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TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Ticketmaster change TicketsNow promotion after Springsteen anger
Black Eyed Pea's brother murdered
Pete Doherty to lecture the kids
In The Pop Courts
Jim Jones pleads not guilty over Ne-Yo altercation
Jackson and Rihanna sued
Obituaries
The Cramps man dies
Charts, Stats & Polls
New full-on classical chart launched
Reunions & Splits
Plant on why Led Zep reunion is a no no
In The Studio
Will Elton appear on new Eminem long player?
Reverend planning solo album
Release News
Marilyn Manson announces new album title
Metric are back with album and free download
First UK Sellaband artist launches album
Gigs N Tours News
Vessels announce UK tour dates
Fightstar tour
Festival News
Blur to headline T
TignesFest showcases new music for free
Reviews
Album review: Crystal Stilts - Alight Of Night (Angular Records)
Brands N Stuff
50 Cent planning beauty product range
The Music Business
Essential form alliance with Rocket Science
More post-Pinnacle new distribution deals
The Digital Business
Norway end investigations into iTunes DRM policy
The Media Business
Kangaroo is officially dead
Former Epic boss moves into telly
And finally...
Bobby Brown to be a father again
E Street band mimed too
Obama bumped for more weighty Jessica Simpson story
Who will be the new X Factor judge?

Clarkson not a secret lesbian

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THURSDAY 5TH FEBRUARY

BELLIGERENCE
Hailing from Portsmouth, Belligerence formed with the simple aim of making the kind of music they'd like to hear. A handy side effect of this is that they've made the kind of music other people would like to hear too, including Radio 1's Daniel P Carter and 6music's Tom Robinson, who have both aired tracks from the band's debut EP, 'We'll Cut Our Own Path', out on 23 Feb via Salt Water Home Records. With influences ranging from all four corners of rock, they churn out an impressive noise that will have plenty coming back for more. We caught up with vocalist Tim Brock and guitarist David Harvey to ask those Same Six Questions.

 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
Tim: I started my career in music playing recorder at Slough town hall in the mid 1980's. There my road into rock n roll started. Far too lazy to learn an instrument properly, I decided I wanted to be a lead vocalist but no one would have me so I started a band with Dave who I met in a guitar shop.

David: Got a guitar... went from there!

Q2 What inspired your latest EP?
Tim: I find it difficult answering that one, nothing and everything.

David: A few beers, the best grooves and just being around all my mates.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Tim: David or Craig [Copland, bass] or both come up with a riff. We jam it out to explore it and then sort a structure whilst jamming it out.

David: Usually mess about for a couple of weeks jamming, not really doing anything in particular, stumble across a riff, song gets written in five minutes.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Tim: For me a big mix of everything not just rock and metal, Down, Clutch, Orange Goblin, Black Sabbath, Marvin Gaye, Daft Punk, Mars Volta, anything I like I listen to, simple really no need to be snobby about it.

David: Metallica, Iron Monkey, Charger, Clutch, Down, anyone that's groovy!

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Tim: You'll either love it or hate it, either way we'll keep playing it!

David: Just rock out and enjoy.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest EP, and for the future?
Tim: The EP sets out what we are about, though we're fully aware there's more in the tank. These are the first songs we wrote with Craig, so we want to build on that and hopefully get a few more people down to shows, which is where we're strongest. For the future we'll be keeping it heavy, getting our groove on and working pretty hard.

MORE>> http://www.myspace.com/belligerencerock

 

SIX TOES
I was lent Six Toes' 'Trick Of The Night' LP last week and it's been a regular fixture on my stereo ever since, and with good reason. There's haunting, delicate, rich instrumentation afoot, with finger-picked guitar and the cavernous sound of the double bass coated with sweetly textured cello and violin, particularly on the title track, which is perhaps their most engaging offering. Most impressive, however, is the octave-shifting vocal of Ben Rogers, who has already - understandably - been compared to Anthony Hegarty, easily moving from shivering quaver to parts where his vocal is too good to be mere spoken word, yet the grace of his delivery would almost suggest otherwise. It might be considered hyperbolic by some, but I'm convinced the term 'spellbinding' was coined to describe such a sound.

http://www.myspace.com/sixtoes1

 

 

 



TICKETMASTER CHANGE TICKETSNOW PROMOTION AFTER SPRINGSTEEN ANGER
Ticketmaster chief Irving Azoff had to pull himself away from the rumoured Live Nation merger talks yesterday to apologise for problems in his company's selling of tickets for an upcoming Bruce Springsteen tour in the US. And, having pissed off one of the country's biggest music stars, he seemingly felt the need to make an on-the-fly change-in-strategy decision regarding the co-promotion of Ticketmaster's secondary ticketing service on its primary ticketing website.

He issued an apology after Springsteen's official website posted a message accusing the ticketing giant of deliberately and misleadingly redirecting fans to their secondary ticketing resale site TicketsNow. Springsteen's people commented after a number of the singer's fans complained that when they tried to buy tickets for one his shows via the Ticketmaster website they consistently got an error message, which then redirected them to TicketsNow, where they could buy tickets on the secondary market off online touts, but at a considerable mark up (Ticketmaster, of course, take a cut of that mark up on their TicketsNow site).

A statement from Springsteen and his band said they were "furious" that their fans were being redirected to TicketsNow from their official tickets site, adding: "We perceive this as a pure conflict of interest. Ticketmaster is there to ensure that we have a good, fair sale of our tickets at their face value plus normal ticketing charges".

It's not the first time Ticketmaster, who got into the secondary ticketing market last year by acquiring TicketsNow in North America and Get Me In Here in the UK, have come under criticism for redirecting fans from official ticket sale webpages to unofficial resale auctions. The Consumers' Association Of Canada recently described the practice as "a conflict, a monopoly and unconscionable".

Ticketmaster say they provide the link to TicketsNow only when their main site is unable to sell primary tickets for an event, either because they are not an agent for that event, or because all primary tickets are sold out. They argue that is an added value service for consumers keen to get tickets by any means. However, in the case of the Springsteen tickets, it seems that fans were redirected to the sister website when the primary site was simply unable to cope with demand, ie because of bandwidth rather that ticket availability issues.

Either way, with Springsteen et al on the war path, Azoff quickly issued a statement apologising profusely, and pledging to restrict the occasions when the Ticketmaster website points consumers to TicketsNow, and to only offer the secondary ticketing option where an artist approves.

He wrote: "While we were genuinely trying to do the right thing for fans in providing more choices when the tickets they requested from the primary on-sale were not available, we clearly missed the mark. Fans are confused and angry, which is the opposite of what we hoped to accomplish. We sincerely apologise to Bruce, his organisation and, above all, his fans".

He continued: "We recognise that we need to change our course. We have committed to Bruce and state publicly here that we have taken down all links for Bruce's shows directing fans from Ticketmaster to TicketsNow. This redirection only occurred as a choice when we could not satisfy fans' specific search request for primary ticket inventory, but to make sure there is no misunderstanding in the future, we also publicly state that we will never again link to TicketsNow in a manner that can possibly create any confusion during a high-demand on-sale. Specifically, we will not present an option to go to TicketsNow from Ticketmaster without the consent of the artist and the venue, both of whom work together to bring the joy of live entertainment to millions of fans".

And he concluded: "If any fans inadvertently purchased tickets in the resale marketplace believing in error they were purchasing from the initial on-sale, we will refund the difference between the actual purchase price and the face price of the ticket. (Please don't abuse this good faith gesture - we did not give brokers any preferential access to tickets). We are committed to helping deliver the most transparent and best live entertainment experience to fans. We will do better going forward".

So there you go, if you want quick action on something, just send in Springsteen who is, it seems, really the boss.

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BLACK EYED PEA'S BROTHER MURDERED
The brother of Black Eyed Pea apl.de.ap was murdered in the Philippines yesterday. Joven Pineda Deala was the youngest brother of apl.de.ap, real name Allan Pineda Lindo, and he was reportedly shot dead in the northern town of Porac, in the country's Pampanga province, while sitting in a car near his girlfriend's home. Police are investigating the crime and no official announcement has been made on it, though E! Online allege the shooting may have been the result of a feud between Deala and another man after being caught up in some kind of love triangle. Rapper producer Lindo is expected to return to his home country to attend his brother's funeral.

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PETE DOHERTY TO LECTURE THE KIDS
Pete Doherty will give a lecture to members of Trinity College in Dublin's University Philosophical Society tomorrow afternoon. Since the society was formed in the 17th century, it has played host to many big name speakers, including Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, John McCain, Salman Rushdie and Desmond Tutu. So, you know, just the normal kind of people you'd associate with Pete Doherty.

According to the society's website, Doherty will "talk life, love and much more" and interested parties are invited to "come for a taste of what a rock 'n roll (hopefully minus the sex and drugs) lifestyle entails".

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JIM JONES PLEADS NOT GUILTY OVER NE-YO ALTERCATION
New York rapper Jim Jones pleaded not guilty to misdemeanour assault charges yesterday relating to a brawl involving members of Ne-Yo's entourage on Christmas Eve.

Jones handed himself in to police on 5 Jan after allegations were made of his involvement in an altercation between his posse and that of Ne-Yo at the Louis Vuitton store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan just before Christmas, an altercation which may or may not have also involved a Jay-Z associate who hangs out with the Ne-Yo team.

After yesterday's court hearing in New York, Jones' attorney Scott Leemon told reporters: "I entered a not guilty plea on his behalf and [Jim] was released on his own recognisance". He added that the Assistant DA had requested that a $1000 bail be ordered to be paid, but the judge denied the request.

The case will now return to court on 24 Mar.

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JACKSON AND RIHANNA SUED
Michael Jackson and Rihanna are both being sued by African musician Manu Dibango.

The claim stems from a sample of Dibango's 1972 track 'Soul Makoosa', which Jackson used on his 1983 single 'Wanna Be Startin Something'. The clip was cleared for use on the Jacko release, but when Rihanna used the same sample on her song 'Please Don't Stop The Music', Dibango claims, she only sought permission from Jackson to use it. And it wasn't Jackson's place to give that permission. Because he didn't write that snippet of music. You see the problem? Good.

Anyway, Dibango has now filed a €500,000 law suit in Paris. The case is expected to be heard later this month.

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THE CRAMPS MAN DIES
Lux Interior, front man with influential garage-punk act The Cramps, has died aged 62 due to an existing heart condition, the band's publicist announced yesterday.

Legend has it that Lux, real name Erick Lee Purkhiser, met his Cramps collaborator and later wife Poison Ivy, real name Kristy Wallace, when she was hitchhiking in California and he picked her up. They started The Cramps in 1972, and after relocating to New York became part of the burgeoning mid-70s punk scene that grew up around the legendary CBGBs club.

Although part of that community, in reality The Cramps were creating a scene all of their own, with songs and an act that was more camp, theatrical and sexual than that of many of their contemporaries. Some say they spearheaded somewhat unsatisfactorily-titled genres like 'psychobilly' and 'horror rock', but while it's hard to label the music they created they were certainly influential in their own way, with bands like Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Horrors, The Black Lips and maybe even The White Stripes owing a little to Purkhiser and Wallace.

Various other guitarists and drummers were brought in over the band's thirty year career, with 2003's long player 'Fiends Of Dope Island' the thirteenth studio album of their career. Their quirky (you could say weird) look and attitude meant they attracted a cult following, and a grainy recording of a live show they performed at Napa State Mental Hospital in 1978 certainly became cult viewing. And while they were probably at their peak in the early eighties, they continued to recruit new and loyal fans as the years went by, and even appeared in an episode of the nineties incarnation of 'Beverly Hills 90210'.

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NEW FULL-ON CLASSICAL CHART LAUNCHED
Ever thought to yourself, "Well, it's all very well there being a Combined Classical Album Chart which tracks the sales of albums with at least 60% classical content, but I want to know what albums with 100% classical content are selling the most copies"? I know I have. Well, good news people, the Official Charts Company is launching a new Official Specialist Classical Chart in which only full-on, totally-proper, none-of-that-non-classical-crap-allowed albums will be counted. So, that's that sorted then.

The new chart has been developed by the OCC in association with the BPI's Classical Committee, and the co-chair of that committee, Coda Distribution's Ginny Cooper, is quoted by Music Week thus: "Within the classical sector, there are many first-class performers providing first-class recordings which were not registering on the chart radar as the crossover titles were obviously higher profile and selling more. We felt however, that they were just as valid and wanted to provide an outlet to enable the public to see that sales of pure classical music is still alive and well".

The chart will be published each week on the website of classical music magazine Gramophone.

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PLANT ON WHY LED ZEP REUNION IS A NO NO
Any Led Zeppelin fans disappointed at the lack of a reunion tour and looking for someone to blame, well, I'd blame Jason 'son of John' Bonham, who obviously failed to properly replace his father in the reunited line up.

Well, I'm para-phrasing slightly, but frontman Robert Plant, whose non-participation scuppered plans for a full-on reunion tour, has told Absolute Radio that performing as Led Zep without the late Bonham, who died in 1980 of course, has never seemed right, because without him the band is "incomplete".

Actually, now I'm felling bad about blaming poor old Jason. And the lack of Bonham on drums doesn't seem to be the only reason Plant isn't keen of reforming his old band.

He told Absolute's Ben Jones: "I think the thing about it is really, is that to visit old ground, it's a very incredibly delicate thing to do. The disappointment that could be there once you commit to that and the comparisons to something that was basically fired by youth and a different kind of exuberance to now, it's very hard to go back and meet that head on and do it justice".

He continued: "No matter what you do, you have to really guard the discretion of what you've done in the past and make sure that you have all the reasons in the right place to be able to do something with absolute, total conviction. I mean, if my great award is to do this, then I don't want to do anything where we challenge what we did in the first place by just going back and visiting it without having a new, fresh makeover start".

Ah, I know, the problem is obviously the passing of time - so that settles it, disgruntled Led Zep fans, you need to take out your anger on 'time'. I'm not sure where time lives, though I seem to remember he had a magazine, perhaps it says in there.

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WILL ELTON APPEAR ON NEW EMINEM LONG PLAYER?
Rumour has it that Elton John went into the studio with Eminem last October, and it's now being speculating that the singer will guest on the hip hopper's long awaited new album 'Relapse'. John, of course, dueted with Slim Shady at the Grammy Awards back in 2001 when the rapper was trying to shun allegations of being homophobic.

While none of this has been confirmed by anyone, it seems John was definitely in Detroit last October when Eminem was in town recording the new album. A source tells the Independent: "No one realised the significance, though the Detroit Free Press did mention that Elton had been in town. Elton really gets his music. Anything they produce will be total dope: some of Em's biggest records have been collaborations with mainstream pop stars - Dido on 'Stan', for example - and they really don't come much bigger, or more mainstream, than the man with the red piano".

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REVEREND PLANNING SOLO ALBUM
Reverend & The Makers frontman John McClure has revealed that he is planning to record a solo album. I can barely contain my excitement.

Anyway, McClure told Teletext's Planet Sound: "It's going to be under my own name, and I think Drew McConnell from Mongrel [and Babyshambles, let's not forget] will produce it. I'm looking to do it when I get back from making the Mongrel record in Venezuela. It's just going to be me, an acoustic guitar, just a couple of other instruments and my barest songs".

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MARILYN MANSON ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM TITLE
Marilyn Manson has announced that his new album will be called 'The High End Of Low', a title which, he says, refers to "a self-described state of being that I'm in". Commenting on the new long player on his website, Manson says: "You're going to be fucking freaked. It's the shit", while on the first single release off it he added: "It's nine minutes long and severely sadistic. Basically it's murder, sex, death, the end". Lovely. The album is currently in the mixing stage, though no word as yet on a release date.

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METRIC ARE BACK WITH ALBUM AND FREE DOWNLOAD
Three years after the release of their last album, 'Live It Out', Canadian indie types Metric are back with the follow-up, 'Fantasies' on 20 Apr. This album, their fourth, will be the first released though their own label, Metric Music International, with UK distribution handled by PIAS/Integral.

The first single from the album, 'Help, I'm Alive', will be released on 9 Mar but, by jove, you can get your hands on an acoustic version of it right now as a free download from www.ilovemetric.com.

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FIRST UK SELLABAND ARTIST LAUNCHES ALBUM
The first UK-based artist to secure $50,000 in funding from music investment website Sellaband.com will release his debut album in May. Francis Rodino managed to secure the 5000 pre-orders necessary to secure the cash through word of mouth on the internet in a little over 10 months.

Rodino releases his album, 'Circles & Squares', on 11 May. It will be preceded by a single, 'Burn', on 9 Mar.

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VESSELS ANNOUNCE UK TOUR DATES
CMU favourites Vessels have announced a Rock Sound-sponsored UK tour, which will kick off in April, before the band head out on their first ever European tour.

What's that? You want to hear the 17 minute demo version of 'Wave Those Arms, Airmen' from the band's debut album 'White Fields And Open Devices'? Okay, go on then: vesselsband.com/wp-content/uploads/somnambulance.mp3

Tour dates:

2 Apr: Preston, Mad Ferret
3 Apr: Cambridge, Portland Arms
4 Apr: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
7 Apr: Glasgow, Captain's Rest
8 Apr: Newcastle, The End
9 Apr: Edinburgh, Sneaky Pete's
12 Apr: Reading, Oakford Social Club
22 Apr: London, Buffalo Bar
23 Apr: Cardiff, Buffalo Bar
24 Apr: Barrow In Furness, The Canteen
25 Apr: Manchester, Royal Oak
27 Apr: Brighton, The Albert
29 Apr: fuseleeds 09 Festival

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FIGHTSTAR TOUR
The Fightstar boys are going on tour in April and May, presumably to promote upcoming third album 'Be Human'. Dates as follows...

22 Apr: Oxford, Academy
23 Apr: Bristol, Bierkeller
24 Apr: Peterborough, Cresset
26 Apr: Norwich, Waterfront
27 Apr: Birmingham, Academy 2
29 Apr: Newcastle, Academy 2
30 Apr: Glasgow, ABC 2
1 May: Preston, 53 Degrees
4 May: Exeter, Lemon Grove
5 May: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
6 May: London, Islington Academy
7 May: Manchester, Academy 3

The band also play the Jagermeister Club Night at Rio in Leeds next week, 13 Feb.

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BLUR TO HEADLINE T
Blur are set to headline this year's T In The Park, or so says the NME. The band will join already confirmed headliners Kings Of Leon, Snow Patrol and Katy Perry and top the bill on Saturday night. I'm not sure what that means for the wide speculation Damon et al will headline Glastonbury.

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TIGNESFEST SHOWCASES NEW MUSIC FOR FREE
Okay, so it snows a little in London and suddenly the whole city, and many of the gigs that were supposed to be happening within it, shut down. They don't have such problems in the Alps, though. There's snow aplenty up there, and there will be bands aplenty, too, this spring.

April will see the return of TignesFest, which separates itself from the other festivals happening in the mountains by letting punters in for free. All you have to do is get yourself there.

Curating this year's event are Kissy Sell Out, Eddy Temple Morris and The Loose Cannons, and
artists so far confirmed include Losers, Theoretical Girl, Underground Railroad and Pablo Decoder.

TignesFest take place in Tignes in the French Alps between 15-19 Apr. More info from www.tignesfest.com.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Crystal Stilts - Alight Of Night (Angular Records)
Already superstars-in-the-making in their home borough of Brooklyn (and why wouldn't they be?), Crystal Stilts start the year with the release of their highly anticipated full-length LP, 'Alight Of Night'. With a performance at 2008's CMJ under their belts and a respectable legion of hipster fans behind them, the dark-psychedelia retro-ites are apparently taking nu-gaze and banal, minimalistic garage rock to another level. All cynicism put to the side, 'Alight Of Night' is a dark piece of work emerging from the same place that fellow Brooklynites A Place To Bury Strangers reared their noisy little faces, and there's little doubt they will tire of comparisons to the likes of Joy Division and The Jesus And Mary Chain. At a mere thirty-five minutes, 'Alight Of Night' is a rumbling half hour of static, angular noise pushed sluggishly through a crackling amplifier; 'Crystal Stilts' (was the band named after the song, or the song after the band?) is a delicious mix of surf rock and psychobilly wound down after a few shots of bourbon, 'Verdant Gaze' sounds like the Lou Reed slow-dancing with Sharin Foo, and 'Prismatic Room' is lethargic and cool with its jangling, psychedelic organ melody. The kind of record that will split a room (metaphorically, of course), 'Alight Of Night' is better after its second play, if only to catch the intricacies and small, delicate efforts that Crystal Stilts have put a lot of work into - a lot of work, it seems, to sound lazy. TW
Release Date: 16 Feb
Press Contact: Scruffy Bird [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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50 CENT PLANNING BEAUTY PRODUCT RANGER
50 Cent is reportedly launching a range of beauty products for men, which will be a relief for any man who's been hankering to have skin like that of a rapper. Though if you want skin like a rapper you're probably best heading to the tattoo parlour. But if you're a bit squeamish about such things, well, the Fiddy skin cream collection could be just the thing.

A source told reporters about the hip hopper's latest business venture: "Fifty prides himself on having a ripped body. he's on a health kick and barely touches alcohol. So his range will be for the guy who likes to be pampered".

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ESSENTIAL FORM ALLIANCE WITH ROCKET SCIENCE
Cooking Vinyl's sister company Essential, which provides sales, distribution and label services, has announced a new strategic partnership with a similar US based company, Rocket Science, which will mean the two companies can provide major label style services to indie labels and self-releasing artists in both the UK and North American markets. The first release to take advantage of the new partnership will be The Prodigy's 'Invaders Must Die', which is being released via a JV between the band and Cooking Vinyl next month.

Confirming the partnership, Rocket Science founder Kevin Day said this: "The ability for Rocket Science to seamlessly move projects into the UK and Europe with tangible services attached and for Essential to do the same into the US offers an amazing platform for success for all parties".

Essential founder Michael Chadwick added: "This relationship creates the first entity that can offer worldwide label services including distribution, marketing, promotion and rights management, to artists, managers and labels".

This Rocket Science, by the way, should not be confused with London based music press company Rocketscience Media, who write their name as one word, obviously.

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MORE POST-PINNACLE NEW DISTRIBUTION DEALS
Yet another indie label who previously used defunct distributor Pinnacle has entered into a new distribution deal with Proper Distribution - this time folk specialists Park Records.

Reissues label Ace Records, however, have bucked the trend of jumping from Pinnacle to Proper, and signed a new distribution deal with Plastic Head Music.

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NORWAY END INVESTIGATIONS INTO ITUNES DRM POLICY
Back in the bad days of digital rights management in the a-la-carte download space, those of us who opposed DRM and all it stood for liked it when European governments starting accusing the record companies and download firms of acting against the consumer by employing technology that locked them to certain devices or download stores. So we liked it when the Norwegian authorities said they were investigating whether Apple's iTunes should be allowed to lock users to the iPod device through the DRM on tracks it sold.

But with DRM now dropped from most a-la-carte music services, and with iTunes having negotiated new deals with the majors to let them sell tracks without DRM, such investigations seem a bit pointless. Which is presumably why Norwegian regulators have announced they are dropping its anti-competitive and anti-consumer investigations into Apple and its music services. A spokesman, Bjoern Erik Thon, told AFP: "We have no reason to pursue them anymore".

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KANGAROO IS OFFICIALLY DEAD
The people behind Project Kangaroo, the plan to launch a joint BBC/ITV/C4 TV on demand service, have said they will not appeal that previously reported ruling by the Competition Commision that blocked the project on the basis it was anti-competitive. That means that the 50 odd people currently employed by the project will be laid off.

The BBC, ITV and C4 all say they will now focus on their own telly on demand services. Perhaps ITV and C4 could spend some time looking at the Beeb's iPlayer and revamp their online video services accordingly, ie follow the BBC's clever lead in launching a player that actually works.

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FORMER EPIC BOSS MOVES INTO TELLY
Singer songwriter Amanda Ghost may have nicked his job running Sony's Epic US division, but former Sony exec Charlie Walk has quickly got himself a new job. He's launched Charlie Walk Entertainment Media and entered into a deal with TV giant Endemol which will see him develop and exec-produce some new television ventures for them. As well as Endemol projects, his own company is also looking to launch content production, talent management and strategic branding divisions.

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BOBBY BROWN TO BE A FATHER AGAIN
Bobby Brown is set to become a father again - Celebrity Baby Blog reports his girlfriend Alicia Etheridge is expecting. A statement from the one time pop star and former Mr Whitney Houston's agent reads thus: "There aren't too many details out there right now, but we do know he is very excited, as Bobby is big on family. The sex of the baby is not known yet, and we can confirm she is four months along". Although big on family, you'll remember Brown had a number of run ins with US authorities after failing to pay child support to the mother of two of his other children. The new baby will, according to my math, bring the number of Bobby's offspring up to five.

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E STREET BAND MIMED TOO
Following all the hoo and some of the haa around the news Jennifer Hudson mimed the American national anthem at last weekend's Superbowl, it's now been revealed Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band were also pretending to perform along to a pre-recorded soundtrack at the big event. Springsteen, though, did sing live.

Organisers of the Super Bowl say much of the music at the big game is pre-recorded because there simply isn't time to set up and sound check each band in the short slots that they have to play. Plus, from past experience, when female vocalists do sing live at the Super Bowl their bras fall off, and we don't want to go through all that again do we?

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OBAMA BUMPED FOR MORE WEIGHTY JESSICA SIMPSON STORY
Us Weekly magazine has been criticised for bumping an Obama cover story and splashing instead with breaking news regarding Jessica Simpson putting on weight. A family portrait of the Obamas was due to appear on the magazine cover until the big Simpson story broke. Simpson, of course, is busy trying to relaunch herself as a country singer, which may or may not be why she's a little heavier than before.

Asked about being bumped by a plump Jessica on The Today Show, Obama remarked: "It's a little hurtful. A weight battle, apparently. Yeah. Oh well". If it's any consolation, Simpson wasn't too pleased with the article on her weight either.

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WHO WILL BE THE NEW X FACTOR JUDGE?
Literally some people are getting excited about the prospect of a new 'X Factor' judge. But who will it be? Already rumoured to be in the running to fill Dannii Minogue's chair on the show are Victoria Beckham and Charlotte Church. And now Lily Allen has put her name forward, too.

Allen told The Sun: "I haven't been asked but I'd love to do it. The world would be a lesser place if we did not have winners Leona Lewis and Alexandra [Burke]. It's a great programme and I think I'd be quite good".

Of course, if Allen does get the job, she'll have to sit next to Cheryl Cole, who she has had the odd public spat with in the past. And if Victoria Beckham gets the job, she and Cole will have to do something to smooth over their relationship, too. Despite once being good friends, Cole recently made some derogatory remarks about Beckham's fashion designs, and claimed that the former Spice Girl had failed to offer her support after she discovered that her husband was having an affair. So, you know, it could be interesting.

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CLARKSON NOT A SECRET LESBIAN
Kelly Clarkson is not secretly a lesbian, so can we all please get over it and stop telling her she is. Especially you lesbians. Just stop it, right? Although, she does say she wishes she was a lesbian, because she thinks it would be easier than being straight. But she's not a lesbian. Or maybe she is. I can't remember which one it was. Oh, let's just ask her. Kelly Clarkson, are you secretly a lesbian?

Clarkson told PopEater.com: "I get that all the time. People are like, 'Are you secretly a lesbian? Because I'd really love it'. Lesbians tell it to me all the time. I'm like, 'I'm glad it works for you and I wish I liked women like that because oftentimes men are very hard for me, but I happen to like boys'. I could never be a lesbian. I would never want to date [someone like] myself, ever. I'm a crazy person. I need some kind of stable, quiet man".

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