CMU Daily - on the inside 19 Jun 2003
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
• Radio 2’s industry examination
• Channel 5 and Sky Flaunt it
• Apple update
• Tough competition in the air
• Lewis stays at classic fm
• Middlesborough lad wins online music award
• US AIDS charity gig
• REVIEW: Reel People
• US download survey
• Warner BMG merger on hold but probable
• Cheap Trick new album ft Dan the Automator
• Ween back on the scene
• Senator gets militant on downloading
• Grandmaster flash writes memoirs
• New venue in King’s Cross
• Webcast royalty cost cut in US
• Granada Carlton merger investigation
• Review: Dozeguyz ft Masta Ace & Seanie T
- Hospitality
• LSK on tour
• Mercury Prize news
• Theatre group launch anti MTV campaign
• Covered by Darkness


More on BBC Radio 2's Great British Music Debate – which will analyse the state of the British music industry on 2 Jul in a debate fronted by Steve Lamacq.

Industry pundits who have put forward their viewpoint so far include:

Paul Weller said: "Unfortunately these days, if you don't get a hit single and your first album doesn't sell one point whatever million you don't get a chance to make your second one. Pop Idol, Popstars, Fame Academy, the rest of them - I don't think they are causing any problems whatsoever - they are coming up with acts that people do like and they are going out and buying a lot of their product."

Executive producer of the BBC's Top of the Pops, Chris Cowey said: "It's becoming increasingly difficult for record companies to nurture bands. Economically it's much easier for a record company to sign one pretty young male or female, give them some songs, put them out there, and get a very fast return on their investment."

Virgin A&R manager Nick Burgess said: "A lot of labels have been forced into going back to the old way of breaking bands after losing so much money on quick-fix signings, "

Neil ‘Foxy’ Fox said: "Look at how many records Will and Gareth shifted, how many the Pop Idol finalists shifted. It's huge - that has been megabusiness. I think the fact the UK music industry hasn't been investing in new artists and new bands and developing new talent is bad for the music industry.”

The Sun's Dominic Mohan said "[Record companies] are investing their money in the wrong areas. The reality pop bubble is hopefully about to burst and the record companies will be left scratching their heads, wishing they had signed a band like The Streets."

Of course Dominic Mohan’s paper would have some big holes to fill without the reality pop stars, Warners funded 679 did sign The Streets and Neil Fox has developed a unique skill at talking rubbish on these kind of shows – but it’s a debate worth having and we look forward to the show.


Channel Five has teamed up with Sky to launch a new pop chart show based solely on text message voting. The show, which will replace Five’s former chart vehicle the Pepsi Chart Show (axed last year because of falling audiences) will launch on 30 Jun at 7.30pm.

Sky will make the show which will be called ‘Flaunt’, sharing it’s name with Sky’s new pop music TV channel.
The show promises to have features on popstar lifestyles, as well as two weekly features, ‘We Love and Juicy’ and ‘New’, highlighting up and coming music acts.

Flaunt the TV channel was launched in April, with two other Sky-backed music channels, The Amp and Scuzz, and signals Sky's attempt to compete with the UK's two main existing music programming operators, MTV and Emap.


Despite not being cheap, Apple’s iPod is the best selling MP3 music player in the US, and the new 7,500 song capacity iPod is set to be even more popular. Coupled with the successful iTunes service there’s an increasingly high chance Apple will soon dominate the legit download business.

That said, it remains to be seen how well iTunes performs when it is made available for PC users – at the moment it’s a PC only service. And after a hugely successful launch the critics are starting to surface. Some say that, despite having deals with all the majors and most of the independents, some key artists (or big chunks of their catalogues) are missing because labels are asking for too much money and it would be impossible to make any profit on the 99p download fee.

Others question why Apple are so cagey about the exact stats concerning the service, especially when rumoured figures seem so impressive.

Whether Apple will maintain their dominance in an increasingly competitive sector remains to be seen.


As previously reported, the Competition Commission last month decided to not allow radio giant GWR to acquire another commercial radio station in Bristol. In partnership with Scottish Radio Holdings they had bought the Bristol branch of the Galaxy network and rebranded it Vibe. Following the Commission’s decision they were forced to sell their share to SRH.

Talking about this decision, the group’s chairman yesterday told Media Guardian that a precedent has now been set (ie that authorities aren’t going to be slack when it comes to media ownership rules) that will effect competitors Capital and Emap more than GWR themselves.

Bernard said: "Following this decision, the consolidation options are rather more limited for the big metropolitan radio groups - the Capitals and the Emaps - than they are for groups with a broader spread like GWR."

Certainly radio owners will be hoping upcoming legislation that will ease the rules on radio ownership gets through Parliament sooner rather than later.


Classic FM boss Roger Lewis yesterday said that he would definitely not be applying for the post of BBC Radio 2's controller.

It was rumoured that the GWR-owned station (one of the big radio success stories of the last decade) would lose Lewis to the Beeb when Jim Moir leaves Radio 2 later this year. But Lewis – who, as we reported yesterday, is currently looking after the day to day running of GWR following the departure of Chief Exec Patrick Taylor – has said he will remain with the commercial outfit.


British independent rock artist Dave Lindley has won this year's Online Rock Festival award - the same day as his self-written/produced debut album 'Falling Backwards' was released.

The Online Rock Festival was a virtual online event held throughout May. The festival aimed to promote independent rock acts from across the globe – competing bands could put their music online and visitors to the site voted on their favourites.

Dave said: "It was the first time I had entered the event." he explained, "I never thought I'd get anywhere! I'm very happy with my new album. It has taken me ten months of hard work to complete, but it was worth it."
You can hear Dave’s music at:


The Henry Fonda Theatre in Hollywood last night played host to a charity gig for LIFEbeat – a music industry charity set up to fight AIDS. The line-up included The Like, The Special Goodness (ft Pat from Weezer and Atom from Rocket from the Crypt), Wilshire, Bleu, Hanson, Calexico and Phantom Planet. Compering was Wes Cunningham and Kid Lightning (Dave Gibbs of the Gigolo Aunts). All profits will go to fund LIFEbeat’s ongoing work.


REVIEW: Reel People (Paper Recordings)
From Papa Records headman, Oli Lazarus, teamed with Tom Davidson and Mike Patto from Restless Soul, the three hooked up in 2001, aiming to create diverse quality soulful music, the lads have hit the nail clean on the head. ‘Can’t Stop’ has lush vocals over a lush but not too heavy percussive backdrop. There’s carnival nu-jazz ‘The Light’ with ever snazzy vocals from Vanessa Freeman, and Jag’s vocals in a Stevie Wonder-esque ‘Second Guess’. Relaxed rhymes from Dynas breaks the album up a bit: laid back like Roots Manuva, in ‘Positive over Negative’ and Krims Rhyme in ‘Steppin’ is like a mellow rap of a 4hero album. If you fail to like this album then you probably do not have a palpable pulse in your body. A splendid summer album. PV
Release date: 7 Jul
Press Contact: Velocity PR


Some scary reading from US based Edison Media Research’s survey of music fans for trade publication Radio & Records.

71% of heavy downloaders said that instead of buying a CD they have burnt someone else's copy, and 48% of them said they no longer have to buy CDs because they can download music for free.

More teens than ever are burning instead of buying - 61% of 12-17-year-olds have burned someone else's copy of a CD instead of buying their own copy, a 13% increase in one year.

That said some downloaders admitted they felt a little guilty about ‘stealing’ music. The majority of music downloaders do have “some reservations” about artists’ and labels’ not being compensated (though it doesn’t stop them downloading!). And in their defense a majority of downloaders claim they have gone on to buy an artist’s CD after downloading a track for free from the Internet.

No response yet from the major labels – though presumably the more negative stats will appear in ongoing anti-download litigation.

On an aside – the artists whose music 12 – 17 year olds download the most all come from the hip hop world - #1 Tupac, #2 Eminem, #3 50 Cent.

We don’t condone illegal downloading of course but we suspect Eminem and 50 Cent can afford to lose a few single sales, and as far as we are aware Tupac has no opinion on the matter.


Word is AOL Time Warner bosses have put any BMG/Warner merger talks on hold after BMG parent company Bertelsmann pulled out of a deal to buy AOLTW’s books division. But insiders say both sides still see a major label merger as an obvious way to help the struggling music-biz recover – though whether they are thinking of mergers with each other or London based EMI we’re not sure.


Cheap Trick are set to release their first album of new material in six years, ‘Special One’ on 22 Jul.

Although the match may sound incongruous, Cheap Trick have worked with Dan the Automator (Gorillaz, Lovage and Handsome Boy Modelling School) for a track on the album.

‘Low Life In High Heels’ had been kicking around the Cheap Trick songbook for years, but Dan has crafted it into shape for the new album.

In the past three years, Cheap Trick have put out two live albums and one Best Of disc, all of which sold well.


Ween (Dean and Gene Ween) have designed software that cleverly spoofs the WinAmp modulator and allows people to gain access to their online radio station, official website, music, chat and message boards. The main feature of WeenAmp will allow users to connect directly to its own peer-to-peer trading service that will be used as a forum to trade live concerts and songs.

Ween will release their latest album, ‘Quebec’, on 5 Aug. The band hopes to include the new technology on the CD by then, but if not, will have it available for download on their website as well.

The band will also be touring later on in the year.


Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Orrin Hatch, has suggested that if you illegally download copyright music from the internet more than three times your computer should be destroyed. The suggestion was put forward yesterday at a hearing on copyright abuse. Hatch reckons technology should be developed that sends a warning to people caught downloading – and if they do it again it sends a virus which will destroy a users machine.

When Randy Saaf of MediaDefender – a company who develop technology to hinder illegal download systems – told the forum: "No one is interested in destroying anyone's computer” - Hatch said: "I'm interested. Damaging someone’s computer may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights. If we can find some way to do this without destroying their machines, we'd be interested in hearing about that. But if not then I'm all for destroying their machines. If you have a few hundred thousand of those, I think people would realize the seriousness of their actions. There's no excuse for anyone violating copyright laws.”

As a point of order, said Senator happens to be a composer who earned $18,000 last year in song-writing royalties.


New York Daily News reporter/biographer Chris Coleman is currently working with Grandmaster Flash on his memoirs. A title and publisher for the biography are still being determined.

Flash is set to join fellow DJs Kid Capri, DJ Premier and Funkmaster Flex in an all-star tribute to the late Jam Master Jay at this year's BET Awards. The event will be broadcast live Jun 24 from Los Angeles' Kodak Theatre.


The RIAA has reached an agreement with college and non-commercial radio stations that will allow the radio stations to stream their music over the internet at a discounted royalty rate. The rate will be lower than that which was originally established by the Librarian of Congress and as a result the cost to College Radio stations is expected to be halved.

Will Robedee, Vice Chairman of Collegiate Broadcasters Inc. said “We could have done more, but we wouldn’t have signed it if we didn’t think it would have benefited everybody. We’ve settled on a rate structure that we feel most stations will be able to take advantage of.”


The Trade and Industry Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, has given the Competition Commission more time to investigate the merger between ITV companies Carlton and Granada – the deadline for their report has been shifted from Jun to Aug.

Hewitt said: "I have decided to give the Competition Commission a two month extension to ensure that all of the interested parties have an opportunity to comment on the alternative remedies that have been suggested and to allow time for proper consideration before a decision is made."


REVIEW: Dozeguyz ft Masta Ace & Seanie T – Hospitality (Dyna Mic)
New imprint, Dyna Mic follow up busts onto the scene with this wicked little 12”: a nice head nod tempo hiphop collaboration laden with tight cuts and scratches. Masta Ace is here in evidence and, as always, on form, accompanied by hot toaster Seanie T (who has worked with Blak Twang and Roots Manuva). The B-side ‘Figure 8’ is more exciting with guest vocals from West Londoner, Mystro (who has worked with Nextmen, Braintax, Blak Twang & Skinnyman), Skeme, Karl hinds, Dominant G, Seanie T, Lyric L, Masta Ace, Chris Smoove & Versetyle, and wicked scratches from Big Ted. This massive transatlantic collab is a lyrical joy with breaks to match. Watch this label. JG
Release date: 21 Jul
Press Contact: Zzonked


Leeds’ answer to Mike Skinner’s the Streets, LSK, or Leigh Stephen Kenny, released his second album, ‘Outlaw’ through Sony, on Monday. With the first single ‘Rap Starr’ due 14 Jul, the young northerner has also announced some UK tour dates, listed below:

5 Jul: Hi Fi Club, Leeds
10 Jul: Water Rats, London
7 Aug: Camden Jazz Café, London
9 Aug: Summer Sundae, Leicester
10 Aug: Eden Festival, Liverpool
30 Aug: Earls Court, London


The 2003 Panasonic Mercury Music Prize have confirmed they will announce this year’s 12 shortlisted albums on 22 Jul. The event will run until 9 Sep when the Album of the Year will be decided at Mercury Music Prize winner’s show, to be broadcast on both BBC television and radio. For further information contact Rob Partridge at Coalition PR on020 8987 0123


Following the news that MTV will hold their Europe Music Awards in Edinburgh this Autumn, an Edinburgh based theatre company - who count Irvine Welsh among their supporters - are planning a "kick out the MTV Awards from Leith" campaign during this years Edinburgh Festival.

The campaign will be run to promote Sniperculture, a new play from theatre company Underground Utopia, which is premiering at the Traverse Theatre. Its organisers hope to set up an alternative free festival this November to compete with the big MTV bash and are encouraging artists to come forward to perform.

The play itself is billed as a "furious head-on collision between Medea Greek Tragedy and Cobain/Love psycho drama" and was described by Traverse boss Philip Howard as "a capsule of energy" when he launched the venue's Fringe programme earlier this week.

Talking about the campaign the show's director, Edinburgh based Tam Dean Burn, told reporters: "It is a disgrace that Edinburgh Council and Scottish Enterprise are bankrolling the MTV Awards. Local people will gain nothing but disruption and a few temporary low-paid jobs, servicing this corporate music ego-fest. We need to harness the same energy, determination and collective action as have been displayed at the anti-war
and anti-capitalist demonstrations in recent years to kick MTV and its celebrity bandwagon out of Leith."

The campaign follows reports that the Scottish Executive and Edinburgh City Council were putting up £750,000 to help stage the MTV event in November - compared to the £64,000 given to the Fringe Society each summer.


CMU favourites, ‘The Darkness’ have covered Radiohead’s ‘Street Spirit’ from 1996. Check it out at

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