CMU Daily - on the inside 27 Feb 2003
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
• Death Row boss released,
• Murder Inc man shot,
• Jacko doc 2 gets Five screening,
• Review: The Sleepy Jackson - Let Your Love Be Love,
• Warners valued for acquisition,
• Five ‘Live’ show audience down with O’Connell,
• NERD update,
• TaTu censored on US TV,
• Charlatans in the studio,
• MusicNet enters deal with AOL,
• The Cure sign to artist direct,
• MPs express concern at future of music on radio,
• Review: Suburban Knight - My Sol Dark Direction,
• Warwick on those drugs charges,
• Michael says “no popstar anti-war record, please”,
• Party ban for Girls Aloud,
• Gus Gus support Moloko,
• Gossip time

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DEATH ROW BOSS RELEASED
Suge Knight, boss of Death Row Records (or Tha Row as it's now known), is finally out of prison. He was arrested without bail in December for violating his parole relating to convictions for assault charges in 1992 and 1996. As previously reported he was arrested for socialising with known gang members – something his parole agreement forbids. But Knight claimed he hadn't 'socialised' with gang members, but admitted that as a record label boss he would occasionally attend events where gang members were present. On Tuesday all but one of the four charges against him were dropped. He was ordered to do 200 hours of anti-gang community service but was allowed to go home.

Bill Sessa, a spokesperson for the California Board of Prison Terms told reporters: "Based on the weight of the charge, we felt he served his time with the 62 days he was in custody."

His attorney David Chesnoff added: "We were able to show that Suge didn't knowingly violate the terms of his parole. We're extremely pleased that he was given a fair hearing and was able to speak in opposition to the accusations that were made. He's excited to go back to work."

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MURDER INC MAN SHOT
Police have confirmed Christopher Lorenzo, brother and manager of rap music impresario Irv Gotti, was shot in the leg outside the offices of the Murder Inc record label on Tuesday. The shooting took place at 9pm and Lorenzo was taken to a local hospital where he is said to be in a stable condition. Lorenzo is a key player at his brother's record label – the home of the likes of Ja Rule and Ashanti.

Reports on what led to the shooting are unclear with Murder Inc themselves unwilling to comment. Police have said they are currently the investigating the incident and haven't ruled out that the wound may have been inflicted by an accidental use of a gun by Lorenzo himself.

Those comments are probably designed to put down speculation the shooting may be linked to ongoing police investigations into Murder Inc, and the relationship between the label and one Kenneth ‘Supreme’ McGriff, a childhood friend of Gotti who, it is alleged, funnelled profits from drug trafficking into the label.

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JACKO DOC 2 GETS FIVE SCREENING
The second Jacko documentary which included Jackson’s footage of Bashir saying what a good father he is, and a Jacko friendly interview with ex-wife Debbie Rowe, is due to be aired on at 9pm on Channel Five on Monday. The show, screened in the US on Fox TV, has already been aired on Fox’s UK sister station Sky One, but the Five screening is likely to pull in much bigger audiences.

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REVIEW: The Sleepy Jackson - Let Your Love be Love (Virgin)
Yee-haw! This dusty-headed scribe is supremely delighted that alt-country is enjoying something of a resurgence at present, and you can poison us with a rattler if this isn’t one of the best examples around. A dark combination of Bright Eyes, Mercury Rev and Simian somehow results in dreamy psychedelic country tunes, like a bunch of backward hillbillies on magic mushrooms. Drunken strings lurch about magnificently on ‘Not Crying (Just Standing in the Rain)’, and miserable oddity ‘Lung’ sounds as though it was recorded from the other side of the world. Which is a coincidence, cos these more-country-than-alt chancers are, in fact, from Down Under. What, an Australian band that doesn’t play throwback garage rock? Praise the lord for that, and praise the lord for this: ‘Let Your Love be Love’ is a superbly imaginative gem of a mini-album, a real genre-defining beauty. Now where *did* that cowboy hat get to? DR
Release date: 24 Feb
Press contact: Virgin IH [all]

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WARNERS VALUED FOR ACQUISITION
As talk of that EMI Warner merger continues word is Warner's music business is being valued at around about $3 billion. The figure is based on six times the label's earnings – showing declining confidence in the music industry by city analysts, past valuations of record labels have been based on ten times earnings. But even with the lower valuation it remains to be seen if EMI can raise that kind of money to buy the Warner Music from struggling parent company AOL Time Warner (it's not so long since EMI was struggling financially after all).

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FIVE 'LIVE' SHOW AUDIENCE DOWN WITH O’CONNELL
The revamp of Channel Five's 'Live With' show is pulling in less viewers with new host Christian O’Connell than with former host Chris Moyles. Initial figures suggest 200,000 viewers watched O'Connell’s first airing on Monday, going up to 300,000 on Tuesday. Moyles, who hosted the show throughout the Autumn, had an average of 400,000.

That said O'Connell's show hasn't received anything like the blanket marketing of the launch of 'Live With Chris Moyles'. Plus unlike Moyles whose radio show has national reach, O'Connell's profile isn't so high outside the reach of London station Xfm. Optimists would rightly say O'Connell's show will build audience as word of mouth spreads. Pessimists might point out that rise may not happen quick enough for ratings conscious Channel Five.

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NERD UPDATE
More news from everyone's favourite producers NERD/Neptunes. First up word is one half of the producing duo, Pharrell Williams, has approached Kylie about working on her next album. According to NME Kylie's people have confirmed negotiations are underway - "Kylie loves NERD, she loves their music and really enjoyed their recent London gig. Pharrell is a big fan of Kylie and the feeling is mutual. They have discussed working together on new material, which would happen when Kylie goes into the studio to record her new album."

Meanwhile the duo have provided the soundtrack to the new Nike ad called 'Stick Football'. In it a string of footballers, led by Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho, try to match the footballing sticks of Nike’s new animated 'Stickman' character. Talking about the ad soundtrack Williams told reporters: "We produced the music for this ad by simply looking at the footage and knowing what is needed, just being inspired by the skills on display".

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TATU CENSORED ON US TV
A live performance by TaTu on US TV show The Tonight Show featured a little bit of censorship. Midway through their routine the duo do a little on-stage kissing – but viewers at home just got a long shot of the guitar player. No one translated the Russian slogan on their t-shirts either – it said "war sucks dick"!. Keen to get a bit of free PR, rival network ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live are promising no censorship when the duo perform on that show later this week.

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CHARLATANS IN THE STUDIO
Good news for Charlatans fans. Despite ongoing split rumours the Charlatans have confirmed they have put together four tracks for their next album.

Frontman Tim Burgess, who is also working on a solo album (hence the split rumours), wrote on the Charlatan's website that the band are in US working on the new album: "Mark [the band’s guitarist] just left here - we were working for the past 3 weeks... along with a bit of fun here and there. Got four tracks done, along with working on the others that the band laid down. They sound great – in fact got a call from [bassist] Mr. Blunt today saying he really likes them."

The less good news for Charlatans fans is any new material is unlikely to be released before 2004.

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MUSIC NET ENTERS DEAL WITH AOL
Legit music website MusicNet is hoping to extend its reach big time with a deal with AOL. Subscribers to the ISP will now be able to download 20 tracks per month for $3.95, with a large library of tracks available. The company, which is reported to have half a million subscribers, will hope the latest deal will open their service up to a much bigger market.

Talking about the deal MusicNet chief executive Alan McGlade told reporters: "The power of MusicNet on AOL is that consumers will be able to access their favourite music digitally in an environment that they both have loyalty to and are comfortable with.”

The deal between MusicNet and AOL has been a long time coming given that AOL Time Warner's music division has a share in the internet company (alongside BMG and EMI). The legit music websites are still battling with the illegal download services which some reckon have a global subscriber base in excess of 100 million.

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THE CURE SIGN TO ARTIST DIRECT
The Cure have signed a three album deal with Ross Robinson's ARTISTdirect Records imprint, I AM. The band will start work on the first of those three albums with Robinson in July.

Talking about the deal Robinson told reporters: "The Cure has been my favourite band for years and years. They were instrumental in my approach to production. It was the Cure that opened me up to a more sensitive, heartfelt type of music, and I've been extremely loyal to that feeling in every project I've done since then."

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MPS EXPRESS CONCERN AT FUTURE OF MUSIC ON RADIO
The music industry's campaign to put a commitment to music diversity into forthcoming radio legislation has won support in Parliament where MPs have expressed concern that developments in the broadcasting industry might stifle new music – some have suggested stations should have to commit to play a certain amount of music from local new bands. The MP's concern follows the Londumb campaign against the cancellation of key specialist shows on BBC London, and a cross music industry campaign that followed the release of the communications bill last year.

Labour backbencher John Robertson, MP for Glasgow Anniesland, led the call for music content to be regulated by the new communication bill, after being lobbied by former Spandau Ballet frontman Tony Hadley who is leading a group of musicians worried that increasingly centralised radio stations will reduce the diversity of music played.

Robertson said local stations were "a crucial route to national exposure" for many artists, and surveys showed radio listeners all wanted to hear more local music. With that in mind he said he was looking for changes to the communication bill that "counteracted the potential of consolidation in the local radio market to undermine musical diversity and local character."

He was supported by Tory spokesman John Greenway who said: "Local bands feature prominently on local radio now. It seems to us unthinkable that 'local material' might be interpreted so as to exclude local music. Music is the mainstay of much radio content. It contributes greatly to the local content.”

Of course some would argue that such concern is ten years too late – while upcoming legislation will allow local radio stations to become more centralised, in reality most of the main radio groups' music policies have been run from a central national office for years.

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REVIEW: Suburban Knight - My Sol Dark Direction (Peacefrog)
Underground Resistance affiliate James Pennington is the Suburban Knight. One of the Detroit legends, the young Knight met Juan Atkins in 1979 and is probably best known for 'Big Fun' and 'Good Life' working as Inner City with Kevin Saunderson. His first artist album contains three released tracks and five other techno nuggets – and it's no filler all killer ranging from the 1994 melodic 'Midnight Sunshine' to the 1987 Transmat released 'Art of Stalking' is minimalism which withstands the grains of time. The infectious hook of 'True to the Game' is a thumping treat, 'Nocturbulus Behaviour' is powerful techno, but it's all topped by 'Niagara Falls' - a ride into tech funk with some infectiously catchy keys. Only 'Roundtable Chronicles' is a little disappointing, lacking a bit in presence, but even so, the album as a whole is definitely a dancefloor winner. This is a benchmark album, a lesson from Detroit past to present, and encaptures the striking dark sun of Pennington's formulaic techno soul. Class. PV
Release date: 28 Apr
Press contact: EPM

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WARWICK ON THOSE DRUGS CHARGES
Dionne Warwick, arrested at an airport last year after authorities found marijuana in her bag, has claimed the drugs were planted on her in a new interview.

Talking to Associated Press she said: "Apparently, somebody that didn't want to get caught thought it would be better off in somebody else's bag." She continued: "Drugs of every sort, including aspirin, are not anything I even think about." Of the experience she said: "It taught me not to travel with an open bag. You never know what's going to end up in it."

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MICHAEL SAYS "NO POPSTAR ANTI-WAR RECORD, PLEASE"
George Michael has told the BBC he is urging popstars not to join together for a Band Aid style anti-war record. Rumour has it Blue star Lee Ryan has been talking to the likes of Kylie Minogue, Justin Timberlake and Pink about recording an anti-war tune. But Michael reckons a track recorded by teen pop acts won't be credible enough to communicate such a political message.

"I'm begging, I'm hoping that there will not be a Band Aid 2," he said, "because the reality is that very, very few people in the industry now, that you're hearing on the radio, make their money from their own hearts and minds. They make their money from singing the words of others, and so therefore the weight of something called Band Aid 2 would be incredibly slight. It's not the same as making a record to send money to Ethiopia. This is different and I really hope the current pop music industry, the current generation, stays away from it because I really don't think it would be a very genuine move."

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PARTY BAN FOR GIRLS ALOUD
According to the Evening Standard Polydor has banned Girls Aloud from attending showbiz parties because they are worried high levels of media coverage for the popstars group will start a premature backlash before they've released a second single. The decision was made mid-last week, meaning the Girls were banned from attending the Brits at the last minute. Manager Louis Walsh told the paper: "I was called by two managing directors at Polydor, Colin Barlow and David Joseph, who said they don't want the girls turning up to the opening of an envelope. They are not to go out to parties where they will be photographed. Polydor don't want to ruin things with too much publicity. They don't want Girls Aloud turning up to anything like Atomic Kitten. I had to ring the girls up on the afternoon of the Brits and tell them to stay away. It's a shame because they would have looked great at the Brits and they were really looking forward to it."

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GUS GUS SUPPORT MOLOKO
Gus Gus have announced they will be supporting Moloko on their forthcoming five date UK tour. It should make for a good gig, so get blagging those tickets:

9 May: Manchester Academy
10 May, Sheffield Octagon
11 May: Glasgow Academy
13/14 May: Shepherds Bush Empire, London

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GOSSIP TIME
From the file marked pop gossip - Kelly Osbourne apparently had a run in with Pink after the Grammys last weekend. Word is Kelly asked Pink to pose for a photo, but Pink just started shouting about how Ms Osbourne had bitched about her in interviews. The argument apparently left Ozzy's daughter in tears.

Meanwhile on a celeb note, rumour has it EMI are about to sign the former Mrs Les Dennis, Amanda Holden. "Amanda has a brilliant voice," a friend of the actress told the papers. "She is not planning to be the next Britney Spears or Kylie, she wants to do more grown-up pop." Perhaps a pop track with remixes by MCs Goldie and Dennis?

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