CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 7th January

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In today's CMU Daily:
- U2 postpone tour
- James Brown sued over rape allegations
- US record sales up
- UK sales up too
- Stars donate tracks from iTunes 46664 fundraiser
- iTunes arrives in Ireland
- Music fan sues Apple for forcing him to buy an iPod
- Sony and Microsoft partnership a possibility
- Rejig at top of EMI publishing
- Bravery top BBC's 2005 tips poll
- Johnny Ramone statue to be unveiled in LA
- Pete Waterman's son dies
- Bez favourite to win celeb Big Brother
- Spector lawyers fail to block document release
- DJs plan tsunami dance aid event in Thailand
- Muse keen to session new material with fans
- Laurent Garnier dates
- Idlewild tour
- The Charlatans sign to Sanctuary
- Britney wants to make peace with Christina
- Timberlake and Diaz engaged?
- Ms Simpson sues jewelry firm

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CMU FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Fabric Live at Fabric
This superclub went from strength to strength with their Friday nights last year, and this year that looks likely to continue. Kicking off 2005 will be three rooms of madness... In room one there's DJ Craze doing hip hop with the Scratch Perverts feat Dynamite MC, Ninja's Herbaliser and Blade live. The beats room sees d and b damagers Dillinja & Lemon D (riding high after their recent Spectrum compilation) alongside the likes of Randall and the wicked Friction, with the smaller room hosting the (somewhat overhyped in my opinion) Ladytron lot DJing alongside Bones & Ramsey. All in all, a good way to get the New Year going.

Fri 7 Jan. Fabric, 77a Charterhouse Street, Farringdon. London EC1M 3HN, 9.30pm-5.30am, £12/10 (NUS), tickets: 08709 020 001 or www.fabriclondon.com/press

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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U2 POSTPONE TOUR
Well, even if that unofficial U2 tour itinerary published on the web last week was accurate, it is now out of date, because the band yesterday announced it was postponing the start of their tour because of family illness. The tour was due to kick off on 1 Mar in Miami - it is now not clear when the tour will get under way.

The band will, however, still play at the Grammys next month, and at their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in New York on 14 Mar. That would suggest they will also go ahead with their planned performance at this year's Brit Awards too.

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JAMES BROWN SUED OVER RAPE ALLEGATIONS
James Brown is being sued by a former employee who alleges the soul legend raped her in 1988. Jacque Hollander, who worked as a PR assistant for the singer, claims Brown forced her to undress at gunpoint in the back of a van before raping and physically abusing her. She is suing for $100 million, mainly to compensate for a neurological disorder she claims she suffered after her "rape and torture". Hollander's lawyers say she did attempt to press criminal charges against Brown at the time, because she feared the repercussions.

Needless to say, Brown's people denied the allegations, saying they were "absurd" and didn't "warrant any comment".

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US RECORD SALES UP
Record sale counters Nielsen Soundscan have confirmed CD sales rose by 2.4% in the US last year - the first rise in four years. This rise was despite the increasing popularity of legal download sales.

The figures show that the CD format still accounts for 98% of the 666 million albums sold in the US in 2004 - 140 million digital tracks were legally downloaded last year which, they reckon, is equivalent to 14 million albums.

Needless to say, Usher was the biggest selling artist of the year shifting eight million units of his album 'Confessions'. Other top sellers included Norah Jones, Eminem and country stars Kenny Chesney and Gretchen Wilson.

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UK SALES UP TOO
Similar good news over here with new figures released by the BPI showing album sales were at an new all time high in 2004. UK retailers sold 163.4 million albums last year, a 2.6% increase on 2003's previous all-time high of 159.3 million. Among the artists who helped fuel this rise in music sales are Keane, Snow Patrol, U2, Scissor Sisters, Maroon 5, Katie Melua, Il Divo, Usher, The Streets and Eminem - so hurrah for them.
And while single sales continued to decline, the arrival of legal downloads in the UK have boosted sales of single tracks. Some 5.7 million tracks were sold through legal download services in 2004, and such was the boost in download sales around Christmas that last week, for the first time, download sales surpassed single sales.
Commenting on the new figures, BPI boss Peter Jamieson told CMU: "These figures show that the investment by UK record companies in new British music is paying off. Despite huge competition for consumer spending and the ever-present threat of piracy, music is more popular than ever with the British public. And with the public's fast-growing appetite for downloads, the future looks bright for the single."

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STARS DONATE TRACKS FROM ITUNES 46664 FUNDRAISER
Paul McCartney, Queen, Dave Stewart, Jimmy Cliff and Sting are among the artists who have recorded exclusive tracks that will be sold by iTunes in aid of Nelson Mandela's 46664 Campaign. Profits from the tracks will go to Nelson Mandela's campaign to tackle the AIDS epidemic in Africa. As previously reported, another fundraising 46664 benefit concert will be held in Mar.

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ITUNES ARRIVES IN IRELAND
Talking of iTunes, Apple's download service has arrived in Ireland - which is good news for, well, Irish iPod owners I guess. As with the iTunes services on mainland Europe, music fans will be able to download tracks from Apple's 700,000 track library for 99 eurocents each.

The store will launch with exclusive offers from Damien Rice, The Thrills, The Pogues and The Corrs though, strangely, not Ireland's biggest music export and Apple's best music mates U2.

The Irish store means iTunes is now operating in 15 territories - insiders reckon Australia is next.

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MUSIC FAN SUES APPLE FOR FORCING HIM TO BUY AN IPOD
America's litigation culture may be insane, but it does occasionally deliver amusing stories. A music fan in the US is suing Apple for 'forcing' him to buy an iPod. One Thomas Slattery of San Jose claims the computer firm forced him into buying the digital music device because it is the only player that will work with his download platform of choice - iTunes - and he is suing them accordingly on the grounds that they are conducting anti-competitive business practices. According to Reuters the lawsuit claims: "Apple has unlawfully bundled, tied, and/or leveraged its monopoly in the market for the sale of legal online digital music recordings to thwart competition in the separate market for portable hard drive digital music players". Few expect the lawsuit to be successful (surely he'd have a stronger case for saying his iPod forced him to buy music from iTunes rather that the other way round), but it should be an interesting case.

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SONY AND MICROSOFT PARTNERSHIP A POSSIBILITY
Talking about people who don't like Apple Computers, rumour has it that Microsoft and Sony might combine their efforts in a bid to compete in the digital music space because, well, there's nothing like a common enemy to bring people together. Those rumours seem to come from a Bill Gates interview in the Wall Street Journal in which the Micosoft boss said that his company and Sony have "a lot of incentive to work together", specifically referencing some kind of combined digital music play. Sony haven't commented on the rumours, though gossipers wonder if such a partnership might be part of the aggressive attack on Apple's dominance in the market that Sony bosses are said to be preparing.

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REJIG AT TOP OF EMI PUBLISHING
To the never-dull world of music publishing now, and news that the Chairman and CEO of EMI Music Publishing - Martin Bandier - has renewed his contract with the major until Mar 2008. The company's CFO Roger Faxon will also be promoted to the new position of President and COO, with the intention of him taking over from Bandier in the top job in three years time (actually, the plan is for Faxon to slowly take on aspects of Bandier's job over the next three years - if all goes to plan he will actually take on the CEO title in 2007). Word has it BSkyB CFO Martin Stewart will replace Faxon.

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BRAVERY TOP BBC'S 2005 TIPS POLL
New York's The Bravery have topped BBC News Online's survey to find the Sound of 2005 - i.e., the band that music pundits reckon will be big in 2005. Given that the same survey last year predicted big things for Keane, Franz Ferdinand, Razorlight, Joss Stone, McFly, Scissor Sisters and The Ordinary Boys, topping the new poll should give the Bravery boys a certain amount of confidence.

This year's full top ten looks a little bit like this:

1. The Bravery
2. Bloc Party
3. Kano
4. The Game
5. Kaiser Chiefs
6. KT Tunstall
7. The Dead 60s
8. The Dears
9. Tom Vek
10. The Magic Numbers

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JOHNNY RAMONE STATUE TO BE UNVEILED IN LA
New York gave Joey Ramone a street, now LA will give Johnny Ramone a statue. The statue will be unveiled at a public ceremony at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in LA on Thursday (14 Jan), not far from where bandmate Dee Dee is buried. Johnny's widow Linda will be present, and a number of friends will pay tribute to the legendary punk guitarist. Let's hope plenty of friends do show up because the statue is engraved with the Johnny Ramone quote - "If a man can judge success by how many great friends he has, then I have been very successful". Needless to say, the statue shows Johnny playing his Mosrite guitar.

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PETE WATERMAN'S SON DIES
Pete Waterman has confirmed that his 33 year old son has died from an unspecified "serious illness". Paul Waterman, who worked for his father's music company PWL, died at the start of the week. A message on Pete's website reads: "On January 3, 2005, Paul peacefully passed away after a serious illness which had kept him in hospital since June. We would like to thank everyone for their kind regards and sympathies and we hope that you will leave us to grieve our loss in private."

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BEZ FAVOURITE TO WIN CELEB BIG BROTHER
Well, Blazin Squad's Kenzie, former Radio 1 DJ Lisa I'Anson and the legendary Bez represent the music space in the latest installment of Celebrity Big Brother which kicked off last night.

The celebrity version of Big Brother was axed by former Channel 4 boss Mark Thompson, but with him busy axing jobs at the Beeb now, and with the continued popularity of ITV's I'm A Celeb show, the format has been resurrected. Channel 4 actually managed to keep the lid on the identities of many of the minor celebrities in the house this time until the last minute this time, with the biggest surprise probably being Germaine Greer.

Former Happy Monday's dancer Bez - aside from providing an interesting challenge for those responsible for censoring the language used on live daytime coverage of the Big Brother house - is currently favourite to win at 2-1, followed by former Holby City / Hollyoaks actor Jeremy Edwards at 4-1 and Blazin Kenzie at 5-1.

On their decision to make Bez the favourite a Ladbrokes spokesman told reporters last night: "Bookies aren't raving mad to make Bez favourite to win. He's likely to be the most unpredictable housemate but he has a cult following that could bring him victory."

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SPECTOR LAWYERS FAIL TO BLOCK DOCUMENT RELEASE
Lawyers for Phil Spector have failed in their first attempt to stop transcripts from a grand jury investigation into their client's murder charges from being made public. California's appeal courts backed an earlier court ruling that Spector would not be denied a fair trial by releasing the documents. Spector's legal team are now excepted to take the case to the state's Supreme Court.

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DJS PLAN TSUNAMI DANCE AID EVENT IN THAILAND
A string of DJs hope to raise funds for the ongoing post-tsunami relief effort, and at the same time demonstrate that Thailand's tourist industry is still operational, with a special fundraising all-nighter in the Thai resort of Bophut next Wednesday night. The event will take place at Gecko on Bophut Beach and will feature a string of DJs from around the world, including Brandon Block, Clive Henry (Peace Division), Gee Moore (Bora Bora), Hoxton Whores, Jo Mills (DC10), Lisa Loud, Luke Carr (Kakabu), Nightmares on Wax, Oliver Lang (Bora Bora), Phat Phil Cooper, Rob Roar (Max Linen), Shovell (M People), Smokin Jo (NDSM) and Tim Sheridan (NDSM).

While the initial monies raised will, of course, help in the short term, organizers are keen to ensure the disaster does not destroy the tourist industry on which many of the effected areas depend on. A spokesman for the event told CMU: "This event is not only for raising money for the people directly affected by the disaster, but to raise awareness that Thailand is NOT a barren country. The east coast of the country is still a thriving tourist destination. People need to understand that Thailand needs tourism now more than ever. It is hoped that hosting an event such as the Tsunami Dance Aid will raise awareness of this situation".

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MUSE KEEN TO SESSION NEW MATERIAL WITH FANS
Muse, who are about to start work on a follow up to 2003's 'Absolution', are considering finding an intimate venue in London where they can session new tracks in front of a small audience of dedicated fans. The band's Matt Bellamy told NME: "What I'd love to do is get a little space in London, like a kind of thing where we can do private gigs to rehearse the songs before we record them. I think that's a good vibe - getting people on message boards to come, so you get the pressure of a gig. As soon as you play a song in a gig situation you really work out. It really changes your whole concept."

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LAURENT GARNIER DATES
Laurent Garnier has announced three UK DJ dates later this month to promote new album 'The Cloud Making Machine', which will be released via F-Com and PIAS on 24 Jan. Dates as follows:

28 Jan: The Arches, Glasgow
29 Jan: Shine, Belfast
5 Feb: The End, London

Press info from PIAS.

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IDLEWILD TOUR
Elsewhere in tour news, Idlewild will be playing tracks from their new album (due in Mar) for the first time at four acoustic dates later this month. Dates as follows:
22 Jan: Glasgow RAMDA Concert Hall
23 Jan: Manchester RNCM
25 Jan: Bristol St Georges
26 Jan: London Shaw Theatre

A full tour is due to follow in the Spring.

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THE CHARLATANS SIGN TO SANCTUARY
The Charlatans have signed a new record deal with Sanctuary Records who will globally release the band's new album later this year. Announcing the deal Joe Cokell, CEO of Sanctuary Recorded Music Worldwide, told reporters: "The Charlatans are one of the key influential British bands of the past decade who have combined critical acclaim with strong album sales, backed up by sell out live performances to a dedicated fanbase. I am delighted to welcome the band to Sanctuary and look forward to working with the guys and management on their first Sanctuary release."

The Charlatans have given fans a taste of the new album with a download only track - 'Alles Klar' - which can be downloaded from http://www.thecharlatans.net.

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BRITNEY WANTS TO MAKE PEACE WITH CHRISTINA
Britney Spears has written to Christian Aguilera in a bid to end their public rift (most recently Christina told reporters that Britney's engagement ring looked like it had been bought off QVC). A statement on Spears' website reveals: "Britney would love to be close with Christina again. In fact, Britney recently wrote Christina a letter telling her how happy and beautiful Christina looks lately."

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TIMBERLAKE AND DIAZ ENGAGED?
No comment on Britney's website as yet to reports that her ex, Mr Justin Timberlake, and his new woman, Cameron Diaz, have got engaged. Rumour has it Timberlake proposed over the festive period, and Ms Diaz is now wearing a huge diamond ring on her engagement finger. No word either on which shopping channel Christina thinks Justin bought it from.

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MS SIMPSON SUES JEWELRY FIRM
Talking of, erm, pop stars and jewelry, Jessica Simpson is suing a California jeweler for illegally using her image in their adverts. Ms Simpson says she never gave bosses of jewelry firm Inspired Silver permission to use her image on internet commercials. Inspired Silver are yet to comment - probably because they're too busy flogging their Britney Spears 'wedding set' ring, which gives music fans to the chance to buy their own bit of QVC-esque crap for just thirty quid. Bargain.

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