CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 29th November
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Morrissey says NME twisted his words on immigration
- EMI boss proposes overhaul of costly industry associations
- Stein PA denies murder
- Winehouse Senior glad at daughter's rest decision
- Sinatra family set up company with Warner
- Live Is All remix it up
- World AIDS day downloads
- NIN remix site goes ahead after all
- Supergrass return
- Portishead release date set
- Sparks London residency
- Kylie tour
- Richard Fleeshman tour
- Control does well at indie film awards
- Music internship scheme expands into indie sector
- Choice schedule revamp
- Jordan to complain over Heat sticker
- Andre hits back at Gallagher's "pikey cunt" remark
- Mel B is runner up in US dance competition
- Usher becomes a father
- Britney denies pregnancy

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TOP BIT
So, I was on the Richard Bacon show on Radio 5Live the other night chatting about Christmas number ones, and I've been carrying around my notes in my pocket ever since meaning to write them up here in the Daily, which I haven't quite got round to. So let's stick it here in the Top Bit shall we?

The question up for debate on the Richard Bacon show was whether the Christmas number one really matters any more. My answer: I'd say it does matter, in as much as it ever mattered.

That is to say, no one has really made much money out of single sales for a long time, so even though single sales will generally get a boost in the pre-Christmas chart week, the whole thing isn't going to make an label or artist particularly rich.

However, the fact we all take an interest in who is number one on the Sunday before Christmas Day creates a great marketing platform for the music industry - as stories about who is joining the race for the festive number one position, and what odds the bookies are offering, appear in the tabs in the six weeks running up to Christmas. That media coverage gives participating artists an extra bit of publicity which may result in additional album sales, or gig ticket sales, which has to be a good thing.

And I'd say that the Christmas number one phenomenon is proving an even more interesting marketing platform this year, thanks to those much previously reported changes in chart rules at the start of the year. In the past only those labels which could afford to be pressing, marketing and distributing CD singles, and who could be bothered with all the hassle of doing it over the Christmas break, could afford to join the race and use the marketing platform.

But because you can now chart on download sales alone, the Christmas number one thing is now open to many more labels and artists. And several independent players are cashing in.

As previously reported, Last.fm are getting behind CMU favourites Lucky Soul for the Christmas number one spot - aiming to send as many of their vast online community as possible over to a website where the self-releasing band are selling their Christmas record.

Meanwhile, an online community is rapidly building for another CMU favourite, Malcolm Middleton, who will release a new single called 'We're All Going To Die' on 17 Dec. Radio 1's Colin Murray has got behind this track as a Christmas number one contender and persuaded several of his Radio 1 colleagues to big it up on air - leading to mega-hits on Middleton's MySpace and Facebook from music fans who are pledging to buy the track in pre-Christmas week in a bid to make it the festive chart topper. The whole thing has gained so much momentum bookies have cut the odds on the track from 1000:1 to 20:1, making it sixth favourite to get the Christmas number one spot.

Of course Simon Cowell has dominated the Christmas number one spot in recent years by releasing the debut single by the 'X-Factor' winner just in time for the Christmas chart. The fact that the 'X-Factor' winner was so assured to go top last year arguably lessened public interest in last year's festive chart battle. But the fact that indie players are this year trying to compete makes the whole thing interesting again. X-Factor will probably still win, but if the race to Christmas number one help win Lucky Soul and Malcolm Middleton a few column inches and a few new fans, well then that's a groovy thing. So, yes, the Christmas number one phenomenon does matter.

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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: KASPER BJORKE

Danish DJ and producer Kasper Bjorke released his first solo album this year, 'In Gumbo', a mighty fine effort at tackling New York punk funk laden with synth-heavy electronica. Clearly influenced by the '70s NY scene - and the infamous 99 records label that fuelled it - he even drafts in Liquid Liquid's (the band that provided the now ubiquitous bassline to Grandmaster Flash's 'White Lines' single) drummer Dennis Young for 'Liquid Prognosia', essentially a retro-sounding rendition of The Rapture's 'House of Jealous Lovers'. Equally excellent, the first single 'Back & Spine', featuring Icelandic band FM Belfast on vocals, could cut up dancefloors with its grinding beat and eroticised synth sounds. It's easily up there with any LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy has released recently and there's not a higher compliment in my book at the moment. Head to here to get funky.

http://www.myspace.com/kasperbjorke

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MORRISSEY SAYS NME TWISTED HIS WORDS ON IMMIGRATION
Morrissey is claiming that he has been defamed by the NME in an interview with him that appears in this week's edition of the music weekly. The singer is seemingly pissed off about quotes attributed to him regarding his opinions of modern Britain, and in particular that England has lost its identity because of an "immigration explosion".

The magazine quotes Mozza as saying: "England is a memory now. The gates are flooded and anybody can have access to England and join in. Although I don't have anything against people from other countries, the higher the influx into England the more the British identity disappears. So the price is enormous. Travel to England and you have no idea where you are. It matters because the British identity is very attractive. I grew up into it and I find it very quaint and amusing. Other countries have held on to their basic identity, yet it seems to me that England's was thrown away. You can't say, 'Everybody come into my house, sit on the bed, have what you like, do what you like.' It wouldn't work".

Representatives of the singer say that the NME have misrepresented what he said to make his comments sound more controversial, claiming that the journalist who interviewed Mozza for the magazine has admitted as much. They quote a note from the interviewer, Tim Jonze, a freelancer, in which he says: "For reasons I'll probably never understand, NME have rewritten the [Morrissey] piece. I had a read and virtually none of it is my words or beliefs so I've asked for my name to be taken off it".

Morrissey rep Merck Mercuriadis told reporters yesterday: "We assume [it] can only be intended to create controversy to boost [the NME's] circulation at the expense of Morrissey's integrity, and for which no journalist is willing to be credited. As you can see from the legal letter below, we will be unrelenting in our quest to bring NME to justice."

Given Jonze's comments Mozza's people seem to be laying responsibility for the alleged defamation at the door of NME editor Conor McNicholas.

He told The Sun: "Obviously no-one is accusing Morrissey of racism - that would be mad given what Morrissey says - but we do say that the language Morrissey uses is very unhelpful at a time of great tensions".

A spokesman for the magazine, meanwhile, told reporters this morning: "We haven't done anything to make the interview read in a more inflammatory way".

All this hoo ha blew up on the day Morrissey announced that he had signed a new record deal with Universal's Polydor who will release a new studio album from him next year.

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EMI BOSS PROPOSES OVERHAUL OF COSTLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS
The new boss of EMI has reportedly questioned the necessity of the record industry having so many different trade associations, in particular questioning the need for major labels to be supporting all three of the US based Recording Industry Association Of American, the UK based BPI and the globally focussed International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry.

According to Billboard, Guy Hands has written to his counterparts at the other major record companies claiming that having the three trade bodies is costing the record industry $250 million and that he's "never come across an industry which spends so much on its trade associations". A source close to the EMI chief, meanwhile, told the trade magazine: "They've looked at it [the cost of the three associations] and suggested that that kind of expenditure, on having three bodies, might be rather more efficiently spent".

The consensus seems to be that Hands is initially proposing a radical overhaul of the IFPI to reduce the costs of the global body, and to avoid duplication between it and the US and UK trade bodies. IFPI chief John Kennedy has told Billboard that it comes as no surprise that the new EMI owners would want to review its commitment to trade associations, but added "I haven't seen any letter from Guy Hands". A spokesman for the IFPI added: "We are engaged in annual budget discussions and, as one would expect in this market, there is a focus on efficiencies and savings. Meanwhile we have a very full agenda promoting the rights of our member record companies".

Neither EMI nor any of the affected trade bodies have commented on the rumoured letter.

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STEIN PA DENIES MURDER
The personal assistant of Linda Stein has denied murdering the former Ramones manager. Natavia Lowery is the prime suspect in the killing of Stein, who was found dead at her New York home on 30 Oct. Lowery was arrested on 9 Nov but initially claimed to have witnessed a masked man at her employer's home who had told her she'd be the last person to see Stein alive. She then seemingly changed her testimony admitting to killing Stein after the two had a run in at the flat. But it seems that she may have now changed her statement again, with her lawyer claiming she was pressured into making the homicide admission in order to get out of the police interview room. Surveillance footage shows Lowery leaving Stein's apartment not long after the killing, which is why police investigations so far have centred on her. Stein was married to Sire Records co-founder Seymour Stein and worked with the label before launching herself as an artist manager. In the latter part of her life she worked as an estate agent to the rich and famous.

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WINEHOUSE SENIOR GLAD AT DAUGHTER'S REST DECISION
Amy Winehouse's dad has said that his daughter is "sorry for fans" after the announcement earlier this week that she was cancelling all scheduled gigs and personal appearances on medical grounds. Speaking to Radio 1's Newsbeat, Mitch Winehouse said that the decision to cancel the tour was "in her best interests". Asked if she would now receive treatment in a rehab facility he said "all options" were being considered regarding helping Winehouse getting over her recent personal troubles. Despite continued criticism from ticket holders at some of Winehouse's more shambolic recent gigs, public opinion seems generally supportive of the singer's decision to step back and try and get her life back together. As previously reported, Winehouse has been a bit of a mess of late as she tries to battle drug addiction and come to terms with husband Blake Fielder Civil being jailed over allegations of perverting the cause of justice.

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SINATRA FAMILY SET UP COMPANY WITH WARNER
Warner Music have entered into a deal with the family of Frank Sinatra which will see creation of Frank Sinatra Enterprises which will manage the late crooner's film and TV assets, as well as the recordings he made for Warner's Reprise label. It will also represent the artist's rights with regards the recording catalogues owned by SonyBMG's Columbia and EMI's Capitol. Representatives from both the family and Warner will manage the new set up, which will be run on a day to day basis by Jimmy Edwards and Gregg Goldman from Warner's Rhino division.

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LIVE IS ALL REMIX IT UP
Swedish indie band Live Is All have announced they will release a remix album on 21 Jan, featuring remixes from the likes of The Bees, Maps, Metronomy and Hot Chip. Tell you what, why don't I just give you the tracklisting?

Felt Tip (Fryars remix)
Spinning & Scratching (Metronomy remix)
Busy Doing Nothing (An Optimo [Espacio] mix)
Make Out Fall Out Make Up (The Bees version)
Turn the Radio Off (Maps remix)
Busy Doing Nothing (Tapedeck remix)
Make Out Fall Out Make Up (A Chicken Lips Malfunction)
Turn the Radio Off (Studio remake)
Felt Tip (Hot Chip remix)

The band have said they also plan to release a second studio album next year.

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WORLD AIDS DAY DOWNLOADS
Deborah Harry will donate the proceeds of the download of her recent single 'Two Times Blue' to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation in the run up to World AIDS Day, which is this Saturday by the way. The single can be downloaded from http://www.gay.com and http://www.planetout.com. Harry said in a statement: "In honour of this year's World AIDS Day, I am excited to be working with a wonderful organisation, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, to bring attention to the fight against HIV AIDS. No matter what your contribution is, it means a lot. Thank you in advance for contributing to this important cause".

Meanwhile, Queen and Paul Rodgers, who have been in the studio of late, are hoping to have a track online for Saturday which will be available for free from a website designed to promote Nelson Madela's 46664 AIDS campaign, which Queen have been long term supporters of. The download will be available at http://www.queenonline.com and http://www.46664.com.

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NIN REMIX SITE GOES AHEAD AFTER ALL
Following the recent news that Universal Music had pulled the plug on a planned Nine Inch Nails remix website, where fans would be encouraged to upload their own remixes, news today that NIN man Trent Reznor has set the site up himself.

As previously reported, Universal stopped plans for the site because of fears fans would upload remixes including samples not owned by the major, which would make them liable for copyright infringement charges just as they are making similar charges against other content sharing and social networking websites.

But Reznor, a long term advocate of P2P file sharing, has now set up his own remix website, which has gone live in beta mode. The remix site says that it is "the first element of the new nin.com that will be coming in the next few months". Reznor, now out of his recording contract with Universal, is expected to communicate directly with his fans via his own online ventures in the future.

What Universal will make of the remix site, which will presumably make available recordings owned by the major for remixing, remains to be seen.

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SUPERGRASS RETURN
Supergrass will return with a brand new single in the New Year, which is making 2008 sound like a damn good year already. The band will release 'Diamond Hoo Ha Man' as a limited edition 7" on 14 Jan. The band will play a few gigs around the release, though without Mick Quinn who is still recovering from that accident back in August which left him with two broken vertebrae and a smashed heal (and which seemingly occurred after he sleepwalked out of a window while in France, ouch). Bass duties will be taken over by Charly Coombs, meaning there will be three Coombes brothers in the band - Gaz's brother Rob has, of course, been a proper member of the band since 2002.

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PORTISHEAD RELEASE DATE SET
We have a provisional release date for the previously reported new Portishead album, the band's first long player for ten years. Reports suggest the album will come out via Universal/Island on 31 Mar.

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SPARKS LONDON RESIDENCY
Sparks have confirmed that previously reported 21 night residency in London, and have confirmed that they will play each of their 20 studio albums in full - one per night - before playing a brand new album on day 21. The retrospectives will take place at the Islington Academy, while the new album will be premiered at the Shepherd's Bush Empire. Tickets are £20 per show, though a £350 ticket is also available that gets you into every single gig. Which would keep you rather busy. The running order of the residency is as follows...

16 May: Halfnelson/Sparks
17 May: A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing
18 May: Kimono My House
20 May: Propaganda
21 May: Indiscreet
23 May: Big Beat
24 May: Introducing Sparks
25 May: No 1 In Heaven
27 May: Terminal Jive
28 May: Whomp That Sucker
30 May: Angst In My Pants
31 May: In Outer Space
1 Jun: Pulling Rabbits Out Of A Hat
3 Jun: Music That You Can Dance To
4 Jun: Interior Design
6 Jun: Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins'
7 Jun: Plagiarism
8 Jun: Balls
10 Jun: Lil' Beethoven
11 Jun: Hello Young Lovers
13 Jun: Untitled New Album (premiere)

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KYLIE TOUR
More live stuff, and Kylie has announced details of a European tour for 2008, with the UK dates as follows. Tickets go on sale next Monday.

26 Jun: Odyssey Arena, Belfast
27 Jun: Odyssey Arena, Belfast
5 Jul: Glasgow, SECC
6 Jul: Glasgow, SECC
14 Jul: Manchester, MEN Arena
15 Jul: Manchester, MEN Arena
26 Jul: London, 02 Arena
27 Jul: London, 02 Arena

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RICHARD FLEESHMAN
But obviously the big live new story yesterday was that Richard Fleeshman will go on tour next February. You now, that former 'Coronation Street'/'Soapstar Superstar' chap. Dates as follows, tickets on sale on Friday.

26 Feb: Glasgow King Tuts
27 Feb: Newcastle Academy 2
29 Feb: Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
1 Mar: Liverpool Academy 2
3 Mar: Norwich Waterfront
4 Mar: Brighton Komedia
6 Mar: London Islington Academy
7 Mar: Bristol Academy 2
8 Mar: Sheffield Leadmill
10 Mar: Oxford Academy 2
11 Mar: Birmingham Academy 2
12 Mar: Manchester Academy 3

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CONTROL DOES WELL AT INDIE FILM AWARDS
Joy Division film 'Control' won five gongs at the British Independent Film Awards last night, including one for the film's newcomer star Sam Riley and for director Anton Corbijn.

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MUSIC INTERNSHIP SCHEME EXPANDS INTO INDIE SECTOR
Organisers of a scheme that aims to offer disadvantaged young people internship opportunities in the music business has announced it has secured funding from the BRIT Trust, a charity funded by the British music industry, which will enable it to provide paid internships in the independent sector.

The Music 4 Good programme, created by youth communications agency Livity, has so far been spearheaded by SonyBMG who made paid internships available within its UK labels to young people recruited through the scheme. The BRIT Trust funding will enable a set of scholarships in the indie sector - the funding paying for the interns' wages and an Open College Network course.

Commenting on the expansion of the scheme, SonyBMG UK CEO Ged Doherty told CMU: "This initiative is the perfect example of how music can be harnessed to positive effect. It gives young people an opportunity they would not otherwise have by overcoming the typical 'niece of the chairman' approach to work placements and bringing fresh young talent into the heart of the company. With the BRIT Trust funding in place the industry can offer more work placements in a wider range of companies - from the majors right through to the smallest independents".

John Craig, Chair of the BRIT Trust said: "The Brit Trust is glad to be able to assist Music 4 Good, it fills our mission statement perfectly 'Music - Youth - Education'".

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CHOICE SCHEDULE REVAMP
London radio station Choice FM has announced a schedule rejig which will see Martin Jay and Lucy Ambache's breakfast show extended by an hour so it runs from 6am to 10am. The Friday Nite Flavas rap show will move to an earlier slot (9pm-midnight), plus there'll be a new rap show presented by DJ Phoebe One that will air in the same slot on Saturday nights. There'll also be a new early early show from 3am to 6am hosted by DJ Abrantee.

The station's MD Ivor Etienne told reporters: "It was time to refresh the schedule and reflect the shows to chime with the modern day lifestyles of our audience. I'm really excited about the changes as we move forward bringing new music and programmes to our audience as well as rewarding the new talent that were proud to see coming through the ranks of Choice FM".

Elsewhere in London radio land, former Magic drivetime host Graham Dene will take over breakfast on Smooth Radio in January. He was signed up by the Guardian owned station way back in February, but was committed to Magic until September and is currently on that old gardening leave thing.

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JORDAN TO COMPLAIN OVER HEAT STICKER
Jordan, real name Katie Price of course, has complained to the Press Complaints Commission over a sticker given away by Heat magazine which featured a picture of her disabled son Harvey with the strapline 'Harvey wants to eat me', which is a bit out of order really (the sticker, not the PCC complaint).

The print media regulator have confirmed they received a complaint from Price and her husband Peter Andre, and a further 30 complaints. The formal complaint claims the c'leb mag breached PCC clauses 6 and 12, which cover the treatment of children and discrimination, in their inclusion of Harvey - who was born with a rare disorder called septo-optic dysplasia which causes blindness and growth hormone deficiency - in the sticker promotion.

Heat maker EMAP say that editor Mark Frith has already apologised for the sticker and is speaking to Price and Andre's representatives about it.

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ANDRE HITS BACK AT GALLAGHER'S "PIKEY CUNT" REMARK
Elsewhere in Andre news, the one time popster has hit out at those previously reported comments made by Liam Gallagher in which he called him "a pikey cunt". As previously reported, Gallagher was asked how he would respond to a phone message from Andre. He said he'd text back saying: "What the fuck are you on about man? Where'd you get my fucking number from, you fucking pikey cunt?'"

Andre isn't pissed off with the comment as much as with the fact Liam was apparently all niceness when the two actually met. Andre said: "I read somewhere that Liam Gallagher has been calling me all sorts of names. I found this quite surprising because when I last saw Liam he couldn't have been friendlier. We bumped into him and he told us how great he thought we were and how his mother Peggy was a big fan. It's such a shame he was too much of a coward to tell us how he really felt to our faces instead of being two-faced. That man is all mouth and no trousers".

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MEL B IS RUNNER UP IN US DANCE COMPETITION
Spice Girl Mel B came second in the US version of 'Strictly Come Dancing'. She would have won based on votes from the judges on the show, but those pesky US TV viewers chose Brazilian racing driver Helio Castroneves as the overall winner on the phone vote. US singer Marie Osmond came third in the dance off, which will air in the UK on UKTV Gold this Friday.

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USHER BECOMES A FATHER
Baby news now, and Usher became a first time father this week when his wife, Tameka Foster, who he married earlier this year, gave birth to a son. Usher said in a statement: "We are so happy and proud of our beautiful son. What a blessing!"

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BRITNEY DENIES PREGNANCY
More baby news, or not. Britney Spears has denied tabloid rumours that she is pregnant by producer JR Rotem. Well, one of her friends has. Friend Sam Lufti texted Ryan Seacrest's radio show yesterday to say: "It's BS. Don't know who made it up. JR doesn't even know what's up. It's fake. Completely fake". The US tabs had reported Rotem had confirmed the pregnancy news.

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