CMU Daily - on the inside 30 Jan 2003
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
• Mixed fortunes at entertainment majors,
• Illegal download company sue the record labels,
• Movie bosses lobby Academy over 8 Mile,
• US senator relaunches music competition bill,
• Rumours rife over new Blur guitarist(s),
• Review: Insane Clown Posse - The Wraith: Shangri-La,
• Timberlake on tours, videos and Britney (again),
• So who is Britney’s man?,
• Mike Love gets rights to the beach boys name,
• Capital appoint new comms director, Finger Lickin guys blow pop,
• Aussie press not impressed at the Vines’ Big Day Out,
• New West End club finally open,
• Eurovision hosts out of cash,
• Review: The Delgados – All You Need Is Hate,
• US set up congress library for music,
• Yahoo add subscription web radio service after deal with Sony,
• Debate on media censorship post 9/11,
• Another Gates cover for Comic Relief


Which Paul McCartney track was banned by the BBC in 1972 – and what tricky political debate did it tackle?

Answer tomorrow


It’s not so good over at AOL Time Warner just now – except for the music that is.

No wonder chairman Steve Case announced he was standing down last week, because yesterday the internet/publishing/entertainment giant announced a 2002 loss of $100 billion - the largest annual loss in US corporate history. Shortly after the financial announcment Vice Chairman Ted Turner said he too would be leaving his post.

But there was good news over at the Group’s music division – Warner Music – who saw their profits rise some 15% over 2001 after a year which saw each new quarter out perform the previous one in terms of revenue and profits. Announcing the figures Roger Ames, chairman of the Warner Music Group, told his employees in the US: "Thanks to our efforts, we made gains in key territories around the globe and finished the year as the number two company in the US. While the near-term outlook for the industry remains difficult, I am convinced that effective management, continued fiscal discipline and our proven ability to develop and market our remarkable artists will see us through the difficult times."

In terms of the talent that helped Warner’s music operations have a good year were Red Hot Chili Peppers, Josh Groban, Linkin Park, Faith Hill and Alanis Morissette and the roster of gospel label Word Entertainment which Warners acquired early last year.

Over at Sony the news was pretty much the opposite – the group at large was performing well, with operating profit up 25%, but income and profits were down at Sony Music. Commenting on the disappointments on the music side group chairman Nobuyuki Idei was optimistic, saying he was confident new Sony Music MD Andrew Lack (who was appointed to the post earlier this month after the resignation of Thomas D Mottola) would turn things round - “our music operations have been impacted by industry wide difficulties … I look forward to his exercising considerable expertise in improving financial results.”


Well here’s an interesting development in the ongoing download wars. The company behind Kazaa – one of the key targets of the US record industry’s anti-download activities – is suing the music and movie industries for failing to understand modern technology and for monopolizing entertainment. In an ambitious law suit they claim the entertainment industries are guilty of copyright misuse, monopolisation and deceptive practice, and they’re seeking a jury trial, damages, legal fees and a permanent injunction so that the entertainment companies can't enforce their US copyrights against any person or entity.

The Kazaa case was already proving interesting. When the music industry attempted to sue them they claimed they weren’t under the jurisdiction of the US courts because they are based in Australia and incorporated in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu. But two weeks ago a judge ruled against Kazaa, forcing them to face charges in the US. The forthcoming trial was seen by many in the industry as a test of just how far American law can go in the global world of the internet.

Needless to say the Recording Industry Association of America were not impressed by Kazaa’s lawsuit: "Kazaa’s claims are akin to the thief who plunders Fort Knox and then claims she's not responsible because Fort Knox declined to buy her second-rate security system. Kazaa, which built the world's largest piracy network premised on flouting copyright laws and not obtaining licenses, now claim that a lack of licensing has somehow inhibited their development. This proposition is laughable, but what's not laughable is the real harm to creators and copyright owners."

We look forward to both cases reaching court.


Word is movie bosses at Universal are lobbying the movie big wigs who vote in the nominations and winners at the Oscars in an attempt to get Eminem's '8 Mile' among the films up for award. ‘8 Mile’, which has topped the UK box office chart for the second week running, wasn’t released in time to be nominated for the Golden Globes, which are often seen as being a good indicator for who will fair well at the Oscars. Although eligible for the Academy Awards, the producers behind the film worry judges will consider it too populist for consideration. It remains to be seen if any last minute lobbying brings any results.


As the British government paves the way for consolidation the radio industry here interesting developments in the US where Senator Russ Feingold officially launched his Competition in Radio and Concert Industries Bill earlier this week. The bill aims to put in place legislation which protects small and independent radio station owners and independent concert promoters by prohibiting anti-competitive practices in the radio and concert industries. A key target of the legislation seems to be Clear Channel whose combined radio and venue empire gives them an increasingly powerful position in the music industry which some reckon gives them the power to force independent radio stations and gig promoters out of business.

The launch of the bill's coincided with a meeting of the Senate Commerce Committee who had the problems of radio consolidation on their agenda. When he spoke about his planned bill at a ‘Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit’ earlier this month Feingold seemed confident that the chairman of that committee - Senator John McCain - would co-sponsor the bill.

Speaking to Billboard Feingold said: "Since originally introducing this legislation in June 2002, I have seen a groundswell of interest both in Congress and among artists, consumers, independent radio stations, and local promoters in restoring fairness to radio. My legislation will reduce concentration and crack down on anti-competitive practices, such as the new 'pay to play' system."


Rumours are rife as to the identity of the new guitarist in Blur. The remaining three members of the group have been auditioning for a replacement for Graham Coxon. Damon is now quoted as saying "a guitarist from a well-known band from the North of England" has "fitted in really well". NME speculations as to the who the guitarist might be have mentioned The Verve’sNick McCabe, ex-Stone Roses star John Squire, Happy Mondays founder Mark Day, Shed Seven's Paul Banks, Embrace's Richard McNamara and even the legendary Johnny Marr as possible contenders.

The new guitarist is likely to initially only join the band on live dates – certainly the band have pretty much completed their new album as a threesome. In a posting on the band’s website bassist Alex James said they might possibly take on two guitarists: "We’re going to need quite a big band to play this album. Probably two guitarists. The search is on. It’s actually easier to learn to play the guitar yourself than to find a guitar player, but there you go."


REVIEW: Insane Clown Posse - The Wraith: Shangri-La (D3 Entertainment)
Good grief. Quite how a rap-rock band with such lightweight tunes, off-key vocals and poorly-timed, unimaginative raps ever notched up six ‘Joker’s Card’ albums (whatever the hell they are) is quite a mystery. The Wraith: Shangri-La sounds like Fun Loving Criminals doing a ‘Wassuuuuup’ Budweiser advert, failing to scare the smallest children with unintentional comedy lyrics and pathetic growls. “We’ll rip your head off and swing it by the hair/until we get blood everywhere” they spurt in ‘Serious Voices’, while the flimsiest guitars you will ever hear chug out fifth-rate palm-muted Riffs Of Boredom. And, not a word of a lie, there’s actually a love song to their homies on here. With Limp Bizkit set to drop their (undoubtedly awful) new material, plus hernia-inducing action from Slipknot and The Mad Capsule Markets, there is absolutely no way this record will stand out as anything other than comic relief. And boys, there’s no ‘s’ in ‘inane’. DR
Release date: 3 Feb
Press contact: Workhard PR [all]


Justin Timberlake has been talking about his up coming tour with Christina Aguilera (you might remember Justin was being tight lipped about the tour at the American Music Awards – a pointless exercise because Aguilera went round telling everyone everything about the planned gigs!). He told MTV earlier this week:

"It was an idea that both of our managers concocted. When it came to me I said, 'It sounds really interesting. It would be fun to be on tour with somebody who's that talented'. She's got one of the most amazing voices I've ever heard. She can release a song like 'Dirrty' and get everybody talking, and then release a song like 'Beautiful' and say, 'Look, this is why I am standing here.' She's bad. That's the Christina that I met on the TV show that we did [like many US popsters both appeared on the Mickey Mouse Club'] and that's the Christina that will be around 10 years from now."

Timberlake went on to discuss media speculation that the video for his new single ‘Cry Me A River’ was a little autobiographical - he sees his Britney lookalike girlfriend run off with another man (so he breaks into to her house and puts a video of him kissing another girl on her telly, at least, I think that’s what happens, it was all bit confusing).

He reckons the video is a commentary on the way the media has portrayed his love life: "When you become a product of the media's rumor mill you kinda get this 'thing' about you. It was a chance for me to use it and do a little reversing. To go, 'Now I've got all of you in the palm of my hand.' Regardless of what you do, rumors are gonna be around. I'm sure when Eminem goes to do an interview they still wanna ask him about Kim and his mom. And I'm sure he don't wanna talk about it just like I don't wanna talk about all this bullshit either. But it's just part of what we do. Unfortunately it's entertaining for people. They want to know about what you do when they don't see you."


Meanwhile, over in the world of Britney Spears, more speculation over her potential boyfriends. Firstly Fred Durst, whose done little to quash rumours he is dating Spears, has been confirmed as one of the producers working on Britney’s next album, due for release in the Autumn. While its not guaranteed the tracks he has worked on will necessarily appear on the album it means the pair have got to spend more time with each other while in the studio. But perhaps that’s where the rumours started in the first place and in fact they have nothing more than a working relationship.

Because now the papers are linking Britney to former Ballykissangel actor Colin Farrell after they attended the Hollywood premier of new movie ‘The Recruit’ arm in arm. And the Evening Standard are suggesting it is the influence of “foulmouthed Farrell” that led to Spears wearing a t-shirt with the words ‘fuck off’ written on the back while attending a studio to work on her album. Hands up who knows. Hands up who cares.


The Beach Boy’s Mike Love yesterday won his bid to stop fellow founding member Al Jardine from using the band’s name when on tour. Jardine, now with a new band, has been touring using the name Beach Boys Family & Friends. But Love, who negotiated a deal with other founder members to use the name for his new band in 1998, argued it was confusing for Jardine to also use the name.

The courts agreed saying: "with two bands touring as the Beach Boys or as a similar sounding combination, show organizers sometimes are confused about what exactly they are getting when they book Jardine's band. We found a number of show organizers booked Jardine's band thinking they would get the Beach Boys along with special added guests, but subsequently cancelled the booking when it was discovered that Jardine's band was not what they thought it was."

The latest hearing followed an injunction in 2000 which prohibited Jardine from using the trademark ‘The Beach Boys’ in the name of his latest group. The latest decision sees his appeal against the injunction knocked back, so many expect Jardine to now give up – certainly his web site now calls his group the All-Star Beach Band.


Capital Radio has appointed a new Corporate Communications Director who will oversee the company’s communications with the city, investors and the media – all seen as key audiences as the group fights tough battles to stop a decline in listeners at its main London stations. Wilson comes from financial PR agency Impact Consulting.

Announcing the appointment Wilson told reporters: "I'm delighted to be joining Capital at such an interesting time for the radio industry.”


Finger Lickin’s finest will be playing at the BlowPop seventh birthday celebrations at the Bristol Academy next month. We’re talking the Plump DJs, Krafty Kuts, Matt Cantor and Soul Of Man Djing alongside the Blowpop residents. The night takes place on 22 Feb.

Meanwhile the Finger Lickin’s DJs will be playing five students’ union venues in a mini-tour as part of the NUS Ents promoted Tiger Beer Eastern Beats in March. We’ll let you know full dates and line up next week.


After an onstage brawl at a Boston gig, and then the cancellation of dates in the UK and Japan, all eyes were on The Vines has they played at Australia’s Big Day Out festival. And local press weren’t impressed. The Melbourne Sun Herald describing their set on 19 Jan as "painful". Their review ran: "Most talked-about band on the planet? The Vines, still, and plenty more were talking after their set at the Big Day Out on Sunday. And none of it positive. Just a few months ago they played a couple of dynamite shows in Brisbane, but playing in broad daylight at a festival doesn't seem to agree with them."

Meanwhile Aussie website described their set as "at best, a wasted opportunity" and quoted a fan at the festival, who said: "The place was packed before they started and within two songs people started streaming out. Afterwards I saw one girl ripping off a Vines patch from her shirt. Later I saw punters with their Vines T-shirts turned inside-out." They said Nicholls was "out of control", barely hitting a note, dropping his guitar several times, smashing a microphone and generally "disengaged from his bandmates".


A new London club venue was open to the press yesterday. In the heart of the West End the club, called Rouge, boasts four floors and five bars. Originally due to open last September the new club will finally welcome in the public this weekend. In their PR material the club’s owners described their venue by saying: “think Sex and The City meets Studio 54 and you will get an idea of where it’s going”.


Troubles over at the Eurovision Song Contest, due to take place in the Latvian capital of Riga on 24 May. The city’s councillor Guntars Kukuls has said that due to problems with the budget they may have to withdraw the £700,000 funds and resources they had originally promised the organisers. Announcing the move they admitted the show may now need to to be cancelled or relocated.

However Juergen Meier-Beer, who helps organise the German contingent at the competition, didn’t seem concerned: "Financial problems are normal with the smaller countries. But so far they have always been solved in the last minute."


REVIEW: The Delgados – All You Need Is Hate (Beggars/Mantra)
Christ! They’ve gone all Mercury Rev! Is this *the* Delgados? Those perennial “Hello sky, hello clouds” folksy downbeats? A band that was solely comprised of people who were always chosen last for games at school have stopped wistfully moping around and grabbed the initiative. Carpe diem you rage fuelled animals, before people realise you’ve made gorgeous melancholic cuts like ‘Everything Goes Around The Water’. Quick, release more records that sound as if Brian Wilson hadn’t caught any radical tubes and decided to unleash his anger onto his guitar. It’s under three minutes too, and crams in more layered invention that should embarrass so called “bigger” and “more successful” groups. And as for zeitgeist – “Hate is all I need”, well, it’s spot on, eh? TO
Release date: 17 Feb
Press contact: Beggars IH


The Library of Congress in the US have set up a National Recording Registry to keep copies of recordings they consider to be "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant". Among the first fifty additions to the Registry – which will include music and spoken word recordings - are Elvis Presley's Sun Records sessions, Bob Dylan's ‘The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan’, Miles Davis' ‘Kind of Blu’e, Frank Sinatra's ‘Songs for Young Lovers’, Tito Puente's ‘Dance Mania’ and Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five's 1982 groundbreaking rap record, ‘The Message'.

Talking about the Registry, Librarian of Congress' James Billington told Daily Variety. "We’re not another Grammy Lists of Lists or Hall of Fame. Rather, Congress created the registry to celebrate the richness and variety of our audio legacy and to underscore our responsibility to assure the long-term preservation of that legacy so that it may be appreciated and studied for generations to come."

Among the audio recordings entering the registry are Orson Welles' Mercury Theater broadcast of ‘War of the Worlds’ and Abbott, Costello's classic ‘Who's on First?’, Martin Luther King Jr's 1963 ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and President Franklin Roosevelt's ‘Fireside Chats’.


Yahoo will launch a subscription version of their web radio station Launchcast. With Launchcast Plus, listeners will be able to listen without ads in return for a $4 a month subscription. The move follows the settlement between Yahoo and Sony Music – the second of five lawsuits the company is facing from the major labels.

The legal action began a month before Yahoo acquired the radio service back in 2001. Launchcast’s original owners argued their operations were covered by the 1998 DCMA act which basically said webcasters could continue to broadcast any music without being accused of infringement while some sort of industry-wide copyright agreement was worked out between webcasters and labels (that agreement came last year). But the labels argued the interactive nature of Launchcast (listeners can programme their own playlists) meant they weren’t covered by the general agreement – they were more of a download service that a web radio station.

Yahoo has accepted they need to ink deals with each record label separately to include their music on their playlists. The latest deal with Sony follows an agreement with Universal last year, and will include a retrospective payment and a deal for including Sony’s rosters on their playlists in the future. The company now needs to come to a deal with EMI, BMG and Jive (the last two might be now covered by one deal), who were all part of the original lawsuit.

Talking about the new subscription service Yahoo! VP/GM David Goldberg said: “Launchcast Plus sets the standard for subscription internet radio by expanding on the excellence of LAUNCHcast. Yahoo! is committed to providing consumers with innovative and dependable premium services. With Launchcast Plus, users now have another great option to listen to music.”


Jonathan Freelance, Michael Grade and Bea Campbell will be among the people taking part in a debate on media censorship in the world post-September 11th. The blurb reads: “In the absence of a constitution or an adequate Bill of Rights protecting our rights as citizens, and with a new human rights act threatened by our fear of terrorism, freedom of expression – our right to speak our mind, to read, watch and listen to what we choose – is under greater pressure than at any time since WWII”. The censorship of art, music, literature, political opinion and sexual activity will be up for debate at the event organised by the Index On Censorship in association with Orange. The debate takes place on Monday at 6.30pm at Senate House, University of London. More info from – tickets are free from 07974 378 031.


Can’t we just all give a fiver to charity and not have to go through the agony? Word is Gareth Gates will cover 'Spirit In The Sky' for his Comic Relief single due out later this year. The only up side is that Sanjeev Bhaskar from 'The Kumars A No 42' is rumoured to be involved, so while it may be awful there’s a chance it will be funny. We’ll see.


Answer to Tuesday's pop quiz:
What word did MTV feel the need to edit out of Eminem’s 'Without Me', which the EMAP music channels left in? And why?

The word ‘MTV’ – because it appeared in the line “They try to shut me down on MTV”, which I guess the station took offence at. Actually the line was a bit unfair, while MTV bosses might not approve of all his lyrics or video sequences, there’s been nothing else but feckin Eminem on MTV recently.

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