CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 17th January
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In today's CMU Daily:
- New Pantheon Award nominees announced
- Johnny Cash film does well at Golden Globes
- Hamilton BSP slams on Brakes full time
- More exec changes at HMV
- iTunes considering tax benefits of UK base in Channel Islands
- SonyBMG sign up to iTunes Australia, at last
- UK music minister to attend MIDEM
- Jacko charity single almost ready to go
- Will.I.Am Peas launches own label
- Magic Numbers plan mini album
- Album review: Roy Ayers- Virgin Ubiquity Remixed
- Davis wants Morrissey investigated
- Intimate Razorlight tour dates
- Oasis extend tour
- Mystery Jets, releases, tour
- The Crimea tour
- Radiohead to headline V
- T-Rex telly performances galore on new DVD
- Mark Spoon dies
- French government redrafting anti-P2P legislation
- Singapore industry makes anti-P2P arrests
- Trouble at The Source?
- Ingenious investments
- McCartney turned down Brit honour apparently
- Richard Archer is brilliant
- Shayne X-Factor denied chance to work with Robbie


Tomorrow night MusicTank will stage their first Think Tank event of the year, tackling the increasingly topical theme of DRM and copy protection. Hot on the heels of the high profile fallout that followed SonyBMG's disastrous dabblings with copy protection in the US, and with the All Parliamentary Internet Group currently focusing on the issue, the Think Tank will hear from, among others, Richard Gooch, the Deputy Director (Technology) of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry; Jill Johnstone from one of the organisations most critical of the major labels' digital policies, the National Consumer Council; and Ted Shapiro, VP & General Counsel for the European division of the Motion Picture Association. Also on the panel will be Horst Weidenmüller, the boss of !K7 Records, and a key player in the Respect The Music campaign which is being promoted by VUT, the trade body for independent labels in Germany. Horst's viewpoint, shared by an increasing number of independent labels, is particularly interesting because while, as a label owner, he recognises the importance of content owners earning revenues from their copyrights, he reckons many of the DRM and copy protection methods used by major labels are wrong. Far from being the solution to the new challenges the music industry faces in the digital age, these methods "further alienate consumers by giving honest customers a hard time". Ahead of the more detailed MusicTank debate on the issue, CMU has reviewed the story so far and spoken to Horst about what he and many in the independent sector think is wrong with the way the major labels are approaching this issue. You can read that review and interview today on the CMU website, before joining in the debate at MusicTank's Think Tank tomorrow.

Check the interview and feature:

Booking info for the Think Tank event:


The shortlist for the brand new New Pantheon Award has been announced. As previously reported, this is a new award established by Tom Sarig, one of the founders of the Shortlist Music Prize, which until last year was awarded annually on similar lines to the UK's Mercury Music Prize. Some reports suggest the New Pantheon Award replaces the Shortlist Music Prize, although Sarig's co-founder Greg Spotts is reportedly not involved, and he told Billboard last year that as far as he was concerned the Shortlist Prize would return.

Like the Shortlist Prize only albums that have sold less than 500,000 copies in the US are eligible for the new award, although unlike the Mercury Prize artists from all over the world are considered. The shortlist and ultimate winner is voted for by a panel of pundits and performers that this year includes Shirley Manson, Elton John and Beck. The shortlist is as follows:

Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine
Arcade Fire - Funeral
Animal Collective - Feels
Antony and The Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
Death Cab For Cutie - Plans
The Decemberists - Picaresque
Kings Of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak
MIA - Arular
Sufjan Stevens - Illinois

The overall winner of the prize will be announced on 6 Feb.


Talking of awards, it was the Golden Globes in LA yesterday, and among the movies doing well was the previously reported film about the life of Johnny Cash, 'Walk The Line', which took the prize for Best Musical/Comedy Movie, while Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix picked up the respective awards for Best Musical/Comedy Movie Actress and Actor for their performances in the film. 'Walk The Line' opens over here on 3 Feb.


That was a bad headline. Forgive me. I won't do it again. The news, as you might almost have guessed from that headline, is that keyboardist Eamon Hamilton has left British Sea Power, and will be devoting himself solely to singing in his other band Brakes.

A newsletter from British Sea Power revealed: "Due to the ongoing success of his other band, Brakes, BSP keyboardist Eamon has now left BSP to pursue Brakes glory full-time. All remains fully amicable between the five men of BSP past and present. Further, it is not unlikely that Eamon will return for the BSP headlining slot at Glastonbury 2007. In the meantime we all wish him well."

The newsletter continued: "Of course, Eamon's departure creates the most exciting vacancy in rock since 1998. BSP will soon announce a nationwide series of open auditions for the post, while early frontrunners for the job include Charlotte Church and Frodo, the up-front alpha-male on BBC1's Chimp Week."


Following the departure of HMV top man Alan Giles last week, the music retailer has announced a few other changes in its senior team. First, Product Director Steve Gallant is also out, replaced by one Simon Pack. Meanwhile the company's HR Director, Liam Donnelly, will take on responsibility for business strategy, reviewing the current business and putting together long term plans. The currently vacant role of Operations Director will now be advertised internally and externally. As previously reported, Giles quit the top job after reporting disappointing financials which he blamed on increasing competition in the music retail space from the supermarkets and online sellers like Amazon and


According to the Daily Telegraph, Apple is considering setting up business on the Channel Island of Guernsey to benefit from a previously reported tax loop-hole that is used by a number of other online retailers, including Tesco, Asda, Britannia, HMV, Amazon and Woolworths.

The loophole in question is the fact that imports into the UK from outside the EU are not subject to VAT when items cost less than £17 each. Because that covers most music releases, a number of retailers are now running their music operations through Guernsey - the Channel Islands being geographically convenient, but not part of the EU.

The paper says that if Apple were to base itself on the island it could drop its prices in the UK to as low as 67 pence per track. However, the British government have said that they will be keeping a close eye on companies benefiting from the loophole, while the Guernsey government said last year that it was tightening the criteria for allowing companies to open operations on the island.

Commenting on the reports, Nick Goulding of the Forum For Private Business, one of the biggest critics of the loophole, told the paper: "This is more evidence of the urgent need for Gordon Brown to end this cynical tax dodge."


More iTunes news, and the SonyBMG catalogue will now appear on the Australian version of the Apple download platform. The major had been holding out on the computer firm, which launched its download service in Oz last year. Some reports suggested SonyBMG wanted to become an equity partner in Apple's Australian iTunes operation, hence the delaying tactics, though the major record company doesn't seem to have succeeded in that mission. Music from SonyBMG artists could be available via iTunes Australia from as early as tomorrow.


The government's Minister For Creative Industries And Tourism will demonstrate his continued support for the UK music business next week by undertaking the arduous task that is a jaunt to Cannes. James Purnell MP will attend Midem next Monday to check out the government supported British Music At Midem 'village', which will host the largest international delegation at the convention. He will also throw a little reception, which will include an acoustic set from Nizlopi.

Commenting on his jaunt, I mean continued support for the British music industry, Purnell told reporters: "Our music industry is one of the most successful in the world - it's been that way for fifty years. And 2005 proved to be the best year in history for the British album with acts such as the Kaiser Chiefs, James Blunt and the Gorillaz, dominating the top of the chart. More UK companies than ever before will be represented this year at Midem. I hope it signals the start of another bumper year for the British music industry."


Word is that that previously reported charity record being coordinated by Michael Jackson in aid of the Hurricane Katrina relief fund is finally near completion. Bankrolled by Jacko's Bahraini benefactor Sheik Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, it will be released on Bahraini label 2 Seas Records and apparently includes contributions from Keisha Cole, Ciara, Snoop Dogg, Babyface and R Kelly.


Black Eyed Pea Will.I.Am has apparently launched his own record label, Will.I.Am Music, in conjunction with Universal division A&M/Interscope. It will release 'Timeless', by Sergio Mendes, on 14 Feb, with subsequent releases expected from Macy Gray as well as Peas bandmate Fergie in her solo capacity. Will.I.Am is also working on his own solo debut, which he plans to release in 2007.


The Magic Numbers may release a mini album of songs left over from their eponymous debut album. The group's Romeo Stodart told Planet Sound: "I thought [the songs] might make the second album and now they're kinda not fitting with what I'm writing next either. A mini-album might be the answer."


ALBUM REVIEW: Roy Ayers - Virgin Ubiquity Remixed (Rapster)
There's something disarming about the sound of the vibraphone, and this Roy Ayers' update has retained that sound well. These classic tracks have had a flattering nip 'n' tuck, leaving us with a new beauty indeed, garbed in a quilt of hip hop, nu jazz, drum & bass and house. Included is previously unreleased Ayers' material like 'Holiday', 'Mystic Voyage', and 'Kwalijori', unearthed by BBE label boss, Peter Adarkwah, while compiling the albums Virgin Ubiquity I and II. Opening with a Kenny Dope mix of 'Holiday', the album looks as if it might head down a camp soul pop path-something along the lines of Incognito after the Roger Sanchez treatment-but stick with it and it goes quite stylish. Saccharine moments do abound, however; most glaringly in Joey Negro's remix of 'Sugar', which has the slightly tacky tinge of mid-nineties acid jazz. DJ Marky's version of 'Mystic Voyage', applies that great 4Hero formula of hectic jungle beat pinning together an ethereal, jazzy melody, and it sits surprisingly well there among the more easy-going tracks. In 'Kwajilori', an uplifting bass riff and house beat hop around behind smooth soulful vocals and Ayers' trademark vibraphone, while Platinum Pied Piper's take on 'Funk in the Hole' stands out as the most funky and sassy of them all. Basement Jaxx rounds it all off nicely with a light, percussive remix of 'I Am Your Mind', complete with oh-so-cool synth finger clicks. All in all, this is vintage wine served in a decanter; it's pretty much unadulterated and tastes good. WE
Release Date: 6 Feb
Press Contact: Emms Publicity [all]


Shadow Home Affairs spokesman David Davis has apparently had a go at Morrissey for making those previously reported comments in which the singer said he supported violent attacks perpetrated by extreme animal rights campaigners. Morrissey responded to a question in an interview on fan website thus: "I support the efforts of the Animal Rights Militia in England and I understand why fur-farmers and so-called laboratory scientists are repaid with violence - it is because they deal in violence themselves and it's the only language they understand - the same principals that apply to war."

Former Tory leadership contestant Davis has taken exception to those comments and told the Sunday Times: "Any incitement to violence is obviously wrong in a civilised society and should be investigated by the police." A spokesman for Huntingdon Life Sciences, meanwhile, said: "people can have whatever opinions they want, but to condone and encourage acts of violence is entirely wrong and should not be allowed in a democracy."

No response from Morrissey, of course. Perhaps it's because he's busy planning his spring tour in support of his forthcoming new album, the cheerfully entitled 'Ringleader Of The Tormentors'. According to the aforementioned fansite true-to-you, the singer will play the following dates:

18 Apr: Salford Lowry
22 Apr: Aberdeen Music Hall
23 Apr: Stirling Albert Halls
25 Apr: Dundee Caird Hall
26 Apr: Greenock Town Hall
27 Apr: Glasgow Academy
6 May: Manchester Apollo
7 May: Manchester Opera House
8 May: Manchester Bridgewater Hall


Hey, how did we get into tour news? Ah well, Razorlight have announced a series of intimate live dates on which they plan to test out new material that the band have been recently working on for their second album. Tickets are available from the band's official website (well, they might be, if they haven't sold out yet) and the dates are as follows:

24 Jan: Cambridge Soul Tree
25 Jan: Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
26 Jan: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
28 Jan: Bedford Angel
29 Jan: Oxford Zodiac
30 Jan: Northampton Soundhaus


Oasis have announced that they will play two extra UK dates this year, at Nottingham Arena on 13 and 14 Feb, and have also announced more details of the North American leg of their 2006 tour.

I don't know exactly what you're going to do with this full list of Oasis tour dates, but here it is. Perhaps you could plan your own world tour, following the band as they go. Being a fan would probably be advisable under those circumstances, though. Here you go:

25 Jan: Oslo Spektrum
26 Jan: Stockholm Hovet
29 Jan: Lille Zenith
30 Jan: Grenoble Summum
1 Feb: Vienna Gasometer
2 Feb: Eulachhalle Winterthur
4 Feb: Toulouse Zenith
6 Feb: Florence Mandela Forum
7 Feb: Rome Palalottomatica
9 & 10 Feb: Sheffield Arena
13 & 14 Feb: Nottingham Arena
18 Feb: Bangkok 100 Rock Festival
21 Feb: Seoul Olympic Hall
23 Feb: Singapore Indoor Stadium
25 Feb: Hong Kong Asiaworld Arena
20 Mar: Toronto Air Canada Centre
22 Mar: Milwaukee Riverside Theatre
23 Mar: Indianapolis Murat Theater
25 Mar: Cincinatti Taft Theater
26 Mar: Nashville Ryman Auditorium
28 Mar: Houston Verizon Wireless Theater


Mystery Jets have confirmed they will release their next single, 'The Boy Who Ran Away', on 27 Feb, while debut album 'Making Dens' will hit record shops on 6 Mar. The band will headline the Xfm Xposure night at the Barfly on 21 Jan before embarking on one of those NME tour things, before a few more headline dates as follows:

5 Mar: Jabez Clegg, Manchester
6 Mar: The Garage, Glasgow
7 Mar: The Leadmill, Sheffield
9 Mar: Mean Fiddler, London
10 Mar: The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham


CMU favourites The Crimea are also going on tour. And quite a long one too. Dates as follows.

1 Feb: Cambridge Soultree
2 Feb: Peterborough Met Lounge
3 Feb: Norwich Arts Centre
4 Feb: Hastings Crypt
5 Feb: Brighton Freebutt
8 Feb: Liverpool Academy 3
9t Feb: Leicester Charlotte
11 Feb: Northampton Soundhaus
13 Feb: Wolverhampton Little Civic
14 Feb: Bristol Fleece And Firkin
15 Feb: Sheffield Boardwalk
16 Feb: Leeds Cockpit
17 Feb: Carlisle Brickyard
18 Feb: Manchester Academy 3
22 Feb: Nottingham Social
24 Feb: Dundee Reading Rooms
25 Feb: Inverness Raigmore Hotel
26 Feb: Aberdeen The Tunnels
27 Feb: Edinburgh Venue
28 Feb: Glasgow ABC 2
1 Mar: Newcastle University


Gigwise claims that Radiohead are to headline this year's V Festival, claiming that a source close to the event has revealed that the band are indeed set to appear, although there has been no official announcement.

The V festival takes place, as I'm sure you all know, on 19 and 20 Aug in Chelmsford and Stafford.


Demon Vision have confirmed the release on 17 Apr of a new DVD called 'T Rex On TV' which will bring together a stack of TV appearances from Marc Bolan and T Rex, including performances from seventies pop shows from France, Germany and the UK. The three and half hour set will be split into five sections, including a greatest hits section, rarities strand, a 56 minute documentary and a section featuring performances from Bolan's ITV TV series Marc. Press info from Noble PR.


Mark Loffel, better known as Mark Spoon, has died at the age of 39. The influential German DJ was found dead in his Berlin apartment following a suspected heart attack.

He was best known for Jam And Spoon, his collaboration with fellow dance music star Jam El Mar. The pair's debut album, 'Triptomatic Fairytales', was a transatlantic success and was followed by 1995 hit 'Right in the Night (Fall in Love With Music)'. The duo additionally recorded hits under the name Tokyo Ghetto Pussy, as well as remixing songs by artists such as Moby and The Pet Shop Boys, whilst Loffel discovered Dr Alban in his capacity as a promoter.

Universal Music confirmed Loffel's death at the end of last week, and a condolences book has been set up here:


The French government is reportedly redrafting its copyright protection bill after political manoeuvrings in the country's Parliament at the end of last year transformed legalisation designed to combat illegal file sharing so that it essentially legalised P2P.

Government officials withdrew their original bill after opposition members in the parliament radically altered the proposals after arguing the original legislation favoured the rights of content owners over the rights of consumers.

To placate those opposition politicians, the redrafted bill is expected to make concessions regarding consumer rights. According to the Agence France-Presse the amendments have been ordered by French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin and will include the enshrinement into law of the right for consumers to make private copies of music and films they buy.

The new bill will also distinguish between those who profit from illegal downloading, and those who occasionally download tracks or movies for private use. For the latter a more moderate system will be put in place to stop downloading, sending downloaders a warning email and formal letter before fining them.


More P2P nonsense, and the Recording Industry Association Of Singapore is the latest industry association to get legal against people suspected of illegally uploading tracks for download. Though no simple cease and desist letters in Singapore. According to reports the RIAS is working with the Intellectual Property Rights Branch of the Singaporean police force who have arrested two suspected file-sharers who allegedly posted hundreds of tracks, from mainly Malaysian and Indonesian artists, charging them with 'illegal track distribution'. The P2P related arrests follow a huge crack down in Singapore on the country's busy counterfeit CD industry.


According to, the co-owners of US hip hop magazine The Source have obtained a temporary restraining order against the board of directors of The Source Entertainment Inc.

David Mays and Ray 'Benzino' Scott are reportedly trying to keep a wide berth from their board, who are busy trying to oust them from their top jobs at the media company, saying their leadership hurts "not only the employees of The Source, but all of its investors, vendors, subscribers and readers".

Benzino, of course, is perhaps best known for pursuing his personal feud with Eminem and the whole Slim Shady camp through his magazine.


Film and music entrepreneur Patrick McKenna has announced a new £300,000 deal which will see his company Ingenious Music invest in a new band called The Heights. It is the first of a number of planned investments in artists from the equity firm, which has reportedly raised £15 million from city types to invest in music ventures, as well as announcing plans to raise another £30 million.

Duncan Reid, Commercial Director at Ingenious, told reporters: "Investing in an artist or band has now become a highly attractive proposition for the first time."


According to reports, Paul McCartney turned down the Outstanding Contribution To Music Award that the Brit panel wanted to award him this year, because, at 63, he doesn't want to be considered a 'has-been' and is afraid that such an accolade would make people think his career is over. A Britperson apparently said: "We were absolutely stunned. Sir Paul felt that if he accepted the gong, people would assume it was the end of his career when he is feeling more creative than ever."

As previously reported, the award in question will now go to Paul Weller, who is, of course, quite a bit younger than Macca.


And so says all of me. And I'm big, let me tell you. I was a bit scared of Mr Archer's intimidating eyebrows to begin with, but frankly, this chap keeps saying all the right things. And he's done it again, this time publicly opining that pop is legitimate when it's done well, which is quite obviously correct, but frequently not recognised by some stupid people who idolise people like Richard Archer. The Hard-Fi frontman also expressed surprise that acts like Girls Aloud and Sugababes had failed to receive Brit nominations in the Best Pop category.

Archer said: "I'm not really a pop fan but when it's done right it's good. Girls Aloud and Sugababes both do it well so it's a bit of a surprise they aren't in the pop act selection when Blunt and Melua are. They should be."

He continued: "It's good that Madge is in there as she makes decent pop records but how they put the nominations together is a bit of a mystery. We're up for Best Group but not Breakthrough Act, when last year was the one in which we actually broke through."

I hope he did say all of this, and it's not just vicious lies, after I've gone and enthused about it.


According to The Sun, Simon Cowell has stopped chart topping X-Factor winner Shayne Ward from working with Robbie Williams. The tabloid reports that Williams wanted Shayne to fly to LA so they could write and record together, but Cowell wouldn't let it happen, because he's the boss. The decision didn't go down too well with Shayne's manager Louis Walsh.

Mr. A Source said: "Simon Cowell was not overly happy about Robbie working with Shayne so soon after the show. He worries Shayne will get too big for his boots. Louis loved the idea. He really wanted Shayne to go to LA and write with Robbie - but ultimately Simon can over-rule any decisions over Shayne's career."

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