CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 21st June

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Lostprophets lose drummer
- Former Great White manager cleared of defamation charges
- New Supergrass album this summer
- Radiohead top Spin album poll
- Lennon memorabilia auction announced
- Cooking Vinyl promote Killing Joke re-releases via Kazaa
- US industry bodies prepare for Grokster ruling
- BPI face bad pr
ess over individual litigation stories
- Janet Jackson makes no jokes
- Rizla mark festival season with limited edition packs
- Japanese mobile music service passes 10 million download mark
- BT pilot mobile radio
- Live 8 deadline extended
- Bono bigs up Bob
- REM beamed into Burma
- Johnathan Rice tour dates
- EMI and Domino sign Arctic Monkeys
- Tunetribe confirm official launch date
- Warchildmusic update
- Hear'say bandmates go head to head
- Elton wants to get Doherty off drugs
- Madonna says no to Rick
- Beckham to play Partridge diva



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Like the Queen, CMU celebrates two birthdays every year. Unlike the Queen, both our birthdays are real. While last month we celebrated the seventh birthday of CMU, today we celebrate the third birthday of the CMU Daily. Yep - we've been infiltrating in boxes across the music industry every week day for three years. And we've never been sued once - it's remarkable.

Anyway, this means that those of you who forgot to send presents for our seventh birthday (so that is everyone bar Warner Music) now have another opportunity to send through free things - the address is at the bottom of the Daily.

Can't be bothered? Ah well, why not just invite three of your music business pals to subscribe instead then? All they have to do is email their name, company, job title and email to

Anyway, enough of that, here we go with year number four...


Lostprophets have announced the departure of their drummer, Mike Chiplin. A statement by the band said: "Lostprophets regret to announce the departure of drummer and founding member Mike Chiplin from the band. As the lads have all grown up together, the departure is an amicable one with Mike leaving to pursue other musical opportunities."

The group are currently working on a new album set for a 2006 release.


The former co-manager of American rock band Great White, Charrie Foglio, has been cleared of defamation charges brought against him by the band's founder and front man Jack Russell.

The charges related to the tragic fire that killed 100 Great White fans during a gig at a night club on Rhode Island. Russell claimed that Foglio had told the press that the frontman and Great White's other manager, Obi Steinman, had "stolen money" from a charity established to support the families of those killed in the fire. That, Russell claimed, was defamation.

The defamation claims followed comments by Foglio in which the band's former manager publicly raised concerns over where the monies from a series of Great White post-fire benefit gigs had gone. The band had said they would take $5000 from the ticket sales of each benefit show to cover expenses, but Foglio claimed there were discrepancies in the financial accounting of the fundraising events.

Hearing the defamation allegations, an LA judge ruled that Foglio's comments regarding the alleged financial irregularities were made out of public concern, and were therefore covered by the First Amendment, therefore any defamation claim could not be successful.


Supergrass are all set to release a new album, 'Road To Rouen' (ha ha), on 15 Aug. The long player was recorded in Normandy and apparently features the use of zithers, ukeleles, brass and strings. A single release 'St Petersburg' is set for 8 Aug.


Hmmmmm. US music magazine Spin has named Radiohead's 'OK Computer' as the best album of the past twenty years. They beat off Public Enemy's 'It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back' and Nirvana's 'Nevermind' to top the poll, published to celebrate the publication's 20th birthday. The 1997 album was chosen because it "uncannily predicted our global culture of communal distress".

Other albums in the magazine's top ten, other than Public Enemy and Nirvana who appeared at numbers two and three respectively, include Pavement's 'Slanted And Enchanted' at 4, The Smiths' 'The Queen Is Dead' at 5, Pixies' 'Surfer Rosa' at 6, De La Soul's 'Feet High And Rising' at 7, Prince's 'Sign O' The Times' at 8, PJ Harvey's 'Rid Of Me' at 9 and NWA's 'Straight Outta Compton' at 10.

Although Spin is predominantly a rock magazine, more than a quarter of the top 100 albums selected by its editorial team were hip hop releases. But Editor-in-chief Sia Michel explained that her team had not been confined by genres when selected the list - they chose albums because of their "basic brilliance, innovation and overall relevance".


Auction house Cooper Owen have announced that a major collection of John Lennon memorabilia is to go on sale in London next month. The auction will take place at The Hippodrome, and is expected to raise over £1million.

Items up for sale include a handwritten 'All You Need Is Love' manuscript, a table from the home Lennon shared with first wife Cynthia, and a bedspread from his Montreal 'bed-in' with Yoko Ono.


Here's an interesting one. Cooking Vinyl will promote the re-release of two classic Killing Joke albums - 'Pandemonium' and 'Democracy' - by making one track, 'Millennium', available for free via Kazaa.

The promotion is part of a partnership between the independent label, digital distribution company Uploader and Altnet, the technology company who provide legit content distribution via P2P networks (or at least that's the official line - Altnet are co-defendents in the copyright violation case against Kazaa currently going through the Australian courts).

The label and their partners recognise the huge potential of the millions of music fans world wide who use Kazaa, and hope to capitalise on that audience to promote the re-released albums. Cooking Vinyl aren't the first record label to do this, but both Altnet and British digital distribution firm Uploader hope the latest promotion will prove the potential of their specific model, which can then be used by other labels keen to reach that valuable network of music fans.

Altner's Lee Jaffe told CMU: "We're elated to implement such a strategic partnership where both the Altnet store and Killing Joke's re-released albums can receive optimal exposure. Offering the promotional track to Kazaa users is a great avenue in reinforcing successful synergy between independent labels and the P2P community."


Talking of P2P, we are still waiting for the US Supreme Court to make its ruling on the good old MGM v Grokster case. As you'll all remember with perfect clarity, this is another case that is based around the Betamax Plea. Grokster claim that while evil kids the world over are, right now, as we speak, using their software to illegally share copyrighted films and music, Grokster themselves cannot be held liable for that copyright violation because, after all, their technology has all sorts of legit uses, and it's not their fault if the aforementioned evil kids choose not to use it for legitimate purposes. It's an excuse that has worked so far when the music and film industries have tried to close down P2P networks in the past - but the Supreme Court have the power to overturn that defence. All of which means the decision they make on this case, any day now, is pretty damn important, because if they reaffirm the Betamax plea this time it will be pretty hard for the content owners to continue the legal fight against the P2Ps in the courts - Congress would have to change the law.

Anyway, as previously reported, the major labels have been lining up their a-list talent ready to do the talk and news show rounds as soon as the decision has been made - to tell the wider world what a great judgment the Supreme Court has made, or how those deluded judges have destroyed the future of music, depending on which way they go.

Well, we now hear that the top executives from various US based content owner groups met last week to discuss their strategy for a post-ruling PR offensive. Word is organisations at the meeting included representatives from the Recording Academy, the Recording Industry Association of America, the Songwriters Guild of America, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, American Association for Independent Music, Harry Fox Agency, retail body NARM, National Music Publishers' Association, Recording Artists' Coalition, copyright body SESAC, and SoundExchange - which is quite a party.

Quite what they have got planned I guess we will see when the Supreme Court make their ruling. Judging by the current consensus, it is more likely we will see their 'we lost' response than their 'isn't the Supreme Court great' routine.


The UK music industry body, the BPI, might be about to face similar negative press to its US counterpart as some of its litigation against individual file sharers reaches its conclusion.

The papers are currently reporting on one Sylvia Price, who is being targeted with a lawsuit by the trade body for copyright violation committed by her teenage daughter Emily. The mother says she was unaware her daughter was illegally sharing music online (she had shared over 1400 tracks), while the daughter claims she didn't know she was doing anything wrong. Nevertheless, Mrs Price now faces a £4000 fine. The story is a good one for the tabloid media because Price claims she can't afford the fine and says that she has been told she now faces jail time. Those claims are dubious, but nevertheless the story portrays the BPI as the aggressors.

The BPI will point out how much time and energy they invested in promoting the issues around illegal file sharing before beginning legal action - much more than their colleagues at the Recording Industry Association Of America. And earlier this month they launched a new publicity campaign specifically targeted at parents who are at risk of being sued for the file sharing actions of their children. However the Association can expect a series of stories like that of Mrs Price to be appearing in the British press in the coming months.

Of course it is debatable whether such negative press really matters - the US media reported on slip ups by the RIAA which saw a 12 year old girl and a dead grandmother being sued, but consumers do not really make a link between the industry organisations and the record labels they represent, and even less with the artists on those labels' rosters, so the bad press is unlikely to effect record sales. The only possible bad side effect is that young people start to justify file sharing to themselves on the basis they are rebelling against what they see as overly oppressive conglomerates who are more interested in money than music.


Janet Jackson apologised for not making any jokes when she picked up an award for fundraising from gay rights group the Human Rights Campaign at the weekend. The singer made the appearance, her first since her brother's trial, and declined to respond to a humorous introduction by actor Alan Cummings, who mentioned the notorious superbowl 'wardrobe malfunction', and joked that she was "never one for controversy".

Janet said: "My family and I have just gone through the least humorous chapter of our lives. I'm going to leave the jokes to the late-night (comics), if that's OK."

She went on "What I've learned in these recent months is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel," and added that she hoped society "was moving into a kinder time when prejudice is overcome by understanding". Doubtful.


Rizla are celebrating the festival season by releasing some special edition packs designed to represent three of the major summer festivals, recognising the fact that lots of people smoke, erm, roll up cigarettes and nothing else, at major outdoor music events.

The limited edition packs include a psychedelic design inspired by the Isle Of Wight festival, a 'gatecrash' look for the Download Festival, and a mud splattered design to represent Glastonbury (though given the current weather forecast, heat stroke rather than mud will be the theme of this year's Glasto).

You can't buy these limited edition packs, though you can win them by entering a competition at Rizla's music site - And you media types will probably be getting sample packs in the post (press info from Exposure). Perhaps if we mention them often enough we'll get another envelope full, which will please the roll up smokers on the team, so, erm, Rizla, Rizla, Rizla, Rizla.


One from CMU's Tokyo desk now. Japanese mobile company KDDI has just sold its 10 millionth full-song mobile download - which is quite an achievement given the service only launched last Nov. Mobile downloads are a real hit in Japan, where the whole media on your mobile thing is way ahead of anything over here or in the US. KDDI report they are now selling over two million mobile downloads ever month. European mobile firms, who still see music as a major income stream of the future (and you thought they were sponsoring all those festivals because they were lovely people) will be hoping a similar trend begins over here very soon.


And talking of which, BT are launching a new mobile music thingy as of this week - a special streaming radio service offering fifty channels worth of music streams which can be accessed on your mobile. The service gives you the option to pause, fast forward and rewind the streams, plus will sit alongside a mobile download service like that run by the aforementioned KDDI. All sounds very exciting, though this is just a pilot project at the moment, and some insiders say that if any serious number of people were to access the service at the same time the whole 3G system is liable to collapse. Fantastic.


The deadline for Live 8 ticket winners to claim their pass for next month's protest-fest has been extended because some 2000 people are yet to respond. The winners of the Live 8 tickets were alerted by text message last week. They now need to get in touch with organisers via the web and arrange to pick up their tickets from a local O2 shop. With 2000 sets of tickets still unclaimed organisers have extended the deadline for picking up tickets to end of play 27 Jun. Further names will then be selected from the 2 million entrants for any tickets still unclaimed.


In related news, Bono dedicated a song to Bob Geldof at his band's sold-out Twickenham show on Sunday night. He saluted Geldof, who was in the audience, telling the crowds: "I want to thank my brother Bob Geldof for getting me into this mess in the first place. I hope to see you all at Live 8 and the G8. This is the year to make poverty history." He also praised Tony Blair and Gordon Brown for their work so far in persuading other countries to cancel third world debt, and urged Blair to keep Africa on the agenda once the G8 conference kicks off in Scotland next month.

On another political note, Bono also sang Happy Birthday for Burma''s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who celebrated her 60th birthday and marked her 2,523rd day under military detention on Sunday. He then sang a few bars of 'Walk On', the track the band wrote back in 2000 as a tribute to the pro-democratic leader.


And in other Aung San Suu Kyi news, REM have performed a concert for the Nobel Peace Prize winner. The gig, held at Ardgillan Castle in Ireland, was beamed by satellite to a Burmese radio station run by pro-democracy activists, as anticipated in a previous report. Frontman Michael Stipe dedicated three songs in total to Suu Kyi and said: "We pray with our hearts that by your 61st birthday, you will walk free among your people."

REM (and U2) were amongst the artists who donated songs to an album in aid of the US campaign for Burma last year, which included contributions from Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Coldplay, Sting and Travis. Singer-songwriter Damien Rice released 'Unplayed Piano' a song which was written for Aung San Suu Kyi, on Monday.


And talking of singer-songwriters with the surname Rice (well, we were), Johnathan Rice is to play a series of live dates in July, as follows:

2 Jul: London, Rota Notting Hill Arts Club
3 Jul: Manchester, Academy 2 (with Brendan Benson)
5 Jul: Glasgow, Barfly
7 Jul: Birmingham, Glee Club
9 Jul: London, Hyde Park (with REM)
10 Jul: Cardiff, Millenium Stadium (with REM)
11 Jul: Bristol, St. Bonaventures
12 Jul: Cardiff, Barfly
14 Jul: London, 100 Club


EMI Music Publishing have signed Arctic Monkeys to a worldwide publishing deal. The group are, of course, something of a buzz band at the moment, having built a loyal fan base through their recent UK tour. Following the success of their self-released single 'Five Minutes With Arctic Monkeys' they recently signed to Domino Records, who will release their next single in Oct.

Commenting on signing the band for a publishing deal, EMI Music Publishing A&R bod Mike Smith told CMU: "I think they are the most culturally significant rock band to have emerged in the UK in recent years. I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity of working with both them and Domino Records".


The much talked about (well, in the CMU Daily anyway) TuneTribe will formally launch on 28 Jun. As previously reported, this is the independent download platform developed by Groove Armada's Tom Findlay and internet entrepreneur John Strickland which has been established to specifically benefit independent labels and artists.

Commenting on the project, Findlay told CMU: "Our vision is that becomes a community for music lovers and a natural breeding ground for new talent. To date it's been the big labels and their artists who have benefited from the growth in music downloading - and now TuneTribe can offer this support to the Independent sector."

TuneTribe soft launched back in Apr and already has a healthy line up of tracks to download, including exclusive live set downloads from CMU's very favourite rock night Kill All Hippies (the Tokyo Dragons one that just went online is particularly special). The full site, including lots of editorial type stuff coordinated by former Jockey Slut editor Rob Wood, will launch at the end of next month.


Talking of excellent independent download sites, a quick update on what is happening at, the music site that exists to support War Child in their work helping children living in war torn parts of the world. Among the exclusives currently available via the service are an exclusive track from The Charlatans, an exclusive remix of an Armadou & Mariam track, plus pre-release tracks from The Stands and Orange Juice. Next month you will be able to download a special version of 'Everybody Hurts' by Feeder. Sorted.


According to The Sun, former Hear'say bandmates Myleene Klass and Suzanne Shaw are up against each other for the role of Roxy Hart in the musical 'Chicago', and both attended an open audition at the Adelphi Theatre in London.

A source said: "Suzanne and Myleene were seen along with many others. But they had their own slots so they didn't bump into each other."


Elton John has apparently 'vowed' to keep Pete Doherty off drugs for good, despite the fact that Pete claims he is now clean. One of The Sun's sources said: "Elton loves Pete's music and has been a fan for a very long time. Elton himself went to hell and back with his own cocaine and booze addictions and he is concerned about Pete's drug habits."

The Sun also reports that Elton wants to perform a duet with Doherty at Live 8, and that he demanded that el Babyshamble be added to the bill.


One from The Mirror, now, who report that Madonna has vetoed a plan by husband Guy Ritchie to hire singer and former eighties quiff sensation Rick Astley to perform at the wrap party for his latest movie, 'Revolver'.

The tabloid quotes a source as saying: "Guy and the production staff on the movie thought hiring Rick would be a cool thing to do for his cast and crew, who had worked so hard on the gangster flick. They were discussing how to make it a bit different and somehow came up with the idea of hiring Rick."

But Madonna didn't like the idea, although I'm not sure exactly why the wrap party entertainment has anything to do with her, as, as far as I can see, she has no official involvement with the film. "She wasn't into the idea at all and didn't find it amusing," said the source. "No one can understand why Madonna didn't approve of him being the star attraction."

The Mirror suggests that it might have something to do with the fact that Rick's cover of 'When I Fall In Love' outsold her single 'The Look Of Love' back in 1987.


Victoria Beckham has, it seems, landed a role in 'Alan Partridge: The Movie', which may not require a great deal of acting, as the former Spice Girl will play a demanding diva who is interviewed by the fictional presenter played by Steve Coogan.

A source said: "The scripts for Partridge are obviously under wraps and writing is still in progress, but Victoria's part is pretty much done and dusted. She'll be the interviewee that finally allows Alan back on the airwaves with an incendiary chat and her part calls for some serious comic timing. She'll add glamour to the project and prove she's able to take the piss with the rest of them. It's a brilliant move for her."

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