CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 19th September
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Michael Jackson breaks silence
- Record labels take on Chinese search engine over mp3 search
- US court ruling may affect RIAA's legal fight against young downloaders
- European courts get ready to hear Impala's SonyBMG objections
- Courtney Love ordered to rehab
- Album review: Various Artists - Wipeout Pure official soundtrack
- 1Xtra announce hip hop weekend
- 6music sign up Nemone
- Holland to open jazz club in Scotland
- Time Warner in talks to sell major stake in AOL
- Walk of fame opened in London
- 50 Cent reckons Dre sanctioned The Game feud
- Album review: The Zephyrs - Bright Yellow Flowers On A Dark Double Bed
- Chart update
- Subshot playlist
- Paul McCartney doesn't like 'fans'
- Lennon musical closes this week
- Alex Franz Ferdinand does food
- Mos Def first artist to record Katrina benefit
- Pipettes single release
- Single review: Hystereo - Let's do it/Deale
- Macc lad dies
- Cowell causes scrap after mid-audition girl group split
- Pete and Kate may break up again shocker
- Church's ex's dad says his son's not a money grabber



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Michael Jackson has spoken publicly at last about the recent child abuse trial - the singer, of course, has made no statement about those events since sending a brief message to fans back in Jun. Jackson, who, as previously reported, is staying in Bahrain at the moment, told the Associated Press news agency that it was "the hardest thing I've ever done in my life".

He went on to say that he is "resting and recovering" and is "feeling good". Jackson says he's focusing on that charity single for Hurricane Katrina victims at the moment, saying that he's "moving full speed ahead" with that project. "I'm constantly working on it," he added.

As also previously reported, several stars have signed up to the project, with Jackson's spokeswoman confirming that such names as Mariah Carey, James Brown and Snoop Dogg will be involved.


Following that recent victory in the MGM v Grokster case in the US Supreme Court, the record labels are increasingly proactive in taking on technology companies that help consumers illegally acquire or distribute copyrighted music, companies that pre-MGM v Groskter case would have confidently pleaded the Betamax principle as a defence - if a technology has a legitimate use, its maker cannot be held liable for any illegitimate uses.

The latest target for the music companies is China's leading search engine Baidu, which, the labels claim, aids music fans looking for illegal supplies of online music with their popular MP3 search function, that enables users to search for music files (available legitimately or not) by song title. The lawsuit, brought by all four major labels, names a few hundred tracks they know are illegally available via the search engine, although they say those tracks are just the tip of the iceberg.

The record labels' case against Baidu is not just backed up by recent developments in the US Supreme Court. Back in January a court decision against ruled that their MP3 search engine was illegal, and that is the precedent that the industry's latest case will most strongly rely on.

Baidu dispute the lawsuit, saying it is not guilty of copyright infringement because it does not actually host any of the music being illegally downloaded. What's more, the company argues, it has long been a keen advocate of finding ways to combat online music piracy in China. However, insiders at the labels are not convinced, saying that Baidu is clinging on to its MP3 search function because it is the main thing which enables it to stay ahead of near rival Google in China.


Staying in the copyright courts, and a ruling in a Michigan court might have a wider effect on the Recording Industry Association Of America's legal fight against individuals who they suspect of illegally sharing music online via P2P networks like Kazaa - well, mainly those not old enough to vote.

The RIAA has so far been suing the parents of children who they suspect to be illegally sharing music online on the basis that, as the legal guardians of said children, they are responsible for ensuring they do not violate copyright online. While that strategy has won the industry association some bad press, industry bosses hoped they had overcome some of the initial problems with a marketing campaign making parents aware of the risks of letting their children share music via P2P.

However, a judge in the District Court Eastern District of Michigan Southern Division has decided the whole premise of that strategy is false. In the case of Priority Records LLC et al v Chan the labels accepted that the guilty party was not computer illiterate Candy Chan, but her 13 year old child. However, they insist that Ms Chan was still ultimately responsible for the copyright theft. However, Judge Lawrence Zatkoff disagreed, saying Ms Chan could not be held liable for her daughter's actions in this case.

Having also put in place restrictions to protect the child in question from litigation, Zatkoff's ruling could prove problematic for the RIAA in their bid to stop teenagers from sharing music online - which is particularly problematic because teenagers are some of the worst offenders. Of course the decision was made in a junior court and it is yet to be seen if the ruling would be applied in other cases. However, Zatkoff's decision might persuade more parents faced with RIAA litigation to let the case go to court rather than opt for an out-of-court settlement. Interesting times could be ahead.


Staying with record labels and litigation and that kind of thing, final preparations are underway for the hearing in the EU courts where pan-European independents trade body IMPALA will call for the EU's decision to allow Sony and BMG to merge to be overturned.

As previously reported at length, IMPALA objected to the decision to allow the two major labels to merger, further consolidating the music industry and, the independent's claim, giving too few big companies too much power within the music business. Their appeal will be the wonderful Court of First Hearing in Luxembourg on Thursday.

Of course, it is hard to see how anyone can un-merge Sony and BMG now, given that half the work force has been axed and joint SonyBMG departments have already been opened. But IMPALA will presumably be hoping that if the European courts share any of their opposition to mergers within the music sector that further major label mergers (ie EMI and Warner) might be less likely to happen. Time will tell.


More from the pop courts, though no copyright involved this time. Courtney Love has escaped a jail sentence after a Los Angeles court judge said that the singer was already making sufficient progress in rehab to avoid prison. Rather than jailing her, the judge sentenced her to six months in the live-in rehabilitation centre where she already resides. Love entered the clinic last month after admitting to violating her probation by using drugs, and the judge, Rand Rubin said on Friday: "I'm very pleased with your progress. I think this is an excellent first step on the road to recovery."

The singer will not be allowed to leave rehab except in the case of an emergency and will be subjected to random drug tests, and her probation has been extended until March 2007. Lawyer Howard Weitzman said she "fully intends to make good on her promise to be clean and sober, and I'm hoping she'll be able to do that".

Elsewhere in Courtney-in-court news, musician Kristin King has sued the singer for undisclosed amount. As previously reported, Love hit the musician with a whisky bottle last April after finding King in her boyfriends home, and pleaded no contest to the assault charges back in February. Ms King is now seeking damages for assault, battery, and false imprisonment.


ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - Wipeout Pure Official Soundtrack (Distinctive)
The original Wipeout (aka 2097) was a milestone in gaming and came with a terrific soundtrack to boot, featuring feisty tracks from the likes of The Prodigy, Fluke, Underworld and the Chemical Brothers, from an era when the stadium techno they peddled was very much de rigeur. No-one's buying dance music much these days, but this compilation has a vitality and fluency about it (not to mention some mammoth beats and huge, pummelling bass-lines) that frequently surprises. Although 'Naks Acid', the exclusive Aphex Twin track that opens proceedings, is very much Richard D James on Will This Do? acid autopilot, things soon hot up with some seamless breaks, techno and drum 'n' bass, the best coming from Orbital's Paul Hartnoll, Cold Storage and Distinctive's own Way Out West and Hybrid. With twenty tracks on one CD (each tune is short and sweet - no pissing about with big intros, just straight down to business) it feels like great value too, and more than holds its own as a superior dance compilation. Meanwhile, it's also exactly the sort of pumping, frenetic soundtrack you'd want for a futuristic driving game. MS
Release date: 5 Sep
Press contact: Trailer Media [all]


1Xtra have announced details of its third Hip Hop Weekend, which will take place from 7pm on 30 Sep through to 6am on 3 Oct. The weekend will include sets from the station's own line up of hip hop DJs, like Semtex, Rodney P & Skitz, Blakey, Mistajam, Seani B, Manny Norte, Ace & Invisible, Fitz and Twin B, plus guest DJs and MCs galore and on air battles, interviews, turntablism, documentaries and live broadcasts from the Hip Hop Power Summit in the Bahamas. At the latter will be some of the big global names of hip hop, including Kanye West, Redman, Method Man, Busta Rhymes, Common, Game, Q Tip, De La Soul and P Diddy. Press info from Radio 1 press office.


Talking of BBC digital radio stations, 6Music have signed up former Radio 1 DJ Nemone to take over from Jane Gazzo on their late night slot. Nemone will be presenting the show, which includes "live sessions, album tracks and recordings of ultimate gigs" from the first week in October.


I might move back to Edinburgh. Jools Holland has announced that he's opening a jazz and blues club in the Scottish capital, adding that the city is one of his favourite places. The venue will open in November and is based at the former BBC Broadcasting House on Queen Street, where the studios have now been converted to bars and lounge areas.

It's Holland's second jazz club venture, and will have the same name as his first, The Jam House in Birmingham. The musician and presenter said: "I have always enjoyed the ambience of the Jam House in Birmingham. When we play there it's a perfect place to swing the blues. Edinburgh is one of my favourite places in the world and I hope we can bring the same atmosphere to the Jam House there."


Time Warner is reportedly in discussions with a number of web players regarding selling a significant stake in AOL. Word is Time Warner are interested in merging AOL with one of their big competitors, like Yahoo, Google or MSN, though insiders say a deal with the latter is most likely. More if and when we get it.


That lovely new 'Avenue Of The Stars' was unveiled in Covent Garden last night and was accompanied by a three hour long TV special hosted by Chris Tarrant and Kate Thornton. As previously reported, 100 celebrities were selected to be honoured with a star the avenue, which mimics Hollywood's 'walk of fame'. Michael Caine was there to cut the ribbon on the Avenue, and said "I think it's incredible. Plus you may notice this is a little prettier than Hollywood Boulevard."

Music stars amongst the first one hundred included Shirley Bassey, The Beatles, Tom Jones and The Rolling Stones, with celebrities from other areas including Cary Grant, John Mills, Charlie Chaplin, Kenneth Brannagh, Peter O' Toole, Morecambe and Wise, Les Dawson and Ricky Gervais. More stars will be added every year. I hope they don't run out of space.

Of course, there was another 'music' recipient, in the shape of Ant and Dec, bless 'em, who couldn't believe their luck. McPartlin and Donnelly said they were shocked to be included. Dec said: "They are all proper showbiz legends. We were standing in the Green Room saying we shouldn't be here. It's amazing, and tonight has been amazing."


50 Cent is quoted as saying he feels that his mentor and label boss, Dr Dre, may have provided The Game with the confidence to pursue his regular public rants against him.

As you all surely know, Fiddy was once himself mentor to then fellow G:Unit member The Game. However, they publicly fell out after The Game left Fiddy's posse. The feud between the two rappers' entourages grew, seemingly leading to a couple of skirmishes in New York during which shots were fired. Despite subsequent public statements from both stars that the feud was over, The Game continued to diss Fiddy at his live shows.

50 Cent now says he is sure Dre and his Aftermath record label, to which both Fiddy and The Game are signed, gave their blessing to the feud. Fiddy: "If Game felt saying something about me was saying something about Dre, he wouldn't have said what he said. They made him have that comfort".

Of course, Dre is a shrewd business man and, with both 50 Cent and The Game having solo albums out this year, the media exposure a public feud delivers may well have providing the hip hop mogul with the motive to give The Game permission to proceed with his Fiddy dissing. Though if the feud did indeed lead to those New York shootings, that's pretty extreme marketing.


ALBUM REVIEW: The Zephyrs - Bright Yellow Flowers On A Dark Double Bed (Acuarela)
The Zephyrs have an apt moniker; their name means a soft, gentle breeze and this is exactly how they sound. The nucleus of the Edinburgh band includes two brothers in their ranks, singer / songwriter / guitarist Stuart Nicol and bassist David and their light, airy sound has its roots in alt country but there is also a faint trace of shoe gazing. The ultra delicate guitar and violin sounds on 'Dancing Shoes' contrast with the lyrics about a knife fight: "And every twist of steel, Caressed the way I feel, I heard them whisper that maybe I would die." Similarly the delicate slide guitar on 'Galicia', a song about touring Spain, sits incongruously with the lines "You will gut me like a monk fish, Take out the bones," whilst the beautifully fluid guitar sounds are particularly attractive on 'Ganeesha'. Other highlights are the Neil Young influenced 'So Called Beau' and the Spanish guitar and mariachi sounds on 'Hell's Dark Hall'. There is also a lovely bonus track, 'Stargazer', originally from the band's first album, with added poignant violins. I hadn't heard of The Zephyrs before this album but their profile certainly deserves to be raised by this sweet and laidback record. JW
Release date: 12 Sep
Press contact: [all]


So, Sean Paul may be shifting the units with new single 'We Be Burnin', but not enough to beat those Pussycat Dolls, who remain at the top of the singles chart this week. Elsewhere, a stack of new entries, including Bon Jovi with 'Have A Nice Day' at 6, 50 Cent and Mobb Deep with 'Outta Control' at 7, HIM with #Wings Of A Butterfly' at 10, Status Quo with 'The Party Aint Over Yet' at 11, Jamesy P with 'Nookie' at 14, Jem with 'Wish I' at 24, Kano with 'Nite Nite' at 25, Pretty Ricky with 'Grind With Me' at 26, Tony Yayo with 50 Cent with 'So Seductive' at 28, The Subways with 'With You' at 29, and the Dead 60s with 'Riot Radio' at 30.

Meanwhile, well done to David Gray who has achieved that never easy task of knocking James Blunt off the top of the albums chart. His new album 'Live In Slow Motion' goes straight in at number one, with Mr Blunt now at 2. Other album new entries from the Pussycat Dolls at 8, Paul McCartney at 10, Elbow at 12, the wonderful Sigur Ross at 16, Simple Minds at 37 and Mylo with the 8047th re-release of 'Destroy Rock N Roll' going straight in at 26.


In a new regular Monday morning inclusion, here's the tracks that are getting video play on the Sub TV network in union bars around the country (them student types returning in the next couple of weeks). The Student Radio Chart will be back soon too.

Bloc Party - Two More Years (Wichita )
Damian Marley - Welcome To Jamrock (Island)
Foo Fighters - D.O.A (RCA)
Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want To (Domino)
Goldie Lookin Chain - Your Missus Is A Nutter (Must Destroy)
Gorillaz - Dare (Parlophone)
Hard-Fi - Living For The Weekend (Necessary)
Mylo Vs Miami Sound Machine - Dr Pressure (Sony BMG)
Sugababes - Push The Button (Island)
X-Press 2 - Give It (Skint)

Big Strides - I Do Not Fear Jazz (Tall Order)
Boy Kill Boy - Civil Sin (Island)
Charlotte Church - Call My Name (Sony BMG)
Editors - Bullets (Kitchenwear)
Ladytron - Destroy Everything You Touch (Island)
LCD Soundsystem - Tribulations (DFA)
Letrix - Something Beautiful (Interference)
Liberty X - Song 4 Lovers (Virgin)
Mew - Special (Sony BMG)
Oasis - The Importance Of Being Idle (Big Brother)
Pendulum - Slam (Breakbeat Kaos)
Pretty Ricky - Your Body (Atlantic)
Royksopp - Only This Moment (Wall Of Sound)
Shout Out Louds - The Comeback (EMI)
The Go! Team - Bottle Rocket (Memphis Industries)


Paul McCartney is apparently very cautious whenever he meets people who claim to be 'fans', because he fears they might attack him. His wife Heather Mills McCartney says her husband worries that he may end up in a similar situation to his fellow bandmates John Lennon and George Harrison. Lennon, of course being shot by Mark Chapman, and Harrison surviving a stabbing at his home.

She also added that those people should avoid the word 'fan' if they meet him: "The word fan means fanatical. So when you go up to Paul, don't say you're a fan, say, 'I'm a great admirer."

All of which means that the mostly rather irritating Ms Mills McCartney has irritated me even more by doing two things in the space of seven days that I kind of approve of. Firstly, going round to J-Lo's to tackle her on the fur issue, and secondly, just reminding everyone that 'fan' is short for 'fanatic'. Which is just another word for 'nutter', really.


And talking of Beatles, that Broadway musical about the life of John Lennon is to close just six weeks after it opened, on 24 Sep. Last week, the show played to less than 40 percent capacity. It follows poor reviews and criticism that the project, created with the help of Lennon's widow Yoko, displayed a far too "Ono-centric" view of the musician's life. "This is John Lennon as filtered through the protective, selective, later-life self-interest of Yoko Ono Lennon," said a critic from Newsday.

The show depicts Lennon at various stages of his life, with nine different actors playing the former Beatle at different times, and features 28 Lennon songs, including two unpublished tracks - 'India, India' and 'I Don't Want To Lose You'.


As J-Ross said on Friday's show, the members of Franz Ferdinand are all a bit skinny. So it's a bit of a surprise to hear that frontman Alex Kapranos' new column in the Guardian will follow the singer and the band's food related adventures during their world tour. The column, called 'Soundbites', will appear each Friday in the G2 section of the paper.

I suppose one shouldn't be too surprised, as Kapranos and bassist Hardy started out in the kitchen. In the first column, Alex writes about his time spent working alongside Hardy as a chef in a Glasgow restaurant. And, by the way, G2 is now handily small for your on-the-tube reading pleasure.


Mos Def has stolen a march on Michael Jackson and become the first artist to record a benefit single for victims of Hurricane Katrina. The rapper also becomes the latest star to have a go at George W Bush for the US government's slow response to the emergency, but he also has a go at that tireless (if tiresome) humanitarian campaigner Bono for not responding to the tragic events after focusing so much time on Third World debt and the like.

The lyrics apparently go: "It's enough to make you holler out - Like where the fuck is Sir Bono and his famous friends now? - Don't get it twisted, man, I dig U2 - But if you ain't about the ghetto, than fuck you too - Who cares about rock and roll when babies can't eat food?"


The Pipettes are to release their first single for new label Memphis Industries on 14 Nov. 'Dirty Mind' will be released on a CD featuring session versions of 'Tell Me What You Want' and 'We Are The Pipettes' which was recorded for XFM back in Jun, and a 7" backed by a new recording of 'Because It's Not Love'.


SINGLE REVIEW: Hystereo - Lets do It/Deale (Soma)
This single takes two tracks straight from the rather good 'Corporate Crimewave' LP from Jack Byrne and Conor Murphy, AKA Hystereo. 'Lets Do It' is a bit too funky with too much guitar leanings for me, but the other tune, 'Deale' is, for my money, the second best track from that aforementioned album. It's a fine balance of tech/dance, disco and funk with an uplifting energy that'll get you punching the air. Listen and you will see what I'm on about. Future dance incarnate. Seek out the album. PV
Release date: 16 Sep
Press contact: Soma IH [all]


Peter Bossley, one of the infamous Macc Lads, who earned a reputation of being one of the early eighties' most offensive bands, has died suddenly at the age of 42. He was found dead at his home in Newcastle-under-Lyme on Thursday evening.

The Macc Lads (they were from Macclesfield, of course) were together from 1981 to 1985 and called themselves the "rudest crudest lewdest drunkest band in the known world". Their particular brand of political incorrectness, outright misogyny and homophobia got them banned from many venues and radio stations and, presumably, provided lots of inspiration for many hip hop acts that followed.

In more recent times Bossley worked as a journalist for Stoke On Trent newspaper The Sentinel, where he was voted Columnist Of The Year in the UK Regional Press Awards.


I'm trying my best not to watch the latest run of X Factor, and make sure I am not near a telly on Saturday tea time. But somehow I keep running into one of the many repeat airings. Anyway, the People have added some colour to one of the amusing moments from this weekend's edition. In it, Simon Cowell told one member of a three girl pop combo that she could go forward to the next round, providing she dumped her two tuneless mates. After much soul searching (well, a mobile phone call to her Dad) she decided to do just that.

There was little comment on how her dumped pals reacted on the show, but the People say they weren't too impressed. A source told the paper: "They were incensed after Becky got to the finals - they felt she'd deserted them. They had a huge screaming match. Some guys split them up as they feared it would turn violent. Simon's caused life-long pals to fall out". We're not doubting the ever reliable People, though if such a scrap did unfold it's hard to believe ITV's cameras wouldn't have been there to film it all. Perhaps it'll be in the extras on the post-series DVD.


The Daily Mirror reports that Pete and Kate may no longer be Pete and Kate if the father of Kate Moss's daughter gets his way. Moss's ex, Jefferson Hack, is said to be horrified by the pictures of the supermodel snorting coke that were splashed across the tabloid last week, and is alleged to have told a friend: "That stupid bitch. She's not thinking of Lila. I know Kate is a good mother who loves our child. But I'm no longer allowing our daughter to be in the same room as Doherty. He's turned Kate into a druggie like him."

Moss has apparently said to friends: "How could I fight it in court if Jeff wants solo custody of Lila after this? Any judge would take one look at those pictures and take her off me." To try and prevent that situation Kate has promised to go into rehab, and, it's implied, has accepted there is no future in her relationship with Doherty. Again.


Steven Johnson, Charlotte Church's ex, has made another £250,000 from two kiss-and-tell tabloid interviews that appeared last week. As previously reported, Johnson is also writing a book about his relationship with Church, but his Dad has told Wales On Sunday that his son is not a money grabber.

George Johnson said: "Steven does not feel guilty about taking this money. Charlotte has promoted her album on the back of Steve and told the Press what a bad boy he is. Steven has made about £400,000 since his split from Charlotte by speaking to the Press. He has used the money to buy a house and a recording studio in Cardiff Bay. He is now looking to buy another house with the £250,000 he earned last weekend".

He continued: "My son is not a money grabber. We gave Charlotte a rent-free home when she started dating Steven. The money Steven is now earning is compensating for the money he lost when he was going out with Charlotte and because of him losing work since the split. When Charlotte and Steven were together, they were offered £150,000 to tell their love story, but Charlotte did not want to do it. It was money down the drain. A lot of money went down the drain. This money is compensation for the work Steven has lost after being given a bad image."

He added: "Charlotte's family say Steven is shameful for speaking out. But Charlotte has said some pretty shameful stuff about Steven. He has every right to tell his story." So, there you go.

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