CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 23rd June

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Geldof calls on Italian artists to line up for Live 8
- Clear Channel takeover of Mean Fiddler cleared by OFT
- AOL finalise Live 8 preparations
- Blur suing each other says bassist
- More bad press for Warners
- Jacko's mum feels sorry for Gavin
- Album Review: Will Saul - In Between
- Sunday best at Glasto
- Rough trade at Glasto
- Babyshambles confirm single release
- Frost excludes Doherty from party shocker
- Camden venue saved by government report
- MTV to screen Green Day live show
- Ed Harcourt and Hal play for Centrepoint
- Slogan records sign The Fall
- Stringer confirmed as Sony Corp boss
- Dupri studs video with stars
- Jay Kay launches label
- Beyonce gets tearful over Destiny's demise

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GELDOF CALLS ON ITALIAN ARTISTS TO LINE UP FOR LIVE 8
A call for all those Italian rock stars who read the CMU Daily - 'Bob needs you'. Geldof is calling on Italian music stars to take part in the Rome date of the Live 8 shenanigans after one native rocker, Vasco Rossi, pulled out because of other gig commitments while another, Lorenzo Jovanotti, was dubious about being involved. Geldof yesterday issued a statement to the Italian music community - this will be "the biggest concert of your life".

While the line ups for most of the Live 8 dates take shape (Bryan Adams, Deep Purple and Celine Dion have been announced for the Canadian date, a late addition to the Live 8 programme), and anticipation of the events starts to build, the profile of the Rome concert remains low in Italy where the country's media and music community are yet to embrace the concept.

Speaking at news conference in the city, Geldof said: "Vasco is a great star, a really great, great artist, and I think he should be on that stage. Where's Vasco? Vasco where are you? We want Vasco. We need Vasco". Regarding Jovanotti's reservations, Geldof pledged to speak to the singer personally in an attempt to get him involved.

US stars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and Italian singer Zucchero (who will be taking part despite having to do his own cooking), are confirmed for the Rome date, but consensus is some of the country's bigger names are needed to capture the local media agenda - which is, after all, the main aim of Live 8.

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CLEAR CHANNEL TAKEOVER OF MEAN FIDDLER CLEARED BY OFT
The Office Of Fair Trading has given the go ahead to the proposed take over of venue owner and tour promoter Mean Fiddler by Clear Channel Entertainment (Music) Limited and Gaiety Investments Limited. It means Clear Channel's entertainment business has the all clear to increase its dominant position in the UK live entertainments industry.

Mean Fiddler founder Vince Power has been keen to sell his share in the live music company for a while now, and he accepted the offer by the Clear Channel led consortium Hamsard back in Mar. Power will pocket a reported £13 million (GBP) from the sale for his 35% stake in the company.

It is not clear what the takeover will mean for the Mean Fiddler Group, which as well as promoting tours also owns music venues, including the London Astoria, promotes the Leeds and Reading Festivals, and has a stake in the Glastonbury Festival. When Power first accepted the takeover deal a spokesman for Hamsard told reporters: "Following the acquisition, the Mean Fiddler group will continue to pursue a strategy of delivering world-class event promotion and event management both through its festivals and music businesses in the UK". Whether it will do that as an autonomous organisation, or as part of Clear Channel's existing UK live music operation, remains to be seen.

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AOL FINALISE LIVE 8 PREPARATIONS
Back to Live 8, and AOL has licensed its exclusive rights to broadcast the upcoming Live 8 concerts in the US to MTV, XM Satellite Radio and Premiere Radio Networks. The deals will give the media partners access to coverage of the Live 8 events in Philadelphia, London, Paris, Berlin and Rome and elsewhere - though that coverage will be designed to specifically compliment AOL's online coverage of the events.

AOL is going all-out with its support of the Live 8 concerts - presumably keen to demonstrate its power in the music space through its coverage of what are sure to be some of the biggest music events in years. The internet giant will be webcasting the concerts via its sites in the US, UK, France and Germany, with highlights available on-demand for the six weeks that follow the event.

That activity is particularly important in the US where AOL is in the process of altering its business model, making its media platforms available to non-AOL customers in a bid to boost advertising revenues. Its Live 8 coverage should provide an excellent opportunity to prove the company's credibility as a media company rather than just an internet service provider.

And of course, therein lies one of the ironies of the Live 8 initiative. A number of global brands have lined up to support Geldof's events, and kudos to them for doing so. However in supporting the event they are ignoring the fact that it is the major global conglomerates that are actually the real enemies of the political movement at the heart of the Make Poverty History campaign.

That is to say that if we genuinely want to make poverty history, once we have the Western world's political leaders on side, and we've found a way to stop the dodgy political leaders of developing nations from squandering all that aid money, we then need to tackle the capitalist organisations for whom global domination and maximum profits are the primary objective. After all, it is the more for less philosophy of these organisations (and their customers) that really stops the populations of the developing world from escaping the poverty trap. And that process requires everyone in the Western World - politicians, business leaders, and the celebs and freeloaders of the pop world, to be less greedy.

We're not knocking Live 8 of course - Geldof's ability to shake the wider population into action through the medium of rock 'n' roll is an undeniable gift for which we should all be thankful. It will just be interesting to see what happens when the battle against poverty reaches the stage where the enemy becomes the global brands and self-indulgent rich people whose support is essential to make these events happen in the first place.

Damn, and now I'm sounding all Damon Albarn. Oh well, that links us quite nicely into...

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BLUR SUING EACH OTHER SAYS BASSIST
...some Blur news. Blur Bassist Alex James says that the band are suing each other, but hasn't really revealed why. James said: "It's a shame really. I thought we might all get together again for Live 8 and try and save the world but no. I think my management and my lawyer are both having mental breakdowns. It's mad, it's the hardest thing ever - a combination of new technology and aging rockstars." But when asked if this meant the end of the band, James said "No, I wouldn't think so no, no, no!"

Of course, the likelihood of their appearing at Live 8 was surely minimal, given frontman Damon Albarn's recent words of disapproval of the event's 'anglo-saxon' bias. Oh, and the fact that they weren't asked to.

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MORE BAD PRESS FOR WARNERS
Frankly, we're starting to feel sorry for the top team at Warner Music - will those investment types just give these guys a break. There's been more bad press for the Warner Music Group in the US investment community, forcing the company's stock price down further.

Firstly Goldman Sachs, one of the companies who underwrote the major label's recent share sale, and rated Warner Music's stock as "inline-neutral", which is hardly a ringing endorsement to buy. Merrill Lynch analyst Jessica Reif Cohen, meanwhile, rated Warner stock as "sell", expressing doubts about the record label's future in the digital world, and once again saying the group's stock had been overvalued when compared with other media and entertainment companies.

That said, Goldman Sachs have thrown a bit of optimism into the mix by saying things could improve over the next year, while the Banc Of America says digital sales will become a good earner for the label in years to come. Nevertheless, the company's share price remains low.

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JACKO'S MUM FEELS SORRY FOR GAVIN
Michael Jackson's mother has told NBC's Today show that she feels sorry for her son's accusers. Katharine Jackson said she didn't know what she would say to Gavin Arvizo and his Mother if she ever met them, and added "I feel sorry for them, and from what I hear about their past I feel sorry for their future if they don't change their ways."

She also says she believes the verdict has cleared her son's name beyond all doubt: "He's been proven not to be a child molester and they know he's not. He's not a child molester, he's not a paedophile, and he doesn't give liquor to children. These kids were bad kids." She also echoed Thomas Mesereau's statement immediately following the trial that Michael Jackson would stop allowing children to share his bed, saying "I'm sure he's not going to do that now because twice he's been accused of doing something he hadn't done.'

And elsewhere in Michael Jackson news, research suggests that there has been a rise in the amount of times the singer's tunes have been played on US Radio stations since the 'not guilty' verdict was delivered. The top three most played tracks were 'Billie Jean', 'Beat It' and 'Rock With You' - so a resounding vote of confidence in Jacko's more recent work, then.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Will Saul - In Between (Simple Records)
Will Saul's debut LP is not quite what I expected, to be honest, it being more chilly than club. It does, however cover a wide range of electronica - which is always to be commended. He gets off to a minimal start with the chilled 'If Only' the subtle 'Animal Magic', and electro breaky 'Soul In Motion'. There are a couple of low points here; the weakest cut is probably 'Tic Toc', whilst 'Heatwave' sounds a bit amateur, though 'Where Is It' fares much better with its broken beat vibe. For me, the highlights of this album are 'Speak And Spell', the extremely classy 'Mbira', a real techy with soul, and 'Simple Things', which is excellent chill with Lizzy Parks on vocals. Put simply, it's a very solid debut. PV
Release date: 4 Jul
Press Contact: EPM [all]

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SUNDAY BEST AT GLASTO
So, Glasto is upon us, and we've been deluged with press releases from more or less every record label in the land telling us about which of their artists are playing over the weekend. There isn't room to report on them all, and it would be unfair to pick out just some. But hell, let's do it anyway.

It's no secret that one of CMU's favourite labels is Sunday Best, and this year the Sunday Best team (and their rock n roll friends) will be residing in the Crown Budweiser tent on Friday night from 5pm til 3am. The schedule is looking like this:

5pm: Rob Da Bank & Sombrero Sound System
6.45pm: Kish Mauve Live
7.25pm: Howdi Live
8.10pm: Special guest DJ
9.05pm: Deaf Stereo Live
9.50pm: The Wonderful Grand National Live
10pm: Special Guest DJ
11.30pm: Tom Vek Live
12.30 am: Rob Da Bank and v special guest

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ROUGH TRADE AT GLASTO
And news from that other favourite label of ours - Rough Trade. The rather excellent British Sea Power will be joining label mates Babyshambles on the Leftfield Stage at Glasto - the former on Friday night, the latter on Saturday. As previously reported, this is the bit where Glastonbury gets political, and in addition to the music you can hear from the likes of Tony Benn and John Pilger. So well worth checking out.

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BABYSHAMBLES CONFIRM SINGLE RELEASE
And talking of Babyshambles, they have confirmed details of new single release, the very radio friendly 'Fuck Forever', which is out on 25 Jul. The CD will also feature the track 'Monkey Casino', and a 7" vinyl release will have 'Black Boy Lane' on the B side. A maxi edition of the CD single will have extra songs 'East Of Eden' and 'Babyshambles' on it, as well as a short film. Though presumably not a Max Carlish original.

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FROST EXCLUDES DOHERTY FROM PARTY SHOCKER
And talking even more of Babyshambles, Jude Law's ex Sadie Frost has apparently refused to invite frontman Pete Doherty to a party because she was afraid he would spoil things with his nasty druggie ways (former, surely?). Frost invited her friend Kate Moss, but would not extend the invite to the supermodel's boyfriend. But the real sting, according to the Mirror, is the fact that she also invited Pete's ex and babymother Lisa Moorish. Kate is said to have exclaimed: "I don't want to be anywhere near that woman!", which is very mature of her.

Anyway, a source in Frost's defence told the tabloid: "Sadie and Kate are the best of friends but Sadie was just very wary in case Pete's druggie antics spoiled the night. She's all for having a good time but some people go too far."

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CAMDEN VENUE SAVED BY GOVERNMENT REPORT
Camden's Electric Ballroom, once host to legendary performances from the likes of the Sex Pistols, Oasis and Nick Cave, has escaped closure after a government investigation into proposals to extend a nearby tube station.

The proposals to revamp public transport facilities in Camden would have involved a considerable redevelopment of the area, including the demolition of a building that is home to the Electric Ballroom venue. Once that requirement was revealed numerous musicians and music fans joined protests against the radical proposals, with Bob Geldof and Nick Cave among the artists who urged planning officials to save the venue.

Yesterday those protests seemed to have worked when a government report knocked back the developer's plans, including the demolition of the Electric Ballroom, on the basis that the proposals would have had a "devastating impact" on the character and appearance of the area, would be "detrimental to the viability and vitality of Camden Town" and would have "unfortunate far-reaching social and economic consequences".

Frankly I'm not convinced there is anything about the character and appearance of Camden Town worth preserving, but it's good the Electric Ballroom has been saved because, as Mr Nick Cave said yesterday: "The Electric Ballroom is part of the lifeblood of Camden Town, and long may it remain so."

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MTV TO SCREEN GREEN DAY LIVE SHOW
MTV will premiere a recording of the wonderful Green Day recorded at this month's Rock AM Ring festival in Germany on 3 Jul. The live show, featuring live versions of 'Holiday' and 'Boulevard Of Broken Dreams', will be screened on most of MTV's networks around the globe. The show is part of MTV's current series of high profile concert broadcasts which have so far included Coldplay, The White Stripes, Beck, Maroon 5 and Oasis. Press info from MTV.

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ED HARCOURT AND HAL PLAY FOR CENTREPOINT
Ed Harcourt and CMU favourites Hal are to appear at the Centrepoint benefit concert, 'Time For Change: A Concert For Centrepoint'. The event, which will also see performances from Riley Briggs from Aberfeldy, Martin Grech and Paris Motel, is to take place at St Paul's Church in Covent Garden on 14 Jul.

All the proceeds of the gig go to Centrepoint, which is, of course, the national charity that works to improve the situation of homeless young people. For ticket info see http://www.parismotel.co.uk

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SLOGAN RECORDS SIGN THE FALL
New label Slogan Records, part of the Sanctuary Group, has announced its first album signing, with The Fall. The label has previously only released limited edition 7"s by such bands as The Forest.

Label boss Paul Jones said, "The Fall have been one of the most influential and mercurial bands for over two decades. I am delighted to be involved with the new album 'Fall Heads Roll' as it is on a par with their very best material."

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STRINGER CONFIRMED AS SONY CORP BOSS
Sony Corp shareholders have formally approved the appointment of Welsh boy Howard Stringer as the head honcho of the whole Sony Group. As previously reported, there was some surprise when the former Sony Music executive was offered the Sony Corp CEO job because few expected the Japanese conglomerate to choose a European to be their leader, but shareholders were reportedly impressed with Stringer's work as head of Sony US, especially his role in the SonyBMG merger and the group's takeover of Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Now formally in the job, Stringer will need to sort out Sony's difficulties in the electronics space where insiders are concerned that they are losing their grip on the portable music player market which, in the pre-iPod era, they tended to dominate with their Walkman brand. That might require the axing of periphery projects in the Sony Group so to maximize efforts on the big earners. On that Stringer told reporters this week: "We cannot fight battles on every front. We have to make choices, and that is why this summer we will get together and decide what the company's priorities ought to be."

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DUPRI STUDS VIDEO WITH STARS
Jermaine Dupri has recruited Janet Jackson and Nelly to appear in the new video for forthcoming single 'Gotta Getcha', which features on the album 'Jermaine Dupri Presents ... Young, Fly & Flashy Vol. 1', a various artist collection of Southern hip-hop, put together by the Atlantan producer and rapper as an introduction to up and coming hip-hop acts from the So So Def label.

On the album, Dupri said: 'Young, Fly & Flashy' is the definition of myself and the lifestyle of So So Def. This collection is an introduction of the new, up-and-coming So So Def artists: Young Capone, T. Waters and The Kid Slim, among others. So So Def has had a lot of success with compilations over the years when Lil Jon was my A&R guy" he added. "He created the compilation series, but really focused more on bass music. 'Young, Fly & Flashy' is more about today's hip-hop sound. It's heavy on the So So Def branding so people will know and recognize that So So Def is still a strong presence in the streets. We'll be here another 20 years."

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JAY KAY LAUNCHES LABEL
Jamiroquai man Jay Kay is to launch a clothes label, to be called Quai, and to be designed by the singer himself, according to The Sun.

A 'friend' told the paper: "He is known for his fashion statements nearly as much as his music so this is a great idea. He'll start off with a small range of clothes at a few department stores across the country. The label Quai was chosen because it's the end of the name of the band - and catchy. Jay's very creative and this will be a great new challenge. He'll try to make the clothes in the range as affordable as possible. But they won't be cheap as they will be really high quality. He'll concentrate on men's clothes first and then if he can turn his hands to the ladies."

I hope he does some of those big hats.

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BEYONCE GETS TEARFUL OVER DESTINY'S DEMISE
Beyonce Knowles burst into tears recently on MTV when asked what she'll miss about Destiny's Child. The group were appearing on the music channel's Total Request Live, and Knowles began to cry as bandmate Kelly Rowland said "This is not cool because we're very emotional. We call it the end of a chapter, which is still a beautiful thing because there's more chapters to come individually. We still haven't had kids yet; we're not married. We're not breaking up. We're growing up."

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