CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 2nd March

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Jacko defense say Bashir in contempt - Jacko trial update
- Tensions in 50 Cent camp leads to shooting at New York radio station
- Lil Kim jury selected
- RIAA launch 750 more downloader lawsuits
- Pro-P2P groups unite efforts
- Single Review: The Departure - Lump In My Throat
- Creative step up the fight in MP3 player battle
- Sony announce Walkman Mobile
- Infadels in studio with Jagz
- Usher and Alicia dominate at Soul Train Awards
- Album Review: British Sea Power - Open Season
- J Lo not back with Medina
- BBC board to be axed
- Searchers drummer dies
- Buckingham Palace launches Queen's Medal For Music
- EP Review: We Will Be Pilots - This Is What You Fight For
- Keane to support U2
- Weezer gigs
- Funeral For A Friend gigs
- Green Day added to Oxegen line up
- Prince peforms surprise post-Oscars gig
- Joss signed up for Gap ads
- Evans puts his money of Edith for Celeb Fame Academy

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JACKO DEFENSE SAY BASHIR IN CONTEMPT - JACKO TRIAL UPDATE
Fun galore over at that there Michael Jackson trial. Our old friend Judge Rodney S Melville is currently considering whether the trial's first witness, dreadful TV presenter Martin Bashir, is in contempt of court after he pretty much refused to answer ever question put to him by Jacko's defense team. Bashir's Michael Jackson documentary, in which the singer was seen holding hands with his accuser, pretty much initiated the lastest set of allegations against the singer.

On the second day of the trial yesterday Bashir reluctantly took to the witness stand at the request of the prosecution. He confirmed he had worked as a reporter for both the BBC and ITV and that he had once interviewed Princess Diana. But that was pretty much it. To most of the other questions Bashir cited a California "shield" law that allows journalists to protect their sources in court. Jacko's defense weren't impressed, alleging Bashir was using the law inappropriately and was, therefore, in contempt of court for refusing to answer their questions. Melville confirmed he would consider those claims, adding that journalists using the ìshieldî law to avoid questions in court was ìa real ticklish areaî. Jacko's lawyers plan to call Bashir back to court as part of their presentation to the jury - though the TV presenter's lawyers are expected to fight any such attempts to get him back on the witness stand.

Elsewhere in yesterday's proceedings, Jacko's lawyer Thomas Mesereau concluded his opening statement. He told the court that police found no DNA from the accuser when they searched Jackson's bedroom at his Neverland ranch: "The DNA isn't there because the molestation claims are fictionî. He also implied that Jacko will take to the witness stand himself as part of the defense's case.

At the end of the day Jacko was asked how he felt two days into the trial. He said he was "good", but added he was also "angry".

Elsewhere in Jacko news, and celebrity TV network E! is overcoming the fact that TV cameras are not being allowed into the Jacko trial by hiring actors who will act out the proceedings each day. The reenactments will feature on a daily half hour show, which will also include trial analysis by Court TV's Rikki Klieman, barrister Shawn Chapman Holley from Johnnie Cochran's law firm and defense attorney Howard Weitzman.

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TENSIONS IN 50 CENT CAMP LEADS TO SHOOTING AT NEW YORK RADIO STATION
A man associated with 50 Cent was shot in the lobby of a New York radio station on Monday while the rapper was being interviewed about his new album 'The Massacre'.

According to US newspaper Newsday the shooting may have been down to tensions within the 50 Cent camp following news the rapper is dropping his protege, The Game, from his G:Unit possee. Fiddy's fall out with The Game, real name Jayceon Taylor, seems to follow an interview last weekend in which the G:Unit member talked up Nas - one of the many rappers 50 Cent has an ongoing feud with. Insiders say Fiddy was angered when Taylor said he would be interested in working with Nas.

The man who was shot on Monday was Kevin Reed, one of The Game's associates, and reports suggest the incident occurred during a fracas between 50 Cent and The Game's entourages. Reed, who was shot in the upper leg, was taken to a nearby hospital but later released.

Police are still investigating the incident, and other reports of a shooting later the same day at Violator Management, the company which represents 50 Cent. Police say Reed intially claimed the shooting had nothing to do with the hip hop world, but, they added, they don't believe him.

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LIL KIM JURY SELECTED
In related news, a jury has been chosen for the trial of rapper Lil Kim. She is accused of lying to a grand jury who were investigating another shooting outside the same New York radio station - this time back in 2001 shortly after Lil Kim had been giving an interview. Kim and her friend Monique Dopwell are both accused of lying to the grand jury investigation into that shooting when they said that they did not know the identities of the gun men or the motives for the crime. Her court case is expected to begin this week.

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RIAA LAUNCH 750 MORE DOWNLOADER LAWSUITS
Staying in pop courts, and the Recording Industry Association of America has kicked off another 753 lawsuits against those naughty downloader types. Damn you naughty downloader types. The latest set of lawsuits means the industry association has now launched litigation against over 9000 suspected file sharers. Which is good news for lawyers everywhere.

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PRO-P2P GROUPS UNITE EFFORTS
Talking of which, a large group of P2P supporters are uniting ahead of the US Supreme Court hearing on the critical MGM v Grokster court case which ruled that technology companies who make P2P software cannot be held liable for any copyright violation they enable. The major labels and movie studios want that decision reversed, however a consortium of pro-P2P groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge and the Distributed Computing Industry Association are throwing their weight behind Grokster's case, and they have artists like Chuck D and Jason Mraz on their side. They say P2P networks are a critical promotional and distribution tool.

The consensus is that the labels and studios won't be successful in this case - which is grounded in the landmark Sony Betamax decision of old which formally distanced the makers of technology that aids copyright violation of any liability for that violation providing said technology has legitimate uses.

The next port of call for the music and movie companies will be Congress where there is support for a change in the law that could supercede the Sony Betamax decision, though any such move will be lobbied against by all the electronics manufacturers and retailers who fear any such legislation may throw liability onto them (all of which might mean Sony Music and Sony Pictures end up lobbying against Sony Electronics, which would be fun).

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Departure - Lump In My Throat (EMI/Parlophone)
So, which hot young things really are the heirs to Franz Ferdinand's much-coveted crown? The Killers have briefly taken the mantle, but simply don't deserve it (do we really need to get so worked up about a band that look like The Bluetones and sound like Shed Seven?), whilst Bloc Party are just a bunch of students who met at London trying-too-hard club Trash, which tells you everything you (don't) need to know about them. School reports coming out of the North East meanwhile, read ìCould do betterî for both The Futureheads and Maximo Park. Instead, look to this blisteringly good third single from Northampton's dandiest The Departure. Combining gloriously affected early 80s vocal warbling straight from a Faint record (though with a Stella Street-style Bowie inflection about it that almost makes it hard to take seriously at times), scratchy yet cavernous post-punk guitars ‡ la Radio 4 that personify the word 'angular', and some strategic new romantic/goth lyrics about ìthe freaks on the front pageî getting ìall made upî, 'LIMT' is as good a third single you're likely to hear and ups the expectancy levels surrounding the group's imminent debut album considerably. A song so stuck in 1982 it's surfing the very tip of the zeitgeist but, along with their equally glamorous, similarly-named peers (The Modern, The Bravery), it suggests a state of rude health in the world of foppish, skinny tie and eyeliner-adorned indie-pop. Corking stuff, lads. MS
Release date: 4 Apr
Press contact: EMI IH [all]

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CREATIVE STEP UP THE FIGHT IN MP3 PLAYER BATTLE
MP3 player maker Creative is following Apple's lead and cutting the price of its Zen Micro player. It looks likely they will slightly undercut iPod on most of their models as part of a campaign to take on Apple's dominance in the MP3 player space. To that end, the price changes are expected to be backed up by a considerable marketing push.

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SONY ANNOUNCE WALKMAN MOBILE
Sony Ericsson has launched a new digital Walkman phone and a Bluetooth media device which will let people play music, video and pictures from their phone via their TV or hifi.

The new phones, which should be on the market later this year, will come with special CD ripping software which will let consumers transfer music to their phone. Needless to say, there is also increased memory and battery life capacity to enable more sophisticated media usage on the phone.

Sony Ericsson will hope that the Walkman's heritage in the music space will help them capture a decent share of the digital music market. That logic, of course, has not yet worked in the MP3 player space, where Sony's digital Walkman has failed to take on Apple's iPod. However insiders hope the Walkman phone will be sufficiently distinguished from the iPod - perhaps monopolising the mobile music space while Apple continue to dominate in the online download domain.

All of the key mobile players are eager to enter the mobile music space, with Nokia and Motorola also in the process of launching combined phones and MP3 players. All the key players are expected to make further announcements in this space at the CeBit mobile phone convention in Germany later this month.

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INFADELS IN STUDIO WITH JAGZ
CMU favourites The Infadels have confirmed they have teamed up with production legend Jagz Kooner - best known for his production work with Primal Scream and more recently with Kasabian and The Kills - to work on their much anticipated debut album. That will be preceded by a download only release of brand new track 'Reality TV' and of 'Give Yourself To Me' - the track used on 3 mobile's jellyfish ad.

Meanwhile some Infadel gig dates, first of all headline dates this week:
3 Mar: The Adelfi, Hull
4 Mar: Fibbers Club, York
5 Mar: The Empire, Middlesborough
10 Mar: Camden Crawl, London

And then support dates on the Faithless tour:

22 Apr: MEN Arena, Manchester
23 Apr: Doncaster Dome, Doncaster
24 Apr: Newcastle Telewest Arena, Newcastle
26 Apr: NIA, Birmingham
28 Apr: Plymouth Pavilions, Plymouth
29 Apr: Alexander Palace, London
30 Apr: Alexander Palace, London

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USHER AND ALICIA DOMINATE AT SOUL TRAIN AWARDS
Another music awards event, another good day for Usher and Alicia Keys. So nothing new there then. Yep, it was the Soul Train Awards in America this week and Usher and Alicia led the proceedings by taking two individual awards each, and sharing a third award for their chart-topping duet 'My Boo'. Other artists winning at the annual event designed to honor recording artists in R&B, hip-hop, rap and gospel music included Destiny's Child, Jay Z and newcomer Ciara.

Full list of winners as follows:
R&B/Soul Single, Female: Alicia Keys - If I Ain't Got You
R&B/Soul Single, Male: Usher - Confessions Part II
R&B/Soul Single, Group, Band Or Duo: Usher And Alicia Keys - My Boo
R&B/Soul Album, Female: Alicia Keys - The Diary Of Alicia Keys
R&B/Soul Album, Male: Usher - Confessions
R&B/Soul Album Group, Band Or Duo: Destiny's Child - Destiny Fulfilled
R&B/Soul Or Rap New Artist: Ciara - Goodies
R&B/Soul Or Rap Music Video: Jay-Z - 99 Problems
R&B/Soul Or Rap Dance Cut: Usher featuring Ludacris & Lil Jon - Yeah!
Gospel Album: Israel & New Breed - Live From Another Level

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ALBUM REVIEW: British Sea Power - Open Season (Rough Trade)
Fauna-obsessed Brighton eccentrics British Sea Power still sound like they should be soundtracking a John Hughes movie: their sweepingly elegant New Wave grandeur providing a fittingly maudlin backdrop for one of Molly Ringwald's frequent lovesick turns. If their debut album was characterised by trenchcoat doominess and abrasive feedback fade-outs, 'Open Season' is a lighter, altogether more accessible record which exhibits the same breezy romanticism as 'Absolute Beginners'-era Bowie. A slow-burning record which is less self-consciously epic than its predecessor, buried beneath the all-pervasive lushness of the production are some of the bands most lovelorn and breathlessly poignant melodies to date. DL
Release date: 21 Mar
Press contact: Cool Delta [CR, RR] Stone Immaculate [RP, NP] anglo [RR, NR]

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J LO NOT BACK WITH MEDINA
According to the New York Times' gossip column Page Six, Benny Medina hasn't resumed managing Jennifer Lopez's music career. As previously reported, rumour had it last week Lopez would rehire Medina's services less than two years after she fired him. The latest word is that Lopez and Medina did have a verbal agreement to resume their business relationship, but when it can to signing contracts they decided it would be an unwise move. The paper quites a source as saying: ìIt was a handshake deal, but when it came down to signing contracts on Friday, they decided to remain friendsî. Gossipers are wondering whether the fact Medina manages Mariah Carey, who has a long running feud with Lopez, was a reason for J Lo pulling out at the last minute.

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BBC BOARD TO BE AXED
The BBC's board of governors is to be scrapped as part of those proposals for the future of the Beeb due to be announced by culture secretary Tessa Jowell later today. The general consensus had been that the Board would not be scrapped as part of the review, however Jowell's proposals are something of a compromise, the board will go but its replacement won't be as radical a departure from the current situation as had been proposed in a recent report by Lord Burns.

Basically a new independent trust will be appointed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Like the current board they will be responsible for ensuring the BBC sticks to its public service obligations - however they will not be proactively involved in running the Corporation.

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SEARCHERS DRUMMER DIES
Chris Curtis, the original drummer of 1960s pop group The Searchers, has died at the age of 63 after a long illness. Curtis was a member of the Liverpool based beat combo from their formation in 1960 through to 1966. The band sold millions of records in their heyday.

Paying tribute to Curtis, the band's original bassist Tony West told reporters yesterday that the drummer "was the epitome of the group itself. He contributed an awful lot to the vocals and the harmonies - his was the distinctive high voice. He was also a very good drummer. I will remember him as full of life and enthusiasm. Although he left the band, he never fully left the musical scene."

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BUCKINGHAM PALACE LAUNCHES QUEENS MEDAL FOR MUSIC
The royal family are putting their weight behind a new prize designed to raise the profile of British music and to "reward individuals who have had a major influence on the musical life of the nation". The new Queen's Medal for Music will awarded to a musician who has had a real impact on music in Britain. That musician could be of any nationality, working in any genre of music from classical to rap.

The first award will be made on 22 Nov, the memorial day of St. Cecilia, patron saint of music (apparantly). Commenting on the new award, composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies who, as Master of The Queen's Music, will chair the award committee, said the medal was "a concrete symbol of the esteem which most of us feel musical life in Britain deserves."

The new award was announced as the Queen hosted a special evening for musicians which saw hundreds of music people, from leading rockers to community groups and school children, in attendance at Buckingham Palace. Among the guests were Eric Clapton, Brian May, Jimmy Page, Phil Collins, Dame Vera Lynn, Jamie Cullum and Sir Cameron Mackintosh.

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EP REVIEW: We Will Be Pilots - This Is What You Fight For (Captains of Industry)
Firstly, great name: it's not often you find young people so confident of their calling in life. Secondly, if the recent demise of Ikara Colt and Mclusky has left you hankering for a fresh dose of incendiary avant-punk than you could do worse than check out this EP from the London-based noiseniks: six blasts of urgent, sense-assaulting emo rock which splutter and flail spasmodically upwards on their skyward trajectory. DL
Release date: 14 Mar
Press: Captains of Industry IH [all]

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KEANE TO SUPPORT U2
Live news now, and Keane will support label mates U2 at four of their upcoming Europe dates. They will play at U2 dates in Munich, Nice, Barcelona and Lisbon in Aug.

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WEEZER GIGS
Elsewhere, Weezer have announced two UK dates. They will play the Birmingham Academy on 13 Jun and Brixton Academy on 14 Jun. Tickets go on sale on Friday.

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FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND GIGS
Finally in gigs news, Funeral For A Friend will play three dates in Wales next month, dates as follows:

21 Apr: Bangor University
22 Apr: Blackwood Miner's Institute
23 Apr: Bridgend Rec

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GREEN DAY ADDED TO OXEGEN LINE UP
Onto festivals, and Green Day have been confirmed as headliners of Ireland's Oxegen Festival. They join the Foo Fighters as headliners at the festival meaning, once again, the Irish festival will share its top acts with Scotland's T in the Park, which takes place the same weekend.

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PRINCE PEFORMS SURPRISE POST-OSCARS GIG
Prince performed a surprise set at a post-Oscars party on Sunday night. The show at Prince's LA villa was seen by a very intimate audience - only fifty odd guests were invited. One eyewitness told the New York Post that Prince and his full band played a set in his living room, describing the show as ìvery select, very intimate and hands down the best."

Across town the Scissor Sisters performed with Elton John at his annual post-Oscars fundraiser. They performed a duet on Elton's 'The Bitch Is Back' - and gossipers say Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears' performance was so engergestic he split his pants!

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JOSS SIGNED UP FOR GAP ADS
Joss Stone is the latest artist to be signed up by Gap. She will promote the fashion retailer's autumn range. The Sun quote the singer as saying, simply, "I'm really excited."

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EVANS PUTS HIS MONEY OF EDITH FOR CELEB FAME ACADEMY
Chris Evans reckons Radio 1's Edith Bowman will win Celebrity Fame Academy, and has put a £100 bet down to that effect. At the time Edith's odds stood at 16:1, meaning Evans will get back £1700 if she wins (they've been cut to 6:1 now). Evans told reporters: "Edith has a great chance, she did fantastic on Saturday."

Then again, Evans isn't that loyal to Bowman. He has also put some money down on Jon Culshaw, who has odds of 50:1 to win.

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