CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 31st January

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Jacko update
- Pete Doherty update
- P Diddy looking for new Bad Boy deal
- Rappers convicting for threatening Dutch MP in rap
- Kid Rock and Wheatus attack the majors
- Sony financials down
- Ray Charles tribute planned at Grammys
- Album Review: Laurent Garnier - The Cloud Making Machine
- DJs needed to fill dead man's boots
- Cat Stevens stages tsunami-aid fundraiser
- Traffic founder dies
- Ryan Adams plans triple release
- RIAA launch more lawsuits as P2P libraries reach new high
- German courts say ISPs don't have to help in download battle
- Single Review: Diefenbach - Re-Make Your Mind EP
- U2 tour sells out
- Manics dates
- Low tour
- REM cancel St Petersburg date because of border delays
- Razorlight cancel US dates because of illness
- Garnier cancels US dates over visa issues
- SonyBMG increase Elvis runs
- Chart update
- Janet to throw Superbowl party


Well, as we speak the crowds are gathering outside a certain Californian courthouse where the long-awaited much anticipated Michael Jackson child abuse court case is due to kick off at 5.30pm our time (if you're on your way, from what we hear all the best vantage points are already taken).

Some 750 possible jurors are expected to be screened at the start of the trial. The extensiveness of the screening process itself will be unprecedented as officials try their very bestest to ensure there can be no accusations that the jury who ultimately make a judgment on the case were in any way biased. Each prospective juror will come face to face with Jacko as part of the screening process, before being given a seven page questionnaire designed to determine their suitability for the job. Those who pass that stage will be interviewed by Judge Rodney Melville, before he and representatives for the prosecution and defense sit down to agree on a preferred 12 jurors (with 8 reserves). Just the screening process is expected to take a month.

For the lucky 12 who get through that screening process there is the prospect of having to sit through a court case expected to last up to six months. And if that wasn't bad enough, the jury are likely to be forced to sit through the whole of Martin 'the most tedious journalist in the world' Bashir's ITV Jacko documentary after Judge Rodney Melville ruled the prosecution could use the terrible piece of tabloid telly as evidence in the trial.

While there is much tedium expected from the court case before any juicy revelations are made, the media circus is already in place to cover the whole trial - over 1000 journalists have applied for accreditation in the California town of Santa Maria, where the trial is being held.

Needless to say the Jacko faithful will keep vigil outside the court house throughout the trial, protesting their hero's innocence. In a message to his fans via his website Jacko made an impassioned plea this weekend for a fair trial, adding that he would be "acquitted and vindicated when the truth is told", and condemning recent media leaks in his case as "disgusting and false". He concluded: "I have great faith in our justice system... [and] deserve a fair trial like every other American citizen'.

At the end of all this Jacko could face 21 years in jail if found guilty as charged.


Former Babyshambles drummer Gemme Clarke has released an open letter to Pete Doherty following her announcement she was quitting the band last week. She blames her decision to leave on the company Doherty keeps rather than because of any hard feelings to the former Libertine himself.

In the letter she writes: "Dear Peter, I would like to make it very clear about my reasons for making the stand that I have. I will not continue to work under the management that you have chosen for the band as I could no longer be part of a machine that I feel is destroying you. I love you, the music, Patrick, Dru and Babyshambles. Please be safe and be careful. You are a great artist and have been a massive inspiration to me. Thanks for the experience and for a great time - keep safe and don't forget to call me...good luck for the future. Gemma."

Given that you brought up Mr Doherty - loads of Pete related news this morning, most of it relating to the continuing heroin addiction and the various pleas being made to the former Libertine to quit the drug once and for all.

The first plea comes from new (former?) girlfriend Kate Moss. Despite reports on Friday that the model had already dumped Doherty because of his unpredictable ways, the Sun now reports the couple are still together but Moss has threatened to end it if Doherty doesn't quit the drugs. Moss' latest demands apparently follow the publishing of pictures in yesterday's Sunday Mirror showing Doherty 'chasing the dragon'. One friend of Moss is quoted as saying: "The pictures really hurt her. She made the call to let him know that if he carried on he had no chance of staying with her." Quite why pictures of Britain's most famous young heroin addict consuming heroin came as a surprise to Moss, or anyone for that matter, isn't really clear, especially given that the pictures in question come from a video filmed last August - but whatever.

Moss isn't the only one putting new pressure on Doherty to quit the drugs this morning. The singer's uncle, Philip Micel, has also made a plea to the singer, saying he will cause his mother Jackie to have a nervous breakdown if he doesn't quit the class As. He told reporters: "I love Pete immensely, but he's gone way over the top with the drugs. His mum Jackie has cried and cried and cried about it. She sent him to The Priory clinic but he walked out. She's heartbroken. Pete was really well brought up, but got into drugs through a groupie. First of all it was cannabis and then suddenly the stronger stuff. Sometimes he can't go on stage because he's that out of it."

And if girlfriend Kate and Uncle Phil haven't persuaded Mr Doherty that now might be the time to kick the heroin once and for all, perhaps The Who's Roger Daltrey can make the difference. Yep, even he has been dealing out words of advice warning Pete that he is heading the same way as Daltrey's former bandmate Keith Moon. Daltrey: "He's got the X factor, hasn't he? He's magic to watch. You can't learn that. What's so disarming about Peter is that he pretends he's in control, or he thinks he is. But if he's up to everything (with drugs) people say he is, he cannot be in control. He is a genius. But I've known many people like that and they're all dead."

Anyone else? Well, what the hell. CMU says: 'Come on Pete - quit the drugs. We'll be far too busy reporting on Jacko's court case to be wasting time with 'Libertine on drugs' stories in the next few months, so now's the time!'


According to the New York Times, P Diddy is currently shopping round for a new major label distribution deal for his Bad Boy Entertainment business. His existing deal with the Universal Music Group, said to be worth $20 million, is due to expire in a years time and word has it that, while Combs and Universal management remain on good terms, neither side feel the partnership has been particularly productive. The paper says Combs is looking for $30 million for his next multi-year deal.


Two Islamic rappers have been given a suspended jail term at a court in the Dutch city of The Hague for lyrics which threatened one of the country's politicians.

The rappers are members of an amateur Moroccan rap group called DHC, short for The Hague Connection. Their rap, which has been circulating on the internet, hit out at Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a critic of Islamic fundamentalism and collaborator of film director Theo Van Gogh, who was murdered last Nov for his criticism of Islamic groups.

The rap in question made 'serious threats' against Hirsi Ali. The two rappers argued they were merely exercising their freedom of expression by writing the rap, adding that it had been a private recording that had found its way onto the internet without their permission.

But the courts disagreed with that defense, with the judge hearing the case telling the defendants: "The charges were aggravated by the fact that the suspects threatened [Hirsi Ali] over her political viewpoints, because this is a serious breach of the democratic rule of law."

The two rappers received a suspended sentence and were ordered to undertake 150 hours of community service.


Well, we love a good major label bitch round here, so let's dedicate a little Daily time to Kid Rock and Wheatus.

First up, Kid Rock has told the Associated Press that he is 'parting ways' with publishing major Warner/Chappell, criticizing the publishing company for being too focused on profits.

Kid Rock: 'Labels like Atlantic and Warner/Chappell aren't the great music labels they used to be. They're just businesses now. I've been fortunate to make a lot of money and to have a great fan base, so now my focus is on just making music.' Kid Rock hasn't officially ended his relationship with Warner division Atlantic - and according to his current recording contract he still owes the major three albums. However he did not rule out a change in record label 'pending their attitude', adding he would be looking for a new partner more interested 'in music than IPOs.'

Meanwhile Wheatus confirmed they were re-releasing their second album 'Hand Over Your Loved Ones', originally released by Sony Music, on their own independent label Montauk Mantis. In the sleeve notes to the re-release, published this weekend, the band's frontman, Brendan B. Brown, explains why Wheatus quit their Sony deal, why they feel the need to re-release this album, and why they are calling the re-release 'Suck Fony' (don't you just love a good spoonerism?).

Brown: 'Being signed to Sony, life made less sense than it did in all of my office jobs combined, and there have been many. We got this record back from Sony because I told them I was looking for an office job again. It was true. I think they felt bad. Whatever... it's ours now, I mean it's ours again. Ten of these songs were given a woeful, abortive release by Sony on the album 'Hand Over Your Loved Ones' in 2003. The original title, meaning and theme are gone forever, aborted. But the songs remain. Now it just feels like a record about the finger. So we renamed it Suck Fony and gave it some teeth.'


Presumably the Wheatus boys will be pleased to hear that Sony's financials have been suffering of late - though that's Sony Electronics and not the record label. The electronics giant's fourth quarter earnings, revealed last week, were 13% down on the previous year. The company pointed to the general decline in TV, DVD and video camera sales as a reason for the dip, though some point out that the group's failure to gain much ground over Apple et al in the digital music space can't have helped. On that front insiders will be hoping that the reported integration between Sony's digital music services and the new PlayStation Portable will help the group gain some ground on Apple (though, ironically, the general good fortune of the Sony group is also likely to be helped by a partnership between Sony and Apple on the digital video front!).


Grammy award winners Bonnie Raitt and Billy Preston will participate in a special tribute to the late great Ray Charles at this year's Grammy Awards. Charles, who died last Jun, is posthumously nominated for seven awards this year, including Album Of The Year for his collection of duets, 'Genius Loves Company'.


ALBUM REVIEW: Laurent Garnier - The Cloud Making Machine (PIAS)
Frenchman Garnier is, of course, a bit of an intellectual house / techno whiz, though with this album he side steps somewhat from his banging club albums. Described as his 'personal' album, 'The Cloud Making Machine' is a bit of a conceptual one, which means it might just be a grower. On first listen there are highs and lows. The title track is in a Bugge Wesseltoft vein but goes nowhere fast. Things improve on '9.01-9.06' with its Diplo / Third Face feel, while 'Barbiturik Blues', although slow, is even better with its kick drum and jazz filterings. Elsewhere there are some rock features in a semi-comical vocodered track called 'My Plane', and some tame hip hop breaks in 'First Reaction' - but for me the best track is 'Controlling The House' which proves to be the kind of neatly engineered moody house journey that Garnier is fabled for. As a whole it's diverse and different which is a good thing, though on first listen I feel the collection weighs less than the sum of its parts. (Not that the packaging should count, but I should add the CD comes in a ten inch record sleeve, with a poster reminiscent of the Monty Python opening graphics, which is kinda cool!). PV
Release date: 25 Jan
Press: PIAS IH


Here's a fun one. Organisers of a new club night in Soho are looking for DJs interested in dipping into a bizarre collection of records and giving them a spin on the decks. We'll let the people behind 'Dead Mans Boots' explain:

'In August 2000, in the heart of Tony Blairs petrol crisis, a man (me) saw a collection of 7 inch singles for sale in Loot. £100 for 1400 records, they said. 7p a single, end of story. Turns out the collection used to belong to a DJ who lovingly numbered them all up and played between the 60's and the 80's. Sadly though, he had recently popped his clogs (or should that be boots?) and his beloved records had been shoved into rickety old drawers and driven up from Bromley to me in Sarf London for the small matter of 100 notes. Nice tip, 'ol son. On inspection of the records, it turns out that this 'disco' that this DJ must have played at must have been the most bizarre gathering of people ever, as the collection contained everything from Smurfs to Sparks to Shalamar to Sex Pistols to Shakin' Bleedin' Stevens. 'I can do something with these' thought I, and promptly did nothing apart from pick them out at random and collapse in giggles on my bed.'

'Fast forward one year to the summer of 2001 and I have just moved said collection to a converted attic in Brixton with my trusty friends Nathan and Martin, who suggested that we should start up a clubnight and call it 'Dead Man's Boots' on account of said boots needing to be filled. 'Classic, let's do it!' said I, and promptly started another club night which had absolutely nothing to do with dusty old 7 inches, boots or dead people. Thank Gawd...'

'Three years later, the records are still there, and I am still having great fun playing the records, but time is ticking away and the boots still haven't been filled. So I decide that what we need to do is find a venue kind (and stupid) enough to let us hijack their fine establishment, and play the records until they have all been played, and then the job will be a good 'un'.

'We charge a minimal amount for entry fee, and all proceeds will go to 'Help The Aged'. With 1400 records to get through the night will only last about 10 weeks or so, and all the records will get played just the once, and then each record will get thrown out to a lucky punter in the audience. We get somewhere that will do 2-4-1 beers to help 'lubricate the mind' and we do it on a school night, 8pm to 1am, how about Monday? Nice.'

And that is what has been happening for the last couple of weeks. Different DJs take to the decks, randomly select records from the record boxes, play em and then chuck em into the crowd - all in aid of Help The Aged. It's taking place every Monday night at Push from 8pm to 1am, for as long as the records last.

Anyone interested in enjoying the show can just show up. Anyone interested in dipping into the record boxes and selected a few singles to play should email for more info. Sorted.

More info on the whole project at


Yusuf Islam (you know, aka Cat Stevens) will tonight host a special concert in Indonesia for the victims of the tsunami. A host of local artists will perform at the concert in Jakarta, while Islam will sing 'Indian Ocean', a new song which he will release as a charity single in aid of the post-tsunami relief effort (the single, out in Feb, also features Indian composer AR Rahman, A-Ha's Magne Furuholmen and Travis drummer Neil Primrose).

In a statement on his website Islam says: "Like everyone else, I was so shaken by the enormity of this human tragedy, and the song just came without effort. It is my contribution towards helping to rebuild the broken spirits of the victims of the disaster. It's not a return to Cat Stevens, I see it more as a natural response to express my concern as a Muslim and as an artist; I believe both can exist side by side, particularly when the cause is right."


Jim Capaldi of sixties group Traffic has died of stomach cancer aged 60. Capaldi, who worked with the likes of Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Paul Weller on his solo work, was a founder member of Traffic, which also featured Steve Winwood in the line-up. They scored hits with the likes of 'Paper Sun' and 'Hole in My Shoe', and were inducted into the American Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame last year.

Capaldi's friend and long-time manager John Taylor, told reporters on Friday: "He was one of the most influential songwriters, not only of his generation but in the history of popular music culture. He attacked life with energy and passion and left a rich legacy. He leaves a benchmark for today's writers and musicians to emulate."


Well, Ryan Adams has been very busy. He has revealed that he plans to release no less than three albums this year, and one of them is a double LP. The double player will be the first release - out on 19 Apr it is called 'Cold Roses' and is credited to Ryan Adams And The Cardinals. The next album will be called 'Jacksonville', with the third to be called '29'.


The Recording Industry Association of America went back to the courts at the end of last week to issue another 717 lawsuits against music fans suspected of illegally sharing music via the internet. As usual they were 'John Doe' lawsuits - the labels only know the IP addresses of the alleged file sharers, and will look to seek their actual identities from their internet service providers once they have proven their case for making the copyright violation accusations to the courts. The Motion Picture Association of America, meanwhile, confirmed it was about to launch its second wave of lawsuits against people suspected of illegally sharing movies over the internet.

Both the RIAA and MPAA are also busy preparing their case to persuade the US Supreme Court that P2P companies like Grokster are themselves guilty of copyright violation - if the entertainment companies could get the P2P networks closed down there would be less need to target hundreds of P2P users with individual lawsuits. Their drive to secure that change is likely to be aided by research from web tracking firm BigChampagne who this weekend revealed that over 13 billion tracks were available for download via P2P networks in 2004, a 28% increase on 2003, showing that, despite the high profile anti-download lawsuits, P2P usage continues to rise (although some say the fact some music companies are putting fake tracks online to spoof P2P users may have contributed to that considerable rise).


Elsewhere in the world of download battles, and another court has ruled that internet service providers cannot be forced to hand over the identities of alleged file sharers unless said sharer can be shown in court to be violating copyright.

Mirroring the decision of courts in America and elsewhere, the Regional Court of Frankfurt is the latest to reach that decision after German record labels tried to claim copyright law gave them an automatic right to petition ISPs for the identities of people they suspect of online copyright theft. The court disagreed with the labels, saying some stuff in German which basically meant 'nein, das geht dich einen Schei║dreck an'.


SINGLE REVIEW: Diefenbach - Re-Make Your Mind EP (Wall Of Sound / We Love You)
This four track remix EP doesn't really tell us much about how Diefenbach themselves sound (and as such I'm still none the wiser - I'll have to steal the copy of their album that Chris has so far been keeping for himself) but it does illustrate an erudite canniness on their part when choosing talented new electronic artists to re-interpret their work. On 'Make Your Mind', Lindstrom turns in a perfectly pleasant slice of downtempo, carried by a smorgasbord of effervescent percussion, whilst Hot Chip's 'Do As You Please' starts off full of trancey promise but ends up veering down a slightly dissonant dead end. Most impressive of all are the two electro-heavy remixes from Vector Lovers and Nick Faber. The former's version of 'Camouflage' is a gorgeously moody piece of glistening futurist electronica, recalling Plaid and Bola at their funkiest (and suitably stirring for me to investigate VL's excellent debut album on Soma), whilst Faber remakes the same track into a pulsing, post-punky, 80s synth-fest, recalling a more poppier Closer, or New Order working with Harold Faltermeyer. Along with similarly spirited recent remixes by Mylo for Kylie and Annie, or Jacques Lu Cont's fab coke-rock stab at Gwen's 'What You Waiting For', it's more evidence of the remix at its best and most inventive. MS
Release date: 7 Mar
Press concact: Wall Of Sound IH


Well, lets hope those fan club members who missed out on their priority tickets for the upcoming U2 tour because of technical hitches with the online booking service managed to get their orders sorted before Friday, because tickets for the band's UK tour sold out almost as soon as they properly went on sale. Commenting on the quick sell out, John Giddings, the band's European tour promoter, told reporters: "I am staggered by the response. The demand is unprecedented."

Interestingly the band immediately announced they were adding an extra London date to their UK tour because of demand. Observant readers will remember the original U2 tour itinerary leaked on to the internet earlier this year already had that second Twickenham date in the schedule!


Staying with live news, and the Manics have announced details of their upcoming UK tour, which is particularly exciting because Delays are down as support. Dates as follows:

3 Apr: Southampton, Guildhall
4 Apr: Derby Assembly Rooms
6 Apr: Wolverhampton Civic Hall
7 Apr: Swansea Brangwyn Hall
9 Apr: Liverpool Royal Court
11 Apr: Bristol Colston Hall
12 Apr: Cambridge Corn Exchange
14 Apr: Newcastle City Hall
15 Apr: Edinburgh Corn Exchange
17 Apr: Leeds University Refectory
18 Apr: London Carling Hammersmith Apollo


More tour dates and the 'quite wonderful Low' (their PR's words, but they're right) have announced the following dates:

17 Feb: Cambridge, Junction
18 Feb:London, Royal Festival Hall
19 Feb:Wolverhampton, Wulfrun
24 Feb:Sheffield, Leadmill
25 Feb:Glasgow, GUU
26 Feb:Edinburgh, Queen's Hall


More live news, and REM were forced to cancel a gig for the first time since 1995 on Thu night after their equipment didn't arrive at a venue in St Petersburg on time.

In a statement on their website the band told fans: "After a great night in Tallinn and an all-night journey to St Petersburg in wintry conditions, REM greatly regrets having to cancel the show tonight in St Petersburg. Lengthy delays at the Estonia/Russia border caused our trucks, crew, and gear (sound, lights, instruments, and so forth) to arrive too late to mount the show. This is the first time since the widely-chronicled 1995 tour that REM has had to cancel a show, and it is a major disappointment for the band not to be playing this particular city."


Talking of cancelled gigs, and Razorlight have confirmed that ill health forced them to cancel a gig in LA last week. Frontman Johnny Borrell flew back to the UK after being diagnosed with laryngitis - doctors recommended he completely rest his voice. The band had to cancel two US TV appearances too, but a spokesman for Borrell said he should be fit and well in time for the band's up coming UK tour.


And staying with cancelled tours, Laurent Garnier has cancelled his US tour dates because of what he calls 'unreasonable demands' being made by the US embassy. Explaining why three scheduled gigs in the US will now not go ahead Garnier told reporters: "I am very sorry to have to cancel my forthcoming US tour due to what I consider to be completely unreasonable demands by the US Embassy in France in order to renew my work visa. In order to obtain this new visa, the rules have once again changed since November 2004 and I would now have to not only fill out an exceedingly probing application form, but also be interviewed by a member of the Embassy staff, and provide proof of ownership of my house, details of my bank account, my mobile phone records, personal information on all my family members and more. I consider these demands to be a complete violation of my privacy and my civil liberties and I refuse to comply. I am horrified by these new regulations and feel really sad that this is what some call freedom and democracy. It has now become almost impossible for an artist to come and perform in the United States. And until this new procedure changes I will unfortunately refuse to comply with this nonsense. Thank you for your understanding."


SonyBMG have announced they are increasing the run on the Elvis re-releases after demand exceeded supplies. The major decided to release 30,000 copies of each of the Elvis re-releases - 20,000 on CD and 10,000 on 10' vinyl. But, alas, the King remains the King and all supplies have been sold. With that in mind SonyBMG bosses have decided to increase the run on future Elvis re-releases, and to press up more of those singles already released.


All of which no doubt means even more Elvis number ones in the coming weeks. After a week away from the top, and despite the release of a tsunami-aid charity single last week, Elvis returned to number one last night with 'It's Now Or Never'.

Other new entires in the old singles chart this week included Ashanti at 2, that charity release from the One World Project at 4, Lovefreekz at 6, Freefaller at 8, Xzibit at 9, Hanson at 10 (hurrah - I am getting so addicted to that album), Ashlee Simpson at 11, Mylo at 15 (hurrah again - expect much more promotion of Mylo's debut album thanks to a new distribution deal between Breastfed and Sony), Phixx at 19, Lemon Jelly at 21 (hurrah again again - must remember to get a copy of Lemon Jelly's album - I feel much Lemon Jelly love is pending in the CMU Daily in the coming weeks), Commander Tom at 23, Amsterdam at 32, Houston at 33 and Hal at 36.

Albums wise and more hurrahs due, mainly because the Chemical Brothers are at number one with their rather fine new album 'Push The Button' (another great comeback despite the mixed critical response). The Killers are still at 2, ahead of a new entries from Rooster at 3, Game at 7, Mercury Rev at 16, LCD Soundsystem at 20, Jane McDonald at 21, Bright Eyes at 23, Erasure at 27, Katherine Jenkins at 28, Ciara at 31 and the soundtrack to the Ray Charles biopic at 36. Sorted.


Well, this is nice. Janet Jackson is set to host an NFL sanctioned pre-Super Bowl party being staged by millionaire lawyer Willie Gary in aid of a fund that supports education scholarships. No word on what entertainment Jackson and Gary are planning - they have quite an act to follow, of course, when it comes to Jackson's Superbowl performances. No word either on whether Justin Timberlake is invited.

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