CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 25th October
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- DVD Jon announces iPod hack
- Doherty denies instigating paparazzi bust up
- Cobain tops dead earners list
- Foxy Brown probation stands
- C-Murder not allowed to do promotional interviews for new album
- Macca Mills will sue papers over divorce coverage
- Quincy Jones to advice Chinese Olympics
- Bloc Party, tracklisting, dates
- Good Shoes want your pix
- Tourdates showcase tonight
- Thom reveals his favourite Radiohead track
- More solo stuff from Super Furry frontman
- Scissor Sister's drummer back
- You Say Victorian English Gentlemen, We Say Die
- Dirty Pretty Things participate in road safety game
- The Shakes play Artful
- RHCP play exclusive gig for Xfm
- PSB to headline Edinburgh's Hogmanay
- Wembley doing great, thanks
- Spain approve Universal's Vale takeover
- Parlophone launch online demo submission system
- Liza guests for My Chem


Time for another CMU Recommends Top Bit, though this one's with an industry focus. The Association Of Independent Music will next week stage the UK's biggest one day digital music event, AIM Music Connected, bringing together some 500 attendees from over 100 digital companies and 200 labels (and we'll be there too, that's how exciting it is!). A development of AIM's existing Digital & Distribution Day, this year's expanded event will take place at the Novotel in Hammersmith, and will give independent labels the know-how and contacts they need to best manage and grow their digital businesses. Over 350 people have already confirmed they will intend including, on the digital side, Napster, Virgin Digital, eMusic, HMV Digital, Vital:PIAS Digital, Pinnacle, OD2,, 7 Digital, and The Orchard and, on the labels side, AIM members Rough Trade, Beggars Group, Sanctuary, Ninja Tune, Cooking Vinyl, ZTT, Hospital Records, and Cherry Red. There will be a deal zone, pitching zone, masterclass filled learning zone and networking zone. This is going to be really big, and if you are involved in the digital or independent sectors, you really should be there. It takes place on 1 Nov from 10am to 6pm - admission is free for AIM members and £60 for others. You will find full info at



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Another storming night for your diaries - the second edition of breaks fest Breaking Ground. All the big names are going to be on the bill - Planet Pendulum (Live), Stanton Warriors, Rennie Pilgrem with MC Chickaboo, Splitloop (Live), Precision Cuts, Janette Slack, Breakfastaz, Deekline & Wizard with MC Ivory, Cltr-Z, Freshold, Si Begg, General Midi, Soto, Merka, Symmetrik, Dirtpop, Mr Sushi and Fyoog. Phew. It will all take place at London's seOne Club on Saturday 2 Dec, from 9.30pm to 6am. Tickets are £18.50 in advance - from - press info from Leyline.

Full info>>


Now this is fun. The Norwegian hacker who famously (well, famously in hacking circles) cracked DVD encryption while still a teenager has said that he has found a way to unlock the Apple DRM which stops music from download stores other than iTunes from being played on an iPod.

Jon Lech Johansen, now working in San Francisco, says that his new software enables file formats other than MP3 and Apple's proprietary AAC files to be played on an iPod. Currently, of course, Apple restrict the kinds of files that will work with its portable music players, forcing people to buy music from iTunes or to rip tracks from CDs.

A US company called DoubleTwist now plans to licence Johansen's software to enable rival download stores to make their music files iPod compatible. The company's MD, Monique Farantzos, told reporters yesterday: "What he did was basically reverse-engineer [Apple's DRM] FairPlay. This allows other companies to offer content for the iPod."

It is not yet clear how Apple will respond to Johansen's new software. When Real Networks released software that made non-iTunes tracks work on an iPod, Apple quickly responded by altering their own software so that Real's hack no longer worked. They also made various legal threats based on copyright laws that ban developers from hacking proprietary DRM systems. I'm not clever enough to know whether Johansen's system is immune to such technical or legal moves - and obviously I can't ask him, we don't talk to hackers here at CMU. People need to learn respect for those DRM systems, you know. But I'm guessing we'll hear a response from Apple sometime soon.


Ah, if only the CMU Daily was an html e-newsletter and we could provide you with lovely pictures of Pete Doherty with blood pouring down his face. Actually, we are considering revamping into an html e-newsletter, though we'll have to find a way to placate the Unix faithful first. I'm not sure pictures of a blood covered Doherty will suffice.

Anyway, Doherty got himself covered in the aforementioned blood after having a run in with a photographer after playing a wonderfully Baby-shambolic gig in Rome earlier this week. At the gig itself Doherty enjoyed a great rapport with his audience - they threw things at the band, Doherty threw a mic stand back, they heckled, he smashed up the stage and stormed off. Ah, Babyshambles gold.

But things really kicked off after the gig when Doherty got into a fight with an unnamed Italian photographer who was waiting outside the hotel where he was staying. Band members and fans watched on / joined in / collected ash trays in case a missile assault was called for, but eventually the skirmish ended, without any police involvement. Doherty went into the hotel where fans and fellow Babyshamblers tended to his bleeding head, while the photographer went to hospital for treatment for generally unreported injuries.

Although police were not involved in the fracas itself, word had it last night that the photographer planned to press charges against Pete. A spokesman for the Babyshambler subsequently issued a statement saying that it was the photographer what started it: "Pete Doherty totally denies that he instigated a fight with a photographer in Rome. Reports that the photographer might make an official complaint will certainly interest Pete's lawyers, who can call on witnesses who clearly saw Pete being hit with a camera outside his hotel".

Still, on the bright side, with all that blood gushing out of Pete's head, presumably a night of high art followed.


God, that Elvis Presley's slipping. He might be dead, and all, but fancy only earning $42 million. Frankly it's embarrassing. Not like that Kurt Cobain. He's been working very hard. In the way that dead people can work hard.

That is to say, the former Nirvana frontman has topped's poll of top-earning dead celebrities. It's his first time on the poll, and much of the $50 million he earned between October 2005 and October 2006 came from that previously reported sale of a 25% stake in the Nirvana catalogue to PrimeWave. The deal pushes Presley, who normally tops this poll, into second place. His earnings fell from $45 million to $42 million in the last year.

Also in the survey are: Charles Schulz, John Lennon, Albert Einstein, Dr Seuss, Ray Charles, Marilyn Monroe and Bob Marley.


Well, something strange was obviously in the New York air yesterday, because Foxy Brown actually made a court appearance.

You'll remember she is trying to back out of an earlier plea bargain relating to an incident where she allegedly lashed out at the employees of a nail salon. Brown, real name Inga Marchand, agreed to plead guilty to the charges and serve three years probation to avoid jail time when the case first went to court. But she had a change of heart when she realized the probation meant she would have to undergo regular drugs tests and attend anger management classes.

She went to court this week asking to withdraw her plea, claiming she was rushed into the agreement first time round. I think there was another option that would have resulted in ten days community service, which seemed worse at the time, but with hindsight she wished she'd taken it. But not showing up to the court hearing scheduled to consider her request on Monday can't have helped her case and yesterday, when the rapper did make it to court, the judge ruled that the initial plea should stand and the three year probation should continue.


Elsewhere in pop court legality specifics, rapper C-Murder, real name Corey Miller, has been told he can be photographed as part of the promotion of his upcoming new album, but he can't give interviews.

As previously reported at length, Miller is currently under house arrest pending a re-trial regarding allegations he shot dead 16-year-old Steve Thomas outside a Louisiana club back in 2002. The rapper has already served jail time for the crime, but the case against him untangled when it became clear the prosecution in the case had withheld details of the criminal backgrounds of some of their witnesses. He was released on bail back in March, but is under strict house arrest, while he awaits for a retrial.

With a new album in the pipeline (to be honest, I don't know if it's the one just out, or another one upcoming), label execs hoped that Miller could bend the rules of the house arrest (which were previously tightened up after Miller was filmed breaking the existing rules by attending a film premiere) to allow him to participate in some promotional activity. But yesterday State District Judge Martha Sassone said that while he could be photographed at his home, he could not take part in promotional interviews, because to do so would violate a gag order that has been put in place to keep pretrial publicity to a minimum. Sassone said: "I don't have a problem with the photographs. [But] there'll be no interviews, no music videos. I guess the music will have to speak for itself. Capitol Records will have to find another way to advertise it."


More legal nonsense, and Heather Mills McCartney is planning on suing three newspapers over "false, damaging and immensely upsetting" claims that they have made during their coverage of the ongoing Macca divorce proceedings. The papers being targeted are Associated's the Evening Standard and Daily Mail, and News International's The Sun. It's not entirely clear which specific statements made by the three papers are considered "false, damaging and immensely upsetting", although Mills' lawyers say that it should not be assumed similarly false statements haven't appeared elsewhere, it's just that she can only afford to take action against a small number of major titles (ie "just because were not suing other papers, doesn't mean we accept what they said was true").

In a statement, Mills' laywers Mishcon de Reya told reporters: "It would appear that the media has concluded that there are no limits to what may be said about, or done to, our client. She is stalked by press photographers, who congregate outside her home and chase after her in cars - regardless of her safety or the safety of her daughter. Her time and resources are not infinite. She cannot sue - for now, at least - every single newspaper that has published false, damaging, and immensely upsetting statements about her. She should not thereby be taken to have accepted that these statements are true."

The legal rep concluded by asking the press to "show some restraint" in their future coverage of the Macca divorce. Yeah, good luck with that.


Quincy Jones has been appointed as a special adviser for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which sounds like a great job, I'd like to do that. He joins an advisory panel that already includes film directors Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee. Jones is expected to compose an original song for the games as part of his involvement.


Hey, hey, here it is, what you've all turned on your PC for this morning, the tracklisting to the second Bloc Party album. Now, brace yourself. Don't rush it. Here we go...

Song For Clay (Disappear Here)
Hunting For Witches
Waiting For the 7.18
The Prayer
Where Is Home?
I Still Remember

The new long player, 'A Weekend In The City', is penciled in for an early February release, and will be accompanied by the following UK tour...

27 Jan: Southampton, Guildhall
28 Jan: Norwich, UEA
31 Jan: London, Astoria
1 Feb: London, Astoria
2 Feb: London, Astoria
3 Feb: Folkestone, Leas Cliff Hall
5 Feb: Reading, Hexagon
6 Feb: Cardiff, University
7 Feb: Bristol, Academy
9 Feb: Exeter Great Hall
10 Feb: Birmingham, Academy
11 Feb: Nottingham, Rock City
13 Feb: Cambridge, Corn Exchange
14 Feb: Manchester, Academy
15 Feb: Dublin, Ambassador
17 Feb: Glasgow, Barrowland
18 Feb: Aberdeen, Music Hall
20 Feb: Edinburgh, Usher Hall
21 Feb: Newcastle, Academy
22 Feb: Sheffield, Octagon


Good Shoes are offering fans the chance to appear on their forthcoming single sleeve. Basically fans are being invited to submit photos of themselves (preferably dancing to Good Shoes), and the best 300 will be used on a montage on the sleeve of next single 'The Photos On My Wall', which is out on 1 Jan (if they're squeezing 300 on there, each one will be very small me thinks). For details of how to enter a photo, check, or alternatively stalk the band at one of the following gigs and ask them personally.

21 Nov: Oxford Zodiac
22 Nov: Cambridge Soul Tree
23 Nov: Manchester Night and Day
24 Nov: Liverpool Korova
26 Nov: Birmingham Bar Academy
27 Nov: Glasgow King Tuts
28 Nov: Leeds Brunel Social Club
29 Nov: London Kings College
30 Nov: Bristol Academy II


The next edition of the previously reported Tourdates A&R Showcase event (the new band showcase event organised by the website) is taking place tonight at London's Borderline from 7pm. Once again organisers have picked out some more great new bands to play from the 1000s of unsigned bands who have registered with the service. Other bands are encouraged to bring demo CDs with them this evening and hand them in for future consideration.

On the whole thing, Tourdate's Dean G Hill told CMU: "Last month's launch event was a tremendous success and my liver still hasn't recovered. We hope to make this unique showcase an important stepping stone for new bands trying to get attention from key industry figures. Free beer and joyous music, Chrsitmas has come early."

Industry types get in free (bring a business card), while other bands can get in for half price - £2.50.


So Thom Yorke of Radiohead, what's your favourite Radiohead record? "Why, CMU, I'm glad you asked me that question, you'll note I'm speaking in something nearing a grammatical sentence, which is because this isn't really me speaking, you're making this quote up based on a bit of something I said on this week's edition of the BBC's The Culture Show, but to answer your original question, I would have to say that my very favourite Radiohead record is 'How To Disappear Completely' from 2000's wonderful little long player 'Kid A' because it's the most beautiful thing we ever did, I think; my isn't it fun speaking in proper English rather than that messy near-English idiolect I use when writing on my website".


Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys will release his second album early next year, 'Candylion', a follow up to last year's 'Yr Atal Genhedlaeth'. But those impatient sorts won't have to wait quite so long for new Gruff - there'll be a single release on 4 Dec. It too will be called 'Candylion'. The single will come with additional tracks 'Colossal Smile' and 'Somewhere Or Other'.

In not entirely unrelated news, Super Furry Animals are currently mixing their eighth studio album which will also be released next year, via their new label Rough Trade. Which is very exciting news.


Scissor Sisters drummer Paddy Boom rejoined the band for a homecoming show in New York last night. You'll remember, Boom has been taking a back seat (and not behind the drum kit) because of ongoing back problems. His condition caused three Scissor Sister shows to be cancelled, while more recent gigs have featured a fill in drummer. I'm not sure whether that means Boom is now back on board full time, or whether he'll still be missing some future gigs while he continues to recover.


The Victorian English Gentlemen's Club and You Say Party! We Say Die! are releasing a double a-side single on lovely red vinyl. It will feature two previously unavailable tracks - 'Pedestrian' from The Victorians and 'Apocalypse Meow' from You Say Party! But if you want it, you're going to have to go to one of the following VEGC/YSP!WSD! gigs, because that's the only place you'll be able to by it.

8 Nov: Leeds Cockpit
9 Nov: Sheffield Fuzz Club @ University
11 Nov: Nov Newcastle Academy 2
12 Nov: Glasgow Nice N Sleazys
13 Nov: London Cargo
14 Nov: Manchester

Press from Nile on


Dirty Pretty Things are supporting the Make Roads Safe campaign some more. As previously reported, the band headlined a gig for the campaign last month, an event they got involved with after three girls were killed in a road accident on their way home from a Dirty Pretty Things concert back in July.

Now the band are involved in a new web game called Roadie Runner which is basically a version of the classic arcade game Frogger. Players will have to navigate a Dirty Pretty Things roadie as he tries to cross a five lane highway in a bid to retrieve the band's musical instruments. You can play the game at, a website that also promotes the Make Roads Safe campaign.

Launching the game, Make Roads Safe's Campaign Coordinator, Saul Billingsley, told reporters: "We recognise that this kind of treatment of road safety issues might be controversial. But the Make Roads Safe campaign is being innovative in the way political awareness about road safety is communicated, working with Dirty Pretty Things on their UK national tour this winter and using social networking online, including MySpace and YouTube, to connect with people in their teens and twenties. The Roadie Runner game will help us to put across serious road safety facts through a fun medium to a potentially massive youth audience online."

Dirty Pretty Things guitarist Anthony Rossamondo, added: "We need to do more to highlight the fact that 1.2 million people are needlessly killed on the roads around the world each year. This is why Dirty Pretty Things are supporting the Make Roads Safe campaign."

There's also a competition running on the game website to win tickets to upcoming DPT gigs, which take place as follows:

25 Nov: Liverpool, Academy
26 Nov: Birmingham, Academy
27 Nov: Nottingham, Rock City
28 Nov: Leeds, University Refectory
29 Nov: Manchester, Academy
1 Dec: Cambridge, Corn Exchange
3 Dec: London, Brixton Academy
4 Dec: London, Brixton Academy
7 Dec: Newcastle, Academy
8 Dec: Glasgow, Academy
9 Dec: Sheffield, Octagon
11 Dec: Bristol, Academy
12 Dec: Lincoln, Engine Shed
13 Dec: Norwich, UEA
15 Dec: Folkestone, Leas Cliff Hall
16 Dec: Oxford, Brooks


Hey, everyone go and see the wonderful The Shakes play at Goldsmith's Students' Union tomorrow night as part of the previously reported Artful Festival. Doors open at 7pm, tickets are a fiver.


The Red Hot Chili Peppers will play the Camden Roundhouse on 22 Nov for Xfm. Tickets will be given away via Xfm in London, Manchester and Scotland, as well as a load of other GCap local radio stations (which is interesting, I think it's the first time the fact that Xfm and the Capital Radio style local station have been quite so blatant about their common ownership in the public space). The gig will then be broadcast on Xfm at a later date.


The line up for Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations have been announced, and the Pet Shop Boys will headline. On their involvement in the New Year mini-festival, Neil Tennant told reporters: "It's great to be invited to play the party of the year in Edinburgh and we are really looking forward to putting on a memorable show."

Up and coming Scots soul singer Paolo Nutini will also star. Confirming his booking, he told reporters: "I'm over the moon to be asked to play at the Hogmanay festivities. It's a thrill to be playing at home on the most special night of the year. I hope that we can really pull out all the stops and make sure the crowd has a roaring good night."


The managers of the Wembley Arena have been busy telling everyone how well things have been going there since the venue reopened following their £35 million facelift. Over half a million visitors have been through the door for some sixty events since the reopening in April. I'm only really bringing this up so I can mention how cool the fountains are outside the new Arena. In fact, if Wembley was slightly more central, I'd suggest a special visit, they're that cool.

Anyway, here's what Wembley General Manager Peter Tudor has to say (about all that success, not the fountains): "We're having a fantastic year. By the time we reach December 31 over one million people will have experienced the new Wembley Arena and 137 shows will have taken place in just nine months. The audience response to the new venue has been excellent, and the 2007 diary is already filling up, with Kylie kick-starting the new year in style."


The Spanish government has given the go ahead for Universal Music to acquire Vale Music, Spain's biggest independent record label. The move followed a ruling by a competition tribunal run by the country's economy ministry which ruled there was no reason to oppose the acquisition on competition law grounds.

Competition authorities undertook an investigation into the proposed takeover, which was first announced back in August, because there were fears that the acquisition of such a significant indie by the world's largest record company would lead to too much concentration of power within the music sector. Vale has a 11% share in the Spanish market, more than the rest of the country's indie sector combined, and therefore the merger means that the four majors now control over 90% of the market.

But investigators say that that does not constitute "excessive concentration", because Universal itself was not previously the biggest major in the country. Post merger it will have a 28% share of the Spanish music market, just 1% more than current market leader SonyBMG.

In a statement issued yesterday, the government confirmed the takeover will go ahead, saying that the competition tribunal "concludes there are no motives to oppose the operation [since] it does not threaten the maintenance of effective competition in the markets of music production, and wholesale licensing for the distribution of music products through digital channels".


EMI division Parlophone has launched an online demo submission tool which gives unsigned bands a legitimate way to submit demo recordings over the net, rather than risking the wrath of A&R executives by emailing MP3s, or incurring the costs associated with mailing demo tapes or CDs. Artist will be able to submit both MP3s and photos to the major via the new system, and will receive confirmation that their submission has been received.

Utilising a software system which is currently being used by "a handful of independent labels", and going live following a three month pilot, the major says the new system will help them better organise the flood of new music that is submitted to their A&R team. Junior A&R staff will monitor submissions, passing on those with potential to more senior A&R reps.

Commenting on the new system, Parlophone Head of A&R Nigel Coxon told CMU: "One of our top priorities in A&R is to keep our talent spotting process as efficient and up to date as possible. This new system allows us to do just that, while at the same time helping us stay committed to giving anyone the opportunity to be heard".

The press release on this doesn't seem to have a URL for the new service, but presumably that will follow sometime soon.


Do you know, I must admit I do actually feel slightly embarrassed that I'm so happy McFly will knock My Chemical Romance off the top of the singles chart on Sunday. I guess we should be rooting for My Chemical Romance - who we do highly rate here - but 'Star Girl' is McFly's best song in a while and deserves to top the charts (even if a clever 'box set that isn't a box set so it gets counted as three buys' scam is helping).

Anyway, here's some My Chemical Romance news. Liza Minelli offers some guest vocals on the band's new album, 'The Black Parade', which is released this week. And what's more, she offered vocals for the track 'Mama' for gratis. Frontman Gerard Way explains: "My grandmother was a big fan. We needed someone that had a lot of character, someone that was very strong, sorrowful. She was so sweet and just nailed it right away."

FYI - Liza line goes: "There's shit that I've done with this fuck of a gun. You could cry out your eyes all along". Wonderful.

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