CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 24th February

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- QOTSA pull European dates after frontman taken ill
- Jacko jury selected
- Leeds Festival granted licence in record time
- Live Review: The Tears At The Astoria
- Robbie to collaborate with Scissor Sisters
- Italian metal rocker jailed for murder
- Apple unveil new iPods
- New Natalie Imbruglia
- 50 Cent's new album brought forward
- Green Day top six US charts
- Single Review: Husky Rescue - New Light Of Tomorrow
- Mobile music earnings to triple
- New Billy Idol album
- Charity DJ fest tonight
- Bravery tour
- ATP chalet for sale
- Album Review: Death From Above 1979 - You're A Woman, I'm A Machine
- Digweed to play classics at album launch
- Others to play V&A
- Madonna to lend Tate some paintings
- Usher on the defensive

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QOTSA PULL EUROPEAN DATES AFTER FRONTMAN TAKEN ILL
Queens Of The Stone Age have pulled upcoming European tour dates because frontman Josh Homme has been taken seriously ill. The band were due to play gigs in both Koln and Berlin, and then three gigs in one night in London, over the next ten days, however those have been cancelled after Homme began coughing up blood in his hotel room in Paris earlier this week. The band hope to reschedule the cancelled gigs.

A statement from the band's management said: "Queens Of The Stone Age were forced to halt their mini-tour on Tuesday, 22 Feb after singer Josh Homme began coughing up blood in his Paris hotel room. What doctors in Amsterdam initially diagnosed as the flu was found to be a serious lung infection. This resulted in his immediate return to the United States."

On their website the band added: "We've toured with everything from broken ankles to bruised livers, but simply weren't prepared for this relentless attack of teeming bacteria. Our fans know that we ain't pussies and this is an obvious downer for everyone involved. All we really wanted to do was play our new tunes for everybody, and turn this "promo tour" into more of a party. So, for those of you with any unused tickets, hold on to them. We'll be back as soon as possible to make up these shows, and when we do, we'll have something special for all of you with an un-ripped ticket. We ain't in the habit of cancelling, and we don't forget."

No word yet on what Homme's illness means for the band's US tour, due to begin on 15 Mar.

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JACKO JURY SELECTED
After two sets of delays in the Jacko jury selection process, the whole thing got sorted really rather quickly. Somewhat ahead of schedule Superior Court Judge Rodney S Melville yesterday told reporters: "We have a jury".

For fans of stats, here's a breakdown. The panel consists of four men, eight women. The youngest is 20, the eldest 79. Racially, we're talking seven whites, four Hispanics and one Asian. Other fun facts reported by Billboard include that one of the juror's grandson was required to register as a sexual offender because of a crime; another says she was related to the pilot of one of the planes that went down on 9/11; one is a 20-year-old man who likes 'The Simpsons'; another is interested in Western art and country music. Sorted.

Eight substitute jurors are still to be selected - but word is the jury could be sitting in court as early as next week. For the jury to have been selected in just five court days is quite an acheivement, former San Francisco lawyer Jim Hammer told Billboard: "It's unheard of in a case like this to have a jury this fast".

Elsewhere, Melville assured everyone that Jacko's recent flu-like illness, which delayed the jury selection process by a week, was genuine and wasn't a delay tactic by the defense. Melville: "Mr Jackson really was sick. He really did have the flu. I talked to his doctor. I wouldn't let anyone take advantage of us that way".

Melville also confirmed that a few more celeb names have been added to the list of potential witnesses that might be called to testify - new additions included singer Smokey Robinson and actors Eddie Murphy and Macaulay Culkin.

Things could well get going proper next week.

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LEEDS FESTIVAL GRANTED LICENCE IN RECORD TIME
Organisers of the Leeds Festival have had their licence approved in record time, proving that a move in site and revamp of security measures two years ago are really paying off.

The Leeds Festival, of course, had a period of difficulty when the event was tarnished by rioting, normally at the close of the event. This led to local opposition to the festival going ahead.

However, by moving the event to the Bramham Park site that will host the festival again this summer, and by introducing a range of new security measures, those troubles have not reoccured in recent years, meaning council officials were able to unanimously grant the festival a licence in a one hour meeting at Leeds Civic Hall on Tuesday night.

Commenting on the speedy decision, Melvin Benn, MD of the festival's promoter Mean Fiddler, told reporters: "This is great news. Last year's festival once again demonstrated that Bramham Park is the perfect venue for the north's only music festival and we can now look forward to another three days of great music and world famous bands in 2005."

The Reading and Leeds Festivals will take place between 26 and 28 Aug.

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LIVE REVIEW: The Tears at The Astoria on 16 Feb
It's easy to forgot that The Tears are still a very new band. They really haven't had much time playing together; this is only their sixth gig and yet some fans and critics seem to be expecting Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler to pull a sequel to 'Dog Man Star' straight out of a hat. Suede were always a fantastic live band and much of this was due to Anderson's electrifying presence as a frontman. At the Tears second gig in December he was much more subdued, he seemed to be concentrating on simply playing the songs, but tonight he is more relaxed and his performance is much more physical. The interplay between him and Butler is fascinating to watch as they both compete for the audience's attention. Bernard wiggles his rear, shakes his thick mop of hair and continually sidles up to Brett in a surprisingly suggestive manner. And naturally Butler takes every opportunity to show boat outrageously with his guitar. Hearing Bernard's playing on 'The Primitive' and 'Brand New Century' tonight I realise how much I've missed his particularly visceral sounding guitar. Anderson and Butler haven't lost the ability to write killer tunes; on second listen 'Apollo 13' is indelibly etched on my brain. Also impressive are the two ballads 'Love As Strong As Death' and 'The Ghost of You' which top and tail the evening during which Brett's voice is as strong as ever. When Anderson announced that Suede were splitting up he said he needed to get his demon back. It looks as if he's found his demon, and quite possibly he's called Bernard. JW

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ROBBIE TO COLLABORATE WITH SCISSOR SISTERS
Robbie Williams will team up with the Scissor Sisters for a track on his next album (that's the duets album we reported on earlier in the week). A source told the Daily Express: "Robbie was so impressed with them that he asked singer Jake Shears what sound he should go for next and now a deal has been struck. They plan to get together as soon as possible in New York."

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ITALIAN METAL ROCKER JAILED FOR MURDER
Now, there was us thinking that Pete Doherty's antics were rock 'n' roll, but he's got some way to go to match this. The guitarist in an unsigned Italian metal band has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for his involvement in the sacrificial killings of his band mate, his girlfriend and his bandmates' girlfriend.

Actually, this is a really horrific story. Andrea Volpe of Itlaian band Beasts of Satan was found guilty for being involved in the murder of his band mate, 16 year old Fabio Tollis, who was killed after he tried to stop the murder of his girlfriend Chiara Marino who, in turn, was being targeted by Volpe's cult because they believed her to be a reincarnation of the Virgin Mary. Volpe also confessed to the murder of his girlfriend Mariangela Pezzotta.

Despite the horror of the crime Volpe was expected to get a lesser sentence because he had been very cooperative with the police investigating the incident.

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APPLE UNVEIL NEW IPODS
Apple has unveiled several new iPods, with higher capacity and reduced price the theme of the day. The big new arrival is a 6GB iPod mini, which will sell for $249. The existing 4GB model will also fall in price to $199. The 60GB iPod Photo will come down in price to $449, plus a 40GB version of that model has been launched which will retail for $349.

Commenting on the new models and price cuts, Gene Munster, a research analyst with Piper Jaffray, told CNN: "Clearly, Apple is responding to competition, because they wouldn't make a move like this if there weren't competitors. This keeps the company a step ahead, and really leaves no room for competitors to successfully grab market share".

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NEW NATALIE IMBRUGLIA
Natalie Imbruglia is close to finishing her third album, 'Counting Down The Days', which will be released via SonyBMG's newish Brightside imprint. The first single release, a track called 'Shiver', should be released in late Mar, with an Apr release date pencilled in for the album. Collaborators on the album included producer Ben Hillier, Faultline's David Kosten and Imbruglia's husband, Silverchair's Daniel Johns.

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50 CENT'S NEW ALBUM BROUGHT FORWARD
Well, it seems it is safe to assume more or less every major US release will come out five days earlier than originally announced. Universal imprint Interscope has told US retailers that 50 Cent's new album 'The Massacre' will be released on 3 Mar, five days earlier than the original 8 Mar release date. Once again, internet leaks of the album are being blamed for the release date switch. It's particularly bad news for Jennifer Lopez, because she will now be competing with Fiddy for the albums chart top spot which, chart watchers say, she would have been pretty much guaranteed if not competing with one of the major hip hop releases of the year.

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GREEN DAY TOP SIX US CHARTS
Talking of US chart trivia, the mighty fine Green Day have topped no less than six US charts with new track 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams'. The US industry has a plethora of different charts for different genres (we do too I suppose, it's just no one takes any notice of them) and this week Green Day are number one in the Alternative Rock, Hot AC, Active Rock, Rock, CHR/Pop and Triple A chart. Well done them.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Husky Rescue - New Light Of Tomorrow (Catskills)
Husky Rescue's acclaimed 2004 album 'Country Falls' somehow passed me by but, on the strength of this majestic, understated single, it's one I'm going to be soon checking out. Recalling fellow Scandinavian Even Johansen (aka Magnet)'s way with glacial melancholy, with its wintry electronica, plaintive piano and mournful slide guitar, 'New Light Of Tomorrow' is how alt country would sound if it emanated from near the Arctic Circle. If that makes the song sound cold and unwelcoming, don't be dissuaded. The chilly ambience coalesces perfectly with the warming vocals and melodies to make you feel soothed and comforted amidst the desolate snowscape. A bit like an actual husky rescue, then. Just too lovely for words, frankly. MS
Press release: 28 Feb
Press contact: Darling [CP, RP, NP] Rocketscience [CR, RR, NR]

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MOBILE MUSIC EARNINGS TO TRIPLE
Universal Music Group's mobile division reckons that the value of mobile music will rise from $5.3 billion to $15.8 billion a year over the next five years as audio and video downloads join ring tones as profitable revenue streams in the mobile sector. With that in mind, some are now saying the mobile music sector could become more important that the internet based download sector in years to come. Others might argue that the two sectors are essentially the same thing and those departments working in online and mobile music projects will have pretty much merged in five years time anyway.

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NEW BILLY IDOL ALBUM
Billy Idol's new album 'Devil's Playground' will be released on 21 Mar - hurrah! Promo copies are now available, speak to Sharon Chevin at The Publicity Connection (sharon@thepublicityconnection.com) if you want to review it. Idol, of course, is one of the headliners at this year's Download festival.

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CHARITY DJ FEST TONIGHT
Felix B (Basement Jaxx), Robert Owens, Paul 'Trouble' Anderson, Bert Bevans, the Hoxton Whores, Miss Jools and Lisa Loud are among the DJs lined up for a special charity bash in aid of the Big Issue taking place at Turnmills tonight. It all runs from 8pm to 3am and tickets are £10 on door (£6 NUS). Info at http://www.turnmills.co.uk

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BRAVERY TOUR
With all of their current UK dates sold out, buzz band The Bravery have announced more dates for May. With the excitement surrounding this band increasing as next week's single release approaches, tickets for these gigs will no doubt sell quick too.

20 May: Glasgow Barrowland
22 May: Manchester Academy
23 May: Leeds Metropolitan Univeristy
24 May: Bristol Academy
25 May: Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
27 May: Oxford Brookes University
28 May: London Astoria

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ATP CHALET FOR SALE
One CMU Daily reader has a spare chalet going at this weekend's All Tomorrow's Parties after some friends pulled out last minute. As previously reported, this edition of ATP has been curated by Slint and includes Miighty Flashlight, Spoon, Mum, Mogwai, The Melvins and many many more on the bill (more at http://www.atpfestival.com). Anyone interested in buying the chalet ticket should email thomdavies@gmail.com asap.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Death From Above 1979 - You're A Woman, I'm A Machine (679)
The debut album from this hotly-tipped Canadian band finally gets a UK release after huge praise, conveniently coinciding with their UK tour. Death From Above 1979 certainly are a unique set up - a duo consisting of Jesse F Keeler on bass/synths and Sebastian Grainger on drums/vocals. They're as far removed from that other famous rock duo - White Stripes - as you could possibly get. Despite their apparent instrumental limitations, they create a sound that can only be described as a sonic assault on the senses. The opening track 'Turn It Out' doesn't initally prepare you for what is to come. After some gentle piano chords however, all hell breaks loose, as violent synth squeals, accompanied by some fast and frenetic drumming, sets the tone for the rest of the album. The following track, 'Romantic Rights' is the first single from the album, and the most impressive track, featuring the most arresting rock riff since 'No-one Knows' by Queens Of The Stone Age. Like the aforementioned band, Death From Above 1979 have the potential to break into the mainstream, especially with impending single 'Blood On Our Hands' which is another pulsating tune with a sufficiently infectious to help it crash into the top forty. Elsewhere, the band demonstrate an ability to extend their musical range. In particular with closing track 'Sexy Results', which is as danceable and funky a record as anything the likes of !!! and The Rapture have managed. The extended outro of guitar, synth and cowbell could easily soundtrack the hippest of discotheques. Taking the album as a whole, I suppose a churl could examine the bands' lyrics, and make accusations of misogyny. For all Grainger's talk of 'starting a family' in 'Romantic Rights', this is an album of sexually charged lyrics. This is nothing new; metal bands have never been known for their sensitivity, celebrating masculinity and virility at all times. The female form is objectified, but perhaps the band are conscious of the genre's lyrical cliches and traditions. The album title hints at some kind of sexual dysfunction at least. But then this is less of an album for the brain, more an album for the groin, so maybe the band's lyrics shouldn't be overly scrutinised. This album will certainly mark Death From Above 1979 as one of the bands to watch out for this year. It's an album of depth, one which has more range than is expected of bands within the genre, and will make many critics' lists in December. KW
Release date: 21 Feb
Press contact: Hall Or Nothing [CP, RP, NP] Warner IH [CR, RR, NR]

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DIGWEED TO PLAY CLASSICS AT ALBUM LAUNCH
John Digweed will be Djing at AKA on 9 Mar to celebrate the launch of his new Choice compilation on Azuli. He'll be playing a special set of classics, rarities, huge anthems and wild obscurities - the Choice albums being all about the classic tracks that mean most to each edition's compiler. The album launch party will run from 9pm to late, and entry is free. Press info from ePM.

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OTHERS TO PLAY V&A
Here's an interesting one - The Others, whose new single 'William' is out on 4 Apr - will be playing at the Victoria and Albert Museum tomorrow (25 Feb) as part of an event called Agitate! Educate! Organise! which is designed to celebrate the new wave of social protest, observation and documentary in the arts.

Spoken word performances, poetry slamming and impromptu gigs will take place all around the museum - as well as The Others controversial female voice Helen Walsh and Whitbread prize-winner Patrick Neate will read from their latest works, while Courttia Newland, Nii Parkes and six authors from the Tell Tales crew will be performing their unique short stories, each accompanied by specially composed scores.

Kicks off at 7.45pm - info from AmpUnited (leslie@ampunited.com)

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MADONNA TO LEND TATE SOME PAINTINGS
Talking of pop stars and arty museums, Madonna has leant the Tate Modern two of her favourite pictures for an exhibition on Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The exhibition will run from Jun to Oct.

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USHER ON THE DEFENSIVE
Usher has been criticising people who criticise him, saying people don't realise he "lives in a glass box" (he's being metaphorical here, he's not adopted a David Blane style method of living). The Teenhollywood website quotes him as saying: "It's easy for people who don't know me to criticise me, but there's more to my life than people will ever know. If people think my life is totally amazing and perfect, they should take a good look. I sort of live in a glass box. Everything happens in front of other people. When I break up with my girlfriend, everybody has to know about it. I try to stay positive, but sometimes I've got to smile when I don't feel like smiling. I've got a lot going on right now, but I know it's all going to turn out OK. It usually does." So, that's you critical types told.

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