CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 17th October
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Beatles named icons of the last century
- Eavis talks Glasto 2007
- Babyshambles cancel more shows
- Midem announce details of digital offshoot
- Miami Music Conference dates set
- Manumission plan Ibiza rocks festival
- More on that album from Sonic Youth
- Yourcodenameis:milo do 'Newcastle sessions'.
- BAD member Hawkins dies
- Motley Crue on lookout for biopic director
- Motorola launch musical podcasts
- Universal appoint new senior player to mobile team
- Apple deal with Samsung off
- 7Digital step up video offering
- Is TV industry ready for iPod downloads?
- Australian labels score victory against ISP
- Album review: Various Artists - Jazzanova: The Remixes 2002-2005
- Virgin confirm O'Connell launch date
- Bectu ask for job cut clarification from GCap
- Brakes single and tour
- INXS get their highest US chart entry ever
- Chart update
- This week's student radio chart
- Subshot playlist
- Fatboy and David Byrne take on Imelda
- Freddie Mercury's car up for grabs
- Prince needs hip surgery
- Take That turn down lots of cash
- X-Factor finalists complain about camp rules
- Rolling Stones expecting imminent heart attacks

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JOBS N STUFF

BUSINESS DEVELOPER AT SOMA RECORDINGS: An exciting opportunity has arisen with Glasgow based recording company, Soma Recordings Limited, for a business developer. You will be joining a young and vibrant team and be responsible for managing and expanding the company's current business of licensing music to adverts, TV, film, games, compilations and other media. Main duties will involve: Getting to know and understand the Catalogue, managing relationships with current clients/customers, developing your own contacts, managing database, dealing with licensing requests and contracts, mailing out music regularly, working with IT department on digital catalogue, developing innovative ways of selling the music for various uses, liaising with publishers. General office admin expected as being part of a small team, and input into marketing & sales promotion. The ideal candidate will have an absolute passion for music and experience of working within the industry, preferable in a similar type role. Minimum of two years experience coupled with excellent communication & time management skills also a prerequisite. Email cover note and CV to jobs@somarecords.com

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BEATLES NAMED ICONS OF THE LAST CENTURY
The Beatles have beaten Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and Mickey Mouse to be named the icons of the last hundred years. The band came out top in a survey conducted by US entertainments industry weekly Variety, in which a host of music, movie and TV names were assessed for their icon status. The initial list was drawn up by key industry figures, while readers voted on the final hundred.

The Beatles headed up an actor dominated top ten in the icons survey. While Louis Armstrong came in a two, he was followed by Lucille Ball, Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando, Charlie Chaplin, James Dean and Marilyn Monroe. Mickey Mouse was a number nine, and Elvis at ten.

Among the criteria used to by Variety to assess each contender's iconic status were "their commercial and creative impact, number of imitators, enduring appeal and whether they appeared on T-shirts". The magazine said that the Beatles were "the sole group who have most shaped the face of modern-day showbusiness".

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EAVIS TALKS GLASTO 2007
Michael Eavis has told Xfm that he already has his headliner for the next Glastonbury Festival, but he's not yet giving away who it is. This is quite an achievement because, as previously reported, the festival is taking a year off in 2006 so won't return until June 2007. Eavis has also offered a few hints as to who else might be appearing.

Eavis told the radio station: "Thing is, I've got my headliner for 2007! Isn't that great? You can't believe it can you? We're working all the time on the line up for 2007 but I'm not telling you who it is obviously." When pressed for the act's identity, he continued: "They're not American, but I'm not saying a word more"

He went on to name a few names, however, of bands he'd like to see gracing the Glasto stages in 2007: "I'd quite like to see Jimmy Page back there with Robert Plant, that'd be great, we're always keen on Oasis, and how about The Bee Gees? That'd be quite nice wouldn't it? There's a whole lot of new stuff coming in - Kaiser Chiefs, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party and all sorts of great stuff. So I'd think some of them will come in at the Number Two slot."

Eavis also confirmed that a film is being made about the Glastonbury festival. The as yet untitled project is expected to be released in Feb.

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BABYSHAMBLES CANCEL MORE SHOWS
Not altogether unsurprisingly, Babyshambles cancelled the last three shows of their UK tour. The band, who allegedly plan to release their debut album on 14 Nov, issued a statement which read: "Due to a very heavy touring schedule and the constant pressure and continued harassment from outside sources, the band have unfortunately made the decision to cancel the shows this weekend in Norwich (Oct 14), Coventry (15) and London 's KOKO (16 Oct)."

The statement continued: "The decision has not been taken lightly and the band apologise to their fans for any inconvenience caused, especially to those in Norwich as this gig has already been rescheduled from the October 2 after Peter was held by the police in Shrewsbury (October 1) and was unable to make the journey from Shrewsbury to Norwich in time. Refunds will be available from point of purchase."

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MIDEM ANNOUNCE DETAILS OF DIGITAL OFFSHOOT
Some dates for your diaries, assuming you've bought a 2006 diary that is. Firstly, the MIDEM people have announced some dates and details for the digital and mobile music offshoot to the annual industry bash - MidemNet. It'll take place from 21-22 Jan, ie the two days before the main event (which takes place from 22-26 Jan next year). Among the people due to talk at the event are EMI chief Eric Nicoli (because EMI is "already ahead of the game when it comes to exploiting the opportunities created by digital technology", apparently) and Starbucks Entertainment boss Ken Lombard. Talking mobile type stuff will be Patricia Langrand, who is Senior Vice President Content Acquisition for France Telecom, and Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President and General Manager Multimedia for Nokia. It'll all be very exciting, I'm sure.

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MIAMI MUSIC CONFERENCE DATES SET
Next up, the dates for the 2006 Miami Music Conference have been announced - and the main thing to note is that the annual East Coast music event has extended its run to nine days, in a bid to spread out the events, to fit in extra showcases and, we're told, to allow for more beach time! The Conference will run from 18 - 26 Mar, with a Miami version of the Global Gathering festival getting things going on 18 and 19 Mar.

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MANUMISSION PLAN IBIZA ROCKS FESTIVAL
Talking of music events in sunny places, news incoming from the Manumission people regarding their plans for next summer's season. We've reported quite a lot of the Ibiza Rocks programme that the Manumission team launched this year, and following the success of all that, Andy Manumission has now revealed plans to stage an Ibiza Rocks festival on the island next June. Dance newsletter Skruff quote the Manumission man as saying: "We have a shortlist of three sites we're looking at, at the moment, the final decision is likely soon. We're promoting the festival along with some independent partners who we can not name yet."

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MORE ON THAT ALBUM FROM SONIC YOUTH
As previously reported, Sonic Youth are working on a new studio album, and now they've spoken about it to Billboard.com. They have also confirmed the rumour that guitarist Jim O'Rourke, who joined the band in 1999, is to take no part in the creation of the new long player.

Guitarist Lee Ranaldo explained O'Rourke's absence, saying: "Jim is going through a lot of different stuff personally and about where he sees his future. He's really interested in pursuing stuff outside the musical arena, particularly film work. Not necessarily soundtrack work, but making films and getting involved in that community. There was never any kind of binding agreement with us. We want what is best for him. That's not to say either individually some of us won't continue to work with him, or that in a group setting he won't ever be involved again. But for the next phase though, we're developing all this new material without him. He won't be involved in the production."

Ranaldo says that the group have nine songs ready for the album, which will probably be recorded at the start of next year. When asked what the new songs will sound like, he said: "It's always hard to say at this point. It hasn't taken on its own life yet. Some of it seems to be an extension of the last couple of records, but some hearkens forward into territory and also back to earlier, more dissonant and atonal stuff we've done. There's definitely some rocking songs and also some sound piece-y kind of things that are pretty interesting as well."

Ranaldo also spoke about some international shows due this year, and a retrospective planned for the groups 25th Anniversary next year, launching in Vienna. "It will be centered around us and the visual artists we've worked with," he said. "After Vienna, it will tour the world in four or six venues for the next two years. It will be an extensive show, probably with a performance series." He also thinks there may be an expanded re-release of 1988's 'Daydream Nation', following the successful expanded re-release of 1990's "Goo".

Finally, the band have recently been reunited with two of their guitars, stolen back in Jul of 1999 in California. The instruments were handed back by two men who, Ranaldo says, were not involved with the original crime, but were connected with people who were. He says: "They look like they've been through World War III. They've been repainted several times and the pickups were practically hanging by the wires. They were in really messed up shape, but we're happy to have them back, and they'll come back to life in the care of our crew guys."

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YOURCODENAMEIS:MILO DO 'NEWCASTLE SESSIONS'.
NME reports that Yourcodenameis:milo are working on a new 'Desert Sessions' style album, featuring a host of British talent. As you will almost definitely already know, Queens Of The Stone Age's Josh Homme regularly lures musicians into the California desert to work on recordings for his 'Desert Sessions' projects. In a similar project, yourcodenameis:milo have been luring people to, er, Newcastle. Bloc Party's Gordon Moakes, Graham Coxon, Tom Vek, Martin Grech, and Biffy Clyro are all said to be involved in the collaboration. The band also hope to get PJ Harvey, as well as Bjork, to pitch up in Newcastle.

The band's frontman Paul Mullen said: "We've got this place in Newcastle and we thought we'd invite bands to come up and why not do some collaboration? Normally we pick them up from the station, whisk them to our rehearsal space, and just start recording. It's a 12-hour process, and after 12 hours the track should be done, completed and mixed."

He continued: "You shouldn't just be a band. If you've got the time and you've got the space you've got to make something of it. We might balls the whole thing up but you've got to try!"

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BAD MEMBER HAWKINS DIES
Nick Hawkins, former guitarist with Big Audio Dynamite, died on 10 Oct at the age of 40. Hawkins, who joined Mick Jones in the band from 1990 until 1997, suffered a heart attack at his home. He was working on an album, 'Dusk Till Dawn', due for a 2006 release, at the time of his death.

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MOTLEY CRUE ON LOOKOUT FOR BIOPIC DIRECTOR
Motley Crue are looking for a new director to helm a biopic based on the band's biography 'The Dirt', after original director David Fincher pulled out of the project. Nikki Sixx says: "We had David Fincher to be the director, but Paramount needed him to do a very huge movie and wanted us to wait. In the meantime, we are now meeting with other directors. It will get made and it will get made right. The project has to be gritty. It's going to be like Goodfellas. It's going to have an underbelly to it."

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MOTOROLA LAUNCH MUSICAL PODCASTS
Motorola are to launch three 'podcast' features to mark the arrival of its iTunes compatible phone, the ROKR, in the UK. The podcasts are most notable in that they feature copyrighted music, something of a grey area in the emerging broadcast medium.

The three audio features, which ROKR owners will be able to listen to on the mobile's version of the iTunes player, include an interview with hip hop innovator Common conducted by BBC Radio 1 DJ Gilles Peterson, a discussion on the venues that shaped London's music scene between two other BBC radio presenters, Robert Elms and Bobby Friction, and a guide to New York nightspots from journalist Tom Terrell and DJ/actor Ramon Rodriguez.

The audio features come on the back of the much previously reported podcasting phenomenon, though the Motorola features aren't, technically speaking, podcasts - 'podcasting' not being the making available of speech-based programming as MP3, but the regular delivery of those MP3s via an RSS feed to someone's iTunes or chosen podcast-compatible player.

Nevertheless, Motorola are right to point out that the inclusion of music in podcast style audio features is, in itself, an interesting development. The implications of including copyrighted music in a podcast are not yet clear. Although we are led to believe that MCPS/PRS's current joint online agreement thingy actually covers podcasting (though, don't quote us on that), there has been no word from PPL regarding recording royalties and, given that they are yet to reach agreements with some conventional online radio stations, we can't expect a quick decision from that corner regarding whether or not music should be allowed into MP3 file podcasts as a matter of course and, if so, how much the podcasters will be charged for the privilege. Motorola got the music featured in their podcasts cleared by each individual label and publisher - but hope that in doing so they might help to encourage the music industry to start considering their position on the podcast phenomenon.

Motorola's Global Director Of Media Communications, Leslie Dance, told CMU: "Motorola is excited to be contributing to the development of podcasting. Although it's mushroomed in the last several months, podcasting is still quite new and at the stage where there's as much uncertainty as to what direction the form is going to take as there is excitement about its potential. We feel like we're helping to shape the future of podcasting - especially as far as licensing copyrighted music is concerned. But at the same time, and just as importantly, we're working with some groundbreaking artists to create exciting and relevant content for mobile phones."

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UNIVERSAL APPOINT NEW SENIOR PLAYER TO MOBILE TEAM
Now that you have brought up the delivery of music to mobile phones, which you kinda did, a quick bit of appointments news for you. Nina Hansdotter has just become VP Of Marketing & A&R at Universal Music Mobile International. For those that don't follow these things too closely, UMMI has been set up to help the Universal labels get the most out of the opportunities the mobile music space offers. In her marketing role Nina will be looking for marketing opportunities out there for Universal artists, while as an A&R person she will be looking at ways for artists to develop mobile specific content while still at the recording stage.

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APPLE DEAL WITH SAMSUNG OFF
And given that we've all gone kinda digital, how about some iPod news? Well, we reported last week that authorities in South Korea were considering investigating a deal between Korean electronics giant Samsung and Apple relating to the sale by the former of flash memory to the latter. Word had it that Samsung had done an extra special deal for Apple, who use the flash memory in the iPod shuffle. But because that deal wasn't available to Apple's competitors Samsung may have violated Korea's strict laws regarding anti-competitive business practices, and as a result the deal was getting considerable bad press in Korea. With that in mind, Apple have reportedly withdrawn from the deal, which would, apparently, have involved the US computer company investing in the Korean electronics firm. A source told the Korea Economic Daily: "As the anti-Samsung sentiment has recently deepened among some political and civic groups, Apple ended the talks, complaining about the sentiment". The paper says Apple is now talking to a US flash memory maker.

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7DIGITAL STEP UP VIDEO OFFERING
Staying with the iPod, and download back-end supplier 7Digital has announced they are stepping up their video provision following the launch last week of Apple's iPod Video, which will play videos in the MPEG4 format. The company has announced new video downloads have been added to the Coldplay and Gorillaz sites they power, while full length episodes of Dirty Sanchez will be available via MTV's site. The company's Ben Drury told reporters: "We have been selling near-DVD quality videos for over a year and we have seen huge demand for quality videos. The new iPod will help drive demand for quality video downloads and we are pleased to support it from day one."

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IS TV INDUSTRY READY FOR IPOD DOWNLOADS?
Meanwhile, elsewhere in iPod video news, there has been much chatter in the TV industry since the announcement of Apple's deal with US TV company ABC which will make episodes of flagship American TV shows available for download to an iPod video at just two dollars a time. Some ABC affiliates are already expressing concerns that making shows available in this way will hit the ratings of programmes they are paying good money to syndicate. An recent article in the Hollywood Report observed: "The prospect of the new device distracting Nielsen-measurable eyeballs from its own over-the-air programming is generating some anxiety from stations all over the country about how their business will be affected by the download-on-demand availability of some of the network's biggest hits". Meanwhile unions representing actors and writers in Hollywood are already asking what kind of cut they can expect from the TV download service - which means there could be some messy contract renegotiations in the pipeline as Apple forces another industry to consider the digital-on-demand future ahead of schedule.

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AUSTRALIAN LABELS SCORE VICTORY AGAINST ISP
The Australian music industry has won its case against an internet service provider over the running of a bit-torrent file sharing network which, the record labels claim, was being used to enable high levels of illegal content sharing. The Association of the Recording Industry Of Australia's Music Industry Piracy Investigations unit claimed that a group of employees at Swiftel were operating the bit torrent network.

Despite initially resisting attempts to discuss its internal operations, bosses at Swiftel last week reached an agreement with the record labels over those allegations, reportedly making a compensation payment to the content owners and committing to ensuring no file sharing hubs are run on its network. While the specifics of the settlement are not known, Swiftel used the resolution as an opportunity to express its wishes to work more closely with the music industry to fight online piracy. The company's chief, Ryan O'Hare, told reporters: "Swiftel regrets that it has not taken enough action to date to stop internet piracy. We are committed to implementing a new set of industry leading compliance programs to protect the music industry."

Those comments are interesting, because internet service providers have, in the past, distanced themselves from the responsibility of policing the sharing of music online - often hindering attempts by the record industry to crack down on P2P usage by only revealing information on their operations or their customers when forced to do so by the courts. Swiftel, of course, had specific reasons to talk up ISP/record label collaboration, but their statement of intent may be a sign that the internet service providers are changing their attitude now that the music industry has scored some significant legal victories against the technology firms who make P2P software.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - Jazzanova: The Remixes 2002-2005 (Sonar Kollektiv)
The legendary Teutons return with the follow up to their amazing earlier remix collection. More diverse and slightly more 'arty' than the previous offering, the album begins in typical J-Nova fashion with Heavy's 'Wonderlove', 'Our Time Is Coming' by Masters At Work & Roy Ayers, a real treat, shortly followed by the best track on the album, Shaun Escoffery's 'Let It Go' remixed a la 90's house. There are low points; most notably the rework of Calexico's 'Dark Heart', which doesn't work - I just don't follow the angle here and Free Design's 'Lullaby', the chill out to end the collection, which comes across too much like an excerpt from 'The Sound Of Music'. But the good tracks are in evidence too; Marcos Valle's 'Besterias' with its true future jazz lick, and Nuspirit Helsinki's 'Honest' to name two. All in all, this is good, but a tad of a let down and bit too abstract in places. Perhaps it wants too much to be cool, when they really, really don't have to try. PV
Release date: 15 Nov
Press contact: Rocket Science [all]

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VIRGIN CONFIRM O'CONNELL LAUNCH DATE
Virgin Radio have confirmed that Christian O'Connell will arrive on their breakfast show on 23 Jan. Mr O'Connell will bring with him the team behind his Xfm show - producer Roque Segarde Vieto, assistant producer Brian Murphy and news man Chris Smith.

No word yet on what will happen to current Virgin Radio breakfast show hosts Pete and Geoff once O'Connell arrives. They announced they would be leaving the breakfast slot earlier this year, just before the station confirmed it had recruited O'Connell. The duo are expected to take another slot on the station, but it is not yet clear what that might be. Meanwhile their agent, Alex Armitage has told the Guardian they are getting an enormous amount of offers from elsewhere.

Back at Xfm, the lovely Lauren Laverne will take over the breakfast slot on 31 Oct, giving her a three month head start to win over an audience before O'Connell arrives on the rival station.

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BECTU ASK FOR JOB CUT CLARIFICATION FROM GCAP
Christian O'Connell's team are probably wise to follow their host over to Virgin Radio given those pending post-merger redundancies at Xfm owner GCap - with former Capital employees seemingly more likely to get the chop than those who previously worked for GWR.

Regarding those redundancies, broadcasting union Bectu has written to GCap bosses to ask for clarification on their downsizing plans. According to the Guardian, the union's letter asks GCap management just how many redundancies are proposed, how "meaningful" the company's consultation with staff will be, and whether staff are being told they are redundant without any consultation, contrary to Department of Trade and Industry rules.

Of course, GCap doesn't actually recognise any unions, so it is under no obligation to tell Bectu anything. With that in mind the union is issuing a leaflet for those likely to be affected by the radio conglom's plans, to ensure they get what the law promises them, especially if there are over 100 redundancies when the laws governing these things get stricter (what's the betting there'll be 99 job cuts?).

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BRAKES SINGLE AND TOUR
Brakes, who release new single 'Ring A Ding Ding' this very day, are on tour, pretty much as we speak. Here are the dates if you want to catch them:

18 Oct: London Borderline
19 Oct: Liverpool Barfly
20 Oct: Cardiff Barfly
21 Oct: London Queens of Noize @ 333
22 Oct: London Club Frog @ Mean Fiddler, London
23 Oct: Oxford Zodiac
24 Oct: Birmingham Barfly
25 Oct: Bristol Fleece
26 Oct: Brighton Concorde 2
27 Oct: Tunbridge Wells Forum
28 Oct: Leeds Cockpit

And if an instore PA & signing is what you're after:
20 Oct: Spillers, Cardiff (4pm)
22 Oct: Rough Trade Store, Covent Garden London (2pm)
28 Oct: Jumbo Records, Leeds (4pm)

Oh, and if you want to see the video for the new single, which is a bit gory, apparently ("I've worked on four horror films and never seen as much blood as this," said the prosthetics artist), go here: http://www.sanctuarynewmedia.com/roughtrade /video/?show=brakes

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INXS GET THEIR HIGHEST US CHART ENTRY EVER
INXS have achieved the highest US chart entry of their careers, with their first release following the reality TV recruitment of new frontman JD Fortune. The new single, 'Pretty Vegas', entered the Billboard Hot 100 at 37. It's the band's first appearance in the Billboard chart for more than 12 years.

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CHART UPDATE
UK charts now. No change whatsoever at the top of the singles chart this week, with Sugababes still at number 1 with 'Push The Button', Robbie still at number 2 with 'Tripping' and the Pussycat Dolls ft Busta Rhymes still at number 3 with 'Don't Cha'. The highest new entry is U2's 'All Because Of You' at four, while Blazin Squad spin off Friday Hill go in at five with their pretty mediocre debut single, 'Baby Goodbye' at 5.

Other new entries singles wise as follows: Feeder with 'Shatter/Tender' at 11, Lee Ryan with 'Turn Your Car Around' at 12, Lisa Scott-Lee with 'Electric' at 13, Bob Sinclar ft Gary Nesta Pine with 'Love Generation' at 15, Roll Deep with 'Shake A Leg' at 24, Bow Wow ft Omarion with 'Let Me Hold You' at 27, Simply Red with 'Perfect Love' at 30 and Inme with 'So You Know' at 33.

Albums wise, a handful of new entries, the first at the top of the charts where the Sugababes get the double, going straight in at number one with new album 'Taller In More Ways'. The other album new entries run thus: Paul Weller's 'As Is Now' at 4, Mariah Carey's greatest hits at 9, Bryn Terfel's 'Simple Gifts' at 10, Liberty X's 'X' at 27 and Ricky Martin's 'Life' at 40.

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THIS WEEK'S STUDENT RADIO CHART
Yep, it's back after that long summer break, the most played tracks on student radio in the UK this week. And a good start to the new academic year for Domino, so well done them.

1. Artic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor (Domino)
2. Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want To (Domino)
3. Bloc Party - 2 More Years (V2/Wichita)
4. Editors - Bullets (Kitchenware)
5. Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Rough Trade)
6. The Kooks - Sofa Song (EMI/Virgin)
7. Sugababes - Push The Button (Universal/Island)
8. Hard-Fi - Livin' For The Weekend (Warner/Atlantic)
9. Basement Jaxx - Do Your Thing (Beggars/XL)
10. Audio Bullys - I'm In Love (EMI/Virgin)
11. Feeder - Shatter (Echo)
12. Maximo Park - Apply Some Pressure (Warp)
13. Nine Black Alps - Unsatisfied (Universal/Island)
14. We Are Scientists - The Great Escape (EMI/Virgin)
15. Ben Folds - Jesusland (SonyBMG/Epic)
16. U2 - City Of Blinding Lights (Universal/Island)
17. Tom Vek - Nothing But Green Lights (Universal/Island)
18. El Presidente - Rocket (SonyBMG)
19. The Magic Numbers - Love's A Game (EMI/Heavenly)
20. Prodigy - Voodoo People (Pendulum Remix) (Beggars/XL)
21. Robbie Williams - Tripping (EMI)
22. Kanye West - Gold Digger (Universal/Roc A Fella)
23. The Ordinary Boys - Life Will Be The Death Of Me (B-unique)
24. Starsailor - In The Crossfire (EMI)
25. Art Brut - Good Weekend (Fierce Panda)
26. The Cardigans - I Need Some Fine Wine (Universal/Polydor)
27. Texas - Can't Resist (Universal/Mercury)
28. Happy Mondays - Playground Superstar (Big Brother)
29. Littl'Ans - Their Way (Rough Trade)
30. The Modern - Jane Falls Down (Universal)

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SUBSHOT PLAYLIST
So, here are the tracks that are getting video play on the Sub TV network in union bars around the country. New additions are marked with **.

A LIST
Audio Bullys - I'm In Love (EMI/Virgin)
Ben Folds - Jesusland (SonyBMG)
Bloc Party - Two More Years (V2/Wichita)
El Presidente - Rocket (SonyBMG/One Records)
Feeder - Shatter (Echo)
Happy Mondays - Playground Superstar (Big Brother)
Maximo Park - Apply Some Pressure (Warp)
Proof - Gurlz Wit Tha Boom (Iron Fist)
Starsailor - In The Crossfire (EMI)
The Magic Numbers - Loves A Game (EMI/Heavenly)

B LIST
Brakes - Ring A Ding Ding (Rough Trade)
Littl'ans Feat. Pete Doherty - Their Way (Rough Trade)
**Louie - Trees (Loaded Dice)
Louis XIV - Finding Out True Love Is Blind (Warners/Atlantic)
**Pure Reason Revolution - The Intention Craft (Sony BMG)
Rifles - Local Boy (SINE)
Robbie Williams - Tripping (EMI)
Roll Deep - Shake A Leg (EMI/Relentless)
Stars - Reunion (City Slang)
**The Beauty Shop - A Desperate Cry For Help (Snapper)
**The Gagas - Crash And Burn (Crisis Media)
The Kooks - Sofa Song (EMI/Virgin)
**Tiga Feat. Jake Shears - You Gonna Want Me (PIAS)
U2 - All Because Of You (Universal/Island)
**White Rose Movement - Alsation (Independiente)

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FATBOY AND BYRNE TAKE ON IMELDA
Yes, this is true, apparently. Norman 'Fatboy' Cook and Talking Head David Byrne are collaborating on a musical about former Philippine first lady and notorious shoe-lover Imelda Marcos. 'Here Lies Love', which is to premiere at Australia's Adelaide Festival, billed as "a timeless story with more contemporary resonances than are comfortable", is said to examine Marcos' passion for music and night clubs (not shoes, then?)

An Adelaide Festival Spokesman said "She loved the nightlife in all parts of the world, and in New York at Studio 54, so much so that she installed a disco in her NYC townhouse. It was a non-stop party, featuring politicians, arms dealers, financiers, artists, musicians and the international jet set."

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FREDDIE MERCURY'S CAR UP FOR GRABS
Freddie Mercury's silver Rolls Royce is being auctioned on eBay. The car, a Silver Shadow model, comes complete with an unused box of tissues that the singer always stored in the vehicle, as the Queen star's sister Kash could not bring herself to remove it when she took possession of the car.

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PRINCE NEEDS HIP SURGERY
Prince is apparently to have hip surgery because he's spent his life wearing far too many high heeled shoes. He is allegedly chary about the idea because of his religion. As you know, the diminutive star is a Jehovah's Witness, which means he can't have a blood transfusion.

Of course, it may be complete rubbish. But a no doubt extremely reputable source told the never-scurrilous National Enquirer: "Over the years he has battered his body so much that his joints, especially his hips, are causing him a lot of discomfort."

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TAKE THAT TURN DOWN LOTS OF CASH
According to The People, Take That have turned down a £5m offer to reform for a one off ten day tour. Nice work if you can, er, refuse it. Anyway, they said they wouldn't do it after they apparently clashed whilst filming an ITV documentary. The boys (ahem) met up three weeks ago but tensions reportedly ran high, which is hardly a surprise.

Robbie said: "We will never go back on the road. When we ended we were great. We don't want to become Status Quo."

An ITV1 source said: "When it came out they were meeting, there were offers of £1 million each to tour. But the tension was really high. Robbie revealed how he hated the band in the final days [revealed? was it a secret?]. We were worried fists would fly."

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X-FACTOR FINALISTS COMPLAIN ABOUT CAMP RULES
Finalists on the pop reality bonanza that is X Factor are complaining about the show's producer's strict regime. The final wannabe pop stars are now all staying in a North London house while they receive more coaching from their allocated X Factor mentor. You might expect that to be one long party, but the show's bosses are being very strict about what goes on there, not even allowing two of the finalists with birthdays this weekend (Carl Pemberton of Journey South and favourite Shayne Ward) to stage any celebrations.

One source told the People: "Carl and Shayne feel pretty let down because they can't get together with their mates for a big blow out. A lot of the hopefuls are starting to get twitchy with the way they are being locked in. They see it like a PoW camp. With no booze and this supposed sex ban they are all feeling this show is not the fun they hoped for. The showbiz lifestyle is much harder than they imagined. One said it was more like Guantanamo Bay's Camp X Ray than X Factor."

Which makes you think they should really start a reality show based around life in a prisoner of war camp, perhaps they could call it 'Get A Bit Of Perspective'.

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ROLLING STONES EXPECTING IMMINENT HEART ATTACKS
The Rolling Stones, currently still on that US tour, have a defibrillator backstage in case anyone collapses from a heart attack, or they do according to The Sun. A source apparently said: "With all four band members now veterans, their managers are not taking any chances."

Not sure I buy it. It would seem not a little pessimistic and hardly very rock and roll. A spokesman for the band said: "I've never seen a defibrillator backstage". And I, for one, believe him.

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