CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 23rd December
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Morrison gets OK to release new album
- New Mandela concert planned
- Microsoft told to unbundle their player
- HMV to launch download platform
- Healy on his Sudan experience
- New Daft Punk
- Album Review: Various - Soma Compilation 2004
- Fountains Of Wayne plan b-side compo
- Bjork gets a soaking
- Capital GWR merger gets go ahead
- Turbonegro DVD planned
- Homme on new QOTSA
- Madonna not so calm back in 91
- 50 Cent returns in March
- X Factor Steve set for number two spot
- Live Review: The Tears at Heaven
- DJ Lawler on his Mexican trauma
- Cross Central New Year's Eve Xtravaganza
- Tribal Gathering New Year's fest
- Scruff's New Year
- The Pimp's New Year
- Christmas Eve Club Tip
- US viewers and their Olympic complaints

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CMU TRACK OF THE YEAR
Well, Christmas is now very nearly here, and you have just 24 hours to cast your votes in the CMU Track of the Year poll survey. Just email your vote to vote@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk. No need to send in any explanation cos we'll not have chance to publish it. If you're looking for last minute inspiration, here's a couple more votes...

Voter: Matt Metherell, Union Chapel / Carling Academy Brixton
Vote: The Wedding Present - Interstate 5
Words: Following front-man David Gedge's split with his longtime girlfriend, and Cinerama co-singer, Gedge has rolled his band's name back, and confirmed his position as the greatest observer of human relationships. This relentless classic-in-the-making perfectly captures a man on his knees, piecing together what went wrong in the immediate aftermath of a break up with a heart-wrenching mix of hindsight, bitterness and desperation. In true car-crash viewing style, this draws you in so you can't turn away – then you're doubly hypnotised by the smouldering guitar sound-scape that builds to a despairing climax. A true return to form - almost a best of in one song.

Voter: Fraser Thomson, Beat 106
Vote: Morrissey - First Of the Gang To Die
Words: What a comeback for Moz this year! The standout song from 'You Are The Quarry' made a cracking second single, and was one of the highlights of his live sets (I only saw him 3 times!!!) Also, possibly the only Top 40 hit to mention the name Hector. God bless Attack records!
Agree? If not, get voting, vote@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk

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MORRISON GETS OK TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM
Well, here's some heartening news for the festive season, that Mark Morrison album that appeared at the top of your Christmas list will be released after all. Phew.

As previously reported, footballer Kevin Campbell, whose record label 2 Wikid Records signed Morrison and funded the recording of the new long player, went to court after he heard the former R&B star planned to release the album via a different record label. He initially won an injunction banning record label Mona and distributors Jet Star from releasing the album this month. But yesterday the high court overturned that decision meaning the new album, which was already being advertised on TV, can now be legally sold.

Welcoming the court's decision, Morrison told reporters yesterday: "The album will now be available to all". Campbell, who was already mighty pissed off by Morrison's actions, says he may now sue the singer and his new record label for breach of copyright when the new album, 'Innocent Man', is released next week.

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NEW MANDELA CONCERT PLANNED
After it's initial false start (the original concert was cancelled), the 46664 Concert in Cape Town last year was such a success that a second edition is now being planned for Mar 2005. Designed to raise awareness for the Nelson Mandela Foundation and its work to tackle the AIDS epidemic in Africa, the line up for the second 46664 event will be announced in the New Year, though Queen are expected to headline.

Commenting on the new event Nelson Mandela told reports: "[the 2005 event] will build on the success of our truly memorable concert in Cape Town last year. It will serve to support the efforts of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and to show the world that South Africa is really addressing this most vital issue."

On the charitable side, the 2005 concert will focus on the plight of women in sub-Saharan Africa, one of the groups of people most affected by AIDS.

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MICROSOFT TOLD TO UNBUNDLE THEIR PLAYER
There was victory for the anti-Microsoft lobby yesterday. Well, kinda. The European courts have decided that Microsoft is misusing its monopoly in the IT sector by automatically bundling its Windows Media Player in with the Windows operating system. Microsoft's critics say that by supplying the IT giant's media player with their operating system consumers are more likely to use it than a rival player developed by one of Microsoft's competitors - which users would most likely have to download.

The European Courts yesterday said they agreed and ordered Microsoft to 'unbundle' the operating system and media player with immediate effect - meaning that even if Microsoft plan to begin a long appeal against the ruling (which they almost definitely will) they still have to unbundle the software immediately.

So a big victory for the anti-Microsoft crowd? Well, not really. In order to be able to say they have 'unbundled' their software, Microsoft simply have to release a version of their Windows operating system without the media player. They can then release another version with 'free media player' written on the box. Given that the two versions will retail for the same price who is going to buy the version of Windows with less functionality? The only way the courts could really overcome Microsoft's monopoly in this area is to force them to include everyone else's media players in with the Windows system software - which wasn't part of this ruling.

Of course at the end of 2004, Microsoft no longer seems quite as dominant as it did a couple of years ago. Commercially it still dominates of course, but the rebirth of Apple post-iPod and the fast growth in the use of Internet Explorer rival FireFox in the web browser space (try it - it's so much better and you can download it for free - http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/) suggests that it is public demand for superior products, rather than expensive legal action, that might eventually crack Microsoft's computing monopoly.

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HMV TO LAUNCH DOWNLOAD PLATFORM
Talking of Microsoft, HMV have revealed details of their new download service which they plan to launch in Feb. It is a Microsoft solution which means the tracks they sell will work on the aforementioned Windows Media Player and 75 Microsoft compatible MP3 players but not, of course, the iPod.

Other than confirming that the new service will launch in the New Year, and that they are ploughing in the region of £10 million into it, HMV would not be drawn on the specifics of the new service. Chief Exec Alan Giles told reporters yesterday: "We have a unique opportunity to leverage the HMV brand, customer base and our store network to establish a strong position in the newly-emerging market for paid-for music downloads".

On their involvement in the project, Microsoft's director added: "It's great to be involved in such a leading-edge retail project that will support an explosion of choice enabling music fans to buy music in-store and online".

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HEALY ON HIS SUDAN EXPERIENCE
Travis front-man Fran Healy has been speaking about his recent trip to strife-torn Sudan, a trip he made with Save The Children following his involvement in the latest Band Aid venture.
On the experience Healy says: "I'm gobsmacked at what I saw in Sudan. I was running around thinking 'What can I do?' I was naive before I went – I thought Africans were needy and desperate. But they're the strongest people I've ever met who are surviving against all the odds - I don't know how they do it."

Healy says the trip has persuaded him to do dedicate more time to the causes the Band Aid project supports: "I'm going to get involved and will go back to see more. As a famous person the thing you can do is go to a place and report on it. A singer like myself is able to talk freely and express an opinion. There is so much more that can be done. Making a Band Aid record and going to Africa isn't enough for me - I'm going to get more involved."

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NEW DAFT PUNK
Daft Punk's next album, to be called 'Human After All', is set for release in Mar. We do know that it was recorded in the duo's home studio - we don't know if the title means no more photo shoots dressed as robots.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various - Soma Compilation 2004 (Soma)
To be honest with you, I found the Soma end-of-year compo a couple of years back a bit dull, making me wonder if Scotland's best dance label had lost some of its sparkle. But it seems it was just a bad year, because the 2004 edition has twelve great tracks and plenty of sparkle. Scotland's big name producer of the year - Mylo - is in attendance, giving his take on Master H's '13'; but it isn't just the presence of a celebrity remixer that makes this album so fine. There's Envoy's beautiful string laden 'Move On' and his other track 'Shoulder to shoulder', both of which get us moving. Vector Lovers' electro chill of 'Melodies and Memory' is awesome, Soma legends Soma come up with the goods with 'Lie To Me' and Hystereo takes us higher, with our hands in the air, with his excellent 'Winters in the City' - a track which in many ways encapsulates the whole Soma label. All in all, a solid compo that will make a great festive gift for any tech / house lover in your life. PV
Release date: 13 Dec
Press contact: Soma IH

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FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE PLAN B-SIDE COMPO
The Fountains Of Wayne have confirmed they are planning a compilation of b-sides, set for release in the Spring. According to Billboard the band are currently working through the vaults in a bid to collect more or less every b-side that has been released in the band's eight year career.

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BJORK GETS A SOAKING
You'd think Bjork would be used to the cold, but word is she quickly left a New York club after being soaked in icy cold water. The Icelandic singer got the soaking after a fashion designer known as KAI attempted, unsuccessfully, to balance a champagne bucket on his head while celebrating the festive season at the club. According to the New York Post, the club's bouncers had to break up a bit of a brawl after Bjork's soaking - the singer left the club quickly and without incident, but several of KAI's colleagues from design outfit As Four set upon him after his party trick forced the singer to cut her evening short.

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CAPITAL GWR MERGER GETS GO AHEAD
Insiders in both the broadcasting and advertising industries are expecting more mergers in the radio sector in 2005 after the proposed Capital / GWR merger got the go ahead yesterday. Capital and GWR's proposals were being investigated by the Office Of Fair Trading - they ruled this week that the merger did not need to go to the competition commission for approval, essentially giving the two radio groups the green light to merge their operations.

The advertising industry, in particular, welcomed the decision - while a bigger radio group could in theory use their new power to force up advertising rates, the media buyers hope a combined Capital / GWR will be better able to compete with the BBC whose large radio audience is currently out of advertiser's reach.

George Howard of media agency OMD told the BBC: "We're pleased [with the merger] as long as it's used to grow audiences to compete with the BBC, which has been the issue for some time. We're confident any new company would not abuse its position."

Those in the know now expect EMAP to attempt a buy out of Scottish Radio Holdings, who own most of the flagship stations North of the border. EMAP already have a stake in SRH. According to the original share purchase back in Jan, if EMAP wants to buy itself control of SRH they would have to buy shares at last Jan's price - 15p per share more than the current SRH share price. However that proviso runs out next month and many expect EMAP to then attempt a takeover.

It remains to be seen which other radio groups will take advantage of last year's Communications Act, which originally changed the media-ownership rules, and the latest OFT ruling, which demonstrates mergers are unlikely to be blocked. The Guardian says that Chrysalis Radio, which is sometimes also linked to a possible EMAP deal, may well merge with the radio operations of, erm, The Guardian (and presumably they should know). That would leave the radio bit of the Scottish Media Group (ie Virgin Radio) and the Wireless Group with its national sport station and recent victory in winning the new Edinburgh licence.

Whatever, certainly it seems that while never dull 'major record label merger news' filled the CMU Daily in 2004, it will be radio group merger news that dominates in 2005.

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TURBONEGRO DVD PLANNED
Scandinavian rockers Turbonegro are set to release a DVD set at some point next year featuring a documentary of the band's reunion and live video footage dating back to 1987. No word on a release date yet, or whether the DVD release will be timed to coincide with the follow-up to 2003's album 'Scandinavian Leather' which the band are currently recording.

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HOMME ON NEW QOTSA
Queens Of The Stone Age's Josh Homme has been talking about the band's new album, the first since the sacking of bass player and collaborator Nick Oliveri earlier this year. On the finished album, called 'Lullabies To Paralyse' and due out in Mar, Homme told NME: "I feel like all through the years we've been learning to be Queens Of The Stone Age, and now we've finally got there. This is the distillation of everything we've been doing. I'd say that every song sounds like it's underneath a lamppost, at nighttime. I guess it's dark and romantic."

On the inclusion of Homme's girlfriend and Distillers front-woman Brody Dalle and Garbage singer Shirley Manson on the track called 'Man, You've Got Quite A Scene Going There', Homme continued: "The rule was actually to have no collaborators, so I guessed I fucked up. But we decided we needed some bitches". Well, that's nice.

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MADONNA NOT SO CALM BACK IN 91
Presumably the new Kaballah-worshipping children's-book-writing Madonna wouldn't approve, but a new book on the history of the Academy Awards includes the story of how Madge lost it back stage when rehearsing for her performance at the 1991 Oscars.

According to Premiere journalist Steve Pond, who wrote the book, Madonna lost it when firstly one technician - due to drop a microphone on stage at a specific moment - fell asleep, and then later when the rehearsal had to stop because a camera woman had fallen into the orchestra pit and injured herself.

When told one technician had fallen asleep Madonna responded with "an astonishing profane tirade, despite the fact that the area below the stage was also occupied by a group of children: "Furious, she grabbed [the guy who had told her about the sleeping technician] around the neck and lifted him bodily off the ground, not relinquishing her grip until the trapdoor opened and she began to rise."

When told there would be a delay because on the injured camera woman she reportedly said: "But, she's just lying there. Can't we just do this?"

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50 CENT RETURNS IN MARCH
So, despite the bottling at Reading this year, will 50 Cent be able to reclaim the US music crown from Usher in 2005? Well, we'll see on 7 Mar when the follow up to the multi-platinum 'Get Rich Or Die Tryin' - to be called 'St Valentine's Day Massacre' - hits the record shops. With an early Mar release everyone expects much of the album to surface online in the next few days!

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X FACTOR STEVE SET FOR NUMBER TWO SPOT
Well, as Simon Cowell said at last night's Comedy Awards, X Factor winner Steve Brookstein will enter the charts this weekend at number 2 with his cover of 'Against All Odds'. Number two, of course, is the chart position to aim for at the moment, it not being to done thing to try and beat Band Aid.
Talking of Band Aid - not only is the 'Do They Know It's Christmas' remake at the top of the singles charts, but the charity song is also top of the current ringtone chart. Wonderful.

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LIVE REVIEW: The Tears at Heaven on 16 Dec
"None of you know the songs, which is bizarre," says Brett Anderson. The Tears had played their first gig two nights previous in Oxford, but aside from that this is the first time Anderson has been on stage with Bernard Butler for ten years and they're not performing any of the songs they wrote together in Suede, rather a whole set of new songs, which is deeply weird both for the audience and for the musicians. The vast majority of fans get it and are not expecting to hear Suede songs. When one lone and very loud voice shouts out for 'The Drowners' Anderson admonishes the heckler for "coming to the wrong gig". Expectations are high. It's wonderful to see Anderson and Butler on stage together and after only one song there's a palpable sense of relief; the magic is still there. It's thrilling to hear Brett's vocals once again duelling with Bernard's distinctive guitar sound and the first two songs - 'Brave New Century' and 'Refugees' are glam rock anthems. To no-one's great surprise, the Tears sound like Suede, but more the 'Coming Up' era, rather than when Butler was actually in the band. It's difficult to judge so many new songs on first hearing, but the initial impression is that the stand out tracks were a trio of ballads which Anderson, in particular, has always excelled at; these are 'Apollo', a striking and romantic song, 'The Ghost of You', which receives it's live debut tonight, and the final song 'A Love Strong As Death'), an epic track with Bernard accompanying Brett on piano. The Tears, it seems, are aptly named, capable of inspiring great joy and sadness in the listener in equal measure. JW

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DJ LAWLER ON HIS MEXICAN TRAUMA
DJ / Producer Steve Lawler has said he won't be returning to the Mexican city of Guadalajara after being threatened by club bouncers there, and forced to add an extra hour to his set.
Lawler says: "I had played for 2 hours, and things were going fine, and then the owner of the club wanted me to play a 15 min, techno/ trance record which was about 160 bpm. So, of course, I refused - I knew nothing about this performance and I wasn't about to break up what I had built musically. So they told me to play the record or get off."

Steve's manager Joel Zimmerman continues: "We were very clear to the club promoter and club staff that once Steve was off the decks, and, had player for almost two and a half hours, that we were done and were calling it a night. As we walked out of the club and headed to the car, our party (Steve, his girlfriend and I) were surrounded by ten bouncers from the club and three of the acting club owners. The bouncers started to get physical with myself instructing me to not move and told Steve that he had to go inside immediately. We were then forced to walk back into the club escorted by the bouncers and owners. Steve went back on - still surrounded by bouncers – and played for an additional hour then quietly exited."

Steve concludes: "This was a very scary incident that I never want to find myself in again. I'm sorry for those of you that live there, but I will never again come to Guadalajara, I will however be doing shows in other parts of Mexico, but I will never step foot into that city again. Sorry."

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CROSS CENTRAL NEW YEAR'S EVE XTRAVAGANZA
Well, this is the last proper Daily of the year (it's review of the year time tomorrow - hurrah!), so we better get our New Year's Eve plugs in now. If you're in London then this is our hot tip - the Cross Central event down at Kings Cross. Five interlinking rooms, each hosted by a different group, all filled with very fine music - line up as follows:

Bestival - Rob Da Bank, The Cuban Brothers, Chris Coco, Rodney P & Skitz, Terry Hall [DJ set]

The Boutique - Erol Alkan, DJ Touché, Headman, Insurgents, Annie Mac

The Remix Allstars - The Dub Pistols & Terry Hall live, Damian Lazarus, Eddy Temple-Morris [Xfm], Barry Ashworth, GoHomeProductions, DJ Bert [Boogie Mafia Poland]

Xfm's Flo-Motion- Nick Luscombe [Xfm], Minus 8 [Compost], Dom Servini [Wah Wah / Straight No Chaser], Vincent [Vision Of Sound], Rosie [Kudos]

DJ Magazine - Danny McMillan, Paul Thomas, Carl Loben, Breakin Even, Steelo

Tickets are £30 each from http://www.seetickets.com or http://www.ticketweb.co.uk. Press info from Leyline.

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TRIBAL GATHERING NEW YEAR'S FEST
For those of you in the North West, the big parties in Manchester this New Year will surely be the two Tribal Gathering nights presenting some fine music to 2000 revellers in a secret warehouse location.
On New Years Eve there's Groove Armada plus guests Tom Finlay, Andy Cato, MC MAD, Bongo Jesus and Kryso and Ian Taylor (9pm - 5am, tickets £35). On New Year's day the party continues with a Hacienda Re-Union - Mike Pickering and Graeme Park perform an eight hour set from 6pm to 4am (tickets £20).

You can buy tickets from Sankeys Soap on 0871 910 5200 or the Piccadilly Office on 0161 832 1111 - more info at http://www.tribalgathering.co.uk.

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SCRUFF'S NEW YEAR
Talking of New Years Eve shenanigans in Manchester, and if the Tribal thing isn't your scene, well the delightfully down to earth Mr Scruff will be performing his legendary seven hour set at Keep It Unreal at The Apollo, Ardwick Green, from 9pm to 4am. They'll be the usual capers, including The Teabag Challenge, the largest Mr Scruff visual show yet. Tickets are £25. More at http://www.mrscruff.com

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THE PIMPS' NEW YEAR
Back to London, and The Hoxton Pimps will be found in their "very new secret location" in the Shoreditch triangle on New Year's Eve. On the bill will be the Manuva family feat Lord Gosh (aka Roots Manuva), Ricky Ranking, Lotex, HiFi, Fat Truckers, Attica Blues, Sasha, Jurgen Junker, the underrated Jeremy Newell and - a blast from the past this one - junglist Wax Doctor. Banksy, Oki and Box will be displaying art as well. All takes place from 9pm to 7am - tickets are £18 from http://www.hoxtonpimps.com or 0870 020 1599

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CHRISTMAS EVE CLUB TIP
Those of you in London looking for a Christmas Eve night out should try this. Vigsy's Club tip this week (given that there will be no tips tomorrow) is Metalheadz at Herbal. Head honcho Golders, rocking femme fatale Storm, DJ Randall, and Clarky will all be on hand, while upstairs it will be a six hour mash-up from Freebase and The Mixologists. It'll be a damn good night - Christmas Eve from 10pm to 3am at Herbal on the Kingsland Road. £5 before 9, £6 after.

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US VIEWERS AND THEIR OLYMPIC COMPLAINTS
Finally today, a story that is nothing to do with music, but which allows us to laugh at our American friends, which is always fun.

US media regulator, the FCC, has had to release information of some of the complaints it received regarding NBC's coverage of the Olympics earlier this year.

Among the complaints were two viewers complaining that they had been forced to witness both a female breast and male genitalia during coverage of the Opening Ceremony. Another complaint centred on an NBC reporter referring to American swimmer Amanda Beard as "the sex symbol of the Olympics".

On the 'breast incident', the complainer didn't explain in detail where they saw the female breast during the opening ceremony, but raged thus: "First we had to be subjected to the breast of Janet Jackson in the Superbowl and now an even more gratuitous display of pornography and indecency during what was supposed to be another family viewing event."

On the screening of male genitalia, the complainer helpfully explained: "I am referring to when the giant white mask broke apart into a statue of a nude man"

TV bosses responded to some of the complaints with a genuine confusion as to what the complainers were referring to. Three people complained that NBC aired the word "fuck" during a volleyball match, something the shows 203 million other viewers didn't notice. While no one is sure what caused one outraged viewer to write: "Instead of celebrating the greatness of mankind as represented by the Olympic spirit, [NBC] showed pictures designed to incite lust and immorality - roots of many of the social ills facing our nation today."

So there we go - Happy Holidays.

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