CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 6th September
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Universal close down Sanctuary UK labels
- Pavarotti dies
- Apple launch iPod Touch
- Bo Diddley out of hospital
- You know in your heart of hearts he killed her: Spector trial update
- Court date set for The Game's basketball charges
- Kanye named man of the year
- Help gets all new DVD release
- More Led Zepp reunion rumours
- Madness tour
- Acoustic Ladyland tour
- Zune players come down in price
- Bertelsmann profits hit by Napster pay offs
- Record label chiefs go to Congress over degrading language debate
- Music legends to present on Radio 1
- Should News24 go to enable BBC savings?
- Osbourne denies plans to quit X Factor
- MCR man reportedly married
- Daltrey on Doherty's 'death wish'
- Diddy don't do drugs, OK?

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TOP BIT RECOMMENDED
Ladies and gentlemen, it gives us great pleasure to announce details of the next edition of the CMU Recommended Insomniacs Ball, which will once again take over the seOne club underneath London Bridge station, this time on 29 Sep.

Already on the bill are EdBanger stalwarts Uffie + Feadz and the irrepressible SebastiAn, giving things a little bit of a French feel, though there'll be plenty of home grown talent too, in particular the buzzy Pull Tiger Tail, the rather good We Smoke Fags, Dead Disco, These New Puritans, Ox Eagle Lion Man, Goldie Locks, Nic Nell, Punks Jump Up and Matty White Heat. In fact, in total there will be over seventeen bands playing the three rooms of the Ball, plus a stack of great DJs on top of that.

Given its name, obviously this all happens over night. Doors will open at 9.30pm and the proceedings will run all the way through to 6am the next day. And did I mention all this costs just a tenner?

Tickets are available from http://www.ticketweb.co.uk, there's more info at http://www.myspace.com/insomniacsball, and you press types can get all you need press wise from nick@10xbetter.com. And needless to say, look out for more line up info here in the CMU Daily, just as soon as it's confirmed.

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UNIVERSAL CLOSE DOWN SANCTUARY UK LABELS
The Universal Music Group has announced a radical restructure of the UK record label division of the Sanctuary Music Group, which is acquired last month, of course. Very radical in fact. Because by 'radical' I really mean they're closing it down.

As previously reported, ever since Universal first made its bid to buy Sanctuary back in June it has been clear their primary interest in the struggling independent music firm was its artist management and merchandising divisions, both potentially lucrative sectors in which Universal does not currently operate. The Sanctuary recordings catalogue was also clearly of value, especially if integrated with Universal's existing recordings operations, but the value to Universal of Sanctuary's frontline labels and active A&R operations were always questionable, leading many to speculate they would be merged with existing Universal labels or closed altogether.

That speculation was confirmed yesterday, in the UK at least, when Universal announced that "in consultation with senior management of the Sanctuary Group, it has been decided that its Sanctuary Records UK division will no longer continue as a stand alone, front-line record label". Universal said it would look to minimise redundancies in Sanctuary's labels, and that it would be consulting those artists currently on its rosters, presumably meaning artists and staff deemed to be of value will be offered contracts with other Universal labels.

Yesterday's announcement does not affect Sanctuary's US record labels, though speculation has begun that they face a similar future to their UK counterparts. Meanwhile it is assumed that former Sanctuary directors Frank Presland and Paul Wallace, who are expected to stay on with the company, will now head up a management and merchandising division within the Universal Music Group. Whether this will maintain the Sanctuary name remains to be seen.

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PAVAROTTI DIES
Following much speculation about the state of his health, it was announced this morning that Luciano Pavarotti died overnight, after a year long fight against pancreatic cancer. He was 71.

As previously reported, the opera star was admitted to hospital on 8 Aug, and stayed in under observation for longer than initially expected, but did return home last week. However, his manager Terri Robson announced today: "The great tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, died today at 5:00 a.m. at his home in Modena, the city of his birth. The Maestro fought a long, tough battle against the pancreatic cancer which eventually took his life. In fitting with the approach that characterized his life and work, he remained positive until finally succumbing to the last stages of his illness".

Pavarotti began his singing career in his home country of Italy at that start of the sixties, inspired by his father who was also a fine singer. He quickly built a reputation as a star of the opera in Europe, though it was through his work in the US that he really became a celebrity of the genre - most notably following a 1978 performance for New York's Metropolitan Opera which was broadcast live on PBS.

His fame become even more mainstream during the Italian World Cup in 1990, firstly when the BBC used his performance of Giacomo Puccini's 'Nessun Dorma' as their theme tune for the event, sending the song into the music charts, and then through the hugely high profile 'Three Tenors' concert in Rome on the eve of the World Cup Final where he shared the stage with Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo who, by performing a combination of opera pieces and more light-hearted songs, opened themselves to a much more mainstream audience.

Pavarotti performed a 'farewell tour' in 2004, including a last opera performance back at the Metropolitan Opera. He also sang at the opening of the 2006 Olympics in Turin, after which he stepped back from public performance as he underwent surgery to remove a pancreatic tumour.

'Three Tenors' co-star Domingo is among those who have already paid tribute to the late opera star, telling reporters this morning: "I always admired the God-given glory of his voice - that unmistakable special timbre from the bottom up to the very top of the tenor range. I also loved his wonderful sense of humour and on several occasions of our concerts with José Carreras we had trouble remembering that we were giving a concert before a paying audience, because we had so much fun between ourselves".

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APPLE LAUNCH IPOD TOUCH
Apple chief Steve Jobs took centre stage again yesterday at an Apple press call in San Francisco where the computer firm announced a number of new products, in particular the launch of the new WiFi enabled iPod Touch.

The new device primarily borrows features from the much hyped iPhone. Although slimmer than the iPod mobile phone device, it also has a touch screen interface, and has WiFi built in meaning users with a WiFi connection can access the internet via the player, downloading music straight to the device, and accessing services like Google and YouTube. Unlike the iPhone, however, the new device is not a mobile phone, and does not make or receive calls.

As well as the new device, Jobs also announced new versions of existing iPod devices, including the Nano and the original iPod, which the Apple chief yesterday re-christened as the iPod Classic.

Perhaps most controversial was Jobs' announcement regarding the iPhone, which was launched in the US back in June. He said that one of the two models of iPhones would be discontinued, and that the other model will be relaunched at a price $200 lower than the launch price. The US press report that there is concern among the investment community regarding the size of the price cut, while others speculate such a large price reduction so soon after launch could alienate those customers who shelled out for an iPhone at the original price.

The other big music announcement from Jobs was a new alliance with Starbucks. Owners of the new iPod Touch will be able to use a WiFi facility in many Starbucks stores in the US, and will also be able to access specific Starbucks content, including a list of the last ten tracks played instore. Starbucks chief Howard Schultz joined Jobs on stage to confirm the new service would start to roll out in his company's coffee shops in October.

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BO DIDDLEY OUT OF HOSPITAL
Legendary blues musician Bo Diddley has been discharged from hospital following that previously reported heart attack. Diddley underwent successful surgery after the heart attack, which came as the music legend was recovering from a stroke that occurred back in May.

His spokeswoman Susan Clary told reporters yesterday: "With his health greatly improved, Diddley is happy to be home with his family and away from the hospital food".

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YOU KNOW IN YOUR HEART OF HEARTS HE KILLED HER: SPECTOR TRIAL UPDATE
So, the long running much previously reported Phil Spector murder trial is reaching its grand climax. Yesterday the prosecution in the case began its closing arguments, going over a lot of old ground, and trying to throw further doubt on the testimonies of forensic experts who spoke for the defence by claiming their 'expert evidence' had been bought by millionaire Spector and his legal team.

As previously reported, Phil Spector is accused of shooting dead actress Lana Clarkson at his Beverly Hills home in February 2003. Spector claims she shot herself.

The prosecution focused their case against Spector on three main things - evidence that the legendary producer had, on numerous previous occasions, pointed guns at women when he was alone with them; the testimony of Spector's driver, Adriano DeSouz, who claimed that shortly after the shooting Spector said "I think I killed somebody"; and forensic evidence that suggested Spector was close enough to Clarkson at the time of her death for him to have pulled the trigger.

The defence spent much of their time trying to prove that Clarkson had been very depressed prior to her death, and that she had written and said suicidal things, suggesting that the former actress may well have decided to end it while in Spector's home. Their numerous forensic experts, meanwhile, said that the way Clarkson's blood was distributed around the room where she died suggested Spector was not close enough to pull the trigger.

Summing up for the prosecution yesterday, head prosecutor Alan Jackson told the court room: "She [Clarkson] was murdered once on February 3rd 2003, by Phillip Spector when he put a gun in her mouth and that gun went off. Her character has been assassinated over the last four months through the presentation of the defense evidence, attempting to paint her in a way that simply isn't true".

Jackson's final presentation was a multi-media feast that was originally meant to only take the morning, but in the end ran through to 4.30pm. Supported by various slides and videos, Jackson disputed the claim Clarkson was suicidal - "There is a huge difference between suicidal ideation and the normal ups and downs" he said - while again arguing that the defence's forensics experts were "hired guns", and alleging that famous forensics man Henry Lee didn't, in the end, testify because he couldn't support the defence's argument (Lee dropped out of the case after he was accused of concealing evidence found at the crime scene).

Jackson went on to ask the jury to imagine they had seen Spector and Clarkson leave the House Of Blues club the night she died (that's where they met, in case you'd forgotten), observing: "You'd lean over and you'd whisper, 'Don't go. Don't go'. You'd simply say, 'Lana, don't go'. The reason that you would say that is because you know something she didn't know. You know in your heart of hearts he is responsible for her death. He killed her".

Jackson also reminded the jury that the issue of intent was not important here because, he says, under Californian law what is important is whether Spector was responsible for Clarkson's death, and not whether or not he had at any point intended to actually kill here. Observing Spector's rather shaky hands, he remarked: "What if he had a tremor and the gun just went off? It just doesn't matter. There could have been an earthquake and the gun goes off. It doesn't matter".

That was something that Spector's defence took issue with, claiming that Jackson had misrepresented the law to the jury, and that Judge Larry Paul Fidler should call a mis-trial as a result. Fidler disagreed, though he did ask Jackson to clarify certain points later on.

The defence will present their closing remarks today, before the jury are sent into their little room to finally make judgement on this long running case. As previously reported, Spector's chief lawyer, Bruce Cutler, stepped down from case last week, having been absent from the proceedings for much of the trial. Defence attorney Linda Kenny-Baden is expected to sum up on Spector's behalf.

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COURT DATE SET FOR THE GAME'S BASKETBALL CHARGES
Rap star The Game has been formally ordered to stand trial relating to those allegations he threatened to shoot an opponent during a basketball game in LA back in February this year. As previously reported, the hip hop star faces charges of making criminal threats plus, because the basketball game took place next to a school, of possessing and exhibiting a firearm in a school zone. The rapper denied the charges when arrested back in May, but will now have to face the allegations in court, with a 25 Sep court hearing now set. As previously reported, he could face up to five years in jail if found guilty.

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KANYE NAMED MAN OF THE YEAR
Kanye West was named International Man Of The Year at the GQ Awards on Tuesday while James Blunt was named Solo Artist Of The Year. Woman Of The Year, in case you wondered, went to Tracey Emin.

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HELP GETS ALL NEW DVD RELEASE
A remastered version of The Beatles' second movie 'Help' will come out on DVD in October. The DVD will come with a soundtrack to the film in 5.1 surround sound audio. There will also be a 30 minute documentary included in the package all about the making of the film, plus a previously unseen cut scene from the movie.

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MORE LED ZEPP REUNION RUMOURS
Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant has reportedly told a fan that the legendary band's much rumoured reunion will happen. The NME says that said fan asked Plant about the reunion, and he apparently replied: "How did you find out about this? We've got a band meeting about it this afternoon about it. There's not a lot to work out as it's only going to be one-off gig".

The latest rumours are that the Led Zepp reunion will be one part of a tribute concert in memory of the late Atlantic Records co-founder and chief Amhet Ertegun, which will be held at The O2 in London. The band were signed to Ertegun's label, and previously reunited in 1988 for an Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert.

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MADNESS TOUR
Talking of The O2, Madness have announced a UK arena tour for December, which concludes at The O2 on 14 Dec. Tickets will go one sale tomorrow.

6 Dec: Aberdeen, Press and Journal Arena
7 Dec: Belfast, Odyssey
8 Dec: Liverpool, Aintree Pavilion
10 Dec: Cardiff, Cardiff International Arena
11 Dec: Plymouth, Pavilions
12 Dec: Birmingham, NEC
14 Dec: London, 02 Arena

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ACOUSTIC LADYLAND TOUR
More tour dates, and Acoustic Ladyland have announced details of a tour for next month, dates as follows:

2 Oct: Joiner's Arms Southampton
3 Oct: The Cavern Exeter
5 Oct: Fiddlers Bristol
6 Oct: Taylor John's House, Coventry
8 Oct: Caberet Voltaire, Edinburgh
9 Oct: King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
10 Oct: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
11 Oct: Mr. Kyps, Poole
12 Oct: The Boileroom, Guildford
23 Oct: Oxjam, Norwich
22 Nov: The Luminaire, London

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ZUNE PLAYERS COME DOWN IN PRICE
Microsoft conveniently cut the price of their Zune digital music player by fifty dollars on Tuesday, the day before Apple's aforementioned new product announcements. But on Zune's official blog it was explained the price cut was "part of the normal product lifecycle" and "something we've had on the books for months". So there you go.

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BERTELSMANN PROFITS HIT BY NAPSTER PAY OFFS
BMG parent company Bertelsmann's income fell in the first half of the current financial year, with earnings at 417 million euros, down from 693 million euros in the same period last year. The German media conglom said the poor figures were primarily down to the previously reported Napster settlements - in which the media firm paid off content owners who were still suing it for investments it made in the original Napster P2P network back in the day. But those settlements, Bertelsmann say, may have been costly, but have strengthened the company.

Top man Gunter Thielen told reporters: "Bertelsmann had a gratifying first half. Most of our businesses are on plan after six months. We can safely say that Bertelsmann is on track. We are also pleased to have arrived at important out-of-court settlements in connection with Napster, which eliminates a potential significant risk for Bertelsmann's future".

Bertelsmann used the financial report to also make comment on the European Commission's much previously reported review of the merger of its recorded music operations with that of Sony Music to create SonyBMG. As previously reported, the European courts ruled that the EC should never have allowed the merger, forcing the Commission to consider the merger proposal a new. Bertelsmann say they now expect a verdict from the EC in October, and that they are confident the merger will be approved.

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RECORD LABEL CHIEFS GO TO CONGRESS OVER DEGRADING LANGUAGE DEBATE
The campaign against racist and misogynistic language in hip hop is scheduled to head to US Congress, with Variety reporting on plans to hold a congressional hearing on "stereotypes and degradation" of women in the media, in a session called 'From Imus to Industry: The Business Of Stereotypes And Degradation'.

As previously reported, discussion on the representation of women, and especially black women, in hip hop and other popular music and media, has been especially vocal in the US ever since radio presenter Don Imus was sacked after using racist and sexist language in a throw away remark about a women's basketball team. After Imus' sacking, attention fell on the fact that kind of language was also frequently used within genres dominated by the black community itself, mainly hip hop, reigniting the debate over racism, sexism, censorship and social responsibility in mainstream music and media. Much of the anger against hip hop has so far been aimed at the chiefs of those companies that profit from the genre rather than the artists who make it.

Some of those chiefs are expected to be called to the congressional hearing on the topic, which is due to start on 25 Sep, among them Universal Music Group chief Doug Morris, Warner Music Group boss Edgar Bronfman Jr and Viacom's Phillippe Dauman.

The Illinois Democratic Congressman leading the hearing, Bobby Rush, who chairs the House Subcommittee On Commerce, Trade And Consumer Protection, told reporters this week: "I want to engage not just the music industry but the entertainment industry at large to be part of a solution. I want to talk to executives at these conglomerates who've never taken a public position on what they produce. But it's been surprisingly very difficult to get them to commit to appearing".

Rush says he doesn't want the hearing to be seen to be "anti-artist or anti-music or anti-youth", and that any solutions suggested would be voluntary rather than regulatory, adding: "I respect the First Amendment, but rights without responsibility is anarchy, and that's much of what we have now. It's time for responsible people to stand up and accept responsibility".

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MUSIC LEGENDS TO PRESENT ON RADIO 1
Paul McCartney, Noel Gallagher, the Arctic Monkeys, Ozzy Osbourne, Debbie Harry, Gwen Stefani, Paul Weller, Paul Oakenfold, Dave Grohl and Norman Cook will all present a one off show on BBC Radio 1 to help celebrate the nation's favourite's previously reported 40th anniversary as part of a programme called Radio 1 Legends. Here's what Macca says about the opportunity: "As I am a legend in my own street, they've very kindly asked me to do my own show, talk about people who inspired me and play my favourite records". So, that's useful to know.

Elsewhere in the birthday celebrations, current Radio 1 DJs will co-present with presenters from yesteryear. Though whether DLT and the others axed during Matthew Bannister's DJ cull of the early nineties will want to reappear remains to be seen. But Tony Blackburn is definitely on board - he'll co-host the breakfast show with Chris Moyles on 30 Sep.

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SHOULD NEWS24 GO TO ENABLE BBC SAVINGS?
Elsewhere in BBC land, there has been much discussion regarding how the Corporation should cut their future budgets having received a less that wished for licence fee settlement from the government. BBC senior execs are currently deciding how to adapt their plans given the cut in funding, leading to debate inside the Beeb as to who should cut back to compensate for the shortfall.

The debate went public after Jeremy Paxman, John Humphreys and John Sweeney all went on the record as saying that wherever the cuts come from, they shouldn't be made in news and current affairs. Humphreys and Sweeney went on to say that if anything has to be cut it should be BBC3 and BBC4, because nobody really watches them.

That has led to quiet anger elsewhere in the Beeb, especially at BBC3 and BBC4, with execs arguing that [a] it is wrong for BBC news types to use their celebrity to present their opinions on the matter to the public and [b] if any digital service should go then it should be News24 because there are commercial news channels, but no commercial channels fulfilling the remits of BBC3 and BBC4.

The Guardian quote one exec from BBC Vision, the bit of the Beeb in charge of telly, as saying: "We would prefer to keep our dirty linen within the BBC and keep it as an internal debate, but some journalists are using their positions to create their own arguments. Is that a good use of airtime or the public platform the BBC gives them? If you make drama or comedy you don't have access to that platform. If people in news want to play the game of saying BBC3 or BBC4 should be axed, let's look at their services as well. There are many providers of 24-hour rolling news in the market place, why do we need the BBC to do it? Why are we doing something that Sky is doing already? If we are going to look at the potential axing of a digital channel, News 24 should be in the firing line as well. Let's open up the debate and look at all the digital services".

Of course, while it isn't a nice job to do, figuring out how to make cut backs at the vastly over staffed BBC shouldn't really be that difficult - and no one channel or service really needs to go in order to enable cuts. But it won't be a nice job, and with the unions still vocal at the BBC, I suspect we can expect some turbulent times at the Corporation in the coming months.

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OSBOURNE DENIES PLANS TO QUIT X FACTOR
Sharon Osbourne has denied claims she is planning to quit The X Factor at the end of the current series. Following reports to that effect in The Sun, Osbourne told reporters yesterday: "I have absolutely no plans to leave The X Factor at the end of the year, I've had great fun filming this year's series and I'm really looking forward to the live shows".

Rumour had it Osbourne was reconsidering her role on the show because of a new commitment to NBC's 'America's Got Talent' show, and also because of tensions between her and new X Factor judge Dannii Minogue.

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MCR MAN REPORTEDLY MARRIED
My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way has reportedly married his long term girlfriend back stage at a Linkin Park gig. According to Perezhilton.com, Way and his girlfriend were married by a Live Nation official, who also happened to be an ordained minister, after supporting Linkin Park at the Projekt Revolution concert at Coors Amphitheatre in Denver, Colorado on Monday. No official word from the MCR camp.

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DALTREY ON DOHERTY'S 'DEATH WISH'
The Who's Roger Daltrey has had another go at Pete Doherty for his failure to kick the drugs. Responding to that previously reported research on how pop stars are more likely to die young, Daltrey wrote in The Sun: "He [Doherty] has a particular talent but I'm not sure he's comfortable with it. There's a bathroom floor waiting somewhere for him. He seems to have a death wish and that is so incredibly dull - to think that that's a cool and exciting thing". Actually, it is quite cool and exciting. But still not very clever.

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DIDDY DON'T DO DRUGS, OK?
Talking of drugs and all that jazz, P Diddy has denied taking drugs after a video surfaced on YouTube seemingly showing the hip hop mogul participating in a suspicious looking exchange of goods in an Ibiza nightclub. A spokesman for Diddy has told reporters: "Any suggestion he is buying drugs would be patently false. He does not use drugs". To be fair, even if he did take drugs, surely he'd have some lackey to go buy them for him.

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