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INFORMATION
Jobs
Classifieds
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Industry bodies send final save 6 pleas to BBC Trust
Slipknot bassist dies
Three-strikes goes live in Ireland
In The Pop Courts
Suge Knight arrested for assault
Pop Politics
Madonna calls Malawi anti-gay court ruling "backward"
Reunions & Splits
Charlie Watts still not quitting The Stones
In The Studio
Lil Jon appears on Miley Cyrus remix
The Cribs get synths
Release News
Mark Ronson announces new single
Gigs & Tours News
Steve Mason tour dates
Swans confirm new tour dates
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Reviews
Live review: Wild Palms at Camp Basement in London on 18 May
Brands & Stuff
Lily Allen replaced as face of Chanel handbags
The Music Business
China resents appearance on America's worst infringer list
Italian radio boycotts new releases in long-running royalty dispute
The Digital Business
Currys and PC World to sell iPads on UK launch day
The Media Business
McFly withdraw photo ban on gay website
Chart Of The Day
Total Rock world album chart
And finally...
Tinie Tempah on money


 
TUESDAY 25TH MAY
THE LIKE
Formed in 2001, The Like are an indie rock band from Los Angeles. Initially set up by Elizabeth 'Z' Berg, Tennessee Thomas and Charlotte Froom, they were later joined by Laena Geronimo and Reni Lane after Froom's departure in 2009. With influences lying between The Kinks and Carole King, the band deliver 60s-influenced pop with a feisty edge. After a number of independent releases, they signed to Geffen Records in 2004 and went on to release their debut album 'Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking' the following year. Their Mark Ronson-produced second LP, 'Release Me', will be released later this year, with the first single from it, 'He's Not A Boy', out on 31 May via Polydor. We caught up with lead singer Z to ask the Same Six.

 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I sang before I could talk (one of those super annoying kids) and I started playing piano aged five, then guitar at thirteen. I started writing when I started playing guitar. I never wrote on piano before that, I think because it's too logical an instrument; it's literally designed to be logical. The strange mystical aspect of the guitar (especially when you don't know what the hell you're doing) really just instantly made me start writing.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Everything! A few years of hard living. Desperation. Writing songs is the only way I know with which to process the world around me, so that's what I do! Everything is worth it if the song is good.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
The writing of a song usually involves dragging myself out of bed at three in the morning on tour, while my band is sleeping next to me, and going out into the hallway to record whatever harebrained idea was interrupting my sleep. Then over time it becomes a song. It's magic, I think.

The recording process of this record was pretty epic. We spent a couple of days intensively rearranging and arranging songs with Mark [Ronson], then went into the studio where we recorded it live, all of us in one room, onto tape, with one mic on the drums. Pretty old school, but we realised that there is a reason the records we love sound the way they do.

The low fidelity of old recording equipment and methods add so much to the sound of the music. And playing it live, with all the mistakes and the urgency, and being forced to be good enough to get it right without any possibility of fixing your mistakes makes you have to be good enough to get it right. I can't believe rock and roll music is recorded any other way.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
I mean, we really grew up listening to the music that inspired this record. It's really a return to my childhood for me: The Beatles, The Stones, The Kinks, The Zombies, The Ronnettes, The Shirelles, The Supremes, Dusty Springfield, Jackie Deshannon, Ellie Greenwich, Lesley Gore, Skeeter Davis, The Beach Boys, The Animals, Carole King, The Shangri La's, Elvis, Nancy Sinatra.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Enjoy!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I just wanna make music and tour the world for the rest of my life.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/thelike

 
!!! - AM/FM
A new album from !!! is always a bit of an event, and the announcement of their fourth album - 'Strange Weather, Isn't It?' - is no different. Their third LP for Warp Records, due out on 23 Aug, it comes after a period of upheaval for the band. With their line-up previously swelling to eight, after various comings and goings they've now shrunk down to a five-piece. Meanwhile the tragic death of drummer Jerry Fuchs, who fell down a lift shaft in November last year, is still a very recent memory.

 
Written in the basement of a Berlin club, the band have dubbed this their "Berlin album", although most of the recording was handled back in the US. But some of the German capital's clubbing culture has certainly worked its way into the first single 'AM/FM', with a sound that also harks back to the band's second album, 'Louden Up Now' and tracks like 'Hello? Is This Thing On?' The song is streaming on the band's website now.

chkchkchk.net


 
 

KUSU IS LOOKING FOR AN ENTERTAINMENT MANAGER - SALARY £23,344
We are seeking a highly motivated and experienced individual who will be responsible for managing a well established and respected licensed venue. You will primarily be responsible for planning and delivering a diverse events and entertainments programme to meet the needs of our students and external customers, offering quality services and facilities in a safe and enjoyable environment. You will have at least two years management experience in the entertainment industry. You must be capable of working within agreed budgets and be driven by quality and results. The position is a hands- on operational one and involves working nights and weekends.

If you have the skills to meet this challenge, please contact Keele University Students' Union on 01782 733 700 or see www.kusu.net/kusu_vacancies. Closing date: 9 Jun 2010. Interviews will be held week commencing 14 Jun 2010. KUSU is committed to being an equal opportunity employer.

       
  A STAR PR IS LOOKING FOR INTERNS!
Are you bright, enthusiastic, hard-working, love music... and great at making tea? A Star PR is looking for interns to work with us over the incredibly busy summer festival period. We'll cover your travel and lunch, and can promise a fun working environment with a young and exciting team.

If you're interested, send a brief email outlining why you're great and highlighting any relevant experience, tell us the top five bands you're into at the moment, what your dream music festivals would be this summer, and link us to your Twitter account, last.fm profile and any other exciting online presence you have; bundle it all up with your CV and send it over to hello@astarpr.com - we're looking for people to start as soon as possible, so the sooner you get in touch the better!
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  MUSIC EVENT ORGANISERS FOR 2010 OXJAM MUSIC FESTIVAL WANTED!
Sign up before the 31 May and you'll get to go to a free event training day run by Live Nation and the O2 academies near you in June. Industry experts will help you to plan, promote and raise money at your Oxjam event. You'll also get to meet other amazing Oxjam Event Organisers from around the country to swap ideas and advice, and together form the biggest line-up of any music festival in the UK!

Don't miss out, sign up on the Oxjam website today... www.oxfam.org.uk/oxjam
       
  INTERESTED IN SELLING YOUR RECORD LABEL?
Music Gain is acquiring record labels and catalogue. If you are thinking of selling, or have a large catalogue 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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Ivors dished out in London
Vaizey to have both culture and business remit
Parliament dishes out its jazz gongs
 
BBC Trust's 6music consultation deadline approaches
George Lamb quits 6
Google possibly acquired content start-up as basis for Android music service
 
Charleston Festival will take you to the end of May
Scroobius Pip announces Camp Bestival poetry podcast
Music festival line-up update - 21 May 2010
 

INDUSTRY BODIES SEND FINAL SAVE 6 PLEAS TO BBC TRUST
UK Music, The Association Of Independent Music, the BPI and the Musician's Union have all sent last minute pleas to the BBC Trust, asking for BBC 6music to be saved.

In a statement introducing a lengthy submission from UK Music, which includes a case study of the support 6music has given Moshi Moshi Records, and contributions from PR firm Anorak London and indie label Full Time Hobby Records, the trade body's head Feargal Sharkey says: "It is vital that as an industry our voice is heard clearly, prominently and with determination. If nothing else, the BBC needs to understand that its current proposals for 6 are misinformed, inappropriate and, as an industry, not an option we are prepared to explore".

Also contributing, in her role as an artist who released her first single through the aforementioned Moshi Moshi and who only received radio play on 6music at the start of her career, Florence 'And The Machine' Welch said: "6music gave me so much support at the start, and throughout my career, and I think the BBC would be failing to support young and upcoming talent if they were to take it off the air; no other radio station is as committed to playing new and alternative music, it would be a huge loss to the airwaves".

Echoing Florence's words, AIM's Alison Wenham said in her own organisation's submission: "It is right that the Association Of Independent Music - whose member companies are the finders and incubators of almost all new British music creators, performers and entrepreneurs - should stress the importance of 6music to independent music. 6music is a radio station which has quickly established itself as pivotal in this process of talent development. Readily available data clearly shows mainstream BBC music networks' content is dominated by the major multinational entertainment companies - which suits these networks' daytime audiences and competes with commercial music radio. Without 6music independent new music has no national radio station".

Communicating major as well as indie label support for 6, BPI boss man Geoff Taylor said: "6music is exactly the kind of programming the licence fee is there to support - distinctive, high quality broadcasting that the commercial market would not provide. This is a chance for the Trust to stand up for the rights of the listener, and save a national treasure. Signing its death warrant would not only let down music fans, it would fail generations of British artists who do not get played otherwise".

The MU, meanwhile, broke its response down into twenty points of fairly balanced arguing, concluding: "[BBC management's proposals] contains a lot that the MU can support in terms of an overall strategy and vision for the BBC, but we are concerned that some of the cuts and reductions in current services seem to be aimed at appeasing the commercial and political forces that want to see a smaller and weaker BBC that does not fulfil its high ambitions. We would urge the BBC not to fall into the trap of offering unnecessary sacrifices in order to satisfy those who will always criticise the BBC".

The BBC Trust's public consultation on the Corporation's strategic review, which proposes the cutting of 6, that other incredibly important radio service the Asian Network, and a raft of other BBC services, closes today. You have until 5pm today to submit your views, which you can do here:

consultations.external.bbc.co.uk/departments/bbc/bbc-strategy-review/consultation/consult_view

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SLIPKNOT BASSIST DIES
Paul Gray, bassist with metallers Slipknot, has died aged 38. According to local media in Des Moines, police have confirmed Gray's body was found at the city's Town Plaza Hotel by a member of hotel staff. The exact cause of death is as yet unknown, though foul play is not suspected. An autopsy is due to be conducted today. No official statement from either the band or their label Roadrunner Records has as yet been made, though visitors to Slipknot's official website are met with a picture of Gray.

Gray was a founding member of Slipknot, one of just three still with the group (though the line-up has remained the same since the release of the band's debut album in 1999), which originally formed in Des Moines in 1995. He was also known by his 'band names' of #2 and 'The Pig', and - like most of his bandmates - was normally only ever seen in public wearing one of Slipknot's now iconic masks. So much so there was both excitement and anger in the Slipknot fanbase when a police mugshot surfaced online in 2003 after Gray was arrested on drugs charges following a car crash.

Gray played in a few other lesser known metal bands prior to joining Slipknot, and more recently filled in as bassist for fellow metallers Unida on a 2003 tour, appeared on some tracks by post-hardcore types Drop Dead Gorgeous, and took part in his label's Roadrunner United project in 2005.

Paying tribute to Gray last night, the Music Director of Des Moines rock station Lazer 103.3, Andy Hall, who knew the bassist, told reporters: "This is a big blow, not only to the community of Des Moines but fans of metal at large, worldwide. It's a devastating loss. Paul was a wonderful human being".

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THREE-STRIKES GOES LIVE IN IRELAND
Three-strikes is go, people. Well, it sort of is in Ireland, the first Western country to instigate the so called "graduated response" system to tackle online piracy. Only "sort of" because Irish three-strikes has been achieved by an out-of-court settlement between the record industry and one internet service provider in particular (albeit a big one) rather than by an actual change in the law, so three-strikes will only apply to customers of Eircom. File-sharing Eircom customers will presumably quickly switch to an alternative net supplier.

Three-strikes, of course, is the system where labels can complain about alleged P2P-based piracy to an alleged file-sharer's ISP, who are then obligated to send out warning letters. If warning letters are ignored the label can apply for an order to have that file-sharer's net connection suspended or disconnected, which the ISP is then obligated to do. Exact process and penalties (and whether there are actually three stages to the system) varies from country to country.

Both Taiwan and South Korea have already introduced three-strikes, while systems are in development in the UK, France and New Zealand following changes in copyright laws in those three countries. Because the Irish system has not actually necessitated a change in the law it should, in theory, have become a reality much quicker, but the country's Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawke raised concerns that the system contravened data protection rules. Although the Dublin court dismissed those concerns last month, the fact they were raised delayed the launch of three-strikes somewhat.

According to the Irish Times, the Eircom system will be administered by a third party company called Dtecnet. Suspected file-sharers will be contacted by phone initially. If they continue to file-share they will have their net access suspended for a week. If they still continue to file-share they could lose their internet connection for a whole year. It is thought that initially Dtecnet will target about fifty IP addresses where infringement has been spotted a week.

Because the Irish three-strikes system is only being operated by Eircom, it isn't clear if there is anything to stop a disconnected customer simply moving their ISP account to another company.

There also doesn't seem to be any judicial stage prior to disconnection, ie disconnection orders don't need to go before a judge for approval. In France this proved controversial - or, rather, unconstitutional, according to the country's Constitutional Council - meaning that a judicial stage has been added to the proceedings. The French constitutional court ruled that internet access was now enough of a human right that only a judge should be able to deprive someone of it.

It is possible no judicial process is required in Ireland because, for now, a disconnected customer can go and buy their net access from another supplier. Though given there have been rumblings within the European Parliament to the effect that a judge should be involved in any net disconnections, it will be interesting to see if any disconnected Irish file-sharers try to challenge their net suspension in court.

Of course, Eircom aren't stupid, and realise that being the only three-strikes operating ISP in Ireland is not going to be good for business. In their agreement with the ISP, the Irish Recorded Music Association agreed to pressure other Irish net firms to introduce a similar system, though it seems likely other ISPs will resist unless forced to do so by a court ruling or change in the country's copyright laws.

Meanwhile, Eircom probably need to persuade IRMA's major label members to licence a majorly attractive streaming or download service to ensure every music fan among their customer base doesn't jump ship to a competitor.

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SUGE KNIGHT ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT
I long for the day when I can write a story about Suge Knight headlined something like "Suge Knight strokes kitten" or "Suge Knight does something that doesn't require the police to be called". But today is not that day.

The Death Row founder was arrested in LA last week on charges of assault involving a firearm and driving with a suspended licence. Police were told that the hip hop mogul had pointed a gun at another man earlier that evening, and arrested him as he drove through the city, where it was discovered that his drivers licence was invalid. He was released on $60,000 bail on Saturday.

His lawyer Marc Brumer told CNN: "He's innocent, 100%. Suge Knight is a businessman. He is not a person who would carry a gun or flash a gun at anybody. That's not Suge Knight. There was never a gun found. He was very cooperative, answered all the questions police had, and we just feel that he shouldn't have been arrested. There are a lot of people that hate him and are jealous of what he has obtained in his life".

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MADONNA CALLS MALAWI ANTI-GAY COURT RULING "BACKWARD"
Madonna has called on the people of Malawi to back an appeal against a court ruling made in the country last week that has seen two gay men jailed for fourteen years because of their sexuality. Homosexuality is still illegal in the country. Madonna, who has a high profile in Malawi after funding various charitable initiatives there and adopting two young children from the country, called the ruling against the gay couple "backward". Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga face "hard labour" as part of their prison sentence.

In a statement to Access Hollywood, Madonna says: "I am shocked and saddened by the decision made today by the Malawian court, which sentenced two innocent men to prison. As a matter of principle, I believe in equal rights for all people, no matter what their gender, race, colour, religion, or sexual orientation. Today, Malawi took a giant step backward. The world is filled with pain and suffering; therefore, we must support our basic human right to love and be loved. I call upon the progressive men and women of Malawi - and around the world - to challenge this decision in the name of human dignity and equal rights for all".

Although homosexuality is generally considered unlawful in Malawi, the laws used are ambiguous and the issue is rarely discussed directly. Meanwhile the country's constitution says "discrimination of persons in any form is prohibited", which arguably makes the enforcement of anti-gay rulings unconstitutional, although 'sexuality' is not specifically mentioned in the constitution's equal opps clause. Chimbalanga and Monjeza were arrested last December after holding an 'engagement party' and were denied bail.

Their sentencing last week has been criticised by gay rights groups around the world, and Madonna's vocal criticism - given her ties with Malawi - is likely to provide considerable momentum to the campaign to have the ruling overturned.

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CHARLIE WATTS STILL NOT QUITTING THE STONES
The latest "Charlie Watts is quitting The Rolling Stones" rumours have been denied. These rumours come up so frequently now, the Stones' people have a generic pre-prepared statement for this, which needs little editing as these claims always seem to originate in Australia, this time in The Herald Sun newspaper.

Recycling the same statement issued when Aussie music website Undercover reported the same story last year, a spokesperson for the band said: "Contrary to a fabricated and ill-informed report that appeared yesterday on a small music website in Australia, we would like to make it clear that drummer Charlie Watts has not left The Rolling Stones".

They continued: "Charlie is currently being interviewed by the media promoting their latest project - the re-release of the album 'Exile On Main Street' and the forthcoming film 'Stones In Exile', released on DVD next month".

'Exile Of Main Street', of course, is currently at number one in the UK albums chart.

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LIL JON APPEARS ON MILEY CYRUS REMIX
Lil Jon appears on a remix of 'Can't Be Tamed', the first single from Miley Cyrus' new album of the same name, the rapper has revealed. Unlike the appearance of various previously credible rappers on tracks by Justin Bieber, I think Lil Jon's contribution to Cyrus' opus is part of a move to reposition her in the adult market after she recently completed filming on the final series of her Disney show, 'Hannah Montana'.

Jon told E! Online: "It's crazy, it's crazy. I think everybody's gonna really enjoy the song".

The single is due for release next month, as is Lil Jon's long-awaited 'Crunk Rock' album.

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THE CRIBS GET SYNTHS
Johnny Marr has revealed that new material Ryan Jarman is writing for the next Cribs album features a lot of keyboards. Surely that bandwagon has passed now, though? A bit like getting Johnny Marr in your band.

Anyway, after picking up his Inspiration Award at last week's Ivors, Marr told 6music: "Ryan's been playing some keyboards and he's got very inspired by it ... it still sounds like the band and his lyrics are always really interesting".

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MARK RONSON ANNOUNCES NEW SINGLE
Mark Ronson has announced that he will release the first single from his new album on 11 Jul. 'Bang Bang Bang' is taken from the album 'Record Collection', was given its first airing on Zane Lowe's Radio 1 show last night, and was co-written with Nick Hodgson of Kaiser Chiefs.

Ronson says of the song: "When we played all those festivals in 2007, we'd end up in the dance tent. And I got so jealous when Justice or Soulwax or Pendulum would go into their double-time breaks, and all the kids would start jumping up and down. And we never had that tempo in our set. So I just wanted that in one of our songs".

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STEVE MASON TOUR DATES
Not content with releasing one of the year's best albums, former Beta Band frontman Steve Mason is also going to play some tour dates this summer. Oh, and he's releasing a new single, 'Am I Just A Man', on 26 Jul though Domino/Double Six.

Here are the tour dates:

11 Jun: Cambridge, The Haymakers
12 Jun: Parklife Festival
21 Jun: Static Art Studio
22 Jun: London, Cargo
24 Jun: Brighton, Hanbury Ballroom
25 Jun: Glastonbury
24 Jul: Truck Festival
25 Jul: The Applecart Festival
12 Aug: Bristol, Louisiana
13 Aug: Summer Sundae Festival
18 Aug: Edinburgh, Liquid Rooms
20 Aug: Green Man Festival
4 Sep: Electric Picnic Festival
11 Sep: Bestival

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SWANS CONFIRM NEW TOUR DATES
Having reawakened the band earlier this year, thirteen years after calling it to an end, Swans main man Michael Gira has announced a new round of tour dates for this October to coincide with the release of a new studio album, via Gira's Young God label, which the band are currently in the process of recording. Support at all dates will come from James Blackshaw.

Tour dates:

21 Oct: Cork, Cyprus Avenue
22 Oct: Dublin, Button Factory
24 Oct: Birmingham Supersonic Festival
25 Oct: Glasgow, Arches
27 Oct: Brighton, Concorde 2
28 Oct: London, Koko
29 Oct: Leeds, Uni Stylus
30 Oct: Manchester, Academy

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

HOP FARM, Hop Farm Country Park, Kent, 2-3 Jul: Sparrow And The Workshop, The Paris Riots and Kill It Kid are amongst the latest additions to the Hop Farm line-up, along with The Ruskins, Hoodlums, Billy Vincent, Dr John & The Lower 911, Bob Mills and many more. www.hopfarmfestival.com

LATITUDE, Henham Park Estate, Suffolk, 16-18 Jul: Crystal Castles, Paul Heaton and Joshua Radin head up the latest acts announced to play at this summer's Latitude, along with the likes of Holly Miranda, Luna Belle, Losers, Lauren Pritchard and The Antlers. www.latitudefestival.co.uk

THE WICKERMAN FESTIVAL, Dundrennan, Scotland, 23-24 Jul: Teenage Fanclub have been announced to play The Wickerman Festival, joining previously announced headliners Ocean Colour Scene, The Charlatans and the Buzzcocks. www.thewickermanfestival.co.uk

WIRELESS, Hyde Park, London, 2-4 Jul: Example, Autokratz and Diagram Of The Heart have all been added to this year's Wireless line-up. Other acts added to the bill include J Cole, Blame, Pretty Lights, Devlin, Hesta Prynn, The Knux and Lisa Mitchell. www.wirelessfestival.co.uk

WIZARD, New Deer Show Ground nr Peterhead and Fraserburgh, NE Scotland, 27-28 Aug: James have been announced as the Friday night headliner at Wizard this summer, joining the previously announced Happy Mondays, Alabama 3, Complete Stone Roses and Peatbog Faeries. www.wizardfestival.com

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LIVE REVIEW: Wild Palms at CAMP Basement in London on 18 May
Launching their second single 'Deep Dive', Wild Palms set up shop in the underground bunker venue that is the Basement of the City Arts & Music Project on City Road. It's a single produced by Gareth Jones, who has worked with the likes of Grizzly Bear and Depeche Mode to name but two.

Wild Palms' energetic performance tonight suggested a band really getting into their stride. Indeed, they're already starting to build a good following, and those in attendance last Tuesday lapped up debut single 'Over Time' with its heavy angular guitar stabs.

It was an abrasive set at times, with lights flashing rapidly enough to upset a mild epileptic. This wasn't a gig for mild reflection but rather one to get washed over with aggressive noise. Though they are often lumped into the post-punk and art rock categories, these seem slightly clichéd terms for a band hammering out a sound with passion like this. IM

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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LILY ALLEN REPLACED AS FACE OF CHANEL HANDBAGS
Lily Allen has been replaced by Vanessa Paradis (who already advertises the company's perfumes) as the face of Chanel Handbags after the company decided not to renew Ms Allen's contract. The British singer fronted an advertising campaign for the Chanel Cocoon bag last year.

A spokesperson for Chanel simply told reporters: "Lily was the face, but now it is Vanessa".

Sources have claimed that designer Karl Lagerfeld personally decided to drop Lily after she got too drunk at a party at his house last year. He subsequently felt that she was too much of a 'party girl' to be involved with the brand. Though, ironically, he seemingly decided to communicate the fact she was out of favour by not inviting her to a party; his party at this month's Cannes Film Festival.

A source claimed: "Karl had a show and a party, but Lily was not invited. It was Karl's way of making it clear she is no longer a part of the Chanel family. He instructed his people not to invite her. He is very strict about who can represent the brand and there is a feeling that Lily is too much of a party girl".

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CHINA RESENTS APPEARANCE ON AMERICA'S WORST INFRINGER LIST
China's foreign ministry has dismissed claims by the US that the Chinese government is failing to crack down on copyright piracy.

The US, who like to publish lists of what they consider to be the worst countries for copyright infringement from time to time (they normally include Canada on the list, just to piss off their pesky neighbours), last week named China and Russia as the nations with most work to do to stop copyright infringement. No surprise there, really. But Chinese officials aren't happy with accusations they aren't doing enough to stop piracy.

The Foreign Ministry's spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told reporters yesterday that China had implemented wide-ranging policies to combat the piracy of films, music, games and other entertainment products and that US political types should "respect that fact and stop making groundless accusations against China".

Presumably Zhaoxu's colleagues will say as much at meetings between the Chinese government and US Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton which are currently taking place in Beijing. Although those meetings will cover a wide range of issues, intellectual property and the protection there-of is known to be high up America's agenda.

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ITALIAN RADIO BOYCOTTS NEW RELEASES IN LONG-RUNNING ROYALTY DISPUTE
So, this is fun. Unless you're an Italian record label. The record industry in Italy presented a united front yesterday in response to a two week boycott of new music by ten national radio networks in the country. Yes, only in Italy.

The Italian record industry has been involved in increasingly heated negotiations with the country's radio sector over the sound recording royalties paid by radio stations for years now. The two sectors' previous agreement, where radio stations paid 1% of their revenues to the collecting society representing labels and recording artists, expired way back in 2006, and the two industries have been wrangling ever since.

Italy's record industry argued that the 1% revenue share was way out of line with the rest of Europe, where the next lowest royalty rate was in Spain, where labels get a 2% share. They, therefore, pushed for a 2% rate in Italy. The country's radio stations resisted, forcing the record industry to go legal in 2008. A ruling on that legal claim is expected next year.

Meanwhile, the trade body representing Italy's radio stations, RNA, recently asked the labels to sign a waiver which I think would basically have required the record labels to commit to claiming no royalty at all on new releases that are sent to radio stations as promos, presumably because of the perceived promotional value of airplay. When the labels refused to sign the waiver, the ten national networks announced they would no longer play any new release music.

Responding to that boycott yesterday, the record industry held a press conference including reps from all four majors, from trade body FIMI and collecting society SCF, and from indie label trade group PMI and the country's leading independent Sugarmusic, all of whom accused the RNA of blackmail, and said they would not be forced to sign any waiver regarding royalties.

FIMI boss Enzo Mazza told reporters that the radio stations' demands were "absurd" given the importance of music to their output, adding "they [RNA's members] spend more on their electricity bills than they do on music".

But the RNA have already hit back, saying they too are being blackmailed, into propping up the struggling record industry. Asked how long they were willing to continue boycotting new releases, a spokesman said the boycott could stay in place until next year's court ruling on the copyright dispute.

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CURRYS AND PC WORLD TO SELL IPADS ON UK LAUNCH DAY
So, as you probably know, Apple's iPad goes on sale in the UK on Friday, with prices from £249.

According to the Times, Currys and PC World will be selling the much hyped tablet device as well as the UK's Apple Stores. It's thought the DSGi-owned chains have a two month exclusivity agreement with Apple, meaning they will be the only places other than Apple's own shops where you can buy the new device.

That said, there are rumours that the UK's first Best Buy store in Thurrock will also stock the gadget as of Friday. So, who knows? All I know for certain is that Apple's latest flim flam is quite a bit smaller than I'd expected. And, as much previously reported, it doesn't, as yet, offer any real new music-based functionality over existing Apple portable devices.

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MCFLY WITHDRAW PHOTO BAN ON GAY WEBSITE
McFly's management have reportedly backtracked on their previously reported demand that gay message board FM Forums ban its members from uploading photos of the boy band for other members to, erm, enjoy.

As previously reported, FM Forums moderators announced at the weekend that they had been asked by McFly's people to stop (often half-naked) pictures of the band from appearing on the site, even though the band themselves will not own the copyright in the majority of the photos that appear. The band's management seemed concerned that personal band photos were appearing on the site, though one FM Forums moderator noted that many of those private shots were sourced by the website's users via the band members' personal Twitter accounts.

Anyway, possibly because of some moderate outrage from users on the FM Forums website, and possibly because someone pointed out that distributing half-naked photos of band members to their female and gay fanbase is at the heart of most of McFly marketing campaigns, the band's managers yesterday withdrew their demand for an all out ban of photos of the band on the FM Forums website.

Instead they asked that moderators filter out some specific photos - seemingly an official photo shoot that is not yet meant to be public, and some personal snaps posted by the McFly boys on their closed social networks. While stressing about the distribution of any photos online these days probably isn't worth the hassle, the band would, at least, probably have a legitimate copyright claim over those photos.

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TOTAL ROCK WORLD ALBUM CHART
It's this week's Total Rock World Album Chart, as counted down on Total Rock last weekend - www.totalrock.com. New entries and re-entries marked with a *.

1. AC/DC - Iron Man 2 (Sony)
2. Slash - Slash (Warner/Roadrunner)
3. Deftones - Diamond Eyes (Warner Bros)
4. Bullet For My Valentine - Fever (Sony)
5. Muse - The Resistance (Warner Bros)
6. Train - Save Me, San Francisco (Sony/Columbia)
7. Jimi Hendrix - Valleys Of Neptune (Sony)
8. Hole - Nobidy's daughter (Universal)
9. Godsmack - The Oracle (Universal/Republic)*
10. Nickelback - Dark Horse (Warner/Roadrunner)
11. Meat Loaf - Hang Cool, Teddy Bear (Universal/Mercury)
12. Free/Bad Company - Best Of (Warner/Rhino)
13. Kiss - Sonic Boom (Warner/Roadrunner)
14. Coheed & Cambria - The Year Of The Black Rainbow (Warner/Roadrunner)
15. Paramore - Brand New Eyes (Warner/Atlantic)*
16. Jeff Beck Emotion & Commiotion (Atco)
17. Billy Talent - Billy Talent III (Warner/Atlantic)
18. Nonpoint - Miracle (Powerage) - new entry
19. Daughtry - Leave This Town (Sony/RCA)*
20. Peter Gabriel - Scratch My Back (EMI/Virgin)

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TINIE TEMPAH ON MONEY
Tinie Tempah has provided the Daily Star with a rather tedious quote about money.

And - not just because we really struggled to find a decent 'And Finally' story today or anything like that (damn Justin Bieber for not walking into anything yesterday) - here it is: "Sometimes money can overpower your decisions if you think about it too much, some people only get up for the money and I don't want to do that".

The tedium continues: "I didn't have much when I was younger but I was brought up by my parents who work really hard for everything. They understand money on every level and I'm so fortunate I have parents I can confide in and help me manage my money. I've got an agreement with my parents now where every year I have to take them on a holiday. They brought up four respectful, well-educated kids so it's time for them to let their hair down".

If you'd like Mr Tempah to have even more money for his parents to understand on every level, you might want to buy his single 'Frisky' when it is released on 7 Jun. Though presumably he hasn't recouped on his record deal yet, so actually the money would go to EMI. But let's face it, they need it a lot more than he does. If only EMI had parents who "understood money", rather than parents that say things like "I know, let's take out a three billion dollar bank loan we'll never be able to pay back".

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Andy Malt
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