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Top Stories
Ireland may make ISPs take more responsibility for file-sharing
In The Pop Courts
Czar Entertainment chief arrested over drug operation claims
Arrested hacker accused of targeting BPI and IFPI sites
Louis Walsh denies indecent assault allegations
Music PR accused of false representation
In The Pop Hospital
Sean Kingston out of hospital
Glen Campbell has Alzheimer's
Raw Sex guitarist dies
In The Studio
New Blink 182 album nearly done
Release News
Mega box set planned to celebrate Nevermind's twentieth
Get Cape, Remove Cape, Release Record As Sam
New track from CSS
Preview of new Laura Marling
Album Review: Junior Boys - It's All True (Domino)
The Digital Business
Shazam score new investment, plan expansion
Hulu owners may sell
The Media Business
Ofcom to review DAB reach
And finally...
Chris Evans: Noel never forgave 'Be Here Now' joke
Liam on Gaga

After many peaceful years of recycling, mushroom-gobbling and generally wombling free from the media glare, Wimbledon-based collective The Wombles shot to fame via one of the first ever reality TV franchises in the early 1970s, a candid documentary series called, simply, 'The Wombles'.

As has since become the norm for reality TV stars, a pop career soon followed. Although the group's chief, Great Uncle Bulgaria, has always had a nominal creative role in the Wombles' musical enterprise (though he does play a mean fiddle), it was he who drafted in a then emerging Mike Batt to be the group's creative director in 1973, a partnership that resulted in four classic albums in as many years, namely 'Wombling Songs', what many consider the real masterpiece, 'Remember You're A Womble', plus 'Keep On Wombling' and 'Superwombling'.

That prolific era came to an end in 1977, possibly as a result of inter-band politics caused by frontman Wellington Womble's brief attempt at a solo career the previous year, a venture that resulted in a solitary single release, 'Rainmaker'. However, regular reunion tours and hits compilations have followed in subsequent decades, leading to a full re-release this week of all four albums on both CD and digitally, thanks in part to Batt's subsequent career heading up Dramatico Records, who are behind the re-release campaign.

To celebrate that fact, the whole band will reunite this Sunday at 2pm on the Avalon Stage at the Glastonbury Festival for what Michael Eavis is apparently tipping as the hottest ticket of the weekend. With that in mind, we got some quality time with band leader Bulgaria to ask those all important Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
When I was a lad in 1780 (we Wombles live long lives), Mozart was all the rage. I particularly liked his 41st symphony, 'The Jupiter', which, by the way, we later adapted for our song 'Minuetto Allegretto'. But the young Wombles prefer rock & roll, so I join in on the fiddle!

Q2 What inspired your latest album?

We are very excited about the first ever CD release of all four of our studio albums this week. They have only ever been out on vinyl before. The first album was very much for kids (I even get my own march!), but as we progressed the records got more adventurous, and that's why we think of ourselves as more of an albums act.

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

Orinoco is the brains, probably the Mick Jagger of the group, while Wellington is the guitar hero, more the Cliff Richard. (Or is that Keith? I forget). They tend to drive the musical side. Wellington does not do drugs like Cliff Richard though. Just the occasional mushroom.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

Picasso, Rembrandt, Giles, Tracey Emin.

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

Play it loud. And be aware that the next time you play it - it will not be for the first time.

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

We don't have a latest album (well, except 'Superwombling' from 1977) but we will probably bring out a compilation at Christmas. We have plenty of plans. In the near future they include some theatre concerts and lots of Christmas appearances. Longer term, it's more about saving the world from pollution and destruction by careless human beings. That kind of thing.

MORE>> www.facebook.com/TheWombles
It always seems odd that someone who works in a largely visual medium could encompass a certain type of sound in music, but sometimes Lynchian is the only way to describe something.

And right now, as I listen to Dirty Beaches, aka Taiwan-born and Canada-based musician Alex Zhang Hungtai, my head is filled with David Lynch-esque scenes. It's dirty, grimey, reverb drenched rock n roll that circles around itself, tying itself in knots and unravelling to reveal yet more darkness. The more you listen, the more it sucks you in and tries to swallow you.

Having appeared on the Polaris Award longlist last week, Dirty Beaches' debut album, 'Badlands', has been released on a short run of vinyl, announcing itself with a degraded black and white video for opening track 'Speedway' (which we should probably warn you is a bit NSFW). As well as that, Hungtai will be playing UK dates twice next month as part of a wider European tour, with a show at Great Bridgewater Street in Manchester on 16 Jul, and one at The Victoria in Dalston on 19 Jul.

"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 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 29 Jun

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 13 Jul

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

The Irish government has published proposals for a revision of Ireland's copyright laws which, although not explicitly introducing a three-strikes system for combating online piracy, could lay the groundwork for such an process to be forced on the country's internet service providers.

As previously reported, three-strikes - like that being introduced in the UK under the Digital Economy Act - does exist in Ireland, but only for customers of Eircom, the country's biggest net provider. They voluntarily agreed to introduce a so called 'graduated response' system, in which file-sharing customers are sent warning letters threatening 'technical measures' (ie account suspension) if they don't stop accessing content illegally, as part of an out of court settlement in relation to legal action launched against them by the Irish record industry.

As part of the agreement between Eircom and the Irish record labels, the latter agreed to lobby the former's competitors to introduce three-strikes also. But those efforts were hindered last year when another ISP - called UPC - refused to introduce any such measures, and won a court battle over the issue, in which a judge agreed with the net firm when it said it had no obligation under current Irish copyright law to help content owners enforce their IP rights.

Needless to say, that motivated the Irish music industry to step up its lobbying efforts with government in a bid to have copyright law rewritten. So much so, there were rumours in February ministers were planning to sneak through a new statutory instrument just before Ireland's General Election putting an obligation on ISPs to help police piracy. Although those rumours turned out to be untrue, the Consultation On Amendment To Copyright & Related Rights Act, 2000 announced this week could result in something similar.

The paperwork published about the proposed amendment explicitly states the government is not proposing the introduction of a statutory three-strikes system like in the UK and France, but rather it would put an obligation on ISPs to help rights owners, so much so that the judge in the aforementioned UPC case may have been able to force the net company to collaborate with the record companies, thus enabling the music industry to pressure all of Eircom's rivals to follow that ISP's lead.

Those who oppose such a development are sure to hone in on a recent TorrentFreak report that revealed Eircom had accidentally sent 'first strike' copyright infringement letters to 300 non-file-sharers last year because of a 'technical glitch'. That error is now being investigated by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, who may review the whole of Eircom's three-strikes system as part of his investigation.

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The boss of New York-based music company Czar Entertainment, James Rosemond, has been arrested over allegations he ran a lucrative drug trafficking ring. We knew an arrest warrant was out for the hip hop mogul, and yesterday agents for the US Drug Enforcement Agency found him in a popular Manhattan hotel.

Rosemond did not enter a plea when he appeared before a judge yesterday, but his legal rep told reporters his client had been "framed", adding that the charges were "the result of witnesses who have been bribed and threatened by the government to implicate Jimmy in the crimes charged. It's been a long time coming, but the government wants a fight so we'll give them one". The hip hop man faces a life sentence if found guilty of running the drugs operation.

As previously reported, shortly after reports of his arrest warrant first surfaced, Rosemond published a rambling response in which, among other things, he accused some former associates of being police informants helping to manufacture a case against him.

That included one time friend Dexter Isaac, who subsequently issued his own statement claiming Rosemond had paid him in 1994 to rob rapper Tupac Shakur, an incident that led in the late rapper being shot. Isaac, who is in prison serving time for unrelated crimes, also implied Rosemond knew more about the fatal shooting of Tupac two years later than he has ever previously admitted. Rosemond's legal rep has denied Isaac's claims also.

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The websites of record label trade bodies the BPI and IFPI were among those targeted by the 19 year old Essex geek who was arrested earlier this week for his alleged part in a campaign of cyber-attacks.

Ryan Cleary was specifically arrested for his alleged involvement in Distributed Denial Of Service attacks against the BPI and IFPI as well as the Serious Organised Crime Agency. The arrest comes as authorities in various countries try to crack down on a recent spate of hacking attacks against big business and government institutions, most designed to hinder the operations of organisations the attackers believe are behaving irresponsibly, usually for enforcing copyrights or limiting freedom of speech, though some have resulted in significant data grabs.

The authorities believe Cleary, arrested at his Essex home on Monday, is linked to on online hacking community who go by the name Lulz Security, though they denied the link via their Twitter feed, tweeting: "Seems the glorious leader of LulzSec got arrested, it's all over now ... wait ... we're all still here! Which poor bastard did they take down?"

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Louis Walsh has denied allegations that he indecently assaulted a 24 year old man in a Dublin nightclub, saying he is 100% confident police investigations will exonerate him.

According to The Sun, the unnamed accuser says Walsh indecently assaulted him in the toilets of the Russell Court Hotel's Krystle nightclub after a Westlife concert in the city in April. The tab adds that police are apparently reviewing CCTV footage from the venue.

The pop manager and 'X' judge told The Sun: "The allegations made against me are wholly false and with no foundation. I will happily cooperate fully with the police and am 100 percent confident that after a full investigation I will be fully exonerated".

A spokesperson for Walsh added that he had yet to be contacted by police, but would fully cooperate if and when that happened.

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The owner of a newish music PR company called Fresh Milk, recently engaged by Alan Magee and seemingly one of the publicists working on the recent DVD release of the Creation documentary 'Upside Down', has reportedly been charged with three counts of 'fraud by false representation' in relation to claims made by her former employer, another entertainment company called The Cult PR.

Shelley Tomes had a brief stint working for The Cult PR last year, joining from one of the agency's clients, ShortList Media. According to PR Week, the fraud allegations relate to an incident on 4 Oct last year, shortly after Tomes left the agency. No more details are forthcoming, though the publicist is due in court in London on 28 Jun.

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Hip hopper Sean Kingston has been released from hospital, where he has been receiving treatment since late last month after being involved in a jet ski accident in Miami.

Kingston was in a critical condition for a time after losing control of his jet ski, which crashed into the side of Miami Bridge. However, reports suggest that he started to recover within a week of the accident and is now expected to make a full recovery.

Kingston took to Twitter last week to say he felt "a lot better", while his rep confirmed to MTV News that he left hospital on Tuesday.

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American country singer Glen Campbell has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The country star announced his intent to retire from music earlier this year, and is currently prepping a final album and a 'Goodbye Tour'.

His wife Kim revealed to People magazine that the retirement was motivated by a diagnosis of Alzheimer's, adding that her husband condition was diagnosed six months ago and that he wanted his fans to be aware it.

She told the magazine: "Glen is still an awesome guitar player and singer. But if he flubs a lyric or gets confused on stage, I wouldn't want people to think, 'what's the matter with him? Is he drunk?'"

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Simon Brint, the musician probably best known has one half of musical comedy outfit Raw Sex, has died at the age of 61.

Brint enjoyed a long career as a composer, specifically working in television and writing music for a range of TV shows including 'Stella Street', 'The Mary Whitehouse Experience', 'Monarch Of The Glen', 'London's Burning', 'A Bit Of Fry And Laurie' and some of the 'Comic Strip' films. He also arranged several versions of the 'Blue Peter' theme.

However, Brint came to more mainstream attention via his double act with Rowland Rivron in the shambolic spoof band Raw Sex, who became the house band on the 'French & Saunders' TV show. In more recent years he was also a member of the Idiot Bastard Band alongside Adrian Edmondson, Phill Jupitus and Neil Innes.

Lenny Henry broke the news of Brint's death by tweeting: "My good friend Simon Brint passed away. Rest in Peace Simon - we love you very much".

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Blink 182 have nearly finished their new album, which is just as well given they cancelled a UK tour to work on the new record. With the band due to begin a US tour with My Chemical Romance next month, singer/bassist Mark Hoppus has written on his Facebook: "We deliver the album to the label on July 31, so it will be coming out during the tour. The most recent batch of songs are some of the best of the entire record. Very happy it's all coming together".

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Oh dear, it's twenty years since 'Nevermind' was released, how can that possibly be so? Universal Music are planning a special 20th anniversary package to celebrate which will run to four whole CDs and one DVD. In the pack will be the original album plus previously unreleased tracks, b-sides, a BBC session, alternative mixes, rare live recordings and, on the DVD, a previously unreleased concert. The fan-pleasing box set will be out in September.

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Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly is releasing a solo album, by which we mean he's releasing a record under his real name of Sam Duckworth. It's called 'The Mannequin' and will be released by Cooking Vinyl in August.

Explaining why this isn't a GCWGF record, Duckworth writes: "This is a record that came about pretty quickly. It was written whilst on the road touring the Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly album. Having a touch of cabin fever and spending a bit too much time reading up theories on economic collapse, I set about writing a few songs. I guess the nature of the songs and the creative separation from tour made it a different album to a GCWCF record and thus it was time to dust off my first moniker.

Duckworth will be playing the Splendour Festival in Nottingham on 24 Jul, and The Lexington in London on 27 Jul.

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CSS are forever coming up with bright electro-pop gems aren't they? And now they have delivered another sparkler in 'Hits Me Like A Rock', the lead track from their third album 'La Liberacion'.

Kicking off along the same lines as earlier hits like 'Lets Make Love And Listen To Death From Above', the track fills out midway through with some lustrous sonic layers and a guest spot from Primal Scream rocker Bobby Gillespie, and winds up sounding suspiciously like the band's highest calibre offering yet.

Join in the CSS fiesta by downloading a free copy of 'Hits Me Like A Rock' via Stereogum.

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Laura Marling has previewed her new album 'A Creature I Don't Know', the successor to last year's much-lauded 'I Speak Because I Can', in typically enigmatic style by posting up a sepia-toned trailer soundtracked by an unnamed song.

The one definite piece of information we could glean, amidst all the meaningful imagery of autumn leaves and such, is that the album will emerge at some point during September. See what you can divine from the trailer by watching it here.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Junior Boys - It's All True (Domino)
Junior Boys probably doomed themselves to a career of diminishing returns by releasing 2004's 'Last Exit', a debut album so deceivingly self-assured that it's heartbroken percussive pitter patter and solemn synthesized melodies still sound retro-futuristic today.

Recorded with the downsized line-up of Jeremy Greenspan and Matt Didemus, original member Johnny Dark having quit the group, the follow up 'So This Is Goodbye' was a backwards step, even if it did show the group at their most atmospheric and, oddly, though occasionally, joyful. And by the time we got to 'Begone Dull Care' (2009) I found himself wondering where the good times went.

'It's All True' doesn't answer that question, at least not conclusively. Even the most obviously dance-orientated tracks, like lead single 'Banana Ripple', bring out the melancholy side to clubland's pill-popping, jaw-clenching Dionysian fantasies. Though possessing the kind of shimmering, staccato keyboard stabs that have underpinned vast swathes of house and techno, the song's bonhomie is hampered by the trying-too-hard-to-be-pining nature of Greenspan's vocals.

The main problem with 'It's All True' is that the feeling of archness (the kind of archness that haunted the first few Hot Chip records) and smugness (the feeling of clever-clever 80s revivalism) is all-pervading. So, the life, seemingly, has been sucked out of the duo. It's a genuine shame, because the more positive moments ('A Truly Happy Ending', 'Kick the Can') show Junior Boys to still be capable of producing worthy, intelligent fare. JAB.

Physical release: 20 Jun

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Music identification technology company Shazam has just raised another $32 million in fun money, which will be used to double its workforce to allow new product development and an expansion into new territories.

Shazam's board are reportedly keen to move the company to a point at which a flotation would make sense, especially with the current mood in City circles to participate in silly money dot.com IPOs. And unlike many of its digital rivals, Shazam claims to be profitable year on year.

It also reckons there is much opportunity to be gained from a new TV-based version of its service, which would let you point your phone to your TV set during certain programmes, and additional content and commercial offers would automatically download.

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US-based video-on-demand service Hulu is considering putting itself up for sale, according to a Wall Street Journal report, after the firm's board received an impressive unsolicited offer to buy the company.

Hulu, which offers both ad-funded free and subscription-based TV-on-demand, is currently owned by three of the companies which feed it content - Disney, News Corp and NBC - as well as Providence Equity Partners. Reports suggest Hulu's management is now considering opening the doors to other offers, as well as considering the one already made

Hulu is seemingly pretty successful and its CEO, Jason Kilar, recently said the company was now profitable. A similar UK service, SeeSaw, has not enjoyed the same levels of success, possibly because the content owning broadcasters who conceived it were not allowed to stay directly involved because of competition concerns.

As previously reported, the current owners of SeeSaw, Arqiva, recently announced they intended to shut the service down, though reports this week suggest they may have found a buyer in US investment firm Criterion Capital Partners.

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Media regulator OfCom has begun a consultation on the extent of DAB radio coverage, in a bid to ensure it matches FM coverage ahead of any move to switch off the traditional radio frequencies.

As much previously reported, the government currently supports a rapid move from analogue to digital radio, with 2015 still being mooted as a target for moving most radio stations off the FM network so that they broadcast exclusively on the DAB digital network. At the moment many stations broadcast on both, though some are on only FM or DAB.

As also previously reported, the radio industry itself is divided on the move to DAB. Some say the digital network is definitely the future, and having the old and new systems co-existing just means double expenditure for the broadcasters who have to operate on both. They want a speedy switchover.

But others say DAB is ultimately doomed to fail before it has even taken off, with new better technologies already available. They also add that the public at large has not really embraced DAB, and that a speedy switch off of FM would therefore be problematic.

One definite negative of DAB is that its reach does not currently equal that of FM. Also, the regional splits differ, making it hard to directly match the areas some local stations would cover on digital compared to FM. It's these things OfCom now hope to review, in a bid to overcoming these issues ahead of any digital switchover.

Welcoming the review, Ford Ennals, the boss of the body promoting DAB, Digital Radio UK, told Radio Today: "We welcome the publication of Ofcom's DAB Coverage Plan which is a significant milestone, in the Government-Industry Digital Radio Action Plan, which sets out to propose ways to strengthen and extend the coverage of DAB to FM equivalence both in home and in-car."

Both broadcasters and listeners are invited to make submissions to the review, with a 14 Sep deadline for any such submissions.

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Chris Evans says that Noel Gallagher has not spoken to him since he mocked the third Oasis album 'Be Here Now' on 'TFI Friday' in 1997.

Speaking to Zoe Ball during the previously reported 2DAY on Radio 2, Evans said: "When 'Be Here Now' came out we were all so disappointed with the album we opened up a 'TFI Friday' with a defibrillator trying to resuscitate it and give the album some life - he saw the joke and has never spoken to me since".

Evans noted that Noel himself has since admitted 'Be Here Now' was weak, but added that he didn't expect the former Oasis guitarist to ever get back in touch. "No never gonna happen", he reckoned, "doesn't matter".

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Talking of Gallaghers, Liam has been discussing things with ShortList magazine. Lot's of things I think, but let's focus on what he has to say about Lady Gaga and the mixed success of his new musical venture Beady Eye shall we?

On the Gaga: "I fucking like her. Some of it's bordering on ridiculous, but she brings it back around again because she can sing, she can dance, she's out there taking chances and she's not like all the other girl acts. She seems like she's a bit fucking mad and I like that. I like her, man".

And on Beady Eye's mediocre chart positions: "I'm not even worried. I'm certainly not arsed whether we go in at number one or number 71. I've been number one. If I was in a young band now then I'd be worried about it, but I've been there and had a look over the wall at what it is. It's not guitar music's time right now and that's the way it is. You can't force it to be in the charts and just because it is in the charts or at number one doesn't mean it's any fucking good. The fucking 'Birdie Song' nearly went to number one and that wasn't any good".

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