CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 31st July
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- NARM call for more DRM inter-operability
- Sanctuary knock back MAMA offer
- CBS appeal Nipplegate fine again
- Albarn forms new band
- Owen Wilson denies plagiarism
- Dylan and Islam got Cerys off drugs
- kd lang criticises Canadian PM
- Ok Go single, tour
- Clapton Red Square concert cancelled
- Stones launch new live music phone service
- EMI sign up to Mashboxx
- LBC expands via digital
- Franz man on no more TOTP
- Chart update
- McCartney guitar sells for £330k
- Gillespie gets hitched
- Kid Rock weds Anderson
- Timberlake wants to be interviewed by Posh
- Kylie Minogue most desirable flight neighbour
- James Blunt is intolerable
- The Pipettes get bitchy


So, ladies and gentlemen, we write this edition of the CMU Daily from a lovely flat in South Edinburgh, having successfully moved the UnLimited Media HQ from London's docklands to Edinburgh's College Of Art. Tomorrow we will be joined by 80 college media people from all over the country, who will be here just in time for the start of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe previews, which kick off on Wednesday. And all this effort just so we can tell you, the great British music industry, about the fabulous new music being showcased at the Edinburgh Festival. Well, that's not really the reason at all, and I'm sure you know it isn't (the real reason should be pretty apparent at However, the contemporary music strand of the Edinburgh Festival has exploded in recent years, partly thanks to DF Concerts' T On The Fringe, but also due to expanding music programmes at other Fringe venues too. So much so, the Edinburgh Festival now boasts a music programme en par with many a music festival - only with equally impressive programmes of comedy, film, art, dance, theatre and debate as well. Which is why you should all make the effort to take a trip North this August and experience the mad, chaotic, eclectic and incredibly addictive Edinburgh Festival all for yourself. If you do, may I be so bold as to suggest a trip to the aforementioned where you will find simply the most comprehensive guide to the Festival (or, if you're really keen, or just a big fan of UnLimited Media style e-newsletters, sign up to the ThreeWeeks eDaily by emailing [email protected]). Meanwhile, look out for the return of the CMU At The Edinburgh Festival slot in the Daily from next Monday, giving you the lowdown on all the great music events happening up here this summer. In the meantime, I better go and stock up on Irn Bru supplies, we've a newspaper to get press and we're going to need to stay up very late to finish it.

PS: If any of you media types need any information, quotes or comments on the Edinburgh Festival - we are quite probably the best people to provide them - us being very informed, very independent, and very in the heart of it all. Email your enquiries to [email protected]

PPS: With the CMU At The Edinburgh Festival slot reappearing next week, the Top Bit and MySpace Of The Day will be taking what I consider to be a well earned break during August. So no more pleasantries, no more blatant plugs, no more predictable rants, no more MySpace musings - well, not until 1 Sep, when they'll all return with a vengeance. Happy holidays.



Take note, the next Kill All Hippies will take place at the 333 Club in Shoreditch this Friday, 4 Aug. On the bill live wise will be band of the moment Humanzi plus Apartment in support, while KAH residents Jeff Automatic and Gavin Nugent will be joined by Mark Beaumont, Syrinx and Engineers on the decks (plus one more guest DJ tbc). Guest list in advance at to enjoy a special five pound entry fee.

More info:


America's National Association Of Recording Merchandisers has issued a statement urging the entertainment software sector to adopt digital rights management compatibility so that shoppers can enjoy a "seamless experience" oblivious of what technology they own and where they buy their music.

NARM's statement, of course, echoes the sentiments of many consumer rights groups and, for that matter, many in the record labels, who are increasingly concerned that business models like those used by Apple, where consumers are locked to their platform and players through the use of an exclusive proprietary DRM system, will have a negative impact on the wider digital music space in the long term. Whether a trade association like NARM making a formal statement on the issue will have any impact on the technology firms, and especially Apple, I'm not sure - I suspect not.

Nevertheless, they spoke thus: "As long as there are incompatible DRM systems and standards, it will be difficult to satisfy consumer expectations", adding: "If DRM compatibility cannot be achieved, we urge the content and hardware communities to actively investigate innovative new alternatives to current DRM".


The Sanctuary Group has confirmed it has met with representatives from its smaller rival, the MAMA Group, to discuss their previously reported takeover proposals. This follows that announcement last week from MAMA, who own UK music company Channelfly, that they were making a share-only offer for their bigger but struggling competitor. At the time Sanctuary bosses said they were awaiting the release of their latest set of accounts before discussing MAMA's proposals further, and they subsequently met with MAMA shortly after those accounts were released on Wednesday.

Following that meeting, the Sanctuary board issued a statement on Friday formally knocking back MAMA's proposals, telling the investment community: "Following this meeting, the directors of Sanctuary have concluded that the approach from MAMA is without merit and is not in the interests of Sanctuary shareholders. Sanctuary has therefore rejected the MAMA approach and terminated discussions. Going forward, the Board believes that Sanctuary has a strong, independent, long-term future".

MAMA had said that it may attempt a hostile takeover if the Sanctuary board showed no interest in their proposals - so it now remains to be seen if they now go through with that threat. Interesting times could be around the corner.


US TV network CBS will appeal again (for the third time, I reckon) the $550,000 fine it has been ordered to pay by media regulator the FCC over the legendary TV moment that was Nipplegate. As previously reported, the increasingly hardline FCC fined CBS the maximum penalty it was legally allowed to after 540,000 mentally scarred Americans phoned in to complain about Janet Jackson's breast exposing dance routine in the Superbowl half time show of 2004 - which CBS produced (via then sister station MTV) and aired. In their latest appeal CBS call the unprecedented fine "unconstitutional" and "arbitrary", adding that while Nipplegate was an "inappropriate and unexpected" episode, they have apologised for it and have implemented safeguards to prevent similar broadcasts happening again. They conclude: "We disagree strongly with the FCC's conclusions and will continue to pursue all remedies necessary to affirm our legal rights". The FCC say they will fight CBS' appeal - adding that CBS are "out of touch with the American idiots" (or words to that effect). I suspect the regulator will win again - especially given that Congress and the White House is behind them all the way on this one, recently passing new legislation that would allow the FCC to pass even greater fines should a similar event happen again.


According to reports, Damon Albarn has formed a new band (because clearly two isn't enough). Mojo says that the Blur frontman's new group is called 'The Good The Bad And The Queen' and members comprise The Clash's Paul Simonon, Fela Kuti drummer Tony Allen and former Verve guitarist, Simon Tong, who, of course, played live dates with Blur following the 2002 departure of Graham Coxon.

The band are set to play their first show at that previously reported BBC Electric Proms series, appearing at Camden's Roundhouse in October. A single is expected that month, with an album to follow in January next year.


Actor Owen Wilson has denied those allegations made by Steely Dan men Walter Becker and Donald Fagen that the character Wilson plays in his latest film, 'You, Me And Dupree', is stolen from one depicted in their 2001 track 'Cousin Dupree'. As previously reported, Becker and Fagen wrote an open letter to Wilson's brother, fellow actor Luke Wilson, criticising the film for what they consider to be direct plagiarism. And no, I still haven't worked out why they addressed it to his brother and not him.

According to the Associated Press, Wilson has now released a facetious statement addressing the claim. Wilson says: "I have never heard the song 'Cousin Dupree' and I don't even know who this gentleman, Mr Steely Dan, is. I hope this helps to clear things up and I can get back to concentrating on my new movie, 'Hey 19'".

'Hey Nineteen' is, of course, the name of Steely Dan's hit track from 1980 album 'Gaucho'.


Cerys Matthews has said that Bob Dylan and the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, Yusuf Islam, helped her off drugs with a couple of timely phone calls. The former Catatonia singer says that her addiction to heroin was close to killing her when the phone calls gave her the spur to turn things around.

Matthews says: "I couldn't walk, couldn't breathe. I was allergic to heroin. My body would react against it. It fills your lungs up. You suffocate yourself. So what do you do? You make a conscious decision to live. It would have been the end if I hadn't made that decision.

"I had a telephone call from Bob Dylan and from Yusuf Islam in a two-week period and it gave me the confidence to follow what my heart was telling me, which was just to get out. I don't know why they rang, it happened out of the blue. I'd like to keep the conversations private but it was a strange time because I'd almost given up hope on everything and started to lose the plot a bit, and that's a pretty sorry place to be. Then these spiritual guides called and it helped me gather strength to change things and start again."

Matthews is shortly to release her second solo album.


kd lang has criticised Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper because of his refusal to attend the World Outgames, a international sporting event expected to attract in the region of 13,000 gay, bisexual and transgendered athletes, and which is set to take place at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal.

The singer, who will perform at the event's opening ceremony, told reporters: "It's a sad statement that the national leader of a country that's one of the most progressive countries in the world chooses to support intolerance. It's our job to see that as an unfortunate ignorance, rather than as a statement against us. It's just that he hasn't got there in his heart."

Opposition leaders will be at the event, making the premier's absence more notable, but a spokesman for Harper denied that there was any political significance in the PM's decision not to attend, saying: "The Prime Minister receives hundred of invitations to attend several events at the same time. He simply can't be everywhere at the same time."


OK Go have announced that they will release a new single, 'Here It Goes Again', on 25 Sep, the third track to be taken from their recent 'Oh No' album. The Chicago band will play a series of UK tour dates to coincide with the release, as follows:

18 Sep: Bristol University
19 Sep: Cardiff University
20 Sep: Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
21 Sep: Newcastle University
22 Sep: Manchester Academy
24 Sep: Glasgow ABC
25 Sep: Leeds Met University
27 Sep: Portsmouth Pyramid
28 Sep: London Astoria


Eric Clapton has been forced to call off a concert planned to take place in Moscow's Red Square after Russian authorities withdrew permission for the event. The singer was set to play on 3 Aug, and was already in possession of a permit "signed by all appropriate Russian city and state authorities", but on 28 Jul, the permit was withdrawn. In a statement, Clapton explained that he was "extremely sorry" to disappoint fans, but that the cancellation was "beyond his control".

The concert was intended to be the finale of Clapton's European tour. It will now finish tonight in Helsinki.


The Rolling Stones have launched a new mobile initiative to coincide with the recently re-launched European leg of their 'A Bigger Bang' tour, though the technology behind it is quite a bit more basic than many recent mobile content initiatives.

Through the 'Listen Live Now' service fans can dial a special number and hear live recordings from their European live shows. Although billed primarily as a mobile thing, the venture is essentially a standard premium rate phone service that takes a feed from the sound desk of any given Stones gig. To that end the service can actually be accessed from landline phones as well as mobiles. Each call to the service lasts seven minutes and costs $1.99.

Although not as hi-tech as some recent mobile ventures in the live sector, the new service does, nevertheless, provide additional revenue, or 'passive income' as some call it, for the band and their promoters.


EMI Music has signed up to legit P2P company Mashboxx, the one run by former Grokster chief Wayne Rosso. The deal will see EMI's North American catalogue made available via the legit P2P platform when it finally launches - it is still in a beta testing phase at the moment.

As previously reported, there are a number of companies developing legit P2P systems that charge users a subscription fee which is passed back to signed up content owners based on how often their music is shared. As previously observed, while a lot of energy has been put into the whole legit P2P thing, it is as yet still an untested domain, with some cynics questioning whether music fans using current free-to-use P2P software will ever opt to pay a subscription fee, despite the legal and technological flaws on the non-legit systems. Meanwhile it remains to be seen how well pay-to-use P2P competes with the likes of iTunes or, more importantly, the subscription based download services like Napster which offer similar packages in terms of the quantity of music available to their subscribers.

In fact, when the major legit P2P services, like Mashboxx, finally launch they may well have quite a lot in common with Napster et al, carrying other services in addition to the basic P2P facility. Mashboxx is reportedly planning to include a 'try before you buy' service which enables subscribers to listen to new tracks for up to five times for free before buying them.


London talk station LBC is expanding nationally via the wonders of DAB digital radio. From September the station will syndicate its programmes via digital radio networks in the North West, West Midlands, Yorkshire, the North East, South Wales and the West. The digital service will be essentially their London programming, but with local news slotted in.

LBC boss David Lloyd told reporters: "We've always had an impressive response to the personalities on LBC programmes from outside London, so it's perfect to be able to deliver our distinctive 24 hour conversation more readily now to so many new regions on DAB."


So, it was the last ever Top Of The Pops last night. Former presenters marked the occasion by doing what they did - ie co-presenting the final show. I, as a former viewer, did what most viewers have been doing in recent years - ie I didn't watch it.

But, let our last word on the whole TOTP debacle go to Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos, who has been talking to the NME about the Beeb's decision to axe the legendary pop show. Calling that decision "a shame", he told NME: "When you see anything that's been part of you life since you were a kid disappear then you feel a wee bit sad. I think people listen to music in a different way now than they did a few years ago, so maybe 'Top Of The Pops' hasn't kept up in the way it could have done. But I'm sad to see it go. It was an important part of growing up. You'd run to see it on Thursday nights. You'd watch it for the bands that you love and the bands that you hated as well. I remember seeing The Specials doing 'Ghost Town' and that was amazing. But then you'd sit at the screen and slag off the bands you hated as well, and there'd be some idiots in the audience that couldn't dance as well." He concluded on a positive note however, predicting: "I think it'll be back, definitely."

Franz Ferdinand were, of course, one of the last bands to play on TOTP - and possibly the last band to cause any TOTP related controversy - when Alex chose to wear a t-shirt with the slogan 'Franz Fucking Ferdinand' for their performance. On that stunt, Kapranos continued: "I was talking to one of the producers and he said because it was one of the last episodes, do what the fuck you want. So I fucking did!"


So, it was Shakira who played the last ever TOTP 'and this week's number one is...' slot, she securing a place at the top of the singles chart yesterday with 'Hips Don't Lie'. Christina Aguilera is at 2 with 'Ain't No Other Man', Rihanna is at 3 with 'Unfaithful', Lily Allen is at 4 with 'Smile' and James Morrison is at 5 with 'You Give Me Something'.

New entries wise it all kicks off at 7 with Madonna and 'Get Together'. Then it goes Kasabian 'Empire' at 9, Pet Shop Boys 'Minimal' at 19, Feeder 'Save Us' at 34, Paris Hilton 'Stars Are Blind' at 35 and Shapeshifters & Chic 'Sensitivity' at 40.

Albums wise, Razorlight hold on to the top spot, while the three new entries come from Pharrell Williams at 7, James Dean Bradfield at 22 and Bill Withers (with a best of) at 35. Lovely. Day, that is.


Paul McCartney's first guitar has sold for £330, 000 at an auction held at London's Abbey Road studios, fetching more than three times its estimate. The instrument was sold by McCartney's old school friend Ian James, and was accompanied by a letter of authenticity which read: "The above guitar, belonging to my old school pal Ian James, was the first guitar I ever held. It was also the guitar on which I learned my first chords in his house at 43 Elswich Street, Liverpool 8."

The guitar's buyer, Craig Jackson says: "This is such an important piece of rock history and I am an extremely happy man tonight. Without this guitar The Beatles may never have existed and it is a fantastic acquisition."

Elsewhere in McCartney news, or rather gossip, The Mirror reports that the former Beatle thinks his ex-wife-to-be is a bit of a gold digger, according to a 'close friend', and is furious with her, because she has allegedly rejected a £30m divorce settlement and is, it's claimed, pushing for a figure in the region of £200m.

That very close friend, the tabloid claims, said: "Paul believes Heather wants as much money as she can get. He thinks she is proving herself to be nothing better than a gold-digger. Paul is a reasonable guy who doesn't like confrontation. He wanted to keep the divorce quick and amicable for the sake of [their daughter] Beatrice - but feels Heather is being difficult and trying to drag things out. In his eyes they had agreed they wanted to make the divorce quick and painless and a settlement was virtually in place - but then Heather started getting unreasonable because she wanted more money. She wants as much as she can."


Primal Scream man Bobby Gillespie has married his long-term partner Katy England. The pair were joined at their Staffordshire ceremony by celebs including Mick Jones, Ian Brown, Mani, Kate Moss, Sadie Frost and Jade Jagger.

Elsewhere, Gillespie has been saying wacky things about drugs and table tennis in an interview with Channel 4's Transmission: "I used to do loads of cocaine. Me and my mates used to get sniffed up and play table tennis at my house. That's the way to do it. Put lines on the table and then you can do those Japanese top spins and back spins right. Cocaine and table tennis - it's a great recreational activity. That's when I'm at my best."


Talking of music celebrity weddings, Kid Rock has married former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson on a yacht near St Tropez. It's a second music related marriage for Anderson, who was, of course, previously married to Motley Crue's Tommy Lee.


What was that about steady drips of news in advance of an upcoming album? The Sunday Mirror says that Justin Timberlake is to do an interview for GQ magazine (which I thought he'd already done), but has insisted that Victoria Beckham be the one to interview him. Which is understandable, given Posh's, er, proven track record in feature journalism.

A 'source' told the tabloid: "Justin was adamant Vic was the only person fit for the job. Victoria is a big fan of Justin's music and was very flattered that he personally requested her for the job. Everyone is telling Vic it would be a brilliant for her to do - two big icons getting up close and personal for the first time."


A new poll by British Airways has revealed that Kylie Minogue is the person most men would like to sit next to on a flight. Missing pop star Rachel Stevens (where has she gone, incidentally?) came second on the list, whilst Beyonce made it into fifth place.

Music stars were less popular with the ladies, who cited George Clooney as their top flight companion (see that play on words? God, I'm clever), although Robbie Williams made it to number two. Actually, Will Smith was at four, and I suppose he is a music star, of a sort.

A BA spokeswoman said: "Everyone is intrigued about who will turn up in the next seat and Kylie would obviously be a dream companion for most men. I think we all sit there and look at the passengers joining the flight and hope we get someone exciting as a neighbour."

Hmm. I have to admit I tend to be 'fearful', rather than 'intrigued'. And I would rather have a 'quiet' neighbour who won't talk me to death, rather than an 'exciting' one. Hmm, perhaps that's just me. I am, after all, legendarily bitter and twisted.


Elsewhere in pointless polls news, poor old James Blunt has beaten off stiff competition from 'traffic wardens' and 'noisy neighbours' to come fourth in a survey of things that the British find intolerably annoying. The poll, commissioned by Lactofree, whoever they are, lists 100 pet hates. Other annoying things making the list include 'ex-smokers', 'Americans' and the lovely 'Carol Vorderman'.

Lactofree's Louise Barton commented: "It's the little things that are beyond our control which annoy us the most, like novelty ring tones and noisy eaters."


Well, thank God for The Pipettes - when Brandon Flowers said he wasn't going to bitch about other bands any more we were really quite worried that they'd be no one around to start those all important band feuds (well, Lily Allen's still around I suppose, but I'm getting tired of her) - so good on the Brighton girl trio for getting all bitchy.

Apparently they've been slagging off Razorlight, have called Dirty Pretty Things "the worst band in the world" and said of Mr Pete Doherty that he's "just a celebrity who's renowned for being a smack head". But it was on the subject of The Kooks that they got most animated.

In a recent radio interview Becki Pipette recalled how Kooks man Luke Pritchard called his gig at the Great Escape festival in Brighton 'a homecoming gig' - saying: "They were like, 'It's really nice to be home,' and they're not even from Brighton! Music integrity, please? Luke said, 'It's something of a homecoming for me.' Fuck off! We hate the Kooks... we have to dislike them because they were made at the same stage school as Rooster!"

Gwenno Pipette adds: "When he [Pritchard] was on Jonathan Ross, he had his legs up on the sofa and he was just being a rude little boy. We haven't got the time for those kind of boys... and that stupid straw hat he wears!"

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