CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 21st February
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- EMI confirms new Warner approach re takeover
- BPI reaches one settlement, but continues with CD-Wow lawsuit
- Perhaps Van Halen won't reform
- Jackson sued over hospital stay
- Busta Rhymes considering plea deal over assault
- James Brown to be interred, finally
- Music stars back new ban the bomb campaign
- Reading set tops Nirvana moment poll
- Single review: Grinderman - No Pussy Blues
- New Tori Amos
- CocoRosie album news
- Timberlake vid sells loads on iTunes
- Stereophonics documentary upcoming
- V2 launch digital sampler
- Fred Deakin's swap shop
- Kenwood House axes concert programme
- GoodBooks play Vice Live
- Funeral For A Friend UK tour
- Sonic Youth Don't Look Back
- Live review: Guillemots at Brixton Academy
- Producers call on OfCom to safeguard radio mic spectrum
- The Orchard enter into partnership with Huawei
- Lay offs at SonyBMG Canada
- EMAP revamp upcoming
- ITV say new music show still in pipeline
- Capital court Bam Bam
- Lady Sovereign on Corinne
- Thom Yorke responds to Gallagher
- Joss Stone not drunk at Brits
- Spears in rehab

--------------------------------------------------

TELL US WHAT U THINK>>
We are currently staging our first ever reader survey. We would really appreciate it if you could spare 10 minutes to answer some questions about CMU and the music world in general. Go on, it's not difficult and it will really help us improve the CMU Daily service. And we'll love you forever if you do it. Well, until the next time we do a survey, anyway. To do it all you have to do it follow this link...

http://www.songpeople.co.uk/cmu

--------------------------------------------------

TOP BIT >>
So, all go in the world of major label mergers yesterday, with lots of developments on the possibility of an EMI Warners merger. Plans to bring together the two smaller majors were halted last year, of course, when the European Courts ordered European Commission officials to reassess the Sony BMG merger of 2004. The logic went that if the now surely cautious EC officials were having to review SonyBMG, and to consider possibly breaking up the major back into two companies, then surely they wouldn't give the go ahead to a new major record company merger.

But Warner chief Edgar Bronfman Jnr, while officially ending his bid to buy EMI, has reportedly never completely scratched the potential acquisition off his to do list, continuing to communicate with EMI shareholders last year and, now we know, capitalising on the London major's current financial hardships by formally re-expressing his intent to make an offer towards the end of last month. But what about the regulators?

Well, Warner's grand plan is to get on side the independent sector, the most vocal opponents to further consolidation in the record industry. If the recently very organised pan-European trade body IMPALA are on side, the new logic flows, then there'll be no-one with the energy or know how to oppose an EMI Warner merger, even if less organised interested parties continue to oppose the proposals on anti-competitive grounds.

It's a good idea on Warner's part, and, possibly utilising the major's business relationship with the Beggars Group, whose top man, Martin Mills, is also IMPALA chairman, that's exactly what they've done. The major and the trade body have reached an agreement in which the latter won't oppose a Warner acquisition of EMI, on the condition Warner will fulfill certain obligations to protect the interests of the independent record labels.

What are we to make of the whole thing? Well, IMPALA aren't fools, so I assume the safeguards they have negotiated are genuine, practical and good. And Bronfman Jnr is entrepreneurial enough to empathise with smaller players in the music space, and clever enough to see that a strong indie sector is good for the majors too, so there is no reason to not assume he won't fulfill his end of the bargain. And, as the aforementioned Mills says, both majors and indies face very similar challenges, and where they can they should work together to meet those challenges. Such joined up working is to be welcomed.

Though, then again, those elsewhere in the music industry - ie not in the recorded sector - might be less happy that the indies are in bed with one of the majors - and an acquisitive major at that. Will the EMI Warner merger be good news for artists and their managers? And what about emerging digital and live businesses? IMPALA have no obligation to lobby in those peoples' interests, of course, but arguably those other sectors have benefited from the indie trade body's proactiveness in taking on the majors in recent years. It will be interesting to see what those sectors make of it all.

It will also be interesting to see if future developments in the coming year will deliver what is presumably now IMPALA's current objective - a major label sector with four players: Universal, EMI Warner, Sony Music and BMG. I'm not convinced they will, but it would be an extraordinary turn of events if it did. And an undeniable vindication of the value of collaborative action by the indie labels.

--------------------------------------------------

JOBS N STUFF>>

24PR Seeks Media Star
As part of Touchdown Communications Group, 24PR is one of the UK's fastest growing independent PR, events and brand communications agencies. We have a client list to die for and are now looking to take on a bright, young savvy executive. Part of the role will be assisting the founder and MD in all aspects of media relations, management and creativity and part of the role will involve general office management at start. I'm looking for a can-do will-do star who relishes networking and has aspirations to join me at the helm of the agency to drive it forward for the future. Based in Leicester Square, starting salary is between £16-20K, 25 days holiday, lots of perks and CIPR industry training programme. There are also work placements available. In the first instance please email serena@24pr.co.uk or call me, Serena Read on 07767 777 730. Don't waste any time, I need you now!

--------------------------------------------------

MYSPACE OF THE DAY: TYLER JAMES
23 year-old Tyler James, with a voice like butter, is the perfect site to visit while feeling a bit melancholy, or perhaps best left for a rainy day, as ballads seem to be his weapon of choice, though I was won over with the more upbeat song 'Stay Humble' for its subtly poppy drive. Why should I try to describe just exactly what this musician has to offer, when Paste Magazine already put it quite nicely when featured as their artist of the week? They say: "James' vulnerable lyrics, uncontrived vocals and memorable piano and guitar arrangements make for a sound as accessible as it is meaningful". I personally can't get enough of his melodies, so luckily for me, he is sneaky enough to post recent demos on a separate page (myspace.com/tylerjamesnew). So consider it eight songs for the price of MySpace's restrictive four. RL

http://www.myspace.com/tylerjames

--------------------------------------------------

EMI CONFIRMS NEW WARNER APPROACH RE TAKEOVER
So, the possibility of an EMI Warner merger is well and truly back on the agenda this morning, following announcements from both companies yesterday.

As previously reported, speculation has been growing that London based EMI would be subject to one or another takeover bid ever since it issued the first of two profit warnings at the start of the year. Although various investment houses are reported to be interested in acquiring the music company, possibly for its more profitable music publishing business, rival record company Warner Music, which made two offers to buy EMI last year, was also known to be considering making a fresh approach. And EMI confirmed yesterday that Warner had indeed made an initial approach regarding merger on 24 Jan.

Although the EMI board knocked back Warner's takeover offers last year, they are known to believe that an EMI Warner merger would be in both companies' interests (mainly because it would level the playing field a little between them and their much larger competitors Universal and SonyBMG), and indeed they made their own offers to acquire Warner last year too. With that in mind the company's board is expected to take seriously any offer Warner makes, although they stress their rival has so far only made an initial approach and not a firm offer, and even if an offer is made it is not a foregone conclusion EMI chiefs will take it (though if the deal was a good one, there's a chance their shareholders would force them to).

Of course, one of the key reasons for EMI's board and shareholders to be wary of entering into merger talks with Warner would be the chances, or not, of getting the required approval from the European Commission. There has been considerable doubt that such approval could be achieved while EC officials are busy undertaking a review of the Sony BMG merger, which, of course, the European courts last year said should never have been given the go ahead back in 2004. It would be risky for EMI to pursue expensive merger talks with Warner to only get blocked by the regulator six months down the line - especially given the major's current financial position.

But then Warner yesterday announced a deal which could alleviate some of those regulator concerns. The US based major confirmed it had reached an agreement with pan-European independent label trade body IMPALA, whose legal opposition to the SonyBMG merger led to the re-review. The agreement says that IMPALA would not oppose a Warner acquisition of EMI, based on commitments made by Warner to ensure the independent sector's interests are safeguarded in an increasingly consolidated music market.

Confirming that agreement, the major said in a statement yesterday: "Warner Music Group believes that the agreement reached with IMPALA and the measures envisaged under it, by setting a new framework for the relationship between a combined WMG and EMI and the independent music sector, improves the prospects for regulatory approval".

IMPALA also confirmed the deal yesterday, and revealed the commitments Warner had made to it in order to secure its approval for a combined EMI Warner. Should the acquisition go ahead, Warner would make "behavioural undertakings to ensure competition and broad licensing; recorded music divestitures to reduce market share and enhance the competitive scale of the independent music sector; and offer substantial assistance to build the capacity of the independent music sector through industry bodies and the recently announced Merlin initiative".

The indie trade body, added: "WMG is the only major label to work with IMPALA to create a comprehensive framework of solutions to its concerns in relation to previous mergers in front of the EU Commission in 2000 and 2004, as well as the European Court of First Instance in 2005. The independents expect this agreement to be the first in a series of agreements where the majors and the independents work together to meet the challenges confronting the industry and to create new opportunities for the independents. IMPALA believes that the majors and the independents need to work together in confronting all of these challenges".

IMPALA Chairman Martin Mills, whose Beggars Group has a joint venture with Warner Music in Japan, said he hoped the new deal would demonstrate that the indie body was not anti-major for the sake of it, and that the independents were willing to work with major labels that recognised the wider value of supporting the indie sector. Mills: "We have never been anti-major. We understand their issues. Full market access for the independents, whether large or small, is what we have always sought, and what this agreement helps to deliver. We hope to get the support of [EU] Commissioner Kroes to this innovative market-led solution that we believe will benefit musicians and fans alike, and which sets a crucial precedent".

The Warner deal does not affect IMPALA's position on the SonyBMG merger review, or on the proposed merger of Universal and BMG's music publishing companies, which is currently being considering for EU approval. For the time being at least, the trade body will continue to oppose both those mergers.

Meanwhile, whether yesterday's developments now mean a joint EMI Warner is inevitable, remains to be seen. However, Warner chief Edgar Bronfman Jnr's long reported optimism that he will get his hands on EMI eventually, despite the impact of the SonyBMG re-review, seems to be a little bit more justified this morning.

--------------------------------------------------

BPI REACHES ONE SETTLEMENT, BUT CONTINUES WITH CD-WOW LAWSUIT
More on the CD-Wow story now. The BPI yesterday said that it had reached a deal with one of the shareholders of the online retailer, but that its litigation against the company itself continued.

As previously reported, the UK record industry is taking CD-Wow owners Music Trading Online to court over allegations they have broken a commitment made in the High Court in 2004 regarding where they source the CDs they sell via their website. Prior to 2004 CD-Wow bought CDs from distributors based outside the European Union, who offered lower unit prices and therefore enabled CD-Wow to undercut their competitors. However, UK copyright law forbids using suppliers outside the EU without a copyright owner's express permission. When, in 2004, the BPI sued MTO over their supply tactics, the company pledged to stop using non-EU suppliers. The latest lawsuit has been launched because the BPI claim that, while monitoring the CD-Wow service, they have been sent CDs sourced from Hong Kong - in breach of the 2004 commitment.

On Monday one of CD-Wow's key shareholders, Philip Robinson, admitted that the company was in breach of its undertakings, and he said he accepted some responsibility for that breach. To that effect he agreed to pay the record industry trade body £50,000 to cover their legal costs in pursuing the latest litigation.

CD-Wow itself has also admitted breaching its 2004 undertaking, but denies the BPI's claims that it should pay a fine, damages and costs in relation to the breach. To that end the BPI has said it will continue with its legal action, that it intends to "produce evidence which shows that CD-Wow has systematically broken undertakings embodied in a court order", and that it will ask the court to force the firm to pay a fine, to compensate the content owners, and to cover the BPI's legal costs.

Confirming their plans, BPI General Counsel Roz Groome told CMU: "We believe CD-Wow is guilty of flagrant and systematic breaches of a High Court order. The penalties for such breaches can be significant. Contrary to some reports this case is nothing to do with price. Plenty of retailers manage to sell CDs at competitive prices without breaking the law".

--------------------------------------------------

PERHAPS VAN HALEN WON'T REFORM
Yeah, I'm a bit confused. Despite all those reports that Van Halen were due to reform with original frontman David Lee Roth, and despite an official statement from Eddie Van Halen confirming the reunion, and despite rumours Roth had been saying he hoped the reunion would be permanent, we're now told the reunion may not happen after all. As I say, confusing.

Word has it the official statement on the reunion was issued by Eddie Van Halen's girlfriend come publicist Janie Liseweski, and that she issued the statement before any deals had actually been done between Roth, Van Halen or Live Nation, who are reportedly hoping to promote the reunion tour. Sources have now told US live music magazine Pollstar that the whole venture may now not happen at all.

It is also now uncertain whether the planned Van Halen best of, which would feature music from Roth's original stint with the band, will now be released. But a lot of this is hearsay, so I wouldn't take anything as read for the time being.

--------------------------------------------------

JACKSON SUED OVER HOSPITAL STAY
The family of a woman who died after being moved from a hospital suite to make way for Michael Jackson are suing both the medical facility and the singer, claiming that an "abuse of celebrity status" led to her death.

Those with good memories will remember the family of Manuela Gomez Ruiz spoke out about the treatment of their mother at the time of her death in 2005. Ruiz was being treated at the Marian Medical Centre when Jackson was admitted there, just as his high profile child abuse trial kicked off, suffering from flu like symptoms. The Ruiz family claim Manuela was kicked out of a two-bed trauma unit to make way for Jacko. The decision to move the woman in that way led, the family claim, to her death.

James McKiernan, representing the family, says that there was "a circus-like atmosphere at the hospital" after Jackson's arrival, and alleges that management there gave in to demands made by the singer which meant a desperately ill Ruiz was unnecessarily moved to make room for a mildly ill Jackson. That decision, McKiernan claims, meant the Ruiz family suffered "emotional and mental lasting effects".

Among the specific allegations being made against the hospital and Jacko, are negligent infliction of emotional distress, elder abuse, false imprisonment and conspiracy. The lawsuit concludes: "Manuela Ruiz was dying. Michael Jackson was also dying ... dying not to go to court that day".

Jacko's people are yet to comment, but management for the medical centre have described the lawsuit as "another frivolous claim to generate publicity". While expressing sympathy for the Ruiz family's loss, they say "patient care and safety is always our priority" and that that had been the case in their treatment of Manuela, even after Jacko's arrival at the hospital.

--------------------------------------------------

BUSTA RHYMES CONSIDERING PLEA DEAL OVER ASSAULT
Rap star Busta Rhymes has rejected an offer of six months in prison for two assault charges, but is currently considering a plea deal that would allow him to plead guilty to a lesser charge and not serve any time.

Manhattan judge Tanya Kennedy proposed that Rhymes, real name Trevor Smith, could agree to the plea of third-degree assault, in which case he would be given a conditional discharge, under the terms of which he would need to perform community service and take anger management classes. He would also be on probation for three years. Currently free on $3,500 bail, Rhymes did not speak during the hearing, or to reporters following his appearance in court on Tuesday.

The hip-hopper is accused of beating his former driver, one Edward Hatchett "with a closed fist about the head and neck" as well as kicking him in the upper body as the pair argued over back pay. The attack is alleged to have taken place on 26 Dec outside Rhymes' Manhattan office, and, claim prosecutors, left Hatchett with cuts, bruises and in considerable pain. The second charge of assault relates to an incident in which the rapper is accused of assaulting a 'fan' for spitting on his car during the AmsterJam Music Festival back on 12 Aug last year.

Meanwhile, Rhymes is still refusing to cooperate with police in their investigation into the Feb 2006 shooting f his bodyguard Israel Ramirez.

--------------------------------------------------

JAMES BROWN TO BE INTERRED, FINALLY
The family of James Brown and partner/wife Tomi Rae Hynie have finally agreed on the godfather of soul's final resting place. As previously reported, disputes over the will, and where the singer's body should be interred, have kept his gold casket above ground since his death on 25 Dec. Hynie's lawyer Robert Rosen has confirmed that a location has been chosen and that the burial will take place in the next few days. The exact location is being kept confidential, however, at the request of Brown's family.

Charles Reid, manager of the funeral home which handled the singer's funeral arrangements, is also keeping confidential the exact location of the coffin, but confirmed that he has recently opened the casket to check on him. Check what? That he's still there? What state of decomposition he's in? I don't know, but here's what Mr Reid said, confirming that he opens up the casket on a regular basis: "I do that constantly. That's the only way I can actually check him ... go in, open the casket and close it. And he's fine". 'Fine' in the dead sense of the word, presumably.

Meanwhile, a judge has ruled on the allegations brought by Hynie and the Brown family that the trustees of his estate were mishandling the late singer's affairs, and their request that a new administrator be appointed. Judge Doyet Early decided that the trustees will continue with their work, but will be overseen by a special administrator who "will protect the estate by permitting all claims to be pursued and investigated with the required due diligence, and will assist this court in assessing the proper administration of the estate".

The aforementioned Robert Rosen said his client was pleased by the decision, whilst David Yount, representing Brown's children, said his clients were also happy with the turn of events. Brown's lawyer Buddy Dallas is also pleased, so it's smiles all round. Here's what he said: "We told the court that we had no objection whatsoever to a special administrator and the court has now ruled that there were no improprieties on the part of the personal representatives".

--------------------------------------------------

MUSIC STARS BACK NEW BAN THE BOMB CAMPAIGN
Razorlight are among 50 British artists who are opposing plans to modernise the UK's nuclear weapons. Which is interesting, because sometimes when I hear Razorlight total nuclear oblivion suddenly seems quite attractive. Only joking, I should stop all this Razorlight dissing, because I don't actually mind them all that much. I only do it to get in Mary CMU's good books. She hates them. And if I slag them off at least once a week, she shouts at me less for forgetting to run stories we've promised PRs we'll run.

Anyway, Razorlight have joined the likes of Snow Patrol, Thom Yorke, Bloc Party and Ian Brown to sign a statement issued by good old CND that opposes plans by that Tony Blair fella to spend lots of cash updating the UK's nuclear arsenal. The statement calls for politicians to strive for "peace and justice, not nuclear weapons and war".

Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke adds that spending billions on "nukes" will just bring us closer to "global catastrophe", while Ian Brown says that political leaders are "hypocrites and warmongers". The statement and the pop stars' comments come ahead of an anti-Trident demo due to be held in London this weekend.

Of course in this day and age the challenge isn't so much keeping up with our enemies' nuclear arsenals, and more keeping up with their seemingly infinite supply of would be suicide bombers. Perhaps if we could recruit some suicide bombers of own we could get rid of the nukes. I suggest planet pop puts forward Razorlight for that cause. Oh damn, there I go again.

--------------------------------------------------

READING SET TOPS NIRVANA MOMENT POLL
Nirvana's headline performance at the 1992 Reading Festival has topped an NME poll of the top 40 Nirvana moments, staged to coincide with what would have been Kurt Cobain's 40th birthday. The iconic festival set competed with the band's legendary MTV Unplugged performance and controversial appearances on The Word and Top Of The Pops. Strangely the moment Kurt put the gun in his mouth didn't appear. Oh damn, there I go again, forgetting Nirvana are untouchable.

Anyway, here's the top ten, the full forty is on http://www.nme.com.

1. Reading Festival 1992
2. MTV Unplugged
3. 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'
4. Singing the wrong words on 'Top Of The Pops'
5. 'Nevermind' knocking Michael Jackson off the top of the US charts
6. The band's performance on 'The Word'
7. The 'Nevermind' album cover
8. 'Come As You Are'
9. Starting a food fight and getting thrown out of the 'Nevermind' launch party
10. Pretending to be Madonna's representatives and crank calling The Lemonheads

--------------------------------------------------

SINGLE REVIEW: Grinderman - No Pussy Blues (EMI/Mute)
The 'no' in 'No Pussy Blues' is not a prohibitive one, but, rather, one describing a certain, painful paucity in the narrator's life. Try as he might - and he goes to great lengths - this guy just can't get laid. From the first snippets of sound - a typewriter typing out 'No Pussy Blues,' - to the dying scream of electric guitars in the fade out, the listener's focus remains on the characteristically bookish and disaffected vocals of Nick Cave as he describes his many and varied attempts to score with a pretty fan. Tension builds subtly in his practiced voice until howling guitars join in and transform his monotone to a scream which, in turn, subsumes the crisp hi-hat drum pattern and the hammering bass line of the verse to create a Mike Patton-esque squall of pent up noise and frustration. Not getting any is rarely so exciting or entertaining. [BH]
Release Date: 19 Feb
Press Contact: Fifth Avenue PR [all]

--------------------------------------------------

NEW TORI AMOS
Tori Amos has announced that her eighth studio album, 'American Doll Posse', is to be released on 1 May. The album was recorded in Cornwall (where she now lives, right?) and written and produced by the singer herself. She'll follow the release with a world tour starting on Rome on 28 May.

--------------------------------------------------

COCOROSIE ALBUM NEWS
CocoRosie have announced details of their new album 'The Adventures Of Ghosthorse And Stillborn', out in the US on 10 Apr via Touch and Go Records. The record's been overseen by Bjork producer Valgeir Sigurosson and features cover art from Pierre et Gilles. The tracklisting is as follows:

Promise
Bloody Twins
Japan
Sunshine
Black Poppies
Werewolf
Animals
Houses
Raphael
Girl and the Geese
Miracle

--------------------------------------------------

TIMBERLAKE VID SELLS LOADS ON ITUNES
Justin Timberlake's new video - for 'What Goes Around' - has become by the far the fastest selling pop promo on iTunes, selling over 50K downloads since 2 Feb. Timberlake is the first major artist to premiere a video - the full length version of which runs to over nine minutes - on the download platform. Given the revenue earning potential of high profile videos distributed via iTunes, I suspect he won't be the last.

--------------------------------------------------

STEREOPHONICS DOCUMENTARY UPCOMING
Stereophonics are set to release a documentary celebrating the band's ten year history. 'Rewind' covers the story of the band from their early beginnings along the path to fame and fortune, and is created from hundreds of hours of footage, including that from some of their earliest, pre-signed performances. The film will see a limited theatrical release on from March ahead of its DVD release on 2 Apr. Press info from Noble PR.

--------------------------------------------------

V2 LAUNCH DIGITAL SAMPLER
More digital shenanigans from V2 - this time a free digital sampler that will offer five free tracks from the label's artists. The first quarterly sampler will feature Cold War Kids, Little Man Tate and Duke Special, plus exclusive new album tracks from The Rakes and Soulsavers. You can access the sampler from the URL below. The sampler and the previously reported V2 podcast will all feature on the label's revamped website, which is due to launch soon.

http://gb.v2music.com/site/digitalSingle.asp?ID=45

--------------------------------------------------

FRED DEAKIN'S SWAP SHOP
Lemon Jelly's Fred Deakin is to host a swap shop this Saturday in London to promote the release of his three CD mix album 'The Triptych' on Monday. Deakin will be bringing a box of vinyl records and other assorted items to swap for anything interesting anyone else might have to offer. He will also play a DJ set at the event, which will take place at Pure Groove Records on Holloway Road from 2pm until 5pm.

--------------------------------------------------

KENWOOD HOUSE AXES CONCERT PROGRAMME
The gentle sounds of a classical concert or jazz jam floating into your garden from over the hedge is one thing, but a heavily amplified Ronan Keating warbling away in that uniquely mediocre way of his, that's another thing entirely. Frankly, I can see why the people of Hampstead, North London kicked up a fuss when their local stately home, Kenwood House, stepped up its programme of summer gigs.

Responding to that fuss, local authority Camden Council has cut back the number of events the stately home's owners, English Heritage, are allowed to stage each year, and also the number of tickets they can sell for each event. As a result organisers have said they will not stage any events this year, because it's just not commercially viable that way.

But Simon Thurley of English Heritage said he hoped they could work out a way of relaunching the concert programme next year, adding: "The concerts which have been running for 55 years have given huge pleasure to hundreds of thousands of people. This is a very sad day for Kenwood as well as for all the people who enjoy coming to a beautiful setting to enjoy music on a summer's evening".

--------------------------------------------------

GOODBOOKS PLAY VICE LIVE
GoodBooks have announced that they're set to play the Vice Live tour alongside The Noisettes, Foals, Assembly Now and Fear Of Flying. The tour is for students only, however - they need to register at http://www.vicelivetour.com to get in free. There's a teeny chance you media types could get on GoodBooks' guestlist, though, if you swiftly contact 14th Floor.

7 Mar: Sheffield Plug
8 Mar: Leeds Faversham
9 Mar: London 93 Feet East
14 Mar: Birmingham Custard Factory
15 Mar: Manchester Sankeys
16 Mar: Glasgow The Arches

--------------------------------------------------

FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND UK TOUR
Funeral For A Friend have announced a UK tour to coincide with the release of their third album 'Tales Don't Tell Themselves', out in May. Tickets go on sale 9am on Saturday, dates as follows:

13 May: Bristol Academy
14 May: Nottingham Rock City
15 May: Leeds University
17 May: Glasgow Academy
18 May: Manchester Apollo
19 May: London Brixton Academy
21 May: Portsmouth Guildhall
23 May: Cambridge Corn Exchange
24 May: Birmingham Academy
25 May: Newcastle Academy
27 May: Derry Nerve Centre
28 May: Belfast Mandela Hall
29 May: Dublin Ambassador
22 Dec: Cardiff CIA

--------------------------------------------------

SONIC YOUTH DON'T LOOK BACK
I bet I used a similar headline this time last year. Sonic Youth have been confirmed to appear at this year's series of 'Don't Look Back' events - you know, the gigs where bands play one of their seminal albums in its entirety at venues in London. Also confirmed are Slint and House Of Love, dates as follows, tickets available now:

22 Aug: Slint - 'Spiderland', Koko
31 Aug: Sonic Youth - 'Daydream Nation', Roundhouse
13 Sep: House Of Love - 'The House Of Love', Koko

--------------------------------------------------

LIVE REVIEW: Guillemots at Brixton Academy on 16 Feb
I wouldn't have expected the Guillemots to sell out the close to 5,000 capacity Academy. Their album 'Through The Windowpane' earned them a Mercury nomination and they've recently had a couple of TV appearances on Jonathan Ross and Never Mind The Buzzcocks, but they don't have a huge profile. However, Guillemots are one of those bands who confound expectations. Tonight they could have quite easily have simply played the album and the audience would have gone away happy. But instead the band play some new and unfamiliar material, and reinterpret one of their best known songs; their glorious single 'We're Here', originally a full on orchestral number, is performed by Fyfe Dangerfield solo with just a guitar. Fyfe has the unenviable dilemma of being a frontman who spends most of his time on stage sat at his keyboards. This could have made for a static and uninteresting performance. However Dangerfield has a charismatic presence and makes the effort to chat and joke with the audience, and also there is a big Flaming Lips style theatrical element to the show. During one new song three devils, one brandishing a fork, creep on stage and menace the six white clad band members, whilst during the jubilant finale 'Sao Paulo', lucky golden ticket winning members of the audience are invited to come on stage and join in with percussion duties. The multi-national, multi-instrumental band have a wide variety of influences. 'Come Away With Me' is reminiscent of the glacial Scandinavians A-ha, while new track 'Big Dog', is a busy, cacophony of sounds with a South American samba style rhythm. The Guillemots have a rare ability to evoke and inspire a great life-affirming joyfulness, and this makes their music eminently loveable. All in all tonight is a sweet if belated Valentine's treat. JW

--------------------------------------------------

PRODUCERS CALL ON OFCOM TO SAFEGUARD RADIO MIC SPECTRUM
Representatives for the live entertainments industry have called on media regulator OfCom to commit to protecting the part of the radio spectrum currently used by entertainment producers for radio mics.

As the regulator reviews how it licences the spectrum to broadcasters and mobile firms, some fear that the part of the spectrum currently used for radio mics will be sold off, in part or in whole, in 2012, meaning those using radio mics might suffer increased interference or, worse still, will be forced to pay a commercial licensee for use of the spectrum at rates that many promoters or producers simply couldn't afford, or even worse still, not be able to use radio mics at all.

Some in OfCom argue that there are now other microphone systems available which do not require the radio spectrum, which means the current radio mic set up is not the best possible use of that part of the spectrum. However, many in the live sector argue those newer systems are less efficient, and also require theatres and venues to invest in expensive upgrades.

Brian Copsey of the Association Of Service Providers, which coordinates the radio spectrum used by the entertainment industry, told reporters this week: "Ofcom needs to have a serious discussion with parties involved in using radio mics and find a way of achieving a sensible outcome. Once the auctioning process is started there will be a range of organisations that are very interested. It is prime spectrum but there are no provisions in Ofcom's proposals to put in place any system for radio mics. We need a way forward to ring-fence this spectrum on a geographical basis. It is important to the whole UK economy. West End theatre sees 12.5m visitors each year and not one of those shows work without radio mics".

--------------------------------------------------

THE ORCHARD ENTER INTO PARTNERSHIP WITH HUAWEI
Indie digital aggregators The Orchard have announced a new partnership with Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei which will give the tech firm access to The Orchard's catalogue of music for their "Active Music Offering", which will offer mobile operators the facility to offer their consumers a "powerful, private-label digital music service allowing for customisation by location, demographic and customer segmentation".

Confirming the deal, Huawei's VP Application & Software, Linda Shuai, told CMU: "Huawei's vision is to enrich life through communication, and our mission is to focus on our customers' market challenges and needs by providing solutions and services that consistently create maximum value for them, and the AIMI Digital Music Solution is created to serve our customers. The Orchard's leading position in digital music distribution and marketing adds tremendous value to our AIMI offering and we are excited about the opportunity to work together with The Orchard to further explore and develop the global digital music market".

All of which reminds me - Happy New Year to all our Chinese readers. I forgot to say. Despite getting caught up in the New Year celebrations in central London at the weekend. Happy Year Of The Pig.

--------------------------------------------------

LAY OFFS AT SONYBMG CANADA
More major label lay offs, but in Canada this time. Cue panicking among CMU's Canadian readership. Word has it fifteen employees at SonyBMG's Canadian HQ in Toronto were last night made redundant - moves that follow the axing of Digital and Marketing VP Norman Miller and Legal VP Christine Prudham last week, and the ousting of the major's Canadian president Lisa Zbitnew last month. So big was the revamp of SonyBMG's Canadian HQ that the whole office was shut on Monday while individual employees were told of how the changes would affect them.

--------------------------------------------------

EMAP REVAMP UPCOMING
Talking of revamps, radio and magazine company EMAP is expected to announce a major restructure of its consumer magazine division, which could lead to a number of redundancies and magazine closures. The revamp follows disappointing financials and an "efficiency review" by the Boston Consulting Group, and also comes as industry insiders speculate how long current CEO Tom Moloney will stay in the top job there (despite EMAP's board stressing their loyalty to their top man).

--------------------------------------------------

ITV SAY NEW MUSIC SHOW STILL IN PIPELINE
According to Music Week, ITV have denied reports that they have axed their planned replacement to CD:UK after failing to find a sponsor.

As previously reported, the network's new music show was due to launch last Autumn, but was postponed after O2 failed to take up an option to sponsor it. With no replacement sponsor in the pipeline, the Media Guardian reported this week that the new show was in danger of never being launched at all if a new sponsor could not be found.

The website added that indie production company Done And Dusted, who were due to make the new show, are getting increasingly restless at the continued delays at getting the show to air. However, ITV say they are still committed to launching the new music show, though there is currently no timetable for the launch.

Still no word, either, on Channel Five's plans to relaunch CD:UK.

--------------------------------------------------

CAPITAL COURT BAM BAM
Well, further proof that big fines and high profile sackings in the radio industry never prevent a comeback. Word has it Capital Radio is set to sign up Peter Poulton, aka Bam Bam, who was fired from rival London station Kiss FM after a series of complaints about the show saddled the EMAP station with a record £175,000 fine from media regulator OfCom. Word has it Capital want the former Kiss DJ, who initially helped Kiss become a dominant player in the capital's youth market, to front a new high profile show - though it's not clear if that will be in the daytime schedule, or a flagship weekly show.

--------------------------------------------------

LADY SOVEREIGN ON CORINNE
Lady Sovereign has had a go at Corinne Bailey Rae. To her face, she claims. When did the Corinne Bailey Rae backlash start? I must have missed that. Unless it's just a Lady Sovereign and Lily Allen thing. Anyway, Lady Sovereign told The Mirror's 3AM Girls today that she had spoken to Bailey Rae backstage at a recording for T4, saying: "I told her she was boring and that she should be called Corinne "Boring" Rae. Corinne just said 'whatever' and turned on her heels like she was The Queen".

--------------------------------------------------

THOM YORKE RESPONDS TO GALLAGHER
Thom Yorke has given a brief response to Noel Gallagher's recent criticism of him and his band. If you remember, Gallagher said: "No matter how much you sit their twiddling, going, 'We're all doomed,' at the end of the day people will always want to hear you play 'Creep'. Get over it", and continued "I never went to fucking university. I don't know what a paint brush is; I never went to art school".

Yorke's response was as follows: "I did. It taught me to respect other artists". I'm afraid that might have been a bit too subtle for Gobby Gallagher, Thom.

--------------------------------------------------

JOSS STONE NOT DRUNK AT BRITS
Joss Stone has defended herself over her appearance at last week's Brit Awards, saying that she was not drunk, as some suggested, rather that she was nervous. I didn't see the awards so I am not sure why people thought she was drunk, but reports seem to be emphasising the fact that she was dressed oddly and spoke with a strange American accent.

So, her spokeswoman said this: "She only had one drink before she went on stage as she had an early flight the next day. She's lived in America since she was 15 but her accent becomes stronger when she's nervous".

--------------------------------------------------

SPEARS IN REHAB
Following a spate of odd behaviour, which, as previously reported, included shaving her head, Britney Spears' publicist has confirmed that she has "voluntarily checked herself into an undisclosed rehab facility", but refused to confirm where the clinic was, or what exactly she would be treated for. It's good news, probably, but one (me) can't help thinking she needs more than rehab.

Anyway, reports suggest that the clinic is in fact in the LA area, and that she was persuaded to check in by her family. Earlier reports that she booked in to rehab in Antigua prior to the head-shaving incident are said to be false. Soon to be ex Kevin Federline is said to be concerned about Spears; a source told People magazine: "Kevin is concerned for Britney and his children. Of course he's concerned about her. He loves her. He's always loved her - even after she started divorce proceedings".

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

© UnLimited Publishing | subscribe at www.theCMUwebsite.com/daily