CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 4th September
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- MySpace plan download service
- Samsung plan download platform
- Robbie tickets lost, but seemingly not to touts
- Jackson living in Ireland, allegedly
- Franz Ferdinand's McCarthy to release Box Codax album
- Isley Brother gets three years for tax fraud
- Les Incompetents call it a day
- Be Your Own Pet drummer quits
- Zane Lowe, Breaks Co-op, remix competition, Gonzo tour
- Remix heads out around the UK
- Infadels stuff
- Little Barrie stuff
- Trojan launch reggae night at Neighbourhood
- BBC Proms concert cancelled after fire
- Yoko approves use of rare Lennon footage
- TOTP launch digital edition
- Chart update
- Total Rock World Album Chart
- Kasabian frontman blasts Mondays comparisons
- Taking Back Sunday not emo, official, they say
- Banksy tampers with Paris Hilton albums
- Doherty evicted from flat shocker
- Stipe says leave Thom alone


So, will any one ever manage to take on iTunes in the big bad world of legitimate downloading? Well, one thing is for certain, there's no shortage of people willing to try. Despite Apple's continued dominance of the digital music space, rarely a week goes by that we're not reporting on some new download venture - we're reporting on two today. Can any of these new platforms beat iTunes, and if so, which ones?

Microsoft and their Zune player/platform? Mmm, time will tell. Despite rumours of a launch involving some kind of major Beatles promotion, it is hard to see how Microsoft can compete with Apple on either content exclusives or coolness - the former only having short term appeal, the latter - well, Microsoft would surely never be foolish enough to try and compete with Apple in a coolness competition. If Microsoft are to succeed it will surely require the IT giant to prove that its service has some major technical advantage over that of Apple. The obvious advantage is compatibility - iTunes major weakness - though that is an advantage Microsoft and its partners have so far failed to capitalise on. But I wouldn't rule them out of the running just yet.

MySpace? As you've probably heard, MySpace are going to allow the 3 million unsigned bands it has registered to sell their music as MP3s via their MySpace pages in what is clearly a first move by MySpace and the Murdoch empire into the download domain. While it is admirable of MySpace to offer that service to registered bands, it is unlikely that even that big a collection of unsigned music will go anywhere near competing with iTunes (remember Peoplesound?), but then the unsigned band service is obviously just stage one. MySpace are reportedly in talks with the majors regarding a signed artist service and let's face it, MySpace do possess two of the things required to take iTunes on - massive reach and a certain amount of coolness. The only downside is that if the majors insist on selling their music in a DRM-protected format (which they almost definitely will), MySpace's signed music service will not be iPod compatible, which is still a major hurdle for any iTunes competitor to cross.

What about the platforms already up and running, like those run by the existing retailers, or the ISPs, or the major media players like MTV? What about subscription models like Napster? What about the independents like TuneTribe and eMusic? It would be too soon to rule any of those out, though they too need to cross that iPod compatibility hurdle, and without the benefit of the big buzz that MySpace still enjoys. I suspect those who have identified, and service, a certain commercially viable niche audience - like the independents - will do best, able to safely exist alongside iTunes and any new major players, able to adapt as the market and technology changes, and competing because of their expertise in a certain domain and because of strong relationships with their customers.

Who else? The previously reported free ad-funded download service Spiralfrog sounds interesting, though we're still to find out exactly how that will work. Personally, I am waiting with interest to see what Amazon and Google do in this domain - both are online brands with enough credibility and reach to possibly take on Apple, even with the iPod compatibility issue. Friends who know about these things seem to think Google are actually quite likely to take over the entire world, and therefore taking over the digital music world will be easy. While bosses there swear gTunes is not on their agenda just now, the fact they are planning on mapping all our music tastes in the near future means something must be on the horizon somewhere. Time will tell I guess.

Either way, I think there'll be no shortage of new download platform news for us to report on in the coming months.



Digital music store is looking to recruit a senior member of staff to take responsibility for managing TuneTribe's label team and music catalogue. The role incorporates managing the delivery of all music products; maintaining and building relationships with record labels, distributors and aggregators; and helping to exploit the content commercially. You should be a fast learner as well as meticulously well-organised and able to deal effectively with numerous systems and simultaneous projects. You will be adept at signing up new labels and aggregators, whilst handling enquiries from existing content suppliers. You will work closely with labels to help implement on-site marketing initiatives for their artists. You will also regularly devise and manage off-site commercial opportunities maximising the exploitation of our digital catalogue. It goes without saying that you will be at ease with online content management systems and financial reporting. You should be used to dealing with major labels as well as independents. Applicants need to demonstrate a good understanding of the digital music market and the commercial and technological issues associated with it. You will have a minimum of 5 years experience in the music industry with emphasis on the retail, label and digital end of the business. A passion for music and all things digital will certainly help.

Please send a covering letter detailing how your experience is relevant to this position alongside a current CV to [email protected]


ADVERTISE YOUR JOBS, SERVICES AND PRODUCTS here for just £50 a week, or £150 for two weeks in the Daily and four weeks on the web. Email [email protected] for details.



As we mentioned back in July, we will be publishing a special edition of a CMU newspaper which will be distributed around campuses all over the UK as the student population returns for the new academic year later this month - offering a guide to all the great new music coming out this Autumn. This is a brilliant way to engage and excite 100,000s of students and young record buyers at the most important time in the college and music year. A full page costs £1000, a half page £600, a sixth page £260, a 12th page £160. Book your ad spots now - email [email protected]

We are currently recruiting students to join the CMU/UnLimited team in a voluntary intern role, joining us one day a week during the Autumn term. This is a great way to pick up skills, experience and contacts in the media and music space - as well as getting involved in some frankly damn exciting new projects. If you're interested, email your details and a CV type thing to [email protected]



These guys were a massive hit amongst our ThreeWeeks reviewers when they performed at this year's Edinburgh Festival. And not just a hit with our reviewers. From what I understand The Scotsman liked them as well. Except that we liked them more than The Scotsman. You know why? Because we gave them an award. Yes. We showed our love by giving them one of our ten, massively coveted ThreeWeeks Editors' Awards. What they do is amazing, actually - it's a sort of funky drum&bass sound created with drums, vocals, guitars and, er, a digeridoo. No really. And it's quite extraordinary. And you should visit their MySpace page and listen to the three tracks on there, and you should become their friend, because they've only got 45 as I write this, and only two comments. Actually, why am I bothering urging you to become their friend? If you visit, you'll want to. It's as simple as that.


The Rupert Murdoch owned MySpace announced on Friday that it would move into the download space by offering the estimated 3 million unsigned bands signed up to the platform's music service the facility to sell their songs via their MySpace artist pages.

Songs will initially be sold in the non-DRM protected MP3 format, meaning they will be compatible with Apple's iPod. However, the move is very much a first step in a bid to take on iTunes in the wider download space - which presumably means MySpace will have to also start selling the kind of (non iPod-compatible) DRM protected files that major labels still insist on. Reports suggest MySpace are already in negotiations with the major record companies regarding a wider download service, and in particular EMI, though those reports are yet to be confirmed by either side.

Announcing the plan, MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolfe (hang on a second, where's Tom? And he said he was my friend...) told Reuters: "The goal is to be one of the biggest digital music stores out there. Everyone we've spoken to definitely wants an alternative to iTunes and the iPod. MySpace could be that alternative."

The e-commerce side of MySpace's download service will be managed by Snocap, the digital music company launched by the original Napster founder Shawn Fanning. Bands will be able to decide for themselves what they charge for their music, over and above the "small distribution fee" that MySpace will charge.


Elsewhere in 'let's launch a download platform' news, Samsung Electronics has confirmed that it is teaming up with digital music back-end supplier MusicNet to launch a new online music store to coincide with a new series of portable music players. The new download platform will be launched alongside the electronics firm's new K5 media player, and will initially be available in the UK, Germany and France, before being rolled out across Europe and Asia.

Samsung's decision to launch its own download platform, rather than relying on other digital music services that sell music in compatible file formats, may well be a reaction to Microsoft's decision to launch its own player and download service. Previously Microsoft has sought to exclusively support other services and players that utilise its Windows Media file formats.


Organisers of two completely sold out Robbie Williams concerts that took place at Glasgow's Hampden Park this weekend confirmed ahead of the first gig on Friday that some 500 tickets had gone missing. The missing tickets were all due to be mailed to ticket buyers in Falkirk and Dunfermline, but had gone astray. Promoters suspected they may have fallen into the hands of touts, and local police were on standby to question anyone who showed up holding one of the missing tickets - all of which had been cancelled ahead of the event. However, reports suggest no one did, in fact, show up with a dodgy ticket which either means no one bought tickets from touts because of the publicity surrounding the missing tickets, or that the tickets never reached the touts to start with - ie, they really were just lost in the post (in which case, I'd expect them to surface sometime next March).


According to the The Mirror, Michael Jackson has been living in Ireland for the last three months, staying at Irish stately home Luggala Castle in County Wicklow at a cost of £20,000 a week. As previously reported, the star was recently said to be considering a move to the UK or Ireland having kept a low profile in Bahrain following his acquittal last year on child abuse charges.

However, other reports would seem to contradict the three month claim. Dilm director John Landis, who helmed Jackson's groundbreaking 'Thriller' video back in 1983, has suggested that he and the pop star may have something in the pipeline - but more importantly has said that he recently spoke to Jackson, and that the singer was in Bahrain at the time. Interviewed in Metro, Landis said: "I talked to him last month. He was in Bahrain or some bizarre place. It was a business thing we had to talk about. Michael is a genius. He's obviously an eccentric, but he really has great talent."


Franz Ferdinand guitarist Nick McCarthy's side project, Box Codax, today release an album, 'Only An Orchard Away'. The duo, consisting of McCarthy and Alexander Ragnew, have, according to NME, also promised an EP release every six months, and are also planning some live dates for later in the year.

Elsewhere in Franz Ferdinand news, the band have announced the launch of their official fan club. Call me out of touch, but I didn't know that they didn't already have one. Named 'FF:FC', the fan club is described as "a delightfully old-school club, where you'll receive a superb glossy magazine to studiously thumb through, along with assorted band goodies, such as a membership card, free give-aways and a whole lot more..."

Fans who join before the end of Nov will also get a rare 7" single with unheard track 'Swallow Smile' on it. More info at


Ronald Isley, of the Isley Brothers, obviously, has been sentenced to three years in prison for multiple counts of tax fraud, and has also been ordered to pay more than $3.1million to the US tax service for what was described as "pathological evasion". During the course of his trial, the US district court heard how the 64 year old musician cashed royalty cheques made out to his brother, O' Kelly, who died back in 1996, and how Isley spent millions of dollars, the profits from undeclared performances, on a yacht and two homes.

US District Court Judge Dean Pregerson refused to give the Grammy-award winning singer a more lenient sentence on the grounds of his ill health, despite the fact that he has put assets on sale in order to pay monies owed to the Internal Revenue Service. Isley, who is expecting a baby with his new wife Kandy, had a stroke last year, and has also recently suffered from kidney cancer.


I'm not sure we ever followed up the story about Billy Bell/Leeson, the frontman of London band Les Incompetents, who was attacked whilst travelling home after a North London gig back on 22 Jun. As you'll remember, the attack caused him to bang his head on the pavement, leaving him in a coma in a very serious condition for several days. Well the good news is that surgery to decrease pressure on his brain caused by the injury was successful and the band now report: "Billy's making a full recovery. He's now out of hospital and at home, and is generally recuperating". The man accused of pushing Leeson after an argument on a night bus, Christian Briggs, is due in court later this month.

The bad news is the band are, nevertheless, splitting up. This was apparently always the plan, even though the band were creating a growing buzz following the release of their two singles. They say that prior to the attack on Leeson, they had planned to play a final few gigs before calling it a day - Leeson's injuries have prevented them from doing the finale gigs, but they have decided to end the band anyway.

A statement posted on the band's MySpace on Friday reads thus: "The rumours are true... the six of us ARE no longer going to be playing together as Les Incompetents will cease to exist. You might be wondering why, on the cusp of an album, TV performances and other good stuff, we decided to kill the dream. Basically we realised that a time must come in every man's life when he must decide between what is easy and what is right. And by the end of the tour we just realised that there were too many ideas between the six of us to try and hone into one thing. Meaning that whatever we ended up producing, certain people would be unhappy."

Members of the band are expected to form separate bands, details of which will presumably be revealed soon.


Elsewhere in bands splitting/losing members news, Be Your Own Pet have announced that drummer Jamin Orral has left the group. He apparently wants to spend more time running his indie record label Infinity Cat. And performing with his other band, Jeff. And going to college. As you can see, he's going to be a busy chap, far too busy to be drumming for Be Your Own Pet. They haven't as yet announced who will be doing their drumming in the future, though they go on a US tour later this month, so presumably they'll have to appoint someone quite soon.


Former CMU columnist (oh yes) Zane Lowe is currently on tour with his Breaks Co-op thingy. I know this because we are staging a Breaks Co-op remix competition in our Remix Update e-newsletter this week, which is coinciding with said tour and the trio's upcoming single release, 'A Place For You'. If you fancy downloading the separate bits of the Breaks Co-op tune 'Duet' and having a go at remixing it (the one the band like best will get an official release) then you'd better subscribe to the Remix Update - just send an email to [email protected] And if you want to see Breaks Co-op live, then check out one of the following dates:

5 Sep: Glasgow King Tuts
6 Sep: Sheffield Leadmill
7 Sep: Newcastle Academy
10 Sep: Bestival, Isle of Wight
12 Sep: Dingwalls Camden London
15 Sep: TNT Eternal Summer, Newquay, Cornwall

But this, actually, is a very long winded way of getting round to telling you that Mr Lowe will also be heading out on tour next month in his guise as Mr New Music, MTV, with a Gonzo tour that will take in the following Barflys on the following dates with the following bands:

13 Oct: Birmingham Barfly - Jet, 747s, The View
14 Oct: Cardiff Barfly - Peaches, Love Is All, The View
15th Oct: London Barfly - Razorlight, Good Shoes, The View
20 Oct: Liverpool Barfly - The Kooks, Mumm-Ra, The View
21 Oct: York Fibbers - Klaxons, The Long Blondes, The View
22 Oct: Glasgow Barfly - The Young Knives, The Grates, The View

Tickets from Or you can wait until they screen highlights on MTV2 on 17 Nov if you're stingy / lazy / not really that bothered.


Talking of friends of CMU going on tour, and talking of all things Xfm Remix, get these dates in your diary, because the Remix is going on tour - hurrah! Eddy Temple Morris will be hosting, obviously, and he'll be joined by a stack of great artists and DJs, including Infadels, White Rose Movement, Whitey, The Cooper Temple Clause, My Luminaries, Sub Focus, Roots Manuva, Evil 9, The Freestylers, Pendulum and Adam Freeland. I'll get you a date by date line up thing sorted in the next few days, meantime, here's the venue info.

22 Sep: Edinburgh Cabaret Voltaire
23 Sep: Glasgow University
27 Sep: Sheffield Plug .
28 Sep: Newcastle Digital
29 Sep: Birmingham Barfly
30 Sep: Liverpool Crazyhouse
4 Oct: Bournemouth Firestation
11 Oct: Cambridge Soul Tree
14 Oct: Manchester Music Box
17 Oct: Liverpool Barfly
18 Oct: Leeds University
20 Oct: London Cargo

Press info from [email protected]


And talking of Infadels, which we were, kind of, lots of good news on this front. Firstly, I think we reported earlier in the year on the remix competition the band were running (we certainly mentioned it on the radio show). Well, the winner was the Mr B remix, and you can hear it (and download it, I think) right now on the band's MySpace - You can also hear their track 'Girl That Speaks No Words' which, as of last Wednesday at 3pm, is my very favourite Infadels track and which, conveniently, will be their next single, out on 9 Oct. And finally, the band are playing ULU in London this Thursday night (7 Sep) before heading out on their European tour, which I'm mentioning here on the off chance someone associated with the band feels like adding me to their guest list. I thank you.


CMU favourites Little Barrie are to release a four track 10" single 'Pin That Badge' on 16 Oct, ahead of the release of their forthcoming album, co-produced by Dan The Automator. I bet it'll be brilliant. The single. And the album. Looking forward to it. Also looking forward to seeing them play the 100 Club on 26 Oct. Hurrah. Press info from Sainted PR.


Trojan Records are launching Reggae Sessions, a new night at Neighbourhood, the first Thursday of every month. Hurrah! It all kicks off this Thursday, 7 Sep, with a Pama International night, where they'll be launching their new album 'Trojan Sessions' which features new recordings the likes of Dave & Ansel Collins, Derrick Morgan, Dennis Alcapone, Rico Rodriguez, Dawn Penn, Winston Francis and Aj Franklin. Many of those artists appearing live at the event. Also appearing will be Hard-Fi's in house remixer and tour DJ Wrongtom, plus residents The Trojan Sound System.

All takes place at Neighbourhood, 12 Acklam Road W10 (Ladbroke Grove tube) doors 7pm, bands start 8pm, £5 entry all night. Press info from Think Espionage.


OK, own up, who dropped the match? I mean, what has the Philadelphia Orchestra ever done to you? Ah yes, I see, good point. Whatever, a BBC Proms concert due to take place at London's Royal Albert Hall yesterday was cancelled at the last minute after a small fire at the venue caused a power failure.

The London Fire Brigade have confirmed they were called to an incident in the venue's artists' bar, but say that no one was injured or trapped by the fire. However, part of the building was filled with smoke, and the incident caused problems with the venue's power supply, causing the concert, due to be broadcast on BBC 4 and BBC Radio 3, to be cancelled.

The BBC and venue released a joint statement yesterday reading: "Due to loss of electrical power following a minor fire at the Royal Albert Hall, it is with great regret that the Royal Albert Hall has been forced to cancel this evening's performance by the Philadelphia Orchestra. We would like to assure you that urgent work is being carried out to repair damage and we aim to make the hall available for full use as soon as possible. We hope that both Proms scheduled for Monday 4 September (Prom 67 and 68) will go ahead as planned. A further statement will be issued when any further information is available."


Yoko Ono has agreed to the use of some previously unseen footage of her late husband John Lennon to be used in that previously reported new documentary 'The US Vs John Lennon'. The film's directors, David Leaf and John Scheinfeld, gained access to Ono's home movies, wedding photographs and unfinished films. Ono says: "Of all the documentaries that have been made about John, this is the one he would have loved."

The film focuses on Lennon's activities as an anti-war activist, and his clashes with US authorities. Director Leaf says: "It's definitely a forgotten story. The vast majority of people who lived through that period and knew something about the Lennon case haven't thought about it in a really long time. For anyone born since then, it's probably an unknown story."

The film premieres this week at the Venice Film Festival


If you buy the (frankly misguided) theory that Top Of The Pop's demise was exclusively down to the growth of online music, then I guess a new move by the BBC's commercial division, to launch a digital version of their Top Of The Pops magazine is a logical thing to do. (Actually, the pop mag market probably really is detrimentally affected by the growth of online music, so it's a very logical thing to do).

With their free weekly 30 minute ad on BBC TV no more, bosses of TOTP magazine are hoping to stay ahead of the competition in the pop magazine market (not that there really is any competition any more, but that's not the point) by offering readers the chance to access content from the magazine plus additional multi-media footage via a new TOTP magazine website. The new website will be a subscription based service - a year's subscription will cost £9.99 - and will update in unison with the print version of the title.

Duncan Gray, Associate Publisher for BBC Magazines teen group, told reporters: "We see this digital edition as a complementary purchase that offers up a whole new way for readers to enjoy TOTP magazine by incorporating a range of interactive features".

It will be interesting to see how the TOTP digital edition does - given that many print magazines have struggled to find commercially viable ways of building readership and revenues online without damaging their traditional print based business, especially given that online subscription models are still in many ways unproven. The integrated approach TOTP magazine is taking (ie very much linking digital and print output) is probably the way to do it - though the fact that the non-commercial division of the BBC is still running a free to access TOTP website, and seemingly plan to continue to do so, might damage any attempts at integration by the Beeb's commercial people.


So, that Mr Timberlake is officially back, scoring his first UK number one in this week's singles chart following the physical release of his new track 'Sexyback' - he went in at 13 last week on digital sales alone. This week's highest new entry is also based on just digital sales - Scissor Sisters' 'I Don't Feel Like Dancin', which enters the chart this week at 4. Just behind them are the wonderful The Fratellis, whose track 'Chelsea Dagger' moves up from 35 to 5 following the single's physical release.

Other new entries singles wise this week run thus: Nelly Furtado and Timbaland's 'Promiscuous' at 15, Sandi Thom's 'What If I'm Right' at 22, Basement Jaxx' 'Hush Boy' at 27, Little Man Tate's 'House Party At Boothbys' at 29, Robbie's 'Rudebox' at 30 (digital sales only, obviously) and Muse 'Starlight' (digital only, also).

Albums wise, and Kasabian go straight in at one with 'Empire', with the other new entries stacking up as follows: Bob Dylan's 'Modern Times' at 3, Iron Maiden's 'A Matter Of Life And Death' at 4 and Cassie's eponymous debut at 33.


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. Slayer - Christ Illusion (Warner/American)
3. Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (Roadrunner)
4. Muse - Black Holes & Revelations (Warner Bros)
5. Stone Sour - Come What(ever) May (Roadrunner)
6. Tool - 10,000 Days (Volcano)
7. Billy Talent - Billy Talent II (Warner/Atlantic)
8. AFI - Decemberunderground (Universal/Polydor)
9. Tom Petty - Highway Companion (Warner Bros)
10. Unearth - III: In The Eyes Of Fire (Metal Blade)
11. Guns n Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)
12. Rise Against - The Sufferer & The Witness (Universal/Geffen)
13. Razorlight - Razorlight (Universal/Mercury)
14. Feeder - The Singles (Echo)
15. Underoath - Define The Great Line (Tooth & Nail)
16. Blue October - Foiled (Universal)
17. Godsmack - IV (Republic)
18. Bon Jovi - Have A Nice Day (Universal/Mercury)*
19. Buckcherry - 15 (Warner/Atlantic)*
20. Rolling Stones - Forty Licks (EMI/Virgin)


According to Gigwise, Kasabian frontman Tom Meighan has had a bit of a rant about journalists comparing his band to the likes of The Stone Roses and The Happy Mondays, and seems to think that Kasabian have more in common with acts like Led Zeppelin. Meighan says: "What I reckon it was, people put us in there with The Stone Roses because of the vibe we played when we arrived, but now we're turning into a Led Zeppelin like rock and roll band."

On a recent piece which compared new track 'Shoot The Runner' to the sound of The Happy Mondays, he continued: "Its just shit journalism, I hate it. It's shit. They are shit; they are shit at what they do. We're not fucking Happy Mondays! We're not fucking keyboard music; it's got nothing to fucking do with it. You know, Shaun Ryder... all they did was fucking do dance beats man. We're more than that, give us credit for fucks sake. You know I love the Mondays."

He continued: "But come on, the fucking Stone Roses only had one fucking album you know, I don't understand what the fuss is about... you know Mani will have my back on this one as well. It's just laziness, man. Our new album proves that its fucking more than that, it's bigger than that man, it's bigger than that. Honestly, I swear it is. I'm not dissing it. The Manchester scene is amazing and I love it and I love all them bands but we've never been anything to do with them... None of them."


Taking Back Sunday's bassist, Matt Rubano says his band aren't an emo band, and in fact, they don't want to be pigeonholed into any particular genre. Which is fair enough, I suppose. Well, about the pigeonholing.

Rubano says: "As far as emo is concerned we don't fancy ourselves an emo band. I don't think anyone does. I mean it's great, it's a genre, it's a description, it's a box. But we've never thought of our band as being in a box, even though it's evident where we come from. But punk, hardcore, rock - we have influences of all those things. I think our goals are to write good music and whoever perceives it as good music if it's emo fans or rock fans or pop music fans, so be it, who cares?"


Hundreds of copies of Paris Hilton's debut (and only, possibly, given its reception) album have been tampered with and left in independent record stores and branches of HMV and Virgin across the UK by 'guerrilla artist' Banksy. A spokewoman for the artist has confirmed that he has replaced Hilton's CD with one featuring his own remixes with titles like 'Why Am I Famous', 'What Have I Done' and 'What Am I For?', which is all rather amusing to a needless celebrity heiress deplorer such as myself.

Banksy also doctored pictures on the CD sleeve to make Hilton appear topless, and with a dog's head, but he left the original barcode on the 500 doctored albums so that customers could buy them without realising that anything was awry.

Banksy - notorious, of course, for his various 'artistic' exploits, such as sneaking altered versions of classic paintings into major galleries - visited cities such as Bristol, Brighton, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and London to plant the CDs.

A spokesman for HMV said that the chain had found seven CDs in their Brighton outlets, and confirmed that no customers had thus far complained, or returned a CD. He continued: "It's not the type of behaviour you'd want to see happening very often. I guess you can give an individual such as Banksy a little bit of leeway for his own particular brand of artistic engagement. Often people might have a view on something but feel they can't always express it, but it's down to the likes of Banksy to say often what people think about things. And it might be that there will be some people who agree with his views on the Paris Hilton album."

A spokesman for Virgin Megastores said that staff were looking for the CDs, but that they are proving hard to find, adding: "I have to take my hat off - it's a very good stunt."


Pete Doherty has been evicted from his London flat by his landlord, who claims that the Babyshambles man owes him thousands in rent arrears, and describes him as the "worst tenant in his company's entire history."

It's a believable claim, especially if you give credence to reports in The Mirror that the walls of the flat were covered in graffiti and blood, while syringes and glass littered the floor. And on this occasion, we're prepared to give The Mirror a little credence. A neighbour is quoted as saying: "Then there were the groupies hanging around on the doorstep and his junkie pals banging on his door at all hours and the endless, head banging racket. We are glad he's going."

Of course, Doherty himself probably won't notice in the short term. As far as we're aware, he's still in rehab and after a scheduled court hearing later today may well be living in prison for a while.


REM frontman Michael Stipe says we should all leave off portraying Thom Yorke as an old misery guts. To be fair, we don't. We sometimes portray him as someone who doesn't seem to be able to spell or use apostrophes. Oh no, he does that for himself.

Anyway, Stipe has spoken. And according to Him, Thom Yorke is just as jolly and lovely as the rest of us. Stipe: "Thom in person is not as cheerless as the media like to portray him. We have suffered the same thing for years, just because my band's music leans towards the darker emotions. I'm happy to report that Mr Thom Yorke is a very happy and a very well-rounded and very smart person."

But is Stipe a happy, well rounded person? He doesn't look like it, does he? He looks like a bit of a misery guts. We await a statement from Yorke with bated breath.

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