CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 15th December
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- EMI say takeover talks have ceased
- Ono blackmailed by driver
- Dylan wants to block Sedgewick film
- LAPD lawsuit makes new allegations re Biggie investigation
- Bono meets with US democrats
- Ahmet Ertegun dies
- Korn play acoustic for MTV
- Final Proof album set for release
- New Iain Archer single
- Karen O on leaked demos
- Optronica to return in March
- Benicassim tickets on sale now
- Elton might sing Candle In The Wind
- Warehouse Party reaches finale
- Little Barrie tour
- Soundclash battle of the bands for schools
- IMPALA and WIN support indie strand at MIDEM
- PRS commit cash to New Music Foundation
- Live Nation make new board appointments
- EC put off decision on iPod tax
- Somethin Else launch new CD-selling TV channel
- Former Fremantle man joins Syco top team
- New look for Trouble
- Local Radio Company post losses
- Gallagher disses Green Day
- Fiddy directly associated with aggression, says Fiddy
- Blige speaks out in defence of Britney
- Federline to not speak out in defence of Britney
- Robbie's "bad for smoking"
- Girls Aloud on stuff



FAVOURITE ALBUM OF 2006 #6: Matt Willis - Don't Let It Go To Waste (Universal/Mercury)
When we wrote our review of 2005 this time last year we expressed some concern for the then AWOL Matt Willis (formerly Jay) who we hadn't heard from since the sudden demise of Busted eleven months earlier (except for occasional tabloid reports involving alcohol). A year on, and it's pretty hard to miss Matt at the moment, he being on our screens all the time, eating a crocodile's genitals one minute, dropping giant snakes the next. If anything it's now James Bourne and those Sons Of Dork who should be on the side of our milk cartons. Of course, his victory in the jungle has secured Willis his particularly high media profile, but the jungle isn't really that important because he's been busy doing much more important things in the last year, ie recording and releasing one of the best pop albums of 2006. CMU's love of all things Busted is no secret, but to be honest, we found it hard to get overly passionate about either of the two bands that came out of the defunct boy band - Charlie Simpson's Fightstar or the aforementioned Son Of Dork, even though that was led by Busted's chief songwriter, James Bourne. But 'Don't Let It Go To Waste', the result of a songwriting collaboration between Willis and former A frontman Jason Perry, is an album we can really get excited about. A more mature brand of pop than anything Busted ever created, but at the same time just as infectious, lyrically and musically, it's a great example of guitar-centric pop done right. And Willis is a great performer who, like a certain other former boy band member turned premier league solo pop star, may not have the most brilliant singing voice, but who possesses the kind of charm that means it really it doesn't matter. Given a soft release during his jungle adventure, 'Don't Let It Go To Waste' is yet to make a huge impact on the pop market in terms of album sales, but it deserves to because, like the debut solo album of that aforementioned other-former-boy-band-member-turned-solo-star' (an album which also took a while to gain momentum), give Willis' debut a few listens and you'll find some of the best rock pop songs of the moment on there. Let's hope Matt can use his current media profile to launch a long solo career - with this kind of album, he deserves it.

Read our interview with Matt Willis here:



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And so to the final Remix Night of the year, another special one, taking over Cargo in East London this Friday, 15 Dec, from 9pm to 3am. Live this time round are Matt and Aston of The Freestylers - who surely need no introduction. And you'll all surely know that, while these guys are behind one of the best breaks albums of the year, it is the live Freestylers show that is most exciting. Matt himself puts it this way: "the sound we get together can best be described as a 3D effect to our albums". Remix Night is your last chance to catch The Freestylers live before they head off for a World Tour, beginning in the sunny sunny Southern hemisphere. Supporting The Freestylers' live show will be top production duo Nightbreed on the decks, plus Richie and Matt from Infadels will also join Eddy TM in spinning top tunes through to 3am. Press info from Leyline.

More info>>



VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Jigsaw Music at Big Chill House.
The Big Chill House is a recent edition to the Big Chill group and this weekend sees Brum's Jigsaw Music crew (nominated for Club of the Year in 2005 by Radio 1's Gilles P) take over, with DJs Woody, Rich G and David James, who have played all over alongside the Idjut Boys, Unabombers, Metro Area, Larry Heard, Norman Jay, IG Culture and Domu, if that broadens your picture of them. Basically they'll be playing deep house, broken beat and soulful vibes throughout this multi-roomed Georgian building which has a big terrace at the back and a basement that looks like a sauna. Oh, and a telly screen with a fire on it. Brilliant. We'll be there, so come say hello!

Saturday 16 Dec, 9pm - 4am, The Big Chill House, 257-259 Pentonville Rd, King's Cross, London N1 9NL. 020 7427 2540. Free before 11, then £5 after, more at, press info Sam at Big Chill.


Shares in the EMI Group dropped by nearly 8% yesterday after the major said that discussions with a private equity firm, who had expressed an interest in buying the company, "have now ceased". In a brief statement issued to the London Stock Exchange, the EMI board said it had "not received an offer that fully reflects the prospects for and value of the company and which it could recommend to shareholders".

As previously reported, recent speculation that EMI was a takeover target became official at the end of last month when EMI confirmed it had received a "preliminary approach" from a possible unnamed buyer, generally believed to be Permira Advisers. At the time EMI bosses said it was in discussions with the interested party which "might or might not lead to an offer being made for the company".

Reports suggested those talks were moving along well, leading to a rise in the company's share price. But yesterday's announcement means that there is no imminent likelihood of EMI being bought out, although city insiders say the major still remains a definite takeover target, most likely for an investment firm like Permira.


Yoko Ono's driver has been arrested after an incident on the recent 26th anniversary of John Lennon's death which saw the chauffeur allegedly blackmail his boss, and even to threaten to kill her and her son Sean. Reports say that Koral Karsan sent Ono a letter that included a picture of her in her nightclothes, with a note threatening to publicly release further photos and tapes of private conversations if she didn't pay him $2 million. The death threats allegedly come in a conversation recorded by investigators.

Karsan, who had worked for Ono for six years, denies the allegations and reportedly told reporters as he was led into a New York police station: "No. No way". Speaking for Ono, one Eliot Mintz told reporters: "For an employee - especially a trusted employee who drove her - to attempt a shakedown has left her just absolutely shocked. You're reminded that this takes place around that time of the anniversary, when she is in a particularly vulnerable position. It just adds insult to injury. This one's really cold".


Bob Dylan is trying to block the release of a new film based on the life of Edie Sedgwick, the actress, model and society girl who played muse to Andy Warhol, Velvet Underground, and, allegedly, Dylan himself.

In 'Factory Girl', Sedgwick, played by Sienna Miller, is portrayed as having been involved in a romantic relationship with a musician called Danny Quinn, who, it's claimed, is based on a number of real people - Dylan, Jim Morrison and Mick Jagger. However, the first draft of the film's screenplay actually named Dylan as a character and implied a direct link between their break-up and her untimely death from a barbiturates overdose, a fact which angered Dylan, not least because he claims that he never had a romantic relationship with Sedgwick at all. The name of the character was changed as a result.

Dylan's lawyer Orin Snyder says that the Quinn characters still bears obvious likenesses to his client, and is pushing for the film to be pulled. Snyder told Weinstein, the company distributing the film: "You appear to be labouring under the misunderstanding that merely changing the name of a character or making him a purported fictional composite will immunise you from a suit. That is not so. Even though Mr Dylan's name is not used, the portrayal remains both defamatory and a violation of Mr Dylan's right of publicity. Until we are given an opportunity to view the film, we hereby demand that all distribution and screenings immediately be ceased."


And so the long running saga that is the investigation into the still unsolved murder of the Notorious BIG continues, with a separate lawsuit involving the Los Angeles Police Department adding further weight to allegations that the city's authorities have deliberately bungled their work on the case, and more importantly, that they continue to do so.

The new lawsuit actually centres on separate allegations made by a former LAPD sergeant, Ya-May Christle, who claims that department promotions and choice assignments are handed out in exchange for sexual favours, and that she was transferred and demoted after filing complaints about the behaviour of former deputy chief Michael Berkow.

Christle was part of the LAPD team that recently reviewed the Biggie investigative files and it is allegations she has made relating to that work that are of interest to the long running murder investigation. Her lawyer says that some of the information she prepared in relation to the case has "disappeared" and was never forwarded to the rapper's family, as ordered by the courts.

The LAPD hasn't commented on any of Christle's claims, saying they never comment on pending litigation.


Irish rock star and renowned egotist Bono has met with incoming democrats at the US Congress in to talk to them about AIDS and poverty. Congress confirmed that: "Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi and incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid met with Bono to discuss the importance of increased funding for global AIDS and poverty initiatives". It's a good thing he met them - otherwise, they might never have known that there was a global AIDS and poverty problem.


Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun has died at the age of 83. As previously reported, Ertegun suffered a head injury when he fell at a Rolling Stones concert in New York back in October, and despite initially being described as stable and recovering, Ertegun ultimately fell into a coma, and died on 14 Dec. A jazz fanatic who moved to the US aged eleven when his father became Turkish ambassador, Ertegun will be buried in his home country, with a memorial service to be held in New York at the start of next year.

Ertegun founded Atlantic with Herb Abramson back in 1947, later joined by Ertegun's brother Nesuhi Ertegun, who headed the label's jazz division from 1955 before founding WEA in 1971. From its inception, Atlantic grew quickly, swiftly becoming a hugely successful label, Ertegun himself signing the likes of Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones.


Korn recently recorded an acoustic set for MTV Unplugged at the channel's studios in New York, playing several of their hits for an edition of the programme that will go out in early 2007. Previously, the band had only ever recorded five songs acoustically. The band were joined by Evanescence's Amy Lee and The Cure for some of the tracks.

The band are currently working on a new album, expected to be released in June.


A final album from late D12 rapper Proof, aka Deshaun Holton, is set to be released via his own label Iron First Records. According to the Detroit News, 'Time A Tell' consists of 18 tracks Proof wrote and recorded over a twenty four hour period back in January, in answer to a challenge from friend Julius Myers - aka DJ Jewels Baby - to complete an LP in a day. Myers is quoted as saying: "It shows how serious Proof was about recording".

Another unreleased Proof track, 'Trapped', is on Eminem's previously reported new 'The Re-Up' compilation, released last week.


Iain Archer is to release a new single, 'Minus Ten' on 19 Feb. It's taken from his latest album 'Magnetic North', released back in October, and will be available on CD, 7" and as a download, featuring bonus tracks exclusive to the single release. The Novello award winning songwriter is to tour in Feb, dates to be announced shortly, although this one's already been confirmed - an appearance at the We Love You label night at Metro in London on 21 Feb. Press info from Coalition.


Karen O has said something on a Yeah Yeah Yeahs message board about those previously reported leaked demos. The singer said: "I can't say I don't feel a little grossed out by someone taking a liberty with music that was mine and Dave's. Shit happens nonetheless".

She continues: "All I can do at this point is offer up a recommendation... if you happen to get your mits on one of those old demos floating around MY personal favorites and the ONLY ONES I would have released for anyone to enjoy is 'Pumpkin' and 'Snakes and Worms'. The rest I probably would have pitched or buried for while longer. No use bitching about something that's out of my control. Chin up, KO".


The Addictive TV and Cinefeel people are joining up with the British Film Institute once more to stage another Optronica festival in London next March, providing a five day celebration of the best audiovisual artists and producers.

The festival will take place at BFI Southbank (the new name for the National Film Theatre as of the New Year), and BFI chair Anthony Minghella told CMU yesterday: "Digital technologies have profoundly altered the way we produce and consume music and moving images. As the equipment becomes increasingly sophisticated and available, we are experiencing an explosion in personal expression. As part of the Sony PlayStation Season, Optronica is a colourful and vibrant celebration of this outpouring".

Addictive TV's Graham Daniels added: "Over the years we've witnessed the scene developing rapidly, right across the world, with lots of artists from very different backgrounds all exploring the visual music genre. The global explosion of new visuals-oriented festivals also shows that there's a real appetite for this new art form. Optronica is the perfect and much needed platform in the UK".

Among the people already confirmed to be taking part in Optronica 2007 are graphic designer and musician Trevor Jackson, Fred Deakin of Lemon Jelly, design group Airside, Austrian electronic music pioneer Christian Fennesz and renowned New York video artist Charles Atlas. Further updates will be posted at and Press info is available from Outpost.


Tickets for the 2007 Benicassim festival, taking place in Castellon in Spain from 19 - 22 Jul, went on sale this morning at 9am, and will be available for the next month at 2006 prices, see for info and tickets. No acts have been announced yet, however.


Elton John says that he might sing the Diana version of 'Candle In The Wind' when he appears at the Concert For Diana next summer. The singer originally said he would never perform that version of the track again following the Princess's 1997 funeral, but now says he'll do it if her sons what him to. Elton, still on tour in Australia, of course, says: "I'll do it if the Princes want me to. I am at their service and if they think it is appropriate then I'll be ok for it. They'll tell me when they are ready."

Who knows whether they'll want it or not? Now that they're grown ups they might have noticed how cringe-makingly awful it is. Or, they might not.


The previously reported Warehouse Project that has temporarily turned the old Boddingtons Brewery in Manchester into an old school rave-style venue (though without the health and safety violations) reaches its climax this weekend with the final two nights before the Project's New Year and closing parties at the end of the month. And this weekend's parties are hosted by two of CMU's very favourites - Zane Lowe tonight and Groove Armada tomorrow. Here's the line ups...

15 Dec: Zane Lowe's Home Taping Tour Grand Finale
The Futureheads (Live), Sway (Live), Zane Lowe, Simian Mobile Disco, Milburn, The Black Ghosts, The Nextmen, Dan Greenpeace and Uncle Buck. Tickets: £12.00.

16 Dec: The Warehouse Project Xmas Party
Groove Armada Soundsystem, Patric Bongo Jesus & MC Mad, Krysko and Danny Mac. Tickets £15.

The whole thing will finale with a New Year's Eve bash on, well, New Year's Eve, and then one final closing party headlining by Laurent Garnier and 2ManyDJs on 1 Jan.

Press info from ePM.


We've got a bit of a mental block as to whether we've already published the dates for Little Barrie's February tour. But we've just been emailed them, which possibly means we haven't. Just to be certain, let's run them now, shall we? These will follow the release of the band's new album 'Stand Your Ground', due out on 29 Jan. Little Barrie, by the way, are great. Just in case you didn't know. Dates as follows:

14 Feb: Birmingham, Bar Academy
15 Feb: Manchester, Roadhouse
16 Feb: Glasgow, King Tuts
17 Feb: Newcastle, Global
19 Feb: Norwich, Arts Centre
21 Feb: Nottingham, Social
22 Feb: London, Scala
23 Feb: Brighton, Pressure Point
24 Feb: Bristol, Thekla

Press info from Sainted.


Another unsigned band competition for you now, though this one is aimed at 12-18 year olds, not many of whom read CMU Daily, but you might know an aspiring school age band, so I'll tell you about it anyway. The Bandwagon Sound Clash programme is encouraging bands whose members are within that age group to set up a band page on their website, and to upload examples of their music. A judging panel will be reviewing all the music uploaded between now and the end of March, and they will pick their favourite who will get to play at a major UK festival, a single release by Sanctuary Records, videos on MTV Flux plus various bits of kit, and their school will receive some equipment type stuff too. For more info or to enter go to


Pan-European indie trade body IMPALA and the recently created globally focused Worldwide Independent Network have both announced they will be supporting a special indie focused strand at next month's MIDEM which takes place in Cannes from 21 to 25 Jan. The 'International Indie Summit' will take place on 23 and 24 Jan, and will feature a range of sessions organised by IMPALA and WIN. More info on that, and all things MIDEM, at


The board of the Performing Rights Society has announced it will commit £1.25 million to its PRS Foundation For New Music each year for the next three years.

Confirming that commitment, PRS Chairman Ellis Rich told CMU: "The PRS Board is delighted to provide this donation to the PRS Foundation for the next three years. We are equally delighted that the Foundation intends to source additional partnership funding from other organisations during this time. This is great news for music and for anyone who has ever wanted to make music".

Welcoming the commitment, PRS Foundation Director Charlotte Ray added: "The PRS Foundation is extremely grateful to the Board and membership of PRS for this commitment to and endorsement of its work. The Foundation has become a crucial focal point for music creators of all genres, and the PRS Board and members can be proud of its invigorating work on behalf of new live music in the UK".


Live entertainment conglomerate Live Nation yesterday announced the addition of two new high profile additions to its board of directors in the US - Harvey Weinstein and Robert Ted Enloe III. The former is widely considered to be a major player in independent film production, and was a co-founder of Miramax Films back in 1979. The latter comes from a more corporate background, having been Managing General Partner of securities and real estate investment firm Balquita Partners since 1996.

Confirming the new board appointments, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino told Billboard: "We're just trying to build the smartest and most diverse board possible to help guide this company to new growth levels. Harvey is one of the most successful mavericks in entertainment, building high growth businesses and with his deep entertainment experience will bring real value to me as counsel for our growth strategy."


The European Commission has delayed a decision relating to copyright levies charged on MP3 players and CD-Rs.

As previously reported, such levies are charged in twenty member countries of the European Union (but not the UK) and are designed to legitimise private copying where consumers make copies of CDs they buy for personal use - ie by burning a spare copy on CDR, or transferring tracks to their PC or MP3 player. The levies are charged every time copying devices are sold, and are passed back to collecting societies representing the artist community. The levies, originally introduced on the sale of blank cassettes, vary from country to country in relation to how much is charged and what devices they are added to.

Since levies have started to be added to MP3 players in some countries, the electronics manufacturers have been proactively lobbying for the EC to abolish the levy, arguing it is an "unjustified and illegitimate" tax on their goods. Needless to say, copyright groups who benefit from the levies disagree. The EU was expected to make an announcement regarding the levies this week, but instead said that it needed more time to "deliberate and reflect" on the "complex issue". The Commission did not give any indication as to how long that would take.

Needless to say those advocating reforms in this area have not responded well to the delay, with the Copyright Levies Reform Alliance accusing European Commission president José Manuel Barroso of capitulating to French demands to protect the levy system.


Independent production company Somethin Else yesterday launched a new music channel linked to an etail operation, the idea being that people can order CDs of the music they watch via the channel's sister website or sales line. The channel, called RadioMusicShop, is available via Sky and Freeview, with plans to expand to cable and mobile TV services next year.

On one level the service might look a little old school, given that other similar services are linked into digital music platforms that will download music straight to a users PC, phone or, very soon, radio. But Somethin Else reckon there is still a significant market for a service with CD based sell through (and I think they're probably right).

A spokesman for the new service told reporters: "A large percentage of music is still purchased in physical form rather than through downloads via the internet. The shop draws on the huge potential market of back-catalogue and classic CD's that might not be available in the shops."

The service's website is at


Simon Jones, former MD at Fremantle Music TV, has been hired by Simon Cowell's Syco company as a Senior VP Operations & International. He will be responsible for the international sales of Syco's TV formats, and also for the business development of the company's artists and formats. Jones has worked with Cowell before, in particular with regard to various X-Factor related deals.


Flextech owned youth channel Trouble TV will launch a new look over the Christmas period, with new idents featuring famous UK landmarks like Wembley Stadium, London's Gherkin tower and the Angel of the North. And, given its teenage target audience, one assumes no junk food.


The Local Radio Company, which owns 28 local radio stations, yesterday confirmed it has made operating losses of £2 million in the year up to 30 Sep, but management there said they remained confident for the forthcoming financial year having refinanced the operation with £3 million in new investment.

CEO Richard Wheatly told reporters that, despite the losses, his company is in good health, especially when compared to the rest of the radio market. He said: "Our results show record audience figures, the highest we've ever had as a group, when the industry has been flat or down. We're upbeat about trading when everyone else is the opposite. We've made a loss because the market is down, but we've managed to grow the business by 2%."


Noel Gallagher has had a dig at Green Day, claiming that 'Boulevard Of Broken Dreams' is a rip off of 'Wonderwall'. Here are the words he used: "If you listen, you'll find it is exactly the same arrangement as Wonderwall. They should have the decency to wait until I am dead [before stealing my songs]. I, at least, pay the people I steal from that courtesy. They consider themselves to be - and I quote - 'a kick-ass rock 'n' roll band'. They could not be less kick-ass if they tried".

Personally I'd rather listen to Green Day than Oasis on any day of the week (except possibly Tuesdays), though 'Boulevard' does have similarities to 'Wonderwall' - certainly they complement each other very well when mashed together, as you can hear for yourself if you get a copy of that fabulous albeit slightly illegal Green Day mash up album 'American Edit' (which you may or may not be able to preview at


50 Cent has gone by his real name, Curtis Jackson, on the posters for his new film 'Home Of The Brave', because he doesn't want people to make associations with his angry music. The rapper said: "I think when people hear 50 Cent they directly associate it with the music and the aggressive content in the music. So I told them to use my real name and put 50 Cent in the middle."

He goes on to say that his character - a soldier returning from the Iraq war - is very different from his Fiddy persona, saying : "I think fans might be disappointed when they see my character and he doesn't have that same aggressive edge that they're familiar with from 50 Cent, the rapper."


So, it's not just Paris Hilton speaking out in defence of young Britney Spears - now Mary J Blige has stepped in to say that the popstrel's present party lifestyle is a reaction to recent events, and that she will settle down eventually.

Blige says: "I know that at some point in our lives we've had a situation like Britney's, meaning that we all were with someone we thought loved us and actually didn't. We make mistakes. I am looking at Britney as a human being just like myself. I messed up big time in my life. I love Britney and I send out all of my prayers and all great energy to her because she's young and she is going through it. She is going to get through. She is going to come out on the other side real nice I think."


This is not really a surprise. According to reports, Kevin Federline is planning to write a revealing book about his life with his superstar wife, that will claim that Britney is bisexual, and talk about her alleged drink and drug problems. A source told Star magazine: "Kevin is either hoping a publisher will pay him big money for the book or that Britney will cough up more cash than what's in their prenup to keep him from spilling the beans."

She really ought to have married someone as famous as she is.


More pop stars breaching smoking rules - this time Robbie Williams who has been called "a very bad boy" by an Australian anti-smoking group after he reportedly smoked on stage during a gig in Brisbane, breaking rules that ban smoking indoors. Though, as with Pete Doherty when he broke similar rules at a gig in Scotland, local authorities aren't expected to fine him.

But Susan Greenbank of the Queensland Cancer Fund told reporters this week: "Robbie's a very bad boy and there are a number of staff at the Queensland Cancer Fund who are more than willing to give him a stern talking to about this. It's disappointing he chose to break the law. But that's probably indicative of his attitude to most things...he's very 'I'm Robbie Williams I can do what I like' - it's just consistent with the rest of his behaviour, so it's probably not that surprising".


Girls Aloud have been having a bit of a go at Lily Allen in an interview with MTV. The group's Kimberley Walsh said of Lily: "Her first single was really good. It seemed she was really different - a female, but I don't know anymore. I don't really like her as a person". Bandmate Nicola Roberts meanwhile added: "Lily was saying she liked me because I was moody and not that pretty. I really appreciated her when she first came out - she was a breath of fresh air. But now I think fuck her."

Elsewhere, the Girls Aloud have been getting a little political, and in particular have said politicians shouldn't try to be "cool". Cheryl Tweedy, who Tory leader David Cameron said was his favourite Girl Aloud in an interview earlier this year, told reporters this week: "Politicians know we get listened to by more young fans than they do. That's why David Cameron said he fancied me. He was just trying to be cool. I bet he couldn't name a single song of ours. Do I fancy him? No! Politicians should stop trying to be cool and get on with running the country".

That said, Tweedy does think politicians should be making an effort to connect with yoof, adding: "There should be adverts in the breaks during Coronation Street spelling it out in bullet points: This is what the Conservatives stand for. This is what Labour stands for. You know that basically Labour is the working class and the Conservatives are kind of upper class, and then everything else is... I have no idea". Mmmm, Labour is "working class". Yep, she has no idea.

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