CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 1st June
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Independents body to forcefully oppose EMI Warner merger
- Sold out T In The Park make extra tickets available
- Reading & Leeds line up additions
- Hard-Fi hint at homecoming gig
- Specials close to reforming, maybe
- Album review: Hot Chip - The Warning
- British Black Music Month kicks off tonight
- Suffrajets single, tour
- Pink Grease single, tour
- Panic! At The Disco live dates
- War Child and Crimea join up for swap
- EP review: System Of A Down - Vicinity Of Obscenity/ Lonely Day
- Big BitTorrent search engine closed down
- Collusion investigations may reopen as a result of Napster lawsuit
- New boss for EMI classics
- MTV digital man stands down
- EMI digital man stands down
- Xfm Head Of Music goes to Beeb
- GCap marketing guy quits
- SonyBMG digital guy expands his role
- Warner complete Ryko takeover
- Metro consider afternoon edition
- Ottakar's accept new HMV takeover offer
- Single review: Hundred Reasons - The Perfect Gift
- Grohl refutes death claims
- Priest says Bono is full of crap
- Mag in trouble for exposing Lordi
- Clash first inductees to Xfm HoF
- Britney marriage in trouble

--------------------------------------------------

TOP BIT>>
Yesterday we were asking you to send in quotes telling us how great we are - well, more why the CMU Daily is useful for your job. If you are up for doing that, then send your quote, plus your name, company and job title, over to quotes@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk. But today we're not so much interested in your kind words, as your opinions. The body that represents independent record labels all over Europe - IMPALA - yesterday announced it would "forcefully" oppose any attempts by EMI to merge with Warner Music - an announcement that follows those previously reported rumours that EMI are in an acquisitive mood and are likely to make another bid to buy Warner Music in the coming weeks. Any such merger would need to get the approval of competition authorities within the European Commission who, a few years back, could probably have been counted on to block it (indeed, said competition authorities did essentially block a previous attempt by EMI and Warner to merge). But since the EC allowed Sony and BMG to merge, the case for blocking an EMI Warner merger is probably less strong - because having two major record companies so much bigger than the other two (ie Universal and SonyBMG compared to EMI and Warner) is arguably untenable in the long term - and an EMI Warner merger is, it could be argued, inevitable. But IMPALA would argue that the SonyBMG alliance itself was already one merger too many, and that an EMI Warner merger would be disastrous for the wider music community because it would mean 75% of music sales were in the hands of just three very major players, making it much harder for the independent sector to compete. This is the kind of issue I'd normally wax lyrical about here in the Top Bit, taking one side or the other, but to be honest on this one I don't really have an opinion. Obviously it is always of concern to CMU when the dominance of a handful of multi-nationals makes it harder (or, perhaps, impossible) for alternative, independent, new and grass roots companies to operate. And major label mergers normally mean roster cuts, which in itself reduces the diversity of the music out there. But then again, will having three rather than four majors make that much difference, given that the majors act together on several key issues anyway? And isn't the future dominance of a handful of mobile firms and royalty collection societies, and the dominance of one single digital music firm - iTunes - actually of greater concern? And isn't new competition for the download pound from the big TV companies a bigger threat to the whole music space than the dominance of the majors over the independents? As I say, we at CMU don't have strong opinions on this either way and would genuinely like to know what you think. So, if you do have an opinion on this, why not email them in to mergers@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk and we'll report back on what you say in a future Daily (please give us your name and job details with your opinions, unless you wish to remain anonymous, in which case please state so in your email). And if your opinion is that the merger is a very bad idea, then after you've emailed us to tell us, you should head over to http://www.forculturaldiversity.org where IMPALA are mounting a petition against the move.

--------------------------------------------------

EVENTS N STUFF>>

*** BRANDS, BANDS & AUDIENCES 7th June 2006, The Waldorf, London
Do you want to secure global brand partnerships? Are you looking at new media as an extra revenue driver? Do you want to meet leading brands, music labels, new media giants, and those with the knowledge to help drive the profile of your music? Emap's one day event - Brands, Bands & Audiences - in association with Kerrang, Audience, Smash Hits, Media & Marketing Europe, In the City, Record Of The Day, Kiss, Magic, Q, and Mojo IS THE ONE PLACE to gain expert advice from all sectors of the industry. Can you afford to miss out? Full info at http://www.mandmeurope.com/brandsandbands

--------------------------------------------------

ON AIR>>

TODAY ON TOTALROCK
Another chance to hear Talita's interview with Madball (9am to noon). Karol talks to Gary Numan, and he's joined by Betty to chat to Thursday ('Metal Lunchbox', noon to 3pm). Listen live at http://www.totalrock.com.

--------------------------------------------------

RIGHT NOW IN THE CMU BEATS BAR>>

MySpace Of The Day: The Cuban Brothers
'A Million Stories' goes round my head a million times a day. I love this track. Like you wouldn't believe. And if you go to The Cuban Brothers' MySpace page, you can hear it. It's an extraordinary oversight that these chaps haven't been MySpace Of The Day before now. It's possibly an oversight caused by Chris and I both thinking the other one had done it. It might be because we would have mentioned them when we nominated Sunday Best in this slot a few weeks back. Whatever happened, consider that egregious mistake rectified. You can't resist The Cuban Brothers. No one can. They're too much fun. 'A Million Stories' is on their A-Z compilation, released in March, which you ought to get a copy of, if you don't already own one. And you ought to be friends with The Cuban Brothers. Anyone who's anyone is.

http://www.myspace.com/thecubanbrothers

More on today's MySpace Of The Day at http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk

--------------------------------------------------

INDEPENDENTS BODY TO FORCEFULLY OPPOSE EMI WARNER MERGER
Pan-European independent music trade body IMPALA yesterday confirmed they would "forcefully" oppose any merger between EMI and Warner Music. The announcement came as EMI prepared to make its previously reported new takeover offer to Warner's shareholders - an offer Warner's owners are known to be willing to seriously consider providing the price is right.

The independent sector has generally opposed all past major label mergers, and IMPALA itself is still in the process of appealing, through the European Courts, the decision of the European Commission to allow the SonyBMG merger back in 2004. They claim that any moves that increase the dominance of one of the major players in the music sector make it harder for independent companies to operate, which means major label mergers are always bad for the wider music community.

IMPALA say that a combined EMI Warner would control more than a quarter of recorded music sales and nearly 50% of the music publishing market (though the consensus is that EMI would be forced to sell off Warner's publishing company if any merger went through). It would also mean that over three quarters of all music released in the world would come from one of three companies - Universal Music, SonyBMG or EMI Warner.

At the heart of IMPALA's campaign is an online petition which the organisation is encouraging artists, retailers, songwriters and music fans to sign. You'll find it at http://www.forculturaldiversity.org

--------------------------------------------------

SOLD OUT T IN THE PARK MAKE EXTRA TICKETS AVAILABLE
Organisers of T In The Park were tidying their office the other day and came across a spare 12,000 tickets for the otherwise sold out festival - which is great news for those ticketless music fans wanting to go to the Scottish music fest. Actually, I think the tickets have come about after promoters received permission to increase their capacity, and also from tickets reclaimed via an anti-touting operation to track down people who had flouted the "two-ticket-per-person" rule. But I bet some of them had been left at the back of someone's desk drawer by mistake. I know I'm always finding bunches of tickets to sold out music events at the back of my desk drawer. Anyway, the extra tickets will be available from 9am this Saturday by phone or online.

Confirming the new ticket allocation, T in the Park Director Geoff Ellis told CMU: "It's great news for us that there is now a system in place to help identify and eliminate touts and once again we would urge fans not to buy from unofficial sources. The demand for tickets this year is testament to the success of the event and it's great that even more music fans will now be able to join us at Balado for this year's T in the Park."

Organisers have told music fans without tickets that they should not come to the festival site because no tickets will be available on the gates, and a Glastonbury style "fortress fence" will surround the site.

--------------------------------------------------

READING & LEEDS LINE UP ADDITIONS
More festivals news, and organisers of the Reading and Leeds Festivals have announced the line up for their Lock Up stage - which this year will include Sick Of It All, Thursday, Hundred Reasons, Reel Big Fish, Alexisonfire and Send More Paramedics. Elsewhere, Bullet For My Valentine have been confirmed for the main stage. Lovely.

--------------------------------------------------

HARD-FI HINT AT HOMECOMING GIG
Hard-Fi's Ross Phillips has hinted that his band may play an intimate gig in their hometown of Staines. The guitarist told NME.COM: "We were gonna do a gig at Cheekies nightclub but it all went wrong for one reason or another. But yeah we'd love to do a gig in Staines, definitely and get all our mates down. I think it'd be a right laugh. I was thinking maybe we could do it in a little pub and have people queuing down the streets and that. I think it'd be cool."

He added that following their UK tour the band hope to now get to work on a second album, explaining that there is already a fair amount of unused material left over from their work on their debut 'Stars Of CC TV'. Philips said: "We've been so busy lately that we haven't had a lot of time to put into it. When we were working on the first one, there were still a lot of songs knocking about from then. There's still a lot of stuff and tunes that need arranging. A lot of them are just on acoustic guitar at the minute with vocals. They need arranging into Hard-Fi tracks."

--------------------------------------------------

SPECIALS CLOSE TO REFORMING, MAYBE
According to singer Terry Hall, The Specials are pretty close to considering a reunion. That said, there are no immediate plans for the band to reform, despite receiving big money offers to do so. Hall told 6music: "People keep offering us money all the time, and you try and be polite. But you have to say, no matter how much money you've got, that won't make us do it. We'll only do something if we feel it's right. I mean this is the closest we've been in 25 years to maybe doing something - but maybe not what's expected, I don't know."

--------------------------------------------------

ALBUM REVIEW: Hot Chip - The Warning (EMI)
Despite currently riding a wave of critical acclaim that's almost unprecedented amongst this year's records, it seems that the commercial breakthrough 'The Warning' threatened has yet to materialise. The album charted at 34 last Sunday, which was of great surprise to me given the column inches and favourable reviews it has been allocated lately. But Hot Chip is hardly the type of band who could be aggressively marketed (even though they have appeared on T4 in the past). Some describe the band as having the image of chemistry teachers, but I think their lack of image works to their advantage. It means you can cut through all the bullshit and get straight to the music. The singles 'Boy From School' and 'Over and Over' preceded the album, and gave us every indication that 'The Warning' would be one of the albums of the year. It does not disappoint. These tracks represent both sides of the Hot Chip personality; the former a thoughtful and subtle tale of being an outsider, and the latter a manic and dizzying ode to repetition. The contradictory nature is most evident in the vocals, nominally shared between Alexis Taylor's fey and tender tones, and Joe Goddard's deeper growl. Sensibly, Taylor handles the lion's share of the vocals though, his voice embodying the human and emotional core within the musical concoction we're being treated to. The influence of Death From Above/LCD Soundsystem, who ensured that Hot Chip found a record deal in the US, is most evident on the likes of 'Just Like We (Breakdown)' and 'Arrest Yourself'. Meanwhile, there are hints of the Human League in closing track 'No Fit State'. The band never made any secret of their influences in the past, of course. The title track stands out too, and shows the band has retained its sense of humour, Taylor cooing the refrain: "Hot Chip will break off your legs, snap off your head". The current industry buzz around Hot Chip is deserved. You will struggle to find pop music that's more complex, interesting, or amusing than this. I wish their talent would translate into sales, but get the sense that the band enjoy being outsiders in any case. KW.
Release date: 22 May
Press contact: EMI [all]

--------------------------------------------------

BRITISH BLACK MUSIC MONTH KICKS OFF TONIGHT
The Black Music Congress are staging a series of events throughout June as part of their British Black Music Month initiative. It kicks off tonight at the Wood Theatre at the University Of Westminster (35 Marylebone Road) with a session called Anatomy Of A Trailblazing British Black Music Album 1: Omar's 'There's Nothing Like This' - which will look back at the making, marketing and success of Omar's 1990 album, the first album by a British black music artist on a black-owned and totally independently distributed label (Kongo) to enjoy UK chart success. Taking part will be the people behind the release - Root Jackson (label & publishing), Lance Williamson (marketing), Philip Buchanan (artist manager) and Omar himself.

There's a stack of other events taking place as part of British Music Month - we'll try to reference some here in the Daily as they come up, but if you're interested you could do a lot worse than checking out the full programme at this URL:

http://www.bbm-on.net/british_black_ music_month_2006_c.htm.

--------------------------------------------------

SUFFRAJETS SINGLE, TOUR
The Suffrajets are set to release a new single, 'Worthy' on 10 July. The band (which includes Gemma Clarke, if you remember, former Babyshambles drummer) are on tour this month, dates as follows, info from coalition:

1 Jun: Hartlepool Jax Bar
2 Jun: Arbroath Viewfield Hotel
3 Jun: Hull Hullucinations @ Silhouette
4 Jun: Sunderland Voodoo Room @ Bar Pure
7 Jun: Cardiff Barfly
8 Jun: Bedford Esquires
17 Jun: London Nambuca (Holloway Road)
23 Jun: London Koko (Club NME)

--------------------------------------------------

PINK GREASE SINGLE, TOUR
Elsewhere in people releasing singles news, Pink Grease are set to release their new single, 'Ordinary Girl', on Monday (5 Jun), as a special limited edition 7", with another new track, 'Hate', on the B-side. It precedes the release of the group's second album 'Mechanical Heart', which is probably out soon some time but I'm not one hundred percent sure when. A free live recording of the new single is available from the band's website, http://www.pinkgrease.com.

Pink Grease are expected to announce a full summer tour soon, but in the meantime, they are to play a series of club dates this month, dates as follows:

2 Jun: Brighton, Do Club
8 Jun: Winchester, Railway
14 Jun: Leeds, The Faversham
15 Jun: Birmingham, The Medicine Bar At The Custard Factory
16 Jun: Newcastle, The Other Rooms
17 Jun: Preston, The Venue
23 Jun: Tunbridge Wells, Forum

--------------------------------------------------

PANIC! AT THE DISCO LIVE DATES
Panic! At The Disco have announced "their only UK headline shows for the rest of 2006". So there you have it. They appear on 23 and 24 Oct at Brixton Academy. Tickets, as they say, (they do), are on sale now.

--------------------------------------------------

WAR CHILD AND CRIMEA JOIN UP FOR SWAP
War Child and CMU favourites The Crimea (actually, War Child are a 'CMU favourite' too, only we normally only apply that to bands) have teamed up to take part in a new fundraising effort, 'The Big Swap'. I'm not very clever and have difficulty understanding simple things, and I think this is a very simple thing. That being the case, I'm going to let the press release explain how it works:

"We have something we want to swap; you have something you'd like to swap it for. You make us an offer; we trade with whoever leaves us with the best deal. Then, the process starts again - offers/trade/offers/trade - until we're left with something that someone will pay one million pounds. How does it work? We start with something of no real use or value - who really needs a decommissioned landmine, right? Its significance, however, particularly in Iraq where it's been a menace to children for years, is huge. Start with something evil: end with a lot of good."

War Child, of course, is a charity that works with children living in war zones, and this project is specifically geared towards raising money for humanitarian aid in Iraq. For more information or to make an offer see http://www.the-big-swap.com. Press info from julian@warchild.org.uk.

--------------------------------------------------

EP REVIEW: System Of A Down - Vicinity Of Obscenity/ Lonely day (SonyBMG/Columbia)
Following on from that announcement that SOAD are going off the road for a few years, we have this little (download only) EP to console ourselves with. The title track is an example of their astonishing ferocity, and also showcases the completely schizophrenic nature of some of their songs, going from a complete freak out to eighties funk (kind of) in the time it takes you to realise what's going on. 'Shame', featuring the Wu Tang, doesn't so much assault the senses as grab your head and smash it repeatedly into a brick wall. You'll still ask them for more though. It's lucky that the (relatively calmer) ballad 'Lonely Day' is in between them, avoiding too much over-stimulation early on. The last couple of tracks are a cover of Black Sabbath's 'Snowblind', which they make all their own, and 'Metro', which rounds things off in resounding SOAD fashion. Awesome stuff. Pity that seems like it for the foreseeable future. TH
Release date: 29 May
Press Contact: James Grant [CP, RP, NP] SonyBMG IH [CR, RR, NR]

--------------------------------------------------

BIG BITTORRENT SEARCH ENGINE CLOSED DOWN
The world's largest BitTorrent search index - the somewhat blatantly named Pirate Bay - has been shut down. The advertising funded site, available in 25 languages around the world, provided links to BitTorrent sources of all kinds of music, films, audio books, games and software, a lot of which was, needless to say, available illegally. The Swedish based service had received a number of warnings about its liability for copyright violation in recent months, and was finally closed down after 50 officers from Swedish authorities raided 10 locations this week. Their action followed the submission of reports documenting the violations from the likes of the IFPI, MPA and Swedish Anti-Piracy Bureau

--------------------------------------------------

COLLUSION INVESTIGATIONS MAY REOPEN AS A RESULT OF NAPSTER LAWSUIT
According to the LA Times, US Federal Anti-trust investigators have said they will reinvestigate allegations that the major record companies conspired in the days of the original Napster to stop third party download ventures from licensing their music for legitimate operations.

The new investigation comes amid those previously reported allegations made in a long running lawsuit between the major record companies and some of the financial backers of the original Napster. After the original P2P company went into bankruptcy the major record companies went after the organisations who had financially backed Napster, arguing that by funding the P2P company they had enabled and were therefore liable for copyright violation.

However one of those organisations being sued - Hummer Winblad Venture Partners - has hit back claiming that the major record companies acted uncompetitively in their dealings with the original Napster which, prior to its bankruptcy, had been trying to find a way to make its hugely successful but ultimately illegal P2P network into a legitimate record-label-friendly operation. Hummer Winblad argue that the major record companies conspired to stop Napster from launching a legitimate operation by refusing to license their music - a decision motivated by the fact the majors at that stage were investing in their own download ventures, MusicNet and Pressplay.

These are not new allegations, and the US Justice Department investigated them between 2001 and 2003, ultimately concluding that no evidence of unfair play could be found. However, Hummer Winblad claim to have new evidence to present at their civil case, in particular that there are discrepancies between what the majors told that Justice Department investigation, and their actions, as well as "serious omissions" in some of the documents the record companies submitted.

The judge hearing the civil case, Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, agreed that Hummer Winblad's evidence raised a number of questions regarding the record companies' past submissions on this issue, while saying that the edited documents submitted were "deliberately misleading". On those grounds she ordered that the majors hand over certain communications that they had had with their lawyers in recent years, utilising the so called "crime-fraud exception" to get round the client-attorney privilege rights. The majors have appealed that order, and have been granted a stay until the argument can be heard by a higher court.

But, it seems, while both sides await that court hearing federal investigators will be looking at the evidence Hummer Winblad's have so far presented. Whether that will lead to a full reopening of the Justice Department's investigations remains to be seen.

PS: When we say major record companies in this particular story, we are really talking about EMI and Universal, who are leading the legal assault against Hummer Winblad. SonyBMG aren't really involved, mainly because BMG's parent company Bertelsmann is one of the financial backers of the original Napster that EMI and Universal are suing. BMG were, of course, the only major to ever entertain the idea that working with the original Napster might have been a good way to try and turn the P2P using kids into legit downloaders - a strategy which could well have been now paying considerable dividends had the other major record companies not left their fellow major out on a limb on this one, preferring instead the "sue-them-into-bankruptcy-so-their- customers-switch-to-harder-to-track-P2P-systems" approach, which has worked so well for everyone ever since. P2P usage, of course, continues to grow. As do the wallets of EMI and Universal's lawyers.

--------------------------------------------------

NEW BOSS FOR EMI CLASSICS
Talking of EMI, they have announced that Costa Pilavachi will take over the role of President of EMI Classics after current boss Richard Lyttelton retires next month. Reporting to EMI Music top guys Alain Levy and David Munns, Pilavachi will oversee EMI's classical operations on a global basis.

Confirming the new appointment Levy and Munns stood up and delivered the following statement in perfect unison: "We'd like to thank Richard for all his hard work and dedication to EMI over many years. His commitment to EMI's artists and people has been unwavering and we know that he will continue to be heavily involved in music and arts. We wish him the very best for the future. We are delighted to welcome Costa to EMI in this important role. His knowledge and passion for classical music make him the ideal person to build on the unrivalled history of EMI Classics and take it to the next level, both creatively and commercially".

--------------------------------------------------

MTV DIGITAL MAN STANDS DOWN
From appointments to departures. Jason Hirschhorn, MTV's Chief Digital Officer, and the man who has overseen the beta launch of MTV's Urge download platform thingy, is quitting. It's not entirely clear why he has decided to go, or why now, though it seems he probably wants to pursue his own digital music ventures outwith the constraints of a large multi-national. He did, after all, start working for MTV when they acquired his own start up business, Mischief New Media.

Digital Music News quote Hirschhorn as saying: "It's been a great six years. We've changed the company from a cable TV powerhouse to a multiplatform content powerhouse. I am an entrepreneur at heart. It's a great time to be one. It was a tough decision...but with the solid release of Urge and everything else humming, it was the best time possible to go."

Nick Lehman will take over from Hirschhorn at MTV.

--------------------------------------------------

EMI DIGITAL MAN STANDS DOWN
More digital guys going off to set up their own companies. EMI Music Group's US based Senior VP Of Digital Development And Distribution, Ted Cohen, is leaving the major to set up his own consulting company called TAG Strategic (which presumably stands for Ted And Gary - his business partner being new media expert Gary Price). Cohen will keep working with EMI in a consulting role for at least six months though.

--------------------------------------------------

XFM HEAD OF MUSIC GOES TO BEEB
More departures, though this one doesn't involve any entrepreneurial visions. Xfm Head Of Music Nigel Harding is moving across town to take on the role of Music Producer over there at Radio 1. No word on a replacement for Xfm just yet.

--------------------------------------------------

GCAP MARKETING GUY QUITS
And talking about people leaving GCap radio stations, Capital Radio's Marketing Director, Carl Lyons, is leaving the station. Lyons, of course, was at Capital prior to the GWR takeover, and is the latest in a string of former-Capital execs to leave the merged company. Station MD and PD, Keith Pringle and Nik Goodman, both departed somewhat abruptly just over a month ago. Nevertheless, GCap Operations Chief Steve Orchard (a former GWR man) said he was "sad that Carl has decided to leave the station", adding that he is a "fantastic brand marketer". Lyons is said to be keen to return to a new media role - he was responsible for brand marketing at Lastminute.com in a previous job.

--------------------------------------------------

SONYBMG DIGITAL GUY EXPANDS HIS ROLE
After all those departures, another appointment, of sorts. SonyBMG have announced that Andrea Rosi, currently Head Of Digital Business for SonyBMG Italy, will expand his role to become VP Digital Business Development for the whole of Southern Europe. He will report to Maarten Steinkamp, SonyBMG's President Of Continental Europe, in his new role, though will continue to report to SonyBMG Italy boss Franco Cabrini as regards his existing role. All clear? Good.

--------------------------------------------------

WARNER COMPLETE RYKO TAKEOVER
Warner Music has said it has completed its previously reported acquisition of independent music company Ryko, which was previously owned by investment bods JP Morgan. Under the completed deal Warner acquires Ryko's catalogue, label, current artist roster and distribution division.

--------------------------------------------------

METRO CONSIDER AFTERNOON EDITION
Freebie newspaper Metro is said to be canvassing advertisers regarding plans for an afternoon edition, which would be distributed at 10 London railway stations. That follows an announcement by Network Rail that it was making an afternoon newspaper distribution licence available. Metro directors are also said to be talking to Underground bosses about the possibility of distributing an afternoon edition through its racks in their stations too. An afternoon Metro would, of course, compete, possibly quite heavily, with its sister title the Evening Standard, which has its own free edition at lunchtime before the main newsstand edition goes on sale. That would probably cause some tensions between the two sister titles, though Metro bosses will no doubt point out that internal competition is better than a competing newspaper publisher (most likely Richard Desmond's Express Newspapers or Murdoch's New International) getting the right to distribute an afternoon freesheet at the capital's stations.

--------------------------------------------------

OTTAKAR'S ACCEPT NEW HMV TAKEOVER OFFER
I'd forgotten that this ongoing story hadn't reached its conclusion. The shareholders of independent book chain Ottakar's have finally agreed to sell out to HMV, who will merge it with their Waterstones chain. HMV's takeover of Ottakar's was not without controversy, of course, but was cleared by competition authorities a few weeks back. But then HMV started renegotiating their offer to buy the firm because the value of the independent chain had fallen. In the end Ottakar's board agreed to a £63 million takeover - at one point HMV had provisionally offered £96 million.

--------------------------------------------------

SINGLE REVIEW: Hundred Reasons - The Perfect Gift (V2)
You know where you are with this single from the moment the title track starts and the vocals come in - The Perfect Gift is undeniably a Hundred Reasons tune. With some chiming guitars and uplifting vocals it leads to a chorus that, if it doesn't quite soar like 'Falter' or 'Silver', still sounds so damn... majestic. I know that sounds a bit overstated, but it seems to me a strangely appropriate word for Hundred Reasons at their best. 'Sober and Conscious' is a rockier track, with a cool droning guitar hook and 'Horizon', is again a very familiar sounding track, although it doesn't quite reach the heights of the title track. At times the drums can sound a little leaden and sluggish, but that doesn't really take anything away from the music; this is Hundred Reasons doing what they do best. TH
Release date: 29 May
Press Contact: Gilotti [CP, RP, NP] V2 IH [CR, RR, NR]

--------------------------------------------------

GROHL REFUTES DEATH CLAIMS
Foo Fighters man Dave Grohl says that recent internet rumours of his death have been greatly exaggerated, because he is, in fact, alive. He told NME that it got to the stage where even friends believed the rumours and began calling with condolences for Grohl's wife Jordyn: "I got a phone message from a friend saying "Er I guess... Jordyn... this is maybe... for you. I'm so sorry to hear what happened". I heard this message and went 'What the fuck?'. They were leaving a message on my cell phone saying 'I'm sorry Dave died'."

He continued: "That was weird, but I guess I've finally graduated to that status of being an internet rumour. It weirded me out a bit, but it's stupid. I'm like a cockroach, don't worry, I'll be around for a long time."

--------------------------------------------------

PRIEST SAYS BONO IS FULL OF CRAP
Oh, okay, he didn't actually say that he was 'full of crap', but Jesuit historian Fr Fergus O'Donoghue has challenged comments made by Bono earlier in the year at the Annual National Prayer Breakfast at the Whitehouse in Washington DC when he talked of the damage religion has inflicted on his home county Ireland.

In an editorial in Irish Jesuit Quarterly Studies, the cleric wrote: "Bono is wrong. Religion has made Ireland. The remark sounds profound but it is facile if not meaningless, because religion has made Ireland. Irish civilisation is profoundly Christian, which means that Christian belief has been formative in every aspect of Irish political, economic and social development."

O'Donoghue goes on to say that he admires the singer's charity and awareness-raising work, but adds: "I said to myself that is completely wrong you can't visualise Ireland without religion. Most Irish people for 1,500 years have been committed Christians."

--------------------------------------------------

MAG IN TROUBLE FOR EXPOSING LORDI
A magazine in Finland is on the receiving end of a public display of outrage after they published a picture of the lead singer of Eurovision winning band Lordi, sans-mask. As previously reported, the group never appear in public 'naked' and guard their identities closely, but now everyone knows what vocalist Tomi Putaansuu (they named him, not me) looks like.

The magazine, Seiska, has, as a result, had a spate of cancelled subscriptions, whilst two companies cancelled ad campaigns with the publication. One website has collected a 200,000 signatures for a protest petition, and the magazine has been forced to apologise and pledge not to do it again. A second magazine, Katso, caused a similar outcry, when it published pictures of other members of the band.

However, a planned demonstration in front of the Seiska corporate building in Helsinki did not attract as large a crowd as expected - er, three people, in fact - possibly because Putaansuu himself appealed for calm and no violent protest over Lordi's treatment in the press. Typical Satanist, eh?

--------------------------------------------------

CLASH FIRST INDUCTEES TO XFM HOF
The Clash are to be the first ever inductees of the new Xfm Hall of Fame. The public voted online for the band to be the first addition, ahead of previously reported fellow short-listed nominees, Oasis, Nirvana, Radiohead and Muse. Artist Sam Wibberley has now been commissioned to create a collage of The Clash, which will go on show at the Proud Gallery in Camden tomorrow before joining a permanent display at the Hammersmith Palais in London.

--------------------------------------------------

BRITNEY MARRIAGE IN TROUBLE
According to reports, Britney Spears' marriage to Kevin Federline is in trouble, just 20 months after their wedding. Of course I say 'just 20 months', but when you consider the average length of a celebrity marriage these days, it's not actually that short.

The former pop princess is, of course, pregnant with baby no. 2, but according to The Mirror, father Kevin has been sent to live in a flat in the basement of their home on Malibu. Britney is of course, protected by a pre-nuptial agreement that means that a divorce from Federline would barely leave a dent in her £65m+ fortune, but she has, according to a friend, been holding off in the hope that she might turn the marriage around. Well, if the 'friend' quoted by The Mirror actually is a friend.

That source says: "She wanted to wait, but their relationship has become so hostile she just doesn't see how she can make it work. Their relationship has totally broken down. Britney desperately wanted it to work and still does for the sake of their family, but she has had enough of him and the awful friends he hangs around with. But rather than move out, she has ordered him down to a separate flat in their basement. They have in effect divided their house."

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

© UnLimited Publishing | subscribe at www.theCMUwebsite.com/daily