CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 10th January

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Tickets selling fast for Cardiff benefit
- Hong Kong benefit raises millions
- MTV turn Asia awards into fundraiser
- Jacko lawyers push for pre-trial hearings to be private
- Spector grand jury papers released
- Album Review: The Kills - No Wow (Domino)
- BBC execs given guards after Jerry Springer outrage
- Franz Ferdinand hope album two will be a bit different
- Universal still the biggest record company in the world
- SonyBMG update email addresses
- Doors manager dies
- Stereophonics plan intimate gigs

- Noel on new Oasis
- Single Review: Client - Pornography (EMI/Mute/Toast Hawaii)
- Chart update
- Radio 1 announce replacement for Peel slot
- Voting open in Breakspoll
- Glasto to introduce a noise patrol
- Robbie upset at not being recruited for Queen tour

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SAME SIX QUESTIONS: The Breakfastaz

How did you start out making music for a living?
We have been writing tunes together since before we had to make a living, so it was a natural progression when we started taking it more seriously. Our first studio was actually based in shed, then we progressed to an underground bunker, which we are still in now.

What inspired your recent tracks?
Going out to clubs, new technology, bad hangovers and other people's music.

What process do you go through in creating tracks?
Two basic stages, but the first rule of Breakfast club - you never talk about Breakfast club.

Which artists influence your work?
Liberarce, Abba, Elvis Costello, Metallica and David Beckham.

What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Take drugs.

What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Go to the far reaches of the planet and play our music to everyone and anyone we meet.

The Breakfastaz were featured on the Freestyler's Fabric:Live compo which was released last month, will play at Xfm's Remix Night on 21 Jan (more about that tomorrow), and at International Breakbeat Awards next month (more on them below), and are very good thank you very much.

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TICKETS SELLING FAST FOR CARDIFF BENEFIT
Well, things move on fast don't they? Organisers of that Live-Aid style gig in aid of the post-Tsunami relief effort, due to take place next week at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, announced on Friday that Eric Clapton, Lemar, Jools Holland, Feeder and - wait for it - Aled Jones are all on the bill.

Tickets went on sale on Saturday and from what we hear nearly two thirds of the 65,000 tickets on sale have already gone - over 20,000 were sold in the first hour tickets were available on Saturday morning.

With the Manic Street Preachers, Snow Patrol, Embrace and Snow Patrol all added to the bill last night organisers expect a sell out early this week.

Commenting on initial sales over the weekend the stadium's manager, Paul Sergeant, told reporters: "We are over the moon. We have a good line-up, but this shows that people want to come together to pay their respects and mark the tsunami disaster."

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HONG KONG BENEFIT RAISES MILLIONS
The Millennium Stadium gig is one of many music events being held around the world in aid of the post-tsunami relief effort. The Willie Nelson headlined gig in Austin, Texas we reported on last week took place this weekend and raised over $70,000 in ticket sales alone.

But by far the biggest music-based fundraiser so far took place in Hong Kong on Friday night. Over 150 pop stars from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan - including Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung, Chang Hui-mei, Coco Lee, Leon Lai, Gigi Leung and Cecilia Cheung - took part in the seven hour extravaganza at the Hong Kong stadium. Although only 10,000 music fans were in attendance, the event was broadcast by 40 TV stations around the world and organisers say they have raised in excess of $2.4 million so far.

Also taking part in that event was Hollywood action star Jet Li who had been holidaying in the Maldives when the waves hit. Speaking about his first hand experience of the tsunami he told reporters: "The waves came really quickly and formed swirls. I carried my daughters and pulled my maid and ran. When I looked back, everything I saw minutes ago was gone. Everything was surrounded by the ocean. The houses collapsed. I continued to run but the water was already up to my mouth." He eventually found safety in his hotel before a second round of bigger waves hit.

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MTV TURN ASIA AWARDS INTO FUNDRAISER
And talking of supporting the post-tsunami relief effort - MTV have confirmed they are transforming the Asian version of their VMA awards into a fundraising event for the aid agencies working around the Indian Ocean.

The MTV Asia Awards were due to take place at the Impact Arena, Bangkok on 3 Feb. While the awards will still be made, organisers will transform the event into a major benefit under the banner MTV Asia Aid.

Announcing the plans, MTV Networks International President Bill Roedy told reporters: "MTV International is uniquely positioned to help in this recovery. The Asia Aid benefit is part of MTV Networks' wider global response, utilising all of our resources, including our global network, to add to the worldwide response."

Frank Brown, the boss of MTV Networks Asia Pacific, said: "MTV Asia Aid will be the initial focus of MTV Networks Asia's ongoing support of the recovery efforts. MTV Asia Aid will reflect the resilience and the spirit of the people of Asia as we come together to rebuild and look towards the future."

Sharad Sapra of UNICEF, one of the bodies due to benefit from the event, added: "The kind of attention that MTV can bring to the devastation faced by the millions of people affected by the tsunami is invaluable. It is important now, and it will become even more important in the future as the world community joins hands with governments, local communities and families to begin the long and arduous process of reconstruction and recovery."

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JACKO LAWYERS PUSH FOR PRE-TRIAL HEARINGS TO BE PRIVATE
Michael Jackson's lawyers are asking for even more secrecy to surround the looming court case into those child abuse allegations. They want pre-trail hearings, due to take place this week, held out of public view in judge's chambers. They say that any media coverage of those hearings, which will discuss what evidence will be allowed to be presented at the full trial next month, is likely to influence potential jurors before they enter the court room. In a statement Jacko's lawyers said: "The media coverage of this case is unprecedented, and it is certain that anything said in open court will be broadcast to any of the already summoned potential jurorsî.

Jacko's legal people are particularly concerned about the prosecution's plans to present evidence of alleged "prior sexual offences" they claim Jacko has committed. The prosecution say this will demonstrate Jacko has a history of sexually abusing children. The defence say these claims are "inflammatory and unfoundedî and hope to persuade the judge at those pre-trial hearings to stop the prosecution from presenting this evidence in court. However they fear that, even if they are successful in stopping that evidence being presented, if the pre-trial hearing is covered in the media then their client will be damned by those allegations anyway.

The Jacko prosecution probably won't object to the call for privacy, but the singer's lawyers have to fight off lawyer Theodore Bourtrous, who represents a coalition of media organisations who are already mighty pissed off at the scale of the media ban in operation on this case. Confirming he will fight any move to make the pre-trial hearings private, he told reporters this weekend: "The Jackson forces have sought to litigate this trial in secrecy. The standards for closing hearings are extremely high, and they clearly haven't met itî.

Judge Rodney Melville is expected to rule on whether the pre-trial hearings will be public or not later this week.

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SPECTOR GRAND JURY PAPERS RELEASED
Talking of pop stars trying to keep court proceedings against them secret, the Grand Jury papers relating to the Phil Spector murder charges, which the legendary producer's lawyers unsuccessfully tried to keep out of the public arena, have been published. They include a number of witness statements, most prominently one from a police officer who says that when he first spoke to Spector after the shooting of actress Lana Clarkson, the producer told him: "I didn't mean to shoot her. It was an accidentî. Since being accused of Clarkson's murder, of course, Spector has claimed the actress committed suicide.

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Kills - No Wow (Domino)
The way 'No Wow' commences with a hypnotic looped bass drum pattern (from a drum machine that probably cost about £10) suggests this could be the latest album from someone as diametrically opposed to The Kills as, say, Autechre. But as soon as the guitar and vocals of Hotel and VV kick in, we're safely back on familiar, early PJ Harvey, territory. And it's there where the album essentially stays, each song being a perfectly realised nugget of lo-fi scuzzy garage punk rock blues. Mind you, there's a notable post-punk scratchiness about a few tracks ('Love Is A Deserter' and 'Sweet Cloud' particularly, the latter seemingly having pilfered the claustrophobic beats from Joy Division's 'She's Lost Control') and even the odd, possibly misleading, scent of disco. (For those interested in what The Kills would sound like if they invested in a cheap synthesizer, then check out brilliantly adrenaline-charged unsung kindred spirits Kill City). Last track 'Ticket Man', meanwhile, is the kind of authentically ancient deep-south bluesy lament that Moby likes to construct his songs from. Anyway. The whole thing sounds gloriously cheap and dirty, of course, but then this is rock and roll reduced to its basest elements. And it should, thus, be terrible, but it isn't. Like their similarly caustic debut, 'No Wow' is impressively insidious and ruthlessly effective. Not so much a step forward...but more of a snarling, defiant boot in the face of mediocrity everywhere. MS
Release date: 21 Feb
Press contact: Domino IH

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BBC EXECS GIVEN GUARDS AFTER JERRY SPRINGER OUTRAGE
Well, I suppose comedian Stewart Lee, who wrote the lyrics to 'Jerry Springer The Opera', should be pleased really: I didn't realise people could still get this pissed off about a TV show. Reports this morning suggest that the BBC had to employ a security firm to look after two of its senior executives this weekend after the uproar of the unedited TV screening of the Jerry Springer musical went into hyperdrive - among the 50,000 complaints the BBC received before the show had even aired were a number of "threatening" and "abusive" phone calls aimed at BBC2 Controller Roly Keating, and the BBC's Director of Television, Jana Bennett - some coming directly to the BBC execs after the Christian Voice website published their phone numbers.

The BBC stuck to their guns and went ahead with their screening of the West End show, with initial stats suggesting some 1.8 million viewers tuned in, considerably up on the audience achieved by your average televised opera. After the screening a spokesman for the Beeb told reporters: ìWe are pleased that a wider audience has been able to see this important piece of contemporary musical theatreî.

The screening of the show - which caused offense for being both ìobsceneî and ìblasphemousî - got an unprecedented number of complaints. OfCom received more than 7000 complaints - substantially more that the previous record holder for complaints received by a broadcasting watchdog, which was for the TV screening of Martin Scorsese's film 'The Last Temptation of Christ', which scored 1554 complaints back in 1995. However BBC bosses say that the majority of the complaints came by email and followed a standard form letter supplied by the Christian groups who opposed the screening. The high number of complaints was due, they argue, to the fact it is much easier to complain in the internet age.

Stephen Green, the boss of Christian Voice, whose organisation staged peaceful protests against the screening of the show at various BBC offices over the weekend, distanced himself from the threats to BBC executives, but admitted his organisation had been "naive" to publish their home number and said they had been removed when BBC lawyers complained. However, they stand by their decision to try and prosecute the BBC through the courts using the common law offence of blasphemy, which should prove interesting because, while the tabloid press were keen to jump on the bandwagon and damn the show last week, few media organisations like supporting the suppression of freedom of speech through the courts, even when their rivals are in the dock.

No word on whether Paul McCartney can be persuaded to incorporate extracts in his Superbowl show later this year, though the producers of the stage show are cashing in on the controversy by offering ticket discounts to anyone who brings a bible to the box office. Wonderful.

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FRANZ FERDINAND HOPE ALBUM TWO WILL BE A BIT DIFFERENT
Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos has told the Guardian that he hopes to persuade the band's bass player, Bob Hardy, to sing on their new album, which they will begin recording in Mar. Kapranos says one song has been written for Hardy to sing on, though he's not sure the bass player will play ball.

Kapranos: "I used to really love it on the old Beatles records where you had a track that was like, Ringo sings! But he's been refusing to have anything to do with this really stupid idea of mine, so it probably won't make the record."

On the new album, Kapranos says he hopes to do something a little bit different to their eponymously titled debut: "It's exciting to be at this stage, where you've established a certain sound and a particular attitude, but you plan to do something a bit different and move on. I don't understand why more bands don't rise to that challenge. It's not as if people are afraid of bands developing. I don't imagine many Beatles fans complained because 'Revolver' sounded different from 'With The Beatles'."

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UNIVERSAL STILL THE BIGGEST RECORD COMPANY IN THE WORLD
While its French parent company still struggles to overcome its financial meltdown of two years ago, there was good news for the Universal Music Group in the end-of-year sales figures for the US music market. Even if you combine the sales of the recently merged Sony and BMG record companies, Universal was still the biggest record label in 2004.

Universal recorded a 29.59% market share in 2004 according to stats body Neilsen-SoundScan. That is some way ahead of the next biggest selling record company, BMG, which had a 15.20% share of the market last year. Of course, the large difference between the biggest and second biggest record company in the world was one of the key justifications Sony and BMG used to merge. If you combine their sales for last year (they only officially merged half way through) they do come much closer to Universal, though they still fall slightly behind at 28.46%.

Behind the two big players come other major record companies Warner (with a 14.68% share) and EMI (with a 9.91% share). The combined US independent sector scored a 17.36% share.

Also good news for Universal is that their success does not depend on back catalogue. If you take just sales of new music they actually edge even further ahead of SonyBMG - scoring 32.17% over their rival's 29.80%.

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SONYBMG UPDATE EMAIL ADDRESSES
Talking of SonyBMG, which we were, kind of. Well, we're starting to get emails through from Sony people telling us they are switching to songbmg.com email addresses, which I guess means the same switch must be pending over at BMG. So if your email to a Sony or BMG person bounces, you'll know why.

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DOORS MANAGER DIES
Former Doors manager Danny Sugerman has died, aged 50, after a long struggle with lung cancer. Sugerman rose to the role of manager for the Doors after blagging a job in their West Hollywood office answering fan mail. He rose up the hierarchy until he was co-managing the band with Jeff Jampol and The Firm, more recently coordinating the band's archives and back catalogue. After Jim Morrison's death he was involved in a 1981 book about the band, offered fans a further insight through his autobiography 'Wonderland Avenue', and was consulted by Oliver Stone on his 1990 movie 'The Doors'.

Paying tribute to Sugerman, one of the music manager's friends, LA historian/author Harvey Kubernik, told reporters this weekend: "Danny—was a character—who literally gave his literary soul for rock & roll. Besides the books he wrote and assembled documenting the Doors' legacy and audio impact, Danny toiled and passionately worked constantly—for decades on behalf of the band's archives—and influential catalogue—that so many people were—inspired from."

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STEREOPHONICS PLAN INTIMATE GIGS
Stereophonics have announced they will play a handful of intimate gigs ahead of the release of their new album 'Language, Sex, Violence, Other?', which is due on 14 Mar. Speaking to Radio 1, Kelly Jones said the band planned on playing the gigs in as yet to be confirmed smaller venues, later this month.

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NOEL ON NEW OASIS
Talking of big new releases, Noel Gallagher has been talking about the new Oasis album, which is currently scheduled for a 16 May release. He told Radio 1 that the album is the band's best since their early work. All band members - Noel, Liam, guitarist Gem Archer and bassist Andy Bell - have worked on the album which, Noel reckons, is one of the reasons why it is so good.

Noel: "The finished album is my favourite one of the last four. Because we're all contributing to the songwriting there's a different feel to it. In fact the only songs that sound like Oasis are Andy Bell's funnily enough. The most interesting thing will be when you hear Liam's songs. They are very, very good. A song called 'Guess God Thinks I'm Able' - the end 30 seconds will blow you away. It's great."

As for the first single release, well it's still up for debate: "There was an obvious first single but I was singing it. After 12 years of Oasis, Liam thought that might sound a bit odd, people might think he'd left the band. He threw his cans out the pram."

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SINGLE REVIEW: Client - Pornography (EMI/Mute/Toast Hawaii)
Much of the finest electronic music currently out there is being made by female acts - Electrelane, Ladytron and now Client. The duo are officially known as Client A and Client B, but to their friends they are Kate Holmes (ex-Frazier Chorus and Mrs Alan McGee)and Sarah Blackwood (Dubstar). Despite the high profile collaborators on their rather good 'City' album, including Depeche Mode's Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher and two Libertines, they haven't received the attention they deserve. Having employed the vocal duties of Pete Docherty on the flipside of their last single, Client have enlisted his ex-bandmate Carl Barat to co-write and sing on this single. Like the best 80's electro, Client are poppy but edgy. They have a smooth metropolitan sheen but an appealing hint of sleaze and liberal amounts of dark moodiness. Meanwhile the single's lyrics rhyme pornography with monogamy. In all it's a seductive taste of their lap top pop. JW
Release date: 10 Jan
Press contact: Pomona [CP, RP] Mute IH [NP, CR, RR, NR]

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CHART UPDATE
Well done Elvis Presley. Not only did a lot of slightly obsessive fans celebrate your birthday with all kinds of mad events over the weekend, but last night you scored your 19th number one single, helping BMG squeeze just a little more cash out of your back catalogue before it all runs out of copyright (change in copyright law pending, of course). BMG will be hoping that the next Elvis re-release, 'One Night', released today, will top the single charts next weekend, giving Elvis both his twentieth British number one and the 1000th UK chart topper ever.

Actually, at first glance it would quite hard to date this week's top five - what with Elvis being at 1, Iron Maiden at 3 and Erasure at 4. Though only in 2005 would you find the Scissor Sister's fantastic 'Filthy/Glorious' at number five, and new entries from Kasabian (at 8) and Interpol (at 18) - and that's why 2005 is gonna be so great.

Albums wise, and the post-Christmas record shoppers (perhaps influenced by up coming single releases) have pushed three of 2004's best albums into the top three - Scissor Sisters at 1, The Killers at 2 and Green Day at 3. New entries wise - erm - none. Well, it is early in the year still.

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RADIO 1 ANNOUNCE REPLACEMENT FOR PEEL SLOT
Radio 1 will fill the 11pm-1am slot that used to host John Peel's show with a new strand called OneMusic - a new music show with a different presenter each night. The aim is to create a show which doesn't try to replace Peel (that being more or less impossible), but which maintains his passion - championing diverse, unpredictable and non-commercial new music.

The three presenters of OneMusic will be Huw Stephens (Tuesdays), Ras Kwame (Wednesday) and Rod Da Bank (Thursdays), each bringing an equally knowledge of music, but with a specific focus on slightly different genres of music.

Commenting on the new strand, which will kick off on 1 Feb, Radio 1 boss Andy Parfitt told reporters: "As a DJ John Peel was unique. Supporting new music and seeking out the unusual was at the heart of what John was about. We have spent a long time debating how best to continue John's work and believe that by having a series of DJs hosting a selection of shows under the One Music title, we will ensure that his legacy lives on."

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VOTING OPEN IN BREAKSPOLL
Voting has opened for the annual International Breakbeat Awards, which will take place on 24 Feb at Fabric, London. Full details of how to vote are at http://breakspoll.com, as is details of the storming awards party which will feature something close to a who's who of breaks - that's no less than the Plump DJs vs Stanton Warriors, Rennie Pilgrem & BLIM (ft MC Chickaboo), Freestylers vs Deekline, Krafty Kuts vs Atomic Hooligan, Meat Katie vs Elite Force, DJ Hyper vs Danny Mcmillan, Soul of Man vs Lee Coombs, Evil 9 (live), Atomic Hooligan (live), Si Begg vs Kosmikneil, Tayo vs Ali B, Jay Cunning vs Will Saul, Splitloop (live), Santos vs Madox, NAPT & The Breakfastaz (ft MC Ken Mac), Son of the Electric Ghost (live), Kraymon (Dex n FX), Lawgiverz (live), Influenza (Dex n FX), LBJ (live), Steelzawheelz vs Western allstars.

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GLASTO TO INTRODUCE A NOISE PATROL
The Glastonbury Festival have promised to provide noise patrols to monitor noise levels in the village nearest to the festival site this summer. They will be hoping the move will overcome any possible opposition to the granting of a licence for the 2005 festival, due to take place from 24-26 Jun.

Mean Fiddler's Melvin Benn, who coordinates the operations of Glastonbury, told reporters: "In 2002 and 2003 we had no real issues with noise but in 2004 we had some issues in and around the village of Pilton. We dealt with it very well, but in a reactive manner. This year we are going to deal with it in a proactive manner and have a number of stewards in the village just walking around outside, basically listening for noise nuisance. They will be able to report back if they hear anything so we can address it before anyone complains."

Organisers say that, despite noise concerns, the festival will remain an all-nighter event, with the Lost Vagueness area staying open 24 hours a day throughout the festival. However, they confirmed the Glade stage would be moved into a new dance area as part of their noise reduction efforts.

Of course, the Glastonbury Festival has a history of struggling to secure its licence from the local council who frequently find new issues with the staging of such a major music event in a very rural setting. That said, the licence application process has gone much more smoothly since Mean Fiddler got involved. While organisers are reacting to isolated complaints in 2004, it is not certain external noise levels will be a major issue when the festival's licence is considered. It is likely the noise reduction plans are a preemptive move by Mean Fiddler just in case councilors were considering objecting to the festival on noise level grounds.

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ROBBIE UPSET AT NOT BEING RECRUITED FOR QUEEN TOUR
Rumour has it Robbie Williams is upset that he wasn't chosen as lead singer on the forthcoming Queen tour. As previously reported, former Free singer Paul Rodgers will front the band when they tour later this year. Concert.com quotes Robbie as saying: "I'd have killed for a chance to sing with those guys backing me. How cool would that have been? I sang We are the Champions for a movie soundtrack and the band said I did a good job."

But Queen bassist John Deacon is quoted as responding: "I don't want to be nasty, but Robbie is no Freddie Mercury. Freddie can never be replaced - and certainly not by him".

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