CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 14th August
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- MAMA acquire Mean Fiddler name and venues
- UK artists shine overseas
- Ja Rule litigation
- 50 Cent threatens to quit music
- Master P supports Obama
- Fats Domino to get new awards
- Scorsese's Rolling Stones film delayed
- Dylan played by a woman
- Hard-fi speak-out against critics
- Public Enemy sell their tracks via MySpace
- Oasis to release new DVD
- Stefani loves antiques
- Erol Alkan produces again
- A very different Fabric set
- Aretha Franklin cancels show
- Yet more Winehouse cancellations!
- Lily cancels too!
- Fightstar tour
- Sanctuary board members stand down
- Bodog launch new battle of the bands
- Imbruglia comments on Winehouse
- Donny Osmond hated being sweet
- Simon Cowell is mean to kids

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JOBS N STUFF

STREET MARKETING EXECUTIVE
Live Nation, the UK's leading concert promoter, is looking for a Street Marketing Executive. The successful candidate will specialise in street marketing and will also be responsible for support and coordination to ensure the smooth-running of the marketing team. REQUIREMENTS - degree education or at least 1 - 2 years relevant experience, the candidate must be numerate, with great communication skills, attention to detail and experience of the music industry and marketing. A passion for up and coming bands and a knowledge of youth culture is essential. Salary: Please return with your salary expectations and CV to jenni.young@livenation.co.uk Closing date is 10 August, only successful applicants will be contacted.

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CMU AT THE EDINBURGH FESTIVAL
So, the Edinburgh Festival, the largest arts festival on the planet, is entering its second week, 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 http://www.threeweeks.co.uk.

Angus & Julia Stone
T On The Fringe
Julia Stone opens her mouth, and immediately I start fumbling for the closest contemporary to that remarkable voice. Bjork? Joanna Newsom? Nelly Furtado? It isn't until halfway through the set when she finally lets her voice rise a few decibels that I realise it's Russian-American singer Regina Spektor. But unlike Regina, Julia and her brother Angus are not accomplished songwriters. Their lyrics either contain over-familiar sentiments or new ones clumsily expressed, while their music is mostly pleasant but bland. So is the voice of Angus, who takes lead on half the songs but pales in comparison to his sister. This may be good enough for the coffee table crowd, but with that voice she could do so much more.
Cabaret Voltaire, 8 Aug, 7:00pm (10:00pm), £7.00, fpp n/a.
tw rating 3/5
[mc]

Samba Sene And Diwan
If you fancy getting really serious on the dance floor this Fringe, then this act you should not miss. A show for all ages, this five piece band take their roots from the heart of Senegal and combine it all with a funky jazz sound, creating a beat that you just can't help dancing along to. With microphones sent flying, even the singer joins in, performing an energetic tribal-looking stomp. With a brilliant saxophonist who performed some amazing solos, this band ticks nearly every box. If it had not been for the rhythm guitarist's apparent lack of rhythm, this act would have been faultless. Still, the sound remains great, and they're well worth checking out.
The Jazz Bar, 5 - 26 Aug, 9:00pm (10:00pm), £8.00 (£5.00), fpp 154
tw rating 4/5
[smr]

Shine At The Lot
Various Artists
It is a real shame that so many talented musicians go mostly unheard at the Fringe. This event is one such occasion. Each musician performing here deserves praise, but, with a word count to stick to, I'll focus on one stand-out act - Aria Souder. She returns home to Minnesota at the end of August, so catch her while you can. Her lyrics are elegantly evocative and, with fine support from her band, the music is beautifully dreamy. Of similar and at least equal musical quality to musicians like Norah Jones, it is a bit of a cliché, but Souder really does deserve attention. As do many of those she shared the stage with this night - you should definitely check out this venue for original acoustic music, because you will not be disappointed.
The Lot, 6 - 15 Aug, 10:30pm (12:30am), £7.00 (£6.00) fpp 155.
tw rating 4/5
[ps]

Underbelly Live @ Baby Belly - Lords Of Bastard / Jacob Flynch
Underbelly Productions
If acoustic, folk, and the more eccentric music shows that the Fringe has to offer are too far away from your usual taste, then try Underbelly Live. On the night in question the headlining act was 'Lords Of Bastard'. As you might guess from the metal-sounding name, they definitely did bang and growl through their set. That said, they were good for their genre, with an energy that proved infectious with the audience. In fact, the drummer was playing so hard he appeared to lose all his clothes, but the less said about that the better. The venue's atmosphere suits acts like this one, and offers good acoustic quality for any live musicians; so we can presumably anticipate more acts of this calibre to perform here.
Underbelly's Smirnoff Baby Belly, dates vary, 11:30pm (1:00am), prices vary, fpp 158.
tw rating 3/5
[ps]

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MAMA ACQUIRE MEAN FIDDLER NAME AND VENUES
The very acquisitive of late MAMA Group have bought a number of London venues off the Mean Fiddler Music Group, and have also acquired the Mean Fiddler brand name. MAMA have acquired Mean Fiddler Holdings, which owns London's Jazz Café, Borderline and Garage venues, plus a 75% stake in the firm behind the G-A-Y club and bar. The deal also gives MAMA Mean Fiddler's brand and website meanfiddler.com.

As previously reported, MAMA, who already owned the Barfly venue chain, have expanded their presence in the London live scene significantly in the last year, previously acquiring the London Forum and Hammersmith Apollo off Mean Fiddler owners Live Nation/Hamsard. Mean Fiddler announced that the firm had made a new approach regarding acquiring additional London venues last month.

With MAMA acquiring the Mean Fiddler brand as part of the deal, the remaining Mean Fiddler operation will rebrand as Festival Republic with immediate effect. The new name recognises that the company's primary business is now festival promotion, although the firm will continue to operate the Astoria venues, which are not part of the MAMA deal.

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UK ARTISTS SHINE OVERSEAS
Good news everybody - UK music is still doing rather damn well out their in foreign-land. New stats from those BPI types show that UK acts sold around 27 million albums in France and Germany alone last year, they being the world's fourth and fifth largest music markets. To put that in perspective, that's one album for every five sold in Germany, and one in ten in France. Which is pretty damn impressive. Of course, the Beatles 'Love' album helped, and long players from James Blunt and Katie Melua made up a sizable portion of the 27 million units, but that's no reason for all you record label types to not go "hey, aren't we good". Actually, BPI chief Geoff Taylor has sort of said it for you here: "Music is one of the UK's great cultural and economic exports. The fact that UK labels are gaining an increasing share of these major international markets demonstrates the diversity and quality of new British artists".

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JA RULE LITIGATION
Ja Rule is facing yet more legal shenanigans, his second lot in the last few weeks alone. A builder called Joel Tobia has apparently issued a police complaint against the rapper claiming that the star owes him over $8,000 relating to work he completed on the singer's mansion. Tobia said: "We put in 150 hours of manpower, which I gave to him for $13,000. He paid me $5,000 and wouldn't pay me the rest. I don't know why". Why Tobia got the police involved I'm not entirely sure - but Ja Rule's people are claiming some of the monies owed have been withheld because not all the work Tobia was hired to do has been done. Said lawyer told reporters: "Some work was done, there was a dispute as to whether the work was done properly and whether money is owed". The latest court dispute follows those charges in July for possession of a criminal weapon after police found a semiautomatic pistol in his car.

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50 CENT THREATENS TO QUIT MUSIC
As the totally manufactured chart battle between Kanye West and 50 Cent approaches, Fiddy has said he will quit making solo records if West's new album 'Graduation' outsells his new long-player 'Curtis'. As previously reported, the two new albums will both be released on 11 Sep. Fiddy is quoted (albeit rather strangely talking in the third person) as saying: "If Kanye West sells more records than 50 Cent on September 11, I'll no longer write music. I'll write music and work with my other artists, but I won't put out anymore solo albums". Promises, promises Mr Cent.

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MASTER P SUPPORTS OBAMA
Hip hopper Master P has announced he is joining Halle Berry and Oprah Winfrey in supporting US White House hopeful Barack Obama. He's told AllHipHop.com: "We always think we're outnumbered, and our vote doesn't matter, but truthfully that's not the case. If we get out there and support the people we believe in, we can make a difference now".

Elsewhere in sort of politics, P, who is one of the richest men in hip hop with an estimated fortune of $361 million, recently announced that he was starting a new record label, Take A Stand Records, that will only release profanity free rap music. In addition, he is writing a self-help book that claims will challenge: "The studios, TV, internet sites, and radio stations, to promote our positive leaders and stop glorifying the negative".

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FATS DOMINO TO GET NEW AWARDS
After his previous haul was washed away by the New Orleans' floods, the legend that is Fats Domino will receive a new presentation of gold/platinum disc awards from EMI records, it has been confirmed. More than 20 were destroyed during the hurricane along with a host of Fats other possessions. The reissued awards may be joining some new ones soon, given that the 'Blueberry Hill' hitmaker has both a new compilation of his biggest songs out soon, plus a tribute album that is set to include Paul McCartney, Neil Young and Elton John.

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SCORSESE'S ROLLING STONES FILM DELAYED
Martin Scorsese's documentary project about the Rolling Stones, 'Shine A Light', has been delayed until the band is able to promote it fully. The film was originally set for release on 21 Sep. The band are reportedly happy with the completed project, but are worried that promotion of it will be difficult given that they only finish touring just under a month before. As such, release is now set for next April.

The film uses footage of their invite-only performance at New York's Beacon Theatre last year, featuring cameos from Jack White and Christina Aguilera. It follows a number of other Scorsese forays into music, including his 2006 Bob Dylan film 'No Direction Home', a 2003 documentary titled 'The Blues', his 1987, 17-minute video for Michael Jackson's 'Bad' and the universally praised production 'The Last Waltz', which documented the supposed last gig of 'The Band'.

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DYLAN PLAYED BY A WOMAN
Talking of Dylan films, that one we reported on eons ago which will see a number of different actors playing the singer, is about to finally be released. As previously reported, each of the chosen actors will play Dylan during a different era in his career, and one of the actors chosen is a woman. The woman in question turns out to be Cate Blanchett, though it is as yet unclear as to which period of his life she will be representing. Joining Blanchett in the Dylan fest will be Marcus Carl Franklin, Ben Whishaw, Heath Ledger, Christian Bale and Richard Gere, according to Rolling Stone magazine. With a title taken from one of Dylan's most revered outtakes, it is additionally set to include Julianne Moore and Charlotte Gainsbourg, while the soundtrack will feature Dylan songs (surprise, surprise), as well as some covers from the likes of My Morning Jacket, Sonic Youth and Pavement frontman, Steven Malkmus. It's penciled in for a premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September before a wider release later in the year.

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HARD-FI SPEAK-OUT AGAINST CRITICS
Hard-fi have hit-out against the critics of their new album 'cover' which, as previously reported, is set to feature the slogan 'No Cover Art' in black on a pure yellow background. Since the idea was released there has been something of a backlash, especially in the media, with critical types criticising what is seen as a half-hearted attempt to politicise a band that don't usually speak on such a platform. Lead singer Richard Archer responded: "People say we must have spent a lot of money on the cover, but we didn't. If Radiohead had done something similar, it would be a work of genius. But because it's Hard-Fi, it's OK to have a pop".

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PUBLIC ENEMY SELL THEIR TRACKS VIA MYSPACE
Public Enemy have announced that they will sell their new album, the previously reported 'How You Sell Soul To A Soulless People Who Have Sold Their Soul', through individual's websites, online storefronts and social networking sites like MySpace. The band, who have presumably been investigating new ways to sell their soul for a good while now, will use a service called 'Musicane', which allows any internet user to distribute the record, retaining a 15% cut from each sale. This allows nearly anyone to profit from the recording, from a business-minded blogger to an independent record label, providing their site supports Flash. Following Prince's little partnership with the Mail On Sunday, it seems possible that Public Enemy's decision could set another precedent for major artists looking to work outside the traditional record label structure. It could also, of course, fail miserably.

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OASIS TO RELEASE NEW DVD
One act unlikely to be breaking any boundaries anytime soon is Oasis, who have announced details of a brand new DVD documentary. Titled 'Lord Don't Slow Me Down' it will record the details of Oasis's last world tour, which visited 26 countries in total.

Featuring backstage access - or as the cynic within would say: 'staged backstage footage' - and interviews with the band, it is shot entirely in black and white and includes a new Noel Gallagher composition, fan question and answer session, plus footage taken from one of their homecoming shows at Manchester City's Eastland Stadium in 2005.

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STEFANI LOVES ANTIQUES
Pop stars turn people's expectations on their head on such a regular basis that news that Gwen Stefani is, erm, addicted to the British telly show 'The Antiques Roadshow' comes as no surprise. Well, perhaps a small surprise.

The No Doubt singer-turned solo star is apparently fascinated by the Sunday teatime antique valuation programme, and reportedly watches it via the internet so that she never misses an episode when out of the UK. She's quoted as saying: "I've always been a hoarder and a collector so I find the show fascinating. I love seeing all those guys and their little knick-knacks".

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EROL ALKAN PRODUCES AGAIN
Erol Alkan, DJ de rigeur and the man formerly behind the legendary London club night 'Trash' has been announced as the producer for up-and-coming Midlands' band Late Of The Pier. Speaking of the collaboration, Alkan said: "They're not only the most exciting new band out there at the moment, but they are THE most exciting band around. Great pop music tends to come from bands moving the goal posts. Late Of The Pier not only move the goal posts, they've got a dozen football pitches to choose from".

The Erol produced single, 'Bathroom Gurgle' is out on Moshi Moshi Records - the label that made early releases for Bloc Party, Hot Chip and Kate Nash - on 10 Sep.

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A VERY DIFFERENT FABRIC SET
Minimalistic house DJ and producer Ricardo Villalobos has turned the traditions of the Fabric compliation series on its head by choosing only his own tracks for his installation, 'Fabric 36', out on 10 Sep. Getting rid of the difficult decisions involved in making a mix-tape, Villalobos has instead composed 15 new tracks for the release, with several collaborations featured.
The unusual compo track-listing is as follows:

Ricardo Villalobos - Groove 1880
Ricardo Villalobos - Perc and Drums
Ricardo Villalobos - Moongomery
Ricardo Villalobos - Farenzer House
Ricardo Villalobos & Patrick Ense - M.Bassy
Ricardo Villalobos - Mecker
Ricardo Villalobos & Jorge Gonzales - 4 Wheel Drive
Ricardo Villalobos & Patrick Ense - Fizpatrick
Ricardo Villalobos & Andrew Gillings - Andruic & Japan
Ricardo Villalobos - Organic Tranceplant
Ricardo Villalobos - Prevorent
Ricardo Villalobos & Fumiya Tanaka - Fumiyandric 2
Ricardo Villalobos - Wont You Tell Me
Ricardo Villalobos - Primer Encuentro Latino-Americano
Ricardo Villalobos - Chropuspel Zündung

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ARETHA FRANKLIN CANCELS SHOW
Aretha Franklin cancelled an appearance in Detroit, scheduled for Sunday evening (12 Aug), citing heat exhaustion as temperatures in the city reached around 30 degrees celsius. She said that she was not able to "tolerate heat in these extremely high numbers and be in concert simultaneously". The show was set to be a home-coming for the soul star who, despite being born in Memphis, has claimed Detroit as her adopted home after living there for over 20 years. Franklin announced her disappointment at having to call off the show, claiming that she hoped she would be able to reschedule it soon.

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YET MORE WINEHOUSE CANCELLATIONS!
Talking of cancellations, and providing you hungry media types with another story to get your teeth into, Amy Winehouse has announced another gig cancellation - this time her support slot with the Rolling Stones in Germany, that was scheduled to go ahead yesterday (13 Aug). As pretty much everyone must now by know, the singer was hospitalised on Wednesday after a three day binge and the cancellation will allow her to continue her recovery in hospital in the hope that she might be well enough to fulfil her commitment at both legs of the V Festival this weekend, something that she previously pledged to do. However, this cancellation does break the promise she made in her News Of The World interview, where she claimed she would be back at work by Monday. Not that I'm picky or anything...

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LILY CANCELS TOO!
After Amy's cancellations galore, Lily Allen has been keen to point out that she's not in the business of letting down her fans without good reason, posting her doctor's sick note on her Myspace blog as proof that she really is ill. Alongside the picture of the note she posted the following statement: "I'm back in London eating my mum's chicken soup because I'm afraid the travelling has caught up with me. I've got sinusitis and strep throat - I don't even know what that is - and have been advised to take a couple of weeks off by a doctor in LA and a doctor here".

"Before anyone starts trying to accuse me of neglecting my fans I want to apologise and say how sorry I am, but I can't risk causing any permanent damage. I hope people can understand and aren't too angry".

Allen's illness means that she has also called-off appearances at the Oya Festival in Norway, Sweden's Way Out West Festival, Sagres Festival in Portugal and The Lowlands Festival in Holland. Yet, as with Winehouse, she still expects to be able to perform at V Festival.

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FIGHTSTAR TOUR
Former Busted boy Charlie Simpson (oh, hang on, we said we wouldn't call him that anymore) is heading on tour with his band Fightstar in support of their new album, 'One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours'. Charlie: "It feels very satisfying. I'm really grateful so many people got behind us so early on. They believed in us from the start and at the end of the day they're the ones that got us to this point". Depressingly, he also confirmed that Busted, contrary to rumours, would not be reforming.

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SANCTUARY BOARD MEMBERS STAND DOWN
The Sanctuary Music Group has informed the London Stock Exchange that, following its acquisition by the Universal Music Group last week, four of the company's board are stepping down, including chairman Robert Ayling. As well as Ayling, directors James Wallace, Tina Sharp and John Preston will all leave the board room. The company's board will now consist of Chief Executive Frank Presland and Finance Director Paul Wallace.

As previously reported, Ayling was brought into Sanctuary in April 2006 as the cross-sector music company faced financial collapse after a period of rapid expansion and allegations of financial misreporting. Once in the top job he sacked then CEO Andy Taylor, one of the music firm's founders, installing Presland of Sanctuary-affiliated management firm Twenty First Artists into the top job.

Portions of the company were subsequently sold off, while the board considered various takeover approaches. In the end the board approved a bid made by Universal, who were primarily interested in the independent's management and merchandising assets. As also previously reported, Universal last week successfully secured commitments from enough of Sanctuary's shareholders to enable their takeover to go ahead.

While Presland and Wallace remain in place, it remains unclear what impact the Universal acquisition will have on Sanctuary and whether there will be any integration between the indie and the major, especially in the recorded music domain.

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BODOG LAUNCH NEW BATTLE OF THE BANDS
Organisers of a large battle of the bands competition that is about to reach its climax in the US have announced that they will stage a European version later this year, and are inviting bands from across the continent to enter.

The competition, called the Bodog Battle, is staged by Bodog Music, the music firm launched by the Bodog Entertainment Group, and the prize is a million dollar record contract with the firm. In the US version 7500 unsigned bands have competed, playing live at one of 350 live heats, and watched by a judging panel that counts John Lydon among its number.

The European version will stage heats in cities all across the continent, with a new judging panel deciding which bands should go forward to a final to be held in London's Astoria next March. Bands can enter now by uploading their music at http://www.bodogbattle.eu

Commenting on the new competition, Bodog chief Calvin Ayre told reporters this morning: "It's my mission to find the best-unsigned band in the land and give them a $1-million recording contract with Bodog Music".

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IMBRUGLIA COMMENTS ON WINEHOUSE
Amy Winehouse's string of headline-grabbing incidents, including the recently reported visit to hospital and the aforementioned gig cancellations, have led to fellow singer Natalie Imbruglia to comment on her situation.

The former Neighbours star believes that Winehouse is struggling to cope with her recent fame and hopes that her problems will not lead to her giving up on her career in music, saying: "I think she's an incredibly raw performer and a very real person and I don't think she's very comfortable with this whole fame thing. It shows. She's just got this gift you know, often people who are that talented struggle with all the attention and everything. And I hope she doesn't quit".

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DONNY OSMOND HATED BEING SWEET
Donny Osmond has revealed that despite appearing to be enjoying every minute of his 70s fame, he actually detested his sweeter than thou image. Presumably hoping to toughen-up his image as he reaches middle-age (hoping to branch out into a career in death metal, perhaps?), Osmond claimed that working on The Donny And Marie show was awful, saying: "They'd [the producers] say, 'Blow a kiss to the camera', and it always used to drive me crazy. I didn't want to blow a kiss to the camera- I'm a guy. But I was meant to appeal to that of kind of loveable, sweet puppy-love kid - and it worked".

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SIMON COWELL IS MEAN TO KIDS
Simon Cowell has reportedly broken the dreams of a six-year-old wannabe popstar who he had claimed he was going turn into a superstar. The girl in question, Connie Talbot, had impressed viewers - and apparently Cowell - after singing 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' on reality show 'Britain's Got Talent' in June, leading to Cowell to comment: "Of course a record deal with SonyBMG (label partners in SyCo) is on the cards. I'll make a prediction that Connie will sell more records than Joss Stone this year".

Since then, the girl's father Gavin has said that despite Cowell's indications, he has now changed his mind and has chosen not to sign Connie, something that Gavin said was heart-breaking: "We were worried about telling Connie the bad news. She had her heart set on working with Simon. The look on her face was a sheer disappointment. Obviously she was upset".

Meanwhile, if Cowell is feeling a little depressed after crushing the hopes and dreams of such a young girl then he need look no further than pop star come celebrity sister, Dannii Minogue, for kind words. After working on TV show The X Factor with the high-trousered music mogul, Minogue said: "Simon is very fanciable. It's his confidence".

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