CMU Daily - on the inside 14 Mar 2003
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
• Spector's lawyer reaffirms innocent claim,
• Arab anti-war song gains popularity in Middle East,
• ITV buyers check the layout,
• Review: Mc Honky – I Am The Messiah,
• Reformed Doors face another drummer lawsuit,
• Girls Aloud girl denies assualt charges,
• Andrew WK blowing bones,
• Alien Ant Farm back in studio,
• Review: Mike Ladd – Wile Out Day/Jet Pack 7" ,
• Bez in BBC 6’s dream band,
• Madonna single for download,
• Dixie Chicks face country boycott,
• Blur booked for Roskilde,
• Warner split, Sony downsize,
• Beatboxers amass on London,
• AIDS benefit gig may be back on,
• Queen say no replacement for Freddie,
• Pop mogul fined in Carter case,
• Now Beckham designs some pants

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SPECTOR'S LAWYER REAFFIRMS INNOCENT CLAIM
Phil Spector's lawyer Robert Shapiro has told the Associated Press that police jumped the gun (so to speak) when they denied rumours that the actress Lana Clarkson may have died through 'accidental suicide', rumours which exonerated Spector of responsibility for her death. He told reporters yesterday: "I am convinced that the thorough and accurate investigation of the evidence by the Los Angeles sheriff's department, its criminalists and the county coroner will prove that Phil Spector is innocent of any crime."

LA police sheriff Frank Merriman earlier this week denied reports that their finding was likely to be 'accidental suicide' after emails circulating around friends of the producer, and apparently one from Spector himself, suggested such a conclusion was upcoming. He told reporters no one in his department had talked about suicide and that it was his opinion the e-mail was meant to plant seeds of doubt in potential jurors.

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ARAB ANTI-WAR SONG GAINS POPULARITY IN MIDDLE EAST
Anti-war update – and a folk song condemning the war on Iraq has become something of a hit in the Arab world, despite being shunned by much of the mainstream media out there. Shaaban Abdel Rahim's song 'Don't Hit Iraq' is being played on private TV and radio stations across the region, and bootleg copies of the CD are selling big time.

Among the lines in the song are: "Leave Iraq in peace, you inspected him; it has no arms of mass destruction but they are still bombing it, Go inspect Israel instead, there's a lot of arms of mass destruction there."

That said it's not particularly pro-Saddam either – the lyrics accusing Hussein of provoking the US in the first place with his invasion of Kuwait ten years ago: "Saddam, God forgives him, he's the one who brought them, we warned him, if only he would listen," the lyrics continue.

Abdel Rahim has become something of a folk hero for parts of the Arab population – first gaining profile two years ago with the track 'I Hate Israel And Love Amr Moussa'.

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ITV BUYERS CHECK THE LAYOUT
Rumours are rife that media moguls outside the UK are eyeing up ITV companies Carlton and Granada – excited by government moves that might allow a merged ITV, and foreign ownership of British broadcasters. But the consensus is current bosses – Charles Allen at Granada and Michael Green at Carlton – would have to go if a takeover occurs. Certainly some investors in this country, despite a slow recovery in ITV’s viewing figures, have lost patience with the two media chiefs and don't see them running a merged ITV once any merger is complete.

According to the Media Guardian some unnamed interested parties have been talking to current and former ITV bigwigs in a bid to research the potential of the merged network – with venture capital groups Texas Pacific and Apax and American media magnate Haim Saban all rumoured to be considering an acquisition attempt at some point in the next few years.

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REVIEW: MC Honky – I Am the Messiah (B Unique)
Ignore the propaganda. MC Honky is a fictitious character created by the Eels’ front man, E. This alter-ego (complete with fake past and signing-history) has created a psychedelic breakbeat album: romantic soundtracks set to positive-thinking self-help tapes, fast Northern Soul breaks carry funky guitars and horns, chunky hiphop loops, guitar riffs and Hammond samples. The album is reminiscent on the one hand of Ninja Tune heads like Kid Koala and DJ Food – humour, and Jack Knife Lee on the other – that funky big beat repetition. I’ll be interested to see how Eels fans take to this cut and paste extravaganza. Pre-empting summer evenings and outdoor dusk-parties this interesting upbeat breakbeat album should do well. JG
Release date: 10 Mar
Press contact: Wild [CP] Empress [RP, NP] B Unique IH [CR, RR, NR]

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REFORMED DOORS FACE ANOTHER DRUMMER LAWSUIT
Former Doors members Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger really should have bought a drum machine for their reunion tour – because those drummers just won't let it lie.

As previously reported original Doors drummer John Densmore sued the duo when he said neither he nor Jim Morrison's widow had given them permission to use the Doors name. Despite denying Densmore claims (they said they had asked Densmore to drum but he hadn't been fit enough), Manzarek and Krieger renamed their act The Doors 21st Century.

Now Densmore's replacement, former Police drummer Stewart Copeland, has filed $1 million lawsuit against the band after he fell out with the Doors duo after a few months touring and recording a new album. He claims he was unfairly dismissed from the band in February, and now wants the band to pay him the $1 million he reckons he is due after he was promised 20% of touring and record sales profits.

As far as we are aware Manzarek and Krieger are yet to comment – though presumably they've cleared a few weeks in their schedule for when both cases reach court.

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GIRLS ALOUD GIRL DENIES ASSUALT CHARGES
Elsewhere in the world of pop stars and the law, Girls Aloud girl Cheryl Tweedy was arrested yesterday in connection with an alleged attack on toilet attendant Sophie Amogbokpa, during that incident in a Guildford club back in January. She was charged with racially aggravated actual bodily harm and is now on bail and set to appear before South West Surrey Magistrates' Court on 25 Mar.

Tweedy has stressed her innocence of all charges, telling reporters: "I am totally devastated by the charge that has been brought against me. I have always maintained that I am entirely innocent of the accusations that have been made and I am determined to fight to prove my innocence."

Even if she is innocent it remains to be seen if news stories like this fit in with the band's management's desired image for a Popstars band – some recasting may be imminent.

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ANDREW WK BLOWING BONES
Andrew WK has been defending the title of his second album – 'Blow Your Bone' – claiming it contains no sexual innuendo or any other hidden meaning.

He has told Rolling Stone magazine: "We had some problems... It was supposed to be about taking a bone – like a chicken bone that a dog would want to chew on – and blowing it up with dynamite. People read into that in a weird way. Some stores said they wanted to carry the next record but didn't want that title, to the point where we were forced to change the name. It still might be called that... At the end of the day I'm going to do what I want to do and we'll deal with it when it comes."

The rocker caused a little controversy with his debut album too with that horrible poster that showed a rocker with blood pouring from his nose. The Advertising Standards Authority said it suggested the singer had been taking cocaine and it could frighten "children and vulnerable people".

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ALIEN ANT FARM BACK IN STUDIO
Alien Ant Farm are back in the studio for the first time since that tour bus crash that left singer Dryden Mitchell with a fractured vertebrae in his lower back. Talking to MTV they revealed they have chose Stone Temple Pilots' Dean and Robert Deleo for production duties – the first time the brothers have donned the producer cap.

"Them never having produced a record was appealing to us because we figured that a great engineer and them combined (would make an amazing team)," Mitchell explained. "It seemed a little bit more exciting not knowing what to expect. Also, anyone can record a record, and we thought they were more capable than some producers out there of getting some good songs out of us and being there for the project and not just overseeing all the work."

The band hope to have the album more or less complete by early Summer ready for an Autumn release: "We've already decided what songs are going to be used. We're just going to work out the kinks and work on the lyrics a little bit more and then just rehearse in the last week so that we can be a little quicker in the studio."

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REVIEW: Mike Ladd – Wile Out Day/Jet Pack 7” (!K7)
The man of a million guises from ghetto superstar to high-rise bling king to New York Boho poet, Mike Ladd is back having been away for about seven minutes. His Majesticons LP for Big Dada is barely out but already he has an album penned in for September. This 7" sees two different sides of Ladd’s multifaceted artistic personality: 'Wile Out Day' sounds like a do or die cover of the ‘Million Dollar Man’ theme – speeding rolling drums and gritty horns carry Ladds distorted stanzas of future punk slam. 'Jet Pack' is a laid back hiphop jam with G-funk synth and Ladd's quirky Atari production. He may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but who wants everyone else’s tea anyway? Ladd leads the way lyrically and stylistically – he is a rue visionary. JG
Release date: 3 Mar
Press contact: Shillands PR [CP, RP, NP] K7 IH [CR, RR, NP]

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BEZ IN BBC 6’S DREAM BAND
The BBC's eclectic music station 6 Music has marked its first birthday by asking listeners to vote for which musicians would make up their supergroup. The final line up features Bono on vocals, Jimi Hendrix on guitar, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers on bass, Chris Martin on keyboards, Keith Moon on drums and Bez from the Happy Mondays doing, well, whatever it is Bez did in the Happy Mondays. 21,000 listeners voted in the survey – though by picking two dead rockers as key members means their dream line up will have to remain just that.

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MADONNA SINGLE FOR DOWNLOAD
Madonna's new single 'American Life' will be available online as a digital single for $1.49 from various legit download sites and Madonna's official website weeks before it hits record shops. The download won't have any technical limitations – meaning fans can burn it to CD or transfer it to an MP3 player.

The single release – out in April – will feature remixes from Missy Elliott, Peter Rauhofer, Felix da Housecat and Paul Oakenfold.

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DIXIE CHICKS FACE COUNTRY BOYCOTT
Country hot shots (and Texas based) The Dixie Chicks are facing a boycott from country fans after singer Natalie Maines told an audience at a London show: "Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas."

Callers to Nashville radio station WKDF-FM were outraged at the comments and urged people to boycott the band.

The band have subsequently told reporters: "While we support our troops, there is nothing more frightening than the notion of going to war with Iraq and the prospect of all the innocent lives that will be lost."

While Maines herself has said: "I feel the President is ignoring the opinion of many in the US and alienating the rest of the world. My comments were made in frustration, and one of the privileges of being an American is you are free to voice your own point of view."

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BLUR BOOKED FOR ROSKILDE
Blur, performing at SXSW this week and with new album 'Think Tank' due out on 5 May, have been confirmed to play at this year’s Roskilde Festival in June. Other bands on the bill include Queens Of The Stone Age, The Polyphonic Spree and Coldplay.

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WARNER SPLIT, SONY DOWNSIZE
More on the much reported sale of Warner Music by struggling parent company AOL Time Warner. Reports in the New York Post yesterday suggested the media conglom might look to sell its publishing, DVD manufacture and recorded music businesses to different buyers – with each bit being bought up by a different major label. EU authorities, who have blocked past major label mergers, may be more open to takeovers if the three main divisions of the major were sold off separately, though which ever major got the record label bit would still become a dominant player. It is unclear whether the major would consider splitting its different record labels up for sale (in the UK this might mean East West and London being sold separately from the main Warner Music operations).

Elsewhere in major land, anxieties are growing over at Sony as new boss Andrew Lack prepares for his new financial year revamp. Rumour has it the words 'streamlining' and 'economies of scale' are being used with increasing frequency and some now reckon up to 10% of the worldwide workforce could be laid off. Any decisions from the top should be made soon.

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BEATBOXERS AMASS ON LONDON
Beatboxers from across the world will amass on Imperial College next month for the first ever Human Beatbox Convention. Beatboxing being, of course, "the art of producing rhythms and beats with the mouth".

Convention organisers explain: "By imitating percussion and other instruments a beatboxer can provide a backing beat for a singer or rapper. However over the years the art-form has developed into something evermore complex. It is constantly evolving, utilising one of the most complex things on earth: the human body."

The Convention will allow beatboxers to "meet, collaborate and learn from each other" offering a programme of talks, showcases and an open mic session where beatboxers can demonstrate their skills.

More info at www.humanbeatbox.com/convention – press info from Alex Tew - alex@humanbeatbox.com

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AIDS BENEFIT GIG MAY BE BACK ON
That Mandela Aids benefit concert which was cancelled at the start of the year might just happen after all – with a November date being muted. The original gig was due to take place last month at Robben Island (the prison where Mandela was held which is now a museum) and would have been beamed into a stadium in Cape Town. But the Mandela Foundation pulled the plug when it lost confidence in the promoters who were to stage the event.

The rescheduled event, plus a charity album to be launched at the same time, is being planned by Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor, and former Eurythmic Dave Stewart. Plans and line up are currently very vague, though Queen, Bono, Elton John and Coldplay were among the line up for the original date.

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QUEEN SAY NO REPLACEMENT FOR FREDDIE
Elsewhere in the world of Queen, Roger Taylor has denied those ongoing rumours that the band may reform with George Michael taking Freddie's vocalist role. Talking to Aussie website Undercover he said: "We keep hearing that rumour but it has literally been around for 10 years now. We did the show after Freddie died for AIDS Awareness. George did a particularly brilliant set with us and we had our charity record which was a big hit from that. I think it all derived from that. There has never been serious talk of George joining us although we are friends".

Brian May added: "We don't want to replace Freddie. We have looked at it all these years and we could have a number of people step in and do certain things but we don't want to put anybody in Freddie's shoes."

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POP MOGUL FINED IN CARTER CASE
Pop mogul Lou Pearlman and his company Transcontinental Records have been found in contempt of court in Florida after he ignored Judge William Leven's order to produce documents relating to royalty payments owing to Aaron Carter. The teen star's parents are suing Pearlman – the man behind the Backstreet Boys, *Nsync and Britney Spears – to gain full accounts of any profits he has made through their son's music. The judge fined Pearlman and the company $2,500 each.

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NOW BECKHAM DESIGNS SOME PANTS
Word is Victoria Beckham is about to sign a £1 million deal to design her own lingerie range for Marks and Spencer, where husband David Beckham's range of boy clothes have been a big success. Though, unlike Kylie, Victoria is unlikely to be found modelling her pants because apparently David doesn't want her to!

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