CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 2nd September

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily
- HMV formally launch download platform
- RIAA launch more file sharing litigation
- Fats Domino reportedly safe after hurricane fears
- MTV firm up hurricane fundraiser
- RL Burnside dies
- Guardian get ready for revamp
- Starsailor dates
- Destiny's Child end on a high
- Sons & Daughters dates
- Subshot getting ready for new term
- Kate Bush is back
- Landlords still want CBGB out
- VH1 line up the hip hop honours
- MTV hits get viewers involved in playlist
- Britney in talks for Vegas season?
- Spin pick best rock body parts

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VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Phonic Hoop at The Enigma
Billing itself as jazzbreakshiphopdrum&bassoulfunkbrokenbeats from the Tru-Thoughts label, Phonic Hoop aims to showcase both the label and their friends down there in funky cool mini-London by the sea (Brighton, of course). This time round Bonobo of Ninja Tune and Robert Luis (from Tru Thoughts) will be setting the pace, and word has it that their heavy Bollywood infused single 'Bungee Jump Against Racism' will be aired
- wicked broken beat business apparently. Enigma has a capacity of just 250, so get there early doors.

Saturday 3 Sep, The Enigma, Ship St, Brighton, 10pm-2am, £8/7, info, 01273 669070 and sri@decpromotions.co.uk, http://www.tru-thoughts.co.uk/?page=live/phonic.html

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HMV FORMALLY LAUNCH DOWNLOAD PLATFORM
Download platform launch anyone? HMV UK formally launched its new download platform yesterday, with the service itself due to go live on Monday.

No real surprises with regards how the service will work, with most of the details revealed at that presentation to the indie sector earlier this year. As expected, the HMV Digital service is based around a bespoke player, the HMV Digital Player, through which customers can download, play and file their music. Also as expected, customers can either buy individual tracks via an iTunes-type pay-per-download system, or they can get access to the whole HMV catalogue via a monthly Napster-style subscription offer.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the HMV service and those supplied by the other big players in the download market is that there is no standard price for individual downloads. The cost of each track will vary according to what the record label wants to charge. This is good for the record labels who only reluctantly accepted iTunes one-price-for-all rule, and is arguably good for consumers in that they will probably be able to download tracks from newer artists for considerably less than iTunes' 79 pence charge. However, it could be argued iTunes strength is in its simplicity, and variable pricing makes a download platform more confusing to use.

Launching the new service, HMV UK MD Steve Knott told reporters: "HMV has a track record of embracing new technologies and always being part of the process of change. We have sold every available music format since we opened our doors in 1921, and are dedicated to offering our customers specialist access to the widest selection of
recorded music through whichever medium or format they require. While downloading is still in its infancy, we believe that now is the right time to fully establish HMV's presence in this market. Our research shows that although customers remain very keen to buy and own CDs for the foreseeable future, many are also ready to start downloading for the first time and we are eager to cater to this demand."

The back end of the HMV download service is powered by MusicNet. Their CEO Alan McGlade told reporters: "MusicNet was built on the premise of enabling major global brands such as HMV with the ability to expand their consumer relationships through a compelling, customised digital music service. We are very pleased to have HMV as a premier European partner and are confident that their customers will soon discover that HMV Digital will deliver their favourite music when and how they want it." Presumably Alan can reuse that speech today, switching any references to 'HMV' to 'Virgin' - MusicNet, of course, are also the back end service providers to the Virgin Digital platform, which launches later today.

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RIAA LAUNCH MORE FILE SHARING LITIGATION
Download litigation anyone? Well, here goes. The always lovely Recording Industry Association Of America has issued another round of lawsuits against individual file sharers. Once again it will initially launch 'John Doe' lawsuits against the IP addresses used by people suspected of illegally sharing music via P2P platforms. If it can prove its case against those individuals in court, the internet service providers who control the IP addresses in question will be forced to reveal the identities of the suspected filesharers.

The latest round of litigation sees 754 file-sharers targeted, which according to our maths brings the total of anti-download lawsuits issued by the RIAA since Sep 2003 to somewhere nearing 14,000. The industry association says the current round of legal action includes users of P2P networks Kazaa, Grokster and LimeWire, although they make no mention of eDonkey, which a report earlier this week said was the popular P2P service of the moment.

Announcing the latest lawsuits RIAA boss Cary Sherman used the recent MGM v Grokster Supreme Court ruling to defend his association's actions: "The message of the Supreme Court's recent Grokster ruling is clear: both the businesses that encourage theft and the individuals who download songs without permission can be held accountable".

That viewpoint could, however, be tested soon following the news that single mother Patricia Santangelo is planning on mounting a defence against the RIAA, who accused her of copyright violation relating to the sharing of music files online. The industry association are confident if any case goes to court that they will be win, but some legal experts do not share their confidence, so it could prove to be an interesting case.

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FATS DOMINO REPORTEDLY SAFE AFTER HURRICANE FEARS
It always seems a bit cheap to focus on a couple of celebrity victims when you're watching the kind of natural disaster that is currently unfolding in America's South, but everyone else is, so here goes.

Confused reports as to blues musician Fats Domino, who lives in flooded out New Orleans. Initial reports feared the worse for the singer, who was last heard to say he planned to stay indoors and "ride out the storm". But his daughter has subsequently told reporters that she saw newspaper footage of him being helped off a roof top, and other reports suggest he is one of the many survivors currently in a safe area of the city waiting to be evacuated.

Other musical types in New Orleans during the floods include soul singer Irma Thomas who is reportedly safe and sound, former Soul Asylum leader Dave Pirner who has lost his New Orleans home but is himself safe, and Barry Cowsill of the sixties family pop group the Cowsills who is safe but stranded in the city. However, there are net rumours that cult rock legend Alex Chilton is missing. If you've heard of any of those people, consider yourself updated.

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MTV FIRM UP HURRICANE FUNDRAISER
In related news, MTV have revealed more details about their planned benefit concert in aid of the post-hurricane relief effort. As previously reported, this will take place on 10 Sep, and will include Alicia Keys and Green Day on the bill. A joint venture between MTV and sister stations VH1 and CMT, the line up at the fundraiser will also include Ludacris, Gretchen Wilson, Usher, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews Band, Rob Thomas, David Banner and Linkin Park's Chester Bennington. The event will take place in four different locations - New York, LA, Atlanta and Nashville.

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RL BURNSIDE DIES
Mississippi bluesman R L Burnside has died, aged 78. He had been in declining health since heart surgery in 1999, and died in hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

Burnside didn't begin his music career until the age of 65. Although he had played guitar in local bars ever since the forties, it was only when he signed to Fat Possum Records in 1991 that he came to wider attention. Once with Fat Possum he went on to record a dozen albums and toured worldwide.

Paying tribute to Burnside, Fat Possum's Matthew Johnson told reporters yesterday how Burnside played guitar "just 'cause he wanted to. He never really wanted a career, never said he did. We just sort of gave him one."

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GUARDIAN GET READY FOR REVAMP
The Guardian will launch its new 'mid-sized' format on 12 Sep. As we may or may not have mentioned before, the Guardian is following the lead of the Times and Independent and dumping the traditional broadsheet format in favour of a more compact sized paper. However the Guardian, being the Guardian, has to do it a little bit differently, so rather than going tabloid they are opting for the size used by France's paper Le Monde, which is kind half way between broadsheet and tabloid, and is likely to play havoc with newsagents' newspaper racking. The size revamp is being used as an excuse for a good old redesign, with a couple of new supplements being added too. Which is all very exciting. Well, it is for Guardian readers.

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STARSAILOR DATES
Starsailor have announced a series of small, I mean "intimate", gigs to coincide with the release of new single 'The Crossfire', which is out on 3 Oct. Dates as follows:

3 Oct: Edinburgh, The Venue
4 Oct: Manchester, Jabez Clegg
6 Oct: Birmingham, Irish Centre
7 Oct: Bristol, Bierkeller

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DESTINY'S CHILD END ON A HIGH
It was the World Music Awards in Hollywood this week, though that should really be the 'American Music (with a bit of British Music) Awards', cos the rest of the world ain't that well represented. To be fair, this awards bash celebrates global music sales success, and that's where the 'world' bit comes in.

Destiny's Child were named the World's Best Pop Group, while Gwen Stefani and The Game took the Best Selling Female and Male titles respectively. The award means Destiny's Child will be very much going out on top - they plan to perform their final ever concert in Vancouver on 10 Sep.

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SONS & DAUGHTERS DATES
The wonderful Sons & Daughters are going on tour, dates as follows:

20 Nov: Brighton, Concorde 2
21 Nov: London, Kings College
22 Nov: Manchester, Academy 3
23 Nov: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
24 Nov: Glasgow, Abc
26 Nov: Belfast, Limelight
27 Nov: Dublin, Village

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SUBSHOT GETTING READY FOR NEW TERM
The Subshot team are putting together their first playlist for the new academic year, which, we should add, kicks off very soon. Subshot controls the music played on all those Sub TV screens that are situated in union bars in no less than 85 universities all around the UK. Any labels interested in putting their music forward should contact Alastair at Subshot asap - alastairbrown@upshotcom.com.

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KATE BUSH IS BACK
Kate Bush is back - hurrah! She will be releasing her first new album in 12 years in Nov - and it's a double album called 'Aerial'. A single will precede it on 24 Oct - it's called 'King Of The Mountain'. Believe it or not, this is her first release since 1993's 'The Red Shoes'.

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LANDLORDS STILL WANT CBGB OUT
The landlords of New York's CBGB club are standing fast on their refusal to give the club's owners a new lease, despite a well attended rally on Wednesday night in which musicians and music fans called on the powers that be to change their position. But the club's owner, Hilly Kristal, seems up for a fight to stay put, telling the crowds at that rally: "We intend to stay. This is not a eulogy. There's no reason why we shouldn't come to an understanding."

As previously reported, the building is owned by the Bowery Residents Committee - an agency that helps the homeless - and they want to increase the rent on the property. Kristal says he is unable to meet their rent demands, which is why the BRC want the club out of the building. It hard to see the landlords now changing their position, despite all the punk stars backing Kristal, because the BRC's PR team are busy telling reporters that they need to make more rent on the building to better support New York's homeless community, which is a position that is quite hard to knock, even when something as legendary as the CBGB club is at stake. A spokesman for the BRC told reporters this week that he genuinely believed that it was in the "best interest of our clients - the homeless and neediest New Yorkers - to sever this relationship".

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VH1 LINE UP THE HIP HOP HONOURS
VH1 has announced details of its second annual Hip Hip Honors (American spelling there, because its the American bit of VH1). This event pays homage to the pioneers who transformed the genre into a cultural phenomenon, and this year the pioneers being homaged (?) include LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Notorious B.I.G., Ice T, Salt -N-Pepa and the film Boyz N The Hood. The show will be recorded on 22 Sep and will premiere on VH1 on 26 Sep.

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MTV HITS GET VIEWERS INVOLVED IN PLAYLIST
Talking of music telly, MTV are planning to let viewers to its MTV Hits channel get involved in the playlisting process through some new thingy on their website. Needless to say, this is "taking viewer power to a whole new level" (well, that's what MTV's UK Head of Interactive, Matthew Kershaw, reckons, and I'm sure he's right).

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BRITNEY IN TALKS FOR VEGAS SEASON?
Britney Spears is reportedly in negotiations to become the next Las Vegas freak show. Sorry, I mean she's going to follow Celine Dion and Elton John into one of those three-year-run shows at a top Vegas venue. So like I said, a freak show. Jack Wishna, one of the dealmakers behind the recent long-season runs that have been taking place in Vegas, has told E! Online: "I met with Britney, her manager and her lawyers, and we are working on a deal to bring her to the Strip for 'X'-number of weeks in 2007-2008."

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SPIN PICK BEST ROCK BODY PARTS
And finally, New York's Spin magazine has compiled a list of the 25 'Most Incredible Body Parts' in music (they've obviously got a lot of time on their hands). If you're interested, they decided that White Stripes' Meg White has the 'Best Cheeks,' 50 Cent the 'Best Chest', REM's Michael Stipe the best skull and Rolling Stone Keith Richards the best liver. So now you know.

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