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Job ads
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Top Stories
Apple close to buying
Chris Brown does the media circuit
In The Pop Hospital
Weezer man recovers after tour bus crash
Aaron Schroder dies
Liam Clancy dies
Charts, Stats & Polls
Sound Of 2010 long list announced
Music makes you an alcoholic says PRS
Reunions & Splits
Killers not splitting
Artist Deals
Manson discusses Interscope split
Release News
Bass Clef announces new album
Gigs N Tours News
Blood Red Shoes announce UK tour
These New Puritans announce tour dates
Festival News
Truck goes USA
Pearl Jam to headline Hard Rock Calling 2010
Single review: Headman - Gimme (feat Dieter Meier) (Relish)
The Music Business
Technics not discontinuing turntables
XL appointments
Seatwave say things going well, but want to sell football tix
The Media Business
Baddiel and Skinner to reunite for World Cup
Chart Of The Day
Chart update
And finally...
Lil Wayne not dead
Rehab for George? No, no, no
Facebook campaign tries to topple X-Factor's Christmas number one ambitions
Timberlake wishes he'd stood by Janet during Nipplegate
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Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts

So, we've spent the last four weeks painstakingly putting together playlists of tracks that were released this year. Some we loved, some we, er, well, we thought they would be good as reference points. You can watch the videos for this week's ten tracks below here, as well as the previous three selections. But don't forget to let us know what your favourite track of 2009 was by clicking this link.
01: Dirty Projectors - Stillness Is The Move
This is without doubt one of the best tracks of 2009, and I will not accept anything anyone else says to the contrary. Wonky indie types take on R&B and win. Then a proper R&B type, Beyonce's little sister Solange, covered it herself and all was good.

02: U2 - Get On Your Boots
Okay, this didn't fare very well in the charts when it was released as a single, and having the lyrics flashed up on a big screen when U2 performed it at The BRITs was a bad idea, but maybe it's grown on you since then.

03: Kasabian - Where Did All The Love Go?
Apparently everyone loves Kasabian. They're not doing anything for me. Remember that this is a poll for best track of the year, not funniest, when you cast your vote.

04: Eminem - We Made You
Eminem returned this year. Did you notice? Even he's admitted he didn't have much of an impact with his new album. The problem, possibly, was that everyone's a little bored of his attacks on other celebrities now. That said, this track is pretty catchy.

05: Fever Ray - When I Grow Up
The Knife's Karin Dreijer Andersson released her debut solo album under the name Fever Ray this year. The album contains several contenders for Track Of The Year, but I reckon this one gets closest to the prize.

06: Depeche Mode - Wrong
The bulk of column inches devoted to Depeche Mode this year related to Dave Gahan's health problems, but with this track, they prove that they've lost none of their ability to put together a biting pop track, after nearly thirty years together.

07: Passion Pit - The Reeling
Who'd have thought a project that started as nothing more than a Valentine's Day present would become such a massive success? As vocals go, Michael Angelakos' are technically not the world's best, but this track will still burrow itself under your skin.

08: Delphic - This Momentary
Delphic are a band we're going to be talking about a lot come 2010, and this single released earlier this year is all you need to listen to in order to work out why. And, trust me, they've got plenty more when this came from.

09: My Toys Like Me - All Over My Face
I really wanted to include 'Sweetheart' here, because it genuinely is one of my favourite tracks of 2009. However, that one's not on MUZU, so instead I've given you this more laidback number to mull over. If you've not heard their album, give it a look.

10: AR Rahman (feat Pussycat Dolls) - Jai Ho
How could we forget this? Off the back of the success of the movie 'Slumdog Millionaire', this track spent an extended period in the UK singles chart earlier this year. But is that down to its filmic association or is it one of the year's best tracks? That's your decision.

Okay, so, while you ponder what your favourite track of 2009 has been, head over to to watch the videos for these and the three other playlists of possible contenders we've put together over the last month. Once you've decided what your favourite track released this year was, head over here to cast your vote.

CMU ALBUMS OF THE YEAR: Patrick Wolf - The Bachelor
As we head towards the end of the year, we'll be revealing, in no particular order, our ten favourite albums of 2009. First up, Patrick Wolf's 'The Bachelor'.

Outside the studio, Patrick Wolf appears to be a man who goes out looking for conflict and then complains very loudly when he finds it. Inside, this personality trait manifests itself as a self-assured knowledge that he knows best. Hence, he shunned the label system and raised £100,000 through in order to record the not unironically named double album, 'Battle', which he later elected to split into two separate releases.
A lush album, full of rich strings and contrasting electronics, the first part of the set, 'The Bachelor', was released in June. Wilfully theatrical, the album shares much in common with My Life Story, but also takes clear influence from Alec Empire (who appears on two tracks) and The Postal Service.

As well as Empire, other guests include actress Tilda Swinton, who provides passages of spoken word on three tracks, dance experimentalist Matthew Herbert, and folk musician Eliza Carthy, who provides some beautiful violin on the album's title track. Though Carthy's appearance is not the only injection of folk on the album. In fact, at a time when 'folk' has become synonymous with a person playing an acoustic guitar, it's quite refreshing to see genuine Celtic folk have such an influence on contemporary music.

So, as off-putting as his bullish determination may be at times, when it comes to his music, it works. 'The Bachelor' is a near-flawless album, over the top without running away with itself and diverse without losing focus.

iTunes - Amazon - Spotify



Domino requires a capable person to assist in the Business Affairs department of Domino Recording and Domino Publishing Companies, based in London.

The ideal candidate will have a couple of years experience working in a busy office, be highly organised and in possession of first rate administrational skills. Your daily tasks will include tracking all agreements, issuing broadcast releases, licensing our repertoire out for compilations and looking after the label copy.

The role offers an excellent introduction into the business aspect of the music industry.

Applications: [email protected]


IODA,, industry leading digital distribution company for the global independent label community, has a vacancy for a Client Relations Rep based at the London office.

As the first point of contact for our rights holders and roster of labels, the successful candidate will be the hub and advocate for information and co-ordination flowing between IODA internal departments. Providing support and assistance in educating and enabling labels to use our content management tools, coordinate release schedules, maintain and manage their catalogs and assets.

Send a CV with covering letter to [email protected].


Leading independent music PR company looking for a Press Officer with experience in both online and traditional PR. Must be passionate, enthusiastic, intelligent, and a creative thinker. Knowledge of communications: PR, marketing, and blogging would be ideal, but not essential. If you are looking for a challenge within a dynamic company, please forward a copy of your CV to: [email protected]


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It looks increasingly likely that Apple will acquire, the US-based digital music service which counts Warner Music amongst its financial backers.

Lala has offered various digital music services since launching in 2006, though now offers three main ones - MP3 downloads, paid-for streaming and free-to-access streaming. Unlike Spotify and its like, the paid-for streaming is charged on a per-track basis rather than via a monthly subscription - once you have paid 10 cents for access to a track you can stream it as many times as you like. Any one song can only be streamed for free once. There's also some playlist sharing functionality, which was at the heart of the original Lala proposition.

Although some commentators reckon Apple are more interested in the talents of Lala's development team than its current products or user-base, the acquisition of the platform's streaming music service would add to Apple's own music offer. iTunes is an exclusively download-based platform, of course, offering no real streaming component other than the thirty second track previews. Given Apple have never seemed overly keen in adopting either of the revenue models used by Spotify and their like - ie monthly subscriptions and advertising sales - if the IT giant is to move into streaming the Lala system might be attractive.

Of course Apple's music products are primarily based around the desire to sell iPods and iPhones. Lala are known to be developing an iPhone app, though its not clear if that would stream music to the Apple phone, or whether it would work like Spotify's iPhone system and download a version of the track locked to a proprietary player. Either way, given streaming music services are on the rise, it makes sense for Apple to get a bit of that action, especially if such services can be integrated with the IT giant's portable devices.

Specifics of the deal remain unclear, though, as with MySpace's bid to buy Imeem, Apple may well get the digital music service pretty cheaply, given that many independent players in the digital music space are currently struggling to boost revenues or raise new venture capital. Neither side have formally commented, though a number of insiders seem to think the deal is basically done and will be confirmed imminently.

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So, getting Rihanna some high profile press and telly spots in the American media to plug her new album, 'Rated R', was hardly the most difficult PR task ever, given it was known the songstress was willing to talk about what went down that night back in February. Said media is presumably as keen to hear Chris Brown's side of the story, though I imagine the publicists punting the interviews and the editors taking that call had to tread much more carefully in how they position the page space and air time given to the R&B thugster as he tries to flog his new long player, 'Graffiti'.

Needless to say, the resulting interviews that have started to circulate are full of remorse. Asked in The Times about the photo of a bruised Rihanna that circulated on the net after he had been arrested for beating up his then girlfriend, Brown says: "It's unbearable to view. It's something that I have to live with every time they show it. I'm embarrassed that I couldn't control my anger at that time. It's a reminder that I have to be in control of my own actions and not anyone else's. My actions today and in the past shape my future".

Despite giving a lengthy interview about the fallout of that night he beat up his girl, he shies away from dwelling too much on the circumstances that led up to the violent altercation, presumably wary of being accused of making excuses for his actions.

He explains: "If I did talk, people would only say, 'Oh, he's just saying stuff in order to sell records', and it'd be a scandal all over again. I've looked at Michael Jackson's career and how the public totally turned on him, then switched and got back with him again, back and forth. Other artists, too. They throw you to the dogs. They don't see you as a person. So I've just concentrated on accepting full responsibility for the wrong things I've done, without going into detail about what happened or what made me lose [it] ... I just feel that it's the right way forward".

He seems more keen to talk about what he's learned about domestic violence in the counselling he has attended since the night he lost it, noting that men as well as women are abused. And, of course, he continuously returns to how sorry he is for what he has done, while listing the actions he has taken to control his personality so it never happens again.

Whether any of this mental rehabilitation can rehabilitate Brown's career remains to be seen. In reality Brown's core fanbase has probably remained loyal throughout, but to score mega record sales Brown needs the more mainstream music fan's dollar also, and the needs more mainstream radio shows and TV programmes to champion his music, which some producers may be cautious of doing under the circumstances. What all this will mean in terms of record sales we'll find out later this month when 'Graffiti' is released.

Among the major US media leading with Brown is Vibe magazine, which has given the cover of its relaunch issue to the singer. As previously reported, the famous US urban music mag, originally set up by Quincy Jones, shut its doors earlier this year. But it was subsequently snapped up by an investment outfit and relaunches later this week. The rights and wrongs of relaunching with Brown on the cover will probably split opinion among Vibe's core readership, though presumably the mag's new publishers hope that curiosity will persuade potential readers on both sides of that fence to pick up a copy of their comeback issue, ensuring they return with a respectable circulation.

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Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo is recovering after being injured in a bus crash yesterday morning. Cuomo was hurt when the band's tour bus skidded off the road as it drove from Toronto to Boston, seemingly because of the icy conditions.

In a posting on the official website, the band's webmaster Karl Koch reports that Cuomo suffered three cracked ribs, "painful internal damage" and a lower leg injury, which doesn't sound nice. Band assistant Sarah Kim was also injured - she fractured a lower vertebrae and two ribs - but the other passengers on the bus at the time, the driver, Cuomo's wife, their daughter and her nanny, were all uninjured.

Koch himself was in another bus following the vehicle carrying Cuomo and family, and arrived on the scene shortly after the crash. He writes: "I couldn't believe what was happening in front of me, as Rivers lay so helpless, shivering in the centre of the chaos, and meanwhile the sun was coming up and revealing an utterly beautiful light covering of snow on the surrounding trees".

Needless to say, the band's upcoming gigs have been cancelled. When Koch last posted Cuomo was still in hospital. The web man reports: "He is resting about as comfortably as could be expected now, and we were relieved to hear that surgery is unlikely".

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American songwriter Aaron Schroeder, best known from the hits he wrote for Elvis, has died, aged 83.

Having started writing songs in the 1940s, Schroeder penned over 1500 songs in all, including seventeen recorded by Presley, five of which went to number one: 'A Big Hunk O Love', 'Good Luck Charm', 'I Got Stung', 'Stuck On You' and 'It's Now Or Never'. The latter, which he co-wrote with Wally Gold, was a worldwide hit for Elvis and sold more than 20 million units. Of it, Gold once said: "Aaron wrote other hits, I wrote other hits, but a song we finished in 20 minutes to a half-hour was the biggest song of our career".

Schroeder also wrote songs for the likes of Roy Orbison, Duane Eddy, Sammy Davis Jr, Nat King Cole, Perry Como and Pat Boone, and enjoyed a career as a record producer, label owner and manager. In his latter role he discovered and guided the career of a certain Gene Pitney.

Schroeder died of Alzheimer's disease. He is survived by his wife and a daughter.

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Irish folk singer Liam Clancy has died in Ireland, aged 74.

Clancy is the last surviving member of the Clancy Brothers, who enjoyed much success on the sixties American folk scene, mainly after a seminal performance on the 'Ed Sullivan Show'.

The four Clancy brothers - Paddy, Tom and Bobby in addition to Liam - formed the band after moving to New York in the 1950s. They formed an alliance with Tommy Makem, and were best known while performing as the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem.

The band's hey day was the sixties when they were leading members of the US folk scene, with Liam becoming close friends with a certain Bob Dylan. Liam had some success as a solo artist after the band dissolved in the mid-seventies, and worked with Makem again on a TV show. The whole group also reformed for a short time in the eighties.

Clancy is survived by his wife Kim and their five children.

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The BBC have released the long list from their Sound Of 2010 poll, the thing where the Beeb ask 136 music pundit types, including CMU Editor Andy Malt, for their hot musical tips for the year ahead. All the artists tipped have to be new, and not have had a Top 20 single or album before mid-November. A final list of five will be announced in the New Year.

This list has a long history of tipping at least a couple of the big new musical names of the following year. Andy CMU voted for two of the artists who have made it to the final long list. There's a Quality Street chocolate for the first person to guess which two. Well, providing you guess before one of us eats it.

Daisy Dares You
The Drums
Everything Everything
Gold Panda
Ellie Goulding
Joy Orbison
Marina And The Diamonds
Owl City
Two Door Cinema Club

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OK, I may be deliberately misreading these new stats slightly, for the purposes of a sensationalist headline. It's not my fault, someone turned the stereo on before I got in this morning, and I've been knocking back the whiskys as a result.

Anyway, PRS For Music, who licence pubs and bars to play music, won't like me for saying this but, despite being surrounded by music from pretty much the moment I wake up to the moment I fall asleep, the one place I'm quite happy for there to be none is in the pub. Perhaps I'm just old fashioned. Or perhaps it's because my conversations are so much wittier and more intelligent than those of everyone else that I'm the only person who wouldn't prefer my chit chat to be drowned out by the latest Cheryl Cole single. Hey, that's almost certainly it. Did I tell you about that time I got on the wrong train? With hilarious consequences?

Anyway, PRS has research that reckons that most people prefer to drink where music is playing, and stats that show that pubs where music is played take 44% more money in the week and 60% more money at the weekend. Well that figures. When the music's too blarey to speak you've got to drink more, haven't you?

The research also says that 80% of pub managers say music will help them survive the recession, while 24% said that they saw a marked increase in revenues on the nights they had music playing.

The stats were released to launch PRS For Music and the Musicians' Union's Music Makeover campaign, which will see the collecting society spend £5000 to make over two local pubs to enable them to stage live music events.

PRS for Music Commercial Director Debbie Mulloy says this: "Music helps businesses grow and keeps customers coming back, even in a downturn. We want to make sure the pub industry is getting all the benefit it can from using music, because grassroots venues like pubs and clubs are vital to the music industry. We need to work together to protect the future of British music and British pubs. Through our Music Makeover campaign, we want to help pubs up and down the country stage successful music nights and showcase local talent".

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The Killers' people would like it to be known that Brandon Flowers is not planning to quit the band and go solo. Rumours circulated on the net to the effect last week. Their label, Universal's Island US, issued this here statement: "Brandon is not leaving The Killers to 'go solo'. The band are on tour in South Africa at the moment, still busy promoting their third album 'Day & Age', and will be touring into spring 2010".

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Marilyn Manson has confirmed that he has been "released" from his record deal with Universal's Interscope. Although he did not discuss the reasons for the split - rumoured to be poor album sales and the fact that he's looking and acting more like a character from 'Little Britain' by the day - he said he is relishing having greater creative control over his work.

Manson told Metal Hammer: "We've just been released from our record contract with Interscope, so I think [I will regain] a lot of the creative control [over things] on which my hands were tied on a lot of choices - the music videos, things like that. And the first example is the newest video, they clearly wouldn't have allowed me to make that video. We started writing new songs on the road, [that are] a bit like [David Bowie's 1973 album] 'Aladdin Sane', [so] I think people can expect a new record a lot sooner than we [thought]".

When the magazine suggested that Manson doesn't seem like the type of guy who would accept being told what to do by a record label, he continued: "You'd be surprised how much restraint my creativity had which [meant I often] ended up ... not [wanting] to make music. ... At least half of my creative output has been squashed, so now I think people can expect a whole lot more [from me]".

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Bass Clef, aka Ralph Cumbers, will return with a second album of bass heavy electronica next year, which is good news for us all. Entitled 'May The Bridges I Burn Light The Way', it will appear via the Blank Tapes label on 15 Feb.

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Blood Red Shoes, aka Steven Ansell and Laura Mary-Carter, have announced that they will release their second album in February, with touring starting soon afterwards.

The duo have just made the first taste of that new album, a track called 'Colours Fade', available to download via their website for free. It's seven minutes of pure rock excellence, and requires your immediate attention. Get it here:

Tour dates:

2 Mar: Birmingham, Academy 3
3 Mar: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
4 Mar: Bristol, Thekla
5 Mar: Brighton, Komedia
6 Mar: Leeds, Cockpit
8 Mar: Edinburgh, Electric Circus
9 Mar: Dundee, Doghouse
10 Mar: Glasgow, King Tuts
11 Mar: Newcastle, Academy 2
12 Mar: Manchester, Academy 3
13 Mar: London, Garage

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These New Puritans have announced tour dates to coincide with the release of their new album, 'Hidden', which will be released through Angular Recordings on 18 Jan. They'll kick things off with one of those Rough Trade East in-store performances everyone loves so much.

Tour dates:

21 Jan: London, Rough Trade East in-store
25 Jan: London, Bush Hall
1 Feb: Brighton, Audio
2 Feb: Birmingham, Hare and Hounds
3 Feb: Manchester, Deaf Institute
4 Feb: Glasgow, Captains Rest
5 Feb: Newcastle, Jukebox
6 Feb: Leeds, Brudnell Social Club

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The rather lovely Truck Festival is set to have an American offshoot next year. The US version of the popular independent boutique festival will take place from 30 Apr - 2 May at the Full Moon Resort in the Catskilll Mountains in New York state. The US event is likely to be even more boutiquey than the UK version, with a capacity of just 1000 being discussed.

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In Hyde Park. On 25 Jun.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Headman (feat Dieter Meier) - Gimme (Relish)
And so, Swiss electro pioneers past and present meet on this rather tasty single, which bodes very well indeed for Headman's forthcoming album. Anything featuring the vocals of Yello's Dieter Meier is likely to be worth a listen given the fact that Yello are, and were, amazing and a hugely influential duo (though not afforded the recognition some of their British 80s synth-pop peers garnered), whose music at its best sounded like it could have been made anywhere in the universe at any point in time, past, present or future.

'Gimme' is essentially the sort of cosmic nu-disco Robi Insinna does in his sleep; a pleasant mid-tempo track with shimmering synths, enlivened by the gruff but typically charismatic and eccentric vocals from Meier. And there's an impressive array of remixes for those who like their songs deconstructed, with the parts re-arranged in a different order, with some bits added and others removed.

The In Flagranti remix is a jaunty slice of Euro house, Robi Insinna's own Surreal Stroll rework starts new wavey before suddenly going all dubbed-out electroclash, whilst Bang Gang go pure early 80s electropop on their mix, with something that recalls (sonically at least) Heaven 17 circa 'Penthouse and Pavement'. By far the most memorable though is Kango Stein's stunning mix: a slowbuilding and moody progressive house epic with beautiful sweeping ambience, rendering it a technological masterpiece that would make Boris Blank seethe with jealousy. MS

Physical release: 23 Nov
Press contact: Bang On [O]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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Recently, reports have started to appear on a number of websites that claim music equipment manufacturer Technics has decided to discontinue its iconic SL-1200 and SL-1210 vinyl turntables, which have been favoured by DJs for almost thirty years.

Initial reports appeared after a New Zealand-based online store called DMC World announced that it had been informed of the decision to end production of the turntables last month. Australian website In The Mix then obtained a statement from the country's Product Manager at Panasonic, owners of Technics, Ian North, who blamed "low sales globally" for the decision, saying that production would end in March.

However, Panasonic's headquarters in Japan last week denied that any such decision had been made, telling CMU: "As a major global business, Panasonic keeps all of its operations under constant review. However, there are no current plans to discontinue the Technics brand or the production of Technics turntables".

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Beggars label XL Recordings have added some new people to its international team. First Julia Willinger will join the indie's international A&R team, based in New York, while Berlin-based Alex Waldren will work on both A&R and marketing projects on a consulting basis.

Confirming the appointments, XL MD Ben Beardsworth told CMU: "XL continues to expand internationally and we are keen to make sure that we have the right people in place to oversee and coordinate our activities. Julia and Alex come with a wealth of experience in this area and will add real value to the great work already been done by our international partners and licensees".

Elsewhere in XL news, Rodaidh Macdonald has been appointed as a Studio Engineer for the label's in-house studio facility, while Patrick Johnson, previously an Office Manager for the company, has been promoted to the role of Press Officer. It's also been announced that all of the label's press team will now service online and offline press, whereas previously the press department was split between web-based and print media.

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Secondary ticketing people Seatwave say they had a strong third quarter, noting that a number of strategic partnerships have helped them boost their share of the European ticket resale market. Among the partnerships are one with MTV, which will see Seatwave act as the exclusive ticketing partner for a series of MTV-branded events, and one with HMV, who now have a Seatwave ticket collection point at their Trocadero store in London.

Commenting on all this, Seatwave founder and top man Joe Cohen told CMU: "It's great to see that the live entertainment industry continues to flourish and help boost the economy during a somewhat difficult eighteen months. We've continued to make and renew a number of exciting partnerships that we believe benefit our fans and, as a response, have growth of almost 70% from the same quarter last year. We've also witnessed a 155% growth in the number of ordinary fans selling tickets through our site - strong proof we are providing the right solutions for our customers".

In related news, Seatwave have let it be known they are lobbying the government for a change in the rules relating to the resale of tickets to football matches. While the growth of online ticket touting has proven controversial in the live music industry, government has been reluctant to regulate the sector. However, the touting of football tickets is already regulated, and that stops the likes of Seatwave from allowing users to resell tickets for the sport in the UK. But with the World Cup now very much on the horizon the secondary ticketing firm is pushing for a change in the law.

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Absolute Radio could probably soon be renamed Avalon Radio, as the comedy production company provides more and more shows for the national station. I'm assuming they are behind this one. It's been announced that existing Absolute presenter Frank Skinner will be teaming up with his frequent collaborator and Avalon co-hort David Baddiel for a series of live shows during next year's World Cup in South Africa. The duo first became known as a double act for their football based shows for the BBC, of course.

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Good news, charity fans, Peter Kay is still at number one with his Children In Need-supporting single, 'The Official Children In Need Medley'. Meanwhile, the uncharitable Rihanna moves up from four to two to sit behind him with 'Russian Roulette', and Lady Gaga shifts up from five to three with 'Bad Romance'.

New in the top ten are Alicia Keys at eight and Timbaland at nine, who sit a long way from the chart's other new entries this week, the first being 30 Seconds To Mars at 28 with 'Kings And Queens'. After that, Mariah Carey's 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' makes its obligatory December re-appearance on the chart at 29, while The Pogues' 'Fairytale Of New York' does the same at 31. N-Dubz are in at 32 with their Mr Hudson collaboration, 'Playing With Fire', and Lily Allen comes up last in the new entry stakes with 'Who'd Have Known' at 39.

Okay, that's the singles done, I guess we'd better talk about albums. Well, one album, mainly. Because, yes, Susan Boyle is still at number one, and still selling copies of her album in such quantities that we're able to quote impressive stats at you. She's not, as far as I know, broken any more records this week, but she does now have the third best selling album of 2009, behind Kings Of Leon and Lady Gaga. Just to put that in perspective, Kings Of Leon's 'Only By The Night' has been on the chart for 63 weeks, and Lady Gaga's 'Fame' has been hanging around for 47 weeks, while Susan Boyle's 'I Dreamed A Dream' has now shifted 700,000 copies in just two weeks.

This week when we shook Official Charts Company boss Martin Talbot awake for a quote, he was a little shorter with us than last week. I think the element of surprise has gone. Next time we're going to jump out of a bush when he's not expecting it. Anyway, he said: "Susan Boyle's debut was historic and we expect 'The Susan Boyle Effect' to be felt in the charts for a long time to come yet".

There are other albums in the Top 40, though. Surprising as it may seem. 39 of them, in fact. Some of them are new entries, and it is they that I will tell of you now. Come hither...

At two, Westlife have scored their twelfth top ten album, 'Where We Are'. After them, Take That are at three with 'The Greatest Day: The Circus Live'. At thirteen, the Coldstream Guards Band are new with 'Heroes', Andrea Bocelli, with his Christmas album, 'My Christmas', is in at eighteen, and Rhydian claws his way in at 25 with 'O Fortuna'.

The charts are laid out on the floor, blown away by someone opening the door several times, before being glued down by The Official Charts Company.

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Lil Wayne isn't dead, despite rumours to that effect circulating on the net this weekend. Gossipers had it that the hip hopper had been shot by a rival gang after leaving a gig.

It's not the first time Wayne has been killed off by web-based gossipers, with plane and car crashes being among the causes of his past supposed deaths. However, with a new album called 'Rebirth' out later this month, you have to wonder if the latest rumours weren't part of some elaborate publicity scam.

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George Michael is fed up with people interpreting his drug use and cruising of the Heath as a cry for help. He says he is quite happy with his life, and wishes other journalists and celebrities would stop suggesting otherwise. And yes Elton John, he means you.

Asked about rumours that it was crack cocaine he had on his person when arrested on Hampstead Heath last year, Michael confirmed he was indeed in possession of that drug on that occasion. Asked if he was using it, he told the Guardian: "Was I? On that occasion, yeah. I've done many different things that I shouldn't have done, once or twice. Of course nobody wants to regularly smoke crack".

He continued: "People want to see me as tragic with all the cottaging and drug-taking. I don't see them as weaknesses any more. It's just who I am. Elton will not be happy until I bang on his door in the middle of the night saying, 'Please, please, help me, Elton, take me to rehab'. It's not going to happen".

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A Facebook group has been set up trying to persuade music fans to buy Rage Against The Machine's 'Killing In The Name' in the week before the Christmas chart. It's another bid to try and stop whoever wins this year's 'X-Factor' from having the Christmas number one. Of course, the Cowell franchise has dominated the festive top spot for four years now.

Now, a RATM track might seem like a good choice for any attempt to stick it to the man, and many of the band's fans will happily remember when, on its original release, Radio 1's Bruno Brookes accidentally played the uncensored version of the song - with its famous "fuck you, I won't do what you tell me" line - leading to 138 odd complaints.

However, would getting RATM to the Christmas number one spot really be sticking it to the man? Call me cynical, but a similar campaign last year aimed to get Jeff Buckley's certainly iconic version of 'Hallelujah' to the Christmas number one spot, above 'X-Factor' winner Alexandra Burke's rather schmaltzy cover of the Leonard Cohen classic.

But Burke's cover was released by Cowell's label SyCo, a joint venture with Sony Music. Buckley's version was released by Columbia, a division of Sony Music. The publishing rights in the Cohen song were owed by, erm, Sony/ATV, the music publishing company half owned by Sony Music.

And what about RATM's 'Killing In The Name'? Well, that was released by Epic Records. A division of Sony Music. The song is published by, yes, that's right, Sony/ATV, the JV pubbery owned by Sony and the estate of Michael Jackson.

In a cleverer/more sinister (take your pick) record industry this would all have been orchestrated by Sony's marketing department. Though as far as we can see the people behind the Facebook group have no affiliations with Sony, and, indeed, specifically deny any association with the label and the band.

But either way, once again Sony, and by association Cowell, are set to benefit from both the British public's love and hate for the 'X-Factor' farce. Wonderful.

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Justin Timberlake has said he regrets the way he handled his role in Nipplegate.

The shiny popster initially laughed off the controversial Superbowl half time show routine which saw Timberlake's co-performer Janet Jackson expose the majority of her left breast, coining the term "wardrobe malfunction". But when it became clear this was set to become the biggest scandal in America since Watergate, he quickly adopted a serious face and distanced himself from the whole thing, saying "sorry guys" a lot and stressing he didn't know Jackson intended to be so revealing. Janet backed up Justin's story and so Timberlake stepped out of the limelight as the scandal raged on.

But now Timberlake says he wished he'd more publicly stood by his co-star. While stressing he definitely didn't know any breast would be revealed during the show, he has told Entertainment Weekly magazine: "I wish I had supported Janet more. I am not sorry I apologised [for the routine], but I wish I had been there more for Janet".

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