CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 10th September
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Final send-off for Pavarotti
- Gainsbourg is OK
- Wyclef: Lauryn Hill needs help
- Deliberations begin: Spector trial update
- Foxy Brown sent to slammer
- Songwriter reaches settlement with Winehouse
- Ex-Snow Patrol bassist sues
- Tribute to Don Arden
- Radiohead return
- Bjork busies another new album
- Fake Michael Jackson dismissed
- Spears makes VMA comeback
- More Led Zeppelin reunion speculation
- Former Live Nation MD may be planning AEG JV
- Universal sue mixtape firm
- Apple offer credits to iPhone owners
- NME.com upgrade video service
- New musical reality show
- Chart Update
- Total Rock World album chart
- Fergie auctions hummer
- Rufus: Gordon Brown is sexy

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TOP BIT
So, as predicted on Friday, a bit of a late Daily because I started the day in a field on the Isle Of Wight, and while my colleague Owen was busy news gathering at that very moment here in London, the whole operation was held back by me having to make my way back from the glorious Bestival 2007. So, basically, blame Rob da Bank. And possibly Andrew Maxwell, for keeping me up to half three with his Bestival closing Full Mooners. Brilliant. And blimey, what good weather. More on all that tomorrow, meantime, here's some good old fashioned music news.

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FINAL SEND-OFF FOR PAVAROTTI
Big names galore from the worlds of entertainment and politics came together to celebrate the life of Pavarotti at his funeral on Saturday. As previously reported, the opera star died last week after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, initiating a mass outpouring of grief, in Italy in particular, and elsewhere among the star's fanbase, within the opera world and far beyond.

Pavarotti's funeral was held at the cathedral in his hometown of Modena, and mourners included Kofi Annan, Bono, and Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, while thousands of fans watched the ceremony on two huge TV screens erected outside the building. Those present were played some of Pavarotti's finest recordings before the ceremony, with a mass rendition of 'Ave Maria' starting the mass, before Italian singer and friend of Pavarotti Andrea Bocelli sang Mozart's 'Ave Verum Corpus'. Following the service, Pavarotti's version of 'Nessun Dorma' was played as the coffin left the cathedral, with ten Italian Air Force planes flying overhead pumping out streams of green, white and red smoke (Italy's colours, obviously), an event usually reserved for state funerals.

Eulogies have been made from around the world since his death, including one from Prime Minister Prodi, and the previously reported tributes from his 'bandmates' (sort of) Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras, though neither were in attendance the service.

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GAINSBOURG IS OK
French singer and actress Charlotte Gainsbourg (daughter of Serge) has been declared "out of danger" by the medical staff responsible for an operation she underwent in Paris last week. As previously reported, the performer underwent emergency brain surgery after "a massive brain haemorrhage" that came about after she banged her head while waterskiing. Insiders say Charlotte shouldn't need too long to recuperate, and may soon be back on the publicity circuit for her new film, the Dylan biopic 'I'm Not There', in which she co-stars in with Oscar-tipped Cate Blanchett and Heath Ledger, amongst others. Gainsbourg's agent said: "[Charlotte has had] a minor operation to remove a small haematoma - a mass of clotted blood on the brain".

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WYCLEF: LAURYN HILL NEEDS HELP
Stating the bleedin obvious he may be, but former Fugee Wyclef Jean knows what he's talking about when it comes to Lauryn Hill (they did used to date, after all), so when he says that she need psychiatric help, as he did in an interview with MTV last week, perhaps there might be some sound advice in it. Asked about Hill's recent spate of much reported loopiness, Jean said last week: "Lauryn Hill, Mrs Hill, the Holl should go see a psychiatrist - period - just seek help. At this point I really think it will take an act of God to change her, because she is that far out there".

In other interviews Clef quipped that a Fugees' reunion was unlikely until looney Lauryn sorted herself out, which confirms those previously reported comments by third Fugee Pras who said the other week "Osama Bin Laden and [George] Bush in Starbucks having a latte, discussing foreign policies" was more likely to happen than a Fugees reunion while Hill is in her current state.

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DELIBERATIONS BEGIN: SPECTOR TRIAL UPDATE
Phil Spector's defence lawyer Linda Kenney-Baden completed her summing up in the long running murder trial on Friday by concluding "this case exemplifies reasonable doubt". As previously reported, last Thursday Kenney-Baden accused the prosecution in the case from resorting to theatrics and speculation because of a lack of hard evidence to prove that Phil Spector did, as they claim, shoot dead actress Lana Clarkson at his Beverly Hills home in February 2003.

On Friday, and despite technical problems with her powerpoint presentation, Kenney-Baden again told the jury that if they base their judgement on science they must acquit her client because her side's forensic evidence, she claims, was so much stronger than that presented by the prosecution. Rounding up on the prosecution's case, she told the court room: "Cute jokes, tall tales, theatrics, what ifs, possibilities, embellishments, speculation and salacious scandal fit only for gossip rags, replaces the lack of forensic evidence".

Kenny-Baden's summing up for the defence followed a forceful summing up for the prosecution by Alan Jackson on Wednesday during which the chief prosecutor said that the defence had "assassinated" Clarkson's character by claiming she was suicidal in the run up to her death, telling the jury that far from shooting herself "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".

After Kenny-Baden's final stab at convincing the jury that Spector is innocent, Pat Dixon of the District Attorney's office provided the rebuttal to the defence's closing argument. Lacking the theatrics of Jackson, perhaps to fight off the defence's claims that the prosecution have been overly theatrical to cover up for their lack of evidence, Dixon went through each defence argument in turn and tried to demonstrate why they were wrong, in particular disputing the defence's claim that Spector's former driver Adriano de Souza, who claimed that shortly after the shooting his former employer said "I think I killed somebody", had a poor grasp of the English language and had misheard his then boss.

With the rebuttal done Judge Larry Fidler sent the jury home. They are due back in court today to begin their deliberations.

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FOXY BROWN SENT TO SLAMMER
Rapper Foxy Brown has been given a one year jail sentence after a US judge told her on Friday: "I'm not going to give you anymore chances". As previously reported, Brown had been behind bars since the end of last month after breaking the parole conditions relating to that much reported run in with two manicurists in New York in 2004.

The parole break that pushed things too far in the judge's eyes was the run in she had with a neighbour, who she hit with a phone. As a result of that fracas, Brown, real name Inga Marchand, now faces a year inside.

Brown had previously pleaded with the judge for leniency, arguing: "I'm willing to do whatever I need to do to change. I realise that's [prison's] not where I want to be. It's humbled me in ways I never imagined". However, her efforts fell on deaf ears as Judge Melissa Jackson quipped: "Ms Marchand, it's too little too late. I'm glad you're learning something; that's a positive".

On the up side, if Lil Kim is anything to go buy, a bit of jail time could do wonders for Marchand's record sales.

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SONGWRITER REACHES SETTLEMENT WITH WINEHOUSE
Songwriter and producer P*Nut has reached a settlement with Amy Winehouse's people regarding the song 'He Can Only Hold Her', which appears on her album 'Back To Black'.

P*Nut, real name John Harrison, claimed that he co-conceived the song with Winehouse while working with the singer in early 2006. He'd originally thought he would produce the song too, but in the end production duties were undertaken by 'Back To Black's primary producer Mark Ronson. On that album the song was credited to Amy Winehouse, Richard Poindexter and Robert Poindexter, with Harrison simply getting a thank you in the album sleeve notes.

Harrison asked his lawyers to step in, and it was announced on Friday that they had reached a settlement with Winehouse which will see the producer formally credited as a songwriter on the track, and receiving a cut of royalties from it.

That lawyer, Bob Page of Jayes and Page, told reporters on Friday: "This represents a very satisfactory outcome for P*Nut, who considered his contribution to the song to be perfectly obvious. He was therefore extremely disappointed not to receive the credit he deserved on Amy's album and furthermore at the extent of the resistance he encountered in securing his fair share of the copyright. Whilst Amy and her publishers took the matter to the brink, P*Nut is pleased that common sense has prevailed and he is now looking forward to seeing his contribution properly recognised on future exploitation of this song".

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EX-SNOW PATROL BASSIST SUES
Elsewhere in the pop courts, Snow Patrol's former bassist Mark McClelland has announced that he is to sue the rest of the band for songwriting royalties and gig earnings from 2005 and beyond, including those from the band's breakthrough album 'Final Straw' and last year's 'Eyes Open'. McClelland left the band alleging 'creative differences' between himself and frontman Gary Lightbody, and 6Music reports he has now lodged a legal claim at London's High Court that could be worth upwards of £1 million if successful.

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TRIBUTE TO DON ARDEN
Don Arden, the legendary music impresario, and father of Sharon Osbourne, has been remembered by Small Faces' fans at the unveiling of a plaque celebrating the band and the life of their manager who, as previously reported, died aged 81 last month. The band's drummer Kenney Jones took the honour of revealing the memorial to hundreds of fans in Carnaby Street, the reported venue for Arden's signing of the band just half an hour after they had met. According to Yahoo! Music, the plaque was paid for by fans and the unveiling tied-in with the annual Small Faces' convention.

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RADIOHEAD RETURN
Radiohead guitarist Johnny Greenwood has told Paste Magazine that the band have finished recording their new album, saying: "We just had a meeting about that today. We're very relieved to have finished recording, now we have to decide what we should do with it". Err, release it, Johnny?? Mustn't get too excited, mind, because, as Greenwood noted, and as we've previously reported, Radiohead are currently sans recording contract so aren't working to anyone else's schedule on any album release.

Elsewhere, Greenwood is embarking on another solo adventure, with Pitchfork reporting that he will be composing original music for Paul Thomas Anderson's latest film, 'There Will Be Blood'. The 'Magnolia' director has lined-up the guitarist for some more orchestral compositions, which will follow his learning curve as the BBC's composer in residence, as previously reported. For those that need to know, the film will star Daniel Day-Lewis and is apparently inspired by Upton Sinclair's 1927 novel 'Oil!', and is an oil baron thriller - whatever that may be.

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BJORK BUSIES ANOTHER NEW ALBUM
More new albums in the pipleline, and Bjork's website is reporting that she has a new long player ready, meaning she'll have done two for 2007. After releasing 'Volta' in May, her site confirms that she's readying a "special live session album" with her touring band (which, I'm assuming, will include the crazy robed brass section that she's appeared with at all the festivals) that will be out before the end of the year. She added: "Already we have come a long way, [but] I still feel we have potential to grow even more. A lot of the songs that were previously done with strings turned out even better with brass. Having a keyboardist means I can do songs with harpsichord, clavichord, celeste and voice only - the more lyrical side of my songs. But having two guys on electronics and one drummer means that I can go as macho as it is possible for me (and) do the hooligan songs". Exactly.

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FAKE MICHAEL JACKSON DISMISSED
Not new music news now, and an announcement that a song that was aired on a radio station in Pittsburgh and which was claimed to be Michael Jackson's come back single is, in fact, not that. Sorry. The track in question, called 'Mamacita', was claimed to be Jackson's first material for four years, and the product of the singer's previously reported recording sessions with Black Eyed Peas' Will.I.Am. Just to reiterate, his spokesman said: "[Michael] has not released any music yet".

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SPEARS MAKES VMA COMEBACK
Talking of comebacks, as expected, Britney Spears made her first step towards a comeback last night by appearing at the MTV Video Music Awards, performing her new single 'Gimme More'. And as comebacks go, the consensus isn't hugely positive.

Following BBC News' reports that it was, well, less than perfect, a YouTube recording of the performance, rather cruelly entitled 'Career Suicide', has surfaced and confirms that Ms Spears may have someway to go yet before she reaches the giddy heights of 'Toxic' again. Moving nervously around the stage, she seemed lost in her swathe of dancers, though the fact that she hadn't had time to get past bra and briefs in preparing her stage outfit can't have helped much either.

Elsewhere at MTV US's flagship awards saw, Rihanna predictably walked away with Monster Single of the Year, Fergie won Female Artist Of The Year, while, just to rub the salt in Spears' wounds, her ex Justin Timberlake took home Male Artist Of The Year

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SPECULATION GROWS REGARDING LED ZEPPELIN REUNION
Oh yes, speculation continues to grow regarding the possibility of that Led Zeppelin reunion, with a formal announcement now expected this week.

The latest thinking is that the reunion, expected to be staged at London's The O2 arena, possibly as part of a tribute event to late Atlantic Records founder Amhet Ertegun, will take place on 13 Nov, after the date 11.13.07 was posted on the band's website without further explanation. That said, that is also the day Warner's Rhino division plans to release a 24 track best-of, called 'Mothership', in the US, and may well relate to the album release rather than any reunion concert.

Billboard reports that both AEG Live and Michael Cohl's CPI have put in offers to Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones to reunite as Led Zepp, while Music Week suggests promoter Harvey Goldsmith may be involved. Though deals for such a reunion have been on the table for some time from various promoters, so it is not 100% clear which of those proposals may be actually behind this reunion.

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FORMER LIVE NATION MD MAY BE PLANNING AEG JV
Former Live Nation UK MD Stuart Galbraith who, as previously reported, was fired last week, is reportedly planning a new joint venture with Live Nation's main rivals AEG, which would confirm Music Week's report that the "breach in contract" Live Nation cited for sacking Galbraith related to business talks he was having with their competitor. Galbraith himself remains tight lipped on his future plans, except to confirm that there are plans in the making. Music Week has now quoted another insider who says: "As far as I know, AEG wants a joint venture with Galbraith running it. However, he has a non-competitive clause so there will be an exclusive period where he will not be able to work with a competitor to Live Nation". Regarding Live Nation's breach of contract claims, Galbraith has told Music Week the matter "is now in the hands of my lawyers".

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UNIVERSAL SUE MIXTAPE FIRM
Universal Music has filed a lawsuit against one of those companies that distributes always questionable from a copyright point of view mixtapes - Houston based BCD. The major said in a statement: "BCD has built a significant business by capitalizing on the proliferation of unauthorised mixtapes. Despite our good-faith attempts to address these concerns with BCD, their use of our artists' music - without permission and without any compensation to rights holders - has required us to file this complaint to protect our rights and those of our artists". Among the Universal artists that have allegedly appeared on BCD distributed mix tapes without the major's permission are Ludacris, Nelly, Young Buck, 50 Cent and Timbaland. BCD are yet to comment.

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APPLE OFFER CREDITS TO IPHONE OWNERS
Following the news last week that Apple are planning on slashing $200 off the price of the iPhone - the iPod/mobile hybrid - there has been outrage in blogland where early adopters have been expressing shock in the size of the price cut, claiming they feel ripped off for having been an early adopter of the new device and having had to pay so much more. In a slip from his usual good form when it comes to PR, Jobs initially responded to the online outrage by telling US Today: "If they bought it this morning, they should go back to where they bought it and talk to them. If they bought it a month ago, well, that's what happens in technology". But Jobs later altered that viewpoint, announcing that anyone who had bought the iPhone at its original price would be eligible to get a $100 Apple credit as a result of the price cut. This time Jobs said: "Our early customers trusted us, and we must live up to that trust with our actions in moments like these". The iPhone was launched in the US back in June.

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NME.COM UPGRADE VIDEO SERVICE
NME.com is relaunching the video section of its service, centralising the website's video archive, previously distributed ad hoc around the site, into a dedicated channel. Over fifty backstage interviews will also be available via iTunes. All video content is currently free to access, although the Media Guardian reports that IPC hope to commercialise it in due course, though more likely through advertising and sponsorship than subscription fees.

IPC Ignite Digital's editor-in-chief Anthony Thornton has been bigging up the NME.com video service, stressing that a professional video team is behind it. He told the Guardian: "Our reporters have started multi-tasking, like everyone, but all our cameramen are trained. It is really important to get it right and it's a fallacy that anyone can pick up a camera and get great footage. In the same way you can't just give someone a pen and expect great journalism".

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NEW MUSICAL REALITY SHOW
Proving that nothing is sacred, the producers behind 'American Idol' are entering dangerous territory with their new concept, 'The Next Great American Band'. Previous attempts at band based TV talent contests haven't gone so well, but the producers of this one are hoping that their format will prove as successful as their other ventures, and have hired the lead singer of college rock band The Goo Goo Dolls, John Rzeznik, to judge the competition. Should you be so inclined, you can visit the Myspace for more info at: www.myspace.com/americanband, a site that boasts such 'Top Friends' as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Like, Queens of the Stone Age, The Roots and, erm, Nickelback.

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CHART UPDATE
Thanks to the wonders of the digital download, just days after Pavarotti died his most famous recording, 'Nessun Dorma', re-entered the Top 40, going straight in at 24. A proper physical release of the track is now expected, with bookies already taking bets on it becoming the first opera release to top the singles charts. When released in 1990 during the World Cup with which it became associated it reached number 2 in the chart.

Elsewhere in the singles chart, teenage reggae star Sean Kingston remains at number one with the 'Stand By Me' sampling 'Beautiful Girls', Girls Aloud's new track, 'Sexy! No No No', enters at number 5, and the Elvis crusade continues to sell moderately with '(Let Me Be Your) Teddybear' reaching number 14.

In album news, Sean Kingston's eponymous debut hits number 8, Plain White T's 'Every Second Counts' goes in at number 3, while Hard-Fi's 'no cover art' idea seems to have paid off as they go straight in at number one with their new long player 'Once Upon A Time In The West', beating the brand new LP from Athlete, 'Beyond The Neighbourhood', which went in a five.

At the lower end of the charts the Mercury Awards have been doing some sterling work, with sales of the winning Klaxons album 'Myths Of The Near Future' up by 486% since their win was announced, according to HMV. Other beneficiaries of the exposure include folkstress Fionn Regan (212% rise), Bat for Lashes (185%), Maps (150%), Amy Winehouse (50%, though it wasn't like she needed it) and Arctic Monkeys (erm, 6%, so did it actually do anything for them?).

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TOTAL ROCK WORLD ALBUM CHART
It's the Total Rock World Album Chart, as counted down on Total Rock over the weekend - http://www.totalrock.com. New entries and re-entries marked with a *.

1. Linkin Park - Minutes To Midnight (Warner Bros)
2. Korn - Untitled (EMI/Virgin)
3. Daughtry - Daughtry (SonyBMG)
4. The Smashing Pumpkins - Zeitgeist (Warner Bros)
5. Fall Out Boy - Infinity On High (Universal/Island)
6. Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (Warner/Roadrunner)
7. Bon Jovi - Lost Highway (Universal/Mercury)
8. Paramore - Riot! (Warner/Atlantic)
9. Velvet Revolver - Libertad (SonyBMG)
10. Ozzy Osbourne - Black Rain (SonyBMG/Epic)
11. Garbage - Absolute Garbage (Warner Bros)
12. My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade (Warner Bros)
13. Aiden - Conviction (Victory)*
14. As I Lay Dying - An Ocean Between Us (Metal Blade)*
15. Hinder - Extreme Behavior (Republic)
16. Billy Talent - Billy Talent II (Warner/Atlantic)
17. Good Charlotte - Good Morning, Revival (SonyBMG/Epic)
18. Queen - Greatest Hits Vols. 1, 2, 3 (EMI)
19. Guns n Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)
20. Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell (SonyBMG)

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FERGIE AUCTIONS HUMMER
Black Eyed Pea Fergie (the newly announced VMA Female Artist of the Year, no less) is selling her environmentally unfriendly SUV on eBay, and is donating all the proceeds to Global Green USA. Which is kind of admirable, I think.

The recently converted star spoke of her decision to get rid of the 2005 Hummer H2 after "seeing the light" following a performance at the Live Earth concerts, with the listing on the auction site reporting: "After performing at Live Earth and realising everyone has a role to play in protecting the environment, Fergie decided to sell her Hummer and donate all the proceeds to Global Green USA. Auction Cause is also donating carbon emission credits for 10 years to help offset the impact. This is Fergie's actual vehicle, and will come with a letter of authenticity from Auction Cause, the premier auction management agency".

Fellow Black Eyed Peas member Will.I.Am caused a furore after Live Earth, when he promised to blow-up his Hummer straight after the gig. Whether this actually happened is not yet known.

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RUFUS: GORDON BROWN IS SEXY
In one of the stranger musical crush stories perhaps ever reported, Rufus Wainwright had declared his love for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The gay singer admitted that he was won over by the PM's dour Scottish charms after meeting at a TV studio recently, commenting: "I think Gordon is really sexy. Most women I know feel the same. I met him briefly a few weeks ago when I did a Sunday morning show. He was very sweet. We talked for about two seconds and I invited him to watch one of my performances". Downing Street didn't respond when we called for comment. Actually, we didn't call. We doubt they care what Rufus thinks, and we're not sure we care what they think.

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