CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 2nd December
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Brian Wilson to receive MusiCares honour
- Warner sign mobile music deal with Ericsson
- Second series of X Factor commissioned
- Gorillaz on the search for new member
- Mcfadden on the drink problem
- Suge Knight linked to Vibe fracas, again
- Hot Hot Heat find new guitarist
- Delays on the Jacko influence
- Oxegen announce headliners
- NME Awards - nominations open
- Ballboy tour
- So, does sound quality matter?
- Keane head back into the studios
- Kylie looking to quit pop?
- Ryan Adams sells new single via website
- DJ Aid line up
- Nadia not selling so well

--------------------------------------------------

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

--------------------------------------------------

SAME SIX QUESTIONS: Friendly

How did you start out making music for a living?
I studied to be an electronic engineer for four years, and was working in it for about three years before quitting to do music. The music was always on the side, with Engineering as the main meal, but music started to take over - I was in three dance acts and running my own record label and it was all getting a bit much, so I quit engineering. I had no idea where the money was going to come from, but I didn't want to reach 50 and wonder what would have happened if I'd followed my dream.

What inspired your latest album?
It was a collection of the 12"s, remixes and bootlegs that I had put out, so I had written the tracks quite separately without thinking about an album, then put them together to make a long player. I put the album out just to let people know what I'm about, which is why it's called 'Ten Things You Need To Know About Friendly'.

What process do you go through in creating an album?
I usually write more tunes than needed, then cull off the bad ones and keep the good. I don't really sit down to write an album, I just write tracks and when I feel I've got something close to an album I put them in order and see how it sounds. I might then go back and rework or write something new to fill in a gap or add another dynamic to the album.

Which artists influence your work?
Loads, from Stevie Wonder and old funk acts like Kool and the Gang, Montana, Bobby Byrd, Roy Ayers etc, to early hip hop, old school rave (KLF, LFO), to new interesting indie stuff like Grandaddy, and dance producers like Plump DJs, Thin White Duke, and Teifschwarz.

What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I'd just let the music do the talking, it's all in there and it's better expressed in music than me trying to explain it.

What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
My last album was just a blueprint of what I'm about, for the future I want to expand on that and bring in more people to the Friendly fold.

More info>> You will find more info on Friendly's releases at http://www.thefatclub.com. Friendly will be Djing at DJ Aid on 20 Dec - more on that below.

--------------------------------------------------

BRIAN WILSON TO RECEIVE MUSICARES HONOUR
Former Beach Boy Brian Wilson has been named MusiCares Person Of The Year 2005 and will be honoured at the annual gala dinner of the US Recording Academy's charitable foundation next Feb, two days ahead of the Grammys.

Announcing the award MusiCares Foundation and Recording Academy president Neil Portnow told reporters: "Brian embodies the positive spirit that comes from dedication, perseverance and creative brilliance; his contributions to the evolution of music are both legendary and profound. Brian and his music have the power to reach listeners across generations and deliver a musical experience that is timeless and unforgettable."

The award follows Wilson's return to public performing after years out of the spotlight - a return to form which led, earlier this year, to the release of a completed version of 'SMiLE', the long lost Beach Boys album originally recorded in the late sixties.

--------------------------------------------------

WARNER SIGN MOBILE MUSIC DEAL WITH ERICSSON
Warner Music have announced a deal with phone maker Ericsson which will see their music made available via mobiles in up to 28 European markets.

The deal is to provide content for Ericsson's M-USE mobile music service - a music platform Ericsson has developed that offers mobile operators a ready made platform to deliver ring tones, ring tunes and other music content. Initially developed with Sony Music Germany and launched by Swisscom Mobile just over a year ago, Ericsson is working with numerous tel cos across Europe to extend the reach of the service.

Confirming the deal Ericsson Sr. VP Hans Vestberg told reporters yesterday: "Warner Music has a very impressive line up of artists, and together with our customers, we will make Warner's music available to mobile consumers throughout Europe".

--------------------------------------------------

SECOND SERIES OF X FACTOR COMMISSIONED
We've been a bit slack with our coverage of X Factor, mainly because I have a policy of not watching anything involving Kate Thornton, so I haven't actually seen any of it. But obviously enough people like the Pop Idol rip-off because ITV have just confirmed they have commissioned a second series. ITV Entertainment Controller Claudia Rosencratz told reporters: "I had no hesitation in recommissioning 'The X-Factor', it's been a big hit for ITV and has become must-watch TV. There's much more to come this series as we build towards the final next month and it's great to have secured this terrific format for our viewers for another series." Those hooked to the first series presumably know that the grand finale takes place on 11 Dec and that Tabby Callaghan, G4 and Steve Brookstein are still in the running.

--------------------------------------------------

GORILLAZ ON THE SEARCH FOR NEW MEMBER
Talking of national talent searches, Gorillaz are launching a worldwide talent content to find a new animated member prior to their next project in 2005.

Quite how all this works we're not quite sure, and our understanding wasn't particularly aided by an official explanation by Gorillaz member Noodle, which reads thus: "You are asking your children to aspire to idiots and are sowing the seeds of your own downfall, growing vacuous sickly weeds. These weeds will grow up to strangle you of any oxygen. You may laugh while your empire crumbles but you are putting chemicals in the foodchain... The dark is rising! There is danger!! Disease walks our corridors!! We need fresh talents. I, Noodle, will launch the world's First Global Internet Talent Contest." Yeah, right.

Anyway, from what we can gather, budding artists and filmmakers are invited to submit "animations, musical, sickly off-cuts, brief sketches, film scenes, caught-on-cameras clips, out-takes, voice-overs, bits of unused footage, whether humorous, dark, edgy, juvenile, insightful or thought provoking". They will be judged by Gorillaz members Murdoc, 2D, Russel and Noodle (aided in the real world by Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett) - a top ten will then be put on the Gorillaz website where the public can vote on their favourite.

Interested parties should keep an eye on http://www.gorillaz.com/ for more info.

--------------------------------------------------

MCFADDEN ON THE DRINK PROBLEM
More from Brian McFadden on his drink problem. He has told the Sun: "There was a period where I was drunk for three months. I drank all day - every day - while I wrote my album. I stopped drinking for three months but fell off the wagon. Then it got really bad for two weeks and I stopped for three months again. I went to rehab the first two times, but now I'm not having treatment. I've just told myself, 'You've got to stop drinking'. I've been sober for four days."

Those wanting to learn more about Brian's problems through the wonders of music and rhyme should buy a copy of his album 'Irish Son', which is conveniently out this week: "I've written two songs about it [his drink problem] - He's No Hero and Pull Myself Away, which people tend to believe is a love song, but is actually about my life with alcohol."

--------------------------------------------------

SUGE KNIGHT LINKED TO VIBE FRACAS, AGAIN
Despite Eminem's recent call for an end to feuds within the hip hop community, some of the oldest feuds will be hard to overcome. New reports now suggest one of those long standing feuds - between Dr Dre and Death Row founder Suge Knight - may have been behind the fracas at last month's Vibe Awards.

Rapper Young Buck, signed to Dre's Aftermath label, is currently facing assault and weapons charges over allegations he stabbed one Jimmy 'James' Johnson at the awards event. The rapper challenged Johnson after he had lashed out at Dre.

According to reports in the LA Times, some are suggesting Johnson is affiliated to Knight, and that the label boss was involved in planning the public attack on Dre -presumably not expecting the dramatic consequences. It is unclear on what grounds Knight is now being implicated in the incident - especially given speculation of his involvement the day after the Vibe Awards was quickly quashed. It may be because Johnson is being represented by attorney Milton Grimes, who once represented Knight - though Grimes himself assured the LA Times yesterday: "As far as I know, my client has no ties whatsoever to Suge Knight".

Either way, there could still be some trouble for Knight relating to the Vibe Awards. The hip hop mogul reportedly chose to sit very close to Dre at the event, and that could be a violation of Knight's parole which stipulates he must have no contact with Dre. Word is authorities are now looking into whether any violation took place.

--------------------------------------------------

HOT HOT HEAT FIND NEW GUITARIST
It's alright, you can stop looking now, Hot Hot Heat have found a new guitarist. As previously reported, the Canadian band's original guitarist amicably parted company with the rest of the band back in Oct, having completed work on their next album 'Elevator', which is due for an Apr release. New guitarist Dante DeCarlo will join the band as they tour to promote that album.

Announcing the recruitment of DeCarlo the band told reporters: "We met him through mutual friends while hanging out one night at The Echo in Los Angeles while working on the new album. He hails from San Francisco and was in the band The Stradlers. The plan is to start rehearsing with Luke right away so we can start playing shows soon."

--------------------------------------------------

DELAYS ON THE JACKO INFLUENCE
Delays singer Greg Gilbert has told the NME how he was inspired by Michael Jackson - though we're talking inspired in musical process here, he's not inviting the kids of Southampton round to play on a fun fair in his back garden.

Gilbert: "I was inspired by the fact Michael Jackson had 300 songs for 'Thriller' and two weeks before mastering it, he still thought it was two songs short. I mean there are only about nine songs on the album. All the people we really, really admire like Prince don't have a long gap between their albums. That is why we are bringing it out so soon after the first album. I wouldn't want that pressure of really dwelling on a new album. I spend a lot of time thinking about stuff and it would really do my head in if I thought about it too much."

Current single 'Lost In A Melody' is the first release of that second album.

--------------------------------------------------

OXEGEN ANNOUNCE HEADLINERS
Getting in early with their headline act, Ireland's Oxegen Festival have confirmed the Foo Fighters will be headlining their 2005 event on 9 & 10 Jul. Weekend tickets for the event will be sold between 3 and 24 Dec - or whilst stocks last presumably.

--------------------------------------------------

NME AWARDS - NOMINATIONS OPEN
They call them the Shockwaves NME Awards - us sad old timers like to still refer to them as the Brats. Either way, voting has opened for the NME's annual reader-voted awards at http://www.nme.com, so get voting. Presumably you will all be voting for www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk for best website (what do you mean you were thinking of iTunes?)- though wouldn't it be fun if everyone voted for www.kerrang.com?

The NME Awards are preceded, of course, by the rather excellent NME Awards Tour which this year has a particularly fine line up in The Killers, The Futureheads, Bloc Party And Kaiser Chiefs. Dates as follows:

19 Jan: Northumbria University
20 & 21 Jan: Glasgow Academy
23 Jan: Nottingham Rock City
24 Jan: Birmingham Academy
25 Jan: Liverpool University
27 Jan: Leeds University
28 & 29 Jan: Manchester Academy
31 Jan: Norwich UEA
1 Feb: Bristol Academy
2 Feb: Brighton Dome
4 Feb: Cambridge Corn Exchange
5 Feb: Southampton Guildhall
6 Feb: Cardiff University
9 Feb: London Brixton Academy

--------------------------------------------------

BALLBOY TOUR
CMU favourites ballboy kicked off their UK tour in Newcastle last night, and we forgot to tell you. Sorry. Anyway, here are the rest of the days - more info at http://www.slrecords.net/

2 Dec: Birmingham, Academy Bar
4 Dec: Brighton, Freebutt
8 Dec: London, Water Rats (Support Darren Hayman - Hefner)
9 Dec: London, Water Rats (Support Misty's Big Adventure)
11 Dec: Nottingham, Social
12 Dec: Oxford, Zodiac
18 Dec: Glasgow, The Garage (Support Aberfeldy)

--------------------------------------------------

SO, DOES SOUND QUALITY MATTER?
We've never claimed that the CMU team are the most knowledgeable people in music (though presumably we're pretty close), but surely the CMU readership is. Anyway, several of you pointed out a mistake in our story on the launch, by Sony, of a Walkman that will play MP3s.

We said that to play MP3s on an iPod, Apple's iTunes software converted the MP3 track into an AAC format. Actually that is not true - the iPod plays the MP3s as is. In fact that conversion process was what previously happened if you wanted to play MP3s on a digital Walkman (ie Sony's software converted MP3s in their own ATRAC format) - the new walkman launched this week will play MP3s without any file conversion.

This is an important change because, as Tom Dunmore, Editor of Rip&Burn magazine explains (and he should know): "Converting files between one compression format and another seriously affects sound quality - like taping a tape. iPods play MP3 and AAC natively. Sony's player used to use software to convert MP3s to ATRAC - the HD3 [that's the new model of walkman] is the first one that doesn't require this conversion. This is a good thing".

That said, perhaps it isn't as important a change now as it might once have been. A new report on the BBC website reckons that perfect sound quality - once the holy grail for hi fi aficionados - is no longer so important in the digital player age where consumers are more concerned as to how much of their vast (and often largely illegally obtained) MP3 collections they can fit on their portably player.So much so they would rather take tracks in a compressed lower quality format than opt for best possibly sound.

The BBC's Paul Rubens writes: "The great irony for the entertainment electronics industry is that now that very high quality sound and video reproduction is possible and quite affordable thanks to CDs and DVDs, many consumers no longer see quality as a very high priority. They are happy to "downgrade" to MP3 and [in the case of video] DivX quality to accommodate the deluge of digital content that is getting increasingly easy to accumulate. The manufacturers of digital music players - Apple, Creative, iRiver and others - have been quick to grasp this. The main difference between a cheap and an expensive MP3 player is simply the amount of storage space it has."

You can read Rubens'article at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4052123.stm

--------------------------------------------------

KEANE HEAD BACK INTO THE STUDIOS
Keane are heading into the studio over the Christmas break to start work on a follow up to the unfathomably successful 'Hopes And Fears'. Word is the band's main songwriter Tim Rice-Oxley has been busy writing new songs while traveling on their tour bus so there will be plenty of stuff to start recording as soon as they get back into the studio.

--------------------------------------------------

KYLIE LOOKING TO QUIT POP?
Reports suggest Kylie may be considering ending her pop career after her up coming Showgirl tour - though that seems to be based on a very vague quote in an interview with GQ that actually says very little: "My life has been very full and rewarding but I've been doing the same thing for a long time. And yeah, there is something missing. There's a number of things missing. But I think they're coming when they're meant to come. Now I'm focused on making the tour a success. I'm determined to do that and then we'll see where life takes me."

--------------------------------------------------

RYAN ADAMS SELLS NEW SINGLE VIA WEBSITE
Ryan Adams is selling new single 'Now That You're Gone' on a 7" vinyl release, backed with 'If I'm a Stranger', via his website - http://www.ryan-adams.com

--------------------------------------------------

DJ AID LINE UP
If you fancy doing something for Band Aid other than buying a pretty mediocre Christmas song, then you could do worse than rocking up to this event - DJ Aid at the Egg Club on 20 Dec. Although not officially organised by the Band Aid people, organisers DJ Mag and The Egg will be donating all the profits to the charity. The DJ line up is pretty impressive - Lottie, Asad Rizvi, Nils Hess , Marco Lenzi, Giles Smith, Steve Bicknell, Billy Nasty, Craig Richards, DJ Friendly, Colin Dale, Dave Beer & Back to Basics, Nathan Coles , Shut Up & Dance, Carl Loben, Rocky, Kenny Hawkes, Barry Ashworth, Olly Wood and JB & Fred Everywhere.

More info at http://www.eukatechrecords.com - press info from ePM.

--------------------------------------------------

NADIA NOT SELLING SO WELL
That Big Brother Nadia's debut single has only sold 2000 copies so far isn't that depressing (in fact you might find that news quite heartening). The fact she is still expected to chart somewhere around 22 in Sunday's single charts is, however, a bit depressing - you forget how few records you have to sell to go top forty!

Nadia's people are confident, however, that her sales figures will continue to rise throughout the week. A spokesman told the Sun: "She's got loads more TV and radio to do this week and there's still three days of sales left. It's too early to predict the final position."

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

© UnLimited Publishing | subscribe at www.theCMUwebsite.com/daily