CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 16th July
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Remy Ma accused of attempted murder
- Two Towers quit
- Chowdhury leaves Zutons
- Fiddy release put back again
- Bobby Brown is prime al-Qaeda target, apparently
- Dinosaur Jr limited release
- New Super Furrys
- Visible Noise sign The Plight
- Jackson follows Dupri to IDJ
- Lennon glasses set to sell for silly money
- Weller biog planned
- Slash says Chinese Democracy will be good
- Snoop Dogg does reality stint
- Diddy swamped by PA applications
- SOAD bassist involved in new social-networking label thingy
- Another festival rained off
- Tiscali's Wireless sessions online
- RIAA exec moves to web TV
- Universal extend Sanctuary offer
- Merlin board nominations open
- HMV announce appointments
- Vodka brand sponsors Xfm showcase
- US royalties body makes concessions to webcasters
- Black found guilty of fraud
- David Gest dropped by ITV
- Total Rock world album chart
- James backs down on Blur reunion chances
- Judge Jules plays working men's club
- Britney Spears applies to be cocktail waitress
- Bookie takes bets on Winehouse appearances

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TOP BIT >>
Yeah, this is a bit loopy. You know how the Mail On Sunday were giving away the brand new Prince album this weekend? Well, they were kicking up a fuss on Friday because the release won't be chart eligible. News that presumably got everyone in the music industry going - "well, duh, obviously".

Now, we've been trying very hard to keep an open mind on this one, and to resist jumping on the retailer led bandwagon of declaring Prince's decision to release his new album via a Sunday newspaper as being just this side of catastrophic. Yes, you can see why the music retailers get into a bit of a fluff when a major release is given away at the newsagents rather than being sold via their stores, but to be honest the high street retailers have much bigger things to worry about - ie the supermarkets, the mail order CD websites and the rise of iTunes, coupled with the fact that their own download stores are all a bit rubbish. Let's face it, Prince has never been a fan of major record companies or chain store record sellers, and for years self-released albums directly to his fans via his own website. That system kept Prince's profile very much within his existing fanbase - you never know, with 3 million CDs distributed this Sunday, many to regular MoS readers who are not exactly typical Prince album buyers, the artist formerly know as The Artist might have just won over some new fans, who may now go buy some back catalogue at HMV or Virgin Megastore. Or, more likely, from Amazon or Play.com, which, as I say, is the real problem for the retailers.

Of course, even if you ignore the problems in retail, there is the issue that if too many major artists do deals with the Mail On Sunday and their ilk, and allow their new work to be distributed for free in return for half a million upfront, then that is preventing the record companies - major or otherwise - from benefiting from the bankable artists whose profits, according to the traditional record label model, help fund the investments made each month in new, unheard of singers, songwriters and bands, a few of which are tomorrow's bankable artists. Because while the major record labels may be shady conglomerates with greedy shareholders and overpaid executives, they do reinvest some of their profits in new talent, whereas premiere league artists often (though not always) invest their profits in new cars, big houses and private jets. If too many of the bankable artists, who arguably got where they are today on the back of record label investment, choose to do deals outside the traditional record label model, then that model becomes insecure. But then again, that model is pretty insecure anyway, and even the most stuck in the mud record label exec is spending a lot of time these days talking about the need to diversify. No longer can record labels rely simply on record sales incomes and royalties to generate enough revenues to pay their bills, reward their shareholders and invest in new music. They need to write new contracts with their artists and find new ways to make money. Many of the new ways of making money involve labels getting involved in media ventures, and competing with the traditional media firms - so can they really criticise a media company for getting involved in music?

I'm playing devil's advocate a bit here, but we like to encourage the music industry to question its gut reactions from time to time, and this is an issue where some serious questioning is probably due. That said, on the issue of allowing the free Prince CD to chart, well, there I'm with the record label chiefs who have surely been saying to themselves this weekend, "you want us to allow a freebie CD given away by a Sunday tabloid to top the albums chart? You can fuck off". First, most copies of the Mail On Sunday are sold in non-chart returning shops - how is the Official UK Charts Company meant to monitor those sales? Moreover, the album charts are, for all their weaknesses, designed to report on what LPs people have been 'buying' in the last seven days. The fact that a not insignificant number of Prince fans may have paid £1.40 for a Mail On Sunday specifically to get the new album is irrelevant, because an awful lot of people will have paid £1.40 to buy the Mail On Sunday and promptly discarded the latest free CD that fell out of the bagged magazine that comes with it. How is anyone to tell which of the 3 million CDs distributed this weekend fall into which category? It's impossible - and therefore the album just can't chart. And that fact was surely bleeding obvious from the minute this promotion was first discussed.

Quite how serious the Mail On Sunday were being when they expressed outrage last week that the Prince CD couldn't chart I'm not sure, though a letter from the paper's MD to the Official UK Charts Company certainly threatened that the paper's lawyers were busy trying to find some legal case against them. Quite what legal case there is I don't know - the official music charts have never claimed to be anything but a representation of the albums sold by conventional means through registered record shops or download platforms. There's a chance the paper only had a rant about the charts in a bid to gain more press for its biggest ever music promotion - or as retaliation to moves by the Entertainment Retailers Association to have the free Prince CD edition of the Mail On Sunday disqualified from what are essentially the newspaper charts, compiled by ABC.

Either way, the music industry shouldn't automatically dismiss new music distribution channels as being intrinsically bad, just because they allow a new competitor into the market. But equally they shouldn't feel compelled to radically alter the rules of their retail charts just because a big newspaper says they should.

Wow, that was a long Top Bit wasn't it? Don't worry, we've got some more murder for you in a minute, and not Spector related murder this time either.

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MYSPACE OF THE DAY: SPORTSDAY MEGAPHONE

I'm sure we mentioned that recent Sunday Best signing Sportsday Megaphone had a download only EP release earlier this year. We did mention that right? I can't believe we didn't. Us being the one stop shop for all news on quality music, and Sportsday Megaphone producing music of the quality kind. And the quirky kind, which you know we like round here at CMU. Anyway, we're bringing him up today because Sunday Best have just told us that such was the demand for that download only release that they are releasing it on 7" vinyl, and signing Mr Megaphone, or Hugh, to do an album. Hurrah. The tracks off the EP are streaming here to preview on MySpace. The aforementioned quirkiness means it might not be everyone's cup of tea, but that's the wonder of MySpace, innit, you get to find out for yourself for free? Also online are a load of gig listings and lots of previous gig artwork, which is strangely nice to look at. Go see.

http://www.myspace.com/sportsdaymegaphone

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REMY MA ACCUSED OF ATTEMPTED MURDER
Grammy nominated rapper and former Fat Joe collaborator Remy Ma, real name Reminisce Smith, has been arrested on charges of attempted murder, which is interesting because I can't remember the last time a female rapper was charged with murder. Perjury and beauty store fracas yes, but not the big M. Though, we should stress, Smith is denying all charges.

The rapper is accused of shooting and seriously wounding one Makeda Barnes-Joseph, a childhood acquaintance, during a dispute outside a Manhattan bar in the early hours of Saturday morning. The shooting followed an argument over $2000 that had allegedly been stolen from the rapper. Smith and several unidentified males fled the scene in a blue Cadillac Escalade after the shots were fired, though the car crashed into a parked car a few blocks away and the rapper and her posse subsequently legged it on foot. She was arrested and charged with attempted murder, assault and weapon possession charges yesterday, and was held at New York's Rikers Island jail pending the payment of a $250,000 bail. Barnes-Joseph is currently recovering in Saint Vincent's Hospital, seemingly after a lucky escape, the bullets having just missed several vital organs.

As we said, Smith has pleaded not-guilty to all charges. Her attorney, Scott Leemon, told AllHipHop.com over the weekend: "I made arrangements early this morning with the Hip-Hop squad of the New York Police Department to turn her in, but it did not happen until this evening as I was out of town and my flight was delayed. As to the allegations, I ask everyone to keep an open mind. Things are not always as they seem. Remember these are only allegations".

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TWO TOWERS QUIT
Two members of Towers Of London - The Rev (guitarist) and Snell (drummer) - have quit the band. It's not really clear why. I expect they just felt like a movin on. Anyway, the group will continue to be led by Big Brother star Donny Tourette and still feature bandmates Dirk Tourette and Tommy Brunette, but friends Christian Marr and Aaron Attwood will replace the departed members on the Towers Of London UK tour starting in Newcastle tonight.

A source is quoted as saying: "I'm sure Donny would have a few things to say about it, but the band are really positive. Donny's always said the band isn't about any particular member or members, so as far as he's concerned it's business as usual and the tour will happen as planned".

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CHOWDHURY LEAVES ZUTONS
More people leaving bands news, sadly. Boyan Chowdhury has departed The Zutons, in what is being called an amicable split, with "musical differences" being cited as the guitarist's reasons for leaving. It's believed that Chowdhury has been writing his own songs and plans to start a new band but these rumours have not been confirmed. Also no word on who, if anyone, will take his place in the band.

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FIDDY RELEASE PUT BACK AGAIN
The release of the new 50 Cent album 'Curtis' has been put back by another week, following the news that the LP, originally set for a 26 Jun release in the US, would be now released on 4 Sep. The album will now hit shelves in the US on 11 Sep. The hip hopper's label Interscope haven't explained the reason for the delay. Singles from the new record are, meanwhile, not faring so well in the Billboard r&b/hip hop chart, 'Amusement Park' reaching number 36, and 'Straight To The Bank' peaking at 30.

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BOBBY BROWN IS PRIME AL-QAEDA TARGET, APPARENTLY
According to reports, Bobby Brown is planning very tight security for a series of upcoming gigs in Australia, because, he claims, he may be targeted by al-Qaeda. The r&b singer claims that Osama bin Laden has a beef with him due to an obsession with his ex-wife Whitney Houston.

"If anybody is threatened by al-Qaeda they'd take it seriously," he told Aussie reporters. "I figure if bin Laden wants me, and everybody is looking for him, it probably won't happen. But if he wants to try and find me for something so stupid, he can do what he wants. I have to leave it in the hands of my higher power".

Not sure what threats Brown has actually received, but some reports cite a Sudanese writer called Kola Boof as saying that bin Laden is indeed besotted with Whitney. Yes, I agree. It sounds like a made-up story. And so does the name Kola Boof, frankly.

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DINOSAUR JR LIMITED RELEASE
A date has been set for the next single from Dinosaur Jr, and it's one of those limited edition releases on lovely purple vinyl. Hurrah, I love purple vinyl. The single is 'Crumble', from recent album 'Beyond', and it's backed with 'Yer Son', a track that only appeared on the Japanese version of the album. The single will be released by PIAS on 20 Aug, press info is available from Mercenary.

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NEW SUPER FURRYS
More August release dates for that diary of yours, and the new single from Super Furry Animals, 'Show Your Hand', will be released via Rough Trade on 13 Aug, the first single release from new album 'Hey Venus!', which is also due for an August release - 27 Aug to be precise. For those of you who like these things, here's a tracklisting for that album. For those of you who think tracklistings of songs you've never heard of are useless, there's a list of upcoming festival appearances also. There you might hear some of the songs, and the tracklisting will then be less useless.

The Gateway Song
Runaway
Show Your Hand
The Gift That Keeps on Giving
Neo Consumer
Into The Night
Baby Ate My Eight Ball
Carbon Dating
Suckers
Battersea Odyssey
Let The Wolves Howl At The Moon

21 Jul: Lovebox, Dublin and London
25 Aug: Metro Weekender, Cardiff
31 Aug: Connect, Glasgow
2 Sep: Jersey Live
15 Sep: End of The Road Festival.

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VISIBLE NOISE SIGN THE PLIGHT
Rock label Visible Noise have announced the signing of Leeds based "punk n roll" band The Plight - they plan to release a mini album from the boys in September. Confirming the record deal, the band's John D told CMU: "I'd like to think we bring something new to the musical table. We come from the hardcore punk rock scene so we're used to doing everything ourselves. Visible Noise can push us to the next level and get our music out to the masses!"

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JACKSON FOLLOWS DUPRI TO IDJ
No surprise here really. Janet Jackson has followed boyfriend Jermaine Dupri from Virgin US to Island Def Jam. Dupri moved from an exec role at Virgin to the urban chief role at IDJ last year, and Jackson, whose recent long players haven't been especially commercial successes for the EMI label, has always been expected to follow. Billboard last week quoted Dupri thus: "She's on Island, but it's more or less [Def Jam CEO LA Reid's] project. I let him deal with that on a day-to-day basis. He's going to A&R that project, too. Janet's record is one that he's wanted to do for a long time. He's very passionate about it".

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LENNON GLASSES SET TO SELL FOR SILLY MONEY
A pair of trademark circular glasses worn by John Lennon during The Beatles' 1966 Japanese tour have been offered for sale at online auction house 991.com, and the bidding has already passed the £750k mark. Sales director John Warner says: "The interest has been phenomenal. Our phones have been in meltdown. It's almost impossible to put a value on them. They're the rarest of the rare. An item like this comes up so infrequently that it's impossible to predict how high the bidding will go. We are anticipating huge interest from all over the world, both from institutions and private collectors, especially in the USA and Japan".

Lennon wore the glasses during his band's five date residency in Tokyo's Budokan Hall, and subsequently gifted them to a local translator with whom they became friendly, Junishi Yore. The auction closes on 31 Jul.

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WELLER BIOG PLANNED
According to reports, a 'warts and all' biography of Paul Weller is set to be published in September. Music journalist and childhood friend Paolo Hewitt has written the book, and describes it thus: "This is the frankest ever portrait of Paul. It's not a 'he is wonderful' book but a 'how he is' book - flaws and greatness revealed."

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SLASH SAYS CHINESE DEMOCRACY WILL BE GOOD
Slash has apparently said that he reckons 'Chinese Democracy' will be brilliant, despite his long ago departure from Guns N Roses, and issues with frontman Axl Rose.

He says, "I'm sure it's got some amazing shit on it cos I know Axl and what he's capable of. So I'm interested to hear it but patient enough to wait until he figures it out... because I don't have anything to do with it, it's easy for me to say that".

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SNOOP DOGG DOES REALITY STINT
Snoop Dogg is the latest music star to be the subject of a reality TV show for US entertainment network E!, who say that the show, featuring the rapper and his family, will be "hilarious and heart-warming" and add that "the juggling act that Snoop faces day-in, day-out between career and family is certain to resonate with our viewers".

They're not wrong you know. We all know what it's like to get arrested at four different airports in the space of a year and be refused entry to a number of foreign countries, all whilst trying to raise three boys and maintain a hip-hop career. Oh yes. And there's nothing like criminal activity and court dates to bring out the heartwarming and hilarious in any family situation.

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DIDDY SWAMPED BY PA APPLICATIONS
P Diddy Puff Doddy Diddle Daddy Combs has been swamped with thousands of job applications for the role of PA. Well, it sounded less like a PA and more like a PS (personal slave), really, with duties such as fielding his calls and holding a parasol over his head cited as part of gig. According to Undercover, the rap star invited open applications via various media channels on 12 Jul, asking fans to post video interviews for the job, and smugly saying "What better job than that, to have me scream at you, go crazy, keep you up late hours, have you sleep deprived?"

Over 10,000 people applied, and so Combs decided to clarify things a little and say that applicants needed to know how to read, write and have a college degree. Which I think's a bit unfair. You don't need a college degree to be useful. Anyway, the rap star plans to interview the best applicants on camera and then get audiences to decide who should get the job.

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SOAD BASSIST INVOLVED IN NEW SOCIAL-NETWORKING LABEL THINGY
System Of A Down bassist Shavo Odadjian has announced his involvement in an interesting hybrid social networking outfit and record label called urSession, due to properly launch later this Summer. The social networking bit works a bit like the music bit of MySpace, but any unsigned bands who upload their music to the site will be reviewed by an A&R team and may be ultimately offered a record contract. It's not an entirely original idea, but might win some extra profile thanks to Odadjian's involvement.

Here's what Odadjian told Rolling Stone about the venture: "It's the first online label to actually audition artists via audio uploads and video uploads. I thought if urSession could be a big art-district community, so then the community votes for who I sign. So after a 10-month, 11-month running of artists, whoever gets the most votes, I go over and I sign."

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ANOTHER FESTIVAL RAINED OFF
Another festival has fallen foul of this lovely summer weather we're experiencing at the moment. Day two of the Ashton Court Festival, due to take place in Bristol yesterday, was pulled after heavy overnight rainfall made the festival site unsafe. Festival organisers issued a statement reading: "The festival site is unsafe for the public due to the treacherous ground conditions, which have made it impossible to guarantee emergency services on-site. After taking advice from health and safety officials, emergency services and licensing authorities at a meeting this morning, the organisers took the difficult decision to cut short the event". As previously reported, organisers of Swansea's Fflam festival, also due to take place this weekend, postponed the event to the end of the summer after prolonged bad weather made the proposed site unsuitable.

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TISCALI'S WIRELESS SESSIONS ONLINE
Remember how we told you that those Tiscali Sessions types were recording exclusive sessions backstage at the recent Wireless Festival in London? Well, three of those sessions, with Faithless, ex-Morcheeba vocalist Skye and Badly Drawn Boy, are now online for free at http://www.tiscali.co.uk/sessions, which is exciting. Other Wireless sessions from Pigeon Detectives, The Rakes, UnkleJam, The Thrills, Richard Swift and my new favourite band Scouting For Girls will all go live in the coming weeks at the same URL. Meanwhile mainstage coverage from the London leg of Wireless is at http://www.tiscali.co.uk/wireless

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RIAA EXEC MOVES TO WEB TV
The Recording Industry Association Of America's Director Of Artist And Industry Relations is leaving the trade body after 12 years, and I had this idea you might be interested in that. John Henkel has announced he will leave the industry association to join start up internet TV company For Your Imagination, where he will also work in an artist and industry relations role.

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UNIVERSAL EXTEND SANCTUARY OFFER
The Universal Music Group has extended its cash offer to buy the eternally financially troubled UK independent, the Sanctuary Group. As previously reported, the major, which hopes to acquire the cross-sector music firm via its UK subsidiary Centenary Music, won the approval of the Sanctuary board for its takeover offer of 20 pence per share last month.

The original deadline for Sanctuary shareholders to take up the offer was last Thursday, but the major announced that, with just 30.88% of Sanctuary shares now formally offered to them, they are now extending the deadline to 26 Jul.

The statement confirming the extension also announced the takeover proposals had won regulator approval in the US, Germany and Australia. The bid will also require approval from the European Commission, who are probably the competition authority most likely to express concern about the largest major record company in the world acquiring one of the largest independents. However Universal remain confident that because Sanctuary's real strengths lie in management and merchandising, sectors in which Universal does not currently operate, the EC should OK the deal without any problems.

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MERLIN BOARD NOMINATIONS OPEN
New global independents digital rights agency Merlin, who have a funky new logo that somehow makes me think of Saturday morning kids TV, have opened up nominations for their first proper board. Following confirmation at the recent Association Of The Independent Music AGM that nominations would be taken this month, the agency announced last week that 27 Jul has been set as a nominations deadline, with voting taking place from 6-10 Aug, and plans to have the board in place by 15 Aug. The board, once appointed, will consist of fifteen directors, five from North America, five from Europe and five from elsewhere, and it will sit for two years. Not solidly, obviously, but there won't be any more elections for two years.

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HMV ANNOUNCE APPOINTMENTS
HMV has announced that Gary Warren, who has been the temporary Product Director on the HMV UK board since March, will take on the role permanently. Meanwhile Rudy Osorio, formerly Head of DVD, has become Head Of Music. Commercial Manager Charles Fotheringham will become the new Head Of DVD.

Here's what HMV Group boss Simon Fox says: "Under Gary's leadership and with the expertise of Rudy and Charles and their respective teams now in place, I am confident that the HMV Product department is ideally placed to work even more closely with our strategic partners to maximise the many commercial opportunities that will arise in the year ahead".

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VODKA BRAND SPONSORS XFM SHOWCASE
Stolichnaya Vodka has announced it will sponsor an Xfm Music:Response live showcase at Manchester's Night & Day café on 26 Jul - an extension of its existing sponsorship of the Music:Response radio show. It's all part of brand's 'Choose Authenticity' marketing campaign.

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US ROYALTIES BODY MAKES CONCESSIONS TO WEBCASTERS
US online royalties body SoundExchange has announced that it won't be taking action against webcasters who do not immediately adhere to the new royalty rates that came into effect this weekend, despite the fact the courts last week refused to formally delay the start date of the new rates.

SoundExchange's announcement follows much political lobbying and public campaigning on the part of the American webcasting sector ever since the US Copyright Royalty Board announced it was putting up the royalty rates internet radio stations had to pay the record labels in order to play their music. As previously reported, the CRB refused to reconsider its decision, although it did push back the date when the new rates kicked in, to yesterday. The webcaster's appeal of the royalty ruling continues to work its way through the courts, though attempts to get a temporary court decision to postpone the start date of the new royalties while the appeal carries on were denied last week.

However, SoundExchange, who lobbied for and still stand by the CRB's original decision, made a friendly gesture this weekend when it said it would allow stations to continue to operate under the old royalty system providing they are in legitimate discussions with the royalty body regarding finding a workable settlement for moving forward. SoundExchange also announced they were offering to cap the 'minimum charge' for those webcasters operating multiple channels at $50,000 per year. Under the new rules the minimum charge is $500 per channel, so the new deal favours those webcasters with more than ten channels, though only if they are willing to commit to providing more detailed stats and to introduce measures to help stop 'streamripping' piracy. One larger webcasting company, DiMA, has already announced it will sign up to that offer, though on the proviso it can continue to negotiate on actual royalty rates.

SoundExchange's concessions come as the record industry faces a difficult fight over internet royalties in political circles, where one bill is under consideration to formally postpone the start of the new royalty rates, while another - presented in both Senate and the House Of Representatives - proposes overruling the CRB entirely and introducing a new royalty system that would be much more favourable to the internet broadcasters, many of whom claim the CRB's new rates will put them out of business.

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BLACK FOUND GUILTY OF FRAUD
This isn't a story we have been reporting on much, but we mentioned it when it all kicked off a couple of years back, so I suppose we ought to report on its conclusion. The former owner of the Daily Telegraph, Conrad Black, has been found guilty of fraud at the end of a long running trial in which the former media mogul was accused of swindling shareholders in his media firm, Hollinger International, out of millions in order to fund his lavish lifestyle. Black was accused of fraud, racketeering and tax evasion, but after twelve days of jury deliberation at the end of a fourteen week trial was found guilty of just three of the fraud charges against him. That said, those charges are pretty serious and prosecutors are now moving to have the former mogul jailed, while those who lost out during Black's reign at Hollinger are now planning to launch civil lawsuits that would most likely bankrupt him should they be successful, which given the criminal conviction, the plaintiff's will be quietly confident they will. It is unlikely Black will actually be jailed until November, though he will have to stick to pretty strict bail conditions ahead of a sentencing hearing. The court ruling is a dramatic conclusion to one of the media world's biggest stories of recent years.

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DAVID GEST DROPPED BY ITV
You know how celebrities go on these integrity-stripping reality shows in a bid to relaunch their careers? Can you name anyone who has actually enjoyed long term career recovery thanks to their time in the jungle / the house / the farm? Christine Hamilton perhaps. And I suppose the reality TV producers and celeb mags are still writing cheques to Peter Andre and Jordan. Anyway, following the news that last year's 'I'm A Celebrity' winner Matt Willis had been dropped by his record label, now we hear his fellow jungle resident, David Gest, has been dropped by ITV after their attempts to capitalise on his perceived popularity on the reality show failed. Gest, of course, was a judge on the not overly successful (in ratings terms) 'Grease Is The Word' talent show, while his own chat show, 'This Is David Gest', has been dropped six months into a twelve month run after disappointing ratings. ITV Programming Chief Simon Shaps was quoted this weekend as saying: "We have no plans for David Gest. There will be no new deal and no new projects. I'm not sure what he'd do next".

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TOTAL ROCK WORLD ALBUM CHART
It's the Total Rock World Album Chart, as counted down on Total Rock over the weekend - http://www.totalrock.com. New entries and re-entries marked with a *.

1. Linkin Park - Minutes To Midnight (Warner Bros)
2. Bon Jovi - Lost Highway (Universal/Mercury)
3. Marilyn Manson - Eat Me, Drink Me (Universal/Interscope)
4. Ozzy Osbourne - Black Rain (SonyBMG/Epic)
5. Fall Out Boy - Infinity On High (Universal/Island)
6. Daughtry - Daughtry (SonyBMG)
7. Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (Warner/Roadrunner)
8. Queens Of The Stone Age - Era Vulgaris (Universal/Interscope)
9. Paramore - Riot! (Warner/Atlantic)
10. Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos (Warner/Roadrunner)
11. Rush - Snakes & Arrows (Warner/Atlantic)
12. Hinder - Extreme Behavior (Republic)
13. Billy Talent - Billy Talent II (Warner/Atlantic)
14. Genesis - The Platinum Collection (EMI/Virgin)
15. Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero (Universal/Island)
16. Velvet Revolver - Libertad (SonyBMG) - new entry
17. The Used - Lies For The Liars (Warner Bros)
18. Buckcherry - 15 (Warner/Eleven Seven Music)
19. My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade (Warner Bros)*
20. Guns n Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)

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JAMES BACKS DOWN ON BLUR REUNION CHANCES
Blur's Alex James has said that he doesn't fancy the chances of a full reunion involving the departed Graham Coxon much, despite saying earlier in the year that he thought it would happen. As previously reported, various band-members have confirmed that the seminal Brit-poppers would be heading back to the studio to work on a new album in September, and said that Coxon would be joining them for one last shout.

Here's what James says now: "I think about Blur, that there is a chance we can get back together and make something really brilliant, but then I'm probably deluded as well. I think with Blur it was never really quite resolved emotionally, with Graham leaving before the last album. I think it would be good to get back together and sort things. I think we all needed to add a paragraph to our careers saying that we all really needed to stand on our own two feet and not need the band any more before we could do anything".

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JUDGE JULES PLAYS WORKING MEN'S CLUB
Soooper DJ Judge Jules played a set at the Tullibody Working Men's Club in Clackmannanshire at the weekend. No, really. He did. The Ministry regular appeared at the charity event, organised by a local father, Clarke Millar to raise funds for the Yorkhill Children's hospital in Glasgow. Millar told the BBC that the hospital had saved the life of his 23 month old daughter, who was born with a rare condition which left her unable to feed properly. He is quoted as saying: "How they treated my daughter and how she is now is amazing and I promised to give something back and that is what I am doing. There are no club nights like this in Central Scotland and something just came into my head to bring Jules here and to do it well. It was absolutely amazing, everybody had a really great time in Tullibody and me and my family are hugely grateful to Judge Jules for doing it."

The event raised thousands of pounds for the Glasgow facility, with Jules himself making a personal donation of £500.

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BRITNEY SPEARS APPLIES TO BE COCKTAIL WAITRESS
According to the gossips Britney Spears recently applied to become a cocktail waitress in a bar in Hollywood. A 'source' told Life And Style Weekly: "She filled out the application, including her work history, address, social security number, and then she went to a back room for an interview with the manager. Everyone thought she was joking, but she seemed dead serious". The source added that she'd explained that she "loved the sexy red corsets" worn by employees.

Yeah, I'll bet she did. She really should really do that kind of work for a while though. Then she'd learn just how back breakingly, arse achingly sexy it is.

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BOOKIE TAKES BETS ON WINEHOUSE APPEARANCES
William Hill have started a book on whether Amy Winehouse turns up at her upcoming gigs, following her recent spate of cancellations. Punters can already bet on whether the singer will turn up to her next concert at the Eden Sessions next week, a spokesperson has confirmed, saying: "Amy has cancelled too many gigs for us not to give out odds. The concert is next week so she'll have to sort herself out for that and I can't see it happening".

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