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INFORMATION
Jobs
Classifieds
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Universal sue Grooveshark
In The Pop Courts
Jacko lawyer faces cut in jet-filming damages
Record companies call on courts to stop The Pirate Bay, yet again
Myleene Klass bemused at not being able to threaten people with knives
Pop Politics
MP wants music DVDs to be certified
Reunions & Splits
GNR not getting back together shocker
Artist Deals
Wall Of Sound have signed The Human League
Release News
Free Dirty Projectors single
Films & Shows News
Serafinowicz to play McCartney
Gigs & Tours News
Stephen Fry's wife arranges gig for Mind
Reviews
Album review: Various Artists - Pop Ambient 2010 (Kompakt)
Talks, Debates & Conventions
Rolling Stone's Knopper to talk record label decline at Eurosonic
The Music Business
Spanish government propose new anti-piracy laws
Content industries form European lobbying body
Guy Ritchie launches label
The Digital Business
Universal sign up to another free music service
The Media Business
Cowell confirms X-Factor US launch and American Idol departure
Disney confirm Hannah Montana to end next year
Chart Of The Day
Total Rock World Album Chart
And finally...
Cullum and Dahl wed
Too many fake sailors in London, say Delphic


 
TUESDAY 12TH JANUARY
I WAS A KING
Norwegian indie band I Was A King released their debut UK single, 'Norman Bleik', via Sonic Cathedral last November. The song is taken from the band's eponymous second album, which features collaborations with Sufjan Stevens, Danielson, Ladybug Transistor's Gary Olson, and Emil Nikolaisen from Serena Maneesh. You can buy the album with real money and hold it in you greasy hands from 1 Feb. Before that, the band are heading to the Eurosonic Noorderslag festival for a showcase gig on Thursday, 14 Jan. We spoke to main man Frode Strømstad to ask our Same Six Questions.

 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I wasn't a good enough musician to learn others' songs, so I had to make up my own.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Friends who participated to the album, and my two cats, who give me a good laugh every day. Just gotta love those furry things.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Hmm, if you mean writing a song, most of time I have to just wait around for it to appear in my head. When I actually sit down specifically to try to write a song, I normally come up with nothing.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
That changes a lot. I have a lot of favourite bands and artists that I listen to. Lately, I've been really into The Beatles, King Missile and Tall Dwarfs. Maybe that will somehow influence what will come next.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Hope you like it!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
My goal is to someday record what I can consider a 'perfect album'. I'm not there yet, but hopefully someday!

MORE>> www.iwasaking.com

 
TIPS FOR 2010: AN EXPERIMENT ON A BIRD IN THE AIR PUMP
Riding in on a wave of unrelenting drums and fuzzed-up bass, An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump are every bit as intriguing and disturbing as the eighteenth century painting they take their name from. Sparse bursts of post-punk are the order of the day, all topped off with strong vocals offered in turn by each of the band's three members, who go by the enigmatic names of C-Bird, D-Bird and X-Bird.

They've just released their latest EP, 'Buy A Life', which you should check out. But really you need to go and see them playing live for the whole thing to make any sort of real sense. Everything they do goes against convention and stamps an unforgettable mark on your musical memory. If you haven't already, this is a band that you very much need to get acquainted with this year.

www.myspace.com/
anexperimentonabirdintheairpump




 
  GET IN!, PUBLICIST
Get In! is a tried and tested PR agency based in East London serving the GLOBAL electronic dance music industry and beyond. Our expanding roster means we're looking for a Publicist to join our young and dynamic team. You'll be enthusiastic, have a least one-year's experience in PR, a real passion for and knowledge of dance music and that 'something extra' that makes you the right person for the job. An ability to write exciting, engaging copy and generate creative PR ideas is essential. This is an ideal opportunity to work with the best people in dance music. Salary negotiable depending on experience. Interested? Send a creative email explaining why you'd be a great addition to the Get In! team, along with your CV, to: jobs@getinpr.com
       
  WORLD CIRCUIT LTD, ROYALTY MANAGER
World Circuit Ltd is urgently seeking a part-time Royalty Manager. We are a small, friendly company home to the likes of world music superstars including Buena Vista Social Club®, Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate.

The successful applicant will be responsible for the accurate and timely processing of our record and publishing royalties. This crucial role is a one-day-a-week position that would suit someone with solid royalty experience and meticulous attention to detail. For more information please contact Naomi Moran on 020 7749 3222 / naomi@worldcircuit.co.uk

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  LET THE MAKERS OF CMU DO SOMETHING CREATIVE FOR YOU
UnLimited Creative is the creative services agency owned by CMU publishers UnLimited Media. We work with music and media companies, consumer brands, and other marketing and PR agencies, providing these services:

Marketing & PR: We devise and run marketing and PR campaigns, specialising in the youth and student markets, music and cultural products and marketing partnerships.

Content: We provide entertainment content to brands and media. We develop content strands. We produce original content. We manage content delivery.

Design & Print: We provide design, print and contract publishing services. We create brand identities. We design and produce websites. We produce & print marketing materials and corporate media.

Media & PR Training: We provide PR, media and music business training. We offer a menu of seminars. We develop bespoke courses. We develop out-reach training as part of CSR programmes.

To read about past projects click here. To discuss how we can help your company or project, email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
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TV company seek future corpse for Channel 4 embalming show
Chris Addison announces tour
Toby Anstis joining cast of Grease
 
Reggie swear forgiven, Gaga profanity criticised
NLA put links licence on hold pending Copyright Tribunal
Channel 4 appoints new drama commissioners
 
Edinburgh International Festival announces theme and dates
NAYO cancels Festival of British Youth Orchestras
Survey says Edinburgh Fringe chair should stay for limited time only
 

UNIVERSAL SUE GROOVESHARK
US-based Grooveshark has another bit of major label litigation to add to its collection, with the news that Universal Music has filed a lawsuit.

As previously reported, Grooveshark is a streaming music service accessed through your browser, which historically included both social networking and search engine elements in the mix in that music fans were encouraged to upload their record collections to the platform which other users could then search. The result was a very comprehensive library of tracks. Users can still upload tracks, which makes it especially friendly to new bands wanting to be featured on the platform.

The service, which has both a free-to-access ad-funded offer and a premium subscription package, does pay royalties to record companies, though the way its library was created - by users - has proven controversial and led to some allegations of copyright infringement from within the music industry.

EMI pursued a high profile litigation against the service last year, though eventually settled and entered into a licensing arrangement with the start up. Universal's lawsuit seemingly revolves in particular around its pre-1972 catalogue, and the legal claim therefore lists alleged infringement in copyrights relating to music by the likes of the Jackson Five, Buddy Holly and The Who. It's not entirely clear why the legal claim would be specifically made to protect golden oldies, except it's possible the major licenses this part of its catalogue separately.

According to Digital Music News, Universal's lawsuit says that Grooveshark pays nothing to include music by these artists on its platform. It also adds that licences are available for these artists' music should a service be willing to pay, noting that both MySpace and Rhapsody have such licences. Finally it criticises Grooveshark for not incorporating a YouTube-style content-block function onto to its platform to stop users uploading files that copyright owners do not wish to appear on the service.

Universal have confirmed their legal action, but offered little further comment. Grooveshark themselves are yet to respond at all to the new action, though they were somewhat ambivalent towards EMI's legal action even prior to a settlement being on the horizon. The service gained a lot of momentum in 2009, especially among young American music fans who currently have no access to European streaming music service Spotify. With the recent closure of Imeem, their user base can only be on the rise. All of which means it is in the music industry's interest to find a way to make the service work for all parties.

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JACKO LAWYER FACES CUT IN JET-FILMING DAMAGES
A US appeal court has overruled the $20 million in damages awarded to former Michael Jackson lawyer Mark Geragos. These damages were awarded by a lower US court in March 2008 in relation to that incident in 2003 when the owners of a private jet secretly filmed Geragos and his most famous client while in the air heading back to California to face the then brand new Gavin Arvizo child abuse allegations made against the late king of pop.

The two men who had provided the jet then unsuccessfully tried to shop the footage to news media (unsuccessfully partly because of the illegal way the footage had been obtained, but also because they failed to record any audio - what the accused and attorney were saying would have been much more interesting that what they looked like saying it).

The two men were Arvel Jett Reeves and Jeffrey Borer, and they were both subsequently found guilty of conspiracy charges, the former serving jail time. Geragos then successfully sued Borer and his company XtraJet for invasion of privacy, with the court awarding the lawyer and one of his associates a whopping $20 million in damages.

Borer's people appealed that damages payment, arguing that Geragos didn't really suffer as a result of the filming because no one other than the defendants ever saw the tape and, anyway, there was no audio. The appeal courts have now agreed that twenty million was way too much, and have told the lower court to have a rethink.

As I understand it, the appeal court has said that it is happy for Geragos and his associate to share $750,000 in damages, but if they want more than that then there'll need to be a new hearing in the lower court. Ahead of the original court hearing in 2008, Geragos' people said he was seeking $2 million in damages.

XtraJet's legal rep Lloyd Kirschbaum welcomed the appeal court ruling, telling reporters: "[The original ruling was] outstanding. You can't be damaged by a tape no one has seen".

Jackson was originally part of the invasion of privacy action, but dropped out in April 2005.

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RECORD COMPANIES CALL ON COURTS TO STOP THE PIRATE BAY, YET AGAIN
The Swedish record industry has asked the Stockholm District Court to come good with a threat to fine two of the men behind rogue BitTorrent search service The Pirate Bay.

Last October the Stockholm court said it would fine both Fredrik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg half a million Kroner each if they didn't shut down their file-sharing service. Of course another Swedish court had already ruled that The Pirate Bay's operations constituted contributory infringement, and Neij and Warg, along with former colleague Peter Sunde and financial backer Carl Lundstrom, had already been fined millions for their respective roles in providing the service.

The second action through the Stockholm courts in the Autumn was a result of the music and movie industry's frustration that, despite their victory in the combined criminal and civil case against the so called Pirate Bay Four in April, the rogue file-sharing platform was (and is) still operating. None of the four have paid the fines or served the jail time that was dished out at the end of the April trial, though that's in part because of various appeals that are in process.

A month after the October court hearing The Pirate Bay did turn off the 'tracker' part of its operation, which assisted in the BitTorrent transfer of music or movie files. However, the Bay themselves admitted that this was because technological developments meant the tracker was no longer required to enable BitTorrent file-sharing, and not because they were concerned the tracker technology was infringing copyrights. And, anyway, the record companies would argue that the search engine part of the Bay's operations, which still operates, is where the contributory infringement occurs.

Which is why the labels last week requested that the court act on its former threat and fine Neij and Warg. Whether the court will comply remains to be seen, though it is almost irrelevant given that neither of the defendants have any intent of paying any fines.

Partly because they feel that, if the can successfully appeal last April's criminal infringement judgement, then all other subsequent court rulings against the Bay could be called into question. And partly because all of Team Bay now face millions in fines but, with the exception of Lundstrom, none of them has any cash with which to pay them. Torrentfreak quote Neij, commenting with regards the ever mounting fines he faces, as saying "a few million more or less doesn't really affect me".

Neij also claims he is no longer involved in the running of The Pirate Bay and therefore couldn't turn off the service even if he wanted to. The record labels generally dispute this claim.

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MYLEENE KLASS BEMUSED AT NOT BEING ABLE TO THREATEN PEOPLE WITH KNIVES
Myleene Klass is apparently "bemused" after she was warned by police for waving a knife at youths who trespassed in her garden.

The singer turned presenter was in her kitchen when she spotted a group of teenagers on her property, and grabbed a knife and banged on her windows, which evidently encouraged the young miscreants to run away. Hertfordshire Police have informed Klass that she perpetrated an illegal act in brandishing an "offensive weapon", even though she was behind glass.

Klass's spokesman Jonathan Shalit said his client had been "utterly terrified", and added: "Myleene was aghast when she was told that the law did not allow her to defend herself at home. All she did was scream loudly and wave the knife to try and frighten them off. She is not looking to be a vigilante, and has the utmost respect for the law, but when the police explained to her that even if you're at home alone and you have an intruder, you are not allowed to protect yourself, she was bemused".

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MP WANTS MUSIC DVDS TO BE CERTIFIED
MP Andrew Dismore, parliament's biggest fan of stationery (which isn't relevant here, but is one of the more fun stats to come out of last year's expenses saga), is calling for a change to the Video Recordings Act so that all music DVDs would carry age certificates in the same way as films. Dismore also wants sports and religious DVDs - also currently exempt from age classifications - to carry the certificates.

DVDs that do not need an age certificate by law normally carry an 'E' mark - E for exempt of course. However, some DVD publishers releasing music, sport or religious content that they felt is not suitable for children may voluntarily get a 15 or 18 certificate for their releases. Dismore says that this means some parents will assume that any DVD bearing an E symbol is OK for the kids, but that is not the case. Which means a young teen might inadvertently end up watching that Cliff & The Shadows DVD that sold so well last year.

Dismore told the Telegraph: "What's happening is that responsible video companies and distributors will get an age rating for 15 or 18 releases, but some others will not. Many of these would probably be 15. The problem is that many of these are marked on shelves as 'E' for exempt and parents may see the ones that are marked responsibly and then these ones and they may automatically assume that they are OK for kids - but they're not. We don't need to catch everything - if it is just an ordinary football game or pop star it won't apply, but if it is a violent martial arts film or extreme music video, it will".

Music DVDs carrying the E symbol that have been picked out as unsuitable for the kids include Slipknot's '10th Anniversary' DVD and Motley Crue's 'Greatest Video Hits' , the former offending through violence, the second through lady nakedness.

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GNR NOT GETTING BACK TOGETHER SHOCKER
You'd think with all the badmouthing, vitriol and saying that they'll never play together again, people would get the point, but apparently "When is the classic Guns N Roses' line-up is getting back together?" is still a question worth asking.

Speaking to Q, Slash revealed that the band have been offered "eight digit" sums to perform together again, but it's not going to happen on account of Axl being a little difficult to work with. He said: "I don't think there's ever a chance of a reunion. Things were so abrasive by the time I left, I've never thought, 'Oh, wouldn't it be nice to get back together', because I know it wouldn't!"

He continued: "One of the two of us will die before a reunion. When we were on stage we were a real force together, but it got to a point off stage where it was impossible for us to even be in the same room together and create any music. So it's sad that something so good doesn't exist anymore, even though we're both still alive and on the same planet. But that's all".

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WALL OF SOUND HAVE SIGNED THE HUMAN LEAGUE
Erm, right, yeah, well, Wall Of Sound have signed The Human League.

Look, here's Phil Oakey saying so: "Emerging from a decade in which everyone seems to have spent their time looking backwards we are delighted to have the opportunity to march forwards once again and attempt to produce new and exciting music in a new and exciting partnership. After a break from recording of very nearly eight years we can't think of a better situation than working with Wall Of Sound in our ambition to make the best recordings of our career and to further extend the audience for, and the possibilities of, original electronic popular music".

And if you don't believe Phil, just look at what Wall Of Sound boss Mark Jones has been saying: "Never before have The Human League been more relevant musically than they are today. The evolution and progression of electronic popular music is what brings us together. It's an honour and inspiration to have them signed to Wall Of Sound. They say 'never work with you heroes'... but fuck that, for starters".

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FREE DIRTY PROJECTORS SINGLE
Dirty Projectors are giving away a free single on their website, featuring two previously unreleased tracks, 'Ascending Melody' and 'Emblem Of The World'. It's one of those give-email-get-download-then-unsubscribe-from-mailing-list affairs. You can also buy the single on 7" vinyl. Fancy!

More info here: www.dirtyprojectors.net

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SERAFINOWICZ TO PLAY MCCARTNEY
Peter Serafinowicz has been announced as the voice of Paul McCartney in 'Back To The Future' director Robert Zemeckis' unnecessary remake of 'Yellow Submarine'. Having appeared in shows such as 'Spaced', 'Look Around You' and his own 'Peter Serafinowicz Show', this will be the comedian's highest profile voice acting roll since he uttered Darth Maul's sole line in 'Star Wars: Episode One'.

Playing the other three Beatles will be 'Shameless' actor Dean Lennox Kelly as John Lennon, 'Robin Hood: Men In Tights' star Cary Elwes as George Harrison, and Adam Campbell, who has previously appeared in such classics as 'Date Movie' and 'Epic Movie', as Ringo Starr. The soundtrack will be provided by The Fab Four themselves, Beatles tribute band The Fab Four.

The news of Serafinowicz's casting comes just days after he announced his resignation from the BBC: www.peterserafinowicz.com/blog/bbc/

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STEPHEN FRY'S WIFE ARRANGES GIG FOR MIND
Stephen Fry's fictional wife Edna, a popular figure on Twitter, has announced she is organising a gig in March to raise money for the very excellent mental health charity Mind. Just to clarify, Edna doesn't exist, the benefit gig and charity do. Our Missing Cat, Ash XYZ , Karen Cleary, Matt Stevens, Russ Sargeant, Sweet Sweet Lies, The Danger Brothers, and Raymondstar will play at The Old Queen's Head in Islington on 11 Mar.

More info at www.frysgig.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - Pop Ambient 2010 (Kompakt)
'Ambient' has become a slightly pejorative term in recent years, a reputation garnered by endless chill out compilations for dinner parties all featuring the same safe and predictable tracks (Moby, Lemon Jelly, Zero 7, Air). Ambient wasn't always a byword for blandness or unengaging background listening though - the halcyon days of the early 90s produced some pioneering music (Global Communication, Aphex Twin of course and The Orb, who feature here), with compilations like Beyond's 'Ambient Dub' series sounding wonderfully fresh.

Curated by Kompakt's Wolfgang Voigt, the 'Pop Ambient' series - of which this is the 10th instalment - similarly showcases a selection of horizontal listening music from artists at the peak of their game. 'Pop Ambient 2010' eschews beats and bass to create a beautifully minimalist Eno-esque sound over the course of its 13 tracks, the best of which (DJ Koze's plaintive piano lament 'Bodenweich', Jürgen Paape's pulsing '864M' and Mikkel Metal's entrancing 'Blue Items', which is literally like waves lapping at the shore) represent blissful escapism without ever sounding too alien or otherworldly (not a bad thing in itself, just there's a time and place for it, and this isn't it).

Both icily cool and calmly warming, this is a perfect soundtrack for these cold, housebound days. MS

Physical release: 1 Feb
Press contact: Bang On [O]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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ROLLING STONE'S KNOPPER TO TALK RECORD LABEL DECLINE AT EUROSONIC
So, the first big music convention of the year takes place this week, kicking off on Thursday in Groningen in the Netherlands. And while Eurosonic Noorderslag has a live music slant, one of the keynote events in the conference side of the proceedings will be very much focused on the record industry. Albeit its decline.

Steve Knopper is a Contributing Editor of Rolling Stone and last year published a book called 'Appetite For Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash Of The Record Industry In The Digital Age', and that will basically be the topic of debate when he delivers a keynote address on Friday afternoon.

We asked Steve whether, despite the undeniable decline of the recordings side of the music business, he really felt the wider industry could exist without the traditional record label, in one form or another. He told CMU: "I'd say the big ones remain necessary for aspiring pop superstars. The easiest way to go from nobody to, say, Justin Timberlake, is to sign with a major label and use its connections to get you on the radio. However, the slots for this are growing few and far between, as labels lose profits due to plummeting CD sales. So most artists ought to focus on building their own fanbase using MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and the rest - without worrying about the 'brass ring' of a major label".

If you share Knopper's view point you can go shout "hear hear" at Eurosonic Noorderslag on Friday afternoon. If you're of the opinion that, despite everything, pretty much every band in the world still relies on that initial record label investment to make it, well, you should go and say so. Though only if you've already got Noorderslag conference tickets. With 2800 music business types now registered for the event, all conference tickets are bloody well sold out.

There's more on Eurosonic Noorderslag at www.theCMUwebsite.com/eurosonic2010 and at www.eurosonic-noorderslag.nl

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SPANISH GOVERNMENT PROPOSE NEW ANTI-PIRACY LAWS
The Spanish government has joined in with the new trend for European political types to announce measures to combat illegal file-sharing, so that's nice. Well, the European record industry will presumably think so, especially given the fact the Spanish courts have generally proven unhelpful in the past during various attempts by content owners to use existing copyright laws to stop the illegal distribution of content on the internet.

Like the French and UK governments, the Spanish executive are looking at ways to speed up and simplify the process for targeting internet pirates, clarifying the liabilities of those involved in the unlicensed distribution of digital content and enabling copyright owners to take action against infringers much quicker (so that legal action doesn't take years to get through the courts).

However, whereas new French and UK rules generally enable content owners to more quickly target individuals who access illegal content, the Spanish system would enable quicker action against the owners of websites or other online services that enable piracy.

Under the new proposals, approved by the Spanish cabinet last week but still to go through the country's parliament, content owners would make formal complaints about allegedly infringing websites to an Intellectual Property Commission which would report to the country's Ministry Of Culture. The Commission would investigate complaints in no more than six months, and would have the power to order the removal of infringing content or even to shut down infringing websites.

Their shut down rulings would first be considered in a short court hearing, though that would be more of a judicial review than a trial, where judges would simply consider if the Commission had followed due process, though they would also consider human rights issues and whether criminal charges should be pursued against the alleged infringer. Or something like that.

It's not clear whether the Commission would have shut down powers over sites that would be guilty of contributory rather than direct infringement - ie the LimeWires and Pirate Bays of this world, who do not actually host any infringing content but who provide the technology or infrastructure that enable others to illegally share unlicensed music and films. Presumably it would, as those are the online services which generally piss off the big content owners the most.

While Spain's new anti-piracy measures target allegedly infringing websites and online service providers, rather than individual file-sharers, the proposals are still expected to prove controversial. Opponents are already arguing the measures could be misused by politicians to enable backdoor web censorship.

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CONTENT INDUSTRIES FORM EUROPEAN LOBBYING BODY
Of course, while various European governments start to introduce tougher laws to combat online piracy, those friendly goons running the European Union have so far proven less helpful (to copyright owners, they've been rather nice to file-sharers), with some cheeky members of the European Parliament even going as far to propose European legislation that would ban three-strikes-style systems across Europe (albeit without success so far).

It's presumably with that in mind - and also with a desire to see anti-piracy measures being considered in the UK, France and Spain introduced across the continent - that various content industry trade bodies have joined together to form the not at all dull sounding European Audiovisual Social Dialogue Committee to lobby on piracy issues at a Brussels/Strasbourg level.

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GUY RITCHIE LAUNCHES LABEL
Guy Ritchie has set up a record label in partnership with Universal Music in order to offer a record deal to, erm, the in-house band at his pub, The Punchbowl. The label is called, erm, Punchbowl Recordings. The band? The Punchbowl Band. Yes, you're right, this is officially the end of the music industry.

Ritchie and Universal presumably hope the fact The Punchbowl Band appear on the soundtrack to the sort of film director's current film 'Sherlock Holmes' will help to get them some fans.

Confirming his new venture, Ritchie said this: "It's exciting to venture into the world of the music industry. It's a tough place, but I've witnessed this band connect with people first hand. They have every chance of being embraced by a wider audience and I genuinely wish them the very best of luck with their debut album".

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UNIVERSAL SIGN UP TO ANOTHER FREE MUSIC SERVICE
Universal have signed up to another ad-funded free music service, this was based in the US. The mega major recently confirmed its involvement in Aussie free music platform Guvera, which launched last month. The new deal is with US-based FreeAllMusic.com, which launched in an invite-only beta mode this week.

A statement from FreeAllMusic.com says: "Through this agreement, thousands of tracks representing many of the world's most prominent artists are being made available now in FAM's current private beta period, where users will be offered up to 20 free downloads per month, five per week, starting every New Music Tuesday". Lovely.

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COWELL CONFIRMS X-FACTOR US LAUNCH AND AMERICAN IDOL DEPARTURE
So, within minutes of us saying that Simon Cowell was evading the issue of whether or not he would stick with 'American Idol' after this year, given rumours he was going to launch a US version of 'X-Factor', Cowell stood up and addressed the issue head on. Well, maybe not within minutes, but within hours, certainly.

Yes, Cowell yesterday confirmed that he will launch a US version of 'X-Factor' in Autumn 2011, and that, as a result, he will step down as a judge on 'American Idol' after this year's season. 'X-Factor USA' will also air on Fox, the US network that broadcasts 'Idol'. It's not clear what that means for the post-Cowell 'Idol', though it airs in the first half of the year, so it is viable for Fox to air both telly talent formats.

As previously reported, Cowell last week told USA Today that he thought 'Idol' could prosper without him, saying: "Whether I'm on it or off it, I think the show will flourish without me, I genuinely do".

Confirming plans to launch 'X-Factor' stateside next year, he said yesterday: "I'm thrilled that we have put a date on the launch of the US version of 'The X-Factor', and delighted to be continuing to work with Fox. We have a fantastic relationship, a great team and are all very excited about this".

Speculation has already begun that Paula Abdul might be invited to join the judging panel on 'X-Factor USA'. She, of course, was axed from the 'Idol' panel after eight seasons last year. Cheryl Cole is also being tipped as a judge on the US version of the show.

Whether both Cowell and Cole could concurrently work on both the UK and US versions of the programme once the series is in live sing-off stage isn't clear. It would presumably involve a lot of flights across the Atlantic, so possibly depends on whether they have any environmental conscience whatsoever. Which probably means they could.

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DISNEY CONFIRM HANNAH MONTANA TO END NEXT YEAR
Disney have confirmed that 'Hannah Montana', their TV series about a high school student leading a secret life as a pop star. is to end in 2011. The show, which made a real life pop star out of Miley Cyrus when it launched in 2006, will end with a big one hour special.

Disney Channel's Adam Bonnett told the New York Post: "You never know in this business... but right now we're scheduled to wrap after shooting". Which is good news. Now, if Disney would only erase 'High School Musical' from history, then I'd be happy. Almost.

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TOTAL ROCK WORLD ALBUM CHART
It's this week's Total Rock World Album Chart, as counted down on Total Rock last weekend - www.totalrock.com. New entries and re-entries marked with a *.

1. Bon Jovi - The Circle (Universal/Mercury)
2. Muse - The Resistance (Warner Bros)
3. Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures (Sony Music)
4. Foo Fighters - Greatest Hits (Sony Music)
5. Nickelback - Dark Horse (Warner/Roadrunner)
6. Queen - Absolute Greatest (EMI)
7. Thirty Seconds To Mars - This Is War (EMI/Virgin)
8. Paramore - Brand New Eyes (Warner/Atlantic)
9. Pearl Jam - Backspacer (Universal)
10. Fleetwood Mac - The Very Best Of (Warner Bros)
11. Creed - Full Circle (EMI/Virgin)
12. AC/DC - Backtracks (Sony Music)
13. Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To Blue (EMI/Parlophone)
14. Daughtry - Leave This Town (Sony Music)
15. Billy Talent - III (Warner/Atlantic)
16. Kiss - Sonic Boom (Warner/Roadrunner)
17. Mudvayne - Mudvayne (Sony Music)*
18. Slayer - World Painted Blood (Sony Music)
19. Motley Crue - Greatest Hits (Seven Eleven Music)
20. Flyleaf - Memento Mori (Sony Music)*

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CULLUM AND DAHL WED
Jamie Cullum and model Sophie Dahl got married at a secret ceremony last weekend. Apparently Cullum performed for guests at the ceremony. You can put your own derogatory gag in here.

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TOO MANY FAKE SAILORS IN LONDON, SAY DELPHIC
Manchester-based Delphic won't be moving to London any time soon. Not until everyone stops being so bloody pretentious, anyway.

Speaking to The Mirror, the band's Richard Boardman said: "When we did our first gig in London the audience were posing, all dressed up as sailors or something, looking like idiots. We knew then that we didn't want to live there. I don't think bands need to be based in London any more".

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