NOTE: Make sure you 'enable images' to see this e-bulletin properly. WHAT IS THIS? You are receiving this e-bulletin because you are subscribed to the CMU Daily. Unsubscribe information is given at the bottom of this e-bulletin.
 

 

DID YOU KNOW?
We could produce your websites, bulletins or newsletters, info here
CMU at the Brighton Festival
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Rihanna concerned over nudie pics
Ciara a bit pissed off about naked photos too
In The Pop Courts
Snoop cleared of fan attack, though his company to pay damages
Question over whether Fiddy completely cleared of home fire involvement
Boy George could be free this month
Obituaries
Industry veteran Lüftner dies
Viola Wills dies
Guitarist Bruton dies
In The Studio
Jack White says Stripes album in offing
Abba stars write pop tune
Paramore recording in Malibu
Release News
Stone Roses anniversary release
Festival News
Winehouse comeback gig cancelled
Spinal Tap to play Glastonbury
Reviews
Album review - Saint Etienne - Foxbase Alpha/Continental (Universal)
The Music Business
More EMI executive shifts
Health Secretary to speak at PPL AGM
Tough Cookie founders launch new company
PIAS launch brand partnership division
HMV launch loyalty card
Smash PR relaunches
Leyline expand PR team
The Digital Business
Apple backtrack on NIN app
eLab chief expected to run Universal's new video service
Carphone Warehouse buy Tiscali
Are Microsoft interested in Seeqpod?
The Media Business
Standard relaunches
Richard & Judy Watch show axed
Chart Of The Day
Chart update
And finally...
Madonna to commit to Jesus?
Dolly gets doctorate
Will Young can't remember lyrics
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts
 
MONDAY 11TH MAY


Hello everybody

Welcome back to the world. Yes, it's Monday, and it's the start of a very very busy week here at CMU, so I thought I'd steal the top bit here in your Daily to let you know what we are up to.

 
1. CMU AT THE GREAT ESCAPE
Yes, The Great Escape kicks off this Thursday and will see the whole God-damn music business (as far as I can see) heading down to the seaside for three days of debating, networking and gigging, in that order presumably. We have two events at TGE don't forget, and I'm not sure how these things work, but I heard attendance at both is compulsory for nice and groovy people. Whether that covers your good self is for you to decide.

First up, is The Music Business In 2009: An Inside Guide - our complete guide to the modern music business. Whether the possibility of working in music is something that only first occurred to you on Thursday last week, or whether you've been working in the business for fifty years, whether you're a brand new band, or a globe-trotting platinum selling singer-songwriter, there should be something in this session for you. We'll run through all the ways you can make money from music, the people and companies involved in each area of the industry, and the issues being faced across the business at this very moment. It all takes place in the Artist Village on Thursday at midday. More at www.theCMUwebsite.com/insideguide

Next it's CMU Insights. I'll be chatting to some leading music business people from different parts of the industry, about their careers to date, their current and future projects, and their take on the music business in 2009. Already confirmed are legendary producer John Leckie and prolific manager and music publisher Seven Webster, and we'll have another announcement about this later this week! The Insights take place on Friday from midday in the Thistle Atrium. More at www.theCMUwebsite.com/insights.

Team CMU will be at TGE throughout Thursday and Friday. Do come along to our events, plus if you'd like to catch up one-to-one, perhaps to find out more about what's happening at CMU and how you might get involved, or to discuss all of UnLimited Media's other services, just drop me an email and we'll try and schedule you in a slot.

For those of you up North not planning on a trip to Brighton, don't forget we'll be doing both the Inside Guide and the Insights at Liverpool Sound City on 22 May (much more on that next Monday), plus for those of you up in Scotland, we are looking into doing both North of the border later in the year.

2. GET NOTICED WITH CMU
Don't forget that the CMU Daily is now read by over 15.5k people every single day. That's pretty much all the people who matter in music - everyone working in the label, publisher, promoter, management, agency, PR and studio sectors, all the key journalists and editors and producers and presenters and DJs and heads of music, and thousands of musicians, songwriters and key opinion formers in the grass roots music, media and student communities. The people who make, champion and cherish good new music, and who initiate all that 'word of mouth support' marketers strive for.

Why is this relevant? Well, if you have an album or a tour or a branded music programme to promote, or a digital or mobile music service or product to sell, or you provide services to the music, entertainment or media sectors, among the CMU readership are all the decision makers and opinion formers you should be talking to. And how do you talk to them? Well, advertise in the CMU Daily, obviously. Or to get a daily presence, and really make an impact, become a 'CMU supporter' or sponsor a section of the Daily. All these things are now possible, and you will find out more at this URL, or drop me an email and let's talk at TGE.

www.unlimitedmedia.co.uk/cmu

3. IT'S THE REMIX ALL-NIGHTER THIS FRIDAY!
For those of you planning on being in London on Friday, this is the place to be. The CMU Recommended Remix All-Nighter! Yes, it's back, and in a storming new venue, Matter in The O2 complex. Just look at this line up - live sets from the brilliant Freeland, Shychild and MC Trip, plus DJ sets from Hervé, The Shoes, Rawkus Noise, Joker, King Cannibal, N-Type and, of course, Remixer In Chief Eddy TM. Dance is going to rock like never before. Go to www.leylinepromotions.com for full details and tickets.

Freeland, by the way, have three gigs in the UK this week - Liverpool on Thursday, the Remix on Friday and The Great Escape on Saturday - details at www.myspace.com/adamfreelandmusic. And we have a pair of tickets for each to give away in today's CMU Remix Update. Go to www.remixupdate.co.uk to subscribe right now to make sure you get your copy this evening.

And that's enough plugging for now. Hope to see you in Brighton, if not, we'll still be here in your inbox each day - hurrah!

Chris Cooke, Co-Editor, CMU Daily

 

LOIN BROTHERS
This column hasn't featured a proper cosmic disco track since at least March so it's high time last year's genre du jour got plugged again, particularly something as excellent as Australia's Loin Brothers, who firmly mark their territory with their debut release 'Heavy Helmet'. All the elements of classic cosmic can be heard in the beat and staggered synths, which are topped with mid-80s 'rawk' guitar bits and a particular light summer flavour. 12' buyers get a bonus with the even more cosmic Mock N' Toof remix - an essential purchase for all DFA completists.

www.myspace.com/loinbrothers

 

 


 

 
THE CMU GREAT ESCAPE BIT
It's The Great Escape this week in Brighton, and to celebrate each day we will be chatting to one of the artists playing, plus delving into the Same Six Question archives to find out what some of the other bands playing would say to you if you were hearing their music for the very first time at the convention.


ESSER
Ben Esser first popped up as a solo artist in 2007 (and before that as the drummer in Ladyfuzz), armed with some great pop songs. Now he's finally collected the best of those songs together, added some more he's written since then, and made a debut album, 'Braveface', which is out now via Transgressive. With instantly lovable chunks of pop like 'I Love You' and 'Headlock', it's easy to see how he's charmed the indie faithful and the pop community alike. Now Esser, and his live band, are about to embark on a heroic tour of just about ever festival going, starting at The Great Escape on Saturday at the Sallis Benney Theaetre. Keeping with the live theme, we grabbed him half way through a soundcheck at another gig earlier this month to ask him our Same Six Questions.
 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I've always made beats and loops and then started putting down vocals. When I put them together they were songs that I decided I should sing myself.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Relationships, every day incidents, a sense of leaving boring and mundane places. Also the idea of writing pop songs that are really concise in interesting ways, in ways that appealed to me.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
It usually starts with a beat or a vocal hook and then I just see where it goes. I get the basics down, and then add in whatever I can find to make it more compelling, concise or interesting. While making the record I realised I wanted to keep a lot of the spontaneity from the original demos too.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Fun Boy 3/Terry Hall, Joe Meek, UK garage.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Nothing!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
To keep making music. I went to SxSW recently and played in America properly for the first time and it's opened a lot of really interesting doors for me. I'm always on the look out for interesting people to work with. I've been lucky to be around and work with some great artists and producers and it keeps me interested and interesting. I'm about to spend some time 'focusing' on the US, and have something going on with Ad-Rock from Beastie Boys currently, which is really exciting.

ESSER AT THE GREAT ESCAPE>> 16 May at Sallis Benney Theatre.
MORE>> www.esserhq.com and www.myspace.com/esserhq

 

TGE-SSQ: What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
From the SSQ archives, bands playing TGE tell us what they'd say to people hearing their tunes for the very first time.

Heartbreak: "Remember that music is not meant to fit your lifestyle, it's meant to change your life" Brighton Coalition, 16 May.

James Yuill: "Hello, I hope you enjoy it. If you don't, please refrain from throwing things... NOT THE FACE!" Po Na Na, 14 May.

Mystery Jets: "I wouldn't say anything. You like stuff or you don't. It's meant to be or it's not, bit like falling in love, it happens or it doesn't" Sallis Benney Theatre, 15 May.

Little Boots: "All the songs are quite different and have their own characters so maybe bear that in mind... but I guess just see if you like it!" Komedia, 16 May.


THREEWEEKS BRIGHTON FESTIVAL MUSIC REVIEWS
Don't forget, The Great Escape is one part of the wider Brighton Festival, that is taking place in the seaside city all this month, offering an urivalled programme of theatre, comedy, dance, literature, art and, of course, music. CMU's sister publication ThreeWeeks is reviewing it all once again, with a team of 45 reviewers hitting the streets every day. You can check the ThreeWeeks preview guide to the Brighton Festival here, read our coverage of it here, and check out a selection of our Brighton music reviews here each day in the Daily...

Drookit Dogs, at Fletch at St Andrew's on 4 May
How many church-related puns can you fit into one hour? At Drookit Dogs' album launch in St Andrew's Church it's more than I'd care to count, but there are few complaints this evening. From the first pluck of the double bass to the last whack on the wooden box drum, the crowd have their heels stomping and their heads bobbing almost as much as the band do. While some of the lyrics are lost in a Vic Reeves-esque growl and bizarre arm movements, it does little to lessen the intensity of the performance. Drookit Dogs defy classification with their punky folk, but even on this dank Bank Holiday their rough and twangy charm very nearly manages to incite a hoedown. tw rating: 3/5; Reviewer: [Hannah Laycock]

The Curst Sons And Friends at The Brunswick on 4 May
O brother, where wert thou last night? I hope you were dancing to The Curst Sons because we sure were. In fact, our presence at The Brunswick was rewarded with two well-hatted bands playing blues, bluegrass, roots and Americana. The Henry Brothers supported superbly with their perfectly practiced set and interludes of genuine humour. In fact wonderful vocal harmonies and silly jokes were a characteristic of both bands. The Curst Sons commanded their songs with a stage presence that only comes from experience: there is little better than seeing a six foot something moustachioed man hooting and shouting while bashing his rhythm stick. They roused the audience into a foot-stomping dance that left everyone worn out though thoroughly pleased with themselves. tw rating: 4/5; Reviewer: [Oliver Pothecary]

Ivo Papasov at Komedia on 4 May
Equal parts joyous, haunting, playful and brutal, Ivo Papasov's performance is an eclectic affair. While the main body of the set consists of flurrying, stomping, Balkan jazz, there are a few moments of respite in which Papasov and his band conjure some utterly immersive and mystical sounds. True, the set does occasionally suffer from bouts of jazz wankery, but these are forgiven given the jaw-dropping grandiosity achieved along the way. In fact, the music is constantly impressive and nothing less than propulsive, even when the grandiosity gives way and Papasov et al adopt a more relaxed and fun approach to their music making. Though coming after those few moments of astonishment and wonder, of real mastery of sound, the fun bits probably seem less fulfilling than they otherwise might. tw rating: 3/5; Reviewer: [Adam Kammerling]

back to top

 


 

 

RIHANNA CONCERNED OVER NUDIE PICS
According to reports, Rihanna is very upset because some naked pictures, allegedly of the singing star, have emerged on the internet. None of the nude photos actually show the subject's face, but on other pictures purportedly belonging to the same set it's apparently clearly Rihanna in shot. There's also one of a man with some pink knickers on his head, and it's claimed that it's her ex, Chris Brown.

A source told the News Of The World: "She is freaking out. She was on the road to recovery after a terrible few months. She has no idea how these pictures have been leaked but she's determined to find out." Whilst neither confirming nor denying that the images are in fact of Rihanna, the singer's label Island Def Jam has called for the images to be removed on the grounds that they "violate the artist's rights". Presumably even if they are not her, someone is violating her rights by saying that they are.

Reports speculate, of course, that it's estranged lover Chris Brown who has put them out there, because if they are genuine, it's likely only he and Rihanna had access to them. As anyone reading this must know, Brown stands accused of beating his former girlfriend to something of a pulp the night before this year's Grammys, and presumably could be feeling bitter about being dumped. Though, he must have seen it coming really, given the beating and all. We should note him being behind the photos leak is just gossip at the moment, though I don't think his people have formally denied it as yet.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

CIARA A BIT PISSED OFF ABOUT NAKED PHOTOS TOO
Also complaining about revealing photos of herself being published is American R&B star Ciara, though she did do a naked photo shoot for US R&B magazine Vibe, so probably has less cause for complaint. But she claims the magazine published different pictures from the shoot from the ones they had agreed with her, and she's particularly upset about the one they chose for the cover, and the way they used it. Though she does say she's "moving on" from the whole ordeal, which actually occurred last year - the naked cover shot was published in October.

Speaking about it all with the New York Post, Ciara says: "That shoot was about me embracing my body and the change that was coming, but it didn't quite go the way I planned. That experience didn't go the way I was made to believe it was supposed to go. The photo that was there wasn't the photo that was taken. Not only that, but it wasn't what it was supposed to be - afterwards, it was turned into something that it really wasn't. But you can't control everything, so you just move on".

back to top


SNOOP CLEARED OF FAN ATTACK, THOUGH HIS COMPANY TO PAY DAMAGES
Snoop Dogg has sort of won that previously reported court case in which he was accused of assault and battery for hitting out at a fan who invaded the stage at a 2005 concert. Richard Monroe Jr was suing for $15 million in his somewhat optimistic lawsuit, in which he accused Snoop of hitting him with a microphone, and Snoop's entourage of giving him a full on beating back stage. The wounded fan's lawsuit wasn't totally unsuccessful - the court ruled that Monroe was severely injured at the hands of Snoop's people at the Seattle concert, and ordered the hip hopper's company and other members of his crew to pay nearly $300,000 in damages. However, Snoop himself was cleared of any personal involvement in the attack on the gig goer.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

QUESTION OVER WHETHER FIDDY COMPLETELY CLEARED OF HOME FIRE INVOLVEMENT
Police investigating the fire at 50 Cent's home last year say their investigations are ongoing and that nothing has been ruled out. The hip hop star's ex-girlfriend, who was living at the New York property at the time of the blaze, claimed 50 ordered the arson attack to force her out, but Fiddy has denied involvement from the word go, and last week claimed that police had cleared him of involvement. But a police spokesman reportedly told the press on Friday: "The fire is still under investigation and it hasn't been closed either way". No word from Fiddy as to where he got his information that he himself had been cleared of involvement.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

BOY GEORGE COULD BE FREE THIS MONTH
According to the News Of The World, Boy George could be out of prison very soon, just four months into his fifteen month sentence, because of good behaviour. As previously reported, the singer, full name George O'Dowd, was jailed for assaulting a male escort at his Shoreditch flat in April 2007. The tabloid says O'Dowd is likely to be released this month, but will still be tagged so that he has to live according to a court-determined curfew.

back to top


INDUSTRY VETERAN LÜFTNER DIES
Former Arista Records boss and BMG co-chairman Egmont 'Monti' Lüftner has died at the age of 77 in Munich, after being hit by a truck at a recycling depot in the city.

Lüftner was born in Austria and in 1959 formed his own record company, Ariola, in Austria and Germany. He built up the company in Europe and the US before going on to work in a number of other high profile industry positions. In 1978 he joined the board of then German-owned BMG, and in 1979 became chairman of Arista, discovering acts such as Peter Alexander and Boney M along the way. Both Ariola and Arista became BMG divisions in the eighties, and by 1990 Lüftner was Vice Chairman of the major, and Worldwide President, A&R boss and CEO of its BMG Ariola division in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The following year he left to found another company, Munich-based Monti Media Consulting.

The founders of former BMG owners Bertelsmann, Reinhard Mohn and wife Liz, have released a statement expressing their distress at their friend's demise: "Monti Lüftner will always be a part of the history of our company" they said, "he was a sought after advisor and good friend to all of us. We mourn a wonderful person".

Hartmut Ostrowski, CEO of Bertelsmann AG, says of his former colleague: "Hardly anyone else was able to combine artistic creativity with entrepreneurial skill as successfully as he did. He supported me personally as well as the company with his advice right up to the end. We will miss him."

Lüftner is survived by a fifteen year old daughter. He was not married.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

VIOLA WILLS DIES
US disco star Viola Wills has died at the age of 69 after suffering from cancer.

The pop singer was born Viola Mae Wilkerson in Los Angeles, and was a married mother of six when she was discovered by Barry White, who signed her to Bronco Records.

In subsequent years she worked with the likes of Joe Cocker and Smokey Robinson, but it was following a move to London that the release of a version of 'Gonna Get Along Without You Now' in 1979 began a string of dance hits. She later moved on to a different style of music, a mix of jazz and gospel. Her ties to the UK were always strong, though, and over she years she made a number of appearances on UK television and at UK venues including Ronnie Scott's.

Music Week quote Capital FM Programme Administrator Patrick Neville, who has paid tribute to the singer, saying: "She had a long association with the UK. Her diva status in the gay community was confirmed many years ago. 'It's My Pleasure,' credited to My Friend Sam featuring Viola Wills, was a major dance hit and still features regularly on compilations here in the UK".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

GUITARIST BRUTON DIES
Guitarist Turner Stephen Bruton, who worked with the likes of Bonnie Raitt and Kris Kristofferson, has died at the age of 60. He had been suffering from throat cancer.

The Austin-born musician was working right up until his death, and had been focusing on music for a new film, 'Crazy Heart', starring Jeff Bridges, Colin Farrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal. He had also been collaborating on Kris Kristofferson's new album 'Starliught And Stone'.

In the past, Bruton's songs have been recorded by the likes of Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, and he worked on soundtracks for films such as 'Miss Congeniality', 'The Alamo', and 'Man Of The House'.

back to top



JACK WHITE SAYS STRIPES ALBUM IN OFFING
Jack White has told Music Radar that he thinks it's won't be too long before White Stripes release a new album. He says he hopes that he will be able to rejoin Meg White - currently on another 'music break' - in the studio later this year ready for a 2010 release.

Speaking about the band's last tour and Meg's subsequent break, White added: "I had just come from a Raconteurs tour and went right into it, so I was already at full speed. Meg had come from a dead halt for a year and went right back into that madness. Meg is a very shy girl, a very quiet and shy person. To go full speed from a dead halt is overwhelming, and we had to take a break. We just needed to stop for a while. When it comes down to your health, it's hard, people don't really understand. They think you go up on stage and you're having a blast, like you're partying or some shit. That's not the case. It's hard work to go on tour".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

ABBA STARS WRITE POP TUNE
Former Abba songwriters Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus have written their first song together for fifteen years, which is exciting. The track, 'Story Of A Heart', has been put together for Swedish singer Helen Sjoholm's new album, but it will also appear on a new English language album from The Benny Andersson Band, out on 6 Jul.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

PARAMORE RECORDING IN MALIBU
According to NME.com, Paramore are busy recording a new album in Malibu assisted by producer Rob Cavallo, of Green Day and MCR production fame.

Frontwoman Hayley Williams is quoted as saying: "It's almost too good. Almost like I'm waiting on something bad to happen because it's been so easy. We were lucky because the position that we're in a lot of people would have taken advantage of the poppier side of our band. If anything, Rob took advantage of the heavier side, which is really cool".

back to top


STONE ROSES ANNIVERSARY RELEASE
Details have emerged about the release of the previously reported 20th anniversary edition of The Stone Roses' eponymous debut.

The original recording has been remastered by original producer John Leckie and, er, original band member Ian Brown, and it will be available in three different packages. The first, the 'special edition', is the album and an expanded booklet, the second, the 'Legacy Edition', will come with an addition CD of unreleased material called 'The Lost Demos' and a live DVD of a 1989 gig in blackpool. The final package, 'Collectors Edition' with inlude a third CD of B sides and non-album singles, three vinyl LPs, a USB thingy full of stuff, and a 48 page booklet. They'll be out on 11 Aug.

Don't forget, we'll be chatting to Mr Leckie at the very first CMU Insights event at the Great Escape in Brighton this Friday - www.thecmuwebsite.com/insights.

back to top


WINEHOUSE COMEBACK GIG CANCELLED
Amy Winehouse's previously reported comeback gig headlining at the St Lucia Jazz Festival was cancelled, but not for the reasons you might think; the singer started her set, but the concert had to be scrapped half way through, a spokesperson said, because of torrential rain on the Caribbean island.

The representative said: "Amy would like to express her disappointment that weather forced the abandonment of her show at the St Lucia Jazz Festival last night. The set started well, but as the heavens opened, a number of technical difficulties occurred on stage, culminating with the lighting rig failing for two songs. In addition, rain began to flood the technical wings at the side of the stage which caused sound problems. Amy and the band tried to soldier on but the set had to be cut short".

However, fans in attendance claimed that the part of the concert that went ahead was a bit of a shambles, which might be seen as confirmation of previously reported rumours suggesting that she was not prepared for the show. Those present claimed that she forgot lyrics and appeared unstable on her feet. One gig-goer told the BBC: "It was disappointing, it is very sad to see, but she is obviously not fit to be on stage. I was hoping for better - it's embarrassing".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

SPINAL TAP TO PLAY GLASTONBURY
Spoof band Spinal Tap have said that they are going to play live at Glastonbury this year. Christopher Guest, aka Nigel Tufnel, has told the Philadelphia Daily News: "We originally thought about doing a full-blown Tap tour this year to mark the 25th anniversary of the film's release. But that would have been a very big deal in terms of show production, requiring a lot of effects, two 18-wheelers full of equipment, a tour bus. To be honest, we couldn't get that together. But we will do a couple of Tap shows in Britain, at Wembley Arena and the Glastonbury Festival".

back to top


ALBUM REVIEW: Saint Etienne - Foxbase Alpha/Continental (Universal)
It was inevitable that Saint Etienne, a group with a heady love of nostalgia, would see their output get the remastered reissue treatment eventually; up first are their debut and a rarity, with the rest of their albums following throughout 2009/2010. 'Foxbase Alpha' was released back in 1991 and, despite the nods to wide-eyed Balearic enthusiasm, it still sounds positively out of time, emerging, as it did, in a year when grunge and shoegazing were sweeping away the fag-ends of baggy. It still sounds lustrous and remains both a compelling debut and one of the trio's best albums to date, featuring blissed out dub-pop ('Like The Swallow'), soulful balladry ('Carnt Sleep') and moody ambience ('Stoned To Say The Least'), alongside two of the 90s most memorable singles in 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart' and 'Nothing Can Stop Us'. 'Continental', meanwhile, was only released in Japan, back in 1997. Whilst it has a somewhat compilation feel to it (in part due to the multitude of different producers and collaborators), it does work surprisingly well as an album in its own right. With the euphoric dancepop triptych of 'He's On The Phone', 'Burnt Out Car' and 'Stormtrooper In Drag' all present, alongside the glam rock of 'Star' and typically atmospheric instrumentals and lush downtempo, it's baffling why this wasn't given a proper release at the time. Both CDs feature the obligatory bonus disc, compiling b-sides, rarities and unreleased tracks. And whilst these might not satisfy completists, there are still plenty of gems on offer, even if some of the unreleased tracks demonstrate why they never made it out of the vaults first time round. For the casual fan or just curious though, these welcome reissues present a perfect opportunity to start your love affair with one of Britain's most exciting and important groups. This is pop music as it was meant to be. MS
Release Date: 18 May
Press Contact: Bang On [O]

back to top



MORE EMI EXECUTIVE SHIFTS
Is it just me, or do senior EMI executives change their job titles almost as often as MPs fiddle their expenses? Yes, another revamp in the upper echelons of the London-based major, where Ronn Werre and David Kassler, previously Senior VP of something and Chief Officer of something else, were promoted to the role of joint-COOs on Friday. The dynamic duo will oversee the operations of the whole EMI recorded music division the world over, reporting in to the major's CEO Elio Leoni-Sceti. LA-based Werre will oversee North America and Mexico, as well as continued to run the increasingly prolific EMI Music Services division globally, while London-based Kassler will head up operations everywhere else.

The latest in a long line of executive rejigs at the major is, in case you wondered, a sign that EMI is "moving to the next level". Not sure what that means, but I'd love to be EMI's business card printers. Anyway, here's what the aforementioned Elio had to say: "With our major reorganisation behind us, a strong new management team in place around the world and a clear consumer strategy rolling out, EMI is moving to the next level. Ronn and David are results-oriented individuals with multi-national experience who will help us as an organization to drive performance and deliver our ambitious goals".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

HEALTH SECRETARY TO SPEAK AT PPL AGM
Recording royalty collecting types PPL have announced that the government's Health Secretary Alan Johnson will give a keynote speech at their AGM on 3 Jun, possibly because the government's failure to push forward an extension on the recording copyright in the European domain has put the labels and artists the body represents on the critical list. Or possibly because Johnson is being tipped as a successor to Gordon Brown as leader of the Labour Party. Of course by that time that would presumably mean Johnson was leader of Her Majesty's Opposition, but still, a possible good friend for the music industry to have in the future.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

TOUGH COOKIE FOUNDERS LAUNCH NEW COMPANY
The two guys who founded music TV production company Tough Cookie, who particularly specialised in creating branded music programming for both TV and the web, such as Tiscali's series of artist sessions, have set up a new company.

Tough Cookie was bought by Malcolm Gerrie's Whizz Kid Entertainment firm in 2007, and since then the company's founders, Andy Wood and Neil Sullivan had continued working for the parent company. But last week they announced they were going it alone again.

Insisting the departure from Whizz Kid was "completely amicable", Sullivan told CMU: "We're still as hungry to produce content as we were when we first started Tough Cookie from our homes, but in this economic environment, we wanted to become more agile".

The new company will be called Silver Bullet Entertainment and will be, we're told: "a multi-platform production company creating and producing ground-breaking digital content".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

PIAS LAUNCH BRAND PARTNERSHIP DIVISION
Independent music distributors [PIAS] have announced the launch of a new division which will look to pursue opportunities in the brand and advertising sector for the artists they represent. According to a press statement, [PIAS] Sync & Brand will "present and secure integrated sync and brand opportunities for its clients with partners ranging from games platforms to broadcasters, film house to TV production companies, consumer brands to creative media agencies. They will all benefit from a co-ordinated service that is fortunate to represent some of the leading independently owned repertoire on the market". The new service will be headed up by Jemma Skidmore.

Confirming the new division, [PIAS] UK MD Peter Thompson told CMU: "We believe there's a genuine opportunity to offer our repertoire owners a market leading service for sync and brand related business across Europe. [PIAS]'s ability to offer a cohesive package that understands the needs of our sync partners whilst adding value to initiatives through elements such as mobile and digital marketing will be a distinct advantage".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

HMV LAUNCH LOYALTY CARD
HMV are launching a new loyalty card which will give customers the opportunity to earn points with every purchase in the retailer's shops or on their website, which can be redeemed for nice things, some of the usual sort of flim flam you'd expect from a loyalty programme, but also special 'money-can't-buy' things like signed posters or memorabilia or even guitars, or VIP tickets for festivals or film premieres. I'm not quite sure how the special stuff will be distributed - ie who gets them - perhaps you bid once you have enough points. If I wasn't in such a rush I'd call them and ask. Perhaps someone from HMV will read this and email in and tell us. Not that we're the laziest journalists in the world. We're just contenders.

Anyway, here's what HMV's Head of CRM Marketing, Matt Button, told CMU. Yeah, you're right, we just pulled this off the press release. I mean, if he'd really told us this, we could have said "thanks for that Matt, but tell us, how do you decide who gets the groovy free stuff?" But we didn't so we couldn't. Anyway, here's Matt's generic quote on the new loyalty scheme - by the way, the card's called 'purehmv'. You might need to know that for this quote to make sense.

Button: "The purehmv rewards scheme will be unique in the market place. There is no other card out there that gives people access to such amazing, 'money-can't-buy' rewards ranging from signed guitars to VIP tickets for film premieres. The real beauty of it is that in getting our customers closer to the music, film and games they love, purehmv will also enable HMV to get even closer to its customers".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

SMASH PR RELAUNCHES
Music PR firm Smash PR is relaunching with the aim of offering "affordable PR services to bands, labels, management, whether signed and unsigned". The agency, which is still headed up by Nick White, is offering a menu of campaign types giving potential clients an upfront idea of what Smash's services will cost, and what they'll get for their money. More info at www.smashpr.co.uk

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

LEYLINE EXPAND PR TEAM
More from the wacky world of music PR, and Leyline has announced a new recruit in its rapidly expanding publicity division. Joe Gamp has joined Leyline's existing publicity men Nick Bateson and Adrian Leigh, and will be working on the PR for both Leyline's own events, like this week's Remix All-Nighter and the upcoming Insomniacs Ball (more on that tomorrow, by the way), plus Leyline's roster of music clients. Gamp has previously worked as both an online press officer and a freelance journalist, so knows this PR/media lark from both sides.

back to top


APPLE BACKTRACK ON NIN APP
Those of you who also get the CMU Weekly will have noticed a quick reference to this in there on Friday afternoon. Apple have now approved the new Nine Inch Nails iPhone app. As previously reported, Apple had previously rejected the app from its store, seemingly because one of the podcasts within included an NIN track which contained swearing. This angered NIN man Trent Reznor, not least because the Apple Music Store sells the offending track. Anyway, after a Reznor rant on the topic, which included him threatening to make the app available to "jailbreakers" who have modified their iPhones so that they are no longer tied to the iTunes software, the IT firm gave in. Reznor tweeted thus last week: "NEWS FLASH: Apple has approved the NIN iPhone app update. Should be live in a few hours. The NIN iPhone app is unchanged, the 'issues' seem to have been resolved". So there you go people. You want the government to cave in on something, you hire Joanna Lumley. You want the mighty Apple to cave, get Reznor on the case.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

ELAB CHIEF EXPECTED TO RUN UNIVERSAL'S NEW VIDEO SERVICE
The boss of Universal Music's digital division, the eLabs, is expected to be named as President of Vevo, the major's previously reported attempt to launch itself as a provider of online video content.

As previously reported, YouTube are expected to provide the back-end of the new video platform, which will see Universal sell its own advertising, in a bid to bump up ad rates because of the official nature of the service. It's thought other labels will be invited to participate.

eLabs chief Rio Caraeff will continue to run the major's digital division until Vevo is properly launched. It's not clear if heading up Vevo will be a complete new job for Caraeff or added to his existing digital brief.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

CARPHONE WAREHOUSE BUY TISCALI
Carphone Warehouse is going to buy the UK division of Italian internet service provider Tiscali. Well, someone had to.

The phone seller, which already has its own ISP in Talk Talk, of course, reportedly bought Tiscali UK for £236 million, but does not take on any of the business's debts. Tiscali in Italy are expected to use much of the money it makes from the sale to help pay off a chunk of its debts, in order to restructure the rest.

Struggling Tiscali has been up for sale since last year, with various suitors tipped along the way. The final deal that was done makes Carphone Warehouse the biggest provider of broadband in the UK, overtaking Virgin Media.

Carphone Warehouse chief Charles Dunstone has been one of the most vocal ISP men in opposing efforts by the music business to make the net companies play a more proactive role in combating online piracy, though both Tiscali and Carphone Warehouse were signatories of the BPI's memorandum of understanding - in which the web firms agreed to try and work with the content owners to find a mutually-acceptable solution to the piracy issue - so the takeover shouldn't make a big difference to ongoing talks between the two sectors. Not that those talks have achieved much yet anyway.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

ARE MICROSOFT INTERESTED IN SEEQPOD?
There's speculation that Microsoft might be thinking about buying Seeqpod, the MP3 search service that has been in limbo amid rumours the company behind it is about to go under because of the cost of defending itself against copyright infringement lawsuits from EMI and Warner.

Much of the content that was accessible via Seeqpod (it's offline at the moment) came from illegal sources, and because users could preview MP3s found by the search engine via an easy-to-use Seeqpod player the majors say the firm is guilty of contributory infringement.

But amid rumours of collapse, and as the service went offline, Seeqpod founder Kasian Franks recently told Wired that his company was about to be acquired by a big player. He told the magazine that the new buyers were big enough that they could quickly settle any outstanding litigation and get the service back online. Though even with a buyer as big as Microsoft, the labels would surely only settle if the service committed to a new version that blocked unlicensed content, which would presumably require more development and would arguably make the Seeqpod service, as it was, much less attractive to consumers.

Which is possibly why some commentators reckon any Microsoft deal would see the IT giant buy elements of Seeqpod's technology, to incorporate it into their own search engine, but not the brand or overall service as a whole. TechCrunch's Eric Shoenfeld has commented thus: "Seeqpod is indeed speaking with Microsoft, but not about an outright acquisition. Rather, it is trying to negotiate a piecemeal sale of its technology assets and find new jobs for its core technology team".

back to top


STANDARD RELAUNCHES
The Evening Standard re-launches today, as the London Evening Standard no less, after running an interesting advertising campaign in the capital last week based around the word "sorry". The gist of the campaign was "sorry we've been shit for the last few years, we're going to be better now, so please start buying our paper again". The interesting re-launch marketing is expected to precede a more positive editorial slant and a high profile promotional campaign to try and get Londoners paying for their evening read again, instead of relying on freesheets London Lite and the London Paper.

All of which is somewhat humiliating for Veronica Wadley, the paper's former editor, who was pushed out when Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev bought a controlling stake in the paper in January, She was replaced by the new owner's mate Geordie Greig, who had, some say, orchestrated the whole takeover to begin with.

Speaking in the Media Guardian, the former editor is dismissive of the 'sorry' campaign and the paper's new management, saying: "London is laughing at this ludicrous campaign. Saying 'sorry' for the past smacks of a Soviet courtroom 'confession'. 'Sorry' has all the hallmarks of a KGB-style smear campaign. It denigrates the judgement of 500,000 loyal readers. The new management seems to think that a paper should be edited by self serving market research - and the Pravda-style promise of good news is an insult to the intelligence of its readers".

Personally I'm quite excited about the re-launch - though however brilliant the new look paper may be, it is still operating in an incredibly difficult market, given the high number of Londoners who are already up on the world via the net before they leave their office to go home, and who therefore may still be happy to rely on the content-lite freesheets to occupy their minds on their evening commute. Coupled with the dire stat of the advertising market, and given that the recession means even Russian billionaires like Lebedev don't have quite as much spare cash around to throw at expensive vanity projects, it will be interesting to see how the all new look Standard fares once the relaunch hype is over.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

RICHARD & JUDY WATCH SHOW AXED
The all new Richard & Judy show is being axed. It will end in July, six months before the former power couple of daytime TV's contract with digital channel Watch comes to an end. The Madeleys' attempts to recreate their Channel 4 show on the former UK Gold channel has never really worked since its launch last October, with launch viewing figures at only 47,000 - tiny compared to their C4 audiences - and at a recent low point their show scored a rating of 8000 viewers. It's thought that once the Watch show is over the two presenters will look for solo projects, and no longer work as a double act, ending a 21 year on-screen partnership.

Commenting on the early exit from Watch, the couple said in a statement this weekend: "Some you win, some you lose. It's a shame we couldn't get this one to fly because both we and our brilliant young production team were genuinely proud of the show and the guests it attracted. But it became obvious that it wasn't the right fit with a brand new pay-for-view digital channel. Many of our former viewers have told us they simply couldn't find us there. When we started we said we wanted to get ahead of the curve, as British television inevitably goes digital. Looks like we were a bit too far ahead of the curve! Perhaps a bridge too far too soon, despite UKTV's strong support. But TV is all about taking risks and that means sometimes you fail. It was a really worthwhile experiment and we don't regret it at all. Now we're both going on to other projects, together and separately".

back to top


CHART UPDATE
You'll no doubt have noticed this morning that the grass is still green, the sky is still blue and, most importantly, the universe has not collapsed in on itself. This can mean only one thing: Tinchy Stryder is still at number one with 'Number 1'. In fact, just to be extra sure that existence as we know it stays safe, none of the top six singles in the top 40 have changed their position, and all ten singles in the top 10 are the same ones that were there last week. There's no real need for such caution, as it's Tinchy who holds the key to all our destinies, but you've got to admire the effort there.

Outside the top 10 very little has gone on either. Despite being the catchiest song to be released (at the very least) this year, 'She's Got Me Dancing' by Tommy Sparks has only managed to break into the chart at 22. The only other significant change is that Soulja Boy has risen from 63 to 30 with 'Kiss Me Thru The Phone', which has already been a number one hit for him in the States and isn't set to be released physically until 16 Jun.

In the album chart, Bob Dylan is taking Tinchy's lead and sticking to the number one spot. No need to worry about his movement bringing about the end of the world, though. The fact that he's made it to number one at all caused a few waves in that area, but all seems fine now.

There are also a couple of new entries in the album top 10. Ciara is in at nine and Yusuf is in at 10. The Maccabees, meanwhile, just miss out by reaching 13, Gallows are in at 20, and The Horrors, despite all the hype and the likes of Nicky Wire and Trent Reznor coming out in favour of them, only make 25. And so ends this week's lesson.

The charts are compiled by the mystical secret society known as The Official Charts Company.

back to top


MADONNA TO COMMIT TO JESUS?
Reports suggest that Madonna is planning a Kabbalah commitment ceremony with her 22 year old Brazilian boyfriend Jesus Luz, as she attempts to recover from the trauma of that previously reported adoption knock back. The singer, as you all surely know, recently attempted to take possession of three year old Chifundo 'Mercy' James, but was denied permission to remove the child from Malawi. As far as I'm aware, her appeal is ongoing though.

Anyway, rumour has it that Luz has already converted from Catholicism to Kabbalah, and the Daily Mirror claims that they are planning the ceremony at the Kabbalah Centre in New York. A source is quoted as saying: "They are totally besotted with each other and he's really helped Madonna through this tough time. It wasn't that the relationship went off the boil, it was more a matter of Madonna wanting to concentrate on her adoption bid of Mercy and they wanted to keep a low profile while that became the main focus".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

DOLLY GETS DOCTORATE
Dolly Parton has received an honorary doctorate of humane and musical letters from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The star got a standing ovation from fellow graduands, and, asked to give her advice to the crowd, told them: "What has worked for me, may not work for you. I mean, what has worked for me? Wigs, tight clothes, push-up bras, high heel shoes... five inch high heel shoes. All I've got to say is, take my advice and some of you boys out there may find yourself on a little different career path".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

WILL YOUNG CAN'T REMEMBER LYRICS
Will Young has told The Guardian that he's rubbish at remembering lyrics. The former Pop Idol star is quoted as saying: "I'm quite bad with words. I can't mime because I forget the lyrics and I start making them up. I have a problem singing first lines of songs and that's purely nerves. I've had to stop a couple times because I forgot my lyrics, one time at a small concert in Birmingham and another one in London when the words just went from me. I had to say sorry and start again".

He continued: "Normally, the words of the songs you know well are ingrained within you, and even though your conscious is saying 'What's next?', you suddenly just remember them. You can't panic, you have to get on with it. So much of it is in the mind - it's funny really".

back to top

 

 
SUBSCRIPTIONS>> CMU Daily is a free daily e-bulletin for people working in the music industry and music media, delivered direct to your PC each morning.

If you want to stop receiving this e-bulletin click the 'unsubscribe' button below and follow the instructions. If any of your colleagues want to receive the CMU Daily tell them to email their name, company, job title and email to subscribe@cmudaily.co.uk.

If you would like to recieve the CMU Daily as a text email, send a blank email from the email address you are registered at to text@cmudaily.co.uk.

MEDIA PEOPLE>> If you are looking for an independent quote on anything to do with the music business, or you need someone to come on your TV or radio show and talk music business, then we can help. There's nothing we don't know about. Email requests to chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9050.

CMU is published by and (c) UnLimited Media - www.unlimitedmedia.co.uk

Send news stories to musicnews@unlimitedmedia.co.uk. If we don't respond directly, we do apologise, only we get sent hundreds of emails a day and don't have time to respond to every one of them. However we do check every email sent to the musicnews email address, and do pull out stories that we feel are relevant to our readers.

Send CDs for review to CMU, UnLimited Media, 221-222 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6PJ.