CMU Daily - on the inside 6 Jan 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- New research carries some good new for anti-download campaign
- Government set up Live Music Forum
- David Byrne confirms London dates
- Jacko's man puts things straight
- IPC on their new mid-shelf weekly
- Ray Davies shot in leg by mugger
- Beautiful South man compiles Under The Influence album
- SFA add dates to upcoming tour
- Consumer group take on labels over anti-piracy technology
- Sleepy Jackson lose another member
- Brazilian culture minister combines political job with upcoming world tour
- B2K split
- Kasabian / Chikini tour
- Moyles on his new show
- Britney divorce confirmed
- Time Warner sell off mail-order CD business
- Iceland rockers confirm third album
- Evanescence reschedule US autumn dates
- Willie Nelson hopes anti-war pisses off country music's right wing 

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NEW YEAR, NEW ADDRESS
Please update your databases and send CDs for review in the CMU Daily and our sister publications to Music Reviews, UnLimited Media, Grampian House, Meridian Gate, London, E14 9YT 

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NEW RESEARCH CARRIES SOME GOOD NEW FOR ANTI-DOWNLOAD CAMPAIGN
The people behind the anti-download campaign were taking heart yesterday from a new survey published in America over the weekend about the public's downloading habits. The research by Pew Internet surveys over 1300 people about their interet use, and among the questions they ask is whether or not interviewees download music. The numbers of those surveyed who admitted to downloading music was down to 14% in November, compared to 29% when the same survey was carried out in May 2003 and February 2001. At top level those figures may well suggest that the high profile litigation campaign run by the Recording Industry Association of America against individual downloaders is having an effect. 

However the conclusions of the survey are not that clear cut. The survey does not distinguish between illegal and legit downloading which suggests that, even if the latest RIAA campaign is having an effect, the industry is failing to turn former Kazaa users into legit downloaders. Also there is a chance that the RIAA's litigation has made people less willing to admit to illegal downloading, even if they continue to file swap.

Of course you could equally argue that, given no distinction is made between legit and illegal downloads, and accepting the fact that services like iTunes seemed to become popular in the latter half of 2003, that the effect of the RIAA's campaign may have been even successful than the top level 15% drop suggests - ie of the 14% that still download a fair amount may have switched to the legit services.

Either way Mitch Bainwol of the RIAA was pleased but realistic about the survey: "We would not look at any single measure and make a statement of victory. But what we do know is this: The lawsuits have had a profound impact on awareness and fewer people are downloading (illegally), and that's good news." 

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GOVERNMENT SET UP LIVE MUSIC FORUM
The government is funding a survey on the state of live music in the UK. The survey is in response to fears among the musicial community that the recent Licensing Act that made the rules governing where amplified live music can be played stricter would damage the grass roots live sector - they argue that pubs and cafes who provided a platform for young musicians haven't the time or money to apply for the live music licences they now require.

The Live Music Forum will involve the industry, the Arts Council, local authorities, small venues owners and relevant government officials. It will be headed up by singer Feargal Sharkey. 

Announcing the Forum, Arts Minister Estelle Morris told reporters: "A vibrant live music scene is a vital element of our cultural life. We want to ensure the new Licensing Act expands those opportunities". 

Sharkey added: "I am delighted to have been asked to play a part in this unique initiative, one which we hope will help develop, encourage and promote live music." 

John Smith of the Musicians' Union, who opposed the new licensing legislation, welcomed the Forum telling reporters: "The commitment to live music shown by the minister is most welcome. The result of the research which the department is about to embark on will enable us to measure the effects of the new Licensing Act." 

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DAVID BYRNE CONFIRMS LONDON DATES
Former Talking Heads man David Byrne has confirmed two London gigs at the Royal Festival Hall to precede the release of a new album and European Tour in early summer. Byrne will play on 8 and 9 Apr. 

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JACKO'S MAN PUTS THINGS STRAIGHT
A representative for Michael Jackson yesterday responded to two of the Jacko related stories that were reported on over the Christmas break.

Kevin J McLinn Sr firstly confirmed that, as far as the Jackson camp was concerned, the singer's publicist Stuart Backerman was fired after he spoke to the media against the wishes of Jacko's attorney. Backerman claimed he quit his publicist role because of "strategic differences" over the management of Jackson's affairs. But McLinn told reporters yesterday: "Michael's attorney Mark Geragos personally fired Backerman last week for making an official statement on 20 Dec at the Neverland ranch, without the previously agreed upon authorization. Mr Backerman is claiming he resigned over 'strategic differences' with Mr Jackson's advisors. This is not true."

McLinn also commented on reports emanating from the US press, particularly the New York Times, that the controversial religious/political group Nation of Islam were playing an increasingly important role in Jackson's affairs. Reports suggested Jackson had converted to the religion and that key players in the church were now managing his business affairs and the communications involved with the up coming child abuse court case. It was also suggested the increasing influence of the Nation of Islam was the "strategic difference" Backermann referred to when he claimed to have resigned. 

However McLinn told reporters: "The New York Times erroneously reported that Mr Jackson's official spokesman, Stuart Backerman, resigned on Monday to protest the Nation of Islam's presence. The idea that there is some takeover by the Nation of Islam is ridiculous, someone is spinning you. Michael is in full control of his business affairs and the more than 25 people he employs to manage those affairs; including longtime and ongoing relationships with his accountants, lawyers and advisors". 

Jacko, and half the world's media, are due in (or just outside) the Santa Barbara court on 16 Jan for the start of the hearing over those child abuse allegations. Current thinking among those who think about these things is that the case for the prosecution is looking weak and Jackson should walk away without charge. 

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IPC ON THEIR NEW MID-SHELF WEEKLY
IPC's new products man Mike Soutar has denied his group's new men's weekly magazine Nuts is a spoiler targeting EMAP's new title Zoo Weekly. 

Speaking to the Media Guardian he said: "Nuts is not directly competing with Zoo Weekly. We believe the opportunity for a weekly general interest title for men is much broader than the hard core of lads that Zoo Weekly is aimed at. Nuts has the mainstream appeal of a popular daily, combined with the wit and colour of a glossy men's monthly. This is not a spoiler - this is IPC's biggest ever launch. We began work on this project in Nov 2002, and set a mid-January launch date back in Aug 2003. We are the first into this new sector, as we always intended, which is entirely consistent with our market-leader status. There is all the difference in the world between saying you're first, and actually being first: we simply chose not to make any early announcement." 

How different the two magazines are remains to be seen (Nuts describes itself as being "sports, news, TV and women" where as Zoo Weekly says its all about "sexy, funny and football"), but when both are launched later this month it should re-energise the mid-shelf men's magazine market, which both IPC and EMAP would admit has become a little stagnant since the genre's boom in the early nineties. 

Paul Merrill, the former IPC editor that EMAP poached to launch Zoo Weekly, says: "The men's market has been stagnant for years. The surprising thing is that it hasn't been done before. In a few years, I think the weeklies could begin to outsell the monthlies." 

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RAY DAVIES SHOT IN LEG BY MUGGER
The Kinks' Ray Davies was shot in the leg yesterday while on holiday in New Orleans - the singer was shot at after he chased two muggers who had snatched a bag belonging to a female friend. Davies was taken to a local hospital after the shooting but was soon released. A spokesman for local police said Davis' injuries were not serious, adding that they have arrested one person in connection with the crime. 

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BEAUTIFUL SOUTH MAN COMPILES UNDER THE INFLUENCE ALBUM
The Beautiful South frontman Paul Heaton is the latest artist compiling an 'Under The Influence' record - the compo series where musicians select songs from artists they most respect. Following on from Morrissey, Ian Brown and Paul Weller, Heaton's version will be released on 23 Feb. According to the NME Heaton's choices are as follows:

Pepe Deluxe - Supersound 
Calvin Doze And His All Stars - Safronia B 
Willie Nelson - Valentine 
Lee Dorsey - Whos Gonna Help Brother Get Further 
Ugly Duckling - A Little Samba 
Hues Corporation - Freedom For The Stallion 
Al Green - All n All 
Manu Chao - Bongo Bongo/Je Ne TAime Plus 
Bobbie Gentry - Chickasaw County Child 
Tower of Power - Its Not The Crime 
Syreeta - I Wanna Be By Your Side 
Lavern Baker with Jimmy Ricks - Youre The Boss 
City High - Fifteen Will Get You Twenty 
Elvis Costello - Lipstick Vogue 
Hem - Lazy Eye 
Randy Travis - Forever and Ever Amen

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SFA ADD DATES TO UPCOMING TOUR
CMU favourites the Super Furry Animals have added some extra dates onto the front of their Spring tour. The new dates include Liverpool, Dublin and Edinburgh. Full tour line up as follows: 

27 Mar: Liverpool Royal Court 
28 Mar: Dublin Olympia 
30 Mar: Edinburgh Corn Exchange 
31 Mar: Middlesbrough Town Hall 
1 Apr: Sheffield Octagon 
2 Apr: Cardiff CIA
4 Apr: Nottingham Rock City
6 Apr: Cambridge Corn Exchange
7 Apr: Brighton Dome
8 Apr: London Hammersmith Apollo

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CONSUMER GROUP TAKE ON LABELS OVER ANTI-PIRACY TECHNOLOGY
This one will be interesting. A Belgian consumer watchdog is suing all the majors, bar (for some reason) Warners, on the grounds their use of piracy-protection technology on major CD releases short changed consumers. 

As previously reported at length, some of the technology used by the major labels to block music fans from ripping tracks onto their computers also prevented them from being played in certain CD players. Consumer group Test-Aankoop argues that that infringes consumers' rights - they also question the right of labels to stop consumers putting tracks from CDs they have bought onto computers or MP3 players for personal consumption. 

Based on the complaints of 200 individual consumers the group is now challenging the majors in court. They want the majors to commit to stop using the technology, and to compensate those music fans who bought CDs which carried it. 

The decision of the Belgian courts could have quite an impact - some industry insiders reckon other consumer rights groups will follow suit if Test-Aankoop is successful.

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SLEEPY JACKSON LOSE ANOTHER MEMBER
According to the NME, The Sleepy Jackson have parted company with another band member - the third in the space of a year. Guitarist Ben Nightingale is no longer working with the band, who are currently doing prelim studio work on a new album before taking to the stage at Australia's Big Day Out later this month. 

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BRAZILIAN CULTURE MINISTER COMBINES POLITICAL JOB WITH UPCOMING WORLD TOUR
The Brazilian culture minister Gilberto Gil - one of the founders of the Tropicalia movement which combines jazz with samba and the bossanova, and one of Brazil's best-loved musicians - has admitted he likes to combine his political and musical lives by combining his tours with political meetings. The 61 year old musician has told reporters he will be touring Hong Kong, New Zealand and Europe in the next few months to both meet officials in government cultural bodies in those countries, and to conduct his own world tour. He said: "I always go around combining the two things. One job enriches the other." 

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B2K SPLIT
R&B pop combo B2K - one of the big pop successes in the US of recent years - have confirmed they are splitting. The group's manager Chris Stokes told reporters: "We've had a great run together making hit songs, albums and now movies. The kids are growing up and are interested in pursing their own careers. I have enormous respect for each of them, and I wish them success in their pursuit of their individual careers. B2K was an extremely talented singing group that will surely be missed."

Stokes's company, The Ultimate Group, will continue to manage B2K member Omarion. The three remaining members will be managed by CMX.

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KASABIAN / CHIKINI TOUR
After supporting The Cooper Temple Clause last year Kasabian ("exotically fragrant beat-based 60s psychedelic married to modish melodic electronica" if Jockey Slut is to be believed) have announced a co-headline tour with Chikinki. Dates as follows, press info from Triad:

19 Jan: Norwich Arts Centre
20 Jan: Cambridge Boatrace 
21 Jan: Northampton Soundhaus 
22 Jan: Taunton Mamba 
23 Jan: Leicester Sumo 
24 Jan: Coventry Colosseum 
25 Jan: Railway Inn, Winchester 
26 Jan: Little Civic, Wolverhampton 
27 Jan: Victoria Inn, Derby 
29 Jan: Doncaster Leopard 
30 Jan: Sheffield Fez 
31 Jan: Bar 3, Sunderland 
01 Feb: Garrick, Lichfield 

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MOYLES ON HIS NEW SHOW
Well at least one person was positive about Chris Moyles first day fronting the new look breakfast show on BBC Radio 1 - erm, Chris Moyles. He told BBCi yesterday: "The proof is in the pudding, son - we've got the gig and we were brilliant this morning. We were all prepared and ready - we've been doing a few pilots and run-throughs. We got in early this morning and there wasn't much to do - it kind of ran itself." 

Moyles show is the first new programme in the increasingly competitive breakfast show slot. That competition is likely to become particularly hot in London when Capital launch its new show fronted by Johnny Vaughan this Spring. 

Meanwhile both Radio 1 and Xfm launched new look drive time slots yesterday - the former with Sara Cox, the latter with Lauren Laverne. 

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BRITNEY DIVORCE CONFIRMED
Following that impromptu wedding to school friend Jason Allen Alexander last weekend, Britney Spears divorce was officially granted by a Nevada judge yesterday - on the couple's three-day anniversary. No word on which of the six grounds for divorce that the Nevada state recognise the annulment was granted on - though witnesses say Spears wasn't excessively drunk during the ceremony. If only Britney had thought of the Las Vegas quick-wedding-quicker-divorce option before, she could have slept with Justin Timberlake without breaking her public 'no-sex-before-marriage' commitment.

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TIME WARNER SELL OFF MAIL-ORDER CD BUSINESS
Time Warner has sold its Time Life division (you know - all those "you can't buy this in the shops" compilations and video series) to American direct-marketing company Direct Holdings. The company will be headed up by Direct Holding's stakeholder Strauss Zelnick, a former BMG boss.

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ICELAND ROCKERS CONFIRM THIRD ALBUM
The interesting sounding Minus (pronounced 'Mee-noose' apparantly) will release their third album, 'Halldor Laxness', via Sugar Cubes-owned label Smekkleysa / Bad Taste SM on 9 Feb. Harking from Iceland they are described as "a combination of fuck you-core, frozen stoner sounds and foundation-shaking classic rock." Make of that what you will. More from Mercenary PR. 

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EVANESCENCE RESCHEDULE US AUTUMN DATES
Evanescence have rescheduled the US dates they cancelled at the last minute last Autumn after the sudden departure of Ben Moody from the band. The dates in California, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Indiana will follow up coming dates in Australia. Once again Terry Balsamo, guitarist for rock band Cold, will fill in for Moody. 

Word is the band's Amy Lee plans to go back into the studio after the Spring tour to work on a follow up to 'Fallen'. 

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WILLIE NELSON HOPES ANTI-WAR PISSES OFF COUNTRY MUSIC'S RIGHT WING
Willie Nelson has been talking about his new anti-war ballad 'What Ever Happened to Peace on Earth' and the risk he will piss off country music's more right-wing fans. When asked parts of the country community would object to his new song by the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman newspaper Nelson said: "I sure hope so. I don't care if people say, 'Who the hell does he think he is?' I know who I am." 

Among the song's lyrics are the lines: "How much oil is one human life worth?" and "How much is a liar's word worth?" 

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