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INFORMATION
Classifieds
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Jackson doctor charged
Implications of digital switchover on student radio
All-star DJ mix plugs tinnitus
In The Pop Courts
More on Springsteen, ASCAP and pub singers doing Boss songs
Awards & Contests
Paul Weller named Godlike Genius
Release News
MGMT announce new album
Jamie Lidell announces new album
Gigs & Tours News
Lukewarm reception to Who's Superbowl gig
Mastodon announce UK dates
Russian Circles UK tour
Reviews
Album review: Various Artists - Fabriclive.50: dBridge & Instra:mental present Autonomic (Fabric Records)
The Music Business
Secret Garden launch record label
Edge double shares available in new funds
The Digital Business
MySpace expanding use of audio ads
New chief for Yahoo! Music
The Media Business
Sky to sell ITV stake
BBC respond to 6music closure rumours
Capital sign up Akon as a presenter
Stern rumoured as new Idol judge
Chart Of The Day
Total Rock World Album Chart
And finally...
Paramore guitarist engaged
Westlife's Feehily gets engaged


 
TUESDAY 9TH FEBUARY

ALAN POWNALL
Hailing from London, Alan Pownall is a 24 year old singer-songwriter who first tackled the guitar - having been given one by his father - while at art school in Milan. Discovering his passion for music over other art forms, he quit his course in 2006 and returned home to pursue his songwriting. After playing just four gigs he was asked to tour as a support act for Adele.


 
Although compared to artists like Jay Jay Pistolet and Noah And The Whale, Pownall sees himself as more of a crooner along the lines of Michael Bublé. After releasing singles 'Colourful Day' with Pure Groove and 'Clara/The Others' via Young And Lost Club, Alan is set to release his new single 'Chasing Time', via Mercury Records, this month, and is playing at London's Hoxton Bar & Kitchen on 10 Feb to celebrate. We spoke to Alan to ask the Same Six.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I was given a guitar when I was eighteen and I've been writing songs ever since.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
I don't think debut albums should be 'inspired' by anything specific. I hope the album represents the time between when I started writing songs and now. It shouldn't make too much sense. Later in life, I will write a calculated record. For now, I am happy for it to happen by accident, without conscious influence. My influences and inspirations are instinctive. I don't go out looking for it. That doesn't work for me.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
There is no process. I write on guitar and piano, if that helps. And I try to stay clear of recording equipment until I get into the studio. I only use it to document ideas.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
I'm a fan of most music, and I wouldn't deny the influence much of it has had on me, but I try not to emulate anything. The sentiment of the song should dictate or influence the sound.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I probably wouldn't say anything.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I'd love to be able to tour America and Europe.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/alanpownall

 
PEELANDER-Z
Describing their sound as "Japanese action comic punk", Japanese action comic punk band Peelander-Z formed in New York in 1998, all having moved to the city from Japan. Coincidentally, they were all born in the Z area of Planet Peelander, too. I know, you couldn't make it up, could you?

The band are known for their unusual live performances, which sees bassist Peelander-Red dress in an octopus costume, and drummer Peelander-Green play while hanging upside down from the ceiling. Skipping and "human bowling" may also be involved. You can find all this out for yourself when the band descend on the UK for a tour in May. While you wait, you should familiarise yourself with their latest album, 'P-Pop-High School', which was released last September. But right now, let's get things rolling with the video for 'So Many Mike', a song about living in a country where a lot of people are called Mike.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPPI2yyxrOM



 
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Shunt will stay at London Bridge for another year
Marshall appoints new staff at Scott Free UK
Brockley Jack to stage south east Londoner-related new writing season
 
Libraries express concerns about DEB
Radio 1 to stage 'In New Music' events in Newcastle
What to make of The London Weekly?
 
Merton criticises film festival for allegedly dropping him
Zellweger to judge at Berlin Film Festival
Tim Burton to lead Cannes jury
 

JACKSON DOCTOR CHARGED
The doctor accused of causing Michael Jackson's death, Dr Conrad Murray, was officially charged with involuntary manslaughter yesterday. Finally.

As much previously reported, the LAPD have been investigating Murray for months, amid allegations he was negligent in administering the anaesthetic drug which killed Jackson. Jacko seemingly requested the drug - normally only used in surgery - in a bid to overcome chronic insomnia. There is also some question as to how Murray and Jackson had access to the prescription medication. But Murray maintains that he did not behave negligently prior to Jackson's untimely death.

It had been thought by many, including the doctor and his legal team, that Murray would be arrested by appointment last Friday, but a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles district attorney said the office had decided to delay action. Because what's a few days after nearly eight months?

Ahead of yesterday's charges, Murray's lawyer, Ed Chernoff, told reporters that his client is ready for his impending legal battle, telling reporters: "We'll make bail, we'll plead not guilty and we'll fight like hell". The doc was later released on $75,000 bail, after Judge Keith Schwartz rejected the $300,000 price requested by prosecutors as excessive. Murray is due in court for a prelim hearing on 5 Apr. If found guilty, he could face up to four years in prison.

Although Murray being charged is a big step forward in the long running investigation into Jackson's death, the late singer's family didn't rush to welcome the news, with his father telling reporters he thought involuntary manslaughter was too lax a charge, while his sister reckons the doc is just one of a number of people responsible for her brother's demise.

Speaking for patriarch Joe Jackson, legal man Brian Oxman told reporters: "This charge is a slap on the wrist. There's great disappointment here. [Conrad Murray] should've been charged with a higher degree of responsibility. What he did was reckless. It was a disregard for human life".

Meanwhile La Toya Jackson stuck with her conspiracy theory around Jacko's death, telling reporters: "Michael was murdered and although he died at the hands of Dr Conrad Murray, I believe Dr Murray was a part of a much larger plan. There are other individuals involved and I will not rest and I will continue to fight until all of the proper individuals are brought forth and justice is served".

Earlier in the LAPD's investigation it was thought police might target a network of dodgy medics who allegedly supply California's super rich with prescription drugs on demand for large fees, with the implication it was that network which provided the drugs that killed the king of pop. But it's not clear if that is really part of the police's case regarding the death of Michael Jackson.

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IMPLICATIONS OF DIGITAL SWITCHOVER ON STUDENT RADIO
The Student Radio Association has joined the debate on those previously reported proposals to start switching off a bulk of the AM and FM radio network in 2015, forcing everyone to start tuning into the digital audio broadcasting network.

While a 2015 switchover is supported by government, the BBC and the big commercial radio firms, smaller players argue radio listeners won't be ready for the switch in five years time, that the DAB network won't be extensive enough to ensure no one loses out, and digital radio - because DAB networks are managed by private owners - gives bigger radio companies an unfair advantage.

There is also some confusion as to what will happen to the FM network after 2015. It seems some smaller stations will be left on the analogue network because of the capacity and geographical limitations of DAB. Some see that as a bad thing, because it will put smaller commercial players left on FM at a disadvantage, though others see FM outliving the digital switchover as an opportunity, because it would free up the FM network for use by student and community radio stations.

Either way, both those groups of people don't support those other previously reported proposals, that consumers be offered a discount on DAB radio sets if they hand over old analogue radios, a move to take good old fashioned AM/FM radios out of circulation.

The Student Radio Association see the big stations going digital-only as an opportunity for an expansion of student radio, but they fear talk of encouraging consumers to trash FM radio sets will hinder those ambitions. They also criticise the ministers who have drafted the radio section of the Digital Economy Bill for failing to speak to the student radio sector about their plans, and where student-based radio services might fit in.

SRA chair Tim Dye told Radio Today: "Student radio is a unique feature of the UK radio landscape - it is almost entirely free of rigid formats and commercial pressures. As a result, student radio has become a hugely respected platform, from which world-renowned bands, DJs, radio presenters and other media professionals have launched their careers. The ramifications of an analogue 'switch-off' are huge [for us], and as yet we've been offered no viable alternative".

SRA secretary Sarah Ghost added: "DAB isn't a 'one size fits all' solution. Smaller broadcasters, like our members, feel that they're being railroaded towards a digital future where they currently have no place. DAB simply isn't right for many of these stations financially".

Of course media regulator OfCom, and all its predecessors in radio regulation, not to mention successive governments, have continually pissed on student radio in this country, despite frequently standing up at conferences and giving hollow support to the educational and creative potential of the medium. The only reason there isn't an FM-based student radio station in every UK city - which there could and should be - is because generations of OfCom officials haven't wanted it to be so. That they and relevant ministers are ignoring student radio while considering the digital switchover, therefore, comes as no surprise.

The music industry used to piss on student radio too, by charging royalty fees so high many college radio groups couldn't afford to go on air. But credit where it's due, both PRS and PPL sorted that out a few years ago now, providing support and affordable licensing for both those student stations on FM or AM, and the growing number of student stations who have leapfrogged the lip-service brigade at OfCom and opted to broadcast in the unregulated internet radio domain.

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ALL-STAR DJ MIX PLUGS TINNITUS
To launch Tinnitus Awareness Week last night, 23 DJs took to the stage at Cargo in London for a night dubbed One Tune: One Cause, which saw each playing one track to create a whole two hour DJ set.

The line-up included Adam F, Lottie, Adam Ficek, Jagz Kooner, Way Out West, The Loose Cannons, Wrongtom, Xpress-2 and Jon Carter. The man behind the event, Xfm's Eddy Temple-Morris, also appeared on stage several times, proving backing for MC Chicka Boo, who opened proceedings, as one half of Losers, and with Killaflaw, whose new album Losers are producing. He also wrapped up the proceedings with one last killer tune.

As you might expect, the night quickly turned into a masterclass in one-upmanship, as everyone tried to outdo the person before them with their track choice. Adam F, in particular, took control of the room, whipping the crowd up and then staying on stage to battle with DJ Fresh.

Speaking ahead of the event, Eddy Temple-Morris told CMU about his ambitions as an ambassador for the British Tinnitus Association. He said: "I want to help change the law, so that clubs and noisy bars not only have to protect those who work there, but also have to make their customers aware of the risks. I don't want sound systems to be turned down. That would suck. But it's all about enabling every gig goer and clubber to make a properly informed choice".

For more information about tinnitus, head over to the British Tinnitus Association website at www.tinnitus.org.uk, where you will also be able to listen to the full mix later this week.

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MORE ON SPRINGSTEEN AND ASCAP AND PUB SINGERS DOING BOSS SONGS
Some in the US music publishing sector are quietly fuming at Bruce Springsteen's decision last week to publicly distance himself from a lawsuit launched by collecting society ASCAP against a New York bar which allowed a band to perform two of The Boss' songs in 2008 without the appropriate performing rights licence. A spokesman for Springsteen last week told reporters the singer did not give his permission to be named as a plaintiff on the lawsuit, and that he did not support the action.

But some publishing insiders say that Springsteen is being hypocritical, hitting out at the ASCAP action because he doesn't want to be seen to be part of the litigious music industry establishment, yet continuing to cash performance royalty cheques from the collecting society; an income stream that couldn't be sustained unless the likes of ASCAP enforced its members' copyrights through legal action whenever they are known to have been infringed - ie he wants the rewards of copyright, but without being seen to be the enforcer of intellectual property rights against 'the common man'.

Meanwhile, Digital Music News says it has discovered a number of other previous lawsuits against US bars and restaurants for similar violations of Springsteen's copyrights, through unlicensed public performance of his songs, in which the singer was also named as a co-plaintiff, but where he didn't object to involvement in the litigation. Though it isn't clear if Springsteen was aware of those other legal actions.

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PAUL WELLER NAMED GODLIKE GENIUS
The NME has announced that Paul Weller will be this year's recipient of the Godlike Genius gong at the NME Awards later this month.

Commenting on the news, Weller said: "I'm very happy to accept the award. I don't feel Godlike or a genius but I'm happy to have it. It's nice to be recognised, you get your rewards in other ways too like playing live and seeing people's reaction, but it's nice to be recognised. I'm very flattered. I shall find a special place for it. A little altar to myself with garlands of flowers around it!"

NME editor Krissi Murison added: "Paul was first on the cover of NME with The Jam in 1977 and then again when he reinvented himself with The Style Council. Three decades on he remains just as influential as a solo artist - and it's this connection with the current music scene which makes him all the more Godlike".

Jarvis Cocker has also been announced as the presenter of this year's ceremony, which takes place at Brixton Academy on 24 Feb.

Says Jarv: "I've been to these awards things and I've read out nominations and things like that, but I've never anchored the whole show before. That's a challenge. But yeah, I hope to keep people interested, stop them from dropping off... So yeah, lets do it! I'm excited about it".

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MGMT ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM
MGMT will release their second album, 'Congratulations', in the US on 13 Apr, Spin has revealed. Which means it's likely to hit UK shelves on 12 Apr.

As previously reported, the album was produced by former Spacemen 3 man Peter Kember, with the music performed by the duo, Andrew Vanwyngarden and Ben Goldwasser, and their live band, guitarist James Richardson, bassist Matt Asti and drummer Will Berman. Royal Trux frontwoman Jennifer Herrema also provides guest vocals on at least one track.

Here's the tracklist, list fans:

It's Working
Song for Dan Treacy
Someone's Missing
Flash Delirium
I Found a Whistle
Siberian Breaks
Brian Eno
Lady Dada's Nightmare
Congratulations

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JAMIE LIDELL ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM
Jamie Lidell has announced that he will release his fourth album via Warp on 17 May. Entitled 'Compass', it features collaborations with Beck, Feist, Gonzales, Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear and Pat Sansone of Wilco.

Of the album, Jamie says: "I wrote every song in a month. It's been an emotional couple of years, so I tapped into what I wanted to say and started writing. There was a lot to draw on".

You can listen to the album's title track on Lidell's official website, here: www.jamielidell.com

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LUKEWARM RECEPTION TO WHO'S SUPERBOWL GIG
So, The Who did the half time show at last weekend's Superbowl, providing a twelve minute medley of their hits. Most critics have described the performance as being somewhat lacklustre, though in the post-Nipplegate era "lacklustre" is probably the brief from Superbowl owners NFL.

Commenting on his own performance, frontman Roger Daltrey was hardly raving about the show, telling ESPN: "I thought it went OK. I understand. It's a TV show. Cameras were everywhere. I was so blinded that I couldn't see. And what can you do in twelve minutes?"

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MASTODON ANNOUNCE UK DATES
Mastodon have announced a new run of UK dates, as part of a wider world tour, which includes South American dates with Metallica, as they continue to promote latest album, 'Crack The Skye'.

Tour dates:

16 Feb: Wolverhampton, WulfrunHall
17 Feb: Bristol, Academy
19 Feb: Glasgow, Barrowlands
20 Feb: Manchester, Academy
21 Feb: Newcastle, Academy
23 Feb: Nottingham, Rock City
24 Feb: London, Roundhouse

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RUSSIAN CIRCLES UK TOUR
Instrumental rock three-piece Russian Circles have announced some UK tour dates. Which is good news, because they're very good indeed.

Tour dates:

8 Apr: Bristol, Thekla
9 Apr: Leeds, The Well
11 Apr: Glasgow, Nice N Sleazy
12 Apr: Nottingham, Rock City
13 Apr: London, Underworld

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - FabricLive.50: dBridge & Instra:mental present Autonomic (Fabric Records)
The Fabric Live series, which aims to capture the sound and feel of the London club's legendary Friday nights, hits a landmark 50th release, this time headed up by both former Bad Company man dBridge and like-minded thinker Instra:mental, who have together compiled and mixed the album.

They offer up 31 cuts in their allotted time. Unfortunately, rather than showing off the great range of the artists they have chosen, the packed tracklist doesn't give any track the time to grow and shine. The vibe is slow, a bit soulful and not overly beatsy, running at about the 90bpm mark, but not strictly chillout.

In terms of the two men's own music which appears in the mix, Instra:mental's own tracks seem to be better, providing, as they do, some of the highlights of the whole package, in particular his rather lush 'From The Start', 'End Credits' and 'Fist', which conjures up some chilled moods inspired by techno. Other stand out turns include Code 3, who gets tough with 'Living Proof', and former drum n basshead ASC's cut 'Phobos' which has a good slant to its beats.

Interesting, yes, but it's all a bit navel gazing. There are a few nice touches to the mix, but not many, so that it sort of feels like you have been out for a fancy multi-course dinner but still come home hungry. Not what I was expecting at all. Presumably a must have for existing fans of both mixers, but not something that will widen either man's appeal, I shouldn't think. PV

Physical release: 15 Feb
Press contact: Fabric IH [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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SECRET GARDEN LAUNCH RECORD LABEL
The people behind popular music festival The Secret Garden Party have announced they are launching a record label, Garden Records. The label's first signing are bluesy pop types The Jessie Rose Trip, with their first single, 'You Won't Forget Me Boy', released digitally on 22 Mar.

Explaining the motivation behind launching the label, Head Gardener Fred Fellowes told CMU: "Over the last eight years the Garden Party has provided a platform for a huge number of amazing artists; some of whom it has taken literally years before they have found any support from the industry. It seemed a pity that such talent had to spend so long waiting in the wings".

While on his first signing he added: "Jessie Rose Trip were just a perfect example of a band that had gone down a storm in past years at the festival that captured the quirky and joyful style that the festival has - and Jessie herself is a talent to be reckoned with"

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EDGE DOUBLE SHARES AVAILABLE IN NEW FUNDS
Entertainment investment specialists Edge Performance have announced they are doubling the number of '£1 F shares' available in their current and previously reported round of fundraising, meaning 20 million shares will now be available in total.

Edge chief David Glick told CMU: "We have extended the offer to 20 million shares to ensure that the extremely strong demand does not mean we have disappointed applicants who cannot get in".

As previously reported, Edge hope to secure investors for their new funds on the back of their recent successes in the music investment domain, especially in the live music sector where they have invested in projects involving the likes of Kanye West, Bon Jovi and the Backstreet Boys.

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MYSPACE EXPANDING USE OF AUDIO ADS
MySpace Music has expanded its use of audio ads, ie ads that play before songs on the social network's music player in a Spotify stylee. Like Spotify, it is impossible to skip these ads.

The social networking firm's music division started experimenting with audio ads in December. Presumably they aim to overcome the problem that as people use MySpace primarily for streaming pre-organised playlists it is increasingly easy for people to hide their browser and avoid banner ads. Track plays will also start to greatly outrank page impressions.

Confirming that they are experimenting with audio ads, MySpace said in a statement: "We're testing some new ad products and the response from our users has been positive. As always, we are interested in hearing feedback from our users and the advertising community as we run these tests".

Yeah, I tried giving MySpace feedback once -
www.stuffbyme.co.uk/page/Complaining-to-MySpace-its-not-easy.aspx

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NEW CHIEF FOR YAHOO! MUSIC
Yahoo's US music division has a new boss, Jeff Bronikowski, who most recently worked for Universal Music, where he held various senior roles over the last decade. He replaces Michael Speigelman as the top man at Yahoo! Music, Speigelman moving to a new role within Yahoo! overseeing the development of new entertainment-based products.

Speaking to Billboard about his new role, Bronikowski admits that the web firm has lost much of its early lead in the digital music domain. Yahoo! Music and its Launch service were early leaders in on-demand streaming, Pandora-style music recommendation and other music-based content, especially in the US, though also to an extent over here. Despite various recent attempts at a relaunch, these days I don't think many music fans would put Yahoo! in their top three music destinations online, even in the US.

But he adds: "I think there are tremendous assets, and Yahoo! is committed to making it a premiere music destination again. Anytime there's a maturing market, as there is in the digital music space, you're going to see more and more fragmentation. I think that's what's happened here. But given the assets Yahoo! has in terms of traffic, advertising sales, scaleable product development resources, I am excited about the opportunity".

Of course, despite some great early acquisitions, such as the aforementioned Launch, Yahoo!'s more recent plays in the content space have been pretty lacklustre, and in the UK consist mainly of plugging into Reuters style news-feeds. They are probably stronger in the web services domain, though even there they fall behind bigger rivals Google and newer social media upstarts, which is probably why Yahoo! has more recently moved into the "we'll be the hub for all your other web activity" space. Though I'm still not convinced such hubs and portals are really needed by most web users, as nice an idea as they may be.

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SKY TO SELL ITV STAKE
BSkyB has announced it will sell about 10.4% of its stake in telly firm ITV, having decided to give up in its attempt to fight that previously reported Competition Commission ruling that said the satellite broadcasting firm shouldn't be allowed to own more than 7.5% of its terrestrial rival.

As previously reported, the Court Of Appeal upheld the Commission's ruling last month. The announced sale will take Sky's stake in the third channel broadcaster to just below the prescribed 7.5% maximum.

A Sky spokesman told reporters yesterday: "Sky will not pursue a further appeal in relation to its investment in ITV plc. We have entered into undertakings with the Department For Business, Innovation And Skills and we can confirm that Morgan Stanley is acting as sole book runner on the placement of approximately 10.4% of ITV".

As also previously reported, some reckon Sky bought into ITV simply to stop it from merging with the satellite firm's main rivals Virgin Media. An ITV/Virgin merger was being mooted shortly before Sky's sudden purchase of ITV shares in 2006.

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BBC RESPOND TO 6MUSIC CLOSURE RUMOURS
Since the end of last year, and particularly over the last week, rumours have been spreading around the good old internet that the BBC is planning to close its alternative music station 6music in a bid to cut costs. So much so over 35,000 people have now signed up to a 'save 6music' Facebook group.

The rumours seem to stem from the fact the Corporation is undertaking a total review of the digital-only station. A review which, as previously reported, kicked off last April. But rumours that the review might result in 6music being closed seem to based on conspiracy theories as to why such a review would be commissioned in the first place, rather than any insider knowledge of what said review is likely to recommend.

But, as also previously reported, the 6music review is part of a wider and ongoing review of all of the BBC's operations - and Radio 2 is being reviewed alongside 6music in the latest stage of that work. The review in itself does not mean the popular music service's future has been questioned.

The Beeb stress that there will be no discussion regarding any service's future until the relevant review has been completed, which in this case should be later this month. A BBC spokeswoman told CMU yesterday: "All services are being reviewed at the moment as a part of the BBC-wide Strategy Review and [BBC Director General] Mark Thompson has said that the review will be announced at the end of February/beginning of March".

And besides, one assumes the BBC top guard are sensible enough to realise the bloody ramifications of getting on the wrong side of Black Squadron. Even if they have managed to distract the Squadron's leadership with Hollywood movies and mediocre sitcoms.

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CAPITAL SIGN UP AKON AS A PRESENTER
Capital FM have announced that R&B singing sensation Akon is their latest on-air appointment, who is quite a headline grabbing recruit. The singer will present a new Saturday night show for the London radio station, starting this weekend at 7pm.

Capital PD Paul Jackson says: "We are delighted to welcome one of the world's greatest R&B artists to 95.8 Capital FM. Akon has worked with legendary performers such as Lady Gaga, Whitney Houston and Eminem and his brand new show on Capital will be awesome. London is going to love him!"

Akon added: "I'm really excited to be joining Capital FM to host my own radio show. I'm a big fan of the station and I love London. Every Saturday night, I'm going to be playing the best tracks and I look forward to my fans getting to know the real me, so make sure you tune in!"

Which is all very exciting. Just make sure you wear plenty of padding next time you go to a Capital FM roadshow and try to stay out of arm's length of the Akster.

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STERN RUMOURED AS NEW IDOL JUDGE
US radio presenter Howard Stern is currently being rumoured as the man who will replace Simon Cowell as a judge on 'American Idol', when the latter leaves the pop talent show to go and set up a rival programme in the form of 'X-Factor USA'.

Speaking on his Sirius XM show yesterday, Stern commented on the rumours, saying: "They'd have to pay me a ton of dough because I already make a ton of dough. A $100 million to judge a karaoke contest? Yeah, I think I would do that show for $100 million. It would be the best thing that happened to me. What a cush job: $100 million for four months. Who wouldn't take that? There's not a better job on the planet than judging a fucking karaoke contest. It might be possible, we'll see".

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

1. Muse - The Resistance (Warner Bros)
2. Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures (Sony Music)
3. Foo Fighters - Greatest Hits (Sony Music)
4. Nickelback - Dark Horse (Warner/Roadrunner)
5. Bon Jovi - The Circle (Universal/Mercury)
6. Thirty Seconds To Mars - This Is War (EMI/Virgin)
7. Queen - Absolute Greatest (EMI)
8. Paramore - Brand New Eyes (Warner/Atlantic)
9. Pearl Jam - Backspacer (Universal)
10. Daughtry - Leave This Town (Sony Music)
11. Guns n Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)
12. Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To Blue (EMI/Parlophone)
13. Fleetwood Mac - The Very Best Of (Warner Bros)
14. Shinedown - The Sound Of Madness (Warner/Atlantic)
15. You Me At Six - Hold Me Down (Epitaph)*
16. Kiss - Sonic Boom (Warner/Roadrunner)
17. Billy Talent - III (Warner/Atlantic)
18. Flyleaf - Memento Mori (Universal/Octone)
19. Mudvayne - Mudvayne (Sony Music)
20. Journey - Greatest Hits (Sony/Columbia)*

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PARAMORE GUITARIST ENGAGED
Paramore's lead guitarist Josh Farro is engaged, which is nice. For him, anyway. For fans it means putting up with Justin York, brother of rhythm guitarist Taylor York, for the band's upcoming tour dates. I've heard this guy doesn't even know the songs yet or anything and has only been learning guitar for a few weeks. Just kidding, I'm sure he's great.

Writing on the band's official website, Farro said: "As some of you already know, I am engaged! So, as weird as it is to stay behind, I need to take some time off to plan the wedding and everything. Because of that I will not be joining the guys on the Pacific Rim tour coming up. I feel really blessed to be able to take this time off, especially in the midst of this record cycle. The band has been extremely supportive and gracious to me about all of this which has made it a lot easier. Justin York, Taylor's brother, will be filling in for me as a favour. He's an awesome dude, you all will love him".

He added, slightly contradictorily: "Trust me, I know it's strange having someone 'fill in' for me. I don't like it any more than you guys do, but this is the most important thing in the world to me and I trust you all will understand. The Lord has blessed me with the most amazing woman and for that I am eternally grateful. I can't tell you guys how excited I am to get married! The thought of it blows my mind every day! I will be back soon! Don't worry!"

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WESTLIFE'S FEEHILY GETS ENGAGED
Also getting engaged are Westlifer Mark Feehily and his boyfriend, former V member Kevin McDaid.

A rep for the couple said: "Mark and Kevin are engaged and very excited about their future together".

As far as we are aware, unlike the aforementioned Josh Farro, Mark won't be taking any time off from his job in Westlife to prepare for his wedding, and Kevin won't be taking any time off from his job as Mark Feehily from Westlife's boyfriend, either.

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Paul Vig
Club Tipper

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