CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 22nd August
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- CMU at the Edinburgh Festival
- Madonna gets away with crucifix routine in Germany
- Tom Keane on cancelled gigs
- Brit Awards to be broadcast live
- Hot Chip reckon the Monkeys will take Mercury
- Info announced on new Robbie long player
- Strokes man readies digital release
- Depeche Mode greatest hits planned
- Celebrated Indian musician dies
- Single Review: New Young Pony Club - Ice Cream
- The Fratellis headline NME tour
- Tower Records file for chapter 11 protection
- Paradigm buy Little Big Man
- Universal take six of the top ten album positions
- Take That Owen has first son
- Osama obsessed with Whitney, apparently


Oh dear, another late one, you remember how I said Tuesdays were rather busy for us up here the Edinburgh HQ of ThreeWeeks/CMU, well, I never lie. But hey, we're on the home straight. That said, there's still loads of great stuff to come, and here's some music reviews to prove it.

Graffiti Classics at Pleasance Dome at Edinburgh Fringe (until 28 Aug)
A romp is probably the last thing you would put with classical music, and to some, inappropriate behaviour. This family-friendly, over the top quartet dramatise old classics and favourites from Romania to Ireland. A bit whacky in places, but serious in others, when a blues' standard made an appearance, these four carved up the floor with their stringed instruments and bursting enthusiasm. Whether they sang, can-canned, or fooled around, they were sure to have the audience play a part, resulting making sure that any classical music-related snobbery was left at the door. A fantastic way to introduce young'uns to classical music, and a chance to have a laugh in places you previously dared not to. KR
tw rating 3/5

Trans World Orchestra at the Jam House at Edinburgh Fringe (until 27 Aug)
If dancing like a maniac to the ear-shakingly pulsating bass of a didgeridoo sounds like your kind of thing then this is the night for you. Considering the volume of sound they create it's hard to believe that the Trans World Orchestra has only two main members; after all, they're less an orchestra than a duet. Despite their diminutive size, however, Trans World manage to produce a sound which would not seem out of place at a rave in some field in the home counties. The live didgeridoo and drums, coupled with the unearthly wailing of their beautiful and tiny singer, creates a sound to which it is impossible not to move - it's the next morning and I'm still buzzing. An amazing night! PC
tw rating 4/5

That 1 Guy at The Spiegal Garden at Edinburgh Fringe (until 27 Aug)
So the story goes - having exhausted the possibilities of his double bass, Mike Silverman (aka 'That 1 Guy') built his own instrument - "The Magic Pipe" - that does everything a double bass can do and so much more. It is a seven foot steel beast with two strings, which he bows, plucks or even beats with a stick, and at his feet he plays drums with three foot pedals, whilst singing, beat boxing, scatting and even break dancing. The result is something like Faith No More's Mike Patton playing an instrument that contains all others AND blows smoke to boot. Speaking of boots, he also played one of those, and a saw, and a credit card... Experimental music at its most entertaining and most accessible. MH
tw rating 5/5


OK, let's get to the important story first. This just in. Madonna not arrested shocker. If you, like me, haven't been able to sleep because of the worry Madonna might be prosecuted in Germany over her crucifix routine (actually, I haven't slept because we had an Edinburgh Festival newspaper to get to press, but that's another story), well, worry no more.

Officials in Germany who originally said that Madonna's shows there could be illegal because of rules against being "hurtful to religions", have now said that, while Christian groups may have been "hurt" by the image of Madonna cavorting on a cross, the singer is protected by other laws that "protect artistic freedom".

A spokesman for the city of Dusseldorf, who said they would be monitoring Madonna's concert there last weekend, told reporters yesterday: "We are not going to open an inquiry against Madonna. The show was extremely provocative but not punishable."


A message for all you cynics out there who immediately said "rehab" when the news broke that Keane were cancelling three gigs because Tom Chaplin was recovering from "exhaustion". To assume that just because Chaplin is officially exhausted that that somehow means he needs help for a drink and drug addiction is sensationalist, cheap, unfair, petty and, as it happens, totally accurate.

Chaplin has admitted to his fans that he is checking himself into rehab. On the band's website he writes: "I've been having to deal with an increasing problem with drink and drugs, and the time has come to get the professional help I need to sort myself out. I feel desperately disappointed to be letting down our fans, but I want to get myself right now so that I can be back on the road for the rest of the year."

According to the Sun, Chaplin checked into The Priory last week, but left the rehab clinic at the weekend in order to perform at the V Festival. The tabloid say he is now back at the centre, presumably alongside Pete Doherty who, as previously reported, has been ordered to complete a full course of treatment at the clinic by the judge overseeing his most recent drugs charges.

As also previously reported, the three gigs affected by Chaplin's impromptu stint in rehab were to take place at Ibiza Rocks, Edinburgh's T On The Fringe and at a Vodafone TBA event in Dublin. Ironically it is the second Ibiza Rocks gig pulled due to a course of impromptu rehab - the aforementioned Doherty pulled his first gig of the year at the White Isle's rock night after checking into a Spanish rehab centre.


Who'd have thought that one day we'd be looking back to the cringe-worthy chaos of Brits 1989 and saying "ah, those were the days". But, while presumably no one is wishing for a repeat of the now legendary Sam Fox / Mick Fleetwood debacle of that year's Brit Awards, organisers are hoping to rekindle viewer interest in the music business's big night out by broadcasting the whole thing live again (1989 being, I'm pretty sure, the last time the Brits went out on TV live).

The Brit Awards have become increasingly professional in recent years, of course, and while that has brought some good things to the occasion, it has also taken away the 'edge' from the event, an edge that, for many people, made the show fun to watch. It is hoped that the promise of a live broadcast will rekindle the interest of the TV viewing audience for the 2007 awards bash, which will take place on Valentines Day. ITV will remain as the event's broadcast partner.

Confirming the plans for Brits 2007, BPI boss Peter Jamieson, told reporters: ''If Valentines celebrates love and the BRITs stands for great music, what better way to celebrate Britain's love for great music than to put the two of them together? British music is in one of its most exciting phases with new British talent shining both at home and abroad, so what better time to take the show live."

Guy Freeman, Controller Of Music & Events at ITV, added, "The new ITV stands for must-see appoint-to-view television. The BRIT Awards is already the biggest and most successful music awards show in the UK. Taking it live and on Valentine's Day is set to make it one of the TV events of the year."


The always modest Mercury nominated Hot Chip have told MTV that they are putting their money on the Arctic Monkeys to win the overall Music Prize.

The band's Alexis Taylor said: "We had a nice time with the Arctic Monkeys in Sweden. We played at a festival called Accelerator over there and they were around and it was very nice. I'm gonna put some money on them! I haven't actually checked our odds yet."

Of course, given the Mercury judges' tendancy to shy away from the obvious choices when awarding the overall Music Prize, it wouldn't surprise me if Hot Chip are actually the overall winners.


You see, I've been going around calling the new Robbie Williams album 'Rudebox', when that was just the name of the first single release off the new long player. But, as it turns out, my incompetence was actually foresight, because EMI yesterday announced that the new Robbie LP will also be called 'Rudebox', instead of a rumoured working title of '1974'.

EMI have also revealed more details about the new album, which will now be released in October. Producers Joey Negro, William Orbit, Mark Ronson and the Pet Shop Boys will all appear on the album in one guise or another, as will Lily Allen who apparently recorded her backing vocals on the album before scoring a hit single of her own.

For those tracklisting fans out there, here is the full lists of songs you can expect to find on the new album...

Viva Life On Mars
Lovelight (a Lewis Taylor cover)
King Of The Bongo (a Manu Chao cover)
She's Madonna
Keep On
Good Doctor
The Actor
Never Touch That Switch
Louise (a Human League cover)
We're The Pet Shop Boys (a My Robot Friend cover)
Burslem Normals
Kiss Me (a Stephen 'Tin Tin' Duffy cover)
The 80s
The 90s


The Strokes man Albert Hammond Jnr has announced details of his first solo single, 'Everyone Gets A Star', which will be released exclusively through iTunes on 4 Sep. The digital only release will precede the release of a full solo album called 'Yours To Keep' on Rough Trade.


Depeche Mode have announced details of a new greatest hits album which will include all the tracks you'd expect like 'Personal Jesus' and 'Walking In My Shoes' and, well, shall I just publish the whole tracklisting? That would be easier, wouldn't it? Here it is...

Personal Jesus
Just Can't Get Enough
Everything Counts
Enjoy The Silence
Shake The Disease
See You
It's No Good
Suffer Well
Dream On
People Are People
Walking In My Shoes
I Feel You
Master And Servant
New Life
Never Let Me Down Again

In case you're confused, I can confirm that 'Matyr' is a brand new song that will be released as a single on 30 Oct. Here's hoping it will be a hit, so it can justify its place on the album, which is out on 13 Nov.


One of India's most celebrated musicians, Bismillah Khan, who popularized the use of the shehnai (an aerophonic instrument which is thought to bring good luck, according to Wikipedia) has died aged 91. Such was Khan's impact on his home country's culture that his home state of Uttar Pradesh has declared a day of mourning as a tribute. During his long career Khan won numerous music prizes for elevating the status of 'shehnai music', while in 1991 he was given India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna.


SINGLE REVIEW: New Young Pony Club - Ice Cream (Modular)
Punk was all the rage when I was a lad. And it's still going strong, on the basis of the number of bands who are taking the sturdy template of 80's post punk, aligning it with sounds from the dancefloor, and in the process seemingly defining one of the genres of our time. NYPC are one such group, and their giddy fusion of punk, pop and disco marks them out as one of the more promising exponents of the aforementioned trend. The influences are mined unashamedly (the group were formed in 2005 partly inspired by LCD Soundsystem); as such, the synths are pure 80s New Order, the vocals have a touch of Talking Heads about them, the beats are tight but loose (yes, really) and the guitars are - as on all songs of this type - best described as 'angular'. Meanwhile, the lyrics (intoned in a kind of sly deadpan) are intriguing, and the repeated mantras of "I can give you what you want" and "Let me give you what you'd like" add a frisson of sexual innuendo that suggests the song isn't really about frozen desserts. (I suppose I should end the review with some kind of cheap sign off urging you to "Suck on this" or "Try a mouthful", but I'm above such tacky frippery these days, so you'll have to make do with the rather dull "Get yourself some of this - it is good" instead). MS
Release date: 28 Aug
Press contact: Modular IH [all]


The NME have announced the line up for their O2 Rock N Roll Riot Tour, which will kick off in Portsmouth on 10 Oct. The line up is what you might want to call "storming" - The Fratellis, The Horrors and The Maccabees, and the dates run as follows:

10 Oct: Leeds Metropolitan University
11 Oct: Portsmouth Pyramids
12 Oct: Cambridge Junction
13 Oct: Cardiff University Great Hall
15 Oct: London Astoria
17 Oct: Sheffield Leadmill
18 Oct: Bournemouth University Old Fire Station
20 Oct: Nottingham Trent University
22 Oct: Oxford Brookes University
23 Oct: Norwich Waterfront
24 Oct: Liverpool Academy
25 Oct: Newcastle Northumbria University

PS: We'd tell you how to buy tickets, but Owen here tells me it's all sold out. Except for the Bournemouth gig. We'd tell you how to buy tickets for the Bournemouth gig, but we can't be bothered.


Following weeks of speculation regarding its future, US music retailer Tower Records has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, for the second time in two years.

As previously reported, the music chain has been up for sale since the start of the year, but talk of bankruptcy proceedings have been circulating since the major record companies announced it would no longer be supplying Tower with new stock because the firm was not going to be able to pay its August bills. The current owners hope Chapter 11 court protection will enable them to complete a sale without fear of creditors forcing liquidation.

In a statement issued in the Delaware bankruptcy courts yesterday, the company said: "Tower Records has conducted an extensive sale process and this step will allow buyers to complete a sale in time for the holiday season while maximising the value for stakeholders".


A Beverly Hills theatrical talent agency called Paradigm, which represents the likes of Andy Garcia, Laurence Fishburne and Philip Seymour Hoffman, has bought the New York based music agency Little Big Man, which represents the likes of British bands Coldplay and Arctic Monkeys in the US.

It is the second music purchase made by Paradigm in recent years. In 2004 they bought music bookers Monterey Peninsula Artists, whose roster include Aerosmith, Black Eyed Peas and the Dave Matthews Band.

Confirming the deal, Little Big Man founder Marty Diamond told Billboard yesterday: "The reason I made the move is as the marketplace gets more and more competitive, I need to be able to provide greater services and wider services to my clients, and create better opportunities for clients".


Given that we didn't do a Chart Update yesterday (I'm hoping none of you noticed), let's dedicate a few lines to congratulating Universal Music, who have six UK signed/developed artists in the album top ten this week - with three new artists and three established artists signed to Universal divisions Island, Polydor and Mercury all appearing - that's The Feeling, James Morrison and Orson, and Keane, Snow Patrol and Razorlight. Universal's press release doesn't mention whether this is any kind of record, so I am guessing it means it isn't, but still, well done to all those Universal types. Because a CMU 'well done' is what matters to these people, obviously.


Take That's Mark Owen has become a dad for the first time. His girlfriend Emma Ferguson gave birth to son Elwood Jack Owen on Saturday. Congratulations to both of them. Because that's what really matters to Mark and Emma, a CMU 'congratulations'.


Now this is interesting / weird / disturbing. A new book by a Sudanese poet who claims to have been kept against her will as a mistress to Osama bin Laden in the mid-nineties claims the Al Qaida chief is obsessed with Whitney Houston, so much so he planned to give the star a mansion and have her husband Bobby Brown killed.

Kola Boof writes in a new book about her time with bin Laden: "He told me that Whitney Houston was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. He said that he had a paramount desire for Whitney Houston and although he claimed music was evil, he spoke of some day spending vast amounts of money to go to America and try to arrange a meeting with the superstar. He said he wanted to give Whitney Houston a mansion that he owned in a suburb of Khartoum. He explained to me that to possess Whitney, he would be willing to break his colour rule and make her one of his wives. In his briefcase, I would come across photographs of the star ... it would soon come to the point where I was sick of hearing Whitney Houston's name."

We put in a call to bin Laden to get his response to these claims but he didn't respond. As usual.

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