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

In today's CMU Daily:
- Kelly's lawyers pick hole in under-age sex allegations
- Warner may forge alliance with EMI
- Bono to be honoured by family of Martin Luther King
- Campbell officially charged over hit and run
- RIAA launch another 41 lawsuits
- Virgin plan radio stations for Oz and Japan
- Single Review: Cyantific - Be True / Heart Beating 
- It's the daily Jacko update...
- More Eminem tracks online
- Cash on her difficult year
- ITV make senior appointments
- Elvis musical in the pipeline
- Lennon's festive track to be re-released
- Richards rants about Jagger's kbe again
- Macca's frog chorus due for DVD release
- Live Review: Gravy Train At The Spitz 
- Faithful works with Cave, Harvey and Albarn
- Vicious label split from Mushroom
- Paltrow and Martin expecting child 



*** WILLIAM HUT: A Norwegian singer/songwriter from Bergen. His album is set for release in Japan (Toy's Factory) and in Norway (Banana Party via Tuba) - rest of the world and publishing available! Two gigs in London: 11th December (Arts cafe) and 17th December (12 Bar Club). William Hut's previous album (import only) prompted Q to say: "William Hut exquisitely follows a heartsick sonic trajectory, infinitely sad and nocturnal, yet uplifting rather than depressing. This is real find. 4 stars". Q MAGAZINE For more info and a sampler CD and/or guest list contact: Mike Gething, Metropolitan Music Management 020 8540 6463.


Not wanting the Jacko sex allegations to get all the headlines, R Kelly's legal team have this week put forward a number of motions in a bid to get his underage sex case dismissed. As previously reported, Kelly faces charges over a video that allegedly shows him having sex with an underage girl. The long running legal battle is due to return to court in Feb. 

In preparation for that next court hearing Kelly's defence team have been picking holes in the prosecution's case. Much of the criticism is over the fact the prosecution team have so far failed to state when the incident allegedly shown in the video actually took place - simply stating the illegal acts occurred at some point between November 1997 and February 2002. 

Kelly's legal people now want the case dismissed, arguing that, by those dates, the girl in the video could be anywhere between 13 and 17 years old. If she was 17 at the time, she would have been old enough to consent to sex. According to US law it would still be illegal to video the sex act until the girl was 18, but Kelly's team are fighting that on the grounds that that law is stupid.

Kelly's team also argue the vagueness with regards the dates of any alleged incident make it hard for the singer to mount a defence: "It's no secret that Mr Kelly is a well-known musician, who frequently travels. By failing to narrow the date of the charged defence, Mr Kelly is wholly deprived of the opportunity to bring an alibi defence."

Prosecution lawyers are yet to comment on these latest defence motions.


Rumour has it that once Edgar Bronfman Jnr has completed his takeover of Warner Music he is likely to invite EMI to enter into talks for some kind of long-term strategic alliance between the two majors. Bronfman's consortium beat EMI in their attempts to take over Warner Music last month.


Bono is due to be honoured for his humanitarian work ... again! This time his work will be recognised at the very American sounding 'Salute to Greatness' awards, which take place in Atlanta next month. The dinner is hosted by the family of Rev Martin Luther King Jr. Announcing Bono's award King's widow, Coretta Scott King, told reporters: "We are fortunate this year to honour Bono for exemplifying many of the qualities that my husband, Martin, indicated were imperative to moving our society into the beloved community of which he so often spoke. He has focused mass public attention on the world's poorest continent and lobbied politicians around the globe to take action."


Country singer Glen Campbell has been formally charged with aggravated assault, drunken driving, extreme drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident following that incident last week which began when the singer slammed his BMW into another car and then drove off. Since his arrest Campbell, has apologised for his arrest blaming it on the anti-anxiety drug Lexapro. 


More pennies in the pot for the US major label's lawyers yesterday with the news the Recording Industry Association of America was issuing another 41 copyright-infringement lawsuits against people who have illegally traded music online. This takes the number of people actually sued since the RIAA began its consumer focused litigation campaign in September to 382.

There are still mixed opinions as to the long term effects of the legal campaign. The RIAA is standing by its action. Announcing the latest lawsuits this week, the organisation's president Cary Sherman told reporters: "The legal actions taken by the record companies have been effective in educating the American public that illegal file sharing of copyrighted material has significant consequences. Consumers are increasingly attracted to the host of compelling legal online music alternatives. These lawsuits help to foster an environment that provides a level playing field for these services to succeed." 

But Jason Schultz, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, remains critical: "There's been no indication that the campaign has led to any decrease in file sharing, so if that's the goal of the RIAA, then they don't appear to be having the effect they want. In the meantime, more American families have to deal with lawsuits invading their lives. I'm sure this is not the Christmas gift that any of these 41 people expected."

The latest 41 lawsuits relate primarily to warning letters sent out in November. The RIAA says it has now reached settlement with around 220 file swappers - some of whom were actually sued, others had received warning letters, others approached the RIAA on learning their personal details had been subpeoned from their ISP. Most settlements have seen file swappers pay the association in the region of $3000 in compensation.


The Virgin group is looking to expand the Virgin Radio business into Japan and Australia within a year - adding to Virgin's global broadcasting business which already has bases in the US, Thailand, China and France. Although the Virgin Group no longer owns Virgin Radio in the UK it has overseen the development of the station globally - insiders reckon the radio brand provides a high profile way for Branson to break into new markets before launching other Virgin products.

Confirming the radio expansion, Virgin Group's Will Whitehorn told the Guardian yesterday: "We developed Virgin Radio successfully in the UK and it was always the long-term ambition to develop radio in areas where we want to develop the Virgin brand - it helps with awareness."


SINGLE REVIEW: Cyantific - Be True / Heart Beating (Hospital) 
John Stanley and Matt Whitehead return with some quality on Hospital with their latest 12". 'Be True' clocks in with some great party D and B. Old school drum licks and bleeps build into some punchy, raw and hands in the air synth work. Pure Class. 'Heart Beating' features Merly B, and would have got a massive big up if it wasn't the flip to the above. A medium paced roller that's far from flimsy, with a little "heart beating" snippet that gets in your head - not as good as 'Be True', but damn good nevertheless. Watch out for this Twickenham duo, they are belting round that half pipe of drum and bass glory, so keep your ears peeled for their next stunt. This one's highly recommended enough. PV 
Release date: 1 Dec
Press contact: Hospital IH [all] 


The attorney for the father of the boy in the centre of the latest Michael Jackson child-abuse allegations has said that reports the boy is seriously ill again because of the pressure of the scandal are untrue. Comedy club owner Jamie Masada, who introduced Jackson and Gavin Arvizo in the first place, last week reported that Gavin had become very ill again, after previously making a remarkable recovery from cancer. But his father's attorney, Russell Halpern, said that was untrue, stating his source on the boy's health was "far more reliable than the comedy club guy."

As previously reported Gavin Arvizo's parents have been through a messy divorce which complicates the case against Jackson. The boy's father has questioned his wife's motives for making the sex abuse claims - seemingly keen to use the whole case as ammunition in his bid to win custody of Gavin and his brother and sister, either on the grounds his wife is lying, or that she shouldn't have let their son stay with Jackson in the first place.

Meanwhile BBC boss Lorraine Heggessey yesterday admitted she would need to discuss with Top of the Pops producer Andi Peters whether the Beeb should show the video for Jacko's new single 'One More Chance' on the Corporation's main pop show. The video was due to appear on last Friday's relaunch editon of TOTP, but was pulled at the last minute, apparently because the final cut of the video wasn't ready in time (even though the single was released the previous Monday!). 

At the launch of the BBC's Winter season yesterday Heggessey spoke passionately about the need to improve the way children in care in the UK are treated - an issue tackled in the new BBC show 'Taking Care'. Crafty journalists seized the opportunity to ask the BBC boss if she was planning on screening the new Jackson video on TOTP given the current allegations against the star. Heggessey replied: "I will be discussing this with Andi Peters - I don't even know what he's going to run on the show this week. The overall feeling is someone is innocent until proven guilty."


Another seven bootleg Eminem tracks have appeared on the internet - 'Bully'; 'Do Rae Me'; 'Monkey See, Monkey Do'; 'Come on In'; 'Can-I-Bitch'; 'We as Americans'; and 'I Love You More'. Some reckon 'Bully' is a rebuke to Source magazine's Benzino over the unveiling last month of a 15 year old tape of Eminem rapping racist remarks about black women. However it is likely all tracks are quite old and precede the latest Benzino/Shady squabble.


Rosanne Cash has written a note to her fans about her difficult year. In the last twelve months Rosanne has lost her father, step-mother, aunt (Johnny's sister) and her step-sister. 

She writes: "In a way I am blessed that I am of the age where many of my friends are also losing their parents, or navigating the illness of a parent, and we provide comfort for each other. I don't know what I would do without my husband and my friends right now. I assumed, wrongly, that human beings knew how to lose their parents, since it is in the natural order of life. I was - am - shocked at how little I actually know about letting go of someone I love so dearly, and whose DNA I carry. My heart resonates with all of you who have lost a parent, as now I understand the depth of the loss, and the inner re-construction that takes place. I am just beginning that process, and I imagine it is life-long".


Granada boss Charles Allen will be hoping the appointment of a number of senior execs within the newly merged ITV company yesterday will help calm fears in the Carlton camp that the recent merger is fast becoming a Granada takeover.

Among the mainly financial appointments: from the Carlton side Gary Digby will be Sales Director, Mike Green is Broadcasting Finance Director, William Medlicott will be Productions Finance Director, and Charles van der Welle will be Director of Treasury (whaterver that means).

From the Granada side Neil Canetty-Clarke will be Group Finance Director, Mike Fegen is News Finance Director, and James Tibbitts will be Company Secretary. 

Announcing the appointments Allen, in his role as chairman-designate of ITV, said: "Today's new appointments harness the best executive talent from across Carlton and Granada to build a strong ITV sales, finance and company secretarial team."

Some in the Carlton team have become concerned about the power of Granada in the deal since Carlton boss Michael Green was forced out of the post of chief executive of the new ITV by investors.


What, with the current obsession for compilation musicals, and a constant keenness to cash in, the Elvis Presley estate have confirmed they are working on creating a musical made up of Elvis songs. The show, called 'All Shook Up', should open on Broadway in Spring 2005. Word is the musical's story will follow what happens in a loveless town when a magical jukebox and a lady-loving, leather-clad stranger arrive - as far as we're aware Ben Elton won't have anything to do with the script, which has to be a good thing.


With the Pop Idol finalists tipped for the Christmas number one spot with their rendition of Lennon's classic 'Happy Xmas (War Is Over)', and with Delta Goodrem likely to dominate the Aussie festive market with her version, EMI have confirmed they will be re-releasing the original on Monday - 23 years to the day after Lennon was murdered. The CD will also include 'Imagine' and 'Instant Karma'. All we need now is for the war to actually be over and everything will be fine. 


Keith Richards has been mouthing off again about Mick Jagger's decision to accept a knighthood. In an interview with Uncut magazine Richards says: "I thought it was ludicrous to take one of those gongs from the Establishment when they did their very best to throw us in jail. Just as we were about to start a new tour, I thought it sent out the wrong message. It's not what the Stones is about, is it? I don't want to step out on stage with someone wearing a fucking coronet and sporting the old ermine. I told Mick, 'It's a fucking paltry honour'. He defended himself by saying that Tony Blair insisted that he took the knighthood. Like that's an excuse. Like you can't turn down anything. Like it doesn't depend how you feel about it."

As previously reported, Jagger will officially receive his knighthood on 12 Dec.


Run for the hills! Paul McCartney's 'Frog Chorus' is being re-released. Well, sort of. Macca's frog song was, of course, part of an animated Rupert The Bear story which Macca had hoped could be turned into a feature length cartoon. Although that ambition was never achieved Miramax have announced their intention to release the existing thirteen minute cartoon with two other McCartney created animations - 'Tropic Island Hum' and 'Tuesday' - on DVD in the Spring.

Miramax boss Harvey Weinstein: "While the world knows Paul as a creative, musical genius, he is also a master of animation and I'm thrilled to be working with him again. These three titles are breathtaking and will be a real treat for families to watch together."

McCartney: "I've loved animation since I was a little kid and I'm proud that Harvey and Miramax are handling the release of these three little gems."


LIVE REVIEW: Gravy Train at the Spitz on 29 Nov
Gravy Train write songs about two of my favourite things in life: burgers and sex. With their tongues firmly placed in-cheek, the drunken set mixes cheap beats with cheaper girls and even cheaper lyrics, observe: "I grab a condom so the condiments don't spill on the bed" from the impossibly catchy 'Burger Baby'. 'Mouthfulla Caps' takes on The Cure, Madonna and Foreigner to name but a few and turns them into a furiously silly pop medley, "show me, show me, show me how you do that rap, the one that made me cream she said," to "I wanna know what rap is, I want you to show me." Though sonically lacking at times, visually their amazing, drunken dance routines and glittery underwear are just as important as their Casio Keyboard. But don't mistake this for pretension, any poseurs present would have found it very hard to remain still, or sweat free. If Le Tigre had a choreographer and if Eminem was fat they might have ended up as Gravy Train. FC


Marianne Faithful has been working with Nick Cave for her upcoming album, due for release next March. Cave has written three songs on 'The Mystery of Love' plus The Bad Seeds back her on the tracks. The all star album also features five songs co-written by Faithful with PJ Harvey and a collaboration with Damon Albarn.


Australian dance label Vicious Vinyl has parted company with Festival Mushroom just over a year after it went into partnership with the group. The label behind Rogue Traders, J Wess and Madison Avenue went into business with the Murdoch owned music company last year. Both sides insist the abrupt ending of that partnership is amicable. 

Vicious Vinyl's John Course told reporters: "Basically it was them looking at what they have done and us looking at what we have done. Some things worked and some weren't going to work so we mutually decided to do something differently. The timing is right because we don't have any more releases this year."

Vicious Vinyl plan to carry on working with Festival Mushroom where it seems appropriate. The FM group will contine to promote and market J Wess because Course reckons "J Wess is the right project with the right label".


Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay's Chris Martin have confirmed they are expecting their first baby. Paltrow's spokesperson told reporters the couple were very pleased, adding that the baby is due next summer. He wouldn't be drawn, however, on whether wedding bells were likely. 

When questioned about the possibility of marriage with Martin earlier this year, Paltrow told Michael Parkinson: "I'm the wrong person to ask - ask him."

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