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CMU Info
Top Stories
Elio Leoni-Sceti quits EMI
Bands and artists still need record labels
Band don't need record label
Artist doesn't need record label
In The Pop Courts
Pink Floyd in court over single track downloads
In The Pop Hospital
Beastie Boys re-evaluate album as Yauch recovers
Awards & Contests
Squeeze get a heritage plaque
Reunions & Splits
DragonForce singer quits
Artist Deals
Leona Lewis signs to BMG
In The Studio
Fucked Up get to work on new album
Release News
MGMT release free MP3
4AD announce work in progress EP for Record Store Day
Steve Mason announces single and album details
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Single review: Archie Bronson Outfit - Shark's Tooth (Domino)
The Music Business
Comcast complete takeover of Ticketmaster software business
CBI to proactively support creative sectors
The Digital Business
TalkTalk respond to BPI report
The Media Business
Former culture minister says 'save 6'
Chart Of The Day
This week's Subtv playlist
And finally...
Anti-drugs writer criticises Robbie comments

Hailing from Liverpool, Sound Of Guns are Andy Metcalfe, Lee Glynn, Nathan Crowley, John Coley and Si Finley. With anthemic power chords and riotous gang vocals, and influenced by artists such as AC/DC and Led Zep, the band broke through the ranks via BBC Introducing last year, and went on to play Radio One's Big Weekend, Latitude Festival and Glastonbury. With their latest single 'Alcatraz' released this week via Distiller Records, we caught up with lead singer Andy to ask the Same Six.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I remember getting drunk with my mates and someone putting 'Definitely Maybe' on and by the end of the album I knew I wanted to be a singer. I wrote my first song the next day.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
We have just finished our debut album last week. I suppose what inspired it was everything that's happening around us at the moment, right now. Too much of certain things, not enough of certain other things, lyrically it's all about the chase. Although I don't like to spell things out I'm sure by the end of the album you know what we're trying to convey. If not, keep listening and you'll get it eventually.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
I will usually write the song on an acoustic guitar and then take it to the band to work their magic, which they always do. Sometimes we jam an idea out like 'Gallantry', which was on the 'Elementary Of Youth' EP. It's usually a really quick process, for example I wrote the basic version of 'Elementary Of Youth' in the morning and it was a finished song by 6pm that evening.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
There are so many bands we're all into. I'm personally into anything from The Doors to The Walkmen and almost anything soul related. The rest of the lads are really into the likes of Led Zep and AC/DC. We all just love great songs regardless of the artist. There have been many many violent episodes whilst fighting over the iPod on the bus.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I would say: "Sit down!"

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Probably the same for any other band who is just about to release a debut album. We hope people like it as much as we do, because we are really proud of it, and for the future we want to keep making albums and touring the arse out of the country. Oh yeah, and take over the world one country at a time. Peace and love.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/soundofguns

Although Japanther's Ian Vanek and Matt Reilly describe themselves as "more of an art project than a band", you shouldn't let that put you off. Their music is so instantly likeable and so much fun that it will quell any pre-conceptions that statement brings. A heavy Ramones influence is always apparent in their work, but added layers of poetry, hip hop influence and personality set them apart from mere copyists.

Joined by singer Anita Sparrows, the band recorded their latest album, 'Rock N Roll Ice Cream', with producer Michael Blum, who is more used to working with artists like Madonna and Pink Floyd than New York art-punks. But while the recording is slightly shinier than previous recordings, they've clearly held firm to their DIY ethics, and apparently refused to use any of the fancy microphones on offer in the studio. You can hear the results of that tussle on the one track currently streaming on their MySpace page.


Music Gain is acquiring record labels and catalogue. If you are thinking of selling, or have a large catalog you want managed on your behalf, then please contact us. Introduction and spotters fees also paid. Please visit us - www.musicgain.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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BBC appoints new head of entertainment
Government funds arts internship scheme to be run by Jerwood Foundation
Olivier Awards to go out on R2
ASA to extend online remit - will cover social media and company websites
BBC Radio chief defends cuts
Eddy says: Save BBC 6music
Music festival line-up update - 09 Mar 2010
Cream get three year licence
Music festival line-up update - 05 Mar 2010

EMI CEO Elio Leoni-Sceti will leave the major label at the end of this month, it has been announced this morning. Charles Allen has also been appointed as executive chairman, and will take on many of the responsibilities formerly held by Leoni-Sceti, though not directly replacing him. Allen has been in the non-executive chairman role since January last year.

In a statement, Allen said: "Over the past two and a half years [since it was acquired by investment firm Terra Firma], EMI Music has become a stronger and growing company, with a talented senior team, significant creative success and a more rigorous approach to marketing and operations. This has resulted in increased sales, improved market share and industry-leading EBITDA [Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization] margins".

He continued: "Elio has done a great job. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with him; he is a very talented executive and we all wish him well in the future. Our goals for EMI Music remain the same. I will support and guide the group's strong team, keep EMI's focus on creativity and superb A&R, and deliver a digital platform. This is a great business - our task is to ensure it has a great future".

Leoni-Sceti added: "EMI is a wonderful business with a great team and new creative and operational momentum. My job here is now done and it is time for me to move on. It has been a pleasure to work with Charles and so many other talented and committed people. I look forward to seeing the company go on to further success in the future".

Earlier this month, Leoni-Sceti said that he was confident that a new business plan he had been asked to draw up by Terra Firma head Guy Hands in February could lead EMI out of its financial problems. He told Management Today magazine: "I'm confident the business plan we present will be a good plan. I can only do my job. I'm staying focused on delivering a vision for this business - I'm very dedicated to EMI".

However, while he was finalising the details of that business plan last month, the Financial Times reported that Terra Firma had hired former Selfridges chief Peter Williams, who apparently helped sports chain JJB Sports avoid going bankrupt last year, to assist in bid to stop US bank Citigroup from taking ownership of the music firm in lieu of the $189 million it is owed in loan repayments by May.

The FT reckoned that, as well as dealing with Citigroup on the equity firm's behalf, Williams would also scrutinise Leoni-Sceti's new business plan. It's not clear if it is this review of the plan that is the reason for the chief exec's sudden departure from the company.

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All artists need a record company says, erm, the global trade body for record companies. Coming soon, a report from CMU that says all music business people need the CMU Daily.

Yes, the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry - or the Worldwide Record Labels Club to give them a name more than seventeen people will understand - yesterday published a report showing just how important record companies remain in this here digital age. The aim of the document, of course, was to hit back at all those people in the wider music community who like to say things like "you know, record companies are pretty redundant these days".

To be fair to the IFPI, the point of their report was that when it comes to new bands you need to spend money to make money and, if you want mainstream success, you have to spend rather a lot of money. And, the trade body argues, when it comes to spending rather large sums of money on new talent, it's still really the record companies who are writing the cheques. And in many ways that is true, for now at least.

The report says that breaking a new band costs at least a million dollars, with a slightly simplified budget claiming $200,000 is paid out in an advance, $200,000 is spent on recording, $200,000 is needed for three promotional videos, $100,000 goes on tour support and $300,000 is pumped into marketing and promotion.

Some might say it looks a bit like the IFPI consulted a beginners guide to the record industry published in 1998 to come up with that budget breakdown, but I take their point that it still costs more than most people would expect to break a new band, and that much of the upfront capital still often comes from a record company's wallet. So much so, the trade body reckons record labels worldwide invest up to $5 billion a year into launching artists and albums, which works out at about 30% of their overall sales revenue.

The record label chiefs on hand at the IFPI briefing added that the million dollar budget was in many cases rather conservative, while adding that even when that investment paid off and a band was successfully launched, it didn't mean said talent were immediately profitable for the record company. Sony UK's Mike Smith said you are looking for a band to surpass 600,000 albums sales before they can really be treated as a profit centre for a label. Which is rather a lot.

It wasn't overly clear what the motive was for the trade body telling us all this now. Unusually for an IFPI event, it didn't conclude with a big rallying cry for a tougher crack down on piracy (though there was a brief mention that illegal file-sharing was having a direct impact on the amount of money available for investment), and it didn't seem to be especially aimed at artists and managers in a "give us a bigger share of your non-recording revenues you bastards" sort of way.

But, as I said at the outset, it actually seemed like the record industry was mainly stating its reasons for existing in an era where people talk more and more about fan-funding, the DIY route, profitable band-brand alliances, alternative investment and how jolly well the live sector is doing just know.

As some of the label execs present correctly pointed out, it's hard to identify many or any bands who have managed to launch themselves as mainstream acts (certainly globally) without the help of a traditional record company. But those other launch routes are very much in their infancy, and I think it's too soon to say which will work for new and existing talent long term, or whether any can or will replace the record label in some cases.

I happen to think record companies aren't all doomed, and mainly for the reasons IFPI list in their new report, though I'm not sure a record company (major certainly) in 2020 will look much like what a record company looks like now; though just like those newer business models competing with the traditional label system, I think it's too soon to say how labels will work with artists, old and new, in the decades to come.

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With wonderful timing, as the record companies got on stage to tell us all how important they still were in the wider music business, two artists announced they were cutting traditional labels out of their lives. True these are both established artists, so it doesn't really contradict IFPI's claim that is the labels who fund the breaking of new talent. And both will probably end up using a record company to handle some of their distribution, but still, it was interesting timing nonetheless.

First things first, OK Go, who have become newsworthy of late for their latest video venture, a more complex affair than their legendary treadmill promo, and perhaps more importantly for the issues that surrounded fans embedding the band's other videos onto their blogs and social network profiles.

As previously reported, OK Go's label EMI are not currently allowing most of their official content on YouTube to be embedded on third party websites, because when a YouTube video is embedded the key advertising spots aren't shown, so the record company cannot earn off the content. The band's Damian Kulash wrote a great blog post communicating his frustrations about this turn of events back in January, which we reported on here.

The news today is that some of those frustrations may go away, because it seems the band are about to part company with EMI's US Capitol label, and will take their latest album 'Of The Blue Color Of The Sky' with them. The long player will now be distributed and marketed by the band's own label Paracadute Recordings. The parting of company mid-way through an album marketing campaign might suggest some major falling out - perhaps caused by the video embed issue - though Kulash has always been very complimentary about his label, and both sides insist they are parting on good terms.

Hits Daily Double quote an EMI spokesperson as saying: "We've really enjoyed our relationship with OK Go. They've always pushed creative boundaries and have broken new ground, particularly with their videos. We wish them the greatest success for the future". While Kulash is quoted thus: "We'd like to thank the people at EMI Music who have worked so hard on our behalf".

Insiders say that EMI may have been willing to part company with OK Go because, despite the web hype around their new video, sales of the new album have been modest; another example of how substantial online interest in an artist doesn't necessarily equal revenues for related rights holders. Though OK Go are possibly just the sort of band who can really benefit from having control of their own destiny, and being free to experiment with new ways of making money with music, especially online.

And, indeed, the band have already been dabbling in the brand alliance space. The aforementioned new video, for the song 'This Too Shall Pass', was paid for by US insurance firm State Farm, who get some subtle logo moments in the video itself and a thank you at the end of the promo. The finance firm probably realised that the video was going to be much bigger news than the song and album it promotes, and given OK Go's reputation for being online innovators it was presumably an artist alliance they were happy to pay to secure. EMI were seemingly part of the State Farm deal, but I expect the band and their management are probably in a position to pursue similar opportunities alone.

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Secondly, Charlotte Church has signed a 360 degree deal with Power Amp, the music investment firm whose most high profile venture to date was probably their Madness alliance.

According to the FT, the deal is worth £2 million, a chunk of which will finance a new album now set for Autumn release. In return for the investment Power Amp's investors will get 50% of the singer's recording, publishing, merchandising and live revenue for an undisclosed period of time. Copyrights, I'm pretty sure, will stay with the Church, which is good news for God. No, not that church, obviously.

Power Amp chief Tom Bywater wouldn't be drawn on how much profit he hopes to make from the two million his investors will pump into the Charlotte Church venture, though he did tell the FT his wider business model aimed to double each investor's money every three years.

Church admitted the attraction of the Power Amp arrangement was that it provided a major label level budget, but ensured her more control over her output. Church: "[The deal] provides me with a financial commitment equivalent to that of a major record company but with a much greater degree of control and ownership over my career".

Of course, Power Amp are the first to admit that they look to work with record companies when it comes to distributing the recorded output of artists they invest in, and IFPI would be sure to point out putting money into Madness and Charlotte Church is not the same as labels investing that cool million into a totally new band. Still, whether or not you agree with the aforementioned IFPI report, OK Go and Charlotte Church both provide some useful extra case studies for the "ha, who needs record label" brigade.

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Well, there's been much debate in recent years about the future of the album, and we've commented before about how often it's artists more than labels who don't like the dominance of the single track in the digital age.

That single track dominance was in part caused by the way Apple set up the iTunes Music Store back in 2003, though has been aided by the fact many consumers find the pick and mix approach adopted by most a la carte digital stores liberating, having spent years resenting being forced to often buy to six fillers to get their hands on the five killers whenever an artist emerged from the studio.

In the latest turn of events, the album debate has gone legal, as the High Court is asked to decide whether Pink Floyd's long players should be sold as single tracks or not. It's actually a contractual dispute between the Floyd and their label EMI, and focuses on a line in the band's 1967 record contract which says EMI has "no rights to sell any or all of the records as single records other than with [Pink Floyd's] permission". The legal debate centres on whether the word 'record' there is used as an abbreviation for "recording" or for "funny plastic disc".

If you take the latter interpretation, as EMI have done, then the clause doesn't stop the label selling individual Pink Floyd tracks digitally. If you prefer the former, as the Floyd do, then it does. The always album-centric band are accusing the major of selling their music as stand-alone tracks without their permission and, therefore, in breach of the sixties-penned recording contract.

Given the specific nature of the Floyd's contract, and the fact they are very much an 'albums band', the wider implications of this case are probably limited. Still, it's an interesting new angle on an ongoing story.

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Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch has said that the band are planning to get back to the studio to complete work on new album, 'Hot Sauce Committee Part 1', which was delayed while he underwent surgery for cancer. He added that, depending on how his ongoing recovery progresses, the record may be out in September.

As previously reported, Yauch revealed that he had developed a cancerous tumour in his throat to fans in a video statement released via the band's official website last July. Following surgery in the US, he then retreated to India to recover.

Earlier this week he told EW.com: "I feel better. It was touch and go there for a while, but I am finally getting my energy back. It was really disappointing to have to hold the record and postpone the tour, but doctor's orders. We may or may not [release the album] depending on how my health is come September. We want to, but we have to play it by ear. We were talking about working on it a bit. We finished the record over a year ago, so we want to take a look at it and re-evaluate and make sure it is what we want to put out there and that we are still happy with it. I don't think we will change it up too much".

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Squeeze will be honoured with a PRS For Music Heritage Award, which is one of those special plaques that gets erected in a place of significance to a band's career. The Squeeze plaque will be put up outside the Greenwich Dance Hall where Chris Difford, Glenn Tilbrook, Jools Holland, Harry Kakoulli and Paul Gunn first performed together back in 1975.

Difford told reporters: "I'm humbled that the birthplace of Squeeze has been chosen to be marked in this way".

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Power metallers DragonForce have announced they have parted ways with singer ZP Theart, due to "insurmountable differences of musical opinion". However, it's possible they've split just because they thought up that magnificent quote and wanted an excuse to use it.

Whatever, this is now your chance to front a power metal band. Says guitarist Herman Li: "We are looking for a powerful, melodic singer to write a new chapter of DragonForce with us".

If that sounds like your bag, get along here for more details: www.dragonforce.com/audition

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Leona Lewis has signed an exclusive worldwide publishing deal with BMG Rights Management.

BMG's UK manager Tony Moss told reporters: "Leona is a staggering musical talent, going from strength to strength as her songwriting develops. We're thrilled to be working with her and her management team".

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Fucked Up have started work on their next album, the follow-up to 2008's 'The Chemistry Of Common Life'. It might be a musical with French techno influences, or that might be a lie.

Guitarist Ben Cook told Exclaim: "Fucked Up are hard at work writing a new record, which will be the poppiest thing the band has ever done. We aren't very far [along,] actually. Just a few practices in, and we already hate each other. I'm pretty sure it's called 'David Comes To Life', and it's supposed to be a musical, but I'm not sure how that's going to work, really. I'm sure as hell gonna sing and act in it, though".

He added that his opinion on the direction of the new material was being ignored, saying: "Any time I pipe in and say, 'Hey, maybe this song shouldn't sound like a French techno song', I get a pizza slice shoved in my mouth".

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Those crazy MGMT boys have gone and released a free MP3 of a track from their new album, called 'Flash Delirium'. You don't even have to give them your email address to get it. How very old fashioned. And while it would be nice to tell you that the track has the immediate impact of 'Time To Pretend' but with everything stepped up a level, that would be a lie. It's early days, though. Maybe it's a grower.

The album, 'Congratulations', was produced by Spacemen 3's Sonic Boom, aka Peter Kember, and the group's core duo of Andrew Vanwyngarden and Ben Goldwasser were joined for the recording by their live backing band, Matt Asti (bass), Will Berman (drums) and James Richardson (guitar).

Download 'Fragile Delirium' here: www.whoismgmt.com

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4AD has announced that it will release a special 12" EP of works in progress for this year's Record Store Day, which takes place on 17 Apr. The EP will be available from participating record stores on that day only and will not be made available digitally. So, it's, like, exclusive and stuff.

Included on the EP, entitled 'Fragments From Work In Progress', will be the first recorded material from Blonde Redhead for three years, new signings Gang Gang Dance with their first material for the label, a track from a recently recorded Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti live session, a demo from Tune-Yards and a previously unheard new track from The Big Pink.

Here's the tracklist:

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Menopause Man
Tune-Yards - You Yes You
Blonde Redhead - Getting There
Gang Gang Dance - Slime City (Heaven)
The Big Pink - With You

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Former Beta Band frontman Steve Mason has announced that he will release a new single, 'Lost & Found', on 19 Apr. The single is taken from his new solo album, 'Boys Outside', the first to be released under his own name, which will be put out by Domino's Double Six label on 3 May.

Speaking about the album, which was produced by Richard X, Steve told CMU: "For this album, two producers sparked initial ideas: Jermaine Dupri and Darchild (Rodney Jerkins). Both are R&B producers with different styles but both record great vocals and have great rhythms. I wanted to make an album that, if you stripped the vocals, piano and guitar off you were left with R&B backing tracks. And if you stripped the beats and bass off, you have a singer-songwriter acoustic album".

Here's some studio footage: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dhLyzWqeOI

And here, for good measure, is the full tracklist for the album:

Understand My Heart
Am I Just A Man
The Letter
Lost & Found
I Let Her In
Stress Position
All Come Down
Boys Outside
Hound On My Heel

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1234 SHOREDITCH FESTIVAL, Shoreditch Park, London, 24 Jul: These New Puritans, Toddla T & MC Serocee, The Lovely Jonjo and Autokratz are amongst the first wave of acts announced for the 1234 Shoreditch Festival. Other acts confirmed for this year's line-up include A1 Bassline, Egyptian Hip Hop, A Grave With No Name and Action Beat. www.the1234shoreditch.com

CAMDEN CRAWL, various venues, Camden, 1-2 May: Sugababes, Lostprophets, We Are Scientists, Gang Of Four, Lightspeed Champion and The Blackout have all been announced for this May's Camden Crawl. Other newly confirmed acts include New Young Pony Club, We Are The Ocean, Crystal Fighters and Erik Hassle. www.thecamdencrawl.com

RELENTLESS BOARDMASTERS, Watergate Bay, Cornwall, 4-8 Aug: Chase & Status, Example and French Horn Rebellion have been added to this year's Relentless Boardmasters line-up. They will join the previously announced headliners Leftfield, Seasick Steve and Newton Faulkner. www.relentlessboardmasters.com

T IN THE PARK, Balado, Scotland, 9-11 Jul: Madness and Jamie T head up the latest acts confirmed for this summer's T In The Park. The Sunshine Underground, Frank Turner, Paloma Faith, Delphic, Kassidy, Crookers and The Middle East have also been added to this year's line-up. www.tinthepark.com

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SINGLE REVIEW: Archie Bronson Outfit - Shark's Tooth (Domino)
With an intro that scratches, itches and etches itself firmly into the speakers, 'Shark's Tooth' marks a glorious new direction for Archie Bronson Outfit with third album 'Coconut'.

The dirty blues roots are there, but filtered through the Midas-touch fingers of DFA's Tim Goldsworthy, lending the track a disco-cum-post-punk ethereality and Clinic-esque menace that belies their simpler garage past. Ricocheting guitars duel with ominous handclaps in a sonic distortion of heartstrings and vocals to wrangle out a raw, howling, yet darkly tempered anguish.

There's a cinematic feel of agoraphobia and purgatorial isolation, yet underneath it all a motorik urgency that lends the track easily to the dance floor. Beautiful, dense and intense, 'Shark's Tooth' is as much of a dangerous talisman as the title suggests. EG

Physical release: 22 Feb
Press contact: Domino IH [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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The sporting division of US cable TV giant Comcast - Comcast-Spectator - has bought Ticketmaster's ticketing software company Paciolan.

As previously reported, Ticketmaster had to sell the software business as part of the terms of US government approval for their merger with Live Nation. The Comcast division, which already has some ticketing assets, was always favourite to buy it.

Terms of the deal are not known, though Paciolan CEO Dave Butler and founder Jane Kleinberger are set to stay with the firm.

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The Confederation Of British Industry has said it will be focusing in particular on supporting the creative industries over the next five years, which is nice of them. Piracy and protecting intellectual property will be key to their endeavours in this domain, but they'll also be considering tax, investment and education in the creative sector.

The CBI's President Helen Alexander confirmed all this while giving a speech on Monday night to the Worshipful Company Of Stationers And Newspaper Makers, which I assume is some fictional body that exists in the story arc of some children's fantasy fiction franchise.

Alexander said: "The recalibration of the UK economy and the building of robust business growth in the years ahead need our creative industries to play an active and increasing role. We want to see far greater recognition of the creative industries and their significance".

She continues: "More coherent strategies are needed to realise the huge potential out there. We will be a clear voice that can speak up for the whole sector whose diversity and breadth of activity is both a strength and sometimes a limitation. This is a critical part of UK plc that should and must be championed - must form part of the government's plans for a more balanced economy".

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OK, time for a quiz. Earlier this week record label trade body the BPI said that internet service providers should stop being just "dump pipes", and should take on the pirates who sale through said pipes, and then work with the record industry to develop music services that can be bundled into ISP packages, so that the net provider sector can have a share of the £103 million a year that the record label organisation reckons could be made by such services by 2013.

Here's the quiz bit. Do we think Carphone Warehouse owned ISP TalkTalk, the most vocal net sector critic of the record industry and an ardent opponent to three-strikes, responded to the BPI's report:

[a] By saying: "Fuck me, we hadn't thought of that, hey guys, let's cut off all the file-sharers, collaborate on some new TalkTalk music services, and all live happily ever after".

[b] By saying: "Well, most ISPs are already offering some digital music services, and while we take your point that there is more work to be done in this regard, we're not 100% convinced that the potential of this market in itself justifies such tough methods for combating file-sharing as proposed in the Digital Economy Bill, but hey, let's talk talk about this.

[c] By saying: "Thanks to the BPI for its strategic business advice, though some may question the value of such insight from an industry which has failed to acknowledge the impact of new technology on its own business models and is pressing the government to criminalise its biggest customers".

Answers on a postcard. A little clue: it's C.

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What, four whole days without some 'save 6music' ranting in the CMU Daily? We'd better fix that. Let's do it by using the words of MP and former Culture Secretary James Purnell, who wrote a piece in support of the BBC service in The Guardian on Monday. The Beeb, of course, want to shut 6 to cut costs and placate those who criticise the Corporation for over-expanding and too readily competing with commercial rivals.

Purnell writes: "Whenever anyone proposes privatising Radio 1, the BBC rushes to say that popular music radio stations can be distinctive. That argument just about works for Radio 1 - but it's true in spades for 6music. If 6music goes, then how can they justify the much more popular Radios 1 and 2?"

He continues: "The BBC also argues that it needs to help commercial radio by closing the station (but Absolute Radio and XFM play a completely different playlist - there really isn't a market in this niche); that if 6music keeps growing it will become too successful and the BBC can't have three big national radio networks (so just keep it niche and distinctive, then); and that it's got a high cost per listener (but that's just what happens when the BBC does what it should do - a distinctive, high-quality service)".

He concludes: "The BBC says it has to show that the era of expansion is over. But closing 6music is hardly going to stop Sky and ITV from complaining".

Familiar arguments really, but given the BBC cuts are politically motivated, it's always good to hear political types express them. Purnell offers a more unusual proposal with regards where the Beeb could make savings elsewhere in their operations. "Axe BBC3" has been a favourite of the pro-6 lobby, but the former minister reckons there are easier and less dramatic ways that substantial cuts can be made.

For starters, he says, why does the BBC need two TV channels operating in the low-audience daytime slot? Pointing out BBC 2's afternoon schedule consists of repeats, quizzes and reality shows - programmes commercial channels already offer in that time slot - he writes: "There is no point in the BBC having two afternoon schedules in daytime. I'm sure there are good people making these programmes, but they could easily be on other commercial channels or on BBC 1. Rather than axing a brilliant, distinctive service, the BBC should close down BBC 2 daytime. BBC 2 costs more than £500m a year, 6music £9m - so there should be some extra money to fund the Asian Network too. That way it can much better achieve the goal of the strategy review and avoid offending all the 'indie dads' like me who prefer waking up to Shaun Keaveny than to the 'Today' programme".

The full article is here:

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Hey look, people, it's the music videos that are playing this week on the Subtv network of video screens in students' unions around the UK. New additions marked with a *. More info on all things Subtv from DavidLloyd@sub.tv.

A List
Cheryl Cole - Parachute
Chiddy Bang - Opposite of Adults
Daisy Dares You feat Chipmunk - Number One Enemy
Dan le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip - Get Better
Delphic - Halcyon
Ellie Goulding - Starry Eyed
Gramophonedzie - Why Don't You
Jason Derulo - In My Head
Laura Marling - Devil's Spoke
Mumford and Sons - The Cave
Wiley feat Emeli Sandé - Never Be Your Woman
Pixie Lott - Gravity
Rihanna - Rude Boy
Steve Aoki feat Zuper Blahq - I'm In The House
Tinie Tempah - Pass Out

B List
Amy MacDonald - Don't Tell Me That It's Over
Avril Lavigne - Alice*
Bombay Bicycle Club - Evening/Morning
Broken Bells - The High Road
Chris Brown - Crawl
Florence & The Machine - Dog Days Are Over
Gabriella Cilmi - On A Mission
Kids In Glass Houses - Matters At All
Livvi Franc - Automatik
McLean - My Name
OK Go - This Too Shall Pass (Live)
Paloma Faith - Upside Down
Plan B - She Said
Paramore - The Only Exception*
Scouting For Girls - This Ain't A Love Song*
Wild Beasts - We Still Got The Taste Dancin On Our Tongues*

Tip List
Audio Bullys - Only Man*
Band Of Skulls - I Know What I Am*
General Fiasco - Ever So Shy*
Hadouken! - Mic Check*
Local Natives - Airplanes*
Operator Please - Logic
Shy Child - Disconnected
Three 6 Mafia feat Tiesto, Sean Kingston & Flo Rida - Feel It
Tunng - Hustle*
We Have Band - Divisive*

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An anti-drugs activist has criticised Robbie Williams for telling the Radio Times that marijuana is "a lovely drug". The Robster told the telly mag that the only problem with the drug was the munchies it motivated, and the resulting weight users put on.

Rob: "Did you see me last year? Have a look at last year. Yep. Year Of The Munchie 2009. Weed, it's such a lovely drug. It is such a lovely drug, but it doesn't mix well with me at all".

But writer Debra Bell, who is conveniently plugging a book this week about her experience of dealing with a teenage son addicted to the drug, has told the Mirror that the singer's comments were irresponsible. She told the Mirror: "Does he really know what he's saying? This drug causes huge damage to children and their families".

Of course, many have pointed out that another way of doing damage to your children and family is to turn your kids' teenage problems into newspaper columns and books in a bid to turn round your own flagging career as a journalist. Though to be fair, that doesn't always result in weight gain.

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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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