CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 7th September
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- IMPALA oppose Universal's BMG Publishing purchase
- Universal and Bertelsmann reach deal over Napster investment
- Jacko ordered to pay ex
- Village People Victor avoids prison
- Fiddy disses Diddy on new mixtape
- Album Review: Gym Class Heroes - As Cruel As School Children
- Record sales stuff
- Oasis plan new version of 'Acquiesce'
- Brand new Matthew Jay single
- Dirty Pretty Things cancel euro dates
- 747s updated gig dates
- Patrick Wolf tour
- Album Review: Bat For Lashes - Fur And Gold
- Breaking news: Mcfly launch new logo
- Kiss FM relaunches
- O2 not sponsoring new ITV pop show
- EMI Publishing sign up to Spiralfrog
- Freston gets multi-million pay off
- Danger Mouse involved in Banksy's Paris project


I heard a rumour that NME last month proclaimed The Fratellis as 'the best new band in Britain', which is rather irritating, because we were proclaiming them that six months ago, but I never got round to running an interview with them in which to make such proclamations formal. I'd like to say I was holding out for the album release before running the interview, but the truth is I just never got round to it, despite first chatting to the band just as they headed out to SXSW back in March. It was a foolish thing to do, because now you'll all think we've just jumped on The Fratellis bandwagon, as set in motion by the NME.

But we were there first. Were the NME there when The Fratellis stormed the Levi's Ones To Watch night at the Camden Barfly six months ago? Were they there when the band packed out the basement of Glasgow's Nice 'n' Sleazy to a joyous, sell-out home crowd? Actually, chances are they were, but that's not the point. We're taking the credit for the buzz around this Glasgow based trio, and that's that.

Actually, the buzz around the Fratellis was pretty loud before either we or the NME started raving about them - in fact, they seem to have been buzzy since day one. With their debut album 'Costello Music' out on Monday, we finally got round to doing that interview and spoke to Jon Fratelli about all that buzz.

Check the interview online now on CMU Beats -



Digital music store is looking to recruit a senior member of staff to take responsibility for managing TuneTribe's label team and music catalogue. The role incorporates managing the delivery of all music products; maintaining and building relationships with record labels, distributors and aggregators; and helping to exploit the content commercially. You should be a fast learner as well as meticulously well-organised and able to deal effectively with numerous systems and simultaneous projects. You will be adept at signing up new labels and aggregators, whilst handling enquiries from existing content suppliers. You will work closely with labels to help implement on-site marketing initiatives for their artists. You will also regularly devise and manage off-site commercial opportunities maximising the exploitation of our digital catalogue. It goes without saying that you will be at ease with online content management systems and financial reporting. You should be used to dealing with major labels as well as independents. Applicants need to demonstrate a good understanding of the digital music market and the commercial and technological issues associated with it. You will have a minimum of 5 years experience in the music industry with emphasis on the retail, label and digital end of the business. A passion for music and all things digital will certainly help.

Please send a covering letter detailing how your experience is relevant to this position alongside a current CV to [email protected]


ADVERTISE YOUR JOBS, SERVICES AND PRODUCTS here for just £50 a week, or £150 for two weeks in the Daily and four weeks on the web. Email [email protected] for details.



As we mentioned back in July, we will be publishing a special edition of a CMU newspaper which will be distributed around campuses all over the UK as the student population returns for the new academic year later this month - offering a guide to all the great new music coming out this Autumn. This is a brilliant way to engage and excite 100,000s of students and young record buyers at the most important time in the college and music year. A full page costs £1000, a half page £600, a sixth page £260, a 12th page £160. Book your ad spots now - email [email protected]

We are currently recruiting students to join the CMU/UnLimited team in a voluntary intern role, joining us one day a week during the Autumn term. This is a great way to pick up skills, experience and contacts in the media and music space - as well as getting involved in some frankly damn exciting new projects. If you're interested, email your details and a CV type thing to [email protected]



It's nice when a plan comes together. I'd been hearing good things about Leeds based The Sunshine Underground for a while, and was so impressed by the couple of tracks I heard from them a few months back, I was lining them up for that esteemed title of 'CMU favourite'. But then we sent one of our ThreeWeeks reviewers to review their gig at T On The Fringe during the Edinburgh Festival - which posed the question - what if our reviewer didn't like them? Could we publish a bad review of a CMU favourite (even a pending favourite)? The good news is said reviewer loved them - reporting that "from the opening chords The Sunshine Underground had the audience in the palm of their hand, and they held on for the entire set. Thumping drums, driving bass and harmonious guitars lend this polished, professional act a real crowd-pleasing sound; every single person in the room was moving and by the gig's rousing climax the crowd was going mental". So positive was the 5/5 review that I now want to see them live for myself, though that shouldn't be too difficult given all the gigs currently listed on their MySpace (which includes Bestival this weekend, hurrah!). But if you don't just want to take our word for it, check out the tracks and videos on the MySpace. You really should, because I think I agree with our ThreeWeeks reviewer who concluded: "these guys are going to be massive".


So, as expected, German media conglom Bertelsmann confirmed yesterday that it intends to sell its music publishing company BMG Music Publishing to the Vivendi owned Universal Music, who are expected to merge
the firm with its own Universal Music Publishing to create the largest music publishing house in the world.

Confirming his company's acquisition, Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Levy told reporters yesterday: "The acquisition of BMG Music Publishing is a unique opportunity to grow our music publishing business and enhance the value of Universal Music Group at a time when the music market is improving, supported by technological innovations and digital sales".

As mentioned yesterday, the deal will now require approval from competition authorities in both the US and Europe. As also mentioned yesterday, insiders seem to think that a merger in the publishing sector is more likely to gain such approval than a merger in the recording sector. But assume nothing is a foregone conclusion, because pan-European independent label trade body IMPALA said yesterday that they were hopeful the European Commission would not, in fact, let the Universal acquisition of BMG Music Publishing go ahead.

IMPALA, who, of course, were recently successful in their bid to have the EC's approval of the Sony BMG record label merger overturned, said yesterday: "[We are] concerned that the proposed sale by Bertelsmann of BMG Music Publishing to Vivendi Universal would further damage competition in recorded music, strengthen existing collective dominance in publishing, and prejudice collecting societies and the online licensing and synchronisation markets".

They continued: "The independent music companies takes the view that regulatory approval will not be obtained. Already in 2000, in the attempted EMI Warner merger of publishing as well as recording, the EU concluded that further concentration in the music publishing market could not be tolerated. The Commission expressly stipulated then that the merger of two major publishing groups would significantly strengthen an existing collective dominant position in the music publishing market".

They conclude: "The independents believe that the European Commission will have little choice but to reach the same conclusion with BMG and Universal in 2006, where the market is even already more concentrated than in 2000. They also point out that new merger rules will make regulatory approval more diffilult to obtain. The fact that Universal is a smaller major publisher will not change the Commission's assessment".

IMPALA President Patrick Zelnik added: "This merger would have serious repercussions for competition in the publishing and recording of music. The Commission has already reached a verdict - in 2000. This move contradicts Universal's own position in 2000 when it opposed the attempted EMI Warner merger, precisely because of the impact of further concentration in music publishing".

All good fun. The timescale of the approval process is not yet clear, though Vivendi and Bertelsmann are known to be keen to have the sale completed by the end of the year.


As Universal Music and Bertelsmann announced their deal regarding BMG Music Publishing yesterday, behind the scenes a long running dispute between the two major music companies was resolved.

As previously reported, Universal is one of the major record companies that has been pursuing legal action against Bertelsmann for years relating to the original Napster. BMG was the only major to offer any support to the original Napster company who, prior to their bankruptcy, were trying to develop a legitimate version of their P2P operation which would compensate rights holders. As part of this support BMG made some funds available to Napster, and that is what is at the heart of the legal cases other major record companies have been pursuing against them.

They argue that, by funding Napster, BMG allowed the P2P network to operate for longer than it would otherwise have been able to, and that therefore they are responsible in some ways for any copyright violation committed by Napster users in the latter part of the P2P service's life. For their part, BMG argue that making money available to Napster to enable it to develop a legitimate business model does not make them liable for copyright violation committed on the then existing Napster network.

In the out of court settlement, Bertelsmann will pay Universal $60 million, though they stress that that is to cover the Vivendi company's legal expenses, and does not amount to BMG accepting any liability for copyright violation on the Napster network. This is important, because EMI and a collective of other independent publishers and songwriters are still pursuing their claim against Bertelsmann and other Napster investor Hummer Winblad - a claim due to be reconsidered in the American courts in light of the US Supreme Court's ruling on Grokster last year.

In related news, it is thought that the Universal / Bertelsmann deal won't have any affect on the side case running alongside the Napster dispute. As previously reported, Hummer Winblad are countersuing EMI and Universal essentially claiming that the two majors used anti-competitive practices at the time of the original Napster in order to stop the P2P company from launching a legitimate business model (because, at the time, the majors had vested interests in their own developing but ultimately unsuccessful download platforms). As part of that case both EMI and Universal have been ordered to had over internal papers which the labels have previously claimed are covered by client-attorney privilege, but which the plaintiffs in this action reckon might prove their case. The deadline for handing over those documents is next week. (It should be added that the US Department Of Justice has already investigated the anti-competition claims that surround the early days of digital music, and they found that the majors were not guilty of the alleged anti-trust practices, though it will be interesting to see if those aforementioned papers do reignite the case against the majors).

PS: Going back to the Universal / Bertelsmann deal, an interesting part of the agreement between the majors is that Universal cannot take future action against the German conglom relating to its support of Napster either on behalf of its own record company or publishing house, or on behalf of BMG Music Publishing. Now that would have been fun - Universal buy BMG Music Publishing, and then sue on behalf of the songwriters it represents over alleged copyright violation liabilities committed by the company that owned it at the time. Alas, the lawyers saw that one coming, hence the deal. No fun.


Elsewhere in the world of legal shenanigans, Michael Jackson has been ordered to pay his ex-wife $60,000 to, erm, help her fund her legal action against Jackson in a bid to win custody of their two children. Wonderful. The custody battle over son Prince Michael Jr and daughter Paris continues following that court ruling earlier this year which upheld an earlier ruling that the 2001 motion in which Rowe gave up her parental rights was invalid. She had asked the courts to force Jacko to stump up $195,000 to help cover her legal costs in the custody battle (I forget what her case was for having the cash, but it was presumably a good one). The judge picked the lower sum - ie the $60,000 - because he thought Rowe could use some of the $8 million she got in her divorce settlement with Jacko if she really needed to. The case, as they say, continues.


Also in the pop courts, former Village Person, Victor Willis, has escaped prison relating to those previously reported drugs offences. Finally being sentenced this week having pleaded no-contest to the charges, Willis was given an eight month suspended sentence and three years probation, providing he completes a drug treatment programme within seven months. Willis' lawyer said that his client, who co-wrote many of the Village People's best known songs in the seventies, has already been making good progress in rehab and that he is "serious" about making a full recovering. The judge hearing the case, Mark Forcum, said he recognised that Willis "needs to be in a programme that is structured and sound" but added that he would be sent to prison if he violated his parole conditions.


A track on a new 50 Cent mixtape apparently lays in pretty hard against Diddy, going as far as to make a few accusations against Mr Combs with regards hip hop's second longest running murder mystery - the death of the Notorious BIG in 1997.

The mixtape is called 'Hip Hop Is Dead: G-Unit Radio Part 22' (the name is actually a dig at Nas, whose new album is called 'Hip Hop Is Dead'), and there's Diddy dissing going on in a number of tracks.

In 'Get Down', Fiddy makes fun of Diddy's recent endorsement of skin-care cream Proactiv, rapping: "You probably heard Mase tried to join the team / 'Cause Puff was too busy trying to sell pimple cream ... Next he'll sell Maybelline / Or dance next to [Yung] Joc, trying to get hot".

The Biggie related comments come in a track called 'Hip Hop', which includes the lines: "Who shot Biggie Smalls? / (If) we don't get them, they gonna kill us all. Man, Puffy know who hit that nigga man, that nigga's soft, He's scared them boys from the west side gonna break him off. I guess this means I won't be invited to (Diddy's) White Parties in the Hamptons / I don't give a fuck, I don't wanna hang out with your punk ass, no way."

However, from what we hear, Diddy is not likely to respond with any full on 50 Cent dissing - asked about the mix tape on New York's Hot 97 he apparently made light of Fiddy's raps, and didn't seem to want to be drawn into any public feud.


ALBUM REVIEW: Gym Class Heroes - As Cruel As School Children (Decaydence/Fueled by Ramen)
As everyone with a TV and a taste for drama will know, by far the best show ever is America's Next Top Model. Combining stupidity, vanity and vast amounts of cash, it throws up classic moments more frequently than Pete Doherty sings out of key. It is also an undisputed fact that most kinds of judging would benefit from Tyra Banks' no-nonsense approach to feedback, so that is exactly what I am going to give this album. Gym Class Heroes are, it seems, the band with "all the potential in the world" who just won't deliver. Their first album, "The Papercut Chronicles", made way back in 2003 but released a mere six months ago over here, was fabulous. It showed an exciting, daring and inspired band possessed not only of pizzazz, but also great tunes and great lyrics. But their new album is just a bit blah. The music is still unique: hip hop style played with rock instruments and rapped lyrics with an emo sensitivity. But, as Tyra would have said, "we're not seeing any progress". Sure, self-reflexive MySpace commentary 'New Friend Request' is funny, but not as funny as last album's 'Make Out Club'. Nor is there any of the truly angsty and beautifully naked emotion their previous album exhibited. It's all a little bit safer, a little bit less raw - in short, a little worse. Their debut album was great, and what's more, showed huge potential. Gym Class Heroes should have spent the past three years delivering on that promise. Instead, it seems they've spent too many late nights mucking about on MySpace. As Tyra would say, "I see the potential for a great band. But I just don't hear it." Eliminated! SIA
Release Date: 4 Sep
Press Contact: Hyperlaunch [all]


Good news this, I guess. The hype surrounding the Mercury Music Prize have this week helped boost the sales of both Richard Hawley and Lou Rhodes' nominated albums, even though they didn't win the Prize. HMV report both albums have seen sales increases of over 300% (although that stat could sound more impressive than it really is - if they sold 9 copies last week, a 300% increase isn't actually that huge - though they're both great albums, so let's hope the figures are much higher than that).

Elsewhere in sales stats news, midweeks suggest that Robbie William's new single 'Rudebox' - the first release from the more eclectic and possibly less accessible new album of the same name - is not selling as well as you'd expect since physical copies went on sale on Monday. Reports suggest just 7000 copies have been sold so far, putting Robbie behind the current number one from Justin Timberlake, and other new releases from Nelly Furtado and Scissor Sisters, the latter of which entered last week's singles chart at number four on digital sales alone.


Oasis will apparently re-record their 1995 track 'Acquiesce' (originally the b-side on 'Some Might Say) for their upcoming greatest hits collection thingy. As previously reported, the band will release 'Stop The Clocks', a collection of their big hits and some rarer tracks, on 20 Nov. The tracklisting of the album is still to be announced (in fact they are running a 'guess the tracklisting' competition on their website), but the Sun reckons the new version of 'Acquiesce' will both appear on the album as well as being released as a single. Either way, fans are being invited to appear at a recording of the song in London on 12 Sep, a recording with is expected to be used for the video for the track.


The family of Matthew Jay, the singer songwriter who tragically died after falling from a window in his London flat back in 1993, are releasing a previously unheard track, 'What Would Love Do Now?'. The track will be available via download from 24 Sep.

In a statement, the family say: "This song was completely unknown to anyone until February 2004, when it was found on Matthew's home recording computer. A group of family and friends had gathered to listen to Matthew's legacy of songs. It had been an emotional day, listening to his work, when suddenly they heard, for the first time, Matthew's guitar opening this song. Everyone was simply stunned. The song is as Matthew created it: a simple, unadorned recording, and arguably all the more beautiful for its purity. The vocals are classic Matthew Jay: clear, poignant and heart-felt, and the instrumentation is just Matthew himself, playing deceptively skilful rhythms on his acoustic guitar, which he used for composing all his songs. It is certain that the track will be loved by Matthew's existing fans, and will also serve to generate new interest in his music."

The track will be available from, and a preview is already online at


Dirty Pretty Things have cancelled 17 European gigs after pulling out of a support slot on the upcoming tour of Mando Diao due to "an unavoidable change in the band's schedule", which is a great excuse if I ever heard one (today's CMU Daily, by the way, is a bit late because of an unavoidable change in the editors' schedules - mainly nipping out to get another can of Pepsi when I should have been finishing the Daily off).

But as compensation for those who will now miss out from seeing the band live, they released a statement. Yes a statement. Here it is. "We are sorry to announce that Dirty Pretty Things have had to cancel their support slot on Mando Diao's European tour due to an unavoidable change in the band's schedule. The band sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused to those planning on going to any of the gigs and look forward to playing in Europe again soon."

The unavoidable change in the band's schedule does not affect their upcoming London gig on 13 Sep which is just as well given that that is in support of the Make Roads Safe campaign.


The 747s dates we published in yesterday's Daily have changed - or at least that's what I'm told, I haven't had chance to cross reference these with what we published. Anyhow, here is the up to date info...

12 Sep: London - Barfly (w/ Mumm Ra) Levi's One To Watch Night
13 Sep: Leeds - Faversham (CLUB NME)
14 Sep: Birmingham - Barfly
16 Sep: Stoke - Underground (CLUB NME)
18 Sep: Coventry - Colliseum
19 Sep: Nottingham - Social
20 Sep: Wolverhampton - Little Civic
21 Sep: Sheffield - Fuzz Club
22 Sep: Liverpool - Barfly
23 Sep: Hull - the Adelphi
25 Sep: Glasgow - Capitol
27 Sep: Belfast - Speakeasy
28 Sep: Dublin - In-store @ Tower Records 1pm
28 Sep: Dublin - Whelans
29 Sep: Cork - Cyprus Avenue
30 Sep: London - FROG


Patrick Wolf is going on tour next month, ahead of the 23 Oct release of his next single 'Accident & Emergency', dates as follows:

1 Oct: Oxford Zodiac
2 Oct: Manchester Academy 2
3 Oct: Glasgow G2
4 Oct: London Koko
5 Oct: Norwich Waterfront
6 Oct: Stoke Sugarmill


ALBUM REVIEW: Bat For Lashes - Fur And Gold (Echo)
When it comes to dishing out gongs for the most impressive debut album of the year, this should be right at the pinnacle. Bat For Lashes is singer and multi-instrumentalist Natasha Khan, who with this intriguing debut has created a mystical world with wonderfully vivid recurrent imagery (nature, weather, animals), all coloured by an eclectic musical vision. Whilst her most obvious contemporary peer is probably Patrick Wolf, the most immediate reference points are other female singers with a quirky edge, particular Kate Bush, Cat Power and Bjork. Indeed, her voice is strongly redolent of Ms Gudmundsdottir at her most potent, whilst the album itself is what Bjork could be doing if she hadn't sadly disappeared up her own arsehole of late. Opener 'Horse And I' immediately makes your ears prick up, demonstrating Khan's strong melodic sensibility with imposing marching band drums, fiery harpsichord, ghostly noises and haunting vocals that simply cut right through you. Next comes the markedly different 'Trophy' (a duet with Josh T Pearson of Lift To Experience); a sinister piece of dirty blues (with flamenco handclaps!), akin to The Kills being chased through moonlit woods by a pack of dogs. As impressive as these tracks are, they are arguably surpassed by the album's highlight 'What's A Girl To Do?', which starts with booming 'Be My Baby' Spector-esque drums, but soon moves into much darker places...this is what Motown would have sounded like if founded on quintessential English ennui and rustic gothic despair. Elsewhere there are a number of achingly tender piano ballads punctuating the more fleshed out songs, but not one track is less than spellbinding, whilst the sparse production is faultless. Enchanting stuff, this is a very special album indeed. Magical, in fact. MS
Release date: 11 Sep
Press contact: Echo IH [all]


Given how often I redesign our website, it's quite surprising that CMU has had the same logo since its launch in 1998. ThreeWeeks has had the same logo since 1996. Somehow I just don't see the point in redesigning logos.

But it's not a viewpoint shared by many bands - and certainly not McFly who launched their new logo yesterday. I've no idea why I'm telling you this, as the new logo hasn't reached their website yet so there's no where for you to go and look at it for yourselves, even if you wanted to.

But I do feel the need to start plugging the McFly boys a bit, mainly because they kick off a new UK tour later this month and I'm hoping that if I start mentioning them here someone involved in it will send me a couple of tickets for one of the Wembly dates. Hey, it worked for Infadels (they play ULU tonight, I really can't wait), and I'm sure those lovely McFly people would like nothing more than the CMU publishers being in attendance when they play London on 22 Sep this year. I know I would if I was them.


Talking of new logos, Kiss FM formally revamped yesterday (I think, this week certainly) and they've got a lovely new logo which is kind of a ziggidy zaggady thing which, I guess, if you squint a bit, looks like a K. As previously reported, the revamp sees Kiss return to its dance music roots, and also arrive in Bristol and East Anglia where the Vibe FM stations that EMAP acquired as part of its takeover of SRH last year have been rebranded. You can find out more at, or you will just as soon as the station's new website launches.


O2 has confirmed it will not be sponsoring the new flagship music show that ITV is planning which is a bit of a pain, for ITV at least, because it means the launch of the show will now have to be postponed.

O2 confirmed yesterday that they had passed on the opportunity to sponsor the CD:UK replacement, which had been planned to launch later this year. A spokeswoman for the phone firm said: "We have considered that opportunity, but we haven't committed to it. We don't have any plans to sponsor it at this stage".

An ITV spokesman confirmed the search was now on for a different sponsor for the show, and that they hoped it could launch in the New Year. She said: "It is a really strong show and we are really keen to get it on air and we are actively looking for another sponsor".

The programme, to be made by independent producer Done And Dusted, will be reportedly less chart focused than CD:UK (which is reportedly going to resurface on Channel Five of course). The new ITV show will feature just three bands per episode plus non-music guests talking about their favourite music - a little like the Orange Playlist show I guess. Oh, and they'll be some kind of MySpace community unsigned lets champion new talent type thing as well. More information will be forthcoming soon we assume.


New York based Spiralfrog, who, as previously reported, plan to launch a free advertising funded download platform at the end of the year, have confirmed they now have EMI Music Publishing signed up.

The announcement follows news last week that the Universal Music Group have agreed to make their catalogue available for the new digital music venture which will offer music fans free downloads and pay content owners a share of advertising revenues. While some in the music sector argue such a model "devalues music", others say it is a simple way of luring the millions of consumers who still access music for free via P2P networks to a service that compensates rights holders. The logic flows that these consumers will never pay for digital music, but would respond to advertising attached to free downloads - meaning they, the advertisers and, crucially, the content owners could all benefit from Spiralfrog's service.

Confirming their support of the new venture, EMI Music Publishing co-CEO Roger Faxon told reporters: "We are very pleased to help launch Spiralfrog. It is a very exciting concept which fuses advertising with music downloads and other services to recapture consumer demand which has been hijacked by online piracy. Anytime we can create a new revenue stream for our songwriters and combat online piracy, you will see EMI Music Publishing leading the charge."


Those of you who had trouble sleeping last night because of concerns for poor old Tom Freston, who, as previously reported, has been kicked out of the top job at MTV owner Viacom, well worry no more, because he's really rich old Tom Freston. According to Hits Daily Double he'll receive a $60 million pay off after his sudden departure from the media company, though $3 million is tied to future consultancy work conditional on him not accepting full time work with a direct rival.


DJ Danger Mouse, one half of Gnarls Barkley of course, has admitted he was involved in Banksy's previously reported arty attack on Paris Hilton.

As previously reported, 'guerrilla artist' Banksy has switched 500 copies of Ms Hilton's debut album in music stores across the country, replacing the real Paris CDs with a new mix album and Banksy designed cover, although the bar code on the back remains so that unsuspecting Paris fans are still able to purchase the albums, unless anyone notices the switch prior to purchase.

Danger Mouse has confirmed he is behind the mix album that Banksy has replaced Paris' CD with, which includes tracks titled 'Why Am I Famous?' and 'What Am I For?'. Commenting on the challenge of creating an album to replace Paris' CD with he told reporters: "It's hard to improve on perfection, but we had to try". We like Danger Mouse.

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

© UnLimited Publishing | subscribe at