CMU Daily - on the inside 30 Sep 2003
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In today's CMU Daily:
• MTV Europe award nominations dominated by US artists
• Florida council step up suicide laws for Hell On Earth gig
• The Strokes album already online
• Moby plans rarities album
• Album Review: Magnet and Gemma Hayes - Lay Lady Lay (Sony/Ultimate Dilemma)
• Underwater will release 12"s on CD
• Darkness on their festive number
• Ozzy will go independent with Rasputin release
• Chart company hope to count downloads
• Libertine boy's sentence cut
• Aftermath and Atlantic partnership in the offing
• Album Review: Various - Afrique Cest Chic (Slip'n'Slide Records)
• Senate investigate download situation as report shows Kazaa still going strong
• Dido on the transatlantic in-store
• SRH revenues up
• Pop acts lined up for festive show


They may be the MTV Europe Music Awards - but they look very American. The nominations for this year's MTV Europe Music Awards, due to take place in Edinburgh on 6 Nov, were announced yesterday and the Americans lead the way. Justin Timberlake gets the most nominations. He is up for best album for ' Justified', best male, best pop, best new act and best song for single 'Cry Me A River'. Christina Aguilera, who will host the awards, got four nominations, as did The White Stripes. Evanescence and 50 Cent each get three nominations. The highest ranking European was Robbie Williams, who also competes for three awards: best male, best pop and best album for Escapology. There are, of course, the endless awards for best artist from each country in Europe, but no one takes much notice of those.

Although the nominations were announced in London, there were representatives aplenty from the host country. Commenting on the staging of the awards in Scotland the country's First Minister Jack McConnell, told reporters: "It's a great chance for us to showcase Scotland and our talent. I believe the 10th annual MTV Europe Music Awards are going to be the best ever - because they are in Scotland."

Representing the world of Scottish rock, Travis front man Fran Healy added: "Scotland is the greatest country in the world and the people are among the coolest and most artistic. It's going to be such a great thing. They should have it every year in Scotland. It's so cool that we can perform on our home turf."


You go to all the effort of planning a little suicide for your fans to enjoy and those pesky legislators step in and remove all your fun. The city council of St Petersburg in Florida have passed new legislation ahead of this weekend's proposed Hell on Earth gig where the band claim a terminally ill fan will commit suicide in order to raise awareness of the 'right to die' campaign. Although some reckon the proposals to stage such a suicide would leave the band and the venue open to prosecution on the grounds they "assisted" in allowing someone's death, the band's lawyers argued current laws would not make them liable. So, just to be, sure the City Council have written some new laws, making it specifically illegal to conduct a suicide for commercial or entertainment purposes.

Commenting on the new legislation one council member told reporters: "While I still think it's a publicity stunt, we still couldn't sit idly by and let somebody lose their life."

It is still unclear whether or not the proposed suicide is actually just a publicity stunt - something the band is famous for. If it is a genuine plan it is also unclear where the gig will take place - the owner of the city's Palace Theater where the gig was due to take place pulled the booking after the local uproar about the suicide plan. But band front man Billy Tourtelot says the gig, and the suicide, will go ahead in the city in an undisclosed location: "This show is far more than a typical Hell On Earth performance. This is about standing up for what you believe in, and I am a strong supporter of physician-assisted suicide."


Word is ten of the eleven tracks on The Strokes up coming second album 'Room On Fire' are already online. The album is not released until 20 Oct but according to various fan sites most of the new material can already be downloaded. The NME has confirmed users of various unofficial message boards are now sharing mp3 files of the album.


Moby is planning to release a CD of eighteen rarity tracks, including 14 b-sides and four previously unreleased tracks - 'Nearer', 'Afterlife', 'String Electro' and 'Stay'. The CD will be released alongside a DVD which features footage of Moby in his New York studio writing the track 'Song That We Made Together', a live performance from June's Glastonbury festival and eighty minutes of Moby TV.

Commenting on the release Moby told Rolling Stone magazine: "It just seemed to make sense again because we had so much material that otherwise would never see the light of day. I'm very prolific because I have my own studio, and pretty much all I do is spend time working on music."

The rarities release will be followed by a new album in January, released under the 'Voodoo Child' guise. Moby explains: "Last winter I had a little bit of time off, so I just came home and made this. I wrote a lot of techno songs -- very simple, melodic, electronic, dance music -- and after I made them I realized I liked them quite a lot."


ALBUM REVIEW: Magnet and Gemma Hayes - Lay Lady Lay (Sony/Ultimate Dilemma)
Magnet is not, as I thought, an American metal band, but a Norwegian called Even Johansen. The song is the Dylan classic so quite handy if you like the Bobster's tunes but not his growly vocals. Although there's a folky flavour, the sound is orchestral psychedelia. Johansen's dreamy, velvety vocals meld nicely with Gemma Hayes. It's taken from the album 'On Your Side' recorded not amongst Even's native fjords but in a pigeon loft in Lockerbie, Scotland. The gentle melodies and gorgeous sounds of the B-sides complete an irresistible package. JW
Release date: 20 Oct
Press contact: Sony IH


The Underwater label has said it will release future 12" releases on CD too - the CD release will come with the same packaging and label, and even have grooves printed on the front to make it look like vinyl! The first such release will be Paul Jackson's 'Rock and Roll' released on 20 Oct.


The Darkness' Dan Hawkins has been commenting on his band's attempts to get the Christmas number one with '(Christmas Time) Don't Let The Bells End'.

Speaking to Virgin Radio the guitarist said: "The Christmas number one is what we're going for. It's a masterpiece - a true work of art that will be around for years to come. There was the option of releasing it slightly earlier and not going up against the big guns like Cliff Richard and the Pop Idols for the Christmas number one, but we think we'll give it a shot - it's about time there was a rocking Christmas. We're shooting the videos this week, I've just jumped in a swamp having been chased by spear-throwing natives and have been attacked by a crocodile. This combined with jet-lag and a slight hangover is just a great combination."


Well it proved good material for Boney M. Now Ozzy Osbourne is planning on using the life of the nutty Russian monk Rasputin for musical inspiration. Word is Ozzy is writing a musical based around the life of Rasputin - though it is not clear whether Mr Osbourne has any plans for the musical to make it to the stage, the initial plan is to record it as an album.

Meanwhile Osbourne has confirmed he will release future albums independently - the decision follows his departure from longtime record label Sony. Daughter Kelly has now signed to London based Sanctuary, but Ozzy says he plans to release his own music without the support of a major.


The Official Chart Company has said they are looking into way to launch an accurate download music chart, or even to incorporate download information into existing charts. The decision recognises that in the download era certain parts of the music buying public will download tracks rather than buying singles, making the singles charts a less accurate representation of what music is being bought.

But charts director Omar Maskatiya stressed there was much work to be done before an accurate downloads chart can be launched: "There are numerous logistical and practical problems involved in producing a download chart. We are committed only to including downloads in the Official Chart if the data meets similar standards of quality and integrity as our existing charts."


At last some good news in the ongoing Pete Doherty story. The former Libertines frontman has had his prison sentence reduced on appeal and could be free within days.

As previously reported, Doherty was jailed after he admitted to breaking in to the flat of fellow Libertine Carl Barat and stealing an antique guitar, video recorder, a laptop, mouth organ and a CD player. Relationships between the former bandmates have been strained since Barat essentially sacked Doherty from the band after the latter's drug problem supposedly made their working relationship impossible. Reports suggested the Doherty stole the goods in order to fund his drug habit.

Yesterday Doherty's lawyer persuaded Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court in London to reduce his client's sentence from six months to two. He told the court the burglary had been an impulsive and unplanned act motivated by "feelings of anger and betrayal by his closest friend". He added: "He is a 24 year old who had suddenly come into a bit of fame and a bit of money and clearly has a drug habit. Having visited my client in prison he has impressed on me that the prison sentence has done him the world of good. The complaint he has is that there was no credit for a guilty plea."

Reducing the sentence, Judge Derek Inman said: "We feel that a custodial sentence was justified in this case but sufficient credit was not given for his timely plea of guilty which it should have been. We have reduced his sentence to two months which will allow for his almost immediate release."

As reported last week, the NME has said Barat has said he would welcome Doherty back into the band once he was released from prison. Remains to be seen if that's the case.


According to the New York Post Dr Dre's Universal imprint Aftermath is close to forging a relationship with Warners label Atlantic which will see the producer working with and co-releasing an album by new Atlantic signing Governor (who is described as "Marvin Gaye meets 50 Cent"). The basics of any joint venture could be agreed in the next few weeks with the album expected to have a Spring 2004 release.


ALBUM REVIEW: Various - Afrique Cest Chic (Slip'n'Slide Records)
12 tracks spanning the 'Afro House' vibe are lovingly collected by A+R man Steve Jones. There's Blaze's Femi Kuti rip off 'Jump 4Love', the African guitar stomp and chant of Bongo Maffin's 'Mari Ye Phe Pha' and T.Kolai's beautiful house jazz workout 'Exodus' – the highlight from their excellent recent album. Chi Chi Peralta throws in a more Latin than African sound in 'Un Dia Mas', while the fast tempo 'Kenji Kuan' by T.Kolai has a slight Eastern slant. Elsewhere Dennis Ferrer's 'Funu' is OTT, Kerri Chandlers' 'Coro' is average pounding house, and Blaze's spoken word 'Spiritually Speaking' ends the mix badly. Very out of place. But nevertheless, this is an interesting compo that recognises the powerful influence of Africa on modern dance music. PV
Release date: 27 Oct
Press contact: Kickin IH


The US Senate Committee of Governmental Affairs will today begin a hearing into the continuing downloading problem. With the catchy title of 'Privacy & Piracy: The Paradox of Illegal File Sharing on Peer-to-Peer Networks and the Impact of Technology on the Entertainment Industry' representatives from the record and music industries will try to persuade government they need financial, educational and legislation support in their ongoing battle against illegal downloading. Recording Industry Association of America boss Mitch Bainwol, Motion Picture Association of America's Jack Valenti, Chuck D, LL Cool J and RIAA subpoena recipient Lorraine Sullivan will all participate in the hearing.

The hearing coincides with another report questioning the effectiveness of the RIAA's ongoing litigation campaign against downloaders. The report in Rolling Stone points out that while the number of people illegally sharing music did fall about 35% the week after the RIAA launched its legal action against individual downloaders, some 4 million people continue to use Kazaa each week. The report points out that nearly half of those users are outwith the US and therefore beyond the RIAA's reach. With trade organisations in even 'US friendly' markets like Australia and the UK saying they will not peruse their own legal campaigns against downloaders it seems Kazaa will maintain a large membership globally, which some reckon will strengthen its position in the US too.

The report also questions the thinking behind the RIAA's litigation campaign that by targeting those who share 'substantial' numbers of tracks (i.e. over 1000) those who share less music would stop downloading - either because of the fear they will next, or because their key music supplies are cut off. New research suggests that many of the file sharers with less than 200 songs in their Kazaa databases (which accounts from 86% of users) don't feel threatened by the current litigation and, because there are so many such members, the loss of a few hundred 'major file sharers' has not affected the supply of music available via Kazaa.

Rolling Stone reckon the threat of lawsuits is also failing to push illegal downloaders onto legit download services - as the RIAA had hoped. They argue after the initial hype Apple's iTunes service has plateaued at an average of 500,000 downloads per week while the Windows download site has yet to take off in any serious way.


Dido yesterday undertook her transatlantic album launch - playing live instore sets in London and New York on the same day - and taking 100 fans across the Atlantic with her in a large 'Dido' branded plane.

Commenting on the publicity stunt just as it began Dido told reporters: "I've been waiting and waiting for this day and it's a little bit surreal. I kept saying to my dad, 'it's a whole plane and it's ours and it's going to have my name on it!' It's so much fun, it's making me giggle. I feel like a princess today."


Good news for the radio biz north of the border - the main commercial radio owner in Scotland, Scottish Radio Holdings, has bucked trends and announced significant rises in its advertising revenues. The week after both Capital and GWR expressed their continued reservations as to the fortunes of the radio industry, SRH said it was on course for a 5% rise in revenues over the year to the end of September.


Book your tickets now. Westlife, Gareth Gates and Girls Aloud will be among the acts performing recent hits and their favourite Christmas songs at the 'Christmas In Popworld' concert at Wembley Arena on 2 Dec. And if that line up wasn't enough in itself, Westlife's Shane has told reporters: "It's going to be an amazing show with Westlife and all the other acts on it and there will be a special surprise from us for all the fans there." More at

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