CMU Daily - on the inside 18 Jun 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Reports say Sony BMG merger will get green light
- Napster throw a free digital music player into the equation
- Jacko speaks out as Chandler settlement details released
- Xfm remixes the Twilight Zone
- Sanctuary expand urban management roster
- Mrs Eminem arrested
- Mel C denies blocking Spice Girls reunion
- Geri uses voice coach after throat op
- Competition lines up for Edinburgh licence
- Shazam form alliance with Sponge
- Teletext close down websites
- Macca will play show 3000 this weekend
- VIP Glasto tickets raise seven grand for Wateraid
- J Lo denies Mottola partnership
- PRS AGM update
- MMF workshops on royalties
- Brian Wilson in store
- Movement at Maverick post deal with Warners
- Madonna is now Esther
- Esther bigs up Moore's new doc
- Freestylers gatecrash Anastacia's family BBQ

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US (AGAIN) & CMU DIGEST LAUNCHES TODAY
Not that we like having a birthday every month here at CMU, but following our sixth birthday last month, the CMU Daily celebrates its second anniversary on Monday - hurrah!

To celebrate we're expanding our digest, feature and tracklisting services online at http://www.cmuonline.co.uk.

Today you will find the all new CMU Digest - it goes live at 2pm at http://www.cmuonline.co.uk. This is an easy to use one stop round up of all the music news from the last seven days - especially for those of you without the time to read the Daily every day of the week. You can download it as a PDF for free this afternoon.

On Monday you will find the CMU Tracklisting going live at 2pm - a complete round up of what is being played on alternative and specialist radio around the UK.

And then throughout the week we will be posting a range of features and interviews for you to access. Next week we talk to Meat Katie about his new album 'Bedrock Breaks', we'll be chatting to former CMU columnist Zane Lowe and rounding up everything you need to know about flyposting. Check the top of the Daily each day for details on the latest content going live at http://www.cmuonline.co.uk.

Birthday presents to the usual address (I'm still waiting for someone at Parlophone to send me Queen's Greatest Hits on CD - though thanks to Wild for The Loose Cannons album sampler - it made my day).

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CMU'S FRIDAY TIP

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Revolution Third Birthday in Conjunction with Valve Sound
This has been listed in a number of places but the press contact number ain't working as we go to press, so we can't guarantee for definite it's on. But it might be worth calling the Students' Union number below to double check for yourself, because it does sound really tasty. The mammoth Valve Drum and Bass sound system - a collection of massive speakers which boom out at around 60Kwatts (and the rest) - will be taking over Reading University and literally shaking your pants off. Rig manufacturers Dillinja and Lemon D will be in control, rinsing out some plates they cut just to test their ballistic sonic system, with dark soldier Mampi Swift and newcomers Clipz and Blaze also going for it. With MC's reputed to include Tali, Eksman, Moose, and Flyte, it is set to be a fine summer junglist session ... but don't get too near the speaker stacks.
Fri 18 Jun, Reading University Students' Union, Whiteknights Campus, University of Reading, 2pm - 2am, £13, info from 0118 986 0222, press info from revolutionuk9@hotmail.com

OR: Grace
If ground shaking beats fail to satisfy your D and B fix then get down to Grooverider's night at Herbal - on rotation: Groove, Fabio, Flight, Andy C and Adam F. Nuff said.
Sun 20 Jun, Herbal, Kingsland Road, London, E2, 10pm - 3am, £4-5, info at http://www.herbaluk.com

Put your club night up for the tip - vigsy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

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REPORTS SAY SONY BMG MERGER WILL GET GREEN LIGHT
It works like this - you act all hardline then cave in at the last minute.

Media reports over night suggest that Europe's competition commissioner Mario Monti will approve the proposed Sony BMG merger. Despite numerous parties opposing the plans at an open hearing in Brussels this week, reports say Monti has recommended the two majors' proposal be given the green light because there is not "sufficient evidence to oppose the deal".

The Commission's deadline for making a decision on the merger is 22 Jul, although a decision could be announced earlier. If the European Commission gives the merger the go ahead the proposals will then go to the US Federal Trade Commission who are expected to be supportive of the plans - especially as the HQ of the combined Sony BMG is likely to be in New York.

Of course there have been rumours that some at the top levels of BMG have been having second thoughts about the deal - which would put Sony boss Andrew Lack in charge - especially given the recent run of successful releases the company has achieved. So even if it does get the EC go ahead the merger is not completely a foregone conclusion.

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NAPSTER THROW A FREE DIGITAL MUSIC PLAYER INTO THE EQUATION
As the digital music sector gets very competitive here in Europe, back in the US Napster have stepped up their efforts to dominate the market by offering consumers a free digital music player if they sign up for a twelve month subscription with the service.

The twelve month subscription, which gives consumers unlimited free streaming and access to a range of community services, costs $119 for a year. That seems particularly good value now that it comes with a Rio Chiba Sport portable MP3 player which itself retails at $130.

The player has 128 megabytes of storage capacity and includes a stopwatch, sports headphones and an armband. Members can opt, if they wish, to pay an extra $80 to upgrade to the larger capacity Rio Nitrus.

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JACKO SPEAKS OUT AS CHANDLER SETTLEMENT DETAILS RELEASED
Michael Jackson took time out yesterday to remind all you cynics out there that the out-of-court settlement paid to Jordan Chandler after he made claims of child abuse against the singer back in 1993 were not, repeat, were not an admission of guilt.

In a statement Jackson told reporters yesterday: "I have always maintained my innocence and vehemently denied that these events ever took place. I reluctantly chose to settle the false claims only to end the terrible publicity and to continue with my life and career."

Jacko was forced to make the statement after Court TV revealed specifics about the deal between Jackson and Chandler's family, in which a reported $25 million exchanged hands ($15.3 million paid into a trust fund for Jordan himself, as reported yesterday, plus $2 million cash for Jordan, $1.5 million for his family and $5 million for their lawyer).

Jacko's people argue that in revealing details about the 1993 settlement now, Court TV are trying to influence a potential jury in the new child abuse trial due to start in the Autumn. Jackson continued: "These kinds of attacks and leaks seek to try the case in the press, rather than to a jury who will hear all of the evidence that will show that I did not, and would not, ever, harm a child."

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XFM REMIXES THE TWILIGHT ZONE
Budding remixers are being invited to enter the Twilight Zone by Xfm and the Sci Fi channel. To mark the fact that the New Twilight Zone is debuting on the Sci Fi channel, listeners to Xfm's Remix show are being invited to remix the TV show's famous theme tune. The person who makes the best remix will get a day in the studio with leading producer Rob Searle to hone the track, with the possibility of a full release at a later date.

The motivation for the competition followed the decision by the makers of the New Twilight Zone in the US to ask Korn's Jonathan Davis to remix the classic theme tune for the new version of the show. On his remix Davis says: "It seems like when you're in The Twilight Zone, it's the place where anything can happen and it's usually something twisted or dark. So I just went for that kind of approach, just making the visual pop out and giving you that eerie 'Twilight Zone' feel."

But with the Xfm competition anything goes. Remix host Eddy Temple Morris explains: "I'm looking for a track that will take the 'New Twilight Zone' theme to the next level. The potential here for a Number One dance remix is huge. I'm sure someone in the UK can outdo the KORN rock version. There's much more scope for a pop or dance track."

Listeners to the Remix have had the opportunity to remix a number of tracks in the past couple of years, including music by the Gorillaz, Electric Six and, currently, the Dub Pistols. The constituent parts of the tracks are put online at http://www.xfm.co.uk/theremix, listeners download them and play away. The results are frequently fantastic, so the Twilight Zone remixes should be very fine indeed.

Full details, of course, in CMU Daily's sister e-newsletter, the Remix Update, out on Monday evening. To get that in your in box each week just email the word SUBSCRIBE to theremix@xfm.co.uk. This week there will be details of how you could win a DJ slot at a great chill out festival plus, to celebrate the release of that very fine new Chikinki single, there's a Chikinki chopper bike to win (hey it illiterates, what better excuse do we need?). So subscribe today!.

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SANCTUARY EXPAND URBAN MANAGEMENT ROSTER
If the BMG Sony merger gets the go ahead, don't worry there could still be five major labels, because if Sanctuary keep growing at their current rate they will soon join the major label league (in size, not ethos, you understand). The cross-sector music company have just bought up American urban management specialist Erving Wonder bringing the likes of Eve, Sleepy Brown and Angie Stone to their management roster. The agency's two founders - J Erving and Troy Carter - will join Sanctuary's burgeoning urban division as executive vice presidents.

Announcing the deal Matthew Knowles of Sanctuary Urban told reporters: "When considering who to bring into our new venture at Sanctuary Urban Management, Troy Carter and his partner J Erving were always first on my list. They have a reputation of professional integrity in urban music that is consummated by their success."

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MRS EMINEM ARRESTED
And today's pop court news involves the former Mrs Eminem - Kimberley Mathers - who has been arrested after walking out of a court-ordered drug treatment programme. A judge issued a warrant for her arrest back in Apr after she dropped out of a drug programme for the second time. She was obligated to undergo the rehab scheme after pleading guilty to charges of possessing 25g or less of cocaine.

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MEL C DENIES BLOCKING SPICE GIRLS REUNION
Melanie C has denied she refused to take part in a Spice Girls reunion show, and in doing so scuppered plans for a greatest hits release. Writing on he website she says: "It's really annoying to keep reading all these lies. I have never even been approached about a tour - I am completely unaware of any of the other girls' desire to get back together."

On her current tour of intimate Barfly venues around the UK, Mel continues: "The tour is proving to be a huge success and is completely sold out. I chose to play these small venues and did not advertise these shows as I am not promoting anything. They are for fun, for you guys and to try out new songs before I start recording."

That recording is for Mel C's as yet untitled third solo album, which will be released on her own label Red Girl Records.

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GERI USES VOICE COACH AFTER THROAT OP
Geri Halliwell is taking voice lessons after undergoing that throat surgery earlier this year. She is working with voice coach Penny Davis.

A spokesman for Geri told the Sun: "After a throat operation it is a normal procedure to take some lessons to retrain your voice. Penny has agreed to see Geri once a week to help improve her voice. She's one of the best in the business and Geri thinks she has done so much for her in just a few weeks. Since starting the lessons, she thinks she's found new tones to her voice. She's really excited about her new album and is proud of the new songs."

You never know, Geri might come out of the whole thing a better singer - then the Spice Girls could reform without Mel C, with Geri fulfilling the role of 'the one who can sing'.

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COMPETITION LINES UP FOR EDINBURGH LICENCE
At least ten companies are expected to bid for a new Edinburgh radio licence which is due to be advertised by OfCom later this month. The first licence to be awarded by new media regulator OfCom, and one of the biggest of the thirty new radio licences that will go up for grabs in the next couple of years, all the key players want the opportunity to broadcast to the Scottish capital.

EMAP hopes to put forward a strong bid by join forces with a locally based consortium called Castle FM, because: "Emap believes in the importance of local boards. Rather than go it alone, we believe we have a better chance of winning by joining forces with such a prominent and well established local consortium".

Scottish Media Group reckon da Burgh needs some classic rock on its airwaves (those that remember those Scot FM test transmissions back in summer 1994 might agree) and are hoping to put their internet station Virgin Radio Classic Rock onto the airwaves.

In a similar vein Chrysalis Radio hope to put their digital rock channel The Arrow onto a terrestrial frequency.

The Guardian Media Group, who already have one of the mid-Scotland franchises for its Real Radio outfit (which replaced the aforementioned Scot FM) hope to get another in order to give Edinburgh its watered down Jazz FM brand Smooth, which launched in Manchester back in Mar.

GWR have confirmed they will bid for the licence, but are yet to decide what with. Capital, who own the region's youth station Beat 106, are yet to decide whether to bid.

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SHAZAM FORM ALLIANCE WITH SPONGE
The company who run that cool 'play a track into your mobile and find out what it's called' service - Shazam - have forged an alliance with an SMS company called Sponge, partly to share in the enjoyment of having silly company names beginning with S, but mainly to offer SMS music promotion services. More on the specifics of those services when we get them.

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TELETEXT CLOSE DOWN WEBSITES
Teletext, the company that runs, erm, teletext on various commercial TV channels, has confirmed it will close down its website and the interactive website-style service it currently offers NTL and Telewest customers.

Announcing the decision a spokesman for the company said: "Whilst the website has attracted audiences of several hundred thousand monthly users, the company does not see a realistic prospect of it delivering an acceptable return. Similarly the cable services do not show potential for sufficient commercial gains, further impacted by the general lack of growth and investment in the platform itself."

However Telewest were keen to stress that while Teletext's interactive service on their network may not have been commercially viable, that does not reflect in anyway on their interactive platform: "Telewest Broadband has consistently enhanced its interactive offering with a range of new services including red button functionality for Euro 2004, Big Brother, Fox Kids and QVC. We also offer TV email, digital TV shopping, news and information services, chat and games. Interactivity remains a core part of our digital TV offering and we will continue to develop services over the summer including the launch of interactivity for Wimbledon."

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MACCA WILL PLAY SHOW 3000 THIS WEEKEND
Paul McCartney will play his 3000th live show this weekend in St Petersburg, Russia. More than 100,000 fans are expected at McCartney's first ever gig in the city. The special concert is part of Macca's current European tour.

The maths behind the 3000th show are not completely conclusive because it is not known exactly how many live shows McCartney played in the early years of the Beatles, or with his previous band The Quarrymen. However his management reckon that he played a total of 2523 gigs with the two bands.
They add to that 140 live appearances with Wings, and the 325 gigs he has performed as a solo artist, which include sets at Live Aid and the Super Bowl. That means he had played 2988 shows prior to the start of the current tour, which began on 25 May.

Commenting on the 3000th show McCartney told reporters yesterday: "I was amazed when people told me I'll do my 3,000th gig on this tour,"

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VIP GLASTO TICKETS RAISE SEVEN GRAND FOR WATERAID
Three pairs of VIP tickets for this year's sell out Glastonbury Festival have been sold on eBay for a record £7150 - all in aid of the WaterAid charity. The tickets were donated by festival organiser Michael Eavis.

Commenting on the auction WaterAid's Fundraising Manager Emily Boyd-Carpenter told reporters: "We're enormously grateful to Glastonbury for choosing us as the charity to benefit from this eBay listing and we'd like to thank the people who have bid so generously for the tickets. WaterAid is delighted to be one of the main 'good causes' supported by the festival. It's an ideal partnership - an event such as Glastonbury requires one million gallons of water over a period of five days and hygiene and sanitation are major concerns when turning a dairy farm into a huge, densely-populated tented city. For three days people experience what it's like not to be able to have a shower, run their tap or use their flushing toilet. This helps people to have a better understanding of what it's like for the world's poorest people who struggle every day to access water or any kind of sanitation."

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J LO DENIES MOTTOLA PARTNERSHIP
Jennifer Lopez has released an official statement denying media reports that she is in talks with former Sony boss Thomas Mottola about him becoming her manager. In a statement a rep for J Lo said yesterday: "This information is not true and was never substantiated by Ms. Lopez or her company. The information is false, and currently Ms Lopez is not in discussions with him, nor any other manager or management firm. All of Ms Lopez's business dealings and transactions are handled by her business partner/manager Simon Fields."

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PRS AGM UPDATE
The never dull world of music publishing were at the annual general meeting of the Performing Rights Society yesterday. Amid discussions about the Live Music Forum and the Santiago agreement (whatever that is), elections took place for the Society's board.

Writers David Ferguson and Francis Shaw replace Christopher Gunning and John McLeod on the Society's board of songwriters, on to which Peter Callander, Nicky Graham, Edward Gregson, Mitch Murray and Andy Neve were re-elected. On the publishing side EMI Music Publishing's William Booth and Faber Music's Richard King replace EMI's Jonathan Channon and Oxford Univeristy Press' Andrew Potter as publisher directors.

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MMF WORKSHOPS ON ROYALTIES
Talking of royalty collection type things, which we were, the Music Managers Forum are hosting a training workshop on collection societies - one on publishing royalties, one of recording royalties.

The publishing bit takes place on Monday - 21 Jun - and features a panel including Malcolm Buckland (PRS), Mark Jones (MCPS), Sean Devine (ASCAP) and Nick Robinson (BMI). The recordings bit takes place on Tuesday - 22 Jun - and features Clive Bishop (PPL) and Nigel Parker (AURA).

Both take place at 6.30pm on the respective days at the MCPS/PRS offices on Berners Street. More details at http://www.mmf-training.com

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BRIAN WILSON IN STORE
Following Donna Summer's instore this week, another legend will be appearing in HMV on Oxford Street next month. Brian Wilson will be at the store on 29 Jul to promote his new album 'Getting In Over My Head' which is out on Mon.

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MOVEMENT AT MAVERICK POST DEAL WITH WARNERS
More from the world of Maverick Records post that deal with Warner Music earlier this week. As previously reported legal problems between Warner, who were minority shareholders in Maverick, and the imprint's other owners, including Madonna, came to an end with a deal which sees Warner buy out some of those other owners. As a result of the deal Maverick's operations will become more integrated with the rest of Warner Music.

Maverick's General Manager Daniel Savage has said he will stay with the company during the transition period, but says there will be no GM post at the label once Warners have increased their stake. How many of Maverick's other 50 staff will be without jobs once the imprint moves into Warner's West Coast office remains to be seen.

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MADONNA IS NOW ESTHER
Talking of which, word is Madonna has changed her name to Esther after being influenced by her study of the Jewish mysticism of Kabbalah. Not sure if the new name is meant for private use, or whether we will soon be seeing music released under the Esther moniker.

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ESTHER BIGS UP MOORE'S NEW DOC
Finally for this week, Madonna has urged her fans to go and see Michael Moore's provocative new film documenting the events surrounding September 11th and the Iraq War - 'Fahrenheit 9/11' - which opens in the US next week and over here next month.

Having seen the film at a celeb screening, Madonna told fans this week: "I don't think I've ever cried so hard at a movie in my life. And I'm sure I still have a lot to learn from it. Not only is it inspiring and educating, but it's proof that people can make a difference, that we can make a difference."

But don't go and see 'Fahrenheit 9/11' because some mad woman called Esther tells you to, go and see it because any sane person should.

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FREESTYLERS GATECRASH ANASTACIA'S FAMILY BBQ
And finally, finally - the duo behind our favourite song of the moment (well, until the Loose Cannon's 'I Like It When Ya' is relased), the Freestylers, have been talking about the time they gatecrashed a family party at Anastacia's house.

Freestyler Matt explains: "We thought it was a pool party at Anastacia's place for industry people. But we knocked on the door and Anastacia's mum answered looking a bit confused. We walked in and it was Anastacia and her close family members, chopping up bits of tomato and cucumber and making a nice salad. It was a bit embarrassing - we hadn't even bought a bottle of wine. I just kept insisting that we should go as we didn't realise it was a family barbecue, but her mum was really nice and just chatted about house prices in London and stuff."

Talking of the Freestylers, their track 'Push Up' is heading for the Top 40 on Sunday. So everyone go out and buy a copy and see if we can get it Top 20.

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