CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 8 November
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Grokster shuts down P2P
- Led Zepp share Polar Music Prize
- Pop Factory nominations out
- Japanese iPod tax may be on hold
- EMI say 'not us mate' to dodgy protection software
- Lennon solo catalogue goes digital
- Apple's Slim Shady ad prompts cease and desist letter
- Live review: Princess Superstar at Cargo on 2 Nov
- Shonen Knife's Nishiura dies
- Homme talks about tour
- New Bowie EP
- Queen re-release Night At The Opera
- Fugees announce third UK live show
- Single review: Buck 65 - Kennedy Killed The Cat
- DJ Format tour
- Four Day Hombre at Hoxton bar tonight
- Public Enemy might not be touring
- Phil Collins says Genesis could reform
- Durst denies Limp Bizkit split rumours
- Swansea licence goes to local group
- Live review: Rooster at Shepherd's Bush Empire on 4 Nov
- Lennon lyrics fail to sell
- Madonna is furious about net leak
- Liam Gallagher continues to diss British bands
- Corrs get honorary MBEs
- Doherty reveals secret second child shocker
- Jackson records songs with his kids
- Elton John wedding news
- Louis Walsh is king of pop
- KT Tunstall ditches fans for Jools

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GROKSTER SHUTS DOWN P2P
Grokster has formally responded to that landmark Supreme Court ruling against its P2P operations by taking its service offline and agreeing to a reported $50 million settlement with copyright owners.

As previously reported a million times before, the P2P company was defeated earlier this year when the long running MGM v Grokster case reached the US Supreme Court. Despite a defence that said the software firm merely made a legitimate P2P technology and could not be held responsible if others used it for non-legit purposes, the judges ruled the defendants had, in fact, profited by enabling their customers to illegally share copyright music and that, in their marketing activity, they had implied that such file sharing was acceptable.

It is not clear what the future now holds for Grokster. There have been reports that Mashboxx, who are developing a legal file sharing system, are interested in buying defeated P2P company - their founder, Wayne Rosso, is a former CEO of Grokster. For the time being the Grokster website is promising a legitimate P2P service at some point in the future called Grokster 3G.

For most P2P users the future of Grokster is irrelevant. The nature of P2P means people will be still able to use the software even if the company itself is not longer distributing it. More to the point, ever since MGM v Grokster P2P users have been jumping ship to rival services like Limewire, eDonkey and Bearshare. It remains to be seen if the precedent of the MGM case can be used to force those sites out of business too.

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LED ZEPP SHARE POLAR MUSIC PRIZE
UK rock band Led Zeppelin and Russian conductor Valery Gergiev have been named winners of the Polar Music Prize, which, you all surely know, is an annual prize awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Music to recognise outstanding contributions to the world of music.

Announcing the prize, the Academy said Gergiev, artistic and general director of the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, had been chosen "for the way his unique electrifying musical skills have deepened and renewed our relationship with the grand tradition. He has managed to develop and amplify the importance of artistic music in these modern changing times". Led Zeppelin, meanwhile, were considered by the Academy to be "one of the great pioneers of rock".

The Polar Prize was founded by former Abba manager Stig Anderson, and winners receive a one million Kroner (£70,523 GBP) prize. Past winners have included Paul McCartney, violinist Isaac Stern and music producer Quincy Jones. Gergiev and the surviving members of Led Zepp will be awarded their prize by Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf next May.

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POP FACTORY NOMINATIONS OUT
More awards for you, and the nominations for the 2006 Pop Factory Awards were announced in Cardiff yesterday. These, in case you wondered, are the Welsh music awards, with a load of Welsh (or partly Welsh talent) appearing on the shortlists. Charlotte Church and Jem are up for Best Pop Act, Goldie Lookin Chain and the Super Furry Animals are all nominated for Best Album while The Automatic, The Heights and The Poppies are all up for Best New Act. The full list of nominations runs thus:

Best Pop Act: Charlotte Church, Jem, Liberty X
Best Live Act: Bullet For My Valentine, Stereophonics, Feeder
Best New Act: The Automatic, The Heights, The Poppies
Best Welsh Language Act: Ashokan, The Poppies, Sibrydion
Best Album: GLC - Safe As Fuck!, Feeder - Pushing The Senses, Funeral For A Friend - Hours, Super Furry Animals - Love Kraft
Best Welsh Band: Lostprophets, Funeral For A Friend, Goldie Lookin Chain, GLC, Stereophonics
Best Music Export: Jem, Lost Prophets, Skindred
Best Live Event: Escape Into The Park, Green Man Festival, Wakestock
Community Music Award: CMW - Community Music Wales, Gwallgofiaid, Sonig
Best Performance on 'The Guest List': Bullet For My Valentine, Elbow, Towers Of London, Turin Brakes

Full info on the awards event, which will take place on 3 Dec, and will be televised on ITV Wales on 6 Dec, is at http://www.thepopfactorymusicawards.com. Press info is from Fifth Element, who are, of course, also the PR contact for the previously reported Smash Hits Poll Winners Party (and not 'Fifth Biz' as I might have written in yesterday's Daily!).

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JAPANESE IPOD TAX MAY BE ON HOLD
Attempts to introduce an iPod tax in Japan is, seemingly, going through a tough approval process which will certainly delay its introduction, and possibly jeopardize the whole venture. As previously reported, the so called iPod tax would be a surcharge added to every digital music player sold that is passed on to the copyright holders. The concept runs that people make additional copies of music when they transfer it to a portable music device, and they should pay a licence fee to the content owners for the privilege of doing so. Basically it is a modern version of the levy charged in some countries, including Japan, on the sales of blank cassettes and CDRs. The proposals are currently at committee stage, but word is political types want a considerable revamp to the proposals put forward by the various royalty bodies, and it is unlikely anything will be agreed until 2007.

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EMI SAY 'NOT US MATE' TO DODGY PROTECTION SOFTWARE
EMI are distancing themselves from that dodgy anti-piracy software we reported on last week. The protection software, called 'rootkit', was created by First4Internet and used by SonyBMG until IT types pointed out last week that it made a user's computer more susceptible to virus attack. Experts also said that the protection software was more or less impossible to uninstall.

Presumably concerned that by saying nothing people would assume they too used the dodgy software, EMI have gone on record as saying they do not use First4Internet technology, adding that "there is no 'rootkit' behavior [with our protection software], and there are no processes left running in the background".

SonyBMG have, of course, stopped using the software and have issued a patch which removes it from user's PCs. However the bad PR relating to the anti-piracy initiative might not go away straight away - Cnet reports that a San Francisco law firm is representing a music fan (or possibly fans) who is considering suing SonyBMG over the dodgy install. More on that when we get it.

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LENNON SOLO CATALOGUE GOES DIGITAL
There are few artists whose music is still unavailable from legitimate digital sources, but probably the biggest name notable by their absence are the Beatles. Well, that is still the case, but John Lennon tracks are, as of this week, available for proper download. A collection of Lennon's solo work called 'Working Class Hero' is being added to the Napster, Yahoo and Real's Rhapsody catalogues. The addition is presumably to coincide with the 25th anniversary of his death, and sales may well be helped by that previously reported movie about Lennon's murder, 'Chapter 27'.

The download platform notably excluded from the Lennon package is iTunes - presumably because Beatles company Apple Corp are still midway through legal action against the computer firm for using the 'Apple' name in the music space, something they promised not to do in an old trademark agreement. As I remember it, Apple were defending themselves by claiming that the launch of iTunes did not mean Apple were trading in the music business, because iTunes was just a bit of file distribution software that happened to distribute music files - "We at Apple Computers", they said, "are still in the business if IT". Of course if rumours that Apple are planning on launching their own record label prove to be true, then Apple Corps will have a much stronger case against the computer firm. Either way, if and when the Beatles do go digital, it's pretty unlikely you'll find them on iTunes (though, come to think of it, I wouldn't say anything was beyond the negotiating skills of Apple boss Steve Jobs).

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APPLE'S SLIM SHADY AD PROMPTS CEASE AND DESIST LETTER
Staying in Apple's legal department, and news that the computer firm's partnership with Eminem might lead to litigation, though the lawsuit will come from the world of footwear rather than hip hop.

After two years of negotiations Apple recently entered a partnership with Slim Shady which sees an iPod advert set to the rapper's music - an ad promoting both Apple's music players and the forthcoming greatest hits package from Slim Shady. The problem, it would seem, is that while the ad follows a similar pattern to past iPod commercials, it also has several features in common with an advert used by footwear company Lugz three years ago.

Lugz are claiming that the advert, which sees a rapper silhouetted out on a background of reds and browns, is a "rip-off" of their ad, and they have sent a cease and desist letter to the computer firm. Apple are yet to respond to the legal letter, but Lugz seem willing to go to court should they not dramatically change their Eminem campaign. Lugz Executive Vice President Larry Schwartz told the New York Daily News: "We will take whatever legal action is necessary to protect our rights".

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LIVE REVIEW: Princess Superstar @ Cargo on 2 Nov
The truth is, I wasn't greatly aware of Princess Superstar's music prior to this gig. Yes, of course I had heard that one big hit, but that was it; so I arrived at the venue definitely wanting to be there, because I'd heard good things, but not knowing what to expect, to be honest. When we got there, it was surprisingly quiet. Perhaps it was because it was a wet night in East London. Or perhaps it was because too many people, like me, had only ever heard the lady's one big hit. Either way, I was pleased to be out of the rain, and pleased to be in the warm and cosy Cargo. The seats in the bar area are so very, very comfy. But less about the comfy seats and more about the music; first up were the support act The Loose Cannons. It's probably no secret to our readers that we here at CMU are passionate Loose Cannons fans, bordering on the maniacal, so their presence on this (let us not forget) damp and gloomy night was an unexpected bonus. Lord Fader and Kaiser Saucy are without doubt (in my mind at least) the coolest boys in old London town, and their sets are always high energy funk-fests, complimented by the superlative talents of the rest of their line up. They were playing to a (rather small) bunch who seemed a bit reluctant to get into it; but if there's anyone can enthuse a crowd, I reckon these are the guys to do it. Like the headline act, later that night, they seemed to be suffering from some sound trouble, but still managed to charm a reaction out of the crowd. A short break preceded the advent of the blonde bombshell that is Princess Superstar, and by this stage the crowd was bigger and warmer, and definitely poised to get the best from this show. Ms Superstar's set is an eclectic one, making a fair amount of use of a large video backdrop that continues the act whilst she's off stage changing into her next eccentric outfit, fitting accoutrements to an energetic and accomplished performance. Like I said at the start, I was pretty much a Princess Superstar virgin, and was surprised by the breadth and variety of material she had to offer. She played that one big hit a couple of songs in, and it didn't seem so very special compared to the other tracks she subsequently played which display a greater musical and lyrical range than I had previously given her credit for. As I said earlier, there seemed to be a bit of trouble with the sound though. The mikes kept giving out, for one; but it wasn't just that, there was something about the sound levels that made Princess Superstar's lyrics a tad difficult to make out; perhaps this didn't matter to the rest of the crowd, who possibly knew the lyrics anyway; but as someone in the process of being won round, it would have been nice to get a better sense of what she was saying, because I'm pretty sure that great deal of Princess Superstar's charm is in the lyrics. Obviously, I don't blame her; and the live show has made me listen to more Princess Superstar than just that big hit 'Bad Babysitter', which is a very good thing because, to be honest, it is nowhere near Princess Superstar at her best. In fact, I can't help thinking that the hit record has somehow rendered Ms Superstar something verging on a novelty act rather than a serious artist; which is all a bit unfair. I intend to make myself more familiar with the rest of her oeuvre, and cautiously recommend you do the same. CM

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SHONEN KNIFE'S NISHIURA DIES
Mana "China" Nishiura, former drummer of Japanese band Shonen Knife, has been killed in a car crash whilst on tour in the US with current band DMBQ. The band's tour bus was clipped by a car, before rolling down an embankment and into the path of an oncoming pickup truck. Nishiura was flung from the vehicle in the incident, which happened near Pennsville, New Jersey, on Friday, and was pronounced dead at the scene. The four other members of the band and their manager were all taken to hospital for treatment for injuries described as "not serious".

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HOMME TALKS ABOUT TOUR
Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme has spoken to billboard.com about their relationship with current US tour-mates Nine Inch Nails. Homme said: "I think the audience doesn't understand how closely related the two bands are, because we both are seeking to do our own thing. Aaron North is my favorite guitar player. He and Trent (Reznor) bang off of each other without seeing the other one is coming, so there's a certain brutality to it. That's what I like. There's not a fake bone in this touring body."

Homme also spoke about the intimate gigs his band have been playing in various locations in the last year - at a bookstore in Portland, Oregon, a record shop in Austin, Texas, and an Army/Navy surplus outlet in Chicago. The QOTSA frontman said: "The one in Chicago, we were setting up the PA ourselves when everyone came in. It was like playing at your friend's house. The one in Austin was strange because I felt really ill. We showed up and people had been waiting inside Waterloo for an hour, and there was nothing set up at all. We had to set up in front of them watching. There was a drunk, 16-year-old girl there who tried to heckle and I had to destroy her with my telekinetic powers."

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NEW BOWIE EP
There are some things, some people, that I will love forever, no matter what they do, and for some reason, David Bowie is one of them. Anyway, he's going to release a new EP next year featuring live performances of some of his classic songs. Entitled 'David Bowie - Serious Moonlight', and to be followed by a DVD release of the same name, the EP is set for release on 13 Feb and includes versions of 'Space Oddity' and 'Young Americans'. The DVD, out the following month, will feature the official film of his 1983 tour plus tour documentary 'Ricochet' which filmed Bowie during his time in Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Hurrah.

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QUEEN RE-RELEASE NIGHT AT THE OPERA
Queen are to celebrate their 30th anniversary with a special CD/DVD release of 'A Night At The Opera'. The album has been restored from the original analogue recordings and the DVD contains brand new video footage as well as archive audio commentary from all four members of Queen, including late frontman Freddie Mercury.

Guitarist Brian May says: "This DVD also features for the first time visuals for every track on the album - some, like the original 'Bohemian Rhapsody' video, carefully digitally restored and re-graded, and some, like the stunning new video for 'Good Company', created especially for this release. There are also some special commentaries, ancient and modern, from all four Queen members on facets of the tracks, and ... yes, this is quite simply the best 'Night At The Opera' ever produced. I doubt if it can ever be bettered!"

It's out on 21 Nov, and if you don't already know which songs are on 'A Night At The Opera', here's a list. It's quality.

Death On Two Legs
Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon
I'm In Love With My Car
You're My Best Friend
39
Sweet Lady
Seaside Rendezvous
The Prophet's Song
Love Of My Life
Good Company
Bohemian Rhapsody
God Save The Queen

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FUGEES ANNOUNCE THIRD UK LIVE SHOW
The Fugees have confirmed a third UK live show, following that recent announcement that the group are back together and working on an album after a hiatus of nearly a decade. The band recently announced a full European tour, with two UK dates at the MEN in Manchester on 13 Dec and Hammersmith Apollo on 14 Dec, but have now added a another night at the Apollo on 25 Nov.

Wyclef Jean told The Observer this weekend that he expects The Fugees to be as strong as ever in their return, saying: "Tell all my people in England...to bring out all their whistles and their foghorns. The Fugees are never orthodox - we're three very strong characters, musically, spiritually, intellectually. And everything we've been through has just made us stronger. We've all been travelling, seeing the world, and we've got a lot to talk about. Musically, you can expect reggae, R&B, rock. "We're naturally political; we don't have to try to be that way."

The new Fugees album is expected to see a release early next year, preceded by a single, 'Take It Easy'.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Buck 65 - Kennedy Killed The Cat (Warner Music)
Canadian artist Buck 65 AKA Richard Terfry has recorded several acclaimed albums which have earned him the soubriquet 'the Johnny Cash of Hip Hop'. However he has decided to turn his back on Hip Hop and his latest album 'Secret House Against The World' shows a more diverse range of influences, particularly folk, which now has given rise to comparisons to Beck. The first single from the album, 'Kennedy Killed The Hat' has a more New York art rock style, sitting somewhere in between Iggy Pop and LCD Soundsystem, with street smart lyrics impart the wry suggestion that "Clear is the new black." Terfry nearly became a pro baseball player for the NY Yankees, and provided the voice for rapping Elmo on Sesame Street, but it seems his true vocation is making innovative records. JW
Release date: 7 Nov
Press contact: Pomona [CP, RP] Warner IH [NP, CR, RR, NR]

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DJ FORMAT TOUR
DJ Format has a new EP featuring remixes from the album 'If You Can't Join 'em... Beat 'em' coming out in December and is off out on the road again. Hurray. Here are the dates:

DJ DATES:
11 Nov: Bournemouth The Consortium
22 Nov: Derry Sandino's

LIVE DATES featuring MC Abdominal & D-Sisive
7 Dec: Norwich Waterfront
8 Dec: Bristol Fiddlers
9 Dec: Leeds Wardrobe
10 Dec: Newcastle Digital [The Other Rooms]
11 Dec: Glasgow QMU
12 Dec: Manchester Academy 3
13 Dec: Sheffield Tuesday Club
14 Dec: Birmingham Barfly
15 Dec: London Scala
16 Dec: Dublin Crawdaddy
17 Dec: Nottingham Rescue Rooms

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FOUR DAY HOMBRE AT HOXTON BAR TONIGHT
Goddamn it. I really wanted to see these chaps live again and now I'm going to be out of town when they're playing. I demand a private gig. Just for me. Anyway, I like them, I like their single, and so if you can, get along to see Four Day Hombre play tonight at The Hoxton Bar and Kitchen at 9:30pm this evening. Maybe I can make it back in time. Hmmm.

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PUBLIC ENEMY MIGHT NOT BE TOURING
While we're talking about live music and things like that - the Public Enemy tour we reported on last week may or may not be happening. The listings we acquired had the hip hop legends down to play Norwich University on 1 Apr which, one of our diligent readers over there at the University Of East Anglia, Norwich informs us is definitely not right. So we're not standing by the other dates either - though the 16 Nov date at the London Forum is definitely on, cos Mean Fiddler's website are selling tickets to it right now.

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PHIL COLLINS SAYS GENESIS COULD REFORM
Phil Collins apparently says he'd be willing to reunite with Genesis. The singer, who is currently on his 'First Final Farewell Tour', says he'd be up for reforming his old band and letting Peter Gabriel, who left Genesis in 1975, be the vocalist again. "If it happens, I'll be there," he said, and continued "I'm open for it. I'm happy to sit behind the drums and let Peter be the singer. If it doesn't happen, it would just be because there are too many things in the way."

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DURST DENIES LIMP BIZKIT SPLIT RUMOURS
Fred Durst has denied rumours that a Limp Bizkit split is imminent and says plans for two new albums are already in the pipeline. Durst told MTV.com "Musically I don't think we could be in a better place than we are right now. It's an exciting time, definitely a time to make an impact with the unexpected. It felt good to go out there and sell 30 million records and come back and do something that we wouldn't tell anyone about and feel like a real band again that was doing something just because we wanted to do it. Instead of Wes (Borland) coming back and, 'Let's shove everything down everyone's throat', let's just do something for us."

The band are due to release their 'Greatest Hitz' on 21 Nov, but Durst isn't too happy about that, apparently, saying: "A lot of times that throws the wrong signal out there. That's sometimes a cash-in time for any artist out there, and they always come out at Christmas. So I don't think any of us were ready for a greatest-hits record at this time, but it is what it is."

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SWANSEA LICENCE GOES TO LOCAL GROUP
The new radio licence for the Swansea area has gone to a local consortium who will provide a "grown up" service offering classic tracks and easy-listening for the over 35s. Lucky over 35s.

This bit of news is most notable because the licence wasn't won by the group backed by Australia's largest investment bank, Macquarie. They are keen to get a foothold in the UK radio sector following the change in media ownership rules a couple of years back that allowed foreign based companies to own British radio stations for the first time.

International companies wanting to take advantage of that new opportunity either have to buy up existing radio groups, or bid for new licences. Macquarie have opted for the latter - bidding for stations in Ipswich and Warwick as well as Swansea. Canadian company CanWest have followed a similar strategy, successfully bidding for a new licence in the Solent. US media giant Emmis is also reportedly keen to get into UK radio, though they may well go the takeover route.

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LIVE REVIEW: Rooster @ Shepherd's Bush Empire on 4 Nov
I went to see Rooster because I had heard on some grapevine or other that they are a great, great, great live band. So naturally, I wanted to see this great, great, great live band myself and pass judgement on it. Rooster, I'll not deny, has always (in their fairly brief thus far lifetime) put me in something of a quandary. My colleague, in fact, brought up this quandary as we sat in the Shepherd's Bush Empire waiting for the band to play; Rooster are, well, unpigeonholeable. Look, I made a word. It means 'people or things you can't pigeonhole'. And it's true. They're making music that doesn't really sound like anything anyone else is producing right now. When they first arrived, we tended to think of them as 'Busted for adults', but their sound is far more like something from the seventies, or...oh, I don't know, Dire Straits, or Aerosmith, or someone. In any case, it was not a sound I was altogether comfortable with, despite concluding that their debut was well put together and definitely worth a listen. Well, you'll be glad to hear, dear readers, that my quandary is gone. It's an arsey thing to do, to try and pigeonhole people, in any case, and I shouldn't have bothered trying in the first place. I honestly don't give a crap where they fit, what their target market is, what their influences are, or whether they're the kind of music I actually like, I only know that they really fucking rock. Now, I suppose, I must justify that. Okay, so here's why they rock; two great guitarists, a really fine drummer and a vocalist who was put on this earth to sing rock songs if for no other reason at all. Disagree with me if you like, but I think the key to a really good live set is a corking lead singer, and Nick Atkinson is really rather compelling. His voice, as aforementioned, is the perfect voice for this kind of music: effortless, powerful and rangy. It doesn't come across quite so sharply in the recorded versions of these songs, but the live medium shows his voice off for the gravelly thing of beauty that it is. And that's not to say he's the only reason to go to a Rooster gig. Like I said a few sentences back, the rest of the band are great; animated, lively, and most of all, giving the impression that they're having so much fun you really really want to get up there on stage and grab a piece of it. Anyway, they played their way through the album songs, and every track was a goodie. Their renditions of the single releases were great, but in these live circumstances, even the songs I'd been accustomed to thinking of as the weaker tracks on the album came to life, not least because of some neat guitar work and one almighty drum solo from Dave Neale that really blew us away. So, in short, and to repeat myself, Rooster really fucking rock. And after that solo, I kind of fancy the drummer. CM

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LENNON LYRICS FAIL TO SELL
Those previously reported handwritten lyrics to 'I'm Only Sleeping', scribbled on the back of a phone bill in blue felt pen by John Lennon, have failed to sell at Christies, despite expectations that they would fetch over £200,000. A spokesperson for the auction house called the failure to sell "surprising and disappointing."

Elsewhere in that memorabilia auction, an unheard interview with Lennon and Yoko Ono from 1969 was sold for £18,000.

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MADONNA IS FURIOUS ABOUT NET LEAK
According to The Sun, Madonna is furious about the fact that her forthcoming album has been leaked on the internet, but frankly, if she genuinely thought that she could stop that from happening then she's living in a land of clouds and cuckoos. Anyway, promotional copies of the album 'Confessions On A Dance Floor', which is set for release on 14 Nov, have been held back to prevent it from being shared, but the long player still leaked. A source told the paper: "She worked really hard on this album and believes it's wrong that fans can just download it for free."

If it makes Madonna feel better, I saw it free to download at one weblog, and most people who had downloaded it said "I really like it, I'm going to buy it as soon as it's available". Which just shows you that a great many downloaders out there just wanted a sneak preview. Oh, and just because I was looking at that weblog, doesn't mean I downloaded it. I haven't heard a single song off that album. Well, I've heard the first single release, but that's because they keep playing it on the radio, and nothing to do with me.

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LIAM GALLAGHER CONTINUES TO DISS BRITISH BANDS
Liam Gallagher has again had a go at all those rubbish bands who just aren't as good as he was in his day. It's just a pity that Oasis aren't anywhere near as good now as they were in their day, either, because then they'd be able to save the nation from itself. Or something.

Anyway, Gallagher told US mag Filter: "It's hard for me to champion England when I don't like the bands I'm championing. It's hard for me to go, 'Ah, Bloc Party, it's fucking great!' They're fucking rubbish. The only band that I like is Kasabian. You've got Kings of Leon, you've got The Strokes - I'd much prefer listening to them than fucking Bloc Party and the fucking Kaiser Chiefs. At least they look cool."

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CORRS GET HONORARY MBES
The Corrs have been awarded honorary MBEs in recognition of their contributions to the music industry and their charity work, which includes playing concerts to raise money for the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, for the victims of the Omagh bombings and for The Princes Trust as well as being active on behalf of Concern, who focus on alleviating the AIDS epidemic in Africa. The awards are, of course, honorary because they're Irish and therefore not citizens of the UK.

The band were presented with their honours by British Ambassador Stewart Eldon, who said "I am delighted that The Corrs' immense musical contribution has been highlighted in this way. I am sure their many fans around the world will be delighted to hear that they are getting the recognition so richly deserved."

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DOHERTY REVEALS SECRET SECOND CHILD SHOCKER
Pete Doherty has apparently revealed that he has a second child in addition to that spawned with Lisa Moorish, but there's speculation he simply made the story up whilst - shock - on a narcotic high. On this other child, he said: "Poor little fucker. My sister sees him all the time so there's affection as a family for him. I don't really want to go into that because it's unfair on the kid's mother... It's enough for me to say I love them and would do anything for them."

But according to The Star his spokesman Tony Linkin says: "I have no idea if he has another child or not. If he does I don't know about it. Whether he made it up or not I don't know."

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JACKSON RECORDS SONGS WITH HIS KIDS
Michael Jackson is said to be recording songs with his three children, Prince Michael, Paris and Prince Michael II, and according to the New York Post, has been laying down the tracks in a London studio, so we might get to hear what the kids sound like. No word, of course, on what they look like yet, as they still have blankets surgically attached to their heads.

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ELTON JOHN WEDDING NEWS
Elton John is apparently planning to get married to his partner David Furnish this Christmas, according to ITV.com, who say the ceremony will take place at a charity party for his AIDS foundation in New York in December. Asked about his marriage plans Elton is supposed to have said: "It's going to be on the 21st of December. That's all I know at the moment."

And elsewhere in Elton news, he's confirmed three dates at English county cricket grounds for next summer as part of his 'A Night Under The Stars' tour. As follows:

3 Jun: St Lawrence Cricket Ground, Canterbury, Kent
10 Jun: Durham County Cricket Ground, Chester-le-Street, County Durham
11 Jun: County Cricket Ground, New Road, Worcester.

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LOUIS WALSH IS KING OF POP
Well, he said it, it's not my opinion. X-Factor judge Louis Walsh has apparently told The Sunday Mirror that he is a pop king, and that fellow judges Simon Cowell and Sharon Osbourne are rubbish. "I think my records speak for themselves - I am the only real King of Pop on the show," he told the tabloid. "Simon and Sharon were the mouths of the first series - talking about how brilliant they were at spotting talent. I kept my counsel. I wanted to watch and see how things went. But now it's time to speak out."

He also commented on last years winner, poor old Steve Brookstein, and Sharon's favourite from last year, Tabby Callaghan and their descent into obscurity, saying "Steve Brookstein was supposed to be the next big thing, but he was a flop. Now Simon's dumped him from his record company - and I'm not even supposed to mention his name on the show. Sharon, meanwhile, was convinced her Tabby was the future of indie music. Sharon's all glamour and big boobs and an embarrassing flirt. She flirted mercilessly with Tabby - just like she's been doing with Chico. But there's barely any substance behind it in the long run."

Sorry, er, flirting with Chico? Chico? Louis, where exactly are you looking whenever Shayne Ward is on stage?

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KT TUNSTALL DITCHES FANS FOR JOOLS
This is very much a rumour, but apparently the reason KT Tunstall pulled out of that gig last Tuesday in Liverpool was because she was asked to be a last minute replacement on 'Later with Jools Holland' after Ray Davies pulled out at the last minute. As previously reported, the singer announced the cancellation of her Liverpool date due to 'unforeseen circumstances', and it seems the unforeseen circumstances were the Tuesday recording of 'Later'. Which wouldn't go down too well with the fans if they heard about it. Well, the fans in Liverpool, presumably.

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