CMU Daily - on the inside 17 May 2004
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In today's CMU Daily:
- Jacko prosecution lawyers call for gagging order to remain
- Spector arrested after chauffeur fracas
- Final touches to be put to Xfm footie song today
- Single Review: Jo - R Type (Remix By Frenzic And Friction)
- Keating honoured to get BBC 2 top job
- Usher set to make urban Saturday Night Fever
- US TV producers apologise for charity gag on spoof reality show
- Zomba expand management company
- P diddy axes his MTV band
- Album Review: Morrissey - You Are The Quarry
- Chart update
- Wall Of Sound end licensing deal with EMI
- Kash dropped from TOTP
- New presenters confirmed for Hit40 UK
- Valance quits music
- Album Review: The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free
- Ukraine win Eurovision
- Vivendi buy out Diller
- Mean fiddler launch Jazz Cafe festivals
- RIAA anti-download battle goes in court
- More Warner rejigs
- Coldplay Martin the proud father


CMU is six years old this week - to celebrate look out for our revamped website going live at plus a brand spanking new issue of the CMU Weekly going live later today.

From the archives - quote of the day: "We were soon being chased by every A&R guy in town. Naturally we rode this pony for all it was worth and for weeks took liberty of the free meals, plane rides, hotel rooms and much much more. Eventually we used up the A&R guys' cash supply so we picked the best label - Parlophone - and they signed us up. We got out picture on Rolling Stone, everyone was saying we were the next big thing, and Parlophone gave us loads of cash and we had one big party. Then, of course, we fucked up." Dandy Warhols in issue one of CMU.


Prosecution lawyers in the pending Michael Jackson court case have urged judges at the California Supreme Court to maintain the gagging order on all involved in the case. As previously reported, courts banned both sides of the Jacko court battle from speaking to anyone in the media, supposedly to protect those giving evidence in the case, but also to stop Jacko's former lawyer Mark Geragos from doing the chat show rounds in a bid to gain popular support for his client. Although Geragos is no longer associated with the case, District Attorney Thomas Sneddon and Deputy District Attorney Gerald Franklin last week urged the courts to resist media demands for the gag to be lifted as the court case approaches saying the gagging order was "crucial in ensuring potential jurors were left untainted". The courts are yet to make a decision on who can say what to whom once the Jacko case kicks off proper.


It's gotta be hard being Phil Spector's driver. His former chauffeur is now a crucial witness in the legendary producer's murder trial - a witness for the prosecution keen to prove Spector shot actress Lana Clarkson at his Beverley Hills home - and Spector was quick to publicly question that driver's credibility as a witness outside a prelim court hearing earlier this month.

Now another driver has had a run in with the producer. Both Spector and his chauffeur were arrested on Friday after a scuffle at the former's home. When police arrived at the mansion they found the two men tussling, seemingly trying to put each other under citizen's arrest. Local police told reporters: "They had an issue over their business relationship. We're not exactly sure what the issue was but they didn't seem to come to agreement. It was mutual combat, so they chose to arrest each other."


500 Xfm listeners are due in Regents Park later today to add the chorus to the radio station's unofficial Euro 2004 anthem for the England football team - 'Born In England'. The listener bit of the project follows a weekend where members of the indie premier league - including Delays, Supergrass, The Libertines and Bernard Butler - went into the studio to add vocals to the track, penned by Xfm Breakfast Show listeners The Wheatleys.

With the chorus and video due for completion today, the final track will be released under the artist name of Twisted X on 7 Jun - a week after the official England song for Euro 2004, a DJ Spoony remix of The Farm's Alltogethernow.

With that in mind, The Farm's Peter Hooton called Xfm Breakfast Show host Christian O'Connell on Friday and said: "I think let the battle commence as far as I'm concerned. I hope you do very well with it, I just hope we do better with ours."

O'Connell replied: "I was going to say the same to you. On Monday we're inviting 500 listeners to come and sing on the chorus, so you're more than welcome to come along and sing on it too, it's the only way you'll see Number One."


SINGLE REVIEW: Jo - R Type (Remix by Frenzic and Friction) (Shogun Audio)
The first 12" on DJ Friction's new imprint Shogun Audio is a remix of the now ten-year-old (oh yes, it was ten years ago) jungle classic best known for its sampling of the equally classic shoot-em-up video game of the same name. Jay Frenzic (ATM magazine honcho) and Friction do a good job in bringing the track bang up to date - subtly adding in a tight little breaksy breakdown that sounds fresh but firmly holds hands with the past. The flip has the original cut - class. Which is better you'll have to decide. They say, after all, "if it aint broke then don't try to fix" - and the original wasn't broke. But then again there are exceptions to every rule, and Frenzic and Friction's remix may just be proof of that. PV
Release date: 10 May
Press contact: Shogun IH [all]


Roly Keating told reporters on Friday that he was "daunted, excited and genuinely honoured" at becoming BBC 2 controller. As predicted in the Daily last week, Keating was officially named as the new boss of the BBC channel on Friday. And with the BBC Charter currently under review, Keating said all the right things on his appointment - there'll be less importance placed on ratings winners, and more on unforgettable drama, documentary and comedy.

On recent BBC 2 rating hits like the Big Read and Restoration, Keating said: "You should never abandon [those kinds of programmes], but I have no plans for an immediate follow-up."

While the former BBC 4 boss is sure to programme lots of arts and culture on the channel, Keating was keen to stress shows like Gardener's World and Top Gear were safe: "They have completely earned their place in the identity of the channel. BBC2 is absolutely the place for great popular leisure and lifestyle programming and it has always been in the DNA of the channel. The schedule at the moment is a very healthy mix."


According to Variety, things are moving along nicely on a new film project being executive produced by and set to star Usher - a project being dubbed as an urban 'Saturday Night Fever'. Film studio MGM have bought the script and word is they hope to capitalise on the artist's recent return to the charts with the movie project.


Makers of a new spoof pop reality TV show have apologised after an off-the-cut remark seemed to poke fun at the Make-A-Wish Foundation - the US charity which supports people with life-threatening illnesses.

The new Warner Brothers TV show, Superstar USA, is a talent show which showcases unwitting and, frankly, untalented singers. The show is trying to capitalise on the somewhat questionable popularity of the 'so-bad-they're-good' singers who have appeared on the Pop Idol franchise. In a bid to sell the up coming bill of awful singers to his studio audience, one of the producers of the show basically said people should give the performers support because they are being helped by Make-A-Wish.

Although the comment wasn't intended to be screened, it caused some outrage all the same. The show's co-producers Next Entertainment were forced to make an official statement on the matter: "In the course of the setup for one of the live performances, one of the producers ad-libbed something to the audience - who had been paid to be there - that may have offended someone in the audience, and for that we sincerely apologise".

Warner Brothers, a co-producer of the show, added: "When you are trying to spoof the talent show genre and America's obsession with instant celebrity and personal makeover, you risk offending certain people".

The show, without the Make-A-Wish remark, debuts in the US tonight.


Zomba Management UK have announced two high profile new signings as part of their bid to expand their operations. Faithless' Rollo - who also produces much of sister Dido's work - and producer Mark Hill - one half of the Artful Dodger - are both now represented by the firm.

As Zomba's UK operations become more integrated with parent company BMG, Zomba Management could become an important division within the major, as the worlds of recorded music and artist management start to slowly merge. The fact that Rollo's own record label Cheeky is part of BMG UK no doubt played a role in his decision to work with Zomba Management.

Confirming his new relationship with the management firm, he told reporters last week: "I signed to Zomba for various different reasons. People seem to work for Zomba for years and years. To me, that must mean they're doing something right."


P Diddy could well be appearing in a new MTV show very soon - 'Disbanding The Band' - though I guess it would only be good for one edition.

Mr Diddy has confirmed he is axing the band he helped create as part of MTV's hugely popular 'Making The Band 2' series. Despite the success of Da Band's 800,000 unit selling 'Too Hot For TV', album, released last Sep, the band's constant dramas - which made the TV show such compelling viewing - has convinced Diddy he does not wish to work with the boys long term.

Announcing his decision Diddy told reporters last week: "Initially my goal with Da Band was to make sure the world saw realistically how serious hip-hop was. So at times it was kind of embarrassing to me the way they were portraying themselves, not taking it as serious as most artists take this art form. The venture with Da Band was successful because it had the TV backing. But at the end of the day, it's not worth me getting money for something I think misrepresents what [my record label] Bad Boy and hip-hop is about. It's like, if they don't appreciate it, then somebody else will. That's the nature of the game. Da Band wasn't as hungry and passionate as most of us artists. I don't think their careers are over. I just don't think they have what it takes to be a group."

The decision follows a second series of the MTV show which showed the six members of Da Band getting into screaming arguments, scuffles, legal entanglements and missed appointments. Three of the band's members have essentially been fired while a fourth quit. Diddy now plans to work with the two remaining members - Ness and Babs - on solo projects.


ALBUM REVIEW: Morrissey - You Are The Quarry (Sanctuary/Attack)
So he's back from exile in LA, the King Of Indie. No one could be happier than me that Morrissey has a record deal again after those seven years in limbo. Lyrically 'You Are the Quarry' is as fine as you'd expect from the poet laureate of pop - witty, challenging and at times laugh out loud hilarious. His voice is unmarked by the passing years and sounds better than ever. And musically, well it sounds like Morrissey. That said, it's less rock 'n' roll than his early albums, and there are a smattering of ballads and orchestral show tunes.

Some of the songs, including first single 'Irish Blood, English Heart', will be familiar to those like me who were fortunate enough to see the enigmatic Mancunian perform at the Royal Albert Hall two years ago. This song is a pointed reply to the accusations of racism that were thrown at Moz by the NME in 1992, and which resulted in him refusing to talk to the publication for the last 12 years (he has only recently relented). In the song he requests that the English flag should be reclaimed back from the racists, and throws in an attack on political parties and the monarchy while he's at it. Menacing guitars, like baby machine guns, give the track an edgy, atmospheric feel.

Having been away from his native country for some time he seems even more inclined than usual to wallow in his unique brand of nostalgia - England is forever under "slate gray Victorian sky" and tea tastes of the Thames. Highlights include, the fantastically tuneful and sprightly 'First Of The Gang To Die' and the sweet, melodic 'I Like You' ("You're not right in the head and nor am I, and that is why I like you"). The gentle, laidback 'America Is Not the World' and 'The World is Full of Crashing Bores' also stand out. And there are a few surprises too - 'I'm Not Sorry' has a definite dance beat, not something you would normally associate with Morrissey.

Whilst his last album 'Maladjusted' was unashamedly romantic, this new record sees a return to the cynic of old. "I'm alone forever," he mourns on 'Come Back To Camden'. He moans about everything, and in particular those current easy targets of Pop Idol ("no its just more lockjawed pop star, thicker than pig shit" - 'The World is Full of Crashing Bores') and American foreign policy ("I love you I just wish you'd stay where you is" - 'America Is Not the World').

Although the majority of his lyrics are stupendous, arguably the album's main flaw is that Morrissey has a tendency to rehash personal grudges again and again. In particular the long arm of the law and the legal system have been a bones of contention for some time and this resurfaces on both the aforementioned 'The World Is Full of Crashing Bores' and 'How Could Anyone Possibly know How I Feel'.

The title of 'All The Lazy Dykes' was surely chosen to be intentionally provocative but doubtless the gay section of his fanbase will be thrilled at what might be assumed to be a nod towards Morrissey's own sexuality. He even gives us his unique tragi-comic take on Craig David's 'Seven Days' on 'I Have Forgiven Jesus': "Monday - humiliation, Tuesday - suffocation, Wednesday - condescension, Thursday - is pathetic, By Friday life has killed me."

This isn't necessarily an album that everyone is going to like, and it might not win him too many new fans, but for anyone who appreciates a master at work, there is genius here. JW
Release date: 17 May
Press contact: Sanctuary IH [CP, RP, NP] Anglo Plugging [CR, RR, NR]


Fun, fun, fun. Frankee's rebuke to the long standing number one record from Eamon has knocked him of the top spot. So, after four weeks of 'Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)' at number one, now we have 'Fuck You Right Back' at the top. Oh joy.

Elsewhere in the singles chart this week, the Morrissey faithful have been out single shopping again, getting 'Irish Blood English Heart' a new entry at number three. Other new entries of note singles wise (and there's lots of them) come from Avril Lavigne at five (with 'Don't Tell Me'), Jay-Z at twelve (with '99 Problems'), Goldfrapp at twenty (with 'Strict Machine'), Alanis Morissette at 22 (with 'Everything'), The Charlatans at 23 (with 'Up At The Lake') and Pete Doherty at 32 (with Babyshambles). Oh yes, and well done to Kasabian who go in at 19 with 'Club Foot' proving once again you can shift those singles with just specialist radio play and a dedicated fan base if you really try hard.

Albums wise, after so much domination for best of compilations, damn good to see two albums of original material going straight in at the top - Keane's 'Hopes And Fears' getting ahead of The Streets' 'A Grand Don't Come For Free' and taking the top spot. Though that said, always nice to see the triple CD Queen Greatest Hits album back in the Top 40, though who is it that doesn't already own these three CDs? Oh, hang on, I don't - though if anyone at Parlophone wants to put that right, my cassette versions are really wearing out, and it is CMU's sixth birthday tomorrow...


Talking of EMI, while those nice people at Parlophone put those Queen CDs in a jiffy bag, news that independent Wall of Sound have ended their six year licensing agreement with the major. The end of the deal means EMI will no longer be automatically involved in distributing the likes of Royksopp, The Bees, Propellerheads and Blak Twang. That said, some artist specific relationships will continue, and EMI say they will be working on future Royksopp releases in particular.

Confirming the parting of company, EMI's Vincent Clery-Merlin told reporters: "Wall of Sound is one of Europe's best independent record labels and we are sad to be having to end our license agreement with them. We wish them every success in the future and we look forward to continuing to work with them on Royksopp over the coming years."

Wall of Sound MD Mark Jones says, "Labels/EMI have been supportive partners for Wall of Sound for the last six years. Now it's time for us to move on and re-model our international set-up."

Oh, and while we are on Wall of Sound, download the CMU Weekly from later today to get the full lowdown on Mark Jones' excellent Two Culture Clash project.


Following news earlier this month that concerns are rising at the Beeb over the new look Top of the Pops, and its habit of losing viewers, news this weekend that presenter Tim Kash is to be axed from the show. According to the Sunday Mirror, Kash's six month contract will not be renewed. If true that is a bit of a blow for the BBC and TOTP producer Andi Peter's, who were keen to stress how the involvement of MTV presenter Kash showed how damn cool the new look TOTP was.

Word is Fearne Cotton and Dermot O'Leary are being considered as a replacement, though it you ask me they should get Andi Peters on the phone to his old friends at Channel 4 and see if they can poach Popworld's Miquita Oliver and Simon Amstell for the job.


Talking of changing chart show presenters, Neil Fox will officially leave the commercial radio chart show Hit40 UK on 30 May. Fox announced his intention to hand over the reigns of the show earlier this year - last week it was confirmed radio presenter Simon Hirst and TV presenter Katy Hill will take over the job.

Announcing his departure from the show, which he has fronted since 1993, Fox told reporters: "I've been hosting the top 40 for over a decade and it's amazing to think how music has changed in that time. I've seen out Take That, the Spice Girls, Brit Pop, the explosion of dance music and now the massive success of R n B. That's almost a whole generation of pop music right there. Now is definitely the right time for me to move on and I'm handing over to a great team. Katy was my choice, I've been a big supporter of her since we did a show on the Brits together - I said straight afterwards 'this girl would be perfect for Kit40UK'. Simon Hirst is a fantastic DJ - he's done a brilliant job standing in for me when I've been away - so he really knows the ropes. I'm now looking forward to listening to their first show as I lie relaxing on a beach somewhere!"


Holly Valance has confirmed she is quitting her music career to concetrate on acting. According to the Sun the former Neighbours actress wants to settle down in Melbourne, marry her boyfriend Peter Ververis, and get on with her acting career. Which is a shame, cos her one hit was a wonder.


ALBUM REVIEW: The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free (679)
After hearing the excellent 'Fit But You Know It' I got really excited about the pending true-to-form Streets album. But what I received was not what I was expecting. I remember Mike Skinner talking about his new album to John Peel, explaining how it was, in essence, a concept album that tells the story of one guy (theoretically him) going through a relationship and loosing a grand. Such talk can be commendable, or it can be pretentious trash. In Skinner's case it was the former. 'Original Pirate Material' was very good - but it often tipped towards comedy music. This album, on the other hand, is going to go down in the books. It's a fine story - he looses his cash, gets a bird, looses the bird and a few friends, finds the money and gambles in the interim. A bit of a vague plot I realise - and even a bit weak when written out like that - but when told through the eleven tracks on this album it becomes something very special. Five hearings on 'A Grand Don't Come For Free' just gets better - this is a truly glorious album - if you haven't already, get it. Got it? Good BS
Release Date: 10 May
Press Contact: Wild [CP, CR] Warner IH [RP, RR, NP, NR]


Those who care surely watched it, put the Ukraine were the overall winners at the annual song / costume / ridiculous dance routine / political voting fest that is the Eurovision Song Contest. 24 countries performed at the event in Istanbul on Saturday night - and 36 countries tuned in and voted. The winning act was Ruslana who put on a Xena the Warrior Princess style performance (cultural references courtesy of Terry Wogan there) of her track 'Wild Dance'.

With an abundance of Eastern European countries now competing - and all voting for each other - countries like Britain and Ireland, who used to always come top five, are now relegated some way down the rankings. British entry James Fox came in sixteenth - perhaps next year we could put in Paul McCartney who surely has a big enough fan base in the lesser known reaches of Europe to secure us a win.


Vivendi have bought out Barry Diller's personal 2.5% share in their entertainment division - what, as of last week, is NBC Universal. Diller has a long standing, and recently rocky, relationship with Vivendi stemming from when they bought his USA Networks company back in 2001. Diller oversaw the Universal entertainment companies for a while, before quitting the group to concentrate on his own company, e-commerce giant InterActiveCorp. That company maintains a 5.4% stake in NBC Universal, and continues with its court battle with Vivendi over $620 million it aims the French conglom owes it.


Mean Fiddler have announced two rather interesting new annual festivals based around their popular Jazz CafÈ venue. The Jazz CafÈ Picnic festivals will stage an eclectic mix of jazz inspired music at Kenwood House on London's Hampstead Heath and at Marble Hill House in Twickenham.

The first event, at Kenwood House, takes place on 11 Jul and will feature Anthony Hamilton, Amp Fiddler, nu-soul artist Dwele and DJ collaborative Blackalicious. The second event, at Marble Hill House, on 15 Aug will feature Zero 7, Nitin Sawhney, electro big band jazz combo the Matthew Herbert Big Band, Willis and BBC Radio 1 DJ Gilles Peterson.

Announcing the new festivals, Mean Fiddler Music Director Rob Hallett told reporters: "Every other big city in the world has these cool, jazzy events and we thought it's about time London did. It's going to be more sophisticated than the other festivals we do. I don't want to dis the Glastonbury and Reading crowd, but Jazz Cafe people are not the type who want to go and sleep in the mud for three days. We're hoping they'll come along with the family, have a picnic and a bottle of wine and a cool, civilised time."


The Recording Industry Association of America will be hoping to regain the upper hand in the publicity war against illegal music downloading as their high profile lawsuits against file-sharers start to go through the courts.

A court in Connecticut held its second such hearing last week where one William Martinez was accused of illegally downloading copyright music. He was found guilty of the charges and ordered to pay the record industry association $4000 in damages - $750 per track for five tracks downloaded, and $289 in costs. Another Connecticut file-sharer, Jennifer Brothers, was found liable for $6000 in damages earlier this year.

While many of the 2500 people sued by the RIAA have agreed to out-of-court settlements, with many more agreeing to cease-and-desist before an actual lawsuit is pursued, the industry association will actually be hoping a steady drip of cases go to court to help keep their anti-download campaign in the headlines. The real problems will begin, of course, if a court sides against the RIAA, although to date judges have been generally sympathetic to the record labels' case.


More rejigs in the European bit of Warner Music, post Edgar Bronfmann Jnr's takeover of the major.

On Friday it was announced John Reid, currently MD of WEA London, will take over the VP of Marketing role for the whole of Warner Music International (the non-US bit of the company). He will report to Warner Music International boss Paul-Rene Albertini who said of the appointment: "John Reid has a proven track record in developing global, blockbuster artists such as Madonna, Linkin Park, Red Hot Chili Peppers and R.E.M. This new combined marketing function capitalises on Reid's incredible success and provides a powerful proposition for selling international repertoire worldwide and US repertoire internationally." Reid's role at WEA London will be overseen in the short term Warner Music UK chairman Nick Phillips.

Elsewhere in Warner rejigs, current Senior VP for Marketing at Warner Music Europe, Jay Durgan, will become Senior VP for Business Development and Strategic Partnerships for Warner Music International, also reporting to Albertini.


Well, congratulations I guess, to Coldplay's Chris Martin who has become the proud father of baby girl Apple Blythe Alison Martin (oh dear). Martin's wife Gwyneth Paltrow gave birth to the couple's first child on Friday.

Confirming the birth, Martin told the BBC: "We are 900 miles over the moon, and we'd like to thank everyone at the hospital who have looked after us amazingly".

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