CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 6th May

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- He never touched me guvnor: Jacko trial update
- BPI appoint new independents man

- Oasis release extra tickets
- New acts confirmed for Cross Central
- Apple shenanigans galore
- Single Review: The Kills - Love Is A Deserter
- Edwyn collins gets MRSA
- The Dears postpone show
- Stevie Wonder video gets extra audio
- Lil' Kim hits back
- Stereophonics cover stooges track
- More Warner gossiping post-Linkin Park rant
- Album Review: Various Artists - Bingo Sessions Volume 2 Mixed By DJ Marky
- Darkness make progress on new album
- Beatles letter raises a few quid
- Yahoo developing new music search engine
- Hope Of The States work on second album
- Album Review: Erol Alkan - Bugged In, Bugged Out
- Haymarket buy Media Week
- Jay Kay responds to Denise's tabloid tales
- New P Diddy band search show confirmed
- Jessica Simpson denies Fred Durst rumours


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HE NEVER TOUCHED ME GUVNOR: JACKO TRIAL UPDATE
So, all eyes fell on the defence at the Michael Jackson trial yesterday, the prosecution having rounded up their case on Wednesday. The defence's request to have the charges against Jacko dismissed on the basis that the prosecution's case was a bit rubbish (I'm using the legal term there obviously) was turned down by Judge Rodney Melville on the basis that we'd been promised celebrity witnesses in this trial so there was no way he was cutting the proceedings short when we are still to hear testimonies from Liza Minnelli, Liz Taylor and Jay Leno. Well, I think that's what he was implying when he kicked off the day's proceedings by telling the court that "The request to dismiss the charges is denied".

And so Jackson's defence lawyers took the floor and called their first witness, presumably hoping that, unlike some of the prosecution's witnesses, none of their people scored any own goals. First up was 22 year old Australian choreographer and dancer Wade Robson who, the prosecution claim, was molested by Jackson when he stayed at Neverland as a teenager in the early nineties. Robson told the courts that he had slept in Jackson's bedroom on three or four of his 20 visits to Neverland, but said that nothing dodgy ever happened. The questioning ran thus:

Jacko defence lawyer Tom Mesereau: "Did Mr Jackson ever molest you at any time".
Robson: "Absolutely not".
Mesereau: "Did Mr Jackson ever touch you in a sexual way".
Robson: "No, never".

Prosecution lawyer Ron Zonen tried to convince Robson that Jackson may have molested him while he was asleep, saying: "What you're really telling us is that nothing ever happened while you were awake." But Robson responded: "I'm telling you nothing ever happened".

Speeding through, the defence also called 23 year old Brett Barnes, another person that the prosecution claim Jackson molested during stays at Neverland in the early nineties. Recognising that witnesses had testified that they had seen Jackson touching him inappropriately, Barnes told the court: "I'm very mad about it. It's not true and they put my name through the dirt. I'm really not happy about it."

The case continues - rumours are now circulating that Macaulay Culkin, the most famous of the Neverland guests Jacko is accused of molesting, might now testify in Jackson's defence. The former child star was reportedly resisting requests to go to court to defend the singer, despite publicly denying anything inappropriate ever happened during his teenage friendship with Jacko.

Elsewhere in Jacko news, Fox News claim that the Bank Of America has sold the $270 million debt Jackson has with them to hedge fund Fortress Investments. This, Fox News celebrity reporter Roger Friedman says, increases the likelihood that Jackson's creditors might look to seize his stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing should he default on a payment. Jacko's people continue to deny rumours of acute financial issues in the Jackson camp, it will be interesting to see if this debt sale story is true and, if so, if it will effect Jackson's overall business interests.

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BPI APPOINT NEW INDEPENDENTS MAN
The BPI, has extended its commitment to the independent sector by appointing a new Director Of Independent Member Services specifically to deal with the concerns of smaller record companies. Jon Webster, the man who helped turn Virgin Records into the biggest independent record company before its sale to EMI, will take on the new role ensuring that independents' interests are "reflected across the BPI's activities".

Announcing the appointment yesterday, BPI Chairman Peter Jamieson told reporters: "The BPI is an industry association in which majors and indies sit side-by-side. But independents are often too time-pressured to engage fully with every industry issue. What this appointment is about is ensuring we have a heavy-hitter who is focused 100% on independents concerns at all times. Jon Webster has operated at every level and most areas of the recording industry. He is principled, straight-talking and down-to-earth. He is the ideal person to represent the independent sector at the BPI and to help us continue the process of upgrading our services to members."

Jon Webster himself added: "I have run what was the UK's biggest independent, and over the past four years have managed one of the smallest, so I know how difficult this market can be. What I am certain of is that during times of change it is vital that the recording industry works together to deal with the immense challenges we all face. My job is to ensure independents' concerns are at the very heart of what the BPI does, and that we deliver value to them on a daily basis."

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OASIS RELEASE EXTRA TICKETS
Oasis have released some extra tickets for two dates on their forthcoming tour. The extra tickets are for the National Bowl in Milton Keynes on 9 and 10 Jul. Given the speed with which the tour tickets originally sold out, though, we can't guarantee that any of the extra ones will still be left by the time you read this.

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NEW ACTS CONFIRMED FOR CROSS CENTRAL
More acts have been confirmed for London music fest TDK Cross Central. Additions to the bill include The Rakes, Richard X, Keith, Test Icicles, Deaf Stereo, Amusement Park on Fire, The Shortwave Set, Ludes, Kano, Fat Camp, Glimmer Twins, Nextmen, Rodney P & Skitz and Lady Sovereign. Previously confirmed acts include Grace Jones, Tom Vek, The Magic Numbers, The Earlies, Killa Kella, Tiefshwarz, Xpress 2, Optimo Djs, Plan B and the Soul II Soul Soundsystem and the massive Gilles Peterson.

The event takes place at King's Cross freight depot from 27 - 28 Aug (bank holiday weekend). More info at http://www.crosscentral.co.uk/

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APPLE SHENANIGANS GALORE
Lots of Apple news for you.

Firstly the much rumoured arrival of iTunes in Australia, originally expected to happen this week, has reportedly been delayed because of some last-minute content negotiations with at least one major label. As previously reported, Apple is hoping to arrive in Oz with the kind of comprehensive catalogue it enjoys there - something that should revolutionise the Australian digital music marketplace where most domestic platforms have considerable gaps in their repertoire of artists.

Secondly, Apple is facing another legal challenge over the incompatibility issue, this time in France. French consumer group Union Federale des Consommateurs-Que Choisir is taking Apple to court over that old quibble - is it fair that if I buy a track off iTunes I can only play it on the iPod. Other consumer groups elsewhere in the world, and especially elsewhere in Europe, are expected to stage similar legal assaults on iTunes codec incompatibility, leading some to question how long Apple can continue to maintain their current policy on the matter.

Thirdly, Apple is facing another threat to its iTunes DRM as the hacker community become more pious in their attempts to break major IT players' copyright protection systems - spurred on by those consumer groups protesting about incompatibility. The new hack allows users to play their iTunes tracks through non-Apple music programmes, although it doesn't allow people to access music from the iTunes catalogue for free. It has been created by 20 year old college student David Hammerton, who has updated a previous hack system to overcome an extra level of protection recently added by Apple programmers. Hammerton reportedly came up with the new hack in just eight hours. Apple are sure to respond with a new version of their codec that combats Hammerton's system, which the college student will no doubt immediately set about hacking afresh.

So far the ongoing tit-for-tat battle between programmers at the big digital music companies and the hackers has not been very high profile, with a relatively small number of people within so called 'geek communities' actually taking advantage of a hack when it surfaces. However, with that increasing resentment towards Apple regarding incompatibility, some say the hackers may be able to position themselves as the 'defenders of consumer rights', winning their hacks more profile and support. If that were to happen, hacks like these would become a real headache for certain download companies, and especially Apple.

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Kills - Love is a Deserter (Domino)
If you've steered clear of The Kills because you can't stomach the existence of more than one bluesy boy / girl two piece, then now might be the time to start listening. Anyway, they sound nothing like The White Stripes. Love is a Deserter is a filthy scuzz-rock pounder of a track, that somehow makes you want to slouch towards a dancefloor, even if the nearest one is two miles away. Kinda like 'Heart of Glass' if Elastica had written it and if the history of fashion had only ever consisted of variations on the shades and black leather jacket theme. And not a glimpse of red or white in sight. WP
Release date: 30 May
Press contact: Sainted [CP, RP, NP] Anglo [CR, RR, NR]

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EDWYN COLLINS GETS MRSA
Edwyn Collins has the MRSA virus, and has done for several weeks. As previously reported, the singer suffered two brain haemorrhages back in Feb, and has since undergone two bouts of surgery, the most recent operation being to remove infected scar tissue.  His wife Grace Maxwell updated fans via the website and told readers that the infection had been "very difficult to get under control", but added: "I'm hopeful that we've turned a corner. Edwyn continues to feel quite well in himself."

A statement from the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead where the singer is being treated said: "Grace and the family would like to restate their enduring gratitude to staff for the lifesaving care they have given to Edwyn," adding that "he continues to improve under the watchful eye of the medical team".

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THE DEARS POSTPONE SHOW
The Dears had to cancel a show at the London Astoria last night. The gig has been rescheduled for 5 Jul, with original tickets valid for the new date. The band said in a statement: "Unfortunately The Dears have to postpone tonight's show at the London Astoria as one of the band members has a personal issue, which had to be dealt with immediately. The band apologies to all their fans for any inconvenience and they are looking forward to seeing everyone in July at the rescheduled show."

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STEVIE WONDER VIDEO GETS EXTRA AUDIO
The new Stevie Wonder video for single release 'So What The Fuss' will be available accompanied by a descriptive audio track which will attempt to convey the storyline of the video to those with impaired vision, that is to say the descriptive commentary will be supplied by rapper Busta Rhymes.

Wonder said: "Until now music videos have been very one dimensional for those who are blind or with low vision.  Now all music video fans will be able to apply their vision to my video thanks to the descriptive technique and of course, a great narration by Busta Rhymes."

The video, directed by Paul Hunter, will premiere in standard and enhanced versions on 9 May in Los Angeles, and will appear online via Yahoo! Music two days later. 'So What the Fuss' is the first single release from the singer's new album, 'A Time 2 Love', which is scheduled for UK release later this month.

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LIL' KIM HITS BACK
Perjurious Hip-Hopstress Lil' Kim has spoken out against those songwriters who claim she owes them money, calling their allegations "malicious and frivolous". As previously reported, the star is currently being sued by Anthony Jefferies and Vincent Hart who claim they were not paid for work they did on a Lil' Kim album.

A statement issued by Kim's lawyers said "The lawsuit is malicious and frivolous. Both of these individuals signed written agreements and were paid in full by Atlantic Records. They are now looking to undo the agreement and extract additional sums from Lil' Kim. We will vindicate her legal rights in this matter. In addition, Lil' Kim and her representatives have never made any threats to anyone. These allegations are absurd."

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STEREOPHONICS COVER STOOGES TRACK
Stereophonics have covered The Stooges 'classic track 'I Wanna Be Your Dog' on the B-side to their upcoming release 'Superman', due out on 13 Jun. The DVD edition of the single also has an on-the-road video, a lyrics page and a photo gallery.

The band have a series of UK and Irish tour dates planned for Sept:

3 Sep: Dublin The Point
4 Sep: Belfast Odyssey
6 Sep: Glasgow SECC
9 Sep: Birmingham NIA
10 Sep: Birmingham NIA
12 Sep: Sheffield Hallam FM Arena
13 Sep: Newcastle Metroradio Arena
14 Sep: Nottingham Arena
16 Sep: Manchester MEN Arena
17 Sep: Manchester MEN Arena
19 Sep: London Carling Apollo Hammersmith
20 Sep: London Carling Apollo Hammersmith
21 Sep: London Carling Apollo Hammersmith
24 Sep: Cardiff International Arena
25 Sep: Cardiff International Arena
26 Sep: Cardiff International Arena

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MORE WARNER GOSSIPING POST-LINKIN PARK RANT
Insiders in both the music industry and investment community continue to discuss the ramifications of Linkin Park's public criticism of Warner Music earlier this week. The nu-metal band spoke out against the major label's management and their proposed share sale, demanding to be let out of their current recording contract with the major, which has another four albums to go. Warner bosses dismissed the band's statement, arguing it was part of their management attempts to renegotiate their current contract, but that hasn't stopped some key players in the investment world from questioning the major label's management.

Of particular concern to those considering investing in Warner in any share sale is whether any other of the major's flagship artists are feeling similarly aggrieved by the company's current owners, execs who stand to earn millions in the share sale. So far rumours that other bands would come out in support of Linkin Park haven't come good, but all eyes are currently on management firm Q-Firm, who represent Red Hot Chili Peppers. They previously renegotiated Metallica's Warner deal so that it was handled by the company's Warner Brothers division, claiming management at the group's Atlantic division were incompetent.

Some wonder if Q-Firm's confidence in Warner management across the board is in decline, increasing the possibility that they will use the PR sensitivities that surround pending share sale to start making demands of the major. If they were to do that they would be in a good bargaining position - the next RHCP album, due for release later this year, is one of the most bankable products currently sitting on Warner's release schedule.

Another rumour doing the rounds is that some possible investors are concerned about the abilities of Lyor Cohen, the man overseeing the day-to-day operations at Warner. They argue that if Linkin Park's anti-Warner statement was, as the major claim, a PR stunt to aid their contract renegotiation, then Cohen, as the man leading those negotiations from Warners end, should have stopped such a damaging PR stunt from ever taking place.

It remains to be seen if Linkin Park have truly damaged Warner Music's share sale plans, or whether talk about the band's statement is all burned out by the time the major's flotation formally kicks off.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - Bingo Sessions Volume 2 mixed by DJ Marky (Bingo)
My overall feeling from this album is this: Too many tracks, too quickly; the Brazilian D&B maestro Marky gets a few choice ones in, but a fair amount of pretty drab filler, too. His opener with XRS,  'Misto Quente' is fairly typical whilst Marcus Intalex's 'Afrikka' is good, but is followed by the lacklustre 'Creeper' by Zinc, and the next track 'Xray' is just filtered down drum and bass for students. ' Flatfoot' brings it back up to speed with its complex jump up but is following by the rather disappointing 'Mosca', by XRS, which is a screechy waste of time. The highlight is a hard stepper - 'Siren' by Spirit, and the album ends well with goodie 'Plastic Soul' by Shy FX. It's an average ride, to be honest, and not as good as his previous outings. PV
Release date: 2 May
Press contact: Shilland

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DARKNESS MAKE PROGRESS ON NEW ALBUM
Work continues on The Darkness' new album, and pictures of the band hard at it in the studio have been posted at the band's official website, http://www.thedarknessrock.com. The rock band have also revealed that they have whittled down the potential album tracks from thirty nine songs down to fifteen.

Frontman Justin Hawkins said: "Studio stuff is going well. It's about the biggest drum sound you'll ever hear on a rock record and that's all there is to it at the moment. We're in the same studio that they recorded 'Bohemian Rhapsody' in, so I'm using Freddie (Mercury)'s piano and stuff."

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BEATLES LETTER RAISES A FEW QUID
That letter from three of the Beatles to lawyer Lee Eastman has sold at auction in for £48000. As previously reported, the letter, which marked a pivotal moment in the break up of the legendary foursome, informed Mr Eastman, Paul McCartney's then lawyer and father in law, that he was not authorised to represent the rest of the band as well. The letter was sent during a row between McCartney and his fellow Beatles over who should manage them.

The letter was sold at the Christie's rock memorabilia sale to a private collector from Nottinghamshire. At the same sale a guitar owned by Pete Townshend of The Who fetched £24,000 and a rare Who concert poster raised £20,400.

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YAHOO DEVELOPING NEW MUSIC SEARCH ENGINE
Yahoo are reportedly working on a search engine specifically for music fans, which will be honed to search for websites, reviews, biographies and downloads relating to a user's artist of choice. This service is likely to be bundled in with Yahoo's growing music channel, though the company is currently being tight lipped on its music search service, and much of its music plans for that matter, so we're not sure. .

While we're talking about search engines, do check the new maps service from Google - www.google.co.uk/maps. Absolutely nothing to do with music, and we're in danger of revealing our geek status in plugging it, but it's amazing how much fun can be had scanning across their maps of UK cities with your mouse. No, really.

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HOPE OF THE STATES WORK ON SECOND ALBUM
Hope Of The States have begun work on a new album, a follow up to 2004 debut 'The Lost Riots'. Vocalist Sam Herlihy told NME.com: "I think it sounds pretty different. A lot of the stuff is a lot more up - we're just kind of trying to carry on our grand scheme to shrink everything down the whole time. We're spending more time experimenting with sounds. I think it will be a bit of a surprise. This album is more about getting really strong songs to start off with as opposed to covering stuff up with that apocalyptic sound we did on the first record."

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ALBUM REVIEW: Erol Alkan - Bugged In, Bugged Out (Resist Music)
I'm not much of a clubber but even I know Erol Alkan is something of a legend on the club scene mainly on the basis of his hugely popular Trash night on Mondays at The End, and he's also known for his national and international Bugged Out nights. The highlight by far of CD1 - Bugged Out, is Alkan's remix of the monster electro anthem 'Rocker' by Alter Ego, which is popping up on a lot of compilations currently.  Josh Wink's 'Higher State of Consciousness' mixed with the dance floor heave of  the Rapture's punk funk epic 'House of Jealous Lovers'  also goes down a treat. However CD2 - Bugged In, is more interesting and eclectic.  My favourite act of the moment, French synth wiz M83 contribute 'Birds' while And The Left Handed Gun offer their moody, atmospheric 'Love Me Now'.  There are a couple of impressive covers; Swedish duo the Concretes with an inspired version of the Stones' 'Miss You' and Trespasser Williams melancholy take on Ride's 'Vapour Trails'.  Torch singer Julie London sings the slightly cheesy but affecting 'End Of A Love Affair' and Clinic's 'Come Into My Room' retains a haunting power. An Added oddity is Magnet's 'Willows Song' (the track that Britt Ekland danced to in the Wicker Man' apparently).  On the whole I'd say Bugged Out is somewhat unimaginative but Bugged In is a clear winner. JW
Release date: 25 Apr
Press contact: 9PR [all]

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HAYMARKET BUY MEDIA WEEK
Michael Heseltine's Haymarket publishing empire is buying weekly media industry mag Media Week from Quantum Business Media, meaning it will join the same stable as the marketing industry's main trade weeklies, Campaign, PR Week and Marketing. Quantum is also expected to sell its other media magazine Press Gazette, though that is unlikely to go to Haymarket, despite Heseltine's firm reportedly showing some initial interest in it.

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JAY KAY RESPONDS TO DENISE'S TABLOID TALES
Jay Kay has lashed out at ex-girlfriend Denise Van Outen for telling the press about their relationship. According to Irish website BreakingNews, the Jamiroquai man, back in the limelight in the run up to the release of new album 'Dynamite' next month, says: "When it comes to things like that I'm a gentleman and I don't want to talk about it, but I think Denise saw it a different way. It was a case of walking into the local petrol station and seeing 17 different magazines with her on the cover talking about how she had to finish it. I was the one who instigated [breaking up] because it wasn't working out. The point was I didn't have a platform to say my bit. Denise had a bit of a love affair with the tabloids and I did not. She was in the public eye in a different way to me, and you're going to get followed around. I couldn't really be bothered to go through all that again; going out with some celebrity is just hassle."

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NEW P DIDDY BAND SEARCH SHOW CONFIRMED
P Diddy and MTV US have announced that there will a second season of Making The Band 3 in which the hip hop mogul will be filmed as he tries to put together an all girl group. Auditions will kick off in New York later this month.

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JESSICA SIMPSON DENIES FRED DURST RUMOURS
Jessica Simpson has hit back at rumours she had a fling with Limp Bizkit man Fred Durst. A newspaper in Las Vegas reported that Simpson and Durst were "all over each other" at a party at the Hard Rock Hotel. But a spokesman for Simpson told reporters: "Jessica and Fred Durst have mutual friends and were both at the event. The rest is absolutely untrue." So now you know.

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YEAH, SO IT'S MEGADETH
Yeah, OK, it's spelt Megadeth, and not Megadeath as we wrote in the story about their greatest hits yesterday. Our Global Head Of Band Name Spellings (Noisy Rock Band Division) was obviously having an off day.

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