CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 16th January
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- New Year, new Warner EMI speculation
- Napster speculation ahead of financial report
- Beach Boys sue for millions
- Dynamite admits assault
- Singer arrested yet again
- Mystikal fined and jailed over tax evasion
- Radio and music industries squabble over digital piracy
- Universal label chiefs become presidents
- Cowell signs five year Fox deal
- Independent launch independent supplement
- Radio 1 add new DJs to Residency line up
- Yo Yo becomes peace envoy
- DMX signs to Sony
- Maximo Park to head into the studio, soonish
- Stellastarr* single and tour
- Ordinary Boys join NME tour
- New Darkness single
- Kylie denies all clear reports
- Eminem and Kim get hitched, again
- Chart update
- Subshot playlist
- Keane and Editors customise their helmets
- OutKast movie on its way
- Martin's house haunted by musician
- Fatboy carnivorises McCartney's dog
- Kaiser Chiefs lose out to Forward Russia!


Now, here's something interesting. We mentioned on Monday how the 'C' of 'CMU' stands for 'College', as in College Music Update. Remember? Well, our college links mean we are slightly more than occasionally contacted by students doing research or dissertation work on the music or media industries looking for leads to help them with their course work. In response I normally send them a small rant about whatever topic it is they are researching (just imagine how long a response they get whenever they ask about the music business' response to downloading) and then I put them in touch with the same two industry people who once foolishly said it was OK for me to do so. But it occurred to me this weekend, perhaps I could ask our 8500 readers who wouldn't mind speaking to said students from time to time. So, if you wouldn't mind a student occasionally tapping you for your opinions on one music business issue or another, email your name, contact details and the topics your have knowledge of / opinions on to [email protected]. Don't worry, we're not talking thousands of contacts, and it is likely we'd only pass on your details once or twice a year. But if you're willing to help us be willing to help, then drop us an email. Thank you and good morning.


How about some idle Monday morning speculation? Well, here goes.

Talk returned to the possibility of a Warner EMI merger in the financial press last week. The Financial Times reckons the "logic remains strong" for the two smaller majors to join forces in order to properly compete, in size at least, with their much bigger competitors SonyBMG and Universal Music. "Even after significant stand-alone cost cutting," the paper notes "there would be room for further efficiencies" should the two companies merge.

The FT reckon the investment types led by Edgar Bronfman Jnr, who still own 70% of Warner, may well proactively pursue an EMI merger or acquisition later this year. Although commenting on the same topic, the Times reckoned that EMI was more likely to lead any merger talks, especially if the Bronfman Jnr fraternity decided to opt for some quick wins by further reducing their stake in Warner.

Either way, the FT concedes there are still some factors going against the merger happening at all - the possibility of EU competition officials blocking further music business consolidation, the post-merger stresses over at SonyBMG and the continuing insecurity of the industry in general. Personally I still think a merger between one of the smaller majors and one of the big management firms or live promoters is actually more likely - or, at least, more sensible.


Talking of idle speculation, some are starting to chatter about the financial position of Napster, ahead of a third quarter financial report, due to be delivered by the company's CEO Chris Gorog and CFO Nand Gangwani on 8 Feb.

Digital Music News reports sources at the US division of the download company who have said that substantial layoffs are likely as Napster continues to battle stiff competition from Apple's iTunes. Said sources are also apparently claiming that senior execs are talking 'exit strategy', with both sell-off and liquidation on the agenda.

However a Napster spokesman has denied all those rumours. Speculation, though, will no doubt continue until that quarterly financial report next month.


Into the pop courts, and the Beach Boys are suing two Californian men over claims that they stole recordings and memorabilia from a warehouse rented by the band. The suit, which seeks more than $20 million, also claims that Roy Sciacca and Allan Gaba violated the group's copyright, trademark and "right of publicity" by trying to auction the goods in October last year.

The items, which included instruments, sheet music, photos and contracts, were stored in Mr Gaba's North Hollywood warehouse. The band decided to clear out the warehouse in 1994, and claim that they discovered Gaba had removed 13 to 25 boxes of their memorabilia.

Mr Sciacca, a friend of Gaba's, contacted UK auction house Cooper Owen to put items up for sale last year, claiming he purchased the memorabilia twenty years ago. It was when the auction house announced the sale that Brother Records, the corporate entity that represents the surviving Beach Boys, first announced its intention to launch legal proceedings.

Legal papers were filed in LA last week. Sciacca and Gaba are yet to comment.


Ms Dynamite has pleaded guilty to that charge of assaulting a police officer whilst being held in custody. The singer, real name Niomi McLean-Daley, appeared at Bow Street Magistrates' at the end of last week and admitted to that charge as well as one of disorderly conduct. As previously reported, Daley was arrested outside a London nightclub on 6 Jan.

Prosecutor Audrey Hawkes said: "She was told to calm down on repeated occasions but didn't. Eventually PC Marles allowed Mr Daley, her brother, to calm her down but she continued to be abusive and was arrested. At the police station, she was abusive again and hit the police officer once with an open palm on the side of the face. There was no injury."

Ms Dynamite's defence lawyer Anthony Burton explained that the fracas at the night club arose following another incident in which she and her sister were racially abused. He also added that press reports had been exaggerated and that both sides accepted his client had struck the officer in question with an open hand, rather than punching her - which is alright then.

Ms Dynamite will return to the court on Tuesday for sentencing. The Judge, Caroline Tubbs, called the conviction "a serious matter of assault on a police officer performing her duty" and stressed that all sentencing options were open, meaning McClean-Daley could end up in prison.

Meanwhile, Ms Dynamite's brother Kingsley Daley, accused of trying to prevent police arresting his sister, pleaded not guilty to a charge of obstructing police. Her friend Carlene Godwin also appeared in court, also pleading not guilty to a public order offence. Both will return to the court on 27 Jan.


The lead singer in a band was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of possessing class A drugs and driving under the influence of drugs. The former boyfriend of international supermodel Kate Moss was in fact not pulled over by police, but thought he was being stopped when they pulled over the car behind him. Not surprisingly, the police decided to search him because he was behaving erratically, which, as my fellow editor points out, sounds something like the plot of a rock n roll sitcom.

Currently on bail over earlier drugs charges, it's the fourth arrest for the Babyshambles frontman since his return from a stab at rehab in Arizona. He was due to play a gig in Austria at the weekend, but was unable to appear due to the arrest. He awaits sentencing on those earlier charges, and is due in court again on 8 Feb.

The singer in question, can, of course be named. But there's no need, really, is there?


When put next to a sentence for sexual battery, a year in jail for cheating the government out of $271,000 of taxes doesn't seem very rock 'n' roll. Or, rather, it doesn't seem very hip hop. And to be honest, a year in jail for tax evasion doesn't seem particularly harsh when the judge allows you to serve it at the same time as the six years you're already serving for the battery offence. Whatever, rapper Mystikal, midway through a six year sentence for forcing a woman to perform oral sex, was given an additional year in jail last week after admitting he failed to file tax returns on the $824,916 he earned in 1998 and the $930,953 he made in 1999. As the jail time will be served concurrently with his current incarceration, the order to pay back taxes and additional penalties will presumably hit harder.


Industry associations representing the US music and radio industries have been mailing open letters to each other about the need, or not, for copyright protection technology to be used in the developing American digital radio format referred to as HD. Although both sides are seemingly keen to avoid conflict, it still isn't completely clear whether common ground can be found.

David K Rehr, President of the National Association Of Broadcasters, began with an open letter to the Recording Industry Association Of America relating to the music business's previously stated concerns that high quality easy-to-capture digital radio posed a new piracy threat and their opinion that radio companies should be forced to encrypt their output in such a way that the threat is reduced.

Rehr argued that the RIAA were exaggerating the piracy risk posed by digital radio, writing: "the scope of any piracy risk associated with HD Radio is likely more limited than the RIAA has previously asserted". He added that people looking for free music were much more likely to access tracks via P2P or non-copy protected CDs that 'stealing' them off digital radio, explaining: "those desiring to obtain and listen to pure, uninterrupted performances of sound recording in lieu of radio already have an abundant number of means to do so".

On the RIAA's specific demands that broadcasters should encrypt content to reduce the piracy threat, Rehr argued that such demands were unfeasible and would set back the development of the HD radio medium, "rendering some stations and equipment obsolete".

Responding to that letter, RIAA chief Mitch Bainwol has published his own open letter, reaffirming his organisations concerns over the piracy risk HD radio poses. He insists that the NAB have misunderstood the kind of encryption the music industry has requested, arguing that the kind of 'broadcast flag' system they are proposing is supported by the NAB in video services, so should be applied to radio too: "A broadcast flag technology similar to the solution [the NAB] supports in the video context would be adequate to meet our needs".

Talking of copy protection type nonsense in the digital age, don't forget DRM is the topic for the MusicTank Think Tank event at Soho's Bertorelli Restaurant on Wednedsday night. We'll be chatting to one of the panelists about their take on all this copy protection nonsense in the CMU Daily tomorrow, meantime full details of the event is online at


What's in a job title change you might ask? Well, normally a pay increase and new business cards. Either way, the MDs of the main UK Universal Music labels - Polydor, Mercury and Island - have all been rebranded as presidents of their respective divisions. So David Joseph and Colin Barlow are now co-Presidents of Polydor, Jason Iley is President of Mercury and Nick Gatfield is President of Island. Universal UK boss Lucian Grange said the promotions recognised each label chiefs' role in developing their respective business, adding that the new roles would enable them to further enhance their individual divisions and therefore the Universal Music Group as a whole.


Simon Cowell has signed a new five year deal with Fox Television Studios to develop programming for both television and web/mobile platforms, or at least he has according to The Hollywood Reporter. This news presumably means that the X Factor man is probably even richer than he was a couple of weeks ago. Gosh. Sometimes I wish I was Simon Cowell. It must be stressed that these moments are brief and infrequent, however.


Presumably keen to end that mental association which always links the words 'broadsheet newspaper' and 'music' to 'Observer Music Monthly', the Independent has teamed up with the Association Of Independent Music to launch a new quarterly supplement dedicated to, yep, you got it, 'independent' music. See, it all works. The new title will launch on 3 Feb and will focus exclusively on the wonderfully vibrant independent music scene.

It will be edited by the paper's Arts Editor David Lister, who told CMU: "Independent music and The Independent are a natural fit. Our music pages, which recently won a national award, have long taken a keen interest in indie music and championed the best known indie bands at very early stages in their careers. The indie scene now is more eclectic than ever before and this new music magazine will show its wide range, highlight some of the most pressing issues - and give a sneak preview of upcoming albums."

AIM boss Alison Wenham added: "In partnership with The Independent, AIM will give unparalleled access to the vibrant, intelligent, sometimes reckless world of the true independent spirit of the music business, and those artists and music companies who choose independence as a way of life and as a business model, many of them with great success, all of them with passion".


Radio 1 have confirmed that DJs The Plastician and Tayo will join the line up of the station's The Residency show. The weekly dance based show was launched last May, and features a string of top DJs from different dance genres who take to the airwaves each week on rotation. Two of the original The Residency DJs, Nic Fanciulli and Jon O'Bir, are both standing down, though they will continue to work with Radio 1 on other projects. The new recruits will take their place. Which means as of 5 Feb, The Residency residents will check out like this:

The Plastician - Grime/UK Garage
Eddie Halliwell - Energetic tech trance
Tayo - Breaks
Trophy Twins - All genres of house, from funky to tribal
Crissy Criss - Drum & Bass/Jungle and UK hip hop
Kutski - Underground hard dance/Hardcore

Commenting on the new recruits, Ian Parkinson, Radio 1's head of Specialist, Speech and 1Xtra, told CMU: "I am delighted to welcome The Plastician and Tayo to 'The Residency'. Both have exceptional talent and cover genres that appeal to a huge cross-section of our audience. The plan with 'The Residency' is to stay fresh and to ensure Radio 1 stays at the forefront of new dance music. It's not goodbye by any means to Nic Fanciulli and Jon O'Bir who helped to launch the show, listeners can expect to hear more from them on Radio 1."

Pete Tong, who oversees the show, added "I feel proud to have been involved in 'The Residency' which was created to reflect what's hot in the dance music world. The Plastician has already made a lot of heat in the grime scene and on the pirates while Tayo, a player in the breaks world, gets to take it to the next level with a national audience. Nic Fanciulli and Jon O'Bir have made a fantastic contribution to the show and have really shone as broadcasters. The new line-up means that Radio 1 covers genres across both underground and mainstream dance, another step forward in its constant evolution."

Press info from the Radio 1 press office. Obviously.


Super-cellist Yo Yo Ma is to become a United Nations peace envoy, or so says UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who met the musician last Thursday and subsequently confirmed to reporters that "Yes, he will be a peace envoy."

Ma joins a list of personalities chosen by Annan as "messengers of peace" that includes some other music names such Luciano Pavarotti, Wynton Marsalis and singer-composer Enrico Macias, as well as environmentalist Jane Goodall, actor Michael Douglas, basketball player Earvin "Magic" Johnson, and Nobel laureate writer Elie Weisel.


DMX has announced he is parting company with Universal's Def Jam because he doesn't think he can work with the major label's boss Jay-Z because "We're both too big". Instead he's signed a three album deal with Sony Urban, who will take on the long player the rapper had been developing for the Universal label, 'Here We Go Again'. The signing is quite a coup for Sony given that DMX is the only rapper to have all five of his studio albums debut at number one in the Billboard 200 - all five went on to be multi-platinum sellers.


MAXIMO PARK TO HEAD INTO THE STUDIO, SOONISH reports that Maximo Park will be heading into the studio as soon as they're done with the upcoming ShockWaves NME Awards Tour.

They quote frontman Paul Smith as saying: "It would be easy to keep touring. Our success to whatever level has been quite steady, there's not been too much hype surrounding us and it would be very easy to keep growing and see how far we can push it."

But he admits some eagerness to return to the studio and get on with that second LP: "We've been playing these songs for the last three years of our lives and we've written a ton of new songs that we want to play and release. So we'll start recording our next album in the spring after the NME tour. We've evolved sound-wise and I think when a band stop being creative and just try flogging what they've got that can be dangerous, so rather than the possibility of falling into that trap we're go into the studio to replenish our creative energy."


STELLASTARR* SINGLE AND TOUR also reports that the lovely Stellastarr* have announced a UK tour, one date of which is a ShockWaves NME Award Show. Fancy that. The band also release a single, 'Sweet Troubled Soul', on 13 Feb. Here are the tour dates:

19 Feb: Reading Fez
20 Feb: London Astoria ShockWaves NME Awards show
21 Feb: Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
23 Feb: Oxford Zodiac
24 Feb: Leicester Princess Charlotte
25 Feb: Stoke Sugarmill
27 Feb: Liverpool Barfly
28 Feb: Birmingham Barfly
1 Mar: Bristol Fleece And Firkin
2 Mar: Sheffield Leadmill
3 Mar: Dundee Reading Rooms
4 Mar: Glasgow ABC2
5 Mar: Manchester Academy 3
7 Mar: London Kings College


ORDINARY BOYS JOIN NME TOUR also reports that The Ordinary Boys have signed up for a ShockWaves NME Awards gig. The band will play at London's Astoria on 16 Feb.


NEW DARKNESS SINGLE also reports that The Darkness have confirmed a new single to coincide with their upcoming live dates, none of which are a ShockWaves NME Awards gig, however.

'Is It Just Me?' is the second single to be released from recent album release 'One Way Ticket To Hell ...And Back', and will include 'Shit Ghost' and 'Shake (Like A Lettuce Leaf)' as B-sides. It's out on 2 Feb and the coinciding gig dates are as follows:

5 Feb: Belfast Odyssey Arena
7 & 8 Feb: London Alexandra Palace
11 Feb: Sheffield Hallam FM Arena
12 Feb: Glasgow SECC
13 Feb: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
18 Feb: Manchester MEN Arena
19 Feb: Birmingham NEC
20 Feb: Nottingham Arena
21 Feb: Brighton Centre


Kylie Minogue's publicist has denied reports by The Sun that the singer has been given the all clear by her doctors in Paris, saying: "On 21 May last year Kylie's surgeon announced that the operation to remove the cancer was successful. Since that time Kylie has been undergoing treatments to prevent a return of the cancer. Kylie remains keen to return to work and in particular to re-schedule the Showgirl Tour of Australia. Fortunately we are still able to say we have received no news of a re-occurrence of the cancer; however at this point in time Kylie's treatments are continuing."


Eminem got re-married to his formerly estranged ex-wife Kim this weekend. Amid tight security (stepped up after a copy of the invite to the event was posted on the internet), 50 Cent, D-12 and G-Unit members were among the guests at the bash at the Meadow Brook Hall on the Oakland University campus, close to Slim Shady's hometown of Detroit. As previously reported, Mathers announced his intention to re-tie the knot with Kim after coming out of rehab last year. Presumably he's looking to rediscover the matrimonial stress, conflict and heartache that inspired some of his best work.


So, representing both ends of the music business spectrum - Simon Cowell's X-Factor winner Shayne Ward is still top of the singles charts this week for the fourth week running, but proving that the commercial pop machine doesn't always dominate, Nizlopi's 'JCB Song' is in the chart for the fifth week running, sitting at number two.

All of which means you have to go to number three to find the highest new entry, coming from Richard Ashcroft, with 'Break The Night With Colour'. Other new entries run thus: Sunblock's 'I'll Be Ready' at 4, Texas' 'Sleep' at 6, Jose Gonzalez's The Knife cover 'Heartbeats' at 9, Kooks' 'You Don't Love Me' at 12, The Crimea's 'Lottery Winners On Acid' at 31 and Mylo and Freeform Five's 'Muscle Car' at 38.

Oh yes, and proving there is a point to this Celeb BB lark, The Ordinary Boys' 'Boys Will Be Boys' re-enters the singles chart at 33. Hurrah. Though, alas, the previously reported album sales boost for the Boys wasn't sufficient to get them into the albums top 40 this week, which is dominated by the usual suspects once again.

Whether their respective Brit nominations helped James Blunt, Hard-Fi, Kaiser Chiefs or KT Tunstall to shift records this week I don't know - they are at 1, 4, 5 and 7 in this week's album chart - but then again, they were all top ten last week too.

Though, well done to the team behind the wonderful Editors who, despite having no Brits nominations, have shot back up the albums chart to number 3, presumably because of the proactive marketing campaign surrounding the recent single release of 'Munich'.

Only two new entries on the albums chart this week - the aforementioned Jose Gonzalez who goes in at 16 with 'Veneer', and the Notorious BIG duets project thingy, which goes in at 17.


Here, once again, are the videos being played on the SUBtv network of TV screens in students' union bars across the UK. It's the first playlist of 2006, which is why there are quite so many new entries (marked with a **).

**50 Cent - Hustler Ambition (Universal/Interscope)
**Beck - Hell Yes (Universal/Polydor)
**Belle & Sebastian - Funny Little Frog (Rough Trade)
**Beyonce - Check It On (SonyBMG)
**Chris Brown - Run It (SonyBMG)
Hard-Fi - Cash Machine (Warner/Necessary)
**Hi Tack - Say Say Say (Waiting 4 U) (Gusto)
Plan B - No Good (679)
**The Go! Team - Ladyflash (Memphis Industries)
The Strokes - Juicebox (Rough Trade)

**Broken Social Scene - Ibi Dreams Of Pavement (City Slang)
**El Presidente - Turn This Thing Around (SonyBMG/One Records)
Eminem - When I'm Gone (Universal/Interscope)
**The Kooks - You Don't Love Me (EMI/Virgin)
**Mew - Why Are You Looking Grave? (SonyBMG)
**Milk Kan - Bling Bling Baby (PIAS)
**Nickelback - Far Away (Roadrunner)
Nizlopi - JCB Song (FDM Records)
**Public Enemy - Bring That Beat Back (Slamjamz)
**Smother - New Foundation Of The Truth (Global Warming)
**Stars - Your Ex-Lover Is Dead (City Slang)
The Cribs - You're Gonna Lose Us (Wichita)
**The Upper Room - All Over This Town (SonyBMG)
**Three 6 Mafia - Stay Fly (SonyBMG)
**Will Young - All Time Love (SonyBMG)


Keane and Editors have both made some customised army helmets to sell on eBay to raise money for War Child. The auction ties in with the release of new war film 'Jarhead', with similar military paraphernalia signed by director Sam Mendes and stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard also going on sale.

Russ from Editors said: "The inspiration behind the helmet we decorated was the two fundamentals that brought the idea together, firstly the charity War Child and secondly the band Editors. I went out and bought a selection of newspapers from just one day. The amount of articles on war was ridiculous. I was stunned to see the amount of columns devoted to it. I used these articles to cover the helmet and then used quotes from our lyrics and from the War Child aims to try to create an impact. The whole piece was related to us as a band as it was, excuse the pun, 'edited.'"

Bidding for the helmets will open on 23 Jan, with similar pieces from Gorillaz, Maximo Park, Razorlight, Feeder and Kasabian expected to be donated at a later date.


OutKast manager Blue Williams has revealed that the duo's debut film 'Idlewild' is nearly finished and has explained why it's taken so long to get near to completion, saying: "You gotta let creative be creative, that's what it is. It ain't always when I want it. What it comes down to is, even when I'm ready to hit people with the wham-wham, the guys gotta be ready. I might be sitting there with the ill marketing - 'We gonna do this, this and this' - if they ain't ready, they ain't ready."

Williams went on to tell MTV news that they have chosen a first single from the soundtrack, and all indications are that it's a Big Boi track called 'Train'. He continued: "It looks like we're gonna start off with a new single that Big has, just to get the ball rolling. [The album] is still coming together. I'm letting them live. I don't know what's what yet."

Williams also commented on Big Boi's recent statement that he and Andre 3000 would shortly release a new studio album entitled 'The Hard Ten': "I think that was the original name for it, but I don't know when it's coming. As soon as they drop an album and everyone gets an opinion of it, they get the urge to go in (the studio) and do (another) one right away. Sometimes they'll be like, 'We gotta reload up.' I don't know what it will be this time."

Williams also spoke about a possible tribute record and TV special in honour of the late Rosa Parks. "We're trying to do a tribute special for her and get a lot of entertainers involved. Then turn the special into a DVD we can put in the schools and let teachers have it to show kids. It'll be performances, people speaking on there, a history montage. A nice special that would give her just do especially for people who don't know what she did."

He added "I thought it would be a great way to show we always had good intentions", referring to the fact that Parks sued OutKast over the use of her name on their 'Aquemini' album, a lawsuit which friends and family subsequently blamed on her lawyers and carers, saying that Parks would never have brought the suit had she not been unwell.


One from the file marked 'This Must Be Made Up / Are They Mental?', and news that Coldplay's Chris Martin and her indoors Gwyneth Paltrow allegedly think their house is being haunted by the ghost of musician Adolphus White, a Royal College Of Music professor who died in their north London home in 1902. Paltrow is apparently worried enough to be planning an exorcism.

There may have been a quote, I think, but it has mysteriously disappeared.


And no, 'carnivorises' isn't a real word, before we get into any arguments about it. But the fact is, according to Contact Music, that Mr Fatboy Slim has committed a worse sin than messing with the English language, viz., feeding meat to Paul McCartney's vegetarian dog. Well, accidentally.

The DJ also known as Norman Cook allegedly said: "The worst problem with having Paul as a neighbour is that we put our old food out on the beach for the foxes and he has a vegetarian dog. I had a birthday barbecue last year and threw all the old meat out and his dog went and finished the lot. I felt really bad."


Kaiser Chiefs are apparently a bit sad after they failed to win the Rock Band Of The Year award at the Independent Leeds Music Awards, losing out to Forward Russia! (that clearly ought to have one of those upside down exclamation marks in front of it, but I'm afraid I just can't make it happen, not in a simple text email).

According to The Star, Chief Kaiser Ricky Wilson said "We were gutted at being snubbed for Rock Band Of The Year at the Leeds Music Awards. Nick and Peanut turned up thinking we were a dead cert to win and then it bloody went to Forward Russia! They left quickly after that and tried not to catch anyone's eye. We thought, 'Come on, we opened Live 8 in America'."

He continued: "I don't hold grudges and have nothing against the people of Leeds but we did really well last year and a pat on the back would have been nice."

Well, you see, that's what happens when you do really well, really quickly.

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