CMU Daily - on the inside 3 Sep 2003
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
• Shortlist announced
• Vivendi enter exclusive talks with NBC
• New G 'N' R track unintentionally aired
• Martina hopes nomination will win gig goers
• Review: Muse - Time Is Running Out (Warners / Mushroom)
• Elbow confirm Brixton date
• VMAs top US TV ratings
• Latest Tarantino soundtrack line up announced
• Mean Fiddler to make Bramham Park long term Leeds fest home
• Cooper Temple Clause on their golf buggy escapades
• Hand out with Eminem via Obie promotion
• Stones move Wembley date
• Bitter Pop Idol reject to record anti-Cowell track
• Fame Academy girl's single shelved
• Jazz musicians prone to mood disorders shocker
• Jagged Edge guy wanted by police
• Review: Mojave 3 - Spoon And Rafter (Beggars / 4AD)
• Mackenzie considers court route to battle RAJAR
• Warp display the T-Shirts
• Timberlake / Duran collaboration?


The final shortlist of ten albums has been announced for the 2003 Shortlist Music Prize. Whittled down from the 86 albums on the 'longlist' published last month the final ten up for what is essentially the US version of the Mercury Music Prize are:

Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights (Matador)
Bright Eyes - Lifted or The Story Is In the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground (Saddle Creek)
Cat Power - You Are Free (Matador)
Floetry - Floetic (Dreamworks)
Black Keys - Thickfreakness (Fat Possum)
Cody ChesnuTT - The Headphone Masterpiece (Ready Set Go)
Damien Rice - O (Vector)
Sigur Ros - ( ) (MCA)
The Streets - Original Pirate Material (Vice/Atlantic)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever To Tell (Interscope)

The overall winner will be announced at an LA bash on 5 October where Interpol, Bright Eyes, Black Keys, Damien Rice and Cat Power are all expected to perform. The event will be broadcast in the US by MTV 2.

Meanwhile over here the Mercury Music Prize takes place next week. According to Dizzee Rascal is the favourite to take the overall prize, with Radiohead, Coldplay and The Darkness all equal second favourites.


Vivendi yesterday said they were entering exclusive negotiations with GE's NBC with regards the sale of their non-music entertainment assets.

The decision follows some last minute unsuccessful lobbying by Edgar J Bronfman Jr, who headed up the main rival bid. As previously reported, last week he became critical of Vivendi as they procrastinated over making a decision and hinted he may pull out of the race. But when Vivendi insiders hit back at those criticisms Bronfman stepped up the PR effort to win back face.

Whether it was Bronfman's critical remarks that swung it, or the fact that according to the GE deal VU maintain a 20% stake in the merged company, we're not sure. Either way it's not the greatest news for VU's creditors because in the GE deal the French conglom gets a lot of stock and less cash - GE is expected to initially hand over $1.6 billion in cash, making only a dent in the French congloms overall debts.

Although the NBC deal looks somewhat more likely today there is still much negotiating to be done so the future is not completely finalised for Universal - some inside Vivendi are still talking about a flotation for the studio and theme park businesses.


Word is a New York radio station may have accidentally played a new Guns 'n' Roses track when a guest baseball player picked out some of his favourite tracks. New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza was a guest last weekend on the "Friday Night Rocks ... With Eddie Trunk" show on New York classic rock station Q104.3. Piazza brought in with him a CDR marked 'Guns N' Roses, IRS' and asked Trunk to play a track off it. The track - apparently a rock / techno combination complete with Axl Rose's distinctive voice - caused a flood of phone calls from G 'n' R fans to ask what the track was, and one from G 'n' R's management telling them to not play it again.

Neither the band's management or their record label have commented on the track, but given the former arranged to pick up the CDR off Piazza later that day would suggest it was the real deal. The radio station's programme director has told reporters: "We've gotten hundreds, dare I say thousands, of e-mails since, urging us to play it again. But we can't because the management flipped when they heard it on the air."


While most record labels like to think a Mercury Music Prize nomination will help shift some more units, one of this years nominees - CMU Favourite Martina Topley Bird - hopes the Mercury buzz might persuade people to come to here live show.

She told Radio 1: "I think the thing that works best for us is when people come to the gigs. Even at the very first show we did, my sister came along and the next day it was 'God I really like your album!' "I was like 'Thank you, thank you so much!'"


REVIEW: Muse - Time Is Running Out (Warners/Mushroom)
This is the first proper single to be taken from the breathlessly anticipated (well, by me anyway) new Muse album 'Absolution'. Last single 'Stockholm Syndrome' was only available as a (paid for) download (though it did well enough for it to be comparable to a legitimate chart hit). Whereas that song was pretty much business as usual for Muse (though that's a very fine business I should add) 'Time Is Running Out' has a different mood and style altogether. Matt Bellamy reckons it was inspired by Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean', and you might think he was taking the piss until you actually listen to the track. There's something familiar about those finger-clicking rhythms. The song itself is insanely catchy, like having a piece of phantom shrapnel lodged in your brain. "Now that you know I'm crap... You will suck the life out of me," Matt howls in typically anguished fashion. Should eat the charts alive, if there's any justice. Glorious. JW
Release date: 8 Sep
Press contact: Ian Cheek [CP, RP]


Elbow have confirmed they will play Brixton Academy on 19 Feb next year having completely sold out their Astoria date this Autumn. The latter is part of their Autumn tour for which tickets are still available for the non-London dates, which are as follows:

24 Sep: Stoke Sugarmill
25 Sep: Liverpool Academy
27 Sep: Bristol University
28 Sep: Cambridge Corn Exchange
29 Sep: Brighton Corn Exchange
1 Oct: Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
2 Oct: Glasgow QMU
3 Oct: Manchester Academy
5 Oct: Newcastle University
6 Oct: Sheffield University


Last week's MTV Video Music Awards were the most-watched show of the night in the US - where 10.7 million viewers tuned in. In the 12-34 age bracket it was the most watched cable show so far this year. And that's before you count all those men tuning in to the repeats having read about the Madonna / Britney / Christina sequence.


Quentin Tarantino has something of a reputation for compiling classic soundtracks for his movies - so there is some anticipation preceding the release of the soundtrack for the first part of his two part feature 'Kill Bill'. The soundtrack hits US stores on 23 Sep, the movie opens on 10 Oct. Needless to say there's new, old and quirky. Make what you will of the tracklisting:

Nancy Sinatra - Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
Charlie Feathers - That Certain Female
Luis Bacalov - The Grand Duel - (Parte Prima)
Bernard Herrmann - Twisted Nerve
RZA - Ode to Oren Ishii
Isaac Hayes - Run Fay Run
Al Hirt - Green Hornet
Tomoyasu Hotei - Battle Without Honor or Humanity
Santa Esmeralda - Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
The's - Woo Hoo
RZA/Charles Bernstein - Crane/White Lightning
Meiko Kaji - The Flower of Carnage
Zamfir - The Lonely Shepherd
Quincy Jones - Ironside
Neu! - Super 16


Mean Fiddler hope Bramham Park can become the full-time home to the Leeds Festival. The Park was originally selected, of course, as a contingency venue after it looked doubtful permission would be granted to use the Festival's original site at Temple Newsam this year following post-Festival violence in 2001 and 2002.

In the end a licence was granted for Temple Newsam, but Mean Fiddler opted for Bramham Park anyway because they felt it would be easier to safeguard security on the site. Organisers feel that decision played a part in ensuring this year's Leeds Festival was trouble free, and hope to continue using the site in future years.

Talking to NME, Mean Fiddler's Melvin Benn said: "I think the change had an extremely positive effect on the festival. Reading Festival moved two or three times before it found its permanent home. But I think we've got there on the first move. I do think Bramham Park will become the permanent base."


The Cooper Temple Clause's Tom Bellamy has been talking to the NME about a late night golf buggy crash involving him, CTC's guitarist Dan Fisher, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's Peter Hayes and two random girls at the Leeds Festival.

"I was a bit on the drunken side," Tom admits. "I was going back to the bus and bumped in to Peter [Hayes] from Black Rebel. He was driving around on this little buggy and I hopped on. We ended up in the campsites getting hotdogs and burgers and stopping off to talk to people. We picked up these two girls and went to find the rest of the Coopers. Eventually we had eight people on this buggy. Then one of the girls decided to hop in to the drivers seat, and this was when I realised that she was actually a loony. She just floored it. The next thing you know she's canned it over this little concrete ramp and completely lost it. Everyone is thrown from the buggy, the buggy is absolutely marmalised, it turned over completely. The buggy was a write-off!"


Presumably a fan of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory - Eminem is putting 'golden tickets' into three of the fist 500,000 copies of the up coming Obie Trice album - those fans who get the tickets get to sit in the studio while Slim Shady records his next album.

"We were working on this album and trying to come up with the craziest idea possible to help promote it" Mathers told reporters.

"I said 'Let the fans meet you, that's what they want.'" Obie added, "So we came up with this contest, and hopefully it will make everyone know the album is out. Everybody's always doing the same shit with their records. 'Buy my album, get a DVD, get a free poster, get a piece of my toilet seat' ... fuck all that shit. We wanted to come with the hottest, 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' type shit for a contest. When I was a kid I would have given a nut to win something like this."

The Obie Trice album 'Cheers' is released in the US on 22 Sep.


Due to the slotting in of those dates postponed when Mick Jagger went down with the flu, one of the Rolling Stones' up coming Wembley gigs has been moved forward a day. The 14 Sep gig will now take place on 13 Sep. So now you know.


According to the Sun one of the Pop Idol contestants panned by the ITV show's judges for his questionable rendition of Darren Hayes' 'Insatiable', is to release a track slagging off Simon Cowell. Student Daniel Cairns got a call last week from record producer Steve Ludwin asking him if he wanted to record a track called 'How High Is My Waist Band?'

The lyrics go thus:
How high is my waist band?
As big as my ego as wide as my mouth.
How high is my waist band?
If I don't like you I will say, "You are so bland."
Your Pop Idol's on fire, fire, fire, fire.
Your Pop Idol will blow up in your face.
Love him hate him, you know you can't slate him,
If you open your mouth the security will take you out.
This chairmen of the board is the new Pop Idol lord.

Carins told the Sun: "To do a song about a subject I feel really strongly about is a dream come true. I will not be censored. I know people want to hear this record and, given half a chance, even buy it. It's about how horrible Simon Cowell is and how talentless the people going through are. It's been a long time since a record was in the charts that addressed any slightly dodgy subject. All pop stars these days play it safe. I want it to get into the Top Ten. It will be out before the show's winners release anything. I will make this record a success or die trying."

Half of the profits from the single will go to the League Against Cruel Sports.


Here's heartening news for the kids currently locked up in the Fame Academy house. Mercury, who signed last year's runner up Sinead Quinn, have shelved plans to release a third single after poor album sales. 'Ready To Run' peaked at 41. Although Quinn has yet to be officially dropped any further investment in her career is unlikely.


Not that academics are running out of things to study or anything, but a Manchester based psychologist has just completed a piece of research that suggests jazz greats are more likely to be prone to mental illness, abuse, and drugs, say researchers. Dr Geoffrey Wills looked at the biographies of 40 world-renowned musicians and found that those he studied appeared eight times more likely to have suffered from drug dependency and four times more likely to have mood disorders.

Wills says: "I am not trying to say that all jazz musicians are crazy, but I have highlighted a trend in mental health problems that is comparable to other creative people."

If you're interested, the research is published in the latest edition of the British Journal of Psychiatry.


Kyle Norman, singer with the hit US R&B group Jagged Edge, is expected to turn himself in to the DeKalb County Sheriff today after police 13 pounds of marijuana, two firearms and $6,000 in cash while searching his home last week. Police had a search warrant after allegations Norman was guilty of buying stolen goods - and while said goods were not found they now want to speak to him about the drugs and firearms.

Norman was not home when the police came a searching but officers say they have spoken to his laywer who said the star would turn himself in.

DeKalb County Sheriff Court is becoming quite a celeb haunt - Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston were both there last week to face allegations Brown had broken parole conditions.


REVIEW: Mojave 3 - Spoon And Rafter (Beggars / 4AD)
Mojave 3's fourth album is a luxurious, self-assured affair that bathes in its maturity without ever sounding tired or passionless. Over the course of previous albums, singer/songwriter Neil Halstead has gradually relaxed and become more confident, imbuing these songs with a warmth far removed from the cold beauty and overwhelming melancholy that populated much of previous band Slowdive's oeuvre, or even Mojave 3's debut. His songs are still elegies for the broken-hearted, though, with 'Hard To Miss You' and 'She's All Up Above' particularly full of tear-jerking poignancy here. Some gorgeous glock, lyrical pedal steel guitar and ebullient moog add splashes of colour to the acoustic guitars that form the canvas upon which most of these beautifully-paced songs are fashioned. From the stately, graceful ten minute opener 'Bluebird Of Happiness' to the simple pop of 'Billoddity' (!), 'Spoon And Rafter' is yet another album to cherish from Mojave 3 and proof, not that it were needed, that they're a sparkling treasure amongst so much ordinariness. MS
Release date: 22 Sep
Press contact: Beggars IH [all]


Wireless Group chief executive Kelvin MacKenzie yesterday told the Media Guardian he was ready to sue RAJAR - the body who produce the main radio listening figures - over there refusal to consider new methods for measuring listening figures, such as the 'wristwatch' technology used by MacKenzie's own research company. As previously reported MacKenzie reckons the weaknesses in the RAJAR system (where a small sample group of listeners keep written diaries of their listening habits) means the listening figures of his Talk Sport station are unfairly represented - which affects how much he can charge for advertising. MacKenzie is angry that RAJAR have dropped their own trials to find a replacement for the diary system.

The TalkSport boss now hopes to get a judge to force RAJAR to adopt new measures. He told the paper: "A judge will have to decide between]a computer with a microphone in it or a diary which you fill in at the end of the week," he said.

Responding RAJAR MD Jane O'Hara argued the wristwatch and a similar pager measurement technology had already been tested but in their current form were deemed "not suitable for the UK market".

"We are not dismissing electronic measurement at all, it's still top of the agenda. What we have asked them [the company's developing measurement technologies] to do is go away and explain some of the figures to us."


Warp Records are staging an exhibition of t-shirts designed by notable designers and Warp artists from 4 - 12 Oct at the Eclectic Gallery in West London. The t-shirts can currently be viewed online at Warp's website - the exhibition will be the first chance to see the t-shirts for real.

The label are planning a number of events around the exhibition - including an event to coincide with a new album from Plaid. They will perform a one-off interactive music workshop where students from local schools will collaborate on a new tune which will hopefully be released by Warp at a later date.


Word is Justin Timberlake got chatting to Duran Duran at last week's VMA and hit it off so well that now there's talk of a collaboration. We'll keep you in touch...

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