CMU Daily - on the inside 15 Jun 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Sony commit to not flyposting
- OD2 launch penny a go jukebox
- Battle of the digital formats
- iTunes to launch in Europe without indies
- Jobs on digital media
- Pixies release new single via iTunes
- Single Review: Tokyo Dragons - Teenage Screamers
- Warners and Maverick talking again
- Kate Thornton to front new reality pop show
- INXS look for new frontman through reality TV
- Happy Mondays reform for London mini-fest
- Dylan Belfast gig moves venue
- T in the Park sells out - again
- More acts on the Creamfields bill
- Bonnaroo organisers reflect on festival deaths
- Great line up from Grolsch
- Film and music After Dark
- Libertine Doherty quits Thailand rehab
- Love tour in jeopardy as legal problems grow
- Royalty reporting bill back in Congress
- Album Review: Various - Outernational Sound (Thievery Corporation DJ Set)
- Campbell in court for sentencing
- Coldplay Martin writes track for Embrace
- Kravitz keeps a souvenir joint after getting stoned with the Stones

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SONY COMMIT TO NOT FLYPOSTING
Not a good day to be in the wallpaper paste business. Quite a good day to work in local authority litigation. After years of dealing with legislation loop holes that made it more or less impossible to prosecute companies that fly posted, the decision of North London local authority Camden Council to tackle the 'fly posting problem' by extending the remit of the 'Anti Social Behaviour Order' system looks like it might just work.

As previously reported, Camden Council issued Anti Social Behaviour Orders on marketing executives at both Sony and BMG. They hoped to get injunctions against those execs that meant that if they ever were involved with a fly posting campaign they would be personally liable to fines or even a prison sentence.

In response to that action Sony yesterday said it would no longer use fly posting campaigns in the marketing of its music. The Council subsequently withdrew their action against Sony marketing execs Catherine Davies and Jo Headland at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court.

Commenting on Sony's decision, Camden Council's Head of Litigation, Richard Gruet, told reporters: "Anti-social behaviour is anti-social behaviour, whoever engages in it. We have won an undertaking from Sony to the effect that they will not engage in fly posting any more in this country. We welcome that. But I think it is a little unfortunate that BMG, who were given the opportunity to do the same undertaking in the same terms, have not done so - that gives us little choice but to pursue them in the courts very shortly."

With flyposting said to have all but stopped in Camden since the Council's legal action, Gruet says other UK local authorities, including Islington, Hastings and Greater Manchester councils, have all said they may pursue similar action.

Which makes BMG's pending response all the more interesting. It is not a foregone conclusion that the courts would agree with Camden's assumption that fly posting - on the grounds that it harms the local environment and can be linked to crime - is, in fact, 'anti social behaviour'. If a court was to rule against the Council then the approach, and no doubt Sony's commitment to not fly post, would both come to an end. However if courts back the Council, or if BMG follow Sony in making a pre-court pledge so that the approach remains untested, then fly posting might actually become a thing of the past.

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OD2 LAUNCH PENNY A GO JUKEBOX
The digital download market is hotting up, which might explain why it's so hot round here just now (oh hang on, that'll be the heatwave). With Apple expected to make an announcement about the European roll out of iTunes later today, London based OD2, who slashed their prices the day before Napster launched in the UK, pulled another spoiler out of their bag yesterday.

They announced a new online jukebox system which will let people listen to tracks in full via a music stream at a penny a time. Similar to the streaming service offered to full members of Napster, the new service will be available via the existing OD2 powered music download channels on the MSN, Tiscali and MTV websites. Called Sonic Selector the service uses version nine of the Windows Media Player.

Announcing the new service OD2 boss Charles Grimsdale told reporters yesterday: "Most of the music our users listen to on their PCs will be streamed. We wanted to create a digital jukebox, and Sonic Selector gives people an instant record collection which is 350,000-tracks strong."

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BATTLE OF THE DIGITAL FORMATS
Elsewhere in digital music news, and OD2's Charles Grimsdale was also talking to the press yesterday about the 'format issues' that are likely to become more of a problem as the download market expands. The issues relate to the different file formats that different digital music providers use - each format having its own 'digital rights system' (ie the system which controls where and how often a customer can play or copy a track).

Most download platforms currently make tracks available in Microsofts WMA format, except iTunes which uses Apple's AAC file format. When Sony launch their Connect service later this month they will use their own ATRAC format. This becomes an issue when tracks are transferred to digital music players - Apple's iPod won't play WMA tracks, Sony players will use the ATRAC system. Ironically the file format that seems to be most adaptable in terms of the number of players it is compatible with is the MP3, the format with no digital rights management, the main source of which remains to be illegal P2P networks like Kazaa.

On that topic Grimsdale says: "My guess is that there will be gateways between the DRM systems in the not too distant future. We are looking at ways of solving that problem." Sony plan to distribute this kind of 'gateway' tool with their new digital music players, software which converts most other formats into ATRAC files.

Grimsdale added that the competing file formats in the digital music sector did not mean there would be a VHS/Betamax style situation where some music fans will be left with a collection of unplayable tracks if the download platform they use loses the format war. Implying that OD2 would work to ensure their customers can always play the tracks they buy, he continued: "Our commitment is that the catalogue you download, you own."

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ITUNES TO LAUNCH IN EUROPE WITHOUT INDIES
Staying with digital music, and that announcement regarding the European roll out of iTunes is expected later today. However it emerged yesterday that any launch may have to go ahead without the inclusion of music from independent record labels after European indies refused to accept the computer firm's deal this weekend.

It appears the independent labels, some of whom already work with Apple in the US, have rejected the proposed European deal over price. One source in the independent sector told Music Week yesterday: "They are attempting to dictate a wholesale price that is lower than any other digital deal that we have cut, and to lock us into a deal for three years. In the physical world this would amount to commercial suicide".

Independent labels are said to be further irritated by Apple's decision to only supply independents with contracts two weeks before the proposed launch date. Some feel this move was designed to force the independents' into signing a deal without any negotiation.

Commenting on the deadlock between Apple and the indies, Alison Wenham of the Association of Independent Music told CMU: "We welcome the arrival of iTunes in the UK, but are disappointed that our members have been unable to agree terms for licensing their repertoire to the service. iTunes has played a leading role in developing the download market in the US and we hope its European counterpart will soon be able to boast a more complete roster of European music".

Apple are yet to make any comment on their negotiations with independent labels. But with European indies having successfully stood their ground against MTV during royalty negotiations earlier this year, Apple may be in for a fight if they are not willing to negotiate on their contract. The question is whether or not having independent label repertoires on their platform is key to Apple's European roll out plans.

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JOBS ON DIGITAL MEDIA
Elsewhere in iTunes news, and Apple boss Steve Jobs has been talking digital music with Wall Street Journal reporter Walter Mossberg. Among the topics discussed:

The cost per track on iTunes' US service: "We've just finished renewing our deals with the music companies. And we had to express our opinion fairly strongly that we think the customer doesn't want to pay more than 99 cents for a song. And it turns out the music companies make more money when we sell a song for 99 cents than they do when they sell it on a CD."

The cost of iPods: "We're not happy with iPods costing $300 and $400...so we're working very hard on that."

On his plans for the digital distribution of movies: "The movie industry is far more mature in its distribution strategies than the music industry was. There are a lot of ways to watch movies, some for as cheap as a buck or two."

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PIXIES RELEASE NEW SINGLE VIA ITUNES
Last bit of digital music news, promise. Anyway, this bit's very exciting. The Pixies are making their first new song in thirteen years available via iTunes (in fact, it might already be there by now). Written by bassist Kim Deal and recorded in LA in Mar the track is called 'Bam Thwok' and will be available to download from the US service for 99 cents.

Deal has told reporters that the lyrics from the track came from an art book she found on a city street while on tour a few years ago. "From the handwriting, you could tell that this book must have belonged to a little kid. This kid had written a short story, a paragraph really, about a party that took place in another universe, about people and monsters that were partying together. That's what provided the inspiration for the lyrics."

On recording the new track frontman Frank Black explains: "Recording it was a nice way for us to break the ice after twelve years. The recording process was very relaxed and it didn't feel like twelve years had passed."

Pixies are back in the UK, of course, to play T in the Park on 11 Jul and the V Festival on 21 / 22 Aug.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Tokyo Dragons - Teenage Screamers (Universal/Island)
For anyone that finds The Darkness full of Spinal Tap bullshit, or who thinks The Datsuns take too deep a dip into the Deep Purple, here are the Tokyo Dragons. Hailing from London, they've been given the baton in the cock-rock relay race. 'Teenage Screamers' has exactly the appeal that makes us all fall in love with these bands in the first place and is well worth seeking out. Whether it has lasting power, though, I'm no so sure. The cynic inside me can't help saying "I give it a couple of months". YN
Release date: 14 Jun
Press contact: Island IH [all]

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WARNERS AND MAVERICK TALKING AGAIN
For people who were accusing each other of all sorts of contractual violations and financial indiscretions just a month back, bosses at Warner Music and imprint label Maverick were full of sycophantic praise for each other yesterday. The sycophancy followed news that the major label had reached a deal with the co-owners of the imprint which will stop the pending legal action between the two companies.

According to the deal Warners will buy out Madonna and COO Ronnie Dashev's share in Maverick giving the major a majority stake. Maverick boss Guy Oseary will maintain his share of the company and continue to head the label. Still essentially autonomous from the major, Maverick will take on a more development artist role and will utilise Warner's marketing and distribution teams more often.

Confirming the deal, Warner's US boss Lyor Cohen waxed lyrical thus: "This new joint venture agreement is clearly a win-win for both WMG and Maverick, and we are pleased that Guy Oseary, one of the most successful A&R executives in the industry, is continuing his relationship with both companies. We have every confidence that Guy's creative genius in finding and developing new talent, Maverick's new release schedule and the label's outstanding catalogue will make the label a vital part of the WMG family moving forward."

Oseary took the opportunity to praise everyone in the room: "I'm very pleased that Maverick and Warner Music will move forward together. Madonna and Ronnie are my family and I thank them not only for having helped build Maverick, but also for having helped define who I am today. They will always be a part of the Maverick family. I look forward to working closely with my friends Lyor Cohen and [Warner CEO] Tom Whalley. The new independent spirit at Warner Music is a perfect fit for a stand-alone label like Maverick. And with our great roster, and with new artists like Story of the Year, I have every confidence that we will bring Maverick to a new level of success."

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KATE THORNTON TO FRONT NEW REALITY POP SHOW
I have always liked to fact that Kate Thornton gets lots of presenting work on ITV2, it makes her easier to avoid. But no such luck this Autumn. After presenting the back stage version of Pop Idol, Ms Thornton has been handed the main presenting job of ITV's new reality music show X Factor.

As previously reported, this new show is produced by Simon Cowell and will see music managers not only judge but also advise wannabes on the show. On that panel Cowell will be joined by Sharon Osbourne and by Westlife/Girls Aloud manager, and former Popstars judge, Louis Walsh.

Word is the show is already shaping up to be the most successful in history, with over 45,000 applications received to take part.

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INXS LOOK FOR NEW FRONTMAN THROUGH REALITY TV
Talking of reality TV, our idle speculation in yesterday's Daily that INXS were likely to be the band that feature in a new TV search for a rock frontman seems to be true. The new show - Rock Star - will search for the ultimate frontman. The winner will then get to tour the world with the Australian band.

INXS have utilised a number of different frontmen since the death of Michael Hutchence in 1997 - including Terence Trent D'Arby and Jon Stevens - but none have stayed with the band on a permanent basis.

Explaining their motivation to find a frontman through the Rock Star show INXS guitarist Tim Farriss told reporters yesterday: "After Michael died we wanted to search the world for a new singer but didn't know how we could effectively do that. But we've now found a fantastic way to make that happen."

The show's producer Mark Burnett revealed the show was actually INXS's idea: "I am a long-time fan of INXS and feel very fortunate that they approached us with this idea and have entrusted us with their future. There's room on TV for more than one great music-based show, and I feel that rock music has been totally left out of that mix."

Rock Star will air on US TV in 2005. Unlike the Pop Idol format, decisions on who should go forward in the competition will be made as much by the band and music industry professionals as by viewers.

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HAPPY MONDAYS REFORM FOR LONDON MINI-FEST
OK, enough of the reality TV and digital music stuff, let's get into festival news. The Happy Mondays are set to reform for a one-off performance at a special festival called Get Loaded In The Park on Clapham Common on 22 Aug. Bez's band Domino Bones will also perform, with both Bez and Shaun Ryder DJing.
Other names on the bill include Arthur Baker, Peter Hook, Clint Boon, Mike Pickering, Graeme Park, Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke.

More info at http://www.getloadedinthepark.com.

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DYLAN BELFAST GIG MOVES VENUE
Bob Dylan's planned gig at Belfast's Stormont Castle has been shifted to the to the city's Odyssey Arena because the gig's promoter, Jim Aiken, was unable to persuade funding body the Northern Ireland Events Company to put up the funding required to stage an event in the grounds of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Aiken: "Stormont is a wonderful setting, but all the facilities and services have to be built on the site. I am disappointed, but the costs of infrastructure make the promotion of this event impossible without the grant."

The concert will go ahead at the Odyssey on the same date - 26 Jun.

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T IN THE PARK SELLS OUT - AGAIN
Good news for Scottish festival fans. More tickets for the sold out T in the Park have gone on sale. Bad news for Scottish festival fans, they've sold out too. 4000 extra tickets went on sale yesterday and were snapped up immediately. DF Concerts say the event is now completely sold out and people should only come to the event if they already have tickets.

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MORE ACTS ON THE CREAMFIELDS BILL
Creamfields yesterday confirmed the ever-excellent Scissor Sisters will join the Chemical Brothers, Goldfrapp, Mylo, Scratch Perverts and A Man Called Adam on the bill at the August Bank Holiday dance fest (28 Aug).

Also added to the bill are Way Out West (Live), Infusion (Live), Michael Burian and David Guetta.

More at http://www.creamfields.com - press info from Gill at Cream.

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BONNAROO ORGANISERS REFLECT ON FESTIVAL DEATHS
Over in the US, the third annual Bonnaroo festival was slightly marred by the deaths of two festival goers on site. While local authorities agreed with organisers Superfly Productions that the 90,000 capacity event went very well, despite the immense heat, all expressed regret at the deaths of a women from Kentucky and man from Michigan. Both attendees were taken from the festival grounds to a local medical centre where they were pronounced dead. Authorities suspect drugs as a factor in both cases, though autopsy reports are pending.

Superfly's Jonathan Mayers told reporters yesterday: "I would say we have one of the best EMT [Emergency Medical Treatment] staffs out there. Our medical director has been on a lot of these type events, [including] Woodstock and the Phish events. He knows how to handle these situations, and how to react carefully. People's safety is the number one concern out here."

He continued: "When you have this many people out here, the percentages are that there will be something incipient. We've been fortunate so far that it's been a small percentage. It's a big responsibility when you're out here."

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GREAT LINE UP FROM GROLSCH
Not a festival as such, but something worth checking out, Grolsch yesterday confirmed details of their Summer Set events. Following a successful series of gigs at London's Somerset House last summer, the drinks brand is again working with Metropolis Music to stage another set of gigs there this Aug, with additional dates in Bristol at the city's Canon's Marsh Amphitheatre.

Announcing the shows Grolsch's Brand Director, Andy Cray, told CMU: "Live music is an area that continues to play an important part of our target audience's lifestyle and rather than badge an existing event we are working with Metropolis to provide a unique experience where people have a great time with some outstanding live music and a Grolsch."

Dates for the Summer Set shows run as follows:

Bristol
2 Aug: Massive Attack
3 Aug: Groove Armada
4 Aug: Basementjaxx

London
4 Aug: Air
5 Aug: Turin Brakes
6 Aug: Basement Jaxx
7 Aug: Beverley Knight
8 Aug: Snow Patrol

Press info from Cake.

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FILM AND MUSIC AFTER DARK
Talking of branded events that sound rather good, Stella Artois' After Dark event, which has been touring the UK this year, returns to the ICA on Wednesday and Thursday night. This event provides a great mix of music and movie entertainment.

Combining both of those will be Osymyso, who will be scoring a live mix to a feature film right there in front of your very eyes. Music wise James Lavelle, Eclectic Method and Philosophie Collective will be on the decks. On a more visual bent there's live graffiti art from theymademedoit.com and a selection of movie previews from the directors of the very fine Raindance Film Festival.

Tickets are £10 (£8 conc) from the ICA box office. Press info from Exposure, more info at http://www.afterdark04.com

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LIBERTINE DOHERTY QUITS THAILAND REHAB
The latest news on the Libertines' Pete Doherty is that the singer has left the Thamkrabok Monastery in Thailand where he was receiving rehab help in a bid to kick his drug addiction. Word is Doherty left the rehab centre on his own accord and is thought to have gone to Bangkok.

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LOVE TOUR IN JEOPARDY AS LEGAL PROBLEMS GROW
Speculation in the US as to what will happen to Courtney Love's upcoming tour given her growing legal problems - which include those long standing drugs charges and two assault charges. Love's people have admitted the tour, due to start this week, will now be delayed. However with about half of Love's scheduled dates now being billed as cancelled, rather than postponed, some are speculating the whole tour will be dropped. But Love's people insist that the tour will go ahead pending some rescheduling that has been undertaken based on the advice of the singer's lawyers.

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ROYALTY REPORTING BILL BACK IN CONGRESS
The bill being taken through the US Congress by Senator Kevin Murray which aims to give artists more automatic rights to information about royalty payments is back with the catchy titled Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Committee. A vote is expected any day know and insiders reckon it won't get passed. If so, Murray is likely to be criticised for letting the bill lose momentum after earlier delaying the campaign by a few months.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various - Outernational Sound (Thievery Corporation DJ set) (Eighteenth Street Lounge)
ESL records. Not a label I would readily associate with the Eastern seaboard of the US, but what the hell? Here the Thievery's Garza and Hilton take us into the mix with 20 cuts from Latin to easy listening to soul to Asian - all in all a smooth chillout, but with a few teeth in there as well. As for the tracks, well... Label mates Thunderball chip in 'Vai Vai', a relaxed rolling d n b number; sitars strum in TC's 'Lagos Communique'; there are some rising trumpets in Beatfantastic's 'Cookin' while Jocaferi's 'Simbarere' is pure Latin energy. Not amazing but rather quirky, and not run of the mill. PV
Release date: 26 Jul
Press contact: Trailermedia PR

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CAMPBELL IN COURT FOR SENTENCING
Country star Glen Campbell will be sentenced later today after pleading guilty to "extreme" drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident last Nov. Sentencing was due to take place last week, but was delayed so that the singer could perform at the CMA Country Music Festival in Nashville over the weekend. Campbell is expected to get 10 days in jail and 75 hours community service.

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COLDPLAY MARTIN WRITES TRACK FOR EMBRACE
Coldplay's Chris Martin has given a song he originally penned for his own band to Embrace because, well, it sounded like an Embrace track.

Martin explains: "We thought it sounded far too much like [Embrace] for us, but not too much like them for them, so I asked [lead singer] Danny [McNamara] if he wanted the song and that was that."

The track - 'Gravity' - will appear on Embrace's new album, due out in Sep.

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KRAVITZ KEEPS A SOUVENIR JOINT AFTER GETTING STONED WITH THE STONES
Lenny Kravitz has told reporters he once kept a marijuana joint he'd shared with Mick Jagger for a year because he was such a big Stones fan. But then one day he ran out of dope and, succumbing to temptation, he smoked it.

Speaking to a Croatian magazine, Kravitz says: "We were performing on the same stage once, and he invited me to go to his place afterwards. We talked the entire night, and smoked marijuana. We shared a joint, and I kept the rest of it for almost a year. It was a sign of respect".

But he went on to admit: "At one point I had no grass at home, so I smoked the rest of the joint I shared with Jagger".

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