CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 21st September

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Apple boss hits out at 'greedy' record labels
- Oasis top Q nominations
- Lil Kim starts jail sentence for perjury
- R Kelly's wife takes out restraining order
- Islam opens faith centre
- Motley man to carry on touring
- Paul McCartney falls down hole
- Grandaddy say new album due soon
- Single review: Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want To
- Brian May to release new Freddie songs
- Kanye says Fiddy deserves more credit
- eMusic enter deal with AIM
- Cliff blames radio for no more records decision
- Beijing courts rule against
- US band hit out at major label's copy-protection
- Best Of Worldwide sessions compo incoming
- Mars Volta announce live dates
- Clor announce new live date
- Dead 60's play gig at Fred Perry
- Album review: Echo And The Bunnymen - Siberia
- ITV reveal fourth channel highlights
- H&M axe Moss from ad campaign, shocker
- Rick Parfitt admits to affair
- Robbie says aliens will invade



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Now, here's an interesting one. Apple boss Steve Jobs has been publicly dissing the record labels for, he claims, attempting to push up the price of music downloads in a bid to boost their profits. The speech, made ahead of the Apple Expo event in Paris, comes as Apple looks to renew its iTunes contracts with the major record companies in the US. Industry execs have been uncomfortable with Apple's dominance in the digital music space for a while now, and will presumably be hoping to use the deal renewal as an opportunity to regain some political ground in this space. Which is presumably why Jobs is keen to position himself as the great defender of the music fan against all those nasty money grabbing record label types. Pointing out that the production costs related to digital music are vastly cheaper than those of traditional record sales, Jobs said yesterday: "If they [the labels] want to raise the prices it just means they're getting a little greedy".

A technology company being so dominant in the music download market is not, of course, particularly desirable, especially when Apple, while better than it was, still has some way to go to demonstrate any real commitment to independent and grass roots music. So the labels are right to try and reposition the balance of power a little. However, Jobs has always been the showman, and the record labels will have quite a PR challenge on their hands if the Apple man decides to position them as the villains in the download space (the fact the industry goes round suing its customers doesn't help combat this positioning). So the challenge ahead for the labels is to find a way to win back some of the political power lost while execs dithered over downloading a few years back, but at the same time to maintain the support of popular download players like iTunes.

I don't know what the solution is there (though I am guessing the words "added value" will probably have some role to play). But surely it is possible, because, as Jobs himself pointed out yesterday, both the technology companies and record labels have a lot of aims in common: "We're trying to compete with piracy, we're trying to pull people away from piracy and say 'you can buy these songs legally for a fair price'. But if the price goes up a lot, they'll go back to piracy. Then everybody loses."


Another day, another awards event. Oasis have cemented their recent comeback with five nominations at this year's Q Awards, the music awards event voted for by readers of Q magazine. Oasis are up for Best Live Act, Best Track, Best Album, Best Video and Best Act In The World Today.

Oasis are up against Coldplay, Green Day, U2 and Muse in the Best Act In The World Today category, while Coldplay's 'Fix You', James Blunt's 'You're Beautiful', U2's 'Vertigo' and KT Tunstall's 'Black Horse And The Cherry Tree' all compete with the Gallagher's 'The Importance of Being Idle' for Best Track.

In the new talent awards Kaiser Chiefs compete against James Blunt, Jem, Hard-Fi, Magic Numbers and MIA.

The winners will be announced at an event on 10 Oct at London's Grosvenor House Hotel, hosted by Jonathan Ross.


Rapper Lil Kim has begun her 366 day prison sentence after being convicted of perjury earlier this year. As previously reported, a lot, Kim faces jail after finally admitting that she lied to a grand jury investigation into a shooting that took place as she and her entourage left a New York radio station back in 2001.

Kim reportedly entered the Philadelphia federal detention centre at about 4.45pm local time on Monday, accompanied by her mother, brother and lawyer. Prior to entering the facility she issued a statement, telling reporters: "Today begins a new saga in my life which I expect to strengthen me and allow me time for reflection. I plan to write music while in prison, read and pray regularly and will come out a stronger, more confident woman."

There was some disagreement between Kim's legal team and the authorities over the decision to house the rapper in the federal detention centre which, they claim, was a change to initial plans to place her in a less severe 'prison camp'. Her lawyer hit out at that decision, telling reporters: "Why should a female hip-hop artist have to spend time in an urban concrete jungle while other female prisoners are assigned to rural, suburban-type prison camps?".

Whatever her fortunes in jail, the media coverage surrounding her incarceration is sure to help her fortunes outside prison - her new album is conveniently released next Monday. What was that about crime not paying?


R Kelly's estranged wife, Andrea Kelly, has successfully taken out an emergency restraining order against him. According to the Chicago Sun Times, Mrs Kelly went to Cook County Court in Illinois to obtain the order to protect her from alleged physical abuse, harassment, stalking, and the violation of her personal liberty. She apparently also sought the protection order to ensure that her three children with Kelly could not be removed from their home with her, and demanded that the R&B singer not be allowed to dispose of her personal property, including her Mercedes and her computer.

R Kelly is, of course, currently involved in defending himself against those child pornography charges, with another court case looming against Jay-Z,over that troublesome 'Best Of Both Worlds' tour, which, as previously reported, resulted in a spat between the two high profile performers which ended with Jay-Z throwing R Kelly off the tour, which had seventeen dates still to play.


The artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, Yusuf Islam, has opened a faith centre at Cardiff University that will lead research on Muslims in the UK. The centre, aiming to promote "scholarly and public understanding" of the faith, will be based in the School Of Religious And Theological Studies, and local Muslim community members are to form an advisory committee.

At the launch on Tuesday, Islam said: "Now is a chance, I think, to have a partnership, an academic understanding also, of how Islam impacts on the sociological behaviour of people, Muslims and non-Muslims. I think it's important for non-Muslims to walk a little bit closer towards understanding Islam, and for Muslims to come closer to explaining it in a better, more academic and understandable way. It's a two-way partnership. And [the centre] is a great symbol of opportunity, in the background that we have today, to go forward and perhaps make Islam a bit more integral to the British society, which it is capable of doing."

The centre's director, Sophie Gilliat-Ray said: "Few people know that the first mosque in the UK was established in Cardiff in 1860. From this early history, there is now a sizeable and well-established Muslim population in the city, making Cardiff one of the best places to fully appreciate the full and dynamic history of Islam and Muslims in Britain."

The unit will offer masters and diploma courses, as well as hosting public lectures, international conferences and professional development courses for specific groups such as prison officers and teachers.


Motley Crue's Vince Neil has carried straight on with the band's US tour despite tearing a calf muscle onstage in Atlanta on Friday. The Atlanta show had to finish early due to the frontman's injury, but after hospital treatment he went on to perform on Sunday night in Memphis. The band plan to return to Atlanta for an extra show to make up for last weeks truncated gig.

Bassist Nikki Sixx says: "He will be able to perform, but can't really jump around until it heals. Luckily, we have a few days off here and there for him to recover."


Not in Blackburn, Lancashire, however. Paul McCartney has fallen through a trapdoor whilst performing at the Tampa St Pete Times Forum in Florida. He was apparently on his way across the stage to where the piano was supposed to appear when he fell through the trap and slightly hurt his arm and back. The former Beatle said: "There's a big hole in the stage and I just fell into it. A word to the stage crew, I want a big fence around here tomorrow. Think we ought to put a picket fence around it? A little picket fence! It will look nice."


Grandaddy have told Billboard that they are currently at the finishing touch stage of their new full length album, 'Just Like The Fambly Cat', but are in the meantime to release an EP (or mini-album, which is what people seem to be calling them a lot these days) 'The Excerpts From The Diary of Todd Zilla' on 3 Oct.

Speaking about the new album, which the band have spent more than a year and a half recording, frontman Jason Lytle said "It's really big and luscious and gooey. It's an extreme of everything. The immersion that each song required was insane; it was very time consuming, but it's done this week."

On the EP he continued: "It just seemed like a good idea. I mean, it has been so long since the last album, so rather than barge in on someone's house unannounced we thought we'd rather call on the phone, and say, 'We're coming over.' That's what the EP does."


SINGLE REVIEW: Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want To (Domino)
Hurrah, the return of the mighty Franz! Now that the Glasgow quartet have a number of similar sounding band's trailing in their wake, they've up the ante a little. Their rhythmic guitar sound is even more beefed up than usual with a prominent "do do do" riff. The tune is truly infectious and the self aware lyrics mock the band's own trendiness as well as the inevitable hangers-on; "We're at the Transmission party, I love your friends, they're all so arty," sings Alex Kapronos. The theme is further developed in the promo video. A sneaky earful of the highly anticipated second album reveals that there's plenty more where this single came from. Franz are still the band for whom the hype is justified. JW
Release date: 19 Sep
Press: Wild [CP, CR] Coalition [RP, NP] Anglo [RR, NR]


According to the Daily Star, Brian May has tapes of the late Freddie Mercury working on fragments which he plans to turn into songs and release at some point.

He told the tabloid: "There are still some things in the vaults with Freddie messing about on vocals which fans won't have heard. There are bits of him tinkering around, which could be used. I expect they will get released at some point because I am sure people will want to hear them".

With that in mind, how about an official release for the fantastic Queen bootleg, also made from Freddie outtakes, that has been residing at for a while now?


Kanye West has told MTV that he thinks 50 Cent doesn't get the acknowledgement he deserves from awards bodies, and commented on Fiddy's failure to win the Best New Artist award at the 2004 Grammys. West said: "I remember being there and Evanescence won... and it's like 'who?' But they say that the best new artist award at the Grammys is the kiss of death."

He went on: "These award shows... I don't want to say that they're fixed... it's just hard when you impact the world the way that he did and then they want to turn around and not give you your proper credit. When that first album came out, it was 50 Cent by a mile. How could you have the audacity to let anyone [else] win? He was a sure win for any competition he was in so anything he didn't win that year, he was robbed."


American independent download store eMusic have entered a partnership with the UK's Association Of Independent Music which will add some 10,000 new artists to the service's catalogue. eMusic, which specialises in music from independent artists and labels, offers an interesting hybrid between the subscription and pay-to-download model, offering subscribers the chance to download up to 40 tracks for a $10 a month subscription. The tracks are delivered as un-DRMed MP3, meaning users can use the tracks on any digital music player, including the iPod.

Confirming the new deal with AIM, eMusic boss David Pakman told CMU: "Perhaps no other music community is as dedicated to the nurturing and success of independent music than the UK's AIM. Offering AIM's affiliated labels to our subscribers is an essential part of our global expansion strategy. We are extremely excited to partner with AIM and their outstanding roster of labels and artists as they bring exceptional depth and diversity to the eMusic catalog."

eMusic will be among the many many many digital music companies represented at AIM's forthcoming Digital & Distribution Day, which takes place in London a week today (28 Sep). Attendance to that event is free for AIM members, and £50 per person for non-members. Contact for more information, with Distribution & Digital Day in the subject line.


Cliff Richard is blaming radio music programming types for his decision to stop releasing records. Cliff confirmed earlier this week that, while he will continue to perform live, he has no plans to record again. He told the Daily Mail: "I just don't have the time to waste making a record that no one will play. As a musician you make a record for the radio so that the public can hear it, but my songs don't get played. It's not that DJs don't like them, it's that the stations have a policy that says, 'We don't play him'." That decision means that Cliff's final ever album was last year's 'Something's Goin On', with single 'I Cannot Give You My Love' the final in his 128 single career. It also means that the young bands of the future won't have the opportunity to take on Cliff in that annual battle for the Christmas number one spot (not that Cliff had won it for quite a while).

While we're not here to defend the music policies of most mainstream radio stations (most are awful, based primarily on pretty dubious research, and relied upon because they are 'safe' in marketing terms), Cliff's decision perhaps says a little more about his ego than the potential reach of his music in the modern world. The fact is that for a lot of artists radio is no longer the medium with which they connect to their audience - there are many successful bands with a large reach who are never played on anything but a handful of specialist shows, but they use other mediums to reach and develop their fan base. The proven genius of promoting Cliff's chart topping 'Millennium Prayer' single through church communities surely proved that. Cliff really shouldn't worry if radio stations don't play his music - lots of other artists are similarly overlooked, and they do very well thank you very much.


A quick update on the legal fight against Chinese search engine As previously reported, the record labels were suing the search engine through the Beijing courts over its MP3 search function which, the labels claim, aids music fans in their search for illegal music content. Well, the courts have ruled in the label's favour, ordering to disable its MP3 search service and telling them to pay unspecified compensation to EMI for specific downloads that, the label claims, were enabled by the search engine, even though the tracks themselves were not hosted on the web company's server. Needless to say, Baidu plans to appeal.


American band Switchfoot have reacted angrily to the fact their record label, Sony's Columbia Records, have added some of that irritating copy-protection software to their latest CD release. So much so they have gone on their (Sony hosted!) message board to tell their fans how to circumvent the copy-protection, which is just fantastic.

The band's Tim Foreman writes: "We were horrified when we first heard about the new copy-protection policy that is being implemented by most major labels, including Sony (ours), and immediately looked into all of our options for removing this from our new album. It is also unfortunate when bands such as ourselves, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, etc... (just a few of the new releases with copy protection) are the target of this criticism, when there is no possible way to avoid this new industry policy."

Foreman then offers tips on how to copy music off the copy-protected CDs. Now, we would never condone such things (actually, I have a feeling it might be illegal in the States), but then we don't condone the use of feckin irritating copy protection software either. Anyway, read the posting, make your own decision!


Now, here's something exciting. An album featuring highlights from sessions recording for Gilles Peterson's BBC Radio 1 Worldwide show is being released on 31 Oct, featuring exclusive recordings from the likes of N*E*R*D, Zero 7, Beck, The Roots, Amp Fiddler, Nitin Sawhney, Jamie Cullum, Bjork, Heavy, Jazzmine Sullivan, Matthew Herbert Big Band, Roots Manuva, Beth Gibbons, Plantlife, Peven Everett, Spektrum, Jade Fox, The Heritage Orchestra, Dwele, New Sector Movements, Cody Chestnut and Fat Freddy's Drop. Press info from Gerry Lyseight on 020 8674 1012 or email


The Mars Volta, who are curating All Tomorrow's Parties Nightmare Before Christmas, are also to play two live UK dates this winter, as follows:

30 Nov: Birmingham Academy
1 Dec: Manchester Apollo


Clor have announced that they will play a London gig on 15 Oct in addition to their UK tour dates earlier in the month, coinciding with the release of new single 'Good Stuff' out on 10 Oct. Full tour details as follows:

3 Oct: Leeds University
4 Oct: University of Newcastle
5 Oct University of Liverpool
6 Oct: Loughborough University
7 Oct: University of Warwick
9 Oct: University of Southampton
10 Oct: Swansea University
15 Oct: London, Amp @ ULU


The Dead 60's are to play a gig tomorrow at Fred Perry's new Laurel Shop at 12 Newburgh Street in London W1. It kicks off at 6:15 and the band will play at 6:45pm. And there's apparently free beer if you get there early.


ALBUM REVIEW: Echo and the Bunnymen - Siberia (Cooking Vinyl)
It seems that a long last the Bunnymen may be due a critical reappraisal. In the 80's their albums, especially 'Porcupine', Heaven Up Here' and 'Ocean Rain' received ecstatic reviews. They were the perfect indie band, creating great, ambitious music but also looking cool on TOTP. Yet curiously they aren't given the respect now that their one time peers such as The Smiths and New Order still command. This is probably because their career went a bit pear shaped, not least when the band unwisely decided to record an album without singer Ian McCulloch. But they made a surprise comeback in '97 scoring a top ten hit with 'Nothing Lasts Forever' and now they're back again with their first album in four years. This time there are only two of the original band members left; McCulloch and guitarist Will Sergeant (drummer Pete de Freitas died in a car crash in '89). After all this time Sergeant's influential guitar sound is as fresh as ever and McCulloch's vocals, though sounding slightly weathered, are still affecting. Current single 'Stormy Weather' is classic Bunnymen, nocturnal and cathartic. The romantic 'What If We Are', also sounds like a potential single. Unexpectedly there's a Bowie 'Low' era influence in the moody, atmospheric keyboards on a couple of tracks, 'Parthenon' and 'In The Margin'. There are some lazy rhymes on 'Everything Kills You' ("kills/spills/ills") but on the whole this is at least a partial return to form. JW
Release date: 19 Sep
Press contact: Cooking Vinyl IH [all]


ITV has unveiled details of its new male-orientated ITV4 channel, which will launch on all digital platforms on 1 Nov. The new channel's schedules will feature predominantly US crime, reality and talk shows, plus films and sport. Among the imports will be a remake of classic detective series Kojak, starring Ving Rhames in the title role, a show called Wanted, described by one critic as "CSI on acid", and the UK premiere of a mini series based on the film Traffic. There will also be a reality show called 'Invasion Iowa' in which William Shatner attempts to hoax an entire town, and The Assistant, a spoof version of The Apprentice previously shown on MTV.

Confirming the launch line up for the channel, ITV4 editor Stephen Arnell told reporters: "ITV brings a whole new dimension to the ITV family of channels, premiering brand new US shows and premium UK sporting events as well as quality movies and great comedy. ITV4 is set to follow in the footsteps of ITV2 and ITV3 as a successful addition to the ITV family of channels."

As previously reported, ITV2 will become increasingly female orientated after the launch of the fourth channel.


It's not even music news, but it's part of an ongoing saga, so here goes. High street store H&M has axed Kate Moss from its marketing campaigns following all the bad press she's been receiving in the last couple of weeks, and in particular the picture of her and (ex?, who knows) Pete Doherty doing cocaine.

Despite initially standing by Kate, a spokesman for the fashion retailer told reporters yesterday: "H&M has decided to cancel the advertising campaign with model Kate Moss. H&M distances itself strongly from drugs and for several years has been actively engaged in drug prevention work with the Mentor Foundation. After examining the situation H&M decided that the campaign with Kate Moss is not compatible with H&M's clear rejection of drugs."

Presumably H&M will now look for cool fashion icon who doesn't do drugs to work with instead. Good luck with that.


The Mirror reports that Status Quo's Rick Parfitt has admitted to having an affair with a married couple. Parfitt revealed that he awoke one morning after a booze binge in a Harrogate hotel room in bed with an electrician, Nigel, and his wife, Angie. He went on to have a fourteen month relationship with Angie, and had further threesomes including husband Nigel. Bad images, swilling round brain.

Parfit explained his behaviour with the old I-had-too-much-to-drink chestnut, but that doesn't really explain why the relationship then continued on for over a year: "That was a slip and it was alcohol-fuelled... I'm a bloke in a rock 'n' roll band and I'm only human. The temptations are there."

The affair ended when Rick's wife Patty found out. "She nearly left me over it but I convinced her not to. Certainly, if it happens again I think she would. We talked it out and she's a very strong girl. She stood by me and things are fine now."


Robbie Williams says there'll be an alien invasion of Earth at some point within the next seven years, telling Chris Evans on Radio 2 "I've been dreaming every night about UFOs, every night. I can't wait to go to sleep because my dreams have been so brilliant. I think they are definitely on their way, seriously. Mark my words. From now until 2012 - watch out, kids."

I hope he's joking. For his sake, not mine.

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