CMU Daily - on the inside 13 Mar 2003
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
• Lords make another change to licensing legislation,
• Gallagher not impressed by anti-war ranting,
• Review: Caesars - Jerk It Out,
• SXSW underway,
• Dolly may be on Glastonbury bill,
• Massive Attack tour back on track,
• Live Review: Electrelane @ 93 Feet East,
• UK pop tracks go Stateside with Swedes,
• Groove Armada confirm single release,
• Buyers line up for Warners,
• Review: Voom: Voom – Baby 3,
• EA plan pop stars Sims game,
• Macca sticks to turned round credits,
• Boys and Girls could get shunted to Friday,
• Sky confirm music channel names,
• Interesting turns in Rhode Island legal trail,
• New night plans to be the most upfront,
• Adams repairs White Stripes relations

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LORDS MAKE ANOTHER CHANGE TO LICENSING LEGISLATION
The House of Lords have forced another change on the government's licensing legislation which will probably see venues with a capacity of 250 or less exempt from new rules governing live music. It will mean small venues will be able to stage live music without a specific licence providing the show is over by 11.30pm.

But, while government spokesman Lord McIntosh of Haringey agreed concessions would probably have to be made on the parts of the new act governing live music, he dismissed the Lord's amendments as being too general and wide ranging and said he expected the Commons to reject the changes.

What this means is the licensing legislation is likely to drag on even more – which is good if it rescues the pub live music circuit, but it delay those 24 hour pub licences even longer!

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GALLAGHER NOT IMPRESSED BY ANTI-WAR RANTING
Anti-war latest – or not. Noel Gallagher has said musicians mouthing of against the war is just a "bloody waste of time". He told a German newspaper that, while he may not agree with the war, the UK government is tied to the US and so protests are pointless. "Whenever there is a conservative, bible waving half-wit ruling in the White House - whether it's Bush, his father or Reagan - there is war."

He expressed some sympathy for Tony Blair: "Whoever is the British prime minister is tied to America. It's been that way since the Second World War, and even Tony Blair can't change that. Politics is like football for me. Labour is my team and even if you don't like a striker you don't give up supporting the whole team. Labour is the lesser of two evils. What else should we have? Anarchy? Someone has to be responsible. We are a nation of moaning sissies, regardless of who governs. The British get on my nerves. They moan about the weather, about the French, about the Germans. They moan about cricket, football - they should just keep their mouths shut."

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REVIEW: Caesars - Jerk It Out (Virgin)
It's distinctly possible that the phrase 'Madchester' means little to Sweden's Caesars, but 'Jerk It Out', with its blasts of Hammond organ, shuffly beat and '60s vox, bears more than a passing resemblance to both 'Weirdo'-era Charlatans and The Inspiral Carpets. If truth be told, Caesars also sound a bit like The Soundtrack Of Our Lives would if they had chart ambitions, which is no bad thing at all. Whilst hardly revolutionary, 'JIO' is nonetheless three minutes of near pop perfection, and with a knowing, classic pop = effortless chorus ("Cos it's easy/Once you know how it's done") to boot. MS
Release date: 17 Mar
Press contact: Virgin IH [all]

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SXSW UNDERWAY
The music bit of South by Southwest got underway yesterday and one of the themes that seems to be coming out of the proceedings so far is that while the major labels continue to struggle with the economic downturn and continuing fight against piracy, 2002/3 has been a good year for some of the independents. SXSW Creative Director Brent Grulke explains: "Probably because the majors are having such a tough time, the indies have been able to find niches. A lot of the indies represented here have had very good years."

That said, the conference's MD Roland Swensons reckons a bad year for the music industry at large can often benefit SXSW: "In a way, when times are tough, I think we become more attractive as a cost-effective way to promote artists. I also think when business is bad, people want to get together and talk, share new ideas and commiserate - and look for new acts." The gigs and debates will continue until the weekend – we'll pick out the highlights in a report on Monday.

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DOLLY MAYBE ON GLASTONBURY BILL
Interesting stuff in the festival line up department - Dolly Parton is rumoured to be a surprise addition to the Glastonbury line up. Word is she will play on the Sunday afternoon.

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MASSIVE ATTACK TOUR BACK ON TRACK
Massive Attack's tour finally got underway in Melbourne yesterday – the New Zealand leg of the tour postponed while 3D continued to battle with those child porn allegations.

According to Aussie music website Undercover New Zealand's loss was Melbourne’s gain – their reviewer says: "With a spectacular backdrop, incredible light show and simply fantastic songs, the audience could not have asked for anything more". At one point 3D made comment on the "bullshit in the press" - the audience's applause indicating he had their support.

"Two encores closed the show," Undercover continue, "the first containing the closest sound Massive Attack ever achieved to "dance" with one of their earliest hits, 'Unfinished Symphony' while the second contained 'Group Four' from their Mezzanine album with chaotic visuals keeping time with the crescendo to the climax". Full review at www.undercover.com.au

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LIVE REVIEW: Electrelane @ 93 Feet East on 12 Mar
Man, this is tricky. CMU has been eyeing Brighton's premier lady combo for over two years, and make no bones about it; there are plenty of reasons to swoon over Electrelane. The shimmering incandescence of their lush instrumentation fills the imagination with filmic grandeur, droning wit drunken seaside Wurlitzer giddiness through looooong passages of subtle guitar droplets, and then into big, fuzzy noisiness. But... Well, something’s missing. See, aside from the addition of vocals and some extra darkness to much of their new material, the last couple of years hasn’t really seen any change in the mood of Electrelane’s songs, and the band *still* look nervous up on that stage. The result is a pervading feeling of staleness, of lifelessness, of lack of passion. So even when Mia’s guitars erupt into cotton balls made of barbed-wire, and as Verity unleashes her Amazonian falsetto, the band’s potential feels unmet. In the light of their recent Too Pure signing and with an upcoming session with Steve Albini, CMU hopes to see the band continuing to diversify as they seemed to be doing with last year's 'I Want to be the President' EP. And if they don’t? Very, very tricky. DR

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UK POP TRACKS GO STATESIDE WITH SWEDES
British songwriters might be getting some chart success in the US – but not via British bands. Swedish girl group Play are targeting the US market with a cover version of Atomic Kitten's 'Whole Again', having already recorded versions of Liberty X's 'Just A Little' and Billie Piper's 1999 hit 'Honey To The Bee'.

Play are a global priority for Sony just now meaning the British penned songs could enjoy real success over there – even if the UK artists who originally sang them struggle to get a US following.

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GROOVE ARMADA CONFIRM SINGLE RELEASE
Groove Armada will release single 'Easy' on 28 Apr – featuring the vocals of Sunshine Anderson the single will be available on 12", CD and DVD, which will also include 20 minutes of live footage from last year's UK tour. Groove Armada have also been confirmed as headline for the Homelands Festival on 24 May.

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BUYERS LINE UP FOR WARNERS
With Warners reportedly keen to flog off their music operations other buyers are appearing on the wings – other than EMI, who are rumoured to be interested. Latest individuals said to be considering buying the label are former EMI boss Charles Koppelman, billionaire investor Haim Saban and talent agent supremo Jeff Kwatinetz. All three will require the backing of serious investors, so it may be some time before definite offers are on the table.

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REVIEW: Voom: Voom – Baby 3 (Compost)
Voom: Voom are Christian Prommer and Roland Appel of Fauna Flash and Truby Trio, and Peter Kruder, of the highly acclaimed Kruder and Dorfmeister duo, and currently Peace Orchestra. With all these heads on board you’d be right to foresee this a being a dense and rich blend of Detroit tinged 4/4 beats, and layers and layers of 303, synths and strings. The track opens in true progressive style, slow and gradual. Just when you’re about to say OSandS’ a piece of vocodered vocal cuts in good enough to give Daft Punk’s OHarder Faster’ a run for its vocal manipulation. The 12” has two versions, O1’ and O2’ – essentially re-edits. A great electro/Detroit/tech/deep house inspired track as only Compost can make. JG
Release date: 7 Apr
Press contact: Zzonked

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EA PLAN POP STARS SIMS GAME
Games maker Electronic Arts are planning a celebrity version of their SIMS game - with Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake and Avril Lavigne all rumoured to be on the list of artists being considered for the game. The original SIMS game has sold 22 million units in a little over two years to date, and insiders say there will be a number of 'superstar' editions of the game, including one featuring real life rock stars.

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MACCA STICKS TO TURNED ROUND CREDITS
Paul McCartney is tempting the wrath of Yoko Ono again with the UK release of his live album – once again he credits the Beatles tracks included to 'Paul McCartney and John Lennon' rather than the traditional 'Lennon/McCartney'.

As you’ll remember, when the US live album was released last year Yoko took offence at the credits change, but Macca claimed that he and Lennon had agreed that the 'Lennon/McCartney' listing would only be required on Apple Records released Beatles albums – on solo albums any combination of credits could be used.

At the time he said: "I think it is fair and accurate for the songs that John declared were mine to carry my name first. This isn't anything I'm going to lose any sleep over, nor is it anything that will cause litigation. It remains to be seen if Yoko kicks up another fuss this time round.

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BOYS AND GIRLS COULD GET SHUNTED TO FRIDAY
If you've read a good review of the Chris Evans producer Vernon Kay fronted Channel 4 show 'Boys and Girls' let us know – we've only seen complete slatings. Critical panning and poor ratings mean that Channel 4 are
onsidering shifting the show out of its Saturday night slot – probably scheduling it into late night Fridays. The show, which has a half a million budget per edition, might just work better in the 'viewers too drunk to care' slot, but insiders reckon the move would be a blow to Evan's production company – especially following the average ratings achieved by his 'Live with Chris Moyles / Christian O’Connell' show on Channel 5.

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SKY CONFIRM MUSIC CHANNEL NAMES
Sky have officially confirmed the names and remits of its three new music channels, due to launch next month. There will be Flaunt - a mix of chart music, fashion, celebrities and gossip aimed primarily at 13-16 girls. They'll be the charmingly titled Scuzz, the rock and nu-metal station targeted at 15-19 year old boys. And Amp – the station for Q Readers (and you though that was QTV!).

Announcing the new channels Sky's head of music Lester Mordue told reporters: "Sky is entering the music category with the same passion it has for sport and other entertainment. Our channels will be highly interactive with a unique mix of music, lifestyle and entertainment that reflects their audience."

Meanwhile Sky has responded to the BBC's decision to not renew its scrambling deal. Until now the BBC's channels broadcast via the Astra satellite have been scrambled – Sky administer a key system by which viewers in the UK can 'unscramble' the service.

All Sky customers get access automatically, but given BBC services are free anyone with a satellite dish can request a key. The Corporation have paid Sky £17 million a year to administer the service. But now the Beeb have decided to broadcast their signals unscrambled, meaning no keys and therefore no income for Sky. However BBC bosses pledged to spend some of the saving on utilising extra services Sky's electronic programme guide offers, meaning viewers will be able to access all regional programming via their Sky box (at the moment only certain regional programmes can be accessed).

A spokesman for Sky yesterday told reporters: "Digital satellite is an open platform so channels can choose whether to broadcast unencrypted or take up Sky's offer of conditional access services on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. The BBC's proposals mean that all digital satellite viewers would continue to receive its channels and Sky looks forward to negotiating charges with the BBC for the technical services it is requesting."

Despite its upbeat response insiders reckon Sky are annoyed about the loss of income, especially as other terrestrial channels who currently pay Sky to administer their scrambled satellite broadcasts, in particular ITV, are likely to follow suit. This could be the start of a string of moves by TV companies who pay Sky to broadcast via their satellite network to cut the fees they pay as contracts come up for renewal.

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INTERESTING TURNS IN RHODE ISLAND LEGAL TRAIL
Only in America. A six year old girl who lost her mother in the Rhode Island club fire has filed a lawsuit against those involved in organising the gig. But as interesting as the age of the person taking the action is the fact the radio station and beer company who sponsored the gig are also named as defendants – that's the Clear Channel owned WHYT-FM and Budweiser. And lawyers behind a similar lawsuit against those involved in the ill-fated gig are now considering adding the sponsors too.

It will be an interesting case because if sponsors or media partners are found to be responsible for accidents at events it could have a serious effect on the future of music sponsorship. So, as the band's management and venue owners continue to argue over whether or not permission was given for the pyros that cause the blaze, an equally interesting legal debate will take place across town.

Of course, either way, neither case will bring back the 97 dead and we can't help thinking everyone involved would be better off putting in place regulations to stop a similar fire happening again. As we say, only in America.

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NEW NIGHT PLANS TO BE THE MOST UPFRONT
Now here's a great idea – a new club called CDR launches at the Bridge & Tunnel, in Shoreditch tonight – the concept is that artists and producers can showcase raw copies of new tracks on CDR before they even hit white label vinyl. The aim is to create an event which is completely upfront musically. Nwachuku (Tony Nwachuku of Nepa Recordings and Attica Blues Fame) and Uncle G (also Nepa Recordings) will both be Djing tonight – anyone is welcome to bring down CDRs – doors open at 9pm.

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ADAMS REPAIRS WHITE STRIPES RELATIONS
Firstly Jack White complained when Ryan Adams changed some of the lyrics when covering one of his songs. So Adams told the NME that Jack "little girl White" was "a fucking ponce". But in his latest interview with the paper Adams seems to have softened, calling the Stripes new album 'Elephant' "maybe the best rock 'n roll record ever made." Adams says: "The White Stripes record may be the best rock 'n' roll record ever made. No shit. I am so jealous of that guy. He is so tuned in, its just incredible his gift. Motherfucker knows rock 'n' roll like sugar knows ice-cream."

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