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TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Jacko death focus returns to the doc
Rowe denies taking cash to give up custody claim on Jacko's kids
Jackson tribute show for O2 increasingly likely
Jackson album sale claims disputed
People still like CDs, shocker
In The Pop Courts
Bone Thugs sued over sample
Obituaries
Music exec Klenfner dies
Reunions & Splits
Courtney digs her own Hole
Artist Deals
Modular sign Delphic
In The Studio
Morrison to collaborate with Mayer
Release News
Snow Patrol reveal one-off singles
Gigs N Tours News
Boosh stars plan new thing
MJ Hibbett to preview one-man rock opera
Festival News
Glade and Bestival sell out
T In The Park warn fans about fake tickets
The Music Business
Rykodisc label more closely integrated into Warner
Speculation galore about Borders sale
The Digital Business
Future mags to giveaway 7Digital downloads
The Media Business
Moyles re-signs to Radio 1
And finally...
Gallagher refuses to spat with Blur
Winehouse trashed St Lucia suite, say reports
Anti gay demos target Idol star
Doherty forgets wallet
Timberlake refuses to get into a fight
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts
 
THURSDAY 16TH JULY


FLASHGUNS
Formed by school friends Sam Johnston (vocals/guitar), Giles Robinson (drums), James Wright (keyboards) and Olly Scanlon (guitar), Flashguns have slowly crafted their sound into something that has become quite buzzy. This has been accelerated in recent months thanks to tours with Lissy Trullie and Jamie T. They release their new Stephen Street-produced EP 'Matching Hearts, Similar Parts' this week. We spoke to frontman Sam to ask our Same Six Questions.
 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
Well I have been playing around with instruments since I was kid. I got taught how to play bass and drums by my uncle and then ditched them both for the guitar as I developed a bit of an ego in my late teens and realised lead guitar was way more likely to get me ridiculously famous. We all then met at school and because we all played instruments we kind of naturally gravitated to each other - we had no idea what we were doing for years, but it felt pretty cool and like one day it'll all make sense. We began covering The Smiths and The Cure and playing their tracks in school assembly. They were pretty lame gigs, but we went for it and trashed a few guitars. After nearly getting expelled for acting like idiots we started to take things a lot more seriously and decided we actually wanted to be a band with a name and play our own music. We practiced in break times and after school for about two years before we were any good.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
It was just a reaction to relationships around me, squashed emotions, being British and being inept with expressing emotions. I guess my age helped, feeling like you can't quite commit to love, even if you think you feel it and want to shout about it - I guess right now life seems very nomadic and transient. So, this song 'I Don't Not Love You', is trying to pull me back to what is important and stable.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Jam non-stop, all the time, everyday. There are no rules to our writing - sometimes it takes an hour, sometimes five weeks. I have about 40 tracks floating around my brain at any one time, sometimes ten of those will make up one track, other times I can get 30 of them all down. I'm a big daydreamer and have never lost that kid-like quality of being interested in almost everything - maybe slightly naively. I use this aspect like a sponge to encourage my writing. I like going to the country to write also, but that's a bit of a cliché, isn't it?

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
I like to think we're specifically inspired by the following: Deftones, Nirvana, The Cure, The Smiths, The Killers, Pink Floyd. And then just loads of stuff from dubstep to hip hop to jazz.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Stay open minded, we're still a relatively young band and we feel very much at the beginning of our journey, we have big ambitions and really want to fill a giant room with our sound, hopefully this comes across - without us saying "this is it, like it or lump it". We have some great tracks in the pipeline still to come. Don't just think "Who do this band sound like, what do they look like etc" - I want people to think "Wow, I want to see this band live" or pick up on the more detailed aspects of our music.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Ambitions are to release an epic three-sided album that smashes Lady GaGa off the top spot and goes straight to number one! Not really... well, kind of. We don't want to release an album until we feel it's really wanted or needed. We have an albums worth of material - well actually about four albums worth, but we massively value 'the album' and don't want to rush it. We want to push things more on the independent level, build it up more, do more shows etc and really work up to an album rather than just getting it out there because it's a contractual obligation or because we've run out of ideas.

MORE>> www.flashguns.com and www.myspace.com/flashguns

 
MEW
It's alright, everyone. Mew are back. It's been four years since they released their last album 'And The Glass Handed Kites', time they have possibly spent mainly thinking up the title to their fifth album, an eight line stanza which I am going to abbreviate to 'No More Stories'. The first two tracks from the album were released as part of the 'No More Stories' EP last month, and have got us very excited to hear them in the context of a full album. 'Introducing Palace Players' kicks things off with off-kilter guitar, jerky beats and some keyboard that sounds like it was left there by mistake, before Jonas Bjerre's disarmingly pop voice comes in and pulls everything together. 'Repeaterbeater' takes things up a notch and, while not hitting the rock heights of older songs like 'She Spider' or 'Apocalypso', it has one of those all-enveloping choruses that Mew do so well. You can hear both tracks on the band's MySpace page now and, if you're very lucky, you can hear more from them at their sold out ICA show in London tonight.

www.myspace.com/mew



 

JACKO DEATH FOCUS RETURNS TO THE DOC
One day we'll stop leading with Michael Jackson stories, I promise. For certain, we've scheduled a non-Jacko story to appear here in the top section for November. But for today, back to the Jacko, and yet more rumours that the late king of pop's death is being treated as a homicide by LA authorities.

And once again the focus is on poor old Dr Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal physician. He was suspect number one in the hours immediately after the singer's death of course, with rumours the doc had given Jackson a shot of a strong prescription drug shortly before the cardiac arrest that killed him, and other reports Murray had gone AWOL. But then it turned out the doc was at his home, he issued a statement denying he'd given Jacko any shots on the day of his death, and police said they were happy the physician was not involved in the singer's demise.

But the idea that Murray played a role in Jackson's ending is back at the top of the gossip agenda. That's probably because of La Toya Jackson's claims in interviews with the British tabs that she believes her brother was bumped off. And subsequent comments by a Mail journalist who did one of those interviews to the effect that La Toya really wants to speak to Murray. The fact that the boss of the LAPD this week said that, until toxicology test results are known, nothing can be ruled out from their investigation, won't have done anything to distinguish the gossip fire.

Now TMZ have said LAPD are concentrating their efforts on investigating the Murray angle. Citing various law enforcement sources, they say there is already evidence that the anaesthetic propofol was a leading cause in Jacko's death, and that it is believed Murray did, in fact, administer that drug shortly before the singer's cardiac arrest.

While Murray's lawyer has previously denied his client had any role in Jackson's death, the attorney has yet to comment on the latest set of allegations.

In related news, the US Drug Enforcement Administration may introduce new restrictions on the aforementioned propofol in light of its possible role in Jackson's demise. Reports suggest the authority may make the drug a "controlled substance" which would put tighter restrictions on the prescription and distribution of it.

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ROWE DENIES TAKING CASH TO GIVE UP CUSTODY CLAIM ON JACKO'S KIDS
Michael Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe has denied reports that she has received $4 million from the Jackson family to give up her rights to the couple's two children Prince Michael and Paris.

Whether or not Rowe will make a custody claim for Jackson's two eldest kids is still unclear - rumours say she will, but her lawyer has been very non-committal about Rowe's intentions from the start. Jackson's will, of course, gave custody of all three of the singer's children to his mother Katherine. A court hearing on the custody issue was postponed earlier this week, at the request of both Rowe and Jackson's mother, to allow out of court negotiations to continue.

It was the New York Post that reported this week that the result of those out of court negotiations was that the Jackson family had offered to pay Rowe $4 million in return for her formally relinquishing custody rights to the two children. And the newspaper alleged Rowe had accepted the offer.

But Rowe's lawyer, Eric George, has denied those claims. In an open letter to the Post he wrote: "Ms Rowe has not and will not give up her parental rights. No determination has been reached concerning custody or visitation. And Ms Rowe has not accepted and will not accept any additional financial consideration beyond the spousal support she and Michael personally agreed to several years ago".

The Jackson family also denied offering any pay out to Rowe, and George demanded the Post publish an "immediate retraction" of its original story, though the paper has refused and says it stands by its original report on the custody deal.

In related news, new reports suggest Rowe doesn't want custody of the children anyway. A supposed friend of Jacko's ex has told US entertainment show Extra that Rowe doesn't want the job of looking after Prince Michael and Paris, but has been advised by her legal people to show at least an interest in taking on more responsibility for the children so not to look heartless.

Rowe friend Rebecca White told the TV show: "It's not like she doesn't love them. It's not like she doesn't want the best for them, but her life is different... The idea of being a mother to those children is something I don't think she really wants".

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JACKSON TRIBUTE SHOW FOR O2 INCREASINGLY LIKELY
Oh, it's looking increasing likely that AEG Live might really use some of the spare O2 slots left by the cancellation of the Michael Jackson This Is It tour for a Jacko tribute show. There have been rumours that such a tribute show was being discussed pretty much since Jackson's death, with the idea that much of the This Is It sets and routines would be used, but with other Jacksons, and artists influenced by Jacko, doing the singing.

Arranging all that on relatively short notice is no easy trick - not least because the Jackson family are technically speaking contracted to an exclusive reunion show in the US next year - but it seems AEG are in active negotiations to make the tribute show happen, and things are slowly coming together.

In fact Hits Daily Double claim that most of the Jackson family, including sister Janet, have already signed up to the show which, the website says, AEG insiders are dubbing 'This Is Not Exactly It'. They say the first show may take place on 29 Aug, what would have been Jacko's 51st birthday.

The concerts would be another attempt by AEG to recoup its losses from the cancelled This Is It residency, in which it had already invested millions prior to Jackson's death. As previously reported, the promoter has already started trying to claw back some cash with the 'keep your ticket instead of getting a refund scam' and by putting This Is It tour merchandise on sale. Though HDD claim that fan uptake of the ticket scam has actually been a lot less than originally rumoured, so AEG do need other ways of bringing in Jacko-related cash.

It also reckons that AEG boss Randy Phillips' bullish comments about the value of the behind the scenes footage of This Is It rehearsals may have been a little rash. They say the backstage content may not be as profitable for AEG as first thought, because it turns out the promoter will need to pay Sony Music to include any of Jackson's music in the This Is It documentary they plan to make. With the promoter reportedly keen to get a DVD of the docu out in time for Christmas, they may have to share more of the profits of such a venture with the record company than they would like.

Still, with the ticket scam, the merchandise, the tribute show, the DVD, and still the chance of some insurance money, I'm increasingly of the opinion AEG will still eventually turn a profit on their doomed Jackson partnership.

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JACKSON ALBUM SALE CLAIMS DISPUTED
Not wishing to kick a man while he's down, or dead, but the Wall Street Journal has been doing what it does best, number crunching, and has declared that Michael Jackson's recording career was not quite as successful as most of us have assumed and reported.

The Journal's Carl Bialik has noted that prior to 2006 it was widely assumed Jackson had sold something like 200 million albums worldwide, but in more recent years figures closer to 750 million album sales have been bandied about. Bialik links that larger figure to a press release issued by Jacko's former publicist Raymone Bain in 2006. The report adds that when Bain sued her former employer earlier this year she exaggerated her ex-boss' success even more, claiming he'd sold a billion records.

Of course it's possible Bain was adding single sales into the mix, which would seriously increase the stats. But if she was talking albums, 750 million seems to be way off. Undercover quote stats put together by a French man called Guillaume Vieira who has researched the sale certificates awarded by record industry trade bodies around the world for Jackson album sales, and has reached the following conclusions re record sales of the singer's Sony-released albums...

Off The Wall - 3,424,000
Thriller - 50,611,000
Bad - 24,761,000
Dangerous - 21,250,000
History - 14,487,000
Blood On The Dancefloor - 3,559,000
Invincible - 4,979,000

Even if you add in the sales of Jackson's earlier albums on Motown, and even Jackson 5 releases, and even all those post-death Jacko record sales, it's a struggle to reach the 200 million figure, let alone 750 million. Sorry Michael.

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PEOPLE STILL LIKE CDS, SHOCKER
Sometimes it's too easy to assume the CD is already dead in the water, but while the format is clearly in decline, it's still pretty dominant. And, according to that previously reported research report from the Music Ally people and their research outfit The Leading Question, a majority of people still prefer buying CDs to downloading MP3s - and even teenagers aren't especially down on the physical format.

As previously reported, The Leading Question spoke to a thousand music fans about their buying habits. 73% of those surveyed were happy buying CDs rather than downloading, while 59% said they still listen to music on CDs on a daily basis. Perhaps most surprisingly, 66% of teens said they prefer CDs to buying music via download stores.

The Leading Question's Tim Walker told CMU: "Digital is still the future but rumours of the death of the CD are premature. The continued popularity of the CD should be looked upon as an opportunity. We believe that labels and online stores could and should be doing more to build on music fans' familiarity with CDs to provide them with additional digital content and to use the CD as a bridge into the digital world".

In related news, a blog post on the Fleeing From Pigeons website is pretty critical of this here Leading Question/Music Ally report, in particular the previously reported conclusion that file-sharing is down in the UK. As previously reported, the Leading Question research revealed that of the 1000 music fans interviewed, only 17% said they accessed music via unlicenced file-sharing networks at least once a month, compared to 22% the last time they did the survey in late 2007. File-sharing was down in the teen demographic too, from 42% to 26%. But, the FFP blog reckons, that's as much to do with the researchers' definition of 'file-sharing' as anything else.

As previously noted here, the growth in high capacity webmail accounts in recent years, plus the falling price of high capacity portable hard drives, means that a lot of people now share files with friends by emailing MP3 attachments or syncing hard drives in the playground/union bar/workplace. While file-sharing this way means that files are only shared from one friend to another, rather than from one P2P user to 5 million other P2P users, email-to-email or device-to-device file-sharing is still significant, and, crucially, generally untracked by the record companies (the latter being impossible to track without some sort of horrid digital rights management attached to music files).

FFP reckon that these other kinds of file-sharing were not included in The Leading Question's stats. Meaning file-sharing, especially among younger music fans, might not be in decline, it's just going offline.

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BONE THUGS SUED OVER SAMPLE
Hip hop combo Bone Thugs-N-Harmony have been sued by a Texas-based music publisher over allegations they nicked bits from a seventies song by Rasa called 'When The Day Will Come' for their track 'I Tried (So Hard)', the lead single off their 2007 album 'Strength And Loyalty'.

Songster, who own the publishing rights in the Rasa track, name Bone Thugs-N-Harmonay, producer Swizz Beatz and Akon, who guested on the track, in their lawsuit, as well as both the music companies with interests in the 2007 track, so Universal's Interscope and Sony ATV Publishing.

The legal documents also list a range of other hip hop artists who have sampled the 1978 song with permission, presumably to demonstrate that it shouldn't have been hard for Bone Thugs and their associates to locate the Texas publisher before releasing the Rasa sampling track. In fact, the publisher also alleges they alerted all interested parties that the sample was unlicensed before the Bone Thugs album was released.

None of the defendants have, as yet, commented on the litigation.

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MUSIC EXEC KLENFNER DIES
Former Atlantic Records executive Michael Klenfner has died following a heart attack at the age of 62.

Klenfner's career in the music industry saw him working at Columbia Records in the early seventies, where he was head of radio promotions. He went on to work for Arista, before taking up a position at Atlantic, where he became involved in transforming Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi's Blues Brothers from a 'Saturday Night Live' act into a recording duo. Klefner would later take a cameo role in the Blues Brothers film, and could often be found on the door at Ackroyd's after hours bar in New York. He also worked with Cher on comeback hit 'Believe'.

A memorial service is to be held in New York on Friday.

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COURTNEY DIGS HER OWN HOLE
Courtney Love has responded to claims made by former Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson that she does not have the legal right to use the band's name without his involvement. As previously reported, Love recently announced plans to use the Hole moniker for her long-awaited new solo album, 'Nobody's Daughter'.

But earlier this month Erlandson told Spin: "We have a contract. She signed a contract with me when we decided to break up the band, which was like 2002 or something, so I really don't have comment on it except that I know my part in that band. The way I look at it, there is no Hole without me. To put it blunt. Just on a business level".

It seems Courtney only found out about this yesterday, immediately taking to Twitter to put things straight. And by that I mean she said that he's wrong and then accused him of stealing from her, as is becoming a fairly predictable pattern with her these days.

Anyway, she said this: "I just heard that a former guitar player is saying I can't use my name for MY band. He's out of his mind, he may want to check the trademark...". Let's just take a pause here before we continue. Okay, here's the rest. "And his Amex 'Disease Model Tour' bills, and umm, lets see his 1999 usage of that Amex and his 2001 usage of - wow - 298K? 198,000 DOLLARS?"

With Erlandson's credit card usage called into question, Love then managed to get back to the subject in hand, saying: "Hole is MY band, MY name and MY trademark".

Then she got back to the more important issue of Erlandson and Perez Hilton's finances: "[Eric] also might want to check his taxes versus my redone taxes on a bogus [Social Security number], and talk to Perez Hilton's crook CPA accountancy firm (COUGHS then VOMITS) who pay themselves something like $350,000 a week and then dump $38,000 into shell corporations".

She concluded: "In 2006, Steves went and S-Corped [registered as a small business] the name Hole Inc. No one knows where - probably Delaware - but it's NOT worth getting into, I'll tell you that. Buying me some fish fingers in 1989 is not really a concept I can relate too after stealing from me and participating in stealing from my kid".

Then she finished it all off with this image: twitpic.com/af4tm

So, to recap, Courtney Love says that she owns the name 'Hole' and can use it for anything she likes. She also claims that Eric Erlandson is one of a growing number of people (including Perez Hilton's accountants) to have stolen money from her and, by proxy, her daughter Frances Bean Cobain. The fact that Erlandson once bought her some fish fingers does not make up for this.

Also, as you may have guessed from the length of this piece, Courtney Love is not very good at editing what she wants to say down to 140 characters.

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MODULAR SIGN DELPHIC
Modular have signed former SNAP Of The Day band Delphic, which is nice. They will release their first EP for the label on 28 Aug, followed by their debut album next year. The album will be produced by the brilliant Ewan Pearson, whose credits include Goldfrapp, The Rapture and M83.

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MORRISON TO COLLABORATE WITH MAYER
James Morrison has apparently told the Daily Star that he is to collaborate with John Mayer after becoming friendly with the American rocker whilst supporting him on tour in the US. The singer is quoted as saying: "John offered for me to go to his studio to write together. I've been writing a few new things as a result".

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SNOW PATROL REVEAL ONE-OFF SINGLES
Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody has revealed that the band will release some one-off singles later this year before getting to work on their next album.

Speaking to Xfm, Lightbody said: "We've got a couple more releases later in the year. We're recording some new tracks and we're going to release them - we're dragging ourselves kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. It doesn't have to be albums all the time any more. We're still an albums band and we love the long process of making a record, but we have a bunch of songs that we've been writing recently that we feel are bridging the gap between this record and the next one. So better to do them now, than keep them for a year and let them fester. Better to keep them fresh".

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BOOSH STARS PLAN NEW THING
Noel Fielding and Dave Brown out of The Mighty Boosh have announced that they're to do a new thing in London next month. I say 'thing', because it's not altogether clear what the duo are doing, but they will perform as The Doctor And The Pencil. NME say it's believed to be a DJ thing. Anyway, it will take place at the charity event Macmillan's Brick Lane Takeover on 13 Aug.

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MJ HIBBETT TO PREVIEW ONE-MAN ROCK OPERA
Cult indie folkster MJ Hibbett will preview his new Edinburgh Festival show in London next Tuesday.

'Dinosaur Planet' promises to be "an hour long one man science fiction rock opera, featuring twelve brand new songs and even a couple of jokes". And, if that's not swung it for you, there will also be free badges.

You can find out more about the show at www.dinosaurplanet.co.uk and watch the trailer for it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGBxhAZ5ZvQ.

Also on the bill will be Chris T-T debuting his 'Improvised Piano Recitals' show. It all happens at The Wilmington Arms in London on Tuesday and will cost you just £5 to get in.

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GLADE AND BESTIVAL SELL OUT
See, the general public aren't completely stupid. Two of our very favourite music festivals have sold out - this weekend's Glade festival and September's Bestival. The last ticket for the 10,000 capacity Glade was sold on Tuesday, while Bestival announced it was already sold out for 2009 yesterday. Commenting on the early sell-out for his festival, Bestival chief Rob da Bank told CMU: "I'm quite speechless selling out eight weeks before Bestival actually fires off into Space. It's testament to our amazing and very loyal crowd that we've achieved this in a tricky old year for festies, so roll on September and thanks for selling us out".

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T IN THE PARK WARN FANS ABOUT FAKE TICKETS
T In The Park have warned fans wishing to attend next year's event against buying tickets from any source other than Ticketmaster. Some early bird tickets for the 2010 event went on sale earlier this week, but organisers have pointed out that fans should only purchase these from the official source, and not from such websites as 'fake' T In The Park site www.titp2010.com, which has no connection with the festival itself. Official sale of the early bird tix has been extended to Saturday night, so there really is no excuse for buying fake tickets from the shady fake traders. Check www.tinthepark.com for proper info.

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RYKODISC LABEL MORE CLOSELY INTEGRATED INTO WARNER
Former indie label Rykodisc, which was bought by Warner Music in 2006, is being more closely integrated with its parent company by officially becoming part of the major's Independent Label Group. The move means that New York-based Ryko, up until now a pretty autonomous unit of Warner, will share some marketing and sales resources with the rest of the ILG, meaning at least five job cuts. The integration of the Ryko label with ILG follows the merger of the former indie's distribution business into Warner's Alternative Distribution Alliance earlier this year.

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SPECULATION GALORE ABOUT BORDERS SALE
The current owners of books and CD seller Borders UK have refused to comment on newspaper reports that they are in "advanced talks" with a private equity firm called Valco regarding the sale of their retail chain.

The Independent claims Valco, a division of Hilco, who were busy trying to buy Woolworths prior to that retail chain's collapse, are really keen to acquire Borders and all its spin offs with a view to keeping the retail chain operating as going concern. Which would be nice. Other private equity types are also said to be interested in the UK Borders business, which was spun off from is US parent in 2007, though their intent for the business is not known.

It's been known Borders UK was essentially up for sale for a while now, though speculation about the future of the retailer has grown following confirmation earlier this week that five of its shops, including its flagship London Oxford Street store, would be closed down, with their units sold off to a fashion retailer.

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FUTURE MAGS TO GIVEAWAY 7DIGITAL DOWNLOADS
Download store 7Digital have announced a partnership with Future Publishing which will see the media group offer readers of fifteen of its music and computing magazines ten free downloads. Readers of the music titles will be allowed to pick whatever they like, but PC mag readers will only be allowed to download the Windows start up jingle or the soundtrack to Sonic The Hedghog. Possibly.

Confirming the partnership, 7Digial man Ben Drury said these words: "This promotion is the ideal way to reach a large consumer base who we know are keen to download MP3 music. MP3 is the best format for music lovers and we're pleased to be part of this campaign".

The mags that will offer the downloads are: Guitarist, Rhythm, Windows Vista, Future Music, Total Guitar, Guitar Techniques, Windows XP, MacFormat, Classic Rock, T3, PC Answers, PC Plus, Metal Hammer, Computer Music and Macformat Special.

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MOYLES RE-SIGNS TO RADIO 1
Chris Moyles has renewed his deal with Radio 1 for another year, and taken a pay cut in the process, which is very nice of him. Though, if the Sun is to be believed, he will still get half a million a year, which is about half a million more than he's probably worth, so I don't suppose he'll starve.

A BBC source told the tab: "Chris is Radio 1's biggest star, so we were trying to work out a deal that makes everyone happy. The negotiations were tense, but we all agreed that one more year on the breakfast show would be the best thing for Chris and Radio 1. Neither side was ready to stop just yet".

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GALLAGHER REFUSES TO SPAT WITH BLUR
Noel Gallagher has refused to reignite his band's old feud with Blur. I don't think I need to go into the whole sorry history of The Oasis v. Blur thing do I? Good.

So, Jonathan Ross apparently tried to get Gallagher to criticise Blur, but he's not biting. Hardly a surprise given that the feud was essentially manufactured by the media in the first place (even if Liam G did enjoy joining in on occasion).

Writing about his appearance on Ross's radio show, Noel wrote: "He's a naughty boy, Jonathan. He was determined to try and get me to have a pop at the Blur re-union. Not this time. Those days are long gone. Although it was fun at the time I'd like to think we've all grown up a little bit since then. He has, and it was funny though".

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WINEHOUSE TRASHED ST LUCIA SUITE, SAY REPORTS
According to the Daily Star, Amy Winehouse left her hotel suite in St Lucia in a horrible mess after spending eight months on the Caribbean island.

The tabloid claims she caused £25k worth of damage to her rooms, and will shortly be receiving a bill for the costs incurred. A source is quoted as saying: "There were cigarette burns in the sofa, broken beds, smashed chandeliers, cracked mirrors, and all the plumbing was blocked".

If it's true, I am appalled, as I always am when I hear of such things. Why can't people just respect their environment?

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ANTI GAY DEMOS TARGET IDOL STAR
Adam Lambert was the subject of protests by anti-gay demonstrators when he appeared at an American Idol concert in San Jose at the weekend. The talent show runner up, as previously reported, recently 'came out' to Rolling Stone even though had never actually denied being gay.

Michael Sarver, one of Lambert's fellow finalists and another performer on the night, commented on the protest, staged by members of the nutty Westboro Baptist Church, via Twitter, explaining that Lambert was unfazed by the demo.

"Funny how people think it's a good idea to mess with a big Texan and his AI [American Idol] family", Sarver wrote. "Adam is just fine, shakes it off and so should we. We are together in this thing. You mess with one you mess with all ten. We are strong and we are 1. For those outside protesting I say do not judge less ye be judged yourself. Guys don't mind these people, we are a strong family".

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DOHERTY FORGETS WALLET
Pete Doherty went to the trouble of arranging a late night appointment at the Fred Perry store in Covent Garden recently so he could shop in peace, but forgot to take his wallet with him. Well, that's what the Daily Star says, anyway, so it must be true. A source told the tabloid that the singer chose "armfuls of clothes", but then had no money with him when he came to pay the bill, which came to around £1k. A source is quoted as saying: "Pete looked bewildered after turning out his pockets to find he had no cash. He called a mate to bring a credit card. His mate eventually turned up but the card was declined".

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TIMBERLAKE REFUSES TO GET INTO A FIGHT
Apparently Justin Timberlake didn't get into a spat with a paparazzo in LA earlier this week, despite a snapper reportedly trying his best to engineer a confrontation with the singer.

The singer, it's said, was trying to get out of his car and past the photographer when, for reasons not clear, the pap put down his camera and stepped up to the singer's face in a rather confrontational manner. But Timberlake apparently put his hands in his pockets and refused to get involved, even though the pap was shouting angrily at him.

An onlooker said: "No one could hear what this was all about but the photographer was clearly furious about something. But Justin was really cool - he just faced him down and took it all in his stride".

Well done Justin. What a hero.

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