CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 6th August
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- CMU at the Edinburgh Festival
- Jay-z denies Columbia rumours
- Peter, Bjorn, John and Kanye
- Arctic Monkeys' Bassey cover a joke
- James Brown has more children
- Stefani to cover up
- Lollapalooza: Patti Smith for kids and CSS get angry
- Liverpool festival may still go ahead
- Spice Girls to play Baghdad
- First million sale mobile download
- Bruce Willis sings at space centre
- Now! that's what I call indie
- Public Enemy sell their soul
- Former BMG catalogues could fetch $150 million
- BPI independents director joins MMF
- Napster appoint new COO
- X-factor's Walsh re-hired by text
- Robbie depressed following injury
- May to play PHF gig
- Keef gets drunk


The Top Bit is on its summer break just now, but a special CMU announcement is probably due, because there was some special news in the CMU HQ over the weekend. Some of you will know, or will have figured out from occasional thow-away remarks in stories, that CMU Co-Editor Caro Moses has, of late, been very very pregnant. Well, on Saturday night at 9:50pm, Cecily Frances entered the world, just, though only just, ahead of deadline. We've not heard what Cecily's music preferences are just yet, though while in the womb Caro played her plenty of Ben Folds, Infadels, Divine Comedy, Supergrass, Loose Cannons, Scouting For Girls and, of course, McFly, in a bid to ensure she's properly 'on message'. Anyone wanting to pass on messages to Caro and Cecily can do so at We expect to have Cecily on the review team within the year, so you might as well start plugging those releases now.


So, the Edinburgh Festival, the largest arts festival on the planet, is up and running once again, offering simply the most exciting and diverse range of theatre, film, comedy, musicals, dance, exhibitions, literature, talks and music, music, music. CMU's sister publication, ThreeWeeks, is in and all across Edinburgh right now providing simply the most comprehensive coverage of it all. You can read our music reviews each day here in CMU, plus check out all our coverage online at Today, the best of last week's Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, the one week jazz feast that coincides with preview week of the main Festival. CMU/ThreeWeeks' Tom Bragg was there...

Mardi Gras
Another sunny opening to this year's Jazz And Blues Festival with over three hours of music on the Grassmarket - thousands of people of all ages and most nationalities sampled a jazz and blues extravaganza. The line up included the traditional jazz of Swing 2007 and the Mike Daly Band, the blues of Rev Doc And The Congregation, plus the personality-filled singing of Big Al Carson. Others playing good sets included Gum Nut Trio, Mart Rodgers Manchester Jazz and the Louisiana Ragtime Band. The crowd were dancing, whooping and cheering throughout. A special mention should go to the high kicking brollie-dollies who jived all day and prompted Big Al to close the Ginger Pig set with the complement - "Those girls are doing it".
Grassmarket, 28 Jul, 12:30pm (2:40pm), Free, ejbfp 2.
tw rating 4/5

Mart Rodger Manchester Jazz
Mart has been leading bands since he was a school boy. That was a few years ago now; he claims the average age in this seven piece is 104. But apart from Mart's repetition that the ambulances are waiting outside, there's nothing to suggest that vitality is lacking from this band. They're a well ordered and well drilled troupe. They didn't dote too long when their solo came round and they drew music from a variety of sources to keep it fresh. We were treated to Fats Waller's 'Honeysuckle Rose' and Duke Ellington's 'The Mooch' as well as Mart's own compositions and some good old-fashioned rag time. Disregarding age, these boys are some of the best entertainers about.
Spiegeltent, 28 Jul, 6:00pm (7:30pm), £8.50, ejbfp 7.
tw rating 4/5

The Big Chris Barber Band
This 11 piece used to be a 6-piece, then an 8-piece, but recently took on three new members. Chris Barber, a speedy compere, dives into his links (you pick 'em up or you don't), but he is a great entertainer who constantly rushes to keep up the pace. There were seven brass players, drums, bass, a banjo and guitar and they ebulliently tore through an immaculately constructed set. They gave a grand nod to Duke Ellington, they called in the cool of Miles Davis, and they verified that they knew the blues. The gleaming set wrapped up with a rendition of 'When The Saints Go Marching In'.
Queen's Hall, 29 Jul, 8:00pm (10:00pm), prices vary, ejbfp 8.
tw rating 4/5

Jeff "Tain" Watts Quartet
When Jeff and the gang came out he'd only planned the first two songs. They went fine. The third was a track about drunkenness, called 'Vodville'. It was fun. Next a pleasant slow one. It was all relaxed and comfortable. But it was during track five, a Coltrane inspired soulful number, that the crowd became utterly captured, and they stayed that way during the vigorously passionate 'JC Is The Man' and their glowingly reflective finisher, 'Galoway'. They left but, after 5 minutes of cheering, returned for an encore in which Dave Kikoski's guitar reached sublime heights. These four musicians have a juice flowing that borders on perfection. If they have the stamina, they will start defining the sounds of the next generation.
The Hub, 30 Jul, 7:00pm (8:40pm), prices vary, ejbfp 8.
tw rating 5/5


Def Jam chief and hip hop star Jay-Z has denied those reports that he is considering quitting his executive role at the Universal label, possibly in favour of a similar role at SonyBMG's Columbia Records. As previously reported, rumours circulating in the US press recently said that the rapper was considering the move because he was annoyed rival producer Jermaine Dupri had been brought into a senior urban music role at Universal.

But Jay has told New York radio station Hot 97 that while it is true his three year contract with Def Jam is up for renewal, it isn't true that he plans to leave the major. On the Columbia rumours he said: "I guess Rick Rubin is [now at Columbia] and we've got a relationship. But I haven't talked to Rick since he started at Columbia. I called him to say congratulations. But I've learned to its leave the possibility open. Sometimes rumors spark real things".


Subsequent to our report last week regarding Kanye West's request that Swedish trio Peter Bjorn and Josh support him onstage at Gothenburg's Way Out West Festival, it has been announced that the band have now accepted the offer. Peter from band told Pitchfork that, although he didn't know much of West, he "seems to be a nice guy", though he did seem a bit hazy about the specifics of the collaboration, telling the website: "He's going to rap on a song and we're going to play along and I'm going to dance. But I don't know specifics, like, what we're gonna do. Just jam around a bit".


From one Shirley Bassey appreciator to another, Arctic Monkeys' lead man Alex Turner has been revealing the reasons behind his band's unexpected cover of 'Diamonds Are Forever' at Glastonbury back in June.

Turner has admitted that it was a joke initiated by Simian Mobile Disco type James Ford, who has been working with the band of late (and every other flippin indie band, it seems). Turner: "It was James Ford's joke that I took too far, I think. I sang it so much better when we were practising. I was so nervous."

Despite the self-criticism Shirley herself, as previously reported methinks, approved of the cover. She said at the time: "I have to say Arctic Monkeys: that is how it is done. I'd like to thank them for singing 'Diamonds Are Forever'". Which was a more enthusiastic response than Kanye got when he sampled the hit for 'Diamonds Are From Sierra Leone'. On that occasion, if I remember rightly, Ms Bassey was not amused.


Proving that he really was a 'Sex Machine', it was announced today that two more children fathered by James Brown have been 'discovered'.

Around twelve individuals have claimed that Brown was their father following his death in December, but while many of the subsequent paternity tests came back negative and some of the results are yet to be determined, two came back positive, taking his tally to ten children. At the time of writing.

Although Brown's spokesman has not yet released the identity of the two new Brown offspring, the Augusta Chronicle reports that one LaRhonda Petitt, a 45-year old teacher from Houston, has provided a results paper that shows that there is a 99.99 percent probability that she was fathered by the King of Soul. Petitt described how her mother became a girlfriend of Brown's following a concert in LA and that while she was growing up, her mother would point at the singer when he came on TV and tell her that he was her father. Petitt also confirmed that she had spoken to Brown before, but that he had never admitted that she was his daughter.


Gwen Stefani has caved in on the whole outrage in Malaysia issue. As previously reported, the National Union Of Malaysian Muslim Students last week kicked up a fuss that the No Doubt frontwoman was to play a gig in the country because of her reputation for raunchy half-naked performances.

Lucky for the Union, Stefani has now agreed to comply with the strict regulations that stipulate that female artists must be covered from the top of the chest to the knees and must not jump, shout or hug and kiss members of the audience.

The Student Union's VP commented: "Her performance and her attire are not suitable for our culture. It promotes a certain degree of obscenity and will encourage youth to emulate Western lifestyle".

Though should Stefani have a change on the heart on the night it is likely to be her promoters who suffer. When The Pussycat Dolls last year flouted similar rules their promoters were fined £1400.


So, this weekend's Lollapalooza Festival provided all its usual excitement, and a few incidents of note. The Cold War Kids' set attracted an "overflowing crowd", according to, while I'm From Barcelona brought in an audience member to play kazoo amongst their 29-strong line-up. Though all the real fun to be had was on the new stage designed for younger festival-goers, the Kidapallooza stage. Those kids parked in front of the new area were in for quite a few surprises, most notably an unexpected set from punk poet Patti Smith and a rendition of 'The Rainbow Connection' - made famous by The Muppets - from My Morning Jacket's Jim James.

Hopefully those kids weren't really there to see CSS, because there would have been tears before bedtime if they were, because the buzzy Brazilians had to cancel their headline slot on the Citi stage after getting stranded at New York's John F Kennedy airport. Reacting to their misfortune, the band issued this damning statement via their Myspace blog, blaming United Airlines for the problem: "Are you a lawyer? Do you like us? Did you read what United Airline did to us? Wanna talk?" They allege that despite them arriving three hours early for their flight, United Airlines had over-booked it, leaving the entire band stuck. Which isn't anything unusual, though you'd think if an airline official was left with a choice as to who to bump off a flight, they wouldn't pick a band on their way to headline a stage at one of American's most high profile music festivals, but there you go.


More festival news, and Liverpool's annual musical shindig, the Matthew Street Festival, may still go ahead despite a ruling by local authorities that the usual site was not currently suitable, mainly because of construction work in the area. Since that conclusion was reached, Council leader Warren Bradley has said that a proposed alcohol ban at the event and the proposal to move the fairground to another site might be sufficient to get the event the go ahead. While adding that health and safety was still his main concern, Bradley said he believed that the public deserved for the Festival to go ahead in one form or another. Bradley's comments followed the launch of an online petition to reinstate the festival on Friday. Though whether that had any role in the council's change of heart I don't know, after all there's a petition for everything these days.


Voting in an online competition has catapulted Baghdad into pole position to win the honour of being named a 'Spice City' and to get a performance from the Spice Girls' on their forthcoming reunion tour. A spokesman for the band said: The girls will go anywhere in the world that gets the most votes - be it Baghdad or Antartica". Given that presumably few of the votes for Baghdad are actually coming from local residents, one hopes it doesn't come out top - I mean, it's one thing bombing them all into oblivion, but surely there's some kinds of human rights rules to stop us sending in the Spice Girls?

Though, no human rights legislation is stopping the following from having to suffer a visit from the Girls.

2 Dec: Vancouver
4 Dec: San Jose
7 Dec: Los Angeles
8 Dec: Las Vegas
11 Dec: New York
15 Dec: London
20 Dec: Cologne
23 Dec: Madrid
8 Jan: Shanghai
10 Jan: Beijing
12 Jan: Hong Kong
17 Jan: Sydney
20 Jan: Cape Town
24 Jan: Buenos Aires


An anonymous group of Japanese medical students have claimed the honour of being the authors of the first track to have sold a million copies via mobile phone. The track is called 'Aiuta' - meaning Love Song - and is by a new band called Greeeen (spelt exactly like that, I promise), who have recently signed with Universal Japan. The J-Pop group have sold around 3 million copies across all digital formats, yet it is the one million counted in mobile sales that broke the record. Kazuhiko Koike, President and COO of Universal Music Japan, said: "We were convinced that "Aiuta" would have universal appeal the moment we first heard it. We are very gratified that the song has become so popular through a very personal communication tool like the mobile phone". In addition to their single success, Greeeen have racked-up over half a million album sales, making them one of Japan's most successful new bands


At least one member of team CMU reckons that Bruce Willis' 80s album 'The Return Of Bruno' counts as a cult classic, and he seems very happy at the news that the Hollywood megastar was seen performing at the Kennedy Space Centre with his blues band last week. Alternating between singing and playing the harmonica, Willis entertained the 7,000-strong crowd before a showing of his film, 'Armageddon', as part of a series called 'Netflix Live! On location'. The Series, which shows classic films after a celebrity musical performance at a location "uniquely associated" with the movie, also features Dennis Quaid and a screening of 'The Big Easy', and The Bacon Brothers and the film 'Diner'.


The label behind the 'Now!' compilations have announced a spin-off series titled 'This Is Next', which follows the same format as its chart-packed big brother but, erm, with indie music. Such a venture probably won't go down well with the indie purists, though I have to say that this indie purist, why perhaps not agreeing with the concept, really wants a copy. It has a rather fine tracklisting, as you can see here...

Bloc Party - The Prayer
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Cheated Hearts
Sonic Youth - Do You Believe in Rapture?
The Shins - Phantom Limb
Spoon - The Underdog
Bright Eyes - Four Winds
Cat Power - Lived in Bars
Neko Case - Hold On, Hold On
Of Montreal - Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse
Deerhoof - The Perfect Me
The Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy!
Cold War Kids - Hang Me Up to Dry
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Colleen
M Ward - Chinese Translation
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Satan Said Dance


After all that corporate nonsense, a bit of anti-establishment-arianism now courtesy of old CMU favourites Public Enemy, who have announced they will call their new album 'How You Sell Soul To A Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul'. Re-uniting with some of their classic collaborators, including Bomb Squad member G-Wiz, the group look set to reinvigorate the hip-hop scene once again, with all the following tunes:

1. How You Sell Soul To A Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul
2. Black is Back
3. Harder Than You Think
4. Between Hard and a Rock Place
5. Sex, Drugs & Violence
6. Amerikan Gangster
7. Can You Hear Me Now
8. Head Wide Shut
9. Flavor Man
10. The Enemy Battle Hymn of the Public
11. Escapism
12. Frankenstar
13. Col-Leepin
14. Radiation of a Radiotvmovie
15. See Something, Say Something
16. Long and Whining Road
17. Bridge of Pain
18. Eve of Destruction
19. How You Sell Soul (Time is God Refrain)


The New York Post's Peter Lauria has reported that the sale of UK publishing catalogues Zomba UK, Rondor and 19 Music could fetch over $150 million.

As previously reported, the catalogues were previously owned by BMG Music Publishing, which was recently acquired by Univesal Music Pubishing. Universal had to commit to sell the UK catalogues in order to gain European Commission approval for the BMG acquisition, and Lauria says that we can now expect an Autumn sale of them.

Together the UK catalogues feature around 90,000 copyrights, including songs from the likes of Kaiser Chiefs and Linkin Park. Lauria reports that major publishing firms Sony/ATV and Warner/Chappell, both currently acquisition hungry, will likely bid for the publishing outfits, though a number of private equity operations are also known to be interested, which might push up the asking price.


Jon 'Webbo' Webster, Director Of Independent Services for UK record industry trade body the BPI, has announced he will leave the organisation to take up the newly created job of CEO at the UK's Music Managers' Forum.

Confirming the new appointment, MMF Chairman Jazz Summers told reporters: "We at the MMF are absolutely delighted that Jon Webster has agreed to join us as chief executive. Jon brings to our organisation a tremendous wealth of knowledge and experience coupled with great enthusiasm for the changes which we intend to implement at the MMF over the next few months. With Webbo in place, watch this space".

BPI boss Geoff Taylor added: "A strong advocate for the indie sector, Webbo has transformed the BPI's independents agenda in two and a half short years and it's no coincidence that our independent membership has almost doubled in that time. The independent sector is now better represented within the BPI than ever before; Webbo has built a strong foundation for us to develop even better services for our independent members. The music industry is in a time of great change, and we can better overcome the challenges and embrace the new opportunities change brings by standing together. Developing an even closer working relationship with the MMF and the wider music industry is vital and to that end we very much look forward to working in partnership with Webbo in his new role".

The BPI is currently recruiting a new Independents Director.


Napster have announced the appointment of Christopher Allen to the role of COO, replacing Laura Goldberg, who is leaving the company. Allen was most recently with Blockbuster Online though previously held senior operational posts at Yahoo! Music and MusicMatch.


X-Factor judge Louis Walsh has revealed that Simon Cowell re-hired him by text message. As previously reported, the Irish personality was sacked from the show last year but was later re-recruited after the auditions flagged with out the Irish numpty on the judging panel. Apparently Cowell begged Walsh to return, after using ITV execs to break the news of the original sacking, sending the Westlife manager a text reading: "We're sort of missing you". Other fellow judge Sharon Osbourne, meanwhile, sent one saying: "We wish you were here".

Speaking of the texts, Walsh released this statement: "I knew they were missing me. I did wonder whether it was a wind-up when Simon said, 'We'd love to have you back'. He was serious and told me to prepare for a call. Ten days later, the producer rang and said, 'We want you back.' I said, 'When?' He said, 'Monday!'"

Unfortunately for Walsh, his statement won't quash rumours that the job was handed back to him by default, after Cowell's first choice, Brian Friedman, turned down the job.


Robbie Williams is feeling depressed because doctors have told him to lay off football for three months after cracking a rib. The former Take That-er won't be able to join his American team, LA Vale, for their matches and has claimed that he is "beyond gutted" at being forced out. Helping him to cope will be his multi-million dollar mansion, thousands of adoring fans and a multitude of flash cars.


As previously reported, Brian May handed in his PhD thesis 41 years late last week. The veteran rocker began the paper in 1971, shortly before Queen's popularity exploded, which forced him to put completion of the 48,000 word piece aside until now. In celebration of his achievement, May will hold a 'special these-inspired concert', marking the inauguration of a telescope at the Observatory of the Roque de Los Muchachos in La Palma, Tenerife. No date has been announced yet, but as soon as we know, it'll be published here.


Keith Richards was reportedly so drunk at a Rolling Stones' gig in Helsinki last Wednesday that he had to be saved from falling offstage by band mate Mick Jagger. Keith, as previously reported, signed a multi-million dollar deal to write his autobiography last week and was presumably celebrating in typically classy style, with one fan telling the Sun that: "Mick and Ronnie didn't look too pleased. Mick, at one point, had to hold on to Keith to stop him falling off the stage. And at another point he stumbled sideways and if it wasn't for the rail he'd have fallen 20 feet into the crowd." Despite assistance, the report claims Keith's modesty couldn't be saved as he crashed to the ground during performances of 'Honky Tonk Woman' and 'She's So Cold'. It's a good job there were no palm trees in the vicinity, who knows what would have happened?

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