CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 23rd September

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Lemar gets double win at MOBOs
- Impala state case against SonyBMG merger in court
- IFPI launch P2P removal software
- Sony axe ten thousand jobs
- Jackson flight recorders indicted on federal charges
- Bestival on the telly
- Flaming Lip talks about new album
- Manson says no Garbage split imminent
- Fightstar single and live dates
- AIM board in the bar at ITC
- Fopp announce winners of Scottish unsigned search
- Album review: CocoRosie - Noah's Ark
- Oasis and Coldplay postpone concerts
- Cast of MTV show evacuated
- Nelly keeping it real
- Lennon's suit goes up for auction
- Ray Charles memorabilia donated to museum
- Beastie Boys hits compilation
- Nirvana compilation release
- MTV announce nominations for college awards
- Britney is a top irritation
- Morrissey completing album in catacombs
- Mel C blames Spice alumni for her lack of success
- Doherty sick on stage shocker

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OUT NOW...

ROCK SOUND MAGAZINE OCTOBER ISSUE OUT NOW! NIGHTWISH, THE RASMUS and HIM adorn this month's Finntastic cover. Also featuring Bullet For My Valentine, Coheed and Cambria, Arch Enemy, and Fightstar. Plus as well as the usual Music With Attitude CD featuring tracks from this month's issue, we also have an EXCLUSIVE 2nd CD with 15 of the best new bands from New Zealand. Visit www.rock-sound.net Available just £3.40 from WH Smith, HMV, Virgin, and Tesco

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JOBS N STUFF

WEB EDITOR WANTED! rock-sound.net is looking to hire a part-time Web Editor. Applicants should be able to write and edit well, be commercially minded as well as having good grasp of html. For more details please email patrick.napier@rock-sound.net with a copy of your current CV explaining why you'd be the suitable candidate for the job. Applications close on Sept 30.

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CMU FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: The Glenfiddich Independent Mix 1st Birthday Party at Cargo
This night seems to get better listings month on month. Cargo again sees the Glenfiddich crew taking over, this time for their first birthday shenanigans. Showcasing the best in neo soul/ nu-jazz, Fourtet mark the launch of the new 'Spirit Walk' album, out on 10 Oct on Soul Jazz Records, with jazz drummer Steve Reid on his now African influenced jazz tip. Then there's Micah Gaugh, a new signing to Matt Herbert's Accidental Records and the New Vincent Quartet, who will play al fresco, offering original jazz stylings in the courtyard. Then DJs Gilles Peterson and the aforementioned Mr Herbert will get on the wheels of steel. Sounds fresh.

Thu 29 Sep, Cargo, 83 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3AY, 6pm-1am, free before 7pm, £8 after (£6 adv). Advance tickets from http://www.ticketweb.co.uk, info at http://www.cargo-london.com and press info http://www.fruktmusic.com

VIGSY'S LIVE TIP: Pharoah Sanders at Barbican
This true legend of tenor saxophony, who played alongside Coltrane forty years ago, is in town for his first London gig in seven years. Pharoah really caught my attention with his absolutely all-for-it blowing on 'The Voyage' with Japanese jazz star Sleepwalker last year, and I just can't wait to see him live on stage. And tonight should be double special, because he is combining with the African Jazz Allstars who will open the show with African rhythms and jazz solos. These ten star soloists include the likes of Lucky Ranku, Claude Deppa, Fayyaz Virji, Bukky Leo, Tony Kofi and Lekan Babalola, and they come together to create some of the most astonishing music coming from Africa you're ever likely to hear. All in all, a must have ticket.

Wed 28 Sep, Barbican, Silk Street, London. EC2Y 8DS, 7.30pm. Tickets steep, but should be very worthwhile at £20-£30. Contact Barbican Press Office for details, or Biyi at Joyful Noise.

Think your club is good enough to take the tip?? Then email vigsy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk with the date of your club event in the header.

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LEMAR GETS DOUBLE WIN AT MOBOS
Well, no gay rights protests or after-show shoot outs this year, meaning attention could actually turn to what was happening inside the Royal Albert Hall at the good old MOBO Awards. And what was happening? Well, touching tributes to Bob Marley and Luther Vandross, award giving to a suitably eclectic range of artists, and good-nights-thank-you-very-much for former Fame Academy loser Lemar and unsigned rapper Sway.

Lemar won two of the five awards he was nominated for - Best Album and Best UK Act, while unsigned London based rapper Sway beat the likes of 50 Cent and The Game to the title of Best Hip Hop Act, despite having no recording contract. Other winners included grime pioneer (if there is such a thing) Kano who was named Best UK Newcomer, John Legend who took Best R&B act, Youssou N'dour who won the MOBO's inaugural Best African Act Award and Damian Marley who won Best Reggae Artist.

Damian's father Bob Marley was awarded a posthumous Achievement Award, which was collected by Damian and brothers Julian and Stephen, who together closed the show with a performance of 'Could You Be Loved'. Another Outstanding Contribution award went to Public Enemy, while a similar tribute was made to Luther Vandross, who died earlier this year, with Omar, Nate James and Mica Paris all providing a musical tribute to the late singer.

As for the other gongs distributed to those who excel in making music of a black origin, well, here's the full list...

Best Album: Lemar - Time To Grow
Best Hip Hop Act: Sway
Best Jazz Act: Rhian Benson
Best R&B Act: John Legend
Best Reggae Act: Damian Marley - Welcome To Jamrock
Best Single: Lethal B - Pow (Forward)
Best UK Club DJ: Steve Sutherland
Best UK Newcomer: Kano
Best UK Radio DJ: Tim Westwood
Best Video: Snoop Dogg (ft Pharrell) - Drop It Like It's Hot
Best World Music Act: Daddy Yankee
UK Act of the Year: Lemar
Best African Act: Youssou N'Dour
Posthumous Achievement Award: Bob Marley
Outstanding Contribution to Black Music: Public Enemy

The MOBOs will be on the telly, on BBC1, tonight at 11.35pm.

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IMPALA STATE CASE AGAINST SONYBMG MERGER IN COURT
IMPALA, the pan-European body for independent music, was in the European Courts yesterday to dispute the EU decision to allow Sony and BMG to merge their music operations.

As previously reported at possibly tedious length, the EU gave the go ahead for the two major record companies to merge in July 2004. European officials initially expressed concerns about the proposed merger, but then gave the green light without conditions. That decision, IMPALA argues, was damaging to the wider music industry, and failed to consider all the unfair competition implications of the move.

While the EU argues that initial concerns that another merger in the music business would lead to higher CD prices and fewer customer choices were proven to be unfounded, IMPALA say that in approving the merger officials failed to appreciate the impact the merger would have on online markets or the problems faced by a music industry already dominated by a handful of major players. The trade body says it wanted and expected the EU to "do its job as the guardian of real competition, consumer value and choice and cultural diversity and more importantly citizenship rights and obligations".

Alison Wenham, boss of the UK Association Of Independent Music and a Vice-President of IMPALA, told reporters yesterday: "Creatively the independents have the edge. They know they can compete if they have the same chance as the big companies. The problem lies where the playing field is not level due to severe market access problems created by over-concentration in a cultural industry."

The European Courts are expected to take three to six months to decide whether or not the EU were right or wrong in okaying the merger. As we've said before, there is little anyone could do now to demerge Sony and BMG, but if the ruling goes against EU officials it may well stop them from being so keen to allow future mergers in the music sector (in particular the long anticipated EMI Warner merger).

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IFPI LAUNCH P2P REMOVAL SOFTWARE
The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry is turning its attention to the workplace in the ongoing fight against the illegal sharing of music via P2P networks. They have launched a new software program which enables users to locate and remove any P2P software off their computers, and to remove copyrighted music from shared folders.

While this can be used by anyone concerned there is P2P software on their computers, it is being targeted specifically at businesses who might be concerned employees are using their bandwidth to illegally share music via their work computers. The new software has been launched in eight European countries at the same time as a guide for IT managers at big companies encouraging them to stop P2P usage in the workplace.

Announcing the latest initiatives, IFPI boss John Kennedy said the new software was an educational tool aimed at "making life easier for people who want to enjoy music responsibly and legally on the internet. This initiative comes at a time when downloading music legally has never been easier, with over 350 sites offering over a million tracks".

Elsewhere in always popular P2P news, we hear reports that two US P2P networks - WinMX.com and eDonkey - have responded to those previously reported cease and desist letters send out by the Recording Industry Association Of America. The RIAA was following up the MGM v Grokster ruling in the Supreme Court which said that companies that make P2P software can be held liable for the copyright violation they enable. WinMX seems to have ceased operating since receiving their letter, while eDonkey have reportedly closed their New York office. The RIAA wrote to a total of seven P2P companies - it remains to be seen how the others respond, and how many will just choose to continue operating outside American jurisdiction.

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SONY AXE TEN THOUSAND JOBS
Sony are axing 10,000 jobs, which is about 7% of its workforce, though fortunately for CMU readers, that's Sony Corp not Sony Music. New Sony boss Howard Stringer announced the job cuts yesterday as part of his bid to turn round the electronics giant's fortunes - they are expected to make a 10 billion yen (just over £50 million) loss this financial year. Stringer said the company need to respond to "tremendous pressure in the marketplace" with a "sense of urgency". The cuts were actually less than some analysts expected, though in home country Japan, where 4000 of the jobs will be lost, such major downsizing is actually quite unusual and therefore will come as something of a shock. Remains to be seen if Stringer has any similarly radical plans for the struggling Connect / Walkman bits of Sony's electronics empire.

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JACKSON FLIGHT RECORDERS INDICTED ON FEDERAL CHARGES
Two men have been indicted on federal charges for secretly recording Michael Jackson two years ago as he flew to Santa Barbara to surrender to police who were then embarking on that child molestation investigation. The video of Jacko reportedly showed him talking to his attorney about the then new child abuse allegations. Employees of the company who managed the private jet apparently tried to sell the footage to the media, causing the FBI to step in to see if the video had been filmed illegally. It is two of those employees - Arvel Jett Reeves and Jeffrey Borer - who now face the federal charges, for conspiracy, endeavoring to intercept oral communication and witness tampering.

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BESTIVAL ON THE TELLY
For those that went to Bestival who want to relive the experience. For those that didn't go to Bestival who wish they'd lived the experience. For those who really don't care about Bestival but who are at a loose end tomorrow night at midnight ... here's the show for you. Yep, Channel 4 will be airing 'Bestival - The Documentary' tomorrow night at midnight. Go watch.

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FLAMING LIP TALKS ABOUT NEW ALBUM
Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips has spoken to VH1 about the band's new album, 'At War With The Mystics', which is set for a release early next year. He revealed that the follow-up to 2002's brilliant 'Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots' is more political than their previous work. Coyne said: "I don't think you could be making any art in the atmosphere that we're in now - with the war and the different ways people feel about the Bush administration and all that - without having some things that sort of, not address that specifically, but address this whole idea of what you do with power."

He continued: "When is the time to have mercy? And when is the time to be aggressive? I think we have some things on the record that I hope will stand the test of time long after this war is over and all these young guys have come home."

He also spoke to the music channel about upcoming Flaming Lips film 'Christmas On Mars', which is also due for release next year after several years of work. Coyne said "The way that I work is (not) that much different from the way I would do a painting or even the way that we record our music a lot of the time. We go in and we have a lot of energy and enthusiasm for things that we want to happen and sort of try to shape them up. But if we're lucky, something emerges that's really better than what we intended and we'll go with that. If we're lucky, 'Christmas on Mars' will continue to do that."

He added: "We'll have built the sets and have actors there, and of course there'll be things for them to say and all that, but something marvellous will happen and we'll be able to incorporate that into the idea of what we wanted to do and it will be better and more expressive and more communicative and more emotional - all those things that I think all artists intend to do."

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MANSON SAYS NO GARBAGE SPLIT IMMINENT
Following yesterday's report that Shirley Manson had implied a Garbage break up to a Melbourne newspaper, the singer has now told Australia's National Nine News that no such split is imminent and that the cancellation of their European tour dates is merely due to the fact that the band really need some time off.

Manson said: "We have discussed this and I don't think anybody is interested in breaking up. We feel that this has been a really great tour and we feel that we have really muscled through and produced a great record, and we just want to take some time off while things are really good between us. I don't think I have seen a single green vegetable in three months, so I just need to get my life into some sort of sense of control"

However, Manson also revealed that at some point she'd like to release a solo album, saying "I have had people interested in me making a record on my own terms since I was 15 years old, so I do think it is something that is eventually on my cards. But I don't know exactly when I will indulge that desire."

She also had a pop at INXS for going the reality show route to find a new singer for the band. As previously reported, the televised contest to find a replacement for the band's late frontman came to an end earlier this week, won by Canadian singer JD Fortune. "It isn't INXS without Michael Hutchence," said Manson. "I feel like in life you have to be prepared to let go of something in order for new growth to occur in your life. And I think it is unhealthy to be constantly coming back to recreate the past. You should forge forward instead of being sentimental about things that have gone by."

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FIGHTSTAR SINGLE AND LIVE DATES
The lovely Fightstar (well, I don't know that they're all lovely, I've never met them, but they seem to have a good work ethic) start recording their debut album soon, and are to release their third single on 31 Oct. 'Grand Unification Part 1' will be available on CD, 7" and DVD. They'll also be playing some live dates in the latter half of Oct, but you knew that already, because we already told you. But let's just remind you what they are in case you forgot:

23 Oct: Bedford Esquires
25 Oct: Brighton Concorde
26 Oct: Stoke Sugarmill
27 Oct: Edinburgh Venue
29 Oct: York Fibbers
30 Oct: Newport TJ's

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AIM BOARD IN THE BAR AT ITC
The Association Of Independent Music will launch a new regular event called Board In The Bar at next month's In The City. Basically board members from the trade association will make themselves available for informal catch up conversations after various AIM related events. The first one of these Board In The Bar things will take place at the Pizza Express (so, more Board In The Pizza Place) in Manchester on 3 Oct, alongside the In The City convention. Employees from any AIM affiliated labels or independent players attending In The City will be welcome to come and chat with AIM's Chief Executive Alison Wenham, Head of Legal and Business Affairs Michael Fuller and Project Manager Remi Harris. Those wishing to attend should contact Remi prior to the event on 020 8994 5599 or email remi@musicindie.com with name and company name and Board In The Bar in the subject line.

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FOPP ANNOUNCE WINNERS OF SCOTTISH UNSIGNED SEARCH
Independent retailer Fopp have announced the winners of this year's Fopp Unsigned competition. As previously reported, Fopp are staging battle of the band type competitions in different regions around the country each year - this year it was Scotland. And after much competing, the winners of the Scottish fight are Monkeytribe, Bouchereau, the Abdominal Showmen and Thee Comrades (the latter, of course, already top superstars after their live session on the ThreeWeeks radio show during the Edinburgh Festival this year). All four bands will now record new material this Autumn which will be available to buy in Fopp stores around the country.

Commenting on the unsigned band competition, Fopp Head of Marketing Ryan Latham told CMU: "Our aim is to support unsigned talent, whilst giving Fopp customers the chance to be the first to discover some of new music out there, we very much look forward to hearing the completed output from all the bands and seeing them on sale in Fopp shops soon".

Press info on the competition from Charlie at Press Counsel on 020 7792 9400 or charlie@presscounsel.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: CocoRosie - Noah's Ark (Touch & Go)
The Casady sisters' second album comes just a year after their acclaimed debut, 'La Maison de Mon Réve', which pushed them to the front of the new folk scene, that has spawned such luminaries as Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom. On this record, a number of guests contribute, underlining the reputation the sisters have acquired. The aforementioned Banhart contributes on 'Brazilian Sun', and Mercury winner and current darling of the critics, Antony, lends his vocal talents to 'Beautiful Boyz'. Guests of this magnitude will surely give this album greater exposure; indeed already the sisters have been the subject of discussion in the broadsheets. CocoRosie could be pretty accurately compared to Joanna Newsom; they both share the kind of unique vocal style that you'll either find enchanting or incredibly frustrating to listen to. They both favour an ethereal and sparse folk sound that again, may not be to everyone's liking. One feels they're the kind of band to utterly polarise opinion; their fans will be unswerving in their devotion, but others may be left scratching their head. Still, that's not strictly a bad position to find yourself in. If you're looking for discernable tunes, you may be a little disappointed - minimal compositions with lo-fi production values are very much what's on offer here, but what they've recorded can at times sound quite enchanting, though as I said, you'd need to be quite patient to get the most from the album. Tracks like 'Tekno Love Song' and 'The Sea Is Calm' showcase the sisters at their best, but there are instances where tracks seem just meander without going anywhere. CocoRosie certainly appear to follow a unique vision, coming across as exotic and surreal, and also rather spooky and unsettling. An acquired taste, really, but fans of the genre should find a great deal to satisfy them here. KW
Release date: 12 Sep
Press contact: Dog Day Press [all]

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OASIS AND COLDPLAY POSTPONE CONCERTS
So, Rita has a lot to answer for. Not only has she forced the evacuation of millions, but she's also forced the postponement of Oasis and Coldplay gigs in an open air venue in Texas. Some might argue that Rita did a good thing, but I couldn't possibly agree.

Anyway, both bands were scheduled to play the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in Houston this weekend, Coldplay on Saturday and Oasis on Sunday, but George W Bush has declared a state of emergency and the venue have cancelled the gigs. A statement on the venue's website said "This action is taken in the best interest and safety of the fans, artists and staff in the face of Hurricane Rita."

Meanwhile Oasis and Coldplay are both scheduled to appear at the Austin City Limits festival, alongside other British acts, Keane, Kasabian, Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand, but with the storm heading towards Texas with winds of 165mph, festival organizers are keeping "a very close watch on the weather". A spokeswoman said "If weather conditions appear to present any kind of danger to fans, musicians or crew, we are prepared to make the necessary adjustments to maintain safety. Until then, the festival is on, rain or shine."

It's a bit mad, all these hurricanes and things. I hope it doesn't mean it's the end times, or something.

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CAST OF MTV SHOW EVACUATED
It might be though. The cast of MTV's The Real World have been evacuated from their temporary home in Key West due to the arrival of Hurricane Rita. The show has been filming in Key West for several weeks but was forced out when local officials announced a mandatory evacuation order. Filming hasn't stopped, however, with footage of their evacuation to West Palm Beach, 250 miles north of their original location, expected to feature in this, the seventeenth series of the show.

Oh my God. It is the end times. And incidentally, why must all these vicious, damaging storms be named after women? No, it's alright, don't email and tell me.

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NELLY KEEPING IT REAL
And talking of reality shows, Nelly wants one too. The hip-hop star has announced that he's launching a show which will give viewers a look at his day to day life and expose his charity work: "I look forward to showing my fans what my world is about and bringing more attention to my nonprofit organizations," he said, of the show, which will air next year.

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LENNON'S SUIT GOES UP FOR AUCTION
A white suit which was worn by John Lennon on the iconic image on the cover of 'Abbey Road' is to be sold by a US auction house in an online sale next month and is expected to raise in the region of £80k. Also going up for sale is a customised hearse with which was owned by Lennon and appeared in 1973 documentary 'Imagine'.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale, which ends on 29 Oct, will go to Amnesty International, which is nice. Non-Lennon related items to be sold in the same time include Marilyn Monroe's 1961 appointment book and Elizabeth Taylor's 'Cleopatra' headdress.

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RAY CHARLES MEMORABILIA DONATED TO MUSEUM
More celebrity memorabilia now, but this time, it's being preserved for the public. Items belonging to legendary soulster Ray Charles have been donated to a Washington museum. Among the effects are the singer's dark glasses, a Braille keyboard and magazines and a chess set for the blind. Brent Glass, Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, said "Ray Charles' life and career are testaments to the enduring value of the American dream, that anyone from any background and with any disability can overcome obstacles and lead a successful life," he said.

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BEASTIE BOYS HITS COMPILATION
MTV reports that a Beastie Boys greatest hits compilation 'Solid Gold Hits' has been given a tentative release date of 7 Nov. The album will of course feature tracks from across their career, and is apparently being timed to coincide with the group's 24th anniversary. Good god. Am I really that old?

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NIRVANA COMPILATION RELEASE
Reports suggest that a new Nirvana compilation is to be released in Nov. The Album, entitled 'Sliver' will feature three unheard tracks, as well as material from recently released box set 'With The Lights Out'. Ideas for the cover art were apparently put together by Courtney Love and her daughter by Kurt Cobain, Frances Bean. Love's manager Peter Asher told Rolling Stone: "Courtney and I involve Frances in Nirvana/Kurt decisions whenever we can. She's very perceptive and has cool ideas."

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MTV ANNOUNCE NOMINATIONS FOR COLLEGE AWARDS
More awards, and MTV's American college network, mtvU, has announced the nominees for its second college voted music awards, the Woodies. The winners will be announced at an awards show in New York on 2 Nov, which will be televised by the network on 10 Nov.

Launching the nominations, mtvU boss Stephen Friedman told reporters: "College students are prophesying the future of music today. With our first ever live Woodie Awards event, the music they live their lives to takes centre stage, and the rest of the world gets to see what's about to break big."

Woodie of the Year (Artist of the Year): Fallout Boy, My Chemical Romance, Common, The Arcade Fire, Gorillaz

The Breaking Woodie (Best Emerging Artist): Matisyahu, The Bravery, Paul Wall, Motion City, Soundtrack, The Decemberists

Left Field Woodie (Most Original Artist): Saul Williams, M.I.A, Matisyahu, The Arcade Fire, MeWithoutYou

Best Video Woodie - Live Action (Best Live Action Video): Death Cab For Cutie - Title & Registration (Atlantic/Barsuk Records); My Chemical Romance - Helena (Reprise Records); Nas & Olu Dara - Bridging the Gap (Columbia Records); Nine Inch Nails - Only (Interscope Records); Jack Johnson - Sitting, Waiting, Wishing (Universal/Brushfire Records)

Best Video Woodie - Animated (Best Animated Video): Aberfeldy - Love Is An Arrow (Rough Trade Records); Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc. (Virgin Records); Aesop Rock - Fast Cars (Definitive Jux Records); Rilo Kiley - It's a Hit (Brute/Beaute/Warner Brothers); The Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) (Merge Records)

The Good Woodie (Greatest Social Impact): David Banner - Heal The Hood Project, Coldplay - Oxfam International, Common - Know HIV/AIDS campaign, U2 - DATA: Debt AIDS Trade Africa, Kanye West - Loop Dreams

Road Woodie (Best Tour): Muse, The Arcade Fire, Fallout Boy, Jack Johnson, Common

International Woodie (Favorite International Artist Award): Bloc Party, Muse, The Arcade Fire, Keane, Akon

Alumni Woodie (a.k.a. the "You're Still OK in our Book" Award): Green Day, Common, Coldplay, Beck, Mos Def

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BRITNEY IS A TOP IRRITATION
But you didn't need me to tell you that. Anyway, Britney Spears has topped a poll run by recruitment website retailchoice to find out which is the most irritating music that shop workers have to listen to at work. Almost half of the respondents to the poll, which also names Usher and Robbie Williams, say that customers also complain about loud music driving them mad, whilst a third said that they had to listen to the same CD as many as twenty times a week. Workers also, not surprisingly, said that Christmas was the worst time of the year, because of the continuous repetition of songs like 'White Christmas', Slade's 'Merry Xmas Everybody' and a whole host of Cliff Richard songs.

And here they are. The top ten annoying singers, For Your Irritation.

Britney Spears
Usher
Kylie Minogue
50 Cent
Robbie Williams
Akon
Beyonce
Blue
Justin Timberlake
Michael Jackson

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MORRISSEY COMPLETING ALBUM IN CATACOMBS
Morrissey is reportedly in Italy working with Killers' producer Jeff Slazman on a follow up to 'You Are The Quarry'. The album, being recorded in a studio once used by Ennio Morricone in the catacombs of a 17th century church, is reportedly "the most full-on rock record Morrissey's ever done - it's a balls-to-the-wall rock record, not a slow one like the last one". According to Xfm the album is nearly finished and should be released in Spring 2006.

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MEL C BLAMES SPICE ALUMNI FOR HER LACK OF SUCCESS
Mel C is apparently blaming her fellow former Spice Girls for her recent lack of solo success, saying that their public failures have had a knock on effect. According to the Mirror she said: "This year there's been the Live 8 cancellation, Victoria Beckham's never out of the press, Melanie B released an album that didn't do much and Geri Halliwell had an unsuccessful release - and that reflects badly. You're guilty by association".

Things aren't looking good for the former Sporty Spice. Despite the fact that she has released some very competent (IMHO) albums over the last few years, she apparently performed a free concert for only 80 people in Australia this week. Mel said "Things are quite tough for me at the moment, but people are more open-minded in the rest of the world, so that's where I'm spending my time - where people appreciate me".

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DOHERTY SICK ON STAGE SHOCKER
Well, after managing to stay out of trouble at the Babyshambles' gig in Carlisle, Pete Doherty blotted his (rather blotted) copybook at the second date of their tour at Greenock. Doherty failed to make it to the 4pm sound check and having turned up eventually to perform, threw up on stage after downing a bottle of vodka, before throwing a microphone stand into the photographers pit, shouting "If you hate the fucking tabloids clap your hands."

He just gets more lovable all the time.

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