CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 28th November
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Amy Winehouse cancels UK tour
- Universal boss admits digital revolution has been a struggle for label chiefs
- Pop producer loses everything in Flea fire
- Foxy Brown out of solitary confinement
- Knievel settles with Kanye
- Lily discusses heart murmur
- Alanis goes into home country's Hall Of Fame
- New Janet Jackson album set for February release
- Debut A.Human out next week
- iTunes release Lennon video collection
- Babyshambles to headline NME awards launch
- Gallows tour
- Viagogo say Streisand over valued
- C3 and Festival Republic partner on new event
- Universal classical division launch new download service
- Goya Music closes its doors
- MU General Secretary re-elected
- BPI announce new General Counsel
- Terrestrial broadcasters to launch combined OD service
- Fall Out boy didn't object to Ashlee dissing song

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TOP BIT RECOMMENDED
Another MusicTank recommend for you with all the info just announced for the final CMU Recommended Think Tank event of 2007. And this one is particularly interesting - reviewing the changing role of the artist manager in this evolving music business of our. Managers, of course, hold all the strings at the start of an artists' career, and again once an artist is established and at the end of their initial recording and publishing contracts. But in the past, with large scale CD album releases a key source of income and essential marketing platform for any artist, managers relied quite heavily on the people with the cash and resources to enable such expensive releases - ie the record companies. But with new players on the scene offering upfront funding, and with cheaper digital distribution and marketing channels becoming more effective, managers rely less and less on traditional record companies to help them launch or develop their artists. Which potentially makes them even more powerful in the wider music industry. But then again, as "evil" as the major record companies obviously are, are managers really any better off colluding with private equity types, technology firms and corporate brands to further their artists' careers - at least the record companies have some passing interest in music. Anyway, these are, no doubt, some of the things that will be covered when ie:music chief Tim Clark, Cooking Vinyl and Essential Music director Martin Goldschmidt, Vital Group MD Peter Thompson and Paul Bedford of investment types Ingenious Media meet to discuss 'Cheques, Hugs & Rock 'n' Roll: The Changing Face Of Artist Management'. This all takes place a week today, 5 Dec, at the MCPS-PRS Alliance HQ in London from 6.30pm to 9pm. More info and details of how to sign up at http://www.musictank.co.uk

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CMU PRESS ROOM

CARLING SUPPORTS LONDON - New Band Showcase
It's been a great year for Carling in music and to help celebrate, five of the UK's best local bands have been invited to play a special one off gig as Carling Supports comes to London on Monday 3rd December.

At the start of the summer Carling asked up and coming bands in Bristol, Birmingham, Newcastle, Liverpool and Glasgow to perform at Carling Supports - a showcase for local talent.

The best band in each region, as chosen by an independent panel of judges, secured a support slot at a future Carling Academy show. Now, for one night only, Bar Academy, N1 will play host to the best five bands with a night of live music:

Pinstripe (Carling Supports Bristol)
Page 44 (Carling Supports Birmingham)
Stoneleaf (Carling Supports Newcastle)
The Inventors (Carling Supports Liverpool)
Yoshi (Carling Supports Glasgow)

For more information on Carling Supports check:

http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/carlingsupports

or contact Julia Barratt or Mark Hindle at the Carling Press Office at Cake on 020 7307 3105.

Carling Supports will return in 2008, for more information visit http://www.carling.com

Ice cold Carling and the best local music. The complete live experience.

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SNAP OF THE DAY: MATT AND KIM

With the right sort of friends you can make a brilliant musical discovery pretty much everyday, and luckily for us CMU-ers not only have we got the right sort of friends, we've also got lots of em. Well, seven, but that's one for every day of the week. And it was through one of them (the friend I like to call "Tuesday") that I discovered rising New York duo Matt And Kim. Coming highly recommended from our American chums, they've actually recently released a 7" only single, 'Silver Tiles', through Moshi Moshi here in the UK, their second (I think) release so far. And with Moshi's sterling rep and some good ol graft it's hard to see how their synth heavy indie won't catch on, bridging the gap between The Killers' stadium rock and Shy Child's keytarific dance punk with aplomb. It's undeniably fun and simple stuff, as their song 'Yea Yeah' probably best demonstrates. Indeed, not since The Subways has lyrical banality proved so popular, with both Matt and Kim clearly displaying no literary aspirations as they sing: "Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah (etc etc)".

http://www.myspace.com/mattandkim

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AMY WINEHOUSE CANCELS UK TOUR
So, the Amy Winehouse freak show is over. On doctor's orders. Yes, promoters of the much derided Amy Winehouse UK tour yesterday announced all future dates had been canned.

There had been much speculation regarding the future of the tour, of course, because of Winehouse's increasingly erratic behaviour since husband Blake Fielder Civil was jailed over allegations he attempted to pervert the course of justice. As previously reported, that erratic behaviour was affecting her live shows, causing audience members to openly boo at her tour's first night in Birmingham. Things improved at subsequent gigs, however, until a show in London at the weekend where audience members again reportedly walked out claiming Winehouse was unable to perform.

As speculation rose as to the damage her poor performances would have on future ticket and record sales, promoter Live Nation yesterday announced that the rest of Winehouse's UK tour had been cancelled on doctor's orders.

The promoter said: "Amy Winehouse has cancelled all remaining live and promotional appearances for the remainder of the year on the instruction of her doctor. The rigours involved in touring and the intense emotional strain that Amy has been under in recent weeks have taken their toll. In the interests of her health and well-being, Amy has been ordered to take complete rest and deal with her health issues".

Winehouse herself told reporters: "I can't give it my all onstage without my Blake. I'm so sorry but I don't want to do the shows half-heartedly; I love singing. My husband is everything to me and without him it's just not the same".

There are currently no plans to reschedule cancelled shows, and refunds will be available for all ticketholders.

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UNIVERSAL BOSS ADMITS DIGITAL REVOLUTION HAS BEEN A STRUGGLE FOR LABEL CHIEFS
New media monthly Wired this month features a profile on and interview with Universal Music chief Doug Morris, in which the magazine is critical of Morris' role in developing, or not, the digital music sector, while Morris himself admits that all record company execs struggled to keep up when the internet suddenly started revolutionising their business in the late nineties.

Looking back, Morris admits: "There's no one in the record company that's a technologist. That's a misconception writers make all the time, that the record industry missed this. They didn't. They just didn't know what to do. It's like if you were suddenly asked to operate on your dog to remove his kidney. What would you do? We didn't know who to hire. I wouldn't be able to recognise a good technology person - anyone with a good bullshit story would have gotten past me".

He's right on one level, of course. We should remember that turning a large company that exists to secure recording rights and manufacture and sell plastic disks into a multi-faceted, multi-media, online, offline, all-IP-embracing artist brand manipulation agency isn't an easy task, especially when most of your workforce only knows how to secure recording rights and manufacture plastic disks. Though I seem to remember most major record companies spending five years refusing to even try to make that change, preferring instead to evict anyone from their building who suggested they should (and then suing them). I'd probably be more vitriolic about this normally (given there's articles in the CMU archives from eight years ago warning labels about the dangers of their dodgy digital strategies) but I kind of feel I should be defending the labels given that Wired themselves do a very good job of laying into Morris et al.

Reviewing Morris' role in the development of online music services, including his more recent reputation for driving a hard bargain with new players in the digital music space like YouTube and Microsoft's Zune Marketplace, the magazine itself says: "How is it that an old-school music mogul who can barely hide his indifference to technology or his contempt for the download-loving public is out front on so many digital initiatives? Clearly, it's not because he wants to improve the music experience for consumers. In truth, his motive is simple: he wants to wring every dollar he can out of anyone who goes anywhere near his catalogue. Morris has never accepted the digital world's ruling ethos that it's better to follow the smartest long-term strategy, even if it means near-term losses. As far as he's concerned, do that and someone, somewhere, is taking advantage of you. Morris wants to be paid now, not in some nebulous future. And if there's one thing he knows how to do, it's use the size of his company to get his way".

Aside from all the bitching, Morris also discusses his new previously reported Total Music venture in the article, his attempt to work with rival record companies and leading technology firms to launch a new service to rival Apple's dominance in the download market. He says he has agreements in principle from Warner Music and SonyBMG to participate in the new venture, and that he will look to his technology partners to provide much of the funding, especially at the outset.

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POP PRODUCER LOSES EVERYTHING IN FLEA FIRE
We reported on Monday that Red Hot Chili Pepper Flea had lost his house in the latest wildfire to hit LA, but that he probably wouldn't be too bothered because he was no longer living there, he was planning on selling the property, and presumably he'd be insured. However, it turns out that although Flea wasn't living there, pop producer and former Marvelous 3 frontman Butch Walker was, because he was renting the property off the RHCP man. He's told reporters that he is very bothered about the whole thing, having lost more or less everything in the blaze. The only good news is he wasn't there and the friend who was minding the property for him escaped unharmed.

Commenting on the ordeal, Walker told reporters: "I had just consolidated my entire recording studio and house from Atlanta into the one house in Malibu. I lost everything I've ever owned. Every master of every song I've ever recorded, every piece of recording equipment, guitars, drums and things I've collected over the years, cars, motorcycles, every family memorial, heirloom, picture, and document we ever had.... Gone. I feel like I finally know the difference between 'going back' and 'going home'".

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FOXY BROWN OUT OF SOLITARY CONFINEMENT
Incarcerated Foxy Brown has been taken out of solitary. As previously reported, prison officials sentenced her to "punitive segregation" after various cases of alleged bad behaviour in jail. She was due to serve 76 days but has been let out after 40 because of good behaviour. Her manager, Chaz Williams, told Billboard: "Foxy is out and her spirits never wavered. While in solitary, she continued to answer each and every fan letter. She also told me she wrote some pretty hot songs while there. She's back in the law library and looks forward to ending this chapter in her life".

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KNIEVEL SETTLES WITH KANYE
Evel Knievel has settled out of court on his trademark infringement suit against Kanye West, which is good news, because Kanye hardly needs any more stress in his life just now. As previously reported, Knievel sued West after the hip hopper appeared in the video to 'Touch The Sky' dressed as the iconic daredevil stuntman. Knievel argued that the sequence, made without his permission, violated his trademarks. West's people said the video was 'satire' which is allowed under the first amendment. But after meeting with Kanye at his Florida home an out of court deal with Knievel has been reached. So hurrah for that.

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LILY DISCUSSES HEART MURMUR
Lily Allen has revealed she has been diagnosed as suffering from a heart murmur and says that that is why she has lost weight in recent months - that is to say she has been exercising more since the diagnosis three months ago, which has caused her to slim down. She talked about her heart condition in an interview with Grazia, keen to end speculation about her weight loss. She told the mag: "When they asked me how much exercise I did, I had to be honest and say hardly any. I used to love nothing more than sitting in front of the telly with two packets of Ginger Nuts and two bags of milk-bottle sweets - and I'd devour the lot. But this heart thing has made me cut back on all that kind of crap. I now find that, because I am looking after myself, I don't feel like eating the bad stuff so much. [But] I really want to stress that I haven't done this because I want to become some skinny minnie - I will never be like that".

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ALANIS GOES INTO HOME COUNTRY'S HALL OF FAME
Alanis Morissette will be inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall Of Fame next year as part of the Canadian Music Week thing in March.

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NEW JANET JACKSON ALBUM SET FOR FEBRUARY RELEASE
Janet Jackson's debut long player for Def Jam will be released in February, even though it don't yet have a name. Jackson, who has recently signed to the William Morris Agency for representation in all areas of her career, will be hoping her move to Def Jam from Virgin will deliver the same good fortune enjoyed when Mariah Carey made the same label leap in 2004. Although Jackson's recent Virgin releases have been somewhat more successful than Carey's work with the EMI label, record sales post-Nipplegate have not been brilliant for Janet. Ironically Jackson's boyfriend, producer and label exec Jermaine Dupri, who also recently moved from EMI to Island Def Jam, is working on the new Carey long player, and has indicated the Jackson/Carey releases next year might result in chart rivarly similar to that of Kanye West/50 Cent this year.

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DEBUT A.HUMAN OUT NEXT WEEK
Have we raved about A.Human here in the CMU Daily? I can't remember. If not, consider this following sentence to be somewhat more rave-tastic than it actually is... A.Human are great. Yet another Wall Of Sound signing much loved by Team CMU, these guys release their first UK single next week - it will be a 10" limited edition double a-side featuring 'Horse With No Name' and 'One Late Wednesday'. Well worth checking out. Perhaps we'll make them SNAP Of The Day next week to remind you.

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ITUNES RELEASE LENNON VIDEO COLLECTION
iTunes are about to offer a digital video album from John Lennon featuring twenty-one pop promos from the late Beatles' solo catalogue, including the vids to 'Imagine', 'Woman' and 'Nobody Told Me'. The promotion has been put together by Apple and EMI, and will be promoted by Starbucks in the US, who will be selling cards in store that can be used to pre-pay for the video package.

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BABYSHAMBLES TO HEADLINE NME AWARDS LAUNCH
NME will officially launch their 2008 awards shenanigans next week, even though that will still be 2007, but this is no time to get picky about that kind of thing. The launch will take place at that swank IndigO2 venue in The O2 complex in East London, and it's just been announced Babyshambles will headline. Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong and The Wombats will also perform, plus there'll be DJ sets from Queenz of Noize and South Central. It all takes place next Thursday, 6 Dec. I think tickets to the party were given away through an NME competition, so if you want to go and are a very important media or industry person you need to go be very nice to Amazing Media, who are PRing the whole shebang.

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GALLOWS TOUR
Talking of the NME, their coolest of cool for this year, Frank Carter, will be going on tour with his band Gallows next February. The tour will follow the rerelease of the band's debut album 'Orchestra Of Wolves' next week. Dates as follows...

15 Feb: Norwich, UEA
16 Feb: Birmingham, Academy
18 Feb: Cardiff, University
19 Feb: Nottingham, Rock City
21 Feb: Manchester, Academy 2
22 Feb: Newcastle, Academy
23 Feb: Glasgow, ABC
24 Feb: Leeds, Met University
26 Feb: Exeter, Lemon Grove
27 Feb: Portsmouth, Pyramid Centre
29 Feb: London, Astoria

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VIAGOGO SAY STREISAND OVER VALUED
I'll let you form your own opinion about whether or not the secondary ticketing market -which allows people to resell gig tickets for profit - is a good thing, because I'm feeling generous. But this is an interesting aside from the whole ticket resell phenomenon.

Secondary ticketing firm Viagogo have been comparing the face value of tickets with what people were willing to pay for them on their auction website - and have released a list of the highest value tours (ie the ones where secondary ticket buyers were willing to pay a lot more than face value) and the most overvalued tours (where secondary ticket buyers weren't willing to pay face value).

While it comes as no surprise to know that Led Zeppelin tickets were very highly valued (with secondary tickets going for 7.3 times the face value, despite promoter Harvey Goldsmith's pledge to cancel resold tickets), The Verve's reunion tour actually topped the value chart because their tickets were going for 7.9 times their face value on the resale site.

At the other end Viagogo reveal that Barbra Streisand had the most overvalued tickets, with bids for £550 tickets only reaching £337. Meanwhile £100 tickets for George Michael reached £84, and £70 for Beyonce reached £64.

Commenting on the survey Viagogo CEO Eric Baker told CMU: "I have been surprised by many of our findings, The Verve beating Led Zeppelin to the most desirable ticket of 2007 is a tremendous feat. It is interesting to see the bottom three had some of the highest face values of the year, these artists are perhaps not as desirable as they once were".

The top ten most highly rated tickets were as follows - the face value first, the resell price second, and the viagogo index (ie how many times bigger the resell price was than the face value) last.

1. The Verve (£30-£237-7.9)
2. Led Zeppelin (£125-£914-7.3)
3. Rihanna (£27.50-£130-4.7)
4. The Killers (£23-£106-4.6)
5. Take That (£40-£180-4.5)
6. Westlife (£32-£140-4.4)
7. 50 Cent (£35-£145-4.2)
8. Bruce Springsteen (£55-£221-4.0)
9. Prince (£31-£125-3.9
10. Michael Bolton (£35-128-3.7)

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C3 AND FESTIVAL REPUBLIC PARTNER ON NEW EVENT
A UK and a US festival promoter have announced a partnership to launch a new North American event in Vineland, New Jersey. Festival Republic, behind the UK's Reading, Leeds and Latitude festivals, and C3 Presents, promoters of Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, will launch the Vineland Music Festival next August.

The partnership follows those previously reported comments made by Festival Republic chief Melvin Benn earlier this year when, having sold much of his UK venue empire to concentrate on event and festival production, he indicated an interest in expanding into the US festival market.

Confirming the new venture, C3 partner Charlie Jones told Billboard: "For our company to be involved with an individual who more or less has inspired the American festival movement as we know it today is an honor for us. The European, Melvin Benn festival model is a camping festival and ours are based more on urban green spaces. The goal is to take our model and his model and somehow merge it to where there is a feeling of a European camping festival and an American festival at the same time".

Music wise, Jones added: "Vineland will be rock-oriented but the music will be extremely diversified, with hopes of drawing all different types of people".

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UNIVERSAL CLASSICAL DIVISION LAUNCH
Universal owned classical music label Deutsche Grammophon has announced it will make lots of its catalogue available online as DRM-free MP3s as part of a relaunch of its website. 2500 albums will be available, including 600 titles not currently available on CD. It's part of a long term ambition by the major division to get its entire back catalogue, which goes all the way back to the company's launch in 1898 in Hanover, available digitally.

Talking up the new download offer, and the content driven website where the downloads will be sold from, Deutsche Grammophon boss Michael Lang told Billboard: "At this point, we're trying to do it at 1000 titles at a time, using some common sense of what the public likes. That goal and that timeline will be dependent on how we see the consumer embracing true back catalogue. The beauty of a catalogue rich company such as DG, the idea of being able to digitize and make available continually all of those titles is a no-brainer".

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GOYA MUSIC CLOSES ITS DOORS
More doom and gloom in the world of indie music distribution everybody. Following the news last week that independent distribution firm Amato had gone under, confirmation this week that another fine distributor of quality dance tunes, Goya Music, has also decided to call it a day. Co-founder Spencer Weekes told CMU: "It has always been hard to squeeze a living out of music distribution, but we found our niche and made it work. But with the growth of MP3 and CDR it has just become impossible to make this kind of operation viable". The Goya team are currently trying to get outstanding stock back to labels. Weekes added: "People have been generally supportive, there seems to have been a lot of love for Goya which is heartening. We want to get everything sorted here before considering our future options".

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MU GENERAL SECRETARY RE-ELECTED
Musicians Union General Secretary John Smith has been re-elected to the top job for another five years after no one challenged him for the post following the completion of his first five year term. Which is presumably a sign of approval of Smith's work for the Union to date. Well, that's what MU Exec Committee chair Danny Longstaff concluded, telling reporters: "Clearly this outcome is a result of the accomplished and professional way in which John has led the Union out of an unsure future, in the early parts of the decade, through to the solid position we find ourselves in today".

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BPI ANNOUNCE NEW GENERAL COUNSEL
More appointments, and Kiaron Whitehead has been announced as the new General Counsel for record industry trade body the BPI. He replaces Roz Groome who, as previously reported, stepped down from the role earlier this year. Whitehead, currently at legal firm Forbes Anderson Free, will join the trade body in March. Look, here's what BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor says: "Kiaron is an outstanding lawyer with an excellent reputation for top-notch music litigation and negotiation skills. The BPI has an ambitious agenda of legal work for 2008 and beyond and Kiaron's appointment will substantially strengthen the BPI team. We are absolutely delighted that he is joining us".

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TERRESTRIAL BROADCASTERS TO LAUNCH COMBINED OD SERVICE
The BBC, ITV and Channel 4 are to work together to launch a new on-demand telly service, initially available online, but possibly to be available via your TV as well in the future. The new service, which has a working title of Kangaroo, will bring together the Beeb, ITV and Channel 4's existing on-demand video services (although their separate services will also continue) meaning they will offer a very impressive catalogue of current and achive content. Some programmes will be available for free, others in return for a fee.

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FALL OUT BOY DIDN'T OBJECT TO ASHLEE DISSING SONG
Fall Out boy Pete Wentz has denied those reports that he has sent a letter asking Canadian band Neurosonic to stop performing a song that mocks his girlfriend Ashlee Simpson. Those allegations were made in the New York Post, seemingly after Neurosonic's Jason Darr told a crowd at a New York gig that "Pete Wentz has a cease and desist out against us" in relation to the Simpson-mocking song. But it may be that Darr was joking, because Wentz has written on his blog: "I have never heard of that band or ever sent a cease and desist in my life". Addressing Darr he continues: "I'm not gonna have a fight in the press - it's one thing I am really proud of myself for this year. If your songs are good then sleep easy and have fun playing them - just don't attach me to them".

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