CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 23rd May

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- IFPI welcome anti-piracy moves in Pakistan
- Swedish ministers expresses concern over copy protection technology
- Post-Warner share sale gossip galore
- Kylie doing well after surgery
- Franz Ferdinand man has run in with a peanut
- Lawyers, lawyers, lawyers: Jacko trial update
- Single Review: The Lights - Neighbours
- Homme reveals plans for new Desert Session
- Dinosaur Jr replace Jimmy at Carling Weekend
- Madness UK tour
- Editors team up with Elbow
- Whitney out of rehab, into studio
- Killers play new material
- BBC strike begins
- Clash performance voted best ever London gig
- Album Review: The Bad Machines - Telling Lies
- New DMX album on its way
- Greece wins Eurovision, Shaky wins HMBOMT
- Apple takes pre-orders for Coldplay album
- Chart update
- This week's Student Radio Chart
- A1 boy launches solo career
- Album Review: Motley Crue - Red, White And Crue
- Nu-jazz favourite plays Jazz Cafe
- Not another Spice Girls reunion
- Pink Floyd reunite for Live 8
- Orange launch mobile TV service
- Happy Mondays come home
- Matt Busted buys house
- Gwen Stefani and digital cameras
- Zellweger to appear in country video

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IFPI WELCOME ANTI-PIRACY MOVES IN PAKISTAN
Industry associations representing content owners around the world have welcomed a number of recent measures initiated by the Pakistani government to tackle the country's status as one of the centres of pirate CD, DVD and software manufacture. A Pakistan Intellectual Property Rights Organisation has been established to identify and prosecute the individuals who run and profit from the country's piracy industry, while the Pakistani Federal Investigation Agency has already closed down six illegal optical disc plants, arrested nine people and confiscated more than 400,000 pirate CDs, DVDs and audio cassettes and 10,000 master discs.

In a joint statement, the International Federation of Phonographic Industry, Business Software Alliance and Motion Picture Association told reporters: "Pakistan is showing that it takes seriously the need to address its severe levels of copyright piracy. We applaud the Pakistan government's efforts in strongly protecting the intellectual property of musicians, film makers and software developers and believe this will be of great benefit to the country. We urge the authorities to maintain the pressure on those who seek to profit from the creativity of others and who hold back the development of the country's domestic talent".

The IFPI say that Pakistan's past piracy record has stopped the music business from investing in the many flourishing artists based there, and that they hope moves like those made in the last few weeks will help encourage the global music industry to start working with the country's music community, to the benefit of those artists based in Pakistan.

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SWEDISH MINISTERS EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER COPY PROTECTION TECHNOLOGY
Sweden's justice minister, Thomas Bodström, has thrown his weight behind those European consumer rights bodies who criticise record labels for using copy-protection technology on CD releases, threatening to make the use of such technology illegal in the country unless the industry reviews its copy-protection policies. Anti-piracy technology used to control which devices consumers can listen to music on has been controversial for some time now. Critics claim that when someone buys a CD they should be able to transfer the music on it to which ever device they prefer - even if that means making copies. They also point out that anti-piracy technology frequently has the side effect of stopping music from playing properly, or at all, on certain CD players or PCs.

Bodstrom was speaking to Swedish Television's website ahead of a debate in the Swedish parliament on proposals to introduce tough new laws to tackle illegal downloading and sharing of copyrighted content online. The minister says he backs those proposals, but adds that moves to protect the rights of authors, artists, musicians, composers and film-makers must be balanced against the rights of people who have paid to enjoy their work.

Bodstrom: "Obviously it should be possible to make a copy of your own newly-purchased CD for an MP3 player, or to make an extra copy of the CD to have in the car. When the copyright is strengthened, it is extra important that this doesn't reduce the options to copy legal material for private use, through the copyright owners "locking" material with copy blocking. The industry must ensure that the option to copy for private use is not hindered by technical means."

Representatives of the music industry have told the media that they agree in principle with what Bodstrom says, pointing out that only one record label in Sweden still copy protects its CDs. Magnus Mårtensson, a lawyer at the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, told reporters: "We totally agree with Bodström. The whole point is that you should technically be able to do the copying you're allowed to do. Two years ago this was more of an issue, but now there is only one record label in Sweden which still copy protects its CDs."

Nevertheless, Bodstrom says the government plans to look into the use of copy prevention technology following the debate on downloading and sharing laws this week. And I've got a stack of copy-protected CDs that really bugger up my PC that he can start with.

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POST-WARNER SHARE SALE GOSSIP GALORE
It would be unfair to dwell too much on the Warner Music Groups disappointing share sale ten days ago. But everyone else seems to be, so I don't see why we should be any different.

Speculation is now rife as to the future of Edgar Bronfman Jnr at the top of the record company. Bronfman Jnr, of course, led the consortium who bought the major label off Time Warner. Shortly after acquiring the company he appointed himself to the top job, bringing in some former allies from his Universal days into senior posts, and leading a cost cutting restructuring programme in preparation for this month's flotation. However Bronfman Jnr isn't necessarily the most powerful man in the company. He is dependent on the support of Scott Sperling of Thomas Lee Partners, a key funder to the original purchase back in late 2003. At the time of the acquisition Sperling told the New York Times, "The deal with Edgar is, he does a good job or someone else comes in to do a good job." With that in mind, gossipers are now asking whether Bronfman is doing a "good job" in light of the share sale disappointments and less than glowing financials.

Bronfman's future at Warner isn't the only topic currently being speculated on. US industry website HitsDailyDouble is also asking questions about the future of Lyor Cohen, the former Island Def Jam chief who joined Warner in a top post after Bronfman took over. They reckon Cohen is unpopular internally with the Warner old guard - in particular Warner Bros Records chief Tom Whalley - as well as with the group's investors, who question what he has achieved since joining the company other than trimming down rosters and firing some people. What's more, the website argues, anyone who's got it in for Cohen will be keeping their eyes on investigations into his seemingly contradictory testimonies during a bitter legal dispute between his former employers, IDJ, and US independent label TVT. Should anything detrimental to Cohen come to light in those investigations, the gossipers say, expect certain other execs or investors to use it as ammunition to oust his from his Warners job.

So, interesting times ahead perhaps. And one last little nugget of idle speculation. Some are wondering if Sperling might be coming round to the idea that, EC bureaucracy permitting, a merger with EMI might not be the best way to recoup on that original investment. Given that some question Bronfman's original decision to ease former Warner boss Roger Ames out of the top job after the takeover, and remembering that Ames is now working as a consultant for EMI, surely there are several things to say in favour of that strategy.

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KYLIE DOING WELL AFTER SUGERY
How about some good news? Well, word is that Kylie Minogue has had a cancerous lump removed from her breast during "successful surgery" at a Melbourne hospital. Surgeon Jenny Senior told reporters Kylie's "spirits are high and she's feeling fine".

The surgeon continued: "I am very pleased to be able to confirm that the operation was successful. I feel confident that we caught the cancer in time and that she is now on the road to complete recovery".

Celebs, including Madonna, continued to pass on their good wishes to Kylie over the weekend, while the press took the opportunity to speculate that the singer had decided to delay plans to start a family because of the cancer, as well as reporting that boyfriend Olivier Martinez had proposed to Ms Minogue shortly after her surgery. We here at CMU, of course, would never belittle a serious story with such tittle tattle.

Meanwhile cancer charities reported that Kylie fans in Australia and the UK had been donating money following the announcement that the singer was suffering from breast cancer. And I suppose if there is any silver lining to this whole story (and, assuming Kylie makes a full recovery, I guess it's not too inappropriate for there to be one), it is that Kylie's trauma has helped to give the issue of breast cancer the kind of media exposure it wouldn't normally enjoy, which might help those who suffer from the disease in the future to have it diagnosed as quickly as Kylie did.

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FRANZ FERDINAND MAN HAS RUN IN WITH A PEANUT
Doing his bit to promote the horrors of nut allergies is Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos. He has a violent allergy to peanuts, which meant things went a bit nasty when a friend recently fed him a hazelnut delicacy - baklava - without noticing the small print on the packaging that said 'may contain traces of peanuts'. Kapranos told the Daily Star: "I had a horrific night retching and retching blood and bile until 5.30 in the morning". Fortunately the Franz man doesn't suffer from anaphylaxis - where the allergy sufferer's throat swells up and restricts breathing - so the really dangerous thing associated with the allergy didn't apply. But nevertheless - be careful of those peanuts kids.

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LAWYERS, LAWYERS, LAWYERS: JACKO TRIAL UPDATE
More lawyers questioning lawyers in the Michael Jackson trial on Friday, with Jackson's former attorney Mark Geragos back in the witness stand. Geragos started giving his testimony on 13 May, but was allowed a seven day break because of his own work commitments. He returned on Friday though, and whilst the sparring between him and prosecution attorney Ron Zonen was entertaining, little more was revealed so I'm not sure why he bothered. We already knew Geragos had been suspicious of the family of Jackson's current accuser, Gavin Arvizo, for some time before they made their allegations against the singer, and that he had hired a private investigator to follow them. Yet much of what Geragos spoke about on Friday related to that same point.

We were never going to find out why Geragos ceased to be Jackson's lawyer as legal preparations for the current court case were being made because he was barred from speaking about anything that happened after the singer's arrest because of attorney/client privilege rules. As previously reported, according to Californian law, a lawyer can only talk about his or her client in court if the client gives him/her permission. Jackson had only allowed Geragos to talk about events leading up to his arrest in Nov 2003.

That point remained the most controversial thing of the day. As previously reported, both the jury and the prosecution were unaware of that restriction until Geragos himself raised it in court. Judge Rodney Melville has said he is considering sanctioning Jackson's main lawyer Thomas Mesereau Jr for not bringing everyone's attention to that fact sooner. Melville told the court on Friday: "I feel deceived by Mr Mesereau and I am considering ... sanctions of some sort against Mr Mesereau".

Mesereau apologised for the confusion, but pointed out the paperwork he supplied the court included the full details of Jacko's partial waiver, adding that he hadn't said anything in the court room because he didn't think it was relevant because questioning would centre on what happened before Jacko's arrest. On the paperwork point he would seem to have a strong argument for acting appropriately in regard this matter. And the second point perhaps less so - after all, he is choosing to ignore the fact that the prosecution were sure to ask why Geragos had ceased to be Jackson's lawyer - a question, some might argue, the restriction on the waiver is specifically designed to stop being asked. Either way, it will be interesting to see what action, if any, Melville takes against Mesereau.

The case continues today, with prosecution lawyers saying they reckon the defence will rest their case in the next week. After that, prosecutors are expected to present a brief rebuttal case before closing arguments are presented.

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Lights - Neighbours (Seeca)
The promo CD packaging is adorned with a picture of Kylie and Jason in their Ramsey Street prime, but this wonderfully fresh single is more than just an exercise in kitsch pop irony. 'Neighbours' is four minutes of pop perfection, with bittersweet lyrics, a nod to Prince (the funk, the sexiness) and boy-girl vocals and throbbing synths which make the whole thing redolent of the Human League gone disco. It's slinky, it's sophisticated, and just begging to be played throughout the summer. It's as good as pop gets, really, and you can't ask for anything more than that. MS
Release date: 30 May (download only)
Press contact: Seeca IH [all]

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HOMME REVEALS PLANS FOR NEW DESERT SESSION
Queens Of The Stone Age's Josh Homme has told NME.com of plans to start work on a new Desert Sessions album. The singer says he's looking at starting work on the follow-up to 2003's 'Desert Sessions 9 & 10' later in the year. Homme: "I was thinking about trying to do something at the end of the year. It was great to have PJ Harvey on the last Desert Sessions. She was amazing. That's where you have a big smile on your face and you're learning stuff." New collaborators haven't been pencilled in yet though. He explained: "It's just a little too far away and I don't want to get myself too excited for something that could change. Desert Sessions is one of those things where you really have to massage everyone's schedule."

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DINOSAUR JR REPLACE JIMMY AT CARLING WEEKEND
Dinosaur Jr are to take over the slots left vacant by Jimmy Eat World's withdrawal from this year's Reading And Leeds Festivals. As previously reported, the Jimmy Eats World will be now supporting Green Day on a North American tour at the end of August. Dinosaur Jr will appear on the Main Stage at Reading on Sat 27 Aug and on Sun 28 Aug in Leeds

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MADNESS UK TOUR
For those of you who don't know, Madness are an 'esteemed UK ska act'. Well, that's what Billboard tells us. Anyway, you may know that Madness have signed to V2 and have been working on an as yet untitled album. You may also know that after session work began on that recording, original member Chris Foreman announced his departure, blaming "the petty, time consuming bollocks that goes on in the band." Get Him. You may or may not know that Madness are to play a series of UK live dates sponsored by the Forestry Commission next month. So here are the dates:

11 Jun: Suffolk (Thetford Forest)
12 Jun: Kent (Bedgebury Pinetum)
17 Jun: Cheshire (Delamere Forest)
18 Jun: Gloucestershire (Westonbirt Arboretum)
24 Jun: North Yorkshire (Dalby Forest)
25 Jun: Nottinghamshire (Sherwood Pines Forest Park)

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EDITORS TEAM UP WITH ELBOW
Editors have been working with Guy Garvey and Craig Potter of Elbow to record the B side for forthcoming single 'Blood', which is released on 11 Jul and is followed by the release of debut album 'The Back Room' on 25 Jul.

Vocalist Tom Smith told NME.com: "They heard our song 'Bullets' and said that they wanted to work with us so we went into the studio with them and they produced a song called 'Let Your Good Heart Lead You Home'. Guy is possibly one of the sweetest guys you'll ever meet. He was so friendly and had a lot of advice too. It was such an amazing experience. We ended up break-dancing in his flat in Manchester at four in the morning."

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WHITNEY OUT OF REHAB, INTO STUDIO
Whitney Houston is out of rehab and working on her first album for three years. Houston entered a clinic in Feb of this year, but now record boss Clive Davis, who discovered the singer in the 80s and helped guide her career, says that things are back on track. Davis told Access Hollywood: "Whitney is out of rehab, and we are meeting in about 10 days. There is no-one like Whitney. If you go to the writers, the producers, the arrangers, they can't wait for her to come back."

As to whether she'll stay on the straight and narrow, only time will tell. Davis added "I am not Pollyanna. She has been through a battle, but she is the best singer, so I cannot wait to be in the studio with her."

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KILLERS PLAY NEW MATERIAL
The Killers played new material at the LA radio station KROQ's annual Weenie Roast event at the weekend. The band, appearing alongside the likes of Motley Crue (a band that 'everyone' likes, apparently), Foo Fighters and The Bravery, played a host of favourites from 2004's 'Hot Fuss', but then frontman Brandon Flowers spoke to the crowd, telling them to listen to "the future of The Killers," and played brand new track 'All The Pretty Faces'.

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BBC STRIKE BEGINS
You might have to make do without Newsnight. We're going to have to cope with a deluge of out of office replies from all of the CMU Daily's BBC readers. Anyway, as you probably already know, all sorts of people at the Beeb are on strike today. As previously reported, they are striking against plans by BBC Director General Mark Thompson to sack everyone (well, make quite a lot of people redundant).

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CLASH PERFORMANCE VOTED BEST EVER LONDON GIG
The Clash's 1977 performance at London's Rainbow Theatre has been voted the best ever gig to take place in the UK capital by writers and contributors to Time Out. The show, which featured support sets from The Jam and Buzzcocks, famously ended with fans going on a mini-riot tearing out hundreds of theatre seats. It has topped Time Out's poll of the 100 best London gigs with judges calling it a 'seminal event' that cemented punk rock's place in history.

Commenting on the survey, Time Out editor Gordon Thomson told reporters: "The Clash gig went down in history as the greatest London band, in their prime, at the moment when punk rock spilled out of the clubs and into the major venues."

Second place in the poll goes to a much more recent event, though one that featured an older artist - Brian Wilson's triumphant return performing SMiLE in full for the first time at London's Royal Festival Hall last year.

The full top ten looks like this:

1. The Clash at The Rainbow Theatre, May 9, 1977
2. Brian Wilson plays Smile at Royal Festival Hall, February 20, 2004
3. Stevie Wonder at The Rainbow Theatre, February 24, 1974
4. Rolling Stones at The Crawdaddy Club, Richmond, April 28, 1963
5. Duke Ellington at London Palladium, June 12, 1933
6. N*E*R*D with Justin Timberlake at Brixton Academy, November 9, 2003
7. Bob Marley at Lyceum Ballroom, July 17, 1975
8. The Smiths at Jubilee Gardens, June 10, 1984
9. White Stripes at Camden Dingwalls, July 30, 2001
10.The Beatles at The Pigalle, Piccadilly, April 21, 1963

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Bad Machines - Telling Lies (Lojinx)
Records dealing with heartbreak are nothing new; it's one of the most common themes and inspirations running through pop music. However the trick to succeeding is offering something new upon the theme, and The Bad Machines certainly try to accomplish this. A duo comprising vocalist Michelle Margherita (who also lends her talents to another band named Farrah) and the multi-instrumentalist Paul Scott, the release of 'Telling Lies' coincides with a short tour of the UK, which should gain this band some welcome exposure. They combine a lo-fi electronic sound with Michelle's inflected vocals (kind of like Sarah Nixey to these ears), creating a bubblegum pop type of sound, but this is pop with intellect and freshness, rather than the lowest common denominator stuff that plagues the charts. Whether you want to believe the fact that the record was partly inspired by the dissolution of the relationship between the duo, or not, that doesn't detract from the fact that 'Telling Lies' has some emotional resonance, as well as offering a feast for the ears of those who take pop music seriously. The adrenaline rush of the opening track 'Two Heads' is one of the album's highlights; with the use of sneering vocals and guitars, it sounds like something Shampoo might have recorded (don't snigger), and the same template is used on 'Kidz', which sounds like a love letter to Siouxie Sioux. This sounds a world away from the more ethereal tracks on the album, such as 'Folkways', which adds swirling synth effects to the harpsichord which drives the track. The title track, which reminds me of an early Cardigans song, continues in this vein. The album consists of a number of short and snappy pop songs that may seem fairly insubstantial and throwaway on the surface, but deserves more attention. 'Telling Lies' may not be a wholly consistent record, but it shows promise and potential, and provided you have a soft spot for the pop music by the likes of Saint Etienne and The Cardigans, you should definitely make room in your collection for this. KW
Release date: 23 May
Press contact: Lojinx IH [all]

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NEW DMX ALBUM ON ITS WAY
Rapper DMX is all set to release a new studio album this summer. The new work, a follow up to 2003's 'Grand Champ', is called 'Here We Go Again' and is released through Ruff Ryders/Def Jam. DMX hasn't made the news for his music much recently, it being overshadowed by reportage of various brushes with the law. The rapper, aka Earl Simmons, was arrested last month after the car he was driving struck another vehicle in New York, which caused the second car to then hit an unmarked police cruiser, and, as previously reported, in Jun last year he was in trouble for driving his car into a gate at JFK Airport and, er, telling the parking lot attendant he was a federal agent.

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GREECE WINS EUROVISION, SHAKY WINS HMBOMT
If you were watching then you already know that the bookies favourite, Greek singer Helena Paparizou won the Eurovision song contest in Kiev on Saturday with a fairly mediocre tune. Amongst the other countries who did well were Moldova, who did a very very bad song but possibly secured a fair amount votes because an amusing old granny with a big drum was part of their seemingly Red Hot Chili Peppers influenced routine, Turkey, who also got a lot of votes for not a great deal of song, and Malta, whose offering was a Celine Dion style power ballad. The Ukrainian entry, which, as previously reported, was forced to change its lyrics by the Eurovision organisers because they were too political, didn't win many points but got a rapturous response from the crowds.

Javine, representing the UK, sadly came third from the bottom with her very respectable effort 'Touch My Fire'. It's yet another event which proves that viewer voting systems suck. Talking of which, it was the final of ITV's pop comeback show 'Hit Me Baby One More' time on Saturday too, and of a line up that included the legendary Carol Decker and the even more legendary Chesney Hawkes, viewers chose Shakin' Stevens. Shakin Stevens. I ask you. It's okay, though. Chesney has a single out soon, so that'll give me something to cling on to life for. He's the one and only, you know.

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APPLE TAKES PRE-ORDERS FOR COLDPLAY ALBUM
iTunes is accepting pre-orders for the new Coldplay album 'X&Y' following the success of early digital single release 'Speed Of Sound", and will notify their customers via email as soon as the album is available to download. To encourage even more people to pre-order, those who sign up for it in advance of its 7 Jun release date will receive two exclusive bonus tracks, 'Proof' and 'Things I Don't Understand.' It's a first for iTunes (digital pre-ordering has thus far been pretty rare) and part of Apple's ongoing experiments with delivery and extras. It's also significant that customers are unable to pre-order individual tracks but it's thought unlikely that such a policy will be applied to a wider range of products.

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CHART UPDATE
Well, Oasis have now topped the UK single charts no less than seven times, if we've counted correctly (well, actually, we took that number off BBC Online, and given how short staffed they are today, I wouldn't rely on it too much). Either way, Oasis are certainly number one this week, with, 'Lyla' the debut single off new album 'Don't Believe The Truth', going straight in at number one, and ending Akon's two week reign at the top of the chart.

Next highest new entry comes at number three in the form of Black Eyed Peas' track 'Don't Phunk With My Heart', then there are new entries from J Lo at 6, Max Graham vs Yes at 9, Kaiser Chiefs at 10, Rob Thomas at 11, Mylo at 13, Javine at 18, Stevie Wonder at 19, New Order and Ana Matronic at 20, Gadjo ft Alexandra Prince at 22, Turin Brakes at 32, Hot Hot Heat at 36, Stonebridge vs Ultra Nate at 37 and Ian McNabb at 38.

Albums wise and hurrah because Faithless' greatest hits album has gone straight in at number one. See, the great British public do know a great album when they see one. Other new entries in the album chart come from System Of A Down go in at two, Van Morrison at 3, Elvis By The Presleys at 13, Maximo Park at 15, Faith Evans at 22, My Chemical Romance at 35 and The Duke Spirit at 40. Wonderful.

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THIS WEEK'S STUDENT RADIO CHART
1. [4] Coldplay - Speed of Sound (EMI/Parlophone)
2. [16] The White Stripes - Blue Orchid (Beggars/XL)
3. [1] The Coral - In the Morning (Deltasonic)
4. [2] Oasis - Lyla (Big Brother)
5. [5] Kaiser Chiefs - Everyday I Love You Less (B-unique)
6. [6] Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc (EMI/Parlophone)
7. [7] Black Eyed Peas - Don't Phunk With My Heart (Universal/Polydor)
8. [NE] Foo Fighters - Best of You (SonyBMG)
9. [8] Hot Hot Heat - Goodnight Goodnight (Warner)
10. [RE] Razorlight - Somewhere Else (Universal/Vertigo)
11. [12] The Magic Numbers - Forever Lost (EMI/Heavenly)
12. [13] Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl (Universal/Polydor)
13. [26] The Bravery - Fearless (Universal/Polydor)
14. [3] Audio Bullys - Shot You Down (EMI/Source)
15. [10] Weezer - Beverly Hills (Universal/Polydor)
16. [11] Caesars - Jerk It Out (EMI/Virgin)
17. [14] Killers - Smile Like You Mean It (Liazrd King)
18. [21] Snoop Dogg - Signs (Universal/Polydor)
19. [RE] Destiny's Child - Girl (SonyBMG/Columbia)
20. [NE] Be Your Own Pet - Fire Department (beggars/XL)
21. [NE] Stereophonics - Superman (V2)
22. [NE] Jamiroquai - Feels Like It Should (SonyBMG)
23. [28] New Order - Jetstream (Warner/London)
24. [NE] Beck - Girl (Universal/Geffen)
25. [17] Futureheads - Decent Days and Decent Nights (679)
26. [NE] Arcade Fire - Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out) (Rough Trade)
27. [25] The Ordinary Boys - Boys Will Be Boys (B-unique)
28. [RE] Eminem - Mockingbird (Universal/Interscope)
29. [RE] Doves - Snowden (EMI/Heavenly)
30. [23] Jem - Just a Ride (SonyBMG)

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A1 BOY LAUNCHES SOLO CAREER
Now, without wishing to damage my already fragile credibility, I have to report the joy I felt this weekend when I stumbled across a copy of A1's top pop classic track 'Caught In The Middle' in the 50p CD single box at the Greenwich Music Exchange. I'm not sure who was more embarrassed by the purchase - me or the guy that had to sell it me (the fact he refused to take any money for it might suggest he was more embarrassed). But I don't care - it's a fantastic bit of pop from the boy band who picked up instruments months before Busted arrived on the scene - and until Saturday I didn't own a copy.

Anyway, this is all relevant because A1 member Ben Adams is embarking on a belated attempt at a solo career, with his debut solo single 'Sorry' in shops next Monday, and available to download right now on iTunes.

To be honest, the first single isn't anywhere close to 'Caught In The Middle' in terms of fine popdom, but that's no reason not to wish him well. And presumably his record label wouldn't mind me pointing out that Music Week said: "Following the success it had with Natasha Bedingfield last year, Sony BMG offshoot Phonogenic has good reason to be optimistic. The first fruit of the former A1 star's solo career is a remarkably convincing effort that showcases a more sophisticated direction which is still utterly pop and is the closest any UK artist has yet got to capturing the feel of Justin Timberlake."

Press info from SonyBMG IH.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Motley Crue - Red, White and Crue (Universal/Mercury)
Unlike Marmite, there's no 'either': Everyone loves Motley Crue. Not least because their now notorious and best-selling (auto)biography, The Dirt, fell into the hands of people who had never heard of the band - discovering their music via the back door. And everyone loves a story like this: four naughty but lovable rogues get carried away in the name of fun, and it all gets a bit too much and sadly they have to part ways. And it sells records as well as books. The ending that the book didn't foresee, was that the band would bow to popular demand and reform for some new recordings and a sell-out tour. Get in! The 18 track retro-compila-mentary only goes to show that despite not being able to stay in the same room for longer than the length of a Mick Mars solo, they still rock the spot like no other band before or since. And the proof is that while there isn't much new material here (2 tracks - 'If I Die Tomorrow' and 'Sick Love Song'), both tracks wouldn't be out of place on the 'Girls, Girls, Girls' or 'Too Fast For Love' albums. RW&C also includes new versions of 'Too Young To Fall In Love', 'Home Sweet Home' and 'Hooligan's Holiday'. This is a great album, but only for the thrifty, the trendy and the lazy ... every Crue album is worth buying by itself. JG
Release date: 30 May
Press Contact: Mercury IH [all]

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NU-JAZZ FAVOURITE PLAYS JAZZ CAFE
A quick date for your diaries. Mark De Clive-Lowe, a leading light of the nu-jazz/ broken beat movement will play a special show at the Jazz Café this Wednesday (25 May) in support of his latest album 'Tide's Rising'. A CMU favourite ever since the 200 release of his debut long player 'Six Degrees', this is sure to be a fine night. Doors open at 7pm, tickets are £12.50 in advance.

Info at http://www.meanfiddler.com/displayPage.asp? ArticleID=2221&URLID=19

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NOT ANOTHER SPICE GIRLS REUNION
Oh, not again. Mel B has apparently said she would like to see the Spice Girls get back together for a ten year anniversary reunion. According to ITV.com She said "It's ten years since we released our first single. I hope we can get back together. We still see each other. Everyone thinks we don't but we do." Cue Mel C and Geri saying they have no plans to reunite. Cue no reunion. Why would Mel B bother even saying it?

Oh, right. Mel's new single 'Today' is released on June 6.

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PINK FLOYD REUNITE FOR LIVE 8
And talking of reunions, The Sunday Mirror claims that Pink Floyd are planning to reunite for a performance at the upcoming not-Live-Aid-2 event, Live 8. Some of the usual suspects (U2, Paul McCartney) have already signed up, but Bob Geldof is apparently in talks with Pink Floyd, who haven't played together since the eighties following a feud between Roger Waters and the rest of the band. A source said "There have been a whole series of calls. Sir Bob is hopeful we can make this happen."

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ORANGE LAUNCH MOBILE TV SERVICE
Mobile TV kicks off today with Orange launching a new 3G service which will mean the nine people who own a compatible phone will be able to access nine TV channels (so, that's one each) via their mobile. Sorted. The latest stage of the mobile sector's attempts to convert us all to 3G, the mobile TV service will include streams of ITN, CNN, a fashion channel, extreme sports channel and Cartoon Network. Channel 4 will be offering a live stream from the Big Brother house once the new series kicks off next weekend, while ITV will try to revive interest in their bit-rubbish reality show Celebrity Love Island by making part of it available via your phone. Presumably the service will actually take off once a decent porn channel is added.

Vodaphone, meanwhile, are expected to launch their mobile TV offering in the next few months.

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HAPPY MONDAYS COME HOME
The Happy Mondays are to play a gig in their home city of Manchester for the first time in five years. The band are to play the MEN arena on 29 Oct and will be supported by The Farm and the Stereo MCs.

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MATT BUSTED BUYS HOUSE
With so much in the headlines at the moment about younger people being priced out of the housing market, it's nice to know that former Busted boy Matt Jay has managed to scrape together the £600,000 required to buy a reasonable starter home. According to The Mirror, he plans to move in with on off girlfriend MTV presenter Emma Griffiths. "It's a really nice place and quite big, with four bedrooms. But it's scary. I'm only 22 and I own my own place." As previously reported, the singer checked into The Priory earlier this month for help with a drink problem.

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GWEN STEFANI AND DIGITAL CAMERAS
There is indeed a connection. Gwen Stefani has teamed up with Hewlett Packard to create a Stefani branded limited edition digital cameras. The 'R607 Harajuku Lovers Digital Camera by Gwen Stefani' is coloured with turquoise, white and maroon and is styled with hearts and Japanese kanji and katakana characters. Production is limited to 3000, so get a move on if you just have to have one.

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ZELLWEGER TO APPEAR IN COUNTRY VIDEO
Renee Zellweger is to appear in one of her husband's country videos. As previously reported, the 'Bridget Jones' actress married singer Kenny Chesney earlier in the month. The film star says she's looking forward to it. She said: "I'll get on MTV. Life just keeps getting better."

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