CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 22nd April

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- TV producers sue Madonna over unpaid TV special fees
- Tom Waits angry about advertisers adopting his style
- Mixed thoughts, no major revelations: Jacko trial update
- Rush man takes plea agreement
- Kinks man to busy to testify in shooting case
- Doherty to play London anti-racism gig
- Single Review: Nine Inch Nails - Hand That Feeds
- Franz to record video diary
- P2P users open to increased spam
- Entwistle's eclectic effects sold off
- Cross Central announce headliners
- Benicassim Festival line up announced
- The Tears in store
- Album Review: Various – Tom Middleton Presents Cosmosonica
- WH Smith financials improving
- Which execs will benefit from Warner sell off
- Fopp take unsigned bands competition north
- Nadine not leaving the girls alone
- American Idol affair accusations

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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:

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

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THE TOP BIT>>

***SPECIAL 35% DISCOUNT ON ENCOMPASS TICKETS FOR CMU DAILY READERS
CMU Daily readers are being offered a 35% discount to London's new music conference - Encompass - running from Friday 29 Apr to Sunday 1 May at the Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane. Encompass is bringing the world's finest cutting edge music to London and providing a platform to explore and celebrate. Instead of £60 for a ProPass, as a CMU Daily reader you may register for a discounted rate of £39. The discount also applies to weekend tickets. Check out http://www.encompass-london for full details of the event. To enjoy your CMU discount email alex@encompass-london.com now with a copy of this edition of the CMU Daily to receive your discount - but be quick as space is limited.

***PHONE INTERNATIONAL FOR THE COST OF A NATIONAL CALL: Call France, Germany, Italy, Spain, America, Canada, Australia and Japan for the cost of a UK national call - 0870 794 5235 (weekdays - national call rate), 0844 570 5235 (weekends - 5p a minute). Full details at http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/cheapcalls

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CMU FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Hospitality at Heaven
I gave the drum and bass label Hospital Records a glowing profile back in the pages of CMU back in 2001 and since then they haven't looked back (the two are surely linked, yeah?). Now they are so big that I didn't even get an invite to their new bash – not that I’m bitter or anything. Anyway, after three years at the splendid Herbal the Hospital guys have supersized things, which is probably just as well because the roadblock this night caused was starting to stretch back to Dalston. This time round you’ll get Andy C, High Contrast, London Elektricity (a DJ set - ie just Tony Coleman), Bryan Gee and Nu:Tone doing their stuff in the main room. Tayo and Landslide are the stand outs in room 2, while in room 3 you’ll find Weapons of Mass Creation album spesh with the talents of, among others, Logistics and Ill Logic & Raf. And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s a room 4 featuring Hint, Mouse Organ, and Dom Servini. Heaven has had a few refurbs, but the sound system apparently still rocks. Worth checking.

Friday 22 Apr, Heaven, Arches off Villiers St, Charing Cross, WC2 6NG, 10pm-6am. £12 advance £15 door, http://www.hospitalrecords.com

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TV PRODUCERS SUE MADONNA OVER UNPAID TV SPECIAL FEES
A very very busy day in the pop courts. First up, the director and companies behind a Madonna European TV concert special have sued the singer over allegations she owes them $300,000 in fees.

In a lawsuit filed at the Los Angeles County Superior Court this week, Hamish Hamilton and the Rude Corp allege they are owed $175,000 in fees for their involvement in the project, which included traveling to shows on Madonna’s Reinvention tour in New York, Florida, California, Nevada, France and England, and scouting locations in Portugal for filming aspects of the TV programme. It is also alleged that TV production company Done and Dusted Ltd is owed an additional $155,000 for expenses incurred during its work on the same project.

Madonna’s people are yet to comment on the lawsuit.

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TOM WAITS ANGRY ABOUT ADVERTISERS ADOPTING HIS STYLE
Singer / songwriter Tom Waits is suing the makers of Opel cars over a TV commercial which, he claims, plagiarises his singing voice and musical style. The advert in question is currently airing in Scandinavia.

Waits has told reporters: "In answer to the many queries I have received: No, I did not do the Opel car commercial currently running on TV in Scandinavia. I have a long-standing policy against my voice or music being used in commercials and I have lawyers over there investigating my options. But I got to tell you, it doesn't look good. This is the third car ad, after Audi in Spain and Lancia in Italy."

It is not the first time Waits has pursued this kind of action – he took legal action against Audi over that Spanish advert which allegedly appropriated his song 'Innocent When You Dream'.

On the legal difficulties in stopping advertisers from hiring impersonators to give their adverts the illusion of the involvement of an established artist, Waits continued: "If I stole an Opel, Lancia, or Audi, put my name on it and resold it, I'd go to jail. But over there they ask, you say no, and they hire impersonators. They profit from the association and I lose - time, money, and credibility. What's that about? Commercials are an unnatural use of my work ... it's like having a cow's udder sewn to the side of my face. Painful and humiliating."

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MIXED THOUGHTS, NO MAJOR REVELATIONS: JACKO TRIAL UPDATE
Very little to report from the Michael Jackson trial where former security guard Brian Barron continued with his testimony, this time tackling the questions of Jackson’s defence team. As previously reported, Barron’s evidence centers more on the allegations that Jackson’s people kept the Arvizo family hostage at the singer’s Neverland ranch during the fallout that followed the screening of the Martin Bashir documentary.

Neither side really benefited from the former security man’s comments. In the defence’s favour he said that while a note on the noticeboard in the ranch’s security lodge said Gavin Arvizo was not to leave the ranch, it did not mention the boy’s mother, admitting that not letting a young teenager out on his own might be a sensible precaution. In the prosecution’s favour he said that, while the security records seemed to show Jackson and the Arvizos were at the ranch on 6 Feb 2003 when the prosecution claim the family were taken to Miami by the singer, the entry in the book might have been a mistake, adding that he didn’t recognize the hand writing. Barron did admit, however, that while the Arvizo family were at Neverland, allegedly as hostages, they did benefit from hotel like treatment – which kinda helps the defence’s case.

Anyway, as I say, all a bit dull really. Let’s get on with the defence’s case and all those celebrity witnesses.

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RUSH MAN TAKES PLEA AGREEMENT
Alex Lifeson of Canadian rockers Rush has avoided a prison sentence over that altercation at a New Years party back in 2003 after the charges against him were reduced from a felony to a misdemeanour. As previously reported, Lifeson got into trouble after he and his son had a run in with organisers of a New Years party in Florida. Lifeson allegedly attacked a police officer during the incident, and it was charges relating to that allegation that may have led to a prison sentence.

Lifeson initially claimed it was him who was mistreated by the police. However both father and son accepted plea agreements yesterday, meaning that in return for pleading guilty to single misdemeanor charges they will only serve 12 months probation and pay court costs.

After that deal had been reached Lifeson told reporters in a statement: "Today closes a difficult and painful period in the lives of my family, my friends and myself. But the sun is shining and it feels good."

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KINKS MAN TO BUSY TO TESTIFY IN SHOOTING CASE
The driver of the getaway car used by a man who shot Kinks singer Ray Davies may escape charges because Davies says he is too busy to testify at the court hearing. As previously reported, Davies was shot in the leg in Jan 2004 when he chased a gunman who had stolen a bag off a friend he was with. The gunman was never found, but police tracked down his accomplice who drove his getaway car. That man, Jerome Barra, was due in court this week to face charges of armed robbery and being principal to aggravated battery, but the hearing was cancelled after Davies told prosecutors that his busy touring schedule meant he wouldn’t be able to testify until Dec at the earliest.

District Attorney Eddie Jordan told reporters: "We'll see if we can reinstate the charges once the victim is able to return to New Orleans. But we do need victims in order to prosecute an armed robbery case."

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DOHERTY TO PLAY LONDON ANTI-RACISM GIG.
Now you can say a lot about Pete Doherty (and God knows, we’ve said an awful lot over the last 18 months), but you can’t knock his commitment to the anti-racism group Love Music Hate Racism. Proving that commitment once more Doherty’s band, Babyshambles, will play at a LMHR gig in Trafalgar Square next month. The band will top a bill which also includes Estelle, MC Lady Sovereign and Terri Walker. The event will take place on 1 May, just ahead of the General Election where, of course, the not-at-all-deluded BNP plan to stand in 100 odd constituencies.

Commenting on his support of Love Music Hate Racism, Doherty once told reporters: "I don't think you have to be a particularly developed human being intellectually or spiritually to despise racism. It may be easy to be complacent, but we need to encourage people to fight racism whether with words or actions. Count me in."

As previously reported, Babyshambles will also play at the Love Music Hate Racism night at the Leftfield at the Glastonbury Festival.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Nine Inch Nails - Hand That Feeds (Universal/Interscope)
We’ve become used to waiting for Nine Inch Nails records. Such is Trent Reznor’s dedication and perfectionism, he’s only actually released three full length albums in the last 15 years or so. A new album, ‘With Teeth’ is due to be release within a fortnight, and the band offer ‘Hand That Feeds’ as the first single. When artists remain inactive, you often worry that they may have lost their edge. No such worries here; ‘Hand That Feeds’ is vintage Nine Inch Nails, continuing the blueprint they set with ‘Pretty Hate Machine’. The lyrics are nihilistic and harrowing as you’d expect; references to suffering and pleasure derived from it (not too dissimilar to ‘Happiness Is Slavery’ or ‘March Of The Pigs’ then), whilst Trent’s screams are supported by the typical Nine Inch Nails sound of the clash of industrial and rock. Alan Moulder co-produces, which explains the Depeche Mode influences, and backed with a band with serious credentials, this track is a furious, pulsating monster that bodes so well for the album that’s to follow. Nine Inch Nails have never really had commercial success in the UK, but judging by the incredibly fast sale of tickets for their UK dates this Spring and Summer, their audience remains, and they could well enjoy a serious hit with this. KW
Release date: 18 Apr
Press contact: Wild [CP, CR] Island IH [RP, NP, RR, NR]

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FRANZ TO RECORD VIDEO DIARY
Franz Ferdinand are planning to record a video diary whilst they make their second album. The diary will be posted on their official website, giving fans the chance to watch work progressing and gain an insight into how the album will sound. A statement said "Fans will have access to the recording process and witness the band creating their new songs." Reports suggest that the group will record in Scotland and are planning to release a follow up to their eponymous 2004 debut sometime in the autumn. The statement added: "It's likely the band will use the online diaries to release exclusive tracks from their new album, ahead of the official release date."

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P2P USERS OPEN TO INCREASED SPAM
The music industry may have found a new friend in its fight against P2P networks – evil spammers and spyware makers – because a new report suggests that the use of file sharing networks opens up a user’s computer to all sorts of frustrating adware and spamming nonsense.

The report from network protection firm Blue Security (who, admittedly, aren’t completely unbiased given that they sell the software to combat such IT security violations) warns that unsophisticated peer-to-peer users often expose folders containing valuable personal information to other people using the P2P network. Spam companies are using this opportunity to ‘harvest’ email addresses, allowing them to collate much more accurate databases of addresses to which they can send junk mail (at the moment most spammers use a random generator system that guesses email addresses). If the P2P network is on a corporate LAN network, hackers and spammers could gain access to data from across a company’s IT system.

The potential security risk of using P2P software is not new, of course, but the report suggests more and more spyware and adware companies are now manipulating that potential, making the risk of intrusion much more real. Those opposing the use of P2P, like the record labels and film studios, are sure to make much of these security risks in their bid to stop people from using the file-sharing software.

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ENTWISTLE’S ECLECTIC EFFECTS SOLD OFF
A pair of skeletons, a leather sculpture of a male torso and a set of replica crown jewels were amongst the items that went under the hammer yesterday at an auction of a bizarre set of belongings once owned by late Who bassist John Entwistle, who died of a heart attack back in 2002.

The skeletons, said to have been used by the rock star to play practical jokes on his house guests, sold for £440, the torso sculpture for £2,200, and the crown jewels at the bargain price of £440. Other items from the sale included a fibreglass and plastic model of Henry VIII's armour, a bust of the Princess Royal made to commemorate her wedding to Captain Mark Phillips, a snakeskin-covered tambourine, and a pinball machine, significant thanks to The Who’s hit song ‘Pinball Wizard’, which was bought by Who fan Graham Dodridge for £1,500.

The musician’s son Chris said “It's gone very well. Some things went for less than we thought but a lot of things went for more so it balanced out. It's sad to see this stuff go but we've got no room."

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CROSS CENTRAL ANNOUNCE HEADLINERS
Into the realm of festival news, and organisers of that TDK Cross Central festival have announced that Grace Jones will be headlining this year’s event – which should be interesting (let’s hope she’s not planning on getting to London via Paris and Eurostar). As last year Cross Central – yet another August Bank Holiday weekend event – will fuse together a programme of music, film and visual art. Also on the bill this year will be Soul ll Soul Soundsystem, The Earlies (Live), Keith (Live), Test Icicles (Live), François K feat Beat Pharmacy (Live), Mutabaruka (Live), Kila Kella (Live), Felix Da Housecat, Theo Parrish and the massive Gilles Peterson.

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BENICASSIM FESTIVAL LINE UP ANNOUNCED
Oasis, Nick Cave, Keane, Kasabian, and a whole host of CMU’s favourite acts are amongst those lining up for this year’s Benicassim Festival, which takes place near Valencia from 4 – 7 Aug.

No news as to which days they’re all playing on, but the following acts are all confirmed:
!!!, Athlete, Basement Jaxx, Devendra Banhart, Dinosaur Jr, Erlend Øye, Fischerspooner, Four Tet, Kaiser Chiefs, Kasabian, Keane, Kings Of Convenience, Ladytron, LCD Soundsystem, Lemon Jelly, Mylo, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Oasis, Radio 4, The Kills, The Polyphonic Spree, The Raveonettes, The Tears, The Wedding Present, Underworld, Yo La Tengo

Info from http://www.festival-benicassim.com

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THE TEARS IN STORE
The Tears will be doing three in store sessions next week to coincide with the release of new single 'Refugees' on 25 Apr, making the following appearances:

25 Apr, 6PM: Virgin Megastore Oxford Street London (Signing session)
26 Apr, 5.30PM: Virgin Churchill Square, Brighton (Performance and signing session)
29 Apr, 5:30PM: Rough Trade Shop, Neals Yard London (Performance and signing)

The Tears’ tour dates are as follows:
23 Apr: Liverpool Carling Academy
24 Apr: Newcastle University
23 May: London Shepherds Bush Empire

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various – Tom Middleton Presents Cosmosonica (Family Recordings)
The cover version got a bad rep a few years back when every mediocre manufactured pop band you’d care to mention (and there were quite a lot of them back then) would cynically release a cover of some legendary disco track in a bid to break the charts. Music purists tended to dismiss the cover as a cheap marketing tool that launched poor pop acts by destroying pop classics – and having heard G4’s cover of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ for the first time this weekend that is sometimes very much the case (I really can’t remember the last time I heard anything quite that awful … actually, I’m still in shock … Freddie must be spinning so fast he’ll be creating an earthquake sometime very soon). But for every mediocre marketer sanctioned cover, there’s ten out there which are genuinely clever, well thought-out reworkings of an original track that is normally very close to the hearts of the cover-er. These tracks generally add to, frequently equal and sometimes surpass the original. And as proof of this I present ‘Cosmosonica’, the Tom Middleton compiled fifty track double CD compo from Family Recordings, possibly the hottest compo label of the moment. Not every track on here necessarily equals or surpasses the original, but many do, and those that don’t certainly add something. Snow Patrol’s version of ‘Crazy In Love’, Barefoot’s ‘White Lines’, Marilyn Manson’s ‘Like A Virgin’ and, perhaps surprisingly, Keane’s ‘With Or Without You’ are all fine re-workings that certainly equal the originals. Meanwhile, in my albeit humble opinion, Scissor Sisters’ version of ‘Take Me On’ and Johnny Cash’s version of U2’s ‘One’ (one of CMU’s all time favourite cover versions) actually surpass the originals – quite a compliment in these cases given how good the originals were to start with. But where this compilation really excels is in the quirky department. The strapline of “crazy covers” is not inaccurate, and is certainly true with the simply genius Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain version of ‘Ms Dynamite’, The High Class Family Butchers’ take on ‘Mama Mia’ and Weird Al Yankovic’s ‘Polka Power’ medley – Polka versions of Hanson, the Spice Girls and the Beastie Boys just have to be heard to be believed. So, all in all, a fantastic must-get album. And given that the words ‘Volume 1’ are written on the front I am already anticipating the second edition (and with some fantastic cover versions doing the rounds just now from the likes of Flatpack and Honeyroot, there should be plenty of great tracks for Mr Middleton to choose from). CC
Release date: 16 May
Press contact: Darling [all]

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WH SMITH FINANCIALS IMPROVING
Time for some Friday morning retail news? Well, here goes. Books, stationery, music and DVD retailer WH Smith has reported a big jump in half-year profits, which is just as well given the company’s recent financial struggles. In the six months to 28 Feb the retailer saw losses last year of £72 million transformed into profits for this year of £61 million, which suggests the company’s boss’ proactive programme to revitalize the firm might just be working.

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WHICH EXECS WILL BENEFIT FROM WARNER SELL OFF
We don’t go for idle speculation round here, but given that US industry site Hits Daily Double has been idly speculating which Warner Music execs will get a cut of the $12.1 million that will be set aside for eight of the group’s top guard from the forthcoming share sale, it would be rude not to republish their idle speculations here. The execs favourite for a big cut of the pie include: Warner Music International boss Paul-Rene Albertini, Atlantic execs Jason Flom, Craig Kallman, Kevin Liles and Julie Greenwald, Warner Bros' Tom Whalley, new CFO Dave Johnson, WEA's John Esposito, WSM's Scott Pascucci, new EVP/CFO Michael Fleisher and new Warner/Chappell chief Richard Blackstone – though give that only eight are set to benefit, three of those top execs are in for some disappointment.

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FOPP TAKE UNSIGNED BANDS COMPETITION NORTH
Fopp, CMU’s favourite Scotland-based independent record retailer (well, equal with Avalanche… and Ripping Records... and all the others), has launched the second stage of its unsigned bands competition. Regular readers will remember that last year Fopp, which now has stores all over the place, ran a competition in the South West and Wales to find the best unsigned bands doing the rounds. This time Fopp are turning their attention to new music talent in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North. Winners of the competition will win time in a studio to record a three track EP which will then be sold in Fopp’s shops. Any band with original material whose members are over the age of 18 can enter, oblivious of genre. Full details of how to enter are online at http://www.fopp.co.uk Press info from Press Counsel

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NADINE NOT LEAVING THE GIRLS ALONE
Nadine Coyle of Girls Aloud has denied rumours that she plans to leave the girl band, posting a terse statement on the group’s website saying "What sane person is going to want to leave the biggest girl band in the country?. The story was a load of rubbish and I didn't even bother reading it." Cheryl Tweedy added, "Things are far from finishing for us although we've been together for two-and-a-half years we feel like we're beginning. There ain't gonna be no stopping us." So thank God for that.

The band have confirmed, however, that plans for next month’s single release of a cover of Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game’ have been shelved. The track is to be included instead on their next album, which is to be released later in the year following their first ever UK tour this summer.

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AMERICAN IDOL AFFAIR ACCUSATIONS
Scandalous accusations are emerging over at American idol, as former American Idol contestant Corey Clark has claimed he had a secret affair with judge Paula Abdul. According to US publication Globe Magazine, the singer claims that he had sex with Abdul in the guest room of her house and that she promised to fund his career to the tune of $2 million. Whether anyone will believe him, given that the 24-year-old was disqualified from show back in 2003 after he failed to admit to an outstanding criminal charge, remains to be seen.

The claims are said to be made in a new book Clark is currently attempting to get published. According to the magazine article, Clark claims Abdul told him “she wanted to look out for him and be his 'special friend’” but that he couldn't tell anyone about it or she'd make things very hard for him, allegedly saying “Don't screw me or you'll be sorry.” Clark apparently also claims that Justin Guarini, runner-up of the first season, "bragged about having an affair with Paula" too. Guarini's publicist has denied that suggestion.

A spokesperson for Abdul said that she "disputes the allegations." Well, obviously.

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