CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 1st November
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Radiohead sign to XL
- Subscription services to be charted
- Former Ramones manager murdered
- Heather Mills' PR quits ahead of anti-tabloid rant
- Britney doing "the best she can"
- 2008 EMAs to take place in Liverpool
- Snoop wants UK access to sort out our gang problems
- GSL call it a day
- Robert Goulet dies
- Watson out of hospital
- Lordi caught up in gun fight
- The Who plan to tour again soon
- Iron Maiden to fly into LA gig
- NIN remix tracklisting
- Reznor admits to OiNK use
- Cerys' Welsh changes
- Live Review: Chemical Brothers and Justice at Koko
- Ultrastar and Musictoday part of Artist Nation
- scrobbles BBC radio
- Google get openly social with social networking
- Warner partner with Zazzle
- Nokia download store open for business
- Williams cans his football team
- Moss turns down Babyshambles royalties


Wow, November, how did that happen?

Time to recommend another MusicTank event me thinks. This one is a bit different to MusicTank's normal Think Tank events. It is a free session co-organised with the East London Business Development Agency CIDA, and the topic up for debate is whether or not it is advisable for artists to give away music for free.

On the panel will be online community maker Guy Parsons; the MD of the company that brought Nizpoli to mainstream attention through a video viral campaign, Kieron Concannon; Andrew Dubber of; and Davey Macmanus of The Crimea, who gave away their second album earlier this year. Ghizela Rowe of The Copyright Group will moderate.

It all takes place this coming Monday - 5 Nov - at The Worship at 3 Triton Court on Finsbury Square - at 6pm. Admission is free but you need to book - send an email to You'll find more info at


As expected, Radiohead yesterday announced that they had signed a deal with Beggars' XL Recordings who will release the band's new album 'In Rainbows' in all territories except North America. It hasn't been confirmed when the physical release of the album will take place. Some are speculating that it will coincide with the release of the box set edition of the album that the band have been selling via their own website and which is due out on 3 Dec - though others reckon it won't be out until the New Year.

Confirming the deal, XL Recordings co-founder Richard Russell told CMU: "Radiohead are a constant inspiration to us all, because they unfailingly put creativity first. XL is more than honoured to be working with Radiohead".

The label's MD, Ben Beardsworth, added: "Radiohead have created a huge amount of excitement via the unique way in which they launched this campaign online. 'In Rainbows' is truly a classic album and it deserves to reach a massive audience, well beyond that of download and boxset sales. We will be working closely with them to help deliver that".

There has been, of course, mucho speculation as to who would release Radiohead's seventh studio album with at least two majors known to have been interested, even though the band had already released the long player themselves digitally via that much hyped 'pay what you want' promotion. XL, however, was always a favourite given that they released Thom Yorke's first solo album last year.

As previously reported, in North America the album is most likely to be released via ATO Records.


Who'd have thought the world of music charts could get so damn complicated? The Official Charts Company seem to be announcing refinements every week these days.

The latest chart news is that a brand new chart is to be launched that will track what music has been most played via music subscription services like Napster, MSN's Music Box, Vodafone/Omnifone's soon-to-launch MusicStation thing and the mentioned-in-a-minute Nokia subscription service. Music accessed via these services on a subscription basis (rather than an iTunes style pay per download model) are not currently included in either the download or main singles charts. The new chart will launch later this year once chart bosses are confident the data supplied to them by subscription services is "robust" enough.

OCC top man Martin Talbot says this: "The launch of The Official Plays Chart will provide valuable visibility to subscription-based models, about which there is great excitement within the business and which are expected to play an increasingly significant part in consumers' music consumption over the coming 12 months and more. The role of the Official Charts Company is to reflect the development of the entertainment business, both in tracking all sales, and providing detailed industry data on the evolution of the industry; this new data service is a prime example of this".

The boss of the new Omnifone/MusicStation service, Rob Lewis, welcomed the new chart, telling us: "MusicStation applauds the Official Charts Company's decision to launch the Official Plays Chart, a decision which acknowledges the changes sweeping the music industry, and in particular the increasing importance of the unlimited music download model. We believe the new chart will offer consumers an entirely new insight into the popularity of music, showing what people are actually listening to the most each week, not what they have recently purchased".


The former manager of Ramones, Linda Stein, was found dead at her New York apartment on Tuesday night. Although the authorities initially said they thought her death had been an accident, yesterday afternoon NYC's Medical Examiner announced Stein had been killed by blunt force trauma to the back of her head and neck, and police announced they were launching a homicide investigation. On that investigation, they revealed there was no obvious murder weapon at the scene, nor any sign of forced entry.

Born in New York, Stein began her working life as a teacher, but moved into the music business after meeting her later husband Seymour Stein, co-founder of the legendary Sire Records. During their marriage, Linda worked with her husband while the label helped launch the careers of the likes of Ramones, The Dead Boys and Talking Heads.

After the couple divorced, Linda started to work on music projects independently from Seymour, moving into artist management and managing one of Sire's biggest bands, Ramones, among others. Later she left the music business and started working in real estate, though given her contacts in the music and entertainment industries became known as the estate agent to the stars, helping the likes of Madonna, Billy Joel, Sting and Steven Spielberg find properties.


The publicist representing Heather Mills yesterday confirmed he was no longer working for Paul McCartney's ex after her much reported rant on GMTV yesterday morning, and her subsequent appearances on other TV and radio shows.

As you all surely know, Mills whined, cried and ranted at length yesterday morning about her treatment by the tabloid media throughout her relationship with Macca, and especially during her acrimonious divorce from the former Beatle. Her conclusion was that the Great British public should boycott the tabloid media - a suggestion the Great British public will no doubt relish reading about in the tabloid media this morning.

PR Phil Hall, a former News Of The World editor, insisted last night that he remained on good terms with Mills, but said that he couldn't get involved in the former Mrs Macca's anti-tabloid campaign because he enjoys good relationships with the newspapers and his wider business depends on those relationships. Speaking to the Media Guardian, Hall said: "We are still mates but I am not working with her any more. [On Tuesday] she said she wanted to do this TV campaign attacking newspapers, but I have a good relationship with newspapers and my business depends on feeding that good relationship. She wanted me to orchestrate this campaign and make calls to newspapers but I have got friends and mates in national newspapers and it didn't seem right to make those calls and attack them". Hall added that Mills respected his decision.

Heather, it seems, has now taken over her own PR and arranged her GMTV heart to heart and yesterday's other media appearances herself. While they say no publicity is bad publicity, it is hard to see how yesterday's appearances, and especially the 19 minute GMTV interview, were good PR for Mills. While she arguably raised some good points regarding the questionable way in which the tabloids have treated her and others - she compared her tabloid woes to those of the late Princess Diana and the parents of Madeline McCann - she did so in her famously irritating, whiny way, which isn't going to win much sympathy with the general public, whose support she really needs if she is going to take on the tabloids who are sure to step up their anti-Mills agenda now that she has formally declared war.

In the GMTV interview Mills, who produced a file of some 4400 "abusive articles" against her, said she was sick of not responding to the many allegations made against her during her drawn out divorce negotiations with Macca. Although a court order prevents her from specifically commenting on the divorce proceedings, it was seemingly Hall's strategy to not get involved in discussing any of the stories circulated about Mills and her marriage to McCartney, even if she could, legally, make comment. But that coverage, she says, has been so negative that it has led to death threats being made against her, and at time has left her feeling suicidal. She denied that she had brought some of the tabloid negativity on herself by using the media for her own aims, claiming to have only ever "used the press" to gain exposure for her charity work.

Quite where Mills will go next with her anti-tabloid campaign remains to be seen - though she is expected to start lobbying at a European level on privacy rights. It has to be said that the ethics of the way the tabloids treat certain celebrities probably should be debated from time to time, but Mills probably isn't the person to do the debating given that, despite being a disabled charity worker, she has that special knack for irritating everyone.

Some reckon that once her divorce from Macca is complete that she will move to the US where she claims to feel less hounded by the popular media and where she enjoyed some good press through her appearances on their version of 'Strictly Come Dancing'. Though a move to the States might throw up issues regarding the joint custody of the couple's daughter given that McCartney in based in the UK.


Also discussing her recent woes yesterday was Ms Britney Spears, though she managed to be less weepy and irritating. Spears gave an interview to Ryan Seacrest's LA radio show, mainly to promote new album 'Blackout', though she did talk a little about her ongoing custody battle for her two children with ex-husband Kevin Federline, and about the widespread media coverage of that battle and her recent lifestyle choices.

Asked if she was doing all she could for her children, Spears said "Oh God yeah", adding: "People say what they want, and do what they do, and it's sad how people, how cruel our world can be. At the end of the day ... you've just got to know in your heart that you're doing the best you can and that's basically it".

Although Spears seemed a little confused about a couple of Seacrest's questions, and was hazy on the current state of play in her ongoing custody battle - when asked how much access she currently had to Sean Preston and Jayden James she remarked "my lawyers know all that stuff" - she did answer most of the presenter's questions, concluding: "People talk and they say what they want at the end of the day, you know in the tabloids and in the magazines. But you just try to keep on doing what you do, like, you know, and as long as you know what's up and you know what's true, that's all that really matters, you know?"

As previously reported, despite all her personal life woes, Britney's new album has actually been getting some good reviews.


The MTV Europe Music Awards, which take place in Munich tonight, will return to the UK next year to be staged in Liverpool. The EMAs take place in a different European city each year, and in 2008 the European Capital Of Culture will host the annual bash at its new Echo Arena, which is due to open in January.

Confirming the decision to take the awards to Liverpool, the show's producer, Richard Godfrey, said yesterday: "Not only is [Liverpool] the European Capital Of Culture next year but the influence of its rich musical heritage is still felt today". Bryan Gray from the board of the city's Capital Of Culture initiative added: "It's pop music coming home. There was huge competition to stage these awards, so this is a major coup for Liverpool. This event and the plans we have to celebrate them will provide a huge international platform for the city, the arena and the music scene in Liverpool today".


Talking of the MTV EMAs, the co-host of tonight's big bash in Munich, Mr Snoop Dogg, has told reporters he could single handedly solve the problem of gang crime in the UK, if only our legal types would let him into the country. You'll remember Snoop Dogg was refused entry into the UK earlier this year after being cautioned for violent disorder and affray at Heathrow Airport last year - a decision that forced Snoop to cancel UK dates on his co-headline tour with P Diddy.

This week Snoop criticised UK authorities for not supplying a visa, explaining that he wanted access to Great Britain so to sort out our gang problems. Observing that "men in white wigs" and "laws from the 1800s" were denying him access, he told reporters: "I love my fans in the UK, they're really suffering by not letting me in to deal with the gang situation. I really wanted to be a voice to stop gang members, cos they respect me enough to get into a room with me. By not permitting me they're saying they just don't want me to solve this situation. It's not the fans, it's just a few people in white wigs and members of parliament. They got a problem because the judicial law is from the 1800s".

Damn those nineteenth century laws banning violent disorder and affray - isn't it about time such outdated rules were repealed?


Gold Standard Laboratories, the US indie label co-owned by The Mars Volta's Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, which released early records from the likes of The Faint, The Rapture and !!!, has closed its doors.

In a posting on their website, the label's owners say: "In recent years, we've experienced the onset of factors that have seriously limited our ability to maintain what we feel is the essence of the label; the experimental attitude and artistic freewheeling of times past are simply no longer sustainable. Rather than compromise our goals and beliefs, or allow our course to be charted by financial constraint and an industry in flux, we've decided the time has come for GSL to cease releasing new music, and to close this chapter of our story".

Further explaining their decision, they continue: "We've spent the better part of the past year considering this decision. The recent passing of Factory Records founder Tony Wilson, whose singular example and influence on GSL cannot be understated, came as something of a cosmic reinforcement of our instinctual belief that GSL's time has come and gone. The fact that the original Factory Records itself lasted just 14 years may only be a coincidence, although we choose to see it differently. If one day the right opportunity presents itself, who knows, GSL may re-emerge. Only time will tell".

Founded by Sonny Kay in Boulder, Colorado in 1993, Gold Standard Laboratories or GSL (the abbreviation preceded the full name, the label originally being named after the student loan - or Guaranteed Stafford Loan - that Kay used to fund it), the label worked with numerous new and alternative artists over the years, with Rodriguez-Lopez getting involved in 2001, and the label subsequently releasing recordings from his various projects.

Those releases, and the rest of the GSL back catalogue, will continue to be available physically and digitally, with mail order handled by Redeye Distribution and


Grammy award winning American singer and actor Robert Goulet has died, aged 73, after suffering from a rapidly progressive pulmonary fibrosis at an LA hospital, where he was awaiting a lung transplant. Goulet was a prolific musical actor, starring in many Broadway shows and winning a Tony Award for his role in 'The Happy Time' in 1968. He also enjoyed a recording career with Columbia Records, releasing numerous albums throughout the sixties, and went on to appear in a number of American films and TV shows in latter part of his career. His wife of 25 years, Vera Goulet, was with him when he died this week.


Opera star Russell Watson is out of hospital after that previously reported brain surgery to remove a tumour last week. As he left Alexandra Hospital in Cheadle, Cheshire, pushed in a wheelchair and accompanied by his daughters, he spoke to the media outside. Asked how he was feeling he said: "Better than I was when I came in", while when asked if he had a message for his fans, he continued: "Thanks for all the support, it has been amazing. I'm just happy to be alive and be with my children at the moment. I'm very emotional right now. It's my daughter's birthday, she's 13, and I didn't think I would get to see that".


Eurovision winning metallers Lordi were last week shot at while in the US. The incident happened in Kentucky, where the Finnish band had played a gig. Apparently the band were in their tour bus when a car pulled up, the driver of which started shooting - at both the band and their fans. No one was hurt, although one fan was temporarily held hostage. The band's manager ran for help, meaning police were soon on the seen.

Speaking about the incident, frontman Mr Lordi told Blabbermouth: "Rikk [Scholvinck] ran to a bar and called the police who arrived soon. In a moment we were surrounded by like five police cars but the guys managed to escape. They were a group of drug addicts that had stolen the car earlier that night, and police were already looking for them, but have still not managed to catch them".


The Who will go back on tour next year. The band, who completed a year-long tour earlier this year, have confirmed plans to tour in Japan and Australia next year.

The band's Roger Daltrey told Reuters: "I think we'll do some shows next year. We just finished 13 months of touring all over the States and Europe, and are probably due to go back to Japan and Australia next year. So we'll see what happens there".

Commenting on their plans to get back on tour so soon after the last one, he continued: "We don't want to stop now. We don't want those long hiatuses that we used to have. We feel at this time of our lives it's too precious a thing to take liberties with time. When you're young, you've got that time. When you're old, you haven't. You should at least keep the ball rolling".


Iron Maiden have announced they will play a gig at the LA Forum on 19 Feb, which isn't in itself news, except that the band will fly from Toyko - an earlier stop on their upcoming world tour - to LA in a Boeing 757 piloted by frontman Bruce Dickinson. The plane will be decked out with Maiden related stuff, and will carry the band, their kit and an entourage of 70 people to the LA show. Which should be fun. For the 70 people. Well, unless Dickinson crashes the plane, but I'm guessing that is unlikely. He is, after all, a trained pilot, and regularly pilots 757 planes.


Look, here's a tracklisting for the upcoming Nine Inch Nails remix album, which is due out later this month with the catchy title of 'Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D'. The list of tracks with their remixers is as follows...

Gunshots By Computer - Saul Williams
The Great Destroyer - Modwheelmood
My Violent Heart - Pirate Robot Midget
The Beginning Of The End - Ladytron
Survivalism - Saul Williams
Capital G - Epworth Phones
Vessel - Bill Laswell
The Warning - Stefan Goodchild Featuring Doudou N'diaye Rose
Meet Your Master - The Faint
God Given - Stephen Morris & Gillian Gilbert
Me, I'm Not - Olof Dreijer
Another Version Of The Truth - Kronos Quartet & Enrique Gonzalez Muller
In This Twilight - Fennesz
Zero Sum - Stephen Morris & Gillian Gilbert


Talking of Nine Inch Nails, NIN man Trent Reznor has admitted he used OiNK, the controversial BitTorrent tracker that was closed down by UK authorities with the support of the BPI and IFPI last week.

Asked about OiNK and its closure in an interview with New York Entertainment last week he said: "I'll admit I had an account there and frequented it quite often. At the end of the day, what made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store. Pretty much anything you could ever imagine, it was there, and it was there in the format you wanted. If OiNK cost anything, I would certainly have paid, but there isn't the equivalent of that in the retail space right now".

Continuing, Reznor said that illegal services like OiNK thrive because legit digital music platforms, iTunes included, just don't cut it with some music fans - and not just because of the fact they have to pay. Reznor: "iTunes kind of feels like [US record shop chain] Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc".

Admitting that Amazon's recently launched MP3 download service is better, he added that another problem for legit download platforms is that people want music as soon as it is available, not when labels allow it to be released. He said: "If your favorite band in the world has a leaked record out, do you listen to it or do you not listen to it? I'm not saying that I think OiNK is morally correct, but I do know that it existed because it filled a void of what people want".

It's not the first time Reznor has spoken up for the P2Pers of the world, of course. Recently he told an audience in Australia that if they objected to the high CD prices in their country they should just steal their music via P2P.


Former Catatonia front lady Cerys Matthews has announced some changes to her forthcoming and previously reported tour of Wales, which is due to take place in February next year, moving dates in Monmouth and Newtown. The tour, of course, is in support of her Welsh language mini album 'Arwyen = Aeroplane'. The updated dates are as follows - speak to Plugtwo for your press info.

14 Feb: Swansea Grand Theatre
15 Feb: Theatr Mwldan Cardigan
16 Feb: Theatr Mwldan Cardigan (new show)
17 Feb: Aberystwyth Arts Centre
19 Feb: Wyeside Arts Centre Builth Wells (new show)
20 Feb: Pontypridd Muni Arts Centre
22 Feb: Blake Theatre Monmouth
23 Feb: Theatr Hafren Newtown


LIVE REVIEW: Chemical Brothers and Justice at Koko on 25 Oct
Despite this being one of the most anticipated gigs of the BBC's Electric Proms programme, there wasn't much out of the ordinary about the show we got, with the dance legends and (relative) newcomers providing pretty standard sets - none of the quirky one off collaborations found elsewhere in the Proms. The only surprise, really, was when the sound blew as the Chemicals were rounding off their set, but I don't think that counts. That's not to say the straight sets on offer weren't good. Justice played cuts from their debut album, including a rousing 'DANCE', 'Hey Boy Hey Girl' spliced into 'Let There Be Light' and an effusive 'Waters Of Nazareth'. Chemical Brothers, meanwhile, swayed the crowd to their side immediately with 'Out of Control' and 'Saturate', but later became marred by technical issues that left Ed and Tom staring perplexed at the sound engineers for a good few minutes. Upon their return to the stage - with all issues fixed - they seemed a tad fed-up, inviting guest vocalists Tim Burgess and Beth Orton on for lacklustre performances, and ending the gig on something of a downer. Though, despite that fact, and the lack of non-technical base surprises, this had the makings of a fine night anyhow. A better finale and just one out of the ordinary feature and it would have been a real Proms highlight. OS


Live Nation owned companies UltraStar Entertainment and Musictoday, which run official artist websites, fanclubs and fan ticketing lists, are now formally sitting under the Artist Nation banner. Artist Nation, you will remember, is the new Live Nation division set up as part of the live music firm's much hyped 360 degree deal with Madonna, which will work with artists on projects other than their live work. The inclusion of UltraStar and Musictoday in the Artist Nation division was revealed as the two companies launch a new fan club website for Enrique Iglesias, which will include news, interviews, behind the scenes footage plus ticket pre-sales and giveaways.


Social music site has announced a partnership with the BBC which will see the digital music service tracking the music played on Radio 1, Radio 2, 6Music and 1Xtra. Users of will be able to see what music has been played most often across the stations, as well as viewing playlists from specific specialist DJs like Steve Lamacq and Zane Lowe.

From the first week of tracking the BBC stations, or "scrobbling" them to use their terminology, it has been revealed that Radiohead has been the most played artist on digital station 6Music this week, followed by Duke Spirit and Kings Of Leon. On Radio 2, Kylie, The Eagles and Seal have had most play, while The Hoosiers, Sugababes and Robyn top Radio 1 and Q-Tip, Dizzee Rascal and Timbaland 1Xtra. users will be able to access the information about BBC airplay via the social network, with links to affiliates included where tracks can be bought.


Techie news, and Google has announced the launch of a new technology aimed at all those widget makers - the people and companies that make digital tools that can be used to enhance pages on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.

Called OpenSocial, the idea of the new technology is that both widget makers and social networking sites adopt it, and as a result any one widget will work on any participating social network - currently widget makers need to make alternative versions for each network.

Social networks who will use OpenSocial at launch include Ning, Friendster, LinkedIn and Google's own Orkut. Widget makers RockYou, iLike, Flixter and Slide will also adopt it. OpenSocial compliant widgets will also become compatible with the Gmail and iGoogle platforms.

Although a sensible, consumer-friendly development in the world of widgets, Google's main motivation to launch OpenSocial is probably to give them an increased influence in the social networking space, where MySpace and Facebook still dominate. As previously reported, commentators reckon one of the reasons Microsoft recently invested $240 million into Facebook was to stop Google from making moves to acquire some or all of the social networking phenomenon.


A retail website that makes consumer products to order, allowing customers to customise items, has announced a deal with Warner Music which will enable artists signed to the major to make customized products based on their artwork and imagery available via their own websites, fansites and MySpace pages.

James Heckman of the etail company, called Zazzle, told reporters yesterday: "Zazzle bridges the gap between powerful brand and content owners with users that want to self-express and create, but still have an affinity to artist brands. We bring the merchandise full circle for WMG, by giving consumers access to their content easily, while making sure WMG artists are compensated".

Warner Music Exec VP Kevin Liles added: "Partnering with Zazzle enables us to directly offer consumers a unique experience in artist-branded merchandise. Zazzle has a proven ability to quickly manufacture and ship high quality products while enabling consumers to create artist-branded products that are only limited by their imagination".


Nokia has announced that its "much-anticipated" (their words) UK music store will open for business today. The iTunes style store will be accessible via PCs or certain Nokia phones, and will offer music at 80p per track or £8 for albums. A streaming-content subscription service accessed via a PC will also be available for £8 a month.

Richard Sandford of Nokia Music says this: "The Nokia Music Store offers great usability along with a huge selection of music. By having an integrated mobile and PC download service, the Nokia Music Store is a fantastic way to build a music
collection that is truly mobile".

You can go check the store at


Robbie Williams has reportedly disbanded the LA Vale football team he set up with various friends in LA after he discovered two of those friends had swindled him out of £200,000. According to the Daily Mirror, Williams had been persuaded by two of his LA gang to invest money into a fashion label they were planning on launching in New York. However, there was no label, and the friends allegedly spent the money on "partying". On discovering the con Williams is said to have broken off relations with the not-really-friends and has closed down the football venture around which they socialised.

A source tells Mirror: "It was as if the penny had finally dropped and Robbie realised he was being taken for a mug. There was a screaming row between him and several people. He accused them all of taking advantage. He ordered them all out of his house and told them not to come back. But it was when he disbanded the [football] team that everyone became convinced he meant business. It's very much his pride and joy".


Kate Moss has reportedly refused to take any publishing royalties from Babyshambles songs she co-wrote while dating chief Babyshambler Pete Doherty. Moss is co-credited on a few tracks on the band's new album 'Shotter's Nation', including new single 'You Talk' (out next month), but sources say she doesn't want any royalty cheque for her contribution.

The source says: "The music is Pete's thing. There is still a huge place in her heart for him and she is happy to see him doing better. She doesn't want to take money off him. And besides, he needs it more than her".

That's true. Pies are expensive these days.

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