CMU Daily - on the inside 21 Jan 2004
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In today's CMU Daily:
Eminem hits back at Source - again
- IMPALA use MIDEM to highlight BMG Sony merger concerns
- Timberlake signs autobiography deal
- Single Review: Ryan Adams - So Alive 
- MCD increase stake in Mean Fiddler
- The Cure to headline Coachella
- Sanctuary's profits up
- City up stock value of EMI
- Elbow's Massive Attack cover
- RHCP UK dates
- New Weezer stuff
- Brits line up
- Live Review: Gary Go At The Barfly, Camden 
- Artists fund raise for Escovedo's treatment
- Chrysalis hope to secure major bonus for top guy
- Cold say "we haven't split"
- Daltrey on his hard year
- Hip hop names support rock the vote style campaign
- Amen to release via System Of A Down man's label 

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EMINEM HITS BACK AT SOURCE - AGAIN
And so the Shady / Source feud continues. With the special issue of the US hip hop mag Source, dedicated to branding Eminem a racist, now on the streets, Slim Shady has hit back through a freestyle rap which appears on a mixtape called 'The Invasion Part Three: Countdown to Armageddon'.

As previously reported the long running feud between the Eminem camp and Source founder Benzino was escalated at the end of last year when the latter found a rap recorded by the former as a teenager which included several slurs against black women. Despite Slim Shady issuing an immediate apology explaining the track came from an "angry" period in his younger years, Source proceeded with a character assassination of the MC in their first issue of 2004.

In the new freestyle rap Eminem reissues that apology in rhyme: "Oh, sorry, yo so sorry, whoa/ But that was a long time ago/ When I was a Joe Schmo/ Rapping in Joe Blow's basement/ I apologized for it before, so/ Either accept it or you don't/ And let's move on/ If I ain't shown that I've grown/ You can get the bone." 

He then proceeds to hit back at the Source and its owners Dave Mays and Ray Benzino: "I got a riddle/ What's little and talks big/ With midget arms and creamy filling in the middle?/ That will do anything to throw dirt on my name?/ Even if it means walking the whole Mediterranean?/ Isn't it Albanian? Armenian? Iranian? Tasmanian?/ No it's Dave, Raymond and a ho'."

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IMPALA USE MIDEM TO HIGHLIGHT BMG SONY MERGER CONCERNS
IMPALA are inviting attendees at MIDEM later this month to join in a debate about the pending Sony BMG merger. As previously reported the pan-European body for independent record labels apposes the further consolidation of the music industry and has already met with EU officials to oppose the merger. The group hope the MIDEM event will give numerous independent label owners a chance to air their opinions on major label developments. 

Announcing the event IMPALA President Michel Lambot said: "The industry is concerned about the impact of the merger across the whole value chain. It is only right we should choose to reveal our position at the world's leading music market. The merger will be the issue on everyone's lips this year." 

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TIMBERLAKE SIGNS AUTOBIOGRAPHY DEAL
He may have had a hugely successful 2003, but is there anything more to the Justin Timberlake life story than 'did kids TV', 'auditioned for a boy band', 'made an acclaimed solo album'? Even if he dishes the dirt on Britney there can't be that much to tell. Either way, we should have a better idea come the Autumn because Transworld Publishers have just bought the UK rights for his autobiography for an undisclosed sum. Word is the Timberlake camp are now looking for mega-bucks to publish the book in America and elsewhere in Europe. 

Elsewhere in Timberlake news, Justin is due to host a special for US TV network ABC dedicated to the Motown label. Word is the show will be based primarily around live performances from legendary Motown artists rather than clips and back slapping.


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SINGLE REVIEW: Ryan Adams - So Alive (Mercury/Lost Highway)
For reasons which I can't quite fathom (although probably having something to do with absence from the nation's radio waves) Ryan Adams has pretty well passed me by until now. Without actually listening to him I'd dismissed him as one of those alt.country singers. But now I've finally been sent a copy of his new single I'm having something of a rethink. 'So Alive' showcases Adams extraordinary voice and his enviable talents as a songwriter. This single has been compared unfavourably to U2 and although it might serve as a reminder that there was a time that Bono and co came up with great songs, to me this sounds more like the Smiths fronted by Jeff Buckley. It's a gorgeous slice of glorious life-affirming joy. The year has barely begun and already this sounds like a single of the year. JW
Release date: 19 Jan
Press contact: Beatwax [CP, CR] Mercury IH [RP, RR, NP, NR]

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MCD INCREASE STAKE IN MEAN FIDDLER
Irish based music promoter MCD Productions has confirmed it has increased its stake in he Mean Fiddler Group. As previously reported, MCD, headed by Denis Desmond, acquired a stake in Mean Fiddler last December creating an alliance which together owns numerous key venues across the UK and has shares in most of the major British music festivals. 

In the latest deal MCD take another 5 million shares in Mean Fiddler increasing their overall stake in the company from 16.2% to 24.3%. Mean Fiddler are expected to use the cash flow the deal has created to enhance existing programmes and to invest in its new projects, which include opening a Jazz Café franchise in Paris.

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THE CURE TO HEADLINE COACHELLA
Organisers of the Californian eclectic Coachella Festival have announced that The Cure will headline this year's event in May. They are added to a line up which already includes Radiohead, Kraftwerk, Air, Prefuse 73, the Thrills, Electric Six and that much anticipated reunion of the Pixies. The Flaming Lips were also added to the bill in the latest line up news. 

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SANCTUARY'S PROFITS UP
Sanctuary Music have ended a year in which their management, record label and live agency operations all went through considerable growth with the news that pre-tax profits for 2003 are up 19.7% to £17 million.

The Group's live music ventures in particular helped the group's good performance - with the live sector much more buoyant that the recorded sector just now. Sanctuary's live booking agency is the biggest outside the US and the company says it booked 7,000 gigs across Europe, Asia and Australasia in 2003 delivering a real boost to overall profits. 

Commenting on the profit rise Chairman Andy Taylor drew on his company's unique strategy of working in all sectors of the music industry including management, live and recorded music: "Live performance continues to be a key driver in the success of an artist's career. And each year brings ever more innovative ways for artists to create revenue from their music, through merchandising, ringtones, downloads and sponsorship."

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CITY UP STOCK VALUE OF EMI
The City seemed to send positive signals to the music industry at large this week when they re-evaluated the value of London based EMI taking into account the opportunities the legit download services provide record labels. As a result stock in the major is up some 40%. A report from city firm Goldman Sachs said: "We believe there is a chance MP3 players, as a new format, along with litigation to attack piracy, can help drive growth again for the industry." The change in fortunes of EMI may also be down to the fact that city people have stopped looking at the major as one half of a forthcoming music industry merger, and rather a company whose revenues could grow in their own right.

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ELBOW'S MASSIVE ATTACK COVER
Elbow have confirmed that their next single 'Not A Job' - the third release from album 'Cast Of Thousands' - will feature a b-side cover version of Massive Attack's 'Teardrop'. The CD single - out 23 Feb - will also feature tracks 'Lay Down Your Cross' and 'Live On My Mind'.

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RHCP UK DATES
The Red Hot Chilli Peppers have confirmed three UK dates as part of a European Tour this summer. Dates as follows:

13 Jun: Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
18 Jun: City Of Manchester Stadium 
19 Jun: Hyde Park, London

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NEW WEEZER STUFF
Universal have confirmed they are looking for a March release on two new Weezer products. Firstly a DVD called 'Video Capture Device' featuring videos, live footage and band commentaries. Second an expanded reissue of the group's 1994 debut, 'The Blue Album' complete with second disk of b-sides and rare tracks.

Meanwhile, Weezer are midway through working on their next studio album with producer Rick Rubin. They go into pre-production this month with a view to putting down some tracks in the studio next month.

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BRITS LINE UP
Organisers of the Brits have confirmed The Darkness, Dido and Busted will play at this year's ceremony on 17 Feb - with Muse, Black Eyed Peas, 50 Cent and Duran Duran (who are picking up this year's Outstanding Contribution to Music award) also set to play. A further two acts are expected to be added to the bill next week.

Meanwhile the Brits people yesterday confirmed that while newspapers reported Dido declared herself as Irish in company documentation thus barring her from the Best British Female Award she is nominated for, that the singer does in fact hold a British passport and therefore is eligible for the award.

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LIVE REVIEW: Gary Go at the Barfly, Camden on 16 Jan
You should always be worried when your support act has more people watching him than you. And Gary Go seem to steal every show they play, which probably goes some way to explaining why a 21 year old Londoner and his unsigned four-piece have such a massive following. Gary Go have a sound that combines Jeff Buckley-style wry and honest lyrics; passionate keys a la Thom Yorke, David 'Head Wobbler' Gray or Chris Martin; and the backing of half a hardcore band (guitarist K2 and drummer Will from Incoherence), bringing the music that raw heartfelt soul and energetic spleen-vent. With an ever-bashful hat-doff and a 'hullo' to the crowd, Gary sits at the keys and launches into the serene, 'So So', the title track from his forthcoming EP. Part lilting ballad part frenetic power anthem the music comes thick, dense and fast: the anti-industry 'Your Time', the tear-jerking 'The Good Ones Always Go' and the (visibly) painfully honest 'Take Back Words'. Watching Gary Go must be like seeing the Beatles at the Cavern in 61, or Jimi Hendrix at the Speak Easy in 66, or Keith Moon in playing with the Beachcombers. The music press too often award praise for style over content, and while pop has none of the latter, drum'n'bass has none of the former - so imagine gritty blood-pumping music with hammer-ons, hooks and harmonies. Gary Go will soon be king of so much. JG

Gary's debut EP on his own Recording Company records will be out soon. For press enquiries contact James Alexander at G Publicity on 07816 777 191.

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ARTISTS FUND RAISE FOR ESCOVEDO'S TREATMENT
A number of high profile artists - Billy Corgan, Jackson Browne and Los Lobos - have contributed to a special benefit album set to be released in aid of singer songwriter Alejandro Escovedo. 

Escovedo, an acclaimed roots artist, collapsed onstage in April last year and was diagnosed with internal bleeding, ulcers, hepatitis C and advanced cirrhosis of the liver. Like many in the music biz Escovedo has no medial insurance, which is something of a nightmare in the US. The album hopes to raise funds to cover the singer's escalating hospital bills. 

Due out in Apr the two-disc album also features contributions from John Cale, Howe Gelb, Calexico and Chuck Prophet. More info at http://www.alejandrofund.com/index.cgi

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CHRYSALIS HOPE TO SECURE MAJOR BONUS FOR TOP GUY
Bosses at the Chrysalis Group are asking shareholders to award the company's chief executive Richard Huntingford a mammoth bonus after a pay freeze and complications with the company's bonus system saw the exec's overall salary for 2003 fall to £508,000 - £300,000 down on what he earned in 2002. The Group is telling shareholders that the bonus is required to keep Huntingford - who has overseen considerable critical success and commercial growth across the Chrysalis Group. Shareholders will discuss the proposal at their AGM on 4 Feb.

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COLD SAY "WE HAVEN'T SPLIT"
Cold singer Scooter Ward has hit back at comments made by Evanescence's Amy Lee that the shift of guitarist Terry Balsamo from the former to the latter spelt the end for Cold - implying substance abuse meant Ward would not be able to keep going without Balsamo. 

Posting on the band's website Scooter wrote: "So it's official. Terry has left us for Evanescence. I also don't know why Amy threw my life out there like she did. I never did anything but treat her with respect but this is the life I choose and I understand not everything can be a secret. I just wish she would have let me tell my story when I was ready. As for Cold, we are releasing 'Wasted Years' soon. We are looking for a new guitarist and we will be starting our new record when we get off the road. Terry was and is a great person and I don't think anyone should ever speak ill of him. I love him and he was one of my best friends and it hurts my heart to loose him. Sorry everyone."

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DALTREY ON HIS HARD YEAR
Roger Daltrey has told the Evening Standard that having to come to terms with the death of Who bassist John Entwistle while dealing with the scandal surrounding Pete Townshend's child porn charges made 2003 a very bad year. But he reckons he and Pete have learned a lot from the experience.

Daltrey: "With Pete, I have watched a friend being brutalised for making what I think was a very stupid mistake - and I think there was nothing more to what he did than that. That was all very painful. But we both re-evaluated our life completely after that."

On coming to terms with the death of Entwistle, who died in Jun 2002, he added: "It's kind of rekindled my belief that music transcends life. When we play live, John is alive in the music - the same way Keith (Moon) is. We can still feel the both of them there when we play."

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HIP HOP NAMES SUPPORT ROCK THE VOTE STYLE CAMPAIGN
The US hip hop community have launched a new 'rock-the-vote' style campaign to encourage millions of young Americans to make sure they are registered to vote before the forthcoming US presidential election.

The 'One Mind, One Vote' programme is headed up by hip hop mogul Russell Simmons and supported by the likes of LL Cool J, Run-DMC's Rev Run, Jadakiss and host of ABC Radio's morning show Doug Banks. They officially launched their non-partisan campaign on Monday stating a mission to register 2 million voters between the ages of 18 and 34 by the November, and a total of 20 million voters over the next five years.

Simmons: "We have a powerful, powerful initiative. Politicians are starting to recognize that." 

LL Cool J: "This is not a movement based on anything that can separate us. It's based on the average Joe voting." 

Banks, who will plug the campaign through his radio programme and during his show's Jam Session concert tour this summer, added: "There are some 47 million people between the ages of 18 and 34 who are not registered to vote. That's a problem, and we hope we can help solve it". 

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AMEN TO RELEASE VIA SYSTEM OF A DOWN MAN'S LABEL
eatURmusic , the new record label launched by System of a Down guitarist Daron Malakian, will launch by releasing the next album by rockers Amen.

Amen's Casey Chaos met Malakian while the two bands toured together on the Big Day Out festival in Australia. They found common ground and Malakian has been working as producer on the album.

Amen is pretty much Chaos on his own these days after his band mates quit when they were dropped from Virgin in the US. Choas has written all the songs on the new album and plays all the instruments bar the drums! 

Chaos: "I wanted to document what was happening and the only way I knew how was through my music". 

Malakian: "I thought the demos were some of the most important songs I'd heard in the last ten years. Amen has had a string of bad luck which I think is the only reason they haven't gotten as big as they should be. I think that this new album is loaded with gems, and I think people will really love it."

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