CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 5th January
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Motorola launch mobile radio service
- Samsung and Pioneer announce XM Radio compatible players
- Creative launch podcast platform
- Music Zone buy 41 MVC stores
- Download platforms expecting Spitzer investigation
- Townshend's headphone hearing loss concerns
- Album review: Skeewiff- Private Funktion
- Oasis plan summer EP
- Test Icicles tour
- Super Furry Rhys supports Mogwai
- Babyshambles live dates
- Johnny Marr news
- Massive attack album
- Xfm arrives in Scotland
- Cable joins Kerrang!
- EMAP anticipate more magazine title radio spin offs
- Star snappers to recreate covers for charity
- Joaquin Phoenix performs in prison
- Arctic Monkeys go hip hop
- Ronnie Wood is secret philatelist
- Kaiser Ricky wants to be in Neighbours

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TOP BIT>>

CELEB BB INCOMING
So, the celebs will once again occupy the Big Brother house as of tonight. Channel 4 remain tight lipped regarding this year's occupants, though Macaulay Culkin, Joan Rivers, Anna Nicole Smith, Johnny Vegas, Michael Barrymore and, on a music tip, Dead Or Alive singer Pete Burns and Boy George are among those rumoured to be involved. All will be revealed at 9pm on Channel 4 tonight. Of course we do not endorse such trashy nonsense, though we will tune in, but just in the name of dedicated music news reporting. It's the same reason we watched Five's Shocking Celebrity Moments 2005 last night. Alas, it didn't actually feature anything that constitutes 'music news'. But had it - we'd have got it.

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PRESS ROOM>>

KILL ALL HIPPIES, JAN 2006
Kill All Hippies returns this Friday, 6 Jan, at Shoreditch's 333 Club. Live action this time comes from The Longcut, Kill The Young and Dirty Fuzz, while on the decks will be Jeff Automatic, Frankie D, Gavin Nugent, Mark Beaumont (NME), Syrinx, Owen Hopkins (The Crimea) and Honk Papa. All takes place from 9pm to 5am. Tickets, £10, £8 (NUS), or a fiver if you guest list in advance at http://www.leylinepromotions.com.

Press info from Leyline, full press release at:
http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/pressroom/killallhippies

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MOTOROLA LAUNCH MOBILE RADIO SERVICE
Well, we warned you there'd be lots of techy news this week, given that the Consumer Electronics Show officially kicks off in Las Vegas today.

Some of the big announcements are already in. Motorola yesterday officially unveiled their previously reported iRadio service. This offers consumers a whole load of radio channels (435 actually) via their phone, which they can listen to on their mobile itself or, via the wonders of Bluetooth, via their home or car stereo. Motorola say that the service will offer music fans "a new level of ubiquity", though I've no idea what that's meant to mean. Motorola Digital Media Services VP Mike Gaumond told reporters: "Today, we've taken a giant leap beyond traditional and internet-delivered radio by introducing a single service that incorporates incredible choice, the discovery of new music, impulse acquisition, and seamless portability".

Among the partners providing channels on the iRadio service are Clear Channel, Music Choice and Warner Music, while, as previously reported, Motorola is also offering the platform to independent artists and labels. Commenting on their involvement, Warner exec Michael Nash told reporters: "Portable music devices are essential to consumers. Warner Music Group is committed to making its vast music library and world-renowned artists available to music fans on as many devices and over as many platforms as possible."

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SAMSUNG AND PIONEER ANNOUNCE XM RADIO COMPATIBLE PLAYERS
Talking about new radio devices, Samsung and Pioneer have both announced they are launching MP3 players in the US that will also receive the XM satellite radio network. Some of these players will receive the satellite stations on the move, while others will need to be in a 'docking station' to access radio. Perhaps most importantly, the radio bit comes with a 'bookmark' feature which enables consumers to tag songs they are hearing on the radio, and to then later buy those tracks via an XM/Napster service.

Pioneer Marketing VP Larry Rougas said yesterday: "In the past, the consumer has been able to do one of two things: listen to satellite radio or listen to music downloaded from their own collection. Adding the XM functionality to an MP3 player means you're no longer a prisoner of your own playlist".

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CREATIVE LAUNCH PODCAST PLATFORM
And talking about getting radio style programmes onto your MP3 player, Creative have launched their own website supplying editorial based downloads and podcasts. Called ZenCast, the site offers hundreds of wordy downloads structured around a range of topics, including books, comedy, movies and music.

The website presumably hopes to remind the world that podcasting isn't an iPod-exclusive innovation, despite Apple getting most of the press related to podcasting. In fact, given that most podcasts come as MP3s, including most of those on ZenCast, they can be played back on more or less any digital music player.

Apple's association with podcasting came about because iTunes was one of the first mainstream digital music packages to add podcast functionality, which enables punters to sign up to podcasts via their music player, which means new editions of those podcasts automatically arrive on a subscriber's computer. Zen now have their own podcast software, called ZenCast Organiser, which enables non-iTunes users to subscribe to podcasts, and to quickly transfer new editions to their Creative player. The software is currently available online as a beta version. The electronics firm expect to start including the software with all new Creative players sometime in the next six months.

Commenting on the new website and podcasting software, Creative chief Sim Wong Hoo told reporters: "ZenCast provides your one-stop destination for breaking news, entertainment, sports - all available free for download to your Zen player".

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MUSIC ZONE BUY 41 MVC STORES
Independent music retailer Music Zone pretty much doubled their network of stores yesterday by acquiring 41 of the former MVC shops. The move means Music Zone has reached the 100 store target set by their MD Steve Oliver when he led a management buyout of the company last March. It will also boost the company's profile in the South of England - Music Zone has been primarily based in the North to date.

The MVC shops went up for sale just before Christmas when the group, which split off from former owners Woolworths last summer, filed for bankruptcy, citing competition from supermarkets and the internet as the main reason for their hard times. The chain continued to operate while in administration over the Christmas period. The Music Zone deal will mean the jobs of at least 437 of MVC's 700 strong workforce should be safe. MVC's administrators say they are now looking to flog the companies remaining 23 stores - so if anyone's interested, you should give the London office of Kroll Inc a call.

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DOWNLOAD PLATFORMS EXPECTING SPITZER INVESTIGATION
More on reports that New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer is planning on investigating the deals behind the pricing models of iTunes and the other major download platforms.

As previously reported, Spitzer is rumoured to be keen to check whether the download platforms and/or the major record companies are guilty of price fixing in this space. Although the lawman's office have not yet commented on the investigation, Warner Music last week confirmed they had received a subpoena from the attorney general relating to their download platform dealings. Now an Executive Director of the US Digital Media Association, Jonathan Potter, has told CNet that his industry is aware of the investigations, and that "everybody expects to be contacted, and some already have been". Companies operating download platforms representing by Potter's organisation include iTunes, Napster, Real, AOL and Yahoo.

As we said the other day, given that a major fall out between the labels and the download platforms, in particular iTunes, was already on the cards regarding the one-price-fits-all model currently preferred by Apple, Spitzer's investigations could provide an interesting new dimension to what was already set to be a hot topic for the music business in 2006.

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TOWNSHEND'S HEADPHONE HEARING LOSS CONCERNS
The Who guitarist Pete Townshend has said that he worries about the possible increase in the use of headphones in the iPod age because he reckons that headphones are to blame for his hearing problems.

Townshend, who says that he often has a loud ringing in his ears, and that he has to take 36 hour breaks from recording these days because of the pain that causes, reckons the damage to his hearing was caused by his regular use of studio headphones rather than by playing at loud gigs.

He has written on his website: "[with] computers - for privacy, for respect to family and co-workers, and for convenience - we use earphones at almost every stage of interaction with sound. My intuition tells me there is terrible trouble ahead".

While he admits that he doesn't know if domestic headphones are as potentially damaging as those in studios, he warns music fans to be cautious, adding "hearing loss is a terrible thing because it cannot be repaired. Music is a calling for life. You can write it when you're deaf, but you can't hear it or perform it."

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ALBUM REVIEW: Skeewiff - Private Funktion (Jalapeno Records)
Charmingly retro, or derivative and cliched, Skeewiff certainly have a knack for recycling Northern Soul and mod classics with gay abandon. Their third studio album on the label they created for themselves, 'Private Funktion' does something similar to the James Taylor Quartet or Corduroy in its celebration of wah guitar, horn and hammond. Proper soul riffs ahoy, with Alan 'The Hawk' Hawkshaw providing keyboards - the man behind the piano in the Mohawks' 'Champ'- and copious borrowing from Blue Note. It's all very swinging Sixties, particularly with the version of Quincy Jones' 'Soul Bossanova', which in our post-Austin Powers world can't help but evoke that done-to-death cult of 'Shaggadelic baby yeh'. Another familiar one is 'Man Of Constant Sorrow', made famous by 'O Brother Where Art Thou?', and here reworked to breakbeat in a way that would go down nicely on a dancefloor. There are some great vocals bits like Charlise Rookwood's Nina Simone-esque croon on 'Love Power', as well as a few rich gospelly interludes. 'Lost Due To Incompetence' lends a bit of a rock edge with distorted guitar wailing, while 'Wet Your Beak' hits you with a hammy piece of honky tonk. 'Ruby's Revenge' makes imaginative use of the sitar, which combined with breaks creates that heady mix of the exotic and funky. 'Matador' to take us down the Latin alley all of a sudden, but by now we are ready for anything chirpy and quirky, and fortunately chirpy-quirky is a style Skeewiff seem to have perfected. WE
Release Date: 20 Feb
Press Contact: Trailer Media [all]

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OASIS PLAN SUMMER EP
According to NME.com, Oasis are planning to release an EP this summer, because there's a track left over from the 'Don't Believe The Truth' sessions that Liam wanted to include on the album.

Noel told NME: "Liam's got this tune that's left over from the sessions called 'The Boy With The Blues', which he got in a right fucking arse about and it could've been on the record. We've got all of January off - so I'd like to go back into the studio to add a bit more to it."

Calling the track "catchy as fuck", Gallagher continued: "There's not much of a chorus to speak of, which is why it didn't go on the album. [Producer] Dave Sardy was like, 'It needs a chorus'. But it's got this change at the end where the words go: 'Come all together/If we come all together/We'll come all together for you'. The lyrics alone sound like it's 'Come Together' but it doesn't sound anything like that. It's a bit like Spiritualized, y'know, when they do that gospel thing. The bulk of the song is only about three minutes long but the outro could go on forever, really."

All that said, Noel hasn't shared his plan with the rest of the band yet. He continued: "I haven't spoken to Liam about this. This'll be the first he hears of it when he reads it now and he'll be like, 'What the fuck are you on about?' I'd like to put it out as a one-off single, 'cos if we spend January recording and mixing it, it could be out for the summer."

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TEST ICICLES TOUR
Test Icicles are heading out on tour shortly in support of forthcoming single 'What's Your Damage?' Here are the dates:

13 Jan: Manchester Academy 3
14 Jan: Edinburgh Venue
15 Jan: Glasgow Barfly
16 Jan: Newcastle The Cluny
17 Jan: Leeds Faversham
25 Jan: Brighton Ocean Rooms
26 Jan: Cardiff Barfly
27 Jan: Birmingham Barfly
28 Jan: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
30 Jan: Sheffield Leadmill
31 Jan: Oxford Zodiac
1 Feb: Stoke Sugarmill
2 Feb: London ULU

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SUPER FURRY RHYS SUPPORTS MOGWAI
Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys is amongst the support acts at one of Mogwai's sold out London ICA shows and will appear on 12 Jan, the third night of the previously reported five night residency. Rhys is a friend of the band, and in the past contributed vocals to a track on Mogwai album 'Rock Action'.

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BABYSHAMBLES LIVE DATES
Yes, it's not a little like tempting fate, but everyone's second favourite Pete Doherty band Babyshambles have announced three upcoming live dates. And they are:

9 Jan: London, Koko
10 Jan: Sheffield, Plug
11 Jan: Stoke, The Underground

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JOHNNY MARR NEWS
The lovely Johnny Marr is planning a second album with his latest band the Healers. You may remember debut 'Boomslang', which was released in 2003 via iMusic to mixed reviews. Anyway, it's been announced via the former Smiths guitarist's official website that the new long player will see a release in the spring and some of the songs already recorded are 'The Sparks of Life', 'Run in the Dust', 'Reign Down the New Days', 'I've Seen More', 'Save Ourselves Again' and 'Denial Denial'.

The Healers, which originally featured drummer Zak Starkey on drums and Kula Shaker bassist Alonza Bevan, now consists of guitarist James Doviak, bassist Iwan Gronow and drummer David Tolan. Marr and the Healers will perform at the previously reported Manchester V. Cancer benefit concert on 28 Jan.

Elsewhere in Marr news, he's apparently played guitar and harmonica on five tracks for a new Jane Birkin covers album, which is expected to see a release early in the year. The long player features Birkin's versions of songs by, amongst others, Tom Waits, Kate Bush and Rufus Wainwright.

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MASSIVE ATTACK ALBUM
Massive Attack have said that they are working on a new studio album, to be called 'Weather Underground', and have already completed seven tracks for the long player. The band have also confirmed that a greatest hits compilation 'Collected' will be released at the end of March, preceded by the release of a new single 'Live With Me' on 13 Mar. 'Collected' is a two CD set, the second featuring rare and reworked material, as well as some brand new recordings.

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XFM ARRIVES IN SCOTLAND
Xfm arrived North of the Border yesterday as Beat 106 ceased to be and Xfm Scotland came into being. As previously reported, the youth orientated Edinburgh and Glasgow radio station has been rebranded Xfm as part of GCap Media's post-merger consolidation. The rebrand sees the station get a schedule revamp, including the hiring of Dominik Diamond as breakfast show host. The rebrand also means the move away from dance and back to rock, which began when Beat 106 revamped its music policy eighteen months ago, is more or less complete, though the Scottish station will have more dance based programming at the weekends than its London counterpart.

The rebrand officially launched at 8am yesterday morning as Scotland returned to work after its double New Year bank holiday. Diamond was the first on air, after which he told CMU: "I've worked in broadcasting for a number of years but this was certainly one of the most nerve wracking experiences I have undertaken. To officially launch a station with as much credos as Xfm Scotland is a real honour and I can't wait to get Scotland's airwaves rocking."

Stuart Duncan, Xfm Scotland Marketing & Operations Controller, added: " Xfm Scotland is what the market has waiting for, a focused and well targeted radio station been for people who love music - our music. It's the start of a new era for radio in Scotland".

Most importantly, of course, it all means that listeners in Scotland will now be able to listen to Eddy TM's Remix every Sunday at 7pm, it being one of the very few shows that will appear on both Xfm stations, which is damn good news whatever the era.

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CABLE JOINS KERRANG!
Staying with radio, and EMAP have announced that former Stereophonics drummer Stuart Cable will front a new weekly show on Kerrang! Radio. Cable, who hosted last year's Kerrang! Awards, will present a "mix of contemporary and classic rock music" each Friday from 9pm to midnight.

Confirming the appointment, Kerrang! Radio programme director Adam Uytman told reporters: "Stuart is an absolutely perfect addition to the Kerrang! Radio line-up. His edgy personality and love of all things rock sum up what the station is about and there is no place better suited to his style and musical taste".

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EMAP ANTICIPATE MORE MAGAZINE TITLE RADIO SPIN OFFS
And staying with EMAP Radio, the division's MD Dee Ford has said magazines like FHM might get their own radio stations if the group is successful in its bid for the new national digital radio multiplex.

If EMAP were to win the multiplex, which is due to be tendered by OfCom later this year, it would be able to broadcast a number of digital stations nationwide. The group's digital output already includes stations built around its music magazines - Mojo, Q, Kerrang! and Smash Hits - but so far only one of its non-music titles, Heat, has been developed into the radio space. But Ford reckons that might change if EMAP gets a national multiplex to play with.

She told the Guardian: "If you think of some of those magazines at ECM [EMAP Consumer Magazines], there are some powerful titles there. There is a long queue of customers waiting to get into those brands. It would be peculiar to have those assets in a cupboard and not think of them as the first port of call to go to. We are working with eight national digital stations at the moment. The only one we have gone into ECM for is Heat. There is an awful lot more that we can play with".

EMAP Radio's Head Of National Brands Shaun Gregory added: "There are some powerful brands emerging. Grazia and Closer are two prime examples. I would be excited about working with them on radio."

Of course, EMAP face tough competition for that national multiplex, if, indeed, it is tendered at all. As previously reported, EMAP's rivals GCap are trying to stop OfCom from making the multiplex available on the grounds that the digital company it co-owns, Digital One, was told that when they successfully bid for their national digital multiplex a few years back that it would be the only national digital network in the commercial radio space. Needless to say, Ford thinks GCap are wrong in trying to block OfCom's new plans: "You need to choose your battles. I think it would be terrific if there was focus within GCap on driving the business forward, because that would be great for commercial radio. A great use of [GCap's] time might be to do a great job with what is a fantastic bouquet of assets."

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STAR SNAPPERS TO RECREATE COVERS FOR CHARITY
Winners of a charity auction will be buying the chance to star in recreated iconic album covers. Photographers Gered Makowitz and Dan Hunstein have agreed to recreate the artwork they shot for two of their most famous album sleeves - The Stones' 'Between The Button' and Dylan's 'Freewheelin'' - only this time featuring the highest bidders. The auction will take place alongside an exhibit at Abbey Road, to raise money for Cancer Research.

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JOAQUIN PHOENIX PERFORMS IN PRISON
Joaquin Phoenix, star of the Johnny Cash biopic, has followed in Cash's footsteps by performing at Folsom State Prison in California. The country star, as you all surely know, played there in 1968 and subsequently released a live album.

Inmates watched the aforementioned biopic, 'Walk The Line', and heard Phoenix perform several acoustic tracks, including a cover of Cash's 'Folsom Prison Blues'. The actor joked "I know you guys would probably rather see [film co-star] Reese [Witherspoon]," adding "I don't know if you've noticed, but I've messed up like 40 times, I'm all over the place."

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ARCTIC MONKEYS GO HIP HOP
According to The Daily Star, Arctic Monkeys are considering commissioning some hip hop remixes of songs from their debut LP. A source told the paper: "The lads are all massive hip hop heads. They're always blasting out Dre and The Neptunes in their dressing room. They're in talks with a number of producers with a view to releasing some hip hop mixes."

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RONNIE WOOD IS SECRET PHILATELIST
According to The Sun, Ronnie Wood has a filthy addiction to philately. The tabloid reports that the Rolling Stones guitarist, a recovering alcoholic, is now working hard on his stamp collection. The tabloid's source said: "He is fascinated by it. His spare time is now spent painting and collecting rare stamps. He gets assistants to go to specialist shops trying to buy the best stamps. He's very proud of his collection."

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KAISER RICKY WANTS TO BE IN NEIGHBOURS
Ricky Wilson, Kaiser Chief, would like to appear in Neighbours according to IOL.com, as he was amused by the Pet Shop Boys' cameo in the show back in 1995. The singer apparently said "I remember watching The Pet Shop Boys in a cameo part and that was hilarious. They asked for directions to the recording studio."

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