CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 15th December

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- It's The End Of The Year As We Know It
- Industry expresses concern over UK work permit changes
- Paramount P2P lawsuit presents possible new defence
- Data directive passed by European Parliament
- SonyBMG launch new Killa Kela fronted music programme for PSP
- Album review: Dimitri From Paris & DJ Muro - Super Disco Friends
- Clash named best music mag at Record Of The Day awards
- Biffy Clyro on new material
- Mogwai reveal tracklisting
- Velvet Revolver plan to make a statement
- Infinity to rebrand as CBS radio
- Evans to host Brits 06
- Live review: Ben Folds at Brixton Academy
- Darkness not very popular lately
- Snoop Dogg's mum's anti-gang group
- Lennon cheque sells for less than it's worth, kind of
- Mylo video shows Bush behaving badly
- Boy George to appear on Big Brother
- Madonna says her daughter is critical
- Gallagher has a go at dopey fans


Now, here's something scary. There are just four more editions of the CMU Daily before Christmas. This is partly because we are all buggering off early (21 Dec), but also because the year that's been known as 2005 is nearly at an end. With that in mind, CMU has been busy chatting to the artists behind ten of our favourite albums of the year. You can find out why we liked those albums here in the Daily, and then read the full interviews on our website. And then, of course, you guys have been busy voting for your favourite track of the year. You can still vote on that, meantime check out how people have been voting here in the Daily.


FAVOURITE ALBUM OF 2005 #7: Hard-Fi - Stars Of CCTV (Warner/Atlantic)
I think it was one of my fellow CMU co-founders, Mr Fraser Thomson, who once observed of early nineties indie that if you were to refer to the musical scene that included Happy Mondays and Inspiral Carpets and Stones Roses as 'Manchester', then one of my favourite bands of the era, James, were kind of 'Stockport'. That is to say, close to the scene, but not quite part of it - and a much stronger band for it. Which is why the constant media references to these guys' place of origin - the London periphery town of Staines - is possibly apt, because Hard-Fi are in some ways part of London's vibrant modern day indie scene, yet not. And, may I say, all the better for it. Of course there are other metaphorical comparisons to make between this band's debut album and the M25 commuter town. Reference to Staines tends to conjure up images of something really rather grim, and there is something of that in the musical grittiness of Hard-Fi. And lyrically 'Stars Of CCTV' does seem to carry something of a sub-plot based around that common small town frustration - "surely there's something better than this". But there's a lot more to Hard-Fi than where they come from. Clearly influenced by certain elements of late-seventies London punk, The Clash in particular, Richard Archer et al seem to have approached indie rock through the eyes of a dance music producer, while maintaining something of that punk attitude. It's a good approach to take, and an approach that has resulted in one of the stand out albums of the year. With one of the best tracks from it, 'Cash Machine', getting a re-release on Boxing Day, let's hope this clearly ambitious band continue to build on their critical and popular success in 2006. I have a feeling they will.

Read our interview with Hard-Fi here:



Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone (SonyBMG)
"It was nearly Amerie, nearly Rachel Stevens, nearly Ladytron, but seeing Kelly perform this song live at Koko last week simply made me love it more than ever. Despite initially mistakenly thinking of it as a mediocre Avril style rock out, the dancefloor reaction to this song is awesome and I think it'll be a defining song for this era of teenagers for evermore".
Voted for by: Talia Kraines,

Sebastian Tellier - La Ritournelle (Lucky Numbers)
"Justifying that something is 'the best' is hard enough when I think of my ex-girlfriends, so many variables! So categorising the best track of 2005, in a similar fashion, is simply impossible. This selection has been delivered keeping to certain criteria which I think you at CMU should adopt in order to truly get 'the best' of 2005. This is my choice for 2005, and this is why. Accessibility: 10/10 - If only they could have played this when Jack the Ripper was on the rampage, it affects all who listen. Originality: 10/10 - Only two tracks are equal to this genius - Minnie Ripperton's 'Les Fleur' and Donna Summer's 'I Feel Love'. Feel good factor: 10/10 - L-O-V-E. Artist reputation/presentation: 9.95/10 - French guy who dresses up as a Native Indian - a great style angle by his label/management company. Where were French Vogue - they missed a scoop! As pure as they come."
Voted for by: Lawrie, Deeper Substance Records

Amerie - 1 Thing (SonyBMG)
"Infectious, joyous and dizzyingly free, '1 Thing' simply sounds like summer, with Amerie's breathless, yelping hooks and screaming vocals just high enough to pierce through 'Crazy in Love' producer Rich Harrison's insistent loop of thunderous, tumbling drums and punctuating 70s funk guitar. Always, always gets me dancing!!"
Voted for by: Mary McDonald, CMU

Vote for your track of the year - send the name of your favourite track, a few words on why, and your name and company to


Concerns have been raised about plans by the government to change the way work permits are issued to non-UK residents. At the moment permits for people looking to work here can be issued centrally from within the UK, however planned changes may mean permits have to be processed via the British consulate in an applicant's home country. Although the changes are intended to clamp down on foreigners working in the UK illegally, some in the music business say they will also have a negative impact on artists who need to be in the country for legitimate reasons - mainly touring or promoting album releases.

The problem is that the new system would put the responsibility for securing a permit on to the artist themselves, where as at the moment their UK record company or promoter can look after their application. The fear is that some artists will fail to get their permit on time, jeopardising gigs or public appearances, or that the added hassle will put off international artists from visiting the UK completely.

Steve Richard of T&S Immigration Services, who specialise in organising UK work permits for international performers, told reporters: "I'm sure this will improve the work permit system for most people who want to work in the UK, but not for bands coming over for things like Top of the Pops, CD:UK or tours. 90% of the music industry was not told about the plans before the end of the official consultation period on 7 November".

The Home Office deny that last point, saying both their plans and consultations were both well publicised. However, they did say they would still listen to affected parties before finalising their plans, even though the formal consultation period was over.

Of course the cynic inside me says that really it is companies like T&S Immigration Services who will suffer from the change, more so than the industry as a whole. British artists wanting to work in the US already have to apply for a permit from the American Embassy here, so I'm not sure why the same system shouldn't work the other way round.

But the BPI has said that it too has some concerns regarding the proposed changes, and will work to ensure the music industry's views are heard before any changes take place.


An interesting case is developing in the US which might have an effect on the ongoing effort to combat online piracy through the courts. Paramount Pictures are suing Russell Lee of Ohio over allegations he illegally made a copy of the film 'Coach Carter' available to share via the eDonkey P2P network. However, Lee denies the allegations, telling TV network News 5: "I don't even know what they're talking about. I didn't do it".

Paramount's case is not helped by the fact that when they seized the four computers in Lee's home none of them contained any record of the movie file in question. While the movie company are alleging that Lee had his computers "cleaned" to erase the evidence, it seems increasingly likely that the file was actually shared by a third party who tapped into the WiFi network Lee has in his home.

Lee's WiFi network was unsecured at the time the movie file was allegedly shared, meaning anyone could have anonymously accessed the internet via the connection. Assuming Paramount cannot produce evidence to dispute that allegation, the movie studio would have to sue Lee not securing his internet connection, which probably isn't a lawsuit they would want to pursue.

Of course if Paramount drop or lose their case with Lee it could possibly provide file sharers with a powerful new defence in P2P lawsuits - "the file sharing may have come from my internet access, but I didn't do it and I have no way of knowing who did". To overcome that defence content owners would need a clarification in the law that says owners of WiFi connections are responsible for all files that pass through that connection. But such a law would not be popular with the internet and technology firms for whom the roll out of the WiFi home is an important future revenue stream.


Hey, fun galore in the European Parliament yesterday as that previously reported Data Retention Directive was passed, albeit not as conclusively as some had expected (387 votes in favour and 204 against). This Directive began life as one of those anti-terrorism measures - forcing ISPs and mobile companies to store exchanges between their customers and, when necessary, to share that data with any European authority investigating suspected terror groups. However, the legislation has grown in remit somewhat, not least because of the lobbying of the major content owners, meaning authorities investigating suspected online copyright violation might also get access to all this data the tel co companies are being forced to gather.

Needless to say, the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry welcomed the fact that the European Parliament had passed the new directive in its wider form. The trade body's Regional Director Frances Moore told reporters: "The recording industry has a legitimate interest in protecting its intellectual property and in the ability of law enforcement agencies to make use of data to pursue online copyright infringements. The proposal on data retention risked hampering our internet piracy activities in the Member States, so we were obliged to intervene in the debate. Our concerns have been allayed by today's vote in the European Parliament."

But debate on this one may not be closed. Ireland, one of three countries who opposed the new legislation, are now saying that the European Parliament doesn't have the power to pass such a wide reaching directive into law. Rather these proposals should have been brought into law via the so called 'third pillar' system, which would have required the approval of every member state, rather than a parliamentary majority. Approval which, of course, would not have been forthcoming, from Ireland at least. The Irish are considering taking the matter to the European Courts Of Justice.

And then there is that issue we mentioned here just yesterday. There are those that argue the new Directive actually violates the European Convention on Human Rights, which says that data should not be retained for "more than necessary". Some say the European Court of Human Rights should be consulted, but that may prove a complicated process, because the European Union itself isn't a signatory of the Convention, meaning an individual of one of the EU's member states will have to pursue the matter once they have introduced it into their own legal system. If the EU's courts were to back the Directive, but the Human Rights courts rule it is in violation of the convention, then an interesting issue will be raised - which court's decision should prevail. I say interesting, possibly more interesting to constitutional lawyers that music journalists, but given how popular the CMU Daily is among the European legal profession, we'll keep our eyes on this one as it develops.


SonyBMG UK have announced a partnership with their sister company Sony Computer Entertainment Europe which will see a music magazine programme made available for users of Sony's PlayStation Portable. The fifteen minute show, called 'PSPlaylist' will be fronted by SonyBMG signed beatboxer and multi-vocalist Killa Kela, and will carry interviews and videos from a range of artists from the major label, including Foo Fighters, Faithless and Dead 60s. PSP owners will be able to download the show to their console via the website.

Confirming the launch of PSPlaylist next week, a spokesman for SCEE told CMU: "We were delighted to work with SonyBMG, their artists and especially Killa Kela in making this show for the PSP. Kela fits perfectly with the PSP brand and his unique style and personality makes engaging content that our customers will love watching. This is a brand-new way of bringing music to the people, making the most of the PSP's screen, our audience and that people are looking for new and innovative ways to listen to their music and get closer to the bands that they love."

SonyBMG Online Product Manager Anwar Nuseibeh added: "This was a thoroughly rewarding project to work on and I feel we utilised the unique strengths of SonyBMG with SCEE and delivered a fantastic, innovative package to their fanbase. I wanted to create a new marketing channel and by using the wonderful creative flair of Kela and Chrome Productions, think we have exceeded expectations".


ALBUM REVIEW: Dimitri From Paris & DJ Muro - Super Disco Friends (Headphone Heroes)
Now this was released last month; though in fairness to me it must have taken a long time to wend it's way through London's increasingly rubbish postal service, because I only got my copy at the end of last week. Normally we don't run reviews of things that have been out for a while (unless you count that Mew incident) but in this case I'm going to. Why? Because I said I would, and because I co-edit the Daily, and have decided I will twist the rules. It's shameless, really. It's also because I like it; and because I feel there's not enough dirty disco funk love in the world and it's my duty to try and spread some around. So, on to the actual album then. It's a two CD set from the superstarry DJ pairing of Dimitri From Paris and DJ Muro from Japan (actually from Japan, it's not part of his name), each putting together a mix disc stuffed full of evocative seventies and eighties sounds. Both are likely to appeal to the disco-lover like myself, but in rather different ways, as each of the discs have a very individual flavour; Dimitri's selection, 'the underdogs', as the name suggests, concentrates on less well known releases of the era; it's an insightful and educative mix of tracks, featuring quite a few that I was previously unaware of. I was delighted to make their acquaintance. I was particularly taken with Symbol 8's 'I Thought You Wanted To Dance' and Spartacus' 'Mother Sucker', but actually, picking out favourites here is probably unwise and misleading, because the tracks meld together so smoothly you hardly notice the transition from one to the next. DJ Muro's CD is named 'The Foundation', and is packed full of tracks that you are more likely to recognise, with tunes from names like Jackie Robinson, Edwin Starr and Love Bug Starski making this a very nostalgic evocation of that 'block party' sound. That's why the whole collection is a great party CD. Actually, I think it's a great 'sitting doing my work' CD, but I'm a disco/funk aficionado; my point is, I think this album could hold great appeal for anyone holding a party (especially if you are by now bored of that Christmas hits CD), as well as being staple, educational listening for people who know they like this kind of music, but don't really know who it was all made by. CM
Release date: 28 Nov
Press contact: Nile-On


The great and the good of British music journalism gathered at the Bar Academy in Islington last night for the second annual Record Of The Day Awards. Hosted by Steve Lamacq, the best music journalists, publicists and publications were all recognised, based on votes cast by ROTD readers (and you there CMU readers too). Relative newcomer Clash was announced Music Magazine Of The Year, while other winners included Time Out, the Independent and

Commenting on the awards, ROTD founder Paul Scaife told CMU: "There are dozens of music industry award ceremonies but none focus specifically on this area and we felt it was important to recognise the work of the journalists and PRs who play such an important part in bringing music to a wider audience. We are hoping that this becomes an annual event".

Prior to the final awards event the ROTD team had spent a day at the Brixton Academy arranging the letters of each winning journalist and publication on the 'playing tonight' board above the main entrance. Each winner received a photo of their names in the headline act slot. It was a great idea which apparently caused a brief moment of excitement among Brixton based music fans who saw the words 'Clash' go above the Academy's door.

Anyhow, here's the winners list in full...

Record Reviews: Writer of The Year - Dan Cairns (The Sunday Times)
Live Reviews Writer of The Year: Dave Simpson (The Guardian)
Best PR Campaign For an Established UK Act or Release: Nadja Coyne (RMP) for Gorillaz
Best UK PR Campaign For a Non-UK Act or Release: Ben Ayres (Rough Trade) for Arcade Fire
Best Music Business Writer of The Year: Owen Gibson (The Guardian)
Best Music Coverage in a National Newspaper: The Independent's Friday Arts and Music Review Section
Best Music Coverage in a Non-Music Publication: Time Out,
Best Tabloid Column: Star Hot.
Best PR Campaign For a Breakthrough UK Act or Release: Anton Brookes (Bad Moon) for Arctic Monkeys.
Best Independent UK Music PR Company or Individual: Republic Media
Best Music Coverage Online: NME.COM
Best Writer of Artist & Music Features: Alexis Petridis (The Guardian)
Breaking Music: Writer of The Year: Krissi Murison (NME)
Editor of The Year: Mark Ellen (Word Magazine)
Music Magazine of The Year: Clash


Biffy Clyro, who are half way through that four night residency at King Tut's in Glasgow this week, have been talking about their new material. You may remember that over the course of the first three nights, the band were planning to play their three albums in their entirety, one each night, but they have told Scottish broadsheet The Scotsman that they are also planning to debut some new songs this week, presumably on the final night on Friday.

Frontman Simon Neil explained that the new songs for their fourth album are "more rocking but maybe not as aggressive as previous stuff. It's not got any screaming on it. We're more confident to let the song do the talking on this one, and that's come from having a year or so to find the best songs that we've got. There's no flab."


Mogwai have let us all know what the tracklisting is for their new album 'Mr Beast', due out on 6 Mar. What you choose to do with the following tracklist information is entirely your own affair:

Auto Rock
Glasgow Mega-Snake
Acid Food
Travel Is Dangerous
Team Handed
Friend Of The Night
Emergency Trap
Folk Death 95
I Chose Horses
We're No Here

They will preview some of those tracks at their sold out gigs in Dublin, Belfast and London in January.


Not just any old statement, of course. Velvet Revolver are making a concept album, although what that concept is, we don't yet know. Former Stone Temple Pilot Scott Weiland told MTV: "It's something I've been wanting to do since the last STP album, since the 'Shangri-La Dee Da' album [in 2001], and it never was completely realized. You never know until you really completely get there, but it's going in that direction right now."

Bassist Duff McKagan said: "This album really has to make a statement. We've toured for 18 months. Now we have a brand name. Now we know each other as a band. The first album was just us together at home, a spontaneous product. Now it's time to make that record."


In preparation for the previously reported demerger of US media giant Viacom, radio group Infinity will be rebranded as CBS Radio.

Viacom announced its intention to split into two companies earlier this year. The bit that will include the group's cable channels (including MTV) and Paramount Pictures will maintain the Viacom name, while the other bit, which will own the network TV channels and radio stations, will be called CBS Corp, hence the decision to rename the radio division. The move means that Infinity, the radio group that grew into prominence in the eighties, will take the name of one of the first ever radio networks - the original CBS Radio was launched in 1928.

Announcing the rebrand CBS boss Les Moonves told reporters: "This is a proud moment for all of us who love the CBS name, and who know the storied history of CBS Radio. It is one of the most revered brands in broadcasting, with a history that predates the television era. CBS Radio was there at the infancy of radio, playing a formative role in shaping and building this dynamic industry, and we're incredibly proud to bring it back."


Given that we reported that the Sun had reported that Chris Evans had been rebooked to host the 2006 Brit Awards back in August, I'm not sure this is news, but presumably someone has just confirmed it, because everyone is reporting on it again. Anyway, Evans, who hosted the Brits for the first time since 1996 earlier this year, will front the awards bash again next year.

Confirming the booking, BPI boss Peter Jamieson told reporters: "We're delighted to have Chris back. His genuine love of music and special brand of humour make him an ideal choice to present the Brits."


LIVE REVIEW: Ben Folds at Brixton Academy on 13 Dec
You know, the brutal truth is that this man could have come out on stage and played spoons, badly, for ten minutes, and I would have given him a reasonable review - because I love Ben Folds, and I find it hard to believe that he could ever do anything wrong. At all. So it's a good thing for the honesty and integrity of CMU that Ben Folds didn't play spoons, badly, for ten minutes, at Tuesday's Brixton Academy gig. In fact he played piano, well, for about an hour and a half, and I left more in love with Ben Folds' music than I was before I went in, which is quite an achievement, given just how much love there was already in me for this man's tunes. I've never managed to see Folds play live before, which is quite shocking when you consider how long I've been listening to his music, so this was something that I had been anticipating with fairly feverish excitement and was pleased to not be disappointed. Fanfared by a track sounding suspiciously like a refrain from ALW's 'Jesus Christ Superstar', Folds and his 'band' - I say 'band' as it seems a slightly ornate term for 1 drummer and 1 guitarist - took to the stage and launched into a track from most recent album release 'Songs For Silverman', and from that moment I was completely mesmerised. I'm not sure of the set list; I don't particularly keep track of these things, either on paper or in my head, when I'm completely absorbed in what's going on onstage, but I do know that what he played was a varied selection of his work, some songs from that aforementioned new album, some from solo debut 'Rockin The Suburbs' and a variety of tracks from the Ben Folds Five back catalogue. They're all songs that I know and love, of course, but they're so much better live. In fact, listening to the recorded versions of those tracks the following morning, I longed to be back in Brixton listening to them live again; it might have been the noise and passion with which they were played, it might have been the fact that half of appreciating a brilliant pianist at work is being able to see his fingers and feet move as well as hearing the sounds he makes. As my companion remarked, when the people sitting in front stood up and obscured your vision, it was deeply frustrating because you wanted to be able to watch Folds' furious fingers at work. It's not just about the fingers, though, or indeed the music; Folds conveys a sense of relaxation, and a sense of community with his fans that is a lovely thing to be party to; he has the (surprisingly tuneful) audience singing well timed backing vocals for moments which in reality would have required a horn section to reproduce the album tracks; he tells the occasional story of how a song came about - something which, in Fold's case, is of particular interest, given that so many of his songs are character studies and stories. He's always shown a sense of humour in some of his more satirical songwriting, and that comes through in the live show too, not least than with his popular and melodic rendition of the very, very sweary Dre track - 'Bitches Aint Shit'. I was utterly drawn in by his relationship with the crowd, by the crashing, all-involving piano sound; by hearing the tracks that I love being brought so vibrantly to life. The only thing that slightly marred it was the sound of chatting from behind, and a domestic argument from the row in front. I've asked of several people in the last day or two - who pays £25 to go to a concert, only to talk all the way through the act? Particularly a Ben Folds concert, where hearing the lyrics is definitely just as important as hearing the tune. To quote my co-editor again: "you need to actually hear the lyrics of a Ben Folds song, because they all have a plot." Those noisy people lost the plot. But it was their loss, I guess. CM


Kerrang!'s end of year survey has thrown up some bad results for The Darkness in the wake of the release of their second album. The reader poll named the glam rock outfit Worst Band and Worst Album, whilst frontman Justin Hawkins achieved the title of 'Worst Dressed Star'. A nice moment to be Frankie Poullain, perhaps.

It seems things are generally not going so well for The Darkness. The new album was met with a relatively lukewarm response, and sales are now flagging; it entered the charts at 11, but had dropped to 34 by last weekend. In America, it failed to break the top fifty.

I'm tempted to say that a downfall is inevitable, if Hawkins will persist in being so willfully hubristic.


Snoop Dogg's Mum, Beverly Broadus Green, has helped set up a new organisation that aims to deter children from getting involved with gangs, drugs and guns. The group, The Mothers of Entertainers (MOE), is expected to receive the support of a variety of 'famous mums', amongst them Diddy's Mum, Britney's Mum, and Beyonce's Mum.

Green Says: "For the last 15 years this has been a dream of mine. To reach out, touch and help the kids in the streets, the kids on drugs, the mothers on crack or Mothers who are experiencing domestic violence, it is my dream to help them."


A cheque made out by John Lennon to the Inland revenue for £6,946 has sold for £2,000 at auction, so it sort of has sold for less than it's worth, if you see what I mean. In reality, of course, it is just a piece of paper, and £2k for a piece of paper seems like a lot of money to me.

Anyway, the cheque was previously owned by once-notorious former madam Lindi St Clair, aka Miss Whiplash, who purchased the item for £4k back in 1998. St Clair said she didn't mind making a loss on it, saying "I had my fun with it when I bought it. Nowadays it's a nuisance having to keep it safe."


Mylo's new video for the re-release 'Muscle Car' apparently portrays George W Bush snorting coke, watching porn and spending time with prostitutes adorned with Tony Blair face masks. According to The Star, he explains why: "We got lots of people pitching to do videos with cars in them, for obvious reasons. And then there was this one about George W Bush going on a bender, so it kind of stood out. It wasn't hard to decide. I was living in Los Angeles when Bush stole the election in 2001. It was very depressing. In the four years since then, he's proved to be even more stupid and dangerous than I feared at the time. I felt that I'd already had a satirical pop at American fundamentalism with my track 'Destroy Rock & Roll', but not everybody interpreted it that way."


Boy George is apparently to appear on the next series of 'Celebrity Big Brother', despite the fact that he's in trouble over those drugs charges and due a court date in Manhattan shortly. His manager Tony Gordon says that the legal difficulties will not stop the singer from starring in the reality show, which will air in January. Other c'lebs rumoured to be joining the cast include Johnny Vegas (I would actually watch it if he were on it), Jimmy Tarbuck and 'doctor' Gillian McKeith.


Madonna has apparently said that her daughter Lourdes is critical of, not to mention embarrassed by her mum's dress sense. Which is hardly surprising, really, because kids are embarrassed by their parents clothing no matter what they wear. That said, I can imagine that it has the potential to be excruciating if your mother is Madonna. Although I doubt even she turns up to collect her daughter from school dressed in a purple leotard.

Anyway, the pop superstar apparently says: "My daughter is critical. Sometimes she totally disapproves of what I wear. She doesn't want me to look too strange. If I pick her up from school she instructs me to dress normally... My daughter has a new routine too. She goes, 'Why can't you just be like normal mothers?'"


Noel Gallagher has turned his ire on his fans. On the "idiots" who fund his lifestyle by buying his music and going to his gigs, he says: "I don't like having my picture taken with them because half our fans are too dopey to use a camera. I've already wasted hours of my life on idiots with cameras in their hands who can't even work the flash."

He continues: "Then there are the ones that come to you and say 'Can I have your autograph?' You say, 'Yeah, go on then', then you get, 'I haven't got a pen.' Well, you know, that's like turning up for a football match with no boots. I do get upset when people give me bus tickets to sign. I don't mind album covers, but if you're gonna come up with a bit of fag packet and ask me to sign it, I'll tell you to go and buy an album."

So remember, Oasis fans, always go everywhere with a copy of one of their albums, just in case you find yourself in need of Noel Gallagher's autograph.

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