CMU Daily - on the inside 9 Jan 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Sony announce download intentions
- EMAP radio man quits
- Ozzy cancels UK dates again
- REM live DVD
- Apple backtrack on Euro pricing for mini iPod
- IFPI hit back at European anti-anti-piracy bid
- Gibson launch digital guitar
- Two more Carlton directors quit
- Jacko legal nonsense
- Green Day man's anti-Bush rant
- Mad World set for US release
- Apple and HP go in alliance on downloads
- Britney's home town at centre of media circus
- BBC publish buzz chart
- Squire exhib at ICA
- BBC 3 to revamp Celebdaq
- Beyonce second solo album on hold
- Aol take streaming round your house too 


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 



VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: 'Balance' at Plastic People
After that awesome New Years Eve edition of Balance, resident and owner Abdul Forsythe teams up with none other than the near legendary Gilles Peterson for what is sure to be a great night. This small, rather intimate basement venue boasts a damn good soundsystem, and no doubt the music policy will be joining the dots: expect to hear a sonic tombola in action from jazz to funk to afrobeat to drum 'n' bass to house. Ade knows how to rock his joint and the Radio One alternative show fave will be drawing them in from all over town - so get there early as capacity is only 300.

Sat 10 Jan, Plastic People, 147-149 Curtain Road, London EC2 - 10pm - 3.30am
£6 before midnight and NUS all night, £8 thereafter

Put your club night up for the tip - 

CHRIS' MEDIA TIP: The Remix on Xfm
OK, to become a CMU media tip you gonna need three good reasons to watch/listen/read. This week's Remix on Xfm has five. Firstly the show is in a new extended slot this Sunday now that Xfm see the Remix as its flagship dance-crossover show - and given that it starts at 6pm that means you can sidestep that horrid chart show slot every radio station goes through on a Sunday tea time. Second it's the 200th edition of the show this weekend - meaning its gonna be special. Thirdly you will be able to hear the excellent Black Twang live. Fourthly you can hear the 26 DJ A-Z Mash Up that was staged at the Remix's Christmas party last December. And fifth I'm gonna try a persuade Eddy TM to play that fantastic Stokes / Dizzee Rascal bootleg. To cut a long story short, make sure you listen.

Sun 11 Jan, Xfm, 104.9FM in London, Sky, cable and CAB,, 6pm-9pm


The Sony Group have confirmed more about their planned download service at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Currently billed as Sony Connect the service will follow what is becoming the standard model - some 500,000 tracks can be downloaded one at a time for 99 cents each, or as an album for $9.95. The service should see Sony's music and electronics businesses working more closely together - with a number of new gadgets due to be released when the service goes live. For those that like to know about these things the group plans to use the ATRAC music format - which is apparently of a higher audio quality than MP3. Sony Music's original download joint venture with Universal - Pressplay - was sold to Roxio, of course, and was in turn transformed into the new Napster. 

Elsewhere in Sony news, the electronics group has announced a new format of mini-disc which will hold up to 45 hours of music as well as pictures and text. The mini-disk format is facing competition from the increasingly popular MP3 players so in a bid to differentiate themselves the next generation of mini disks and players can also store photos, presentations and documents which can be transferred to PC via a USB cable. 


The man credited with building EMAP's radio portfolio announced he was quitting the group yesterday. Tim Schoonmaker is standing down as chief exec of EMAP's Performance radio division, although he will continue to advise the company as a consultant.

Announcing his departure Schoonmaker told reporters: "I've been mulling over this for a while, the right thing for me is to do the next thing. I'm fascinated by the way that content and digital stuff is merging - from Microsoft to News International down, the whole world is changing. The next couple of years in UK radio will be fascinating. It's a lot like looking at a picture - if you are really close to it and look at one part of it, and then you step back, you see there's a whole canvas to play with. For a long time EMAP has been good for me and I've been good for EMAP. We have created a lot a good stuff and I feel we have got the most profitable radio business in the UK. It has been a great year this year, a really enjoyable year. I've got some ideas and people I want to talk to." 

For Schoonmaker to quit so suddenly just as new media ownership legislation opens up the opportunity for the financially strong EMAP to expand its radio business has led to some to suggest there is some friction between the company and its radio boss. Some in the city have speculated that Schoonmaker wanted a seat on the board in return for building a £600m empire on investment of £150m, and when that wasn't forthcoming he decided to review his position there. There are also rumours that Schoonmaker fell out with the EMAP top guard after they refused to buy the Scottish Media Group's radio assets, which include Virgin Radio, which Schoonmaker was reportedly interested in acquiring.


Ozzy Osbourne has talked about his disappointment in having to postpone for a second time a series of UK live dates. Originally due to take place last Autumn, Osbournes mini-UK tour had been pushed back to next month. Needless to say following that quad bike crash it will be a few more months yet before Ozzy is back on stage.

The singer told reporters: "I am deeply disappointed, but it's out of my control. Right now I need to concentrate on my recovery and unfortunately this is something I cannot rush. I have to take things one step at a time now. I look forward to being back on stage as and when the doctors tell me I am fit and ready."


The up coming REM live DVD will hit stores on 23 Feb. The DVD features the band's show at Wiesbaden Bowling Green in Germany from last July and is something of a greatest hits show featuring tracks from across the band's career including 'What's the Frequency, Kenneth?', 'Daysleeper', 'Orange Crush', 'Losing My Religion', 'Man On The Moon', 'Everybody Hurts' and 'It's The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)'.


Apple are back tracking on an announcement earlier this week regarding the pricing of its new mini iPod here in the UK. Following Steve Jobs announcement in San Francisco earlier this week that the new version of the MP3 player will retail at $249 in the States, Apple UK announced the player will go on sale for £199 over here. That makes it £38 more expensive in Europe than America - which is a bit rubbish given one of the selling points of the new bit of kit is that it was $50 (£27) cheaper than the current entry level iPod. 

But Apple vice president Greg Joswiak yesterday told reporters the Europe price could yet be changed - blaming the variable strength of the dollar relative to the pound for the confusion over pricing: "What we don't want to do is lock Europe into a price now, see the dollar continue to weaken, and have done all of ourselves a disservice by pricing too early." 

Joswiak also denied rumours that Apple was planning a 'very mini' iPod which would retail for under $100. He said: "All this nonsense about us doing a $99 player was just that. We weren't going to do a player that does 30 songs - it's very uninteresting to us."


The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has hit out at the Belgian consumer group that is suing four of the majors over allegations the anti-piracy technology they use on their CDs short changes consumers. As previously reported consumer group Test Achats is taking its case to the Belgian courts hoping to force the labels to drop its use of the technology, and to compensate consumers who have bought CDs that contain it. 

But a spokesman for the IFPI yesterday told reporters: "European law is clear that record companies and other copyright holders have the right to protect their works through technical means. This is particularly important to discourage widespread unauthorized copying and Internet distribution of recorded music." 


Now this is really exciting! Gibson are launching the digital guitar. Basically this is an electric guitar with an Ethernet socket, meaning you can plug your guitar into your computer and record tracks straight to sound editing software. Designed to look like the Les Paul model of guitar the new product - to be called Media-accelerated Global Information Carrier, or MaGIC - will initially retail for £1700.


Two more Carlton top dogs are quitting the newly merged ITV - which will further concerns that the controversial merger between Carlton and Granada has become a takeover of the former by the latter.

Carlton TV's director of programmes, Steve Hewlett, has confirmed he is leaving the company after the top ITV programming job went to Granada's Simon Shaps. His boss, Carlton's content chief executive Rupert Dilnott-Cooper, is also leaving. Both are currently negotiating severance packages. 


Six of the US's biggest media groups are calling for the court documents relating to the Michael Jackson child abuse allegations to be made public. The documents had been scheduled to be released to the media on 31 Dec, but a last minute deal between Jacko's lawyer and the court means all documents will remain confidential until the court case itself begins next week. Lawyers for the New York Times and broadcasters CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox News are now claiming the court acted illegally in making that deal. 

Lawyer Theodore Boutrous Jr, acting for the media firms: "There needs to be notice and an opportunity to be heard regarding the sealing of court documents. There must be notice so the public can go in and argue that documents should not be sealed." 

Elsewhere in Jackson legal dealings, Jacko's people have hit out at attempts by the prosecution to stop the singer and his representatives talking to the media about the case. The prosecutors argue such interviews damage the chances of both sides getting a fair hearing at the trial - in particular hitting out at claims by Jackson's lawyer Mark Geragos that the motives of the family making the allegations against his client are financial. But Geragos - who plans to oppose the moves to silence him and his team - told reporters yesterday: "When I first read [the motion], I wondered if the district attorney's office was suffering from short-term memory loss. I was not the one conducting multiple press conferences with audio and visual displays."

Finally for now in the legal department, the family of the boy allegedly molested by Michael Jackson has filed a formal complaint to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services over the leaking of a memo relating to a previous investigation into the relationship between Jackson and the child. In that memo the family go on record as denying Jackson ever behaved inappropriately - which damages the family's case against the singer unless they can prove any abuse happened subsequent to the memo being signed. The memo was leaked shortly after Jackson was charged and was published on the Smoking Gun website. Agency officials have not commented on the complaints regarding the leaking of the memo, except to say the matter was being investigated.


Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong is encouraging his fans to read Michael Moore's latest book 'Dude Where's My Country' explaining that it really opened his eyes with regards the way his country is being run.

Armstrong explains: "Journalists say things that become boring but Michael Moore is really funny. The best way that I learn about things is when someone has a sense of humour about what they are talking about and he knows what he is talking about".

On the current US presidency he continues: "It is kind of eerie to think about who is in power right now because the Bush administration are a bunch of corporate crooks. There is a war on terror which is basically a war on fear. It is playing with our fear. Everyone's mind is occupied on terrorist threats so he is able to go out and make deals with different countries on giant oil profits to line their own pockets. Take a look and read about where Dick Cheney comes from and what his background is. You will be really surprised".


The Christmas chart topping track by Gary Jules and Michael Andrews is looking likely to receive a US release following its success over here. It was public pressure and radio play that led to the mellow cover of Tears For Fears 1983 hit 'Mad World', the title track from cult movie 'Donnie Darko', to get released over here. Given the huge success here, and with radio play on certain independent radio stations in LA, New York, San Diego and Baltimore, the track is likely to get a US release.

Californian Jules - still a little overawed by his sudden mainstream success - is also in talks with US-based labels about a re-release of his independently released album 'Trading Snakeoil For Wolftickets'. 


More techy stuff (well, one of the biggest tech conferences is in full swing!). Apple and HP have done a deal which will see an icon that links to Apple's iTunes service placed on the desktop of all HP computers and the release of an HP branded iPod.

Announcing the deal HP's Carly Fiorina told reporters: "HP's goal is to bring the most compelling entertainment content and experiences to our customers. We explored a range of alternatives to deliver a great digital music experience and concluded Apple's iPod music player and iTunes music service were the best by far. By partnering with Apple, we have the opportunity to add value by integrating the world's best digital music offering into HP's larger digital entertainment system strategy." 

Apple's Steve Jobs added: "Apple's goal is to get iPods and iTunes into the hands of every music lover around the world, and partnering with HP, an innovative consumer company, is going to help us do just that. As the industry balkanizes by offering digital music wrapped in a multitude of incompatible proprietary technologies, consumers will be reassured in getting the same unparallelled digital music solutions from both HP and Apple, two leaders in the digital music era."


Britney Spear's hometown - the struggling dairy town of Kentwood - is back in the media focus this week as reporters from across the US try to track down the singer's school friend and very short term husband Jason Alexander - who has been lying low since the 'marriage prank' last weekend.

Journalists are finding a mixed reception for Britney in her home town. One resident told reporters: "She should give some of her money to the town. She should help out. I know if I had some of that money I would."

A local businessman added: "It's embarrassing to have the worldwide media attention with the buildings in such rundown, decrepit conditions. I wish the improvement of our town got as much attention as Britney Spears' wedding." 

On the dumping of her wholesome girl-next-door persona another local resident said she now disapproved of the town's most famous daughter: "She's not building character. She's not a mentor to anyone."

However a spokeswomen for the town's museum - who have a modest exhibition stand dedicated to Britney - was more supportive: "She's just a very nice, hometown country girl. We all know her. She's just like one of us."


BBCi today publish their top ten music tips for 2004. As previously reported the BBCi news team surveyed 60 music pundits on the bands they reckon will do good things this year. The top five have been profiled throughout the week, and the full top ten is published today. 

The top ten is as follows:
1. Keane 
2. Franz Ferdinand 
3. Wiley 
4. Razorlight 
5. Joss Stone 
6. McFly 
7. The Scissor Sisters 
8. The Ordinary Boys 
9. Tali 
10. Gemma Fox 

Press info on the survey from Ian Youngs at the Beeb on 020 8576 8335


Former Stone Roses star John Squire will be exhibiting some of his iconic sleeve art at London's Institute Of Contemporary Art next month. The exhibition runs from 14 - 16 Feb and follows his solo gig at the venue on 9 Feb. 


BBC 3 is looking to revamp its Celebdaq show - and will take the programme off the air for a few weeks to regroup. Celebdaq is an online game where you 'buy shares' in celebrities - share prices go up or down depending on the press coverage those celebs get. The TV version is presented as something of a spoof city news show - and was how former Working Lunch presenter Paddy O'Connell became a fixture on the Beeb's youth channel. Quite how the TV version of the game will change is unclear - some speculate that the whole project might get sidelined, but BBC 3 controller Stuart Murphy denies that is the plan: "Celebdaq is something which really works for BBC3 and it's a crucial part of our drive to develop cross-platform BBC3 brands. We want to see whether a more regular and substantial version of the show can work and in order to do this we need to take it off air for a few weeks to give the team time to generate new ideas".

What is clear is that O'Connell and his co-host Libby Potter will no longer front the Celebdaq show when it is revamped. Following the axing of Liquid News that leaves O'Connell, one of the stars of BBC 3, without a programme to present. But Murphy said a new show would be found for the presenter: "Paddy O'Connell is a very talented guy who we are keen to continue developing. Most of his first year at BBC3 has been spent on Celebdaq, with some time on New Tycoons and Liquid News, and he and the channel are keen he has the opportunity to try other shows. We hope to be in a position to announce his new series for the channel very soon." 


Plans to release a second Beyonce solo album using some of the 45 tracks the singer reportedly recorded while developing debut release 'Dangerously In Love' have been put on hold so she can concentrate on a new Destiny's Child release. A spokesman for Sony yesterday confirmed Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams will return to the studio in March to record their fifth studio album.


Last bit of tech news, promise. AOL have announced they are working in partnership with tech company D-Link to develop wireless media players which will enable consumers to listen or watch content streaming to their computer anywhere in the house. The service will kick off with an audio player which will enable people to listen to AOL's radio service away from their computer. The service is similar to that announced by Microsoft who are working with tech partners to develop devices which enable consumers to listen to content playing on their computer via their TVs or Xboxes.

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