CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 7th February

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Jacko trial delayed
- Suge Knight back in court
- A short essay on Pete Doherty
- Jonathan King set to be released early for good behaviour
- Album Review: Death In Vegas - Milk It
- EMI warn profits will be down
- Guardian pull out of Manchester radio race
- No nipples means Macca goes down well at Superbowl
- Chart update
- Billboard chart adds in download stats
- Eavis reveals Glasto highlights
- Great British TV launch re-scheduled again
- TRL revamp loses audience
- Live Review: Velvet Revolver at Hammersmith Apollo
- Judas Priest download release
- Thriller tops Channel 4 best videos poll
- U2 Dublin dates sell out in record time
- Single Review: The Kills - The Good Ones
- Embrace announce extra Leeds open air gig
- RIAA target dead granny with download lawsuit
- Preparations underway for Eurovision 2005

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JACKO TRIAL DELAYED
Well, we knew it was going to be a slow trial, but it looks like it’s going to be even slower than expected.

The tedious task of selecting a jury for the Michael Jackson child abuse case was due to begin again today, but that has been postponed because a key member of Jacko’s legal team has had to take time off due to a family illness - Thomas Mesereau has had to take a few days off because his sister has been taken seriously ill.

Lawyers from both the prosecution and defence are being involved in the complicated jury selection process so that neither side will be able to claim that the group of people who will make a final judgment on the case were in any way biased. Because of Mesereau’s enforced absence that selection process will now not resume until Thursday at the earliest.

However Judge Rodney Melville is likely to take to the bench briefly today anyway to consider motions brought forward by various media organisations who are trying to get the unprecedented media ban that is restricting coverage of the case somewhat reduced. Given Melville’s personal support for said ban it’s unlikely that process will take too long though - how long can it take to say "no, now bugger off"?

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SUGE KNIGHT BACK IN COURT
Elsewhere in the pop courts, and rap mogul Suge Knight is back in prison after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana - a violation of his parole. He was arrested on Saturday night and is currently being held by the police, pending a transfer to state prison this week. Officials will then check the evidence supporting the drugs allegations before making a decision as to whether release Knight again.

It’s not the first time Knight has been back into prison for violating his parole conditions - which themselves stem from assault and weapons charges. Although released in 2001, Knight served another 10-month sentence last year after allegedly attacking a Hollywood nightclub valet. Knight was also more recently under investigation over allegations that he paid one Jimmy James Johnson to attack Dr Dre at last year’s Vibe Awards - an attack which led to the incident in which Johnson was allegedly knifed by G-Unit member Young Buck.

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A SHORT ESSAY ON PETE DOHERTY
Pop stars. Courts. Prison. We all know where we’re heading next, don’t we? I’m sorry, I really am, but another healthy serving of Pete Doherty news for you this morning. It’s getting tedious now I know, so we’ll keep it brief (well, we’ll try!).

Number one: Having been arrested last week on charges of burglary and blackmail neither Doherty’s management, label or publishing company could get together the somewhat hefty £150,000 bail demanded by Highbury Corner Magistrates Court for his release by end of play Friday, which meant the former Libertine had to spend the weekend behind bars in Pentonville Prison. If only someone had called, we’d have had a whip round - I’m sitting on quite a large jar of coppers here.

Number two: Assuming someone finds a spare 150 grand today (perhaps some of London’s drug dealers could help out - surely an investment in the long term), Doherty, like fellow musician Alan Wass, also facing the same charges, will have to observe a curfew restricting him to his home between the hours of 10pm and 7am. He has also surrendered his passport, will have to report to his local police station each day and will be accompanied by a security firm whenever he leaves his house - which all sounds kinda serious. And kinda irrelevant, this week at least, given that the singer is expected to spend the next five days in a drug rehab centre.

Number three: The BBC have decided to pull the 30 minute programme they had on file dedicated to the Babyshambles man - based primarily around an interview between Doherty and Kirsty Wark, and extract of which appeared on Newsnight before Christmas. No word on when it will be rescheduled.

Number four: An ex-con former friend of Doherty this weekend told the Sunday Mirror that if Doherty is sent to jail over the current charges that he reckons: "Prison will kill him". Will Brown - who got to know Doherty through their shared interest in, erm, heroin - told the paper: "There's no way Pete will be able do any serious time. He thinks he's a hardman - but he's just a pretty little rich boy. There'll be a lot of seriously hard bastards who will want to make mincemeat out of him inside. And with his money, he'll have every skag dealer inside throwing drugs at him until he's bled dry and out of it. It's easier to get heroin inside than out and at £80 a gramme he can afford it. I'm seriously worried about what could happen to him. I'm worried he might swing."

And that’s it - oh, well unless you count the kiss and tell in yesterday’s Sunday Mirror in which another Kate, who had a quick romp with the former Libertine after a gig last year, revealed that there is nothing new about the tattoo the singer is quoted as saying he had done for new girlfriend Kate Moss. Lapdancer Kate Dykes told the paper: "Pete is going around telling everyone he's had a tattoo with Kate Moss's initial K as a sign of his love for her. But he's always had that tattoo - it was the first thing he showed me. He asked me what my name was. When I said Kate he had a big smile on his face and said 'I just love that name'.”

And that is it. Oh well, unless you count Razorlight’s Johnny Borrell, himself a former heroin addict, telling Time Out: "If you wanna do some good, tell the world that being on drugs is a fucking waste. Y'know, every so often I'll get off my face, but I look at someone like Peter and I just think, 'You're a fucking moron because your music was so much better before you started doing that.' Y'know, it's working in the sense that people want to come and look at the car crash. But, although last night was a bad fucking night for me, I am not a fucking car crash. I am here to make music!"

And that is definitely it. Oh well, unless you count the news that Kate Moss has dumped Doherty (again).

And that really is it.

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JONATHAN KING SET TO BE RELEASED EARLY FOR GOOD BEHAVIOUR
Former pop mogul Jonathan King hopes to be freed from prison within weeks having served half of his seven year sentence on child sex abuse charges. King was jailed back in Nov 2001 after being found guilty of committing various offences against teenage boys in the eighties. Last week King’s lawyer Giovanni di Stefano confirmed probation officers have recommended that his client be released - though he will be put on the sex offenders register and have to comply with strict conditions.

Stefano told reporters: "It has been recommended by the probation officers and by all the reports, because quite simply there has been no offending behaviour by Mr. King for nearly 20 years. I speak to Mr. King every day and he's anxious to be out. He has an elderly mother who he hasn't seen for two years and he is eminently not a danger to society."

King, of course, maintains he is innocent of the child abuse charges made against him, and has posted a number of statements to that effect on his website at http://www.kingofhits.com. However the courts turned away his attempts to appeal back in 2003.

That said, his lawyer says his conviction may as yet be overturned on a technicality - Stefano says the Director of Public Prosecutions never gave his consent for the prosecution to go ahead, which would render the conviction void.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Death In Vegas - Milk It (SonyBMG/Concrete)
A Best Of culled from only three albums reeks somewhat of a record company cash-in, but then Death In Vegas have never sold CDs in the quantities that their many glowing reviews might have suggested, so it’s ultimately an inevitable release. Their work is too recent to necessitate total re-appraisal, but this aptly-titled two CD compilation does give us a welcome chance to revisit some of their finest material, effectively represented by the first CD’s eleven tracks, most of which were singles. Only the stadium-sized guitar riffs and giant electro breaks on early tracks like 'Dirt’ are a reminder that DIV were initially lumped in with the big beat sound of the day, before the duo wisely broadened their oeuvre, becoming far more of an 'indie’ act in the process.
Like The Chemical Brothers, their canvas is most creatively coloured by the addition of guest vocalists and, barring the absence of the tracks recorded with Hope Sandoval and Jim Reid, they’re all present here. With its backwards guitars and subtle Eastern mysticism, 'Scorpio Rising’, fronted by Liam Gallagher, is the track Oasis’ turgid 'Who Feels Love?’ should have been. Bobby Gillespie’s 'Soul Auctioneer’ is like the Primals at their seediest and sleaziest, whilst Iggy Pop’s serial killer confessional tale on the ace 'Aisha’ is even better; the track being more murder on the dancefloor than murder ballad. 'Dirge’, meanwhile, is still a mesmerising collage of sound (featuring Dot Allison’s swoonsome "la la la-ing”) that just builds and builds to a furious white noise crescendo. Only a slightly lumpen rock turd featuring gruff Paul Weller soils an otherwise immaculate musical lawn. The second CD comprises mostly remixes, which run the gamut from dark, minimalist electro-noir, to bone-shaking breaks and techno, via dub-reggae (on early single 'Twist And Crawl’) and more indiefied remixes courtesy of Polyphonic Spree and The Chocolate Layers (aka Pulp). MS
Release date: 7 Feb
Press contact: Sony/BMG IH

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EMI WARN PROFITS WILL BE DOWN
The share price has dropped for London based record label EMI after the major warned investors that music sales for the current year were 8-9% less than anticipated, meaning overall profits for the financial year to the end of 31 Mar are likely to be in the region of £138 million, about 15% lower that expected.

The lower than expected revenues were blamed on both poor post-Christmas record sales, and the fact that two major releases for the label - new albums from Coldplay and Gorillaz - originally expected to be released within this financial year, have both been put back and will now not arrive in shops until after Mar.

In a statement EMI told investors: "EMI Music's sales, particularly re-orders, in January have also been lower than anticipated and this is expected to continue through February and March. Therefore, for the full year, at constant currency, EMI Music's sales are now expected to be 8% to 9% lower than the prior year."

EMI chairman Alain Levy said the news was "disappointing", but said he remained optimistic about the coming year, adding: "The physical music market is showing signs of stabilisation in many parts of the world and digital music, in all its forms, continues to develop at a rapid pace”.

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GUARDIAN PULL OUT OF MANCHESTER RADIO RACE
The Guardian Media Group has bailed out of the race for the new Manchester radio licence - they were hoping to launch an LBC speech station for the city but realised at the last minute no one in Manchester had anything interesting to say (actually, it turned out the potential reach of the station was 700,000 people less than anticipated which impacts on possible revenues and, given that speech radio is much more expensive than music radio, made the proposal unviable).

As previously reported, most of the major radio groups are bidding for the Manchester licence - with Capital hoping to expand its Xfm franchise there and EMAP looking to extend the Kerrang radio service it launched in the Midlands last year to the North West.

GMG Radio told reporters they are now turning their attention to the Solent regional licence which OfCom advertised last week. It is unclear if they will got with a talk station proposal there, or opt to extend its Jazz FM or Smooth FM formats to the region - Kelvin MacKenzie's Wireless Group have already announced their intent to bid for the Solent licence with a talk station proposition.

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NO NIPPLES MEANS MACCA GOES DOWN WELL AT SUPERBOWL
One year on from the horror that was Nipplegate, and Sir Paul McCartney proved middle America can rely on us Brits to come up with the goods. He wowed the crowds at the Superbowl with his 12 minute set that came with plenty of Beatles classics and no wardrobe malfunctions. Black Eyed Peas and Alicia Keys also managed to work their way through pre-match show without controversy. Which is just no fun at all.

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CHART UPDATE
Well, presumably it was the "little hellions kids feeling rebellious, embarrassed, their parents still listen to Elvis” that helped Eminem steal the number one spot off Mr. Presley in this week’s singles chart - and well done him, even if 'Like Toy Soliders’ isn’t as good as Martika’s original.

A good week on the charts, if only because Bloc Party got a new entry in the singles chart at 5, and the Roots Manuva album went Top 30, going in at 24.

New entries wise - and in the singles chart we had Eminem at 1, Elvis at 2, McFadden and Goodrem at 3, Bloc Party at 5, Good Charlotte at 9, Duran Duran at 11, Camron at 25, 22-20s at 29, The Wedding Present at 34, Deeyah at 37 and Lil Jon & The East Side Boys at 38. Albums wise and the very fine Athlete went straight in at 1, with Feeder at 2, Michael Buble at 4, Elvis at 9, Lemon Jelly at 17, Lionel Richie and his greatest hits at 21, Roots Manuva at 24, Akon at 31 and the best of East 17 at 34.

And as if all that wasn’t exciting enough - CMU’s hero Matt Monro went in at 23 with a greatest hits comp. Glorious.

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BILLBOARD CHART ADDS IN DOWNLOAD STATS
Staying with chart type news for a minute, and the main US singles chart, the Billboard Hot 100, has added legitimate download sales into the mix, meaning they now calculate the biggest singles of the moment based on record sales, radio airplay and downloads. Still, Mario stayed at the top of the chart with 'Let Me Love You’ for the seventh week, even with digital sales added into the mix. Then again download stats helped Green Day’s 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ speed up the chart from 11 to 4, so that new system sounds good to me.

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EAVIS REVEALS GLASTO HIGHLIGHTS
Michael Eavis has let slip some of the act line up for this year’s Glastonbury Festival to that bastion of music journalism, the Wells Journal. Confirming last week’s reports that Kylie will headline the festival’s main stage on Sunday night, he added: "Those people who might come along on Sunday to see Kylie Minogue might not enjoy New Order or the White Stripes, so we have something for everyone”.

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GREAT BRITISH TV LAUNCH RE-SCHEDULED AGAIN
That previously reported new digital TV station - Great British Television - has again postponed its launch, as well as changing its name. The channel, aiming to present a scheduled filled with good old fashioned light entertainment, will now be called Sound TV and will launch on 26 Feb at 7pm (their Christmas Eve launch having been already pushed back once to 29 Jan).

The station’s MD, comedian (of sorts) Richard Digance, told reporters: "The channel has been two years in the making but I think with the public’s tiredness of reality television, we couldn’t be hitting the screens at a better time. Myself, [and fellow channel backers] Mike Osman and Jethro firmly believe there is room for both the established players like ourselves and new talent that have had little or no chance to break on to British TV in the last five years."

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TRL REVAMP LOSES AUDIENCE
Elsewhere in telly news, and reports from MTV suggest the revamp of their flagship Total Request Live show hasn’t proved too successful as yet. The new look UK TRL launched last week - the biggest change being the loss of the TRL top ten chart, previously a key component of the show. Initial ratings suggest last Monday’s relaunch show peaked at 31,000 viewers with an average of just 10,000 viewers, down from an average of 39,000 before its Christmas break - perhaps illustration of the old adage 'if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’. Rumour has it MTV bosses are now considering putting TRL onto its Freeview channel TMF to expand the potential reach the show can deliver to sponsors and advertisers.

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LIVE REVIEW: Velvet Revolver live at Hammersmith Apollo 22 Jan
What can you say about this band that the statistics don’t say by themselves? No need to say how great they are, no need to remind you that their album’s cool, nor tell you that "they’ve still got it live”. No need either to wax lyrical about how they’ve captured what made Guns n Roses great, and managed to update it while not making it sound cheap - blah blah blah. No need at all. Their album, after all, soared up the charts, they have been one of the most 'Googled’ bands of recent years and they recently sold out four nights in London. Let’s just take it as read - Duff, Slash and Matt sound best together. While Slash’s Snakepit and Duff’s Loaded had the hardcore GnR fans onboard, they never rose to the notoriety of Velvet Revolver - and, such is the popularity of the new band, some have gone so far as to say that VR are already superseding the status of frontman Scott Weiland’s The Stone Temple Pilots. Whatever - this show was fucking amazing. Through all the drugs and sex and violence, Slash hasn’t lost a touch of his guitar playing - and Duff is still coolly jogging about the stage to chat to Matt and new guitarist Dave. It is undeniable that Scott Weiland is as near as anyone got to being like Axl since Axl. The clothes, the vocals (to a degree) and - despite Scott’s very affected stage presence - the way he moves and interacts with the crowd. VR may think they’re lucky given their immediate success, but take it from me, we are the lucky ones. JG

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JUDAS PRIEST DOWNLOAD RELEASE
Staying with rock, and Judas Priest have announced they will precede their upcoming UK tour with the release of a download only single called 'Revolution’ on 21 Feb - a track, we are assured, "will excite Judas Priest fans old and young”.

As for the tour, dates as follows:

16 Mar: London Hammersmith Apollo
17 Mar: London Hammersmith Apollo
19 Mar: Birmingham NEC
21 Mar: Manchester Apollo
22 Mar: Manchester Apollo
24 Mar: Belfast Odyssey
26 Mar: Glasgow SECC
27 Mar: Newcastle Radio Arena
28 Mar: Sheffield Arena
30 Mar: Cardiff Arena
31 Mar: Plymouth Pavilions

Press info from Nicky Hobbs at HOBO PR - Nicky@hobopr.com

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THRILLER TOPS CHANNEL 4 BEST VIDEOS POLL
Well, if Universal Music need justification for their new policy that pop promo videos are more than just promotional tools (and therefore on demand music channels should pay per viewing) they could do worse than show people the Top 100 Greatest Pop Videos aired on Channel 4 last night. Of course the show ignored the hundreds of rubbish videos made every year, but as the four hour show worked its way through the viewer voted poll last night it was hard to not shout "God that’s a GOOD video” every time each new entry was revealed. And while the Top 10 featured a couple of videos that are more 'important’ than they are 'great’, we’ve no major problems with the final running order round here (though CMU’s own opinions probably run closer to that VH-1 best video poll a couple of years back which put Christopher Walken’s performance in Fatboy Slim’s 'Weapons Of Choice’ video top.

Anyway, here’s the top ten:

1. Michael Jackson - Thriller
2. Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer
3. A-ha - Take On Me
4. Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
5. Madonna - Like a Prayer
6. Robbie Williams - Rock DJ
7. Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
8. The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
9. Madonna - Vogue
10. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit

The full chart is meant to be online at http://www.channel4.com/greatest - though it don’t seem to be there yet.

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U2 DUBLIN DATES SELL OUT IN RECORD TIME
U2 have set a record, in the Irish music industry at least, after they sold more than 150,000 tickets in just 50 minutes. The tickets were for the band’s two performances at Dublin’s Croke Park as part of their upcoming Vertigo world tour. Box offices opened at 8am on Friday and by 9am all tickets for the two June concerts had sold out.

Commenting on the unprecedented demand for tickets, Justin Green of promoters MCD told reporters: "Nothing like it has ever been seen in Ireland before. We could have sold a million tickets. Unfortunately there's thousands and thousands of disappointed fans all over the country which is disappointing, but there's only two dates confirmed”.

Fans had started camping out on the streets of the Irish capital as early as Tuesday to ensure they were first in line at Ticketmaster’s outlet at the city’s St Stephen's Green Shopping Centre. However a majority of the tickets sold were bought online first thing Friday.

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Kills - The Good Ones (Domino)
Garage rock duo The Kills sound a bit like PJ Harvey singing with the White Stripes, though on this single they have added a Giorgio Moroder style disco beat to their minimalist sound. And the surging rhythms mix surprisingly well with the stripped down guitars and clipped vocals. Wisely the duo have dumped their pseudonyms W and Hotel and will be known by their real names, Alison and James, as they promoted new album 'No Wow’ - which, given this tasty apetiser, should be a good listen. JW
Release date; 7 Feb
Press contact: Ian Cheek [CP, RP] Domino IH [NP] Anglo [CR, RR, NR]

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EMBRACE ANNOUNCE EXTRA LEEDS OPEN AIR GIG
Embrace have announced a second open air show in home town Leeds after the first date sold out. The second show at the city’s Millennium Square will take place on 29 May.

Meanwhile the band plan to precede those gigs, what will be their biggest ever shows, with their smallest ever gig by playing at a fans house. Fans interested in winning that gig for their house should check http://www.secretgig.com.

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RIAA TARGET DEAD GRANNY WITH DOWNLOAD LAWSUIT
Here’s a fun one. The Recording Industry Association of America have had another bad PR incident after it materialised they had issued a subpoena against a dead grandmother who they alleged was sharing over 700 illegally obtained music files using the ID "smittenedkitten".

Gertrude Walton’s family sent RIAA officials documentation to prove their grandmother had died, aged 83, back in Dec. More importantly she had never owned a computer. The RIAA confirmed they would dismiss the case against the 83 year old and continued their search for the real "smittenedkitten".

Of course mistakes such as this are bound to happen when the music industry can only identify people who illegally share music online via their IP addresses. While internet service providers are not obligated to share the actual identities of these people with the record labels there is always an element of guess work in identifying the identities of the guilty parties.

That said, each time the RIAA mistakenly target an individual, and especially when that person is very young or very old, the industry’s case against illegal downloading receives another round of bad press.

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PREPARATIONS UNDERWAY FOR EUROVISION 2005
Preparations are underway for Eurovision 2005, oh yes, and given the tendency of all those Eastern European countries to vote for each other pushing us Brits way down the finalists list we’re going to need a damn good song this time round. Alas, the decision for which song should enter the contest will again be left open to the British public through a Pop Idol style show called 'Making Your Mind Up’, so frankly we’re doomed.

Most attention at the moment is on the singers set to perform each of the tracks being considered as Britain’s entrant. Former UK entrant Gina G will perform one track, as will Javine (she who missed out on being in Girls Aloud at the last minute on the last Pop Stars show), Andy Scott Lee (the 3SL boy who got into the finals on the last Pop Idol show) and that top musical star Jordan, who will perform under real name Katie Price. Can’t wait.

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