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CMU Info
Top Stories
Reports say Spotify has US deal with Sony 
In The Pop Courts
Dre case over ten year old DVD returns to court 
Conrad Murray lawyers call for Joe Jackson lawsuit to be dismissed 
Motley Crue and Live Nation sued over hooded top 
In The Pop Hospital
Josh Homme "died" during surgery 
Don Kirshner dies 
Charts, Stats & Polls
Cake top US album chart with record-breakingly low sales
Mixmag announces greatest DJs ever
Reunions & Splits
Gary Barlow still considers Take That a quartet
In The Studio
Plan B collaborating with Nicole Scherzinger 
Release News
Cold Cave announce second album 
Gigs & Tours News
Shea Seger returns 
Stealing Sheep announce new single and tour
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Album review: H Bird - Operation Fascination (H Bird Records) 
Brands & Stuff
Topman music platform comes to Channel 4
The Music Business
HMV consult KPMG over debts 
New roles for Schmidt-Holtz suggests Sony departure 
The Media Business
Universal partner with latest telly talent show franchise 
And finally...
J Lo song sounds very familiar

Founder members Sarah Peacock and Mark Clifford formed Seefeel in 1992, pioneering a smooth shoegaze/rave amalgam that typified the music of the era. Having released their debut 'Quique' a year later, they then signed to Warp Records and emerged with the darker-sounding 'Succour' in 1995.

Following a brief switch to Rephlex Records for their third album '(CH-VOX)' in 1996, the band took a hiatus, surfacing with a reinvigorated line-up at Warp's 20th Anniversary showcase in Paris in 2009. Last year marked a return to recording for the band, the result being "don't call it a comeback" EP 'Faults'. The band release their new eponymous LP, their first in over a decade, on 31 Jan through Warp.

Prior to a European tour, which also launches on 31 Jan in London, we approached Sarah Peacock with the Same Six.

Q1 How did you start out making music?

I learnt classical piano and flute as a kid and always played music in some capacity. I had my head turned towards more unusual and extreme music by listening to John Peel, and put an ad in the NME looking for people to form a band with. Mark got in touch and sent me his demo, we found we were on the same wavelength and the rest is history.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?

Our new-found musical chemistry, the forging or accidental discovery of new sounds, and crowded tube trains.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating track?

Mark's the lynchpin, generally he works out track ideas by himself and the rest of us add parts by emailing files back and forth or working things out in rehearsal. Tracks are put together in the studio with as much as possibly can be played live, and then we assemble and thrash out a tracklisting.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

Originally the list would have read My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, Aphex Twin, Sonic Youth and dub music, but now, as well as those, we take on stuff from all over the place - from Sunn O))) to Joe Meek and all points in between.

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

Come and see us live, bring earplugs (just in case), and absorb it all.
Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?

To play all over the world and produce a load of beautiful music!

MORE>> www.warp.net/seefeel
Portland-based psych-popsters Nurses self-released their debut album, 'Hangin Nothin But Our Hands Down', in 2006, re-releasing it through Sargent House a year later. Originally a four-piece, the band's core duo of Aaron Chapman and John Bowers then broke off and aligned themselves with percussionist James Mitchell, before recording their second album 'Apple's Acre', which was released by Dead Oceans in 2009.

Currently working on their third album, due for release again through Dead Oceans later this year, now is the perfect time to acquaint yourself with the band's music. Filled with dreamily played instruments and deceptive hooks, three of the standout tracks from 'Apple Acre' – 'Man At Arms', 'Caterpillar Playground' and brilliant opening track 'Technicolor' – are streaming on the band's MySpace page. 


Live Nation Music, part of Live Nation Entertainment, requires a Marketing Manager at our central London office. Working within a team reporting to a Senior Marketing Manager, you will be responsible for developing, managing and delivering complete, strategic marketing campaigns. Knowledge of the music or live entertainment industry, venue and label marketing, experience with UK media buying, ability to work under pressure and attention to detail essential.

A full job description and application information is here:
Ticketmaster, part of Live Nation Entertainment, seeks a marketing professional at our central London office. Reporting to the Senior Marketing Manager, you will be responsible for providing secondary marketing support for Ticketmaster's music clients, delivering high quality marketing campaigns and managing client relationships. Ideally with a marketing qualification, ticketing or marketing experience, music industry knowledge, and ability to work well under pressure to meet deadlines essential.

A full job description and application information is here:
We are looking for an experienced, dedicated, extremely organised and well connected individual to assist the promotions manager at one of London's most revered 3000 capacity super clubs. The role will see you assisting the promotions manager. This includes, amongst other things, helping them find strong and current promoters (we expect the biggest names in the business) suited to the venue and its ethos, artist and event liaison, overseeing and monitoring all our current promoters to ensure they and the venue are working together to obtain optimal overall results, and elements of programming and booking for various club nights.

Not for the faint hearted, the ideal candidate would possess: Minimum 3 years working in a similar role, a very strong contact base within the music/promotions industry, exceptional, outstanding organisational and communication skills, strong drive and pro-activity, common sense and great lateral thinking. You must above all have a strong ability to multitask effectively and roll with the punches.

Please send an original cover letter outlining why we should consider you for the role, detailed information about your previous experience and a CV with a recent photograph to [email protected]. Salary dependant on experience. Please note that failure to provide any of the above will result in your application being unsuccessful.
We are looking for an experienced, dedicated, extremely organised and well connected individual to head live band bookings at one of London's most revered 3000 capacity super clubs. The role covers, amongst other things, booking exceptional, current and well known bands (we expect the biggest names in the business) suited to the venue and its ethos, artist liaison, building and retaining strong relationships with booking agents and management in order to preserve the reputation of the venue, and elements of programming and booking for various live and club nights.

Not for the faint hearted, the ideal candidate would possess: A minimum of 3 years working at a venue of similar capacity, a very strong contact base within the music/promotions industry, with an emphasis on live music, a phenomenal understanding of the current live music scene, exceptional, outstanding organizational and communication skills, strong drive and pro-activity, common sense and great lateral thinking. You must above all have a strong ability to multitask effectively and roll with the punches.

Please send an original cover letter outlining why we should consider you for the role, detailed information about your previous experience and a CV with a recent photograph to [email protected]. Salary dependant on experience. Please note that failure to provide any of the above will result in your application being unsuccessful.

According to various reports on the net, Spotify has secured a licensing deal with Sony Music to launch its streaming music service in the US.

According to C-Net, the deal will enable Spotify to offer American music fans a free ad-funded PC-based music service as well as a pay-to-use ad-free and mobile compatible option, ie pretty much the same as in Europe. As with new subscribers over here, the free version will be limited to a certain number of hours a month - in Europe the limit is twenty hours.

Neither Spotify nor Sony have commented on whether or not a licensing deal is indeed in place. Gossipers have been predicted a Sony deal would be first for a few weeks now, and last weekend the New York Post claimed an agreement was "days away".

Of course, one major label deal does not a US launch make. Spotify's arrival Stateside has been delayed considerably because of concerns among American label execs regarding the European company's freemium option, which some reckon could have a negative impact on other pay-to-use streaming services already operational in the US like Rhapsody and MOG.

But assuming the reports of a Sony deal are true, Spotify will presumably hope that having one major label on board will provide the momentum to get the others to play ball also.

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A decade old lawsuit against Dr Dre returned to court yesterday, despite two previous court hearing finding in favour of the hip hop mogul. Dre and various of his business partners were sued ten years ago by three officials in the city of Detroit over an bit of content featured on a DVD of the rapper's 'Up In Smoke' tour.

The offending bit of content featured the plaintiffs - then police commander Gary Brown, police spokeswoman Paula Bridges and Mayoral press man Greg Bowens - telling producers of the Dre show that they couldn't show a bit of film being used as an opener on the 'Up In Smoke' tour because it contained nudity and that violated city laws. The officials threatened to cut the electricity if the sequence was shown, so much so the gig's promoters decided to comply with their demands.

So, success for Brown, Bridges and Bowens, except they didn't realise their conversation with Team Dre was being recorded, and got a shock when it appeared on the subsequent tour DVD. The officials claimed the recording and publication of the conversation in a private room infringed their rights, and duly sued for damages.

But judges at Wayne County Circuit Court ruled against the city officials on two occasions, arguing that the three officials had no reason to expect that their discussion of public business constituted a private conversation, and therefore laws that forbid the recording and publishing of private meetings did not apply. However, in 2009 the Michigan Court Of Appeals ruled that the plaintiff's case should have been heard by a jury and not ruled on by judges.

Which is why ten years after the 'Up In Smoke' DVD was released, lawyers for both sides were back in Michigan Supreme Court yesterday to present their opening arguments. It remains to be seen how it goes this time round.

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According to TMZ, lawyers for Dr Conrad Murray have filed a motion to dismiss Joe Jackson's wrongful death lawsuit in relation to the doc's alleged involvement in the demise of Joe's son Michael Jackson.

As much previously reported, Murray is accused of causing the late king of pop's death by negligently administering the drug Propofol as a treatment for insomnia. Although the criminal case against the doctor is ongoing, Joe Jackson sued the medic for at least $10 million claiming his son's death had cut off his main source of income, deprived him of companionship and caused him emotional distress.

A chunk of Murray's original lawsuit was dismissed by a federal judge back in October, who added that what remained of the legal action should be filed with a state rather than federal court. Jackson's lawyers duly filed a new suit with the courts in California in December.

But Murray's people are now arguing that a statute of limitations of one year applies in this case, meaning Jackson Senior should have filed his legal papers within a year of his son's death. The first lawsuit was filed almost a year to the day from Michael Jackson's passing, but the second set of legal papers that went to the Californian court didn't arrive until 158 days after the claimed one year deadline.

The Murray lawyers motion for dismissal also reportedly questions the legitimacy of Joe Jackson's claim, by arguing that the fact he was excluded from his son's will affects his entitlement for sue for wrongful death.

It remains to be seen if Californian judges buy either of Team Murray's arguments and choose to throw out Joe Jackson's claim. Either way, the criminal case against the doc will continue.

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According to TMZ, Motley Crue and Live Nation have been sued over some merchandise being sold on the band's website at the moment.

The offending bit of merchandise is a hooded top that includes the iconic leather-trousered crotch photo from the cover of the Crue's 1981 album 'Too Fast For Love'. The photo was taken by Michael Pinter but plaintiff Ron Toma claims he owns the copyright in it. And, he says, he was not asked for permission to use the photo on the new bit of Motley Crue clothing. The basis for Toma's claim of copyright ownership is currently unclear.

Live Nation is named as a defendant in the lawsuit because one of its fan management companies, UltraStar Entertainment, operates the website and merchandise store.

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Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme has revealed that he technically died and was resuscitated during surgery on his knee last year.

Speaking the NME, Homme said: "I had an operation and died and survived on the table. I had surgery on my leg and there were complications and I died on the table. I was in bed for three months".

I don't think he was dead for three months, just resting following a mild case of death. Now given the all-clear by doctors, Homme has begun work on the next QOTSA album. The band will also reissue their eponymous debut album in March.

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Don Kirshner, the American music industry player once dubbed "the man with the golden ear" by Time magazine, has died aged 76.

Kirshner began his music business career in the late fifties as co-owner of New York-based music publishing company Aldon Music. Dabbling in songwriting, music production and talent management as well as more conventional music publishing, Krishner worked with all sorts of singers and songwriting talent, and helped launch the careers of Carole King, Neil Diamond and Bobby Darin. He also ran three record companies in the 60s, including London Records imprint Chairman Records.

One of his most high profile projects was his involvement in the early musical output of The Monkees. He was hired by the makers of the American TV show to provide the songs that the show's band would perform, and in doing so was behind the group's early hits, including 'I'm A Believer'.

It wasn't his only TV project, he later worked on the animated musical show 'The Archies' and in the seventies appeared on screen himself as presenter of his own music programme 'Don Kirshner's Rock Concert'. His rather flat delivery style when hosting the show was later lampooned on 'Saturday Night Live' by Paul Shaffer.

Kirschner continued to work on music projects until his death, most recently consulting for Rockrena on a new online music venture. He died on Monday in a hospital in Florida after being treated for an infection. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, two sons and five grandchildren.

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Cake's new album 'Shows Of Compassion' is currently sitting at the top of the Billboard 200 chart in the US, which is nice. However, the achievement will be slightly tarnished by the fact that it got there by selling just 44,000 copies, making it the lowest selling album to make it to number one in the history of the chart.

Conversely, over in the American digital songs chart, Britney Spears' 'Hold It Against Me' has shot straight to the top with 411,000 sales, which is, according to Billboard, "the largest debut for a woman as a lead artist".

Over this week, American album sales were down 11% year on year to 10.3 million units, while digital track sales were up 8% to 57.2 million.

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Remember how Mixmag was compiling a list of the 'greatest DJs of all time' by getting DJs and music pundits to nominate contenders and then asking clubbers of the world to vote? Well, look here, this is the final top ten in reverse order. Woo.

10. 2ManyDJs
9. Sasha
8. Tony De Vit
7. Paul van Dyk
6. Andy C
5. Ricardo Villalobos
4. Carl Cox
3. Sven Väth
2. Richie Hawtin
1. Tiësto

Mixmag editor man Nick DeCosemo told CMU: "Obviously with any public poll the results reflect current popularity as much as overall contribution, but we think that the top ten reflects a great spread of dance music genres and DJs over time; from techno, well represented by the likes of Richie Hawtin and Sven Väth, to drum n bass with Andy C or hard dance with the sadly departed Tony De Vit. And of course, Tiësto, undoubtedly the biggest DJ in history".

He continued: "For us, though, the result has always been secondary. The really great thing is the way that the process has sparked such passionate debate - from Facebook and Twitter to clubs and after parties around the world. Also, we hope we've achieved our aim of opening clubbers' eyes to some of the lesser known pioneers of the scene, DJs like Francis Grasso, Larry Levan and even Jimmy Saville (all included in our shortlist) who were so pivotal in creating the culture that we know and love today. We don't expect the debate to end here!"

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Gary Barlow has said that he doesn't see Robbie Williams's return to Take That as a permanent situation.

Co-hosting Chris Evans' breakfast show on Radio 2 yesterday, Barlow said: "I think even moving forward, I know we're back with Rob right now, but we still see our future as a four-piece band. We see Take That as a four-piece band in general".

To mark his 40th birthday, Barlow will perform a solo show at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London tonight. The show will also be broadcast on Radio 2 live from 8pm.

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Plan B has revealed that he is lined up to work with former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger on some kind of underground, fucked up beats. Or something. Speaking to The Sun, B said: "I don't know what kind of direction she is going for with her new album. But anything that I do with her would be quite edgy and not straightforward pop".

But if things carry on the way they are, Scherzinger's collaboration might have to be a capella, as Plan has also revealed that he's being worked to death. He told the NME: "I've been offered everything I ever wanted at the same time. It's so hard to say no, you just sometimes wish maybe you could have held back a little while to give you the time you need. I might not get another opportunity to do this and I've taken on all this work and it's come close to killing me".

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Electronic types Cold Cave have announced that they will release their second album through Matador on 4 Apr. Entitled 'Cherish The Light Years', the record is the follow-up to 2008's 'Love Comes Close'. Amongst the musicians who joined bandleader Wesley Eisolde to record the album are Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, former Hatebreed guitarist Sean Martin, and Glassjaw man Daryl Palumbo.

A vinyl version of the record with handmade cover, limited to 123 copies, can be pre-ordered from www.coldcave.net now. Actually, considering that I'm writing this last night, it probably can't any more. Have a look, anyway.

This is the tracklist for this album:

The Great Pan Is Dead
Pacing Around The Church
Underworld USA
Icons Of Summer
Alchemy And You
Burning Sage
Villains Of The Moon

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A decade ago, despite the reasonable success of her debut album 'The May Street Project', singer-songwriter Shea Seger slipped out of the music industry and disappeared without a trace. According to the press release I've got here, this was due to record label politics and caring for sick relatives. She's back now, though, and will be performing live at The Borderline on 25 Jan and then again at the same venue on 19 Feb.

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CMU approved Liverpool-based folk trio Stealing Sheep have announced that they will release a new single, 'The Mountain Dogs', on 7 Mar via Red Deer Club. Before that, though, they'll be on tour around the UK.

Tour dates:

2 Feb: Nottingham, Jam Café
3 Feb: Manchester, Trof
5 Feb: Liverpool, Kazimier (supporting Lone Wolf)
6 Feb: Birmingham, Garden Café
7 Feb: Brighton, The Latest Music Bar
11 Feb: Liverpool, Novas
12 Feb: Bristol, Mr Wolf's
13 Feb: London, Proud Camden

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ATP CURATED BY ANIMAL COLLECTIVE, Butlins Holiday Centre, Minehead, 13-15 May: It has just been announced that dreamy Sub Pop duo Beach House will be joining the already delectable array of acts set to play at this edition of ATP. Also fresh on the bill alongside Big Boi, Lee Scratch Perry and Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti are High Life, Ear Pwr and Floating Points. www.atpfestival.com

COACHELLA, Indio, California, USA, 15-17 Apr: Kings Of Leon, Arcade Fire and Kanye West will headline this year's Coachella out in California. Also on the bill are The Black Keys, Lauryn Hill, Interpol, The National, The Chemical Brothers, Mumford & Sons, PJ Harvey and, somewhat bizarrely, Death From Above 1979, who have seemingly got over their distaste for each other. www.coachella.com

END OF THE ROAD, Larmer Tree Gardens, North Dorset, 2-4 Sep: The latest additions to this year's line-up are headliner Beirut, Cass McCombs, Gruff Rhys, James Yorkston and Joan As Police Woman. Also just confirmed to play are Timber Timbre, Tune Yards, Wooden Shjips and the excellent Perfume Genius. They join Wild Beasts, The Walkmen and The Fall amongst others for the intimate folk fest. www.endoftheroadfestival.com

ISLE OF WIGHT, Seaclose Park, Newport, 10-12 Jun: Having dominated this year's BRIT nominations, Tinie Tempah has been confirmed to top the bill on the Saturday evening of this three day weekender. He throws his cap into the ring with already announced headliners Foo Fighters, Kasabian and Kings Of Leon. www.isleofwightfestival.com

GARDEN FESTIVAL, Petrčane, Zadar, Croatia, 6-13 Jul: Amongst the first acts announced for this year's Garden Festival, which takes over a 900 year old fishing village in Croatia for a full week in July, are Larry Heard, Art Department, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Tiger And Woods with Norman Jay, Tensnake, Crazy P, Mark E, Future Disco and PBR Streetgang. www.thegardenfestival.eu

GUILFEST, Stoke Park, Guilford, 15-17 Jul: James Blunt, that most personable and sweet-voiced of fellows, has been revealed as the closing attraction at this year's Guilfest. No other acts are confirmed as yet, but Blunty's presence on the bill alone is sure to pull in the crowds. Though presumably they're hoping to not just have James Blunt fans on site. www.guilfest.co.uk

SONISPHERE, Knebworth Park, 8-10 Aug: Motorhead are to join Friday co-headliners, the 'big four' of thrash - Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax - at the UK instalment of this year's roving rock and metal fest. Also just added to the bill are Mastodon, In Flames and Parkway Drive. Family-friendly faves Biffy Clyro and Slipknot will also headline Saturday and Sunday respectively. uk.sonispherefestivals.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: H Bird - Operation Fascination (H Bird Records)
H Bird are a mostly London-based trio with all the right influences (girl groups, electro-pop, cocktails, broken hearts). 'Operation Fascination', their debut album, is awash with pretty vignettes of doomed romance... think letters and photographs you can't look at any more, but won't throw away, or that last day of summer and first day of autumn.

With the pristine musical arrangements and cooed vocals from Kate Dornan, Saint Etienne are an obvious reference point (and not just because that group's producer Ian Catt is on hand here) but there are surprises here too, with folky interludes appearing amid the Little Boots-with-a-broken-heart-disco and Club 8-style melancholy.

At its best, it's very good indeed - witness the delightful Spector-ish Northern Soul of '1000 Lights', or the perky synth-pop of 'Violet', which hides an achingly wistful chorus, effortlessly ticking that happy-sad perfect pop box that the likes of Dusty and the Pet Shop Boys have understood all too well.

More, please. MS

Physical release: 10 Jan

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Topman's music sponsorship programme CTRL is coming to the telly. The retailer has bought some airtime on Channel 4, and has commissioned production company CC Lab to make six thirty minute programmes, to be hosted by that lovely Huw Stephens chap.

Each edition will have a guest who helps pick the bands that play - they'll be the 'controller' see, or the 'ctrlr' presumably - and lined up for that role are Mark Ronson, Inbetweener James Buckley and Misfit Iwan Rheon. There'll also be features about the grass roots music industry, with spotlights on labels, bloggers and fanzines.

Says Topman marketing man Jason Griffiths: "The Topman CTRL MX shows will provide us another opportunity in cementing our partnership with Channel 4 and an exciting new facet to the already established CTRL initiative by the introduction of Huw Stephens and his fellow controller guests. After the two years of solid delivery on this initiative it naturally felt right that this was the next milestone to propel CTRL into a new level of marrying music with fashion".

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HMV last night confirmed it has hired a team of specialist advisers from accountants KPMG to help sort out issues surrounding its debts.

As previously reported, after disappointing pre-Christmas trading figures for the HMV stores, there have been concerns that the music and entertainment retail company won't meet covenants set out in its loan agreements. Said concerns have led to some insurers refusing to provide the retailer's suppliers with credit insurance, which covers the risk suppliers take when they provide HMV with stock on credit. News of the credit insurance issues on Tuesday night caused the retail firm's share price to fall to an all time low yesterday.

HMV has just over £150 million in debts, nearly half of which stem from its acquisition of the MAMA Group at the start of last year. If HMV fails to meet performance targets set out in the covenants of its loan agreements, its money-lenders could cancel the loans, or more likely demand higher interest and fees. The Daily Mail reckons that KPMG's consultants might try to renegotiate the terms of HMV's loan agreements with its money lenders in order to ensure covenant tests aren't failed later this spring.

HMV top man Simon Fox was keen to stress last night that his company makes use of debt specialists on a regular basis, so KPMG's involvement now isn't too out of the ordinary, though presumably the demands of their task are slightly more pressing than usual. He told reporters: "We have received specialist debt advice for every year since the group was formed in 1998 and, given our recent statement on debt covenants, the company will continue to take this type of advice as prudently appropriate".

As previously reported, the credit insurance issue puts more risk onto record companies, DVD and game publishers and their distributors when they supply stock to HMV, and could in theory lead to some suppliers refusing to hand over goods without payment upfront. That said, as also previously reported, HMV is now so important to the entertainment retail sector - as the only national specialist entertainment retailer left - that it seems likely most suppliers will continue to do business with the company.

Reps for both Sony Music and the distribution business owned by Chrysalis Music, Lasgo Chrysalis, both confirmed they would continue to supply HMV to the Mail yesterday, with the CEO of the latter, Peter Lassman, telling the paper: "I can tell you it is business as usual, they enjoy our full support and we are not concerned about them going out of business. Companies go through problems some of the time and that does not mean they are bad companies".

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The boss of Sony Music, Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, has confirmed he will become a partner in a Hamburg-based internet-TV company called TeVeo in April, adding credence to the theory he is preparing to step down from his top job at the major music company.

Schmidt-Holtz's contract with Sony Music is up for renewal in March and it has been widely assumed he will leave the major. So much so, more gossip time has been given to predicting his successor, with Universal Music chairman Doug Morris currently a front-runner.

Confirming his involvement in TeVeo, Schmidt-Holtz told reporters in Germany: "TeVeo has realized the signs of the times and plays a key role in hybrid-TV-technology. I see enormous growth for TeVeo's pay-platform TV-ID, not only in Germany, but for the whole European market".

Although it's not clear if Schmidt-Holtz will take an executive role at TeVeo, he does seem to be taking on a number of new projects in his home country, suggesting a Sony departure.

According to Billboard, he also recently became a shareholder in another Hamburg-based firm called Hanse Venture and he has accepted a place on the board of a foundation run by his former employer Bertelsmann. Schmidt-Holtz, of course, was boss of their record company BMG before its merger with Sony in 2004.

Sony Music is yet to comment on Schmidt-Holtz's future at the company or any possible replacement.

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Universal Music has entered into a deal with the Talpa Media Group regarding the telly company's 'The Voice Of' venture, a new 'Idol' style TV talent show franchise that has proven a hit in Holland and which is set to launch in the US this Spring on NBC. Universal will release music by finalists on the 'Voice Of' show, and provide other 'artist services' to help exploit the commercial potential on the talent competition.

Differences between the 'Voice Of' franchise and other rival telly talent shows include that contenders are originally selected on voice alone, with judges only hearing and not seeing the wannabes who audition, and the fact that judges are singers themselves who are seen on screen providing voice coaching to their protégés, and who occasionally duet with them.

Confirming the deal with Universal, the owner of Talpa Media, John de Mol, told CMU yesterday: "I am convinced that the US version of this format, 'The Voice', will be a great instrument in discovering genuine and amazing new singing talent in the biggest entertainment market in the world. It's fantastic to have broadcaster NBC on our side in the US, but Universal Music makes the picture complete".

Universal top cheese Lucian Grainge added: "Innovation breeds success, and in television, John de Mol's track record is second to none. He evidently has another winner with 'The Voice Of' format, and we're proud to be partners with Talpa in finding some of tomorrow's most exciting new singers".

Of course, until recently Sony Music had the exclusive album releasing rights for the Western world's two biggest telly talent franchises, the 'Idol' shows and 'X-Factor', though the former also moved to Universal last year.

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Jennifer Lopez premiered her new single on Ryan Seacrest's radio show in the US earlier this week sparking a whole load of chatter online, though mainly about how similar the new song 'On The Floor' is to a track by Kat Leuna released in Europe last November called 'Party O'Clock'.

It's been noted that not only are the two tracks musically similar, but the lyrics have a lot in common as well. Lopez sings, "Cos London to Ibiza, straight to LA, New York, Vegas to Africa", while DeLuna chants on her record, "Party in Ibiza, party in New York, all the way to Africa, love in the Caribbean, on my way to Vegas".

The similarities might be explained by the fact both singers have collaborated with the same songwriter and producer on their new songs, RedOne. But Leuna doesn't seem too bothered J.Lo's collaboration with the same producer resulted in such a similar song. She told the New York Daily News: "It's cool that artists like J.Lo are inspired by my musical sound and style. Jennifer helped pave the way for Latinas like myself. I love her".

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Alex Reid
Cash Procurement (Jordan Office)

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