CMU Daily - on the inside 17 Sep 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- easyGroup move into downloads
- Jackson faces accuser's mother
- Tom Yorke joins REM for secret gig
- Blues explosion rearrange dates
- Radio merger rumours
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs to play one-off
- Album Review: Goldie Lookin Chain - Greatest Hits
- Beck album delayed until 2005
- Strokes junk album
- Muse reveal Strokes influence
- Franz among Q award nominees
- Usher and Outkast dominate at World Music Awards
- Album Review: Blackfield - Blackfield
- Biffy Clyro and Boxer Rebellion tour together
- IE Music receive outstanding management award from MMF
- Skinner to star in 'chav' movie

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CMU FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Club Supreme
Clubs round the Vauxhall area get renamed every week. So I am at a loss as to which one this actually is, but apparently opened it in June and has two main rooms with balconies and a chill out room with 'palm trees'. Whatever - it's the line up that looks good. There's funky house with Paul "Trouble" Anderson, who really knows how to rock a party after all these years, and in the wings Gavin Peters, Aaron Ross and Neil Pierce. Go see, just don't ask me for directions.

Fri 17 Sep, Club Supreme, 65 Goding Street SE11 5AW, 10pm-6am £10/12, tel: 020 7787 7363

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EASYGROUP MOVE INTO DOWNLOADS
The founder of budget airline easyJet has confirmed he is moving into the digital music sector, sparking fears of a price war. As the digital arena becomes increasingly competitive easyJet's Stelios Haji-Ioannou has confirmed a deal with London based download platform Wippit which will see the creation of easyMusic, selling tracks for as little as 25 pence a shot.

Following Real Network's half price download promotion in the US used to launch their new Harmony software last month, and with company's like Walmart already undercutting iTunes et al in America, the standard download rate of one US dollar per track may well be slashed as different players compete for mainstream custom.

With profit margins in the digital sector already tight for the people who run the download platforms, some fear major players in the sector will start to pressure labels and artists to reduce their costs. Because the production costs of a digital track are the same oblivious of how many people download it, this favours bigger labels and mainstream artists, who could reduce their income on each individual track because their overall profit margin will still be good. More niche artists would struggle to cover production costs if they have to cut their profit margins to just a few pennies a sale.

Announcing the deal with the EasyGroup, Wippit boss Paul Myers told CMU: "This is a spectacular opportunity for Wippit and we're proud that EasyGroup president Stelios Hajiloannou has chosen Wippit to wear the famous colours of easyMusic. Their ideals are parallel to ours and we believe that easyMusic will be a first stop destination for music fans seeking a no nonsense service."
easyMusic is likely to launch in the UK prior to Christmas - no word as yet regarding the service's global ambitions.

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JACKSON FACES ACCUSER'S MOTHER
Michael Jackson is later today expected to come face to face, for the first time since his arrest, with the mother of the teenage boy who accuses him of molestation. According to Reuters, the woman, who is identified in court only as "Jane Doe" to protect her son's privacy, has been subpoenaed to testify today by Jackson's attorneys.

Jackson's lawyers are still trying to suppress evidence seized from the offices of a private investigator working for Jackson's former lawyer. They want Ms Doe to confirm that she knew that private investigator Brad Miller was working for Jackson's then lawyer Mark Geragos and that she gave police that information. If Jackson's lawyers can prove the authorities knowingly seized evidence that was being collated by the defense, then that would violate the attorney-client privilege and would prevent the prosecution from using the evidence in court. Or something like that.

Judge Rodney Melville, overseeing the Jacko case, has so far allowed some of the evidence taken from Miller to be used in the prosecution's case, but has deferred a final decision on the legitimacy of that evidence until after further hearings.

Among the evidence seized in the raid on Miller's office are videotaped interviews of Jackson's young accuser and his family in which they praise the singer and deny that he acted inappropriately with the boy. Jackson is accused of bullying the family into participating in the interviews.

Jackson is expected to be court for the mother's testimony today. He will stand trial himself on 31 Jan facing ten charges of child molestation and conspiracy.

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TOM YORKE JOINS REM FOR SECRET GIG
More celebrity collaborations for REM. After Coldplay's Chris Martin joined Stipe and co on stage at that Oxfam charity gig earlier this week, now Radiohead's Tom Yorke has appeared with REM at a secret gig at St James Church, Piccadilly where he performed a note perfect unrehearsed rendition of 'E-Bow the Letter'.

Virtualfestivals.com reports that Yorke only received a text message from his showbiz pal (that's Stipe btw) at 2pm that afternoon, and he only managed to arrive at the church at 7pm - well after the soundcheck was finished, so there was no time for rehearsals. He said: "We've done 'E-bow' together a few times, so that seemed the best one to go with. I wasn't sure how it was going to fit together though, so I just kind of jammed along, and when Michael stopped singing during the chorus I just picked it up from there. Oh yes - and we don't have showbiz pals, we're not those sorts of people!"

REM's set was mostly taken up with songs from the new album, 'Around the Sun' (released 4 Oct) including the single 'Leaving New York' and 'I Wanted to be Wrong', the track that Stipe has described as being the band's favourite song they have written over the past two years, and. The band also used the secret gathering to announce the dates of an upcoming UK tour, dates as follows:

19 Feb: Hammersmith Apollo, London
21 Feb: Hallam FM Arena, Sheffield
22 Feb: SECC, Glasgow
23 Feb: NEC, Birmingham
17 Jun: Lancashire County Cricket Ground
18 Jun: Loch Lomond Balloch Country Park
5 Jul: The KC Stadium, Hull
6 Jul: Forest Football Club, Nottingham
9 Jul: Hyde Park, London
10 Jul: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

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BLUES EXPLOSION REARRANGE DATES
Talking of tours, Blues Explosion have rearranged their dates for their forthcoming UK tour in October. Their London date on the 20 Oct is unchanged but the final three dates in Manchester, Glasgow and Bristol have been moved from earlier in the. John Spencer's band release a new album, 'Damage', on 27 Sep and the single, 'Burn It Off' / 'Fed Up And Low Down', is out now.

Tour with rescheduled dates:
20 Oct: London Shepherds Bush Empire
22 Oct: Manchester Academy (moved from 6 Oct)
23 Oct: Glasgow QMU (moved from 5 Oct)
24 Oct: Bristol Academy (moved from 4 Oct)

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RADIO MERGER RUMOURS
City types are chattering bigtime this week about a possible merger in the UK radio sector. Word is Capital and GWR are considering merging their radio empires, capitalising on relaxed media ownership rules stemming from last year's Communications Act. However rumour has it GWR are also in talks with EMAP about some kind of deal - and analysts reckon that if GWR was to join EMAP's empire it would be a disaster for Capital, leaving them dwarfed by a merged EMAP/GWR.

Richard Menzies-Gow, a radio analyst for Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, told the Media Guardian yesterday: "Capital is stuck for growth and has been underperforming in the market for some time. It needs the GWR deal more than anyone. If GWR runs off with someone else [Capital will be] in a hole. You're looking at the break-up of Capital if GWR does a deal with Emap".

To add to Capital's grief, Menzies-Gow reckons a GWR / EMAP merger would make more sense. He says GWR would boost EMAP's local radio station portfolio, which hasn't been performing so well as late, while GWR shareholder Daily Mail & General Trust would be interested in EMAPs 28% stake in Scottish Radio Holdings because of SRH's interests in local newspapers. He also reckons Capital's strategy of rolling out a small stable of brands in all localities would clash with GWR's approach.

Needless to say, all sides are remaining quiet on everything, though analysts reckon one or the other mergers could get the go ahead sooner rather than later.

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YEAH YEAH YEAHS TO PLAY ONE-OFF
New York hipsters the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have announced they will play a one-off show at London's Brixton Academy on 15 Nov. After those two sell out dates at The Forum earlier this year, this is the last date the band will play in the UK this year, so this will be the only chance to see the trio play before 2005. Tickets go on sale on 20 Sep at 10am. Don't forget a full length Yeah Yeah Yeahs DVD - 'Tell Me What Rockers To Swallow' - is due out on 25 Oct.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Goldie Lookin Chain - Greatest Hits (Warner / Atlantic)
Silly, childish, rude, crude, puerile even, and yet I can't help finding the Goldie Lookin Chain hilarious. They've been much compared to the Darkness in terms of their novelty factor but really can anyone remember a time that Justin Hawkins' crew were funny. I'm racking my brains to think of a comedy musical act who are funny but I can't think of one apart from GLC. In any case, whilst heavy rock became a parody of itself long ago, rap seems more than ripe for a satirical take. It's clear from their lyrics and musical references that GLC love and are knowledgeable about the music they parody. There are some imaginative samples too. Comedy and music highlights include 'Guns Don't Kill People Rappers Do' -which has already been a solid number three hit single of course - 'Half Man Half Machine' and 'Your Mother's Got A Penis' (which samples 'Behind the Mark' to good effect). In 'You Know I Loves You' GLC get smooth: "I see you walking home from work, Your Tesco tunic drives me berserk, I bought you this necklace £12 from Argos, You're the Skywalker to my Luke." There is the odd line that crosses over the line into self-conscious controversy, and they'd be better off leaving that kind of stuff to the likes of Eminem. But in general it's fall off your chair comical. Or course, it's impossible to predict whether this will be funny next year or even next month, but for now it is. JW
Release date: 13 Sep
Press contact: Autonomy Press [CP, RP] All Press [NP] Warner IH [CR, RR, NR]

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BECK ALBUM DELAYED UNTIL 2005
Beck's new album, which was scheduled for release on 26 Oct, has now been delayed until next year. According to Billboard the as-yet-untitled record, which is being produced by the Dust Brothers and Tony Hoffer, is now set for an early 2005 release.

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STROKES JUNK ALBUM
From albums getting delayed to albums getting junked - The Strokes have scrapped plans to release that live album. A recording of last year's Christmas show at London's Alexandra Palace was scheduled for release before Christmas. According to the NME, Julian Casablancas has changed his mind about the release. A spokesman for the band said the singer went into the studio to listen to the album after it had been mastered but was not happy with its quality. So you Strokes fans out there will have to wait for the third studio album - which is currently being recorded in New York - or make do with another single release from second album 'Room On Fire' - 'The End Has No End'is released as a single on 1 Nov, backed by a cover of The Clash's 'Clampdown'.

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MUSE REVEAL STROKES INFLUENCE
Talking of Strokes fans, Muse have revealed that the unlikely band inspiring them at present are, indeed, The Strokes. The Devon trio had a series of acclaimed headline festival slots over the summer and last week NME readers voted them Band of the Summer in a festival poll. Speaking to the NME about his band's new material Matt Bellamy said: "They sound like a heavier version of The Strokes I suppose. They're not necessarily tracks that would make it onto the next album. We're working on a lot of different tracks, but usually the stuff we play live early doesn't make it onto the album, but I think we need to start moving forward and start playing some new stuff, whatever it is. I really like the fast tempo and really melodic stuff [of the Strokes]. I don't think people would ever hear that within our songs because we're a different style, but I think there's some really strong melodies and some of that has really stuck with me."

But Muse fans can expect more epic space rock from the band. Matt said: "I've got one song that has definitely gone further, a fair bit further! I'm not sure how it's going to be recorded. I think it's a new category of epicness! But a lot of the stuff is a bit more stripped down, a bit more minimal and a bit more exposed as a three-piece band. I think it's something we always try to do, but something happens and we just get carried away and it all just goes kind of overboard. I think there's just this in-built thing in us that is always likely to take something to its furthest extreme. And I think we're always trying to taper that with pulling back and being more minimal in our arrangements. With what we do there'll always be that contradiction within songs and within albums between minimal straightforward stuff and ridiculously complex stuff."

The band, who are setting off on a tour of Australia, release a new single, 'Butterflies And Hurricanes', on 20 Sep.

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FRANZ AMONG Q AWARD NOMINEES
Mercury Music Prize winners Franz Ferdinand have four nominations for this year's Q Awards - best new act, best album, best single and best video. They were among the nominees announced yesterday - Q readers will now to get to vote for their favourites prior to the main ceremony on 4 Oct.
FF's 'Take Me Out' faces competition for the best single award from Morrissey's 'Irish Blood, English Heart', The Streets' 'Dry Your Eyes', Jamelia's 'See It In A Boys Eyes', Goldie Lookin' Chain's 'Guns Don't Kill People, Rappers Do', and This Love' from Maroon 5.

Best album nominees include The Libertines and the Scissor Sisters, as well as Keane's 'Hopes and Fears', Dizzee Rascal's 'Showtime' and The Streets' 'A Grand Don't Come For Free'.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse, Radiohead, U2, Coldplay and OutKast are up for Best Act in the World Today. If Radiohead win it they will have been awarded the title five times (Q readers really do need to get out more) - of course when they won the award last year they refused to turn up to the ceremony after the magazine called them "miserable". Instead, the band sent a soundless video message with some text declaring: "Radiohead aren't talking to Q".

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USHER AND OUTKAST DOMINATE AT WORLD MUSIC AWARDS
No real surprises at the World Music Awards in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, which celebrate the artists who have enjoyed the most global record sales. Usher ended a hugely successful year by taking home three awards - the world's best male artist, best pop male artist and best R&B artist.

OutKast also won three awards - world's best group, best pop group and best rap/hip-hop artist. Norah Jones was awarded world's best female artist and best pop female artist, while Avril Lavigne, Evanescence, Alicia Keys, Kanye West and Maroon 5 also took home honours. It was the first time the annual event was held in US, after previously being held in Monaco.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Blackfield - Blackfield (Snapper Music)
Blackfield is a project between respected Israeli rock star Aviv Geffen and genius British musician Steven Wilson, central musical force of two groups criminally ignored/under-rated (particularly in the UK): No-Man and Porcupine Tree. Dispensing with the brilliantly seductive art-rock of the former and the prog-tastic space rock of the latter, 'Blackfield' is instead inspired by a love of "classic rock albums from the 60s and 70s". You can hear traces of The Beatles, Pink Floyd and David Bowie for sure, although, interestingly, despite Geffen's involvement, it sounds quintessentially English and, as such, it also reminds you in places of the more melodic, less caustic moments from Britpop - Blur circa 93, 'Dog Man Star', Supergrass, and, notably, Ooberman. There's much to enjoy too. Although occasionally similar in mood and pace to PT, it seems the pair have just about boxed away any of that group's meandering prog tendencies - none of the ten (remember when albums just had ten tracks?) songs veers substantially over four minutes, and each is essentially 'poppy' and accessible. The Led Zep power chords on opener 'Open Mind' seem a bit incongruous and off-putting but, thankfully, are soon vanquished and we're left instead with some gloriously melodic mid-tempo rock songs that frequently amaze with their beauty and simplicity. The brilliant 'Blackfield' is the sort of thing Syd Barrett might've written for the Floyd in the 70s had he not succumbed to his drug-induced breakdown, whilst 'Glow' starts off like Goldfrapp at their most serene and calming before building into an angsty, imposing epic. And with tracks called things like 'Scars', 'Pain' and 'The Hole In Me', there's enough self-loathing to appeal to any old-skool Manics, Cure or Radiohead fan too. A surprisingly affecting album, all told. MS
Release date: 6 Sep
Press contact: Ian Cheek [CP, RP] Snapper IH [NP, CR, RR, NR]

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BIFFY CLYRO AND BOXER REBELLION TOUR TOGETHER
Biffy Clyro and The Boxer Rebellion have announced a huge autumn tour. Boxer Rebellion release 'Code Red' on 27 Sep, following on from those limited edition singles 'Watermelon' and 'In Pursuit', and preceding their as yet untitled debut LP, due in the new year. The Biffy Clyro tour follows their own current headline tour.

Dates with Biffy Clyro as follows:
4 Oct: Cambridge Junction
5 Oct: Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
6 Oct: Bristol Station
7 Oct: London Electric Ballroom
8 Oct: Reading Fez
9 Oct: Brighton Concorde 2
11 Oct:Oxford Zodiac
12 Oct: Nottingham Rock City
13 Oct: Stoke Sugarmill
14 Oct: Sheffield Zero
15 Oct: Newcastle Northumbria University
16 Oct: Carlisle Brickyard
18 Oct: Aberdeen Moshulu
19 Oct: Glasgow Barrowlands

The Boxer Rebellion tour dates are:
17 Sep: Oxford Zodiac
18 Sep: Cardiff Barfly
19 Sep: Southampton Joiners
21 Sep: Bournemouth Mr. Smiths
22 Sep: Brighton Pressure Point
25 Sep: Staffordshire University
28 Sep: Bradford University
29 Sep: Sheffield Hallam University
30 Sep: London Goldsmiths University
1 Oct: Glasgow Strathclyde University
22 Oct: London Imperial College
26 Oct: Huddersfield Heaven And Hell
29 Oct: Kent University

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IE MUSIC RECEIVE OUTSTANDING MANAGEMENT AWARD FROM MMF
The UK Music Managers Forum held their Roll Of Honour awards in London on Wednesday, with the flagship Peter Grant Award For Outstanding Management going to Tim Clark and David Enthoven of IE Music, the company behind the careers of Craig Armstrong, Sia, Mike Rosenberg and Robbie Williams among others.

Other winners on the night included Sue Whitehouse, who took the Barclays Music Manager of the Year Award for her work managing The Darkness during their phenomenal rise to success. The Producer of the Year Award went to Tore Johansson, who has worked with, among others, Franz Ferdinand, Suede and The Cardigans.

Finally, Tony Moore, whose past music projects have included Radio Java, Cutting Crew and creating acoustic venue The Kashmir Klub, was 'inducted' into the roll of honour.

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SKINNER TO STAR IN 'CHAV' MOVIE
Mike Skinner is being lined up for a starring role in 'Chav: The Movie' - or at least so says the Sun.

The 'chav' phenomenon is described by the Oxford English Dictionary as "a young person, often without a high level of education, who follows a particular fashion." The Sun's own definition of a chav is a "teenager who loves designer labels, especially Burberry caps and Adidas tracksuits, tucks their trousers into their trainers and wears fake bling-bling jewellery."

The movie is being described as a modern equivalent of 1979's 'Quadrophenia' - the classic 1979 film about mods in the 1960s. An insider said: "This is hopefully going to be the film that sums up life as a young person in Britain today. It will be talked about in years to come. The whole chav culture thing is a real movement that has now become part of our everyday language. Originally we hoped to call the film 'A Grand Don't Come For Free' but that is a title too associated with The Streets. So the title 'Chav: The Movie' is being used at the moment. It may change at some point."

Others tipped to appear in the film include Ralf Little, Jentina and Dizzee Rascal.

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