CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 20th October

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Virgin US boss stands down
- Megaman murder trial latest
- Benny and Bjorn in court over musical credits
- Major labels collaborate on Hurricane Katrina fundraiser
- MTV postpone Latin awards after hurricane warning
- Ms Dynamite to edit Five News
- Doherty manager - 'it wasn't me'
- Bono spends some time with Bush
- Prudential survey reveals Brits' music spending habits
- 4G mobile incoming in Eastern Europe
- US record sales still in decline
- US courts ban misleading P2P ad campaign
- GCap may, in fact, go to court over OfCom digital plans
- Another Fugees date
- Albarn talks about new Blur EP
- Saint Martins celebrates Sex Pistols first
- Beck remixes Guero
- Nine Black Alps disagree with label
- Yusuf Islam named Songwriter Of The Year by ASCAP
- Christmas number one nonsense
- Bon Jovi play for military only
- Razorlight to disappear
- Delays tour
- Britney's baby blues
- Bono is Imelda Marcos of sunglasses



BUSINESS DEVELOPER AT SOMA RECORDINGS: An exciting opportunity has arisen with Glasgow based recording company, Soma Recordings Limited, for a business developer. You will be joining a young and vibrant team and be responsible for managing and expanding the company's current business of licensing music to adverts, TV, film, games, compilations and other media. Main duties will involve: Getting to know and understand the Catalogue, managing relationships with current clients/customers, developing your own contacts, managing database, dealing with licensing requests and contracts, mailing out music regularly, working with IT department on digital catalogue, developing innovative ways of selling the music for various uses, liaising with publishers. General office admin expected as being part of a small team, and input into marketing & sales promotion. The ideal candidate will have an absolute passion for music and experience of working within the industry, preferable in a similar type role. Minimum of two years experience coupled with excellent communication & time management skills also a prerequisite. Email cover note and CV to


EMI yesterday confirmed that Matt Serletic is standing down as Chairman and CEO of the American division of its Virgin record label. Serletic's departure is immediate, and his role will be covered by EMI North America boss David Munns in the short term.

Confirming his departure, Serletic told reporters yesterday: "I am proud of what we have accomplished at Virgin. We've built a great team and a terrific roster of artists. I wish everyone at Virgin and EMI the best."

Munns added: "Matt is one of the most gifted producers in the business today. He's done a tremendous amount in the first phase of reinventing Virgin, and I'd like to thank him for all his hard work. We look forward to continuing to make great music with Matt".

The general consensus is that former Warners exec Jason Flom will now be announced as the new Virgin US boss almost immediately. The former Atlantic and Lava Records chief quit Warners earlier this year, seemingly over disagreements as to where the major label's new owners were taking the company.

As previously reported, rumours that Flom would take a top job at Virgin US have been circulating for a few weeks now, though it wasn't immediately clear if he would replace or work alongside Serletic. EMI are yet to confirm Flom's appointment but it is expected anytime now.


The jury on the Megaman murder case were sent home overnight on Tuesday after failing to reach a verdict in the trial in which the So Solid Crew rapper, real name Dwayne Vincent, is accused of encouraging his friend Carl Morgan to kill one Colin Scarlett in November last year. They were to resume deliberation on Wednesday, but no news is yet forthcoming as to the results of yesterday's discussions.

As previously reported, the prosecution alleges that Vincent ordered Morgan to shoot Scarlett, following confrontations between Morgan and Scarlett over Morgan's former girlfriend, who was by that stage dating Scarlett. Both men deny murder, and Megaman has made claims that there is a conspiracy to frame him. He earlier told the court: "To say I would encourage a friend to shoot someone is ridiculous. When Colin was in hospital and had not died, no-one said anything like that. It is as soon as he died, they started to conspire and say I had encouraged the shooting. If Colin had not died, I doubt if I would be here."


Elsewhere in the pop courts, this time its Swedish division, ABBA's Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson have been in a Stockholm District Court this week in a bid to settle a long running dispute over the writing credits to one of their musicals.

The ABBA men have been in dispute with writer Carl-Johan Seth for nearly ten years over the writing credits to the musical Kristina From Duvemala. Seth wrote the basic script to the show, on that fact everyone agrees. However Seth reckons that he should get the headline credit for the show. But Ulvaeus and Andersson, who wrote the songs and music for the play, disagree, arguing that Seth's original script was revised by director Lars Rudolfsson and dramatist Jan Mark before it was ever performed. Who gets what credit on the show is important, of course, because it affects what kind of royalty each person can earn for future productions or recordings of the show - and that is particularly important now because a Broadway production is in the pipeline.

However, no agreement was reached at this week's court hearing, meaning the whole thing will now have to go to full trial next year.


All four major labels have confirmed they are to collaborate on a new double album to be released to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina. EMI, Warners, SonyBMG and Universal will all work with the Concord Music Group and the Recording Industry Association Of America to release 'Hurricane Relief: Come Together Now' in mid-November - proceeds will go to the American Red Cross, Habitat For Humanity and the MusiCares Hurricane Relief Fund.

Tracks from numerous a-list artists will appear, including James Brown, Norah Jones, Brian Wilson, Lenny Kravitz, Elton John and Sting. Two new collaborative tracks will also be featured. Firstly that previously reported reworking of Eric Clapton's 'Tears In Heaven', which has been coordinated by Sharon Osbourne and is also being released as a single in aid of the relief efforts supporting victims of the hurricane and the Asian Tsunami. It features contributions from the likes of Rod Stewart, Gwen Stefani, Phil Collins, Ozzy and Kelly Osbourne.

The album will also feature the results of slightly bizarre sounding project which has seen three songwriters and one Sharon Stone collaborating to write what will be the title track of the long player - 'Come Together Now'. The recording of this track will feature some 30 artists, including Celine Dion and The Game.

Anyway, the full tracklisting of the charity album is as follows - no word yet on whether they'll be a UK release - we'll let you know if we hear anything.

Gloria Estefan - Coming Out Of The Dark/Always Tomorrow
James Brown - Try Me
Norah Jones and Wyclef Jean - Any Other Day
Barbra Streisand - I Believe
Clint Black - The Great Mississippi Flood
Dave Matthews Band and Robert Randolph - Louisiana Bayou
Earth, Wind & Fire - Devotion
Kirk Whalum and Coolio - When The Saints Go Marching In
John Mayer and Aaron Neville - Heart So Heavy
Harry Connick Jr.# "City Beneath The Sea
Louis Armstrong - Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
Various Artists - Come Together Now
Fats Domino - Walking to New Orleans
Coldplay - Fix You
Lenny Kravitz - Believe
Neville Brothers - Brothers
Bonnie Raitt - I Will Not Be Broken
Various Artists - Tears In Heaven
Brian Wilson - Love And Mercy
Wynonna, Michael McDonald and Eric Benet - Heart Of America
Elton John - I'm Still Standing
Sting - Moon Over Bourbon Street


Talking of hurricanes, MTV have postponed indefinitely its Latin American VMA awards because of the incoming Hurricane Wilma. The awards event was due to take place tonight in Mexico's Playa Del Carmen resort. When it was revealed the hurricane would pass over the resort on Friday organisers initially said they would bring the event forward a day, but yesterday they confirmed they were postponing the event - a new date is yet to be set. It's not the first MTV event to be affected by the current string of hurricanes hitting the Americas. The week of pre-show parties that normally precede the main MTV VMAs in Miami were cut short earlier this year as Hurricane Katrina passed the East Coast city.


Ms Dynamite is one of four celebrities who are to guest edit Five News over the course of four weeks starting on 11 Nov. The aforementioned Ms D, Howard Marks, Kelly Holmes and scary Alastair Campbell will order the stories of the day and commission their own reports for the news programme, which airs for half an hour, each day at 7pm.

Programme presenter Kirsty Young said: "The four guest editors have very different areas of specialist knowledge and use diverse disciplines in their respective fields of music, sport, culture and politics. It will be fascinating to see how their backgrounds influence their editorial judgment, opinions on the day's top news stories and choice of individual reports."

Five News editor Mark Calvert said: "This is a first for television news in this country. All of our guest editors are used to being in the news, and have on many occasions been the focus of intense media interest. But this will challenge them, and challenge their view of what makes news."

I must admit to being slightly worried that a former New Labour spin doctor is going to have the chance to put his own spin on the news, even if it's only on a temporary basis.


Pete Doherty's manager James Mullord has denied accusations that it was he who sold that mobile phone footage of Kate Moss snorting the white stuff to the Daily Mirror. Mullord says he's received texts and phone calls accusing him of selling the film, and thinks it was Miranda Davis - Mick Jones' wife - who made the original allegations. He said: "I would never have done this to Pete or Kate. I have done nothing but look after that guy for two years. I considered Pete the closest person on the planet other than my mother. I helped get him out of prison. I helped get him over drugs. It wasn't me. This has totally ruined my career working with Pete. I don't know what will happen."

Speculation abounds that one of the fourteen people who were in the recording studio that night was indeed paid £50,000 to take the footage and the same amount again upon delivery, but Mullord says he has nothing like that amount of money and also claims that he turned £200k from a tabloid to talk about Doherty and Moss since those events. "I have earned quite well over the past two years," he says "but I don't have anything like £100,000 in the bank and I know if I had this video it was worth a million. I wouldn't have done it. I spent a couple of days in England after the story broke trying to get to the bottom of it, so I was a bit surprised when I was in Paris to find myself being accused of it."


I honestly don't know what Bono thinks he can achieve by talking to George W Bush about world issues. As was recently not-widely-enough reported in the media, Bush has said that he invaded Iraq because 'God' told him to, and not an Irish rock star, so I'm not sure that Bono can compete. Incidentally, the last time 'God' told me to do anything, I got sectioned, which seems unfair.

Anyway, President Bush and Mr Bono recently sat down to lunch at the Whitehouse to discuss how to fight poverty and AIDS, when Mr Bono was in Washington for a U2 Concert. Press Secretary Scott McClellan said of Bono: "I think he's enjoying the career that he has right now, and doing all the good work that he does on behalf of people who are suffering in developing countries. He's someone who has a lot of influence and is committed to helping people who are in need and lifting people out of poverty and helping those who are suffering from AIDS. And those are priorities that the president shares. And so they've had some discussions over the last few years. And we appreciated the opportunity to visit with him."

The Whitehouse spokesman then joked: "At this time, the president is not planning on attending the concert tonight, but if there's any change, we'll keep you posted."


Pointless and somewhat dubious statistics, anyone? Well, here we go. The average person in the UK will spend about £21,000 on music during their lifetime, or at least that's what a new survey commissioned by Prudential and conducted by research firm TNS reckons, and who are we to argue?

That figure includes what we spend on hifi equipment, music media and concert going as well on buying recorded music. It is based on the finding that of the 1188 people TNS surveyed, the average person owns £891 worth of hifi equipment and spends about £425 a year on CDs, gigs and music magazines.

Obviously there was quite some variation in different people's music spending, with researchers reckoning that a real music enthusiast will shell out something closer to £44,000 on music in their lifetime. Likewise some people spent a lot less, although researchers said that some who initially said they spent nothing on music discovered they actually had around £250 of music related spending each year.

Commenting on the survey, Prudential Director Of Marketing Roger Ramsden told reporters: "Most people would describe themselves as a music fan of some sort or another, but what is really amazing is just how much money people find themselves spending on it."


While we're still dithering around trying to decide whether to upgrade to a 3G mobile phone, people in the Czech Republic are busy getting ready to buy into 4G. That's what T-Mobile are calling the faster mobile internet service they are launching there, which will give mobile users up to a 1MB internet connection via their mobile, putting the mobile service on a par with many land line broadband internet services. We say 'via their mobile' - the service will only operate via a laptop that has one of those PCMCIA mobile internet cards in them, but still it's quite exciting.

Why the Czech Republic? Well, when the mobile phone companies arrived in Eastern Europe in the mid-nineties they found that land line facilities there were so poor that there was a particularly hungry consumer base for their services - meaning places like the Czech Republic have some of the most mature mobile markets in the world.

And why is this relevant here? Well, broadband speed mobile internet connections would enable the emerging mobile music sector to better compete with iTunes et al, especially once that speed of service could be extended to mobile handsets.


Well, despite those relatively pleasing UK sales figures released by the BPI recently, record sales continue to decline elsewhere.

In the US record sales for the most recent period are down 2.6% on the same period last year, while year-to-date figures are down 10% - which translates to some 50 million units - a deficit unlikely to be made up in what remains of the year.

Of course it is interesting that record sales continue to decline in the US where litigation against illegal file sharers has been prolific, while they have risen in the UK where similar litigation has been very limited. Perhaps suing your customers over P2P usage isn't a good strategy for boosting album sales after all.


Talking of P2P and all that, a US District Court judge has ordered a web company to stop its current online marketing campaign for its P2P service.

As far as we can make out, doesn't offer its own P2P software, rather it provides a system which simplifies the P2P process for less web-savvy file sharers. This in itself isn't the problem - what the record labels and advertising standards authorities object to is the website's sales pitch.

It goes to great lengths to assure potential users that using P2P is not illegal which, technically speaking is true. It also says that by using P2P via their service music fans can access billions of free downloads, which is also true. What it doesn't explain, though, is that the majority of those tracks are being made available illegally. While nothing says is wrong, it is misleading, and that's why the courts have ordered the temporary ban on the website's current marketing activity. Another court hearing is due to take place later this week with the Federal Trade Commission hoping to have that ban extended.

It remains to be seen if any measures can be taken against the company for their advertising methods in a bid to stop other companies making similarly misleading claims about P2P products in the future.


Well, you know how we said GCap were considering taking media regulator OfCom to court over their plans to create a new national digital radio multiplex because the radio conglom had been given the impression they would be getting the only one when they paid loads of money for it back in 1998? And you know how we then said GCap had said that they now felt a compromise would be reached with OfCom ending the need for litigation?

Well, scratch that, because now that OfCom have published their digital multiplex plans, GCap have said they may well proceed with their legal plans. OfCom have said that any service provided via a new national digital multiplex would have to compliment that already provided by Digital One, the company GCap have a big stake in. But that measure doesn't go far enough for the radio company, who feel their previous investment in digital radio will be damaged by OfCom's new strategy.

GCap boss Ralph Bernard told reporters: "As the commercial radio catalysts for DAB digital radio, we have made considerable investment in its growth in the UK. We are reviewing the contents of today's consultation documents from Ofcom and are carefully considering our position. While we note Ofcom's commitment to ensuring a broad range of services which will be separate and distinct from those on Digital One, we are not at this stage, ruling out the possibility of a judicial review".


The Fugees have announced an extra London date on 25 Nov due to popular demand. Tickets go on sale tomorrow.


Damon Albarn has told Xfm that Blur are planning to release an EP before the end of the year. On the new material, he told the radio station "I think we're gonna do an EP first, sometime by the end of this year. But you probably won't know about it. It'll just 'come out'. It'll be so, sort of, underplayed. It'll come out but you won't know it's us as it'll be so, well, not us. We've got the songs but we're gonna record them in a few hours and just be very laid back about it. But not musically laid back. It'll be aggressive. Aggressively laid back. It's the total opposite of Gorillaz."

He continued: "I can't really make another Blur record that's a big landscape sort of thing, due to my very basic guitar ability. Cos I want to sing and play so it has to be three chords. I can only do three chords and not look at the guitar."

He also indicated that Blur wouldn't mind playing a few live dates soon, saying the band would "probably do a couple of pubs round Christmas. To be honest with you, it'll be nice."


Central Saint Martins are to celebrate the upcoming anniversary of The Sex Pistols first live London performance with an evening of music for a specially invited audience. The event, which takes place on 6 Nov, thirty years after the punk band played at St Martins College, will include DJ sets by Fred Deakin (Lemon Jelly), Andrew Weatherall, Artrocker DJs, and live performances from Comanechi, Battant and Art Brut. Short term Pistol Glen Matlock will also unveil a faux heritage blue plaque that is to be mounted at the venue to mark it as a place of historical interest.

In order to be invited to this shindig, which also features an exclusive showing of 2005 documentary 'Punk:Attitude', submitted by the legendary Don Letts, you need to be a Very Important Person selected from alumni, press, competition winners and students from the college's fine art course. So good luck with that, y'all.


As that headline might suggest, Beck has remixed his recent album release 'Guero'. Well, that's not quite accurate, because he had some help with it. Full details haven't yet been confirmed but Beastie Boys' Adrock, John King from the Dust Brothers, Octet, Mario C, Boards Of Canada and Homelife are all said to be involved with the mashing.

Anyway, the album, entitled 'Guerolito', is to be released on 5 Dec, complete with remixed artwork from Marcel Dzama, who created the original cover for 'Guero'.


Whoever heard of a band disagreeing with their label? It's a shocker. Anyway, Gigwise report that Nine Black Alps' Sam Forrest says the group are trying to persuade their label Island not to re-release their debut single 'Cosmopolitan' at the start of next year, and instead let them release a new track. Forrest apparently told Gigwise: "I can't really see the point of re-releasing 'Cosmopolitan'. It's not going to get on the radio. It's just two and a half minutes of shouting about how horrible everybody is."


The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (or ASCAP to their mates) held their annual award for British writers and publishers in London last night. Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens of course) was named Songwriter Of The Year, and took the Song Of The Year gong for his 1967 song 'First Cut Is The Deepest'. Keane took the ASCAP College Award for their debut album 'Hope And Fears', while the Publisher Of The Year gong went to BMG Music Publishing.

The UK bash followed ASCAP's main awards event in the US earlier this week. There Kenny Chesney took the Voice of Music Award, Craig Wiseman of group Rascal Flatts was named ASCAP's Songwriter Of The Year while the song 'Live Like You Were Dying', a Tim McGraw hit on which Wiseman shares writing credit, was named Song Of The Year.


Well, one minute you're talking about the fact you can't believe its Glastonbury again, then you're back in Edinburgh covering the festival, then you turn your back for a week or so and everyone is talking about the Christmas number one. How come the years go by so quick these days?

Anyway, the bookies have released the odds for this year's Christmas top spot and, as always, it makes depressing reading, with Westlife the favourite with their Diana Ross duet 'When You Tell Me That You Love Me'. That said, while William Hill reckon there will be Irish mediocrity at the top of our festive singles chart, HMV say they are putting their money on The Choirboys, that previously reported choir-boyband, the manufactured choral threesome co-managed by Aled Jones and signed to Universal. At least that would have some novelty value I suppose.

Other favourites this year include the actually-worse-than-Westlife G4, who have covered Johnny Mathis' 'When a Child is Born', and Crazy Frog's version of Jingle Bells which, weirdly, is sounding like the most preferable contender.


Bon Jovi are to play a gig for military personnel only at a New Jersey base later this week. Apparently the rockers have been rehearsing there in advance of the start of their world tour on 2 Nov, and are to give the performance to express their gratitude.

Richie Sambora said: "The Army guys were kind enough to give us their big theatre they have there and at the end of the rehearsals, we're going to do a show for all of the [soldiers] and their families. It's not open to the public. We're just doing anything we can do. Really, it's just anytime you can give back to those guys who are out there fighting for our freedom, for God's sakes."

I'm not saying anything.


Only for a bit, though, so stop panicking, Razorlight fans. The band's drummer Andy Burrows says that Razorlight expect to disappear off to concentrate on getting material ready for their second album. He said: "We've been saying we want to have the album sorted before we even go near the studio, so we're going to be rehearsing and getting things set for that. Not something on a computer, but between four real people, working out what we're going to play."


Hurrah. Hurrah. Hurrah. Hurrah. Delays will be releasing second album 'You See Colours' in March, and have announced a stack of live dates to promote it. Dates as follows:

15 Feb: Belfast Spring & Airbrake
16 Feb: Derry Nerve Centre
17 Feb: Galway Roisin Dublin
18 Feb: Dublin The Village
20 Feb: Liverpool Stanley Theatre
22 Feb: Aberdeen Moshulu
23 Feb: Glasgow QMU
24 Feb: Central Lancashire University, Preston
25 Feb: Sheffield Leadmill
27 Feb: Manchester Academy
28 Feb: Newcastle University
1 Mar: Leeds The Cockpit
2 Mar: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
4 Mar: Bristol Fleece
5 Mar: Birmingham Academy
7 Mar: London Shepherds Bush
8 Mar: Brighton Concorde
9 Mar: Southampton University


It would seem that Britney is having a rough time just now. US tabloid Star People reports that Britney Spears is "down in the dumps" and "cries at the drop of a hat," after giving birth to her baby son just over a month ago. The National Enquirer meanwhile reports that Britney has been "raging like a tyrant" at her two in-home nurses, who quit as a result, leaving her alone with the child. All alone? With her own child? Yikes.

Of course, it may not just be the baby that's causing the blues. In the last week or two, reports indicated that husband Kevin Federline had moved out of the couple's shared home for three days following a blazing row. Federline is described has behaving like a brat since Mum and Baby got home from the hospital, and Britney is said to have complained that she is 'raising two kids now'.


More Bono news for you. The U2 man has told Rolling Stone that he has an enormous collection of sunglasses. It will come as no surprise to anyone who has laid eyes on Bono for the over the last ten or fifteen years, as the singer has rarely been seen out without shades on since the early nineties. Bono says the reason is that he has "very sensitive eyes to light".

He continued to protest too much to the music magazine, saying: "If somebody takes my photograph, I will see the flash for the rest of the day. My right eye swells up. A lot of people think that, when they see a `B' on the side, that it's just my own megalomania. Only half the time it is. I'm the Imelda Marcos of sunglasses."

To be fair, he probably does need the sunglasses more than ever, these days. You know, if you will have lunch with people who have a direct line to Jehovah, there's bound to be a bit of a divine light here and there.

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

© UnLimited Publishing | subscribe at