CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 2nd May
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- More delays in Spector trial
- Sharpton to march on major labels over hip hop row
- Google respond to Viacom's YouTube lawsuit
- Joan Baez barred from performing for soldiers
- Poles attempt guitar world record
- Lupe Fiasco album
- New Pornographers on new album
- Doherty on solo work
- Take That confirmed for Diana gig
- Dinosaur Junior announce London show
- QOTSA announce gig
- Stereophonics gigs
- Keane to play O2
- Britney does a show
- Something In Construction appointments and new directions
- NARM appoint two digital chiefs to board
- ITV launch their online on demand offer
- Pete Wentz opens bar
- Kook criticises Allen
- Amelle: I'm innocent, guv


Why, oh why, must all you festival promoters be adding new names to your bills this week? Do you expect us to really find time to cover all of it? Really? You do? Oh, alright then, here is a round up of who's been added where in the last few days…

Let's start somewhere exotic, shall we? The Killers, Interpol and Queens of The Stone Age are to headline California's KROQ Weenie Roast on 19 May. Closer to home, Underworld are to headline the Wild In The Country dance fest at Knebworth on 30 Jun, and are joined by the likes of Hot Chip, Simian Mobile Disco and Justice. In events-taking-place-in-the-capital-news, Mystery Jets have been added to the line up for the Field Day event taking place at London's Victoria Park on 11 Aug, and will perform alongside acts such as Adem, Bat For Lashes, Foals, Vetiver and Archie Bronson Outfit. In more events-taking-place-in-the-capital news, Meltdown curator Jarvis Cocker has convinced hippy songstress Melanie to play at the event, more than thirty years after she last played a UK gig - I really hope she plays that cover of 'Ruby Tuesday'. Further north, more names have been added to the Reading and Leeds festival bills, and they include Good Shoes, Jamie T and The Shins, whilst Kaiser Chiefs, Scissor Sisters, Kasabian and Razorlight are set to appear at Radio 1's Big Weekend in Preston from 19-20 May. The Rakes and Kylie's mate Calvin Harris are to play the Electric Gardens festival, which takes place, of course, from 4-5 Aug at Mount Ephraim Gardens in Kent - other acts rumoured to be on the verge of being announced include Patrick Wolf, The Pipettes and Plan B. And finally, CMU faves The Go! Team have been added to the increasingly tasty Bestival bill, alongside other new additions Spank Rock and Dexy's man Kevin Rowland, who'll do a DJ set. And you surely know that it takes place on the Isle Of Wight from 7-9 Sep?

There you go. So now you can't go saying "CMU doesn't report on festival stuff anymore".



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Vampire Weekend are buzzing a bit at the moment, and probably with justification. They've certainly got an interesting sound - and it's not, as you might expect from the group's name, some kind of deathly metal stuff. They seem to be describing the brand of noise they make in their MySpace page genre bit as punk/new wave/classical, which is all good. A bit of classical in the mix never does a band any harm, I always think, in fact, I generally find it pretty endearing. It's quite a busy site, with its blogs and videos, plus the songs are really good, and interesting, partly because, as I said at the start, the band do have an interesting, eclectic sort of sound. But what they also have is an interesting line in quirky song titles. 'Oxford Comma'. 'Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa'. Me like. You check.


There was another stall at the Phil Spector murder trial yesterday, which was postponed on Monday after the legendary producer's main lawyer, Bruce Cutler, fell ill. The judge hearing the case, Larry Paul Fidler, had hoped to get things moving again today, but it now looks like Cutler - who is believed to be having problems with medication he takes for diabetes - won't be well enough to resume the trial until next Monday.

However, there will be some court business relating to the case this week - though not in front of the jury. A row has begun behind the scenes in the court house following allegations by the prosecution that the defence have been withholding evidence. The row centres on potential defence witness Dr Henry Lee, who has appeared on US TV recently discussing the case. Prosecutor Alan Jackson claims he did not know about forensic evidence from the Doc (a forensics specialist) that the defence plan to present until he saw Lee talking about it on Court TV - after he'd delivered the opening statement for the prosecution. That, Jackson says, is the defence concealing evidence. But the defence argue that they have provided the court and prosecution with all the information they are required to do so, and that documents currently sealed by the court prove that is so.

How quickly Fidler plans to rule on the dispute, and what it will mean for the trial if he sides with the prosecution, I don't know. Nor whether the dispute could potentially delay the trial further, even once Cutler is back in good health. We'll try and find out.


The much reported backlash against sexist and racist language in US hip hop continues, with civil rights activist Al Sharpton announcing that tomorrow he will lead a 'March For Decency' through New York, a march which will stop off at the head offices of SonyBMG, Universal and Warner Music, before reaching a rally at Columbus Circle.

From the start, Sharpton has been trying to focus attention in the current hip hop debate onto the major record companies who profit from the genre. He argues that it is their job to ensure that offensive words like 'bitch', 'ho' and 'nigger' do not appear on hip hop releases, and that hip hop music and videos do not degrade women. As previously reported, as well as staging protests like tomorrow's rally, Sharpton is planning on buying some stock in the majors so he can attend shareholder meetings and bug the record companies' investors about the whole thing.

Confirming the march, Tamika Mallory of Sharpton's National Action Network organisation told reporters yesterday: "We aren't marching against artists - we are marching against record companies to ban these words completely. It's nice that Russell Simmons asked for these words to be bleeped out, but if we start from the top and ban them, then we won't have to answer questions at the bottom".

Simmons, as chief of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, has been lobbying from within the hip hop industry to encourage the "bleeping out" of the offensive words in question, though given that he is generally an opponent of censorship in the genre, he is unlikely to go as far as Sharpton in calling for industry wide action.

Mallory confirmed yesterday that Councilwoman Darlene Mealy of Brooklyn's 41st District and daughters of the late James Brown will take part in tomorrow's march. The Brown family will take part in the rally before attending a special ceremony being held at the Apollo Theater in Harlem to commemorate what would have been Brown's 74th birthday. Mallory: "James Brown always said we needed to clean up our music. This was something he always talked about in his life and so it made sense for this march to take place on this day".


YouTube owners Google Inc have filed a response to that lawsuit issued against them back in March by MTV owners Viacom.

As previously reported, I'm sure, the Viacom lawsuit accused YouTube of copyright infringement over allegations that they illegally hosted some 160,000 unauthorised clips of programmes owned by Viacom, including those coming from MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon. The media conglom is suing the video sharing website and its parent company for more than $1 billion in damages.

In its response to that litigation, which it filed in New York on Monday, Google claims that YouTube respects the importance of copyrights and goes above and beyond what is required by the US's Digital Millennium Copyright Act to safeguard others' copyright assets. Crucially, Google argue that the Act protects websites like YouTube from violation charges because it operates a policy of removing copyright content off its servers when content owners make them aware hosted material is unauthorised. That, the web firm says, is all that the Act demands of content hosting sites like YouTube.

While most content owners, Viacom included, accept that YouTube are cooperative in removing unauthorised content when they are made aware of it, many do not agree that such a removals policy is sufficient to sidestep liability for the unauthorised distribution of copyrighted content via the video sharing service. Viacom argue that the onus should not be on them to monitor content being shared via YouTube, and that Google should take responsibility for ensuring that copyrighted content never appears on their website in the first place.

Viacom are not the only content company to have concerns about YouTube, of course, though they are the first to pursue legal action, most others having reached or currently negotiating licencing deals with the video website that ensures controls on and revenues from their content whenever it is posted on the platform.


Joan Baez has told the Washington Post that she was banned from performing at a gig for recovering soldiers at a US army hospital. The singer and anti-war activist says that she was invited to take part in the concert by John Mellencamp, and that she had accepted that invite, but that army officials intervened.

Baez said: "I have always been an advocate for non-violence and I have stood as firmly against the Iraq war as I did the Vietnam War 40 years ago. I realise now that I might have contributed to a better welcome home for those soldiers fresh from Vietnam. Maybe that's why I didn't hesitate to accept the invitation to sing for those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In the end, four days before the concert, I was not 'approved' by the Army to take part. Strange irony".

The official line seems to be that the request for Baez's involvement was submitted too late to be approved, but Mellencamp is quoted by as saying: "They didn't give me a reason why she couldn't come. We asked why and they said 'She can't fit here, period'".


Almost 2000 musicians gathered in the Polish city of Wroclaw this week to set a new world record for the biggest guitar ensemble in history. 1876 guitarists from all over the country assembled in the city's market square for a joint rendition of Jimi Hendrix track 'Hey Joe'. The attempt has yet to be confirmed a record by Guinness, however.

Organiser and blues guitarist Leszek Chichonski told reporters: "With the power of soul anything is possible. This is what Jimi Hendrix claimed 30 years ago, but it is still true".

It all took place as part of the city's Thanks Jimi Festival, now in its fifth year. Next year they're looking to hold a similar mass guitar event, but this time hooking up with other cities in other parts of the world in an event which would be broadcast online and via video screens.


Lupe Fiasco has announced that he's ready to record his new album. The new long player is entitled 'The Cool' and is expected to be released in October. The rapper is also reported to be working on a "top secret project with another superstar rapper and someone who is a rapper/producer".


Recent MySpace Of The Day nominees The New Pornographers have been speaking to NME about their new album, 'Challengers', which is due out this summer.

Bassist John Collins explained that the new long player is nearly finished, before elaborating on the album's sound. "We're getting old so it's slowing down" he says "and we're finally using strings and we've had more people play on it that any other record before, about 20 people. It's a little bit ambitious. I like the song 'All Of The Things That Go To Make Heaven And Earth'. I'd put it in a Roxy Music class. That's sort of a model for a lot of our music throughout our whole career".


Pete Doherty says he's basically finished that previously reported solo acoustic album. Babyshambles are all set to start work on their new album, of course, but clearly the singer has been actually doing some work in the meantime.

Speaking about what songs would make the Babyshambles album, Doherty said: "I've got a song called 'Salome' which I haven't done with the band yet. I'm kind of saving it for the acoustic album, you know what I mean? You can't leave it lying around for too long".

Asked how the aforementioned acoustic album was going, Doherty added: "Well to be honest, I think it's pretty much done. It's just now trying to convince the record company that everything doesn't need to be highly polished".


Take That have confirmed that they are the latest act to be added to the line-up for the Princess Diana memorial concert set to take place at Wembley Stadium on 1 Jul. The boyband (manband?) join previously confirmed acts such as Elton John, Kanye West, Lily Allen and Duran Duran.

Explaining that the group had rescheduled their time off in order to take part in the gig, singer Mark Owen told reporters: "Diana was an inspiration to so many people and we feel privileged to have met her. We decided we wanted to do anything we could to help make Diana's concert one of the highlights of the summer".

As reported ad nauseum, the concert has been organised by Princes William and Harry to mark the ten year anniversary of their mother's death, but also what would have been her 46th birthday. The show is set to be broadcast in more than 140 countries worldwide.


Dinosaur Jr have announced that they'll play a gig at London's Scala on 26 Jun, tickets on sale now. The band released their long awaited previously reported new studio album 'Beyond' this week, of course.


Queens Of The Stone Age have announced that they will play an intimate gig at London's 100 Club tonight, and are planning to showcase tracks from their new album 'Era Vulgaris'. I expect tickets are gone by now…


Stereophonics have announced two low key gigs later this month, ahead of the release of the band's new LP, 'Pull The Pin', due out in the autumn. The band are expected to preview new album tracks at the shows, which will take place at Llandudno's Cymru Arena on 18 May, and Blackpool's Empress Ballroom on 19 May. Tickets for both go on sale this Friday at 9am.


Keane have announced that they'll play a date at the O2 Arena - former Millennium Dome, of course - on 21 Jul. Tickets for the show, their biggest ever, will go on sale on Thursday.

Elsewhere, the band's Tom Chaplin has apparently been talking to The Sun about the reasons for his recent stint in rehab. He's quoted as saying: "In late 2005 and the start of 2006, when we were finishing 'Under The Iron Sea', I was in a state. Tim [Rice-Oxley] would come to my house and I'd refuse to answer the door. I was spending a lot of time at home crying in front of 'Cash In The Attic'. I was taking a lot of drugs and drinking to alleviate the anxiety of the drugs".

Shit, he must have been in a bad way. The last time I watched Cash In The Attic, I was suicidal.


Following all that speculation about cancelled performances, it would seem that Britney Spears has in fact staged her first public performance in about three years at the House Of Blues in San Diego. According to reports, the singer performed a five song set that included the hit that propelled her to superstardom, 'Baby One More Time'. She didn't say much, just thanked everyone for coming, apparently.


London base record label Something In Construction has announced two new appointments while proclaiming "we are going to start doing things differently".

The new appointments are Amanda Freeman and David Bascombe. The former recently set up Freeman PR after working for Sainted, and will work via her new company in one of those strategic partnerships with SIC as a Director Of Press. The latter will be bringing his mixing skills, that have appeared on music from the likes of Snow Patrol, The Verve, Depeche Mode, Funeral For A Friend, Placebo and Royksopp, to the mix, as it were.

The "doing things differently" will see the company concentrate exclusively on digital releases from this point onwards, and mainly digital single releases which will be occasionally brought together into digital label compilations available via iTunes for just £2.99.

Here's what the label's formal announcement on it all says: "We are no longer making physical singles. Phew, what a saving, you're probably thinking. And you would be right. CD and 7" singles are just not economical for a label of our size. Download singles only from now on. Embracing the digital single wholeheartedly means we can quickly release more acts and more tracks that excite us. Disposable pop music? Sure, sometimes; and why not? However there are always songs that we love and think are worthy of exposure. This way we can provide a platform for a lot more new talent form the UK and around the world".


The US's National Association Of Recording Merchandisers, North America's main music retail association, yesterday formally moved into the digital era by adding two digital music chiefs to its board of directors - Napster chairman and CEO Chris Gorog, and eMusic CEO David Pakman.

The new appointments came as the trade body launched a new 'tagline' at its annual conference, designed to better describe the association's role in the ever changing world of recorded music. Announcing that change, NARM President Jim Donio said: "NARM must accurately reflect and represent the entire landscape of how the industry delivers music to consumers, now and in the future, embracing physical stores, online stores, downloads, mobile, and subscription models. NARM's new tagline 'Advancing The Business Of Music," sums it up with a positive and proactive message as we chart the course for the future and continue to best serve our members".

Accepting his place on the NARM board, Napster chief Gorog told reporters: "I am delighted and honored to join the board of NARM as the industry faces both the challenges and great opportunities created by the digital revolution. In this new landscape, I believe that music retailers can play a vital, ongoing and financially rewarding role by supporting their customers with exciting digital entertainment products in stimulating physical retail environments".

Pakman, meanwhile, added: "I am honored and excited to contribute to this fine organisation in many ways and to ensure the continued success and health of the music retail sector. The music and broader entertainment industry indeed has a bright future and is sitting on the cusp of major transformation".

The UK equivalent of NARM, the association formerly know as BARD and now called ERA, has had key players from the digital sector involved at a board level for quite a while, and the general consensus is that that helped in pushing through the inclusion of all download sales on the UK singles charts (which are half owned by ERA).


ITV boss Michael Grade yesterday proclaimed that the launch of, and the commercial broadcaster's rival to Channel 4 and the BBC's previously reported telly on demand services, was a "coming-of-age" for the always struggling TV network. Certainly it might help ITV grab back audience (and advert eyes) from its newer, younger online rivals.

Headed up by Annelies Van Den Belt, formerly responsible for the Daily Telegraph's digital revitalisation, is the former third channel's stab at grabbing back audience, and ad spend, from the likes of YouTube. Offering unfettered (and authorised) live streaming of programmes across all four ITV channels, one month "catch up" archives of current shows and an impressive sounding 20,000 hours of archive programmes (of which only 18,000 hours are Ant & Dec fronted) plus extra online-only content, including specifically commissioned online offerings and "content based communities", the website, and the timing of its launch ("in the next few weeks"), is a fairly obvious attempt to usurp the BBC's iPlayer launch later this year.

First to market isn't always the way to win online, of course (and, anyway, Channel 4 have already launched their on demand service), but we have to say that even to our cynical eyes the user experience for ITV's new service - which we got a brief glimpse at yesterday - does look rather good, and as user experience is everything, the new service might just work.


Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz has opened a bar in New York. Actually, it's a joint venture between him and a couple of other people - one of whom is Travis McCoy out of Gym Class Heroes - but Pete's sort of more famous, so we'll call it his. Here's what he said about the bar, Angels And Kings in the city's East Village: "It will be a bit of a dive, which we need. We finally have a place where all our loser friends can hang out! We'd had enough of all the pretentious clubs with strict door policies which feel uptight when you finally get in. We really just want someplace where we can hang out and be ourselves. I want to be like any other regular and drink umbrella cocktails. This will be a place that anyone can go and have sex in the bathroom and not get in trouble."

Eeuwwww. Nice.


It's normally Lily Allen criticising The Kooks, isn't it? Well, this time it's a Kook criticising Allen. The band's Luke Pritchard has implied that he thinks Lily's a bit rubbish for pulling out of her US tour dates last month, although to be fair, his analysis of the situation wasn't worded in a particularly harsh way.

Pritchard is quoted by The Mirror as saying: "We were on the road for about two years and it's tough, but it's fun. Lily only did about two gigs and, bang, she was in the Top 10 or something. I find it a bit strange that solo artists can pop out of nowhere without really having been on the road. People are different and Lily finds it hard being away from home. but how hard is it playing your music and having people asking you about yourself? That's what it's all about".


Sugababe Amelle Berrabah, who, as previously reported, spent a night in a cell over the weekend following her alleged involvement in a brawl at a club, has said that the incident wasn't her fault, and that she's a complete innocent.

Berrabah, currently in the US with the rest of the band, apparently told The Mirror: "I am devastated this has happened when things were going so well with the band. We've just had a great tour and I was just having a drink with my sister Laila relaxing on a day off. I am the innocent party here..."

It sounds as though she's saying she was acting in defence of her sibling. She continued: "The other girls should be the ones punished, not me. What happened was unbelievable and my sister got hit by one of the boys in the group".

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