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Top Stories
Joe Jackson gives interview to Larry King
In The Pop Courts
C-Murder trial set for January
Browne and McCain settle over song use
Game minder accused of thumping fan
Awards & Contests
Mercury Music Prize shortlist announced
Artist Deals
EMI sign rising LA star
In The Studio
Weezer add finishing touches to new album
Black says no new Pixies on the horizon
Release News
Shakira's going to lift us out of recession
Zero 7 announce new album
Books News
Ozzy pens autobiography
Gigs N Tours News
Dekarta Project launch new EP tonight
A-ha in-store
Talks, Debates N Trade Fairs
Robbie collaborators to take part in songwriting forum
Brands N Stuff
Little Boots partners with Nokia
The Music Business
INgrooves partners with Topspin
PIAS launch UK comedy division
The Digital Business
IFPI will swoop for damages if Pirate Bay sale goes ahead
Spotify sign up IODA
Would Twitter pay famous tweeters?
The Media Business
Metal Hammer gets show on NME Radio
Bebo big up their daily music show
And finally...
Kelis in labour
Stryder's feeling lonely
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts

Mr Melody and Rider Shafique, aka Black Canvas, have been regulars on the breaks and drum n bass scene in recent years. Melody appeared on CMU favourite Adam Freeland's 'Now & Them' album, while Shafique has appeared on tracks by the likes of Black Grass and Chase & Status. Both have appeared on work by production duo Pressure Drop, one half of which, ChubbyJ, co-wrote and produced the debut Black Canvas album, 'Rise', which is released this week via Tayo and Skool Of Thought's Cool & Deadly label. We spoke to Rider Shafique to find out more.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I remember being in my bedroom with my brother. We both had small radio cassette players and would play a cassette of instrumentals on one of the players while freestyling our lyrics into the speaker of the other player while it was recording. It was cool to have a cassette of your own voice and the addiction started there. The time was taken writing new lyrics and developing my own personal style vocally. Later, both myself and Mr Melody were involved in local reggae soundsytems and would vibe to the latest reggae/dancehall tracks from Jamaica. It was a natural progression to want to take things further and develop our own signature sound and style.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
'Rise' is just a reflection of our lives at that time so generally it was inspired by day to day life and our stance. We wanted to reflect our versatility, our rich heritage and culture. We decided to portray a positive message, an uplifting one, rather that dwelling on the negative aspects of society. We wanted to create an album that hopefully will appeal to all, regardless of age, colour and creed, and one that will stand the test of time.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Firstly we will get some ideas together, such as samples or riffs, and create a rough beat to work with. We then write to that beat. Our rough vocals are recorded and listened to, and we then flesh out the whole thing. Improve on the vocal takes, arrange the beat, add instrumentation and backing vocals etc.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
There are many but mainly the sounds of [legendary Jamaican record label] Studio One and other conscious reggae music labels.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Listen carefully. It's deeper than you think.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Hopefully 'Rise' will get the attention it deserves and we can tour and take our sound all over the world. We both are working on solo projects and are collaborating with producers from many different musical genres, so we are going to continue putting in the work and pushing our musical boundaries.


There's been a bit of fuss about Londoner Ellie Goulding since the start of 2009, though it's not until recently that she's really begun to make moves, inking a deal with Polydor and rising to the number one position on blog aggregator The Hype Machine's charts with a Jakwob remix of 'Starry Eyed'. Her vocals floss over the pummelling dubstep grind, turning what is a usually a dissonant genre into a slice of ethereal, swirling pop, albeit one with a fearsome bassline. The original is as equally entrancing, forefronting her vocals, which are similar to Swedish singer Lykke Li's breathy tones, though closer still to another singer that I definitely know, but just haven't been able to place yet. Take a listen to the Jakwob remix at the link below, then head to her MySpace for a fairly standard cover of Bon Iver's 'The Wolves' and more of her own impressive material.




In a slightly rambling, rather uncomfortable interview, Michael Jackson's father has again denied physically abusing his son back in the Jackson 5 days, while claiming not to know where the late king of pop's body is currently being stored, and refuting stories he is planning on launching a new pop group around Jacko's children, an enterprise dubbed by some media as the Jackson 3.

Jackson Senior gave an interview to Larry King in which the CNN man asked all sorts of questions about the patriarch's relationship with his son, in the distance past and in more recent years, as well about how he and other specific family members have reacted to Michael Jackson's sudden demise.

Tackling the widely believed allegations that Jackson Senior beat a young Michael when he wouldn't comply with the demands of being a child superstar, allegations made most explicitly by Jacko in the infamous 2003 Martin Bashir documentary about the singer, Joe told King: "I raised him just like you would raise your kids, you know? But harm Michael, for what? I have no reason. That's my son. I loved him and I still love him".

He continued: "The media keep hollering about saying that I beat Michael. That's not true. You know what this beat started - beat started in the slavery days. Where they used to beat the slaves and then they used to torture them. That's where this beating started. These slave masters, and that's where that come from. Now, Michael was never beaten by me. I've never beaten at all".

Whatever the truth, it certainly seems that in his later years Michael was not especially close to his father, certainly compared to his relationships with other family members - evidenced in the fact the singer left his father out of his will. Asked by King how he felt about that, Jackson continued: "That's the way he wanted it. And it's not going to hurt me that I was left out of his will. But it happened".

Jackson Snr gave the impression that he'd been left out of a lot of the formalities relating to his son's death, though it's possible he was trying to just dodge the trickier questions. On the issue of where Jackson's body was being stored ahead of a proper burial, Jackson claimed to be in the dark. Asked whether he had had a chance to pay his last respects to his son in private, he implied the only time he'd been in the late singer's presence was alongside everyone else at the public memorial service at the Staples Center earlier this month.

King also challenged Joe about rumours he had plans to launch a next generation Jackson group featuring his grandchildren by Michael - Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket. He denied he had any such plans, which isn't a surprise given the original story always seemed to be based on a deliberate misunderstanding of a previous quote from Jackson Snr in which he simply observed that it wouldn't surprise him if Jacko's kids followed their father into a showbusiness career.

Asked about the Jackson 3 stories, Joe rambled: "Not true. That's a bunch of jive. That's a bunch of... I wish I could say what I should say. That's a bunch of bull... I'm not encouraging them to do nothing. They have to be what they are, kids at the moment".

Needless to say back on the matter of Jacko's death, Joe again reiterated his belief that there was some kind of foul play involved in his son's sudden passing. And, like an increasing number of people, he pointed the finger at Jackson's personal doctor Conrad Murray, remarking: "The doctor gave him something to make him rest and he don't wake up no more. Something is wrong".

You can see a chunk of the Joe Jackson interview here.

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The retrial of Corey Miller, aka C-Murder, has been moved to January next year, following those previously reported claims made by a friend of the rapper, Juan Flowers, that it was actually him who killed 16 year old Steve Thomas in 2002. Miller's new trial had been due to begin next month.

Flowers is currently serving a life sentence for another murder but has always previously claimed that he and Miller were not present when Thomas was killed. Lawyers building a case against Miller now fear that Flowers' sudden confession may be the result of witness tampering. The lawyers had requested to be allowed access to records of all Flowers' phonecalls and visitations since 8 May, but this was rejected by Judge Hans Liljeberg on Tuesday.

As previously reported, Miller's original conviction for the murder of Thomas was overturned when dodgy dealings on the prosecution's part were revealed. A retrial was ordered. Flowers claims that he wanted to confess to the murder during the original trial but was told not to by Miller's lawyer Ron Rakosky, which seems like an odd thing to do. Especially given it was Rakosky who filed the new court documents three weeks ago announcing that Flowers had now confessed under oath.

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Sing songwriter chap Jackson Browne has accepted an apology, and some cash, from US politician John McCain, after he used one of the singer's songs in his presidential campaign.

Browne had been seeking damages of $75,000 after his song 'Running On Empty' was used, without permission, in an online advert suggesting that Barrack Obama was insane for suggesting that having properly inflated tyres would result in lower fuel consumption in cars, even though it does. How much of that money Browne got hasn't been disclosed, but an apology from McCain has been published.

McCain said in a statement: "We apologise that a portion of the Jackson Browne song 'Running On Empty' was used without permission".

In response, Browne said: "This settlement is really a great affirmation of what I believed my rights to be, and all writers' rights to be. One would hope that a presidential candidate would not only know the law but respect it. It was a matter of bringing that issue to bear".

Several other musicians, including Foo Fighters, Heart and John Mellencamp, complained about having their songs used without permission during McCain's campaign, on the grounds that it made them look like they agreed with his stupid policies. Whether or not they have a case to sue under copyright law will depend on how their music was used - if it was included in an advert, like with Browne, they have a case, but if it was just played at a rally then, alas, providing the venue had the right collecting society licences, there's nothing the artist can do. Other than complain loudly.

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The Game could be in trouble with the law again, though this time the Merseyside law. I say The Game could be in trouble, it's actually one of his entourage who is accused of hitting a fan after the rapper performed at the Liverpool O2 Academy last weekend. According to the Daily Star, when the fan in question tried to take a photo of the hip hopper after the Merseyside gig one of The Game's minders lashed out, breaking the fan's cheekbone. A witness told the tab: "He socked him when he got his camera out". No comment from The Game team to the allegations as yet.

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So, for most music fans, yesterday was spent complaining about how their favourite artist had been robbed and that the entire world is unjust and wrong. Yes, the shortlist for this year's Mercury Prize was announced.

Among the nominees are some of the year's big sellers, like Florence & The Machine, La Roux and Kasabian, as well as the customary lesser known artists like Speech Debelle, The Invisible and Lisa Hannigan. Patrick Wolf wasn't in there though, which is a travesty (yeah, we might mock but we like a good moan, too), but we actually like about half of the albums on the list this year, which makes a nice change. Seven of the nominees are signed to independent labels as well, which is also good.

Florence and Kasabian are currently the favourites to win, with William Hill giving them both odds of 5/1. Bat For Lashes, Glasvegas and La Roux follow closely with 6/1.

Chair of the judges, Simon Frith told CMU: "This has been a rich and creative year for British and Irish music. There are seven fine debut albums on the list and five outstanding records from more established acts, all marking out new ground. What most impresses is the imaginative verve with which British and Irish musicians continue to explore musical possibilities, push musical boundaries and refuse to be pinned down by genre".

Here's the shortlist in full:

Florence & The Machine - Lungs
Kasabian - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
Speech Debelle - Speech Therapy
Friendly Fires - Friendly Fires
La Roux - La Roux
Bat For Lashes - Two Suns
The Horrors - Primary Colours
Glasvegas - Glasvegas
Led Bib - Sensible Shoes
Sweet Billy Pilgrim - Twice Born Men
The Invisible - The Invisible
Lisa Hannigan - Sea Sew

The overall winner will be announced live on BBC 2 on 8 Sep.

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EMI have signed a sixteen year old LA-based singer songwriter called Sky Ferreira who, some say, could be big news. In fact The Guardian said of the major's latest signing "[She makes] Lady Gaga look a bit, well, old and rubbish". Though some might say Lady Gaga does a good job of that herself. According to Hits Daily Double, EMI A&R chief Nick Gatfield plans to partner Ferreira up with producers Paul Epworth, Bloodshy and Greg Kurstin to work on a debut album.

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A post on the official Weezer website has revealed that the band are nearing the completion of their seventh studio album, their first with new drummer Josh Freese, after Patrick Wilson switched to guitar.

The as-yet-untitled album will be released later this year. As will a deluxe version of the band's second (and best) album, 'Pinkerton'.

If you want a Weezer fix right now, why not download 'Weezer: The 8-bit Album', a compilation of Weezer covers made using 8-bit videogame hardware, so it's all bleepy and retro and that. Get it here.

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Well, this is sort on 'not in the studio' news I'm afraid. Despite previously saying he hoped to get back into the studio with the rest of the Pixies some time soon, and rumours that the band might be working on some sort of quirky album project with Quentin Tarantino, Frank Black has told that there have been few developments with regards starting work on a follow-up to the last Pixies long player, 1991's 'Trompe Le Monde', despite the band working together to promote the twentieth anniversary of their 'Doolittle' album.

Black: "There isn't really anything to report in that department. In terms of any new Pixies records, I'm in the dark. We're active insofar as our old repertoire is concerned. We're not active in terms of anything new".

Black was also pretty dismissive of 'Bam Thwok', the Pixies only bit of new work since the 1991 album. The 2004 single, of course, was a much hyped tie up with iTunes, and a venture Black seems to regret. He continued: "It was all ostensibly for a submission to a film which shall remain unnamed. I can't make too much of a big deal out of it, I'm not John Lennon, I don't play in The Beatles and just because we do one little hiccup doesn't mean we have to hold a press conference".

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Well, given our political leaders and bankers don't seem to have many ideas when it comes to lifting us all out of recession, perhaps we should give Shakira a go. She's told MTV that she reckons her next album could help the world out of global recession. I think because it's a bit clubby and people might want to dance to it. Perhaps she means it will help people forget the recession, rather than single handedly reverse economic decline.

Whatever, here's what Shakira had to say about her new long player, which is due out in October and is, as yet, untitled: "It's a very electronic album. Dance-oriented. Club-oriented. I want people to have fun with it. Forget about the troubles. Forget about the crisis. Forget everything for a minute - at least while they listen to the music. I wanted a bassier album with harder sounds. I wanted the beats to be very solid. I wanted to build a solid foundation starting from the beats".

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Zero 7 have confirmed that their new album, 'Yeah Ghost', will be out on 7 Sep and that it will have songs on it. The songs will include original compositions and reworks of tracks previously released by their side-projects Kling and Ingrid Eto. The songs, in case you wondered, have names. Look, here they are...

Count Me Out
Get Us Down
Pop Art Blue
Medicine Man
Ghost sYMbOL
The Road
All Of Us

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Ozzy Osbourne has written a book chronicling his 60 years on the planet. I'd imagine it's quite a big book, Ozzy's had quite an eventful life.

In a statement, Ozzy said: "It haunts me, all this crazy stuff. I took lethal combinations of booze and drugs for thirty fucking years. I survived a direct hit by a plane, suicidal overdoses, STDs. I have been accused of attempted murder. Then I almost died while riding over a bump on a quad bike at fucking two miles per hour. People ask me how come I'm still alive, and I don't know what to say".

Okay, if he can't think of anything to say, maybe it won't be such a big book. You can find out in October when 'I Am Ozzy' hits the shelves.

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Dekarta Project launch their new EP, 'Viral', with a free gig at Favella Chic in London tonight. Also on the bill are DJs Dom Servini (Wah Wah 45s), Satta Man (Real Roots), Marcia Da Vinyl MC (Ladybugz), and Luke Carr (Chibuku).

You might have spotted Dekarta Project vocalists Yvette and Neo on stage with Jarvis Cocker at Glastonbury, where they joined him to perform the climax of his set, 'You're In My Eyes', when he headlined the John Peel stage.

'Viral' is released next week via Doshiwa Records and will be selling for just £1 via messages sent via fans on social networking sites, email and text messages (viral marketing, you see).

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A-Ha, you remember them right? Well, they'll be doing an acoustic session at the HMV in the Westfield shopping centre over there in Shepherds Bush next Tuesday lunchtime, so that's something to look forward to. The in-store is to promote the band's new album, 'Foots Of The Mountain', which is released by Universal on Monday. Wristbands for the in-store will be distributed from 8am on the day. And because you asked nicely, I'll let you have the tracklising of the new long player, the band's ninth studio album...

The Bandstand
Riding The Crest
What There Is
Foot Of The Mountain
Real Meaning
Nothing Is Keeping You here
Mother Nature Goes To Heaven
Sunny Mystery
Start The Simulator

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Two Robbie Williams collaborators will take part in a new forum for songwriters in London next week. The rather exclusive event, called SONGtalk, will bring together 29 songwriting types to share ideas and discuss stuff. Among the people taking part in the first SONGtalk at the Royal Institute Of British Architects next Thursday will be Robbie's most famous collaborator Guy Chambers, and record producer Steve Power, who has produced five of William's albums, including all his co-writes with Chambers.

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Little Boots has entered into a marketing partnership with Nokia which will see the phone firm promote her debut Warner-released album 'Hands'. The partnership will also see Boots appear at Nokia Skate Almighty, a big roller disco event taking place at London's Potter's Fields next month. An exclusive remix of her next single 'Remedy' will also be available via Nokia's rubbish download platform Comes With Music, and Nokia will be putting up posters promoting the singer around London.

Confirming the partnership, Warner's business development guy Noel Penzer told reporters: "Our broad reaching partnership means we're able to consider all the ways in which we can reach [Little Boots'] fan base and develop activity that combines digital music, live gigs and traditional advertising. This intelligent tie-up ensures we drive awareness of 'Hands' as well as Nokia's superb music services and devices, whilst offering a wide user base access to Little Boots' upbeat, glamorous pop".

Nokia's Fiona Bosman added: "Little Boots is one of the most exciting music artists in the world right now and Nokia Comes With Music and Skate Almighty provides both digital and physical platforms to showcase her talent. We're thrilled to be working in partnership with Warner Music and Little Boots in this exciting and innovative cross platform way".

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Digital distribution and marketing firm INgrooves have announced a partnership with Topspin, a direct-to-fan marketing and distribution web platform thingy. The deal will make Topspin's services available to the various indie artists and labels represented by the distributor, with Crystal Method who, as previously reported, are working with INgrooves on both digital and physical distribution for their new album 'Divided By Night', the first to take advantage of the partnership.

Confirming the tie up, INgrooves top man Robb McDaniels told CMU: "Direct-to-fan distribution is an important piece of the overall distribution puzzle for an artist. Topspin's solution provides a unique opportunity for our artists to customize and personalize the fan experience, and we are happy to be working with Topspin's great team to make this a reality".

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Not really music news at all, but with the Edinburgh Fringe approaching and CMU's sister media ThreeWeeks about to crank up into action once more I'm in a comedy frame of mind, so let's report on this. Independent music distributors [PIAS] are launching a UK comedy division which will distribute both comedy DVDs and digital and mobile comedy content. The new division mirrors another comedy department already operational within the [PIAS] group in Holland, and will tap into the distributor's worldwide network to take any comedy talent it works with to a global audience.

Confirming the new division, Andy Townsend, who will be General Manger of [PIAS] Comedy UK, told CMU: "There is a place for a new independent releasing option for comedy talent in the UK. With the [PIAS] network we can offer cohesive distribution across all channels, revenue streams and territories. The [PIAS] heritage of developing artists shows that we are all about working with creative talent to build careers not just move product. Our intention is to sign a roster of career artists that we can work with over the long term".

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A spokesman for the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry has told CNET that if the sale of The Pirate Bay goes ahead they will move to ensure the damages they were awarded in the high profile TPB trial earlier this year are paid out of the $7.6 million rumoured to be changing hands as part of the deal.

The Pirate Bay Four, who were found guilty of enabling mass copyright infringement in the Swedish courts earlier this year, and ordered to pay out massive damages and serve a year in jail each, are yet to hand over a penny or report to prison. Three of the four (Frederik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Peter Sunde) haven't got much money anyway, so are not really worth going after at the moment, though if, as planned, Swedish tech firm Global Gaming Factory pay $7.6 million to buy the Pirate Bay name and database, then there will be a pot of cash for the record companies to go after. Sunde has previously said the founders of the rogue BitTorrent tracker plan to put any profits from the sale of their search engine into a fund to campaign for web freedoms.

We say "if" The Pirate Bay deal goes ahead because, despite Global Gaming already appointed former Grokster boss Wayne Rosso to try and turn the rogue file-sharing enabler legit, some are doubting whether the Swedish firm will be able to find the $7.6 million it has promised the Pirate Bay's owners. GGF is reportedly trying to raise the money as we speak, but the potential of vast copyright infringement liabilities, coupled with doubts about the way the IT company plans to make money out of the Bay (by selling on the bandwidth of users connected to a P2P network), are reportedly putting a lot of potential investors off.

Although that said, GGF boss Hans Pandeya last night denied there were any problems in his plans to acquire the Bay, telling CNET: "Nobody is uncertain about anything. We are more certain than ever before. There are no changes in our plan. We'll bring the deal to investors at a shareholders meeting, which we expect to hold in four weeks".

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Spotify has confirmed it's done a deal with independent digital distributor IODA which will see the 2 million odd digital tracks represented by the company coming to the popular streaming service. So that's nice.

IODA boss Kevin Arnold says this: "Spotify has created a compelling product that redefines the notion of user-friendly and clearly speaks to the desires of the music fan. We've seen a lot of promise from ad-supported revenue models. Spotify is exciting and unique in that the promise is backed up with a tangible subscription model and a slew of fresh ideas on how to grow the platform".

Spotify man Daniel Ek, meanwhile, said: "One of the challenges all music services face is providing a wide range of music for users of all conceivable tastes. We've worked hard to add classical, punk and indie content from different sources and this deal with IODA is another leap forward in our mission to provide users with the biggest, most diverse musical catalogue on the planet".

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An interesting set of minutes from a management meeting at the Twitter corp seems to suggest the company is considering finding a way of rewarding the more famous tweeters who bring the service significant amounts of traffic, though if at all possible they'd prefer to not have to reward celebrity micro-bloggers with cash. You can understand why - that's not really a floodgate you want to open.

The minutes, reported on by TechCrunch, centre in particular on Diddy who, ever the entrepreneur, seems to have suggested to Twitter that he should be paid for sharing with his fans via the platform. Some execs at the meeting suggested making shares in the company available to celebrity tweeters, and also suggested pandering to Diddy's ego by offering him a seat on some sort of celebrity tweeters committee.

But the minutes do add that "Diddy [is] not so strategic" and "Diddy values his contribution higher than we do", while questioning whether a business partnership between them and the hip hop mogul would work, noting "It would be hard to explain to him what we would be doing wrong since he thinks about business differently".

Even if Twitter do successfully start to monetise their service through more advertising, one would think they'd be advised to maintain a 'take it or leave' approach with celebrities demanding payment for the intellectual property in their idle thoughts and status updates, even if a rival were to start signing up c'lebs to exclusivity deals on such things. Because once you start paying out to one ego, a queue is going to start appearing at the door. Though if a well-funded rival was to arrive on the scene, you could see why Twitter might want to meet more demanding famous tweeters half way.

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This is interesting - Future Publishing has entered into a partnership with the radio station spin off of NME which will see the media firm's metal title Metal Hammer have a weekly show on the digital station. It's an interesting partnership because while NME Radio is, to an extent, independent from its parent magazine, it is still an IPC-led venture. The Metal Hammer deal will see IPC working with one of their rivals. There are obvious benefits on both sides, though.

Confirming the tie up, Metal Hammer publisher Chris Ingham told CMU: "Metal Hammer's partnership with NME Radio is a big noise for both the music industry and fans of real music. [Presenters] Gill and Beez get two hours on national radio to evangelise the diverse breadth of metal that has made Metal Hammer the UK's fastest-growing music magazine. NME Radio champions real and exciting music, and together we can create an unmissable weekly event for die-hard metal fans and those who like their rock a little harder".

NME Radio chief Sammy Jacob added: "At last fans of metal will have a radio show dedicated to bringing them the best Metal Hammer has to offer and I'm delighted NME Radio is the station bringing it to them".

The Metal Hammer Meltdown will air each Sunday from 7pm, hosted by Metal Hammer editorial types Gill and Beez (the former a past CMUer, of course - yes, that Gill).

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Social network whatnot Bebo and telly production types Endemol have been talking up their daily online music programme Beat, a Samsung-sponsored Bebo-hosted web TV show I've never heard of, but which 3.2 million people have reportedly watched since its launch last month.

Announcing the early day viewing stats for their web venture, Endemol's Andrew Robertson says: "I'm thrilled that so many of Bebo's web savvy audience are tuning into Beat on a daily basis. In just five weeks, we've had access to some of the biggest selling and hottest artists in music today".

Meanwhile Bebo's Kelly Sweeney says this: "Beat is proving to be a great addition to Bebo Originals' ongoing line-up. Beat's music magazine format is proving popular with our users, and the great artist names bring fans back time and time again".

If you're interested in what the hell they're talking about, you can check out The Beat daily until September at this URL:

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Kelis is reportedly in labour with her first child. This would figure because her other half, Nas, reportedly told an audience at a gig in the US this weekend "My son should be born this week!". A rep for Nas told TMZ that his client is "rushing to the hospital to be with her" after she went into labour yesterday, though I'm not sure she'll welcome him with open arms, given the hip hop couple are currently going through a slightly acrimonious divorce.

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If any of Tinchy Stryder's old friends are out there, can you track him down and buy him a cup of tea - he's feeling a bit lonely, the poor thing. The 'Number One' star has told the Star: "Loads of people have come out of nowhere since I have become famous. A lot of friends I made before my success now think that I've ditched them, or left them behind, just because I may have had to change my mobile number or whatever. Being at the top is a lonely place. You definitely learn who your friends are and you just have to cope with it as best you can".

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