CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 15th December
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Erasure man says he's HIV positive
- Carl Barat forms supergroup
- Another Doherty fracas
- Band Aid heading for Christmas number one
- Earache sign Beecher
- Live Review: Dresden Dolls at Cargo
- Dyke criticises Thompson's job slash plans
- Speculation grows over Warner flotation
- Sharon fills in for poorly Ozzy at royal show
- Glasto to switch round stages
- New iPod not real compliant
- George Michael hits back at Elton
- Jimmy Eat World tour
- Madonna tops tour revenue poll
- Jacko lawyers try to get child abuse case thrown out of court
- Wyclef Jean releases video to highlight Haitian crisis
- Channel 4 to split up commercial bit
- Britney school work for sale



*** 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


OK, so Channel 4 won't be filling a night of programming with the results of this survey. But who wants to appear on one of those tacky Channel 4 poll shows when you could get a stylish mention in the Christmas Eve edition of the CMU Daily instead? Anyway, if you haven't already, get voting for your favourite track of 2004. If you want, you can give us a 50 word explanation for inclusion here in the Daily. Votes to please.

Some of the votes so far:

Voter, Gill, & CMU Daily
Vote: Do Me Bad Things - Time For Deliverance
Words: This track achieves the impossible, combining my favourite genres into one track - and making it amazing: rock, metal, stoner, soul and gospel. It's uplifting and catchy but still raw and powerful, and it's utterly utterly honest. And that is something so rare in today's music: too much pop is tuneful but gutless, and everything else is raw but musicless. With any luck, this track will be the start of long and successful career for a band who well deserve it. Do Me Bad Things do me good things. Ta.

Voter: Tom March, Darling Dept
Vote: Mylo - Drop The Pressure
Words: Simply a stunning single from an amazing album.

Voter: Stephen Budd, SBM
Vote: Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
Words: This track redefined British music for the rest of the planet in 2004 - it has to have been the singular most exciting thing to hit the airwaves in five years. Lyrically brilliant double entendres (Take Me Out ....) and amazing production. This is 2004's answer to 'Another Girl, Another Planet' and will last as long....

Voter: Yousif Nur, CMU Daily
Vote: The Futureheads - Hounds Of Love
Words: A song covered by a special, special band. Few artists manage to make a track they cover completely their own - The Futureheads do. Unsurprisingly, this is a popular one at the Futureheads' live shows, as well as at indie discos everywhere. Given that this will get a single release in February it may well be my track of 2005 too. Fingers crossed it will propel the Sunderland four-some to selling out the big venues in the next year.

Agree? If not, get voting -


Erasure's Andy Bell has told his fans that he is HIV-positive but stresses that he is, nevertheless, in good health. Writing on Erasure's website Bell says: "Being HIV-positive does not mean that you have AIDS. My life expectancy should be the same as anyone else's, so there is no need to panic. There is still so much hysteria and ignorance surrounding HIV and Aids. Let's just get on with life."

He has known about his HIV status since Jun 1998 when doctors diagnosed him as such during a bout of pneumonia. He says he has chosen to make his condition public now because he's got an album to sell and the column inches will come in handy. No, hang on, perhaps it was because he plans to take part in a programme to educate young people about HIV and AIDS next year - yeah, that was it.

Bell adds that he is undergoing drug-combination therapy and that he is feeling better than ever. Certainly he does not intend to let the fact he is HIV positive affect his work schedule as Erasure prepare to release that new album 'Nightbird' next month and then embark on a European Tour in the Spring.


With the Libertines officially on hold, Carl Barat has been busy forming a supergroup. The NME reports that Barat has joined The Charlatans' Tim Burgess, Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows and Primal Scream keyboardist Martin Duffy to form The Chavs, who played a one-off gig at the Tap And Tin in Chatham. Word is the band played some of Burgess' hits, some Libertines tracks and a cover of the Pogues' 'Fairytale Of New York'.

As previously reported, Barat has said he is putting the Libertines on hold - partly to give him time to recover from an operation he is having, partly because of his continuing feud with Libertine-in-exile Pete Doherty. Barat is expected to work on some solo material in the New Year - whether performing in The Chavs will become a regular pursuit remains to be seen.


Talking of CMU's Hero of 2004 - Mr Pete Doherty - a BBC spokesman has confirmed there was an "incident" when Babyshambles recorded a performance for Top of the Pops last week. According to a bystander at the recording Doherty got into an argument with one of the TOTP audience as he prepared to perform with his band. As the argument progressed he jumped on the stage and tried to wrestle the audience member to the ground. Such was the fracas that TOTP producers decided to use a recording of the band's rehearsal on the show rather than their actual performance. When approached by the NME, the BBC admitted there had been an "incident" but denied anyone had been assaulted - though they did turn down the NME's request to see a video of the unused recording, which is a bit suspicious. I'm not sure what all the fuss is about - surely the ambition of every dedicated indie kid these days is to be assaulted by Pete Doherty.


According to HMV neither Kylie nor Ronan is likely to knock Band Aid 20 off the top spot of the singles chart this weekend - meaning that superb rendition of 'Do They Know It's Christmas' (and the new version on side A) is pretty much guaranteed the Christmas number one spot. If sales continue at the current rate, Band Aid will soon beat Eamon's 'I Don't Want You Back' to become as the UK's biggest-selling single of the year, and could well become the first million-selling single since Will Young's 'Evergreen' in 2002.


Rock label Earache has confirmed they will re-release the debut album from their latest signing, Beecher, in the New Year. The band, described by the label as "fusing the ethics of primal hardcore with a love for the technicalities and aggression of metal", have signed a worldwide deal with Earache after building a considerable fan base through regular touring. Earache will now re-release the band's 'Breaking the Fourth Wall' album complete with some added un-released material, while the band work on brand new material.

Commenting on their deal with Earache, the band's guitarist Mark Lyons told CMU: "We are proud to be joining forces with one of the most prominent and influential extreme labels out there, and one of our favourite labels to date with an artist roster that mirrors our own music collections. We look forward to finally getting our records out worldwide!"

Beecher play their last gig of 2004 at the Phoenix in Manchester on 20 Dec - press info from Earache IH.


LIVE REVIEW: Dresden Dolls at Cargo on 6 Dec
Where to begin? For the uninitiated, the Dresden Dolls are a boy-girl duo from Boston whose already legendary live shows incorporate elements of Weimar cabaret and Bertolt Brecht's epic theatre. Despite having no guitars, they rock harder than Courtney Love on heat and are here to reclaim the piano from the tasteful anodyne musings of Keane et al. Tonight, for a little over an hour, they succeed in convincing the audience of one of London's hippest nightspots that they are quite simply the most vital, uniquely thrilling band on the planet right now. In front-woman Amanda Palmer they have a bona fide rock goddess, equal parts PJ Harvey and Beatrice Dalle, capable of channeling her deep-rooted neuroses into a startlingly visceral crescendo of pounding piano chords and shrieking vocals. The opening salvo of live favourite "Girl Anachronism" neatly encapsulates this seductive impulsiveness: "You can tell by the scars on my arms and cracks in my hips and the dents in my car and the blisters on my lips that I'm not the carefullest of girls." Drummer Brian Viglione provides the perfect dramatic foil to this unbridled volatility, his elegant mimes and emphatic percussion representing a masterclass in musical economy. An acoustic interlude for an eerie cover of "Port of Amsterdam" proves an inspired move, as does a refreshingly unironic rendition of "Hit Me Baby One More Time" during the encore ("This is a dance song, but also a song about loneliness.") This is music teetering on the emotional precipice, epic tales of jealousy, betrayal and turmoil set to a grandiose and thunderous soundtrack. Expect to be utterly in their thrall come 2005. DL


Greg "I'm Not Bitter" Dyke has criticised the plans of his BBC Director General successor, Mark Thompson. As previously reported, Thompson is planning a radical shake up at the Beeb which will see some 3000 jobs axed and a number of units relocated from London to Manchester.

Speaking to Newsnight, Dyke said that he "would not have done some of the things they are doing", adding that he felt jobs were being cut primarily to "appeal to the government", and that the plans would affect the creative output of the Corporation: "I think the creativity of an organisation is based on the morale and enthusiasm and the energy of the staff. And it's hard to do when you're making big cuts. If you could make all those big cuts at one time then you could pick it up later. If you have to drag them out over three or four years, it's incredibly debilitating for an organisation".

When it was suggested Dyke would have had to make similar cuts if he was still in the job he continued: "I don't think that's the case no ... personally I find it offensive in some ways that you try to appeal to a Labour government by taking people who have got decent jobs - not particularly well paid, but not bad jobs - where they get pensions and they have proper support systems and the rest of it, and we want to take those things outside, often to organisations where you get none of those. And so I wouldn't have done some of things that they are doing, but that's the choice of the director-general and the board."

Talking of the BBC's Board Of Governors - a group of people Dyke always enjoys knocking - the former DG also questioned how they could so enthusiastically support Thompson's new strategy: "I find the position of the board of governors a bit odd because many of those governors were the people who sat there for the last four years supporting a completely different approach".


Following that idle speculation yesterday that Warners were making public their improved financial figures in preparation for a flotation, more idle speculation today as to whether such a flotation would be viable - though it isn't just us idly speculating, oh no.

The New York Post yesterday reported that some in the investment community question how viable a flotation in the near future would be because, despite Warner's improved financial performance and a slightly more optimistic mood in the wider music industry, serious investors are still cautious of the recorded music sector while the threat of online piracy continues.

This is turn has led to rumour that Warner may branch into the increasingly more profitable area of artist management, perhaps opting for the model adapted most prominently by the Sanctuary Music Group - trading in a number of different sectors within the music business to increase the number of revenue streams. To that end, some insiders say Warner investors Thomas H Lee are already looking at the possibility of acquiring some existing management agencies.


Sharon Osbourne filled in for her husband at the Royal Variety Performance last night after Ozzy had to pull out due to ill health. A statement explained that a metal plate Ozzy had inserted after his quad bike accident last year was causing him considerable pain, and that he would now have another operation to relieve that pain. The statement read: "Adjustments need to be made to the plate which is making Ozzy very uncomfortable at present. Although having made a remarkable recovery from the life-threatening accident, Ozzy needs the procedure as soon as possible". Sharon, and daughter Kelly, were on hand to pass on Ozzy's apologies at the Royal Variety show, which will be shown on BBC 1 tonight.

It will be second night running that Sharon will be on BBC 1 - last night she was on Crimewatch appealing for help in tracing those thieves who broke into her Buckinghamshire home and stole valuable jewellery.


According to the NME what was the Dance Tent at the Glastonbury Festival will become the new band area in 2005 which, as previously reported, is being renamed the John Peel Stage. But all you dance heads shouldn't worry - a spokesman for the festival explains: "It's all subject to licensing, but basically we're in the process of building a new dance area, with a few small tents and one main tent. It's all where the New Bands Tent was last year, and we're replacing the Dance Tent with the John Peel Stage (New Bands Tent). The name of the new area is 'Suggs Ground' - it's the original name of that field." Provisional dates for Glasto 2005 are 24 to 26 Jun.


Apple have so far failed to pursue a tough legal stance against Real Networks after the latter, much to the former's annoyance, announced in the summer that it would be selling music in a format compatible with iPods using an unofficial version of Apple's AAC codec. However, Apple's fight against Real is active on the technology front.

The new iPod Photo is the first Apple digital music player which has been made so as to not be compatible with Real's unofficial AAC tracks. This means that music fans who buy tracks from Real's Rhapsody service will not be able to play them on an iPod Photo, despite Real's Harmony system which makes tracks compatible with as many different digital music players as possible.

Real, still pleased that Apple haven't managed to stop their tracks being used on existing iPods, despite various software upgrades, say they will now look to develop their Harmony service so it does output tracks that will play on the iPod Photo. Which presumably means the two companies will be playing cat and mouse technology development for some time to come.


George Michael has hit back after Elton John said in an interview that George was "in a strange place" with "a deep-rooted unhappiness" which came across in his last album. In a letter to Heat magazine George says: "Elton John knows nothing about George Michael... we have rarely spoken in the past 10 years. Most of what Elton thinks he knows about my life is pretty much limited to the gossip he hears on what you would call the 'gay grapevine' which, as you can imagine, is lovely stuff indeed. Other than that, he knows that I don't like to tour, that I smoke too much pot, and that my albums still have a habit of going to number one. In other words, he knows as much as most of my fans do".

George continued by getting a view jibes in against Elton, saying he preferred to concentrate on new material while Elton "makes millions playing those old classics day in day out".


Jimmy Eat World have announced a UK tour for Mar, dates as follows:

12 Mar: Norwich UEA
13 Mar: Glasgow Barrowland
14 Mar: Belfast Limelight
15 Mar: Dublin Olympia
18 Mar: Birmingham Academy
19 Mar: Bristol Academy
20 Mar: Manchester Academy
22 Mar: London Astoria
24 Mar: Portsmouth Pyramids


Madonna had the biggest tour in 2004 according to an end-of-year survey in Billboard magazine. Her Re-Invention tour took about $2.23m per show in revenue which, with 56 dates during the year, 55 of which were sell outs, adds up to a total tour revenue of $125m. Asked by Billboard about that tour, Madonna wouldn't be drawn on the profit margins saying, simply: "My Re-Invention tour was by far the most creatively satisfying experience I have ever had".

As always, it is classic artists that dominate the live earnings chart, with Prince's Musicology tour the second biggest, grossing $90.2m, and Simon & Garfunkel the fourth biggest taking $59 million. Metallica and Bette Midler come next with $53.8m and $53.3m respectively.

Elsewhere in the end-of-year figures, and proof that Shania Twain didn't just have a record breaking year in record sales. Twain also had the third biggest live earnings, taking $62.5m.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers, meanwhile, made the most money from a short stint at one venue - their three nights at London's Hyde Park back in Jun took $17. 2m.

Talking of large takings at one venue, Celine Dion's residency at Las Vegas' Caesar's Palace took in excess of $77 million though, as not technically speaking a tour, she doesn't get to appear in the top ten.


More from CMU's Michael Jackson legal news department. Jacko's lawyers have put forward a somewhat ambitious motion calling for all the current child abuse cases to be thrown out of court on the basis of "vindictive prosecution and outrageous government conduct". If Judge Rodney Melville doesn't accept that motion when it is officially presented on 20 Dec (which he probably won't), then the defence want the court to dismiss any evidence gathered during the raid on the Neverland ranch on 3 and 4 Dec, again on operational technicalities. If that doesn't work they are going to push for the start of the full court case against Jackson pushed back from the scheduled 31 Jan start date - again something Melville has been reluctant to do in the past.

The prosecution, for their part, are asking Melville if they can bring evidence of other previous unproven sex abuse allegations made against Jackson (ie claims not relating to the current case) to the court room in part of their bid to prove the singer is a repeated sex offender. Technically speaking Californian law does allow this in sex offence cases - it remains to be seen if Melville will allow it in this case.


The UN World Food Programme has released a new music video featuring a track by Wyclef Jean to help raise the profile of the problems in Haiti - Jean's home country. Haitians are suffering from the results of heavy flooding back in Sep as well as rising violence as supporters of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide step up their protests for his return to power. Such are the problems the World Food Program is now feeding more than 600,000 people, including 100,000 flood victims. The video was released to raise awareness of the problem as officials from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, UN agencies, donors and special interest groups met in Washington to discuss the problems.

Commenting on the song, which is called 'Gonaives' after the city most effected by the floods, Jean told reporters: "What we wanted to do was capture the raw essence of Gonaives and what we saw during the floods. The song is not a song of sadness."


Channel 4's commercial bit - 4 Ventures - is likely to be broken up following the departure of its director Rob Woodward. Channel 4 boss Andy Duncan has ordered a review of the commercial division, which includes the company's pay-TV channels E4 and FilmFour as well as their programme sales, merchandising and interactive departments. While it is unlikely Duncan wants to axe any of Channel 4's commercial operations (they certainly need the income they create) he reportedly thinks they will be more effective as separate units - meaning Woodward is unlikely to be replaced. The changes are also likely to see the commissioning elements of E4 and FilmFour working more closely with the programming teams at Channel 4.


Well, here's something to bid on. According to the Splash news agency, Christies in New York will this Friday auction off one of Britney Spear's primary school assignments - a piece on the children's book 'Raymond's Run' - which apparently is littered with mistakes and teachers comments that include "proof-read", "messy" and "don't write on the back". Still, the assignment is expected to sell for $1000 - which is more than any well written informed review of 'Raymond's Run' ever got. Ain't the world a great place?

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