CMU Daily - on the inside 19 Jul 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Sony BMG job cut rumours "just speculation"
- Elton John says artists silenced by 'un-American' fears
- Tracks lined up for pro-democracy album
- eBay to launch download service
- Hope Of The States cancel LA show
- Wannabe MCs could rap on new Nas album
- Grohl on the new Foo Fighters album
- DVD Review: Calexico - World Drifts In
- Counterfeit Beatle accuses Skinner of song theft
- P Diddy booked for subliminal Ibiza night
- Blood splattered poster from Sid & Nancy's hotel room on display
- Kill All Hippies returns
- Bauer enter weekly lads mag market
- Geldof says Live Aid 20th anniversary celebration unlikely
- Chart Show TV launch new music channel
- Karaoke Casbah raises funds for Strummer charity
- BBC plans broadband package
- New night club launches for teens
- Fatboy writes song for Zoe

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SONY BMG JOB CUT RUMOURS "JUST SPECULATION"
Our man in Brussels rarely has anything of interest to say to, well, anyone really. But he'll be keeping his ear to the ground tomorrow as an announcement is expected from the European Commission regarding their decision as to whether or not they will allow the Sony BMG merger to go ahead. Of course everyone now expects that they will.

Meanwhile, both Sony and BMG have said media reports of a post-merger jobs cull of over 25% of the two major's combined workforce is just idle speculation. Though this time it's not CMU that's been speculating, but the Financial Times.

The FT reported the 25% jobs cut on Friday - they reckon that means some 2000 jobs will go at the merged major. They say that BMG chief Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, who will head up the post-merger 'integration committee', wants to see 85% of those job cuts made within a year, and has set aside $350 million to cover the cost of severance packages. Schmidt-Holtz' committee will also consider various cutbacks in property, IT and administration to bring the running costs of the combined major down.

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ELTON JOHN SAYS ARTISTS SILENCED BY 'UN-AMERICAN' FEARS
In an interview with New York magazine, Elton John has likened bully tactics used by the current US administration against anyone critical of their foreign policy to McCarthyism in the 1950s. He says many performers are frightened to speak out against Bush's war agenda because they are likely to be accused of being "un-American", a label which can damage a career.

"Things were different in the sixties," he said, "people like Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, The Beatles and Pete Seeger were constantly writing and talking about what was going on. That's not happening now. As of this spring, there have been virtually no anti-war concerts - or anti-war songs that catch on, for that matter".

He says a culture exists where it is OK for artists to speak out in support of the Bush administration, but not against it: "On the one hand, you have someone like Toby Keith, who has come out and been very supportive of the Bush administration and the war in Iraq - which is OK because America is a democracy and Toby Keith is entitled to say what he thinks and feels. But, on the other hand, the Dixie Chicks got shot down in flames last year for criticising the president. They were treated like they were being un-American, when in fact they have every right to say whatever they want about him because he's freely elected, and therefore accountable".

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TRACKS LINED UP FOR PRO-DEMOCRACY ALBUM
Talking of being un-American in a slagging-off-Bush kind of way, the full track listing has been confirmed for the previously reported album being released in aid of pro-freedom of speech organisation http://www.moveon.org. The 'Future Soundtrack For America' album has been organised by They Might Be Giant's John Flansburgh and will feature tracks from an impressive line up of acts, including REM whose anti-war song 'The Final Straw', which has only ever been released online, will appear.

Full tracklisting for the album, which will be released in the US next month, is as follows:

OK Go - This Will Be Our Year
David Byrne - Ain't Got So Far To Go
Jimmy Eat World - Game of Pricks (BBC evening session)
Death Cab For Cutie - This Temporary Life
Blink-182 - I Miss You (James Guthrie mix)
Mike Doughty - Move On
Ben Kweller - Jerry Falwell Destroyed the Earth
Sleater-Kinney - Off With Your Head
R.E.M. - Final Straw (MoveOn mix)
Bright Eyes - Going for the Gold (live)
The Long Winters - The Commander Thinks Aloud (future mix)
will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas - Money
They Might Be Giants - Tippecanoe And Tyler Too
Clem Snide - The Ballad of David Icke
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Date With the Night (live)
Fountains of Wayne - Everything's Ruined (acoustic)
Nada Surf - Your Legs Grow
The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (live on the BBC)
Old 97's - Northern Line
Laura Cantrell - Sam Stone
Tom Waits - Day After Tomorrow
Elliott Smith - A Distorted Reality Is Now A Necessity To Be Free

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EBAY TO LAUNCH DOWNLOAD SERVICE
Word is that auction site eBay is planning to run a six month pilot selling music downloads, and that they will be working with at least one major label on the project. eBay currently prohibits the sale of music, video and software downloads via its auction service because they fear people would start selling music they'd acquired illegally via P2P networks like Kazaa. Whether the download service will follow an auction formula, or whether it will just be a standard download platform hoping to capitalise on eBay's massive membership is as yet unclear.

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HOPE OF THE STATES CANCEL LA SHOW
Buzz band Hope Of The States had to cancel their debut US gig this weekend because of visa problems. The relevant paperwork had not been processed in time so a planned LA date had to be postponed. However the bureaucracy is expected to be completed in time for this week's US gig - they play New York Bowery gig on 22 Jul. They also have a gig in Canada at Toronto Lees Place on 26 Jul. http://www.NME.com are giving away tickets to both to anyone who happens to be in New York or Toronto later this week!

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WANNABE MCS COULD RAP ON NEW NAS ALBUM
Wannabe MCs are being given the chance to appear on the UK release of the next Nas album, 'Street's Disciple', which is due out on Oct. Basically, anyone can download the instrumental to one of the tracks off the album - 'Thief's Theme'. You are then invited to put your own rap on top of the track and send it in. Nas will pick his favourite, and the MC behind it will be invited into the studio to record their rap for real for inclusion on the album. Full info at http://www.so-urban.com/nas.

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GROHL ON THE NEW FOO FIGHTERS ALBUM
Dave Grohl has been talking to Billboard about the next Foo Fighters album, which is due to start recording in a specially built studio in LA anytime now. He told the industry mag: "I think it's going to be a two-record set. It's going to be ten acoustic songs and then ten tracks that are just koo-koo, really heavy."
He also told Billboard about his previously reported collaboration with Trent Reznor on the upcoming NIN album: "It sounds incredible. It is [Trent's] first [studio] album in five years. I looked at him and said, 'What have you been doing?'"

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DVD REVIEW: Calexico - World Drifts In (City Slang)
Every now and then I stray out of my indie ghetto and acquaint my ears with a different genre. Calexico come within the general category of Americana. Hailing from Arizona, their sound contains elements of traditional Mexican folk styles such as Mariachi as well as country and the film music of Ennio Morricone. The bulk of the DVD shows twenty songs from Calaxico's 2002 tour while the bonus material includes interviews and on the road footage which explore the band's idiosyncratic sound and its myriad influences.
As a live act Calexico aren't the most visual of bands but the performance in the swish environs of the Barbican is nicely captured. The songs include tracks from their last album 'Feast of Wire' such as 'Not Even Stevie Nicks'. A colourful addition to their line up is when they are joined onstage by an authentic mariachi band. Highlights include the spaghetti western style 'Ballad of Cable Hogue' and the Spanish flavoured 'Crystal Frontier'. The promo videos of these songs are also included and feature the sun drenched deserts of Arizona and dancers in traditional Spanish costumes, giving further evidence of the band's roots. All in all a diverting detour for the likes of me. JW
Release date: 12 Jul
Press contact: City Slang IH [CP, RP, NP] Anglo [CR, RR, NR]

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COUNTERFEIT BEATLE ACCUSES SKINNER OF SONG THEFT
A member of tribute band the Counterfeit Beatles, Michael Gagliano, has accused Mike Skinner of stealing some of his original music for new Streets release 'Dry Your Eyes', which is out today. Gagliano has told the Sun that the new Streets single steals the music from his track 'Yesterday And Today Pt1' which he released under his Epic moniker last year.

He told the paper: "Dry Your Eyes came on the radio one day and I couldn't believe it. I pointed at the radio and said: 'That's my song'. There's absolutely no doubt about it - listen to both and you can see exactly where he's got the tune from. The only thing is, he hasn't contacted me, given me any credit - or offered to give me any royalties".

He continued: "I'm not taking legal action yet but I've signed a publishing deal with US label Rainbow and will be looking into the question of getting royalties from The Streets. To be honest, the money isn't an issue for me, I got into this game for the women. I would be happy if The Streets would give me the acknowledgment I deserve and credit me on the sleeve notes for the record." No word yet from Skinner or The Streets' record label.

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P DIDDY BOOKED FOR SUBLIMINAL IBIZA NIGHT
If you're heading for Ibiza this year then this might be one worth checking out. Erick Morillo last week announced P Diddy will be doing a live PA at his Subminal @ Pacha night on 4 Aug. For press details and limited guest list info contact Phuture Trax.

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BLOOD SPLATTERED POSTER FROM SID & NANCY'S HOTEL ROOM ON DSPLAY
A blood splattered poster which hung in the hotel room where Nancy Spungen (the other half of the Sex Pistol's Sid Vicious) was murdered will be displayed in an exhibition of Sid & Nancy memorabilia at London's Hospital centre.

Spungen was stabbed to death in 1978, allegedly by Vicious in a drug-crazed stupor. The incident occurred in room 100 of New York's Chelsea Hotel where the couple had been living.

The poster, advertising Sex Pistols album 'Never Mind The Bollocks', was sold by Sid's mother Anne Beverley after his death a year later. It is unclear whether the blood stains are connected to Spungen's gruesome death.

The poster will feature alongside original t-shirts, posters, handwritten lyrics and other collectibles at the exhibition.

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KILL ALL HIPPIES RETURNS
Kills All Hippies returns on the last Friday of the month - hurrah - and Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster are among the bands confirmed to be on the bill. They will headline, with support from My Red Cell and The Rakes. DJ sets from Resident 56, Curator57, Eddy Temple-Morris, Jeff Automatic, Syrinx and the Anglo Plugging All Stars.

As always, entry is free but you have to 'guest list' yourself at http://www.leyline promotions.com/killallhippies. Press info from Letitia at Leyline on 020 7575 3285.

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BAUER ENTER WEEKLY LADS MAG MARKET
Bauer, the publishing company behind CMU's favourite weekly title - Take A Break - are launching a new weekly lads mag to take on IPC and EMAP's Nuts and Zoo Weekly magazines. The new title - called Cut - will launch on 12 Aug initially retailing at 50p, with a permanent cover price of £1.

The company are being tight lipped on the title though the Media Guardian reports that insiders are describing it as combining "the best bits of Nuts and Zoo with a particular focus on sport".

It remains to be seen if Bauer can compete in what has become a very competitive market. Both IPC and EMAP have spent a lot of cash launching and advertising their respective titles. With the first official set of ABCs for the two mags due anytime now word is Nuts is by far the best seller, though both are ahead of their original targets in terms of sales - Nuts on 220,000 issues a week, Zoo Weekly on 160,000.

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GELDOF SAYS LIVE AID 20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION UNLIKELY
Following the news last week that Warners will release a DVD of the Live Aid concert, Bob Geldof has told reporters he does not believe it would be "appropriate" to stage a concert to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Live Aid next year.

Speaking prior to collecting an honorary doctorate in civil law at the University of East Anglia in Norwich he said: "I, frankly, think any concert would just be less than the original. It was a big deal in 1985 but I don't think it would be appropriate to have an anniversary concert. There is many reasons why it would have less impact. Why celebrate a concert which was done to help starving people?"

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CHART SHOW TV LAUNCH NEW MUSIC CHANNEL
The people behind the Chart Show TV channel have launched another free-to-view music channel on Sky. Called B4 the channel will concentrate on tracks yet to be released (ie it will play them B4 they are released - do you see what they've done there?)

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KARAOKE CASBAH RAISES FUNDS FOR STRUMMER CHARITY
A new charity that supports up and coming musicians by providing free rehearsal space and studio time raised funds this weekend with a mass karaoke version of Clash classic 'Rock The Casbah'. The charity is called Strummerville and is named after the late great Clash frontman Joe Strummer.

The fund raising event was held at Castle House in Bridgwater, Somerset. Strummer lived in Bridgwater in the last years of his life, and friends say he really liked Castle House, the world's first ever concrete building. Badly Drawn Boy, Bez from the Happy Mondays, Keith Allen and Mick Jones were also involved in the fundraising event, as was artist Damien Hurst who wrapped Castle House in paper!

The event also aimed to raise the profile of Castle House which is currently competing in the BBC's Restoration programme to secure funds needed for vital repairs.

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BBC PLANS BROADBAND PACKAGE
Doing lots to convince the commercial web industry that they are not interested in competing with them in any way, the BBC have said they plan to launch a low-cost broadband platform and Google style search engine, but all in the name of public service you understand.

BBC new media director Ashley Highfield has told the Media Guardian that the BBC plans to help the government over come the 'digital divide' (where half the population have access to the web, and half don't) by taking a low cost PC with bundled broadband to market, and by launching an easy to use BBC branded search engine. Word is the Corporation is already talking to possible partners regarding to the two projects.

While there are definite public service ambitions within both projects, they are sure to heighten calls among commercial players for the government to further regulate the Beeb's online activities in the up coming Royal Chart review.

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NEW NIGHT CLUB LAUNCHES FOR TEENS
A new night club launched yesterday for 13 - 17 year olds. The club - called Youthful Rhythm - will take over the SE One Club every Sunday from 6pm - 11pm. Aside from offering a place for young clubbers to legally hang out, the club is also hoping to provide a platform for young Djing, MCing and dance talent - more info at http://www.rhythmparty.com

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FATBOY WRITES SONG FOR ZOE
According to the Sun one of the tracks on Fatboy Slim's new album is dedicated to his wife Zoe Ball - it is appropriately called 'Putting It Back Together', referring to their very public temporary break up last year. Co-written and sung by Damon Albarn the track includes the lines: "I was moving forward from the point I'd come from. I was rolling, rolling, put it back together."

Commenting on the song Fatboy says: "We were both really, really drunk and we kind of la-la'd the song. Normally you do that and you get the melody line, then you write the lyrics and you sing it. But we decided that the la-la-la we'd done was good enough."

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