CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 29th March

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- MGM vs. Grokster kicks off
- Crowded House drummer found dead
- Jackson speaks out
- Rapper's lawyer given pen ban
- Master P on gun charge
- Heaven knows he's in academia now
- Roses reunion
- Edwyn Collins on the mend
- Live Review: M83
- Chart news
- Super Furries, Richard X join charity gig for musician
- Ryan Adams' new record
- Beck headlines Homelands
- Whitney back in rehab
- King walks free
- Russell Crowe says Grunts are no more

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CMU PRESS ROOM>>

CARLING LIVE 24
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:

http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/pressroom/carling24

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:

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MGM VS GROKSTER KICKS OFF
The US Supreme Court will today hold the landmark hearing of that MGM v. Grokster case, which is expected to be instrumental in setting the legal boundaries for copying files from the internet. Today's hearing is part of an appeal by the group of 28 movie and record companies against last year's ruling by a federal judge that the Grokster Ltd. and StreamCast Networks shouldn't be held responsible for the end use of software for copyright infringement, citing the famous 1984 Sony Betamax case, which ruled that the makers of the video recorder could not be held responsible for illegitimate use of its product.

Lawyers representing the entertainment companies claim that a company should indeed be liable for whatever the primary use of their product is, in this case the illegal sharing of music or movies, and that 'Grokster and StreamCast cannot escape the reality that copyright infringement is their business.' Their other main argument posits that the companies involved are promoting the piracy, in their advertising and in the features they choose to build into, or leave out of their P2P software. The accused companies will argue that they offer a decentralised network and are therefore blind to users' activities.

Mark Cuban, billionaire entrepreneur and president of HDNet, recently said he would finance Grokster's defence. 'If Grokster loses, technological innovation might not die, but it will have such a significant price tag associated with it, it will be the domain of the big corporations only,' he wrote.

Mitch Bainwol, of the Recording Industry Association of America, not surprisingly, given their long campaign against illegal downloading, rejects the suggestion that technological innovation is being stifled, saying: 'The Groksters of the world are not innovators. Far from it. They are parasites who hide behind technology as they steal from the artists that create entertainment.'

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CROWDED HOUSE DRUMMER FOUND DEAD
Paul Hester, former drummer with Australian band Crowded House, was found hanged in a Melbourne Park at the weekend. Police have said that the death is not suspicious and ambulance staff confirmed that he had attempted suicide and died from strangulation.

Hester, who lived in Melbourne with his partner and two daughters aged eight and ten, had not been seen since Saturday night when he failed to return home after walking his dogs. Friends and family said that they were not aware of any signs of depression and were unable to account for the tragedy. Hester had become a TV presenter and a session drummer since parting with Crowded House in 1994.

Former band mate, vocalist Neil Finn, currently on tour in the UK, said he was devastated by his friend's death, telling Australian news title The Daily Telegraph 'I have lost one of my best mates.'

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JACKSON SPEAKS OUT
Michael Jackson has claimed that there's a conspiracy against him. Speaking in an exclusive interview with Rev. Jesse Jackson on his internet radio show, Jackson declared himself innocent of all charges and suggested that he is just the most recent in a long line of 'black luminaries' who have been unfairly accused of crimes, citing the cases of Nelson Mandela and Muhammad Ali as precedents.

Jackson also spoke about the 'intense pain' that he has suffered from caused by a fall in the shower, which he says accounts for his hospital trip and his pyjama-clad court appearance earlier this month. He also denied rumours that he is on the verge of bankruptcy.

Back to the trial, and Judge Rodney Melville has ruled that the previous child abuse allegations brought against the pop star may be used as evidence in court, saying 'I'm going to permit testimony with regard to sexual offences and the alleged pattern of grooming activity by the defendant.' According to reports, the prosecution want to call five witnesses, which might include former child star MacAulay Culkin – despite the fact that Culkin has always said he was never mistreated.

The most high profile evidence, and the most likely to be the prosecution's focus in their attempt to prove that Jackson is a serial paedophile, is of course the case of Jordan Chandler, who claimed to have been abused by the singer in 1993. That case was settled out of court and the fact that Jackson would not allow it to come to court remains a point of contention. Jackson denied that there was any wrong-doing and later said that he paid out the money simply to avoid the stress of the media circus that would inevitably surround a trial.

Jackson's defence team fought hard to keep the evidence out of court. 'How can you just allow a parade of third-party characters to come in without any victims?' asked Thomas Mesereau, and pledged to stage a 'mini-trial' for any and each allegation, continuing 'You can't stop the defence from putting on a full-blown defence and I mean just that.'

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RAPPERS' LAWYER GIVEN PEN BAN
According to local reports, Louisiana officials have banned C-Murder's lawyer from carrying pens into meetings with his client at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center. The ban follows allegations that the US rapper smuggled out song lyrics featured on a new album in the hollowed cylinders of the pens. The lawyer, Ron Rakosky, is back to plain old fashioned pencils.

As previously reported, C-Murder, real name Corey Miller, is currently serving a life sentence without possibility of parole, for the killing of a sixteen year old boy outside a night club in New Orleans in 2003. In April of 2004 a state judge granted a new trial on the grounds that the prosecutors withheld key information, but that ruling was overturned in March by a state appeals court who stated that there 'was an abundance of other evidence which fully established Miller's guilt.' Another appeal follows.

In the meantime, the rapper has been busy. In February jail officials were enraged to discover that C-Murder had managed to record 27 new tracks as well as cheekily filming footage for a video without permission. And as if that's not enough, he's apparently also working on two novels, which would undoubtedly be much harder to smuggle out in a Bic.

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MASTER P ON GUN CHARGE
Sticking with Hip Hop, guns and the Miller family, and news that C-Murder's brother, Master P, real name Percy Miller, has been charged with carrying unregistered loaded guns in California.

The rapper, along with brother Vyshonn King Miller, AKA 'Silkk The Shocker', was arrested on 27 Jan when the police stopped them because their car did not have licence plates. An officer then spotted a gun near the driver's seat and another gun was found under the passenger seat.

Both brothers are due to appear in court on one felony each on Wednesday.

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HEAVEN KNOWS HE'S IN ACADEMIA NOW
It's the sort of thing to make those of us who grew up listening to The Smiths feel a bit old. The iconic eighties four-piece are to be studied at an academic symposium, to be called 'Why Pamper Life's Complexities' – a line from This Charming Man, if you've forgotten.

Academics from around the world will analyse the work of the melancholic Mancunians, and discuss the influence of Morrissey's miserablist lyrics on gender and sexuality, race and nationality and the imagination of class. They will also discuss the band in terms of aesthetics, fan cultures and musical innovation.

Dr Justin O'Connor, an expert on the Manchester music and cultural scene, told Sky News: 'The Smiths have had a singular impact on popular culture. They looked like nobody else and sounded like nobody else, and their music had an emotional depth that moved people in a way that no band has managed before or since. In spite of their enormous cultural significance and personal resonance, The Smiths have yet to receive sustained academic attention. This conference aims to put that right and to critically examine what the band meant and continue to mean two decades after their untimely demise.'

The three day conference takes place at Manchester Metropolitan University on 8 and 9 Apr.

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ROSES REUNION
Ian Brown and former Stone Roses band mate Mani were on stage together last week in Blackpool. They apparently performed classic hit 'I Wanna Be Adored' to an ecstatic crowd gathered at the Empress Ballroom to witness the opening gig of Brown's 'Solarized' tour. NME.com reports that at the end of the solo gig Brown said: 'Let's have a big clap for Mani: Mani everybody.' Then the Primal Scream bassist kicked off the famous track. Brown also performed six Stone Roses classics including 'Waterfall' 'She Bangs Drums' and 'Sally Cinnamon'.

The Empress Ballroom was the scene of a legendary Roses gig back in 1989. Brown said: 'It was the first big Stone Roses gig of '89 when I first played there. It was my Dad's birthday that day and I think him and my mum were the only people in the crowd who weren't Eed up. It was a fantastic day. It's a great venue there and inside the architecture is knock out. It'll be great playing the Roses songs again as well because they're just alive those songs. It's the best feeling in the world knowing that I wrote those songs on the dole and years and years later, there are kids that were probably at toddler groups back then crying when I'm playing them now. They are bled into English culture now, not that there is an English culture. I think the Beatles are the only ones who have got closer to English culture than we (The Stone Roses) have.'

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EDWYN COLLINS ON THE MEND
According to his official website Edwyn Collins is now out of 'immediate danger'. The singer's wife, Grace Maxwell, has said that Collins is now recovering following the cerebral brain haemorrhage he suffered on February 20. She wrote. 'I think we can say that Edwyn is now virtually out of immediate danger.' He is to undergo 'neuro rehabilitation' in the next few weeks.

Maxwell said: 'This is a tough challenge but you know he's beaten the odds already and I fully expect him to go on in his customary stubborn manner. He is aware of the wonderful support he has received and I'm printing all the messages out so he can read them when he is able in the near future.'

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LIVE REVIEW: M83, Electric Ballroom, 24 Mar
French Electronic act M83 are currently one of the most fantastically exciting recording artists around and I find it astounding that thus far they have only managed to create ripples amongst the music industry rather than the tidal wave of approval they deserve. Indeed tonight they are the support band rather than the main act. Their album 'Before The Dawn Heals Us' is certainly one of the year's best releases and this forms the main basis of their set along with tracks from previous album 'Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts'. Their huge 'wall of sound' music has been compared to pioneering Krautrockers Tangerine Dream. M83's warm-hued glorious music belies the stereotype of electronic being cold and unemotional. Anthony Gonzalez and his fellow musicians remain totally silent for the duration of the gig, not even announcing song titles, until at the end they acknowledge the audience's effusive praise with a show of gratitude. Meanwhile the stage lighting is such that at times the band are difficult to make out. It could be that M83 are attempting to be mysterious. Aside from some epileptic fit inducing flashes of light there isn't much attempt at a visual spectacle. As the majority of the audience haven't actually come to see M83 they could have made more of an effort especially as their music is largely composed of musical soundscapes rather than catchy tunes, not necessarily guaranteed to appeal to a casual listener. But their epic dramatic music is powerful stuff. 'Don't Save Us From The Flames' in particular is thrilling, while 'Run Into Flowers' comes close to being an M83 anthem. This is intriguing, ambitious music which richly deserves a wider audience pronto. JW

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CHART NEWS
Tony Christie scores a double whammy this week by maintaining his position at the top of the UK singles chart for the second week, whilst also leapfrogging Stereophonics to attain the number one album position. Christie shot to number one last week with the Peter Kay assisted Comic Relief track '(Is This The Way To) Amarillo', and his greatest hits, 'Definitive Collection' also went to number one in the album chart.

The highest charting new single this week is Mario's 'Let Me Love You' debuting at two. Other new entries inside the top ten included 50 Cent at four with 'Candy Shop', 'Return To Sender' at five by Elvis Presley, 'Switch' by Will Smith at six and Natalie Imbruglia's 'Shiver' in at eight. Elsewhere in the chart, The Faders, Erasure and British Sea Power all charted in the top twenty, Kasabian, The Subways and Damien Rice hit the top thirty and Finn Brothers, Bright Eyes, I Am Kloot and Roots Manuva debuted in the top forty.

Basement Jaxx's album 'The Singles' and Queens Of The Stone Age's 'Lullabies To Paralyze' charted at three and four respectively.

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SUPER FURRIES, RICHARD X JOIN CHARITY GIG FOR MUSICIAN
Super Furry Animals and Richard X are among the artists who are to perform at a charity gig in aid of an injured musician. The event will raise funds for Dax Pierson, who suffered a broken spine in a road accident in America. The gig, one in a series of international events, will take place at London Scala on May 9.

The full line-up is:

Trevor Jackson (DJ set)
Richard X (DJ set)
Four Tet (DJ set)
Chris Cunningham (soundtracks DJ set)
Super Furry Animals DJs v Mogwai DJs
Hood
Hot Chip
Helena Costas

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RYAN ADAMS' NEW RECORD
The rather prolific singer-songwriter Ryan Adams has no less than three releases lined up this year, the first of which has been titled 'Cold Roses', an 18-song, double-disc album.

Adams is supported by The Cardinals, who consist of guitarists J.P. Bowersock and Cindy Cashdollar, drummer Brad Pemberton and bassist Catherine Popper. The tracks 'Cold Roses' and 'Let It Ride' feature Rachael Yamagata as a special guest. 'Cold Roses' will be followed this summer by the album 'September', and in the Autumn by '29', produced by favoured producer Ethan Johns.

The track list for 'Cold Roses' as follows:
Disc one:
Magnolia Mountain
Sweet Illusions
Meadowlake Street
When Will You Come Back Home?
Beautiful Sorta
Now That You're Gone
Cherry Lane
Mockingbirdsong
How Do You Keep Love Alive
Disc two:
Easy Plateau
Let It Ride
Rosebud
Cold Roses
If I Am a Stranger
Dance All Night
Blossom
Life Is Beautiful
Friends

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BECK HEADLINES HOMELANDS
Beck is to headline this year's Homelands Festival. It will be his only festival appearance this year. He headlines the live arena, alongside The Streets, Roots Manuva, The Bravery and Mylo

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WHITNEY BACK IN REHAB
Whitney Houston is back in rehab after just a year on the straight and narrow. The singer's publicist, Nancy Selzter confirmed that the 41 year old Houston checked herself in to a clinic last week, but provided no further details.

Ms. Houston has been working with producer Clive Davis on a new album and had until now claimed to have beaten her addiction to Cocaine, Marijuana and prescription drugs.

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KING WALKS FREE
Disgraced pop mogul Jonathan King walked free from Maidstone prison at 7:10am this morning, after serving less than half his seven year sentence for abusing young boys.

As he left the prison, King smiled and gave a thumbs-up for the cameras before stating that he is 'totally, absolutely 100% innocent', and continued: 'I'm innocent of the charges against me. There is no issue of the acts being consensual, there were no acts. However much people try, you can't bend the truth. 'There's no truth in the offences whatsoever. One of the five men I am accused of abusing I have never even met and there is no evidence I ever did meet him.'

He went on to tell journalists how he had enjoyed his time in prison, saying 'I've had a brilliant three-and-a-half years for crimes I did not commit,' and telling how he had met fascinating people and discovered a world he never knew existed. 'I have had no complaints at all about my time inside' he said 'apart from the food at Broadmoor.'

As reported last week, the pop impresario had hoped to be out in time for Easter, but his legal team ran into a dispute with Surrey Police. His lawyer Giovani di Stefano reiterated statements made last week that the parole board feel he poses no threat whatsoever, and explained that his client will be subject to licence conditions which include a ban on working with children and not receiving visits from anyone under 18 without permission.

King has still has every intention of trying to get the conviction quashed, and plans to campaign to help other people who he believes have suffered from miscarriages of justice.

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RUSSELL CROWE SAYS GRUNTS ARE NO MORE
Sad news for Crowe-fans and, er, music fans the world over. The Gladiator star posted a message on his website saying that his band, 30 Odd Foot Of Grunts are no longer together. The group were on the receiving end of a great deal of publicity due to their megastar vocalist, but their 2002 album was panned by critics and sold just 156 copies in the first week of UK release.

Crowe said that he's disappointed about the disintegration of the band but has had a lot of time to write, and will release a new co-written single, Raewyn, on Apr 19 through iTunes, unleashing widespread joy, no doubt, amongst Crowe's legion (female) fans. 'It is without doubt the most satisfying record I've ever made, and I know when you hear it you will be seduced by its beauty.. It is the only song I've ever written that has made both men and women cry, think, and call their parents, usually in that order.' Ahem.

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