CMU Daily - on the inside 8 Jun 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- iTunes expected to launch in UK next week
- Concerns for Doherty as he quits rehab again
- Sanctuary talk up their success
- Plan B is go
- SMG: Virgin Radio is not for sale
- Album Review: The Killers - Hot Fuss
- Kinks classic up for re-release
- Rhino forge partnership with EA Games
- Mmetallica's Ulrich awaits medical test results
- Hasslehoff suspected of DUI
- Legendary guitarist dies
- Amplifier tour
- Album Review: Infinite Livez - Bush Meat
- MOJO launch awards for longterm musical icons
- Abba Agnetha faces death threat
- MTV to screen Popworld repeats
- New MTV shows in the offing
- Mel B can't think of anything to say to Geri

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ITUNES EXPECTED TO LAUNCH IN UK NEXT WEEK
And then there were - erm - actually, we've lost count.

Yep, things are about to get very competitive in the world of digital downloading. With Sony Connect due to launch their global download service at some point this month, reports yesterday suggested Apple will now launch their iTunes service in the UK on 15 Jun. The computer firm told reporters that it will hold a press conference on that day adding that "the biggest story in music is about to get even bigger".

iTunes was the first big player download service to launch in the US, and its success rejuvenated a flagging digital music sector at a crucial time. The service remains the flagship download platform there, with demand for Apple's proprietary digital music player, the iPod, frequently exceeding supplies.

However some question whether Apple will be able to secure dominance of the digital music sector in Europe. With its main US rival Napster already operating in the UK, plus competition from the London based OD2 who sell digital music under a Coke, HMV and MSN banner, it remains to be seen if the computer firm can transform the initial popularity of the iPod among early adopters into mainstream competitive advantage.

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CONCERNS FOR DOHERTY AS HE QUITS REHAB AGAIN
According to the NME friends of Libertines' Pete Doherty are now "very concerned for his well being" after the singer reportedly quit rehab for the second time in less than a month. As previously reported, Doherty quit (or possibly was chucked out of) the London branch of the Priory last month. He then went to a French rehab clinic where his mother and girlfriend were said to be close by in a bid to help him quit his drug addiction. However it seems he has now quit that facility. A spokesman for the band said yesterday: "Peter left The Priory this morning, his whereabouts are currently unknown although every effort is being made to find him. We are all very concerned for his well being."

No word on where this leaves the Libertines various upcoming scheduled gigs - though the rest of the band seem unwilling to play without Doherty this time, which means the band's sets at the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury and Meltdown festivals are looking less likely.

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SANCTUARY TALK UP THEIR SUCCESS
We're big fans of Sanctuary Music's business model here at CMU (and I appreciate being a fan of any business model is a bit sad), so hurrah at the news that the London based music company is performing very well, especially when put into the context of the struggling music industry. Sanctuary's revenues were up 17% in the six months prior to 31 Mar, with turnover increases of 41% and 86% in the group's recorded music and management/live divisions respectively.

As previously reported, Sanctuary is almost unique in dabbling in most key areas of the music business - including recorded music, publishing, management and live music. This allows the company to access the booming live sector, and use that revenue to support its recorded music operations. Which goes a long way to explaining the current success.

That said, the company's finance director Mike Miller reckons the quality of Sanctuary's roster also plays a part: "The major record companies do not have the right mix of artists in their repertoire. If you go back 15 or 20 years, they had a raft of artists with long careers but they lost their way in the 90s."

Continuing, Miller also stressed the importance of working with a number of high performing artists unlike some independents who rely on one or two big names for much of their income: "You only have to look at Telstar, who had a big act in Craig David but went bust. It is very difficult to run an expensive records business with one or two acts and no catalogue to keep things running along."

Miller confirmed Sanctuary were still planning on expanding. However he indicated an interest in acquiring certain publishing catalogues or unsigned but established artists, rather than buying out whole publishing companies or record labels.

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PLAN B IS GO
The first issue of the new mag from Everett True - he of Careless Talk Costs Lives - is out next week. Called Plan B the first issue features articles on all (well, OK some) of our favourites, including Chicks On Speed, Kaito, Von Bondies, Lightning Bolt, !!!, The Pastels, New Black, The Cribs, The Mountain Goats and Graham Coxon.

We're also promised an article from Neil Kulkarni about cleaning out his chimney, an article from Ian Svenonius raving about his favourite board game and a rant from Peter Bagge which Everett reckons might get him into trouble with the FBI.

All definitely worth looking out for - you can order a copy online at http://www.planbmag.com

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SMG: VIRGIN RADIO IS NOT FOR SALE
Scottish Media Group has denied rumours in the Sunday papers that they are planning on flogging off Virgin Radio for something like £130 million.

A spokesman for SMG yesterday told Music Week: "There is no truth in this story whatsoever. Virgin Radio is indeed a very attractive media asset, but it remains an important part of SMG's core business and it's not for sale."

So that's that cleared up.

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Killers - Hot Fuss (Lizard King)
Synth pop was never seen as cool and trendy even in its' heyday in the 80's New Romantic era and despite (or perhaps because of) the best efforts of the Electro Clash movement, electronic pop is still not taken that seriously. Or at least English speaking synth music lacks credibility, compared to French electro pop such as Air or Daft Punk. This seems to be the case with the Killers, who haven't quite received the acclaim that a more traditional guitar based band might have had, especially considering they're one of the few recent indie bands to make it into the top 10. The Las Vegas quartet have frequently been described as a souped up Duran Duran, while Brit Pop, especially Shed 7, are also cited as influences. But the band are a lot more interesting than either of these comparisons might suggest. They are actually more akin to Berlin era Bowie, with atmospheric intros and icy synths creating an edgy but poppy sound. Killer tunes are welded to vivid narrative led lyrics. Their first hit 'Somebody Told Me' and the aforementioned single 'Mr Brightside'(a huge hit on it's re-release last week) are fabulous. 'Jenny Was A Friend of Mine', 'Smile Like You Mean It' and 'On Top' are equally impressive. Then there's 'Believe Me Natalie', the list of great songs goes on. The Killers are a fantastically exciting band. They may not fit into any convenient music press' pigeon hole at present but they are creating inventive, inspired and tuneful pop music and I think we all know that's something we don't exactly have a lot of at present. JW
Release date: 7 Jun
Press contact: Darling [CP, RP, NP] Alan James [CR, RR, NR]

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KINKS CLASSIC UP FOR RE-RELEASE
If you, like me, were reminded of just how many Kinks songs you like by that Ray Davies South Bank Show that was on a few weeks, then here's some good news. The band's 1968 classic concept album - Village Green Preservation Society - is getting a re-release. The new edition comes on three CDs and includes the original stereo and mono mixes plus a selection of previously unissued tracks. The re-released album is out on Sanctuary on 28 Jun - press info from Noble PR.

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RHINO FORGE PARTNERSHIP WITH EA GAMES
Warner division Rhino has entered a partnership with games company Electronic Arts in the US which will see it supply catalogue music for the soundtracks of forthcoming EA Sports games.

Although not an exclusive deal, it means that Rhino will become the principle player in seeking and arranging music for EA games such as 'Madden NFL 2005', 'NBA Live 2005' and 'FIFA Soccer 2005'. That music is likely to come primarily from Warner Music's various catalogues - artists likely to appear include House Of Pain, Pantera, MC Lyte, Faith No More, the Jesus and Mary Chain, the Cure and Violent Femmes.

Although affiliated to EA Trax, the music programme designed to promote new music through video games, EA stress that that team will continue to work with new artists rather than back catalogue music.

Confirming the new deal, David Dorn, Senior VP of New Media Strategy for Rhino told reporters: "There is a lot of music we have that we think is completely relevant to today, and a lot of kids that will be playing these games will hopefully get turned on to music from the past that does not sound like their father's music".

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METALLICA'S ULRICH AWAITS MEDICAL TEST RESULTS
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich remains in a German hospital this morning awaiting the results of tests after being taken ill while flying from Lisbon to the UK this weekend. Ulrich had been travelling to the UK for his band's performance at the Download Festival. However he was taken ill mid-journey and his plane was made to land in Germany where he was admitted to hospital for tests. A spokesman for the band didn't give much away yesterday, saying simply: "He's waiting on results from tests. He's in a German hospital right now."

Slipknot and Slayer drummers Joey Jordison and Dave Lombardo filled in for Ulrich at Download. It now remains to be seen if Ulrich's illness will affect the band's European tour, which is due to continue this evening. More when we get it.

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HASSELHOFF SUSPECTED OF DUI
Well, you know what they say, being a hip hop star is not just about the music. Seemingly getting into character David Hasselhoff who, as previously reported, is about to work with Ice T on recording a hip hop album, got into character this weekend by getting arrested on the suspicion of driving while intoxicated, according to police. Hasselhoff was pulled over Saturday night but released Sunday morning - no official word on whether any charges were made, though his car apparently told reporters he was shocked.

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LEGENDARY GUITARIST DIES
Guitarist Robert Quine was found dead at his New York apartment this weekend after reportedly taking a heroin overdose. Lead guitarist for Richard Hell and the Voidoids but best known as a mover and shaker in New York's seventies punk scene, Quine was said to be in mourning following the sudden death last year of his wife of 20 years, Alice.

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AMPLIFIER TOUR
Fresh from their fine performance at Download this weekend Amplifier (for more on them check the interview in the artist channel here) are heading on tour kicking off tomorrow night at the Barfly in London. Dates as follows:


9 Jun: London Barfly
10 Jun: Cardiff Barfly
12 Jun: Oxford Zodiac
14 Jun: Leeds Cockpit
15 Jun: Wrexham Central Station
16 Jun: Sheffield Corporation
17 Jun: Exeter Cavern Club
19 Jun: Northampton Soundhaus
21 Jun: Manchester Roadhouse
22 Jun: Liverpool Barfly
23 Jun: Stockton Georgian Theatre

The tour will be followed by the online release of new track Panzer on 5 Jul. Press info from Music For Nations.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Infinite Livez - Bush Meat (Big Dada)
Big Dada: Making Hip Hop Different. By signing Steven Henry, this statement
is true. Absolutely off the wall - this ex-Chelsea-art-student-cum-video-game-designer-cum-usher-at-the-ICA seems totally off his bonce. He cuts rap and hip hop with whacked out lyrics - ranging from sex with monkeys ('Drilla Ape') to the middle classes' habit of selling elephant do-do ('Claati Bros') to a witty account of sex in the 00's ('White Wee Wee'). Other highlights include 'Adventures of the Lactating Man', a cut that walks the line perfectly being catchy, humorous and out there, and 'Pononee Girl' which I think is about shagging a My Little Pony. And do check the MPEG promo of Henry and his one eyed puppet friend Barry Convex 'singing' to Britney in a pseudo West Indian Accent. Nuts - but worth checking out. PV
Release date: 7 Jun
Press contact: Big Dada IH [all]

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MOJO LAUNCH AWARDS FOR LONGTERM MUSICAL ICONS
If there's one thing wrong with the music industry, it's the lack of opportunity to give awards to Paul McCartney, David Bowie and Morrissey. Well, worry no more, because here comes a new awards programme to address the problem.

Ah well, if there has to be an award ceremony dedicated to lifetime achievements in music, better it be in the hands of the MOJO team. The EMAP title will launch its own awards on 22 Jun designed to recognise long term musical skills and offerings.

Among the categories will be Icon Award, with nominees including David Bowie, Kate Bush, Marvin Gaye, Morrissey and Prince.

Joe Strummer, Arthur Lee, The Smiths, David Bowie and Johnny Cash are all up for an Inspiration Award, while Sir Paul McCartney, Ray Davies from The Kinks, Paul Weller, Elvis Costello and the late Nick Drake are nominated in a songwriting category.

The awards will be made at a small gathering at Banqueting House in Whitehall later this month.

Announcing the awards, Mojo Editor-in-Chief Phil Alexander told reporters: "This is about music that's built to last and that has provided us with the soundtrack to our lives. Other awards celebrate the biggest names and the best releases of the preceding year. We believe there's long been a need to properly honour the extraordinary talents of the artists, bands and songwriters whose careers have been responsible for enhancing our rich musical culture".

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ABBA AGNETHA FACES DEATH THREAT
Abba star Agnetha Faltskog's brief time back in the limelight with her new album 'My Colouring Book' may well be nearing an end following the news the singer has received a death threat. Faltskog has longed shunned the spotlight and is said to terrified about making public appearances - that fear isn't likely to subside with the news that bodyguards have been flown to her home near Stockholm after the singer received a threatening letter.

Falkskog's manager Staffan Linde told reporters yesterday: "Agnetha receives many letters every day but this one was different and serious".

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MTV TO SCREEN POPWORLD REPEATS
Following the news last week that the people behind the best pop show on telly - Channel 4's Popworld - were looking to expand the show's output, confirmation yesterday that the weekly pop magazine will now get a second (and third and fourth) airing each week on MTV Hits. MTV will screen the show in the days following its first play on Channel 4.

What happens when Channel 4 shuns the show for the cricket (as it is prone to do, often with little warning) we don't know.

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NEW MTV SHOWS IN THE OFFING
Talking of MTV, which we were, gossip on the grapevine on some of the new shows being piloted by the music network in the US over the next few months.

Not sure if any of these are true, but gossipers say there will be a pilot show featuring Cameron Diaz and friends travelling to exotic locations that face environmental challenges, a Jim'll Fix It style show fronted by Malcolm in the Middle star Frankie Muniz, a street racing show (whatever that is) presented by That 70s Show's Wilmer Valderrama and a makeover programme fronted by P Diddy's former valet Farnsworth Bentley.

All sounds great. What's wrong with back to back videos?

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MEL B CAN'T THINK OF ANYTHING TO SAY TO GERI
Despite all that talk of a reunion, former Spice Girl Mel B has told the Daily Star she couldn't think of anything to say to Geri Halliwell when she bumped into her former band mate in LA recently.

Mel B: "I had just left a department store in LA and Geri was right there in front of me. I was like: "Er, hi." I had nothing to say. Moments like that are just so awkward. With Geri, it's like we were sisters but now we're both totally doing our own things so it was really weird meeting her like that. We just don't have the time to see each other any more. And there's nothing I would really want to say to her anyway," added Mel B.

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