CMU Weekly Editor's Letter

Editor’s Letter – Friday 21 Oct 2011

By | Published on Friday 21 October 2011

CMU's Sam Taylor and Andy Malt

If you happen to own an olive grove, as I’m sure many of you do, you’ll probably want to go out and check on your crop. This week a lot of people seem to have been waving olive branches around, leaving the unusual smell of rekindled friendship all over the music business.

It started, of course, with The Stone Roses announcing their reunion on Tuesday. By the time the press conference started, that John Squire and Ian Brown had settled their longheld differences came as a surprise to no one.

Despite the fact that the identities of who exactly was making an announcement hadn’t been revealed in the invitation that went out to the press, the fact that it was the Roses who had something to announce had been common knowledge since the previous week. That they would announce at least two reunion shows in Manchester was also known. And so it came to pass, olive branches all round.

Then yesterday, Noel Gallagher revealed that he’d recently patched things up with Damon Albarn. The pair apparently met in a club and reminisced about the feud their respective bands had back in the 90s, presumably belly laughing about the time Gallagher wished AIDS upon Albarn and Blur bassist Alex James. Oh, such japes.

And it doesn’t stop there. Last time Liam Gallagher tweeted a response to something his brother had said about him in an interview it pre-empted a lawsuit. This week he tweeted, after Noel claimed that Oasis had become a “sham” in their latter years, telling his older sibling to “go to bed and give me a shout in 2015”. Reading between the lines is unnecessary, because Liam subsequently told Rolling Stone: “In 2015, if we can put our shit aside, [Oasis] can tour and play the [debut] album in its entirety for the 20th anniversary. I’d be up for that”.

Although he did add: “I think [Noel] needs to do his solo thing first and realise he’s not that good without his brother. He’s got to find out for himself. I’m up for [a reunion] – I’m not desperate for it. If it doesn’t work out, I don’t give a shit, I’m quite happy with Beady Eye”.

So maybe that one’s not quite the love-in the other reconciliations appear to be. Although I think Liam is probably protesting a little bit too much there. We’ll see who talks up the reunion more as 2015 draws closer.

Thankfully it wasn’t all back patting and making up this week, which suits the miserable bastard I pretend to be just fine. It was a very busy week in the pop courts with everyone getting all angry all over the place. Even the Conrad Murray trial, which was postponed for much of the week, saw the prosecution deliver two more firm blows to the defence when it got back under way again. Their final witness, a leading expert on the drug that killed the late king of pop, first damned Murray’s willingness to give Michael Jackson the surgical drugs he requested, and then said that the defence’s theory that Jackson self-administered the dose of propofol that killed him was “crazy”.

Meanwhile, a libel judge was trying to decide whether or not Morrissey’s case against the NME for portraying him as a racist back in 2008 should be allowed to go to court. That decision is taking a bit longer than expected to be announced, but we’re all hoping it does continue, because it’ll be a great case. Morrissey and Conor McNicholas both giving evidence – imagine!

As well as all that, it was announced that the High Court will consider Terra Firma’s latest legal battle with Citigroup – actually an action against PricewaterhouseCoopers, to get files relating to the day they helped the bank take control of EMI – next month; one of The Pirate Bay’s co-founders, Goddfrid Svartholm, lost his appeal against his sentence from the original copyright infringement trial against all three founders and a funder, mainly on the grounds that he hasn’t turned up to any of the appeal hearings and no one knows where he is; four members of UB40 were declared bankrupt; The Daily Mail was forced to pay damages to Susan Boyle’s former manager; former Lady Gaga collaborator Rob Fusari was hit with another lawsuit in relation to his work with the singer; Kanye West and Jay-Z were sued over a Syl Johnson sample on their ‘Watch The Throne’ album; and Soulja Boy was arrested for Marijuana possession. Though back to our original theme of making up, Rihanna and David LaChappelle reached a settlement in relation to his claims that she plagiarised one of his photo shoots.

But either way, a busy week in the old pop courts. Speaking of being busy, we put a couple of musicians to work for us this week, and a very good job they did too. First up, CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke got in touch with former Babyshambles drummer Adam Ficek to ask him a few questions. As well as chatting about Ficek’s new solo album and his time with that particular Pete Doherty-fronted project, he also had some very interesting things to say on the subject of the music industry and trying to make it as a DIY artist.

Then we asked Bombay Bicycle Club bassist Ed Nash to put together a Powers Of Ten playlist for us. Not only did he do so, but he came up with music old, new, and unexpected, which we’ve been enjoying listening to. Especially Fat Man Scoop.

And speaking of new music, in the Approved column this week, we had the lowdown on the new Justice album, ‘Audio, Video, Disco’, along with a full stream of the record ahead of its release next week, plus some choice cuts from the latest releases by Tycho, Trailer Trash Tracys, and This Frontier Needs Heroes.

We also brought you a mercifully short run through Lou Reed and Metallica‘s collaborative album, a full stream of Tom Waits‘ new LP, the new EP from Stealing Sheep, plus the utterly amazing video for the unlikely collaboration between Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo and electro-house producer Steve Aoki, ‘Earthquakey People’.

If you want some more in depth chat about The Stone Roses reunion, Morrissey’s libel lawsuit against the NME, and Pirate Bay co-founder Goddfrid Svartholm’s appeal hearing mentioned above, then get along and listen to this week’s CMU podcast. There you’ll also find discussion of Westlife‘s split, the increase in vinyl sales, and predictions for the future of digital music.

Andy Malt
Editor, CMU

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