CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 2nd February
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Live Nation and Nokia launch mobile ticket service
- UK investment fund set up for live ventures
- George makes no plea, but maintains innocence
- Cassidy comments on manslaughter conviction
- BBC dominate even more in radio ratings
- New Hope Of The States album stuff
- Split Enz get back together for tour
- Prodigy confirmed for Download
- Bonanaroo line up announced
- Bloc Party fan club tour
- Westlife announce summer tour
- Hard-Fi sell out
- Lenny Kravitz sells out
- Il Divo top US charts
- Tech firms rally against Swiss MP3 player levy
- Fiddy says of Robbie: 'we're cool'
- Fopp unsigned winners play London showcase
- Madonna to perform with Gorillaz at Grammys
- Breakspoll announce line up
- NME name Brown godlike genius
- Paris Hilton's Brit gig

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TOP BIT>>
The music business and copyright types will be at the House Of Commons this morning to give their opinions on all things digital rights management. As we've mentioned before, even the music business itself is split on this one, with the majors advocating the use of technology and litigation to protect their digital assets, while the independents question the value of that strategy, pointing out they've been selling unprotected MP3s of their tracks for a while now, and have taken no legal action against their customers, yet their sales are generally up. Add to that the National Consumer Council who reckon the major labels are all but physically assaulting consumers with their DRM policies, and this is a much more interesting debate than the words 'digital rights management' might suggest. I'm not sure what the government plan to do with the information they are gathering on all this, because surely they won't force major record labels to unlock all their content - at the end of the day, it's the labels' music, if they want to sell it as DRM'ed audio files, then I'm not sure there's anything anyone can do about it. And while the limitations on tracks bought via iTunes (ie that they'll only play on iPods) are a real concern, I don't see the government taking on Apple on that one. There are little things that annoy consumer rights groups which I suppose legislators could combat - the changing of DRM restrictions on tracks after purchase, the lack of easy to understand information on what DRM restrictions are in place on tracks sold via major download platforms. But as we've said many a time before - basic commercial common sense is most probably the way around this one. The fact is that however good your DRM technology and however proactive your anti-piracy legislation, most people will steal some of your content, and some people will steal most of your content. But you'll also find that many (possibly most) people will pay for content, even when they could get it for free elsewhere, if you provide it in a more convenient, or more compelling, or better packaged way. That's a commercial reality that the independents are building their businesses on, and a reality that major record labels will eventually catch on to, with or without government interference.

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PRESS ROOM>>

KILL ALL HIPPIES, FEB 2006
Kill All Hippies returns again this Friday, 3 Feb, at the 333 Club in London's Shoreditch, once again presenting a mix of great live bands and great rock DJs. Headlining on the live front will be The Holloways, with support from from The Kull. There will be DJ sets from Jeff Automatic and Anthony Vicious (Vicious Pink Goo) downstairs, and Gavin Nugent, Mark Beaumont (NME), Syrinx and Ed Harcourt on the ground floor. 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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LIVE NATION AND NOKIA LAUNCH MOBILE TICKET SERVICE
The UK division of Live Nation has announced a new partnership with phone maker Nokia which will offer registered members access to exclusive ticket deals and promotions. Called Ticketrush, among the benefits the new service promises registered gig goers are access to tickets ahead of general release, access to last minute tickets to sold-out concerts and gig news and updates direct to your mobile phone. Users will be able to personalise the service so they receive news and offers geared towards their own music tastes.

Announcing the new service, Nokia Head Of UK Marketing Simon Lloyd told CMU: "Music is one of the key areas where Nokia products have led the mobile industry, to the extent that we are now the largest manufacturer of digital music players in the world. This great new service will allow us to reach out to not only our own, but all handset users to bring them together with the music they love. 2006 will be another exciting year for Nokia and music, with great new handsets hitting the shelves, which will complement our continuing involvement in the music scene from major festivals like Nokia Isle Of Wight right through to local activity with Nokia RAW".

Live Nation Marketing Director Jenni Cairns added: "We are looking forward to working with Nokia on this exciting new marketing partnership. Mobile phones will not only become even more integral to people's lives, but will also contribute to the evolution of the music industry. Ticketrush provides all customers with mobile access to the latest ticketing offers and other entertainment related news and eventually revolutionise the way we purchase tickets."

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UK INVESTMENT FUND SET UP FOR LIVE VENTURES
A new initiative was launched yesterday aiming to encourage investors to join a venture capital trust that will look to invest in live music ventures. Edge Performance is seeking to raise in the region of £30 million via a share sale coordinated by London financial services outfit Smith & Williamson. The fund will then seek to generate a return on those investments through ventures in the live music sector.

Live sector partners in the venture capital project include the UK division of promoters AEG and one of the UK's leading independent gig promoters SJM. UK concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith is also involved.

Announcing their plans, Edge Performance chairman Robin Miller told CMU yesterday: "The live music events market has risen steadily in value from £475m in 1999 to £613m in 2004 and is predicted to reach £836m by 2009. This venture brings together a powerful team of people, including Harvey Goldsmith, in the live music and events industry. We also have agreements with AEG and SJM, two of the leading live sports, entertainment and concert promoters in the world. We anticipate that Edge will be making a significant investment in the live music sector."

Goldsmith added: "Live music is enjoying a spectacular resurgence as new talent joins the established stars. Edge will take a leading role in bringing them to an ever growing fan base created by an increasing number of festivals and concerts throughout the UK."

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GEORGE MAKES NO PLEA, BUT MAINTAINS INNOCENCE
Boy George has again insisted he is innocent of those previously reported drugs charges, although he entered no plea when he appeared at a New York court yesterday as his lawyer asked for more time to prepare the singer's defence.

As previously reported, police found the drugs at the singer's NYC home after they were called to check out a suspected burglary at the house last October. George claims to know nothing about the drugs and says, because many people are entertained at his apartment, it is impossible for him to guess who they belonged to.

The case was yesterday adjourned to 8 Mar following a request for more time by George's lawyer Lou Freeman. Speaking to journalists about the case after the hearing, Freeman said: "He [George] steadfastly maintains his innocence as to these charges. He's already pleaded not guilty, he continues that plea of not guilty in the strongest possible terms. He will fight these drug charges to prove his innocence."

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CASSIDY COMMENTS ON MANSLAUGHTER CONVICTION
Rapper Cassidy has issued a statement following his conviction last week of manslaughter over the death of his friend Des Hawkins. As previously reported, Cassidy, real name Barry Reese, was jailed last week for his involvement in the shooting that led to Hawkins' death. Hawkins was seemingly killed by mistake as he approached Reese's home in Philadelphia - the rapper and his entourage had armed the property in anticipation of a shootout. Hawkins, though, was coming to the house as a kind of 'peacemaker' to try and resolve various ongoing feuds. Reese was jailed on the basis that he was "grossly negligent for supplying the guns that killed Hawkins".

In a statement issued via his lawyer, Reese said this week: "While I am pleased that I was cleared of the murder charges, my satisfaction is not long-lasting, because of the death of someone who I considered to be my friend, Des Hawkins. And while I am eager to resume my career as a recording artist, writer and performer, I am also eager to be reunited with my family, friends, and fans. I too share the important message stated in court by Des's dad, who urged all parents to love their children and to be there for them. As the father of a young child myself, spending much time on the road and in the studio, away from home, I am relieved that I will soon be home for family and my career."

Although Reese was handed a 23 month sentence, he has been in custody since his arrest last June, so with time off for good behaviour he could out of prison within a few months. He plans to get on with his third album as soon as he's released.

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BBC DOMINATE EVEN MORE IN RADIO RATINGS
The continuing resurgence of Radio 1, and in particular its Chris Moyles breakfast show, have helped the BBC to get take its biggest-ever lead over its commercial rivals, or at least that is the case according to the latest RAJARS listening figures, released today. Across its network BBC Radio has a 55.1% audience share, while all the commercial networks together lag behind at 42.8% (don't ask me what the other 2.1% are listening to). It's bad news for the commercial sector and the radio advertising industry, who are already concerned about the number of radio listeners out of advertiser's reach. We'll have more on all that in one of our super 'RAJAR round ups' tomorrow.

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NEW HOPE OF THE STATES ALBUM STUFF
Hope Of The States' Sam Herlihy has been talking about the band's new album, and says they're going in a bit of a new direction. He told the BBC: "It doesn't really sound anything like the first record. There's a lot more songs as opposed to big, sort of, noise things. We just got a bit bored doing that, really... So it's a bit more concise than the first record. It's a bit more guitary."

He went on to explain that the album has been recorded in different European locations, and that that made for some interesting situations. Herlihy continued: "We went to Prague and did strings and (worked with) a 15-piece male voice choir. They didn't speak English... So I was having to write things down phonetically so they could sing it."

Herlihy also revealed that the first single from the LP will be 'Blood Meridian', set for release next month, and coinciding tour dates are expected to be announced shortly.

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SPLIT ENZ GET BACK TOGETHER FOR TOUR
Reunions seem to be catching at the moment. Take That obviously started something. The members of Split Enz have announced that they are to get back together for a stadium tour of Australia. The band, some of whom, as I'm sure you all know, later went on to become Crowded House, split twenty two years ago, but still have an active Oz-based fan club boasting around 15,000 members. The group got together all the way back in 1972, although did not come to global attention until the release of 'True Colours' in 1980.

Five dates have been planned initially, to take place between 7 and 16 Jun, and band member Tim Finn explained that he would like to also play shows in Los Angeles, New York and London, although nothing has been confirmed in that regard. It's believed they will also play in their home country of New Zealand at some point in the run.

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PRODIGY CONFIRMED FOR DOWNLOAD
Festivals news now, and proving that dance can well and truly rock, The Prodigy have been confirmed as one of the headliners of Live Nation's annual rock fest, the Download Festival, which will again be a three day event this year, from 9-11 Jun, at Donington Park. Liam Howlett et al join Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine in the line-up. Tickets go on sale on Friday. Details at http://www.downloadfestival.co.uk.

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BONANAROO LINE UP ANNOUNCED
Another one from the 'American Music Festival: Wish I Could Go, But Not Likely To Get There' file now, and the line up has been announced for the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival which will take place in Manchester, Tennessee from 16-18 Jun. Radiohead and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers will headline, while also on stage will be Ben Folds, Beck, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, Death Cab for Cutie, Bright Eyes, Buddy Guy, Dr. John, Matisyahu, My Morning Jacket, Cat Power, Gomez, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Dresden Dolls, Son Volt, Soulive, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Devendra Banhart Band and The Magic Numbers.

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BLOC PARTY FAN CLUB TOUR
Bloc Party have announced a March tour, but you only get to go if you're a member of their fanclub. The band will preview material from their second album at the gigs, so if you're a fan but not a fanclub member, it might be worth joining the fanclub at blocparty.com to get your sticky paws on one of the £12 tickets.

The dates are:

2 Mar: Brighton Concorde
3 Mar: Manchester Academy 3
5 Mar: Glasgow King Tuts
6 Mar: Leeds Cockpit
7 Mar: Newcastle Northumbria Stage 2
9 Mar: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
10 Mar: Bedford Esquires
11 Mar: Norwich Waterfront

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WESTLIFE ANNOUNCE SUMMER TOUR
Westlife have announced a lovely summer tour of stately homes and castles and the likes. Aren't you a lot of lucky boys and girls? Here are the dates:

30 Jun: Bleinheim Palace, Oxfordshire.
1 Jul: Harewood House, Yorkshire
8 Jul: Leeds Castle, Kent
9 Jul: Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
14 Jul: Cardiff Castle
16 Jul: The Recreation Ground, Bath
21 Jul: Edinburgh Castle
22 Jul: Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire
23 Jul: Althorpe House, Northamptonshire

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HARD-FI SELL OUT
No, I don't mean that they've got in bed with the corporations; I mean that they have sold out their tour in the space of about fifteen minutes. As a result, they've added a third night at Brixton Academy and a second night at Manchester's Apollo, with more dates expected to be added shortly. Here are the dates, suitably adjusted:

7 May: Manchester Apollo
8 May: Manchester Apollo (sold out)
9 May: Edinburgh Corn Exchange (sold out)
11 May: Wolverhampton Civic Hall (sold out)
14 May: London Brixton Academy (sold out)
15 May: London Brixton Academy (sold out)
16 May: London Brixton Academy

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LENNY KRAVITZ SELLS OUT
And this time I mean that he has sold out to the corporations. Ah well, at least it's a kind of cool brand, Absolut, and not that evil Coca Cola a la Jack White.

Anyway, Lenny Kravitz is apparently involved in something called 'Absolut Kravitz', which is described as "a groundbreaking global music project featuring a new interpretation of the brand by Lenny Kravitz."

The singer has created a completely new track, 'Breathe' based on his aforementioned interpretation, and says he was inspired by the brand's core values - "clarity, simplicity and perfection".

Kravitz explains: "There's nothing more simple, clear or perfect than the essence of true love. Once I'd felt that, the track just came. Absolut has had a history of working with great artistic people - like Andy Warhol, Tom Ford, Jean Paul Gaultier, Gianni Versace and Kenny Scharf. I thought it would be interesting to do an artistic collaboration like this and be part of that heritage."

The song will be available to download for free with an accompanying video, at http://www.absoluttracks.com.

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IL DIVO TOP US CHARTS
Seems the Americans like pop-opera too. Simon Cowell's pop opera outfit Il Divo have gone straight to the top of the US album charts with long player 'Ancora', knocking Jamie Foxx off the top spot. Commenting on the American chart success, Cowell told reporters: "This is a dream come true for all of us. I am especially delighted for the four boys, who, over the last 12 months, have worked incredibly hard for this."

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TECH FIRMS RALLY AGAINST SWISS MP3 PLAYER LEVY
A row between politicians, content owners and electronics firms has been unleashed in Switzerland after it was revealed a 'federal arbitration commission' had decided to introduce a levy on the sale of all MP3 players to be returned to content owners.

As previously reported, this kind of levy, often referred to as an 'iPod tax', has been considered in a number of countries in the last eighteen months, and is a digital version of the levies added in some countries to the sale of blank cassettes or CDRs.

The levy is based on the argument that when a consumer buys a CD they only obtain a licence to listen to those tracks on that CD. By this argument, if a consumer makes additional copies, even for personal use, they should pay an extra licence fee for each copy. A practical way of doing this is to charge a levy on the cassettes, discs or players onto which the copies are made.

Royalty bodies in Switzerland, where levies are already charged on cassettes and CDRs, have been lobbying for a levy to be added to digital music player sales for some time. Authorities agreed to such charges last month, and they are now due to be introduced on 1 Mar.

However the Swiss Association For Information, Communications And Organization Technology, whose members include Apple, IBM and Sony, have reacted angrily to that decision, and have asked the country's Federal Court to postpone the introduction of the levy for sixty days in a bid to present their side of the argument.

The trade body says the levies proposed are too high, and that the levy distinctions the proposed system makes between the kinds of players (ie those with flash memory and those with hard disks) don't make sense. They also reckon the levy is unfair on consumers.

The trade body's President, Jurg Stutz, told Swiss news agency swissinfo: "There are many things that we intend to attack. For example, we feel the tariffs are astronomically high. The manufacturers certainly can't cover this. With the margins they have today, they cannot absorb the extra cost".

A levy of this kind (which unlike the levy being discussed in France does not legitimatise P2P file sharing, it merely legitimises the transfer of legally bought tracks from one device to another for personal use) does seem a bit unfair - given that some music fans will find themselves in the situation where they are essentially paying for the privilege to transfer tracks from a PC to an iPod, even though they bought the tracks with the specific intention of listening to them on the iPod in the first place. Whether the electronics firms will successfully halt and then overturn the levy plans remains to be seen.

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FIDDY SAYS OF ROBBIE: 'WE'RE COOL'
50 Cent has said he does not, as had been reported, have any problems with Robbie Williams. Rumours of tensions between Fiddy and Robbie began when the two stayed in the same hotel and the latter reportedly complained about the noise caused by the partying of the former's entourage. Fiddy is then said to have subsequently turned down Robbie when he suggested a meeting.

But speaking to Jayne Middlemiss on that Orange Playlist show, Fiddy said: "Someone from Robbie Williams' camp contacted me and said Robbie would like to meet me, sit down and have a talk. My schedule wouldn't actually allow me to go meet with him even though we were both doing the same show. There was a massive crowd of people at the show, some to see me, some to see him, and it was so manic I just didn't get a chance to meet him. Later the papers reported that he'd said some things about me. I did finally get to meet him in Germany when we were both doing a talk show. We talked for a while and he seemed a nice guy. So I figured he didn't say anything bad about me and the papers must have just made stuff up. So I can honestly say me and Robbie don't have a beef, we're good, we're cool."

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FOPP UNSIGNED WINNERS PLAY LONDON SHOWCASE
The winners of last year's Fopp Award For New Music will all play at a London showcase next week. As previously reported, the winners of last year's unsigned bands competition, which concentrated on new talent in Scotland, were Thee Comrades, Monkeytribe, Bouchereau and The Abdominal Showmen. All four will play at The Borderline a week today (9 Feb). The aim is to showcase the four winners to as wide a range of media and industry types as possible, so if you're free, then you should definitely go! Press info and stuff from Press Counsel - charlie@presscounsel.com

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MADONNA TO PERFORM WITH GORILLAZ AT GRAMMYS
Talking of awards type things, Madonna is due to team up with Gorillaz for a performance at next week's Grammy Awards which will presumably eat up quite a bit of the Grammy organiser's budget, given how expensive performances by the virtual band are to stage.

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BREAKSPOLL ANNOUNCE LINE UP
More awards, and the line up for the 2006 Breakspoll Party has been announced, and it's looking rather good, featuring, as it does some of the bigger names in the world of breakbeat.

As previously reported, the main awards event takes place at Fabric on 23 Feb. The bash will include sets from the likes of Plump DJ's, Stanton Warriors featuring Sway and special guest MCs, FreQ Nasty, Atomic Hooligan (live), Krafty Kuts, Rennie Pilgrem's TCR Allstars (live), Hyper (live), Splitloop (live), Trouble Soup (Santos vs Madox), Aquasky (live), The Breakfastaz and The Freestylers. Awards will be presented on the night by Annie Nightingale and Danny Mac. Voting is still open, by the way, and you've got until 8 Feb, so go here: http://www.breakspoll.com

Don't forget that the Breakspoll partying will continue into the weekend with an all-nighter being held the next day at London's seONE Club featuring an even bigger line up - Freq Nasty, Rennie Pilgrem with MC Chickaboo, JDS, Will Saul, Precision Cuts, The Teamplayers featuring Aquasky, UK Apache, Spyda, The Ragga Twins & Ban Jyang, Spiltloop, Pendulum (breaks set), Breakfastaz, Deekline & Wizard with MC Ivory, Deep Impact with Screwface, Danny Mac, Klaus 'Heavyweight' Hill, Simon Paul vs Sgt Rock, Madox vs Santos and Cedric Benoit. Phew. Tickets are a tenner in advance from http://www.ticketweb.co.uk.

And that's not all the Breakspoll news, oh no. Look out for a second Breakspoll Presents CD out very soon, put together by the aforementioned FreQ Nasty, his first album release since 2003's 'Bring Me The Head of FreQ Nasty'.

Oh yes, and there's even a Breakspoll five-a-side football tournament taking place between the main awards event and the all-nighter - so that's Friday 24 Feb at Finsbury Park Leisure Centre from 1-5.30pm. Dance labels putting forward teams include Marine Parade, Distinctive, Fat Records, West Record and Fabric, the latter defending their title from last year's tournament.

Press info on all this gubbins from Get Involved.

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NME NAME BROWN GODLIKE GENIUS
Ian Brown will win the Godlike Genius Award at this year's NME Awards, a title dubbed the "ultimate rock honour" by, erm, the NME. The former Stone Rose joins a list of former Godlike Genius winners that includes New Order, The Clash, U2, John Peel and the Happy Mondays' Shaun Ryder.

Explaining their choice for this year's winner, the panel who pick the Godlike Genius gong told reporters: "We're extremely proud to be honouring Ian Brown with this year's Godlike Genius Award. His lasting influence on British rock music, both as a member of The Stone Roses and also a subsequently successful solo artist, is without question and can be felt everywhere from the baggy beats of Kasabian through to the Arctic Monkeys' northern soul."

Brown himself, welcomed the prize saying: "It's a mega honour. Did you know the word genius comes from the Arabic word jinn which means spirit? So I'll take that. It's a mega honour that."

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PARIS HILTON'S BRIT GIG
It seems an appropriate choice, frankly, given that the woman doesn't even realise that London is in the UK, according to a recent court testimony. Who better than professional idler Paris Hilton to be a roving reporter at this year's Brit awards? The fact that she's bound not to know at least a few of our meagre British celebrities doesn't seem to have put off ITV producers, who have, according to reports, hired the celebrity heiress to chat to stars as they go into the award ceremony at a cost of £100,000. Her roving will be broadcast on ITV2.

An inside source allegedly revealed to The Mirror: "It goes without saying that Paris won't know who everyone is, but there'll be someone next to her with a clipboard pointing out big names. Our biggest fear is that she'll have a Sam Fox moment when she meets the likes of The Kaiser Chiefs or James Blunt and asks them, 'So what do you do?' But Paris covered the MTV Awards in LA where she did a fantastic job and we're hoping she'll work her magic over here. She'll be there to gossip with celebs, talk to them about what they're wearing and how much they're looking forward to the night. It'll be a bit like the way Tara Palmer-Tomkinson does all the extra coverage for I'm A Celebrity."

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