WHAT IS THIS? The CMU Daily - to which you are subscribed. Unsubscribe information is at the end.
NOTE:
Make sure you 'enable images' to see this e-bulletin properly. CLICK HERE to read this online.


INFORMATION
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Warner Music plotting EMI recordings bid, sources say
In The Pop Hospital
Bieber busts knee, explains 'German' confusion
Pop Politics
EC asks why EU funding helped pay for Italian Elton John gig
Awards & Contests
Nottingham student station declared best of the year
Reunions & Splits
Take That back on stage as a fivesome, for the telly though
In The Studio
Them Crooked Vultures, busy, busy, but could have album completed within the year
Release News
LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip London gig on sale
Fiery Furnace man to release eight albums in 2011
Gigs & Tours News
Sufjan Stevens promises UK tour
Coldplay go intimate for Crisis
Reviews
Live review: Cancer Bats at Electric Ballroom in London on 29 Oct
Brands & Stuff
Weller and Mini raise cash for Nordoff Robbins and War Child
The Music Business
Smernicki gets Universal UK-wide digital role
Spanish authorities prepare for implications for Padewan case
The Digital Business
Streaming equalling downloading in the US market
Amazon MP3 launches in Japan
The Media Business
Bearded magazine announces new editor
And finally...
West pulls out of Today appearance after frosty interview
James Blunt stopped World War III
Alex James: The problem with the internet...


 
MONDAY 15TH NOVEMBER
FIVE DAY FORECAST
Hello there, how are you? I've had a cold for over a week now. How's that even possible? Surely these things are only supposed to last a few days. I think I'm going to have a word with my immune system. Anyway, this isn't just me moaning, it's my excuse for not having done anything interesting lately. Well, I did embark on two top secret projects. But they're top secret. Although Chris did let slip about our forthcoming podcast on Friday, so that's not quite so secret any more. Also not secret are these things, which are all happening this week...

 
01: UK Festival Awards. This Thursday we'll find out which of this year's festivals were best and, most importantly, which had the best toilets, when the UK Festival Awards take place at the IndigO2 venue in the O2 Dome. Mumford & Sons lead the nominations in the artist categories, with four nominations, while Vintage At Goodwood tops the festivals with three nominations. For the second year running, the Best Line-up award featured me as one of the judges, so is obviously worth paying special attention to. And don't forget the awards are preceded by the annual Festival Conference, also under the Dome, for which I believe a handful of tickets are still available.

02: Facebook email. It's rumoured that Facebook may launch its new 'messaging system' as early as today at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco (though Mark Zuckerberg is not scheduled to speak until tomorrow). The word on the street is that the social network's currently awful messaging facility could be replaced by a proper email system - akin to Gmail or Hotmail - giving all users an @facebook.com address and allowing them to communicate with people outside Facebook. This potentially means that bands who use Facebook as a primary fan engagement tool would also be able to stay in touch with all their fans via the same platform.

03: CMU Training. This week is the last chance this year to attend CMU's acclaimed Promoting Music training course, which takes place in Shoreditch on Wednesday. The day-long course teaches attendees how to build a profile for artists, covering the state of the music media, traditional and new publicity techniques, social media and the future of music PR. A couple of spaces are still available, so act now if you're interested.

04: New releases. There are a few things you might want to dig into your pockets to purchase this week. The three releases most sending people rushing to record shops (or their online equivalents) are the new offerings from Take That, Tinchy Stryder and Brian Eno. While you're there you should check out the new album from Stereolab, 'Not Music', the new Jesus & Mary Chain best of, plus the new EPs from The Bug, Becoming Real, Florrie and Chad Valley, Mirrors' new single 'Hide & Seek', plus the stand out track from The Hundred In The Hands album, 'Commotion'.

05: Gigs. It's another busy week of gigs, with Rival Schools playing in London tomorrow, Tortoise at Camden's Koko tonight and tomorrow, Chilly Gonzales performing his 'Piano Talk' show in Manchester tonight, the second Now Playing show, headlined by Tinchy Stryder, also in Manchester on Thursday, Matthew Herbert will be performing an edition of The Guardian at the Royal Festival Hall on Saturday, plus on tour this week are Caribou, Les Savy Fav, Kele Okereke, Jimmy Eat World, Marnie Stern, Leftfield, Gruff Rhys, Penguin Prison, Trash Talk and Rusko.

There you go. Have a fun week. Fun weeks are good.

Andy Malt
Editor, CMU
 
HIATUS - SAVE YOURSELF
Cyrus Shahrad is a journalist, travel writer and award-winning novelist. He also DJs and writes music under the name Hiatus, and released his first album, 'Ghost Notes', last month. The album draws heavily on samples of Persian music that was outlawed after the 1979 Iranian Revolution, an upheaval which also led to Shahad's family fleeing the country when he was a year old. Shahrad rediscovered the music when he more recently unearthed his father's record collection in Tehran.

 
The opening track from the album, 'Save Yourself', is due to be released on 13 Dec through Lucky Thunder Records. It's the perfect calling card for the Hiatus sound; melancholy in tone, but with stirring strings that pull the rest of the track along as it gradually swells in size. It's just beautiful. The video for the track went online last week, made up of archive footage of Iran.

youtu.be/W-KfoV49FBk


WARNER MUSIC PLOTTING EMI RECORDINGS BID, SOURCES SAY
Given EMI boss Roger Faxon's memo to staff last week, in which he denied the music major had any intention of splitting up its businesses for sale, or to sell out in part or in full to a rival music firm, and in which he claimed such rumours were just the result of very lazy journalists speculating wildly, I feel almost bad reporting on this.

But an Observer journalist, possibly lazy, possibly speculating, this weekend claimed that EMI rival Warner Music is very seriously considering a bid which - if accepted by EMI owners Terra Firma - would see the music firm both split up and, in part, sold to a rival. They cite Wall Street sources as saying that Warner could make Terra Firma a $750 million offer for EMI's recorded music business within weeks.

Of course, as previously reported, Terra Firma sources insist that the equity group's top man, Guy Hands, is in no mood to sell EMI, despite it being a drain on both his company's cash supply and its credibility. But The Observer reckons Citigroup - the bank to which EMI owes three billion, and which Hands unsuccessfully sued - is now putting pressure on Terra Firma to offload recordings to Warner in a bid to reduce EMI's debts.

The implication is that the US bank might consider restructuring EMI's loan if the overall debt could be reduced through a sale of its record labels to Warner, leaving just the more attractive publishing business under the EMI banner. Terra Firma has been desperate for Citigroup to restructure EMI's loan for ages, and the bank's refusal to do so was a key factor in the equity group's decision to sue it over its role in the original EMI takeover.

As also previously reported, in his "don't believe the media" memo last week, Faxon argued it would be impossible to split up EMI's recording and publishing divisions for sale because of his strategy to integrate the company's until now autonomous businesses. But from what we can see, said strategy is yet to have any real affect on the day-to-day operations of EMI, making such a split very achievable now if not in two years time.

As we say, the word from Camp Hands backs up Faxon's memo, that no sale is imminent. But what if Warner Music was to make a reasonable bid, and Citigroup was willing to restructure EMI's loan as part of such a deal, saving Hands from the bother of having to inject another 100 million into EMI next summer? Well, that would certainly make 2011 a lot easier for Team Terra Firma. Admittedly that's two big ifs, but both seem plausible enough that this rumour isn't going to go away any time soon, however many denials are issued.

For legal reasons we must stress we are not saying all Observer journalists are lazy. No, it was Rodge who said that.

For legal reasons we must stress we are not saying that Roger Faxon says that all Observer journalists are lazy. Full of shit, yes, but not lazy.

For legal reasons we must stress... yeah, you see where this is going.

back to top


BIEBER BUSTS KNEE, EXPLAINS 'GERMAN' CONFUSION
Ah, poor Justin Bieber, first there's that interview he did with Jon Ronson in The Guardian this weekend which sort of makes you feel bad for mocking him all the time, then you hear he's hurt his knee. Still, if his people will insist on publishing 'autobiographies' which contain lines like "Singers aren't supposed to eat dairy before a show but we all know I'm a rule breaker", they do make it very hard not to mock him.

So yes, the Biebster "busted his knee" during a concert at Cleveland State University's Wolstein Center last week. We know this because he tweeted it, obviously, telling his six million plus Twitter followers: "[I] busted my knee last night in the middle of the show, not fun. Finished the show with a sweet limp". Though the good news you'll all be grateful to receive is that, although the knee was swollen the next day, his mum nursed it better. So that's nice.

In the aforementioned Guardian piece he talks about that interview on New Zealand TV back in May when he appeared to admit that he didn't know what the word 'German' meant. This despite him having previously discussed his German great-grandfather on German TV. Bieber explains it was all a misunderstanding, the result of a strong Kiwi accent combined with a TV presenter trying to be funny.

"I couldn't understand what the guy was saying", the Biebster explained. "I know what German is. Obviously. It sounded like he was saying Jewman. I didn't know what he was saying". He then turns to 'Mike', the customary press guy in the room, who adds: "The way he posed the question was confusing, he was trying to be funny".

So there you go. If you want to feel some sympathy for the world's biggest teen star, read the Guardian interview here: www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/nov/13/justin-bieber-interview

If you'd rather see him hit in the face by a plastic bottle, click here:
youtu.be/0e50vqY7Szo

back to top


EC ASKS WHY EU FUNDING HELPED PAY FOR ITALIAN ELTON JOHN GIG
The European Commission says it wants to know how approximately 600,000 euros of European Union money was spent on an Elton John concert held in Naples last year. An EC spokesman says he thinks an Italian regional authority breached rules in using European funding for such a venture, while one albeit slightly controversial right wing Euro MP from the north of the country, Mario Borghezio, says the gig was a "shameful" misuse of EU funds.

So called regional development funding comes from the EU but is distributed to projects, which will help develop local economies, by regional authorities within member states, in this case the Campania regional authority in southern Italy.

Cultural initiatives are eligible for such funding, but the EC's regional policy spokesman Ton va Lierop says he doubts an Elton John gig would fulfil EU set criteria, even though organisers of the Piedigrotta festival, of which the concert was part, claim it helped promote Naples, and brought in new custom for local businesses.

Van Lierpo told the BBC: "We're asking the managing authority about this. We want to know why they think it fits in with the rules".

back to top



NOTTINGHAM STUDENT STATION DECLARED BEST OF THE YEAR
So, the University Of Nottingham's student radio station is the best, in case you wondered. And that's not me saying that. Obviously I'd say Edinburgh's Fresh Air is the best, but that's just me being nostalgic. But, according to judges of the annual Student Radio Awards, held in London last week, URN presented the best station package this year. So, well done them.

Here's the full list of student radio winners.

Best Male Presenter: Rob Howard, URN
Best Female Presenter: Mel Lewis, Radio Sonar
Best Newcomer: Chelsea Dickenson, Fuse FM

Best Journalistic Programming: Newslink, LSRfm.com
Best Speech Programming: Flamenco Feet, RaW 1251am
Best Specialist Music Programming: Polished Music, 1449AM URB
Best Entertainment Programming: Ollie and Liam, URN
Best Student Radio Chart Show: 1449AM URB
Best Interview: James Alexander interviewing Lid Dem Sue Doughty, 1350AM GU2 Radio
Best Live Event or Outside Broadcast: Lounge On The Farm Festival 2010, CSR

Best Technical Achievement: Audio Management, URN
Best Marketing and Station Sound: URN
The Kevin Greening Creativity Award 2010: Rob Howard, URN

Best Station: URN, University of Nottingham

At the same event it was announced the 2011 annual conference of the Student Radio Association, which organises the awards, will take place at the University of Hertfordshire, from 18-20 Apr.

back to top



TAKE THAT BACK ON STAGE AS A FIVESOME, FOR THE TELLY
I actually think it's only 13% of the population who could give damn that Robbie Williams has rejoined Take That for a new album and tour, it's just they all talk about it very loudly so it's very hard to escape this news.

Especially this weekend, when ITV went Take That crazy with a documentary on Saturday night and then, on last night's 'X-Factor', the first live performance by the band with all five members on stage at the same time in fifteen years. Whoopdidoo.

Interestingly, if the singles charts are anything to go by, more of the population are actually excited about Rihanna still singing the same song for a third week than Take That fully reforming. Though, I suppose, to be fair, as an old person's boy band, Take That will be looking for album rather than single sales.

back to top


THEM CROOKED VULTURES, BUSY, BUSY, BUT COULD HAVE ALBUM COMPLETED WITHIN THE YEAR
While admitting that his bandmates Dave Grohl and Josh Homme were going to be rather busy in the coming months with their other bands, former Led Zepper John Paul Jones says he hopes Them Crooked Vultures could have a second album ready in a year's time.

He told the BBC that, despite all three members of the rock supergroup being rather busy with other projects, he reckoned they could get another album down pretty quick. Jones: "Some stuff we've worked on, but we're gonna write pretty quickly and just put it down... we may be a year or so".

Jones has his own commitments for the new year. He says he'll be playing bass for a new opera based on the life of the late Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith, that has been written by 'Jerry Springer The Opera' co-creator Richard Thomas and which will be performed at London's Royal Opera House in February.

back to top


LCD SOUNDSYSTEM AND HOT CHIP LONDON GIG ON SALE
LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip's big gig at London's Ally Pally last week was recorded as part of one of those 'buy a live recording of the gig you've just seen' initiatives, and is now on sale to all via the URL below. A physical copy will set you back £20, though you can get it for download for £12. Or, if you only like LCD Soundsystem or Hot Chip but not both, each band's set is available stand alone for £8.

lcd-hotchiplive.sandbag.uk.com/Store/DisplayItems.html

back to top

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

FIERY FURNACE MAN TO RELEASE EIGHT ALBUMS IN 2011
Matthew Friedberger of The Fiery Furnaces has announced that he plans to release eight solo albums in 2011. He's mad, I tell you, mad.

Each album will only be available on vinyl, and will feature Friedberger's voice and one other instrument. There'll be six stand alone releases, with the final two records only available to those who subscribe to whole set.

The first album's featured instrument is the piano and is called 'Napoleonette'. On the title, he told Entertainment Weekly: "I chose that title because the piano is a very imperious, imperial instrument".

back to top



SUFJAN STEVENS PROMISES UK TOUR
Sufan Stevens has promised the BBC that he'll soon tour the UK again, which I think constitutes a binding contract. He hasn't played on these fine shores for four years now. But he told 6music last week: "It's been so long since I've toured Europe and the UK, so I think I need to set something up".

Rubbing it in further that the tour to promote recent album 'The Age Of Adz' hasn't come to the UK, he added: "In spite of all the challenges and the real divergence of sound in the new record, [this tour] has been the most fun I've had on stage".

back to top

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

COLDPLAY GO INTIMATE FOR CRISIS
Coldplay will play two intimate gigs in secret venues in aid of homeless charity Crisis. I say intimate, the venues they'll play have 1000 person capacities, but I guess that's teeny tiny for them. The fundraisers will take place in Liverpool on 19 Dec and Newcastle on 20 Dec.

Set price tickets went on sale for local residents and Coldplay website subscribers on Friday but have all gone. The remaining tickets are being auctioned off, so if you wanna go you'll have to bid at this URL: www2.seetickets.com/crisis/

back to top


LIVE REVIEW: Cancer Bats at Electric Ballroom in London on 29 Oct
There's that feeling - the feeling of the floor rumbling, right beneath your feet, vibrating against the soles of your shoes - that tells you that things are about to get VERY LOUD. "It's all about you" is pretty much the number one message that's hammered into us between every song break; clearly Cancer Bats frontman Liam Cormier is right, because all the songs we could want are including in the set, from fan-favourites to not-quite-forgotten old favourites.

"They're called Cancer Bats? Sounds like something from 'Nathan Barley'", a friend uttered a little derisively when I told them I was going to this gig. Hardly. What makes the Cancer Bats the Cancer Bats is that they make no effort to pander to the cool crowd with a fancy show.

It's back to basics, the way that gigs were intended; it's getting sweaty and allowing people to crowd-surf until their shoes fall off, it's the frontman being groped by the crowd as he leaves the stage, it's making sure that everyone has left the room with an ear infection and sore sore arms from holding them up too high for too long. It's loud guitars and a singer with passion in his eyes and his gut.

Between the excellent Beastie Boys cover 'Sabotage' and oldies from 'Birthing The Giant' - plus a few songs that have only been played to two or three crowds previously - the Bats positively blew my socks off. And that's pretty amazing if you ask me, because I wasn't even wearing any. TW

back to top



WELLER AND MINI RAISE CASH FOR NORDOFF ROBBINS AND WAR CHILD
More raising money for charity now. Paul Weller has teamed up with the makers of the Mini to raise money for Nordoff Robbins and War Child, both very fine charities indeed.

They've decorated an already suped-up Mini Cooper car with a design originally created by Weller for a Ben Sherman shirt, and are auctioning it off in aid of the two charities.

The car itself has a retail value of eighteen grand, before Weller's design being applied, so you'll probably need quite a bit of spare cash to take part in this one. The most recent bid was £14,500, but interested cash-rich Weller-fan small car drivers have until 11 Dec to make their bid.

More info at www.paulwellerminiauction.com

back to top


SMERNICKI GETS UNIVERSAL UK-WIDE DIGITAL ROLE
Universal Music has announced the promotion of that Paul Smernicki fella to the job of Director Of Digital for Universal UK. He'll take on the company-wide job at the start of next year after eleven years within Universal's Polydor division, most recently in a digital role.

Confirming the appointment, Universal UK top man David Joseph told CMU: "Paul has exceptional drive, vision and an absolute refusal to tread the established path. He also brings a rare combination of skills to his role, being as comfortable talking to artists about the creative elements of their album campaign as he is about how to harness the latest technology to nurture fan communities".

Meanwhile, back in Polydor, MD Joe Munns announced last week that Liz Goodwin had been appointed Head Of Marketing for the division, while Hannah Neaves becomes Head Of Marketing for Polydor Associated labels and Emma Powell is named Marketing Manager for Special Projects.

back to top

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

SPANISH AUTHORITIES PREPARE FOR IMPLICATIONS FOR PADEWAN CASE
Various local and city governments in Spain are reportedly preparing to demand the country's collecting society SGAE return some of the money it has charged to the makers of recording devices over the years following a legal spat between them and electronics company Padewan.

As previously reported, some aspects of the Padewan v SGAE case went to the European courts because the private copying levy - whereby a levy is attached to some recordable media or devices in return for the public having permission to make private copies of music they buy - is in part governed by European laws.

The nature of the levy system varies from country to country (in the UK there is no such system). In Spain the levy, which is administered by SGAE, is charged on all CD, DVD and MP3 players.

Last month the European courts ruled that Padewan was right when it claimed SGAE was wrong to charge the levy on all such devices, rather than only when a device was sold to a customer likely to exercise the private copying right. Padewan also alleged SGAE applied the levy indiscriminately, though European judges said it was the for Spanish national court to rule on that claim.

The final judgment in the Padewan v SGAE case, being heard in a Barcelona court, is still to be made, but it is assumed that, because of the European ruling, the collecting society has definitely been charging levy payers too much. Therefore, Billboard's Madrid correspondent reports, the regional government in Catalan and local governments in numerous towns and cities, including Barcelona, are preparing to order SGAE to make some substantial refunds.

For their part, SGAE have played down the significance of the trial on past payments, while stating no regional or local government had as yet been in touch to make any repayment demands.

back to top


STREAMING EQUALLING DOWNLOADING IN THE US MARKET
As many Americans are streaming music as downloading it according to new research from the NPD Group shared with Evolver.fm last week.

The number of US music fans using stream-based music services has increased significantly in the last year, following a trend in Europe, and particularly France, where streaming is now believed to be more popular than downloading in the digital music domain.

These stats offer more evidence for those who reckon that the huge success of iTunes-style pay-per-track digital services is a temporary bubble, with subscription-based services like Spotify, Napster and, in the US, Rhapsody and MOG, having better long-term prospects. Access versus ownership and all that.

All of which is interesting and, in a way, a bit scary for the record industry, for whom iTunes has proven so far to be, in the main, the most lucrative digital earner. And certainly the one that is based on real consumer-generated income rather than digital companies paying record labels with venture capital funds.

back to top

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

AMAZON MP3 LAUNCHES IN JAPAN
Amazon MP3 has launched in Japan, which is only really news because it is the first digital rights management free download store to launch in the country. The Japanese major labels, always a bit of a law unto themselves, have not followed the lead of their counterparts elsewhere in the world, who dropped demands that downloads be only sold with DRM technology attached a few years back.

In Japan, iTunes tracks still come with DRM attached, while Napster left the market completely earlier this year because it couldn't make MP3s available to its customers there. To be fair, the Japanese majors have had less need to end their love affair with DRM because the digital market there is dominated by mobile-based services, where the issue of digital rights management has always been less controversial.

Amazon's insistence that it would only enter the digital download market if the majors agreed to sell their music in the DRM-free iPod-compatible MP3 format arguably led to DRM being dropped in the rest of the world. The same policy has been applied to the Japanese market, though so far Amazon has only convinced EMI - first to drop DRM in the West too - to licence music to its download store.

back to top


BEARDED MAGAZINE ANNOUNCES NEW EDITOR
Bearded magazine's Publisher Gareth Main has announced he is stepping down from the editor role on the now online-only music title to give him more time to work on a new print magazine venture and the previously reported Independent Music Podcast. The Bearded website will now be edited by Suzi Ireland, formerly the publication's Live Editor. Elsewhere, Peter Clark becomes sole Reviews Editor (he previously shared the role) while Clementine Lloyd becomes News Editor.

Confirming the staff rejig, Main, who will continue to be Bearded's publisher told CMU: "After nearly four years of taking Bearded from an idea on a rainy Wrexham day to a print magazine distributed all over the world, its failure to be a sustainable print publication has made it difficult for me to keep Bearded going online without wondering what might have been. Suzi has been here since day one, and really understands why I started the mag and the ethos I've tried to instil throughout the publication, and I'm extremely excited to see where her fresh ideas and new outlook will take Bearded and the coverage of independent artists and record labels into the future".

Ireland herself added: "It's an honour to accept the Editor position for Bearded. Gareth has spent the past few years building and maintaining a name that unsigned and independent musical entities can trust and I am very excited to be able to take this forward. Myself, as well as the other new members of the team, hope to give the site a fresh shot in the arm, aiming to increase the range and scope of what Bearded has to offer. I guess it's time for me to stop shaving and get into character!"

back to top


WEST PULLS OUT OF TODAY APPEARANCE AFTER FROSTY INTERVIEW
Kanye West has cancelled an upcoming live performance on US TV show 'Today', scheduled in for later this month, after taking umbrage at the way the same programme handled an interview with him last week.

'Today' presenter Matt Lauer questioned West about both his comment in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, in which he basically called then President George Bush a racist, and his much previously discussed stage invasion while Taylor Swift picked up an award at last year's MTV VMAs.

The former is back in the news, of course, because Bush recently singled it out as one of the lowest moments of his presidency, stating West had no right to call him racist. The latter is sort of relevant because West has since said he now feels bad about playing the 'racist' card against Bush in 2005, claiming he can now emphasise with the former Prez because some falsely accused him of racism after the VMA incident, ie that his declaration that Beyonce was better that Swift was race motivated.

West didn't seem too bothered about Lauer's choice of topics for the 'Today' interview, but took umbrage at the way video footage was included in the piece. First the presenter made West watch silent footage of a seemingly distressed Bush discussing the 2005 'racist' remarks on the same programme earlier this month, then later he fed in footage of the VMA stage invasion with low-volume sound while West discussed the incident.

On the former West remarked, a little tetchily: "I didn't need you guys to show me the tape to prompt my emotion", while when the VMA footage was played in a few minutes later he asked: "How am I supposed to talk if you're going to run this thing while I'm talking? Please don't let that happen again. It's, like, ridiculous".

Following the airing of the somewhat frosty interview, West announced on Twitter: "I'm not performing on the 'Today Show' for obvious reasons", later noting that, despite him being clear on this, the show's producers were still billing the performance for later in the month. 'Today' broadcasters NBC have subsequently confirmed the appearance has been cancelled.

Lauer has also defended the way the interview was handled, arguing the cutting in of relevant video footage in that way was standard practice. West, meanwhile, has encouraged his fans to watch the interview to see how 'Today' producers "set him up". Fun times.

back to top

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

JAMES BLUNT STOPPED WORLD WAR III
It's convenient for James Blunt that whenever he releases a new album of warbles in early November, "just in time for Christmas", it coincides with Remembrance Day, cue lots of "I used to a soldier, don't you know" interviews.

And so, with new long player 'Some Kind Of Trouble' out in the shops, Blunt appeared on a 5Live programme this weekend discussing his time fighting in the 1999 Kosovo War, enabling the BBC news website to run a story with the fabulous headline, "Blunt prevented World War III".

The story related to an incident where Blunt held back from following the instructions of an American General to kick 200 or so Russian soldiers off an airfield in the Kosovan capital of Pristina. Not single handedly, he had 30,000 NATO troops at his disposal. But still, he reckoned kicking off a barney with the Russians wasn't a good plan.

He told the BBC programme: "I was given the direct command to overpower the 200 or so Russians who were there. I was the lead officer with my troop of men behind us ... the soldiers directly behind me were from the Parachute Regiment, so they're obviously game for the fight. The direct command [that] came in from General Wesley Clark was to overpower them. Various words were used that seemed unusual to us. Words such as 'destroy' came down the radio".

He continued: "We had two hundred Russians lined up pointing their weapons at us aggressively, [but] we'd been told to reach the airfield and take a hold of it. And if we had a foothold there then it would make life much easier for the NATO forces in Pristina. So there was a political reason to take hold of this. But the practical consequences of that political reason would be then aggression against the Russians".

Blunt was already exercising caution over the ordered assault on the Russians when senior British soldier General Mike Jackson stepped in to support him, giving us the World War III line. He radioed in the message: "I'm not going to have my soldiers be responsible for starting World War III". The Blunt/Jackson strategy prevailed, and eventually the by-then-surrounded Russian soldiers suggested they collaborate with NATO in securing the air field.

We all mock Blunt a bit, but clearly he's a capable guy with lots of great army stories. I can't be the only person who wishes he'd release an album of them rather than insisting on singing his songs.

back to top

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

ALEX JAMES: THE PROBLEM WITH THE INTERNET...
So, at last, Blur man Alex James has identified the real downside of the internet for the average rock star. And it has nothing to do with file-sharing. No, it's not that the world wide web provides the kids with a global network on which to pirate your tunes. It's that social media give groupies a global audience with which to discuss your sexual prowess.

Discussing how it's just not as much fun to be a rock star now compared with Blur's peak back in the days of 1990s Britpop, James told The Sun: "Those in the public eye are scrutinised much more now - and not just by the media, by the public as well. I was talking to the drummer from a new band the other day. He says it's no fun being a rock star any more [because] if you sleep with a groupie then they're on the fan sites the next day discussing your performance. The world has become more sober and serious. It was bound to happen eventually but the party was great while it lasted".

So, to conclude, the Blur bassist's tips for budding rock stars: be good at sex or go back in time to 1992.

back to top

 

 
Andy Malt
Editor
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Co-Publisher
Caro Moses
Co-Publisher
           
Eddy Temple-Morris
Columnist
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
James Blunt
Head Of Stopping
World War III

  If you want to stop receiving this e-bulletin click the safe unsubscribe button at the bottom of this email and follow the instructions.

If you want to change the email address where you receive the CMU Daily, or to opt for the text-only version, click the update profile button at the bottom and follow the instructions.

If friends or colleagues want to receive the CMU Daily tell them to email their name, company, job title + email to subscribe@cmudaily.co.uk, or to visit www.theCMUwebsite.com/subscribe

  CMU Publisher and Business Editor Chris Cooke is available if you need independent industry comment for your media on any developments in the music business or music media, or the wider music world.

Chris regularly gives interviews on music business topics, and has done so for the likes of BBC News Channel, BBC World, BBC 5Live, Radio 4, Sky News, CNN and the Associated Press. Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9050 for more details.

CMU music business expertise is also available on a consulting basis via UnLimited Consulting, click here for more information, email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk to discuss a project.

  Email press releases or random news to musicnews@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

Email suggestions for CMU Approved to andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

Email suggestions for Club Tip to vigsy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

To suggest bands for the Same Six Questions
email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

To discuss advertising and sponsorship opportunities email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

If you would like to syndicate our content email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

If you have a complaint email complaints@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

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

 

Concept and content © UnLimited Publishing.

Published by UnLimited Publishing, a division of UnLimited Media,

Floor 3 Unicorn House, 221-222 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6PJ.

UnLimited Publishing also publish ThreeWeeks, ThisWeek in London and CreativeStudent.net.

UnLimited Creative provides design, content, digital and communication services.

UnLimited Insights provides media, music and communications training.

UnLimited Consulting provides music, media, culture + youth expertise.