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

In today's CMU Daily:
- Yahoo! close down subscription service
- Labels step up action against Chinese search engines
- Arcade Fire consult lawyers over NFL ad
- Winehouse asks for US visa
- Britney Spears news update
- Pimp C died from cough syrup and sleep condition
- Tata Guines dies
- Sean Finnegan dies
- Martin and Martyn do well at folk awards
- Reid and Hebden collaborate again
- Coldplay on new album
- Sony/ATV re-sign Martin Terefe
- Muse live recording to be released
- Darkness back, kind of
- End Of The Road festival announcement
- Lost Vagueness won't return to Glasto
- Slayer release helmet
- Presley memorabilia recovered in Scotland
- Warner bid for Death Row
- Cohl to lead Live Nation board
- SonyBMG merge sales and commercial divisions
- Pending ITV takeover offer reported
- Blackburn joins Smooth
- Prince of Wales bigs up Fuller
- Moby makes an offer to you journo types
- Minogue and Martinez back on?
- Joss Stone on the health benefits of roll-ups

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TOP BIT
Another reminder on this methinks. As revealed yesterday, we are doing another one of those big overhauls of the directory on the CMU Music Network website, so if you're already listed expect a phone call checking your information sometime this week.

If you are a record label or PR company not currently listed (you can check the current directory at http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/directory) then send all the information we need (company name, address, phone number, website, email contacts) to listings@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk. If you have emailed stuff to that address in the last couple of months then it will already be on our system and we'll be making the relevant changes and additions in the next week also.

This time round we will also be adding a retail section featuring record shops and download stores, so if you are one of them send us your name, address, contact name, number and email, web address, and details of what you do to listings@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk and we'll get you listed too.

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EVENTS N STUFF

FREE CV WORKSHOPS
unicornjobs.com, the new graduate careers website run by the team behind CMU, is launching a programme of free careers seminars for students and recent graduates. The first is an interactive CV workshop led by Financial Times columnist Mrs Moneypenny. The workshops will be held at the unicornjobs.com HQ in Shoreditch on Wednesdays 13 and 27 Feb. This free 2-hour workshop will help anyone embarking on their career to compile the best possible CV. Places are limited. To come, email your name, a contact phone number and details of which date you want to attend, to events@unicornjobs.com.

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SNAP OF THE DAY: OCDJ
There's a great article in this month's issue of The Wire magazine about (US city) Baltimore's club scene where the writer describes walking in on "drunk kids from the local art school MICA (including someone in a zebra costume)" dancing wildly to a set by OCDJ, the whole room apparently buzzing to his 8-bit-fuelled club songs. Mixing hip hop and the still-underground sounds of the chiptune movement, OCDJ is one of the more accessible Game Boy obsessives currently garnering a growing fanbase, and you can certainly hear what the kids in the piece are so excited about after listening to his song 'What's Good' (now streaming on his SNAP), a record that turns what is often seen as an esoteric and self-involved movement into little more than an extension of party-friendly electronica. Fans of Dan Deacon and the like should get involved with a visit to his MySpace.

http://www.myspace.com/ocdjmusic

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YAHOO! CLOSE DOWN SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE
As expected, Yahoo! has announced a reduction of its US music services. The sorts of people who expect these kind of things had been expecting some kind of reduction for a while, and especially since the web firm confirmed last week that it was looking to axe 1000 jobs worldwide.

The music service to go is Yahoo!'s US-based subscription platform, Yahoo! Music Unlimited. Instead of offering its own service, Yahoo! will promote Real Network's rival subscription package Rhapsody via a new partnership between the two digital content companies. Yahoo!'s Rhapsody plugging is just the beginning of that partnership - the two companies have said there will be other Yahoo!/Real joint offerings within and beyond the music space.

Yahoo! says it expects to expand its other music services over the coming year, partly through other partnerships like that with Real. They also announced they had acquired FoxyTunes, a toolbar plug in whatnot that lets people manage their PC and web music services from one place.

The closure of Yahoo! Music Unlimited means there are now just two major subscription based digital music services in the US - Napster and Rhapsody.

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LABELS STEP UP ACTION AGAINST CHINESE SEARCH ENGINES
More Yahoo! - though Yahoo! China this time.

Eleven record companies, including all the majors, who last year won a lawsuit against Yahoo! China with regards their MP3 search facilities, are going back to the Beijing courts to ask for a court order that would force the web firm to comply with the original judgement. The Chinese version of Yahoo!, which is partly owned by the wider Yahoo! group, unsuccessfully appealed the ruling just before Christmas.

The record labels argue that a number of leading Chinese search engines are liable for copyright infringement because they offer MP3 search facilities which offer so called 'deep links' to unlicenced music files. Yahoo! China continues to offer such a service despite the 2007 court ruling against it and its subsequent unsuccessful appeal.

The latest action against Yahoo! China came as the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry confirmed Universal, Warner and SonyBMG were launching a new lawsuit against China's market leader search engine Baidu in relation to their MP3 search facility. Original legal action against Baidu regarding their 'deep links' to illegal content was unsuccessful, but the record labels reckon that was because that case preceded a change in Chinese copyright rules which clarified search engine's liabilities regarding illegal content sources. A new case, they hope, will go the same way as the subsequent Yahoo! China case, ie in their favour.

A similar lawsuit was also issued yesterday against internet content service Sohu and their associate company Sogu, who are becoming more prominent given their position of official internet sponsor of this year's Olympics in Beijing.

Commenting on all the lawsuits, IFPI chief John Kennedy told reporters: "The music industry in China wants partnership with the technology companies but you cannot build partnership on the basis of systemic theft of copyrighted music, and that is why we have been forced to take further actions. It's a matter of great regret that, despite the clear precedent laid down by the Yahoo! China judgment, those internet companies are instead choosing blatant violation of copyright, with the inevitable and unwanted litigation that follows in its wake".

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ARCADE FIRE CONSULT LAWYERS OVER NFL AD
More from the pop courts, potentially, and Arcade Fire may launch legal proceedings against Fox TV after it screened an advert for the NFL during this weekend's much watched Superbowl that featured their song 'No Cars Go'. The band said they did not licence the use of song for the ad, and that their lawyers are looking into it. Whether Fox would be the primary targets of that lawsuit, or whether they'd really want to go after the NFL or their ad agency, I'm not sure, though it being US litigation it would probably involve suing everyone with any vague connection to the advert. Whether legal action will actually follow remains to be seen.

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WINEHOUSE ASKS FOR US VISA
According to reports, Amy Winehouse has met with officials at the US Embassy to discuss obtaining a visa, fuelling speculation that the singer will make it to the Grammys on Sunday after all.

A spokesman denied that a decision had been made about her appearance at the awards show, however, saying that the embassy visit had been planned a while ago. "The appointment at the US Embassy was made some time ago and was part of process for obtaining a visa", he explained, "Amy was accompanied by a nurse as the appointment was under supervision. She has not left rehab and remains under the care of the clinic".

Winehouse arrived at the embassy accompanied by her dad Mitch and a nurse from the Capio Nightingale clinic, where she is currently undergoing treatment for her drug addiction. It is her drugs record - specifically her arrest and fine for possessing cannabis whilst in Norway in October - that may complicate her visa request.

On a happier note, reports suggest that she was looking a bit healthier as she made her way to the embassy, which can only be a good thing.

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BRITNEY SPEARS NEWS UPDATE
Britney Spears' child custody hearing has been postponed again, due presumably to the fact that she's banged up in a psychiatric unit. A new date of 19 Feb was set following a closed meeting attended by Spears' lawyers and Kevin Federline and his legal rep, Mark Kaplan. Court spokesman Allan Parachini explained that nothing else happened at the hearing, whilst the aforementioned Kaplan told reporters that he had been given no information on Spears' condition, but added "It's a very fluid landscape that's changing day by day".

As previously reported, Britney's father James was, on Friday, awarded a 'conservatorship' over her assets, and that temporary power of attorney will remain in place until 14 Feb, as of a second hearing held yesterday.

According to reports, Spears' lawyer Adam Streisand had attempted to enter the case, explaining to the Superior Court Commissioner Reva Goetz that he had spoken to the singer on the phone and that she didn't want her father involved in the situation. Streisand is quoted as saying: "She has expressed to me very strongly that her father not be the conservator. There has been an estrangement for quite some time. With him as conservator, that is causing her more agitation and more distress". Goetz ignored that request, however.

She also appointed a court physician to evaluate Britney's competence to make decisions, and strengthened that previously reported restraining order against Spears' friend and sometime manager Sam Lutfi. Quite what Lutfi did to deserve this I don't know, but here's what he says about it: "I have no problems with anyone writing anything negative against me. My image is not of concern, hers is".

Finally, on the Spears news front, gossips say the singer is worried that a sex tape featuring guest appearances from an array of narcotics may have been stolen from her LA home after police were apparently called to the property following a break-in on Friday. A source says: "This is the last thing Britney needs. She's on the edge. All her secrets could be revealed. Some of the things that may have been taken are dynamite. It doesn't bear thinking about. They could have anything - all her secrets could be out".

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PIMP C DIED FROM COUGH SYRUP AND SLEEP CONDITION
The LA County Coroner's office has said that UGK rapper Chad 'Pimp C' Butler died accidentally through a combination of a cough syrup and a sleeping condition. As previously reported, Butler was found dead in an LA hotel room last November.

Assistant chief coroner Ed Winter yesterday said the rapper did not deliberately overdose, but died because he consumed a prescription cough syrup including Promethazine and Codeine which reacted badly with a sleeping disorder called sleep apnea which can block the air passages during sleep. Winter told the Houston Chronicle: "Sleep apnea [can] stop you breathing. Coupled with a medication that suppresses your respiratory abilities, you end up with an accidental death".

It is not entirely clear why Butler consumed the cough medicine syrup, labelling on which, experts say, would probably have warned against its consumption by sleep apnea sufferers. Such syrups are used by some in the hip hop community, especially in Southern US, to get high, often by mixing them with sweets, and Butler rapped about such a concoction on the Three 6 Mafia and Underground Kingz track 'Sippin' on some Syrup'. Other hip hoppers have allegedly died after consuming such a syrup, including legendary Houston DJ, DJ Screw, and rapper Big Moe.

However, Winter stressed that Butler did not die from an overdose of Promethazine and Codeine, but because of the affect of the drugs on the sleep apnea.

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TATA GUINES DIES
Cuban percussionist Tata Guines has died in Havana at the age of 77 after suffering from a kidney infection. Guines, real name Federico Aristides Soto, was dubbed 'King Of The Congas' and over a sixty year career performed with the likes of Josephine Baker, Dizzy Gillespie and Frank Sinatra. Despite this success in the US, he returned to Cuba following Castro's 1959 revolution because he found he couldn't get used to the racial segregation in America at that time. "Fame did not extend beyond the stage," he said in a recent interview: "Once you left the stage, it was like the signs said: 'Whites only'".

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SEAN FINNEGAN DIES
Sean Finnegan, drummer for cult Washington band Void, died last week at the age of 43 from a heart attack. The band split up back in 1983 following a series of violent incidents at their live shows, and at the time of his death, Finnegan was working on US TV show 'The Wire'.

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MARTIN AND MARTYN DO WELL AT FOLK AWARDS
The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards have taken place, and making an impact this year were Martin Simpson who took two awards, Best Original Track for 'Never Any Good' and Album Of The Year for 'Prodigal, and John Martyn, who received the lifetime achievement gong in recognition of a forty year career in folk music. Martyn was presented with the award by his friend Phil Collins, and received a special message from Eric Clapton, who described him as being: "so far ahead of everything, it's almost inconceivable".

Other winners on the night included Andy Cutting, who got Musician Of The Year, Julie Fowlis, who got Singer Of The Year, John Tams and Barry Coope who were pronounced the Duo Of The Year, Lau, who got Best Group, and Bellowhead, who were awarded the Best Live Act gong for a second year running. Additional winners included Shirley Collins who garnered the award for exceptional contribution to folk music, and Rachel Unthank, who was declared Best Emerging Artist.

Highlights from the show will be broadcast on Radio 2 on Wednesday at 7pm.

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REID AND HEBDEN COLLABORATE AGAIN
Jazz drummer Steve Reid, and Kieran 'Four Tet' Hebden have collaborated again on a new album. 'Daxaar' by The Steve Reid Ensemble is out this week via Domino, and features Reid, Hebden and keyboardist Boris Netsvetaev, along with a group of African musicians including guitarist Jimi Mbaye, a member of Youssou N'Dour's band. Recorded in Dakar, Senegal, the LP's title comes from a historical spelling of the city's name.

Reid and Hebden have conformed two UK tour dates, one at London's Jazz Café on 15 Mar, and a second at Blue Count in Liverpool on the 16 Mar.

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COLDPLAY ON NEW ALBUM
I'm sure I remember Coldplay promising to take a bit of a rest. Ah well, one can still dream. But the band are in fact working on a new album, and the latest news is that they've strenuously denied the rumour that it is to be called 'Prospekt' in a recent online post. They do, however, tell fans that they've just had "the most productive and exciting week we've ever had in the studio", but adding that "mixing has been slow and painstaking but that's just the nature of the beast. So... give us another month or so and we might just have an album worthy of your patience".

The new LP, produced by Brian Eno, is expected to be out in May.

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SONY/ATV RE-SIGN MARTIN TEREFE
Sony/ATV has re-signed writer/producer Martin Terefe who has worked with the likes of Ron Sexsmith, KT Tunstall, James Morrison, Craig David and Martha Wainwright in recent years. Confirming the renewal of the deal, Sony/ATV MD Rakesh Sanghvi told CMU: "We have always enjoyed a very close and productive relationship with Martin and are delighted that he has re-signed to the company. His creative energy and ambition are such that he always exceeds our expectations and never fails to impress us".

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MUSE LIVE RECORDING TO BE RELEASED
Muse are to release a live DVD and CD documenting their shows at Wembley last summer. The DVD release will feature a concert film recorded on 17 Jun, whilst the CD features the band's performance on 16 Jun, their opening night at the venue. All the usual extras - photo gallery, behind the scenes stuff - are included. Both packages are out on 17 Mar. Tracklistings follow.

DVD
Knights Of Cydonia
Hysteria
Supermassive Black Hole
Map Of The Problematique
Butterflies And Hurricanes
Hoodoo
Apocalypse Please
Feeling Good
Invincible
Starlight
Time Is Running Out
New Born
Soldier's Poem
Unintended
Blackout
Plug In Baby
Stockholm Syndrome
Take A Bow

CD:

Knights Of Cydonia
Hysteria
Supermassive Black Hole
Map Of The Problematique
Butterflies
Invincible
Starlight
Time Is Running Out
New Born
Unintended
Microcuts
Stockholm Syndrome
Take A Bow

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DARKNESS BACK, KIND OF
That new band featuring three old members of The Darkness - Richie Edwards, Ed Graham and Dan Hawkins, plus non-Darkness bassist Toby MacFarlaine - has announced details of its debut EP. Stone Gods release 'Burn The Witch' on 25 Feb.

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END OF THE ROAD FESTIVAL ANNOUNCEMENT
Organisers of the End Of The Road festival have announced that it will take place in North Dorset's Larmer Tree Gardens from 12 - 14 Sep this year, and say that they'll start to release line-up details later this month. And that's it, really.

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LOST VAGUENESS WON'T RETURN TO GLASTO
Well, this is no fun. Lost Vagueness will not feature at this year's Glastonbury Festival because the man behind it has decided not to participate, basically claiming the UK's flagship music festival is becoming too commercial.

Lost Vagueness founder Roy Gurvitz says he thinks the festival promoters who are now involved in Glasto - by which he presumably means Festival Republic - are gaining too big an influence. Festival Republic, then Mean Fiddler, became a shareholder in Glasto in 2002, taking a primarily logistics role and helping the festival overcome its security and ticketing issues (in particular tackling the fence-jumping problem that threatened Glasto's licence). Gurvitz seems to say they now have too great an influence.

Speaking to 6Music he said: "Up until now they took a back seat. But now it's starting to influence the line-up of bands and the general feel of the festival. There were a number of procedures last year that we were not particularly happy with. It's not too sad that we have pulled out. Things move on and things change".

Glasto chief Michael Eavis confirmed Lost Vagueness would not reappear at his festival this year, though didn't really respond to Gurvitz's comments, concentrating instead on what will replace the Vagueness area. He told reporters: "We brought a brand new area into Glastonbury Festival last year when my daughter Emily created The Park, which was a major addition to the festival. As part of that progressive change this year we have asked Debs Armstrong and Chris Tofu (of Continental Drifts) to programme the William's Field areas of the site, previously occupied by Lost Vagueness. They have a new vision that I find inspiring, but the whole area will be divided into three separate fields and run by different individuals to produce a stunning result. After six festivals with Lost Vagueness it is time to move on. I wish Roy and his team well in their future activities but for Glastonbury it is another step forward in bringing in new ideas and creative thought".

Meanwhile, as you've probably seen, it's been confirmed the hip hopper previously promised as a headliner at Glasto this year is Jay-Z. The NME says the response to that news on their message boards has been mixed, but with more of the NME faithful not happy with the news. Though personally I think old Jay could win over some new fans at Glasto if he gets it right.

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SLAYER RELEASE HELMET
Slayer are set to put their name to a new range of limited edition motorcycle helmets. The products, produced by Rock Hard, are the latest in a line of similarly music themed biker accessories; previous acts who've been involved with the company include Kiss, AC/DC and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

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PRESLEY MEMORABILIA RECOVERED IN SCOTLAND
Some rare Elvis Presley memorabilia has been found in Scotland, and it's believed to have been stolen. The items, including a gold Elvis record and a framed signed picture, were discovered in a property in city centre Edinburgh during a recent house search. There was also a framed scrap of paper featuring the lyrics to 'American Pie', seemingly handwritten by Don McLean. Lothian and Borders Police say this: "The value of the items is not known, but they look genuine and if they have been stolen then we hope that the original owner will recognise them and contact us."

Now, I'm pretty sure I left a few things behind when I moved from Edinburgh to London a few years back...

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WARNER BID FOR DEATH ROW
Now this is interesting. Warner Music has reportedly offered $25 million to buy the assets of Death Row Records which, as previously reported, is up for sale as part of Death Row founder Suge Knight's much previously reported bankruptcy. The Death Row catalogue features some early work from Dr Dre, Tupac and Snoop Dogg (though Dre for one has been disputing the actual ownership of some of that catalogue). With Death Row working its way through the bankruptcy courts, rival bidders have until 11 Apr to make a bid, with the actual auction due to take place on 24 Apr. If Warner do get Death Row it will be ever so slightly ironic given they sold off their share in Interscope in 1995 because of its partnership with Death Row, shareholders in then parent company Time Warner having been lobbied by the anti-gangsta rap contingent.

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COHL TO LEAD LIVE NATION BOARD
Michael Cohl has been elected chairman of Live Nation's board of directors, a role he will do alongside his other job as boss of Live Nation's new division Live Nation Artists, the bit of the live music conglom that will spearhead the company's move into areas other than touring and venue management.

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SONYBMG MERGE SALES AND COMMERCIAL DIVISIONS
SonyBMG UK has announced it is merging its commercial department and its sales department to create a, erm, commercial sales department. The company's SVP Sales, Nicola Tuer, will become SVP Commercial Sales, and will take on a new responsibility for pursuing new opportunities to exploit the major's back catalogue.

SonyBMG UK chief man Ged Doherty told reporters: "This is an exciting new chapter for the company. By bringing together these traditionally different functions of the company under one roof, we are creating an entirely new area of product development allied to ever changing consumer demand. We'll be able to respond more quickly to opportunities coming from our retail and business partners across the entire industry. Nicola Tuer is the perfect person to lead the new group. She has fantastic relationships across the whole business and a great grasp of what's required to compete in the modern marketplace".

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PENDING ITV TAKEOVER OFFER REPORTED
Shares in ITV went up in value by almost 4% yesterday amid reports that a private equity group is considering mounting a bid to take complete ownership of the commercial broadcaster. Those reports came from the Observer and followed the news last week that competition regulators are planning on forcing BSkyB to sell a chunk of its stake in the third channel company - news that saw the firm's already struggling share price slump further. Reports suggest private equity types Apax and KKR are considering a joint offer.

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BLACKBURN JOINS SMOOTH
Tony Blackburn is to join the London branch of Smoooooooooth Radio to present their weekend breakfast show. Programme controller Gavin McCoy said this: "Tony is a consummate professional and an entertainer through and through. We are over the moon he'll be leading the charge on the weekends".

Blackburn added: "Smooth Radio is a wonderful station with a growing audience and a music format I love. Doing the weekend breakfast show gives me the opportunity to really enjoy what I'll be doing and with the team, deliver a great show".

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PRINCE OF WALES BIGS UP FULLER
Prince Charles has been bigging up 19 Entertainment mogul Simon Fuller. The Pop Idol creator was getting a Visionary Award at the Producers Guild Awards in LA, and Charles appeared on a video tribute to him, Fuller being a supporter of the Prince's Trust.

The Prince said: "Simon, of course, is well-known to millions as the creator of the extraordinary phenomenon known in the United Kingdom as 'Pop Idol' and in your country as 'American Idol'. He has [also] been one of the most effective and generous ambassadors for my Trust, which I set up 32 years ago to help the most disadvantaged young people in the United Kingdom. There are many young people in the United Kingdom whose lives have been transformed and, in some cases, saved - literally - thanks to the contribution which Simon has made".

That Gordon Brown fella also bigged up Fuller, who he described as a "talented and brilliant person", adding: "The stars he has discovered or managed have gone on to huge success around the world, from the Spice Girls to David Beckham".

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MOBY MAKES AN OFFER TO YOU JOURNO TYPES
Moby has written a (presumably tongue in cheek) blog entry aimed at all you hacks considering writing about his upcoming new album 'Last Night'. He writes: "Sometimes journalists read my updates. If you're a journalist and you're thinking of either giving 'Last Night' a bad review or writing something nasty about me I'd be more than happy to send cash/drugs/hookers to you in the interest of receiving good press. I'm all for freedom of the press, but I'm not averse to some good old-fashioned 4th estate payola. I know that some members of the press find me distasteful. I understand, I'm opinionated and annoying. But don't you think you could shelve the bad review in the interest of free money or drugs?" Of course everyone knows no amount of cash, drugs and hookers will get you a good review in CMU. No, our weakness is lollipops.

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MINOGUE AND MARTINEZ BACK ON?
The tabloids are suggesting that Kylie Minogue and Olivier Martinez are back together, despite the fact that he's a well documented cheating love-rat. The Sun quotes an onlooker who saw them together in Paris recently as saying: "They were pouring their hearts out to each other and were very intimate".

Don't do it, Kylie.

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JOSS STONE ON THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF ROLL-UPS
Joss Stone has pissed everyone off by saying that roll-ups are better for you than filter cigarettes. Apparently she was at a New York Fashion Week event to promote the Heart Truth awareness campaign, so, perhaps not the best time to say it. Asked what she did to protect her own heart, Stone told the New York Daily News: "In England we smoked rolled cigarettes. It's better to smoke rollies than straights because straights have chemicals that keep them burning. So if you have to really smoke, smoke rollies".

Oops.

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