CMU Daily - on the inside 11 Jun 2003
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In today's CMU Daily:
• MGM bid for Vivendi channels alone
• Wichita third birthday CD
• Review: Dave Gahan - Paper Monsters (Mute)
• Bonnaroo NE cancelled
• Sinatra to perform again
• Turn on the dark
• 50 cent top of the pile
• 4 day radio show for charity
• Channel 4 cut their losses
• Dre puts himself about
• Majors back internet giants' iTunes clones
• Rod the Mod the musical
• Review: Superhero – Stars
• Depeche Mode singer demands songwriting role
• Spike Lee sues Viacom


According to the US press, movie giant MGM recently approached fellow media giant Viacom about a collaborative bid to buy Vivendi's US entertainment assets. But Viacom boss Mel Karmazin wasn't too keen.

As previously reported Vivendi are considering selling all of their Universal branded entertainment assets as their Paris based parent company still struggles to overcome last year's financial crisis.

But Viacom told MGM they are only really interested in Vivendi's TV networks (the USA Network and the Sci-Fi Channel) so they didn't want to join a more wide ranging bid that might take in Universal's film studios and record labels.

Word is MGM are now looking for private investors to back their bid.


Independent label Wichita are to release early recordings by the Yeah Yeah Yeah's, Bright Eyes and Mt Mnorning Jacket on a compilation album due on 21 Jul. To celebrate the labels third birthday 'Gone Fishin', with its enhanced video section, will retail at only £2.99 and feature material from every act signed to the label. The release is to be accompanied by three UK launch parties. A selection of Wichita DJ's will host alongside Brave Captain laptop and other special guests. Dates:

22 Jul: Nice & Sleazy's, Glasgow - Stuart Braithwaite (Mogwai) and David Jack
23 Jul: Big Hands, Manchester - Andy Votel
24 Jul: Moloko, Cardiff - Super Furry Animals

The tracklisting is:
Bright Eyes - Bowl Of Oranges
The Pattern - She's A Libra
Brave Captain - Dive
Wauvenfold - Stab
Ruby - Grace
Northern State - Dying In Stereo
Penfold Plum - Junkie Tubby
HSH - Ringing In My Ears
My Morning Jacket - Heartbreakin Man
Desaparecidos - Happiest Place On Earth
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mystery Girl
Canyon - Magnetic Moon
Bury And Disinter - untitled (video)


REVIEW: Dave Gahan - Paper Monsters (Mute)
In two decades Depeche Mode have transformed from cute, fluffy electro-popsters to stadium rockers, and Dave Gahan has become frontman extraordinaire. Along the way the singer 'died' for six minutes when his heart stopped following a drugs overdose. He's cleaned up his act now but the songs on this first solo album are about the drug addiction years. Having sung band mate Martin Gore's lyrics for such a long time, it seems Gahan wasn't confident enough to record his own songs until now. Written with Knox Chandler (Psychedelic Furs multi-instrumentalist), it certainly is a self-assured debut. Solo albums are meant to be self-indulgent, but this isn't. It's less experimental than Gore's solo endeavour released earlier this year. 'Dirty Sticky Floors' wouldn't be far out of place on a Depeche Mode album, a rockin' electronic number with an underlying hint of menace and lyrics about "…praying over the porcelain throne". Gahan's rich and powerful voice impresses as always and it's appropriately sweet and tender on the ballads - of which there are several. The most outstanding track is the beautiful 'Bitter Apple' which justifies the record on its own. Apart from anything else this album demonstrates that the next Depeche Mode release should be very interesting indeed. JW
Release date: 2 Jun
Press contact: Pomona [CP, RP] Mute IH [NP] Out Promotions [CR, RR, NR]


Following the licensing problems experienced by the organisers of New York's Field Day Festival (who had to shift everything to Giants Stadium at the last minute when local authorities refused permission to use the Enterprise Park), the promoters of the Bonnaroo NE Festival, also hoping to use Enterprise Park, have decided to pull the plug fearing they would go through similar costly licensing issues.

Bonnaroo's website states: "Planning for an event of such magnitude as Bonnaroo NE requires the highest level of cooperation and commitment from everyone involved in order to achieve success. We have investigated and analysed the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of Field Day, as well as the atmosphere which the cancellation has created. After careful consideration, we are disappointed to announce that it is impossible for us to proceed and we must cancel Bonnaroo NE. We have determined that it would be irresponsible to the artists, to the festival goers, to citizens in the community, and to ourselves to move ahead with our plans given the circumstances that now exist."

The Bonnaroo NE festival that would have witnessed The Dead, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan at between 8 and 10 Aug.

The organisers stress that the cancellation will have no bearing on the other Bonnaroo festival, to be held this weekend in Tennessee – expected is to draw 80,000 and see The Dead, the Allman Brothers Band, Neil Young, and James Brown perform.


Through the wonders of modern technology, Frank Sinatra will be performing for nine days from 10 Oct at Radio City Music, NY.

Holographic imaging of Sinatra will move around the stage, and perform with a forty-piece orchestra.

Daughter, Tina Sinatra said: "My dad loved everything about Radio City--the history, the stage, the audiences, the backstage crew. Radio City Entertainment is the perfect partner to bring the legacy of my Dad's life and his music to the stage - in a manner that honours his style and respects his artistry."
The show will also feature rare footage of Frank and his life from home videos and film rushes.


CMU favourites, The Darkness, have promised something special for their support slot at Robbie's Knebworth gigs. Singer of the long haired foursome Justin Hawkes and bass player Frank told Radio 1 that he's got a special catsuit: "It's a one-armed piece. It's gonna be quite spectacular. It's designed by a woman who's worked for Kylie and stuff so it's gonna kick arse. I'm looking forward to having buttocks that are the envy of mankind. And there's only one way to do that and that's to get them lovingly showcased in a proper outfit."

He added that they hope to arrive for their opening slot at Glastonbury in a helicopter.

The Darkness will also be appearing at Guilfest and Leeds/Reading Festivals.


50 Cent has topped the nominations for Billboard's annual R'n'B/Hip-Hop Awards – which will be held in August.

The Eminem/Dre protégé has been nominated for ten awards including top album, best single and best artist. Nelly comes a close second with eight nominations: best LP for 'Nellyville'. Eminem has only been nominated for five awards. Aaliyah has been nominated for four.

50 Cent is set to support Eminem at his gigs at the Milton Keynes Bowl on 21 & 22 Jun.


Student radio DJ Iain Smith of Nerve FM in Bournemouth is awaiting word from the Guinness Book of Records as to whether he will now hold the record for hosting the longest ever radio show. A record briefly held by former Radio 1 DJ Simon Mayo, who hosted a 24 hour show in aid of Comic Relief, it has now become a regular event in student radio for a energetic DJ to try had out-do his or her (but mainly his) predecessors in this regard – so much so it has become something of a 'how long can you stay awake' contest rather than a 'how long can you host a radio show' record. Assuming the Nerve FM record fulfil's Guiness' complicated requirements for the record Smith will have set quite a challenge for future student radio presenters hosting, as he did last week, a 103.5 hour radio show – yep, that's just over 4 days. The whole thing was done in aid of Challenging Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood. More info at


Channel 4 has thankfully axed 'Celebrity Big Brother' after only two series because the network's chief executive realises that it is too hard make it "interesting and different". Although the show commanded high ratings, Mark Thompson revealed that he would not be commissioning another series.

Unsurprisingly Chris Evans painfully bad 'Boys and Girls' comeback has also been axed after being slated by critics and drawing in tens of viewers. Thompson said: "Channel 4 is going to concentrate its efforts on finding alternatives to large scale, obvious entertainment offered by BBC1 and ITV1 on Saturday nights."


Dre is reportedly going to compile and score the soundtrack for the forthcoming Will Smith/Martin Lawrence film 'Bad Boys II'. Dre is said to be already in the studio working on the project, having taken time off from working on albums with Ice Cube and Eve. Word is Nelly, Lenny Kravitz, Beyoncé Knowles, 50 Cent, Biggie, Justin Timberlake will be among the artists to appear. Dre is also working on his third album, which he claims will be his last.


Following the success of Apple's six-week-old iTunes store, Microsoft, Yahoo, and America
Online are all rumoured to be planning similar competing services.

Major labels are behind the internet giants, and hope that the spread of legal downloads will prompt a reverse in the recorded music sales slump. Good luck.


The latest West End compilation musical, based around Rod Stewart's hits, will spoof the veteran singer and his reputation as a womaniser. In the show – 'Tonight's The Night' – a shy Rod Stewart fanatic, Stu Roderick, wants his idol's lady-getting-skills, so he makes a deal with the Devil to get Stewart's womanising ways. Roderick finds himself possessed with the charms that helped Stewart to woo a string of blonde beauties including Rachel Hunter, Caprice and Britt Ekland.

Commenting of the show Stewart told reporters: "This musical has wonderfully tender moments and wonderfully hilarious moments. I think it's tremendous and I hope it will be a hit. I've regretted for some time that my personal life has, through the years, always overshadowed what I think is not a bad songwriting ability. Some of the songs I've written, like Maggie May, will last a very long time. That's extremely important to me, to know these things will go on after you."

Written by Ben Elton (he of the literary masterpiece that was the storybook to Queen musical We Will Rock You'), Tonight's The Night opens at London's Victoria Palace Theatre in October.


REVIEW: Superhero – Stars (SH1 Music)
"Look, we're incredibly ambitious", says this promising debut single. It's not just their name, or the crashing drums, pained guitars and yearning, overwrought vocals. It's in the packaging (a CD and a 7" together – with these new releases you are really spoiling us Mr Indie Ambassador…). And it's in the press release – a shameless piece of braggadocio that tries to pursuade us that Superhero are the greatest feat in human cultural endeavour, simply by virtue of having formed, played some gigs and been produced by a man who once made some tea whilst Blur and Primal Scream were recording (not together sadly). B-side 'Fragile sounds like Muse with a hangover wandering round in circles in search of a tune, but 'Stars' reveals itself to be an infectious piece of spiky post-punk-pop-rock that could be any generic yet worthwhile record played on The Evening Session in the mid '90s. That's a complement, by the way. It isn't enough simply to sound ambitious these days, but Superhero, if they do everything right, could still change your life. MS
Release date: 7 Jul
Press Contact: Infected [all]


Dave Gahan, who's debut solo LP 'Paper Monsters' is out now, is threatening to leave Depeche Mode if he isn't given a bigger song-writing role.

Gahan has told reporters: "Whether there is a future for Depeche Mode very much depend on whether Martin is willing and open enough to change. All I know is it won't be going on as it was, I want to be involved more in working on new songs. I didn't have enough confidence, and where should I have taken it from? After all, Martin Gore is the creative head of Depeche Mode. I was just the singer. Martin sometimes even told me how to sing certain passages," he complained. "I often felt like an instrument being used by others."


Spike Lee is suing Viacom over their decision to rebrand the TNN channel Spike TV claiming it will damage his reputation. Lee's lawyer Johnnie Cochran argues that the communications giant has chosen the name Spike TV in a deliberate attempt to capitalise on Lee's name and prestige. Given the network plans to air shows like Pamela Anderson's cartoon Stripperella Lee ain't impressed with the link. The lawyer is demanding the courts an injunction on the name change.

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