CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 10th December

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Consumer rights group lobby against P2P lawsuits
- UK promoters call for new law against touting
- Darkness man buys his own album on eBay
- Hawkins slags off Coldplay
- Takeover interest in EMI
- Is Mashboxx's Grokster takeover in the can?
- Motorola plan second iTunes phone
- Album review: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Summer In The Southeast
- Jackson won't go back to the US
- Richard Ashcroft's new album out next year
- Stern back after one day suspension
- Queen Live Aid set voted best concert ever
- Williams announces world tour
- Single review: Mew - Why Are You Looking Grave?
- Foreign Muck weekender next month
- Fabric wigs out
- Hum all-nighter fourth birthday
- Misty's best of In The City tonight
- Album review: Various Artists - The Very Best Of Cuba
- Primal Scream play one off in Folkestone
- Kylie to finish tour next year?
- Underworld release new stuff
- Arcade Fire to release Bowie download
- New Eminem track online
- Pest release download single
- Black Eyed Pea to appear in Sopranos
- Peter Kay to appear in Texas video
- Nick Carter denies Bai Ling rumours
- Gallagher disses British bands
- Pete Doherty is shit shocker

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CONSUMER RIGHTS GROUP LOBBY AGAINST P2P LAWSUITS
Well, this is interesting. A pan-European consumer rights group going by the name of BEUC is staging an event in the European Parliament today to protest at the way the music industry is going about protecting its copyrights in the digital age. Supported by MEP Zuzana Roithova, the group will launch a 'Declaration of Consumers' Digital Rights' which they want incorporated into EC law. The declaration takes the form of a number of 'rights' which they claim every consumer in Europe should have. These include:

- Right to choice, knowledge and cultural diversity.
- Right to the principle of "technical neutrality" - defend and maintain consumer rights in the digital environment.
- Right to benefit from technological innovations without abusive restrictions.
- Right to interoperability of content and devices.
- Right to the protection of privacy.
- Right not to be criminalised.

The group will also call on the music industry to end its legal action against individuals who share copyright music via P2P networks.

BEUC Director Jim Murray told CMU: "The [music] industry insists on "informing", or rather "misinforming" consumers on what they cannot do in the digital world. We believe it is high time to guarantee consumers certain basic rights in the digital world and to tell them what they can do with their digital hardware and content".

The lobbying group's new campaign comes as courts around the world seem to be moving more in line with the thinking of the content owners regarding the sharing of copyrighted media online, despite ongoing concerns over consumer rights and privacy. It will be interesting to how industry execs respond to BEUC's campaign given that on one hand they seem to be winning the legal argument on this one already, though, arguably, that is having little effect on actual P2P usage around the world.

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UK PROMOTERS CALL FOR NEW LAW AGAINST TOUTING
Following the news yesterday that Robbie Williams' people were distancing themselves from unofficial ticket agencies who were selling tickets for his upcoming tour ahead of their official release, we hear today that gig, theatre and sports promoters are calling on the government to make ticket touting illegal. As previously reported, promoters are becoming increasingly concerned about unofficial agents selling on tickets at a marked up price - either at the venue on the night or, increasingly, via the web. The government is considering plans to introduce legislation to make it illegal to tout tickets for the London Olympics in 2012, and some promoters want those rules applied to all live events.

Promoter Harvey Goldsmith, who has been increasingly vocal about his opposition to the unofficial selling of tickets in the last year, told the BBC: "The fact that touts are allowed to trade at concerts is a disgrace. If the government are proposing legislation for the Olympics then they must include entertainment."

Confirming that the internet had added to the problem of unofficial ticket sellers in the UK, Jonathan Brown of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers told reporters: "The internet has exacerbated the problem enormously because it's given everybody the potential to re-sell tickets. While that may seem like a wonderful commercial opportunity, what's actually happening is quite the opposite in some cases, with people not receiving tickets. We just think it's brought the whole thing to a point where something's got to be done about it."

Promoters are also keen to stress that their concerns are primarily for their customers who, they claim, are frequently ripped off by the touts. SJM Concerts' Rob Ballantine, speaking for the UK's Concert Promoters' Association, said the new legislation was needed to combat "unscrupulous" traders: "If they were to make touting illegal, then we would be able to go after these people and take action against them. It's the deception and the scale of it."

However some of those companies who would be affected by any such legislation dismiss claims made by concert promoters, claiming that the premium they charge on tickets is for the convenience they offer their customers, adding that they are upfront about the face value of tickets and the mark up they charge. Commenting on the law change proposals Michael Rangos from one of those agencies, Getmetickets.net, told the BBC: "I think it's preposterous to try to block the freedom of choice and the fact that supply and demand should only ever determine the price of any commodity".

The lovely Department for Culture, Media and Sport has been pretty non-committal on the issue - recognizing the promoter's concerns but suggesting the industry should see if it can combat the problems within the existing rule structure before considering new legislation.

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DARKNESS MAN BUYS HIS OWN ALBUM ON EBAY
Talking of dodgy things being flogged via the internet, The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins has confirmed he has bought a copy of his own new album via eBay for £350. The band's second album, 'One Way Ticket To Hell... And Back' isn't released for another month, but a promo copy found its way on to the Australian branch of the auction site. Keen to stop the album leaking online ahead of its release, Hawkins bid to stop anyone else getting the album. The singer's record label should also be able to figure out which journalist or industry player passed the album on to the eBay seller because all promo copies of the CD sent out so far have that crafty unique ID code on it which links every CD (and the tracks on it) to whoever it was sent to.

Hawkins told the BBC: "I've bought our own album back off this character who's selling it on eBay. It cost me £350 and it's going to be a tenner when it's in the shops - with artwork. It's encoded so we'll have a name and a number - so we'll know which disc it is, who distributed it and who they distributed it to. And that person is going to go down. He is either going to get some sort of legal intervention or he certainly won't receive an album from our record company ever again."

A spokesman for the BPI told reporters that the sale of music in this way via auction websites like eBay was increasingly common: "Time and again, we have seen eBay being abused by individuals seeking to make a quick profit on the back of our members' copyrights". However, a spokesman for the auction site said that neither the law nor their own rules "specifically prohibit" the resale of advance CDs.

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HAWKINS SLAGS OFF COLDPLAY
Elsewhere in Hawkins news, The Darkness frontman has been slagging off poor old Chris Martin and his band Coldplay which is, frankly, just not on. You'd never catch us doing that. Never I tell you.

Speaking to Kerrang, Hawkins says: "Chris Martin. What are those seven deadly sins again? Greed? Sloth? Calling your child Apple? He's terribly vain. I think he has a narcissism complex. He wants to be Bono, but he bleats in interviews about worrying about being ubiquitous. Make your fucking mind up. If you want to be a household name, be a household name. Writing 'Fair Trade' on his hand. If you're concerned about Fair Trade, tattoo it on your skin, don't just fucking write it on your hand in felt tip."

Hawkins has similar venom to unleash against the aforementioned Bono: "I hate people being holier than thou. Like Bono getting an audience with the Pope, was all for Bono's ego."

Anyway, enough of all this negativity. Well, for now...

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TAKEOVER INTEREST IN EMI
According to the FT, there is talk of a possible takeover bid for London based major EMI. Apparently the company's share price rose 5.3% as the rumours spread. Some wonder if Warner Music is the possible buyer, but venture capital interest is also the possible source of the rumour. An analyst from Numis told the FT: "EMI has been a perennial takeover target, having attempted the deal with Warner [before], so I wouldn't be surprised".

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IS MASHBOXX'S GROKSTER TAKEOVER IN THE CAN?
More takeover talk, and rumours are mounting regarding the possible takeover of Grokster by Mashboxx - one of the companies developing a legit P2P platform.

There has been talk of Mashboxx acquiring Grokster ever since its defeat in the MGM-led lawsuit US Supreme Court. Mashboxx boss Wayne Rosso used to run Grokster, and he is said to see the value of acquiring Grokster's membership base prior to the launch of the Mashboxx service. That said, since Grokster took its P2P software earlier this week they have been promising a new legit service called Grokster 3G.

It is not clear what that service is, or who would provide it. However some in the industry reckon the Mashboxx / Groskter deal is essentially done, and therefore a new Grokster service would simply be Mashboxx by another name. Digital Music News quote one "well-place executive" as saying the deal "has been done for a while" and that a formal announcement should be forthcoming sometime soon.

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MOTOROLA PLAN SECOND ITUNES PHONE
Motorola are planning to launch another iTunes compatible mobile phone before the end of the year. The new phone will be called Razr V3i. It is unclear how the new handset will differ from the existing iTunes compatible Morotola Rokr phone which, as previously reported, came in for some criticism when it was launched last month.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Summer In The Southeast (Drag City)
Will Oldham has recorded under several names, not only as Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, but also as Palace Brothers and as just Palace. The American songwriter has released a series of albums much acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic, and has been described as an "Old Testament troubadour or a Dylan for the digital age" by Uncut. His music inhabits a sparse and desolate landscape. However this album is live, capturing Billy's tour of the southern states last year during which the songs from his previous albums were radically reworked. The album begins with 'Master and Everyone' which has Billy performing solo whispering bleakly, "You tell me you don't love me, well I don't love you ... Constancy in love is a joke," whilst the rumble of growling guitar gradually builds. He is joined by his band for the remainder of the album. Pink Nasty provides co-vocals on a couple of tracks including the rocky but romantic 'May It Always Be'. 'O Let It Be' has a great thunderous riff running through it, while audience favourite 'Death To Everyone' has the crowd whooping and singing along. Oldham's lyrics are original and striking; on 'A Sucker's Evening' they are startling, and along with tremulous vocals and fancy guitar work they add to the tracks' intense and sinister atmosphere. This music is not immediate or radio friendly but this album should be a handy catch-up for those who have read Billy's effusive reviews and want to find out what the fuss is about. JW
Release date: 7 Nov
Press contact: Hermana [all]

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JACKSON WON'T GO BACK TO THE US
Michael Jackson's father has confirmed to an interviewer that his son is unlikely to ever want to return to a life in the US, just in case the star hadn't already made it abundantly clear that he doesn't want to go back to the states following his acquittal of those child abuse charges. Jackson, as I'm sure you all know, is currently based in Bahrain, and Joseph Jackson says he will only return to his home country for visits and when work demands it. Jackson Senior told the associated press "He'll come back to visit, but not to stay, not to live. They didn't treat him right here. I know if I was him, I wouldn't come back."

He added that the rest of the Jacksons are hoping that Michael could be involved with a new Jackson Five album, but things aren't moving quickly on that project. "I'm trying to motivate them to go ahead and do this record," he said of his sons. "They want to do it, but they're too slow. They'd rather do it with Michael."

Elsewhere in Jackson news, Michael's lawyers are investigating a trademark application for a 'Jesus Juice' logo. As you may remember from the Jackson trial coverage, it was claimed that Jackson used that term to refer to the wine he was accused of giving to teenagers. The application was made by a journalist, Bruce Rheins, who covered the singer's trial for CBS, and the logo itself, for a red wine, features an image of a man resembling Jackson in a crucifixion style pose. Jacko's spokeswoman Raymone Bayne calls it "outrageous and offensive", but Rheins says the wine, which he made for a hobby, was never intended for sale. He told the New York Daily News "We only trademarked it because we didn't want other people to try to make money off it. I apologise to anybody who is offended by this."

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RICHARD ASHCROFT'S NEW ALBUM OUT NEXT YEAR
Richard Ashcroft has confirmed that his new album, entitled 'Keys To The World', will be released via Parlophone on 23 January, and will be preceded by a single release, 'Break The Night With Colour', on 9 Jan. And, for those of you who love to know the titles of songs before you know what they sound like, here is the planned tracklisting for that new long player:

Why Not Nothing?
Music Is Power
Break the Night With Colour
Words Just Get in the Way
Keys to the World
Sweet Brother Malcolm
Cry Til the Morning
Why Do Lovers?
Simple Song

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STERN BACK AFTER ONE DAY SUSPENSION
So, what do you do when your flagship presenter keeps plugging his new show on a rival station on your primetime slot? But you know that if you sack him for it that new radio show will just get even more publicity - and he'll get to switch to the opposition quicker - which is what he wants anyway? I am guessing you just have to grin and bear it.

Probably not best to suspend him for a day - because that gives him the publicity without stopping him from using your airtime to sell the opposition in the future. But nevertheless, that is what US radio giant Infinity did to Howard Stern who, as previously reported, is using his Infinity produced US-wide radio show to tell everyone to go to their rivals - satellite broadcaster Sirius - where he will start a new show in the New Year.

Stern was off the air for one day only on Tuesday morning after an altercation with the General Manager of Infinity's flagship station K-rock over his constant Sirius plugging. An announcement was made after Monday's show that Stern would not be back the next day. He returned yesterday waxing lyrical about his day off the air, though he was keen to stress that he had no hard feelings against Infinity, adding that a meeting between him, his agent and Infinity chairman Joel Hollander on Tuesday had cleared the air.

Recalling the meeting, Stern told his listeners: "I sat quietly and listened to Joel and then finally he stopped talking and I had nothing to say. Look, this whole thing is really dumb. This is just stupid. I have twenty-two shows left. I have all along maintained the same thing. I am happy with whoever replaces me. I don't feel competitive with David Lee Roth and Adam Carolla and Rover and The Sports Guys. I don't feel competitive with these people. I wish them the best of luck. It has been an amazing experience working for Viacom, and more importantly, Infinity for twenty years. We all came to this company early on when it was a couple of radio stations. Through hard work, not only mine, but Joel's, Tom's, and a lot of people who work here at this radio station every day, the show was successful. The company was successful. We were able to buy CBS and merge with them and then merge with Viacom. This is a very big success story."

Still, it must have been tense for a while, because there are reports that Stern's producer started clearing his desk after the suspension was announced.

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QUEEN LIVE AID SET VOTED BEST CONCERT EVER
I lose track with all these Channel 4 list shows and can never figure out which ones are new and which ones are repeats. And because the usual suspects always come top they all merge into one in my head. Anyway, the BBC are reporting on last night's Greatest Concerts Ever poll as if its news - so let's assume it is...

Queen's legendary performance at Live Aid in 1985 has topped a survey of UK industry types for the 'greatest rock gig' of all time. More than sixty artists, journalists and industry executives voted in the poll for the Channel 4 programme. They referred to Queen's Live Aid set, and Freddie Mercury's rapport with the Wembley audience, as a "show-stealing performance".

Second in the survey was Jimi Hendrix's appearance at Woodstock in August 1969, with the Sex Pistols' concert at Manchester Free Trade Hall in June 1976 at number three. The most recent concert in the top 10 was Radiohead's 1997 Glastonbury set, while other shows to appear in the whole survey included Brian Wilson's Smile concert at London's Royal Festival Hall in February 2004, Nirvana's last-ever UK appearance at the 1992 Reading Festival, and the Rolling Stones' free gig in Hyde Park in May 1969.

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WILLIAMS ANNOUNCES WORLD TOUR
Robbie Williams has announced a rather long 'world' tour. I say 'world' because as far as I can tell with my limited grasp of geography, the only country he's performing in that isn't in Europe is South Africa. Do you need to know what date he's playing Hockenheim? Or shall I just give you the UK dates? Oh, go on then, here, for our many European and South African readers, are all the dates of Robbie William's Intensive Care tour. Tickets on sale from 19 Nov.

10 Apr: Durban ABSA Stadium
13 Apr: Capetown Greenpoint Stadium
17 Apr: Pretoria Loftus Stadium
13 Jun: Brussels Konig Boudewijn Stadium
17 Jun: Paris Parc des Prices
21 & 22 Jun: Amsterdam Arena
1 Jul: Gothenburg Ullevi
6 Jul: Copenhagen Parken
10 Jul: Dresden Festwiese
14 Jul: Hamburg Trabrennbahn
19 Jul: Budapest Nepstadion
22 Jul: Milan San Siro Stadium
27 Jul: Berlin Olympic Stadium
1 Aug: Munich Olympic Stadium
8 Aug: Cologne Janhwiese
12 Aug: Hockenheim Ring
18 Aug: Vienna Ernst Happel Stadium
23 Aug: Berne Stadt de Suisse
1 Sep: Glasgow Hampden Park
9 Sep: Leeds Roundhay Park
14 & 15 Sep: London Wembley Stadium

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SINGLE REVIEW: Mew - Why Are You Looking Grave? (Sony BMG)
I went to a Japanese ink painting class the other day, and my teacher said, 'in Japan, one stroke is beautiful.' He was talking about the simplicity that comes from years of honing your craft into that one perfect stroke, summing up all you know in an explosive manifestation of creative force. This song feels like that to me. The third single from 'Mew And The Glass Handed Kites,' it seemed on the first few listens disappointingly straightforward compared to its predecessors. Sweet and pretty, even Christmassy, but nothing enduring. How deceived I was. New layers and depths are revealed with every listen, and this work has a spiritual beauty that keeps growing on you until it feels a part of your heart. It is in fact astoundingly complex, but it seems simple, is instantly catchy, and is less than three minutes long. It's the work of true masters. SIA
Release date: 21 Nov
Press contact: Sony BMG IH

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FOREIGN MUCK WEEKENDER NEXT MONTH
If you don't already know what Foreign Muck do, they're dedicated to introducing foreign artists who are already established in their own countries to the UK electronic scene. Anyway, we've just been informed that they're planning a Christmas weekender next month and it sounds pretty good. On Friday 9 Dec, they've got German house pioneer DJ Dixon taking the floor, and the following night they focus on the French underground scene with special guests including Ivan Smagghe (Blackstrobe) and Dan Ghenacia (Freak n' Chic), and there's also some live stuff from Freak n' Chic newcomers Sweetlight. Details follow.

Foreign Muck Weekender Part 1
Friday 9 Dec at The Key, Lazer Road, Kings Cross, 11pm-5am, Admission: £7 Before 12pm / £10 thereafter.
Special Guest: Dixon
Residents: Boris Horel, Greg Sonata

Foreign Muck Weekender Part 2
Saturday 10 Dec, SeOne, Weston Street, London Bridge, 11pm-7am, Advance Tickets £10, on the door: £13
Special Guests: Ivan Smagghe, Dan Ghenacia, Jerome Pacman, Sweetlight (live), :Terry:, Dyed Soundorom
Residents: Greg Sonata, Boris Horel

Tickets available at http://www.ticketweb.co.uk , Phonica and other outlets. Advance tickets for Saturday will also allow entrance to Friday's event for £6.00 payable on the door.

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FABRIC WIGS OUT
And talking of events to fill your December diary with, here's one at Fabric on 16 Dec involving wigs. Yes, wigs. Not sure I fully understand why the wigs are involved, but the press release amused me, so here's a some of what it says: "For one very special night only, Wall of Sound invite us all to get wiggy with it at FabricLive. Hairy people can wear them needlessly, in the same way your Gran always put material covers over the arms of her chairs. Sad, balding men can take the opportunity to prove to themselves, once and for all, that it isn't their lack of hair that stops them pulling, it really is that pathetic excuse for a personality. The follical fun continues in Room 3, so bring a beard and join the DJs in a facial face-off. Plus, if you can prove you've travelled from Wigan, or have 'wig' in your name, you get in for nothing. Can you wig it? Yes you can."

My cousins are from Wigan. Do you think that counts? Anyway, despite all the wiggy talk, it's a good line up, so here are the details of what's happening at Fabric that evening:

Room One: Wall Of Sound Presents... The Wig Out Strikes Back
Jacques Lu Cont, Infadels (Live), Erol Alkan, The Glimmers

Room Two: Kill Em All, Let God Sort It Out...
Who Made Who (Live), Panico (Live), The Filthy Dukes, Jo Jo De Freq, Simian Mobile Disco, Modular DJs

Room Three: Wall Of Sound Present... The Beard Bar
Tom 'Tash' Middleton, Ashley Beardle, Alvin 'Bum Fluff' C, Mark 'Double Stubble' Jones & Marc 'Soul Patch' Lessner

Takes place from 9.30pm-5am and costs£12/10(NUS). Tickets/info: http://www.fabriclondon.com/club/listings.php

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HUM ALL-NIGHTER FOURTH BIRTHDAY
I'm pretty sure we've already mentioned this, but just in case, don't forget it is the fourth birthday of top breaks night Hum this weekend. The event will also celebrate the 100th release of top breaks label and Hum co-promoters TCR. The line up is looking damn fine - with TCR man Rennie Pilgrem joined by JDS, Tayo, Dylan Rhymes and the Diverted DJs in the main room, while Will Saul will host Room 2 with Precision Cuts and Dudley in support. All takes place at London's seOne club this Saturday (12 Nov).Tickets are £9, or £6 if you guestlist in advance at http://www.leylinepromotions.com

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MISTY'S BEST OF IN THE CITY TONIGHT
CMU favourites Misty's Big Adventure are playing at Islington Academy tonight as one of a handful of bands chosen to appear at the In The City 'best of' gig. They appear alongside 65 Days of Static, Komakino, Emmy The Great and Mohair, who were all selected from a line up of hundreds that appeared at Manchester's In The City earlier in the year. Doors open at 7pm, tickets £5.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - The Very Best Of Cuba (Nascente Records)
Sometimes, there is no shame in admitting you don't know an awful lot about a particular type of music. Such is the case for me and Cuban music. I suspect that if you do know a lot about it, this CD is not for you. A double-CD compilation, it features 28 songs that span a wide range of times and genres, from the work of a fair few ninety-something coffin-dodgers dominating CD1 to the younger and smoother songs of CD2, there is not a whole lot of coherence here except that every song is Cuban. It is fine within limitations: CD1 works very well as dinner music (I tried it out) and CD2 as a dancing soundtrack (I didn't), but it is not an album you would enjoy sitting down and listening to as a work in itself. For that, there is too little connection from track to track. This is not the compilation's fault, rather it is to Lubi Jovanovic's credit that he has sought out such diverse pickings. But it means that, in the end, this serves best as a kind of sample guide. Rather like selecting the colour of your carpet, you can listen to this, decide which artists you like, and then dig out their back catalogues. Me, I like the coffin-dodgers of CD1. Compay Segundo, now sadly no longer dodging, has a way with his voice and guitar that brings to his melodies a sweet, stark texture. I am thankful I am no longer in ignorance of that. SIA
Release date: 14 Nov
Press contact: Trailer [all]

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PRIMAL SCREAM PLAY ONE OFF IN FOLKESTONE
Primal Scream, who are currently finishing their new album, have scheduled a one off gig at the Leas Clifton Hall in Folkestone on 6 Dec. Tickets are on sale now.

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KYLIE TO FINISH TOUR NEXT YEAR?
Melbourne newspaper The Herald Sun has reported that an announcement regarding new dates for Kylie Minogue's postponed Australian Showgirl tour is expected later this month. Insiders are apparently suggesting that the dates, cancelled following the singer's breast cancer diagnosis, will be rescheduled for the second half of 2006.

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UNDERWORLD RELEASE NEW STUFF
Underworld have released their first new material for two years consisting of download only packages available exclusively from their website at a cost of a fiver, starting with seven track collection 'A Lovely Broken Thing'. It looks like they're planning to do quite a bit of this releasing via download lark so that they can put stuff out as and when they want to; in their words: "Taking time out from the corporate waltz which forces bands into a Groundhog Day style loop of recording and touring Underworld plan to swerve standard procedure. From November 9th 2005 Underworld will issue a series of download-only listening experiences that will be an entirely new way to hear their music." See http://www.underworldlive.com for that download.

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ARCADE FIRE TO RELEASE BOWIE DOWNLOAD
And talking of making things available online, Arcade Fire are to release a download of a recent live performance with David Bowie. 'Wake Up', which the band performed with Bowie at the Fashion Rocks event in New York back in September, will be available via iTunes from 14 Nov. The track will only be available for one week, and proceeds will go to Hurricane Katrina relief charities.

On that performance, Win Butler told NME.com: "It was very special to have the opportunity because our record only came out less than a year or so ago at the time and we were remembering playing to about 20 people in a club. Then there we were playing with David Bowie. It just goes to show what an unbelievable year we've had."

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NEW EMINEM TRACK ONLINE
More online stuff... Eminem will make a new song from that forthcoming greatest hits compilation available for fans to listen to on his website. The track, 'When I'm Gone', is one of two new songs to appear alongside previously released Eminem hits on 'Curtain Call', which, as previously reported, is due out on December 5. You can hear it the new track at http://www.eminem.com

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PEST RELEASE DOWNLOAD SINGLE
And even more music on the interweb. Pest are to release download only single 'WuJu' on 21 Nov via Ninja Tune. The track is taken from their recent album 'All Out Fall Out' and includes 'Dino Ferrari' and 'Red, White & Blues' as part of the single package. Get it from http://www.ninjatune.net

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BLACK EYED PEA TO APPEAR IN SOPRANOS
Black Eyed Pea Fergie is to appear in the next series of The Sopranos, according to The Mirror, who say she is set to play police woman working undercover as a stripper in the programme's seedy club Bad-A-Bing. A source told the tabloid: "Fergie can't believe her luck at landing this part - she's obsessed with The Sopranos. The producers thought she'd be perfect because she's got such a toned body and has no problems flaunting her flesh. And she's also used to writhing around the stage, so she should be a natural when it comes to pole-dancing."

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PETER KAY TO APPEAR IN TEXAS VIDEO
The Sun reports that comedian Peter Kay is to appear in and direct a new Texas video to be released next year. He is apparently set to appear alongside frontwoman Sharleen Spiteri in scenes recreating famous screen moments, with Kay reportedly donning a white uniform to play the Richard Gere Character in a spoof of 'An Officer And A Gentleman'.

Spiteri says: "I have had a giant cheesy grin for weeks knowing Peter will do the video. We have been putting it together and he keeps phoning to tell me his mental ideas. He is such a talent. He said he wanted to do our video and we jumped at the chance. I can't tell you all the gags because Peter will kill me but I can tell you there will be lots of snow."

She also revealed how the pair first met at the Edinburgh leg of Live 8, and how she was shocked to discover he was a fan "I told him I loved what he did and he came back and went through my entire career, which stunned me."

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NICK CARTER DENIES BAI LING RUMOURS
Backstreet Boy Nick Carter has denied rumours that he plans to marry actress Bai Ling, claiming that he and the Chinese star are "just friends" and that he is currently dating someone else. Carter, of course, previously dated needless celebrity heiress Paris Hilton.

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GALLAGHER DISSES BRITISH BANDS
More Brit-band dissing from a Gallagher, but this time it's coming from Noel, who recently said Bloc Party were shit whilst speaking to Aussie radio station Triple J. Gallagher said: "Let's call it what it is - it's indie shit, is what it is. None of them are trying to make it big. They're all trying to make it small or medium - that's it. Don't get me wrong - I kinda like Franz Ferdinand and Kaiser Chiefs but Bloc Party are just appalling. None of them strike me as trying to be in the biggest band in the world or the best band in the world - it's just indie rubbish."

As previously discussed, it was, of course, much better in his day.

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PETE DOHERTY IS SHIT SHOCKER
Okay, he didn't say shit, but Pete Waterman did say Pete Doherty has no talent, according to The Mirror. "What can you say about Pete Doherty? If you have to take heroin to be famous - well, I don't get it," he's alleged to have said of the Babyshambles frontman, "will Pete be a Kurt Cobain or a Jimi Hendrix? Never in a million years. He hasn't the talent to tune their guitars."

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