CMU Daily - on the inside 28 Mar 2003
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
• So Solid two still in jail
• Snoop Dog lawsuit over answer phone message
• Sony memo kicks off restructure
• Madonna hits out at pop machine
• Strokes back in studio
• Franti adds anti-war track to the pile
• Cash Junior supports Dixie Chicks stand
• Review: Queens Of The Stone Age - Go With The Flow
• Presley on the Jacko marriage
• Hucknall on his decision to go it alone
• Moloko add London date
• Gallagher turns on Coldplay
• V Fest Chelmsford camping tickets sell out
• Hardcastle back with best of
• Eve raves about Dre
• Massive Attack break Academy record on UK tour
• In Me on the download gig
• Review: The Kills - Fried My Little Brains
• Kids Pop Idol launches in US
• Backstreet album on hold
• Osbourne turns on MTV
• Timberlake Spears gossip

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CMU POP QUIZ
Win a free 12 month subscription to Xfm's new monthly music magazine X-Ray – Here's how – email the answers to this week's pop quiz questions (all on a cover versions theme) to cmupopquiz@unlimitedmedia.co.uk by Sunday at 5pm to go into the draw to win the subscription.

Q1: Which two Simon Cowell managed acts have covered 'Unchained Melody'’?

Q2: Which 'pop combo' - with a membership on par with the Polyphonic Spree - have covered Abba's 'Dancing Queen', Gina G's 'Oooh Ah A Little Bit' and, rather aptly, Madonna's 'True Blue'?

Q3: Which two artists had Top 40 hits with 'Could It Be Magic' before Take That?

Q4: Which country star said of which diva "it's her song now" after the latter topped the charts with a cover of a song penned by the former?

and today's question…

Q5: Which 'double act' took on Sonny's lines when Cher rerecorded 'I Got You Babe' in 1994?

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SO SOLID TWO STILL IN JAIL
So Solid Crew members Shane 'Kaish' Neil and Jason 'G Man' Phillips, still in custody after being arrested on fire arms charges last November, were back in court yesterday to have their bail applications reviewed. Neil pleaded not-guilty while Phillips declined to make a plea without "proper representation". Neither were granted bail so both will be inside until the trial date on 9 Jun.

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SNOOP DOG LAWSUIT OVER ANSWER PHONE MESSAGE
Favourite legal story of the week ... Snoop Dogg is being sued by a man who left a message on his answering machine bad-mouthing Death Row Records founder Suge Knight. Snoop used the message on an anti-Knight track without permission and now said caller says he is paranoid Knight, who has alleged links to LA gangs, will retaliate. The unnamed caller is suing for "common law appropriation of voice and intentional infliction of emotional distress". The lawsuit says: "The plaintiff now fears for his life. Mr Knight is a burly, convicted felon and is rumoured to be involved with gangs, to threaten, assault and hurt people."

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SONY MEMO KICKS OFF RESTRUCTURE
The much anticipated Sony restructure being masterminded by new boss Andrew Lack went began yesterday. In an internal memo Lack explained: "We are streamlining the management structure of the company both in the US and abroad, and we are taking measures to more closely coordinate our marketing efforts around the world. We are also combining some functions, most notably in sales and distribution, in order to minimize duplication of efforts and more efficiently service the needs of our artists, employees and customers."

The restructure will mean some integration of principal labels Columbia and Epic (including the creation in the US of a cross label R&B department), and the intergration of teams around the world, especially in distribution. It is also likely to mean a global workforce reduction of about 1000. Justifying the changes lack continued: "While these changes will result in the loss of some positions, we believe that they will also enable Sony Music Entertainment to effectively meet the challenges of a continually changing marketplace for music worldwide. Moving forward, we all have good reason to be optimistic. With a roster that includes some of the greatest artists in the world, a vast catalogue of influential recordings and access to the considerable resources of our parent company, we are perfectly positioned to continue as a leader in our business. Please know your efforts will be even more important as we continue to grow the company in the months and years ahead, and further solidify SME’s reputation as one of the most dynamic and successful organizations in the music industry."

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MADONNA HITS OUT AT POP MACHINE
Madonna is the latest artist to hit out at the way the music industry is being run. In an interview with Q she accuses record chiefs of working out how wannabes can be marketed rather than finding true talents, adding that she could not understand the direction the music world was taking. "I arrived at a different time - before the time of Svengalis holding talent searches; finding a girl that looks right and can carry a tune and then figuring a way to market her. I'm not saying those girls can't grow into something, but I really don't know where we're going with the world."

She also hit out at celebrity culture telling young musicians that they should crave acclaim for their musical abilities rather than celebrity status. "It's the allure of this beautiful life. Drive this car, you're gonna be popular. It's a very powerful illusion and people are caught up in it, including myself - or I was."

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STROKES BACK IN STUDIO
According to the NME the Strokes are currently in New York recording two new tracks with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich. The band's management have told the paper that they may continue to work with Godrich on other songs for the forthcoming new album, which is set for a later summer release. The Strokes performed some new tracks at last year's Reading and Leeds festivals – including 'You Talk Way Too Much' , 'The Way It Is', 'I Can't Win' and 'Meet Me In The Bathroom' – all of which are expected to appear on the new album, along with some new stuff. With a heavy schedule of studio commitments the band's management have said there will be no live shows in the next few months: "I can confirm that there will not be any touring until this album is completed - the band needs to have 100% focus in the recording studio."

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FRANTI ADDS ANTI-WAR TRACK TO THE PILE
Another anti-war track – this time from Spearhead's Michael Franti. You can download 'Bomb The World' at http://www.stayhuman.org. Writing on the site he says "all bombing is terrorism, no matter who is doing it", adding that he regards the bombing of Baghdad as an equally offensive attack to those of September 11. "I remember the pain in the hearts of us all following the attacks on September 11th, and cannot imagine the pain in the hearts of those in Baghdad who, in the name of oil, have been ravaged by violence thousands of times greater than that which occurred in New York, Pennsylvania, and in Washington DC. I grieve with all who have endured loss".

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CASH JUNIOR SUPPORTS DIXIE CHICKS STAND
Rosanne Cash, daughter of Johnny and an acclaimed singer songwriter in her own right, has said she has been "astonished and appalled" at the way the American press and country music scene responded to anti-Bush comments made by Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines. She told reporters: "It is the people who scream loudest about America and freedom who seem to be the most intolerant for people with a differing point of view. She was just expressing a feeling and an opinion, you know. She wasn't trying to insight a riot. I really cannot believe the backlash. It is as if we have not learnt anything from history. It is like McCarthyism all over again".

Natalie's comments were made at a London gig, of course. She told the audience: "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from [Dixie Chicks' home state] Texas". The comments started a huge backlash on country radio stations in the US causing Maines to backtrack.

Cash is equally offended by the war itself. "I am totally opposed to it. I have been so since day one. I am sick about the whole thing. I think it is wrong, I think it is wrong that we have gone against the UN, that we have alienated our allies, that we have invaded a country that hasn't threatened us. It is a pre-emptive strike. It is wrong on so many levels. That doesn't mean I don't support the troops. My heart breaks every time I watch the TV and I see these poor kids out there but I do not support the war. I support the troops but I do not support the war".

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REVIEW: Queens of the Stone Age - Go With The Flow (Universal/Interscope)
An anthemic stomper of a tune, sounding fantastic on first listen and even better each time you hear it, you can just imagine chilling out on the grass at a summer festival to this one. It has somewhat of a stoner rock Kyuss type feel to it and exudes a sense of competence. Energetic without sounding like a hyperactive 10 year old, this second single taken from the massive selling album 'Songs For The Deaf', will appeal to a wide listenership. Yet again, Queens of the Stone Age fail to disappoint. MY
Release date: 7 Apr
Press contact: Polydor IH [CP, CR, RR, NR, NP ] APB [RP]

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PRESLEY ON THE JACKO MARRIAGE
Lisa Marie Presley has been talking to Rolling Stone about her short lived marriage to Michael Jackson, explaining why she married Jacko in the first place and describing the breakdown of their 19 month long marriage. On the motivation to marry: "I can't say what his intentions were, but I can tell you mine was that I absolutely fell in love with him and fell into this whole thing which I'm not proud of now."

As you'll recall the high profile relationship started well -- the couple kissed on stage at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards and the following year they were interviewed together by US TV journalist Diane Sawyer. But by the 1995 MTV Awards, where Jacko performed, it was clear the marriage was becoming strained. She says Jacko would disappear for weeks on end, and then he upset her by claiming in an interview that her father had cosmetic surgery on his nose. "It just got really ugly at the end. I wanted a divorce, but Michael wouldn't talk to me”. Presley, who is promoting a new solo album, concluded: "I'm not into Michael-bashing at all. I know people want to know what that was about, and I'm trying to say it without making him a bad guy. It's hard to do, because it was such a bad situation."

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HUCKNALL ON HIS DECISION TO GO IT ALONE
More major label bashing, this time from Mick Hucknall who, while promoting his new album, has described his former record contract with Warners label East West as "immoral". He says its wrong that, while he covered the costs of recording and marketing of his albums, the label owns the master tapes. Speaking to the Financial Times he said: "The contract was basically immoral. Like many artists, my deal meant I paid for the cost of recording the music. I paid for the marketing. And I didn't get any royalties until those costs had been incurred. But despite this the contract stated that the master recordings still belonged to the record company. I don't know any other business where you pay for something and then someone else owns it."

Hucknall’s latest album is self-released by his new label simplyred.com – which has been set up by Hucknall and his management. The experiment, said to be costing £3 million, will be of great interest to other management companies considering side-stepping record labels and releasing music, especially from major artists, themselves. There were rumours Robbie Williams' management were considering this route while renegotiating their deal with EMI, and some other major artists, fed up with their major record labels, have considered going this route.

Of course record labels would argue that while an artist's record sales income does pay for recording and marketing costs in the long term they take the financial risk, and like any investors need to take equity to cover that risk – ie the master recordings and a cut of all future sales and uses of those recordings. And while that risk is greatly reduced when it comes to bigger artists that income is needed to bankroll investment in newer acts – plus sometimes big artists have flop albums. But when bankable artists like Hucknall see their record labels making £192million profit on records that bring in about £20m in royalties for the artist and their management (as Hucknall claims was the case when he was signed to Warners) more big names may choose to go it alone – especially if internet sales (mail order and download) start to compete with retail sales and the dependency on major music retailers slides.

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MOLOKO ADD LONDON DATE
Moloko, whose second single release from new album 'Statues' is out next month, have added an extra London date to their up coming tour after the Shepherds Bush Empire gig sold out. So, those dates in full now look like this:
9 May: Manchester Academy
10 May: Sheffield Octagon
11 May: Glasgow Academy
13 May: London Shepherd’s Bush Empire SOLD OUT
14 May: London Shepherd’s Bush Empire

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GALLAGHER TURNS ON COLDPLAY
Liam Gallagher has but the boot into Coldplay – one of the few current rock bands who seemed to be on good terms with Oasis! Speaking back stage at the Teenage Cancer Trust gig he played at Gallagher told the Sun: "When Coldplay did this gig they banged on about the war, that's wrong. Chris Martin shouldn't be using this cause to bang on about his own views on the war. If him and his gawky bird want to go banging on about the war they can do it at their own gigs. That lot are just a bunch of knobhead students - Chris Martin looks like a geography teacher. What's all that with writing messages about Free Trade on his hand when he's playing. If he wants to write things down I'll give him a pen and a padof paper. Bunch of students. These gigs are about kids who have got cancer, they've got to fight a war every day oftheir lives. That's what we're all here doing this for."

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V FEST CHELMSFORD CAMPING TICKETS SELL OUT
Camping tickets for the Chelmsford branch of the V Festival have sold out. Non-camping tickets are still available – while camping passes can still be bought for the Weston Park site, though promoters reckon they'll sell out soon too. As previously reported Coldplay and Red Hot Chili Peppers will headline the festival, with other performances from Echo And The Bunnymen, Foo Fighters, Feeder, The Coral, David Gray, Ash, Underworld, Lemon Jelly, Morcheeba and The Roots.

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HARDCASTLE BACK WITH BEST OF
Paul Hardcastle (remember him?) will release a Greatest Hits compilation on 28 Apr – conveniently timed given his career was dominated by '19' - an electro commentary on another of America's military adventures. What will appear on the album other than '19' and the mid-eighties Top of the Pops theme ('The Wizard') we're not sure, though dance music website Burn It Blue has been assured by his people that: "Paul enjoyed a string of thirteen singles lasting a total of 67 weeks in the UK charts and is huge in America where he now makes “jazz/chill out” music and sells more records than Robbie Williams."

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EVE RAVES ABOUT DRE
Rapper come actress Eve has been raving about Dr Dre, who is booked to produce her next album. She told reporters: "You will see Dre all over the record, let's put it that way. It doesn't matter what type of material he'll bring - it's Dre, that's all I care about. He's creative, he's hardworking, and he has the energy. He believes in the project and that is what makes it all good." "He's been in the business for I don't know how many years," she continued. "He's like the Godfather. But he still has the same passion and the same hunger. I think that's what a lot of people who are coming up now forget about. They get comfortable and it's like, you can't get comfortable. You have to keep going. And [Dre] loves it, that's his life. And that's why he keeps winning."

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MASSIVE ATTACK BREAK ACADEMY RECORD ON UK TOUR
Massive Attack are back in the UK ready to embark on their UK tour which, we're told, will break something of a record by filling out the Brixton Academy on five consecutive nights. Those dates in full:
8 Apr: Glasgow Academy
9 Apr: Glasgow Academy
11 Apr: Manchester Apollo
12 Apr: Manchester Apollo
13 Apr: Manchester Apollo
16 Apr: Brixton Academy
17 Apr: Brixton Academy
18 Apr: Brixton Academy
19 Apr: Brixton Academy
20 Apr: Brixton Academy

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IN ME ON THE DOWNLOAD GIG
Essex based rockers InMe have been talking about their upcoming set at the Download Festival at Donington Park. They told Radio 1: "It's the first time we've played a festival really. Whether we'll play it any good or not is yet to be seen. We're playing with Iron Maiden, Limp Bizkit, all these huge bands have been whacked on the bill. So it kind of makes you feel good. We're really excited about it - especially as we get to play on the same day as Iron Maiden, which is always a good thing!" Meanwhile the trio are about to embark on a UK tour:

9 Apr - Glasgow QMU
10 Apr - Manchester Academy
12 Apr- London Astoria
13 Apr - Camber Sands Kerrang! Weekender
14 Apr - Northampton Roadmenders
16 Apr - Pontypridd Muni
17 Apr - Swansea Patti Pavillion
18 Apr - Bournemouth NIC
20 Apr - Whitehaven Civic Hall
21 Apr - Cleethorpes Wintergardens
22 Apr - Coventry Colosseum

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REVIEW: The Kills - Fried My Little Brains (Domino)
Quick history lesson. In the late '90s, The Kills' Hotel (aka Jamie) was in a fantastic, intelligent angular punk combo called Scarfo. Destined for moderate indie success, they kept on shooting themselves in the foot, firstly by continually crashing in their tour bus (true), and then by splitting up after releasing easily their best single. Anyway. The Kills are not as good as Scarfo, but have the requisite 'The' and 's' attached to their name and are thus (in no way a coincidence, of course) terribly hip. 'Fried My Little Brains', meanwhile, is as you'd expect - two minutes of lo-fi garage scuzz-punk blues, with plenty of attitude and intensity, but, thankfully, none of the inbred hicksville 'vibes' of the obviously comparable, yet infinitely inferior, White Stripes. MS
Release date: 14 Apr
Press contact: Ian Cheek [CP, RP] Sainted [NP] Rocket [CR, RR] Anglo [NR]

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KIDS POP IDOL LAUNCHES IN US
How awful does this sound. A kids version of American Pop Idol will air this summer. It will follow the format of the main show, though with different judges and presenter (now Cowell critiquing American kids – that would have been good TV). The show will compete with the Lance Bass fronted 'The Search for the Most Talented Kid in America', though the latter will be open to kids with a talent for singing, dancing or "exceptional and unusual acts”, whatever that means.

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BACKSTREET ALBUM ON HOLD
Good news, bad news? Make of this what you will. The Backstreet Boys, expected to be back in the studio this month, have said they have put on hold the recording of their next albums due to "solo commitments". Don't know what these are given Nick Carter has completed his solo tour and Kevin Richardson has just finished his run in the Broadway production of Chicago. But the band's management were adamant this wasn't a split. In a statement the band said: "As a group, we have decided not to record our next album at this time. We are not breaking up, but individually we are currently at different places in our lives, and our hearts and minds are focused in other areas. All of us are getting along great and are supporting each other in our individual endeavours. When the timing is right, we will record another Backstreet Boys album. We would like to thank our fans for their continued support and love throughout our career." No word on whether the ongoing dispute with record label Jive – who they accused of delaying the recording of this album to get out of a 'quick delivery of albums' bonus payment’ - had an influence on their decision.

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OSBOURNE TURNS ON MTV
Kelly Osbourne has attacked the network which turned her into a celeb rocker after reports they were refused to play the video for her new song 'Come Dig Me Out'. She has told music website Antimusic: "MTV makes me sick to my stomach, when you’re hot, you’re hot. When you’re not, you’re not. MTV only play 35 videos a week, they used to be all about breaking new artists. Now, if you're not in a rap group, if you're not talking about 'I fucked the cutest girl in school' or if you're not singing about skateboarding, you can't get played."

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TIMBERLAKE SPEARS GOSSIP
Pop gossip of the day – after their public spat through the media earlier in the year Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake have now been spotted spending an evening together in a Hollywood nightclub sparking rumours that they may be getting back together. According to The Sun an onlooker reported that "they left together and drove off in a car that was headed towards Britney's apartment". Of course we here at CMU Daily couldn't care less ... more Timberlake Spears news as it breaks.

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