CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 17th January

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Young Buck pleads not guilty to Vibe stabbing charges
- Afroman issues cease and desist against imposter
- Love gets back custody rights
- Elvis sets British chart history
- Chart update
- Single Review: David Wrench - Sodium Lights
- Knife night
- Glasswerk champion new music through London shows
- Mia and Manuva tour
- The Others added to NME London shows
- Connect sell downloads from US tsunami fundraiser
- Tsunami aid: Liverpool night
- Tsunami aid: Massive Attack / Portishead
- Tsunami aid: 21st Century Drum N Bass Night
- Tsunami aid: DiS night
- Bollywood fundraiser
- Radio Aid up and running
- Album Review: Erasure - Nightbird
- Sanctuary plan Fall Peel session collection
- First Fightstar gig well received
- Who the hell is Matt Willis?
- Apple sue secret revealing website
- Kazaa usage down
- Ray performance wins Golden Globe
- Latifah to host Grammys
- Robbie catalogue to be deleted

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SIX QUESTIONS: Soul Central

How did you start out making music for a living?
Andy hosted the pre-release showcase on Galaxy radio and is a Soul Heaven resident. Paul Timothy also comes from a dee jay background but has done live work playing electric piano and guitar.

What inspired your latest release?
We chose 'The Strings of Life' as Tim knew how to play it. It was our first project together and kicked off our career as Soul Central. It actually took off four years ago and we had the support of the likes of Frankie Knuckles behind the track. When the tune kicks in and cycles, it doesn't seem to have a beginning or an end, it's neither happy or sad ... those are the strings of life!

What process do you go through in creating a track?
Without getting too technical, the most important thing is to keep the track fresh by keeping the energy levels up, if you're not inspired that day leave it and come back and re-energise it later...

What artists influence your work?
As well as all the Housemasters, Knuckles, Maw and Danny Krivit, before that I was brought up on jazz - John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Sarah Vaughn. Then at a very young age I started buying records - reggae, sound system, rock, punk, funk, soul, electro, hip hop, house, you name it. I can listen to Joni Mitchell and Coltrane until the cows come home.

What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Keep your ass on that dancefloor!

What are your ambitions for the future?
We have just done a remix for Estelle which is out soon, and we have lots of tracks nearly finished for the Miami Winter Music Conference. It's at MWC that your tracks break or flop. When we all get a minute, Soul Central and Kathy Brown wanna do some more work, and I wanna hook up with my writing partner Jaqui Williams too.

Soul Central's 'Strings Of Life' is out now on Defected Records - press info from Phuturetrax.

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YOUNG BUCK PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO VIBE STABBING CHARGES
Both participants in the fracas at last year's US Vibe Awards have pleaded not-guilty to their respective charges. G-Unit rapper Young Buck, real name David Darnell Brown, is accused of stabbing one Jimmy James Johnson at the awards. The stabbing was seemingly in response to Johnson allegedly punching Aftermath records boss Dr Dre, who was at the event to receive a lifetime achievement award.

Last Monday Johnson pleaded not-guilty to his assault charges - charges which, because of past convictions, could leave him with a life prison sentence. Then, on Friday, Brown also pleaded not-guilty to the charges relating to the stabbing of Johnson. He is now due back in court on 18 Feb when a date will be set for a pre-trial hearing to decide if there is enough evidence to proceed with the case.

Meanwhile hip hop mogul and long time Dr Dre rival Suge Knight is once again under investigation over his alleged role in the Vibe Awards fracas. Immediately after the incident rumour had it Knight, who was also at the awards event, had put Johnson up to attacking Dr Dre. Despite an instant denial by the Deathrow Records boss the same rumours resurfaced a few weeks later, and now reports suggest that Johnson himself has told police Knight promised to pay him $5000 and to drop debts owed by his brother if he assaulted Dre.

Needless to say, Knight's lawyer has again denied the allegations, stating "there is absolutely no truth to it. I am so confident that there is no issue", with Knight himself telling reporters: 'One thing about me, if I do something wrong, I claim it."

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AFROMAN ISSUES CEASE AND DESIST AGAINST IMPOSTER
Afroman, perhaps best known for his hit 'Because I Got High', has issued a 'cease-and-desist' letter on performer Dol Re and his booking agency RS Entertainment because he is allegedly performing up and down the US West Coast as Afroman.

Describing Dol Re as 'that certain parasite", the real Afroman (real name Joseph Foreman) told reporters last week: "Dol Re is a talented impersonator. He's good at what he does. I wish him success. If he ever gets to the point where he can't make money impersonating me as Afroman, maybe he can make money as Dol Re, the guy who impersonated and ripped off Afroman".

Foreman's lawyers, Jay M. Coggan & Associates, have now given Dol Re until 5 Mar to stop using the 'Afroman' name, or identifying himself as Afroman in any way.

Despite being clearly annoyed at another performer trading off his fame, Foreman remained light hearted telling reporters he would have done something about Dol Re earlier but he didn't 'because he got high."

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LOVE GETS BACK CUSTODY RIGHTS
Courtney Love's lawyer has confirmed the singer has regained full custody of her daughter Frances Bean. As previously reported, Love lost custody of her and late Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain's daughter back in 2003 after overdosing on painkillers. Frances Bean has been cared for by Love's stepfather and sister, but has been seeing her mother on a daily basis. A judge ruled that the singer could care for the 12 year old on a fulltime basis again last week.

In a statement Love told reporters: "Life is about choices, and I've chosen to move forward with my life in a healthy and positive way," adding that she appreciated "the encouragement and support I've received from my fans and the community".
Love, of course, still awaits trials on a number of outstanding cases, including two drug charges and allegations she attacked musician Kristin King after she found her sleeping on an ex-boyfriend's couch.

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ELVIS SETS BRITISH CHART HISTORY
As expected, Elvis Presley set UK chart history again last night by scoring the 1000th number one in British chart history with his twentieth chart topper - a re-release of 'One Night'.

BMG are, of course, in the process of re-releasing 18 Elvis singles to celebrate what would have been the King's 70th birthday (and also recognizing the fact that, unless there is a change in European copyright law, many Elvis recordings will soon be out of copyright in the UK).

As BMG put the Elvis singles into the release schedule it soon became apparent their was a chance that one of them would be the 1000th number one since the British singles chart was launched in 1952. This was perhaps apt given that Elvis has had more number one records in the UK that any other artist - the Beatles managed 17.

There is now speculation that Elvis will dominate the top spot in the singles chart every week for the next few months as BMG proceed with their re-release plans. Bookmakers Ladbrokes said they were now offering only 10:1 odds on that happening. They told reporters this weekend: "Bookmakers certainly don't underestimate the power of the King and his fans. When we first looked at the chances of Elvis scoring 18 number ones in a row we thought it would be very unlikely but when you consider that singles sales are so woefully low you certainly cannot rule it out."

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CHART UPDATE
Talking of the charts, and what I believe could be referred to as a plethora of new entries in this week's singles top forty (I think I counted sixteen). In addition to Elvis at the top, we've got the Manic's 'Empty Souls' at two, The Killer's 'Somebody Told Me' at 3, Rooster's 'Staring At The Sun' at 5, Soul Central feat Kathy Brown's 'Strings Of Life' at 6, Darius' 'Live Twice' at 7, Pop's 'Serious' at 16, Thirteen Senses' 'Thru The Glass' at 18, The Music's 'Breakin' at 20, Client's 'Pornography' at 22, Kings Of Leon's 'Four Kicks' at 24, Roni Size ft Beverly Knight's 'No More' at 26, Narcotic Thrust's 'When The Dawn Breaks at 28, Longview's 'Coming Down' at 32, Jamie Scott's 'Searching' at 33 and Pink Grease's 'Strip' at 36 - phew.

Fortunately no new entries in the album chart - which saves me typing them in. The Killers and Scissor Sisters swap positions at the top, while Kasabian moves back up the chart, perhaps helped by those Brit nominations.

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SINGLE REVIEW: David Wrench - Sodium Lights (Storm Music)
He's not your average singer-songwriter, is David Wrench. For starters he's a six foot five albino Welshman (with Viking origins) who wears lots of white leather. He sings a bit like Jarvis Cocker with a cold, but his music isn't as unpleasant as that sounds, being full of ultra-camp, yet politicised, electronic fun. 'Sodium Lights' may sound suspiciously like a rejected Suede or Rialto song-title, but luckily it's an impassioned blast of bittersweet pop, akin to the Pet Shop Boys pumped full of British Sea Power (ahem). It's got the sort of cheekiness about it recently seen in the likes of GLC and Scissor Sisters, yet the song never grates. Whether the world is ready for yet more eccentricity in the charts remains to be seen, but if you like your music full of drama, perversity and intelligence and purveyed by people who look like 'proper' pop stars, then you're on to a winner. Feel the glow. MS
Release date: 7 Feb
Press contact: Southern PR

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KNIFE NIGHT
Live music now, and Rabid Records are presenting a special night with buzz band The Knife at the ICA on 8 Feb. There will be a live performance by the band, plus DJ sets from Rex The Dog and the Knife's Olof Dreijer. More info at http://www.theknife.net. Press info from Darling Dept.

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GLASSWERK CHAMPION NEW MUSIC THROUGH LONDON SHOWS
Music website Glasswerk has teamed up with Xfm to stage a four night festival of new music at Highbury Garage from 15 - 18 Feb. It seems fair to say the line up speaks for itself, so here it is:

15 Feb: Three Children Of Fortune, Mohair, Cujo, Delta Chi
16 Feb: Ambershades, The Revs, Drinkme, Charakka
17 Feb: Holiday Plan, Die So Fluid, Blind Jackson, Overdrawn
18 Feb: Dogs Die In Hot Cars, Haven, Fans Of Kate
18 Feb (upstairs): Steranko, Second Sun plus special guests.

More info at http://www.glasswerk.co.uk

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MIA AND MANUVA TOUR
Isn't it nice when one of your favourite discoveries of 2004 heads out on the road with one of your favourite acts of - well - a long time now. Well, MIA has been confirmed as support for Roots Manuva at the following dates, hurrah.

23 Feb: Gateshead The Sage
24 Feb: Leeds Metropolitan University
25 Feb: Manchester Academy
26 Feb: Birmingham Carling Academy
27 Feb: Glasgow Arches
1 Mar: Cambridge Junction
2 Mar: Bristol Carling Academy
3 Mar: Brighton Concorde 2
4 Mar: London Carling Academy Brixton

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THE OTHERS ADDED TO NME LONDON SHOWS
More live news, and The Others have been confirmed as the support act for The Ordinary Boys headlined night at the NME Awards Shows season at the London Astoria next month. They join a bill already featuring support from Eastern Lane and The Subways. So now you know.

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CONNECT SELL DOWNLOADS FROM US TSUNAMI FUNDRAISER
The US version of Sony Connect are selling downloads of live performances from this weekend's US TV tsunami-aid fundraiser - which was called 'Tsunami Aid: A Concert Of Hope' (oh dear). Available for download are tracks by the likes of Maroon 5, Elton John, Brian Wilson, Gloria Estefan, Nelly, Eric Clapton, Norah Jones and Mary J Blige - obviously all money raised will go to the American Red Cross International Response Fund.

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TSUNAMI AID: LIVERPOOL NIGHT
Talking of fundraisers in aid of the post-tsunami relief effort - well, we've got loads of them this morning. First up Mel C has been confirmed as being on the bill for a fundraiser event in Liverpool. She will join Gerry Marsden, Pete Wylie, writer Alan Bleasdale and others at a benefit event at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on 11 Feb.

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TSUNAMI AID: MASSIVE ATTACK / PORTISHEAD
The following week Massive Attack and Portishead will top the bill for an unplugged concert at the Bristol Academy in aid of the relief effort. The event, taking place on 19 Feb, is being organised to specifically aid Oxfam's work in the areas affected by the tsunami.

Ben Littlejohn, who is coordinating the charity's involvement in the fundraising events, told reporters this weekend: 'The line up already looks phenomenal and more acts will be added in the coming days. The guys from Massive Attack and Portishead have done a fantastic job in pulling all this together. Not only will the concerts help Oxfam raise funds for our life-saving work in Asia, they will also help people understand the underlying causes of poverty, and give them ideas as to how they can make a difference."

The live gig will be preceded by a DJ led fundraiser at the same venue on 12 Feb featuring Aspects (live), Babyhead (live), Boca 45 (Grand Central), Daddy G (Massive Attack), Geoff Barrow (Portishead) John Stapleton (BlowPop) and Stereo 8 (Fingerlickin').

More info on both at http://www.crisisinasia.com

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TSUNAMI AID: 21ST CENTURY DRUM N BASS NIGHT
Talking of DJs raising cash for the relief effort, organisers of the next installment of 21st Century Drum n Bass at London's Turnmills have confirmed all proceeds from the night will go the tsunami-aid appeal. Taking place on 10 Feb that night will include DJ sets from Grooverider (Radio 1 / Prototype), D-Bridge, Cyantific (Hospital), Tendai and T1, plus MC appearances from GQ, Fats, Stirlin and Manikular.

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TSUNAMI AID: DIS NIGHT
And before all that, Drowned In Sound will be donating the profits from their forthcoming night at the Marquee (on 24 Jan) to the post-tsunami relief fund. That night is being curated by producer-extraordinaire Paul Epworth (who has been producing for the likes of Bloc Party, Futureheads and The Streets) and will feature Kano, Battle, Paul himself and other special guests. Entry is £6, to reserve your tickets email your name and number to epworth@drownedinsound.com.

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BOLLYWOOD FUNDRAISER
Next up, and some of Bollywood's biggest singers are joining forces to record a single to aid those effected by the tsunami in India, where 16,000 people are dead or missing following the tsunami.

Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan and Shaan are among those who will appear on the charity record - 'Zindagi Pukaarti Hai (Life Beckons)', which has been written by lyricist Javed Akhtar.

Akhtar told reporters: "The song is about keeping a positive outlook to life and calls on people to help society at large. The sales and distribution details are being finalised and after this the music video and CDs will be released. We will work on related projects with other Bollywood artists wherever we feel more funds could be raised".

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RADIO AID UP AND RUNNING
And finally, as you read this, the UK radio industry is doing its bit for the tsunami-aid appeal with UK Radio Aid - the first ever radio event to take over the airwaves of radio stations right across the UK.

Chris Evans, Davina McCall, Zoe Ball, Johnny Vaughan, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Lisa Tarbuck, Mark Goodier and Simon Bates are all on the list of people set to present during the day, plus Jamelia, Bryan Adams, David Gray, Ronan Keating, Jamie Cullum and Melanie C are all expected to sing live.

Current estimates are that the event might raise in excess of £7 million, which would be a great achievement for all involved. We should all support the appeal with a donation of course, but, if like me, the idea of an all day radiothon sounds like your idea of hellish listening you'd better boot up the old MP3 collection because nearly ever commercial radio station in the country will be broadcasting it!

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ALBUM REVIEW: Erasure - Nightbird (Mute)
Erasure have been a genius singles band for most of their career, but their albums are often patchy affairs. The press release for this one promises more of an upbeat collection than the moody sobriety of their last few albums, but you wouldn't know it to begin with. Three of the first four songs are stately, albeit gorgeously melancholy electro ballads, epitomising Erasure at their best. No more so than on lush single 'Breathe' which, with its soulful Andy Bell vocals and layers of pristine techno minimalism, is a synth-pop torch song with all the melodic hallmarks of the duo at their most gloriously affecting. Musically 'Nightbird' doesn't deviate from the trajectory they've been following for the last fifteen years. The occasional pulsing bass-line or the fiery 'Love To Hate You' synths of 'All This Time Still Falling Out Of Love' sound like they might have briefly absorbed some electroclash across a crowded, mulletted dancefloor, but then Vince Clarke did essentially invent the genre, and not once but twice - firstly with Depeche Mode in 1981, and again ten years later on the fizzy analogue-fest that was Erasure's 'Chorus' (still probably their finest album). It's not until the trancey 'I'll Be There' that the album blossoms into a truly happy one, but whatever the mood the songs remain anthemic and suggest a confident, revitalised duo totally at ease with themselves and their music. (Indeed, although the title might suggest otherwise, final track 'I Bet You're Mad At Me' has an additional degree of closure about it; the chiming middle eight sounding like a beautiful catharsis). It's unlikely to sell to many people beyond their committed fan-base, but nonetheless 'Nightbird' remains unexpectedly sublime; a dignified example of both growing old gracefully and of electronic pop at its best. MS
Release date: 24 Jan
Press contact: Mute IH

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SANCTUARY PLAN FALL PEEL SESSION COLLECTION
With The Fall topping 2004's John Peel Festive Fifty, Sanctuary Music have announced they are releasing a special six CD box set featuring all of the 24 sessions the band recorded for Mr Peel over the years. The mega box set, which is fully supported by Mark E Smith, will hit stores on 28 Mar. Press info from Sanctuary Records.

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FIRST FIGHTSTAR GIG WELL RECEIVED
One from the file hastily relabeled 'from the ashes of Busted', and positive reports from the first date on the UK tour of Charlie Simpson's new band Fightstar, which kicked off within hours of the boy band announcing they are splitting. That well timed press conference certainly provided some useful PR for the tour, with all 1400 tickets for the gig quickly selling out after the Busted split became official. Mike Eccleshall of the University of Warwick Students' Union, which hosted the first gig, told the BBC: "Tickets had been selling strongly over the past few days, but sales went mad after the news broke. We had completely sold out by 4pm."

Despite a handful of heckles and a couple of technical hitches, initial reports are that the gig went down well with their mainly student audience. One student, Helen Clutterbuck, told the BBC: "I came to check out Fightstar because of all the controversy. I've never heard them before, but I'm pretty impressed."

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WHO THE HELL IS MATT WILLIS?
By the way - anyone wondering why Matt From Busted, previously known to all us Busted fans as Matt Jay, suddenly became Matt Willis in those official 'they've split" statements on Friday, as far as we can make out Matt Jay is his stage name. Once things got serious it was real names all round thank you very much. Either way, rest assured, he's no longer Matt From Busted.

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APPLE SUE SECRET REVEALING WEBSITE
Apple continue to turn themselves into a Microsoft clone with the news that the computer giant is suing an American student who runs a website that specialises in leaking the company's forthcoming product releases.

The website - Think Secret - tipped off readers of the coming of the iPod way back in Oct 2001, while more recently it revealed both the Mac Mini and a flash-memory based iPod were just around the corner. It was originally assumed the website was being run by an established IT journalist or disgrunteled former Apple employee, but it turns out that it is run by one Nicholas Ciarelli, now a Harvard fresher, but a mere 13 year old computer geek when the site was originally established.

Anyway, according to the Wall Street Journal, Apple now plan to sue Ciarelli for revealing their secrets - because that's what cool companies that like to 'think differently' do. Whether they will be able to prove that, by revealing their product plan secrets, Ciarelli has damaged their business remains to be seen - given how successful Apple have been of late, despite the existence of Think Secret, it might be difficult.

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KAZAA USAGE DOWN
Good news, use of Kazaa is down. Bad news, all the Kazaa kids are switching to rival illegal P2P networks like eDonkey. According to US company BayTSP, who track these things, Kazaa only had 2.27 million simultaneous users in Dec, down from 3 million at the same point in 2003. However eDonkey maintained its healthy lead in P2P usage stakes, with 2.81 million users. It seems that attempts by the record labels and companies like Loudeye to swamp illegal P2P networks with spoof files does make services like Kazaa less attractive - however there is a strong argument that that forces P2P users to find alternative P2P networks rather than opting for the legitimate download platforms.

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RAY PERFORMANCE WINS GOLDEN GLOBE
Jamie Foxx last night won a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of music legend Ray Charles in the movie 'Ray' - he took the Globe for best performance in a musical or comedy film. Collecting his award Foxx told the awards audience: "I wish I could take what I'm feeling right now and put it in the water system so that everybody could drink it". 'Ray' opens in the UK this week.

In the music categories at the awards, Howard Shore won Best Original Score for the soundtrack to (Best Film winner) 'Aviator', while Mick Jagger and Dave Stewart took the best song award for their song 'Old Habits Die Hard' from the film 'Alfie'.

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LATIFAH TO HOST GRAMMYS
Talking of awards, Queen Latifah has been confirmed as the host for this year's Grammy Awards, which take place on 13 Feb. Confirming their host for 2005, Neil Portnow of the US Recording Academy told reporters: "Queen Latifah is an extraordinary renaissance artist with unparalleled style and substance, and her passion, talent and personality make her an excellent choice as host for our show".

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ROBBIE CATALOGUE TO BE DELETED
If you're missing a Robbie Williams album from your collection then you'd better get it bought (we're assuming you desire a complete Robbie collection here of course).

Word has it production will stop on all of Robbie's albums bar 'Swing When You're Winning', 'Live at Knebworth' and the 'Greatest Hits' at the end of the month - which means no more 'Life Thru a Lens', 'I've Been Expecting You', 'Sing When You're Winning' or 'Escapology' - except of course the mystery deletion may well mean some kind of special edition re-releases are up coming.

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