CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 14th December
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Damageplan Dimebag's brother pays tribute
- Kiss donate casket to Abbot family
- Damon Dash wants more action on NYC drug laws
- Kylie twists ankle during TV shoot
- Minogue on the magic of Florence
- London's Union Chapel to close as music venue
- Martin defends Band Aid
- Jacko update
- U2 inducted into US Hall of Fame
- Thin Lizzy tour
- Riaa pleased MGM get to take on Grokster in Supreme Court
- NYPD officers not keen on party at Jay-Z's place
- Warner finances continue to improve
- This week's Student Radio Chart
- Musictank january
- Eavis gets honorary degree
- Music Choice turn on festive stream
- Home Choice launch download service
- Backstreet Boy signs to Christian label



*** KILL ALL HIPPIES takes over Canvas once again this Friday. On the bill are Six By Seven, Vatican DC, Trap2, Little Barrie all live, plus the NME DJs and residents Eddy Temple Morris, DJ Syrinx, and Jeff Automatic on the decks. Check the line up biogs at All takes place on Friday 17 Dec from 8.30pm to 4am - free entry if you sign up at


SAME SIX QUESTIONS: ballboy's Gordon McUntyre

How did you start out making music for a living?
Step by step. First learned to play guitar and then wrote some songs. Everything else flowed from there I guess.

What inspired your latest album?
Love and hidden lives I think. Most of the songs are about imagined situations, usually the starting point was seeing people in everyday life and wondering about their secret lives, the secret lives that we all have that no one else, or almost no one else, ever gets to see.

What process do you go through in creating an album?
Over a period of time I will collect thoughts and ideas for new songs - little stories or parts of stories and melodies to accompany them. Then I spend some time bringing them all together and make some demos at home. Then the band get down to work to add their ideas and we get the songs how we want them. Following that we go to the studio and put the songs down. We work very quickly in the studio. We don't spend a lot of time stroking our chins or watching the TV. Sometimes we forget to eat when we are busy with the music.

What artists influence your work?
Mainly authors and film makers rather than other musicians, but musically and lyrically speaking I would cite Bruce Springsteen, The Velvet Underground and Stereolab. I'm sure the other members of the band would have other influences in their top 3.

What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Nothing - although I'd like to know what they thought afterwards (good or bad).

What are your ambitions for this album, and for the future?
My single ambition for this album is that as many people as possible will get to hear it. To that end I would hope that we find someone to give it a decent release in the USA and I would hope that the people responsible for getting the album out into the public domain do their job properly.

ballboy's latest single, 'the art of kissing', is a download only single available for free from their label's site - It's very good.


Damageplan's drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott has issued a statement paying tribute to his brother, the band's frontman "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, who was shot dead when a gun man opened fire at one of the band's gigs last week.

The statement reads: "With all his greatness and accomplishments on the guitar, Dime will be missed more for his giving personality, charisma, caring for others, love and most of all his heart - twice as big as the state of Texas. Dime gave it all every day to each and every one of us and our lives have forever been hollowed without him... Thanks to all of you for reaching out to us in this time of our immeasurable loss. Rest in peace, brother Dime".

According to MTV, a statement issued by the rest of the band confirmed that Chris Paluska, the band's tour manager, is in a critical but stable condition after being shot during the incident. The band's drum tech - John "Kat" Brooks - who was also hit by a bullet, will be released from hospital on Friday. The band also confirmed their head of security, Jeffrey "Mayhem" Thompson, was among the four people killed.

On Darrell Abbot, that statement continued: "He stated his willingness to protect us, saying, 'I'd take a bullet for ya,' and unfortunately did in defence of our lives. He truly lived and died for his friends and made the ultimate sacrifice, giving his life to save ours. For this we will never forget. You will be missed, big man."

A statement from Warner's Atlantic record label - to which Damageplan were signed - was also released yesterday. Describing Darrell as an "exceptional musician and an extraordinary person" it said: "Along with his brother and bandmate, Vinnie Paul, he was a member of the Elektra/Atlantic family for the past 14 years, and he will be deeply missed. The bravery displayed by Damageplan, their crew, their fans, and the local police will never be forgotten."


In related news, Kiss bass player Gene Simmons also paid tribute to Abbot yesterday, while confirming the Damageplan singer will be buried in a 'Kiss Kasket' (a Kiss branded coffin sold via the band's website at $4700 a time!) that has been donated by the band.

Speaking to Fox News, Simmons said yesterday: "Well, I wasn't really prepared to talk about it, but the family requested, as a personal issue between the family and the grieving people who are going to be there, to send a Kiss casket. We initially did it as a promotion. And you know, I think it meant a lot to Darryl when, you know - when he was alive, he gave lots of people great joy. I mean he had the band tattooed onto his chest. He was a major figure in rock and roll. He's going to be greatly missed. And the family wish - you know the one last wish they had was that he buried in a Kiss casket. And I think it's a private matter for the family and the fans actually".

Commenting more generally on the shooting and the kind of risks artists face when performing live, Simmons continued: "You know people often forget that the word "fan" actually comes from the word "fanatical". Most people are very nice. Most people respect your privacy. But here's no secret, most celebrities check into hotels under pseudonyms and the reason is not because I don't love the fans but because you've got to be able to keep everybody at arm's length because every once in a while you're going to get a nut job. The only justice, as far as I'm concerned, is that this nut case is no longer around to do this to anybody else".


Following Russell Simmons' comments last week regarding the role of the hip hop community in forcing a review of New Yorkís draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws, Damon Dash has told reporters that he thinks the hip hop world should use its new found political influence to push for a complete rethink of anti-drugs legislation.

Dash told reporters: "Roc-A-Fella Records and Roc-A-Wear clothing is committed to use its resources to repeal unfair drug laws that devastate our communities. The Hip-Hop Community can now use its newfound political power to make a difference for those that are now unfairly incarcerated and for the total repeal of the laws."

Critics of the Rockefeller Drug Laws, which ensure prison sentences for relatively minor drugs offences, say the legislation does not cut the number of people who use drugs, instead it prematurely imprisons thousands of young people, especially in the black community, who subsequently move into more serious drug use and / or crime because of that experience. The law reforms will remove the automatic prison sentence from a number of drug offences - which, because the reforms will be applied retrospectively, will see some 450 prisoners automatically released. However, some campaigners say there will still be in excess of 15,000 young people unfairly in prison because the reforms do not go far enough.

Dash's comments are not necessarily a criticism of Simmons, of course. Although the head of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network will be present when the new drug law bill is signed today, he told last week: "This is the first step. There [are] laws like this all over the country. Of course we wanted more, but it's as much as we could have realistically hoped for and we finally broke the stalemate".


Kylie was reportedly left in agony over the weekend after she twisted her ankle during a performance on a German TV show. One onlooker told reporters: "It was a nasty fall. She slipped on her heels and tumbled. But she was more worried about exposing herself because her outfit was very flimsy." That said, it can't have been that serious, she still made the recording of the Top Of The Pops Christmas Party on Sunday night.


Talking of Kylie, Ms. Minogue has been speaking about providing the voice for Florence in the movie version of The Magic Roundabout, which is due in cinemas next Feb. Writing on her website she says: "I think she [Florence] is such an endearing character. There's just not a bad bone in her body, and the relationship between her and Dougal [voiced by Robbie Williams] is... It's just so sweet!"


One of London's more unusual live music venues will close for business next month after both internal and external pressures made its operations unviable.

The Union Chapel Project has run arts and music events in the North London church from which it takes its name since 1992. Initially set up as a way of raising funds for the restoration of the church, over the years it became an important arts centre and popular music venue, hosting concerts from the likes of Patti Smith, Bjork, Salif Keita, Ravi Shankar, Beck and David Byrne.

The charity that runs the church's arts and music side has faced a number of challenges from local residents associations and the local council in the last year. Although many of those had been overcome, organisers finally admitted defeat last week after a small majority of the church's membership voted to ban the consumption of alcohol in the main performing space of the church - making it a much less attractive venue for arts and music events.

Confirming the church would stop operating as an arts and music venue next month, a spokesman for the Union Chapel Project told reporters yesterday: "It is with great regret that the directors of Union Chapel Project announce that UCP will be closing at the end of January 2005. UCP will therefore no longer be accepting bookings thus ending over thirteen years as a popular, award-winning, contemporary, international music and arts venue".


One for all of you evil people who have been slating the rather-rubbish new Band Aid record now. Coldplay's Chris Martin has criticised people who criticise the record, arguing that they are, frankly, missing the point.

Speaking to Jonathan Dimbleby over the weekend Martin said: "I've encountered a lot of cynicism about this Band Aid thing and I think it's kind of nonsense because to me it's not about the song or about the words, it is about the images you sometimes see in the videos. But to me it would be no different if a bunch of pop stars were just standing about banging pots and saying we're interested in this thing that's going on in Africa. It doesn't matter what you're doing, we could all be doing a headstand together it's just a fact that enough people from one culture are coming on TV basically and saying 'What about this problem?"

He's right of course. Though there's no word yet on when the 'pot banging headstands' project will be staged, nor whether there will be slightly lame repeat of the exercise in twenty years time. Presumably if there is Bono will want to bang the same pot.


How about a Michael Jackson update? Well, here we go. According to the Santa Barbara News-Press, fingerprints belonging to Jacko and the boy who is accusing him of child molestation have been found on pornographic magazines seized from the Neverland ranch. The paper reckons the prosecution will use this as evidence that Jacko showed the boy pornography prior to molesting him. If they do, Jacko's defence are sure to point out that the child in question, and his brother, both visited Neverland while Jackson was not home, and could easily have looked through the magazines on their own. Neither prosecution or defence in the case have commented on the Santa Barbara News-Press - the media ban placed on the case by the judge overseeing it would probably prevent them from saying much anyway.

Next up, and the anti-Jacko lobby may have found a way to hit at one of the singer's most prized possessions - his fan-base. Word is there is a video doing the rounds showing Jackson making unguarded comments about his fans back stage during his 1996 HIStory Tour. One source who has seen the tapes told the New York Daily News: "It's not the Michael Jackson you see on stage. You see him bitching and moaning about the crowds - how he doesn't like it when the fans try to touch him. He also gets really upset when they storm his limo."

Someone - reportedly linked to Allan Metzger, the man who recorded the tapes - is peddling copies to certain TV networks. If aired some say the tapes may affect the unquestioning support Jacko has received from his loyal fan-base throughout his current legal woes. Metzger himself told the NY Daily News he was "shocked and aghast" that someone was trying to sell the videos, adding: "I find it hard to believe. I gave him [Jackson] the tape. I thought the tapes were locked in a safe."


Having been inducted into the UK Music Hall Of Fame last month, U2 are now entering the much more established US Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. They will join The O'Jays, Percy Sledge, The Pretenders and Buddy Guy in being added to the list of music legends at an event in New York on 14 Mar.

The back stage people being added this time round are pioneering rock booker Frank Barsalona and Sire Records founder Seymour Stein. The former worked with acts including Led Zeppelin, The Who and Bruce Springsteen, while Stein was responsible for signing the likes of Madonna, The Ramones and Talking Heads.


Following a successful US tour, Thin Lizzy will bring their The Boys Are Back In Town Tour 2005 to the UK next month - dates as follows, press info from Noble PR.
28 Jan: Glasgow Carling Academy
29 Jan: Newcastle City Hall
1 Feb: Liverpool Academy 1
2 Feb: Manchester Academy 1
4 Feb: London Shepherds Bush Empire
5 Feb: Sheffield University Octagon
6 Feb: Birmingham Carling Academy
7 Feb: Bristol Carling Academy
8 Feb: Rock City Nottingham


The Recording Industry Association Of America has welcomed the decision by the US Supreme Court to hear the MGM v Grokster case in which the film studio hope to prove the P2P company should be held liable for the movies illegally shared over their network. The RIAA will be hoping the case goes in the movie company's favour. Grokster will defend themselves with the old 1984 Sony Betamax decision that says technology firms cannot be held liable if their technology is used for illegal purposes - ie copyright theft. The courts have tended to agree that the P2P networks, when accused of copyright theft by the record labels, are indeed covered by that ruling. If the Supreme Court were to rule against Grokster in this case (which they probably won't, but if they did...) then the music industry's legal case against the P2P companies could begin afresh.


There's trouble at the New York Police Department's 13th Precinct after bosses decided to hold their Christmas party at Jay-Z's 40/40 Club. Many officers at the precinct are still angry that Jay accused them of racist behaviour when they arrested him in 2001, and argue it is inappropriate to stage the party at his venue especially, they say, when officers have had a number of problems with security guards at the club.

One source told the New York Post: "It's caused outrage, divisiveness and tremendous bitterness. [Jay-Z] trashed the guys who [arrested him in 2001] as racist. And we've arrested bouncers at 40/40 in the past. It's just wrong to hold it there."

When told that some of those organising the party had accused those that opposed the venue as being racists the source continued: "That isn't it at all. We have no problem with rappers. But the department does not condone officers patronizing establishments owned by people with criminal records. It would be the same with a place run by the Mafia."

According to, a spokesman for Jay-Z wouldn't be drawn on the falling out within the NYPD, telling reporters: "Mr. Carter is currently preparing to take his position as president and CEO of Def Jam Recordings. He hopes that everyone has a wonderful holiday whichever way they choose to celebrate."


One for fans of financial figures now. Warner Music say that their revenues for the first ten months of the year topped $2.5 billion, a 2% improvement on the same period last year. Last year's operating loss of $197 million was transformed into a $7 million profit, meaning overall net loss will be down from $239 million last year to $136 million this year. Why does all this matter? Well, it doesn't (unless you work for Warner Music I guess), though some question why Warner are so keen to announce their financials (it's the second time they've done it this year), with much of that some speculating that the major is keen to talk up its improved financial performance in preparation for a flotation sometime next year.


OK, so we forgot to include this yesterday, ah well, aren't student radio stations playing some really good music at the moment?

1. [16] Kasabian - Cut Off (BMG/RCA)
2. [1] Razorlight - Rip It Up (Universal/Mercury)
3. [2] Green Day - Boulevard Of Broken Dreams (Warner/Reprise)
4. [3] Beastie Boys - An Open Letter To NYC (EMI/Parlophone)
5. [NE] Kings Of Leon - Four Kicks (BMG/Handmedown)
6. [12] Ash - Renegade Cavalcade (Warner/Atlantic)
7. [9] The Zutons - Confusion (Deltasonic)
8. [15] Babyshambles - Killamangiro (Rough Trade)
9. [13] The Chemical Brothers - Galvanize (EMI/Virgin)
10. [NE] Soulwax - E-Talking (PIAS)
11. [NE] Manic Street Preachers - Empty Souls (Sony/Epic)
12. [25] Le Tigre - TKO (Universal/Island)
13. [10] Maroon 5 - Sunday Morning (BMG/J)
14. [NE] Client - Pornography (EMI/Mute)
15. [21] The Streets - Could Well Be In (679)
16. [22] Blink 182 - Always (Universal/Geffen)
17. [6] Goldie Lookin Chain - You Knows I Loves You (Warner/Must Destroy)
18. [14] Keane - This Is The Last Time (Universal/Island)
19. [20] William Shatner - Common People (Sony/Epic)
20. [4] Gwen Stefani - What Are You Waiting For? (Universal/Interscope)
21. [11] U2 - Vertigo (Universal/Island)
22. [17] Electric Six - Radio Ga Ga (Warner)
23. [24] Nelly - Tilt Ya Head Back (Ft. Christina Aguilera)
24. [NE] Ludes - Radio (Double Dragon)
25. [RE] The White Stripes - Jolene (Beggars/XL)
26. [NE] The Killers - Somebody Told Me (Lizard King)
27. [NE] Thirteen Senses - Thru The Glass (Vertigo)
28. [NE] Longview - When You Sleep (Warner/14th Floor)
29. [26] Lemar - If There's Any Justice (Sony/Epic)
30. [NE] Rooster - Staring At The Sun (Brightside)


If, like me, you've already got your 2005 diary on your desk and you're looking for something to put in it, well, here's something. Music Tank's first Think Tank event of the year will take place on 18 Jan with the topic 'On the Analyst's Couch'. Up for debate is the commercial future of the music industry - do record royalty collections, a booming live sector and recovering record sales mean the music industry should be smiling at the start of 2005? Theresa Wise of Accenture, Keith Jopling of the IFPI, Tony Salter of Enders Analysis and others will be on the panel. Full details at


Glastonbury man Michael Eavis was at the University of Bath yesterday to pick up an honorary doctorate for his services to the arts. Speaking prior to the degree ceremony Eavis told reporters: "The award is just fantastic. I think I deserve it after slinging about in the mud for 30 years. I'm quite excited about it really. I've planned a speech and I've got a few jokes in it to warm everyone up. It really is a great honour."

A University of Bath spokesman told reporters: "We will be delighted to award Mr Eavis an honorary doctorate. His contribution to the arts, by giving millions of people the chance to see the best of rock music live on stage, has been very important."


Getting in the festive mood listening to Asda's Christmas soundtrack and wanting more of it at home? Well, Sky users can get Christmas music on demand via Music Choice (channel 480), which has added a Christmas channel to its selection of back to back music streams. The So This Is Christmas channel, featuring the reworked versions of Christmas classics, new festival tracks and all the usual suspects, will be available until 31 Dec.


Talking of companies with the word Choice in their name (now, there's a link), HomeChoice - the proper telly on demand people - are adding a download platform to their service. Punters will be able to watch music on their video-on-demand service and, if they like one, send a text message to a special number. They will be sent a code which can be used on the HomeChoice website to download the track. The plan is to develop the service so tracks can be ordered via the remote and charged to a customer's HomeChoice bill, rather than their mobile bill.


Good news now for all the Christian Backstreet Boy fans among the CMU Daily readership (anyone?). Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell has signed up with a Christian record label - Provident Music Group's Reunion Records - and plans to release an album of Christian music, including the track 'In Christ Alone', which will also feature on a new compilation of Christian music next year. Commenting on the signing Littrell told reporters that being a Backstreet Boy was a "12-year stepping-stone" to becoming a Christian artist, adding that he hoped his fans would realise that "standing up for what you believe in is what's important". However, no need for all you atheist Backstreet Boy fans to panic, he will still tour with the boy band next year.

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