CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 10th February
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Spitzer turns payola investigations on radio stations
- Miquita and Simon moving on
- Your essential Pete Doherty update
- Pure Reason Revolution injury
- Primal Scream join IOW lineup
- Dawn Of The Replicants - new album, tour
- Crazy Penis live at Cargo
- Get down to Lewisham for Dirty South
- Simple Minds tour has done rather well
- Beverley Knight Takes That gig
- More Ordinary Boys gigs
- Yorke and Greenwood play Koko for charity
- Bands make valentines for PETA
- Nolan sister has breast cancer
- Data gets ready for release 100
- BBC announces its SXSW line up
- British Music Rights appoint new policy advisor
- Single review: The Knife - Silent Shout
- iTunes close to selling download one billion
- Fraunhofer to launch watermarked MP3
- O2 launch visual radio thingy
- Conductor brings Instant Live concept to classical
- New York philharmonic plan concert downloads
- Flowers says next Killers album actually American
- TOTP magazine staying
- Idol beats Grammys
- Lydon disses Green Day
- Arctic Monkey fans give Arctic Monkeys hard time
- Barry Manilow tops US chart
- Massive Attack recruit mayor
- Er, police in fact do take some action over Britney thing
- Will Young fancies girls

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TOP BIT>>
So, Apple's iTunes is really rather close to selling its billionth download, which is quite an achievement, there's no denying it. It's certainly a good day for Apple Computers, but a good day for the music business? Personally, I can't make my mind up. At the recent Music Tank debate on DRM, the IFPI's Richard Gooch used the success of iTunes and Naspter as a rallying call in favour of digital rights management - both, after all, are businesses that can only exist with a DRM system. But I think it's a bit too soon to be hailing iTunes and Napster as an unqualified success. Napster, after all, is still very much in the development stage of its business - growing both its service offers and subscriber base - but is still some way off going into profit. And what about iTunes? Well, iTunes has been a success in some ways, that is true - but its biggest success has surely been in selling Apple hardware (not a surprise - that was, after all, why it was set up in the first place). Yes, Apple have provided the record labels with a new much needed revenue stream. But they're also in the process of providing the music industry with new competition. The sale of TV show downloads seems to be taking off, especially in the States. This is a whole new domain - and a fantastic opportunity for the TV industry who has never sold its products to consumers in this way before. Media innovations of this kind are, of course, exciting on many levels - but they also mean that consumers have to make new spending decisions - one dollar on the new Beyonce single, or two dollars on the latest Desperate Housewives? With the captive audience and massive marketing spend of the TV networks, is that a competition the music industry can win? I have no idea - but I'm pretty sure that the existence of these new competitors means that while Apple should be commended for their achievements in the download space, no one should be assuming iTunes is the solution to success for the music business in the digital age. Phew, that was a bit pessimistic wasn't it? Ah well, have a great weekend. The CMU radio show launches on Monday, so it's not all doom and gloom.

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CMU FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Strictly Vibes at 93 Feet East
This one sees club promoters Universal Vibes and Strictly Left joining forces - which explains the name, if nothing else. But what can you expect? Well, I'm guessing a mixed bag of anything groovy, encompassing everything from broken beat to electro. Line up wise, the excellent Orin Walters, aka Afronaught, will be joined by Paddy Freeform and Simon Kurrage which, given the five pound entry fee (£3 if you email in prior to the event) sounds like quite a bargain to me.

Friday 10 Feb, 7pm-1am, £5, £3 if sign up at http://www.strictlyleft.co.uk, 93 Feet East, 150 Brick Lane, E1, info from http://www.strictlyleft.co.uk

CHRIS' CLUB TIP: HUM at seOne
CMU's favourite breaks night - from TCR's Rennie Pilgrem and Kill All Hippies promoters Leyline - the HUM All-Nighter - returns to seOne tomorrow night, and hurrah to that. From 10pm through to 6am you'll get Rennie on the decks plus guests Dopamine, Ellis Dee, Freakbeatz and the Dreadzone Sound System. In Room 2 it's Freak n Hustle vs Simple Records with Will Saul, Pete B, Kooki and Sneaky.

Saturday 11 Feb, 10pm-6am, £10, £7 if you guest list in advance at http//www.leylinepromotions.com, SEOne, Weston Street, SE1, info from Leyline.

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SPITZER TURNS PAYOLA INVESTIGATIONS ON RADIO STATIONS
Now, a cynic might say that New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer needs to keep his high profile attack on payola in the news for a few more months because it's proving good for boosting his own profile in the lead up to his bid to become Governor Of New York later this year. But we have no time for cynics here. We don't even let them through the door.

Either way, Mr Spitzer has confirmed he is continuing with his investigations into so called 'payola' in the US music radio sector. As previously reported, the Attorney General has been looking into allegations that record labels, or their agents, bribe their way onto radio playlists. Most effort so far has been focused on the music companies. Both SonyBMG and Warner Music admitted last year that some of their promotions staff had used payola-esque techniques to secure radio play in the US. They both pledged to stop such activities from continuing, and to pay fines for past contravention of payola rules.

With rumours that other record labels are to make similar admissions in the coming months, Spitzer is now seemingly turning his focus to the radio stations where executives are accused of accepting the bribes. The Attorney General has already subpoenaed internal correspondence from many of the major players in US Radio, but further demands have reportedly been made on the likes of Clear Channel Radio, Infinity Broadcasting, Cox Radio, and Cumulus Broadcasting.

The new focus on the radio sector may be a sign that Spitzer has become frustrated with the seeming failure of US media regulator the FCC to tackle payola, despite announcing its intention to investigate bribery accusations after the Attorney General's office started to report its findings last year.

The new investigations are likely to focus on the ways that certain specific songs found their way on various stations' playlists. It's not clear yet which songs will be investigated, but Spitzer told the New York Post this week: "A lot of the major songs have been implicated in this, and it showed how pervasive the payola infrastructure had become."

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MIQUITA AND SIMON MOVING ON
Well, we knew it had to happen eventually, but did it have to be so soon? Admittedly, five years probably feels like quite a long time to Simon Amstell and Miquita Oliver, but it's gone very quickly for us. Anyway, Amstell and Oliver have announced that they are to quit fronting Popworld after half a decade on the Channel 4 show (alright, it is a long time when you say it like that). The pair will present their last show in April.

Popworld itself will get a makeover, and continue in its Saturday morning slot. The rather young Miquita will not be lost to weekend Channel 4 altogether. Her role on T4 has increased in recent months and is set to continue. Simon is said to be moving on to new broadcast projects, with plans to do more writing and to further develop his stand-up career.

Miquita says: "I started Popworld at the age of 16 so for me it's a bit like leaving school. With Popworld I've had the most brilliant time and I'm so proud of everything Simon and I have done with the show. Right now I'm looking forward to continuing my good working relationship with Channel 4."

Simon says: "What do you mean leaving?" Which is why we love him so.

Commissioning Editor for T4 and C4 Music, Neil McCallum, told reporters yesterday: "Simon and Miquita have been brilliant over the last five years and have been synonymous with the show's success. Looking ahead they will be a hard act to follow but I know that the new look show in its Saturday slot will go from strength to strength and will continue to innovate rather than imitate other music magazine shows."

New presenters will be announced in the Spring. No call to the CMU team as yet, though presumably it's only a matter of time. Did we mention we're launching a CMU radio show on Monday?

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YOUR ESSENTIAL PETE DOHERTY UPDATE
Well, I've said it before and I'll say it again; a fair few of you will have heard all of this already, but CMU consider it a duty to ensure that not one of you remains uninformed of every twist and turn in the Pete Doherty soap opera. So, here's the latest...

As you know, Doherty was not sent to prison on Wednesday despite a plethora of drugs charges - he was sentenced instead to a twelve month community order. He does, of course, run the risk of prison time if he doesn't comply with that order, and is due back in court for a review on 8 Mar.

Since his appearance in court, he's made an appearance at the Boogaloo, according to NME, who say that he played a 'freedom gig' with his fellow 'Shamblers at the north London bar the day of his sentencing and release.

Doherty has also given an interview to Radio 1, telling the station's newsbeat programme that he's going to steer clear of the Class As from now on: "I'm getting an implant in four days", he said, "as far as the drugs are concerned, it's simple - I'd rather be on the out with no smack than inside prison with no smack."

When asked if he thought he avoided a custodial sentence because of his celebrity status, Doherty replied: "What do you think I've been doing for the last 12 days? Picking tulips? I've been sat in a cell sweating it out, fully aware of the circumstances. But I've also been with murderers, on occasions a couple of brick walls away from paedophiles."

He continued: "I'm not a threat to society, I'm not selling drugs to anyone's children. I'm not encouraging or ever will encourage people to take drugs."

The interviewer finally asked the singer if he was on drugs at that moment; Doherty is said to have answered "What now?" before putting the phone down. Which was clever of him.

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PURE REASON REVOLUTION INJURY
Pure Reason Revolution guitarist Jamie Wilcox has broken his arm, meaning that he will be unable to perform for weeks. Which is a great shame, because Pure Reason Revolution are really good. Anyway, according to Gigwise, he injured himself celebrating Liverpool's victory over Luton Town in the FA Cup last month. On the upside, he says his band are to play at this year's V Festival. So there you go.

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PRIMAL SCREAM JOIN IOW LINEUP
Now that Wilcox has brought up festivals, we should inform you that Primal Scream are the latest act to be added to the Isle Of Wight Festival. They join a lineup which already includes Placebo, The Prodigy, Goldfrapp, Editors, The Kooks and The Rakes. The band are also set to release a new album later this year.

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DAWN OF THE REPLICANTS - NEW ALBUM, TOUR
And now we're into the live domain, here's a stack of tours type news for you. First up Dawn Of The Replicants (remember them?) are back with a new album (it's called 'Fangs' and it's out on Monday - 13 Feb) and a UK tour that kicks off next week. Dates as follows, press info from pr@slrecords.net

13 Feb: Cluny, Newcastle
14 Feb: Leopard, Doncaster
15 Feb: Social, Nottingham
16 Feb: Little Civic, Wolverhampton
17 Feb: Freebutt, Brighton
18 Feb: Barfly, London
19 Feb: The Shed, Leicester
2 Mar: King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
3 Mar: Caberet Voltaire, Edinburgh
4 Mar: The Tunnels, Aberdeen

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CRAZY PENIS LIVE AT CARGO
And if you hadn't heard of Crazy Penis before this item, no we're not joking, and yes they do exist. Actually, though, if you hadn't already heard of them, you're behind the times, frankly, as they've just released their fourth acclaimed album, and supported Faithless on their recent arena tour. Anyway, here's your chance to catch them. They'll be appearing at Cargo later this month, as part of a Champion Sound night at the venue, which will also feature DJ sets from 1Xtra's Benji B and The Wheeler, leader of Heritage Orchestra. Put it in your diaries.

All takes place at the aforementioned Cargo, Rivington Street EC2 from 8pm - 3am, £6 before 9pm, £10 after. See http://www.cargo-london.com/.

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GET DOWN TO LEWISHAM FOR DIRTY SOUTH
Not least because it's not as far from the centre of London as you think it is. No it's not. It's in Zone 2. And you can get there on a train from Charing X in less than fifteen minutes. So why exactly are we going on about how easy it is to get to Lewisham? Well, we wouldn't want to you miss out on a rock-night on Lee High Road just because you tend to think of Lewisham as being as far from the West End as High Wycombe.

So, what do you get? Psychedelic rockers The Southern Electrics, punky glam-types The Fairies Band, Clay Machine Gun, and Bretton, not to mention acoustic sets from Dexy and Miss Black America, plus DJ sets from Earwax Radio. Worth the trip? We think so. It all kicks off at 7pm on 12 Feb at Dirty South, 162 Lee High Road, Lewisham, London SE13. Entry is £5 (£3 before 8pm and concessions)

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SIMPLE MINDS TOUR HAS DONE RATHER WELL
The 12 date Simple Minds tour, which started on 30 Jan and ends on Tuesday 14 Feb, has completely sold out, so if you were planning to get tickets for tonight in Manchester, Sunday in Brighton, or London on Monday or Tuesday, tough. We don't care though, because we've got our tickets for the Astoria on Monday, and we're quite excited about it, frankly.

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BEVERLEY KNIGHT TAKES THAT GIG
It's been announced that Beverley Knight is to support Take That on their sold out reunion tour. The Mobo-winning, Mercury and Brit nominated soulstress is to release a new single shortly, a cover of Janis Joplin's 'Another Piece Of My Heart', and is also set to appear in that new BBC 1 series 'Just The Two Of Us', in which celebrities not known for their singing team up with celebrities who are in fact known for their singing.

As previously reported, the Take That tour begins on 23 Apr.

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MORE ORDINARY BOYS GIGS
The Ordinary Boys have announced another series of live dates. They're not for a wee while yet, though, so let's hope the general public haven't forgotten who Preston is by then. And before you start calling us cynical Ordinary Boy haters, we gave their debut album a glowing review, actually. Nobody bothered to send us the second album, though, so who knows? We might have got all glowy over that one too.

Here are the new dates, tickets go on sale this Friday at 9am:

5 Oct: Southend Cliff Pavilion
6 Oct: Manchester Apollo
7 Oct: Derby Assembly Rooms
8 Oct: Wolverhampton Civic
10 Oct: Carlisle Sands Centre
11 Oct: Portsmouth Guildhall

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YORKE AND GREENWOOD PLAY KOKO FOR CHARITY
Radiohead chaps Thom York and Jonny Greenwood are to play at a charity gig at Koko on 1 May. The concert is being held in aid of Friends Of The Earth and as part of The Big Ask Live - a series of music events promoting the Big Ask campaign, which was launched last year with the aim of lobbying the government over climate change.

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BANDS MAKE VALENTINES FOR PETA
Franz Ferdinand, The Magic Numbers, The Vines and The Subways have all made special personalised Valentine's Day Cards for PETA's new Have A Heart For Animals campaign. Each band customised the blank cards, which will be auctioned on eBay, with animal drawings and their signatures.

Campaign co-ordinator Anita Singh says: "These big-hearted stars are helping us spread the simple message that we should all act with kindness towards animals. Whether a pig or a dog, a mouse or a whale, all animals have the same capacity to feel, and we hope people will extend their circle of compassion to include all animals."

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NOLAN SISTER HAS BREAST CANCER
Former Nolan Sister Linda Nolan has been diagnosed with breast cancer. A spokeswoman for the singer, who has recently been appearing in Blood Brothers in the West End, confirmed that she is due to start treatment for the disease shortly.

Nolan, who is 46, has apparently told the Mirror: "It was a terrible shock, of course, and I'm still coming to terms with it. I know this is something that affects so many women and like them, all I can do is stay as positive as possible."

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DATA GETS READY FOR RELEASE 100
I knew Ministry's dance label Data had been busy, but I must admit, I'd not realised they were approaching their 100th release. But yes, Mish Mash's 'Speechless', out on 3 Apr, will be Data's centenary release, so well done them. To celebrate - here's a bit of the press release verbatim: "If you've spent any time in the vicinity of a discotheque recently, you'll immediately know 'Speechless'. Containing more booty than Beyonce's back end; enough funk to backcomb Sly Stone's afro; and more glamour-hugging disco than Bianca Jagger and her white horse could ever have handled. It's a dance record that thrusts song-writing back to the fore and plants a cheeky smile on your face. Now, thanks to a mighty push by Data, who have chosen Speechless to mark their 100th release, it's aiming for the hit parade jugular".

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BBC ANNOUNCES ITS SXSW LINE UP
The BBC has confirmed some of the talent that will play at their showcases at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas next month. The BBC will be at the event recording programmes for Radio 1, 2 and 6Music. Among the artists due to play as part of Radio 2's involvement are Morrissey, Goldfrapp, The Zutons, Corinne Bailey Rae and Richard Hawley. Radio 1 will host performances from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Guillemots, Boy Kill Boy and Dirty Pretty Things, while KT Tunstall, Editors, Jim Noir, The Feeling and Brakes will all appear at the 6Music showcase.

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BRITISH MUSIC RIGHTS APPOINT NEW POLICY ADVISOR
I must admit I've never completely figured out what British Music Rights do (except not return phone calls!), but anyway, the publishing-copyright-royalty-lobbying-something body have announced the appointment of a new Senior Policy Advisor to cover while the group's Sara Conway takes time off for maternity leave. Cathy Koester, formerly a Skills Policy Manager at the Creative And Cultural Sector Skills Council, will fill in from March to November.

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Knife - Silent Shout (Brille Records)
More brilliant electro-barminess from Sweden's The Knife. In an age when there's a lot of good music being made, but frequently by acts without any noticeable identity, it's good to hear a group who really have invented themselves and don't sound like anyone else. 'Silent Shout' is slightly more sleek, minimal and futuristic than previous efforts, but equally memorable. Built on a pulsating, metronomic, Kraftwerkian synth line that sounds like it was constructed by robots a thousand years from now, it's a space odyssey narrated by the typically distinct vocals from Karin Dreijer. The flamboyance is toned down a little bit here (or is that just the effect of the vocoder?) but the overall effect is still mesmerising and, like their other stuff, I've no idea what she's on about. Club-friendly remixes come from Williams and Troy Pierce; the former turns in a progressive pile-driver that nicely exploits the song's trancey potential, whilst the latter's tight electro/acid workout is a bit tame, all told. The main event remains brilliantly inventive though. This is what pop singles were always meant to sound like. MS
Release date: 20 Feb
Press contact: Motion Group [all]

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ITUNES CLOSE TO SELLING DOWNLOAD ONE BILLION
Apple's iTunes is close to selling its one-billionth download, which is one of those figures that it's hard to get your head around. Needless to say, Apple will be milking the achievement for all its worth. They have an online meter monitoring all their sales in the run up to the billionth track. The consumer who downloads each 100,000th track in the run up will win a 4GB iPod nano and a $100 iTunes credit, while the purchaser of the billionth download will get a music scholarship set up at a major music school in their name. No, really. One lucky iTunes customer will have the knowledge that their name is being used to educate some musical wannabe. Which that cynic still locked out of the CMU office might say is a pretty rubbish prize. But don't worry, if you're downloader one billion you'll get a 20 inch iMac, ten 60GB iPods and a $10,000 iTunes Music Card too, to make up for all that scholarship nonsense.

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FRAUNHOFER TO LAUNCH WATERMARKED MP3
The Fraunhofer Institute plans to demonstrate a new 'tracking' MP3 codec at Germany's 'digital solutions conference' CeBIT next month.

Fraunhofer's MP3 is, of course, the most popular file format for digital music among music fans. However major record companies are unwilling to make their music available in the format via legitimate download platforms because they cannot control what consumers do with the track once it is on their PC. They opt, instead, for digital rights managed codecs from Apple, Microsoft, Real and others.

The new MP3 codec includes a 'watermarking system' similar to that used by record companies on some of the promotional CDs sent to journalists and DJs. The system means that tracks carry digital information about the first person to own them - meaning that if that person allows the tracks to enter P2P networks then a record label can identify the source of the music file being shared.

It is thought Fraunhofer hopes that record labels might adopt the watermarked MP3 instead of other DRM systems, although some insiders say that that is unlikely because watermarking does not offer the same controls as other DRMs, and needs considerable policing to be effective.

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O2 LAUNCH VISUAL RADIO THINGY
O2 have announced they will launch a new service using Nokia's 'visual radio' technology through a partnership with Virgin Radio. Basically they will 'broadcast' editorial content via their phone network in sync with programming on Virgin Radio. Listeners with the right Nokia phones will be able to pick up Virgin Radio via an inbuilt radio and check the O2 content via their 3G. The O2 content will provide more information about tracks people are currently listening to - though that pesky cynic reckons that quite a lot of that information will probably be about how you can buy related things (ringtones, tracks, wallpapers) via your mobile phone. We'll see I guess.

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CONDUCTOR BRINGS INSTANT LIVE CONCEPT TO CLASSICAL
Organisers of a classical concert in London have adopted the 'instant live' model used in the contemporary music sector and made a recording of the concert available to buy on CD within minutes of the event.

The concert saw Sir John Eliot Gardiner and his orchestra, the English Baroque Soloists, perform Mozart's Symphonies Nos 39 and 41. The first half of the evening was recorded, and while audience members enjoyed the second half, that recording was pressed onto CD. The CD was sold to audience members as they left the event at London's Cadogan Hall.

Gardiner, whose own label SDG undertook the project, told reporters: "There's something about the unvarnished reality of a live recording - it brings back the memories of the moment. Maybe the studio has had its day. I don't pooh-pooh it, because it was a fantastic period, it gave us a great opportunity to experiment in the 1970s and 80s. But there's something artificial about studio recordings. I always tried to create a live 'feel'."

SDG hope to make other live classical recordings available in this way - sold at the venue following a concert, and via the company's website.

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NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC PLAN CONCERT DOWNLOADS
Elsewhere in 'classical gets hi tech' news, the New York Philharmonic has announced a partnership with Deutsche Grammophon which will see the orchestra make recordings of its concerts available for download. The orchestra reportedly hopes that the digital move will help them step up the number of live recordings available - the number of such recordings has fallen in recent years due to the costs of manufacturing and distributing the CDs.

By coincidence, the first of these digital ventures will a New York Philharmonic performance of Mozart's 39th and 41st, though with his 40th too. Organisers will let classical fans download a whole symphony, or individual movements, a decision which should make the venture iTunes friendly.

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FLOWERS SAYS NEXT KILLERS ALBUM ACTUALLY AMERICAN
Brandon Flowers has told Rolling Stone that The Killers' new album will sound more American than their debut 'Hot Fuss'. The singer said: "[The album is] more American. People called us the best English band to come from America and all that shit. That's cool, and English rock is great but it's forced me to listen to American music to see what I was missing."

So, it seems, those who love The Killers for their inherently British style may have to come to terms with the influence of Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty. Stop worrying, anyway - they're talented boys. What could possibly go wrong?

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TOTP MAGAZINE STAYING
Bosses at the BBC's magazine's company say they are still committed to their pop title, the Top Of The Pops magazine, despite EMAPs decision to can Smash Hits on the basis that teenage pop fans just aren't interested in the printed medium any more. TOTP magazine's publisher Duncan Gray told Press Gazette this week: "We firmly believe that digital properties will enhance and complement TOTP magazine and vice versa. It's also an excellent opportunity to develop cross-media opportunities for advertisers."

Of course Smash Hits' demise may well help the BBC title. Press Gazette report that TOTP magazine's last publisher Alfie Lewis last year admitted that it would be "useful" if one of the competition dropped out of the fiercely tight teen mag market.

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IDOL BEATS GRAMMYS
Well, it seems we (well, America's TV viewing public) prefer watching musical wannabes having their ambitions dashed to watching musical legends having their achievements commended. Nearly twice as many people in the US tuned into to American Idol this week when it went head to head with the Grammy Awards. The Grammys pulled in 15.1 million viewers, while Simon Cowell et al were watched by 28.3 million.

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LYDON DISSES GREEN DAY
Do Green Day call themselves 'punk'? Well, perhaps they do. Whatever, John Lydon has said that Green Day have stolen 'punk' - from who? Its true owners, The Sex Pistols, presumably. According to Contactmusic he says: "Don't try and tell me Green Day are punk. They're not, they're plonk and they're bandwagoning on something they didn't come up with themselves. I think they are phony."

On his own experiences of 'being punk' he continued: "The government's against you, the police are on you. So there we are fending off all that and it pisses me off that years later a wank outfit like Green Day hop in and nick all that and attach it to themselves. They didn't earn their wings to do that and if they were true punk they wouldn't look anything like they do."

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ARCTIC MONKEY FANS GIVE ARCTIC MONKEYS HARD TIME
That so-called Arctic Army have a lot to answer for, you know. This time, instead of booing off Test Icicles or leaving the venue when Maximo Park took to the stage, they bothered Arctic Monkeys themselves by shouting for a performance of Girls Aloud's 'Love Machine', which, as previously reported, the band covered on Radio 1 last month. Head monkey Alex Turner said: "Is that all you like us for? Fuck off, we can't remember how to play it."

The 'fans' also responded badly when Arctic Monkeys played a new track 'Leave Before The Lights Come On', Turner being moved to say: "Fucking hell, don't sound so enthusiastic, we'll get back to the classics afterwards."

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BARRY MANILOW TOPS US CHART
Former housewives' favourite Barry Manilow has topped the US album chart for the first time in not a great deal less than thirty years. He last made it to number one with a double live album back in July of 1977, and his 2004 release 'Scores: Songs From Copacabana and Harmony' only made it to number 47.

The new album 'The Greatest Songs of the Fifties', features the singer's renditions of classics such as 'Unchained Melody' and 'Love Is A Many Splendored Thing'. Manilow says: "I've had some pretty amazing experiences in my career, but this one tops them all... if you live long enough, anything is possible!"

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MASSIVE ATTACK RECRUIT MAYOR
Gloucester's Town Crier, Alan Mynott, is to feature in the promo for Massive Attack's new single 'Live With Me'. The video apparently tells the story of a woman who tries to drink herself to death, but why exactly this storyline requires the presence of a Town Crier, I'm really not too sure.

Mynott says: "My name was put forward by a production company in London who also scanned the country for town criers and I came out top of the pops."

The single, as reported only yesterday, is out on 13 Mar prior to the release of their hits compilation 'Collected' on 27 Mar.

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ER, POLICE IN FACT DO TAKE SOME ACTION OVER BRITNEY THING
It seems that after saying they would take no action whatsoever over those photos of Britney Spears driving with her bairn on her lap, the Los Angeles Police have in fact taken some form of action, because they turned up at the singer's home seeking information for the Department Of Family And Children Services.

Confusingly, of course, there's nothing the police department can really do. Deputy Luis Castro said: "Unless a deputy saw the violation, there's nothing we can do. We don't even know if this took place in our jurisdiction."

Obviously the Department Of Family thingy thinks it can do something if it's sending cops out to get info. Perhaps they can confiscate young Preston until young Britney has promised not to, oops, do it again?

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WILL YOUNG FANCIES GIRLS
Well, this is worth reporting. Will Young has told the Express that he occasionally feels attracted to girls, thus joining the ninety nine percent of the population who sometimes find themselves fancying something other than what they're supposed to.

"I do fancy girls - sometimes", he apparently said, "I'd say that every once in a year and a half, I'll get a moment when I think I could possibly sleep with her. And my friends always say, 'What? we don't understand'. And then I'll say, 'It's fleeting.' But I like it. I'd never rule it out."

He also admitted to being an evil narcotics abuser: "I don't do hard drugs but I do smoke weed. Oh no, that's bad. But I do." Move over Doherty, CMU has a new favourite druggie.

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