Billboard Bits: Ciara, Electric Soft Parade, MySpace
Following in the footsteps of Pink, Ciara has selected three unsigned artists, Paula Campbell, Tiffany Evans and Samantha Jade, for the Glamour Reel Music contest, which launched earlier this week.Following in the footsteps of Pink, Ciara has selected three unsigned artists, Paula Campbell, Tiffany Evans and Samantha Jade, for the Nissan North America-sponsored Glamour Reel Music contest, which launched earlier this week. Fan voting on Glamour.com will determine a winner, who will then appear in a video directed by Ciara.
Voting is open through June 8; the video will premiere in August. Last year, Pink chose the Pretty Boys as the winner of Glamour Reel Music, and made her directorial debut with a clip for their song "Hello Bonjour!"
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
British brothers Tom and Alex White have put the pedal to the metal with Electric Soft Parade after two years with the Brakes on. Brighton, England-based ESP made its U.S. debut at South by Southwest this year, ahead of the April 24 U.S. release of its third album, "No Need to Be Downhearted" on Los Angeles-based Better Looking Records. The set appeared April 23 in the United Kingdom on indie Truck Records.
The Whites, who share writing, vocal and guitar duties, recorded two ESP albums for U.K. label dB Music. But the duo put ESP on hold after forming Brakes with fellow Brighton alt-rockers, keyboard player Eamon Hamilton (from British Sea Power) and bassist Marc Beatty (from the Tenderfoot).
Known as BrakesBrakesBrakes in the United States to avoid confusion with Philadelphia modern rock act the Brakes, the band's Rough Trade albums "Give Blood" (2005) and "The Beatific Visions" (2006) garnered enthusiastic U.K. press. Truck director Robin Bennett says stateside audiences will see ESP "in full schizophrenic mode," on 14 North American dates with Brakes through June, following headlining ESP shows (May 22-28).
-- Steve Adams, London
MySpace has introduced new technology that prevents members from reposting videos that have previously been removed for copyright reasons. Called "Take Down, Stay Down," the feature creates a digital fingerprint of any video that has been taken down at copyright holders' request. It then places that fingerprint into a filter that will block any other user from uploading that same video in the future.
Content owners have long complained that members of services like YouTube and MySpace simply repost videos that they have previously demanded be taken down, resulting in an endless cat-and-mouse game that they rarely win.
The digital fingerprinting and filtering technology used for the service is provided by Audible Magic.
-- Antony Bruno, Denver