CMU Daily - on the inside 15 Aug 2003
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In today's CMU Daily:
• Microsoft launches iTunes rival
• Snoop 50 Cent supagroup
• Individual fights RIAA to stay unknown
• Review: Puffy AmiYumi – Nice (Bar/None Records (US import))
• Vines postpone album
• Grokster accuses majors
• Justified/Stripped tour resumes
• Brown back in trouble
• Live Review: The French - Bush Hall, London, 14 Aug
• Meet Sting
• Doves DVD and B side comp
• Review: Dizzee Rascal – Boy In Da Corner (XL)
• New Elvis comp
• Mutya denies Sugababes rumours

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MICROSOFT LAUNCHES ITUNES RIVAL
No doubt influenced by the success of Apple's iTunes downloading service, Microsoft have re-launched their MSN Music Club so that fans in the UK, France and Germany can now buy single songs on a pay-as-you go basis rather than having to commit to a monthly subscription. Most tracks will be available for 75p, though there will also be a number of 'gold tracks' – records available several weeks before retail release – which will be available for £1.19. Unlike iTunes consumers will also be able to buy full albums for £7.99.

Microsoft will be hoping to gain competitive advantage over the Apple service by launching over here first – iTunes is still only available for Mac users in the US – though works is already underway to extend the service to PC users, and to music fans around the world.

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SNOOP 50 CENT SUPAGROUP
Look out for an all star hip hop track coming out of the current Rock the Mic Tour. Word is various acts on the tour have been recording while on the road resulting in a number of all star collaborations.

Snoop Dogg's cousin Daz has told reporters: "We're gonna take over the whole world. We got a song with me, Snoop Dogg, [Snoop's protégé] Soopafly, Young Buck, Lloyd Banks and 50 Cent."

That track is likely to appear on the up coming G-Unit album. A further nine songs have been put down by the six MCs, though there aren't any definite plans as to where the remaining tracks will pop up or when the material will be released, or by whom.

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INDIVIDUAL FIGHTS RIAA TO STAY UNKNOWN
A Verizon Internet Services customer accused of offering copyrighted songs on a file-sharing network is fighting the RIAA's attempts to obtain her identity from the ISP.

A number of the subpoenas issued by the RIAA have been resisted by the ISPs and colleges that they have been issued against, but this the first time an individual has taken action. The anonymous woman's lawyer, Daniel Ballard, told Verizon: "We intend to contest the subpoena." It's not entirely clear yet what her case will be based on – though presumably she will try to say the subpoena contravenes her rights to privacy.

At least five ISPs, have fought the subpoenas by contending they weren't properly served, and last week, a Massachusetts federal judge upheld Boston College and MIT's right to ignore the subpoenas on the same grounds.

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REVIEW: Puffy AmiYumi – Nice (Bar/None Records (US import))
Puffy AmiYumi have a tricky task ahead: they must convert their six years as Japan's biggest pop group into worldwide success, or it's curtains. Saying that, they're a step ahead of their J-pop contemporaries cos they're such an unusual pop band, and this new LP (produced by Andy Sturmer of Jellyfish 'fame') is bound to make waves with the Yanks at whom it is aimed. The tracks are extremely eclectic, although the overriding flavour is very smart west coast US indie, with subtle hooks. On top of that there's disco, playful ska, B52s-style new wave, country and western, '50s rock'n'roll and some gorgeous ballads. But Puffy AmiYumi are nothing without the titular duo, Ami and Yumi. Their relaxed every-girl image is one thing, their vocals quite another. When they sing together their voices blend into one, like a jigsaw with just two pieces that shows a picture of perfection. It's such a strong, distinctive sound that singing along becomes irresistible, even though most of the tracks are in Japanese. Okay, it's not their best album (that accolade surely goes to 2000ís ëSpikeí) and it's unlikely that the girls will be the cultural icons abroad that they were at home for so long. But 'Nice' is still a corker, an album that will shove the girls into every face in America and hopefully, eventually, here too. DR
Release date: 11 Aug
Press Contact: grace@bar-none.com [all]

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VINES POSTPONE ALBUM
The Vines have postponed the release their second album - which was expected this year – though they have revealed that, when it does come out, it will sound like a cross between Pavement and Van Halen.

Bassist Patrick Matthews said: "The first record was us going into the studio straight from playing in a garage. With this record, we've been playing a lot of the songs in soundcheck or at gigs for the last year or so. Some of the songs have a bit more of a Pavement feeling, something that never really came across much on the first record. Saying that, it's much heavier now with Hamish [Rosser, drums] and Ryan [Griffiths, guitar] playing, there's much more of a Van Halen influence. At the end of the day, I feel that finally we've made our party metal record."

The band is currently recording at the Bearsville Studios (NY) with producer Rob Schnapf.

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GROKSTER ACCUSES MAJORS
The filesharing network, Grokster, has reported the major music labels to the Office of Fair Trading, claiming that they are guilty of "unfair business practices and restraint of trade" by refusing to discuss ways in which they could legalise its service.

Grokster claim they want to turn their peer-to-peer network into a legitimate concern, but that they can't do it while major labels continue to turn down their requests for talks.

Grokster's president, Wayne Rosso, said: "It's clearly a cartel in violation of competition laws. We've tried to negotiate with the record labels. They leave us no choice but to protect consumers and ourselves from these grievous practices."

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JUSTIFIED/STRIPPED TOUR RESUMES
Fans will be happy to hear that, after a couple of days of doubt, Justin Timberlake's and Christina Aguilera's Justified and Stripped Tour will continue as planned. A number of dates were postponed when a lighting grid collapsed at the weekend.

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BROWN BACK IN TROUBLE
Bobby Brown has gone AWOL and could face time inside for failing to complete any of the conditions of his probation from a drunk-driving conviction. Brown failed to complete the conditions of his probation from the Apr 96 arrest, which included participation in a risk-reduction program, completion of 240 hours of community service, six months of twice-weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and an order to submit to random alcohol and drug screenings. Now a warrant has been put out for his arrest and police are on the look out for the former popstar.

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LIVE REVIEW: The French - Bush Hall, London, 14 Aug
At one point, Darren thanks the crowd for coming along, and refers to The French's past as part of Hefner. The crowd could be forgiven for thinking they were still in Hefner. The French's sound and songs are a natural, if small, progression from 'Dead Media', Hefner's last album. Darren's is an ungainly but endearing stage presence, moving awkwardly and lending his electric fan to an audience member. The songs, as ever, are everyday dramas imbued with little details. Stand-out songs are 'Porn Shoes': boy cooks pasta dish for ages to thicken the sauce, girl arrives late in Kylie gold shoes, sex-addled boy thinks she looks like a porn star; 'Gabriel In The Airport' - "the British Airways girls sigh and say 'There goes that Phil Collins guy'" - which manages not to sound (too) tongue-in-cheek; and 'The Animals', the first single, which is almost a love song. The only beef is that an hour's worth of The French (as with Hefner) tends to get a bit samey. The middle section of the set smudges into a blur of keyboard, ukelele and ("pre-Rolf Harris") Stylophone. Ah well. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose and all that. MB

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MEET STING
Sting is offering his fans a chance to meet him backstage at a New York show as part of an AOL / VH1 promotion to promote new album 'Sacred Love' (22 Sep).

The first single from the album, 'Send Your Love', is currently being previewed on AOL's First Listen service, plus the ISP is co-promoting the concert at New York's Hammersmith Ballroom on 4 Oct, and a competition on Sting's relaunched website to give away the backstage pass.

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DOVES DVD AND BSIDE COMP
The Doves are set to release a collection of B-sides on 29 Sep which will feature 'Break Me Gently (Incidental)', 'Darker', 'Your Shadow Lay Across My Life', 'Meet Me At The Pier', 'Down To Sea', 'Crunch', 'Zither', 'Valley', 'Northenden', 'Hit The Ground Running', 'Willow's Song' and 'Far From Grace.

A DVD, 'Where We Are Calling From' will also be released on the same day – both on EMI label Heavenly.

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REVIEW: Dizzee Rascal – Boy In Da Corner (XL)
While 'I Luv U' became an odd-choice garage anthem from the ground up with its stunted dirty electro beats, analogue sequencing, and East End bwoy rhymes about a real life Mike Skinner knows nothing about. This is Marine Parade/Nu Skool Breaks meets So Solid meets Jehst – its truth in brutal style: prams, teenage pregnancy, guns, violence, boredom, AIDS. And all delivered in uncompromising style. It is surprising though refreshing that the album has been honoured with a Mercury Prize nomination. Tough, and at times relentless, but could easily become the zeitgeist like 'Straight Outta Compton' or 'Fear Of A Black Planet'. JG
Release date: 21 Jul
Press Contact: Beggars IH

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NEW ELVIS COMP
After the success of Elvis Presley's '30 #1 Hits' last year, RCA will now release another greatest hits collections called '2nd To None'. Word is 20 of the 30 songs have already been decided for the October release.

The songs chosen so far include: 'That's All Right', 'I Forgot To Remember To Forget', 'Blue Suede Shoes', 'I Want You, I Need You, I Love You', 'Love Me', 'Mean Woman Blues', 'Loving You', 'Treat Me Nice', 'Wear My Ring Around Your Neck', 'King Creole', 'Trouble', 'I Got Stung', 'I Need Your Love Tonight', 'A Mess Of Blues', 'I Feel So Bad', 'Little Sister', 'Rock-A-Hula Baby', 'Bossa Nova Baby', 'Viva Las Vegas' and 'If I Can Dream'.

The first single will be the Paul Oakenfold remix of 'Rubberneckin'.

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MUTYA DENIES SUGABABES RUMOURS
Mutya of the Sugababes has denied rumours that a) she is pregnant and b) that the band is to split.

Radio 1 caught up with the singer yesterday and reported that: "while she told us she wasn't pregnant, and certainly didn't look it, she did admit that she's a bit bored at the moment because Keisha and Heidi have gone on holiday. Mutya couldn't go because she's lost her passport."

Mutya said: "The funny thing is my mum rang me up and said we were in the newspaper, and I was like, 'What do you mean?' and she was like, 'You didn't tell me you were splitting up? I said 'Well, I'm in the group, I should know whether we're splitting up or not. That's like a load of rubbish, to tell you the truth.' We don't pick on Heidi. Heidi's a lovely girl. Other than that, nothing else is to be said."

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