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CMU Info
Top Stories
MP3 blogs on Blogger shut down over DMCA concerns
Warner not pulling content from Spotify
Air Force songwriter apologises to White Stripes
In The Pop Courts
Gallagher won't face attacker
Awards & Contests
MPG Awards tonight - hurrah
Reunions & Splits
Sole quits anticon
JD Fortune to appear at INXS Olympic gig
In The Studio
Rival Schools mixed by Beastie Boy
Release News
Rhythms del Mundo release album in aid of Haiti
Festival News
Bonnaroo announces initial line-up
Album review: fanshaw - Dark Eyes (Mint Records)
Talks, Debates & Conventions
Steve Levine to speak at City Showcase March session
The Music Business
Live Music Bill moves to the Commons
Ministry appointments
The Digital Business
MySpace CEO sacked
EMI do deal with Dailymotion
Chart Of The Day
This week's Student Radio Chart
And finally...
John Mayer apologises for N word and ex revelations
Lil Wayne stockpiles music videos

Archangel is the brainchild of west Londoner Nick Webber, who is a true one man band, having spent a year and a half recording "the soundtrack of his life", and handling the songwriting, production, vocal, guitar, piano, keyboard, synth-bass and percussion in the process. Drawing influences from sources as wide ranging as Arcade Fire, Kraftwerk, Motown and PJ Harvey, Webber's sound has been likened to Roxy Music and Bowie. With his new single 'Loud And Clear' out this week, we caught up with Nick to ask the Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
With a load of old cushions and some wooden spoons drumming along to Duran Duran records. Not cool but, hey... Nearly all of my family are, if not professional musicians, very musical. So it was always going to play a large part in my life. But I didn't actually start writing until I was thirteen when I was playing chopsticks badly on the piano and hit a C minor 7 chord - with it came an epiphany. Two minutes later my first song, albeit pants, had been written and I never looked back.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
'Loud And Clear' was inspired by splitting up with someone or something. I find the old ones are still the best in terms of themes. Like most of my lyrics, the words are deliberately quite abstract so it's not specific to just myself. Egos we all have, but I like the idea of someone hearing something which they can directly place themselves in the middle of, removing the writer. That said, whenever I hear that song, I think of three things that I had 'lost' at the time of writing. One of which was the chap who I co-wrote it with. He's still my best friend and we write from time to time, but it was the end of that era for us. The other two remain private, which is the way it should be.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
I go through every process imaginable - from white hot elation to nearly jumping off a bridge - when putting together a track. Normally I write, perform, sing, record and mix the whole thing on my own so it's a question of hats most of the time. Are you wearing your writer's hat, producer's hat, singer's hat, or all three? As in life, if you wear three hats at once you tend to look like a fool so it's important to wear one at a time.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Bowie (for misery and madness), Arcade Fire (also for misery and romance), Maurice Ravel (for sheer colour), The Beatles, DJ Shadow, Luke Vibert's Big Soup, PJ Harvey, Ron Goodwin, William Walton, bits of My Family, early Elton John ('Benny And The Jets'... seriously), The Police and Steve Reich (early works and 'Music For 18 Musicians'). Loads, in other words, and more I've forgotten. Reads like the thanks page off an album sleeve. Never mind, you get the idea.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Think of your place in the world and whether it has meaning. Think of the person you are with. The person you are without. The good you've done. The harm you've done. The silly ideas you have. The humour of it all, and if you have any? The guilt you carry and the bags you drop. The fun to be had and the impossibility of having it, sometimes. But, for all that, being you; flawed as humans can be, an idiot as all human beings sometimes are, and knowing that it's all rather silly if you think about it too much, especially like now, typing what I just did. You get the idea - my music is up, down, left and right.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single, and for the future?
I'm not sure, to be honest, what my ambitions are. I know and I don't. Agnostic perhaps! Yes - there you go! It would be fabulous to have a career writing and singing, but in a world where music has had the rug taken from under its feet, I don't know what sort of career anyone has in this industry anymore. I am no luddite about change, though, and maybe it's good in some way what's happened. After all I wouldn't be doing this Q&A interview if it weren't for the web! I love to make albums, and will always do so. If enough people like 'Loud And Clear' and come to see my shows, then I'll be able to get this record out and get to work on the next in earnest. I have started writing for it. Short answer: To be able to do what I do now, always, forever.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/archangelmusic, plus read Archangel's full answers here.

You've already heard 21 year old singer-songwriter Florrie Arnold on tracks like Girls Aloud's 'The Promise' and Alesha Dixon's 'The Boy Does Nothing', it's just that it was as the drummer in Xenomania's house band, JFK. But now she's stepping up front herself. The first sniff of her own songs arrived as a free download via her website yesterday with a Fred Falke remix of a track called 'Call 911'.

Obviously, it's difficult to judge a new pop star on one remix (well, we have heard another half-finished demo, but let's just stick with complete tracks for now), but that Xenomania stamp shines through clearly underneath Falke's jiggery pokery. Her vocals are good, too. Strong without too much affectation, and with a similar tone to that of Little Boots. In the unlikely event that she turns out to be one of the production team's few misfires, this track is certainly a keeper.


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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Theatre Royal Haymarket plans site-specific piece
Nash quits Young Vic after just three months
Wallace and Richie to return to EastEnders
Implications of digital switchover on student radio
Jolie/Pitt sue NOTW
BBC respond to 6music closure rumours
Southbank Centre launches Latin festival
Merton criticises film festival for allegedly dropping him
Zellweger to judge at Berlin Film Festival

Key to Google's defence in the Viacom v YouTube case, should the MTV owner's copyright infringement lawsuit against the video site ever actually get to court, will be that the search firm and its video sharing offshoot religiously respond to all and any take-down notices issued to it by US content owners under the take-down provisions of America's Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Proactively responding to such notices, they shall argue, absolves them of any liability for any copyright infringing activity their users might undertake, even if infringing content is available via a Google-powered website for a short time before the take-down notice is issued and actioned.

And it's true, Google are among the most proactive when it comes to actioning legitimate take-down notices - something that has started to cause some tricky PR dilemmas for the web firm of late with regards Blogger, the Google-owned blogging platform. Especially now, as a number of prolific music bloggers are accusing Google of turning off their blogs overnight, with no warning, on copyright grounds.

It seems Blogger updated its terms and conditions regarding DMCA take-down notices, relating to blogs it hosts, last summer, which has resulted in the Google blog platform becoming more rigorous in its response to such notices. The service says that normally it will set a blog post containing allegedly infringing content (most likely a link to an unlicensed MP3 or video file) to 'draft status' so it is not publicly accessible, and then send an email to the blogger alerting them to the infringement claim. The blogger can then either appeal the take-down notice or remove the post.

However, where multiple take-down notices are issued against one blog, and the blogger doesn't seem to be appropriately responding to email alerts about infringement, Google retain the right to shut that blog down. It seems that six months on from the new rules being introduced, the shut downs have now begun, which is why there is suddenly so much chatter about Blogger and DMCA take-down notices this week.

Among the US music blogs to have been affected so far are Pop Tarts Suck Toasted, Living Ears, It's A Rap, Masalacism, To Die By Your Side and I Rock Cleveland. Despite Blogger saying bloggers targeted by take-downs can appeal the copyright notices, I Rock Cleveland's Bill Lipold says his efforts to convince the Google platform that his posting of MP3s to his blog was totally legit and artist-endorsed were unsuccessful.

He told Cleveland newspaper The Plain Dealer: "It's difficult to get across ... that there's a difference between someone working with the blessings of the artists and the labels and someone who leaks Bruce Springsteen's entire discography. They don't see the distinction between someone who's adding value and someone who's facilitating piracy. That goes to the root of this whole mess".

Of course, it is tricky for Google. As a multi-billion dollar enterprise they are entirely worth suing if any content owner genuinely thought they were failing to fulfil their obligations under the DMCA.

And you can sort of see why they wouldn't want to be anything other than the delivery boy when it comes to DMCA take-down notices, given that it's not entirely unknown for one part of record company to ask a blogger to plug an artist by posting an MP3 on their site, and then for another part of the same record company to cry "copyright infringement". And that's before you even consider the grey area with regards publishing royalties when record labels give away MP3s via blogs and other media as a promotional tool. Google would much rather Lipold dispute take-down notices issued against him through the formal channels rather than having to mediate in a "but what about the promotional value" debate.

There was some chatter to the effect that when Blogger blogs like those mentioned above were shut down, a blog's owner lost access to his or her own content - ie their own intellectual property - though it seems it is possible for affected bloggers to reclaim their own work, though whether comments and the like are included, I don't know. Certainly at least one of the shut down blogs has managed to resurrect their site on another server, and it looks likely the others will follow suit.

Which is, of course, what will be the actual result of Google being responsible copyright citizens - any bloggers posting MP3s, even those doing so entirely legitimately, will quickly sign up to rival blogging platforms, or set up blogs on their own servers using Wordpress or similar blogging technology.

I've no idea how it would work, but I suspect everyone could benefit from some sort of record industry-led system whereby legitimate bloggers - especially those blogging entirely without financial reward - could get some sort of certificate that says this is a blogger who only posts MP3s where permission has been specifically granted, and therefore deserves the benefit of the doubt when take-down notices arrive.

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Providing a fine example of Chinese whispers in the internet age, those previously reported comments by Warner Music chief Edgar Bronfman Jr expressing some caution towards the growth of totally free on demand streaming services - especially in the US - had been converted into "Warner Music to pull content from Spotify" headlines by last night.

The BBC headlining its coverage of Bronfman's comments with "Warner retreats from free music streaming" contributed in no small part to the misinterpretation of the Warner man's remarks, even though the BBC article did stress "it is not clear whether Warner will remove its music from existing services or decline to do deals with new outlets".

Though taking Bronfman's comments in the context in which they were given earlier this week - ie in a conversation very much focused on the US market, where Spotify is yet to launch - the latter interpretation of his remarks seemed far more logical. And indeed even as the "no more Warner on Spotify" message were circulating on Twitter, a spokesman for the major label had already confirmed to the Guardian that Bronfman's comments would not affect its existing deals with free streaming services, and in particular Spotify in Europe.

Spotify themselves subsequently tweeted: "To be clear WMG is not pulling out of Spotify. Media is taking things out of context. So don't worry-be happy :)".

Bronfman was really airing concerns expressed by a number of US record label execs that, because pay-to-use unlimited streaming services have had more success in signing up subscribers in the US than in Europe, there is more risk attached to Spotify launching its popular free-to-use streaming player there, because it could result in a mass exodus from the existing services that are generating more secure revenues for the record industry than that that can be assured from ad sales. It could also have a negative impact on services like Pandora - who offer free streaming but with limited functionality - and whose ad-funded business model is just about starting to work for all parties.

Of course, others would argue that only by launching ad-funded services like free-Spotify does the record industry have any hope of converting the file-sharing community into users of legitimate music platforms.

Plus, Spotify is probably a bigger threat to music radio than it is to iTunes-style a la carte download stores, and given the record labels don't currently earn any royalties from analogue radio stations in the US, they have nothing to lose from converting radio listeners into Spotify users (though the music publishers - who do get royalties from radio - might not agree).

And, of course, Spotify themselves would argue that while their free service is more compelling than most of their rivals' pay-to-use options, the premium service they are developing is so flippin marvellous, they can still convert freebie Spotify users into ten-pound-a-month premium service customers over time. And as equity holders in the Swedish streaming music firm, Warner et al have a vested interest in helping make that happen.

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The musician who wrote the music for that US Air Force advert, aired during the Superbowl last weekend, has issued an apology to The White Stripes after the duo complained that it sounded very similar to their song 'Fell In Love With A Girl'. Actually, their complaint was that it was just an instrumental version of that song, but songwriter Kem Kraft says the similarity is entirely unintentional.

As previously reported, The White Stripes issued a statement this week, in which they said: "We believe our song was re-recorded and used without permission of The White Stripes, our publishers, label or management. The White Stripes take strong insult and objection to the Air Force Reserves presenting this advert with the implication that we licensed one of our songs to encourage recruitment during a war that we do not support".

However, Kraft told The New York Times yesterday: "I'm sorry it sounds the same. It wasn't my intention, truly, truly, truly. [If they] want to call me and talk to me, as far as I'm concerned, I'm responsible for this. Just me. I'm pretty much a one-man band here. It doesn't have anything to do with the Air Force. They didn't know anything, and I didn't know anything either".

Reiterating this, Mike Lee, the owner of Fast Forward Productions, who made the advert, said: "We went back and forth on the song several times. We changed stuff quite a bit, just to match the tempo of how I cut it together. I wasn't familiar with the White Stripes song. I've heard of the White Stripes but I'm not a listener of theirs. I had no idea there was similarity until after the fact".

The White Stripes are yet to respond to these comments.

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Noel Gallagher will now not, as had been previously reported, appear in court to face the man who attacked him on stage at the Canadian V Festival in October 2008, leaving the Oasis guitarist with various injuries with led to the cancellation of a number of the band's subsequent shows.

As previously reported, Daniel Sullivan has pleaded guilty to the attack. However, his sentencing, which was due to happen last week, was delayed after the prosecution learned that Gallagher wanted to give a statement in person. Prosecutors asked for the sentencing to be postponed so such a thing could be arranged. The defence argued such a postponement was unfair given Sullivan had pleaded guilty to the crime, and he was now in a nervous state while waiting to learn his fate. But the judge said that while he sympathised with the defendant, he had a duty to err to favouring the victim's wishes over those of the accused.

But yesterday Sullivan's final hearing was rescheduled for 23 Mar after it became clear getting Gallagher into court wasn't going to be easy. Prosecutor Ruth Kleinhenz-Neilson told the Toronto Star that Gallagher's appearance had been cancelled due to scheduling difficulties and concerns that it would lead to a media circus. Defence lawyer John Collins told the Toronto Star that the delays were "frustrating".

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Tonight sees CMU's very favourite awards ceremony take over the Café de Paris in London - yes, it's the second ever Music Producers Guild Awards, celebrating the all too often unsung heroes of the record industry, the ones with the skills to transform shitty indie bands and mediocre karaoke stars into awe-inspiring recording artists. Hurrah for the music producer.

Among the fourteen awards to be presented will be a lifetime achievement gong for Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, a posthumous innovation award for the late great Les Paul and the first BRIT Award of the year, for Best Producer, up for which are Jim Abbiss, Paul Epworth, Ethan Johns and Steve Lillywhite.

Commenting on this year's event, MPG chair Steve Levine told CMU: "The Music Producers Guild Awards may only be in their second year but they have already made a huge impact and are attracting a lot of attention from the entire music industry. Tickets have sold out and we've had plenty of interest from artists who plan to come along on the night to support the producers they have worked with during the year".

He continued: "We're really thrilled that these awards give recording professionals the credit they deserve. And it's great the our Producer Of The Year also wins a BRIT Award for Best Producer - this association indicates just how much the industry values the role of the recording professional and how important it is that our voice is heard".

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Rapper and co-founder of Californian indie-label-collective anticon, Sole, aka Tim Holland, has announced that he is leaving the label after more than eleven years. He will now release all future music through his own official website, with the backing of Black Canyon Records.

Writing on his blog, Sole said: "Leaving the company was not an easy decision, but it was made necessary by a number of factors. Upon returning to the States from a two year exile in Spain, I found myself increasingly at odds with the business end of anticon and began doing more DIY work via soleone.org. Running my own website and taking a more hands on approach with my art has always brought me great satisfaction and it is what I am choosing to return to. There are no ill feelings between myself and members of anticon. I will continue to work with many of the artists and will always love them as brothers and consider them allies. This is a decision to change the way my music will be exploited and adapt to shifting paradigms".

Commenting on the state of the music industry at large, he continued: "The music industry isn't just dying, but what it means to be a recording artist is changing. Technology is making everything cheap, and cheapening everything it touches. Soon the old ways of selling records will be a distant memory, along with magazines, working musicians and employed blue-collar dads. It's not a time to cry about the recession, or urge people to go to their local mom and pops and pick up the new Sole & The band LP. Technology is working its magic, and instead of being a passenger on its ship, I have decided to plot a new course for myself".

To accommodate this new business direction, Sole's website - www.soleone.org - will be relaunched next month.

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The original INXS guys seem to be on talking terms with their one time frontman JD Fortune again - or, at least, he is due to appear with them at their gig alongside the Winter Olympics in Vancouver later this month.

As previously reported, Fortune, who won the frontman role in INXS via a reality TV show, publicly complained that after the band's last tour he was unceremoniously dropped during a conversation at an airport. But the band's management denied any such dropping had occurred, though added that the rest of the band weren't very impressed by Fortune's comments and were considering finding a new singer as a result. Fortune, meanwhile, complained he was penniless having poured all his money into a solo album, and was living out of his car.

It's thought Fortune will only make a cameo appearance at the Olympics show, which may well involve a number of singers, given the rest of INXS are reportedly working on a tribute album to original frontman Michael Hutchence featuring The Killers' Brandon Flowers and Matchbox 20's Rob Thomas among several others.

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Walter Schreifels, guitarist with post-hardcore outfit Rival Schools, has revealed that Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, aka Ad-Rock, has mixed a track for his band's upcoming second album, which may end up being a single too. As previously reported, Rival Schools reformed in 2008, and announced last August that they were working on the follow-up to their 2001 debut album 'United By Fate', which is due for release this year.

Schreifels told Rock Sound: "Sam [Siegler, drums] plays basketball with Adam and he said, 'Hey, will you mix a song?' and Adam said yes. It could go on the album, it depends how good the mix is. It might just be interesting because Ad-Rock did it, or it could be brilliant! I think he's a talent, but I haven't heard it. It's cool that he's doing it - he sent me an email saying he had an idea for it. It's called '69 Guns' and we're thinking of it as a single. I have no idea what a single is these days but it's got a good beat and, y'know, it could be played at a rock disco".

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The people behind the 2006 'Rhythms Del Mundo' album, which saw US and UK rock and indie tracks getting a quirky rework by a group of Cuban musicians, have digitally released a new album in aid of the Haiti earthquake relief effort, featuring versions of the following tracks with a Cuban vibe added:

Bob Dylan - A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall
Coldplay & Lele - Clocks/Relojes
Green Day - I Fought The Law
Radiohead - High & Dry
Wyclef Jean & The Fugees - Stayin Alive
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc
U2 - What's Going On (Reprise)
KT Tunstall - Somebody To Love
Franz Ferdinand - The Dark Of The Matinee
Shanade - Chain Of Fools
Augusto Enriquez - Under The Boardwalk
Bebe - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Shakira & Vania - Whenever, Wherever

You can download the album in return for a donation toward the Haiti relief effort at this URL: www.apeuk.org/haiti.

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US festival Bonnaroo has announced its initial line-up for the 2010 edition of the event, which takes place in Manchester, Tennessee from 10-13 Jun.

Amongst those playing will be Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, Kings Of Leon, Dave Matthews Band, Weezer, The Flaming Lips (performing their version of Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side Of The Moon'), The Dead Weather, Damian Marley & Nas, Regina Spektor, Jimmy Cliff, LCD Soundsystem, Tori Amos, The xx, The Melvins, Miike Snow, They Might Be Giants, Isis, OK Go, The Temper Trap, and Mumford & Sons.

More information at www.myspace.com/bonnaroo

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ALBUM REVIEW: fanshaw - Dark Eyes (Mint Records)
The awkwardly-cased (curse you, artists with no respect for capitalisation!) fanshaw has some pedigree to live up to. Her Vancouver home has given us rapturous Canadian pop like New Pornographers and such revelatory prog as Black Mountain, and her own musical adventures have seen her spend time as part of The Choir Practice - a ramshackle collective of uplifting spirits whose member list reads like a slightly less successful Broken Social Scene.

Nevertheless, the first solo album from Olivia Fetherstonhaugh (as her birth certificate would say) arrives free from fanfare or fireworks, offering something of simple melancholy, but sadly not much else. Whereas The xx managed to bring genuine fear and beauty into echoing riffs and processed, low-key rhythms, in 'Dark Eyes' fanshaw follows similar patterns but never breaks from an insulating monotony.

There's solitude and confinement in each distant, underplayed note, as these nine tracks prove to be as sparse and abstract as their typically one word titles. 'O Sailor' is more interesting than the rest, but over all this is a record lacking the bombast or joy of other modern Canadian efforts like Neko Case or Feist; teasing but rarely tempting. TM

Physical release: 8 Mar
Press Contact: Mint Records IH [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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Organisers of the City Showcase are staging new regular events at the Apple Store in London, and the next one on 23 Feb will see renowned record producer Steve Levine (who has worked with the likes of Culture Club, China Crisis and Motorhead) talking about the production and writing process, as well as presenting his latest band, Patch William. The session will take place in the Apple shop that day at 7pm.

The main City Showcase festival takes place in London from 6-8 May, much more on that nearer the time I expect. Meanwhile artists interested in putting themselves forward to play the event can do so via www.cityshowcase.com or www.sonicbids.com.

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The Lib Dem's main culture spokesman Don Foster has agreed to represent the previously reported Live Music Bill, being championed by liberal lord Tim Clement-Jones, in the House Of Commons.

As previously reported, the private members bill, which proposes a load of industry-supported changes to the 2003 Licensing Act regarding the staging of live music in smaller venues, has been working its way through the House Of Lords. It was passed by them on Tuesday, and presented to the Commons on the same day, with Foster agreeing to promote the proposals to the elected chamber.

The Bill should get a proper hearing in the Commons in March. It's unusual for private member's bills to actually become law, given the government - who have already rejected some of Clement-Jones' proposals following its own review of licensing rules - have the automatic majority vote in the Commons.

And, of course, this, like the Digital Economy Bill, which has also been working its way through the Lords recently, is on a very tight deadline before Gordie Brown calls a General Election and parliament shuts down for the big vote. Though it is conceivable some of the Live Music Bill might be included in the pre-Election wheeling and dealing that goes on in parliament as the government quickly tries to get legislation through before being banished to the opposition benches.

Meanwhile, ahead of Tuesday's passing of the Bill by the Lords, Clement-Jones told CMU: "The government's stubborn refusal to accept the recommendations of the Culture, Media And Sport [parliamentary] Select Committee that licensing be relaxed for live music is short-sighted and illiberal. Live music used to be at the core of our society. But it's harder for someone to play the piano in a bar now than it was in 1899. We should be supporting small venues not strangling them with red tape. More live music in our pubs would mean more punters and fewer pubs closing. My bill is the only chance to change the law before the General Election and breathe new life in to the live music scene. I challenge the government to explain why they will not support it".

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Ministry Of Sound Group chief Lohan Presencer yesterday announced the promotion of two long-standing MoS execs to the role of Joint Group Managing Director - Duncan Collins and Iain Hagger.

Look, here he is doing the announcing: "I am delighted to make both of these appointments. I have worked with both Duncan and Iain for over ten years, during which time they have both risen through the company, creating and developing new business every step of the way. Duncan will be more focused on the commercial aspects of our recordings business and Iain on broader group creative and marketing issues. I look forward to working closely with them in these new roles".

In the same briefing Presencer announced that Andrea Gibbs had been promoted to the job of Licensing Director, having also been with the music and clubbing firm for over ten years.

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Hmm, what's more assured do you think, that EMI Warner will exist by Christmas, or that MySpace won't? The struggling social networking firm has just fired its CEO Owen Van Natta, just a few weeks after he told MIDEM how well everything was going at the Rupert Murdoch-owned web firm.

I say "fired", speculation is rife as to why Van Natta has suddenly departed MySpace without a new job to go to or a replacement lined up to succeed him. Rumour has it the CEO - brought in to replace MySpace founder Chris DeWolfe after the social networking company's last boardroom shake up in April - was the victim of collusions between the firm's Chief Product Officer Jason Hirschhorn and the digital media chief at parent company NewsCorp, Jon Miller. It's said Van Natta never got on especially well with either Hirschhorn or Miller, and in his efforts to get the latter to fire the former he himself got fired.

Although no new CEO will be appointed, Hirschhorn becomes Co-President with the company's COO Mike Jones, both of who will report straight to Miller.

PaidContent have published an internal memo from Miller telling MySpace staff about Van Natta's departure, which says the CEO's axing won't result in any change in the strategic direction of the web firm, which has been busy repositioning itself as a content access and sharing platform rather than a social networking community on a level with Bebo or Facebook.

It reads: "While this may be a surprising turn of events for some of you, I am absolutely confident that this change is best for all parties involved and - most importantly - the MySpace business. Owen took on an incredible challenge in assuming leadership of MySpace during a difficult period. He has worked to refocus and revitalise the company, and I believe MySpace is pointed in the right direction and gaining valuable momentum - we added over 1.5 million users and grew significantly in time spent last month - as a result of many of his efforts".

It continues: "However, in discussing with Owen his priorities for the future both personally and professionally, we both agreed that it was best that he step down at this time. I am grateful to Owen for his hard work, and I ask that you join me in wishing him well in the future. His departure is effective immediately, as are the appointments of both Mike and Jason".

MySpace Music, headed up by Courtney Holt, doesn't seem likely to be overly affected by Van Natta's departure. Given that some reckon that MySpace is likely, at some point, to shut down all but its music operations, it's possible the overall CEO role will remain unfilled for the time being so that Holt can take on the overall top job when that happens. Some, including Hypebot, wonder if NewsCorp wouldn't have been better advised to but Holt in charge now.

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EMI have signed a deal with Paris-based YouTube rival Dailymotion, which will see the major label provide a range of video-based content for access via the video site and its mobile platform. The record company will earn off ads posted alongside their content. Dailymotion already have licensing deals in place with Universal Music and indie label distributor The Orchard.

EMI digital man Mark Piibe told CMU: "Dailymotion offers the value of a powerful, new environment where our artists can showcase their work and create deeper relationships with fans. It allows consumers to watch music videos by their favourites artists at any time on the screen of their choice".

Dailymotion's Joy Marcus added: "EMI and Dailymotion are delivering what our large audience of music lovers truly want - to watch the music videos they love on their screen of choice. We are delighted to be adding EMI to our strong roster of music partners including Universal Music Group and The Orchard".

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The songs most rated by student radio stations around the UK. The Student Radio Chart is compiled by the Student Radio Association and aired on student stations across the country, hosted by a different affiliated station each week. More at www.studentradio.org.uk/chart

1. Ellie Goulding - Starry Eyed
2. Iyaz - Replay
3. Owl City - Fireflies
4. 3OH!3 feat Katy Perry - Starstrukk
5. Alexandra Burke - Broken Heels
6. Groove Armada - Paper Romance
7. Plan B - Stay Too Long
8. Vampire Weekend - Cousins
9. Ke$ha - Tik Tok
10. Example - Won't Go Quietly
11. Hot Chip - One Life Stand
12. Biffy Clyro - Many Of Horror
13. Lady Gaga - Telephone
14. Deadmau5 vs Kaskade - Move For Me
15. Marina & The Diamonds - Hollywood
16. Animal Kingdom - Two By Two
17. Sidney Samson - Riverside (Let's Go)
18. Teenagers In Tokyo - Peter Pan
19. Jamie T - The Man's Machine
20. Calvin Harris - You Used To Hold Me

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John Mayer has had to apologise after using the 'nigger' word in an interview with Playboy. The American singer-songwriter come guitar man was being asked about his popularity among the black community, and he revealed that someone had recently asked him how it felt to have a "hood pass", ie to be so popular among the black population that he had a "pass" to hang out in the "hood". Mayer observed that if he really did have a 'hood pass' he'd be calling it a 'nigger pass'.

He told the mag: "Someone asked me the other day, 'What does it feel like now to have a hood pass?' And by the way, it's sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a nigger pass. But I said, 'I can't really have a hood pass. I've never walked into a restaurant, asked for a table and been told, 'We're full'".

The interview also included some very frank remarks about his former girlfriends Jennifer Anniston (who apparently longs for it to be 1998 again, back when she was uber-famous) and Jessica Simpson (she's "sexual napalm", apparently), and included the revelation that Mayer didn't date black girls because his penis is "a white supremacist".

Responding to the chatter that had been caused by the interview, Mayer tweeted on Wednesday that he needs to stop "trying to be so raw in interviews", adding he wants to be just "a blues guitar player, and a singer, and a songwriter, not a shock jock. I don't have the stomach for it".

On his use of the word nigger, he added: "It's such a shame that I did [that] because the point I was trying to make was in the exact opposite spirit of the word itself. It was arrogant of me to think I could intellectualise using it, because I realise that there's no intellectualising a word that is so emotionally charged".

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It's an age old problem: what do you do when a pesky prison sentence gets in the way of your promotional schedule? In Lil Wayne's case, he spent what he thought was his final weekend of freedom shooting nine music videos, including one for an as-yet-untitled track from his next album, 'Tha Carter IV'. As it turned out, of course, Wayne's sentencing on Tuesday for gun crimes was put back to March so that he could seek dental treatment. So he could probably shoot a few more, if he so wished.

Director David Rousseau told MTV prior to the sentencing delay: "We shot some shit from the ['We Are Young Money' compilation] album, we shot something from 'Tha Carter IV'. Some stuff from [the recently released] 'Rebirth'. We knew what our deadline was. We're trying to get maximum coverage for Wayne. Most of the time we only shot Wayne's verses - we'll finish the rest of the videos off in the next couple of weeks".

Explaining Wayne's label Cash Money's decision to commission the videos, he continued: "Everybody is on board because everybody knows what's at stake. Unlike TI and some of these other guys that's disappeared while they were in [prison], the point is to keep Wayne on TV and everything for whatever time he's in. There was a plan in action. [Cash Money bosses Ronald 'Slim' and Bryan 'Baby' Williams] really could foresee that. He's at the height of his career, you can't let that momentum slip".

Hence why they made a start working on a video for a track on 'Tha Carter IV'. The album had been scheduled for release later this year, but is now expected to be released shortly after Wayne leaves prison next year. The track and its video will presumably kick off the promotional campaign for that while he's still inside.

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Georgina Stone
Editorial Assistant
Owen Smith
Approval Officer
Paul Vig
Club Tipper

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