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INFORMATION
Jobs
Classifieds
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Is this the end of EMI?
MySpace refinements planned
Web firms speak out against Clause 17 replacement
In The Pop Courts
DMX arrested for parole violation
Another TRVSDJAM crash lawsuit settled
Far frontman considers J-Lo lawsuit
Reunions & Splits
Pumpkins bassist quits, auditions to be held
Gigs & Tours News
Atari Teenage Riot announce reunion show
Babyshambles tour
Festival News
Muse to play SxSW
Festival line-up update
Reviews
Single review: She & Him - In The Sun (Domino)
Talks, Debates & Conventions
MUSExpo announce LA programme
The Music Business
Labels should close the window, but can we force them? MusicTank Think Tank round-up
Consolidated Independent launch NYC office
ROTD editor to join UK Music
The Media Business
BBC executive says something stupid, shocker
6music axes Bruce Dickinson
Former PRS chief to head up Digital Radio UK
And finally...
Mark Owen admits affairs
Shaun Ryder marries


 
THURSDAY 11TH MARCH
FIELD MUSIC
Formed by brothers Peter and David Brewis and pianist Andrew Moore in 2004, Field Music recently returned after an extended hiatus sporting a new line up: Kev Dosdale and Ian Black are in, Andrew is taking time out. The band released their eponymous debut album in 2005 followed by a collection of b-sides in 2006, during which time they toured with the likes of Maximo Park and The Futureheads. After releasing their second album 'Tones Of Town', and then announcing the hiatus, both Peter and David went on to release solo albums. Now back together as Field Music, the band have just released their third album 'Field Music (Measure)' via Memphis Industries. We spoke to David to ask the Same Six.

 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
Peter had started playing drums and that looked like I cool thing to do, so I wanted to be in on the action. I took the pocket money I'd saved up to spend on a holiday in Yugoslavia, but which I hadn't actually got round to spending (their currency had just been devalued), and bought a really cheap acoustic guitar. However, I couldn't even tune it until Peter bought me a 'How To Play Guitar' book for my birthday that year. I was ten years old. We both ended up learning from the same book. The first songs we ever learned to play were 'Amazing Grace', 'From Me To You' and 'Miss You'. Then we discovered Led Zeppelin.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
We'd had a break from Field Music for a couple of years, making records on our own, so mostly the new album was inspired by the idea of getting back together and really exploding the idea of what Field Music could be.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Well, that depends. Peter and I generally don't write together. For me, a song usually starts from a little riff or melodic idea and I try to let that idea ferment in my brain and imply what else should happen in the song. It's not always quite that easy though. Lyrics usually come in a similar way - one or two little nuggets which grow into a song, through some combination of sorcery and sweat. For this album, we started recording most of the songs with one of us playing the drums and the other one playing a guide guitar or piano. It's not like we jut pile stuff on top after that though - we both tend to have a very clear idea of the arrangement from very early on the songwriting process. The difficulty then is trying to make our recording match the sound of the song we have in our heads.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
How long have you got? There are obvious things like The Beatles and Roxy Music, Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush. We both love Fleetwood Mac and The Band and Led Zeppelin. Peter's a big Richard Thompson fan and I've really gotten into David Bowie over the last couple of years. We take a lot of musical ideas from jazz - especially Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk - and there are lots of harmonic ideas in our songs which are greatly indebted to them. And we're both inspired by 20th century avant-garde modernist and post-modernist music; I'm yet to hear any rock band as heavy as the Rite Of Spring.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Take your time. We never intended to make music which reveals itself in one or two listens.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
My ambition is always just to get better at what we're doing. I think this is the best album we've made so far. It would be great to be able to sell a few more records and do lots of really great gigs and thus make enough money to live on, but if that's not possible (or if it's not possible without changing how we do things) then we'll just get jobs and keep trying to make better music on the weekends.

MORE>> www.field-music.co.uk

 
THE MARINER'S CHILDREN
Too many cooks spoil the broth, so the saying goes. Therefore, I hope The Mariner's Children never try to make soup together, because with a line-up featuring eleven people, it would probably taste awful. Thankfully, the same cannot be said of their music. Having so many on board helps to create a rich folk sound, filled with the sorts of emotive harmonies and jaunty strings that I have quite a soft spot for.

 
Their MySpace page is packed full of demos (well, six of them) that pitch them somewhere between Arcade Fire and Pentangle, though for short-memoried readers, let's just say they're a better version of Mumford & Sons. You can catch them supporting Peggy Sue at their album launch at The Garage in London at the end of the month, which is a pairing so perfect I might just fall on the floor and not be able to get up again for several minutes.

www.myspace.com/benedictdaniel



 
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ROH to stage Anna Nicole Smith opera
King's Head gets new artistic director
Corey Haim dies at 38
 
PRCA get lobbying over NLA links licence proposals
Former culture minister says 'save 6'
New MTV International digital chief
 
Music festival line-up update - 9 Mar 2010
Cream get three year licence
Forest Fringe to stage mini fest at BAC
 

IS THIS THE END OF EMI?
So, speculation is rife following yesterday's shock departure of the one non-record industry man parachuted into EMI by Terra Firma who the artist management community actually liked.

Did he jump or was he pushed? What does this mean for the business plan he was writing that was going to convince Terra Firma investors to stump up the £100 million needed to stop EMI defaulting on its four billion dollar loan with Citigroup? Did Peter Williams, the corporate fire-fighter brought in last month to deal with the bank loan problem, tell him to go? Why is Charles Allen moving into an executive role now, after a year as EMI's non-executive chairman? Is this the beginning of the end for Britain's only major record company?

According to the Telegraph, insiders say it was Elio Leoni-Sceti's decision to leave the major, despite recently telling Management Today he was "very dedicated" to the company, but that his resignation was "gratefully accepted" by the music firm's private equity owners.

Leoni-Sceti's an intelligent man who has won friends in the music industry since being brought into EMI in mid-2008, despite him overseeing some radical downsizing at the major. You can't help think his decision to suddenly quit means that he is pretty pessimistic about the prospects of Terra Firma's money men helping EMI meet its Citigroup loan commitments, and that Leoni-Sceti doesn't fancy working for the bankers when they seize control of the major, or being the man who has to coordinate a fire-sale of the 79 year old music company. Or he sees that an EMI Warner merger is now inevitable, and that the EMI Music CEO job won't exist by Christmas.

On the up side for EMI, some in the finance press have given a generally positive spin to the news that former ITV boss Charles Allen will take on an executive role at EMI, pointing out that Charlie is popular with some key players in the investment community. Presumably these are different 'key players in the investment community' to the shareholders who pushed Allen out of the top job at ITV in 2006 after he totally failed to turn round the flagging broadcaster's fortunes.

And presumably they are investors too dumb to realise that what EMI needs at the top just now is a man on good terms with the artist management community, able to facilitate the sorts of artist deals that will either ensure big bucks in two years time, or look good enough on paper to restore confidence in both the wider music industry and the City. And preferably someone who understands how you can make money out of digital. Of course, Allen has some record in the digital arena; he spent £120 million of ITV's money buying Friends Reunited exactly three years after every single person on the planet had stopped using it.

Still, to be fair to Allen, he played a key role in the creation of one ITV company by engineering the merger of his former employer Granada with it's main rival Carlton. Perhaps Terra Firma are no longer interested in transforming or rescuing EMI. If the aim now is to speed through an EMI Warner merger as soon as possible, reducing Terra Firma's financial hit as best you can, then Charlie is probably your man. Today may well be the beginning of the end for a standalone EMI.

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MYSPACE REFINEMENTS PLANNED
Talking of companies on the skids, the new bosses at MySpace have given a briefing in the US about upcoming changes to their platform which further sees the one time social networking service move more into the entertainment content provision and sharing space. MySpace also recently lost their CEO somewhat suddenly, of course, with Owen Van Natta being pushed out last month. As previously reported, former Chief Product Officer Jason Hirschhorn and Chief Operating Officer Mike Jones are now running the shop.

According to Billboard, Jones admitted at the briefing at MySpace's Beverly Hills HQ that morale at the flagging web firm had been hit by the continued rise of rivals like Facebook, and the high number of executive departures in the last twelve months. He added that some employees had "lost the will to keep fighting", and that those people had been invited to depart the company because "we are at the point now where we need believers". Though one would assume that anyone at MySpace who has ever actually tried to use the site would find it pretty hard to be optimistic, it still being one of the shittest sites on the web and all.

Jones is hoping that some upcoming refinements to the MySpace platform will make it slightly less shit. I'm not convinced they will. But they should further move the web service into the entertainment arena. Changes include the facility to compile music playlists based on what songs your friends are listening to, another sign that management realise that really it's MySpace Music that could still potentially succeed, rather than the social networking element of what the company offers.

That said, MySpace Music is pretty shit too. With a crucial ad sales partnership with Google up for renewal later this month, those MySpace staffers feeling somewhat pessimistic are probably just being realistic. And unlike EMI, if and when Rupert Murdoch and his backers decide to cut their losses, there'll be little in the MySpace business anyone would want to acquire.

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WEB FIRMS SPEAK OUT AGAINST CLAUSE 17 REPLACEMENT
A rather influential sounding group of web companies, including all the pesky internet service providers, Google, eBay, Facebook and Yahoo!, put their name to a letter in the Financial Times yesterday slamming the previously reported amendment to the Digital Economy Bill giving the High Court more powers to shut down websites that primarily exist to infringe other people's copyrights.

As previously reported, the amendment replaced the controversial Clause 17 of the DEB, which would give future ministers the power to introduce new copyright rules on whim without going through the full parliamentary process. Although designed to placate those who opposed that Clause, the amendment put in its place is proving just as controversial.

The content lobby, and in particular the BPI, wanted the extra clause added to the Bill so that the copyright provisions in it didn't just focus on tackling file-sharing, and gave some extra powers to combat other forms of online infringement. In theory the amendment simply formalises existing legal powers to stop infringers, but those who oppose it fear it will be open to misuse.

The letter, which was also signed by that all round expert on everything Stephen Fry, says that the new provision is too contentious to be slipped into the new copyright proposals at the last minute without proper debate. The letter says: "This amendment not only significantly changes the injunctions procedure in the UK but will lead to an increase in internet service providers blocking websites accused of illegally hosting copyrighted material without cases even reaching a judge. The amendment seeks to address the legitimate concerns of rights-holders but would have unintended consequences that far outweigh any benefits it could bring".

It continues: "We are particularly concerned that a measure of this kind as a general-purpose policy could have an adverse impact on the reputation of the UK as a place to do online business and conflict with the broader objectives of Digital Britain".

Needless to say, the BPI do not concur. They issued a statement responding to the letter yesterday morning, saying: "The amendment adopted by the House Of Lords provides a clear and sensible mechanism to deal with illegal websites. Contrary to the claims in the letter, service providers would in every case be able to ensure that the decision as to whether a site should be blocked is made by the High Court. The court would be required to consider the extent of legal content on a website, any impact on human rights, and whether the website removes infringing content when requested. So the suggestion that the clause would lead to widespread disruption to the internet or threaten freedom of speech is pure scaremongering".

It continues: "The signatories to the letter recognise that dealing with illegal websites is a legitimate concern, and have argued in the past that action against illegal downloading should focus on commercial operators. Removing unfair competition from clearly illegal websites will encourage investment in legal online services and improve the legal internet experience for everyone".

In related news, the collecting society community has welcomed an amendment to Clause 42 of the Bill, which dealt with the role of collecting society type organisations in the digital era. Some feared the original wording of the clause - which would give a collecting society the right to represent songs without the explicit agreement of said songs' owners (they'd have to opt out) - could be open to abuse, so that web firms would set up their own collecting societies and license themselves everyone's music until copyright owners had cottoned on and opted out, or something similar.

The amendment says a collecting society can only come into being if it has the backing of the majority of the content owners it claims to represent, so only a community of copyright owners could initiate the launch of a new licensing body. All lovely.

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DMX ARRESTED FOR PAROLE VIOLATION
Rapper DMX has been arrested after admitting to his parole officer that he has used cocaine and is not complying with the terms of his drug treatment plan (as the cocaine use would suggest). In fact, he has been charged with no less than five counts of parole violation and was locked up in a Phoenix jail on Tuesday afternoon pending a hearing.

As previously reported, DMX has been the scourge of Arizona police for several years, having been charged with drug offences, animal cruelty, theft, throwing food while in prison and missing court appearances.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Joe Lefors to DMX's Butch Cassidy, told Reuters: "We would hope that he is finally sent to prison. We've arrested him five times already. How many times do you have to violate the law?"Comment from the DMX camp is so far not forthcoming.

In other DMX news, the rapper's wife, Tashera Simmons, to whom he has been married since 1999, is set to write a tell-all book about their relationship. Apparently to be called 'Strength Of A Woman', her publicist told reporters: "[She] will be talking about her experience with her family and trying to hold them together through the DMX journey. Her story is a stellar, heart wrecking, powerful, firsthand account of survival and family strength in a chaotic life and the fame that came with that life".

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ANOTHER TRVSDJAM CRASH LAWSUIT SETTLED
The estate of Chris Baker, one of the four people killed in the 2008 plane crash in which Blink 182's Travis Barker and Adam Goldstein, aka DJ-AM, were the only survivors, has settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the three companies accused of being responsible for the crash: Clay Lacy Aviation, Goodyear and Learjet.

Baker's widow Otilia and the couple's three year old son Sebastian will now receive $12 million in compensation, according to legal documents. As previously reported, Barker and the mother of his bodyguard, Charles Still, who was another of the people killed in the crash, settled their own joint lawsuit last December.

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FAR FRONTMAN CONSIDERS J-LO LAWSUIT
Far frontman Jonah Matranga has said that he is considering taking Jennifer Lopez to court after she used a heart-shaped logo very similar to the one that has accompanied his solo work for many years.

The copy-cat artwork apparently first came to Matranga's attention after J-Lo (are we not supposed to call her that any more? I can't remember) appeared on NBC's 'Saturday Night Live' earlier this year and a number of fans got in touch suggesting he should sue. He says that at the time he dismissed it, but has recently reconsidered.

Writing on his website, the singer said: "A friend who knows about intellectual property law got in touch and said I actually do have a valid case. It turns out her new album will be called 'Love?', so it seems like the image might be used by her a whole lot more. When I think about it, I would rather that she didn't use this image that I've come to enjoy so much ... I asked some lawyer friends about what I could do to stop her. I'm putting some stuff together (album covers, etc) to show that I'm a legitimate artist whose art, image and community she'd be messing with".

You can compare the two images here: jonahmatranga.com/bleeagh/2010-mar5-jlo-heart.html

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PUMPKINS BASSIST QUITS, AUDITIONS TO BE HELD
Billy Corgan has announced the departure of Smashing Pumpkins bassist Ginger Pooley, she's leaving to care for her new baby. As a result, Corgan plans to find a replacement via the same open audition process he used to replace drummer Jimmy Chamberlain last year. And he's going to hire a keyboard player for good measure, too.

Announcing her retirement from the band, Pooley said: "With sorrow and yet with much thankfulness for the opportunity to have played in the Pumpkins, I am sad to say that I can no longer tour with the [band]. Although I've been blessed beyond belief over the past few years through playing with the Pumpkins, my priority now is to keep our little family unit together, which includes my husband and my baby. Although I do plan on continuing to do music in different forms, my priority is for neither for my husband nor myself to be apart from our daughter so that we can raise her together. I wish Billy all the best and look forward to seeing the Pumpkins in the near future".

Corgan added: "Although I am heartbroken that Ginger is leaving the group, I really respect her decision to put her family first. I appreciate everything that she has contributed to The Smashing Pumpkins, and I'm proud of her for being such a great musician and friend. We were lucky enough to find drummer Mike Byrne through an open audition process, so why not open the doors again to anyone who might be interested for the bass or keyboard position. As you can see from our past and present, age, race, or a person's background is not an issue. Everyone is truly welcome to audition".

So, if you're anyone in the world and fancy having a crack at playing bass or keyboard for The Smashing Pumpkins, send some background info about yourself, plus photos and links to videos of performances (applications without videos will apparently not be considered) to pumpkinsbass@gmail.com or pumpkinskeys@gmail.com by 31 Mar.

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ATARI TEENAGE RIOT ANNOUNCE REUNION SHOW
Atari Teenage Riot have announced that they will reform for a one-off show in London this May. The band will play the Electric Ballroom on 12 May.

The band will also release a new single, 'Activate', on 17 May, via their own Digital Hardcore label. You can hear a dubstep remix of the track by The Builder on SoundCloud now: soundcloud.com/alec_empire/atari-teenage-riot-digital-hardcore-2009-remix-by-the-builder

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BABYSHAMBLES TOUR
Babyshambles have confirmed a short tour. Look, here are the dates and everything:

1 Apr: York, Duchess
2 Apr: Darlington, Inside Out
18 Apr: Reading, Sub89

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MUSE TO PLAY SXSW
Muse will play a show at this year's SxSW festival, according to Billboard. The show will apparently take place at the 1800 capacity Stubb's venue in Austin, Texas on 20 Mar, with support from Metric.

The band do have two dates scheduled in Texas on their current US tour on 17 and 18 Mar, so it's not completely inconceivable. Sources at their label Warner have denied all knowledge.

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

EDEN SESSIONS, Cornwall, 3 Jul: Calvin Harris and Audio Bullys are the latest acts to be confirmed to play Cornwall's Eden Sessions. www.edenproject.com/sessions

FIELD DAY FESTIVAL, Victoria Park, London, 31 Jul: The Fall, These New Puritans and Lightspeed Champion are amongst the latest acts confirmed for this summer's Field Day. Simian Mobile Disco, Chapel Club, Hudson Mohawke and No Age have also been added to the bill. www.fielddayfestivals.com

GREAT ESCAPE, various venues, Brighton, 13-15 May: Wild Beasts, Codeine Velvet Club, Stornaway, Band Of Skulls are amongst the latest acts confirmed to play Brighton this year. Other acts added to the bill include 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster, Band Of Skulls, Lonelady and The Boy Who Trapped The Sun. www.escapegreat.com

LATITUDE, Henham Park Estate, Suffolk, 16-18 Jul: Florence And The Machine, Belle & Sebastian and Vampire Weekend have been announced as headliners for this year's Latitude. Also confirmed to play are The xx, Grizzly Bear, Empire Of The Sun, The National, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, The Horrors and Charlotte Gainsbourg. www.latitudefestival.co.uk

MELT FESTIVAL, Ferropolis, Germany, 16-18 Jul: Massive Attack, The xx and Booka Shade head up the first acts announced to play Germany's Melt Festival. Also confirmed to play are the likes of The Wombats, Foals, Blood Red Shoes, Crookers and Chris Cunningham. www.meltfestival.com

V FESTIVAL, Hylands Park, Chelmsford, Essex and Weston Park, Staffordshire, 21-22 Aug: Jamie T, The Divine Comedy and Chipmunk will be playing at this year's V Festival, joining the previously confirmed headliners Kings Of Leon and Kasabian. www.vfestival.com

URBAN ART FORMS FESTIVAL, Weisen, Austria, 3-6 Jun: Infected Mushroom, Friction, Hallucinogen and Spectrasoul are some of the latest acts confirmed for Urban Arts, joining previously announced acts David Guetta, Carl Cox, Sven Vath and Digitalism. www.urbanartforms.com

WAKESTOCK, Abersoch, North Wales, 2-4 Jul: Chase & Status, Plan B and Wiley have been confirmed to play Wakestock this year, along with McLean, Los Campesinos!, Scratch Perverts, Norman Jay, Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, Toddla T, Zinc, Dynamite MC and SBTRKT. www.wakestock.co.uk

WYCHWOOD FESTIVAL, Cheltenham Racecourse, Gloucestershire, 4-6 Jun: Kila, Justin Currie, Goldheart Assembly, 6 Day Riot, and Beth Jeans Houghton have all been announced to play at this year's Wychwood Festival, as well as The Arcadian Kicks and Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer. www.wychwoodfestival.com

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SINGLE REVIEW: She & Him - In The Sun (Domino)
'In The Sun' is the first release to come from She & Him's forthcoming sophomore record, the aptly titled 'Volume Two' (the follow-up to 'Volume One'. I wonder what the third will be called?), and is a sunshiney, typically sprightly offering from the endearing boy/girl twosome.

Zooey Deschanel may not have the strongest or most accessible voice in the world - that much is obvious from this song - but in my honest opinion, that is the mark of any interesting singer (just look at her co-star M Ward's solo offerings, who arguably has one of the best voices in modern indie). She has the old school warbling quality of starlets lost and forgotten, and that, my friends, is just part of her charm.

'In The Sun' is a perfect Sunday-morning in spring tune, rich with bright melodies and a catchy singalong yarn that won't leave your head for days. TW

Physical release: 15 Mar
Press contact: Domino IH [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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MUSEXPO ANNOUNCE LA PROGRAMME
MUSExpo have announced the programme for their LA edition next month. And very impressive it's looking, too. Universal Music's Jim Urie, Radio 1's George Ergatoudis, EA Games' Steve Schnur, Geffen Records' Ron Fair, TopSpin's Ian Rogers, and managers of The Killers and Lady Gaga, will all speak during the daytime proceedings at Hollywood's London West Hotel, before delegates head to the Viper Room and Whisky A Go Go to watch bands play music and stuff. Elsewhere during the proceedings an International Music Person Of The Year award will be awarded, this time to Mr Harvey Goldsmith.

There will also be a special strand dedicated to the world of sync, and given the serious sync money is to me made in LA, you can expect all the important moves and shakers from this domain to be on hand. Reps have been lined up from EA Games, NBC Universal TV, Pepsi, Chop Shop ('Grey's Anatomy', 'Twilight: New Moon'), The Radiate Group, Go Music Services ('True Blood'), Jim Beam, Inspire (Whole Foods, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf), Warner Bros Pictures, Hit The Ground Running ('CSI'), Firestarter Music ('Doll House') and Gap.

For full details, head to www.musexpo.net

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LABELS SHOULD CLOSE THE WINDOW, BUT CAN WE FORCE THEM? MUSICTANK THINK TANK ROUND-UP
There was a lot of agreement last night, at the latest MusicTank Think Tank debate, with the opinion of keynote speaker Joe Taylor that the record industry should look to narrow or even axe the pre-release window whereby songs are serviced to radio stations and journalists, and are therefore in the public domain, some weeks before they go on sale via digital music stores like iTunes.

Though there was probably less support for Taylor's proposal for this be achieved by forcing labels to comply with a change to chart rules, so that in order to be chart eligible, songs would have to go on sale the same day they arrive on radio.

As previously reported, the pre-release window traditionally exists so that record labels can build a profile for a new track through radio play and other promotional activity over a number of weeks, with the aim of maximising first week sales so that the single enters the chart in a high position. The high chart ranking then brings further exposure on radio and in the mainstream print media, normally securing further single sales and, it's hoped, building wider interest in the album release that will normally follow.

The problem is that in the digital age as soon as a track appears on radio, many music fans want immediate ownership of it. It's argued that because these people cannot legitimately buy the song they go onto illegal file-sharing networks instead. As early as 2004, a piece of CMU and MusicTank research reported that this was one of the excuses used by file-sharers as to why they went the illegal route rather than buying tracks from the then fledgling iTunes Music Store.

An increasing number of people in the industry reckon that as soon as songs appear on radio they should be available via iTunes and other digital music services. The down side to this is that legit sales won't be pushed into one seven-day window, meaning more mainstream acts looking for a week in the singles chart limelight to help plug an album wouldn't be so assured that crucial Top 10 position.

One member of the audience last night pointed out that major record companies who support the pre-release window often say it exists at the request of the media, while key players at radio stations insist it's a record industry requirement. Interestingly, the media representatives on the panel - Radio 1's Head Of Music George Ergatoudis and NME's Reviews Editor Emily Mackay - said they could both live without being serviced first single releases from new albums weeks in advance (as Ergatoudis pointed out, this only applies to first single releases, because once an album is out any subsequent single releases can be bought digitally as album tracks before the official single release date).

Ergatoudis added that at Radio 1 his music team rely more on digital stats - like those coming from YouTube, Shazam, file-sharing charts and their own research - rather than chart position when selecting what artists and tracks to playlist, so if the major record companies were to lose some control over the singles chart by abolishing the pre-release window, it wouldn't have a huge impact on his station's output. However, he admitted that his commercial rivals were often more influenced by the retail chart.

Official Charts Company chief Martin Talbot said that while he recognised the reasons behind the argument for closing the pre-release window, he wasn't convinced it was something that could be achieved through a change in the chart rules, even if the major labels - shareholders in the chart via their BPI membership - would agree to such a thing. CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke added that he felt there was ultimately such a strong commercial case for closing the window, and that ultimately the record companies would do so voluntarily, though he added "it normally takes major record companies ten years to catch up on sound commercial arguments!"

Finally, for those of you wondering whether there's any point worrying about the singles chart at all any more, Talbot pointed out that since the arrival of iTunes-style download stores the singles countdown is in rude health, and [PIAS] UK boss Peter Thompson added that, while for the vast majority of independent artists and labels he represents the singles chart is totally irrelevant, for those artists who have a chance of going Top 10 it does still have an important promotional role.

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CONSOLIDATED INDEPENDENT LAUNCH NYC OFFICE
Digital distribution people Consolidated Independent have announced they are opening a New York office, to be headed up by Rob Weitzner.

The company's Director Of Business Development, Paul Hitchman, told CMU: "CI has long held an established position in the European market, so North American expansion has been our logical next step. We are delighted by the progress we have made in the US over the last twelve months and are very pleased to announce that an executive of Rob Weitzner's experience and knowledge has joined our team as North America Representative".

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ROTD EDITOR TO JOIN UK MUSIC
Cross-sector trade body UK Music has appointed former Record Of The Day Editor Nicola Slade to a new part-time Press & Comms Manager role. She will work alongside main UK Music comms man Adam Webb. The new job will see Slade leaving RoTD with immediate effect, though she will continue to input to the industry news service in a non-editorial capacity.

Confirming the new appointment, UK Music top man chief bloke Feargal Sharkey told reporters: "Nicola is one of the most respected and talented music business journalists in the UK, and I am delighted she is joining the team. Her vast experience and insight will prove an invaluable asset to this industry".

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BBC EXECUTIVE SAYS SOMETHING STUPID, SHOCKER
The BBC's Chief Operating Officer Caroline Thomson has apparently told a media conference that 6music should close because the average age of its audience is 37 and that is at the heart of the demographic targeted by commercial radio.

According to the Guardian, Thomson defended the Beeb's controversial proposal that the digital radio service be shut at the Westminster Media Forum, and said: "The average age of its listeners - 37 - is at the heart of the demographic targeted by commercial radio".

Of course, it's possible Thomson has been misquoted or taken out of context there, and wasn't really suggesting that the 6music audience somehow crosses over with that of Magic and Heart and Absolute.

But if that is what she was saying, then that is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard, and demonstrates Thomson is so out of her depth she drowned long ago and is now just a zombie, and should be fired forthwith and placed somewhere where she can't bother the BBC ever again. That is all.

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6MUSIC AXES BRUCE DICKINSON
Oh, talking about 6music, the Bruce Dickinson rock show on the station has been axed. And Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie's Radio 2 show will be cut from four times a week to three, to make room for a new live music show. That is all.

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FORMER PRS CHIEF TO HEAD UP DIGITAL RADIO UK
Adam Singer, once the boss of digital telly company Flextech, and a former Chairman of PRS For Music (or the MCPS-PRS Alliance as it was then known), has been appointed to the role of Chairman at Digital Radio UK.

This is the body charged with the task of converting the great British public to digital radio, preferably by 2015. Although Singer's background is TV and music rights, he does sit on a committee within media regulator OfCom, so knows a thing or two about the regulatory and political dimension of the wider media industry.

The appointment was welcomed by RadioCentre, the trade body for those commercial radio companies who favour a fast phasing out of FM and move to Digital Audio Broadcasting. Their top man, Andrew Harrison, said: "Adam has a vast breadth of experience in the broadcasting world and his valuable knowledge will be of huge benefit to the radio sector as we move towards digital switchover".

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MARK OWEN ADMITS AFFAIRS
Mark Owen has admitted to having ten affairs, including one which lasted five years. Who'd have thought? He blamed his long battle with alcoholism for his infidelity. Apparently it is always the quiet ones.

The Take Thatter admitted all to his wife, actress Emma Ferguson, yesterday and then promptly phoned The Sun to tell them: "She loves me and I let her down. I'm really sorry. I have been an idiot, a dickhead, a knobhead. All of the above and more".

Which presumably means that Gordon Smart already had Mark's wife's mobile number keyed into his phone moments prior to the singer's confession. Today's edition of the tabloid also contains Owen's "full amazing sex confession" and "exclusive pictures" of the woman he had an affair with for five years.

This morning, Owen issued the following statement: "I'm so deeply sorry for the pain my actions have caused my family and friends. I'd like to ask the media to please respect the privacy of my wife and children during this difficult time".

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SHAUN RYDER MARRIES
Happy Mondays and Black Grape frontman Shaun Ryder has married his girlfriend in a surprise ceremony directly after the christening of their daughter, Lulu. I'm not sure if you get some sort of discount for doing both at once.

Ryder's manager Warren Askew told the Manchester Evening News: "Congratulations to Shaun and Joanne on their wedding.It was a surprise to everyone after the baptism of Lulu, but was a really lovely day".

Parish priest Father Paul Smith added: "The baptism was a nice family affair. They headed from here to their wedding at The Court House".

Joanne is Ryder's second wife. He was previously married to the daughter of Oriole Leitch, the daughter of 70s folk singer Donovan.

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Andy Malt
Editor
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Co-Publisher
Caro Moses
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Georgina Stone
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Owen Smith
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Paul Vig
Club Tipper

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