CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 11th October
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In today's CMU Daily:
- Speculation rife regarding the new EMI US top team
- Madonna's Live Nation deal reportedly close to completion
- Diddy doesn't have to hand over rings
- Brown did not have a heart attack, ok?
- Harrison tracks online
- Bono not collaborating with Spice Girls
- Alejandro Sanz banned from state owned stadium in Venezuela
- Radiohead download figures unlikely to be revealed
- Stargate dominate at ASCAP awards
- Together in electric covers
- Thrill Jockey celebrate 15th with covers fest
- More Levi's OnesToWatch
- Wilson added to Manchester's roll of honour
- Jay-z fails to get Rocawear name on New York Arena
- Filesharer Thomas branded liar by juror
- AIM head to the USA
- New Ministry appointments
- Jacko denies new nanny rumours
- Status quo man on Winehouse and Doherty
- Beatles get compressed


It's been interesting to see all the media coverage regarding the Radiohead 'pay what you want' download promotion. And there's been an awful lot of it, much of it proclaiming the whole thing to be some kind of defining moment in the development of the record industry, a sign artists are regaining control, and the beginning of the end for the record companies. I'm not sure it's quite as big a story as the mainstream media making out. Radiohead are not the first established band to go it alone after completing their commitments to their original record company, nor are they the first band to distribute their music exclusively via their own website, nor to give away their music for free. But that's not to say its not a good idea, and kudos to them for deciding to do it, and for the blanket media coverage they've achieved through it.

But a bigger story is probably the Madonna/Live Nation deal, one that has resurfaced today thanks to a report in the Wall Street Journal that says the deal is almost done. As previously reported, this deal is one of those 360 degree efforts which will give Live Nation rights to Madonna's recordings, merchandise and trademarks as well as her live activity, where Live Nation would traditionally work. It's not the first of these deals to be done, of course, Robbie Williams and Linkin Park spring to mind, though it is interesting because it is an all-encompassing artist deal being led by a live music firm not a record label.

Everyone has known for some time that these kind of deals are the future of the music industry because they allow the investing partner - whether that be a label or a promoter or whatever - to spread the risk of their investment, so they do not rely on just one revenue stream to recoup and profit - relying on just one being a bit risky given the unpredictable nature of the music industry these days. But while everyone has known that these deals are the future, not that many have been done, and there is still much debate as to how they should be done, especially with newer talent where there is a danger of artists being shafted.

So in many ways the defining moment in the music business will really be when the industry figures out what kind of 360 degree deal is effective and desirable for all, and how companies with a background in one music discipline can effectively deliver in another. Major artists with dedicated fanbases can and will do whatever they like, and the digital world makes it easier for them to do so, but new talent will need investment, and investors will need security, and the right kind of 360 degree deals will hopefully provide it, without infringing an artists' commercial, creative and ethical rights.

Let's hope so.



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Ah, you know we love idle speculation here at CMU, so we had a good yesterday, given all the idle speculation that was going round regarding the top team Terra Firma chief Gary Hands is meant to be planning for the US division of his most recent acquisition, EMI Music.

With Hands known to be keen for EMI to diversify beyond the traditional record label business model it is perhaps unsurprising that the people he has reportedly approached to join that team are not currently record label execs. The names on Hands wishlist include People magazine publisher Paul Caine, Clear Channel's SVP Programming Tom Poleman and pop producer and songwriter Billy Mann.

Which of those people will take up the offer of a job at the new look EMI remains to be seen - though Caine has reportedly told People magazine owners TimeWarner that he has no intention of leaving them, and is therefore expected to quickly turn down Hands' offer. But even if none of those three people take up a senior EMI role, the nature of the wish list demonstrates that Hands plans a radical reinvention at the top of the music company.

Crucially current EMI US chief Roger Ames, a veteran record company exec installed in that role earlier this year by former EMI CEO Eric Nicoli, is noticeable by his absence in Hands' plans. The consensus is that Ames will leave the major pretty soon, though it isn't clear if that is at Ames' or Hands' request.

With most commentators assuming Ames will leave, there is now speculation as to whether Hands could really afford to form a top US team with no one from a conventional record industry background. Assuming not, and assuming rumours about Hands wanting to poach Warner Music's US chief Lyor Cohen aren't true, there is speculation now as to whether an existing EMI exec will be given a senior US role, with EMI International CEO Jean-Francois Cecillon, EMI UK CEO Tony Wadsworth and even the head of EMI's publishing business, Roger Faxon, all rumoured to be possibilities.


And even more speculation, which is fun. This is the speculation surrounding the deal being done, or not, between Madonna and Live Nation. As previously reported, rumours have been doing the rounds for a while that Madge is planning one of those '360 degree' deals with the live music conglom, and those rumours stepped up yesterday as the Wall Street Journal reported that the new deal was close to being completed.

The Journal says the new deal will be worth $120 million, run for ten years and will be "virtually unprecedented" in its nature. The live music firm would secure not only the rights to promote her future tours, but also to release three studio albums, sell merchandise and manage the licensing of the Madonna name, taking a cut on all those revenue streams to recoup and profit on its investments.

Such so called 360 degree deals have been discussed for a while across the music business, though few have actually been done. But record companies are known to be increasingly keen to get involved in their artists' live and merchandising activities, while the fact Madonna is close to doing one of these deals with Live Nation shows key players in the live sector are also keen to have more involvement in the wider careers of the artists they work with.

After previous rumours of a Live Nation deal Madonna's spokeswoman confirmed the singer was in talks with both Live Nation and existing label Warner. She also said that Madonna was still contracted to deliver one more studio album and a greatest hits to Warner before beginning a new recording deal. Whether the Live Nation deal would look to buy the singer out of those commitments, or begin once they are fulfilled, is not clear.


More from the P Diddy legal files, this time an update in relation to allegations made by one Gerald Rechnitzer that the hip hopper roughed him up outside a Hollywood club back in February. Rechnitzer says Diddy - real name Sean Combs, of course - attacked him without provocation. Combs was pissed off, it is claimed, because Rechnitzer's girlfriend had knocked back his advances. Rechnitzer's legal people had asked the courts to order Combs to provide photos of the rings he was wearing the night the alleged fracas took place because they say they were "critical to the biomechanics of this case", presumably because if the rings could be shown to have caused marks on the plaintiff there'd be proof of Diddy's involvement in his attack. But Judge Robert Hess refused to make that order, allowing Combs to keep his rings to himself. Combs legal people, meanwhile, have said Rechnitzer's claims are a "flat out lie".

As previously reported, there have been a number of legal stories involving Combs this week - a New York promoter has accused his bodyguards of attacking him, while a James Sabatino has claimed the hip hop mogul has reneged on an agreement to pay him for a Notorious BIG recording from way back in 1004.


Elsewhere in the hip hop courts, one half of Mobb Deep, rapper Prodigy, has been jailed after pleading guilty to gun charges which followed an incident where police stopped his car for driving the wrong way down a Manhattan street. He admitted to the criminal possession of a loaded gun at his trial in the New York courts this week, and was handed a three and half year jail sentence. There's a lesson in this for us all I think. Never drive the wrong way down a one way street.


Lily Allen has, erm, sacked her management company. Though you probably knew that already. Not least because of our headline. It seems the singer was in dispute with her management - Empire Management - over that previously reported incident where she was banned from entering the US, forcing her to cancel her US gigs and promotional commitments. Allen seemingly blamed Empire for not being let into the States, for reasons I'm not quite clear on, perhaps they fucked up the visa application. Anyway, a source told the Mirror: "She is still fuming about the business with her visa being revoked. She felt it was her year to break America and blames her management for not getting it sorted". Empire haven't commented, but confirmed to Music Week that Allen was no longer on their roster.


Bobby Brown has denied reports circulating yesterday that he suffered a mild heart attack in LA this week. He has told reporters that he went to hospital this week for a routine check up, not because of any specific scare. He said: "None of it's true. I went in for a check-up. The doc gave me a clean bill of health". To be fair to the press, the earlier reports of a heart attack seemed to stem from comments made by Brown's attorney Phaedra Parks, who said her client had been taken to hospital on Tuesday night after experiencing severe chest pains, and that "this morning they did diagnose him as suffering from a mild heart attack ... they attributed to stress and diet".


George Harrison is the latest and final Beatle to arrive on legit download platforms. Harrison's nine solo albums will now be available via digital music stores, a move which the late former Beatle's widow Olivia described as "exciting". It also means all four Beatles are now making their solo work available online, something which will further speculation that the arrival of the Beatles catalogue online is getting ever closer.


Bono has denied he has written a song for the Spice Girls. As previously reported, it was rumoured that Bono had written the Girls a song, that they would record it with U2, and that it would appear on the forthcoming Spice Girls greatest hits package. But that ain't true. Bono's manager Paul McGuiness told the Sun: "We're great fans of the Spice Girls but rumours that Bono is to join them as a sixth member are sadly not true".


A Spanish pop superstar called Alejandro Sanz has been banned from performing at a state-owned stadium in Venezuela after he publicly criticised president Hugo Chavez. The country's president is famous for not responding well to anyone in the public eye who criticises his government. Sanz's offended remarks were made in 2004, when he suggested that the President stopped a referendum related to an election recall. One of Chavez' ministers confirmed this week that a Sanz concert originally booked to take place at a state owned venue had been cancelled, adding: "If an artist comes to Venezuela to rail against Chavez, against [Chavez's political] movement, how do you think the people of this country would respond if he were to be allowed to use [the stadium]?" It's not clear why permission was originally given for the concert, nor whether Sanz will now play in the country but at a privately owned venue - something which the minister said would be allowed.


So, those who offered to pay a penny or more for the new Radiohead album should now have received their activation codes and downloaded 'In Rainbows' in full. The whole pay what you want promotion has ensured huge media coverage for the new album, which is seen by some in the media as the dawn of a whole new age for record releases (I'm less convinced myself, but whatever). But it is unlikely we will get to know just how successful the promotion has been because it seems unlikely the band will reveal [a] how many albums have been downloaded and [b] what people are paying for it on average.


More awards, this time the UK ASCAP Awards, honouring songwriters and publishers who are members of UK collecting society PRS and whose music is licenced in the US by the ASCAP collecting society. The Awards were, well, awarded in London yesterday, and are based on successes in the US market in 2006.

Norwegians Tor Hermansen and Mikkel Eriksen, who write under the moniker of Stargate and who have written for the likes of Ne-Yo, Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, Beyonce, Lionel Richie and Mario Vazquez, were named Songwriters Of The Year, and their Ne-Yo song 'So Sick' was given the Song Of The Year prize. EMI Music Publishing, who represent Hermansen, were also named Publisher Of The Year. It was a bit of a Stargate fest.

Elsewhere the College Award, for success in the US college radio world, went to The View's Kyle Falconer and Kieren Webster for their song 'Hats Off To The Buskers', while the Vanguard Award, whatever that is, went to Bat For Lashes/Natasha Khan for 'Fur And Gold'.


Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to report on yet another brilliant release coming out of the Sunday Best hat. The 'Together In Electric Dreams' EP sees various different people covering the classic Phil Oakey/Giorgio Moroder often-incorrectly-credited-to-Human-League song. Versions come from Kish Mauve, Vicarious Bliss, Daisy Daisy, Subway and Lail Puna, and it's great. It's released on 12" and digitally on 19 Nov.

While we are in Sunday Best mode, don't forget that they are holding one of their parties this Sunday at the Amersham Arms in New Cross, which has just been taken over by the people who run the Lock Tavern in Camden. On the bill at the party will be David E Sugar, Cock n Bull, My Toys Like Me, Christopher Ashley, Alice McLaughlin, Rob da Bank and Sombrero Sound System. It all kicks off at 5pm and entry is free.


Chicago based Thrill Jockey Records are celebrating their fifteenth anniversary and are doing so over here with a special limited edition 7" box set plus two special shows at Koko on 11 and 12 Nov. The 18 track 7" box set will be out on 3 Dec and will feature artists who have worked with the label covering songs by other artists who have worked with the label, if that makes sense. The following with appear (original artists included in brackets)...

Adult - Underwater Wave Game (Pit er Pat)
Arbouretum ft Beach House's Victoria Legrand - Bus Stop (Thalia Zedek)
David Byrne - Ex-Guru (The Fiery Furnaces)
Califone - Jewel (Freakwater)
Bobby Conn - Washed in the Blood (Freakwater)
Angela Desveaux - Two Moons (Arbouretum)
Eleventh Dream Day - I Like the Name Alice (Sue Garner)
Freakwater - Passengers (The Zincs)
Sue Garner & Rick Brown - UMO (OOIOO)
Howe Gelb - Boxers (John Parish)
John Parish - Vampiring Again (Califone)
Pit er Pat - Flew Out My Window (The Lonesome Organist)
Archer Prewitt - Mrs. Turner (The National Trust)
Pullman - 3 am (The Chicago Underground Quartet)
The Sea and Cake - Spider's House (Califone)
Tortoise - Fallslake (Nobukazu Takemura)
Thalia Zedek - Flat Hand (Freakwater)
The Zincs - Blue Marble Girl (Giant Sand)


The Levi's OnesToWatch people are staging a 'four night revue' in London next month, basically four nights of gigs in London featuring a whole host of fine bands. I'm telling you this now because tickets (priced £7-£10) go on sale on Friday morning from the Levi's store on Regent Street. They will be on sale instore until Sunday, and then online from Monday. The gigs are as follows:

6 Nov: The Borderline - Joe Lean and The Jing Jang Jong, Pete and the Pirates, Ida Maria
7 Nov: ULU - The Wombats, The Dykeenies, Ida Maria
8 Nov: The Barfly - Foals, The Metros, Ida Maria
9 Nov: The Fly Bar - Johnny Foreigner, Tom Allalone


Following news that plans are afoot to pay tribute to late Manchester music mogul Tony Wilson by renaming a street in his honour in the city, it has now been confirmed that his name will be added to a 'roll of honour' outside Manchester Town Hall, an honour normally only given to 'freemen' of the city, and not previously given posthumously. The move was proposed by the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Glyn Evans, in recognition of Wilson's "outstanding contribution to the life, music and culture of the city over many years".

Evans told reporters: "Tony Wilson promoted Manchester, its arts, and its culture across the world. He was a big supporter of numerous arts and charitable organisations across Greater Manchester and was, of course, the inspiration to a generation of young musicians who put Manchester centre stage in the world of music. Equally important was the contribution he made to the political life of the city, in particular through the involvement of the creative sector in the process of renewal".


Jay-Z has failed in a bid to have the Continental Airlines Arena in New York rebranded as the Rocawear Arena, ie named after his clothing line. The naming rights to the venue were up for grabs after the airline decided to end its sponsorship, and Jay was known to be bidding for them, but the venue's owners have done a deal with another clothing maker - Izod - instead. Jay-Z is also a co-owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball team who currently play at the arena, though they are thought to be moving to a new arena sometime next year anyway.


Jammie Thomas, the file sharer successfully pursued by the Recording Industry Association Of America through a high profile jury hearing earlier this month, has had her credibility questioned in the US media this week. As previously reported, Thomas denied sharing music via Kazaa, but the jury quickly ruled in the RIAA's favour last week.

Despite their court success and Thomas' seeming guilt of copyright infringement, the RIAA still got some bad press after the litigation last week, though interviews with the some of the jurors this week might help them regain some of the moral ground. One juror said that Thomas was clearly a "liar", that the jury took just five minutes to reach that conclusion, and that some of the jurors were pushing for a higher fine than the unprecedented $222,000 she was ordered to pay the labels.

Thomas has vowed to appeal the ruling, though whether she'll be able to afford to remains to be seen. Though she's reportedly threatening to just bankrupt herself if the labels come after their money.


The Association Of Independent Music and UK Trade & Investment are doing another one of those 'visit a foreign country and plug UK music' things later this month. It's called AIM 4 America, so I'll let you figure out which foreign country for yourself. Yes, Brazil. No, only joking. The third such trade mission to the States, 19 indie companies will take part.


Talking of indie labels, Ministry Of Sound have announced some exec changes - basically the promotion of David Dollimore to Head Of A&R and of Iain Hagger to GM of Ministry Of Sound Recordings. MoS Group MD Lohan Presencer says this: "I am thrilled to promote Dave and Iain to these roles. They have been with the company for many years and have made a major contribution to our continued success, both in terms of the fantastic repertoire we continue to develop and sign and the superb execution of our marketing campaigns and videos". Presencer also announced that Victoria Davis will be joining them from GCap as Head Of Legal And Business Affairs and that Rudy Tambala will be joining them from the recently defunct Virgin Digital as Head Of Internet.


A spokesman for Michael Jackson has denied new rumours that he has disowned his children's nanny, Grace Rwaramba, because she is ill. This is the same nanny that he was rumoured to have married last month.

Reporting on the rumour, the New York Daily Post cited a 'source' who said "[Rwaramba] is not doing well. She's ill, and she could use his spiritual, mental and financial support right now. I do believe [Jackson] has affection for Grace, but he acts like a child. He could at least give her a call and say, 'How are you doing, Grace? Do you need more doctors?' But it's never like that. It's always taking".

But Jackson's spokesperson, Raymone Bain, told reporters yesterday: "[It's a] hilarious rumour. I can guarantee she is not very ill, I've spoken to her in the last two hours."


The Quo's Francis Rossi has been dissing poor old Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty.

Speaking to the Daily Record after Mojo named Winehouse 'Woman Of The Year', Rossi said: "Amy is supposed to be great but I can't stick her. I like a couple of records but I'm not sure if people will like her in three years. I'm not knocking her for the sake of it. But I have been subjected to so much of Amy and her antics that I just think, 'Fuck off'. What message does giving her Woman Of The Year send to young people? There has to be some responsibility somewhere, surely? She may be able to sing, but what gets through to the kids in the street is the fact that she is out of her tree, falling over and not being able to keep her hands out of her knickers".

On Pete, he got even more bitchy, continuing: "Doherty, on the other hand, isn't even worth entertaining. At least Amy has serious talent. Pete hasn't got anything. There's no talent there, otherwise he would do something. He doesn't count. He seems quite intelligent but the records are grim."


Back to the Beatles being available online. And news the fab four's entire UK catalogue is now online, albeit unofficially, and albeit not in a way you've ever heard before. Philadelphia artist Steve McLaughlin has compressed all the Beatles UK releases by 800% allowing him to squeeze the whole thing into one hour. Meaning the whole thing shouldn't damage too many download sales when the Beatles catalogue gets online properly.

You can, erm, enjoy the special mix at... Steve_McLaughlin-Run_for_Your_Life.mp3

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