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TODAY'S NEWS

European parliament questions SonyBMG approvals

Woolies to close in new year
Akon pleads guilty to harassment over fan throwing incident
Sabbath man sues Live Nation
Swedish hip hop artist pleads not guilty to murder
Whitney sued by stepmother
Madonna and Ritchie deny fifty million report
Nine Inch Nails not made for torture
Rock N Roll Fantasy Camp line up announced
New Warchild album in the works
No No Doubt album until 2010
Morrissey album to be released via Lost Highway in the US
Frightened Rabbit live album, dates
Antony And The Johnsons announce UK tour dates
Strummerville Christmas benefit party this weekend
Brecon Jazz Festival company folds
Nambucca burns down, well, almost
Jobs not to appear at Macworld 2009
Amazon second in US download market, just
BACS chairman re-elected
MTV HD services goes live on Sky
Edinburgh Talk to close
Cohen prefers Lang's Hallelujah
Cowell more famous than God
Soulja Boy tells em he's sorry
Lily on terrible TV show and Take That non-collaboration
Chris Martin on Coldplay splits
Is K-Fed seeing Britney? Or someone else? Or no one?
Buy Snoop Dogg's old shed on eBay
ON THE NETWORK...
CMU Daily Archives
Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
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THURSDAY 18TH DECEMBER

HANNAH HOLLAND
Hannah Holland has risen up the ranks as a highly regarded DJ and is the star of Bastard Batty Bass, a club that Time Out has named "one of London's finest", and resident at club night Trailer Trash. IDJ magazine have also picked her as one of 2009's 'producers to watch'.


 

Her addiction to bass has ensured that her DJ sets are full of beats that make you shake, and that has extended into her career as a fledging artist, with the release of her debut single 'Banshee' on 8 Dec. Hannah took a few moments from her hectic schedule to answer the Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I've always wanted to, and after years of DJing I decided to give it a go. I already had a little experience of making music, playing bass in a band as a teenager. I learnt by playing along to jungle and dub basslines.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
When I started DJing in clubs I played a lot of after hours gigs. 'Banshee' was a nod to those dancefloors - deep warm and twisted. There are a few classic rave sounds in there, which just make me feel all funny inside, like I was 14 again!

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
I find the sounds to work with and play around with loops, to get the basic idea and vibe. Then I take it to my engineer and we chop, add, edit, structure.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Hype, Trentemoller, Benga, Bassbin Twins, Laidback Luke, ESG, Basement Jaxx, quite a variety of artists.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Shake ya batty!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single/album, and for the future?
I'm launching my own label, Batty Bass Records, next year, with lots of tunes and remixes from myself, Woogie, MC Chickaboo, Mama Shamone, Solo and more! I'm working on a few remixes including Yo Majesty!, a new track for Playtime and I hope to do a Batty Bass album at some point.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/hannahholland

 

ALBUMS OF THE YEAR: WHY? - ALOPECIA
Why?'s previous album, 'Elephant Eyelash' was one of the most blogged about underground albums of 2005, and spawned its own internet hit single with 'Rubber Traits'. A follow-up that lived up to expectations was never going to be an easy thing to pull off, but 'Alopecia' managed almost effortlessly. Joined again by his brother Josiah and Doug McDiarmid, main man Yoni Wolf also drafted in Fog's Andrew Broder and Mark Erickson for this album. Together, the five recorded these fourteen new songs live, giving Wolf's off-kilter, half-rapped, half-sung vocals the required loose and peculiar backing. A collision of psychedelia, indie guitars, folk, pop and hip hop, the music is a mix of tinkling toy pianos, swelling guitars, rattling chains, trundling drums and shuddering bass. The sheer catchiness of every song on 'Alopecia' and the vivid pictures Wolf paints with his words have kept me coming back to it again and again since I got hold of a copy way back in January.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/whyanticon

Losing track? You can keep up with the CMU team's top ten albums of the year on the CMU website here.

 

 



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.

 

 

INTERNSHIP AT LEYLINE PROMOTIONS
Leyline Promotions are seeking an enthusiastic, web-savvy intern for their PR and Events Management departments. Internships last up to 3 months for 3-5 days per week, depending on the candidate. A contribution towards travel will be provided. Candidates must have a keen interest in indie, alternative, rock, electro and dance music. Email Tamsin with a CV and cover letter - tamsin@leylinepromotions.com

INTERNSHIP AT UNLIMITED MEDIA
UnLimited Media is seeking and intern to begin working with us in the new year. The successful candidate will work primarily on CMU projects, helping process and manage review CDs, update databases, expand the CMU Directory and assist on upcoming marketing programmes. These are unpaid positions, but interns will get an unrivalled introduction to the music and media businesses, editorial, administration and marketing experience, and the opportunity to make great contacts. To apply send a CV and a short note telling us what you'd like to get out of an internship to recruitment@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

 

 

OK, so it's stage two of the CMU Track Of The Year poll. Below are the ten most-voted-for tracks in stage one. Now all you have to do is email the name of your favourite from this lot to 2008@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk.

The Final Ten:
Alphabeat - Fascination
Elbow - One Day Like This
Foals - Cassius
Florence & The Machine - Dog Days Are Over
Glasvegas - Geraldine
Hot Chip - Ready For The Floor
Katy Perry - I Kissed A Girl
MGMT - Time To Pretend
Sam Sparro - Black & Gold
Santogold - L.E.S. Artistes

Go on, it's easy, just email the name of your favourite track from this list to 2008@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk - and look out for the announcement of the overall winner in next Monday's CMU Daily, the CMU Review Of The Music Year. Happy voting.

 

 

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT QUESTIONS SONYBMG APPROVALS
The elected European Parliament has challenged the European Commission about it's speedy decision earlier this year to allow Sony Music to buy Bertelsmann out of the two companies' joint venture record company, SonyBMG, which put the second biggest music firm in the world into the ownership of one organisation, Sony Corp.

They also question the Commission's wider policy regarding allowing such big companies to be created in the music and cultural industries without safeguards to protect smaller independent firms - in essence questioning the approval of the SonyBMG merger in the first place.

As much previously reported, the merger of Sony Corp and Bertlesmann's respective record companies to create SonyBMG in 2004 was not without controversy. Pan-European indie label trade body IMPALA said the creation of a company as big as SonyBMG was anti-competitive and should not be approved by the Commission (who have the power to block such deals). When the Commission then OKed the merger, without conditions, IMPALA went to the European Courts who ruled in the trade body's favour, agreeing that the Commission had failed to sufficiently investigate the merger before giving it the green light and ordering them to reinvestigate the proposals. That they did, subsequently approving the merger for a second time. IMPALA are currently appealing that Commission decision too.

When Sony Corp announced it was taking complete ownership of SonyBMG (which will become just Sony Music Entertainment again in January) IMPALA issued a formal objection, but has not taken legal action because it is already fighting two cases in relation to SonyBMG - the aforementioned appeal of the Commission's second decision, plus Sony's appeal of the European Court's decision regarding the Commission's first decision. You're keeping up with this right?

Anyway, the European Parliament has demanded that EC Commissioner for Competition, Neelie Kroes, who oversees all this, answer the following questions regarding Sony's dominance in the music space, and the more general issue of protecting independent players in the cultural sector.

1. Why didn't the Commission carry out an in-depth investigation when it adopted its last approval decision (re Sony buying BMG out of SonyBMG)?
2. What is the Commission's strategy for making sure that SMEs have market access in concentrated sectors like music?
3. Will the Commission adopt new rules or guidelines on how competition policy should be adapted to the specificities of cultural markets such as music?

Welcoming the European Parliament's moves, IMPALA said in a statement this morning that it continued to fight the dominance of companies like Sony "on both political and commercial levels, as well as judicial". Collective bargaining operations like Merlin is an example of the 'commercial level', while on the political front IMPALA said: "We will also continue to ask the Commission to reform competition rules, and investigate the structure of the music market and the impact that this is having on the development of the critical online market".

They concluded that such activity was essential because their predictions about "the consequences of excessive concentration have indeed come true. The combined market share of Universal and Sony for chart albums in key territories such as the UK is over 80%".

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WOOLIES TO CLOSE IN NEW YEAR
Stock pile your pick n mix, because there's a very high chance Woolworths will be no more as of 5 Jan. Administrators for the faltering retailer have announced that if no buyer can be found by that date they will have to close down the whole company, leading to the closure of 800 plus stores and the loss of 27,000 jobs.

Deloitte, who have been looking for a buyer for the retail chain and its CD/DVD distribution company eUK since they went into administration last month, have said they are still talking to some parties who are interested in acquiring parts of the Woolies empire, but that they have nevertheless put a shutdown plan into operation in case no deals can be done.

Stores are likely to start closing from 27 Dec, with the whole chain shut down by the 5 Jan deal deadline. Yesterday's announcement regarding the Woolworths retail business follows the announcement last week that no buyer had been found for distribution business eUK leading to its closure.

Although the future of Woolies has been insecure for sometime, its closure is still a landmark in the history of British music retail. Woolworths was once the biggest music seller on the high street, and even as it started to lose market share to specialist music retailers like HMV and the Virgin Megastore, and the supermarkets, it still played an important role in the sector by providing many of those new and growing competitors through eUK.

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AKON PLEADS GUILTY TO HARASSMENT OVER FAN THROWING INCIDENT
Akon has pleaded guilty to harassment in relation to that incident last June when he threw a fan off the stage at a gig near New York, injuring another fan in the process.

As much previously reported, Akon told Anthony Smith, a fan he believed had thrown something at him during a gig in the US town of Fishkill, to come up on stage. He then picked Smith up and threw him into the audience, injuring one Abby Rosa in the process. At the time it wasn't clear if Smith was playing along with the whole thing - making it essentially an elaborate stage dive - or whether the hip hop star had basically assaulted his fan. Either way, Rosa, who says she suffered concussion as a result of the incident, wasn't impressed.

Akon apologised for the incident last year, but initially pleaded not guilty to the charges relating to it. Yesterday, though, he accepted the harassment charges as part of a plea bargain which will ensure he serves no jail time in relation to the fracas. He was instead fined $250 and ordered to do 65 hours of community service.

According to Rolling Stone, Akon spoke to Smith after entering his plea at Fishkill Town Hall. Smith himself reportedly seemed happy to consider the matter resolved, though his father seemed a little more pissed off at the hip hopper in relation to the incident.

It's not clear what Rosa thinks about the latest development. She had reportedly considered legal action in relation to her injuries, and Akon's guilty plea could improve her case in a civil action.

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SABBATH MAN SUES LIVE NATION
Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi is suing Live Nation for trademark infringement.

In the complaint, filed at the US District Court in New York on Tuesday, Iommi alleges that Signatures Network, a merchandising company purchased by Live Nation in 2007, has continued to sell items featuring images of the band and their trademarked logo after the expiration of a licensing agreement.

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SWEDISH HIP HOP ARTIST PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO MURDER
Swedish hip hop artist David Moses Jassy appeared in court in Los Angeles on Wednesday charged with the murder of musician John Osnes.

It's alleged that the killing came about as the result of what's been described as a road rage incident; the rapper's rented SUV drove into a pedestrian crossing as Osnes was using it, it's said, prompting the 55 year old musician to slap the front of the car. This apparently led to an altercation in which Jassy left his vehicle, punched Osnes and kicked him in the head, then ran over him as he drove away.

Jassy is still in custody over the incident, which took place on 23 Nov, with his bail set at $1m. His attorney Donald Etra said that he "recognises the seriousness of the offence".

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WHITNEY SUED BY STEPMOTHER
According to reports, Whitney Houston is being sued by her stepmother over the wishes of her late father John Houston. Barbara Houston claims that Whitney kept the proceeds of his $723,000 insurance policy following his death in 2003, when she was in fact supposed to pay off the mortgage on the condominium where her stepmother still lives, and hand over the remaining money. No comment from Whitney's people on the matter.

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MADONNA AND RITCHIE DENY FIFTY MILLION REPORT
First Madonna reportedly wasn't going to pay Guy Ritchie a penny in their divorce settlement, then she was paying him a record breaking £50 million, now she's paying him, well, somewhere between zero and £50 million.

Madonna and Ritchie yesterday said they are both happy with their divorce agreement in a joint statement issued by the film director's publicist. However, the statement added that those reports earlier in the week quoting Madge's US spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg, which said the singer was giving her ex £50 million as part of the divorce settlement, are untrue. Specifics of the arrangement between the couple are and will remain private, they added.

The statement read: "We have tried to maintain a dignified silence regarding the details of our divorce for the last few months whilst accepting the obvious media interest. A misleading and inaccurate statement, specifically in relation to the sums of money involved, was wrongly issued to AP this week. The financial details of the settlement will remain private, save to say that both of us are happy with our agreement".

As previously reported, there were originally reports that the Madonna/Ritchie divorce could turn nasty once the couple had admitted their marriage was over, with speculation that Ritchie might fight for and win a record cash settlement. However, their choice of lawyers suggested custody of the couple's children was always the primary issue (ie they chose lawyers who specialise in custody negotiations), and a formal agreement regarding the divorce was actually reached very quickly and without much stress.

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NINE INCH NAILS NOT MADE FOR TORTURE
Trent Reznor has condemned the US military after discovering that Nine Inch Nails tracks had been used for the purposes of torture. Of course, he's just the latest of a number of artists to hit out after discovering their music is used by the US military in a bid to force enemy soldiers to reveal information. As previously reported, the UK Musician's Union have been spearheading a campaign via their equivalent bodies around the world to put pressure on governments to stop the use of music as a torture device.

Writing on the NIN website, Reznor said: "It's difficult for me to imagine anything more profoundly insulting, demeaning and enraging than discovering music you've put your heart and soul into creating has been used for purposes of torture. If there are any legal options that can be realistically taken they will be aggressively pursued, with any potential monetary gains donated to human rights charities. Thank GOD this country has appeared to side with reason and we can put the Bush administration's reign of power, greed, lawlessness and madness behind us".

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ROCK N ROLL FANTASY CAMP LINE UP ANNOUNCED
A line up for the next Hollywood-based Rock n Roll Fantasy Camp, which brings together musicians from all levels to hang out doing music together, has been announced. The list of big names set to appear at the 2009 event, taking place from 29 Apr-3 May, includes Velvet Revolver's Duff McKagan, Mark Farner, formerly of Grand Funk Railroad, former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick, Slim Jim Phantom of Stray Cats and Yes's Alan White.

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NEW WARCHILD ALBUM IN THE WORKS
A new War Child charity compilation, entitled 'Heroes', will be released in February, it has been announced. The album had been due for release last month, but was delayed to give participating artists more time to finish their tracks.

The finished product will feature tracks from U2, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Scissor Sisters, Duffy, Elbow, Hot Chip, Beck, Rufus Wainwright and The Kooks, amongst others. The full tracklisting will be released next month and the album will be released by Parlophone on 16 Feb, with proceeds going to protect children living in war zones.

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NO NO DOUBT ALBUM UNTIL 2010
No Doubt have announced that they will not release a new album until 2010, in order to concentrate on touring. The band recently regrouped following a hiatus to make way for frontwoman Gwen Stefani's solo career.

Drummer Adrian Young told MTV: "We've been working on a new record off and on now for a bit of time, and we're going to continue to work on a new record next year. We're going to start touring in the spring of 09 through the summer, and we're going to continue to work on music while we're travelling. [We'll have] a mobile studio on the bus and eventually get to a new No Doubt record".

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MORRISSEY ALBUM TO BE RELEASED VIA LOST HIGHWAY IN THE US
Morrissey has done a US record deal with Universal's Lost Highway, home to Ryan Adams and Willie Nelson among others, who will release his upcoming new album 'Years Of Refusal' in the States, in liaison with the singer's own label Attack. Universal UK label Polydor will handle the release here and elsewhere.

For collectors of tracklistings, here's the 'Years Of Refusal' tracklisting. Feel free to print it out and put it on your wall.

Something Is Squeezing My Skull
Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed
Black Cloud
I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
All You Need Is Me
When Last I Spoke to Carol
That's How People Grow Up
One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell
It's Not Your Birthday Anymore
You Were Good In Your Time
Sorry Doesn't Help
I'm OK By Myself

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FRIGHTENED RABBIT LIVE ALBUM, DATES
Frightened Rabbit are to release a live album 'Quietly Now ! - Midnight Organ Fight Live and Acoustic At The Captain's Rest', on 30 March, and have announced a series of live dates to coincide with the release.

The band, whose Christmas Single, 'It's Christmas So We'll Stop', is out this week, will hit the road for the following 2009 dates:

27 Mar: The Castle Keep, Newcastle
28 Mar: The Canteen, Barrow
29 Mar: The Musician, Leicester
30 Mar: Glee Club, Birmingham
31 Mar: The Captain's Rest, Glasgow
15 Apr: Scala, London

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ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS ANNOUNCE UK TOUR DATES
A set of Antony & The Johnsons dates have been announced for next summer, the first UK dates since 2005. They are as follows:

21 May: Brighton Dome
22 May: Birmingham Symphony Hall
24 May: Bristol Colston Hall
27 May: London Hammersmith Apollo
29 May: Gateshead The Sage
1 Jun: Belfast Waterfront
4 Jun: Edinburgh Playhouse

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STRUMMERVILLE CHRISTMAS BENEFIT PARTY THIS WEEKEND
Strummerville have announced a Christmas benefit party, set to take place at The Tabernacle in West London on 21 Dec. The line up for the event includes live acts The Rotten Hill Gang and The Riff-Raff plus DJ's Jaguar Skills and Oscar The Punk. Advance tickets are £10 and doors open at 6.30pm. See www.strummerville.com/news.php for more info.

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BRECON JAZZ FESTIVAL COMPANY FOLDS
The company behind the Brecon Jazz Festival is being wound up, throwing the future of the 25 year old jazz fest into doubt. Organisers say that poor weather impacted on on-the-day ticket sales at their 2008 event, and they also suffered because the death of pianist Esbjorn Svensson of headline Swedish act EST just weeks before the event left a "serious hole in the programme". That, coupled with the failure of possible sponsorship deals to come through, have taken the company to the brink.

A statement from the festival's board said: "[Disappointing ticket sales] in turn affected income from camping, stall fees and merchandising. A number of promised sponsorships and grants did not materialise and broadcasting and advertising income was lower than planned".

Although in theory another company or promoter could resurrect the event, some wonder if this latest development might be the end of the Brecon Jazz Festival.

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NAMBUCCA BURNS DOWN, WELL, ALMOST
The North London venue where The Holloways first came together, Nambucca (which is on the Holloway Road, hence the band's name), almost burned to the ground on Tuesday night. A fire ripped through the building at about 10.30pm and it took most of the night for fire fighters to bring it under control. No one was hurt, but the building is reportedly badly damaged, especially the basement which was apparently gutted. It's not clear what this means for the venue, where sixsevenine signings We Smoke Fags also formed, and which regularly hosted indie gigs featuring the likes of Babyshambles, The Long Blondes and Kid Harpoon. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

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JOBS NOT TO APPEAR AT MACWORLD 2009
Apple have announced that top man Steve Jobs will not deliver the keynote address at the big Macworld conference in San Francisco next month. Macworld is traditionally the event where the computer firm makes some of its biggest product announcements, with Jobs' keynote speech normally a highlight.

The news he won't be there has revived those previously reported rumours that Jobs isn't well - gossip which impacts on the IT firm's share price because of a belief among the investment community that the CEO is one of the company's biggest assets.

However, while the Macworld conference is specifically focused on the Mac (like the magazine it is essentially a spin off from), it is not an official Apple event, and the IT firm says that it plans to make less of a splash at the trade show in the future because it no longer considers it to be a key channel for reaching consumers. In fact Apple doesn't anticipate being at the conference at all in 2010. Next year's Apple involvement will include a speech from the company's VP of Worldwide Product Marketing Philip Schiller.

Asked for the reason behind Jobs' decision not to appear at the convention, an Apple spokesman said this: "Phil is giving the keynote because this will be Apple's last year at the show, and it doesn't make sense for us to make a major investment in a trade show we'll no longer be attending".

As previously reported, concerns have been expressed for Jobs' health in recent months, some referencing the pancreatic cancer he recovered from in 2004. Apple deny their top man is ill. Health issues may not be the only reason for Jobs to step back from his Macworld gig - some reckon it is just a sign that Apple haven't got any ground breaking new products planned for 2009.

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AMAZON SECOND IN US DOWNLOAD MARKET, JUST
Amazon's MP3 download service is now second place in the US digital music market, albeit some way behind iTunes, and pretty much equal with eMusic and Real's Rhapsody.

As much previously reported, those in the music industry who dislike Apple's market dominance in the digital music space (they have over a 70% market share) have long hoped that Amazon are the one brand who can successfully take on iTunes, especially as the demographic buying digital music expands.

In fact the major record companies were so supportive of Amazon's late-in-the-day attempts to enter the digital download market that they dropped their long-held attachment to digital rights management technology so that the etailer could ensure its digital music offer was iPod compatible (the only DRM technology that works on the market leader iPod is Apple's, which is only made available to the iTunes Music Store).

Rating where download stores sit in the market is a bit tricky because of the different business models that exist, but Amazon's equal second place status has been stated by the Wall Street Journal.

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BACS CHAIRMAN RE-ELECTED
The British Academy Of Composers and Songwriters has re-elected David Ferguson as their Chairman. He has already headed up the trade body for six years.

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MTV HD SERVICES GOES LIVE ON SKY
MTV have launched their high definition channel MTVNHD in the UK. The global channel, which broadcasts out of Poland, albeit in English, is ad-free and is now available via Sky on channel 384 as part of Sky's HD package.

MTV Exec VP David Lynn told CMU: "The launch of MTVNHD in the UK and Ireland underlines our commitment to provide the audience with high quality programming. From launch MTVNHD will provide an unrivalled destination where people can watch and listen to the greatest live music performances for which we are famous".

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EDINBURGH TALK TO CLOSE
UTV have announced they will close down Edinburgh-based talk station Talk 107 after they failed to find a buyer. The media firm had already indicated they'd shut the station and hand back its FM licence to OfCom if a buyer couldn't be found. There had been talk of a management buyout but that seemingly faltered.

Confirming the station would go, UTV Radio boss Scott Taunton said this: "It is disappointing that after an exhaustive search we have not been able to find a buyer for Talk 107. We explored a number of options, including a proposed management buyout, but none proved to be viable. So unfortunately we have been left with no alternative but to close the station. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff of Talk 107 for their dedication and professionalism during these uncertain times. They have continued to produce entertaining, challenging and informative radio and I wish them all success in their future endeavours".

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COHEN PREFERS LANG'S HALLELUJAH
So, with all these versions of Leonard Cohen's song 'Hallelujah' getting some exposure as the new X Factor winner version heads for the Christmas number one spot, which version does the man himself prefer? Well, Alan Pedder, editor of Wears The Trousers magazine, tells us that when he interviewed the singer songwriter's other half, jazz musician Anjani Thomas, earlier this year, she revealed: "After hearing kd lang perform that song at the Canadian Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 2006 we looked at each other and said, 'well, I think we can lay that song to rest now! It's really been done to its ultimate blissful state of perfection'. I don't think I could even try it, because it's been so magnificently done. Really, I think all the versions out there are such a testament to his songwriting talents, wherever that gift comes from".

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COWELL MORE FAMOUS THAN GOD
Simon Cowell is more famous than God, according to a silly survey of 1600 kids under the age of ten (all from Luton, I think). When asked to name the most famous person in the world more replied "Simon Cowell" than anyone else. Ah, so that's who watches 'X Factor'. Cowell beat God, who came second. The Queen came third, and another mythical character, Harry Potter, came fifth. Which of the other three is mythical you can decide for yourself. Though I've long believed Cowell not to be real.

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SOULJA BOY TELLS EM HE'S SORRY
US rapper Soulja Boy Tell 'Em, who hit the charts last year with 'Crank That (Soulja Boy)' has apologised to parents for some of the risque content of that single, and says he'll try harder in future.

The eighteen year old star said in an interview:"Over the past few months, I've had a chance to meet a lot of my fans face to face and it made me realise that I got a large fan base of kids that look up to me. I have a greater responsibility to the kids that want to be like Soulja Boy (and) I need set a positive example for them."

He adds that he doesn't think it's all his responsibility, saying he wouldn't call himself a role model for children, though he said he's try to be a better person anyway. He continues: "I think parents or a guardian should be a kid's main role model, but from now on, I'm going to make sure that every kid that looks up to me will get a positive image that the kids and parents can trust".

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LILY ALLEN ON TERRIBLE TV SHOW AND TAKE THAT NON-COLLABORATION
Lily Allen has said her BBC Three chat show was a 5/10 programme, adding that it was a waste of licence fee payers' money. See - I knew that Lily Allen was more intelligent than you might first think. The Sun quotes Allen thus: "It was a period when I decided not to be a singer or go on tour. I made a lot of money out of it. Thank you, licence payers - that was very nice of you. You think Russell Brand is your problem. Actually, it's me". Despite those comments, BBC Three have commissioned a second series of the show. Perhaps they're hoping that if they pull out all the stops they could have a 6/10 show this time round.

Elsewhere in Lily news, she's revealed that she wanted to collaborate with Take That and that they were up for it, but the collaboration was blocked by the Thaters' management. Lily: "I love Take That so much I ripped off one of their songs for my new album. I went to dinner and they were at the same restaurant. I went up and said, 'Hi, I've ripped off a song of yours'. I asked them to sing on it and they were like, 'Yes'. Elton [John] called Gary Barlow and asked him to do it but the manager said no".

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CHRIS MARTIN ON COLDPLAY SPLITS
Chris Martin has said in an interview with The Mirror that Jo Satriani's recent lawsuit claiming that the band had copied one of his songs caused Coldplay to split up. But then get back together again. And in fact, it wasn't the first time during the group's current tour that a split has occurred.

The frontman is quoted as saying:"We have split up on this tour. Every time we do, we get back together about 20 minutes later - we don't even have time to announce it. How many times has it happened this tour? Probably six or seven. Each time we say, 'This is it! This is the last show!' But then you have a fun show and everyone shuts up. The last time it happened... well, even our publicist wouldn't have found out about it."

I could make some kind of sarcastic comment about how it's a good thing the public don't get wind of these short-lived band splits (widespread disappointment when the truth is revealed, etc) but I've not got time. There's Christmas shopping to be done. Not to mention the need to report on this second story about how Martin claims that he travelled on the underground to his recent gig at the O2, and that he often does this sort of thing.

He told the tabloid: "No-one recognised me. I just...kept my head down and got off with everyone else. But then security stopped me at the door and I had to explain who I was. That was a bit embarrassing. I like getting the Tube sometimes to walk into our own gig. You get charged up from the atmosphere".

Back to the Satriani story for a second, and some have been commenting on how EMI have been having those mash ups posted on YouTube to show the similarities between the two songs taken down, on the grounds of copyright violation. Which is a tad ironic. And rather unnecessary if you ask me - it just makes the label look paranoid. And rather petty.

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IS K-FED SEEING BRITNEY? OR SOMEONE ELSE? OR NO ONE?
According to Look magazine, Britney Spears and Kevin Federline, who divorced last year, are on the verge of getting back together. A source said: "Kevin has been staying over a lot but I don't think it will be long until they are living together full-time again. They have slipped back into their old relationship really easily. Kevin is excited about living with Britney again because he finds it tough being a single dad. She is thrilled because she can have her kids back and a relationship with someone she trusts. Britney and Kevin have come to realise they still love each other. They have been seeing a counsellor and have drawn up a list of rules so they can improve their relationship".

An in what areas could such a perfect couple improve, you no doubt ask? Well, the source goes on: "When Kevin was with Britney, he spent his days golfing, going on holidays and driving the Ferrari she bought him. But Kevin maintains it's Britney - not her money - he cares about. He is proud of Britney and how well she is now. He thinks she is the girl he fell in love with again. He really believes they have a future together".

But all that will all have to wait for a couple of weeks, because Federline is going away for Christmas with his new girlfriend, volleyball player Victoria Prince. Or that's what Metro reports. The pair apparently met through his bowling team.

Of course, there's a chance he's not be seeing anyone, but that's just idle speculation.

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BUY SNOOP DOGG'S OLD SHED ON EBAY
I don't have a garden, but if I did, I'd definitely buy this. Every garden needs a celebrity's old shed, don't you think? Viewers of the rapper's US reality TV show 'Snoop Dogg's Father Hood' will apparently know that Snoop has had the shed in his garden for some time, and retreats there when he needs some quality time alone. But the "Dogg House" was recently upgraded to a newer model, so this one is surplus to requirements, hence the sale.

Says Snoop: "I've had this shed since the turn of the century. I've watched football tapes, seen the Lakers win championships, and, most of all, written hits in it".

US readers can see the final TV appearance of the shed on E! this Sunday. If you just can't face a life of not seeing it any more after that, then place your bids, here. All proceeds from the sale will go to Snoop's Youth Football League.

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