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INFORMATION
Jobs ads
Classifieds
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
English Heritage call for Abbey Road to be saved
Jay-Z says record companies need to be smarter
In The Pop Courts
Murray to change story over Jacko death
Chris Brown commended by LA judge
Artist Deals
Bieber does publishing deal with Universal
In The Studio
Kylie album "not for the faint-hearted"
Friendly Fires working on album #2
Release News
Cancer Bats announce new album with Beasties cover
Gigs & Tours News
Danny dates
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Reviews
Album review: Spoon - Transference (Anti-)
The Music Business
FTC publishes Ticketmaster/Springsteen report
Ministry down on developers planning flats next to superclub
Chrysalis upbeat with current financial report
Public Enemy fan funding figure falls
Lib Dem lord asks questions about government's live music report
The Media Business
BBC 4 plan evening of Beach Boys programmes
And finally...
Elton John says Jesus was gay
Star journo accuses Jay-Z of racism


 
FRIDAY 19TH FEBRUARY
DAISY DARES YOU
Hailing from a small village in Essex, Daisy Dares You is sixteen year old pop singer Daisy Coburn, who was being hotly tipped as one to watch in 2010 before she'd even formally released any music. Her sound has been described as bubblegum punk. If you're not sure what that means, then look out for her Sony-released debut single 'Number One Enemy' and find out. It features Chipmunk and is set for release on 28 Feb. Before that, we spoke to Daisy to ask the Same Six.

 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I started playing when I was really quite young. There are lots of amazing musicians in my family - I was surrounded by music 24/7 - so it would have been hard not to pick it up and want to get involved.

Q2 What inspired your album?
The inspiration behind my album comes from the journey I've been on, which just kept getting more interesting as it went along. I didn't plan to write about a certain subject, I just wrote about things that happened to me along the way. It was created in the moment, I guess.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
I don't stick to any certain way of writing. Writing isn't something I just do, it happens if I feel something. If I'm playing guitar or piano and something comes up, I'll write a melody and lyrics after the chord progression; or just write lyrics and put them to something. I guess where I am determines the way I would write a song.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
I'm really inspired by Courtney Love, Alison Mosshart, Morrissey, Kurt Cobain and Alex Turner, but so many artists inspire me - the list on my MySpace goes on forever!

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Don't look that way at it.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I hope the album connects to people in a way where they really understand what I'm saying and it means something to them. I want people to enjoy my music the way I enjoy music.

MORE>> www.daisydaresyou.com

 
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: East Village's Second birthday
Shoreditch club East Village sees in its second year in business with five nights of awesome programming, all worthy of attending in their own right. It all kicked off last night, but there's plenty still to come.

Tonight Gilles Peterson's label Brownswood is in the house. On the bill are Lukid (Werk Discs), Pangaea (Hessle Audio), Simbad, Mamko Motto (Kindred Spirits) and the bPm (Soul Jazz), while in the Flamingo Lounge you'll find Stuart Patterson and Cut + Shut Disco playing some deep house and disco.


--
Saturday is the venue's actual second birthday, and they've got a big hitter flying in from NYC to celebrate - Quentin Harris - who takes control with a four hour DJ Set with support from resident Stuart Patterson. Upstairs David Hill from Rootikal will join forces with Jimbo, aka Raw Deal from the rather good Walking In Rhythm and Groove Sanctuary nights.

Sunday is free entry for The Surgery, Dr Bob Jones and Mark Webster's wonderful all day soul session with guest Ginger Tony. Dr Bob has been DJing for over four decades and knows a thing or two about soul music, and is a jolly decent fella!

And finally, on Monday, is the aptly named The Monday Club with V Recordings - perhaps the most interesting of the birthday nights. There'll by drum n bass from Valve Records boss Dillinja, V Records honcho Bryan G, original back in the day guru the Jumpin Jack Frost, Ruffstuff and DJ Probe, plus MCs Dynamite, Funsta, and Darrison will be in the house.

Friday 19 Feb to Monday 22 Feb, East Village, 89 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A, prices and opening times vary, more info from www.eastvillageclub.com, press info from Rosalia at Ferrara.



 
 

DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER
Good Lizard Media are looking for a digital marketing manager to join their fast growing company. Based in London, the job requires a strong knowledge of the digital music landscape and the ability to lead and implement creative digital campaigns for artists and releases.

Send a CV and an introduction email to jobs@goodlizardmedia.com. Closing date 4 Mar.

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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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Ray Gosling released on bail
Southwark Cathedral to host Mysteries performance
'What The Papers Say' to get R4 revival
 
Donmar to promote new talent with Trafalgar Studios season
PCC reject complaints over Moir's Gately ramble
This Is Fake DIY pilot print edition launched
 
Tom Basden's Fringe First winning 'Party' to be broadcast on R4
Southbank Centre launches Latin festival
Merton criticises film festival for allegedly dropping him
 

ENGLISH HERITAGE CALL FOR ABBEY ROAD TO BE SAVED
English Heritage are the latest organisation to come out in support of Abbey Road Studios, which, as previously reported, is rumoured to have been put up for sale by flat broke EMI. Following news that The National Trust are considering purchasing the building, English Heritage have called on the government to act on a recommendation issued in 2003 to grant the studio Grade II listed status. Such status would ensure that if the Trust don't get the studio complex, its new owners couldn't turn it into flats or something similar.

In a statement, the organisation said: "We applaud the public enthusiasm and support for safeguarding the future of the Abbey Road Studios and call on ministers to turn their attention to the advice that we provided in 2003 and endorse our recommendation to list the building at Grade II. English Heritage believes that the Abbey Road Studios possess outstanding cultural interest as the world's earliest purpose-built, and still the most famous, recording studios. Its importance as the leading force in popular music is perhaps greater today than ever and is revered internationally".

It continued: "Listing would recognise that the building is special - it is not a tool to frustrate change or even a possible sale, but will mean that any decisions affecting the building's future would need to be considered very carefully. We welcome the National Trust's exploration of options regarding a possible acquisition".

Would you all be terribly upset if I said that, if something's served its purpose, it should be allowed to disappear? After all, Abbey Road is really better known to the populace for its zebra crossing, not its studio. And the studio itself is just too big for most modern recordings. What are we going to do, turn it into a non-functioning studio museum? Is that really of any interest or worth to anyone? I suppose, at the very least, the studio isn't a death trap: newsblog.theCMUwebsite.com/post/Beatles-crossing-could-be-lost-forever.aspx

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JAY-Z SAYS RECORD COMPANIES NEED TO BE SMARTER
Jay-Z reckons record company execs need to be "smarter", and I don't think he means they should all invest in a new suit. I mean, why would he? Roc-a-wear don't make suits.

Speaking to BBC Newsbeat following his BRIT win this week, the Jayster mused: "Records are not selling as many as they were before and you've still got to go out and pay the Bentley bill. People have to be smarter about how they A&R, and what they put out, record companies need to catch up to that, someone needs to send them the memo".

Being smarter about A&R, in Jay's mind, means signing fewer artists and, presumably, learning to separate the wheat from the chaff before getting out your cheque book, which I think is what most label people are doing anyway, albeit possibly because they have thinner cheque books rather than because of any clever strategy. Jay: "I remember the first year I was at Def Jam we put out 56 artists. There's not 56 great artists in the world, and this is one company. One company operating for like, 80 artists in a year. That's just too many".

Jay, of course, departed his exec role at Universal's Def Jam to set up a JV music company with Live Nation last year, the 360 degree focused Roc Nation. Presumably being aligned to "the world's first artist-to-fan vertically integrated live entertainment platform" is all part of Jay's efforts to be smarter in his music business ventures.

Either way, "the world's first artist-to-fan vertically integrated live entertainment platform" is staging two Jay concerts later this year in addition to his previously reported headline set at Live Nation's Wireless fest in July. The two gigs will be at the Manchester MEN Arena on 7 Jun and at the Birmingham LG Arena on 9 Jun. No word on whether whiteys will be admitted, keep an eye on the Daily Star for updates on that, I'd imagine. More on which in a minute.

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MURRAY TO CHANGE STORY OVER JACKO DEATH
Dr Conrad Murray, the medic accused of killing Michael Jackson by negligently administering the dangerous drug propofol, is expected to change his story with regards what happened in the crucial ninety minutes between the drug being given to the late king of pop and emergency services being called.

Murray previously told police that he administered the drug at 10.50am on 25 Jun. He said that he left the room where Jackson was sleeping to go to the toilet, and that when he returned a few minutes later he found the pop star unconscious, and so attempted CPR to resuscitate him. Said efforts were unsuccessful. Of course, that doesn't explain why emergency services weren't called until 12.20pm, nor why Murray is known to called another patient to discuss the results of a recent heart scan shortly before midday.

It is thought that Murray will now admit that he simply forgot to check on Jackson immediately after administering the drug, and didn't discover he was unconscious until shortly before the emergency services were called.

On the upside that means that Murray didn't make a routine phone call to another patient instead of calling an ambulance once he realised he had a dead pop megastar on his hands, which would have been a decidedly odd thing to do. On the downside, it presumably means there is a stronger case for negligence against the doc, because even if he wasn't negligent in administering the drug, he was in forgetting to check on his patient shortly after doing so. It may be argued that had he tried CPR on the pop star before 11am as he originally claimed he had, Jackson could have been saved.

Confirming the doc would be changing his statement regarding the events that occurred during that key 90 minute window, but without giving any actual details of what the new statement would say, Murray's lawyer Michael Flanagan said yesterday: "Dr Murray's timeline of events that day when Michael Jackson died is wrong. Doctors make mistakes, and that is what he did, and it was simply just that, a mistake".

As previously reported, Murray has pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter with regards the death of Michael Jackson.

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CHRIS BROWN COMMENDED BY LA JUDGE
An LA judge yesterday commended Chris Brown for his "diligence" in fulfilling the terms of his probation relating to the much publicised Rihanna beating that occurred during Grammy Weekend 2009.

Judge Patricia M Schnegg noted Brown hadn't missed a session of the domestic violence counselling programme he was ordered to attend, and that he had completed his 32 days of community service. Although Brown has been fulfilling his probation terms in his home state of Virginia, he is obliged to attend regular progress report hearings in LA, where the assault charges were pressed.

Schnegg also gave Brown permission to leave the US for a series of gigs scheduled for May and June.

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BIEBER DOES PUBLISHING DEAL WITH UNIVERSAL
Universal Music Publishing yesterday announced it had signed a worldwide exclusive publishing agreement with Canadian pop boy Justin Bieber. The deal will cover both Bieber's first album 'My World', on which the popster has four songwriting credits, and the upcoming new long player 'My World 2.0'. Bieber's record deal is with the US branch of Universal's Island Records.

Confirming the deal, Universal Publishing top man David Renzer told CMU: "Justin Bieber's incredible charisma, talent, and mass appeal is already clearly evident with the breakthrough success he is experiencing. Under the skilled direction of his manager Scooter Braun, we are confident that Justin will continue on his path toward global superstardom".

The there mentioned Braun added: "I'm excited for Justin to be with Universal Music Publishing Group as they look at him not only as an artist, but as a producer and a writer, and their belief in that is a long term vision. They are partnering with us to grow a career in a promising young man. I'm excited for Justin as he continues on his creative path".

But I know what you're all thinking: that's all well and good, but if Justin could pick any female teen c'leb off the Disney Channel to be his girlfriend, which one would she be? That's what we really need to know.

Well, good news, New York radio station Z100 posed that very question to Bieber this week, giving the fifteen year old pop kid two seventeen year olds to choose from, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez, the former, of course, the poppy acting star of Disney's 'Hannah Montana', the latter the poppy acting star of Disney's 'Wizards Of Waverly Place'.

Well, while conceding Gomez was pretty - "I think she is cute ... I think she is a cutie" - he said he didn't especially "like her", while on Ms Cyrus he quickly responded thus: "Nooooooooooooo... not my type".

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KYLIE ALBUM "NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED"
Kylie Minogue has said that she is aiming for a summer release for her eleventh studio album, which features collaborations with Calvin Harris, Xenomania and Jake Shears and Babydaddy of Scissor Sisters, amongst others. But she warns it might put you off your dinner. Or something.

Kylie told BBC Newsbeat: "The album's coming along. I swear it's not for the faint-hearted. We've turned the corner and we're hoping for a summer release. You'll put your make-up on to this album and that's not just the girls".

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FRIENDLY FIRES WORKING ON ALBUM #2
Friendly Fires have revealed that work has begun on recording their second album. As with their debut, frontman Ed Macfarlane will handle production, although he says he has more of an idea what he's doing this time around.

Speaking to BBC 6music, Macfarlane said: "Production-wise, I really know what I'm doing now, whereas before, on the first record, it was kind of like a learning process for us. We weren't even using pop shields [on our mics] - this microphone I'm speaking into now was probably better than the microphone we actually used to record our album - but this time around, we've done it properly in that sense, so it sounds fantastic".

He added that the band were trying to get the new long player finished as quickly as possible, but without rushing things too much: "We want to get it done by May, but I can't promise that will happen. I think the goal is to get it out as soon as possible, but for it also to be as good as possible. I don't want to fall into that trap of rushing an album out and then regretting it".

But if you can't wait while the band get the new album right, the Fires have another release coming sooner than that, a split single with Holy Ghost, which will see them covering the dance duo's track 'Hold On', while Holy Ghost have covered their song 'On Board'. That'll be release on 12" and download on 8 Mar.

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CANCER BATS ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM WITH BEASTIES COVER
Cancer Bats have announced that they will release their third album, 'Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones', on 13 Apr. The album will close with the band's cover of Beastie Boys' 'Sabotage', which, as previously reported, they first aired during their set at last year's Download Festival.

Frontman Liam Cormier told Rock Sound last September: "It came off so well and we were so excited about it that we decided to record it. ... All of us have been massive Beastie Boys fans since we were little kids so to do that song and play it in the studio - all of us were freaking out with excitement!"

You can watch the video for the track in exchange for a tweet or a Facebook status here: www.cancerbats.com/sabotage/

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DANNY DATES
Danny & The Champions Of The World, who have a single out on 5 Apr called 'Restless Feet', have announced a stack of gig dates for April, in addition to their upcoming support dates with Fionn Regan.

The headline shows are as follows:

16 Apr: Birmingham, Academy
17 Apr: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
19 Apr: London, Union Chapel
20 Apr: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
21 Apr: Leeds, Hi Fi
22 Apr: Bristol, Thekla
24 Apr: Norwich, Arts Centre
25 Apr: Manchester, Club Academy
26 Apr: Newcastle, The Cluny
27 Apr: Glasgow, King Tut's
29 Apr: Belfast, Auntie Annie's
30 Apr: Dublin, Academy 2

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

FAIRPORT'S CROPREDY CONVENTION, Banbury, Oxfordshire, 12-14 Aug: Pauline Black, 3 Daft Monkeys and, of course, hosts Fairport Convention are amongst the latest acts to complete the line-up for this year's 30th anniversary edition of Fairport's Cropredy Convention. www.fairportconvention.com

LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY, various venues, Liverpool, 19-22 May: The Maccabees have been confirmed to play two shows on the closing day of this year's Liverpool Sound City. The Sunshine Underground, Hot Club De Paris, Attack! Attack! and Ian McNabb have also been added to the line-up. www.liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk

TRUCK AMERICA, Catskills Mountains, New York, USA, 30 Apr - 2 May: Mercury Rev, The Joy Formidable and White Rabbits are amongst the latest acts to be announced for Truck America, along with Hopewell, Tim Easton, The Sadies and Neil Halstead. www.thisistruck.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Spoon - Transference (Anti-)
Taking Metacritic as our guide, it would be fair to suggest that Spoon were among the most critically acclaimed bands of the last decade as a whole. Four successive albums; 'Girls Can Tell' (2001), 'Kill the Moonlight' (2002), 'Gimme Fiction' (2005) and 'Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga' (2007) all comfortably received an average score of above 80, which is generally taken as the benchmark of something very impressive indeed.

The most noticeable difference between 'Transference' and 'Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga' is the absence of Jon Brion, the producer most widely known for his work with Aimee Mann and Kanye West. Brion lent his prodigious production talents to the band on their last long player, and gave it a sleek, polished veneer that complemented Britt Daniel's considerable songwriting ability. Almost in reaction to this, Spoon have decided to self-produce 'Transference' and return to a more rough and ready, back to basics approach. The results are immediate; Daniel's distinctive, rasping vocals are so hidden in the mix of opening track 'Before Destruction' that you can almost imagine that the band just handed their demos to the label, and they released them straight away.

But this change in approach doesn't detract from what Spoon have successfully achieved on previous albums. As you'd expect from such a consistent band, there's a sense of familiarity - you know what to expect - excellent songwriting, tight musicianship and enough sonic trickery going on to set Spoon apart from their peers.

The standout tracks certainly posses such things, and are as good as anything Spoon have previously released. Rob Pope's bass is the driving force behind such tracks as 'Who Makes Your Money?' and 'Got Nuffin', though Jim Eno's percussion combines for a mean rhythm section too. The dissonant piano on 'Written in Reverse' and 'Nobody Gets Me But You' recalls the experiments that were a feature of 'Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga' and the likes of 'Trouble Comes Running' hints at flirtations with new genres.

Spoon might be pigeon-holed in the all-encompassing American indie-rock genre, but there's more than enough interesting facets about them to make them stand out from the crowd and, even seven albums down the line, their creativity shows no sign of abating. KW

Physical release: 25 Jan
Press contact: Epitaph [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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FTC PUBLISHES TICKETMASTER/SPRINGSTEEN REPORT
As expected, the US Federal Trade Commission yesterday published the findings of its investigation into the operations of TicketsNow, Ticketmaster's US-based secondary ticketing service. And for those who like to think of the ticketing giant of being just this side of Hitler and Stalin on the evil scale, there's some good material for you to use here in forming future anti-Ticketmaster rants. FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said his body's investigation into TicketsNow uncovered some "pretty shocking" practices and "deceptive bait-and-switch tactics".

As previously reported, this all kicked off when Bruce Springsteen got angry that fans buying tickets for two of his gigs in New Jersey via his official ticket agent - Ticketmaster - were pointed towards the TicketsNow website, where tickets for said gigs were being sold at a mark up, even before Ticketmaster's allocation of normal priced tickets had sold out. Once Springsteen got angry both New Jersey and federal regulators got angry too, as did fans, politicians, artists and managers, resulting in much Ticketmaster bitching, several civil lawsuits, and both state and federal level investigations into the operations of TicketsNow and the growing online ticketing touting market in general.

As also expected, the FTC's investigation into the matter will result in Ticketmaster having to refund any mark-ups paid by Springsteen fans who bought tickets via TicketsNow for the two New Jersey gigs. It's thought there are about 800 fans who did so, and the refunds could cost the ticketing firm - now part of Live Nation of course - a few hundred thousand dollars.

But the FTC's ruling actually goes further than this. First, they are applying the settlement with Ticketmaster to fourteen Springsteen gigs, meaning thousands of fans could be due refunds, costing the company millions.

Second, they have issued guidelines to all ticketing companies regards the practices employed by secondary ticketing services. Of particular concern is the sale of "phantom tickets" on re-sale sites, whereby touts take money for tickets they don't currently possess on the hope they can secure them once a fan has placed an order. The FTC is calling on the ticketing industry to provide consumers with more transparency regarding secondary ticketing. Leibowitz: "Clearly consumers deserve better. They deserve to know what they're buying, including the risk that their tickets won't materialise".

Leibowitz admitted that while committing to pay millions of refunds, Ticketmaster had not actually admitted to any wrongdoing as part of this settlement. He also confirmed that there was no evidence that Ticketmaster had deliberately provided tickets for resale on its secondary site rather than selling them direct to fans, as some had alleged. A spokesman for Live Nation focused on these facts in his response, telling reporters: "We are gratified that the FTC found that Ticketmaster did not engage in any inappropriate transfer or diversion of tickets to TicketsNow or any other resale entity", before adding that the company now hoped to "move forward" on this issue, now that the FTC's investigation into the Springsteen tickets debacle was complete.

Of course, the growing secondary ticketing industry has been controversial on both sides of the Atlantic in recent years. As previously reported, the UK government this week said it supported a voluntary code of conduct written by the ticketing industry, including the growing number of secondary ticketing resale websites, and that it was confident the code would protect consumers who buy tickets from online touts. UK ministers had threatened to introduce new laws to regulate touting, similar to those that already exist for football tickets, but it transpired the political types didn't really have an appetite for such legislation.

While it is secondary ticketing that has got most attention of late, and which most bothers key players within the live music industry as well as decision makers outside the business, the entire ticketing industry could do with undertaking a serious review of the way it works.

Pretty much every gig goer in the world genuinely believes they are being ripped off to high heaven whenever Ticketmaster or their like add one, two, three or more commission charges on the top of the price printed on the ticket they buy, with pretty much everyone of the opinion "why don't they just include ticketing charges in the actual ticket price?"

Now that the combined Live Nation Ticketmaster is an "artist-to-fan vertically integrated live entertainment platform" perhaps they'll start listening to the fans on this issue. Well, you know, it could happen.

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MINISTRY DOWN ON DEVELOPERS PLANNING FLATS NEXT TO SUPERCLUB
Bosses at Ministry Of Sound have hit out at developers who are planning on building a block of apartments opposite the music firm's flagship club venue in South London.

Ministry bosses fear that the new block of flats might result in new residents complaining about noise coming from the club, resulting in licensing complications, even though the music venue was very much first on the block. They are also rather pissed off, because when these concerns were raised with the boss of property developer Oakmayne, a bloke called Christopher Allen, he apparently responded: "Nightclubs come and go".

In a press release that lists Ministry's many expansive business interests, at the Gaunt Street site in London and around the world, as well as outlining the organisation's support for numerous educational and community support initiatives, in South London and beyond, MoS boss Lohan Presencer said: "When Oakmayne told us that 'nightclubs come and go', we were horrified. Ministry Of Sound is not just any nightclub; it's the most famous nightclub in the world and the heart of a global entertainment business. These developers have cut corners at every stage and, counter to their claims, they do not have the best interests of the local community at heart. We must do everything in our power to save our club and our business".

Responding to Ministry's release with some fighting talk, Allen told the BBC yesterday: "Oakmayne confirm that they have worked extensively with the Ministry of Sound and Southwark [Council] officers to ensure that the scheme and the Ministry Of Sound can co-exist harmoniously. Oakmayne have also agreed to spend nearly £400,000 to assist in further sound proofing the Ministry Of Sound nightclub. Sadly for Southwark residents, the Ministry Of Sound will not withdraw their objections, so £20m of scheme benefits are now in jeopardy".

6Music also quoted DJ Dave Pearce in their piece on this story. I think he's throwing his support behind Ministry and dissing the developers, though given the words he's used it's not entirely easy to say. The BBC station quote him thus: "As we know we're in difficult financial times, and a lot of Ministry's business over the years has switched to that tourism, there are people all over the world, they all visit the venue, so to move it or close down for nine months would be a nightmare". I'm not sure where the closing down for nine months thing comes from, and the BBC article doesn't explain that point. Possibly that's what would be necessary to install Allen's £400,000 of sound proofing.

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CHRYSALIS UPBEAT WITH CURRENT FINANCIAL REPORT
Music publishers Chrysalis yesterday issued a financial update for the period since 1 Oct last year.

For the quarter up to 31 Dec income from publishing royalties were up 9% year on year, aided in part by the company's relationships with Robbie Williams, Jay-Z and JLS. They were also possibly still earning from the renewed interest in Michael Jackson since the late king of pop's demise, they having a stake in 'Thriller' and 'Rock With You'.

The music firm's non-publishing interests have also been performing as expected, or better. As previously reported, Chrysalis has some interests in the Beatles master recordings via its partnership with producer George Martin, so benefited from the Fab Four's catalogue being re-released last Autumn.

The company also revealed it was considering some acquisitions this year, sitting as they are on a £32 million pile of cash previously set aside for such things.

Commenting on the latest figures, and confirming the acquisition plans, Chrysalis top man Jeremy Lascelles told reporters: "The first quarter [of our current financial year] has been pleasing. Amidst continuing volatility in the record industry, we have been able to demonstrate the breadth and quality of our catalogue and our roster of writers and artists, with so many of them contributing to our performance. We are currently reviewing a number of potential catalogue acquisitions and this, coupled with the ongoing strict management of our cost base, remains the focus of the board in delivering long-term value for our shareholders".

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PUBLIC ENEMY FAN FUNDING FIGURE FALLS
Oh dear, Public Enemy's attempts to fund their next album project through fan investment hasn't really worked.

As previously reported, Chuck D et al's decision to go this route via the Sellaband website was initially seen as a sign the fan funding model was coming of age but, despite a flurry of fans pledging money for the project shortly after the venture was announced, by December the band had only raised $71,000; a sizable sum of money, but a long way off the $250,000 the hip hop outfit hoped to raise. Not only that, but according to Billboard the amount pledged to the group has now fallen, so that it currently stands at $67,400 - ie some previous fan funding pledgers have withdrawn their offer.

There have, of course, been some success stories from the fan funding domain in recent months, which made Billboard's Glenn Peoples wonder why the Public Enemy effort failed. He reckons that $250,000 may have been an overly ambitious target to start with, and that the middle-priced investment options didn't offer enough premium benefits to be attractive. Given that the only benefit to come with a $250 investment that didn't also come with a $100 one was a free t-shirt, many might have wondered why they should invest the extra $150.

He adds: "Marketing appears to have been another problem. The group needed to sustain the project's initial momentum, but Public Enemy's updates at Sellaband and funds from investors slowed to a crawl by December. One downside of the service is Sellaband does not have tools to market outside of the Sellaband ecosystem. Without the ability to create and manage email and social networking campaigns from within Sellaband, extra effort is required to reach potential investors".

You can read the full article at the below URL. It raises some interesting points that probably show that while the Public Enemy Sellaband venture's failure doesn't mean the fan-funding proposition is a none-starter, it does offer some interesting lessons for established artists thinking of going this route. I'm sure the guys at newer fan-funding platform Pledge would say their system addresses most of these issues, and I think they'd be right to do so.

www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3iedf10d16b35b1c7a0014a61726f75ff3

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LIB DEM LORD ASKS QUESTIONS ABOUT GOVERNMENT'S LIVE MUSIC REPORT
Liberal Lord Tim Clement-Jones has tabled some parliamentary questions about a report by the government's Department Of Culture, Media & Sport regarding the UK's live music industry.

As previously reported, Clement-Jones has put forward a Live Music Bill to parliament proposing a number of changes to the 2003 Licensing Act which, he and many in live and artist communities argue, is hindering the grass roots live music scene. The government, having undertaken its own review of the 2003 legislation, disagrees with most many of Clement-Jones' proposals, despite many originating from a parliamentary select committee review of the Act.

The DCMS report, published last month, seemingly shows that the grass roots live music scene is not as troubled as Clement-Jones and many in that community argue. But the Lord reckons there are a number of problems with the research.

According to Music Week, he has asked the government how the terms "professional musician" and "professional live music" were defined in the report, and whether the Musicians' Union and the Incorporated Society Of Musicians were consulted on how the number of professional musicians has changed since the new Act became law. He also wants to know how much of the overall figure for live music ticket sales for anyone year, a stat referenced in the DCMS's document, can be accounted for by events at the UK's biggest venues, and in particular The O2 Arena and Wembley Stadium.

The government is expected to respond to the questions next week.

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BBC 4 PLAN EVENING OF BEACH BOYS PROGRAMMES
The Beeb have announced that they will dedicate a whole evening of the BBC 4 schedules to those rather fabulous Beach Boys.

The programmes will air from 9pm on 26 Feb, and the evening will include a documentary on the life of the drumming Wilson brother, Dennis, a recording of Brian Wilson performing 'Pet Sounds' in London, and an 'Imagine' doc on the band's 'Smile' album, and Brian Wilson's eventual release of it.

So, a very Wilson biased Beach Boys extravaganza. Mike Love will be thrilled.

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ELTON JOHN SAYS JESUS WAS GAY
Elton John has sparked outrage amongst the sorts of people who enjoy being outraged after he suggested that Jesus might have been smart, compassionate and forgiving. Oh, and gay. I think it's the gay thing they were most upset by. Though one group has taken offence at Jesus being called intelligent, too.

John told Parade: "I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems. On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving. I don't know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East - you're as good as dead".

In a statement responding to Elton's interview, the president of the US Catholic League For Religious And Civil Rights, Bill Donohue, said yesterday: "Jesus was certainly compassionate, but to say he was 'super-intelligent' is to compare the son of God to a successful game show contestant. More seriously, to call Jesus a homosexual is to label him a sexual deviant. But what else would we expect from a man who previously said: 'From my point of view, I would ban religion completely'? We're not sure what's worse - John's ignorance or intolerance. In any event, if we thought we could persuade him to issue an apology, we would try. But given his recidivism, we won't even bother to ask. One thing is clear: someone needs to straighten John out".

Note the accusation of "intolerance" against Elton, before the threat of "straightening" him out. I'm not sure if by that he means that someone should give John a good talking to, beat him up, or try to cure him of that nasty case of gay he's come down with. Or all three.

Others responding to John's remarks have, of course, pointed out that the Bible clearly states that homosexuality is an "abomination". Though, as everyone surely knows by now, the Bible says all kinds of crazy stuff. Have you ever read the bits about periods? There aren't enough turtles and baby pigeons in the world for all the sacrificing that needs to be done in that area. Plus, while we'd not like to comment on John's specific assertions in this latest interview, it is true that Jesus was an unmarried man in his thirties who always hung around with a load of other guys. Just an observation, is all.

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STAR JOURNO ACCUSES JAY-Z OF RACISM
A race row has kicked off in planet pop after Daily Star music reporter Kim Dawson was blocked from entering the VIP area at Jay-Z's BRITs afterparty at the Merah nightclub in London on Tuesday night. She claims she was refused entry to the VIP bit, where Jay himself was ensconced, simply because she was white, and the special area was strictly blacks only. I think it's more likely that she was blocked because she's a Daily Star journalist, but, hey, I wasn't there.

Dawson wrote in the paper: "I've been to countless showbiz bashes but never have I met meatheads like those at the Jay-Z do. Jay-Z is a megastar and yet it was clear white people were not welcome in his VIP area. While the red rope was lifted for black guests to breeze through, let's just say it stayed down if your face didn't fit. I have never felt so intimidated. It left me feeling like a mauled dog".

To be fair to Dawson, it does seem that security at the party wasn't up to much, even if it wasn't actually racist. Alesha Dixon also complained about those managing the bash, albeit to the Star. She's quoted thus: "My friends have been getting knocked about and no one seems to care. I need to get out of here. I'd rather be at my local kebab shop Elsie's right now than back inside with all that agro? What a horrible end to the night. I was having a blast at my record label party and now the mood is soured. I wish I'd never come".

Of course had Dawson and Dixon sensibly shunned Jay's booze fest and come to my post-BRITs Scrabble tournament instead, none of this nastiness would have happened. Artists and journalists of all races are welcome to the CMU annual post-BRITs Scrabble tournament, you just need to be vaguely literate. And if you think this is all leading to some weak gag about Star journalists not being literate, then you'd be right. Note to CMU security team: keep an eye out for Dawson trying to blag her way into next year's Scrabble match.

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