CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 21st October

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Warners Australia buy Festival Mushroom records
- UNESCO countries vote to protect homegrown cultural talent
- Album review: Depeche Mode - Playing The Angel
- Test Icicles reveal their inspiration
- Arctic Monkeys confirm next single
- Subways to cover Beatles track
- Eighties Matchbox gigs
- New Oasis single
- Children In Need get Liberty X
- Stereophonics single and tour
- Teenage Fanclub single and live dates
- AIM invite the media to Big Wednesday
- Van Halen to be the next Rock Stars?
- Murphy confirms BBC3 departure
- Orange launch web-integrated mobile download platform
- Vodaphone launch Sanchez mobile show
- MTV and Motorola collaborate on made-for-mobile show
- Motorola to offer iRadio platform to independents
- Women are bigger downloaders than men
- Album review: Gravenhurst - Fires In Distant Buildings
- More Lack to go rumours
- Homme develops unusual pastime
- Joss Stone's brother is convicted felon
- Jackson receives jury summons
- Sticky Fingaz arrested on gun charge
- Babyshambles debut leaked shocker
- Robbie Williams sees ghosts, breaks bones
- Kylie set for alternative cancer therapy
- Madonna: I'm not blasphemous, so there

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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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CMU'S FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Buzzin' Fly at The End
Mr C's recently celebrated ten years in the game with his club The End, and fair play to the man, the place is still hosting some damn good nights with its class sound system. This one should be particularly good - former Everything But The Girl guy Ben Watt's label Buzzin' Fly is having its Autumn bash. Expect quality house - deep, sexy and cool - but always with soul, as Mr Watt is joined by the near legendary Ian Pooley. Justin Martin and Chris Woodward will be shoring up the support.

Fri 21 Oct, The End. 16A West Central Street, London WC1A, 10pm-5am, £10-£12, info at http://www.buzzinfly.com or http://www.the-end.co.uk

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WARNERS AUSTRALIA BUY FESTIVAL MUSHROOM RECORDS
Warner Music Australia yesterday acquired Australian independent record company Festival Mushroom Records - well, I say independent, it was owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

The media conglomerate put FMR up for sale earlier this year. Warner Music was always a hot contender to acquire the label. The major was already the independent's distributor in Australia, and Warner Music UK bought the London branch of Mushroom Records back in 2003. However News Corp are said to have had discussions with the Australian wing of SonyBMG and Richard Branson's V2 before proceeding with the Warners deal.

The deal, estimated to be worth A$5-10 million, will need clearance from the Australian Competition Consumer Commission but, assuming that is granted, the merger should formally take place before the end of the year. In fact preparations have already been made for that merger with Warner recently hiring the MDs of FMR in both Australia and New Zealand for senior A&R and marketing roles at their Sydney offices.

What the merger means for the independent's staff and roster, which includes Kylie Minogue in Australia, is as yet unclear. Statements from Warners chiefs about the acquisition were upbeat but non-committal. Ed St John, CEO of Warner Music Australia, told reporters: "We are absolutely delighted to acquire this iconic Australian music company. FMR and its foundation labels have been the home for Australian music since the dawn of our industry."

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UNESCO COUNTRIES VOTE TO PROTECT HOMEGROWN CULTURAL TALENT
Members of the UN's Education, Science And Culture Organisation, UNESCO, have voted in favour of a 'cultural diversity convention', despite claims by the US that it is "deeply flawed" and will be used by some countries to block the export of American music and movie products.

The new convention aims to allow countries to take measures to protect their own cultural industries against foreign competition. These measures would most likely mirror those instituted by France, where government makes large subsidies available to its film, music, theatre and opera industries, and where media organisations are subject to strict quotas as to how much non-French content they can air.

Of course the foreign music and movie products most likely to dominate in many countries come from the US, hence their objection to the convention. American officials argued some countries would use the convention to justify anti-competitive measures that cut consumer access to non-native cultural ventures. However the US's 28 amendments to the convention were almost unanimously rejected by UNESCO delegates.

The UK supported the convention. Our man with the vote, Timothy Craddock, told reporters he thought the convention was "clear, carefully balanced, consistent with the principles of international law and fundamental human rights" and denied that it would be misused by member states. And Tim, we're sure, knows exactly what he's talking about.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Depeche Mode - Playing the Angel (EMI/Mute)
Depeche Mode have come a long way since the early days when they were fresh faced synth poppers. Over the years the Basildon boys' sound has evolved from their squeaky clean origins with Vince Clarke to something much darker. Their essential formula hasn't changed that much since 1986's global selling 'Black Celebration' album; stonking stadium stompers combined with sensitive ballads. But they've always kept things interesting because Martin Gore is such a superior songwriter and as a collective they've always managed to amalgamate a fascinating collage of sounds. One of their secrets of success is to absorb both timeless music genres and new fads into their music; dance, hip hop, gospel and grunge for example have all been put in their mix. On their 1983 album 'Construction Time Again' they were one of the first mainstream bands to be inspired by industrial bands like Einsturzende Neubauten, which in turn influenced later acts like Nine Inch Nails. The cycle is complete on this record with the Mode clearly inspired both by those original industrial bands but also by the new pretenders. ('The Sinner In Me' is the key track which suggests Gore has been taking notes from Trent Reznor.) 'A Pain That I'm Used To' gets the album off to a blistering start with some terrific abrasive sounds. 'John The Revelator' is similarly dark hued and hard edged. However there is plenty of melodic synth pop such as recent single 'Precious' and 'Suffer Well'. As is customary on Mode albums, Martin takes over from Dave Gahan on vocal duties with a couple of his most heartfelt and emotional songs, 'Macro' and 'Damaged People'. Gore's preoccupations generally continue to be the dark heart of romance and the harm done by organised religion. No doubt boosted by his song writing experience on his solo album, Gahan also co-writes three tracks. Depeche Mode celebrate their twenty fifth anniversary this year; one of the UK's most enduring and endearing bands, they have consistently produced great albums and I'm happy to say they've done it again. JW
Release date: 17 Oct
Press contact: Pomona [CP, RP] MBC [NP] Out Promotions [CR, RR, NR]

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TEST ICICLES REVEAL THEIR INSPIRATION
Buzzing buzz band Test Icicles have been talking about their forthcoming debut album 'For Screening Purposes Only', out on 31 Oct. They revealed that the record was inspired by a 1999 film 'Thicker Than Water', which deals with two rival gang leaders who are trying to make it as music producers.

The band's Rory Aggwelt explained how even the new LP's title is drawn from the film, which starred urban types Mack 10, Fat Joe and Ice Cube: "The whole album's based on that film. In the film, whenever bad shit goes down, the legend 'For Screening Purposes Only' appears on screen. The first song on our record 'Your Biggest Mistake' is about that film. The album is like life imitating art. There's a TV on the cover so that makes some sort of sense."

The group also cite some other influences, however, including Slayer DVDs, a Metallica documentary and internet community My Space "Dev [Hynez] was on My Space all the time. I remember walking over to Dev's room in the night and he wasn't sleeping, he was just there in a dark room hunched over a computer. It was really funny."

Hynez Added: "I was on My Space for 24-7. It was too much! In the end I deleted 1000 friends in France and quit my Live Journal."

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ARCTIC MONKEYS CONFIRM NEXT SINGLE
Even more buzzing buzz band Arctic Monkeys have confirmed that their next single release will be 'Sun Goes Down'. Asked if their follow up release to 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor' would be a song not yet featured in their live sets, frontman Alex Turner apparently told Gigwise "It's not going to be a new song. It's 'Sun Goes Down (Scummy)'. And then we haven't really planned the next one after that, but that's like promoting the album kinda thing."

Speaking about their album, guitarist James Cook said: "We want it to catch like, the live aspect of us. But we don't want it to be messy, but we want it to be powerful, like 'Definitely Maybe', that kinda sound."

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SUBWAYS TO COVER BEATLES TRACK
The Subways are to record a cover of Beatles track 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away' for the b-side of their next single. The song, written by John Lennon, will feature on one of the band's vinyl releases of 'No Goodbyes'. Other confirmed b-sides planned for this release are a new track 'Road To Nowhere' and a live version of 'Mary'.

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EIGHTIES MATCHBOX GIGS
Eighties Matchbox B-line Disaster, who are currently recording their new album, are to play two gigs at the end of the month before they head back into the studio. They appear at Glasgow Barfly on 30 Oct, and London Barfly on 31 Oct.

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NEW OASIS SINGLE
Oasis have revealed the next single to be released from current album 'Don't Believe The Truth'. The track, 'Let There Be Love', will be released on 28 Nov on CD, DVD and 10" vinyl, with the CD and vinyl versions featuring a new song entitled 'Sittin' Here In Silence (On My Own)'. The DVD will get bonus documentary footage shot during the course of the band's recent world tour.
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CHILDREN IN NEED GET LIBERTY X
Liberty X's new single is to be the official song for this year's Children In Need. As you may remember, last year's official song was Girls Aloud's cover of 'I'll Stand By You'. This year's is also a cover, of Shalimar's disco classic 'A Night To Remember', and will be performed by Liberty X during the fundraising telethon on 18 Nov, just prior to its release on 21 Nov.

The band's Kevin Simm: "We don't have to be the only ones raising money by singing. Families anywhere can do their own concert or maybe a sponsored karaoke to raise money."

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STEREOPHONICS SINGLE AND TOUR
Stereophonics are to release their fourth single from recent album 'Language. Sex. Violence. Other?' on 21 Nov. 'Rewind' will be available on 2 CDs, one containing the title track and another track exclusive to that release, 'Hammerhead', the other, a maxi single, features a version of Goldfrapp song 'Ooh La La', plus a live rendition of 'Maybe Tomorrow'. The single will also be released on 7" colour vinyl with an MHC remix of 'Superman'.

The band have also announced a series of live dates as follows:

12 Dec: Brighton Centre
13 Dec: Bournemouth International Centre
14 Dec: Exeter Westpoint
16 Dec: London Alexandra Palace
17 Dec: London Alexandra Palace

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TEENAGE FANCLUB SINGLE AND LIVE DATES
Crikey, it's all about the singles today, isn't it? Teenage Fanclub release their new single 'It's All In My Mind' on 21 Nov as a 7" & digital download. They've also announced three gigs, as follows:

22 Nov: London, Koko
23 Nov: Newcastle Academy 2
25 Nov: Glasgow ABC

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AIM INVITE THE MEDIA TO BIG WEDNESDAY
The next Big Wednesday event from the Association Of Independent Music will be all about music media. Media types, including print, radio and web decision makers, will be invited to mingle with AIM members to discuss, well, stuff. There'll be an open mic session at 6.30pm when media types will be invited to give a sixty second summary of what they do and what they're up to, which should be fun. It all takes place at the Digress Bar on Beak Street on Wednesday 9 Nov. Entrance to the event is free to AIM members, Friends of AIM and media types, tickets for anyone else are £25. Info from remi@musicindie.com. Hey, we're planning on going, so it will be a very rare chance to meet the CMU team (we don't get out much), which is surely, in itself, a reason to attend. No?

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VAN HALEN TO BE THE NEXT ROCK STARS?
Rumours on the web suggest that Van Halen might be the next band to recruit a new frontman via the Rock Star TV franchise. INXS, of course, found their new frontman through the global reality TV search, and TV execs are reportedly looking for another frontman-less band with which to make a second series of the show. Alice In Chains were reportedly up for consideration, though the band's guitarist, Jerry Cantrell, has denied those reports. Now Van Halen are favourites to appear, with Eddie and Alex Van Halen and Michael Anthony all allegedly on board for the show. It's a shame David Lee Roth will be busy with his new Howard-Stern-replacing radio show in New York - he could have auditioned.

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MURPHY CONFIRMS BBC3 DEPARTURE
BBC 3 boss Stuart Murphy has, as expected, announced he is leaving the digital channel he helped found. He will go to a new job as Creative Director at Wife Swap producers RDF.

Confirming his new appointment, Murphy told reporters: "The BBC is a phenomenal place to work, and I'll miss it a lot. I feel very privileged to have led the highly imaginative team who devised, launched, and then ran BBC Three. I feel I'm leaving the channel in fantastic shape, in great hands and on a real high".

Murphy's biggest achievement while at BBC 3 was, arguably, discovering Little Britain. So presumably he'll be tuning in to a lot of Radio 4 comedy programmes in the coming months in order to "discover" his first big hit for RDF.

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ORANGE LAUNCH WEB-INTEGRATED MOBILE DOWNLOAD PLATFORM
Perhaps the most important feature of the new O2 Germany download platform we reported on the other day was that it allows users to preview their mobile music collection on their PC. After all, those in the know (people like me) have been saying for a while now that if mobile music services are to succeed they cannot confine themselves to the phone handset.

Well, now Orange are launching a web-integrated mobile platform here in the UK. The new service, which launches next month, will allow customers to manage, store and preview tracks from the mobile firm's music catalogue on both their PC and mobile phone.

Launching the new service, Orange's Head Of Music Mark Ashford told reporters: "Further to Strategy Analytics' wireless benchmark survey, which placed [Orange's] Music Player as the best in class service in the UK, we have taken feedback from all areas to enhance our service even further. We have listened to critics and consumers alike and introduced web based previewing, storing, managing and purchasing of music. The new Music Player features are a huge leap forward in mobile music delivery and web integration, and demonstrate our commitment to pushing the boundaries of mobile music experience. We want to demonstrate a total music experience for our customers. You have to ask the question, why buy a separate music device this Christmas, when everything you need is on an Orange phone?"

The mobile industry has been keen to take a slice of the growing music download market for some time, but the phone companies' music services so far have been criticised for their lack of user-friendliness, and the relatively high cost of buying tracks from mobile download platforms compared to iTunes style services online.

Some doubt whether the phone companies can really succeed in the download space, though others point out that their existing customer base is vastly bigger than any of the online download companies, and that rather than trying to persuade those customers to buy a new piece of kit (an MP3 player), all the tel cos have to do is get their existing customers to upgrade.

Those more optimistic of the mobile firms chances have long said all the phone companies need to succeed is a user friendly cost effective service. Orange will be hoping they have found that. Obviously, that web/mobile integration is important, though whether the overall experience of Orange's new service can compete with iTunes remains to be seen.

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VODAPHONE LAUNCH SANCHEZ MOBILE SHOW
Talking of music on your mobile, Vodaphone have announced they are adding a new weekly video show on their Vodafone Live! 3G platform hosted by Mr Roger Sanchez. The made-for-mobile show will pretty much follow the format of the Pete Tong Fasttrax thing that has been available by 3's 3G platform for a while now - two three minute shows, one with Sanchez's music tips, the other a guide to what's going on in dance music.

Announcing the new video service, Yousseff Hammad of Inventa, who will make the weekly show, told reporters: "We are proud to be associated with Roger Sanchez and Vodafone and to bring you Roger Sanchez's Release Yourself on the DL video mobile show. Roger is a Grammy award winning artist and one of the world's leading DJ's, and I'm confident his show will be a huge success".

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MTV AND MOTOROLA COLLABORATE ON MADE-FOR-MOBILE SHOW
And staying with made-for-mobile video programming, MTV and Motorola have joined forces to create a new show for mobiles called 'Head And Body'. Apparently this will "track the adventures of a personality whose head is detached from his body", whatever that means. The show will be available via MTV's mobile distribution channels, via Motorola's website and in the US via the Comedy Central website.

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MOTOROLA TO OFFER IRADIO PLATFORM TO INDEPENDENTS
Even more content-for-your mobile news. Motorola in the US is planning on making its iRadio platform available to independent artists and labels, a service which would allow those artists and labels to create their own iRadio stations. The programme is expected to the formally announced at a conference in New York later today. iRadio should be launched early next year. As previously reported, the service will deliver hundreds of commercial free, targeted stations via an iRadio compatible phone. Users can listen to those stations via their phone or, using bluetooth, via an iRadio compatible home or car sound system. Universal are among the bigger companies who recently signed up to provide iRadio services.

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WOMEN ARE BIGGER DOWNLOADERS THAN MEN
Staying with digital music type shenanigans, and independent download platform TuneTribe has published some research that suggests that downloading music is no longer a male dominated pastime. Their research, back up by the BPI Music Buyers Survey, reckons that women are actually buying more digital music than blokes, though only just - 50.9% of the market share.

TuneTribe reckon that their service is more female friendly, hence the importance of the statistic. TuneTribe COO Ronnie Traynor explains: "We recognise that most [download] sites are geared towards men and forget that women are increasingly becoming high users in the market place. At TuneTribe we ensure that we speak to our audience in a relevant way and embrace the fact that women are music lovers too".

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ALBUM REVIEW: Gravenhurst - Fires In Distant Buildings (Warp)
Time to be scared again...this is another frighteningly brilliant album from music's answer to the Blair Witch Project. It all starts innocuously enough, with the moody but unthreatening post-rock meandering of 'Down River', haunted by occasional ghostly vocals from Nick Talbot. But then, all of a sudden, terrifyingly loud guitars unexpectedly puncture the tranquillity. It's as unsettling as suddenly finding a bloody corpse (I wonder if the guitar crunches are supposed to symbolise the striking of fatal blows...?) in the river as you stroll through the woods. There's an urge to run away, but, like any scene of crime, the spectacle is eerily compelling. From then on the spectre of MBV, Slint and other experimental guitar music is plain to see, although there are some more typical Gravenhurst moments, by way of the fragile acoustic balladry on 'Nicole' and 'Cities Beneath The Sea'. Maintaining the themes of violence and paranoia, the album rises to a murderous crescendo, firstly through the pummelling, hypnotic guitars of 'Songs From Under The Arches', and finally climaxing with the psychedelic workout of 'See My Friends'. A touch more scabrous and dirty than its two preceding albums, this is nonetheless impressive, rewarding listening. MS
Release date 24 Oct
Press Contact: Bang On [all]

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MORE LACK TO GO RUMOURS
Hey, it's been several days since we last reported on Andrew Lack's pending demise as boss of SonyBMG, so let's get a gossiping. Insiders are increasingly saying that that the question is no longer 'will Lack get kicked out of the SonyBMG top job?', rather 'when will he go?' Said insiders are less sure, though, on who will replace the top man. Some reckon former BMG boss and current non-executive Sony BMG Chairman Rolf Schmidt-Holtz will take over. Others say an outsider will be recruited, with former Warners chief Roger Ames on the short list. Some even reckon former Sony boss Tommy Mottola may be brought back in, which would be interesting.

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HOMME DEVELOPS UNUSUAL PASTIME
Josh Homme has revealed that he and soundman Hutch, together with tattoo artist and friend Wayne Sherman, have been indulging in a spot of interior design whilst on tour with Queens Of The Stone Age. The three have been drawing on hotel walls in areas usually covered by furniture, mirrors and headboards. Once they've finished a picture, they put the items back in place, meaning that hotel staff are none the wiser. Well, until they get around to a spring clean, presumably. Their 'installations' are all posted online at http://www.secretwalltattoos.com. Go have a look.

Bizarrely, a hotel chain are apparently talking to Homme about doing some official decorating for them. The guerrilla kind is probably more fun, though, as Homme indicated in the following statement: "It's like panties. There's something better behind the mystery. Rock bands used to be known for trashing hotel rooms. But we're now in the business of leaving something behind."

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JOSS STONE'S BROTHER IS CONVICTED FELON
The Sun reports that Joss Stone has admitted that her half brother Daniel Skillin is a convicted armed robber found guilty of trying to rob a Post Office armed with a hammer in back in 2000. He also walked out of his open prison in West Sussex in Jun 20, and stole three cars whilst on the run, according to the tabloid.

Stone says: "Everybody has made mistakes in their lives. I actually wrote a song about him on my album and that kind of says everything I want to say on the subject. A lot has happened in his life and he has been through a lot."

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JACKSON RECEIVES JURY SUMMONS
Michael Jackson has received a jury summons, posted to his Neverland ranch, just four months after he was in court over those child molestation charges. The fact that he is currently in Britain means that he will probably be able to get out of serving, though. Santa Barbara jury commissioner Gary Blair said "All he has to do is show he has legal residency somewhere else and he'll be exempted."

Jackson's legal team have filed the necessary paperwork requesting a deferment; our old friend Thomas Meserau said "He is permanently living outside of the United States."

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STICKY FINGAZ ARRESTED ON GUN CHARGE
Well, I never did. A rapper getting in trouble over guns? Yes, indeed. US urban star Sticky Fingaz has been arrested after he allegedly left an unlicensed firearm in a hotel room in Manhattan. The artist, real name is Kirk Jones, is not licensed to carry a weapon.

No comments have been forthcoming from Jones or his agent.

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BABYSHAMBLES DEBUT LEAKED SHOCKER
We're not sure that 'album being leaked on P2P network' is ever news any more. But here you go: Babyshambles' debut album 'Down In Albion' has made it on to the net ahead of its November release date. Shocking.

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ROBBIE WILLIAMS SEES GHOSTS, BREAKS BONES
All these crazy Robbie Williams stories. Is his life really like this or does he just make it up so that people like me end up writing about it? This time he has allegedly told The Mirror that he can see ghosts and believes he could have become "a holistic man of medicine and spirituality".

"I think I have powers," he said "I've seen things - my sister's dog jumping up at her feet when it had passed away years before. Security locks opening and closing in front of my eyes. TVs switching on and off." I think perhaps he eats too much cheese before bed.

Anyway, in further Williams news, femalefirst.co.uk are reporting that the singer has broken his arm, but is refusing to wear a cast because it interferes with his promotional duties for new album 'Intensive Care'- it's too hot and uncomfortable to perform in, apparently. Well, we all hope it gets better soon.

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KYLIE SET FOR ALTERNATIVE CANCER THERAPY
Kylie Minogue is to turn to an holistic medicine expert, Dr Nishi Joshi, for treatment to aid her fight against breast cancer, according to The Mirror. The singer, who has been receiving chemotherapy for three months, has been speaking to the alternative health practitioner for several weeks, apparently.

A source said: "Kylie is hugely impressed by what Nishi has been telling her but feels she needs to see him to get the best out of his treatment. She's feeling very weak and vulnerable but as soon as she feels able to, she'll travel over to London to see him. Kylie is certain that he has an enormous amount to contribute to her beating the illness."

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MADONNA: I'M NOT BLASPHEMOUS, SO THERE
Madonna has responded to those Jewish Mystic Kaballah types who accused her of blasphemy for writing the song 'Isaac' about a 16th century Jewish mystic called Yitzhak Luria.

The singer told MTV: "The absurd thing is that it's not what they think it is. It's not a song about Isaac Luria. I don't know anything about Isaac Luria, so I couldn't write a song about him. The song is called 'Isaac' because the man who is singing on it is named Isaac. I think one person saw that name and decided that they were going to go out and say I was doing something blasphemous, and it's just not true."

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