CMU Daily - on the inside 13 Jan 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Brits stuff
- PRS confirmes good year for live music
- Shaggy resigns sponsorship deal with Malibu
- Goldsmith sets up new kind of music company with BMG
- New Alanis Morrisette
- Mraz says "record away"
- Jacko fans and family prepare to show support at court house
- More from the Consumer Electronics Show
- Album Review: Jason Sparks - Heroes And Villains
- Oasis drummer quits
- BBC to perform silent track
- Aqualung dates
- Big Day Out one sold out
- Britney announces UK dates
- Future of Xray unclear
- Princes trust launch urban music event
- Zappa family sue furniture chain over ad soundtrack
- BMG team up with GWR to promote Westlife 


Given that Robbie Williams didn't release a new studio album in the allotted time period, there were few surprises at the Brit Award nominations yesterday - The Darkness, Dizzee Rascal, Dido, Daniel Bedingfield and Busted all fairing the best in terms of homegrown talent.

The former topped off a storming year by winning the most nominations - The Darkness are up for four titles including Best British Group, Best Album, Best Rock Act And British Breakthrough Act. Dizzee, Dido, Daniel Bedingfield and Busted all follow closely behind with three nominations a piece. In the Best Breakthrough category The Darkness find themselves against Jamie Callum, Dizzee and Busted - an eclectic bunch and one that will divide loyalties here in the CMU office.

On the international front also a predictable line up - Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Outkast, 50 Cent and the White Stripes all fairing well. Interestingly the Best Pop award has both British and International acts in its nominations - putting Busted and Bedingfield against Justin and Christina.

Labels wise all the majors get their fair share of nominations as you'd expect - Warners do well with The Darkness; Universal with Busted, Callum and the Polydor roster; Sony with Big Brovaz, Beyonce and their clever alliance with Deltasonic's The Coral; EMI rely predominantly on old favourites Blur, Radiohead and Kylie; while BMG do particularly well thanks to their international signings, their acquisition of Timberlake via the Zomba takeover, the Pop Idol franchise and the ever reliable Dido.

Independents wise only a few entries. Rough Trade appear thanks to The Strokes, V2 get a mention with the Phonics and Echo appear with Feeder. However on the independent front the night once again belonged to Beggars imprint XL - Dizzee, Lemon Jelly, White Stripes, Basement Jaxx, Badly Drawn Boy - XL really does have a roster to rival many a major just now, and that's before The Prodigy make their comeback.

This year's Brits take place at Earls Court on 17 Feb, meantime here's the nominations line up:

British Male: Badly Drawn Boy (Beggars/XL), Daniel Bedingfield (Universal/Polydor), David Bowie (Sony), Dizzee Rascal (Beggars/XL), Will Young (BMG/S)

British Female: Sophie Ellis Bextor (Universal/Polydor), Dido (BMG/Cheeky), Jamelia (EMI/Parlophone), Annie Lennox (BMG/RCA), Amy Winehouse (Universal/Island)

British Group: Busted (Universal), Coral (Sony/Deltasonic), The Darkness (Warners/Must Destroy), Radiohead (EMI/Parlophone), Sugababes (Universal/Island)

British Album: Daniel Bedingfield - Gotta Get Through This (Universal/Polydor), Blur - Think Tank (EMI), Coral - Magic And Medicine (Sony/Deltasonic), The Darkness - Permission To Land (Warners/Must Destroy), Dido - Life For Rent (BMG/Cheeky)

British Dance: Basement Jaxx (Beggars/XL), Goldfrapp (EMI/Mute), Groove Armada (BMG/Pepper), Kosheen (BMG/Arista), Lemon Jelly (Beggars/XL)

British Breakthrough: Busted (Universal), Jamie Cullum (Universal), The Darkness (Warners/Must Destroy), Lemar (Sony), Dizzee Rascal (Beggars/XL)

British Urban: Lemar (Sony), Big Brovaz (Sony), Mis-teeq (Telstar), Dizzee Rascal (Beggars/XL), Amy Winehouse (Universal/Island)

British Rock: The Darkness (Warners/Must Destroy), Feeder (Echo), Muse (Warners/Taste), Primal Scream (Sony), Stereophonics (V2)

British Single: Dido - White Flag (BMG/Cheeky), Gareth Gate Featuring The Kumars - Spirit In The Sky (BMG/S), Jamelia - Superstar (EMI/Parlophone), Mis-teeq - Scandalous (Telstar), Rachel Stevens - Sweet Dreams My LA Ex' (Universal/Polydor)

Pop: Christina Aguilera (BMG/RCA), Daniel Bedingfield (Universal/Polydor), Black Eyed Peas (Universal/Polydor), Busted (Universal), Justin Timberlake (BMG/Jive)

International Male: Beck (Universal/Geffen), 50 Cent (Universal/Interscope), Sean Paul (Warners/Atlantic), Damien Rice (Warners/East West), Justin Timberlake (BMG/Jive)

International Female: Christina Aguilera (BMG/RCA), Beyonce (Sony), Missy Elliot (Warners/Elektra), Alicia Keys (BMG/Arista), Kylie Minogue (EMI/Parlophone)

International Group: Black Eyed Peas (Universal/Polydor), Kings Of Leon (Hand Me Down), Outkast (BMG/Arista), Strokes (Rough Trade), White Stripes (Beggars/XL)

International Album: Christina Aguilera - Stripped (BMG/RCA), Beyonce - Dangerously In Love (Sony), Outkast - Speakerboxxx (BMG/Arista), Justin Timberlake - Justified (BMG/Jive), White Stripes - Elephant (Beggars/XL)

International Breakthrough: 50 Cent (Universal/Interscope), Evanescence (Sony), Kings Of Leon (Hand Me Down), Sean Paul (Warners/Atlantic), The Thrills (EMI/Virgin)


The Performing Rights Society yesterday confirmed that the UK live music sector is in good health. The Society says it expects to take in over £10 million in royalties from live shows in 2003 - the highest figure since the Society was set up 90 years ago. 

Putting the boom down to a strong economy, a good summer and a cultural shift PRS director John Axon reporters: "It has been an exceptional year on the concert front - the best ever for revenues. It has become part of the culture to attend one of more of the big live events of the year."


Allied Domecq Spirits have confirmed they have extended their relationship with Shaggy, who will continue to promote their Malibu rum brand. The latest deal will see the singer becoming a spokesperson for the brand, and will secure his involvement in Malibu advertising around the world. The brand will also sponsor Shaggy's live shows.

Announcing the deal Allie Domecq brand manager Ilene Grimes told reporters: "Shaggy's upbeat nature and approach to life perfectly reflects what Malibu is all about - helping to kick-start a fun evening for 'seriously easy-going' good times." 


Former MD of EMI label Innocent, Hugh Goldsmith, yesterday announced he was launching a new company half owned by BMG. The new business plans to have recording, publishing, management and consulting bits - like Sanctuary Music testing the theory that the future of the music industry is the consolidation not of major labels but of the different sectors within the music biz. 

Announcing the deal Goldsmith told reporters: "This feels good. BMG have shown with their new artist contracts that they want to do things differently and be forward looking. The deal indicates the way the industry is heading." 


Warners have confirmed that the follow up to Alanis Morrisette's 2002 album 'Under Rug Swept' will be released on 12 Apr. Recorded in one of Jackson Brown's studios in Santa Monica with John Shanks on production duties the new album - 'So-Called Chaos - features tracks called 'Eight Easy Steps', 'The Grudge' and 'Knees Of My Bees'. The first single release off the album will be 'Everything' on 5 Apr.


When Warners artist Jason Mraz plays the Shepherds Bush Empire later this week, feel free to take along a tape recorder with you. Because Mraz, who plays the London venue on 16 Feb, has issued a statement encouraging fans to make personal recordings of his gigs. 

The statement reads: "Jason Mraz allows audio taping at almost every live performance. We feel that each show is unique and want to offer our fans the opportunity to recreate the live experience through the audio reproduction of our shows. At all taping authorized performances, tapers can tape from any ticketed seating location in the venue. Also, for many of these performances tapers are able to purchase tickets for a specially designated taper section, normally located immediately behind the soundboard. No soundboard or power feeds are provided. When Jason Mraz is not headlining a show we always defer to the taping policy of the headliner or the festival."

That said - the 'feel free to record' policy carries the proviso that recordings are for personal consumption only, and Mraz's people remind you the copyright remains with the artist.


Michael Jackson's family and fan network are organising a 'caravan' of buses and cars which will take fans to support the singer when he appears in court on Friday to face those child abuse allegations. 

Confirming the plans Jermaine Jackson addressed a meeting of Jacko's fans this weekend telling them: "My mother, my father, my sisters, my brothers are overwhelmed at the outpouring of the support by the fans both here in the United States and all around the world. It is a true testament to Michael and his messages of love and inclusion that so many people of diverse backgrounds are travelling from around the globe to support him." 


Last bits of news from last week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which had a distinctly musical feel about it this year.

Firstly US Senator John Sununu, representing a team of eight senators, told reporters that they objected to the litigation campaign currently being run by the Recording Industry Association of America against individual music fans. He said the RIAA were abusing America's Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Sununu: "The fundamental problem with the approach of the RIAA is that it was based on legislation that created special property rights. Suddenly, you had a private entity that's able to issue subpoenas, which is unprecedented. That's not what the DMCA was intended to do. We can't be writing legislation that gives holders of certain types of intellectual property special rights...We can't carve out special legislation to give special powers to certain types of content." 

Meanwhile the last bit of big news from the week was the announcement that tech giants IBM have formed an alliance with Real Networks in the music space. They are developing business solutions that combines IBM back end technology and Real Networks' front end software to ensure the secure delivery of music, targeting their services in particular at media and content owners. The alliance sees two of Microsoft's key competitors in this space working together - many feel Bill Gates et al will feel much more threatened by this alliance than by anything Apple do in the music arena.


ALBUM REVIEW: Jason Sparks - Heroes and Villains (Botchit and Scarper) 
This is an excellent debut album from the 28 year old breakster from Hemel Hempsted, with plenty of interesting stuff inside. There's the recently released 'Secret Place' single, an intelligent combination of pert vocals and hard (but not granite hard) breaks. 'Left to Live For', the first piece he crafted from 1998, is a sax fuelled cerebral broody number; the downtempo 'Don't I Feel', with lyrics written and sung by Pauline Taylor, sounds akin to Third Face's material, a mellow heart rendering tune; while 'Soul Taker' was influenced by (and samples) 'Live and Let Die' and the Wes Craven 'Serpent and the Rainbow' film, and as Sparks puts it "is all about that kind of voodoo culture". Finally, and perhaps most interesting, is 'Close My Eyes' - a full on indie cover of the Ride track which confirms Sparks is an indie kid making breaks, but who cares cos they're bloody good breaks. PV
Release date: 16 Feb
Press contact: Phuture Trax [all]


According to The Star, Oasis drummer Alan White has quit the band because of an ongoing problem with tendonitis. No word as yet from the band or Sony.


The BBC Symphony Orchestra will perform John Cage's legendary piece 4'33" - just under five minutes of complete silence - as part of a season celebrating the avante garde composer's work. What's more the performance will be broadcast on both BBC4 and BBC Radio 3 - the latter will have to turn off its emergency system which cuts in after a few minutes of silence. 

When Cage wrote the piece in 1952 he said the work aimed to demonstrate that "wherever we are what we hear mostly is noise".

The BBC are keen to stress the silence you will hear at the Barbican Centre this weekend is Cages and not that created by Wombles man Mike Batt. As previously reported Batt had to pay a six figure sum to a charity after Cage's people threatened to sue him over a silent track on one of his albums which he co-credited to Cage.


Aqualung have a busy couple of months coming up. First Matt and Ben Hales are undertaking a tour of intimate and unusual venues around the UK. Then they will embark on a full band headline tour - their first since the release of acclaimed album 'Still Life.' 

Dates as follows:

Duo shows 
24 Jan: St. George's Hall, Bristol 
25 Jan: St. George's Church, Brighton 
26 Jan: Lowry Centre, Manchester 
27 Jan: Stables, Milton Keynes 
28 Jan: UEA, Norwich 
29Jan: St. James Piccadilly, London
31 Jan: Edinburgh Reid Hall 
1 Feb: City Varieties, Leeds 
2 Feb: Warwick Arts Centre 
3 Feb: Colchester Arts Centre 
4 Feb: Leicester Music Café 

Full band tour 
1 Mar: Newcastle Northumbria University 
2 Mar: Liverpool University 
3 Mar: Cardiff Engine Rooms 
4 Mar: Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall 
5 Mar: Leadmil, Sheffield l 
7 Mar: Manchester University 
8 Mar: Aberdeen Forum 
9 Mar: Glasgow QMU 
1 Mar: Belfast Empire 
1 Mar: Dublin Whelans 
1 Mar: Southampton University 
1 Mar: Oxford Zodiac 
1 Mar: Shepherd's Bush Empire, London 


The first Big Day Out date, which takes place this Sunday on the Gold Coast, has sold out. 1000 last minute tickets will now go on sale on Saturday. Metallica headline Big Day Out this year - the bill also features The Strokes, Flaming Lips, Hoodoo Gurus, Mars Volta, Dandy Warhols, Jet, The Datsuns, Black Eyed Peas, Aphex Twin, The Darkness and Kings of Leon.


Britney Spears has announced she has found time between her hectic schedule of impromtu weddings to perform at four arena dates in the UK later this year - her first UK tour for fout years. Announcing the mini-tour Britney told reporters: "I'm really thrilled to be coming back to tour the UK. I love the British fans and the crowds are always fun. This is going to be my best tour yet and I hope that you really enjoy it."

Dates as follows:

30 Apr: SECC, Glasgow 
1 May: Manchester MEN Arena 
3 May: Wembley Arena
5 May: Birmingham NIA 


The future of Xfm's Xray magazine was thrown into question yesterday when the radio station confirmed it was ending its relationship with Swinstead Publications who have produced the magazine for much of its history - initially as a promotional tool for Xfm, and since the start of 2003 as a newsstand title. 

There was much speculation last week that X Ray would close its doors later this month after disappointing ABCs hindered its commercial growth. However Xfm yesterday issued a statement that it remains committed to the title, but that they were parting company with Swinstead. 

In the statement Xfm said: "Xfm's primary focus is the radio station, which means there is a limit to the amount of money it is willing to invest in brand extension activity. Swinstead has been a great partner for us in developing and launching the magazine but we are now in discussions with a number of other parties about investing in the magazine and working with us to develop its full potential."


The Princes Trust - who work with Capital FM on the fundraising pop fest that is the Party In The Park - have announced they will stage an urban music festival in May. The event - staged with BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra - hopes to be a full on celebration of black culture in the UK with break-dance contests and graffiti lessons among the line up of events.

A spokeswoman for the Trust told reporters: "There is currently nothing like this on the music calendar, and the market-place is clamouring for a large-scale, credible urban event to celebrate the steady rise of this music genre. We are in discussion with some major international stars and it will be fantastic line-up." 

Among the organiser's artist wish list are 50 Cent, Justin Timberlake, Ms Dynamite and Big Brovaz, though its unclear how far on talks with artists have got.

Elsewhere in Princes Charles news, the Prince has reportedly sent a bottle of whisky to recovering alcoholic Ozzy Osbourne as a get well present after that quad bike crash. Talking about the accident ordeal on her US chat show Sharon Osbourne told viewers: "We heard from Prince Charles and - never let anyone say he's a bad guy 'cause he's all right by the Osbournes. He sent my husband a bottle of Scotch, which of course he's not going to drink."


Frank Zappa's wife Gail was in Canada last week to sue a furniture store over the unauthorised use of one of her late husband's tracks in a TV commercial. Tanguay, a furniture retail chain across Canada, used, without permission, Zappa track 'Watermelon In Easter Hay' in an advertising campaign way back in 1995

The company claim they outsourced the production of the commercial to an advertising agency who outsourced the music to a third party - they argue they allowed the track to be used in good faith with the assumption all rights had been cleared. 

But the Zappa family are not accepting that plea - and as such, the case continues.


BMG have teamed up with radio group GWR to run a marketing campaign around Westlife. GWR's Mix network and Core station will run a promotion where by listeners can download exclusive Westlife content to their mobiles. The stations will also run competitions to win a personalised voicemail message by a member of Westlife, and the chance to report backstage from one of the group's up coming live shows. 

Announcing the deal Nick Piggott of GWR's content division Creation told reporters: "We are at the forefront of using new platforms like mobile phones and digital radio to get compelling content to our listeners. By teaming up with BMG, we're realising new opportunities for both businesses and delivering a great service to our listeners."

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