CMU Daily - on the inside 20 Jan 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Downloading on the increase in US
- Coke launches download service
- Dido's Irishness may bar her from Brit nomination
- Band comment on guitarist's death
- Jules understands the Darkness resentment
- Live Review: 'Electronica n Folk Wigout' Ft Eberg 
- The Hidden Cameras collaborate with dance group
- EMAP stations go live on Sky
- Pink tour
- Luther King's widow pays tribute to Bono
- Drummer's brother won't be joining Oasis
- Lydon joint favourite to win jungle challenge
- SRH not so happy with EMAP deal
- Rumours that family Carter may become reality TV
- Bedingfield - "my head brace is a chick magnet!"
- Pepsi line up the pop-divas for ad
- Keane to support Travis
- Virgin retail reach deal with Universal over pricing in US
- Next Dylan bootleg release to feature hallowe'en concert
- Single Review: Simple Kid -Truck On 
- BBC plans more coverage of SXSW
- National Trust looks for new custodian for Lennon home
- Cowell puts down Madonna

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DOWNLOADING ON THE INCREASE IN US
Not sure how they work out these figures, but either way there was bad news for the Recording Industry Association of America's anti-downloading campaign yesterday with a new report that showed a rise in the number of Americans downloading at the end of last year. The number of people downloading in November was up 1% on the previous month to 7% - the first increase in six months. 

Russ Crupnick of NPD Group, the company that undertook the survey, said the increase may have been caused by the increase in popular albums being released in the run-up to Christmas, or was perhaps due to the drop-off in media coverage of the RIAA's litigation campaign against individual downloaders. 

But the RIAA said they remained confident their hardline policy on illegal downloading was working. Spokesman Jonathan Lamy: "For us, the ultimate measurement of success has been, and continues to be, creating an environment where legal online music services can flourish. All indicators point in the right direction - sales of CDs, legal downloads and awareness that file sharing copyrighted music is illegal have all increased."

The RIAA is now planning the next step of its legal campaign against individual downloaders in light of that court ruling at the end of last year that withdrew the Association's right to subpoena the contact information of individuals from their college or internet service provider. Word is the trade body plans to continue issuing warning letters addressed to individual's IP addresses and send to their ISPs. It will then be at the discretion of the ISP as to whether they pass that letter on to their customers.

In another bid to educate consumers about illegal downloading, the RIAA has done a deal with the FBI which will allow their members to include the FBI logo on CD packaging with a warning about possible criminal prosecution for the illegal copying of music. The logo and warning may also appear when the CD is placed into a computer - a little like the FBI warning that precedes videos and DVDs in the States. 

Finally from the file marked 'illegal downloading', another research report has shown the current record for downloading music from non-legit sources belongs to the population of Hong Kong. A survey by research company TNS showed 48% of 500 computer users interviewed admitted to have downloaded at least one song in the last year - in the 15-24 age group that was up to 81%. If you do the maths that suggests some 130 million illegal tracks would have been downloaded in Hong Kong in the last two-and-a-half years. Putting the high figures down to the widespread availability of broadband internet in Hong Kong, Steven Yap of TNS said: "Downloading illegally is not a niche activity anymore, it's a mainstream activity. We believe this is the highest in the world." Ironically research undertaken by the Hong Kong government recently found that 90% of those surveyed said they were aware of the implications of copyright theft and felt that action should be taken against it! 

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COKE LAUNCHES DOWNLOAD SERVICE
Coca Cola launched its music download service yesterday - though not without some technical hitches. The 'coming soon' holding page remained in place for much of the day and a spokeswoman admitted: "we have been experiencing some minor technical problems". However the service was live by early evening and the first music fans were last night able to try it out. As previously reported consumers can choose from some 250,000 tracks available from 80p a track or £6.40 an album. 

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DIDO'S IRISHNESS MAY BAR HER FROM BRIT NOMINATION
According to The Sun, Dido may be up for the wrong category at this year's Brits. The singer is nominated for Best British Female - but the paper says according to documents held at Companies House relating to her company Carthage Touring she lists her nationality as Irish - meaning she would only be eligible for the international Brit Awards. Brit's organisers are yet to comment - though the singer does hold a British passport which almost definitely makes her eligible for the Best British Female award.

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BAND COMMENT ON GUITARIST'S DEATH
Upcoming band Hope Of The States yesterday issued a statement to the NME about the sad death of their guitarist Jimmi Lawrence, who died after apparently committing suicide last week. 

The statement reads: "It is with enormous sadness that we have to inform you that our best friend and bandmate Jimmi Lawrence took his own life last week at Real World Studios near Bath. We have lost our friend in a tragic and heartbreaking way. His sense of humour, sensitivity, talent, intelligence and above all genuinely caring nature will be sadly missed. Our last days with Jimmi were the happiest we have ever shared together. He was immensely proud and happy with his work on the record and could not wait for others to hear it. We are devastated that he will never hear it with us, never play guitar, have a drink, a laugh or a conversation with us again. We are all forever grateful for the many messages of support and condolences we have received not just from friends and family but from people who had fleetingly met Jimmi or heard him play. The depth of feeling shown by you all means so much, not only to the band and his friends, but also to Jimmi's family. Finally we would ask that this awful event not be co-opted as a glamorous "rock 'n roll" death. We will forever believe this was not supposed to happen and our dear friend would hate to be thought of in this way."

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JULES UNDERSTANDS THE DARKNESS RESENTMENT
Gary Jules has been talking to Radio 1 about some of the comments posted by Darkness fans on his website after he beat the rockers to the Christmas number one spot: "Ass clown was one of the very colourful epithets that was used. You would think that it was just me that was the ass clown, but it was like my music was 'circus arse clown something something eggs and benedict'. It was weird because I didn't quite get what was going on."

But he went on to admit: "If I was a huge rock fan, which I was at one time, I would be pissed if some poncey American guy came over singing some mopey song at Christmas time, I would be really pissed, especially if the alternative was [singing] 'Don't let the bells end', of course they're angry - I don't blame them!"

Gary is in the UK to promote his album 'Trading Snakeoil For Wolftickets'.

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LIVE REVIEW: 'Electronica n Folk Wigout' ft Eberg (support: Mendicant, Pups) at the Windmill, Brixton on 14 Jan
What with the Windmill being 400 miles from the tube, we missed the Pups but were suitably bowled over by Mendicant's backing vocalist, whose effortless bird-song serenade through big doughy eyes and full lips made up for the Gilbert O'Sullivan-esque lead singer's grating white-boy whine and faux-rapping. Despite an imbalance of spotlight, the steel-guitar driven, twisted cello hooks, upper-middle-class artist rant and heart-stoppingly beautiful female vocals made for interesting listening. But the highlight of the evening would of course be eBerg - the man who took apart a Strat and fixed the pick-ups, vol/ton controls, strings and machine-heads to a coat-hanger, thus inventing the eHarp. The Icelandic musical inventor takes to the (small) stage with his creation, followed by his Australian drummer, British cellist (and girlfriend) and a Mac Powerbook. Despite the very rock'n'roll pops, crackle and feedback of the sound-system, the eHarp's icy notes ring through the air like a hanging frost - a work of bizarre genius. The moody cello with it's chiming stabs and stabbing chimes, the drums with their punchy kicks and harsh rimshots, the eHarp with its ice-scape textures and the vocals of both cellist and harpist (harpie?) all blend to form a serene, and at times intense wall of sound a la Lamb, Massive Attack or Bjork. The CD was already an interesting project, but onstage the four-players (inc Apple Mac) give the songs a different edge from background eccentrica, to guitar driven rock songs to ambient hiphop. An experience. Definitely an experience. (BTW if y'all are wondering what the fuck I'm talking about, check out eBerg's website - http://www.eberg.net - where you can play the eharp online - and it sounds just like it does in real life. Nutter.) JG

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THE HIDDEN CAMERAS COLLABORATE WITH DANCE GROUP
Rough Trade's The Hidden Cameras kick off a collaboration with the Toronto Dance Theatre tomorrow night. The show merges a dance show with a gig - with dancers moving around the band members on stage. The show will run Toronto's Winchester St Theatre until the end of the week.

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EMAP STATIONS GO LIVE ON SKY
Two of EMAP's radio stations got spaces on Sky's electronic programme guide yesterday. Kiss 100 and Smash Hits! now broadcast on on channels 920 and 922 respectively. Other EMAP radio services are expected to be added to Sky's programme guide in the next few months.

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PINK TOUR
Pink has unveiled the dates for her upcoming European tour - UK dates as follows:

20 Mar: NEC Arena, Birmingham; 
21 Mar: Venue TBA, Nottingham; 
23 Mar: Wembley Arena, London; 
24 Mar: Wembley Arena, London; 
26 Mar: Men Arena, Manchester; 
27 Mar: Hallam Fm Arena, Sheffield; 
30 Mar: Telewest Arena, Newcastle; 
31 Mar: SECC, Glasgow.
1 Apr: SECC, Glasgow; 

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LUTHER KINGS WIDOW PAYS TRIBUTE TO BONO
The widow of Martin Luther King yesterday paid tribute to Bono's humanitarian work, awarding him a Salute To Greatness award. Speaking on Martin Luther King Day in the US, Coretta Scott King said Bono was a fine example of many of the qualities Dr King praised. The award should be special for Bono because he has long credited Luther King's teachings as an inspiration - especially for U2 track 'Pride (In The Name Of Love)'.

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DRUMMER'S BROTHER WON'T BE JOINING OASIS
The brother of former Oasis drummer Alan White has denied rumours he may replace his sibling in the band. As previously reported, Alan was sacked from the band for undisclosed reasons last week. Brother Steve is also a drummer. He is currently working with Paul Weller and once filled in with Oasis when his brother had a hand injury. But writing on his website he yesterday said: "The question of Alan's membership of Oasis is not my business...have I been asked to replace him in the band? Categorically no. Would I replace him? Categorically no."

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LYDON JOINT FAVOURITE TO WIN JUNGLE CHALLENGE
As ITV confirmed the final line up for the next series of 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here', former Sex Pistol John Lydon has been confirmed as the bookies joint favourite to win the show alongside former footballer Neil Ruddock. A spokesman for Ladbrokes explained: "We can't split John Lydon and Ruddock. Both are popular in their fields and are known for causing trouble. We expect Neil to use his razor sharp tongue and believe Lydon could have enough left in him to bring anarchy to the Australian jungle." The show kicks off on ITV next Monday.

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SRH NOT SO HAPPY WITH EMAP DEAL
The relationship between Scottish Radio Holdings and new shareholder EMAP got off to a rocky start yesterday when SRH bosses hit out at the Scottish Media Group for selling its 28% share in the company to the radio major. SMG, who also own Virgin Radio and Glasgow Herald, sold its share in the company who own most of the key commercial radio stations in Scotland to EMAP last week. Although EMAP have said they will not attempt a complete takeover of SRH, many see it as the first step toward the consolidation of the radio industry everyone has expected since the recent Communications Act. 

Insiders say SRH boss Richard Findlay had hoped to work with SMG to sell their shares in the company to private investors. But relations between SRH and its shareholder were cold because the former had turned down the latter's attempts for a complete takeover and the merger of its Scottish radio operations with its Virgin Radio business. Despite publicly admitting their disappointment in the deal SRH was quick to add: "Nonetheless we look forward to a more constructive and mutually beneficial relationship with EMAP." 


Elsewhere in the world of radio ownership, Kelvin MacKenzie's Wireless Group has taken over radio independent Forever Broadcasting, adding local radio stations Peak in Chesterfield, The Wolf in Wolverhampton and Tower in the Bolton/Bury to its radio assets. Forever was once the owner of the two Juice 'youth' stations in Brighton and Liverpool - but they were sold off to separate concerns last year.

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RUMOURS THAT FAMILY CARTER MAY BECOME REALITY TV
According to reports on an LA radio station the next rock 'n' roll family coming to your reality TV screens soon may well be the Carters - as in Backstreet Boy member Nick Carter and his teen pop brother Aaran Carter. Rumour has it their separated parents - Bob and Jane Carter - are in talks with TV companies about the show. 

Had the show existing in the last eighteen months there may have been some good telly - Nick Carter has had to watch his boy-band-member-goes-solo rival (and the outsider to succeed) Justin Timberlake take over the world, meanwhile Aaran fired his mother as his manager after he claimed she took money from his bank account without permission (apparently they've since made up).

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BEDINGFIELD - "MY HEAD BRACE IS A CHICK MAGNET!"
Daniel Bedingfield yesterday spoke to Radio 1 about the car accident that put him in hospital over the Christmas period. Admitting he was lucky to be alive, he said that the one good thing was that the head brace currently fitted to his skull was proving quite a "chick magnet".

"I have kissed eight women so far. This is the biggest chick magnet I've ever had in my life. I'm not joking. I get so much sympathy. They stare deeply into my eyes and hold my hand and go 'Are you alright?' and I go 'No' and they go 'Shall I make it better?' and I go 'Yes'. It's all good."

Bedingfield will stay in his home country of New Zealand to recover from his injuries, but admitted yesterday that he is planning on throwing an "I'm Not Dead" party.

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PEPSI LINE UP THE POP-DIVAS FOR AD
Pepsi are preparing to launch a new ad which sees Britney Spears, Beyonce and Pink battle it out Gladiator-style in front of an Roman Emperor-esque Enrique Iglesias. Filmed at huge expense in Rome the ad will hit our screens in February.

Talking of Britney, Ms Spears has added extra Wembley and Glasgow dates to her upcoming European tour. The extra dates are 4 May at Wembley and 29 Apr at Glasgow's SECC.

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KEANE TO SUPPORT TRAVIS
Buzz band Keane have been booked to support Travis on their forthcoming UK tour - which will take in 17 dates kicking off in Blackpool on 6 Mar. The tour will be Travis' first UK dates since their sell-out Christmas show at London's Alexandra Palace last month.

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VIRGIN RETAIL REACH DEAL WITH UNIVERSAL OVER PRICING IN US
Virgin's retail operations in the US have reached a deal with Universal Music regarding the major's price-cutting programme JumpSTART. Virgin objected to some of the rules Universal were demanded retailers adhered to as part of their high profile pricing reduction programme last year. So much so the group had not been dealing with Universal's distribution arm direct and had downgraded the positioning of Universal artists in their stores. But the two companies yesterday confirmed an agreement had been reached and Virgin's boycott would end.

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NEXT DYLAN BOOTLEG RELEASE TO FEATURE HALLOWE'EN CONCERT
According to Rolling Stone the next in a series of official 'bootleg' releases from Bob Dylan will be a live recording of a concert Dylan played in 1964. The album - Live 1964: Concert at Philharmonic Hall - features what was known by fans as the Halloween Concert, with Dylan performing just after the release of Another Side of Bob Dylan. Tracks included in the show are 'The Times They Are a-Changin', 'It's Alright Ma', 'Mr Tambourine Man', and 'The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll'.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Simple Kid -Truck On (2 M Recording)
If this sounds familiar its probably because it was originally released as a single in 2002 on Fierce Panda when it also became a record of the week on Radio 1. This incredibly tuneful and melodically lush song sounds like Bran Van 3000's 'Drinking In LA' and has the same feel-good nostalgic haze. County Cork's Simple Kid, or Cieran McFeely as he's known to his mum, has been compared to Bob Dylan. He also has the kookiness and eclecticism of Beck. This is a great single and should earn itself a place in the end of year best of polls. JW
Release date: 26 Jan
Press contact: APB [all]

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BBC PLANS MORE COVERAGE OF SXSW
The BBC is upping its coverage of the South By South West music conference this year with Mark Lamarr, Stuart Maconie, Bob Harris and Steve Lamacq all reporting from the event through programmes on Radio 2 and digital station 6Music. 

Radio 2 / 6Music controller Lesley Douglas: "SXSW is one of the most influential music events in the world. Our programming will enable us to reflect all the different artists taking part and ensure that we take audiences to the heart of the action."

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NATIONAL TRUST LOOKS FOR NEW CUSTODIAN FOR LENNON HOME
The National Trust is looking for a new on-site 'custodian' to look after the childhood home of John Lennon, which was gifted to the Trust by Yoko Ono. The current custodian, Matthew Whitfield, is moving on and so a replacement is needed. 

Simon Osborne, the Trust's Liverpool Properties Manager, told reporters: "Emphasis is very much on an ability to help with the living interpretation of the house." 

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COWELL PUTS DOWN MADONNA
Fast becoming something of a parody of himself, Simon Cowell once again shocked his fellow judges on American Idol by discussing the 'attributes' of current pop stars. He commented: "Britney is cute, isn't she? Beyonce is good-looking, Jennifer Lopez is. Madonna used to be." When his fellow judges groaned at that last comment Cowell added: "Come on, she's a housewife!"

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