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Jobs & Training Courses
CMU Info
Top Stories
Sony Music confirms Doug Morris as new CEO
Government may close Channel Island VAT loophole
Pop Politics
Japanese boy band apologise for Nazi-esque costumes
Furtado to donate Gaddafi family fee to charity
Awards & Contests
EMAs head to Belfast
Artist Deals
George Michael to partner with Absolute on charity single
In The Studio
Caribou preparing for next album
Release News
Nicole Sherzinger announces killer new album
Noah & The Whale to stream new album
Sleep ∞ Over announce new single
Books News
Ex-LA Weekly writer to pen official Marilyn Manson biography
Gigs & Tours News
Slow Club announce revised tour dates
Cornish bands come to London
Festival News
Festival line-up update
The Digital Business
IFPI works with City Of London Police to target rogue download sites
The Media Business
Channel 4 reviewing its stake in The Box channels
ITV says Syco relationship as strong as ever
And finally...
Justin Bieber's hair sells for $40,000

Baltimore duo Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack formed Wye Oak in 2006, naming themselves after the former emblem tree of their home state, Maryland. They released first album 'If Children' independently in 2007, before signing to Merge Records for sophomore record 'The Knot' in 2009.

New album 'Civilian', a humming blend of melancholic folk sentiment and shoegaze guitar work, is due out next week through City Slang. Having in the past toured with the likes of Cold War Kids, Wye Oak are currently winding their way through the US with Lower Dens on a non-stop run of live dates. Busy singer and guitarist Jenn paused to draw breath for just long enough to answer our Same Six.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
When I was a baby my mother would sing to me in the bathtub. When I was a child I took piano lessons. When I was a teenager I learned to play guitar. Soon after I started learning to play the guitar, I wrote my first song. Everything else in the world took a backseat immediately.
Q2 What inspired your latest album?
The year of my life that I was living while I was writing these songs. During that year I was often lonely, so there are songs about that. But, fortunately, I also had moments of great happiness, so hopefully the songs are laced with equal parts joy and melancholy.  

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
We enter the recording process with completed songs, but very little idea of what the arrangements will be like. I can't help but arrive with ideas for a baseline, keyboard part, guitar solo, etc, but until we actually have the opportunity to hear how certain parts sit together, it's impossible to know if they'll work. Sometimes they work better than you ever imagined they could, and sometimes it's a disaster. So there's a lot of trial and error in our recording process, which makes it exciting. Occasionally, we are rewarded with happy accidents. 

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
I'm always inspired by the attitude and output of artists living and working in Baltimore, which is why I live here. Feeling moved by and connected to a piece of art is incredibly special. That feeling is even more powerful and exciting when it's linked to a friend, someone you know and love. Regardless of what medium they choose to work in or what genre they adhere to, artists and musicians in Baltimore tend to be passionate, genuine, and unique. It's a wonderful place to come home to.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
No, I'm not really that depressed. 

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
All I want from life is to keep making music that I'm excited about, and surround myself with people I adore. If, sometimes, other people (who I may or may not know or adore) like that music, then I will consider myself a truly fortunate person. 

MORE>> www.wyeoakmusic.com
Following the announcement earlier this year that they had signed to 4AD, Gang Gang Dance yesterday unveiled the opening track from their first album for the legendary label, 'Eye Contact'. Entitled 'Glass Jar', the song is just shy of twelve minutes in length, in which time the band take you on an utterly beautiful journey that merges swirly psychedelia with mainstream R&B. You can hear it for yourself on the band's website, as linked below.

The song will be made available as a limited edition twelve-inch on 4 Apr, and the same week the band will play a one-off show in London at Village Underground. They'll then be back again in May for more dates around the album's release, including appearances at The Great Escape and the Animal Collective-curated All Tomorrow's Parties. If 'Glass Jar' is anything to go by, May is going to be an exciting month for Gang Gang Dance fans.


Anorak is looking for an exceptional, Senior Digital PR person with excellent press contacts and at least three years experience working digital campaigns to join our award winning digital department. All applicants must have extensive experience in strategy (and will be required to demonstrate this) plus a true passion for all things digital, a genuine love of music and the ability to work as part of a team. This role will only be suitable for someone senior. Good contacts are essential.

Please send CVs to: [email protected] and [email protected]

We are looking for a part-time designer and production manager to work on a number of upcoming print and online projects. You will need to know your way around InDesign, Photoshop and Dreamweaver, and combine a creative spark with the drive and attention to detail required to lay-out content-rich media to tight deadlines.

This is a part-time freelance role based at our Shoreditch HQ. You will be needed at least two days a week throughout March and April, though we can be flexible on exact days and times. This would suit a junior designer with great ideas and some experience in magazine and/or website design and layout. Daily rate £90.

Send CV and cover letter to [email protected].

"The best music business training event I have attended; relevant and up to date, your knowledge of and enthusiasm for the industry is simply exceptional" from delegate feedback

We are currently taking bookings for the following CMU TRAINING courses:


How to build a profile for your artists - the state of the music media, traditional and new publicity techniques, social media and the future of music PR. Wed 9 Mar 2011

For more information or to book visit www.theCMUwebsite.com/training

So, Doug Morris is the new boss of Sony Music, or at least he will be come 1 Jul. 

Sony Corp announced yesterday that it has secured the services of the current Universal Music Chairman to take over from Rolf Schmidt Holtz as CEO of its record business this summer. As previously reported, Morris was first mooted as a possible successor for Schmidt Holtz, whose contract with Sony runs out this month, last December. 

It was originally thought that the Sony Music CEO role would go to an existing senior exec within the company, but speculation that an outsider was in fact being considered began when one of the main internal contenders, Barry Weiss, announced he was moving to Universal late last year. 

There has been speculation that Sony Corp bosses feared any promotion of an existing exec to the CEO job could stir existing internal tensions in the US branch of their record company, which still stem from the merger of Sony and BMG way back in 2004 - ie with Sony Music USA still structured around two divisions, the former Sony labels led by Rob Stringer and the former BMG labels led by Weiss, both sides would be offended if their man was overlooked in favour of his rival for the top job. 

It's also thought that Sony Corp top man Howard Stringer was concerned about how it would look if he gave his brother Rob the top Sony Music role - possibly resulting in reverse nepotism ruling another top contender out of the running. 

Having decided to not appoint from within the Sony record labels, reports suggest Sony Corp bosses next considered Marty Bandier, the boss of the entertainment giant's music publishing business Sony/ATV, but he declined the offer. 

Which is when the more audacious proposal of hiring the 72 year old Morris - who was meant to be taking a back seat role in the record industry after stepping down as Universal CEO last year - first appeared on the agenda. Though that plan, of course, required careful negotiations to get Morris out of his contractual commitments to Universal. Said commitments are delaying Morris's arrival to Sony until July. Howard Stringer will oversee the Sony music company himself between Schmidt-Holtz's departure and Morris's arrival.

Commenting on his new recruit yesterday, Stringer said in an interview: "He's a very good motivator, and honestly there's nobody who knows the music industry better".


The government has indicated that, at long last, it may move to close the loophole that allows mail-order operations based on the Channel Islands to sell CDs, DVDs and anything that retails for under £18 without paying any VAT. 

As much previously reported, the loophole exists because of the Channel Islands' slightly unusual status, inside the European customs zone but not part of the European Union. It means that any mail-order set-ups based there selling low price goods can undercut mainland-based shops and mail-order companies by 20% without affecting their profits. 

All the big music sellers utilise the loophole, including Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys, Play.com, Amazon and HMV. But the option is not open to smaller retailers who can't afford an offshore base, which, opponents of the VAT dodge say, has led to numerous independent music stores, who might otherwise have been able to respond to the new threat of the internet by entering the mail-order domain themselves, going out of business. 

Arguably the loophole has also been damaging to HMV, even though the company's mail-order operation uses it, because the music retail giant dominates on the high street and not online, but on the high street they are at a 20% disadvantage to its online-only rivals. 

On a number of occasions the last Labour government indicated it would close the loophole, which also costs tax-payers millions a year, but then did nothing. The current government's money man, Georgie Osborne, was openly critical of the VAT dodge while in opposition, but his team at the Treasury have been rather quiet on the issue since coming to power. Until yesterday.  

As expected, Tory Lord Ralph Lucas raised the issue in the House Of Lords yesterday afternoon, asking the government to clarify the scale of the dodge. In response, the Treasury's spokesman in the Lords, James Sassoon, told the House: "We are committed to tackling tax avoidance and, in that context, we hope to be in a position to announce possible changes to the operation of LVCR [low-value consignment relief - the name for this loophole] in the [next] budget". 

Any closure of the loophole will probably be most damaging to those mail-order-only companies who have built a business that specifically exploits the dodge, while the BBC estimates up to a thousand jobs could be at risk on the Channel Islands. For the bigger retailers, though, it won't make much difference. 

Tesco stressed yesterday that it had always passed the savings the VAT dodge allows onto its customers - so if and when the loophole closes, it just means CDs and DVDs on Tesco's entertainment website will become 20% more expensive, but then so will CDs and DVDs on all their competitors' sites, so Tesco won't lose out. 

Unless, of course, some of its competitors decide to start sourcing their CDs from outside the EU, ie from parts of the world where the wholesale price charged by record companies is a lot less. The record companies will fight any such move - as they did when CD Wow employed such an approach a few years back - but some fear that those companies who will lose most from any closure of the VAT loophole might consider that option anyway.

But for the independent retailers who have long opposed the Channel Islands VAT dodge, yesterday's statement from Lord Sassoon was a welcome sign their campaigning against the loophole is finally having an effect. 

Chris Gorman of The Forum Of Private Business told the Daily Mail: "It appears the government has finally seen sense on this. It has been hugely unfair having a tax loophole that could only be exploited by big multi-national businesses to the detriment of tiny little high street traders. We are very glad that government has finally recognised what a big issue this is. There has been a feeling among many small businesses, particularly record shops and others selling low value items, that they have been really unfairly treated".

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The management of a Japanese boy band called Kishidan has apologised after the group appeared on a national TV show dressed in army uniforms that looked rather too much like those worn by the officers of Nazi Germany. 

The pop outfit, who are best known for donning school uniforms, wore the costumes, complete with iron crosses and red armbands, on an MTV show in Japan. The appearance motivated a letter of complaint from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organisation based in LA. The Center said it was shocked and dismayed by the broadcast.

Kishidan's management, Sony Music Artists, immediately issued a statement stressing that there was no symbolic message intended by wearing the costumes (except, perhaps, that the group's members were getting rather too old for school clothes), while also apologising for any offence caused. 

In a statement on the band's website the group's reps added that the costumes would never be worn again - in fact they will be destroyed - and that footage of the MTV interview will not be rebroadcast or distributed. 


Nelly Furtado has said she will donate the million dollars she was paid for performing at a party held by the family of Muammar Gaddafi on the island of St Barts back in 2007 to charity. 

As previously reported, media attention has fallen in the last week onto a number of pop stars who have performed at the Gaddafi family's annual New Year bash in recent years, as the Libyan leader - once considered one of the Western World's greatest enemies - is again being seen in the West as a dangerous human rights violating dictator. 

Other pop stars who have done a turn at a Gaddafi New Year party include, according to Rolling Stone, Beyonce, Usher and Mariah Carey, while 50 Cent appeared at a show for Gaddafi at the 2005 Venice Film Festival.

Furtado confirmed that she had indeed performed at a past Gaddafi family event on Twitter this week, adding that she would now donate her fee to an unnamed charity. The other stars said to have earned mega-bucks by doing short performances for the Gaddafi clan are yet to comment. 

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This year's MTV Europe Music Awards will take place in November in Belfast. The pan-European event last took place in the UK in 2008 in Liverpool. 

Confirming the news, Belfast's mayor Pat Convery told reporters: "It is fitting that the EMAs are coming to Belfast, one of Europe's most exciting and vibrant cities and with around 35% of our population below the age of 25".

He added: "Belfast has a rich musical history and has produced artists such as Snow Patrol and the legendary Van Morrison and we now have an unprecedented opportunity to shine a spotlight on our musical heritage while also providing a major boost to our economy. I am delighted that MTV has chosen Belfast".

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George Michael has teamed up with Absolute Marketing & Distribution for the release of a cover version of New Order's 'True Faith' in aid of Comic Relief. 

The new version of the record will go on sale digitally shortly after it airs as part of the Comic Relief tediosities on BBC1 on 13 Mar, and then physically the next day. The single will be released by Michael's own Aegan Records, with sales, marketing and distribution coming from Absolute. 

Absolute MD Henry Semmence told CMU: "We are delighted that George Michael has chosen Absolute Marketing & Distribution to be the label services partner for Aegean Records. George is one of the greatest songwriters and performers that this country has ever produced and it is quite simply an honour to be working with him on this project, which we all hope will raise lots of money for Comic Relief".

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Caribou's Dan Snaith has revealed that he is almost ready to begin work on his next album, the follow-up to 2009's 'Swim'.

Snaith told BBC 6music: "The response [to 'Swim'] has totally floored me and it has been really fulfilling that way, seeing it spread out in the world and connect with people more than anything I've done in the past. There's definitely a sense there's plenty of things to start working on but there is also the sense that I don't want to make the same album again".

He continued: "My taste in music means that's its unlikely that I will ever make a specific genre album, I'm too much a of a magpie collecting different ideas from all sorts of areas. But definitely I'm still very much interested in contemporary dance music and dance music in general, it seems like that's where in music, the interesting things are happening at the moment".

As for when the album might be finished, he has a rough idea: "Making an album, somehow mysteriously, always seems to take about a year. Sometimes I think this one is going really slowly and then there is a year of constant recording getting the release together, so it might be a year and a half from now".

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If you were/are a fan of now-dismantled feline boyfriend-fanciers Pussycat Dolls, you're surely going to love this next bit of news. If not, well, there's something wrong with you. Ex-lead Doll Nicole Sherzinger is releasing her highly anticipated (by some) new album 'Killer Love' on 20 Mar through Universal/Interscope, heralded the previous week by new single 'Don't Hold Your Breath'. 

Produced by such top names as RedOne (Lady Gaga, Akon) and Dave Audé (Rihanna, Beyonce), and featuring duets with Sting and Enrique Iglesias, Nicole pins down the 'sound' of the record as "rock and roll soul funk, meets dance pop".

She goes on: "This album is fun and dangerous, soulful and with attitude! Music that you can rock out to, dance around, sing and feel good to. It means everything. It's what I've been working up to for my whole life".

Well, let's hope it's been a lifetime well spent. Now for the tracklisting:

Killer Love 
Don't Hold Your Breath 
Right There 
You Will Be Loved 
Say Yes 
Club Banger Nation 
Power's Out (feat Sting)
Heartbeat (feat Enrique Iglesias) 

Having sharpened up with some vintage-looking suits and haircuts, folk chaps Noah & The Whale are to unveil their third album 'Last Night On Earth' today via a public streaming platform on their website www.noahandthewhale.com.

Fans are invited to customise their own 'cassette' of the album, embed it and share it via social networking sites, telephones, iPads, and all other sorts of gadgets.

Affable frontman Charlie Fink says of the album, the general release of which is on 7 Mar, that it "indulges heartily the human appetite for adventure and discovery. In this spirit we could not wait to send these ten new songs to fend for themselves amidst the expansive, expectant night dark".

Stefanie Franciotii of Austin-based Sleep ∞ Over, despite having been deserted by both other members of her group, forges on with the release of new seven-inch, 'Casual Diamond'. Sounding, in the best way possible, like an eerie slow dance number from some 80s prom night, the single comes complete with a Lauren Halo remix, and is due out on 4 Apr through Hippos In Tanks.

Listen to the track here, courtesy of Gorrila Vs Bear: www.gorillavsbear.net/2011/03/01/mp3-premiere-sleep-∞-over-casual-diamond/

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Former LA Weekly web editor Erin Broadley, who left the publication's online division last week, has announced that she is to write the first official Marilyn Manson biography. Which is pretty good going for someone the shock rocker once threatened to kill. In fact, it was those death threats that brought them together. Aw.

Two years ago, Broadley interviewed Buddyhead's Travis Keller, and published a few tales of Keller's debauched nights out with Manson in her write up. Not wanted to be portrayed as someone who enjoys any sort of debauched lifestyle, Manson took to his MySpace blog (remember those?) and warned everyone involved that they would soon be dead.

After a bit of a Twitter feud (Manson will stalk you across many social networks, should you get on his bad side), it seems the pair then met and it turned out they actually quite liked each other. Hence Manson chose Broadley to write about him. 

Manson has previously published a book about himself, his 1998 autobiography 'The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell', which was written with Rolling Stone's Neil Strauss. But I seem to remember my mum said of that book: "He manages to say a lot without telling you anything". Maybe my mum will find this new book a more satisfying read.

The man himself seems to think people will like it, and despite its 'authorised' status, wants it to be a proper warts and all tale. He says: "I asked Erin Broadley to write an objective account of my life because I have great respect for her. I think she has the balls to be the next Lee Miller".

During the second world war, Lee Miller was Vogue's war photographer and a war correspondent for Life Magazine. For one Life Magazine piece, she broke into Hilter's flat in Munich and was photographed in his bath. Whether writing about Manson will require quite such bravado remains to be seen. Broadley's book is due to be published by Cooking Vinyl later this year.

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Slow Club have issued a revised tour schedule, after cancelling their proposed May dates due to singer Rebecca Taylor falling ill. While she recuperates, the band are back to recording a follow-up to their 2009 debut album 'Yeah, So'.

The new dates are thus:

12 Sept: Nottingham, Bodega
13 Sept: Birmingham, Library (HMV Institute)
14 Sept: Newcastle, Cluny
16 Sept: Sheffield, Leadmill
17 Sept: Lancaster, Library
18 Sept: Glasgow, King Tut's
19 Sept: Edinburgh, Cabaret Voltaire
21 Sept: York, The Duchess
22 Sept: Manchester, Ruby Lounge
23 Sept: Liverpool, Kazimier
25 Sept: Bristol, Cooler
26 Sept: London, Shepherds Bush Empire
27 Sept: Southampton,  Joiners
28 Sept: Norwich, Waterfront
29 Sept: Brighton, Audio


Some of Cornwall's finest bands will be making their way up to London this Saturday for Kernow In The City. The event, taking place at the ICA, will mark St Piran's Day - Cornwall's national day, for those who think of Cornwall as a nation.

The second outing for the event, this year's line-up will feature folkers Louis Eliot & The Embers, singer-songwriter Ruarri Joseph, Mediaeval minstrels Princes In The Tower, who will be joined by female morris dancing troupe The Belles Of London City, math-rockers Gunning For Tamar, Minko, riffmeisters Peter Parker's Rock N Roll Club, and folk-rockers Crowns. There will also be a Cornish pasty making workshop, the thought of which is already making me very hungry.

More information at www.ica.org.uk/?lid=27300

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BLOODSTOCK, Catton Hall, Derbyshire, 12-14 Aug: Recently spotted drunkenly chauffeuring Foo Fighters in their 'White Limo' video, Lemmy will make an appearance fronting Motorhead at this year's hard rock fest, no doubt also drunkenly. Other recent line-up additions are metallers WASP, HammerFall, Poisonblack, Byfrost, Deadly Circus Fire and Primevil, who join a veritable who's who of rock that includes Kreator, Napalm Death and Nevermore. www.bloodstock.uk.com/outdoor-festival-index.htm

CHELTENHAM JAZZ FESTIVAL, various venues, 27 Apr - 2 May: Guest director Jamie Cullum has had a hand in co-ordinating a diverse programme of acts for this year's event, which features, alongside jazz stalwarts Dave Holland and Dame Cleo Laine, such unexpected names as Roots Manuva, Bonobo, Andreya Triana, and a rare showing from electronic duo Lamb. www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/jazz-brochure

DOWNLOAD, Donington Park, 10-12 June: The Pretty Reckless, as fronted by surly Gossip Girl teen queen Taylor Momsen, will brave the discerning Download crowds this year, as will fellow first-timers, 'She Hates Me' bards Puddle Of Mudd, Times Of Grace, Brit metallers Evile, Suicide Silence and Versaemerge will appear alongside existing headliners Def Leppard, Linkin Park and System Of A Down. www.downloadfestival.co.uk/2011/

THE GREAT ESCAPE, various venues, Brighton, 11-14 May: Amongst the lengthy list of new bands added to this year's TGE festival line-up are amazing Danish chanteuse Oh Land, Brit rapper Devlin, and New York art rockers Gang Gang Dance. They join headliners Friendly Fires, DJ Shadow and Sufjan Stevens. Relentess Energy Drink will also again be bringing a series of secret outdoor shows to Brighton and for the first time HMV will be showcasing the best of its Next Big Thing festival, which took place in February. www.escapegreat.com

HEINEKEN OPEN'ER, Gdynia, Poland, 30 Jun - 3 Jul: Pulp's epic reformation tour is to make a further stop, this time in Poland, with the band just confirmed for Heineken Open'er alongside fellow line-up newbies Paolo Nutini and The Wombats. Coldplay, Caribou, MIA and Foals are amongst those already revealed to perform. www.opener.pl/en

HOP FARM MUSIC FESTIVAL, Hop Farm Country Park, Kent, 1-2 Jul: Organiser Vince Power has confirmed the first acts to play the Big Top Stage on the Friday night of this fest, those being 80s electro legends The Human League, and Mosely Britpopsters Ocean Colour Scene. Older news in terms of line-up announcements are headliners Eagles, who will accompany Bryan Ferry, Brandon Flowers, Death Cab For Cutie and 10cc. hopfarmfestival.com

LIVE AT LEEDS, various venues, Leeds, 29 Apr - 1 May: This citywide bash is to welcome Dinosaur Pile Up, The Twilight Sad and Villagers, who will open the festival with a special performance. Also added to the bill are Mazes, Let's Wrestle, Morning Parade and a further raft of acts including Stagecoach, Alice Gold, Humanfly and Young Liar. They join Live At Leeds supremos like Glasvegas, James Blake, Anna Calvi and Pulled Apart By Horses. www.liveatleeds.com

LOVEBOX, Victoria Park, London, 15-17 Jul: Snoop Dogg, Scissor Sisters, Robyn, 2manydjs and Robyn head up the first raft of acts announced to play this park-based bash. An impressively diverse bill also features standout acts like Kelis, Lykke Li, The Drums, Roll Deep, Katy B, Example and Metronomy. Cassius, Uffie and Busy P of French electro label Ed Banger will also appear. www.lovebox.net

SPOT, Aarhus, Denmark, 27-28 May: This year's diminutive Spot festival will showcase the best in upcoming Scandinavian talent, with 4 Guys From The Future, Alcoholic Faith Mission, Giana Factory, Raised Among Wolves and Bon Homme all set to play. Fallulah, Vinnie Who, Marie Fisker, Jenny Wilson, Me And My Army, Our Broken Garden, Panamah and Thus:Owls will also perform. www.spotfestival.dk

WAKESTOCK, Abersoch Bay, Wales, 8-10 Jul: Rising grime MC Wretch 32 adds another date to a run of summer festival appearances at this year's watersportsy festival, with Chase & Status, Zane Lowe, Chiddy Bang, Nero, Redlight, YasmIn and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs also set to perform. Existing headliners Ellie Goulding, Biffy Clyro and The Wombats are joined by Example, Danny Byrd and DJ Fresh. www.wakestock.co.uk/abersoch

WIRELESS, Hyde Park, London, 1-3 Jul: Fresh on the Friday Wireless line-up are Bruno Mars, Labrinth, YasmIn, Far East Movement and Wretch 32, and also David Guetta, who might chance a performance of 'Getting Over You' with Fergie from already-confirmed headliners Black Eyed Peas. Fingers crossed for that. The soon-to-be-defunct Streets are high on the Saturday bill, with Devlin, Katy B and Digitalism also confirmed on that day. They join already announced acts including Chemical Brothers, Pulp, Foals and Janelle Monáe. www.wirelessfestival.co.uk/2011/

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The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry has agreed a system with the City Of London Police's Economic Crime Directorate and leading credit card companies to speed up the process for targeting rogue websites that sell digital music illegally. 

The system is designed to target unlicensed music websites, usually based in Russia and the Ukraine but often doing business in English, that appear to be legitimate download stores except that they commonly offer latest releases at very cheap prices. 

While there is a strong case for suing such websites for copyright infringement, doing so through the Russian courts would be time consuming and risky. Instead the record industry has sought to persuade credit card companies to not take payments for the copyright infringing downloads, making it very hard for such websites to operate. 

The most famous Russian site that offered this kind of illegal service, and which was stopped through pressuring credit card firms, was AllofMP3.com, though there are many other similar rogue services. 

Under the new system the IFPI's anti-piracy team will alert the City Of London Police of any site they believe to be illegal. The police will then notify MasterCard and Visa who will then demand that the bank actually providing the credit card payment facility request copies of music licenses from the digital firm. If no such licenses can be provided the credit card firms will request the digital company's payment facility be stopped. 

Welcoming the system that has been put in place with the City Of London Police and the credit card giants, IFPI boss Frances Moore told CMU: "It is extremely positive for the recorded music industry that the world's largest payment systems are taking steps to prevent their services being abused by illegal websites that infringe the rights of artists, songwriters and producers. Intermediaries, such as MasterCard and Visa, can play a key role in tackling online piracy wherever it originates around the world. We commend the City Of London Police for the key role it is playing in coordinating the programme. This demonstrates that it understands the damage these rogue websites are inflicting on jobs and growth in the UK and around the world".

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According to The Guardian, Channel 4 us undertaking a strategic review of its 50% stake in Box Television, the music telly company it co-owns with Bauer Media, which operates 4Music and the various TV channels built around Bauer brands like Q, Kerrang!, Kiss and Smash Hits. 

Although Box TV has been rather successful in recent years, with revenues rising despite difficult trading conditions, it is thought C4 bosses might consider selling their share of the company to create some quick cash reserves. That said, it is thought the review might also consider Channel 4 making an offer to Bauer to buy the firm outright. 

C4 chiefs might also talk to Bauer bosses about the possibility of them selling their share in Box too, allowing a buyer to bid for the whole firm. It is thought that the company would go for considerably more if a buyer could take complete control, rather than just getting a 50% stake - ie C4's half of any monies generated by a complete sale would be considerably more than what it would get for selling its stake in the JV with Bauer. 


ITV boss Adam Crozier has said that his company's relationship with Simon Cowell's Syco remains as strong as ever, and that both 'Britain's Got Talent' and 'X-Factor' will return to their main channel this year. Although he conceded he did not know whether Cowell himself would appear on either. 

As previously reported, while the Sony and Cowell owned music and media firm entered into a new three-year deal with ITV last year with regards its two talent shows, there have been rumours of tensions between the two companies because of Cowell's commitments to the US version of 'X-Factor' and ITV's reported decision to work with Universal rather than Syco on a new peak time pop music programme. 

But Crozier said there were no tensions yesterday, telling reporters: "I understand why this is such a sexy story, for want of a better word, but our relationship with Syco has never been stronger, we have struck the first long-term deal for 'BGT' and 'X-Factor'". 

He added that no decision had yet been made as to what Cowell's personal involvement in the next series of 'X-Factor' would be, nor regards any possible replacements on the 'X' judging panel for Cowell and, possibly, Cheryl Cole, who is also reportedly defecting to the US version of the programme.

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A lock of Justin Bieber's hair has sold for $40,668. That's just short of £25,000. Yes, I know what you're thinking, if we could catch him and shave him, we could be millionaires. That stuff is literally growing out of him! Of course, thoughts like that are wrong and shouldn't be encouraged.

As previously reported, Bieber's trademark haircut was cut down for a new, shorter look during a video shoot last week. The teen pop star then scooped up the removed hair from the floor and took a lock of it round to Ellen DeGeneres, who promptly put it up on eBay. That's generally behaviour considered rude when someone is given a gift, but apparently that's what he wanted her to do.

That was on Wednesday, and by Sunday the hair was already up to a high bid of $12,000. Yesterday evening it had reached $18,000, which seemed pretty impressive, but it then leaped up over the $40,000 mark with just 35 seconds to go.

All money raised will be donated to The Gentle Barn Foundation, which provides a safe haven for abused animals and children.

It's not known who the winning bidder is. Presumably either a celebrity memorabilia archivist, a cloning scientist, someone hoping to gain eternal life by eating the hair, or a parent who hasn't yet noticed their credit card has gone missing. If it's the latter, they'll be pleased to know there's a three day money back guarantee.

Let's take a look at that lock of hair in action, back when it was still attached to Bieber's head: youtu.be/0e50vqY7Szo

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Colin Firth
Speech Writer

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  CMU Publisher and Business Editor Chris Cooke is available if you need independent industry comment for your media on any developments in the music business or music media, or the wider music world.

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