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CMU Info
Top Stories
The end of free Spotify?
Warner owners now only considering bids for entire group
Tal Herzberg dies
Randy Wood dies
Awards & Contests
Kerrang! to give Ozzy legend award
Reunions & Splits
Soundgarden reunion result of Twitter misunderstanding
In The Studio
Kanye and Bono to guest on Swizz Beatz album
Films & Shows News
AC/DC film to premiere at the Apollo
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Brands & Stuff
Fred Perry and Parlophone team up for Record Store Day
Jagermeister announces 4D Alice Cooper thing
Red Bull moves academy to Madrid
The Music Business
Kitsuné expands co-op relationships into France
The Digital Business
Amazon music team to meet with labels
News Corp paints rosy picture in MySpace pitch document
The Media Business
Al Bowlly gets his own radio station
And finally...
Handwritten Beatles lyrics to be auctioned
Bieber steps back from Twitter

Mancunian trip hop duo Lamb formed in 1996, born of the close musical kinship between singer-songwriter Lou Rhodes and producer Andy Barlow. Their eponymous debut spawned a major hit in 'Górecki', and was followed by a trio of successive LPs culminating in a 'Best Of' compilation in 2004.

With the recording process of their 2003 album 'Between Darkness And Wonder' proving a difficult one, the pair parted ways to pursue solo projects, which manifested themselves in several acclaimed solo albums for Lou, and, after five years in the making, a well-received full-length venture from Andy.

Their decision to reform back in 2009 for a run of festival dates means that this year will see a long-awaited release from the rejuvenated Lamb when new album '5' comes out on 5 May. With an appearance booked at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival on 30 Apr, vocalist Lou consented to tackle our Same Six line of questioning.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
My mum was a folk singer so I grew up around her rehearsing with her band and singing around the house all the time. I think I was singing as soon as I could speak. I first sang in public when I was about 12 years old in the local folk club and after that went on to form a series of bands. Songwriting came much later though. It was as if I needed a whole lot more life experience before I could begin to write anything of any depth.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?

'5' was the first album Lamb had made after a hiatus of over five years, so I guess much of the inspiration came from the freshness we felt in working together again. For much of the writing process, though, I was troubled by a kind of writer's block which tied in with an existential crossroads I seemed to have reached. In many ways this actually inspired much of the lyrical content; the songs became an enquiry into the process of writing them, if that makes any sense at all!

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?

When we write songs as Lamb there's no definitive process. In fact we try to refrain from any kind of formula at all. The initial idea for a track can come from Andy or from me, but we usually make a point of sharing ideas from an early stage before they're even properly developed, so that the song can take shape in a collaborative way. We've never really pinpointed what makes a Lamb track but there's something about the way an initial idea takes on a life of its own as we bat it between us. It's a case of letting the process be as free as possible without any attachment to the outcome.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

When I'm at home I listen to a lot of acoustic music. I was going to say Sufjan Stevens, but then his new material is pretty far from acoustic these days! While we were writing '5' we got really into Bath's 'Cerulean' album and Benga. Andy also got me into Mount Kimbie, who are really cool. After a long fallow period it feels like electronic music is undergoing a kind of renaissance. There's a lot of fresh stuff out there.

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

Just to listen without preconception.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?

I'd like it to be heard by as many people as possible, I guess that goes without saying. Obviously we'll be playing shows featuring the new material around the globe and I'm looking forward to that. I'd particularly like to get to play in places we haven't played before, especially Japan, and I'm dying to tour the US again after what seems like far too long away.

MORE>> www.lambofficial.com
Every day in CMU this month we are previewing a different session taking place at this year's CMU-programmed Great Escape convention, which takes place from 12-14 May at the Brighton Dome.

And today, we have another of the panel debates for you, and this one I'm particularly looking forward to - because it's all about how you go about influencing the influencers in music - you know, the journalists, bloggers, DJs, programmers, bookers and A&Rs who still control access to the mainstream audience. In the social media age, how do you build a buzz for new talent? What and who influences these all important gatekeepers who in turn provide access to mainstream music fans?

Offering valuable insights from the media side will be Jeff Smith (pictured), Head Of Music for both Radio 2 and 6music; Caspar Llewellyn Smith, Music Editor at Guardian News & Media who oversees music coverage in The Guardian, The Observer and on the Guardian website; and Ali Anselmo, whose expertise is music TV, and who has experience booking in new bands for MTV. Ali will also be there in her capacity as the new band booker for the Wireless Festival, giving insights from that side of the equation, while from the world A&R we'll hear from 4AD's Ed Horrox.

This great panel takes place on the Thursday of the convention. To get into it, plus to attend all the other great panels, sessions, parties and gigs taking place at The Great Escape this year, get your delegates pass from escapegreat.com.

For details of advertising opportunities still available at The Great Escape this year click here.

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Absolute Marketing and Distribution, one of the oldest established label services business within the music industry, is expanding. We require a digital manager to oversee our overall digital and on-line offer. The ideal client will be a self motivated person with the ability to work under pressure and will have a keen eye for detail.

Working in an open plan environment the position covers all aspects of digital and mobile retail, marketing and administration. The role will include the creation and delivery of meta data and all related information; managing and developing relationships with all major on-line retail sites; liaising with aggregators and direct deal retailers; overseeing and managing the company website; liaising with internal marketing and label managers; liaising directly with label clients; and creating and developing new business opportunities.

Please forward via email, a covering letter with CV and details of current package to [email protected]. Location: SW London. Closing date: 21st April 2011
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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 20 Apr 2011

How to make money out of music - both now and in the future, with a look at alternative investment and revenue streams, and a new approach to monetising artists and their music. Wed 4 May 2011

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

Well, we all knew it was too good to be true, didn't we? Spotify announced some pretty radical changes to their freemium service this morning.

First, all non-paying users will have the number of hours of free listening available to them cut to ten hours. Those who signed up to Spotify early and currently enjoy unlimited listening, will have the monthly time limit applied on 1 May. Those who use Spotify Open, which already has a 20 hour limit, will have their monthly allocation cut down to ten after six months.

But perhaps more importantly than all that, a new rule will be applied to every free account after six months that says any one track can only be listened to for free five times, transforming the free service into a preview platform rather than an ad-funded all-you-can-eat on-demand set up.

This is quite a radical development, though not a surprising one, given the arguably unsustainable costs of running the free service and the concerns expressed about the entire freemium concept by the US labels, who have played hard ball in negotiations to get Spotify launched Stateside. It means the free service is now very much a marketing tool for the premium five/ten pound a month package, rather than a service in its own right.

Whether today's announcement will lead to a spike in premium subscriptions for Spotify or a mass exodus to competitors like We7 or the good old illegal music services remains to be seen, we'll very possibly see a combination of both.

Announcing the changes, Spotify said on their company blog today: "Spotify's aim from the very beginning was to make music on-demand available to all. To give you the power to listen to, discover, share and manage your music the way you want to - simpler, faster, better - while making sure the artists whose music we all love continue to see the benefits as we grow".

They continued: "Making Spotify available to millions across Europe has seen the service become incredibly popular. People are listening to more music and from a wider range of artists than ever before, and are giving up on piracy, which is exactly what we hoped would happen. So it's vital that we continue offering an on-demand free service to you and millions more like you, but to make that possible we have to put some limits in place going forward".

They conclude: "The changes we're having to make will mainly affect heavier Spotify Free and Open users, as most of you use Spotify to discover music - on average over 50 new tracks per month, even after a year. Plus, the average user won't reach the limit on plays for 7 out of 10 tracks, after a year of using Spotify. For those of you using Spotify to find new tracks to enjoy and share with friends, these changes shouldn't get in the way of you doing that. Rest assured that we'll continue to bring you the biggest and most diverse music catalogue available. For anyone who thinks they might reach these limits, we hope you'll consider checking out our Unlimited and Premium services, neither of which will be affected, plus we have a 7-day free trial for Spotify Premium that we'd love you to try".

Spotify's long awaited US launch is expected to finally take place this year, presumably with a similar limited freemium model. Sony and EMI are both on board and Universal is expected to sign up soon. That would leave Warner as the hold out, but everyone seems convinced Spotify could launch without their catalogue - and anyway there could be a change of management there in the next few months which could enable a deal to be fast-tracked.

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Owners of the Warner Music Group have decided they want to sell the whole company to one bidder, according to the Wall Street Journal, which probably means just four bidders are still in the running.

Warner's current owners were accepting offers to either buy the whole group or its constituent parts - record labels and publishing - separately. It was thought one option on the table was to keep hold of the record labels, sell the Warner Chappell publishing company, and use the profits of the sale to buy some of EMI. But on Tuesday the group's board reportedly decided they wanted to sell the company outright to one buyer. It is thought the Warner Music Group in its entirety could fetch up to $3 billion.

Ron Burkle's Yucaipa company, Len Blavatnik's Access Industries, KKR-backed music rights firm BMG and equity outfit Platinum Equity are all believed to have made bids for the whole company, so presumably only they are now in the running.

Although it trades on the New York Stock Exchange, Warner is still really controlled by the three equity groups who bought the firm off Time Warner in 2004 - Thomas H Lee Partners, Bain Capital Partners and Providence Equity Partners - and the music major's top man Edgar Bronfman Jr, who led that takeover. It's not clear what his plans are should this new takeover go ahead - ie is he hoping to keep an executive role, or does he think it's time to move on again.

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Producer, musician and recording engineer Tal Herzberg has died at the age of 41 after suffering from liver cancer. Herzberg, who was the production partner of Geffen chairman Ron Fair for ten years, was well known in the US business for his early adoption of, and skill at using, Pro Tools.

Originally from Tel Aviv, Herzberg moved to Los Angeles in 1993 and enrolled at the Dick Grove School of Music in Studio City. In his subsequent career, he worked with producers such as David Foster, Rob Cavallo, Antonina Armato and Tim James as well as big name artists like Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, Britney Spears and U2.

Amongst his credits was the 2001 version of 'Lady Marmalade' featuring Lil Kim, Pink, Christina Aguilera and Mya. Over the years, he was honoured with a number of Grammy nominations, and was a published author of articles on record production, digital recording and equipment.

Herzberg leaves a wife, Ofrah, and two young daughters. His funeral has already taken place in Israel, but a memorial service is scheduled today at the offices of Interscope Geffen A&M.

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Dot Records founder Randy Wood has died at his home in La Jolla, California, of complications following a fall. He was 94 years old. His policy of having white artists - such as Pat Boone - cover tracks by black artists is widely credited with having helped push R&B into the mainstream, thereby opening the door to black artists themselves, though others considered that Boone and his ilk were basically stealing success and music from the black music community.

Wood didn't begin his career as a record producer: he opened an appliance shop in 1945 in Gallatin, Tennessee. He stocked pop records, but was often asked for R&B, and so ended up starting a mail order business for more hard to find recordings, advertising this on a late night R&B show he created for Nashville radio station WLAC. By 1950, his business was renamed Randy's Record Shop, and was selling almost 500,000 discs per month. It was at this point that he set up Dot Records, which over the years promoted acts such as Hilltoppers, Surfaris, Lawrence Welk, T Bone Walker, Louis Armstrong and Billy Vaughn.

The aforementioned Pat Boone, who stayed with Dot for thirteen years, in 2005 called him "one of the people I owe my career to. He was just my mentor, my angel". He also rejected the idea that black artists were exploited and cheated by his covers of their work. "That's a perversion of history," Boone said. "The recording directors at the small R&B labels wanted to attract attention to their artists, and the covers expanded the impact of the song. Little Richard, Fats Domino and Chuck Berry were all thrilled because it made it possible for their songs to finally get heard, and Randy knew that".

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Kerrang! has announced that it will celebrate its 30th anniversary by giving legendary rocker Ozzy Osbourne the Legend Award at this year's Kerrang! Awards. The ceremony takes place on 9 Jun, and Osbourne will follow this with a celebratory London show on 21 Jun at the Hammersmith Apollo.

Ozzy says: "It's an incredible honour to be the second recipient of Kerrang's Legend Award. I'm looking forward to you all going 'Fucking Crazy!' at the 30th anniversary party on June 21st at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo!"

Kerrang! Magazine editor Nichola Browne adds: "We are so unbelievably excited to have Ozzy play this very special show for our 30th birthday celebrations in June. We are privileged that the Prince of Darkness can help us mark this momentous milestone in style and it's guaranteed to be a night to remember!"

The awards will be hosted for a third year by Slipknot's Corey Taylor and Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian. Taylor, who is quoted as saying: "In the third episode, Luke confronts his father Darth Vader, Indiana Jones and his father search for the Holy Grail, Harry Potter mistakenly fights his godfather and Richard Pryor tries to defeat Superman with computers. Oh wait - is this about my third year co-hosting or my favourite third movie moment? Oh well - at least my suit will be wonderful again..."

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Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil has told Kerrang! that their recent reunion was inspired by a tweety misunderstanding, and that the band only decided to reform after being overwhelmed by fan response after said fans incorrectly assumed they were reuniting.

The misunderstanding began when frontman Chris Cornell said early last year via Twitter: "The 12 year break is over and school is back in session. Knights of the Soundtable ride again!" Thayil claims that this was not a reference to the band reforming, but to the revival of their fan club, however, once it became clear how welcome a reunion would be, the group agreed to get together for some live dates.

Thayil said: "I spent a lot of time trying to explain to my friends that we weren't back together then! My mother called and said, 'We've heard the news, why didn't you tell us?' We had neglected our legacy and our fans, so we were just starting the fan club up again. Of course, that 'tweet' generated a lot of interest and my phone was ringing off the hook with people offering us shows. We turned most of them down, but thought it would be fun to play that show in Seattle [in April, 2010] and eventually Lollapalooza [in August]. It was only around then that there was talk about doing some new material."

So, there you have it. The power of people getting the wrong end of the stick on Twitter. Though I doubt all Twitter misunderstandings end quite so positively.

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Hip hopper Swizz Beatz has revealed that he has worked with both Kanye West and Bono on a track for his in development second album, which will be called 'Haute Living'. He told Paper Mag: "We got this song - it's me, Bono and Kanye on this one song called 'Skyscrapers'. I recorded with Kanye in the studio and then I recorded with Bono in this actual studio right here". Also set to guest on the new long player, out later this year, are Lenny Kravitz, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne and Mary J Blige. Presumably his other half Alicia Keys is too busy looking after their six month old child to be contributing.

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A new AC/DC concert film will be premiered on the UK's largest cinema screen, apparently. The movie, called 'AC/DC Live At River Plate', will be screened at London's Hammersmith Apollo on 6 May. The film is of a 2009 concert in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and features performances of no less than 19 songs. The screening is really to promote the DVD and Bly-Ray release of the live show, which will follow on 9 May.

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CAMBRIDGE FOLK FESTIVAL, Cherry Hinton Hall Grounds, Cambridge, 28-31 Jul: Rumer, Villagers, Home Service, Caitlin Rose and Peatbog Faeries are a choice quintet of acts from the folk fest's freshest line-up additions. They join a host of guitar-toting troubadours like Frank Turner, Newton Faulkner, Richard Thompson and Laura Marling. www.cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk

ITUNES FESTIVAL, The Roundhouse, Camden, London, throughout Jul: Foo Fighters are the latest big name announced on the star-studded iTunes roster. The band are set to play a show on 11 Jul at Camden's Roundhouse, a relatively intimate venue for the stadium rockers. Adele, Linkin Park, Beady Eye and Jessie J are amongst those already on the billing for this month-long extravaganza, which is free to competition winners. www.itunesfestival.com

SOUTHERN SOUNDS, Clapham Common, London, 11 June: Doing their bit to bring some chilly northern exposure to the planet's sub-equatorial music scene, Southern Sounds organisers have booked Shihad and Just Jinjer to support the previously-announced INXS. The bonzer bash will also host an array of antipodean talent, including Jayson Norris, Town Hall Steps, Lotus Mason and Melic. www.southernsoundsfestival.com

STAG AND DAGGER, London, 19 May: Co-ordinators of the London edition have confirmed a line-up of new and emerging acts including Ghostpoet, DELS, Big Deal, Mazes and No Joy alongside more established acts like Wire, Toro Y Moi and New Young Pony Club. How exciting. www.staganddagger.com

WIRELESS, Hyde Park, London, 1-3 Jul: Chipmunk, Alexis Jordan and Jodie Connor are all new to Wireless' urban-themed first day bill, with Modestep and Maverick Sabre joining the electro-dominated Saturday line-up. Pop-goth brat Taylor Momsen's band The Pretty Reckless have been added to the rockin' Sunday programme, along with Neon Trees and Funeral Party. Setting the tone on each of the three rosters are previously announced co-headliners The Black Eyed Peas, The Chemical Brothers and Pulp. www.wirelessfestival.co.uk/2011

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EMI's Parlophone Records are teaming up with the Fred Perry brand's music programme Subculture to stage a little party down there in Ladbroke Grove this Saturday as part of the Record Store Day festivities. Anyone who buys one of the limited edition vinyl releases put out by Parlophone or imprint Regal for RSD at the West London branch of Rough Trade will get a wristband to get them into the little club around the corner. It's not 100% clear to me what will be going on there, but fun times will abound I am sure.

And look, here's Stuart Russell of Fred Perry Subculture saying words: "Fred Perry has long adorned some of the music industry's leading pioneers. Subculture prides itself on being at the forefront of new music both in the UK and internationally. So, it comes as no surprise, that to celebrate Record Store Day, Subculture is joining with Britain's foremost record label Parlophone, to celebrate new releases from the worlds most renowned artists".

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Jagermeister have announced another event in their 'ice cold gigs' programme - a holographic Alice Cooper experience at Battersea Power Station. I've no idea what that means, but my inbox is full of press releases promoting 3D experiences, and this was the only one boasting 4D effects, hence its inclusion in your CMU Daily.

And look, here's a quote from Alice Cooper himself, who says: "We couldn't resist this. Working with Jägermeister to appear as holograms on the other side of the Atlantic is the ultimate experience, a cutting-edge conjuring trick that celebrates the future and our history. We can't wait to see the results".

The history bit comes into the proceedings because the hologram show will celebrate the release of a new Alice Cooper box set called 'Old School: 1964-1974'. CMU columnist Eddy Temple Morris will be joined by his Xfm co-hort Ian Camfield on the decks at the event too. It takes place on 11 May.

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Organisers of Red Bull's Music Academy - which each year brings together a team of young creative people in a different location to collaborate with each other and leading practitioners from across the music spectrum - have announced that this year they will host their main programme in Madrid, in a new cultural complex being developed there called Matadero Madrid.

The original plan for 2011 had been to stage the Academy in Tokyo, and work had already begun setting that up, but organisers reluctantly decided to relocate their main event after last month's earthquake and tsunami made the logistics of staging things in Japan very difficult.

A spokesman for the programme told CMU yesterday: "While we are happy to announce that we have found an exceptional location for this year's edition of the Red Bull Music Academy, we would also like to emphasise how difficult the decision was not to hold the Academy main event in Japan".

They added: "Although the kick off date is set for October, the work on the Tokyo edition started back in April 2010. When the terrible events of March 11 struck in North East Japan, we had to make a timely decision about a potential relocation, and it quickly became apparent that going forward with these plans in Tokyo right now would not be possible".

"But out involvement in and contribution to the musical landscape in Japan will not stop. We will build on the strong networks and close ties that have evolved throughout the process of preparing the Academy and continue to host workshops, gigs, RBMA Radio sessions and festival stages as we did at SónarSound Tokyo, as well as setting up international showcases for Japanese culture: in Madrid and beyond".

The Madrid Academy will run from 23 Oct to 25 Nov. More at www.redbullmusicacademy.com

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Kitsune have extended their relationship with Universal's Co-operative Music which will see the uber-cool French indie label utilising Co-op's new partnership with New York-based Downtown records Stateside. This means Kitsune releases, including the upcoming debut from Is Tropical and second long player from French band Housse de Racket, will be distributed in the US via Co-op via Downtown.

Music Week quote Kitsune co-founder Gildas Loaec as saying of his label's existing relationship with Co-operative Music: "The success that Two Door Cinema Club are experiencing now with nearly 200,000 sales just in Europe is the perfect example that we made the good choice. This is why extending this label deal to the United States and teaming up with Downtown on top was a logical step".

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Amazon music dudes are due to meet with record label execs in America today to discuss the cloud-based locker and player service they launched last month.

As much previously reported, the music-focused digital locker allows users to upload their MP3 collections to an Amazon server and then play tracks back via a web-based player. There is some debate as to whether such a service needs a licence from the record labels. Amazon say no, arguing it is no different than any other online storage system or media player, and that by offering the locker service the etailer will sell more MP3s, to the benefit of the content owners. The labels, however, do not concur.

As also previously reported, in a note to the record companies earlier this week the Amazon music team restated their position, stressing they were not seeking licences for the new service, but adding they may do so in the future if they add further functionality to their player in due course. They also added a claim that the launch of the cloud locker had already resulted in a rise in the number of MP3s being sold via the Amazon website.

Nevertheless, Amazon execs have been in New York this week to have meetings with the labels, according to sources cited by Billboard, and further meetings are due to take place later today. It is not clear what is on the agenda, though it seems likely the Amazon music guys have been charged with the task of placating the labels without changing their 'we don't need a licence' position.

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Tech sites have been remarking on the pitch document put out by News Corp to companies interested in buying MySpace, which has been seen by sites like TechCrunch.

Most of the comment is on the fact the document apparently talks an awful lot about projected future revenues, and not at all about MySpace's recent and rather significant slumps in user numbers and ad revenues, a slump which continues unabated in the latest comScore stats, and which many commentators reckon is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

The document admits that MySpace will lose over $165 million in this financial year, but reckons that could be turned into a $15 million profit in the next year, mainly by incredibly ambitious cost cutting. The document goes on to predict $100 million+ profits in future years.

Presumably those interested in bidding for MySpace have their own agenda for the data and technology an acquisition would deliver, and don't therefore really care about whether the current business model has any chance of becoming profitable again. But any currently deluded bidders would hopefully have the common sense to ask, if this company is going to be that profitable that soon, why are News Corp so keen to offload it?

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A community radio group in Hampshire is launching a temporary DAB radio service paying tribute to Al Bowlly, a popular British jazz singer and crooner from the 1930s.

The service will be called '70 Years Without Al Bowlly' and, although it will play a wide range of music from British dance bands of the era, presumably Bowlly's own songs will be played pretty frequently. Fortunately for station organisers, Bowlly recorded some 1000 songs in his short career, despite dying aged 43 during the London blitz of 1941.

Tony Smith of Hampshire community station Angel Radio, who are staging the temporary broadcast, told reporters: "Al Bowlly was such an important figure in the history of British dance bands that I felt he deserved a radio station dedicated to his memory. I must stress that we won't just be playing one Al Bowlly record after another. We will be looking at the whole dance band era and playing a vast range of dance band music, but Bowlly will take centre stage".

The so called 'pop up' service will appear on 19 local digital radio networks today, and is also available via www.albowlly.org

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A copy of handwritten lyrics for Beatles track 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds', penned by John Lennon, is to be auctioned next month at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, and is expected to raise $200,000. This early draft features the lyrics for the first verse, as well as a sketch of four people in a room.

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Justin Bieber has announced that he's taking a break from Twitter, following his previously reported Twitrant about the paparazzi not respecting his visits to holy places in Israel. Not sure whether his decision to step back from the social networking site is to do with that or not. His explanatory post reads like this: "Im just excited at this pt to get on stage and perform. gonna take a little break from twitter and enjoy this time with my family until then".

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