CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 5th December

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Lorenzos cleared of laundering charges
- Sanctuary comment on share sale speculation
- UK chancellor commissions copyright review
- PRS-MCPS respond to BPI's copyright claim
- SonyBMG renews Cowell relationship
- Strokes album leaked online shock horror
- Feeder cancel tour dates
- Bay City Roller gets driving ban
- Bono and Alicia don't give up
- Pop Factory awards for Wales
- Electric Picnic news
- AIM announce podcast licence plans
- NTL make offer for Virgin Mobile
- Northampton arts venue closes after funding cut
- Doherty fears going to prison. Shocker.
- Take That tour sells out
- McCartney attacks seal hunting
- Chart update
- This week's Student Radio Chart
- Subshot playlist
- Osmond kicked out of jungle
- No Chico Time for Christmas
- Walsh wants Boyzone back together
- Jay-Z's memoirs may not hit the shelves
- Marilyn Manson marries
- Timberlake needs to be more manly

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HAVE WE GOT YOUR NUMBER>>
We're in the process of updating our press contact database so, if you are a record label press type or a PR/promotions company, can you do us a big favour?

Surf on over to http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/directory, check your entry, including contact names and details, and if there are any changes email them to listings@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk.

Or, if you find you're not listed at all, send over your company name, address, phone number, the name and emails of different press and promotions contacts and, if you are a PR/Promotions firm, tell us which kinds of PR/promotions you do.

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE TRACK OF 2005>>
So, are Arctic Monkeys, The Futureheads, Pendulum, Tom Vek and Arcade Fire behind the best tracks of 2005? Well, they're all doing well in the voting for the CMU Favourite Track Of 2005 poll, but you can still change things.

Just email us the name of the track that you liked best this year. It can be a single release, an album track, a remix, a bootleg or even a cover version - as long as it was first released in 2005.

TO VOTE just email the track you most rate from 2005, with short description as to why it is your favourite (about 50 words would be good) and your name/company/job title to 2005@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk.

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LORENZOS CLEARED OF LAUNDERING CHARGES
Murder Inc bosses Irv and Chris Lorenzo "Gotti" have been cleared of allegations that they laundered money for New York drug lord Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff. After a second day of deliberations, and repeated requests to review documents submitted as evidence in the trial, the jury ruled that the Lorenzos were not guilty.

As previously reported, prosecutors had accused the brothers of using their Universal Music affiliated record label Murder Inc to launder money for McGriff, which they returned to the drugs lord through cash payments, and by transferring money to what the prosecution referred to as "phony companies". But the Lorenzo's defence lawyer dismissed the whole case against his clients, accusing the authorities of trying to "prove guilt by association" which, he argued, was "absolutely pathetic".

After hearing the jury's decision, some of the large crowd of family, artists and music industry executives in court to support the Lorenzos applauded, and then proceeded to thank and hug jurors as they exited the court. Speaking outside the court, Gerald Lefcourt of the defence team told reporters: "The jurors wanted to hug Irv and Chris and meet their parents. They felt a connection."

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SANCTUARY COMMENT ON SHARE SALE SPECULATION
The Sanctuary Music Group has issued a statement following speculation in some of the Sunday newspapers regarding plans to stage a share sale in a bid to pay off mounting debts. Sources said that the music company was close to reaching its £135 million credit limit with the Bank Of Scotland, and that they were hoping to sell shares in the company to raise a similar amount to pay off the bank debts. Doing so, investment types said, would pretty much write off the value of the equity owned by the group's current shareholders, which include a number of investment banks, some of the group's management and John de Mol, co-founder of TV company Endemol.

The fact that Sanctuary, pretty much the only company to trade in most sectors of the music business, was experiencing financial problems was no secret - with management issuing a number of profit warnings over the last six months. Delays on a number of key album releases and 'over expansion' were blamed for the money woes, and the group's management are in the middle of a radical cost-saving restructure to try and overcome the financial problems. The group revealed some more information on that restructure this morning, admitting that a share sale was being considered - but adding that that was just one of a number of options.

The statement confirmed that the group had already sold its book publishing and mobile recording studio arms as part of the restructure, and added that they were considering selling their music publishing and studio businesses. The statement continued: "Another option is a significant equity fund raising through Evolution Securities, any proceeds of which would be used to reduce debt levels. The details of any such equity issue are still being considered and an announcement will be made if and as appropriate. However, the Board recognises that there is no guarantee that it will succeed in raising further funds".

It seems likely the company won't make any decision until its latest set of accounts, currently being audited, are completed. Meantime, the group stressed again that it continued to enjoy the support of its bankers.

Concluding, Exec Chariman told CMU: "We have acknowledged that Sanctuary has expanded too rapidly and we are working very hard to re-set the business for future sustainable growth. We know we have a strong business model and we continue to enjoy the support of some of the highest profile artists in the world. We have progressed quickly and efficiently since the late summer and I am confident that the Board's response to the current situation has been the right one and one that will set Sanctuary on course for future success."

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UK CHANCELLOR COMMISSIONS COPYRIGHT REVIEW
Our lovely Chancellor Of The Exchequer, Gordon Brown, announced on Friday that he has commissioned a twelve month review into intellectual property rights in the country. Chaired by a former editor of the Financial Times, Andrew Gowers, the review will consider a plethora of IP and copyright issues, including how well current IP provisions operate in the digital world. Gowers will be charged with the task of making recommendations as to how copyright law in the UK can better serve both consumers and those businesses whose main assets are IP.

Crucially for the music industry, the review will also look into the current terms of copyright protection on sound records, something the record labels have wanted UK and European authorities to reconsider for some time. The copyright on a sound recording in the UK currently runs for fifty years after the recording is made. That puts the British record industry at something of a disadvantage to the US, where the copyright on sound recordings is, if I remember rightly, 100 years. Perhaps more importantly, certainly as far as the UK music industry body the BPI is concerned, the publishing copyright on music runs for 75 years after a songwriter or composer's death - considerably longer than the copyright on sound recordings. The government has previously committed to examining these anomalies, and that task will now fall to Gowers as part of this review.

Commenting on the task ahead, Gowers told reporters: "I believe that intellectual property is at the heart of Britain's success in the knowledge economy. This review will ensure that we maintain a world-class environment for creativity, design and innovation."

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PRS-MCPS RESPOND TO BPI'S COPYRIGHT CLAIM
Of course it's quite hard for the wider music business to lobby for our collective copyright needs when one side of the industry is at loggerheads with the other. But that is, of course, the current situation, and it is likely to remain that way for the near future as the ongoing dispute between the recorded music and publishing sectors continues. As previously reported, the BPI and PRS-MCPS are in dispute over how big a royalty the songwriter/publishers should get for each digital track sold. Back in June the BPI, seven digital music platforms and four mobile networks took PRS-MCPS to 'copyright tribunal' (essentially they sued them) claiming the body was pushing for too high a royalty. PRS-MCPS has been preparing its response to the BPI's litigation ever since, and last week finally responded - with a question.

They want to know the specifics of the deals the record labels have done with the download platforms. The logic of that request is that if the labels want the publishers to consider taking a cut in the royalty they receive on digital sales, they need to know just how much the labels and recording artists are making. Their formal statement reads: "Composers and songwriters, the talent that underpins the music industry, currently earn around £0.05 from the sale of a download. BPI proposals would see them earning £0.02. In contrast, record companies keep £0.40-£0.50 from the same sale".

Whether the BPI will comply and supply that data remains to be seen (given that most of the major music groups own companies on both sides of this debate, I'm not sure why the publishing company owned by a major can't ask the record label owned by the same major for that info). However, cynics will see this as a delaying tactic on the part of PRS-MCPS, with many now not anticipating any out of court settlement before this whole argument goes to copyright tribunal next Autumn.

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SONYBMG RENEWS COWELL RELATIONSHIP
SonyBMG have announced they are extending their relationship with Simon Cowell through his company Syco. Cowell has worked as an A&R for BMG for the best part of fifteen years, bringing the major a string of big selling artists, including Robson & Jerome, Five and Westlife. As Cowell himself became a celebrity through the Pop Idol TV show and its various spin offs, SonyBMG enjoyed the commercial rewards that came with signing the reality show's winners, in particular Will Young and American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson.

In the new deal, SonyBMG will be involved in Cowell's music and TV ventures, maximising the potential of artists like Il Divo and the commercial opportunities that come out of the Syco produced reality show X Factor. In a related deal, SonyBMG has renewed its worldwide deal with Simon Fuller's 19 TV meaning it will continue to release the music of artists who come through the Pop Idol and American Idol machine.

Confirming the new deal, SonyBMG UK boss Rob Stringer told CMU: "Our partnership with Simon allows all of us at SonyBMG to share in endless exciting multi media opportunities over the coming years. At the heart of this remains Simon's unique A&R talent. We are excited to continue and build on our relationship".

Simon Cowell himself added: "BMG has been my home for the last 15 years. SonyBMG will be my home for the foreseeable future. I am incredibly excited to be working with one of the most talented and visionary companies in the world".

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STROKES ALBUM LEAKED ONLINE SHOCK HORROR
I would suggest that in this day and age, it's news when an album doesn't leak online. But it's The Strokes, so here's the gen. Their latest album 'First Impressions Of Earth' has been leaked online, four weeks ahead of its 2 Jan release date. It seems that fans have shared the files via The Strokes official website forum, which seems a bit of a shame. However, as I said the last time we reported on an event like this, I know of at least a few Madonna fans who listened to the album prior to its release just wanting a sneak preview but with ever intention of buying legitimately as soon as it was released. The Strokes new single, which was also leaked online back in Sep, is released today.

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FEEDER CANCEL TOUR DATES
Feeder have been forced to cancel the last three dates of their UK tour because vocalist Grant Nicholas has been taken ill with a severe throat infection. Nicholas lost his voice halfway through the band's gig in Brighton on Friday and the concert had to be abandoned. A subsequent gig in Birmingham last night was cancelled, and London performances scheduled to take place tonight and tomorrow will now not go ahead. The shows are expected to be rescheduled for next year and those with tickets are advised to hang on to them until new dates are announced. A spokeswoman for the group said "The band are really devastated and are really sorry for everybody who has tickets."

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BAY CITY ROLLER GETS DRIVING BAN
Bay City Roller Les McKeown has been fined £1,000 and given an 18 month driving ban over that previously reported incident when the former pop star crashed his car in north London whilst twice over the alcohol limit. The court heard how McKeown had swerved, causing another vehicle to drive into his side, before fleeing the scene after threatening passers-by who tried to convince him to wait until the police arrived. The Judge at Thames Magistrates court described his behaviour as "atrocious", whilst McKeown apologised for his actions, calling the incident a "terrible mistake"

McKeown has changed his plea three times in the run-up to the judgment, ultimately admitting to drink driving and having no insurance. His lawyer Stuart Biggs told the court that his client's funds had run out mainly because of his lifestyle, explaining that he lived off £6,000 in savings and his only income comes from occasional concerts.

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BONO AND ALICIA DON'T GIVE UP
Bono is teaming up with Alicia Keys to record a new charity single. The pair have recorded a cover of Peter Gabriel's 'Don't Give Up' to raise money for Keep A Child Alive, an organisation which provides medicine and care to children affected by HIV and AIDS in Africa. The song was, of course, originally recorded as a duet featuring Kate Bush. The new renamed version, 'Don't Give Up (Africa)' is to be released through iTunes on Tuesday.

"Keep A Child Alive is my passion and my mission," says Keys, a global ambassador for the charity. "I believe AIDS is the most important issue we face, because how we treat the poor is a reflection of who we are as a people."

She continued: "I love this song and I love Bono. I really respect what he has done for Africa and how he has used his fame to do good in the world. I hope I can do half as much in my life."

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POP FACTORY AWARDS FOR WALES
It was the Pop Factory Music Awards on Saturday night which, as we've previously reported, is the annual awards bash for the Welsh music industry. And well done one and all to the winners, who are as follows:

Best Live Act: Stereophonics
Best Live Event: Wakestock
Best Pop Act: Liberty X
Best Welsh Language Act: The Poppies
Best Music Export: Jem
Best New Act: The Automatic
Community Music Award: Sonig
Contribution To Music Industry: Dai Davies
Best Performer On The Guest List: Bullet For My Valentine
Rock 'n' Roll Excess: Goldie Lookin' Chain
Best Welsh Band: Lostprophets
Best Album: Feeder
Outstanding Contribution To Music: Tom Jones

The whole bash will be screened on ITV on 7 Dec - press info from Fifth Element.

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ELECTRIC PICNIC NEWS
Following last year's 25,000 capacity sell out, Electric Picnic promoters POD Concerts & Aiken Promotions have announced that next year's event will see an extra day added, meaning the festival will now take place from 1 - 3 Sep. Capacity will, however, remain below 30,000.

Tickets for the festival went on sale last week. No acts have been announced as yet, but with last year's line up including acts as diverse as Soulwax, The Flaming Lips, DJ Format, The Chalets, James Blunt, Nick Cave, Kraftwerk and Unabombers, we can expect a similarly eclectic 2006 line up.

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AIM ANNOUNCE PODCAST LICENCE PLANS
The digital bit of the Association Of Independent Music will today launch a pilot for a new licence which would enable podcasters around the world to use tracks from the indie labels AIM represents.

As previously reported, the use of music in podcasts has so far been a bit of a grey area, with most of the podcasts coming out of legitimate media organisations either avoiding the inclusion of music content (eg Virgin Radio), or including music specifically cleared with the relevant record label for the venture (eg Xfm). The new licence from AIM means podcasters will be able to include music from a whole string of independent labels (ie those AIM members who sign up to the new licence scheme) without having to get specific clearance for each track. Given that, as we understand it, the existing PRS-MCPS online licence covers podcasting, that means UK media companies will be able to podcast shows filled with indie music totally legally, providing they can afford to pay the two licence fees.

If podcasting really does take off after all the hype that surrounded the medium when iTunes added podcast functionality earlier this year, the new licence may prove to be a clever move by AIM, encouraging podcasters to programme primarily independent music while the majors catch up with the new phenomenon.

Commenting on the new podcast licence, AIM boss Alison Wenham told CMU: "Music from AIM's member labels will now be available to podcasters without the fear of operating illegally. In the absence of an industry wide scheme, AIM has moved to fill the current void, and has created attractive licensing conditions for the use of music from the independent sector of the UK. We believe there will be huge global demand for the AIM podcast licence".

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NTL MAKE OFFER FOR VIRGIN MOBILE
Cable firm NTL and Virgin Mobile have announced they are engaged in merger talks. NTL has reportedly put in an offer for the mobile network which will see its majority owner, Branson's Virgin Group, getting an initial cash payment and equity in the cable firm. T Mobile, who actually provide the mobile network Virgin use, are reportedly in favour of the merger.

NTL's decision to acquire a mobile network is most likely in response to BSkyB's confirmation that it is looking to acquire internet and telco companies so that it can offer combined TV, internet and fixed-line telephone packages. NTL, who already offer customers those three services in one package, would be able to go one better by adding mobile services into the mix.

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NORTHAMPTON ARTS VENUE CLOSES AFTER FUNDING CUT
Northampton arts and music venue The Roadmender has announced it will close after it lost two of its key sources of funding - an Arts Council grant and then, last week, a grant of £58,000 from the local county council. The closure is immediate and all forthcoming gigs and events have been cancelled. Some gigs will move to The Charlotte venue in Leicester, while refunds will be available for others - details at http://www.roadmender.org

In a statement the venue's trustees said: "We are extremely saddened to announce the closure of Roadmender for an interim period. The future of Roadmender was called into question by Northamptonshire County Council's recent decision to withdraw funding. At the time the Northamptonshire County Council were making their decision we advised them that, without their commitment to invest in 2006/07, to make such a decision would jeopardise the future of the Charity. The Arts Council announcement to disinvest from April 2006 meant a withdrawal of funding which accounted for 44% of the venue's entire grant income. This made the Northamptonshire County Council's investment all the more critical. It has been proven to the satisfaction of the Trustees that the Company cannot, by reason of its liabilities, continue its business and that therefore the Company be wound up. BRI Business Recovery and Insolvency have been instructed to deal with the winding up of Roadmender".

They continued: "Roadmender has been approached by potential supporters. Investment from such supporters cannot be secured if their investment is to pay for outstanding debts. Projects for young people cannot be delivered within such a financial environment. The value of the work of Roadmender is recognised as important to the community as evidenced by the 7,000 signatures received in the recent petition. Young people have made it clear that Roadmender is something that they want and value. It is with this in mind that the Trustees' intention is to identify a new vehicle with new partners, which will support Roadmender to continue to provide music and arts opportunities for the youth of Northamptonshire".

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DOHERTY FEARS GOING TO PRISON. SHOCKER.
According to The Sunday Mirror, Pete Doherty has said that he's afraid that he'll end up in prison again following his latest arrest last week on suspicion of possessing Class A drugs. Doherty apparently said: "I was driving with Wolfman and got stopped because they thought I was driving erratically. We were just unlucky to get pulled over."

He continued: "I hadn't even told my mum I was back from Arizona and then I got nicked," he continued. "I feel really bad for doing this to her. I'm pretty sure though that I'm going to get in trouble - and I really think I'm going to prison this time. I can't go back to prison. I can't - I don't think I could take it."

I think that Wolfman is a bad influence. Actually, I take that back, they're both as bad as each other.

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TAKE THAT TOUR SELLS OUT
The Take That reunion tour sold out within six hours of going on sale on Friday, even after the promoters doubled the number of gigs planned for the tour due to demand. Some disappointed fans, as usual, said that they'd had trouble contacting venues and booking agencies. A Seetickets spokesperson said: "Take That tickets are moving incredibly quickly. We've been very busy but people are getting through."

Promoters say that more than 250,000 tickets have been sold. Gary Barlow says that he and his fellow band members are amazed by the response: "We're all in shock," he said, "We always knew our fans were great, as they used to follow us around, but the response from them today has been overwhelming and we are so grateful for their loyalty and support."

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MCCARTNEY ATTACKS SEAL HUNTING
Fresh from speaking out about alleged cruelty to animals in China, Paul McCartney has sent a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin remonstrating about that country's annual harp seal hunting season, urging the premier to ban the practice. The letter reads: "We wanted to put you on notice that if Canada moves forward with another hunt next year, we will do all we can to focus attention on this unjustified, outdated and truly horrific practice, including, potentially, visiting the seals and the ice."

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CHART UPDATE
Ha, so the experts thought Oasis were going to be number one this week, but they were wrong. They were forgetting that while the Gallaghers might be enjoying something of a revival this year, they are not, never have been and never will be Pussycat Dolls - and that's where they are going wrong, clearly.

Anyhow, the Dolls get their second number one this week with 'Stickwitu', pushing Oasis' 'Let There Be Love' back into second place. Other new entries this week singles wise run thus: Kelly Clarkson is at 7 with 'Because Of You', Babyshambles are at 8 with 'Albion', Rihanna is at 11 with 'If It's Lovin That You Want', Sean Paul is at 12 with 'Ever Blazin', Futureheads are at 18 with 'Area', Blink 182 are at 30 with 'Not Now', David Gray is at 34 with 'Hospital Food', Sigur Ros are at 35 with 'Hoppipolla' and Antony & The Johnsons are at 39 with 'You Are My Sister'. Quite why James Blunt's 'You're Beautiful' re-enters at 36 I'm really not sure.

Albums wise, and the experts were right on this one. Despite not being released until Friday, Eminem's greatest hits collection went straight in at number one. And hurrah for that. In the end other chart topping hopefuls G4 and The Darkness were nowhere near. In fact the actually-quite-dreadful-pop-opera-combo couldn't outsell Robbie, Madonna, Take That or Westlife, going in at 6 with their new long player 'G4 & Friends'. The Darkness, meanwhile, went in at 11 with 'One Way Ticket To Hell And Back', proving what I think we already knew - that the general public don't share Justin Hawkins' confidence in just how good his band's music has become.

Possible disappointment also for the people behind the Choir Boys, whose attempts to make choral sounds popular by including 'The Theme From Mr Bean' and 'The Theme From Vicar Of Dibley' on the choir-boyband's debut long player might not have succeeded as well as expected, with the boys' album only entering the chart at 32. Then again, there's plenty of Asda shopping days left till Chrismas, so let's not write this one off just yet. And presumably similar festive shopping might help shift the Slade best of, which entered the charts at 39, especially given that 'Merry Xmas Everybody' seems to be on there twice.

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THIS WEEK'S STUDENT RADIO CHART
1. [1] Gorillaz - Dirty Harry (EMI/Parlophone)
2. [5] Franz Ferdinand - Walk Away (Domino)
3. [2] The Strokes - Juicebox (Rough Trade)
4. [3] The Futureheads - Area (679)
5. [4] Foo Fighters - Resolve (SonyBMG)
6. [6] Madonna - Hung Up (Warner/Maverick)
7. [7] Oasis - Let There Be Love (Big Brother)
8. [11] Kanye West - Heard 'Em Say (Ft. Adam Levine of Maroon 5) (Universal/Roc A Fella)
9. [13] Royksopp - What Else is There? (Wall Of Sound)
10. [24] Sugababes - Ugly (Universal/Island)
11. [16] Mystery Jets - Alas Agnes (679)
12. [21] Editors - Munich (SonyBMG/Kitchenware)
13. [8] Arcade Fire - Wake Up (Rough Trade)
14. [22] Nizopli - JCB Song (FDM)
15. [NE] Mcfly - Ultraviolet (Universal)
16. [10] Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor (Domino)
17. [20] Goldie Lookin Chain - RnB (Warner/Atlantic)
18. [9] Kaiser Chiefs - Modern Way (B-unique)
19. [17] Hard-Fi - Cash Machine (Warner)
20. [14] Jack Johnson - Sitting, Wishing, Waiting (Universal/Brushfire)
21. [19] The Subways - No Goodbyes (Warner)
22. [23] Babyshambles - Albion (Rough Trade)
23. [28] Sigur Ros - Hoppipolla (EMI)
24. [NE] Gogol Bordello - Start Wearing Purple (Rubric)
25. [RE] Black-Eyed Peas - My Humps (Universal/Polydor)
26. [15] The Darkness - One Way Ticket (Warner/Atlantic)
27. [NE] Dead 60s - Ghostface Killer (SonyBMG/Deltasonic)
28. [29] The Young Knives - Decision (Transgressive)
29. [NE] Robbie Williams - Advertising Space (EMI/Parlophone)
30. [12] White Stripes - Denial Twist (Beggars/XL)

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SUBSHOT PLAYLIST
Here they are - the videos being played this week on the SUBtv network in union bars. New additions are marked with a **.

A LIST
**David Gray - Hospital Food (Warner/Atlantic)
Foo Fighters - Resolve (SonyBMG/RCA)
Gorillaz - Dirty Harry (EMI/Parlophone)
Hard-Fi - Cash Machine (Warner/Necessary)
Madonna - Hung Up Maverick (Warner/Atlantic)
Nizlopi - JCB Song (FDM)
Oasis - Let There Be Love (Big Brother)
**Pussycat Dolls - Stickwitu (Universal/Polydor)
**Sugababes - Ugly (Universal/Island)
The Strokes - Juicebox (Rough Trade)

B LIST
Action Plan - Stendhal (Young & Lost)
Arcade Fire - Wake Up (Rough Trade)
Babyshambles - Albion (Rough Trade)
Braund Reynolds - Rocket (EMI/Virgin)
**Damian Marley - Road To Zion (Universal/Island)
Dogs - Tarred And Feathered (Universal/Island)
Franz Ferdinand - Walk Away (Domino)
Goldie Lookin Chain - R'n'B (Warner/Atlantic)
**Leya - On All My Sundays (Rubyworks)
Plan B - No Good (679)
**Royksopp - What Else Is There? (Wall Of Sound)
The Cribs - You're Gonna Lose Us (Wichita)
The Subways - No Goodbyes (Warner)
The Young Knives - The Decision (Transgressive)
Tom Novy Feat. Michael Marshall - Your Body (Data)

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OSMOND KICKED OUT OF JUNGLE
Little Jimmy Osmond (well, he's a bit bigger now, admittedly) was kicked out of 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here' at the weekend, meaning none of the show's music stars are left (Blue's Anthony Costa was also voted out this weekend). The final of the programme takes place tonight, when one of the final three - Carol Thatcher, ex-'Ender Sid Owen, and ex-Emmerdaler Sheree Murphy - will emerge victorious.

Asked by presenters Ant and Dec if he was glad to have been ejected, Osmond replied: "I feel as though I've won because I got past all the goals I ever wanted to. I never thought I would last all the way - and I'm just numb. I think we saw the best of all of ourselves, do you know what I mean. It was just a really cool spirit of wanting to get on and cooperate and help each other. I didn't expect that going in but what a blessing."

Asked who he thought would win, he said: "I don't really know, I think the public will decide that."

Well, yes. They will. As it is a reality show. Voted for by the public.

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NO CHICO TIME FOR CHRISTMAS
Talking of reality shows, X-Factor contestant Chico Slimani, who was voted out of the show on Saturday, will not be allowed to release his god-awful 'Chico Time' song as a potential Christmas hit, so that he doesn't compete with the eventual winner of competition, when they release their single on 21 Dec following the final on 17 Dec.

According to The Sun the, er, singer said: "It would be nice to strike while the iron's hot, but it doesn't matter if it's January. Everyone knows it's Chico time."

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WALSH WANTS BOYZONE BACK TOGETHER
Talking of X-Factor types, Louis Walsh has said that he'd like to get Boyzone back together. Speaking on Orange Playlist, Walsh explained that the rift between him and Ronan Keating is now over - the two fell out when Keating dumped Louis as his manager. Walsh said: "I did have a big falling out with Ronan. But I'm over it. Ronan is a nice guy and I said some unkind things about him. I'm sorry. I'd never say no to working with him again. I'd love to get Boyzone together again. If the Take That reunion can work, why not Boyzone?" Because Boyzone we're rubbish to start with - that's why.

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JAY-Z'S MEMOIRS MAY NOT HIT THE SHELVES
Jay Z may not, after all, release the memoir he's been collaborating on with writer Dream Hampton. On the subject of the project, 'The Black Book', he told Rolling Stone magazine: "I know that people really want to know about me, and I thought I was OK with it, but as it got closer and closer, I said, 'What am I doing?'"

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MARILYN MANSON MARRIES
Marilyn Manson has married his long term girlfriend, burlesquey cheesecake-throwback (it's a good thing) Dita Von Teese. The pair tied the knot at Castle Gurteen in County Tipperary in Ireland, watched by sixty guests all dressed in 19th Century style outfits. The bride wore a purple taffeta Vivienne Westwood gown whilst the groom wore John Galliano and a top hat. Guests were apparently treated to falconry, archery, spit roasted pig, duckling, Dublin prawns and lobster. Sounds like fun. Ahem.

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TIMBERLAKE NEEDS TO BE MORE MANLY
I should coco. According to The Sun, Justin Timberlake is working hard on being more manly. Well, if we're strictly accurate, on sounding more manly. The tabloid reports that the singer has missed out on Hollywood roles because he sounds too boyish, and that he's keen to redress the situation.

The Sun's source says: "He was dejected after the casting bosses rejected him. At first they refused to tell him why they had reached their decisions, in case it hurt him. But he wanted to know if he needed more acting experience. And they eventually confessed they rejected him because he sounded more like a 12-year-old boy than an action hero. He needs a deep, dreamy voice like George Clooney if he is to be a big-screen sex symbol. So he has been doing voice exercises day and night in a bid to develop a deep voice."

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