CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 10th July
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- European court expected to rule on merger decision
- More EMI Warner nonsense
- US judge orders for trustees to take over Death Row
- Gay rights groups renew opposition against Beenie Man et al
- Gaydar radio lash out at Moyles and OfCom
- Jackson / Schaffel latest
- Gil Scott-Heron jailed for two years
- Busta Rhymes: I didn't see bodyguard get shot
- Hip hop doesn't make you rich, says Dash
- Album review: Punish The Atom - I Cry Demolition
- MTV boss to keynote BPI AGM
- MusicTank think tank tomorrow
- Early Dylan champion dies
- Penny Lane will keep its name
- Velvet Underground tops Uncut poll
- New Basement Jaxx album
- Pavarotti cancels remaining concerts
- The Rapture tour
- Sugababes for Summer Pops
- Tiscali showcase their showcase on new compo
- Rooster in-stores
- Bestival cancel clown fancy dress
- T In The Park hailed a success
- Monkeys talk about bassist's departure
- Carl Barat talks about drugs
- Chart update
- Total Rock world album chart
- Mute closer aligned to EMI following rejig
- Microsoft, AOL speculation
- Billboard buy Radio & Records
- Single review: Peaches - Downtown
- Kylie speaks
- Thom Yorke says industry is buggered
- Timberlake is not the king of pop
- Girls Aloud to split?
- Ladyfuzz ringtones update


So, it seems the issue of homophobia in the lyrics of certain reggae and dance hall artists is about to become newsworthy again. You'll remember that gay rights group OutRage! called a truce in their pretty successful campaign against the likes of Buju Banton, Beenie Man and Bounty Killer after key labels in the genre pledged to ensure their artists wouldn't perform the tracks that seemingly incite violence against the gay community. OutRage! claim those three artists have gone back on that promise, and so the protests will begin again - and as a result two gigs have already been called off - that previously reported Banton gig in Brighton, and a Beenie Man gig in Bournemouth. That debate follows renewed discussion of late regarding the portrayal of women by hip hop culture which, some campaigners suggest, is more misogynistic now than ever. All of which brings us back to that tricky debate that I find it hard to form a viewpoint on - censorship in music. On the one side, the homophobia in dancehall and misogyny in hip hop is surely not a good thing - and it is too easy for artists in those genres to say that they are just being ironic or merely mirroring the cultures they represent - even if artists' intentions are being misunderstood by their fan-base, such misunderstandings legitimise and heighten unhealthy attitudes among those communities. But then again, is banning those artists or their music ever really a solution? Or does it just risk making the campaigners look like 'spoil sports' who can't take a joke or, even worse, does it provide those who share or lean towards these opinions with a rallying call to recruit supporters who, actually, don't really share any political opinions, they just like the same music? As I say, it's an argument where I find it hard to take sides. But, while the problem doesn't really start or, indeed, finish within the music business, perhaps it is worth the music world considering if there is a way that it can support freedom of creative expression without providing a platform for viewpoints few of us would actually sympathise with.

PS: Two bits of bad news for you - first, there's no new radio show this week and second, I've checked and our insurance doesn't cover the costs of the therapy you are all now going to have to have to come to terms with the trauma of there being no radio show. But what we can do is guarantee there'll be a brand new edition online next week.



Can't be arsed to research festivals this summer? The Aloud Festival Guide has got the info on over 60 events taking place, written by music-lovers for music-lovers. As well as news and updates, we've got on-site blogging from the festivals, features, photos and advice from the illustrious Professor Portaloo - don't shag Anne Widdecombe scores quite highly. You can also win tickets to Lovebox, Belladrum and Bestival by sending in your photos, and feature in our summer podcast - brilliant!



Catbird talks to Mike Peters from The Alarm ('Phantasmagoria', 9am to noon). Listen live at



MySpace Of The Day: Pathaan
I've been meaning to mention the Pathaan compiled 'City Hippy' compilation for weeks now, but have never quite got round to it. Those of you with worryingly good memories will remember how much we loved 'Global Sunset', the compilation compiled by Pathaan back in 2004. Well, 'City Hippy', is his latest collection, released via Globetronica, a new imprint being run by the man himself - and we hear it is as refreshing and eclectic as the 'Sunset' albums, featuring tracks from Fat Freddy's Pop, Dreadzone and the wonderful Ils, among others. If you want to find out a little more about the music Pathaan champions, then you have plenty of opportunities to do so. Firstly, there's his regular night, every Friday at the Matchbar on Margaret Street, W1, also called City Hippy and free to get into. Then there's his new radio show every Saturday at midnight on the BBC Asian Network. And, of course, there is his MySpace where you will find four tracks streaming. So, no excuses.

This and more at


Well, this will be interesting. No, really, it will be, honest. The European Union's Court Of First Instance will this Thursday make a ruling as to whether competition officials at the European Commission were right or wrong to give the go ahead for the Sony BMG merger back in 2004.

As you all know, officials allowed the German and Japanese media conglomerates to merge their recorded music businesses, creating SonyBMG, but that decision has been disputed from the start by IMPALA, the body that represents the independent record companies in Europe.

IMPALA say EC officials failed to consider the merger's impact on issues such as 'collective dominance' and 'marketing access', and that they should have inquired further into the impact the merged companies' dominance would have on European culture, consumer choice and diversity. They argue that the decision to allow the merger to go ahead should be annulled because of "manifest errors of law, assessment and reasoning in relation to collective dominance", and with that in mind they launched legal proceedings against the decision through the EU courts last year.

The Luxembourg-based Court, which has examined the case in an "expedited" procedure, has announced it will make a ruling this week. On that announcement, IMPALA Deputy Secretary General Helen Smith told reporters: "It's a good sign that the Court is coming to a decision now, just before the summer recess. It shows that the case has been taken seriously".

Quite what the EC can do about the Sony BMG merger now, even if the courts rule that their decision was wrong, isn't clear - though if judges do rule against further consolidation in the music industry, it might make the chances of any EMI Warner merger getting EC approval less likely.


And talking of that EMI Warner merger - speculation is still rife as to whether the world's third and fourth biggest record companies will ever get as far as seeking EU approval for their merger plans, as both sides continue to resist the others' attempts at acquisition.

According to the Times, Warner shareholders are now holding out for an offer of $5.6 billion (or $38 per share) from EMI, some $1 billion more than the figure currently being offered by the London based major, and a figure considerably higher than any past valuation of the company. But an EMI source has told Reuters that that kind of bid just isn't going to happen. Reuters quote their source as saying: "EMI has for some time been keen to discuss valuation with Warner, but clearly believes $38 is a completely unrealistic valuation for a company that was trading at $21 in March".


A US judge has ordered trustees to take over Suge Knight's Death Row Records following the music mogul's filing for bankruptcy earlier this year.

As previously reported, Knight declared himself bankrupt amid legal wrangling with Lydia and Michael Harris, who both claimed to have co-founded the legendary hip hop label, and to be owed their cut of the profits. A court had previously ordered Knight to pay Lydia Harris $107 million for her share of the company, but he had refused to do so, causing a judge to make moves to seize his assets. Before that could happen Knight filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, moving the case from the LA courts to the federal bankruptcy courts.

There Judge Ellen Carroll last week said that the rap label's accounting practices were in disarray because of gross mismanagement, adding "it seems apparent there is no-one at the helm". Carroll ruled that trustees should take over the running of the company to see if it can be rescued. What will now happen to the label, whose catalogue includes valuable early releases from the likes of Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur, is as yet unclear.


So, it seems that cancellation of a Buju Banton gig in Brighton last week was the start of a new wave of protest from the gay community over reggae and dance hall artists who perform songs containing homophobic lyrics. Peter Tatchell, of UK based gay rights group OutRage!, has told reporters that his organisation considers its truce with some key artists in the genre to be over.

As previously reported, OutRage!, and other gay rights campaigners, have been increasingly vocal in recent years about the homophobic nature of some songs by key players in the genre, songs which, campaigners claim, often incite violence against gay people. That opposition led to gay rights groups calling on venues to ban performances by those artists - opposition that led to a string of gigs across Europe, Australia and parts of the US being cancelled with venues fearing the bad publicity and possible licensing implications that public protests outside their premises would have.

Independent labels representing the offending artists secured a truce last year. While the artists were unwilling to completely retract their homophobic remarks, management claimed their clients would not perform the tracks that caused most offence - most of which came from the artists' earlier careers.

However, Tatchell claims that three artists - Buju Banton, Beenie Man and Bounty Killer - have broken that commitment, and therefore his group's protests are back on. He told reporters: "As far as they are concerned, the truce is over. The campaign against them has resumed. We will maintain the truce with the other singers who have stuck by the agreement."

The specifics of how the three artists have broken their commitment are not clear, but the result of new opposition towards them is. As previously reported, Buju Banton had a gig in Brighton cancelled last week following protests from the local gay community, and likewise a Beenie Man concert due to take place in Bournemouth on 29 Jul was cancelled this weekend after similar protests.

The three artists are yet to comment on the renewed protests against them.


And those gay rights groups are going to be rather busy in the coming months, given that the people behind Gaydar Radio, a digital station aimed at the gay community, have asked for an "urgent meeting" with OfCom to discuss the BBC's defence of Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles' use of the word "gay" to mean "rubbish" on his breakfast show.

As previously reported, Moyles was criticised for describing a rubbish ringtone as being "gay" on his radio show earlier this year, but BBC bosses said that, while the expression could cause offence, that it "met the required editorial standards and did not demonstrate homophobia", adding that "in broadcasting to an audience of predominantly young people, it was to be expected that Chris Moyles would use expressions and words which the listeners used themselves".

Gaydar say they think that in that ruling the BBC has "given a large endorsement to bigotry". They are also rather pissed off that OfCom did not consult them in a recent consultation in the radio sector on the use of offence language on air.

In an open letter to OfCom Standards Case Manager Fiona Lennox, Gaydar's Commercial Director, David Muniz, says: "By sanctioning the derogatory use of the word "gay" [in this way] the BBC has endorsed not only the negative use of the word gay but, more insidious, they have promoted the acceptance of a bigoted and harmful definition of gay. Radio does have a social obligation and should not endorse homophobia, bigotry and the persecution of others through language".

He adds that the BBC's argument that Moyles' use of the word was "just a reflection of how the word is being used on the street and playgrounds of the UK" is flawed, saying that in using the word in that way Moyles has provided legitimacy for homophobia among young people. That is a viewpoint shared by John Quinn, director of children's protection group Beat Bullying, who the Guardian quote as saying: "The BBC have greenlighted the use of "gay" as a derogatory word. Therefore, the BBC have given credence to the idea that being gay is bad. This low-level homophobia is not acceptable and is outrageous considering how homophobic bullying destroys lives."

Muniz is hoping to secure a formal meeting with OfCom to discuss the matter further.


The latest news to emerge from the Jackson/Schaffel case is that Michael Jackson has, via his video testimony, explained how distressed he was by revelations of Schaffel's gay porn past, while Schaffel has countered that with an allegation that the pop star had asked him to arrange for him to adopt some young boys.

Jackson recalled how he was shown a video of his former associate directing an adult movie, saying "I was shocked by what I saw... [Schaffel] was directing two guys. They were naked from head to toe... and he was telling one what to do with the other and he grabbed their penis or something. I didn't believe it."

During subsequent questioning about his past career as a porn director, his personal ties in Brazil, and his activity whilst on a trip to the country, he said: "The main purpose of my trip was Mr Jackson wanted to adopt some boys".

Jackson's lawyer, Thomas Blundell, condemned the statement, saying: "It was an effort to smear Mr Jackson with a remark that could be interpreted to hurt him in light of the case against him last year".

Even Schaffel's own lawyer didn't approve, saying: "It's not really relevant to this case. I thought we were not going to go there. We've tried to be upstanding."


Gil Scott Heron has been sentenced to a two year prison term for breaking the conditions of a plea deal over previous drugs charges. The musician/poet had been ordered to attend drug rehab after being tried on drugs charges in 2001. Scott-Heron, 56, claimed he had left rehab because they had stopped giving him his HIV medication, but the prosecution say that his reasons for leaving were not so valid, and claim that on one occasion he left to make an appearance with Alicia Keys.


Busta Rhymes has claimed that he refused to talk to police following the previously reported shooting of his bodyguard Israel Ramirez, because he didn't witness the murder, which occurred outside a New York warehouse where Rhymes was filming a video back in February.

He says: "I don't really care about what anybody has to say. You don't really know who was the source of the problem, all you know is a handful of people were arguing with each other. We was inside shooting a video, and on the way outside, that's when everything happened, so I was told to stay inside. I really didn't get a chance to see what went down. When we went outside, that's when we saw my friend on the ground, dying slowly."

He continued: "If I didn't ask him to come to work, he'd have been at home with his family. That's the only guilt I live with, but still in that sense I don't have any guilt, because that was the way we made money together."


Damon Dash has said that there's no money in hip-hop - and that he's had to look elsewhere in order to become very rich. The former Roc-A-Fella man has told the Independent On Sunday that he's had to set up other businesses in order to sustain his lifestyle.

Dash says: "The music business isn't so profitable, especially not hip-hop. I couldn't buy what I wanted to buy. I'm talking cooks and drivers. I got into clothes to make money. The people in this business all think they've made it because they're in charge of their little record labels. I'm like, this isn't even my main source of income. I already did this business - and I made movies and I designed clothes and I got my own vodka and my own Swiss watch maker."

On his cash-guzzling life-style, he added: "Not many people understand how important having a butler is. I need somebody to help me get everything I'm going to wear for the day all set up, know what I'm saying? You'd think it is easy, but I've got a lot to put together, accessory-wise, especially at night."

Well, I'm sure we can all relate to that. What? Oh no, we can't.


ALBUM REVIEW: Punish the Atom - I Cry Demolition (48 Crash)
'I Cry Demolition' is Punish the Atom's second full length album following the widely acclaimed 2003 release 'Let's Do The Don't Care'. It's not entirely clear which particular atom the band are aiming to punish, but presumably it's all of them. This album is made up of 10 very loud tracks, each punishing the singers' vocal chords, the guitarists' guitars and the drummer's kit. The opener, 'Battle Of Electric Tongues', starts out as a dedication to heavy metal with cheesy chord riffs and tom-heavy drumming but ends as a chaotic chanted punk track. The music of 'We Are Infection' reminds me of Test Icicles style of 'just - put - your - hands - anywhere - on - the - guitar - neck - and - see - what - happens' approach combined with the vocal style of any well respected political punk band. By track 6, 'Join Our Sexual Armistice', it appears either Dr Who has landed in the world of Punish or token strange sounds guy John Cox has decided that what the album really needs is more Moog. 'Do The Demolition' is one of the only tracks where you can understand each lyric, that is, until the chorus, when the theory of 'the more vocal parts, the lower in the mix they need to be,' is really put to test. Punish the Atom are un-trendy chaotic punk who will more than likely be adopted by the emo kids a.k.a. nu-metallers a.k.a. hardcore crowd and thrown into MySpace music's top ten list faster than Test Icicles rise (and fall). AW
Release Date: 3 Jul
Press Contact: Triad Publicity [all]


MTV Network International president Bill Roedy will deliver the keynote speech at the BPI's AGM and Annual Conference in London on Wednesday. He'll be talking about, I don't know, reality TV, wind up shows and motor-vehicle renovation, or whatever it is MTV do these days. Also talking at the event will be Glastonbury Festival Music Director Martin Elbourne and Live Nation execs Graham Pullen and Chris O'Donnell.

The conference will also feature an event called Rock The Boat, which will see music industry types mix with MPs and government officials on a boat on the Thames, which sounds a bit dull, except that it is a reception co-hosted by both the BPI and the main music publishing bodies, including PRS-MCPS. And we all know there's no love lost between the recording and publishing bodies at the moment - who needs a copyright tribunal, fist fight on the river I say.

BPI members wanting to attend should contact web[email protected] - though I think the event is pretty much at capacity.


Talking of music business events, don't forget that the next edition of the MusicTank Tank Tank programme is tomorrow night, 11 Jul, at Bertorellis in Soho. The topic being discussed is the live sector, and on the panel are Glastonbury Festival's Ben Challis, the National Arena Association's Geoff Huckstep, Live Here Now's MJ, the Kashmir Klub's Tony Moore and 3 A Entertainment's Pete Wilson. More info at


Former Rolling Stone Reviews Editor Paul Nelson, considered by many a legendary 'first-generation' rock critic, has been found dead in his New York apartment.

Nelson began his music career editing his own publication, Little Sandy Review, through which he was one of the first to write about and influence a young Bob Dylan. He went on to work for both Rolling Stone and pop magazine Circus, plus some other music titles, while during a brief time at Mercury Records he signed the New York Dolls. In 1988 he co-wrote a biography of Rod Stewart with Lester Bangs though, in recent years, he had all but given up writing, except for a screenplay that he said would most likely never be filmed.

Most recently he had been working at an aficionado's video store, and it was the manager of that store who discovered his body at his Manhattan home last Wednesday. Nelson is survived by a son, sister and one grandson.


Penny Lane, the street which, as I've absolutely no need to explain, was immortalised by The Beatles in the song of the same name, has escaped getting its name changed, because of its association with the Fab Four.

The local council is planning to rename a host of streets in the surrounding area, due to the association of their current names with the city's past links to the slave trade - Penny Lane is named for James Penny, an eighteenth century slave ship owner.

Council member Barbara Mace says that whilst the other streets will be renamed, Penny Lane, which is of course, something of a tourist attraction, will stay. She told the Press Association: "I don't think anyone would seriously consider renaming Penny Lane. My proposal is to rename several of the streets and to replace them with the names of people who have done something positive."


The Velvet Underground's 1967 release, 'The Velvet Underground & Nico', has been voted the best debut album of all time in a poll by Uncut Magazine. The long player beat off competition from the likes of The Stone Roses, Joy Division and Jimi Hendrix. More recent releases that made the list were Arctic Monkeys at 36 and Arcade Fire at 100. Here's the top ten:

The Velvet Underground 'The Velvet Underground & Nico'
Television 'Marquee Moon'
Jimi Hendrix Experience 'Are You Experienced'
The Stone Roses 'The Stone Roses'
The Band 'Music From Big Pink'
The Clash 'The Clash'
Led Zeppelin 'Led Zeppelin
Joy Division 'Unknown Pleasures'
Roxy Music 'Roxy Music'
The Stooges 'The Stooges'


Basement Jaxx have announced that they will release a new album in September. It's called 'Crazy Itch Radio'. A single release, 'Crazy Itch' will also be released, quite soon. I'm afraid that's all I know.


Luciano Pavarotti has been forced to cancel the remaining dates on his farewell world tour, as he has undergone surgery for cancer. The tenor, who is 70, had, as previously reported, cancelled a number of dates due to back trouble and subsequent surgery. He was set to travel to Britain from New York last week for his performances in the UK when the new concerns were raised by his doctors, who were worried about results from a routine check up.

Manager Terri Robson said in a statement on Friday: "Mr Pavarotti underwent a diagnostic evaluation and a malignant pancreatic mass was identified. Fortunately, the mass was able to be completely removed at surgery."

Pavarotti is recovering well from the surgery, and Robson indicated that the tour could resume next year. The affected concerts were set to take place in Glasgow on 5 Jul, Chatsworth House on 8 Jul, Southampton Rose Bowl on 12 Jul and Warwick Castle on 15 Jul.


The Rapture, who release a new album, 'Pieces Of The People We Love' on 4 Sep, will tour the UK in October, dates as follows:

8 Oct: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
9 Oct: Brighton Concorde
10 Oct: Norwich Waterfront
12 Oct: Edinburgh Liquid Room
13 Oct: Belfast University
14 Oct: Sheffield Leadmill
15 Oct: Manchester University MDH
17 Oct: London KOKO


Sugababes have confirmed that they are to play at this year's Summer Pops series in Liverpool, on 20 Jul. As previously reported, they've been supporting Take That on their reunion dates, and now they join a line-up that includes the likes of Westlife, Corinne Bailey Rae and The Pet Shop Boys. Liverpudlian band member Heidi says: "Playing Liverpool is always special to me, and the reception we got last time was fantastic."


A new compilation is being released featuring tracks from 17 bands who have played at the Tiscali Showcase over the last 18 months. Over seventy bands have now appeared at the ISP's monthly music event, including The Subways, Orson, Sway, Morning Runner and The Crimea. Among the artists appearing on the compilation are The Suffrajets, Four Day Hombre, Fleeing New York and The Alps.

The album, released by Tough Cookie Records, will be available for download from Tiscali and other download stores from today. Highlights from these and other Tiscali Showcase artists are online at The aforementioned Fleeing New York plus The Suffrajets will both play at a special launch event at the Gibson Showrooms in London tomorrow, 11 Jul.

The full tracklisting is given below, press info from LD - [email protected]

1. The Alps - World At War
2. Rebus - Daylight Fading
3. Fleeing New York - Hollywood Bowl
4. Triggerbox - Techno Boy
5. The Dirty Feel - Get Down
6. Constantine - Shrinking Star
7. Gliss - Blue Sky
8. Mad Staring Eyes - Walking The Streets
9. Modern American Science - Where Pieces Join (Where they fall apart)
10. Lowgold - Every Train
11. Four Day Hombre - The First Word Is The Hardest
12. Motion Picture Soundtrack - When The Lights Go Out
13. Everything On Black - Trust
14. Cinimo - Mess
15. S Rock Levinson - Dr Levinson's Lament
16. The Suffrajets - Sold
17. The Shakes - Daylight


Talking about events to celebrate releases, Rooster will be in the Oxford Street HMV on 24 Jul for a free show / signing session type thing to mark the release of forthcoming new album 'Circles and Satellites' - the in-store will precede a gig at the Scala the same night.

Rooster fans outside of London can, however, get a sneak preview of the new album sooner, with the band doing an in-store set at the High Street, Birmingham branch of HMV tonight (10 Jul) and at the Argyle Street, Glasgow branch tomorrow (11 Jul), both at 5pm.

Press info from [email protected]


According to reports, Bestival has been forced to cancel their clown themed fancy dress event originally intended to take place at this year's festival, because too many coulrophobics have contacted organisers to ask them not to do it. Rob da Bank has told the BBC that the clown theme will not go ahead because the fear of clowns is apparently quite a common thing, saying: "We have had so many people with clown phobias contact us, I am worried everyone might end up hiding in the woods."


Despite being in Scotland this weekend, I was just too busy to make it to T In The Park, which was a crying shame - particularly as it meant I had to make do with the BBC coverage, which was pretty awful from what I saw (comparing the Beeb's coverage of T In The Park and Channel 4's coverage of Wireless, I know who'd I be wanting as my broadcast partner if I ran a festival).

But our sources tell us that the event itself was storming, while the festival's organisers are hailing it as a big success - logistically and artistically. As of yesterday there had only been 35 arrests on the festival site - which is quite an achievement given the 75,000 capacity. Organisers reported that about 250 people had attended the festival hospital with "minor injuries".

Once again, the bands performing all seemed to hail the event as being one of the best in the music festival calendar (especially a calendar sans-Glasto). Pete Townsend of headliners The Who told the Daily Record: "In the hippy days, stuff like Woodstock and Monterey and Isle of Wight were terrible. I hated them. I felt the whole philosophy of the hippy era was hypocritical. I much prefer it now. T in the Park is just wonderful." Fellow headliners Red Hot Chili Peppers also reportedly told organisers that the festival was the best they'd ever played.

And with all those high spirits in the air, what better time to start flogging tickets for the 2007 event? 30,000 tickets for next year's event will go on sale tomorrow, at 2006 prices. Web and phone bookings will be taken from 9am - expect meltdown.


Elsewhere in festivals land this weekend, Arctic Monkeys have spoken to Zane Lowe, whilst backstage at Ireland's Oxegen festival, about the previously reported departure of bassist Andy Nicholson. The band explained that there was no animosity, frontman Alex Turner saying: "I sent him a message yesterday actually, telling him to have a good one and that."

Explaining how the split had come about, he said: "To start with we were in Lisbon at the end of the European thing and he decided he didn't want to come to America. And that was cool, and then, I don't know, I guess we found ourselves in this situation by the end of the American tour. I mean, a lot happens, it's not just like three weeks in a normal thing, it's three weeks with your head all over the place. I mean, it's a difficult thing to explain, I don't think anyone will really understand this except us three and Andy."

This all contradicts tabloid rumour that is suggesting that there is in fact some animosity, that the bassist's departure was the result of a falling out and that Nicholson badly wants to return to the band. The People quotes a source as saying: "He has been begging to come back, but Alex has said no. Andy is devastated. There was a falling out. They need to sit down and sort out their differences. Who knows? Maybe there is still a chance of Andy returning."


The thing about Carl Barat, of course, is that people tend to forget that he might ever have been a cokehead, his habit dwarfed by the drug-taking antics of his former band-mate.

Anyway, Barat, no doubt sick of everyone only ever talking about Pete Doherty, has apparently been talking about his gak addiction, and says he has regained his creative juices since kicking the habit. Barat is quoted as saying: "When I was doing that I wasn't really interested in writing songs. It was all about waffling crap. It's like banging your head against a brick wall trying to express you emotions on cocaine. And you can make any addiction a scapegoat if you aren't performing well."

It's funny he should say that, actually, because Pete Doherty was saying something very similar on J-Ross on Friday.


So, with physical sales into the mix, that Lily Allen girl is now number one in the old singles chart - well done her, and whoever it was that somehow managed to get something in the music and packaging of Ms Allen to appeal to pretty much every music buying demographic out there - mission accomplished. Also in the top three this week are last week's number one, Shakira, now at two, and Razorlight, whose track 'In The Morning' likewise moves upwards now that physical sales are being counted - up to number three.

New entries wise, it goes Paolo Nutini 'Last Request' at 5, Bob Sinclair ft Steve Edwards 'World Hold On (Children Of The Sky)' at 9, George Michael 'An Easier Affair' at 13, Rogue Traders 'Voodoo Child' at 18, the truly wonderful Justice vs Simian 'We Are Your Friends' at 20, Jamie T 'Shelia' at 22, Busta Rhymes 'I Love My Chick' at 23, The Pipettes 'Pull Shapes' at 26, Jose Gonzalez 'Hand On Your Heart' at 29, Rifles 'She's Got Standards' at 32, Till West & DJ Delicious 'Same Man' at 36, and Fall Out Boy 'A Little Less Sixteen Candles A Little' at 38, which, frankly, is a lot, and I should know, cos I just had to type them all in (and what's with the stupidly long song title, Fall Out Boy, I'm busy on a Monday morning you know?).

Albums wise, and me wearing my albeit rather old Muse t-shirt last week had the marketing effect that I was expecting, catapulting Muse to the top of the album chart with 'Black Holes & Revelations' (if anyone at Warner wants to send a new Muse t-shirt for me to wear this week, that's fine by me). The only other new entry on the albums chart this week is Johnny Cash, with 'American V - A Hundred Highways' - and let's not forget, I didn't wear one Johnny Cash t-shirt last week, so going in at 9 is a considerable achievement for the late great Mr Cash (FYI, I don't own a Johnny Cash t-shirt - otherwise, I'd have been wearing it, that's for sure).


As counted down on Total Rock over the weekend - New and re-entries marked with a *.

1. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium (Warner Bros)
2. Tool - 10,000 Days (Volcano)
3. Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (Roadrunner)
4. Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam (SonyBMG/J Records)
5. Guns n' Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)
6. AFI - Decemberunderground (Universal/Polydor)
7. Bon Jovi - Have A Nice Day (Universal/Mercury)
8. Godsmack - IV (Republic)
9. Angels & Airwaves - We Don't Need To Whisper (Universal/Geffen)
10. Feeder - The Singles (Echo)
11. Rolling Stones - Forty Licks (EMI/Virgin)
12. Def Leppard - Yeah! (Universal/Mercury)
13. Korn - See You On The Other Side (EMI/Virgin)
14. David Gilmour - On An Island (EMI)
15. Various - WWE: Wreckless Intent (SonyBMG)
16. System Of A Down - Hypnotize (SonyBMG/Columbia)
17. The Eagles - The Complete Greatest Hits (Warner Bros.)
18. Taking Back Sunday - Louder Now (Warner Bros)*
19. Fleetwood Mac - The Very Best Of Fleetwood Mac (Warner Bros)*
20. System Of A Down - Mezmerize (Warner Bros)*


Well, we mentioned that another big record label was rejigging its in-house press operation, and it seems that those changes are part of a wider restructure at EMI owned former indie Mute. The EMI division has confirmed it has completed a revamp, which will see the label, so far pretty autonomous from its parent company, more closely aligned to the rest of the EMI group.


Much more media speculation over those previously reported rumours that Microsoft are planning an iTunes style music offer - ie, a Microsoft made player which will use Microsoft's digital music software, and will be supplied with content from a Microsoft owned download platform. Some now reckon something could be on the market before Christmas.

Elsewhere in the word of digital entertainment, we hear AOL in the US will be completing their move out of the so called 'closed wall' ISP business (where their content and interactive services are only available to people who buy ISP services from them) into the portal space occupied by the likes of Yahoo and Google by making all their so far premium services available to all any time now. Which is nice.


The owners of US music industry trade magazine Billboard, VNU, have acquired Radio & Records, the weekly magazine that tracks music being played on American radio stations. Confirming the acquisition, VNU top guy Michael Marchesano told reporters: "This acquisition is in line with VNU's strategy to further strengthen its services to the radio and record industries. With the added resources of VNU, especially our music services, including the Billboard Information Group, Nielsen BDS, and Nielsen SoundScan, R&R will continue to grow as a vibrant brand."


SINGLE REVIEW: Peaches - Downtown (Beggars/XL Recordings)
'Downtown' is the first release of Peaches forthcoming album 'ImPeach My Bush', out today. Admittedly this was my first encounter of Peaches, and upon the first quick listen she goes in the same category as Goldfrapp. But second time round I realise the lyrics of 'Downtown' and new track 'Hanky Code' are far from innocent, referring to oral sex and the pulling techniques of gay men respectively. The album title should have given massive hints to her chosen lyrical topic but it's late and sexual innuendos are the last thing on my mind. Fortunately most wouldn't miss such an obvious factor, as the lyrics are the forefront melody of both tracks, with electro bass and basic drumbeats sprinkled with the occasional blipiness. AW
Release Date: 3 Jul
Press Contact: Beggars [all]


Kylie Minogue has spoken for the first time about her recent illness in an interview with Cat Deeley, to be screened on Sky One on 16 Jul. The singer tearfully described the moment she found out that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, saying: "At the moment doctors told me I went silent. Mum and Dad were with me. Then we all fell to pieces."

On a happier note, she reveals in the interview that she will marry her long-term boyfriend, actor Olivier Martinez this year.


Thom Yorke says he thinks that the music industry is falling apart in the face of technological developments. Radiohead, of course, have recently said that they are not pursuing a normal album deal with their original label parlophone, and will instead seek one album deals, or release their work over the internet. Now York has told the Scotsman that the business is in a mess, and he isn't going to try and help fix it. Well, that's what I'm reading into it.

Yorke: "I'm not really into the idea of picking an enormous fight because I think the structure of the music business is in a state of collapse anyway. There's no point in us trying to help. And it makes you sound really arrogant, like, 'Yeah, we're going to mess up the system.' The system's built us, so that would be a bit silly, wouldn't it? The truth is that the traditional medium is still there, and you need it. When we have something, then we'll find whatever seems the most appropriate way to put it out."


Justin Timberlake, who releases his second solo album 'FutureSex / LoveSounds', on 11 Sep, has told reporters that he isn't planning to be the king of pop, whatever that is. He says: "I think that you guys definitely want a new king of pop, you definitely want one and I'm probably not the only one who you might be thinking of. I don't want it. I want to do what I do. I realise that I have a platform to push the sound of pop music. That's the only responsibility that I put on myself in recording the album. If I'm not going to push it, then who's going to push it?"

Speaking about 'SexyBack', the first single release from the album, Timberlake continued: "The best way I can describe that song is say David Bowie and David Byrne decided to do a cover of James Brown's 'Sex Machine'."


The News Of The World says that Girls Aloud will split next year after a recent series of rows, especially between Cheryl Tweedy and the rest of the band, Tweedy allegedly becoming something of a nightmare now that she is friends with Victoria Beckham after being in Germany to support fiancé and England player Ashley Cole.

One of those sources told the tabloid: "They just don't talk at all - it's over for them. There's always been a rift in the band. Nadine and Cheryl don't talk, there is no communication. There's also a rift between Sarah and the others. Nadine has been saying that Cheryl thinks she's Victoria Beckham, especially after hanging around with Posh during the World Cup. And the other girls reckon Cheryl feels that she's above them - they don't think her heart is in the band any more."

If all that is true, quite why they'd wait till next year before splitting isn't entirely clear.


When we ran that story about the free Ladyfuzz ringtones the other day, we forgot to give you the key word you need to text in - sorry! If you want the free ringtone text FUZZ1 to 82822. As previously mentioned, if you do that you will be sent a WAP link where you will find the free ringtone of Ladyfuzz track 'Oh Marie' (which, by the way, is out today on Transgressive). You will only be charged your standard text rate.

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