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Top Stories
Are LA police planning a murder charge over Jacko?
AEG talking to Sony Pictures about Jacko documentary
Madonna meets family of killed crew member
In The Pop Courts
Rowe to sue over friend's Jacko kids claims
Jackson family move to get Katherine named as trustee
Fielder-Civil wants millions for providing 'Back To Black' inspiration
In The Pop Hospital
Pink cancels gig after coming down with laryngitis
Pop Politics
MTV partner with EC on climate change initiative
Reunions & Splits
Velvet Revolver still looking for Weiland replacement
In The Studio
Animal Collective licence first legal Dead sample
Deftones frontman on new songs without, but for, Chi
Release News
Shonen Knife return
Baddies album out in September
Gigs N Tours News
Ne-Yo blogs about tearful early exit from Manchester gig
Festival News
Festivals commended for eco-performance
Sound and wind problems at Benicassim
Album review: The Orb - Baghdad Batteries
The Digital Business
Rock Band launch network to expand song catalogue
Microsoft in talks to buy Yahoo! search
Google hopeful YouTube will become profitable
The Media Business
Scott re-signs to Heart
Chart Of The Day
Chart update
And finally...
Fred Durst gets hitched
Webbe says bandmate's bisexuality "no big deal"
Cole supporting Dixon following controversial strictly appointment
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts

Yes, it's one of CMU's very favourite festivals this coming weekend, the early Summer little brother of the mighty Bestival. The three-day Camp Bestival is well and truly one for all the family - think village fete meets music festival. In a castle. Music wise, Bestival-chief Rob da Bank has once again got together an eclectic array of top quality bands and artists for your enjoyment. Here Team CMU picks ten of its favourites to offer you at home a Camp Bestival CMU-Tube selection.
01: Baddies - Battleships
Let's kick things off with a solid rock track, shall we? This track shows off everything we love about the still buzzy Baddies: it's loud, slightly odd and a little bit poppy. The video also matches this description. Plus, it might give you motion sickness, which is a great way to start things off, I think you'll agree.

02: Dan Black - Yours
I've always said that the problem with most music videos these days is that they don't have enough people with massive guns for heads in them. Thankfully, this one goes some way to rectifying that. "I don't wanna be yours no more", says Dan. And nothing says "It's over" like having a massive gun for a head.

03: Florence And The Machine - Dog Days Are Over
We love Florence And The Machine, and we don't care who knows it. That lady has quite a voice on her. She also knows how to have a weird party in the woods, as this video proves.

04: Laura Marling - Ghosts
Laura Marling also has a good voice, but she keeps it quieter that Florence. By which I mean she's sings quietly, not badly. This video features a nice combination of Fuzzy Felt and digital animation. And Fuzzy Felt is another thing too often lacking in music videos these days.

05: Micachu And The Shapes - Lips
The thing about Micachu And The Shapes is that they sound like they've just stumbled across some instruments and decided to have a go at playing them. In a good way. Possibly. I've still not made my mind up, to be honest. All the more reason to check them out at Camp Bestival.

06: Phoenix - If I Ever Feel Better
This song came out nearly ten years ago, and in that time has carved itself a special little place in my internal jukebox. There's something comforting about its chorus that means I don't mind when it revolves endlessly around my head. It's nicer when the whole song is played properly all the way through, though.

07: PJ Harvey - C'mon Billy
Do I need to say anything about this? It's Peej. She is good. This song is obviously quite old now, and I probably should have picked something a little newer. But, hey, it's a good song and she'll almost certainly play it at Camp Bestival.

08: Roots Manuva - Witness 1 Hope
How have I never seen this video before? It is a work of genius. Still reeling from the fact that he came last in every event he entered at his school sports day when he was aged nine, Roots decides to get in shape and have another crack at proving his sporting prowess. I won't spoil it by saying any more.

09: Tinchy Stryder - Number 1
When this single was released it went straight to number one in the singles chart. We feared that if it stopped being in that position it could bring about the end of the universe. It didn't though. Everything was fine.

10: Will Young - Leave Right Now
This is going to do little for my hyper cool image, but this is one of my favourite music videos ever. Pop acts don't tend to make good videos (I refer you to the previous Tinchy Stryder video), but this is a major exception. All filmed in one shot, the visuals and lyrics combine to tell a story. I like stories.

Now you've read the blurbs, find out what we're banging on about by actually watching the videos, here: Meanwhile check out all things Camp Bestival at

This Japanese all-girl trio have apparently been going since the late '90s, though it's their performances at Lovebox, Supersonic and other Euro fests that are garnering the attention of math rock nuts - myself included - for their onstage noodling and structured yet freewheel musical experimentation. Like Battles without the commercial appeal and !!! minus the danceable bits (and Nic Offer's vibrant dance moves), they make a beeline for elongated periods of skittering hi-hat and skirmishes with a cow bell, simultaneously abandoning any hopes of a spot on Radio 1's A List, but there's much joy to be had in that. They've a few more shows to play in the UK on this trip, including one at London's Luminaire tonight, and having already supported both Prefuse 73 and Battles back in their home country you wouldn't bet against Warp or a like-minded label picking them up for a UK release sometime soon.


So, according to the News Of The World, police investigating Michael Jackson's death will press second-degree murder charges as soon as this week, and they've presumably been hacking into the LAPD's voicemail system, so they should know.

According to the tab, the first set of toxicology test results on Jacko's body suggest that, as expected, the singer died of an injected overdose of a prescription painkiller, most likely Diprivan. The second-degree murder charges would be made against whoever administered the drug, with reports suggesting it's the US Drug Enforcement Administration who are encouraging the police to make an arrest.

The NoW claims police have already told the Jackson family about their intent to arrest whoever injected Jackson with the painkiller - as previously reported, the most likely suspect is the singer's personal physician Dr Conrad Murray, even though he continues to deny administering any drugs prior to his former employer's death, and despite the fact police have previously said the medic was not a suspect.

The tabloid quotes a friend of Jackson, Terry Harvey, as saying: "The autopsy shows that Michael died of a drug overdose with Diprivan and a range of pills in his stomach. He had needle marks on his neck and all over his body. The authorities have told the family the Drug Enforcement Administration are pushing for a criminal charge. It is likely to be second-degree murder, due to the actions which led to his death. They have been assured that someone, or maybe more than one person, will be brought to trial. The family are working with the DEA and Los Angeles Police Department to work out which doctor prescribed Michael these drugs and how far back this serious problem runs".

Harvey adds that the Jacksons are also considering a civil lawsuit - presumably for negligence - against any medic accused of causing the cardiac arrest that killed Michael. If the offending medic proved to be Murray, that might also mean a lawsuit would be filed against AEG Live who were paying the doctor, though the tour promoter's top man Randy Phillips has previously said it was Jackson himself who insisted Murray be hired as his personal medic.

Harvey continued: "The family is speaking about whether there is enough evidence to take a private lawsuit against the promoters or the doctors involved. Once the criminal charges are announced, the family will file for a wrongful death lawsuit. I can see Joe filing a lawsuit against anyone who is found to have caused fatal harm to his beloved son. He and the rest of the family are serious about getting to the bottom of his son's death and insists it's foul play. It's no secret that AEG appointed a doctor to look after Michael's welfare".

It's not clear if the expected arrest would rely on the full results from the aforementioned toxicology tests being available. It had been thought those results may be available this week - ahead of schedule - but that is now looking less likely. The LA coroner has reportedly told the Associated Press that it could be another two weeks before the full results are released.

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Reps from AEG Live, promoters of the doomed 'This Is It' Jacko residency of course, were reportedly doing the rounds of the Hollywood studios last week with a bid to organising a cinema release for the previously reported documentary on Jackson's last few weeks.

As previously reported, AEG is sitting on a load of footage from the 'This Is It' rehearsals, footage that would presumably have been used as extras on a official live DVD had the Jacko O2 venture gone ahead. AEG boss Randy Phillips has already indicated he plans to release that footage in one way or another, partly to recoup his company's investment in the pulled 'This Is It' residency.

As also previously reported, the only snag with those proposals is that Sony Music would have to give its approval if any of Jacko's music was to appear in the docu, and let's face it, that would be pretty essential. For that reason, while AEG reps reportedly met with at least three film studios last week, Sony Pictures is currently favourite to do the deal, in a rare bit of joined up thinking at Sony Corp.

The idea of a cinema release for the documentary is new, but could bring in a second layer of income ahead of a DVD release if it could be pulled off. Whether cinema screenings and a DVD release could both be achieved ahead of Christmas - a 'This Is It' DVD surely performing best in the Christmas market - remains to be seen. If AEG can pull off a Jackson tribute show for the end of August, as previously mooted, presumably footage from that could be included in the documentary also.

Elsewhere in Jackson footage news, Pepsi has said it has no idea how footage of a young Jacko catching fire while filming an ad for the drinks firm ended up on the internet. As previously reported, previously unseen footage of the 1984 incident, when misfiring pyrotechnics set Jackson's hair on fire, appeared on the net via Us Weekly magazine last week.

A spokeswoman for Pepsi US told reporters on Friday: "We don't know how the footage became available. This was an unfortunate accident that occurred more than 25 years ago. It was a terrifying event that we'll never forget. We were grateful for Michael's recovery [from the 1984 accident] and for the chance [we got] to continue working with him on a number of [other] successful projects".

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Madonna has paid a personal visit to the family of one of the men killed after an accident while constructing a stage for a date on the singer's Sticky And Sweet tour in France As previously reported, a number of technicians working on setting up the singer's planned concert in Marseille were injured when the top section of a stage unit fell in on them. One crew member was killed immediately, while it was confirmed on Friday a second worker had died. Madonna, who said she was "devastated" about the fatalities, flew to Marseille to meet the family of one of the men who died. Her concert in the city has been cancelled.

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Back to Jacko, and the singer's ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, is suing a former friend over the publication of emails in which the nurse said she didn't want custody of her children, but was pretending she did so not to look heartless.

As previously reported, one Rebecca White last week told reporters she had emails from Rowe, who she described as a 'close friend', in which Jackson's ex seemingly said she had no interest in caring for the two children she had with Jacko - Prince Michael and Paris - but that she was pretending she did on the advice of her lawyer, so as not to look heartless.

In legal papers filed in LA on Friday, Rowe accuses White of fabricating the emails, saying she hasn't corresponded with her friend at all since Jackson's death. She is suing White for defamation, invasion of privacy and infliction of emotional distress, though it's not clear what sort of damages she is claiming.

White's comments followed reports in the New York Post that claimed Rowe had accepted $4 million from the Jackson family in return for agreeing to give up her parental rights over the two children. Both Rowe and the Jacksons have denied those reports, with the former's lawyer calling them "blatant falsehoods", though the Post says it stands by its story, and as yet Rowe doesn't seem to have filed libel proceedings against the newspaper.

In related news, the formal court hearing to discuss custody of Jackson's three children, which was assigned to Jacko's mother Katherine in his will, has been postponed again. It was previously postponed at the request of both Rowe and the Jacksons, who requested more time for out of court discussions to continue. The hearing was originally rescheduled for this week, but has now been pushed back into August. No reason was given for the latest postponement, though TMZ say its because an agreement between Katherine Jackson and Rowe's attorneys is close to being reached.

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More Jacko related litigation, and representatives for Katherine Jackson have reportedly now filed legal papers at the LA court in a bid to give the singer's mother a formal role in overseeing her son's estate.

As previously reported, Jackson's most recent will, from 2002, names former business advisor John Branca and record label exec John McClain as executors. The Jackson family initially objected to Branca and McClain taking charge of Michael's affairs, and indicated another more recent will may as yet surface, but have more recently accepted the two mens' roles over Jacko's estate, but requested that Katherine be appointed as a third trustee.

A spokesman for Branca and McLain said last week that the Jackson family had told them they'd apply to the court for Katherine to be given an official role in her son's affairs, but the spokesman said no official papers had been filed to that effect. Those papers arrived at the court on Friday.

Showbiz411's Roger Friedman claims that Jackson's father Joe is actually driving the legal action to get Katherine named as a trustee, wanting to have some influence over his son's finances, but seeing his wife as the acceptable face of the family.

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Back to the News Of The World, but this time with Amy Winehouse news, and the tabloid reported yesterday that the singer's now ex-husband is pushing for a $9 million divorce settlement on the basis he was the inspiration for her hit album 'Back To Black'.

As previously reported, the High Court in London last week granted a decree nisi to formally begin the ending of Amy Winehouse and Blake Fielder-Civil's marriage, the latter accusing the former of adultery in his legal papers. There is now six weeks until the decree absolute, which properly ends the marriage, is granted, and in that time Fielder-Civil's reps will be busy seeing just how much of the Winehouse fortune they can get their hands on as part of the couple's divorce settlement.

The tab says Fielder-Civil claims he provided the inspiration for 'Back To Black', mainly by leaving his then girlfriend for a while. Such a claim, if it is, indeed, part of Fielder-Civil's case, would, of course, be ridiculous because, as a News Of The World source says: "Amy did write 'Back To Black' when Blake left her, but why on earth should he be getting a dime for making her feel so bad? She was at her lowest ebb when she wrote that album. Her boyfriend had left her for another woman and she poured her heart and soul into the writing process. It's like saying that the man who writes a book about his murdered wife should give the murderer some of the profits. It's an absolutely ridiculous request".

The tab's source continues: "He thinks he was a big part of her success with 'Back To Black' and deserves money for what he put up with. Amy is furious and doesn't want to negotiate. But she's happy for his outrageous demands to be made public because she wants to show him up".

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Pink had to cancel a gig in Australia this weekend because she's suffering from laryngitis. The promoter of the show in Brisbane said they'd made the decision to postpone the first of a run of gigs in the city so "to enable Pink to continue delivering her spectacular show for audiences around the country". Her other Brisbane dates, due to kick off on Wednesday, are expected to go ahead as planned. The cancelled date has been rescheduled for next Monday.

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MTV has teamed up with the European Commission to try and boost awareness among young Europeans of the issues around climate change with an initiative called Play To Stop. The partnership will see the music network broadcast various informative TV spots and stage a number of events in the run up to a big climate conference that will take place in Copenhagen in December. There'll be a Moby gig somewhere along the way too.

Confirming the partnership, EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas told CMU: "Today's young people will bear the brunt of the impacts of climate change. The Copenhagen conference is probably our last chance to tackle climate change before it spirals out of control. There is an enormous desire around the globe for agreement to be reached, and we have to sustain that momentum. Events like this are vital, because young people are a tremendously important pressure group. They will be most affected by climate change - so their voices are the most important".

MTV's Antonio Campo Dall'Orto added: "No country will be spared the effects of climate change, and future generations will be worst affected. That's why communicating the urgency of the problem, and fighting behaviour that aggravates climate change, are so fundamental for MTV. It's a battle we fight step by step, day after day. The battle for a more sustainable, eco-friendly future is as much about democracy as it is about the environment, so we are proud to support the precious work the EU is doing for the environment through this Play To Stop - Europe For Climate campaign".

The various bits of the MTV climate change campaign will be brought together at an interactive website thingy:

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Slash has admitted that Velvet Revolver are still to find a suitable new frontman, but says he's willing to wait until the right artist walks through the door. The rock band have been looking for a new frontman, of course, since the slightly acrimonious departure of original singer Scott Weiland last year.

Speaking to, Slash said: "I haven't heard any amazing submissions from singers as of late. Velvet when it finds the right guy will be amazing, but I'm in no rush. I'm not freaking out - because that's how we got Scott in the first place. He was the first decent guy that came up".

Asked how he feels about Weiland now the dust has settled from the former frontman's departure, Slash insisted he had no hard feelings towards his former bandmate, adding: "Scott to me is now like George Bush - y'know, I like him now that he's not here".

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Animal Collective have become the first band ever to have a Grateful Dead sample cleared for use. The freak folk band use a portion of the Dead's song 'Unbroken Chain' in a new track called 'What Would I Want Sky'.

Posting on Twitter, Animal Collective's management company, Leg Up Management, confirmed that the deal had gone through, adding that it was cleared because Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh "loved the track".

You can hear the sample in question in use on this live recording of 'What Would I Want Sky':

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Deftones have written a new album in honour of their bass player, Chi Cheng, who, as previously reported, has been very ill ever since being involved in a car crash last November.

Although there were reports in May that Cheng was out of his coma, it seems the bassist is, in fact, still in a serious condition and is yet to regain full consciousness. The development in May was really that he was moved out of intensive care - having been readmitted to that facility a month earlier after developing a potentially fatal infection.

The band had already pretty much finished an album prior to Cheng's accident, but they have put that project on hold and instead recorded some new songs in response to the trauma of seeing a friend in such a critical condition.

Speaking about Cheng's condition, the band's singer, Chino Moreno, told Kerrang!: "To see your brother in that condition... I can't even find the words to explain how it feels. I've spent the last 20 years of my life right next to him. Every little thing we do, I'm used to doing with Chi by my side. Now, when I look over, he's not there. At the moment, he's still in a coma. It's a weird stage. When someone's in a state like that, he's still here with us but yet he's not. He's in limbo. It's been pretty tough. I miss my friend. I want him to come back. I hope he comes back soon".

Speaking about the new material the band have worked on without Cheng, Moreno continued: "I know that, deep down, Chi would be proud of us and, in a big way, we're doing this [new album] for him. We're trying to do the best we can for him, for us, and for the situation, and that's to bury our heads in music. If anything positive can come out of this, then working on this music has really brought rest of us guys very, very close".

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Japanese punky popsters Shonen Knife have been together for nearly 30 years, not that you'd know from looking at them. Anyway, they've announced that they will release a new album, 'Super Group', via Good Charamel Records on 25 Aug. The ten track album includes a cover of Paul McCartney's 'Jet'.

You can download the title track here:

Meanwhile, here's the complete tracklist:

Super Group
Muddy Bubbles Hell
Deer Biscuits
BBQ Party
Pyramid Power
Time Warp
Na Na Na
Your Guitar

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The still buzzy Baddies, who play Camp Bestival this coming weekend and appear in our CMU-Tube Camp Bestival selection, have confirmed their debut album will be out in September. So that's something to look forward to. Those wanting to get an sneaky preview of some of the 12 tracks on debut LP 'Do The Job' will have to check out the band at Camp Bestie this weekend, or when they play Reading and the Leeds at the end of next month, or you could gatecrash the 'secret gig' that's taking place at the Camden Barfly on 27 Jul.

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Ne-Yo has spoken about a gig in Manchester last Thursday, in which he was forced to leave the stage, in floods of tears, because of ill health. The tears, it seems, were because he has never had to prematurely quit a show before. The R&B star was apparently clearly struggling during his show at the MEN Arena last week, before making an impromptu departure from the stage. He reappeared shortly later in floods of tears to tell the audience: "I've never not completed a show, I've never done this before".

Commenting on the aborted gig and the tears, Ne-Yo wrote on "Basically, I have an issue with not knowing when to say enough is enough, so last night in Manchester, my body said it for me. I got on stage energized and ready to go, even though for the last five days I've been dealing with a sinus infection. I paid it no real mind, and kept on going, like I always do. My voice couldn't take it. From the first song I knew something was wrong. I shoulda stopped there, but I come from a school where no matter what, the show must go on. It wasn't until about four songs in that I came to the painful realisation that my voice was done, literally nothing left, and that I would have to stop the show".

He continued: "I've never had to stop a show, never dreamed I'd ever have to. So when I had to walk out on that stage and tell 12,000 of the people responsible for making me who I am that I could not perform for them, it literally broke my heart. I cried harder than I have in a very long time with no shame whatsoever".

For anyone wanting to mock Ne-Yo for the tears, you know, for being a bit of a girl about it all, well, he has this to say: "To anyone out there that would like to question my manhood because of this I'll say this to you: If the one thing you cared about more than anything else in the world was threatened or even taken from you, if you knew that the people you cared for the most you had to disappoint and it was your fault... and this didn't spark some kind of emotional outbreak within you... then with no shame I'll say you are truly a stronger man than I. Thanks to the fans for the love and concern. And to the bloggers... go to hell". So that's you bloggers told. See you in hell.

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Seven UK festivals have been presented with a Greener Festival Award in recognition of their efforts to entertain the masses without killing the planet. Awards have been distributed by the A Greener Festival organisation to The Sunrise Celebration, Download, Firegathering, Glastonbury, Wireless, The Isle Of Wight Festival and T In The Park.

As previously reported, the awards are presented based on a 56 point checklist which rates festivals on green office policies, energy use and carbon reduction, travel and transport, support for green initiatives, waste management, recycling, water use and environmental protection and noise pollution.

The eco-fest body also commended some non-UK festivals for their environmental initiatives, including Italy's Rototom Reggae Sunsplash, Australia's Peats Ridge, The Falls Festival, Bluesfest, WomAdelaide and Southbound, and, in America, The Atlanta Jazz Festival and Bonnaroo.

All festivals who have won the Greener Festival's seal of approval will get a special trophy designed by sixth form student Sade Goddard from Keswick School in Cumbria, who won a competition to find an award design. Goddard's award is made from recycled plastics with a music festival theme - crushed CDs, remoulded plastic water bottles and unwanted Wellington boots.

Confirming this year's awards, Ben Challis, co-founder of A Greener Festival, told CMU: "This is the third year of our awards scheme and it is clear that our participating event organisers are doing more and more to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, reduce waste and move towards a carbon neutral infrastructure. The key issue now is working with the audience to reduce travel emissions - which can sometimes make up almost three quarters of a festivals' carbon footprints".

He continued: "Our auditors have noticed that more and more festivals are starting to work with the audience to promote sustainable lifestyles - the team that came back from the Isle of Wight raved about the really clever initiatives there. In the US the Bonnaroo Festival was praised for its innovative education programmes and both Glastonbury and T In The Park both work hard to promote green issues - by adopting new and improved practices each and every year, and by working to publicise new initiatives".

He concluded: "We are also delighted with the new Award trophy designed and made by students at Keswick School in Cumbria which combines an attractive design with recycled plastics, CDs and Wellington boots, thousands of pairs of which are sadly left behind at festivals".

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Oasis seem to be followed around by sound problems at the moment, don't they? The latest Oasis gig to be hindered by bad sound was their set at this weekend's Benicassim festival. Noel Gallagher wrote on his blog this weekend that his band's set at the Spanish festival last Thursday was basically a waste of time because of sound issues. Though he seems impressed with the festival's audience.

Noel: "Benicassim. What a fuckin' waste of time! The problem was... wait for it... yes! The fuckin' PA. It blew twice! And the monitor system blew twice! It's becoming a joke. And not a very funny one. If it wasn't for those bloody kids it would've been a disaster. I really can't say enough about the crowd. Unbelievable behaviour. Special mention to the topless birds - what a welcome sight that was!"

As previously reported, the first of Oasis's big homecoming shows in Manchester last month was severely hindered by sound problems, while there were some sound issues at one of their more recent shows at Wembley Stadium too.

Oasis's dodgy sound wasn't the only technical problem at the Benicassim festival. While this weekend's festivals in the UK had to tolerate their fair share of rain fall, in Spain it was the wind that caused problems. Some smaller stages were closed, some campers relocated to a near by leisure centre, and the Kings Of Leon's Friday night headline set was cancelled because of the gales that kept blowing across the site. Organisers hoped to reschedule the Kings for later in the weekend, but alas they were due in Switzerland for another gig so didn't get to play.

Lily Allen also pulled out of the festival, though I think that was due to ill-health and not as a result of her stage, or Allen herself, being blown away.

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Orb - Baghdad Batteries (Malicious Damage)
Last year's 'The Dream' saw The Orb revisit their poppier side, and it was arguably their best and most accessible album since their 90s heyday. 'Baghdad Batteries' sees them (this time 'them' being Dr Alex Paterson and the returning Thomas Fehlmann) swiftly returning to their more experimental side, though the subtle melodies and deftly deployed beats remain present and correct, on another electronica odyssey that feels at times more inner space than outer space. 'BB' essentially comprises minimal, spacey ambience, with a purity and single-mindedness about the sound that may surprise. In keeping with the sparse sound, samples and vocals (and, actually, beats too) are notable by their absence. As such, there's little of the quirky humour ('Woodlarking' aside) often to be found on The Orb's excursions, but it remains an engaging album from start to end. At times it's arguably too minimal for its own good, but at its best, such as 'Raven's Surprise' (with its backwards guitars bookending a psychedelic sunrise) or the shimmering krautrock pulse of 'Dolly's Unit' (think futuristic autobahns decked in glitterballs), 'Baghdad Batteries' is a sublime listen. MS
Release Date: 7 Sep
Press Contact: Get Involved [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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So this could be interesting. The makers of the 'Rock Band' franchise, so MTV and Harmonix, have announced plans to launch a new online network that will let unsigned bands and indie labels get their music into the popular pretend-to-play game with minimum investment.

The Rock Band Network will allow anyone who controls both recording and publishing rights on a song to upload their master recordings to a central hub, where they will be picked up by one of a network of freelance developers who will add the game functionality to the track. Another network of developers and major Rock Band nuts will also be set up to test any interactive tracks developed this way. Tracks that go through all stages of the process will then be made available to Rock Band users via a new download store. Content owners will be able to set the price of each download, and will receive a 30% royalty on any sales. The developer who did the interactive bit presumably also gets a cut.

The aim of the Network is to enable unsigned bands and smaller labels to tap into the revenue potential of the pretend-to-play gaming phenomenon, and maybe even major labels too, the lack of resource at Harmonix to do bespoke artists deals and the lack of in-house knowledge at labels with regards the interactive component often a blockage to getting more content into the 'Rock Band' system. As well as benefiting artists and labels by providing a new revenue stream, the network will also ensure 'Rock Band' has a much bigger catalogue of tracks to pretend to play than their competitors.

The network is reportedly already in private beta stage, with plans to launch a public beta in the summer, and to go live, initially via the Xbox, later this year.

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There are new rumours that Microsoft might be close to do doing a big deal with Yahoo!, though this time to just buy the web firm's search engine business, and the accompanying advertising sales division. Some reckon that when Microsoft tried to buy Yahoo! outright last year it was the web company's search division that they were really interested in.

Insiders say a deal between the two firms is imminent, and could see the IT giant pay the web firm $3 billion for its search business. That would be quite a climb down for Yahoo!, who previously turned down a $45 billion bid for its entire business - a deal which would have put a much higher asking price on search. As previously reported, Yahoo! management's decision to turn down that offer was not popular with some of the firm's shareholders, and ultimately led to the downfall of the company's CEO, Jerry Yang.

Microsoft recently relaunched its own search engine under a new brand, Bing, in a bid to win back a bit of the web search market which is, of course, dominated by Google these days. The fact it is still keen to acquire Yahoo!'s search facility might suggest Microsoft bosses have been disappointed with the public's lacklustre response to the Bing launch. I know I would be if I was them.

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Talking of Google, they reckon that their video service, YouTube, will be profitable in the near future. Many investment types have expressed concern about the video platform, which Google acquired for $1.65 billion in 2006, because ad revenues have been slow to grow compared to the streaming costs of running the so far loss-making service, not to mention the cost of paying royalties to mainstream content owners.

But Google boss Eric Schmidt said in a talk with investment types on Thursday that "YouTube is now on a trajectory that we're very pleased with". It's thought Schmidt's renewed optimism about his video service is based on the expansion of ad types being made available by YouTube, which now include ad spots within the video player itself, innovations which have seemingly been positively received by the advertising industry.

Of course, if YouTube starts to actually turn a profit, that's going to make content owners like record labels and, in particular, collecting societies like PRS For Music all the more adamant that the video site should be paying higher royalties for the rights to stream their content. The royalty disputes between YouTube and PRS, and between the video site and German collecting society GEMA, are ongoing of course.

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Harriet Scott has re-signed to Heart 106.2 for another two years where she will continue to co-host the breakfast show with that Jamie Theakston fella. As previously reported, there had been rumours she was considering an offer from a rival station to front her own programme, though Heart insiders seemed confident she'd re-sign with them, which she has.

Confirming her new deal, Harriet told reporters: "I absolutely love presenting Heart Breakfast with Jamie as every day is great fun, whether we're talking to a Hollywood star or our brilliant listeners. I'm delighted to be continuing to get London up in the mornings".

Richard Park of Heart owners Global Radio added: "The pairing of Jamie and Harriet on Heart Breakfast is a proven winner and we're delighted Harriet is staying to continue what has already been a fantastic year. We look forward to their show going from strength-to-strength as we build on that success in the future".

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Now, obviously I've seen all those stories in the tabloids about JLS getting mobbed by fans, but I assumed they were some sort of joke. Or just lazy gossip columnists reprinting whatever the PR folk were telling them. But, no, it seems that JLS actually do have a lot of fans. Enough fans to not only put them at number one in the singles chart this week, but to give them the highest first week sales for a debut single this year. In fact, with 100,000 units sold, only Dizzee Rascal's 'Bonkers' has sold more copies in a week than 'Beat Again'. Who'd have thought? It also means that 'X Factor' has now spawned ten number one singles.

Also new in the top ten is Chicane with 'Poppiholla', which goes straight in at number seven, and Pitbull with 'I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)', which moves up from 13. New in the top 40 are Beyonce with 'Sweet Dreams', which is up from 52 last week, 3OH!3 with 'Don't Trust Me', which is a new entry at 21, 'Never Forget You' by Noisettes, which moves from 41 to 30, and '21 Guns' by Green Day, which moves from 60 to 40.

In the album chart, 'The Essential Michael Jackson' is still at number one, and the recently departed singer also holds the third and forth slots, as well, with Florence & The Machine at two and Lady GaGa at five. Although Jacko sales have tailed off a little this week, dropping to a still impressive 300,000 records, he still has five albums in the top ten, and while 'Man In The Mirror' has slipped to number eight in the singles chart, he still has 37 of the top 200 singles.

New entries on the album chart are Jack White's new band Dead Weather at 14, the New Seakers' greatest hits package at 17, Leonard Cohen's greatest hits at 29, followed by VV Brown's debut album 'Travelling Like A Light' at 30, and Billy Talent with '3' at 35. It's also worth noting that two Killers albums have re-entered the chart this week, with 'Day & Age' at 23 and 'Hot Fuss' at 39.

The charts are stuck on the fridge by the mum of The Official Charts Company and then thrown away when she thinks they've forgotten about them.

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Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst has married his girlfriend Esther Nazarov at a secret wedding in Las Vegas. We know this because Durst tweeted us all, obviously. He told his Twitter followers: "Cheers to the universe from me and my lovely wife Esther Durst! We are now one and complete". He previously announced his engagement to Nazarov three months ago via the micro-blogging network, and shortly after Friday's wedding posted some pics of the ceremony via Twitter too. How very modern.

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Blue's Simon Webbe has said his bandmate Duncan James coming out as bisexual last week is no big deal, is something they've known about for ages, and won't have any impact on the band. So there you go.

Speaking to the Mirror, Webbe said: "To me Duncan has always been out, so it's no different for me or the boys - we have always known. We're a team and we're there for him. I love him and want him to be happy. I'm sure it's a weight off his shoulders".

He continued: "Look, we're in 2009 now and it's not a bad thing - people aren't as naive and won't be looking to turn it into something it's not - it's not a big deal and we don't want to turn it into a big deal".

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Girl Aloud Cheryl Cole has reportedly been dishing out advice to Alesha Dixon on the best ways to dish out nonsense on tedious telly talent shows. Dixon, you see, is the new judge on 'Strictly Come Dancing', the BBC show which the one time Misteeqer once competed on herself.

Her appointment has not been without controversy, because she replaces the axed Arlene Phillips, and numerous commentators, including a number of BBC insiders, have criticised producers revamping the show for being ageist, and conforming to the undeniable stereotype that in telly-land the male presenters and judges can be well past it, but when it comes to the ladies, a pretty girl is always better than a experienced expert in her sixties.

Cole, of course, also took over from an older lady when she became a judge on 'X Factor', taking over, as she did, from Sharon Osbourne. A source has told the Daily Star: "One of the first people Alesha talked to when she was offered the 'Strictly' job was Cheryl. They are really close friends and Cheryl has been there and done it, so she's the perfect person to give advice. Cheryl replaced an older star on 'X Factor' when she took over from Sharon Osbourne, so she knows what that pressure is like".

But the source added that 'X Factor' chief Simon Cowell won't be impressed with Cole giving advice to the newest recruit on his telly franchise's biggest rival. Said source added: "Simon won't be pleased if he finds out, especially as the two shows will be going head to head in the ratings this autumn". Whether that will affect rumoured plans to make Cole the frontwoman of the previously reported new entertainment/fashion powerhouse being launched by Cowell and retail tycoon Philip Green remains to be see. I reckon almost certainly not.

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