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TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Spotlight falls on BlueBeat.com 25 cent downloads following Beatles coverage
Old George Harrison lyrics turned into new song
Rihanna talks about the Brown incident
In The Pop Hospital
Tony Iommi's hand on the mend
Obituaries
Bassist Mark Smith dies
Reunions & Splits
More Sugababes reunion gossip
Iggy on latest Stooges reunion
More Spice for the Olympics?
Release News
Casablancas plans Christmas single
Films N Shows News
This Is It screenings extended
Books News
Lauren Laverne to write teen novels
Gigs N Tours News
Grizzly Bear dates
Vampire Weekend announce New Year tour
Reviews
Single review: Frightened Rabbit - Swim Until You Can'T See Land (Fatcat)
The Music Business
Chillfest owed £1.2 million prior to liquidation
Warner music take management stake in Biffy
The Media Business
Absolute drop the Xtreme for more 80s pop
Cowell to talk X-factor on Smooth too
Chart Of The Day
This week's sub.tv playlist
And finally...
Jamelia to divorce
Girls man on his uncut video
ZZ top man gets to Wembley gig on the tube
Mary J Blige not knocked up, ok?
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts
 
WEDNESDAY 4TH NOVEMBER


BICYCLE THIEVES
Formed in late 2008, Liverpool-based Bicycle Thieves have already built up a healthy word of mouth following in the North West, mainly from their intense live performances. Delivering a mixture of indie and pop noir, their debut single 'Stop To Start' is due to be released on the 23 Nov via Loog Records and has been described as "three and a half minutes of bloodshot musical brilliance". The band were invited to play this year's Glastonbury Festival by Emily Eavis herself, and have just confirmed a residency at Liverpool's Bad Format! Social Club. We caught up with the band's frontman Tom Hammersley to ask the Same Six Questions ahead of the band's performances at this week's Dubai SoundCity.
 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I had a load of songs and came to Liverpool to study thinking I'd immediately fall into some kind of musical utopia; in reality I encountered halls of residence. A pretty uninspiring situation of laziness and booze. The year after I met our bassist and guitarist. And then I met the other guitarist, Ash - that happened in Spain at Benicassim. We all had similar tastes and started recording demoes in our bedrooms, trying to create interesting lo-fi recordings that realised the songs we had written. The turning point came when we got a practice room and drummer.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
Knowing that a change was overdue. When you get to the end of acting a certain way for a couple of years, and realise that you need to move on/grow up, even though you're only 21. It's pretty scary. And nobody warns you about it.

Q3 How do you go about creating a track?
Most songs are written in our flat on an old Sollida organ, or on acoustic guitars, before they're taken to the practice room. Lyrics act a bit like a diary reflecting what's going on, and how I feel about things over the course of a couple weeks. I dip in and out, and add and edit thoughts. Some songs I write about a specific event. Generally, though, it boils down to your problems and worries.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
We're into a mixture of stuff. Contemporary bands would include Radiohead, The National and Queens Of The Stone Age. Also creepy guitar sounds, anything from The Bunnymen to Sonic Youth.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Get yourself to a live show.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Record an album that truly evokes a reaction amongst people, and which is without filler, where every track counts. Just a great debut album. Everyone in the band wants a long and healthy career in music, not to disappear into the obscurity of mediocrity or irrelevance. So we're going to do our best to ensure that happens.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/bicyclethievesuk

 
BRETT ANDERSON FREEBIES ON WE7
Hey, there are at least two people on Team CMU who will get very excited about this. I haven't told them yet. I hope they don't spill their cup of tea on their keyboard with excitement as they read this. Brett Anderson releases his third solo album this week, and to celebrate We7 are giving away no fewer than eight free Anderson tracks, four from the new album and four from his last long player 'Wilderness'. You can preview all eight tunes via The Independent website (I ought to mention them, they're the brand partner on this), then you click through to We7, throw a little personal info in their general direction, and then download the free tracks. It's limited to 20,000 people though. So you should speed on over. Of the new tracks, the lovely slightly haunting 'Hymn' is my fave.

tinyurl.com/suedeguyonwe7

 


 

 



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SPOTLIGHT FALLS ON BLUEBEAT.COM 25 CENT DOWNLOADS FOLLOWING BEATLES COVERAGE
So, I think it's fair to say that everyone seems a little bit confused at the moment about the status of a US-based digital music service called BlueBeat.com, which has been in operation for some time but which has fallen under the spotlight in recent days since Music Ally noticed they were selling Beatles tracks as MP3 downloads.

BlueBeat.com, operated by Santa Cruz-based Media Rights Technologies, was originally a dynamic online radio service which enabled users to create, stream and share their own playlists, tapping into a music catalogue boasting several hundred thousand tracks. I assume the service was licensed, or at least licensing talks between the tech firm and content owners were ongoing, though I base that assumption on the fact the service seems to have been in operation for nearly five years without any major legal issues.

And this despite the fact MRT was behind various forms of digital rights management technology, which it claims the Recording Industry Association Of America endorsed, so presumably the major record companies were aware of both MRT and BlueBeat.com's existence. Certainly MRT did their bit to ensure people knew they existed, mainly by accusing some of the big names in IT of disrespecting copyrights and the US's Digital Millenium Copyright Act, seemingly for refusing to license their DRM systems.

Anyway, the BlueBeat.com online radio service has, unsurprisingly, developed over the years, and its latest incarnation, seemingly still in beta, offers on-demand streaming for thousands of tracks in a Spotify/We7 fashion and, perhaps more surprisingly, MP3 downloads for 25 cents a piece, considerably less than all of the service's competitors, and less also than the going wholesale rate for downloads.

All of which makes the cynics round here suspect that the latest BlueBeat.com service might not be licensed in any traditional sense of the word. Would the majors really sanction one small player undercutting everyone else in the market to such an extent a price war would surely follow, ultimately cutting everyone's profit margins? I really think not.

But whatever, what seems certain is at least part of BlueBeat.com's catalogue isn't legit. Music Ally discovered late last week that among all the 25 cent downloads on BlueBeat.com was the entire Beatles catalogue.

As you all know, The Beatles' music is not available, as yet, from any legit download store, mainly due to ongoing tensions between co-owners EMI and Beatles company Apple Corps, whose frequent disagreements go back to Tudor times (or thereabouts).

Had EMI and Apple Corp really opted to sneak the Fab Four's music online via a little known digital music website currently in beta, rather that doing a multi-million deal with a Microsoft or a MySpace or, most likely, the other Apple? No, of course not. Both EMI and Apple Corps deny any knowledge of BlueBeat.com selling Beatles downloads, with the former confirming to the Telegraph that the legal people were investigating.

Some sort of cease and desist letter will presumably follow forthwith, if not from EMI from the Recording Industry Association Of America. It will be interesting to know whether it is just the Fab Four's catalogue that shouldn't be on BlueBeat.com or whether, as is increasingly suspected, the service's whole download operation is on dodgy grounds. If that is the case, given MRT have been prone to issue opinionated statements on US copyright law in recent years - normally accusing others of infringement - it will be interesting to know on what grounds they are justifying their own possibly infringing service.

MRT are yet to comment.

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OLD GEORGE HARRISON LYRICS TURNED INTO NEW SONG
Talking of The Beatles, a Merseyside-based songwriter called Dean Johnson has turned some previously unknown George Harrison penned lyrics into a new song. The lyrics were written by Harrison in the late sixties, but never used by the Fab Four or Harrison himself, and instead they were handed over to the band's biographer Hunter Davies.

He seemingly forgot about the words until relatively recently. He mentioned them in an interview on BBC Radio Merseyside, and it was a presenter from that station, Spencer Leigh, who passed on the lyrics to Johnson urging the songwriter to use them as the basis for a new track. That track has been written and was aired by the BBC station recently, and you can see Johnson's performance at this URL:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcJVnDlxdtg

Commenting on the project Leigh set him, Johnson told reporters: "I found it unbelievable, tremendously exciting and, above all, a complete honour. My brief was to follow George's sentiment through to its conclusion". When asked what the Harrison lyrics were about, he adds: "The lyrics are of a personal nature and were first thought to be a song of unrequited love but, in hindsight, they seem to allude to George's uneasy relationship with John Lennon. This is substantiated by first-hand observations by Hunter Davies and by people close to Harrison".

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RIHANNA TALKS ABOUT THE BROWN INCIDENT
Rihanna has spoken, for the first time really, about that altercation between her and ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, in which the popular R&B thugster beat her unconscious.

In reality the popstress doesn't dwell too much on the specifics of what happened between her and Brown back in February, but in an interview with the American version of Glamour mag does comment on the global media attention that fell on the story, and on the photo of her beaten face that circulated on the net.

Recalling the media response to the bust up, she says: "I felt like I went to sleep as Rihanna and woke up as Britney Spears. That was the level of media chaos that happened the next day. It was like, 'What, there are helicopters circling my house? There are 100 people in my cul-de-sac? What do you mean, I can't go back home?'".

Commenting on how she felt when police pictures of her bruised face were leaked to the press, she continued: "It was humiliating; that is not a photo you would show to anybody. I felt completely taken advantage of. I felt like people were making it into a fun topic on the internet, and it's my life. I was disappointed, especially when I found out the photo was [allegedly leaked by] two women [police officers]".

Looking for a silver lining, she added that she hoped the incident would throw a light on other domestic violence, and help victims overcome it. She told the mag: "Teenage girls can't tell their parents that their boyfriend beats them up. It's one of the things we hide because it's embarrassing. I want to give as much insight as I can to young women because I feel like I represent a voice that isn't really heard. Now I can help speak for those women".

Rihanna is back in the spotlight, of course, as she promotes her fourth studio album 'Rated R', which is out later this month.

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TONY IOMMI'S HAND ON THE MEND
Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi told the BBC, at the previously reported Classic Rock Awards on Monday, that he's had stem-cell treatment on his injured hand, and that it's already improving. "It's coming on alright actually", he said "I've already had the stem-cell treatment, so I've just got to wait now. It's been six weeks but it's feeling great."

Iommi, who explained to Radio 2 back in October that the cartilage between the joints had worn out, added that despite having his hand strapped up, he was able to play guitar. "No, I can play!" he said. "I'm just wearing this now because if people shake your hand I don't want to push it, I want to take it easy for a bit. But it's been really good, and I'm glad I went that route before having any kind of operation".

Fellow guitarist Brian May, who has had his own hand trouble, commented: "I know Eddie Van Halen's had similar problems and it was Ed who told Tony about this stem-cell treatment. I've been pretty lucky, but on the first tour we did with Paul Rodgers I had a lot problems, and it did get scary.
I used to wake up in the morning and not be able to move my left hand at all. As it turned out, it didn't get any worse. Life hits you where you don't want to be hit and our hands are very vulnerable".

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BASSIST MARK SMITH DIES
Acclaimed bass player and occasional producer Mark Smith, a member of seventies British soul outfit Kokomo, and an accomplished session musician perhaps best known for his recording and touring work with The Waterboys, has died. He was found dead at his home in Battersea by one of his current bandmates after he failed to show up for a gig. The cause of death isn't clear.

After his work with Kokomo, Smith played with a number of artists over the years, on tour and in the studio, including Roxy Music and Patricia Kaas. He also played bass on Robbie Williams' biggest hit 'Angels'.

Producer Robin Millar, who worked with Smith when he was producing various Kaas recordings in the 90s, told Music Week the bassist was one of the "true unsung heroes" adding: "Mark was one of the great people and players. He was one of those guys who never pushed himself forward, but was a great all round musician - a real musicians' musician".

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MORE SUGABABES REUNION GOSSIP
So, as you may remember, when Keisha Buchanan finally quit the Sugababes back in September, meaning none of the outfit's founding members were still in the group, some jokers wondered whether the Babe's original line up may now reform to create a rival group. This despite the fact Siobhán Donaghy, the first Babe to quit, has been very vocal about how much she hates Buchanan over the years.

Well, now another joker, Holy Moly, has restated those rumours, leading to new speculation the world may soon have two sets of Sugababes. That said, the new rumour stated that talks were underway between reps of the original threesome - Buchanan, Donaghy and Mutya Buena - and Warner Music. But the major label have denied any knowledge of said conversations, telling The Guardian: "We haven't seen them here or heard anything about it. I don't think they've got the story right".

Of course if the original Babes did reform - and assuming Buchanan and Donaghy could survive a whole day in the studio together - it would create a rather interesting situation in planet pop, and the potential for a really bitter chart battle. Which is possibly why the gossip sites are really willing this one to be true.

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IGGY ON LATEST STOOGES REUNION
Iggy Pop has confirmed he will be rejoining The Stooges for a one off show later this year with a plan to tour properly next year. This despite the death at the start of the year of the band's guitarist Ron Asheton. It was announced earlier in the year that the band's other seventies era guitarist James Williamson would be returning to performing after thirty years to fill the gap left in the current Stooges line up by Asheton's demise.

Talking to 6Music about the latest Stooges reformation, Iggy said: "The band have been rehearsing more without me than with me because I've been doing other things this year. But we have been rehearsing all together more recently. We're going to be doing a one-off show in Brazil in a few weeks but the real touring starts next year".

Commenting on performing without Asheton, he added: "We're all very sorry about Ron. [But] his spirit within the group remains with the rest of us and he is still a presence within the group without being on the physical plain".

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MORE SPICE FOR THE OLYMPICS?
So rumours of another Spice Girl reunion continue to linger, this time with the news that the group's original manager Simon Fuller hopes to get the Girls back together for a gig during the 2012 Olympics in London. Fuller told reporters on Monday: "They stand for so much in British music history and I can't think of a better time for them to get back together for another performance. The demand for them as a band is as strong as ever". Mel B, who has seemed to both confirm and deny reunion plans in recent months, has now said "if anyone can pull this off Simon Fuller can, he is the best!", while telling Access Hollywood: "I'm from the UK and I think it's amazing the Olympics are gonna be in London and I look forward to being there with the girls".

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CASABLANCAS PLANS CHRISTMAS SINGLE
NME.com say that The Strokes' Julian Casablancas is to release a Christmas single via download and limited 7" single. The singer will apparently release a cover of 'I Wish It Was Christmas Today', which was first performed on 'Saturday Night Live', on 21 Dec.

"It was a fun thing to do", Casablancas is quoted as saying. "Everyone seems to do a Christmas song at some point, so I always said to myself I'd do that song. I've now checked that off the list of things to do!"

Casablancas released his debut solo album 'Phrazes Of The Young' this week. His upcoming tour dates are as follows:

11 Dec: Manchester Ritz
12 Dec: Glasgow ABC
14 Dec: Dublin Academy
16 Dec: London Forum

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THIS IS IT SCREENINGS EXTENDED
So, no surprise here. With Michael Jackson documentary film 'This Is It' raking in the cash left, right and centre, and seemingly winning some critical acclaim, Sony Pictures have announced that the original two week limited period screenings of the movie in cinemas will now be extended to a month. Just as we and everyone else predicted they would.

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LAUREN LAVERNE TO WRITE TEEN NOVELS
Presenter Lauren Laverne has signed up to write a series of novels for teenage girls. The former Kenickie star, who fronted the band in her late teens, will pen stories about a fifteen year old girl who has dreams of being a rock star. HarperCollins spokeswoman Ann-Janine Murtagh says that the presenter has "created a new heroine who is endearing and funny with a wonderfully original and authentic voice".

Laverne, now 31, explained: "When I was a kid, all I ever wanted to be was an author. To be writing a book of my own is absolutely wonderful and, like most things worth doing, occasionally terrifying".

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GRIZZLY BEAR DATES
Grizzly Bear dates everybody. For next March. As follows.

8 Mar: Gateshead, The Sage
9 Mar: Edinburgh, Queens Hall
11 Mar: Brighton, Corn Exchange
12 Mar: Coventry, Warwick Arts Centre
13 Mar: London, Roundhouse

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VAMPIRE WEEKEND ANNOUNCE NEW YEAR TOUR
Vampire Weekend have announced that they'll play eight UK dates early next year, following the release of their second album 'Contra' on 11 January. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 9am, dates as follows:

7 Feb: Cambridge Corn Exchange
8 Feb: Manchester Apollo
9 Feb: Leeds O2 Academy
10 Feb: Birmingham O2 Academy
12 Feb: Newcastle O2 Academy
13 Feb: Glasgow Barrowlands
14 Feb: Edinburgh Picture House
16 Feb: London O2 Academy Brixton

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SINGLE REVIEW: Frightened Rabbit - Swim Until You Can't See Land (FatCat)
Just back from a co-headlining tour of the US with fellow Fat Cats Twilight Sad and We Were Promised Jetpacks, Frightened Rabbit return to our radios with a song touched by the sun of their travels.

Scott Hutchison holds back his often powering vocals, while an almost Beach Boys guitar style mixes with the band's more typical thumping percussion and interesting string arrangements, a mix that hints of where this mighty act can go. And that would be 'very far indeed'.

Their most understated work yet, but it just makes the pay-off so much more worth it. TM

Physical release: 2 Nov
Press contact: FatCat IH [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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CHILLFEST OWED £1.2 MILLION PRIOR TO LIQUIDATION
So, Music Week have been digging into the collapse of Chillfest Ltd, the company behind the Big Chill festival. As previously reported, the company went into voluntary liquidation last month after a couple of difficult years for the famous festival. The event itself, though, is safe, the name and basic concept having been bought before the liquidation by Festival Republic, who have hired Big Chill co-founder Katrina Larkin to head up future editions of the festival. The Big Chill venues were never part of the Chillfest operation, being run by the Cantaloupe Group, who had been providing some financial backing to the festival promoter.

According to the trade mag, Chillfest had debts close to £1.2 million when it collapsed. The financial woes began in 2007, which was perhaps behind the festival's other co-founder Pete Lawrence's decision to leave the company in 2008. The following two year's festivals also operated at a loss, leading up to last month's liquidation, which the firm's board blamed on "the general economic downturn and customers not purchasing sufficient numbers of tickets". Damn those pesky customers and their not buying sufficient numbers of tickets.

It's believed 33 creditors were owed money at the time of the liquidation, including the tax man, Show Events Security, Power Logistics and West Mercia Police. PRS For Music were among the largest creditors, being owed a reported sixty grand for unpaid royalty bills.

Presumably the all new Big Chill enterprise hopes to re-secure the services of some of those who lost out in the liquidation thanks the backing of major player Festival Republic. The hope also, presumably, is for customers to buy sufficient tickets moving forward to make the festival the profitable concern it was back in its hey day.

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WARNER MUSIC TAKE MANAGEMENT STAKE IN BIFFY
Warner Music have announced an interesting new deal with Biffy Clyro which expands the major's interests in artist management. The band will continue to be managed by Dee Bahl of 1554 Management, but via a new partnership with Nostromo, the management division of Warner imprint 14th Floor, who are currently Biffy's UK label (they release via Warner's Roadrunner division in the US). The band's new long player 'Only Revolutions' is out next week.

Look, here's what Warner Music CEO Christian Tattersfield has to say about the new deal: "It's great to be taking our relationship with Dee and with Biffy to the next level. The incredible new album and the huge forthcoming tour plans make this a very exciting time to expand our partnership. This agreement is about what we've achieved together over the last three years and our shared commitment to building on that with 'Only Revolutions'".

And here's what Bahl is saying: "I'm pleased to have the opportunity to work with Christian and his team on the next important stage of the band's development. Broadening our relationship with 14th Floor will help us continue to grow Biffy's fanbase and ensure that the ambitious plans we have in place for 'Only Revolutions' come to fruition".

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ABSOLUTE DROP THE XTREME FOR MORE 80S POP
Absolute Radio are dumping their new music digital-only service Absolute Xtreme and replacing it with the very opposite, an eighties pop station to be called, well, Absolute 80s.

Absolute management say the all music Xtreme service (it originally had presenter-based programming in some slots) has found itself in an increasingly competitive market since the launch of NME Radio, it also competing in some ways with Xfm and the BBC's 6Music. Listeners of Xtreme who don't like the idea of an eighties pop fest will be encouraged to re-tune to Absolute's recently launched Dabbl service, the playlist of which is controlled by listener votes. Dabbl is currently available via the DAB digital radio network in London as well as online, but will roll out to other digital multiplexes in due course.

The new 80s service, launching next month, will be aimed at thirty and forty somethings and play music from the likes of Human League, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, ABC, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Prince, Blondie and Bon Jovi. Commenting on the target audience for the new service, Absolute chief Clive Dickens told the Guardian: "These are people who have responsibilities, are members of families but still want to participate and have fun and be involved in music. A huge chunk of our audience grew up in the 80s".

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COWELL TO TALK X-FACTOR ON SMOOTH TOO
GMG Radio has expanded its relationship with Tony 'brother of Simon' Cowell, bringing his commentary on the 'X-Factor' programme to the breakfast show on the London outpost of the Smooth Radio network. Tony C already chats about the ITV talent show on GMG's Real Radio network.

Smooth Radio Station Director Paul Fairburn says this: "Tony offers a great perspective on the show that's gripping our audience, this year more than ever".

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THIS WEEK'S SUB.TV PLAYLIST
Hey look people, it's the music videos that are playing this week on the Sub.tv network of video screens in students' unions all around the god darn United Kingdom of Great Britain and whatnot. New additions marked with a *. More info on all things Sub.tv from DavidLloyd@sub.tv.

A List
Alexandra Burke - Bad Boys
Alphabeat - The Spell
Beyoncé - Broken Hearted Girl
Biffy Clyro - The Captain
Calvin Harris - Flashback
Cobra Starship - Good Girls Go Bad
Dizzee Rascal - Dirtee Cash*
Duck Sauce - aNYway
Florence And The Machine - You've Got The Love
Foo Fighters - Wheels
Jay Sean feat Little Wayne - Down
JLS - Everybody In Love
Kids In Glass Houses - Youngblood (Let It Out)
Lostprophets - It's Not The End of The World...
Snow Patrol - Just Say Yes
Tinchy Stryder - You're Not Alone

B List
Alesha Dixon - To Love Again*
Arctic Monkeys - Cornerstone
Dionne Bromfield - Mama Said
Erik Hassle - Hurtful
In Case Of Fire - The Cleansing
Kasabian - Underdog
Ke$ha - Tik Tok
La Roux - Quicksand*
Ladyhawke - Magic
Lily Allen - Who'd Have Known?*
Mika - Rain*
Paolo Nutini - Pencil Full Of Lead*
Stereophonics - Innocent
Sugababes - About A Girl
Sway - Mercedes Benz

Tip List
Belligerence - Inner Realm
Bombay Bicycle Club - Always Like This
Ellie Goulding - Under The Sheets*
Frightened Rabbit - Swim Until You Can't See Land*
Roddy Hart - Send A Message
Röyksopp - This Must Be It
Soft Toy Emergency - Critical

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JAMELIA TO DIVORCE
Jamelia and her footballer husband Darren Byfield are to divorce following just seventeen months of marriage. The separated pair have a four year old daughter, whilst the R&B star has an eight year old daughter from a previous relationship. They married in June last year.

The former couple said in a statement: "It is with regret that Jamelia and Darren Byfield today confirm they are splitting up and getting a divorce. No-one else is involved. Their priority is naturally their two children".

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GIRLS MAN ON HIS UNCUT VIDEO
You know that slightly racey version of the video to the Girls' song 'Lust For Life' that we reported on last week? You know, the re-edit of the official promo from the buzzy San Fran band, which features all the same people but with extra breasts and a penis. Well, the band's frontman JR White has been chatting about it, and says he wanted the more flesh filled version to be the actual promo used by the label to publicise the song. However Matador, perhaps aware that showing a guy using another guy's cock as a microphone might not go down well with some music video channels, did not concur.

Speaking to Pedestrian.tv, I think before the uncut version surfaced on the net, White said: "The video got cut. I'm kind of upset [the uncut version] didn't get put out, actually. But, yeah, there's a gay porn version. We were really pushing for that, it was incredible. Nothing like anything anyone else has ever put out before, but at the same time it's really beautiful, about two people who love each other. And we're from San Francisco, so it's not a surprise to us!"

As previously reported, those not easily offended, or who fancy being offended, can find the uncut Girls vid at this URL:

www.mbvmusic.com/2009/10/27/video-girls-lust-for-life-hardcore-xxx-edit/17579

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ZZ TOP MAN GETS TO WEMBLEY GIG ON THE TUBE
ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons recently travelled to his band's show at Wembley Arena on the tube, because, well, because he wanted to. And even though the journey involved a few stops be travelled on the Circle Line, which, Londoners won't need to be told, wasn't working, Gibbons says he still got the North West London venue faster than his bandmates, who were driven there.

Gibbons told the BBC: "Being the consummate tourist, I wanted to ride the Tube. Someone said, 'you know it may not be that bad of an idea because [road] travel in London has not been known for its expedient way to get from A to B'. So off I went - it's a only a block from the hotel down to the station, and no sooner had I bought the ticket the agent informed me that the Circle Line had broken down!".

But asked if he'd use the underground next time he plays London, he concluded: "Well, I may in the future. I beat my partners by 45 minutes".

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MARY J BLIGE NOT KNOCKED UP, OK?
Mary J Blige would like you all to know that she isn't pregnant. She's said so not just on a whim, but because rumours have been circulating online that she and music exec hubby Kendu Isaacs were expecting their first child. But that is not so. Any other popsters wishing to confirm their lack of pregnancy can send confirmations to the usual address.

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