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DID YOU KNOW?
Our sister media ThreeWeeks is the biggest reviewer at the Edinburgh Festival, it all kicks off this week - more here
Job ads
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Klein explains Jackson custody claim
Radiohead release song in memory of war veteran
McCartney not retiring
In The Pop Courts
C-Murder begins second murder trial
Two more RIAA victims settle
Method Man sued of pellet gun attack
Awards & Contests
MTV VMA nominations announced
Reunions & Splits
Fear Factory frontman discusses split
In The Studio
My Chemical Romance back in the studio
Release News
Robbie pens Jacko tribute
Muse's Orwellian new album
King Cannibal announces debut album
The Molotovs announce debut mini-album
Films N Shows News
Cocker pens songs for Brand
Books News
Jay-Z working on novel
Gigs N Tours News
Underworld to play iPhone gig
The Music Business
Tech journo announces 'Ban Record Labels Month'
The Digital Business
O2 to lose iPhone exclusivity
Download comparison website launches
The Media Business
Abdul leaves Idol
And finally...
Cobain's swearing causes uproar
MTV VMA nominations in full
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts
 
WEDNESDAY 5TH AUGUST


MARINA AND THE DIAMONDS
Solo artist Marina Diamandis is the Marina in Marina And The Diamonds. The Diamonds, she says, are her fans, rather than a backing band. And in a time when everyone's saying the key to success is involving your fans more, I suppose that including them in the name of your project should be commended. Hailing from Wales, although she claims to have been born in Ancient Greece, she caused a stir with her debut single, 'Obsessions/Mowgli's Road', and the 'Crown Jewels' EP, which was released in June. Amongst numerous live dates between now and the end of the year, you can catch Marina at The Big Chill this Friday, where she will be playing the Wonky Pop stage. She's also earned herself a place on the NME Radar Tour. We spoke to Marina to ask our Same Six Questions.
 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I wrote a lot of songs without ever actually putting music to them. I had never really sung in public either until I was 19 as I was very shy.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Family, being sad, drive, ambition, being average, being unique. Anything that I'd felt strongly about over the past four years.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
It's never exactly the same but I usually come up with a funny or interesting lyric at first and then I might sit down at the piano with it two weeks later. All the songs are usually lyrically-driven.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
People with a wild imagination, like Vivienne Westwood, Jeremy Scott, Pam Hogg, Christopher Kane. Musically, creatively fearless people like Daniel Johnston, The Distillers, No Doubt, PJ Harvey, and Kate Bush .

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Don't. Jump. To conclusions.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I would like my album to touch people. I'm after people's hearts rather than their pockets.

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

 

SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO
A lot of people are getting very excited about the new SMD album, which features contributions from a bevy of excellent vocalists, including Gossip's Beth Ditto, Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor and, on first single 'Audacity Of Huge', Chris Keating of New Yorkers Yeasayer, who produced one of 2007/08's finest albums in 'All Hour Cymbals'. Name-dropping everyone from Bill Murray to Pete Tosh, it's an underwhelming dance track that has a red herring intro where Keating repeats "Huge" despite any 'huge' beats ever dropping. More impressive are the contributions from Taylor and Ditto, with 'Bad Blood' featuring Taylor sounding like a haunted Hot Chip offshoot and Ditto's vocals filling out 'Cruel Intentions' nicely, proving herself ideally suited to dance music. Head to Hype Machine to sample the lot.

hypem.com/search/simian%20mobile/1/

 
ROUGH TRADE RECORDS SEEKS A PRODUCT MANAGER
A rare and exciting opportunity has arisen within the Rough Trade label for an experienced, creative & hardworking individual.

Working closely with managers and artists, you'll be responsible for devising and implementing release plans for the Rough Trade roster.

You'll be highly organised, motivated and capable of effectively marketing and promoting our artist's visions and output.

CVs + covering letters should be sent to jobs@roughtraderecords.com. Please note this position is based in our London, UK office and the deadline for submissions is 12 Aug 2009.




 

KLEIN EXPLAINS JACKSON CUSTODY CLAIM
The lawyer of Michael Jackson's dermatologist Dr Arnold Klein has explained his client's decision to object to Jackson's mother Katherine's successful attempt to gain custody of her son's three children.

As previously reported, Katherine Jackson was named the permanent guardian of the children by a judge in LA on Monday, following an out of court agreement with the mother of the two eldest, Debbie Rowe, which granted her visitation rights in exchange for allowing the custody claim to go through uncontested.

However, it was also revealed that at some point in the process Klein had raised objections which were not clear yesterday morning. Klein had been rumoured to have been the sperm donor for the same two children mothered (albeit possibly only as a surrogate) by Rowe. He had denied this, saying that "to the best of my knowledge" he was not the father of either of the children.

Klein's lawyer, Mark Vincent Kaplan explained yesterday that the claim did not relate to these rumours, simply to the fact that Klein had once promised Jackson that he would look after his children if he were to die.

In a statement, Kaplan said: "We appeared on behalf of Dr Arnold Klein before Judge Mitchell Beckloff ... to ask the Court to allow Dr Klein to have an opportunity to present evidence to the court for its consideration in fashioning an appropriate guardianship order with specific protection and supervision in areas relating to Paris Katherine and Prince Michael's upbringing that were of particular concern to Michael".

He continued:"Dr Klein is not objecting to Katherine Jackson being the guardian nominee, but was acting on promises he made to Michael with respect to assuring the long term health and stability of the children and their ability to enjoy as normal of a life out of the spotlight as could be reasonably possible".

According to reports, Klein's move to become a co-guardian of the children caused some confusion in court, with the judge discussing the matter with Kaplan privately before rejecting the request, saying that Klein had no legal standing in the children's lives.

Despite this, Kaplan said that Klein still hoped to have some involvement with them, saying: "Dr Klein has always had a special relationship with Paris Katherine and Prince Michael, loves and cares deeply for these children and is looking out for their best interest. Dr Klein has been involved with the children in sharing holidays and other special events and wishes to have the ability to continue his involvement as a very close friend of their father and offers his guidance and protection forever".

Meanwhile court documents reveal that Michael's father Joe will not be involved in the children's upbringing, despite being married to their new legal guardian. In the papers, submitted last month in relation to the custody case, he said: "I have had a close family relationship with these grandchildren since their birth. I do visit the family residence from time to time and will continue to do so, however I will not be involved in raising the children".

However, according to The Sun, one thing Katherine and Joe Jackson are planning to do together is pick apart their son's contract with AEG Live to see if there is any case for a wrongful death lawsuit. A source told The Sun: "Joe has been obsessed with AEG's role from the start and wanted to see the contract. Joe didn't trust them and told Michael. He is adamant he only agreed or wanted to do ten shows and was pressured into doing more".

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RADIOHEAD RELEASE SONG IN MEMORY OF WAR VETERAN
Radiohead have released a new song, which got its first play on Radio 4's 'Today Programme' this morning, in memory of World War I veteran Harry Patch, who died last month.

Entitled 'Harry Patch (In Memory Of)', the lyrics are based on the soldier's last words and Thom Yorke said he was inspired to write the song after hearing an interview with 'The Today Programme' recorded in 2005. The song can be downloaded from the band's website for £1, with all proceeds going to the Royal British Legion. Go here to get it.

You can hear a stream of the song here.

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MCCARTNEY NOT RETIRING
Paul McCartney has denied claims that he will retire from performing after one final world tour, comparing them to rumours of his death that circulated in 1969.

Speaking to The Boston Herald, the former Beatle said: "All I can say is that I'm not retiring. It's like 'Paul is dead'. 'No, I'm not', is all I could say. I did talk about retirement in one sentence in one story and only to say 'No way, Jose'. But someone must have only read part of that one sentence. As long as people want to come and hear me, I'll probably be doing this. It's just so easy to start rumours".

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C-MURDER BEGINS SECOND MURDER TRIAL
Rapper C-Murder, who these days prefers to be known as C Miller, has begun his second trial for the murder of a teenage fan.

Proceedings began with the selection of jurors on Monday. Eleven were chosen from a possible 39, after being quizzed on whether or not media coverage of the case meant they would be unable to assess the two sides impartially.

Miller's lawyer Ron Rakosky argued that they would not, saying that Miller's chance of a fair trial had been "poisoned from the day of his arrest". He told the court: "We're talking about an extraordinary, an extraordinary, amount of coverage. This man will never get a fair trial".

As previously reported, Miller is accused of murdering 16 year old Steve Thomas at the now closed Platinum Club in Harvey, Louisiana in 2002. The teenager was shot through the heart while being beaten by a group of men at a rap concert. The rapper has always maintained his innocence, but was convicted of the crime in 2003. However, the conviction was overturned a year later when Judge Martha Sassone agreed that prosecutors had improperly withheld background information on three eyewitnesses.

A friend of the hip hopper, Juan Flowers recently claimed responsibility for shooting Thomas. The prosecution have said that they fear the sudden confession by Flowers, who is already serving a life sentence for another murder, may be the result of witness tampering.

Miller is already awaiting sentencing for a separate trial, relating to an incident at the Club Raggs bar in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2001. In that case the rapper pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted second degree murder as part of a plea deal. He is due to be sentenced in that case on 25 Aug and, under the terms of his plea deal, faces a sentence of ten years, minus time he has already served in prison and under house arrest.

If convicted of Thomas' murder, Miller faces a mandatory life sentence. Amongst the evidence prosecutors are hoping to submit in the retrial are CCTV footage of the Club Raggs attack and lyrics to his 2002 track 'What's The Reason', which they say includes descriptions of both cases. The defence argue that there is no way of proving when the track was written.

The trial continues.

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TWO MORE RIAA VICTIMS SETTLE
As the Recording Industry Association Of America's idiotic campaign of suing individuals for file-sharing comes to an end, with Joel Tenenbaum's court case last week putting the high profile cases to bed, two more of the outstanding lawsuits have been settled out of court.

Jenna Rayleigh and Lindsey Simms both separately agreed to pay undisclosed amounts out of court last month. Although both decided to pay up rather than go to court ahead of the ruling that Joel Tenenbaum should pay a fine of $675,000 for sharing 30 files, they nonetheless came after the massive $1.6 million Jammie Thomas-Rasset was ordered to pay in June. Presuming Rayleigh and Simms had been fighting their corners up until that point (the former's case began in 2006, while the latter's was launched last year), it seems probably that it was this ruling which triggered their decisions to settle.

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METHOD MAN SUED OF PELLET GUN ATTACK
Wu-Tang rapper Method Man is being sued by a woman who claims he shot her with a pellet gun after she asked him for an autograph last week.

Mary Anderson from Fort Bend County in Texas claims that she approached Method Man, real name Clifford Smith, at the window of his tour bus after he performed a show with Redman at the House Of Blues in Houston on 30 Jul. Instead of signing his name, he reportedly shot her six times in the chest and torso with a pellet gun, which left her in need of medical attention.

She is now suing the rapper for inflicting bodily harm, inflicting emotional distress, and offensive physical contact and is seeking compensation for physical pain and suffering in the past and future, mental anguish, physical impairment, disfigurement, plus legal and medical bill incurred in relation to the incident. Which is quite a list.

Her lawyer Daniel Horowitz III said: "The conduct of the defendant was so extreme and outrageous in character and so extreme in degree as to go beyond all bounds of decency and should be regarded as atrocious conduct and utterly intolerable in a civilized society".

Method Man has so far made no comment on the case.

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MTV VMA NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED
The nominations for this year's MTV Video Music Awards have been announced, with a small pool of mostly not very good videos fighting it out. As a result, Beyonce and Lady GaGa are nominated in nine of the fifteen categories.

Other artists who feature heavily on the list are Britney Spears with seven nominations, Kanye West and Eminem, who are facing each other off in four categories, Coldplay with four nominations, and Green Day, who get three.

Recognising that there are some videos out there that should have been given awards in the past, the Best Video (That Should Have Won A Moonman) Award this year features older videos by Foo Fighters, OK Go, Beastie Boys, Björk and Radiohead. Moonman, if you're wondering, is what they call the astronaut-shaped trophies. I'm not sure if the plural in Moonmen or Moonmans - answers on a postcard please.

Russell Brand will present the awards for the second year in a row at a ceremony at New York's Radio City Music Hall on 13 Sep. Muse, Taylor Swift, Green Day and Pink are amongst the acts confirmed to perform.

After the controversy of last year's ceremony, in which Brand rubbed various people up the wrong way, he promised last month that this year's event would be "a controversy-free festival of love".

To see the nominations in full, head to the end of today's Daily.

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FEAR FACTORY FRONTMAN DISCUSSES SPLIT
Fear Factory frontman Burton C Bell has discussed the ongoing legal dispute over the band's name. As previously reported, there are now two bands called Fear Factory; one featuring bassist Christian Olde Wolbers and drummer Raymond Herrera; the other featuring guitarist Dino Cazares and vocalist Burton C. Bell. Both claim they have more right to the name.

Speaking to Rock My Monkey, Bell said that the whole dispute came down to a disagreement over who should manage the band. He said: "I just want to cut through a lot of the confusion about one issue since it really will be part of every answer. I have not made a public statement about it; I'm not one to air dirty laundry, but I have been forced to correct certain misstatements by Raymond and Christian. The fact that I have not worked with Raymond and Christian for the past three years as Fear Factory is for this one reason - it's that I did not want to be involved with their manager. Her name is Christy Priske and she happens to be Christian's wife. During the [2005 album] 'Transgression' mixing session, her and Raymond started a love affair that lasted for a couple years. As [she was at that time the] manager [of] Fear Factory, this was completely unacceptable to me".

Now that Bell and Cazares are working with a new line-up, Rock My Monkey asked why they didn't just drop the Fear Factory name, and the expensive legal battle associated with their attempt to claim it as their own. Bell replied: "For the exact same reason Raymond didn't wanna change the name of the band when Dino left [in 2002, before later returning]. And we believe that Dino and I have the right to use the name. I mean, Dino and I started jamming before Raymond was even in the picture. I've always been the singer of Fear Factory and Dino was the guitar player of the records that really were the seminal records of this band, that are associated with this band. And it comes down to that Raymond and Christian chose Christy over Fear Factory".

He also revealed that the Bell/Cazares version of the band is recording a new album, with a view to a February release. The Wolbers/Herrara version of the band is also currently in the studio working on a new album.

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MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE BACK IN THE STUDIO
My Chemical Romance have gone into the studio with producer Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, Rage Against The Machine, Mastodon) to begin work on the follow-up to 2006's 'The Black Parade'.

In a statement, frontman Gerard Way said: "At this point, the best way to describe the new album is My Chemical Romance being the purest, most distilled version of itself. No bells and whistles, as the focus has been on melody and songwriting. If it doesn't work in a room with just the five of us, we aren't trying to make it work in the studio with effects and string sections".

He continued:"Making 'The Black Parade' allowed us the departure we needed to see what worked and what didn't, experiment, and add a lot of elements we never would have. Sometimes, you need to leave to come back home. To me, it feels like the culmination of everything we have learned as songwriters and players".

On working with O'Brien, he said: "He has the ability to take a band and get the best possible version of that band at that moment, which is what we really wanted".

Not wanting the producer to take all the praise, guitarist Ray Toro added: "I can say, hands down, this is our best record yet. We've gotten even better as songwriters and musicians, and we cannot wait for people to hear what we came up with".

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ROBBIE PENS JACKO TRIBUTE
A line from one of the tracks on Robbie Williams' new album has been rewritten to pay tribute to Michael Jackson, the singer has revealed. He also revealed that he has been working with lyricist Don Black on some new songs. Black is better known for working on songs for films, having written the lyrics for songs such as 'Born Free' with composer John Barry for the film of the same name, and Garbage's James Bond theme 'The World Is Not Enough'.

Writing on his official blog, Williams said: "Michael Jackson died, then. It's all so very sad. [I] couldn't get a lyric to fit on one of the new songs, [so] when he passed away I rewrote it with him in mind. When I say 'I', I mean me and [lyricist] Don Black".

Describing working with Black, Williams said: "Don Black [is] the nicest legend I've ever met. I love him. Can't wait to work with him again. I was having a tough time with lyrics for a little while - nothing would come out. Don Black kindly came in and gave me a helping hand and who better than the Pele of lyrics. I'm truly honoured".

The first single from Williams' new album, 'Bodies' body will released on 12 Oct. The album, 'Reality Killed The Video Star', will be released on 9 Nov.

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MUSE'S ORWELLIAN NEW ALBUM
Muse have cited George Orwell's '1984' as a major influence on their fifth album, 'The Resistance'. Does this mean listening to it is like having a rat strapped to your face? Maybe not.

Frontman Matt Bellamy said he re-read the book shortly before the band wrote songs for the album. He told Radio 1: "When I read it this time I was much more taken with the love story. I read once in school about 15 years ago it was all about the politics. But when I read it this time I was much more taken with the love story in the book between Juliette and Winston".

Speaking about the band's development over the years, he said: "In the early years I was confused about what my emotions were trying to express. Being in England or seeing what's going on in England has defined it as being a lot more direct and a lot more down to earth. I think the first [single] sums up how a lot of people feel and it's that we need change".

'The Resistance' is due for release on 14 Sep, with the first single, 'The Uprising', released the week before.

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KING CANNIBAL ANNOUNCES DEBUT ALBUM
After a string of singles, Ninja Tune's new bully boy King Cannibal has announced that he will be releasing his debut album, 'Let The Night Roar', on 12 Oct. This is fantastic news, and anyone who says otherwise, well, I'm gonna tell him you said so. Featuring a punishing mix of dancehall, dubstep and drum n bass, it looks to be one of the year's most exciting albums.

Says the King, aka Dylan Richards: "This album is really about me laying out the core elements to the 'brutal deluxe' sound of King Cannibal. For this project it was all about establishing what makes a King Cannibal track and working to get those ingredients right and how they translate through genre and mood switches. I never really meant to make music with a theme, but at the half way point it really became clear that it had built its own regardless of what I was consciously thinking".

He continued: "It is quite obviously, sonically speaking, a violent piece of work, but where as most albums who tackle this subject fall back on its links with horror films I've really tried to make this about real life happening outside of our windows, in our backyards and in our small lives. We get trapped into thinking a certain way, doing things we don't want to do just so we can live to postpone our ambition another day. It's about cutting through these things with a positive violence and letting 'the night roar', for the night is when we finally get to do the things we really want to".

Here's the tracklisting for 'Let The Night Roar'

Intro
Aragami Style
Murder Us (feat. Jahcoozi)
Virgo (feat. Face-A-Face)
So... Embrace The Minimum
Dirt (feat. Daddy Freddy)
Colder Still
A Shining Force
The Untitled
Onwards Vultures
Flower Of Flesh And Blood

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THE MOLOTOVS ANNOUNCE DEBUT MINI-ALBUM
The Molotovs will release their debut mini-album, 'And The Heads Did Roll', via Fierce Panda on 5 Oct. However, oh so much sooner than that, they will release a single taken from it, 'Come To Grief', on 17 Aug.

To celebrate the single release, the band will headline a special Fierce Panda-curated edition of the White Heat club night, with support from The Laurel Collective, La Shark, Kaiko and a DJ set from Hatcham Social, on 14 Aug at the Lexington in Islington. Nice.

The tracklisting for 'And Heads Did Roll' looks something (well, exactly) like this:

Come To Grief
In Conversation
City's Guest
Flowers
Far Cry From Love
One Up On My

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COCKER PENS SONGS FOR BRAND
Jarvis Cocker has written a number of songs which Russell Brand will perform in his next film, 'Get Him To The Greek', a spin-off from last year's 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall'. In the film, Brand reprises his role of fictional rock star Aldous Snow. The story follows him as he attempts to get to LA's Greek Theatre to start a tour. Hilarity ensues.

Speaking about the songs, Cocker said they are "rather silly, but it's a silly film".

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JAY-Z WORKING ON NOVEL
Jay-Z is writing a novel. Or at least, his wife Beyonce thinks he is. And she says that anyone waiting from him to write his autobiography and spill the beans on their marriage is going to be waiting a while.

Beyonce said in a recent interview: "I think he's doing a book - but it is not a biography. A book about our love story is never going to happen".

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UNDERWORLD TO PLAY IPHONE GIG
In celebration of the release of the entire Underworld back catalogue on iTunes, the dance duo will perform the world's first free live audio-visual show beamed straight to iPhones this Friday.

Broadcasting direct from the Fox Theatre in Oakland, viewers will be treated to a selection of classics from Underworld's great big box of classics, as well as a few new tracks too. All you need is an iPhone connected to wi-fi and running iPhone OS 3.0. And everyone has that. Well, I do, anyway, and that's all that really matters. If you want full details, I suggest you head over to www.underworldlive.com.

If you need a little reminder of just how good Underworld are live, download this MP3 of them performing 'Born Slippy' at Brixton Academy, here.

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TECH JOURNO ANNOUNCES 'BAN RECORD LABELS MONTH'
Tim Gideon, Lead Audio And Video Analyst at PC Magazine, has announced a new campaign called 'Ban Major Record Labels Month'. Throughout August he is calling on people to not buy any records released via major labels and instead support indies doing smart and innovative things to sell and market new music.

Which is all commendable I reckon, and something you should consider. Although perhaps not entirely for the reasons he has outlined. First off, this idea was sparked by the Joel Tenenbaum case, which last week ended with the college student being slapped with a $675,000 fine for sharing 30 music files online. He wants the major labels to end their campaign of suing individuals for file-sharing, which, considering they already have, leaves the whole thing on a bit of a weak footing. And he also suggests that the majors are profiting from these lawsuits, which is also not the case. No one except lawyers profits from these cases. But anyway, like I say, the sentiment is still a good one, so let's let him off.

Gideon wrote on Monday: "Kind reader, I implore you to send the brain trust of the Big Four a message and make August 'Ban Major Record Labels Month'. Is there a record you really want to buy that's being released on a major label in the next four weeks? Wait until September to buy it. I bet you can stream it for free from the band's website or MySpace page. Or just suck it up for the next 29 days. And if you bought music this weekend, just extend the ban until 2 Sep".

He added:"Let's also make August 'Support The Indies Month'. I recognise not everyone is into indie rock, rap, jazz, or electronic music, but I promise you there's some really great stuff out there. Web sites like OtherMusic.com (which is also a brick-and-mortar record shop in New York City), Insound.com, eMusic.com, and iTunes itself all offer a wide variety of independent music. And Web sites like Bandcamp.com allow artists to sell music directly-and you can stream an entire song or album before you buy it, as many times as you want. Some of the downloads are even free!"

So, independent label bosses, if there's one lesson you should take from this, it's that you should stop selling just indie rock, rap, jazz and electronic music and broaden your horizons a bit.

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O2 TO LOSE IPHONE EXCLUSIVITY
O2 will lose their exclusive deal to sell Apple's iPhone in the UK on 9 Oct, with T-Mobile and Orange rumoured to be planning to begin selling the handset, according to reports.

The original deal to sell the iPhone in the UK was signed in 2007 and gave O2 the rights to sell the handset until 2012, although it is believed that these rights were only exclusive for two years. Now Mobile Entertainment claims to have seen documentation confirming this, and also stating that other operators will be given the opportunity to sell the iPhone after 9 Oct.

Some sources are saying that O2 may retain the exclusive rights to the latest version of the phone, the iPhone 3GS, with competitors now only allowed to sell the slightly less exciting iPhone 3G, which came out last year.

Orange and T-Mobile are being touted as new iPhone retailers in the UK as they already sell the device in other countries. T-Mobile have an exclusive deal to sell them in Germany, while Orange was the first network to offer them in Europe.

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DOWNLOAD COMPARISON WEBSITE LAUNCHES
A new website allowing consumers to compare prices on various download platforms has launched in the UK. CompareDownload.com launched this week with a database of over 10 million tracks, displaying prices from iTunes, Amazon MP3, 7Digital, Play.com, Tesco Digital, TuneTribe and We7.

The site's co-founder Darren Sher told MusicAlly: "Through our ground-breaking search technology, CompareDownload brings transparency to the music download industry".

The site is a little clunky at the moment, and compares downloads only on price with no mention of other factors (like sound quality) which might influence buyers. Though it does also offer star ratings for track, concert info, videos and reviews.

Take a look here: www.comparedownload.com

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ABDUL LEAVES IDOL
Paula Abdul has announced that she will not return as a judge on 'American Idol', a position she has held for last eight years, since the show first aired.

The former pop star revealed her decision via Twitter, saying: "With sadness in my heart, I've decided not to return to 'Idol'. I'll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all being a part of a show that I helped from day one become an international phenomenon".

In response to the news, the show's host Ryan Seacrest said (also via Twitter): "[I was] about to go to sleep when I started seeing my BlackBerry blow up. I have read what you have read and I am shocked and saddened about Paula. 'Idol' and the cast have grown with each other over the last eight seasons. I can't imagine the panel without Paula. She's a star and a great friend".

Of course, it's too soon to say who will replace Abdul, but let's have a go anyway. There has been speculation that Cheryl Cole would be joining the judging panel, following her stint on the last series of 'X Factor'. Though I think she said she wasn't. So, if not her, who else could it be? I reckon either Bono or Tiffany. Probably Bono.

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COBAIN'S SWEARING CAUSES UPROAR
Kurt Cobain has caused controversy in his hometown of Aberdeen, Washington by swearing in a park.

Residents have complained about a new granite memorial in an unofficial neighbourhood park (whatever that is), which features eight quotes from the late Nirvana frontman. The one causing problems says: "Drugs are bad for you. They fuck you up". The stone was donated by Grays Harbor Monument, while local man Tori Kovach selected the quotes.

Aberdeen City Councilman Jerry Mills told The Daily World: "[Fuck] is a word that should be done away with. We paint over it every time it's on graffiti. It's inappropriate".

Kovach said: "To me, the syringe is more offensive than the F word. I didn't include that quote because I enjoy and am comfortable with controversy. It wasn't for that reason. It was a message from Kurt and a very powerful message".

The city's mayor, Bill Simpson said that the Parks Board would now decide whether or not "fuck" should be removed from the memorial. Confirming that the offending work could easily be sandblasted off, Grays Harbour Monuent's manager Jerry Myers said: "In the granite industry, it'd be a bleep. There's about a 50-50 mix of people who care and those who don't".

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MTV VMA NOMINATIONS IN FULL

Video Of The Year: Beyoncé - 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)', Lady GaGa - 'Poker Face', Eminem - 'We Made You', Kanye West - 'Love Lockdown', Britney Spears - 'Womanizer'

Best New Artist: Lady GaGa - 'Poker Face', Drake - 'Best I Ever Had', 3OH!3 - 'Don't Trust Me', Kid Cudi - 'Day N Nite', Asher Roth - 'I Love College'

Best Male Video: Eminem - 'We Made You', Ne-Yo - 'Miss Independent', Kanye West - 'Love Lockdown', TI - 'Live Your Life (Feat. Rihanna)', Jay-Z - 'DOA'

Best Female Video: Lady GaGa - 'Poker Face', Beyoncé - 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)', Katy Perry - 'Hot N Cold', Kelly Clarkson - 'My Life Would Suck Without You', Taylor Swift - You Belong With Me', Pink - 'So What'

Best Hip-Hop Video: Eminem - 'We Made You', Flo Rida - 'Right Round', Kanye West - 'Love Lockdown', Asher Roth - 'I Love College', Jay-Z - 'DOA'

Best Pop Video: Britney Spears - 'Womanizer', Beyoncé - 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)', Lady GaGa - Poker Face', Wisin Y Yandel - 'Abusadora', Cobra Starship - 'Good Girls Go Bad (Feat. Leighton Meester)'

Best Rock Video: Coldplay - 'Viva La Vida', Paramore - 'Decode', Kings Of Leon - 'Use Somebody', Green Day - '21 Guns', Fall Out Boy - 'I Don't Care'

Breakthrough Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - 'Heads Will Roll', Matt And Kim - 'Lessons Learned', Passion Pit - 'The Reeling', Bat For Lashes - 'Daniel', Anjulie - 'Boom', Cold War Kids', I've Seen Enough', Death Cab For Cutie', Grapevine Fires', Gnarls Barkley - 'Who's Gonna Save My Soul', Chairlift - 'Evident Utensil', Major Lazer - 'Hold The Line'

Best Video (That Should Have Won A Moonman): David Lee Roth - 'California Girls', Foo Fighters - 'Everlong', U2 - Streets Have No Name', George Michael - 'Freedom', OK Go - 'Here It Goes Again', Tom Petty - 'Into The Great Wide Open', Dr. Dre - 'Nuthin' But A G Thang (Feat. Snoop Dogg)', Beastie Boys - 'Sabotage', Björk - 'Human Behavior', Radiohead - 'Karma Police'

Best Choreography: Beyoncé - 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)', Kristinia Debarge - 'Goodbye', Britney Spears - 'Circus', Ciara - 'Love Sex Magic (Feat. Justin Timberlake)', AR Rahman And Pussycat Dolls - 'Jai Ho!'

Best Direction: Beyoncé - 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)', Lady GaGa - 'Paparazzi', Britney Spears - 'Circus', Cobra Starship - 'Good Girls Go Bad (Feat. Leighton Meester)', Green Day - '21 Guns'

Best Editing: Beyoncé - 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)', Lady GaGa - Paparazzi', Britney Spears - Circus', Miley Cyrus - '7 Things', Coldplay - 'Viva La Vida'

Best Special Effects: Gnarls Barkley - 'Who's Gonna Save My Soul', Lady GaGa - 'Paparazzi', Beyoncé - 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)', Eminem - 'We Made You', Kanye West - 'Paranoid (Feat. Mr Hudson)'

Best Cinematography: Beyoncé - 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)', Lady GaGa - 'Paparazzi', Britney Spears - 'Circus', Green Day - '21 Guns', Coldplay - 'Viva La Vida'

Art Direction: Beyonce - 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)', Lady GaGa - 'Paparazzi', Britney Spears - 'Circus', Gnarls Barkley - 'Who's Gonna Save My Soul', Coldplay - 'Viva La Vida'

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