CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 7th July
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- The Firm launch new style label
- British music sales up
- Sanctuary finalise Knowles departure
- Jackson phone messages heard at Schaffel suit
- Black says no more Pixies records
- Eminem launches website for proof
- Fire at the Osbournes' house
- Lemonheads album incoming
- Arctic Monkeys single
- Interpol on third album
- Ms Dynamite to make anti racism speech
- Beggars launch in Japan, with a little help from Warner
- BBC man hits out at RAJAR
- Vibe mag has new owners
- HMV profits down
- T In The Park organisers plant trees
- CBGB to close this autumn
- Flaming Lips tour
- Sigur Ros gig to show at National
- Panic! have a go at killers
- Port Vale restaurant named for Williams


So, another helping of record sales figures were published yesterday, and things are still looking good, with more digitally assisted rises in single and album sales meaning that, with the exception of compilations, everyone is doing pretty damn well. This makes you wonder two things. Firstly, surely these figures prove that when times were hard a couple of years back, that was down to several years of poor signings, a dependency on short-lived manufactured pop bands and a failure to embrace the potential of the internet - and not, as some in the industry claimed, because of the growth of online piracy via P2P. After all - what has changed in the last couple of years is that better bands are being signed, fewer labels are depending on quick-win pop acts and the labels (once kicked into touch by Steve Jobs) are embracing the potential of the internet. P2P usage hasn't changed - in fact, most stats show P2P usage continues to grow - yet the sales figures are increasing anyway. But secondly, you have to wonder whether the growth of digital will continue to bring an increase in sales as downloading goes mainstream - or whether, while single sales continue to grow, ultimately album sales will decline, as people enjoy the new flexibility of being able to preview tracks on an album and only buy the ones they like, rather than the package of eight, ten or twelve that the artist and label would like you do buy. The point? Well, despite misguided P2P paranoia, the record companies have done the right things in the last couple of years to overcome sales declines (better artists, less manufactured pop and better online offerings) - but they shouldn't assume that's that, and now everything can continue as normal. The digital age still presents numerous new challenges to the music business (and I'm counting P2P in that), but likewise presents numerous opportunities - the labels still need to find ways to meet the former and grasp the latter. Good luck with that!



BigTime TV / RockChic(TM) - Channel Manager
To mark Fender(r)'s 60th anniversary, BigTime TV has invited 60 world-renowned creators to customise a Stratocaster(r). The exhibition 'RockChic' launched to huge acclaim in Paris, and is now set to move to Dublin and London, before the guitars are auctioned for charity. Contributing creators include: Bryan Adams (ft Kate Moss), Agnes B, Christopher Bailey, Bono, Sir Peter Blake, Anton Corbijn, Patrick Cox, Buddhist Punk, Diane Von Furstenberg, Jamie Hewlett , David LaChapelle, Peter Lindbergh (ft Keith Richards), Jennifer Lopez, Jean Baptiste Mondino, Rankin (ft Heidi Klum), Nick Rhodes, Johnny Rocket, Lord Richard Rogers, Hedi Slimane (Dior), Philippe Starck.

BigTime is looking to recruit a Channel Manager who will coordinate the logistics of staging the show in Dublin and London, providing a day to day link between our exhibition venues, production team, publicists and the 60 creators. In addition, the Channel Manager will play a key role in developing complimentary RockChic channels - including a book, a dynamic digital channel and possibly a TV documentary. The manager will also be responsible for identifying new commercial opportunities and partners for both the online and physical manifestation of RockChic. The Channel Manager should be a good organiser and people person, able to balance various concurrent projects. Editorial and web skills an advantage, ability to get on the phone and talk to potential partners a must. Applicants should send a CV to [email protected] - check for more information on Rock Chic.



Can't be arsed to research festivals this summer? The Aloud Festival Guide has got the info on over 60 events taking place, written by music-lovers for music-lovers. As well as news and updates, we've got on-site blogging from the festivals, features, photos and advice from the illustrious Professor Portaloo - don't shag Anne Widdecombe scores quite highly. You can also win tickets to Lovebox, Belladrum and Bestival by sending in your photos, and feature in our summer podcast - brilliant!



Kill All Hippies returns this Friday - 7 Jul - at the 333 in Shoreditch. This month you'll find Komakino and Milk Teeth live on stage plus Jeff Automatic and DJ Frankie D on the decks in the basement, and the Fully Comprehensive guys doing their stuff on the ground floor - with Gavin Nugent, Mark Beaumont, Syrinx and the Cooper Temple Clause boys doing the DJ thing. Tickets are a tenner unless you guest list in advance, then it's just a fiver, you can do that at

Not only that but on Sunday 23 Jul Kill All Hippies will be bringing some rock sensibilities to the Lovebox Weekender at London's Victoria Park by hosting its own big top arena featuring some great live bands and DJ action. On stage will be Battle, White Rose Movement, Longcut, Rumple Strips, The Delilahs and Little Barrie. Not only that, but the Kill All Hippies co-founders Eddy TM and Jagz Kooner will be hosting the day and taking to the decks - supported by Charlotte Hatherley and Gavin Nugent.

Full press releases for both KAH July and KAH at Lovebox at:



The Count rises again! After a lengthy absence, Zed is back on air. Catch 'The Psycholopedia' from 9pm to midnight. On Saturday, July 8, Talita is joined by Deicide on 'Breakfast At Talita's (9am to noon) - be afraid. Katie Parsons chats to young Brits The Blood Roses on the 'Classic Rock/Metal Hammer' show (3-6pm). Malcolm Dome finds out more about the new Def Leppard covers album, 'Yeah!', thanks to guitarist Phil Collen ('Doom & Co.', 6-9pm). Listen live at



My Space Of The Day: Sugardaddy
Everyone is talking about Sugardaddy. Well, not everybody. My mum didn't mention them when I spoke to her the other night. And the girl on reception at the Edinburgh hotel I'm staying in at the moment didn't mention them when I arrived there last night. But Pete Tong, Eddy TM, Louis Osbourne, Mutiny and Tom Neville have all been raving, and that's good enough for me. These are the first signings to the previously reported TuneTribe Recordings, and it's a new project from Groove Armada's Tom Finlay and Dub Pistols' Tim Hutton. Their music is really rather funky and, if you are one of the few not already talking about Sugardaddy, you owe it to yourself to get on over to this MySpace and check out their four tracks. If you like them, then you can buy the track as a download from TuneTribe or on lovely 10" vinyl from a quality record store. And then see them live at a number of upcoming festivals and Ibiza nights - dates on the MySpace, obviously.

This and more at



CARO'S LIVE TIP: Er, anything at Somerset House this week
I went to a gig at Somerset House last night and loved it. Partly because two of my favourite musical acts were playing on the same bill (review to follow), but also because I really enjoyed being at that venue, the courtyard of Somerset House. Not only are the surroundings rather grand, but it's in the open air, of course, which is great, when you consider what the weather has been like this last week or so. You may say that opportunities to see gigs in the open air are ten a penny at present, what with the festival season well under way, but this way, it's in a pretty courtyard, you can fit it in after work (if you live in the London area), and get the train home afterwards instead of arsing around with tents. My pick for the week is Damien Marley on Tuesday – I was going to go, but now I can't. Actually, I'm now going to add The Lemonheads and Erykah Badu, and make it 'picks of the week'. Jose Gonzales is on tonight, but he's sold out, as is Corinne Bailey Rae on Wednesday. Have a look: I believe you can get press info from those lovely folk at Nile-On.

CHRIS' CLUB TIP: Kill All Hippies at 333
You know the score. London's bestest rock night returns tonight to the 333 in Shoreditch with two great bands due to play live - Komakino and Milk Teeth, plus all the usual DJ stuff - with Frankie D joining resident Jeff Automatic in the basement, and the Fully Comprehensive team presenting Gavin Nugent, Mark Beaumont, Syrinx and the boys from the Cooper Temple Clause on the ground floor. It's a tenner on the door but, quick, go and guest list yourself know and get in for a fiver - you can do that at

Friday 7 Jul, 333, Shoreditch, 10pm - 5am, £10 (£5 if you guest list in advance), press info from Leyline.


US management firm, erm, The Firm, has announced it is launching its own record label, though it will do so in association with EMI who will handle North American distribution and global licensing for their artists. The aim, they say, is to build a new business model for releasing records that will be more 'artist-friendly', mainly by paying them a share of the profits rather than a traditional royalty (which is more artist friendly, assuming there are profits to share).

The Firm CEO Jeff Kwatinetz told reporters: "This is an opportunity for The Firm to create a new music business model that shifts power back to the artists and the focus back to the music itself. While many in the music industry are pessimistic about the future, we think the possibilities are limitless if we can find fresh ways to support and nurture great art and the talent that creates it."

On the EMI partnership, he continued: "The innovative work we have done with David Munns, Alain Levy and their team at EMI on Korn, Ice Cube, 30 Seconds To Mars and others has been lighting the way. They are forward thinkers whose artist-oriented approach is empowering the creative community. Instead of whining about the difficulties plaguing today's music business, they are planning for the future".

For their part in the project, EMI Vice Chairman David Munns said: "EMI is delighted to distribute The Firm's music company in the US and bring its artists to a global audience. The Firm's label roster will be another strong American repertoire source for EMI worldwide. Jeff shares my view that our changing industry sometimes calls for breaking the mold and pursuing new business models. As a result, we're already having success with the groundbreaking deal we did with The Firm on Korn and we look forward to this being another solid venture."

The Firm's latest venture follows several previously reported artist specific arrangements which enabled the company's artists to enter into innovative contracts in order to release and distribute their music, most notably a three way deal between themselves, EMI and Live Nation in relation to the band Korn.


Good news everybody. Well, assuming everybody has at least one share in a record company. Anyway, the British music industry is doing very well thank you very much with BPI figures for the second quarter of the year showing that record sales are up, that, thanks to the growth of digital, singles sales are at their highest for six years and, not only that, British artists in particular are selling well, with over half of the Top 100 and Top 10 best selling albums of the last quarter coming from home grown talent. Hurrah, I tell you.

Commenting on the figures, BPI top guy Peter Jamieson told CMU: "The British record industry is providing music fans with a great range of new and exciting acts while the expanding digital music market is giving them an enormous choice as to where, when and how they buy their music. Meanwhile, record companies' enthusiastic embrace of new digital formats has helped the single find a new lease of life, and the British singles chart is more exciting than it has been for years."

On the downside, compilation album sales did dip again, though the decline wasn't as dramatic as in recent quarters. As commented here previously, generic (ie non curated) compilation album formats are sure to decline as digital single sales rise, with people able to cost effectively compile their own compilations of classic and current hits via iTunes et al.


The Sanctuary Group has announced it has formally ended its relationship with the music company owned by Mathew Knowles (you know, the 'father of Beyonce" bloke). It brings to an end a partnership which began in 2003 when Sanctuary bought Knowles' company in a bid to jumpstart an urban music division. Knowles is one of a number of US partners that Sanctuary has recently parted company with as the London based group tackles its recent financial hardships.

The deal to end the relationship will see Knowles pay Sanctuary $5 million ($3 million now, $2 million over the next 18 months) in return for regaining ownership of his MW Entertainment company, which includes control of many of its artists, most prominently Beyonce and Destiny's Child. He will also sell his 17,829 shares in Sanctuary within ten days, passing on the revenues of the sale, minus admin costs, back to the group.

Confirming the deal, recently appointed Sanctuary boss Frank Presland told CMU: "This is another important step in reorganising the Group and putting it on a sustainable footing with proper standards of corporate governance and financial transparency. Having been Chief Executive for just over a month, I repeat that this is a business that can prosper if it faces up to the new realities and management remains committed to focusing on driving the business forward to deliver appropriate levels of performance."


Phone messages left by Michael Jackson on Marc Schaffel's answering machine have been entered as evidence for that previously reported lawsuit in which Schaffel is claiming that the pop superstar owes him $3.8m. The jurors in the case heard the increasingly frantic messages, which were played in order to demonstrate how close the relationship between the two men was, and that Jackson had entrusted his associate with multi-million dollar projects. In one of the earliest messages, Jackson is heard to say: "Marc, it's Michael. ... Marc, please never let me down. I like you. I love you. ... I really want us to be friends and conquer the business world together. Please be my loyal, loyal friend. I love you."

Later messages chart the development of a charity single that never actually got off the ground, as well as a project referred to by Jackson as "the Marlon Brando deal", messages which reveal details of the singer's relationship with the late film star. Jackson, says Schaffel, wanted to make a video at Brando's island in Tahiti in which the pair would interview each other, and later had plans for an acting DVD, but both projects ultimately failed to come to fruition because of the huge expense involved. Jackson says in one of the messages: "Marlon Brando has been pushing. He's a wonderful man. He's a god. He wants a lot of money. He wants to get things done right now."

On the charity single, 'What More Can I Give', intended to benefit 9/11 victims, Schaffel explained that the record, which involved more than 30 major guest artists, was never released due to complications with Jackson's label, Sony, adding that the project had cost millions. When it had not been released by 2003, Jackson called Schaffel to suggest it then be released in aid of a charity associated with the invasion of Iraq. "It should be for America in Iraq," he said. "... It's a perfect cause. It means more now than any other causes."

Schaffel also testified that he had arranged ten million dollars worth of credit for Jackson, who also asked him to find a home in Beverly Hills to serve as a hideaway from his Neverland ranch. Sch added that he is also owed 664,000 dollars in royalties from two videos sold to Fox television in the wake of the showing of that damaging Martin Bashir documentary. Jackson, as previously reported, is not attending the trial, having testified via a taped deposition.


Frank Black says there will never be another Pixies album, but that the band plan to keep on touring. Black told Uncut: "I wish it could go a bit further again and we could make a record. Not all of the band-members are willing to do that. Rather than make a big deal out of it, we've agreed to just continue to play live. We definitely enjoy ourselves. There is a little camaraderie, a gang mentality that takes over when we're about to take the stage."

Speaking about his tense relationship with bassist Kim Deal, he explained that things are much improved since the band split back in 1991, saying: "Now, if we're on tour together, we hang out, we hug. We have some good conversations, I suppose."


Eminem has created a new website to help raise money for the family of friend and mentor Proof, who, as previously reported, died earlier this year after provoking a gun battle at the CCC Club on Detroit's 8 Mile Road. The site is selling T-shirts and special posters of the late hip-hopper, real name DeShaun Holton, with all proceeds going to the Big Proof Forever Foundation, which will benefit Proof's relatives and children.

The site is at


I've got a vague sense of deja vu going on here. The fire service were called to Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne's mansion in Jordans, Buckinghamshire on Thursday morning to fight a blaze suspected to have been caused by an electrical fault in a lamp. The family were not at home at the time, and the call to emergency services is thought to have been made by a housekeeper. A fireman (don't know his name) said the fire had been caught in the nick of time, adding "If we hadn't been alerted so quickly it could have been worse."

And yes, my sense of deje vu is, in fact, justified. You may remember that in 2005, a fire broke out whilst Ozzy and Sharon slept in the house, and the couple were forced to escape into the garden with their assorted pets.


The Lemonheads have announced that they are to release their eighth album, 'The Lemonheads', on 25 Sep. It is, of course, the band's first album in ten years. Evan Dando, who, as previously reported, has been working with drummer Bill Stevenson [Descendents, Black Flag] and bassist Karl Alvarez [Descendents] on the new long player, says: "you should listen to the Descendents' 'Milo Goes to College' to get an idea of what the next Lemonheads record sounds like. I wanted to make a rock record, a melodic rock record. Also, I'm sick of selling solo T-shirts," he adds.

The Lemonheads, as mentioned earlier in today's Daily, play at Somerset House this week. In the meantime, I've got a tracklisting for this new album. Do you want it? Do you? Oh, you know you want it, bad:

Black Gown
Become The Enemy
Let's Just Laugh
Rule of Three
No Backbone
Baby's Home
In Passing
Steve's Boy

Press info from Coalition.


Arctic Monkeys have announced that their next single release will be 'Leave Before The Lights Come On', out on 14 Aug. The single will be backed by two covers, don't know what yet, but a 'source', apparently, told NME that one "will be their version of an old song and the other a cover of a track by one of their favourite groups."


Interpol have left a message on their official website explaining that they are working on a new album, which they expect to release in 2007. The New York band wrote: "We're hard at work on the writing of album three. We've been at it for six months - in case you heard we were on hiatus. We're all very excited about it and think that you will be too. Having yet to record, we can only say that release will come sometime next year."

On the content of the album, they continued: "We can't offer much of a preview at present, but I can tell you we've got one gem in the works entitled 'The Heinrich Maneuver'. And another that was called 'Pawn Shop'. But that's called something else now."


Ms Dynamite is to make a speech against racism at Dagenham's Jo Richardson Secondary School in on Friday, in the light of election successes in the area by the BNP, who recently won eleven council seats in Barking and Dagenham. Speaking to the pupils about the need to eliminate elements of racism and fascism from school, Dynamite, real name Niomi McLean-Daley, is the first of a number of artists appearing in the area on behalf of Love Music Hate Racism.


Beggars have announced a new partnership with Warner Music International which will essentially see the creation of Beggars Japan. A new office will be open within Warner Music Japan which will make artists old and new from the various Beggars labels available properly in the Japanese market for the first time. The first album to be released via the venture will be Thom Yorke's solo album (which isn't a solo album, remember) which, of course, is coming out of Beggars' XL label.

Confirming all this, Beggars boss Martin Mills told reporters: "Over the last five years we've successfully established offices in every significant music market, and this landmark deal finally gives us an equivalent domestic presence in what has been a key market for us for many years. The challenges of the Japanese market are very exciting for a label like us. We are delighted to be teaming up with Warner Music Japan to meet them".

Warners' Lachie Rutherford added: "We are proud to be working with Beggars and its labels alongside our existing line-up. Japan's progressive and vibrant music culture will provide an exciting environment for Beggars' pioneering approach, and we look forward to exploring the potential for their prestigious catalogue across a range of platforms".


Well, we all know that former TalkSport boss Kelvin Mackenzie hates two things with an equal passion - radio listening figures body RAJAR and the BBC. But now, just to confuse him, a BBC man has come out in support of his anti-RAJAR stand - albeit a BBC man quite low down the hierarchy.

BBC Radio London MD David Robey has questioned just why it is taking RAJAR so long to find a technology based alternative to the current radio ratings system which, many now accept, is pretty much the definition of "fundamentally flawed". Mackenzie, who initiated his own rival listening figures operation while running TalkSport, always claimed that RAJAR gave certain stations inflated listening figures, while showing others to have smaller audiences than they really did. Robey has said that an impartial observer might conclude (though he was careful not to say that this is what he himself necessarily believes) one of the reasons RAJAR are taking such a long time in revamping their system is because the big radio stations are concerned just what impact any improved system would have on their listening figures (ie a new system would show they are actually reaching a smaller audience than previously assumed, and therefore their air time is worth less money to advertisers).

Speaking at the Radio Festival, Robey: "There could be a conspiracy theory that [the tests into a new measurement system] probably showed that the big brands - whether they be BBC or commercial - could have lost audience and smaller brands gained audience ... it's not in the interests of big businesses to get worse results. The current system is fundamentally flawed and that's what most people in this business are worried about".

Needless to say, RAJAR boss Sally de la Bedoyere dismissed such conspiracy theories, responding to Robey thus "It's a grave misassumption that the current system is fundamentally flawed. What is leading you to discredit the system is probably the volatility of data - and that is always there because of the sampling, not the system".

Mackenzie doesn't comment on these things much these days, he no longer being in charge at TalkSport, but if he had commented I'm sure it would have been something a long the lines of "RAJAR, useless, get with the era, an outrage, I'll sue, privatise the BBC anyway", or something like that.


US based R&B and hip hop magazine VIBE, which I think was owned by Quincy Jones, has just been bought by New York based private equity firm Wicks Group. Former editor Danyel Smith will take over as Editor-In-Chief under the new owners, while one Eric Gertler will take over as CEO. One of the new owners' aims is to further extend the VIBE brand into different spin offs.

Gertler: "The power of VIBE is its appeal to the diverse, trendsetting young style makers who enjoy and are passionate about urban music, fashion and culture. We think there are tremendous growth and value-creation opportunities to leverage the brand across multiple media platforms and we are excited to build upon the great relationship that VIBE has with its community."


HMV has reported a 20% fall in its profits, and has warned that current trading remains "challenging". That, of course, comes as no real surprise, given previous statements from the book and music retailer. As previously reported, increased competition from the supermarkets and mail order etailers continues to make times hard for traditional retailers like HMV. Among the company's plans to try and rectify that is a new pricing structure, which will see many CDs come down in price by 10%.

HMV also announced it will properly merge its books company Waterstones with the recently acquired Ottakers which means that, while not that many of the combined group's stores will close, the Ottakers brand will disappear from the high street.


Good news for tree fans. Organisers of T In The Park, which takes place this weekend of course, have pledged to plant 1600 trees in the Scottish countryside in order to ensure the event is "carbon neutral" – ie, that the carbon dioxide emissions caused by the festival are set off by the trees planted. Additional tree planting projects to be funded by the festival are planned in Mexico and Uganda.

Geoff Ellis, the boss of DF Concerts, who promote the festival, said the move was something they had been considering for some time, adding that he saw the tree planting venture as a way for the festival to have a "lasting legacy" with a positive impact on the environment.

The Scottish tree planting project will take place in Dumfries & Galloway. A local MSP, Elaine Murray, welcomed the project, saying: "This is an exciting project involving planting native species, recreating the forest as it would have been 6,000 years ago. [And] it will be a tremendous educational resource, and I am sure a great visitor attraction. I hope this will be taken up as an example of good practice by other events organisers".

Scottish band Franz Ferdinand, due to play at the festival this weekend, also welcomed the move, with lead singer Alex Kapranos telling reporters: "It's great that T in the Park has taken these steps towards making the event the biggest carbon neutral festival in the world. I think more festivals should take their lead - such thought and that extra bit of effort are hugely worthwhile and beneficial to the environment."


Legendary New York rock club the CBGB is to close on 30 Sep. As previously reported, the venue last year lost a battle with landlord Bowery Residents' Committee, regarding a new lease and a rent rise. A host of special shows are now being organised for the final weeks before the venue's closure, which are set to include appearances from "many of the artists who made CB's famous."


The Flaming Lips, who release a new single 'The W.A.N.D' on 17 Jul, have confirmed that they will play five UK dates later this year, as follows:

4 Nov: Brighton Centre
5 Nov: Bournemouth BIC
9 Nov: Birmingham NIA
10 Nov: Glasgow SECC
13 Nov: London Hammersmith Apollo


The final gig of Sigur Ros' current world tour, which takes place in Reykjavik on 30 Jul, is to be simultaneously streamed at the National Film Theatre in London. More than 200 tickets have already sold for the event. It's part of the National Film Theatre's season of music-related stuff, 'Access All Areas', a programme of music documentaries, and the like.


Panic! At The Disco have responded to The Killers' recent comments about the dangers of emo. As previously reported, The Killers had a go at them in a recent NME interview, with guitarist Dave Keuning saying "All those bands, Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, they're only influenced by each other and Blink 182. How can that be a good thing?" whilst band-mate Brandon Flowers added: "Emo, whatever you want to call it, is dangerous."

Panic! At The Disco singer Brendan Urie has now responded to that. "Do I think or myself as dangerous? Not at all! We're really harmless and innocent in a way. It's a shame that he feels that way really."

Panic! are on a US tour at the moment, and Urie, speaking to, added "the tour is going really well. We're really enjoying it. Everything has gone really smoothly which is really good. We didn't get a lot of time to prepare, but so far so good."


Robbie Williams is to get a restaurant named after him at Port Vale Football Club. The singer, as previously reported, earlier this year bought a 25% stake in the club, which he has supported since he was a child.

Club chairman Bill Bratt says that that the venue will be "a premium corporate area with a bar and restaurant and great views overlooking the surrounding area," adding that Williams was only too happy for the new oulet to take his name: "He has given his permission and was very happy and proud and said yes without any hesitation when we asked. We would like to think he would come and see it but he is in the middle of a world tour at the moment but, when the football season starts we think he will be here."

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