CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 9th December

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- It's The End Of The Year As We Know It
- Carey dominates at Grammy nominations
- UK publisher targets Austrian lyric search site
- Evanescence girl sues her manager
- Scott Stapp on that 311 fracas
- US rep's Tupac bill
- Doherty gets stopped and searched by police. Again.
- Jackson's family concerned about drugs
- Single review: Liars - It Fit When I Was A Kid
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs extend competition deadline
- City Slang logo contest
- Arctic Monkeys confirm album title
- Franz Ferdinand are hard working boys
- James says new Blur album coming up
- Stefani postpones second album release
- Next Janet Jackson album nearly done
- Eagles Of Death Metal exclusive gig single
- The Quo cancel tour due to Parfitt health concerns
- Ween pull out of ATP
- John Lennon remembered
- BT announce content deals for on demand service
- Napster launch in Germany
- Macca encourages fans to remix with U-MYX
- Deadline passes for North East radio licence
- Gervais and co to present show for Radio 2
- Album review: Nubreed- Y4K
- Hip Hop Loves Jazz launch
- Festive Folk night in Manchester
- Westlife boy is backing Brenda
- Kelly highly emotional over some Dork
- Spears gives Kevin another chance

Whoah, that's a lot of stories, what were we thinking? Ah well, here goes...


Now, here's something scary. There are just eight more editions of the CMU Daily before Christmas. This is partly because we are all buggering off early (21 Dec), but also because the year that's been known as 2005 is nearly at an end. With that in mind, CMU has been busy chatting to the artists behind ten of our favourite albums of the year. You can find out why we liked those albums here in the Daily, and then read the full interviews on our website. And then, of course, you guys have been busy voting for your favourite track of the year. You can still vote on that, meantime check out how people have been voting here in the Daily.


FAVOURITE ALBUM OF 2005 #3: Tom Vek - We Have Sound (Tummy Touch / Island)
Musicians, I find, hate being 'pigeon holed' as being part of this genre or that scene. But then journalists like to, and possibly have to, find a slot somewhere in the music spectrum to place each of the bands or singers or producers they write about, because it is the easiest way to convey to a reader what someone's work sounds like without actually having to go round their house and play some of it to them. In reality most artists, even the really original ones, can be pigeon-holed - even if the musicians don't always approve of the hole in which the media decides to place them. Tom Vek, though, is pretty hard to classify - his lofi mix of beats and guitars and electro and other quirky stuff, at times pleasant, others less so, is very hard to describe to the uninitiated. Which is why this, of all our favourite albums of 2005, possibly has the best title - because the one thing your every day music reviewer can say about this long player is, "well, we have sound". But it is the fact that Vek has created something so refreshingly original - simple yet incredibly complicated - that makes this album stand out as one of the best of the year. The buzz was already slowly growing on Vek's home produced sound a good twelve months ago, so that by the time this album was released in April, in some circles at least, it was one of the most hotly anticipated releases of the year. As far as I can see it, he lived up to the hype, with a truly eclectic long player that needs a bit of work on the part of the listener on the first few listens, but which is all the more rewarding once you've made that investment.

Read our interview with Tom Vek here:



Tom Vek - I Ain't Saying My Goodbyes (Tummy Touch/Island)
"When I first heard this track I was blown away, it's such an intoxicating track, it gets right under your skin and could force the non-dancers to get up and do a little jig".
Voted for by: Mark Inger, Sanctuary Records Group

Artic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor (Domino)
"At last a band that sound fresh, new and exciting. Hopefully it'll be a kick up the corporate backside".
Voted for by: Michael Schillace, Popbox Management / Promotions

Laura Cantrell - Bees (Matador)
'Bees' is a shining example of what Laura Cantrell is capable of achieving. The clarity of her vocal is offset beautifully by the recurring 4 note recurring drum beat and pedalled piano, whilst lyrically the song captures precisely the lost nostalgia so carefully evoked in George Orwell's Coming Up For Air. Outstanding.
Voted for by: James Atherton, The Leaf Label

Vote for your track of the year - send the name of your favourite track, a few words on why, and your name and company to


VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Je Ne Sais Quoi at Vibe Bar
It's Christmas soon, and the Tip is having a bar night for those not hardy enough to keep up with it all. The Vibe gets a look in because there's always a good crowd here on Brick Lane. The main attraction on Saturday night will be guest Jeremy Newall, from Salsoul, playing cool and funky tunes in a housey fashion, alongside regulars Simbad and Freddy McQuinn (Marathon Men) who may draw some broken beat / hip-hop into the mix. The Vibe has got a large Marquee out back and the place was totally mobbed at my last visit, this should be a good 'un, and there's a sane hour of closing for the lightweights!

Sat 10 Dec, Vibe Bar, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL, 7.30pm-1am. free before 8 - a mere £3.50 after, more info at Info Adelle at Vibe.

Think your club is good enough to take the tip?? Then email, but please include the date of your club event in the header!


Mariah Carey once again proved she has made a definite comeback through this year's album 'The Emancipation Of Mimi' by securing eight nominations for next year's Grammy Awards, including one for the overall Album Of The Year prize.

Kanye West and John Legend also appeared on eight shortlists when the Grammy nominations were announced yesterday. Other multiple nominees include Stevie Wonder, who is on six shortlists, U2 and Bruce Springsteen, both nominated in five categories, Gorillaz, up for four awards, and Paul McCartney, nominated for three.

McCartney's 'Chaos and Creation in the Backyard' will compete with Carey's album for the Album Of The Year award, as will U2's 'How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb', Gwen Stefani's 'Love. Angel. Music. Baby' and West's 'Late Registration'.

Carey, Stefani and West are also up for Single Of The Year with 'We Belong Together', 'Hollaback Girl' and 'Gold Digger' respectively. Green Day's 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams' and Gorillaz' 'Feel Good Inc' are also up for that prize.

Other than McCartney and Gorillaz, there were quite a few other UK artists getting Grammy nominations this year, including Franz Ferdinand (Best Rock Performance; Best Alternative Music Album), Keane (Best New Artist), Chemical Brothers (Best Dance Recording; Best Dance Album), Fatboy Slim (Best Dance Recording; Best Dance Album), Jamiroquai (Best Short Form Music Video), and Rod Stewart (Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album).

The Grammys take place in LA on 8 Feb. There's something like 8765 categories at these awards, so we'll not publish the full nominations list in the Daily but, if you're really interested, you can access it here:


There's been a potentially interesting new development in the ongoing battle surrounding the protection of copyright online, but this time relating to the publishing of song lyrics on websites. An Austrian based search engine that specialises in finding song lyrics on the net has had to close down after receiving a cease and desist letter from the UK offices of major music publisher Warner Chappell.

According to IT website The Register, the letter says that the pearLyrics service "enables people to copy and download lyrics. Inevitably this will enable people to download lyrics owned or controlled by this company, Warner/Chappell Music Ltd". Citing the MGM / Grokster ruling in the US Supreme Court which said software companies could be held liable for copyright infringement if they enable and encourage consumers to access illegal sources of copyrighted music, they called on the developer behind the service to close it down.

PearlLyric's creator, Walter Ritter, has complied with that request, posting the following statement on his website: "As of December 6th, 2005 pearLyrics is no longer available due to a cease and desist letter from Warner/Chappell Music Limited. As a freeware developer I can not afford to risk a law suit against such a big company, although personally I don't see where pearLyrics should infringe any copyrights handled by them. After all pearLyrics only searches and accesses publicly available websites, displays, and, at the users wish, caches its content. Something that can easily be done with any combination of search engine and web browser too. Well, but I'm just a developer and not a lawyer".

Many in the IT community are pointing out that as PearLyric was just a specialist search engine, in theory Warner Chappell should be equally concerned about Google, Yahoo and all the other mainstream search engines, which will have been used by music fans to search for song lyrics much more frequently that Ritter's site.

Presumably Warner Chappell would combat those arguments by citing the old Betamax legal principle which says that technology firms can sidestep liability if customers use their products for illegal purposes providing other customers use them for legal tasks. On that basis PearlLyric is liable because its only function was to search for lyrics, while the big search engines would sidestep liability because lyric searches are just one of thousands of other things people use them for.

Though Ritter could presumably argue that people may use his search engine to access legitimate sources of song lyrics, or lyrics not in copyright, meaning that PearlLyric has legitimate uses too. Either way, this one isn't likely to go to court, but the move by Warner Chappell is interesting given the number of illegitimate sources of song lyrics that exist on the internet. It remains to be seen if the publisher is planning on issuing legal threats to everyone operating in this space without license, and whether doing so will actually benefit the songwriting community, or just further the music industry's increasing reputation as a litigious money grabbing machine.


Talking of legal things, Evanescence's Amy Lee has filed a law suit against her personal manager Dennis Rider and his company Rider Management, in response to a lawsuit Rider issued against her, which claimed breach of contract. Lee's lawsuit is a damn sight more exciting than those you normally get in most of these contractual disputes, accusing Rider of all sorts of things.

Accusing Rider of "wrongful and tortuous behavior", the legal papers say the manager "has neglected Lee's career and business and has focused his efforts on having extramarital affairs, hiding them from his wife, becoming intoxicated during business meetings, physically abusing women and boasting about it, making repeated unwelcome sexual advances toward Lee, receiving fees in excess of what was provided for in his management agreement, and using Lee's corporate credit card to purchase lavish gifts for his mistress - without Lee's knowledge or consent - including an $18,000 automobile and a week-long vacation in Florida".

Rider's attorney, Bert Deixler, has responded thus: "Rider Management and Dennis Rider have fully performed all of the duties and obligations owed by the firm under the management agreement to Ms Lee and Evanescence. Further, Rider has always conducted himself by the highest professional standards and conducted his business relationships with Ms Lee in a transparent, appropriate and entirely legal fashion. That she would now suggest otherwise is appalling and untrue. Ms. Lee is very creative in writing lyrics to a song. But now she is creating a version of reality that simply has no basis in fact, and she knows that. Dennis Rider's guidance...has made her a rock and roll celebrity worldwide and wealthy beyond her dreams. That she would now turn on him, make such spurious and groundless allegations and summarily dismiss him is illegal and disappointing beyond words".

Should be interesting if it ever gets to court.


Former Creed frontman Scott Stapp has released a statement with reference to that previously reported altercation between the singer and the members of rap-reggae-rocksters 311 in a Baltimore hotel on Thanksgiving day. You may remember that both sides, unsurprisingly, are blaming each other for the fracas, with 311's Chad Sexton saying "It was an unfortunate incident. We are not brawlers."

Stapp's statement reads thus: "This is a very unfortunate situation; however, there are two sides to every story. I was at the hotel celebrating Thanksgiving and my engagement with my new fiancée when the fight started. As the Associated Press reported and confirmed, I did not instigate this altercation."

The statement includes an excerpt from a story run by the Associated Press of Baltimore on 2 Dec, which reads "Jonathan Jordan, director of hotel security, says that the incident was captured on security cameras and that Stapp was attacked by the members of 311", as well as a comment from Stapp's tour manager Rob Kern: "I spoke with the front desk of the hotel and they confirmed that Scott was not at fault."


US congresswoman Cynthia McKinney is pushing for the public disclosure of all government records related to the life and death of Tupac Shakur. The Georgia state representative has introduced a bill before congress, entitled 'The Tupac Amaru Shakur Records Collection Act of 2005', which calls for the "expeditious disclosure" of those records.

The bill is modelled on 1992's John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act which mandates that all material relating to the late president's assassination be housed in one complete collection. If it becomes law, it will mean that the Tupac records will be gathered together in the National Archives in Washington DC, with a second copy of the collection being kept at the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

McKinney argues that "all government records related to the life and death of Tupac Amaru Shakur should be preserved for historical and governmental purposes," but it's not hugely likely that the bill will succeed any time soon, it being held up in two separate house committees by Speaker Of The House Dennis Hastert.


Pete Doherty has again been stopped and searched. Doherty was apparently walking out of a 'drugs paraphernalia' shop in London's Soho a couple of days ago when he was stopped by two policemen who were probably surprised to find that the Babyshambles frontman actually had no drugs on him. It's reported that Doherty played the bobbies in question a quick tune on his guitar; whether or not they actually requested this doubtful pleasure is unclear.

As you know, because we reported on it, Doherty was stopped last week and that time police allegedly did find something - a crack pipe and three wraps of cocaine if reports are to be believed. As you also know, because we also reported on this, there'll be no further action over his arrest whilst on tour in Shrewsbury.


Another story from the file marked not-much-of-a-surprise, and Michael Jackson's family are apparently worried that the pop star might be addicted to prescription drugs, and are reportedly flying to his home in Bahrain to stage a bit of an intervention. It's suggested that revelations regarding the paternity of his children with Debbie Rowe have sent Jackson out of control - and just in case you don't know what those revelations are, she's revealed that Jackson is not the natural father of the kids.

Anyway, a source told New York Daily News: "The family is in a state of emergency. They consider it a life-or-death situation. Michael is bingeing again. [Jackson's children's nanny] Grace basically said she can't handle him alone. The family is in a tailspin."

Jacko's spokeswoman Raymone Bain refuted the story, however, saying: "He is clear-headed and articulate. He is not on drugs. It's false."


SINGLE REVIEW: Liars - It Fit When I Was A Kid (EMI/Mute)
This is the first I've heard of Liars and it's not what I expected at all. Rather than the rawk sound I'd anticipated this is subtle and intriguing. A dramatic and ominous intro leads into fast tribal drumming beats accompanied by similarly shamanic vocals. The American art rockers are influenced by the angular funk punk of Gang Of Four, and whilst this is increasingly becoming a well trod route, Liars are creative and inventive enough to stand out. The band have already produced two well regarded albums, 'They Threw Us In A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top' and 'They Were Wrong, So We Drowned'. The single succeeds both in making me interested in the upcoming album due next year, and also keen to check out their back catalogue. JW
Release date: 5 Dec
Press contact: Pomona [CP, RP] Mute IH [NP] Out Promotions [CR, RR, NR]


Yeah Yeah Yeahs have extended the deadline for that previously reported 'flag contest' they're running to find fan-designed flags to feature on the cover of their new album. As we said last time we talked about this, the rules say it can be any size, any colour, but it has to be recognisable as a flag as well as "embodying the symbolic essence" of the band.

Originally, entries had to be in by 8 Dec, but it's been extended to 15 Dec, so all those of you with all that time on your hands because you've bought all your Christmas presents, sent all your Christmas cards, got in all your Christmas supplies, and haven't been invited to any Christmas parties, or don't actually celebrate Christmas, can sit down this weekend and make your flag. Then send it in, remembering to include your name, address, phone number, age, signature, and email address, to Yeah Yeah Yeahs Flag Competition, C/O Pal, 364 Kensington High Street, W14 8NS.

And if you want more info, go here: and look at the news section.


More news of contests. City Slang are fed up with their logo and want a new one. Here's what they say: "City Slang was always about being, uhm, being opinionated, and sharp. While we always also tried to be nice we did end up sometimes, being obnoxious. Sadly we never had a logo that matched all that. Our logos throughout the last 15 years, well, they served their purpose. But man are we bored with them!!"

So, they're holding a contest for the best logo design. What's your prize, graphic design types? "Every City Slang record that will be released in 2006! For free! Directly sent to their doorstep! 1 week before everyone else!"

Send your ideas to (no files over 1MB) by 15 Jan. See the info at


Arctic Monkeys have confirmed that their debut album will be called 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not' and will be released on 30 Jan - or they have according to Another single release 'When The Sun Goes Down', is due on 16 Jan


Say what you like about Franz Ferdinand, and I do (nothing offensive, obviously), they're not scared of hard work. If you can call hanging about in a studio writing songs work and not fun. I'm joking, of course. So yes, FF are already writing material for their third album, and plan to be back in the studio in Jan. Frontman Alex Kapranos told XFM "We're already writing some new tunes. We've got a practice room set up at Ally Pally and we're writing some new tunes. We've got two or three."

Bandmate Nick McCarthy continued: "We're talking about going into the studio at the end of January. We're popping over to Australia and New Zealand at the end of January as well, as you do. It's brilliant, I'm looking forward to that. We get to miss the Scottish winter, which is not a bad thing at all."


Blur bassist Alex James has told 6Music that his group are planning to head into the studio shortly to start work on a new album, but added that working together with the band isn't always a picnic. "It's like a family and you all get together before Christmas and it's great to see everybody," he said "and then after Christmas, Christmas being an album and the album making process this time, and after the album, you're like 'see you next time!' through gritted teeth."

James is currently working on a project with Alison Clarkson, aka Betty Boo, and revealed that he has a rock musical project in the pipeline. He said: "I've been talking to Steven Berkoff about turning one of his plays East into a rock musical. It's a fantastic piece of work. He wrote it 25 years ago and it's just so bright and fresh still. I'd love to get involved with that."


Gwen Stefani has put back plans to release a second solo album because she has decided that she needs a break. She told the San Franciso Chronicle: "I have a really good record that I could put out. I had a fantasy about it, but I'm not doing it. I decided it's more important that I take a nap."


No such slacking for Janet Jackson, whose next long player is nearly done, or at least that's what co-producer Jimmy Jam has told Billboard. He says: "Hopefully in January we'll be done with her project. We're trying to have a single around February and the album around April or May. It's up to the record company, but we'll definitely have it done by then. We're real close."


Josh Homme's side thingy Eagles Of Death Metal will make a new single available via merchandise stands at their upcoming UK dates supporting Foo Fighters (Josh Homme does not appear on this tour, FYI). The single will be a white label hand-stamped 7" and will be exclusive to those gigs as well as being limited to 500 copies. It features recordings of 'Shasta Beast' and 'I Want You So Hard' which will appear on forthcoming album 'Death By Sexy', out next year.

Here are the gig dates:

11 Dec: Birmingham NEC
12 Dec: Glasgow SECC
14 Dec: Manchester MEN Arena
17 Dec: London Earl's Court


Status Quo have cancelled the rest of their UK tour because Rick Parfitt has found a "growth on his larynx". Band manager Simon Porter explained: "This morning Rick saw consultant Stephen Toynton, ENT surgeon at the Nuffield Hospital in Plymouth, who expressed concern with a growth in Rick's larynx and has recommended that it requires urgent investigation. Consequently all nine shows on the current sell-out UK tour have been cancelled. Whilst the band obviously regret having to disappoint their fans, they are thankful for their understanding at this difficult time and look forward to seeing them soon".

The shows will not be re-scheduled, so all ticket holders should get a refund from point of purchase. The affected gigs are as follows: Brighton, Birmingham, Harrogate, Manchester, Telford, Bournemouth, Wembley Arena, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.


Ween have had to pull out of the United States Of ATP event due to take place next May. The band were due to curate one of the days at the two weekend alternative music festival, but have had to pull out for "personal reasons". They will be replaced as curators by Dinosaur Junior. Anyone with tickets to the second weekend of the event who no longer wish to attend now that Ween are not involved can get a refund providing they go back to the outlet where they bought their tickets by 5 Jan.

As previously reported, the United States Of ATP runs from 12-14 and 19-21 May, with six curators in total - Devendra Banhart, Mudhoney, Yeah Yeah Yeahs The Shins, Sleater-Kinney and now Dinosaur Jr.


Yoko Ono joined a load of Lennon fans in New York's Strawberry Fields last night to mark the 25th anniversary of the late Beatle's death. They couldn't watch the documentary all about his killer, Mark Chapman, of course, because you don't get Channel 4 in New York. Plus, of course, Ono and other member's of Lennon's family had criticised the TV network for showing the show, which included recordings of interviews with Chapman, on the actual anniversary of the Beatle's death. Not that said documentary portrayed Chapman in a particularly sympathetic light, despite analysing the psychological problems that led to him shooting the Beatle he had once adored.

Similar gatherings to that at New York's Strawberry Fields took place elsewhere in the world. In Liverpool 1000 hand written messages to Lennon were attached to balloons and released into the air. Meanwhile at the Abbey Road studios in London Paul Weller, Jamie Cullum, Badly Drawn Boy, Sugababes and Katie Melua all took part in a tribute concert broadcast on BBC Radio 2 and on American's Sirius Satellite Radio.


BT has announced it has entered into content agreements with BBC Worldwide, Paramount and the Warner Music Group, all of whom will supply programming for the phone company's TV on demand service. As previously reported, BT are planning on launching a Homechoice style service which will deliver programmes on demand to your TV via a broadband internet connection. Word has it the service will launch next Autumn, using a Philips made set top box and Microsoft software solution. The service will offer both terrestrial digital TV channels and the on demand services.

Announcing the new partnerships, BT Retail boss Ian Livingston told reporters: "A partnership between the country's leading communications company and three of the world's leading entertainment groups is great news for consumers in the UK. I'm delighted the BBC Worldwide, Paramount and Warner Music Group share our vision. Our customers will be able to enjoy enhanced TV services and easy access to a wealth of interactive content and new services straight to their TV. Whether you are a music fan, love films or are hooked on drama you will get the best in entertainment when you want it. BT is defining next generation TV."

Actually, they're not so much defining the next generation as copying the aforementioned Homechoice, but it's still quite exciting.


Napster has launched a German version of its download platform. Closely resembling its services in the US and UK, Napster will provide German music fans with a choice of subscription and a-la-carte services, including the Napster To Go subscription which allows customers to listen to any tracks from the platform's library of 1.5 million tracks on a portable device as long as they pay their monthly fee of 14.95 euros.

All the major labels and 150 independent labels in Germany are making their music available via the Napster platform. The company has also confirmed a partnership with German electronics retailer MakroMart and local MP3 player manufacturer Trekstor, which will see the latter's i.beat reload player coming preloaded with a six month Napster To Go membership.

Confirming the latest launch, Napster boss Chris Gorog told reporters: "Napster is very pleased to bring the biggest brand in online music to the number one music market in Continental Europe. We believe German music fans will be very excited to see where we have taken the original genius of Napster and expanded on the ideas of unlimited music discovery and sharing".


U-MYX - that software that enables artists to give their fans the opportunity to remix one of their tracks on their PC - has announced its first online venture. In the past artists have made the U-MYX service available via a multi-media session on a CD release, but Paul McCartney is giving his fans the chance to remix his stuff via his website.

Macca has picked bits from his recent album 'Chaos And Creation In The Back Yard' and put them online using the U-MYX system. Fans are being encouraged to create their own remixes, and to upload them back up on to the site. McCartney will pick his favourite which will get a download release via the site. I'm assuming he has someone helping him plough through all the entrants, because the promotion is being promoted by AOL and over 400 remixes were uploaded on the first day alone.

Commenting on the promotion, U-MYX founder Olly Barnes told CMU: "2005 has been an incredibly exciting year for U-MYX. The international demand we've seen grow for our product has been extraordinary. This new downloadable version of U-MYX will let us reach a significant amount of fans, and generate considerable new revenue for artists and labels alike."

AOL's Ben Wardle added: "The opportunity to remix a pop legend is proving irresistible for our members and the reaction is particularly pleasing for us at AOL since we're all massive Macca fans."

It's not the first time McCartney has dabbled in the ever-growing bootleg remix culture. He gave access to pretty much his whole solo catalogue to mash-up meister Freelance Hellraiser earlier this year, which led to the Twin Freaks album which got a limited release by EMI earlier this year and will hopefully get a much bigger release at some point in the future, because it's very very good.


The deadline has passed for applications for the new radio licence that is being made available in the Nort East. The Guardian reports that as many as 20 companies may have applied. Most of the big players are represented - GCap are looking for another outlet for Xfm while Chrysalis want to give their digital rock station The Arrow a terrestrial output. TV firm Celador are proposing an 'over-45s' station called Touch FM, while Saga and another bid backed by the Local Radio Company also want to launch stations for the region's older listeners. Former EMAP exec Tim Schoonmaker is leading a bid backed by Australian bank Macquarie with another rock based proposal - Diamond FM. Other foreign players keen to get a share of the UK radio industry, Emmis and Canwest, are thought to have placed bids, while Ulster TV are bidding to launch a talk station. The Guardian Media Group have, for reasons best known to themselves, put in two bids - one to launch a split format station which would be talk by day and classic rock by night, another to launch a third branch of its Smooth FM brand. The other big player, EMAP, wasn't allowed to bid because it operates the other main commercial station in the area, Metro Radio. OfCom should decide who is getting the licence in about three months.


Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington will be taking their radio magic to Radio 2 this Christmas to present a show about bad presents. The show will air at 10am on Chrismas Eve. That show follows the launch of a regular podcast feature on the Guardian's website, furthering the somewhat shambolic presenting style the trio created on their Xfm show.


ALBUM REVIEW: Nubreed- Y4K (Distinctive Records)
Australian dance outfit Nubreed here bring together some high energy breaks in a mix of edgy intensity. Back from a world tour in June, Nubreed have selected tunes that went down well on the dancefloors of the globe and the result is a confident, punchy record. It all stays quite pacy in tempo, and basslines are gritty, but not that bassy, lending the sound a kind of effervescence. Lusine's 'Flat' has the slightly acerbic serenity of Boards Of Canada or Aphex Twin, and this eases us into a record that swiftly becomes an explosive onslaught. There's a fair bit of electronica, distortion and syncopation hopping around, particularly in Nubreed's own tracks 'Festa' and 'The Thing', leaving a raw, stark finish on the whole thing. Habersham's 'My Effingham Sound' sets off in that direction, with a sinewy gossamer quality, but then suddenly shifts into a chunky, reverberating bass stomper gear. Melodies and vocals are minimalist and serve only as an ambient touch while the substance is carried in the gravelly beat and bass. Tipper has struck a nice balance between the ambient and the meaty, with their 'Rare and Plentiful' streaking along with a solid breakbeat rhythm and overlaid with squeals of electronic decoration. Dirty Fours' 'Machines' provides a more rigid, industrial 4/4 grounding, only to lift itself up and away with some psychedelic quirkery. The Melbourne-born Nubreed crew, Jase Catherine, Michael Walburgh and Dany 'Db' Bonnici, lead the pack on the Australian breaks scene, and from this it seems their collective ear is certainly well tuned to the progressive. WE
Release Date: 6 Feb 2006
Press Contact: Trailer [all]


Dates for your diary now, and first up the official launch of a great new album called Nicci Cheeks Presents Hip Hop Loves Jazz, which you really ought to try and get your hands on. The launch takes place at Plastic People next Tuesday (13 Dec) at 9pm, and features live performances from Kev Brown and Wordsworth, plus 20 minute sets from a stack of hip hop's finest DJs, including 279, Ameldabee, Cro, Excalibah, Dan Greenpeace, J'Son, Keith Lawrence, Lawyer, Lushlife, Nicci Cheeks, Paul H, Richy Pitch, Simpson, Skye, Smasherelly and Yarah Bravo. Press info from The Outpost.


And an interesting night taking place at Common in Manchester on 18 Dec - an evening of new folk and acoustic music complete with lots of festive stuff (mulled wine, hot Vimto, roast chestnuts and presents). Music wise you'll get Desert Rain, Liam Fray, Kamal Arafa, Peter and the Wolf, Liam Frost and Neil Wright. Fingers crossed it'll be the first of a new quarterly folk night. It runs from 4pm through to midnight, and tickets, on sale in advance, are a fiver.


Westlife's Shane Filan wants big-voiced X-Factor contestant Brenda Edwards to win the TV talent competition, which is an absolute scandal, when he should quite clearly be backing his manager Louis Walsh's act, Shayne Ward. According to Orange World, Filan said: "I think Brenda's brilliant. She's the best thing since Aretha Franklin and her voice is just stunning, I think she definitely deserves to win the show."

Shane also dismissed rumours that suggested the boybland were angry with manager Walsh for neglecting them to spend time with his X-Factor kids, by saying: "Louis' probably given us more attention this year than ever before. He's never been a massively hands-on manager but he's always on the phone and there when we need him."


The Mirror reports that Kelly Osbourne has flown back to LA to be consoled after being dumped by Son Of Dork guitarist David Williams, who told the 21-year-old their fledgling relationship was over. She's said to be 'highly emotional' over it.

According to the tabloid a so-called friend says: "She's very upset as she thought she'd found someone she really liked. David even had dinner with Sharon and Ozzy the other weekend. When David said he wasn't ready for a relationship, she was gutted as everything had been going so well."


Britney Spears has apparently decided to give husband Kevin another chance, if reports are to be believed. As you know, she'd reportedly kicked him out after a series of rows following the birth of their son Sean Preston, but now Federline has been reinstalled at the singer's home in Malibu. A source apparently told The Sun: "I don't think she's upset with him because of something specific. She's overwhelmed with her new lifestyle - being a wife and a mother - and sometimes takes it out on the people she's closest to and who she knows will stick around."

Elsewhere in Spears in The Sun news, the popstrel is reported to be a fan of Trinny and Susannah's 'What Not To Wear', which gets aired on BBC America. Britney is quoted as saying: "The girls are so dramatic in the makeovers, you just get caught up in it. Would I go on the show? Never say never."

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