CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 22nd July

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- IFPI upbeat about digital music growth
- Eminem denies retirement reports
- Ja Rule questioned in shooting investigation
- Jackson faces contempt charge in new abuse case
- Your Code Name Is Not: Pukkelpop
- New Mason EP a family affair
- German publishers take on ISPs
- Qpass report says loophole costing ringtones industry millions
- Spiritualized man recovering from near fatal illness
- PSB plan Battleship Potekim release
- Mystery Jets tour
- Kabul concert chaos as stage collapses
- Lovebox this weekend
- More Pixies dates
- More SonyBMG gossip
- Osbourne sued after pulling out of Vagina Monologues
- Ryan fancies Church

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CMU FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: The Glenfiddich Independent Mix Summer Jazz Dance Special at Cargo
Cor that was a mouthful! The best bar/club in the Cantaloupe group sees the Glenfiddich crew taking over for "a summer's evening of drinking cocktails in the fresh air, with a jazz quartet playing live in the yard surrounded by jazzed up people doing jazzed out dancing". Sounds good, but made even better as DJ's Gilles Peterson (me personal fave) and Chris Wheeler will be down there too. Live will be Finn Peters (flautist extraordinaire) with Eska, Lisa Millet and Yungun. Plus ShUx will be doing a set akin to their Small World's project at 8.30pm. Should be good.

Thu 28 Jul, Cargo, 83 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3AY, 6pm-1am, free before 7pm, £6 adv, £8 after. Info at http://www.cargo-london.com and press info http://www.fruktmusic.com

Think your club is good enough to take the tip?? Then email vigsy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk with the date of your club event in the header.

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IFPI UPBEAT ABOUT DIGITAL MUSIC GROWTH
The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry released an upbeat report yesterday that revealed that not only was legal downloading up threefold in the first half of 2005, but also that the battle against illegal downloading was having an effect, apparently.

The new report says that there were 180 million legal downloads worldwide in the first half of 2005, three times the number of tracks legally downloaded in the first half of last year. The growth of broadband internet and an increase in the number of legal download platforms are sure to have played a role in that increase.

On the illegal distribution of music online, the report admitted that illegal file sharing has increased 3% since January, but stressed that that increase was very low compared with the growth of legal downloading. They also point to research that showed one in three of those interviewed in the UK and US said they would not download music from illegal sources because of fear of litigation being launched against them by the music industry. 14,227 such lawsuits have now been launched in 12 countries.

Commenting on the new stats, IFPI boss John Kennedy told reporters: "We are now seeing real evidence that people are increasingly put off by illegal file-sharing and turning to legal ways of enjoying music online. Whether it's the fear of getting caught breaking the law, or the realisation that many networks could damage your home PC, attitudes are changing, and that is good news for the whole music industry."

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EMINEM DENIES RETIREMENT REPORTS
Eminem has refuted those reports that he is planning on giving up live performances to concentrate on his career as a record producer.

As previously reported, those reports stemmed from an interview with his D-12 bandmate Proof in the Detroit Free Press. Proof said Slim Shady would be taking a step back from performing live, suggesting that the rapper's show at Slane Castle in Ireland on 17 Sep would be his last. While Eminem's manager Paul Rosenberg would not comment on what Proof said, he further fuelled the rumours by saying that Mr Mather's current album 'Encore' was "certainly the cap on this part of his career".

However Eminem has told his audience at a Washington date of his current Anger Management tour this week that reports of his pending retirement have been greatly exaggerated. He said: "How many of you all read the tabloids? Cause there's some shit goin' around that I'm retiring".

He then reportedly joked that the story about him in the Detroit Free Press ran next to another report titled "moon to blow up today". He then added, "I'm retiring? Then I guess the moon just blew up", after which he mooned the crowd - again. I know, if he isn't ready to retire from public life, perhaps he could just give up mooning in public - it is, after all, getting a bit tedious.

Elsewhere in Slim Shady news, reports that Eminem and 50 Cent may have one of their Anger Management tour dates shifted because of Manchester United. Mr Shady et al are due to play the Lancashire County Cricket Club in Manchester on 14 Sep. However, depending on what way the UEFA Champions League draw goes on 26 Aug, Man Utd might also be playing at home ground Old Trafford that night. The cricket ground and football stadium are just around the corner from each other, and local authorities say that one bit of Manchester can't cope with hosting both events in one evening. So Anger Management promoters have had to agree that they will bring their event forward a night should Man Utd end up playing at home on 14 Sep.

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JA RULE QUESTIONED IN SHOOTING INVESTIGATION
"What's in a name" old Willy Shakespeare once mused. Well the Murder Inc record label is doing quite a good job of living up to its name (even if they do tend to trade by the rather more cosy sounding 'The Inc' these days).

The latest 'Inc' name to be involved in some legal dealings is Ja Rule. He has been named at the centre of a federal investigation into who shot two men outside Club LQ in Manhattan last Christmas, apparently linked to the shooting by surveillance video tape footage.

We should stress that Ja is co-operating with the authorities and hasn't actually been arrested with anything relating to the case. Which is very fortunate for him because it's only a few months since he escaped jail time for beating up a clubber in Canada after striking a plea deal and, of course, he was arrested last summer for driving without a licence and with cannabis, all of which means he's really meant to be on his best behaviour just now.

Anyway, police have revealed that video footage shows Ja Rule's posse leaving Club LQ at around 3.30am, just as two men - William Clark and Troy Moore - were walking nearby. Ja Rule's car is then apparently seen coming to a halt, after which one of his bodyguards taps on the car window and saying: "Come with me, it's coming down." Then, according to the New York Post, shots were fired from the rapper's car, seriously injuring Moore and killing Clark.

All of this does seem to be linked to other Murder Inc related incidents. Moore, as it happens, is the brother of Tyran 'Tah Tah' Moore, currently cooling his heels in jail in New York while awaiting sentencing on a federal weapons charge. Tah Tah is a former associate of the Murder Inc boss Irv 'Gotti' Lorenzo and notorious crack dealer (and alleged Murder Inc associate) Kenneth McGriff. Tah Tah and McGriff's names came up last year during the ill conceived public hostilities between Ja Rule and 50 Cent. Fiddy claimed Tah Tah and McGriff had been behind an attempt to shoot him.

Hmm...Peace and Love Inc. Now, that's got a nice ring to it.

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JACKSON FACES CONTEMPT CHARGE IN NEW ABUSE CASE
Poor old Jacko. But a mere month after his acquittal from those tedious child sex charges, he now finds himself potentially facing contempt of court charges after failing to appear for a hearing in a Louisiana courtroom yesterday. The hearing for a civil case in which he is accused of assaulting an 18 year old during the World's Fair in New Orleans in 1984 (yes, 1984) was supposed to be a simple procedural thing where Jackson was to demonstrate he has legal representation. But because he failed to show it became a bigger deal. If Jackson now fails to appear at another hearing scheduled for 17 Aug, or to explain to District Judge Eldon Fallon why he should not be held in civil contempt, he could have a default judgement entered against him.

Word from the Jackson camp failed to clarify why no one had represented Michael. In an interview with Reuters, Brian Oxman, a Jackson spokesperson, somewhat enigmatically blamed the singer's absence on "an administrative problem." He more reassuringly added: "I will take care of this matter and make sure it is handled in an appropriate way - the order from the court today and the lawsuit."

Needless to say, the Jackson family is maintaining that these latest allegations, made by one Joseph Bartucci, are false. Bartucci claims that Jackson lured him into his limousine before sexually assaulting him over several days during a drive to California and back, although the Jacko camp will probably make much of the fact that the specifics of the allegations are a bit confused.

As for why it took Bartucci so long to take any action, the accuser claims that he suppressed the memories until 2003 when the media started covering the recent Michael Jackson child molestation trial. While watching Court TV apparently it all came back to him. Bartucci claims to have suffered a variety of ailments as a result of his emerging memories, the list of which rather bizarrely includes scarring, aggravation of pre-existing heart problems, eyesight impairment, suicidal tendencies and post-traumatic stress disorder. To compensate for this alleged emotional and physical damage Bartucci is asking for lots of money. Of course.

Elsewhere in Jacko news, and the singer has confirmed he won't be attending his dad's birthday party in Berlin this weekend. A statement on his website reads: "Michael would like to wish his father a very heartfelt 'Happy Birthday' and he hopes that everyone attending the event has a truly wonderful time."

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YOUR CODE NAME IS NOT PUKKELPOP
This just in - Yourcodenameis:milo have been forced to cancel their appearance from Belgium's improbably named Pukkelpop festival in Aug due to recording commitments. The Northerners explain in their official website that their withdrawal is "due to a hectic recording and writing schedule that the festival weekend sits right in the middle of."

All is not lost however. They are aiming to arrange some dates in Europe for the end of this year and offer a hearty apology to those fans that were keen to see them at the festival.

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NEW MASON EP A FAMILY AFFAIR
Willy Mason has confirmed details of a new EP to be called 'Hard To Lie Down'. The record, to be released on 15 Aug, will be fronted by 'Hard Hand To Hold' but will also feature two other new songs recorded during Mason's Glasto set earlier this year. The EP is going to be a bit of a family affair. One of the two new tracks, 'Wild Dog Blues', was written by his mother Jemima, while his mum also provides backing vocals on the Glastonbury set recordings - and his brother Sam is on drums.

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GERMAN PUBLISHERS TAKE ON ISPS
Another clash between the music industry and the wonderful internet service providers - this time in Germany. There have been many mainly unsuccessful attempts by record labels over the years to shift some liability for illegal downloading onto the internet service providers, whose broadband roll out benefited, in the early days at least, by the P2P phenomenon (for a while the only websites that really provided customers with an incentive to invest in broadband were the illegal file sharing services). Most of the recent content owner / ISP clashes have been regarding the identities of suspected downloaders. Record labels tracking illegal file sharing can only identify the IP address of suspects - the ISPs provide the link between IP address and real name and address. The record labels would like the ISPs to hand over this information as a matter of course, but the internet companies have successfully used privacy laws as an excuse not to - which means a record label must take every individual case to court just to secure the actual identities of suspected downloaders.

However, the latest fallout in Germany isn't just about identities. The German Music Author's Society (GEMA) is demanding that 42 internet access providers take steps to block websites that provide access to illegal content, including any that link to eDonkey files. The logic here is that, while the German music industry may not be able to tackle illegal download sites that are based outside Germany (as most of them are), they can make German ISPs prevent their customers from being able to reach the foreign illegal download platforms. The trade body for composers, songwriters and music publishers reckons German copyright law is on its side, and they are threatening to take internet companies who do not comply with their wishes to court.

Opinion is divided on whether German laws do obligate ISPs to block access to such sites, though the consensus is the internet providers will fight any action by GEMA should they go through with their threats and take the matter to court.

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QPASS REPORT SAYS LOOPHOLE COSTING RINGTONES INDUSTRY MILLIONS
Obviously you always have to be a bit suspicious of research published by companies who offer commercial services in the area being researched, but this one is interesting even if it slightly exaggerates the risks. Digital media company Qpass say they reckon that a technical loophole that allows consumers to create free ringtones could be costing the music industry 50 million euros a year.

Qpass's study of 42 mobile portals and 58 online music services, combined with anecdotal chat room evidence, suggests that an increasing number of people are downloading the music used by digital music platforms as 'previews' and converting them into ring tones.

The company say that while those preview clips don't affect full download sales, a thirty second segment of a song is more than enough for a ring tone. Because on many digital music sites you can save those clips by simply 'right clicking', as more people become savvy as to how to use downloads for their ringtones this supply of clips could severely effect the ringtones market.

Qpass reckon the loophole could cost the music industry 336 million euros by the end of 2007.

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SPIRITUALIZED MAN RECOVERING FROM NEAR FATAL ILLNESS
Spiritualized frontman Jason Pierce is recovering from an as-yet-unspecified illness which apparently nearly caused his death. His partner Juliette has written a not completely coherent message on the band's website (to be fair, she's presumably had a stressful few weeks) that reads thus: "After nearly dying twice in the last two and half weeks Jason has now and fantastically made an alarming and brilliant recovery and is due home today. He is still fragile and really weak weighing in at maybe 8 stone but love and happiness on his side. Weirdly he is still Jason though. No thoughts about how lucky he is just mentioned how mad it is that his record is written almost like he was ill before. Not that he's into esp and stuff just in the most beautiful way. Love to all and everyone who sent him get well wishes cos he needed it and must have heard it and thankfully he's here and back and coming home."

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PSB PLAN BATTLESHIP POTEKIM RELEASE
The Pet Shop Boys are set to release that soundtrack they created for the 1925 film 'Battleship Potekim', you know, the one they performed alongside the film in Trafalgar Square last Sep. Yes, that one. The album should drop on 5 Sep.

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MYSTERY JETS TOUR
Weirdly cool and erm, mysteriously prog, Mystery Jets have announced a headline UK tour that will take in nine dates. Experimental and boundary pushing, their gloriously shambolic sets (with nary a rock of crack to be seen) notoriously demonstrate great musical innovativeness - so they are well worth catching. Dates as follows:

30 Aug: Birmingham, Custard Factory
31 Aug: Cardiff, Club Ifor Bach
1 Sep: Manchester, Music Box
2 Sep: Glasgow, Barfly
3 Sep: Aberdeen, Mohulu
4 Sep: Liverpool, Academy
6 Sep: Southampton, Joiners
8 Sep: Brighton, Engine Rooms
9 Sep: London, ICA

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KABUL CONCERT CHAOS AS STAGE COLLAPSES
The first major concert by a foreign musician in the Afghan capital of Kabul since the fall of the Taleban has ended in something nearing chaos after the stage collapsed. Indian singer Sonu Nigam, the headline act, was unhurt, but other musicians were injured. The reason for the stage collapse isn't clear, though some eye witnesses say the audience was so crushed it is likely there was a surge forward. Given that before the concert started police were seen beating ticket holding fans who couldn't get in to the overcrowded stadium, I suspect a Kabul date won't be added to too many world tours just yet.

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LOVEBOX THIS WEEKEND
There are so many festivals and the like these days every week I can't help thinking there's some big music event we've forgotten to plug. Ah well, this week we won't forget to plug the Lovebox Weekender, which takes place in East London's Victoria Park this weekend with the likes of Groove Armada, Plant Life, Mylo, Talvin Singh, Norman Jay's Good Times, the massive Giles Peterson, and The Cuban Brothers on stage. Info galore at http://www.loveboxweekender.com

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MORE PIXIES DATES
Hip hip hurrah! Toss me my pom-poms and let's all have a cheer as the Pixies have announced three new UK shows this Aug! The legendary sprites will play shows in Edinburgh, Manchester and London, following their appearances at the Reading and Leeds Festivals. Dates as follows:

28 Aug: Edinburgh Meadowbank Stadium
30 Aug: Manchester Apollo
31 Aug: London Alexandra Palace

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MORE SONYBMG GOSSIP
More SonyBMG gossip courtesy of HitsDailyDouble. They say there was no surprise internally at the major when Chief Operating Officer Michael Smellie announced he was retiring. Insiders say Smellie was only given the job to placate the BMG camp after Sony Music boss Andrew Lack was given the top job after the merger while BMG main man Rolf Schmidt-Holtz was sidelined into a non-operational executive role. Lack and Smellie were never going to be a good working partners, gossipers say, and the former BMG exec was increasingly left out of key decisions by Lack.

Meanwhile there have been more reports that former Warners boss Roger Ames is a favourite to succeed Smellie. HitsDailyDouble reports that not only is Ames up for the COO role, but that if Lack were to get promoted up the Sony Corp hierarchy, there are some inside who would like to see Ames take the top job at SonyBMG.

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OSBOURNE SUED AFTER PULLING OUT OF VAGINA MONOLOGUES
Sharon Osbourne is being sued for £300,000 after pulling out of the West End production of The Vagine Monologues. As previously reported, both Sharon and (less famous) daughter Aimee were due to appear in the play, but quit at the last minute after Aimee was diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite the fact the cancer scare was quite a good excuse, the show's producers, probably a bit pissed off Mrs Osbourne announced she was pulling out the show to the press before she told them, are suing her for breach of contract. Sharon, however, reportedly denies there ever was a contract in the first place.

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RYAN FANCIES CHURCH
Pssst! Lee Ryan has a crush on Charlotte Church, pass it on. What do you mean you couldn't care less? According to the Mirror, who in turn were apparently quoting Attitude magazine, the former Blue singer, none too averse to the odd bevvy himself, has said of Cardiff's vodka swilling party girl: "She's great. Really cool, really down to earth. She's definitely sexy, she's a real woman. You can tell she's the kind of girl that if she woke up with you the next morning she wouldn't give a fuck. She would just be the way she is. You wouldn't catch her in the bathroom before you woke up putting on her make-up."

Talking of the Blue boy, his new single 'Army Of Lovers' is heading for the No 2 spot in this week's charts, which is just great news.

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