CMU Daily - on the inside 8 Sep 2003
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In today's CMU Daily:
• RIAA plan amnesty for downloaders
• Rumours of exciting Sony download developments
• Simon & Garfunkel reunion tour on the cards
• The Kittens front milk campaign
• Jacko gets in a Bashir jibe
• Review: Hybrid Featuring Peter Hook - True To Form (Distinctive)
• Elton John denies Dion-esque Vegas season
• Stones fans prefer the oldies
• Neil Young's movie premieres
• EMI plan Duran Duran video collection
• Primal Scream plan Best Of
• Rapper N.O.R.E. arrested on dope charges
• Coldplay speak up for fair trade
• Cher signs to Warners US
• Chrysalis rock station available via Sky
• Album Review: Pretty Girls Make Graves - The New Romance (Matador)
• Costello announces UK dates
• Nickelback not sold on JT's Big Mac deal
• Pop Idol judge loses her cool


Well, it might work. The Recording Industry Association of America has hinted they may run an amnesty for serial downloaders before taking legal action against them.

As previously reported at length, the RIAA is mid-way through a mountain of litigation in an attempt to secure the identities of individuals who they reckon have shared 'substantial' amounts of illegal MP3s. After pro-longed legal attempts by the ISPs to avoid having to hand out such data, now some of the individuals who are being targeted by the RIAA are taking court action questioning the RIAA's definition of 'substantial' and the tactics they use to monitor people's downloading activity.

Presumably to save a few cents on the legal budget, and to get some good press to boot, last week the industry association said they may offer an amnesty to the thousands of fans who they plan to target in the near future. Providing said music fans disclose where they acquired tracks on their systems and they promise to delete the songs from their hard drives the RIAA will assure no legal action is pursued against them.

Commenting on the idea Fred von Lohmann, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation which is against the RIAA's legal campaign, told reporters: "I'll be curious to see how many opt for this. It will be an interesting measure of how much fear the recording industry has managed to inject into the American public." Pointing out that the RIAA do not represent all music copyright holders and that therefore downloaders could reveal their sources and delete their files and then still face legal action from another copyright owner he added: "It's not the kind of agreement that most people's lawyers will embrace."

The amnesty is not likely to be offered to the 1600 downloaders already being sued by RIAA's legal department.


This might be a more exciting statement than it first sounds. Sony Vice Chair Howard Stringer last week told an industry audience the major is planning to launch its own digital music service in the Spring. So, another iTunes clone? Perhaps, but some on the inside reckon Sony's latest online music plans may be more exciting that its past involvements in the PressPlay platform. Word is Sony are keen to transform the PlayStation into an all round entertainment centre. With an increasing number of gamers taking their PS2s online and the development of a PS hard disk in Japan some reckon Sony might be looking at ways to make music available via games consoles.


Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel are set to make "a very special announcement" at a New York club on Tuesday night, though it might prove to be less special following comments by the editor of US live music magazine Pollstar.

Gary Bongiovanni has revealed that the former-duo have booked a number of concert venues and are planning a reunion tour. "Everyone's been expecting it," Bongiovanni told reporters this weekend. "Though it was still in the speculative stages, because you never know when Artie and Paul will get in a fight and call the whole thing off." There has been talk of a reunion tour, of course, ever since the duo performed 'The Sound Of Silence' together at this year's Grammys.

The legendary duo last performed together in a series of shows in 1993. But their relationship remains at best fractious. When he was inducted as a solo artist into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 Simon famously said of Garfunkel: "I regret the ending of our friendship, and I hope that one day before I die we will make peace with each other." But after his audience applauded his statement he added, "No rush."

Neither Simon or Garfunkel's publicists have commented on the tour, except to confirm tomorrow's press conference.


Well, it's better than championing McDonalds I suppose (take note Mr Timberlake). Atomic Kitten have confirmed that they will front a new campaign to encourage youngsters to drink more milk. The threesome appear in a new poster campaign staged by the Milk Development Council.

The Kitten's Liz McLarnon: "It's really important that kids grow up healthy and start making the right choices about what to put into their bodies from an early age. Girls in particular need to watch their calcium intake to ensure that they develop strong, healthy bones. You won't be able to follow our dance moves if you don't."


According to the Evening Standard Michael Jackson got in a jibe against Martin Bashir at his fan club organised birthday party last week. Apparently he wore a jacket bearing a no entry sign with a picture of Bashir in the middle and the slogan: "Don't waste your cash on that filthy tabloid trash." So there you go.


REVIEW: Hybrid Featuring Peter Hook - True To Form (Distinctive)
No, it doesn't sound like New Order at all. Honest. Well, all right, it does a bit, but then what did you expect? Peeved at having all his sumptuous and distinctive bass lines ruthlessly purged from New Order songs on dance remixes, Mr Hook has expressed his disquiet in a non-violent fashion, instead lending his melancholy four string magic to this apocalyptic piece of progressive, symphonic house. The singer lacks Bernard Sumner's endearingly weak vocals and poor lyrics and, whilst he can't yet purvey existential ennui as effortlessly and effectively as Barney, he brings his own angst to the party by way of some high-pitched, yearning vocals. These, in turn, are helped by foreboding strings, a bit of backwards guitar and a rather nice 'whooshing' percussive sound that, amazingly, reveals itself to be the glue that holds the whole thing together. MS
Release date: 1 Sep
Press contact: Excess Press [all]


Elton John's management have denied reports that the singer is planning a Celine Dion-esque three hundred show season in Las Vegas. In a statement John's representative told reporters: "Much wild speculation is building up about the possibility of Elton playing hundreds of concerts in Las Vegas over the next two years. However, as Elton's fans around the world are well aware, Elton would not tie himself down to so many concerts in one place when the rest of the world wants him! Last year, for example, he played well over 100 concerts in 20 countries. It is no secret that there is a plan for Elton to play some concerts in Las Vegas, and towards the end of October there will be a press conference to announce the full details. No official news will be released until then, so for now the rest is, simply speculation, most of it wrong!"

John is, however, expected to play at the Caesar's Palace venue built to host Dion's mega-Vegas season. While the Dion show is selling well the venue's owners need to fill the space during Dion's breaks to ensure a return on their investment.


The dedicated fans may still flock to the live show, but according to a new survey by MOJO magazine it's the old tracks they want to hear. Members of a string of Stones fan websites were asked to vote for their favourite Stones track of all time. Out of the Top 50, 44 come from the first ten years of the band's forty-year career, and the newest track is 22 years old!

Marke Blake, editor of the Mojo Rolling Stones Special Edition told reporters: "The '60s and '70s represent a golden age for The Rolling Stones. The band themselves tailor their live show towards songs from this era, and this has been picked up by the fans in the songs they've chosen. There are a fair number of album tracks in the list, but at the end of the day, it's the classic Stones singles that remain their best and certainly most popular work."

'Jumpin' Jack Flash' - originally released 35 years ago - tops the list. The most recent track in the chart is 'Start Me Up' from 1981 at 15.


The movie version of Neil Young's CD 'Greendale' was premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on Friday. Shot mainly by Young himself on a Super 8 digital camera the film is - according to Warners exec Bill Bentley - "an incredibly moving tale of several generations of family in a small American town. In a lot of ways, it's a microcosm of life in America and what can happen to even the best of people in modern times. It also shows the power of hope in the younger generation to try and save the planet and themselves".

Young hopes to release the movie properly in 2004, though a distributor is still being sought.


With the original Duran Duran line up in the studio putting together their first studio album together since 1983, EMI have announced plans for a 2 DVD pack of the band's videos. The release will include all the bands albums from the time they were with the label - so that's everything from 1981's 'Planet Earth' to 1994's 'Come Undone'. Among the specials planned are an uncensored and alternative version of 'Girls On Film', a club version of 'Planet Earth' and a TV commercial for 'The Wedding Album'. Those who wish to will be able to stick the DVD into their computer to access a thirty minute Q&A with Nick Rhodes and Simon LeBon taped in 1999, a photo gallery of 80 images and lyrics to each song featured on the DVD.


Talking of greatest hits, Primal Scream are releasing their first best of on 3 Nov. According to the NME the album, called 'Dirty Hits', will include all the tracks you'd expect plus a limited edition bonus disc featuring remixes by the likes of The Chemical Brothers and Massive Attack.

The tracklisting for main album is as follows: Loaded, Movin' On Up, Come Together, Higher Than The Sun, Rocks, Jailbird, (I'm Gonna) Cry Myself Blind, Burning Wheel, Kowalski, Long Life, Swastika Eyes, Kill All Hippies, Accelerator, Shoot Speed Kill Light, Miss Lucifer, Deep Hit Of The Morning Sun, Some Velvet Morning, Autobahn 66.


New York Police have confirmed they arrested rapper N.O.R.E. last week on marijuana possession charges. Word is police found a joint and a bag of pot in the MC's car after pulling him over in Manhattan's East Village last Wednesday after reports an illegal gun might be on board. No gun was found but he was charged over the drugs and is now due to appear in court on 9 Oct. Not so serious compared to the attempted murder charges the rapper faced in the early nineties - except of course in the US dope possession carries a maximum penalty of three months in jail.


While in Mexico for a gig, Coldplay vocalist Chris Martin has done his bit to help gain some publicity for the fair trade movement. He undertook a photo call working a hand-guided plough with some of the small farmers unfair trading in the global market is threatening to put out of business.

Martin told reporters: "This is an injustice. These people should be fairly rewarded for their work. We get fairly rewarded for ours."

He was refreshingly honest about his own role in the fair trade campaign: "We are a billboard for the idea, rather than a solution to the problem. We're Champagne socialists, but we believe in equality."


Cher - who parted company with Warners in the UK last year - has signed to Warners in the US! Warners' US division worked with Cher when she was signed to their UK sister company, and were heavily involved in the marketing of 'The Very Best Of Cher' when it was released by Warner Strategic Marketing in the US earlier this year. Such is the relationship between the label and the star that Warner Bros US boss Tom Whalley has decided to sign Cher proper.

Speaking to Billboard Whalley said: "I had just gotten to Warner Bros. and was involved with my first Cher record ['Living Proof']. I got to see her perform, and I was equally amazed at how broad her audience was. In simplest terms, she's one of those timeless artists that you don't find every day. There's no way that I could not put everything I could into re-signing her."

Cher is on tour for the rest of the month. Rumour has it she will then return to the studio to prepare for a Spring release – though Whalley did not talk about any kind of album schedule.


Chrysalis Radio have confirmed their digital rock station The Arrow will start broadcasting via Sky Digital this week. The station was launched as part of Chrysalis' DAB ventures, but adding Sky to its broadcast routes will dramatically increase potential audience.

Station MD Paul Fairburn told reporters this weekend: "Since the brand's launch on DAB digital radio in 2000, The Arrow has been very well received, with much positive feedback from listeners. We have every confidence that The Arrow will find a terrific reception on Sky digital".

The Arrow is among the rock stations hoping to win the new Glasgow analogue radio licence.


ALBUM REVIEW: Pretty Girls Make Graves - The New Romance (Matador)
Great name for a band, and even better name for a Smiths song you might think. Needless to say they don't sound anything like the miserable Mancunians. So how to describe them? I don't want to use the jargon of genres beloved of the music press, mainly because I don't understand it. This is basically punk but not the plastic homogenised variety invading from America, it's something more heartfelt. The fractured guitars evoke the spirit of new-wave and Andrea Zollo's vocals sound more like the Selector or some long forgotten stroppy 70'/80's post-punk band. In short it sounds like they grew up listening to the Dead Kennedys rather than the Offspring. This is the Seattle band's second album. The lyrics are of the self-conscious sixth form poetry style and a tad cryptic, "We'll get used to cranial niches, smoothes out neuro-transmitted glitches" - 'Chemical, chemical', but at least they're making the effort to sound interesting. I like it. Coming soon to a pub near you, Girlfriend In A Coma. JW
Release date: 8 Sep
Press contact: Beggars IH [all]


Elvis Costello has confirmed a series of UK dates to support his new album, out next week. Dates confirmed so far:

7 Oct: Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
8 Oct: Newcastle Opera House
10 Oct: Manchester Bridgewater Hall
11 Oct: London's Royal Festival Hall
7 Nov: Birmingham Symphony Hall


Nickelback have been talking to BBC Radio 1 about Justin Timberlake's sponsorship deal with McDonalds - and they ain't impressed. "I don't think that you should sponsor or get behind something unless you really believe in it. If you're gonna jump on a cause, that's a lot cooler than just taking the money and allowing some corporation to use your face - because it's supposed to be about the music, right? It's not supposed to be about, this is me with a Big Mac in my hand, or this is me with Nike sneakers. Whatever it is. I just think that if you're gonna be in the music business, be in the music business."


19 Management's Nicki Chapman had a rare loss of cool on this weekend's Pop Idol. Apparently it only took one of the top 100 finalists – Tarek – to interrupt Nicki mid-flow to cause the Pop Idol judge to snap.

An insider on the show told The Sun: "Nicki never loses her cool, but Tarek really got to her when he was chattering on. She yelled out 'Will you let me finish! You hack me off. Every time you talk you interrupt me'.

For the first time she really does drop her halo and you can tell she really means business."

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