CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 24th May

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- It's another Arvizo assassination: Jacko trial update
- Prosecutors score small success in Spector trial preparations
- Kylie denies marriage reports
- Two of Bobby Brown's entourage knifed
- Meat Loaf live dates
- Nine Inch Nails to headline Voodoo
- Bassist steps out of the Darkness
- Alkan makes mash ups available via website
- Rockers launch new music company
- Ian Brown to release best of
- Tour tips
- Akira The Don rocks
- Another best song survey
- Oasis have most chart weeks in the last decade
- iTunes to Embrace podcasting
- Speculation continues over Live Aid plans
- More BBC strikes planned
- Lee from Blue signs solo deal
- Brian Harvey rushed to hospital
- U2 turned down a cool £12.5m
- Girls Aloud sign hair deal
- Charlotte Church won't make the wedding



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Just in case there is any doubt left in your mind - Janet Arvizo is a money grabbing fraudster who used her son's illness to extort money out of celebrities. Or - so say Jackson's defence team in the ongoing Michael Jackson trial - whether or not that is true is, of course, for the jury to decide. Anyway, the Jacko defence team yesterday turned their attention back to rubbishing the reputation of Arvizo, the mother of Jackson's current accuser, Gavin Arvizo.

Mrs Arvizo herself got out of returning to the witness stand by pleading the fifth amendment (that prevents witnesses from being forced to incriminate themselves in a testimony), but the defence still had plenty of people lined up to badmouth her.

First up, her former sister in law, and Gavin's aunt, told the court how Arvizo had turned down her offers to help when her nephew was diagnosed with cancer. The tearful witness told the court how she had offered to organise a campaign for blood donations to aid Gavin Arvizo's treatment, but that her sister in law "told me that she didn't need my blood, that she needed money".

Next up, Connie Keenan, the editor of the Arvizo family's local newspaper, told the court that she had been "duped" by Mrs Arvizo into running a story about her son's sickness. Keenan: "The mother wanted an additional story because she didn't make enough money from the original story - those are her words, not mine".

The court then heard from government worker Mercy Manriquez, who handled a welfare application made by Mrs Arvizo (this is the bit Janet Arvizo didn't want to talk about for fear of incriminating herself). The official confirmed that Gavin's mother had claimed she had no sources of income when making a welfare claim just ten days after winning tens of thousands of pounds in a civil lawsuit. Deliberately omitting sources of income in welfare applications, Manriquez diligently reminded us, is fraud.

In related allegations, chartered accountant Mike Radakovich told jurors that Arvizo received payments of thousands of dollars from Jackson and his associates while still receiving benefit payments. He said financial records showed she had spent seven grand on "clothes, beauty products and dinners out" - all billed to Jackson - during Feb and Mar 2003 - coincidently, the same time the Arvizo family claim they were being held hostage by the singer.

Convincing stuff hey? Well, that's what Jacko's defence team are presumably hoping - the credibility (or not) of Mrs Arvizo and her children seemingly at the very heart of this case. The Arvizo character assassination will continue later today, with Jay Leno likely to be called to the witness stand to testify how the family tapped him for cash during Gavin Arvizo's illness. Hurrah - a celebrity witness at last.


Those of you concerned as to what the CMU legal news team are going to do once the Jacko trial reaches its conclusion need not worry. Don't forget the Phil Spector court case is looming, and this one has a murder in it (well, an alleged murder), so they'll be plenty of work for our court-reporter-in-chief. As you will remember, Spector stands accused of murdering b-movie actress Lana Clarkson at his LA home back in Feb 2003. Spector maintains Clarkson shot herself.

The trial is due to start proper in Sep, though preparations are already under way, and the prosecution scored a small victory during a preparatory grand jury hearing yesterday. The prosecution want to prove that Spector has a history of waving guns around in front of women, and they have lined up four female former associates of the legendary producer who all claim Spector did just that to them. Having seen the evidence himself, LA Superior Court judge Larry Fidler has said those four women can testify at Spector's court case, even though they are not directly linked to the current murder case.

However, the prosecution will not be able to dwell on Spector's two previous gun-related convictions from 1972 and 1975, nor other alleged incidents of violence involving guns.


A spokesman for Kylie Minogue has denied those tabloid stories that she and boyfriend Olivier Martinez are planning to marry, following reports over the last couple of days that the French actor had proposed to Kylie following her surgery for breast cancer. The false reports would seem to have come about from some relatively innocent comments from the Martinez camp which were seized on by the press. As previously reported, the singer's surgery was successful, and Kylie is now resting at home with family and friends around her. A statement on the star's website notes that "her spirits are high".


Two of Bobby Brown's entourage have been stabbed following a fight at a restaurant early on Monday morning. Shayne Brown, 21, and Kelsey Brown, 20, were treated for knife wounds and are in a stable condition after a verbal altercation led to a physical attack at Justin's Restaurant and Bar in Atlanta where Bobby Brown performing during a weekly open microphone event. The singer himself was not involved in the incident, and the actual cause of the fight is not known. It's also not known whether the injured young men are related to Brown, but as their surnames are all the same it seems like a possibility.

As previously reported, the 36 year old R&B singer is shortly to star in a new reality show 'Being Bobby Brown' to be broadcast this summer on Bravo.


Here's one for my 'Bat Out Of Hell' loving fellow editor. CMU favourite Meat Loaf is to play a series of live dates as part of the Summer Nights Concert Series, which takes place at stately homes and castles around the country and features artists as diverse as Luciano Pavarotti and Status Quo.

More info and tickets from or by calling 0870 400 0688

And Meatloaf's dates are:

3 Jul: Harewood House, Leeds
8 Jul: Leeds Castle, Kent
10 Jul: Chatsworth, Derbyshire
15 Jul: Blickling Hall, Norfolk
16 Jul: Warwick Castle, Warwick


Nine Inch Nails have been confirmed as the first headlining act set for the seventh Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans. The event, which will be held on a golf course in the city's park, will feature 80 plus bands performing on seven different stages, and takes place from 29 - 30 Oct.

Until recently NIN frontman Trent Reznor owned a home and a studio in New Orleans, and the festival organisers have long hoped they could get the band to play. Voodoo's producer Chris Rehage told Billboard: "With Trent's history with New Orleans, we're looking for a big homecoming. He's been to the festival for years, and we've always approached him about performing. We're very excited about it."

A full line up will be announced on 24 Jun.


Frankie Poullain, bass player for The Darkness, has quit the band. The remaining members say it's the result of "musical differences", and that a replacement will be announced in the coming months.


Well, we love a good bootleg-mash-up-remix-cut-up-thingy here at CMU (if you do too can we recommend you check the Remix Update section at, and one of our favourite bootleg-mash-up-remix-cut-up-thingy makers is Mr Erol Alkan. Alkan, of course, has been making mash up tracks from a long time now, primarily to drop in to his legendary DJ sets, but now he is making some of them available via his website. The first is his mix up of George Michael's 'Faith', Missy Elliot's 'Get Your Freak On' and House of Pain's 'Jump Around', and you can download it from the news page at


Chris Squire and Stephen Nardelli of 60's psychedelic rock group The Syn (Squire was also a member of Yes) will today launch a new company called Umbrello Entertainment Group, which will operate both a record label and a music TV station. Details of the former's first signings should be revealed at the launch event at London's Café Royal this morning. The TV station will launch later today on Sky, boasting a mix of "exclusive performances" from established acts and newer talent, plus short films made by up-and-coming directors. Called That-TV (short for The Home Of Alternative Television), the TV channel will be based in Edinburgh and run by music promoter and director Colin Usher.

Press info about the new venture from Pure Publicity - 020 8208 1279 or email


Ian Brown is to release a 'best of' album this summer. The record, which will include two new tracks and plenty of bonus audio and video material, is out on 22 Aug. Before that, though, you can catch him at a variety of festivals as he puts in appearances at Glastonbury, T In The Park, and the V festival.


Now, as you know, we are the kings of ethics here at CMU and would never let presents and free gifts affect our editorial judgement. In fact, Eliot Spitzer was on the phone the other day asking us to run a workshop of 'ethical music policies' for the American music industry. So the fact that one of our readers at Warner Music spotted and acted on our very subtle hint that the office could do with copies of the various OC soundtracks will have no bearing on today's Daily.

In unrelated news, Warner Music signed Rilo Kiley will return to the UK to tour this summer to promote the release of new single 'It's A Hit' (out 4 Jul). Dates as follows:

24 Jun: Wireless Festival (headlined by New Order)
28 Jun: Manchester Night And Day
29 Jun: Sheffield Leadmill
30 Jun: Nottingham Social
4 Jul: Norwich Arts Centre
5 Jul: London Scala
7 Jul: Glasgow King Tuts
8 Jul: Edinburgh Cabaret Voltaire

Oh yes, and Warner Music signed Buck 65 will head out on tour next month to promote new album 'Secret House Against The World'. Dates as follows:

14 Jun: Brighton Concorde
15 Jun: Bristol Fleece
16 Jun: Manchester Roadhouse
17 Jun: Glasgow King Tuts
18 Jun: Leicester Charlotte
19 Jun: Birmingham Bar Academy
20 Jun: Oxford Zodiac
21 Jun: London Mean Fiddler
24 Jun: Glastonbury Festival

And did we mention that Warner Music signed Aussie Missy Higgins will release her debut album 'The Sound Of White' on 6 Jun on Warner imprint Reprise? Or that the first single release is called 'Ten Days' and is out on 30 May. Or that she will be touring the following dates:

26 May: Birmingham Glee Club
28 May: Glasgow King Tuts
30 May: Manchester Life Café
1 Jun: London, Shepherds Bush Empire
4 Jun: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
5 Jun: Bristol Louisiana

Oh yes, and this just in. We still don't own a copy of Queen's Greatest Hits on CD (any EMI readers out there), and we would quite like to see Ben Folds live next week (hello everyone at SonyBMG).


The buzz is really growing around Wales based hip hop talent Akira The Don, not least because of the genuine interest coming from Universal's US division Interscope. His new EP, AAA, was released on Something In Construction yesterday, and if you want to get an idea of what to expect, check out the video to one of the tracks that appears - the excellent 'Living In The Future'. It's online at:


Hurrah, another 'best song ever survey' - because there's just not enough of these. This one has been organised by BBC Radio 2 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Ivor Novello Awards. Members of the British Academy picked out their five favourite songs from each ten year period between 1955 and 2004, Radio 2 listeners then voted on which one they liked best. The overall winners were announced yesterday.

The six million odd people who voted picked bloody 'Angel' by Robbie Williams' as the best song of 1995-2004, but let's not dwell on that (I mean, we're long time Robbie supporters round here, but it so isn't the best song of 1995-2004, it's not even the best Robbie song for 1995-2004). The more interesting results, however, appeared in the earlier periods.

The main thing of interest was that the Beatles did not appear in the final five, despite having two tracks shortlisted for the 1955-1964 section - 'She Loves You' and 'Please Please Me' - and one in the 1965-1974 section - 'Yesterday'. John Lennon was also shortlisted for the 1975-1984 section for 'Imagine', but lost out to Queen. Stat fans would no doubt point out that the Beatles most probably lost out because they had multiple nominations - splitting the Beatles vote - but still, the lack of Beatles tracks in the final top five let a couple of interesting alternatives slip in.

Commenting on the survey, Radio 2 music editor Colin Martin told reporters: "When we asked listeners to select their favourite song from five decades of great British hits we always thought the Beatles or John Lennon - who between them got the most nominations - would top at least one of the decades. How wrong we were. The listeners have voted and the Beatles are out. Great songs like 'You Really Got Me', 'Space Oddity' and 'Bohemian Rhapsody' are regarded as being not just on a par with Lennon and McCartney, but out in front in their contribution to and influence on British music."

The final five favourites are as follows:

1955-1964 The Kinks - You Really Got Me
1965-1974 David Bowie - Space Oddity
1975-1984 Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
1985-1994 Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls
1995-2004 Robbie Williams - Angels

This year's Ivor Novello Awards take place on Thursday.


Now that you've brought up pop trivia, Oasis have been crowned the most successful act of the last decade in the UK, if you base such a title on the number of weeks an artist has spent in both the singles and albums chart. With new single 'Lyla' in at number one at the weekend, the Gallaghers have now been in the charts for a total of 766 weeks in the last ten years - more than Robbie Williams, Madonna, Britney Spears, Eminem and U2. Well done them.


Apple boss Steve Jobs has said the next upgrade of his iTunes software would recognise the emerging world of podcasting, and would be enhanced to make it easier for iPod owners to subscribe to and download podcast programmes.

Podcasting is a new way of delivering audio content, currently being pioneered by a number media organisations, and especially grass roots broadcasters. Consumers subscribe to podcast radio shows, which are then automatically delivered directly to the iTunes library on each subscribers computer, allowing them to transfer the show to their iPod with minimum effort. That delivery is currently done using special podcast software like iPodder or Doppler, though Jobs has implied updates in iTunes might overcome the need to use third party delivery applications.

Speaking at a digital media conference staged by the Wall Street Journal, Jobs recognised the growing phenomenon of podcasting, commenting "Already millions of people are subscribing to these podcasts". He went on to say that that a future iTunes upgrade will "send it into orbit", adding that "We can highlight the 20 most popular podcasts and we can highlight the ones that are really great."

Elsewhere in iTunes news, ThinkSecret, the website who keep revealing Apple's business plans weeks ahead of any official announcements, say the computer giant is close to launching a Russian version of their download platform. A Russian iTunes would be interesting, because Apple would be competing directly with the controversial Russian based who have been building a loyal consumer base in their home country and elsewhere by selling cut price downloads (much to the annoyance of royalty bodies in the West who question whether they have the rights to do so).


Speculation continues regarding the staging of a Live Aid style event in London to coincide with next month's G8 Conference, which will take place in Scotland. Bob Geldof originally denied he intended to stage a second Live Aid this summer, but it now seems likely the Band Aid Foundation will stage some kind of music event in the UK capital in early July to promote world poverty issues as global political leaders meet at the conference. Geldof is said to be in talks with artists interested in getting involved in what is being called Live 8. He is also reportedly negotiating with the BBC regarding the broadcast of the event. Reports suggest that, as with Live Aid, a second event will be held concurrently in the US, though this time it is likely to be held in Washington DC - in 1985 the American leg of Live Aid was held in Philadelphia.

While Geldof and Band Aid remain tight lipped on the Live 8 plans, they have denied involvement in a similar event reportedly being planned for the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. According to Scottish newspaper The Scotsman, plans are afoot to stage a major music event at the city's Murrayfield Stadium to coincide with the G8 Conference. Scottish groups Franz Ferdinand and Teenage Fanclub have reportedly expressed an interest in getting involved, while Robbie Williams, Oasis, Travis and Coldplay have all reportedly been approached. The paper also says Edinburgh based Unique Events, who organise the city's famous Hogmanay Street Party, are in talks with local authorities about policing such an event. However a spokesman for Band Aid told reporters: "There will categorically be no Live Aid concert in Scotland. There is absolutely no truth in this whatsoever."

Elsewhere, the Daily Mirror reports that the proposed date for a Live 8 event - 2 Jul - will coincide with a planned strike at the BBC, throwing into question the Corporations ability to broadcast the live event. An insider at the Beeb told the paper "We hope that the unions wouldn't want to stand in the way of something as major as this. We believe everyone will feel the show must go on".


Talking of which, broadcasting unions are hailing yesterday's 24 hour walk out at the BBC as a huge success after strike action brought a halt to many of the Beeb's live news show. John Humphreys, Dermot Murnaghan, Fiona Bruce, Moira Stewart, Danny Baker, Jeremy Paxman and Nicky Campbell were among the high profile BBC names who joined the strike action and didn't show up for work.

Commenting on the strike, which some say saw half of the BBC workforce staying at home, National Union Of Journalists general secretary Jeremy Dear told reporters last night: "We are absolutely delighted with the level of support we have received for the strike".

As previously reported, the unions are striking against proposed mass job cuts being proposed by BBC boss Mark Thompson. He yesterday reportedly described the loss in programmes caused by the strikes as a "sacrifice worth making" in order to reform the BBC.

Thompson and his colleagues are now bracing themselves for a 48 hour strike next week. They will have taken some heart that a few high profile employees did show up for work yesterday, including Chris Moyles, Jo Whiley, Terry Wogan, Radio 5's Shelagh Fogarty and business presenter Declan Curry.

Curry wasn't sympathetic to the strikers, saying he had shown up for work because he is directly opposed to the strike action. He told reporters: "I don't support the strike at all. The management have made a very strong case in my view as to why these cuts are necessary. It's other people's money that we are spending and we have to use it as wisely as we can. Whatever differences we may have with management, it is up to us to resolve them in a way that does not leave the viewer or the listener suffering. There are genuine differences of opinion and I respect my colleagues who have decided to strike and I hope they don't hold my decision not to against me."

Terry Wogan, one of the Beeb's highest paid presenters, said he supported the strike action but felt he was not in a position to join the 24-hour walkout. He told reporters: "Of course I have sympathy for them [the strikers] but I have a job to do. I am on a contract".


According to The Mirror, Lee Ryan has followed in the footsteps of Blue band mate Duncan James and signed a solo deal worth £500,000 with SonyBMG division Brightside Records. He's also in talks, apparently, to become the (slightly goofy?) new face of Dolce & Gabbana. An apparently deluded source said "Lee is going to be the new Robbie Williams. It's as simple as that. He is now a top priority for SonyBMG and they're ploughing millions into him."


Former East 17 singer Brian Harvey has been rushed to hospital after collapsing at his home in East London. Police were called, but the incident is not being treated as suspicious. A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: "We were called at 3.15am to an address in E17. An ambulance was already in attendance. A man who had collapsed at the address was taken to a north London hospital. Police have now left and there is no further involvement for us."

As previously reported, Harvey denied recent press reports that he had attempted suicide, but admitted that he had been treated for depression.


U2 have revealed that they turned down £12.5m when they refused to allow 'Where The Streets Have No Name' to be used in a commercial. Frontman Bono said "We almost did. We sat down. I know from my work in Africa what £12.5 million could buy. It was very hard to walk away from £12.5 million. So we thought, `We'll give the money away.' But if we tell people we're giving the money away, it sounds pompous. So we'll just give it away, and take the hit. That's what we agreed."

He continued: "But if a show is a little off, and there's a hole, that's the one song we can guarantee that God will walk through the room as soon as we play it. So the idea that when we played it, people would go, `That's the such-and-such commercial,' we couldn't live with it. Had it been a cool thing, or didn't have a bad association, or it was a different song, we might've done it."

Elsewhere, Bono has said that the band are considering a releasing a new and improved version of 1997 album, 'Pop', because, the singer says, it wasn't properly finished when it was first released. He told the Chicago Tribune: "There is still talk about the band going back in and fixing 'Pop', actually going in because the bones of a great album are there. It didn't communicate the way it was intended to. It became a niche record. That's not what it was intended to be. If we'd just had another month, we could have finished it. We did a really bad thing. We let the manager book the tour, known in this camp as the worst decision U2 ever made, and we had to wrap up the album sooner than we wanted. There were great ideas on that album... we didn't have the discipline to screw the thing down."


The Sun reports that Girls Aloud have signed a £250,000 deal to promote a range of hair products called nu:u. The girl band and their variety of hairstyles are currently on tour in the UK.


Charlotte Church has turned down an offer to sing at Jordan and Peter Andre's wedding, according to The Sun, and they say it's because she used to have a crush on Andre, having attended one of his concerts back in 1996. One of those mysterious 'sources' said: "Jordan's people keep ringing Charlotte and asking her to sing at the wedding. But she would just die if they knew how much she used to fancy Peter."

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