CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 8th March

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Underpants should be streamed today
- Musicians' Union call on US to relax visa rules
- "I saw it, honest": Jacko trial update
- Spector stresses innocence again
- Album Review: Subway - Empty Head
- Oasis confirm new album and single releases
- Stringer gets Sony top job
- Edwyn Collins making good progress
- BBC boss defends screening Springer opera
- REM reschedule Glasgow gig
- Bloc Party recruiting fans for video
- Album Review: Her Space Holiday - The Young Machines
- Backstreet Boy charged with drink driving
- Glasto pick unsigned artists for Dance and JazzWorld stages
- Sharpton calls on FCC to ban violent music stars
- Sharman assets frozen in latest Kazaa court case
- Universal get tough on new video stream policy
- IFPI attack on Russian download site hits legal snags
- Bono to lead World Bank?
- Ulster TV win Belfast licence
- C4 confirm OneWord buy in
- Live Review: The Silent League at Camden Barfly
- Virgin drop MP3 player products
- Skinner cutting out the drink and drugs
- Boy George not impressed with Madonna's religion's homophobia
- Jordan gets bitchy over Eurovision loss

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CMU PRESS ROOM>>

KILL ALL HIPPIES RETURNS
After a short break, legendary rock night Kill All Hippies returns in 2005 with a special music alliance with TuneTribe.com, fabulous new artwork and two new rooms!! In 2004 Kill All Hippies introduced some of the bands of 2005: Kasabian, The Duke Spirit, The Others, The Rakes, 80's Matchbox B-line Disaster and Little Barrie, to name a few. Watch out again because this year Kill All Hippies will be the nurturing ground for another clutch of fabulous British talent, destined for great things. This month the live line up includes Planet Of Women, Youth Of Britain, Riff Random and Elviss, with DJ sets from residents Eddy Temple Morris, Jeff Automatic and Syrinx, plus the NME DJs. All take place on Friday March 25th at Canvas, York Way, London, N1; 8.30pm - late; tickets £5 (£3 in advance). Full press release at:

http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/pressroom/killallhippies

Advertise your releases and events to CMU Daily's 6500+ readership - classified ad and online press release package just £50 a year. Email sales@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk for details, or check:

http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/pressroom/info.pdf

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SAME SIX QUESTIONS: MAX SEDGLEY

How did you start out making music for a living?
I just started making music because that's all I ever wanted to do. I didn't start making a living from it for a long time, but I suppose my first paid gigs were as a drummer in many varied bands.

What inspired your latest album?
The form that it's taken was kind of forced on me with the success of 'Happy' which enabled me to move to the next level in terms of the equipment I use. But I basically wanted to look back with some of the songs to my favourite era of funk and soul in the 70s, and to look forward with some songs based around what's happening now in dance music.

What process do you go through in creating an album?
A long drawn-out one which involves a lot of discarding of ideas, then developing the ones I like as fully as I can, then stripping it all back down again!
Which artists influence your work?

Far too many to mention, as pretty much everything I hear will have some kind of influence on me. Obviously I have my favourites though, but I couldn't possibly list them all.

What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Hopefully the music will say it all.

What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
To not disappoint all those who have been supportive and positive about my music.

Max Sedgley's new record 'Devil inside', which has been kicking up a storm in the dance world is out on 14 Mar - press info from Sunday Best IH or Scruffy Bird PR.

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UNDERPANTS SHOULD BE STREAMED TODAY
First things first, as everyone knows, we here at CMU are some of the biggest Sunday Best fans in the world, mainly because they released two of our very favourite albums of 2004 - Grand National's 'Kicking The National Habit' and Lazyboy's 'Penguin Rock' - though, as today's CMU Daily demonstrates, we rather like the label's other artist too (both Max Sedgley and Subway are featured elsewhere in this edition). All of which means that when we heard some Swedish chancers (including the bloke from Aqua) were trading under the name of Lazyboy - the moniker used by Sunday Best boss Rob Da Bank for his collaborations with Mr Dan - we, like the Sunday Best crowd, weren't best pleased. We would like to have ignored the imposter Lazyboy completely, except they've gone and produced a feckin genius track that it's just impossible not to champion. So, to avoid confusion, from this point onwards we will be referring to Mr Aqua and his colleagues as 'The Other Lazyboy', and we suggest you do to.

Which brings us to the point - you have to check out this track from The Other Lazyboy called 'Underwear Goes Inside The Pants'. It takes some ranting stand up for New York comedian Greg Geraldo and drops it over a cool beat creating something of an anthem for anyone who gets all hot under the collar about the hypocrisies of modern (especially American) living - especially relevant as our politicians go into hyperdrive with their contradictory rhetoric in the run up to the General Election.

To hear it got to http://www.lazyboy.tv - skip the intro movie, click on the TV picture, and then select channel one. The track will then stream through Windows Media Player. While you're at it check track two as well because it's kinda cool too. These tracks are owned by Universal's Swedish outpost - no word yet on whether they will be getting a UK release, but let's hope so.

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MUSICIANS' UNION CALL ON US TO RELAX VISA RULES
Musicians from the UK are calling on America to relax strict visa regulations which, they claim, prevent grass roots artists from performing in the US.

Artists claim that the US visa application process is too complicated and too expensive. Artists have to fill out a 30 page form and pay £680 to perform in America - with the threat that if they get the application process wrong they might be banned from making another application for five years. American artists coming to the UK go through a much simpler visa application process, while the US themselves have developed a stripped down visa application process for journalists and athletes.

Nigel McCune from the Musicians' Union said the unfair visa system meant that British performers are "disadvantaged" compared to their US counterparts: "The US is the world's biggest music market, which means something has to be done about the creaky bureaucracy. The current situation is preventing British acts from maintaining momentum and developing in the US".

James Seller of the Music Managers' Forum added: "Imagine if you were an orchestra from the Orkneys? Every member would have to travel to London to have their visas processed."

Commenting on the music community's concern regarding the US visa process a spokesman for the Department for Media, Culture and Sport told reporters: "We're aware that people are experiencing problems, and are working with the US embassy and record industry to see what we can do about it."

For their part, the US embassy said: "We are aware that entertainers require visas for time-specific projects and are doing everything we can to process those applications speedily. We are aware of the importance of cultural exchange and we will do our best to facilitate that".

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"I SAW IT, HONEST": JACKO TRIAL UPDATE
Back to Santa Maria where the brother of Michael Jackson's accuser Gavin Arviso took to the witness stand in the ongoing child abuse trial. Star (no really, he's called Star), again claimed that Jacko had once shown him and his brother porn websites, that he suspected the singer had given his brother alcoholic drinks, and that he and Gavin had once slept in Jackson's bed, though while the singer slept on the floor.

But that's all old news, what the court room and the amassed media outside wanted to hear was Star's allegations that he had actually witnessed Jackson molesting his brother. On those revelations, Star told the court room that he once witnessed Jackson touching his brother while he slept on his bed: "I saw directly on to the bed. I saw my brother was outside the covers. I saw Michael's left hand in my brother's underwear and I saw his right hand in his underwear. I didn't know what to do. I went back to my guest room".

In many ways Star's testimony is crucial to the case as he is the only eye witness to the actual alleged molestation. However Jacko's defence will try to rubbish all evidence given by the Arviso family, claiming the children have been coerced into testifying against Jacko by their money grabbing mother.

It's a shame (for Jacko at least) that the judge on this case isn't the Godfather of soul, because James Brown seems to be accepting the defence's side of the story. Speaking after performing at a benefit gig in Jakarta in aid of the post-tsunami relief effort, Brown said he thought Jackson had been "set-up": "I think he's been set up like most entertainers. They've been trying to do that to me all my life, trying to get something for nothing". Brown added that Jackson should be out there performing at fundraiser gigs like the one in Jakarta, rather than being dragged through a tedious court case back in California. Brown: Michael could have been great over here performing. His talent is very appealing and people know him".

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SPECTOR STRESSES INNOCENCE AGAIN
Staying in the pop courts, Phil Spector has spoken about his pending murder trial in a new BBC documentary called 'Secret Map of Hollywood'. He is pleading a similar defence as Jacko - that he is being targeted by prosecutors because of who he is.

When interviewed about the death of actress Lana Clarkson at his Hollywood home back in Feb 2003 he tells the BBC show that she shot herself: "It's not for me to explain why she took her life. It's only for me to explain that I had nothing to do with it and I didn't. This prosecution is bogus. I mean it has to be because of who I am."

Talking about the way local police acted in the aftermath of the shooting he continued: "They behaved like cowboys. I had no weapon. I'm five foot five. They came in with weapons drawn. It has to be because I live in a castle. It has to be a frame up because it's not based on real evidence. I had nothing to do with her death and three coroners have stated that. Case closed, move on, you know."

As previously reported, Spector's trial will begin on 16 Sep.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Subway - Empty Head (Sunday Best)
With Grand National and Lazyboy, label of the moment Sunday Best proved it really did have the Midas touch in 2004, and judging by the awesome sonic journeys mapped out on this, Subway's debut album, the label's eye for new talent remains as strong as ever. Primarily instrumental (apart from floaty female vocals that add splashes of colour to the lovely downtempo of 'Boxed In'), 'Empty Head' is an album of warm techno and electro, with a positively Blade Runner-esque neon sheen illuminating proceedings throughout. This timeless, evocative machine music could've been made at any time in the last thirty years, really, with its worldly nods to the 70s progenitors of Kraftwerk and Moroder, 80s Detroit innovators like Derrick May, and the Warp sounds of 90s electronica pioneers such as Black Dog, B12, Aphex Twin etc. Full of huge spaces to luxuriate in, whether enjoyed on the dancefloor or, as is more likely, in chill-out mode, 'Empty Head' remains a dazzling listening experience. MS
Release date: 4 Apr
Press contact: Darling [all]

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OASIS CONFIRM NEW ALBUM AND SINGLE RELEASES
Oasis have confirmed their new album, due for a 30 May release, will be called 'Don't Believe The Truth', and that the first single release will be 'Lyla', out on 16 May. On that track Noel Gallagher says: "It's The Who. 'Lyla' was specifically designed for pogo-ing. We wrote 66 tracks and 'Lyla' was one that we revisited late on and it's ended up on the album. I'm happy with every track on the album."

Oh yes, and this just in, Oasis will headline the V Festival. Don't go saying we didn't tell you.

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STRINGER GETS SONY TOP JOB
Welshman Howard Stringer has been promoted to the role of Chairman and CEO of Sony Corp, the Tokyo based parent company of all the Sony businesses. It is quite a promotion for the former Sony Music executive, with few expecting the Japanese company to appoint a European as their new top man.

Stringer will take over from outgoing Sony boss Nobuyuki Idei who has been forced to take responsibility for the group's recent downturn. Word has it Sony investors have been impressed with Stringer's recent work as head of Sony US, in particular his involvement in the SonyBMG merger and the group's takeover of Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

One of the key tasks for Stringer now will be to consolidate Sony's position in the digital music market place where Apple and others have stolen ground on what some would argue should have been natural Sony territory. The consensus is Sony's fortunes in the download space depend on different Sony divisions collaborating - with the Sony Ericsson Walkman mobile and the PlayStation Portable both seen as the products which could relaunch the Japanese giant into the digital music space.

On the latter Stringer will have to build a good working relationship with the group's Chief Operating Officer Ken Kutaragi who oversees the PlayStation business. This may prove interesting as many insiders expected Kutaragi, and not Stringer, to get the top job when Idei stood down.

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EDWYN COLLINS MAKING GOOD PROGRESS
How about some good news? Well, Edwyn Collins' wife has reported that the singer is "making progress" after suffering two brain haemorrhages and undergoing surgery last week. Writing on Collins' website, Grace Maxwell says: "I'm sorry I don't do this enough but I'm sure you understand. Edwyn is making progress although it is still early days. He is very tough. I'm able to tell him about this truly lovely outpouring of good wishes. It raises a smile. Keep thinking of him."

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BBC BOSS DEFENDS SCREENING SPRINGER OPERA
BBC boss Mark Thompson has defended the Corporation's decision to screen J'erry Springer - The Opera' earlier this year, despite outrage from some Christian groups and nearly 50,000 email complaints from concerned viewers. Speaking at the FT New Media and Broadcasting Conference in London he said that had the BBC dropped the show it would have been a bad day for freedom of speech. He told the conference that the Beeb has a responsibility to showcase "the widest range of ideas", and if it is prevented in doing so "this openness, along with the wider openness of our whole society, is under threat."

On the barrage of complaints, mainly received before the musical aired, he added: "The voices of those who would wish to limit it [freedom of speech] seem to be getting more strident. Small pressure groups can use the internet, e-mails and other modern communications tools to give a false impression of size and weight."

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REM RESCHEDULE GLASGOW GIG
REM have rescheduled that Glasgow gig that was cancelled after bassist Mike Mills was taken ill. The band will play Glasgow Green on 15 Jun, the day before their rescheduled Sheffield gig, which was postponed for the same reason. Original tickets for the Glasgow show need to be exchanged for new tickets for the rescheduled gig.

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BLOC PARTY RECRUITING FANS FOR VIDEO
Bloc Party are looking for fans to appear in their next video. They will be filming a live set somewhere in London tomorrow (9 Mar) which will feature in their next video. Anyone wanting to be in the crowd should email their name, mobile number and if possible a photo (presumably they're looking for beautiful people) to blocpartygig@hotmail.co.uk asap.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Her Space Holiday - The Young Machines (Remixed) (Wichita)
If a man's character can be measured by the company he keeps, than Her Space Holiday maverick Marc Bianchi is evidently a chap of impeccable pedigree. This remix album of 2003 opus 'The Young Machines' reads like a roll call of the electronica-leaning indie leftfield - with Stereolab, Super Furry Animals and Arab Strap amongst the luminaries enlisted to reinterpret Bianchi's expansive, multi-textured dream pop. Like most remix albums, this is strictly speaking one for completists rather than an essential purchase - but then you suspect casual Her Space Holiday fans are pretty thin on the ground. Boom Bip's remix of 'The Luxury of Loneliness' merits special attention for transposing the original's lushly orchestrated melancholy to a frazzled post-rock soundscape, to appropriately chilling effect. DL
Release date: 25 Apr
Press contact: Wichita IH [all]

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BACKSTREET BOY CHARGED WITH DRINK DRIVING
Backstreet Boy Nick Carter is back in trouble after being pulled over for driving erratically, only to be found to be over the drink drive limit. Police in California confirmed the singer had been charged with drink driving, telling reporters: "The officer that stopped him noticed some traffic violation was occurring. When he was contacted by the officers they conducted an investigation which would include field sobriety tests and they formed the opinion he was under the influence."

A spokesman for the singer blamed the incident on medication Carter is currently taking. A spokesman told reporters: "Nick Carter deeply regrets the current situation. He is on doctor-prescribed medication and was unaware of its interaction possibilities". So that's that sorted.

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GLASTO PICK UNSIGNED ARTISTS FOR DANCE AND JAZZWORLD STAGES
Glastonbury Festival organisers have run two of their unsigned band competitions, through which they recruit unsigned bands to play different stages at the festival. Following two competitions last weekend it has now been decided that Southern African jazz band Moya will play on the JazzWorld stage, while The Bellagios will get a slot on the Dance Stage. A competition will take place for unsigned slots on the Acoustic and the new John Peel Stage later this month.

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SHARPTON CALLS ON FCC TO BAN VIOLENT MUSIC STARS
Here's an interesting one - one Rev Al Sharpton has suggested the US media regulator the FCC should have the power to ban TV and radio stations from playing the music of stars who are involved in acts of violence. His comments follow that violent run in last week between 50 Cent's entourage and the followers of former G:unit member The Game, which came as the hype around Fiddy's new album began to fill US media.

Speaking to the New York Daily News, Sharpton told reporters: "There has to be a way to step in and regulate what's going on with the airwaves and with violence. We may not be able to stop people from shooting, but we can stop people from profiting from the violence." He tried to draw a parallel with Janet Jackson's Nipplegate incident, asking why the FCC outrage for Janet being inappropriately raunchy, but not when artists commit acts of violence? "I recall the outrage that the FCC and others displayed in response to the Super Bowl performance of Janet Jackson. Yet when acts of violence happen around radio stations that actually have caused bloodshed, there has been a strange and disturbing silence from all quarters." In the FCC's defence (and it's not like us to jump to the FCC's defence), presumably if the 50 Cent / The Game shooting had taken place on live TV the FCC would have made some kind of response.

Talking of the Fiddy / Game fall out - word is the latter was taunting the former while performing over the weekend, calling him his "little bitch" and a "coward", adding "if you don't like me, kill me". Such wise words.

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SHARMAN ASSETS FROZEN IN LATEST KAZAA COURT CASE
The ongoing Australian court case against Sharman Networks (remember that?), the company behind the Kazaa P2P software, got interesting again on Friday when the Australian Federal Court Judge overseeing the proceedings agreed to freeze the assets of the company and the two top executives involved in the case. Kazaa CEO Nikki Hemming and Kevin Bermeister, CEO of partner company Altnet, have been ordered not to transfer, dispose or disperse any of their assets, though the court stopped short of seizing the funds.

Lawyers representing the music industry called for the measure to be taken after both Hemming and Bermeister were shown to have transferred property over to colleagues or family during the court case. While those transactions were not illegal, the industry's lawyers argued the two executives were making moves to safeguard their interests should they lose the case, and had done so at the potential expense of the record labels.

Final arguments in the court case are expected on 22 Mar. It's not the first time the Kazaa owners have been in court over allegations that they should accept some liability for the copyright violation their software enables - and generally the courts have ruled in the P2P company's favour. However, the Australian case is more interesting because Sharman has a real administrative base in the country giving the courts more access to information about its business dealings.

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UNIVERSAL GET TOUGH ON NEW VIDEO STREAM POLICY
Word is Universal is starting to get serious in its bid to charge websites who stream there music videos via on-demand platforms. Insiders say cease-and-desist letters have now gone out to those websites still streaming their videos without a new agreement. As previously reported, MSN have already signed up to Universal's new system, paying a penny each time someone streams a Universal video from their music platform. The other big players in the video on demand arena - Yahoo and AOL - are still in talks with the major.

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IFPI ATTACK ON RUSSIAN DOWNLOAD SITE HITS LEGAL SNAGS
Attempts by the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry to close down a Russian music site selling downloads for as little as five pence have faltered because Moscow officials say current Russian law doesn't deal with the theft of "intangible assets". The website in question, allofmp3.com, claims it has a proper licence to trade from relevant Russian royalty bodies - however the IFPI is not convinced and had begun legal proceedings. But those in the know say little can be achieved through the Moscow courts without a change in Russian law. If that proves to be the case the IFPI will be in the tricky position of having inadvertently raised the global profile of the website which, until proven otherwise, continues to sell bargain downloads legally.

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BONO TO LEAD WORLD BANK?
US Treasury Secretary John Snow has said that he wouldn't consider U2's Bono to be an unrealistic candidate to be the next President of the World Bank. Speaking to the New York Post Snow said: "Most people know him as a rock star. He's in a way a rock star of the development world, too. He understands the give-and-take of development. He's a very pragmatic, effective and idealistic person." Snow doesn't elaborate on how Bono would find much time for his World Bank tasks in among touring and recording commitments - though most bankers I know never seem to do much anyway, so perhaps that wouldn't matter.

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ULSTER TV WIN BELFAST LICENCE
Northern Ireland's ITV company, Ulster Television, has won the lucrative radio licence for Belfast. They will launch a new station for the over 45s combining golden oldies with local news and chat. Having beaten most of the big radio players to the licence, they hope to persuade some of the 70% of over-45s in the city who don't currently listen to commercial radio to tune in - using the familiarity of the company's TV brand as a hook.

Elsewhere in OfCom awarding new radio licences news, Atlantic Broadcasting's Atlantic FM has been awarded the new radio licence for Cornwall. Well done them.

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C4 CONFIRM ONEWORD BUY IN
And talking of TV companies branching into radio, Channel 4 has confirmed it has bought a 51% stake in commercial digital speech radio station Oneword, which is currently completely owned by UBC Media. However Channel 4 bosses says it won't be looking to reinvent its TV formats for the radio station, nor will it look to rename the radio station inline with its TV brands (after all, they couldn't call it Radio 4 - people would keep getting it confused with the band).

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LIVE REVIEW: The Silent League at Camden Barfly on 28 Feb
Twenty musicians are credited on the debut Silent League album 'The Orchestra, Sadly, Has Refused' but tonight there's a more streamlined eight band members squashed onto the Barfly's stage. The venue is obviously more used to a traditional guitar/drum set up and there are persistent sound problems with the wide array of instruments the band use. Despite these frustrating inconveniences the musicians maintain their good humour and fill in the gaps by cracking jokes about Michael Jackson. The Silent League could quite easily be seen as an offshoot of Mercury Rev as frontman Justin Russo played on 'Deserter's Songs' and the Rev's Grasshopper played on the League's album. Vocally and sound wise there is a similarity, although there are also hints of the Flaming Lips and the Beach Boys. Their elegant, dreamy songs would probably be better suited to a less rock 'n' roll venue than the Barfly, but never the less this is exquisite music. There are lovely touches like the mariachi style trumpet and the glockenspiel on the title track. Things are topped off beautifully with an inspired cover of the Electric Light Orchestra's 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head'. JW

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VIRGIN DROP MP3 PLAYER PRODUCTS
Virgin's electronics division are going to stop making the MP3 players they launched just six months ago. Virgin's MP3 player range included a wearable flashed based player and a 5GB player. However the company has decided to discontinue the lines - presumably because they failed to make a dent into the iPod market over the Christmas period.

That decision doesn't, however, effect Virgin Digital, the Virgin Group's download platform venture, which will launch over here late this year.

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SKINNER CUTTING OUT THE DRINK AND DRUGS
Mike Skinner has told the Sun he's giving up the drink and drugs after constant binging started to affect his performance: "I got to the point where it was getting absolutely ridiculous and I was being abusive. When you start insulting the audience like I was doing, it doesn't go down too well. I've only ever done one show sober and it actually went really well, so it was a turning point for me."

Looking forward to his next album: "stayed in, steering clear of the rabble, had a cup of Ovaltine, played a game of Scrabble.

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BOY GEORGE NOT IMPRESSED WITH MADONNA'S RELIGION'S HOMOPHOBIA
Boy George has been bitching about Madonna because the Kabbalah religion she is now so obsessed with is, George claims, homophobic. He claims that is hypocritical of a singer who has played on homosexuality in her act, and sold her product to the gay market. Speaking to the Irish Examiner he said: "This is the woman who has embraced homosexuality and used it to her advantage. But followers of Kabbalah believe that homosexuality is something that can be 'cured'".

Elsewhere in Kabbalah news, Britney has been thanking Madonna for introducing her to the cultish faith. Writing on her website she says: "Madonna first introduced Kabbalah to me at a time in my life when it was much needed. It has helped me get rid of a lot of negative influences that were guiding me down the wrong path. There came a point where not even my family or my advisors had the answers I needed. The answers I was looking for were all in my heart. Through Kabbalah, I was able to look within myself, clear all the negative energy and turn my life around." All good stuff.

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JORDAN GETS BITCHY OVER EUROVISION LOSS
And elsewhere in bitching news, surely you can rely on Jordan to have a good bitch after being beaten by Javine in the TV contest to decide who should represent the UK at this year's Eurovision Song Contest. Oh yes.

Writing in the Sun she says: "I think I lost because I'm pregnant. I believe I was the victim of a smear campaign. It was all lies but maybe it could have cost me votes because people assumed I was going to win. There was a lot of bitching from Javine about me being pregnant - she said I shouldn't have entered, as if being pregnant made me undesirable. It's the only reason I can think of - that certain people didn't want me because I wouldn't look slinky and sexy like normal by the time of Eurovision in May."

And there was us thinking Javine just had the better song.

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