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Job ads
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Top Stories
Closing Observer Music Monthly named magazine of the year at ROTD Awards
Jermaine says Jordy retracted molestation allegations
Britney bus crashes
In The Pop Courts
Depeche Mode man called as expert on misery
Awards & Contests
Empire Of The Sun dominate at ARIA Awards
In The Studio
Gogol Bordello on Rick Rubin
Release News
Steel Panther announce Xmas single
Gigs N Tours News
Future Of The Left tour dates
Horse Feathers tour dates
Festival News
Muse to play Glasto?
Live review: Ingrid Michaelson at The Scala in London on 23 Nov
The Music Business
Borders goes into administration
Atlantic US doing rather well, apparently
The Digital Business
Mininova streamlines its service, shuts down infringing bit
The Media Business
Absolute launch iTunes tagging
ITV buy Disney out of GMTV
And finally...
Grohl thought Reading show could be Nirvana's last
Xmas LP completely serious, says Dylan
Debelle booed by Take That fans
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts

Alternative hip hop group Anti-pop Consortium formed way back in 1997 when Beans, High Priest, M Sayyid and producer Earl Blaize met at a poetry slam in New York City, releasing several singles and two albums before signing with Warp Records in 2000. The group disbanded in 2002 due to creative differences, seeing Beans pursue a solo career whilst Priest and Sayyid formed Airborn Audio. After recently reforming and signing to Big Dada, the group released their new album, 'Flourescent Black', in September. We spoke to Beans and Earl Blaize to ask our Same Six Questions.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
Beans: When I was seventeen, I started trying to be a DJ but I couldn't afford the equipment so I started writing instead.

Earl Blaize: I used to make cassette 'pause' tapes, splicing together megamixes from radio stations, Then started DJing, and got my first drum machine, a TR-707, which led me to start producing and engineering.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Beans: The title comes from a lyric I said in the track 'Apparently', but it was Sayyid's idea to use it as the title for the album.

Earl Blaize: I was inspired by Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side Of The Moon'.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Beans: Anyone of us can come to the table with a track. Most tracks are done individually but some have been created out of collective improvising

Earl Blaize: Each member's process is different. For me, creating a track is like creating a new life. Like any new life, it should have a reason to exist. This is why the track must have a pulse that can be felt by the listener. If it doesn't move you, then it's just constipation.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Beans: Dude, too numerous to list. I dig Sun Ra, 70s Miles Davis, Public Enemy, Suicide, Mantronix to name a few. We each vary with that question.

Earl Blaize: Mantronix, John Williams, Bob Powers (engineer), Led Zepplin, PE, Marilyn Manson, Eminem, Pharoahe Monch, KRS-One, WarDolphin

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music the first time?
Beans: Enjoy the ride!

Earl Blaize: Hopefully you'll experience a unique approach to hip hop that doesn't fit into a nice neat little box.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Beans: To continue to make records and music on our own terms

Earl Blaize: To continue to enjoy creating audio landscapes that take the listener through time and space without the need for a government-issued passport.


VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: BBE, Bugz In The Attic and East Village present Legends
OK, yes, I'm tipping East Village yet again. But this night looks too good not to mention. It promises legends, and boy does it deliver. Upstairs in the lounge there will be original disco vibes from John Morales and Victor Simonelli. For those who don't know, Morales was responsible for the club versions of some of the smashers of the 80s - from 'Axel F' and 'Rhythm Of The Night' to 'Dr Beat'. In addition, he lent his talents to acts such as The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, The Commodores, Rose Royce and 80s sensation Mr Billy Ocean. He'll also be joined by Jesper Christiansen from BBE Records. Meanwhile, downstairs in the basement, Soulsonic man Stuart Patterson and the rather underrated Orin Walters (aka Afronaut and Bugz In The Attic) are joined by an absolute scoop - the Detroit techno Don, Carl Craig. With this Motor City man in the house, it's definitely gonna kick off, even if it is a school night.

Sunday 29 Nov, 9pm-1.30am, East Village, 89 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3HX, £5 all night, more info from, press info from Rosalia at Ferrera PR or Lee at BBE

It's that time of year again, where we ask you to tell us your favourite track of the year. Just let us know your decision via this handy form, along with some details about who you are and why you made your choice. We'll publish some of your responses in CMU Daily over the coming weeks.

Cast your vote here


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So, the great, the good, the beautiful, and I don't know, maybe the ugly of the British music press and PR community amassed in a little bar just down the road from CMU HQ last night for the annual Record Of The Day Awards. Now in their seventh year, these are primarily voted for by media and publicity people, and celebrate the skills of those who ramble about music for a living, and those who persuade the ramblers to ramble about this rather than that.

Among the winners were the Observer Music Monthly, which was voted Magazine Of The Year just weeks after its owners, Guardian Media Group, announced they were shutting the music supplement down. Collecting his award, editor Caspar Llewellyn Smith joked that it doesn't get better then winning the Magazine Of The Year gong at the RoTD Awards, and so now he and his team would be calling it quits.

Elsewhere Popjustice's Peter Robinson picked up two writer of the year awards, one for Breaking Music and one Student Choice. Music critic's music critic Alexis Petridis of The Guardian won reviewer of the year for the seventh year in a row, leading host Matt Everitt to joke that Alexis Petridis was winning the Alexis Petridis Award For Music Reviewing. While the surprise of the evening was probably Editor Of The Year, which went to the boss of one of the smaller music mags out there, Kruger Magazine.

On the PR side of the equation, the Polydor press team picked up three gongs, one for best in-house team, and two for Polydor publicist Adrian Read, who won Best In-House PR Person and Best PR Campaign For A Non-UK Act. Deserved winners I reckon, despite Team Polydor failing to fulfil an earlier commitment made to CMU via Twitter to wear their best hats to the awards event. In the end, there was not a hat in sight.

Finally, there were three student-based awards this year, supported by CMU and organised in association with our sister website We consulted a panel of opinion forming student journalist types about which publication and professional music writer they most admired, and and Peter Robinson came out top respectively. Meanwhile, we threw the work of a barrage of student music journalists in the direction of some pros, and they picked out Simon Catling from Student Direct in Manchester for the prestigious Student Music Journalist Of The Year award. Well done him.

Coming up, the full list of winners. But first, here's RoTD chief Paul Scaife saying things: "The rise of digital platforms and blogs has seen the media landscape shift dramatically in recent times but this has not affected the best of UK music journalism and PR. Interest in great writing remains high and is perhaps best illustrated by the record number of votes we received this year. To properly represent the evolving media world we now inhabit we have re-introduced the 'Best Free Magazine' category and have launched a brand new award, 'Best Feature', to reflect how in-depth, intelligent music journalism deserves highlighting. The event marks a real celebration of the music media and all those who work in it".

The full list of winners:

Student Choice Publication Of The Year: NME.Com
Student Choice Writer Of The Year: Peter Robinson
Student Music Journalist Of The Year: Simon Catling, Student Direct, Manchester Uni

Magazine Of The Year: The Observer Music Monthly
Best Music Coverage In A Newspaper: The Guardian
Best Music Coverage In The Popular Press: The Sun 'Something For The Weekend'
Free Magazine Of The Year: The Stool Pigeon
Digital Publication Of The Year: The Quietus
Best Blog: No Pain In Pop
Feature Of The Year: Warp Records 20th Anniversary Feature - Clash Magazine, written by Matthew Bennett And Kris Needs

Live Reviews Writer Of The Year: John Doran, The Quietus, NME And Others
Record Reviews Writer Of The Year: Winner: Alexis Petridis, The Guardian
Breaking Music Writer: Peter Robinson, Popjustice
Editor Of The Year: Mike Williams, Kruger

Best Independent PR Company: Stoked
Best In-House PR Department: Polydor Records
Best Independent PR Person: Beth Brookfield, Purple PR
Best In-House PR Person: Adrian Read, Polydor

Best PR Campaign For A Breakthrough UK Act: Toast PR for Florence And The Machine
Best PR Campaign For An Established UK Act: Michael Cleary (formerly of XL Recordings now of Columbia Records) for Dizzee Rascal

Best PR Campaign For An Established Non-UK Act: Taponeswa Mavunga - Atlantic Records for Jay Z
Best PR Campaign For A Breakthrough Non-UK Act: Adrian Read - Polydor Records for Lady Gaga

The PR Reputation Management Award: Michael Cleary (Formerly of XL Recordings now of Columbia Records) - Dizzee Rascal

Outstanding Contribution To Music Journalism Award: Phil Alexander
Outstanding Contribution To PR Award: Alan Edwards
Outstanding Contribution To Music Photography Award: Kevin Cummins

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Back in early July, shortly after Michael Jackson's death, stories circulated in the blogosphere to the effect that Jordan Chandler, the guy who in 1993 accused the king of pop of having sexually abused him, had confessed his allegations were all made up as part of his father's bid to extort millions of dollars out of the pop star. But few proper news agencies picked up on the reports, and it was never clear where the now 29 year old was meant to have formally commented. But now Jermaine Jackson has also claimed that Jordy has changed his story.

As we all know, the Chandler family's allegations rocked the Michael Jackson machine, with all kinds of sordid stories circulating about what the pop star was meant to have done with and to the then young teen. The Jacko clan maintained all the allegations were untrue and that they were being made to extort money out of the millionaire pop star.

The claims were never tested in court, though, after Jacko handed over millions to the Chandler family to buy their silence on the matter. Jackson's career never recovered after the allegations, and the trauma of it all arguably sent the pop star over the edge, turning an eccentric musical genius into a paranoid, reclusive, drug-dependent performer going through the motions. The Chandler family also collapsed, with Jordy becoming estranged from his mother, and his father Evan never recovering from a mental breakdown. He, of course, committed suicide earlier this month.

Jordan Chandler, who himself seemingly never really got over the trauma of the scandal, has never commented on the allegations he made since the multi-million dollar cash settlement. But Jermaine claims that since his brother's death, Chandler has come forward and admitted Michael never molested him. Jermaine also says he believes Evan Chandler ultimately committed suicide because his guilt over the false accusations became too much to bear.

Speaking at a charity event earlier this week, Jermaine reportedly said: "From the 93 case, they were accusing him [Jacko] of just the most horrible things. This kid's father has committed suicide because he just couldn't take it and now the kid has come forward and said Michael never touched him".

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One of the vehicles in the Britney Spears tour entourage has been involved in a serious accident in Australia, though the bus was carrying equipment not people. That said, the condition of the driver of the bus is not currently known.

The vehicle was driving to Melbourne where Spears will play the latest date in her Aussie tour later today, when it flipped off the road during a bad storm. Its thought the equipment was undamaged and that the incident shouldn't effect tonight's show.

It's the second serious crash involving a pop tour this month. Last week Miley Cyrus' tour bus crashed in the US killing the driver and injuring nine crew members.

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Depeche Mode's main songwriter, Martin Gore, will be called as an expert witness should a lawsuit filed this week in California go to trial. American videogame fan Erik Estavillo is suing the makers of 'World Of Warcraft', Activision Blizzard, claiming that the game has alienated him from the real world, and has named Gore in court documents as a man who knows his stuff when it comes to feelings of disaffection and isolation.

In papers filed on Tuesday, Estavillo accuses the company of maintaining "a harmful virtual environment to many of its customers by forcing them to follow ['World Of Warcraft's] sneaky and deceitful practices". These practices apparently include making characters in the game walk too slowly.

And who better to back up these claims than Martin Gore? According to Estavillo, the musician would be called because "he himself has been known to be sad, lonely and alienated, as can be seen in the songs he writes". Gore would be joined by a second alienation expert, Winona Ryder, who would explain "the significance of alienation in 'Catcher In The Rye' and ... how alienation in the book can tie to alienation in real life [and] videogames such as 'World Of Warcraft'". Obviously.

This isn't the gamer's first attempt to sue a technology company. Past (unsuccessful) lawsuits have included suing Microsoft, due to stress arising from a broken Xbox, and Nintendo for interfering with his right to seek happiness by blocking some software from being released on the Wii.

In this case he is seeking $1 million in damages from Activision Blizzard. That money probably wouldn't make him happy, but at least it could fund a few more bizarre lawsuits.

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So, it was the ARIA Awards this week, the Australian equivalent of the BRITSs, and I think it's fair to say this was a jolly good night for those Empire Of The Sun boys. AC/DC and Ladyhawke were also multiple award winners. Here's the full winners list...

Album Of The Year: Empire Of The Sun - Walking On A Dream (EMI/Capitol)
Single Of The Year: Empire Of The Sun - Walking On A Dream (Capitol/EMI Music Australia)

Breakthrough Artist Album: Ladyhawke - Ladyhawke (Modular Recordings)
Breakthrough Artist Single: Ladyhawke - My Delirium (Modular Recordings)

Best Group: Empire Of The Sun - Walking On A Dream (EMI/Capitol)

Best Female Artist: Sarah Blasko - As Day Follows Night (Dew Process)
Best Male Artist: Daniel Merriweather - Love & War (Universal Music Australia)

Best Pop Release: Empire Of The Sun - Walking On A Dream (EMI/Capitol)
Best Urban Release: Hilltop Hoods - State Of The Art (Universal/Golden Era)
Best Dance Release: The Presets - Talk Like That (Modular Recordings)
Best Independent Release: Bertie Blackman - Secrets And Lies (Forum 5/MGM)
Best Comedy Release: Hamish And Andy - Unessential Listening (Sony/Roadshow Music)

Best Rock Album: AC/DC - Black Ice (Sony/Albert Productions)
Best Blues & Roots Album: C.W. Stoneking - Jungle Blues (Shock/King Hokum Records)
Best Country Album: Troy Cassar-Daley - I Love This Place (Liberation Music)
Best Adult Contemporary Album: Josh Pyke - Chimney's Afire (Ivy League Records)
Best Children's Album: The Wiggles - The Wiggles Go Bananas! (ABC Music)
Best DVD: Sia - TV Is My Parent (Monkey Puzzle/Inertia)

Highest Selling Single: Jessica Mauboy - Running Back (Sony)
Highest Selling Album: AC/DC - Black Ice (Sony/Albert Productions)

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Bassist with gypsy punks Gogol Bordello, Tommy T, has been singing the praises of producer Rick Rubin, who was responsible for pressing record and play at the same time for the band's as-yet-untitled forthcoming new album, which is due out early next year.

He told Spinner: "[Rick Rubin is] a genius. He's a person who's absolutely confident and absolutely believes his instincts. And that means he's going to bring the best out of you. His instincts are deadly - you can see that through his work, many years through many styles. He builds a song from the ground up. It's not about a riff, it's not about this or that. The whole thing is about a song".

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OTT rockers Steel Panther have announced that they will release a Christmas single next month. 'Sexy Santa' will hit stores on 13 Dec, backed with the slightly less festive, 'Party All Day (Fuck All Night)'.

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Good news for people who like good stuff, Future Of The Left will be heading out on a UK tour tomorrow, with support from Tubelord.

Here are the dates:

28 Nov: Norwich, Arts Centre
29 Nov: Oxford, Bullingdon
30 Nov: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
1 Dec: Birmingham, Academy 3
3 Dec: London, Garage
4 Dec: Brighton, Freebutt
5 Dec: Bristol, Thekla

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Horse Feathers will hit the UK for a week long tour of the UK and Ireland next month, performing, amongst others, songs from last year's 'House With No Name' album, which featured immensely talented musician Peter Broderick and his sister Heather. For the upcoming shows, mainman Justin Ringle will be joined by Nathan Crockett (violin, saw, vocals), Catherine Odell (cello, vocals) and Sam Cooper (banjo, mandolin, percussion, violin, vocals).

Tour dates:

7 Dec: London, Hoxton Bar & Grill
8 Dec: Oxford, Jericho Tavern
9 Dec: Manchester, Dulcimer
10 Dec: Glasgow, Nice N Sleazy
11 Dec: Dublin, Academy 2
12 Dec: Belfast, Speakeasy

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With all the usual "U2 to headline Glastonbury" rumours turning out to be true for 2010, now the usual "Muse to headline Glastonbury" rumours are taking centre stage. Several sources are apparently saying the Musesters have been signed up to play Glasto 2010. Time will tell, I guess.

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LIVE REVIEW: Ingrid Michaelson at The Scala in London on 23 Nov
When I turned up at the venue, I assumed that this would be a "little" show. Boy, was I in for a surprise. Presented with a queue that stretched around the building and back again, I ate my words - apparently, Ingrid Michaelson is something of a favourite on these shores. Who'd have thunk it? Not I. Casting all former assumptions aside, I settled down (literally - did you know that Scala has a stage viewing area upstairs complete with squishy couches and a bar? how extremely civilised) to watch the show, a show that turned out to be much more than a gig.

First thing's first - Ingrid Michaelson is kooky. She might just be the kookiest kook in all of Kookville, and goddamn, do I love her for it. What made this more than simply a live show of music were her interactions with the audience - she told stories, jokes, got some crazy-obsessive fan up on stage to sing with her (who actually turned out to be very good), and even tried her hand at the English accent (FYI, at that she's not very good).

But stripping all of that onstage charisma away and taking her for what she is - an excellent voice and a, well, interesting songwriter - I was very quick to learn just why she has so many devoted fans. TW

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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Books and CD sellers Borders have gone into administration after management there failed to find a buyer for their 45 store chain. The firm's current owners only acquired the company a few months back as part of a management buy-out. Administrators MCR say that it is business as usual at the company's Borders and books etc stores as they try to find a buyer for the chain as a whole. Though many commentators are not optimistic that such a buyer will be found.

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So, does the future of the record industry depend on everyone doing what the team at Atlantic USA are doing? Possibly. According to Hits Daily Double, here is what Warner Music chief Edgar Bronfman Jr said when asked by a City type, during a conference call on the major's previously reported fourth quarter financials, why his company's Atlantic US division was outperforming all the other parts of his business.

Bronfman: "I have always believed that a key executive management team is critical to success, and the team at Atlantic has jelled together - and that is not just the leadership of Craig Kallman and Julie Greenwald, but the entire Atlantic team and staff, and they have employed a very disciplined financial strategy. And that allows Atlantic to focus very strongly on the artist that it believes in and not to spend too much time on artists that don't have that kind of potential".

He continued: "The last three years are the most successful years in the history of Atlantic Records; 2008 was the greatest year in Atlantic's history, 2009 is even ahead of 2008. So it is the rebuilding of our artist roster, but most importantly it is the right executive team with the right management underneath them and disciplined focused financial approach, which is really bearing fruit at Atlantic".

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Mininova, a Dutch BitTorrent search service which, like The Pirate Bay, helped file-sharers find torrent sources of music and movie files, has shut down part of its operation so that from now on they will only provide links to content sources in its own 'content distribution network'.

That network consists of content owners who have signed up to use Mininova as a way of promoting and distributing their work, and therefore provides links to mainly unsigned and lesser-known musicians and filmmakers.

A Dutch court ruled in August that the wider Mininova service was guilty of copyright infringement for linking to unlicensed sources of content. The court also ruled that Mininova's 'take down procedure', where they pledged to remove links to illegal content sources if told to do so by content owners, was not sufficient to side step liability for infringement.

It was with that in mind that Mininova have decided to simply shut down the bit of its service where the dodgy links occurred, having not found a viable way to automatically stop infringing links from being submitted by users.

In a statement on their company blog, Team Mininova wrote: "We've been testing some filtering systems the last couple of months, but we found that it's neither technically nor operationally possible to implement a 100% working filter system. Therefore, we decided that the only option is to limit Mininova to Content Distribution torrents from now on".

However, the statement added that the torrent firm was still considering its legal position confirming: "We are still considering an appeal at this moment".

The General Counsel of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry, Jo Oliver, welcomed the development, saying: "[It] is further proof that courts will not tolerate operations that offer infringing torrents. By curbing the illegal distribution of content online we can create an environment in which investment in legitimate digital music services can thrive".

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Absolute Radio has announced it will become the first radio station in Europe to provide an iTunes Tagging service, albeit only in London where it broadcasts on FM.

The new service utilises the FM receiver that has been added to the iPod Nano, and uses that technology originally developed for the now defunct CLIQ download service. Basically, as you listen to Absolute, if you like a song playing you can press a button, then the next time you sync your iPod to iTunes you will be given the option to download the song from the iTunes Store.

CLIQ was developed by Unique Broadcasting, and planned to incorporate a download service into a clever radio set. The service never really got off the ground. However, technology developed for that service will be utilised by Absolute's iPod service.

Unique's Simon Blackmore told reporters this week: "We were extremely pleased to see Apple announce the arrival of an FM tuner in the latest iPod Nano and it's now even more welcome having implemented iTunes Tagging with the team at [Absolute Radio's] One Golden Square Labs, who continue to be at the forefront of technology".

Unique CEO Simon Cole, meanwhile, said this: "The use of radio as a prompt to purchase for music has been a vision of ours for the last three years. I'm really pleased to see much of the work we have put into developing IP in this area coming to fruition in our work with Absolute".

Elsewhere in Absolute news, their previously reported 'listener controlled' live music station Dabbl will formally launch next week with a recording of a recent Kasabian gig.

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ITV has taken full ownership of GMTV.

For historic reasons, the franchise to broadcast between 6am and 9.25am on the third terrestrial channel is separate from the franchises to broadcast after 9.25am. The breakfast licence is also national, whereas the other third channel licences are regional.

GMTV have held the breakfast licence since 1993. As the other ITV companies in England and Wales all merged to create ITV plc that company ended up with a 75% stake in GMTV, with Disney owning the other quarter of the company. Yesterday ITV plc bought out Disney.

It's thought that ITV plc taking complete ownership of GMTV will result in more integration between breakfast and daytime on ITV1, though GMTV also airs in Scotland and Northern Ireland, where the other ITV franchises are owned by different companies, STV and UTV respectively.

Both STV and UTV traditionally air most of ITV plc's English programmes, though STV are increasingly replacing English shows with Scottish-made ones, resulting in a lot of ITV/STV squabbling. Whether that will limit ITV plc's hopes to make breakfast and daytime ITV more cohesive remains to be seen.

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Dave Grohl has admitted that prior to Nirvana's now legendary Reading Festival performance in 1992, which was released on DVD this month, he thought it could have been the band's last. Mainly because he expected it all to go horribly horribly wrong.

Speaking to The Scotsman, he said: "I really thought, 'This will be a disaster, this will be the end of our career, for sure'. Kurt had been in and out of rehab, communication in the band was beginning to be strained. Kurt was living in LA, Krist and I were in Seattle. People weren't even sure if we were going to show up. We rehearsed once, the night before, and it wasn't good. It turned out to be a wonderful show, and it healed us for a little while".

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Bob Dylan has insisted that his recently released Christmas album, 'Christmas In The Heart', is not a joke. Anyone who thinks it is apparently just doesn't understand it. Or maybe Bob just doesn't get the joke.

Dylan told The Big Issue: "Critics like that are on the outside looking in. They are definitely not fans or the audience that I play to.They would have no gut level understanding of me and my work, what I can and can't do - the scope of it all. Even at this point in time they don't know what to make of me. These songs are part of my life, just like folk songs. You have to play them straight, too... The songs don't require much acting. They kind of play themselves".

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Speech Debelle was booed off stage at the launch event for the new Take That edition of karaoke videogame, 'SingStar'. The 500-strong crowd apparently took exception to the Mercury winner after she chose to rap her way through the TT classic, 'Pray', instead of singing it. Which, given that the game scores you on how closely you can mimic the original song, is probably fair.

The Mirror claims that Debelle retorted: "I'm a rapper. I don't do Take shit". Although that seems quite unlikely. However, it seems that the event's host, James Corden, did return to the stage and announce: "That was shit, anyone can rap", before launching into a rap of his own.

Held in aid of HIV charity Body & Soul, Lily Allen, Paloma Faith, Rachel Stevens, Kate Moss, Pixie Geldof, Amy Winehouse's goddaughter Dionne Bromfield and Take That themselves were all in attendance.

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