CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 9th March

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- US media criticise Universal for glorifying violence
- Ja Rule pleads guilty after punch up
- Durst sues over sex tape copyright
- Nothing but the truth? Jacko trial update
- Live Review: The Bravery at Koko, Camden
- O2 and Clear Channel announce new London festival
- Stereophonics dates
- Cover mounts no more?
- Live Review: The Arcade Fire at London King's College
- Chrysalis defend performance
- Mel says Robbie's Spice Girl claims not true
- IFPI appeal to ISPs for collaborative effort against online piracy
- Warner flotation could be imminent
- EP Review: Efterklang - Springer
- Smile DVD due
- QOTSA Homme thanks fans for their get well wishes
- Billie looking for a new record deal
- Kylie on kids
- Ashlee on her hard year

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CMU PRESS ROOM>>

KILL ALL HIPPIES RETURNS
After a short break, legendary rock night Kill All Hippies returns in 2005 with a special music alliance with TuneTribe.com, fabulous new artwork and two new rooms!! In 2004 Kill All Hippies introduced some of the bands of 2005: Kasabian, The Duke Spirit, The Others, The Rakes, 80's Matchbox B-line Disaster and Little Barrie, to name a few. Watch out again because this year Kill All Hippies will be the nurturing ground for another clutch of fabulous British talent, destined for great things. This month the live line up includes Planet Of Women, Youth Of Britain, Riff Random and Elviss, with DJ sets from residents Eddy Temple Morris, Jeff Automatic and Syrinx, plus the NME DJs. All take place on Friday March 25th at Canvas, York Way, London, N1; 8.30pm - late; tickets £5 (£3 in advance). Full press release at:

http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/pressroom/killallhippies

Advertise your releases and events to CMU Daily's 6500+ readership - classified ad and online press release package just £50 a year. Email sales@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk for details, or check:

http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/pressroom/info.pdf

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US MEDIA CRITICISE UNIVERSAL FOR GLORIFYING VIOLENCE AFTER 50 CENT / THE GAME RUN IN
An editorial in the New York Daily News yesterday hit out at the Universal Music Group for profiting from artists whose music and actions would seem to incite violence - seemingly focusing mainly on the hip hop artists signed to its hugely successful Interscope division. The article accused Universal Music execs Doug Morris and Zach Horowitz, and Jean-René Fourtou, head of parent company Vivendi Universal, of building a business around a culture which condones and participates in violence: "each has made a devil's bargain to prosper by peddling the destructive and the dangerous".

That article is in response to the highly public feud between 50 Cent and his former band mate The Game, which was allegedly behind two New York shootings last week. Some in the media feel that those events, coming so close to Universal's huge marketing push for 50 Cent's new album, means the label and their artists are seen to glorify violence. As previously reported, those same events also led to Rev Al Sharpton telling reporters earlier this week that he thought media regulator the FCC should punish artists who are involved in violence by banning their music from the airwaves - "There has to be a way to step in and regulate what's going on with the airwaves and with violence. We may not be able to stop people from shooting, but we can stop people from profiting from the violence."

However the new pressure on Universal with regards to its relationship with the more violent parts of the hip hop community may be short lived, with signs the media agenda may turn back onto the New York Daily News themselves with a number of New York based civil rights groups reportedly angry with the paper's editorial, which they say had a racist tone.

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JA RULE PLEADS GUILTY AFTER PUNCH UP
Talking of hip hop stars in trouble, Ja Rule has pleaded guilty to punching a man in a Toronto club last Jun. He was fined C$1500, but avoided the more serious charge of assault causing bodily harm, which could have resulted in jail time.

After the court hearing the rapper, real name Jeffrey Atkins, told reporters: "I just want to say I apologise to the city of Toronto. I am just sorry for my actions."

His lawyer explained that while the rapper was sorry for his actions, in his defence he was taunted by other clubbers before lashing out: "He is sorry for what he had done. But the judge found the conduct of the patrons at the club unacceptable and called it disgraceful. They had been taunting him earlier before the assault took place. It was one punch to the eye of the victim who he believed was insulting him."

The judge hearing the case said: "Hopefully this was a one-time outburst. He is a role model, looked up to by many people. Clearly what Mr Atkins did was wrong... He has taken responsibility."

The club bust up took place last summer when Ja Rule was in Toronto filming 'Assault on Precinct 13'.

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DURST SUES OVER SEX TAPE COPYRIGHT
Despite playing down the hacking and subsequent online release of a home-made sex tape that had been stored on his personal computer, Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst has kicked off several multi-million dollar lawsuits against various websites and ISPs who have been hosting the video, and even against record label Roadrunner because of their links with the Blabbermouth website which has presumably been hosting the vid too.

The lawsuits are accusing those websites who have been making the video available of copyright violation - the singer apparently copyrighted the sex tape shortly after it first surfaced online. However, the Durst camp admits the lawsuits are just a strategy to force websites to take the video off line and the Limp Bizkit man's lawyers don't expect any of the litigation to actually go to court.

Of course given that Limp Bizkit are signed to Interscope, a Universal label, presumably websites streaming the sex video will be required to pay a penny each time the tape is streamed.

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NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH? JACKO TRIAL UPDATE
The brother of Michael Jackson's accuser was back on the witness stand yesterday as the Jacko child abuse trial continued. Again Star Arvizo claimed he witnessed Jackson 'touching' his brother sexually, as well as listing other ways the singer had behaved inappropriately around the two brothers.

As defence lawyer Thomas Mesereau took to the floor, once again the strategy was clearly to discredit the whole Arvizo family as witnesses (as yet the prosecution's whole case seems to rely on their testimonies). Under questioning by Mesereau, Star admitted that he had lied to the court in a previous case that the family brought against retailer JC Penney five years ago. In that case Star told the court that his parents never fought and that his father never hit him. That, Star admits, wasn't true, though he couldn't recall why he had lied.

Elsewhere in Mesereau's attempts to discredit the Star witness (little gag there, at no extra cost to yourself), the lawyer proved that a porn mag it was claimed the singer had shown to the brothers wasn't actually published at the time of the alleged incident. He also seemed to uncover inconsistencies in Star's evidence relating to whether or not an alarm outside Jacko's bedroom was triggered on the two occasions he claims to have entered the room and witnessed the alleged sexual abuse. While the teenager denied he had changed his story, on numerous occasions he said he "couldn't remember" what he had previously said. To be fair, given the intensity of this trial, the hardline style of Mesereau and the fact this kid is only 14, that was kinda understandable.

After the day in court a spokesman for Jackson, who isn't allowed to comment on the trial himself, told reporters: "These scurrilous and salacious accusations and details, all untrue, were hurtful and embarrassing to Mr Jackson".

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LIVE REVIEW: The Bravery at Koko, Camden on 2 Mar
The latest act to emerge from New York's rejuvenated music scene is, of course, the Bravery, a five-piece from the Lower East Side who are leading the way in '80's retro-gothic punk revival along with The Killers and Franz Ferdinand. They can probably be most closely compared to The Cure although there are also undeniable similarities to New Order, Duran Duran, early U2 (before they all disappeared up their own backsides) and even Adam And The Ants. The Bravery are by far the most stylised band to jump on the 80's band wagon and their image is every bit as important as their music. Recent single 'An Honest Mistake' has to be their finest song to date and has aroused enormous industry hype. But, while Koko was rammed with a hip crowd eager to hear The Bravery's music, it seemed very few actually knew much of the material. But the band, seemly unperturbed despite the somewhat stilted atmosphere and deficient sound quality at Koko, ploughed through their energetic set of electro-pop rock anthems in their usual powerful, enthusiastic manner. Frontman, Sam Endicott with his greasy quiff and leather wristbands, strikes a sultry pose and lets the audience know who's in control while heavily made-up bass player Mike H tears off his military wear and reveals his customary bare-chested demeanour before diving into the audience for a crowd surfing episode. In the meantime, Endicott picks up the bass and nonchalantly continues where Mike left off. 'An Honest Mistake' together with previous EP title track 'Unconditional' are both show-stoppers and the audience soon appreciate that the Bravery are every bit as good as their hype suggests. They're sexy, dynamic, relentlessly energetic and one of the few bands that are trying to break the mould...so compare them to their contemporaries at your peril but more importantly, revel with these revivalists while they last! JG

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O2 AND CLEAR CHANNEL ANNOUNCE NEW LONDON FESTIVAL
Phone company O2, Clear Channel and the Princes Trust have announced the launch of a new multi-stage festival that will take place in London's Hyde Park across four days in June. Each day will essentially be a mini-festival in itself, headlined by New Order (24 Jun), Basement Jazz (25 Jun), Keane (29 Jun) and Kasabian (30 Jun) respectively. Alongside those headliners will be a load of other artists and usual festival shenanigans, with a specific remit to champion exciting new music.

Commenting on the new festival Clear Channel's Festival Director Stuart Galbraith told CMU: "We are proud not only to be continuing the great tradition of live music in Hyde Park, but also to be developing the template in conjunction with the Royal Parks and Princes Trust for central London's first true festival. Presenting emerging artists on the brink of breaking through, alongside a mix of fantastic established acts is very rewarding".

O2's Marketing Director Russ Shaw added: "O2 Music's sponsorship of the Wireless Festival demonstrates our commitment to Music and offers an opportunity to enhance the experience for our customers. We are pleased to be supporting this event and bringing the festival experience to central London."

Tickets for all four days will go on sale on 12 Mar. Press info from Velocity (press) or Scream Promotions (radio/TV).

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STEREOPHONICS DATES
Now that you've brought up live music, Stereophonic have announced some arena dates for later in the year. Here they are.

6 Sep: Glasgow SECC
9 Sep: Birmingham NIA
12 Sep: Sheffield Hallam FM Arena
13 Sep: Newcastle Metroradio Arena
14 Sep: Nottingham Arena
16 Sep: Manchester MEN Arena
19-21 Sep: London Carling Apollo Hammersmith
24-26 Sep: Cardiff International Arena

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COVER MOUNTS NO MORE?
The Guardian is predicting the end of newspaper cover mounts following that recent decision by Universal Music to stop allowing any of its back catalogue music to be used by the newspaper groups. Coming after EMI's decision last year to restrict the use of their music on cover mounts to new artists or "deep catalogue" only, the Guardian reckons that it will soon become impossible for newspapers to aggregate enough content for any cover mount that isn't based around the new artists the labels are looking to actively promote.

The increasing resistance of the labels to participate in cover mounts is, the Guardian say, down to lobbying by the music retailers who argue that while the labels earn a licence fee on promotional CDs, the record shops lose out because of the impact the freebies have on compilation sales.

They quote HMV's Gennaro Castaldo as saying: "There has been a noticeable impact on compilation sales ... Universal and EMI have responded to lobbying from retailers and the managers who represent the artists."

However Universal head honcho Lucian Grainge says his company's new no-covermount policy was an internal commercial decision rather than a reaction to lobbying by the retailers: "We decided to stop supplying them for a variety of reasons, partly oversupply. It was purely based on commercial reasons."

Either way, cover mounts are probably about to peak not so much because of the new policies of the majors, but more because the medium is becoming less effective for the newspapers because of the shear number of generic cover mount releases. The next big craze is almost certainly free DVDs, with a number of weekend newspapers already plundering the movie studio archives for such promotions.

If only there were people developing new promotional platforms that serve both the newspaper publishers and the artists and record labels. Ah, but there are. More on that tomorrow.

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LIVE REVIEW: The Arcade Fire on 8 Mar at London King's College
Music, if nothing else, is a universal language that can bridge people together, able to instigate visions that are mystic yet apparent in equal measure. Privileged and gifted musicians can evoke such emotion to yield more than joy and sorrow alike, creating a drama so harrowing and a beauty so unique. With that in mind, here come along a Montreal five-piece who have all recently undergone the trauma of family members passing on, nine in total in the midst of recording their debut album, the fittingly titled, 'Funeral'. Tonight is the band's first ever show outside North America, and 2004/2005's word-of-mouth sensations meet an expectant but rather small crowd at the intimate, romanticised setting of the Kings College Student Union, just next to the River Thames. Singer Win Butler is observant to this - 'you can also see your reflection'. Other than that, the band are generally a quiet bunch with not much to say excluding the occasional 'thank you' and mandatory track introductions. It would be easy to say the Arcade Fire walked onstage, played tracks from 'Funeral' and walked off leaving us with smiles on our faces but, returning the original theme, it's the way our hearts and minds were enraptured full of emotive, heartwarming treasure to cherish that is most worthy of note. All the band members are so talented at their trade that they swap each other's instruments every other song - without the slightest ounce of being pretentious or arrogant. They opened up with 'Wake Up' - almost borderline with Polyphonic Spree in terms of euphoric 'aahs'. Following that an epic cover of Talking Heads' followed immediately by 'Neighborhood 2 (Laika)' and 'Naïve Melody (This Is The Melody)' with real steel drums in force rather than keyboards. Regine Chassagne was in theatrical-mime artist mode for the time she was on vocal duties for 'Une Annee Sans Lumiere' - with arms flailing around, a great performance, though my personal favourite from the set was 'Rebellion (Lies)' with a violin solo to make eyes water. Closer 'In The Backseat' featuring a double-bass no less, prompted the crowd to assume the band had left the stage with their instruments in tow, only for them to walk through the door and into the wild and unsuspecting audience. But enough of the specifics - it is hard to put pen to paper to convey the sheer intensity, energy, enthusiasm and wonder of Arcade Fire live. Frankly you'll just have to see for yourself and find out just why we were all blown away tonight. YN

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CHRYSALIS DEFEND PERFORMANCE
Radio company Chrysalis has assured the City that trading is in line with expectations despite disappointing audience and advertising figures. The assurance was necessary after the company issued a profit warning for forthcoming accounts, with income hit mainly by recent ratings disappointments at its main London music station Heart 106.2. But the company were keen to stress recent profit disappointments were also down to the "volatility in the national advertising market", and that recent improvements in that area meant revenues were now back on track.

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MEL SAYS ROBBIE'S SPICE GIRL CLAIMS NOT TRUE
Mel C has rubbished stories that Robbie Williams has bedded four of the five Spice Girls. Those stories reportedly come from an interview Robbie gave to an Argentinian radio station at the end of last year when he said: "I've only got one left to have had all of the Spice Girls".

Speaking to Closer mag, Mel C says: "Victoria asked me about that and said 'Well I know I've not slept with him.' And I know Emma's not slept with him. I'd like to ask Robbie about this because, to my knowledge, there are a few of the Spice Girls he didn't sleep with."

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IFPI APPEAL TO ISPS FOR COLLABORATIVE EFFORT AGAINST ONLINE PIRACY
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has asked Europe-based internet service providers for their support in fighting online piracy. The relationship between the ISPs and the record labels has been strained in recent years, with the former unwilling to reveal the identity of web users suspected of copyright violation unless forced to do so by the courts (the record labels can only track copyright violation to an IP address, the ISP holds the name and address of the person using that IP address).

Speaking at a meeting of the European Telecommunications Network Operators Association, IFPI chief John Kennedy suggested that the two industries could work together on copyright issues in order to end the legal wrangling between the two. He proposed the ISPs take on the job of monitoring suspicious activity, alerting the record labels of suspected copyright violation - some ISPs have objected to demands by record labels to hand over the identities of suspected violators because they do not trust the way the music industry tracks file sharing online and they fear of falsely accusing their customers. Kennedy continued: "As an industry we ask you to help us build a bigger and better market for our legitimate, authorized professionally created content and that in turn will mean a bigger and better market for your commercial services."

The ISPs have always had an interesting relationship with the music industry. They recognise that the music business is a useful partner in encouraging increased usage of the internet - however, at the same time, in recent years it has been the existence of illegal P2P networks that has persuaded many music fans of the need to upgrade to broadband. The music industry would argue there are now sufficient legal music web services to provide that incentive - whether the ISPs agree remains to be seen.

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WARNER FLOTATION COULD BE IMMINENT
Word in the US is that the much talked about flotation of Warner Music might be just days away. If so, that would mean Edgar Bronfman Jr and his investment backers would be profiting from a share sale less than a year after they bought the music company off TimeWarner.

Experts say a flotation could raise over $5 billion, considerably more than the $2.6 billion Bronfman et al paid to acquire the label. After paying investors and senior executives a handsome bonus, the extra money would most likely be used to expand Warner's music business interests, with some saying the major is interested in branching into artist management by acquiring some of the key players in that sector.

Some are questioning why Warner would be so keen to push ahead with a flotation so soon, while others claim the music company's seemingly good recent performance has more to do with cost cutting that growth, making it a less good investment than it may first seem. Whether that talk will have any effect on the Warner top guard's plans remains to be seen.

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EP REVIEW: Efterklang - Springer (Leaf)
If ever a group's music could be described as "glacial", then that group is Denmark's Efterklang. Like their acclaimed recent album 'Tripper', this EP (a re-release of their limited edition debut) comprises vast slow-moving, Arctic soundscapes that take about 1000 years to drift by but leave you in doubt about the monumental beauty and power therein. Elfin vocals float by - like ships in the night, or ghosts in the machine even - whilst the rest of the barren, snow-white landscape is inhabited by classical strings and piano and subtle, windswept laptronica sounds. The rattling guitar that punctuates the calm of 'Bright' almost makes the track sound like a conventional slice of post-rock, but elsewhere Efterklang really are on an island of their own making. Recalling a heavily sedated Sigur Ros, at best (the lovely plaintive 'Antitech') it's gripping listening but, for the most part, frustratingly lacks the emotional clout the instrumentation would suggest. But even if the destination disappoints somewhat, it's still an intriguing journey. MS
Release date: 11 Apr
Press contact: No 9 [all]

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SMILE DVD DUE
Warner imprint Rhino have confirmed they will release the DVD 'Brian Wilson Presents Smile' at the end of May. A two disk set, the first disk will chronicle the making of the long lost Beach Boys album, which was finally released last year, with a Showtime documentary on the album plus four interviews with Wilson. Disc two will include a full live performance of the album in surround sound.

Meanwhile Wilson has been speaking to Billboard about his next album: "I think it will be a rock'n'roll album. Wouldn't that be great? 'Smile' was a pop album. We need rock'n'roll for sure. We just want to try to make something that makes people get out of their seats and dance."

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QOTSA HOMME THANKS FANS FOR THEIR GET WELL WISHES
Queen Of The Stone Age's Josh Homme has written a note on his band's website to thank fans for their get well messages. As previously reported, the band had to cancel three shows after Homme began coughing blood.

Homme writes: "I'd like to say thank you to all well wishers. Your words and thoughts were printed out for me to read and you know what, it mean a lot to me. It was just cool to see sweet things instead of bottles of meds that were not meant for recreation. I'm trying to think of something cool for all who still got the tickets for the shows missed. I'm thinking of a free vinyl 45. I just wanted to say thanks for understanding. I feel better already."

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BILLIE LOOKING FOR A NEW RECORD DEAL
Well here's something to brighten up your day - Billie Piper is planning on relaunching her pop career. One source tells the Sun: "Billie would love to make a return to the music scene but she has to be happy with what's being offered. She has been having talks with a number of labels, including Sony BMG, but hasn't put pen to paper yet." Word is Billie, who will play Dr Who's sidekick in the new series of the legendary sci fi show, wants to record a mature, funky album.

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KYLIE ON KIDS
More talk from Ms Kylie Minogue on whether she has left it too late to start a family. Speaking to OK mag, Kylie says: "When I was younger I always thought that I would have kids and thought it was something that would happen naturally. But now I'm older, I realise that it's something that might not happen. But I really want to have children."

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ASHLEE ON HER HARD YEAR
And talking about the woes of life, Ashlee Simpson has been telling her fans about what a tough year she's been having. She told her audience at a Chicago gig: "I've had a tough year. But, I've learned a lot of lessons and the most important is that I don't have to be perfect".

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