CMU Daily - on the inside 25 Sep 2002
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Who said “My rule has always been not to have a clue about what I was doing”?
Answer tomorrow

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SO SOLID CREW HIT BACK
So Solid Crew have hit back at their media image with a documentary that follows the group. Screened in London earlier this week the film aims to give the Crew a more human image and respond to the extensive coverage of the violence that has broken out at several So Solid live dates. Megaman and G-Man, speaking at the screening, told the audience that coverage of the Crew has verged on racism.

"It’s the lifestyle... they class it as more black,” Megaman said. “Black people take onto that lifestyle, but it is a part of race. But at the end of the day that ain’t supporting the situation. So it’s just wising up, get your head straight, and understand that we’re all one and we’ve got to pull through this."

"There’s so many years that we’ve gone through... we just have to come together and keep going.” G-Man continued. “There’s only one fight that I like and I like that fight to be equal. You will shine as well as us."

The documentary, 'This is So Solid', will be shown nationally on Channel 4 on 8 Oct.

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KYLIE RERECORDS TRACK FOR HELPLINE
Kylie has rerecorded her song ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ as a jingle for a college radio station to promote a student helpline. Daniel Weaver, co-ordinator of the Cardiff University helpline, told ICWales: "We sent an information pack and a blank minidisc to Kylie's hotel when she stayed in Cardiff to play the International Arena. We didn't hear anything back for months, so we thought nothing more of it. But then we got the minidisc back through the post with Kylie's jingle on it. It's good to know that even though she's an international pop star, Kylie's still interested in ordinary people."

A spokesman for Parlophone said she had decided to rewrite the lyrics "because she felt it was a very worthwhile cause". The reworked version of the track will be aired on the Cardiff student radio station this week.

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LABELS ACCOUNTING PRACTICES UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
The campaign by California state senators Martha Escutia and Kevin Murray on the accounting practices on US record labels, which they claim leaves artists underchanged, continued with a second hearing in LA yesterday. Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Joe Walsh of the Eagles, the Dixie Chicks' Martie Maguire, Kevin Richardson and Howie Dorough of Backstreet Boys, Jennifer Warnes, Tom Waits, Kathryn Crosby (who represents the Bing Crosby estate) and Ray Parker Jr were among the artists stating their case, while senior record industry players including Jeff Walker, senior VP business and legal affairs at RCA; Tom Tyrell, executive VP external and governmental affairs at Sony Music; Charles Ciongoli, senior VP finance at Universal Music Group; John Ray, senior VP business and legal affairs at Capitol Records; Paul Robinson, senior VP and deputy general counsel at Warner Music Group; and Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) president Cary Sherman were also present.
The artists believe that record labels use complicated accounting procedures to cover up the underpayment of royalties to artists. So much so it has become the industry norm for large artists to audit record companies to work out how much more they are owed – leaving the artist community convinced smaller acts who can’t afford an audit are missing out. At an initial hearing in July the RIAA said they needed more time to respond to such serious allegations.

At the hub of the debate is why record labels are not more accurately paying royalty fees – and whether underpayments are deliberate or due to incompetence. Of particilar concern is the fact many recording contracts say that if an artist believes they are being underpayed a label only has to respond if an audit proves this to be the case, and then they only have to pay the unpaid royalties. Murray is suggesting that if rules were set up that fined labels shown to underpay artists then they would set up more rigorous accounting practices to start with.

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MADCHESTER RETURNS TO, ERM, BIRMINGHAM
Something of a Manchester hall of fame will DJ at a new regular club night in Birmingham aiming to rekindle the excitement of the early nineties in a superclub dominated arena. The night – Happy Mondayz – will take place every, well, Monday from 30 Sep at Birmingham’s Code Venue. Bez (Happy Mondays) and Clint Boon (Inspiral Carpets) will DJ on the launch night, with Manny (Primal Scream / Stone Roses), Bernard Sumner (New Order), Craig Gill (Inspiral Carpets), MC Tunes (808 State / Dust Junkies) and Andy Rourke (Badly Drawn Boy / The Smiths) all line up for future weeks. Doors open 9.30pm, £3 before 10.30pm, £4 after.

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UK RECORD INDUSTRY OPTIMISTIC AS BIG RELEASES HIT THE SCHEDULES
The British music industry is confident it will overcome a recent decline in record sales with a series of major album releases this Autumn. The UK record industry was initially not affected by a global decline in record sales, but this year has been slow. The Elvis compilation and a new Rolling Stones album are expected to perform well in October, and then U2, Westlife and Craig David will all release new albums on ‘super Monday’ – 11 Nov. A week later Robbie's next album is expected to boost sales in the lead up to Christmas.

"'Super Monday' is traditionally huge," HMV’s Gennaro Castaldo told NME. "This year there are major releases from U2, Westlife, Shania Twain and, provisionally, Craig David. But Robbie Williams especially is something people seem to respond to. His new album is a real bonus. It was already looking like being a bumper run-up to Christmas, but now with Robbie it looks like being the biggest ever."

Ironically given Robbie’s expected role in bolstering the UK record industry, Williams is currently without record deal. A bidding war continues between outgoing label EMI and most of the other major labels with a £40 million asking price. Word is distribution, promotions and marketing of the forthcoming album is being arranged by his management company IE Music. Some are suggesting he may not sign to a major at all. Though unlikely this would be something of a landmark in the music industry – some suggest that in the download age management companies may become the giants of the industry rather than the record labels. That said, Williams is likely to need a major label behind him if he is ever to truly break the US.

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MAJOR REPORT ON THE TRAINING OF MUSICIANS PUBLISHED NEXT WEEK
Music education programme Youth Music will next week publish a report on the work, education and training of professional musicians in the UK. Commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council of England and researched and written by Rick Rogers, it is a comprehensive report on how musicians are supported and trained at the outset of their careers. Its key findings will be launched at the National Film Theatre on 30 Sep with representatives from the music, education and arts industries expected to attend. For more information contact Rita Vail on 020 7738 0722 or email rita@vail.co.uk

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BLACK MUSIC UP FOR DEBATE
Britishblackmusic.com will stage a seminar in London next month looking at the history of black music in the UK, and asking some crucial questions: what is black and urban music, what is dance music, and where next? The seminar takes place on 12 Oct at 3pm at City University in London. Entry is free but you should book a place at www.britishblackmusic.com

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LIVE FRENZY: GROOVE ARMADA
Groove Armada have announced an 11 date tour – dates as follows:

30 Nov: Manchester Academy
1 Dec: Manchester Academy
2 Dec: Nottingham Rock City
3 Dec: Birmingham Academy
4 Dec: Bristol Academy
6 Dec: Glasgow Barrowlands
9 Dec: Cambridge Corn Exchange
10 Dec: Southampton Guildhall
12 Dec: Brixton Academy
13 Dec: Brixton Academy (late show - on-stage 10.30)
14 Dec Brixton Academy (late show - on-stage 10.30)

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LIVE FRENZY: MISSBLACK AMERICA
Also on tour this Autumn, CMU favourites Miss Black America, those dates:

27 Sep: The Garage, London
28 Sep: The Masque, Liverpool
29 Sep: The Metropolis Lounge, Peterborough
30 Sep: The Cockpit, Leeds
1 Oct: Water Rats, London
3 Oct: Coventry Coliseum
5 Oct: Boat Race, Cambridge
7 Oct: Night & Day, Manchester
9 Oct: Colchester Arts Centre
10 Oct: Sheffield University (with Tetra Splendour)
11 Oct: Club 65, Hitching , Hertfordshire
12 Oct: The Square, Harlow
14 Oct: Sheffield Barfly
15 Oct: Nice & Sleazy, Glasgow
16 Oct: Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
17 Oct: Westport Bar, Dundee
18 Oct: Sumo, Leicester
19 Oct: London Underworld
20 Oct: Joseph Wells, Leeds
21 Oct: Hull University
23 Oct: Swansea University
24 Oct: Priors Inn, Bury St Edmunds
25 Oct: Soundhaus, Northampton
26 Oct: The Forum, Tunbridge Wells
27 Oct: Freebutt, Brighton
29 Oct: Railway Inn, Winchester
30 Oct: Liverpool University
31 Oct: Nottingham Rock City

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LIVE FRENZY: FEEDER
Feeder have announced they will undertake a 20 date tour in the New Year, the first proper tour since the death of drummer Jon Lee earlier this year, and the first major gigging for new drummer Mark Richardson. Although Mark appeared with the band at Reading and Leeds, and drums on the album, he doesn’t consider himself a band member proper yet. He told Radio 1: "I think this period is quite a sensitive period, obviously. And I think it’s better if it's mainly these guys and to take things very slowly." Frontman Grant agrees: "Basically, it isn't just up to us... Mark needs to be happy. It takes time to build a chemistry I think, and Jon was with us for such a long time that it didn't feel right to say 'hey, we've got a new drummer!' after just a few weeks of work. But we're not looking for anybody else."

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LIVE FRENZY: FATBOY SLIM
If you thought Bowie at the Hammersmith Odeon was an intimate gig, then check this one out. Norman Cook is going to DJ at school disco in St Albans tonight! The gig is a fundraiser for the Francis Bacon Comprehensive where Cook’s niece and nephew are pupils. It’s a closed event for ticket holders only.

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LIVE FRENZY: BEN FOLDS
That other CMU favourite Ben Folds is in the UK this month, and will be on the Jonathan Ross show on Radio 2 this weekend. Those unable to get to a live date can look forward to a live album based on recent dates to be released by Sony later this year. "The shows felt pretty special from the onset,” Folds told reporters. “I had never done a solo piano tour before - so we quickly mobilized 8 tracks of portable recording equipment and recorded nearly every show.” The album will include Ben Folds Five classics like ‘Brick’ and ‘Army’, material from last year’s solo album and even a cover of Elton John's ‘Tiny Dancer’. Meantime, Folds’ UK dates are:

26-27 Sep: Ambassador Theatre, Dublin
29 Sep: Bristol Academy
30 Sep: Birmingham Academy
1 Oct: Glasgow Barrowlands
3 Oct: Manchester Academy

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GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR ANTI-PIRACY MEASURES
Stephen Navin, previously acting chief executive of the V2 Music Group, has joined the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in a new post, co-funded by the industry, to work with the government to combat music piracy.

Announcing the appointment Arts Minister Kim Howells said Mr Navin was "eminently qualified" to take on the role and added that piracy was a key issue for the music industry. "The industry can only have the confidence to invest in new technologies if it can be sure that its work can be adequately protected in this brave new world. There will probably always be an element of illegal downloading from the internet, but we have got to minimise and isolate this element. We have got to get across to people that there is no difference between illegal file sharing or selling copies of the latest Oasis album and stealing it from a shop."

Navin, who has worked both BMG and Warner Music in the past, said technological advances meant "legitimate means of distributing music" were "under threat". "I hope I can play some part in creating partnerships between government and industry to withstand such threats in the common interest of all concerned.”

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DOPE...
Dope Ammo Records officially launch new album 'Uprising' at the Cellar in Oxford this Friday (27 Sep). DJ Phantasy (Easy Records), DJ Hazard (Music First / Back2basics Recordings), Drunken Masters (Dope Ammo Records) and Dirty Harry B2b Terror (Big Smoke Magazine) will all DJ. Press enquiries to the Dope Ammo Crew on 07816 870 907 – more info at www.dopeammo.co.uk.

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Answer to Tuesday’s pop quiz:
What artists hid behind the pseudonyms Larry Lurex, Joey Coco and Bonni Jo Mason?
Freddy Mercury (his songwriting credit on the song ‘I Can Hear Music’), Prince (one of his writing pseudonyms) and Cher (on her Beatles tribute ‘I Love You Ringo’) respectively.

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