CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 23rd March

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Clear Channel in $90 million Jam
- Capital and GWR announce merger
- Chrysalis considers merger offer
- iTunes respond rapidly to new hack
- Jonathan king out of jail
- Album review: Queens Of The Stone Age – Lullabies To Paralyze
- Geldof inspires Ugandan march
- Radiohead go classical
- New reality show resurrects pop acts
- Police release Sizzla
- Hunter sues rod for £35m
- Jerry gets back at Jagger
- Kylie's waist
- The La's is all wrong



Carling, the beer behind some of Britain's biggest and best live music events, is presenting another 24 hour music marathon. Following the success of 2004's Carling Live 24 event in London, this year Carling will be bringing an all day all night line up of great live music to both London and Manchester, the former on 30th April, the latter on 28th may. 26 bands and 13 venues will take part in the event, with Embrace, The Zutons, Ian Brown, Babyshambles, The Chemical Brothers, Doves and Kaiser Chiefs among the artists on the bill. For full press information check the CMU Press Room - where more media information will appear as it is available:

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According to figures released by the British Phonographic Industry yesterday, British music fans are bucking global trends by buying more music than anyone else. The BPI confirmed that Brits buy an average of 3.2 CDs each per year, larger than the worldwide average, which appears to suffer from the impact of piracy and product decline. The UK market saw a three percent increase in volume sales over 2004, a four percent increase in legal downloads, and the best ever year for the British Recording Industry.

Figures released by IFPI, the International Federation of The Phonographic Industry also indicate improved prospects for British exports, whilst predicting that the global music decline is starting to level out.

BPI chairman Peter Jameson said: "The strength of the UK market in the face of worldwide decline is a testament to the skills and courage of UK record companies who have never stopped taking risks in signing and developing some of the best talent in the world. Improving prospects for recorded music internationally is also good news for the UK since after the US we remain the world's biggest exporter of music."


Jam Productions Ltd, a concert and event promotion company based in Chicago have been awarded $90 million following their antitrust suit against promotional giants Clear Channel.

Jam sued the company because they claimed that Clear Channel had interfered with a potential deal they had with the American Motorcycle Association to promote Supercross races through its newly created sports division, JamSports. Clear Channel eventually got the business back, but, according to Jam, used its dominant position in the industry to do so, allegedly intimidating stadiums into not doing business with JamSports and also using its radio influence to run a campaign against the independent promoter.

Clear Channel managed to get eleven out of the twelve original antitrust claims thrown out of court, but a district judge ruled that there was enough evidence to proceed with a trial. The proceedings hinged on such evidence as an email from Clear Channel's Entertainment Motor Sports President, Charlie Mancuso, which apparently said: "Get the on-air talent to start talking about how the AMA and Jam are [expletive] the sport of Supercross."

Clear Channel were ordered to pay the damages but were cleared of antitrust charges by a federal jury. Andrew Levin, Executive Vice President commented: "This jury's decision that Clear Channel did not violate antitrust laws sends a powerful signal to those who seek to wrongfully accuse us in the future."


Hurrah. Merger news. Capital Radio and GWR, following approval from the Office of Fair Trading earlier this month, have announced their intention to complete the planned £711m merger deal on 9 May, and that trading in the new company's shares will start the same day, as Capital Radio releases interim results.

Once formed the new company will be the biggest Radio Company in the UK, controlling around forty percent of the national radio advertising market. Capital says it expects a modest increase in revenues for the first three months of this year, resulting in a 1% decrease in the six months to the end of March. GWR said its UK revenues would be "flat" for the 12 months ending March 31 compared with the previous year.

GCap Media, the name chosen for the new company after input from staff at both companies, was announced last week.

The two companies released a statement to the stock exchange last night, which read: "GCap Media will be in a stronger position to attract and retain the industry's best talent, obtain a greater share of music industry content and will be able to compete more effectively with BBC Radio."


Hurrah. Attempted takeover News. The Chrysalis Group has announced to the stock exchange that it is considering making a formal offer for the Guardian Media Group's Radio Division following media speculation that such a takeover was on the cards. They went on to say, however, that 'there can be no certainty that a transaction will be forthcoming.' GMG's Radio interests include Jazz FM in London, Smooth FM in North West England and the Real Radio franchises in south Wales, Scotland and Yorkshire.

Chrysalis, who own London's Heart FM, are keen to consider deals which may counter the increased threats of competition following the relaxation of licence ownership rules last year and the above mentioned merger of Capital and GWR. The company has been aggressively pursuing GMG's Radio Division for several months in line with its stated strategy of continuous review of acquisition opportunities which complement their existing radio businesses.

GMG Chief Executive Bob Phillis responded immediately to the effect that there was no strategic reason to sell its radio interests and that the group is financially sound, adding that: "Unless and until we have received an offer, we have got nothing to consider."


Apple engineers have been busy patching up their systems, following the hacking of their FairPlay DRM, which is used to power iTunes. A fix was announced on Monday and will require all users to upgrade in order to continue downloading iTunes tracks. "The security hole in the iTunes Music Store which was recently exploited has been closed," said Apple, "And as a consequence the iTunes Music Store will now sell music only to customers using iTunes version 4.7".

This alteration is a rapid response to the PyMusique DRM Workaround, a decryption utility that completely removes DRM restrictions from Apple AAC files, allowing users to freely share and copy purchased iTunes tracks. The software was developed and circulated by legendary Norwegian hacker "DVD Jon" Johansen.

The threat to iTunes' security is over for the time being, but with the hacking community determined to meet bigger and bigger challenges, it's unlikely that this will be the last time that the platform will be threatened.


For those of you who haven't heard yet, Pop mogul Jonathan King will be out of jail on parole this Thursday having served less than half of a seven year term for four indecent assaults and two serious sexual offences on boys aged 14 and 15. His initial release date was set at 29 Mar, but this was brought forward after the time that King spent being interviewed at the time of his arrest in 2001 was taken into account and included as part of the jail term.

King has never admitted that he is guilty, having denied the charges at his trial, and his lawyer, Giovanni di Stefano says that King still hopes to have the conviction quashed.

Mr. Stefano commented that his client was keen to see his elderly mother, who he has not seen for two years, and added that he "He intends to go back to his home in west London and get back to work. He said he wants to write a musical about Cole Porter."


ALBUM REVIEW: Queens Of The Stone Age – Lullabies To Paralyze (Polydor)
Just how DO you follow up on not one, two but three of the most proficient, rip-roaring stoner rock from one of the decade's most revered bands? And to really push for a difficult reply back, how in the living fuck do you do so without founder and integral member Nick Oliveri? Here's what you do. You get your mates to come together, hole up in a studio, produce an album that's progressive yet very much accessible, whilst making up for the aforementioned absentees. It really is that simple for Josh Homme. And why not? Why not indeed. Queens Of The Stone Age return with 'Lullabies To Paralyze' – which is, by admission, on first listen missing that little something. But substituting for Oliveri (there we said it again) are mates more than willing to help out in the shape of Mark Lanegan and A Perfect Circle's Troy Van Leeuwen with special guest appearances from Homme's current boo Brody Dalle and Garbage's Shirley Manson. It's times like this that people need to pull together like one big happy family. Cute. Opener 'Lullaby' sees Lanegan take vocals to a setting of the finger-plucked guitar playing in a campfire in the dead of the night which wraps up at around a minute. Just there for a novelty purpose? Not this intro. This sets the theme to the whole album about wolves lurking between the trees in the forest and moreso, a fairy tale. Clearly this is a departure from the, Nevada desert/rattle-snake settings of 'Rated R' and 'Songs For The Deaf'. But don't worry folks – Sludging and stoner rock proceedings begin with 'Medication'. Pretty much the same QOTSA we know and air guitar in front of the mirror to. And you know who you are. 'Everybody Knows That You're Insane' is almost a distant relative to the drug-addled 'Feel Good Hit Of The Summer' in that they share an urgency with no real purpose and is very familiar Stone Age territory. Sexy and seductive are exactly what the first single from the album is in the form of 'Little Sister'. 'Burn The Witch' is concrete proof that gone are the vacuous, ramblings of illegal substances and in its place a procession of burning stakes, in yet another sombre, slow number. 'You Got A Killer Scene There, Man' features first ladies of rock, Brody Dalle and Shirley Manson with a blues-esque nod and equipped with solos en masse. 'Lullabies To Paralyze' might not well be what we, and even their label thought they'd come up with. But are the Queens any bit of a lesser outfit without Nick Oliveri? Not on your life. YN
Release Date: 21 March
Press: Polydor IH (NP, RP) Wild (CR, CP)


And not in a good way. Hundreds of students took to the streets of Uganda's capital of Kampala to protest about Bob Geldof after he criticised Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni for his decision to go against the country's constitution and run for a third term in power. The pro-government students and waved placards proclaiming phrases such as 'Geldof sober up and shut up' and 'No drug addicts and rock homos'.

The comments in question were made at the launch of Britain's Commission For Africa Report two weeks ago, when Geldof, accompanied by Tony Blair, said "The president of Uganda, who implemented poverty measures and AIDS measures, is now trying to be president for life. Get a grip Museveni. Your time is up, go away."

The crowds went on to besiege the British High Commission, but they were barred from entering and one sole protester was admitted to deliver a letter of protest accusing Geldof and Bill Rammell, a UK Foreign Office Minister, of making offensive remarks.

Moses Nuwagaba of the Makerere University Movement Forum told a Kampala newspaper. "We are saying no to external influence from neo-colonialists, specifically the UK, We are telling them that they ruled us for 100 years and we did not see any elections or term limits, so what moral authority do they have now to preach democracy to us?" He went on to point out that Mr. Blair is seeking a third term, which is true, but, unlike Mr. Blair, the Ugandan president has been in power since 1986.


Music written by Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood will form part of The London Sinfonietta which takes place at the London Royal Festival Hall on the 27 and 28 Mar. According to the organizers, we'll have the chance to see "two evenings of experimentation, collaboration and cross-genre juxtaposition".

Greenwood told The Guardian: "I feel embarrassed talking about it. I'm so patchy. I'll be obsessed with a few composers, and know nothing about the rest. I get these enthusiasms which can drive the band crazy, but I just say: 'Listen, French horns are amazing, we've got to find a way of using them. Or I'll say, 'It would be great if this song sounded like Penderecki, or Alice Coltrane'. And it's childish because none of us can play jazz like Alice Coltrane, and none of us can write the kind of music that Penderecki does. We've only got guitars and a basic knowledge of music, but we reach for these things and miss. That's what's cool about it."

On working with the Sinfonietta, he added: "They're a great orchestra because they're up for radically changing things at the last minute. I cut six minutes out during rehearsals… There's something about classical musicians - they tend to be totally without ego, and so enthusiastic, but also just so talented."

Greenwood has no plans to work on music full time, however: "Radiohead is always going to be the centre of what I do. Everything starts with songs, and with Thom, and with the excitement you can get in the band when you hear new music, and you know you've got the chance to watch it mutate and change. There's nothing like that, nothing as exciting. We're rehearsing at the moment, and again it's fun. We all want to push forward, and when you have five people who are all like that, you couldn't ask for a better thing."


Isn't it about time we had a brand new reality show featuring celebrities we'd all forgotten about? Apparently, yes. The new ITV1 show is called 'Hit Me Baby One More Time', to be hosted by Vernon Kay, and will involve retro pop acts blasting us back to the past with renditions of their best known songs as well as performances of contemporary hits. Five acts from the 70s, 80s and 90s will perform live in the studio each week and compete for the public vote. Each week one winner will be selected and put through to a grand final.

The show starts on 2 Apr and Gloria Gaynor, The Honeyz and Tiffany will be among those kicking off the proceedings. Among those slated to appear in subsequent shows are 911, Belinda Carlisle, Brother Beyond, Carol Decker, the one and only Chesney Hawkes, Haddaway, Kenny Thomas, Mica Paris and Sinitta.

Series host Kay says: "I'm really looking forward to presenting Hit Me Baby One More Time as it's a great opportunity to find out what the artists who made the tracks of my years have been up to. They'll be performing modern day classics as well as the hits that made them famous."


News today that Jamaican police have released Sizzla following his arrest on Thursday on charges involving violence and gun-running. The dancehall artist was one of thirty three suspects taken into custody last week, when authorities seized a sizable cache of arms in the August Town area of Kingston.

Sizzla, who has been accused of inciting gang violence in the past, denied any knowledge of the weapons and was released on Monday without charge. His lawyer Glen Cruickshank said "They questioned him about violence in August Town and the guns and he denied knowledge of both. They could not carry that to court."


Model Rachel Hunter is reported to be demanding $35m from ex-husband Rod Stewart in a divorce settlement which would amount to around half of Stewart's personal fortune, after hearing the news that her ex-husband is to marry girlfriend Penny Lancaster.

They are in the final stages of divorce, but according to The Sun, Hunter is angry that Rod had not told her of his marriage plans. A friend of Ms Hunter told the paper: "The thing that hurt most was the Rod was staying in the same hotel and did not breathe a word about his engagement to her."


Elsewhere in ex-husband news, Jerry Hall is taking musical revenge on Mick Jagger. The model has recorded her first song, which is apparently a thinly veiled attack on her former husband's copious extra-marital affairs. Music, in this case, being far from the food of love.

The track, co-written with friend and neighbour Rachel Fuller, focuses on a dining table at their shared home. The lyrics go: "We make love on it. Our children scratch their names beneath. The fire lights our passion. And the wine has numbed our grief. Then you bring other women while I am out of town. And I can always sense when a stranger has sat down."

Jerry recently gave a spoken word delivery of the song at the SxSW festival, because according to friend Rachel 'she can't really sing,' and the track will also appear on Fuller's forthcoming album, 'Cigarettes and Housework'.


Kylie Minogue has been moved to release a statement regarding her dimensions after a relative media frenzy this week regarding her alleged 16 inch waist. Reports suggested that the corset Kylie wears on her current Showgirl tour was tight enough to reduce her middle down to a measurement of 16 inches, which would be freakish and horrible.

Kylie and issued the statement after worries that fans might try to emulate her, but not before the claim had achieved a fair few column inches across the media. Her spokesman claims that the story was a fabrication, and that she does not, repeat, does not have a sixteen inch waist.

Kylie herself is said to have commented: "A 16 inch waist? Wow, even I would be amazed by that. Of course that is an exaggeration, but a showgirl shouldn't reveal her actual measurements." And I should think so too.


Following an ill-advised statement in last Friday's Daily in which you, the readers were encouraged to let us know of any inaccuracies, CMU is pleased to report that at some readers have taken this to heart and let us have it.

In Yesterday's daily we printed a sentence which appeared to claim that the LA's formed in 1990, when in fact they formed in 1984. This was the result of a cutting and pasting error by the sub-editor, who is very sorry.

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

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