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TODAY'S NEWS

Top Stories

Kraftwerk man quits band
Courtney Love album not released
Jackson, not dead, maybe leaving Macca Beatles tunes in will
Allen to be new Dr Who sidekick?
In The Pop Courts
DMX pleads guilty
Winehouse called to Norwegian court
Manson calls Reznor to trial
Obituaries
Eartha Kitt's daughter on last days
In The Studio
Bono bored of himself
Williams gets advice from Jones
Slipknot frontman to go solo
Prince launches new website to preview new material
Release News
Willie at the wheel, naked
Efterklang and Slaraffenland release free EP
Whitest Boy Alive album
Royksopp album news
Gigs N Tours News
Guns N Roses to tour? No way!
Grateful Dead to tour
Festivals News
Jail guitar project heads for SXSW
The Music Business
Record sales down, Universal still top
RIAA end relationship with net monitors
The Digital Business
China to step up net censorship
Steve Jobs thin not dead
The Media Business
UTV Radio local network MD steps down
Chart Of The Day
Total Rock World Album Chart
And finally...
Big Bopper's coffin to be sold on eBay
Wentz doesn't read blogs anymore
Radiohead, Blur rubbish, says Haines
THE CMU WEBSITE...
CMU Daily Archives
Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
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TUESDAY 6TH JANUARY

DR SLAGGLEBERRY
Dr Slaggleberry was formed in 2005 by three drummers, two of whom had the good sense to switch to guitar. Over time their sound has shifted through many forms and influences to become the rhythmic math rock sound they have now adopted. They recently released an EP featuring three session tracks recorded for Xfm last year and will be taking their show on the road this summer. Rich, Chris and Lewis from the band all answered out Same Six Questions.

 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
Chris: I've been playing drums since I was a nipper and been playing guitar for the last few years. Guitar is relatively new thing for me. I started out in a band called Hedroom back in 2000, a funk rock act. That was really fun and we had some great times, but it all came to an end in 2005, that's when I decided to do something completely different. I wanted to play another instrument and do a completely different style, which is what led to Dr Slaggleberry being formed

Q2 What inspired your latest EP?
Lewis: When we released the first EP we weren't quite sure if what we were doing was really cutting the mustard. Obviously it was making us happy playing the songs but we wanted to see what the industry thought. So when we got back great reviews and radio play etc it inspired us to really put the work in a make a great EP.

Chris: The pressure was on not to sound shit on national radio. So we had to pull our fingers out. And knowing that we could do something like that in a couple of months with the pressure on, we think we can do much better with the upcoming album.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating an album?
Lewis: Chris and Rich usually get together and put the main riffs and rhythms together, then I get together with Chris and write some guitar parts whilst Rich perfects his drum idea. Then it all goes to The Slag Factory (our studio), we get together as a band and change it all around, turn it upside down and back to front and get the finished product.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Lewis: I really like King Crimson's more recent work; Robert Fripp's more metal dissonant approach has influenced my guitar parts in a big way. I also like Sikth a lot... along with a lot of other metal. I'm also quite into funk and am a big fan of G Love And Special Sauce.

Rich: Mostly experimental rock music, such as Behold, The Arctopus, Meshuggah and Blotted Science to name just a few.

Chris: I like Sleepy Time Gorilla Museum, Peter Gabriel, Korn, Primus, etc.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Lewis: Stick it on and have a listen. Like a lot of experimental music/prog/math metal - whatever you want to call it - it takes a few listens to hear all the different layers and understand what's going on. It's not background music.

Rich: If you like challenging music that is off the wall, you will enjoy. If u don't, probably best to stick to Metallica.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest EP, and for the future?
Lewis: Create an album that we are really proud of. Then tour it loads and keep on creating!

Chris: To improve, both as a band and as individual musicians. And to release a quality product that we can be proud of.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/drslaggleberry

 

CMU'S TIPS FOR 2009: RUMSPRINGAOkay, a band who play Americana tinged with funk and hip hop may not sound like a good idea but, trust me, it really is. Not dissimilar to Cold War Kids with a bit of Modest Mouse, particularly in frontman Joey Stevens' vocals, the duo's debut EP features six songs that are so good, you can almost hear the blogosphere's collective heart beating faster. The lead track on their MySpace page, 'Shake 'Em Loose Tonight', is a good place to start to ease you into their sound, before heading into the more mind-blowing realms of 'Goldmine'. The ground is now being prepared for the debut album, with Rumspringa activity being ramped up over the next few months. Expect these guys to become award-laden come 2009's end of year polls.

www.myspace.com/rumspringa

 

 

KRAFTWERK MAN QUITS BAND
Kraftwerk's Florian Schneider has announced that he is quitting the band. Schneider was one of the band's two co-founders, the other being songwriting partner Ralf Hutter, who will continue on with the remaining members. The group announced the news via their website but gave no indication as to the reasons for Schneider's decision to leave. It's thought he's planning to focus on solo work. The rest of the band will join Radiohead when they tour the Americas starting in March this year, as planned.

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COURTNEY LOVE ALBUM NOT RELEASED
Courtney Love's MySpace administrator has left a message for fans addressing the fact that the singer's new album was expected to be released on 1 Jan, but wasn't. Love was quoted in an interview with Elle magazine as saying that the new LP, 'Nobody's Daughter', would be out exclusively via download on New Year's Day, and when the recording didn't appear, fans were left disappointed.

Sort of clarifying the situation (but not quite), the aforementioned administrator explained that a 1 Jan release was the original plan, but says "guess what kids, that obviously did not happen", and then continues: "Some of you guys have expressed your utmost disappointment and I don't blame you for feeling let down, some angry and sad, and as Courtney's Myspace administrator, I felt the need to come on and address the matter. The fact is, Courtney Love is a true artist, and as most true artist, the true artist simply communicates from within. That special place that Courtney holds so deep, especially for her fans is a really honest haven that exhibits skill, versatility, self-discipline, formal and conceptual rigour, and a commitment to excellence. A commitment to giving you guys the best she has and will give you".

All of which presumably means she didn't manage to get around to finishing it on time. It's now expected to be out later in the year.

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JACKSON, NOT DEAD, MAYBE LEAVING MACCA BEATLES TUNES IN WILL
Michael Jackson has reportedly left the Beatles back catalogue to Paul McCartney in his will in a bid to end the bitter feud between the two former collaborators that has rumbled on ever since Jacko beat Macca to buy the rights to 200 Beatles songs back in 1985.

The story goes that it was McCartney who first suggested to Jackson that he use some of his mounting fortune to buy publishing rights to songs because that, the former Beatle reckoned, was the safest investment in music. What Macca did not expect, however, was that Jacko would follow that advice and promptly counter-bid against McCartney and Yoko Ono when they tried to buy ownership of the Beatles catalogue when it came up for sale in 1985 (the Fab Four having long since lost control of their songs by that point).

Jackson bid higher and won ownership of the catalogue, eventually merging it with Sony's publishing company to create SonyATV. McCartney's been a little bit bitter about it ever since, and was once quoted thus: "You know what doesn't feel very good, is going on tour and paying to sing all my songs. Every time I sing 'Hey Jude', I've got to pay someone". You can see his point, it must be a bit gutting.

McCartney's bitterness towards Jackson was back in the news over Christmas after rumours the BBC had had to cut a bit of an interview they'd done with the former Beatle because when Jacko was mentioned in a question Macca responded in a high-pitched Jackson style voice which the Beeb thought might be considered a bit offensive. Or something like that.

The Daily Mail quoted a source thus: "McCartney started to reply in this high-pitched Jacko voice, and apparently it was very funny. But the BBC - deeply nervous, perhaps because of the Jonathan Ross-Russell Brand affair - has declined to broadcast the interview. They say it's a 'trans-racial impression' - that's what they say in a memo - and even by Macca that is beyond the pale". It should be noted a BBC spokesman denied the story to Gigwise, but it shows that Jackson/McCartney tensions are still newsworthy.

Which brings us back to Jackson's will. The Daily Mirror reports that Jacko will leave his estate to his three children, but that his stake in the Beatles songs will go to Macca. Another source is quoted, this time saying: "Michael told his lawyers he was sad he no longer talks to Sir Paul and said he wanted to make things right".

It's not clear if Jackson intends to leave McCartney all of his 50% stake in Sony/ATV, or just his half of the Beatles catalogue. Either way McCartney (or his children if he were to die before Jacko) would only actually get Jackson's half of the Lennon/McCartney classics and maybe not even that, given the constant rumours Jacko will at some point be forced to sell some or all of his share of SonyATV to pay off his reportedly substantial debts. Still, any share of the Beatles publishing rights is not to be sniffed at. And of course, if nothing else, the McCartney family having even a minority interest in those songs would really piss of Yoko, which would be amusing.

Given how other-worldly Jackson looks these days we probably shouldn't be surprised that he, a 50 year old man, is leaving things in his will to McCartney, a 66 year old man. Though I'm sure Jacko's people would like me to point out that, even though rumours of his will are being reported, the singer is not dying, as was also rumoured over Christmas. Those rumours were along the lines that Jackson had some sort of rare lung disease and was at death's door. Jacko's people quickly issued a statement telling us that those rumours were a "total fabrication", adding: "Mr Jackson is in fine health, and finalising negotiations with a major entertainment company and television network for both a world tour and a series of specials and appearances".

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ALLEN TO BE NEW DR WHO SIDEKICK?
Well, probably not, actually. Reports are claiming that Lily Allen is being considered for the role of a Dr Who sidekick, but it actually seems based on the fact that the producers wouldn't particularly rule it out. The BBC are looking for a new assistant for the new incarnation of the Doctor, who will be played by relative newcomer Matt Smith as of 2010, and sources claim that the likes of Kelly Brook and Rachel Stevens are being considered for the role.

Executive producer Piers Wenger told the Daily Telegraph: "Having got the casting of the Doctor out of the way, the companion role is where we will be looking next. Someone terribly exciting like Billie Piper, who was at the beginning of her acting career but who had a profile for other reasons, would be great. We are looking for someone whose light can burn brightly."

Responding to the suggestion that Allen could be that someone, he continued: "We would never cast anyone on the basis of their celebrity, but if Lily wanted to audition we would be delighted. It would be a lot of fun".

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DMX PLEADS GUILTY
Elusive rapper DMX has pleaded guilty to charges of animal cruelty, theft and drugs offences as part of a plea deal that will see him avoid a lengthy prison sentence.

As previously reported, some of the charges stem from a raid on the rapper's Phoenix home in August 2007, during which sheriff's deputies discovered three dead dogs, guns, ammunition, drugs and drug paraphernalia. The theft charges arose after DMX gave a false name and Social Security number following treatment at a Scottsdale hospital. Arrest warrants have twice been raised for the star after he failed to show up for court appearances.

As part of the plea agreement, DMX is now not allowed to own animals or firearms and is required to attend an animal offender treatment programme. He is also expected to serve a 90 day prison sentence and will not be given credit for time served between his December arrest and sentencing on 30 Jan. If (when?) he violates any of the terms of his release, DMX could face up to 10 years in prison.

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WINEHOUSE CALLED TO NORWEGIAN COURT
Amy Winehouse has been summoned to Norway to appear in court on those old charges of possession of marijuana. As previously reported, she was arrested in the city of Bergen along with her husband Blake Fielder-Civil and her hairdresser, back in October 2007 after being found with seven grammes of the drug. The three were released after paying a fine of £294, although Winehouse later disputed the fine.

Winehouse is now expected to stand trial in Norway on 12 Jan. Prosecutor Rudolp Christoffersen said: "I was informed by British police on 23 Dec that [Winehouse] has been legally summoned, and we expect that she will be there when the trial opens on 12 Jan".

Christoffersen said that a summons had also been sent to Fielder-Civil, who is currently in prison in London, of course, and that British police were attempting to locate the whereabouts of Winehouse's hairdresser.

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MANSON CALLS REZNOR TO TRIAL
Marilyn Manson's ongoing legal battle over royalties with former keyboard player Stephen Bier, aka Madonna Wayne Gacy, is due to come to trial on 2 Feb. Manson is reportedly calling some celebrity witnesses, including his former label boss and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and his ex-wife Dita Von Teese, to bolster his case.

As previously reported, Bier claims that Manson told him that the band was not making much money, cutting off his salary, credit card access and refusing to pay his medical bills for work-related problems, before embarking on a two year spending spree between 2004 and 2006, buying items including a $2 million house, coat hangers used by Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva Braun's handbag, African masks made of human skin, the full skeleton of a four-year-old Chinese girl, the full skeleton of a 17th Century male in a wheelchair, a $450,000 engagement ring for Von Teese, drugs and drug treatment. It's also claimed Manson used money from the band's coffers to fund the production of his upcoming film, 'Phantasmagoria: The Visions Of Lewis Carroll'.

Manson, who fired Bier from the band in 2007, countersued in December 2007, saying that Bier had breached his contract by not participating fully in recording, performing live or selling band merchandise. Manson also claims that the partnership between the original band members, of which Biers is one, was dissolved in 1996. But Biers maintains that he is entitled to a share of the group's revenues and is seeking over $20 million in damages.

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EARTHA KITT'S DAUGHTER ON LAST DAYS
Eartha Kitt's daughter Kitt Shapiro has spoken to The Enquirer about her mother's last days.

Shapiro, who nursed Kitt around the clock for the last weeks of her life, is quoted as saying: "I had the most amazing mother. She was not afraid of dying. She was in pain, but funny right to the end. One of the last things she said when I was talking loudly to her - like you do to a sick person - was: 'I'm dying. I'm not losing my hearing!'"

Kitt died on Christmas Day at the age of 81, after suffering with colon cancer for several years. Born Eartha Mae Keith in South Carolina, she began her career as a member of the Katherine Dunham Company before achieving renown in the fifties with hits like 'Santa Baby' and her version of 'Let's Do It'. She was also active in the film and TV world in addition to her singing career, and took a number of roles on Broadway. Her career suffered in the sixties, however, mainly as a result of her public opposition to the Vietnam war.

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BONO BORED OF HIMSELF
If Bono is bored of himself, what hope do the rest of us have? Well, help could be at hand. Or not. I'm guessing not. The U2 frontman says that he has written all the lyrics for the band's forthcoming new album in the guise of fictional characters because he has nothing interesting to say as himself.

Bono told Q: "I'm bored of Bono and I am him - I'm sick of me. I felt it was a little limiting to be in the first person".

Characters on the album include a war correspondent and a French police officer who goes AWOL.

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WILLIAMS GETS ADVICE FROM JONES
Tom Jones has revealed that he recently gave Robbie Williams a motivational pep talk and recorded some new songs with him. The singers both live near each other in LA and have seemingly struck up a friendship.

Jones told The Mirror: "With Robbie he asked me: 'How do you keep going? I'm starting to wonder about it whether it's for me'. It's because I love it I told him. But Robbie says sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes he gets a bit down and said once 'sometimes I don't feel like I'm any good'. I told him to just enjoy it, don't worry about it and stop taking it so seriously".

On the new material they recorded together, Jones says he does not know if it will appear on Robbie's next album. He explained: "I live just down the road from him so he said, 'Do you fancy coming over and recording some stuff with me?'. He's got a portable recording studio in his bedroom so that's where we did it. He was writing with some English mates of his. We did a song, he was rapping on it and I was singing on the chorus but I don't know what he wants to do with it".

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SLIPKNOT FRONTMAN TO GO SOLO
Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor has announced that he is to take a break from the band, and his other band Stone Sour, in order to record a solo album.

He said: "It's something that I'd like to do purely for myself. It's something that I need to release before I can think about moving on to anything else. In both Slipknot and Stone Sour I'm slightly limited to how I can write and indeed what I can write about. The beauty of doing a solo album is that I can write whatever type of song I want".

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PRINCE LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE TO PREVIEW NEW MATERIAL
Following those LA Times reports yesterday that Prince plans to self-release three new albums this year, news today that the Purple one has launched a new website - www.lotusflow3r.com - which he calls an "entirely new galaxy" but which I think will actually be the place where he previews and sells his new tunes. Actually, he's got three new(ish) songs streaming there already - 'There'll Never B (Another Like Me)', 'Here Eye Come' and a cover of Tommy James And The Shondells 'Crimson And Clover'. As previously reported, the three albums Prince has planned for 2009 will include a rocky one, an electro one and a soulful one, he plans to self-release them all, and is currently negotiating an exclusive distribution deal with a US retailer.

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WILLIE AT THE WHEEL, NAKED
Willie Nelson is also reportedly planning to be a little bit productive this year. He hasn't got three albums in the pipeline just yet, but will release two in the next quarter. Though one is a remix album, so perhaps not that productive. The first, of new material, is a collaboration with US country outfit Asleep At The Wheel. The remix album will feature reworks of his recordings from 1966-1970, will be called 'Naked Willie', and will reportedly have as its artwork a picture of Willie in the bath which the country star apparently took himself on his iPhone. The first one is out next month, the remix album in March.

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EFTERKLANG AND SLARAFFENLAND RELEASE FREE EP
CMU favourites Efterklang and fellow Danes Slaraffenland have released a free live EP for download. The EP features four tracks from the first (and possibly last) performance from hybrid band Slaraffenklang at this year's Sono Festival, which took place in November.

The Efterklang-owned label Rumraket explains: "Slaraffenklang is the mutant band of Efterklang and Slaraffenland. There are 12 musicians on stage, all men, and the songs performed are covers of Efterklang and Slaraffenland. Sometimes just louder and more rumbling versions and sometimes in new slightly new arrangements".

Download the EP here.

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WHITEST BOY ALIVE ALBUM
Whitest Boy Alive, the side project of Erlend Oye of Kings Of Convenience, have announced that they'll release a second album 'Rules' on 3 Mar. They are expected to announce a series of UK live dates in support of the release.

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ROYKSOPP ALBUM NEWS
And Talking of Norwegians, Royksopp have revealed a tracklisting for their new album, 'Junior', which is set for release on 23 Mar, and features guest appearances from Lykke Li and Robyn. A single, 'Happy Up Here', will be out on 9 Mar.

Here's the tracklist.

Happy Up Here
The Girl And The Robot
Vision One
This Must Be It
Röyksopp Forever
Miss It So Much
Tricky Tricky
You Don't Have A Clue
Silver Cruiser
True To Life
It's What I Want

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GUNS N ROSES TO TOUR? NO WAY!
Guns N Roses guitarist Richard Fortus has denied saying that the band are set to head out on a mammoth two year world tour with a number of free shows incorporated into it. He was quoted by a St. Louis, Missouri newspaper, The Telegraph, as saying that the band were preparing to begin touring in March, but insists that what he said was taken out of context.

In a statement, Fortus said: "Okay, it seems that I am being misquoted once again. I never said that GNR would be playing St. Louis, nor did I say that we will be doing free shows or that we are starting a two year tour in March! Selective hearing. Never said it".

The band are, in fact, going to be heading out on a 15 year tour to make up for lost time. Possibly.

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GRATEFUL DEAD TO TOUR
Four of the surviving members of The Grateful Dead are to regroup for a 19 date US tour later this year. Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kruetzmann have toured occasionally since the death of the band's frontman Jerry Garcia in 1995 but differences both musical and personal have always halted any long term plans.

The group, who now call themselves just The Dead, have revealed to Rolling Stone that they are back on friendly terms again, after working together on a benefit concert for Barrack Obama back in October. They will be joined by Gov't Mule and the Allman Brothers Band's Warren Haynes on lead guitar and Ratdog's Jeff Chimenti on keyboards for the live dates, which will begin on 12 Apr in North Carolina.

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JAIL GUITAR PROJECT HEADS FOR SXSW
The people involved in Billy Bragg's previously reported prison outreach project, the Jail Guitar Doors scheme, have been invited to programme a strand at South By South West this year, to mark the arrival of the interesting prison programme in the US. They know a thing or two about programming things, given they are also the people behind Glastonbury's Left Field. They are still finalising a line-up for their event contribution, but say they've spoken to Foo Fighters and Reverend and The Makers, amongst others.

The prison scheme, which is operating in twenty UK institutions and which gets prisoners involved in music projects in an attempt to reduce rates of reoffending, is to begin in two US jails in 2009. The scheme's Geoff Martin says of their invite to SXSW: "We are dead chuffed that South By South West, one of the biggest of the global music festivals, have given us the nod to bring our blend of great music and social justice campaigning across the ocean."

Elsewhere in SXSW news, a number of acts have been announced for the March event in Austin. Primal Scream are amongst those set to appear, as are, Ben Harper, Relentless7, Ra Ra Riot, Friendly Fires and Courteeners.

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RECORD SALES DOWN, UNIVERSAL STILL TOP
2008 saw record sales slump again, with worldwide figures expected to be the worst since the early eighties.

Insiders estimate that overall UK record sales, which have seen somewhat less decline than in other territories in recent years, slumped 10% last year. If that's true, the Times reckons UK record sale revenues, including download sales income, would be down for the year to about £1.33 billion. Reports suggest a big part of that slump is down to a fall in profit margin. The market is down 2% in terms of units shifted (albums are down just over 5%, but singles, as in single-track downloads, are up 35%), but price cutting on the high street and the net has had an impact on wholesale prices.

In the US the number of units shifted is down even more steeply - 8.5% according to the Times - which would presumably result in overall revenues in that market being down more than the 10% we've seen over here.

A result of these trends is that the industry is more and more reliant on a handful of major releases, because the big albums are selling at consistent and occasionally record breaking levels, while the slump tends to affect middle-selling albums. So in the UK Duffy's 'Rockferry' and Take That's 'The Circus' ensured the slump wasn't as bad as it could have been, while Lil Wayne provided a boost for the US market.

All of which is good news for Universal, who distribute all those artists' music, and who maintained their position as the biggest music company of them all last year (though with a marginal drop in market share in the US).

In terms of market share, the Times estimate the UK market is split up as follows, in reverse order (last year's figures in brackets)...

Universal 33.9% (31.6%)
Independents 23.2% (23.9%)
Sony 17.6% (18.1%)
EMI 14.3% (15.8%)
Warner Music 11% (10.5%)

In the US we have Neilsen Soundscan stats to mull over, who tell us that album market share was as follows...
Universal 31.5% (31.9%)
Sony 25.3% (25%)
Warner 21.4% (20.3%)
Independents: 12.9% (13.5%)
EMI 9% (9.4%)

While the digital download market split up as follows...
Universal 31.8% (33.8%)
Sony 23.5% (23.3%)
Warner 20.9% (20.5%)
Independents: 15.4% (14.8%)
EMI 8.4% (7.7%)

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RIAA END RELATIONSHIP WITH NET MONITORS
The Recording Industry Association Of America has formally ended its relationship with MediaSentry, the online monitoring service used by the trade body and who tracked the illegal sharing of music and gathered evidence for the association's many many many lawsuits against suspected sharers.

The move comes as the RIAA changes its approach to combating online piracy, rejecting excessive litigation in favour of trying to find a way to work with internet service providers on the issue, as in the UK. That said, according to the Wall Street Journal, the RIAA has engaged a Copehagen based IT firm called DtecNet Software ApS who will assist with any future online monitoring.

Some have mused that the RIAA's break away from MediaSentry was a response to claims that the IT firm's methods were legally questionable, though the RIAA's Jonathan Lamy stressed to Digital Music News that the decision was "a simple business decision" and not related to any allegations made against their former partners.

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CHINA TO STEP UP NET CENSORSHIP
The Chinese government is seemingly preparing to step up its internet censorship activities amid their increasing fears the growing popularity of the net in the country could reduce the government's ability to control the flow of information to the people. Officials are reportedly particularly nervous that, with the economy slowing and the twentieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre upcoming, dissidents in the country will be even more motivated to use the internet to promote their political causes.

Officially China's Ministry of Public Security and six other government agencies yesterday announced a campaign "to clean up a vulgar current on the internet and name and expose a large number of [websites] violating public morality and harming the physical and mental health of youth and young people". It named 19 internet operators, including popular search engines Baidu and Google, which it said had failed to "swiftly purge vulgar content and ignored warnings from censors". Official censors are expected to get more power and resources to aid their fight against such content and companies, with threats that persistent offenders will face closure being hinted.

While officially designed to combat "vulgar" content on the net, it is widely thought officials will be able to use their increased power to step up political censorship. Alas, for the record and movie companies in the West more bothered about the rampant internet piracy in the country - aided by Baidu and Google search engines which specifically link to illegal content sources - the country's net regulators seem less concerned about violations in that domain.

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STEVE JOBS THIN NOT DEAD
Apple boss Steve Jobs has admitted that a "hormone imbalance" has caused him to lose weight. The admission follows months of speculation about the Apple chief's health, rumours that have caused the Apple share price to wobble such is the belief that the success of the IT firm depends on its charismatic CEO. Jobs says he is now receiving treatment for the condition, and will continue to head up the firm. Apple's share price went up 3.4%.

The announcement follows previously reported news that Jobs would not give his traditional keynote speech at the Macworld conference in San Francisco this week, for a few years now an important annual event in any Mac-fan's calendar. That announcement led to more worries about the health of Jobs - who has previously had to overcome cancer - though the computer company stressed the CEO's decision not to speak was part of their partial withdrawal from the Macworld-magazine-organised conference which, they say, is no longer a major part of their marketing activity.

In an open letter Jobs said he had lost weight during 2008 but that his doctors had now diagnosed that the hormone imbalance is the cause. He has already begun treatment for the condition, and his doctors say he should start to regain weight in late Spring.

Following on from the letter, Apple issued a statement telling reporters: "As we have said before, if there ever comes a day when Steve wants to retire or for other reasons cannot continue to fulfill his duties as Apple's CEO, you will know it".

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UTV RADIO LOCAL NETWORK MD STEPS DOWN
The Group MD for UTV Radio's local stations division, Chris Hurst, is to leave the radio firm, after eighteen years with the company. Hurst was seen as playing a key role in expanding UTV's place in the local radio market, increasing the firm's assets from one to seventeen stations.

Confirming his departure, part of "ongoing restructuring" at UTV's radio division, Hurst told reporters: "I have had the pleasure of working alongside some very talented individuals and we have had some tremendous high points... I wish everyone at UTV all the best for the future".

UTV said in a statement: "Chris has been a longstanding and popular member of the team and all at UTV wish him the very best with his future endeavours".

Hurst will continue to be Chairman of Chester radio station Dee 106.3 in which UTV Radio has a stake (it carries UTV programming overnight) though which isn't officially part of the UTV local radio network (at least I don't think it is).

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

1. Nickelback - Dark Horse (Warner/Roadrunner)
2. AC/DC - Black Ice (Sony/Columbia)
3. Guns n Roses - Chinese Democracy (Universal/Geffen)
4. Metallica - Death Magnetic (Universal/Mercury)
5. Linkin Park - Road To Revolution (Warner Bros)
6. Kid Rock - Rock - N Roll Jesus (Warner/Atlantic)
7. Slipknot - All Hope Is Gone (Warner/Roadrunner)
8. Fall Out Boy - Folie A Deux (Universal/Island)*
9. Rise Against - Appeal To Reason (Universal/Geffen)
10. Linkin Park - Minutes To Midnight (Warner Bros)
11. AC/DC - Back In Black (Sony/Columbia)
12. Disturbed - Indestructible (Warner/Reprise)
13. Mudvayne - The New Game (Vibrant)
14. Guns n Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)
15. Status Quo - Pictures 40 Years Of Hits (Universal)
16. Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (Warner/Roadrunner)
17. Queen - Greatest Hits 1,2,3 (EMI)
18. Hinder - Take It To The Limit (UMG)
19. The Offspring - Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace (Sony Music)
20. Cradle Of Filth - Godspeed On The Devil's Thunder (Warner/Roadrunner)

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BIG BOPPER'S COFFIN TO BE SOLD ON EBAY
A coffin occupied by 50's DJ and singer, The Big Bopper, for nearly 50 years is to be sold on eBay by his son this month. As well all know, The Big Bopper, real name JP Richardson, was killed in the same plane crash that killed Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens in 1959. His body was exhumed in 2007 in order to be moved from its original site at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Beaumont to a new site under a life-sized statue of the star.

Richardson settled into his new grave in a new coffin, and the old one has since been on display in the Texas Musicans Museum in Hillsboro, Texas. His son, Jay, who was still unborn when his father died, told the Beaumont Enterprise newspaper: "I have no personal use for the casket. When you get down to it, it is just a metal box. More important is what this particular metal box represents. In another 200 years, will people care about rock 'n' roll? Who knows? But why would I want to destroy it? Even though it was Dad's resting place for 48 years, it's also a unique opportunity to learn more about the early years of rock 'n' roll".

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WENTZ DOESN'T READ BLOGS ANYMORE
Pete Wentz has said he doesn't read the gossip blogs any more for fairly obvious reasons. He told Blender: "I was letting the blogs get to me. It's semi-frustrating when your name actually becomes a synonym for douche bag".

On the subject of anxiety, he added: "I'm paranoid pretty much all the time. I can take three Xanax and not feel a thing".

Which can't be good.

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RADIOHEAD, BLUR RUBBISH, SAYS HAINES
Former Auteurs singer Luke Haines has said some negative things about various bands in his forthcoming autobiography, 'Bad Vibes: Britpop And My Part In Its Downfall', which is being serialised by The Times.

He describes Radiohead as the "most heinous of creatures", adding that they're "a heavy rock outfit, fright-wig and all", calls Oasis "mindless northern bluff", and adds that Blur are "habitual bandwagon jumpers" who presented "a masterclass in media complicity".

I don't think he's out to make friends with this, to be honest.

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