CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 22nd November

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Text messages and shoe boxes dominate Murder Inc trial
- SonyBMG faces lawsuit from Texas over rootkit
- Snoop Dogg appeals to Arnie over former gang leader's life
- Glitter could face death penalty over current allegations
- Weller to get Brit honour
- Live review: Skin @ King's College Student Union
- The Bravery say new album in about a year
- Belle And Sebastian charity download
- Mono Taxi et al at the Luminaire
- Bestival reunion update, hurrah
- Minogue to tour at the end of next year
- Apple confirms flash memory deals
- Apple biggest download player in UK too
- 2-Tone offer videos at gigs via bluetooth
- Job shifts at Universal Music
- Album review: Various - Mr & Mrs Smith: Something For The Weekend
- Guitarist Link Wray dies
- Joss Stone heartbroken over Dozier
- Doherty checks in to rehab shocker
- Aguilera got married

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VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE TRACK OF 2005>>
You know how you love the CMU Daily and you really want to give something back? Yeah? Well, here's your chance, cos over the next few weeks were going to ask you all to help us out updating our membership records, label and PR directory and that kind of stuff. But this week something much more challenging. Yep, it's that time of year again when we ask you to look back at the music of the last 12 months and pick the one track that you think was the best. It can be a single release, an album track, a remix, a bootleg or even a cover version - as long as it was first released in 2005. Any music from any genre is eligible, except anything recorded by Westlife. We'll publish individual nominations each day of December and release an overall Top Ten just before Christmas.

TO VOTE just email the track your most rate from 2005, with short description as to why it is your favourite (about 50 words would be good) and your name/company/job title to 2005@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk.

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TEXT MESSAGES AND SHOE BOXES DOMINATE MURDER INC TRIAL
The origin and intended recipients of a bunch of text messages, and the crucial question of whether you can fit seventy grand into a shoebox, were the main topics for discussion in the ongoing Murder Inc trial in the US courts yesterday. As previously reported, Irv and Chris Lotenzo 'Gotti' stand accused of laundering money for drug dealer Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff through their then Universal affiliated record label.

First up, the text messages. The prosecution have a stack of text messages allegedly sent between Irv Lorenzo and McGriff, which, they argue, show that they had a close business relationship. One in particular seemingly followed the 2000 shooting of 50 Cent which, as previously reported, the prosecution are keen to make central to this case. Prosecution lawyers claim McGriff arranged for the shooting of Fiddy on behalf of Lorenzo, who had been dissed in a 50 Cent rap. McGriff arranged the shooting, they argue, as a thank you for the laundering services the label chief was providing at the time.

The text message that it is claimed supports that theory comes from Lorenzo's mobile and reads "I love the shit out of you". They claim the label chief sent that message to McGriff thanking him for arranging the shooting of Fiddy. The defence says that the note was written to Lorenzo's wife. There seems to be some problem with proving what numbers different messages were sent to, which aids that defence, though even if it was proven that the message went to McGriff's mobile, presumably the defence would argue it was sent to that number by mistake.

Having resolved little on the SMS front, attention turned to the shoe box. This referred back to last week's testimony from Donell Nichols, the prosecution's last minute surprise witness - a former Murder Inc employee who, the defence claim, has a bit of a reputation for making things up. He claimed last week to have once seen Chris Lorenzo count $70,000 out of a shoebox in used five and ten dollar bills. The Lorenzo defence argued that seventy grand's worth of $5 and $10 notes wouldn't fit into a shoebox, and demonstrated as much in court with a shoebox and pretend money. But yesterday the prosecution presented a 20-year police veteran who said he had conducted his own experiment over the weekend and had found you could, in fact, store $70,000 in a shoe box, especially if it was one of those bigger Timberland style shoeboxes that those trendy hip hop types are sure to have. So there you go.

Finally in yesterday's proceedings, the prosecution called a former McGriff business associate Jon Ragin who testified that the drug dealer had funded his straight-to-DVD movie 'Crime Partners' using drug proceeds. But the defence are sure to question Ragin's credibility as a witness given that he his currently in prison over credit card fraud and possession charges, and he only agreed to testify in return for leniency in his own future parole application.

And so the case continues, with the prosecution keen to return to the gritty details of that 50 Cent shooting, something the defence still claim "has no relevance in this case."

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SONYBMG FACES LAWSUIT FROM TEXAS OVER ROOTKIT
Elsewhere in the pop courts, the fallout of the 'rootkit' problem continues with SonyBMG facing legal action from Texas' Attorney General.

As previously reported, the so called 'rootkit' anti-piracy technology used on over 50 SonyBMG releases in the US has become controversial ever since IT experts said that the software not only behaved like a virus, in that it is hidden and almost impossible to uninstall, but its presence makes a PC more susceptible to attack from other viruses. Since those revelations, SonyBMG have been busy issuing an uninstall application for those consumers who own one of the affected releases, while recalling all unsold rootkit infected CDs.

However, despite its relatively quick response to the problem, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott thinks the major record company is still violating the state's Consumer Protection Against Computer Spyware Act, particularly as several of the infected CDs were still on sale in the state this weekend. They began legal action against the major yesterday, seeking civil penalties of $100,000 per violation. The major record company is yet to comment on this and other legal action relating to the software.

Meanwhile, the Recording Industry Association Of America has defended SonyBMG over their DRM-fuck up, and commended them for that aforementioned speedy response. Speaking at a university press conference, RIAA president Cary Sherman told reporters: "The problem with the SonyBMG situation is that the technology they used contained a security vulnerability of which they were unaware. They have apologised for their mistake, ceased manufacture of CDs with that technology, and pulled CDs with that technology from store shelves. Seems very responsible to me."

Sherman also defended the general concept of putting anti-piracy software onto CDs. He told his audience: "There is nothing unusual about technology being used to protect intellectual property. You can't simply make an extra copy of a Microsoft operating system, or virtually any other commercially-released software program for that matter. The music industry has been more permissive about the copying of its copyrighted product than virtually any other industry. How many burns are you allowed of a movie? None. How many of a videogame? None. You get the idea."

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SNOOP DOGG APPEALS TO ARNIE OVER FORMER GANG LEADER'S LIFE
Rapper Snoop Dogg has appealed to Arnold Schwarzenegger to help in his previously reported bid to spare the life of an ex-gang leader.

As we mentioned last week, Stanley 'Tookie' Williams was sentenced to death back in 1981 for the murder of four people and has been in prison ever since. However, since his conviction he has worked on a number of projects urging young people in the US to stay out of gangs - work that has earned him a number of Nobel Peace Prize nominations. But despite that work Williams still faces the death penalty for his crimes, and is likely to be killed by lethal injection on 13 Dec. His future is now up to Schwarzenegger as Californian state governor, though no previous governor has granted clemency since the death penalty was restored in California in 1978.

Snoop Dogg is one of a number of high profile names supporting Williams' bid to avoid the death penalty. Despite authorities refusing his request to see Williams, Snoop Dogg attended a rally at San Quentin prison this weekend to confirm his support. Speaking outside the prison the rapper told reporters: "Stanley 'Tookie' Williams is not a regular guy, he's an inspiration. All I want to say to the governor is: it's about keeping this man alive because his voice needs to be heard."

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GLITTER COULD FACE DEATH PENALTY OVER CURRENT ALLEGATIONS
Elsewhere in death penalty news, reports this morning that Gary Glitter might face death by firing squad over those child sex allegations that surfaced over the weekend. Latest reports suggest that Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, is accused of having sex with two girls, one aged 18, one aged 12. Needless to say, it is the latter that has the most serious ramifications for the former glam rock star. Even if the 12 year old girl consented to sex with Gadd, under Vietmanese law it would count as child rape, a crime that is punishable there by death by firing squad. However, it as yet unclear what exact crimes Vietnamese police plan to charge the singer with. Gadd, who is in custody while awaiting those charges, has been told he will be able to receive legal counsel once charges have been made, meanwhile he is receiving 'consular support' from the British embassy there.

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WELLER TO GET BRIT HONOUR
Brits organisers have confirmed the rumours that Paul Weller will get the award for outstanding contribution to music at next year's awards bash, which are to be held at Earls Court in February. David Bowie, Sting, U2 and Duran Duran are amongst the past recipients of this particular honour, which, the Brit guys say, recognises music types "whose influence, longevity and creativity puts them in the very top ranks of UK artists." On the decision to present the award to Weller, BPI chairman Peter Jamieson said: "Paul Weller is an artist who scores on every measure and typifies the range and quality of British music at its best."

The nominations for the remaining awards will be revealed in January. Weller's eighth solo album 'As Is Now' is out now.

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LIVE REVIEW: Skin @ King's College Student Union, London on 16 Nov
Packed to the rafters, King's College was filled not only with students and the like, but even more so with the big voice and equally big personality of the former Skunk Anansie front woman. From the famed falsetto notes of 'Weep' to the tender lovelorn melodies of 'Trashed', a sexy and sparkling Skin weaved her way through the night with a mixture of new and old material - a definite highlight of the evening was a beautiful acoustic rendition of old favourite 'Hedonism (Just Because You Feel Good)', with the crowd anthemically taking over vocals for the choruses. The aura of seriousness of Skin's former years seemed to have dissipated and although the performance was still as powerful and strong as ever, the energy was inspiringly positive and a sense of fun prevailed. The night ended with a disco flavoured performance of 'Twisted (Everyday Hurts); going down a storm and really topping off the party vibe of the night. All in all a fantastically satisfying show that was not to be missed. MY

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THE BRAVERY SAY NEW ALBUM IN ABOUT A YEAR
The Bravery's frontman Sam Endicott has said his band have no plans to go back into the studio just yet, and don't expect to release a new album until the end of next year, which seems perfectly reasonable. He did say, though, whilst speaking to Soccer AM, that the band are working on new material whilst they are on tour. Incidentally, I've never noticed this before, but doesn't Sam Endicott sound like a guy who ought to be a farmer or something, living in a rural village in the north of England? Somewhere near Rochdale, maybe? Or Rawtenstall?

Here's where the Bravery are near you during what remains of this month:

22 Nov: Newcastle, Academy
24 Nov: Glasgow, SECC
25 Nov: Ireland, Ambassador
27 Nov: Belfast, Spring & Airbrake
28 Nov: London, Brixton Academy

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BELLE AND SEBASTIAN CHARITY DOWNLOAD
Belle And Sebastian are to release a download-only charity album exclusively through iTunes on 6 Dec. It's a recording of that ATP Don't Look Back concert at Barbican earlier in the year when the band played their second album 'If You're Feeling Sinister' in its entirety. If you failed to get a ticket for that one-off event, here is your chance to find out what it sounded like, and feel a bit virtuous, too, as all proceeds from the download will be donated to the Asia Quake Appeal.

As previously reported, the band release their seventh studio album 'The Life Pursuit' on 6 Feb next year, preceded by a single release, 'Funny Little Frog', on 16 Jan. They've also added a couple of extra tour dates, so here's the amended list for your information.

15 Jan: Glasgow ABC
16 Jan: Glasgow, ABC
17 Jan: Glasgow, ABC
18 Jan: Aberdeen, Music Hall
26 Jan: Birmingham, Academy
27 Jan: Liverpool, Academy
28 Jan: Newcastle, Academy
29 Jan: Manchester, Ritz
30 Jan: Manchester, Ritz (new date)
1 Feb: Bristol, Colston Hall
2 Feb: Cambridge, Corn Exchange
3 Feb: Brighton, Dome
5 Feb: Dublin, Ambassador
6 Feb: Dublin, Ambassador (new date)
7 Feb: Belfast, Ulster Hall
9 Feb: Sheffield, Octagon
10 Feb: London, Hammersmith Apollo

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MONO TAXI ET AL AT THE LUMINAIRE
Mono Taxi, The Far Cries and Milk Kan are all appearing live at an event at the Luminaire in Kilburn tonight. The uniting factor is, of course, that all three are releasing stuff through that new PIAS seven inch label Play It Again Seven. Mono Taxi have already released a single via the imprint, and releases from the other two are upcoming. Actually, I've heard the Milk Kan single and it's dockin. And if you don't know what dockin means, go to the suburbs of Manchester in the early eighties and hang out with some kids.

Anyway, tonight. At The Luminaire, Kilburn High Road, 8pm - 12midnight, £3 on the door, live sets by Mono Taxi, The Far Cries, Milk Kan, Thousand Natural Shocks, and DJs Simon and Ziad from Pure Groove Record Shop.

You can hear samples of all the bands on My Space: www.myspace.com/
monotaxi /thefarcries
/milkthekan /thousandnaturalshocks

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BESTIVAL REUNION UPDATE, HURRAH
Yay! Hurray! It's not long now until the Bestival reunion /Christmas party! And Max Sedgley has just been added to the bill! Plus, there are still special guests to be announced!

Sorry, it all went a bit blurry for a moment there. I'm feeling less faint now, so on to more detail. As I'm sure you already know, it's on 3 Dec at KoKo in Camden, 9pm - 3am. Those making an appearance include The Cuban Brothers, Kitty Daisy & Lewis (Live), Son Of Dave (the one-man techno-blues beatbox from Canada), The Launderettas, the aforementioned Sedgely and of course, the lovely Rob Da Bank.

Tickets are only a tenner. So get one now. From http://www.ticketweb.co.uk.

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MINOGUE TO TOUR AT THE END OF NEXT YEAR
Kylie Minogue will reschedule her Australian tour dates for the end of next year, according to tour promoter Michael Gudinski. As you know, the singer was forced to cancel the original tour dates earlier in the year following her breast cancer diagnosis. Gudinski says the exact dates will be announced in the new year, and said "Kylie's been thinking about these shows a lot over the past months." He added that the singer is "touched that so many of her fans are waiting so patiently for the rescheduling of her Showgirl tour".

The new dates will see Kylie performing an updated version of the Showgirl live set "as a thank you for the patience and understanding of Australian ticket holders". This latest announcement follows the news that a live version of 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow', recorded at Minogue's recent Earls Court concert, will be available as a download from Christmas Day.

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APPLE CONFIRMS FLASH MEMORY DEALS
Hold the front page. This computer memory news just in. Apple has secured a supply of flash memory, the stuff used in its cheaper iPods, through to 2010. Despite the computer firm's flash memory negotiations with Samsung getting the most press of late, Apple have confirmed deals with a range of suppliers, including Hynix, Intel, Micron, Samsung and Toshiba. The collective deals include a reported $1.25 billion advance payment from Apple to its respective suppliers.

Confirming the deals, Apple boss Steve Jobs told reporters the new deals and advance payments would enable his company to meet demand for their music players in the years to come - "We want to be able to produce as many of our wildly popular iPods as the market demands".

The deals might not be good news for Apple's competitors in the digital music player space - possibly giving the computer firm priority access to the relatively limited supplies of flash memory. Some wonder if competition authorities might get involved now the new deals have been confirmed, although others say memory manufacturers are stepping up production and will be able to meet all demand within a year or so, meaning current shortages and the competition issues of one dominant player zapping all supplies should only be relevant in the short term.

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APPLE BIGGEST DOWNLOAD PLAYER IN UK TOO
Elsewhere in Apple news, and the computer firm's dominance of the world's digital music market continues with the news that they are by far the biggest digital music provider here in the UK. Following the news last week that iTunes had 60% of the Japanese market, a new research report reckons the Apple owned download platform has 54% of the UK market. That puts Apple a long way ahead of its nearest competitor, Napster, which, according to the XTN Data research, has a 10% market share.

The remaining part of the market is divided between the likes of Wippit (8%), MyCokeMusic (6%), MSN Music (5%), CD Wow (4%), Virgin Digital (3%), Tesco (2%), Woolworths (2%) and HMV (1%). Independent player Wippit probably comes in third place because it is one of the few download platforms that sells some music as unprotected MP3s. The London based company admits that 65% of its sales are of MP3 tracks, suggesting a minority but significant audience who recognise the value of tracks that can be played on any computer or digital music player.

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2-TONE OFFER VIDEOS AT GIGS VIA BLUETOOTH
Independent label 2-Tone Entertainment is using good old Bluetooth to distribute the video to an upcoming single release via the artist's live engagements. Fans who see 2-Tone artist Tru Menace perform live will be able to get the video to upcoming single 'Y Did You Leave?' transferred to their mobile phone via the wonders of Bluetooth. The label reckon this system will be a good way to get their videos directly to fans without relying on the music TV channels, major music websites or mobile networks to distribute them.

2-Tone boss Shaurav D'Silva told CMU: " Mobile phones have always had the capability to play music video clips and networks like 3G and Vodafone have recently been pushing the on-line downloading of these videos. It's a new form of promotion - much like word of mouth but using technology that has been around for a while now. I hope this shows other budding indy labels that if you put your mind to it there are many ways in which to promote your product without having a £50K major label budget. There is definitely a new media revolution coming and I for one want to be making the most of it".

'Y Did You Leave' is released on 16 Jan.

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JOB SHIFTS AT UNIVERSAL MUSIC
One for fans of HR now. Paul Connolly has been promoted to the job of President of Europe and MD of UK for Universal Music Publishing Group. Not quite sure what the promotion means (he was previously Executive Vice President of Europe and MD of UK), but I guess it's good news for business card printers. Announcing the promotion, Universal Music Publishing chairman David Renzer told CMU: "Paul's passion, creativity, and vision have helped solidify UMPG's reputation as a company that combines creative excellence with business strength. I'm happy to recognise Paul's achievements with this promotion, as one of our company's strengths is also our outstanding senior management team".

Elsewhere in Universal Music appointments news, me old mate Dmitry Konnov has been appointed as General Manager of Universal Music Russia. The former MTV Russia exec will oversee all aspects of the Moscow-based bit of the major record company.

Universal Music's President, Central & Eastern Europe Vico Antippas confirmed the appointment this morning, telling CMU: "I am confident that Dmitry Konnov will lead the team at Universal Music Russia to new levels of success. His experience in different sectors of the country's music and media industries equips him well for the task".

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various - Mr & Mrs Smith: Something For The Weekend (Seamless Recordings)
I used to work in an office which possessed a somewhat limited record collection. As the first to arrive each morning, I would find myself standing next to the office stereo while the kettle boiled for my wake-up coffee, flicking through the CDs trying to find a suitable soundtrack for the start of the day (remember, this is before my first caffeine shot of the day). Nothing ever seemed to appeal at that time of the day, and I always ended up opting for Air's 'Moon Safari' which, I can report, is ideal 'first-thing-in-the-morning' music - sufficiently gentle to not offend your not-yet-fully-awake mind, but suitably funky to stop you falling back to sleep while you wait for your morning emails to download. Of course, after a few months of this my fellow work colleagues, who always seem to have lower tolerance of repetitive music-play than me, started to tire of arriving to the office every single day to the sounds of Air. This frustration was exacerbated by the fact that the CD was scratched slightly, meaning the last track would skip back a few minutes half way through, putting it into a perpetual loop that could, in theory, still be playing when it was time to go home (someone normally snapped mid-morning and changed the CD). After a while I noticed my colleagues making an effort to get in earlier so they could pick the first CD to go on the stereo - though I don't think they ever found anything better for first-thing-in-the-morning listening. All this is relevant (no, really, it is) because had this album been released four years ago it could have provided my colleagues with some relief from Air-overload, it being perfect first-thing-in-the-morning music. This talk of music right for a certain mood isn't completely irrelevant either, because Seamless Recordings' real skill is in creating soundtracks for certain moments - putting together artists and tracks which have possibly not rubbed shoulders before (in this case Husky Rescue, NERD, Lazyboy, The Beta Band and Aretha Franklin, among others), and proving that said artists really do belong together in one mood context or another. I suspect Mr & Mrs Smith wasn't designed for first-thing-in-the-morning listening, and I'm not saying it isn't good for late night or weekend listening too (I tried it last night, and it is). But if you ever find yourself dithering at your office stereo first thing in the morning, looking for something gentle but funky to accompany those pre-caffeine moments, then I suggest you get a copy of this album. Especially if your Air album is scratched. CC
Press contact: Pear Press

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GUITARIST LINK WRAY DIES
Guitarist Link Wray, the man credited with the invention of the power chord, died earlier this month at the age of 76. He is probably best known for the instrumental track 'Rumble', released in 1958 and widely banned from airwaves across the US, despite the fact that it had no lyrics. According to his official website he poked a pencil through the cone of his amplifier to achieve that song's groundbreaking 'fuzz tone'.

Wray's style was considered the blueprint for heavy metal and punk and is said to have inspired musicians as diverse as David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Steve Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen. The Who's Pete Townsend has written that "He is the king; if it hadn't been for Link Wray and 'Rumble', I would have never picked up a guitar," whilst Neil Young once said: "If I could go back in time and see any band, it would be Link Wray and the Raymen."

In recent years, many of Wray's early instrumentals have seen a revival with their inclusion in a variety of movie soundtracks, including Tarantino's 'Pulp Fiction' and John Waters' 'Pink Flamingos'. He performed forty US tour dates this year in support of the release of two CD reissue compilation 'Wray's Three Track Shack'. Wray, who had relocated to Denmark, is thought to have died on 5 Nov, and a private funeral took place on 18 Nov.

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JOSS STONE HEARTBROKEN OVER DOZIER
Joss Stone is heartbroken, according to The Mirror, after splitting with boyfriend of two years, Beau Dozier. Stone is alleged to have told the tabloid "I don't know what happened, but what can you do? It's such a sad thing. I love him more than anything in the world. He's my best friend and he always will be. It makes no difference whether we're together or not - I still love him."

She's only eighteen though, so don't worry, she'll get over it.

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DOHERTY CHECKS IN TO REHAB SHOCKER
Now this really, really is a shocker, if it's true. The Sun reports that Pete Doherty has checked himself into the same rehab facility in Arizona that Kate Moss went to. The tabloid says the supermodel has refused to see him again unless he gets himself clean. The Sun's latest source: "Pete has realised his love for her is greater than his love of drugs."

And what's more, a spokesman for Doherty is said to have confirmed: "He's in the clinic."

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AGUILERA GOT MARRIED
Well, we didn't report on this any earlier because the only info we had was that Christina Aguilera got married at the weekend and wore a Lacroix dress, details we'd already reported on prior to the event. Anyway, here's a bit more info now, so that you're not all behind the times and stuff. Her official website is now saying that Aguilera married music exec Jordan Bratman on Saturday at a mountain resort in the Napa Valley wine region of California. US reports suggest there were around 130 attendees with a guestlist that included Sharon Stone and Cameron Diaz. So there you go. And yes, the bride wore white.

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