CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 3rd December
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- iTunes arrives in Canada
- MP3 creators create surround sound codec
- Radio Luxembourg may return to the UK
- Mars Volta plan one track album epic
- Motley Crue tour not confirmed
- Annie download
- Party set for Scottish band poll
- Live Review: The Magic Numbers at London Borderline
- U2 score massive global success
- Vaughan sidekick announced
- Babyshambles New Year's Eve extravaganza
- Jacko's sculpture saved from bloody attack
- Video-C create Franz Ferdinand promotion for O2
- Will TOTP and the UK Top 40 end up competing?
- Manic plans
- Coldplay reach new heights
- Single Review: The Longcut - Transition EP (Deltasonic)
- Stalker update 1: Natalie Imbruglia
- Stalker update 2: Dannii Minogue
- Radio Magnetic launch new promotional platform
- GWR plan to reduce ad output
- Manilow gets Vegas deal
- IMPALA continue bid to block SonyBMG merger

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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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CMU FRIDAY TIPS
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Southport Sessions at Ministry of Sound
People often say the Ministry has had its day, but they are normally the people who have not been to main room 'the Box' and experienced its ballistic sound sytem and suitably minimal decor. Tonight the US's Basement Boys - Teddy Douglas & DJ Spen - will be putting that sound system to good effect with one of their last DJ sets together, celebrating their fifteen years in the game of soulful house. In addition to that the awesome Ultra Nate will be doing a live PA at some stage, legends Victor Rosado and Paul Trouble Anderson will be in the bar hammering out Paradise Garage classics, and in the Baby Box there's the Connnoisseurs Corner with the brilliant Unabombers (still rocking from their magical Electric Soul 2 compo on PIAS) and Chi, Gavin, and Dan from Qdos. All in all, one hell of a night.

Saturday 4th Dec, Ministry of Sound, 103 Gaunt St, Walworth, London SE1 6DP, 11pm - 7am, £12 (£8 NUS) More at http://www.southportweekender.co.uk and http://www.ministryofsound.com - press info from sarah@favouritizm.com

Think your club is good enough to take the tip?? Then email vigsy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk with the date of your club event in the header.

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ITUNES ARRIVES IN CANADA
Good news for our vast array of Canadian readers - and especially the stingy ones.
Apple's iTunes finally arrived in Canada yesterday, completing the leading download platform's 2004 expansion plans. Preparing the Canadian store has proved a little more time consuming mainly because, in addition to sorting out all the licensing deals there, the site has to be bilingual French / English. In the end the launch happened a couple of days after their Nov 2004 deadline. Confirming the launch Apple VP Eddie Cue told reporters: "It's a lot of hard work and it took us a few extra hours than we thought it would."

The main story being reported by many regarding the Canadian version of iTunes is that, because of the current relative value of the Canadian dollar, the new store is the cheapest. Tracks will be sold in Canada for 99 cents, as in the US. However the current exchange rate means Canadians will only be paying US $0.83 a track. The service is more expensive still in Europe where tracks sell for 99 euro cents - US$1.31 and CAN$1.56. Tracks are most expensive, of course, here in the UK where the 79 pence per track price tag translates to US $1.52 or CAN$1.81.

Apple remain committed to their standard pricing structure, saying consumers prefer that system to one that fluctuates with relative currency values. Those thinking of using the Canadian version of the site to save money will have to rent a flat in Toronto and get themselves a Canadian credit card, which you could argue is more hassle that its worth. Unless you really like your iPod.

As for the next steps in the development of iTunes, Cue added: "There are certainly a few more countries in Europe and Asia that are potential opportunities. That's something we hope to work on and address next year."

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MP3 CREATORS CREATE SURROUND SOUND CODEC
Staying with digital music, and despite our report yesterday suggesting music fans no longer care about sound quality, the Fraunhofer Institute, co-inventors of the MP3 codec, has upgraded the format so that it can deliver surround sound. The new MP3 Surround format will now be added to the portfolio of Thomson and Agere Systems, who act as a licensing arm for Fraunhofer. Meanwhile artists and sound engineers will be able to access an evaluation version of the new technology at http://www.mp3surround-format.com.

Commenting on that trial Henri Linde, a Vice President for Thomson, told reporters: "The free MP3 surround evaluation software will enable everyone to test the latest feature of the digital audio standard. We encourage music artists, engineers and producers to experience this new multichannel audio format and realise the benefits of its portability and backward compatibility".

On the advanced digital music format itself, Juergen Herre of Fraunhofer said: "We are delighted to advance MP3 into the area of multi-channel audio, with the help of Agere Systems. As surround sound is increasingly gaining importance in the marketplace, we are confident that MP3 Surround will attract the attention of music production professionals and consumers alike".

Fraunhofer reckon the new codec, while incorporating surround sound, still manages to maintain the key feature of the MP3 - a workable file size.

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RADIO LUXEMBOURG MAY RETURN TO THE UK
Radio Luxemburg may return to the airwaves in the UK thanks to a new kind of digital radio. Digital radio stations currently broadcast via a network of local transmitters. But a new version of digital radio called Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) can broadcast much longer distances, meaning Radio Luxembourg could broadcast into the UK from mainland Europe via digital.

RTL, the media group that grew up out of Radio Luxembourg, are planning to start such broadcasts, mainly to encourage manufacturers to make and market digital radio sets that can pick up DRM signals. As part of that programme Radio Luxembourg, the station that launched the careers of the likes of Noel Edmonds, Peter Powell and David Jensen, may return to British airwaves.

A spokesman for RTL told reporters: "We are considering relaunching a UK station from outside of the UK. It could be from Luxembourg, France, Germany, Finland - it depends where we can get a capacity of transmitter sites. Whether it will be the 208 Radio Luxembourg formula, who knows? But it is something we're thinking about."

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MARS VOLTA PLAN ONE TRACK ALBUM EPIC
Well, this sounds very radio friendly. Mars Volta are set to return next year with a new album that consists of one 77-minute long track which can be split into various 'suites'. 'Frances The Mute' has a provisional release date for late Mar.

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MOTLEY CRUE TOUR NOT CONFIRMED
Of course we'd never re-produce unconfirmed stories that appeared on some random website somewhere here in the CMU Daily (you've all forgotten about the AC/DC incident right?), so it's fortunate we never ran this one!

Metropolis promoter Mags Revell has confirmed that stories about a Motley Crue reunion tour that circulated earlier this week are not true. He told reporters yesterday: "Contrary to a story that appeared in Mediaweek and other publications, there is no official announcement of a Motley Crue tour."

He continued: "As everyone in the UK rock community knows, I have been trying passionately to get the original members of Motley Crue, the world's most infamous band, to unite and do a UK tour. While I understand that this is under consideration, there has been no official response from their representatives and no tour has been confirmed. Please - let's not do anything that could dissuade the band from reuniting such as jumping the gun and printing things that aren't true."

To be fair to the publications that ran the story ñ the original source does seem to have been a press release sent out in error.

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ANNIE DOWNLOAD
Annie (she of that rather fine track 'Chewing Gum') is making a remix of her next single available as a free download only single. The remix of 'Heartbest' by Royksopp's Mindre Tilgjengelige will be available for download from http://www.anniemusic.co.uk from Monday.

The single will get a proper release on 679 on 7 Feb, just ahead of the release of her debut album 'Anniemal' on 21 Feb.

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PARTY SET FOR SCOTTISH BAND POLL
The results of that poll to find the 'Best Scottish Band of all time' will be announced at a special party at Glasgow's King Tut's Wah Wah Hut on 12 Jan. As previously reported, Scottish listings mag The List has been polling music fans for their favourite Scottish artist ever since they released their own '50 Best Scottish Bands Of All Time' guide. The most popular Scottish bands will be revealed at the party - no word yet if the Proclaimers and Runrig will be there to pick up their awards.

Meantime you can vote for your choice by texting the word VOTE and the name of your favourite Scottish band to 81800. Texts to the voting line are charged at 10p a text.

Press info from Sheri Friers at The List on 0131 550 3063

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LIVE REVIEW: The Magic Numbers at London Borderline on 30 Nov
In the second of three residency dates, the latest signings to the Heavenly label prove again they are the purveyors of sweet, melodic harmonies to fall in love with. Like Bloc Party, The Futureheads and The Subways, The Magic Numbers are one of those bands that it is a joy to stumble across, and we can only hope subsequent label interest ensures they get to the mass audience they deserve. This four-piece bro and sis outfit from West London (who, by the way, have enough hair between them to keep many a hairdresser in business), have already got quite a dedicated following - their limited edition debut single 'Hymn For Her' already a popular sing-a-long track with the crowd, though for me the simply stunning 'Love Is Just A Game' is the highlight. With the male and female members of the band counter-acting in perfect vocal harmony, if you don't fall in love with The Magic Numbers you've a heart of stone. YN

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U2 SCORE MASSIVE GLOBAL SUCCESS
Well, it's a good week to be working for Island Records. Since its release on 22 Nov U2's new album 'How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb' has gone number one in 21 territories and has sold in excess of 6 million units, 2.5 million in the US alone. Those figures bode well for the long term success of the album, because the last U2 album 'All That You Can't Leave Behind', which went on to sell 10.5 million copies worldwide, only had advance shipments of 3.26 million.

Such is the success of the album that as well as selling more than 600,000 copies here in the UK, it has already been deemed 6 times platinum in Ireland, 3 times platinum in Canada, 2 times platinum in the US and Italy, platinum in Australia, Austria, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, 2 times Gold in France and Brazil, and Gold in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Japan and Thailand

Jason Iley, General Manager of the Island Records Group in the UK, told CMU: "U2 are a dream to work with. As soon as we heard the new album we knew that this was the sound of a band at the top of its form."

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VAUGHAN SIDEKICK ANNOUNCED
Red Dragon Radio's Zoe Hanson will join Capital's main London station in the New Year to take over from Becky Jago as Johnny Vaughan's co-presenter on his breakfast show. The station says Ms Hanson was chosen from a dozen possible sidekicks because she has the "quick wit and talent" to match Vaughan on the morning show.

Capital FM MD Keith Pringle told reporters: "We wanted someone who has a big personality to stand up to Johnny's. It was important to find someone on his wavelength - he goes from subject to subject very quickly and needs someone to keep up, who can lob up lines for him to smash down. We wanted someone who was a real supporter of women, who can put the female side. In a team with a lot of blokes, the girl really has to stand up and be counted," he said.

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BABYSHAMBLES NEW YEAR'S EVE EXTRAVAGANZA
Given that he has sometimes struggles to deliver one gig in a night, this seems quite ambitious! Pete Doherty's Babyshambles are planning to perform four different gigs on New Year's Eve - one in Birmingham (at the Medicine Bar), Stoke (at The Underground), Oldham (at The Castle) and Manchester (at Aqua). With much of the band's up coming UK dates sold out it should prove to be quite a draw, and is a suitably exciting end to a never dull year for Mr. Doherty. Press info from Coalition.

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JACKO'S SCULPTURE SAVED FROM BLOODY ATTACK
Well, some good news for Michael Jackson at last - thanks to the quick actions of some German gallery attendants he avoided being spraying with blood by a performance artist. Well, sort of.
Actually Istvan Kantor hoped to throw blood over a sculpture of Michael Jackson and Bubbles at the Hamburger Bahnhof gallery in Berlin. But Kantor was apprehended by gallery attendants half way through his stunt and only managed to spray blood onto an empty gallery wall.

Kantor now faces charges of trespass and property damage, with the main evidence against him a video recording of the whole incident recorded by his own film crew!

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VIDEO-C CREATE FRANZ FERDINAND PROMOTION FOR O2
Digital media people Video-C are running a special mobile music campaign with O2 to promote the new Franz Ferdinand download only single 'This Fffire'. Through the promotion O2 customers (and only O2 customers) will be able to stream or download a 30 second video montage of the single to their mobile. The promotion will lead music fans to other Franz Ferdinand stuff - including ringtones, logos, realtones and the full track download.

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WILL TOTP AND THE UK TOP 40 END UP COMPETING?
In an interesting piece for the Media Guardian on the future of Top Of The Pops and the UK Top 40 chart show, former Head Of BBC Music And Entertainment Trevor Dann isn't sure that the potential of integrating the two BBC chart shows now they will both air on a Sunday tea time will ever be achieved, given the tendency for BBC TV and radio people to not talk to each other.

Dann writes: "While it's no surprise that both shows are stumbling on with yet another re-design, what is genuinely shocking is that there seems to have been no liaison between the two sides of the BBC. A senior figure in TV entertainment tells me that no decision has been made about TOTP's new time slot. The Radio 1 press office assures me that the TV show will follow the radio show at 7pm on a Sunday. Will JK & Joel present both shows? Well maybe, we haven't ruled that out, says TV. Categorically not, says radio. A simulcast? Possibly, says TV. Definitely not, says radio. Could the shows actually end up competing with each other? Both sides agree that would be silly but admit that there have been no joint discussions about complementary scheduling and that none are planned. And which show will reveal the new Number 1 first? We will, they chorus in unison, though not in harmony."

You can read the piece at
http://media.guardian.co.uk/broadcast/story/0,7493,1365048,00.html

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MANIC PLANS
NME reports that The Manic Street Preachers' next single 'Empty Souls' will be released on 3 Jan backed by bonus tracks 'All Alone Here', 'No Jubilees' and 'Litany'. A DVD version of the single will also feature a short film called 'Dying Breeds', directed by Nicky Wire's brother Patrick Jones.
As previously reported, the band are about to embark on a UK tour supported by Razorlight (Hope Of
The States will support in Brighton). Dates as follows:

4 Dec: Brighton Centre
6 Dec: Belfast Waterfront
7 Dec: Dublin Olympia
9 Dec: London Wembley Arena
10 Dec: Plymouth Pavilions
11 Dec: Nottingham Arena
13 Dec: Cardiff International Arena
14 Dec: Glasgow SECC
16 Dec: Birmingham NEC
17 Dec: Manchester MEN Arena

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COLDPLAY REACH NEW HEIGHTS
Coldplay are planning a charity gig halfway up a mountain in the Himalayas. - they will play at Nepal's Kathmandu National Stadium to help raise money for a local children's charity. Confirming the gig, guitarist Jonny Buckland told reporters: "We're very excited by it. You don't get to play a place like this every day."

Talking of Coldplay gigs, this time ones that aren't happening, the band's management have told the NME that reports in the Sun that the band will play a series of intimate club dates prior to the release of their new album in Mar are not true. They will be in America at the time.

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Longcut - Transition EP (Deltasonic)
Another promising new band on Deltasonic then, only this one are different. They're the label's first signings not from Liverpool, see, but are instead another already-fabled Manchester band. Well, actually, none of The Longcut's three young urchins actually are Mancs (shamcunians?), but happened to meet at university there, and now comprise part of a Manchester guitar scene which, along with the likes of nu-proggers Oceansize, is intent on playing those guitars very loud indeed. It'd probably be convenient at this point to reuse Ian Brown's "It's not where you're from, it's where you're at" quote, but I should probably get on with the sordid business of attempting to describe the CD, really. Initial hearings suggest yet more frenetic and frazzled punk-funkateering. Certainly the scratchy guitars and pained vocal yelpings suggest a love of early 80s Factory Records, but it's probably a red herring. In fact, 'Transition' is more post-punk than punk-funk, a touch garage-rock even. Full of bite and conveyed with furious intent, this debut however lacks the melodicism of many of their peers (or, for that matter, labelmates). It's not a disaster - and in three albums time they could well be amazing - but for the time being The Longcut somehow need to maintain their intensity but hone their muse into something with a more emotionally resonant edge. MS
Release date: 29 Nov
Press contact: Wild [CP, CR] In House PR [RP, RR] Forepromo [RR, NR]

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STALKER UPDATE 1: NATALIE IMBRUGLIA
Stalking, it would seem, is back in fashion. Or at least reporting on it is.
Following those reports about obsessed fans allegedly stalking George Michael and Sheryl Crow, news today that Natalie Imbruglia was "freaked out" when a 44 year old fan, who had reportedly flown from

Australia to London to be nearer the singer, showed up at her Berkshire home.
Police arrested the man and detained him under the mental health act, but decided he was unfit to be interviewed on any harassment allegations. A police spokesman told reporters: "He did not answer bail yesterday because he was deemed unfit to be interviewed. He remains in the care of the local health authority. It is not known at this stage when he will be answering bail."

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STALKER UPDATE 2: DANNII MINOGUE
And talking of Australian pop stars being frightened by dodgy stalkers, Dannii Minogue is said to be "petrified" after a stalker started posting violent fantasies on her website.

A source close to Dannii told reporters: "There are dozens of people who post messages in the forum on Dannii's site - it's a place for her supporters to talk about her records and performances. But a couple of months ago a guy registered on the site and within days he was posting really bizarre messages. At first the messages were just really childish, slagging off people on the site. Obviously they'd get banned every time but it's very hard to stop people from using multiple sign-ins. Dannii regularly logs on to the site to chat to her fans and she was absolutely freaked out when she was told what this weirdo had put on there."

Word is authorities are now monitoring Dannii's chat room to see if the fan returns. Meantime a spokesman for Dannii told reporters: "We don't know if this threat is serious or just a person making a sick joke. But the matter is being taken extremely seriously."

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RADIO MAGNETIC LAUNCH NEW PROMOTIONAL PLATFORM
One of CMU's favourite radio stations - the webcasting Radio Magnetic - is launching a new scheme designed to help record labels combine an on air and online promotion. Called Radio Magnetic Promotes, record labels can buy a package which gives them four daily promotional spots on the station's online stream. Those spots drive listeners to a section on Magnetic's website where they can find out more about the artist and, if they're hooked, follow links to websites where they can buy the featured tracks as downloads or by mail order. The whole process is monitored by Magnetic, giving labels the chance to monitor how many people respond to their ads.

The programme is currently being used by K7 to re-promote recent Daddy G releases. The label's Berni Griffis explains: "Whether a limited addition 7" or our latest DJ Kicks album, having a scheme like RM Promotes provides an opportunity to mingle with our hard to reach customer"

Labels interested in the scheme should mail alison@radiomagnetic.com.

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GWR PLAN TO REDUCE AD OUTPUT
GWR is planning on reducing the number of ad breaks on its radio stations based on the logic that when there are less ads, the adverts that are broadcast make a bigger impact. The plan is also part of the group's attempts to win listeners from BBC stations - the consensus being listeners are turned off by the plethora of ads many commercial stations broadcast.

GWR say the proposals follow some successful developments in how advertising is broadcast on their national station, Classic FM. A spokesman for the group told reporters: "We've done it once with Classic FM, the question is can you do that with general pop music radio output, can you get to that endpoint? It's respecting the adverts as more a part of the programme content, than something that happens in a discrete little chunk and seeing how you can get them to integrate better into the programme output and be a better listen for the audience."

Commenting on the plans, Mark Middlemas, head of radio at ad agency Universal McCann, said: "We'd actively encourage it for clients, it's a fantastic move, if it means the consumers are more attentive and less likely to zone out."

Of course there's an argument listeners wouldn't be so turned off by radio advertising if most radio adverts weren't so bloody awful. But I guess changing that lies with the ad agencies rather than the radio stations - which is bad news for the radio stations.

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MANILOW GETS VEGAS DEAL
Barry Manilow is the latest singer to secure a mega-performance deal in Vegas. He has just signed a £31 million deal to perform nightly for a year at the Las Vegas Hilton. One of the highest paid music contracts ever, Manilow will earn even more than Celine Dion, who is getting £51 million for her three year contract at Vegas' Caesars Palace. Good work if you can get it.

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IMPALA CONTINUE BID TO BLOCK SONYBMG MERGER
Exciting things happening later today in the European independent sector's continued bid to block the SonyBMG merger - more on that on Monday.

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

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