CMU Daily - on the inside 14 Jun 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- BMG & Sony to defend merger plans in Brussels
- Festivals round up
- Supergrass replace Libertines at Glasto
- Napster do deal with NTL
- Single Review: Bell X1 - Eve, The Apple Of My Eye
- Jacko judge still says no to releasing evidence
- Love surrenders to police on next set of charges
- Clear Channel promoter among honours list awards
- Rock star show has world tour prize
- Fingathing play ICA
- Japan night in Notting Hill
- Badly Drawn Boy plans pub tour
- Deacon Blue guitarist dies
- Album Reviews: Various - Cruise Control / Heroes
- Coke shift half a million downloads
- Irish stars line up for anti-Bush gig
- More Ray Charles tributes
- Chart update
- Taiwanese pop singer cancels gig after political protests
- Ulrich on the mend
- Madonna and Britney may replay the kiss - knees permitting

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VIGSY'S (Slight Belated) CLUB TIP: Movement
It's now well over seven years since this weekly club, synonymous with London's Drum and Bass scene, first unleashed itself, and they are still leading the pack. Residents on rotation: Bryan Gee, Ray Keith, Addiction, and the Brazilian DJ's Marky & Patife. This week there's a special guest set from DJ Die (the underated Bristolian, who tends to live in Krust and Size's shadow) and in the Bar, DJ Cameron lets it off. Get there early and prepare to lose it in this perfectly formed venue. PV

Thu 17 Jun, Barumba, Trocadero, Shaftesbury Avenue London W1, more at http:// www.movement.co.uk, press info from Bulldozer Media on 020 7287 2715

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BMG & SONY TO DEFEND MERGER PLANS IN BRUSSELS
For those cynics out there not yet convinced about the clear benefits of letting two of the dominant powers in the music business merge their dominance - well senior players from BMG and Sony Music are due in Brussels later today to talk you round. They will speak at a two-day hearing into the BMG Sony merger plans.

The Brussels hearing follows the release of a 'statement of objections' to the merger proposal in which EC officials expressed real concerns about the effect further consolidation will have on the music business given the 'market dominance' already enjoyed by the five major record companies.

Insiders at the BMG and Sony have said their people will present a "well evidenced" and "very robust" rebuttal of the Commission's statement of objections. In particular the major labels are likely to question the EC's interpretation of music sales data from which officials deduced that the major labels had too much control over CD pricing. They are also likely to argue that the growing threat of piracy means the music industry is in a different situation now from when European officials turned down two record label merger attempts back in 2000 and 2001.

Although the other three major record labels - EMI, Warners and Universal - are not backing the merger proposals, senior execs at all three will back BMG and Sony in their rebuttal of claims that the majors are already too dominant in the music market. The other majors were hoping that when EC officials objected to the merger their case would centre on the dominance of the two music companies' parent organisations in the wider media and entertainments sector, rather than on the dominance of major labels in the music space.

With the independent labels trade association IMPALA now calling on EC officials to act against the market dominance of the big five even if the BMG Sony merger is blocked, very soon all five major labels could be fighting their corner in Brussels.

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FESTIVALS ROUND UP
Festival season is well upon us, meaning it was a busy weekend live music wise.

Over on the West Coast, LA radio station KROQ hosted their annual Weenie Roast festival, and from what we hear a star studded audience showed up to enjoy killer sets from The Strokes, Cypress Hill, Velvet Revolver, Beastie Boys, The Hives and, erm, The Killers. The headlining Strokes reportedly put on a fine set, returning to the festival two years after performing a Weenie Roast opening set that got cut short because of time constraints. No such constraints this year, and even time for frontman Julian Casablancas to roll off the stage and into the crowd (he was later heard complaining a crowd member had taken his necklace!).

Closer to home, and the Isle of Wight Festival truly rocked, as you'd expect given that The Who, Manic Street Preachers, Jet and the Super Furry Animals were on the bill. Last word we got from the Isle was during the Stereophonics headline set on Saturday night. It's hard to find media types with much good to say about the Phonics these days, but from what we hear the band's dedicated fan base were not disappointed with a greatest hits set featuring, among others, 'Madame Helga', 'Maybe Tomorrow', 'Mr. Writer', 'Local Boy In The Photograph', and 'Just Looking'.

Finally for now, the Morrissey curated Meltdown Festival kicked off in London this weekend with Mozza himself playing his first London gig from two years at the Royal Festival Hall. He too pleased fans with a mixture of solo hits and Smith classics in his set. No controversial anti-Bush remarks this time, although he did lay into Keane whose debut album kept his new long player off the top of the album charts. With scheduled support the Libertines out of action for the time being, Damien Dempsey and Elefant opened the show.

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SUPERGRASS REPLACE LIBERTINES AT GLASTO
Talking of replacements for the Libertines at music festivals - Glastonbury organisers have announced Supergrass will fill the slot left empty at Glasto after the Libertines were forced to cancel their festival slots this month while frontman Pete Doherty goes into rehab in Thailand.

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NAPSTER DO DEAL WITH NTL
Napster UK have today confirmed a partnership with cable company NTL which will see the Napster subscription service bundled into NTL's Broadband Plus package and a link to Napster placed on the NTL broadband homepage.

Announcing the partnership Napster President Brad Duea told CMU: "This is a significant deal for Napster because we are partnering with the biggest provider of broadband services in the UK, and NTL's own research has shown that over 75% of broadband customers download music each month. We are impressed with NTL's track record for driving growth in the UK broadband market and are confident our partnership will further encourage increasing numbers of UK music fans to enjoy the freedom of high speed internet access."

For NTL, the group's MD of home business Aizad Hussain added: "Our customers will have easy access to this high quality music service at an outstanding price. This supports our ongoing drive for new subscriptions and adds significant value to our broadband services."

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SINGLE REVIEW: Bell X1 - Eve, the Apple Of My Eye (Universal/Island)
I can't quite decide whether Bell X1 are providing an 'arms wide open' gesture to mark the start of summer here, or if this track would, in fact, be more suited as a backdrop while lounging around in the sun. Either way, 'Eve, The Apple Of My Eye' is a very welcome track from the band who once had a certain Damien Rice amongst their ranks. The Bell X1 formula is not exactly rocket science - soft, angelically bittersweet music to wrap your ears around. But Bell X1 are a good team with or without Rice as accompaniment. And the folky cover of Justin Timberlake's 'Like I Love You' is not so bad either. YN
Release date: 14 Jun
Press contact: Wild [CP, CR] Island IH [RP, NP, RR, NR]

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JACKO JUDGE STILL SAYS NO TO RELEASING EVIDENCE
Quite why the American media think the judge overseeing the pending Michael Jackson child-abuse court case is ever going to change his mind over releasing exact information relating to allegations against Jacko I don't know. But lawyers representing a persistent group of American media firms have once again called for the full indictment against Jacko to be released - including details of the 28 "overt acts" Jackson is alleged to have committed. And once again Judge Melville has said "nope" stressing, once more, that with "the extraordinary, high publicity environment of this proceeding" that "the integrity of the jury pool is threatened if evidence is published that is later deemed inadmissible at the trial. Melville added that the information about the case he has already released fulfilled his obligations regarding public access.

As previously reported, a date for the Jacko trial has been set for 13 Sep, but one or both sides are likely to ask for more time to prepare.

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LOVE SURRENDERS TO POLICE ON NEXT SET OF CHARGES
Elsewhere in pop court news, Courtney Love surrendered herself to US police on Friday after that arrest warrant was issued last week relating to an incident in Apr when the singer, it is alleged, attacked another woman at her former boyfriend's home. The latest assault charges join the outstanding drugs charges and the assault charges relating to an impromptu gig in New York in Mar when she injured an audience member with her microphone.

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CLEAR CHANNEL PROMOTER AMONG HONOURS LIST AWARDS
Music and media company Clear Channel were celebrating on Friday when it was officially announced their Senior VP of Music in the UK - Barry Clayman - had been presented with an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Clayman has worked in the concert promotion business for over forty years. For a time he ran his own agency Barry Clayman Concerts - that company was acquired by SFX, which in turn was acquired by Clear Channel, where Clayman continues to stage major music events, currently promoting the Summer Nights tour of castles and stately homes in the UK which features Tom Jones, Cliff Richard and Donny Osmond.

A spokesman for the Clear Channel group told reporters on Friday: "Clear Channel are very proud to have such a respected promoter as Barry Clayman in their team and heartily congratulate him on his most deserved honour".

Other music names getting their backs slapped in the latest honours dish out include two former members of The Shadows, Bruce Welch and Brian Bennett; from the classical world conductor Vernon Handley and opera singer Willard White; the VP of Music Therapy charity Peter Andry; and Bob Phillis, the boss of the Guardian Media Group, who run, among other things, radio stations Jazz FM, Smooth FM and Real Radio.

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ROCK STAR SHOW HAS WORLD TOUR PRIZE
TV producer Mark Burnett is planning a rock version of Pop Idol in the US. Under the banner of Rock Star the show will audition budding rockers across America - and the prize is reportedly the opportunity to front a 'big name' group on a world tour. Which group is yet to be revealed. Initial gossip said it might be Van Halen, who are looking for a lead singer, but more recent rumour suggests it may be INXS.

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FINGATHING PLAY ICA
CMU favourites Fingathing, who have been touring the UK to promote new album 'Fingathing and The Big Red Nebula Band', arrive in London on Fri (18 Jun) to play a gig at the ICA. Press info from Pomona.

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JAPAN NIGHT IN NOTTING HILL
If you're partial to some beats from Japan, then get this in your diary. Sticky Rice takes place at the Notting Hill Arts Club on 22 Jun and has a suitably eclectic mix of music, including:

Japan-based artist Kinohachi will perform music inspired by his experiences travelling around the world as a monk. We're promised tranquil, relaxing moods and upbeat "dancy tracks" supported by a traditional Japanese wind instrument called the shakuhachi.

DJ sets will come from DJ Akitoshi Kin & DJ Kuniaki Mogami, plus CMU's very own Japan-pop expert DJ Kyukyusha (Daniel Robson) will be spinning the finest in Japanese punk, pop, rock and all-round oddness.
More at http://www.stickyricenight.co.uk

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BADLY DRAWN BOY PLANS PUB TOUR
Badly Drawn Boy is planning on playing a number of pub dates in the lead up to his Glastonbury set and the release of new album 'One Plus One Is One'. All that has been released so far is the regions where he plans to play - exact details of which city and which pub will host the intimate BDB gig will be announced on the day at http://www.badlydrawnboy.com.

Region info as follows:
18 Jun: Scotland
19 Jun: North East
20 Jun: Yorkshire
21 Jun: Midlands
22 Jun South East
23 Jun: South Coast
24 Jun: South West

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DEACON BLUE GUITARIST DIES
The guitarist with eighties band Deacon Blue - who reformed in 1999 - has died after a four year battle with cancer. Graeme Kelling, aged 47, died from cancer of the pancreas at a Glasgow hospital on Thursday.

In a statement on their website the band told fans this Friday: "It is my sad duty to tell you that Graeme Kelling died yesterday morning. As you know Graeme has had a four year fight with an illness which finally got the better of him."

Fans are invited to post any "great memories, photographs or thoughts about Graeme" to an online remembrance book.

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ALBUM REVIEWS: Various - Cruise Control / Heroes (BMG TV / Sony TV)
Since discovering just how easy it is to rip tracks off one CD and burn them to another (and I must admit, it's something I only discovered a few months back) I have rediscovered that teenage hobby of DIY compilations - and with CD to CD transfer a damn sight easier than vinyl to tape, I'm already compiling the eleventh edition of 'Now That's What Chris Calls Music' (any strategic marketing departments interested in franchising the series, it's the usual email). All this means that, for me, compilation albums are no longer collections of tracks to be listened to as a whole, but useful sources for getting those tracks you adore but never got round to buying or blagging first time round (I should point out that, despite all our rants against suing the kids who file share, I've never found the time or inclination to try Kazaa myself). And so it was with open arms that these two double album compilations were welcomed into the CMU office. Not so much for the compilation skills that the teams of BMG and Sony had utilising in creating them, but more because they contributed four fine tracks to the aforementioned Chris Hits 11 - that is to say Maroon 5's ever-so-catchy 'This Love' and Pete Doherty/Wolfman's 'For Lovers' (in the case of BMG's 'Cruise Control') and The Stranglers' 'No More Heroes' and Feeder's 'Buck Rogers' (in the case of Sony's 'Heroes'). As complete collections these two are at the better end of the compo market - as always there are the weaker tracks you'd rather skip, and there's the usual suspects you probably already own a million times, but if pop and indie rock is your thing both are worth sticking in the car stereo and putting on max volume. Until someone releases The Chris Collection of course, then you should buy that one instead. CC
Release date: 7 Jun (both releases)
Press contect: PPR (all for both)

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COKE SHIFT HALF A MILLION DOWNLOADS
Coke have announced that their digital download service, which launched just under six months ago, has now sold over half a million tracks. The latest stats from the drinks company's music service reveal that the most popular tracks downloaded from the service include Anastacia's 'Left Alone Outside', OutKast's 'Hey Ya' (of course), The Rasmus' 'In The Shadows', Keane's 'Somewhere Only We Know' and Maroon 5's 'This Love'.

Announcing the stats Coke's music spokesman said: "We are committed to bringing new experiences to our consumers, through constant innovation and exploiting latest technology."

BPI chairman Peter Jamieson added: "The success of mycokemusic.com demonstrates that people are adopting legal downloading in the UK. Accessing music through legal downloading is a major part of the future of music."

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IRISH STARS LINE UP FOR ANTI-BUSH GIG
A host of Irish music stars will this week stage a benefit gig in Dublin to raise money for the Stop Bush campaign, which is planning two major protests during the American President's visit to Ireland later this month.

Both Damien Rice and veteran Irish star Christy Moore will play at the When Bush Comes To Shove gig, being staged by the Irish Anti-War Movement, at Dublin's Point Depot venue on 19 Jun.

Confirming the gig Richard Boyd Barrett, who runs the anti-war group, told reporters: "The war has not liberated Iraq but plunged it from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein to the tyranny of a brutal occupation. Through protests and in every opinion poll the huge majority of people in this country have made clear their opposition to Bush's war."

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MORE RAY CHARLES TRIBUTES
The management of Ray Charles made an official statement regarding the legendary singer's death on Friday. Charles' publicist simply said: "Music legend Ray Charles, 73, a 13-time Grammy Award winner, known the world over as "The Genius of Soul," died at 11:35 AM (PDT) today at the age of 73."

More tributes were paid to Charles from artists across the world. Stevie Wonder expressed his sadness, calling Charles an "incredible musician, singer, writer and a great man whose life should be celebrated. He was just incredible because he was a great musician, he was a genius in the true meaning of the word genius. He was able to bring various genres of music together."

Michael Jackson told reporters: "His music is timeless, his contribution to the music industry unequalled, unparalleled. He paved the way for so many of us, and I will forever remember him in my heart."

Former Manfred Mann singer Paul Jones told the BBC: "In common with all the true greats, he committed his whole personality into the performance of the song. He wrote some fantastic things, but his brilliance also comes through in his interpretation of pop songs and standards."

Finally, Don McLean praised the strength of character Charles displayed during his illness: "You know what I love about people like him is that they gave every single ounce of energy to us back. They never said 'I don't feel well' or 'I can't make the plane' or 'you know, I don't want to do this' or 'I don't want to do that'.

Concord Records and Starbucks who, as previously reported, are set to release a new duets album recorded by Charles in his final months have confirmed said album will be available - initially via the coffee chain's Hear Music service - at the end of the summer.

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CHART UPDATE
Not that it helped Beckham score that penalty, but all three current footie related pop anthems were, as expected, in the Top Ten yesterday. 4-4-2's 'Come On England' went in at two, The Farm's 'Alltogethernow' moved up to five, while Xfm's footie track 'Born In England' went in at number nine. None of them could shift Mario Winans off the top spot though.

Lots of new entries this week. O-Zone went in at three with 'Dragostea Din Tei'; Kanye West featuring Syleena Johnson are at 10 with 'All Falls Down'; VS's 'Call U Sexy' is at 11; the re-release of Scissor Sister's 'Laura' (hurrah!) is at 12; Janet Jackson is at 19 with 'All Nite'; Jurgen Vries last ever track (well, under that name anyways) 'Take My Hand' is at 23; Mark Owen is back in the chart at 30 with 'Makin Out'; while Speedway are at 31 with 'In & Out'.

But forget the singles chart, the album top ten is where it's at with three very fine new entries. Faithless enter at the top with their excellent new album 'No Roots', the Supergrass tenth anniversary best of goes in at 4 and the Killers' excellent album 'No Fuss' is a new entry at six. Other new entries include Velvet Revolver with 'Contraband' at 11, Thin Lizzy's greatest hits at 13, the Hope Of The States debut 'The Lost Riots' at 21, Deepest Blue's 'Late September' at 22 and greatest hits from Billy Ocean (28) and Bob Dylan (37).

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TAIWANESE POP SINGER CANCELS GIG AFTER POLITICAL PROTESTS
Taiwanese pop singer Chang Hui-Mei, popularly known to her fans as A-Mei, has had to cancel a concert in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou because of protests against her supposedly pro-Taiwanese independence stand. Although A-Mei has said she does not want to get involved in politics there has been some opposition to her in certain Chinese circles after she sang Taiwan's national anthem at the inauguration of the island's President Chen four years ago. A small but noisy protest in the Chinese city in the lead up to the concert called on the singer to: "oppose Taiwan independence, unify China". Rather than getting involved in the debate A-Mei has decided to withdraw from the gig.

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ULRICH ON THE MEND
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich is reportedly getting better after being hospitalised in Germany last week while travelling to the Download Festival in Donington. In a video message webcast at http://www.metallica.com, Ulrich said: "I had a little episode on the airplane going to Donington the other day, and I thought that it would be best to get it checked out 'cause I was having a bit of a weird half hour there. I think that the last six months of playing super-duty metal and traveling all over the world at my age kind of caught up to me a little bit."

On missing the band's Donington set he added: "This is the first Metallica show I've ever missed, so I still have the best track record. But sometimes you've gotta do what you've gotta do".

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MADONNA AND BRITNEY MAY REPLAY THE KISS - KNEES PERMITTING
Madonna has invited Britney Spears to perform during her first New York show on Wed night, causing speculation the duo plan to recreate that controversial kiss that occurred at the MTV Music Awards last August. A source in the Britney camp has told the Sun: "Britney was delighted when Madonna asked her if she could join her on stage. They got loads of reaction the first time they kissed. She agreed to do it immediately. Their people have been faxing and e-mailing non-stop to sort things out. Everything was confirmed last week." However it is not clear whether Britney will be able to make the gig at all after undergoing surgery on her knee after falling at a video shoot last week.

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