CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 25th September
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Virgin Digital closes
- Jury review videos: Spector trial update
- Timberlake leads EMA nominations
- Watson wins Polaris
- Cox to host Digital Music Awards
- Woman sues to prove James Brown is her father
- DMX in clear over dog fights
- Displacements have lucky escape
- New Oasis single
- Harry announces solo album
- Killers announce festive single
- Arctic Monkeys tour
- Drummers tour
- PPL and PRS co-sponsor Industry Trust Award
- New EMI chief addresses his staff
- Universal buy ARS
- Starbucks announce massive download giveaway
- All new Borders only planning CD sales in the short term
- Record labels lobby at party conference
- BBC announce new music show for da kids
- Macca to score Shrek 4
- Grohl on nearly quitting
- Donovan on OD-ing
- Church names child


So, a Top Bit reminder of that brilliant special offer we announced yesterday regarding this weekend's Insomniacs Ball. CMU has teamed up with our good friends Leyline to offer a brilliant special offer to students in London - the opportunity to experience 11 bands and 10 DJs for just five pounds. Yep, just five pounds.

This weekend is the latest edition of the CMU recommended Insomniacs Ball, the all night mini-festival that takes over the seOne club underneath London Bridge station. There will be three vaults worth of CMU favourites, with the latest line up as follows...

ROOM 1: Pull Tiger Tail, These New Puritans, Ox Eagle Lion Man, The Changes, Ratty Rat Rat; DJs
Matty White Heat, Lego Lego.

ROOM 2: Uffie & Feadz, We Smoke Fags, Dead Disco, Man Like Me, Goldie Locks, Nic Nell; DJs eLPlate
Mac 3000, The Cleft Palettes.

DJ ROOM: Sebastian, Nightmoves, Punks Jump Up, People Are Germs, Fresh Out Of Death Soundsystem, No Pain In Pop.

Tickets for this all-night fest are ten pounds in advance, which is a good deal in itself, except we've got an even better deal. We have arranged it so any student who arrives at the seOne club before 11pm with their freshly laminated NUS card (or student ID card) can get in for just a fiver - making this simply the best value way to celebrate the new academic year, and to party all night before the lectures kick in.

It all takes place this Saturday, 29 Sep. The seOne Club is on Weston Street, doors open at 9.30pm and the Ball goes on to 6am. Spread the word - nowhere else can you get into such a great night for just five pounds.

More info on the Ball at



UnLimited Media is looking to recruit new interns for the Autumn semester. Interns will work at our London office on Shoreditch High Street and will be involved both with CMU plus other exciting UnLimited projects, including a brilliant new rich-media video service and an innovative new arts festival in development. Full time, part time and short term internships are available. If you are interested email details on what you are interested in and when you are available, plus a CV, to

Advertise your internships here for £80 a week - email to book.


Well, we asked what the management buyout of Virgin Megastore UK last week meant for the retail chain's sister company Virgin Digital, and now we know. It means the end. Yes, Virgin Digital announced it was closing down on Friday.

As much previously reported, Virgin Digital was the Virgin Group's attempt to win a slice of the digital music market, aiming to capitalise on the company's high profile brand and high street presence in a bid to take on iTunes. But the service, which primarily pushed a subscription based package, failed to catch on, the subscription model generally yet to prove popular with music fans, and the whole system being bogged down by its Microsoft powered DRM system, which meant the service was not compatible with the market leader iPod.

The service only ever launched in the US and UK, and the American version was shuttered at the start of the year with subscribers there being encouraged to take up a Napster subscription instead.

The UK service continued in the short term, but after the news last week that sister company Virgin Megastore was being bought out by Zavvi Entertainment, a message was posted on the Virgin Digital home page last week reading: "We regret to announce that the Virgin Digital service is due to close. We will be taking no new customers from today, Friday 21st September. On Friday the 28th September we will cease selling tracks and access will be for current Club users only. On Friday the 19th October the site will close for all customers". Former Virgin Digital subscribers will be offered a free months usage of the music streaming service provided by another Virgin company, Virgin Media.

Other than the letter on the Virgin Digital website there has been no comment from Virgin or Zavvi regarding the closure. Virgin said last week on the sale of the Megastore UK chain that it did not see entertainment retail as part of its operations moving forward. Whether Zavvi have any ambitions to enter the download space with a new digital offering remains to be seen.


The jury in the Phil Spector murder trial continue to deliberate, and yesterday they asked for a video recorder so they could review video evidence presented in the case.

That is most likely the police interview with Spector's former chauffeur Adriano De Souza who, as previously reported, claims that Spector told him "I think I killed someone" shortly after actress Lana Clarkson was shot dead at the legendary producer's Beverly Hills mansion.

As also previously reported, Spector's lawyers claim De Souza was mistaken, and that their client said something along the lines of "I think someone was killed". The defence claim that the Brazilian-born driver was mistaken because of his poor grasp of the English language coupled with the noise of a car radio and the fountain in Spector's drive way. A video of said fountain was also played to the jury.

There is no word whether the further deliberations in the jury room have helped the jury get any closer to forming a unanimous conclusion on how Clarkson died - ie whether she committed suicide or Spector shot her. As previously reported, the jury last week said they were split 7-5 as to Spector's guilt, but Judge Larry Paul Fidler is hoping the deadlock can be overcome having provided new instructions to the jury as to how to assess Spector's guilt or innocence.


That Justin Timberlake is leading the way as we go into the MTV Europe Music Awards 2007, being nominated in four categories, beating Beyonce, Nelly Furtado, Avril Lavinge, Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance, Rihanna, Fall Out Boy and Amy Winehouse, who all have three nominations each. The EMAs take place in Munich on 1 Nov, with Snopp Dogg hosting. Mika and Foo Fighters are among the artists confirmed to play at the European awards bash.


More awards, and Canadian singer songwriter Patrick Watson was yesterday awarded the 2007 Polaris Music Prize, which, as you all surely know, is the Canadian version of the Mercury Music Prize. The Montreal based musician won the prize for his album 'Close To Paradise', and gets $20,000 as a reward. So well done him.

Commenting on his win, Watson said: "I don't know if you noticed but the bands that played tonight and the bands that we were nominated were pretty amazing. It's kind of like a responsibility at that point to win over those great acts".


And even more awards, and the BT Digital Music Awards, which take place next Tuesday at the Roundhouse in Camden. The news is that Radio 1's Sara Cox is hosting. And that's it really. Oh, and the awards will be aired by Channel 4 on 5 Oct with Alex Zane presenting. Let's hope The Enemy aren't there.

Commenting on the awards, BT Group MD Consumer Gavin Patterson told reporters: "With over 4 million broadband users in the UK, the field of digital music continues to grow and grow and with it so have the BT Digital Music Awards. We're pleased to announce Sara Cox's involvement this year and look forward to seeing who the winners will be".


A woman in Houston is going to court to prove she is a daughter of the late James Brown in a bid to secure a share of his multi-million estate. LaRhonda Petitt, who says she has the results of a DNA test to prove she is Brown's daughter, is also calling on those Brown children listed in his will to also take paternity tests, telling the Associated Press: "Just because they're in the will doesn't mean they're all my daddy's children". Brown's will listed six children, though at least three other people have claimed the godfather of soul is their father.


Police have said that there is no evidence to prove allegations rapper DMX organised or sanctioned dog fights at his home in Arizona. The allegations followed that previously reported raid on the rapper's home last month. Police found 13 malnourished dogs at the hip hopper's estate, as well as the buried carcasses of three dead dogs. But so far no charges have been made.

As previously reported, immediately after the raid it was reported all kinds of dodgy stuff was found at DMX's home, but most of those reports proved to be unfounded and no charges have been made. Regarding the malnourished dogs, DMX's people claim that the rapper has been away from home on tour for sometime and that any bad treatment of the animals was the fault of his staff.


Leicester band The Displacements cheated death on Saturday night while driving to a gig at Kingston University. They suffered a blow out while travelling in the fast lane (at "70 miles an hour" according to the press release - which sounds unlikely) which sent the car careering across three lanes before flipping three times and landing on the embankment side of the motorway. All very dramatic. Fortunately, except for a few cuts and bruises, no one was badly hurt, though the band were needless to say rather shaken up, and their instruments didn't fair so well. Apparently producer Owen Morris, who worked on the band's next single 'Lazy Bones', had called them the day before to warn them to not drive to any more shows, which is all a bit eerie. There's a full report on the whole incident at:


Oasis have announced details of a new download only single called 'Lord Don't Slow Me Down' which will be released in three weeks time to accompany the DVD release of a tour movie of the same name. The digital release will also come with two live recordings - of 'Don't Look Back In Anger' and 'The Meaning Of Soul' - both recorded at the City of Manchester stadium in 2005. The single is the first to be released since the end of the band's relationship with SonyBMG. It will be released by their own Big Brother Recordings label with distribution in the UK via Vital and elsewhere via Universal.


Debbie Harry will release her first solo album in almost fifteen years, the first since 1993's 'Debravation'. The new album will be called 'Necessary Evil' and has a US release date on 9 Oct. According to a press statement, the album will see Harry "return to her rock roots".


Following the news yesterday that the Manics are planning a Christmas single, news today that The Killers are definitely releasing a Christmas single - to be called 'Don't Shoot Me Santa'. It will be released at the start of December in aid of that RED campaign thing.


Hey, look, here's some rather large Arctic Monkeys dates. Manchester Central, by the way, is what you might call G Mex.

8, 9 Dec: London Alexandra Palace
11, 12 Dec: Manchester Central
14, 15 Dec: Aberdeen AECC


Take it from me, because I know about these things, these guys are brilliant. The Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers have announced details of a UK tour taking their rhythmic visual spectacle all around the country. Here's the dates, press info from

10 Oct: Bowness-on-Windemere, Old Laundry Theatre
11 Oct: Burnley, Mechanics
12 Oct: Scunthorpe, Plowright Theatre
13 Oct: Uppingham, Uppingham Theatre
14 Oct: Felixstowe, Spa Pavilion Theatre
17 Oct: Dunstable, The Grove Theatre
18 Oct: Horsham, The Capitol
19 Oct: Slough, West Wing
20 Oct: Tunbridge Wells, Trinity Theatre
21 Oct: Worthing, Pavilion Theatre
23 Oct: Preston, Guild Hall
24 Oct: Wetherby Festival
25 Oct: Worcester, Swan Theatre
26 Oct: Banbury, Mill Arts Centre
27 Oct: Wimborne, Tivoli Theatre
28 Oct: Hertford, Castle Hall
30 Oct: Mansfield, Palace Theatre
31 Oct: Skegness, Embassy Theatre
1 Nov: Hull, City Hall
2 Nov: South Shields, Customs House
3 Nov: Billingham, Forum Theatre
4 Nov: Cromer, Pavilion Theatre
7 Nov: Cardigan, Theatr Mwldan
8 Nov: Llanelli, Theatr Elli
11 Nov: Swindon, Wyvern Theatre
12 Nov: Exmouth, Pavilion
13 Nov: Weston-Super-Mare, Playhouse
14 Nov: Derby, Assembly Rooms
15 Nov: Stourbridge, Town Hall
16 Nov: Lincoln, Drill Hall
20 Nov: Falkirk, FTH
21 Nov: Langholm, Buccleuch Centre


PPL and PRS have announced they will be joining together to sponsor the Music Industry Trust Award 2007, which will this year honour Kylie Minogue. The event will take place at London's Grosvenor Hotel on 29 Oct.

PPL chief Fran Nevrkla says this: "PPL is delighted to co-sponsor the 2007 MITS Dinner with PRS. Working for our respective constituents - the performers and the record companies, the songwriters and the music publishers - it is entirely appropriate that PPL and PRS join together to support the industry and this event, bearing in mind its history and tradition of raising money for a wide range of very deserving causes. Our joint collaboration is even more fitting this year when Kylie is the artist being honoured. Her talent, dedication, as well as her genuine charm, coupled with determination to overcome adversity, has ensured that she is one of the best-loved artists worldwide and the most played female artist on UK radio over the last twenty years. We salute Kylie and all the musicians and writers who have been involved in the creation of her music".

PRS top man Steve Porter added: "PRS is excited to be working in partnership with PPL to help make this year's MITS dinner a successful one. Nordoff-Robbins and the BRITS School are reasons enough for our involvement but Kylie as this year's award recipient is the icing on the cake. Kylie, together with the writers, performers and creative supporters she has worked with over the years have contributed so much to the industry we all love. We look forward to a tremendous evening and to ever closer working with PPL".

Some tickets for the awards dinner are still available - info from


Music Week yesterday reported that Guy Hands, the boss of new EMI owners Terra Firma, has spoken to employees at the major record company for the first time, telling them that his private equity firm is committed to EMI for the long term, and denying the continuing rumours that the finance outfit will quickly sell out to Warner Music for a handsome profit.

Despite expectations that Hands will oversee a radical restructure at EMI, which will inevitably lead to job losses, Music Week says the EMI employees it has spoken to were generally positive of their first encounter with Hands, with one saying: "People went in feeling a little trepidation and concern, but they came out feeling a lot better. He was able to clarify a lot of the wilder rumours that have been going round and gave some certainty to people. People were pretty impressed with him. They thought he was very open. He made a big point of saying that he wants to engage with the staff and that went down very well".

Elsewhere in EMI news, the Times is reporting that the major's former Finance Director, Martin Stewart, missed out on a payoff worth £1 million when he left the company shortly after Terra Firma's takeover, seemingly because he resigned rather than being forced out like his colleague, former EMI chief Eric Nicoli, who will receive a reported £2.8 million severance package after his contract with the firm was terminated by its new owners. It's not clear why Stewart would resign knowing that he stood to earn such a big pay off if he was forced out. Neither Stewart nor Terra Firma have commented on the report.


Universal Music has continued its acquisition spree of big independent players in recorded music by buying Belgian indie ARS Entertainment. As part of the deal ARS founder and MD Patrick Busschots will become MD of Universal Music Belgium.

Confirming the deal, Universal Music's President of Nordic, Central & Eastern Europe said: "Universal Music is always striving to push boundaries and expand the scope of our activities. The future of our business lies in an entrepreneurial, hit-driven approach, and we believe that this new partnership with ARS Entertainment fits perfectly into that strategy. We are very excited to be working with Patrick".

Busschots added: "It was an emotional decision for me, since I built up ARS with the sweat of my brow. But I am convinced that with Universal Music, we can begin a successful new chapter in our story".


Starbucks has announced it will give away 50 million free digital tracks via its 10,000 US coffee houses to promote its new alliance with iTunes, which will enable owners of the new iPod Touch device to access music via a WiFi network at selected Starbucks stores.

The free tracks will be distributed as 'song of the day' cards, of which 1.5 million will be distributed each day throughout October. The cards will enable Starbucks customers to download a free track from one of 37 featured artists via the iTunes store. Participating artists include Joss Stone, Dave Matthews, Annie Lennox plus two artists signed to Starbucks' own Hear Music label, Paul McCartney and Joni Mitchell.

Starbucks will also start selling special 'digital release cards' via its stores, which will allow customers to download full albums via iTunes and get extra bonus material only available to card holders. KT Tunstall's new long player 'Drastic Fantastic' and the soundtrack to the film 'Into The Wild' will both feature as part of that promotion.


The new owner of Borders - Luke Johnson, who, as reported yesterday, has just acquired the UK bit of the book chain via his company Risk Capital Partners - has said he sees the stores continuing to sell CDs, but only in the short term. Asked by the Observer whether CD sales would continue, Johnson said: "In the shorter term certainly, because I think there will continue to be a market for a few years. But medium to long term, I suspect not, no. I'm a CD buyer and I like CDs but I'm a bit old-fashioned and types like me are a shrinking majority, I'm afraid".


The British music industry held one of those Fringe events at the Labour party conference last night called ' Never Mind The Politics, Hear The Music', but basically it might as well have been called "hey you political types, extend our copyright term and we'll let you meet some rock stars". Or, to put it in the words of EMI chief and BPI chairman Tony Wadsworth: "We are looking for Labour MPs and ministers to take a clear message back to Westminster: British music has a great history, a fantastic present and a highly promising future. But we need a strong intellectual property framework to ensure that it remains that way".


The BBC have announced a new music show for the kids. Well, for 12 to 16 year olds. Bad news for 17 year olds. The new show will be called Sound and will air on BBC 2 every Saturday afternoon from 20 Oct. The really good news is Fearne Cotton isn't involved in this, so people might actually watch it. In fact that lovely Annie Mac will present, so it could actually be good.


Paul McCartney is reportedly going to write the music for 'Shrek 4', and might even voice a character in it. So there you go. A source told the Daily Express this: "Producers want Paul to compose some original tunes for the next one. He could even briefly voice a character. There have been meetings and apparently he's very keen, because his daughter is a fan".


Dave Grohl has told Virgin Radio how he nearly gave up music after the death of former bandmate Kurt Cobain. He told the radio station: "When Nirvana was finished I didn't really know what to do. Our lives and our world were turned upside down. It's hard to imagine playing music after something like that. It was hard for me. I had always written and recorded songs by myself, [but] I wouldn't really play them for anyone. After Nirvana was finished I spent a lot of time just travelling around and thinking, and then I thought 'I know what I will do, I'll book 6 days in the studio down the street from my house and I'll record my favourite 12/13 songs I've ever written'. I never thought I'd still be here doing this, never".


Jason Donovan has been writing about him overdosing at Kate Moss' 21st birthday party back in 1995 at LA's Viper Club. He's written about the experience in his new autobiography 'Between The Lines: My Life Uncut', a bit of which has been published in the Daily Mirror.

Recalling the famous Viper Club incident, he writes: "The Viper Room had always had a wild reputation but after Johnny [Depp]'s friend River Phoenix had collapsed and died outside the club a year earlier, having overdosed on a heroin and cocaine speedball, I didn't think it was wise to advertise the fact that I had drugs on me. With my hotel just a stone's throw from the club, my plan was to leave my drugs in my room and return there as and when I needed them. It seemed like a good plan, but as the night went on I found myself running back and forth like a crazed dog, desperate not to miss the party yet hungry for my next fix".

He continues: "By midnight the entire party had hit the dancefloor. Johnny and Michael [Hutchence] took to the stage ... the pair were halfway through the song ... when I realised I was about to go. I knew the symptoms all too well, for it was not the first time this had happened to me. My heart was racing, my vision was blurring and I was becoming disorientated. I tried to steady myself but my legs buckled under me and I fell to the floor. I am not sure what happened next but I do know that someone had pulled the plug on the music and was calling for an ambulance. A crowd had circled round me and Michael was standing over me trying to empty my trouser pockets. 'Have you got anything on you?' he kept asking me. I tried to speak but couldn't. 'It wouldn't be cool if anything was found on you by the medics' he whispered".

He concludes: "I must have blacked out again after that - the next memory I have is of being carried out of the club by paramedics on a stretcher".

For more of the same you can buy Donovan's book from next week.


Now the news you've all been scanning down for - the name of Charlotte Church and Gavin Henson's new baby, which was born last week. The couple's daughter will be known as Ruby Megan Henson. And hurrah to that.

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