CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 5th September

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- iTunes phone likely this week, Microsoft music phone to follow
- Fats Domino safe after hurricane
- Kanye West hits out at Bush over hurricane response
- XL promote Beardsworth to MD role
- Virgin launch UK download platform
- EMI not worried by Stones MP3 leak
- Creative players come with worm
- Dead 60s instore
- Nickelback live appearance
- Aled Jones managed choirboy act get Universal deal
- Single review: JJ72 - Coming Home
- Rob marks Bestival with banana call
- Ultimate chill this weekend
- Chart update
- Carey holds top two Top One Hundreds
- Kylie ends chemo
- Single review: Luxembourg - Luxembourg vs. Great Britain
- Spanish music fans angry after UK firm cancels gigs
- Rakes cancel gigs
- My Morning Jacket postpone gigs
- QOTSA cancel gig after Homme's collapse
- QOTSA release live CD/DVD
- Art Brut diss Doherty shocker

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WE'RE BACK!
Yep, after five weeks working out of a rather nice media suite in Edinburgh (with thanks to the University of Edinburgh for that one), we are now back in London. Well, Chris is. Caro is working remotely from her country estate, but she'll be back in Docklands later this week, never you fear. All of which means we might just get round to answering the plethora of emails that got stuck in a very long queue while we were busy providing the most comprehensive coverage of the Edinburgh Festival (http://www.threeweeks.co.uk).

September is always a busy time here at CMU, and this year will be no different. Look out for the CMU 'podcasts', the CMU 'radio show', the CMU 'gathering' and the new CMU 'music news service', all launching in the next couple of months. And don't forget, if you want to spread the word on your events or releases via the CMU Music Network, then the CMU Press Room is the place to go - a daily listing in the CMU Daily plus full press release on the CMU website, all for just £50 a week. Book your slot now - email Chris at chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call him on 0870 744 2643.

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CMU PRESS ROOM

ROCK*n*ROLL NEWS via Music Tourist Board : ARTFUL - virtual festival October 1st-31st / Anti-Scene bands at In The City / Calling film makers re Music Documentary / Music Film/Photography Exhibition / Bands invited to Republic of Rock / Dirty Sounds are at Bestival! / DIY underground networking + more! - www.musictouristboard.co.uk/ www.artful.ik.com/ http://rocklands.1.forumer.com/

Full details: http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/pressroom/musictouristboard

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ITUNES PHONE LIKELY THIS WEEK, MICROSOFT MUSIC PHONE TO FOLLOW
So then, it seems ever more likely that the launch of Motorola's long awaited and much previously reported iTunes enabled mobile phone will take place this week. Not only have Apple announced a 'music related' press conference for Wednesday, but Motorola have revealed details of the star-studded ad campaign they have planned to promote the phone. According to those plans, the campaign to promote the Rokr phone will feature Madonna, Iggy Pop, Jimi Hendrix and the Notorious BIG, with negotiations apparently ongoing regarding the involvement of The White Stripes, Little Richard, Bootsy Collins, Alanis Morissette, The Bravery, and Green Day's Billie Joe.

Meanwhile, there are reports in The Business that Microsoft have entered into a partnership with Orange to sell its own music-player-come-mobile phone which will allow music fans to transfer music from their PC to their mobile. The new phone will be sold in flagship HMV stores, possibly as early as next month, leading to some speculation the mobile will use a version of HMV's own bespoke digital music player, which, of course, uses Microsoft technology.

The Business quote Microsoft spokesman Jason Langridge as saying: "The mobile digital music market is about to take off. Porting digital music on to mobile phones represents a massive opportunity for Microsoft. While Apple has sold about 10m iPods worldwide to date, a quarter of the world's population own mobile phones, which Microsoft software can turn into digital music players".

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FATS DOMINO SAFE AFTER HURRICANE
A quick update on Fats Domino, the safety of whom was being questioned on Friday after the blues legend was last heard of in New Orleans telling friends he was staying home to 'ride the storm out'. His agent has told reporters that the singer is safe and well, if "a bit stressed out". The Washington Post report that Domino has been staying with friends in Baton Rouge, quoting him as saying: "We've lost everything - I don't know what to do next. I'm worried about all the people of New Orleans. Tell them I love them, and I wish I was home with them. I hope we'll see them soon."

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KANYE WEST HITS OUT AT BUSH OVER HURRICANE RESPONSE
In related news, hip hop star Kanye West has courted controversy by adding his voice to those who are criticising President Bush for his response to Hurricane Katrina, accusing the White House of being slow to respond because those worst hit by the natural disaster were black people.

West was performing at a televised benefit event designed to raise funds to support those affected by the hurricane. Clearly deviating from his prepared script, West told his audience: "George Bush doesn't care about black people. I hate the way they portray us in the media. If you see a black family, it says they're looting. See a white family, it says they're looking for food". Although he admitted that "the Red Cross is doing everything they can", he claimed that the authorities were deliberately holding up getting aid to the Southern states.

West's comments went out live on TV stations showing the event on the US East Coast, but were edited out of the version screened on the West Coast. A spokesman for NBC, who screened the fundraiser, told reporters: "It would be most unfortunate if the efforts of the artists and the generosity of millions of Americans are overshadowed by one person's opinion".

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XL PROMOTE BEARDSWORTH TO MD ROLE
Beggars division XL Recordings have promoted Senior A&R Manager Ben Beardsworth to the role of Managing Director.
The label's owner, Richard Russell, will become chairman and CEO, and will take on a more creative role. Russell, Beardsworth and Beggars boss and XL co-owner Martin Mills together will form the company's senior management group. With XL still one of the most successful independent labels of the moment, it is quite an achievement for Beardsworth, who joined the label in 1997 in a clubs promotion role.

Commenting on his new appointment, Beardsworth told CMU: "I'm thrilled to be taking on more responsibility. It's exciting times for all of us here at XL. 2005 is proving to be a very successful year, we have a couple of really hot new acts lined up for the start of 2006, and now we'll have Richard [Russell], whose creativity has always been the basis of XL's success, focusing all his energy on that side of things".

Russell added: "Ben is a uniquely talented and well-rounded executive who has proven his abilities time and time again, so I'm delighted that he has this opportunity. In turn I am looking forward to spending as much time as possible doing what I love, which is being hands-on and creative, and working with our artists to help them achieve great results".

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VIRGIN LAUNCH UK DOWNLOAD PLATFORM
Virgin formally launched their UK download platform on Friday. As with HMV, much of their digital proposition had already been revealed before launch - a pay-per-download and subscription service, 79 pence price point, MusicNet powered Microsoft based system. Other services offered by the company's digital service include a streaming radio station, the facility to surf via artist biographies and album reviews, and a 'related artist' recommendation feature.

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EMI NOT WORRIED BY STONES MP3 LEAK
Staying with all things digital, and EMI says it does not expect the now customary pre-release leaking of tracks online to affect sales of the new Rolling Stones album, 'A Bigger Bang'. Due out today, MP3s of most of the tracks from the album began circulating on P2P networks last week. However, those recordings seem to have been 'captured' from label sanctioned preview streamings of the album that were available on certain websites and radio stations last week, and EMI bosses seem to accept that once such previews are made available it is inevitable unofficial MP3 versions of tracks will surface. Stressing that the MP3s available are not great quality, EMI said it was an achievement the new album had been kept under wraps for so long, and added that they did not anticipate the pre-release MP3 leak would have any real impact on album sales. And given the Stones' target market, I think they're probably right.

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CREATIVE PLAYERS COME WITH WORM
More digital stuff, and Creative have had to recall a stack of their 5GB Neeon MP3 players because they are infected with a virus - the W32.WullickB worm. The virus, which probably comes from one of the computers involved in the manufacturing process, uses up a certain portion of the player's memory and could, in theory, transfer itself onto user's PCs. That said, IT experts reckon the virus infected players won't impact on Creative too much. The number of players infected is relatively small, the virus can be removed with some basic anti-virus software, the recall has been done quite quickly and the chances of the worm actually getting onto a music fan's PC are quite small.

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DEAD 60S INSTORE
Here's a quick one for you. The Dead Sixties will be making an instore appearance on 14 Sep in Nottingham. The band will play an acoustic set at Fopp on Earlham Street at 1pm.

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NICKELBACK LIVE APPEARANCE
Hugely successful Canadian rockers Nickelback (not our cup of tea, but you can't knock their success) are to play a one off live date later in the month when they visit the UK to promote the release of their new single 'Photograph', which is scheduled for release on 26 Sep. The band will do a set at Shepherds Bush Empire on 20 Sep. Nickelback's new album. 'All The Right Reasons' is to be released on 3 Oct, and the band are planning a full tour for early in 2006. Tickets go on sale on 9 Sep.

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ALED JONES MANAGED CHOIRBOY ACT GET UNIVERSAL DEAL
Aled Jones is acting as co-manager to a new choir boy trio who have just landed a £500,000 deal with Universal Classics. The three members of the group, to be known as The Choirboys, were recruited after being spotted performing in their respective school choirs. Each member is just 12 years old, and has spent most of his summer holiday working on a debut album, which apparently includes choral music like 'Ave Maria' and interpretations of more contemporary music like Eric Clapton's 'Tears In Heaven'.

Commenting on his latest signing, Universal Classics general manager Dickon Stainer told reporters: "Choir schools are a special world and they have been struggling to keep boys coming through the doors in the age of the PlayStation. We think this group will have a huge impact on people's perceptions of choristers and choir schools. We think they will reach the pop charts." Pop charts for the Choirboys? Quite possible. Credibility boost for the genre at large? Ambitious.

Either way, Jones will presumably be able to pass on much needed advice to the Choirboys as they combine chart topping success with school yard ridicule - Jones, of course, achieved his own fame and fortune as the teenage choir boy who provided the 'Walking In The Air' theme to that legendary, erm, British Gas commercial. On his role in managing the new choirboy pop sensation, Jones told reporters: "I'm advising them and being part of their team - I've been there and done it myself. They are really great, fun loving lads and enjoying all this, [but] I think they've enjoyed more having a haircut and a suit than the recording process. First of all I'd tell them to shy away from all that child stardom business: all that teeth and tap shoes. Keep it real, I think."

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SINGLE REVIEW: JJ72 - Coming Home (Lakota)
Following their recent download only single 'She's Gone', this is the first single from JJ72's as yet untitled third album due in October. The band have been away for a while, they were last in the singles chart with 'Formulae' three years ago. Their sound is still that of big screen vistas; Greaney's distinctive emotional vocals and huge, dramatic guitar sounds whilst lyrically the song is concerned with mortality expressed with fierce romanticism: "I would murder men for you, I would dig a grave for you," sings Greaney earnestly. This is a great anthemic tune and a fine return for JJ72; judging from this the new album should be one the year's most interesting releases. JW
Release date: 29 Aug
Press contact: Ian Cheek [CP, RP, NP] Lakota IH [CR, RR, NR]

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ROB MARKS BESTIVAL WITH BANANA CALL
It's Bestival this weekend, so expect a string of loosely linked stories this week to help us plug it. Though this one isn't so loose. Sunday Best's Rob da Bank is celebrating this weekend's festival by helping out an organisation called 21st Century Leaders, which gets celebs to draw images or messages which it then prints onto a variety of merchandise, using fair trade suppliers to do so. Said merchandise is then sold in aid of said celeb's chosen charity. Rob has provided his own special message of peace - 'bananas not guns, increase the peace' - which people will be able to buy on a special charity wristband at Bestival itself, or via the festival website at http://www.bestival.net. So, there you go!

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ULTIMATE CHILL THIS WEEKEND
Talking of events this weekend, for those of you up in the North for whom a trip to the Isle Of Wight might be a bit too ambitious, how about Dundee's annual arts and music bash The Ultimate Chill, which takes place this weekend at the city's Caird Hall (9 and 10 September), and at Dundee's Hilton Hotel (11 Sep). As you'd expect with this event, an eclectic mix of music is on offer from across Scotland, and the world, plus on Saturday night new talent will the the main order of the day with the Ultimate Chill battle of the bands. For more info check http://www.rootchord.org. Press info from Burt Greener on 0141 248 6007.

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CHART UPDATE
The always lovely McFly are top of the album chart this week, with their second long player 'Wonderland' beating off competition from Kanye West to go top. West's 'Late Resignation' goes in a two - though presumably he's too busy slagging off George Bush to notice.

Singles wise, Gorillaz go straight in at number one with 'Dare', with last week's number one, Oasis' ' The Importance of Being Idle' sliding down to five. Other new entries include Jessica Simpson's 'These Boots Are Made For Walkin' at four, David Gray's 'The One I Love' at eight, the ad-inspired re-release of Les Rythmes Digitales' 'Jacques Your Body (Make Me Sweat)' at nine, Gwen Stefani's Cool at eleven and KT Tunstall's 'Suddenly I See' at twelve.

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CAREY HOLDS TOP TWO TOP ONE HUNDREDS
Now that you've brought up chart news, here's some more. Mariah Carey has made US Hot 100 Single chart history by becoming the fifth act to hold the top two positions at the same time. 'We Belong Together' in the number one slot has been there for ten consecutive weeks. The second single 'Shake It Off' jumped two places to take the number two slot. The other four acts to have achieved this feat are Nelly, OutKast, the Bee Gees and the Beatles. 'We Belong Together' is Carey's 16th US number one, which puts her third, behind The Beatles and Elvis Presley. in the matter of most chart topping singles. Wow, all this chart trivia on a Monday morning.

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KYLIE ENDS CHEMO
According to reports, Kylie Minogue has ended her course of chemotherapy, but must wait another month to be given the all clear. The singer had been receiving the treatment in Paris near the home her boyfriend Olivier Martinez. According to The News Of The World, Kylie is "very strong and is getting on with her life and trying not to think about it."

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SINGLE REVIEW: Luxembourg - Luxembourg Vs. Great Britain (Shifty Disco) (Download only)
Luxembourg are technically, I think, still the best unsigned band in Britain, as this download is a one off deal with Shifty Disco. Despite garnering critical plaudits from, amongst others, the Guardian (who dubbed them with the handy label 'pop noir'), and building up a loyal fan base through constant gigging, the band have yet to secure a record deal. Luxembourg are like a kitchen sink Roxy Music; they are art rock glam but with the verbose literary nous of The Smiths. This single boasts some of their trademark lovely twirly keyboard work while David Shah croons typically arch lyrics, such as "It's the hegemony that depresses the hell out of me." Slinky, sensuous, sublime. And simply super. JW
Release date: 26 Aug
Press contact: Shifty Disco [all]

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SPANISH MUSIC FANS ANGRY AFTER UK FIRM CANCELS GIGS
Spanish music fans have been left disappointed after a British gig promoter reportedly cancelled two concerts at the last minute, one featuring Jamiroquai, the other Bryan Adams.

According to reports on Irish website Breaking News, the two concerts due to take place in the Spanish town of Marbella were being promoted by UK based Seabreeze. The concerts were cancelled after promoters failed to raise enough revenue to cover security, power, policing and first aid, however it remains unclear if and when music fans who had bought tickets will get a refund.

Commenting on the last minute cancellations, a spokesman for Jamiroquai is quoted by Breaking News as saying: "Jamiroquai who, along with their crew and equipment, have been in town for two days, were ready and willing to play tomorrow night's concert and were extremely disappointed to be told the news"

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RAKES CANCEL GIGS
And now a load more cancelled gigs news. The Rakes have been forced to cancel two gigs because singer Alan Donohoe has been ordered to rest because of exhaustion and a throat infection. The band missed their set at the Electric Picnic Festival in Dublin yesterday, and will no longer play at the aforementioned Bestival this weekend. A spokesperson said: "Alan needs to rest for two weeks as they have a heavy touring schedule commencing with their first trip to the USA mid-September followed by the Club NME UK tour."

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MY MORNING JACKET POSTPONE GIGS
Next, My Morning Jacket have cancelled two gigs which were due to take place at London's Scala on 6 Sep and St James Church on 7 Sep.

A statement on their website reads: "Hey everybody...thanks so much for wanting to come to the shows in ye olde London town. We were really looking forward to coming over again and kickin it old school style, but unfortunately for health reasons we are simply unable to come - we've looked at all the options, and just can't find any way to make it possible right now. We feel strongly about this because we want to do it right or not do it at all - and right now it just can't come together. So anyways, sorry about the inconvenience and we hope to see you again real soon."

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QOTSA CANCEL GIG AFTER HOMME'S COLLAPSE
Crikey. Even more cancelled giggery. Queens Of The Stone Age were forced to cancel a gig in Germany last week after singer Josh Homme collapsed on stage last Monday in Hamburg and was immediately rushed to a doctor. Their subsequent gig in Stuttgart was pulled, and a statement left on the official website, saying: "Unfortunately, QOTSA had to cancel tonight's show in Stuttgart, Germany, after Josh Homme was diagnosed with exhaustion and ordered to bed by a local doctor. He has been performing every night on this tour despite his physical condition (due to a knee operation less than a week before he left for tour), and it finally caught up with him. He is resting now and in a stable condition."

As previously reported, Homme injured his knee whilst on tour in Australia, and required surgery for torn tendons. The band plan to continue with their remaining European dates and US tour with Nine Inch Nails which begins on 16 Sep.

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QOTSA RELEASE LIVE CD/DVD
And talking of Queens Of The Stone Age doing live things, the band are to release a live CD and DVD recorded at their recent gig at London's Brixton Academy. Josh Homme says it will feature lots of special material including live versions of several songs from the frontman's side project, the Desert Sessions. And on that related note, Rollingstone.com have reported that Homme is planning to write and record a Desert Sessions Vol 11-12 later this year.

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ART BRUT DISS DOHERTY SHOCKER
Art brut had a pop at Pete Doherty during their appearance at the Jersey Live Festival at the weekend. Singer Eddie Argos told the crowd "Steer clear of crack, and steer clear of Pete Doherty, he's a very bad man," adding "Oh, and steer clear of The Others too and Poptones Records."

It's an unwise move. You don't want to make an enemy of Doherty. If you're not careful, he'll not turn up on you.

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