam Gallagher recently revealed that he was working with the other members of Oasis - Andy Bell and Gem Archer - on new material. Well, it seems the new band have now written most of a new album, and that it could be released under the Oasis name.

Speaking to The Evening Standard, Gallagher said: "We're halfway there, man. We've got all the songs done. Without Noel at all. Me, Andy and Gem are doing it. That was the way it was going anyway, even on the last record.We were, like, doing most of it and Noel was off doing his own thing. So we've got a bit of studio time booked after Christmas and we're going to get in there, do it quick, with no stewing on it, and I'm feeling really confident about it".

Of the sound of the new material, he added: "It's a little bit different, but not too much. It's the kind of music our fans have always liked, you know? But we'll see. I'm not forcing this down anyone's throats. That's not good for the soul".

As for the new band's name, he revealed that while they're currently going without one, that doesn't mean the old one has been retired. He explained: "We're not using it at the moment, but if we don't come up with something else by the time we're ready to release the album it'll be Oasis. I'm not going to call myself something ridiculous just for the sake of it".

However, he insisted that the new version of the band - even if still called Oasis - would not play any songs written by his brother, which doesn't really give them a great deal to choose from when it comes to back catalogue. "Obviously it's going to be different without Noel", he said. "And Noel's fans will sneer at it, but then, you know, if they don't like the music, don't fucking buy it. Don't come to the gig, cos you're not going to be hearing 'Don't Look Back In Anger'. But I do like to think that the 250,000 people who came to see us at Knebworth didn't come just for Noel".

Perhaps not, but everyone knows Noel is generally thought of as the creative force behind the band. Surely the door would be open if he ever wanted to come back to the band (if only so they can play their hits)? Apparently not, according to Liam: "I'm sure [Noel] thinks: 'I'll do my solo career and if it doesn't fucking pan out the way it's expected to pan out, then I'll give our kid a ring cos he'll be desperate, and he'll do anything for Oasis'.Well, I'll say this right now: he's got another fucking think coming. If he thinks he can ring me up at any given stage in his fucking lifetime, I'll be busy. I'll always be busy when he rings me up".

The brothers will presumably have to have a professional relationship of some sort, though. It's still not clear if either of the Gallagher's new separate projects will be released via their Big Brother Recordings label, but either way pre-split Oasis music will still be earning the brothers' own company money. Not that I think Liam and Noel have desks set up in the Big Brother offices, or are even especially involved in the day-to-day running of it, but the corporate entity retains the link over and above family affiliations, unless either brother disaffiliates from it.

Still, assuming Liam stands by his policy of no contact, if Noel ever does feel the urge to play with Oasis again, maybe he could join a tribute band and refuse to play songs written by his brother.

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POLICE APOLOGISE FOR THIRST ARREST
Staffordshire Police have apologised and launched an inquiry after falsely arresting London-based rock band The Thirst shortly before they were due to play a gig.

The band were arrested at gunpoint as they loaded some equipment back into their van after soundchecking at The Oak pub in Burntwood, near Stafford, on 21 Nov. They were then taken to a local police station and held for sixteen hours before being released without charge.

The band's manager, Kingsley Slater told the BBC shortly afterwards: "I heard a helicopter, I heard some dogs and I could see a lot of activity. I thought I was on a film set. Then I saw the lead singer [Mensah Cofie-Agyeman] with his hands in the air. They put me up against a wall and then searched me but they did not find anything. They then put me in a van along with the singer. We had no idea what was going on. They just told us they had had information given to them, but would not say any more than that".

Cofie-Agyeman told the NME that he thought the whole thing "just comes down to racism", as all four members of the group are black.

A spokesperson for Staffordhire Police said in a statement on Monday: "We received a call made in good faith by council CCTV operators who said they had seen two vehicles and people acting suspiciously in a car park in High Street, Chasetown. It was in the belief - which we now know to be mistaken - that a firearm had been seen, that we sent armed officers to the scene".

They added: "Although we have yet to receive a formal and direct complaint from the men themselves, we have instigated our own review of these dynamic events. At this initial stage, we believe that the men were treated equally following their detention".

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PITBULL SUED OVER CANCELLED GIG
The El Potrero Night Club in California is suing Pitbull, after the rapper cancelled a gig at the venue just four hours before he was due on stage in May this year.

El Potrero's owners claim that they paid Pitbull $28,000 in advance, but that he pulled out after arriving at the venue and deciding that their equipment was not to his liking. I haven't seen their equipment, so I can't comment, but the folks at El Portrero clearly think it's fine, so are seeking $80,000 in damages from the rapper, according to legal papers filed in LA this week.

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LITTLE RICHARD RECOVERING FROM HIP SURGERY
Little Richard is reportedly recovering well after undergoing hip surgery last week. Despite the operation, and the fact that he'll turn 77 on Saturday, he says that he'll be back to a rigorous touring schedule "as soon as possible", telling the Associated Press that he'll be "rocking like the old days" next year.

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EUROPEAN FESTIVAL AWARDS VOTING OPENS
With the UK Festival Awards now but a distant memory, Virtual Festivals have announced that voting is now open on the event's Europe-wide counterpart, celebrating the best music festivals from across the continent.

In this first round of voting, which closes on 16 Dec, festival fans will be able to determine the events that will make it through to the shortlist for the Best Major, Best Medium, Best Small and Best New Festival categories.

From 16 Dec, shortlists for all categories will be announced, which will also open up public voting on the Best European Festival Line-Up, Best Artist Newcomer, Best Headline Artist and Anthem Of The Year categories.

All voting closes on 30 Dec, and winners will be announced at a ceremony at Eurosonic Noorderslag 2010 in the Netherlands on 13 Jan.

To cast your votes, go to: eu.virtualfestivals.com

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ALICIA KEYS ALBUM DETAILS
Alicia Keys has announced details of the delights that will be contained within her fifth album, 'The Element Of Freedom', which is due for release via Sony Music on 14 Dec. As well as duets with Beyonce and Drake, it will feature a solo version of her collaboration with Jay-Z, 'Empire State Of Mind'. Production for the record was split between Kerry 'Krucial' Brothers, Jeff Bhasker, Swizz Beatz, and Noah '40' Shebib.

Tracklist:

Element Of Freedom (Intro)
Love Is Blind
Doesn't Mean Anything
Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart
Wait Til You See My Smile
That's How Strong My Love Is
Un-thinkable (I'm Ready)
Love Is My Disease
Like The Sea
Put It In A Love Song (feat. Beyoncé)
This Bed
Distance And Time
How It Feels To Fly
Empire State Of Mind (Part II) Broken Down

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ERRORS ANNOUNCE ALBUM AND TOUR
Glaswegian electronic boys Errors have announced that they will release their second album, 'Come Down With Me', on 15 Feb via Mogwai's Rock Action label. The follow-up to their acclaimed debut, 'It's Not Something, But It Is Like Whatever', the album was produced by the band themselves in their self-built (and reputedly very cold) studio, with additional help from Steve Ward.

'Come Down With Me' will be preceded by a single, 'A Rumour In Africa', on 25 Jan, and the band will head out on tour exactly a month from that date.

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EARACHE RELEASE CLASSIC LIVE DEATH METAL DVD BOXSET
Earache have released a new limited edition boxset, which they're calling 'Death Metal Live', featuring live DVDs from Deicide, Carcass, Napalm Death and Decapitated, totalling over seven hours and 100 tracks.

The DVDs included in the box are these:

Deicide - When London Burns
Carcass - Wake Up And Smell The... Carcass
Napalm Death - The DVD
Decapitated - Live At The Rescue Rooms

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NEW LIMP BIZKIT ALBUM NAMED
Fred Durst has said that the next Limp Bizkit album will be called 'Gold Cobra' and should be out at some point next year. Take note.

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PAVEMENT ADD MORE UK AND IRELAND DATES
So, it turns out that Pavement are universally loved by everyone in the entire world, which came as something of a surprise when they announced their reunion earlier this year (although a pleasant one). Due to the massive demand for tickets, the band have now added a fourth show to their run at Brixton Academy in London, plus shows in Glasgow and Dublin.

Tour dates (newly added shows marked with an *):

4 May: Dublin, Tripod*
5 May: Glasgow, Barrowlands *
10 May: London, Brixton Academy*
11 May: London, Brixton Academy [sold out]
12 May: London, Brixton Academy [sold out]
13 May: London, Brixton Academy [sold out]
15 May: All Tomorrow's Parties [sold out]

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PENDULUM ANNOUNCE MAY TOUR DATES
Pendulum have announced tour dates for the UK and Ireland next May to coincide with the release of new album, 'Immersion'.

Mainman Rob Swire says of the album: "It's been two years in the making and I'm more excited about this record than anything we've ever done. We've been lucky enough to collaborate with some of our idols, played live alongside some of the biggest names in rock and electronic music, and finally set up a permanent studio in London. We've learnt so much during the process and this next record really does feel like a culmination of all those experiences. I'd say it's almost 'The Perfect Storm' but that shitty film with George Clooney ruined the phrase".

Tour dates:

17 May: Belfast, Ulster Hall
18 May: Dublin, Olympia
20 May: Edinburgh, Corn Exchange
21 May: Blackpool, Empress Ballroom
22 May: Doncaster, Dome
25 May: Brighton, Centre
26 May: Birmingham, Academy
28 May: London, Wembley Arena
29 May: Cardiff, Arena
30 May: Plymouth, Pavillions
31 May: Swindon, Oasis Centre

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JLS ANNOUNCE ARENA TOUR
Now, you're probably thinking to yourself: 'But JLS haven't been around long enough to play an arena tour'. And so, I think, are they, as the tour doesn't begin for a year and a day, which gives them plenty of time to build up a much bigger fanbase and have more than two songs that anyone knows. Not many more than two, but it's better than nothing.

Anyway, here are the dates:

3 Dec 2010: Liverpool Echo Arena
4 Dec: Cardiff International Arena
5 Dec:Bournemouth International Centre
7 Dec: Birmingham, LG Arena
9 Dec:London, O2 Arena
11 Dec: Nottingham, Trent FM Arena
13 Dec: Glasgow, SECC
14 Dec: Aberdeen, AECC
16 Dec: Manchester, MEN Arena
17 Dec:Sheffield Arena
18 Dec:Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena
22 Dec:London, Wembley Arena

Tickets go on sale on Saturday at 9.30am.

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ADDITIONS TO GROENING ATP
Panda Bear, The Residents, Deerhunter, Broadcast, Daniel Johnston, Amadou And Mariam, Shonen Knife and Ruins have all been added to the line up for the Matt Groening-curated edition of All Tommorow's Parties, which takes place in Mindhead next May. Tickets for this edition of ATP are still available, so if you want one you can buy one. Lovely.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Sparrow And The Workshop - Into The Wild (Distiller Records)
A mini-album of grand scope, 'Into The Wild' further builds on Sparrow And The Workshop's already solid reputation. They continue to be buoyed by the still strong nu-folk wind but don't let it completely control their direction. In fact, while there are obvious comparisons to be made with any number of mid-west country-influenced bands, frontwoman Jill O'Sullivan's Chicago-accented vocals bring to mind a rough, punk drama, seeking the companionship of PJ Harvey or Patti Smith.

Despite all this talk of America, and O'Sullivan's Chicago roots, the band are actually based in Glasgow. And so, as is often the case with bands hailing from that particular Scottish city, O'Sullivan gets some male vocal accompaniment on tracks like 'Blame It On Me' and 'Jealous Of Your Heart', in this case from bandmate Gregor Donaldson. Though the result is less twee than you might expect; there's too much of the banshee in O'Sullivan and too much of the sinner in Gregor Donaldson for Sparrow And The Workshop to make the sort of delicate ditties you'd expect from, say, Belle And Sebastian.

As with former Belle And Sebastian type Isobel Campbell, in her subsequent musical partnership with Mark Lanegan, it's the transatlantic mix that brings the greatest appeal. From Illinois to Caledonia, this is blues roots with the cynicism brought on by too many Glasgow summers. TM

Physical release: 23 Nov
Press contact: Create Spark [O]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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FORMER EMI SVP JOINS ATLANTIC
Warner Music yesterday announced the appointment of Mark Terry to the job of General Manager for Atlantic Records UK. Terry began his career within the Warner Music empire, but is better known for his time at EMI. There he rose to the role of General Manager in the major's Virgin division, before becoming SVP UK A&R for that strange phenomenon that is post-Terra Firma EMI. He left there last year.

In his new role he will oversee marketing, digital, press and creative activities at Atlantic UK, reporting to the Warner division's chairman Max Lousada, who told CMU: "Mark is a seasoned executive who brings an incredible breadth of creativity and strategic thinking to Atlantic Records UK, and whose considerable experience will be extremely valuable in helping to devise high-impact campaigns for the world-class UK and US acts on our roster".

Terry himself added: "I'm very excited to be joining Atlantic Records UK at this particular time and look forward to working alongside Max and the Atlantic team as we take the label to even greater heights".

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SPANISH INDUSTRY RALLY OVER PIRACY
The Spanish music industry was out in force yesterday to try and persuade the country's government to do more to combat the growth of online piracy, perhaps by following their counterparts in France and the UK with some sort of three-strike system forcing internet service providers to get involved in stopping the growth of the file-sharing of unlicensed music content.

As previously reported, Spain's courts have not proved very helpful in attempts by the music industry there to stop file-sharing, leading to widespread calls for a reformation of the country's copyright laws. The country's government began a review of intellectual property rules in October, which is why hundreds of musicians and music industry people protested out side the offices of Spain's Industry Minister in Madrid yesterday under the banner 'Music Is Culture. Music Is Employment', which is possibly catchier in Spanish. I hope so.

According to Billboard, the boss of Spanish record labels association Promusicae, Antonio Guisasola, said, after a meeting with said Industry Minister, Miguel Sebastian: "This is a historic day for music in Spain. This sector includes many thousands of workers and professionals. Until now we have clenched our fists in the face of increasing amounts of unpunished piracy. From this moment, a peaceful revolution begins in defence of music and its craftsmen and women, one of the great assets of this country which until now has been ignored".

Guisasola also presented Sebastian with a petition signed by 2500 music people. Sebastian's office is expected to report back on its investigations into copyright and piracy in the New Year.

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LIVE NATION EXPAND FRENCH OPERATION
Live Nation has announced plans to expand its French operations, partly by recruiting Aneglo Goppe from Paris-based promoters Nous Productions. He and his new team will be charged with the task of increasing the number of concerts staged by Live Nation in the country, involving both international and local talent.

Confirming the new French team, Live Nation's CEO of International Music, Alan Ridgeway, told CMU: "It is a pleasure to welcome this exciting young team of promoters to Live Nation. Since we entered France in 2007 ... we have seen a huge opportunity to bring more international and local concerts to music fans in Paris and the rest of France. The new team will enable us to take full advantage of these opportunities".

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SPOTIFY PASSES SIX MILLION USERS
Spotify now has six million users in six European markets, half of them in the UK, which is quite impressive. Well done, Spotify. Have a mince pie on us.

Speaking at the NOAH Conference in London this week, the firm's Shakil Khan also confirmed that the streaming music service has launches in the US, China and Germany pencilled in for 2010, and that they are in talks with TV and gaming companies about incorporating the service into web-enabled TV units and games consoles.

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7DIGITAL EXPAND INTO NORWAY AND FINLAND
Download store 7Digital continues its European expansion, pushing into the Norwegian and Finnish markets. That means the download store is now operating in sixteen countries worldwide, fourteen in Europe. Well done, 7Digital. Have a mince pie on us.

Commenting, 7Digital top man Ben Drury told CMU: "This gives us the largest international reach of any MP3 retailer. Our partners and potential clients now have the option to operate digital music promotions across the a vast number of markets, through a single partnership with us".

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APPLE ITUNES PASS GOES ALL CLASSICAL
The next iTunes Pass will be from the New York Philharmonic, which is kinda cool.

As previously reported, iTunes Pass sort of sees the Apple download store move into the subscription space, in that users pay a lump sum then receive a series of content relating to one artist over a period of time, normally including tracks, pop-promos and backstage and behind the scenes footage. New content is automatically downloaded to a Pass holder's iTunes player.

The New York Philharmonic Pass, the first on a classical theme, is much bigger and therefore quite a bit more expensive than past Pass promotions. For $150 holders will be sent 50 concert recordings, many brand new recordings still to happen. Other goodies will be thrown in along the way also.

The promotion, which has been created by independent digital distributor IODA with Apple and the orchestra, was launched at the Upper West Side branch of the Apple Store in NYC on Monday night.

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MUZU TO POWER VIDEO CHANNEL FOR THE O2
MUZU has announced a deal with the O2 Dome which will see the music video platform power a video service on the London venue's website, featuring music videos from artists due to play at the complex.

Confirming the new deal, MUZU CEO Ciaran Bollard told CMU: "We're very excited about working with The O2 and look forward to a very successful relationship. We believe MUZU.TV's syndication model is the perfect music video solution for publishers, festivals and venues. Not only can they enhance their online strategy and engage festival and concert goers all round with high-quality, fully license-cleared music videos, but they can also potentially generate new revenue streams by allowing us to monetise their own video content, as well as leveraging the proposition with their current brand relationships".

The O2 Head Of Marketing Becky Grote added: "MUZU are unique in this market having built relationships with the major music labels. This is an ultimate value add for us as we have access to approved content for artists who have been, or will appear, at The O2. We are thrilled to be entering into this relationship".

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ABC TO TIGHTEN LIVE SHOW RULES AFTER LAMBERT
US TV network ABC has announced it is reviewing live broadcasts following the recent American Music Awards, in which American Idol loser Adam Lambert outraged some with a raunchy routine which saw the openly gay singer lead two dancers around stage on leashes, kiss another man on the mouth and sort of simulate oral sex.

The President of Disney-ABC Television Group, Anne Sweeny, has said that in the future the firm will look for contractual obligations from artists performing on live shows that their routines match those delivered in rehearsal, giving producers the chance to veto any content likely to offend Middle America (which could leave live shows very sparse for content, but there you go). ABC bosses say they were unaware of the more controversial parts of Lambert's AMA routine, and he himself admitted the kiss was a spur of the moment addition to his set.

Trying to sound serious and responsible, but at the same time alleviate any fears that draconian new rules will ban artistic expression, Sweeney told reporters this week: "We certainly don't want to suppress artistry at any level, but we also have to be very cognizant of who our audience is".

Sweeny also defended ABC's decision to cancel Lambert's scheduled appearance on their live 'Good Morning America' show shortly after the AMA performance, noting that many children watch the morning news programme. That presumably means ABC bosses lacked confidence in the nearly-Idol's ability to reign in his performance for daytime TV.

'Good Morning America' producers have been criticised by some in the US gay press after it was revealed that the show would host an interview and performance from Chris Brown next week, with said media concluding ABC has less of a problem with domestic violence than two men kissing, which isn't a totally logical conclusion, though you can see their point I suppose. Of course those journalists need to remember Chris Brown had the decency to beat up Rihanna on his own time, rather than on a prime time TV show - 'don't ask, don't tell' has always been very popular in the States, remember.

When it was announced 'Good Morning America' had cancelled its Lambert booking, rival network CBS quickly got him in to perform on their 'Early Show'. And low and behold, when booked to do daytime telly it turned out the nearly-Idol could deliver a kid-friendly turn. Not that CBS's clever booking won them fans in the US gay community. While discussing Lambert's AMA routine they showed two clips, one of Lambert kissing his male dancer last month, the other of Madonna kissing Britney at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2003. But, due to the network's censorship rules, they pixelated the kiss in the former, but not the latter.

This led to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation to accuse CBS of double standards, not, as you might expect, having different rules for lesbian kissing versus gay men kissing, but having different rules between straight people kissing members of the same sex and openly gay people doing the same thing. CBS have responded, saying that the Madonna/Britney clip is less controversial because it is more familiar to viewers. Which is a pretty rubbish excuse, but there you have it.

So, still much debate around Mr Lambert, and yet still no one in authority has responded to my complaints about that horrible screeching he does when trying to hit the high notes.

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RECORD COMPLAINTS FOR OFCOM
Talking of complaints, UK media regulator OfCom has confirmed that complaints about British TV shows have doubled in the past four years.

Speaking to Parliament's Media Select Committee, OfCom boss Ed Richards said that even when you strip out complaints relating to the big telly scandals, like the Shilpa Shetty/Big Brother incident and complaints relating to all those dodgy phone-ins, the regulator was still fielding twice as many complaints as four years ago - 13,521 in 2008 compared to 6375 in 2005.

He seemed surprised by the increase and said he thought the plethora of new cable and satellite TV channels, some of which have "more edgy" programming, was the blame. Which seems to completely miss the point that we live in the age of the complainer, now that making a formal complaint is as easy as copying some text off a Facebook group and plonking it into an email. You'd think the boss of one of the UK's main complaint shops would have noticed that.

I might have to complain about his ignorance.

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MURDOCH TALKS UP SUBSCRIPTION WEBSITES SOME MORE
Rupie Murdoch has again hit out at the plethora of free content on the internet, and again stressed his belief that ultimately web-users will be persuaded to pay for access to quality news and journalism.

As much previously reported, various divisions of the Murdoch newspaper empire are currently developing plans to make their online editions subscription-based, as they and the wider newspaper industry come to terms with the decline in print sales and the fact that record online readership figures are not translating into record ad revenues.

As you may have seen, the media mogul has also been complaining of late about news aggregator services like Google News, which he reckons are generating traffic and ad revenue by nicking his newspaper's content.

Google argue that their news aggregator service is a small part of their overall operation, carries very little advertising, and in fact generates extra traffic for the Murdochs of this world, because they only publish a headline and opening line before linking people to the original story. But that's not stopped Murdoch from plotting to block his papers from appearing on Google news searches, perhaps while signing some sort of partnership deal with the uber-search engine's Microsoft-owned rival Bing.

Speaking at a Federal Trade Commission event in the US, Murdoch said newspapers would succeed in the online domain, and that that success could be achieved through subscription-based services, providing his publications give the people what they want.

According to the Guardian, the Murdoch-meister said: "From the beginning, newspapers have prospered for one reason: giving readers the news that they want. If we fail, we fail like a restaurant that makes meals that no one wants to eat".

Murdoch is convinced people do want the kind of reporting his papers offer. Noting that the subscription model is working at one of his more recent acquisitions, The Wall Street Journal, Rupie continued: "We will extend this model to all our news organisations, such as The Times in London. At The Times there are journalists who invest days and weeks into their stories, and our customers are smart enough to know that they can't get something for nothing. Producing journalism is expensive. We invest tremendous resources in our project from technology to our salaries".

Returning to the theme of Google-style aggregators, Murdoch continued: "Without us, the aggregators would have blank slides. Right now content producers have all the costs, and the aggregators enjoy [the benefits]. But the principle is clear. To paraphrase a great economist, [there is] no such thing as a free news story".

Of course some in the newspaper business are still unsure that the Wall Street Journal subscription model will work with more mainstream titles, WSJ subscribers needing the paper's content for their work, and many probably charging their subs to their employers. That said, now that the big newspapers actually have decent and popular websites I suspect there increasingly is an opportunity to get a subscription model off the ground where quality analysis and good writing is on offer, providing the right pricing models and payment systems can be honed.

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DAB RADIO SALES PASS 10 MILLION - GOOD NEWS OR BAD?
Over ten million digital radio sets - ie radios that pick up the digital audio broadcasting network - have now been sold in the UK. The DAB industry is rather pleased with this news, because in 2007 only five million had been sold. At that point DAB had been on the market for eight years, so the fact the figure has now doubled in just over two seems to show an increasing appetite for digital radio, even though some commercial radio firms have shut down their digital-only services due to disappointing listening figures and ad revenues.

As previously reported, some in the radio industry have all but given up on DAB, arguing the conventional AM and FM networks will be around much longer than originally assumed, and that in the meantime internet and satellite radio is likely to overtake DAB as the medium of choice for radio fans. Leading the criticism of digital audio broadcasting has been UTV Radio, who recently quit commercial radio trade body RadioCentre partly in a dispute over the speed with which some of their rivals - mainly Global Radio - are pushing for the conventional radio networks to be switched off.

Responding to the news that ten million DAB sets have been sold, UTV Radio MD Scott Taunton told Radio Today: "If there are still 120 million analogue radios in circulation, which industry RAJAR figures show, it means that after ten years of DAB less than ten per cent of UK radios have been converted to digital".

And that's assuming all ten million DAB radio sets are still in use. Some early-adopting gadget junkies have no doubt bought multiple units, and I know for a fact there's an unused DAB radio gathering dust here at CMU HQ.

Taunton continued: "Radio listeners have spoken. Today's disappointing DAB sales announcement is a resounding 'no' vote for the government's proposal to switch off analogue signals in 2015. Whilst cumulative sales of ten million digital sets prove that DAB is here to stay, there are 120 million analogue radios currently in circulation in the UK. At this rate of sales, it would take up to 60 years to convert them all to digital. DAB is an important platform for radio, but I hope these figures will act as an wake up call for policy makers and parliamentarians who have yet to realise that its best role is as a complementary platform for FM and AM, not a replacement".

But the Digital Radio Development Bureau have hit back at those claims. Asked to comment on Taunton's remarks by Radio Today, a spokesman said: "Scott quotes figures of 120 million analogue radios in circulation. Ofcom figures put in-home analogue radios at 46 million and in-car at 22 million used at least once a week, which makes a total of 68 million analogue radios in use. The fact remains that analogue sales have been in decline for the past year. Sales to September 2009 are nearly two million down for the same period in 2008. DAB digital radio sales, meanwhile, continue to hold steady as noted above".

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AMAZING RADIO TO STAY ON DIGITAL ONE
Talking of digital radio, unsigned band station Amazing Radio, which launched earlier this year for a six month trial on the main national DAB network Digital One, has announced it will be staying on the digital airwaves. Amazing's six month trial was up this week.

The station's founder, Paul Campbell, announced that not only would Amazing stay on DAB, but that the station would expand, with more presenters, and more genre-themed streams online. As previously reported, with the Amazing model unsigned bands upload their music to a special website, and a selection of uploaded content is aired on the station.

There has been much cynicism in some parts of the radio industry as to the viability of the station - any service offering 100% unsigned music is presumably of niche interest, and therefore less attractive to advertisers. That said, I think I'm right in saying those who upload content to the Amazing Radio website forego royalties if their music is played on the station, so that removes some of the biggest costs for most radio stations - PRS and PPL licences.

Responding to criticism of his service, Campbell said this week: "The reaction has been astounding. It's obvious the public really 'get' what we're doing and want it to succeed. But we never underestimated the difficulties of launching an innovative national radio station in the teeth of a recession - and there is unfortunately deep cynicism among some people that our ethical and innovative approach can be made to work".

Amazing Radio staying on air isn't the only bit of news to come from the Digital One network this week. With the big radio players having closed down so many of their digital-only services there's quite a lot of room on that network for independent players. With that in mind both Panjab Radio and United Christian Broadcasters UK both went on air on Digital One this week.

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THIS WEEK'S SUB.TV PLAYLIST
Hey look, people, it's the music videos that are playing this week on the Sub.tv network of video screens in students' unions all around the god darn United Kingdom of Great Britain and whatnot. New additions marked with a *. More info on all things Sub.tv from DavidLloyd@sub.tv.

A List
3OH!3 - Starstrukk (feat. Katy Perry)
Basshunter - I Promised Myself
Chuckie and LMFAO - Let The Bass Kick In Miami Girl
David Guetta feat. Estelle - One Love*
50 Cent feat Ne-Yo - Baby By Me*
Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown
Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks
Groove Armada - I Won't Kneel
Ke$ha - Tik Tok
Lady Gaga - Bad Romance*
Pixie Lott - Cry Me Out
Rihanna - Russian Roulette/Wait Your Turn
Taio Cruz - No Other One
Timbaland - Morning After Dark (feat. Nelly Furtado & SoShy)*
30 Seconds To Mars - Kings And Queens*
Wiley - Take That*

B List
Chipmunk - Look For Me
Chris Brown - I Can Transform Ya (feat. Lil Wayne)
Fool's Gold - Surprise Hotel
Kaskade vs Deadmaus - Move For Me*
Leona Lewis - Happy
Lily Allen - Who'd Have Known?
Mumford & Sons - Winter Winds
Newton Faulkner - Over And Out
Paloma Faith - Do You Want The Truth*
Passion Pit - Little Secrets*
Shakira - Did It Again
The Temper Trap - Fader*
Tiesto - Escape Me
Weezer - I Want You To*

Tip List
Bandito - Rockin' At The Disco
The Cribs - We Share The Same Skies
Esmée Denters - Admit It*
Frisco - Girls
Gallows - Misery
Hadouken! - Turn The Lights Out*
Manchester Orchestra - Shake It Out
Mini Viva - I Wish*
The Mission District - Just Don't Feel The Same
Simian Mobile Disco - Cruel Intentions

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LIL WAYNE HAS ANOTHER SON
Lil Wayne has become a father again. This is his fourth child, and his second this year, which is pretty good going. In fact he's fathered three children in the last 14 months, he really should launch his own brand of nappy, the Dwayne Diaper perhaps.

Wayne's label mate Mack Maine announced the latest birth via Twitter, it's a third son for the hip hopper, this time with singer Nivea. Actress Lauren London gave birth to another Wayne offspring back in September. A third son was born to an unknown woman last year. Before all this son fathering, Wayne had a daughter some twelve years ago with his then teenage girlfriend, subsequent short-lived wife and recent US reality TV star Antonia 'Toya' Carter.

With all those screaming babies on the block, Wayne, real name Dwayne Carter Jr, might be pleased he's likely to get jail time when he's sentenced for those previously reported gun charges in the New Year.

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WATERMAN DISSES X-FACTOR
Songwriter and producer Pete Waterman has said that music has become irrelevant on 'X-Factor', the show which morphed out of 'Pop Idol', on which he was a judge.

Asked by the NME if he was annoyed not to be involved in 'X-Factor', Waterman said: "No! No, because I was offered it and turned it down. People see these talent shows as 'the way to do it'. But they're not. Don't get fooled by 'The X-Factor'. The fundamental question is this: What do you know about music? Are you in this for music or fame? And the musical genre - pop, rock, whatever - is irrelevant here".

He added: "I'm still a cheerleader [for reality music shows] but what you've got now is not the show I was on, which was why I walked off [after] series two [of 'Pop Idol']. The cheating has taken over! It's irrelevant that there's even music on these shows".

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