CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 30th November
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Could Pepsi and Walmart bring an end to DRM?
- Hands not impressed with EMI excesses
- Morrissey's NME action may go ahead
- Keith Urban infringement suit dismissed
- Skynyrd drummer arrested again over sex register
- Andy Kershaw back in jail
- Nas on his contentious album and song names
- Bearsuit tour
- Lohan to collaborate with Fiddy?
- MBV manager says new album won't be digital only
- Arctic Monkeys put out white label
- The Cult add extra London date
- Osbournes to host the Brits
- Warner profits down
- EMI Japan launch management company
- Ticket Text to provide ticketing for MAMA venues
- Beggar rejigs
- More Britney pregnancy nonsense
- Allen retirement claims a joke
- Dan and Pip meet Simon, Louis and Sharon, sort of


This really is the last mention on this, because it's December tomorrow so we'll start publishing some of your recommends next week. So, why not get your vote in today for the CMU Track Of The Year poll?

You can vote for any track that first surfaced this year - a single, album track, remix, mash up, b-side, demo, TV theme tune - whatever. Email the name of your favourite track, with your name, company and job title, and a sentence on why you're voting for it, 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.

So, to summarise, email us the name of your favourite track of 2007 to now.



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:

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

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



VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: BBE Records 11th Birthday at Canvas
Ah, Barely Breaking Even Records, one of our long term favourite labels, and they're eleven years old and celebrating that fact with a party at Canvas, and what a party. Look at this line up. In the house room you get Louie Vega and Osunlade; getting soulful will be Gilles Peterson, Kon & Amir and my personal fave Phil Asher; doing disco will be Dimitri From Paris and Joey Negro; and on a hip hop tip you'll get Marley Marl and DJ Premier. This is an amazing line up, and a definite way to kick off the Christmas party season in style. See you there.

Saturday 1 Dec, Canvas, Kings Cross, London, N1, 9pm-5am, £17.50 in advance, £25 on door, info from BBE or


Very interesting report in Billboard overnight about a major promotion being planned by Pepsi and Amazon which, the US trade magazine reckons, could force SonyBMG and Warner to get their skates on regarding the release of their digital catalogues without that now well and truly outdated digital rights management technology.

As much previously reported, earlier this year EMI became the first major record company to admit that encrypting their digital music with restrictive DRM technology did nothing to protect against copyright infringement, and just pissed off consumers and gave Apple a stronger hold over the digital music market, because only iTunes could sell DRMed music that worked with the market leader iPod.

Universal followed suit in August announcing it would make large parts of its digital catalogue available without DRM in what was officially a six-month experiment, but which is expected to continue once those six months are up at the end of January.

As reported here recently, rumours have been rife that SonyBMG are also planning to drop DRM imminently, though those rumours seem to be mainly coming out of the US, with UK based SonyBMGers being much less committal on the whole thing. We now hear that SonyBMG's independent distribution arm RED is in talks with Amazon about making tracks available in the non-DRMed MP3 format, which is in itself a change of policy at the major, and may well be where those 'SonyBMG about to drop DRM' rumours have stemmed from.

Warner Music, meanwhile, remain very quiet on the whole DRM issue, though top execs at both SonyBMG and Warner are said to be watching Universal's DRM-free experiment closely, and are likely to be influenced by whether Universal continue to offer MP3s after their six month experiment, which they probably will.

Anyway, Billboard have reported that Pepsi in the US is planning a major music promotion that will launch during the mega-advertiser event that is the Superbowl in February. The promotion will appear on some 5 billion bottles, and will allow customers to download a free MP3 track for every five bottle tops they collect. Since the promotion will be in association with Amazon's recently launched DRM-free MP3 download service, any major not involved in that service won't be able to participate, which would mean them missing out on what could one of the highest profile music promotions in the US next year.

That, coupled with separate reports that US retail giant Wal-Mart is putting the pressure on SonyBMG and Warner to make their music available in MP3 format for their download platform, means that the across-the-board DRM-free music is surely now just around the corner. In fact, I'd bet you a six pack of Pepsi and ten pound Asda voucher that restrictive DRM is a distant memory this time next year.

Meanwhile all those dumb ass SonyBMG and Warner execs can explain to their shareholders why they held on to an expensive, redundant, anti-consumer technology for so much longer than was really necessary. A cynic might say "because they're out of their depth in the post-plastic era of music", but what do cynics know? Apart from how not to run a record company.


Talking of how not to run a record company, EMI boss Guy Hands' 'rant of the day' today is targeted at top execs at the major he acquired earlier this year. Whether the venom is aimed just at former EMI chief Eric Nicoli and other since axed senior players, or whether some of this is aimed at senior execs still on the EMI pay roll, isn't clear.

But either way, in a confidential document sent to Hands' investment partners and seen by journalists at The Times, the private equity man accuses Nicoli and his team of pissing away up to £100 million a year on unnecessary nonsense. The expenditure assigned to the 'nonsense' cost centre by Hands includes lavish Christmas gifts for artists, corporate apartments in LA and London, generous severance packages for fired execs (presumably Alain Levy and David Munns, who were axed at the start of the year) and excessive advances to artists. Oh, and £20,000 a month spent on candles for the LA apartment, which I find quite hard to believe, is it possible to spend £20,000 a month on candles? Unless they are talking about "candles", of course. You know, "candles" for the corporate flat, like you have "a bunch of flowers" on the band's rider.

Anyway, it seems Hands is keen to assure his money partners such excesses are now a thing of the past at the all new EMI, and that their money won't be wasted on such frivolities. So, that's nice to know. Just imagine what Hands would have made of the executive excesses at a nineties major record company. I suspect those glasses of his would have steamed up.


So, Morrissey could indeed be taking the NME to court over those previously reported defamation claims, which is very exciting, it's been ages since we've got to report on a decent defamation case. I may have to buy a new hat.

As previously reported, Morrissey's people claim the music weekly sexed up an interview with him to make comments he made about British identity sound kind of racist - well, anti-immigration. Some reports suggest that the guy who did the interview, freelancer Tim Jonze, backed up Mozza's claims. That said, other comments attributed to Jonze suggest that while he wasn't happy with the NME's edit of his interview (he insisted the actual article be credited to "NME" rather than him), Morrissey did make some of the more controversial remarks attributed to him.

Morrissey's legal types demanded the NME publish a retraction of the article by 1pm yesterday, presumably on, but no such retraction has been forthcoming and NME publishers IPC seem to be standing their ground. One assumes they have a recording of the interview for their lawyers to be backing such a stance.

Morrissey's lawyer told reporters yesterday afternoon: "The NME had until 1pm today to print a suitable apology to Morrissey. Their only response to this deadline was to say that they 'do not have time to respond to the allegations'".

IPC had earlier told reporters: "We can confirm that Morrissey's legal representatives have been in contact with NME and, pending the outcome of these discussions, we won't be commenting any further".

Roll on the libel suit I say. Though give me time to get that hat first.


Back to the more mundane business of copyright infringement lawsuits, and a claim against country singer Toby Keith has been dismissed by a court in the US.

Singer songwriter Michael McCloud filed a suit last year claiming Keith's 2003 hit 'I Love This Bar' was essentially a rip off of his song 'Tourist Town Bar'. Keith's song had been written by him and his longtime collaborator Scotty Emerick.

But a court this week dismissed McCloud's claim, presumably because they didn't accept the two songs were, as the plaintiff claimed, "strikingly similar".

Commenting on the ruling, Keith told reporters: "It is an awful thing to be accused wrongfully of copyright infringement. It goes to the core of what you are as a man, a singer/songwriter and an artist ... I was put in the terrible position of not being able to defend myself until the trial and I just could not wait for that day to come. I knew it would take no time at all for the case to be dismissed and it was, of course, with prejudice which means: He had no case whatsoever".


Former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle has been arrested a second time over his failure to register as a sex offender.

As previously reported, Pyle was jailed last week over allegations he had failed to comply with a 1993 Florida court order to keep his contact information on the State's sex offender register up to date, and to register with other States' sex offender lists should he move there. That ruling came after Pyle pleaded guilty to allegations that he sexually abused two young girls.

The musician was initially released on bail, but was arrested again this week for still not fulfilling his obligations regarding the sex offender registers. As far as we are aware no bail has been offered this time.


DJ Andy Kershaw has been remanded in custody on the Isle Of Man having breached a condition of his bail that came about after he failed to comply with that restraining order designed to keep him away from his former partner Juliette Banner. It's thought the breach relates to a curfew imposed by the island's High Bailiff after Kershaw allegedly broke the restraining order. The radio presenter is due to go back to court next week where the alleged order breach was due to be assessed. It isn't clear if he will now stay in jail until that hearing.


Nas may cause even more controversy with his previously reported 'Nigger' album with some of the track titles on it. Among the tracks due to appear on the long player are 'The Fear (Of The Black Man's Dick)' and 'You A Nigger Too'.

The hip hopper has again said the new album is not meant to be offensive to black people, or for that matter white people. MTV quote him thus: "It's not an attack on white people at all. It's knowledge; it's understanding for all people. It's not an attack on any race. It's about the attacks that have happened to blacks, whites, all ethnicities. 'Mick' niggers, 'guinea' niggers, 'kike' niggers. I have a song called 'You A Nigger Too'".

On the other potentially controversial track he added: "I have a song called 'The Fear'. The full title of the record is 'The Fear Of The Black Man's Dick'. That's some shit you can get comedy [from], or you can get some seriousness from it when you talk about the barbaric castrations that happened in our past - which is very serious, nothing to laugh at".


Former MySpace Of The Dayers Bearsuit kick off a mini tour tonight, which includes playing two gigs in Scotland tonight and then two gigs in the North tomorrow, which is proper commitment if you ask me (and a plan that will rely on some nifty driving, to get from Glasgow to Edinburgh, and then Newcastle to Manchester, on time - though apparently they managed gigs in Bristol and Cardiff on the same night once before, so they know how to do this kind of thing). The tour precedes the release of new single 'Foxy Boxer' on Fantastic Plastic on Monday. Dates as follows...

30 Nov: Glasgow (Support Show) @ Stereo
30 Nov: Edinburgh (Headline Show) @ Teviot Underground
1 Dec: Newcastle (Matinee Show - Early Afternoon) Cumberland Arms
1 Dec: Manchester (Headline Show) Night & Day Café
7 Dec: London @ Enterprize (Silver Rocket Night, Camden)
8 Dec: Chichester @ Chichester Inn
9 Dec: Cambridge @ Portland Arms
14 Dec: Norwich @ Norwich Arts Centre


Lindsay Lohan is reportedly in talks with 50 Cent about him working with her on a new music project. Lohan's father Michael has told Life & Style magazine: "They're talking about working together. Nothing's firm yet, but they're in talks. They've actually known each other for a while, just from being in the business together and crossing paths at events".


My Bloody Valentine manager Vinita Joshi has said she was misquoted when Billboard said that the band planned to release their previously reported comeback album through a primarily online initiative. Joshi says that while the band may well release the album themselves, it will not be a digital only release. Speaking to website Idolator she said: "In the interview with Billboard I stated that the forthcoming MBV album will more than likely be self-released. That does not equate to a digital only release, which the article states. Whilst I understand many bands can self-release via digital shops, that is not the plan. In fact we see digital as a far inferior format and the band would NEVER plan to release an album exclusively in a digital format. I was quite upset to be misquoted when I took the time to talk to the journalist in question".


A white label put out by Domino Records is assumed to include new tracks from those Arctic Monkeys. The white label is credited to The Death Ramps, and includes the songs 'Death Ramps' and 'Nettles'. On the label's website it says: "Unfortunately, we're not allowed to tell you the true identity of The Death Ramps but needless to say they're a band with A Certain Romance (wink, wink)", which people are assuming is a reference to a song on the Monkey's debut album.


The Cult may not be touring with Led Zeppelin next year, but they are touring in their own right, and they have just added an extra London Forum date after the first one sold out. So, their UK tour now looks like this:

22 Feb: London Kentish Town Forum - SOLD OUT
23 Feb: London Kentish Town Forum
28 Feb: Birmingham Academy
1 Mar: Manchester Academy
3 Mar: Glasgow Academy
4 Mar: Dublin Olympia Theatre


Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne will host next year's Brit Awards - which makes me think we should open a book on how many times Ozzy says "fuck" on the live ITV broadcast. I'm going for 33. Fuck yeah.

Confirming the 2008 hosts, SonyBMG UK chief and Brits committee chair Ged Doherty told reporters yesterday: "Rock & Roll, glamour, humour and a touch of the unexpected... Sharon and Ozzy will bring all this to The Brits and more. I can't wait. Fuck yeah". Well, he said some of that.


Warner Music yesterday revealed their most recent quarterly profits, which were $5 million from revenues of $869 million, somewhat down on the $12 million profits posted in the same quarter last year. I blame James Blunt. Warner blamed expensive restructuring costs.

Warner chief Edgar Bronfmann Jr remained upbeat though, telling reporters: "As expected, this has been a challenging quarter, reflecting the difficulties in any industry transformation of this scale. But we remain confident for two primary reasons: continued growth in the broader music market that our long-term strategy targets, and the disciplined creative leadership shown by WMG to expand our music business model. Despite the difficult global recorded music environment, we outperformed the market again this quarter while continuing to lay the foundation for future growth".


EMI Japan is the latest music major to branch out of recording and publishing, having announced it is launching a management company. EMI Entertainment Japan will initially focus on managing music artists, but plans to branch into other areas of entertainment.

EMI Music Japan President/CEO Shoji Doyama told reporters: "We are very excited about the potential of this new division, which will help to expand the support and services we provide to all talented artists and create fresh opportunities for them to develop their careers".


Dublin based technology firm Ticket Text has announced a deal with UK venue owners the MAMA Group which will see the London based firm provide mobile ticketing through Ticket Text's system at its 18 venues, which include the Hammersmith Apollo, Jazz Café, Forum and Borderline in London, and all those Barfly venues around the UK.

The deal means tickets will be available for a variety of MAMA Group events via Ticket Text's website - Tickets are sent as barcodes to gig goers' mobiles, and checked at the venue on those nifty barcode readers.

Confirming the deal, MAMA bosses Dean James and Adam Driscoll said in a joint statement yesterday: "The MAMA Group is committed to providing cutting edge live music to fans across the UK. In particular, we are unique in promoting thousands of new bands each year through our Barfly venues. We are delighted to partner with Ticket Text to provide a mobile ticketing solution for our venues and to supporting new technology and solutions in the same way in which we support new music talent every day".

Ticket Text's CEO Mark Mc Laughlin added: "Ticket Text is delighted to partner with the MAMA Group. This partnership is further validation that mobile ticketing is the future of all event ticketing. Mobile ticketing eliminates the need for postage and packaging fees and offers a more efficient distribution method for the customer while offering the venue a new method for distributing tickets. MAMA Group Venues are the hub for the discovery of new music and will now be the hub for new digital initiatives starting with mobile ticketing via".


The Beggars Group have announced a management structure rejig which will see Simon Halliday, who has been running Warp US for the last five years, joining the Beggars fold to head up the indie group's 4AD, Too Pure and Beggars Banquet labels, or '4 Pure Beggars' as I like to think of them. He will be supported by Rich Walker who will be Head Of Communications for the division.

Meanwhile, at the other big bit of the Beggars Group, XL Recordings, have launched their own dedicated PR department headed up by Jon Wilkinson, who formed a JV PR agency with XL earlier this year. He will be joined by Michael Cleary and Richard Onslow who previously worked in PR roles elsewhere in the Group.

Commenting on the changes, Beggars Group Chairman Martin Mills told reporters: "Constant evolution is crucial these days, and it's great to be re-inventing ourselves again, just at the time when our last move has been recognised as being so successful".


More on Britney's rumoured but denied pregnancy. Despite statements by a friend of Britney and the producer who is alleged to be the father, JR Rotem, saying Spears is not pregnant, US mag In Touch Weekly has published pictures of text messages it received from Rotem which it claims proves he had previously confirmed the new baby rumours. The two texts read "It's true" and "No clue on what she will do. She is unpredictable". You can form your own conclusions on what questions those were the answers to.


Lily Allen has said that comments she made earlier this week in which she claimed she was considering retiring at 25 were meant as a joke. Allen was quoted as follows: "I'm only going to do one more album. I just want to make some money - maybe I could retire at 25. I'd like to live in the country and have chickens and pigs". But now she's told the Daily Mirror: "Of course I'm not going to retire. This was the biggest joke in my life and I just cannot believe people would actually believe this junk. I talk crap all the time and they all know it, so how come this time they didn't get it? Silly people. I am having the time of my life". So it was all a big joke. An really hilarious joke, I'm sure you all agree.


For some real ha ha go see this video promoting the Christmas release from those Dan Le Sac VS Scroobius Pip chaps. It's the day Dan and Pip did (or didn't) meet the X-Factor judges.

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