CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 14th November
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- OFT provide rationale for approving Universal's V2 acquisition
- IFPI put pressure in Yahoo Inc over Chinese service
- George arrested over chained up escort claims
- Cause of Dr West's death still not confirmed
- Jean on his Haiti aims
- Hannah Montana fan club member sues over implied ticket promise
- TI stresses innocence in new video clip
- Radiohead accept EMI's excuses over Google con
- More Britney drugs test woes
- Thin Lizzy back in town
- Smashing Pumpkins tour
- Athlete tour
- Gig commemorates Buckley
- Single Review: Chromeo - Bonafied Lovin
- Warner chief tells mobile firms to get their act together
- Hands expects good return on EMI investment through cuts and digital boost
- Orchard DMG merger complete
- RCA press chief goes freelance
- PPL stage first APM
- Former Warner A&R launches new kind of music firm
- Girl Aloud pulls out of Girls Aloud TV show
- Stone pissed with negative Brits


Ah, the votes are already streaming in - thanks for that. But in case you carelessly skipped over the Top Bit yesterday, I think we should remind you again that we are now taking votes for the CMU Track Of The Year 2007 poll thingimy.

Here is how it works. We want you to email us the name of the track you most rated in 2007, and the artist behind it, plus some words on why you think it was so great. It can be any track that first surfaced this year - a single, album track, remix, mash up, TV theme tune - whatever. Email your votes, with your name, company and job title to We will feature some of your votes and reasons here in the Daily during December, and will then release an overall top ten, on which you can then vote a second time so that we can select an overall track of the year. It's all very exciting. If a bit complicated.

So, to put this more simply, email us the name of your favourite track of 2007 to now. Well, unless you have a sneaky suspicion the best track of the year hasn't been released yet, in which case feel free to wait until mid-December to vote.


SNAP OF THE DAY: The Brightlights
We like to think that the SNAP slot is the place that we get to big up the brand new talent many of you won't have heard of yet. Though we hear these Grimsby boys entered the UK indie charts at number 2 this week, so perhaps you're all already aware of them. Plus they won this year's Road To V competition. And they played last week's UK Festival Awards. And, of course,'s Dave Lloyd nominated them in our Track Of The Year 2006 poll twelve months ago. So come to think about it, you're all presumably long term The Brightlights fans. If not, oh, how embarrassingly out of touch. But don't worry, MySpace to the rescue. Go here where you can preview new single 'Inspired By', the one that just went number two in the indie charts, and check out the video too. There's some rather fine demo tracks also.


Those Office Of Fair Trading chaps have published more details as to why they ruled Universal Music's acquisition of V2 was no in way, shape or form anti-competitive. You'll remember the OFT gave the green light for Universal to swallow the former independent earlier this month, despite the Association Of Independent Music saying it thought the takeover would stifle competition and narrow consumer choice.

In a statement on their website the OFT says that while it accepts that Universal and V2 were in the same business - that of releasing and marketed recorded music - it does not feel the merger of the two companies' recorded music operations would have any effect on the wider record industry because the increase in market share of Universal post-V2 purchase was too low to matter - 0.2%-1.4%.

The statement reads thus: "Post-merger, other majors and independents continue to operate as a strong competitive constraint to the merged entity. With the exception of a few third party concerns, which do not lead to any credible theory of harm, third parties generally agree that the increment to Universal's share of supply is very low and that it will have a negligible (if any) effect on competition". It added that fears among some in the indie sector of the ever increasing growth of Universal, already the biggest record company in the world, did not "give rise to any credible theory of harm".


The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry has called on US based Yahoo! Inc to step in and stop Yahoo! China from infringing the copyrights of its members. The call came as Yahoo! China went to court in Beijing in a bid to fight the IFPI's legal action against its MP3 search service.

The IFPI has been in legal dispute with both Yahoo! China and its main competitor in the Chinese search engine market,, for some time over an MP3 search service they both offer which often takes users directly to illegal sources of music content. They claim that while Yahoo! China and Baidu do not actually host the illegal content, by providing such simple access to it they too are guilty of infringing their members' copyrights.

Both Yahoo! China and Baidu have been fighting the IFPI's legal attempts to stop the MP3 search service, mainly because the service is so popular with their users. While the legal side of the dispute could, to be honest, go either way, the IFPI are hoping they have another route for bringing Yahoo! China inline - by putting pressure on Yahoo! Inc who own 44% of Alibaba Group, the Chinese company who in turn own Yahoo! China. The wider Yahoo! group won't want to completely fall out with the record industry because they depend on good relationships with the record companies for their Yahoo! Music ventures.

IFPI chief John Kennedy told reporters yesterday: "It is incredible that the music industry should have to defend its rights in a Chinese court against a company in which an American corporate icon has such a large stake. Yahoo! Inc is one of the best-known international brands on the internet, which runs its own legitimate music services all over the world, including in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Yet in mainland China, Yahoo! Inc is investing in and profiting from the widespread breach of intellectual property rights. Yahoo! Inc should be making its name as an architect of legitimate online commerce in China and not allowing its brand to be tarnished with mass copyright infringement."


Boy George has been formally charged with false imprisonment following that slightly bizarre incident back in April when a male escort claimed the former Culture Club frontman chained him to his flat wall and left him.

Norwegian escort Auden Carlsen claims he accompanied George back to his London flat under the allusion the singer wanted him to model for a photo shoot. But, he alleges, on getting to the flat George and another man grabbed him, chained him to a wall and then produced a range of whips and sex toys. George then allegedly told Carlsen, "Now you'll get what you deserve". The two later left Carlsen chained up - he escaped by wrenching one of the hooks out of the wall.

At the time Carlsen made the allegations George reportedly "laughed them off". Speaking to reporters, George's brother said both he and George already knew Carlsen before the night of the alleged incident, and that the events of that evening were not as sinister as Carlsen claimed. George, he added, said he found the fact Carlsen had made the claims "hilarious".

Whether the now pending court case on the matter will be just as amusing remains to be seen. Police confirmed George had been charged in relation to the incident. A spokesman said: "George O'Dowd, 47, a musician of Ravey Street, EC2, is charged with the false imprisonment of a 28-year-old in Ravey Street on 28 April. He has been bailed to return before Thames Magistrates Court on 22 November".

As much previously reported, George's most recent other run in with the law took place in New York where the singer was ordered to clean the streets as community service relating to a drugs charge. The sentence for false imprisonment, should George be found guilty, will be slightly more severe.


Kanye West has thanked his fans for their support following the previously reported death of his mother over the weekend. His publicist told reporters yesterday that the hip hop star "would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support and kind words".

Dr Donda West, a former English professor, had dedicated much of her time in recent years to managing her son's global hip hop career. She died in LA seemingly after complications following cosmetic surgery. The precise cause of death is yet to be confirmed. Although an autopsy was conducted yesterday, experts say no conclusion can be reached until the results of toxicology tests are confirmed, which may take weeks.

C'leb website has revealed that the plastic surgeon who operated on West before her premature death was Dr Jan Adams. Although West died after not during the procedure, meaning the death may have had nothing to do with negligence on Adams' part, various US media have dug up the fact that West has twice before had to settle out of court after malpractice lawsuits were launched against him, while earlier this year California's State Medical Board Executive Director David Thornton filed a complaint against Adams, mainly relating to two DUI arrests.

Meanwhile another plastic surgeon, Dr Andre Aboolian of Beverly Hills, has told reporters that Mrs West approached him about cosmetic surgery in June, but that he refused to operate until she got medical clearance because of a pre-existing condition which may cause a heart attack during surgery.

Meanwhile a number of former associates of Mrs West have being paying tribute to her, and talking about the close relationship between Donda and Kanye. The Chair of the English And Communications department at Chicago State University where West use to work told reporters: "They seemed very caring; they laughed a lot with each other. It was clear there was a very warm relationship between them".


Wyclef Jean has been talking about how he hopes his charity, Yele-Haiti, will support young people in Haiti. He made the comments during his first visit to the country since his role in representing the nation globally was formally recognised earlier this year when he was made a 'roving ambassador' by Haitian President Rene Preval.

Jean says his charity will "teach kids how to move the country forward", with programmes that will offer football training and computer facilities, and another that will counsel jailed child gang members. In his ambassador role he says he will lobby Washington to increase the aid the US provides to fund development projects in his native country.

Jean told reporters: "If you want to change a country, unfortunately, you're not going to be able to help eight million people at one time. But if you can get one or two or three and start to make that change, that will make the difference".


Yeah, if you're going to tell fans that by joining a fan club they get "priority access" to gig tickets, you ought to be clear about the math - if the number of fan club members exceed the number of tickets available on a tour "priority access" don't mean "guaranteed access".

That might sound like an obvious statement, but fans of the 'Hannah Montana' TV show in the US are suing the fan club of its star, Miley Cyrus, after tickets for a spin off tour sold out in four minutes leaving many fan club members ticketless and disappointed, despite the promise of "priority access" to tickets when they joined the $30 a year fan club.

Miley Cyrus, daughter of Billy Ray, plays the title role in the TV series 'Hannah Montana', about a teenage schoolgirl who has a double life as a top pop star. She is touring the US in a spin off 'Best of Both Worlds Tour', a totally sold out tour for which touts have been selling tickets at four or five times face value.

The lawsuit has been filed by a New Jersey woman called Kerry Inman on behalf of, she claims, all members of Cyrus' fan club. She says that while the club did not actually expressly guarantee tickets for fan club members, it implied by joining access to tickets would be assured. The lawsuit argues that the defendants should have known that the site's membership vastly exceeded the number of available tickets, and that they should have been clearer about that fact.

Inman's attorney, Rob Pierce, told reporters that the fan club and the people behind it has "deceptively lured thousands of individual into purchasing memberships into the Miley Cyrus Fan Club".

Cyrus and the other defendants are yet to comment on the lawsuit.


TI has denied all those illegal weapon charges made against him, and told fans that he is busying himself working on a new album while under house arrest.

As previously reported, TI has been confined to his Atlanta home after being arrested over various illegal weapons charges. He has commented on his current situation in a video that has surfaced online. In it he says: "I want to let everybody know that I pled not guilty and I got to stress my innocence, you know, to everyone out there who's listening. I just wanna tell everybody man, don't even believe everything you see on the news, don't believe everything you read in the papers, you dig that?"

On how he is spending his time while under house arrest he continued: "The good thing is man, you know, I got a lot time on my hands; doing a lot of reading, doing a lot of writing, working on my next album, it's called 'Paper Trail'. I'm getting a lot of work done, man, a lot of music, man, being recorded. But, my main message is its not over. And the King ain't dead!"


Radiohead have said they accept that former label EMI made a "genuine error" after it was revealed that the major had used the Google Ads system to direct fans looking for the band's new 'In Rainbows' boxset to a website selling EMI's previously reported Radiohead back catalogue boxset.

As previously reported, EMI will release the back catalogue box set next month, just as the band mail out the 'In Rainbows' boxset which could be ordered via the Radiohead website during the much hyped 'pay what you want' download promotion tied to the new long player. Some are speculating that EMI have timed the back catalogue release to piss off the band because they themselves are pissed off that Thom Yorke et al chose to work with Beggars' XL label on the physical release of 'In Rainbows' rather than working with them. The band, it should be noted, haven't commented on the back catalogue release one way or the other.

However, they have commented on the Google scam. It turns out that last week when you typed 'Radiohead' into Google the ads box at the top provided the headline "Radiohead - New Album 'In Rainbows' now available as boxset" with a link not to the band's 'In Rainbows' website, but to the EMI site promoting the back catalogue release.

The link was set up by EMI's Parolphone using the Google ads system where you can pick what combination of searches cause your website to be listed, and what listing appears above your link. The label has since removed the link, and said it was set up by mistake, though from what I know about Google ads I'm not quite sure how, but whatever. A spokesman told The Guardian: "Parlophone were aware of the data source glitch and removed the link immediately".

Asked for their thoughts on the Google con by the NME, a spokesman for the band said they would forgive their former label, explaining that "we accept that it was a genuine error and that it has been rectified".


Oh dear, Britney Spears has reportedly failed one of those court ordered drug tests, though word has it her people are blaming an asthma inhaler she uses for the positive result. Unless such an excuse can be proven, the positive drugs test will further hinder the singer's attempts to increase her access to children Sean Preston and Jayden James, who are currently in the custody of ex Kevin Federline of course.


Celebrating thirty years since the recording of their live album 'Live And Dangerous', Thin Lizzy have announced - like, erm, every other bleedin band going - that they will be playing the classic release in full during their forthcoming UK tour, which starts next Thursday (22 Nov). Following The Sex Pistols' recent 30th anniversary show, The Sonic Youth rehash of 'Daydream Nation' and The Cowboy Junkies' performance at The Royal Albert Hall, the tour conveniently ties in with the DVD release of, well I never, the 'Live And Dangerous' concert.

Founding Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham explained their decision to take one of their most revered sets back on the road, saying: "This album meant too much, not only to us as a band, but to our fans as well, to let the 30th anniversary of its recording pass without celebrating it in some way." Fans of the band or the album, or even the band and the album, should head over to one of the dates below.

22 Nov: Leicester De Montfort Hall
23 Nov: Cambridge Corn Exchange
24 Nov: Ipswich Regent
26 Nov: Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
27 Nov: Birmingham Academy
28 Nov: Cardiff St David's Hall
30 Nov: Glasgow Academy
1 Dec: Aberdeen Music Hall
2 Dec: Newcastle City Hall
4 Dec: Sheffield City Hall
5 Dec: Manchester Apollo
6 Dec: Liverpool University
8 Dec: Bristol Colston Hall
9 Dec: Southampton Guildhall
10 Dec: Exeter University
12 Dec: Folkstone Leas Cliff
13 Dec: London Hammersmith Apollo


The Smashing Pumpkins will play a number of arena dates next February - tickets go on sale on Friday.

12 Feb: Glasgow SECC
14 Feb: Nottingham Arena
15 Feb: Manchester MEN Arena
16 Feb: London O2 Arena


Athlete have also just announced some new dates for the New Year - they look just a little bit like this...

17 Jan: Exeter University
18 Jan: Oxford Carling Academy
19 Jan: London Roundhouse
20 Jan: Cardiff University
22 Jan: Leicester University
23 Jan: Wolverhampton Civic
24 Jan: Warrington Parr Hall
25 Jan: Hull University
27 Jan: Aberdeen Music Hall
28 Jan: Sheffield Plug
30 Jan: Ipswich Regents Theatre
31 Jan: Bath Pavilion
1 Feb: Reading Hexagon
3 Feb: Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall
4 Feb: Brighton Dome
5 Feb: Cambridge Corn Exchange


Jack Osbourne will tomorrow host a special gig in LA to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the death of Jeff Buckley. Organised by Buckley's mother Mary Guibert, the event will feature a number of LA musicians, with proceeds going to the Silverlake Conservatory Of Music, a school co-founded by Flea of RHCP. The event will commemorate the fact it is ten years since Buckley drowned in the Wolf River Harbour in Tennessee, though it has been timed to coincide with what would have been his birthday rather than the actual anniversary of his death.


SINGLE REVIEW: Chromeo - Bonafied Lovin (Backyard)
Chromeo's 'Fancy Footwork' is possibly the best electronic pop album of the year (though admittedly I've not heard the new Girls Aloud one yet) and this sleek and shiny single is one of the best things on it. With its Hall & Oates style soulful pop, tight P-funk beats and perfect shimmering synths, it's the best song Zoot Woman never made, and yet it sounds totally effortless despite being so knowingly redolent of the 80s. Meanwhile, the various accompanying remixes try their best but effectively give up the ghost (acknowledging it's nigh on impossible to improve on perfection), whilst the video is an ace homage to Dire Straits' seminal (though if you ask me it was always over-rated....all those blocky graphics) 'Money For Nothing', which is better than the original simply on account of it not being by Dire Straits. A proper pop single, frankly. MS
Release date: 12 Nov
Press contact: Backyard IH [CP, CR, RP, RR, NP, NR] Bang On [O]


Warner chief Edgar Bronfmann Jr has said that mobile operators need to get their act together otherwise Apple and Google will take over the mobile music space. As I do believe we mentioned the other day, the mobile music space is still pretty damn confusing, with mobile networks and handset manufacturers offering competing download services, with mixed levels of consumer-friendliness and success. No one service or device has really captured public attention like the iPod and iTunes Music Store has in the online space, and many reckon the mobile music space is still awaiting the magic device/platform combination that will make downloading music to your mobile a mainstream pursuit. Though Bronfmann seems to think that Apple's newly launched iPhone and Google's recently announced new mobile operating system Android could come to dominate in the mobile content space, meaning the mobile operators and handset makers who have long held ambitions to become multi-media content providers could lose out on grabbing a share of the mobile media market. Speaking to the FT, Bronfmann said this week: "With Apple's iPhone innovation and Google coming in, if the mobile phone industry doesn't respond with highly competitive offerings, they're going to watch their share of the opportunity diminish".


EMI big cheese Guy Hands has reportedly told potential investors that they could quadruple their money in five years by investing in the major music firm. As previously reported, Hands' Terra Firma outfit, which acquired EMI earlier this year, is looking for other private equity types to share the risk as they look to reinvent the music company. According to the New York Post Terra Firm has told other potential investors that it plans to improve its investment into EMI by 2-4 times through a mixture of cost cuts, improved digital revenues and strategic acquisitions. Cost cuts will include a cut in A&R and marketing expenditure by using online social networks more to find and promote new talent. The investment types hope that a big boost in online and mobile sales will increase revenues, while acquisitions of or partnerships with live music and management firms will help turn EMI's fortunes round. If that all sounds like fun then get your pennies out and give Hands a call about putting some cash into the EMI pot.


Digital music aggregator types The Orchard and Digital Music Group have announced they have completed their merger which they first announced back in July. The merged company will trade under The Orchard's name, and current Orchard chief Greg Scholl will head it up. The new company will, like the Digital Music Group, be listed on Nasdaq, but with the new listing of ORCD.

Confirming the merger was complete, Scholl told CMU: "The Orchard and DMGI create a powerful combination in the rapidly growing digital media industry. DMGI adds exciting new artists and record labels to The Orchard's already extensive music catalogue, and offers an immediate and significant leadership position in the digital distribution of independently owned TV, film and video content. We anticipate rapidly integrating the companies to reduce costs aggressively. At the same time, we anticipate driving revenue through proactive and productive outreach to DMGI's clients to ensure they take full advantage of the increased distribution and more sophisticated retail sales and marketing capabilities that The Orchard offers".

Elsewhere in The Orchard news, the company has announced an alliance with Sellaband, the previously reported online community where users invest a nominal sum into unsigned bands with the aim of generating enough money - $50,000 - to let that band record and release an album. The Orchard will now provide global digital distribution and marketing for any artists who reach the $50,000 and record an album.

That Scholl bloke had something to say about this too: "Sellaband typify the creativity and entrepreneurial flair of a new breed of music companies. This is social networking with real added value - an exciting partnership between artists and fans, empowering consumers and rewarding artists".

Sellaband MD Johan Vosmeijer added this: "Our working with The Orchard is a perfect fit. They are the global leader in digital distribution and marketing but remain proudly independent, which is important to us. We can't wait to make our recordings available digitally".


SonyBMG has announced that Kate Head has stepped down as Head Of Press for RCA UK, but that she will continue to work in a consultancy capacity for the major. She will continue to work at SonyBMG's Putney Bridge HQ on both RCA projects and other work.


The first ever Annual Performer Meeting of recording rights body PPL took place on Monday. As previously reported, PPL staged it's first APM this year following its merger last year with other recording rights bodies PAMRA and AURA. Previously PPL only representing record labels but post merger it now represents performers too.

Commenting on the APM, Gerald Newson, chairman of the PPL Performer Board, said this: "The meeting naturally dealt with formal business but was also a celebration of our first year in the newly structured PPL where performers and the record industry are able to sit and work together. The performers' interest of maximum returns, quicker distribution, more accurate line up information, greater political leverage with overseas societies were original ambitions - and will remain so - but even after a year are now starting to bear fruit. We look forward to an even better and more exciting period next year by building on the experience that has been gained and the systems that have now been put into place".

The meeting finished with a showcase of music from the new 'Don't Trigger' album, the previously reported album that is being released as part of a campaign designed to highlight the problem of growing gun and knife crime. On that PPL chief Fran Nevrkla commented: "The Don't Trigger campaign, which the performer board - and my thanks to them - was very happy to support, is a small but critical reminder of the power and value of musicians and music in today's increasingly fast changing world. It is this value of music - social, cultural, economic - which PPL will always continue to promote on their behalf".


A former Warner Music A&R has launched a new music company called Harvest Entertainment which will look to work with established artists who want to release new music without giving up their copyright to a record company. Led by former Warner A&R Ric Salmon, the new company will look to partner artists with major brands or media partners that enable them to release new music without a traditional record deal.

That might include projects like the Prince deal with the Mail On Sunday, where the paper bankrolled the UK release of his new album (as a covermount CD) not for a share of the copyright in the new material (which is what a record label would want in return for an investment) but for the promotional benefits the partnership delivered the newspaper (ie a sales spike the week the new album was cover mounted). The man who brokered that deal, Upfront's Simon Stanford, will be among the people involved in Salmon's new company. Other board members at launch include former Warner Music International boss Paul-Rene Albertini, Edge Group's David Glick and Naked Venture's Matt Jagger.

Commenting on the new venture, Salmon told CMU: "Harvest offers a full service platform, partnering the artist with a brand that is culturally, demographically, stylistically and holistically appropriate. From day one, it is a fully collaborative effort. All parameters of the partnership are understood from the outset, including exactly what the artist will allow the brand to use and to what extent".


Nadine Coyle has pulled out of a new ITV show involving Girls Aloud. The show, called 'Passions', will feature the girls each fulfilling a life long dream, like learning to street dance or play polo (in the case of Cheryl Cole and Sarah Harding).

Coyle had been due to train to become a classical music conductor, but she has withdrawn from the show saying she doesn't feel it will promote the group's music and that the show's producer's were too restrictive. She told The Observer: "I'm not really into reality things or things that aren't to promote Girls Aloud. I wanted to do something with a charity in Bolivia that got kids off the street, but it didn't sit with the programme".

An ITV spokesman told the Mirror: "We are fortunate that four members of Girls Aloud are able to take part and fulfil their passions. It's just a shame that Nadine wasn't available".


Joss Stone says that us Brits have been the least supportive of her, and she just doesn't know why. Stone, of course, has not had a great year over here. She was mocked at the Brit Awards for speaking in American accent after spending time working in the US, was then slated for arriving at gigs late, and then her second album failed to match her debut in terms of sales. But she has enjoyed more success and less criticism elsewhere in the world.

Speaking to Trevor Nelson on 1Xtra about the UK's reaction to her new work, the singer said: "I felt kind of sad about it actually. It's funny because the only country that hasn't liked it is my own. It's just like, well, thanks guys! It's like coming home and having them be like, 'Go away, we don't like you!' It's funny because I get the same thing at home, if I'm at work for too long, friends will be, you know, like, mad because I'm not home. In a way it's like that, just on a bigger scale. It's not just one person now - now it's the whole country and it's like they're mad at me, maybe for being over in America. I don't really understand, to be honest. Maybe because I dye my hair, maybe because my accent's all messed up. But I don't really know. I've just decided I've got to let it go and make the music I like and do my thing".

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