CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 4th May
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Rhymes arrested again in New York
- Did they conceal the evidence? Spector trial update
- Pandora blocks out non-US users
- US webcasters get two more months to fight new royalty rates
- Glasto fans angry at Latitude spam
- McCartney wins public vote at Classical Brits
- Madonna won't play for Diana
- Klaxons to release Timberlake B-side
- Nas cancels date, cites racism as cause
- Dirty Pretty Things encourage political activity
- Blur drummer on election
- Smashing Pumpkins tribute details
- Faith No More man's new projects
- Rocklands this weekend
- Happy Mondays to play T-Mo street gig at Brighton's Great Escape
- Modest Mouse and The Shins for Download tour
- Warner/Chappell step up synch operations
- Warner drop out of Famous Music bidding
- Creative launch forty dollars player
- BBC appoint Virgin Digital chief to Future Media role
- Radio 1 pilot new interactive badge, or something
- VMAS go to Vegas
- Ex-Clash manager causes uproar with N-word
- Iggy Pop on his penis

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TOP BIT>>
Okay - consider this your last reminder - cos frankly, there'd be no point reminding you next week. The really rather CMU Recommended Breaking Ground all nighter takes place tonight - that's tonight - Friday 4 May - at the seOne Club in London.

As much previously reported, in the main arena will be Hybrid doing a DJ set and TC Evolution live, plus Elite Force, Precision Cuts (Live), Tayo, K-Swing and DJ Campus. In the next vault along, our old friend Eddy TM will be hosting the Bootie Breaks Arena with Freestyler Matt Cantor, DJ Deekline, Skool Of Thought and Coburn doing their stuff. On top of that you've got a Bassline Arena hosted by MC Rage and presenting Dillinja, Sub Focus, Chase & Status, Noisia and The Qemists. Oh, and a DJ Mag hosted VIP Arena featuring Helene Stokes, Heath Holmes and Ron Speed. Oh, and a Chill Out Arena with lots of sofas and movies and things.

It's gonna be something special. You need to get your tickets now - so get on over to this here URL for all the lowdown: http://www.leylinepromotions.com/breakingground.

PS: This, in case you haven't noticed, is the start of one of those Bank Holiday weekends that May loves so much. Which means no CMU Daily on Monday. See you Tuesday.

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INTERNSHIPS & STUFF>>

BE A SPOONFED INTERN
Spoonfed.co.uk is a new live music and clubbing website. We need interns 3 to 5 days a week in our Hoxton office. Passion for music is essential as are good phone manners, tea making skills and attention to detail. You will research, write and publish the best music and events site on the net. CV and one paragraph on yourself please to contribute@spoonfed.co.uk, subject line 'CMU Changed My Life'.

GET INVOLVED IN UNIQUE MUSIC CHARITY PROJECT
Opportunity for a keen and enthusiastic self-starter who will be able to hit the ground running with this unique music industry charity project. Temporary work-experience role available at Docklands based music marketing company for the month of May, in the run up to a charity auction event. Any media/events/charity experience would be beneficial, but not essential. What is essential is a willingness to muck-in and get involved from the outset in this fast paced environment. The successful candidate will work on an exciting project which straddles the worlds of music, fashion and design. Please e-mail your CV and details of your availability to borntorock@bigtime.tv

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CLASSIFIEDS>>

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CMU FRIDAY TIPS:

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Fabric Live at Fabric
Ok, so I meant to mention the Lake Of Stars UNICEF charity bash that took place at Fabric last night in last week's Tip, but I forgot. Damn. But this Fabric night's worthy of a tip also. The theme in Room 1 is Get Familiar vs Mad Decent with the US based Diplo of Ninja Tune fame, who now runs Mad Decent, on the decks and no doubt crunking it out with his blend of Hollertronix, along side the UK's Switch, Sinden from Familiar and Buraka Som Sistema. Room two is junglist / d and b hedonism from Goldie, Zinc, Mampi Swift and TeeBee b2b with Calyx. In room three the label bash up continues with Diplo's mate, Low B, with DJ Mehdi and Canadian Paul Devro, plus Joe Ransom. Don't know if the massive queues still persist on Friday night (perhaps you should check the jump the queue scheme on their website), but Fabric definitely maintains is status as a right proper London club.

Friday 5 May, Fabric, 77a Charterhouse Street, London, EC1M, 9.30pm-5am, £10/12, info from http://www.fabriclondon.com, press from Danna at Fabric PR

VIGSY'S LIVE TIP: Cinematic Orchestra at the Barbican, London
This is the last date of these guys' current album launch tour, with the long awaited, much anticipated new album from Jason Swinscoe's Cinematic Orchestra out next week. The Cinematic Orchestra debuted at the Barb in 2003, and won many many fans with their live instrumentations and improvised jazz all with a touch of electronic passion. Comparisons to Third Face, Zero 7 and Air may abound but they are in their own niche of British downtempo. Tonight Jason Swinscoe will be on stage with his 6-piece ensemble - including Luke Flowers on drums and Phil France on bass, and Canadian vocalist Patrick Watson - and we can expect more than a few tracks off the aforementioned and, did I mention, really rather good new album. This gig is sold out, but I'm tipping it on the basis there might be a few touts on Silk Street. We all hate the touts of course, but if you can get yourself a ticket without having to remortgage your house, it should definitely be worth it.

Sunday 6 May, Barbican Hall, Silk Street, London, 7.30pm, £15-£25 (returns only now), press info from Barbican Press Office or Ninja IH.

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RHYMES ARRESTED AGAIN IN NEW YORK
Busta Rhymes has been arrested again in New York, this time on suspicion of drunk driving. The rap star, real name Trevor Smith, was stopped by local police early on Thursday morning because his car windows were too tinted, but officers subsequently smelled alcohol on his breath and took him into custody. Rhymes was held until a planned appearance in court yesterday to answer the charges. Ahead of the hearing, his lawyer, Scott Leemon, refused to comment on the incident.

Rhymes is, as previously reported, facing two separate assault charges, and is due in court again next week in relation to those. He was, of course, initially offered a deal sparing him a prison sentence over the charges, but that offer was withdrawn after he was arrested back in February after being caught driving on a suspended licence.

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DID THEY CONCEAL THE EVIDENCE? SPECTOR TRIAL UPDATE
More confusion in the old Phil Spector murder trial yesterday, as the dispute between the prosecution and defence counsels over allegations of concealed evidence continued. As previously reported, the murder trial has been on hold this week because Spector's main lawyer, Bruce Cutler, has been off sick. However, other lawyers involved in the case have been in court - albeit without the jury in attendance - so that Judge Larry Paul Fidler could consider claims by the prosecution that the defence were concealing evidence from them.

The claims aren't new - the prosecution have previously claimed the defence picked up a finger nail fragment at the scene of the crime after police officers had finished their search of Spector's home. The nail might be an important piece of forensic evidence and the prosecution ordered it be handed over, but the defence denied the evidence existed. Now the prosecution are claiming that a bit of finger nail and a fragment of a tooth were actually found by the defence, and are again demanding they be handed over. The defence again claim that neither bit of evidence exists, but this time the prosecution have a pretty credible witness who claims that they do - a former member of Spector's defence team.

The witness is called Greg Diamond, and he once worked as a clerk to Spector's former defence attorney Robert Shapiro. He approached the prosecution a couple of weeks ago saying he had important information about the case, though he was reluctant to go public with it. Ordered by Fidler to report to the court, he has now formally alleged that he joined Shapiro, another lawyer called Sara Caplan, and a forensic pathologist called Dr Michael Baden, when they visited the scene of the crime shortly after the shooting. He says that he saw Caplan find a "small white object" and hand it to Baden who, he claims, identified it as a bit of a tooth. "Dr Baden did make mention of what the item was", he told the court, "He said it was a fragment of a tooth... everyone had seen the item in some capacity".

But the defence continue to argue no such bit of evidence exists, and to that end they presented Baden to the court who denied being shown or recognising any tooth, adding: "I can recognise an intact tooth, not a fragment". He also claims to not remember ever meeting Diamond.

Quite how all this links to forensics specialist and defence witness Dr Henry Lee, whose public comments reportedly caused the prosecution to raise their latest evidence concealment claims, I don't know, unless they believe Lee will present forensic evidence based on the disputed (and possibly none existent) tooth and nail fragment.

If and how the evidence row will impact on the trial itself, which is due to resume on Monday, remains to be seen. As much much much previously reported, Spector stands accused of murdering actress Lana Clarkson at his LA home back in 2003.

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PANDORA BLOCKS OUT NON-US USERS
Though don't worry, the UK and Canada are the exception to that headline there. American based personalised web radio service Pandora has confirmed it is blocking access to non-US listeners, except in the UK and Canada, because of concerns it could be accused of breaching copyrights by providing its service to users elsewhere in the world.

As previously reported, Pandora provides music fans with a personalised music stream based on their personal musical preferences, taking a favourite band or song as a starting point. The service has been US based to date, and the music it plays is licensed through the American royalty collection societies. To that end users have had to provide an American postcode when registering, though that system doesn't really block non-US users, because new registrants can simply enter any US postcode without having to prove that it is where they actually live (a rather large number of non-US users end up 'living' at Beverley Hills 90210). From this point onwards the Pandora system will become much more strict in restricting the service to American music fans by checking the IP address of users and blocking access to anyone coming to the service from a non-US IP address.

Pandora has introduced the tougher measures to avoid the wrath of the record companies, who could claim that they are providing the service illegally outside of the US. The service's bosses say that they had hoped to secure licences in other key territories before having to introduce tough restrictions on the US service, but with the exception of the UK and Canada, gaining such licences is proving tricky. As a result users in the UK and Canada will be able to continue accessing the service, but everywhere else access will have to be blocked.

Confirming the new restrictions, Pandora founder Tim Westergren wrote on his blog yesterday: "Tonight we began the heartbreaking process of blocking access to Pandora for listeners outside the US. While the DMCA [US Digital Millennium Copyright Act] provides us a blanket license in the US, there is no equivalent in other countries. After a year of work, only the UK and Canada have shown enough progress for us to feel comfortable allowing continued access".

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US WEBCASTERS GET TWO MORE MONTHS TO FIGHT NEW ROYALTY RATES
The web radio sector in the US has been given two more months to prepare for or, rather, fight the proposed increase in webcasting royalty payments.

As previously reported, internet radio companies are busy exploring legal and political ways to overturn a ruling made by the US Copyright Royalty Board back in March that will hike up the royalty payments the webcasters have to pay to the record labels in order to include music on their services. The web radio community claim that the increased fees will put many smaller webcasters out of business, and force bigger players to reduce their services. They also argue that the new rates give terrestrial and satellite radio stations an unfair advantage over web services.

Despite the vocal opposition coming from the web radio industry, the CRB refused to review its decision last month. However, yesterday it said it was postponing the start date for the new royalty rates from 15 May to 15 Jul, to give the webcasters the opportunity to go through the appeals process.

A statement from the SaveNetRadio Coalition, which represents many key US webcasters, said yesterday: "This is welcome news for webcasters, the artists they support, and the millions of listeners who enjoy internet radio".

The web radio sector seems to be concentrating much of its efforts on the political route after two Representatives, Jay Inslee and Donald Manzullo, proposed the Internet Radio Equality Act last month, which would link the royalties paid by webcasters to the more favourable system enjoyed by satellite radio stations. On the political campaign, the SaveNetRadio Coalition continued: "SaveNetRadio will spend the next 45 days educating members of Congress and their staffs about the incredible diversity of programming internet radio offers us all. We will set the ticking clock back 60 days and continue our fight to free internet radio from these devastating fee increases"

Whether the webcasters can fight off the new royalty rates - through the legal or political system - before the new deadline remains to be seen. SoundExchange, the collection society that represents the record industry in the web radio domain, is sure to fight its own fight to keep the rates set by the CRB. They too have begun their own political lobbying, arguing SaveNetRadio is, in fact, dominated by the big web companies who are using concerns about the impact of the new rates on small web radio firms to help bring their own royalty payments down.

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GLASTO FANS ANGRY AT LATITUDE SPAM
Woah, big mistake bigging up the Latitude Festival yesterday. There seem to be lots of anti-Mean Fiddler/Live Nation sentiments out there in grass roots music land at the moment. I just like genuinely cross-genre festivals, that is all. I make no comment about the corporations who may financially back them.

Still, I should have known I was treading on dangerous ground backing up Glastonbury boss Michael Eavis in his previously reported recommendation of the Latitude Festival to those music fans who had missed out on Glastonbury tickets, given the outrage there has been in blog land this week regarding an email sent out to Glasto registrants plugging Latitude, a festival staged by Eavis' partners on Glastonbury, the Live Nation owned Mean Fiddler.

Of course this year, in an admirable bid to beat the touts, anyone wanting to buy tickets for Glastonbury had to pre-register with the festival's website before tickets went on sale giving, among other things, their email address. During that registration process, hopeful ticket buyers were told: "No information collected by registration will be offered for sale or used by any third party organisation. Unsuccessful ticket applicants will have their data destroyed and all ticket holders' registration details and photos will be destroyed within one month of the 2007 festival".

But earlier this week many of those who registered received an email plugging the Latitude Festival. Saying pretty much the same as the quote attributed to Michael Eavis in the media this week (the quote we reported on yesterday), the email read: "Dear Festival Goer, I'm sorry you were unable to get a ticket to Glastonbury this year. I hope there will be another chance for you to come during the next four years. Of course there's always BBC TV and radio to keep you in touch with the music that will be going on around the various stages. Can I suggest that you might like to look at the possibility of going to another festival - namely the Latitude Festival, set in a beautiful part of Suffolk. Although much smaller it has some terrific music and has a similar feel to it by way of theatre comedy circus and much more. Best wishes and thank you so much for supporting our festival, Latitude Festival".

Pretty much as soon as the email had been sent many Glasto registrants were emailing or blogging their outrage that Mean Fiddler had used email information supplied for the purpose of buying Glastonbury tickets to promote a different festival.

Some were also questioning the legality of the email - firstly because it didn't offer any unsubscribe/opt out information as mass emails are meant to, but secondly, and more importantly, because of the original no-spam pledge made on the Glastonbury registration site. IT website The Register, who know a thing or two about data protection rules, have been investigating, and say that it is possible that the confusion has come about because there were two sets of terms and conditions in the Glastonbury registration/ticket buying process, those set by Glasto itself, which included the no-spam pledge, and those set by See Tickets, who actually do the ticket sale, and whose t+cs allow them to send promotional emails out to anyone who ticks the "third party box" on the application form. The thought is that people were ticking the third party box without realising what it meant, and that's how they ended up on the Mean Fiddler/Latitude mailing list. Although many of those blogging about the whole thing are adamant they never ticked any third party box, so that may or may not be how the Latitude mailing list was aggregated - neither Glastonbury nor Mean Fiddler have commented as yet on where the list came from.

Glasto have, however, apologised, issuing the following statement to some of those spammed: "You were sent an email about Latitude Festival 2007, which should not have happened. For this, we unreservedly apologise. It will not happen again. We would emphasise that Glastonbury festival takes the issue of Data Protection and the privacy of those who registered with us extremely seriously. Your personal details have not been sold on to anyone else and will not be passed on to anyone else. As agreed during the registration process, all details collected during registration will be destroyed a month after the festival. We are sorry for the inconvenience we have caused".

So there you go. There's a moral in all this somewhere. Stick to excessively bigging up Bestival, probably.

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MCCARTNEY WINS PUBLIC VOTE AT CLASSICAL BRITS
Despite mixed reviews from classical music media types, Paul McCartney has won the Best Album Award at the good old Classical Brits, which took place at the Albert Hall last night, for his album 'Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart)', beating off competition from Sting, Katherine Jenkins, Alfie Boe and Bryn Terfel in a prize selected by listeners to Classic FM.

Other winners, all chosen by industry pundits rather than Classic FM listeners, included the Berlin Philharmonic and its conductor Sir Simon Rattle who won Classical Recording Of The Year Award for their recording of Holst's The Planets, and Russian soprano Anna Netrebko, who was named Singer Of The Year.

The awards will be broadcast on ITV at 11pm on 13 May, so if you're planning on watching and want to maintain just a little bit of suspense for the night, look away now, because here's the full list of winners.

Best album: Paul McCartney - Ecce Cor Meum
Classical Recording Of The Year: Berliner Philharmoniker/Sir Simon Rattle - Holst/The Planets
Singer Of The Year: Anna Netrebko - Russian Album & Violetta
Young British Classical Performer: Ruth Palmer - Shostakovich/Violin Concerto No 1
Soundtrack Composer Of The Year: George Fenton - Planet Earth
Instrumentalist Of The Year: Leif Ove Andsnes - Horizons
Critic's Award: Freiberg Barogue Orchestra/RIAS Kammerchoir/Rene Jacobs - Mozart/La Cler
Contemporary Composer Award: John Adams - The Dharma at Big Sur/My Father knew Charles Ives
Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr Vernon Handley CBE

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MADONNA WON'T PLAY FOR DIANA
According to reports, Madonna has turned down a request for her to appear at the Diana memorial gig on 1 Jul at Wembley, apparently because she's appearing at the Live Earth gig at the same venue the following week and doesn't feel she's got time to prepare for both. Reports suggest that she was asked by Andrew Lloyd Webber to do an Evita bit at the event, which, as previously reported, commemorates the death of Princess Diana ten years ago.

A 'source' is quoted as saying: "Live Earth approached Madonna first and she is committed to performing there. It would be extremely hard to rehearse for both gigs at the same time and she wouldn't want to give less than 100 per cent to either".

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KLAXONS TO RELEASE TIMBERLAKE B-SIDE
Klaxons will release a cover of Justin Timberlake's 'My Love' as the B-side to the band's next single 'It's Not Over Yet', out 25 Jun. That's it really. I suppose I could remind you that they're to play the previously reported Radio 1 Big Weekend in Preston on 20 May. And that they're on tour at the moment. And it's all sold out. Well, the UK dates are.

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NAS CANCELS DATE, CITES RACISM AS CAUSE
Nas has cancelled a tour date at the House Of Blues in San Diego on Wednesday, claiming that his decision to pull out was brought about by the fact that he and his wife Kelis encountered racist venue employees on their arrival at the club. The rapper told San Diego's Z-90.3 radio: "We came to the club, all excited. Couldn't wait to get here. [The tour venues] have been sold out every night. The energy from everybody has been crazy. Every time I come to San Diego, the energy's crazy. We go to the venue and they ain't let me in. I was outside with my wife and they treated us like terrorists. It was a little racist and we just don't tolerate that. I just want everybody to know, don't tolerate any form of racism".

He continued: "There is no other side of the story. We were treated like terrorists. We had a whole bunch of security guys rush outside to me and my wife like we were terrorists. It's not like I came with fifty guys or nothing. It was just me, my wife, my DJ and my staff for the 'Hip-Hop Is Dead" tour and they came at us like we was Osama Bin Laden or somebody".

Nas went on to say, however, that he's had positive experiences at House Of Blues before: "That's a good club. I've played that club twice. I love that club. It must be new management or something. I said, 'Do you treat Bon Jovi like this?' They said, 'No.'"

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DIRTY PRETTY THINGS ENCOURAGE POLITICAL ACTIVITY
Dirty Pretty Things were busy urging their fans to get voting in the local and Scottish and Welsh assembly elections yesterday, in particular to use their vote against the BNP.

The band wrote on their website: "As part of our support for the Love Music Hate Racism campaign, we urge everybody who can to go out and use your vote in tomorrow's local council, and Scottish & Welsh Parliament elections, to prevent the fascist British National Party (BNP) from winning further seats."

They continued: "LMHR is a non-party-political campaign - we're simply asking you to vote for whichever democratic party you wish, to prevent a party that's opposed to democracy from making gains. The BNP currently have 49 local council seats around the UK, and are standing over 800 candidates in tomorrow's elections. Low turnout has often been a major factor in BNP local election wins, and sometimes just a handful of votes can make all the difference."

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BLUR DRUMMER ON ELECTION
More politics, and Blur's Dave Rowntree has said that it's been fun running as the New Labour candidate in the Westminster Council bye-election, despite the fact that it was a tough fight to take on the Tory-held council. I have no idea whether he won a seat or not. He told the BBC: "It's been really good fun though, and I have really enjoyed it and I have learnt a lot. I can imagine people looking at me and thinking, 'Really? Why now?'."

As previously reported, Blur supported New Labour back in 1997, but frontman Damon Albarn has in recent years become an outspoken critic of the Blair government. Asked about Albarn's rejection of Labour policies, Rowntree said: "You can disagree with someone and still be their friend".

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SMASHING PUMPKINS TRIBUTE DETAILS
MySpace Records have revealed details of that previously reported Smashing Pumpkins tribute album they're set to give away with Spin magazine. It will feature covers from twelve bands, to be posted to their MySpace pages on 14 May, ahead of the release via Spin in July.

This is what the tracklisting will be:

Panic! At The Disco - Tonight Tonight
+44 - I Am One
The Academy Is - Mayonnaise
The Deftones - Siva
30 Seconds To Mars - TBC
The Bravery - Rocket
Young Love - 1979
The New Amsterdams - Thirty Three
Test Your Reflex - Ava Adore
Ben Kweller - Today
Hawthorne Heights - Bullet With Butterfly Wings
Gliss - Rhinoceros

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FAITH NO MORE MAN'S NEW PROJECTS
Former Faith No More singer Mike Patton has announced that he's to complete a twelve date European tour with experimental Austrian musician Christian Fennesz, and will follow that with live appearances in Australasia with his collaborative hip-hop project Peeping Tom. Patton told Billboard that his collaboration with Fennesz is presently a live-only project, but that the possibility of the pair recording together couldn't be ruled out.

He must be pretty bloody busy, you know, because he's got two collaborative albums coming out in July - a new album from alternative metal outfit Tomahawk, plus a composer Eyvind Kang's 'Atlantis', on which he's provided vocals. He's also working on a film soundtrack and yet another collaboration with Norwegian artist John Erik Kaada. Wow, I think he might be almost as busy as me.

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ROCKLANDS THIS WEEKEND
The Rocklands Party, the live music fest that is being staged in wake of the previously reported cancellation of the Little Nan Jo Jo festival, takes place in South East London tomorrow, and the following bands/DJs will all appear: Pink Grease, Mama Shamone, Chow Chow, Blah Blah Blah, 586, Thomas Truax, The Shakes, Seeing Scarlet, The Fairies Band, The Sea, Original Cast, Talk Taxis, Metros, The Total Drop, Plugs, Wrong Animal, Ebony Bones, Eddy Temple Morris, Die! Die! Die!, Look See Proof, New Young Pony Club (DJ set), Marner Brown, The Fucks, The Mohnsons, Trash Fashion, Little'ans, Joe Driscoll and loads more. The gigs will take place at various venues, including the New Cross Inn, Goldsmiths Tavern, Amersham Arms, Music Complex, Live Bar and The Birds Nest. A wristband that gets you entry into all venues is a tenner, while for a fiver you can get all day access to any one venue. More info is at http://www.myspace.com/nxpromotions, while tickets are available in advance from the below URL:

http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/user/?region=
gb_london&query=detail&event=219746

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HAPPY MONDAYS TO PLAY T-MO STREET GIG AT BRIGHTON'S GREAT ESCAPE
The latest of those T-Mobile gigs in weird places things will take place on 17 May in Brighton when the Happy Mondays play a gig in a chip shop on Brighton Pier. The intimate gig will take place as part of the previously reported Great Escape festival, which takes place in venues across Brighton from 17-19 May. Tickets will be given away via http://www.t-mobile.co.uk/music.

Commenting on the Brighton gig, the Happy Monday's Shaun Ryder told reporters: "I love Brighton. Like us it's sleazy and mucky and cool and funky - so that's why I wanna come down with our new band and new songs and play them on the pier. It's the first time we'll have played the new stuff. Anyone who doesn't like 'em will be chucked into the sea. Bez wants to play the Dolphin Derby all day; Gaz has challenged Norman Cook to a football match and I'm gonna bring my mountain bike to go across the Downs...It's gonna be a wicked weekend".

The Great Escape appears slap bang in the middle of the really rather wonderful Brighton Festival which kicks off tomorrow. As we've mentioned before, you will find top quality coverage of the Brighton Festival at www.threeweeks.co.uk from tomorrow and every day throughout the rest of May. We'll tell you about the best music type stuff at the Brighton Festival each day here in the CMU Daily also.

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MODEST MOUSE AND THE SHINS FOR DOWNLOAD TOUR
Modest Mouse and The Shins are amongst the acts set to play at the inaugural US Download Festival tour, which will kick off in August. Four dates have been confirmed thus far, with more acts to be announced later this month.

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WARNER/CHAPPELL STEP UP SYNCH OPERATIONS
Music publishing major Warner/Chappell has announced it is restructuring its synchronisation operation globally in a bid to more aggressively market and sell its catalogue of songs to the TV, film and advertising industries.

The restructure will see the company's marketing and licensing divisions in each territory reporting to one person, who in turn will report directly to the local Warner/Chappell chief executive. Brad Rosenberger will lead the US division, supported by New York based Dave Pettigrew and LA based Wendy Christiansen. Jim Reid will head up the UK division in London.

Rosenberger told Billboard that the restructure will mean Warner/Chappell will be finding new creative ways to market their catalogue, and that they will be able to provide synch clients with a better and faster service when applications to use songs are made. He also expects more collaboration between Warner/Chappell teams around the world.

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WARNER DROP OUT OF FAMOUS MUSIC BIDDING
Talking of Warner and publishing and all that, word has it Warner have pulled out of the race to buy Viacom's publishing outfit Famous Music, which was put up for sale recently. Other major music publishing houses are bidding but some reckon they will all also drop out - even the now acquisition hungry Sony/ATV - because a number of private equity consortiums, who increasingly see publishing as the cash cow of the music business, are also bidding and they are, some say, willing to pay what I believe experts call "silly money" to secure the Famous catalogue.

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CREATIVE LAUNCH FORTY DOLLARS PLAYER
MP3 player makers Creative, who are still struggling to get anywhere near competing with Apple, have launched a lower price $40 MP3 player in a bid to win a bigger share of the lower end of the digital music player market. The cheap-but-decent (as opposed to just dirt cheap) player offers 1GB of storage and is just over 2 inches long, 1.5 inches wide and half an inch thick.

Launching the new player, Creative boss Sim Wong Hoo told reporters: "The Creative Zen Stone, at just $39.99, opens up a huge new market for MP3 players. Whether it's your only player or a second player to take with you anywhere, the low price lets you think of MP3 players in a whole new way".

A number of MP3 player companies have been entering into the lower price domain in recent months in a bid to compete with Apple's lower price iPod Shuffle. Whether the move, which presumably slashes the makers' profit margins, will help them take on the dominant market leading Apple remains to be seen.

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BBC APPOINT VIRGIN DIGITAL CHIEF TO FUTURE MEDIA ROLE
The BBC has poached Virgin Radio's Digital Media Director James Cridland to join the Future Media Department as Head Of Audio And Music. In his new role Cridland will develop a strategy for the BBC's "non-linear digital media services", whatever they are, I assume James knows.

Cridland is one of three new appointments to the Beeb's Future Media And Technology division. Also appointed this week were former Microsoft man Erik Huggers and former Sky Networked Media director Paul Dale.

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RADIO 1 PILOT NEW INTERACTIVE BADGE, OR SOMETHING
Talking of webby type things at the BBC, Radio 1 yesterday unveiled a new online offering which I don't really understand, but which has something to do with creating 'interactive badges', whatever they are. I think users can somehow select bits of Radio 1 content they like (audio, video and text), then text their instant messenger ID to the station, and then receive access to that content via their instant messenger application. Or something like that. Where the badge comes in I don't know. Unless, ahem, there's some kind of pin number involved somewhere along the way.

Demonstrating the new services at the MIX 07 conference in Las Vegas this week, BBC Exec Producer Jason DaPonte told his audience: "Prototypes such as this illustrate the BBC's commitment to providing online services that are more open, personal and participatory than ever before, using the latest technologies to engage young audiences".

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VMAS GO TO VEGAS
Talking of Vegas, the next edition of the MTV Video Music Awards, which will take place on 9 Sep, will take place in Las Vegas, the first time the annual awards event has been held in the Nevada city.

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EX-CLASH MANAGER CAUSES UPROAR WITH N-WORD
Former Clash manager Bernie Rhodes caused a bit of a walk out when he appeared at Clash Culture, an event for arts students organised by The Look, on Wednesday. Many in the audience, which included ex-Sex Pistol Glen Matlock and former Clash roadie Sebastian Conran, were seemingly outraged when Rhodes opened his mouth to utter the immortal words: "If you want to sort out crime in London, sort out the niggers in Peckham".

Rhodes clearly had no intention of watching his mouth. He'd earlier criticised Julien Temple's new biopic of Clash frontman Joe Strummer as "crap", adding that it was "a film made by a public school boy about another public school boy. They've turned Joe into a hippie because they want another John Lennon".

Anyway, it seems Rhodes' use of the nigger word brought an abrupt end to the proceedings. As well it might.

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IGGY POP ON HIS PENIS
Iggy Pop has defended some of the lyrics on the new Stooges album 'The Weirdness', on which one track 'Trollin', features the line "my dick is turning into a tree". I say defended, it's more like he just doesn't give a crap what anyone thinks. Which, I suppose, is a bit rock n roll.

Pop told Rolling Stone: "You write about things of importance to you. And it's gotta be for real. Do I think about my dick? All the time. I got a right to sing about it. If I thought, 'It's time to write a rock song, I'd better mention my dick,' then I wouldn't even be able to say 'dick' right. But it's nature-oriented".

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