CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 29th September
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- GWR and Capital to merge
- Bono to address Labour conference
- U2 tracklisting
- Williams pulls out of MOBOs
- Cantat back in France
- EP Review: Engineers - Folly
- XL plan reissues for anniversary
- Electric Six release online freebie
- Weezer update
- Shortlist album planned
- Springsteen et al embark on anti-Bush tour
- Album Review: The Latin Project - Nueva Musica
- Babyshambles single and tour
- Islam comments on his American ordeal
- Jupiter reckon digital music will grow but not dominate



*** PREVEW GREAT NEW MUSIC ONLINE: To preview tracks from CMU favourites !!!, Chikinki, Felix Da Housecat, Grand National and Riton online at your leisure check MetroLife in this Thursday's Evening Standard for details of the launch of the London Music Network and the online 4Play jukebox.

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Well, radio mergers seem to be in fashion. We expected Capital to announce some details of their merger talks with GWR this week - in the end they went the whole way and confirmed that, technicalities permitting, the two radio giants will indeed combine to create a massive broadcasting outfit which will control around 40% of the UK's commercial radio advertising revenue. It will also mean radio brands like Xfm, Classic FM and Capital Gold will all belong to the same group.

Taking advantage of those changes in media ownership legislation that went through parliament last year, the motivation for the merger is most likely to be a shared mission to dominate the digital radio sector as it really takes off in the next few years.

The management team of the merged radio group will remain unchanged - with chief executive David Mansfield and GWR executive chairman Ralph Bernard both maintaining the same job titles in the new company. The only real change is that Classic FM boss Roger Lewis is leaving - he announced his departure yesterday and has just been confirmed as the new boss of ITV Wales.

Elsewhere in radio merger news, rumours are growing that Scottish Radio Holdings is considering some kind of deal with EMAP - the latter already has a 27.8% stake in the former and is known to be hungry to extend its radio division (in fact some reckoned GWR might choose to merge with EMAP instead of Capital).

So, radio mergers galore, which has to be good news for everyone. Well, except the people that work there - job cuts are sure to follow. Oh, and for smaller artists and labels - mergers probably mean more centralised music policies which means less chances for bands to get local radio support. Which I guess means it's not great news for music fans either. But very good news for anyone with shares in a radio company - so well done them.


With something of a tradition of inviting eminent world leaders to speak at their annual conference - Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai - the Labour Party will today hear from, erm, Bono. Yep, the U2 singer will be talking to delegates at Labour's seaside bash about the global campaign to combat the spread of AIDS, especially in Africa. He will also discuss his other favourite topics - third world debt and fair trade. Whether he will stick to the "don't mention the war" protocol remains to be seen, though presumably the Labour top guard won't mind if he mentions that the new album is out on 14 Nov.

Bono is no stranger to political conferences of course - having spoken on similar topics at both the Republican and Democrat party conventions in the US. Of course if it takes a bit of celebrity to get these global issues on the central agenda at such conferences, then good for Bono for finding time in his schedule to be there.


Talking of U2, and a strangely high level of interest yesterday in the announcement of the tracklisting on that new album - 'How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb'. For those interested, it runs thus:

Miracle Drug
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
Love And Peace Or Else
City Of Blinding Lights
All Because Of You
A Man And A Woman
Crumbs From Your Table
One Step Closer
Original Of The Species
Fast Cars (UK Bonus track)

Opening track 'Vertigo' is released as a single on 8 Nov.


A few last minute snags at the MOBOs, which take place at the Royal Albert Hall tomorrow night. According to the Mirror, both hosts - Pharrell Williams and Naomi Campbell - have pulled out. Rumour has it Pharrell was angry at the lack of big US acts on the bill, telling colleagues that he hadn't heard of half of the people who are turning up. The official line for his last minute cancellation is "scheduling problems." Rapper and actor Mos Def will take over from Pharrell, his female co-host is tbc.


French rock star Bertrand Cantat has returned to France to serve out his sentence for killing his actress girlfriend in a French jail. As previously reported, Cantat was found guilty of killing actress Marie Trintignant during a violent argument in the Lithuanian town of Vilnius last year. He was jailed for eight years by a Lithuanian court earlier this year. The singer - who admitted he caused Trintignant's death - originally planned to appeal against his sentence, but dropped those plans in Jun at the same time the Trintignant family dropped their campaign to have the sentence increased. Cantat arrived in Toulouse on Tuesday after being given permission to complete his sentence nearer to his family.


EP REVIEW: Engineers - Folly (Echo Records)
Though derivative in places, this six song EP/mini album is, after a few listens, rather beguiling indeed. Engineers are from Manchester and, of course, don't sound particularly happy at all. Certainly, there is much to enjoy here if you've ever moped deliriously to Elbow or Doves at their most horizontal. As for other reference points, there are touches of mid-70s Pink Floyd throughout - whether in the awesome monolithic synth washes that moodily landscape 'A Given Right' and 'Pictobug', the stately, unhurried rhythms (unsurprisingly, the band are fond of the odd reefer), and in the genteel English enunciation in the vocals. Elsewhere, 'Forgiveness' is produced by Tim Holmes of Death In Vegas and, as such, has a suitably spooky undertow, whilst the shoegazy 'Nature's Editing', with its beautiful dreamlike quality, could easily hold its own amongst the likes of Slowdive, Ride and MBV. (See also: Spiritualised, minus the drugs, but with a soul to compensate.) A confident, impressive debut, all told. MS
Released date: 27 Sep
Press contact: Coalition [CP, RP, NP] Size Nine E [CR, RR, NR]


Beggars imprint XL are to re-issue some of their early releases to celebrate their fifteenth anniversary. The re-releases, which will begin with The Prodigy's first single 'What Evil Lurks', will be available via digital download and 12" vinyl. Other artists set to be reissued include Jonny L, Junior Vasquez, SL2, Moby and Lenny D.


Talking of online releases from XL artists (hey, what a link - except, of course, this band are now with Warners), Electric Six will make a new single available as a free download on 18 Oct. The band are currently in the studio working on their next album. As previously reported, they will also release a cover of 'Radio Ga Ga' for the Christmas market.


Talking of working on new albums, Weezer have posted an update on their fifth studio album on their website. Reads thus: "While the main 12 songs are very close to completion (and may be in some cases truly completed) there is no way of knowing this for sure until everyone has had the chance to try everything they think may elevate the tracks. Of course that includes Rivers, who is now away at school for the semester. While everyone agrees that most of the tracks are very close, it may turn out that additional work will be needed."

"The upshot of all this is that the album probably won't be truly finished until after the holidays, which means it likely won't see release until Spring 05, given the several months the record label requires to prepare for an album's release. The cool part is that everything on the album has had (and will have had) ample time to be the best it can be - no rushing or cutting corners."


US label Razor & Tie will release a compilation album to coincide with this year's Shortlist Music Prize (the US equivalent of the Mercury Music Prize - but you knew that didn't ya). The album will feature tracks from each of the ten artists who are on the 'shortlist' for the final award, plus tracks from an additional five artists who featured on the preliminary 'long list' of albums - Muse, Jem, Secret Machines, Cafe Tacuba and Ryan Adams.

Called 'MTV2 Presents: 2004 Shortlist Music Prize Nominees', the album will be released on 2 Nov, two weeks before the overall award is presented at a ceremony in LA on 15 Nov.

As previously reported, artists on this year's shortlist are: Air, Dizzee Rascal, Franz Ferdinand, Ghostface Killah, The Killers, Loretta Lynn, Nellie McKay, the Streets, TV On The Radio and Wilco.


Bruce Springsteen, The Dixie Chicks, Pearl Jam, Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt are among the artists who have embarked on the high profile Vote For Change tour which will now stage concerts in 36 cities in nine 'electoral swing states' in a bid to persuade US voters to vote against Bush in the forthcoming presidential elections. The tour will culminate on 11 Oct in Washington DC.

Speaking to Rolling Stone magazine about his involvement in the tour, Springsteen said that Bush had been "fundamentally dishonest" in launching war on Iraq, adding: "It made me angry... I felt we had been misled. I felt they had been fundamentally dishonest and had frightened and manipulated the American people into war."

Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks, very familiar with the dangers of speaking out against Bush, has told reporters: "There's never been a political climate like this, which is so the polar opposite of me as a person and what I believe in."

Proceeds from Vote for Change concerts will be donated to America Coming Together (ACT), a group which aims to motivate voters into defeating Bush in the 2 Nov election.


ALBUM REVIEW: The Latin Project - Nueva Musica (Electric Monkey Records)
Jez Colin and Matt Cooper combine to form the Jazzanova/MAW inspired Latin Project. The former is best known for his remix / production work, while the latter was in Soulsonics and has released as Outside. With 'Nueva Musica' they aim to put the Latin sound onto the dancefloor, and they achieve that aim with considerable aplomb. Among the tracks to look out for are 'Lei Lo Lai' with its trumpets and uplifting house backdrop; 'Enfuego' combining something of a North African style with a 2step beat and a bit of flamenco guitar; 'Musica Amore', sounding a bit like a rip off of CMU faves Jazzinho, but a good track all the same; and 'Es toi' which offers a dub reggae flava. At times it seems like you have heard these tracks somewhere before, but it's familiarity in a good way. Well worth checking. PV
Release date: 20 Sep
Press contact: Phuture trax


A recent readers' survey revealed we just don't have enough Pete Doherty news in the CMU Daily, so here's some more. Pete Doherty's Babyshambles offshoot will release new single 'Killamangiro' through Rough Trade Records on 8 Nov - the single will be released on CD single & limited edition 7" vinyl and will include the bonus song 'The Man Who Came To Stay'.

Killamangiro is the follow up to the band's Top 40 debut single Babyshambles, released as a very limited edition on High Society in May.

Meanwhile Babyshambles continue to tour the UK:

29 Sep: Aberdeen Lemon Tree
30 Sep: Dundee Reading Rooms
2 Oct: Edinburgh Venue
3 Oct: Glasgow Garage
4 Oct: Stoke The Underground
5 Oct: Shrewsbury, Music Hall
6 Oct: Scala, London
7 Oct: Scala, London


Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens) has spoken to the LA Times about the ordeal of being thrown off a flight to the US and sent back to the UK. Revealing he was visiting America with his 21-year-old daughter to "explore some new musical ideas with a record label there", he told the paper: "The most upsetting thing [of the whole ordeal] was being separated from my daughter for 33 hours-not knowing how she was or when and where we might be united. I thought to myself, 'Is this the same planet I'd taken off from?' I was devastated. The unbelievable thing is that only two months earlier, I had been having meetings in Washington with top officials from the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to talk about my charity work. I am a victim of an unjust and arbitrary system, hastily imposed, that serves only to belittle America's image as a defender of the civil liberties".


While digital music will grow rapidly in Europe in the next five years, it will still only account for 8% of the market in five years time, or at least that is what a new report from Jupiter Research published yesterday reckons.

Beginning with the statistic that the European download market this year is expected to be worth 46.3 million euros - around four times more than last year - Jupiter reckon that by 2009 the European digital sector will be worth 836 million euros in combined subscription revenues and download sales. However that will still only account for 8% of overall music revenues. The report reckons the highest uptake of digital services will be here in the UK which will account for 30% of the European sector in five years time.

Commenting on the report Jupiter's Mark Mulligan told reporters: "Digital music distribution will be an important alternative revenue channel for the music industry, but it is not about to replace the CD."

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