CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 31st August
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- EMI v Beatles case to go ahead
- C Miller back under full house arrest
- My Chemical Romance pleased with bottling
- New Dylan critically acclaimed
- Black Crowes drop keyboardist
- Plus 44 announce UK gig
- Barat and Doherty appear on same Strummer tribute track
- Akercocke make vid in strip joint
- Code Name Milo collaborations
- Album review: The Victorian English Gentlemen's Club - The Victorian English Gentlemen's Club
- The Walkmen tour
- New York Dolls tour
- Pogues tour
- Gomez tour
- More focus on iPod sweat shop allegations
- New music magazine ready to Play
- Ericsson plan to expand ringtone platform
- CD:UK maker in receivership, though CD:UK sold
- ARIA report growth
- Iron Maiden considering new management
- Sandi OK

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EMI V BEATLES CASE TO GO AHEAD
So, those EMI chappies (well, mainly those Capitol chappies) are looking more likely to be heading to court to fight a lawsuit brought against them by The Beatles (well, McCartney, Starr and the estates of Lennon and Harrison). This relates to the previously reported lawsuit launched by The Beatles' company Apple Corps against the EMI division last December. The major record company had asked the New York State Supreme Court to throw out The Beatles' case, but judges there refused the request.

The Beatles claim that EMI are guilty of a number of illegitimate practices that denied them access to royalty payments to which they claim they were due. They allege that EMI and its US division Capitol wrongly classified copies of certain Beatles recordings as destroyed or damaged 'scrap' and then secretly sold them. Other recordings, the band claim, were labelled as royalty-free promotional material, but then also sold. They also reckon the number of units sold were under-reported. They are looking for £13.2m in damages to compensate for those alleged activities and, perhaps more importantly, are attempting to reclaim rights to the band's master recordings.

It's not the first time The Beatles and EMI have been in dispute over royalty payments. A long dispute ran throughout the eighties after the band said they had been underpaid their royalty share. In the end the major agreed to increase the band's future royalty rates as part of a settlement deal. The new dispute relates to an audit of EMI's books from the nineties, with The Beatles launching their litigation at the end of last year. EMI hoped to get the case thrown out of court on the grounds that there was simply not enough detail about the alleged fraudulent actions, but New York judges disagreed.

Commenting on that decision, The Beatles' lawyer Paul LiCalsi said this week: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to pursue this claim for the return of The Beatles' master recordings."

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C MILLER BACK UNDER FULL HOUSE ARREST
US rapper Corey Miller (formerly known as C-Murder, though he dropped that moniker after being, erm, convicted of murder) has pissed off the judge overseeing his house arrest by showing up at the New Orleans premiere of a new Spike Lee documentary about Hurricane Katrina.

Miller has been under house arrest since his conviction for murder was overturned earlier this year, and will remain so until a retrial is arranged (although his original conviction was declared flawed, he hasn't been found innocent of the charges as yet, and a new trial now needs to take place).

The conditions of that house arrest have changed a bit over the months, and at one point he was free to leave his home during the daytime, though objections raised to that freedom mean he is now again confined to his home accept for weekly visits to church. Either way, the liberties the court have granted him certainly don't stretch to nights out at film premieres. Or, as State District Judge Martha Sassone put it: "You're on home incarceration to prepare for a defence, not to have a social life". Miller's appearance at the awards (which was caught on TV footage of the red carpet event) means any previous privilidges granted to the rapper will now be withdrawn, pending the retrial.

As previously reported on many an occasion, Miller is acused of shooting dead a 16 year old boy outside a nightclub in 2002. His original conviction for the crime was overturned after a judge ruled prosecutors were wrong to not reveal the criminal backgrounds of certain witnesses key to their case against Miller.

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MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE PLEASED WITH BOTTLING
My Chemical Romance have been telling NME how much they enjoyed being, erm, bottled during their Reading set at the weekend. The band continued with their festival set despite certain parts of the crowd throwing bottles on stage.

The band's Gerard Way told NME: "I feel that that was one of the best sets I have ever had in my entire life and it's a set that I'll always remember. When we face some kind of adversity we always, always plough through it and we did it for our fans and I think not only that but we completely won people over. Negative energy is just hatred and this band has always taken negative energy and turned it into something positive. That is why I gave that speech about the Daily Mail [who recently wrote an article about the band, claiming they encouraged fans to 'self-harm']. That was a very negative article written about the band and the band's fans and it was completely ignorant, it was unfounded, there was no factual information at all. We do not promote self-harm but we encourage kids to find other ways to get out their frustrations... my objective that day was to get across, pretty much to the whole country, that that's not what we represent. We represent the exact opposite. We also represent all the outsiders out there and I thought there were a lot more outsiders there."

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NEW DYLAN CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED
So, after Dylan dissed pretty much every band that has made music in the last 20 years, I must admit part of me wanted his new studio album to be pretty poor, so we could dis him. But, alas, it seems 'Modern Times' is a future classic, with pretty much every US critic hailing it as being a "masterwork", or words to that effect. USA Today say that listeners immediately discover they are "in the presence of greatness" when they play the album, while Blender reckon "Nobody can stop him, and the world is better for it". Rolling Stone reckon "This music is relaxed; it has nothing to prove", adding the album is Dylan's "third straight masterwork". Ah well, perhaps he'll do another deal with Starbucks, and we can dis him about that.

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BLACK CROWES DROP KEYBOARDIST
Black Crowes have announced that keyboardist Eddie Hawrysch has been "released" from the band because of "personal issues", whatever that means. He will be replaced on their up coming US tour by Rob Clores. The announcement comes following the news that the release of the band's new album has been put back to late September because of a "recently discovered manufacturing error". Whether the delay and Hawrysch's departure are, in fact, related, is as yet unclear.

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PLUS 44 ANNOUNCE UK GIG
Former Blink 182 bods Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker will make their UK live debut with new band (+44) at the Astoria on 19 Sep. Hoppus and Barker make up half of the group, which also includes former Transplants touring guitarist Craig Fairbaugh and The Nervous Return lead guitarist Shane Gallagher. Tickets go on sale on Saturday.

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BARAT AND DOHERTY APPEAR ON SAME STRUMMER TRIBUTE TRACK
Carl Barat and Pete Doherty are to be reunited through the medium of music - which is just lovely. Word has it they will both appear on a cover of The Clash's 'Janie Jones' which will appear on a new Joe Strummer tribute album that is in the pipeline (it's called 'Strummerville'). Needless to say, the collaboration did not involved getting Barat and Doherty into the same studio at the same time - that would just be ridiculous. Rather they each recorded their bits separately.

NME quote Barat thus: "Am I recording for Strummerville? Yeah, I've done that already. This fella just popped round with his computer and said 'Sing onto this' and then he was gone. Pete's on it, The Paddingtons are on it, loads of bands are on it."

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AKERCOCKE MAKE VID IN STRIP JOINT
Progressive death metallers (for that is how the PR refers to them) Akercocke have recorded a video for their track 'Intractable' (from 2005 album 'Words That Go Unspoken') in what they describe as a "gentleman's club in the depths of London's Soho district", so I think you all know what to expect. If you don't, the video's storyboard, created by the band's drummer David Gray, will probably tell you a little, it's at http://www.earache.com/archive/Akercocke/storyboard.jpg. Needless to say, I don't think it'll make daytime MTV, though presumably Akercocke never do anyway. More info on the video and the single release at http://www.earache.com, press info from Earache.

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CODE NAME MILO COLLABORATIONS
Forward thinking Newcastle five-piece (yeah, PR description again) Yourcodenameis:Milo will release a new album called 'Print Is Dead' via V2 on 6 Nov, featuring a load of guest artists, including The Automatic, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Maximo Park, Bloc Party, Lethal Bizzle, Futureheads and Hot Club De Paris. The collaborations came about after the band sent off emails to a list of their favourite artists asking if they wanted to record with the band - many of which clearly answers "yes". Each artist was invited into the studio for a day during which their track was written, rehearsed and recorded.

The first collaboration to be made avialable will be that with Bloc Party's Gordon Moakes, which will be released as a limited edition single on 2 Oct.

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Victorian English Gentlemen's Club - The Victorian English Gentlemen's Club (Fantastic Plastic)
It seems that post-punk still casts a long shadow over current alternative music, and this turns out to be no bad thing in this case. Early eighties art punk is clearly a big influence on The Victorian English Gentlemen's Club and the result, on this their debut album, is fresh and exciting. This is perhaps because the two-girls-and-one-boy Cardiff trio avoid the usual suspects and draw inspiration from bands like the Dead Kennedy's and Altered Images. What is exhilarating about this album is the wonderful variety of guitar sounds it contains. There is spiky guitar on 'The Tales of Hermit Mark', fractured, splintered sounds and rhythmic bass on 'My Son Spells Backwards', and dirty, buzzy riffing on 'Such A Chore'. Unusual vocal arrangements add further texture, while quirky lyrics and eccentric, exaggerated vocals, particularly on the single 'Ban the Gin', offer added appeal. And there are some great tunes here too. VEGC could possibly be this year's Franz Ferdinand, they certainly have the potential. JW
Release date: 28 Aug
Press contact: Stone Immaculate [all]

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THE WALKMEN TOUR
The Walkmen will follow up the release of their "sonic exploration" of a single 'Louisiana' (that's right, another press release description, you PR types are getting very lyrical with your words of late) with some live shows. The single is out on 4 Sep, with album 'A Hundred Miles Off' out on 18 Sep, and the live dates as follows:

19 Sep: Sheffield, Plug
20 Sep: Edinburgh, Liquid Rooms
21 Sep: Leeds, Cockpit
22 Sep: Birmingham, Academy
24 Sep: Manchester, University
25 Sep: Cardiff, Point
27 Sep: London, Koko

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NEW YORK DOLLS TOUR
Other dates for your diary. New York Dolls will play four UK/Ireland dates in October, as follows:

20 Oct: Dublin Ambassador
22 Oct: London Forum
25 Oct: Liverpool Academy
26 Oct: Glasgow ABC

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POGUES TOUR
Oh yes, and put these in your diaries. Shane MacGowan and The Pogues are doing a pre-Christmas tour, and will presumably be encoring with the best Christmas song ever, which is surely worth the ticket price in itself. Dates are as follows:

11+12 Dec: Glasgow Academy
13 Dec: Birmingham NIA
14 Dec: Nottingham Arena
16 Dec: Manchester MEN Arena
17+18 Dec: London Brixton Academy

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GOMEZ TOUR
Also touring are Gomez, who will hit the road in November, dates as follows:

16 Nov: Whitehaven Civic Hall
17 Nov: Preston 53 Degrees
18 Nov: Glasgow Barrowlands
20 Nov: Oxford Brooks University
21 Nov: Birmingham Academy
23 Nov: London Hammersmith Apollo
24 Nov: Cambridge Junction
25 Nov: Keele University
26 Nov: Brighton Old Market
28 Nov: Dublin Ambassador
29 Nov: Belfast Mandella Hall

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MORE FOCUS ON IPOD SWEAT SHOP ALLEGATIONS
Apple's hopes that its own internal investigation into the working practices of the Chinese companies who manufacture their iPods would bring to an end allegations of sweat shop operations might not be fulfilled as a libel suit in China rumbles on.

The firm accused of running iPod sweat shops, Hon Hai Precision Company, is suing journalists from the China Business News after they printed similar allegations to those made in the UK press (one of which led to the Apple investigation). The Hon Hai lawsuit originally sought $3.77 million in damages - a phenomenal amount by Chinese standards - the claimants also requested the defendants' assets be frozen. But after China Business News confirmed they would stand by their journalists, and with some in the West accusing Hon Hai of being anti-freedom of speech, and with Apple getting nervous about the further bad press any court case would create, the tech firm has now dropped its claim to a symbolic one yaun, and has also given permission for the defendants' assets to be unfrozen.

Whether a quiet deal can now be reached in which China Business News retracts its allegations, or whether Hon Hai will have to risk the PR damage of going through with its action, remains to be seen. Though Apple has confirmed to the Associated Press that it is "working behind the scenes to help resolve this issue".

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NEW MUSIC MAGAZINE READY TO PLAY
Independent publisher Genoa Bay Publishing has announced details about a brand new music magazine it is launching called Playmusic. The new newstand title will launch on 11 Oct with a launch circulation of 60,000, while a free 'teaser' edition called Playmusic Pickup will also be distributed via record and music instrument shops.

The magazine's publisher, Rob Hunt, told CMU: "Our editorial is on a slant largely forgotten by other mags: actually enjoying music. The focus will be on indie and rock bands from Audioslave to the Zutons, and it's all about loving music - listening to it, seeing it live, playing it yourself, living it! We're with them at the front in the moshpit, but we've also managed to sneak into the changing rooms, the back of the tour bus and on the video shoot. Regular features will include big name interviews, top 50 countdowns, extreme product testing, 'on the road with' and a huge review section covering live gigs and fests, albums, singles, band equipment, band/gig fashion, dvds and tv etc. Issue 1 includes Razorlight, Arctic Monkeys, amps thrown off cranes and 50 songs that stick it to the man. There'll also be a CD cover mount on every issue".

For more info on the new magazine (editorial, sales, cover mount etc) send one of those emails over to rob.hunt@just-play.com.

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ERICSSON PLAN TO EXPAND RINGTONE PLATFORM
Talking of, erm, things with 'play' in the title, Sony Ericsson have said they will expand their PlayNow service, which is currently a ring tone platform. The phone firm were a bit vague about what exactly the service would be expanded into, though presumably over-the-air full track downloads will be involved.

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CD:UK MAKER IN RECEIVERSHIP, THOUGH CD:UK SOLD
Zenith Entertainment, the indie TV firm who gave us Ant & Dec (among the shows they've made are Byker Grove, SM:TV and CD:UK) have gone into administrative receivership, which is never a good thing. But for those of you looking forward to CD:UK's much talked about rebirth over on Channel Five, don't worry, Blaze, the Zenith subsidiary responsible for the show (and it's relatively new US spin off, CD:USA) has been bought by a US company called Shout! Factory and is therefore not part of the receivership. Actually, neither is Zenith North, the bit that makes Byker Grove, though with the long running BBC kids show finishing at the end of the year, its future isn't particularly secure either.

The Noel Edmonds founded Unique Communications was reportedly interested in buying the company (including Blaze and Zenith North), though those talks seem to have ended. Now PricewaterhouseCoopers are involved in a bid to rescue the 22 year old company whose credits include Inspector Morse, Hamish Macbeth and 2000 Acres of Sky.

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ARIA REPORT GROWTH
The Australian record business is seemingly in good health after its trade body, the Australian Recording Industry Association, revealed sales for the first half of the year were A$224 million, 5.8% higher than in the same period last year.

Needless to say, a large growth in digital sales helped secure the overall growth. Digital music sales were up 394% in terms of units, and 306% in terms of value, with downloads now making up 5.5% of the Australian record sales market, up from 1.5% in the same period last year. The growth in digital in Australia has been significant in the last twelve months, mainly thanks to the arrival of iTunes, which only reached the country last October. That said, physical CD sales also grew - by 17% in terms of units, and 4.6% in terms of revenue.

Commenting on the figures, ARIA said in a statement: "Overall, the industry is encouraged by the significant increases in CDs and digital sales. It remains optimistic that a strong release schedule for the remainder of 2006 will ensure that this year continues to be positive for the industry."

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IRON MAIDEN CONSIDERING NEW MANAGEMENT
Oops, meant to report on this yesterday, but forgot. Rumour has it Iron Maiden will end their relationship with the Sanctuary Group, and instead work with Andy Taylor, the Sanctuary founder and former CEO who was pushed out of the firm earlier this year. The loss of Iron Maiden would hit Sanctuary possibly more in PR terms than commercially (they being the group's oldest clients - and, indeed, the inspiration behind its name), though with a new album and world tour coming up Iron Maiden would also make a healthy and much needed financial contribution to Sanctuary in the next six months. The band have several contracts with Sanctuary, all of which are, according to Iron Maiden Holdings, "under review", though the core artist management contract is the one that Taylor is said to be bidding for.

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SANDI OK
We're told Sandi Thom is back to full strength after collapsing from exhaustion last week. Which is nice. Speaking at the launch of the BT Digital Music Awards, she said of her recent collapse at a TV studio: "It was just purely from low blood sugar levels. I was knackered. It was early morning TV. I had no idea what happened and I just found myself on the floor. I've just had four or five days off. I went to Dorset and slept and went for walks in fields and cows and stuff."

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