CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 5th June
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Ra Ra Riot drummer dies
- The diary stays closed: Spector trial update
- Universal Publishing announce new board
- Those records are just too damn loud
- MTV Russia sold
- Weller to get Silver Clef
- eMusic selling new Macca album in MP3
- New Korn album
- Just Jack competition
- Kula Shaker stuff
- The Coral release news
- Jesus And Mary Chain rumours confirmed?
- Mamas And Papas biopic upcoming
- TLC greatest hits planned
- Latest Hed Kandi compilation
- Live Earth stunt vetoed by National Grid
- Sony/ATV sign up current chart topper
- Hong Kong investment types in takeover talks with Sanctuary
- Seatwave secure second round funding
- Apple confirm iPhone launch date
- Amp'd files for bankruptcy protection
- Woolworths appoint new Music Trading Manager
- New X-Factor judges announced
- Ofcom say Brand's Brit gags were OK, just
- Cocker on talent shows
- Jay-Z and Beyonce to wed
- Paris Hilton enters jail


Another reminder for ya, of the next CMU Recommended Xfm Remix Night which, as we mentioned just there last week, will have something of a Fingerlickin theme this time, which sounds like a damn fine idea to me. In fact the whole thing is doubling up as the album launch party for the new 'Relicked' album from Soul Of Man, aka Fingerlickin founders Justin Rushmore and Jem Panufnik, and both Justin and Jem will be on the decks on the night, with support from Kraak & Smaak.

But that's not all, oh no, there'll also be a live set from UK Beatbox Champion Beardyman - and you know how much we love a bit of quality beatboxing round here (you do know that, right?). Well, Beardyman is certainly beatboxing of the quality kind and, fresh from his guest appearance on the recent Groove Armada album, he'll be doing it live at the June Remix night. Remix chief, Eddy TM, will also be in attendance, of course.

All this takes place on 15 Jun, as always at Cargo in East London. Doors open at 8pm, and tix are a tenner from, or eight quid if you guest list in advance at Press info from Leyline, obviously.



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Little Dragon are from Sweden. Gothenburg, in fact. I hope one day that I get to visit Gothenburg, actually, so that I stop thinking of it as some dark, foreboding type of place. I suspect that Gothenburg sounds too much like Gotham, thus creating these images in my mind, so I officially blame Batman. Anyway, none of that's relevant, but what is relevant is the fact that Little Dragon, who are, let's not forget, from Gothenburg, are set to release a double a-side single 'Twice'/'Test' on 30 Jul via Peacefrog, and half of that is previewing on the MySpace page at the moment. Which is why we thought now might be a good time to alert you to their presence in the MySpace universe. That way you'll be prepped for the release of their eponymous debut which is out in August.


John Pike, drummer with up and coming US band Ra Ra Riot, died in a drowning incident over the weekend. The musician first went missing in the early hours of Saturday morning after leaving a party in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, following a gig in Providence, Rhode Island. A search ensued and Pike's mobile phone was found in shallow water about half a mile from the location of the party. The drummer's body was subsequently discovered about 200 yards away, in Buzzard's Bay.

The band were currently on tour in the US. One date has been cancelled, but it's not clear if further dates will be postponed as a result of the tragedy, or if it will affect the upcoming, previously reported re-release of their eponymous debut EP.

A post on the band's website reads as follows: "We are all in a state of shock. Time has been dragging on slowly since the early hours of Saturday morning. This has been a difficult time filled with numbing sadness and many unanswered questions. We all have tremendous love for our friend, and we have an endless supply of wonderful memories of him. This has felt like the unraveling plot of a tragic piece of fiction... nothing would have prepared us for such an immense loss. We are deeply saddened by this, and we know that John was loved, admired, and respected by everybody who was fortunate enough to have met him. We are grateful to his parents for raising such a wonderful person. We are lucky to have known him, and he has had a profound effect on us as people, friends and musicians. We will miss him".


Well, turns out Judge Larry Fidler doesn't want those written ramblings of the late Lana Clarkson to be shared with jury in the Phil Spector murder trial.

As previously reported, Spector's defence lawyers had hoped to use a diary and emails taken off Clarkson's home PC as evidence that the former actress, shot dead at the legendary producer's Beverly Hills home in 2003, had suicidal tendencies. That would help their claim that Clarkson committed suicide and was not, as the prosecution claim, shot by Spector.

The diary and emails came up last week as defence types questioned coroner Louis Pena as to why he hadn't undertaken a 'psychological autopsy' of Clarkson to ascertain the actress' state of mind in the days leading up to her death at Spector's home. The defence argued the diary style document was indeed autobiographical and showed Clarkson had a slightly screwy state of mind, but the prosecution argued the document in question was actually quite likely to be a piece of fiction, written as part of a creative writing course Clarkson had been taking. Although seemingly semi-autobiographical all the screwy bits, the prosecution said, were fiction.

Fidler dismissed the jury on Thursday as the defence and prosecution bickered as to whether the writings should be allowed as evidence in the case. Insiders had thought ultimately the judge would let the defence present them, but yesterday he said: "I don't consider anything in this particular document significant", and ruled the diary should not be shown in court because it had "no probative value whatsoever".

The defence were, however, allowed to present the emails which seemingly showed Clarkson was increasingly exasperated with life in the months leading up to her death - mainly at the slow progress of her acting career and because of various financial problems. The defence argue that when, in those emails, Clarkson wrote things like "I'm at the end of my rope here" and "I was at the end of my tether", that was a sign that Clarkson was indeed having suicidal thoughts before she accompanied Spector back to his mansion that night in early 2003.

But Pena, while admitting that he had not previously seen the correspondence shared with the court yesterday, said that even if he had he wouldn't have changed the original viewpoint he stated a the start of his four day testimony, that Clarkson's death was homicide.

The case continues.


The chief of Universal Music Publishing has announced details of his new executive team which has been put in place following their previously reported merger with BMG Music Publishing, which in turn followed the news last month that EC officials were approving Universal's acquisition of Bertelsmann's publishing company.

As previously reported, at the time of the merger it was confirmed Universal Music Publishing boss David Renzer would remain in the top job at the merged publishing firm. He announced a top team of six yesterday, equally split between former Universal and former BMG execs.

From Universal, former CFO/Exec VP Michael Sammis will become CFO and Exec VP Of Operations Worldwide for the merged company with a specific role to oversee the integration of the two companies around the world; Paul Connolly, formerly President Of Europe and MD of UK, will become President for Europe/UK; and Eddi Fernandez will remain Senior VP Of Latin America.

From BMG, former President Of International Andrew Jenkins, will become VP International for the new company, overseeing operations in Southeast Asia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Middle East; Gary Gross, formerly President of BMG Production Music will become President of Universal Production Music; and finally Dale Mathews will continue to head up Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, the Christian music unit that came from BMG.

Announcing his new board, Renzer told reporters: "Collectively, these executives will form part of the new team that will provide our songwriters, composers, artists and business partners with the very best in creative management, administrative support and business savvy".


A number of leading studio engineers have spoken out against a recent trend in the record industry to make recordings louder because, they argue, the loudness is having a detrimental effect on overall sound quality, and may have a detrimental effect on the people listening to them as well. I'm not sure why they've spoken out just now, given that musos have been whining about this kind of thing for a while now - possibly because one journalist or another has gone out of their way to ask them.

Anyway, the technique that the engineers object to is so called 'peak limiting'. It will come as a huge shock to most of you, I know, because you all assume I'm a leading expert in all aspects of music making, but, if I'm being honest, I don't know a great deal about the intricacies of sound recording, so forgive me if my explanation here is embarrassingly inadequate. But, I think peak limiting is about "squeezing" the sound range of a track by removing the "peaks and troughs" of the sound waves, something which has the effect of increasing the volume of the track throughout. The technique would not have worked in the days of vinyl, but CD players can cope with the peak limited tracks, although they too will distort the loudest parts of a song, often resulting in a slight buzzing, and the drowning out of certain instruments in the track.

Oasis' CDs were famously always mastered at a higher volume, and some studio engineers said that The Red Hot Chilli Peppers' 1999 album 'Californication' was mastered so loudly that it was almost unlistenable, but more importantly studio experts say more and more albums are now using digital tricks to boost loudness, to the detriment of overall sound quality. Albums from Arctic Monkeys and Lily Allen are among those that have been singled out for criticism.

Abbey Road studios Senior Mastering Engineer Peter Mew has been much quoted on the topic in the last 24 hours, observing thus: "Record companies are competing in an arms race to make their album sound the 'loudest'. The quieter parts are becoming louder and the loudest parts are just becoming a buzz. The brain is not geared to accept buzzing. CDs induce a sense of fatigue in the listeners. It becomes psychologically tiring and almost impossible to listen to".

Meanwhile sound engineer Geoff Emerick, who was the engineer on The Beatles' 'Sgt Pepper' album, says: "A lot of what is released today is basically a scrunched up mess. Whole layers of sound are missing. It is because record companies don't trust listeners to decide themselves if they want to turn the volume up".


A Russian media company owned by business mogul Vladimir Potanin has bought the Russian outpost of MTV.

Potanin's Prof-Media, which already owns the TV3 and 2x2 channels in Russia, has acquired complete ownership of Wayfarer Media Limited, which owns both MTV Russia and VH1 Russia. They have bought out MTV International, which had a 53% stake in Wayfarer, as well as private equity firm Russia Partners and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which owned 42% and 5% respectively, in a cash deal reportedly worth $360 million.

Prof-Media have probably paid slightly over the odds for the Russian division of the iconic music channel, though they will make immediate savings by integrating the operations of the MTV channels with those of their existing TV stations. As part of the deal, Prof-Media will get an exclusive licence to the MTV and VH-1 brands, programmes and websites in Russia.

Confirming the deal, Prof-Media CEO Rafael Akopov told reporters: "The MTV Russia acquisition is very complementary to our existing operations and exposes us to a new segment of the young and proactive audience, which is heavily in demand from top advertisers".

MTV Networks Vice-Chairman Bill Roedy said the deal would enhance MTV's reach in Russia, telling reporters: "When you have that sort of media company [ie Prof-Media], that partnership [ie the licensing deal with Prof-Media] gives us a much bigger scale and presence in the market. As Russia has quickly become more sophisticated, more complicated and even more competitive, this will help the business immeasurably".


Paul Weller is getting another award. This time it's the Silver Clef Award, which will be presented at the annual Silver Clef Luncheon that is staged in aid of Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy, and which takes place this year on 29 Jun.

Here's what Weller says about the award: "I'm flattered to be awarded with this year's Silver Clef award. I look forward to the ceremony - this event is in aid of Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy which makes it even more worthwhile".

Seven other awards will be presented at the luncheon, including Best British Band, Best International Band and an Icon award.


eMusic have announced they are selling Paul McCartney's newest album 'Memory Almost Full' in super duper DRM free MP3. The new Macca album, out this week, is coming out on Starbucks' Hear Music outfit, of course, which, as previously reported, is a JV with US independent Concorde Music. eMusic has a long-standing relationship with Concorde, and are collaborating with the indie on the digital release of the new album, which will feature highly on both the eMusic website and email bulletin.

eMusic chief David Pakman told CMU: "We know that Paul McCartney's new album will, without a doubt, hit the sweet spot for many eMusic subscribers - eMusic customers grew up with the Beatles and Wings and are eager to hear new material from a legendary artist. We expect that they'll help spread the word about the new album, and we're proud to support Hear Music on this landmark release".

Concorde GM Gene Rumsey added: "eMusic customers have a voracious appetite for discovering new music and are the perfect audience for this great album from Paul McCartney. eMusic has been a valued partner for Concord Music Group and we believe they can bring a lot of value to the marketing and sales campaign for 'Memory Almost Full'".


According to reports, Korn are to release their next album, their eighth, at the end of July. It has been produced by Atticus Ross, who worked on the band's previous album 'See You On The Other Side', and will be released without a name.

On the being untitled thing, singer Jonathan Davis has told reporters: "We didn't want to label this album. It has no boundaries; it has no limits and why not just let our fans call it whatever they wanna call it?"

On the sound of the new album, guitarist James Shaffer added: "We always wanted the atmospheres, and to really go deep. It wasn't until this record that we really felt comfortable to do that. As records progress, the urge to do that becomes greater. We feel like we've finally solidified ourselves in the rock world, and wanted to take this one a little deeper into that direction. It's less pop, and it's more experimental."


Just Jack has announced a competition which will allow fans to get involved with his creative process. He's asked them to submit alternative lyrics for his upcoming single release 'Writer's Block', and will re-record a new version of the track using the fans' contributions. The alternative version will go on sale via download at the same time as the release of the main single, on 18 Jun.


Kula Shaker have revealed some details about their comeback album, namely that it's er, named 'Strangefolk' and consists of thirteen tracks. That's it really. There's no release date as yet, but they did, as previously reported, announce a short series of tour dates which are said to be in support of that release, so that would rather imply that the LP is due out soon. But I don't know. Anyway, here's a reminder of those dates:

12 Jun: Manchester Academy 3
13 Jun: London Hoxton Bar & Grill
15 Jun: London Bush Hall
16 Jun: Bristol Thekla
17 Jun: Nottingham Rescue Rooms


Elsewhere in upcoming release news, The Coral have announced that they're set to release their new album 'Roots And Echoes' on 6 Aug, preceded by the single 'Who's Gonna Find Me' on 30 Jul.


According to Uncut magazine, those previously reported rumours that The Jesus And Mary Chain are planning to record new material are true. The band reunited for an appearance at US festival Coachella earlier this year, of course, and it was there that band members were overheard discussing the possibility of getting back together on a more permanent basis.

No recording schedule has been mentioned, but Uncut say that the new line-up of founders William Reid and James Reid, plus former Lush bassist Phil King and former Ride drummer Loz Colbert, are to head into the studio to record new tracks for the band's first album since 'Munki' was released back in 1998.


Michelle Phillips, sole surviving member of The Mamas & The Papas, has spoken to Billboard about a forthcoming biopic of the iconic sixties band based on her 1986 book 'California Dreamin - The True Story Of The Mamas & The Papas'. The singer explained that it's early days, but that plans for the film are very firm, saying: "we have an A-list writer and we do have a studio... It's not something I can really talk about in detail, but I will say this - it will happen, and it will happen in a good way. The gears are all churning".

Phillips added that she believes films such as 'Ray', 'Walk The Line' and 'Dream Girls' have paved the way for greenlighting projects such as this one. "Before that" she says, "studios were not interested in stories about musicians. I mean, this is not a musical, per se; this is not a musical like 'Dreamgirls' where people are gonna break out into songs. This is the story of the Mamas and the Papas - and, of course, there'll be a lot of music in it".


A TLC greatest hits compilation is to be released this summer. The three piece's four album career was cut short back in April 2002, of course, with the death of Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes. 'Crazy Sexy Hits', out on 30 Jul will feature hits from those four albums, recorded between 1992 and 2002. The tracklisting is as follows:

No Scrubs
Red Light Special
Diggin' On You
Come Get Some
Girl Talk
Whoop De Woo
In Your Arms Tonight
Kick Your Game
Silly Ho
Hat 2 Da Back
Get It Up
What About Your Friends
Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg


Hed Kandi are set to release the latest in their Beach House compilation series on 18 Jun, a two CD set to compliment the label's Ibiza residencies this summer. Loads of good, soulful party stuff on it, by the look of things. I'll give you the tracklisting so you can check it out for yourself. But first I'm going to tell you that you can get your press info from Get Involved.

Miguel Migs - So Far
Hot Chip - Colours (Fred Falke Remix)
Buscemi Feat. Isabele Antena - Nothing To Worry About
Ricardo Marreno And Time - Feel Like Making Love (Ashley Beedle Barrio Disco Remix)
Ron Gelfer Feat. Tiger Lily - Your Beat Sounds Like (Rasmus Faber's Deep Journey)
Aquarian Dreams - Love & Tears
MJ Cole Feat. Laura Vane - Watertight
Mojo Project - Could You (David Penn Dub)
Roachford & M.Y.N.C. Project - Ride The Storm (Life Goes On Club Mix)
Chris Lake Feat. Emma Hewitt - Carry Me Away
DJ Tekin - Sunrise In My Soul (C. Gallardo Disco Doctor Remix)
LeisureGroove -Little Love

Miguel Migs - Those Things
Cloud - Turning (Andy Caldwell Remix)
Maxine Hardcastle - It's Gonna Happen (Wesley Clarke Remix)
Panevino Feat. Xavior - Don't Waste My Time
Mayu - Stretch My Arms (Eric Kupper Remix)
Physics - Batucada (Glamour Mix)
Raw Artistic Soul Feat. John Gibbons - Keep On Shining (Main Soul Mix)
Dalminjo Feat. Malena - Despacito (Te Doy Mi Corazon) (S.U.M.O Rebounce)
Stisch - Turn Around (Barfly Mix)
Faze Action - In The Trees (Jerome Sydenham & Tiger Stripes Remix)
John Julius Knight - The Groove
Chateau Flight - Baltringue


A plan to stage a symbolic switching off of lights all over the UK during the course of Al Gore's Live Earth gig at Wembley has been vetoed by the National Grid, who say that the stunt could disrupt power supplies throughout the country. They weren't unsupportive however, explaining that they were keen to assist with other suggestions for a symbolic gesture, but that this particular idea might potentially cause a real headache.

A National Grid spokesman said: "The organisers had this idea and behaved responsibly by discussing it with us. We are used to dealing with surges in demand, as it happens every day around certain TV programmes. But it's very difficult to forecast exactly what would happen in terms of demand. We would have had no idea how small or large it would be".


Publishing types Sony-ATV have signed up Thaddis Harrell, one third of Red Zone Productions, the songwriting and production team behind that Rihanna track 'Umbrella' that seems so attached to the number one slot at the moment. Harrell, aka Kuk, is the dedicated 'top line and lyric writer' in the Red Zone team (obviously you all know what a 'top line writer' is, so I won't patronise you by explaining it, not that I don't know what it means. Two gaps in my music production knowledge exposed in one Daily would be very embarrassing, but fortunately I do know what it means - so that's alright then), and he has projects upcoming with the likes of Mary J Blige, Mariah Carey and Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger.

Confirming the new publishing deal, Sony/ATV chief Rak Sanghvi told CMU: "This signing is a real coup for us - Thaddis currently has the number one record both here and in the US and it doesn't get much better than that! His slate of forthcoming cuts on some amazing projects will raise his profile even further over the coming months and I look forward to him receiving the recognition he deserves for being one of the best writer/producers in the business."


According to the Daily Telegraph a Hong Kong based investment firm called Crosby Capital Partners is one of the firms definitely in takeover talks with struggling cross-sector music group Sanctuary. As previously reported, Sanctuary confirmed last month it had received one or more informal takeover approaches. The paper says that Crosby now have access to Sanctuary's books with a view to making a formal offer. It also reports that Universal Music have likewise been given access to Sanctuary's financials.


A London based secondary ticketing website called Seatwave has confirmed it has raised $8 million in a second stage round of funding. According to company co-founder Fred Destin the latest funding comes from financiers Mangrove, Oliver Jung, and Atlas Venture.

The interest of investors in the ticketing site, which is similar to the US StubHub service that was acquired by eBay earlier this year, shows the perceived business potential of secondary ticket sales services, despite opposition in parts of the live music sector to online operations which essentially legitimise and expand the reach of ticket touts.

Seatwave soft-launched in December and, like StubHub, enables individuals to resell tickets to live events for a profit. It distinguishes itself from more generic 'market place' websites like eBay by being specifically designed for the sale of tickets to events, therefore making it easier to use for casual buyers and sellers.

Destin says he sees his main competitor as the previously reported Viagogo, another Europe based secondary ticket website which, when it launched last year, said it hoped to win support from the live sector as a legitimate marketplace for ticket resales. But with the new round of funding Destin says he is confident he can compete with his rival, telling reporters: "We have a highly funded and agressive competitor in Viagogo, but on today's indicators we are convinced we can take this market".


Apple has confirmed that the iPhone will launch, in the US at least, on 29 Jun. Small story, but quite big news.


A US start-up mobile firm called Amp'd, which was offering a content heavy mobile offer on the back of Verizon's phone network, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, unable to meet debts that are reportedly just under $100 million.

Amp'd was the first US operator to offer mobile music downloads for 99 cents, and also commissioned its own original content, including the Lil Bush cartoon that we reported on yesterday (a satirical cartoon show that has now been snapped up by Comedy Central and will feature the voices of Iggy Pop and others).

Management at the firm are spinning themselves as being "victims of their own success", saying that they have run up spiraling debts in a bid to keep up with growing demand for their services (ie uptake has been so good that they are having to invest more than expected in back end delivery). With that in mind, they hope that they will be able to restructure and trade out of their bankruptcy quite quickly.

Some commentators are not convinced though. There had been reports of divides in the company's board, with some suggesting they dump the direct-to-consumer subscription model and become content providers to other mobile networks. Others question whether Amp'd have the funding in place to continue operating until they reach the million subscriber mark that some say is necessary for a subscription based mobile content service to be financially viable - especially as the take up of mobile content services remains relatively slow outside the early adopter market.


Woolies have announced the appointment of Alan Hunt, formerly Senior Music Buyer for Tesco, to the role of Trading Manager For Music & DVD. He will head up the high street retailer's music and video operations, leading a team of seven. He takes over from Brian Hill, who is moving to the retailer's distribution division E-UK.

Confirming the appointment, Woolworths Head Of Training Jim Batchelor told reporters: "Alan is a skilled and experienced operator in entertainment retailing and we are delighted to have secured his services. He is passionate about Woolworths and driven by the business plan we have in place. We expect him to make a huge contribution to our future".


Producers of the X-Factor have announced that singer Dannii Minogue and choreographer Brian Friedman will join the pop talent show's judging panel, taking the number of judges on the show up to four. As previously reported, former judge Louis Walsh has been axed. The new recruits will join long-standing judges Simon Cowell and Sharon Osbourne on the next series of the ITV show which, as previously reported, will this time be presented by Dermot O'Leary.

Minogue, whose involvement in the show has been rumoured ever since it was first announced new judges would be recruited, told reporters yesterday: "I can't wait to be part of The X Factor team and getting up close and personal on a daily basis with Simon. Just because I'm the new girl, I won't be a pushover - he'll soon see my competitive streak".

Friedman, who is a judge on Cowell's musical talent show Grease Is The Word, said he was "flattered to be offered such a coveted position".

Talking of the Cowell produced Grease Is The Word, gossipers are saying Cowell has lost interest in the show, which has not been competing as well as expected against the BBC show he stole the idea off, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Joseph search thing. Cowell is also said to be getting increasingly exasperated with the theatre types involved in the project which isn't that surprising - say what you like about Cowell, but he doesn't suffer fools gladly and believe me, there are a lot of fools working in the West End. Said gossipers say Cowell's original plans to stage regular musical theatre based talent shows are unlikely to be fulfilled.


Media regulators OfCom have let ITV off for airing the more controversial of Russell Brand's gags during the Brit Awards earlier this year, despite receiving over 260 complaints. This year's Brits were, of course, aired live, the first time in 17 years the music business' annual back slapping party had been shown on live TV. Most contentious were Brand's jokes referring to Robbie Williams' then newsworthy rehab visit and those allegations that Tory type David Cameron smoked some dope while at school, though gags about Iraq and the Queen also caused some offence.

But OfCom said that while some of Brand's comments had been "on the edge of acceptability", none of them breached broadcasting rules. Claims that the drugs gags glorified drug taking were not upheld because "the overall context of the comments made by the presenter was not that drugs were acceptable". Complaints about other jokes which included "sexual references" were also not upheld because said jokes were "appropriately and sufficiently limited and inexplicit".

The regulator concluded that: "Ofcom's view is that on balance, and although on the margins of suitability, these comments and jokes were acceptable in the context of an established music awards ceremony. Ofcom also considers that the references made about popular culture by the presenter were sufficiently obscure to be beyond the comprehension of young children. While the comments certainly contained anatomical references, they were scripted in such a way as not to be overtly sexual and were therefore not in breach of the code".

However, complaints that Brand is an irritating cunt who shouldn't be given a platform from which to irritate were upheld, and the regulator has banned him from being involved in any future high profile television projects. Yeah, I wish.


Jarvis Cocker has criticised TV talent shows like X-Factor, because they're full of singers with rubbish voices that are lacking in character. The former Pulp man says: "It saddens me because I love pop music and these shows prove that it's become an industrialised process. They never pick people with great voices. They pick people who show off how many notes they can fit into a 10-second period. A great voice expresses something and gives you some idea of the personality behind the voice. There's zero personality in the voices of any of the people who sing on these shows".

Admitting that he wouldn't stand a chance on a TV talent show, the singer added: "The kind of pop I was brought up on is over. The pop charts used to be where everything happened. Now the most interesting stuff is happening outside in the independent music sector."

Cocker is, of course, curating this year's Meltdown Festival, which takes place this month on London's South Bank.


According to the News Of The World, Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles have finally said that they're going to get married. The tabloid claims that Jay-Z popped the question whilst they holidayed in Cannes recently, and that Beyonce told them: "I want to get married and really want a family. In a perfect world I'd have two boys and a girl. You know someone loves you by the way he treats you and respects you. Me and Jay respect each other".


Paris Hilton has begun her jail sentence for violating the terms of her probation that stemmed from a drink-driving conviction. That isn't really music news, and we've not reported on the infamous socialite's much reported jail sentence previously, but I thought we'd mention it today because it would provide us with an ideal opportunity to go ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Actually, Paris Hilton is even less music news today than previously, because she's just been dropped by her record label, or so reports suggest. As you'll remember, some dumb ass record label, I forget which, and I won't look it up - it would be unfair to embarrass them further - signed Paris to a recording contract last year. She released a record which was generally deemed awful but which shifted about 70,000 units nevertheless, presumably because of its novelty value. But with said novelty value truly spent, and with those 70,000 units not really justifying the investment made to get the album out, reports say her record label have no plans to work with Paris on future recording projects.

Oh look, it was Warner who signed her, because here's a quote from a spokesman there: "We are not expecting any new Paris Hilton material in the foreseeable future". Missed opportunity if you think about it - a bit of jail time did wonders for Lil Kim's record sales.

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