CMU Daily - on the inside 24 Jun 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Blackburn suspended over Cliff row
- No rain gun for Glastonbury
- Euro-iTunes sells 800k+ tracks in first week
- Management organisation appoint new PR
- WH Smiths takeover talks on hold
- Virgin Megastore launch festivals promotion
- Jane's Addiction split again
- Billboard face lawsuit from former Editor in Chief
- New Libertines album release date set
- Cantat drops sentence appeal
- ITV invest millions into digital channels
- RIAA sue another 482 downloaders
- IFPI call for EU to support global piracy fight
- T on the Fringe line up additions
- Album Review: The Loose Cannons - Make The Face
- Elton John previews Billy Elliot musical tracks
- Queen musical to open in Vegas
- Ideas Factory offer free songwriting course place
- Ben Folds album pushed back
- Party in the Park bill grows
- Russian museum chief not impressed with loud Macca gig
- BMG Sony merger will be personal coup for lack
- Oasis play two new tracks at Glasto warm up gig

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BLACKBURN SUSPENDED OVER CLIFF ROW
Those in the know will tell you a radio station succeeds because of its playlist. Of course there's an equally strong argument that most radio stations succeed despite their playlists, but anyways, as soon as a radio chief starts justifying music policy on the basis of listener research you know there's no point trying to argue - they clearly don't know what they're talking about.

Which is a round about way of reporting that Tony Blackburn has been suspended from Unique Broadcasting owned Classic Gold because he played one too many Cliff Richard records. The suspension comes after an ongoing feud between Blackburn and his bosses over the playing of Cliff records on his breakfast show.

Eventually Classic Gold MD sent Blackburn an email saying: "We shouldn't be playing Cliff Richard. We might carry out research on him, but for now we have a policy decision that he doesn't match our brand values. He's not on the playlist, and you must stop playing him."
Blackburn, exercising his rebellious streak, dismissively read out the email on air and then played Cliff's 'Living Doll' and 'We Don't Talk Any More' back to back. The presenter was promptly called into a meeting after which Blackburn was told: "You're consistently breaking the station's music policy. We've made our position as clear as we could. I've got no option except to suspend you until the situation can be resolved".

Word is Blackburn will most likely back down in order to get back on air. Which is a shame because, while CMU doesn't exist to champion Cliff Richard, we feel like beating round the head anyone who says something like "that track doesn't match our brand values".

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NO RAIN GUN FOR GLASTONBURY
Inspired by the Russians' decision to spray dry ice into the clouds in order to stop it raining on Paul McCartney's gig there last weekend, there were media reports yesterday that Michael Eavis has built a similar contraption in an attempt to stop the rain falling on Worthy Farm this weekend. Which is good news for Glasto-goers - or it would be if it were true. Latest word from the Glasto organisers is no such contraption has been built or will be used because playing with the weather has all sorts of possible ecological impacts, and messing with the environment is not the Glastonbury way.

Weather reports remain quite good for the weekend, mainly dry with just scattered showers on Saturday. However the heavy rainfall of recent days means the festival site is already very damp and some are predicting the return of the mud baths in the busier avenues of the festival.

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EURO-ITUNES SELLS 800k+ TRACKS IN FIRST WEEK
Apple boss Steve Jobs was in a bullish mood yesterday when he announced that over 800,000 songs had been sold via iTunes' European service since it launched last week - 450,000 of those here in the UK. Those figures make iTunes, or so Apple claim, the biggest online music store in Europe - Jobs claims his service outsold by sixteen times London based rivals OD2, who sell music via the Coke, HMV, Tiscali and Virgin Megastore download services.

iTunes' immediate success in Europe was no doubt helped by the existing large population of Apple iPod owners who cannot access tracks from most rival legal download services and who had been awaiting the Apple online music store for some time.

Top selling tracks in the first week included music by Anastacia, Alicia Keyes and German artist Herbert Gronemeyer, as well as the new Pixies track - 'Bam Thwok' - that was made available exclusively via the service.

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MANAGEMENT ORGANISATION APPOINT NEW PR
The International Music Managers Forum have appointed Velocity PR's Andy Saunders as Director of Communications - he will oversee all the media and comms tasks for the trade association.
Confirming his appointment Saunders told reporters: "I am delighted and honoured to have been asked to represent an organisation that do so much positive work on a global level for artists and artist managers."

IMMF secretary general Peter Jenner added: "With so many important issues impacting on artists and their managers at the moment it is imperative that we communicate our message clearly and effectively through the media."

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WH SMITHS TAKEOVER TALKS ON HOLD
Venture capital group Permira has put on hold talks to acquire WH Smith after it was revealed that there was a £190 million gap in the retailer's pension fund that any buyer would have to fill. However Permira, which is led by two former Smiths directors, has said it is still interested in buying the retail chain, but it is reconsidering its offer.

Meantime WH Smiths has said that, while it is looking to sell off publishing arm Hodder Headline, its retail operations will remain unchanged for the time being - which includes its music and video operations.

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VIRGIN MEGASTORE LAUNCH FESTIVALS PROMOTION
While we're in the retail domain, Virgin Megastores yesterday announced a series of festival based promotions timed to coincide with the start of the Glastonbury Festival.

Firstly they have collated a range of artwork by sixties artist Alan Aldridge to decorate their stores during festival time. They are running a promotion with some 400 albums by artists performing at the summer festivals reduced to £6.99. They are distributing a festival guide made with NME at the festivals themselves. And anyone who presents a wristband from a participating festival will get 10% off certain CDs and DVDs until the end of August.

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JANE'S ADDICTION SPLIT AGAIN
It seems that Jane's Addiction, who reformed back in 2002 of course, releasing a new album in 2003, have once again gone their separate ways. A statement said to represent the opinions of all band members bar Perry Farrell, who's been a bit busy this week cancelling festivals, says the band are calling it a day because together they make a "volatile combination".

The statement, on Dave Navarro's website, says: " What's the deal? The deal is that it simply didn't work out. Sometimes things just don't work out. In all honesty, we have broken up and rejoined roughly four times over the years. Perhaps that should shed some light as to where we are now. We really don't know. We do know that we really gave it everything we had this time and we actually made a really great record after so many years of silence. That was definitely a great thing and we are all proud of it. We were able to do a lot of shows and travel and see the world again. We had some amazing times. Why didn't it work out? So many reasons. Some of them over 15 years old, some of them new and none of them worth mentioning. Maybe we are just a volatile combination. Maybe that is why we were so great. The bottom line is that we are all extremely creative and motivated people and I know we will all continue to create and work on many different projects".

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BILLBOARD FACE LAWSUIT FROM FORMER EDITOR IN CHIEF
US trade mag Billboard is facing a $29 million lawsuit by former Editor In Chief Keith Girard and Legal Editor Samantha Chang who were fired by the title last month. They claim "racial and sexual discrimination" and "defamation breaches in editorial ethics". The latter is based on allegations Billboard publisher John J Kilcullen attempted to force Girard to pull certain stories, in particular stories relating to legal issues surrounding Warner exec Lyor Cohen. No comment as yet from Billboard or parent company VNU.

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NEW LIBERTINES ALBUM RELEASE DATE SET
Well you can't be sure about much when it comes to the Libertines, but you can be pretty certain that this summer we'll all get to hear the band's highly anticipated second album. Rough Trade has said they will release the album on 30 Aug, and that the track listing will be as follows:

Can't Stand Me Now
Last Post On The Bugle
Don't Be Shy
The Man Who Would Be King
Music When The Lights Go Out
Narcissist
The Ha Ha Wall
Arbeit Macht Frei
Campaign Of Hate
What Katie Did
Tomblands
The Saga
Road To Ruin
What Became Of The Likely Lads.

Elsewhere in Libertines news, frontman Pete Doherty has made another post to his Babyshambles website reporting that: "I'm healthier and more together, just need to show the lads I can hold it together and maybe we can do the festivals. Wouldn't it be lovely?"

That said bandmate Carl Barat was less sure about meeting summer festival commitments. When interviewed by the BBC at this week's Mojo Awards he said: "Ten minutes is a long time in the Libertines, so you never know what could happen. He is always part of the band, of course he is. The band wouldn't be the band if he wasn't".

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CANTAT DROPS SENTENCE APPEAL
French rock star Bertrand Cantat has dropped his plans to appeal against the length of the prison sentence he received after being found guilty in a Lithuanian court of killing his actress partner. As previously reported Canat killed actress Marie Trintignant during a violent argument while staying in the Lithuanian town of Vilnius. Accepting that Canat killed his partner by mistake in a fit of rage he was given an eight year prison sentence for his crime. Canat appealed that sentence hoping to get a more lenient sentence, meanwhile Trintignant's family called for a tougher sentence to be applied. The family have stopped their proceedings now that Canat has decided not to appeal. With the case now closed Canat should be allowed to serve the rest of his sentence in a French prison.

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ITV INVEST MILLIONS INTO DIGITAL CHANNELS
ITV have said they will invest an extra £36 million into their multi-channel programming budget - which will be divided between existing digital channel ITV2 and the planned ITV3 which will launch later this year.

Announcing the investment ITV CEO Charles Allen told reporters yesterday: "Just four months after the creation of ITV Plc our strategy is delivering. The merger has enabled us to attract and retain the best talent in the industry. Already the benefits of one ITV are apparent in our performance and efficiency. We have a strong foundation for the ambitious plans we have to grow our business."

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RIAA SUE ANOTHER 482 DOWNLOADERS
If you're keeping count of these things you need to add another 482 - that's how many new lawsuits the Recording Industry Association of America began against individual downloaders yesterday in their continued battle against people who upload large amounts of copyright music illegally via services like Kazaa.

Once again the legal action consists of 'John Doe' suits - only if the Association can convince the courts of their case against each individual can they force the internet service providers to reveal the accused's identity. The latest action brings the number of individuals targeted for online copyright violation to 3429.


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IFPI CALL FOR EU TO SUPPORT GLOBAL PIRACY FIGHT
Elsewhere in the wacky world of copyright, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has called on the European Commission to help improve and enforce copyright legislation in those countries signed up to the World Trade Organisation to better target those individuals and companies who make and sell bootlegged CDs. The push is timed to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement which was designed to tackle the problem of global copyright theft.

The IFPI told reporters: "The TRIPS agreement has too often been implemented by WTO members on paper alone, rather than in practice". The IFPI claims that often penalties for piracy are too low, that there is little regulation of CD plants, that copyright theft is too infrequently recognised under crime statutes, and that when criminal penalties are attached to copyright theft they are rarely used.

IFPI boss Jay Berman added: "The TRIPS agreement was a crucial step forward in recognising the global importance of intellectual property rights, but in the last 10 years its enforcement provisions have been poorly applied in too many countries or not applied at all."

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T ON THE FRINGE LINE UP ADDITIONS
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Radio 4, The Walkmen and The Futureheads have all been added to list of acts playing in the T on the Fringe season, which is the main contemporary music strand at the Edinburgh Festival in August. They join an ever expanding programme of gigs - full details at http://www.tonthefringe.co.uk

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Loose Cannons - Make The Face
Well, it's been nearly three days since I last raved about the Loose Cannons, which can't be right, so surely time to dedicate some review time to our new favourite band. The Loose Cannons are without doubt one of the most exciting new bands around at the moment and just why new single 'I Like It When Ya' isn't a-listed on Radio 1, Xfm, Kiss, Capital, Virgin and even Heart and the Cheese FM local stations is completely beyond me because it is a true crossover track that would slot in nicely to most mainstream radio music policies. But unlike most crossover tracks that fit that bill this isn't some dull ballady nonsense. In fact it's as far away from dull ballady nonsense as you can get. It's the summer for fucks sake, play something funky. Anyways, the album. There are six tracks on this here sampler, including the aforementioned 'I Like It When Ya' - whether the finished package will have a few more I don't know, but rest assured the show so far is very fine indeed. While the other tracks don't have quite the instant appeal of 'I Like It When Ya', they soon slide into your subconscious so that, after a few listens, you become convinced these tracks have been doing the rounds for years. Previous single release 'Superstars' is another stand out track though as of this morning the slightly more mellow '23:59:59' is my personal favourite. Either way, do yourselves a favour and get a copy of 'Make The Face', playlist 'I Like It When Ya' and just get down to that funky music. Thank you. CC
Release date: 12 Jul
Press contact: Wild [CP, CR] Universal Island [RP, RR, NP, NR]

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ELTON JOHN PREVIEWS BILLY ELLIOT MUSICAL TRACKS
Elton John yesterday previewed four of the seventeen songs he has written for a musical based on the film 'Billy Elliot'. The musical, which will be directed by the film's director Stephen Daldry, is due to open in November in the Autumn, with a West End slot set aside for next Mar.

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QUEEN MUSICAL TO OPEN IN VEGAS
Talking of musicals, the Queen compilation musical 'We Will Rock You' is due to open in Las Vegas. Brian May and Roger Taylor were at the venue that will host the show yesterday - the Paris Las Vegas - as tickets officially went on sale.

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IDEAS FACTORY OFFER FREE SONGWRITING COURSE PLACE
Creative careers website Ideasfactory and creative writing course people the Arvon Foundation are giving budding songwriters the chance to win a free place on one of Arvon's courses.
To enter all you have to do is send a song lyric to editor@ideasfactory.com by 16 Aug with New Lyric Award in the subject line. More info on the competition at http://www.Ideasfactory.com

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BEN FOLDS ALBUM PUSHED BACK
The sun was shining, lots of nice CDs had arrived, the coffee was tasting particularly fine this morning and then - aaaaaaaaaaaaaargh - this news just in: Ben Folds has pushed back the release of his next album into 2005 in order to dedicate his time to William Shatner's upcoming collection 'Has Been'.

The new Shatner album has been produced and in the main written by Folds, and the singer will be touring with the actor to promote its release. Folds explains: "It is a great record and it is really worth going out and doing some shows in major cities.[Shatner] is not a musician at all - he's not rapping or singing - but he is still part of the music. I've never heard a record quite like it."

On the as yet untitled new album Folds continued: "Right now, it doesn't feel like an album that has a title. I think because the songs are basic enough to me, it almost has a debut solo artist feel to it. It seems less like a tangent to me in the songs and the production than [last album] 'Rockin' the Suburbs' [Folds' last studio disc], which seems like an over-the-top pop kind of album. This doesn't seem like a direction to me, it just seems like songs I wrote and they are approached much more from the piano and with a little more of a live, rougher edges, feel."

Whatever, we can't wait for it to arrive.

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PARTY IN THE PARK BILL GROWS
More acts have been added to the bill for Party In The Park - Sean Paul, Lemar, Darren Hayes, Natasha Bedingfield and, most importantly, McFly, who now appear on the bill alongside Busted which might mean they'll do their joint cover of 'Build Me Up Buttercup'. And hurrah to that. The Capital Radio organised event takes place in Hyde Park on 11 Jul.

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RUSSIAN MUSEUM CHIEF NOT IMPRESSED WITH LOUD MACCA GIG
The director of St Petersburg's Hermitage Museum has demanded no more gigs are held outside his gallery following the Paul McCartney gig there last weekend. Director Mikhail Piotrovski explained that the vibrations caused by open air gig were potentially very "damaging" to the museum's valuable artworks and as a result his team had to "prepare for this concert like we would for a flood" in order to ensure nothing was damaged. Piotrovski wants to city to ban concerts from taking place so near to his museum in the future.

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BMG SONY MERGER WILL BE PERSONAL COUP FOR LACK
While many in the independent sector of the music industry vow to fight the reported decision of the European Commission to allow the Sony BMG merger to go ahead, other industry analysts are reflecting on what an achievement the merger will be for Sony boss Andrew Lack should it indeed get the go ahead from European and American competition officials.

Lack joined Sony from a media rather than music background at the start of 2003. Many now think that it is his wheeling and dealing that has - potentially - enabled Sony to succeed where previously EMI, Warners and BMG had failed - to persuade the powers that be to allow the further consolidation of the music industry.

If the merger does go ahead, despite such strong opposition from across the music industry and even, rumours suggest, within certain parts of BMG, industry insiders say it will be "career-defining" for Lack. Whether he will be as successful in developing a productive working relationship with BMG's US boss Clive Davis is, however, another matter entirely.

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OASIS PLAY TWO NEW TRACKS AT GLASTO WARM UP GIG
Oasis played their first gig of 2004 last night in a warm up for their Glastonbury set this weekend. Playing at the intimate Poole Lighthouse venue they played a 90 minute set featuring mainly past hits but also two new songs from their forthcoming album - 'A Bell Will Ring' and 'The Meaning Of Soul'. It was also the first gig with Ringo Starr's son Zak Starkey on drums - he is filling in following the sacking of former drummer Alan White.

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