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CMU Info
Top Stories
Digital Economy Bill passed by House Of Commons, minus Clause 18
Comes With Music launches in China without DRM
Amanda Palmer celebrates being dropped with free song
Music board set up to support suicide charity
In The Pop Courts
Coolio off the hook
Pop Politics
Chinese government deny blocking Dylan gigs
Awards & Contests
Sony Award noms out
Charts, Stats & Polls
Website planned for all new Asian Music Chart
In The Studio
Kings Of Leon begin recording album #5
Paramore frontwoman unknowingly collaborates with Eminem
Release News
Fang Island announce UK release of debut album
Mademoiselle Caro & Franck Garcia to release new album
Gigs & Tours News
MGMT UK and Ireland tour dates
Gong announce new tour dates
Cold Cave UK tour
Festival News
Glastonbury renames Jazz World stage
Festival line-up update
Album review: A Guy Called Gerald - Tronik Jazz: The Berlin Sessions (Laboratory Instinct)
The Music Business
Public performance licences for radio listening amounts to "double taxation", says radio man
The Digital Business
WaTunes launch Facebook app
And finally...
Andrew WK reveals teenage crush song

So, I think you either love them or you hate them, but you can't deny that the Scouting For Girls boys have been pretty damn successful since their eponymous chart-topping debut album arrived on the scene in 2007, delivering as it did a plethora of single releases and a number of hits, most notably 'She's So Lovely' and 'It's Not About You'. Made up of Roy Stride, Greg Churchouse and Peter Ellard, SFG have come a very long way since Team CMU first saw them play a metal shed round the back of the Wireless festival a few months before that first album was unleashed. Now they're back with album number two, 'Everybody Wants To Be On TV', out on Epic next week, the first single from which, 'This Ain't A Love Song', is currently number one. We caught up with Roy Stride to ask the Same Six.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I remember being twelve years old and a drum kit was delivered to school by the new drum teacher (who was by the way the coolest person I had ever met as a twelve year old). Greg and I decided there and then we HAD to play the drums. I played drums quite seriously all through school intent on becoming professional. Then when I was fourteen I discovered an old acoustic guitar in the back of my mum's cupboard (whilst searching for Xmas presents). I learnt a few chords and started writing songs. I was hooked from that moment.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Musically, we went into the writing process with the aim of creating an album of ten singles. We wanted to write a classic. In the download world you have to deliver an album where every track is genuinely great, otherwise people will just download the single releases. We started with 50 tracks and ruthlessly culled this back to ten great tunes, which flowed together on an album, but also stood up individually. It took a lot of work to keep up such a high standard. In fact, it drove us mad and I don't think I've worked harder in my life.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
It all starts with the song. And that all starts with the hook. Whether that's a great lyric or a melodic or rhythmic hook. You need ten great hooks to create a strong song. These hooks come like magic whenever I play an instrument or sit down to write. Putting all these hooks together and building the song is the hard part. Sometimes it can take years.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
I'm always influenced by who I feel are the pop greats. The Beatles, The Beach Boys, REM, Elton John, Rolling Stones, any Motown, Madness, ELO, and even ABBA. I'll also always go back to Britpop, the sound of which defined my early teenage years; Blur, Oasis, Suede. And I'll always be listening to whoever is making great pop music at the moment. I've loved the recent albums by Keane, The Script, Florence And The Machine and some of the acts making great pop music like N-Dubz and Lady Gaga.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Time is so precious and there is so much available to do. So thank you so much for taking the time to listen to us. Come and see us play, as we fucking rock

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
We feel so lucky to be able to do what we love for a living. It's all I've ever wanted to do. I hope people enjoy the album and it does really well as I think it's great and I'm very proud of it.

MORE>> www.scoutingforgirls.com

So, I've become slightly fixated on Danish popstars lately. After approving RebekkaMaria in this slot last week, I did a little digging around and found a whole load of really good and slightly odd singers who, despite signing major record deals in their home country, have never had any of their music properly released anywhere else.

One such artist who particularly stands out is Fallulah, aka Maria Apetri, who, as far as I can see, is a pretty big deal in Denmark. And with good reason. Her debut album, 'The Black Cat Neighbourhood', released via Sony Music, is bursting with great songs, in particular the single 'Bridges', the chorus of which will lodge itself in your head for somewhere close to the rest of time. You can listen to that and a number of other songs on her MySpace page, or find a clutch of Fallulah releases on iTunes.

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Please send expression of interest to Danis at danis@redrosemusic.co.uk

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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
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McIntyre to host Royal Variety Performance
Matt Lucas selling London home
Corin Redgrave dies
Record industry delegation to meet BBC Trust over 6 plans
Johnston take down their experimental paywalls
Men & Motors closes tomorrow
Mantel and Harris set for Borders Book Fest
Naked photo guy to photo naked people at Big Chill
Music festival line-up update - 7 Apr 2010

The Digital Economy Bill is nearly law, people. But, as long predicted, without the controversial Clause 18, which the government was forced to drop at the last minute last night. Though arguably a tweak to Clause 8 means some of the dropped provision will still get through.

The Bill, which had its second reading in the House Of Commons on Tuesday, went through an incredibly speedy committee stage yesterday afternoon so that the proposed legislation could have a third reading last night, reducing a process that would normally take weeks down to 24 hours. With a few last minute alterations, the Bill was passed thanks to Tory support.

The late in the day amendments will now have to be approved by the House Of Lords, but, given most of the amendments were cuts, that approval is being taken as a given in parliamentary circles. It is therefore looking increasingly likely that the Digital Economy Bill will be safely law before the most General of Elections.

But, the last minute axing of Clause 18 - although not a surprise - will disappoint pro-DEB groups in the music industry. This was the clause designed to extend the power of the Bill so that it tackled online piracy other than conventional file-sharing, which is theoretically dealt with by the three-strikes system the legislation will put in place.

Record label trade body the BPI in particular wanted the courts to have increased powers to block access to websites that contain large amounts of infringing content or, crucially, which provide links to large amounts of infringing content. The latter point was important in that it would clarify the liabilities of those websites which link to unlicensed content but don't actually host it, so services like The Pirate Bay or Oink.

But the various versions of Clause 18 (originally Clause 17) proved controversial, mainly because some feared powers to block sites like The Pirate Bay or Oink could also be used against more legitimate web services like Google, who will inadvertently link to unlicensed content.

Despite a rather wordy final amendment by the government which basically said "we'll give the courts website blocking powers, but only after talking to lots of people about it", ministers had to drop the clause to ensure the Bill was passed last night.

However, according to The Guardian, a last minute tweak to Clause 8 of the Bill will mean that if a court says a website exists primarily to infringe copyright the relevant secretary of state could still force ISPs to block access to it. Although a much reduced version of Clause 18, opponents said last night that power too could be misused against legitimate sites that inadvertently aid infringement.

Other elements of the Bill were also cut to ensure its quick passage. Earlier the government agreed to drop the part of the legislation that deals with ITV local news provision, the section that the Tories have most objected to from the word go. Meanwhile, during last night's debate the clause that dealt with so called orphan works (copyright-protected work where the owner is not known) was also cut, the photography community having been most vocal in its opposition to that measure.

But, crucially, the three-strikes proposals, which could see persistent file-sharers have their net connections suspended if they fail to heed warnings to stop file-sharing, are now very likely to become law within the month. Though quite how quickly said system will be introduced, and exactly how it will work, will not be known until after the General Election.

In related news, the government also dropped another of its controversial net-based proposals yesterday, though this one was in its Finance Bill. The government had proposed adding a £6 a year levy on all fixed phone lines to help fund the nationwide rollout of superfast broadband. But the so called 'broadband tax' had to be axed in order to ensure the safe passage of that Bill during the wash-up.

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Nokia today launches its terrible all-you-can-eat download service in China, though the Chinese version looks set to be a whole lot less terrible because the music users download will come without digital rights management embedded.

As previously reported, Comes With Music in all other territories gives users unlimited access to what are theoretically 'permanent' downloads, but said downloads are locked to the device they are downloaded to, so access to music downloaded via the service only lasts for the lifetime of a phone or PC, so a couple of years max.

But downloads frm Comes With Music China will have no DRM, which presumably means tracks can be transferred from one device to another. It's not clear whether that means the music will be provided in the popular MP3 format - very possibly not, which will still be a limitation. Though presumably it will be easier to convert CWM files into a more versatile file-format without the DRM limitations being in place.

Obviously, Comes With Music uses limiting DRM in other territories because that is the only way it can get labels to sign up to an all-you-can-eat service. Many record companies remain nervous about services which give users unlimited access to truly permanent downloads for a set monthly or annual subscription, as Virgin Media know very well. However, it seems likely that in China, where the vast majority of current downloads are illegal, labels are much more open to such business models.

Music Ally quote Universal's Rob Wells as saying: "China is a massive opportunity and a challenging market to address", while Sony Music's Thomas Hesse says the DRM-free Comes With Music proposition provides a "great potential to convert China's massive audience of music fans into consumers of legitimate digital music".

Comes With Music China will be available via a plethora of Nokia phones, and won't be tied to any one mobile operator. Consumers who already own one of the CWM compliant handsets will also be able to sign up for the service. I'm not entirely sure how the Chinese version of CWM will be billed, in other territories the subscription fee is bundled in with the cost of the handset.

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Amanda Palmer has announced that she and her band The Dresden Dolls have been dropped by Warner Music's Roadrunner Records, something she's apparently been trying to get them to do since 2008.

Writing on her blog, Amanda says: "As many of you know, I've been fighting very, very hard to get off the label for the better part of two years. For the past seven years, anything I have written and recorded (solo or with my band, The Dresden Dolls) has technically been owned and under the ultimate control of the label, but no longer. After endless legal bullshit, it's over, I've been DROPPED, RELEASED, LET GO, whatever you wanna call it. In other words: I am FREE AT LAST!!!!!! RAAHH!!"

Discussing her future plans as an independent artist, she continued: "I've been a very vocal advocate of artists being fearless in asking their audience and supporters for direct financial help. I come from a background of grassroots theatre and street performance, and I think that artists should feel no shame while passing the hat around once they've entertained a crowd of people. It's been a huge and obvious irony that I have been legally unable to ask for money for my music, since it's been verboten by my contract with Roadrunner. Now that I'm unshackled, I plan on doing a lot of really awesome and creative things with my songs and how people can pay for them - or, better yet, donate - now that I have control over my stuff".

In an open letter to Roadrunner Records, Palmer thanked many of the people who had worked with The Dresden Dolls at the label, saying: "I will never regret signing with you and I will never take for granted what you did to help my life". She also admitted: "When we signed with you in 2004, I was a wreck of a human being because I was working too hard to juggle business-ing and musician-ing. ... and no other label in America would sign us". But added: "You stopped helping us when our second record came out in 2006. That made us really sad".

To celebrate her new freedom, Amanda is giving away a free song to download, entitled 'Do You Swear To Tell The Truth The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth So Help Your Black Ass'. You can download the track and read the letter to Roadrunner here: www.amandapalmer.net/thetruth/

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CALM, a charitable initiative which aims to reduce the suicide rate among young men, has announced the creation of a 'music board', a team of music business professionals who will create links between the organisation and the music industry, with a view to launching both fundraising and profile-building initiatives.

Among the founding members of the music board will be Chris Price from News Slang Media, Steve Purdham from We7, Henry Semmence from Absolute Marketing, Ben Turner from Graphite and Jeremy Paterson from FRUKT. A bunch of label people have also committed to support the board's work, include Island Records' Ted Cockle, Fiction Records' Jim Chancellor and Wall Of Sound's Mark Jones.

Confirming the creation of the music board, CALM's CEO Jane Powell told CMU: "CALM has always had links with the music industry thanks to the support of people like Tony Wilson and Dizzee Rascal, so we've got a strong platform on which to build some really exciting initiatives. The next twelve months are going to be crucial in the development of CALM, and the music board will really help us to advance the organisation and help young men".

Meanwhile Price, who will chair the board, added: "The CALM Music Board has got off to a fantastic start. The music industry is crucial to reaching young men with a message and in a manner they can identify with, so we are thrilled to have the support of so broad a range of music and media gatekeepers. With their reach and campaign creativity, the potential for making a difference in young men's lives has increased exponentially".

The launch of the music board comes ahead of tonight's premiere of the film 'The Infidel', which has been written by one of the charity's patrons David Baddiel, and which is being held in aid of the organisation.

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It's alright, readers. You can stop worrying now; the warrant for Coolio's arrest has been dropped.

As previously reported, a warrant was issued on Tuesday after the rapper failed to appear at a court in LA to update the judge on his progress since pleading guilty to possessing crack cocaine at LAX airport last year. However, it seems that the rapper eventually turned up and everything was fine. He escaped arrest by proving to the judge that he was adhering to the terms of his probation, which includes drug rehabilitation treatment.

He's due back in court to give his next progress report on 18 Jan next year. Fingers crossed it'll be as thrilling as this one's been. Or maybe even less so.

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The Chinese government has denied refusing permission for Bob Dylan to play two gigs in the country.

As previously reported, the promoter of a Bob Dylan tour around South East Asia this week said plans for the singer songwriter to perform in Beijing and Shanghai had been blocked by Chinese officials and, because it was those dates that most interested Dylan, the whole tour - which also included dates in Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan - was being canned.

While it is not unknown for Chinese authorities to block Western singers from performing in the country, especially those with a history of political commentary, some music industry types in China speculated the tour's Taiwan-based promoter had actually axed the tour because of financial problems rather than political setbacks.

Now China's Ministry Of Culture has issued a statement saying they never received an application from the Dylan tour promoters to stage concerts in the country. Some Chinese industry commentators add that it's not the first time promoters in the region have used alleged government intervention as an excuse for cancelling tours that turn out not to be commercially viable.

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The nominations for this year's Sony Awards - the radio industry's premiere awards bash - are out. So that's exciting. If you get excited about these sorts of things.

Commercial radio does particularly well in the various station of the year categories, which possibly isn't a surprise given there are a lot more commercial stations than BBC stations, though the Beeb can sometimes dominate at the Sonys, which always pisses off commercial radio types, so the fact that there are generally more commercial stations than BBC stations up for these prizes will please bosses on the commercial side of the industry. Though at least one BBC station is up for each of the five station of the year prizes, so the Corporation could still have a clean sweep in that domain.

Talking of the BBC, of particular interest for the save 6music and Asian Network campaigners will be the awards those stations are up for. 6music and its DJs are up for a number of awards, including best comedy, specialist contributor, best music programme, music radio personality of the year, music broadcaster of the year and, interestingly, the station imaging prize (interesting given that the BBC's own research showed most people had never heard of 6, presumably it's a low key image). The Asian Network is shortlisted in the best speech and best news special categories.

Both of the doomed digital stations also have presenters up for the Rising Star Award, the only public vote prize at the Sonys, which celebrates new talent in the radio sector. Waqas Saeed from the BBC Asian Network is shortlisted for that gong, while 6's contender is an existing star who is only now rising as a radio star, Jarvis Cocker.

Commenting on this year's nominations, the awards' chair Tim Blackmore told reporters: "This is another encouraging year for these awards. Once again the number of entries has increased and the nominations reveal just how broad is the range of radio programming and radio stations that are celebrated by this event. The nominated entries represent the very best of UK Radio, and happily there is a very great deal about which we can be very proud indeed".

You can browse the many many nominations at www.radioawards.org/winners/?year=2010

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A new website will launch next month that will promote the Asian Music Chart, the latest new chart to be created by the music industry's Official Charts Company. The first Asian Music Chart was compiled last month and it is already being broadcast by Bobby Friction on the BBC Asian Network and promoted via a Facebook group. The AsianMusicCharts.com website will launch in May.

Commenting on the new chart, Lawrence Target, who has been spearheading the development of a music chart focused on Asian genres for two years, and who will head up the new website, told CMU: "The birth of the Asian Music Chart is of huge significance to the entire music industry. It sets out and defines Asian music as the unique and emerging new genre of music that it is ... finally giving Asian music the recognition and respect it deserves. It's like lifting a lid off a bubbling source of talent and giving it space to breathe".

Noting the support of the BBC's Asian Network in the creation of the new chart, Target continues: "It is important that a huge thanks goes out to the BBC Asian Network, whose significant support in the development of the Asian Music Charts should be totally appreciated, even as it's fate hangs in the balance, it continues to reach out beyond being just a radio station and makes things happen. To lose that champion of Asian Music would be a travesty".

While the new website launches next month, you can already follow the chart via this Facebook page: www.facebook.com/AsianMusicCharts

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Kings Of Leon have begun recording their fifth album. That's right, fifth. The band are currently holed up in a New York studio working on the follow-up to the massively successful 'Only By The Night', which was released in 2008.

Updating fans via Twitter, drummer Nathan Followill said that getting back to the studio on Tuesday had him "beaming with excitement", before later declaring that their first day of recording had been "a musical success".

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Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams has revealed that she recently recorded vocals for a track on the forthcoming debut album from rapper BoB, 'The Adventures Of Bobby Ray', only later discovering that Eminem was also on the track.

Williams told MTV: "I was given the track a while ago while we were on tour. The guys and I all loved it. They told me I was crazy if I passed it up. I liked the part too much anyway, so of course I was down. It means a lot that I got to collaborate with a hip hop artist who is from Atlanta. Not far from home. We Southern gals love us some Southern gentlemen. I only found out about Eminem getting on the track, like, a month ago. As if the song couldn't get any better. He just slays me, he's such a genius".

Williams and Eminem appear on 'Airplanes (Part II)', which closes the album. Williams also appears alone on part one of the track. Other guests on the album, which is due out next month, include Lupe Fiasco and Weezer's Rivers Cuomo.

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The recently CMU approved and currently very buzzy Fang Island have announced that they will officially release their eponymous debut album in the UK via the Sargeant House label on 5 Jul.

That seems like a long time to have to wait for one of the year's best albums. Why not listen to some of the songs off it on a little thing called the internet right now? www.myspace.com/fangisland

Or just amuse yourself with this list of the names of the songs on the album:

Dreams Of Dreams
Careful Crossers
Life Coach
The Illinois
Davey Crockett
Welcome Wagon

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With their new single, 'Soldiers', out this week, French synth-pop duo Mademoiselle Caro & Franck Garcia will release their second album, 'Left', via Buzzin Fly Records on 12 Apr.

Featuring a blend of acoustic sounds, indie sensibilities, electronic pulses and deadpan lyrics, the pair have drawn comparisons to Stereolab, Air, Phoenix and Serge Gainsbourg.

Here's the obligatory track list:

From The Shadow
Everything Must Change
Pale Christmas
On My Own
The First Time

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MGMT will be over in the UK and Ireland in September as part of their upcoming world tour, which is already under way.

The band will, obviously, be working to promote their second, opinion-dividing album, 'Congratulations', which they say was influenced by a mixture of confusion and brevity. Andrew VanWyngarden told Xfm: "We finished touring in December 2008 and at the end of January 2009 we started writing and recording. We really didn't give ourselves much time. That's why a lot of the songs are more... not cynical... we didn't know what had happened to us and that's what comes through in a lot of the songs".

Tour dates:

16 Sep: Dublin, Olympia
20 Sep: Glasgow, Barrowlands
23 Sep: Birmingham, Academy
24 Sep: Bournemouth, Academy
26 Sep: Manchester, Apollo
29 Sep: London, Brixton Academy
30 Sep: London, Brixton Academy

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Following last year's 40th anniversary tour and the release of their latest studio album, '2032', legendary psychedelic progsters Gong have announced that they are heading out on the road yet again this September. Support for all three dates will come from Nik Turner's Space Ritual.

Tour dates:

9 Sep: Glasgow, ABC
10 Sep: Manchester, Academy
11 Sep: London, The Forum

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Cold Cave have announced details of a UK tour ahead of the 8 Jun release of their new single 'Life Magazine', taken from the band's rather fine 'Love Comes Close' album.

To whet your appetite, Matador Records are giving away a free MP3 of minimal techno brianbox Pantha Du Prince's remix of the single: bit.ly/ColdCaveLifePantha

But, anyway, what about these tour dates?

7 May: Matt Groening's All Tomorrow's Parties
8 May: Leeds, Nation Of Shopkeepers, Leeds
9 May: Glasgow, Captain's Rest, Glasgow
10 May: Manchester, Deaf Institute, Manchester
12 May: London, Cargo, London
13 May: Brighton, Horatio's (The Great Escape)

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Michael Eavis has announced that Glastonbury's Jazz World stage will from this year be renamed the West Holts stage, because, er, because... fuck knows.

In a statement, Eavis said: "We're going back to the real roots of Worthy Farm and its history with the name change for the stage. West Holts was a 'halt' originally; one of the two places where we had to open the level crossing gates across the old railway line to get the cattle through for milking. It was a fair walk up to the farm, just as it is now, and those cows took some driving!"

Amongst the artists who will perform on The Stage Formerly Known As Jazz World this year will be: George Clinton with Parliament, Toots & The Maytals, Mos Def, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Dr John, Tunng, Femi Kuti, Devendra Banhart, Phenomenal Handclap Band, Mariachi El Bronx, Tune-Yards and The Matthew Herbert Big Band.

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BELLADRUM TARTAN HEART FESTIVAL, Beauly, Inverness-shire, 6-7 Aug: Feeder and Amy MacDonald have been confirmed as headliners at this summer's Belladrum Tartan Heart. Other acts announced for the Scottish fest include The Wailers, The Divine Comedy, Candi Staton, Levellers and Beth Jeans Houghton. www.tartanheartfestival.co.uk

FIELD DAY, Victoria Park, London, 31 Jul: Atlas Sound, Fake Blood, Is Tropical and The Golden Filter are amongst the latest acts announced to play at this year's Field Day. Also added to the line-up are No Age, Gruff Rhys vs Tony Da Gattorra, Mount Kimbie, Rory Phillips, Moderat and Tensnake. www.fielddayfestivals.com

SONISPHERE, Knebworth House, Hertfordshire, 30 Jul - 1 Aug: Alice In Chains, Pendulum and Lacuna Coil head up the latest acts confirmed for this year's Sonisphere. Also added to the bill are Europe, Therapy?, Municipal Waster, Dir En Grey, Terrorvision, Sick Of It All, Evile, Rise To Remain and Renegades. www.sonispherefestivals.com

SUMMER SUNDAE WEEKENDER, De Montfort Hall, Leicester, 13-15 Aug: Frankie & The Heartstrings, Peggy Sue and Goldheart Assembly have all been added to the Summer Sundae line-up, along with The Leisure Society, Eliza Doolittle, Tiffany Page, Jason & The Scorchers and many more. www.summersundae.com

WOMAD, Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, 23-25 Jul: Gil Scott-Heron has been added to the WOMAD line-up, joining previously announced Don Letts, Rolf Harris, Salif Keita and The Drummers Of Burundi. www.womad.org

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ALBUM REVIEW: A Guy Called Gerald - Tronik Jazz: The Berlin Sessions (Laboratory Instinct)
Gerald Simpson is probably best known for his 'Voodoo Ray' acid house track, released way back in 1988. He then went on to release one of the first jungle LPs - 1995's 'Black Secret Technology' - before relocating to Berlin and taking a more techno approach to his composition, as evidenced by his 'Proto Acid' album from 2006.

Here he crafts techno with a pinch more soul. The opening cut 'People Moover' sucks us right in, with its lush sweeping synths and abstract keys, sounding akin to technomeister Fabric Lig. The harder 'Nuvo Alfa' follows, and then the menacing 'Flutter', and then the highlight - 'Iland' - an excellent house tinged stormer.

After the peak comes, aptly, 'The Dip', which goes too minimal, before making way for some average breakbeat bass in the form of 'RoundEco'. Next track 'Dirty Trix' is overly mechanistic, but 'Wow Yeah', a more tribal track, restores earlier quality levels. Then he retouches 'Pacific' by 808 State, which he co-wrote, before providing us with a rather nice meld in 'Pacific Samba', a great a slice of future tech in the lush sonic textures of 'F Min Blue', and the slightly tripped out 'Merfed' as a finale.

'Tronik Jazz' is not really that jazz-influenced, but some great tronic work is on offer here, and while not a consistent high, overall AGCG is on good form with his eighth studio album. PV

Physical release: 15 May
Press contact: EPM [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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Neither of the collecting societies will like me for saying so, but it has always struck me a little bit cheeky that if people turn on a radio in an office or shop or bar the owner of that establishment must have a music licence from PPL and PRS, even though the radio station has already paid a healthy licence fee to both collecting societies for the public performance of their music.

Copyright law says both the radio station and the owner of the radio playing in a public space must have a licence, of course, but it does feel a bit like the music industry is being paid twice for the same thing. Certainly most of the office, shop and bar owners I know think so; and as a result the whole thing contributes to the "everyone in the music business is a money-grabbing bastard" perception.

The boss of commercial radio trade body RadioCentre called the phenomenon "double taxation" recently, when presenting to parliament's Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee. Of course, with licensing revenues more important than ever to the music industry, both PPL and PRS have become more proactive in collecting licence fees off radio-playing offices, shops and bars in recent years.

Presenting to the select committee on this issue, RadioCentre's Andrew Harrison argued that this increasingly proactive (or "aggressive" to use his words) approach to collecting public performance royalty fees was causing offices and shops to turn off their radios, hitting the commercial radio sector's listening figures and, therefore, their revenues just at a time when the radio industry is facing its own challenges.

Harrison: "We already pay 10% of our revenue to license music. We pay the record labels, the PPL, and we pay the artists and composers, the PRS. We already pay once for that broadcast license. We think it is incredibly unfair that there is in effect double taxation on the consumers of our product that they are then obliged to pay for having the radio on in the workplace".

He continued: "It would seem a transparent example of iniquitous double taxation. The evidence we are beginning to pick up is that the rather aggressive licensing demands that the collecting bodies like the PRS and the PPL are putting on small shops, offices, hairdressers and factories are beginning to lead to a flurry of people certainly writing to us".

Harrison's comments were made public this week when the select committee published a report on their recent investigations. Needless to say, both PPL and PRS were critical of Harrison's viewpoint. The boss of the former, Fran Nevrkla, said in a statement: "We at PPL were rather taken aback by what we considered a cynical and shameless attack by the RadioCentre on the lawful rights of all performers as well as all the companies who make enormous annual investments in finding, supporting and nurturing new talent".

He continued: "Music is hugely valuable to the businesses who choose to use it to enhance the atmosphere in their stores for their customers and their staff. It is not for the RadioCentre to interfere in the established and legitimate process by which performers and record companies are paid for all the benefits their recordings bring".

The good news for PPL, PRS and the beneficiaries of the licence fees they collect is that the select committee was not convinced that either collecting society was "aggressive" in the way they collect royalties, nor that the requirement for offices and shops and the like to have a music licence for radio listening was having a major impact on radio listening figures.

Their report concluded: "We are not convinced by RadioCentre's assertions that music licenses for radios in the workplace are either being aggressively collected, or are contributing to a downturn in radio listening. Performing artists have a right to earn from their work and the cost to businesses playing a radio is not unreasonable".

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WaTunes, a US-based "social music service" which I don't really get (I think they offer a range of online preview and sell-through services for both artists and fans), has launched a music store app for Facebook. The WaTunes app will be the first time Facebook users have been able to buy music via the market leading social network. The widget will also enable people to preview and recommend tunes.

WaTunes top man Kevin Rivers told CMU: "Music Store is truly a remarkable achievement. We are very excited to be able to bring the WaTunes Marketplace in front of Facebook's 400 million users. For the first time, everyone can download music from Facebook without leaving the site. If a user wants to suggest an album to a friend, they are able to do it instantly. Music Store is the perfect solution for sharing and buying music on Facebook".

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There's nothing quite like teenage love. Particularly the unrequited kind. Now, I don't want to cast aspersions upon your character, but I'm guessing a lot of you could recount some impressive stories of the realms of stupidity that your teenage brain led you into in this area. Still, you'd have to do a lot to top Andrew WK.

In a new blog for The Guardian, the rocker has revealed that he once wrote a song for a girl he had a crush on at school. The lyrics were a bit stalker-y. And the organ didn't really help. As a result, he ended up with a restraining order against him.

Listen to the song and read the man's own account of what happened here:

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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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