CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 29th November

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- New research suggests P2P usage still at crisis levels
- Kazaa pledge to introduce filter
- Madonna faces royalty claim over Confessions track
- Pet Shop Boys complete new album
- Feeder preview new track
- News about The Rapture
- Fans queue for the night for Strokes tickets
- Album review: Public Enemy - New Whirl Odor
- Maximo Park, Arctic Monkeys, confirmed for NME tour
- Rolling Stones dates announced
- More Underworld on its way
- Guardian to publish Gervais podcast
- Now Black Sabbath are to enter US Hall Of Fame
- McCartney boycotts China over fur trade
- Deadline looms for student band competition
- Bandwagon launch unsigned band competition
- Shortlist being compiled for Irish Mercury Music style prize
- Hard-Fi Archer scared of Paris fires
- Rachel Stevens flusters Cullum
- Stewart is father x7
- Fiddy wants to enter the sex industry

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VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE TRACK OF 2005>>
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 you 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.

THEN VOTE FOR THE RECORD OF THE DAY AWARDS 2005>>
Voting is now underway in the Record of the Day Awards for Music Journalism and PR, 2005. The Record of the Day Awards are the only UK event recognising excellence in music journalism and PR, voted for the people that matter. Have your say about whose writing you rate by completing the online survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=27680722369 Voting only takes a few minutes and one lucky voter will be selected at random to win an iPod Nano. Winners will be announced at a special event at London's Islington Academy on December 14. For more information email david@recordoftheday.com

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NEW RESEARCH SUGGESTS P2P USAGE STILL AT CRISIS LEVELS
A new report from Jupiter Research says that despite the growth in the legitimate download sector, the threat from illegal P2P file sharing remains high. That conclusion is based on a new survey of internet users in Europe. Of those surveyed only 5% downloaded music legally, while 15% shared music via non-legit P2P platforms. Illegal downloading was highest among the 15-24 age group - 35% of whom admitted to using P2P services. Jupiter also reckon that the young people they spoke to have "little concept of music as a paid commodity".

Commenting on the survey, Jupiter analyst Mark Mulligan told reporters: "The digital youth of today are being brought up on a near limitless diet of free and disposable music from file-sharing networks. When these consumers age and increase spending power they should become key music buying consumers. Unless the music industry can transition these consumers whilst they are young away from free consumption to paid music formats, be they digital or CDs, they may never develop music purchasing behaviour and the recording industry could suffer long-term harm."

I'm not sure things are quite as bad as Jupiter make out. If when I was 15 you'd asked all my school friends how many albums they owned, and then how many illegally taped albums they owned, I'm pretty sure you'd have found most possessed a lot more than three times as many bootlegged-recordings as they did albums they'd actually bought, and most of them still matured into legit music consumers. Which brings us back to that same old question - kids might have large illegal MP3 collections, but are they spending more or less of their pocket money on music based products? With the plethora of ringtones and merchandise and magazines and stuff around these days, I suspect they spend more. Perhaps Jupiter could research that.

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KAZAA PLEDGE TO INTRODUCE FILTER
Talking of P2P type things, Kazaa have agreed to release a new restricted version of their file sharing software in a bid to meet that previously reported deadline set by the Australian courts.

Earlier this year judges in Sydney ruled that Kazaa were guilty of copyright infringement by allowing and encouraging their customers to illegally share music using their P2P software. The courts ordered Kazaa owners Sharman to adapt their software so that it prevented it being used to share copyrighted content. Sharman had so far not acted on that, instead launching an appeal against the original warning.

However, last week the Australian courts told Kazaa that it must have some kind of filter in place by 5 Dec or face closure. In a bid to placate the courts Kazaa has agreed to launch a new version of its software which will prevent any file sharing related to one of 3000 keywords chosen by the record labels. By doing that the courts have extended the deadline for Sharman to develop wider controls to prevent the sharing of copyrighted content through its network. It is unlikely that will now happen before Sharman's appeal to the original ruling reaches court next February.

The record labels asked for a filter that blocked out sharing related to 10,000 key words, but eventually that was reduced by the courts to 3000, although that list can be changed on a fortnightly basis according to what artists are being most shared via the P2P networks at any one time. As part of the compromise Kazaa must ensure there is no easy way around the filter system, and encourage as many of its subscribers as possible to upgrade to the new restricted software.

That last point is perhaps crucial. Insiders question how many file sharers will upgrade their P2P software when to do so restricts the service available to them. Others point out Kazaa is no longer the most popular P2P platform anyway, so even if Sharman were to completely comply with court demands it would have little effect on overall P2P usage.

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MADONNA FACES ROYALTY CLAIM OVER CONFESSIONS TRACK
Talking of legal type shenanigans, Madonna might be about to face another copyright battle, this time over a track on new album 'Confessions On A Dancefloor'.

I don't completely follow this myself, but songwriter Dominic King claims that the track 'Get Together' uses a riff from the Chaka Khan track 'Fate'. King and co-songwriter Frank Musker used that riff on that track released by Stardust, 'Music Sounds Better With You'. Because they used the riff on their track, King reportedly says that he is now due a royalty from Madonna because she used it on hers.

I've no idea if he's right, but the Sun quote King as saying: "Her song uses my riff. I'm surprised myself and co-writer Frank Musker didn't get a call. It would have been nice to have been asked. I am almost certain a discussion about money will happen with her people. These things can be settled in retrospect and something will definitely be happening, believe me."

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PET SHOP BOYS COMPLETE NEW ALBUM
According to NME, The Pet Shop Boys have finished work on a new album, produced by Trevor Horn and featuring ten new tracks, as well as a song by Diane Warren which was originally recorded for 2003 best of/remix compilation box set 'PopArt'. The new long player is expected to be released in April.

Chris Lowe: "We've really enjoyed making this album with Trevor and his team and are very happy indeed with the finished result."

Neil Tennant says: "We think it's a great Pet Shop Boys album and also a great Trevor Horn record."

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FEEDER PREVIEW NEW TRACK
Feeder are to allow fans a preview of a future album track on their current UK tour in support of their most recent album release 'Pushing The Senses'. The group have been writing new songs for a new long player and will play one entitled 'Burn The Bridges' at upcoming gigs.

On their progress on the new record, the band's Grant Nicholas told 6 Music: "The plans are to get the singles album out and then just go straight in and finish the next Feeder album. We're gonna do a couple of tracks before Christmas and then do some stuff after Christmas, and then see where we are. Cause obviously we're thinking of doing the singles album next which will have some new tracks on, so that's what we'll be doing the recording for."

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NEWS ABOUT THE RAPTURE
No, not news about the 'saved' levitating their way up to heaven. No. The rock band that goes by the name of The Rapture, as you may already know, are currently recording a new album (lots of 'bands recording new albums' news today) after a year or more of relative silence. Now bassist Matt Safer has posted a message on the band's official website about how the album is progressing. It's all a bit vague, frankly, this message, and doesn't quite convey the sort of single-minded determination I expect of a rock band. Ah well, maybe they're all a bit tired.

Here's what he said: "Well to be honest, the answers are still vague. No, definitely no break up. New album, and singles... well we're still working on it. The exact timeline remains uncertain. We ARE working hard and writing and recording five days a week, but, it's taking a bit longer than expected. We are happy with the new music though, and we are making every effort on our end to get the stuff ready to go."

He rambled on a bit more: "Like I said, it's vague, but it's positive. As for touring and shows... any sort of long tours are out of the picture until this album gets closer to lift off."

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FANS QUEUE FOR THE NIGHT FOR STROKES TICKETS
The Strokes play ULU tonight, and such has been demand for tickets that some of the keener (madder?) fans spent Sunday night queuing in the cold to get their hands on tickets - which went on sale yesterday. One of those in the queue told NME: "It was a great atmosphere. Those at the front had been here from 7pm last night, even though it was bitterly cold there was a great atmosphere and the only way to get through the cold and long wait was to turn it into a party. By 7am this morning there were at least 800 people in the queue and by 9am more than a thousand."

Demand for the small number of press tickets was also very high, and organisers have passed on their apologies to those Strokes-fans-come-journalists who didn't get an allocation. But it's a Radio 1 affair, of course, which means there are plenty of chances to see the gig, which will feature new material from the band, from a distance. It will be webcast on the Radio 1 website from tonight at 9pm (and will be available to watch on demand for the next seven days). You'll be able to hear it on Lamacq Live next Monday, and on any BBC channel on Freeview, Sky or cable by pressing that good old red button. So don't go saying we didn't tell you.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Public Enemy - New Whirl Odor (SLAMJamz Records / Proper Distribution)
Now when it comes to well-educated, intelligent and political bands, I have always had much more time for Public Enemy than Rage Against The Machine. It seems to me that, Tom Morello's Harvard Politics degree notwithstanding, the sloganeering of RATM were certain to convince no one but the already dreadlocked. Contrasting it with the well-argued and informative lyrics of Chuck D was like comparing John Prescott to John Milton. It all makes this album all the more of a mystery, because it is full of Rage-style rants, with Chuck D shouting gibberish slogans over boring guitar riffs. And that's just the start of the epic wrongness of this album. It does not rock. It is not funky. It is slow and painful. There is a song called 'Bring That Beat Back'. I wish they would. There are acceptable tracks, sure; 'Makes You Blind', 'Check What You're Listening To' and 'Y'all Don't Know' could have been part of a passable PE album had they received more attention. But most of the material here is lazy and unoriginal. Angry and political, yes, but neither informative nor educative. Which if, as the album claims, 'rap is the black CNN', is a damn disgrace. 'MKLVFKWR' simply repeats, 'Power to the people / 'Cause the people want peace'. AND it features Moby. 'What A Fool Believes' is frankly unlistenable whilst the chorus is even more meaningless than vintage RATM: "The who / The where / The why / The what". At least 'fuck you, I won't do what you tell me' was a proper sentence. SIA
Release date: 5 Dec
Press contact: The Outpost [all]

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MAXIMO PARK, ARCTIC MONKEYS, CONFIRMED FOR NME TOUR
Maximo Park, Arctic Monkeys, We Are Scientists and Mystery Jets are all set to take part in the 2006 ShockWaves NME Awards Tour. A limited amount of tickets went on sale this morning at 9am meaning they might have sold out, if the limited amount was very limited, but luckily for you, if you're desperate to buy tickets, the remaining allocation goes on sale tomorrow.

Paul Smith, of headliners Maximo Park says last year's incumbents The Killers will be a tough act to follow. "There's always pressure when you're headlining," he says "You always want to entertain people as you're the last thing people see before they leave the building. Our shows are known for their energy and the passion that's on display and people will get more of the same on this tour. We won't let up now."

Mystery Jets singer Blaine Harrison says "We've just got the play the best set we've got in us. We're just going to have to steal the show, but all the bands will be trying the same thing."

It would appear that they've made a mistake in scheduling, however, as the gig planned for my birthday is in Nottingham not London, which is embarrassing. The dates are:

24 Jan: Dublin Ambassadors
25 Jan: Belfast Ulster Hall
27 Jan: Glasgow Academy
28 Jan: Edinburgh Corn Exchange
29 Jan: Newcastle Academy
31 Jan: Nottingham Rock City
1 Feb: Leeds University
2 Feb: Liverpool University
4 Feb: Manchester Academy
7 Feb: Sheffield Octagon
8 Feb: Birmingham Academy
9 Feb: Norwich UEA
11 Feb: Cardiff Great Hall
12 Feb: Cambridge Corn Exchange
13 Feb: Bristol Academy
15 Feb: Portsmouth Guildhall
16 Feb: Brighton Dome
17 Feb: London Carling Brixton Academy

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ROLLING STONES DATES ANNOUNCED
The dates are out for the Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang European tour - which will kick off in Barcelona next May and visit over 20 countries over the following months. UK dates as follows, tickets go on sale on Friday from http://www.getLIVE.co.uk

20 Aug: Wembley Stadium, London
25 Aug: Hampden Park, Glasgow
27 Aug: Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield
29 Aug: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

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MORE UNDERWORLD ON ITS WAY
As previously reported, Underworld are planning on doing quite a bit of releasing on a download only basis. Less than a month after putting out their first new material in two years, 'A Lovely Broken Thing' via this medium as part of their 'Riverrun' project, they're releasing the second installment 'Pizza For Eggs', on 7 Dec. Like its predecessor, it's a twenty five minute mix, costs a fiver and is available exclusively from http://www.underworldlive.com. Off you go then.

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GUARDIAN TO PUBLISH GERVAIS PODCAST
Ricky Gervais is to return to radio - well, kinda. He will be hosting a weekly audio talk show which will be podcast via the Guardian's website. The new podcast show will see Gervais working once again with Office co-creator Stephen Merchant and former Xfm producer Karl Pilkington, both of whom co-presented Gervais' legendary weekend shows on the London station.

Talking about the show, Gervais told the Guardian: "I want to do a radio show where I can say what I want, when I want and that's free for anybody who can be bothered to listen. I suppose we are trying to create an exclusive club. We'd prefer this to be a few people's favourite show than a huge same-y, ineffectual broadcast."

The first show will be available via the Guardian website from 5 Dec.

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NOW BLACK SABBATH ARE TO ENTER US HALL OF FAME
Just weeks after being inducted into the UK Hall Of Fame, Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath have appeared on the new inductee list for the US version. They will join Miles Davis, Blondie, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Sex Pistols in being inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame in New York next March. A&M Records founder Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss will also be honoured in the non-performer category.

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MCCARTNEY BOYCOTTS CHINA OVER FUR TRADE
Paul McCartney has vowed to never perform in China, adding that he will boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics, after viewing video footage taken at a fur market in the South Chinese city of Guangzhou.

The film in question shows cats and dogs packed into small wire cages being thrown from the top of a converted double decker bus onto concrete pavements. The injured animals are then thrown over a seven foot fence before being killed and skinned for their fur. Animal welfare group Peta added that it suspects many of the animals are still alive when they are skinned.

Having seen the footage McCartney told reporters: "This is barbaric. Horrific. It's like something out of the dark ages. And they seem to get a kick out it. They're just sick, sick people. I wouldn't even dream of going over there to play, in the same way I wouldn't go to a country that supported apartheid. This is just disgusting. It's just against every rule of humanity. I couldn't go there. How can the host nation of the Olympics be seen allowing animals to be treated in this terrible way?"

A spokesman for the Chinese Ambassador in London told the BBC: "Though cats and dogs are not endangered, we do not encourage the ill treatment of cats and dogs. But, anyway, the fur trade mostly feeds markets in the US and Europe. So the Americans and Europeans should accept the blame. We have no plans to clamp down on this internally that I am aware of - it is for the US and Europeans to take their own action. They should boycott fur as a fashion material. I do not agree with Mr McCartney and his wife's point of view - a boycott of Chinese goods and the Olympics is simply not justifiable."

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DEADLINE LOOMS FOR STUDENT BAND COMPETITION
One now for all those student bands out there. Phone people 3 and SUBtv have teamed up to stage another edition of those Student Music Awards, and the deadline for college bands interested in entering is looming. Any student band can enter. All demos submitted will be judged by an industry panels who will select 30 finalists - all of whom will be invited to record a session in London which will be played out on the SUBtv college screen network around the UK. Finalists will also play at regional heats in which the best three will be picked to play at a final at ULU next April. The overall winners get studio time with a famous producer, music video production, mentoring by industry professionals, and even an appearance on CD:UK!

Full details are online at http://www.studentmusicawards.co.uk - the closing date for entries is 14 Dec.

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BANDWAGON LAUNCH UNSIGNED BAND COMPETITION
But what if you're not a college band? Well, you could enter this one. Bandwagon (the UK's first "social network music portal for independent labels, artists and unsigned bands" - just in case you wondered) and EMI publishing are staging a battle of the bands style competition, the winners of which will get EMI studio time to cut a CD and slots at upcoming Bandwagon live events.

Bandwagon MD Huw Thomas told CMU: "The EMI Music Publishing competition gives good breaking talent the opportunity to refine themselves in the studio. The independent scene is vibrant again and it's a good incentive. EMI Music Publishing sees the impact mobile and social-networking communities can have for artists, and Bandwagon helps independent and unsigned artists get content out to a wider audience, providing the same mobile and online capability as the majors and mobile operators."

So there you go. Full info at http://www.bandwagon.co.uk.

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SHORTLIST BEING COMPILED FOR IRISH MERCURY MUSIC STYLE PRIZE
In what sounds suspiciously like an Irish version of the Mercury Music Prize, we hear that twelve media types in Ireland are currently compiling a shortlist for the first ever Choice Music Prize for Irish Album of the Year. Needless to say, albums from Irish artists from every genre you'd care to mention are being considered for the prize, so we can expect an eclectic shortlist when it is announced in January. The overall winner will be announced at an event over there in Dublin on 28 Feb. My money's on the Conway Sisters. More info at http://www.choicemusicprize.com, press info from Friction PR (dan@frictionpr.com or liza@frictionpr.com).

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HARD-FI ARCHER SCARED OF PARIS FIRES
Hard-Fi frontman Richard Archer has said that he and his band worried that their tour bus might come a cropper during their recent tour of France which coincided with the widely reported unrest in the country.

Archer said: "They started up just when we got to Paris and followed us around. We were worried our bus would get set on fire but it was certainly interesting to be present as history was actually happening."

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RACHEL STEVENS FLUSTERS CULLUM
The Mirror claims that Rachel Stevens was smitten when she met Jamie Cullum recently. The popstrel met Cullum after a London gig, and according to a rentasource, "went straight over to Jamie to tell him how much she loved the concert and his music. He was all red and flustered by her attentions, mumbling and grinning at her like a schoolboy. And she wasn't just enthusiastic about his performance - she was being properly flirty with him."

The source continued "He was clearly very flattered but he looked like he wished he were somewhere else. Then she gave him her phone number saying it would be wicked to hang out some time. She's usually the one getting all the attention from the men in the room - but that evening she only had eyes for Jamie."

Jamie Cullum has a girlfriend of three years. Rachel Stevens is single, and probably gets more male attention than she can possibly handle.

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STEWART IS FATHER X7
Rod Stewart is a dad again, for the seventh time, at the age of sixty. The singer's fiancée Penny Lancaster gave birth to a baby boy in a London hospital on Sunday morning. In a statement Stewart said: "Both Penny and our baby son are gorgeous, healthy and doing well. I am so very proud of my girl Pen for the commitment, courage and strength she showed throughout. We are celebrating every moment with our beautiful boy, we just can't take our eyes off of him."

Lancaster called the birthing experience "the most empowering and spiritual experience of my life. It means so much to Rod and I that we were able to keep to our birthing plan and have our baby naturally." Etc, etc.

Stewart recently described himself as a father of five children - Kimberley and Sean by first wife Alana Stewart; Ruby by former girlfriend Kelly Emberg; Renee and Liam by second wife Rachel Hunter. According to reports, he has a sixth child, however, Sarah Thubron, 41, the result of a teenage relationship with Susannah Boffey.

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FIDDY WANTS TO ENTER THE SEX INDUSTRY
Well, rappers tend to be no strangers to porn - what with all those extra adult versions they make of their videos, and all. But 50 Cent is apparently planning to move into the slightly more penetrating world of sex toys.

He told American GQ: "I need to make a 50 Cent condom, and a motorised version of me. A motorised version of me will definitely have to be waterproof, so you could utilise it in the tub. A lot of them vibrators aren't waterproof."

He continued: "Blue is my favourite colour, so it would probably be blue. But I don't know how big. I don't know if big is better because I'm not sure a man wants his woman playing with a really big dildo. But I want to do something like that, to create something that's popular and exciting sexually for women."

You know, I'm open minded. And I'm not a prude. But, euugh.

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