CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 10th July
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Retailers argue over Prince promotion
- BPI figures show UK record sales slide
- I ought to put a bullet in her fucking head right now: Spector trial update
- Foo Fighters album news
- Nikki Sixx to debut new band
- Ministry plan to bow out with latest album
- Beatles monument to go up in Hamburg
- Live Earth nowhere near Diana concert in TV ratings
- Sheryl Crow sends her best to Pavarotti
- Beyonce visits injured fans
- Winehouse advised to rest
- Shed Seven reunite for hits tour
- NAACP convention continues campaign on hip hop language
- SonyBMG sign up to
- Live Nation UK enter into Pepsi deal
- NME reworking in response to reader research
- Record fines for premium phone line cock ups
- Virgin Radio to stage on air search for new presenters
- Ono on remix albums
- Jones plays Clash classic in jail


So, there are two CMU Recommended type things sitting in our 'diary pending' just now - both with an Xfm Remix theme - and I thought I'd run through them one more time.

First up, there's the next Xfm Remix Night. Remix chief Eddy TM will be away, it being summer time and all, but he is leaving his recent collaborator and former The Cooper Temple Clause member Rhysmix in charge as the host with the most, so a good night will still be had by all. On the bill live set wise are Ben Westbeech and Shameless, while joining the aforementioned Rhysmix on the decks will be the one, and the only, Mr Barry Ashworth, he of the Dub Pistols. Slim Jim will also be spinning some tunes. It'll be one of the parties of the summer (yeah, I'm biased, I know, but it really will), so you should get it in your diary. It all takes place on Friday 20 Jul at Cargo in East London from 9pm to 3am. Tickets are a tenner.

Next a bit of upfront info on the next Remix All-nighter, which will take place at the seOne club in London on 14 Sep. Following on from the huge success of the first ever Remix All-nighter the other month, Eddy TM will again be hosting a three room line up of great electro and breaks. Each room will have a theme - first electro house featuring Benny Benassi, Horse Meat Disco, Alex Metric and Audio Vegas, second electro breaks featuring Kissy Sell Out, Noisia, Atomic Hooligan, Mr Piper and your host Eddy TM, and third electro punk, hosted by those lovely Kitsune types. Oh, and expect many many more to be added to that list. It all takes place on Friday 14 Sep from 9.30pm to 6am. Tickets are £12 on the door, or £9 in advance/NUS.

Press info on both can be obtained from those lovely Leyline chaps.



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Continuing a theme we began with UNKLE yesterday, another long term CMU favourite in the MSOTD slot today. Actually, very long term in this case. Yes, the New Model Army will return in August with their tenth studio album, 'High', which is coming out via their own label Attack Attack Records, as has become the norm, they being long term bastions of the indie ethos. The tracks previewing here are all classics, mainly from the early nineties, so they won't give you any hint of the new material, but there is the longest gig listings section I think I've ever seen on a MySpace, taking in cities all over the world, and I assume they'll be playing some new stuff at those live dates, so that might be a chance to preview the new long player. There's plenty of information here about the new work, plus the blog seems to be good at linking to media coverage about the band, so this is definitely a good place to start for info about all things New Model Army. Unless you're a media type, in which case I'd start with a call to Blurb PR, who are doing the press on the new album.


Fist fights at dawn I say. It's the only grown up way to solve disputes like this. Yes, Virgin Megastore have been bitching about rivals HMV over their previously reported decision to participate in the Mail On Sunday's controversial Prince cover-mount promotion.

As much previously reported, the Sunday newspaper has caused some outrage in the UK music industry through its recent programme of cover-mount promotions. Earlier this year it gave every reader a free copy of Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells' though a deal with EMI which was publicly criticised by Oldfield himself. Its latest controversial deal is with Prince, who will make his new album 'Planet Earth' available for free via the paper this Sunday. This deal does not involve a label, and SonyBMG pulled out of its commitments to release the album in the UK after the newspaper deal was announced.

The music retailers are traditionally the biggest critics of newspaper cover-mount promotions, of course, because while artists, labels and publishers normally receive some kind of payment - cash or in kind - the retailers lose out both on their cut from a sale and from the store traffic high profile releases generate. However, HMV yesterday announced that it was participating in the Prince promotion by selling the Mail On Sunday in its stores the day the paper cover-mounts the new album.

Obviously it is an attempt by HMV to gain some commercial benefit from the promotion, but it is a decision that has been criticised by other music retailers who are more prone to boycott Prince because of the promotion. Virgin Retail MD Simon Douglas, speaking for the Virgin Megastore, was quoted by Billboard yesterday as saying: "We're stunned that HMV has decided to take what appears to be a complete u-turn on their stance towards cover-mounts and particularly in this case, as only a week ago they were so vocal about the damage it will cause. Simon Fox [HMV chief executive] labelled the Mail on Sunday deal as 'devaluing music' and 'absolute madness', now they appear to have joined forces to sell more copies of the very same paper".

A spokesman for HMV defended their decision, saying it did not indicate a change of policy, but was a pragmatic way to deal with something out of their hands: "HMV does not condone the use of cover-mounts as a primary channel for distributing music and film content, and we understand and acknowledge the issues that they raise. Clearly, we would have much preferred to have stocked the new Prince album, but his decision to effectively release it in this way means that this will, unfortunately, not be possible".


Good news for, erm, fans of bad news. Yes, the UK record industry, a territory that has in the main not suffered the kind of record sale slides experienced elsewhere in the world in recent years, has confirmed CD sales are down by 10% for the first half of 2007 compared with 2006. While digital music sales are up, new figures from trade body the BPI show digital album sales are nowhere near making up the shortfall in physical sales. Even with digital singles and realtone ringtones sales included, both of which are growth markets for the labels, there is an overall decline.

Coming so soon after the collapse of independent music retailer Fopp, and the news that HMV continues to struggle, and figures from the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry showing similar trends globally, it's all a bit doomy and gloomy. Though, of course, comparing monthly or quarterly sales figures year to year isn't always that reliable, because a small number of big releases can have a significant impact on overall stats, and they come at different months in different years. So it's possibly not quite as depressing as you think. Look, Jim Batchelor, co-Chairman of the UK's Entertainment Retailers Association, is managing to be a bit positive. He told reporters yesterday: "To be honest these figures are much better than we had feared. The release schedule in the first half of this year was very slow with few big acts delivering albums. The fact that, in spite of it all, we're still selling around 10m albums a month shows the resilience of demand".

PS: I've just got my hands on a copy of the BPI report all this comes from, and it seems to be spinning some other good news stories too. We'll round up them tomorrow, just so we all have something to smile about. Smiling is important.


All women "deserve a bullet in their fucking heads". Not my words, I'd like to stress, but the words of one Phil Spector. Allegedly.

It's not an allegation you'd expect a witness to make during the case for the defence, but as the Spector murder trial resumed yesterday, the prosecution, who formally finished their case last month, were given a little more time at the head of the proceedings to question one of their witnesses who had earlier been ruled 'inadmissable' by Judge Larry Paul Fidler. Prosecution lawyers had appealed the decision to not let former New York police detective Vincent Tannazzo testify, and yesterday Fidler announced he had, indeed, changed his mind on the matter meaning that, before the defence resumed their case, the prosecution were allowed to wheel in the ex-cop. And being allowed to present Tannazzo can't have hindered their case.

Tannazzo recalled remarks Spector made as he was escorted away from two separate parties hosted by comedian Joan Rivers during the 1990s, parties where the former cop's company was providing the security. At one party Spector allegedly referred to women in "the grossest of terms" before remarking: "They [women] all deserve a bullet in their fucking heads". A year later at another Rivers organised bash he was again ushered out, and this time he appeared to threaten an unidentified woman remarking: "I ought to put a bullet in her fucking head right now".

Tannazzo added that during the first incident he believed Spector was carrying a gun. He told the court that when Spector moved his hand towards his right hip pocket - where he suspected the gun to be - "I told [him] if he pulls out that gun I'll blow his fucking brains out". Spector allegedly responded: "No, no, I'm cool. I love cops. I'm a sheriff from North Carolina".

Tannazzo's testimony all added to the prosecution's wider attempts to portray Spector as a gun wielding misogynistic loon - a man more than capable of shooting dead former actress Lana Clarkson at his home back in 2003. Spector, of course, claims Clarkson shot herself.

The case continues, presumably with the defence returning to their main argument that the forensic evidence supports Spector's claims of suicide.


Foo Fighters have announced that their next album will be called 'Echoes, Silence, Patience And Grace' and will be out on 24 Sep. The band previewed tracks from their sixth studio LP at an intimate gig in Camden this week.

Here is the track listing.

The Pretender
Let It Die
Erase Replace
Long Road To Ruin
Come Alive
Stranger Things Have Happened
Cheer Up Boys, Your Makeup Is Running
Summer's End
The Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners
But Honestly


Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx is to debut his new band, Sixx: AM in Los Angeles on 16 Jul, to coincide with the release of his new book 'The Heroin Diaries'. The gig will be an intimate affair with only 150 people set to gain admittance - and they have to prove that they're proper fans by putting the Heroin Diaries MySpace page in their top eight friends and the band's single, 'Life Is Beautiful', in their music player.


Industrial metal types Ministry are planning on making their next LP their last, after nearly thirty years as a band. Their eleventh studio album, 'The Last Sucker' will be released in September, a third installment in the group's anti-Bush trilogy of records, which began with 'Houses Of The Mole' in 2004 and continued with last year's 'Rio Grande'.

Main man Al Jourgensen says he's not retiring from music altogether, but he is planning to focus on his label, 13th Planet. He says in a statement: "I want to sign, produce and collaborate with other artists. Being in the studio writing, recording and collaborating is my favorite part of this snake-oil industry. I'd rather be behind the console than behind the mic. Plus, I kinda like the synchronicity of Dubya and Ministry riding off into the sunset hand in hand".


Forty five years on from their legendary performances in Hamburg, the city is to honour the Beatles - including deceased member Stuart Sutcliffe, who died there in 1962 - with a steel monument. The statue is to be erected in the St Pauli district of Hamburg, near clubs the band played during that phase of their career.


Hmm, the average TV ratings for Live Earth were 3.1 million, which is pretty poor when you consider the average audience for the previous weekend's Concert For Diana was 11.4 million. Still, it's like I always say, a dead princess is more fun that a dying world. And hey, the great British public might continue to pollute the world with their gas guzzling motor cars, but at least they'll know not to trust the planet to a drunk Parisian chauffeur, so all is not lost.

Oh look at us, with our sick Diana gags, we apologise, we'll no doubt pay on judgment day. Well, unless Prince Phillip is put in charge of the gates to heaven. It is worth noting that with an estimated peak audience of 14.8 million, the Concert For Diana was a really big deal audience wise - bigger in the UK than both Live 8 and the original Live Aid. Which is a considerable achievement for all involved. So well done them.

Back to Live Earth, and the Beeb has confirmed it received a total of 130 complaints about various performers swearing live on air, Phil Collins, Johnny Borrell and that fucking Madonna among them. Shocking. Though 400 people complained that the BBC cut away from Metallica's set before it had finished, which puts the swearing into perspective. It's not that surprising so many Metallica fans complained really - the BBC did cut away from their performance of the classic 'Enter Sandman' to show a recording of Crowded House performing at Live Earth Sydney. Now, we're big Crowded House fans here at CMU, but if you're a Metallica fan expecting 'Enter Sandman' and you're suddenly presented with 'Weather With You', you're going to be a bit pissed. A BBC spokeswoman apologised for that decision, but explained the concert was "running behind schedule" and that producers wanted to make sure they had chance to play the Crowded House video "to reflect what was happening across the globe". I'm guessing there was a Finn Brother loving, metal hating producer in the gallery.

The UK TV audience for Live Earth may not have been great, but the online audience was pretty damn big - with 10 million online streams being accessed, making it, according to MSN, the biggest entertainment based webcast ever.

MSN Chief Media Officer Joanne Bradford called the Live Earth webcast "a milestone in live internet broadcasting", adding: "We expect to see an even greater number of streams after the concerts are over as people return to watch their favorite performances or enjoy them for the first time if they missed the concerts live".


Sheryl Crow has wished renowned opera star Luciano Pavarotti well in his previously reported fight against pancreatic cancer. Crow, you'll probably remember, has herself suffered from the disease in recent years, being diagnosed with breast cancer back in February of 2006.

Crow, currently staying on an island in the Gulf Of Naples, with her recently adopted son, is quoted by the Italian press as saying: "Best wishes to maestro Pavarotti, that he can survive this terrible illness, an experience that I, too, had, and that made me stronger today".

In reference to her adopted baby, she added: "Thanks to him, I work much better. Two days ago, I finished cutting an album".

On the rough time she had in 2006 - a year which saw the end of her relationship with cycling champion Lance Armstrong, as well as her cancer diagnosis - she added: "It was a terrible year for me. I was, above all, very much in pain for the end of a love story. There were tough moments, during radiation therapy, but then it was the same pain to make me what I am today and what I wanted to be".


According to reports, Beyonce Knowles visited two fans in hospital at the weekend, after they were injured when fireworks went off course at her concert on Sunday night in St Louis, accidentally spilling into the front row. A spokeswoman for the city's Barnes-Jewish hospital was not able to release the names of the gig-goers involved, but confirmed that they had only suffered from minor injuries.

Soon after the concert had finished, Knowles showed up at the hospital, the facility's head nurse Darryl Williams confirmed. "She was just very concerned about the people injured in the audience," Williams explained. "It was unannounced and we kept it very low-key so that she could spend time with them. I just thought it was a great thing for someone of her stature to do".


Well, following Amy Winehouse's non-appearance at Liverpool's summer pop, the singer also cancelled her set at T In The Park at the weekend, and it would seem she's been advised by a doctor to take some time off. The statement explaining why she would not be able to play the Scottish festival read: "Amy Winehouse has unfortunately had to cancel her appearance at T In The Park due to exhaustion. Following a year non-stop of touring and promotion, Amy has been advised by a doctor to take time off and rest. Amy would like to apologise to fans for the cancellation."


Shed Seven have announced that they are to reunite for a Greatest Hits tour, following their 2003 split. The line-up will consist of Rick Witter, Joe Johnson, Alan Leach and Tom Gladwin plus guitarist Paul Banks, who left the band pre-split, in 1999.

Frontman Rick Witter says: "We have almost constantly been asked by the loyal Shed heads to reform for a few gigs since the split, but we felt we needed a well earned break. However, after four years we feel that going out for a two-week tour, playing all the hits without any outside pressure will be a great way to end 2007, plus having Paul back in the line-up for the first time in eight years will make it extra special. See you down the front".

Here are the dates:

27 Nov: Aberdeen Music Hall
28 Nov: Inverness Ironworks
29 Nov: Glasgow Barrowlands
1 Dec: Newcastle Academy
2 Dec: Liverpool Academy
3 Dec: Nottingham Rock City
4 Dec: Sheffield Leadmill
6 Dec: Birmingham Academy
7 Dec: Manchester Academy
8 Dec: Leeds Met Uni
10 Dec: Norwich UEA
11 Dec: Oxford Academy
12 Dec: Portsmouth Pyramid
14 Dec: London Shepherd's Bush Empire


The 'n' word, and racist and sexist language in hip hop, are both big topics at this year's annual convention of the US's National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People.

As much previously reported, key players in the US black community have been calling on the hip hop movement, and the major corporations that fund it, to take more responsibility for the use of racist and sexist language in hip hop tracks ever since white shock jock Don Imus was sacked for saying "nappy-headed ho's", an incident that caused many to comment that black artists get away with saying much worse things. The campaign that has been building over the last few months should peak at the NAACP annual convention, with Eric B and Kurtis Blow both due to participate in a 'funeral' for the 'n' word yesterday.

Summarising the campaign, NAACP Chairman Julian Bond said this weekend: "We don't believe it's a violation of the First Amendment to say to somebody you ought not to talk that way, you ought not denigrate women, you ought not condemn people because of the color of their skin. I heard somebody say that when Jay-Z talks about ho's, he gets a gold record. When Don Imus talks about ho's, he gets fired. We believe in equal justice and equal justice for everyone".


SonyBMG has signed up to an international content deal with online music recommendation thingy The deal means three majors - EMI, Warner and SonyBMG - are now signed up to music service, which allows users to stream tracks, before being given the option to buy them. As much previously reported, was last month bought by US media group CBS.


Good news for those of us who always went for blue in the Pepsi Challenge. The UK division of live music conglom Live Nation has announced it has entered into a three year sponsorship deal with PepsiCo, which will see the soft drinks firm have branding and pouring rights at the company's venues and events.

The deal will see the fizzy drinks company get involved in Live Nation's UK festivals programme, which include the O2 Wireless Festival, Hard Rock's Hyde Park Calling, the Download Festival, and the Sputnik Presents Global Gathering.

They will also have a presence at many of the company's venues, where bars will stock PepsiCo drinks, and the company will secure branding in bar areas. This will also include Live Nation's non-music venues such at London's Dominion Theatre.


NME has announced a number of new features that will be introduced into the music weekly on the back of recent reader research. The changes, and I quote, "are the result of extensive reader research and see a finely tuned editorial proposition and a radical modern look-and-feel to switch on NME's design-savvy audience". I've no idea what that means, but it sounds very good.

New features will include a weekly planner of events readers should be looking out for, a 'your photos' section alongside the traditional letters page, a behind the scenes page about life in NME HQ, and a 'stuff we love' section that will let NME journalists blag stuff other than music. And let readers know about what's cool in the fashion, gadget and merchandise worlds, obviously. There'll also be a reworked logo, and a slight restructure to the mag, including an expanded reviews section and all new news section.

Confirming the various changes, NME editor Conor McNicholas told CMU: "Our readers are the magazine so when its time to innovate we allow them to lead the process. Development at NME is continuous and with these changes we've really nailed an essential weekly value-for-money package for the passionate British music fan. Things move incredibly quickly in the world of music now but that makes it a great time for music and a great time for NME".

Publishing director Paul Cheal added: "The media landscape for 15-24 year olds is moving at breakneck speed and it's vitally important that NME continues to evolve its content and design to reflect this. The new look NME is packed full of new franchises and is even more accessible, while maintaining the authority and heritage that marks it out as the world's greatest weekly music magazine".


Blue Peter has been fined £50,000 by media regulator OfCom for that previously reported incident when a phone in system failed so producers got a kid who was already in the studio to pretend to take part in a phone in quiz, even though those phoning in were being charged for their calls. The regulator said it was imposing the unprecedented fine for both the "negligence" producers were guilty of in conning their viewers, and for "making a child complicit" in the deception. £5000 of the fine was because the BBC repeated the offending show on its CBBC channel.

Of course the only problem with OfCom fining the BBC is that the general public - that is to say, licence fee payers - ultimately pay it, unless producers and senior execs get it docked from their pay packets. Which the Nazi inside me says they should, but we all know that won't happen.

In related news, premium phone line regulator Icstis recently imposed its highest ever fine on the company which provides the phone in service for the Richard & Judy Show's 'You Say, We Pay' competition - who, of course, were picking people to take part in the feature before viewers were told to stop phoning in. That cock up could also cost phone firm Eckoh and Channel 4 up to £2.5million because they have pledged to refund every caller who lost out, and Icstis reckons that might be up to half the 5 million people who called in to the pound-a-time phone line while the 'pick a competitor early' scam was going on.

All in all, TV producers are going to be much more careful with their rip off phone in features in the future.


Virgin Radio is launching an on-air hunt for new DJ talent in a new feature fronted by breakfast host, Christian O'Connell to be called 'Christian's Opportunity Knocks'. The winner of the competition will win a two month contract to present a weekly two hour radio show for the station. Wannabes should email in an MP3 of themselves talking, or leave a suitably entertaining message on a special phone in line. The best entries will be played to a panel of celebrity judges on O'Connell's breakfast show.

Virgin Radio chief Paul Jackson explains: "This is a massive opportunity for one of Christian's listeners to join him in our stellar DJ line up. There's a wealth of untapped talent out there so we're going to make the most of it and give one listener one of the most coveted jobs anyone could wish for as a DJ on a national platform".


Yoko Ono has told Mojo that she was so pleased by the positive response to her previously reported remix album, released this year, that she's planning a second - possibly for kids. As you'll no doubt remember, 'Yes, I'm A Witch' consisted of tracks from Ono's back catalogue remixed by a variety of other artists.

Ono says: "Initially, I was shocked. Now I feel very pleased. I'm thinking about a second volume, one for children perhaps. Including I Felt Like Smashing My Face In A Clear Glass Window - because that's how I felt when I was a child."

On her relationship with John Lennon, she added: "Despite what people always say, I don't think I influenced John much. But through him I discovered an incredible world. He was always dealing with the people of the world. That's a pretty interesting thing to do".

So. There you have it.


Clash guitarist Mick Jones gave an impromptu rendition of 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go?' when appearing at a Billy Bragg organised event for inmates at the Wormwood Scrubs prison in London last week - part of a programme that encourages people in prison to take up playing a musical instrument. According to the Guardian, Jones told inmates: "Shall we see if this guitar works", before launching into the classic track. Which was no doubt a fantastic moment, albeit one that poses a question his audience don't have the luxury to consider.

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