CMU Daily - on the inside 10 Dec 2003
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Ozzy recovery could take two months
- Courts reach decision on Rhode Island fire
- Us secret service not investigating Slim Shady
- Memo may get Jacko off the hook
- Survey says singles will dominate in digital era
- Hammer TV planned
- ITV hope to get Sky buy in to channel changes this month
- ISPs say they will enforce new spam legislation
- Buena Vista pianist dies
- Paypal move into music
- Album Review: Various - Chillifunk Vs Phil Asher: Heavyweight Soundclash CD 
- Pop Idols go on tour
- Virgin rejig daytime
- RIAA appoint new anti-piracy head
- Busted boy not impressed with drag reaction
- Cable companies may be forced to merge
- Celeb nonsense



*** 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.

*** STUDENT RADIO, STUDENT PRESS AND STUDENT UNION PEOPLE - join the new free network for college media people run by the publishers of CMU. Full details of membership benefits and an application form is online at


Doctors reckon it could take up to two months for Ozzy Osbourne to recover from his quad bike accident. As Sharon Osbourne flew into the UK last night to be with Ozzy, doctors said recovering from this kind of accident can be a slow process. 

BUPA's Dr Annabel Bentley told reporters: "How long treatment will take depends on the severity of the injuries and what happens in the first few days. It sounds like he is having all the right treatment done. He is in intensive care on a ventilator. The reason for this is because when someone breaks that many ribs and his collar bone it makes it difficult to breathe. They tend to take only shallow breaths because of the pain caused by their injuries."

On the up side, bookmakers reckon the accident should boost sales of Ozzy's new single - a cover of the Black Sabbath track 'Changes' with Kelly Osbourne - so much so that the track is now fourth favourite to be Christmas number one. 

A spokesman for bookmakers William Hill told reporters: "We were offering 50-1 about Ozzy and Kelly topping the charts, but that was snapped up with punters placing bets of up to £50 a time. The pair have been backed down to 16-1 fourth favourites and if they have as much support with people buying the record it is a real contender." 


Ten months after that tragic fire at The Station club in the Rhode Island town of West Warwick in which 100+ fans of rock band Great White were killed, the Rhode Island grand jury yesterday issued three criminal indictments. 

Where to put the blame for the tragedy centres on who decided to go ahead with the pyro display that caused the fire - especially given the size of the space and the fact sound-proofing padding was flammable. The venue said the band did not have permission to use pyros, the band's management said their full set had been approved. 

After a long investigation the grand jury decided to proceed with action against both sides - indicting both former Great White tour manager Dan Biechele and club owners Michael and Jeffrey Derderian. All three were charged with 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter with criminal negligence (a felony charge) and 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter in violation of a misdemeanor (a misdemeanor charge). They all pleaded not-guilty and are expected to be freed on bail today.

A spokesman for the band told Billboard yesterday: "Obviously, we're pleased that none of the band members were indicted, and from the beginning we didn't think that would be appropriate. We're also saddened that Dan Biechele was indicted for the small part he played in this horrible tragedy."

The grand jury's investigation is independent from the estimated $1 billion of civil suits that have been filed by families of those who died in the tragedy.


The US Secret Service has said it won't open a formal investigation into that Eminem lyric that some felt might encourage impressionable fans to attack the US President. As previously reported, the lyric was in an unfinished Emimen track which appeared online over the weekend - the rap went "I don't rap for dead presidents, I'd rather see the president dead." 

When it first appeared online a spokesman for the US Secret Service told reporters: "We are concerned about communications that can be interpreted in a manner perhaps not intended by the artist and the potential peripheral impact that such lyrics can have on other individuals. The Secret Service takes every potential threat against the President seriously. We don't have the luxury to do otherwise."

However yesterday the agency told reporters: "The Secret Service has no current plans to open an investigation into this matter." A spokesman for Marshall Mathers said the track in question was unfinished and should not have appeared on the web.


A police memo published on the Smoking Gun website may help the defence case in the current Michael Jackson child-abuse scandal. Word is that an investigation took place regarding Jackson's relationship with cancer sufferer Gavin Arvizo after he appeared on Martin Bashir's controversial documentary earlier this year. That investigation could not find any evidence of any sexual contact between Jacko and the child. It is likely that it was during that investigation that reported video and written testaments from the Arvizo family proclaimed Jackson's innocence were made. All in all the prosecution's case now rests on whether they can prove abuse took place after the investigations in February this year. 


A new survey by American research firm NPD suggests the album format may die in the digital era. A survey of consumer downloading habits across the legal and illegal digital music services showed that full albums were only downloaded 1% of the time. 94% of downloads saw consumers taking only one or two tracks from any one album. The same survey also suggests the majority of music downloaded is catalogue rather than new music, which accounts for about half of CD sales. 

Although admitting that the survey may be a little biased because many illegal P2P services don't offer access to full albums, NPD's Russ Crupnick said the survey meant record labels may need to rethink the way they package their artists' work. 

Crupnick: "Less popular tracks offered as free downloads might be effectively leveraged to market paid downloads of more popular songs and drive sales of full CDs."

"Labels should also think in terms of their artists' collected works - not just the most recent album. They need to locate a balance between effectively promoting new releases while not losing sight of the revenue-generating power of popular songs from the catalogue - and import or concert tracks, as well. It may be sensible to offer a discount when consumers buy four or five songs from the same artist, regardless of what album they originate from". 


MC Hammer (remember him?) is planning to partner with TV producer Devon Shepard to make a programme based around the former rapper's life as a minister and family man since he quit music back in 1997. 

Sheperd told reporters: "The show is going to focus more on his family as well as himself adjusting to their new lifestyle - they're not broke, they're not rich, they're just not in the same tax bracket as they were when he was a rapper - as well as his kids adjusting to having their father at home every day. Hammer and I both agreed that we were going to try to approach this kind of like 'The Cosby Show' was in the '80s, to really give it that traditional feel that I think is lacking in television right now."

The show will be aired on the WB network in the US who have an existing programme development deal with Hammer.


ITV have said they hope to reach a deal over its joint ventures with Sky before Christmas. As previously reported ITV is planning on launching a number of new digital stations, most of which will be joint ventures. Some will be based around Granada's existing joint venture with Sky which runs the Granada Plus and Men & Motors channels. ITV wants to rebrand Granada Plus as ITV Gold, but such a change will require Sky's buy in. 


The major ISPs have committed to taking legal action against spam merchants when new European legislation goes live later this week. The new legislation bans marketing companies from spamming consumers with unwanted mail unless they have previously agreed to accept it, or have a "prior business relationship" with the company. After twelve weeks of the new legislation being active companies who continue to spam could be spot-fined £5000 by authorities, or face unlimited fines if they are actually prosecuted. 

AOL in particular has said it will be monitoring its servers and will take legal action against any companies breaking new legislation. However the company warns the new legislation may not be severe enough to overcome the spam problem: "The UK government will certainly need to coordinate with other countries to ensure cross border consistency. We may also need stronger penalties than are currently in place against those who transgress the new guidelines if they are to be fully effective." 


The Cuban Music Institute yesterday confirmed Rube Gonzalez, the pianist who appeared in Buena Vista Social Club, has died aged 84. A leading member of the legendary Cuban music group, Gonzalez was described by Buena Vista founder Ry Cooder as "the greatest piano soloist I have ever heard." Gonzalez enjoyed a musical career spanning over fifty years, starting off in the 1940s at Havana's Tropicana cabaret.


The online payment service PayPal has said it plans to offer its services to download sites. PayPal allows consumers to buy stuff on the internet via a special account they fund via their bank account, rather than using credit or debt cards. Although PayPal is still speaking to the main download companies they reckon their commission proposals compare well with those offered by credit card companies, especially on small purchases.


ALBUM REVIEW: Various - Chillifunk VS Phil Asher: Heavyweight Soundclash CD (Chillifunk)
The absolutely ubiquitous Phil Asher mixes up some of Chillifunk's recent offerings, and comes out trumps. 'Soulful music for funky people' is head honcho Bob Jones motto, and that's upheld here. 13 tracks grace the stage - from the smooth jazz beat of 'Unfinished Business' by Notenshun, to the disco gilded 'Many Nights' by Vaceo. Good things first: Dino and Terry's 'Summertime Blues' is beautifully relaxed, the Interns featuring Snowboy track is good, real jazz, and the Haines cut 'Right By Your Side', with Vanessa Freeman on vocals, is just brilliant. Less good stuff: Asher's remix of kiwi sax-star Nathan Haines' 'Squire For Hire' is pretty bland, Pighi's 'Trumpeetha' goes OTT, and Asher's dub and peaktime mix of T.Kolai's 'Zouk' lacks the other's groove. But forget all that - the main downside of this album is that it's presented as one long 67 min track - not indented - which is a proper real pain in the hole. PV
Release date: 7 Feb 
Press contact: Favouritizm PR [all]


The finalists of the latest Pop Idol show will take to the road in March, dates as follows:

10 Mar: Birmingham NEC
11 Mar: Sheffield Hallam FM Arena
13 Mar: Manchester Evening News Arena
15 Mar: Glasgow SECC
16 Mar: Newcastle Telewest Arena
17 Mar: Wembley Arena


Virgin Radio are planning a major schedule overhaul which will see Daryl Denham axed from drive time and shifted to weekend breakfast. He will be replaced by Kelly-Anne Smith, who joined the station six months ago from Nottingham's Century Radio. Elsewhere Ben Jones, currently afternoon presenter, will take the evening slot and Neil Francis will take over the lunchtime show. Breakfast and mornings are unaffected by the schedule change. 

Elsewhere in radio scheduling news, Sara Cox has admitted she was told about her demotion from breakfast to drive time barely an hour before the schedule change was made public. Cox is said to be angry that management caved in to a public campaign by Chris Moyles to get the breakfast slot.


The Recording Industry Association of America have announced Bradley Buckles will take over the running of its Anti-Piracy Unit. He's the former Director of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and is expected to take a hard line in the RIAA's continuing campaign against illegal downloading.


Busted boy Matt has said he isn't planning on dressing up as a woman again (he appears as the bride in the video to current single 'Crashed The Wedding'). He told Radio 1 yesterday: "One of my mates rang me up after seeing the video for the first time. He said, 'Could have got a fitter bride,' and I was like, 'What?' and he was like, 'You could have got a fitter bride,' and I was like 'What are you talking about? It's me!' and he went, 'What?!' He seriously thought it was just some ugly extra that we'd stuck in there. I was like, 'How bad is that?!'"


City talk suggests the two main cable companies in the UK - Telewest and NTL - will be forced to merge in late 2005 when their current credit agreements run out. With debts still high insiders reckon the cost savings a merger would deliver will make the move unavoidable. Current restructures at both companies have reportedly made a merger more viable - whether competition authorities would object is unclear.


More 'celebs gone mad' stories from the ever reliable Sun.

Firstly the tabloid reports Robbie Williams has asked for disposable protective covers to be placed on all the toilet seats he sits on during his tour so to avoid the danger of picking up germs from past users of said toilets.

Secondly the paper says Kylie has hired an assistant to remind her to eat. Apparently Ms Minogue needs staff to tell her when to have meals because she often loses her appetite.

Kylie is quoted as saying: "My problem is that I forget to eat in stressful situations. Without these people, I'd have serious problems getting enough calories to cover what I need when I'm on tour."

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