CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 19th July

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Babyshambles fans rant over tour cancellation
- Kim refused entry to own party
- Elliot Smith tribute planned
- Grohl talks about Cobain
- Guilfest-goers break air guitar record
- Oasis announce Irish dates
- Speculation grows over iPod video
- Jobs gets top ten rating in media power list
- Sony take lead in Japanese flash player market
- Moves made to launch Japanese iTunes
- The Downloader launch podcast
- Simple Minds back with new album
- Kasabian delay work on album
- Traumatised Stipe to take a break
- Disenchanted Manson to take a break too
- Amazon party features Dylan / Jones duet
- Optronica kicks off
- Express PR man joins Outside
- P Diddy reveals his other side
- Robbie Williams goes reggae
- Delta Goodrem not engaged

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BABYSHAMBLES FAN RANT OVER TOUR CANCELLATION
Well, Babyshambles might have lost some more fans by canceling their planned summer tour. As previously reported, Doherty et al were due to play a string of UK dates to promote the release of new single 'Fuck Forever' (out 15 Aug), but promoters told venues last week that those dates would now be postponed.

The consensus is that the tour has been canned because of considerable delays in the recording of Babyshambles' debut album. One source told the Daily Star: "The bosses at Pete's record label are terrified; their album is still not near completion. They can't afford for Pete to be out of the studio for any more time. The band have been working on the LP for nearly six months and it's still not near completion." Of course, though not wishing to knock the Star's 'source', it's hard to imagine anyone at Rough Trade actually being "terrified" by delays in recording the Babyshambles album - pissed off perhaps - but terrified?

Either way, such delays are the most likely explanation for the tour postponement, but that doesn't necessarily placate Doherty fans who see it as the latest in a long series of let downs. Those fans have been busy ranting on various message boards. Among the messages posted is "I was well looking forward to it and I can't believe Pete's bottled it again. I'm not waiting around for him", while another was even blunter, saying simply: "That's it as far as I'm concerned. Pete can f**k himself."

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KIM REFUSED ENTRY TO OWN PARTY
Lil Kim was reportedly refused entry to her own birthday party last week when she arrived at the New York club hosting the event with 14 bodyguards in tow. The birthday party was organised by friends, and went ahead despite the rapper recently being given a one year jail sentence for lying to a grand jury. However club owners refused to let Kim in with such a big entourage. The Daily Star quote one club boss as saying: "Fourteen bodyguards in a high end establishment is just unacceptable."

Kim will start her jail sentence in Sep, which seems somewhat overly helpful of the judicial system - shouldn't she go into jail as soon as she's sentenced? But then, of course, she wouldn't have time to work on that new album, due to drop just before her she gets locked up - conveniently when she's sure to be getting plenty of press.

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ELLIOT SMITH TRIBUTE PLANNED
A yet to be titled tribute album for the late Elliot Smith is in the works and is scheduled to mark the second anniversary of the songwriter's untimely death. The album is to be released by Expunged Records and is so far set to contain tracks pledged by The Decemberists, The Helio Sequence and The Thermals.

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GROHL TALKS ABOUT COBAIN
Foo Fighter Dave Grohl has spoken out about his relationship with Kurt Cobain, pretty much ending years of silence on the subject of the late Nirvana frontman. Grohl revealed to Rolling Stone that he and Cobain were not that close, saying "When I joined Nirvana I was the fifth or sixth drummer - I don't know if they'd ever had a drummer they were totally happy with. And they were strangers. There was never much of a deeper connection outside of the music."

On Cobain's relationship with Krist Novoselic, Grohl went on: "[he] and Kurt had a legendary lifetime connection. Those guys were soul mates. They'd been through so much together, from Aberdeen to the success of 'Nevermind'. They fuckin' shared everything, and they were the kind of friends that didn't have to talk to each other - they just knew. I never really shared that moment with them because I came from such a different place, and within eight months to a year of being in Nirvana, the band blew up into something that no one had expected. It was hard to connect with anybody when that happened."

Grohl continued: "I don't think I've ever told anyone this, but there were times when Kurt was really unhappy with the way I played drums. I could hear him talking about how much he thought I sucked. But he'd never say it to me."

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GUILFEST-GOERS BREAK AIR GUITAR RECORD
Another busy weekend festivals wise of course, what with Guilfest, Rise/London United, Glade, and some others I've forgotten. The CMU festivals team, being the cool clubbing dudes that they are, opted for the glorious Glade festival, and you can check their review in tomorrow's CMU Daily. From what we hear it was fantastic, though, alas, no air guitar to talk of.

For that, they needed to be down in Guildford, where a new world record in "air guitar" was set at Guilfest this weekend. More than 4000 festival-goers took part in the largest "air guitar ensemble" in the world, pretending to strum along to Guns 'N' Roses' classic track 'Sweet Child of Mine'. Festival organisers are now waiting for confirmation from the Guinness Book Of Records that the new record is official.

Commenting on the record breaking stunt, the festival's organiser, Tony Scott, told reporters: "We are thrilled to have broken the world record. This has always been a special festival which keeps getting better and obviously this year we have struck a new chord."

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OASIS ANNOUNCE IRISH DATES
Oasis have announced that they are to play two Irish dates this winter following a sell out gig in Dublin at the weekend. They will play their first Belfast gig in three years when they appear at the Odyssey Arena on 18 Dec and will return to Dublin for a concert at The Point Depot on 21 Dec. Confirming the new dates, Liam G told reporters: "I couldn't think of a better place to end a year of touring than Dublin, it'll be a great night"

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SPECULATION GROWS OVER IPOD VIDEO
Speculation is mounting that Apple are planning on launching a music video service, with a new video-player iPod which would allow music fans to download pop promos and watch them on the move.

The speculation comes despite recent comments by Apple boss Steve Jobs that rubbished the idea of a video version of iTunes, in which Jobs said he doubted his customers would want to watch music videos on a small device like the iPod. However, the Wall Street Journal has reported that Apple is now in talks with the major record labels regarding licensing video content, while others point out Jobs denied there would ever be a flash-memory version of the iPod not so long before launching the iPod Shuffle - an economy version of the music player which uses flash-memory.

Of course, Apple have already started bundling video clips, to be watched on your computer, with a handful of albums sold on iTunes. Therefore the label meetings to discuss video clips could be simply a move to expand that service. Or perhaps that service is a forerunner of a bigger video provision from Apple. Either way, the Journal quotes insiders who say Apple will launch a new video playing iPod in Sep.

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JOBS GETS TOP TEN RATING IN MEDIA POWER LIST
Talking of the ever mighty Apple, well done to Mr Jobs who has been planted at number six in the new Guardian Media Power List thingy. Having appeared high up in similar lists regarding 'the most powerful people in music', it seems the good old iPod is make the former underdog of the computer business into something of an all round mogul figure. Of course Bill Gates and Microsoft still hold the real monopoly over our computer dependent lives, and Apple's recent successes are probably doing the Windows company a favour, taking the spotlight off their ever-growing dominance, but, nevertheless, Job's transformation of Apple since being reappointed to the top job has been considerable.

As for the rest of the Guardian's list, well, it is topped jointly by BBC Director General Mark Thompson and BBC Chairman Michael Grade, showing that those who put these things together still rate the Beeb as a major force in British media, despite (or perhaps because of) the controversial job cuts. Rupert Murdoch follows at 3, ITV boss Charles Allen is at 4, and culture minister Tessa Jowell is at 5. Everyone you'd expect to see is listed in the complete Top 100, with the usual splash of celebrity coming in the form of Matt Lucas and David Walliams at 21 (who are seemingly only powerful as a double act), Jamie Oliver at 30 and Paul O'Grady at 76.

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SONY TAKE LEAD IN JAPANESE FLASH PLAYER MARKET
But enough of Apple's slow takeover of planet earth, isn't there any good news about the other companies in the digital music sector? Well, for once, yes. Sort of. We hear that Sony have beaten Apple in terms of sales of flash-memory based digital music players for two months running now. Although, before all you Sony shareholders get too excited, that was in Japan. According to market research firm BCN, Sony's market share in the Japanese flash-player sector rose sixfold in the last two months, meaning they now have a 27% market share, ahead of Apple's 20% share. All they need now is for the mainstream music fan to choose flash-based over hard-drive-based players, and then replicate that kind of sales increase in every other territory in the world, and they'll be sorted.

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MOVES MADE TO LAUNCH JAPANESE ITUNES
Of course, Apple don't have an iTunes service in Japan yet, which arguably affects their overall performance there. Moves are afoot to fix that, and we hear one of the country's major record labels, Avex Group Holdings, is in the process of finalizing a deal with Apple. Insiders say that other labels are likely to follow quite quickly because iPod sales are quite high in Japan, despite there being no iTunes there - which means there are a lot of iPod owners, but no iPod compatible download platform, which means those people are much more prone to download MP3s from illegal sources. Faced with the choice between an unattractive deal with Apple and the possibility of iPod users just downloading tracks from free off Kazaa, that Apple deal looks much more attractive.

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THE DOWNLOADER LAUNCH PODCAST
Talking of iPoddy type things, the podcasting phenomenon continues, with the mainstream media slowly picking up on the albeit mainly American trend. You can still check out the CMU podcast pilots at http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/podcast - our full audio music news service will launch in Sep, while our sister title ThreeWeeks will be podcasting news, reviews and interviews from the Edinburgh Festival throughout August at http://www.threeweeks.co.uk

But enough of us, also podcasting from here in the UK is The Downloader website. The Downloader is an independent guide to music online, covering the new music that is available on all the major download platforms. That service now includes 10@Ten, a new thrice weekly audio show that you can have podcast straight to your iTunes, providing an audio guide to new music that is appearing elsewhere online. For more details, or to sign up to the service, check http://www.thedownloader.co.uk.

While you're at the site, check out the rest of what is on offer, and if you would like to get involved email matt@thedownloader.co.uk cos they're looking for new contributors.

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SIMPLE MINDS BACK WITH NEW ALBUM
Yay. After a three year hiatus, Simple Minds are back with a new CD. The purveyors of the soundtrack to my youth are to release 'Black And White' on 12 Sep through Sanctuary Records.

The first single from the album, 'Home' will be released on 5 Sep. Frontman Jim Kerr says: "There are a number of songs on the album that will make great singles but I feel that the way 'Home' kicks in with Charlie's signature soaring guitar riff, there could be no better way of announcing to the world that Simple Minds had recaptured the kind of uplifting musical spirit that defined our best work. Lyrically, 'Home' is a pop song with a spiritual heart, taking us on a secret journey through the thoughts of someone who is desperately seeking out their own inner crusade."

So there you go.

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KASABIAN DELAY WORK ON ALBUM
Kasabian are delaying work on their second album for a month or two whilst they continue their attempts to break the US. The band's Serge Pizzorno patently thinks they're doing pretty well already, according to The Daily Star: "We've made a great start in America. They see us as the new Rolling Stones. We've got them by the balls and now need to squeeze them harder. It's like a church and music is the religion. We'll carry on preaching until they're converted."

Pizzorno also said that the new album will be "dirtier and sexier" than their debut. Which is nice. They plan to start recording in Oct.

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TRAUMATISED STIPE TO TAKE A BREAK
Michael Stipe has apparently said that he is planning a break from REM because the terrorist bombings in London revived some 9/11 related trauma for him. Poor him.

The band played their delayed Hyde Park gig at the weekend, marking the end of their world tour. They were joined on stage by Patti Smith who began singing vocals with Stipe on 'E-Bow The Letter' but, according to NME, then forgot most of the words. Smith apparently won over the crowd, however, with some timely ad libs.

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DISENCHANTED MANSON TO TAKE A BREAK TOO
According to 6Music, Marilyn Manson is getting so disenchanted with the music biz that he is planning to take a break whilst he focuses on art projects. Manson is working on four short films influenced by the work of author Lewis Caroll, plans to release a book of his paintings, and is also opening an art gallery in Los Angeles. The singer said: "I no longer want to make art that other people, particularly record companies, are turning into a product. I just want to make art."

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AMAZON PARTY FEATURES DYLAN / JONES DUET
Amazon celebrated their tenth birthday last weekend with a private concert for their employees in Seattle, featuring the vocal talents of no less than Bob Dylan and Norah Jones. Jones was giving what she says will be her only live performance this year, so it was quite a coup for the employees who got in (though the event was webcast via the company's US website).

At one point in the proceedings Jones told her audience: "This is the part where we usually do a Bob Dylan song... but don't worry, we won't, because we're too scared to do that." Instead, she and Dylan sang a duet of 'I Shall Be Released', a track from Dylan's late-1960s 'Basement Tapes' sessions with the Band.

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OPTRONICA KICKS OFF
The previously reported on Optronica Festival - the audio-visual fest taking place at the National Film Theatre in London - kicks off tomorrow and runs till Sunday, so don't go saying we didn't tell you. Info from http://www.optronica.org, press info from The Outpost.

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EXPRESS PR MAN JOINS OUTSIDE
Brian MacLaurin, apparently one of the media's "most well know PR men" (well, that's what the Guardian says) has joined the Outside Organisation. MacLaurin, who has, for the last five years, handled the somewhat unenviable task of PRing porn-king-turned-Daily-Express owner Richard Desmond, will now work with Outside boss Alan Edwards to further expand the showbusiness PR company, which already counts David Bowie, Paul McCartney and Beverly Knight among its client list.

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P DIDDY REVEALS HIS OTHER SIDE
P Diddy has spoken to Radio 1 about his new album and says that fans will experience a side of him they haven't seen before, saying "It definitely has a very up-tempo musical vibe... it's not one of those albums where you just talk about what I'm going through. It's stuff that can be performed, you could play at parties. I love giving people a good time".

He continued: "You'll be seeing another side of me, I'm going back to more of the days when there was true rock and roll stars. I will be playing a character, there will be something a little eccentric, a little bit different, something we'll be able to have fun with - Something, I think, that's missing in music right now."

And which, no doubt, only Mr Coombs can provide.

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ROBBIE WILLIAMS GOES REGGAE
According to The Sun, Robbie Williams new album 'Intensive Care' has a reggae influenced sound. A 'source' said "Robbie's been listening to a lot of dub and reggae and was inspired to try it himself."

On the first single for the album, the 'source' continued: "When he sang it for the first time, those who heard it compared it to a young Bob Marley. He has given the reggae sound a modern twist and his voice really suits the music."

I really wish I could think of a smart comment. But I can't. I just feel sad.

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DELTA GOODREM NOT ENGAGED
CMU can reveal, along with everyone else, no doubt, that Delta Goodrem is not engaged. The Australian singer sparked rumours of an engagement to ex-Westlife warbler Brian McFadden when she walked through Brisbane airport with a diamond ring on the ring finger of her left hand.

Goodrem's management were quick to squash the speculation, however, telling Australia's Herald Sun: "She's just swapped her rings around on her fingers during the flight. There's nothing to tell."

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