CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 10th October
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Koch interested in Death Row
- Second lawsuit for Diddy
- Britney to be fingerprinted ahead of hit and run hearing
- Kershaw gets suspended sentence
- AMA nominations out
- New Radiohead now out
- Vega mothered the MP3
- Moby names next album
- The Kylie show
- Spice Girls reunion will include DVD
- Reznor's Interscope deal ends
- Jay-Z plans movie to go with next LP
- Police postpone two dates
- Black Eyed Peas gig cancelled midway through
- CEG go into management
- Facebook rumoured to be considering music offer
- Yahoo! Music chief wants less restrictions
- Zavvi unveils new logo
- Handleman COO resigns
- Former Gcap chief to chair RAJAR
- Jamelia to wed
- Beckham gatecrashes Diana inquest - well, sort of
- More Aguilera pregnant rumours
- Alex and Alexa a couple, apparently
- Crib stage diving issues on YouTube


So, there are reports today that Facebook might be launching a service aimed at labels and artists which would basically enable bands to have Facebook pages that come with music specific functions, in the same way MySpace Music pages come with functionality not found on a standard MySpace page. If the rumours are true that would mean Facebook moving into the one area where MySpace still dominates - the artist page - because while some artists already have Facebook pages or groups, the page they most often promote tends to still be their MySpace because, despite all the irritations, MySpace is still better if you are looking for a 'look at me, I'm great, now listen to my music' set up.

All of which poses us a little dilemma here at CMU. Our much loved (you love it, right?) MySpace Of The Day feature is returning in a couple of weeks after its rather extended summer break, but I'm in two minds of what to call it. Is MySpace Music on its way out now that everyone I know now does any social networking via Facebook, even though they went to much effort to set up and decorate their MySpace pages back in the day? If Facebook are about to launch a music strand, not to mention all the other web platforms offering free artist pages, 'MySpace Of The Day' might quickly look a little too out of touch. Hmm, any suggestions on a more appropriate name would be much appreciated - Or perhaps we'll just stick with the name as it is - presumably eventually it will become 'retro cool'



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Koch Records is reportedly bidding to buy Death Row Records, the legendary hip hop label which is, as much previously reported, on the market after the high profile bankruptcy of its owner Suge Knight, which was in no small part caused by the legal bid by others involved in founding the label to secure a share of the profits they said they were due.

According to the New York Post, Koch are one of two companies who are being seriously considered by the liquidators administering the label's bankruptcy - the other is Evergreen Copyrights.

However, The Post also says that, perhaps unsurprisingly, the sale of the label has stalled somewhat because of legal action being taken by Dr Dre and the late Tupac Shakur's mother, Afeni, over disputed recordings which could be sold as part of the Death Row catalogue but which the plaintiffs claim do not actually belong to the label. That, coupled with other confusions over the specifics of what assets and recordings do actually, and undisputedly, belong to Death Row, is making some buyers a little nervous.

Certainly any buyer will be looking for reassurances from the company's administrators that no claims will be made over Death Row assets after any purchase, and it is likely that the administrators are not yet currently in a position to do so.


P Diddy is facing his second lawsuit of the week, this time from a promoter called James Waldon who claims he was beaten up by the hip hop mogul's bodyguards after he tried to speak to him at a New York club.

Waldon, who is suing for $5 million, says Diddy's people punched and kicked him, and that they did so after Diddy himself "gestured at [them] to forcibly remove" him from his "close proximity". Diddy's people are yet to comment on the claims.

Waldon's lawsuit follows that previously reported litigation launched by one James Sabatino who claims he is owed money by Diddy for a Notorious BIG recording from 1994.


More from the pop courts, and from the rapidly expanding 'Britney' file. An LA judge has ordered that the, erm, is the word 'troubled' (?), pop star report to a police station in the city before she appears in court on 25 Oct in relation to that incident in August where she bumped into another car but failed to stop. Spears needs to report to the cop shop so she can be photographed and fingerprinted ahead of facing criminal charges in relation to the hit and run. Spears' attorney says that the singer plans to compensate the owner of the car that was bumped, though whether that will be enough to avoid criminal proceedings remains to be seen.


Radio 3 DJ Andy Kershaw has been given a suspended jail sentence in relation to those previously reported claims that he has been harassing his ex-partner. Kershaw was sentenced to three months jail over the harassment charges, but the sentence will be suspected for eighteen months. The case was heard by the Courts Of Justice on the Isle Of Man where both he and ex Juliette Banner now live.


The nominations for the Grammy alternative that is the American Music Awards are out - with Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Linkin Park and Daughtry (former American Idol contender Chris Daughtry's band) standing out in that they each have three nominations. In the past the AMAs have been awarded based on a big survey involving thousands of record buyers, but this year it will be based on online voting, potentially opening it up to a bigger group of voters. The awards will be presented on 18 Nov at the Nokia Theater in LA. Full nominations info is at


More Radiohead nonsense for you. The band have sent out an email to fans who have registered to buy new album 'In Rainbows' via the much previously reported 'pay what you want' download offer. The email outlines how they will be able to get their hands on the album today - basically they will be emailed an activation code which they then type into a special webpage. They will then be able to download a 48MB Zip file which will contain the ten MP3s that make up the album. Super.

The innovative download and payment system has, of course, created a lot of hype for the album, with commentators (journalists, other artists, and label people scared of being called spoilsports for questioning the long term logic of giving albums away) generally welcoming the ethos of the promotion. That said, some negative comments have started to appear on the net following the news that the album will be provided at 160kbps which, sound quality purists will and are arguing, is just not good enough quality.

To put it into perspective, that is better quality than a standard iTunes download, which is 128kbps, though not as good as an iTunes Plus download (ie the DRM free tracks Apple now sells) which come at 256kps. And it is nowhere near the 320kbps some sites make music available at. Not that most people will be able to notice, really, though some fans are saying the band really should have published details of the sound quality before taking orders which, possibly, they should have done.


Talking of MP3s, Suzanne Vega has told Aussie website Undercover that she is the mother of the MP3 - in that the techie types who developed the world's favourite digital music format did so by experimenting with her classic track 'Tom's Diner'.

Here's what she says: "The men who were working on MP3 were these German men from an institute called the Fraunhofer. They used my version of 'Tom's Diner', the original one, because they heard that that's how people tested their speakers. You could tell right away if there was any distortion because it was just a single voice. They tried running 'Tom's Diner' through the MP3 that they created and there were all of these terrible distortions on the vocal. They thought they had it to the point where they were recreating sounds faithfully but they found out when they put 'Tom's Diner' there that it wasn't the case. They kept running it through and it took a few months of running 'Tom's Diner' through the MP3 before they refined it".

She continued by saying that this year she met the main engineer behind the format, explaining: "I went there earlier this year and they showed me what it sounded like in the beginning. It sounded monstrous and weird with the distortions. Afterwards they were able to recreate it pretty faithfully".


Moby has announced that his next album will be called 'Last Night', and that it will see him return to his more electro routes, which should please some round here. In a posting on his website he says: "It's much more electronic and dance-oriented than my last three records" adding that there are "some techno songs that sound like buildings falling down". The new long player should surface next Spring.


Kylie Minogue will promote her new album with a special hour long show on ITV called, in an inspired move, 'The Kylie Show'. Brilliant. The show will feature classic hits and new tracks, and she and creative director William Baker are promising a "visual experience".

Here's what Kylie says: "Working with ITV on this special has been an incredibly exciting experience. My creative team and I are preparing a fabulous evening with a mixture of old songs, new songs and lots of surprises thrown into the mix as well".

I better drop Ian Brown a line and make sure he's got it Sky Plussed. Though he's presumably currently on the net downloading Ms Minogue's new album 'X' which, despite not being out until 26 Nov, is reportedly already doing the rounds online.


I must admit my DVD collection is currently lacking a Spice Girls videos DVD, so praise the Lord that the girl group's over hyped reunion will not only include a tour and greatest hits album, but also a greatest hits pop promo collection DVD. So that's three must have things for me to quietly ignore. The DVD will feature vids for 'Wannabe', 'Say You'll Be There', '2 Become 1', 'Mama', 'Who Do You Think You Are?', 'Spice Up Your Life', 'Too Much', 'Stop', 'Viva Forever', 'Let Love Lead The Way', 'Holler' and 'Goodbye'. It's out on 12 Nov.


Having recently advised his Australian fans that if they object to CD pricing in their country they should just steal music off the net, Nine Inch Nails man Trent Reznor has confirmed he is now out of his recording contract with Universal's Interscope, to whom he has been signed since 1994. That said, Interscope will release a NIN remix album called 'Y34RZ3R0R3MIX3D' in November, and still have the right to release a greatest hits at some point. As previously reported, Reznor plans to disband his current live band at the end of their current tour and to return to the studio to start work on a new album. It isn't clear how Reznor will release that work, and he himself possibly doesn't yet know, though it is unlikely to be through a new deal with Interscope.


Jay-Z says he might make a film to accompany his next album 'American Gangster', which should be released next year (the album, not sure about how quickly the film could be made). As previously reported, the album was, in the first place, inspired by the Ridley Scott film of the same name. Perhaps Ridley should go see Jay's movie and see if it inspired him to write an album.


The Police have had to cancel two gigs because Sting has "serious voice problems" - more serious than normal presumably (only joking). The cancelled dates are in Belgium and Germany, though rescheduled concerts are expected to be announced soon. The band expect to be all good for their Dusseldorf gig later in the week, and the subsequent UK dates.


More cancellations, and the Black Eyed Peas have cancelled a gig in El Salvador capital San Salvador midway through because Fergie fell ill. According to El Salvador newspaper La Prensa Grafica there were about 10,000 people at the gig, which was brought to an end midway through because of Fergie's sudden ill health. Promoters have promised to reschedule the show, and that all tickets will be valid at that show - or ticket holders can, if they wish, get a refund. Clarification of what made Fergie ill was not given.


Live music types Creative Entertainment Group have announced they are launching an artist management division and that they have recruited former Warner Music exec Peter Price to run it. It is all part of CEG's attempts to be one of those "360 degree" music firms that does a bit of everything. The company's Exec Director Paul Fitzgerald said in a statement: "Artiste management is the next step in our company strategy. Peter has vast experience in the music industry and is a fantastic addition to out ever growing team".


Coming soon to the CMU Daily, Facebook Of The Day? Hmm, perhaps. Rumours are rife that social networking phenomenon Facebook is looking to launch a more formal music based component to its website.

While Facebook is arguably now the social networking service of choice for the majority, its music functionality is limited to a handful of Facebook compatible 'widgets' created by third parties. As a result artists and labels are still generally focusing their social networking activity around MySpace. But rumours online suggest Facebook are looking into building a more formal music component into their service. has reported that Facebook has been talking to labels and directly to artists about how the social networking site could host pages for them, which would be brandable, have sections relevant to artists and their releases and tours akin to MySpace Music, and bring together a range of third party widgets of use to music people, possibly including an iTunes sell-through widget.

Facebook and the labels, however, are yet to comment on the rumours.


The recently appointed VP and General Manager of Yahoo! Music in the US has told a seminar in LA that 'user-friendliness' is his top priority in moving the web portal's music services forward.

Ian Rogers was speaking at the Digital Music Forum following all that previously reported speculation regarding the future of Yahoo!'s music services after the company's top man Jerry Yang admitted an extensive review of the firm's US entertainment services was underway and that music in particular was likely to be restructured.

Although Rogers didn't give too much away about the company's plans, nor did he comment on rumours Yahoo!'s subscription-based music service Yahoo! Music Unlimited would be cut, he did discuss his more general aims.

According to Digital Music News he said: "I won't spend another dime paying engineers to build false control, making listening to music harder for music lovers. I will put all of my energy into making it easier and making the experience better".

Discussing user-friendliness issues further he echoed sentiments often expressed by his predecessor at Yahoo! Music, David Goldberg, who frequently said that rules put in place by the record labels prevented them from developing truly innovative and engaging music services. On the content restrictions that exist in Yahoo! Music, Rogers continued: "Yahoo didn't want to go through all these steps. The licensing dictated it".


Zavvi - the all new name for Virgin Megastores, you presumably recall - have revealed their new logo. Obviously if this was one of those html e-bulletins then we'd include it for you all to look at. But we're not. So we won't. It's not that special to be honest with you - though it's not nasty in a 2012 Olympics kind of way either. It's kind of green and lower case and with a little 'z' in the dot of the 'i' and with the '' as part of it. Tell you what, if you really, really want to see it, go to this URL where they've published it...

There you go, do you feel better for that? Want to know the inspiration behind it? Well, I present Zavvi MD Simon Douglas: "We wanted something that was clear and simple. Zavvi will be all about making life easy for consumers, giving them a choice on both the High Street and online, so our logo had to reflect that".


Handleman, the US based music distribution company (or "category manager and distributor of prerecorded music and console video game hardware, software and accessories" to quote their press release) has announced that their President and COO, Robert Kirby, is resigning with immediate effect to take up the CEO role at some medical device firm. Handleman CEO Stephen Strome will take on Kirby's areas of responsibility until a replacement can be found. Handleman provide music distribution to Tesco over here, though they ended their relationship with Asda earlier this year. They also operate in the US and Canada.


Radio ratings people RAJAR have announced former GCap boss and current Ingenious Media exec director David Mansfield will take over as their Chairman, replacing Lord Gordon of Strathblane who retired earlier this year.

This is what Mansfield has to say: "Measuring audience behaviour is a significant challenge for all media and particularly radio which is at the forefront of the digital revolution. RAJAR is the world's leading radio audience research body and has been highly successful in enabling both the public and commercial sectors to work constructively together for the good of the industry. I am looking forward greatly to taking the organisation forward and maintaining its excellent service to the industry".


Jamelia has announced she will marry footballer Darren Byfield, despite the couple briefly splitting up earlier this year. The couple have been together for three years and have a two year old daughter.


Victoria Beckham inadvertently made the much reported inquest into the death of Princess Diana even more peculiar yesterday by accidentally walking past the jurors who were in Paris to see various locations visited by Diana and her partner Dodi Fayed in the run up to their untimely deaths. All the media sitting around waiting for developments in the Diana inquest went into a bit of a frenzy when the Spice Girl, in the city for a fashion shoot, appeared on the scene. Presumably the incident assures Beckham a cameo when they finally make the inevitable film about Diana's death and its long awaited inquest.


You know, I'd almost forgotten about Christina Aguilera. She needs to shave off her hair and go a bit loopy if she wants to stay in the collected pop consciousness. Anyway, Ms Aguilera has fuelled rumours that she is expecting her first child by going shopping for baby items in LA. The rumour mill already reckons that Aguilera and music exec husband Jordan Bratman are expecting a baby together.


Everyone is talking about how essentially useless TV presenter Alexa Chung and essentially quite good singer, songwriter and Arctic Monkey Alex Turner are allegedly shagging. There have been rumours that the two were dating for a while, but the rumour mill has gone into hyperdrive after the couple went to the Q Awards this week and were reportedly all over each other. A source told London Lite that they'd seen them after the Awards event and that: "They walked into the bar together holding hands, and didn't seem to care who saw them together. No sooner had they bought a round of vodkas, they were snogging in the dancefloor - right in the middle of the club. She seemed totally smitten by him, and was laughing at his jokes and stroking his hair".


Yep, it's that old thing where an indie rocker type does a bit of crowd surfing only to find himself refused access back to the stage by security guards unaware what the guitarist of the band their safeguarding actually looks like. It could happen to anyone. It happened most recently to The Cribs' Ryan Jarman at Sheffield University, where security didn't recognise him after he made his way back to the stage after a stage dive. Amusingly it is all captured, more or less, on this YouTube posted video. I should offer a strobe lighting warning before you go look at it. Oh, and don't go look if you're sensitive about guitar abuse.

This was an eventful gig because, as you'll remember, Ryan's brother and bandmate Gary was rushed to hospital shortly after it with blood poisoning. Not that Gary's blood poisoning makes as good an 'and finally' story than Ryan's stage diving problems. Perhaps I should have structured this story differently.

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