CMU Daily - on the inside 1 Aug 2003
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In today's CMU Daily:
• Suge Knight back in jail
• Fame Academy scam, or not
• TOTP will not move
• RIAA under fire for subpoenas
• BMG/WMG merger
• Black Rebel replace White Stripes
• Chrysalis sell telly
• Manson dates
• Clear Channel insiders say unfair cross-company collaboration unlikely
• Radio 1 ratings all time low
• Review: Cracker – Countrysides
• New Spiritualized lp
• Paul Weller instore
• Cosmic Rough Riders UK tour
• International songwriting competition
• Def Leppard to tour uk


Despite seemingly winning the PR war over whether or not he was involved in an attack on a parking valet on 27 Jun, Tha Row Records boss Marion 'Suge' Knight has failed to convince probation authorities that he did not break his parole conditions on that night, meaning he's back in prison for another ten months.

As previously reported, the rap mogul was arrested in LA in late June after being accused of hitting valet Mehdi Lazrak on the back of the head from behind. Although Lazrak himself did not see his attacker his boss, Abbey Shilleh, initially claimed he had seen Knight do it. That statement was subsequently revoked by Shilleh and, as Knight's attorney, Rose Kogeman, presented the media with more and more evidence in her client's defence it increasingly looked like the record label boss would be let off.

But California Board of Prison Terms weren't convinced – spokesperson Bill Sessa explaining yesterday: "While the witness back-pedalled a bit we have a provision for weighing testimony from fearful witnesses. We gave more weight to what he said that night than what he said today."

Probation officers also rejected security camera videotape of the incident which Kogeman claimed showed Knight was innocent. The parole hearing officer said that the images on the video were too out of focus to be conclusive.


Fame Academy bosses have denied allegations that some of this year's finalists already have music contracts – that is to say, they have stressed that they have 'publishing' contracts and not 'recording' contracts – winning the latter kinda being the point of the show. The denial followed claims on Popbitch that contestant Alistair Griffen is signed to Trevor Horn's Perfect Songs, Carolynne Good and Nicole Davis to BMG, Nathan Thomas to Universal, and Jane Bennett to Windswept Pacific Music.

A Fame Academy spokeswoman said: "Some Fame Academy contestants who have publishing deals but that's not against the rules. Fame Academy holds open auditions and everyone went through an identical auditioning process to get in. None of the 25 have recording deals and are competing on Fame Academy to be signed as a solo artist with Polydor."


The BBC has said that Top of the Pops will not move from BBC 1 to digital channel BBC Three – the statement is in response to rumours yesterday that part of Andi Peters' upcoming revamp of the show would be a move to the youth channel.


Pacific Bell Internet Services jumped into the contentious music-downloading fray this week, filing a federal lawsuit against the Recording Industry Association of America and questioning the constitutionality of the industry's efforts to track down online music sharers.

Central to their lawsuit is the allegation that the subpoenas the RIAA serves against the ISPs, in order to get the personal information of music downloaders, are filed improperly. PBIS reckon the subpoenas are being issued from the wrong States and that they are often seeking more than one identity under each subpoena, which isn't allowed. They also reckon the demands made by the subpoenas are too broad.

The string of subpoenas issued by the RIAA started after the US courts sided against ISP Verizon who said current copyright legislation did not force them to issue the contact info of people who share music files via P2P networks – just those who actually hosted illegal music on their websites. Although Verizon are appealing and various other ISP's are dragging their heals via legal action the RIAA remains confident it will get its way eventually.


With both BMG and Warner Music Group having posted figures for their fiscal half-years, the money men are now in a much stronger position to start the nitty gritty negotiations behind the much reported, and increasingly anticipated, BMG Warners merger. Both sides are looking for a 50-50 deal – and with Warners selling off its manufacturing arm to aid its struggling parent company AOL Time Warner the two majors are now more equal partners (more so if the rumoured sell off of Warner's publishing bit Warner Chappell goes ahead).


Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have agreed to replace The White Stripes at the Reading and Leeds festivals, playing before Blur on Saturday at Reading and Sunday at Leeds. The band's new single, 'Stop' is due on 18 Aug, and will be followed by their second album 'Take Them On On Your Own' on 25 Aug.

The White Stripes pulled out of the Carling Weekend yesterday, of course, as Jack White continues to recover from his hand injury.


Chrysalis man Chris Wright is reported to be considering selling his company's television stations for a rather large price tag causing rumours that he might be considering expanding his music operations again. Chrysalis Media, of course, haven't actually owned Chrysalis records since they sold it to EMI in 1991. But one contractual obligations blocking them from the music biz ended they set up Echo music. Could that business be about to expand?


Marilyn Manson has announced details of three UK live dates in Nov, as part of a world tour that takes in Japan, France, Italy and Holland.

The dates are:
23 Nov: Birmingham NEC;
25 Nov: Manchester Evening News Arena;
26 Nov: Alexandra Palace, London.


Some insiders at Clear Channel are speaking up in favour of the media/music group with regards the allegations that they forced bands to play their venues by threatening to withdraw their radio play if they didn't – though CC bosses may not want their support on record.

Insider gossips are saying the radio and venue divisions of Clear Channel are so competitive against each other that, even if people at the top wanted them to work together on initiatives, any real collaborative efforts (legal or otherwise) would be unlikely to get off the ground.

Some now reckon the reports of unfair trading – currently being investigated by the Department of Justice – probably started when one or more venue managers made airplay threats even though they weren't in any position of control with regards Clear Channel's radio stations.

We'll have to wait and see if that's the case…


RAJAR time – and bad news for Radio 1 whose audience has sunk to an all time low – falling to 9.87m. The latest slump means Radio 4 - with a total audience of 9.6 million – is close to overtaking the music channel in popularity for the first time. The drop will come as a major blow to the Radio 1 controller, Andy Parfitt, even though his predecessor, Matthew Bannister, saw a fall of 5m listeners between 1993 and 1995. A Radio 1 spokesman said: "This is a disappointing quarter for us and we need to work harder to arrest any decline in reach and share."

Full RAJAR round up on Monday.


REVIEW: Cracker – Countrysides (Cooking Vinyl)
Oh Lord, it's got to be the silly season when a spoof country and western album rears its ugly Stetson. Parodying C&W is easier than clubbing paralysed baby seals, and is by far a worse spectacle to behold. Ween nailed the coffin shut for the C&W spoof market when they released the sublime "Piss Up A Rope" in 1996, so it's a bit of a disappointment to find people who think they can equal that razor sharp paradigm of wit. The checklist of clichés is ticked off remorselessly in the opener "Truckload Of Art" – the twangy gee-tar, the cowboy wailing and, yes, the strains of a banjo. How utterly hilarious. So quite how my initial and fervent disdain lapsed into grudging enjoyment is something I still haven't worked out. Perhaps it's due to the good-natured approach to the genre that permeates the album or perhaps it's because Cracker never try to be funny and fall flat on their faces. Then again, it could be the refrain in "Ain't Gonna Suck Itself" that cries, "Virgin Records ain't gonna suck itself", referring to their acrimonious split with their former label. TO
Release date: 28 Jul
Press Contact: Cooking IH


The new spiritualized album 'Amazing Grace' will be released on 8 Sep, with EP/single/vinyl thingies out on 18 Aug, 25 Aug and 1 Sep.

The full tracklisting of the album: This Little Life Of Mine, She Kissed Me, Hold On, Oh Baby, Never Goin' Back, The Power and The Glory, Lord Let It Rain On Me, The Ballad of Richie Lee, Cheapster, Rated X, Lay It Down Slow

J Spaceman said: "These songs are more emotionally naked, just as they are musically naked. There is no sound other than what we play. With 'Amazing Grace'‚ I really wanted to make a punk record in that it's about getting it down as it happened and capturing something that is very moving."

Tour dates:
6 Sep: Limericks Dolans Warehouse
7 Sep: Cork Half Moon Theatre
8 Sep: Dublin Vicar Street
10 Sep: Northampton Roadmender Centre
11 Sep: Edinburgh Liquid Rooms
12 Sep: Sheffield Leadmill
14 Sep: Brighton Concorde 2
15 Sep: Bristol Bierkeller
16 Sep: London Electric Ballroom
17 Sep: London Electic Ballroom


Paul Weller will be playing a live set on 27 August at 8.30pm at HMV Oxford Circus to celebrate the launch of his latest album 'Fly On The Wall: B-Sides & Rarities 1991 – 2001' due on 25 Aug. Press info from Caroline at Coalition


The hardworking Scots will set off on yet another mammoth UK tour in September to promote new single 'Justify The Rain' due on 8 Sep on Measured Records.

The dates are:
13 Sep: Newbury, Corn Exchange
14 Sep: Bristol, Fleece
15 Sep: Cardiff, Barfly
16 Sep: Northampton, Soundhaus
17 Sep: Mansfield, Town Mill
18 Sep: Swindon, Furnace
19 Sep: Leicester, Charlotte
20 Sep: Brighton, Concorde 2
21 Sep: Leeds, New Roscoe
22 Sep: Ayr, Festival Gaiety Theatre
23 Sep: Manchester, University
24 Sep: Liverpool, Barfly
25 Sep: Cambridge, Boatrace
26 Sep: Doncaster, Leopard
27 Sep: Coventry, Colosseum
28 Sep: Birmingham, Glee Club
29 sep: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rms
30 Sep: Stoke, Sugarmill
1 Oct: Sheffield, Casbah
2 Oct: Whitehaven, Civic Hall
3 Oct: Newcastle, Northumbria Uni
4 Oct: Colchester, Soundhaus
5 Oct: Peterborough, Park
6 Oct: London, Borderline
7 Oct: Oxford, Zodiac
8 Oct: Reading, Fez Club
9 Oct: Glasgow, King Tut's
10 Oct: Aberdeen, Lava

Press info from Rosie at Mercenary


The International Songwriting Competition - an opportunity for any artist or band looking for new ways to gain exposure for their music – is currently recruiting entries for its 2003 awards. Songwriters interested in the exposure and financial awards the competition offers (top prize is $100,000) need to get their entries in by 15 Sep 2003. Full info at


Following the release of their album 'X', and their sold out tour of the UK, Def Leppard are returning to the UK again.

The tour in full is:
18 Oct: Edinburgh, Playhouse
19 Oct: Bradford, St. George's Hall
21 Oct: Nottingham, Royal Centre
22 Oct: Bristol, Colston Hall
24 Oct: Plymouth, Plymouth Pavilions
26 Oct: Birmingham, Carling Academy
27 Oct: Doncaster, Doncaster Dome
28 Oct: Cambridge, Corn Exchange
30 Oct: Bournemouth, BIC Pavilion
31 Oct: London, Apollo Hammersmith

Press info from Kas at Mercenary

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