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TODAY'S NEWS

Mercury nominations out

US appeal court overturns Nipplegate fine
Blake-Fielder Civil gets 27 months
Lydon denies racist attack against Bloc Party Kele
Lil Scrappy stabbed and arrested
Mac Minister found guilty of murder
Run DMC man has surgery for blood clots
Peaches OD drama
Doherty's house burgled
More random Love ranting
Ting Tings want to do Dizzee Rascal collaboration
Hewlett on new Albarn collaboration
New Ben Folds coming soon
New Eva Cassidy coming soon
iLike add gig advertising add-on
Kobalt appoint BMI man to biz development role
MTV, charts, advice, interactive social thingys
ITV told off for keeping product placement in American Idol
BBC say no more sponsorship
Original Aberdeen sold in management buyout
Lukewarm reception to new look country girl Simpson
Carey hubby in debt after buying too many presents
ON THE NETWORK...
CMU Daily Archives
Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
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TUESDAY 22ND JULY

ATTIC LIGHTS
Having had their previous single, 'God', described as "blasphemous trash" by The Free Church Of Scotland, Attic Lights are back with a less controversial offering, 'Bring You Down' (released this week). With nods to Phil Spector's 'wall of sound' production style, the band play the kind of sunshine pop that will delight fans of The Beach Boys and Delays, albeit with a slightly darker lyrical slant. They recently recorded their debut album, 'Friday Night Lights', with Teenage Fanclub's Francis McDonald in the producer's chair and Bjorn Yttling of Peter, Bjorn & John fame adding string arrangements.

We spoke to guitarist and vocalist Kev Sherry.

 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
Myself and Colin [McArdle, vocals/bass] started writing songs together after we left university. Realising we had no chance at holding down proper jobs, the only other alternative was to sit in Colin's attic every weekend with cheap bottles of wine and write songs while the youthful gangs of Glasgow would be setting fire to things and causing havoc out in the streets. The attic was our oasis of musical calm.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
Our latest single 'Bring You Down' is inspired by a bit of Phil Spector and a bit of Guided By Voices. We wanted it to be really catchy and melodic but also to rock. It's about not being able to communicate with your partner. About two people operating on different levels.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Normally someone in the band will bring an idea into rehearsals and we will jam it for a while with everyone contributing ideas. That's how the majority of our songs are written and that's why everything is credited to the band as a whole (plus it saves any egotistical arguments!)

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
When we started out we wanted to capture the harmony and melody of The Beach Boys with the sounds of alternative American rock bands like Pixies, Guided By Voices, Grandaddy and with a touch of the upbeat vibe of The Flaming Lips. That was our original vision and we have pretty much stuck to it so far.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Hope you like it, dude!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single/album, and for the future?
Hopefully the single and album will click with a lot of people. I really love the idea of someone sitting listening to it and it really meaning something to them, becoming an important part of their life. That happens to me with loads of records, so it would be nice to think the same might happen with our record. The bottom line is, if we can continue to get away with doing Attic Lights for a living we will be happy. But, it would be nice to be the biggest band in the world. There's no shame in naked ambition!

MORE>> www.myspace.com/atticlights

 
 
 

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MERCURY NOMINATIONS OUT
Mercury nominations just in. Make of them what you will.

Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid (Universal/Fiction)
Radiohead - In Rainbows (Beggars/XL Recordings)
British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music (Beggars/Rough Trade)
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - Raising Sand (Universal/Rounder)
Burial - Untrue (Hyperdub)
Estelle - Shine (Warner/Atlantic)
Adele - 19 (Beggars/XL Recordings)
Laura Marling – Alas I Cannot Swim (EMI/Virgin)
Rachel Unthank & The Winterset - The Bairns (EMI)
Neon Neon - Stainless Style (Lex)
Portico Quartet - Knee Deep In The North Sea (Vortex)
The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age Of The Understatement (Domino)

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US APPEAL COURT OVERTURNS NIPPLEGATE FINE
American court in sensible ruling shocker. The US Appeals Court has ruled that the American media regulator the FCC was wrong, that's right, wrong in fining the CBS company $550,000 over the whole Nipplegate palaver.

As you'll all remember, America was outraged when, during the 2004 Super Bowl half time show, Justin Timberlake ripped off a bit of Janet Jackson's costume to reveal a bit of breast. The American public, including children (never forget the children) saw at least five nano-seconds of said breast before CBS - who broadcast the Super Bowl that year, and whose then sister company MTV produced the half time show - diverted their cameras elsewhere. The FCC, almost as outraged as middle America about the whole thing, pushed to fine CBS as much as was possible under US decency laws, mainly by fining it for each of the TV networks that syndicated the broadcast around America.

CBS paid the fine, but appealed the ruling, on the basis its producers were not aware that the "wardrobe malfunction" would occur, and that they responded rapidly once it had done, ensuring a minimum amount of Jackson boob was seen.

And yesterday the US appeals court agreed that, given those facts, the record breaking fine issued by the FCC was inappropriate. Chief Judge Anthony Scirica said the FCC had "arbitrarily and capriciously departed from its prior policy" that exempted fleeting broadcast material from actionable indecency violations, while adding that "the FCC cannot impose liability on CBS for the acts of Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, independent contractors hired for the limited purposes of the Halftime Show".

So there you have it. It was all Janet and Justin's fault, and the American public should take it out on them, not poor old CBS. Actually, given Janet Jackson's record sales post-Nipplegate I think the American public already have been taking their anger out on her a bit. But not cheeky Justin of course, the whole debacle doesn't seem to have done him any harm, despite it being him that coined the joke phrase "wardrobe malfunction" when initially responding to the routine, before realising just how mad people were about the whole thing.

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BLAKE-FIELDER CIVIL GETS 27 MONTHS
CMU's favourite thug about town, Blake Fielder-Civil, has been jailed for 27 months after admitting to assaulting that James King, and then trying to pervert the course of justice by bribing the victim not to testify against him. The sentence is not good news for his other half, Amy Winehouse, who has been saying of late that she expected to get her husband home any day now, despite everyone else seemingly expecting a two year plus sentence. Given Winehouse's fluctuating health and mental state of late, it's not clear how she'll cope with the news 'Blakey' will be banged up for sometime to come.

Fielder-Civil's friend Michael Brown was sentenced for 33 months because the court recognised it was actually him who started the altercation that led to the assault against King. Judge David Radford concluded that Fielder-Civil was drunk and high on cocaine when he joined in the attack "out of a mistaken sense of loyalty to a friend". But the judge added: "The fact remains that in joining in that attack by kicking out at Mr King after he had already been both punched and kicked by Mr Brown you behaved in a gratuitous, cowardly and disgraceful way".

Fielder-Civil's lawyer, Jeremy Dein, said that his client's actions had been the result of a "drugs-ridden lack of judgment rather than callousness", adding that "for almost half his life he has been in the clutches of drugs". Referring to his missus and her own drug issues, he told the court: "It's their ambition to divorce themselves from hard drugs, not to separate themselves from each other. He knows that if he fails, an appointment with calamity awaits, not just for him but for his wife as well".

Two other men - James Kennedy and Anthony Kelly - received shorter sentences for their part in the plot to pervert the course of justice.

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LYDON DENIES RACIST ATTACK AGAINST BLOC PARTY KELE
If this fracas ever gets to court it could be quite a rock n roll affair, given that the Kaiser Chiefs, Mystery Jets, Neon Neon, Har Mar Superstar and The Foals have all been named as witnesses.

Sex Pistol John Lydon has denied allegations he was involved in an unprovoked racist attack against Bloc Party's Kele Okereke at a festival in Barcelona this weekend. A statement issued by Okereke's people yesterday claims that Lydon's entourage assaulted him backstage at the Summercase festival - leading to "severe facial bruising, cuts to his face and body, and a split lip" - after Kele approached the Sex Pistol to ask him whether there'd ever be a Public Image Ltd reunion. Okereke says that the attack was entirely unprovoked, and that Lydon's associates made a number of racist remarks during the altercation, including saying that "your problem is your black attitude".

Foals man Yannis Philippakis and Chief Kaiser Ricky Wilson both seemingly attempted to intervene and end the bust up, though it was festival security who brought it to a proper end. Okereke has reportedly filed a police complaint in relation to the incident in both Spain and the UK.

Kele told reporters: "It's not an issue of the physical assault, even though it was an unprovoked attack, it is the fact that race was brought into the matter so readily. Someone as respected and as intelligent as Lydon should know better than to bring race into the equation, or socialise with and encourage those who hold such narrow-minded attitudes. I am disappointed that someone I held with such high regard turns out to be such a bigot".

But Lydon has denied everything. Well, he hasn't specifically denied anything, but implies he and his people were on the periphery of any trouble, and not the cause of it, saying of Okereke: "I feel very sorry for a man that needs to lie about what was a perfect evening". Lydon's full statement reads thus: "After the show, John Rotten and management remained behind to sign autographs, which we did for four solid hours without incident and had a great time talking to other Spanish bands. This seems to have sparked jealousy in certain bands. The trouble was brought to us, resulting in those causing the trouble being physically removed by festival security. It's a shame that the wonderful world of the media is riddled with nonsense like this. Grow up and learn to be a true man".

With police in two countries presumably looking into the incident, it remains to be seen how many of the indie rock bystanders will be asked to comment. Philippakis, though, has already made a statement of sorts, telling his Latitude audience the next day: "We were in Spain yesterday and I got into a fight with Johnny Rotten. I don't know why I'm telling you all this, but I was handcuffed and we nearly didn't make it".

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LIL SCRAPPY STABBED AND ARRESTED
More altercations, and US rapper Lil Scrappy was arrested on Friday for, erm, being stabbed. The rapper was knifed during a run in with his sister's boyfriend. He was arrested for felony possession of marijuana, felony possession of a firearm/knife, and obstruction of officers. His mother told Foxnews.com this weekend that the altercation occurred when the rapper stepped in to protect his sister from her boyfriend after the couple had argued. On the medical side of things his condition is said to be stable, while on the legal side he has been released after posting $1500 bail.

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MAC MINISTER FOUND GUILTY OF MURDER
Elsewhere in the hip hop related crime file, occasional rapper and hip hop promoter Mac Minister, real name Andre Dow, has been convicted with first-degree murder in relation to the death of another rapper, Fat Tone, real name Anthony Watkins, and his friend Jermaine Akins. Dow is accused of killing Watkins and Akins in Las Vegas in 2005 in retaliation for the murder of yet another rapper, Mac Dre, a West Coast based hip hopper who was killed in a drive by shooting in Kansas City in 2004. Fat Tone was linked to people behind Mac Dre's murder, though he was never a suspect himself. The killings have been spun as being the result of West Coast and Mid-West hip hop rivalries. Dow now faces life in jail for the killings.

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RUN DMC MAN HAS SURGERY FOR BLOOD CLOTS
Run DMC's Darryl McDaniels has been admitted to a hospital in New Jersey where he will have surgery to remove two major blood clots. He is receiving the treatment after suffering intense pain and swelling in his left arm, symptoms which led to the medical exam that discovered the blockages. It is not clear how long McDaniels will stay in hospital, but at least one public appearance in New York has had to be cancelled.

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PEACHES OD DRAMA
Bob Geldof's daughter Peaches is reportedly recovering from a suspected drugs overdose, or so says The Sun. Geldof Junior reportedly stopped breathing for a time on Sunday morning until a friend realised what had happened and gave her mouth to mouth. Emergency services were then called. Peaches and sister Pixie are, of course, regulars on the London party circuit, and Peaches was pictured earlier this year seemingly handing over money for drugs. Despite the reported OD drama, Peaches was well enough to attend the London premiere of the new Batman film last night.

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DOHERTY'S HOUSE BURGLED
Pete Doherty's Wiltshire home was reportedly burglarised over the weekend while the Babyshambler was abroad playing at the Benicassim Festival. Among items taken was a guitar worth three grand and some of those grim Doherty blood paintings.

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MORE RANDOM LOVE RANTING
Is it just me, or has Courtney Love gone all incoherent again? Following those claims earlier in the year that someone had set up 188 credit cards in he late husband Kurt Cobain's name, and that rant last week against Billie Joe Armstrong, Love's latest online ramblings have accused Ryan Adams of paying for his 2003 album 'Rock N Roll' on her credit card. In a MySpace blog that has since been removed, Love reportedly accused Adams of running up $858,000 on one of her American Express cards without her knowledge.

The blog claimed Love paid for the "ENTIRE album and meals and drugs and Hotels and outboard gear and wasted fabullous guitars". The result of all that spending, she added, was "one of the worst records i can think of in rock and roll history". Adams not only spent Courtney's money, she claims, but he has never paid it back, and as a result has deprived her daughter Frances Bean Cobain's trust fund. Or something like that.

Adams got hold of one of Love's cards, she alleges, during one of several, erm, romantic liaisons. She says the couple had a "mild little flirtation", and that she had some "very safe sex with him" (she adds, in case you're interested, that "hes pretty dirty and man ive been around but im the virgin mary comparitevly").

The blog concluded by saying she planned to sue Adams if he didn't agree to a repayment programme pronto. It said: "i will litiagate your thieving ass from here til eternity, your a thief". And if the allegations of theft don't hurt poor Adams, surely that misused 'your' will.

Her final words on the matter paid tribute to Adams' musical career, rambling thus: "Most people reading this dont even know what record or even artist im referring to, as your just this cult americana wanna be dylan thing - i think you have value as an artist but as a human your beneath contempt".

So, what are we to make of all this? A badly spelled cry for help perhaps?

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TING TINGS WANT TO DO DIZZEE RASCAL COLLABORATION
The Ting Tings' Katie White says the band plan to collaborate with that Dizzee Rascal chap, which would be nice. Oh, actually, I think perhaps they'd "like" to collaborate, but nothing as yet has been planned.

Speaking to the Daily Star, she said this: "We saw Dizzee Rascal at Glastonbury and he told us that he was planning to do a cover of our song for Radio 1's 'Live Lounge'. He was like 'You know, we should work together'. We would actually love to do that as he's great. It would be good to do something new and just see what turns out. We make quite different music from each other but I think it would be interesting. I've got some ideas of what I'd like us to do but I don't want to give them away".

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HEWLETT ON NEW ALBARN COLLABORATION
Artist Jamie Hewlett has told reporters that he and Damon Albarn are working on a new project with a working title of 'Carousel', something of a follow up to the duo's previously reported post-Gorillaz 'circus opera' project 'Monkey: Journey To The West'. Talking about the new project, for which Albarn has apparently already written 70 songs, Hewlett said this: "[This] is even bigger and more difficult than 'Monkey'. We haven't figured out how [the songs] are going to fit together yet. It's sort of like a film but not with one narrative story. There's many stories, told around a bigger story, set to music, and done in live action, animation, all different styles. Originally it was a film but now we think it's a film and it's a stage thing as well. Damon's written around 70 songs for it, and I've got great plans for the visuals".

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NEW BEN FOLDS COMING SOON
Ah, I knew there was a reason to stick around on this planet until September. A brand new Ben Folds album is coming - hoo-bloody-rah. And get this, the first single features guest vocals from Ms Regina Spektor. Yeah, Spektor and Folds on one record. Storming.

Here's Folds talking about the new album, to be called 'Way To Normal': "I was not interested in making a record about the D-word [divorce]. I got all that stuff out of my system on the last record, which was deliberately stoic. This new album is really about me being free, which is why it feels cathartic and expressive. It's about me coming back to being myself ... I came out of the courthouse, kissed the ground, and walked straight into the studio. I felt like a bottle of champagne that had been shaken for 18 months and popped open in the studio. That's why this record has so much energy".

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NEW EVA CASSIDY COMING SOON
And now new album news that will please my Dad as much as the Ben Folds news pleased me. The Tupac of easy listening, Eva Cassidy, is back with yet another posthumous album featuring 12 previously unreleased songs. 'Somewhere' is out on Blix Street Records on 25 Aug. Her father, Hugh Cassidy, told CMU: "It was clear that fans of Eva's music wanted a new album but it was important to us that any new record was made up of songs that had not been heard before and that were of a high quality. We are really pleased with the album, it is long overdue". Press info on this from sue@republicmedia.net.

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CDS ARE CHEAPER NOW
CDs are cheaper than they used to be. I think we all knew that didn't we? But if you're the sort of person who needs hard stats about everything, well look no further than the TNS survey that appears in the new BPI Statistical Handbook, and which is reported on in Music Week this week. Said survey reveals that over 70% of albums bought in the UK last year were bought for less than a tenner, whereas in 2000 only 40% of albums were less than £10. The average price of an album last year was £8.63, whereas in 2000 it was £10.77. Bargain.

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ILIKE ADD GIG ADVERTISING ADD-ON
iLike, the last.fm-style music social networking recommendation whatnot, has announced a new service for the live sector which will enable promoters to advertise upcoming tours and gigs to music fans who the iLike system already knows likes the featured artists. Meanwhile, insiders say iLike will later this year offer its service to third party websites who will be able to embed all of iLike's music functionality onto their own sites, including full-song streaming. Lovely.

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KOBALT APPONT BMI MAN TO BIZ DEVELOPMENT ROLE
Music publishing company Kobalt have appointed Nick Robinson, formerly of US royalty society BMI, as Senior VP Business Development. Based in London, he will be charged with finding new writers, artists and other publishers to work with.

Kobalt top man Willard Ahdritz told CMU: "We are excited to welcome Nick to the growing Kobalt family. His breadth of experience and knowledge of the industry will be of tremendous asset to Kobalt as we expand our base of operations throughout Europe and grow our global artist/writer roster".

Prior to joining BMI Robinson worked in labels - including EMI and Island - and had a stint editing something called Music Week.

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MTV, CHARTS, ADVICE, INTERACTIVE SOCIAL THINGYS
You know, it's years since I listened to the chart show. Andy CMU listened to it for the first time in several years this weekend and points out the charts are actually very important - for reminding us how much shit music people buy. Anyway, if ever I wanted to experience the charts in full I'd be well advised to head on over to MTV, because they have just entered into a deal with the Official UK Charts Company which will make the music telly network the one place where you can watch a rundown of every music chart, including the singles, album, download and R&B singles chart. Charttastic, as they say.

Confirming the new multi-platform deal (ie it includes web and mobile as well as telly), MTV's Director Of Music Channels, Virginia Monaghan, told CMU: "We have a long-standing relationship with the Official Charts Company and we're really proud to have secured this new long-term cross-platform agreement incorporating the key weekly industry charts. It's great to be able to provide our audience with the latest news wherever they want it on who's reached the Number One spot across the various genres of the weekly charts".

Martin Talbot, MD at the Official Charts Company, added: "We are delighted to enter into this long-term agreement with MTV, especially in what is such a big year for the UK service. We have been working with MTV for several years, but this deal takes that relationship to the next level and will deliver high profile television exposure for the UK's official music charts."

Elsewhere in MTV news, they've announced the launch of a new "online advice and support portal and social networking space" for da kids. If you're not sure what that means, well, read this: "The new sites underlie MTV's commitment to delivering content reflecting consumption on a digital level ... they will enhance the online experience by encouraging viewers to become more interactive, as well as offering support and advice for young people on issues affecting them directly". So, that's that cleared up.

Basically there are two new online services. One is an ad-free advice site for young people, offering support and advice on drugs, anti-violence and mental and sexual health. The other is called MTV House and is a new entertainment come social networking service. I think its one of those 3D chat room type set ups that were popular in 2003.

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ITV TOLD OFF FOR KEEPING PRODUCT PLACEMENT IN AMERICAN IDOL
ITV2 left too much product placement in its edits of 'American Idol'. Bastards. The UK TV network is meant to edit out the overt product placement that appears in the US show, but in some cases it failed to do so, or so says UK media regulator OfCom. In particular there were far too many close ups of Ford cars. The regulator said this week: "For example, one video had a matador theme with a Ford Mustang car (clearly identifiable from its logo, shown in close-up) playing the part of the bull. We considered that the involvement of the contestants in the videos was insufficient editorial justification for these very prominent visual references to Ford". ITV argued that it had no commercial relationship with Ford in relation to the programme, and that it included the referenced sequences "purely on their editorial merits". But they admitted that they were, perhaps, at times "on the borders of acceptability". Product placement is not allowed on British telly because of European laws on the matter.

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BBC SAY NO MORE SPONSORSHIP
In not entirely unrelated news, the BBC has said it will not accept sponsorship for any of its own events moving forward. The announcement, which will affect the Proms In The Park programme, previously sponsored by National Savings & Investments, follows a BBC Trust report into the sponsorship of last year's Sports Personality Of The Year Award, which said having the event sponsored by Robinsons damaged the Beeb's "editorial integrity".

Although the BBC cannot have any of its TV shows sponsored, it did get sponsorship for its events, which were then in turn televised. That clever side stepping of the rules pissed off ITV and commercial radio reps RadioCentre, who complained to the BBC Trust. They were very critical of the Beeb's sponsorships, leading to the decision by BBC top execs to drop event sponsorship completely. They said in a statement: "In the context of today's findings, the management of the BBC has reviewed its sponsorship policy and has concluded that it should no longer accept sponsorship from commercial bodies for any on-air BBC event".

The decision will not effect sponsored third party events that the BBC screens, such as the BAFTAs and MOBOs.

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ORIGINAL ABERDEEN SOLD IN MANAGEMENT BUYOUT
As expected, Canwest Media has started offloading its UK radio stations. Its Original 106FM station in Aberdeen has been sold to its management - Jonathan Arendt, Richard Johnson and MD Ian McKenna.

The latter said this: "This is a fantastic opportunity, both for me personally and the radio station. We look forward to continuing to build the business over the coming years. I believe we present a real choice for listeners and advertisers in the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire areas. We thank the employees of Aberdeen for their superb efforts to launch and operate the station. The station launched on-time and has exceeded all of its financial benchmarks in providing Aberdeen a strong alternative service".

As previously reported, Canadian based Canwest seemed enthusiastic about the UK radio industry after a change in the law allowed non-British companies to have interest in radio here. But, despite winning three FM licences, they have seemingly lost interest in the sector of late.

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LUKEWARM RECEPTION TO NEW LOOK COUNTRY GIRL SIMPSON
Jessica Simpson apparently got an icy reception when she made her live country music debut ahead of the release later this year of her first self-proclaimed country album. Playing her new material and some country covers at the Country Thunder USA Festival in Wisconsin this weekend the audience reportedly weren't too impressed and heckled plenty. Poor girl. I give it five months.

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CAREY HUBBY IN DEBT AFTER BUYING TOO MANY PRESENTS
Mariah Carey's new husband is reportedly in debt after a bid to prove he's not a kept man. According to the National Enquirer, Nick Cannon took exception to media reports that he was living off Carey's bank account, and started buying his new wife expensive presents with his own money. Except he can't really afford to do so, and is now in debt. The magazine quotes one of those insiders thus: "Nick's sensitive about being perceived as a kept man, so he's going out of his way to indulge Mariah with lavish gifts and expensive dinners. And the bottom line is that he just doesn't have the kind of money she has. It's starting to stress him out. Nick is also said to be worried new career opportunities he is being offered are not genuine. It hurts him when people use him to get to Mariah. Or worse, think of him as Mr Carey". Poor boy. I give it four months.

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