CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 15th February

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Jacko trial update - celebs incoming
- Aaron says brother Nick did hit Paris
- Kate dumps Doherty
- BPI act to ensure independents are counted in download charts
- Elton moving to Sanctuary?
- OK to swear providing you’re “light-hearted and mischievous”
- Abba reunited for Swedish Mama Mia launch
- Album Review: Eastern Lane - The Article
- Elliot Smith rarity added to iTunes
- Mcfly hope film cameo will help them break US
- Coldplay album / tour news
- Ravonettes return
- Motorola launch iTunes compatible phone
- Nokia and Loudeye to work with Microsoft on mobile music platform
- Sony plan walkman phone
- New survey shows legit downloading up
- It’s the British Folk Awards - hurrah
- Grammys audience reaches new low
- Album Review: Various - Malcolm In The Middle OST
- 3i step up efforts to buy Virgin Radio
- BBC 1 boss quits
- Kylie’s hits album not a hit in the States
- Timberlake and Diaz married?
- Beyonce on her need for privacy
- Irn Bru plan Franz Ferdinand bottles

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JACKO TRIAL UPDATE - CELEBS INCOMING
The Michael Jackson trial was back under way yesterday and, as officials moved forward with the complicated jury selection process, Jacko’s lawyers were busy revealing just how star studded this trial could be.

Lawyers for the prosecution and defence read out lists of the people they might call as witnesses in the trial to give potential jurors the chance to reveal any connections they may have to those people. While prosecutors say they may bring Jacko’s ex-wife Debbie Rowe, dreadful TV presenter Martin Bashir and former child star Corey Feldman to the witness stand, the defence team revealed an impressive list of star names lined up to speak in support of Jackson.

That list includes old pal Elizabeth Taylor, singers Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and Barry Gibb, actor Chris Tucker, TV hosts Larry King and Jay Leno, illustionists Uri Geller and David Blane, US basketball player Kobe Bryant and Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and his brother Aaron. If only celebrity points were want counted in US law (they don’t, right?) then Jacko would have just won.

Fans of celebrity witnesses might have to be patient however - the trial is expected to last six months and officials are still fully occupied with the tedious task of finding an impartial jury.

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AARON SAYS BROTHER NICK DID HIT PARIS
Jacko’s people might want to reconsider using Aaron Carter as a witness - he’s certainly doing little to protect big brother Nick. When the Backstreet Boy split up with girlfriend Paris Hilton last year the rumour machine said they broke up on very bad terms. When Paris was then seen sporting bruises it was alleged her ex-boyfriend had been dealing with the couple’s problems with his fists - something the singer vehemently denied. But the Fox News channel say brother Aaron has now told a different story - they quote the young pop star as saying: "He hit her Ö and he hit me”.

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KATE DUMPS DOHERTY
Doherty news incoming. Phew, I’d been getting withdrawel symptons. Kate Moss has dumped the former Libertine and, while that story has been doing the rounds more or less every day since the couple first got together, it seems that this time it might be true.

According to the Sun, the very private Kate dumped Pete after pictures of the couple taken with Doherty’s mobile phone appeared in the press, just days after the Babyshambles man gave a much more honest interview about their relationship than she would have wished. A source told the Sun: "Kate hit the roof last week when he spoke about their relationship. Then the pictures surface and that was the final straw."
Given that his love for Kate was a key motivation for his latest attempt of rehab, Doherty is, needless to say, gutted by Moss’ decision. The Sun quote Doherty as saying: "I can't believe Kate has done this to me now. The only reason I'm trying to get clean is because I love her so much."

If the split rumours are true many now wonder what effect that will have on Doherty’s attempts to kick the drugs which, word has it, had been going pretty well this time round.

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BPI ACT TO ENSURE INDEPENDENTS ARE COUNTED IN DOWNLOAD CHARTS
The BPI have said a key priority for the industry association just now is enabling independent labels to get equal access to key download platforms, to ensure they don’t lose out when digital music sales are incorporated into the British singles chart next month.

BPI boss Peter Jamieson told CMU yesterday: “We want to ensure that independent repertoire is as successful in the download world as it is the physical world. With downloads shortly to be eligible for the singles chart, this is a key commercial issue on which the BPI is committed to assisting its members.”

In that bid Jamieson says his organisation will be lobbying key digital music providers asking them to ensure their customers can buy current and forthcoming independent releases from their online stores. The BPI will also stage a series of six seminars under the banner ‘Getting Your Music Online’ which will be aimed at the organisation’s independent members - details of those seminars are as follows:

15 Feb, 5.30pm: Marketing to the Chart
Speakers: 7 Digital, Blueprint, The Orchard

28 Feb, 4.30pm: Chart Eligibility
Speakers: The Official UK Charts Company, CatCo, Outside Line

8 Mar: 5.30pm: The Digital Retailers
Speakers: Loudeye (OD2), iTunes, recordstore.co.uk

22 Mar, 5.30pm: The Digital Retailers
Speakers: Napster, Real (Rhapsody), DRML

7 Apr: 5.30pm Getting Your Music Online Part 5
Speakers: TBC

21 Apr: 5.30pm: The Mobile World
Speakers: TBC

All seminars are free to BPI members - non-members can attend for a small fee - details from the BPI. Announcing the seminars Jamieson told CMU: “These seminars mark another step in the process of improving our services to members. We are committed to helping our members improve their businesses in whatever way we can.”

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ELTON MOVING TO SANCTUARY?
Rumour has it that Elton John, who currently releases his music via a deal with Universal’s Mercury division, is considering moving both his recording and management deals to Sanctuary in a big cash deal. More on that when we get it.

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OK TO SWEAR PROVIDING YOU’RE “LIGHT-HEARTED AND MISCHIEVOUS”
Talking of Elton, and the Radio 1 Breakfast Show is off the hook after OfCom ruled that it would take no further action for letting the singer use a barrage of swear words during a morning interview. While chatting to Radio 1’s Chris Moyles on the breakfast show last year the singer went on a rant using words like "fucking", "bollocks" and "wank" just after 9am. The incident got much coverage at the time, but OfCom said it would not take any action against the BBC because the presenter apologised for Elton’s language twice during the interview, and the BBC had already told Moyles to air more caution during live interviews.

The regulator said Elton’s first use of a swear word was a "genuine slip”, while a subsequent discussion of what swear words could and couldn’t be used on air was "light-hearted and mischievous”. It concluded: "In view of the nature of the error, the on-air apologies and the action taken, we consider the matter resolved.”

At the time the BBC also responded to the media backlash against the interview by pointing out that there is a real change in Radio 1 audience demographic at 9am and that few children would have been listening.

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ABBA REUNITED FOR SWEDISH MAMA MIA LAUNCH
Abba have finally been reunited - the first time all four members of the group have been together in public for almost twenty years. As previously reported, it was thought that a reunion would take place in London last year when the Abba musical Mama Mia celebrated its fifth anniversary but in the end Agnetha Faltskog - the one Abba member who has stayed completely out of the spotlight since the group split in 2002 - bailed out of the engagement blaming her fear of flying.

But Agnetha was able to make it to Stockholm's Cirkus theatre this weekend to join former bandmates Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad for the Swedish premiere of Mama Mia. Needless to say, fans camped outside the theatre, despite the snow, to get a glimpse of the whole group together again.

The opening of the Swedish version of the show means there are now 14 productions of the Abba musical being staged around the world - more than 20 million people have so far seen it.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Eastern Lane - The Article (Rough Trade)
I first picked out an Eastern Lane CD not because of any hype I’d heard, not because I’d caught them live, not because I’d heard any snippets. It was the song titles that did it! Who in their right mind would call a song 'I Said Pig On Friday'? Bloody marvellous. But what about the musical abilities of these great song namers? Well, Berwick-Upon-Tweed's only well known import seem to specialise in diversity, and they use their eclectic skills to good effect. Feedback-charged opener 'Daffodills For My Mother' starts with a bit of random wittering between band members before launching into a real rock-out - it’s a very fine start. The aforementioned 'Pig On Friday' gives us the opportunity for a little dance (and yes, the song’s as good as its name). But in contrast, they've got some slowies to redress the balance, principally in the shape of the piano-led 'I Feel Liberated','Wait a Little Longer' and the sweet acoustic melancholy that is 'Goodbye Rose Garden'. Looks like for once I'm right to follow my instinct - even if my reasoning was suspect - because Eastern Lane have good tunes to match those quirky names. YN
Release date: 7 Feb
Press contact: Wild [CP, CR] Darling [RP, NP] Rough Trade IH [RR, NR]

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ELLIOT SMITH RARITY ADDED TO ITUNES
The highly collectable Elliott Smith EP ‘Speed Trials’, which was only ever released on vinyl here in the UK, is being made available by iTunes, in the US at least. The EP featured the track ‘I Don't Think I'm Ever Gonna Figure It Out’ and alternate takes of ‘Angeles’ and ‘Speed Trials’.

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MCFLY HOPE FILM CAMEO WILL HELP THEM BREAK US
McFly news incoming - hurrah! The band have revealed they are hoping to break America by releasing their debut album there at the same time as the film Just My Luck in which the band have a cameo appearance. The album they release there will combine tracks from their British debut album, and songs that appear in the movie.

McFly’s Tom Fletcher told the Daily Star: "We're going to do a different album for America to the one we've released in England because we've moved on since then. I'm so proud of the new songs. We haven't intentionally changed the music, it's just naturally changing. The recordings we got back from New Orleans sound amazing. People will think, 'Oh, is this McFly?'"

Let’s hope McFly’s association with Just My Luck proves more productive than Busted’s attempts to break the States through an association with the movie hit that was Thunderbirds.

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COLDPLAY ALBUM / TOUR NEWS
Coldplay news incoming. Yeah. Word is the band are planning a number of UK dates to coincide with the release of the new album, which is currently pencilled in for May. The band’s drummer Will Champion has told fans they are "utterly petrified" about going back on the road having not done a gig for 16 months.

In the band’s official newsletter he says: "I think we were in no hurry [to finish the album] because the prospect of touring again was so daunting that we felt we should take our time, and also we wanted to make sure that it was the best it could possibly be. But in the end, having no deadline became a problem because we never really felt the need to finish anything. As soon as we gave ourselves a proper deadline we started to be much more productive and the stuff we were doing was miles better. It’s always the same with us, the best stuff comes when we start to panic."

On the record itself he continued: "It’s like a natural progression from the last record. The difference between ‘In My Place’ and ‘Clocks’ on ‘A Rush Of Blood To The Head’ represented the change between the oldest and the newest songs of that album and there are songs that kind of pick up where ‘Clocks’ left off, but also ones that have moved on a bit."

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RAVONETTES RETURN
The Ravonettes will also be back in May with their new album - to be called ‘Pretty In Black’. Guest contributors on the new eleven track album include Velvet Underground's Mo Tucker, Ronnie Spector and Suicide's Martin Rev.

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MOTOROLA LAUNCH ITUNES COMPATIBLE PHONE
Motorola were capturing the digital music headlines yesterday when they revelaed their new E1060 phone - the first mobile to come with iTunes software on deck. Insiders can’t decide what Motorola’s non-exclusive relationship with Apple will mean for the digital music space. You could argue mobile phones that play MP3s will very soon be bigger competitors to the likes of the iPod than rival digital music players. Given that Apple’s priorities to date have been to use iTunes to shift iPods, rather than to build a stand alone digital music platform, it will be interesting to see what happens if Motorola’s iTunes compatible phones ever start to impact on iPod sales.

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NOKIA AND LOUDEYE TO WORK WITH MICROSOFT ON MOBILE MUSIC PLATFORM
Elsewhere in mobile phone music things, Nokia and digital music provider Loudeye have announced they will be working directly with Microsoft to develop their mobile music platform. Nokia and Loudeye formed an alliance in the mobile music space last Autumn with the intent of building a white label mobile music system which, like Loudeye’s web based download platform, can be used and branded by other media, music and retail players who want to offer a mobile music service. Loudeye’s online system is based around Microsoft’s digital music software. With that in mind Nokia and Loudeye will work directly with the IT giant on the mobile platform.

Talking more about the service the three companies are building, Jonas Geust, VP of Music at Nokia, told reporters: "The solution that we have developed with Loudeye allows straightforward access to music from a mobile device or PC. This tightly integrated service means that consumers can enjoy music at their convenience without having to worry about the underlying technologies. It’s the only music solution available to operators globally that fully integrates the mobile and the PC experience."

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SONY PLAN WALKMAN PHONE
In case you’re wondering why there’s so much mobile news this morning - it’s because it’s the never dull 3GSM mobile industry bash in Cannes this week. Also on hand in Cannes were Sony Ericcson who implied there might be some rare collaboration between different parts of the Sony group on their mobile music proposition. Word is a Walkman phone is in the pipleine (so that’s Sony Walkman people talking to Sony Ericcson people) and it will be promoted through a tie in with SonyBMG (so that’s Sony electronics people talking to Sony music people - wow!). Of course they’ll probably end up competing with the Sony PlayStation Portable, which rumour has it will incorporate mobile phone functionality in the near future, but still - three bits of Sony collaborating is quite an acheivement.

Details of how the new phone will work are still a bit hazy, though with Sony’s new commitment to making their digital music players as compatible as possible it is likely the phones will play basic MP3s as well as any proprietary codecs.

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NEW SURVEY SHOWS LEGIT DOWNLOADING UP
Elsewhere in digital music things, and a new poll in the US has provided some hope for the legitimate digital music companies. The report by Ipsos-Insight found that no less than 47% of those surveyed had bought a download in Dec - that sounds very high and suggests a net savvy sample group, but it still demonstrates that digital music is really starting to take hold. Meanwhile, the same survey suggested that 11% of Americans reguarly bought music from a download platform, the same percentage that reguarly use illegal P2P networks. The latter was slightly down, which will please both the legit download sellers and those spearheading the anti-P2P campaign.

Ipsos-Insight VP Matt Kleinschmit told reporters: "While fiercely competitive online music services and download stores undertake high-profile efforts to attract consumers to their respective sites and business models, it is clear from this data that consumers are increasingly experimenting with legitimate online methods of music acquisition”.

On the fact as many people seem to be legally download as using illegal P2P networks, he continued: "This is significant both functionally and symbolically as operators of fee-based digital music websites are finally seeing American downloaders embrace their services, and the broader industry can now see empirical evidence that fee-based online content can survive and even flourish while non-licensed content remains available.”

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IT’S THE BRITISH FOLK AWARDS - HURRAH
So, you’re all waiting to find out the results of the Radio 2 Folk Awards, right? Well, wait no more, the results are in. The folk genre’s annual awards bash took place in London last night and the winners are:

Folk Singer Of The Year: Martin Carthy
Musician Of The Year: Kathryn Tickell
Best Original Song: Karine Polwart
Best Duo: Aly Bain And Phil Cunningham
Horizon Award: Karine Polwart
Best Album: Karine Polwart
Best Dance Act: Whapweasel
Best Live Act: Bellowhead
Best Group: Oyesterband Big Session
Best Traditional Track: Martin Carthy
Lifetime Achievement For Song Writing: Tom Paxton
Folk Club Of The Year: Hitchin Folk Club
Good Tradition Award: Steeleye Span
Lifetime Achievement Award: Ramblin' Jack Elliot

The awards will be broadcast on Radio 2 tomorrow night at 7pm, and on BBC 4 on Friday night at 9.30pm.

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GRAMMYS AUDIENCE REACHES NEW LOW
Now that you’ve brought up the televising of music awards, news that TV ratings for the Grammys reached a new low this year. An estimated 18.8 million people watched the US music industry’s big night out on CBS this weekend, a drop of 28% on last year. It seems an exclusive duet between James Brown and Usher wasn’t enough to pull the average American TV viewer away from Desperate Housewives, which won more viewers over on the other side.

To be fair to the Grammys, there is a general decline in the TV audience for awards shows - last year’s Emmys received their lowest audience to date and last month’s Golden Globes had its lowest viewing figures since it started being broadcast again back in 1996.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various - Malcolm In The Middle OST (Ryko)
A few summers back when I was living over there in West London I discovered that my local shop stocked Bart Simpson ice creams. Perhaps I was living an odd life at the time, I don’t know, but I remember the discovery of these ice creams as a joyous moment because, without going out of my way to find it, I had found my perfect summer snack. Firstly, they were Bart Simpson ice creams and the Simpsons was, is and will always be one of my very favourite TV shows. Second, they were simple ice cream on a stick (no complicated coating or anything like that), my very favourite kind of ice cream. Third, the ice cream was banana flavour, my very favourite ice cream flavour (and not one that’s easy to find). And fourth, for some reason best known to my local shopkeeper, he was selling them for 30p. Given that I was completely broke at the time this was just too perfect - everything had kinda come together in one ice cream on a stick. Were my life a movie the discovery of the Bart Simpson ice cream would be accompanied by a heavenly chorus of a soundtrack. Anyway, I’m telling you all this because I felt a similar level of joy when I opened a jiffy bag last week and found this here CD - a soundtrack built around US TV show Malcolm In The Middle. Once again, and without any work on my part, everything had come together in one place. First, this is the Malcolm In The Middle soundtrack. MITM is, was and always will be one of my favourite TV shows. Second, it features two of my very favourite records which, until now, I’ve never possessed a copy of - They Might Be Giants’ ‘Boss Of Me’ (the MITM theme tune) and OPM’s ‘Heaven Is A Half Pipe’. Third, the other fifteen tracks are great examples of the kind of (mainly American) music I know I love but which I’ve never made time to discover (eg Stroke 9, The Getaway People, The Baha Men, Flak and The Push Stars). Fourth, it comes with a fantastic track by Travis that I’ve never heard before. And fifth, it lets me slip Rednex’s ‘Cotton Eye Joe’ into my record collection without anyone noticing. This isn’t breaking any new ground and is unlikely to be a big big seller - but for the last seven days it has let me rediscover the joy that was eating Bart Simpson ice creams on Ealing Common on hot summer days, and for that I am grateful. CC
Release date: 4 Apr
Press contact: Hermana [all]

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3I STEP UP EFFORTS TO BUY VIRGIN RADIO
Interesting developments in the world of hostlile media takeovers. Because the Scottish Media Group turned down a Lord Alli led bid by venture capital group 3i to buy Virgin Radio, rumour has it 3i are now considering a bid to take over the whole of SMG - which would give the investment group the national radio station, the Pearl & Dean and Primesight advertising business and, perhaps most importantly, the two Scottish ITV franchises - Scottish TV and Grampian TV - which, unlike all the English and Welsh ITV stations, are not wholly owned by ITV plc.

That said, ITV plc is SMG’s biggest shareholder and would therefore have to support any takeover. Some say 3i might talk them into a deal by promising them the two ITV franchises in return for the rest of the SMG business. However, others question whether ITV really needs full ownership of those franchises, and whether it is worth 3i going to all that effort just to gain ownership of Virgin Radio and some spin off businesses.

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BBC 1 BOSS QUITS
The big media story yesterday, of course, was that, as expected, BBC 1 controller Lorraine Heggessey is quitting to go and run independent TV producer Talkback Thames.

The BBC’s director of TV, Jana Bennett, confirmed Heggessey’s decision yesterday, after which she paid tribute to the woman who has run the Corporation’s flagship channel for nearly five years, saying she was a "human dynamo" and a "true champion of public service broadcasting, consistently backing talent and creativity".

Some reckoned Heggessey, a close ally of former BBC Director General Greg Dyke, would quit when he was sacked last year in the post-Hutton mess. However new BBC boss Mark Thompson encouraged her to stay. She says she has decided to quit now so she can leave while the channel is on a high - "After almost five years as controller of BBC1, I feel I am ready for a new challenge and could not pass up the opportunity to join one of the UK's most respected production companies. I have had a wonderful time at BBC1, working with some of the best talent both in front of and behind the camera."

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KYLIE’S HITS ALBUM NOT A HIT IN THE STATES
Is it wrong that we laughed out loud when we heard how badly Emma Bunton’s album had done in America, yet we feel rather disappointed when we hear that Kylie’s greatest hits has flopped in the States. Despite enjoying new success in the US with ‘Can't Get You Out Of My Head’ and last album ‘Fever’, the career spanning greatest hits failed to make it into the Billboard Top 200. Still, there’s a chance she’ll be playing gigs at Earls Court for the rest of her life, such is the demand for tickets for her Showgirl tour here in the UK, so who cares what those foolish Americans think? They know nothing about music. Except when it comes to Emma Bunton albums - on that point they are spot on.

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TIMBERLAKE AND DIAZ MARRIED?
Rumours galore that Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz were in Las Vegas yesterday for a Valentines wedding. If true, we trust it will last long than Timberlake’s ex-girlfriend’s Vegas marriage.

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BEYONCE ON HER NEED FOR PRIVACY
Now that we’re in the gossip bit, and Beyonce has been telling reporters about why she, erm, doesn’t tell reporters anything: "Even in school I was private. It kept my name out of people's mouths. Not because I was ashamed of anything or because I wasn't passionate about whatever it was, like who I was dating, but because it seemed more pure when I treated it like it was sacred. I don't mind being vulnerable, but people scrutinise celebrities and make up stories. Then when everyone in the world is talking about you, it makes things really hard - not normal. That doesn't work for me because I'm a regular woman."

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IRN BRU PLAN FRANZ FERDINAND BOTTLES
The makers of Scotland’s other national drink - the rather wonderful Irn Bru - are planning on launching four new bottles which will each feature a member of Franz Ferdinand on the side. The limited edition run of bottles are designed to celebrate the band’s success at the Brits last week. Wonderful.

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