CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 10th April
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Gene Pitney had heart disease
- Babyshambles man held on assault charge
- T In The Park not affected by avian flu - confirmed
- 24 bands confirmed for British Music Week Berlin
- Stones speak over Chinese censorship
- Album review: Percussion Madness: Louie Vega Presents Lusito Quintero
- Zutons singer hospitalised
- Pavarotti scraps tour dates
- Abdul attacked at party
- Hi-Fi goes to Ireland
- Summer Sundae latest
- The Motorettes
- Liam Frost tour
- Bands sign up for T4 On The Beach
- Popworld confirm new presenters
- Single review: Jose Gonzalez - Crosses
- Fat Les and Alex James take on Embrace
- The Sleepy Jackson back with new album
- Hot Hot Heat ready to record again
- Fatboy greatest tracklisting
- MP3 man up for inventor award
- Streamcast boss may test Grokster ruling
- Robbie's manager calls on industry to embrace digital future
- 7 digital announce Pinnacle partnership
- Youtube get $8 million venture capital
- Album review: Gerd - Perspectives
- Spitzer may return political donations from execs with record company links
- Warner launch new independent minded division
- Lorenzo planning label comeback
- HMV appoints new Head Of Music
- British Music Rights GM stands down
- Chart update
- Jamie and Robbie go five times platinum
- CMU radio show playlist
- Eminem on divorce
- Will Young set to be svengali, apparently
- Tweedy disses footballer's wives


People sometimes ask why we don't do the CMU Daily as an html email with lots of pictures and logos and san-serif fonts and cyan splodges - to which I normally reply that, when it comes to internet technology, 'simple' is synonymous with 'it actually works' (and besides, what about all those Unix using fans of CMU? - there's more of them than you'd think). But today I wish we had some kind of hi-tech e-newsletter set up, because then we could have one of those flash clock things at the top counting down the hours, minutes and seconds to the Insomniacs Ball, which is now just four days away - hurrah!

You all know all about this by now surely, and if you don't, check the Press Room below. I think student readers to CMU can still get themselves discount tickets by registering at, but time is really against you on that one (today is the deadline) so you're going to have to do it quick.

The line up is looking so good, we're not even going to try and describe how good with words - instead we're going to do it with music. If you tune in to the new edition of the CMU Radio Show, which goes live at later today, you'll be able to hear 30 minutes of back to back music from bands playing at the Ball. British Sea Power are in there, of course, but so are some of the lesser known names playing like The Holloways, The Pipettes, Cazals and Captain Black and, take it from me, once you've heard them you'll not only be rushing to get your tickets, you'll be rocking up to the seOne club at 8pm on the dot to make sure you don't miss a thing.

Full details are at, see you there.

PS: I've no idea why today's Daily ended up being so long - perhaps you could keep some of the stories to read on Friday which will be Daily-less.



THE INSOMNIACS BALL... Kill All Hippies and Stylish Riots present London's first ever all-night indoor festival, kicking off the Easter Weekend on Thursday April 13th, with three live stages and dozens of live bands and DJs underneath the arches at London Bridge in the seOne club. Line up so far includes no less than British Sea Power, White Rose Movement, Mando Diao, Battle, New Rhodes, The Pipettes, Art Brut, Dogs, The Rifles, Komakino, Good Shoes, Cooper Temple Clause (DJ set) and The Rakes (DJ set). How good is this? Doors will open at 8pm, when the live music begins, and the entertainment will continue until 6am the following morning - Good Friday. Full details at

Press info:



Malcolm Dome talks to former Judas Priest frontman Tim 'Ripper' Owens about his new band Beyond Fear, and also to young Welsh stoner hopefuls Suns Of Thunder on the Helldrive, 3-6pm. Listen live at



MySpace Of The Day: The Great Escape
Chances are you've heard quite a bit about this recently, or at least you've started to see 'Great Escape' gigs appearing in the tour listings of an ever growing number of bands. Well, for those not in the know, The Great Escape is a new three day festival being staged by the Barfly people and taking place in Brighton from 18-20 May. There are three different bits to this - a three day event for people working in music, featuring sessions, talks and interviews with leading industry types; a series of parties being thrown by music companies and organisations; and a huge stack of gigs taking place all over the city. The Great Escape will take place in the middle of the Brighton Festival, which means the city will be alive with all things cultural, making it a damn fine place to spend your mid-May weekend. CMU's sister publication ThreeWeeks will be covering the Brighton Festival this year, and we'll have lots more on that and the Great Escape in tomorrow's CMU Daily, including details of how you can get a discounted delegates pass. Meantime, check out the event's MySpace for the basic lowdown on what is happening, and a tower block of pictures of artists performing, which you can click on to find out more (oh yes, and tracks from four of them to preview).

More on our MySpace Of The Day, plus acts appearing at next week's Insomniac's Ball answer the same six questions - all online at


It's been confirmed that Gene Pitney, whose body, as previously reported, was discovered in a hotel room in Cardiff last week, died of heart disease. His now released death certificate reveals the cause of death as hardening of the arteries, or coronary artery atherosclerosis. He was identified by friend and tour manager Geoffrey Clennell, who found the star dead in his room at the city's Hilton hotel, still fully clothed from his concert the previous evening. His management company have been handling arrangements to have his body flown home to the US for his funeral.

A book of condolences for the singer-songwriter was opened on Friday at St David's Hall in Cardiff, the venue where Pitney played his final concert last week. More than 120 people signed the book in its first two days in the venue's foyer. The city's Lord Mayor Freda Salway was the first to sign, saying: "I was extremely saddened to hear about the death of Gene Pitney. He was a truly iconic figure in the world of music and we were extremely lucky in Cardiff that he visited this city many times to perform at St David's Hall. I know that he had many Welsh fans and his performances were always enthusiastically received. I wanted to pay my respects by signing this book of condolence, which I know will reflect just how fondly thought of Gene was in Cardiff."

St David's Hall house manager Gareth Griffiths said: "People are going up to it and signing it all the time. It seems to have quite a lot of attention. He was a mainstay of our calendar for the past decade or so. He was here every two years."


Babyshambles guitarist Patrick Walden is in prison after he was charged with assaulting his girlfriend Nadia Patane at their north London home. According to The Sunday Mirror, Walden has pleaded not guilty to the charge at Thames Magistrates, and is to be held on remand at Pentonville Prison until 13 Apr. Walden's legal woes are mounting; as previously reported, the guitarist was last week charged with drink driving after being pulled over by police in Lewisham.


Favourite story of the weekend - T In The Park bosses have had to come out and deny reports that this year's festival may be called off or moved because of bird flu. Their statement followed reports, mainly in the Scottish press, that because the Balado site used for T In The Park is near a chicken farm, and only 35 odd miles from the site where last week a bird was confirmed to have died of the disease, government measures to contain any outbreak of the disease might affect the festival.

But a spokesman told the Daily Record: "As avian influenza is a disease of birds and not humans, we can confirm that there is no threat of T In The Park being cancelled or moved. Any safety measures being put in place by the Scottish Executive related to avian influenza are designed to limit movement of birds and not people in accordance with the EC agreed measures. However, we are closely monitoring the situation."

Word is, however, that deep fried swan will be off the menu at most of the festival's food concessions.


The BPI has confirmed that 24 UK acts will take part in the previously reported British Music Week event that will take place in Berlin next month - among them Razorlight, The Feeling, Belle & Sebastian, Towers Of London, Amusement Parks On Fire and The Rifles. In addition there will be four label showcases, from Universal UK, SonyBMG imprint Red Ink, Domino Records and V2. Six other media partners have also been announced for the season, including Germany's biggest alternative music paper Uncle Sallys and some music TV network called MTV.

Commenting on preparations for the event, which kicks off on 19 May, BPI International Manager Matt Glover told CMU: "British music has long found some of its best and most devoted fans in Germany. British Music Week will spotlight many of the brightest talents in British music in one of Europe's greatest cities."

Domino Records top man Laurence Bell added: "Germany is obviously one of the key music markets in the world so we're happy to have the chance to show off some of our talented artists at BMW. We're hoping for a night to remember. We've just opened up a Domino office in Berlin so it's a pretty significant city for us. There's a great musical energy there and a hunger for new music that suits us down to the ground. We're expecting a long and eventful romance with Berlin."


Ahead of his performance in Shanghai at the weekend, Mick Jagger revealed at a news conference that he and his band didn't care much that the set list for their Chinese gig was been curtailed by the country's Ministry of Culture. Jagger said, referring to the fact that much of the audience was expected to be non-chinese, "It's not really an issue. But I'm pleased that the Ministry of Culture is protecting the morals of the expat bankers and their girlfriends."

Which shows you what the band's priorities are, and they clearly don't involve taking any kind of a principled stand against censorship.


ALBUM REVIEW: Percussion Madness: Louie Vega presents Lusito Quintero (BBE)
This Venezualan percussionist first impressed me when I saw him play at the Jazz Café last year with Louie Vega's Elements Of Life Band. Nicknamed 'the octopus', he played his tympani with such verve in the solo it was obvious he was on the rise. The title track on this album sees Lusito play timbales in a frenetic two min excursion that sets things off very well. The track 'Gbagada, Gbagada, Gbogodo, Gbogodo' is a rework of Fela Kuti and maintains that afro flavour well. The collaborations are a little overly sugared - Mrs Anane Vega 'Our Love' gets a candy coating; while New Jersey house outfit Blaze's track 'Love Remains The Same' is a touch too slow and sweet, though it does have a feel of Stevie Wonder to it amid Lusito's guiro rasps. Meanwhile the Tito Puente cover, 'Four Beat Mambo', doesn't truly lift off. However, the strongest track by far is 'Aquila Coisas Todas', a lush Cuban styled number, followed closely by the hectic Latin 'Quintero's Jam', which works really well. On the whole, a nice collection, definitely worth checking out. PV
Release date: 15 May
Press contact: Gerry Lyseight PR [all]


Zutons singer Dave McCabe was taken into hospital last week in London after suffering from an allergic reaction, but was released the same day and headed off for the band's live show in Amsterdam the same evening.

A spokesperson for the band said: "He suffered a reaction to a health drink of all things. He was given a shot of adrenaline because he came up with a bad rash. They wanted to keep an eye on him but fortunately he's fine now."


Pavarotti has cancelled eight dates of his current farewell tour due to a back injury. He will miss dates in Portugal, Brazil, Chile and Bosnia whilst undergoing an operation in New York and will not appear again until 3 Jun, when he will play a Canadian date. The concert scheduled to take place in Portugal on 21 Apr has already been rescheduled, for 29 Sep, but no others have been announced.

A spokeswoman said of the seventy year old singer: "He is currently in New York undergoing treatment for a painful condition in his lower back. Specialists have advised him not to travel or perform until they have completed this treatment, which will be at the end of May."

Pavarotti has recently said that he still hopes for a reunion with his Three Tenors co-stars Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo before he retires to spend more time with partner Nicoletta Mantovani and their young daughter. His ongoing farewell tour has so far lasted a year, with no official end date as yet scheduled.


According to reports, police in Los Angeles are investigating a report by American Idol judge Paula Abdul that she was assaulted at a private Hollywood party. The onetime singer filed the report at 1am on Sunday morning. A spokesman for the police department said: "According to Abdul, the man at the party argued with her, grabbed her by the arm and threw her against a wall. She said she had sustained a concussion and spinal injuries."

Abdul's publicist, Michelle Bega, refused to comment on the incident.


Yet another branch of the brand new Hi-Fi Festival has been announced - this one is in Mullingar in Ireland from 5-6 Aug, and will feature performances from Razorlight, The Streets, Prodigy, Ian Brown, Infadels and Tiga. Tickets go on sale at 8am on 21 Apr.

Talking of which, the Hi-Fi Festival have got a game for you all to play - it's here:


Morning Runner, Martha Wainwright and Guillemots are amongst the latest acts to be announced for this year's Summer Sundae festival. Gomez and The Boy Least Likely To are also added to the line-up, which, as previously reported, also includes the likes of Jose Gonzalez, Belle And Sebastian and The Long Blondes. The event takes place from 11 - 13 Aug at Leicester De Monfort Hall and Gardens. Tickets are on sale now.


The Motorettes have announced details of a UK tour, dates as follows:

13 Apr: Sunderland University
15 Apr: Harlow Square
25 Apr: Nottingham The Social
26 Apr: Birmingham Bar Academy
27 Apr: London Brixton Windmill
28 Apr: Hastings Brass Monkey
29 Apr: Ipswich Drum & Monkey
2 May: London Buffalo Bar
3 May: Derby Victoria Inn
4 May: Manchester Music Box
5 May: Edinburgh Cabaret Voltaire
6 May: Scunthorpe Baths Hall
8 May: York Fibbers
9 May: Leeds Tunnel Club @ Mine Bar
10 May: Newcastle Academy 2
11 May: Sheffield Fuzz Club
12 May: Cardiff Barfly
13 May: Coventry Colosseum
14 May: Liverpool Barfly


Singer-songwriter Liam Frost has announced a seventeen date UK tour, as follows:

13 May: Cardiff, Barfly
14 May: Birmingham, Bar Academy
15 May: Norwich, Arts Centre
16 May: Northampton, Soundhaus
17 May: Nottingham, Social
19 May: Bristol, Louisiana
20 May: Brighton, The Great Escape
21 May: Southampton, Joiners
22 May: London, Scala
23 May: Oxford, Zodiac
24 May: Leicester, Charlotte
25 May: Sheffield, Fuzz Club
26 May: Liverpool, Barfly
30 May: Edinburgh, Cabaret Voltaire
31 May: Glasgow, King Tuts
1 Jun: Leeds, The Rocket


Hard-Fi, Basement Jaxx and The Ordinary Boys are amongst the acts who've signed up for this year's T4 On The Beach Event, taking place in Weston-Super-Mare on 18 Jun. Others set to appear include Boy Kill Boy, The Automatic, Will Young and Feeder. More names are expected to be announced shortly for the gig which is, of course, broadcast on Channel 4 and E4. Tickets go on sale at 9am on 21 Apr.


Talking of T4, the producers of T4 pop show Popworld have confirmed that MTV/Xfm presenter Alex Zane will be taking over from Simon Amstell as the show's male presenter later this month. Replacing Miquita Oliver will be lesser known presenter Alexa Chung. The pair will take over presenting duties on the show on 22 Apr. Rather them than me.


SINGLE REVIEW: Jose Gonzalez - Crosses (Peacefrog)
The second single from Gonzalez' striking album 'Veneer' pulses with an intense melody played on his trademark solo acoustic guitar. The vocals fade in and around the heavy plucked strings and accentuate each other in a very beautiful way. 'Crosses' is over way too quickly, although I suppose too much of a good thing can be bad for you. With that in mind B-Side 'Storm' is broodier and slightly darker than 'Crosses' with a slower riff which is cut up by Gonzalez' quick plucking later in the song, an excellent accomplice to the A-Side but completely incomparable in every way. GM.
Release Date: 10 Apr
Press Contact: Peacefrog IH [all]


Blur bassist Alex James is apparently considering writing a song with his fellow Fat Les members to rival Embrace's official World Cup track, 'World At Your Feet'. James has spoken to NME about the possibility in no uncertain terms:

"Every winter I forget how cold it gets," he says "and it's like that with every World Cup - you forget how fucking huge it is. The whole world comes to a halt. People have been saying, 'Are you going to do a football record?' and I'm like, 'No', but you start getting a sniff of it. And it's like, 'Embrace?' I'd do a fucking better job than that. [Fat Les member] Keith Allen's been calling. I've been thinking about it. Ian McCulloch's been singing 'Come on, come on, you fucking England' to the Bryan Ferry song 'Let's Stick Together'. You take the backing track from that, stick McCulloch singing 'Come on, come on, you fucking England!' and Embrace can fucking suck my cock."


Aussie band The Sleepy Jackson are to release a new album later this year, the follow up to their 2003 long player 'Lovers'. The record, entitled 'Personality', is set for release in July, preceded by a single 'God Lead Your Soul'. Tour dates are expected to be announced shortly.


Hot Hot Heat are planning to get back into the studio next month to record a new album. The band told Rolling Stone that they have thirteen tracks ready for the new long player, which they expect to release in September.

Talking about the album, and the departure of guitarist Dante DeCaro last year, vocalist Steve Bays said: "The main theme of this album is we wanted to reunite as a gang, not as a band, not as four musicians. With Dante leaving, it just tore us all apart. We realized the best music is written when you have no distractions, and all that matters at the end of the day is your gang of friends."

He adds that the band are planning to debut tracks from the long player at upcoming US live dates: "We have a bunch of weird gigs to test out our material. I didn't like that we stopped being a live band while we were writing and recording the last record, so I wanted to stay on tour. Any time we're not writing or recording, we're doing dates."


The contents of Fatboy Slim's upcoming best of album 'The Greatest Hits - Why Try Harder', has been revealed, and the tracklisting includes two brand new songs, as one might expect, now that the practice has become pretty much obligatory. New single 'That Old Pair Of Jeans', is on there, plus a second, 'Champion Sound', featuring rapper Lateef. The package is expected to also include a DVD featuring as yet unconfirmed promo footage. Here's the list:

Rockafeller Skank
Praise You
Gangster Trippin'
I See You Baby
Wonderful Night
Right Here, Right Now
Going Out Of My Head
Sunset (Bird Of Prey)
Everybody Loves A Carnival
Don't Let The Man Get You Down
Sho Nuff
Slash Dot Dash
Santa Cruz
Champion Sound
The Old Pair Of Jeans


The inventor of the MP3 is up for a lifetime achievement gong at the Inventor of the Year awards, a new awards programme set up by the European Commission and the European Patent Office. Karlheinz Brandenburg will compete with vacuum cleaner man James Dyson and Federico Faggin, the Italian 'father of the microchip', for the prize, which will be awarded on 3 May.

Brandenburg, director of the Fraunhofer Institute For Digital Media Technology as well as being a professor at the Institute for Media Technology at Ilmenau Technical University, created the basis of MP3, AAC and most other digital 'audio compression schemes' while writing his PHD at University Erlangen-Nuremberg in the late eighties, and he's worked in that domain ever since.

There's more info on the awards at


Whether the record companies would say they love or loath Brandenburg for his lifetime achievements is, of course, debatable - because while the legit download sector grows, the whole P2P thing rumbles on.

Now the boss of StreamCast, the company that runs the Morpheus P2P application, has told reporters that his negotiations with the music industry to find a viable legit P2P model have broken down because of the meddling of an unnamed third party - seemingly a legal firm with some kind of vendetta against the P2P firm.

StreamCast boss Michael Weiss has told Associated Press that his negotiations with the major record companies and film studios were going well, but that they have now collapsed, adding: "It really wasn't a matter of money. It was something that turned what looked to be a full-on partnership into a one-sided, unworkable deal. [There was] this outside law firm that mucked this whole thing up ... seeking revenge, retaliation and retribution".

StreamCast is one of a number of P2P firms that has been trying to come up with a legitimate business model which can win the support of the content owners, in order to avoid the kind of legal action that led to the closure of Grokster in the US and Kazaa in Australia.

The P2P companies have been generally less bullish since last year's Grokster ruling, in which the US Supreme Court reversed a previous ruling that said that technology firms who make P2P software cannot be held liable for any copyright violation it enabled, providing their software had legitimate uses. Following the Grokster case the precedent set, in the US at least, is that software firms can be liable for copyright violation if they "actively induced the theft of copyright material" which, the US Supreme Court decided, Grokster had.

Of course 'actively induce' is a typically abstract notion, which has so far not been put seriously to the test in the courts. With his negotiations with the content owners now seemingly faltering, Weiss is implying that he may now be willing to force that test, with the AP quoting him as saying: "We haven't induced anybody to do anything since day one. We're not going to lose this".

If Weiss were to go to court, and if he were to win, it might strengthen the hands of the P2P firms in their ongoing negotiations with the content owners re finding some kind of solution that works for both sides of the P2P equation.


In not altogether unrelated news, Robbie Williams' manager has defended comments previously made by the singer which seemed to praise internet piracy, adding that the music industry should follow Robbie's lead in embracing the new opportunities of the digital era.

Speaking ahead of Williams' upcoming tour, ieMusic's Tim Clark told reporters: "The recording companies are taking a big stick to people who are not criminals at all. What Williams means is that if we can't provide the fans with the wherewithal to do it [download] legally, frankly it's our fault and not theirs. If they're not providing the carrots, they're leaving it to others who will."

Referring to Williams' partnership with phone companies T-Mobile and Sony Ericsson, Clark continued: "Digital sales are a reality - it's clear that the physical sales [of music] are dropping at double-digit percentage rates. Digital sales already mean a great deal in places like Korea and Japan. We want to be involved because people like T-Mobile and Sony will have a huge influence on how music is distributed. We need to be involved to have some influence. It's about being part of that future. Even though there might be some drawbacks now - some people say the quality of compressed music is not as good as CDs. They are right, but that will improve dramatically over time."

As part of that partnership, a special Robbie Williams 'walkman' phone will be launched later today including music and video from the singer, and links to his website.


More download stuff - and London based 7 Digital have announced they have become an exclusive provider of download stores to labels represented by independent UK distribution firm Pinnacle Entertainment. The first digital store to be created via the partnership will be for the UK division of Eagle Rock.

Announcing the partnership, 7 Digital MD Ben Drury told CMU: "The recent growth in downloads provides independent artists and labels with exciting opportunities and 7 Digital provides a direct route to market. We're very pleased and proud to be the exclusive provider of stores to Pinnacle Entertainment."

Dominic Jones, Head of New Media at Pinnacle Entertainment, added: "7 Digital were the main inspiration for the digital shops that we have built over the last two years. I'm very pleased to now have the opportunity of working with them and in doing so providing an even better service to our distributed labels."


YouTube, the 'post-your-own-videos' website which is vying with MySpace to be internet phenomenon of the year, has just got itself $8 million in venture capital funding from Sequoia Capital. The money will be used to help the 14 month old Californian company capitalise on its reported 100 million page views and 6 million unique visitors per day.


ALBUM REVIEW: Gerd - Perspectives (LEA)
The Dutch techsters return, though on much more of a jazz note than when I first came across them a year ago. Time changes everything I suppose, though often for the worse: but these boys have struck gold - following a J-nova styled ethic: funk to jazz to cool chill. Which means you have a little funk-folk business in the title track (complete with lush words from Twana Rhodes), some street soul in 'Fire In My Soul' and 'In Love With You', and a funk drop pressure kick in 'Star Seed'. UK soul vocalist Vanessa Freeeman shines like Sirius in 'So Real', which is a leaf out of Kyoto Jazz's Spirit Album, while CMU fave Guida de Palma (from Jazzinho) offers a wicked cut by belting out lush sunny Latin lyrics in 'What Is It'. 'Imaginary Friend' and 'Souley' get a tad too melancholy, but the pair's instrumentals are really commendable: 'Mosaic' takes me right back in the day with its awesome trumpet solo. A gem of an LP, it's all in here: a very cerebral workout from Gert-Jan Bijl and Paulo Delgado. Check it. PV
Release date: 3 Apr
Press contact: ePM [all]


Well, the latest gossip on the whole payola thing is that New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer will return two large political donations he received from executives who sit on the boards of record company parent companies.

According to the New York Post, Spitzer, who is currently running to be governor of NY state, will return $25,000 donated by Paul Fribourg, who sits on the supervisory board of Vivendi Universal and $10,000 donated by Richard Sarnoff, who sits on the supervisory board of SonyBMG co-owner Bertelsmann.

Spitzer's people say that the AG is not in the wrong for accepting the donations because neither exec is actually involved in a record company - rather they sit on the boards of congloms that own record companies. But his opposition in the race for the governorship say that the donations jeopardise Sptizer's ongoing negotiations with the major record companies over the whole payola thing, which the AG has been so keen to crack down on while in office.

Despite pleading innocence (and despite the fact Spitzer's negotiations with SonyBMG at least are already done and dusted), word is the AG will return the donations to combat any accusations of wrongdoing - presumably because the irony of being accused of accepting payola to fix investigations into payola probably means this story could run and run, even if the accusations aren't true.


Warner Music Group have announced the launch of a new US division to be called the Independent Label Group, which will be headed up by Todd Moscowitz, formerly head of the major record company's 'incubator label' Asylum. The new division will incorporate Asylum's existing operations, as well as those of rock label East West (which still exists in the US, kind of... it's a label with a very complicated history) and digital label Cordless Recordings, and will look to further develop the major's relationships with independent artists and labels. Moscowitz will report to John Esposito, the boss of Warner US's sales and distribution division WEA.

Confirming the new division, Warner US boss Lyor Cohen got straight on his phone and told CMU: "The Independent Label Group is designed to provide entrepreneurs the resources to organically grow their business. Recognising that each indie label has unique needs, ILG will work hand in hand with independent artists and executives, providing an individualized support system, so each label can achieve their creative or business goals. Todd is an entrepreneur, through and through, and it's hard to believe that in less than two years he and his small team have translated that entrepreneurial spirit into a variety of label partnerships that have led to amazing artist successes with Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Webbie and Bun B among others. I couldn't imagine a more appropriate executive to oversee this group of labels."

Esposito added: "As we intensify our commitment to the independent music community, we wanted to develop a structure whereby the resources available to independent labels and artists could be housed under one umbrella. Todd and his stellar team exemplify the independent spirit and share a respect and admiration for the artists and labels that make up that community."


Irv 'Gotti' Lorenzo (remember him?) is reportedly busy securing financing to get his music empire back off the ground. Lorenzo's business interests faltered somewhat during that long running run in with the authorities, who accused the Murder Inc boss and his brother of using the record company to launder money for drug lord Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff. Both brothers were acquitted last December though, and various old friends in the music and investment communities are now reportedly interested in doing business with Lorenzo again. According to the New York Times a hedge fund executive called Larry Goldfarb has committed up to $30 million over a five year period to get the label back off the ground, while Universal Music - who ended their relationship with The Inc when things looked bad for Lorenzo last year - are apparently in discussions to handle distribution for the label.


HMV has announced that Gary Rolfe has been appointed to the role of Head Of Music which was left vacant following the departure of Phil Penman back in February. He will run the 20-strong team which coordinates HMV's music activities (which you'd be forgiven for assuming was all of HMV's activities - but that would be foolishly forgetting how big the music retailer's DVD and gaming operations have become).

Confirming the appointment, HMV UK Product Director Simon Peck told reporters: "Gary has a tremendous wealth of experience covering all music genres across all buying roles, which, together with his astute commercial awareness and extensive industry-wide contacts, he will bring to this key position. HMV is well placed to maximise the major opportunities that will be presented on Music this year and with Gary driving the department forward, I am sure that he will make an immediate contribution in helping to realise these."


Henri Yoxall has stood down as General Manager of British Music Rights, an organisation whose remit I've never quite got my head around, but I do know they're not very good at returning phone calls. Anyway, Yoxall is leaving the association to pursue a number of projects, including advising the Music Publisher's Association on communication matters (presumably she'll be pointing out the communication importance of returning phone calls - am I sounding bitter here?).

Confirming Henri's departure, British Music Rights CEO Emma Pike told reporters: "Henri has been with British Music Rights since its inception and has helped to build the organisation into what it is today. We are extremely sorry to see her go but wish her well with her new endeavours".

MPA boss Stephen Navin added: "We are delighted that Henri will be working with us. She brings with her a wealth of experience in communications, an understanding of the music business, and we hope she will help us in developing a more forward looking MPA".


So I guess Gnarls Barkley are now the first band to ever get to number one on download sales alone, and to then stay at number one once physical sales kick in. If they are still number one next week, I guess that will mean they are the first band to get to number one on download sales alone, to then stay at number one once physical sales kick in, and to then stay at number one for a second week. The good news is, if that does happen I've already typed that in and I can just cut and paste it into next week's Chart Update.

Because you see I need all the help I can get with the Chart Update these days because now that pre-physical release download sales are having a real effect, all major releases have two new entries - their download only new entry, normally (though not always) in the lower part of the chart, and then their full release new entry, normally in the upper echelons of the chart. So Mary J Blige got a new entry at 19 last week with her U2 duet based on download sales, and she gets a full release new entry at number 2 this week now that physical sales are in the mix. Does any of this make sense?

Well, we've decided to avoid any confusion by ignoring the distinction and just reporting on tracks when they first go into the chart, which for major releases is most likely to be based on exclusively download sales. So here we go, this week's new entries run thus: The Zutons' 'Why Won't You Give Me Your Love' is at 9, Franz Ferdinand's 'The Fallen/I Wells' is at 14, Mish Mash's 'Speechless' is at 16, Michael Jackson's 'Dirty Diana' re-release is at 17, Belle & Sebastian's 'The Blues Are Still Blue' is at 25, The Charlatans' 'Blackened Blue Eyes' is at 28 and D4L's 'Laffy Taffy' is at 29. For reasons I don't quite understand (probably something else to do with download sales, I don't know) Fall Out Boy's 'Sugar We're Goin Down' re-enters at 35 and James Blunt's 'Wisemen' re-enters at 36.

Albums chart - and hey, these include download sales stats too for the first time this week - hurrah, even more confusion. Whether that helped Morrissey go straight in at number one with his new album 'Ringleader Of The Tormentors' I don't know - I'm guessing he would have walked it anyway. Download stats may, however, have helped Massive Attack hold onto second place with their best of, and it may explain why Queen's 1986 Wembley live album re-enters the chart at 40 - though that might be down to some high street album sale - hell, I'm rubbish at this chart commentary aren't I?

Well, I can confidently tell you that the following have all entered the albums chart this week: Pink with 'I'm Not Dead' at 3, Flaming Lips with 'At War With The Mystics' at 6, Stereophonics with 'Live From Dakota' at 13 and Daft Punk with a hits thingy at 34. Sorted.


Talking of chart stat type things, the International Federation Of the Phonographic Industry has confirmed that last year's albums from James Blunt and Robbie Williams have both shifted more than five million copies worldwide which, in case you wondered, means that 'Back To Bedlam' and 'Intensive Care' are both now 'five-times platinum', which is very platinum.


The songs played for your audio pleasure on this week's CMU radio show, available later today at

Seven Seals - Loose Ends (Pimp Millipede Recordings)
Captain - Broke (EMI)
Snow Patrol - You're All I Have (Universal/Fiction)
Nightmare Of You - The Days Go By Oh So Slow (Warner/Full Time Hobby)
747s - Equilibrium (Ark Recordings)
Stephen Dale Petit - Seven Cent Cotton (333 Records)
Bif Naked - Let Down (Unique Corp/Simply Music)
Coldcut - True Skool (Ninja Tune)
Studio B - Cmon Get It On (Loaded)
Daisy Daisy - Michelle Plays Ping Pong (Sunday Best)
Big Boss Man - Kelvin Stardust (Blow Up Records)

Art Brut - Formed A Band (Fierce Panda)
British Sea Power - It Ended On An Oily Stage (Rough Trade)
Battle - Isabelle (Fierce Panda)
Cazals - To Cut A Long Story Short (Young & Lost)
The Holloways - Fuck Ups (TVT)
Captain Black - Views Of Felicity (Sensible Records)
Vincent Vincent And The Villains - Johnny Two Bands (Young & Lost)
The Pipettes - Your Kisses (Memphis Industries)


Eminem has spoken publicly about the reasons for his upcoming second divorce from wife Kim Mathers, after she told a US radio station that their marriage had failed for a second time because of the rap star's drug addiction.

Referring to his previously reported period in rehab last year, she said: "He's having problems with, you know, his problem that he had. Right after he came home from his rehab, we started to have a few problems, and I thought it was going to be in our best interest to delay the wedding. But he really pushed it and I thought it was really going to be something that worked this time. I don't really necessarily want to get divorced. I was hoping he was going to come home and say, 'I got us a counsellor, let's go.' But you know it didn't work out that way. I got an attorney at the door instead."

In response to that, Eminem said in a statement: "The details surrounding both my marriage and subsequent filing for divorce are private, and I had hoped to keep them that way for the sake of my family. However, a few of Kim's statements in a radio interview this morning need to be addressed. First, her allegations regarding my status post-rehab are both untrue and unfortunate. Second, she was aware that I was filing for divorce. We both tried to give our marriage another chance and quickly realised that a wedding doesn't fix the underlying problems."

Elsewhere in Eminem news, the hip hop star has also intimated that he has no plans to retire, as has been rumoured in recent months. Speaking on the radio recently he said: "People get it twisted when I said I'm taking a break. I never said I'm going to stop doing music. What I meant was that I'm taking a break from being the front man and the centre of attention. I want to fall back for a minute, but I never stop recording. I keep busy."


Will Young has been talking about the direction his career will take in the next few years. The singer, apparently, intends to leave the world of pop pretty sharpish. The Sun quote him as saying: "I reckon I've got two more years of being a pop star then I'd like to be recognised for something else. The pop star thing is cool but it's a business, which does get frustrating. I've got a couple of shows that I'm creating. One's a stage show - a sort of political, satire-ish cabaret funny-odd thing. I want it to be some sort of slant on modern politics. I might take one issue and have that running through it... I'd write it and then star in it. I also came up with a kids' show idea and I'm doing a pilot for a documentary. Slowly, I'll phase out music and become a svengali in the documentary world."


Cheryl Tweedy, on the verge of becoming a footballer's wife following her engagement to Arsenal's Ashley Cole, says she has no intention of acting like other footballer's wives, thus making herself some friends in the footballer's wives community, no doubt.

According to The Sun she said: "I have my own credit cards. I would die of embarrassment if I had to resort to taking my boyfriend's cards. When I met Ashley, I was already earning my own money and doing my own thing. But I couldn't be like some footballers' wives and just go and spend all their money. You see girls in clubs making a beeline for the footballers and it makes me sick."

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