CMU Daily - on the inside 12 May 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Download stats galore
- Tiscali to screen Eurovision
- Keane and Frankee set for number one
- Seven contenders for BBC2 top job
- Album Review: Ryan Adams - Love Is Hell
- V Fest update
- Broken Dolls signed to Southern Fried
- Noel collaborates with Ian Brown
- Clash man says "Libertines are great"
- Franz apologise for dodgy PA at Coronet gig
- Sony launch new digital player
- Willie and Celine under the weather
- Album Review: Felix Da Housecat - Devin Dazzle & The Neon Fever
- Euro-rejigs at Warners
- Elijah Wood lined up for John Peel fill in
- NBC to complete Universal Studios takeover
- Mean Fiddler profits up
- Music Tank discuss merger implications
- Lee Ryan in court over paparazzi fracas

------------------------------------------------

DOWNLOAD STATS GALORE
Back into the world of downloading, and some good news, of sorts, for the record labels.

Firstly, latest data from Nielsen-SoundScan in the US shows that legitimate music downloads have already taken over from CD as the dominant format in single sales. Nielsen currently produce separate charts for CD single and download sales. The top two tracks in the singles chart - Clay Aiken's 'The Solitary Way' and JoJo's 'Leave (Get Out)' sold 10,500 and 5700 units respectively. The top two tracks in the download chart - Hoobastank's 'The Reason' and OutKast's 'Roses' - sold 14,279 and 9500 units a piece. Those figures are good news for the record labels, who have no problem with the download replacing loss-leading singles, providing the downloads are bought through legitimate services.

Second, heartening reading in the latest research on downloading in Canada. A new study by a company called Ipsos-Reid suggests that, despite Canadian courts proving awkward in the record labels' legal fight against digital piracy, incidents of downloading in the country are down considerably. 47% of internet users said they had illegally downloaded a track last June, now just 32% say they are downloading illegal music. The research firm reckons confusion over whether or not the Recording Industry Association of America's legal action extended into Canada (which, actually, it doesn't) was a key reason for the decline. The major record labels in Canada remain cautious however. They say their own research does not show such dramatic a decline in illegal downloading and even if it did the fact that 32% of internet users were still downloading (compared to 24% of American web surfers) was still a cause for concern.

Finally, new research in the UK suggests that bundling in promo videos and print-out-and-keep artwork would persuade music fans to pay for legitimate downloads rather than seeking out tracks illegally via P2P networks. The survey by Entertainment Media Research found that just under 25% said access to a video would persuade them to pay for a download, while 16% were attracted by official artwork. Only 5% said the offer of bonus tracks would attract them.

------------------------------------------------

TISCALI TO SCREEN EUROVISION
Well, as reported in yesterday's Daily, this year's Eurovision Song Contest includes so many competing artists that it comes in two bits - the semi final takes place tonight and is being screened on BBC3. Those without the Beeb's digital output can watch the whole thing live online courtesy of internet service provider Tiscali. They will be webcasting the whole event, plus back stage reports, at http://www.tiscali.co.uk/eurovision.

Saturday's final will also be webcast by Tiscali, though why you would want to watch Eurovision without Terry Wogan's snide remarks in the background is beyond me.

------------------------------------------------

KEANE AND FRANKEE SET FOR NUMBER ONE
With all those best ofs dominating the album chart this week, hurrah to the news that two original material albums are competing for the top spot this week. The debut album from much talked about Keane - 'Hopes and Fears' - is likely to go in at number one according to the midweeks. The Streets' very excellent 'A Grand Don't Come For Free' is selling well but, from what we here, as yet someway behind Keane.

Singles wise, although Morrissey's comeback single 'Irish Blood, English Heart' is selling well, number one in the midweeks is Frankee's 'Fuck You Right Back', the track recorded by Eamon's ex-girlfriend in response to his record 'Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)'. As post-break up arguments go, it'll be quite an achievement if it is Frankee's track that finally knocks Eamon's record off the top of the chart!

On her hopes to do just that, Frankee told the Sun yesterday: "I felt publicly humiliated after hearing his track and thinking it could be about me. But I think he's beaten. There is no comeback record to mine. If he can think of one, then good on him. I don't think he can. We've not seen each other or spoken at all since this whole thing started. I don't think we ever want to see each other again. Maybe when it dies down, perhaps 10 years from now, we can be friends again."

------------------------------------------------

SEVEN CONTENDERS FOR BBC2 TOP JOB
Seven people are being tipped for second interviews for the job of BBC2 Programme Controller - which is up for grabs following current controller Jane Root's decision to take a job at US broadcaster Discovery. Of the seven, all but one are already working at the Beeb - they include current BBC4 Controller Roly Keating, BBC head of entertainment Wayne Garvie, BBC controller of current affairs, Peter Horrocks, BBC head of TV news programmes Roger Mosey, BBC3 controller Stuart Murphy and BBC sport head of programming Pat Younge. The only outside candidate being talked about at this stage is Talkback Thames creative director Daisy Goodwin.

------------------------------------------------

ALBUM REVIEW: Ryan Adams - Love Is Hell (Universal/Lost Highway)
So this is how the story goes: having already released two critically acclaimed studio albums, 'Heartbreaker' and 'Gold' - as well as an additional compilation 'Demolition' - within a couple of years the ever prolific Ryan Adams presented his record company with his new album 'Love Is Hell'. Unfortunately the cloth-eared execs told him it wasn't rock 'n' roll enough and refused to release it until he'd recorded another more commercial sounding album. That he did and the result was released as the pointedly titled 'Rock n Roll'. 'Love Is Hell' was then released unobtrusively as two EPs. Following ecstatic reviews the album is now being re-released, as intended, as one album. It astonishes me that this album was originally denied a release because it is surely destined to become a classic. Adam's releases have been influenced by a range of artists and genres. This album is more pop orientated than the alt.country of previous albums, and a particular influence seems to have been the better bits of Brit-pop. This is most obvious, of course, with the cover of 'Wonderwall' in which Noel Gallagher's song is transformed into an incredibly fragile and beautiful ballad (much to Noel's admiration we are told). Other influences would appear to include the Smiths and Jeff Buckley. Adams' songs are just lovely: imaginative lyrics, heart melting vocals, and subtle instrumentation - so much so, it's difficult to believe any other song-writer will manage an album this good this year. This is a record to fall in love with, a record to break your heart to, a thing of rare and sublime beauty. JW
Release date: 3 May
Press contact: Infected [CP, CR, RP] Mercury IH [RR, NP, NR]

------------------------------------------------

V FEST UPDATE
More, yes that's right, more additions to the line up of the V Festival. Among the latest additions are Amy Winehouse, Kanye West, the Audio Bully's, the Mull Historical Society and Phoenix. They join a bill already headlined by The Strokes, Dido, Muse and the Pixies.

------------------------------------------------

BROKEN DOLLS SIGNED TO SOUTHERN FRIED
The Broken Dolls, one of the unsigned bands recently championed by Radio 1, have been signed up by Fatboy Slim's Southern Fried Records label following a gig at London's Dublin Castle on Monday. Commenting on the news the band's keyboard player told Radio 1 their some what ambitious plans now the record deal has been done: "Summer Glastonbury warm up. Cram parties through the winter. Just do some little selective private parties. NME Awards. Q Awards. Glastonbury main stage. America - break it. The rest of the world follows. Stardom, stardom."

------------------------------------------------

NOEL COLLABORATES WITH IAN BROWN
Well, Liam Gallagher might not be forming a supergroup with former Stone Roses guitarist John Squire, however Noel Gallagher is collaborating with Roses frontman Ian Brown. According to the Sun, Gallagher agreed to collaborate on a track on Brown's new album after the an impromptu meeting at Notting Hill's Electric Cinema. Brown told the tabloid: "We got talking about music and agreed we should do something. Noel sent me some music he'd done and I recorded a vocal. The result is brilliant, I'm really excited. I hope it will be a single."

------------------------------------------------

CLASH MAN SAYS "LIBERTINES ARE GREAT"
Former Clash man Mick Jones has provided the hype, can the Libertines boys provide the goods? Well, time will tell, but anticipation for the next Libertines album grew yesterday when Mr Jones told Teletext that the band's new material, which he is co-producing, is "sensational" adding "a record as good as this only comes along once in a generation".

Reporting on his time in a West London studio with the Libertine boys, Jones continued: "I can't believe how good they've got, even since 'Up The Bracket' - and that was a great debut. A record as good as this only comes along once in a generation. Yeah, you had it with The Clash. And now it's The Libertines' turn".

------------------------------------------------

FRANZ APOLOGISE FOR DODGY PA AT CORONET GIG
Talking of buzz bands, Nick McCarthy of Franz Ferdinand has apologised to any fans who had trouble hearing at the grand finale of their UK tour last Friday. A local grid powercut knocked out half the PA and lights at the London Coronet and while the gig went ahead and - from what we hear - most of the audience didn't even notice, the band were concerned some at the front of venue did have trouble hearing.

McCarthy explains: "I noticed we had a problem when I stepped out towards the crowd in front of the PA stack. It was fairly obvious to me that it wasn't working and I noticed a few of the crowd motioning to their ears and PA suggesting they couldn't hear anything. We're all very sorry this problem marred anyones enjoyment of the gig. It was such a shame it being the last gig of what has been an otherwise really enjoyable UK tour."

The band are now on tour in Europe, but will be back in the UK later this summer to play at T in the Park and the Carling Weekend.

------------------------------------------------

SONY LAUNCH NEW DIGITAL PLAYER
Sony has stepped up its digital music fight against Apple in its home territory of Japan with the launch of its first branded digital music player. In a bid to capture some ground from Apple's iPod, Sony have launched the VAIO Pocket.

Similar in size to the iPod, the Sony player will slightly undercut the Apple product in price. To achieve that they have cut the memory capacity - Apple players have 40 gigabytes, VAIO Pockets only 20 gigabytes. Sony will be hoping most consumers do not need to store more than the 5000 tracks a 20 gigabyte memory will allow.

The Sony player only plays tracks in their own ATRAC file format - although the player comes with a bit of software which enables consumers to convert any MP3, WMA or WAV files into the right format for the player. The big selling points over the iPod are the enhanced display screen and the fact the player's battery can run for up to 20 hours, over the iPods 8 hours.

Although there are no plans as to when the player will launch outside Japan, most expect a quick roll out to coincide with the launch of Sony's own digital music platform - Sony Connect - which is going live across the US and Europe in early Summer.

------------------------------------------------

WILLIE AND CELINE UNDER THE WEATHER
Willie Nelson had to cut short a Las Vegas show on Saturday because of excessive pain caused by what is known as carpal tunnel syndrome. The legendary singer has now been told by doctors he should have surgery, which means he has had to cancel all live dates for the next two months, including his set at the Bonnaroo Music Festival.

Talking of illness in Vegas, Celine Dion has had to cancel a few dates on her mega-season at the city's Caesars Palace venue due to a neck sprain. She has been advised to take three days off to fully recover, but should be back on stage by the weekend.

------------------------------------------------

ALBUM REVIEW: Felix da Housecat - Devin Dazzle & The Neon Fever (Ryko)
A welcome change to the overly saturated house scene, Felix Da Housecat returns with an absolute must have. With a definite lean towards nu wave electro, 'Devin Dazzle & The Neon Fever' is full of funky sharp beats and new, cool, almost retro vocals. Complete with a cast of extraordinary talents from all over the club scene, this is one of the cheekiest and liveliest albums I have heard for ages and if there is any justice in the world will go down as a mile marker in the dance arena. 10 stars - album of the week - no, album of the month. BS.
Release Date: 24 May
Press Contact: Darling Department

------------------------------------------------

EURO-REJIGS AT WARNERS
With post-takeover restructuring in the US more or less complete, Edgar Bronfmann Jnr's Warner Music Group has now begun its restructuring in Europe. The major yesterday announced a new central organisation which will bring together its operations in Germany, Switzerland and Austria - WMI GSA.

Current head of Warner Music Germany, Bernd Dopp, will become CEO of the new organisation, while the head of Warner Music Eastern Europe, Manfred Lappe, will become COO of WMI GSA, while maintaining his Eastern Europe remit. Dopp will oversee marketing, A&R, legal and business affairs and the Group's publishing activities, while Lappe will concentrate on finance and IT. Dopp will report to Paul-Rene Albertini, CEO of Warner Music International.

Announcing the appointments Albertini told reporters yesterday: "WMI GSA, closely linked with Eastern Europe will create a very large market platform, providing a competitive advantage for global repertoire exploitation. It will also integrate instantly into the recently enlarged EU. In the face of extraordinarily challenging market conditions, I am extremely confident in the Dopp/Lappe team. This new organisation enables us to draw upon Bernd's well-known expertise in bringing music to consumers, and Manfred's long track record engineering effective business models into difficult marketplaces."

------------------------------------------------

ELIJAH WOOD LINED UP FOR JOHN PEEL FILL IN
Rumour has it actor Elijah Wood is being lined up to fill in for John Peel after he told Jo Whiley in an interview "If you're at all a fan of music, you hear about it with John Peel and the Peel Sessions", adding when asked if he would like to present that show: "I would absolutely love to do that. Oh my God yes." A spokesman for BBC Radio 1 wouldn't be drawn on if or when Wood might get a fill in slot on the station, but did add "Elijah is a really big music fan".

------------------------------------------------

NBC TO COMPLETE UNIVERSAL STUDIOS TAKEOVER
NBC's takeover of Vivendi Universal's film and TV operations should be completed this week. As previously reported, NBC bought a majority stake in Vivendi Universal's American entertainment operations last year after the French conglom decided to sell off most of its US assets to help overcome financial hardships. According to the Wall Street Journal there will be about 500 job lossess once NBC Universal is officially in operation, most coming from the former Universal workforce. Much cross promotion between NBC and Universal media is also expected.

The sale of Vivendi Universal's entertainment companies did not include the Universal Music Group, which is still wholly owned by the French company.

------------------------------------------------

MEAN FIDDLER PROFITS UP
More, that's right, more good news from the live sector. Venue owner and gig promoter Mean Fiddler have reported a £1.3 million profit for the last financial year, up from a £4.4 million loss the previous year. The change of fortunes come from a streamlining of operations coupled with numerous successes in the burgeoning live sector - including sell out tours with Justin Timberlake, Beyonce and Britney Spears and sell out festivals.

Commenting on the improvements in financial performance, Mean Fiddler boss Vince Power told reporters yesterday, "I am delighted that our three core divisions of festivals, international touring and live music venues are all trading profitably. Public demand for live music is showing strong growth year-on-year across all age groups. The group has benefited from this increase in demand and expects this trend to continue into the foreseeable future."

------------------------------------------------

MUSIC TANK DISCUSS MERGER IMPLICATIONS
The next Music Tank event will cover the timely topic of record label majors. Under the title of 'Label Mergers: bigger 'n' better 'n' rougher 'n' tougher?', former Island MD Marc Marot, Sincere Management's Pete Jenner and FML's David Stopps will all take part. The cost-cutting benefits of mergers will be discussed, as will the implications of industry consolidation, and other methods that could be used to strengthen struggling record labels. It all takes place on 18 May at Bertorelli's in Soho - more details at http://www.musictank.co.uk/events_mergers.htm

------------------------------------------------

LEE RYAN IN COURT OVER PAPARAZZI FRACAS
I have a feeling there is prize in paparazzi circles for any photographers who get beaten up by both Chris Martin and Blue boy Lee Ryan - cos they do seem to continue to taunt both singers despite their reputations for lashing out.

Anyway, Ryan was in court yesterday to face assault charges after he allegedly attacked photographers outside a London club last Dec. The photographers claim Ryan threatened "If you do not stop taking pictures, I will break your camera", before, erm, pushing them over and breaking their cameras.

Ryan claims he only responded in that way because the friend he was with at the time was deaf and was frightened when the paparazzi flocked around them.

The case continues today.

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

© UnLimited Publishing | subscribe at www.theCMUwebsite.com/daily