CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 30th August
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Departing Nicoli optimistic of EMI's future
- Universal not happy with Deezer
- Amnesty may anger musicians
- Bo Diddley suffers heart attack
- CBGB founder dies
- DMX cleared
- New U2 album news
- Britney's comeback
- Raconteurs new album news
- The Killers recruit Lou Reed
- Keith demands an apology
- Kate Nash to crack US
- BPI welcome bootlegger sentence
- Nokia launch music store
- eMusic announce new label deals
- JT is acting
- Porn addiction
- Gallows' singer tattooed onstage
- Calvin Harris: acceptable on the terraces

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JOBS N STUFF

INTERNATIONAL SALES AND MARKETING MANAGER - !K7 RECORDS
!K7 Records is an independent record company operating worldwide since 1985 with its head office in Berlin and offices in New York. Next to influential electronic music label !K7, we also run urban/hip hop label Rapster/BBE, indie-rock label Ever Records and, just added, the funk/soul label Strut Records.

To expand our team in Berlin we are looking as soon as possible for a International Sales and Marketing Manager (m/f). You would be responsible for the coordination of simultaneous international releases, setting up and controlling sales targets for all territories worldwide and shaping marketing campaigns with our international agents and distributors.

You should have a good working knowledge of the relevant musical genres. You must have a deep understanding of, and fascination for, the recent changes within the music industry and have a minimum of two relevant experience in an international department You should be keen to work in an international team of 25 people driven by enthusiasm for music, professionalism, responsibility and new challenges. You should be proficient in Microsoft Office and Filemaker Software. German language skills are helpful, but not essential.

For more information feel free to get in touch with Marie Clausen at the !K7 office. Please send also your application to Marie@K7.com.

MARKETING MANAGER - LIVE NATION
We are looking for Marketing Manager to join the team at Live Nation. You will be responsible for budgets from £0 to £000's across tours from a wide range of musical genres, and need to be comfortable ensuring the message about these tours is out using all possible channels. You will have had experience of managing marketing campaigns in a relative field - ideally marketing in the music or theatrical industry. The successful candidate will be a creative team player, adept at multi tasking, with great attention to detail and an ability to build strong relationships. Please email your CV, covering letter and salary expectations to Jenni.young@livenation.co.uk. Only successful candidates will be contacted. Deadline for this role is 31st August.

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DEPARTING NICOLI OPTIMISTIC OF EMI'S FUTURE
Outgoing EMI chief Eric Nicoli has told the company's employees that the music firm is in "safe hands" now that it's new owners, private equity house Terra Firma, have taken control. Whether there's an axe in those safe hands we know not - though it wouldn't surprise me if there was. Maybe just a small one.

But on a more optimistic note, in a memo issued yesterday to staff, and artists and songwriters on the major's rosters (and subsequently sneakily published by Billboard) Nicoli wrote: "The new board is a strong and experienced one with a track record in transforming businesses for future growth. They respect the talents of our artists and employees, and EMI as an iconic, high quality and world-renowned brand. They are committed to investing in the business to ensure that it grows both organically and by acquisition. I am absolutely confident that EMI is about to enter an exciting new era of investment and growth".

Confirming his departure from the major, Nicoli said that he had "agreed to step down" but that he would continue to serve as an advisor to both EMI and Terra Firma, adding: "I remain, as always, totally committed to this business and to the people connected with it. In my new role, I will be working hard to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for EMI artists, songwriters and staff to the company's new ownership".

Meanwhile, Terra Firma chief Guy Hands has also communicated with EMI staff, writing: "Over the coming weeks [my Terra Firma colleagues] Chris [Roling], Ashley [Unwin], Julie [Williamson] and myself will be meeting and working with existing management to finalise our plans and confirming the best way in which we can serve our two key stakeholders: our artists and our customers. We will also ensure that we visit and meet with people at key locations across the EMI network of offices. It is our expectation to be able to communicate our plans for the business during October".

Whether those plans will include the swinging of that metaphorical axe on any staff or artists remains to be seen. Also whether the equity types will continue the restructuring programme introduced by Nicoli earlier this year, or whether they'll embark on a totally different restructuring programme, is also to be seen. How about re-splitting up all those recently merged divisions? That sounds fun.

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UNIVERSAL NOT HAPPY WITH DEEZER
A French music website that provides registered users with access to music streams is facing the wrath of Universal Music, mainly because it is seemingly operating without a licence, which is a great way to incur the wrath of a major record company, if that's what you're trying to do.

The website is called Deezer.com, and is basically a relaunched version of Blogmusik.net, another music website that was forced to close earlier this year because of similar legal pressure from the music industry. The new service is licenced on the publishing side of things (via French royalty types SACEM) but is still to do a deal on the recordings side, hence Universal's wrath.

When Universal announced that it was considering legal action against the popular Deezer.com service, the company's co-founder Jonathan Benassaya seemed relatively calm, claiming that the service was legal, or at least would be legal soon (which makes it currently 'illegal' me thinks). He then made an impassioned plea to the major, arguing: "We are not robbers. We want to pay for the rights to our music but it takes time to put all the agreements in place".

Universal have possibly chosen now to get all wrathy because it has reportedly transpired that it is quite easy to hack Deezer's streams so to actually download the music being played (ie allowing users to get a permanent copy of the music - which is possibly why the service is so popular!). On that, Benassay continued: "It appears there are some leaks in the website security and we have been working on that since Friday. This week by Tuesday or Wednesday we will put in place new security so you cannot download music".

As of this morning Deezer.com has been down for 24 hours with a holding page saying the website is undergoing maintenance. Whether that is to allow the security flaws to be fixed or is, in fact, a reaction to Universal's threat of legal action, we don't know.

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AMNESTY MAY ANGER MUSICIANS
This is interesting. Amnesty International may lose the support of some of its high profile pop campaigners because it has passed a policy on that always divisive issue of abortion.

The new Amnesty policy advocates women's right to abortion in certain circumstances, including when they have been the victims of rape or when their own life is in danger. But expressing any support for abortion will always go down badly in some circles, and according to the Sunday Times both Avril Lavigne and Christina Aguilera - both coming from anti-abortion Christian communities - may reconsider their support for the campaigning organisation because of the abortion policy.

Both Aguilera and Lavigne contributed songs to a recent Amnesty CD to raise money for survivors of the crises in Darfur, but some insiders say the two stars would not have participated in the campaign had they known about the abortion policy that was already in the making. An Amnesty spokesman told reporters: "We don't know the personal opinion of the artists on abortion but the CD has been launched to raise awareness of the situation in Darfur".

Aguilera and Lavigne are yet to comment, and this might all be idle speculation. That said, whatever your opinion on abortion, and even if you think issues like Darfur are so important that the pop stars should probably just agree to disagree on Amnesty's other policies, it is nice to know some celebs actually think about the policies of the organisations they support, rather than just the column inches their support will deliver in return.

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BO DIDDLEY SUFFERS HEART ATTACK
Legendary blues musician Bo Diddley has suffered a heart attack and is being treated in a North Florida hospital. The guitarist is said to be in a stable condition after receiving care in the cardiac ward, though his publicist confirmed that the 78-year-old's condition was still "very serious". Indeed, his recent hospital visits won't help to stave off rumours of a rapid deterioration in the health of the chart-topping star, who was also in care in May of this year after suffering a stroke that impaired his speech and speech recognition. In addition, he has lost a number of toes to diabetes in recent years.

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CBGB FOUNDER DIES
The founder of the legendary New York punk club CBGB, Hilly Kristal, died yesterday after complications from lung cancer. He was 75.

Kristal launched the Manhatten club in 1973, originally with the intent of hosting primarily bluegrass and country acts. However, it quickly became the unofficial home to New York's experimental and punk scene, with the likes of Talking Heads, Television, Living Colour, Patti Smith, Blondie and the Ramones playing early gigs there.

Over time the club gained iconic status and, while it became less influential in the 90s, when the venue's landlords refused to renew Kristal's lease in 2005 after a dispute over rent increases many of the legendary artists who had played there over the years spoke in support of the club owner, participating in a 'save CBGB campaign'.

As previously reported, after it became clear that the original CBGB was going to have to close, Kristal began to look for new premises, eventually opting to move the club to a replica venue in Las Vegas rather than taking on a new venue in New York. It is unclear if Kristal's death will affect those plans.

Kristal is survived by a daughter, a son and two grandchildren. A private memorial service is being planned, with a public memorial expected to be announced in due course.

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DMX CLEARED
Following that raid last week on the home of rapper DMX, where police reportedly found all sorts of dodgy stuff, news this morning that nothing illegal was actually found. So, take note, all those people who reported the dodgy stuff as fact (erm, was that us?). As for the "distressed" dogs that were removed from the rapper's premises, a spokesman says that the hip hopper has been away for two months on a European tour and that the care of the dogs had been left to an employee, who, if police are to be believed, had been doing some pretty poor caring. So, there you go. No charges have been pressed.

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NEW U2 ALBUM NEWS
Daniel Lanois, one of the producers behind the new U2 album, has said that sessions with the band are "going great", and added that both he and cohort Brian Eno are engaged in songwriting for the release. Lanois has worked with the Irish superstars before, of course, on some of their best known releases, and noted that everything was going well with the new long player, and that the record was "kind of making itself", according to Rolling Stone magazine.

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BRITNEY'S COMEBACK
The only slightly nutty Britney Spears has finally announced details of her, erm, long awaited return to music, with a single called 'Gimme More' reportedly set to go to radio next week in the US.

The troubled pop star has somehow found the time between her divorce settlement, custody battle and paparazzi fights to record the single with producer Nate Hills, and 'insiders' (probably her PRs) are saying that it's set to be a huge hit, claiming: "It's a smash! She's going to come out strong. The only question is, with all the drama, are people going to want something fun or something more serious? This is a dance single".

Meanwhile, it turns out that Britney's return to chart dominance could have been much quicker, after the producer Tricky Stewart revealed that Rihanna's worldwide number 1 single 'Umbrella' was first offered to Britters, only for the track to get rebuffed by her agents. Singer/songwriter Taio Cruz explains: "I was working with Tricky in his studio the day he finished 'Umbrella'. As soon as I heard it I said, 'That is a smash, I have to have it,' but he told me it was on hold for Britney. He waited but Britney's people never called him back".

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RACONTEURS NEW ALBUM NEWS
The Raconteurs (or Saboteurs to Australian readers) have announced some vague details about their new album on the band's website in the form of a short dialogue between Jack White and Brendan Benson. Being recorded in Nashville, it's set to feature a guest appearance from the Hives' frontman Howlin Pelle on a track called 'Footsteps', while Brendan adds that the songs are "like dancing about architecture", whatever that means. Also discussed is the possibility of Benson and fellow Raconteur Patrick Keeler forming another offshoot of the band, while White proffers a typically mysterious ending, saying: "Don't believe everything you read. Fact of business; don't even believe all the things I tell you when it's just you and me in the room". Sorted.

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THE KILLERS RECRUIT LOU REED
Lou Reed has agreed to work with Las Vegas's favourite indie band, The Killers, for their previously reported new rarities and b-sides album. Speaking of the collaboration with the former Velvet Underground great, frontman Brandon Flowers said: "We were thrilled with being able to work with Lou Reed. The song was calling for a duet and his voice was just right. The sentiment of the song is very him". On the compilation itself, Flowers told NME that the whole project has been influenced by releases by two of his favourite bands - Oasis's 'The Masterplan' and The Smith's 'Hatful of Hollow - both a collection of critically acclaimed b-sides and rarities, strangely enough.

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KEITH DEMANDS AN APOLOGY
Rolling Stone Keith Richards has demanded an apology from two Swedish tabloids after they both ran poor reviews of the band's Gothenberg date earlier this month. The pirate-like Keith sent the rant to both 'Expressen' and 'Aftonbladet' after various insults in their reviews, including one that claimed he was "superdrunk" (note: not just normally drunk) and "a bit confused", which doesn't sound like Keith at all.

Keith's retort was published in an entirely different paper ('Dagen Nyheter') and saw the Stone moan: "This is a first. Never before have I risen to the bait of a bad review. But this time ... I have to stand up ... for our fans all over Sweden ... to say that you owe them, and us, an apology. There were 56,000 people in Ullevi stadium who bought a ticket to our concert - and experienced a completely different show than the one you 'reviewed'".

But it seems the complaint has fallen on deaf ears with one of the reviewers, Markus Larsson of 'Aftonbladet', telling the media that he refused to take back his comments, adding: "It is Keith who should apologise. After all it costs around 1,000 kronor [about £90] to see a rock star who can hardly handle the guitar riff to 'Brown Sugar' any more."

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KATE NASH TO CRACK US
Recent album chart-topper Kate Nash is apparently gearing up for a crack at the US market, hoping to emulate the success of recent Billboard debutante Amy Winehouse (success in building a US profile, not success in ODing and going a bit mad). The Wimbledon-born singer has a short tour confirmed, while her album has a tentative US release date of early 2008.

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BPI WELCOME BOOTLEGGER SENTENCE
The BPI has announced that Robert Langley, the guy who was selling bootleg Led Zeppelin recordings, has been handed a 20 month sentence for copyright infringement. Langley, whose court case in Glasgow scored a bit of rock n roll when Jimmy Page testified for the prosecution, originally pleaded not guilty, but then changed his plea mid-trial. The BPI says that Langley is the last of a network of serial music bootleggers (of the kind who sneakily record live performances and then sell them without permission of the artists or their labels) to be brought to justice and, as such, the sentence is good news for the wider record industry.

Commenting on Langley's sentence, BPI anti-piracy manager David Wood told reporters: "We owe a debt of gratitude to both Strathclyde Police and the Fiscal Service for putting this case together, and bringing this notorious bootlegger to justice. Jimmy Page's decision to give evidence at the trial in person was instrumental in bringing this case to a swift and satisfactory conclusion and for that we owe him our most sincere thanks".

He continued: "That Langley is the last of the big bootleggers to be brought to justice is also hugely satisfying for us, but the piracy problem our industry faces has been transformed hugely in the last 10 years. Serious organised criminals now control the distribution of fake CDs, DVDs, games and software, and internet piracy has engendered a culture of mass online copyright theft. But as this case shows, by working with closely with the authorities we can bring people who profit from music theft to justice".

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NOKIA LAUNCH MUSIC STORE
Nokia have announced plans to enter into the download market fully with the launch of their own online music store, to be called Ovi after the Finnish word for 'door'. The new download platform is part of Nokia's huge drive to score a portion of the growing music and video downloads market. All the majors are already signed up to the new service.

Nokia hope their service, which has taken around two years to build, will compete by offering games as well as music, as well as integrating mobile and online downloading. Ovi is expected to feature around 2 million songs upon release, as well as games from companies like EA.

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EMUSIC ANNOUNCE NEW LABEL DEALS
Independent download platform eMusic have announced that Beggars Group and its affiliate XL Recordings plus Concord Music Group and ATO Records have all renewed their agreements to supply music to the digital music service. New agreements have also been reached with Peacefrog, Echo Label, Boompa, Giantslayer, Labrador and Elefant, which, the company says, brings its catalogue up to 2.8 million tracks.

Announcing the new deals, eMusic boss David Pakman told reporters: "The catalogues of Beggars, XL, Concord and ATO are among the richest on eMusic, and we have enjoyed working with them to increase sales of both their best new releases and undiscovered catalogue. We look forward to continuing our relationship with them, and to building our relationship with our new labels and distributors. We're sure eMusic subscribers will enjoy exploring all the great music they have to offer".

As previously reported, some key independents, including Domino and Victory Records, have removed their content from eMusic in the last twelve months, so maintaining a relationship with someone like the Beggars Group is important for the indie download firm.

But the good news is the Beggars people do seem committed to eMusic, with their Director Of Digital Simon Wheeler telling reporters yesterday: "eMusic has been a key digital partner for Beggars for many years. eMusic subscribers' huge appetite for new music is perfectly aligned with our roster of creative labels and groundbreaking artists. With over 300,000 subscribers, eMusic is proving that the vast range and variety of independent music can deliver a compelling and satisfying music experience".

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JT IS ACTING
Justin Timberlake is expected to continue his foray into the movie business with a starring role alongside Mike Myers next year. Having already racked-up a voice over with Myers in the summer blockbuster 'Shrek 3', he will play a professional ice hockey player alongside Sin City star Jessica Alba, who I'm tipping to have secured Timberlake's services, so to speak, by the end of the film. That's how relationships work in celeb land, in case you wondered.

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PORN ADDICTION
Former Jane's addiction guitarist Dave Navarro has announced that he has finished directing a porn movie, his debut in the, erm, genre. Navarro has been working with the production company owned by established porn magnate/star Tera Patrick on his project, which is titled 'Broken', a reference to the protagonist being "torn apart by the duality of control and powerlessness in her life". Or at least that's what AVN.com told us.

Speaking of the project, Navarro said that it offered him a "sense of danger and edge" that he felt he had lost through working in music, adding that it reminded him of his early days in the band where he would get his hands dirty - though whether he meant this literally is unclear. Navarro has already confirmed that his lead is Sasha Grey, an actress of considerable experience in the industry, having starred in the political thriller 'Gang Bang My Face', the Jane Austen adaptation 'In Through the Backdoor', and 'Cum Fart Cocktails Number 5', which marked a particular low point of her blossoming career. Or so they tell me.

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GALLOWS' SINGER TATTOOED ONSTAGE
Following in a line of infamous acts of rock stupidity (see Ozzy's bat biting and the Chili Peppers' genital socks for reference), up-and-coming UK punk band Gallows have made their addition to the list with frontman Frank Carter getting tattooed mid-set at last weekend's Reading Festival. Before launching into their song 'Sick Of Being Sick', Carter exclaimed: "This has been the best gig of my life - I don't want to forget it. But in half an hour I won't be able to remember a fucking thing, so I'm going to get a tattoo". Chad Gilbert of pop-punkers New Found Glory then entered the stage with an electric tattoo gun and performed the deed, before Gallows finished off their set. After the gig, it was reported that Carter claimed, "That tattoo hurt like fucking hell".

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CALVIN HARRIS: ACCEPTABLE ON THE TERRACES
Electro-pop-disco-thing Calvin Harris looks set to add to his catalogue with a song about his home city's football team, Queen Of The South (that city is Dumfries, in case you wondered).

NME.com reports that the bug-eyed musician has been approached by officials asking him to compose a piece of music that the players can come onto the pitch to before every game. PA operator Alex Wilson said: "It was basically a challenge to him. It was in the papers that he was a Queen of the South supporter. So when I met him in the pub I asked him if he would do me a bit of music - I thought I would just chance it and see. We need to try and get something more up tempo".

Harris will presumably now claim to creating the football song too.

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