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CMU Info
Top Stories
Jive blocks Big Boi album tracks
Cable's girlfriend quizzed over death
RIAA might demand silly damages from LimeWire
In The Pop Courts
Spanish judges compare file-sharing to book lending
Britain's Got Talent contestant takes Simon Cowell to employment tribunal
Artist Deals
Tinchy Stryder goes into business with Jay-Z's Roc Nation
Release News
Richard Ashcroft announces new album
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin new album
Revere announce debut album
Gigs & Tours News
Alan Moore to perform with Crook&Fail
Darwin Deez announces October tour
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Album review: Robyn Hitchcock And The Venus 3 - Propeller Time (Sartorial Records)
The Music Business
PPL AGM expresses frustration with Tribunal's pub ruling
IMPALA put indie music chiefs in front of EU leaders
The Media Business
RadioCentre big up 6, though happy for it to be merged with Radios 1&2
Wright defends Beeb, but says BBC radio must be ready to evolve
Ten BBC Introducing bands to get daytime Radio 1 exposure
And finally...
Bieber loves to Google himself
Lady Gaga to pose for Playboy?

Irish singer-songwriter Conor J O'Brien began writing songs for his latest project, Villagers, the day after his previous band, The Immediate, split. Formed into a five-piece not long afterwards, the band released their first EP 'Hollow Kind' in 2009, leading to comparisons with Bright Eyes and Sparklehorse. Villagers have since toured as support for Neil Young, Tracy Chapman and Bell X1, as well as appearing at several festivals last summer. Following the release of their first single in April, Villagers have just released their debut album of the same name, 'Becoming A Jackal', on Domino Records. With the band set to perform at Meltdown later this month, we put the Same Six Questions to Conor.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
My mother took me to the cinema when I was four years old. 'An American Tale' was the name of the film. I'll never forget it. I sang the music from it for at least two years afterwards. "Somewhere out there, beneath the pale moonlight, someone is thinking of you and loving you tonight..." I've been trying to reach this level on enchantment ever since. But things keep getting in the way. So I focus my attention on these 'things' instead.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Growth, change, mutation, mutilation, power, worship, death. I was inspired by the idea that you can become whoever you want to be when you write a song. It can be a very powerful way of maintaining one's own individuality.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
The process is never the same - it changes from song to song. In general, I tend to feel the songs out in a disorganised and playful way.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Henry Darger and The Beatles.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I would say: "Hey, I'm going to go over here now. Hope you dig the music. It's okay if you don't, though".

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Ambition can be a dangerous thing. I guess I want as many people in the world to hear it as possible. As far as the future is concerned, I'm going to let it decide my ambitions for me.

MORE>> www.wearevillagers.com

Watch Villagers in session, performing 'Becoming A Jackal here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=C113zAfQCWE and 'Home' here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6Y_I1MLgEc
Following in the footsteps of artists like Frankmusik and Delphic, Friends Electric make dance-infused pop music. Having taken on several guises since the four school friends from the Welsh town of Neath first began making music together at the age of fourteen, they fixed on the sound that would bring them up to the present day after seeing Soulwax play live four years ago. Filling their shared house with synths, they set about writing the impressive set of songs that now fill their live shows.

The band release their debut single, 'Wall Of Arms', next week via Self-Raising Records, the label owned by another musician straight out of Neath, Bright Light Bright Light. As well as this, they've already created remixes for Ellie Goulding, Noisettes and NightBus, the latter of which you can download for free on their MySpace page. You may also have already seen them supporting Frankmusik and Example earlier this year. If not, Cardiff residents can catch them at a 'Bethan Elfyn presents' show at the Buffalo Bar on 17 Jun.



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Sony division Jive Records is blocking Universal's Def Jam from releasing three tracks on the new solo album from Big Boi because they feature guest vocals from his Outkast partner Andre 3000. Although Def Jam are handling the release of 'Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty', Outkast remain under contract to Jive, who claim that the three tracks in question - because they feature both halves of the Outkast enterprise - fall under their deal.

It's extra frustrating for Big Boi because Jive were given first refusal on the whole album (they have first dibs on any solo work by the Outkast boys under their contract with the duo) but knocked the project back. Big Boi explained to GQ: "It's plain stupidity. It's stupid business and it's stupid politics. Jive Records told me my album [was] a piece of art, and they didn't know what to do with it. So, I moved it over to Def Jam. And now Jive is trying to block Dre from being on my record. We can't be on songs together now".

The three tracks featuring Andre 3000's vocals have now been removed from the final version of the album, due for release next month, though a track produced by him, 'You Ain't No DJ', does remain. Explained Big Boi: "We tried to get everything solidified but Jive said, 'Naw'. Then I was going to take Dre off and make my own version, but then I thought, 'No. Fuck that. If he can't be on it, then I'm not using it'".

Of course, none of this means the world at large will miss out on the new Big Boi/Andre 3000 collaborations, it just means Outkast fans will justifiably access the new tracks via illegal routes, meaning Jive won't have stopped the new songs from going public, they just won't earn any money from them (presumably there could have been some sort of licensing deal between the Sony and Universal divisions had the will been there).

One of the collaborations, 'Royal Flush', actually leaked back in 2008, while another, 'Looking For Ya', found its way online this week. Big Boi certainly won't be keeping the missing tracks from his solo album locked up in a vault. He added in his interview with GQ: "They can't stop us, man. For these people that we don't even know [to block these songs - people] that haven't even had a hand in our career at all - that's fucking blasphemy. Either they're going to do it the right way, or they're going to do it my way. I'm no stranger to that internet, baby".

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The girlfriend of Stuart Cable has been interviewed by police as part of the ongoing inquiry into the former Stereophonics drummer's death. As previously reported, Cable was found dead at his home on Monday morning, though police have said there were no suspicious circumstances.

Rachel Jones, who found Cable's body, was reportedly asked about her partner's alcohol consumption in the days leading up to his death, amid claims that he had been drinking heavily over the weekend and choked after vomiting in his sleep. She was also asked if he had taken any other substances.

A source told The Mirror: "Rachel is devastated. They'd become close in a short time and she hoped they had a future. They were with each other on Sunday night and had stayed up late".

Yesterday Cable's family issueed a brief statement, saying: "On Monday we lost not just a rock star but a father, son and brother". Meanwhile, fans have piled flowers on top of Cable's car, which remains parked at his local pub, the Welsh Harp Inn in the village of Llwydcoed, where he left it on Sunday evening.

A post-mortem examination began yesterday at the at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil, though it may be six weeks before toxicology results are returned and the official cause of Cable's death can be revealed.

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Don't you just love it when record industry lawyers get their damages calculators out? As previously reported, following a recent US court ruling that confirmed the company and man behind the LimeWire P2P network were guilty of copyright infringement, the Recording Industry Association Of America has applied for an injunction to shut the Lime Group's file-sharing operations down.

Seemingly confident that injunction will now be granted, the RIAA's legal reps have instead started putting together a claim for damages against Team Lime. And, according to The Guardian, they're coming up with some pretty big numbers.

As fans of US file-sharing litigation might remember, the minimum damages in American copyright cases is $750 per infringement. Insiders say the RIAA reckons LimeWire has enabled 200 million illegal downloads, and that at least one record industry legal beagle has therefore typed 750 x 200,000,000 into their calculator, which probably resulted in an error, but which would add up to $150,000,000,000, or $150 billion, or £104 billion. As The Guardian points out, the UK's entire budget deficit for last year (and remember how fucked the country's finances are, right?) was £156 billion.

Of course, neither the Lime Group nor its founder Mark Gorton have anywhere near that sum of money sitting in a cupboard somewhere, and I'm not sure the $750 per illegal download sum would apply here even if they did. But still, stupidly large damages claims are always amusing. And presumably the more hawkish of the record industry's lawyers would just be happy with sufficiently large damages so to bankrupt both Lime and its founder.

As also previously reported, LimeWire have a fortnight to respond to the RIAA's injunction claim.

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More file-sharing, and those following the worldwide fight against online piracy will remember that the Spanish courts have not been overly kind to content owners trying to tackle file-sharing through copyright litigation. Whereas courts in the UK, US, Australia, Sweden and elsewhere have, with little controversy, always deemed unlicensed file-sharing to be illegal, Spanish judges have generally said that Spain's copyright laws are not currently worded in a way that such a judgement can be reached.

And despite efforts by the Spanish government to crack down on online piracy, for the time being that tendency remains unchanged. This week a court in Madrid compared file-sharing to the lending of books when it threw out a criminal case against the people behind a Spanish file-sharing site called CVCDGO.com, which was shut down by police five years ago.

In their ruling, the three judges hearing the case noted that "since ancient times there has been the loan or sale of books, movies, music and more. The difference now is mainly on the medium used - previously it was paper or analogue media and now everything is in a digital format which allows a much faster exchange of a higher quality and also with global reach through the internet".

To be fair, the actual ruling here wasn't really concerned with whether or not file-sharing itself was legal or illegal. Rather the judges were asking whether or not the owners of CVCDGO.com were guilty of so called contributory infringement or any sort of fraud. Because CVCDGO.com didn't host any of the content its users shared, and because they didn't charge for the service directly (though they did sell ads), the court decided that neither of those charges stood.

While in the UK the courts have been pretty clear that individuals downloading unlicensed music via P2P networks are guilty of infringement, whether or not the operators of P2P services would themselves be liable for infringement ('authorising infringement' under English law) has never been tested in court.

The (only partly successful) lobbying efforts by the UK record industry to have that issue addressed in the Digital Economy Act earlier this year suggests many lawyers aren't confident an English court would make operators of a CVCDGO.com style service themselves liable for infringement, even though courts in the US, Sweden and Australia have. Certainly efforts to do the founder of the Oink file-sharing community for fraud failed.

But still, in a country where courts have previously ruled that individuals who file-share aren't liable for copyright infringement, to have three judges now comparing unlicensed downloading to people lending books to friends doesn't send out anything like the sort of message the film and record industries want web users to hear. Spanish content industries will be hoping the country's government's promises to introduce new digital copyright laws come good sooner rather than later.

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A woman who appeared as a contestant on 'Britain's Got Talent' has had a discrimination claim against Simon Cowell, his production company Syco and the show's co-producers Fremantle Media, which she launched back in January, approved to be heard by an employment tribunal. A pre-hearing review will now take place next month.

Emma Amelia Pearl Czikai, who appeared on the show in 2009, suffers from cervical spine neuritis, which can cause neck and back pain. She claims that the 'BGT' production team were aware of her condition and intentionally aggravated it to make a "fool" of her, by ensuring she couldn't deliver an audition performance up to her usual standards.

Describing her first appearance on the show in May last year, she says: "They put me on at ten o'clock at night. They had me standing outside in that cold snap immediately before I went on stage. That traps the nerves, so immediately that aggravates the condition. It's almost as if they wanted me to fail". She adds that her backing track was then too loud, saying: "I'm very particular about the bass. I feel it in my neck and if I get that vibration, it aggravates the condition".

Czikai claims that under normal conditions her singing is "probably better than anyone else they've ever had on the programme", but that she couldn't demonstrate that fact because of the way she was treated. She says that after her audition she told the show's producers that she felt she had been treated unfairly and asked them not to show the footage that had been recorded, in which she was universally panned by the judges. They refused, but offered to have her as a guest on ITV2 spin-off show 'Britain's Got More Talent', where they would make it clear that she had a medical complaint which had led to her performance being below standard. But, she says, this agreement was not met.

Czikali has gone the employment tribunal route because she claims the nature of her relationship with the show's producers was that of employer/employee, and any clauses in the contract she signed that may have said otherwise are irrelevant because that agreement was void as a result of the TV companies allegedly breaching the law. Or something like that. If Czikai's claim is successful, the ruling could also have repercussions for 'Britain's Got Talent' sister show 'X-Factor', where contestants sign similar short-term contracts.

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That Tinchy Stryder fella has gone into business with Jay-Z's Roc Nation to create Takeover Roc Nation, which is a rubbish name, but recognises the fact the deal is between Jay's firm and Stryder's management company Takeover Entertainment.

The deal seems to be principally designed to launch Stryder in the US market, but will have global reach and could see the UK rapper and his management signing new talent as part of their relationship with Mr Z. Although Stryder will continue to be signed to Universal's Island Records in the UK, Takeover Roc Nation will have a distribution partnership with Sony Music for non-UK releases. Touring and merchandise, meanwhile, will be backed by Roc Nation's parent company Live Nation.

Confirming the deal on his blog, Stryder wrote: "Jay-Z is my music and business inspiration and to go into business with him is a dream come true. It's taken nearly a year to get the deal right so I'm excited to start signing artists to the label side of the joint venture deal".

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Richard Ashcroft has announced details of the debut album from his new band, RPA And The United Nations Of Sound. Entitled 'United Nations Of Sound', the album was recorded with hip hop producer No ID and will be released on 19 Jul.

The band will play the Manchester Academy on 15 Jun and London's Shepherd's Bush Empire on 16 Jun.

If you place all the tracks in the order they appear on the album, you get a list that looks like this:

Are You Ready
Born Again
This Thing Called Life
Good Loving
How Deep Is Your Man
She Brings Me The Music
Royal Highness
Life Can Be So Beautiful
Let My Soul Rest

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Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin have announced that they will release their third album through Polyvinyl on 16 Aug. Entitled 'Let It Sway', the album was produced by Death Cab For Cutie's Chris Walla and Beau Sorenson.

To get you in the mood, Polyvinyl are giving away a free track from the album, 'Sink/Let It Sway', for free right at this very moment. I'm not even lying, look: www.polyvinylrecords.com/letitsway

The band have also put together a trailer for the album, which you can see here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zHV-YTx1dU

Oh, and here's the tracklist:

Back In The Saddle
Sink/Let it Sway
Banned (By The Man)
In Pairs
My Terrible Personality
Stuart Gets Lost Dans Le Metro
All Hail Dracula!
Critical Drain
Made To Last

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Eight-piece eclectic rock types Revere have announced that they will release their debut album, 'Hey! Selim', on 6 Aug via Albino Recordings.

Originally formed as a duo, Stephen Ellis and Andrew Hawke, the band have so far released two singles, which had praise poured all over them by BBC 6music, and last year they played two sold out headline shows at London's Union Chapel.

The band will be playing a handful of festival dates over the summer, including Standon Calling and the Secret Garden Party. You can have yourself a little listen at www.myspace.com/reverelondon

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Acclaimed graphic novel writer Alan Moore, best known for writing 'Watchmen', 'From Hell' and 'V For Vendetta' (and disowning the film versions of all three), has announced that he will perform his forthcoming 'Unearthing' album live next month at The Old Vic Tunnels in London with musicians Crook&Fail, aka Fog's Andrew Broder and Adam 'Doseone' Drucker.

The album features a story written and narrated by Moore, with accompanying photography from Mitch Jenkins and a score performed by Crook&Flail, Mike Patton, Mogwai's Stuart Braithwaite, Hella drummer Zach Hill and former Godflesh man Justin Broadrick. It all comes in a big box, which you can look at and pre-order here: lexrecords.com/shop/pages/view.php?stockcode=LEX090BOX

The live performance will take place on 29 and 30 Jul. Tickets are available now.

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Darwin Deez will be up this way again in October for some more touring in support of his eponymous debut album. He'll also be performing at a huge number of festivals over the summer, and will play a free in-store show at Rough Trade East on 13 Jul to launch his next single, 'Up In The Clouds', which is due for release the day before.

October tour dates:

12 Oct: Manchester, Academy 3
13 Oct: Newcastle, Other Rooms
14 Oct: Glasgow, King Tut's
15 Oct: Leeds, Cockpit
16 Oct: Nottingham, Bodega
18 Oct: Sheffield, Plug
19 Oct: Bristol, Thekla
20 Oct: Exeter, Cavern
21 Oct: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
22 Oct: Brighton, Digital
23 Oct: Oxford, Jericho
24 Oct: Norwich, Arts Centre
26 Oct: London, Scala
27 Oct: Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
28 Oct: Coventry, Kasbah

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BLOODSTOCK, Catton Hall, Walton-on-Trent, South Derbyshire, 13-15 Aug: Powerwolf and Hospital Of Death are the latest acts confirmed for this summer's Bloodstock, joining the previously announced Twisted Sister, Children Of Bodom and Fear Factory. www.bloodstock.uk.com

DOWNLOAD, Donington Park, 11-13 Jun: Sacred Betrayal, Heights, Never Means Maybe and Stand-Up Guy are amongst the final acts announced to play at Download this weekend. You And What Army, This Is Divine, No Mean City and Hearts Under Fire have also been added to the line-up, as well as FM stepping in to replace Ratt. www.downloadfestival.co.uk

GLASTONBURY, Worthy Farm, Somerset, 23-27 Jun: Keane have been announced to play at this month's Glastonbury, joining the likes of Gorillaz, Muse, Stevie Wonder and Vampire Weekend. www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk

SONISPHERE, Knebworth House, Hertfordshire, 30 Jul - 1 Aug: Gary Numan and Corey Taylor head up the latest additions to this year's Sonisphere, with the likes of Japanese Voyeurs, Outcry Collective and General Fiasco also added to the bill. www.sonispherefestivals.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Robyn Hitchcock And The Venus 3 - Propeller Time (Sartorial Records)
Plugging away as the Bob Dylan of very English, very alternative rock, Robyn Hitchcock's almost thirty years in the music business has yet to see his surrealist, warm-hearted songwriting take to the mainstream. Not that he'd want it to. He may play to a niche market, but it's an audience who can understand the brilliance of the steady drip of peculiar imagery and Lloyd Cole-style delicate indie-folk that fills this latest work.

The smiles come immediately as 'Star Of Venus' offers a genial backing to a simple melody, sung in Hitchcock's usual high-strung, near sardonic tones, that fit perfectly the odd ponderings on 'fossilised trees'. And the pleasure continues as fellow 80s indie stars - The Smiths' Johnny Marr and REM's Peter Buck - offer their songwriting abilities and guitar talents to 'Ordinary Millionaire' and the title track respectively. The former is an obvious pop highlight, with trademark intricacy and modest flourish, while Buck's turn becomes the central ballad, verging on the darker shades of grey, but saved from bleakness by that wonderful voice.

Hitchcock is still a joy, and still relevant - particularly as fellow geeks like Brian Cox and Robin Ince take over comedy and TV - with the baffling but beautiful ideas behind evolution and nature a sticking point for a man whose own world many may not assume to be so rational. It's a nice place to visit, though. And ten tracks seems the perfect amount of time to stay before heading back home again. TM

Release Date: 22 Mar
Press Contact: Charm Factory [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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The previously reported decision by the UK Copyright Tribunal regarding the royalties to be paid to the music industry by pubs and clubs - which went very much in the pub industry's favour - took the glee away from yesterday's AGM of recordings collecting society PPL. The society had taken in record revenues of £129.6 million in 2009, but as a result of the Tribunal ruling, which end a long running dispute between PPL and trade bodies for the pubs sector, it will now have to refund £18.1 million to relevant licensees, meaning overall revenues will be down.

Speaking at the AGM, PPL boss Fran Nevrkla was critical of the Copyright Tribunal in the way it had handled this particular royalty dispute. He told his society's members: "To say that PPL found last year's UK Copyright Tribunal decision hugely disappointing, if not shocking, is an understatement. We're wholly supportive of the concept of the Copyright Tribunal; what we do needs supervision. The Copyright Tribunal is the appropriate body, but only if it is properly funded, resourced, informed and pays some attention to the real world out there".

PPL Exec Director Peter Leathem told Billboard the society is currently considering its legal position. The Tribunal's ruling has already been upheld by the High Court, but Leathem told the trade mag: "We're in the process of considering what steps to take going forward because what the government conceived hasn't worked".

Elsewhere in PPL money stats, broadcasting and online royalties were up 2% in 2009, despite the advertising recession meaning income from the commercial radio sector was down 9%. International revenues were up a massive 40% and gave the greatest boost to the Society overall.

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Independent music companies had the opportunity to speak to EU and Belgian government officials this week at a summit organised by pan-European indie label trade body IMPALA. The Belgians are relevant because they will take over the Presidency of the Council of the EU at the start of the next month.

The trade body's co-President, [PIAS]'s Michel Lambot, summarised the three key topics on the agenda, telling CMU: "We have high hopes for the Belgian presidency to provide strong leadership to build a true single and diverse digital market. Three things would make the difference - ISP co-operation, reduced VAT, and a proper investment strategy including a proper EC programme for music and books, just like film".

Noting that her trade body is now ten years old, IMPALA's Exec Chair Helen Smith said she was optimistic about what could be achieved for the independent music sector by increased lobbying of political types on a European level. She said: "Ten years ago the political discussions around music were very narrow. We have made huge progress and the challenge now is to convert this into concrete measures to give European artists more space".

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Commercial radio trade body RadioCentre has told the BBC Trust that it reckons digital station 6music has "distinctive and unique programming [that] must be preserved"; though before Save 6 supporters get too excited, the commercial types aren't especially lobbying for 6music to remain as a stand alone station, but rather that the digital service's programmes be incorporated into the Radio 1 and 2 schedules, which is what BBC managers have already proposed in their misguided Strategy Review.

Of course, it's the more populist Radios 1 and 2 that commercial radio types don't like, because it's those national BBC stations that directly compete with their services. While commercial radio bosses would have no problem whatsoever with 6music continuing in its current form, the thought that 6-style shows be slotted into the Radio 1 and 2 schedules also appeals, because it would increase the amount of niche programming on those two channels, making it harder for them to compete with the Hearts and Magics and local FM stations in the commercial sector.

In its written response to the BBC's plans for revamping its radio output (plans which include the proposed closures of 6music and the Asian Network), RadioCentre, unsurprisingly, call for more to be done to stop Radios 1 and 2 competing with commercial rivals. Even if 6music's output was swallowed by the two bigger BBC stations, meaning more niche programming in their output, commercial radio types would still want more changes at the big two.

According to Radio Today, RadioCentre's report reads: "Radio 1 must reclaim its reputation as a station for young people, with a significantly greater focus on teenage listeners. Radio 2 should place much greater emphasis on serving the needs of older listeners, both in daytime music choice and the scheduling and content of programmes. The station's target audience should be raised from 35+ to 40+ (and 45+ after three years)".

Elsewhere, the RadioCentre report also calls on the BBC to fund the further expansion of the digital audio broadcasting network, so that DAB can match FM in coverage levels. On the issue of local radio, it calls for less networking of programmes (something the Strategy Review wants to increase), for no music in daytime, for specialist shows in the evening, and for collaborations with community, student and hospital radio stations.

Meanwhile, page space is also given in the submission to one of RadioCentre's biggest bug bears, the cross-promotion of BBC radio services on the Beeb's TV channels. It says such cross-promotion should only be allowed for uniquely BBC type programming - such as Radio 4's current British Museum tie up - rather than Radio 1 and 2 style shows that directly compete with commercial rivals, such as the Chris Moyles breakfast show and the UK Top 40.

RadioCentre top man Andrew Harrison says this: "The best of BBC Radio is among the finest in the world. However, BBC Radio also enjoys an extremely privileged position, and it is right to consider how it should continue to play its part in securing a thriving radio sector for all. This [the Strategy Review] is a unique opportunity to shape our industry for the digital age and one we cannot afford to miss. I believe that our recommendations will deliver top-quality BBC output, and we urge the Trust to prove itself as the cheerleader for the listener".

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More BBC shenanigans, and the boss of BBC Radio 3 - Roger Wright - has said that all radio stations need to adapt to the changing world, and that no one station should be protected from its obligations to change because of "nostalgic sympathies".

Wright referenced the plans for radio set out in the aforementioned BBC Strategic Review, adding that the BBC Trust has some "tough decisions" to make. Meanwhile, he admitted his own station - Radio 3 - also needed to adapt. In fact you can't help thinking Wright's remarks were less a defence of his colleagues in BBC senior management as they attempt to downsize the Corporation's radio output, and more a justification for a future evolution of the Beeb's classical, folk and world music channel which he is already planning. Speaking at the aforementioned AGM of collecting society PPL, Wright said he was keen to examine "how we need to keep with the times".

On more general issues, he took time to defend the BBC at large, which he said often suffered from the increasingly popular British past time of knocking large institutions. He told his music industry audience: "We live in a time when institutions are not particularly loved but what they offer is often still appreciated. The NHS and the BBC are just examples of two institutions which suffer from this current anti-institution outlook - but the principles behind the organisations and what they offer is still universally admired".

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New bands playing on the BBC Introducing stage at various festivals this summer will get extra exposure by being added to the Radio 1 playlist. One band a week over ten weeks will get daytime radio play on the nation's favourite ahead of said act's appearance under the BBC Introducing live banner. The first band to enjoy the extra exposure will arrive on the R1 playlist on 21 Jun, ie the week before Glastonbury, where the latest run of appearances of the Introduction stage will begin.

BBC Introducing Editor Jason Carter told reporters: "BBC Introducing's core commitment is to support new musicians across the UK, with both a direct route to the BBC through the uploader, via industry advice online and for some top-notch opportunities and exposure. It is fantastic to have BBC Radio 1 offering up regular slots for daytime airplay across the summer months. This will only further enhance the BBC's commitment to supporting brand new artists in the UK".

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I think most of us Google ourselves from time to times these days, don't we? Though rapper Sean Kingston denies ever searching for his own name on the internet, but adds that his recent collaborator - Master Justin Bieber - is always doing it.

Asked if he ever looks for web pages mentioning him or his music by Metro, Kingston said: "No, but Justin does that, though. He loves to YouTube himself and Google himself but I'm not like that".

I do hope poor Justin never looks himself up on the Urban Dictionary.

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Lady Gaga is planning to pose for Playboy, according to reports. It's claimed she thinks it will help her to "grow as an artist".

A source told The Daily Star: "Most of her inner circle are fuming about her plans to strip off. Her business people are trying to convince her the shoot will be seen as lowbrow and cheesy, and will alienate her fans who like her edgy appeal. No one wants her to do it. It goes against all her ideas about creativity".

The singer recently posed topless for Q with a dildo shoved down her trousers.

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