CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 17th August
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Amy Winehouse pulls out of V
- Pink sued
- Mel B sued
- A guide to suing violently
- Elvis anniversary vigil
- Macca's eye on the eye
- Smiths fans cycle for the lads
- V Festival's foot and mouth scare
- Mika plans to break the US
- No Radiohead album till 2008
- New Springsteen album
- New venue for New York
- RIAA launch latest college litigation
- EMI partner with Saatchi & Saatchi on catalogue marketing
- eMusic pass 150 million mark
- Britney's 'lesbian romp'

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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.

Impropera
Impropera Productions
This show was a lot of fun - the audience suggested subjects and styles, which the company of talented singers and instrumentalists promptly turned into musical pastiches and parodies. The most effective, for me, were the twentieth century composers, which were rather like listening to an earnest classical music radio broadcast, but with funny words. It wasn't restricted to opera either, one treat was a send-up of German Lieder, authentically performed with suitable stance and facial expressions. The performance climaxed in a spontaneous mini-opera - on this occasion about a zoo animal-eating zombie - but the very best bit was an operatic aria, in Welsh, about a naked canoeist. Honestly, you couldn't make it up - oh, but they just did!
Assembly @ St George's West, 2 - 11 Aug, 5:00pm (6:10pm), £14.00 (£12.00),
fpp 145.
tw rating 4/5
[lr]

India Alba - Reels and Ragas
Garvie Bagpipes
This group form something quite special: four men with bagpipes, a violin, cittern and tabla have concocted a unique sound by combining two very different musical cultures - Indian and Scottish - and the result is highly enjoyable. Introduced by mumbling Scot Nigel Richard, the group are a little shy and awkward discussing their music, but once they begin to play, they convey their strength and success as a group, and their love of the music they make. The highlight was definitely a rework of an AC/DC number, but it's difficult to single out any 'one to watch' as they all have such nimble fingers. Go and enjoy!
Acoustic Music Centre @ St Brides, 11 - 12 Aug, 9:00pm (10:15pm), £12.00
(£10.00), fpp 145.
tw rating 4/5
[fc]

Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Edinburgh International Festival
The RSNO, and their 'Conductor Laureate for Life', Neeme Järvi, began with Heino Eller's song-like short pieces 'Koit' (Dawn) and 'Videvik' (Twighlight), featuring lyrical strings, soulful woodwind, and delicate harp. Sadly, the sonorous contrast of Sibelius' 'Symphony No 4 in A Minor' was cut down in its brass-crescendoed prime by a fire alarm, but luckily we heard all of de Falla's 'The Three Cornered Hat: Suites 1 and 2' - this really was a triumph for all the performers, including mezzo-soprano Victoria Simmonds. De Falla's intoxicating Spanish dance rhythms, wryly humorous lyrics, and rebellious Beethoven parodies spread enlivening warmth throughout Edinburgh's Usher Hall. I especially enjoyed the orchestra clapping and shouting like revelling Spaniards, and Järvi conducting like a matador.
Usher Hall, 11 Aug, 8:00pm (9:30pm), prices vary, eifpp 27. tw rating 4/5
[lr]

Silverchair
T on the Fringe
Considering how long Scotland has waited for Silverchair, the crowd was relatively subdued at the beginning of their set, and it looked as though it was going to turn out to be one of those pretentious 'appreciating the music, man' evenings that involve nothing more than the tapping of a toe or two. However, the familiar melancholic drama of 'Emotion Sickness' enticed an electric atmosphere and the night really started. Daniel Johns seemed to sense the crowd's relish for a trip down memory lane and, as an encore, offered up the classic 'Freak' as a reward for being, and I quote, "the best crowd they'd ever had". Not sure I believed him, but never look a gift horse in the mouth, right?
Edinburgh Corn Exchange, 11 Aug, 7:30pm (10:30pm), £16.00, fpp 155.
tw rating 4/5
[lg]

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AMY WINEHOUSE PULLS OUT OF V
So, no surprise here then. Amy Winehouse has pulled out of this weekend's V Festival and put all touring commitments on hold indefinitely. As previously reported, the singer had previously said she wouldn't definitely make the festival despite the recent gig cancellations that followed that run in with a stomach pump. But, after rumours and denials that the singer had gone into rehab in the US (actually, she did go into rehab, but in Essex, and she then checked out on Wednesday), it was confirmed yesterday that the V set would not go ahead.

A statement from her record label read: "Amy Winehouse is putting all her touring commitments on hold until further notice in order to address her health issues. Amy will not now be performing at this weekend's V Festival. Her family has requested that the media respect Amy's privacy at this time. There will be no further comment".

After leaving the Causeway rehab centre in Essex on Wednesday night, Winehouse told the awaiting media: "Oh my God, what the hell happened to last week? I'm fine, don't worry".

Elsewhere, in lighter Amy-related news, Kanye West has been proving himself to be a fine purveyor of Winehouse witticisms, telling the NME: "I love Amy Winehouse. But she needs to stop the drugs", before brilliantly quipping: "Should she go to rehab? Yes, yes, yes!" It's the way he tells them.

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PINK SUED
Having recently completed two sell-out nights at London's Brixton Academy, Pink has re-entered normality to find that she and her record label, SonyBMG's Zomba, are facing a lawsuit from a popular New York artist. Vladimir Kush alleges that the pop star used images from a painting of his called 'Countes Erotiques' for the cover of her 2006 single, 'U And Ur Hand', without permission and is thus seeking damages, filing a lawsuit against the star in Manhattan on Wednesday.

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MEL B SUED
Eddie Murphy isn't happy with former partner Melanie Brown, accusing the recently re-spiced girl of trying to extort money from him as a result of their brief fling last year, a fling which, of course, resulted in the couple's recently born child, Angel Iris.

Murphy's lawyer Marty Singer released the following statement: "You [Scary Spice] have been engaging in a pattern of disseminating disparaging, negative and defamatory statements about Mr Murphy, portraying him in a false and outrageous light in order to pressure Mr Murphy to capitulate to your highly unreasonable extortionate demands. We demand that you immediately cease and desist from this wrongful conduct".

The dispute's origins lie in Brown's reported demands that Murphy buy her a $9 million house in Malibu and pay for her to live there for the next 18 years, claiming it as child support that Murphy purportedly refuses to pay. However, Murphy strongly denies that he is not contributing to the costs of their child. Despite that fact, his legal people have again confirmed that Murphy still isn't too enamored with the idea of the child, saying: "Mr Murphy and Ms Brown were romantically involved for a period of only a few months, during which they neither lived together nor made any plans to have a family together. Ms Brown's pregnancy was not planned by Mr Murphy and came as a surprise to him".

Of course it's impossible to know what's been going on behind the scenes on this one, though from the outside looking in it does seem like Murphy's been a bit of a cunt about this whole thing, and deserves any disparaging or negative statements Brown chooses to throw in his direction. Though the courts are at liberty to conclude otherwise, of course.

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A GUIDE TO SUING VIOLENTLY
More musical lawsuits for you with news that the Violent Femmes' bassist Brian Ritchie is suing lead vocalist Gordon Gano over a dispute regarding the band's song-writing credits and royalties.

The band, who have just come off tour, are in turmoil after Ritchie alleged that Gano had spoiled the reputation and integrity of the band by allowing American Fast Food chain Wendy's to use their biggest hit, 'Blister In The Sun' for one of their adverts. Furthermore, Ritchie claims he has received unfair amounts of royalties given his contribution to the writing of the material.

Gano commented that he was surprised by the suit, claiming that he believed that intra-band relations had been good: "We just played a really, really good tour...Since the early '80s, everything's really good. We're playing better than ever".

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ELVIS ANNIVERSARY VIGIL
Thousands of Elvis Presley fans travelled from all over the world to the singer's home in Memphis to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the hip-swinging star's death yesterday (16 Aug).

The annual candle light vigil at Elvis's former residence regularly draws in the King's more dedicated followers, but the special significance of this year has massively increased numbers, with some even queuing to ensure that they were at the front of the walk that passes the singer's grave in the grounds of Graceland. According to Reuters, the vigil began on Wednesday night and carried on well into yesterday morning, with fans holding signs saying: "I will always love Elvis" and "Elvis = World peace".

Elvis famously died in 1977, of course, from heart failure after a long battle with weight problems and an addiction to prescription drugs, leaving behind a vast fan base the world over. Indeed, some fans had been attending the vigil every year since he passed away, with the Elvis estate raking-in millions from these dedicated (demented?) Elvis lovers through merchandising. And it is this aspect of the vigil that has had many cynical observers in uproar, with some attendees paying upwards of $68 each to tour Presley's house, something that seems a tad pricey for a glorified memorial service.

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MACCA'S EYE ON THE EYE
Reports are suggesting that Paul McCartney has been eyeing-up London landmark The London Eye as a prospective venue for his forthcoming DVD promotion.

Sir Paul is scheduled to release 'The McCartney Years' in November and it appears that one especially productive advertising meeting led to the idea, with a source close to the singer claiming: "The whole idea came together after a series of meetings in Macca HQ. The artwork for the DVD cover is a stylised close-up of Sir Paul's eye - and that got the team thinking. It occurred to them that the other most famous eye in the world was, of course, the London Eye and they immediately tried to work together".

The source continues: "It's ambitious but his people are determined to make it happen and Sir Paul may even perform a one-off show in one of the pods to make it even more special. Macca loves London and to be the face and name of the Eye - albeit just for a short time - would be a massive honour that he would cherish".

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SMITHS FANS CYCLE FOR THE LADS
A group of Smiths fans are set to take part in a charity bike ride around Smiths related landmarks in Manchester to raise money for that iconic Manchester building The Salford Lads Club which, as previously reported, is falling into disrepair and needs around £1 million pounds to restore it. It's iconic to Smiths fans because it famously appeared on the cover to the band's 1986 album 'The Queen Is Dead'. The urgency for restoring the building has increased because, as also previously reported, its lead roof was recently stolen.

The Smiths fan organizing the bike ride is Ruth Martin, who told reporters: "I was really sad when I heard the news [about the theft], and was going to make a simple donation but I thought I could do better than that and decided a bicycle ride of Smiths landmarks around Manchester would be a great idea".

The event costs £5 to join and includes a performance from tribute band 'The Smyths' and an ice cream van with the slogan 'Every Day Is Like Sundae' painted on the side. http://www.salfordlasclub.org has more information.

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V FESTIVAL'S FOOT AND MOUTH SCARE
V really hasn't had the best luck this year, what with Lily Allen, Bright Eyes and now Amy Winehouse all cancelling their slots at the event. It could have been a lot worse, though, with BBC News reporting that the Staffordshire leg was nearly called off entirely due to foot and mouth restrictions that would have prevented cows and sheep to have been moved off the site.

Fortunately for the bearded behemoth that is Richard Brandson, the government's chief veterinary officer, Debby Reynolds, has accorded the organisers special permission to move the animals to a new site about five miles away from Weston Park where the V is being held. Around 150 sheep had been grazing around the main stage area which, if they hadn't been moved, might have brought some interesting festival experiences for V-goers.

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MIKA PLANS TO BREAK THE US
Mika has announced that he has recorded a reworking of one of the songs off his album especially for its appearance in an episode of hit US sitcom Ugly Betty. The flamboyant singer has changed the name of his song 'Big Girl' to 'Betty Girl' (very clever) and the lyrics have been altered so that his opening lines are now: "Oh Betty, you are beautiful". The same episode is also expected to include Victoria Beckham who will be reportedly covering her normally waif figure with a fat suit, which should be interesting.

The inclusion of Mika's song in the TV show is expected to 'break' him to the primetime US audience, following a long list of other artists, including The Fray (Grey's Anatomy) and Death Cab For Cutie (The OC), that have found success from the exposure offered by just one episode of a popular TV show.

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NO RADIOHEAD ALBUM TILL 2008
Radiohead's management company has announced that the public should not expect a new Radiohead album, their seventh, until at least 2008. So those of you planning 2007 around a new album from Thom Yorke et al are going to have to do some serious diary rejigging. The follow-up to 'Hail To The Thief' will then have been five years in the making, though to be fair the band have been very busy on individual projects during that time, what with Yorke's Mercury nominated solo record and Johnny Greenwood's celebrated Trojan records compilation to mention but two such projects. And, of course, they don't currently have a record deal, so there's no label execs piling on the pressure to deliver a new long player in time to make the year end bottom line look less depressing.

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NEW SPRINGSTEEN ALBUM
The almighty Bruce Springsteen has announced more details about his new album, 'Magic', which is out on 2 Oct. It is the first album he has recorded with long-time partners The E Street Band in five years. The track-listing is as follows:

Radio Nowhere
You'll Be Comin' Down
Livin' in the Future
Your Own Worst Enemy
Gypsy Biker
Girls in Their Summer Clothes
I'll Work for Your Love
Magic
Last to Die
Long Walk Home
Devil's Arcade

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NEW VENUE FOR NEW YORK
New York has a new venue, Terminal 5, and its opening line-up is making me slightly jealous that I'm not living in the Big Apple myself right now. Officially open on 11 Oct, it can accommodate around 3000 people and lays claim to being "the largest midtown performance space to open in the city in over a decade" - wow. Opening-up with The National and hosting a variety of genres, it certainly looking like it's going to be a cracker:

11 Oct: The National
19 Oct: M.I.A.
20 Oct: Justice
23 Oct: The Shins
24 Oct: The Shins
1 Nov: The Decemberists
2 Nov: The Decemberists
23 Nov: State Radio
30 Nov: Ween
1 Dec: Ween

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RIAA LAUNCH LATEST COLLEGE LITIGATION
The Recording Industry Association Of America has launched the next stage in its anti-P2P campaign against US colleges by sending out a new wave of 503 pre-litigation letters to 58 universities. Which is a lot of stamps to lick.

The pre-litigation letters alert the colleges to illegal P2P activity being conducted by individuals on their campus computer network, and ask college administration to pass on the letter to the relevant student. That student is then given the option of committing to stopping using P2P and paying a reduced fine for past copyright violation before the RIAA launches formal legal proceedings against them.

According to Billboard, since the RIAA stepped up its P2P action against students back in February it has sent out a total of 2926 pre-litigation letters. Some colleges initially resisted taking on the role of RIAA police officers, though proposals for new US education legislation would force college management to take a more proactive role in stopping their students from illegally downloading music.

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EMI PARTNER WITH SAATCHI & SAATCHI ON CATALOGUE MARKETING
EMI US has engaged the services of Saatchi & Saatchi's LA office to plan marketing campaigns around a number of the major's catalogue artists in a bid to drive CD, DVD, digital and mobile sales.

The ad agency will employ its 'Lovemarks marketing philosophy', which aims for "brand loyalty beyond reason or explanation". Yes, that's right, the "Lovemarks marketing philosophy" of "brand loyalty beyond reason or explanation". People get paid to come up with this shit you know. I'm in the wrong job. Anyway, the ad bods will now use their "Lovemarks" philosophy to flog rereleases from the likes of the Beatles, Beach Boys, The Band, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Pink Floyd, Bob Seger, the Rolling Stones and Nat King Cole.

Commenting on the alliance with Saatchi & Saatchi, EMI Music Marketing President Ronn Were told reporters: "Saatchi & Saatchi has demonstrated a keen ability to create deep emotional connections and inspire extremely strong consumer loyalty. We look forward to collaborating with Saatchi and developing ways to enlist current and future fans to discover and rediscover our music in exciting and unexpected ways".

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EMUSIC PASS 150 MILLION MARK
Independent download store eMusic announced yesterday that it had passed its 150 million download mark. The news comes just nine months after the company passed the 100 million landmark, with eMusic bosses claiming they are now selling about 6 million tracks every single month.

Confirming the latest achievement, eMusic President and CEO David Pakman told reporters: "Even as research shows that overall paid download growth is slowing, eMusic continues to attract new customers and sell more music. Our model has proven that consumers respond to this approach by buying more music - and our customers buy more music than those of any other online music service, period".

eMusic only sells music from independent record companies, of course, and sells all its tracks in non-DRMed MP3 format. More importantly, re the 'model' Packman refers to, they operate a 'bulk buy' subscription model targeted more at dedicated music fans than casual music consumers.

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BRITNEY'S 'LESBIAN ROMP'
Yup, there are more troubles in the Britney camp and this time it's slightly more, well, erotic. Following previous reports of a 'lesbian romp' in a pool with her former PA Shannon Funk, the tabloids have dug-up the predictable follow-up tale about how Spears tried to seduce her nannies by wandering around the house in the nude. Their sources report that Britney partook in "sleazy sexy party tricks" and asked them "do I look sexy?" after stripping off. You know, even we're now tiring of all these nonsense Britney stories, and as you all know, we have a very high tolerance for nonsense here at CMU.

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