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TODAY'S NEWS

Madonna and Guy to divorce

Estelle and Leona score double MOBO wins
Jackson reveals mystery illness
The Game fails to show at New Orleans festival
Jury selection begins in Spears trial
Feist to take a break
Sugababes could go on hold for university
Bon Jovi hits out at Palin song use
Single review: Kotchy - She Made It Easy (Civil Music)
Elton John plans film musical about AIDS victim
Franz Ferdinand announce new album details
New Fiddy album comes with movie
Efterklang start Christmas early
Jackson United tour and album
The Streets announce UK tour
Baddies gigs, single launch, ITC session
Album review: Various Artists - Kitsune Maison Compilation 6 (Kitsune)
Weller chosen for Universal's first Beeb archive release
Universal expand Qtrax deal
Other radio firms pull out of second national DAB network
Mixmag pick best dance vids
Lavigne and Whibley not divorcing
Mel C asks for Beckham's wedding help
ON THE NETWORK...
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Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
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THURSDAY 16TH OCTOBER

BEN FOLDS
We love Ben Folds here at CMU, that's no secret. And what's not to love? Come on, he's brilliant. As front man of Ben Folds Five he released three great albums and has continued with an ever-increasing level of quality in his solo career, which has yielded the brilliant 'Rockin' The Suburbs', 'Songs For Silverman' and new album 'Way To Normal'.

The first single from that new album, 'You Don't Know Me', features guest vocals from fellow CMU favourite Regina Spektor. Ben will also be in the UK supporting Counting Crows in November and December, and will play a headline show at the Shepherds Bush Empire on 30 Nov.


 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I always wanted to play music. We got a piano when I was nine. I had already begun learning percussion. I couldn't wait to try my next instrument and I spent all my time working at it.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
I just always thought it was sad that when a relationship breaks down, the central truth often has to be avoided so the two people can be themselves much easier around everyone else, even strangers. But over time, they really don't know each other as well as other people in their lives do. I thought it would be nice to have a song where both sides agreed at this, at least for that bit of common ground.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
It's different each time. My favorite is to just play and sing and do it quickly. But often you start with creating a landscape, a bed, a track and piece it together. There's no perfect way, no method.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
I can never be sure. It's always someone I don't suspect. The subconscious works in mysterious ways. Ben Folds Five's first record was inspired by Nirvana, Rage Against The Machine, Dr Dre, PJ Harvey and Liz Phair. Nobody would have thought so, but that's what I was listening to, and while I'm not sure if it manifested itself into a single note on our record, the inspiration was from these artists because they represented something new. During the latest recording I've been into Frank Lloyd Wright and Fidel Castro.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Obviously, I'd have to ask them if they've been living in a cave? How could you walk out in the street and not hear my music everywhere? You're obviously not with it! You should be ashamed! I know it's not that good... I know! But it's pounded relentlessly into your head and eventually you capitulate and even come to like it. You should really watch the video, that helps.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single/album, and for the future?
God... to survive? Ha ha. Really. I'd like to see those who put their time and money into it at least break even. I'd like to think that every record I make has a few songs which have to be on the 'best of' album that I'll probably never make. Aside from that, I always hope that I get another free pass to try and get the next record right. I always itch to get to the next one, because there's something about the one I just made that isn't right.

MORE>> www.benfolds.com, www.myspace.com/benfolds or www.muzu.tv/benfolds

 

VIOLENS
Following the tip of A Place To Bury Strangers yesterday, here's the second of MGMT's tour support bands, the not quite as loud but still pretty ace Violens. Producers of 60s referencing stoner rock, my personal favourite track is the sun-blessed 'Violent Sensation Descends', a nugget of woozy vocals and soothing organ sounds. Already being bracketed in with The Zombies and their ilk, there are also nods to contemporary artists like The Shins, though Violens' sound is closer to 'The Wire' soundtrack than 'The OC'. Head to their MySpace below to investigate.

www.myspace.com/violensmusic

 

 



Don't forget you can now check out CMU favourites old and new on CMU-Tube, our online music video service powered by MUZU.

Set up your own MUZU channel, select tracks from the MUZU catalogue, and embed your own MUZU Player on your own website or blog - simple. Sign up here.

 

 

MADONNA AND GUY TO DIVORCE
After all those denials that their marriage was on the rocks, it turns out Madonna and Guy Ritchie are just big fat liars. What would Sarah Palin say? Yes, Madge and Guy have confirmed they are to divorce after nearly eight years of marriage.

The couple issued a statement yesterday asking the media to "maintain respect for their family at this difficult time". Media reports suggest Madonna's keenness to adopt a second African child coupled with her desire to spend much more time in the US led to increasing conflict between the couple.

The full statement reads: "Madonna and Guy Ritchie have agreed to divorce after seven and a half years of marriage, their representatives confirmed today. They have both requested that the media maintain respect for their family at this difficult time. A final settlement has not been agreed upon yet".

With the statement made, all that remains now is to sort out the child custody and divide up the couple's reported $525 million wealth - only $35 million of which was generated by Ritchie (which is $35 million more than I'd have expected, do his films actually make money?). There was no pre-nuptial agreement, so sorting out the specifics of the divorce may take some time, though a report in the Sun says that Ritchie has said he's not interested in getting any of Madonna's money, so reports that he could be awarded the biggest divorce pay out in British history may not prove to be true.

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ESTELLE AND LEONA SCORE DOUBLE MOBO WINS
So, it was only the good old MOBOs at Wembley last night, and well done to Estelle and Leona Lewis who both caught the Jubilee line home (I'm assuming) with two awards stuffed in their handbags.

The former was named Best UK Female and won Best Song for 'American Boy', while the 'X-Factor' chick won Best Album for 'Spirit' and Best Video for the promo to 'Bleeding Love', the second award said video had won in as many days, it winning the People's Choice prize at the UK Music Video Awards on Tuesday.

Other winners on the night included Dizzee Rascal, Chris Brown and Lil Wayne, while former Supreme Mary Wilson was in the house to pick up the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of the Motown record label, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and, I think it's fair to say, has had a pretty big influence on music of black origin.

MOBO boss Kanya King told CMU: "The MOBO Awards have continued to grow in strength for the past 13 years and I'm particularly delighted that British talent through artists such as Estelle and Leona receive the recognition they justly deserve. I hope that we can inspire a new generation of talent to follow their lead and fulfil their dreams to one day appear on our show".

The full list of winners, for those that want it, is as follows...

Best UK Female: Estelle
Best UK Male: Dizzee Rascal
Best UK Newcomer: Chipmunk
Best International Act: Chris Brown
Best Reggae: Mavado
Best Jazz: YolanDa Brown
Best Gospel: Jahaziel
Best African Act: 9ice
Best song: Estelle - American Boy
Best R&B/Soul: Chris Brown
Best Hip Hop: Lil' Wayne
Best Video: Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love
Best Album: Leona Lewis - Spirit
Best Radio DJ: Trevor Nelson
Best Club DJ: Tim Westwood
Lifetime Achievement: Motown
BeMOBO: Ricky McCalla

The BeMOBO Award was especially interesting this year. This goes to a person or organisation who has "made a difference to the community" and this year it went to Ricky McCalla, a former dancer and choreographer for pop acts who was forced to give up that career after being shot in the back of the neck during a carjacking. Forced to change the direction of his life, he set up an organisation called Frosted Ice which gets young people in South London involved in music projects with a view to sidetracking them from less desirable teenage activites like crime and gang culture. 300 people have already been through the Frosted Ice programme, and McCalla is hoping his MOBO will help him raise the profile of his venture and raise much needed funds to keep it going. There's more information about his programme at www.frostediceinc.com

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JACKSON REVEALS MYSTERY ILLNESS
Janet Jackson has revealed what the "mystery illness" is that has forced her to cancel a number of dates on her 'Rock Witchu' tour - and it's not that celebrity catch-all of 'exhaustion' that some cynics have suggested. The singer has actually been suffering with migraine-associated vertigo, which is pretty nasty and causes dizziness and imbalance, amongst other symptoms.

In a statement, Jackson's manager Kenneth Crear said that she is now getting better and will return to the tour as soon as possible. Crear said: "She's a world-class entertainer and needs to be at the top of her game to give her fans the show they expect. She's feeling much better and is ready to hit the road again to finish the tour".

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THE GAME FAILS TO SHOW AT NEW ORLEANS FESTIVAL
The Game cancelled a performance at a festival in New Orleans at the weekend, and not much explanation has been offered as to why. The rapper had been due to appear as one of the headliners of the SAIG Entertainment And International Arts Festival, one of many arts-based projects that have helped to restore elements of New Orleans' cultural heritage following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

Festival founder Ernest Kelly explained that the event's producers had been informed that The Game had failed to board his 3.30pm flight the afternoon before his performance, for unknown reasons, whilst his management had cancelled his New Orleans accommodation. Kelly is quoted as saying: "The Game not showing up in New Orleans is disheartening. This 20-year festival has been the highlight of the community and the funds raised from this festival the past three years have gone toward the rebuilding of The Big Easy. It is a shame The Game disappointed his fans and the City of New Orleans".

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JURY SELECTION BEGINS IN SPEARS TRIAL
Jury selection has begun in that previously reported Britney Spears court case in which the singer is facing charges of driving without a valid licence. The trial appears to be going ahead, then, despite the fact that Spears' lawyer claims that she's been unfairly targeted because of her celebrity status, and has been attempting to have the offence reduced and settled out of court with a fine. An hour long conference with the judge yesterday failed to yield results, and the selection of jurors began the same day.

If convicted, Spears could face time in prison as well as a fine.

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FEIST TO TAKE A BREAK
Leslie Feist, who was catapulted to fame when her song '1234' was used on an iPod advert, has announced that she plans to take a break after she finishes touring in support of her latest album, 'The Reminder', next month.

She told the Canadian Press: "[My career] has become kind of large and it really began for me very, very small - like me alone in my bedroom with my four-track and a pair of headphones - and I just need to go back there for a while to get my bearings again and then know what to do next. I was reading this amazing article on soil and basically it just turns to dust if you don't let it rest. All of sudden ... I am this soil metaphor. I just need to let it rest for a minute".

And if you're hoping "a rest" means that she'll be taking up her place in Broken Social Scene again, don't bank on it. She continued: "I don't really know how involved I feel [with Broken Social Scene] any more. So much time has passed ... For me it's not what it was. It's not really as interesting for me as it once was. [It] would be like a reunion to be able to hang out with everyone - but I can do that around a kitchen table too".

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SUGABABES COULD GO ON HOLD FOR UNIVERSITY
Sugababes' sole original member, Keisha Buchanan, has revealed that she would like to put the group on hold so that she can go to university.

Keisha said in a recent interview: "It's my dream to study at university. I've been in Sugababes since I was 12, so I would love the opportunity. We would do our individual projects and come back together stronger than before".

If she does go to university, maybe Keisha could become one of our MUZU College Correspondents. If you're already at college, or know someone who is, find out how you could do the same here.

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BON JOVI HITS OUT AT PALIN SONG USE
Another US artist has hit out at his music being used by those cheeky Republicans in their Presidential campaign. This time it's Jon Bon Jovi, who aint happy that the slightly scary Sarah Palin has been using his song 'Who Says You Can't Go Home' at her vice-presidential rallies.

According to nymag.com, Bon Jovi has released the following statement: "We wrote this song as a thank you to those who have supported us over the past twenty-five years. The song has since become a banner for our home state of New Jersey and the defacto theme song for our partnerships around the country to build homes and rebuild communities. Although we were not asked, we do not approve of their use of 'Home'".

As previously reported, a number of artists have hit out at the Republicans using their music during their campaign, including Heart, Jackson Browne and the Foo Fighters, though the McCain/Palin camp always point out, correctly, that providing a political party has a blanket licence for playing music at events they don't need permission from individual artists. Which is just as well for the Republicans, because if they did need artist permission to use songs, they'd possibly struggle to find songs to use.

While we sympathise with Jon Bon Jovi, perhaps he should be sucking up to some of those rich Republicans, given that report on Tuesday that he is be sued for $400 billion in a copyright dispute.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Kotchy - She Made It Easy (Civil Music)
This entire release just oozes decadence. It sounds like the after-club haze of a psychedelic love-in house party, reminiscent of Prince at his gloriously sleaziest. The lyrics tell the tale of a heartbreak, but instead of being left ruined by his loss, Kotchy seems reassured about how easy the whole thing is. A similar kind of care-free attitude is carried across the whole CD; a kind of live for the moment, forget the morning mentality pervading the sound. The singer eases through the song, with the kind of velvet crooning that Pharrell exploits on a regular basis. Glamorous and seductive, yet still upbeat and inspiring, this would be an excellent addition to any house party soundtrack. ME
Release Date: 20 Oct
Press Contact: Darling Dept [all]

Buy from iTunes

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ELTON JOHN PLANS FILM MUSICAL ABOUT AIDS VICTIM
Elton John is planning on writing a movie musical all about a man who has AIDS. The movie would be a comedy and John wants Ben Stiller to play the lead. Whether he'll be watching 'Team America' for inspiration I don't know.

John told reporters: "I've got to try and write a film musical for Ben Stiller. It's about a guy on Broadway who is gay, has HIV and AIDS and has to go back and face his wife and his kids that he left. It's very funny. The premise doesn't sound funny, but it is".

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FRANZ FERDINAND ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM DETAILS
Franz Ferdinand have announced details of their third album. It will be called 'Tonight: Franz Ferdinand' and will be release by Domino on 26 Jan. It was produced by Dan Carey and recorded between the band's own HQ in Govan, Glasgow and Carey's South London studio.

Frontman Alex Kapranos said: "'Tonight: Franz Ferdinand' is music of the night: to fling yourself around your room to as you psyche yourself for a night of hedonism, for the dance-floor, flirtation, for your desolate heart-stop, for losing it and loving losing it, for the chemical surge in your bloodstream. It's for that lonely hour gently rocking yourself waiting for dawn and it all to be even again".

Tracklist:

Ulysses
Turn It On
Kiss Me
Twilight Omens
Send Him Away
Live Alone
Bite Hard
What She Came For
Can't Stop Feeling
Lucid Dreams
Dream Again
Katherine Kiss Me

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NEW FIDDY ALBUM COMES WITH MOVIE
50 Cent's new album 'Before I Self Destruct', out in December, is set to feature guest appearances from Dr Dre and Eminem, and will also include a ninety minute film. Fiddy wrote, directed and stars in the movie, which depicts the struggles of an inner city youth called Clarence, and says of it: "My film captures the harsh realities that reflect so many communities today. There will be some who will greatly identify with the characters and the situations presented and then there will be others who may be shocked at the struggles that go on in the inner city. I made the film for both groups".

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EFTERKLANG START CHRISTMAS EARLY
This week has been dubbed 'Efterklang Gift Week', by Efterklang admittedly, but this is still well worth checking out. The band is celebrating their return to Denmark after tour dates in China by giving stuff away on their website. Monday saw the release of the video for 'Horseback Tenors', Tuesday brought a cover of the band's song 'Redrop' by Josh Childs and yesterday's gift was another video, this time 'Cutting Ice To Snow', directed by New Yorker Jeremiah Zagar. The band are keeping the rest of the week's gifts a closely guarded secret but we're reliably informed that they'll include more MP3's and videos.

Get downloading here

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JACKSON UNITED TOUR AND ALBUM
Foo Fighters' Chris Shiflett is taking his other project, Jackson United, on a tour of the US and the UK, and is about to release a new album, 'Harmony And Dissidence'.

Speaking about the album, he explained that he had drafted in Foo bandmates Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins to help with the recording. "They play drums between the two of them on the new record," Shiflett said. "They're both such ridiculous drummers that they just listen to the song and play it the right way and it's better than anything you could've thought of. There wasn't a whole lot of instruction involved." They won't be joining him on tour, however. "It's one thing to get them to come into the studio for a couple of days", Shiflett continued, "it's another thing to get them to commit to touring for weeks in a van. They're certainly nice guys but maybe not that nice".

He went on to say that he's enjoying the scale of Jackson United, saying: "We're just starting out, people don't know who we are, but that's sort of the fun of it for me. This is definitely as diametrically opposed to the Foo Fighters as I think you could possibly be. You're playing to like 100 people in a bar and they don't know who the fuck you are. You gotta earn it".

The album has just come out in the US and is scheduled for release in the UK on 3 Nov. The band will play a number of UK tour dates to coincide with the release.

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THE STREETS ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
The Street will tour the UK in the new year to promote the latest album, 'Everything Is Borrowed'. Tickets go on sale tomorrow.

Tour dates:

22 Jan: Liverpool, Academy
23 Jan: Lincoln, Engine Shed
27 Jan: Cambridge, Corn Exchange
28 Jan: Brighton, Dome
29 Jan: London, Brixton Academy

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BADDIES GIGS, SINGLE LAUNCH, ITC SESSION
Three things you need to know about starting-to-buzz band Baddies. Firstly they have a number of gigs coming up in the next few days around the UK. Secondly, they officially launch new single 'Battleships' in London on 27 Oct, and the venue for that has just been changed to the Camden Barfly. And thirdly, they were rather good at last week's In The City, both at their showcase gig and when they called by the MUZU room at the Midland Hotel and did a couple of acoustic tracks. You can see their MUZU acoustic rendition of the new single right now in the In The City Sessions bit of the CMU-Tube by clicking on the screen at www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk or via www.muzu.tv/cmutube. And if you want to see more ITC sessions from MUZU, check out www.muzu.tv/inthecity.

17 Oct: The Boiler Room - Guildford
18 Oct: Sanctuary - Panic @ 4444 - Birmingham
19 Oct: Barfly - Liverpool
23 Oct: Rock City - Nottingham
27 Oct: Single Launch @ Camden Barfly- London
18 Nov: Hoxton Bar & Grill - London

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - Kitsune Maison Compilation 6 (Kitsune)
And so comes the latest release from trendsetting French label Kitsune, whose line of electro-dance compilations was coming worryingly close to stagnating with its constant production line of remarkably similar volumes. Fortunately, however, Kitsune have changed pace for this latest release. Whilst never steering too far from their tried and tested formula of popular electro acts like Digitalism and Fischerspooner, 'Compilation 6' tries something different by using a themed selection of tracks, under the moniker of "the melodic one". Gone are the over encompassing basslines and samples, replaced with a symphony of often ingenious hook-driven songs. Swedish electronica duo Lo-Fi-Fnk provide a strong opener which sets the tone for the rest of the collection, soaring melodic harmonies driven by some of the best electrobeats Kitsune has produced. Whilst the big names on this release are undoubtedly Digitalism, Etienne de Crecy and the like, it is through the unknown acts that this album proves its worth. Sydney-based Pnau conjure shades of MGMT with their psychedelic vocals backed by oh-so-quirky but progressively enjoyable background synths, whilst autoKratz could possibly be the missing link between Justice and Hot Chip, with their track 'Stay The Same' destined for dancefloor greatness. It's not all positive, however, with the compilation unbalanced, to say the least. For every hidden charmer there is an equally unimpressive filler track on show, but overall it works well as a strong mix with a melodic theme that adds much needed variety to this line of releases. TA
Release Date: 27 Oct
Press Contact: Nile-on [all]

Buy from Amazon

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WELLER CHOSEN FOR UNIVERSAL'S FIRST BEEB ARCHIVE RELEASE
Universal has revealed more details about its previously reported tie up with the BBC which will see the major and the broadcaster collaborate to make recordings by Universal artists on BBC programmes of old available to the public through CD and DVD releases and online.

The first release under the partnership will be 'Paul Weller Live At The BBC', which will feature a range of Weller performances from across the BBC archives presented in a variety of box set formats, including a four CD set, a triple vinyl set and a DVD. I'm assuming Weller himself is backing the archive release - though once recording for Universal's Polydor Records, Weller was most recently signed to independent V2, though, of course, that brought him back to the Universal fold last year when they acquired the indie.

It's not clear how many other BBC archive releases are being planned by Universal under their new partnership with the Corporation, or whether the Weller release is seen as some kind of pilot for the new venture.

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UNIVERSAL EXPAND QTRAX DEAL
More Universal Music, and the major has announced it has extended its deal with ad-supported legit file sharing service Qtrax to include Europe, Asia/Pacific, South America and Africa. The previous agreement from May only covered North America.

Qtrax, of course, had an embarrassing start to the year when they announced they had signed all the majors up to their legit P2P service, only for all four majors to come out and say they had done no such thing. That said, the deals have since been done, though with the service still in beta and only really available in the US, it's still too soon to say whether Qtrax will get the long talked about licenced P2P model off the ground.

Confirming the expansion of their Universal deal, the boss of Qtrax parent company Brilliant Technologies, Allan Klepfisz, told reporters: "UMG is the largest music company in the world and has shown great vision and leadership in a landscape that is rapidly changing. We are thrilled that Universal has chosen to lead the way forward with us internationally soon giving music fans everywhere access to UMG's tremendous music catalogue".

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OTHER RADIO FIRMS PULL OUT OF SECOND NATIONAL DAB NETWORK
Although called 4Digital and led by Channel 4, the second national digital audio broadcasting network had other media firms involved too, so in theory C4's previously reported decision to pull out of DAB completely doesn't have to mean that second national DAB service won't go live.

Though, it probably won't. Talk is that the other companies involved, BSkyB, Bauer, UTV, UBC Media and Carphone Warehouse, all of whom were going to launch a new station to appear on the network, are all getting cold feet about the whole venture now that majority shareholder Channel 4 is out of the picture.

Whether the probable collapse of the second national DAB network will have any impact on other DAB services remains to be seen - with the exception of the BBC, many radio firms are now shying away from DAB-only services.

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MIXMAG PICK BEST DANCE VIDS
Mixmag have posted what they consider to be the 50 Best Dance Music Videos Of All Time on their website, so if you're a fan of lists, who fancies spending the day moaning because your personal favourite isn't listed, then head over to www.mixmag.net/forums/best-dance-vids and see what they've chosen.

The good news is that you'll find some lesser known stuff in the list. Mixmag told CMU: "Most times you see 'The Best Dance Music Video' shows on digital music channels it's the same old crap that are not actually good, artistic or moving videos. We've decided to show that there is more out there so along with obvious choices like Fatboys 'Weapon of Choice' are lesser known (and certainly lesser broadcast) videos such as Alex Gopher's 'The Child', UNKLE Feat Thom Yorke's - 'Rabbit In Your Headlight', The Avalanches' 'Frontier Psychiatrist', Simian Mobile Disco's kissing version of 'Hustler' and The Whitest Boy Alive's 'Golden Cage'".

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LAVIGNE AND WHIBLEY NOT DIVORCING
Avril Lavigne's husband, Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley, has issued a statement denying that the couple are splitting up.

A statement issued on his website reads: "On 20 Oct the National Enquirer issued a gossip story surrounding Deryck Whibley and his wife Avril Lavigne. For the record, we strongly deny the inference of marital problems between Avril and Deryck. We also strongly deny the National Enquirer claims of any other liaisons. Deryck has in fact been travelling through Asia performing with Avril as evidenced by the numerous YouTube videos. Says Deryck Whibley: 'I'm actually very surprised that so many media outlets picked this story up. Since when did the National Enquirer become a trust-worthy news source?'"

In our defence, we got the story from the usually highly reliable Sun.

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MEL C ASKS FOR BECKHAM'S WEDDING HELP
According to The Daily Star, Mel C has asked her former bandmate Victoria Beckham to plan her previously reported planned summer 2009 wedding. Which sounds like a mistake, to me. I mean, when Posh and Becks got married, didn't they have thrones and stuff? But what do I know? Beckham apparently now has loads of experience in this area, having helped out the likes of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise and Cheryl and Ashley Cole with their wedding plans.

Anyway, here's what the tabloid quote one of those no-doubt-close-to-the-subject sources: "Mel and Victoria have become very close since the Spice Girls reunited last year. And she knows that Victoria has the contacts and the ideas to make her big day extra special".

Meanwhile, the other former Spice Girls are keen to chip in. The source continued: "They're all keen to offer advice and assistance. But Mel doesn't feel close enough to the band to ask them to be bridesmaids or maids of honour. So she and Victoria have decided all the girls should be invited as guests, rather than giving them special roles".

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