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CMU Info
Top Stories
Trois-strikes further delayed
Bono expects movie industry to save music industry
In The Pop Courts
Vedder sued for using wrong words
Godsmack frontman settles over car accident
Orchard wins Imeem litigation, but is unlikely to see damages
Nokia expands Apple patent claim
In The Studio
Kanye back in the studio
Release News
New Jacko leaks
Ian Dury compilation to coincide with biopic
Vampire Weekend album on MySpace
Gigs & Tours News
Brendan Benson announces UK dates
Single review: Eddi Reader - Dragonflies (Rough Trade)
The Music Business
HMV's rival bidder for MAMA steps down
The Digital Business
Vevo remove content from YouTube API after Muziic incident
Google music search favours Lala
Qtrax postpone big announcement
The Media Business
Magic hire Ronan Keating
Chart Of The Day
Total Rock World Album Chart
And finally...
Andrew WK denies conspiracy theories

23-year old Londoner Tiffany Page has been honing her musical craft ever since receiving her first guitar aged fourteen. More recently she began to attract attention by playing various open-mic nights, though it was a video of her playing her song 'Old Friend' on MySpace that lead to a management deal and her eventual signing to Mercury Records. Her first single 'Walk Away Slow' perfectly shows off her striking voice, which has been compared to the likes of Chrissie Hynde, Shirley Manson and Courtney Love. Set to support The Noisettes on tour starting in February, we caught up with Tiffany to ask the Same Six.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I've been into music ever since I can remember and from the first time I held a guitar in my hands I've experimented with songwriting.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Um... to be honest, years of being unlucky in love. I'm an old hand at the whole unrequited love thing. Either I love them and they don't love me or they love me and I don't love them. Can't win!

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Well there's loads of ways of writing really. Mostly I'll experience or observe something or someone and words or a melody will crop up in my head. I'll then work and rework it until I'm happy with a song.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Many. From Carole King and Neil Young to The Buzzcocks and Lou Reed. From The Pretenders and Blondie to Hole and L7...

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I hope that there's something for everyone on the album.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I can't wait to start touring and showing off this album. I'm proud of what I've achieved so far and want to carry on getting better and better at what I love doing most.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/tiffanypage

TIPS FOR 2010: Ellie Goulding
Okay, let's get this one out of the way early on. Yes, Ellie Goulding has been tipped in every single 'ones to watch' column written in the last month, and if she doesn't come top of the BBC's Sound Of 2010 poll I will fall over in surprise. However, sometimes hype is legitimate and this is one of those occasions.

It's a little under six months since we first pointed you in Ellie's direction in this very slot, just as the Jakwob remix of her track 'Starry Eyed', which saw her vocals floss over the pummelling dubstep grind, rose to the number one position on blog aggregator The Hype Machine's charts. Since then, of course, 'Under The Sheets' has taken over as her best known track and one that has raised expectations for her album to fearsome levels. Luckily, from what we've heard, she's got enough tucked up her sleeve to meet those expectations head on.


We are looking for a talented and enthusiastic designer/developer to join our in-house web development team to design, code and build artist, label and promotional web sites. Required skills: Strong semantic HTML, strong CSS and great design skills. We are looking for a focused and ambitious web developer - someone forward thinking and up to date with current web technology. We are also looking for someone interested and aware of the music industry and how it is developing and changing online, so that they can feed in interesting online ideas and strategies for our artists.

We're an exciting company representing over a hundred incredible bands on four legendary labels - 4AD, Matador, Rough Trade and XL Recordings. Send an introductory letter, CV and examples of work to davidemery@beggars.com. Deadline for applications is 10am Monday 11th January 2010.


Regional Press Officer needed to hit the ground running in a busy office. We are a small company working a great range of acts and genres and are looking for someone who loves their pop through to their rock. You must be outgoing, love music, going to gigs, meeting new people and have experience within the uk regional press area. You must be web and computer (mac) savvy with a good knowledge of microsoft office. Please send a covering letter and your cv along with references to info@chuffmedia.com and please note we can only respond to those applicants that we wish to interview. Position to start asap.

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UnLimited Creative is the creative services agency owned by CMU publishers UnLimited Media. We work with music and media companies, consumer brands, and other marketing and PR agencies, providing these services:

Marketing & PR: We devise and run marketing and PR campaigns, specialising in the youth and student markets, music and cultural products and marketing partnerships.

Content: We provide entertainment content to brands and media. We develop content strands. We produce original content. We manage content delivery.

Design & Print: We provide design, print and contract publishing services. We create brand identities. We design and produce websites. We produce & print marketing materials and corporate media.

Media & PR Training: We provide PR, media and music business training. We offer a menu of seminars. We develop bespoke courses. We develop out-reach training as part of CSR programmes.

To read about past projects click here. To discuss how we can help your company or project, email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
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BBC to broadcast 150th anniversary Chekhov season
Harman says the BBC is ageist
'The Hurt Locker' is US critics' best picture of 2009
More trouble for MySpace following Imeem acquisition
Hey entertainment people, be more innovative, OK?
Central Radio saved for the time being
European Festival Awards, second stage of voting starts today
Big names confirm for Sonisphere
It's the next big Next Big Thing festival

Every time the French government's efforts to introduce a three-strikes system for combating illegal file-sharing passes the final hurdle there seems to be one more hurdle waiting.

Technically speaking, the slightly controversial anti-piracy measures should have been formally introduced in France on Friday, and some media have reported that that indeed happened. But according to paidContent there has been another delay because the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés is yet to give the new laws the all clear. It's thought it could be April before anything now happens, with the distraction of regional elections in France further delaying the proper launch of the anti-piracy initiative.

As previously reported, France's version of the three-strikes system has been a long time coming, despite President Nicholas Sarkozy being a staunch supporter of it. Opposition in the lower house of the French parliament tried to scupper the proposals, and even when parliament had passed the bill the French Constitutional Council ordered a rewrite because of concerns the system could lead to French citizens having their internet connections cut off without any judicial consideration.

Although now approved by both parliament and the Constitutional Council, the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés, which is the French equivalent of the UK's Data Protection Agency (or UK Information Commissioner's Office to give it its proper name), still needs to give the proposals the all clear, and may, as yet, suggest some tweaks so to ensure French net users' privacy rights are not infringed. The warning letters that will kick off the three-strikes system won't start to be sent until that all clear is given.

As also previously reported, the successful introduction of three-strikes in France - assuming it can be achieved - will help boost the case for similar systems for combating online piracy in other European countries, not least the UK. With the House Of Lords now considering the UK government's version of the anti-piracy initiative - which is slightly less severe than the French system, though would also result in persistent file-sharers having their net connections suspended - the British internet service provider lobby, most of whom oppose any system that would require them to disconnect paying customers, continues to brief against the proposals.

While continuing to question whether the new laws would have any actual impact on the levels of illegal file-sharing, the anti-three-strikes lobby turned their attention to the cost of the anti-piracy system over the Christmas break, with a report claiming costs could run to £500 million a year. With the content industries keen for the net firms to share those costs, some ISPs claim that would require a £25 a year levy being added to every one of their customers.

TalkTalk remains the most vocal opponent to three-strikes within the ISP sector. So much so they have launched a competition encouraging people to record a song opposing the proposed new laws. Songs must be submitted to the net firm's Don't Disconnect Us website by 22 Jan, with Stephen Fry set to judge the entries. I'm thinking of entering and then suing anyone who file-shares my song, pushing for the court to disconnect the file-sharers, obviously.

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Bono isn't hanging around waiting for the French government, he has said that over the next decade it will be the movie industry who will finally put an end to illegal downloading, in the US at least, as easier access to higher bandwidth and larger disk drives makes it far more viable to get films off the net for free. Once this becomes as widespread as downloading music, says the U2 frontman, studio bosses will wade right in and stamp the whole thing right out. And you know what? He might (sorry, I just need a moment before I type these words in relation to some Bono said) be right. Luckily, he's said some other stuff that makes him sound like an arse.

Writing in his New York Times column, Bono said: "The only thing protecting the movie and TV industries from the fate that has befallen music and indeed the newspaper business is the size of the files. The immutable laws of bandwidth tell us we're just a few years away from being able to download an entire season of '24' in 24 seconds. Many will expect to get it free".

This fact, he reckons, could be what causes the tide to turn. He continues: "Perhaps movie moguls will succeed where musicians and their moguls have failed so far, and rally America to defend the most creative economy in the world, where music, film, TV and video games help to account for nearly four percent of gross domestic product".

Of course, it's not like Bono is some sort of visionary on this subject. First the movie industry has already stepped up its anti-file-sharing efforts, and is widely expected to become increasingly proactive in this domain. And second, while the movie industry might have more money and better connections than the music business, some doubt they'll be able really stop clever kids from employing new technology to hide their file-sharing. Still, they might be able to rally more political support for three-strikes style systems that put more onus on the internet service providers in the anti-piracy battle.

And it's the ISPs that Bono reckons are to blame for the file-sharing problem. In fact, he goes so far as to claim that the service providers' "swollen profits perfectly mirror the lost receipts of the music business". I'm not sure "perfectly" is quite the word, but I'd be quite happy to take a look over the stats Bono is using the back that up.

He also adds that "we know from America's noble effort to stop child pornography, not to mention China's ignoble effort to suppress online dissent, that it's perfectly possible to track content". And there's that 'perfect' word again. As we say, there is much debate over how easy it is to actually track the sharing of illegal music content - given the development of new technology to hide the sharing - and tracking piracy certainly isn't the same as tracking down porn sites and blog posts. But whatever.

Bono finishes up by referring to himself as an "over-rewarded rock star" in that way I'm sure he thinks makes him look selfless and humble, but just makes him sound smug. Oh, Bono.

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Eddie Vedder is being sued by Gordon Peterson over a recording of one of the Canadian singer-songwriter's songs, 'Hard Sun', by the Pearl Jam frontman, which appeared on the soundtrack of the 2007 Sean Penn-directed film, 'Into The Wild'.

Peterson claims that Vedder changed some of the song's key lyrics without his permission, thus "eroding the integrity of the composition". He also names Universal Music Publishing in the lawsuit, claiming the company licensed the song without his consent. He is seeking all profits from the recording.

Speaking to the New York Post, Vedder's lawyer, Gregory Clarick stated: "We don't see any basis for a copyright infringement claim".

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Godsmack frontman Sully Erna has reached an out of court settlement with a woman left brain damaged after a 2007 car accident he was involved in.

Lindsay Taylor was travelling in the back seat of a car which was hit by Erna's Hummer in April 2007. A lawsuit launched by Taylor and her parents claimed that the crash had been due to negligence on the part of the singer and had caused her to undergo "personality/behavioural changes" and resulted in nearly two months in hospital. Erna argued that the driver of the car that Taylor had been travelling had already hit another car in front before he crashed into it, as well as blaming the design of the road for the incident.

However, lawyers on both sides have now agreed settlement terms, which are now waiting to be approved by the judge in the case. Under the agreement, Erna will pay $3.3 million plus monthly payments, starting at $4637 and increasing at set intervals, to Taylor, plus monthly payments of $710 per month to her mother Elaine, for at least 20 years.

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Independent digital distributor The Orchard won its copyright infringement case against Imeem over the Christmas break, though it seems unlikely they'll see much of the $1.77 million in damages they were awarded, given the collapse of the music-based social network.

Imeem, of course, went under last month amid spiralling licensing debts and the mounting legal costs and risks associated with the Orchard litigation, which actually related to the alleged infringement of copyrights owned by TVT Recordings, the record label acquired by the digital distributor in 2008. With Imeem basically in liquidation no representative was sent to the court hearing relating to the Orchard legal claim, meaning the plaintiff won by default.

Those aspects of the Imeem business not acquired by MySpace Music last month are now in the hands of the company's creditors. As previously reported, MySpace's purchase of various bits of Imeem's assets specifically avoided them taking on any of the collapsed company's liabilities, so it is unlikely The Orchard will ever see any of their damages. And even if some legal beagle reckoned the US courts might imply some liability on MySpace as a result of their Imeem deal, it is unlikely The Orchard would want to fight the social networking major, given their streaming music service is an important licensee of the digital catalogue it represents.

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Nokia has announced it is expanding its patent claim against Apple in relation to the iPhone. As previously reported, Nokia began legal action against Apple over allegations the iPhone infringed its patents in October. Apple launched a countersuit, accusing Nokia of infringing its patents, last month.

Now Nokia have filed a complaint to the US International Trade Commission accusing Apple of infringing a whole host of its patents, and not just with the iPhone. Apple denies the accusations.

Some question the timing of Nokia's patent protection onslaught, suggesting it is a sign Nokia bosses really fear that the growth of Apple's mobile handset business is going to have a serious impact on their market share in the next couple of years, in particular in the non-US mobile markets where they have traditionally dominated.

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Kanye West is back in the studio recording new material. The new songs will be better than any of his previous work, he says, because he is a "true poet".

Writing on his blog, West said: "I'm so happy to be back in the studio making new music. I will bring you the best I have to offer with the same dedication that Kobe [Bryant] has on the [basketball] court".

He continued: "It's funny how so many rappers get worse as their careers stretch out but true poets get better. We will follow in the footsteps of Maya Angelou, Gil Scott Herron and Nina Simone. Their work improved with time. They documented what was happening in culture. That is our responsibility as the modern day artists and poets, to accurately represent what is happening now, so when the powers that be try to rewrite history you can always look at our works and find truth and sincerity in a world of processed information".

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A new song, reportedly featuring Michael Jackson and Lenny Kravitz, has appeared on YouTube. Called 'Another Day', the song includes a verse which is also used in another of Kravitz's songs, 'Storm', and the musician has previously said that he worked with the king of pop prior to his death. The fact that at least one of the videos uploaded to YouTube has been taken down to due to a copyright claim by Sony would seem to confirm its authenticity.

Have a listen here.

In other Michael Jackson related news, the lawyer attempting to get his father Joe a $15,000 a month allowance from the singer's estate has had his law licence put on probation for two years in relation to a 2002 federal law suit which the courts deemed should never have been pursued. And Conrad Murray, the doctor accused of causing Jackson's death, has also been in court to make a payment in a separate child support case. Police have not yet decided whether or not to press charges against the doctor over Jackson's death.

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This March is the tenth anniversary of Ian Dury's death, and that fact will be marked this week with the release of 'Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll', a film starring Andy Serkis as the singer, which follows his rise to fame and battle with polio.

If you need a little reminder of why Ian Dury was brilliant, Demon Digital will release a new compilation of songs by Ian Dury & The Blockheads, entitled 'Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll: The Essential Collection', on Monday via download stores. It's what soundtracked Christmas Day in my house.

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Vampire Weekend release their new album, 'Contra', next week. Just so you can be doubly sure that it would be a very bad idea to buy it, the band have put it up in full on their MySpace page.


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Following his sell out UK tour in October, Brendan Benson will be back in the UK in March to play more dates in support of his fourth solo album, 'My Old, Familiar Friend'.

Tour dates:

3 Mar: Glasgow, QMU
4 Mar: Manchester, Academy 2
5 Mar: London, Koko

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SINGLE REVIEW: Eddi Reader - Dragonflies (Rough Trade)
Eddi Reader's been around now for over twenty years, of course, but never have I heard something from her that I've taken a like to so quickly.

'Dragonflies' is the staggeringly beautiful new single to be taken off of Eddi's critically acclaimed album 'Love Is The Way', and is a waltzy, soft and melodic tune, sprinkled with sunshine, and a wander away from her trademark Scottish folk-inspired fare.

Soon to be appearing in the upcoming film 'Me And Orson Wells' (I will leave my obscene and inappropriate comments about one Mr. Efron out of this review, promise), Eddi continues to endear the world to her delicate and charming sound. Listen out for Eddi's great cover of Amy Winehouse's 'Love Is A Losing Game' on the back of this release. TW

Digital release: 30 Nov
Press contact: Rough Trade IH [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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HMV's acquisition of live music and artist management group MAMA is looking all the more assured now that Luxembourg-based SMS Finance has confirmed its offer has lapsed.

As previously reported, SMS made a bid for MAMA early last month, but management at the London-based company refused to back it, calling the offer "highly opportunistic". At more or less the same time rumours started to circulate that HMV, who co-own the Mean Fiddler venue network with MAMA, would make a rival bid, with insiders saying that if a takeover was now inevitable MAMA directors would prefer their Mean Fiddler business partners to be their new owners.

Then, just before Christmas, HMV confirmed it would make an offer to MAMA's shareholders. And MAMA's board quickly gave the retailer's grand plan its backing, with directors pledging to sell their shares to the diversifying retail firm.

SMS's offer, however, remained on the table for shareholders, and indeed the investment outlet increased the price it said it would be willing to pay. They already own 29.8% of MAMA, while HMV have just under 10% with MAMA directors holding just under 9%.

But having failed to win board support for their offer, and with few of the company's other shareholders seemingly keen on the SMS bid, the investment company has confirmed that their offer has now lapsed. Which clears the way for HMV to proceed with their board-backed acquisition.

How eager SMS will be to sell their third of MAMA now remains to be seen.

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Universal Music's YouTube-powered music video service Vevo is stripping its content from the YouTube API after a clever net teen worked out how to use the interface to make content from the Vevo platform available via his own website without ads and without geographical constraints.

Vevo, which launched last month in the US of course, is Universal and Sony's attempt to enter the video-on-demand market, convinced as they are that they can command higher ad revenues for their official music content than currently secured by services like YouTube, where official label content sits alongside videos ripped off MTV and user generated nonsense. Because it uses YouTube technology Vevo content is also available via the Google-owned video site in the US, but where it appears it does so with Vevo-sold advertising in tow.

But sixteen year old David Nelson from Iowa found a way of making Vevo content available via his own website Muziic without the Universal platform's commercial messages, utilising the YouTube API. He also announced his Vevo-powered service would be available globally, and not just in the US and Canada where Vevo is currently operational.

Needless to say, Vevo bosses weren't too impressed by this news, and they confirmed yesterday that their videos would no longer appear in the YouTube API so that Muziic could no longer tap into their content. Possibly wary of the litigation that could be coming his way, Nelson opted to stop borrowing Vevo branded content for his service, utilising, instead, other music videos in the YouTube catalogues.

Wishing to distance itself from the hoo haa, YouTube stressed it was just a technical enabler in all this, and that it was for users of its technology - ie content owners - to decide where and how their videos appeared. The company said in a statement: "Content owners on YouTube can choose where they want their videos to appear, including on mobile devices, IPTVs or even on YouTube.com itself. Our goal has always been to provide content owners with the tools they need to make informed decisions about where and how their videos are viewed".

Elsewhere in Vevo news, they have appointed a new Marketing & Publicity Director, in the form of Jennifer Press, who joins the company from Sony-backed digital music company Dada Entertainment. She will report to Vevo GM Fred Santarpia.

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According to Digital Music News and Tech Crunch, Google's music search service is much more friendly to MySpace-owned iLike than the now Apple-owned Lala.com.

As previously reported, Google stepped up its music search functionality last year enabling US users to more easily find legit audio content via its search engine, and to then stream music files there and then through a special widget enabled by either iLike or Lala, who then cover any licensing costs associated with the stream in return for the extra exposure.

Although users can choose whether they get an iLike or Lala stream, Google randomly selects one or the other as the default provider when the user makes their search selection. It was thought that while Google would default to either iLike or Lala by random, that the two rivals would each provide about half of the overall music previews accessed by Google users. But it seems that you are much more likely to get an iLike stream by default than a Lala one.

DMN say that when they tested Google's music search service on twenty tracks, iLike was selected as default stream provider on 19 occasions. TechCrunch report that when they searched for thirty tracks, 28 came up as iLike streams by default.

Conspiracy theorists suggest that Google are swaying the service in iLike's direction because they aren't too happy about Apple buying Lala shortly after the launch of their enhanced music search service. Though Google and Apple have generally been friendly rivals in recent years, so that isn't necessarily so. It is possible that DMN and TechCrunch's findings are a coincidence, or, perhaps more likely, that Google skews towards whichever streaming service has more capacity, and that is usually iLike.

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According to MusicAlly, US-based legit sort-of P2P-service Qtrax had been expecting to make a big announcement on Christmas Eve, but was forced to cancel because CEO Allan Klepfisz was feeling ill.

Qtrax is, of course, well known for cocked up press announcements, having originally launched with a big bash at music convention Midem in 2008 claiming to have all four major record companies on board, only to have to later admit no major label deals were actually in place. Bloggers and journalists like me like bringing the bungled launch up whenever we write about the company, though possibly only because the various DRM-heavy services offered by Qtrax since that announcement have been pretty lacklustre.

Possibly feeling sensitive towards any blog-based mocking of its latest postponed big announcement, Qtrax said on its own website: "Yes, it is true that we intended having a press conference today. And it's also true, that in the last week our CEO became ill with a generally non-life-threatening but quite painful ailment - kidney stones. And it is also true he was admitted to hospital and thankfully is leaving today. So we've decided to cancel the conference".

The big announcement is now expected to be made later this month. Woo.

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Magic radio has announced it has recruited Ronan Keating to host a Sunday afternoon show, which presumably sees the Bauer-owned station returning to the 'personality free radio' format utilised on its London frequency in the nineties. Keating's new show will follow Kim Wilde in the Magic weekend schedules, and take two hours out of Danny Pietroni's existing Sunday show.

Confirming his new job, Keating told reporters: "Magic 105.4 has always been a big supporter of my music and we have built a great working relationship over the years".

Insiders suggest Magic's new appointment could result in the new category of Most Tedious Person In Radio being added to next year's Sony Awards.

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

1. Bon Jovi - The Circle (Universal/Mercury)
2. Foo Fighters - Greatest Hits (Sony Music)
3. Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures (Sony Music)
4. Muse - The Resistance (Warner Bros)
5. Nickelback - Dark Horse (Warner/Roadrunner)
6. Queen - Absolute Greatest (EMI)
7. Pearl Jam - Backspacer (Universal)
8. Fleetwood Mac - The Very Best Of (Warner Bros)
9. Thirty Seconds To Mars - This Is War (EMI/Virgin)*
10. AC/DC - Backtracks (Sony)
11. Creed - Full Circle (EMI/Virgin)
12. Paramore - Brand New Eyes (Warner/Atlantic)
13. Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To Blue (EMI/Parlophone)*
14. Daughtry - Leave This Town (Sony)
15. Billy Talent - III (Warner/Atlantic)
16. Kiss - Sonic Boom (Warner/Roadrunner)
17. Slayer - World Painted Blood (Sony)
18. Motley Crue - Greatest Hits (Seven Eleven Music)
19. Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown (Warner Bros)*
20. Shinedown - The Sound Of Madness (Warner/Atlantic)*

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Claims that Andrew WK is part of an elaborate conspiracy set up by some shady music industry people, hell bent on creating a successful rock star - the horror! - have been knocking around for a long time now. Some have even suggested that the current Andrew WK isn't the original Andrew WK. Now he has published a lengthy statement on his website denying all of it.

He wrote: "Since 2001, I have been accused of being part of a conspiracy in which I knowingly entered into a contract with creative directors called Steev Mike, who proceeded to invent a new identity for me to perform under. I'm here to say this is simply not true and a gross exaggeration of easily explainable and common-place music industry practices. ... The kind of people who accuse me of being a talking head for some secret conspiracy to corrupt people's morals are the same people who claim MTV and Cartoon Network are owned by secret rulers of the world out to poison kid's brains ... I am not evil and neither are any of my other fellow members of show business".

Still confused? Andrew hopes to iron everything out at "an evening of totally open inquiry" in New York on 23 Feb. Details here: santospartyhouse.com/index/event/id/1249

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
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Club Tipper

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