CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 10th January
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In today's CMU Daily:
- Will there be any iPod surprises at Expo?
- EMI appoint new Virgin Records MD
- Ayers to release remix album
- Tortoise to release rarities set
- MTV chief on post-demerger plans
- Vodafone launch mobile radio service
- ITV on their new look
- Cowell flogs duets show to Fox
- Goldie teams up with d&b website for compo
- Maximo Park release rarities album
- Kano added to New Kings bill
- Belle & Sebastian single, album, tour
- Four Day Hombre single, album, tour
- My Luminaries dates coincide with Xtra Mile release
- Bryan Adams to play Pakistan fundraiser
- Elbow added to One Earth line up
- Gorillaz co-founder up for design award
- Bjork is most eccentric star
- Tom Vek to appear on OC
- Gallagher says he didn't mean it



So, the Brits 2005 officially launch today, which is always fun. The main pre-launch story this morning seems to be that Live 8 live sets aren't eligible for the Best Live category because gigs have to be properly ticketed to count. Because Live 8 was essentially a free gig none of the sets from the lobby-fest can be shortlisted. According to some in the press this is an "outrage", with one Brits Academy member quoted as saying: "It is ridiculous. Pink Floyd's performance was clearly one of the biggest talking points of 2005 in the music world". Personally, seems fair enough to me. Commendable and exciting as Live 8 was, it was an event very much bigger than the sum of its parts, and frankly it seems unfair for artists who have invested huge amounts of time, money and creative energy into their own live shows to have compete with such an extravaganza. And anyway, am I alone in thinking that none of the sets at Live 8 would be that stand out if taken out of the context in which they appeared? Personally, my Live 8 highlight was Snoop Dogg shouting "mother-fucker" on prime time teatime BBC 1. Now if there was a Brit for Best Use Of An Expletive In Pop, then Live 8 would have to count.


Everyone that's anyone in the world of computers and electronics was in Las Vegas last week for the previously reported Consumer Electronics Show. Well, except one. It has become a tradition in recent years that Apple chief Steve Jobs avoids announcing anything at CES, preferring instead to take centre stage at his own Macworld Expo event in San Francisco, ensuring once again he enjoys media coverage somewhat out of scale with his company's actual status in the whole scheme of things.

So it is that all eyes in the techy world will fall on Jobs later today when he reveals where Apple plan to go next. Much of his keynote speech may well centre on the new slimmer cheaper notebook computer that Apple are expected to launch this year - the first product from Apple's new partnership with Intel. But what of digital music, the one area where Apple really are the major player?

Among the many iPod/iTunes developments that rumour suggest might come up in Jobs' speech today are major new additions to the iTunes video store, maybe including partnerships with CBS and/or Fox; a stack of new functionality features across the iPod range; a revamp of the cheaper iPod Shuffle; the launch of a 1GB iPod nano in place of the Shuffle; and even some kind of gesture towards the variable pricing system that the record labels are so desperate for Apple to introduce. Whether any of those do, in fact, appear, I'll guess we'll know by 6.30pm tonight our time.


The EMI Group has announced that Ferdy Unger-Hamilton will become the new MD of Virgin Records UK.

He fills the gap left by the departure of Phillip Ascoli from Virgin Records last year, though the post has changed somewhat in the meantime. As previously reported, Keith Wozencroft, president of EMI's Capitol UK division that incorporates the EMI and Parlophone labels, was given responsibility for Virgin Records UK last November. That means that Hamilton will report to Wozencroft, rather than directly to EMI Music chairman Tony Wadsworth like his predecessor. If that makes any sense whatsoever.

Ferdy originally founded the Go Beat label for Go Discs and in his A&R role there signed Portishead and Gabrielle, among others. He joined Universal Music when they acquired Go Discs, and was most recently an A&R Executive for the major's Island Records where he signed Keane. But nobody's perfect. He formally starts work at Virgin at the end of the week.


Roy Ayers is to release a remix album next month, following on from the success of EPs featuring remixes by Kenny Dope, Marky & XRS and Platinum Pied Pipers. The new LP is released on 6 Feb and showcases remixed favourites alongside previously unreleased tracks. Ayers says: "Damn near every song that's been done on me has been a hit. From Brand Nubian to a Tribe Called Quest, Ed OG & the Bulldogs to Mary J. Blige and Erykah Badu. In many cases, as in my case, they have revived artists. It's like a rejuvenation, a re-birth. All of a sudden, you're back on the scene".


Tortoise are planning to release a three disc collection of rarities in April. The set will consist of a DVD and two CDs featuring rare remixes by artists such as Autechre, Yo La Tengo and Mike Watt, plus the contents of 'Rhythms, Resolutions and Clusters', their remix album which was originally released back in 1995. The CDs will also contain limited edition tour singles and EP tracks that have not previously made it onto an album.

Meanwhile Tortoise are working on a new studio album. On that, guitarist Jeff Parker says "We're trying to get away from playing so many 'songs' and just focus on more rhythmic or ethereal aspects in the music. In a way, as a band, we get kind of trapped into creating these songs that have verse, chorus and melody - musical relationships that work that way. It's something we're trying to get away from. We're not even actually sure what we mean by that, but it's something we've noticed is kind of absent in a general sense from our music. It's something we'd like to cultivate."


MTV chief Tom Freston has been talking to the Wall Street Journal about his plans for Viacom post-demerger. As previously reported, the Viacom empire is to split into two separate mini-empires: one called CBS taking in, erm, CBS and the company's radio stations, and another called Viacom, taking in Paramount and MTV. Freston will run the latter.

Freston told the WSJ that he wants the new streamlined Viacom to be "the best branded entertainment company in the world" adding that he looks forward to being able to invest more of MTV's rather healthy profits back into MTV, rather than the music network having to subsidise other parts of the old conglom.

On his plans, he says he wants the new Viacom to have content "on whatever platforms are out there or are going to be out there", adding that: "the focus we have always had here is on the consumer and consumer behaviour. You are going to be really lost if you don't understand what's going on with the consumer and you don't have an ability to create great content".


Vodafone and Sony NetServices (whatever that is) have announced a new partnership which will offer a mobile radio service, giving punters the chance to stream special radio channels to their mobile phones in return for a monthly subscription. Subscribers can choose from a number of different genre specific channels, or there is a mobile service a bit like Yahoo's web-based Launch platform, which learns what music you do or don't like and provides you with a personalised stream. Punters will also be able to download tracks they like - though this will be charged on a pay-per-track basis. The service is scheduled to launch in the UK and five other European countries, with a launch music library of 500,000 tracks.


In case you wonder what's going on when quirky new logos and idents start appearing on the ITV channels this month, well let us, or rather ITV's press office, explain.

"If you were to ask the ITV1 audience what made them happy, sad or embarrassed," the network begins, "you'd get wonderfully different responses. The ITV1 logo opens out at the start of each ident to encapsulate the emotion in each scene and demonstrate that ITV1 brings you all these emotions in its programming. This logo device is also taken through into the on-screen design elements for the channel in a bold and clear design that ensures that the programming shines as hero."

"ITV2 programming has an addictive quality to it," they continue, "you just can't help watching it! As a result, the creative idea for the branding for this channel is centred on fun, excess, and general over-the-topness - too much of everything. It's a journey through a visually rich, vibrant and stylish ITV2 environment".

Meanwhile: "storytelling is at the heart of all ITV3. The idents for this channel are very filmic and intimate in nature and aim to give you a taster of a possible story unfolding. This is achieved through visual links between an object and its environment from with the viewer can interpret their own story".

And finally to ITV4, which has been using the network's new branding since its launch at the end of last year. Apparently "the creative proposition for ITV4 is based around 'the collision of opposites' with the aim of the channel to alter the opinion of male viewers about ITV. The idents for this channel are each based on the concept that things aren't always as they seem and that appearances can be deceptive."

So there you go. ITV's Director Of Marketing And Commercial Strategy Clare Salmon concluded: "The new branding is the first tangible evidence of the way in which we are now putting viewer insight at the heart of our thinking. We aim to move perception of ITV from terrestrial broadcaster to content brand, making it fully fit for a multichannel, multi-platform world".

Apparently people get paid rather a lot of money to come up with this pop-psychology shite. Which is why the human race is doomed.


Talking of telly, Simon Cowell has reportedly sold his celeb duets TV format to Fox TV. Cowell reportedly sold UK rights to the show, which will partner off non-music stars with singers who will then perform duets together, to ITV late last year. Fox will make an American version of the programme.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Fox TV has given a "cast contingent order" for the show - ie they'll take it subject to the line up of celebs Cowell's team can recruit. They'll need quite a few celebs to take part, of course - singers, non-singers and judges. Cowell himself is unlikely to appear on the show, rather he'll take an Exec Producer role via his company Syco.


The Drum & Bass Arena website has teamed up with Goldie to compile a great new compilation tracking the drum & bass genre from its rave roots to more recent releases. 45 tracks appear, including some from Dillinja, Doc Scott, Jonny L, Spirit, Bad Company, Origin Unknown and Shy FX. The album is called 'Drum & Bass Classics: Mixed By Goldie' and will be released by Ministry Of Sound on 16 Jan. Press info from Alchemy PR.


Aren't Maximo Park a young band to be releasing a rarities album already? Yes, they are. And yes, it's true, Maximo Park are to release an album of b-sides and demos that weren't on their one and only album so far, 'A Certain Trigger'.

It's entitled 'Missing Songs' and is released on 20 Feb. The tracklisting is as follows:

My Life in Reverse
Fear of Falling
I Want You to Leave
A Year of Doubt
Trial and Error
Stray Talk
Hammer Horror
Apply Some Pressure (Original Demo Version)
Graffiti (Original Demo Version)
Once, a Glimpse (Original Demo Version)


There's been a bit of rejig on the line-up for Carling's New Kings show which takes place at London's Islington Academy on Thursday (12 Jan). Kano has been added to the bill, which already boasts The Magic Numbers and Graham Coxon. The MOBO Best Newcomer replaces Hard-Fi, who had originally been billed to play.

The official line on Hard-Fi's withdrawal from the bill is that they had to drop out "due to other commitments", although Contact Music say the band refused to do the show after learning it was a Carling branded event, quoting frontman Richard Archer as saying: "We weren't happy with all the connotations. We thought it was just a show, then it seemed we were promoting brands."


The new Belle & Sebastian single is out soon. 'Funny Little Frog' is released on 16 Jan and is followed on 6 Feb by the new album 'The Life Pursuit'. And just in case you've been asleep, here are their 2006 tour dates, a great many of which are completely sold out:

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


The lovely Four Day Hombre release their debut album 'Experiments In Living' next month, as well as a second single 'First Word Is The Hardest'. The single is out on 13 Feb followed by the album on 27 Feb (I've had a listen incidentally, and will be putting a review in shortly), preceded by all of these tour dates:

12 Jan: Sheffield Boardwalk
13 Jan: Leicester Charlotte
14 Jan: Accrington Attic
15 Jan: Liverpool Academy 2
16 Jan: Birmingham Bar Academy
18 Jan: Mansfield The Mill
19 Jan: Stoke Sugarmill
20 Jan: Nottingham Junktion 7
21 Jan: Cardiff Barfly
22 Jan: Bristol The Fleece
23 Jan: Southampton Joiners
25 Jan: Brighton Pressure Point
26 Jan: London Islington Bar Academy
27 Jan: Bolton No 15
28 Jan: Stockton Kurbar
31 Jan: Manchester Roadhouse
3 Feb: York Fibbers


Buzz band My Luminaries play the Camden Barfly next Tuesday, 17 Jan, before their set at this month's Remix Night at Cargo on 20 Jan. All of which is kinda cool, because the band release the single 'All I Really Want' as part of Xtra Mile's new 7" Unsigned series on Monday, 16 Jan. Details on that at


Bryan Adams is to take part in a concert in Pakistan to raise funds for the victims of last year's devastating South Asian earthquake in which killed over seventy thousand people and left millions homeless. The event will take place at the Arabian City venue in Karachi later this month, in front of an estimated crowd of 20,000.

Adams had planned to play in Pakistan five years ago but his visit was cancelled following the events of 9/11 and subsequent war in Afghanistan. Concert co-organiser Salman Iqbal said: "This is the first time that an artist of Bryan Adam's calibre is coming to Pakistan. We want to show to the world that Pakistan is a friendly country and its people love music and Karachi is no more a troubled city."


Elbow have been added to the line up of the One Earth concert, taking place at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on 28 Jan. Acts already confirmed for the event, which is in support of the global campaign to tackle environmental change, include Manic Street Preachers The Strokes, Super Furry Animals, The Darkness and Embrace.

See for info and tickets.


Jamie Hewlett, co-creator of the Gorillaz, is on the shortlist of the Design Museum's Designer Of The Year prize. Hewlett created the visual identity of the virtual band as part of his collaboration with Albarn, who wanted to create the ultimate manufactured band, ie one that didn't really exist.

Hewlett is up for the £25,000 prize against humanitarian designer Cameron Sinclair, furniture designer Tom Dixon, and the design team behind The Guardian newspaper. All four's work will be displayed at the Design Museum from 4 Mar to 18 Jun.


Bjork has been voted the most "eccentric" star in a BBC poll. Which seems a bit strange, as I thought Bjork was "mad". Possibly even "idiotic". Ah well, what do I know? She heads up the top twenty list which includes such legendary (alleged) oddballs as David Icke and Chris Eubank. Other music names eccentric enough to be on there include Ozzy Osbourne, Elton John, and Johnny Rotten.

The editor who ran the poll said: "Bjork's eclectic fashion sense and amazing but quirky music secured her the top slot in our poll. Most of our top 20 eccentrics are unconventional in one way or another, and some are wonderfully lovable."

Here's the full list:

1. Bjork
2. Chris Eubank
3. David Icke
4. Tom Baker
5. Ozzy Osbourne
6. John McCririck
7. Patrick Moore
=8. Vivienne Westwood
=8. Sir Jimmy Savile
10. Uri Geller
11. Elton John
12. Clarissa Dickson-Wright
13. Ken Dodd
14. David Bellamy
15. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
16. Neil and Christine Hamilton
17. Zandra Rhodes
18. Adam Hart-Davies
19. Keith Floyd
20. Johnny Rotten


Tom Vek is to appear on one of CMU's favourite TV programmes, teen drama The OC. As I'm sure you avid viewers all know, the show has frequently featured performances from talented up and coming bands at fictional venue The Bait Shop. Acts who've previously appeared on the programme include The Killers, Jem and Death Cab For Cutie.

Vek is to perform 'C-C (You Set Me On Fire)' in the episode, which will be filmed later in the month.


Some time ago (actually, a very long time ago in the days of Oasis/Blur rivalry; long before the CMU Daily existed) Noel Gallagher was famously reported to have said that he wished Blur members Damon Albarn and Alex James would "get AIDS".

Gallagher has now told Xfm that it wasn't his fault and that he didn't mean it, telling the radio station "It was kinda a bit of a stitch up by the journalist. I was in this dressing room after we played Irvine Beach in that Big Top, and we were all fucked taking drugs - she was taking drugs an all, and I won't name her on the fucking radio because that's probably not the best thing legally to do - but I kinda thought we were speaking off the record, but of course there was a tape recorder on. But, there you go. I obviously don't wish that... A bad cold I should have said. Flu maybe?"

Gallagher also retracted comments that slagged off KT Tunstall, but reiterated that he still thinks James Blunt is crap: "I gotta say this, I was in Q magazine a while ago slagging off KT Tunstall, and I was kind of shocked at that cos I'd only been speaking to her ten minutes before and I don't really mind her music and she's a really sweet girl. I really didn't mean to lump her in with James Blunt, it's just that she plays an acoustic guitar. I apologise for that cos I thought she was really cool but I was kinda horrified. I was like 'Oh no, I didn't say that?' cos she was alright and she's not as bad as James Blunt. He's rubbish."

But, just for the record, he doesn't like Bloc Party, though it seems to be more on account of what they say in interviews, not what they do with their music: "Every time I read an interview by that shower. It's like they're talking about their favourite music, 'Yeah, I heard a Bjork B-side that was interesting...' People that analyse music? It's either good or its bad. So it either makes sense to your brain or it doesn't. There's no such thing as interesting. I've never sat down and listened to a record and gone and analysed it that much that that I was 'interested'. It's like, put it on and within two minutes you're going, 'Its rubbish, turn it off, turn it off!' or stick it on again."

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