CMU Daily - on the inside 31 Jul 2002
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Stay’, ‘Music’, ‘Crazy’, ‘Rise’ and ‘Why’ – each of these words have been the title to two different songs. Can you name the two artists who released songs with each of these titles (ie different set of two artists for each song title)? Answer tomorrow.


The shortlist for this year’s Mecury Music Prize was announced in London yesterday – and as always there’s an eclectic mix of nominated albums. Newcomers Electric Soft Parade, The Streets and The Bees sit alongside Bowie’s latest album, while Roots Manuva and Beverly Knight ensure the British black music sector is covered. On the non-pop side there’s Joanna MacGregor’s ‘Play’ and jazz trumpeter and composer Guy Barker’s ‘Soundtrack’.

Simon Frith, the Chair of Judges, said, on announcing the short list: “This is the most joyful Mercury shortlist for years, suggesting a sea-change at the heart of British music. British artists are seizing the centre stage of contemporary urban music with snap and swagger, while the next generation of guitar bands mine the musical archive with a zest and vigour once only the province of DJs.”

It’s a good list for EMI who get two listings – Beverley Knight on Parlophone and Doves on Heavenly - but the main winner is the independent sector, with a high number coming from non-major labels, including Wall Of Sound, Db Records, Source UK, Big Dada and 679.

The list is full is:
Beverley Knight - 'Who I Am' (EMI/Parlophone)
The Bees - 'Sunshine Hit Me' (Wall Of Sound / We Love You)
The Coral - 'The Coral' (Deltasonic)
David Bowie - 'Heathen' (Sony / Iso Records)
Doves - 'The Last Broadcast' (EMI / Heavenly)
Electric Soft Parade - 'Holes In The Wall' (Db Records)
Gemma Hayes - 'Night On My Side' (Source)
Guy Barker - 'Soundtrack' (Provocateur Records)
Joanna Macgregor - 'Play' (Sound Circus)
Ms. Dynamite - 'A Little Deeper' (Polydor)
Roots Manuva - 'Run Come Save Me' (Big Dada Recordings)
The Streets - 'Original Pirate Material' (679 Recordings)

The winner will be announced at the Mercury Prize Show on Tue 17 Sep with coverage on BBC2, BBC4 and BBC Radio 1. Press information from Coalition (national press), outside Media (national tv / radio), Pomona (regional press), Red Alert (regional radio & TV) or from the Mercury Music Prize direct on 0161 834 7434. Contact details for PRs in CMU: The Update.


Britney’s people have blamed thunder and lightning for her reduced set in Mexico City earlier this week – as the CMU Daily reported, she walked off stage after performing just four songs for her Mexican fans. In a statement made yesterday she said: "I'm sorry I couldn't finish the show for my fans. The Mexican fans are one of the best audiences to play for. We decided that we had no choice but to cancel the show after the storm and lightning showed no signs of clearing up." Initial reports of the incident didn't indicate the cause of Spears' abbreviated set or mention the rainy weather conditions, though they are considered typical for the region. Promoters Ocesa Presenta, who have promised to refund all tickets, told the local press that although concerts in Mexico City normally anticipate rain, and concerts from artists such as Bon Jovi and 'NSYNC have continued in the rain, Sunday night's incident involved special circumstances. "There was no trick nor deceit but climatic conditions cannot be controlled.” Meanwhile Jive Records told reporters that: “A hazardous lightning storm made it essential for Spears to depart the stage. Spears began the show during a break between two rainstorms, but the degree of risk to the audience and stage crew associated with the second storm, an electrical storm, made it impossible for the show to continue."


Possibly as a tribute to Britney’s ordeal, word is that U2 will release a new single -‘Electric Storm’ – in September to precede a 17-song best of album due for an Autumn release. A French fansite said there would be a second new track on the best of – ‘The Hands That Built America’, written for Martin Scorsese's long-delayed epic, ‘Gangs Of New York’. The group's official website has post a snippet of the band performing the new song in the studio.

Meanwhile Bono has told a reporter in Dublin that: "The President of the United States actually doesn't have as much power as you think he does. He is held hostage in a lot of ways to his own Cabinet, and then Congress.” Bono said he had made the discovery when he decided to get behind Jubilee 2000, the lobby group focused on having third world debt cancelled. He says he had to go further than the US President to get action. "So I then met some people and asked their advice on how I would then get the debt thing furthered. They gave me a list of 20 really influential people in America who could stop debt cancellation"


The digital radio industry is keeping its fingers crossed as the first affordable digital radios hit stores in London today, though the initial batch are expected to sell out pretty much immediately. The sets will be available nationally from mid-August, and, at £100, it is hoped they will encourage people to tune into digital only radio stations like the BBC’s Five Live Sports Extra, 6 Music and 1Xtra, and commercial stations PrimeTime, Core, Planet Rock, Life, Oneword and Bloomberg, plus a range of local digital stations. Up until now digital sets retailed at £250 or more and relatively few have been sold, meaning digital only stations have relied on people listening via Sky Digital or the web. But the feeling is that once the new cheaper models are available digital radio could really take off, possibly proving more popular than digital TV. In fact more than 50,000 of the new £99 Pure Evoke-1 sets are expected to be sold by Christmas - which would double the number of people listening to digital radio.


Broadcasting watchdogs have upheld complaints against Radio 1’s Chris Moyles after he joked he would sleep with Charlotte Church on the singer’s sixteenth birthday. Back in February he told listeners he wanted to "lead her through the forest of sexuality now that she had reached 16".

While the BBC said the comments were Moyles' style of humour and were not meant to be taken seriously, the Broadcasting Standards Commission agreed with a listener who said the remarks were inappropriate. It noted Moyles was known for his "near-the-knuckle" approach, but it felt "the explicit sexual content and humour had exceeded acceptable boundaries for the time of transmission". It’s not the first time Moyles has annoyed watchdogs – he got into trouble after making offensive comments about an actor's wife on his Radio 1 show two years ago, and while at Capital the BSC upheld a complaint about his "aggressive and sexually suggestive" comments to a young female caller.

In the same report the BSC disagreed with complaints about BBC news presenter Peter Sissons' "insensitive" handling of the Queen Mother's death were rejected. Sixteen viewers complained to the BSC about an interview Sissons undertook with the Queen Mother's niece, the Hon Margaret Rhodes, on the night of the death, saying it had been "conducted with due reverence and respect and would have been unlikely to have offended the majority of the audience". But the BSC did not hold up the complaint.


Plans to allow companies from outside Europe to buy UK television and radio stations are expected to be pushed through despite objections from MPs.

The forthcoming communications bill should make it possible for the major entertainment groups to buy into UK TV, while changes in cross-media ownership means that Murdoch – owner of The Sun and The Times – would be able for the first time to buy into terrestrial TV here, probably Channel 5.

A committee of MPs examining the draft bill said any relaxation of the rules on foreign ownership of UK media should not take place until new regulator Ofcom had reviewed the issue. They are worried foreign ownership would lead to a sophisticated attempt to shift expectations "away from domestic content produced primarily with a British audience in mind, towards a more US or internationally focused product mix.” They also argued it was unfair for Britain to open up its TV industry for sale when American legislation protected the interests of its own media groups.

But the government said today it intended to press ahead with its plans. "Obviously we'll listen to the select committee in terms of fine tuning but the government remains committed to the principles of the bill," said the prime minister's official spokesman. The government is still likely to face opposition in the Lords, especially as the committee’s head was Lord Puttnam, who is adamant it is not for the government to reject the report's recommendations.

Since the proposed bill was first put forward there have been rumours that Murdoch's News International and other international media organisations like Disney and AOL Time Warner might be interested in expanding their UK media, while US radio giants Clear Channel hinted they would take advantage of any changes in radio ownership legislation.


Perfume and cosmetics company Coty Inc have partnered with Celine Dion to come up with an ‘eau de Celine’. They claim the new fragrance "will capture the talent, style, femininity and confidence of which Dion has become a symbol." Spokespeople for City and Dion announced that the still unnamed scent (the name Celine is already trademarked by a rival designer) is expected to be on shelves across the globe early next year. "I wanted to partner with a beauty company that would develop a product in line with my values," says Dion in a statement. "Like creating music, it is important that beauty products appeal both to one's senses and emotions." Quite. Whether the perfume is a success remains to be seen but, with a 200 date season at Las Vegas’ Ceasars Palace about to kick off, Dion will probably be too busy to notice.

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