CMU Daily - on the inside 12 Jul 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- LAPD to be put in the dock over biggie murder
- T In The Park
- Oxegen
- Manchester's Move
- Party In The Park
- T In The Park 2005 already on sale
- Album Review: The Hidden Cameras - Mississauga Goddam
- Liles quits Def Jam
- Warners Oz loses top man
- More Love dramas
- Jacko prosecutor told to give lowdown on raid
- Bobby Brown gets official charges over fracas with Houston
- Velvet Revolver UK tour
- Murdoch tops Guardian media power list again
- Chart update
- Single Review: Mania - Looking For A Place
- US Trade Commission still concerned about music sales to teens
- Galaxy to broadcast ringtones chart
- US acts outsell the home talent in the UK
- Former Westlife boy signs solo deal
- Britney's shortlived husband tells all

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LAPD TO BE PUT IN THE DOCK OVER BIGGIE MURDER
Seven years on, more developments in the as-yet-unsolved murder of the Notorious BIG. Among the various theories surrounding the rapper's death is one that he was murdered by then LA police officer David Mack and a man called Amir Muhammad, both of whom had links with an LA gang known as the Bloods. One variation of that theory says Mack received help from within the LAPD both in pulling off the killing and in covering up his and Muhammad's role in it.

Based on that theory the rapper's mother, Voletta Wallace, and his widow, singer Faith Evans, two years ago filed a wrongful death suit against the city of Los Angeles two years ago targeting the city's police authority, and former and current police chiefs.

The LAPD tried to have that lawsuit overturned on the basis that, even if Mack was guilty of Biggie's murder, he acted off duty and not in his capacity as a police officer. Because the act, if it happened, was not done under the 'colour of the law' (ie as a law protection officer) the LAPD are not liable.

However a federal court decided on Friday that whether or not Mack acted under the colour of the law (not to mention whether or not he acted at all) was not sufficiently clear cut to dismiss the lawsuit. That means the whole thing will get a full court hearing in Oct.

On hearing the court's decision Perry Sanders, representing Biggie's mother and widow, told reporters: "The motion to dismiss alleged that we couldn't possibly prove to a jury that [former officer] David Mack acted under the color of law even if we proved he committed the crime. The judge, after reviewing the totality of the circumstances, determined that a jury could find that Mack acted under color of law if they determined he did the crime."

Of course there is still a lot for Sanders et al to prove when they go into court on 5 Oct. Mack, currently in prison after being found guilty of robbing a bank in 1997, has always proclaimed his innocence regarding Biggie's murder. Only if a court decides Mack killed the rapper can it conclude the LAPD are in some way responsible.

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T IN THE PARK
A very busy weekend festivals wise. The flagship event of the weekend here in the UK was, of course, T in the Park that once gain took over the Balado site in Kinross. Lots of positive words flowing out of the T in the Park site all weekend, with the Darkness reportedly putting on a very fine performance having taken over the Saturday headline slot from the recuperating David Bowie. The Libertines (back on stage, albeit without Pete Doherty), Franz Ferdinand, The Strokes and the Scissor Sisters all put on storming sets, the latter providing some extra entertainment when frontman Jake Shears' homemade tartan toga fell off during his curtain call - having already removed his pants that left him a little exposed in the Scottish sunshine.

Also onsite this year was the NME Signing Tent, giving fans the opportunity to get their programmes, wellies, clothes, bodies, whatever, signed by the bands performing at the festival. NME marketing man Nick New reports: "It's been awesome, we have had queues of up to 3,000 people waiting to meet the bands. The most popular band has been the Libertines, they had some very emotional fans. Many of them were screaming, they were all getting things signed - wellies, flags, clothes, faces - and lots of other body parts. The local crowd went nuts for Snow Patrol, there was around 2,000 people here for them."

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OXEGEN
Across the water in Ireland The Darkness were also on good form, despite the rain, where they once again filled in for David Bowie in the headline slot at the Oxegen Festival. Frontman Justin used the set to pass on a get well soon message to Bowie, telling the crowd: "I'm sure we all agree the sooner David Bowie is back on his feet, the better for music, but we've all had a good time haven't we?"

The Libertines once again got a good reponse, as did Keane, Basement Jaxx, the Zutons and, performing a fantastic greatest hits set, Ash.

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MANCHESTER'S MOVE
Up in Manchester it was the Move Festival, which climaxed with another home-town gig for Morrissey. He started his set by telling the audience: "Good evening, Weatherfield. I'm a local boy made bad". Before singing Smiths track 'The Headmaster Ritual' he took a few moments to slag off his former school, which used to be near by Old Trafford Cricket Ground where the event was staged. "In the interests of public safety it has been burned down," he joked, adding, "all the teachers were tried for cruelty to children, but the British courts let them off. And there's only me alive to tell the story, and this (song) is that horrible story."

Also appearing at the event were the New York Dolls, the Beta Band, James Maker and the Ordinary Boys. The latter, who have been supporting Morrissey at his recent gigs, seemed pleased to play an event where they actually had some of their own fans in the crowd: "Normally playing with Morrissey, because we've done it a few times before, you're just biding everyone's time until they can see Morrissey, and it's very much the attitude. But today it felt like people were really up for it and wanting to see us, up the front singing along. It feels like we've arrived a bit more."

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PARTY IN THE PARK
Here in London it was all poptastic as the annual Party in the Park took over Hyde Park once again. Geri Halliwell and Blue's Duncan James hosted the Capital FM organised event which featured performances from, among others, Will Young, Jamelia, Busted, Avril Lavigne, Anastacia, Sugababes and Lenny Kravitz.

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T IN THE PARK 2005 ALREADY ON SALE
Staying with festivals news, and following unprecedented demand for tickets for this year's T in the Park, the event's organisers are giving festival-goers the chance to get their tickets early for T in the Park 2005.

Promoters Big Day Out announced yesterday, as T in the Park 2004 reached its climax, that a limited amount of tickets for next year's event will go on sale this week. The early-bird tickets will be on sale, while stocks last, for up to a month, retailing at 2004 prices. Of course the people who buy those tickets will have no idea of who will be on the bill at the 2005 event - although they can be assured the festival will go ahead following the news last month that Big Day Out had won a three year licence from the Kinross local authority allowing them to stage a festival at the Balado site until at least 2006.

Commenting on the early sale of tickets the festival's promoter, Geoff Ellis, told reporters: "As we head into our twelfth year, music fans know that T in the Park guarantees a fantastic festival experience, mixing one of the best line-ups of any festival in Europe with a great party atmosphere. Although there are 365 days to go, we know that demand for next year's event is already growing, particularly since so many thousands of people were left disappointed this year, despite our advice to buy early. It's testament to T in the Park's great reputation that we can now put the event on sale without unveiling the line up - it's become one of the highlights of the summer and music fans don't want to miss out."

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Hidden Cameras - Mississauga Goddam (Rough Trade)
Everyone's favourite Canadian gay church folk band return for their second album which, like its equally lovely first ('The Smell Of Our Own'), comprises yet more wry innuendo-laden lyrics and occasionally explicit subject matter, all set to some majestic music. Though there are no obvious songs (‡ la 'Golden Streams' from their debut) about the, er, joys of urinating on your partner for kicks, THC lynchpin Joel Gibb has included the magnificently jaunty 'I Want Another Enema', which may well be the best (and probably only, but you never know) song about such intentions. If you're starting to think that 'MG' is not the kind of album to have playing when the vicar pops round for tea, don't worry. He'll love it. (Possibly. You might want to hide the inlay and hope he doesn't listen too hard to some of the lyrics though.) It's all extremely pleasant on the ear, alternating between sprightly hymn-like singalongs and more tranquil reflective moments (the gorgeous 'Builds The Bone' and 'We Oh We' are particularly moving). The instrumentation remains consistent yet inspired - guitars, strings and tambourines all embellishing songs that frequently build religiously to a fervent crescendo. The grating 'Bboy' aside, for the most part, this is rapturous, enthralling music. But just what does the title mean? MS
Release date: 12 Jul
Press contact: Rough Trade IH [CR, RP, NP] Anglo [CR, RR, NR]

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LILES QUITS DEF JAM
Universal Music lost two of its senior execs in the US last week - Kedar Massenbury stood down as head of Motown while Kevin Liles announced he was leaving his post as President of Def Jam.

Liles' decision follows the appointment earlier this year of former Arista boss LA Reid to the top job at Universal division Island Def Jam, replacing Liles' former boss Lyor Cohen who moved over to Warner Music. Liles has reportedly been putting off signing a new contract with Def Jam for some time. Whether his final decision to jump ship is based on difficulties working with Reid is unclear - some say it is more likely Liles is quitting because a previously promised promotion with Universal has failed to materialise. The delaying tactics may have been designed to give Universal time to make that offer, or Liles may have simply been waiting for a suitable offer elsewhere to come along. Word is he is considering a job at Reid's former employer, BMG, as well as sounding out former boss Cohen about opportunities at Warner.

Announcing that Liles was leaving the company, Reid tried to be positive: "Over the past decade, Kevin Liles has made remarkable contributions in establishing Def Jam as one of the great brands in the music business. We wish him much success as he moves into the next phase of his career. I especially want to thank Kevin for all of the help he has given me during the transition period since I came to IDJ." However rumour has it Liles' departure is not without drama, and the former exec may yet take Universal to court over monies he claims he is owed. Universal top guard, meanwhile, are said to be concerned that in losing Liles they are losing their main link to star rappers like Jay-Z and DMX, and to Def Jam founder Russell Simmons.

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WARNERS OZ LOSES TOP MAN
Elsewhere in major label news, the boss of Warner Music Australasia, Shaun James, has announced he is leaving the company to take up a job at Australian TV company TEN Network. James had a rapid rise up Warner's Australian division - he started as a promotions assistant in 1991 but had worked his way up to the post of chairman by 1999. Why James has chosen to quit is unclear, although a significant cull of Warner's Australian roster in recent months under the orders of Edgar Bronfman Jnr, the new owner of the Warner Music Group, may have played a part in his decision.

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MORE LOVE DRAMAS
More drama in the life of Courtney Love. Love was due back in court on Friday, this time in LA over allegations she attacked a woman with a bottle and a flashlight back in Apr. As is so often the case, Love did not make it to the court hearing. Given her record for failing to show up for court hearings, and despite claims by Love's lawyer that there had been a mix up about the timing of the hearing, the judge hearing the case - Dennis E. Mulcahy - decided to go hardline. He withdrew Love's bail and put out a warrant for her arrest. "She's in violation," Mulcahy said in court, "Why should I treat her any differently than anyone else that fails to appear in this courtroom?"

But the drama didn't stop there. Love was at her apartment in New York. Following reports early in the day that she was throwing bottles out of a fourth floor window, later on paramedics were called to the flat to deal with a medical emergency. She was taken to a local hospital who confirmed she had been admitted to their care with a "a gynaecological medical condition". Some reports suggest Love has had a miscarriage, though her legal people would only say: "this incident was not a suicide attempt, not drug-related, not drug-overdose-related."

Over in LA, Love's lawyer had promised to bring his client back to court next Thurday. However, given the medical drama and the fact there is now a warrant for her arrest, who knows what will happen next. Love was reportedly cuffed by police as she was put into the ambulance, and a spokesman for the district attorney's office back in LA said: "Any police agency can arrest her at any time now".

The assault charge in LA is one of a number of pending court cases in the life of Courtney Love - she also faces various drugs charges and a charge of allegedly assaulting a fan during an impromptu performance in New York earlier this year.

What the latest legal developments will mean to Love's currently-on-hold tour, which was due to restart with the Fuji Festival in Japan on 1 Aug remains to be seen.

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JACKO PROSECUTOR TOLD TO GIVE LOWDOWN ON RAID
Elsewhere in the very busy pop courts, the main prosecutor in the latest Michael Jackson child abuse case was ordered to testify on the events that led up to raiding of the office of a private investigator who was, at the time, working for one of Jacko's attorney's. Jackson's defence team claim that people working under the instruction of Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon exceeded the powers of their warrant in their investigations of the office of private investigator Bradley Miller, and that in doing so they seized goods which they were not legally entitled to, and which, Jacko's lawyers claim, should now be returned to them.

Sneddon, telling reporters "I have nothing to hide", said he had the evidence to prove he did not behave inappropriately in ordering a raid of Miller's office. That evidence was due to be shown in the Santa Barbara court on Friday, but Jacko's people said they needed more time to prepare. The judge suggested 27 Jul to resume the discussions, but Sneddon pointed out that was midway through a planned holiday to celebrate his 37th wedding anniversary. Despite Sneddon saying - albeit not too enthusiastically - that he would cancel the holiday, the judge finally agreed to arrange another mutually convenient date for the hearing.

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BOBBY BROWN GETS OFFICIAL CHARGES OVER FRACAS WITH HOUSTON
Finally from the legal news file, singer Bobby Brown was ordered to report to jail officials this weekend to face formal charges for hitting his wife Whitney Houston. The charges relate to that fracas at Brown and Houston's home last Dec. Although Houston herself has not pressed charges, local state law says police can press charges if they feel domestic violence has taken place, even if the person who has been attacked chooses not to. A judge ordered in May that there was enough evidence to proceed with the charges, and this weekend Brown was expected to show up at the local jail house to be finger printed and to be put back on bail. The actual trail for this latest set of charges could take up to a year to come to court - which should give him time to deal with his long running legal problems relating to various missed maintenance payments to the mother of his two children.

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VELVET REVOLVER UK TOUR
Velvet Revolver - the band made up of the original Guns 'n' Roses line up plus Scott Weiland, have announced three UK dates. Assuming Weiland can stay out of trouble with the law in the meantime, the band will play:

31 Aug: Carling Academy Glasgow
1 Sep: Carling Apollo Manchester
2 Sep: Carling Apollo Hammersmith

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MURDOCH TOPS GUARDIAN MEDIA POWER LIST AGAIN
The Guardian has printed the latest edition of its Media 100 list - the 100 people it reckons of the most powerful players in the UK media. And this year there has been quite a lot of movement in the list - with last year's top man, Greg Dyke, out of the running following his fall as BBC Director General, ITV boss Charles Allen sliding down the poll as he tackles increasingly heavy handed investors, and Piers Morgan no longer so powerful having lost his editorship of the Mirror.

On the up are Rupert Murdoch, who is back at the top of the poll; his son James who enters the poll since arriving in the UK to run Sky TV; Sun politics man Trevor Kavanagh who, they say, will become very powerful as the next General Election approaches; and new BBC chairman Michael Grade who, the Guardian reckon, is going to be more influential than new BBC DG Mark Thompson.

Full list is in today's Media Guardian, lots on it at http://www.mediaguardian.co.uk

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CHART UPDATE
No surprises in the chart then, except, perhaps, that Elvis only managed to get to number three with the re-release of 'That's All Right'. Usher remained at number one with 'Burn', as expected, but Britney Spears beat the King into second place.

Other new entries of note: Shaznay Lewis at 8, The Hives at 13, Damien Rice at 19, Orbital at 29, Max Sedgley at 30 and Dogs Die In Hot Cars at 32.

Albums wise, no surprise then that McFly topped the chart with their debut album 'Room On The 3rd Floor'. If the arrival of another slightly-punky, sixties-tinged adolescant boy band at the top of the album charts doesn't warrant celebration round your place, you could always raise a glass at the arrival of the Ordinary Boys' excellent debut 'Over The Counter Culture' at 19. Or if not that, a best of from the late and very great Ray Charles goes in at 36.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Mania - Looking For A Place (BMG)
So...the crucial pop issue of the day is: which is better - Girls Aloud's 'The Show' or Rachel Stevens' 'Some Girls'? They're both effervescently brilliant synth-chart-pop songs (and they're starting to make Kylie and Madonna sound very tired indeed) but 'The Show' edges it for going almost early '90s techno as opposed to just trying to sound like Goldfrapp. Anyway. With Mania, Xenomania (the writing and production team behind hits for GA and The Sugababes) have got a new girl group to clutter up the charts. Actually, it probably won't trouble the Top 40, which is a shame since, whilst essentially derivative, this is a rather good pop tune. Made entirely of choruses and with a great whistling bit for good measure, 'Looking For A Place' is a sophisticated soulful tune with more than a hint of urban chic about it. Not quite as instantly addictive as it thinks it is, but surprisingly memorable nonetheless. MS
Release date: 12 Jul
Press contact: BMG IH [all]

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US TRADE COMMISSION STILL CONCERNED ABOUT MUSIC SALES TO TEENS
America's Federal Trade Commission has given its fourth annual report to the US Congress on the marketing practices of entertainment companies - and in particular on the promotion of violent or explicit content to children and teenagers.

For the first time the Commission praised certain parts of the entertainment industry for its attempts to protect children from explicit content. In particular, it noted cinema chains had cut the number of R-rated tickets sold to minors and that record labels had stopped the practice of regularly advertising parental-advisory stickered albums in magazines read by teens.

However it stressed much was still to be done in this area. It said entertainment companies continued to "advertise violent and explicit movies, games and music in media widely watched by teens" and that stricter labelling practices were needed. It also said that the new legitimate download services were not doing enough to provide parental controls that stop children from downloading music with explicit content.

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GALAXY TO BROADCAST RINGTONES CHART
Chrysalis' Galaxy Radio will start to broadcast the official ringtones chart on the Hit 40 UK Extra show, which precedes the main commercial radio chart show each Sunday on its Manchester, Yorkshire and North East stations. The chart, which is backed by the Mobile Entertainment Forum, will be counted down every other week.

Announcing the addition of the ringtones chart to their programming Chrysalis Radio's Pete Simmons told reporters: "It's great news that Galaxy is once again at the forefront of technology, and is the first radio network in the UK to throw its full support behind this fast developing method of mobile music delivery. The launch of this MEF Official Ringtone Chart further demonstrates the strength of the ringtones market in the UK, and their popularity among young radio listeners."

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US ACTS OUTSELL THE HOME TALENT IN THE UK
Latest BPI data shows that American artists outsold home-grown acts here in the UK last year. It is the first time US music performed better than UK music for the best part of ten years. US artists, helped in the main by Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Norah Jones and OutKast, took 45.4% of total album sales. Despite Dido having the biggest selling album of the year, UK artists accounted for 42.3%. While UK artists performed better in singles sales (taking 47.2%), US artists also took a bigger bit of the singles pie that previous years, accounting for 34.6% of overall sales.

Other stats in the BPI figures show that Irish acts accounted for less albums sales the previous years - they were down to 2.7%. But good news for Russia who got one of there best ever scores, accounting for 1.4% of singles sales. All down to TaTu of course, but well done Russia.

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FORMER WESTLIFE BOY SIGNS SOLO DEAL
Presumably worried by that decline in Irish music sales, former Westlife boy Bryan McFadden has confirmed he had just signed a solo record deal. He has signed to a new label headed up by music veteran Richard Griffiths - the marketing and distribution of which will be handled by Sony. Word is McFadden is now working hard with a fellow former boy-bander, one Gary Barlow, on some new material.

A source close the to deal told The Mirror this weekend: "Bryan has thought long and hard about signing the deal. He knows that people will wonder why he's so keen to get back into the gruelling life of a pop star after saying he wanted to take a step back and spend time with his wife Kerry and daughters Molly and Lily-Sue. But Kerry's had so much success in her own right after winning I'm A Celebrity... that he's felt a little bit in the shade. He's realised how much music means to him."

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BRITNEY'S SHORTLIVED HUSBAND TELLS ALL
Finally, some Monday morning scandal courtesy of the News of the World, who this weekend published a kiss and tell from Jason Alexander - the man who spent 55 hours married to Britney Spears earlier this year. Seemingly a bit annoyed Ms Spears has now opted for dancer Keith Federline as her other half, Alexander revealed all to the tabloid telling the paper that it had been Britney's idea to get married on the spur of the moment in Vegas, that it was Britney's mother that broke it up, and that after the wedding the couple made love "so frantically they fell off the bed" and "played erotic sex games in the shower". A somewhat bitter Alexander adds that Britney has cut him off completely ever since their 55 hour marriage was annulled.

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