CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 11th November
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Music at the heart of Vodafone's 3G strategy
- Controversy around Urban Music Awards
- Bono keeps his Band Aid line
- Download platforms make strategic alliances
- Mel C stalker jailed
- Guardian College Media Awards
- MTV college music awards
- Bidding begins for Manchester station
- Feeder return
- MTV stream U2 preview
- Live Review: The Dears At Frog@Mean Fiddler
- Libertines split likely?
- Minnelli sues and is sued
- Smiths musical in the pipeline
- Beatles track the worst ever - apparently
- Love denies attack charges
- Spector judge says papers should be revealed
- Corrs carry on while sis goes on maternity leave
- Janet Jackson honoured as role model
- Madonna disses Pop Idol



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How did you start out making music for a living?
By realising that the liklihood of becoming bank managers was slim! That and some nice music teachers and supportive friends.

What inspired your latest album?
I suppose you could credit every artist in our record collections - every time you a hear a wicked track a bit of you thinks 'must get back in the studio and top that!' Living in London is a constant source of inspiration. Just the desire to put thoughts down as music I suppose.

What process do you go through in creating an album?
I don't think we have a particular process other than boiling the kettle and making a spliff - songs can take shape over weeks or months or sometimes just a few hours. It's very hard to pretend to yourself that something you know in your heart isn't all that, is good enough for an album. It's about being 100% confident that you can stand by the tracks you've made - you don't want to be waking up in the night thinking "nooooooo that shouldn't be on there!"

Which artists influence your work?
How long have you got? There are thousands of people we admire. If pushed I'd say Penguin Cafe Orchestra / Fela Kuti / Led Zep / Scratch Perry. Not that we sound anything like these people but because they all made music with feeling, with a bit of individuality. Music that doesn't really tire or become dated or concerns itself with fashion or trends.

What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Enjoy! Have a couple of listens. Turn it up. Try and get to see us live!

What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
That it gets listened to! That people get the same pleasure listening to it as we still do. I think our sound is developing all the time and we're already planning, writing and recording some really exciting new material. Playing live still gives us the biggest thrill and it's great to see more live bands out and about again.

For music on the whole I think we would all desperately like to see a move away from the insipid, uninspired, music by numbers that seem to dominate certainly the mainstream at the moment. The awful loss of John Peel highlights the problem - who is going to replace him? Will the radio industry have the guts to replace him with someone equally as dedicated to bringing new and exciting (and sometimes awful!) music to our ears? Our label boss Rob Da Bank for example is one of the few people with a genuinely interesting show on mainstream radio and it's on at 5 in the morning!!! Give the listening public a bit more credit - they can take it! They don't need to hear the same 5 tunes on repeat all day - it's going to drive everyone insane! And relax... [To be fair to Radio 1, shortly after Boomclick answered the same six questions the BBC station announced Mr Rob Da Bank would be filling in on the old John Peel slot for the foreseeable future!].

Boomclick's album 'Halfway Between Tomorrow and Yesterday' is out this week on Sunday Best - press info from Sunday Best IH.


Mobile phone network Vodafone have confirmed that music is at the heart of their 3G strategy. Launching their first 3G mobile phones yesterday (use of Vodafone's broadband mobile service has been restructured to data cards used in laptops up until now), the telephone company announced it had done deals with SonyBMG, EMI and Warner Music in order to offer its 3G customers access to a mobile download service, enabling consumers to download digital tracks directly to their mobile phone, initially choosing from a catalogue of 3000 tracks.

Vodafone bosses wouldn't be drawn on whether they see 3G phones as a competitor for Apple's iPod, presumably aware that telephone handset technology is some way off having the kind of in-built memory to compete with stand alone digital music players. However, one spokesman did say that they hoped 3G phones would become "the only device" that people needed to carry with them.

The other main content component Vodafone plan to offer 3G customers are so called 'mobisodes' - edited highlights of forthcoming TV shows that sound not altogether unlike trailers - though mobi-trailers presumably.

When asked by some pesky journalists as to whether porn featured in Vodafone's 3G plans (it being the one kind of content insiders reckon punters would actually pay to watch on their mobile), execs for the tel co just started talking about developing content programmes that were suitable for each territory - "What was acceptable in Egypt is very different from Holland," a spokesman said, "We work out the benchmark level of what's acceptable in each country, and then go more conservative". I'm guessing that means yes.


A woman was shot in the chest when gunmen opened fire outside London's Barbican Exhibition Centre in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The incident took place as the venue hosted the Urban Music Awards. Although there is nothing to link the shooting to the awards ceremony - the injured woman was certainly nothing to do with the awards - the fact the incident happened alongside the event will no doubt again tarnish the reputation of the capital's urban music community.

The shooting wasn't the only controversy surrounding the awards event. As is now customary for black music events, organisers found themselves clashing with gay rights groups over the nomination of Beenie Man and Vybz Kartel in the best reggae category - those artists being accused of inciting violence against gay people through their lyrics of course. The Urban Music Awards' solution was to drop the category completely, though that didn't impress gay rights group OutRage either.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Peter Tatchell told reporters: "OutRage! opposes the cancellation of the whole reggae category. We have no objection to reggae music. There are many fine reggae singers who do not advocate killing gay people. They deserve recognition. We greatly regret the scrapping of the reggae category. OutRage! urges the UMA to reinstate the Best Reggae Act award, with non-homophobic nominees."

Fellow OutRage representative Brett Lock added: "We recognise that Jamaican music has made a huge, positive contribution to popular culture. It's sad that a small minority of dancehall artists have besmirched the good name of reggae with their encouragement and glorification of homophobic violence. Reggae icons like Bob Marley never promoted hatred and violence. They sang about love, peace and social justice. It is time reggae returned to its roots."


Robbie Williams has told reporters about his involvement in the Band Aid project. Unable to be in London for the recording on Sunday he has recorded a complete version of the song in LA so that Nigel Godrich, who is producing the charity song, can pick the line he wants.

Robbie told reporters that quite a few people involved in the project - himself included - quite like the idea of singing the line "And tonight thank God it's them, instead of you," which was sung by Bono on the original. But, of course, Bono is involved this time round too. Williams reports: "Everyone wanted it. But before anyone could start getting an ego about it, Bono just said, 'That's my line and I'm doing it - so their rest of you can fuck off.' That settled it!"


Microsoft has formed an alliance with American Express to promote its MSN Music store in the US. According to the New York Post, the partnership will mean that customers who pay for tracks with an AmEx card will receive free tracks. In addition consumers who apply for an AmEx blue card through MSN will get a free track package. The partnership is part of Microsoft's attempts to secure a place in the Apple dominated download sector as the Christmas market approaches.

Elsewhere in download partnerships, Napster in the UK have announced they have forged a relationship with the Post Office which will see the company's pre-pay download cards sold in the Post Office's 16,000 branches around Britain. The deal is on the same lines as that Napster struck with UK-wide electronics retailer Dixons.


A Dutch man has been jailed for nine months for harassing Mel C. The unnamed man sent the former Spice Girl parcels, letters and tapes during 2001 - including, according to some Dutch newspapers - a sexually explicit video. On one occasion he attempted to hand deliver a parcel to Mel C's London home. The barrage of correspondence frightened Mel C, who for a time stopped staying at her London home to avoid the man's contacts. Although the man said he loved the singer and had meant her no harm by his actions, the courts still opted for the prison sentence - though six of the nine months will be a suspended sentence.


The college media awards season is upon us, oh yes. The NUS Student Journalism Awards take place on 13 Nov, with the Student Radio Awards on 19 Nov. But things kicked off yesterday with the Guardian's Student Media Awards in London. It was rather a good night for York University, with their paper York Vision taking the student newspaper of the year award, and with one of their reporters - Jon Bentham - getting the student journalist of the year title.

Judges said of the York paper - which was also a runner up in the small budget publication category: "York Vision is a truly professional newspaper that we would gladly pay money for. It has a particularly impressive design."

Another York University winner - though this time from the college's other title Nouse - won student diversity writer of the year.

Other winners on the night included Ruaridh Arrow of the Glasgow University Guardian who won the Sky News reporter of the year award; Thomas Whipple from the Cambridge Student who took student feature writer of the year for the second year in a row; Esther Teichmann from the Royal College of Art in London, who won student photographer of the year; and Oxford University's Isis which took the award for student magazine of the year;

A full list of winners will be published in next week's Media Guardian.


Talking of awards with a college theme, and MTV's US college service mtvU launched a new awards programme this week to recognise the artists who are most successful on campuses across America.

Called the "Woodie Awards", the winners list was good news for Modest Mouse, who received the Woodie of the Year award for best artist, and the Silent But Deadly Woodie for having the best music video, for their single 'Float On'.

Other winners included The Killers who won The Breaking Woodie as best emerging artist, Sum 41 won The Good Woodie for 'greatest social impact', NERD took the Left Field Woodie for being most original artist, and Incubus won a Welcome Back Woodie for being a band that has achieved mainstream success while maintaining popularity on campus.


The next big bid in the radio world is Manchester. With OfCom going through the motions of raffling off (I mean, carefully selecting the best options for) the remaining analogue radio licences around the UK, bidding for the Manchester licence begins today. With a potential ad value of £20 million to be made, most of the key radio players are expected to bid for the licence.

EMAP are reportedly keen to spread their Kerrang! Station, now analogue in Birmingham, into the North West. Capital are hoping to get Xfm its second full time analogue licence in a city that definitely identifies with the alternative station's musical remit. The Guardian Media Group want to set up Channel M Radio, a news and sport station for the city - something that might benefit from GMG's ownership of the Manchester Evening News (though OfCom might see that more as a negative!).

All three groups already operate stations in Manchester - Key 103, Century and Smooth FM respectively. Whether that will go against any of the major groups remains to be seen - independent players have until next Feb to get their bids together.


Feeder have confirmed they will return with a new single, album and tour in the New Year. New album 'Pushing the Senses' will be released on 31 Jan, with first single release 'Tumble And Fall' out on 17 Jan. Tour dates so far confirmed as follows:

22 Mar: Belfast Ulster Hall
23 Mar: Dublin Olympia
25 & 26 Mar: Manchester Apollo
28 & 29 Mar: Glasgow Academy
31 Mar: Birmingham Academy
1 Apr: London Carling Brixton Academy


Those of you who haven't already downloaded it off your P2P network of choice (so that's BPI members, those already being sued by the BPI and the very paranoid) will be able to preview U2's new album 'How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb' via MTV's US websites from next Tuesday. The album will be streamed via VH1's Hear Music First service at and on MTV's The Leak page at


LIVE REVIEW: The Dears at Frog@Mean Fiddler on 6 Nov
Frog isn't a bad club. It's main drawback is that to gain entrance you have to brave almost an hour wait in an acrid smelling alley, but fortunately the aural pleasures of the Dears are worth the assault on one's nasal passages. There seems to be a consensus that the Montreal band sound like Damon Albarn fronting The Smiths. This is a comparison which the band's frontman and songwriter Murray Lightburn has responded angrily to in the press. But vocally Lightburn does sound very like the Blur singer, while the songs have much in common with the sweet melancholy of Morrissey's old band. However the Dears are by now means a generic Brit-pop band; for a start they challenge the white indie stereotype by having a black singer/frontman. As it's a club gig the audience are firmly split between the mildly curious who probably have no idea who the Dears are or didn't realise a band were playing here tonight and those who are crammed as close to the stage as possible mouthing all the words to the songs. And what lovely songs they are too. The epic beauty of current single 'Lost In The Plot' (from the debut album 'No Cities Left') is heart-stopping and the emotion-drenched 'We Can Have It' is exhilarating. This is intelligent, literate and romantic pop music. We only get five songs, so it's a taster rather than a main course but it certainly leaves us wanting more. JW


Phew, and you thought we might go all week without any Libertines news.

Speculation is growing regarding the future of the band as Carl Barat is seemingly considering going solo or forming a new band, perhaps with his Libertine band mates. All that talk is with the proviso that Barat would still like to work with Pete Doherty if he is ever "well" enough - though any reunion doesn't seem to be on the cards just at the moment. Barat told NME: "My heart, of course, is with The Libertines. In its original line-up... To be honest, I've not been that close to what's going on.

The pictures [of Pete] sadden me. I don't feel he's well at the moment. I don't know if [The Libertines will] ever be quite the same but I don't see why they'd be any less valid or why we'd have any less purpose or conviction or relevance if we did get back together. Of course I'd love to. But I'm not going to rest on my laurels waiting for Pete to decide if he's going to stop taking drugs... I've got things that I need to get out my system in song right now and I've got some other work to do."

On that front, Barat continued: "I'm gonna have to do something different for a bit. I've got a lot of songs written, I don't know if that means getting a splendid top-hole band together or just going off and recording [them]. So I'm going to go and do that for a bit."

On the immediate future the band's manager, Alan McGee, said: "There are no limitations to Carl's song-writing talent or musical adaptability. The most probable way forward under the current conditions of the Libertines will be to do many co write projects and various guest appearances. I have never known Carl more confident musically than he is at the moment. A great Carl Barat solo album or as yet unnamed band featuring current members of the Libertines awaits sometime in late 2005."


Well, it's a good time to be Liza Minnelli's lawyer. Liza is suing her former driver and bodyguard for $250,000 over an alleged breach of contract. The lawsuit is counter-action after the bodyguard - M'Hammed Soumayah - issued proceedings against the singer. In that lawsuit Soumayah alleges that Minnelli frequently beat him, and - according to reports just circulating as we press send - that the singer forced him to have sex with her. Fun, fun.

Minelli's lawyers are already busy sorting out the fallout of the singer's 16 month marriage to David Gest. They are suing each other for divorce - meanwhile she is suing him over allegations he stole $2 million from her, and he is suing her, also over allegations she beat him.


Don't know what to make of this - but Morrissey and Johnny Marr have given their approval to a musical made up of Smiths songs. The musical, due to open at London's Lyric Hammersmith next Jul, will be written by Andrew Wale and Perrin Manzer Allen, creators of Jacques Brel's 'Anonymous Society', and will feature 20 Smiths tracks.

Word is the show will actually be based on the story of the Smiths, though the way associate producer Michael Brazier described the project to the Independent, your guess is as good as mine: "Each song has a life of its own but they are connected by the way the performers behave on stage. It is not a linear story. There will be action going on stage whether it's dance or movement or acting without words depends on the scene. Sometimes the song - and what the singer is saying in the song - will be the main line of action. But other times when you are concentrating on the singer, out of the corner of your eye you will be seeing impressionistic goings-on elsewhere on the stage. The significance of that (action) will become clear later. The meaning of these clues will gradually reveal themselves."


On what planet is the Beatles' track 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da' worse than Gazza's 'Fog On The Tyne' and Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle's 'Diamond Lights'? Well, this one apparently, if a new survey of the worse songs ever made is to be believed.

The classic Beatles track, off the White Album, beats Gazza's geordie nonsense to take the dubious honour of being the worst song ever. Gazza's song is followed by Meatloaf's 'I Would Do Anything For Love' (also undeserving of the worst song tag), then the Hoddle / Waddle duet, 5ive's version of 'We Will Rock You' with Queen, then Cliff, Vanilla Ice, Steps, and Liverpool football clubs 'Anfield Rap'.

Commenting on the poll, Ian Edwards, lecturer at the Academy of Contemporary Music, told reporters yesteray: "Admit it or not, most of these are songs that we liked when they first came out. That is the nature of pop music as a part of fashion. Songs are popular at the time, but times change and often this results in embarrassing additions to your record collections. It is interesting to note that they were nearly all hits."


Courtney Love in court - surely not. Yep, Ms Love was back in court yesterday to plead not guilty over charges she attacked a sleeping woman with a whisky bottle at her ex-boyfriend's home in LA. Kristin King - the alleged victim of Love's attack - has said an "angry, vicious and erratic" Ms Love threw a bottle and a lit candle at her. Yesterday Love entered her not guilty plea kicking off another long drawn out court battle - Love will return to the LA court house on 15 Dec so a trial date can be set.


Staying in the courts, and the judge overseeing the ongoing Phil Spector murder trial has ruled that papers relating to the case should be made public. Spector's legal people argued publication of the grand jury hearings into the case would hinder the legendary producer's chances of getting a fair trial, but Los Angeles judge Larry Paul Fiddler has said that an unbiased jury could be found even once the 1000-page grand jury report was published. Over claims that it is even harder to find an unbiased jury for someone of Spector's fame, Fiddler added that many younger people would not appreciate the producer's fame anyway.

Commenting on the judge's decision Roger Rosen, one of Spector's legal team, said: "They [the reporters who had been calling for the document to be released] will go out and sell their newspapers. But this will have an effect on Mr Spector's life".
The defence team now have ten days to appeal the decision.

For those who have been living in a hole for the last year - Spector is currently on $1m bail over allegations he shot actress Lana Clarkson at his home in Alhambra in Feb 2003 - the producer claims she committed suicide.


The Corrs have confirmed they will go ahead with their UK tour without sister Caroline Corr, who has just given birth to her second child. Andrea Corr told reporters this week: "Yes, we're a trio. It's just temporary really. Caroline had her second baby a couple of weeks ago, so she hasn't been on tour with us for the last couple of months. She had a beautiful little girl and so we are three of us for the moment."


Don't know what the FCC will make of this, but America's 100 Black Men association, which aims to improve the quality of life for African Americans and other minorities, will this week honour Janet Jackson as an African-American role model, less than a year after her somewhat controversial (well, controversial in Middle America) performance at the Superbowl. Commenting on the decision to make the award to Jackson, 100 Black Men president Paul Williams told the New York Daily News, "An individual's worth can't be judged by a single moment in that person's life, I hope we don't have any surprises!"


Madonna has told America's ABC Radio Network that she is not impressed with the Pop Idol style shows, though not because of the questionable talent on the programmes, but because viewers seem to enjoy contestants failing more that succeeding.

Madonna: "I think people are obsessed with other people's failures or heartaches and I think it gives people a certain kind of a thrill to watch them (contestants) go down. I don't like them."

Asked if she would enjoy talent shows devoting a episode to her music, Madonna replied, "No, certainly not".

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