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TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Guilty: Pirate Bay trial update
UK Music and IPO critical of "UK copyright worst by far" report
Rare guitars found in basement
Susan Boyle becomes YouTube sensation
Eminem talks about Proof and addiction
In The Pop Courts
German composer sues YouTube
Take Down boss jailed for life
Tenenbaum case won't be webcast
Woman arrested for Britney peeking
Chef who damaged Jay Kay's car is jailed
Another James Brown estate dispute
Artist Deals
Kid Cudi signs to Universal Motown
In The Studio
Winehouse and Snoop Dogg not v. productive together
Release News
Freeland single available online
Green Day play new album
Del The Funky Homosapien releases free album
Prefuse 73 man to put out four releases in 45 days
Everyone stop and look at Son Of Dave
Watch the new Dizzee Rascal video
Gigs N Tours News
Beyonce to play free London show
Hacienda celebrates its 27th birthday
Themselves announce UK dates
Festival News
Big Weekend will have unsigned event this year
Homecoming cancelled
Mongrel to headline Roundhouse mini-festival
Festival line up update
Reviews
Single review: Esser - Headlock (Transgressive Records)
The Music Business
Sony open Dubai office
The Media Business
Government's local radio review calls for less regulation
Huddersfield station goes off the air
And finally...
Dylan says his success is a mystery
Billy Ray Cyrus cross with Jamie Foxx
Reverend McClure condemns Cowell

Ronson says she bears Lohan no ill will

 

FRIDAY 17TH APRIL

WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS
Scotland-based foursome We Were Promised Jetpacks formed in 2003 while they were still at school. Their alternative indie-pop, full of charging guitars and roaring drums, has set tongues wagging and various tipsters are tipping them as the next big thing. With their thundering new single 'Quiet Little Voices', released on 13 Apr, already receiving much praise across the board, 2009 looks set to be a very interesting for these four lads. They're touring the UK in June to coincide with the release of their debut album on 15 Jun. Here's what they had to say to our Same Six Questions.

 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
We all met in school in Edinburgh in Scotland. We could all play instruments so we decided to play them together. It felt like a good idea at the time.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Really, we're usually inspired by not wanting to bore ourselves. We try and write a song that all four of us think is our best yet.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Adam will start with his guitar part, usually two or three parts and a melody or two. Then we'll all try and decide what we think it should sound like, then jam it until we all have our parts. Then usually we have a frustrating search for "that other bit that ties everything together" for a wee while, the bit which changes it from all of us playing stuff into a "song". And then we get it. It turns out that it's something extremely simple we should've figured out earlier.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
A lot of local bands. Obviously Frightened Rabbit and Twilight Sad. We've got some good friends in bands that we try to rip off without them noticing, like Endor, Dupec, Lyons, John B McKenna. We've never met The National, Hot Club de Paris or Born Ruffians, but we try and rip them off too. We tend not to go back very far, anything that excites us is usually pretty new. We're trying to figure out how to rip off Animal Collective, but it's proving pretty hard.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
That's a hard one. That's really hard! I don't think we'd like to say anything. It's different for different people. We would rather speak to people who already have an opinion, one way or another.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single/album, and for the future?
Our ambitions for the album is that it does well enough that we get to make another one. We try not to think about too much beyond that...

MORE>> www.myspace.com/wewerepromisedjetpacks

 

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Noise Of Art at Queen Elizabeth Hall
This special one-off Noise Of Art event as part of the ongoing Ether festival on London's Southbank features DFA's The Juan Maclean playing live, Berlin techno heads DJ T Vs Thomas Schumacher and my personal highlight, Parisian electronica duo Chateau Flight performing a new soundtrack to 1915 French film 'Les Vampires'. There's plenty more on offer, too. Orka and Budam will both add to the live offerings, and there will be DJ sets from Severino, Overlap, Funkcutter, Immaculate Extremists, DJ Sonny and Noise Of Art's own Ben Osborne. So, you know you'll be getting plenty of great music and some top visuals for your dollar.

Sunday 19 Apr, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London, 6.30pm, £16adv, details at tinyurl.com/cbajeb, press info from Jonas at EPM

   

FULL TIME FESTIVAL PR ASSISTANT NEEDED
DeSylva PR is the freelance venture of Holly de Sylva who has spent 5 years at leading music and festival agencies across London. A young, hard working and dynamic PR looking after 4 festivals, plus leading, innovative venues and bands and i need an assistant now! Someone who can hit the ground running, loves mucking in, will work across all accounts on admin, press releases and negotiating press plus doing mail outs to journalists. Other tasks include assisting managing interview schedules on site at festivals, assisting managing guest lists and much more besides.

This is an amazing opportunity for a dedicated, ambitious and enthusiastic person to gain hands on and invaluable contacts and experience in music PR. Main requirements are: focus, creative and clever ideas, happy to muck in, enthusiasm, capacity of working and thinking quickly, excellent social skills, excellent organisation skills and time management, keen dedication to learning skills of Music PR, reliability and an interest in Climate and political issues and urge to change the world for the better using events and positive, call-to-action PR. (we look after some green / eco events). Applicant will be expected to work unsupervised sometimes and a sense of responsibility and desire to work with 100% reliability is necessary.

Based in Shoreditch this Full-time freelance contract runs until September. Applicants will be expected to work at the festivals as part of the full time position, expenses will be paid.

Please send CV's and intro email to holly@desylvapr.com

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ADVERTISE WITH CMU - classifieds £120 per week, job ads £100 per week, banner ads £150 per week, leader box £200 per week - call 020 7099 9050 or email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk for information or to book.

 

 
 

 

INTRODUCING LEYLINE PUBLICITY
Leyline Promotions - better known as one of the capital’s leading independent promoters (The Remix, Kill All Hippies, Insomniacs Ball, Twisted Licks, Breaking Ground) - have created a new publicity department headed up by Nick Bateson and Adrian Leigh. The pair have worked on major campaigns including a-ha, Glade Festival, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Standon Calling Festival and Hervé amongst others.

In addition to their wealth of experience in the live arena, Leyline Publicity now specialise in bespoke PR services including online and offline music and lifestyle press, radio plugging, brand development, digital marketing and blogging. For further information please contact: nick@leylinepromotions.com or adrian@leylinepromotions.com t: 020 7575 3285

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DESK SPACE
Leyline Promotions has two desk suites available in a well-appointed courtyard studio in Westbourne Studios, W10. Ideal for a small creative agency in a very friendly and professional environment. Rent includes: storage, broadband connections, business rates, insurance, 24 hr access, restaurant and bar, conference facilities, natural sunlight. 4 mins walk from Westbourne Park tube station. Call Adrian for more info on 07971 555 020 / adrian@leylinepromotions.com

ADVERTISE WITH CMU - classifieds £120 per week, job ads £100 per week, banner ads £150 per week, leader box £200 per week - call 020 7099 9050 or email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk for information or to book.

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GUILTY: PIRATE BAY TRIAL UPDATE
So, interesting developments for anyone currently embarking on an academic review of the concept of 'authorising infringement', and its role in helping the music industry protect its copyrights in the online domain - that's me by the way. Whether this will have any impact on the operations of The Pirate Bay, on the operations of other BitTorrent trackers, or on the growth of illegal file sharing in general is another matter entirely. Given appeal proceedings will presumably kick off forthwith, the precedent this sets isn't assured even within the Swedish jurisdiction.

Anyway, the four men behind rogue BitTorrent tracker The Pirate Bay have been jailed for a year and ordered to pay £2.4 million in damages. As much previously reported, the four men, founders Frederik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Peter Sunde and chief funder Carl Lundstrom, faced combined criminal and civil proceedings for their role in helping web users locate illegal sources of music and movie content via The Pirate Bay search service.

In the run up to the trial the always bullish Pirate Bay posse questioned the very concept of copyright in the internet age, but in court relied on the usual defence in these cases - that they didn't actually host any infringing content so couldn't be held liable for infringement. They also tried their best to feign ignorance of the fact that their search facility - which they call The Pirate Bay, remember - was primarily used to access pirated content.

Despite an early boost when the prosecution dropped a bunch of misguided direct infringement charges against the defendants (having presumably only just worked out how a BitTorrent tracker works), The Pirate Bay's defence in court was frankly lacklustre.

Which in some ways made it all the more important for the music and movie industries that the Swedish judge rule in their favour. Given the lack of a killer defence argument, had The Pirate Bay won it would have thrown into turmoil the idea that companies who provide technology that primarily aids infringement can themselves be sued for so called authorising or contributory infringement. That concept was at the heart of litigation against the P2P makers like Napster and Grokster, and is at the heart of newer litigation against BitTorrent search engines like The Pirate Bay.

But the verdict did go in the content owners' favour - with the jail sentence and multi-million pound fine being issued this morning. TPB's spokesman, defendant Peter Sunde, indicated by Twitter last night that the ruling was likely to go against them. He seemed ambivalent towards the pending guilty ruling though, later tweeting: "Nothing will happen to TPB, this is just theatre for the media".

Needless to say, the music industry has welcomed the court's decision. The boss of the UK's record label trade body, the BPI's Geoff Taylor, told CMU: "This may be the verdict of a Swedish court, but it is a great outcome for British music. Criminal sites like Pirate Bay seriously undermine investment in music and in legal online services and do nothing to reward artists or creators. We hope that this decision will encourage British music fans to steer clear of these parasitic illegal download services and support the future of British music by downloading legally".

The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry's John Kennedy told the BBC: "These guys weren't making a principled stand, they were out to line their own pockets. There was nothing meritorious about their behaviour, it was reprehensible. The Pirate Bay did immense harm and the damages awarded doesn't even get close to compensation, but we never claimed it did. There has been a perception that piracy is OK and that the music industry should just have to accept it. This verdict will change that".

A somewhat rambling respond to the verdict, linked to by The Pirate Bay website this morning (online at bambuser.com/channel/Spectrial/broadcast/114322) described both the conviction and the jail sentence as "bizarre". Regarding the damages payment, they said all the labels could expect to receive is a hand scribbled IOU because they "couldn't and wouldn't pay".

A spokesman for the one defendant who possibly could pay, financial backer Carl Lundstrom, told reporters he was shocked by the verdict and especially the sentence. The rep told Reuters: "This is outrageous, in my point of view. Of course we will appeal. This is the first word, not the last. The last word will be ours".

Meanwhile, Rickard Falkvinge, who heads up The Pirate Party, a political movement lobbying for a change in Swedish copyright law that would legalise Pirate Bay type activity, told the Beeb that the verdict was "a gross injustice". He says: "This wasn't a criminal trial, it was a political trial. It is just gross beyond description that you can jail four people for providing infrastructure. There is a lot of anger in Sweden right now. File-sharing is an institution here and while I can't encourage people to break copyright law, I'm not following it and I don't agree with it. Today's events make file-sharing a hot political issue and we're going to take this to the European Parliament".

So there you have it, the music and movie industries win the battle, but the war continues. On the up side, no one got shot dead in this pop trial.

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UK MUSIC AND IPO CRITICAL OF "UK COPYRIGHT WORST BY FAR" REPORT
The boss of cross-industry trade organisation UK Music, that'll be Feargal Sharkey, has criticised that previously reported report from the The Open Rights Group and the former National Consumer Council, now called Consumer Focus, which said that the UK's copyright laws fail to "balance the interests of rights holders and consumers" and that in a comparison between Britain's copyright system and those of 16 other countries, including China, India, Argentina, South Korea and Thailand, ours was "the worst, by far".

As we pondered yesterday, the comparison report undertaken by the two organisations does seem to be lacking in academic discipline somewhat, and was presumably commissioned to provide a catchy voxpop that backs up the two bodies' existing viewpoint that more of the 'fair use' principles that exist in US copyright law should be introduced over here. They were also keen to stress the stupidity of the 'private copying' situation in the UK - whereby millions of people technically speaking infringe copyrights every week by ripping tracks from CD to PC. Despite the flakiness of their research, both those viewpoints are entirely valid.

But it's that sweeping statement that the UK copyright system is "the worst, by far" when compared to China and India - both jurisdictions where music and film piracy is rampant - that has irked Mr Sharkey.

Music Week quote him thus: "Claims that Chinese and Indian consumers have greater freedoms to access copyrighted works than UK citizens are as ludicrous as they are offensive. I would [definitely] query why a British public body - and member of Consumer International - would support this survey and feel it appropriate to use public funding to attack British industry in such an unsubstantiated and damaging manner".

The boss of the UK's Intellectual Property Office, Ian Fletcher, also had some things to say about the report, telling reporters: "We reject the misleading accusations made in this report, and believe that the UK's copyright system does a good job of balancing the interests of rights holders and users. A strong and effective copyright system is in the interests of both rights holders and users. Our UK system, ranked highly in a recent independent 2008 survey by IP law firm Taylor Wessing, has enabled our world class creative industries to flourish and, indeed, they contribute over 8% to the GDP. Each and every one of us benefits from this rich content environment".

He also took issue with the report's terminology, and especially claims that things like the private copying rules - which we all know everyone breaks - had the effect of criminalising consumers. As any legal action against someone who made a private copy of a track (not that any such action is likely) would be a civil lawsuit, Fletcher reckon using terms like "criminalising" is unnecessarily emotive. He added: "We disagree that the UK is criminalising consumers, when most of these issues are civil rather than criminal matters". Possibly alluding to the daftness of private copying, though, he did admit that UK's copyright laws did need reviewing, but added: "We have launched a wide ranging copyright debate, and are also in the process of updating copyright laws".

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RARE GUITARS FOUND IN BASEMENT
A collection of twelve rare Supersound guitars designed by British guitar pioneer Jim Burns between 1958 and 1959 have been found in a basement in Cheltenham, where they lay all but forgotten for 50 years.

The guitars have been brought back into the public eye by Cornish collector Guy Mackenzie, who was tipped off about their existence by a friend. Mackenzie told The Guardian: "[The owner] had kept them virtually untouched. Musicians who play [Burns guitars] now include Andy Bell of Oasis, Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs and The Kooks".

Commenting on the find, guitar expert Paul Day said: "In nearly 50 years of playing, working on and writing about the electric guitar, this is the first time I have actually seen one Supersound instrument, let alone 12. These are among the earliest electric guitars and basses from any British builder and therefore comprise an important, but hitherto virtually unknown chapter in UK guitar-making history".

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SUSAN BOYLE BECOMES YOUTUBE SENSATION
Yeah, so this Susan Boyle story is running and running - quite how Simon Cowell plans to cash in on it all remains to be seen, though it wouldn't surprise me if sales of 'Les Miserables' soundtracks haven't seen a rise this week.

As you have probably seen, the first big story to come out of the 2009 season of Cowell's 'Opportunity Knocks' style freak show, 'Britain's Got Talent', is that of Boyle, the Scottish 47 year old who, how can I put this, has the kind of singing voice you might not expect to come out a face like that. Is that offensive? Well, you know what I mean.

Anyway, after the UK tabloids ran with "gosh, look at her, who'd have thought she could sing" articles last weekend, following her rendition of 'I Dreamed A Dream' from 'Les Mis' on last Saturday's edition of the ITV talent show, media around the world picked up on the story turning Boyle into the latest YouTube sensation, and sending traffic to ITV's website, where official clips from the show are hosted, to new highs. The Scottish wannabe, whose singing has in the past been confined to church choirs and karaoke clubs, has even picked up some celebrity fans in the process, with both Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore encouraging their Twitter followers to go check her performance out on YouTube.

There are already rumours that Cowell's Sony-backed record company Syco are already in talks to sign Boyle, though officially the label says it's too soon to comment on such things, the talent show being at the very start of its 2009 run. Of course Syco won't want to do any deal yet, given that doing so would ruin the suspense of the TV series, ie why would Boyle continue to compete if a record deal was already in the bag?

But the Scottish singer is already favourite to win this year's 'Britain's Got Talent', with some predicting she will follow the course of the show's first winner, Paul Potts, another unconventional looking singer with a powerful voice, who has sold 3.5 million records via his Syco deal, and who has a second album out in June.

Not that popularity on Cowell's talent shows as they air necessarily means a globally successful music career will follow, of course. The Syco mogul's hit rate with regards the post-series careers of ITV talent show winners is probably better than most cynics like to admit, but not everyone follows the Leona Lewis route to worldwide stardom. Perhaps Boyle should try and get an advance copy of the new book from original 'X-Factor' winner Steve Brookstein.

His moment in the spotlight was very short lived, of course, and he seems quite bitter about how quickly Cowell's company dropped him once the post-series media rounds had been done. The book, currently in development I think, will be called 'X-Factor Nightmares: The Manipulations, The Greed, The Deceptions', and Brookstein plans to include interviews with other quickly dropped talent show winners, including former Pop Idol Michelle McManus.

I suspect Brookstein would advise Boyle to enjoy her moment as a YouTube sensation, because little is assured long term simply by being the headline news on an ITV talent show.

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EMINEM TALKS ABOUT PROOF AND ADDICTION
Eminem has spoken about the impact the death of friend and D12 colleague Proof had on him back in 2006, and his subsequent battle with drug addiction. The hip hop star, who releases his new album 'Relapse' on 18 May, says that his decision to take a step back in 2005 was part of an effort to take control of his lifestyle, but that the death of Proof, aka DeShaun Holton, made that harder.

Eminem says: "Everyone felt his loss, from his kids, to his wife, to everyone. But, for some reason, in hindsight, the way I felt was almost like it happened to just me... Maybe at the time I was a little bit selfish with it. I think it kind of hit me so hard. It just blind-sided me. I just went into such a dark place that, with everything, the drugs, my thoughts, everything. And the more drugs I consumed, and it was all depressants I was taking, the more depressed I became, the more self-loathing I became".

He added: "By the way, I'm just now at the point where I'm better talking about it. It took me so long to get out of that place where I couldn't even speak about it without crying or wanting to cry...Proof was the anchor".

Proof was shot dead during a late night altercation at a Detroit club in 2006.

Elsewhere in Eminem news, the star's brother has been arrested in Detroit on a DUI charge. Nathan Mathers, 23, whose rap moniker is Nathan Kane, was apprehended this week in a suburb of the city and charged with operating a vehicle while impaired after apparently failing to pull over to let an ambulance pass. Police say that he failed sobriety tests and that his blood alcohol was twice the legal limit. He was released on personal bond and will appear in court on 7 May.

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GERMAN COMPOSER SUES YOUTUBE
There has been an interesting new development regarding music on YouTube in Germany where, of course, the Google-owned video website recently withdrew premium music video content after failing to renew its license with song royalty collecting society GEMA in a dispute that mirrors that with PRS For Music over here.

Sarah Brightman collaborator and composer Frank Peterson, who owns, publishes and releases much of his own music, has confirmed he is taking his own legal action over the presence of his content on the video site, issuing a cease and desist and claiming damages via the Higher District Court in Hamburg. The action seems to focus in particular on the use of his music in user generated content, ie soundtracking home made videos.

As a result, this action is unrelated to the YouTube/GEMA dispute because, while Peterson is a member of the collecting society, they don't represent him with regard to syndication and adaptation rights, which are the rights infringed when DIY video makers use his content as a soundtrack, or cover one of his pieces. So even if YouTube do secure a new licensing deal with GEMA, it wouldn't cover the use of Peterson's music in UCG.

There are parallels between this case and the YouTube/MTV litigation still working its way through the US legal system. Google haven't as yet responded to Peterson's lawsuit, but will presumably point out that if a content owner with whom YouTube has no licensing arrangement alerts them to the unlicensed use of their content in a video on their site then they will remove it.

Google claim that, under US copyright law, that means they are acting legally, even if they are actively hosting infringing content for a time, though there is much disagreement in US legal circles as to whether or not that is a correct interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. MTV argue that it is unfair that they should have to cover the potentially considerable cost of monitoring YouTube uploads to spot infringement of their content, when its Google who financially benefit for the presence of infringing content between upload and takedown (from ad revenues the content may or may not generate).

Similar cases already heard in the US courts generally suggest judges may well side with Google's interpretation of US copyright laws, though YouTube v MTV could still prove to be a landmark case either way.

None of which informs us as to whether Peterson has a case under German copyright law, but his legal reps say that other songwriters are currently talking to them about taking similar action, so if he has it could open the floodgates in Germany that at the very least would force Google to introduce much stricter upload restrictions for user generated content in the country.

Billboard spoke to the owner of a Hamburg-based publishing company, Progressive Musikverlag's Rudy Holzhauer, who says he shares Peterson's concerns. He told the trade mag: "It is simply not acceptable that the user alone decides and Google/YouTube is tolerating [the way] everybody can use any kind of music without asking. Some producers requested to make cover versions of our songs, but refrained to do so after realizing how many videos of the songs already existed for free on YouTube. We stopped those versions, but you just cannot stop hundreds of YouTube [links]".

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TAKE DOWN BOSS JAILED FOR LIFE
The boss of a Philadelphia-based hip hop label has been jailed for life after being convicted of running a $25 million cross-state drugs ring. Prosecutors claimed that Alton 'Ace Capone' Coles used his label, Take Down Records, as a front for a multi-million dollar drugs operation which, they reckon, moved two tonnes of powdered cocaine and half a tonne of crack between 1997 and 2005. Ironically the label released a straight-to-DVD movie called 'New Jack City: The Next Generation' in which Capone appeared alongside artists signed to the label playing a drug lord involved in a brutal war for the city's drug trade. The DVD was used as evidence in the trial, though presumably the half a million dollars, ten guns and 450 grams of coke found at the hip hop mogul's home were the evidence that secured the conviction. Responding to his life sentence a tearful Capone said: "I never thought it would come to this".

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TENENBAUM CASE WON'T BE WEBCAST
The revolution will not be televised. And nor will the grand finale of the Recording Industry Association Of American's self-harming sue-the-fans litigation campaign. The US Court Of Appeals For The First Circuit have ruled that the much previously reported Sony v Tenenbaum case should not be webcast. The judge overseeing the case said the event could be broadcast on the internet, but the RIAA appealed that ruling, and yesterday won. Technically the First Circuit ruling only applies to a specific hearing at the start of the court case, but experts say the principle will be applied to the whole case.

As previously reported, Tenenbaum was one of the students sued for illegally file sharing amid the RIAA's barrage of P2P litigation, which came to a halt at the end of last year. Although the trade association essentially admitted its campaign of lawsuits against individual file sharers had done little to curb the growth of online piracy, any legal disputes outstanding at the point of policy change will be followed through to their logical conclusion. The Tenenbaum has become the highest profile of those unresolved cases, partly because he has decided to fight the lawsuit (most settled out of court), and partly because he is being advised by Harvard law professor Charles Nesson, who has been very vocal about the whole thing.

It was Nesson who suggested the case be webcast. Presumably aware that, while US copyright law is generally on their side in individual file sharing cases, tedious technicalities often arise in court, especially over evidence, the RIAA, weren't that keen on having the whole internet tuning into the court proceedings, hence their objections to the webcast proposals. Some experts - well, me mainly - speculated that the RIAA may drop the case rather than fight it in the glare of the world, and that that might be behind Nesson's suggestion to webcast it in the first place.

Responding to the news the webcast proposals had been blocked, a spokesman for Nesson's team told reporters: "We are disappointed by the First Circuit's decision and maintain that Joel is being denied a constitutional right to a public trial in the age of the internet".

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WOMAN ARRESTED FOR BRITNEY PEEKING
Police in California have arrested a woman that they say they caught peeking into Britney Spears' windows. The LA County Sheriff's department apprehended one Miranda Tozier-Robbins on Thursday morning after security guards stopped her at the singer's suburban Calabasas home. The twenty-six year old woman, who was wearing camouflage gear and carrying a camera, was given a citation for trespassing and disorderly conduct before being released. It's not known if Britney was in the house at the time.

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CHEF WHO DAMAGED JAY KAY'S CAR IS JAILED
A chef who admitted causing £9k worth of damage to Jay Kay's £1m Ferrari has been sent to prison for twenty weeks. Aaron Billington, 21, admitted to a "moment of madness" during the incident, which took place, as previously reported, on 3 Mar outside a hotel in Aldeburgh.

Billington's lawyer Christopher Morgan explained that the chef's actions came about because he had an "emotional attachment" to a woman who was spending time with the Jamiroquai star, and because the singer mocked him when they spoke about the matter.

Morgan told the court in Ipswich "Mr Billington had an emotional attachment to one of the young ladies in the company of... Jay Kay" and that it was during an altercation with the singer relating to the woman that he was mocked. "There's one significant factor that explains why the defendant was being mocked", Morgan added, "and that's his stutter".

Witnesses saw Billington throw stones at the car which resulted in damage costing £9,434.03, despite an initial estimate which suggested it might cost in the region of £30k to repair. Billington's jail sentence takes into account a failure to answer bail, plus leaving a B&B and and Indian restaurant without paying, as well as the criminal damage conviction.

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ANOTHER JAMES BROWN ESTATE DISPUTE
Well, you wouldn't want the legal reps of the estate of the late James Brown to have nothing to do would you? Another lawsuit has been launched in relation to the Godfather Of Soul's posthumous affairs. This time a former publicist is suing for control of a charitable trust set up by Brown, which she claims she should control because she helped establish it. Jacque Hollander says she is the trust's only surviving partner and should therefore be in control of it, but Brown's adult children, and his sort of widow Tomi Rae Hynie, are reportedly questioning the legitimacy of the paperwork being used by the publicist to make her claim. The lawsuit was filed earlier this month in the Chicago courts.

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KID CUDI SIGNS TO UNIVERSAL MOTOWN
Kid Cudi announced last month that he was retiring from the music industry (except to play gigs to his "real fans") to concentrate on the less stressful world of acting. Shortly afterwards at SxSW, he announced that he'd changed his mind, which is just as well given he's just announced a new deal with Universal Motown regarding the release of his debut album.

Cudi will now release that album, tentatively titled 'The Man On The Moon With The Guardians', in August via a three way joint venture between Universal Motown, GOOD Music and his own yet-to-be-officially-launched label Dream On.

Explaining how the label became involved with Cudi, Universal Motown president Sylvia Rhone told Billboard: "I was looking at another act on [the label that released Kid Cudi's 'Day N Night' single] Fool's Gold by the name of Kid Sister. At the time they also had Kid Cudi, but I thought it was an album deal. We didn't sign Sister, but [my A&R manager Nigel Mack] brought me Cudi early last year and I was immediately engaged. He has a real relationship with fans that goes far beyond the music. That's the reason I competed and worked for the deal for eight months. He's the future of hip hop and the future of music; an artist who has no bounds when it comes to genre, format, race, colour, topic or emotion. Those are the kinds of artists I love to be involved with".

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WINEHOUSE AND SNOOP DOGG NOT V. PRODUCTIVE TOGETHER
According to The Sun, Amy Winehouse and Mr Snoop Dogg spent a day in the studio together in LA last year, but failed to finish the two tracks they started because they kept getting distracted by 'smoke breaks'. The songs still aren't finished apparently, because the pair have since not been able to reunite because of their busy schedules and the fact that Winehouse has had trouble getting a visa for the US. Presumably more to do with Snoop's busyness than Amy's, surely; I know for a fact that she's been lazing around in the Caribbean for months.

Anyway, a source is quoted as saying: "Amy came to the studio buzzing with ideas and the pair got on really well, even though Snoop turned up in his dressing gown with slippers on, which had Amy giggling. They were working at a frenetic pace at first but as the day wore on and more smoke breaks took place, the work rate slackened. By the time their studio time ended they had a pair of tracks sketched out but no finished product".

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FREELAND SINGLE AVAILABLE ONLINE
The new single from Freeland, the new band of producer, DJ and Marine Parade owner Adam Freeland, is now available digitally via the Freeland.fm website. The previously reported 'Under Control', the first single from the new Freeland album 'Cope(tm)', and the first to feature vocals from Kurt Baumann, the frontman of the new Freeland band, is physically released on 27 Apr, but is available online now.

Commenting on the new album, which is very much a "band album", Freeland told CMU: "I wanted to make more than just another artist project. I always saw 'Cope(tm)' as a band album, rather than just another DJ slapping together a bunch of random club grooves. I've always mixed rock into my sets anyway, so having a band is just a natural progression from that. I wanted to create songs I could play live, not just spin. 'Cope(tm)' has all the hard-hitting grooves of my DJ sets, but played by the band they are even more raw, personal and in your face".

To mark the single's digital release, there will be an exclusive playback of 'Cope(tm)', with commentary by Adam himself, on Eddy TM's The Remix show on Xfm tonight from 10pm. Which means you can expect to get Freeland exclusives in CMU's sister bulletin the Remix Update (www.remixupdate.co.uk) next week too.

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GREEN DAY PLAY NEW ALBUM
Green Day played their new album in full at a gig in Oakland, California on Tuesday. The previously reported new LP, '21st Century Breakdown', is divided into three acts and consists of eighteen tracks, all of which were played at the intimate club gig. The band followed the new material with a seventy minute set of their greatest hits, performing tracks such as 'American Idiot', 'Dookie' and 'Nimrod'. Singer Billie Joe Armstrong reportedly also incited younger members of the audience to truancy, telling spectators: "Tell your Mom and Dad 'I'm not going to school tomorrow, fuck it'".

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DEL THE FUNKY HOMOSAPIEN RELEASES FREE ALBUM
Del The Funky Homosapien has released a new album, his seventh, entitled 'Funk Man'. In case you were wondering what it sounds like, it's quite funky. Oh, and you can download it for free. In fact, you can download a number of his releases for free (and stream those that you can't) from delthefunkyhomosapien.bandcamp.com

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PREFUSE 73 MAN TO PUT OUT FOUR RELEASES IN 45 DAYS
The man behind glitch-hop project Prefuse 73, Guillermo Scott Herren, could never be accused of being lazy. Over the next month and a half he will be releasing not one, not two, but three albums and an EP.

First up, on Monday, is the new Prefuse 73 album, 'Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian', via Warp. We have heard that. It is good. Next up is a new project with super-drummer Zach Hill called Ice Capped At Both Ends, who release their debut album, 'Diamond Watch Wrists', again via Warp, on 4 May.

Then, with barely time to catch breath, his side-project with Catalan singer Eva Puyuelo Muns, Savath Y Savalas, releases a new album, 'La Llama', via Stones Throw on 12 May. And finally, bookending it (or perhaps ice capping it) all nicely is Prefuse 73's 'The Forest of Oversensitivity' EP on 1 Jun.

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EVERYONE STOP AND LOOK AT SON OF DAVE
Son Of Dave has a new single coming out on 11 May. It's called 'Ain't Going To Nike Town'. He's also playing a number of live dates throughout May, which you can find details of on his MySpace page: www.myspace.com/thesonofdave.

I've raced through all that information because what really matters right now is that you go and watch this video of him covering 'Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger' by Daft Punk. Watch it. Watch it or I will come over there and make you watch it: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSafka5Rsmo

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WATCH THE NEW DIZZEE RASCAL VIDEO
The video for Dizzee Rascal's new single, 'Bonkers', which was produced by Armand Van Helden, is available to watch now on Zane Lowe's Radio 1 blog.

www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/zanelowe/2009/04/dizzee_rascal_exclusive.html

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BEYONCE TO PLAY FREE LONDON SHOW
Beyonce has announced a number of UK tour dates for May and June, including four shows at the O2 Dome. She will be back there again in November for a free show, which will see her give away 13,000 tickets to fans for nothing. It's an interesting rework of the modern artist business model - give away tickets to your live shows because, erm, you're not making any money from recordings.

Not that it's Beyonce doing the show for free. It's being organised and paid for by Trident chewing gum. The company will be giving away 1000 tickets a month to the people who can make the pavements in their town the most unsightly. Or something. Full details on that at www.tridentunwrapped.co.uk

Tour dates, including the November free show, as follows...

22 May: Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena
23 May: Birmingham, National Indoor Arena
25 May: London, O2 Arena
26 May: London, O2 Arena
27 May: Manchester Evening News Arena
6 Jun: Liverpool Echo Arena
7 Jun: Sheffield Arena
8 Jun: London, O2 Arena
9 Jun: London, O2 Arena
15 Nov: London, O2 Arena

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HACIENDA CELEBRATES ITS 27TH BIRTHDAY
Often touted as the age at which true rock icons die, the legendary Hacienda is celebrating its 27th birthday on the May Day weekend, although I was under the impression it had actually died, age 15, in 1997. Presumably so as not to upset the residents of the new apartment block that stands in its place, it's been decided not to hold the birthday proceedings at the original site, but rather at the ever popular Sanky's in Manchester on 3 May.

This homecoming celebration will see a coming together of the scene's pioneers and fresh local talent. For the main event downstairs former Underworld man and renowned DJ Darren Emerson will be making a rare appearance, with earlier sets in the same room by Justin Robertson and Jon Dasilva.

Meanwhile upstairs, Manc scene veteran Dave Haslam will be taking to the task of recreating The Temperance Club, which was the infamous weekly Thursday night at the Hacienda during the late 80s and early 90s. Haslam will be joined in this baggy Madchester revival by ex-Joy Division/New Order bassist Peter Hook and forerunner's of the new Manchester scene The Whip, who will both perform DJ sets for the occasion.

The Hacienda, as an institution, is currently on tour with some of the above names and others, taking the musical culture and heritage of northern England to the world, including dates in South America and South-East Asia through the summer.

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THEMSELVES ANNOUNCE UK DATES
Rapper Doseone and producer Jel will be in the UK under their Themselves guise later this month, which is massively exciting news. Their free mixtape, 'theFREEhoudini', is still available from the Anticon website. Download it from www.anticon.com/thefreehoudini/. It's ace.

Tour dates:

28 Apr: Nottingham, Bodega
29 Apr: Brighton, Freebutt
30 Apr: London, Bardens Boudoir

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BIG WEEKEND WILL HAVE UNSIGNED EVENT THIS YEAR
Radio1's Big Weekend is to be complemented this year by a 'fringe event' featuring sixteen unsigned bands from the south west who will play free gigs at venues in Swindon the week before the main event takes place in the town. The acts have been selected by a panel headed by Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens.

Radio 1's Editor of Live Events, Jason Carter, says this: "Through the BBC partnership with Swindon Borough Council and Swindon Does Arts, we will be continuing to support new and under the radar music at the fringe, but with real attention on artists in the region that have caught the attention of the fringe group - it's a strong line-up of exciting new acts for the future."

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HOMECOMING CANCELLED
A new dance festival due to launch in Scotland this summer, the Homecoming Festival, has been cancelled. Organisers told CMU yesterday: "It is with great regret that organisers of the Homecoming festival have announced that this year's event has been cancelled. This is due to new demands from the council requesting 50% of the profits and a £60,000 bond on the land. All ticket holders will be entitled to a full refund, and arrangements are currently being made to organise new venues and dates for some of the artists that were scheduled to perform at Homecoming 09. New details will be revealed on www.homecomingfestival.com as soon as possible".

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MONGREL TO HEADLINE ROUNDHOUSE MINI-FESTIVAL
Sort of supergroup Mongrel, who, of course, recently released their debut album 'Better Than Heavy' via the Independent newspaper, have been confirmed as headliners for a new one-day festival of multiculturalism taking place at London's Roundhouse on the May Day bank holiday.

Organisers of No Passport Necessary say they chose Mongrel - which, as previously reported, includes members of indie bands Reverend And The Makers, Arctic Monkeys and Babyshambles as well as rising UK hip hop performer Lowkey - to headline their event because of the way they "fuse together the British indie and hip hop scenes". No Passport Necessary is all about celebrating an eclectic mix of genres, cultures and scenes, and especially those that often fall off the mainstream media's radar.

No Passport Necessary's Rob Khan told CMU: "Bringing together people from many musical styles, Mongrel merges the UK indie music scene with a hip-hop community often ignored by the wider media. Tackling themes shied away from by many mainstream musicians, Mongrel is a celebration of everything that is good about Britain at the same time as pointing out its flaws".

Other bands set to play No Passport Necessary, which takes place on 4 May from 3-11pm, include: Latin jazz piano man and band leader Alex Wilson with his Salsa Con Soul Orchestra; alternative Asian band Swami; top reggae entertainer Tippa Irie; acclaimed 'fluteboxer' Nathan Lee; hip hop come rock come reggae five piece Zoe Appleseed; and funky Latin/ska/boogaloo combo Size Nine. There's more information at www.myspace.com/nopassportnecessary.

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FESTIVAL LINE UP UPDATE

CAMDEN CRAWL, various venues, Camden, 24-25 Apr: Kasabian and The Enemy are the final acts to be added to the line up. Both will head up the two Roundhouse gigs, which will also include performances from Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Virgins, Hockey, Little Boots, The Maccabees and The View. www.thecamdencrawl.com

ROCKNESS, Dores, Loch Ness, Scotland, 12-14 Jun: The Prodigy, Super Furry Animals and Biffy Clyro are all set to play this year's Rock Ness. Basement Jaxx, Dizzee Rascal and Orbital are also set to perform. www.rockness.co.uk

LOVEBOX WEEKENDER, Victoria Park, Hackney, London, 18-19 Jul: Doves and New York Dolls are amongst the latest acts to be confirmed for this year's Lovebox. Noah and the Whale, Ladyhawke, Gang of Four, Mr Hudson, VV Brown, Rokia Traore and Dan Black have also been added to the bill. www.loveboxweekender.com

SUMMER SUNDAE WEEKENDER, De Montfort Hall and Gardens, Leicestershire, 14-16 Aug: Mystery Jets, Horace Andy and Chairlift have been announced to perform at this year's Summer Sundae. Future Of The Left, Broken Records and Ou Est Le Swimming Pool have also been confirmed. www.summersundae.com

CREAMFIELDS, Daresbury Estate, Cheshire, 29-30 Aug: Eddie Halliwell is the latest act confirmed for this year's Creamfields. Tiesto and Basement Jaxx will headline the dance festival, with Mylo, Paul van Dyk, Friendly Fires, Dizzee Rascal and Sasha also performing. www.creamfields.com

BENICASSIM, Benicassim, Spain, 16-19 Jul: 2 Many DJs have been confirmed for this year's Spanish festival, joining previously announced Oasis, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand and Kings Of Leon. Foals, Giant Sand, Mystery Jets, Glasvegas, The Horrors, Elbow and Lily Allen are also set to perform. www.benicassimfestival.co.uk

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SINGLE REVIEW: Esser - Headlock (Transgressive Records)
He's young, he's smart, he's hard-working and he's talented. Perfect. Esser delivers an interesting blend of creative beats and electronic sounds. And it's the beats that really set Esser apart from any rivals to his title of 'coolest geek around'. They hammer home a rhythm revelling in industriousness and a defiance of expectations. Nothing stays the same for long, and this song twist and turns as much as the emotional meandering of its lyrics of longing for the wrong person. The remixes too breathe alternative life into a song so obviously brilliant when stripped to its bare essentials. Indie-discos ahoy! TM
Release Date: 27 Apr
Press Contact: Wild PR [CP, CR] Transgressive IH [RP, RR, NP NR]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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SONY OPEN DUBAI OFFICE
Sony Music have opened a new office in Dubai. The office will operate as Sony Music Middle East, reporting into Sony Music Asia, and will be headed up by Kevin Ridgely, who will report into the major's Asia chief Daniel DiCicco, who told reporters: "Even in these challenging economic times, there continue to be opportunities for expanding the reach and influence of our Sony Music artists around the globe via both traditional and innovative avenues. The opening of our new office in Dubai is a response to these opportunities and a sign of our commitment to the further development of our content and artist representation in the global arena".

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GOVERNMENT'S LOCAL RADIO REVIEW CALLS FOR LESS REGULATION
With news of radio station closures becoming increasingly common here in your CMU Daily, it is perhaps no surprise that a government-commissioned review of the UK commercial local radio sector reaches some pretty gloomy conclusions.

The review which, as previously reported, has been compiled by former GMG Radio chief John Myers, says that over fifty stations could as yet go out of business unless there is a radical overhaul of the way UK radio is regulated. Much of what Myers has proposed reflects what commercial radio chiefs have been saying for years - that radio firms with a network of local stations should be able to syndicate more programming, base local shows at centralised regional studios, and make quicker changes in music and programming formats to respond to the market. He also says rules governing the merger of local radio companies, especially with other local media firms (eg newspapers) should be relaxed.

Myers says the current "box ticking approach" to local station obligations is "outdated" and that a "local impact" test should be used rather than basing opinions on the localness of a radio station on logistical matters. For those that fear such a change in regulation would further delocalise local stations which already often operate under national brands and take a lot of national programming from London, Myers says that local radio stations will maintain their 'localness' for commercial reasons, more so than ever in fact, because it's a local profile and local programmes that give these stations a USP against the plethora of new competing music and audio services available via digital TV networks and online.

Myers writes: "If local radio were to 'de-localise' its broadcast content, it would simply fade into a sea of similar radio stations that offer no particular USP to their audiences". He does, however, suggest that regulation should remain to force local stations to include regular local news bulletins.

Stressing the need for immediate action on the government's part, Myers says that the local radio industry is suffering terribly because of the advertising recession, and in the shadow of new competition for the advertiser's pound. Even with the radical regulation changes he proposes, Myers warns that tens of local stations, especially those serving a population of less than 700,000, could go out of business in the next year. To help in that regard, he suggested letting adjacent lower population radio stations to merge their licenses, so that locality commitments would apply to the combined region, rather than both localities, reducing overall costs.

Those 'regional stations' who have less of a local remit already should be allowed to become quasi-national stations, which many already are, especially those that also broadcast on DAB nationally.

With regard to the relationship between the BBC and commercial radio, he recommends the Beeb make local news content available to their commercial rivals, and that the Beeb front most of the costs of future digital audio broadcasting roll-out. Commercial broadcasters invested heavily in DAB in its early days, of course, seeing it as a way to expand their operations and launch new niche services. But with said new services proving somewhat unsuccessful commercially, the big players of commercial radio are in the process of all but bailing out of DAB completely.

Unsurprisingly, given that it was written by a former commercial radio chief and says what most other commercial radio execs have been saying for ages, commercial radio trade body RadioCentre welcomed the review. Calling the report "a visionary blueprint for the future of local radio", the body's CEO, Andrew Harrison, told reporters: "Radio has committed to a very bright future in the digital age. This operational commitment must be supported by a new look regulatory framework that is in step with the realities of running modern media businesses. The replacement of outdated analogue regulation is a critical part of that reform. The proposals set out in the Myers review bring some really visionary thinking, from an experienced radio practitioner, about how to operate and regulate great local services for listeners in the digital age. It is crucial that government and Ofcom now put the report's full proposals quickly into place".

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HUDDERSFIELD STATION GOES OFF THE AIR
Talking of smaller local radio stations going out of business, Huddersfield The New Pennine FM is due to go off air today after the company who own it reportedly went into administration. According to Radio Today, the station has been broadcasting back up tapes since yesterday.

The station was formerly owned by The Local Radio Company, who operated it as Home 107.9. It changed its name after a management buy out at the start of last year. It is one of those smaller population stations that Myers was talking about in his review, and seemingly the station's new owners just couldn't make it all add up.

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DYLAN SAYS HIS SUCCESS IS A MYSTERY
Bob Dylan says that his international success as a musician is a mystery to him, not least because he says he was influenced by circus performers.

Speaking to Bill Flanagan on Bobdylan.com, Dylan explained: "People have different emotional levels. Especially when you're young. Back then I guess most of my influences could be thought of as eccentric. Mass media had no overwhelming reach so I was drawn to the traveling performers passing through. The side show performers - bluegrass singers, the black cowboy with chaps and a lariat doing rope tricks. Miss Europe, Quasimodo, the Bearded Lady, the half-man half-woman, the deformed and the bent, Atlas The Dwarf, the fire-eaters, the teachers and preachers, the blues singers. I remember it like it was yesterday. I got close to some of these people. I learned about dignity from them. Freedom too. Civil rights, human rights. How to stay within yourself. Most others were into the rides like the tilt-a-whirl and the rollercoaster. To me that was the nightmare. All the giddiness. The artificiality of it. The sledgehammer of life. It didn't make sense or seem real. The stuff off the main road was where force of reality was. At least it struck me that way. When I left home those feelings didn't change".

Asked to comment on the fact that he's sold millions of records despite these interesting influences, he responded: "Yeah I know. It's a mystery to me too".

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BILLY RAY CYRUS CROSS WITH JAMIE FOXX
Billy Ray Cyrus is cross with Jamie Foxx about a recent rant he did on the radio about Billy Ray's daughter Miley Cyrus.

Via his 'Foxxhole' show, the actor advised the sixteen year old star to "get a gum transplant... make a sex tape... do some heroin... and become a lesbian", fuelled by a conversation with a caller to the show, who complained about Miley's previously reported dig at Radiohead after the band refused to meet with her at this year's Grammy Awards.

Now Billy Ray has said on 'The Bonnie Hunt Show': "It was hurtful. There wasn't nothing funny about it. And, quite frankly, I think if I said those things about his daughter, he might not find it so comedic."

Foxx has already apologised, saying: "I didn't mean it maliciously... I'll call you. I got a daughter too, so I completely understand".

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REVEREND MCCLURE CONDEMNS COWELL
John McClure of Reverend And The Makers fame has said that Simon Cowell isn't very nice. In fact, he has said that he's Satan. And The Devil. In fact, why don't I just let McClure tell you himself:

"Simon Cowell is Satan. He's the devil. I'd like to tie him to an anchor and drop him in the ocean... I've never met the guy and I have no desire to see that prick. He's a complete dick. He'll build people up and tell them they are the next big thing and then play the tambourine in the background just to make a bit of money... The winner of his shows just meets certain criteria. He'll never find anyone with soul though because you can't buy that. The bubble will burst eventually. Cowell will be gone soon. He'll just flee to America and look increasingly orange".

Make up your own final sentence including the words "here endeth the lesson".

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RONSON SAYS SHE BEARS LOHAN NO ILL WILL
Samantha Ronson has said that she bears no ill will towards her ex girlfriend Lindsay Lohan, despite rumours to the contrary. The couple split earlier this month, and since then there have been allegations that Ronson had been unfaithful, and later that she had sought a restraining order against her ex.

Ronson told People: "I don't talk about my personal life, but I will say that any rumours that I hate Lindsay are false. She's an amazing girl, and I wish her all the best. It's not that dramatic".

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