CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 1st February
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Britney update
- RAJAR round up
- Spanish are biggest illegal downloaders in Europe
- Winehouse woes helped record sales
- Remy Ma in court
- Fat Joe pays his taxes, okay?
- Beck apologises over incorrect lyrics
- New Snoop album
- MCR live album
- New Death Cab album
- Natasha Bedingfield doing alright in the US
- Across The Universe to go across the universe
- Epstein memorial planned
- McCartney denies heart surgery claims
- Diamond confirmed for Glasto
- Underage Festival date set
- U2 may consider O2 run
- Van Morrison postpones Spanish gigs
- Holy Fuck tour
- SonyBMG profits dip
- EMI Pubs hope for huge brand partnerships
- MySpace win domain
- expands content and reach with deal
- invite bands to guest edit
- Rihanna: Beyonce didn't break my toe


Such a busy, busy, busy week for music news, I blame MIDEM myself. So many stories sitting on my desktop so far unpublished - let's try and clear the decks with a catch up Top Bit.

First up, the news that the brill Sportsday Megaphone is putting the finishing touches to his debut album for Sunday Best, and that he has confirmed two gigs in Edinburgh with the Tapedeck DJs, one at the Dogtooth club on 22 Feb, and one at the all ages equivalent Puppytooth on 23 Feb. Hurrah.

Sportsday Megaphone are CMU favourites, and I think moves are afoot in team CMU to have the same title attached to New York duo MGMT. Which may or may not be why Universal Music Publishing signed the outfit to a publishing deal this week. Their first album is out via SonyBMG's Columbia on 25 Feb.

All eyes were on Cannes for MIDEM this week, of course, but soon eyes will be on Miami for the dance music fest that is Winter Music Conference that takes place from 25-29 Mar this year. With that in mind confirmation this week from Steve Lawler that he'll be staging the next of his Lights Out parties during the Conference at the Park West venue on 27 Mar, with Audiofly, Clive Henry, Jamie Jones and Livio & Roby already on the bill, plus one very special guest tbc. More on that when we get it.

An unsigned music portal called amazingtunes has announced a promotion giving unsigned talent the chance to win a slot at this year's Rockness festival. The promotion sees the website tie up with Xfm - the slot available being on the station's Xposure stage at the Loch Ness fest. Futureheads manager Scott Baker-Marflitt, Xfm's Brand Programme Director Ande Macpherson and the Rock Ness curators will select a band from those who upload tracks to the site to play the slot. Go to for details.

Elsewhere in band competitions, one of the committees behind the London 2012 Olympics has announced it is running a competition to find a London based act to perform at the 'handover ceremony' which will take place at the end of this year's Olympics in Beijing. Any bands interested in entering should check for details - you have until 24 Feb to enter.

Elsewhere in news involving Xfm, the alternative station announced it had recruited "author and TV presenter" Danny Wallace to take over the Saturday morning show on its London and Manchester stations from Paul Tonkinson.

And more radio stuff, and aside from the latest RAJAR figures, more on which in today's Daily, the other radio industry story this week was that the commercial radio sector met for a conference at the RadioCentre, the trade body for commercial radio types. RadioCentre chief Andrew Harrison was upbeat about the sector saying: "2007 was the year Commercial Radio started to fight-back. 90% of the population enjoy radio for an average of nearly 24 hours a week each and commercial stations dominate listening all the way up to the over 50s. Now we do need to build on this and we will continue to push for less regulation to enable you to have the freedom and flexibility of other media with whom you compete".

And there you have it - a damn good catch up. I also think I promised you a Top Bit considering whether the music industry's attempts to make the ISPs take a more proactive role in policing P2P file sharing will be successful, we'll do that next week, OK? Meanwhile, don't forget the CMU Recommended Twisted Licks at 229 in London tonight ( and see you Monday.



VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Wang at Corsica Studios
Doing there stuff down their in Sarf Landan, the Wang guys present top Miami duo, Scott Weiser and Todd Walker, aka Jackal & Hyde, doing their first full UK live set with keyboards and Akais and Rolands and other mechanoid gizmos. Also there will be Ed DMX (Breaking/Rephlex), Rob Hall (from Skam Records) and J Saul Kane, aka the mighty mighty Depthcharge. Disco Dave will also be beefing up the beats with Ben Lyford and Lukey Root. Top night.

Saturday 2 Feb, Corsica Studios, Elephant Road London SE17, 10pm -6am, tickets £10 in advance, more at and press from Lou at Rocketscience.


Well, not much has really changed, to be honest. Britney Spears, as previously reported, was taken to hospital early yesterday morning and is still there. As far as I can see, no real developments have taken place, and the only real news is that the singer's mother Lynne was seen leaving the UCLA Medical Centre's psychiatric unit yesterday, and, asked if Britney was okay, answered "yeah".

Spears has been committed to the hospital for a period of 72 hours whilst doctors evaluate her condition and attempt to reverse the problems that caused her to apparently become a danger to herself and others. It's the second time in the course of four weeks that she's been sectioned in this way, of course, but on the first occasion she was released less than two days after her arrival at hospital, and it seems unlikely that that will happen this time around.

According to the law, doctors can keep her under twenty four hour observation, but are not allowed to medicate her unless she gives her permission, or appears to be in real danger. As well as mental evaluation, she may also be undergoing physical tests, including blood sampling and x-rays. The hold can be extended by fourteen days, should doctors feel the singer is still a danger to herself after that first few days.


RAJARs time everybody. Yes, the quarterly radio listening figures were released yesterday, and as always breakfast show and London radio ratings dominated the headlines.

There was much talk about Chris Moyles' Radio 1 breakfast show which continues to grow, scoring a record 7.31 million listeners in the last quarter of 2007, putting him just 420,000 behind the king of breakfast, Radio 2's Terry Wogan, which is still quite a lot, but the Radio 1 prime-timer is closing the gap.

Despite Moyles' successes, the London commercial stations were keen to point out that he was losing ground to breakfast shows on Capital Radio and Heart 106.2, hosted by Johnny Vaughan and Jamie Theakston/Harriet Scott respectively. Moyles had 888,000 listeners in the capital, while Vaughan got 937,000 and Theakston 915,000.

Heart 106.2's Programme Director, Mark Browning, said that the commercial sector's successes in London, where commercial stations enjoy big name presenters in prime time, were a demonstration as to why radio groups should be allowed to do more programme syndication on their stations around the UK.

While the GCap and Global Radios of this world (Capital Radio and Heart 106.2 owners respectively) compete with each other, actually their biggest competitor is the BBC. The commercial radio stations want to be able to do more programme syndication across the regional stations that they own so that their (normally London based) big name presenters can be used to compete with the national BBC stations in multiple regions. However, OfCom remains resistant to allowing local commercial radio stations to use nationally syndicated shows in prime time - believing that in peak slots local radio stations should be forced to air local programming.

Browning is quoted by the Guardian thus: "We have beaten Radio 1 [in London] whichever time measure you look at. A lot has been said about the Radio 1 breakfast show, but when commercial radio can compete head on, it can beat the BBC. The London market tells us that if commercial radio was freed up from the regulatory burden it is constrained by so it could share best practice across the UK then the real winner would be the listener. Where listeners have a strong commercial radio proposition, and a strong BBC, as they do in London they are choosing commercial radio. We need Ofcom to let us give listeners more choice and better commercial radio".

Between the three big mainstream London stations, Magic (now owned by Bauer Radio after their acquisition of EMAP's radio business) maintained its status as the most popular commercial station, though in terms of market share it was marginally beaten by Global's Heart 106.2.

Capital Radio was, in the main, in third place, despite all those changes introduced by the GCap top guard a year ago. Capital's audience was down quarter on quarter, though moved up 4% year on year, so there was some good news. And, of course, GCap will point out that new Capital Radio MD Paul Jackson's programming changes - most prominently the appointment of Denise Van Outen to co-host breakfast - are just kicking in now, so all is still to play for.

In terms of the breakfast shows, although Johnny Vaughan's breakfast was in one way the biggest - getting 937,000 listeners overall - if you adjust the figures to compensate for the fact the different breakfast shows run to slightly different time slots, then Theakston's Heart 106.2 show wins, because the Capital show audience falls to 864,000 compared to Heart's 915,000. Either way, both Vaughan and Theakston beat Neil Fox, whose Magic breakfast show had had the highest audience figures the previous quarter. His show was now in third place, with 811,000 listeners.

Elsewhere in the RAJARs, the other big story was probably that digital radio listening is at a record high - with 16% of listening taking place through DAB digital radio sets, digital TV boxes or on the net. That said, many commercial digital only stations didn't fair so well. GCap Media's theJazz and Bauer's Smash Hits, Heat Radio and The Hits all saw listening figures fall. Some did see a rise, GCap's Planet Rock and The Chill and Global's The Arrow among them. Ironically two other digital stations to see a rise were Oneword and Virgin Groove, both of which were closed down recently due to lack of profitability.


In a neatly timed report it has been revealed that Spain is the European leader in illegal downloading.

The report from Spain's Culture And Entertainment Market Research Centre includes various stats from different sources. It reveals that Spain's music publishers' society SGAE reckons Spanish web users illegally downloaded 1.2 billion tracks in 2007, while The European Interactive Advertising Association has estimated that 58% of Spanish web users illegally download music, against a European average of 37%.

The report was launched at this week's MIDEM convention in Cannes, but was well-timed in that it followed a possibly landmark ruling in the Spanish courts this week when judges there ruled that neither Spanish nor European copyright regulations forced internet service provider Telefonica to reveal the identity of a suspected file-sharer to the record companies trying to sue that person.

Without that information from the ISP the record labels are more or less unable to take legal action against unlicensed file sharing. The Spanish industry is sure to use this new report as part of its efforts to lobby the country's politicians to change copyright laws so that a different ruling will be made in future cases like the Telefonica one.

Whether the failure of the Spanish courts to allow civil legal actions against suspected file sharers (such actions have been successful elsewhere in Europe) is directly linked to the high levels of file sharing in the country is not completely clear.


An exec at Universal Music has reportedly admitted that tabloid coverage of Amy Winehouse's troubled personal life helped her 2006 second album 'Back To Black' to be a worldwide hit in 2007 - it being the world's biggest selling album from a British artist last year. Given Winehouse's various personal problems she often wasn't available for much promotional work, but, her label says, massive media interest in those problems compensated for that fact, even in the tricky US market.

Universal Music International VP Hassan Choudhury is quoted thus: "There's no getting away from the fact all the coverage has kept Amy Winehouse's profile at the highest level. Everyone [at Universal] is extremely happy with the amount of records we've sold and a lot of it has been down to some amazing marketing opportunities in the market when the artist wasn't available".

As much previously reported, Winehouse is currently in rehab. It remains to be seen if she'll be well enough to perform at the Grammys later this month. She is due to play the US awards bash, where she is up for six awards.


New York rapper Remy Ma, aka Remy Smith, appeared in court in Manhattan yesterday, where the judge set a date of 25 Feb for the hip hop star's trial on those charges of gang assault and witness intimidation. The charges relate to those previously reported incidents last summer in which Smith is accused of shooting acquaintance Makeda Barnes-Joseph in a dispute over money, and then ordering a group of men to attack the boyfriend of a woman who witnessed that shooting in an attempt, presumably to persuade the witness not to testify against her.


More Bronx born rapper news now, as Fat Joe and his accountant have been busy denying recent rumours that the hip-hop star is in debt to the Internal Revenue Service.

A number of websites reported that the artist, real name Joseph Cartagena, and his company Terror Squad Productions, owed more than $150,000 dollars in back taxes, due, it seems, to the inclusion of his name on a list of debtors published by the IRS. Joe told "I definitely pay my taxes. I'm straight up with it. The first thing I ever learned in the entertainment business is you gotta pay the IRS. First thing. Before I take a dollar, before I buy me a bag of potato chips, I pay those people".

The rapper's accountant Brian Dittrich backs up this statement and says he'll investigate the matter further. "I've represented Joe in matters of taxation for close to 12 years," he says. "It is my understanding that Joe is current with all federal and state taxes and that there are no balances due".


Beck has made a public apology for the inclusion of incorrect lyrics in the first pressing of his 'Odelay' deluxe reissue. Apparently, the package went out with un-proofed lyrics which it's alleged were lifted from one of those many lyrics websites. Subsequent pressings will include corrected lyrics of course, but for those who've already purchased the reissue, the singer said in a statement that he was sorry for the "unfortunate oversight and is making arrangements for the corrected lyrics to be available gratis via".


Snoop Dogg has announced that he'll release his ninth album 'Ego Trippin' on 17 Mar, followed by he release of a single 'Sensual Seduction' on 24 Mar. Oh, and that will be accompanied by an 'adult version' of the track, called 'Sexual Eruption'. Apropos of something or other, Snoop Dogg comments on the new album's content thus: "I just don't give a fuck right now and I'm going to do me, 'cause that's what I do best".


According to reports, My Chemical Romance are to release a three disc live package this spring entitled 'The Black Parade Is Dead'. There's not much information about it, really, but MTV say it's scheduled for a 22 Apr release in the US and is expected to contain footage from their 2007 world tour.


Death Cab For Cutie have announced that their next album will be called 'Narrow Stairs' and is to be released in May via Atlantic. In related news, the band's Chris Walla is currently also working on a solo album, 'It's Unsustainable', expected out in the autumn.


Natasha Bedingfield's record 'Pocket Of Sunshine' has entered the US album chart at number three, meaning that she ties with eighties wine-bar queen Sade for highest ever American chart debut for a UK signed lady. The LP, which is basically what was released in the UK last year under the title 'NB' but with a few new tracks, sold 50,000 copies in its first week of release.

Meanwhile the singer, who postponed her UK dates in August, has cancelled that tour altogether. A statement on her website claimed that the cancellation was due to "no fault of Natasha herself, but due to her US label insisting that she remains in [the] US until further notice to promote the release of her album".


Is it April yet? No? Okay, well, apparently NASA are planning to 'beam' Beatles track 'Across The Universe' across the universe. They'll aim it at the North Star on 4 Feb, and it should arrive there in approximately 2439AD. It will commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the recording of the track, as well as a couple of space exploration milestones, including the forty-fifth anniversary of the founding of the deep space antenna network.

Paul McCartney says: "Amazing! Well done NASA! Send my love to the aliens. All the best, Paul".

Yoko Ono says. "I see that this is the beginning of the new age in which we will communicate with billions of planets across the universe".


Talking of The Beatles, councillors in Liverpool have backed plans for some kind of memorial for the Fab Four's former manager Brian Epstein, who died back in 1967, of course, from an overdose of sleeping pills.

However, a friend of Epstein's, Rex Makin, opposes the move. "I think it's rubbish, I don't believe in statues of any kind", he said. "Brian's work with the Beatles is there - it doesn't need any monument. He wouldn't have wanted one, the family wouldn't have wanted it. Brian was a very private person. It just seems to be people jumping on a bandwagon".

Councillor Eddie Clein, who also knew Epstein, and who proposed the motion, defended the idea, saying: "I spoke to the council and 88 out of 90 councillors thought it was an excellent idea. Brian was a very private person but we are talking about the impact that the Beatles made on not just Liverpool, or this country, but right round the world. Those of a younger generation have never heard of him and that is sad because you really can't think or talk of the Beatles without associating it with Brian so we need to do something to preserve that".


More Beatle talk. Paul McCartney has dismissed media claims that he recently had heart surgery. The musician says that the reports, which appeared over the Christmas period were "completely distorted" and "exaggerated".

Explaining that there had in fact been concerns about his heart, but over a year ago, he assured fans: "There was a minor irregularity which I needed to have tests for and which I have now been assured is completely fine. I would like to thank all of you and my friends and relatives for your concern and I'm very happy to put your minds at rest".


Michael Eavis has confirmed that the now sixty seven year old Neil Diamond is on the bill for this year's Glastonbury Festival and says "Neil Diamond is for people closer to my age". He also says that a New York hip hop star has been booked for the Saturday night headline slot but refused to confirm the rapper's identity. "Traditionally we've had a very white line-up and I'm moving away from that. I'm trying to address the balance otherwise the festival will die out with the older people".


Details have been announced for this year's Underage Festival which, you might remember, launched last year and which is aimed at teens - so much so it's being curated by 16 year old Sam Killcoyne, who runs the Underage club night. It will take place on 8 Aug in London's Victoria Park, line up tbc.


U2 are reportedly the latest band to be considering a residency at the O2 Arena in East London. Of course, every major band in the world is meant to be considering multiple night runs at the O2 since Prince's 21 nights there last summer. The U2 rumours, I think, come from their manager Paul McGuinness' previously reported MIDEM ramblings. He's quoted thus: "[The O2 has] got great potential for U2 and because it's undercover you can do a run of shows in the autumn".


Van Morrison has had to postpone two concerts in Spain after contracting a chest infection. The affected dates were in Castellon in East Spain. Doctors have ordered him to rest and it's not yet clear if other upcoming European dates may also be affected.


Interestingly named Canadian band Holy Fuck have announced a UK tour to coincide with the release of their single 'Lovely Allen'. Here are the dates:

2 Apr: Manchester Night & Day
3 Apr: Birmingham Barfly
4 Apr: Liverpool Korova
5 Apr: Glasgow Stereo
6 Apr: Norwich Arts Centre
7 Apr: Brighton Digital
8 Apr: London 100 Club


Financial news everyone. SonyBMG posted a net income of $208 million on sales of $1.47 billion in the quarter running up to end of December. For those who like comparisons with past financials, that's sales remaining pretty static and profits falling 11.9% compared to the same period the previous year. The major pointed out its sales remained static in a period when record sales overall fell, and also that the monies from an industry wide legal settlement the previous year had led to a profit spike in the same quarter in 2006. The latest SonyBMG figures were revealed as part of a Sony Corp financial report. The wider group reported $1.76 billion net income on $25 billion in sales.


EMI Music Publishing has announced a new relationship with London based HUGE Entertainment, an agency that specialises in building digital entertainment services around brands. They will work with the market leader publisher to build revenues around songs in its catalogue.

Confirming the partnership, EMI Pubs EVP Media & Business Development Jonathan Channon said: "The digital landscape provides an infinite number of new possibilities to earn extra revenue and extend the reach of the EMI brand. But to do this we recognised the need to combine our music industry knowledge with the specific expertise of a specialist player in the digital entertainment arena. HUGE Entertainment's unique offering fitted our criteria and the company is proving itself to be an excellent 'fit' with our culture. As such it has become our 'digital innovations unit' - an integral part of the business".

HUGE Entertainment's Mark Bradford added this: "As CD sales continue to decline, it is tempting to be pessimistic about the music industry and regard 'digital disruption' as a threat to its future. However, because of its creative culture, EMI Music Publishing has recognised that digital channels enable it to extend its distribution networks and therefore offer an opportunity to introduce new services that provide additional revenue streams".


MySpace has won the rights to the domain name, which has been owned by Stockport based Total Web Solutions since 1997, ie long before the MySpace social networking phenomenon was unleashed on the world.

The ruling is somewhat interesting because Total Web legitimately registered the domain for its own use in 1997, and didn't simply sign it up to try and hold MySpace to ransom (it not existing until some years later). However, the body that governs these things says that the Stockport firm altered its use of the domain after became so successful, making it a page advertising rival social networking websites. That, an independent expert ruled, mounted to mis-use of the domain.

But some in the domain name business think the ruling could set a dangerous precedent. Jonathan Robinson of web services company NetNames told reporters: "This dispute resolution service decision is counter-intuitive at first sight and serves as a warning that domain registrations are not guaranteed and need to be secured by pro-active management as well as a clear understanding of the dynamic nature of the industry".

The address currently points to a blank page. It's not clear how long it will be before it points to MySpace, or whether the Rupert Murdoch owned social networking will start to use the domain as its main URL in the UK.


London based Rockworld.TV, which broadcasts on Sky and via the net, has announced a partnership with US based Infernal Machine which will give the broadcaster access to a library of rare music footage owned by the American firm. The deal will also see Rockworld.TV content broadcast on other media platforms in which Infernal Machine has interests, mainly in the US and Far East.

Among the rarities Rockworld.TV now has access to are recordings featuring Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead and The Beatles. Much of the content is currently stored on redundant formats like Super 8 and Laser Disc, but the two firms plan to transfer it to digital and edit it for a Classic Rock programme.

Pete Hadfield, co-founder and joint CEO of Rockworld.TV owners Carnaby Media told reporters: "This agreement signals a major step forward for Rockworld.TV and will see the channel's content distributed across key territories and platforms throughout North America and the Far East. In return we are getting access to some of the most exciting music footage in existence, a great deal of which has rarely if ever been seen before, which make our broadcast offering even stronger than it is already. Rockworld.TV is an independent broadcaster and TV producer financed almost entirely by private individuals with a passion for ground breaking music television and this new deal is vindication of their investment to date".


ARTROCKER.COM INVITE BANDS TO GUEST EDIT, the online version of the popular independent music monthly, is about to have a series of 'guest editors' where different bands essentially get to take over the website and its news, reviews, features, opinion and demos sections for a month. The Young Knives will be the first band to 'takeover' - you can see their work as of Monday. The Maccabees, The Aliens and iLIKETRAiNS are also lined up.

The Young Knives have already done their editing, and on it they said this: "We have had a really great time sat here in the office eating chocolates and sipping champagne whilst a ghost writer makes a rough estimate of what our real opinion might be. Awesome..."


Rihanna has dismissed rumours that Beyonce Knowles broke her toe because she's all crazy and jealous and stuff.

Asked if Knowles was to blame for the injury, she said: "That's crazy. It happened on vacation. I'd just got there and couldn't sleep, so I wanted my best friend to go in the pool with me. I ran into her room and straight into a solid mahogany chair. It hurt so much - my toe was pointing to the side".

Ouch, not sure that bears thinking about.

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