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Job ads
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
AP told propofol did kill Jackson
Tenenbaum court hearing begins
In The Pop Hospital
Machine Head guitarist collapses
Awards & Contests
Jazz venues to get plaques
Arctic Monkey Helders reckons Ting Tings win cheapened Ivors
Reunions & Splits
Definitely no more Blur
In The Studio
New sound for new Editors album
Release News
Slipknot plan anniversary re-release
Home made recordings album to accompany new Hodgkinson book
Books News
Jacko autobiography to be republished
Gigs N Tours News
Fuck Buttons album and tour
William Elliott Whitmore UK shows
Initial names announced for Abba tribute
Festival News
Big Green Gathering cancelled - organisers accuse council of political motives
The Digital Business
New interactive digital album format in development
DJ version of Guitar Hero incoming
The Media Business
Global launches new online ad management system
Chart Of The Day
Total Rock World Album Chart
And finally...
Madonna phone messages up for sale
Charles Manson wants to work with Spector, apparently
Rihanna not back with Brown
Dancer denies being Michael Jackson's son
La Roux's hair fear
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts
 
TUESDAY 28TH JULY


ARMY NAVY
Born in the bedroom of Justin Kennedy, one time co-frontman of Pinwheel (Death Cab For Cutie and The Postal Service's Ben Gibbard being the other chief Pinwheeler), Army Navy have been building a name for themselves amongst the indie faithful in the States and are now making moves to do the same over here. Having just released their first UK single, 'Saints', via Label Fandango, their debut album, released via their own Fever Zone label in the US last year, will hit shelves on this side of the Atlantic later this year. We spoke to Justin to find out some more.
 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I played piano pretty young and then learned guitar around the age of 14. Once I learned a few chords on the guitar I instantly started writing songs. Probably pretty crappy ones, but I definitely had the urge to write early on.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
Without getting too personal, 'Saints' is about a relationship I was in, and a relationship I was envious of. I've already said too much!

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
I almost always write the song on my acoustic guitar. Sometimes all the parts come together fast, or sometimes it's bits and pieces over time. I only really know it's ready to play for the boys once I have found the right vocal melody. For me that's the glue for the whole track. Once I feel it's to a point of listening, I will either do a simple demo on the computer or play it for the rest of the band during practice. Then we start thrashing it out. Finding the parts that work for the song. It's great because I can bring the track in bare bones and know everyone is going to bring their own flavour to the song and make it their own.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Bands like The Smiths, Pixies, Dinosaur Jr, Wilco, Teenage Fanclub, Wings, Mudhoney, Pulp, Cat Stevens, etc.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
"Hello there sir/madam, you are quite handsome/beautiful, and you must have wonderful musical taste". It's always good to start out with a bit of flattery.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your album, and for the future?
We are really proud of the album and worked really hard to make sure there wasn't a crap track in the bunch. I feel that if people get a chance to hear it, it will be something that they will listen to for a long time. We have no aspirations of being a trendy band. We want to make classic tracks that stick around. At the same time as we are working this album, we are already busy writing and recording the next one which will be out in 2010. So hopefully we will continue doing well with our self-titled album and follow it up quickly and keep building our fanbase! World domination to follow.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/armynavy

 
JONSI AND ALEX / RICEBOY SLEEPS
Sigur Ros frontman Jón Þór and his boyfriend Alex have apparently been collaborating on this project for some years now, and it's a labour of love where the result totally justifies the time invested, with lush ambient instrumentals, that sit somewhere further towards 'experimental' than SR, to be found found throughout their debut album. 'Happiness' is the only track currently streaming on their MySpace, which was released last year as part of the (New York band) The National curated 'Dark Was The Night' compilation, though if you're a fan of Jon Þór's other work, or an appreciator of Max Richter's film soundtracks, Johann Johannsson's delicate compositions or the prince of ambient, Brian Eno, then you should find a space for their full length record in your collection.

www.myspace.com/riceboysleeps



 

 



EXPERIENCED DANCE MUSIC PUBLICIST WANTED

Get In! is a tried and tested PR agency based in east London serving the GLOBAL electronic dance music industry and beyond. Our expanding roster means we're looking for a new publicist to join our young and dynamic team. You'll be enthusiastic, have a least one-year's experience in PR, a real passion for and knowledge of dance music and that 'something extra' that makes you the right person for the job. An ability to write exciting, engaging copy and generate creative PR ideas is essential. This is an ideal opportunity to work with the best people in dance music. Salary negotiable depending on experience. Interested? Send a creative email explaining why you'd be a great addition to the Get In! team, along with your CV, to: Jonathan Llewellyn, jonathan@getinpr.com. Closing date for applications is 27 Aug.

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ROCKHAL - BOOKER/PRODUCER
Boasting two concert halls (1,200 / 6,500 cap), the Rockhal (www.rockhal.lu), co-financed by the Luxembourgish State, is the premium concert venue in the Greater Region (France/Germany/Belgium/Luxembourg) with an international audience. We are recruiting a Booker/Producer

Required skills: confirmed experience in booking/promoting shows, international contacts, fluent in French and English.

Tasks: book shows and assist with the planning of concerts and festivals, negotiate, manage, organise and coordinate concerts and festivals.

Expected date of entry: 1st September 2009 or to be negotiated. Please apply with CV, diplomas and letter of motivation to:

Monsieur le Directeur Général de l'Etablissement public, Centre de Musiques Amplifiées, 5, Avenue du Rock'n'Roll | L-4361 Esch-sur-Alzette.

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AP TOLD PROPOFOL DID KILL JACKSON
Dr Conrad Murray did administer a powerful anaesthetic to Michael Jackson just twelve hours before the late king of pop suffered the cardiac arrest that killed him, or so says an unnamed law enforcement official who has spoken to the Associated Press about the ongoing investigation into Jacko's untimely demise.

Bringing together various rumours that have been circulating since Jackson's death, the official apparently told the AP that the singer regularly received the intravenous drug propofol, or Diprivan, to help him sleep, even though that is a highly unusual use of the prescription medication usually used in surgery.

The insider claims Murray administered a shot of the drug just after midnight on the day Jackson died. Though those much previously reported toxicology reports commissioned by the LA coroner are still pending, investigators are seemingly convinced it was the propofol shot that killed the singer.

Murray has previously denied administering drugs to the singer prior to Jackson's death, though it's possible the twelve hour gap between administration and cardiac arrest meant that the medic didn't consider himself to have given the singer any medication "immediately prior" to his demise. A slightly more ambiguous statement issued by Murray's lawyer more recently said that the doctor "didn't prescribe or administer anything that should have killed Michael Jackson".

As previously reported, the spotlight has been increasingly focused on Murray as investigations into Jackson's death continue, and one of the medic's offices was searched by investigators last week after officials named him as a suspect in a manslaughter investigation.

If the unnamed source is right, and assuming Murray didn't give Jackson an actual overdose of the drug - deliberately or negligently - it will be interesting to see if the authorities or courts consider the medic to be liable in any way for the late singer's ending.

Obviously such medication comes with risks even when administered carefully and professionally. But given comments by others close to Jackson, it is likely the singer insisted receiving the drug, despite being made aware of attached risks. Though whether compliance or even the insistence of the patient is enough to exonerate Murray of any liability for the potentially, and in this case actually, fatal consequences of using a drug like propofol remains to be seen.

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TENENBAUM COURT HEARING BEGINS
So, what could be the finale - or encore if you like - of the Record Industry Association Of America's self-harming P2P litigation campaign kicked off in a Boston court yesterday. Yes, RIAA v Tenenbaum is go go go.

As previously reported, the US record label trade body sued student Joel Tenenbaum for illegally sharing unlicensed music via a P2P network. Whereas the vast majority of people who were targeted with such litigation quickly agreed to an out of court settlement (normally by paying a few grand in damages and signing a "I'll never do it again, honest" agreement), Tenenbaum chose to defend himself. Along the way he got the support of the Harvard law department, and in particular Professor Charles Nesson, who is keen to question the central premises of all of the record industry's legal action against individuals for file-sharing while fighting Tenenbaum's specific case.

Although the RIAA has now abandoned its litigation rampage against individual file-sharers which, while generally successful on the odd occasion cases got to court, resulted in a zero decline in file-sharing in the US, the trade body - presumably because it still gets a little kick out of a bit of casual self-harm - has said it will see any outstanding P2P file-sharing lawsuits to their conclusion.

Plans to webcast the Tenenbaum trial, proposed by Nesson but opposed by the RIAA, were eventually axed, despite the judge actually hearing the case being in favour of making the hearing publicly accessible over the net.

Presumably the RIAA didn't want the hearing consumed blow by blow by the pro-P2P community worldwide in case, as often happens in P2P court hearings, technicalities - often of an evidential basis - caused problems for the record industry's case against Tenenbaum. While the record industry have generally won in court on file-sharing matters, even if their case only falters temporarily because of such technicalities, that isn't desirable for a trade body keen to portray P2P legal action as a simple black and white interpretation of US copyright law.

My gut feeling is the RIAA will win this one. That individuals sharing unlicensed content via P2P networks amounts to copyright infringement under US law is pretty uncontroversial these days. And that such infringement makes file-sharers liable to damages claims is also pretty accepted, even if the size of some of those damages claims results in sharp intakes of breath among even causal observers.

Either way, the Tenenbaum team suffered a set back last weekend when, just ahead of yesterday's first hearing, Judge Nancy Gertner ruled that the student's legal team could not present at all one element of their defence - the argument that P2P file-sharing should be covered by the 'fair use' provisions that exist in US copyright law. Team Tenenbaum planned to argue fair use as a viable defence, but the labels argued that the precedent is been pretty clear that in the US (unlike, arguably, in some Southern European jurisdictions) that fair use principles are not relevant in the P2P domain.

Gertner, who, it has to be said, doesn't come across as particularly keen on the RIAA and their excessively litigious approach, nevertheless ruled that Team Tenenbaum's plans to bring up fair use sounded just too much like an academic and almost philosophical. She said that had Tenenbaum only shared music files with close friends, or had he only used P2P file-sharing networks in the era before legit iTunes services were readily available, then she'd be willing to consider a fair-use defence. But that is not the case, rather the student's legal team wanted a more general discussion on limiting the extent of copyrights in the digital age by expanding the fair use doctrine. This court hearing, Gertner ruled, is no place for such a discussion.

As I say, my gut feeling is that the RIAA will probably win this case. Like it or not, US copyright law (and UK copyright law for that matter) says it is illegal to share music over the internet without a content owner's permission - and that is common sense really. If something seems too good to be true, it normally is, and unlimited access to millions of MP3s without subscription or sign up or advertising or anything is simply too good to be true.

That said, long term readers will know CMU was critical of the RIAA's overly litigious approach to the P2P challenge from day one, and predicted what the trade body finally realised last year, such litigation results in a net loss (out of court settlements rarely cover legal and administrative fees) and does little to deter other file-sharers. Rather it paints the record industry as a bunch of evil bastards who, frankly, you'd want to steal from.

And whether or not you share the seemingly genuine belief of Tenenbaum's Harvard team that the US courts have so far interpreted the country's copyright laws wrong - or, perhaps, US Congress wrote them wrong - Joel's story (told in his own words on the Guardian website at the link below) demonstrates that not only was the RIAA's P2P policy wrong, it was also terribly managed - probably because it was being led by clueless legal types who should never be allowed to communicate directly with customers, even the ones you suspect of stealing from you.

www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2009/jul/27/filesharing-music-industry

While what could be the last big RIAA v music fan P2P court case won't be webcast, as has become the tradition this year, the defence team are tweeting from the court hearing. Yesterday was dedicated to tedious jury selection, so things should kick off properly today - opening statements are due to take place at 9am Boston time. You can follow it here:

twitter.com/joelfightsback

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MACHINE HEAD GUITARIST COLLAPSES
Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel collapsed on stage during the band's performance at Finland's Sonisphere festival. As previously reported, the guitarist, who suffers from rare heart condition cardiogenic syncope, also collapsed during a gig at the Sheffield Arena last year.

Bassist Adam Duce told the audience at Sonisphere: "I don't know how many of you people know about the history of Machine Head, but it looks like Phil has just collapsed on stage. He's done this a few times before. I'm very sorry about this. We are not going to be able to continue here tonight. I'm sure you will understand the severity of the situation. We're going to go take care of him right now and I wanna thank everyone for coming out and supporting Sonisphere and supporting Machine Head".

Demmel also issued an apology shortly after the show, saying: "I feel I short-changed the fans and really want to make it up for them. Thanks for all the concern".

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JAZZ VENUES TO GET PLAQUES
Jazz fans are being asked to nominate British jazz venues to be awarded plaques, a bit like those blue plaques you see about the place. Which is why they've called the initiative 'The (Kind Of) Blue Plaque Scheme' (well, that and the fact that it coincides with the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis' 'Kind Of Blue' album). Set up by the Brecon Jazz Festival, one plaque per year will be awarded to a current or former venue associated with legendary jazz performers or deemed to have played a pivotal role in the history of British jazz.

Director of the Brecon Jazz Festival, Peter Florence told the BBC: "The environment that allows improvisations to take place is almost as important as the players themselves. But the venues remain only in people's memories, unlike recorded music. We want to tap into the memories of people who remembered the great days of the 1950s - and the record of what went before - to find the location for Brecon's debut (Kind Of) Blue Plaque".

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ARCTIC MONKEY HELDERS RECKONS TING TINGS WIN CHEAPENED IVORS
Arctic Monkey Matt Helders has had a dig at The Ting Tings, commenting on their win at this year's Ivor Novello Awards back in May.

The Ting Tings won the Best Album prize at the 2009 awards for their debut long player 'We Started Nothing', the same award picked up by Helder's band in 2007 for their debut 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not'.

But the Arctic's drummer reckons that the sheen has been rubbed off his band's Ivor now that they know Ting Tings won the same prize because, like, if they can win one, the award can't be up to much.

Helder: "The Ivor Novello awards used to feel like the most meaningful ones but I think they've been cheapened. I don't want to be horrible to The Ting Tings, but they won it and it's supposed to be for songwriting. There's a lot better songwriting ability out there".

I think he does want to be horrible to The Ting Tings really. But he does have a point.

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DEFINITELY NO MORE BLUR
Alex James last week said that Blur hadn't discussed doing anything more with their reunion. Now Damon Albarn has told fans more firmly not to expect to hear anything more from them.

Albarn told Q that if the band carried on now the same problems that cause them to split before "would rear their head". He concluded: "I think this is beautiful, what we've done, and I don't want to ruin it".

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NEW SOUND FOR NEW EDITORS ALBUM
Editors frontman Tom Smith has said his band's third album, due out in October, will be rather different than their previous two albums, being sci-fi influenced and synth-driven apparently.

Smith says of 'In This Light And On This Evening': "It is different from [both] our previous records, [though] there are things it has in common with the first album. Most of it was recorded live, even though it's a lot more electronic. [That means] it doesn't sound clinical and emotionless, like a lot of electronic records do. Hopefully it's warm and breathing".

Smith added that the Flood-produced long player has been influenced by sci-fi films like 'Bladerunner' and 'Terminator'.

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SLIPKNOT PLAN ANNIVERSARY RE-RELEASE
Slipknot will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the release of their eponymous debut album by re-releasing the long player as a special edition whatnot, a 25 track CD/DVD package including the original album plus demos, remixes, b-sides and a documentary. The re-release will hit stores on 9 Sep (so 09.09.09), the same day the band host a one-day festival in their home town of Des Moines.

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HOME MADE RECORDINGS ALBUM TO ACCOMPANY NEW HODGKINSON BOOK
I like the sound of this. Writer Will Hodgkinson, who often writes on musical topics, has written a book called 'The Ballad Of Britain' in which he travels around the UK in a battered old Volvo with a portable recording device (called a Zoom I think) in an "attempt to capture the spirit of the land and its people through its music".

According to the book blurb: "Along the way he danced with gypsies in a wood in Sussex, learned about not getting ideas above your station from Jarvis Cocker and Richard Hawley in Sheffield, visited a town of Bob Dylans in Scotland, listened to Pete Townshend explain how suburbia created 60s pop in Richmond, went on a fruitless search for Lady Sovereign in east London, was attacked by a large woman with a chair in Kent and almost brought to an end the short life of a promising young singer in Wales".

The book is published by Portico Press, but in September Heron Recordings will release a 21 track CD and download album to accompany the book featuring some of the recordings Hodgkinson made on his travels using the aforementioned portable recording device. All recorded in one take in kitchens and pubs and fields and similarly organic locations, various artists appear, many lesser known, thugh some you'll recognise, like Super Furry Animal Gruff Rhys.

A great project - go check it out at www.theballadofbritain.com

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JACKO AUTOBIOGRAPHY TO BE REPUBLISHED
Cash in of the day goes to book publishers William Heinemann, an imprint of the Random House, who have announced they will re-publish Michael Jackson's 1988 autobiography 'Moonwalk' here in the UK in October. The re-release will include an introduction from an unnamed "well known figure from the entertainment industry" and an 'afterword' from one of the book's original editors, Shay Areheart (the other editor being the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis).

Confirming plans to republish the book, Areheart, now with Harmony Books (who will publish the expanded edition in the US), told reporters: "Publishing what sadly turned out to be Michael's only autobiography was an exceptional experience for me. He was a brilliant and gracious man. It was a great privilege to have the opportunity to work with him. Since Michael's untimely death in June, we all have witnessed the surge in public adoration and interest in which he was as a father, friend, mentor, songwriter, and legendary entertainer. This new edition of 'Moonwalk' will continue to celebrate his life and career and show an extraordinary side of Michael that many have not seen".

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FUCK BUTTONS ALBUM AND TOUR
Noisy noise-makers Fuck Buttons have announced that they will release their second album, 'Tarot Sport', on 12 Oct via ATP. Produced by Andrew Weatherall, the album will spawn its first single, 'Surf Solar', on 14 Sep. They'll also tour in September, which is good news.

Tour dates:

17 Sep: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
18 Sep: Sheffield, Corporation
19 Sep: Oxford, The Cellar
20 Sep: Manchester, Deaf Institute
21 Sep: Nottingham, Bodega
22 Sep: Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
23 Sep: Newcastle, The Other Room
24 Sep: Glasgow, Stereo
25 Sep: Lancaster, The Storey
26 Sep: Bristol, Colston Hall
27 Sep: Brighton, Audio
27 Sep: London, Heaven

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WILLIAM ELLIOTT WHITMORE UK SHOWS
The excellent William Elliott Whitmore has announced some UK shows for September, including an appearance at the End Of The Road festival to further promote his 'Animals In The Dark' album, released earlier this year via Anti- Records.

Tour dates:

11 Sep: Reading, South Street
13 Sep: End Of The Road
14 Sep: London, The Garage

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INITIAL NAMES ANNOUNCED FOR ABBA TRIBUTE
Elaine Paige, Lulu and Jason Donovan have all been confirmed for this Abba tribute concert due to take place in Hyde Park on 13 Sep. As previously reported, both Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson are involved in the Radio 2 hosted tribute show, which will also feature the cast of Abba musical 'Mamma Mia'. Benny Andersson has told BBC radio he's also hoping to persuade Annie Lennox to participate because he'd love to hear her sing 'The Day Before You Came'.

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BIG GREEN GATHERING CANCELLED - ORGANISERS ACCUSE COUNCIL OF POLITICAL MOTIVES
A big eco-friendly festival due to take place this weekend has been pulled after action by the local council following a licensing dispute. Organisers of the Big Green Gathering said they were forced to cancel their event after they learned Mendip District Council, supported by Somerset & Avon Police, planned to get a High Court injunction to ban the festival.

It was the local authority who initially announced that the Gathering would not go ahead, saying that organisers had admitted they couldn't address the council's public safety concerns. A spokesman told reporters: "The council, working with the emergency services, had done as much as we could to ensure the event went ahead. The implications of the issues raised meant that the council and police had significant concerns about the safety of the public attending. Following negotiations, organisers recognised that they could not address those fears in time for the five-day event, and so handed their event licence back to the council".

But organisers quickly announced that that was not the case, saying they had been forced to cancel their big show because of the injunction threat. They also argued that the Council had deliberately procrastinated in talks regarding addressing their public safety concerns, so that when things came to a head it was too late in the day for organisers to act.

In a press statement, the Gathering's organisers also claimed the Chief Superintendent of the local police force had admitted the authorities had never wanted the event to go ahead, acting under political motivations. They also claimed the senior policeman had admitted the local authority had decided to block the event a week ago, but held off to the last minute to strike.

The chair of the Big Green Gathering, Brig Oubridge, told reporters: "At the multi-agency meeting on Thursday 23 Jul, we were still negotiating with the police and the council under the genuine belief that things were progressing and we were continuing to spend money on infrastructure, wages and security. If they knew they were going to cancel the event, we can only conclude that this drive to increase expenditure appears to be a deliberate attempt to bankrupt the Big Green Gathering".

The Gathering's official statement continued: "The injunction served on the Big Green Gathering was primarily addressing the fact that the Big Green Gathering did not obtain the necessary road closure despite the fact that the Highways Agency had previously indicated that this would be done. The Big Green Gathering has been running an event since 1994 and never before has public safety been an issue. The BGG has an exemplary record on health and safety and crime levels have always been low for the number of people on site".

A spokesman for Mendip District Council has denied the allegations of conspiracy, insisting they had done everything they could to make the event happen, and claiming the decision to apply for an injunction really was made at the very last minute - ie they hadn't been sitting on those plans for a week. The spokesman concluded: "If festival organisers were confident that they were meeting the licence conditions, they could have challenged the injunction".

The multi-genre Big Green Gathering offers a range of entertainments, including a music stage, as well as hosting zones dedicated to environmental and social causes.

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NEW INTERACTIVE DIGITAL ALBUM FORMAT IN DEVELOPMENT
Apple and the major labels are reportedly developing a new interactive multi-media whatnot which would enable music fans to experience an album through a virtual CD booklet which would include photos and lyrics and liner notes and what have you.

It would provide an alternative way to experience digital music than just feeding tracks into the iTunes player or an iPod, and would presumably be designed to encourage music fans to buy full albums rather than pick and choose single tracks.

Whether people who buy the interactive album product would also be able to also add songs to their iTunes and iPod library too isn't clear, though it would be a bit rubbish if they couldn't. Though for portability, rumour has it the new interactive albums will work on the much mooted new Apple touch-screen mini tablet-sized portable computer thing that is reportedly being prepared for market. Presumably some mini interactive album app could also be designed for the iPhone too.

According to the FT, labels are already talking to Apple about being involved in the new digital album format, and the first releases could come as soon as September. Meanwhile, according to CNET, some in the record companies are a bit pissed off that Apple insiders are spinning the new digital product as their idea, because several label execs have been touting such a product for a couple of years, initially getting a lukewarm response from the computer firm.

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DJ VERSION OF GUITAR HERO INCOMING
Well, you know what they say, "if you can't play, DJ". Or, to bring that up to date, "if you can't pretend to play, pretend to DJ". Yes, the people behind 'Guitar Hero' are working on a deejay equivalent to be called 'DJ Hero' obviously, and reportedly Jazzy Jeff, Grandmaster Flash, DJ Shadow, DJ AM, and DJ Z-Trip are all signed up to participate in the first edition of the game.

Jazzy Jeff told AllHipHop.com: "I am very, very excited DJ culture is finally getting its due. To have a song in 'DJ Hero' is a dream come true; to be a character someone can pick up the controller and select you and play is probably the biggest thing to happen to me in my career. Music is so much a part of everyone's life, 'DJ Hero' is going to appeal to almost everybody".

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GLOBAL LAUNCHES NEW ONLINE AD MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Possibly keen to emulate those online advertising systems which give advertisers more control over where and when they advertise, Global Radio has announced it is testing a new online application which will enable brands to buy, manage and create radio advertising. The Radio Runner system is being piloted in the Anglia area, but should be rolled out across the radio major's UK operations in due course.

Global Radio CEO Stephen Miron, who's been leading the initiative, told reporters: "I am absolutely convinced that if commercial radio is to move [forward] we're going to have to come up with ground breaking initiatives. Radio Runner is one of these innovations and I'm delighted that we have the skills within the business at Global Radio to create these solutions. There may be some people who knock this idea but to be perfectly honest they're not people who should be in the radio industry if they can't see the opportunity".

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TOTAL ROCK WORLD ALBUM CHART
It's this week's Total Rock World Album Chart, as counted down on Total Rock last weekend - www.totalrock.com. New entries and re-entries marked with a *.

1. Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown (Warner Bros)
2. Killswitch Engage - Killswitch Engage (Warner/Roadrunner)
3. Nickelback - Dark Horse (Warner/Roadrunner)
4. Dream Theater - Black Clouds & Silver Linings (Warner/Roadrunner)
5. Chickenfoot - Chickenfoot (Edel)
6. Theory Of A Deadman - Scars & Souvenirs (Warner/Roadrunner)
7. Shinedown - The Sound Of Madness (Warner/Atlantic)
8. AC/DC - Black Ice (Sony Music)
9. The Mars Volta - Octahedron (Universal)
10. Alexisonfire - Old Crows/Young Cardinals (Warner/Roadrunner)
11. Bruce Springsteen - Greatest Hits (Sony Music)
12. Job For A Cowboy - Ruination (Metal Blade)*
13. Bruce Springsteen - Working On A Dream (Sony Music)
14. Incubus - Monuments & Melodies (Sony Music)
15. Marilyn Manson - The High End Of Low (Universal/Interscope)
16. Taking Back Sunday - New Again (Warner Bros)
17. Meat Loaf - The Best Of (Disky)
18. Kid Rock - Rock N Roll Jesus (Warner/Atlantic)
19. Daughtry - Daughtry (Sony Music)*
20. Rise Against - Appeal To Reason (Universal/Geffen)

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MADONNA PHONE MESSAGES UP FOR SALE
Do you think the News Of The World will be bidding? Erotic phone messages left by Madonna on a boyfriend's answer phone in the nineties, and love letters she faxed to the same man, are up for sale in one of those rock n roll auctions. There's no such thing as privacy these days, is there? Former Madge suitor Jim Albright is selling the audio and faxed love notes, and the answer phone messages alone are expected to fetch up to forty grand. Also up for sale at the New York auction are a Jimi Hendrix contract and Keith Moon's drumsticks.

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CHARLES MANSON WANTS TO WORK WITH SPECTOR, APPARENTLY
I'm not sure whether I believe this, though it's possible I suppose. Charles Manson, one of America's most iconic of murderers, of course, mainly due to his loose connections with the Californian music scene in the late sixties, is reportedly keen to meet Phil Spector to discuss the possibility of the two men collaborating on some prison recordings.

It's possible because Manson and the incarcerated music producer are now being held in the same prison - Corcoran State Prison in California. It's Spector's wife Rachelle who claims Manson is trying to make contact with her other half. She told the New York Post: "A guard brought Philip a note from Manson... He said he considers Philip the greatest producer who ever lived".

Manson, of course, did dabble in songwriting, so perhaps he wants to record some of his own work. Though given Spector is planning to appeal his murder conviction for the killing of Lana Clarkson, I'm not sure forming any alliance with Manson would be such a good move just at the moment.

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RIHANNA NOT BACK WITH BROWN
As expected, a spokesman for Rihanna has said it was just a "coincidence" that the 'Umbrella' star spent a weekend in the same New York hotel as her ex-boyfriend, wife beater Chris Brown. The New York Post reported that both Rihanna and Brown stayed in Manhattan's Trump International hotel this weekend, though admitted they checked in separately, stayed in separate rooms and were seem arriving and leaving at different times. Nevertheless the reports led to some speculation that perhaps the former power couple of US pop were back together, despite there being a court order banning Brown from approaching his ex. But a Rihanna rep told Access Hollywood yesterday: "This was a coincidence. She's stayed there before, as have thousands of people".

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DANCER DENIES BEING MICHAEL JACKSON'S SON
That Norwegian dancer has denied all those reports that he has made moves to prove that he is the son of Michael Jackson. As previously reported, reports appeared in the press last week that Omer Bhatti claimed the late king of pop was his father, having been conceived during a one night stand in 1984. The reports added that Bhatti, who spent various Christmases with Jacko at Neverland, and sat in the front row at the late singer's memorial, was now planning to have a DNA test to prove his parentage.

However, speaking to the Daily Mirror, Bhatti said: "Michael is not my father. He and I were just very, very close. He was my best friend. Michael always used to say I was like a son to him. But my true parents are here in Norway. The reason I was asked to sit with his family at the memorial service is because I was Michael's closest friend - not because I am his son".

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LA ROUX'S HAIR FEAR
La Roux's Elly Jackson is, according to the Daily Star, considering insuring her distinctive hair because it's the secret to the duo's success. I knew it couldn't be their songs. She's like a musical Samson.

Anyway, here's what she told the tabloid: "Imagine if someone cut it off in the street, that would be my career over".

Which raises the bigger issue of guerrilla hairdressers. Something must be done about this menace!

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