CMU Daily - on the inside 22 May 2003
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In today's CMU Daily:
• GWR sell off Vibe share
• BMG checking out regulatorary situation for merger
• Costello supports singers' rights to speak out
• Review: Tahiti 80 - Wallpaper For The Soul
• Freeview add games channel
• James Brown gets pardon
• Studdard wins American Idol 2
• Audio Bullys join Lovebox line up
• MTV to screen Homelands
• Sterophonics plan in-stores on album launch day
• Pearl Jam part with Epic
• Charlatans man plans solo set
• Review: System 7 - Reissues
• Radiohead preview another track at Edinburgh show
• Metallica play backs
• Eminem legal wranglings update

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GWR SELL OFF VIBE SHARE
And we were hoping for a fight! Following a decision by the competition authorities that said GWR couldn't own more than 25% in the Bristol branch of the dance music station Vibe Radio the radio group have sold their share in the company off to their business partners Scottish Radio Holdings.

As previously reported GWR set up Vibe with SRH to run a dance station in East England. In a deal late last year GWR acquired the Bristol dance station Galaxy off Chrysalis. They transferred it to the joint company and rebranded it with the Vibe name.

GWR already dominate the commercial radio sector in Bristol but bosses hoped by transferring the station to the jointly owned company, and given up coming media legislation which will reduce radio ownership restrictions, that the deal would get the OK from the radio regulator. But the regulator passed the deal onto the competitions authority who decided GWR would become too dominant in the Bristol radio market if they owned anything more than 25% of the new company. Not interested in a minority stake GWR have decided to call the project off.

The group's chairman Ralph Bernard yesterday told reporters: "Following the Competition Minister's statement last week, we have reviewed the proposed remedies and concluded that they were commercially unworkable and we were not prepared to implement them. We believe that a swift disposal of our investment is in the best interests of GWR."

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BMG CHECKING OUT REGULATORARY SITUATION FOR MERGER
Word is that chiefs at BMG are sounding out the opinions of key members of the European Commission with regards a merger between the German based major and Warner Music. Warners want reassurance the deal won't hit on regulatory problems before pursuing talks any further. When their attempted merger with EMI got blocked by the EU a few years back Warners were left with an expensive bill to foot for all the pre-merger legal and accounting work that already been done.

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COSTELLO SUPPORTS SINGERS' RIGHTS TO SPEAK OUT
Hopefully safe in the knowledge that he doesn't share a fan based with the Dixie Chicks, Elvis Costello yesterday told an audience in America that a musician's right to speak their minds is ever important in these "fairly dangerous times" and added that Americans should guard against "any attempts by people who swindle their way into office." He was speaking at an event in Beverley Hills where he was being honoured by songwriters society ASCAP. But he handed out a harsh critique to the UK political system too - saying there was too many cases of "privileged people handing wigs to one another making the laws of the land."

"We all live in fairly dangerous times in terms of freedom of speech and freedom of expression," he said. "A lot of the songwriters that I've admired and learned from ... are people who spoke in matters of conscience as well as matters of the heart. I think that it's essential that we defend that right."

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REVIEW: Tahiti 80 - Wallpaper for the Soul (Atmospheriques)
Here's one we thought we'd *never* see. Despite huge success in just about every country where people have ears, Tahiti 80 never quite got the attention they deserved in Blighty. So although I got this album on Japanese import some months ago, it's only just finding light of day here. And praise be: 'Wallpaper for the Soul' is a magnificent record. The band's trademark summer harmonies (it's pissing down as we write this, you know) and melancholic melodies lie upon ever more grandiose musical tapestries, somewhere between loungecore and laid-back disco and filled with carefully orchestrated loveliness. It's a sound that only our continental cousins could muster, their lives unhampered by storm clouds and congestion charges, and is, as such, a darn sight better than UK counterpart Simian's last effort. The UK release has one less track than our import - damn those Japanese and their poncey bonus tracks - but itís still an essential release. At long last. DR
Release date: 30 Jun
Press contact: Ian Cheek [CP, RP, NP] Atmospheriques [CR, RR, NR]

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FREEVIEW ADD GAMES CHANNEL
A new games channel will launch on Freeview called Free2Play. A space for the channel has already appeared on the terrestrial digital network. A posting from set-top-box manufacturer Goodmans on TV industry website Digital Spy says the new games channel will launch "shortly", adding that they have fixed a bug in some upcoming software for its GDB2 STB in order for the channel to work correctly.

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JAMES BROWN GETS PARDON
The state of South Carolina officially pardoned James Brown for his former crimes yesterday. Brown served a two-and-a-half-year prison term there after a 1988 arrest on drug and assault charges, and was convicted of another drug-related offence in 1998. But after appearing before the board of the state's Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services yesterday the singer's record was wiped clean.

In a statement Brown responded: "God bless America on this beautiful day. I hope my pardon shows the youth that America is a beautiful country. I feel good!" One report said he started singing 'God Bless America' on hearing the decision.

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STUDDARD WINS AMERICAN IDOL 2
The second series of American Idol came to close yesterday with Ruben Studdard beating fellow finalist Clay Aiken. It was close - 24 million people voted and Ruben took 50.28% of the vote.

Following his victory Ruben told viewers: "I feel great, man! Thank y'all!"

Aiken, for his part, was disappointingly gracious in defeat saying: "Ruben is one of the most talented people I know, one of the best friends I have. I'm so proud of him!".

We're awaiting confirmation on a third year of America Idol, though a kids version of the show is scheduled for the Autumn.

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AUDIO BULLYS JOIN LOVEBOX LINE UP
Audio Bullys have been added to the line up of the Groove Armada organised mini-festival Lovebox on a Summer's Day, which takes place on Clapham Common on 28 Jun. The festival celebrates the first anniversary of Groove Armada's 93 Feet East club night. It pretty much sold out as soon as tickets went on sale, though 800 tickets have been held back and they will go on sale on 6 Jun.

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MTV TO SCREEN HOMELANDS
The festival season gets properly under way this weekend with 'We Love... Homelands' - our man will be there and look out for his review next week. Meantime those who can't make it can watch the highlights on MTV Dance - though you'll have to wait until 1 Jun. MTV's coverage will be fronted by The Cuban Brothers which should be worth watching in itself.

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STEROPHONICS PLAN IN-STORES ON ALBUM LAUNCH DAY
Stereophonics will be staging too in-stores on the 2 Jun, the day new album 'You Gotta Go There To Come Back' comes out. The first will take place at midnight at the Virgin Megastore in Cardiff. The second will take place at a more reasonable hour at the main Virgin Megastore on Oxford Street in London. Tickets will be given away to both events - where the band will perform an acoustic set and sign copies of the album - via local radio competitions.

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PEARL JAM PART WITH EPIC
Just a couple of weeks after Ozzy Osbourne negotiated his way out of his deal with Sony label Epic, Pearl Jam have announced they will split from the major - though they were at the end of their contract anyway. After the news broke a spokesman for the band told Billboard that they plan to weigh up all of their options and then look for a new label deal after their current tour ends in July.

The news follows an recent interview on launch.com with Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament who said: "Our record company's in shambles right now, so we're gonna wait for the label to get their shit together before we put anything else out. It might be the sort of thing where, 10 years or 12 years, it's kind of run its course a little bit. We want to be somewhere where people are really excited about us being at their label, and we have tons of ideas about how we want to do things, but we also want to hear somebody who has equally as many ideas
about how we can do things."

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CHARLATANS MAN PLANS SOLO SET
The Charlatans' Tim Burgess has confirmed he will play a solo set at this year's V Festival. It will be first time he has showcased his solo material. He will appear alongside Kosheen and Killing Joke on the second stage. More info at http://www.vfestival.com.

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REVIEW: System 7 - Reissues (A-Wave Records)
System 7 are Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy and label themselves as 'producers of dance-based rhythms and psychedelic ambience'. They have been making up front techno/trance since 1990 and have decided to re-release four albums (originally released between 93 and 97) on their newly formed A-wave label - but do they stand the test of time? As for 1993's '777', well from the trancey '7:7 Expansion' to the groping 'Cool Dry Place' through to the acid rock slanted 'Sinbad' it does all sound a bit dated. But onto album two, 'Fire', and we start visiting some classic tracks: 'Sirenes' is archetypal System 7, wailing strings and fast trancey beats - and they're followed up by the hippy texture laden 'Alphawave' and guitar laced 'Radiate'. On album three, 'Water', you'll find trippy dippy 'Batuka' and an ambient version of 'Sirenes'. And more good stuff on 1997's 'Golden Section' which gave us 'Rite of Spring' with acid tweaks good and proper, and 'Don Corleone', a breaks driven track with haunting trumpet (very off centre) while 'Y2K' has almost a 2step b-line to it, with low key synths. All in all this is probably more appealing to the older listener who will find themselves taken back to the days when real trance was played in fields for friends. PV
Release date: 26 May
Press contact: Phuture Trax [all]

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RADIOHEAD PREVIEW ANOTHER TRACK AT EDINBURGH SHOW
Radiohead played another new song from 'Hail To The Thief' at a show at Edinburgh's Corn Exchange last night. According to the NME there was a live version of 'A Wolf At The Door' from the new album among their 22 track set. Also new to the live show were 'My Iron Lung' from 'The Bends' and 'Like Spinning Plates' from 'Amnesiac'.

Elsewhere in Radiohead land, MTV have confirmed they will record the band's upcoming Shepherds Bush Empire gig and screen it on 8 Jun, the day before the new album hits record shops. The gig screening will be preceded by an interview with the band titled 'Behind-The-Scenes With Radiohead'.

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METALLICA PLAY BACKS
If you were tempted by our recent review of Metallica's upcoming new album 'St Anger' but are struggling to get a preview copy, that's cos there aren't any. Instead there are a number of pre-release play back nights being staged around the country. Upcoming play backs include:

9 Jun: Rock City - Nottingham
10 Jun: Glasgow Cathouse
11 Jun: Life Café - Manchester
12 Jun: Edwards Number 8 - Birmingham

More info from Kas Mercer at Mercenary PR on 020 8354 4111

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EMINEM LEGAL WRANGLINGS UPDATE
That former schoolmate of Eminem who is suing the rapper for $1 million after he labelled him an abusive bully on the track 'Brain Damage' has said he will continue with his case even though he has fallen out with his lawyer. Attorney John Chupa, who was representing DeAngelo Bailey, earlier this week asked to be removed from the case because of "a breakdown in communications with his client". But Bailey has said he will still attend the court hearing on 30 May to pursue his claim for compensation after his "reputation was ruined" by the song.

Elsewhere in Eminem world, Mariah Carey has described Eminem as "a little girl" for threatening to use her voice messages on a record. As previously reported Slim Shady is rumoured to be considering using slushy messages left on his machine by Mariah during their brief liaison last year on a new track. Speaking to The Sun Mariah said: "I don't think he should do that because it will get him in a bit of trouble with my lawyers. If he is thinking of using a voicemail I left a year ago it is crazy. It feels like he is engaging in a catfight with me. It's like dealing with a girlfriend in seventh grade. It's like fighting with a little girl. It's childish."

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