CMU Daily - on the inside 30 Jan 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Rajars round up
- BBC in chaos
- BMG Sony merger not likely to get quick approval
- Bedingfield charged with dangerous driving
- James Brown out of jail
- Sony and Warner profits up
- Album Review: Russ Gabriel's Audio Spectrum - The Other Side Volume One
- B&S launch cuckoo game online
- BEP on possible Darkness collaboration
- Kerrang appoint programme director
- Arista likely to be merged in with Jive
- Ash confirm album title
- Durst throws down gauntlet to tricky journo
- Beenie hopes to be fit for Valentines Day festival
- Album Review: Amp Fiddler - Waltz Of A Ghetto Fly 
- LA Reid close to signing with Universal
- Former Def Jam exec accuses label of chart cheats
- Lydon jungle favourite
- Police stop Metallica gatecrash in Oz
- Napster add new functions for different players
- Hybrid tour
- Diddy and kid rock make bet on Superbowl
- Anderson may be writing with Butler again

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CMU'S FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Off Centre at 333
The amazingly raggedy 333 promises a solid night with the seven year old Off centre night - which showcases some of the best music in town. The excellent Cosmic Jam DJ Patrick Forge takes you through a world of Latin from batucada to upfront jazzyhouse on the main level, with Chilifunk records DJs joining in. Liquid funk drum and bass guru Fabio is downstairs in the basement which often ends up as a pit of sweaty hardsteppers. Up in the loft Neil Boorman, aka the Shoreditch Twat, plays lop sided things like a warped 70's jukebox, back to back with Dereck, playing ska and reggae. Don't go for the interior design, or plushness, you will not find either - go for the music. It's what one of Shoreditch's best nights is all about. PV

Sat 31 Jan, 333 Old Street, Shoreditch, EC1, 10pm - 5am, £5 before midnight £10 thereafter, (£8 NUS) 

Put your club night up for the tip - vigsy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

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RAJARS ROUND UP
Radio 1 seemed to be the main loser in yesterday's official radio listening figures from RAJAR. The station's audience stood at around 9.4 million - down from 9.8 million in the last quarter, and 10.4 million last year. But the Radio 1 top guard didn't seem too bothered - the last quarter was, after all, the tail end of the station's old schedule. Much more interesting will be the RAJARs in three months time when we see whether the Moyles/Cox programme swap has had any effect.

Radios 2, 4 and 5Live also saw falls in listenership - although no where near the slide experienced by Radio 1. Radio 2, meanwhile, compensated for its overall slight slip by seeing its highest ever listening figures for Terry Wogan and Steve Wright, and will have taken heart that Jeremy Vine, who controversially replaced old timer Jimmy Young last year, added 250,000 listeners to his slot.

Mixed news for Capital. Although both its FM and Gold stations in London continued to lose overall listeners compared to last year (Gold in particular) the group's main London station regained its position of highest audience share over arch rival Heart (last time round Capital had 7% and Heart 7.2%, this time the former had 7.8% and Heart 7%). While the figures are too close for either side to claim overall dominance of the city's listeners, it does flatten the playing field slightly as Capital prepares to launch its new Johnny Vaughan breakfast show in what will be a particularly competitive few months.

Other good news for the Capital group was the 6% rise in year on year listening figures for alternative station Xfm. Coming as rival rock station Virgin Radio and rival youth station Kiss both lost listeners Xfm, while still the smallest of the three, can enter 2004 with confidence. 

By far the biggest winners of 2004 were the talk radio stations. Chrysalis' revamped LBC saw a 18.8% rise in listening figures last quarter compared to the same period in 2003, while BBC London saw a phenomenal rise of 35.5%. 

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BBC IN CHAOS
Any troubles in radio listening figures at the BBC aren't likely to appear on the radar screens of the Beeb's bosses this morning. Everything is hanging in the balance at the Corporation following the shock resignation of Director General Greg Dyke yesterday. 

With the Hutton Report seemingly missing the point big time and hammering the BBC rather than the government, the Corporation wasn't going to have an easy week, but everyone thought the departure of BBC chairman Gavyn Davies immediately after the Report was published may be enough to draw a line under the whole affair. But yesterday Greg Dyke quit - though seemingly reluctantly and, given the interviews he is giving this morning, probably so he would be more free to speak his mind in the continuing fall out.

Many inside the BBC were outraged that Dyke had been forced to go - even more so when his temporary replacement Mark Byford issued a full apology to the government over the whole 'sexed up dossier' thing. As we speak BBC staff all over the country are expressing their opposition to the way the Corporation has been treated - many by walking out. 

It should all make for a very interesting few days - what changes will it all bring to the BBC and way it reports the news? And as resentment grows in all but the Murdoch-owned media, will the government's Hutton victory prove hollow? Time will tell.

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BMG SONY MERGER NOT LIKELY TO GET QUICK APPROVAL
BMG and Sony aren't likely to get the quick EU approval for their merger that they were hoping for. Yesterday the EU Commission said they would step up their investigation into the two majors' proposals, meaning the initial 12 Feb deadline for a decision is unlikely to be met, and the whole process could drag on for anything up to four months.

As previously reported, the BMG Sony merger cannot take place without EU permission - and that permission depends on the EU being convinced that the further consolidation of the music industry is not a bad thing. Industry insiders hope that a ruling by the EU courts that allowed the travel industry to consolidate down to just three key players will make it hard for them to object to the music industry becoming dominated by four major companies. 

However approval is not a foregone conclusion, and the pan-European body representing independent labels - IMPALA - is leading the campaign to oppose the merger. Welcoming the EU's decision to extend its investigations IMPALA's Patrick Zelnick yesterday reminded reporters why his association oppose the merger move: "The small players will be further marginalised and access to radio playlists, TV programmes and retail outlets will become impossible."

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BEDINGFIELD CHARGED WITH DANGEROUS DRIVING
Daniel Bedingfield's plans to host an 'I'm Not Dead' party should perhaps be followed up with an 'Innocent, Honest Guvnor' party. For New Zealand police yesterday charged the singer with dangerous driving.

Bedingfield is still in home country New Zealand recovering from that accident over the Christmas period in which he fractured two vertebrae in his neck. Although his recovery seems to be going fine, his good mood can't have been helped by local police charging him with "careless use of a motor". 

If convicted, the singer could face a maximum fine of 1,000 New Zealand dollars and a possible temporary driving ban.

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JAMES BROWN OUT OF JAIL
James Brown was released from jail yesterday without having to pay bail following that fracas with wife Tomi Rae. As reported yesterday Brown allegedly pushed his wife over during an argument and now faces charges for criminal domestic violence. If convicted, Brown faces a maximum penalty of a $500 fine and 30 days in jail. 

Commenting on the incident Brown yesterday said: "The main thing is I would never hurt my wife and beat up on her like that. I love her very much."

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SONY AND WARNER PROFITS UP
Some good news for the major entertainment companies as the accounts for the last quarter of 2004 are completed.

Over at Sony Music both sales and operating profit were up - boosted in particular by releases like Michael Jackson's 'Number Ones' and Beyonce's 'Dangerously In Love'. Sales increased by 6% compared to the same quarter in 2003, with operating profits up a massive 50.3%. Although those rises are hit by the weakness of the dollar compared to the yen, it is good news for the major putting them in a strong position as they prepare for their merger with BMG. 

Good news for Time Warner too - following those record-breaking losses in 2002. Their group wide profits for 2003 were £1.4 billion, a considerable achievement when put against the £60 billion loss they made in 2002. The success of the Lord of the Rings movies played a role in that recovery - as did the continuing rise of the HBO channel in the US and, of course, CNN always fairs well when we're dropping bombs. Of course Warner are in the process of essentially leaving the music space with the sale of their entire music division to Edgar Bronfmann nearly complete.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Russ Gabriel's Audio Spectrum - The Other Side Volume One (Emoticon Records) 
Russ Gabriel, owner of the defunct techno imprint Ferox, crafts some more gems after last years' excellently diverse album 'Into The Unknown'. So what have we got? Well, the hard techy 'Subliminal Dreams' kicks us off in mid tempo before making way for the brilliant 'God Is The Moment' - a sax fuelled, awesomely layered and very soulful jazz boogie. 'Tisch Tennis' is an electro fest whereas 'My New Room' is some hectic paced future soul. 'Ode to Ade' takes you into techno of old - tribal kick drum and subs, warped keys and then a cello - and they all melt beautifully on your sonic palate. 'Jazz in the Funk' is the only let down, it just feels a bit too over engineered to sound retro. But never fear, because the finale - a downbeat keyed strings affair akin to Brian Eno called 'Brela' - is beautifully worked. Highly recommended, another top album by this highly underrated Brit. PV
Release date: 26 Jan
Press contact: Emoticon IH [all]

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B&S LAUNCH CUCKOO GAME ONLINE
Belle & Sebastian have made a special computer game to coincide with the release of new single 'I'm A Cuckoo'. The game is accessible online - at http://www.imacuckoo.com - players have to control a cuckoo and try to land its eggs in nests while avoiding various obstacles. The highest overall scorer will win tickets to see Belle And Sebastian play live in Barcelona so it has to be worth a few Friday afternoon minutes! 'I'm A Cuckoo is released on 16 Feb.

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BEP ON POSSIBLE DARKNESS COLLABORATION
Black Eye Peas' Will I Am has been talking to Aussie website Undercover about their plans to collaborate on a track with The Darkness. Will I Am explains:

"At first there was a bit of weirdness between us and them in London. Our songs were at radio at the same time and we kept them out of the number one spot for about seven weeks. They are from the UK. It felt kind of weird. We didn't gel at first. The more we saw them at awards ceremonies and big awards we kind of joked around with them and became acquaintances. So on this tour its like "hey, what's up Justin" and he said we should do a song together. I thought "a song with The Darkness?" That would be pretty cool. He comes up to me and said he wanted to jump on stage with us so I told him to come on during 'Retarded' because that is the perfect song".

BEP are already hard at work on their fourth album - with the working title 'Monkey Business' - we'll let you know if The Darkness collaboration gets the go ahead.

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KERRANG APPOINT PROGRAMME DIRECTOR
Former Capital and Chrysalis man Andrew Jeffries has been appointed by EMAP to be Programme Director on its Kerrang radio station when it launches as a terrestrial station in the Midlands later this year. 

Announcing the appointment Kerrang Radio boss Lynne Wood told reporters, "Andrew has proved his talent as a programmer on both sides of the world. His unrivalled experience and his love of rock music make him the perfect candidate to create the sound of Kerrang! radio. We look forward to welcoming him to the West Midlands."

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ARISTA LIKELY TO BE MERGED IN WITH JIVE
Word from the inside at BMG in the US is that following LA Reid's departure as top guy at Arista, the division will now be merged in with Zomba/Jive. 

The Zomba labels have continued to operate with some autonomy since BMG bought out the independent last year, so the decision would be the first major bit of integration between the two. Some feel it would be more a case of Jive taking over Arista then the other way round. 

Word is some Arista artists would move over to sister label RCA, run by Arista founder Clive Davis, as part of the restructure. 

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ASH CONFIRM ALBUM TITLE
Ash have announced their new album will be called 'Meltdown'. Speaking to Xfm frontman Tim Wheeler said: "The album is called 'Meltdown'. Why? Cos it's a meltdown. A full-on rock monster. A real face-melter. It'll tear your face off."

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DURST THROWS DOWN GAUNTLET TO TRICKY JOURNO
Fred Durst has challenged a journalist from Rock Sound magazine to stand near the front of the stage during a Limp Bizkit concert after going through something of a difficult interview. Durst was angry when rock writer Jordi Meya asked "You have a knack for pissing people off, why is that?"

Writing on his website Durst has said: "It not only amazes me that this guy was picked to interview me, but that he is a journalist for one of the most popular music magazines in Europe. He had the wits to remind me, 'People here are still pissed off about you guys cancelling the show here a couple years ago.' The event he was referring to was the 'FestiMad' show, which was a large festival style concert in Spain that we had to cancel for safety reasons. Jordi was implying that we let fans down by not performing. Jordi, since you don't have any regard for constructive or objective journalism, kiss my ass and try to be front and centre at the concert next month."

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BEENIE HOPES TO BE FIT FOR VALENTINES DAY FESTIVAL
Organisers of the Bob Marley Day Festival in California have said Beenie Man is still lined up to headline their first day on 14 Feb, despite the leading dancehall artist being involved in a car crash earlier this month. Beenie Man suffered broken ribs, a punctured lung and a broken nose in the accident and is currently at home in Jamaica recovering. But organisers of the festival say the performer is adamant he will be well enough for the show, where he will top a bill that includes Beres Hammond, Wayne Wonder, Arrested Development and Julian Marley. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Amp Fiddler - Waltz of a Ghetto Fly (PIAS/Genuine)
Philadelphia may wear the neo-soul mantle passed down from its 70's forefathers, but Detroit has always been hot Philly's heels since the Motown days. In many ways the Detroit underground has been stronger than the Philly scene producing D'Angelo as well as grass roots acts like Slum Village and
Dwele. Joseph 'Amp' Fiddler hails from the same camp, and his distinctively Philly/Detroit sound comes straight from the forward-thinking soul paradigm: organic production, lazy swing-beat, and caramel-smooth lead-vocals with a warm soul backing. With the help of (co)producers J Dilla, Marlon Malone, Lovelution, and a whole host of guest musicians (including George Clinton) Amp Fiddler takes the formula and adds jazz, live-hiphop, Latin and some tacit electronica to the sound. The result is a less rugged sound than Detroit is used to exporting, but feels deeper and denser in content: the song will out. Uber-smooth organic soul from the heart and the loins for the heart and the loins. JG
Release date: 8 Mar
Press Contact: PIAS IH [CP, RP, NP] Zzonked [CR, RR, NR] 

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LA REID CLOSE TO SIGNING WITH UNIVERSAL
More from the 'whose gonna work for who' gossip machine. According to our friends in the know Arista boss LA Reid is now very close to becoming chairman of Universal's Island Def Jam Group. New York attorney Allen Grubman is representing Reid, and insiders say a deal has been done in principle and could be signed and sealed in a couple of weeks. That said, there are still rumours Grubman is talking to Edgar Bronfmann Jr's Warner Music about Reid, so there could still be a last minute change of plan.

Over at Universal there is some internal resentment that the company failed to renegotiate an attractive contract with former Island Def Jam boss Lyor Cohen - losing him to Warner Music earlier this week. Some in the major's American offices are blaming their French parent company Vivendi for the delays in getting a decent deal on the table. They now fear a similar lack of activity from France might jeapordise the contract currently being renegotiated with Interscope Geffen A&M boss Jimmy Iovine.

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FORMER DEF JAM EXEC ACCUSES LABEL OF CHART CHEATS
Talking of troubles at Universal - a former Def Jam executive has accused the label of manipulating Soundscan results in an attempt to distort music charts. Theresa Rossi claims Def Jam hired a marketing company called Giaco Entertainment who forced music stores to repeatedly swipe free CD's of Def Jam artists in an attempt to inflate the number of units scanned. Rossi goes on to claim that when the top guard at Universal got nervous of the Giaco relationship in 2001, Def Jam President Kevin Liles and Giaco created a new company called Entertainment Marketing Services in an attempt to allegedly conceal the relationship from other Universal executives. Giaco's people have denied the allegations - Universal are yet to comment.

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LYDON JUNGLE FAVOURITE
Former footballer Neil Ruddock has slipped down the stakes to win ITV's 'I'm A Celebrity' show, leaving John Lydon as the overall favourite to win. Jordan is now second favourite, with next favourite Lord Brocket some way behind. 

William Hill says the former Sex Pistol has surprised his fellow contestants by being "the least rebellious" over food rations and through his attempts to calm nerves during his stint as camp leader. A spokesman for the bookies told reporters: "Its Johnny and Jordan first, the rest nowhere as far as punters are concerned." 

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POLICE STOP METALLICA GATECRASH IN OZ
A potential riot at a Metallica gig in Australia was diffused by police this week. Ticketless fans managed to push down a fence at Melbourne's Myer Music Bowl in a bid to get inside - but 20 police officers plugged the gap and stopped any real trouble from occurring.

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NAPSTER ADD NEW FUNCTIONS FOR DIFFERENT PLAYERS
Napster have announced they are launching a new version of their service which will make it compatible with a larger number of MP3 players - including Creative's Nomad line, Dell's Digital Jukebox and multiple products from MP3-device pioneer Rio.

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HYBRID TOUR
Distinctive Record's Hybrid will promote new single 'Higher Than A Skyscraper' (out 8 Mar) with a series of UK shows - dates as follows.: 

10 Mar: Edinburgh Liquid Rooms
11 Mar: Warwick University
12 Mar: Sankeys Soap, Manchester 
13 Mar: Phonix, Exeter
25 Mar: Guildhall, Gloucester 
26 Mar: The Boutique, Brighton
27 Mar: The Boutique, Sheffield

Press info from ronnie@distinctiverecords.com 

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DIDDY AND KID ROCK MAKE BET ON SUPERBOWL
P Diddy and Kid Rock left an MTV press conference designed to promote the half time show at the forthcoming Superbowl having made a $10,000 bet on the outcome of the game. 

The friendly rivaly began when Kid Rock told reporters that he was swaying toward the New England Patriots to win the championship, after which Puff said his money was on the Carolina Panthers. And so a conversation began:

Kid: "I heard gambling was illegal, but maybe a little side bet for dinner or something?" 

P Diddy: "A friendly wager? I got $10,000 on it. That's friendly. You've got two arena shows this weekend. Where are those at?"

"West Virginia and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. I'm only getting five grand a night, but I'll bet it all."

"That's $10,000. I'mma get my money. I'mma be right there at your show in the front row, like, 'Come down.' "

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ANDERSON MAY BE WRITING WITH BUTLER AGAIN
Well, perhaps Brett Anderson and long departed Suede guitarist Bernard Butler were talking music when they were seen dining out together at the end of last year. 

According to Xfm Brett has begun recording solo material and has been working with both Butler and ex-Pulp, ex-Longpigs and Relaxed Muscle collaborator Richard Hawley. A source says: "Brett has been working on new material co-writing songs with Richard Hawley and working on recordings of least three new tracks in [Hawley's] Sheffield studios. Richard was quite surprised to be asked when Brett called him up, but [Anderson] said he was a massive fan and would love to work with him."

"Brett has, as far as I know, been writing with Bernard as well as Richard and working on at least one track together."

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