CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 14th February
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Warner International chief replaced
- Albertini, Cohen, Blunt, Custard...
- Capital move away from partying in the park
- T In The Park announce line up
- Dirty Pretty Things join IOW line up
- P2P debate due back in French parliament next month
- Bands line up to play Albert Hall for charity
- Maximo Park tour and single
- Jenny Lewis, Watson twins, tour
- Larrikin Love announce tour and single
- New OutKast album delayed, again
- Rhino sign global Bee Gees deal
- Google and Amazon rumoured to be entering download business
- Motorola expand Microsoft partnership
- Ericsson announce Napster mobile service
- Single review: Jeniferever - From Across The Sea
- Cowell renews with ITV
- Final issue of Smash Hits goes on sale
- City Showcase launches 2006 talent hunt
- Norah Jones makes acting debut
- Ritchie says marriage not in trouble. Okay.
- Kanye West is a bit of a sex addict
- X-factor Shayne gets nasty hate mail
- Kasabian love Arctic Monkeys
- Album review: Tosca - Souvenirs
- Robbie Williams pays himself lots of cash
- Music lovers' instore wedding
- Pete not over Kate


So the FT reckons that both Google and Amazon are busy planning the launch of their own download platforms. Whether that's true we don't know - Google seem to be busier denying that they have any ambitions to launch a download platform (though with all the office space and new execs they're said to be hiring, they must be planning something special). The Amazon download platform seems more likely, with some pointing to a second quarter launch. Some are saying Amazon will be the ones to crack iTunes hold on the digital music space, and 'some' might be right. Amazon, after all, have a massive existing customer base - having expanded out of the realm of the early-adopter, and into the more mainstream space, with many of the more nervous e-shoppers probably having their first web-shopping experience courtesy of the books-and-video-and-music seller. It figures that, as a trusted online supplier of physical CDs, Amazon could turn some, maybe many, of its existing customers onto buying their music as downloads. Their success in doing that, though, will depend very much on how well they integrate their physical and download operations. I am still surprised how little integration there is between the physical and digital operations of mainstream retailers like HMV and Virgin - which seems to be based on the logic that as soon as we become digital music buyers we shun physical products altogether. Many, possibly most, consumers will continue to buy and play physical CDs while first dabbling with digital music - and they are more likely to dabble if they can do so through the same interface they use to order physical products. I'm yet to see a download service from an existing retailer that accommodates that fact - it will be interesting to see if Amazon, who have always had a certain knack when it comes to the consumer experience online, are the ones to do it.


Well, all that gossip on the HitsDailyDouble website over the weekend regarding executive stresses over at the Warner Music Group certainly had one thing right. Paul-Rene Albertini is out of the top job at Warner Music International, despite recent successes at the division. The Warner Music Group yesterday confirmed Albertini was out the door with immediate effect, to be replaced by one Patrick Vien, a telly exec who was most recently President of NBC Universal's Global Networks Division. While Albertini was based in London, Vien will work out of New York.

Warner Music Group chairman Edgar Bronfman Jnr confirmed the new appointment yesterday, noting that Albertini leaves "WMI strongly positioned for continued success and creative achievement" and adding "I want to thank him for his years of service to all of our artists and for his commitment to successfully leading our international recorded music operations. On behalf of the entire company, we wish Paul-René the very best."

On the new appointment Bronfman continued: "We're delighted to have Patrick Vien join WMG to lead our international recorded music operations. Patrick is a talented and accomplished entertainment executive with strong operational skills, and he brings to WMI a deep understanding of the opportunities that new and emerging technologies present global content businesses. With his extensive background in producing, distributing and marketing content in a dynamic international environment, and his strong relationships in the entertainment community, Patrick will be an invaluable addition to WMG as we continue our transformation into a diverse, music-based content company."

As reported yesterday, Albertini's sudden departure has led to rumours of stresses at the top of the major record company, with the former WMI chief allegedly clashing with Warner US boss Lyor Cohen, who is also rumoured to be on poor terms with the boss of the US division of Warner Bros, Tom Whalley. Neither Warner nor Albertini, nor Whalley for that matter, have commented on those rumours.


As we reported yesterday, HitsDailyDouble reckons some or all of the Albertini/Cohen feud was related to the latter trying to claim credit for the recent Warner Music success story that has been James Blunt, despite the fact the business decisions of Cohen and Bronfman almost cut Blunt's career off at its inception.

HitsDailyDouble have subsequently clarified the Blunt early-career story which we summarised yesterday - so I guess we ought to as well. Blunt was initially signed to the UK division of EMI Music Publishing, who got him working with former 4 Non Blondes singer Linda Perry. She signed him to her label, Custard Records. Warner's US division Elektra then signed a distribution deal with Custard which included Blunt. But then, after the Bronfman takeover of the Warner Music Group, Elektra was axed, its boss Sylvia Rhone downsized and the Custard relationship ended. Perry then lobbied the UK bit of Warner division Atlantic to sign Blunt, cue huge UK successes, enter Albertini's Warner Music International, cue huge US successes. Cohen, no where to be seen until the success was achieved. Or at least, that's what the gossipers say.

All of this might be irrelevant to Albertini's sudden departure of course, but at least we now all know the business dealings behind the success story that is James Blunt and phew, with all those manoeuvrings, I think that boy deserves all the success he's getting just now, don't you?


Well, scratch the summer pop fest that is Party In The Park out of your diaries, because it won't be happening again this year, for the second year running. As you'll remember, last year's Party In The Park was called off to make space in the Hyde Park calendar for the Live 8 shenanigans - the event's benefactor, the Princes Trust, received £1.6 million from Live 8 texting instead.

Now the event's organiser, GCap's Capital Radio, has said there will be no Party this year either and, as far as they're concerned, no Party next year or any year. A spokesman for Capital said that having relaunched the station earlier this year it was now time to "look for other events to do in the summer", adding that surveys indicated listeners wanted a new event (I'm not sure listeners would really have an opinion either way unless asked a loaded question, but ho hum).

The Prince's Trust chief executive, Martina Milburn, told reporters her organisation was concentrating on its thirtieth birthday celebrations, due to take place at the Tower Of London in May, but that they would look to stage another Party In The Park in summer 2007, presumably with new partners in place. Milburn concluded: "Party in the Park sold out every year and raised millions of pounds to help change young lives".


Ah well, don't worry, there may be no party in the park, but the T In The Park is looking rather good (see what I did there?). Organisers of Scotland's big music festival officially launched their 2006 line up yesterday, and announced that The Who and Red Hot Chili Peppers would headline - the latter on Saturday 8 Jul, the former on Sunday 9 Jul. Joining them on the confirmed list are Kaiser Chiefs, Arctic Monkeys, The Ordinary Boys, Sigur Ros, Felix Da Housecat and Slam. Tickets for the fest go on sale this Friday at 9am.

For the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the T In The Park date will come in the middle of that UK tour we reported on yesterday. Regarding the RHCP tour - as any fool knows, the website for buying tickets is I'm not a fool, which is why I may have written yesterday.


More festival news, and Dirty Pretty Things are the latest band to confirm that they will appear at the Isle Of White Festival. They join previously confirmed acts such as The Prodigy, Goldfrapp, Placebo, The Kooks, The Rakes and Editors. The festival, as previously reported, takes place from 9 -11 Jun.


The French culture minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabre has said he expects the P2P debate to return to the French parliament in early March. As previously reported, the French government have been revisiting their proposals for new legislation to govern the distribution of content online after opposition MPs amended a bill presented to parliament just before Christmas so that it would legitimise P2P usage in return for a standard royalty levy, probably on internet service provider subscriptions.

Speaking to Paris based Radio J over the weekend, the minister said: "My goal is to give birth to a new legal online offer of music and movies allowing artists to be remunerated and providing users with the best access flexibility, with models based on subscription, a la carte, package deals, etc." The specifics of that ambition, and what role government will have in achieving it, are not clear, though Donnedieu de Vabre ruled out the flat-fee levy system advocated by some opposition MPs, but rejected by much of the music industry, including French based major Vivendi Universal.

Donnedieu de Vabre also confirmed plans to launch later this month a website where public discussion on the topic can take place. He said that forty artists had also agreed to participate in the online debate on internet copyright, which will launch on 22 Feb.


The Cure, Goldfrapp, Bloc Party and Razorlight are all to perform at this year's line up of Albert Hall gigs in aid of The Teenage Cancer Trust. Biffy Clyro, Mystery jets and comedian Ricky Gervais are also set to appear at the event, now in its sixth year and organised, of course, by Roger Daltrey and Harvey Goldsmith.

Daltrey says: "There is no doubt in my mind that these shows really are making a difference to the lives of thousands of teenagers with cancer. From its inception, the event has always been supported by top artists at the cutting edge of music and comedy. This year is no exception with a music line up including Goldfrapp, Bloc Party, Mystery Jets, Razorlight, a Tommy Vance Tribute with Judas Priest, The Scorpions and Ian Gillan, The Cure, Ricky Gervais and a comedy night with the best of British stand-up. I thank all the artists for their unconditional support and also all our friends in the media who have helped raise awareness of this important charity. They have and will continue to make a difference."

Tickets for this year's shows go on sale from 10am on today. Here's the line up:

27 Mar: Ricky Gervais
28 Mar: Goldfrapp
29 Mar: Bloc Party plus special guests Biffy Clyro and Mystery Jets
30 Mar: Razorlight
31 Mar: Tommy Vance Tribute Night
1 Apr: The Cure


Maximo Park have announced a new set of tour dates for later in the year. The band, currently headlining the ShockWaves NME Award Show tour with Arctic Monkeys, We Are Scientists and Mystery Jets, also release a single 'I Want You To Stay', on 20 Feb. Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 9am, dates as follows:

30 Sep: Glasgow Carling Academy
1 Oct: Manchester Academy
2 Oct: Middlesbrough Town Hall
4 Oct: Sheffield Octagon
5 Oct: Birmingham Academy
6 Oct: London Brixton Academy


Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins have announced a series of UK live dates, ahead of Lewis's single release 'Rise up with Fists' on 6 Mar.

Here are the dates:

16 Apr: Brighton Hanbury Ballroom
17 Apr: Gateshead Sage
19 Apr: Glasgow Arches
20 Apr: Belfast The Empire
21 Apr: Dublin The Village
23 Apr: Manchester Salford Lowry
24 Apr: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
25 Apr: Norwich Arts Centre
26 Apr: London Kings College


Larrikin Love have announced a lot of dates for their first headline tour, which will precede the release of their new single 'Edwould' on 3 Apr.

The dates are as follows. Crikey, I feel tired just looking at it:

17 Feb: London Fabric
18 Feb: Harlow Square
20 Feb: Northampton Soundhaus
21 Feb: London Astoria (ShockWaves NME Awards Show)
22 Feb: Derby Victoria Inn
23 Feb: Birmingham Academy
24 Feb: Wolverhampton Little Civic
25 Feb: Leeds Faversham
26 Feb: Liverpool Barfly
28 Feb: Nottingham Cabaret
1 Mar: Hull Adelphi
2 Mar: Preston 53 Degrees
3 Mar: Glasgow Nice N Sleazy's
4 Mar: Inverness Market Bar
6 Mar: Aberdeen Kef
7 Mar: Edinburgh Cabaret Voltaire
14 Mar: Cardiff Barfly
15 Mar: Manchester Club Academy
16 Mar: Nottingham Stealth
17 Mar: London Koko
18 Mar: Stoke Underground
20 Mar: Sheffield Plug
21 Mar: Huddersfield Tokyo
22 Mar: Leeds Faversham
23 Mar: Peterborough Met Lounge
24 Mar: Bedford Esquires
25 Mar: Coventry Coliseum
27 Mar: Bristol Fleece & Firkin
28 Mar: Southampton Joiners
29 Mar: London Water Rats


The release of the new OutKast album, the soundtrack to the duo's feature debut 'Idlewild' has been put back until April. It's the second time the release has been postponed - it was originally set for distribution in December, then February.


Warner division Rhino has entered into a global catalogue agreement with the Bee Gees which will see the label work on the group's entire back catalogue, including the 25 times platinum 'Saturday Night Fever' soundtrack. Confirming the new relationship, Warner boss Lyor Cohen (yep, him again) told reporters: "The Bee Gees created a body of work that represents some of the most popular music ever recorded and their songs are literally the soundtrack of an entire generation."


Rumours continue to spread regarding Google's plans to enter the digital music sector with an iTunes style download service. The Financial Times has quoted music industry executives as saying they have been in talks with the internet company regarding their digital music plans. However Google bosses continue with the line that they are not currently developing a digital music store. They also deny rumours of a partnership with or possible takeover of subscription based download platform Napster.

The FT also reports that Amazon is planning an iTunes style download platform. Their service is reportedly further down the line, with a Spring launch a possibility.

The newspaper quotes one unnamed music industry chief executive as saying: "I do believe Amazon and Google will do something serious. We have had active communications in the last 60 days."


It's the 3GSM mobile phone conference in Barcelona this week, so expect lots of mobile related news. Sorry.

First up, Motorola has announced it is extending its partnership with Microsoft in the mobile music space - this despite Motorola being the first mobile manufacturer to make an iTunes compatible phone. The expanded partnership will mean Motorola phones will be able to cope with the latest Windows DRM and codecs, as well as Microsoft's Media Transfer Protocol which aims to better integrate consumers' PCs and mobiles. All of which should mean new Motorola phones should be able to play tracks from various Microsoft powered digital music stores by the end of the year. No need for mobile iTunes any more then?

Confirming the expanded Microsoft partnership, Motorola Corporate VP Of Global Product Marketing Richard Chin told reporters: "Our relationship with Microsoft is about making the mobile world seamless with the desktop world and allowing consumers to experience music wherever and whenever they want".


More digital music on your phone type stuff. Ericsson yesterday announced its involvement in a new Napster Mobile Service, which will come inbuilt on some of its phones. This new platform will enable punters to buy ringtones, wallpapers and full track downloads from Napster via their phone. The service includes a 'dual download delivery' system, which means customers can have a track downloaded to both their phone and PC in one purchase. Ericsson's announcement at 3GSM was aimed more at the mobile operators, who they hope will take up the Napster Mobile Service and in turn offer it to their customers. No European operators are on board just yet, or at least not as far as we know, though SunCom Wireless will be making it available to their million odd subscribers in Southeast US and Puerto Rico. No word on what they'll be charging per track.


SINGLE REVIEW: Jeniferever - From Across The Sea (Drowned In Sound Recordings)
The soft vocals of Kristoffer Jonson had me convinced that this was a windswept Celtic band but Jeniferever, in fact, are from Sweden, which is logical really, as these glacial melancholy guitar sound-scapes are typically Scandinavian fare. Epic without ever being overblown, the two tracks on this download/7" release recall a midway point between Sigur Ros and The Cure. There's a waft of early 90s shoegazing (Ride and Slowdive particularly spring to mind) too with a possibly misleading scent of soundtrack-era Pink Floyd in its hypnotic pulses. Essentially post-rock with some tune, these swirling vistas of sound are by no means groundbreaking stuff, but enjoyably moody nonetheless and a suggestion of greater things to come. MS
Release date: 13 Feb
Press Contact: Stone Immaculate [all]


Simon Cowell has signed a new deal which will keep him on ITV until Spring 2008. The deal, similar to that which Cowell signed with the Fox Network in the US recently, includes two more series of the X-Factor as well as UK rights to some other shows Cowell is currently developing.

Confirming the deal Cowell told reporters: "ITV gave me my first break on television and I'm incredibly grateful. We've had a fantastic relationship and I'm looking forward to another two successful years."

ITV's Director Of Television Simon Shaps added: "I'm delighted that we've persuaded Simon to stay at ITV. He is a brilliant and unique talent and I look forward to continuing to work with him both on and off screen."


The final issue of Smash Hits has gone on sale, and, as previously reported, Preston Ordinary Boys graces the cover. Featured on the inside are McFly, Sugababes and X-Factor victor Shayne Ward. I'm currently wondering whether to run out and buy a copy in case it becomes a collector's item. It could keep company with my archive copies of Melody Maker, Select, Vox, Record Mirror, Sounds, X-Ray, Bang, Musik, Seven, Jockey Slut and Number One. Don't music magazines come and go a lot?

Anyway, as you know, Smash Hits was axed due to declining sales figures, but the brand itself is not gone altogether, continuing via the website, the digital radio channel and Smash Hits music TV.


The City Showcase people have launched their annual hunt for aspiring musicians and designers to take part in this year's event, which has moved to June (5-9 Jun to be precise). Various music showcases will take place during the mini-festival - in trendy West End fashion stores and several music venues. Amy Winehouse, Rishi Rich, Sway, Razorlight, Rooster and Keane are among those who have played at past City Showcase events, so they've got quite a good record so far. For details of how to apply to take part check their website:


Norah Jones is to make her acting debut in Hong Kong director (and CMU favourite) Wong Kar Wai's first English language film. According to Screen Daily, Jones, who won eight Grammys back in 2003 for her first album 'Come Away With Me', is set to appear in the provisionally entitled 'My Blueberry Nights'.


Guy Ritchie has spoken out over all the rumours that his marriage to Madonna is on the rocks following speculation that the queen of pop was getting down and dirty with her producer, young Stuart Price, aka Jaques Lu Cont. That speculation was further fuelled by the film director's failure to accompany his wife to the recent Grammy Awards. He told Radio 1: "I've got to look after the kids. She wasn't winning anything but I know it was important for her to go."

Madonna, meanwhile, has been doing her own bit to quash the rumours, telling US chat show host Ellen Degeneres: "He still calls me every five minutes. We both work so it's difficult with our schedules. The longest we've been apart is two weeks, and that was five years ago."


What was that about pissing off the Bible Belt, Kanye? Yep, here he goes again, with an admission that he's addicted to sex, according to The Sun. The hip hop star apparently told the tabloid that he wants sex four times a night and then again in the morning, adding: "When Marvin Gaye made 'Sexual Healing' it was a fun song but he really had a problem with sex. And I think I have a sexual problem, a sexual addiction. I want to do it all the time."

And yes, he's also 'addicted' to porn: "My only drug is porn. I have porn with me all the time. Whenever I go to the porn store, I call it the crack house."

Is he trying to shed a clean cut image, or something?


Poor old X-Factor winner Shayne Ward is on the receiving end of some pretty nasty hate mail, according to The Mirror, who report that the singer now has a round the clock bodyguard after letters were sent warning him and his family to "look over their shoulders", and claiming that Ward's success was a fix. His mother Philomena has also been troubled by threatening phone calls.

It's been suggested that the notes could be coming from those with a grudge to bear against Ward's imprisoned relatives: his father Martin, 50, is serving eight years for raping a pensioner, whilst two uncles and a cousin are serving life sentences for their involvement in shooting. Incredible that Ward himself turned out to be such a nice boy, really.

Anyway, Shayne's sister Lisa says: "We're still celebrating Shayne's success every day. Negativity from jealous idiots isn't going to stop that."


Kasabian frontman Tom Meighan has revealed that he is a big Arctic Monkeys fan, and hopes they'll do well at the Brits. He told The Star: "They've got to win British Breakthrough. I remember talking to my mates about them before they were signed and now look at them. [Alex Turner] is a poet, and I'm a proper fan of everything they're about. It's fucking amazing for British music what those lads have done and I'd love to meet them."


ALBUM REVIEW: Tosca - Souvenirs (G-Stone)
It's always nice to come across something like this every now and then. Tosca's most recent album, 'JAC', was quite delectable, and 'Souvenirs' has beautifully transported that from the realm of spliffs and sofas to the dancefloor. It's hard to fault this remix, with its fine blend of Tosca's lovely, ambient stuff and fresh sounds from a host of collaborators. It's given 'JAC' a new lease of life, and proved that Richard Dorfmeister and Rupert Huber have not settled too comfortably into their slippers. Senor Coconut has transformed 'The Big Sleep' from a smouldering, sultry country pastiche, to a crazy, Latino spur-clicking jaunt, with a sudden Tourettes-like explosion of electronic cha-cha just to make sure you're completely thrown off the scent. The Henrik Schwarz remix of 'Superrob' starts off sauntering down the same country path with some lovely folksy harmonica, building gently into an elecro-poppy breakbeat creation, overlaid with jazzy keyboard and sweet backing vocals from the original. The way this track progresses reflects the album as a whole: rich in sounds and styles and taking unexpected turns left right and centre. A wonderful amalgam of ska and samba leaves 'John Lee Huber' almost unrecognizable under Rodney Hunter's knife. It really starts to warm up with Makossa & Megablast's mix of 'Heidi Bruehl', which first chugs away with a punchy 4/4 house beat, then shifts to hypnotic psychedelic breakbeat. A million miles from the insipid lounge fodder common among the trip-hop fraternity, Souvenir confirms that Tosca and their chums are truly a cut above the rest. WE
Release Date: 27 Feb
Press Contact: Jalapeno Records IH [all]


Robbie Williams paid himself £11m last year - and yes, yes that does equate to £30k a day. Those figures are revealed in the star's published company accounts, which show him taking home nearly nine million quid more than the previous year, due to the sales of his Greatest Hits album, which sold more than six million copies, as well as income from merchandising, sponsorship deals and image rights.

Williams claims, of course, that he'd rather be poor. Which just shows how far removed he is from poverty, really. He says "Money's nothing to do with happiness. Sometimes I feel like giving it all away. In my darkest moments I'm convinced life would be easier if I didn't have as much as £100. Then I could walk the streets as a free man, meet a girl - and live the quiet life I long for."


A couple who met during Radiohead's 2003 set at Glastonbury have married at the Virgin Megastore on Oxford Street. Gary Means and Shara Hayes, who live in Hackney, won a competition to hold their wedding at the shop and be married by a 'rock vicar' dressed all in leather.

No great surprise, then, that Ms Hayes' parents weren't thrilled by the idea of the instore wedding and decided not to attend. The bride didn't seem too bothered, though, telling reporters: "At the end of the day, this is something you don't get to do very often and you've just got to go for it, whether they come or not."

Organisers claim that it was the first marriage-in-a-music-shop to take place in the UK.


Pete Doherty says it's not over between him and Kate Moss. According to, the singer says that they never actually split up, and that Moss was in touch with him when he was in prison last week.

The singer said: "She was in a bit of a state and needed to know I was OK. She managed to get a message to me saying how much she loves and cares for me. It really lifted my spirits while I was inside. When I was inside she was all I could think about. There was a point when we didn't talk. But as far as I'm concerned we never broke up. I just never accepted it was over between us and I don't think she did either."

Hard to know whether that's fact, or just wishful thinking. Time, presumably, will tell.

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