CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 1st December
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Apple iTunes to sell Band Aid track
- Crow's alleged stalker innocent
- Lazyboy not impressed with Aqua's Lazyboy
- Schools encouraged to give downloading lessons
- Illegal downloading still popular
- Kazaa make Betamax plea in Australian courts
- Scottish police arrest music pirates
- Drownedinsound appoint new editor
- Outkast movie complete
- Ordinary Boys on the search for new drummer
- AP on the search for author of libellous R Kelly story
- John Peel's family to finish autobiography
- Usher set to dominate at Billboard awards
- Oasis add date
- Sony unveil MP3 compatible walkman
- Coldplay release likely next March
- Brits plan poll for best track since 1977
- Elton asks Scissor Sisters to write track for Billy Elliot musical
- Universal planning their own music channel
- Sirius sign up football rights
- Coachella line up news
- Thrills getting just too many great offers

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VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE TRACK OF 2004
Currently doing well in the voting stakes: Mylo, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Delays, Max Sedgley and Kasabian - but what is your favourite track? Email your vote and a 50 word description of why it is your favourite to vote@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk

GREAT OPPORTUNITIES FOR LONDON BASED STUDENTS
The College Media Network is recruiting London based students to join its team of music and entertainment reviewers. If you want to join the review team, get free training and reviewer access to film, theatre, music and entertainment in London then email your CV and a review of something you have seen / heard / read recently to recruit@thisweeklondon.co.uk. Meanwhile, if you are working in college media and are not a member of the College Media Network - well, join - you will find an application form at http://www.collegemedianetwork.co.uk

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SAME SIX QUESTIONS: Jim Noir

How did you start out making music for a living?
What living? I think you mean, 'How did you start out making music whilst living'? Well, it all began in the summer of 1990 at primary school. Me and a couple of mates botched together a band with a couple of Casio keyboards and a snare drum, it was magical stuff, our repertoire comprised of 'In Yer Face' by 808 state, and 'Telstar' by whoever that was by - that wasn't my idea that one. We played a gig in front of the infants and left the stage to rapturous bemused faces. Nothingís changed really.

What inspired your latest album?
My latest record, called 'Eanie Meany' available from all record shops kids, was inspired by a garden I can see from this very window I'm looking through now, it's a neighbourís garden that we used to kick a football into all the time by accident, he got jolly miffed the fifteenth time it happened and kept my ball. Well I was mortified and proceeded to go and get me dad to get it back, he didn't, and now I have no balls.

What process do you go through in creating an album?
I generally start with some light stretches, and then move onto a more vigorous routine of press ups and squats. Then I make a big brew and smoke a fag and get down to the terrible business of creating hit records for my master who beats me if they are rubbish. With the actual music making I don't really have a routine or process, just sit there and see what happens. I don't like to spend too long on things. It's a bit like going to the toilet, if you're constipated then you shouldn't force it, because you'll hurt yourself, so it's better to be more regular and fluid. Needless to say, I'm full of shit.

Which artists influence your work?
Many artists influence me and my work. Ones too obvious to mention really, just listen to my music and I'm sure you will work it out, but I also like more obscure artists. I love crap records you can buy from charity shops - lots of those records actually have some pretty funky stuff on them.

What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Sorry about that old chap.

What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Well, the first EP is ready to roll so I just hope that it goes all right. It's just a taster for the next one and then the album. I've got lots of ideas for the future things but I'm gonna take it slowly and evolve it all at a reasonable rate, I'm hoping to make Latin jazz when I'm about 40 so I've got a few years to make this stuff, then I'm gonna go all Sergio and grow a beard, can't wait!!

Jim Noir's Eanie Meanie EP is released on Monday on My Dad Recordings. More info at http://www.mydadrecordings.com

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APPLE ITUNES TO SELL BAND AID TRACK
Well, as everyone knows, if you're going to help starving children in Africa it's always more cost effective if you leave it a couple of weeks. That is to say, Apple have reached an agreement with the Band Aid people to sell the new and original versions of 'Do They Know It's Christmas' via iTunes, but at the cheaper price of 79p per tune.

As previously reported, Apple weren't willing to sell the charity record at its recommended retail price of £1.49 (99p for the original), because not even a cause as good as this one can side step the computer firm's rigid pricing structure. Needless to say, Band Aid organisers were worried that reducing the price of the track for Apple would affect how much money was raised to help tackle to crisis situation in Dafur. However, two weeks after other download platforms starting selling the track at its standard price, Apple and Band Aid have reached an agreement - Apple will sell both Band Aid tunes for 79p each, but will pay Band Aid an extra 70p (or 20p in the case of the original) for every download so that the charity receive the same sum of money overall.

Which means if you're an iPod owner you can download the new version of the song at half the price without affecting the overall monies Band Aid will raise. Bargain.

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CROW'S ALLEGED STALKER INNOCENT
The fan accused of stalking Sheryl Crow has been found not guilty of burglary and stalking charges.

As previously reported, Amrose Kappos faced the charges (and seven years in jail) after Crow's family accused him of having a 'dangerous obsession' with the singer, repeatedly trying to make contact with her by mail and in person. But the jury hearing the case rejected that Kappos' obsession was dangerous, stressing he had never made any threats to the singer, and had never used force to get near her.

Following the jury's decision Kappos told reporters: "This could have been better handled if it was recognised for what it was - an honourable man trying to court a good woman. A simple 'no thank you' from her or her duly authorised agents would have been satisfactory."

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LAZYBOY NOT IMPRESSED WITH AQUA'S LAZYBOY
Just so you don't get confused, if you buy a copy of a Lazyboy record and it's not what you expect, that's because it might be from a different Lazyboy.

That is to say, Rob Da Bank and Dan Carey, the Lazyboys we know and love round here (they of that excellent album 'Penguin Rock', and the 'Police Dogs Bonfire' track currently being used on a Vodafone ad), have let it be known that Soren Rasted, formerly of pop pioneers (?) Aqua, is also planning on releasing a solo album under the moniker Lazyboy.

While we always loved Aqua round here (no, really, we did) it hardly seems far, given that Rob and Dan have been working under the Lazyboy name for the best part of six years, while Rasted only started using the Lazyboy name two years ago. Rob told CMU: "As much as Dan & I admire Soren's pioneering work with Aqua, we feel he's clearly taking a liberty by using the Lazyboy name. There's only room for one Lazyboy in this game, and we were clearly here first!"

Ah well, rest assured the single release of 'Police Dogs Bonfire' that is out on 3 Jan is from the real Lazyboy. You can check out the video and all sorts of other stuff on the very fine Sunday Best record label in the CMU team's label profile on the London Music Network right now - http://www.bigtime.tv/sundaybest.

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SCHOOLS ENCOURAGED TO GIVE DOWNLOADING LESSONS
Yep, schools are going to start teaching kids in the ins and outs of downloading - the pros and cons of different P2P engines, how to share your MP3s with others, what to do when the BPI come knocking on your door. No, not really, but the issues around the illegal sharing of music may well become part of the curriculum following the publication of a new schools pack by British Music Rights, the body set up to promote the interests of music copyright holders in the UK.

Produced in response to requests by hundreds of music teachers, the new educational pack is part of a programme that encourages schools to teach children aged between 11 and 14 that copyright is important for the creative industries, and to explain the implications of illegally downloading music off the internet.

Launching the educational pack Emma Pike, director general of British Music Rights, told reporters: "We believe that copyright is an essential part of teaching music in schools. It is vital that the creatives of the future know how to turn their ideas into value. Copyright education has always been important... but more so now because creatives are facing more challenges from technological change."

Supporting the pack, songwriter Guy Chambers, best known for his work with Robbie Williams, said he felt teaching children about copyright would also benefit those interested in a career in music: "I think it is important that young people receive practical and engaging learning in schools. These lessons will give them an insight into how the creative industries work which will help them in possible future careers."

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ILLEGAL DOWNLOADING STILL POPULAR
The quicker those lessons can start the better because, while legitimate download platforms increase in popularity, and despite the record industry's attempts to use the courts to stop it, illegal file sharing is as popular now as a year ago, or so says a new report from the Informa Media Group.
They reckon that illegal downloading is still costing the global music business £1.1 billion a year.

Simon Dyson, who write the Informa report, told the BBC that while 2004 had been an "important" year for the digital music sector, the industry still had to find better ways to convert illegal P2P file sharers into legitimate digital music customers - and, it seems, taking the biggest culprits of illegal file sharing to court wasn't necessarily the best way to do it.

Dyson: "The research found that the number of people using peer-to-peer services had not really decreased since the last report 12 months ago. Many millions of music fans still prefer to download for free even though the legal services offer such good value. People's awareness that it's against the law has increased and I think parents are more informed about what their kids are doing because of all the legal actions. But while some people would have been scared off by the legal actions, others will be all the more determined to do it."

Noting the success of the legal download platforms, Dyson also reckons that CDs will cease the be the dominant music format by 2010 when, he predicts, download sales will outstrip album sales.

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KAZAA MAKE BETAMAX PLEA IN AUSTRALIAN COURTS
Talking of illegal file sharing, lawyers representing one of the main P2P file sharing networks - Kazaa - have pointed to the Betamax ruling as a defence to a copyright violation lawsuit they currently face in the Australian courts.

As previously reported, Kazaa's owners, Sharman Networks, are being sued by the Australian music industry who claim that by providing P2P software that is used primarily to illegally share copyright material, Sharman are themselves guilty of copyright infringement. Lawyers for the record labels said Kazaa is "an engine of copyright piracy to a degree of magnitude never before seen", claiming Sharman should he held liable for the loss, to the music industry, of about $2.4 billion a year.

However Kazaa's lawyer Tony Meagher argued that file sharing networks were no different than video recorders - although both can be used for piracy, both also have legitimate uses that do not involve copyright violation. The US Supreme Court famously ruled in 1984 that Betamax could not be held accountable if consumers chose to use their video recorders to commit piracy - Kazaa argue the same should apply to them and their P2P network.

Meagher: "It is plain Kazaa has lawful uses, we are not in a position to control and we do not control use."

Whatever the outcome, the court hearing, now expected to continue into the New Year, may prove interesting once the record labels start to present their case in detail. Australian law allows legal teams involved in civil cases to gather evidence in a similar way to criminal cases. The record labels secured evidence by staging raids on some of Sharman's Australian offices earlier this year. That evidence may shed some light on the somewhat mysterious operations of the Kazaa owners who, while run from offices in Australia, are officially based on the island of Vanuatu, putting their operations outside the scrutiny of most courts or financial bodies.

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SCOTTISH POLICE ARREST MUSIC PIRATES
More news for you fans of music piracy. Central Scotland Police have just announced the successful completion of the most successful anti-piracy raid ever conducted in Scotland. In a five day operation officers from the Computer Crime Unit of Central Scotland Police working with the BPI and FACT have seized £10 million worth of counterfeit CDs, DVDs and computer games and made 28 arrests. Authorities reckon that the amount of pirated goods seized is so high that Scottish retailers selling legit product may well see a tangible increase in sales in the run up to Christmas.

Congratulating the Scottish police for their role in the successful operation, David Martin of the BPI's Anti-Piracy Unit told CMU: "If this haul was recovered anywhere in the UK it would be impressive - but it's nothing short of remarkable considering that this operation was completed by one of the smallest police forces in the UK. This is a perfect demonstration of how working hand in hand with industry can have a massive impact."

Commenting on the impact the operation should have on legist music and DVD sales HMV's Gennaro Castaldo told reporters: "Christmas represents a key trading period for any business, but it's particularly crucial for music and home entertainment retailers, so we are very grateful to the police for carrying out such an operation at this time of year. We do our best to offer excellent value to our customers but it can be very difficult competing with pirates when they flood local markets with cheap, low grade counterfeits. It's certainly good to see the authorities cracking down on this problem."

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DROWNEDINSOUND APPOINT NEW EDITOR
Music website Drownedinsound have announced that, as of today, Gareth Dobson will take over as full time editor, leaving founder Sean Adams to focus on the running of Drowned in Sound Recordings (who have thisGIRL, Martha Wainwright, Redjetson, Kaiser Chiefs on their roster) and their new music publishing venture.

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OUTKAST MOVIE COMPLETE
Shooting on OutKast's first movie is complete, leaving director Bryan Barber - who also wrote the film - to do all that post production type stuff while the OutKast boys work on the accompanying soundtrack. Called 'My Life In Idlewild', according to IMDB.com the film is "a musical set in the Prohibition-era American South, where a speakeasy performer [Big Boi] and his piano player [Andre 3000] contend with gangsters who have their eyes on the club."

Commenting on the project OutKast's Big Boi has told MTV: "It's like two stories going on at the same time... Dre's is like more a love story and mine is kind of crazy, wild. Bryan Barber did a really good job writing the script, and it's going to be real good."

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ORDINARY BOYS ON THE SEARCH FOR NEW DRUMMER
The Ordinary Boys have confirmed they will be auditioning for a new drummer after parting company with founding member Charlie Stanley. The band, currently in the studio working on new songs, hope to have a new drummer in place by the end of the year so they can rehearse before the band's UK tour next Feb. Anyone interested in joining the band on drumming duties should send their name, address, age, phone number and photograph to The Ordinary Boys - PO Box 148, Hove East, Sussex BN3 3DQ.

No real word on why Stanley has left the band. A statement from the rest of The Ordinary Boys simply said: "The band would like to express their best wishes to Charlie in the future."

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AP ON THE SEARCH FOR AUTHOR OF LIBELLOUS R KELLY STORY
This could be interesting. The Associated Press news agency are trying to find out who leaked a story onto the internet credited to their entertainment writer Nekesa Moody which alleged R Kelly had been accused of making sexual advances to Shia 'Shi Shi' Douglas, the 16 year old sister of R&B singer Ashanti. The story, which isn't true by the way, had filtered into a number of newswires before AP realised their good name was being used to distribute a bit of libel on the net. They are now threatening to sue whoever wrote the story - assuming they can find them.

AP's Deputy Managing Editor Kristin Gazlay told US media journal Editor and Publisher: "When it comes to our attention, we go after whichever web site it is attributed to, but it is difficult to track down".

Confirming her support for the AP in their legal action, Tina Douglas, Ashanti and Shia's mother, told AllHipHop.com. "It wasn't cool. Why would they involve Ashanti's little sister? She is only 16 years old, under age. They better cut it out because plan B is for me to get my attorney involved, because Shia is a minor."

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JOHN PEEL'S FAMILY TO FINISH AUTOBIOGRAPHY
The family of John Peel have said they will complete the autobiography the legendary broadcaster was half way through completing when he died.

His widow Shelia told reporters this week: "We thought long and hard about what we should do with John's autobiography. This book was very important to him and he was very excited about writing it. He would have wanted his family to complete it".

Confirming that Peel's autobiography would be completed, Larry Finlay, managing director of Transworld who will publish the book, told CMU: "Everyone at Transworld felt John's passing as a personal loss. As the many tributes have said, John was a rare man whom millions felt they knew personally. We all grew up with him and felt him to be a friend who was part of our lives. It is a privilege for us to be able to work with his family to publish the book that I know John himself would have wanted."

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USHER SET TO DOMINATE AT BILLBOARD AWARDS
Usher is set to dominate another music awards event, this year's Billboard Music Awards, which take place in Las Vegas next week. With the finalists announced yesterday, it was confirmed Usher is competing in no less than 13 of the 26 categories.

Close behind is Alicia Keys, who is up for 12 awards, while Maroon5, OutKast, Kanye West, R. Kelly, Gretchen Wilson, Hoobastank and Jay-Z are all finalists in multiple categories.

The awards recognize the year's leading artists and songs as determined by performance on Billboard's weekly charts. The exception to that rule is Billboard's Century Award, the music industry trade magazine's lifetime achievement award, which this year will go to Stevie Wonder.

The event will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest and will feature performances by Gwen Stefani, Nelly, Green Day and the multiple nominee himself, Usher.

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OASIS ADD DATE
Oasis have added an extra date on their stadium tour for next summer - in addition to gigs in Glasgow, Manchester and Milton Keynes they will also play at the Southampton Rose Bowl Stadium on 6 Jul, Tickets go on sale on Saturday.

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SONY UNVEIL MP3 COMPATIBLE WALKMAN
Back to digital music, and Sony have unveiled their first MP3-compatible Walkman digital music player. The decision to make the players MP3 compatible follows criticism that, by restricting the file formats their players will play to Sony's own ATRAC codec, the players were less user friendly (even with an iPod, which only plays Apple's AAC file format, you can place MP3s into the iTunes software and convert them). The new walkmans will be available over here before Christmas, rolling out across the rest of Europe in the New Year.

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COLDPLAY RELEASE LIKELY NEXT MARCH
According to MTV, Coldplay's new album will be released next March. The release is likely to follow their headline performance at the 'Sounds Eclectic Evening' being organised by LA radio station KCRW on 12 Mar.

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BRITS PLAN POLL FOR BEST TRACK SINCE 1977
It's the 25th Brit Awards next year (of course they weren't called the Brit Awards in 1977, but that's just being pedantic), and to celebrate Radio 2 and the Brits people are going to poll the nation as to their favourite British song since 1977. A panel of pundits have picked out their favourite 25 tracks, which will be previewed on Radio 2 on 3 Jan. Music fans will then be able to vote for their favourites - the top five will be announced at the Brits nominations thing on 10 Jan with the overall winner announced at the Brit Awards on 9 Feb.

Commenting on the poll, BPI boss Peter Jamieson told CMU: "BRITs 25 with Mastercard is already lining up to be a very special show. This unique collaboration with BBC Radio 2 gives the British public their opportunity to select the very best song of the two-and-a-half decades the BRITs has been running. The result is bound to be controversial."

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ELTON ASKS SCISSOR SISTERS TO WRITE TRACK FOR BILLY ELLIOT MUSICAL
Elton John has asked the Scissor Sisters to write a song for the new stage musical version of the Billy Elliot film which he is currently adapting. Elton has said on a number of occasions that he would love to work with the Scissor Sisters, and word has it the Billy Elliot show could be the right project. Elton is reported as saying: "We still might be writing something with the Scissor Sisters. We approached them to record one of the songs and they said, 'We'd like to write a song with you for it.' That may happen."

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UNIVERSAL PLANNING THEIR OWN MUSIC CHANNEL
Word is that the Universal Music Group are in serious talks with American satellite TV company EchoStar, who run the Dish Network, with regard to setting up a 24 hour music video channel to take on MTV. If those talks are successful the new channel could launch early next year.

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SIRIUS SIGN UP FOOTBALL RIGHTS
Elsewhere in American satellite radio news, Sirius Satellite Radio, who have been grabbing the headlines recently by signing up both Eminem and Howard Stern, have announced they will soon be broadcasting UK football matches. How big the American audience for British football will be remains to be seen - though, given that very few American soccer fans have ever been to Manchester, presumably they all support Manchester United.

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COACHELLA LINE UP NEWS
Australian website Undercover reports that US music festival Coachella will be headlined by David Bowie and REM in 2005. Undercover have got their hands on a provisional line up which, they say, also includes Coldplay, Nine Inch Nails, Wilco, Tears for Fears, The Streets, PJ Harvey and Polyphonic Spree. More when we get it.

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THRILLS GETTING JUST TOO MANY GREAT OFFERS
The Thrills have said they are spoiled for choice when it comes to support set opportunities. As previously reported, the band are due to support REM on their forthcoming European tour. But now U2 want them as a support act too. While honoured to be asked, the band say they will need to take a break from touring sometime soon.

Thrills singer Conor Deasey has told reporters: "There are a few offers coming in that will be hard to turn down but we're going to try to take a break then because I think we need to. It definitely tests your friendships and it's good after the last few years of touring the world together that we still get on well. But, having said that, you don't need to test friendships to those kind of levels so it's good to get away from each other for a while I think."

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