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TODAY'S NEWS

Jackson reveals reason for label split

Jackson signs over Neverland to joint venture company
Trick Trick doesn't want the pink pound
Boyzone video includes gay embrace
Abdul fan found dead near singer's home
Mitch Mitchell dies
Industry accountant Boas dies
Kiedis autobiography to become TV series
Grateful Dead frontman biopic in the works
EP review: Kyte - Two Stars, Two Sparks (Kids Records)
Pipettes lose another Pipette
Hollyoaks band to release single
Kaiser Chiefs to release live DVD
Asobi Seksu announce album and gigs
Weller gets venue in trouble
Lykke Li UK and Ireland tour dates
Live review: Cut/Copy at Koko on 11 Nov
US record companies could lose out from Circuit City bankruptcy
Napster judge calls for all-interest copyright body
Lionsgate and Wind-Up do deal
Dutch live music conference to precede Midem
Entertainment priority number one at Five
Nic Harcourt leaves KCRW
More radio suspensions and sackings
Ronson angry with Winehouse
Rod Stewart and Robbie Williams fought over Hunter
Beyonce wants to play Glastonbury
Oasis step up global warming attempts
Courtney on lawyers
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THURSDAY 13TH NOVEMBER

TONY CHRISTIE
Tony Christie's career has spanned four decades and is still going strong today. His fame rocketed in the 1970s after numerous hits with the MCA label, including 'I Did What I Did For Maria' and 'Is This The Way To Amarillo', so much so he sold over 10 million records during that decade alone.


 

The 90s saw Christie jump back into the limelight with hits 'Sweet September' and 'Walk Like A Panther', recorded with All Seeing I and written by Jarvis Cocker, though it was in 2005 that Christie's legendary status was affirmed, with the Phil Kay inspired re-release of 'Is This The Way To Amarillo', which was released in aid of Comic Relief and which reached number one in the charts, outselling its previous release. 

Christie is now set to release his new album, 'Made In Sheffield', with Richard Hawley, which features contributions from various Sheffield-based performers, including Alex Turner and Jarvis Cocker. Tony took a moment to tell us about his incredible career in our Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I used to sing with my school mate. We would walk home from school together and he would sing the melody and I would sing the harmony. I also sang in the choir at my local Catholic church, so that gave me a lot of experience as we had to learn some quite complicated masses. From that I sort of graduated from being a double act, to a single act, then singing with various groups before going back to being a solo singer and making records.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
The latest album project came about because I was making an album of covers of various well known songs. I planned to record Richard Hawley's song 'Coles Corner' because I loved it and later found out that he had sent it to me three years earlier, but unfortunately I had not been able to do it because of my commitments (it was in the middle of all that Amarillo madness). We asked Richard if he fancied producing that track for us and to our surprise he said, "Why don't we do an album of Sheffield songs, by Sheffield artists and writers?" We tossed the idea around and decided it was a great idea. Richard then said he would like to produce the whole album, so here we are.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Once we have decided on the song, we, that is myself and the musicians, sit around and play with it until we find the right key and the right feel. Then we start to build up the track, almost like building a house, layer by layer until we are satisfied that it is habitable. This can sometimes happen very quickly or, if the song is complicated, it can take days and days (in extreme cases, weeks).

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
When I was very young, my dad came back home from the Air Force. He had been stationed in India and Egypt. He brought with him a huge collection of 78" records which he let me borrow from time to time. I used to listen to them for hours on end. My dad was a big band fan so I got to listen to Harry James, Glen Miller, Benny Goodman, Stan Kenton, and dozens of great bands plus, of course, the singers in them. The voice that changed my life was Frank Sinatra. His timing, his phrasing, and the pure musicality of his singing just mesmerised me. At the time all my mates were into Elvis but I had my own god, Franky boy. I really was into voices more than anything and could pick out any singer (if they were good) just by their voice. Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Vic Damone, Sarah Vaughan, Mel Torme, etc. etc. I later got into rock 'n' roll and loved Little Richard and a very underrated singer called Brook Benton.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
To anyone experiencing my music for the first time I would say to them, "If you want to find out about any artist listen to their albums, not just the hit singles, because on the albums you will find out what the artist is really about".

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
My ambition for my new album is to for it to reach a new audience that only know me by the poppy hit songs that get played on the radio. I want them to know that I can sing a bit. As for the future, I plan to record an album of my own songs (there's a couple on the new album) and hopefully, if they have the time, Richard Hawley and his co-producer Colin Elliot will work on it. Then I would be happy.

MORE>> www.tonychristie.com

 

IT'S CMU'S UNSIGNED MONTH
We here at CMU have teamed up with our good friends at MUZU TV to discover and champion some of the best unsigned and self-releasing artists in the UK and Ireland. Each day this month we will be tipping another unsigned band which has truly impressed the CMU team. For more info and to check out all the bands we've tipped so far, go to www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/unsigned

SNAP OF THE DAY: MANEKI
Sourcing members from all over the UK and one from Finland, Maneki are about as straight up pop-rock as it gets, with songs based around simple, memorable choruses, chugging guitars and repetitive, low basslines. They've already picked up some nice press, including an unfortunate and not entirely accurate in my opinion comparison to Nickelback. Then again, Chad Kroeger et al are leaders of that middle American rock domain that still tends to shift thousands of records, so I'm sure Maneki won't mind the comparison too much. Head to their MUZU profile and watch the video for 'Killa', which demonstrates all of the key components of a hit rock song and more besides. Watch out for the lead singer's checked trousers too - they're fantastic.

Check www.muzu.tv/maneki or in the Unsigned Month playlist on the CMU-Tube at www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/tube

 

 



Don't forget you can now check out CMU favourites old and new on CMU-Tube, our online music video service powered by MUZU.

Set up your own MUZU channel, select tracks from the MUZU catalogue, and embed your own MUZU Player on your own website or blog - simple. Sign up here.

 

 

OFFICE SPACE IN SHOREDITCH, AVAILABLE FROM JANUARY
Self-contained office space available in the centre of Shoreditch, on the corner of Shoreditch High Street and Great Eastern Street, next to the CMU HQ. 5-8 minutes walk from Liverpool Street and Old Street tube stations. A top floor workspace with plenty of natural light in an exciting neighbourhood that is home to numerous music, media, PR and creative companies. 764 square feet, with room for 15-20 desks plus its own kitchen area and adjacent toilets. £1000 per month plus service charge and business rates. Includes heating, water and electrics. Available from January 2009 for minimum of six months. For more information contact ashka@unicornjobs.com.

 

 

JACKSON REVEALS REASON FOR LABEL SPLIT
Janet Jackson has revealed that she left her former label Def Jam earlier this year after disagreements over what direction her sound should take.

The singer told Sister 2 Sister magazine: "There were some people who didn't like the direction I took with this album ['Discipline']. They wanted me to sound more like Sade. But I'm not ready for that just yet. I love doing dance songs and I think my fans expect that of me".

She also revealed that now she is without a record label, she is concentrating more on film production. She continued: "I have been getting more behind the scenes with film and television. I will probably continue to do music - and acting is still a strong passion of mine - but I really have been loving behind-the-scenes work: producing, directing and all the technical stuff".

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JACKSON SIGNS OVER NEVERLAND TO JOINT VENTURE COMPANY
More Jackson family news, and Michael Jackson has reportedly handed over the deeds to his Neverland ranch to the Sycamore Valley Ranch Company, which is a joint venture between Jackson and the finance firm Colony Capital LLC, which bailed the singer out earlier this year by purchasing a $24.5 million loan which Jacko was unable to pay back, and which was secured on his former home. The original lenders of that loan were planning on repossessing the estate before Colony Capital stepped in.

Neverland was called Sycamore Valley Ranch before Jackson bought it in 1988. It's not clear if the transfer of ownership signifies any plans to redevelop or sell the site, or whether it's just an accounting trick. As previously reported, Jackson hasn't lived at the ranch since he was acquitted of allegations he molested a young teenager there.

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TRICK TRICK DOESN'T WANT THE PINK POUND
Koch-signed US rapper and occasional Eminem collaborator Trick Trick has announced that he'd rather homosexuals didn't buy his new album, because he doesn't think they'll like it. Oh, I don't know, I'm sure all kinds of people could enjoy it. Let's find out exactly what he had to say. Trick Trick told AllHipHop.com: "I'ma go on the record right now with this. Homosexuals are probably not gonna like this album. I don't want your faggot money any goddamn way. I don't like it. Carry that shit somewhere else". Oh right, I see, it's not that the gay community won't like the music, it's that they'll think he's a tosser unworthy of their custom.

He added: "It's just that every time that you turn on the TV, that sissy shit is on. And they act like it's fucking okay. The world is changing for the worst when shit like that happens. And I address that issue. I address it hard as hell".

He addresses the issue by telling "dyke bitches" Ellen DeGeneres and Rosie O'Donnell that he plans to send a "scud missile right through their fucking cruise ship". And, on the subject of gay adoption, he says: "He's a fucking faggot so I'm lettin' off my AK/Bust 'em in his forehead/He ain't worth lettin' live/A man and man shouldn't raise another man's kids!"

Nice bloke this Trick Trick. How do you respond to an intelligent and well thought-out argument like that? It's watertight, as far as I can see.

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BOYZONE VIDEO INCLUDES GAY EMBRACE
No word yet on when Trick Trick plans to collaborate with Boyzone, but surely its only a matter of time. The reformed-whether-you-like-it-or-not former boyband are hoping to break boundaries in the video to their new single 'Better' by partnering up gay member Stephen Gately with a male actor in a segment where his band mates are paired up with female actors for a love song style embrace. They reckon it's the first time a gay couple have been portrayed in a boyband music video, and they're possibly right.

Explaining the decision to appear with another guy in the pop promo, Gately told Radio 1: "For me, it's just me being me and I don't think there should be a real big issue about the whole thing anyway, I think it's just a beautiful video and I think it works superbly for the song. I'm hoping this video will have a good, positive, all-round reaction. I came out in 1999 and it was a big issue at the time and I don't think I could have done this video without having a guy in the video. I think it's important for me to be true to myself. The lads were saying, 'You've got to do this'. They were pushing saying, 'This would be fantastic'. It's the first of its kind. That's why I went for it".

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ABDUL FAN FOUND DEAD NEAR SINGER'S HOME
When this story broke on Digital Spy yesterday it was headlined "Woman found dead at Paula Abdul's home", which suggests a somewhat bigger news story than what we got. Though it's still a bit tragic. One Paula Goodspeed was found dead in a car near the singer and American Idol judge's LA home yesterday - police are treating her death as suicide.

It's thought the location of Goodspeed's death was no coincidence. She was reportedly an almost obsessive fan of Abdul's, to the extent that her parents had expressed concerns to the police that their daughter may be stalking the star.

According to TMZ, Goodspeed had met the singer when she auditioned for 'Idol' in 2006, and she told the show about her Abdul fandom, explaining: "I'm a really big fan and I made life-sized drawings of Paula. I've been drawing ever since I was a little kid and my first drawing was of Paula Abdul". However, she didn't get past the first hurdle on the 'Idol' show, with her rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'Proud Mary' being generally ridiculed by the judges.

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MITCH MITCHELL DIES
British drummer Mitch Mitchell, who found fame in the sixties with the Jimi Hendrix Experience has been found dead in a hotel room in Portland, Oregon, at the age of 61. He had just spent four weeks on the road with the 2008 Experience Hendrix tour, and was due to return home to the UK on Wednesday, when his body was found. Authorities told reporters that his death appeared to be the result of natural causes, but that an autopsy would take place.

Mitchell began his career as a session musician, working with the likes of The Riot Squad and Georgie Fame before joining up with Jimi Hendrix and Noel Redding in 1966 to form The Jimi Hendrix Experience. He is credited with pioneering a lead drumming style later known as 'fusion' during his time with the band, and during those years also worked with contemporaries such as Eric Clapton, John Lennon and Keith Richards. Following Hendrix's demise he formed Ramatan with April Lawton and Mike Pinera, who later went on to form Iron Butterfly. The band failed to achieve commercial success, however, and in subsequent years, Mitchell was to be found doing guest appearances and session work.

Janie Hendrix, step-sister of Jimi and chief executive of Experience Hendrix said of Mitchell: "He was a wonderful man, a brilliant musician and a true friend". A fellow tour member, blues-rock guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd, said that Mitchell was to drums what Hendrix was to guitar, adding: "Today many of us have lost a dear friend, and the world has lost a rock 'n' roll hero".

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INDUSTRY ACCOUNTANT BOAS DIES
Music industry accountant and charity campaigner Jason Boas has died. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer, having been diagnosed with the disease back in October 2007 at the age of 33. Following his diagnosis, he set up No Surrender, a charity to help and support younger and middle-aged people suffering from cancer, which has raised more than £100k to date, and staged events such as a gig featuring Maximo Park, Blood Red Shoes, and Mystery Jets.

Universal International Marketing Manager Alex Myers is one of many industry types who has already paid tribute to Boas. He told Music Week: "I have known Jason for over 20 years and have lost my best friend after a rollercoaster year of highs and lows. As a fundraiser he was an absolute inspiration, running three marathons before his illness and raising over £100,00 since his diagnosis, for both the Royal Marsden Hospital and his own charity No Surrender, which he set up to support others in the same situation and age bracket as himself. He never lost his sense of humour throughout a year of relentless treatment and operations, he was a special person who touched everyone who met him. As a friend he is irreplaceable".

A partner at chartered accountants Harris And Trotter, Boas worked on the finances of acts such as Depeche Mode, KT Tunstall and Maximo Park. Senior partner Ronnie Harris said of him: "He was an exceptionally good guy and he loved the music business. Everyone he met could only say good things about him".

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KIEDIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY TO BECOME TV SERIES
The autobiography of Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis, 'Scar Tissue', is to be turned into a TV series by US network HBO. The series will follow Kiedis' early life, when he moved to LA to live with his father, a drug dealer to the stars, who got him into sex, drugs and the LA club scene before his voice had even dropped. Given the subject matter, perhaps they could call the show 'Californication', add an whole extra level to the ongoing legal dispute over that name. If the series is a success presumably it will move on to the later years of Kiedis' life; you know, when things started to get really shocking.

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GRATEFUL DEAD FRONTMAN BIOPIC IN THE WORKS
More biographical rock retrospectives now, this time a film based on the early life of Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia. The film will largely be based on 'Dark Star' by Robert Greenfield, a biography in turn based on interviews with Garcia's friends and relatives and other musicians who knew him.

And before you say that Jerry Garcia's early life isn't as interesting or as shocking as Anthony Kiedis', well, that depends on how you look at it. His dad wasn't giving him drugs or letting him have sex with his girlfriend, but before becoming an influential guitarist and figurehead for psychedelic music, he lost a finger in a wood-cutting accident, his father died while out fishing on a family holiday and he was nearly killed in a dramatic car accident which left one other passenger dead.

The project, being produced by Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa and Eric Eisner, is still in the early stages, with no director or cast announced.

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EP REVIEW: Kyte - Two Stars, Two Sparks (Kids Records)
It's clear from the outset that Kyte aren't concerned with the subtleties music can offer. Kicking off with the dictionary definition of epic, 'Eyes Lose Their Fire' is a song that makes the sweet, refined tinkling of a xylophone sound more like the soundtrack to a sweeping landscape than plastic on wood. The wispy vocals, however, sound like Nick Moon is recovering from a bout of heavy exercise, which spoils things slightly. Things improve later on though, with a beautiful cover of Peter Gabriel's 'Solsbury Hill'. Sounding like they've fed the song through a computer they found on a landfill site, it's a startlingly original take and the standout track of the EP. To finish things off in grandiose style, we have ten minutes of electronic musing in the form of 'Lights Outside Here', which drifts pleasantly in and out of your consciousness. In short, nothing excessively new stands out in their own compositions, yet my inkling is that Kyte have it in them to be great. GB
Release Date: 1 Dec
Press Contact: Partisan PR [all]

Buy from iTunes
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PIPETTES LOSE ANOTHER PIPETTE
The Pipettes have announced that Anna MacDonald, who only recently joined the group, following the departure of Rose and Becki Pipette earlier this year, has decided to leave to pursue a solo career. This means they have been forced to cancel their appearance at Swn festival this Friday.

In a statement, the group said: "The most recent addition to The Pipettes, Anna MacDonald, has abruptly announced her decision, but days ago, to pursue a song-writing career outside of the band. As a consequence, we are regretfully forced to cancel our performance at SWN Festival this Friday. This is something we are all very upset about. Plans to record the next Pipettes album are still afoot, and as such, our quest for the perfect Pipette continues".

Former Pipette Rose Elinor Dougall will, of course, be headlining a special Christmas edition of the CMU Social on 9 Dec at 229 on Great Portland Street. Entry is free to CMU Daily subscribers. Just email social@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk to add yourself to the guestlist.

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HOLLYOAKS BAND TO RELEASE SINGLE
Ah, it's like 'Something Outta Nothing' all over again. A fictional band from TV show 'Hollyoaks' is set to release a real single, presumably hoping that the band's regular appearances on the popular teensoap will help it chart. The band is called The Dirty Diegos and the song they'll release is called 'Play'. On the show the band features characters Josh Ashworth on guitar, Sasha Valentine on keys, Amy Barnes on drums and Michaela McQueen on vocals. Whether actors Sonny Flood, Nathalie Emmanuel and Ashley Slanina-Davies appear on the actual record I don't know - presumably Hollie-Jay Bowes, who plays Michaela McQueen, does provide the real vocals, though who knows?

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KAISER CHIEF TO RELEASE LIVE DVD
Kaiser Chiefs have announced that they are to release a live DVD featuring their homecoming gig in front of 40,000 fans at Elland Road in Leeds last May. The DVD, set for release on 24 Nov, will also feature behind the scenes footage and highlights from their recent Electric Proms show.

The tracklisting for the Elland Road show is as follows:

Everything Is Average Nowadays
Everyday I Love You Less And Less
Heat Dies Down
Born To Be A Dancer
Can't Say What I Mean
Ruby
Saturday Night
Modern Way
Never Miss A Beat
Retirement
Na Na Na Na Naa
You Want History
I Predict A Riot
Take My Temperature
The Angry Mob
Love's Not A Competition (But I'm Winning)
Half The Truth
Thank You Very Much
Oh My God

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ASOBI SEKSU ANNOUNCE ALBUM AND GIGS
Excellent New York rockers Asobi Seksu have announced details of their third album, 'Hush', which will be released in the UK by One Little Indian on 16 Feb. The first single from the album, 'Me & Mary', will be released on Monday. The band will also be touring the UK and Ireland with Ladytron from 14-30 Nov, before playing their own headline show at the Hoxton Bar & Grill in London on 1 Dec.

And, look, we have the tracklisting for the album right here:

Layers
Familiar Light
Sing Tomorrow's Praise
Gliss
Transparence
Risky And Pretty
In The Sky
Meh No Mae
Glacially
I Can't See
Me & Mary
Blind Little Rain

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WELLER GETS VENUE IN TROUBLE
Paul Weller has got The Cliffs Pavilion in Southend into trouble because he lit a cigarette on-stage when he performed there at the weekend. The venue has been issued with a warning by the local council, who sat they might take further action if anything similar happens again.

Southend Borough's Steve Ramm told reporters: "We think the law was breached so we have issued a warning. We considered the matter and, under the terms of our enforcement policy, we have issued the warning to Southend Theatres Limited. If a similar occurrence were to take place in future, we would be likely to take further action".

He continued: "We will be sending a warning letter to Paul Weller explaining that no action will be taken on this occasion [but that] we will require an undertaking from him not to smoke in an enclosed public place before [he can] perform in Crawley in the future".

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LYKKE LI UK AND IRELAND TOUR DATES
Lykke Li is back in these parts later this month for some more gigs in the UK and Ireland, which is always good news.

Tour dates:

24 Nov: Dublin, Button Factory
25 Nov: Glasgow, Arches
27 Nov: Manchester, Academy 3
28 Nov: London, Koko

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LIVE REVIEW: Cut/Copy at Koko
I reviewed 'In Ghost Colours', the second album from this Aussie quartet, some months ago and since then it has grown on me so much that in the build up to this gig I was trying to get all and sundry to come along. I needn't have bothered, because Koko was completely sold out anyway, and the crowd of up-for-it Aussies sent the place bouncing along, so that by the time the pounding bass of 'Lights And Music' hit the whole dance floor was going off. Cut/Copy are all about hooks, every song seems to have enough to hang several coats on and while there is an occasional moment of "haven't they played this one already?" it doesn't last long before you're singing along with the woo-woos or the wahs again. What more could you ask from an electro pop act? An innovative set design with some ever-changing neon lights perhaps. Well, we got that, plus some electro foot-stomp dancing that kept things interesting on stage. The encore of recent single 'Hearts On Fire' was mammoth and, if it wasn't a school night, would have been the start of an almighty party. So we've seen Midnight Juggernauts, The Presets, Sneaky Sound System and now Cut/Copy all come from Australia with electro running through their veins like an energy crisis is the last thing on their minds. In the spirit of friendly competition between us and our southern hemisphere cousins, we really need to do better than Razorlight. IM

Buy from iTunes
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US RECORD COMPANIES COULD LOSE OUT FROM CIRCUIT CITY BANKRUPTCY
US record companies could be about to lose out on millions of dollars because US electronics retailer Circuit City might be about to go under. The US's second biggest electronics seller applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday following announcements earlier this month of planned store closures and staff cuts.

Although its biggest creditors are the major electronics firms, including Sony Corp's Computer Entertainment division which is reportedly owed $60 million, Circuit City also sold CDs and DVDs and reportedly owes music distributor Alliance Entertainment not far off $16 million. While Circuit City has Chapter 11 protection creditors can't take action to reclaim the money they are owed. It remains to be seen if Circuit City can be rescued through either restructure or new ownership, and if not how much of its considerable debts could be covered by selling off its assets. It's thought if the firm does go under the Alliance may have to write off a large portion of that debt.

It's not clear who that would hit the hardest. While such bad debt will be shared between the record companies and the Alliance, Digital Music News quote US label insiders as saying the distributor will be much harder hit. It's not clear if that's because the deals between the labels and the Alliance put more liability for bad debt on the distribution firm, or simply because while each label will only lose out on their share of a portion of that bad debt, the Alliance would lose their share of all of it, if that makes sense.

Either way, given that most companies in the distribution sector are already struggling because of the decline in physical product sales, presumably the Alliance could do without having to write off such a big debt at this time, should it come to that.

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NAPSTER JUDGE CALLS FOR ALL-INTEREST COPYRIGHT BODY
The judge who oversaw the original copyright infringement case against Napster, back in the days when Napster was a P2P network and enemy number one in the record industry, has said he thinks there should be a new copyright body in the US made up of representatives of all interested parties, including the public, to issue blanket licences, negotiate and set standard royalties and adopt rules and regulations to help enforce content owner's rights.

According to Wired, Judge Miriam Hall Patel made the comments while giving a speech at Fordham University. He said: "There needs to be a comprehensive revision of the provisions that relate to the administration of copyright licensing, royalties and enforcement. I propose that a joint public/private administrative body made up of representatives of all competing interest, including the public, be established and authorised to, among other powers, issue licenses; negotiate, set and administer royalties; and adopt rules and regulations to carry out these purposes".

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LIONSGATE AND WIND-UP DO DEAL
North American TV and film firm Lionsgate and New York based independent label Wind-Up have announced a new partnership which will see the former invest in certain songwriters signed to one of Wind-Up's publishing rosters, and also use music from Wind-Up's record label in its upcoming VH-1 reality show 'Scream Queens' and in the in-development action thriller 'Punisher: War Zone'.

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DUTCH LIVE MUSIC CONFERENCE TO PRECEDE MIDEM
Another music industry event for your diaries, this one just before the customary January jolly for record label execs that is Midem. EuroSonic Noorderslag will take place in the Dutch city of Groningen and will have a live music focus, with the usual mix of keynotes and panel discussions plus showcases a plenty giving a platform for new bands and, in particular, artists from Belgium. It all takes place from 15-17 Jan, details at www.noorderslag.nl.

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ENTERTAINMENT PRIORITY NUMBER ONE AT FIVE
Bad news for fans of all those ground-breaking and insightful Channel 5 documentaries that we all so regularly clear our diaries to tune into: the fifth terrestrial channel has said it will cut back on, erm, 'factual' programming in favour of more entertainment following the appointment of a new controller in the form of former Sky One chief Richard Woolfe.

And, of course, if anyone is up to the task of developing new entertainment shows for Five, then it's Woolfe. Obviously Sky One is well renowned for its high quality home-ground entertainment shows like, erm, well, there must have been one. 'Is Harry on the Boat?' and 'Cirque de Celebrité'? Yes, classic TV.

Reports suggest that Dawn Airey, former Five programming chief and now CEO of the station, is keen to take her main channel back on an entertainment, entertainment, entertainment route, and that Woolfe has been chosen to become the station's new controller to deliver on plan.

The Guardian quote a source thus: "Expect big changes in the direction of Five and the sorts of programmes commissioned. You don't hire Mr Showbiz and Mr Tits-and-Tinsel if you want him to run a free-TV version of Nat Geo".

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NIC HARCOURT LEAVES KCRW
Influential and British-born US radio man Nic Harcourt is stepping down as host of the 'Morning Becomes Eclectic' show on LA radio station KCRW after ten years in the job. He is also stepping down as the station's Music Director. KCRW is known in LA, and further afield thanks to its webcasts, as one of the few US radio stations to truly champion good new music, and has been especially kind to rising UK talent over the years. Harcourt will continue to present one weekly show on the station, but will no longer work for them full time.

Harcourt told reporters: "I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to come to work every day and be surrounded by creative and passionate people and I want to keep the connection alive on my Sunday show. Since I arrived here, I've fulfilled many of my dreams as a music lover, meeting and interviewing legends like Neil Young, Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson and Cat Stevens (Yusuf). I've also been able to set the stage for future stars, introducing artists like Coldplay, Damien Rice, Dido and Norah Jones on KCRW's airwaves. I'm equally proud to have played many unsigned and independent artists and to be a champion for Latin Alternative music. As a parent of two young children, I believe it's time for me to explore new career opportunities and expand upon my other activities in movie, television, voice over work, advertising and the internet".

The station's GM, Ruth Seymour, added: "Nic has enhanced KCRW's reputation for introducing new artists to listeners in Southern California and beyond on radio and the internet. His singular gifts as a radio deejay and his ability to spot new talent attracted major media attention from both national and international press. Nic is a hard act to follow. We are now in the process of choosing a new Music Director. We have been looking at potential candidates with an eye toward announcing a choice in the next few weeks".

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MORE RADIO SUSPENSIONS AND SACKINGS
And so to this week's radio suspensions and sackings. TalkSport presenter Jon Gaunt has been suspended for calling a London councillor a "Nazi" and an "ignorant pig" during a live debate on plans by a local authority to ban smokers from fostering children. It's not clear if the councillor in question was a Nazi or an ignorant pig, but the radio station says it has decided to take Gaunt off the air while it investigates various listener complaints.

Gaunt's agent says that while the presenter regrets using the word "nazi" in that context, he is confident the investigation will clear him. Nick Canham of MPC Entertainment said: "Jon welcomes the investigation. The very nature of his show is quite bombastic on a regular basis. He apologised on air immediately. He regrets using the term but it was a slip of the tongue. He meant to say 'health Nazi' and he clarified it very quickly in the conversation. He hopes to be back on air very soon".

Elsewhere, BBC Radio Bristol presenter Sam Mason has been fired, not for something she said on-air, but for being a bit racist when ordered a taxi while at work. According to the Sun, Mason, who was ordering a taxi to pick up her daughter, asked for a non-Asian driver because she thought a foreign looking driver, and worst still one wearing a turban, might "freak her daughter out".

The operator at the taxi firm recorded the conversation, and the recording somehow got into the hands of Sun journalists. Despite the remarks being made in a private conversation, the Beeb decided to suspend and then fire Mason after the conversation was published. There are reports that the operator has also been fired for recording the conversation without warning the caller first.

Courtesy of Radio Today, here's what was reportedly said...

Mason: "I know this sounds really racist, but I'm not being - please, don't send anyone like, you know what I mean. An English person would be great, a female would be better".

Operator: "We would class that as being racist. We can't penalise the Asian drivers and just send an English one".

Mason: "You've managed it before".

Operator: "Right, OK. I don't agree with it personally".

Mason: "It's not your 14-year-old girl who's, you know, is it?"

Operator: "Yes, but that's racist to say you don't want an Asian driver".

Mason: "If it were me I wouldn't care if it had two heads, but it's my little girl we are talking about".

Having been passed onto a supervisor at the taxi firm, Mason continued: "I work at the BBC. I'm far from racist and that uneducated woman has no right to call me one. I don't want her to turn up with a guy with a turban on, it's going to freak her [the daughter] out. She's not used to Asians. She's not racist - her godparents are black".

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RONSON ANGRY WITH WINEHOUSE
According to the Express, Mark Ronson is really angry with Amy Winehouse for making them miss the opportunity to do the new Bond theme. As previously reported, the pair were apparently expected to submit a collaboration for consideration by the 'Quantum Of Solace' producers, but Ronson shelved the project, saying Winehouse was not fit to continue.

Recent rumours have suggested that the duo will work together on a new Quincy Jones tribute, but the Express quote a source who thinks it's unlikely, because it seems that Winehouse is willing, but Ronson's still miffed. The source says: "All Mark needed was Amy's voice to make their Bond dream come true so when the movie came out Amy called Mark and said, 'Let's do something bigger than Bond. It's a shame we haven't got our names up there'. Mark was furious - he's still upset about the loss of Bond. The partnership is badly damaged".

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ROD STEWART AND ROBBIE WILLIAMS FOUGHT OVER HUNTER
According to Kelly Jones (he's rather talkative at the moment isn't he? Anyone would think he has a greatest hits album coming out) Rod Stewart kicked off with Robbie Williams a few years back, for dating his ex wife Rachel Hunter.

Jones says the pair bumped into each other at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in Los Angeles: "I was having a drink with Rod at the hotel, but while he was in the bathroom I saw Robbie Williams walk into the hotel reception and head through to the bar. When Rod came back I mentioned it in passing that Robbie was there without thinking. It wasn't long after Robbie had started seeing Rod's estranged wife Rachel Hunter. When I mentioned it Rod got up and went to set Robbie straight on a few things. He was rolling up his sleeves when he left. He came back after as if nothing had happened but Robbie didn't hang about".

In his opinion, Rod overreacted a bit. Jones continued: "You know Robbie's alright man. You can't knock him for showing Ms Hunter a good time."

Amen to that. I think.

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BEYONCE WANTS TO PLAY GLASTONBURY
Beyonce has revealed that she would like to follow in the footsteps of her husband Jay-Z and headline Glastonbury. She told Sky News: "I thought it was brilliant. Jay had all the controversy - but he came out and he did good. I was there to experience the energy, it was like something I have never experienced before. I had my wellies and I got my outfit organised but it didn't rain and I wanted the mud! It would be really amazing [to perform at the festival next year]... I would love to do it".

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OASIS STEP UP GLOBAL WARMING ATTEMPTS
Noel Gallagher has revealed that Oasis are considering buying a private jet. Writing on his blog, he said: "We're making serious enquiries as to how much one of these private jets cost. We think with a bit of creative accounting we could probably afford one. We've christened ours 'The Credit-Crunch?' - it's the only way to fly, y'know?"

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COURTNEY ON LAWYERS
Good news for fans of random Courtney Love news now. The former Hole frontwoman has a new lawyer. She wrote on her MySpace blog on Tuesday: "Lawyers in LA co-own banks. My [old] lawyers are in this up to their ears. That's why when the FBI has called they get the 'she's full of shit' line, to those of you who asked about my lawyers. I now have a new lawyer at Cohen and Gardner though, an entertainment lawyer. He's got real balls and is honest".

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