CMU Daily - on the inside 16 Jun 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- iTunes is go in Europe
- Apple join the indies against the Sony BMG merger
- Diabolical defend the flypost
- Judge refuses to drop Jacko bail
- Britney's tour off
- Duran Duran to release new album on epic
- Album Review: Patrick & Eugene - Postcard From Summerisle
- Nielsen to monitor Yahoo Launch
- TMBG return
- 50 Cent causes trouble at radio gig - again
- Guilfest update
- Green Man update
- Brown won't contest domestic violence charge
- Media speculate about Warner Maverick deal
- Dance label Beechwood in administration
- Spice Girls best of is off
- Single Review: Jazzinho - Camponesa Ep
- 1xtra rejig schedule
- Sonic youth to play Brixton
- Special Pacha mag being released through OMM
- Street fest line up news
- Pressure Cooker investigate release for Ramsay rap

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ITUNES IS GO IN EUROPE
As expected, Apple Computers yesterday launched the European version of their iTunes service. As of this morning music fans in France, Germany and the UK can download tracks from the service to their PCs or iPods. The service will roll out into other European countries in October.

Launching with a catalogue of 700,000 songs, the service will sell individual tracks for 79p a time in the UK and 0.99 euros in France and Germany.

Announcing the European launch Apple boss Steve Jobs told reporters: "We are marching this digital music revolution around the world. Piracy is the biggest market for downloads - we have to understand it and offer a better product. We now have the most popular place in the world to buy online music".

Commenting on the launch the boss of the UK music industry association, the BPI, told reporters: "It's great news for the UK music industry, but it's even better news for UK music fans".

Jay Berman, chief executive of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industries, said that iTunes was an example of the way the music industry was responding to consumer appetite for digital music: "Consumers are hungry to get music from new convenient and flexible sources. The recording industry has proved its commitment to making a huge catalogue of its music available online."

John Hutchinson of royalties body MCPS-PRS, who confirmed his organisation had reached a deal with Apple regarding songwriter/publishing royalties, also congratulated the computer firm on the launch of their European service, "MCPS and PRS congratulate Apple on the successful launch of their new iTunes service. We have been pleased to work with them on their UK licence for the benefit of our members and for creators and publishers worldwide."

Meanwhile Philip Rowley, President of AOL Europe, confirmed that - as in the US - AOL customers in France, Germany and the UK would be able to access iTunes directly via the AOL music channel. Rowley told reporters: "We are delighted that Apple has chosen AOL as its partner at the launch of the iTunes Music Store for the UK, France and Germany. AOL is committed to providing our members the best and most comprehensive music services and exclusive content. With the integration of iTunes, they will have one-click access to the pioneering iTunes Music Store."

But the Association of Independent Music remain cautious following the news yesterday that the independent labels in Europe had refused the terms being offered by Apple to make their music available via the service. AIM boss Alison Wenham: "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."

On that tricky indies issue Apple simply said they had "signed dozens of independent labels in the UK but we want to sign more". When asked about the fact that iTunes does not work with many of the MP3 digital music players on the market, Jobs said, "You should buy an iPod."

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APPLE JOIN THE INDIES AGAINST THE SONY BMG MERGER
Despite everything there is one issue on which Apple and the independent sector agree - a merged Sony BMG ain't a good prospect. Representatives from both were in Brussels yesterday to speak at the European Commission hearing on the proposed merger. After both Sony and BMG responded to the EC's statement of objections to the their proposals on Monday, those who oppose the further consolidation of the music industry were yesterday stating their case.

Representing the independent labels, trade organisation IMPALA said that the increased dominance of one major player in the music industry would make it harder for them to bring new artists to market, which would in turn reduce consumer choice and cultural diversity.

Also speaking out against the proposed merger were a consortium of small record shop owners, mainly from France, and the the Independent Music Managers Association.

The arguments of all parties will now be considered by a "devil's advocate panel" of EC anti-trust experts. A final decision will be taken by 22 Jul at the latest, although an announcement could be made as early as 15 Jul.

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DIABOLICAL DEFEND THE FLYPOST
As Sony Music pledges to stop using flyposting campaigns to promote their music, the UK's leading 'urban marketing' agency, Diabolical Liberties, has responded to the legal threats made by a North London council to anyone who flyposts.

As previously reported, London's Camden Council are attempting to use the 'anti social behaviour order' system to stop companies from fly posting. The Council asked the court to serve ASBO injunctions against senior marketing execs at both Sony and BMG in the UK. If the courts back the Council on this, it would mean those major label employees would be personally liable to fines or even prison sentences if they sanctioned flyposting campaigns, on the grounds flyposting constitutes anti-social behaviour. Sony Music have pledged to stop flyposting on condition Camden drop their legal action against them. BMG, however, are yet to respond meaning Camden's stretching of the ASBO system to cover flyposting may well now be tested in court.

With a long history in planning and executing flyposting campaigns Diabolical Liberties have questioned Camden Council's use of the ASBO system, and have called on the Council to follow other local authorities in the UK and set up a legal flyposting network.

The company's communications manager Adrienne Merrill says: "The legal question of if ASBO legislation is effective against the use of fly posters is still not answered. Yesterday's court proceedings [relating to Sony] didn't lead to an ASBO being served - and neither did they create any beneficial outcomes for Camden or any other borough in the city".

Taking on the tricky task of defending flyposting, Merrill continues: "Urban media is incredibly important for marketing arts, music and events within localities, fly posters have been a mainstay of urban communications for literally hundreds of years. It's a part of the city infrastructure and plays a really valid and unique role in supporting youth culture - which is one of the key inspirations for Britain's creative edge. The criminalisation of cultural media is a backward step. And a total ban on urban media will mark the start of the complete homogenisation of our cities, an environment that won't support the continuation of the creative edge which makes the UK still rather special".

Calling on Camden Council to adopt a middle ground position Merrill continues: "Diabolical Liberties have for many years been actively supporting various organisations around the UK who manage and develop authorised legal street poster schemes in cities throughout the UK. These groups work in collaboration with the local councils and install a variety of fixed structures such as drums, framed boards, blue vinyl window fronts. These sites are highly maintained and managed and 40% of the space is given over to local arts, events and charity notices at a vastly subsidised rates."

"All the councils taking part have seen clearly visible results as fly posters have stopped blighting the city in an unregulated style, while the the communities have continued to have local space made open to them in a style that young people can relate to. Why can't this be the case for Camden and London as a whole? Bringing regulated schemes into the city will bring the UK more into line with the rest of Europe and go some way to making young people feel they are a part of the city."

Camden Council are yet to indicate whether or not they will consider installing a legal flyposting system now that illegal flyposting has slumped since they began their legal assault on the major record labels.

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JUDGE REFUSES TO DROP JACKO BAIL
Elsewhere in legal news, a US judge has refused a request by Michael Jackson's lawyer to lower the size of the singer's bail payment. Jacko's lawyer Thomas Mesereau argued the current $3 million figure was "grossly excessive", but Judge Melville said yesterday that, while the bail was more than the normal amount for such cases, that: "No evidence has been presented and no argument made to suggest that the bail amount represents a financial hardship for defendant".

The decision will please prosecutors who had argued Jackson might flee the country if his bail payment was reduced.

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BRITNEY'S TOUR OFF
Britney Spears' people yesterday confirmed the singer's up coming US tour, due to resume on 22 Jun, will have to be cancelled following the knee surgery Ms Spears underwent last week. As previously reported, Britney had to have the arthroscopic surgery after falling during a video shoot. It now looks like Britney will be out of action for four months, which means all 35 up coming tour dates will have to be postponed. No word on rescheduling the tour as yet.

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DURAN DURAN TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM ON EPIC
Simon LeBon has confirmed that the reformed-original-line-up Duran Duran will release a new album this Autumn on Sony label Epic. It will be the first album release from the original line up since 1983's 'Seven & the Ragged Tiger'.

Work has already begun on the album. LeBon says of the atmosphere in the studio: "It's very similar to how it worked 20 years ago. Everybody's a little bit more open to how they feel about stuff."

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ALBUM REVIEW: Patrick & Eugene - Postcard From Summerisle (Tummy Touch)
We're very wary of phrases like 'album of the year' round here. How, we always say, can anyone say something is the 'album of the year' until the latter half of December? Who's to say what storming albums are just around the corner? To that end, on the odd occasion such a statement gets past my sub-editing eye, it is normally knocked out by Caro in her last minute edit of the Daily. This, however, is the album of the year, so no need for such ruthless editing. We first put this album in the CD player in recognition of the fact three copies arrived on the same day - which shows some commitment on the part of Tummy Touch Records. The fact all three CDs arrived on the first day of the current heatwave is presumably coincidental, but either way this is so much the perfect album to accompany the sweltering heat that has fallen on London this week it has been on repeat play ever since. Because however hot the office, however sore your head, it is impossible to not smile, nod and, frankly, boogie round the office once Patrick & Eugene start to play. The ska-esque cover versions of Kylie's 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head' and Beyonce's 'Crazy In Love' are genius, but are not actually the main attraction here. Somewhere between Was Not Was, Madness and George Formby - though packaged in the form of funky dance music - Patrick and Eugene are so damn fine, if you're not all playing / raving about this album, and especially 'The Birds And The Bees' (which you might have heard in the Gordons Gin ads) then, frankly, I don't like you any more. CC
Release date: 2 Aug
Press contact: Darlin Dept [CP, RP, NP] Tummy Touch [CR, RR, NR]

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NIELSEN TO MONITOR YAHOO LAUNCH
The US music stats firm Nielsen have said they will start monitoring the music being played on Yahoo's rather excellent Launch service, and will publish what tracks are getting played. On Launch each subscriber sets their own music policy, they can tag tracks as 'favourites' and can ban tracks from their personal playlist. What new songs are performing well will be listed in Nielsen's regular stats report.

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TMBG RETURN
They Might Be Giants return with a new album next month - 'The Spine' will be released on Cooking Vinyl on 5 Jul. However those of you wanting to see the TMBG guys live are going to have to wait until 9 Sep - they have booked in a one off UK show at the Astoria. Press info on both from Cooking Vinyl IH.

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50 CENT CAUSES TROUBLE AT RADIO GIG - AGAIN
50 Cent was enjoying himself last weekend when he performed at the Hot 97 Summer Jam in New York on Saturday.

Firstly there was a brawl between Fiddy's G Unit and former pal Bang Em Smurf and his posse the Silverback Guerrillaz which riot police were reportedly required to break up.

Then 50 Cent stuck on a video which belittled Lil Kim, Ja Rule, Ashanti and others.

And finally Fiddy performed a little rendition of a track by fellow headliner R Kelly - altering the lyrics of 'Bump 'n' Grind' so they went: "I don't see nothing wrong with urinating on little girls."

Given that Fiddy caused a bit of a raucus when he made an impromptu appearance at the Spring Jam organised by Massachusetts radio station WZMX-FM just last month, perhaps people should stop booking 50 Cent for anything with Jam in the title.

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GUILFEST UPDATE
More from the festivals file, and firstly the ever expanding line up for this year's GuilFest which takes place in Stoke Park, Guildford from 16 - 18 Jul. Line up highlights as follows:
BBC Radio 2 Stage:

Blondie, The Stranglers, The Damned, Speedway, Big Wednesday, Simple Minds, Katie Melua, Rickie Lee Jones, Tim Booth, Rolf Harris, The Alarm, UB40, Ocean Colour Scene, Femi Kuti, The Saw Doctors, Midge Ure, Eve Selis and The Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain.

Uncut Magazine Aladdin's Cave Stage:
Beta Band, Simple Kid, Hot Club Of Cowtown, Proud Mary, Republic Of Loose and The Morenas, The Levellers (acoustic), Willis, Ian McNabb, Lucky Jim, Niall Carter, Kathryn Williams, The Yards, BlackBud, Alistair Cowan.

Andertons LiveClub Stage:
Mr Love And Justice, The Roosters, Fixxer, This Is Seb Clarke, Ink And Essence, 12 Inch Ninja, Pickled Dick, The Winter Kids, The Nautical Theme, Four Stories and The Love Spuds.

Tropical Tent:
Adrian Sherwood On-U Sound System, A Man Called Adam, Diversion Tactics, Headstand, Less Than Zero, Plump DJs, Client, Miss Tyson, DJ Hillsy, Little Spitfire, Blazing Homesteads, Crosbi, The Process, Whitestar, The Restaurant, Kitaya, Hallelujah Johnson and Ariel-X.

More at http://www.guilfest.co.uk

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GREEN MAN UPDATE
Elsewhere in festival line up news, news on what's playing at the Green Man Festival - the festival we love simply because they have something called the 'folkey dokey stage'! It all takes place in the Welsh countryside at Baskerville Hall, nr Hay On Wye on 21 and 22 Aug. Line up as follows:

Main Stage:
Four Tet, James Yorkston and the Athletes, It's Jo and Danny, Adem, Joanna Newsom, The Fence Collective, The Memory Band, Fonda 500, Lucky Luke, Field Trip, Daimh, M Craft, Jackie Leven, Lone Pigeon, Ella Guru, Clayhill, The Earlies, Drymbago and Crannog.

Folkey Dokey Stage
Aidan Smith, Fionn Regan, King Creosote, Pedro, Colleen, Faun Fables, Wigwam, Bit Map, Charlotte Greg, The Bard of Ely, Brave Captain, Chris T T, Elaine Palmer, Gravenhurst, Lucky Jim, Culprit One, Scatter, Jakokoyak, Sweet Baboo and My Latest Novel.

Plus DJs from Warp Records & Twisted Nerve.

More at http://www.thegreenmanfestival.co.uk - press info from Hermana.

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BROWN WON'T CONTEST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGE
According to the Associate Press James Brown will not contest charges of domestic violence against his wife in order to avoid the case going to trial. As previously reported, Brown was arrested after an altercation with his wife Tommie Rae Brown in Jan. Despite an icy period in the couple's relationship after the incident they are now back together. Brown's legal people say the singer has said he will not contest the charges - which essentially means pleading guilty - but has done so in order to stop him and his wife having to go to court.

Brown's attorney Albert 'Buddy' Dallas told reporters: "A decision had to be made about what is the least harmful to these individuals. This was a private matter that was made public. This way, she [Tommie Rae] would not have to testify and Mr. Brown would not have to testify. Anytime you get arrested, you're regretful. I'm sure there's sufficiency of fault to go around. Mr. Brown just wants to go on with the private part of his life as private business."

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MEDIA SPECULATE ABOUT WARNER MAVERICK DEAL
No official announcement on the financial bits of the Warner Music / Maverick Records agreement we reported on yesterday - but plenty of speculation in the American press.

The LA Times reckons Madonna and Ronnie Dashev - who will sell their stake in Maverick to the major as part of the deal - will make $10 million between them. They also reckon that Maverick's other partner - Guy Oseary - has also sold part of his stake in the business, giving Warner a 75% interest in the imprint.

The New York Times sets the sum of money to be paid to Madonna and Dashev as being "more than $10 million", though they dispute the claims Oseary, who will continue to run Maverick, has sold any of his stake. They reckon Madonna, Dashev and Oseary each had a 20% stake in the company, meaning that Warner Music, who already held a 40% share, will have an 80% stake without acquiring any of Oseary's shares.

Finally the New York Post reckons that Madonna alone will receive $10 million, with Dashev getting her own undisclosed pay out. Even so, they add, given the $200 million Maverick was looking to secure through their litigation against Warner, that's quite a come down!

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DANCE LABEL BEECHWOOD IN ADMINISTRATION
Dance label Beechwood Music has gone into administration and the company's administrators are looking for a buyer - pushing predominantly back catalogue assets rather than current roster. Anyone with a few pennies to spare should contact finance firm BDO Stoy Hayward - http://www.bdo.co.uk

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SPICE GIRLS BEST OF IS OFF
Brace yourself for this bit of news. The Spice Girls greatest hits album is on hold - reportedly because the ever sensible Melanie C refused to take part in the promotional reunion gig that Virgin Records insisted went with the best of release.

The Sun quotes a source as saying: "Mel refuses to join the girls on stage because she still dreams of making it big by herself. But she's on her smallest tour ever - and that's struggling. She told the others she was happy to do TV interviews to plug the album but that was it. The money men at Virgin said a big concert was the only way to guarantee massive publicity, so they pulled plans for a release in the first week of November. They have agreed to release the greatest hits in 2006. It's billed as ten years of the Spice Girls since they released their first single Wannabe in 1996."

The source continues: "The girls reckon Mel will be back with her tail between her legs by then. Her solo career will be a distant memory so she'll have no choice but to jump on the bandwagon." If ever there was a reason to support Mel C's solo releases that is surely it.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Jazzinho - Camponesa EP (Ecco Chamber)
The first EP after the smashing self titled album last year sees Jazzinho's folky-latin-jazz 'Camponesa' getting an outing. Vocalist Guida da Palma's hymn-like lyrics float over the original, complete with the accordion and strummed guitar of Chris Franck of Smoke City. The remix by the Oporton K-Tado takes us on a slightly more trippy journey - originally I didn't like it, but the electro growl b-line and chopped riffs do win you over. Also included is the Dutch electro pioneers Gerd's 4Lux remix of 'Astral' - smooth as CGI peaches there's a some little bleeps and plenty of smart beats - simple but awesome. Will sadly only be released on 12' vinyl, but worth tracking down, and check the album - extremely high quality. PV
Release date: 21 Jun
More info: www.jazzinho.com

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1XTRA REJIG SCHEDULE
BBC's 'urban music' digital station 1Xtra is having a revamp. G Money and Nesha - currently weekend presenters on the station - will be handed the drive time slot from 3 - 5pm, Reggie & Devin will get Saturday breakfast while Letitia MD will be given a weekend afternoon slot.

In the specialist bit of the schedule Panjabi Hit Squad's Desi Beats gets an earlier evening slot on Thursdays, Rodney P & Skitz will host a new early evening Friday hip hop programme, and underground music programme Pirate Sessions hosted by Cameo will get a 2 to 6am weekend slot.

Confirming the changes 1Xtra Programmes Editor Willber Willberforce told reporters the new schedule will enable the station to better represent the latest developments in black music - adding: "1Xtra's remit is to play the best in new black music. Our daytime and specialist shows have successfully brought through new talent to listeners in the past year; acts like Sean Paul, Kanye West, Wiley and Dizzee Rascal have changed the state of the charts, dancefloor and streets," he says.

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SONIC YOUTH TO PLAY BRIXTON
Sonic Youth, whose new album 'Sonic Nurse' and DVD 'Corporate Ghost' was released last week, will play the Brixton Academy on 2 Sep. Tickets are already on sale.

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SPECIAL PACHA MAG BEING RELEASED THROUGH OMM
The Observer Music Monthly will next month distribute a special one off edition of the Pacha magazine which is distributed free to 30,000 people in Ibiza each summer.

Confirming he was producing a special edition for OMM, Pacha magazine's founder Ben Turner told CMU: "We are very proud of this association. The credibility and creativity of OMM sits perfectly with what we're creating in Ibiza with Pacha magazine. The Pacha brand is 36 years old but it's as credible in the youth market today as it has ever been. It has recently added a hotel and the magazine to its portfolio, and it's an honour to be responsible for delivering what I believe is a unique look at the island of Ibiza for young people."

OMM editor Caspar Llwellyn-Smith added: "We are very pleased to be associated with Pacha magazine. Like OMM, it's stylish, entertaining and highly credible and it deserves a UK audience."

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STREET FEST LINE UP NEWS
More details on that free summer street festival being staged by Tin Pan Alley Studios in Soho next month.

On the bill so far are The Others, The Barbs, Senor Senor, Billy Thompson, Mower, Evalon, The Occupiers, 50HZ, Junkbox and Catherine Shepherd.

The festival will take over Denmark Street on 11 Jul from 11am to 8pm.

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PRESSURE COOKER INVESTIGATE RELEASE FOR RAMSAY RAP
Word is US dance outfit Pressure Cooker are talking to commercial labels about releasing a version of Dana's 'Something's Cooking In The Kitchen' which comes complete with swearing filled tirades from Gordon Ramsay - most taken off recordings of his Hell's Kitchen show. No word from Mr Ramsay himself about the track, but Pressure Cooker's Craig Akira reportedly told the Sun: "The track has proved very popular with club DJs so now we are in the process of playing it to big commercial record labels to see if they want to release it for sale."

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