CMU Daily - on the inside 11 May 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- BRMC on Virgin split
- Jive operations integrated with BMG
- MTV plan download platform
- Live Review: Franz Ferdinand & Fiery Furnaces at the Astoria
- Abba reissue for Eurovision anniversary
- Live Music Forum launch major research
- Sting frustrated at gig cancellations
- Mays junior takes over Clear Channel helm
- Ringo junior to drum for Oasis
- Album Review: Mull Historical Society - This Is Hope
- Outkast help Chrysalis profits rise again
- Outkast get tooned
- Officials play down 50 Cent fracas
- Jacko decides not to appeal over cancelled gig ruling
- South Africa mourns Fassie
- Album Review: Pink Grease - This Is For Real
- Cowell on the platform at Edinburgh TV fest
- Sabam win Universal licence
- New boss for British Music Rights
- Campbell pleads guilty to DUI
- Jay-z steps in to rescue Eastender Sid
- Code Name gigs
- T Raumschmiere back on stage
- A CBE for Beyonce?

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BRMC ON VIRGIN SPLIT
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's Robert Turner has been talking to NME about his band's sudden departure from EMI division Virgin America last month.

In the interview he says: "We just felt they'd given up on our record [2003's 'Take The On, On Your Own']. They only let us really put out one single in the States and we know our album had a lot more to give than that. There's a lot of little things, but that, far beyond anything - it's just not justified for any reason. It's just not having the heart, they didn't have the heart for it and that's not where we want to be."

On their actual departure from Virgin, he continues: "The coolest thing they did was be good enough to let us go and not hold us down for no reason, which is what most of 'em can do and will do."

The band are yet to sign with another label, although offers have reportedly been made. Turner says the band are looking for a system where by they can have more control over their fortunes: "We want to try and do something where we make our records and videos, and structure [things] in a way where we have more control of that and then letting someone else get behind it because they're genuinely excited about it. If that means licensing it only or distributing it then that would be a better way".

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JIVE OPERATIONS INTEGRATED WITH BMG
Those of you after a sneaky Justin album will need to start making friends in the BMG press department, because Zomba/Jive's UK operations are being fully integrated with parent company BMG.

Up until now most of Jive's operations have remained autonomous from the rest of BMG, even though the major fully acquired the label back in 2002. However, as of Friday, that changed. Word is BMG UK boss Tim Bowen told Jive MD Steve Jenkins that further integration was necessary on Thursday - the next day the Jive UK team were informed that the London office would close.

About half of Jive's 26 employees are expected to take on roles at BMG UK's London HQ. Although Jive will still exist as an imprint of BMG UK it is unclear what role Jenkins will have. It is also unclear whether Jive will continue to have an A&R influence in Britain, or if it will just exist to distribute and market the artists signed to Jive in the US.

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MTV PLAN DOWNLOAD PLATFORM
One day we'll all own our music download platform. Or that's what it feels like just now. MTV in the US are the latest to confirm they will be launching their own music download website. According to the Wall Street Journal their download service will launch later this year - no word on the technicals planned, or if they will be badging someone else's platform.

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LIVE REVIEW: Franz Ferdinand & Fiery Furnaces at The Astoria on 5 May
On the surface Fiery Furnaces would seem to have little in common with Franz Ferdinand apart from the same initial letters. But on closer inspection they are rooted in the same 1980's art rock influences, such as XTC. The nucleus of Fiery Furnaces is brother/sister duo Eleanor and Matthew Friedberger from Chicago. I wasn't sure which of the two was the vocalist since it is by no means obvious from just listening to their album. It transpires that the singer is Eleanor, who with her long dark hair and leather jacket is the spit of a young Patti Smith. She's a cool and engaging front woman. The songs from album 'Gallowsbird Bark' betray a bewildering range of influences from an eclectic array of genres. Their art-folk is quirky and whimsical and is particularly winning on their single from last year 'Crystal Clear' and 'Tropical Iceland'.

Franz Ferdinand may archly sing about being "the new Scottish gentry", but right now they are the crown princes of indie pop. They can't seem to put a foot wrong and this is as true of them as a live band as it is of their fine recorded material. Even though they only have one album to their credit, that eponymous debut is fairly bursting with tunes. The hits, including current single 'Matinee' are reeled out and perfectly executed. 'Take Me Out', a serious contender for single of the year, is predictably a highlight, but it's very impressive just how many great songs the band have. They engage well with the audience and singer/guitarist Alex Kapronos, in particular, excels at posing. The chemistry between Kapronos and co-songwriter Nick McCarthy is self evident and their Shadows stylee guitar duelling is eye catching. Two new songs are also unveiled and the quality looks set to continue with more scratchy guitar and art punk rhythms. JW

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ABBA REISSUE FOR EUROVISION ANNIVERSARY
Just in case you'd forgotten, it's Eurovision this Saturday, oh joy. And to celebrate the fact that it is thirty years since Abba won the song-con with 'Waterloo', that track is being re-released. Given that said 30th Anniversary coupled with the hype surrounding the new covers album by Agnetha Faltskog has helped get the Abba Gold compilation back into the Top 20 (just who is it that doesn't already own this album?) it's sure to sell well.

So big is the European Community these days (and of course the European Community, when viewed through the eyes of Eurovision, includes Israel) that 36 countries are competing. So big is the competition there will be a semi-final tomorrow night to decide which 24 countries make it into the final on Saturday night. Given last year's Eurovision embarrassment, coupled with current political embarrassments, things don't look particularly good for Britain. It's a good job the BBC are so important in making the Eurovision happen, otherwise we'd probably have been evicted altogether.

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LIVE MUSIC FORUM LAUNCH MAJOR RESEARCH
Feargal Sharkey, chairman of the snappily titled Live Music Forum, has announced his group's intention to survey over 1300 music industry practitioners on the state of live music in the UK.

In what Sharkey reckons may be the biggest such survey ever undertaken in the global music industry, research firm MORI will conduct 45 minute interviews with 1300 people across the live sector, including venue owners, promoters, agents and musicians. The aim is to assess the issues affecting live music and the people that work in the industry, and to see if government or commercial players can do anything to ensure the live community continues to prosper at all levels.

Sharkey writes in Music Week: "This is an extremely important part of our work as it will help provide, not only the baseline data for other research we will be carrying out early next year, but also it will help provide us with an overview of the current makeup and shape of live music in England and Wales".

The Live Music Forum was set up with government support to promote live music in England and Wales, and to monitor the effect of recent licensing legislation on the live sector.

Anyone interested in being involved should contact the forum at LiveMusicForum@culture.gsi.gov.uk.

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STING FRUSTRATED AT GIG CANCELLATIONS
Sting has told reporters he is "disappointed and frustrated" that a throat infection has forced him to cancel the first three shows of his UK tour - including the opening night in home town Newcastle. But he has promised to make it up to his fans.

Writing on his website, Sting says: "It is a terrible beginning for the UK tour to be in my hometown and not be able to sing. I want to do well in Newcastle and for my hometown to be proud of me. I feel gutted. We are not having a good couple of days up here. I feel a bit like the team - beleaguered and injured. All I can promise is that I will make it up to Newcastle and everyone else."

Sting hopes to be well enough for his Birmingham date tomorrow night.

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MAYS JUNIOR TAKES OVER CLEAR CHANNEL HELM
The boss of live music and US radio giant Clear Channel has confirmed he is stepping down for the time being to recover from a very serious sounding operation. Lowry Mays had surgery last week to treat a blood clot and bleeding in his brain. While in recovery his son, Mark P Mays, who has served as Clear Channel's President/COO since 1993, will take over the CEO role.

Lowry Mays announced his decision to rest for the time being by saying: "I have decided to take some time off to focus on my health, so that when I come back, I am at 100%. While I am gone, I have complete confidence in Mark, along with all of the managers at Clear Channel, to keep things running smoothly."

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RINGO JUNIOR TO DRUM FOR OASIS
Liam Gallagher may not be forming a supergroup with George Harrison's son Dhani (as various media reported last week), but Ringo Starr's son Zak Starkey is joining Oasis, well, for one day at least.
Noel Gallagher has told 6Music Zak will play drums for the band when they play at Glastonbury this year - filling in for drummer Alan White who quit / was sacked from (delete as applicable) Oasis back in Jan.

Noel also confirmed the band's next album may now not be ready for release until early 2004 - but denied rumours that they had sacked producers Death In Vegas, or that any such sacking had caused a delay. On that he said: "We didn't sack our producers. We just ran out of time. They had to go off and do their Death in Vegas thing and we sort of gave ourselves about three or four weeks with them, and we just ran out of time but there wasn't a sacking."

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ALBUM REVIEW: Mull Historical Society - This Is Hope (B-Unique)
There we were, discussing the bands which seemed to have fallen off the radar, "what happened to the Mull Historical Society" I ask. Next day, one jiffy bag, and an answer - they have, or rather he has, been busy making new album 'This Is Hope'. And what an album. All of you Mullions out there that were mesmerized by the power of the last album won't be disappointed. Mr MacIntyre may have deviated a little from earlier stuff, but in a good way; as before he still manages to woo me with his catchy tunes and stunning imagery - but the sound is more honed making for the best Society album to date. To be honest, while I look forward to many more albums from MacIntrye in the future, if he can top 'This Is Hope' I will be surprised. BS
Release Date: 12 Jul
Press Contact: Cool Delta [CP, RP] B Unique IH [NP, CR, RR, NR]

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OUTKAST HELP CHRYSALIS PROFITS RISE AGAIN
More good news over at the Chrysalis Group where the phenomenal success of Outkast's 'Speakerboxxx/The Love Below' - on which they own 75% of the publishing rights - helped secure a massive leap in profits. The music publishing and radio group achieved profits of £3.7 million in the six months prior to 29 Feb - up from £1 million in the same period the previous year.

Announcing his company's recent successes, Group Chief Executive Richard Huntingford said: "This is another strong set of results for shareholders. We continue to deliver on the Chrysalis 'outperformance' mantra with very strong showings from our Radio and Music divisions compared to their industry peers. Current trading and good visibility, together with the superior growth dynamics inherent in our radio businesses, gives us plenty of confidence for the future."

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OUTKAST GET TOONED
Talking of Outkast, word is the Cartoon Network are planning a new cartoon series with Outkast's Andre 3000. The company are reportedly working on a pilot with Andre which, if successful, will be given a full series. Andre will contribute ideas, storylines and music to the show - which might centre on Andre's own life, or that of his alter-ego Johnny Vulture who appeared in the popular video for hit single 'Hey Ya!'.

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OFFICIALS PLAY DOWN 50 CENT FRACAS
Police in the Massachusetts town of Springfield (no, not that Springfield) have been playing down a fracas that took place during a surprise 50 Cent performance in the town.

50 Cent took to the stage at Spring Jam, an invite-only music event hosted by a local radio station. Although not officially on the bill, rumours had circulated the rapper may appear at the event because fellow G-Unit member Lloyd Banks was performing, and Fiddy owns a home near by.

Once on stage 50 Cent reportedly started throwing water and water bottles into the audience - all of whom were smartly dressed to meet the venue's strict dress code. One audience member threw a water bottle back on to the stage and it hit 50 Cent. The rapper then jumped into the audience, followed by much of his entourage.

There are then conflicting reports of what followed. Some say Fiddy jumped into the crowd in anger and had to be held back as he lashed out at some audience members - with reports that police are investigating claims that the rapper assaulted at least one person. However a spokesman for both the venue and the radio station that staged the event insist 50 Cent jumped into the audience in a playful manner and although there was a 'scuffle' involving some audience members as the crowd surged forward, this was quickly contained by venue security.

A spokesman for the venue told reporters: "Police were there, our security were there - there was a scuffle, but it was contained within 30 seconds, then everyone was pushed back onstage and 50 Cent finished the song he was singing".

DJ Buck, Programme Director of WZMX, told MTV that the fracas that occurred during 50 Cent's set was "not as bad as some have portrayed it," and that those that caused trouble were, " a few local individuals not representative of the crowd, the atmosphere or the station's audience."

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JACKO DECIDES NOT TO APPEAL OVER CANCELLED GIG RULING
Perhaps getting bored of court room walls, Michael Jackson has announced he will not appeal a court decision made in Mar 2003 which ordered him to pay concert promoter Marcel Avram $7 million in damages relating to two cancelled New Years concerts that should have taken place at the end of 1999. Jackson originally disputed Avram's claims he was in breach of contract, but has decided not to pursue with an appeal. The New York Post reckons that decision is the avoid the embarrassment of being grilled about his finances in court.

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SOUTH AFRICA MOURNS FASSIE
39 year old Brenda Fassie - one of South Africa's most popular singers, and a leading artist there for over twenty years - has died after suffering brain damage after a heart attack two weeks ago. Tributes have been pouring in across South Africa for an artist who, despite not always a winner with the critics, maintained popular appeal throughout her career. Paying tribute to the singer, South African President Thabo Mbeki said Fassie had been "a Pan-African griot, making souls rise in bliss wherever her voice reached."

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Album Review: Pink Grease - This Is For Real (Mute)
Pink Grease (aka Plato's Unisexual Lubricant) seem to have put a smile on most people's faces round here with their tremendously innovative rock sound. Everyone seems to have their own idea on just who these guys sound like - personally I like to think of them as the 'Scissor Sisters on speed' (though without the obvious gay connotations) - especially when they shout "Chamone" - a very fine addition to lyrical vocab if you ask me. Whatever - their style is uncompromised and their sound fresh, punky, poppy, happy and sad - each track on this great little album a definite body shaker. Full of the spirit I personally find lacking in the Delays and Zuttons, Pink Grease fill their own little spot in the current crop of British bands. BS
Release Date: 14 Jun
Press Contact: Pomona [CP, RP] Some Friendly [NP] Out Promotions [CP, RP, NP]

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COWELL ON THE PLATFORM AT EDINBURGH TV FEST
ITV marketing chief Jim Hytner will be interviewing Simon Cowell in the Richard Dunn Memorial Interview at the Edinburgh International Television Festival this Aug.

Confirming Cowell's involvement Peter Fincham, whose company Talkback Thames sponsor the event, told reporters yesterday: "I'm delighted Simon's agreed to give the Richard Dunn Memorial Interview this year. He's always got plenty to say and I'm sure his perspective on the industry will be an interesting and refreshing one".

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SABAM WIN UNIVERSAL LICENCE
Much movement in the very wild world of royalty collection yesterday. Belgian based collection society Sabam confirmed it had done a deal with Universal Music which means they will control the major's mechanical licensing for the whole of Europe - a job until now done by London based collections society MCPS. No idea what that means, except that Sabam's annual turnover is likely to double as a result of the deal, and everyone seems to think it's very bad news for poor old MCPS.

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NEW BOSS FOR BRITISH MUSIC RIGHTS
Talking about royalties and stuff like that, British Music Rights, the body set up by various UK publishing and songwriting organisations to promote their collective interests, has appointed a new Director General. Emma Pike, currently with the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, will join British Music Rights in early Sep where she will take over from Kate Fulton, who resigned back in Feb.

Confirming her appointment, Emma told CMU: "I look forward to representing the broad membership of British Music Rights in the promotion and protection of their rights and interests with government and the European institutions at a time when new technology is bringing rapid and significant change to the industry. I am also delighted that I will be able to build on so many of the alliances I have developed during my time at IFPI."

British Music Rights' Chairman Sir Alistair Hunter added: "We are delighted that Emma has agreed to lead the British Music Rights team. She will bring with her from Brussels extensive experience of music industry issues, and an impressive track record as a lobbyist on copyright and other concerns. We are confident that she will quickly make an impact on the UK scene".

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CAMPBELL PLEADS GUILTY TO DUI
Country star Glen Campbell was in court yesterday over those drink driving charges from last Dec. He pleaded guilty to the charges of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident, and will now serve ten days in jail. An aggravated assault charge - relating to allegations the singer attacked a police officer when leaving the scene of the accident - was dropped.

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JAY-Z STEPS IN TO RESCUE EASTENDER SID
Now here's something that would have been fun to see. According to the Sun, Jay-Z had to drag one of his bodyguards off former Eastender Sid Owen after the actor tried to join the rapper's party. Word is Jay-Z's bodyguard was trying to stop Owen getting in to the party, which led to a little fracas. But Jay-Z stepped in, rescued Sid from the clutches of his minder and bought him a drink.

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CODE NAME GIGS
Yourcodenameis:milo - whose debut mini-album 'All Roads To Fault' was released on Fiction yesterday - have announced a series of UK dates supporting Ikara Colt. Dates as follows:

25 May: Birmingham Medicine Bar
27 May: Sheffeild Uni
28 May: Peterborough Met Lounge
29 May: Exeter Cavern Club
31 May: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
1 Jun: Southampton Joiners
2 Jun: Brighton Po Na Na
3 Jun: Bristol Louisanna
4 Jun: Cardiff Barfly
6 Jun: Manchester Day & Night
7 Jun: Leeds Cockpit
8 Jun: Glasgow King Tuts
9 Jun: Liverpool Academy
10 Jun: Oxford Zodiac
11 Jun: London Garage

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T RAUMSCHMIERE BACK ON STAGE
T Raumschmiere, who had to cancel some live dates last week due to ill health, will be fit, fine and on stage tonight at the Astoria where he is supporting The Rapture and the excellent The Futureheads. Worth trying to get in to this one.

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A CBE FOR BEYONCE?
And finally, one from the 'frankly improbably' file. According to the Mirror, Beyonce is being lined up for an honorary OBE after her performance at the Prince's Trust Urban Music Festival last weekend. The Mirror quotes a source as saying: "She cancelled a couple of dates on her Ladies First tour to do this. She loves Prince Charles because he represents all things British and she loves that. She insisted on bringing her entire entourage so she could do the show properly and now they are talking about giving her some kind of honorary OBE".

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