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CMU Info
Top Stories
Times report says 6music might close
In The Pop Courts
Tenenbaum lawyer calls damages "absurd"
AFACT to appeal authorising infringement ruling
EMI appeal Down Under ruling
In The Studio
Monkeys want Homme again
Release News
Hugh Laurie plays on Meat Loaf album
Ash announce singles compilation
Grandaddy man sells rarities to help sister
Gigs & Tours News
Thom Yorke names band, announces US tour
Irish showcase to take place in London
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Album review: Dolly Parton - Live From London (Sony)
Talks, Debates & Conventions
Vote today on the topic for the CMU panel at Liverpool Sound City
The Music Business
LiveMaster bosses cautious about sudden profit turnaround
Terra Firma bring in business rescue expert to help with EMI
AIMer to help UK Music investigate funding
The Digital Business
Spotify announce Hendrix video exclusive
MUZU launch new jukebox service
And finally...
Elvis' hair fails to sell

Now, obviously most of you read every word of every edition of the CMU Daily, from the 'what' at the top to the 'expertise' at the bottom. But I met someone the other day, let's call him Maurice, who said sometimes he was just too busy to fully digest the 100+ news stories we publish every week.

Whereas a more cruel set up would have knitted Maurice a hat bearing the word "slacker" on it, instead we are launching a new weekly column here at the top of the Daily where we will do the digesting for you, and excrete, as it were, the five most important music business news stories of the week. So if, like Maurice, you've been too busy to keep abreast of all the key industry stories this week, or if, like Andy CMU, your brain took quite a rum-induced beating at the NME Awards on Wednesday night wiping a chunk of your memory, here are the five things music people should definitely have been aware of this week...

01: Sellaband went bankrupt. In a possible knock back for the fan-funding concept, one of the early fan investment platforms, Sellaband, went offline last week, declared itself insolvent last Friday, and then bankrupt on Monday. However, on Tuesday co-founder Johan Vosmeijer insisted all would be OK because he had found a buyer for the website. On Wednesday the buyer was named as German entrepreneur Michael Bogatzki. The service is now set to return. Although he will step down as the firm's CEO, Vosmeijer says he is still confident the fan-funding model will play an important part in the music industry of the future. In an interview with Wired, one of his co-founders, Pim Betist, agreed, but identified some problems with the Sellaband business to date. CMU coverage|The Wired article.

02: The Times reported that 6music will close. Recent rumours that the BBC's digital station 6music would be axed seemed to be based on the fact the service was subject to a BBC Trust review. But then that review, published earlier this month, only said 6music needed to better promote itself. This morning The Times claimed the credible music service's axing will still go ahead, but on the orders of BBC bosses, not their Trust overseers. 6music's closure is part of radical cost cutting plans due to be proposed by BBC management, says the broadsheet. If true one hopes the music industry will mount a campaign like has never been seen before to keep this truly enlightened music station on the air. CMU coverage|The Times article.

03: EMI said Abbey Road isn't for sale, after much speculation as to what might happen to the iconic studio complex if it were to be sold off. Various parties, including Andrew Lloyd Webber and the National Trust, said they'd consider buying the studios to stop any developer from turning them into flats or offices. But cash-strapped EMI said that, while they were sounding out possible investors about funding an overhaul of the studios, an all out sale was not on the cards. Nevertheless, the government gave the building a Grade II listing to help ensure the future of the studios. Meanwhile EMI launched some pretty mediocre Abbey Road merchandise this week too. CMU coverage|Abbey Road t-shirts.

04: Digital Economy Bill debate continued. Once again mainly about the copyright section which, if passed, will introduce a three-strikes system into UK law, meaning persistent file-sharers could have their net connections suspended. Mark Thomas made a ten minute piece for the BBC criticising the proposals last week, which UK Music's Feargal Sharkey said was biased and misleading. UK Music sent an official complaint to the Beeb. Meanwhile five big name figures from the creative industries signed a letter to parliamentarians urging them to support the Bill. Representing music was Simon Cowell. Presumably he told the politicians that in the file-sharing age "everybody hurts". Well, "every copyright owner hurts". Which, interestingly, I'm pretty sure was Michael Stipe's original lyric. CMU coverage|Mark Thomas' report.

05: Tesco did an exclusivity deal with Simply Red. Yes, a special Mick Huckhall love songs compilation will only be available from the supermarket chain. Which is interesting, because once controversial retailer exclusivity deals have become quite common in the US, but not over here. It also shows the continued importance of supermarkets when it comes to selling music to older mainstream music buyers, like the Simply Red fanbase. Tesco's importance in music sales was also demonstrated this week when their Entertainment Director Rob Slater became chair of the Official Charts Company. CMU coverage.

And those, ladies and gentlemen, are the five biggest developments in the music business this week. Consider yourself informed. And don't forget, for a handy digest of all this week's artist news, subscribed to the CMU Weekly, which will be delivered to your email this afternoon, complete with a brand new Spotify playlist compiled by Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip. And I'll see you here at the top of the Daily next Friday. Or maybe at next week's CMU seminar on music rights, we still have a couple of places available: www.thecmuwebsite.com/events

Chris Cooke
Business Editor, CMU


VIGSY'S LIVE TIP: Ludovico Einaudi Live
OK, so this isn't something you'd normally expect to find here in the Club Tip slot. I mean, for starters it's not a club night. But I've been trying to find a way of name checking this guy in the Daily since the release of his album 'Nightbook' last year, and he's in the UK this week, so this seems like as good a time as any.

Italian Einaudi is a brilliant pianist who took a slightly different direction with his 2009 album, incorporating synthesized sounds into the mix for the first time. The results were big news in Italy. I'm not sure what he has planned for this week's UK concerts, but his music is always both moving and infectious at the same time. So, if you fancy something a little bit different this week, make it Ludivico.

Friday 26 Feb, De Montfort Hall, Leicester, 7.30pm; Sunday 28 Feb, Brighton Dome, 7.30pm; Tuesday 2 Mar, Royal Albert Hall, London, 7.30pm; Wednesday 3 Mar, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, 8pm; more at www.ludovicoeinaudi.com

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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Showstopper! announces London runs
Odeons will show 'Alice' after all
Football star triumphs on Countdown
Government report calls for age ratings on lad mags
New STV/ITV squabble - with Xtra factors
Telegraph lead Press Award nominations
Udderbelly to return to South Bank
Big Weekend goes to Bangor
Get paid to trek round thirty festivals this summer

So, 6music might close after all, if The Times is to be believed. Well, at least the guys who set up that 'save 6music' Facebook Group (which, actually, was the RATM Xmas number one duo, the Morters) weren't wasting their time.

As previously reported, rumours circulated earlier this month that the popular (within the music community) digital music service was facing the axe. But it seemed those rumours were based on the simple fact the service was being reviewed by the BBC Trust, the body which oversees the running of the Corporation on behalf of the licence fee payer.

But, as we pointed out at the time, that was just a routine review, and 6music ticks lots of boxes that will please the Trust. And, indeed, when the Trustees reported back on its review they said they were happy for 6music to continue to operate in its current form, but urged the station to better market itself, after research showed the majority of licence fee payers didn't even know it exists.

But, it's possible the original rumours stemmed not from the Trust's review, but from insider knowledge of radical proposals being developed by BBC management to dramatically cut costs.

The proposals, which The Times claims to have seen, are clearly designed in part to satisfy commercial media owners and Conservative MPs who say the Corporation has over-expanded in recent years, and is now far too willing to compete with commercial broadcasters and publishers, capitalising on the unfair advantage of an unrivalled content archive, media brand portfolio and financial security, all made possible because of the unique way in which the BBC is funded. The secret proposals also presumably prepare the Corporation for the fact a Tory government is likely to block any licence fee increase.

According to The Times, a BBC report will propose shutting down the Corporation's youth strands Switch and Blast, letting the likes of ITV and Channel 4 target the potentially lucrative teenage market (lucrative as long as regulations regarding what can be advertised to the under 18s don't get any tighter, of course). BBC's online operations would be cut down to size, potentially reducing the size of the Corporation's website by half, and budgets available for buying up foreign imports would be cut by £100 million.

And commercial division BBC Worldwide would be told to concentrate on selling BBC programmes and rights to international broadcasters - originally its core purpose - rather than dabbling in other areas of the media business, a move which would necessitate Worldwide to sell off its publishing assets, and maybe even its music rights business and CD/DVD distribution arm 2entertain.

But the real news for music people will be the report's recommendations regarding BBC radio. Radio 2 would be told to increase the amount of comedy and documentaries it airs in prime time, reducing the amount of music and celebrity content (actually a recommendation of the aforementioned BBC Trust Review), while the Asian Network and 6music would be canned altogether.

The Times says the proposals have been drawn up by the BBC's Director Of Policy & Strategy John Tate, who previously worked for the Conservatives and presumably has an insight into what kind of measures would placate BBC critics within the Tory top guard, who most assume will be in government by June.

Tate's ideas would accommodate a licence fee freeze in 2013, and make available another £600 million to be pumped into "higher-quality content" - the mantra being "quality over quantity", to overcome criticisms that the BBC has used its safe licence fee income and booming BBC Worldwide revenues to grossly over expand in the last two decades.

Of course, even if The Times' report is accurate, it is not known how much credence these proposals will be given by BBC chief Mark Thompson and his closest allies at the top of the Corporation, especially given Tory culture spokesman Jeremy Hunt seemed to be softening his resolve to radically reform the BBC at a Q&A with key media people in London this week, going as far as to admit the Corporation in its current form "sort of worked".

Tate's proposals for 6music and the Asian Network are likely to be most controversial. The proposals to cut back the Beeb's commercial operations, their website and their more mainstream youth output are all things that would directly satisfy the Corporation's commercial critics, not least The Times owner Rupert Murdoch. And an overhaul of Radio 2 would placate, to an extent, the UK commercial radio sector, who see that BBC station as their biggest rival these days.

But 6music and the Asian Network are very much public service-based operations that no commercial player would really have any interest in competing with. The fact only 20% of the people the BBC Trust surveyed had even heard of 6music is sort of the point, it's a niche service, and that's why no one in the commercial sector would ever go there.

However, while niche, 6music plays an important role in British music, given that ('Later' aside) BBC TV has basically shunned music programming completely, and prime time on Radios 1 and 2 is all about the mainstream. And, relatively speaking, 6music performs this role on a relatively modest budget. Plus, on a higher level, the station ensures the BBC has connections into the wider music community, and helps the station build up early-career archive content of tomorrow's big talent, something the Corporation is yet to capitalise on.

It's possible that proposals to axe public service operations like 6music and the Asian Network, in order to fulfil the Tory's cost cutting demands on the BBC, is really a bid to rally opposition against any government-forced downsizing. Though, I suspect that isn't Tate's aim. Rather, he feels there is a need to show the BBC is seriously considering cutting back its radio empire, and shutting the doors completely on two services is easier than downsizing the others.

Though, given the widely acknowledged excesses at both Radios 1 and 2 (who together employ more people to work on their breakfast shows than the entire workforce at a commercial station like Xfm), it would be very easy to free up the kind of money needed to run niche services like 6music and the Asian Network simply by bringing the two big BBC stations into the 21st century staffing-wise.

The BBC are yet to comment on the Times article, so it remains to been how serious these proposals are. I might go and sign up to the aforementioned save 6music Facebook page in the meantime. Just in case.


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Following the recent decision of a US court to slash the damages famous file-sharer Jammie Thomas must pay the record industry after being found guilty of copyright infringement, from $1.92 million to $54,000, lawyers for that other famous American file-sharer, Joel Tenenbaum, were in court this week trying to get his $675,000 damages payment similarly slashed.

As previously reported, once found guilty of file-sharing, under US law you can be ordered to pay anything between $750 to $150,000 per copyright infringement in statutory damages. So whatever unit figure the judge or jury picks within those rather wide-reaching parameters is applied to every track that the record labels can prove the file-sharer downloaded. In Tenebaum's case he was ordered to pay damages of $22,500 for each of the 30 tracks he admitted to illegally downloading.

But, while admitting the jury had correctly applied the law as it is written in the Tenenbaum case, the file-sharer's lawyer Charles Nesson said in court this week that doing so had "produced absurd results'' and a grossly excessive award that violated his client's constitutional rights.

He also argued that the $675,000 figure wasn't in the spirit of the law, arguing that he couldn't believe that US Congress intended for individuals of limited means, like Tenenbaum, to be faced with damages payments of that size when they passed the relevant laws in 1999. He concluded by pointing out the 30 tracks Tenenbaum admitted to downloading were commercially available via iTunes for 99 cents each, from which the labels would get 70 pence. The real loss to the record industry therefore, Nesson argued, was $21.

But lawyers for the US record industry argue that when Congress wrote the relevant Digital Theft Deterrence And Copyright Act in 1999 they very much intended for individual infringers to be faced with staggering damages payments, so to provide a deterrent that might stop others from infringing. And this week they brought a letter from the US Department Of Justice to court to back up that claim.

Plus, of course, presumably there is the issue that by making tracks available to others to illegally download via a file-sharing network, Tenenbaum potentially deprived the record labels of a lot more seventy cents than just those related to his own original illegal downloads of the thirty tracks in question.

While previously defending the Tenenbaum ruling, the judge who oversaw the case, Nancy Gertner, has always been upfront about the fact that she is no fan of the way the Recording Industry Association Of America has attempted to protect its copyrights in the last decade. And at this week's hearing she indicated that she very much sympathised with the Tenenbaum camp on the damages issue. According to the Boston Globe, addressing the RIAA's legal rep she said: "I'm not saying it was wrong to bring the case...or to hold people's feet to the fire'. But is there another case in the galaxy that's held up damages to this degree?''

Whether that means Gertner now plans to reduce Tenenbaum's damages obligation remains to be seen. If she doesn't - or if any cut is nominal - it is likely Nesson will proceed with a full appeal.

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The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft has said it will appeal that previously reported court ruling regarding the liabilities of internet service providers to police copyright infringement undertaken by their customers via their servers.

AFACT lost its original case against Aussie ISP iiNet. Had it won it would have forced Australian net firms to become more proactive in stopping illegal file-sharing on their networks, basically forcing some kind of three-strikes system on the ISPs under existing copyright laws, rather than by writing new laws, as has been done in France and New Zealand, and is being done in the UK.

AFACT, which represents 34 Aussie film companies, announced its intent to appeal the ruling against it yesterday. AFACT executive director Neil Gane told reporters: "The court found large scale copyright infringements, that iiNet knew they were occurring, that iiNet had the contractual and technical capacity to stop them and iiNet did nothing about them. In line with [the] previous case law, this would have amounted to authorisation of copyright infringement".

'Authorisation' is a concept unusual to English copyright law, and those copyright systems influenced by it, in particular in Australia and Canada. It is similar to the concept of 'contributory infringement', successfully employed in US cases against Napster and Grokster, though arguably isn't as powerful in making those who provide technology that can be used by others to infringe liable for that infringement. Though that's partly because the concept hasn't been tested in court in many internet cases, or no internet cases in the UK. It could have been used in the Oink case, but prosecutors chose not to.

In Australia, the concept was successfully used in the Grokster-style litigation against Kazaa, which is possibly why AFACT think they have a case now. Though to use either the contributory or authorising concepts to make ISPs liable for the infringement of their customers is pretty unprecedented, and in the US copyright law specifically protects net firms from such claims.

Presumably with that in mind, iiNet CEO Micheal Malone said yesterday that he was confident his company would win any appeal, adding: "It is more than disappointing and frustrating that the studios have chosen this unproductive path. This legal case has not stopped one illegal download and further legal appeals will not stop piracy".

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More from the Aussie appeal courts, and EMI have announced they will appeal the previously reported copyright ruling made against them regards the Men At Work track 'Down Under'.

As previously reported, earlier this month an Aussie court ruled the track used a segment of the famous Aussie children's folk tune 'Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree' without permission, and awarded a share of any revenues generated by the Men At Work song to indie music publisher Larrikin Music, who convinced the court they owned the rights in the folk tune (there had been some doubt over whether the copyright was owned by its late writer Marion Sinclair - whose rights had passed to Larrkin - or whether it was actually owned by the Girl Guide movement, to whom Sinclair had sent the song as part of a songwriting competition in which entrants technically speaking gave up their rights).

EMI, who own the publishing rights in the song (the main recording of which was released by CBS Records, now Sony Music), argue that the Kookaburra riff in 'Down Under' is at most a "tribute" to the folk song, rather than musical theft. They also bring up the ownership debate again. EMI Publishing's Aussie office filed appeal papers with the Australian court yesterday.

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Arctic Monkey's drummer Matt Helders has said that the band hope to work with Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme again in the future. Homme, as you probably already know, produced the band's third album, 'Humbug', which was released last year.

Speaking at the NME Awards, after picking up the Best Live Band trophy, Helders told BBC 6music: "I don't know [if we'll work with him again]. He might be a repeat offender. He promised he'd call, but he's a busy man. We had a great time. We'd love to work with him again in some capacity. It depends. When we're ready to record again, he might be as well, but you know what he's like, he's a very busy man and in demand".

He also revealed that the band won't be playing Glastonbury this year, saying: "We wouldn't want to blow it. We'd rather come back after we've done a new album and do it properly".

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Actor and comedian Hugh Laurie is one of a number of guests who appear on Meat Loaf's new album, 'Hang Cool, Teddy Bear'.

The concept album, based on a short story by Killian Kerwin with songs penned by 'American Idol' judge Kara Dioguardi and produced by Rob Cavallo, will feature piano parts performed by Laurie. This follows a guest appearance by Meat Loaf in Laurie-fronted US TV show 'House'.

Here's a video of Hugh rocking his badass ivory skills: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUTYXb9YcWM

Also appearing on the album, which is due out in April, are Brian May, Jack Black, Justin Hawkins and Steve Vai.

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Ash will release the first of two albums featuring their 'A-Z' singles series on 19 Apr via their own Atomic Heart label. As well as the first thirteen singles in the series, the compilation will be released as a limited edition CD/DVD set, which will also feature an A-Z Tour diary filmed last autumn.

Speaking of Ash playing live, they've just added an extra London date to their upcoming tour. They will play Koko on 5 May.

Here's the full tracklist for 'A-Z Vol 1':

A. True Love, 1980
B. Joy Kicks Darkness
C. Arcadia
D. Tracers
E. The Dead Disciples
F. Pripyat
G. Ichiban
H. Space Shot
I. Neon
J. Command
K. Song Of Your Desire
L. Dionysian Urge
M. War With Me

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Former Grandaddy frontman Jason Lytle has made available a number of live recordings and rarities from across his career in return for donations to help his sister, Anna, who is currently receiving treatment for a brain tumour.

Included in the two download packages on offer are Grandaddy's first demo tape, an unreleased Grandaddy album, two Christmas albums recorded for friends and family, and various live recordings, amongst many other rarities. Let's just say, if you're a Grandaddy fan, it's worth taking a look.

For full details of what's available and how to get it, check out: talkscape.jasonlytle.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=378

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Thom Yorke has announced that his other band, which he pulled together last year to play some of his solo work, is to be called Atoms For Peace. As previously reported, the band features drummer Joey Waronker (who has previously worked with Beck, REM, Smashing Pumpkins and Elliott Smith), Forro In The Dark percussionist Mauro Refosco, Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea.

Said Thom: "OK, so, in April the other band that I got together to do 'The Eraser' and other stuff ... is going back out to do some shows in the US, ending with playing with Coachella. We had too much fun [last year] to just leave it there...It has been decided that we call ourselves Atoms For Peace. Hope you like the name, it seemed bleedin' obvious".

These are the dates:

5 Apr: New York, Roseland Ballroom
6 Apr: New York, Roseland Ballroom
8 Apr:Boston, Citi Wang Theatre
10 Apr: Chicago, Aragon Ballroom
11 Apr: Chicago, Aragon Ballroom
14 Apr:Oakland Fox Theatre
15 Apr:Oakland Fox Theatre
17 Apr: Santa Barbara Bowl

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The fifth in a series of showcase gigs that show off the best in new talent from Ireland is to take place at The Luminaire in Kilburn, north London next month, with promoters confident that the country's next big thing will be amongst the line-up, which features A Plastic Rose, Readers Wives and Kyle John Suckling.

Jay Mistry, who is organising the event, says that many Irish acts find it difficult to get noticed by the wider music industry, but points to acts such as U2, Divine Comedy, Therapy?, Westlife, Van Morrison, Ash and Damien Rice as reasons for people to take a more close interest.

He is quoted Music Week thus: "The quality is still there: Director, Delerantos, Hybrasil, Kudos, Class Of 84 to name just a few. It's just that these musicians have to either go to Dublin or Belfast in the vain hope of getting noticed or they have to relocate to London. We put on shows in London and invite a myriad of music industry people, so that they can get a good idea of the quality of current Irish music. Because we target key individuals, there is a much better chance of our bands getting that elusive deal. The intention is to bring Mohammad to the mountain. We do everything except play on the night - which is a good thing".

The gig takes place on 11 Mar, more info here.

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BESTIVAL, Robin Hill Country Park, Isle Of Wight, 9-12 Sep: Mumford & Sons, Tricky, Chic, The Temper Trap, Mylo, Erol Alkan, DJ Yoda and more added to the line-up of this year's Bestival. This year's fancy dress theme will be 'fantasy', apparently. www.bestival.net

ENDORSE IT IN DORSET, nr Shaftesbury, Dorset, 6-8 Aug: Eat Static has been confirmed for this year's Endorse It, joining a previously announced line-up that includes The Damned, Subhumans, Pauline Black and SubGiant. www.endorseit.co.uk

LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY, various venues, Liverpool, 19-22 May: The Fall and Delphic have been announced to play on the opening day of Liverpool Sound City in May, with support coming from Everything Everything and Egyptian Hip Hop. www.liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk

BENICASSIM, Valencia, Spain, 15-20 Jul: Vampire Weekend and Leftfield are amongst the latest to be confirmed for this year's Benicassim, along with The Courteeners, Calvin Harris, Cut Copy, Yuksek and Magentic Man. www.benicassimfestival.co.uk

OYA FESTIVAL, Middelalderparken, Oslo, 10-14 Aug: The xx and La Roux have been confirmed to play Oya in Oslo this summer. They join a line-up that includes Pavement, Iggy & The Stooges, Girls, The Gaslight Anthem and many more. www.oyafestivalen.com

VINTAGE AT GOODWOOD, The Goodwood Estate, West Sussex, 13-15 Aug: David Holmes, Heaven 17, The Beat, Imelda May, The Noisettes, The Damned and The Buzzcocks announced for this new festival from fashion designers Geraldine and Wayne Hemingway. It will also feature the launch of Lily Allen's new fashion label Lucy In Disguise and the first performance by Sandie Shaw for over twenty years. http://www.vintageatgoodwood.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Dolly Parton - Live From London (Sony)
When I first received this CD, my traitor eyes gave me the impression that '9 To 5' wasn't included on the tracklist. "What's this", you say - "no '9 To 5'? You've got to be kidding me!" Oh, wait, there it is, tucked in at the back, and a surprise appearance near the end of the album. Oh well, at least the early arrival of 'Jolene' makes up for it - but only just. Yes, Dolly's live album is a typical offering from the "Queen" of country music, lighthearted, sparkly and covered in rhinestones.

Recorded at London's O2 during her tour in summer 2008, 'Live From London' is a surprisingly short but sweet set of songs that are practically swallowed whole by her adoring (and, apparently, obsessive) audience.

Included with the CD is a bonus DVD with footage from the tour and from the shows themselves, showing Dolly to be the very bizarre but sweet and endearing lady that she is. As I watch - and listen - sometimes all I can think about is an interview I read with Jake Shears where he candidly revealed that Parton can't stand with her feet flat, because she's never out of heels. Now that, to me, is the sign of a true trooper. TW

Physical release: 25 Jan
Press contact: Digital Rebel

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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Hey people, today is your very last chance to exercise your influence over this year's Liverpool Sound City, the music business convention that takes over the Merseyside city in May.

As much previously reported, organisers of Sound City have this year set aside one session in their main conference programme for you guys, the CMU readership, to control. We have selected five possible topics to debate, as proposed by CMU readers last month, and are now asking for you guys to vote on which one of those five you think we should tackle in May.

Details of the final five and how to vote are online at www.theCMUwebsite.com/soundcity. You need to email in your vote by 5pm. Don't forget, we will be reporting from the event, so it's worth voting even if you don't think you will make it to Sound City this year, because we'll let you know what the final panel say here in the Daily. Plus, one voter will be win a pair of tickets to this year's Sound City, so even if you're not currently planning on coming, CMU could fix it for you to be there!

There's more information about Liverpool Sound City in general at www.liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk

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Bosses at the newly merged Live Nation Entertainment have warned investment types that they shouldn't expect a big profits boost in 2010. Some had hoped that the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster would result in some considerable quick efficiencies at the two companies, which would more than cover any merger costs and result in increased profits.

LiveMaster execs said yesterday that the Live Nation part of the business will see only moderate growth this year, while Ticketmaster profits will be static or slightly down. The benefits of the merger won't show until 2011.

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According to the Financial Times, EMI owners Terra Firma have brought in a business expert who apparently helped sports chain JJB Sports avoid going bankrupt last year to assist in bid to stop Citigroup from taking ownership of the music firm.

Terra Firma and its tax-dodging chief Guy Hands have fallen out with Citigroup big time, of course, and are in the process of suing the US bank. The fall out occurred after Citi refused to restructure (ie write off a chunk of) EMI's debts to the bank.

Former Selfridges chief Peter Williams reportedly helped JJB Sports negotiate new terms with its bankers that stopped the retailer going under last year. Therefore his appointment to Maltby Investments, the Terra Firma owned company through which the equity types own EMI, might be a last minute bid by Terra Firma to restore good relations with Citigroup.

As previously reported, as it currently stands Terra Firma could lose control of EMI if they can't raise $189 million to help the music company meet its loan commitments to Citigroup in May. The FT think that as well as dealing with Citigroup on the equity firm's behalf, Williams will also scrutinise EMI Music chief Elio Leoni-Sceti's previously reported business plan for turning round the fortunes of the major's still flagging recorded music division.

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The Association of Independent Music has announced one of its team, Remi Harris, will be joining UK Music on a three month secondment to help the cross-industry trade body investigate ways it can raise public body funding for business support and skills development initiatives within the music community.

UK Music top dog Feargal Sharkey told CMU: "In comparison to other creative industries, companies and individuals within the commercial music sector have always struggled when it comes to accessing support and funds from public bodies. Given her fantastic track record at AIM and as a valued member of the UK Music Enterprise Committee, Remi was the obvious choice to address this issue. Myself and the UK Music team look forward to working with her over the next three months".

Remi added: "Organisations including AIM, the Music Publishers Association and others at all levels around the UK have established a strong track record in delivering development initiatives for the music industry in partnership with the public sector. The strategic and collective approach being taken by the UK Music Enterprise Committee should now allow us, as an industry, to present our priorities and development opportunities clearly to funders and investors. In turn, this will help us to work more effectively and efficiently with them. I am excited to be joining the UK Music team for this secondment to drive this agenda forward".

AIM, of course, is one of the eight music organisations affiliated with UK Music.

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Spotify has announced the first ever music video to appear on the music streaming service. Not only that, but it's an exclusive, too. And it's for a song by Jimi Hendrix. Oh, and it's directed by Julien Temple. So that's four good things already. Everyone at Spotify, you are hereby allowed to go and have a sit down in the comfiest chair available for the next 20 minutes.

The video for 'Bleeding Heart', a song which appears on new Hendrix rarities compilation 'Valleys Of Neptune', depicts Jimi performing at Glastonbury. Temple used some kind of black magic to create the video, as Hendrix never actually performed at that particular festival. How is it done? No one knows.

As well as the video, which is available now to all users, Spotify Premium subscribers will be able to listen to 'Valleys Of Neptune' from 4 Mar, ahead of its release on 8 Mar.

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MUZU this week launched a new jukebox service which makes it easier to navigate, playlist and play music from the video service's vast catalogue.

In particular, the new service recommends videos based around your initial artist choice (in a Pandora stylee), and then allows users to search the MUZU catalogue and add tracks to their playlist while concurrently enjoying the recommended vids, and all within one browser window. I've only had a little play, but it looks kinda cool, and I intend to have a proper delve this weekend.

The service is a bit like a "video version of Spotify", though it is worth noting that, although free to use, no ads will play in the mix on the jukebox service. The MUZU release launching the new service notes: "While MUZU.TV is an advertising-funded free music website, it has been careful to leverage more innovative ad formats such as 'skinning' the outside of the video player with premium entertainment-related advertisement, which don't interrupt the viewing experience in any way".

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Can it really be true that no one wants to own Elvis' hair? Is that the kind of world we live in now? Apparently it is. A strand of The King's hair has failed to sell at auction in Gloucestershire.

The hair's current owner reportedly bought it "on a whim" in a TV auction. It comes mounted on a gold disc, which bears the inscription "The King's Authentic Hair" (to stop it being confused with a hair from a wig or pet owned by The King, presumably). It was expected to fetch up to £600, which would have been a pretty good haul, considering a whole clump of the stuff only raised around £10,000 at an auction in Chicago last October.

A spokesman for auction house Chorleys told Metro: "These more fun items are not doing as well in the current market as the more serious antiques. It's just one of those things".

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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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