CMU Daily - on the inside 4 Sep 2003
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
• Hong Kong plans post-SARS festival
• Latin Grammys
• Another fan attacks RIAA litigation
• Review: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps (Universal/Polydor)
• P Diddy on new Britney
• Busted work wih the Matrix
• Oakenfold remix album due
• Bass champions Space, Timberlake Big Macs
• Darkness US launch brought forward
• Flaming Lips special edition planned
• Universal slash album prices
• Live Review: Evan Dando at the Metro, London on 1 Sep
• NME release results of Festivals poll
• EMAP launch MOJO radio station
• labels may be affected in post-NBC deal Vivendi restructure
• BMG upbeat despite disappointing figures
• Review: Interpol - Obstacle 1 - The Remixes (Matador)
• Midweek chart update
• Clapton wanted to be in the Stones
• Buymusic hire former Napster exec to head marketing
• Trufest confirm night time venue
• Westlife's half-dressed fire drill

------------------------------------------------

HONG KONG PLANS POST-SARS FESTIVAL
As if suffering the SARS outbreak wasn't hardship enough, now the people of Hong Kong are to be subjected to a big Westlife concert. The Irish boy band are among the artists lined up to perform at the Hong Kong Harbor Fest - a Toronto-esque four week music festival designed to announce to the world Hong Kong has fully recovered from the outbreak of the SARS disease there.

The Rolling Stones, Jose Carreras, Carlos Santana, Craig David, Taiwan pop sensation Jay Chou and boy band F4 are among the artists line up to play over the four weeks - many of whom were forced to cancel dates in Hong Kong during the SARS epidemic.

Announcing the festival James Thompson of the American Chamber of Commerce, who are co-producing the event, explained: "We thought we could all help Hong Kong recover by bringing some exciting, world class entertainment here," said, which is organizing the event with the government. We are trying to put Hong Kong back on the map. That's the entire thrust of relaunch effort because Hong Kong really did fall down badly with SARS," Thompson said.

The festival will take place at the outdoor Tamar site along Hong Kong's waterfront between 15 Oct and 9 Nov. The Hong Kong government will contribute HK$80 million towards the event providing half the tickets are sold.

------------------------------------------------

LATIN GRAMMYS
In the end the fact the winner of the Spanish Pop Idol - David Bisbal - took the Best New Artist award was as big a news story as the Cuban/US politics in the background of yesterday's Latin Grammys.

Among the many awards awarded Colombian singer-songwriter Juanes took three awards - best rock song, best rock solo album and song of the year. Cuban act Orishas won best hip-hop album, while Ibrahim Ferrer, best known as a member of Buena Vista Social Club, won for best traditional tropical album.

Collecting his third award Juanes told the audience he was proud to represent his country. "I know a lot of times, people have a bad image of my country. That's why it's so important for me to be here, to represent the other side of Colombia."

Among the proceedings some of Latin America's top stars, including Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan and India, took time to pay tribute to the late salsa queen, Cuban-born Celia Cruz, who died earlier this year. Some of the songs that earned her reputation - including one of her signature tunes, 'La Vida Es Un Carnaval (Life is a Carnival)' - were performed.

As predicted most of the Cuban nominees weren't able to attend due to Visa issues. Cuban authorities still deny they submitted visa applications for their stars too late and claim that US authorities deliberately delayed their processing - allegations the Americans strongly deny. Either way the absence of a Cuban contingent gave the Miami community of Cuban exiles less to grumble about on the night.

------------------------------------------------

ANOTHER FAN ATTACKS RIAA LITIGATION
The backlash against the RIAA's legal attempts to identify the people it believes are guilty of "substantial" illegal downloading continues. Last month one music fan questioned the RIAA's definition of what warranted "substantial". Now another defendant is claiming the trade organisation violated her constitutional rights by tracking her web activity and in doing so shouldn't be allowed to know her true identity. The woman, identified in court as "nycfashiongirl", is accused of making over 900 tracks available via the web. But she is blocking legal attempts to secure her identity from her ISP by claiming that - with no official connections to a law enforcement agency - the RIAA had no rights to track her online activity.

The RIAA, needless to say, is not impressed describing her argument as "surprisingly shallow". A spokesman for the trade body said her claims that by tracking her online activity the RIAA had violated her constitutional rights reflected "a fundamental misunderstanding of how the internet works".

Whether the court is impressed remains to be seen - but if any one of these identity defenders is successful it could start a barrage of expensive and time consuming legal activity by music fans to, if nothing else, prolong the RIAA's efforts in identifying "substantial" downloaders.

------------------------------------------------

REVIEW: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps (Universal/Polydor)
OK so we're all agreed by now how cool and fantastic the Yeah Yeahs Yeahs are, even if their debut album doesn't quite live up to the extravagant claims made of it by the music press. 'Maps', the third single to be taken from the album, is amazing. It shows just what the band are capable of. They really scale the heights with this one, a big big song. It reminds me of the kind of bitter sweet ballad that Chrissie Hynde writes; tender, beautiful but gutsy. JW
Release date: 22 Sep
Press contact: Hermana [CP, RP, NP] Polydor IH [CR, RR, NR]

------------------------------------------------

P DIDDY ON NEW BRITNEY
While Britney has been somewhat quiet about her upcoming album, one of her collaborators - P Diddy - has been chatting about his work with her, confirming Spears is aiming to go the Timberlake route and produce something a bit more grown up. He told MTV backstage at the VMAs last week: "We went in the studio and cooked up something hot for the dance floor, made something real sexy. It's going to be great." Diddy reckons the album will be more eclectic that the "trip-hop vibe" tag that has been used to describe new material by those on the insider - telling fans to expect ballads, dance tracks and Middle Eastern rhythms, "I think she's giving you a lot to work with. She's broke out of that just pop style, just being a pop artist. She's being a trendsetter. She has many styles. You don't know how she's going to come and hit you next."

Having revealed a little about the music Diddy went into praising mode: "As a performer, as an artist, as a songwriter, she ain't no slouch. It was great working with her. She was real quick, real quick. I wouldn't go into the studio with nothing that wouldn't motivate me. The way she did it her way, that motivated me to get with her and give her a bit of my flavor mixed with hers, to get her to do something combustionable."

------------------------------------------------

BUSTED WORK WITH THE MATRIX
Talking of pop stars and recording sessions - Busted are currently in LA working on a second album and word is they will team up with US-based songwriting and production team The Matrix - the trio behind six songs on Avril Lavigne's new album who have recently signed their own deal with Columbia Records. No word on whether that will affect the Busted boy's brand of college rock influenced pop.

------------------------------------------------

OAKENFOLD REMIX ALBUM DUE
Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan, Madonna, Ian Brown and Bjork are all expected to appear on a new double CD remix album being compiled by Paul Oakenfold and out next month. The collection - called 'Perfecto Presents ... Paul Oakenfold: Great Wall' - will feature the Oakenfold track 'Hypnotised' remixed by Deepsky's Reaktor Radio, Oakenfold's remixes of Madonna's 'Hollywood' and Layo & Bushwacka's 'Deep South' plus other remix work from Thomas Penton, leama & Moor, JXL and UNKLE. The album will be released by Oakenfold's own label Perfecto - now part of Warner's East West.

------------------------------------------------

BASS CHAMPIONS SPACE, TIMBERLAKE BIG MACS
Here's a test for the strength of Justin Timberlake's cool - can it stand his involvement in a global programme of McDonalds ads? Timerlake's first McDonalds ad aired in Germany yesterday and music fans the world over will soon be able to see him singing in support of the Big Mac. As previously reported McDonalds will also sponsor Timberlake's upcoming European tour while the star will get involved with the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Meanwhile fellow N Sync member Lance Bass has been confirmed as 'youth spokesperson' on World Space Week 2003, a UN organised event encouraging people to get enthusiastic about space exploration. Bass, of course, hoped to go into space on a Russian mission to the International Space Station last year, but had to pull out when his financial backers failed to stump up the cash in time.

Commenting on Space Week Bass told reporters: "For decades, spaceflight has been the privilege of a select few. And while those pioneers explored new frontiers and inspired us with their amazing achievements, now is the time to open that horizon to everyone. By engaging students in the science and engineering of space flight, we're empowering a new generation with the skills needed to explore the frontiers of space and achieve their dreams."

------------------------------------------------

DARKNESS US LAUNCH BROUGHT FORWARD
Keen to break America before the inevitable backlash begins over here, The Darkness' record label are rushing the US release of Mercury Music Prize nomination 'Permission to Land'. Warners will release the album on their Atlantic Records label there later this month - it had originally been slated for a 2004 release.

One source close to the band told the NME yesterday: "[Frontman] Justin's already being recognised in the street over there. They're going to go and play a few gigs to see how they get on. It's an exciting time."

-----------------------------------------------

FLAMING LIPS SPECIAL EDITION PLANNED
As one of those albums that started off small but has just grown and grown, Warners are planning to cash in on the ever growing popularity of the Flaming Lips' 'Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots' by releasing a special edition featuring b-sides, a Japanese version of the title track and an acoustic rendition of 'Do You Realize?' plus videos and a 'making the video' featurette. Disc two features two videos for "Do You Realize?," directed by Mark Pellington and Lips frontman Wayne Coyne, plus a making-of featurette. A trailer for the Lips' long-in-the-works holiday film "Christmas on Mars" is also included. No UK release date as yet - though it may well hit stores during the band's up coming UK tour:

Oct. 23: Plymouth Pavilion
Oct. 24: International Centre, Bournemouth
Oct. 26: International Arena, Cardiff,
Oct. 27: DeMontfort Hall, Leicester
Oct. 28: Manchester Apollo
Oct. 29: City Hall, Sheffield
Oct. 31: Birmingham Academy
Nov. 2: Brighton Centre
Nov. 3-4: Hammersmith Apollo, London
Nov. 8: Glasgow Academy
Nov. 9: Usher Hall, Edinburgh

------------------------------------------------

UNIVERSAL SLASH ALBUM PRICES
Universal Music have announced a new 'one price fits all' system in the US which will slash up to $6 off the price of flagship albums. After 1st October the recommended retail prices on all of Universal's new and catalogue releases (which covers a spectrum including U2, Eminem, Ashanti, Bob Marley, the Who, Hank Williams and Louis Armstrong) will be $12.98. Many chart albums currently retail at $16.98 and $18.98.

The decision follows the continuing decline in album sales around the world - some industry insiders say the steady increase in album prices over the last five years have further encouraged music fans to access music illegally online. The hope is the price slash will reinvigorate the market so overall profits are increased.

Universal chairman Doug Morris explained: "Our new pricing policy will allow us to take the initiative in making music the best entertainment value and most compelling option for consumers. We strongly believe that when the prices are dramatically reduced on so many titles, we will drive consumers back to stores and significantly bolster music sales."

------------------------------------------------

LIVE REVIEW: Evan Dando at the Metro, London on 1 Sep
What an oddity. After an eternal wait, Evan Dando finally saunters onto the Metro's stage. Barely half an hour later, he saunters off again. Mind you, in between the sauntering he plays a fine set, made up mostly of material from his 'Baby I'm Bored' solo album. Tonight Evan is accompanied The Pictures, a trampish band of Australian mods with whom he hasn't played before. Ordinarily, all would be washed away by the serene beauty of Evan's deep, lilting voice, and to some extent it is tonight. As he leads his group through Gram Parsons' '$1,000 Wedding', Lemonheads fave 'Big Gay Heart' and ace new song 'My Idea', those sublime vocals take up half the PA, reaching in to each and every soul in the audience and massaging it gently. But just as suddenly, the soul-soothing is jerked to a finish after maybe seven songs, and Evan awkwardly packs up and sods off without a single word. It's a truly bizarre anticlimax to an otherwise gorgeous gig. DR

------------------------------------------------

NME RELEASE RESULTS OF FESTIVALS POLL
The NME have announced the headline results to the various festival surveys it conducted with its readership over the summer. For stat fans out there the key findings were:

Booziest Festival: T In The Park (of course)
Sexiest Festival: Glastonbury 2003
Good Vibes Festival: Glastonbury
Bummer Of The Summer: White Stripes pulling out of everything
Winners Of The Summer: The Darkness
Best Festival Band All Year: Coldplay at V Festival, followed by Radiohead at Glastonbury, followed by Flaming Lips at T In The Park
Bands Most Wanted For 2004: Oasis, Radiohead, The Strokes, White Stripes, Muse, Foo Fighters

------------------------------------------------

EMAP LAUNCH MOJO RADIO STATION
EMAP are turning another of their magazine brands into a digital radio station - this time retro music mag MOJO. MOJO Radio, which will be available via the Freeview system, will be a rolling music station playing a mix of music from the last 40 years.

EMAP's Tim Schoonmaker: "Mojo Radio will be the destination of choice for the music lover who wants radio that reflects where music has come from and where it is going."

------------------------------------------------

LABELS MAY BE AFFECTED IN POST-NBC DEAL VIVENDI RESTRUCTURE
Much talk at Vivendi regards the future of the group now they seem likely to merge their non-music US entertainment operations with NBC. Word is chief exec Jean-Rene Fourtou - who originally said he wanted out of the US market altogether - is toying with the idea of splitting his conglom into two - with a US entertainments company consisting of the record labels and their potential 25% share in NBC Universal, and a French utilities company combining its telecoms and pay-TV operations there. Quite what that would mean for the day to day running of Universal Music - and its relationship with its sister movie, games and TV businesses, is unclear.

Meanwhile there are reports that Edgar Bronfman Jr, who stood down from the Universal board while bidding to buy he group's entertainment assets, is planning to take back his place on the board now that Vivendi have opted with the NBC deal - which could lead to some interesting meetings. The New York Post also reckons Bronfman may now make a bid for Universal's record labels, even thought Fourtou still seems adamant they're not for sale.

------------------------------------------------

BMG UPBEAT DESPITE DISAPPOINTING FIGURES
More major label rumblings. BMG bosses are trying to put a positive spin on their figures for the first half of 2003, which see a slight slip in revenues, and a considerable slip in profits on the same period last year. The continuing decline in the music industry, its commitments to the newly acquired Jive Records and the fact many key releases are still to come are being blamed. In reality BMG's main concern will be that the figures don't weaken its hand in the ongoing merger talks with Warner Music.

------------------------------------------------

REVIEW: Interpol - Obstacle 1 - The Remixes (Matador)
Don't worry, they've not done a cheesy house version of it or anything. Interpol - the Goth Strokes, not to mention current best dressed act in rock - have enlisted occasional New Order producer Arthur Baker to remix one of the highlights from 'Turn Out The Bright Lights'. Baker, sensibly, keeps the pounding nucleus of the song intact, merely adding little flourishes appropriately. (The odd cut up, an extra snare drum here, a bit of synth there...nice work if you can get it). Thankfully though, 'Obstacle 1' remains full of gloom, despair and tension, with Paul Banks defiantly singing like a man possessed. It still sounds considerably like Joy Division, of course, but since when was that a bad thing? MS
Release date: 15 Sep
Press contact: Beggars IH [all]

------------------------------------------------

MIDWEEK CHART UPDATE
Midweeks midweeks. Dido is likely to go in at 2 on Sunday's singles chart with 'White Flag', just behind Black Eyed Peas who are expected to go straight in at one with 'Where Is The Love'. Big Brovas, Iron Maiden and Starsailor are all expected to go top ten (in that order) while the White Stripes may have to make do with number 11 for 'I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself'. Cooper Temple Clause, Lemonescent and the Rolling Stones should go top twenty; A, Spiritualized and Marilyn Manson are expected to enter the chart somewhere between 20 and 30.

------------------------------------------------

CLAPTON WANTED TO BE IN THE STONES
Speaking to MOJO magazine, Keith Richards has revealed Eric Clapton really wanted to join the Rolling Stones when guitarist Mick Taylor left the band in 1974 - though the band didn't realise at the time. Richards explains: "Eric wanted to jump in after Mick Taylor, but never said so. He expected us to call - but I only just found out!"

That said, Richards isn't sure Clapton would have fitted in: "He's damn good - but he's his own man. There are certain guys that are band players and there's certain guys that ain't. He's got it all, but Eric's like Mick Taylor in a way. He needs to hire guys to play with him to kick him up the arse."

-----------------------------------------------

BUYMUSIC HIRE FORMER NAPSTER EXEC TO HEAD MARKETING
Former Napster exec Elizabeth Brooks has been snapped up by legit download service BuyMusic.com to head up their marketing. As previously reported BuyMusic.com has set up a window-based download system based very much on the successful iTunes service. Having achieved some critical acclaim Brooks - who has worked by both labels and publishers since her Napster days - will now be charged with taking iTunes head on, presumably gaining as much ground as possible before the Mac operation launches a PC version of its service.

------------------------------------------------

TRUFEST CONFIRM NIGHT TIME VENUE
The organisers of this weekend's TruFest have confirmed the warehouses that made up the Kings Cross Freight Depot - The Key, Canvas, The Cross and the open air spaces between - will host the nighttime aspects of the festival. A free shuttle bus will take festival-goers to Kings Cross from the daytime events at Brick Lane. Line up wise - Andrew Weatherall, Dub Pistols, Sancho Panza and Queens of Noize are among the many many acts confirmed to play.

------------------------------------------------

WESTLIFE'S HALF-DRESSED FIRE DRILL
Apparently Westlife had to flee half-naked from their hotel room when a fire broke out. The boyband was preparing for a photo shoot when the alarm went off - leaving them half dressed in the lobby awaiting the all clear to return to their rooms.

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

© UnLimited Publishing | subscribe at www.theCMUwebsite.com/daily