CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 23rd May
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Nicholson taking rest from Monkeys
- Babyshambles have no deal
- Audioslave cancel Reading and Leeds gigs
- Ambassador defends Lordi over Satanism claims
- Morrissey thinks he could win Eurovision
- Larrikin Love single
- Sebadoh re-issue
- Stone rolls home
- Kaiser Chiefs to headline Vital
- Live review: The Bays at Jamm
- IFPI launch Chinese version of download guide for parents
- Warner launch joint venture in South Africa
- EMI to report healthy year
- Bertelsmann confirm share sale shenanigans
- Majors reach Da Vinci deal
- Publishing firm Windswept for sale
- EMI publishing win lots
- Media forum reckons Radio 1 and 2 should be sold off
- Chrysalis: profits down, but optimism remains
- RAJAR put back electronic plans another two years
- Album review: Cicada - Cicada
- More Crazy things
- Madonna angers C of E, blah, blah
- Don't knock BonoBob says Williams
- Prince is world's sexiest vegetarian


Brace yourself for a sudden change in direction. I found myself almost leaping to the defence of the major record companies while at the Great Escape this weekend (and I would have, except before I had the chance someone asked the dullest question I'd ever heard, and I had to leave the room just in case someone tried to answer it). The topic that led to my near major label defending moment was the issue of making of live recordings available for free via mobile. Two festivals represented at the table reported how they had wanted to make live recordings of acts at their respective events available for free via their respective mobile phone sponsors. But, and here's the thing, those nasty major record companies wouldn't let them, because they wanted the mobile firms to pay for the privilege. There was a collective 'tut' around the room as everyone nodded and shared the sentiment "typical record companies, always getting in the way of progress, fancy not giving permission for those live recordings to be given away". Except, that is, in the CMU corner, where I couldn't help asking: "why exactly should they?" It's easy for the gig promoter to give away live recordings, they've already sold their tickets. And it's easy for the mobile firm to give away live recordings, they make money on the air time, and get all that brand association with some cool artists. What does the record company get? A free marketing push of their artists? Well, possibly, but the marketing merits of the venture are for the label to assess and, if they are not convinced giving away free live recordings via mobile will help sell more records, why should they feel obligated to play ball? If a record company went to a festival promoter and said "hey, we're going to put a stage just outside your festival, and we want all your bands to play a free set, but don't worry, it will be good marketing," would the promoter play ball? If the record company went to a mobile firm and said "hey, we want you to give away a free phone with every album we sell next month, it will be good marketing," would the tel co say "yes"? Actually, all of those proposals could have real marketing value for promoter, label and tel co alike, but only if the venture was genuinely conceived as a three way win win win scenario - which they rarely are. But that's not my point here - my point is this - how come everyone in that Brighton basement this weekend, all of whom work in music in some way, was quite so ready and willing to accept that a major record company must be at fault because they were refusing to give up content rights for the benefit of a booming live sector and fabulously cash rich mobile industry? I find myself frequently defending major record companies at events like these, which makes me wonder if the majors shouldn't be fighting a more proactive PR battle to state their case. But, and here's my real point, such a proactive battle won't achieve much while the majors insist on continuing with their hugely unpopular and ultimately hopeless love affair with DRM and anti-P2P litigation. All of which means there's no need to worry - I might feel the urge to defend the major record companies from time to time - but I can still write a Top Bit that ultimately slags them off. Everything is operating as normal.



*** BRANDS, BANDS & AUDIENCES 7th June 2006, The Waldorf, London
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Natasha is joined by Turu, from Californian trio The Human Value ('The Batcave', 9pm to midnight). Listen live at



Beats in Brighton
The Brighton Festival is under way, and you can check out CMU's preview of the Carousel singer songwriter festival, plus reviews of other music events taking place at the Festival this year courtesy of our sister title ThreeWeeks in Brighton, all online at

MySpace Of The Day: eighteen18
Not enough attention is paid to UK hip hop artists, in my humble opinion. I see their work sinking without trace all the time even though they're doing great stuff, because it's great stuff overwhelmingly overwhelmed by all of that possibly glamorous but frequently a-bit-rubbish hip-hop from the US. I'm not saying it's all bad - clearly it's not - but I can't help feeling that it does unfairly overshadow homegrown talent; the talent is, of course, there; it just lacks support and a fat marketing budget. One of the UK based hip-hop outfits I like and came across recently is eighteen18, and I believe they are from Doncaster, which means they're definitely from the UK. They recently released an album 'Body Armour' which, I'm pretty sure, met with a fair degree of critical approval. And my approval, too, which is more important. But have you all heard of them? I seriously doubt it. There's a faintly disturbing post in this MySpace page's 'about' section. But I'd ignore that and just have a listen to the tracks.

Read more about our MySpace of the Day right now at


Arctic Monkeys have released a statement explaining that bassist Andy Nicholson won't appear on the band's upcoming US tour. All indications are that it's a temporary measure, but that hasn't stopped media speculation that the band are "burning out" in the wake of their meteoric rise.

The statement read: "Owing to fatigue following an intensive period of touring, Andy Nicholson shall be taking a rest and will not be accompanying Arctic Monkeys on their forthcoming tour of North America. Nick O'Malley [formerly of The Dodgems] shall be standing in for Andy on the tour which begins in Vancouver on May 27th. We all wish Andy a speedy recovery."

The band are hoping that their bassist will recover in time for European festival dates this summer and gigs in Australia and Japan in August.


Babyshambles have been dropped by Rough Trade, according to a report in The Independent - though that's seemingly 'dropped' in the sense of 'contract not renewed'.

The band released debut album 'Down In Albion' via the label in November of last year, following a series of delays. Rough Trade have denied claims that frontman Pete Doherty's recent behaviour - specifically the incident at MTV in Germany when he squirted a syringe of his own blood at the camera - has precipitated the company's decision to let the band go, and insist that their contract with the group has come to a "natural end".

A source told the newspaper: "Rough Trade were in the process of renegotiating a deal, but the talks broke down because it just proved to be so difficult to deal with Pete and the people he surrounds himself with."

A spokesman for Rough Trade said: "He doesn't have a contract with us. We are obviously very fond of him, but at the moment we are not working with him."


Audioslave have cancelled their appearances at the Reading and Leeds Festivals, as well as pulling all their European tour dates scheduled to take place this summer. There has been no word as yet from the American band as to the reasons for the block cancellation.

In good Reading/Leeds news, however, the festival has made several recent additions to the line-up. New acts include Aiden, Towers Of London and Killswitch Engage. They join acts such as Franz Ferdinand, Primal Scream and Maximo Park on the bill for the event, which, as oft reported, takes place this year on 25 and 26 Aug.


Finland's ambassador to the UK, Jaakko Laajava, has been busy defending Eurovision winners Lordi against accusations that they are goat-killing, evil-worshipping devil lovers.

Shockingly, the fact that they like to dress as monsters is said to have no actual bearing on their personal beliefs, and they are not, in fact, Satanists, despite what some conservatives in Eurovision host country Greece might have been saying. Archbishop Christodoulos of the Greek Orthodox Church claimed in a sermon on Sunday that the band's win showed that "people are seeking something to prop themselves on and fill their empty souls."

As previously reported, the band's lead singer, who also calls himself 'Lordi', has said: "We are not Satanists. We are not devil-worshippers. This is entertainment."

Now ambassador Laajava has echoed those sentiments, telling Radio 4's Today programme: "This is entertainment. Let's not take this too seriously. They have produced an album called 'The Devil Is A Loser' and maybe that tells a little bit about this."

He added: "We have not been really spectacularly successful in Eurovision before and we are all very thrilled and encouraged by this. There are other very successful heavy metal bands in Finland [who are] known also here in Britain - Nightwish, HIM, Rasmus and others. So there is some tradition in this area."


And talking of which, Morrissey has joked that he should have been asked to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest. He brought the subject up during the second of his three dates at the London Palladium, part of his lengthy UK tour.

He told the crowd: "I was horrified but not surprised to see the UK fail again in the Eurovision Song Contest, and there is one question I keep on asking: 'why didn't they ask me?'"

Er, where do you want me to start...?


The slightly buzzing Larrikin Love are set to release a new single 'Downing St Kindling' via Infectious on 26 Jun, ahead of the release of their debut album 'The Freedom Spark', which is expected to be out in September.

The band have also announced a new series of tour dates coinciding with the single release. All upcoming live dates are as follows, press info from Coalition

28 May: Bedford Angel
29 May: Exeter Cavern
30 May: Cardiff Barfly
1 Jun: Coventry Colosseum
2 Jun: Peterborough Met Lounge
3 Jun: Aldershot West End Centre
5 Jun: Oxford Zodiac
6 Jun: Shrewsbury Buttermarket
7 Jun: London Kings College
17 Jun: Northampton Soundhaus
18 Jun: Middlesbrough Music Live
19 Jun: Newcastle Cluny
21 Jun: Cambridge Soul Tree
22 Jun: Nottingham Social
24 Jun: Bath Moles
25 Jun: Bristol Fleece & Firkin
26 Jun: Manchester Night & Day
27 Jun: Glasgow King Tuts
28 Jun: York Fibbers
29 Jun: Leeds Faversham
1 Jul: Liverpool Barfly
2 Jul: Derby Victoria Inn
3 Jul: Norwich Arts Centre


Domino are set to re-release Sebadoh's 'III' this summer. The US indie band's third album, originally released back in 1991, will be out on 10 Jul, accompanied by a special bonus disc of tracks recorded around the same time as sessions took place for the original album.


Keith Richards has returned to his US home following his previously reported accident in Fiji and subsequent surgery at a hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, accompanied by his wife Patti Hansen. The Rolling Stones European Tour was, of course, due to begin in Barcelona this week, but has been postponed due to Richards' coconut tree incident. A spokesman said that the rocker is looking forward to "getting back on the road with the Rolling Stones next month". A new gig schedule is expected to be released shortly.


Kaiser Chiefs have been announced as headliners for the first day of the Vital 06 festival, which takes place in Belfast's Botanic Gardens this summer. As previously reported, Snow Patrol have already been confirmed as headliners on 23 Aug, whilst Kaiser Chiefs will top the bill on 22 Aug.


LIVE REVIEW: The Bays at Jamm, Brixton on 20 May
The Bays are simply one of the most exciting bands around, period. There's no record contract, or singles, or albums. Unrehearsed and unplanned, each performance you see is a total one-off, created on the spot - it's an exhilarating concept when you think about it. They won't be pigeonholed, and there isn't one song to grasp on to and tell your mates 'this is what The Bays are'. I've never seen them before so I have nothing to compare this performance with, but then again, that would probably be a pointless exercise anyway. Drummer Andy Gangadeen sets the pace, and then Jamie Odell or Simon Richmond on keys, various sequencers and other bits and pieces lay some chords down, whilst Chris Taylor on the bass adds a line, and it all kind of stems from that. At least I think it does, because it really is impossible to tell who takes the lead from whom. They're all such impressive musicians, and they have such an incredible rapport with each other, it seems like telepathy at times. When Gangadeen goes off into a heavy drum and bass beat, the others are on it in literally seconds, and they're off again. It really is incredible. Of course it wouldn't matter one bit if the crowd didn't go with it as well, but here the room was packed out with sweating, grinning, satisfied punters. The pace of the set was pretty much relentless throughout, feeding off the energy of the crowd, and was well suited to a club night. Actually I'll admit it, this isn't so much a review as a call to arms - if you haven't caught them, I seriously suggest you try and get to a Bays gig. Music this exciting and challenging, this pure, deserves to be heard on a major scale. TH


The Hong Kong division of the good old International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry has published a Chinese edition of that 'Young People, Music And The Internet' booklet which tries to explain to parents the ins and outs of downloading music in a bid to ensure they regulate their children's use of P2P file sharing networks. The thinking behind the booklet - which is already available in seven other languages in 21 other countries - is that it is only polite to tell parents about the legal risks they face if their children illegally share music online before you go sue their asses for it. The new edition will be distributed in outlets across Hong Kong, including 64 libraries and 20 offices of the Home Affairs Department's District Offices.

Launching the Chinese edition of the booklet, IFPI's Regional Director For Asia, Leong May-Seey, told reporters: "We are delighted that the Hong Kong authorities are helping us distribute this parents' guide. Many people do not know what their children do on the family computer and may find themselves in trouble with the law if their children are involved in illegal activities, such as sharing music files without the right holders' consent."

It is not clear if there are plans to distribute the book elsewhere in China. The wider music industry increasingly recognises the potential of the Chinese digital music market of course, but it is a market that is still greatly hindered by high levels of both digital and physical piracy.


Hmmm, let's see if we can run a story involving every single major record company shall we? First up Warner Music, and Warner Music International have launched a joint venture with South African media and entertainment company Johnnic Communications which will lead to the creation of a new "music-based content company" in South Africa. The two companies say the joint venture will enable them to operate "at the forefront of South Africa's vibrant music scene at a time when the country's economic growth and adoption of new entertainment technologies is opening the door to myriad future opportunities".

Under the deal the new company will administer the worldwide digital rights to Johnnic's music company Gallo Music, South Africa's largest independent record label, as well as marketing Warner's international releases in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Confirming the new venture, WMI CEO Patrick Vien told reporters: "In addition to creating a huge opportunity in South Africa, this deal also allows us to leverage our global digital distribution footprint to promote leading African repertoire to fans all over the world. WMGA is the latest step forward in our ambition to make a broad range of diverse music content available to consumers wherever, and however, they want it."


Next up EMI, who are expected to reveal that their net income for the financial year ending 31 Mar was up 20% on the previous year, thanks to major releases from the likes of Coldplay and Gorillaz. Of course the London based major was using delays in getting those releases to market as an excuse for the financials released this time last year being a little disappointing, so it's just as well this year's numbers are up. According to Bloomberg, the major's annual report, published today, will show a profits rise from £75.6 million in 2004 to £90.6 million in 2005.


SonyBMG now, and more on parent company Bertelsmann's bid to buy out its shareholder Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, who yesterday confirmed that it intended to exercise its right to sell its 25.1% share in the company through a stockmarket flotation. Following that announcement, Bertelsmann boss Gunter Thielen told his team that while preparing that flotation, the group's board would negotiate with GBL regarding a deal where the company's other existing shareholders (ie, the Mohn family) would buy the 25.1% share ahead of any IPO.

In an internal memo Thielen wrote: "Bertelsmann will fulfill its contractual obligations and prepare the listing of shares held by GBL in accordance with [our] 2001 agreement. Apart from this, we are also prepared for a buyback of GBL's stake at a reasonable price, if our shareholders reach an agreement... In the weeks and months ahead, there will be discussions about whether a listing or a buyback will take place, apart from the usual speculation in the media. Please understand that we will not comment any further on this matter until concrete decisions have been reached."

Still no word on how exactly Bertelsmann would fund the buy out - ie would it involve a sale of their 50% stake in SonyBMG?


And a story involving both SonyBMG and Universal now. The two majors last Friday reached an out of court settlement over a row involving album releases linked to 'The Da Vinci Code' movie. At the start of last week both record companies released albums relating to the much hyped film - Universal released the official soundtrack, SonyBMG an album of music "inspired by Da Vinci", whatever that means. Universal accused SonyBMG of 'passing off' their release as the official album of the movie which, of course it isn't, and they were looking for the High Court to do something about it. But before the High Court could act an undisclosed out of court settlement was reached. What exactly that out of court settlement involved we don't know, though I'm sure that Dan Brown could come up with some stupid conspiracy theory about it if you wanted him to.


Good news if you fancy buying yourself a music publishing firm. US based publisher Windswept has been put up for sale as its Japanese owners, the Fujisankei Communications Group, tries to overcome financial losses caused by its dealings with Tokyo based internet service provider Livedoor.

As I understand it (it's a bit confusing), Fujisankei's problems were caused something like this. ISP Livedoor tried to mount a takeover of Fujisankei's radio business Nippon Broadcasting. In bid to stop that takeover the media conglomerate agreed to buy a 12.7% stake in the internet firm. However, Livedoor's fortunes then took a tumble at the end of last year amid allegations of fraudulent accounting, and the value of Fujisankei's stake in the company slumped, forcing them to sell its shares at a loss.

Anyway, as a result of all that the company is restructuring its finances, which has prompted the sale of Windswept. Fujisankei divisions Fujipacific Music and Fuji Television Network each have a 50% stake in the publishing firm, and both have announced their intent to sell, most likely to the same buyer.

Billboard reports a source as saying up to 20 other publishing firms are now bidding for Windswept's catalogue, which includes music from artists like Pete Townshend, Craig David, Kings of Leon, Fischerspooner, Snow Patrol, The Futureheads, Beyonce Knowles and Beanie Sigel.


More music publishing news, and EMI Music Publishing are bigging up all their award winning after taking rather a lot of gongs at the two sets of US publishing industry awards that have taken place in the last week - one staged by ASCAP, the other by BMI.

At the ASCAP Awards EMI won 17 awards, including overall Publisher Of The Year, and the Song Of The Year Award for Jermaine Dupri for his Mariah Carey hit track 'We Belong Together', while at the BMI Awards they had 18 winning songs. So, well done them.

Press info from Outside Organisation.


The European Media Forum has somewhat ambitiously called on the BBC to sell off Radio 1 and 2 "as soon as possible". They say that by spending £450 million of licence payers' money on radio each year the Beeb is severely limiting the growth of the commercial radio sector and that the Corporation's radio division should, therefore, be considerably downsized. Given that Radio 1 and 2 are music based services, the Forum argues, they are the most obvious stations to privatise because they have "a limited public service role".

In a report for the Forum, economist Keith Boyfield writes: "Our argument is that whereas you can put forward a pretty compelling case for a public sector role for Radios 4 and 3 - and also Radio 5, it gets a bit thin when you look at Radios 1 and 2 - and they could survive quite easily in the private sector".

The BBC responded by saying that the diverse range of specialist and documentary based shows carried by Radio 1 and 2 are not found in the commercial sector, and therefore the stations do have a public service remit, though Boyfield argues that given their current audience reach, both stations could exist in the commercial sector quite nicely without any major change to their programming output.

Boyfield says that the BBC's dominance in the music radio space, through Radio 1 and 2, coupled with its ability to cross-promote the stations through its other media, means that the commercial radio sector is suffering from "stunted growth".


Talking of "stunted growth" in the radio industry, the Chrysalis Group yesterday admitted that its profits for the last financial would be down not far off 50%, results caused by another tricky year in the world of radio advertising. Nevertheless, Chrysalis management remain optimistic about their overall performance, arguing that their radio revenues compare well with the rest of the industry, and that the continued challenges in the radio sector means the group were right to not, as some in the city suggested, flog off their music publishing assets and become solely a broadcasting company.

Releasing his company's interim figures yesterday, Chrysalis boss Richard Huntingford said yesterday: "We set out our strategy a year ago and it's been well accepted. Both the results reported today and the outlook for the remainder of the year are an absolute vindication of that strategy".


And staying with problems in radio land, the company behind the radio industry's main ratings system, RAJAR, yesterday announced that plans to introduce an electronic monitoring system would be put back at least another two years.

While most major media buyers said that they welcomed other improvements made to RAJAR's measurement systems and that they remained confident in their stats, the announcement means the slightly erratic method where a sample of radio listeners write down what they have listened to on the radio in a diary will stay in place for some time to come. RAJAR say their tests of electronic based systems (where the sample group carry some kind of device that monitors what they are listening to) continue through a joint venture with TV ratings people Barb, but that those tests still have some way to go.

Needless to say, Kelvin Mackenzie, a constant critic of the RAJAR system while he was running sports station TalkSport, has slammed the latest announcement, even though he no longer has much of a vested interest in how radio ratings are compiled. The Telegraph quote him as saying: "RAJAR promised they'd bring in the technology, but if these guys were in charge of computers, we'd still be on a typewriter. I urge advertisers not to advertise on radio until they know what their audience is. Radio is a cosy club of executives and it's in their interests to keep the diary."


ALBUM REVIEW: Cicada - Cicada (Critical Mass)
Cicada are most well known for their remixes and production for various dance acts and rock bands, including Seelenluft, Danni Minogue, Depeche Mode, New Order and Editors. This self-titled debut is an album of their own electronic tracks with vocals from Heidrum Bjornsdottie, who sounds remarkably like The Cardigans' Nina Persson. The tracks tend to run into one another with minimal variations between drum samples and unimpressive instrumentation; 'The Things You Say' and 'All About You' are written as formulaic pop songs, despite the possibilities available to such experienced electronic musicians. 'Cut Right Through' and its Reprise version, run one after the other, feel like fillers between Heidrum's input on the first few tracks and the more interesting ones that round the album up. 'Harmonic' is probably the one track that really stands out from the rest with a more varied selection of sampled instruments, but even then, 4 minutes of short loops does get a bit tedious. 'Can't Be Doin' With Love', however, showcases the vocal abilities of Ben Onono, and is a refreshing chill out song and shows the beauty Cicada are really capable of. Despite this, they present 11 tracks evocative of a 1980s electronic revival, seemingly going back in time, climbing back into the box that is electronic music and shutting the lid. AW
Release Date: 10 Jul
Press Contact: Alchemy PR [all]


We called Paris Hilton's upcoming long player the "most pointless release of the year" but, shockingly, we might have been wrong. Yes, we hear that Gut Records are releasing a second album of Crazy Frog songs. 'More Crazy Hits' will come out on 26 Jun, two weeks after Mr Frog's World Cup inspired rendition of 'We Are The Champions (Ding A Dang Dong)'. Press info, should you need it, from Noble.


Yawn. The Church Of England has, of course, criticised Madonna's decision to appear suspended from a giant crucifix during performances on her 'Confessions On A Dance Floor' tour, which has just kicked off in Los Angeles. The singer hangs from the mirrored cross as she sings Madonna standard 'Live To Tell'.

David Muir of the Evangelical Alliance accused the singer of "blatant insensitivity", adding: "Madonna's use of Christian imagery is an abuse and it is dangerous. She should drop it from the tour and people need to find their own means of expressing their disapproval."

'The Church' released a statement which read: "Why would someone with so much talent seem to feel the need to promote herself by offending so many people?"

It's not, as you all patently know, the first time Madonna has courted controversy. I'm so bored of people overreacting to Madonna's antics that I can't even be bothered to remind you why. No comment from Madonna's spokespersons thus far.


Robbie Williams says that it's rude to knock do-gooders like Bob Geldof and Bono. Williams says: "There are T-shirts saying 'Make Bono History' and 'Make Geldof History' and stuff - I think they are in the worst taste. They are of this self-defeating attitude that we have in Britain. I wish the country was full of self-serving people doing self-serving things for charity - Geldof and Bono are doing it, whatever their reasons and motivations."


God, I can think of much sexier vegetarians than Prince. Me, for example. But apparently I wasn't in the running. No, it's Prince who's been voted the "world's sexiest vegetarian" in PETA's annual online poll. The pop star is a strict vegan, and recently wrote in the liner notes of last long player '3121' about the nasty side of wool production, closing the disc with a Gandhi quotation: "To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being."

Anyway, he's knocked last year's winner, Chris Martin off the top-spot. And no, I'm not doing a celebratory jig.

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