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I do so love an Apple product launch. The hype that always precedes them can only ever mean that the new thing Steve Jobs trots out with will be a big disappointment by comparison.

I suspect that this might be part of the plan, though. People always flock to point out that the latest Apple gadget is pointless, unoriginal and over-priced. And then what happens? Once the products are actually released - with our expectations reduced a little - those devices seem rather cool. And so you have the iPod, the iTunes Store, the iPhone and all the rest. The impact all those things have had is undeniable, despite all the initial naysaying.

Will that be the case with the iPad? Only time will tell. So far its main contribution to the world is to fill Twitter with jokes about "Dom Joly's new iPhone" and iTampons. It's certainly not the home computer replacement I was hoping for, and nor am I going to start carrying one around in my bag instead of my iPhone (I'll still need that for phonecalls, if nothing else). However, if, as I suspect, the iPad turns out to really be the uber-terminal for accessing online content, at home or on the move, it becomes more attractive.

Following their purchase of digital music platform Lala.com late last year, it's been rumoured Apple might launch a service that would let you store your entire iTunes library online, ready to be accessed from anywhere. If that included films as well as music, and assuming WiFi and mobile internet connections can handle it, you've suddenly got a fast, friendly and lightweight way to access all your entertainment content from anywhere.

I'm not entirely sure if that's something worth having in addition to a laptop. Possibly not. But if you only really use your laptop as an online entertainment centre, well, then why have a laptop at all? And you should never underestimate Apple's ability to sell something people didn't think they wanted by the millions. As with all these things, it's the content that really makes it what it is. All you need is one truly great app to make the iPad a must-have.

And then we'll have to start thinking about making an iPad compliant version of the CMU Weekly. That sounds like hard work. Oh well, let's stick with good old fashion email for now shall we? One little mailer where the last seven days in music is rounded up into a small enclosure and jabbed with a cattle prod.

Though with a tiny little bit of multi-media thrown into the mix. Because somewhere in the middle of it all you'll find another very fine, specially created playlist for you to check out on Spotify, which this week is compiled by Ash bassist Mark Hamilton. He pulled ten excellent tracks out of the bag, which are well worth cranking up Spotify for.

Well, go on, then. Read it.

Andy Malt
Editor, CMU


A Spanish judge closed the official investigation into the death of the late Boyzone star Stephen Gately last Friday, concluding that he died of natural causes having suffered from a previously undiagnosed heart condition called atheromatosis, which results in a thickening of the arteries. A pathologist report submitted to court said that while Gately had been drinking heavily and had smoked cannabis shortly before his death, neither were actually factors in his passing.
A whole host of pop stars this week rushed to sing a bit for Simon Cowell's Haiti-supporting charity single, a cover of REM's 'Everybody Hurts'. Kylie Minogue, Mariah Carey, Take That, Bon Jovi, Miley Cyrus, Leona Lewis, JLS, Cheryl Cole, Joe McElderry, Alexandra Burke, Mika, James Morrison, Michael Buble, Westlife and Rod Stewart all sang. Mika played some piano, too. The song is expected to be released on 7 Feb, with Cowell and co trying to get everyone who appears on it together to perform the song at the BRITs on 16 Feb.
The BBC has announced that Pete Waterman will write and produce this year's UK Eurovision entry. Having been responsible for over 200 hit singles in the last 25 years (we assume that's right, there wasn't time for us to count for ourselves), it's hoped that Waterman will continue to reverse our poor standing in the contest in recent years, which began with last year's 'It's My Time', written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Diane Warren. Despite being entirely unmemorable, the song, performed by Jade Ewen, came in fifth, which was a marked improvement on other recent years. The big final of the competition will be held in Oslo in May.
While received a fine last month for those previously reported drink driving offences, Pete Doherty managed to drop four grams of heroin on the floor as he left the court. Back there on Wednesday to explain how that happened, his lawyer assured everyone that Pete has a lot of coats and so could easily forget that he had a big bag of drugs in one of them as he grabbed it off the hook and rushed out of the house to court. He wasn't, repeat, wasn't trying to take the piss out of the criminal justice system. The judge called him "stupid" and fined him £750.
So, if France's NRJ Awards are to be believed, Black Eyed Peas had the Best International Song of the last year in the form of 'I Gotta Feeling', but they were only the Best International Group for the first part of Saturday evening. Yes, for the second year running there was a screw up at the big French music awards resulting in the Peas being incorrectly awarded the best non-French group prize. German pop-rockers Tokio Hotel were then presented the award via a special erratum section of the show later in the evening. So that's nice
According to The Sun, Keith Richards has quit drinking, and has now managed to stay sober for four whole months. The Rolling Stones guitarist once famously said that he'd never stop boozing because he'd now outlived several doctors who said his hedonism would kill him, but seeing bandmate Ronnie Wood go off the rails with his drinking has apparently convinced him to give sobriety a try. I'm not sure I like this news; I'm going to need a stiff drink to get over it.

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Mark Hamilton, Ash
Formed in 1992, Ash have sold more than eight million albums worldwide. However, in 2007 the band revealed that 'Twilight Of The Innocents' would be their last LP, as they embraced the growing digital music market and vowed to only release singles in the future. Staying true to their word, last year they launched the 'A-Z series', which sees them release 26 new singles, one every two weeks for a year. Currently they're at H with 'Space Shot'.

The band are also set to head out on a UK tour, starting on 19 Apr in Southampton and ending on 4 May at the Electric Ballroom in London. Full dates can be found at www.ash-official.com. Tickets for these things sell fast, so you should get online and book yours now.

Ahead of all that, we asked bassist Mark Hamilton to put together a Powers Of Ten playlist for us. Says Mark: "Artist and celebrity iPod playlists seem to be all the rage these days... do people really want to know who's listening to what? I'm not so sure... but since I've been asked kindly, here's my ten cents, sorry ten songs, that I've been listening to recently on my portable entertainment media device. Check back next week for ten species of flower I've recently planted".

01 Depeche Mode It's No Good
  DM produce amazing sex music... enough said.
02 Marmaduke Duke Je Suis Un Funky Homme
  This song by Simon from Biffy Clyro's solo project is an awesome dancefloor pick-me-up with a tinge of comedy that could easily fit into an episode of 'Flight Of The Conchords'.
03 Rihanna Russian Roulette
  Rihanna is a superstar and this song is awesome, but how long before someone actually pulls a trigger and she finds herself in court with charges of inciting suicide/death? It's quite a brave and bold move for a major label to release this song, as they're usually so paranoid with such a taboo subject. Our 2001 hit 'Burn Baby Burn' was renamed because Mushroom wouldn't release it with it's original title, 'Slow Suicide'. During that recording session Rick (our drummer) and I actually did play 'Russian Roulette' and I literally ended up shooting my self in foot. Luckily it was only a CO² Beretta..
04 The Cardigans You're The Storm
  Nina is my favourite female vocalist and this song was criminally overlooked on the excellent 'Lone Gone Before Daylight'. It's one of the few songs I've actually listened to on repeat. We once pissed her off at a party in Bristol when we were young drunken upstarts. At least we made an impression...
05 Brand New Sowing Season
  You won't catch Brand New in the UK charts, so you may well be surprised to hear that they'll soon be headlining Wembley Arena. If you know Brand New then you'll probably love them passionately. If you don't then that's your problem.
06 Ride Leave Them All Behind
  Tim and I were big Ride fans way back when 'Going Blank Again' was released and shoegazing was in vogue... We were also guilty of participating in the curtains haircuts, baggy t-shirts, and mopey teenage attitude. This came on my iPod last week and I hadn't heard it for years. I love it but they really did need to turn the bass up.
07 Weezer The Good Life
  Not so sure of some of their more recent offerings but 'Pinkerton' is one of the best rock albums ever. We had the honour of supporting them across the US on the Pinkerton tour and I even ran their lights for them.
08 MGMT Kids
  Overplayed to death but you can't deny this monster of a song. I remember sitting in a bar in New York when I first heard it and having to go ask the barman what it was. Genius. Could be a contender for song of the decade?
09 Cobra Starship The Kids Are All Fucked Up
  A perfect blend of melodic synth pop with punk rock attitude. Pet Shop Boys for a new generation?
10 Sia Breathe Me
  As the soundtrack to the closing sequence on the last episode of 'Six Feet Under', this was a perfect piece of synching. I'd be happy for it to be played at my final send off, hopefully no time soon though...
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U2 are working on a super-futuristic/trad-folk album, say The Edge: "We try and keep things moving forward. We are experimenting with a lot of different arrangements, and electronic [music] is one of the things we are playing with. But there are other songs that are very traditional, almost folk. In some ways, that's the thing we haven't figured out yet, is where this album is going to end up"
Good Charlotte guitarist Benji Madden reveals the band are scrapping their new album and starting again: "When we got back from the last trip to Australia, we had pretty much finished recording the record. I went into the studio to hear some roughs and it just wasn't right. I just said: 'Guys, we gotta start over'. I was expecting everyone to freak on me [but] everyone agreed"
Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi Birgisson says his band have also scrapped an album, but aren't re-recording it at the moment: "We haven't got another album ready; it was just a rumour. We started to record something, but then we chucked it all away. So I think we are going to have to start it all again. [But] we are on a break at the moment. Everybody in the band is having babies"
Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh's lawyer educates US politician Joe Walsh on using songs without permission: "I know why you used Joe's music - it's undoubtedly because it's a lot better than any music you or your staff could have written. But that's the point. Since Joe writes better songs than you do, the Copyright Act rewards him by letting him decide who gets to use the songs he writes"
Andrew VanWyngarden says MGMT's new album is influenced by Lady Gaga and Kanye West, though don't panic, not musically: "I found myself thinking about Lady Gaga or Kanye West, and what their ultimate goal is. This sounds cheesy, but for us it's really just about the music. I'm sure it's about the music for those people, too... but fame... it's an interesting career"
Carl Barat says that he's still up for a Libertines reunion, and he reckons Pete Doherty is, too. If only he'd get in touch: "I sent him a text a couple of weeks ago, but he never got back. If things are looking good that'll be nice. I guess I'll have to have a chat to Pete about it - he wanted to do it sooner but we missed all the dates"
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  Animal Collective preview 'visual album'. A trailer for Animal Collective's long-awaited film, 'ODDSAC', which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last week, has gone online. Avery Tare told the NME: "We tried to make the music go along with the visuals as much as possible. We didn't want it to sound just like a soundtrack, but then we didn't want it to be like a music video either" - www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H48VtETngA
  Fever Ray acceptance speech. Award acceptance speeches are so formulaic, aren't they? Thankfully, Fever Ray, aka Karin Dreijer Andersson, is here to change all that. Her acceptance speech at last week's P3 Guld awards in Sweden ranks up their with the all time greats. Arriving on stage to receive the award for Best Dance Act, her appearance was short but certainly memorable - www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymCP6zC_qJU
  Caribou - Odessa. Caribou, aka Dan Snaith, promised back in October that his next album would be more upbeat and dance music-influenced than previous work. And from the sound of this track, he told us no lies. The album isn't released until 19 Apr (via City Slang), but you can get a free download of one track, 'Odessa', right now in exchange for your email address - www.caribou.fm/swim_download
  Mike Doughty. Former Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty released his fourth solo album, 'Sad Man Happy Man', in the US last October. Like all his work, both with his former band and alone, the songs have an idiosyncratic charm and lyrical flare that you'll struggle to find elsewhere. Mike will be in London to play a one-off show at The Garage in Islington on 2 Feb - www.myspace.com/mikedoughty
  More free Yeasayer. We're quite excited about the new Yeasayer album. Did you notice? It's brilliant. The second single from the album, 'ONE', has just been made available as a free download on the band's website. The album, 'Odd Blood', is due for release via Mute on 8 Feb, with UK tour dates later that month. The band will also play a headline show at Koko in London on 22 Mar - www.yeasayer.net
  Lady Gaga swore once in 2005. Everyone wants to know what famous people were like before they were famous. So, here's a video of Lady Gaga, then just Stefani Germanotta, on 'MTV Boiling Point', a show which aimed to annoy people. These days they would have asked her if it's true that she has a penis, but back then all it took was a couple of bits of rubbish on her lunch - www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SIK-yzlxiU
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  Q1 How did you start out making music?
LONELADY: "From a very young age I remember announcing: 'I'm going to be an artist'. I meant, actually, artist as in Van Gogh. Art, and drawing in particular, was always my main passion, and I pursued this, did an art degree, and painted alone in a little rented studio. Somewhere along the way I started to play instruments: Nirvana and Hole made me buy my first electric guitar. I always had the need to create, not just spectate"

Read more of Lonelady's answers

  Q2 What inspired your latest album?
LOSTPROPHETS: "It was wholly inspired by our personal experiences; everything we have learnt in the last ten years is in the new album, 'The Betrayed'. This is the first time that we totally self-worked the album, used my own guitars, my own pedals - everything. This album is purely us, through and through"

Read more of Lostprophets' answers

  Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
MV & EE: "We like to record the basics at our home studio, which we've called Maximum Arousal Farm, so we get the right feel and mood without the pressure of being on the clock. Then we'll take em down to our friend Justin's studio, which, amazingly, is remarkably close to our house by rural standards. He is set up in an old New England bank, which has a mellow vibe and a cool sound with a lot of different old rustic rooms. We also go a bit further down into the Pioneer Valley and work at J Mascis' home studio, Bisquiteen. He has my favourite plate reverb; it takes up a massive part of his basement"

Read more of MV & EE's answers

  Q4 Which artists influence your work?
FIRST AID KIT: "We are very much inspired by folk music. We really love the American folk scene, both the older country roots music, like The Carter Family, Louvin Brothers and Bill Monroe, and the 60's folk revival with Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Karen Dalton as well as the latest so-called 'freak-folk' scene with Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom and Alela Diane among others. We also like folk music from other countries, for example right now we listen very much to African Pygmy folk music"

Read more of First Aid Kit's answers

  Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
TONY CHRISTIE: "To anyone experiencing my music for the first time I would say to them: 'If you want to find out about any artist listen to their albums, not just the hit singles, because on the albums you will find out what the artist is really about'"

Read more of Tony Christie's answers

  Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
THROATS: "I'd like it if people actually bought it. Personally, it doesn't really affect me much if it's downloaded for free; people are hearing our music and that's awesome. However, it really does affect Holy Roar who put considerable time and effort into this release. For the future, we're going to be touring UK and Europe at the start of 2010 then hooking up a US tour towards the end of the year"

Read more of Throats' answers

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#04: 3am v Peter Andre
It's a wonder this hasn't happened before, really. But this week The Daily Mirror's gossip site 3am.co.uk cracked under the strain of demands from Peter Andre's 'people'. It seems they weren't that interested in what he had to say as the face of Costa Coffee's latest hot, caffeinated drink.

Announced the gossipers: "Do you know where we're supposed to be right now? At a central London coffee shop, waiting for five glorious minutes with Peter Andre. However, instead we're going to tell you exactly why we won't be obediently trotting along to meet him".

Is it because coffee is a lovely drink but a tedious topic of conversation? Yes. And because Andre's management, Can Associates, insisted on a contract being signed beforehand ensuring that there would be no talk of anything else. And while they were at it, they demanded that no pictures of Katie Price come anywhere near the finished article, all photo captions would be positive, and that Can and Andre would be allowed to approve the whole thing before it went online.

The site continues: "We've all seen contracts like this before, particularly those of us who've worked on celebrity magazines, but nobody is more controlling than Can, who might want to look into changing their name to Can't".

So, 3am returned an email informing Can that "we're simply not prepared to agree to such ridiculously strict terms ... we wouldn't agree to these insanely restrictive terms for Britney or Brad, so we're hardly going to for Peter".

The result? Can are now refusing to allow 3am access to any of their clients ever again. 3am, meanwhile, are informing all their readers to go to Starbucks.

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Georgina Stone
Editorial Assistant
Owen Smith
Approval Officer
Paul Vig
Club Tipper

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