CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 13th September
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Led Zeppelin reunion confirmed
- Q Awards nominations
- Kanye disses MTV
- Cowell criticises Britney performance
- Kanye to win 50 Cent battle
- Tommy Lee makes public apology
- LCD Soundsystem to release work-out
- Fifa 08 soundtrack gets hip
- Ramones museum to close
- White Stripes cancel tour
- Timberlake postpones dates
- Virtual Bob!
- Former BBC boss joins EMI board
- What are Bronfman's plans post Terra Firma EMI takeover
- EC prepare SonyBMG ruling
- Speculation over future of Yahoo! Music
- Radio Two's ultimate icon
- Wilson dates - not tonight


One last reminder, because this is tomorrow now! Yes, it's the CMU Recommended Remix Allnighter, which will take over London's seOne Club over there under London Bridge station tomorrow night, Friday 14 Sep.

As already mentioned, there is a brilliant line up for this one. I mean really brilliant. The caverns of seOne will be split into three - electro house, electro breaks and electro punk. In the electro house room you'll have Benny Benassi, Horse Meat Disco (Jim Stanton), Alex Metric and Audio Vegas. In electro breaks you get the very buzzy Kissy Sellout, Nosia, Atomic Hooligan, OnaBreak, plus overall Remix chief Eddy TM. Meanwhile, the Electro Punk area is hosted by those Kitsune types and will see the likes of The Whip, Cazals and Autokratz all live on stage, plus Punks Jump Up, Gildas&Masaya, Jerry Bouthier and Luca SS.

This all takes place this Friday, 14 Sep - tickets are a mere £9 and they can be bought now from Don't go saying we didn't tell you.



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As expected, it was announced yesterday that Led Zeppelin will reunite, for one night only, to play at a tribute event at London's The O2 arena in honour of Ahmet Ertegun, the co-founder and former chairman of Atlantic Records, who died at the end of last year. Led Zeppelin were signed to Atlantic.

Former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman, Foreigner's Mick Jones, The Who's Pete Townshend and Paolo Nutini will all also participate in the tribute event, which is being staged by Harvey Goldsmith, and profits from which will go to the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund which provides students with annual scholarships to universities in the UK, USA and Turkey.

Goldsmith ended months of speculation regarding a Led Zepp reunion at a press conference at The O2 yesterday. He confirmed that Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones will all take part in the reunion, with the late John Bonham's son, Jason Bonham, filling in for his dad on drums.

According to Billboard, Goldsmith, when announcing the event, told reporters: "They are the last of the great rock gods that have yet to be seen [reunited]. This is going to be the largest demand for one show in history. I can only tell from the buzz going around now, but it's really just filtering around the world. I feel there's going to be a huge amount of pressure [on tickets]". Goldsmith added that as far as he knew the band, who were not at the press conference, had no plans to perform or record together again after the tribute event.

Tickets to the show, which will sell for £125, will be distributed by a lottery to fans who sign up at a special website - Confirming Goldsmith's predictions of a high demand for tickets, the company hosting that website, Pipex, reported that 80,000 people a minute had been trying to log on to the registration site, and as a result their servers were struggling to cope with demand. The O2 Arena's website also crashed yesterday as unprecedented traffic hit the site looking for information on the Led Zepp reunion.


Another day, another awards ceremony, but hopefully with no fights, flashing or drunken behaviour this time. Well, maybe just a bit of it. This time it's the annual Q Awards, voted for by Q magazine readers, obviously.

Amongst the nominations are Amy Winehouse for her album 'Back To Black', which is up against the Manic Street Preachers' 'Send Away The Tigers', Arcade Fire's 'Neon Bible', Arctic Monkey's 'Favourite Worst Nightmare' and Kaiser Chiefs' 'Yours Truly, Angry Mob' for the Best Album gong.

Other artists up for the Q-shaped prizes include recent album chart topper Kate Nash for Best Breakthrough Artist, Klaxons for Best New Act (which is totally different from Best Breakthrough, obviously) and Lily Allen for Best Video. Unsurprisingly, perennial Q-mag favourites Muse are also in the running at the awards, which will be held on 8 Oct at the Grosvenor Hotel in London.


Talking of awards, Kanye West has launched another scathing attack against MTV, this time about their decision to book Britney to perform a comeback set at their VMA awards last weekend. As previously reported, West has already been ranting about this year's VMAs after he was shortlisted in five categories at the event but won none. On the much derided Britney VMA performance West told reporters: "Man, they were just trying to get ratings, and they knew she wasn't ready and they exploited her".

Nice of him to show concern for old Britney, though his criticism of the Spears routine does seem to have a hidden agenda - that he reckons MTV bosses should have booked him to open the awards show, rather than Britney. Or they could have given him the finale slot, rather than giving that to Justin Timberlake, either would have worked for him.

Kanye continued: "They exploited her, they played me and I really don't mess with MTV. Those [sets] are the big things, and you know what I do man, I really made the song 'Stronger', you know, for you make me do 'Stronger' in a suite but you end the show with Justin?".

Despite West's threats to not work with MTV again because of this year's VMAs, the TV network remains optimistic, telling reporters that it "has a long and collaborative relationship with Kanye and we hope and look forward to continuing that meaningful relationship".


Meanwhile, back to dissing Britney's VMA routine, and enter Simon Cowell. He's told reporters that if he was Spears' manager he'd have never let the VMA performance go ahead. Cowell, who works for Spears' label, Sony BMG, of course, told reporters: "If I had been looking after Britney I'd have taken one look at her in rehearsals and I wouldn't have allowed her on stage. The song wasn't right, the image wasn't right and she just wasn't rehearsed. The problem she has now is that she could have killed her career. It's difficult to come back from that performance, for a while at least".

Meanwhile, more details surrounding the whole Britney VMA debacle have emerged, with claiming that Spears ran off stage after her performance shouting, "Oh, my God, I looked like a fat pig! I looked like a fat pig!". The gossip site also cites 'backstage sources' as saying the star sacked her hairstylist before the show. It sounds like a fun night all round - I'm starting to wish I'd been there.


And talking of Kanye, Mr West looks set to win the much previously reported slightly manufactured chart battle between him, 50 Cent and country star Kenny Chesney who, as previously reported, have all released new albums this week.

Reports seem conclusive that West's third album, 'Graduation' is outselling 50 Cent's 'Curtis' long-player by two to one - the former scoring first day sales of 437,000, the latter 310,000, both someway ahead of Chesney who shifted just 107,000 units of his new record 'Just Who I Am: Poets And Pirates' on day one. Indeed, many believe that West is set to surpass 750,000 first week sales with this record, which would not only outsell Fiddy and Chesney, but easily make his album the biggest first week seller of the year so far.

Fiddy has already begun to make excuses, perhaps wary of the pledge he made to quit music if 'Curtis' didn't beat 'Graduation'. Speaking on a New York radio station, he blamed his record company, Universal's Interscope, for his album's failure to match West's sales so far, saying: "I'm happy with the performance, but I'm not happy with the set up. We had conference calls and after we created this plan, nobody actually had a plan".

He then turned his attention to West's record label - Interscope's sister label Def Jam - who presumably had a plan - and pledged to release new material in competition with every priority release they have in the future, to get back at them for, erm, doing their jobs and marketing West well. I'm not sure what he thinks that will achieve, but whatever, this is what he said: "Hypothetically, if I came in under Kanye West, I would release a new album every time Def Jam had a priority. I would release a record verses every one of their top priorities". Couldn't he just accept defeat and take heart at how pissed off West was to go home empty handed from the VMAs?


And even more VMA related news. Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee has made a formal public apology to Alicia Keys for "disrespecting" her performance at the VMAs on Sunday by fighting with fellow Pamela Anderson ex Kid Rock during it. As previously reported, the rapper and rocker clashed after Rock punched Lee, possibly after Lee taunted Rock, it's not entirely clear. Anyway, Lee is feeling bad about the whole thing, albeit not for himself. He told reporters this week: "I would like to apologise to Alicia and ... MTV for the disrespectful bullshit caused by a piece of shit called Kid Pebble!"


LCD Soundsystem's previously reported 'workout mix', which was created for Nike and Apple, called '45:33', and initially only available on iTunes, is now set for a physical release. It will come out on CD and double vinyl.

The press release claims: "Pulling in disco-funk, soul, and groovy dance beats, the album gives listeners something to run/dance/exercise/exist least for 45 minutes and 33 seconds".


Proving that the folks at EA Games clearly know what's in vogue in music right now, the soundtrack to new football game FIFA 08 looks like an indie-dance disco extraordinaire. Featuring the likes of Simian Mobile Disco, CSS, Datarock, Dover, Ivy Queen, Junkie XL, Maximo Park, Mexican Institute Of Sound, Peter Bjorn And John, Planet Funk, Superbus, The Cat Empire, and Wir Sind Helden, it's almost as if they've flicked through the hippest youth magazines from around the world and stuck pins in at random. Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive of Music at EA commented, "We've been working for nearly a year to deliver what we believe is the ultimate 'FIFA 08' soundtrack. These are the most songs ever in a FIFA edition representing the most countries in the history of the videogame".


The only existing museum entirely dedicated to seminal New York punk band The Ramones is set to close because its owners are being forced out by their landlord. The German museum contains over 300 pieces of Ramones' memorabilia, including unpublished photographs, signed posters, set lists and original T-shirts, according to A spokesperson for the museum, Florian Hayler, said: "We would really like to find a place so we could have a bigger and better museum that will grow but at the moment we have nowhere to go".


The White Stripes have been forced to cancel their upcoming US and UK tours, with their spokesperson claiming that Meg White is suffering from "acute anxiety", whatever that means. Meg's health problems also mean that the band will not be performing at the forthcoming Austin City Music Festival, and for the foreseeable future, with both Stripes releasing an apologetic statement to fans, saying "We hate to let people down and are very sorry". Well, that's alright then.


Talking of cancelling things, Justin Timberlake has been advised to postpone some of his US tour dates too. The 'Sexyback' singer has apparently been having problems with his voice, bless, after "months of rigorous touring". Fans in San Jose and Sacramento shouldn't have to wait too long however, as JT has announced that he plans to play his gigs there, originally taking place this week, on 23 and 25 Sep instead.


We've had folk Bob, electric Bob, radio Bob and just plain old normal Bob, and now it seems there's another to add to the list - virtual Bob - following news that BBC Radio 2 are planning an event called the 'Dream Dylan Concert' which is a sort of special 'virtual' Dylan concert that will glue together live performances that have been broadcast at some point during Dylan's 39-year career, including some "previously unreleased material" (though don't they all say that?)

One of the more interesting pieces set for inclusion is a recording taken from a 1980 performance in San Francisco with guitarist Mike Bloomfield. The song will have a particular poignancy, as it was one of his last public appearances before his death from a drugs overdose just three months later.


The former and somewhat controversial Director General of the BBC, John Birt, has joined the supervisory board of the EMI Group, the committee being led by the boss of the major music firm's new owners, Terra Firma CEO Guy Hands, which is planning the future direction of the record and music publishing company. Birt is expected to spearhead a review into whether EMI's resources and expertise are meeting the major's artists' requirements.

Confirming the appointment, Hands told reporters: "I am delighted that John has agreed to join me and Julie Williamson on EMI's Supervisory Board. He is an excellent addition to the team, and he will be integral in contributing to a strategic plan that will aim for EMI to be the world's most innovative and consumer focused music company and the best home for musical talent".

Birt added: "EMI is an iconic British institution with a worldwide reach, and an extraordinary heritage in nurturing and supporting great musical talent. It will be a privilege to help EMI in the next period of its history to face its challenges and to define and seize new opportunities".

Birt was DG at the BBC from 1992 to 2000. Some would argue that he played a key role in reinventing the Corporation so it could compete in the digital and more commercially diverse media age, although many, especially in the creative community, criticised him for spending far too much time and money on expensive management consultants and unpopular restructuring initiatives that arguably cost far more to implement than any savings they delivered.


What we don't know about Guy Hands' plans for his new acquisition (EMI, obviously) is whether an eventual profitable sell off to Warner Music is in his mind. As previously reported, some gossipers speculated that one of the reasons Warner shied off counter-bidding Terra Firma's offer to buy EMI was because chiefs there figured that it would be easier for the private equity firm to bring the London based major into private hands, enabling an easier merger with Warner at a later date. Whether there is any truth in that gossip, and whether either Warner or Terra Firma really do consider that a future option, is unclear, though some are now wondering if Warner chief Edgar Bronfman Jr might give some indication of his personal thoughts on the matter when he is interviewed at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference in New York later this month. If he does, needless to say, we'll let you know here.


A decision is now expected imminently from the European Commission regarding the 2004 merger of Sony and BMG's recorded music companies. The Commission has until 10 Oct to make a ruling, but a decision is expected sooner.

The EC have, of course, been reviewing the merger ever since the European Court Of First Instance ruled that EC competition commission officials should never have given the merger the go ahead back in 2004, a ruling made after pan-European indies body, IMPALA, appealed the EC's original decision.

In theory the Commission could, this time, decide the merger should not go ahead, which in theory would force Sony and BMG to demerge SonyBMG back into two separate companies. However, it is expected the EC will again approve the merger, though with certain conditions which, EC competition officials hope, will placate IMPALA and others who say the creation of a second 'major major' similar in size to the Universal Music Group was bad for the wider music and creative industries.

It is unclear what those conditions will be or how Sony and BMG, who have been quietly hoping for a unconditional approval that would enable SonyBMG to continue to trade unaffected, will respond.


Speculation galore circulating regarding the future of Yahoo!'s music service after the Wall Street Journal said it thought the US branch of Yahoo! Music was under review, with its workforce likely to be cut, and its subscription music service to be revamped or even closed down. The paper reported: "Other likely outcomes from Yahoo's [restructuring] process include [the slimming] down of some of its activities. Its Yahoo! Music service, which has about 250 to 300 staff, is among those expected to be trimmed and its fee-based subscription music offering overhauled or shuttered. Overall, the company plans to move staff around and freeze some positions, though significant layoffs aren't expected, people familiar with the matter say". It's not clear how any downsize of Yahoo! Music in the US would impact of the web portal's music bits elsewhere in the world.


To celebrate its fortieth anniversary, BBC Radio Two is set to invite its millions of listeners to vote for their 'Ultimate Icon', someone that "represents popular culture over the past four decades" (surely Radio 2's own Terry Wogan must be in with a shout here?). Listeners can vote between now and Sunday 30 Sep - the day of the anniversary - when the winner will be announced, alongside a special day of celebrations.

Amongst the special events organised as part of that celebration will be a new edition of classic show Pick Of The Pops and the inevitable mix of Terry Wogan anecdotes, which never fail to amaze. Speaking of the celebrations, Controller Lesley Douglas said: "This special day will give listeners old and new a chance to sample some of the gems of the past 40 years. To welcome back some of the stars of the original line-up, to re-live some of the musical and comic gems is really exciting".


A quick one for those of you rushing down to the Royal Festival Hall to see Paul McCartney duet with Brian Wilson tonight - well, don't. As reported yesterday, Brian Wilson has included Beatles track 'She's Leaving Home' in his current live show. There has been rumour that Macca might join Wilson one night to duet on the track, and we reported yesterday that might be tonight. Well, insiders tell us that although McCartney is expected to see Wilson's show while it is on in London, there are no official plans for a duet, though anything could happen once they're both in the same building. But even if anything does happen, it won't happen tonight, there not being a gig tonight. Well, unless Wilson and Macca are planning on doing the duet in a closed empty venue. Anyway, just for the record, here are the remaining Wilson UK dates:

14 Sep: Royal Festival Hall, London
15 Sep: Royal Festival Hall, London
16 Sep: Royal Festival Hall, London
18 Sep: Colston Hall, Bristol
20 Sep: Bournemouth Opera House
22 Sep: Edinburgh Festival Theatre
23 Sep: Palace Theatre, Manchester
24 Sep: Birmingham Symphony Hall

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