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TODAY'S NEWS

Top Stories

Chuck D encourages women rappers
Manumission's Astoria finale is off
Winehouse claims she's off the drugs
In The Pop Courts
Country star sues green group
Prince accuser talks about long running plagiarism case
Boy George forced to evict friend
Obituaries
Dave Dee dies
Israel Horowitz dies
Awards & Contests
U2 to perform at Brits
Charts, Stats & Polls
Burke is a million seller
Abba top "we want them to reform" chart
Release News
Chris Cornell works with Timbaland on new album
Bat For Lashes announces new album
Mastodon countdown ends early, or late, or something
Gigs N Tours News
The View tour
Reviews
Album review: Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino)
The Music Business
New Note go into administration
Sound Advice appointments
BPI comms man goes to the Beeb
The Media Business
Some FreeSat boxes sold
6music launches new ear ads
Bauer announce regional exec movements
Bono writes column for New York Times
Chart Of The Day
Chart update
And finally...
Katy Perry to focus on touring
Kanye West to pose naked
Madonna dated Bobby Brown, apparently
Girl Aloud reckons Cameron lacks the X Factor, will vote for Brown

X Factor stars paid bottom dollar for live shows

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MONDAY 12TH JANUARY

GOLDIE LOOKIN CHAIN
Welsh pop-rappers Goldie Lookin Chain are back with their inimitable tongue-in-cheek mock hip hop in the shape of their latest album, 'Asbo4Life' which is set to be released on 6 Apr.

Right now though, the band are preparing for a special one off gig at the Metro in London. The gig is free to get in, but you pay to get out. Clever, no? Fans have been eagerly registering for wristbands within two hours.

Here Rhys, aka P Xain, answers our wonderful Same Six Questions.

 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I used to have a double cassette deck and I would do basic edits on hip hop tracks. Then I got a guitar, but it was pink so I didn't want to play it. The first time I made music really was on a Roland Groovebox. I drove my girlfriend Christine crazy with it, as I spent more time with the Groovebox than with her. Needless to say, she left me.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
The latest LP, 'Asbo4Life', is inspired by the world around the GLC. Mainly curry, weed and the constant wish it was summer, especially during summer.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
I start with a cup of tea, then I get dressed, then I go into town and have some coffee. Usually I meet up with my mate Tomothy. Then some of the GLC come into town. We then go and get lunch at Nandos. By then we are ready to go and sit in a small room and fill it with hot gas and make music.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Anything with a good beat; Lee Dorsey, SL2, Wilco, Lewis Parker, Iron And Wine.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Make sure your parents don't know about it. No matter how old you are, they won't approve.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single/album, and for the future?
I would like to get the single, 'By Any Means Necessary', which is out on 16 Mar, played in all the night clubs on the coast of Spain. If we could get it to be played in Fuengirola I would be well happy.

MORE>> www.youknowsit.co.uk and www.myspace.com/goldielookinchain

 

CMU'S TIPS FOR 2009: FEVER RAY
At present there's only one song on the MySpace for Fever Ray, the new solo project of Karin Dreijer from The Knife, but 'If I Had A Heart' more than merits her inclusion in our tips for 2009 alone. A slow tempo, pulsing, growling synth trip, it's as dark-hearted as the music she makes with her brother, Olef, and could easily slip onto the end of their last LP, 'Silent Shout'. And after previewing snippets of tracks from the full length record, also titled 'Fever Ray, it would seem that she's followed this type of sound throughout, creating the kind of haunting ambience of 'Na Na Na' rather than beat heavy tracks in the vein of 'Like A Pen'. Plus, given the scale of tips for female-led electro this year (Little Boots, Lady Gaga, La Roux, etc), it'd be a shame one of the figureheads of electronic music - and a clear influence on some of the artists mentioned - didn't get the nod she deserves somewhere.

www.myspace.com/feverray

 

 

CHUCK D ENCOURAGES WOMEN RAPPERS
Veteran hip hopper and activist, and former CMU columnist, Chuck D has declared a 2009 resolution to support women in hip hop. The former Public Enemy star says that the fact that there aren't enough prominent women in the genre is making it regressive, and that advances made by female pioneers in the eighties and nineties have been rendered irrelevant in the current climate.

He told AllHipHop.com: "In 09, my fighting the power is for women in hip hop, especially groups, producers, songwriters, and label heads. There are very, very few all women rap groups. Less than we had 25 years ago. I feel it is the next revolution in this 'same dude, same idea, same voice genre'. I personally feel that the lack of groups on the male side has hurt, as well as production teams for the sake of soloists, across the board".

Chuck D's label SLAMjamz is currently promoting all-girl hip hop trio Crew Grrl Order, who are currently working on their second album, 'All Bets Are Off', which is set for release to coincide with the US's National Women's History Month in March.

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MANUMISSION'S ASTORIA FINALE IS OFF
The people behind Ibiza club Manumission have had to call off their plans to stage a grand finale for central London venue the Astoria because there just isn't time to get it sorted before the bulldozer pulls in.

Manumission announced over the Christmas break their intent to stage a big bash at the venue on 15 Jan, having heard that Transport For London had finally served notice on the building for 19 Jan. Sad that there would be no big party to formally close the legendary venue they decided that they should try and stage one. But, alas, with most of the music industry on its Christmas holiday when the one month notice to quit was issued, and with Transport For London unwilling to budge on the closure date (in fact at one point they apparently brought it forward), Manumission were unable to book the artists they wanted to play, mainly because with such short notice most of those artists were committed elsewhere.

Confirming their Astoria event would now not go ahead, Manumission's Mike & Claire McKay told CMU: "It is ridiculous that such an important venue is being demolished for 'economic progress'. It can never be replaced. We wanted to give The Astoria the send off it deserves, we feel saddened and disappointed by the decision made to pull what could have been an amazing event, especially in these troubled times".

A smaller event in the Astoria 2 venue next door will go ahead on 15 Jan - an edition of indie club PUSH. Meanwhile Get Cape Wear Cape Fly will stage a Demolition Ball in the main Astoria the day before, 14 Jan, with The Automatic, My Vitriol, Frank Turner, The King Blues and VV Brown all due to join Mr Duckworth for the proceedings.

As previously reported, the Astoria has had a death warrant over its head for years now, it being on top of one of the major stations planned for the new Crossrail service. Neighbouring smaller venue the Metro club will also go as part of the redevelopment of the area around Tottenham Court Road tube station. With hindsight, it's a shame the planners didn't think to put their station on the other side of the road because there could be a big empty space there soon anyway, it being home to the Oxford Road branch of Zavvi.

For fans of Manumission disappointed they won't get to enjoy the Ibiza night in London town - well, the McKays are planning a world tour for their club night and a UK date is being promised.

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WINEHOUSE CLAIMS SHE'S OFF THE DRUGS
Amy Winehouse, who is currently holidaying in the Caribbean, has told The News Of The World that seeing pictures of herself looking grim in the tabloids has shocked her into stopping taking drugs. Again. The singer, who's been in St Lucia since before Christmas, explained how she felt when she saw the images, saying: "My skin was a spotty mess and I was so pale and skinny. I thought to myself, 'Girl, you got to sort yourself out or you'll be dead soon'".

Speaking of life before St Lucia, she continued: "I was depressed, doing drugs and had no life in me at all. Coming here has changed everything. Home is hell for me. I've escaped from it. There are drugs everywhere. I can't do anything without everyone thinking I'm off my head on drugs, although half the time they were right, I was. But here I feel so calm and peaceful and for the first time I can definitely say I am off the drugs. I haven't touched anything since I arrived and I feel the best I have in years".

She adds that the change in direction has a lot to do with the relationship she's struck up with actor Josh Bowman, who she met on the island, and that she's looking forward to working on some new material. "Most nights I've done a few songs on the piano for a laugh but I'm starting to think about recording again. I want to capture how happy I am right now in some new songs".

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COUNTRY STAR SUES GREEN GROUP
Country singer Merle Haggard has sued a green group in Nashville claiming that it illegally used his name and likeness to raise money. The musician alleges that environmental group The Green Train forged his signature and exaggerated his involvement with them, and feels that his reputation could be irreparably harmed by this association. The suit has been brought against the organisation and its founder Robert K Wolf, and seeks unspecified compensatory damages.

According to reports, The Green Train, a not-for-profit organisation which seeks to educate the public on environmental issues, have organised a train-based concert tour starting in April and visiting 28 US states over the course of six weeks. Haggard says in his suit that he did get involved with the project, donating $20,000, agreeing to ride the train as support and entertainment, attending a fundraising lunch, and agreeing to ask fellow artists to ride the train, but he maintains that the group have exaggerated his personal involvement.

It's claimed that his signature was forged on merchandise sold on eBay as well as on personal letters, a number of which went to friends of his in the music industry, including including Dolly Parton, Jewel, Vince Gill and Amy Grant. Haggard also contends that the group don't have a state permit to raise contributions, and that much of the money that was raised went to Wolf's personal use. The lawsuit concludes: "By using Mr. Haggard's name and other aspects of Mr. Haggard's identity to promote the Green Train project under these circumstances, defendants create the false impression that the project has been operated in a credible, ethical and legal fashion, when in fact that is not the case".

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PRINCE ACCUSER TALKS ABOUT LONG RUNNING PLAGIARISM CASE
Two Italian songwriters involved in a long, long running plagiarism lawsuit with Prince have spoken about their case as they await for a so called 'third degree' ruling from the Italian courts. Why they've spoken now I'm not sure, given that the last court hearing on this matter was in late 2007 and the next hearing might not happen for several years. But whatever, let's review shall we?

Italian songwriters Bruno Bergonzi and Michele Vicino claimed Prince's 1994 hit 'The Most Beautiful Girl In The World' plagiarises their early eighties hit 'Takin Me to Paradise'. They took legal action against the purple one and his publishers as soon as they heard the 1994 release, though it didn't get to court until 2003, such is speediness of the Italian legal system.

The Italian duo actually lost that case, but later won on appeal in 2007. As a result of that win Prince's people must stop selling the song in the Italian territory. However, for Bergonzi and Vicino to actually make a claim to any of the royalties relating to the song, in Italy or elsewhere, they must wait for another final court ruling, and that could take a few more years to come.

Talking about the long running dispute, Bergonzi told Billboard: "Our song was first released in 1983, at the height of the Italian dance boom and it appeared on assorted compilations that were distributed internationally. When we first heard Prince's song we immediately took action, but this case has been dragging on for 15 years and it isn't over yet, such is the slowness of the Italian legal system. We only decided to go public with our story now".

Somewhat amusingly, for a time both sides in this dispute were signed to Warner Music's publishing company Warner/Chappell, meaning on the corporate side it was Warner/Chappell v Warner/Chappell. However, so long running has the case been, Prince has since moved all his publishing rights to Universal Music. The boss of Universal Music Publishing Italy, Claudio Buja, told Billboard: "We are waiting to see the outcome of the third and final sentence. We're wary of making a comment at this stage, but I can say that plagiarism cases are invariably delicate and difficult".

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BOY GEORGE FORCED TO EVICT FRIEND
Boy George has had to evict a DJ friend who has been staying with him because a judge has ruled that the situation is inappropriate in the light of the fact that the friend, Antony Marnoch, is awaiting trial, whilst George is awaiting sentencing after being convicted at the end of last year, as previously reported, of the false imprisonment of escort Audun Carlsen.

Marnoch, who has DJed at private parties for the likes of Prince and Madonna, is accused of raping a twelve year old boy in a public toilet, and has been using George's residence as a bail address after being freed on a £10k bond on 12 Dec. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Anyway, a judge at Blackfriars Crown Court, tipped off by The Sun, has declared that it's "entirely unsuitable" for the pair to be sharing a house at the present time. George claims that he's letting Marnoch stay whilst he makes regular visits to a local hospital for cancer treatment.

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DAVE DEE DIES
Dave Dee, of sixties group Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, has died in London at the age of 65, after suffering from prostate cancer for three years.

The singer, real name Dave Harman, was born in Wiltshire, and began his career as a police officer before turning to music full time. The band, originally named Dave Dee and The Bostons, was formed in 1961, later changing its name to a list of the band members' nicknames. Between 1965 and 1969 they spent more time in the UK singles chart than any other band, notching up eight top ten hits, with tracks like 'Hold Tight', 'Hideaway', and 1968 number one single 'The Legend of Xanadu'.

Internationally they gained limited success in the US, but were very popular in Australia. Dee left the band in 1969 to pursue a short lived solo career, but rejoined the group in the nineties, and performed with them then up until the end of his life, playing his last gig in Germany in September last year. The five-piece were due to play eight dates early this year, and it's not clear whether they will go ahead without Dee or not.

Dee was also a founding member of the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy charity and worked with the organisation for more than 30 years. He also worked as a Justice Of The Peace in his later years. He's survived by his wife, his partner, and three children.

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ISRAEL HOROWITZ DIES
Renowned classical music record producer Israel Horowitz died last month at his home in New Jersey at the age of 92, it been announced.

Horowitz began his career in the industry working as a reporter for Billboard magazine, but left to join Decca Records as Director Of Classical A&R. During his fifteen years at Decca he produced several hundred records, by the likes of Andres Segovia, Leopold Stokowski, and New York Pro Musica, helping to establish classical music in the US record market.

He returned to Billboard in 1973 as a freelance classical music writer, and then rejoined full time, fulfilling a number of roles over the years, including international editor and executive editor. In 1985 he moved into a part time role, continung to write the classical music column until 1994.

Horowitz is survived by his wife and two sons.

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U2 TO PERFORM AT BRITS
The BPI have announced that U2 are to perform their new single 'Get Your Boots On' at this year's Brit Awards, set to take place on 18 Feb at Earls Court. Ged Doherty, Chairman of The BRITs Committee said this: "We're thrilled to be able to confirm that U2 have chosen The BRITs for their first global TV performance on their new album. Their addition to the line-up for this year's show makes it possibly the best we have ever had. This cements The BRITs as one of the biggest TV events in the world".

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BURKE IS A MILLION SELLER
Alexandra Burke has joined the million-seller list with her debut single, Christmas chart topper, 'Hallelujah', which is also reportedly the best selling UK single by a UK female artist ever (only best selling 'UK' female because Kylie has had a bigger seller - bitch). By topping a million sales with her pretty average Leonard Cohen cover, Burke beats former 'X-Factor' queen Leona Lewis, who sold 850,000 copies of her debut single 'A Moment Like This'.

Only ten artists have shifted more than a million copies of a single in the UK so far this decade - most of them, like Burke, TV talent show related. The ten best sellers, in order, are as follows..

1. Will Young - Anything Is Possible/Evergreen
2. Gareth Gates - Unchained Melody
3. Tony Christie ft Peter kay - (Is This The Way To) Amarillo
4. Shaggy ft Rikrok - It Wasn't Me
5. Band Aid 20 - Do They Know It's Christmas
6. Kylie - Can't Get You Out Of My Head
7. Shayne Ward - That's My Goal
8. Hearsay - Pure And Simple
9. Alexandra Burke - Hallelujah
10. Bob The Builder - Can You Fix It

Given that four of the ten are Sony releases, and all four of those come from a Simon Cowell project, you can see why the 'X-Factor' man is such an important asset for Sony Music, and possibly its greatest acquisition from its partnership with BMG. And Cowell provided quadruple rewards for Sony with his most recent chart topping adventure because not only has the major enjoyed Burke's million seller, but the whole thing also shifted new copies of the Jeff Buckley and Leonard Cohen versions of 'Hallelujah' (in the case of the former, enough copies to take it to number two in the chart), both of which were released by Sony labels. And not only that, Sony's publishing company, Sony/ATV, manages the rights to the song itself. Win, win, win, win.

Sony/ATV chief Marty Bandier recently spoke to Billboard about the recent UK resurgence of the classic song, saying: "Hallelujah is one of those songs, it's been around for a while and it never ceases to catch the attention of people when it's played and performed. Simon Cowell is one of the great song people in the world, there's no question that he has the ability to recognize incredible melodies and lyrics and knows what works. So I think that for him to pick this song, I think first of all it's a tribute to him and I think we're proud of the fact he would pick that song. But we're also proud of the fact that we're involved with that song and his selection of it only reinforces our own view about how spectacular the song is".

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ABBA TOP "WE WANT THEM TO REFORM" CHART
ABBA have topped a poll of the bands punters would most like to see reform. Yeah, I don't think that's happening, so you'll have to make do with sing-a-long-a 'Mamma Mia'. The Swedish foursome topped a poll run by secondary ticketing website Viagogo. The other groups the great British public would like to see reform are as follows...

1. Abba
2. The Smiths
3. Take That with Robbie Williams
4. Stone Roses
5. Guns and Roses with Slash
6. Pink Floyd
7. Talking Heads
8. The Faces
9. Wham!
10. Jackson Five

As I remember it, one of them happened quite recently, while another is already in the pipeline. As for the other eight, I reckon three of them are possible.

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CHRIS CORNELL WORKS WITH TIMBALAND ON NEW ALBUM
Ex-Soundgarden and Audioslave man Chris Cornell has confirmed a release date for his collaboration with that Timbaland chap. His new album, 'Scream', will be released on 9 Mar. I think it’s a bit of a concept album, influenced in part by Pink Floyd's 'The Wall', and, according to Cornell, it’s "the best work I’ve done in my career". Though that’s not what people were saying when a track of it leaked onto the net last year. Cornell will be in London ahead of the album release to play the Scala on 23 Feb.

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BAT FOR LASHES ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM
Bat For Lashes, aka Natasha Khan, has announced details of her second album, which are so exciting I'm now having trouble breathing.

The album, entitled 'Two Suns', will be released on 6 Apr via Parlophone and will feature guest appearances from Yeasayer bassist Ira Wolf Tuton and the greatest singer-songwriter who ever did live, Scott Walker. Both of whom are geniuses. As is Natasha Khan. Had enough hyperbole yet?

Following the release of the album, Bat For Lashes will head out on a UK tour, which will be nice.

Tour dates:

7 Apr: Manchester, Ritz
8 Apr: Glasgow, Queen Margaret Union
9 Apr: Newcastle, Northumbria University
11 Apr: Leeds, Metropolitan University
12 Apr: Birmingham, Town Hall
13 Apr: Oxford, Regal
15 Apr: Bristol, Ansom Rooms
16 Apr: Brighton, Corn Exchange
17 Apr: London, Shepherd's Bush Empire

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MASTODON COUNTDOWN ENDS EARLY, OR LATE, OR SOMETHING
You'd think in this day and age it would be fairly easy to design a countdown timer for a website that actually worked. Seemingly not. When I wrote a story about US metallers Mastodon's website displaying a countdown last week, I decided not to mention the fact that while I had been seeing 64 days on the timer, our American correspondent was seeing two hours. Mainly because, after two hours, his screen started showing 64 days too.

Anyway, this is a very long winded way of saying that none of those times was correct, because on Friday, a new website revealing the release date of the band's new album, 'Crack The Skye', replaced the countdown. Which is at least what I suggested it might be counting down to.

So, to hear a pointlessly short snippet of a new track and learn that the album will be released in the spring, go to www.mastodonrocks.com. Or you could just stay here and be a little less underwhelmed.

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THE VIEW TOUR
The View go on tour next month to celebrate the release of their second album 'Which Bitch?' through 1965 Records on 2 Feb. Dates as follows...

9 Feb: Manchester Academy 2
10 Feb: London, Koko (NME Awards Show)
11 Feb: Newcastle University
12 Feb: Edinburgh Picturehouse
13 Feb: Dundee, Caird Hall
15 Feb: Inverness, Iron Works
16 Feb: Aberdeen, Live Music Hall
17 Feb: Leeds, Metropolitan University
18 Feb: Wolverhampton, Wulfrun Hall
19 Feb: Cambridge Junction
21 Feb: Bristol, Anson Rooms
22 Feb: Southampton University

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ALBUM REVIEW: Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino)
Animal Collective consistently display an openness to influences that ensures each new album is both interesting and innovative, despite this being their ninth. Lately the band have been broadcasting their acolyte status in respect to ambient techno, and this has helped add a new dimension to their ever shifting amalgam of sound. That said, you can still recognise the slow reverb-heavy ebb of seventh album 'Feels' or (my favourite) the haunted forest folk of 'Here Comes The Indian', even the psych-pop of 'Spirit They Vanished'; and of course the immediate precursors to this album, EP 'Water Curses' and last album 'Strawberry Jam' (and possibly Panda Bear's solo effort 'Person Pitch'). I believe that in hindsight 'Water Curses' and 'Strawberry Jam' will be seen as the praxis that led to 'Merriweather Post Pavilion'. This album is much stronger, yet still of their ilk. It convulses into an effects laden euphoria with Avey Tare, Panda Bear and Geologist once again showing that they are unparalleled at the moment. I sometimes wonder if the world was more like the future we were promised in some 1980s movies (like 'Blade Runner' meets 'Bill And Ted') whether more music would be like this. Natural/unnatural sounds coming from heavily processed vocals and sequencers. Opening track 'In The Flowers' is an idiomatic 'MPP' track, baroque folk with ecstasy wonder climaxes. It's followed by 'My Girls', that could hit dancefloors with its flickering synths and heavy beat. It's stunning. Fuck. Each song is full of subtle changes especially noticeable at high volumes - it's amazingly dense - but at heart listenable and radiant music. 'Summertime Clothes' does start like 'Spirit In The Sky' though, which is confusing, nevertheless it is an obvious single, as is 'Bluish' and 'Lion In A Coma'. All vociferous music fans should be buoyed by this milestone album. It's easily the best album I have ever reviewed. PG
Release Date: 12 Jan
Press Contact: Domino IH [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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NEW NOTE GO INTO ADMINISTRATION
Jazz and world music distributor New Note has announced it is going into administration - a knock on effect from the much previously reported liquidation of Pinnacle distribution, who handled the physical movement of CDs from the labels New Note represents.

As previously reported, after Pinnacle's collapse New Note quickly announced it had a new deal in place with Proper Music who would take over the physical distribution role from Pinnacle - New Note and Proper had been planning an alliance before Pinnacle went into administration. However, despite that deal, delays in payments to New Note as a result of Pinnacle's collapse have now forced it to go into administration. Proper will, however, continue to distribute for the labels represented by New Note.

Proper boss Malcolm Mills is quoted by Music Week thus: "They [the New Note labels] understood that what happened wasn't a result of New Note's trading, it was the demise of Pinnacle. They have all pledged their support. There will be a new company that will handle the distribution of their labels working with Proper".

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SOUND ADVICE APPOINTMENTS
London based law firm Sound Advice has announced the recruitment of two new legal types to their team - former Sanctuary and Virgin Records business affairs exec Paul Kernick and publishing specialist Crispin Evans, who has worked at EMI and Universal's publishing companies over the years as well as publishing collecting society MCPS-PRS.

Confirming the new recruits, Robert Horsfall, one of the founders of Sound Advice, told reporters: "It is a privilege to have Paul and Crispin join us. There aren't many lawyers with their in-house experience. Both will be enormous assets to us and our clients, particularly in these times of dramatic change for the music industry".

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BPI COMMS MAN GOES TO THE BEEB
The head of comms at the BPI is leaving the record label trade body to take on a communications role over at the good old BBC. Matt Phillips will leave the BPI later this month to become Head Of Communications for the Beeb's Future Media & Digital division.

Confirming Phillips' departure, BPI top man Geoff Taylor told reporters: "Matt has been a passionate advocate for our business, and has played an important role in improving the media's perception of what we do, in a traditionally hostile media climate and during a period of great change".

Matt himself added: "The music industry has gone through a huge period of change in recent years, and while it faces significant challenges, I believe its future is bright. Not only is the business that supports the talent now adjusting well to an increasingly digital environment, but people love and genuinely care about what it creates".

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SOME FREESAT BOXES SOLD
200,000 Freesat boxes have been sold since they went on sale back in May. The Freesat service is a bit like Freeview, except it is delivered by satellite rather than terrestrial broadcasts. It is mainly targeted at potential Freeview viewers in parts of the country where the terrestrial digital service doesn't work, and exists to ensure people in those areas have an alternative when terrestrial analogue services get turned off. Like Freeview it doesn't require any ongoing subscription, though it doesn't offer as many channels as Freeview - the BBC, ITV and C4 are fully represented but Five isn't on there, nor are the UKTV channels like Dave.

Confirming 200,000 sales has been passed, Freesat MD Emma Scott told reporters: "We saw consumers increasingly drawn to Freesat at the end of last 2008 and into this year. The quality and choice of channels and services available and the added benefits offered by Freesat+ have really struck a chord. As we approach Freesat's first anniversary in May 2009, we're in an extremely strong position to build on our early successes. Key goals in 2009 include increasing our product range and distribution by the quality and choice of channels and services available, and the anticipated launch of IPTV services, like BBC iPlayer, onto Freesat later this year".

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6MUSIC LAUNCHES NEW EAR ADS
BBC 6 Music will this week launch a promotional TV campaign which will feature a "discerning ear-shaped nostril" which will, in case you wondered, sniff out quality music on the streets. Sounds a bit nightmarish to me, but whatever. Vampire Weekend's 'A-Punk' will soundtrack the ad. Damon Collins of the ad agency who created to campaign told reporters: "Such a cutting edge and fresh digital radio station requires something appropriately innovative to promote it, and we hope we've done that".

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BAUER ANNOUNCE REGIONAL EXEC MOVEMENTS
Bauer Radio have announced the promotion of Gary Stein to the job of Station Director for their two Manchester radio stations - Key 103 and Magic 1152. Stein was previously the stations' programming boss. He replaces Tracey Eastwood who has moved across the Pennines to head up Bauer's stations in Yorkshire - Hallam FM, Viking FM and Radio Aire, and their accompanying Magic AM sister stations.

Michelle Surrell, MD for Bauer North West told reporters: "It was a natural transition for Gary to take over from Tracy to manage the current Sony Station Of The Year and the move will allow us to continue to build on our success with consistency and confidence".

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BONO WRITES COLUMN FOR NEW YORK TIMES
More Bono now - I suspect he'll be everywhere in the run up to the new U2 album being released. Oh joy. Though this particular bit of Bono exposure will annoy, or entertain, I suppose, mainly New Yorkers. The U2 man has been signed up by the New York Times to contribute the occasional opinion column. The first such column was published this weekend, and you can read it at the URL below...

www.nytimes.com/2009/01/11/opinion/11bono.html?_r=1

Welcoming his new contributor, Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal said Bono "is an extraordinary man who thinks deeply about his art and the major issues confronting the world".

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CHART UPDATE
So, ladies and gentlemen, we have a new number one single. X Factor winner Alexandra Burke has slipped to number three, swapping places with Lady GaGa, who signals the beginning of a year that will be dominated by women who people refer to as "the new Madonna". Also on the rise are James Morrison and Nelly Furtado, who move from five to two with 'Broken Strings', The Saturdays, who hop from 27 to six, Beyonce who shuffles from 14 to eight, and Kevin Rudolf, who leaps from 40 to 10, with a lil help from Lil Wayne.

And the large moves don't stop there, with the record-buying public grinding back into action after the break, slowly getting over the disappointment of Zavvi vouchers as a Christmas present. Kanye West moves from 38 to 14 with 'Heartless', MGMT move from 37 to 16 with 'Kids', Ne-Yo moves from 36 to 22 with 'Mad', Britney moves from 43 to 24 with 'Circus', Girls Aloud are up from 39 to 29 with 'The Loving Kind', Jason Mraz makes an impressive move, moving from 61 to 34 with 'I'm Yours', as does Pink, who jumps from 65 to 37 with 'Sober', but most impressive this week is Alesha Dixon, who jumps from 92 to 39 with 'Breathe Slow'. Confirming many people's predictions, on the back of 'Celebrity Big Brother' Coolio's 'Gangsta's Paradise' is back in the charts, although doesn't make it as high as some had expected, entering at 31.

There have been similar shifts in the album chart, although at the top it's still very clear who's in charge, with Kings Of Leon and Take That simply swap places at the top, making them one and two respectively this week. Elsewhere in the top ten, James Morrison is at seven, up from 24, MGMT move from 13 to eight and The Ting Tings jump from 26 to nine.

Outside the top ten, Fleet Foxes cash in all those appearances in end of year lists and leap from 54 to 17. Meanwhile, Akon is up from 31 to 21, Jason Mraz moves from 35 to 22, Kylies new remix album, 'Boombox', is a new entry at 28, Simply Red's greatest hits move from 42 to 29, Keane are up from 60 to 31 with 'Perfect Symmetry', and The Saturdays attempt to explain the meaning of Keane's album title by moving from 63 to 36.

The chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company.

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KATY PERRY TO FOCUS ON TOURING
Katy Perry has said that she's going to be very focussed on touring this year. Asked by MTV if she was enjoying the single life following her previously reported split from Gym Class Hero Travis McCoy, she replied: "Well, it's a new year, and I'm very focused. I have a tour coming up on January 23 called the Hello Katy Tour, and I'm putting all my energy and efforts into that".

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KANYE WEST TO POSE NAKED
It's alright, I'm sure you won't have to look at it if you don't want to. So please don't be depressed by the news that Kanye West plans to pose naked at some point. It's apparently in order to challenge the rules of black culture and suchlike, not just to get everyone looking at and talking about him, if you believe that.

He told Vibe Magazine: "It's like Björk. If she wanted to pose naked, you'd be like, 'Oh, that's Björk'. But if I wanted to pose naked, people would draw all type of things into it. I definitely feel like, in the next however many years, if I work out for two months, that I'll pose naked. I break every rule and mentality of hip-hop, of black culture, of American culture".

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MADONNA DATED BOBBY BROWN, APPARENTLY
Madonna once dated Bobby Brown, or so says a new book about the former Mr Whitney Houston. Derrick Handspike's book 'Bobby Brown: The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing But...', which we've possibly mentioned before, says Madge first got to know Brown when she was supporting his band New Edition early on in her career. A source from the book's publisher says: "It [their romance] began when one of Bobby's bodyguards caught the Material Girl with Bobby in the back of his limo. The couple met years before when Madonna was on her way up and served as the opening act for some New Edition shows. The book discloses, after both had become well known, Madonna was interested in having a relationship with Bobby". Brown apparently ditched Madonna to date Janet Jackson, before later marrying Houston. If only he'd had Paula Abdul he'd have had the complete set of eighties pop queens.

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GIRL ALOUD RECKONS CAMERON LACKS THE X-FACTOR, WILL VOTE FOR BROWN
Good news for Gordon Brown, Cheryl Cole will be voting for him whenever the next General Election comes along. Though I don't think she gets the casting vote like in 'X-Factor'. She made the voting revelation in an interview with Vogue in which she says she wasn't impressed when Tory leader David Cameron claimed to fancy her a couple of years back, adding that the Conservative chief "was just trying to be cool" when he made that comment.

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X FACTOR STARS PAID BOTTOM DOLLAR FOR LIVE SHOWS
The X Factor finalists will only be paid around £250 a night for shows on their upcoming UK tour, while JLS will have to share £400 between the four of them, according to The Daily Mail. Having just scored the biggest selling single by a solo female artist this decade, winner Alexander Burke will earn slightly more than her co-stars. But not much more. And let's not forget, tax, a 20% management fee and expenses will be deducted from their earnings.

Tickets for the opening night of the tour at the O2 Arena are priced at £28.50 each and could see organisers walk away with half a million pounds. Still, it's the 'X Factor' brand rather than the acts that's surely shifting the tickets, so perhaps it's right the brand owners rather than the bands see the cash. Or perhaps it's artistic exploitation of the very worst kind. Still, I'm not going to worry about it too much. I mean, Eoghan Quigg is only small.

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