|CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 20th October
In today's CMU Daily:
- Will Young DMA's Artist Of The Year
- SRA announce Student Radio Award nominations
- Mac to launch special U2 iPod
- Coldplay, Travis and the Darkness up for Band Aid III
- Elton slates uncharitable pop stars
- Yahoo complete Music Match takeover
- Airey says ITV too formulaic
- Sky launch free satellite service
- The Source join Jacko in Eminem slagging (no surprises there)
- Album Review: Depeche Mode - The Remixes 81-04
- Kasabian tour
- Kylie and Franz sell out - fast
- Polar Music date set
- Britney confirms break
- Student Radio Awards nominations in full
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SAME SIX QUESTIONS: Bruise
How did you start out making music for a living?
Isobel: I don't make a living from making music actually, I make a living from taking my clothes off in public.
Jim: I was lucky enough to inherit a drum kit very young. I played all the time and the neighbours didn't kill me. When I was 16 a passer by knocked on the door and asked my dad if I'd play on a single he was about to record. The famous "six degrees of separation" kicked in. With few exceptions, all the work I've done since then has come my way via someone (guitarist, producer, engineer) who was on that session.
What inspired your latest album?
Isobel: I write about personal politics, the way people treat each other, emotional repercussions. Most of these songs are based on what I know or what has happened to me. That said, 'Pariah' was inspired by the film 'Tom and Viv' - it's about TS Elliot and his wife Vivien. She was an intelligent and driven woman who devoted years to promoting Elliot's work. Unfortunately she was physically messed up - she had a disorder that meant she menstruated every 10 days, this caused enormous social and emotional strain on the both of them. Elliot couldn't cope and eventually committed her to a mental institution. By the time she was in her early 30's she had gone through the menopause and was as stable and sane as any of us, but Elliot left her institutionalised until she died decades later. What broke my heart was the total devotion she felt for her husband, her refusal to criticise him for how he treated her and the absolute injustice of the situation. 'Silvertown', on the other hand, was written about where I live now. It's still a scruffy and neglected bit of East London, where huge factories spewing out smoke and fire are butted up next to council estates housing a rainbow of people. It's one of the few places I've found in this mean metropolis where humanity thrives, acts of tolerance and acceptance happen daily, and I love it.
What process do you go through in creating an album?
Jim: This is our first album so I wouldn't say we exactly have a 'process' yet. We had recorded a lot of tracks and, perhaps arrogantly, I didn't consider any of them demos. The early tracks, many of which appear on 'B', were put down with very limited gear and in ignorance of many production techniques and conventions. But Isobel's songs have a strong red thread running through them and she's a very idiosyncratic guitarist, so it was never really a case of searching for the right approach or mood. The sound emerged, and when we felt we had enough material to get some perspective on it all we cherry picked the songs that hung together.
What artists influence your work?
Isobel: The swaggering cool of David Bowie, Joni Mitchell's amazing lyrics, The Velvet Underground, early Roxy Music, Nina Simone, Buffalo Tom for their brutish emotional performance, Dick Gaughan, Ani Difranco, Big Star, The Waterboys, Nick Drake's tenderness, The Cure, Liz Phair... this list goes on and on and on.
Jim: As a drummer my biggest influence is the 70s: my brother's prog-rock albums (like it or loathe it, the sheer technical challenge of that stuff was a real education) and disco (wonderful, simple and solid). Producers like Trevor Horn, Thomas Dolby, Steve Lillywhite and Brian Eno have all inspired me when we're in the studio.
What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Isobel: I think the music speaks for itself, just DO check it out!
Jim: Personally, I prefer to hear new music totally fresh. If I'm told too much, or I read too much about it first, I find I've got preconceptions which get in the way of first impressions. So maybe I'd just hand them the album and say "Don't listen to me. Don't listen to them. LISTEN TO THIS!"
What are your ambitions for this album, and for the future?
Isobel: We've done a lot of gigs over the last three years, playing small venues and independent festivals and we're building quite a fan base as a result, but it's not the easiest way of becoming a household name. I hope this album will get Bruise heard by those people who don't make a habit of going to gigs, those radio listeners and magazine readers who don't feel comfortable turning up to a venue just to see what's going on.
Jim: I've been using (in my mind) the phrase "the Blair Witch of rock". You know; made for a pittance, reaping huge rewards? There is a real excitement to the DIY, us against the world approach. But I've had enough tap water sandwiches and not enough transatlantic flights in private jets.
London based Bruise release their album 'B' on 23 Nov on Popla Disque - press info from Paul at Northern Lights Music.
WILL YOUNG DMA'S ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Well, it seems that Mr Will Young dominates in the digital world, because last night he won the Artist Of The Year title at the Digital Music Awards for the second year running. Quite what that means we're not sure, but well done him.
Well done also to Virgin Radio who, despite those disappointing listening figures in GfK's pre-RAJAR unofficial radio ratings, proved once again they lead the way when it comes to webcasting by taking the Best Radio Station Online award. And well done to iTunes who won the award for best download platform - though you couldn't blame Apple if they are getting a little bit complacent about all these things by now.
Commenting on the DMAs, Andy Brown from the awards' sponsor BT Rich Media told reporters: "This year's awards have been designed to significantly increase consumer participation. Music fans have just begun to seriously embrace digital music and our aim was to celebrate the role that broadband from BT plays in providing technology for the industry".
So there you go, winners in full as follows:
Artist of the Year sponsored by Metro: Will Young
Best Pop Artist: Girls Aloud
Best Rock/Indie Artist: Paul Weller
Best Dance Artist: Faithless
Best Urban Artist: Lemar
Best Artist Download: Coldplay - 2000 Miles
Best Download Service: iTunes
Best Radio Station Online: Virgin Radio
Best Web-based Music Game: Muse Space Fighter Game
Best Use of Broadband: Video-C Broadband Chart
Best Use of Mobile: Orange Fireplayer
Best Digital Promotional Campaign: Kasbian
Best Innovation: LAUNCHcast and Yahoo! Messenger integration
Best Music Video Online: The Streets - Blinded By The Lights
People's Choice Award for best official music website: Westlife
People's Choice Award for best unofficial music website: Madonnalicious
SRA ANNOUNCE STUDENT RADIO AWARD NOMINATIONS
Talking of awards, and we're entering college media awards season again, with the Student Radio, NUS Student Journalism and Guardian Student Media Awards all just around the corner. The Student Radio Association have announced the nominations for their awards - there's a full list at the bottom of today's Daily.
As always the awards, which take place in London on 19 Nov, are supported by Radio 1. Announcing this year's nominations Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt told reporters: "Radio 1 is proud to support the 2004 Student Radio Awards. Student radio's importance to the industry cannot be underestimated, indeed many of the young people involved will be the future of BBC and commercial stations across the country."
MAC TO LAUNCH SPECIAL U2 IPOD
According to the New York Post, Apple Computers have done a deal with U2 which will see them release a customized iPod branded with U2 imagery and pre-loaded with the band's up coming new album 'How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb'. The new player is expected to be launched at an event in San Jose on 26 Oct, with both Apple boss Steve Jobs and Bono in attendance.
Neither Apple nor U2 have commented on the report, though youth branding expert Rick Eiserman told the Post: "U2 and Bono's endorsement of this product will not only sell it because of U2 loyalists, but it also says something larger about music and downloading. Bono is saying that it's OK. There's still this group that hasn't crossed over and is wondering if this (downloading) supports the artists. The fact that one of the most outspoken, politically active recording artists is endorsing the product is unbelievable".
COLDPLAY, TRAVIS AND THE DARKNESS UP FOR BAND AID III
Following reports last week that there were plans to re-release the charity record 'Do They Know It's Christmas', it is now looking increasingly likely that the song will, in fact, be re-recorded by contemporary artists.
According to latest reports Coldplay's Chris Martin, The Darkness' Justin Hawkins and Travis' Fran Healy have already told the original Band Aid coordinators - Bob Geldof and Midge Ure - that they are ready to take part. Word is Geldof and Ure are now talking to Noel Gallagher, Robbie Williams, Blur, Jamelia and Dido about the project.
Organisers hope a re-release, or re-recording, of the track will help to raise millions to help the victims of Africa's latest famine crisis. The success of the single is no doubt assured - the Sun reports that bookies already have the track listed as odds-on favourite to be the UK's Christmas number one this year.
Midge Ure told reporters yesterday: "It's definitely going to happen. I'm very excited. This project is not just about raising money. It's about putting the focus back on Africa and the problem of famine which has not gone away. The line-up proves that this country is brimming with talent and the big names approached seem very keen. Chris Martin actually contacted me. He reminds me of a young Bono. The great thing is we have real musicians in proper bands. Things are really snowballing. What's frightening though is most of them were in nappies first time around!"
ELTON SLATES UNCHARITABLE POP STARS
Any popsters planning on taking part in Band Aid III better not make any difficult demands. In his latest bid to get a slot on BBC2's Grumpy Old Men show, Elton John has lashed out at two unnamed artists who, he claims, demanded huge fees to appear at the recent charity show organised by Sharon Osbourne in aid of her Colon Cancer Foundation and Elton's Aids Foundation.
He told reporters: "Sharon asked two major stars to do it and they wanted at least $500,000 for the privilege and I think that's completely disgusting. I said to Sharon: "No way are you paying that money"."
YAHOO COMPLETE MUSICMATCH TAKEOVER
Yahoo yesterday confirmed they had completed their $160 million takeover of digital music service Musicmatch. The deal means Yahoo now owns Musicmatch's jukebox software, online radio network, download platform and on demand streaming service.
AIREY SAYS ITV TOO FORMULAIC
Sky Networks MD Dawn Airey has criticised ITV for being "misguided" and "formulaic". Airey, who oversees those so un-formulaic Sky channels (Simpsons, Simpsons, Malcolm in the Middle, Simpsons, Stargate, Simpsons...) has told a meeting of the Royal Television Society that ITV will continue to lose viewers to digital channels if they don't innovate in their schedules.
Airey: "The danger for ITV is that if schedules start to become more formulaic and bland then viewers looking for diversity will inevitably seek out those programmes on any one of the other 400 channels from which they can choose. Look at the upcoming drama schedules for next year: more Sharpe, more Poirot, more Marple - and believe it or not more Morse and more Rumpole of the Bailey. The strategy appears to be all about maximising share to keep ad revenues buoyant yet it does nothing to broaden the channel's reach."
Actually, to be fair, she's right. And don't worry Dawn, we love Malcolm in the Middle and the Simpsons.
SKY LAUNCH FREE SATELLITE SERVICE
Talking of Sky, BskyB will tomorrow launch their free-to-air satellite system - a bid to take on Freeview by offering viewers a 200 channel package without subscription - all viewers will need is a dish and box which can be bought for a one off fee of £150. The aim is make the most of the Christmas market, and presumably slow down the rapid growth of the Freeview network, which will itself expect another boost in the run up to the festive period.
According to some electronics retailers, Sky will sell refurbished Sky Digital boxes direct to consumers. They will come with a smart card that allows free access to the free-to-view channels. However, the box can by upgraded to a full subscription service just by switching the smart card - which means Sky will try to upsell subscription channels to their free-to-air customers.
There has been talk of Sky collaborating with the BBC on the free-to-air satellite service, but it seems Sky will now go it alone, leading to rumours the Beeb might launch a rival free-to-air satellite service under the Freeview banner. The main disagreement between the two parties seems to be that Sky wants to be the only supplier of free-to-air set top boxes - which means they can control the market price. The Beeb wanted to let other tech firms manufacture the boxes, which, like terrestrial Freeview, would lead to competition and bring down the price of the free-to-air satellite systems.
Although he insisted the BBC and Sky were still discussing possible collaborations in the area, BBC boss Mark Thompson told a media select committee: "One of the reasons why Freeview works so well is because there are a lot of companies offering boxes and that's helped drive prices down to £25. We'd like to see that sort of market where consumers have real choice opening up in free satellite".
Although full details of the free Sky service are still under wraps, the company has said the marketing for the service will be quite low key compared to the recent campaign promoting their pay-TV platform. One insider told the Guardian: "Our focus will remain on promoting the core pay-TV product".
The government is keen for Sky and / or the BBC to pursue a free-to-air satellite network because it means the 25% of the country currently not serviced by Freeview will now be able to get digital TV without subscription - which is essential if they are ever going to be able to turn off analogue TV services.
THE SOURCE JOIN JACKO IN EMINEM SLAGGING (NO SURPRISES THERE)
Start slagging Eminem, and you're sure to find US hip hop mag The Source is suddenly your best friend. Word is Michael Jackson, who is still in a pickle over the spoofing he receives in Slim Shady's new video, is going to stage a press conference with Source magazine owners David Mays and Ray Benzino in which the vid to new Eminem track 'Just Lose It' will be denounced as racist and "dangerous to the black community". Quite what definition of 'dangerous' they are using there we're not sure.
ALBUM REVIEW: Depeche Mode - The Remixes 81-04 (Mute)
Depeche Mode, along with like-minds New Order and the Pet Shop Boys, were enthusiastic about the possibilities of the remix as far back as the early 80s. Whether simply making the song more amenable to the dancefloor, or offering up an altogether more extreme interpretation by the remixer of choice, Depeche have always chosen cannily, as documented here by the number of artists who were very much up-and-coming when commissioned by the band but who went on to become some of the most respected acts and/or remixers around.
This mammoth three CD set compiles tracks encapsulating all eras of the band, although at times unwisely. Nearly all the material from the 80s is sadly dispensable, sounding rather dated and frequently no different to the original song, bar being slightly longer. Their inclusion is frustrating - not just because the tracks don't flow chronologically (which would've allowed them to be filed away unobtrusively for posterity on the first CD), but particularly since the compendium omits worthy remixes by the KLF, The Orb, Jedi Knights, Andrea Parker, Brian Eno, Gus Gus and more.
Trainspottery nitpicking aside, there are numerous gems herein, notably from the mid 90s. By way of an awesomely chunky hip hop beat, Jack Dangers of Meat Beat Manifesto manipulates 'Rush' into a huge deviant-sounding anthem. Underworld pummel 'Barrel Of A Gun' into a frantic techno workout, whilst William Orbit showcases the melodic inventive touch he would later display with Madonna. More sedately, Kruder + Dorfmeister's gorgeous reinterpretation of 'Useless' is a chill-out classic; utterly luxurious and the best thing here.
Amongst the new remixes on the limited edition third disc, Goldfrapp's version of 'Halo' is pretty, but you suspect they had too much awe for the original to rework it into something more radical. Ulrich Schnauss, though, was an inspired choice for 'Little 15' - the moody ebb and flow of the original makes a perfect foil for the German's gorgeous ethereal electronica - as was Rex The Dog, who turns 'Photographic' into a genius slice of retro electro-pop that will have Vince Clarke's lawyers on the phone.
Less than half the 36 tracks here are essential listening but, nonetheless, 'Remixes' remains an intriguing historical artefact, documenting not just the development of DM, but also both the remix as a concept, and electronic music itself. MS
Release date: 25 Oct
Press contact: Mute IH [all]
Get you diaries out, Kasabian have announced a new eight day tour as follows:
6 Dec: Liverpool University
7 Dec: Glasgow Barrowlands
8 Dec: Manchester Academy
10 Dec: Cardiff University
11 Dec: Southampton Guildhall
13 Dec: Nottingham Rock City
14 Dec: Birmingham Carling Academy
15 Dec: Brixton Carling Academy
KYLIE AND FRANZ SELL OUT - FAST
Despite signs that the live sector in the US may be starting to struggle again, two British artists enjoyed rapid sell outs for their up coming UK dates yesterday.
Demand for the forthcoming greatest hits tour from Kylie Minogue was so high that the phone system taking bookings for her London date crashed, as did the website charged with the task of selling tickets for her Birmingham gig. Queues for tickets in Glasgow were at record levels while a second Manchester date sold out before it had even been announced.
Commenting on the demand for tickets a spokeswoman for London's Earls Court venue told reporters: "We do tend to sell out quickly with the likes of Madonna and Elton John, but Kylie has been one of the fastest." Promoters added an extra five dates to satisfy demand. They are as follows:
20 Mar: Glasgow SECC
22 Mar: Glasgow SECC
20 Apr: Birmingham NEC
26 Apr: Manchester Evening News Arena
1 May: London Earls Court
Meanwhile, in Scotland, tickets for a pre-Christmas homecoming gig from Franz Ferdinand sold out within minutes. A second date has now been added at Glasgow's SECC venue (on 19 Dec).
POLAR MUSIC DATE SET
Organisers of Sweden's Polar Music Prize have confirmed they will announce this year's winner on 25 Oct. The award, made by the Royal Swedish Academy Of Music, was founded by ABBA manager Stig Anderson back in 1989 and aims to recognise lifetime contributions to music - past winners have included Paul McCartney, Isaac Stern, Bruce Springsteen, Pierre Boulez and Quincy Jones.
BRITNEY CONFIRMS BREAK
Britney has confirmed she is taking a break from music, and hasn't made any commitment to when she might return.. In a letter on her website she writes: "Dear Fans. I am going to start writing this column now as often as possible...I am also going to take some time off to enjoy life. I've actually learned to say 'NO!'"
"Saying no" seems to include saying no to doing any promotion work on her upcoming Greatest Hits album, which has apparently pissed off a fair few people over at Jive Records who will now have to market the record without any interviews or promotional opportunities.
STUDENT RADIO AWARDS NOMINATIONS IN FULL
Best Marketing sponsored by Student-Stores.com:
Subcity Radio - Glasgow University
Utopia FM - University of Sunderland
Demon FM - De Montfort University
URB - University of Bath
Technical Achievement sponsored by VCS:
Livewire - University of East Anglia
LCR 1350 - Loughborough University
Surge - Southampton University
URN - Nottingham University
CUR1350 - Cambridge University
Station Sound sponsored by Wise Buddah:
Bailrigg FM - University of Lancaster
CUR 1350 - Cambridge University
URN - University of Nottingham
Storm FM - Bangor University
Best Comedy and Drama sponsored by Celador Radio Broadcasting:
The Trailling Edge - Bailrigg FM - University of Lancaster
Have I got Fuse for You - Fuse FM - University of Manchester
The Equality Street Specials - LCR 1350am - Loughborough University
Brunsfield Place - Fresh Air - Edinburgh University
Component Parts - 1449am URB - Bath University
Best News and Talk sponsored by LBC 97.3FM:
Mock Critic - Utopia - Sunderland University
Mission Impossible - IC Radio - Imperial College, London
Unlucky in Love - Utopia - Sunderland University
University Swap - CUR/SURGE - University of Cambridge & Southampton University
The Lens - LSR - Leeds University
Election night - Baillrigg FM - University of Lncaster
Best Sports Broadcasting:
LSR Saturday Sports Show - LSR - University of Leeds
Varsity Rugby - CUR 1350 - University of Cambridge
RaW Sport Not Out - RaW - University of Warwick
Best Entertainment sponsored by 6 music:
"(Students Don't) Drive", Xpress Radio - University of Cardiff
The Gareth and Tom Show, 1449 AM - URB - University of Bath
The Dan and Ed Experience, CUR 1350 - University of Cambridge
M2M - Cur 1350 - University of Cambridge
The Hannah and Lara Show - LCR 1350 - Loughborough University
Uncovered - URN - University of Nottingham
Best Newcomer sponsored by Creation:
Dave Stowell - Xpression FM
Charli Alexander - URB
Simon Baker - Demon FM
Minnie Stephenson - Fuse FM
Ben Crookes - Demon FM
Simon Grout - URN
Best Specialist Music Programme sponsored by XFM:
Outer national - Xpress Radio - University of Cardiff
Club 1350 - Cur 1350 - University of Cambridge
The Continous Weekend - LSR FM - University of Leeds
Street Beat - Demon fm - De Montfort University
Word the Cat - LSR Fm - University of Leeds
The Shiznit - URN - University of Nottingham
Rockin the Suburbs - RaW - University of Warwick
Best Male in association with BBC Radio 1:
Matt Treacy - Surge - Southampton University
Jonathan Wood - Utopia - Sunderland University
Christopher Dean - LCR - Loughborough University
Andy Scott URN - University of Nottingham
Andy Kench - Xpression - Exeter University
Pete Cooper - Fuse FM - University of Manchester
Best Female in association with BBC Radio 1:
Val Melon - CUR 1350 - University of Cambridge
Sophie Price - Demon FM - De Montfort University
Joanne Wong - URN - University of Nottingham
Sally Gates - Nerve - Bournmouth University
Anna Pidgeon - Fresh Air - Edinburgh University
Jenny Nelson Fresh Air
Best Station in association with BBC Radio 1:
Utopia FM - Sunderland University
Demon FM - Demontfort University
Surge - Southampton University
LSR - University of Leeds
Fresh Air - Edinburgh University
Insanity - Royal Holloway College, University of London
RaW - Warwick University