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INFORMATION
Classifieds
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Chris Brown denied visa, UK tour cancelled
In The Pop Courts
Drake sort-of collaborator sued over 'Best I Ever Had'
Former Da Bander sues T-Pain over Hudson song
In The Pop Hospital
Canadian producer cancels gigs after motorcycle accident
Reunions & Splits
Slint guitarist joins Interpol
Release News
Lady Gaga releases new video (like you didn't already know)
Iron Maiden announce new album, give away free MP3
Health announce remix album
Gigs & Tours News
Thrash metal's Big Four show to be beamed into cinemas
Trentemøller announces live dates
Hurts announce October tour
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Reviews
Album review: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy And The Cairo Gang - The Wonder Show Of The World (Domino)
The Music Business
EMI Music chief says he's optimistic
Yorke predicts the demise of the traditional record industry
The Digital Business
ISPA vent DEA-spleen through hero and villain awards
X-Factor game planned
The Media Business
Brand comments on Sachsgate
MTV to launch new entertainment news show
And finally...
Katie Price to release new single


 
WEDNESDAY 9TH JUNE
THE VIOLET MAY
Formed in 2009, The Violet May are a five-piece hailing from Sheffield. Having earned a reputation and fervent following for their raucous live shows and high energy, loud lunatic tunes, they were proclaimed as one of the Guardian's top tips for 2010, and have won support from Jesus And Mary Chain member Douglas Hart, and Radio 1's Rob Da Bank and Huw Stephens. Set to play a string of festivals this summer, including Secret Garden Party and Standon Calling, and having just released their debut single 'Bright Or Better/This Crowd' via Oh! Inverted World, we caught up with the band to find out more.

 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
When the band started just over a year ago it was more of a side project at the time, all the other lads were playing in other Sheffield bands and putting nights on all over the place. I think we were all drawn together by a desire to do something different to what else was happening in the city. Everything just fell into place very quickly and this band took over. Now it's about trying to push the sound and live shows as far as they can go, we're getting closer to the music we want to make all the time, gigging and recording as much as we can. It looks like being a really interesting year for us all.

At the moment it's the live stuff that is really making us buzz, the sound's just getting bigger all the time and people really seem to relate to what we're doing; us British just love a loud, dirty, rock and roll band and long may it continue! It's an awesome feeling when a little venue just goes off! We're just looking forward to taking that to the festivals this summer.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Ask us this in a year when we have made our classic album, haha. We're currently working towards our debut to be honest. All a young band can do in this turbulent time in music is concentrate on being the best in the world, and hope that somebody with the attitude and purse strings sees that, or be given the chance to build something with force independently. Everyone in the music industry seems to be shitting themselves, but we're thinking this is brilliant, this is the perfect time for a band like us to do what the hell we want.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Our guitarist John Kubicki writes the bulk of the songs on his own, then he brings them to the practice room where the band will work on all the sections and melodies until we find something that fits. Everyone brings something different to the band, so we always try a few angles before we settle on the sound, more guitars, synth, different tempos and keys etc... each track has then gotta prove its worth in the live show before it gets a permanent slot. We're always tearing songs apart and putting different parts together, what we're left with is a lean and tight sound with no filler.

The lyrics are an amalgamation of Chris and John's and it works, so best not to fuck with anything that ain't broke. Give it three albums and we'll try writing whilst travelling through the Himalayas, until then we'll stick to what we know.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
All the mundane indie bands that have been churned out since 2005. They made us want to enter the music industry through the roof, not through the side door. In terms of our sound, I think if you listen there is definitely an American tinge running through it. John listened to a lot of dark American guitar bands, while our drummer's into electro and heavy metal, and Jono into blues. I'm into geezers music. After you throw all that in the oven for 30 minutes on a low heat you get The Violet May. I read an interview with Serge from Kasabian the other day where he remarked that he thought Arctic Monkeys and Kasabian were the last of the real British guitar bands. I like Serge a lot, but sadly he ain't heard The Violet May yet.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Alright mate, do you want a CD? It's my band The Violet May, we are fucking brilliant and people need us. Hope you like us.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Well, we've just put out our debut release 'Bright Or Better/This Crowd' (through Oh! Inverted World Records), the video was filmed in Stringfellows night club and directed by Jesus And Mary Chain's Douglas Hart. We have a headline show at London's Koko in June, a residency at Death Disco and are playing Secret Garden Party and Leeds Festival, and that is all off our own back with just a bag of enthusiasm. I wanna see how far we can go, if anyone has a positive attitude then they are welcome on board. We want to quit our jobs, of course, and take The Violet May round the world, recording some classic albums in between, until then let's see what happens...

MORE>> www.myspace.com/thevioletmay
 
SLEEP ∞ OVER
It's probably getting to that point now where you have to question if we really need another new dream pop band, but let's not ask that question right now because Sleep ∞ Over fall into that genre classification and they are wonderful. Consisting of Stefanie Franciotti of Silver Pines, Belaire's Christa Palazzolo and Sarah Brown (this is the most significant largely unheard of band the latter has been in), Sleep ∞ Over released their debut EP in March, quickly followed by a split seven-inch single with fellow Austin, Texas types Pure Ecstasy. The next installment of their catalogue comes in the form of another seven-inch single, this time with both sides their own, 'Outer Limits'.

 
Released on Forest Family Records, a new label set up by the folks behind the Gorillaz Vs Bear and Weekly Tape Deck blogs, 'Outer Limits' is Sleep ∞ Over's calling card. With reverb-heavy drums, slowly swirling synths and vocals oddly reminiscent of Stevie Nicks, it's by far the finest of the handful of songs we've heard from the band so far. The track can be downloaded for free from the Forest Family website, ahead of its release next month.

forestfamilyrecs.com/post/673606371/outer-limits


 
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We have a limited number of desks to rent in our central Soho offices, from 550 per month, all inclusive (excluding phone line). Access to our 100meg/sec broadband (download and upload) network included, along with sharing of our office facilities and services. Media Junction is the UK's leading arts and entertainment marketing agency, and our office contains an in-house green screen and photographic studio, including full online and offline post-production facilities. Minimum term is 3 months. To make an appointment to view our desk space, please contact Sophie on 020 7434 9919, mailbox@mediajunction.co.uk.

Media Junction, 2 Archer St, Soho, London W1D 7AW www.deskspacesoho.com, www.mediajunction.co.uk.
       
  BESPOKE MUSIC, MEDIA AND PR TRAINING FROM CMU
The team behind CMU's acclaimed seminars programme are now offering their services to music and media companies, educational bodies and membership organisations looking for bespoke professional training courses. CMU's existing courses on music rights, music business models, music PR, media and social media can be run specifically for an organisation's employees, students or members, or bespoke courses can be developed according to an organisation's specific needs. For more information contact Chris Cooke on 020 7099 9050 or chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.
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CHRIS BROWN DENIED VISA, UK TOUR CANCELLED
Bad news for fans of pop stars with domestic violence convictions: Chris Brown has been refused a working visa by the Home Office, meaning his UK tour, due to begin in Glasgow tonight, has been cancelled.

Brown, you'll no doubt remember, was convicted of 'assault likely to cause great bodily harm' in August last year for beating his then girlfriend Rihanna unconscious and leaving her slumped on the pavement during an argument as they travelled home from a pre-Grammy Awards party in February 2009. He was sentenced to five years' probation, 180 days of community service and a year of domestic violence counselling.

A statement published by tour promoters SJM Concerts initially put the cancellation down simply to "unforeseen circumstances". However, both Sony Music and the Home Office later confirmed that Brown had been barred from entering the country.

Both the promoters and the label seem confident that any issues will be ironed out, SJM telling fans that "there will be more news in the forthcoming days of possible rearranged dates" and Sony Music saying: "Chris looks forward to performing for his fans abroad in the near future".

In its own statement, the Home Office said: "We reserve the right to refuse entry to the UK to anyone guilty of a serious criminal offence. Public safety is one of our primary concerns. Each application to enter the UK is considered on its individual merits".

Presumably the Home Office isn't actually concerned that Brown is going to come over here and wander the streets battering women as he goes, but is, rather, more worried about the message it would send out if it let a rich celebrity guilty of such shocking violence to just enter the country no questions asked.

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DRAKE SORT-OF COLLABORATOR SUED OVER 'BEST I EVER HAD'
One time actor and now rap type Drake has got caught up in a hip hop legal dispute even before his first album proper hits the streets.

The dispute centres on Drake's 2009 track 'Best I Ever Had'. The rapper has already been at loggerheads with producer Kia Shine over the track, with Shine claiming he produced and co-wrote the song. Drake initially disputed Shine's claims, and argued he had never met the producer.

But there have since been rumours that a deal was reached between the two men and as a result Shine is now getting a royalty for the track. The specifics of that deal are not known, though it's possible Drake unknowingly sampled some key elements originally created by Shine in his single.

Either way, a second producer, DJ Absolut aka Shane Muir, is now claiming he actually created the beat used in the song. Muir says he gave Shine the beat in 2008 on the condition he receive a 20% royalty for any use of it. Presumably with reports Shine is earning off the Drake track, he now wants a cut of the loot.

According to the New York Daily News, Muir's legal people claim Shine has earned a million dollars off 'Best I Ever Had', but that he has passed nothing on to their client, and has failed to respond to their correspondence. They are suing for breach of contact.

It's not clear if Drake himself is named in the lawsuit, though presumably he'd have a case for avoiding liability given the dispute is based on an agreement between Muir and Shine. Drake's much delayed debut album, meanwhile, is set to finally arrive in shops next week.

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FORMER DA BANDER SUES T-PAIN OVER HUDSON SONG
Elsewhere in hip hop litigation, rapper T-Pain is being sued by Sara Stokes, best known for being a member of Da Band, the group put together by Sean Combs as part of MTV's 'Making The Band' show.

She claims she collaborated with T-Pain, real name Faheem Najm, a few years back on creating some original songs which she planned to release as a solo artist. After they had finished working together, she claims, she found out he had sold one of the tracks they'd collaborated on to Jennifer Hudson, for her 2008 debut album. The song Stokes claims to have inputted on is 'What's Wrong (Go Away)', and she is suing for a cut of the royalties.

According to Allhiphop.com, in the lawsuit her laywer writes: "The exploitation of musicians is a story as old as the music and recording industry itself... Unfortunately, too often in today's popular music culture, the fame and notoriety of some performers may eclipse the considerable contributions and integrity of developing artists/writers, often at the expense of the legal and moral rights of lesser known co-authors. Only slight deviations in the lyrics exist between Stokes' version and the released version, whereas the whole musical composition is the exact same on which Stokes collaborated with Najm".

Najm, his Nappy Boy companies and Universal's Z-Tunes are all named as defendants on the lawsuit.

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CANADIAN PRODUCER CANCELS GIGS AFTER MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT
Canadian record producer and singer-songwriter Daniel Lanois is in intensive care in LA after a motorcycle crash last weekend. Lanois, who has worked with the likes of U2, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel and Emmylou Harris, recently formed his own band Black Dub who were due to play various European gigs next month, including a London show at the Jazz Café. The tour has been cancelled, as has a planned appearance at the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

A spokesman for Jive Records said yesterday Lanois had suffered "multiple injuries" in the crash, adding: "[He] is expected to be released from intensive care soon. Due to the severity of the injuries, Lanois has cancelled all upcoming tour dates and promotional activity and will be recuperating for the next two months".

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SLINT GUITARIST JOINS INTERPOL
Following the departure of bassist Carlos Dengler from the band last month, Interpol have announced that he will be replaced by Slint guitarist Dave Pajo. As well as Slint, Pajo has performed with Tortoise, The For Carnation, Royal Trux, and Zwan, as well as his three solo projects, Ariel M, Papa M and Pajo.

Also joining the band for their upcoming tour dates is Secret Machines frontman Brandon Curtis on keyboards and backing vocals.

It's not clear if either men will stay with Interpol beyond touring to promote the band's new eponymous album, which is due for release later this year.

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LADY GAGA RELEASES NEW VIDEO (LIKE YOU DIDN'T ALREADY KNOW)
I almost didn't mention this. You're probably a bit sick of people banging on about the machine gun bra, aren't you? But it would be weird if we ignored it completely. A Lady Gaga video is an event, and this event is like ten years of Madonna videos rolled into one and then set upon by an angry dog. That's gotta be a good thing, right?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=niqrrmev4mA

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IRON MAIDEN ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM, GIVE AWAY FREE MP3
Iron Maiden have announced details of their fifteenth studio album, 'The Final Frontier', which is due for release on 16 Aug via EMI. The band are giving away a free MP3 of a track from the album, 'El Dorado', right now via their website at www.ironmaiden.com.

'The Final Frontier' was recorded at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, where the band recorded three albums in the mid 80s. Frontman Bruce Dickinson commented: "The studio had the same vibe and it was exactly as it had been in 1983 - nothing had changed! Even down to the broken shutter in the corner... same carpet... everything. It was really quite spooky. But we felt very relaxed in such a familiar and well-trodden environment and I think this shows in the playing and the atmosphere of the album".

The full tracklist for the album looks like this:

Satellite 15.....The Final Frontier
El Dorado
Mother Of Mercy
Coming Home
The Alchemist
Isle Of Avalon
Starblind
The Talisman
The Man Who Would Be King
When The Wild Wind Blows

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HEALTH ANNOUNCE REMIX ALBUM
Noise-popsters Health have announced a new collection of remixed versions of tracks from their second album, 'Get Color', which was released last year. Entitled 'Disco2' (following on from their 2008 remix album, 'Disco'), it will also feature a brand new track from the band, called 'USA Boys'.

The compilation will be released via City Slang on 5 Jul, but you can watch the video for 'USA Boys' right now, here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xp6dyiQWje0

Here's the full tracklist:

USA Boys
Before Tigers (CFCF Remix)
In Heat (Javelin Remix)
Die Slow (Tobacco Remix)
Severin (Small Black Remix)
Before Tigers (Gold Panda Remix)
Eat Flesh (Crystal Castles vs Health 2)
In Violet (Salem Remix)
Nice Girls (Blondes Remix)
Die Slow (Pictureplane Remix)
Nice Girls (Little Loud Remix)
Before Tigers (Blindoldfreak Remix)

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THRASH METAL'S BIG FOUR SHOW TO BE BEAMED INTO CINEMAS
The so called Big Four of thrash metal, Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, will appear on the same bill together for the first time in the world ever on this year's Sonisphere touring festival, which will make its way around Europe between June and August. If you're in the UK, you'll have to wait until August to see them all in the flesh, by which time everyone else in Europe will already have done so.

This is clearly very unfair, but luckily Team Sonisphere have come up with a way to balance things out a little. On 22 Jun, the four bands' performances from the Bulgarian leg of the tour will be broadcast via satellite, live and in high definition into 79 UK cinemas

In typically understated fashion, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich blurted at CMU: "Who would have thought that more than 25 years after its inception, thrash metal's Big Four would not only still be around, be more popular than ever, playing shows together at stadiums all over Europe, and on top of that, coming to a movie theatre near you in high definition (for better or worse!). Bring it on!"

Also reacting as if he'd only just heard the news, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian added: "Damn, as if this Big Four tour wasn't exciting enough now we get to be on the big screen worldwide! Metal at the movies, two big horns up! It is unbelievably gratifying that this means so much to the metal community around the globe. Get your tickets, grab some popcorn and get ready to bang your head!"

Slayer's Kerry King proclaimed: "I can't believe someone didn't make this [tour] happen fifteen years ago! The fans finally get what they want. I think it's awesome!"

And ensuring that all four bands are represented in quote form, Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine squealed: "The magnitude of this event hasn't really sunk in yet, and I am thrilled to know that people around the planet will be able to walk into a movie theatre and experience the greatest line up of heavy metal in the history of the world!"

For more information, to buy tickets and to find out where your nearest participating cinema is, take yourself a look at www.thebigfourlive.com.

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TRENTEMØLLER ANNOUNCES LIVE DATES
Following the release of his second artist album, 'Into The Great Wide Yonder', Danish producer Anders Trentemøller has announced three shows in the UK and Ireland in October, which will see him dragging a seven-piece band on stage with him. He also releases a new single, 'Even Though You're With Another Girl', next month.

Tour dates:

23 Oct: Dublin, Tripod
24 Oct: London, The Roundhouse
25 Oct: Manchester, Academy

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HURTS ANNOUNCE OCTOBER TOUR
Manchester pop duo Hurts have announced new tour dates, which will see them make their way around the country in October. Team CMU caught them live at The Great Escape last month and can assure you that you really should go and see them play. Their show is quite ridiculous but brilliant fun.

The pair will also release their next single, 'Wonderful Life', on 16 Aug, followed by their debut album a week later on 23 Aug.

Tour dates:

2 Oct: Brighton, Concorde
3 Oct: Leeds, Cockpit
4 Oct: Glasgow, Oran Mor
5 Oct: Manchester, Ritz
7 Oct: Birmingham, The Library
8 Oct: Bristol, Trinity Church
9 Oct: London, Shepherds Bush Empire

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

BEATHERDER FESTIVAL, Gisburn, Lancashire, 2-4 Jul: Erol Alkan, Luke Vibert and Son Of Dave have all been confirmed to play Beatherder this summer, as well as Ali B, Rob Bright and The Undercover Bright. www.beatherder.co.uk

THE BIG CHILL, Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire, 5-8 Aug: Mystery Jets, Liars and Caribou have all been added to the Big Chill line-up, with Steve Mason, The Hundred In The Hands, Delta Maid, Riva Starr and Sneaky also confirmed. www.bigchill.net

BIG REUNION, Butlins Entertainment Complex, Skegness, 19-21 Nov, 26-28 Nov: Tinie Tempah, Wiley, Pendulum (DJ set), Chase & Status (DJ set), The Courteeners and The Twang have been announced as headliners at this year's Big Reunion, with the likes of Sound Of Guns, Reverend Soundsystem, Sub Focus and Eddy Temple-Morris also confirmed to play. www.thebigreunion.com

CREAMFIELDS, Daresbury Estate, Halton, Cheshire, 28-29 Aug: Uffie, Andre Galluzzi, Union, Danny Savage, Luke Pompey, Filth and Splendour, and Chris Special have all been added to the Creamfields line-up, along with Go Dutch Arena DJs including Bingo Players, Hardwell, Oliver Twizt and Jaimie Fanatic. www.creamfields.com

GLASTONBURY, Worthy Farm, Somerset, 23-27 Jun: Nero, Tony Thorpe, Cassette Boy & DJ Rubbish, and Suns Of Arqa are amongst the latest acts announced to play on the Glade Stage at this month's Glastonbury. Nneka, Statement Code, City Calls, Pretty Lights and Naked Nick have also been added to the Glade stage line-up, with Villagers added to The Park Stage bill. www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk

GUILFEST, Stoke Park, Surrey, 16-18 Jul: Mungo Jerry and The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown are amongst the latest acts added to the GuilFest line-up, along with FranKo, Lower Than Atlantis and FuntCase. www.guilfest.co.uk

LOOPALLU, Ullapool, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland, 17-18 Sep: Idlewild, Turin Brakes and The Bad Shepherds are amongst the first set of acts announced to play at this year's Loopallu. The Vatersay Boys and Silver Columns have also been confirmed. www.loopallu.co.uk

LOUNGE ON THE FARM, Merton Farm, Canterbury, 9-11 Jul: Hercules And Love Affair have been announced as Friday night headliners at this year's Lounge On The Farm, with Example, Jah Wobble, Bad Manners, Frankie And The Heartstrings and The Television Personalities also added to the bill. www.loungeonthefarm.co.uk

WIZARD, New Deer Showground, Peterhead, Scotland, 27-28 Aug: Slam have been announced as Saturday night headliners for this summer's Wizard festival, joining the previously announced Happy Mondays, Alabama 3, Complete Stone Roses and Peatbog Faeries. www.wizardfestival.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and The Cairo Gang - The Wonder Show Of The World (Domino)
Although adopting a more sanguine and hopeful approach, his pessimism perhaps tempered with age, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, aka Will Oldham, once again teams up with The Cairo Gang (Emmett Kelly and Shahzad Ismaily) for his new album.

Featured on previous albums, but without being given top billing, here the Gang add the occasional ambling electric guitar, mellifluous harmonies and creeping percussion, and, it seems, the "trust" so often talked about by Oldham in reference to the making of this record. The same trust too that burns in 'Go Folks, Go', one of the album's many highlights, perfectly accentuated by the holistic approach to the recording.

Everything is so touchingly laid out here, with great waves of emotion, such as on 'Someone Coming Through' or 'With Cornstalks' or 'Among Them', from dark ("something's waiting in the night to grab you and throttle hope from your heart") to comic lyrics ("the smell of your box on my moustache"), to sensitive instrumentation, making the record feel like a unified whole.

'Kids' offers itself up as a perfect denouement to the record, bringing us optimism both sonically and lyrically. It builds and builds from a rather melancholy opening, with Oldham questioning his position in life, perhaps even his creative work, to a gorgeous harmony that seems to sweep away the fear. Concurrently the guitars simmer until they are washed out as the song fades. The lyrics too offer hope as Oldham sings: "Kids... I hope in years to come I will be strapped to the movement of time in such a way that this still makes sense".

Moments like this are just fractionally too sparse to make this a truly great record, but it is still an impressive piece of work from someone so prolific. SJS

Physical release: 29 Mar
Press contact: Domino IH

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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EMI MUSIC CHIEF SAYS HE'S OPTIMISTIC
Charlie Allen, EMI Music's Executive Chairman, says the British major's recorded music division is in much better health that most commentators will admit; which is probably true, we've said before, if it wasn't for the very public three billion pound debt with US bankers Citigroup - a bank EMI owners Terra Firma are suing - it would be easy to be positive about EMI.

While the cuts at the London-based music major have been severe and, for those working there, hard to swallow, a pretty sensible structure for a modern record company has emerged out of the chaos. And, if you ignore its failure to meet Citigroup's debt covenants, EMI Music's financial performance hasn't been so bad, given the wider recession and the general state of the record industry.

And while the mega-bucks debt will hinder EMI when they try to sign the sort of in-demand 'next big thing' type talent from which major label's can make serious profits (any artist manager worth their salt will be at least nervous about signing their talent up to a label with such public financial problems), it didn't stop them signing Tinie Tempah, who seems set to become one of those cash cow artists.

So, there are reasons to be cheerful.

Though, while Terra Firma investors did stump up £100 million to ensure EMI didn't default on its loan commitments, they didn't - as Terra Firma chief Guy Hands wanted - throw an extra £250 million into the can to ensure the music firm had some financial security past next June. And with the major's continued tendency to shed talented new execs on a pretty regular basis - not least the popular CEO put in place by Terra Firma themselves, Elio Leoni-Sceti - there is still reason to speculate EMI's assets might become divisions of Warner Music and BMG Rights Management within two years.

But Allen remains optimistic. Speaking on a Radio 4 programme about the music company, he tells the Daily Telegraph's business man Damian Reece: "[The £100 million] buys us at least a year. It is about trying to put the first building blocks of the balance sheet restructuring in place. Our margins are already well ahead of our competitors, and you've seen the business is throwing off cash".

And as for the continued commitment of Terra Firma, their top man Hands, and their financial backers, to the music company that has proven so disastrous to the once prosperous equity outfit, he adds: "I think [the £100 milion] gives confidence [there] because why would you write a cheque for around £100m and not look to invest in the business further?" Why indeed.

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YORKE PREDICTS THE DEMISE OF THE TRADITIONAL RECORD INDUSTRY
Charlie may be feeling optimistic, but one of EMI's highest profile former signings reckons his former record company, and all traditional major music firms, are doomed, I tell you, doomed.

Thom Yorke has been speaking about his take on the state of the music industry in a new school textbook of all things (about politics rather than music, but whatever). He says the mainstream music industry is dying but that this will be "no great loss to the world". And that demise is imminent, Yorke reckons. "It's only a matter of time" he says, "months rather than years, before the music business establishment completely folds".

His tip for new artists, therefore, is to steer clear from traditional record deals so not to tie yourself to a "sinking ship". Which might be good advice, though it's easy for the rich dude (who made his fortune via a major label partnership) to say such things to broke new artists desperate for someone to invest some cash in their creative endeavours.

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ISPA VENT DEA-SPLEEN THROUGH HERO AND VILLAIN AWARDS
The Internet Service Providers Association has announced the nominees for its annual awards, and has used its infamous Hero and Villain categories to vent the ISP industry's collective spleen on all things Digital Economy Act.

Among the nominees for Internet Hero Of The Year are MP Tom Watson, who opposed the controversial DEA in parliament, the legislation that put a three-strikes system for combating internet piracy on the statute book. Grass roots campaigner Bridget Fox and campaigning group 38 Degrees are also up for the Hero prize for their anti-DEA efforts.

Meanwhile, up for the Villain prize are Liberal Lord Tim Clement-Jones for the pro-music industry amendments he proposed to the DEA; another Lord, Peter Mandelson, for ensuring three-strikes was part of the DEA proposals; and the whole of parliament, for making the DEA law.

It's not the first time the music industry's anti-piracy efforts have featured in the Villain category, record label trade body the BPI being a previous nominee. However, it's the first time one issue has dominated the shortlists for both the Hero and Villain categories.

Of course, the ISP sector might be better off focusing on failings within its own industry if it's set on helping Britain's digital economy - ie the totally inept BT on which much of the internet relies, the total lack of customer service at most major ISPs, and the delusion of many net firms that they are the content providers of the future, even though every ISP-created content platform is totally rubbish.

Though I accept that wouldn't be as amusing.

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X-FACTOR GAME PLANNED
If you've ever sung along to popular karaoke game 'SingStar' and thought to yourself, "this is fun and all, but if only Simon Cowell had got a cut of the money I spent buying it", then brace yourself for some exciting news. An 'X-Factor' karaoke game should be on the market in time for Christmas, with Xbox, Wii and PS3 versions all planned for launch.

I don't know if there will be any gameplay above basic singing along to songs. It's possible there will be some sort of competition element where, when you win, you're told you're the best in the world, but then a week later a screen pops up and reveals that the public at large prefer your 'Guitar Hero'-playing neighbour. Then three months later Simon Cowell re-appears on the screen and tells you you're dropped, and the whole game turns into one that involves stacking shelves in supermarkets.

If none of those elements are currently part of the planned game, Deep Silver, the studio developing it for 'X-Factor' co-producers FremantleMedia, are welcome to borrow them.

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BRAND COMMENTS ON SACHSGATE
Russell Brand has been chatting about the 2008 Sachsgate debacle, comparing the reaction of the press to him and Jonathan Ross leaving stupid messages on the voicemail of actor Andrew Sachs as being like "spilling a glass of water, and the wife comes down and shoots the dog''.

Looking back at the controversy, that forced him to quit his Radio 2 show and to Ross being suspended for three months from the whole BBC, Brand tells the Radio Times in a new interview: "I have the same perspective. Like when you're a kid and you think: 'These people, I don't trust them. They're all idiots', and everyone says: 'No, no, you'll feel different when you're older'. And I thought: 'Well, I'll wait'. Freeze-frame. Time-lapse. Der-derrrrrr. I am older now. And I feel exactly the same. So, either I haven't matured or I was an incredibly perspicacious child. The jury's still out".

He continued: "As often is the case with comedy, at a junction I always take the road less travelled, the road of this'll be funny, this'll be funny, this'll be funny. Sometimes there are casualties with morality, politeness. As I said at the time, it was impolite and I apologise for that. But as for all the subsequent reaction - it's like you knock over a glass of water at your neighbour's house and the wife comes down and shoots the dog".

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MTV TO LAUNCH NEW ENTERTAINMENT NEWS SHOW
MTV have announced a new entertainment and celebrity news programme which will launch on Viva, its Freeview music channel. Hilariously titled 'Suck My Pop', the new show's brief is to provide "fun and frivolous exposes into the popular world of music, celebrities and gossip". Can you imagine anything more exciting?

There will be a chart element to the show as well, with the midweek singles chart forming part of the proceedings. Not only that, but the press release announcing the new show has the words VERY, BIGGEST and THE in capital letters. As I say, very exciting.

Announcing the new show, MTV's VP of Production & Development Diana Carter told CMU: "This commission is great news for fans of Viva and an excellent example of the channel's commitment to producing quality music and entertainment programming. We are confident this will be the first of many more innovative and creative additions to the channel".

The show will air on Friday nights from late July.

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KATIE PRICE TO RELEASE NEW SINGLE
Katie 'Oh, you mean Jordan' Price tweeted this yesterday evening:

"I can at last reveal my first solo single is out monday 12 july i love the tune an hope you guys do to xxx"

That is all.

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