CMU Daily - on the inside 3 Feb 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Clive Davis to head BMG North America
- Confusion reigns over Janet & Justin's Super Bowl routine
- Live Review: Whirlwind Heat @ Metro
- Virgin bring forward Janet Jackson radio release
- Home of Jackson associate searched
- Warners launch innovative online strategy
- Grammy update
- Rock Sound man responds to Durst
- Single Review: The Rapture - Love Is All 
- Radiohead Yorke outraged at Hutton
- R Kelly hits out at ex-girlfriend's comments
- Pepsi ad online at iTunes
- Mark Rae tour
- BMG told to give former execs share of AOL sale
- Foxy says "no Idol without Cowell"
- Buck 65 tour
- Manilow recovers after stressful times
- Read is first out of the jungle
- Will likes to watch his old Pop Idol performances

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CLIVE DAVIS TO HEAD BMG NORTH AMERICA
BMG yesterday confirmed that RCA boss Clive Davis was being appointed to the new post of chairman of BMG North America, putting him in charge of more or less all of the major's operations in the US and Canada. Speculation had been rife that Davis would be given a cross-BMG role ever since LA Reid quit his top post at BMG division Arista last month.

As chief of BMG North America, Davis will oversee all of BMG's recorded music operations, including Arista, J, RCA and Jive. He will also be responsible for BMG Distribution, BMG Strategic Marketing and BMG Canada. The only divisions outwith his responsibilities will be RCA Nashville and BMG Classics. Davis will be supported by current RCA President/COO Charles Goldstuck, who will become President/COO of BMG North America.

The appointment is quite an achievement for Davis. Although he has worked with BMG ever since Bertelsmann bought his record label, Arista, back in 1979, his relationship with the major was soured in 2000 when he was forced out of the top job at the label he had founded. But Davis immediately set about launching a new label - J Records - which was so successful that when BMG bought it up in 2002 he was given the top job at RCA as part of the deal. The latest promotion will see Davis back in charge of Arista.

Announcing the appointment overall BMG boss Rolf Schmidt-Holtz told reporters "The team of Clive and Charles, and this new alignment, improves our ability to compete in today's market place and will help us address future challenges. BMG has achieved great artistic and commercial success, but the continuing difficulties in the worldwide music market requires us to be well prepared for the future. The new structure will efficiently strengthen our focus on our creative centers."

Davis himself added: "I am personally thrilled for this wonderful new challenge and opportunity, and to be a partner in the BMG team that Rolf has formed in recent years. We have some of the industry's best executives, poised and ready to meet that challenge. Charles and I are both particularly delighted to be working with Barry Weiss at Jive Records, one of the industry's most accomplished executives. I believe we can reach new heights and a new level of achievement for BMG."

What the move means for the BMG labels is not completely clear. RCA and Arista are quite autonomous in the US, although their operations have been pretty much merged elsewhere. The Zomba / Jive empire, meanwhile, has still to be properly integrated with the rest of the BMG following the major's takeover of the independent last year. When LA Reid quit the top job at Arista, insiders said the division's operations would be merged with those of Jive. Whether Davis' appointment means even more integration between the BMG businesses remains to be seen.

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CONFUSION REIGNS OVER JANET & JUSTIN'S SUPER BOWL ROUTINE
Confusion built yesterday over whether or not that (every so slightly) raunchy Justin / Janet routine during the Super Bowl half time show was planned, and if so, just who it was who planned it. As middle America tried its best to be outraged at being subjected to a five second glimpse of Janet Jackson's right breast, both CBS, who broadcast the Super Bowl, and sister company MTV, who produced the half time entertainment, continued to distance themselves from the routine.

As we reported yesterday, Timberlake initially implied the whole thing was an accident telling reporters: "I am sorry that anyone was offended by the wardrobe malfunction during the halftime performance of the Super Bowl. It was not intentional and is regrettable."

But a statement from Jackson yesterday seemed to imply the routine - which was, let's face it, a bit too well choreographed to be an accident - wasn't completely unintentional. Her statement read: "The decision to have a costume reveal at the end of my halftime show performance was made after final rehearsals. MTV was completely unaware of it. It was not my intention that it go as far as it did. I apologise to anyone offended - including the audience, MTV, CBS and the NFL."

Despite apologies all round from the performers and the broadcasters, everyone seemed to want to express their outrage over the whole thing. Joe Browne, Executive Vice President of Super Bowl organisers NFL told reporters: "We were extremely disappointed by elements of the MTV-produced halftime show. They were totally inconsistent with assurances our office was given about the content of the show". 

Meanwhile Michael Powell, chairman of US media regulator the FCC, told reporters: "I am outraged at what I saw during the halftime show of the Super Bowl. Like millions of Americans, my family and I gathered around the television for a celebration. Instead, that celebration was tainted by a classless, crass and deplorable stunt. Our nation's children, parents and citizens deserve better. I have instructed the commission to open an immediate investigation into last night's broadcast. That investigation will be thorough and swift." 

Perhaps the most important comment of the day was when Browne told reporters: "It's unlikely that MTV will produce another Super Bowl halftime". Whether that will affect sister company CBS when they come to negotiate the lucrative rights to broadcast the 2005 Super Bowl remains to be seen.

Meanwhile those of you yet to be outraged by the Justin Janet routine can see it at http://www.wreg.com 

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LIVE REVIEW: Whirlwind Heat @ Metro, London on 20 Jan
Describing these guys as a thrashing uber-lo-fi punk rock band just doesn't go far enough. Jack White's (production) influence is worn on the sleeve with the 'classic three man line up' twisted into a bassist, drummer, singer formation with the singer sporadically hammering away on a theramin-sounding moog. Despite the minimal line-up these guys make more than enough noise: with a Mick Fleetwood sound-alike pounding out drums like the section of 'Fire' when Jimi says "Move over Rover"; the bass is distorted to 11 and sounds like the Beatsie's 'Sabotage'; and the singer, with his demented John Lydon stare, wails out lines like a banished incubus. There was no shortage of excitement as the kids in front moshed like maniacs and the singer gave a helping hand to 'Fleetwood', smashing and crashing cymbals. More than most bands, Whirlwind Heat create something a thousand times more vivid and energetic on stage than the album suggests. It's probably poison dwarf syndrome: the fact that there are only three of them means they have to try so much harder. Dynamite. JG

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VIRGIN BRING FORWARD JANET JACKSON RADIO RELEASE
Elsewhere in Janet Jackson news, Virgin Records in the US have confirmed they will be servicing the singer's track 'Just A Little While' to radio this week, considerably earlier than intended, because it has surfaced on the internet. The label says they hadn't even finalised whether or not the track would be the first single release off Jackson's new album 'Damita Jo', which is due out in Mar, but they say they felt they should allow radio play given the song's proliferation on the net. Those in the cynical camp, of course, might argue Virgin wanted to make sure radio stations were playing some new material while Janet is so much in the news this week. 

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HOME OF JACKSON ASSOCIATE SEARCHED
Not wanting sister Janet to steal all the headlines - more Michael Jackson news yesterday as police confirmed that they had searched the home of one of Jacko's business associates - one Marc Schaffel - as they continue to search for evidence to help their child abuse case against the singer.

Schaffel is something of a controversial figure himself mainly because of his history as a porn director and producer. His most high profile project with Jackson was that never-properly-released post-9/11 charity track Jackson organised called 'What More Can I Give'. It was during that project that Schaffel's porn career surfaced in the media - revelations that led the Jackson camp to officially distance themselves from the producer. But Jacko stayed in touch with Schaffel and it was the latter's cameramen who - reportedly at Schaffel's recommendation - filmed Martin Bashir when he was filming Jackson - footage of which was shown on the Jackson's 'I hate Martin Bashir' show on Fox - 'Take 2: The Interview They Didn't Show You'. 

Although neither Schaffel or police commented on the latest house search it is likely the authorities wanted to retrieve other 'home videos' filmed by Schaffel's people at Jackson's Neverland home.

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WARNERS LAUNCH INNOVATIVE ONLINE STRATEGY
Talking of labels reacting to the leaking of songs online (because we were, if you remember), Warner music division Reprise is hoping to overcome the problem by putting songs online themselves. 

The major is making all the tracks from the debut album by New York trio Secret Machines available for download via iTunes, Amazon and TowerRecords.com some four months before the album hits the record shops. As an incentive to pay to download the tracks, those who buy the music from a legitimate source will also get access to a six-track label sampler and will be sent a Secret Machines branded CDR on which to burn their tracks.

Warners hope that by making the music available via a legitimate source as soon as its out of the studio - and by incentivising fans to access the tracks via an official route - they will reduce the distribution of songs via P2P networks like Kazaa. Meanwhile fans who download the tracks in the four months before retail release of the album will hopefully become word-of-mouth advocates of the album, influencing less web-savvy consumers to buy the real thing when it comes out in May.

Robin Bechtel, Warner Bros Vice President Of New Media, told Billboard: "When there's no legal alternative, it just drives people to file-trading to get the record. When we do these internet campaigns, we have to offer people a legal alternative to buy the music. I think that not doing this kind of stuff has contributed to the fall of the record industry."

Brandon Curtis, bassist and singer with Secret Machines, can also see the benefits of his label's plans: "It returns the immediacy of recording. You don't have to wait until the whole album, including packaging and liner notes, is done. You can record a song and a few weeks later it can be available, like in the 1950s and '60s, when artists recorded singles and turned them around in a week."

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GRAMMY UPDATE
More additions to the line up at this weekend's Grammy Awards. Organisers yesterday announced both Prince and Beyonce are now on the bill - plus they confirmed there will be a Beatles tribute to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the band's legendary performance on the Ed Sullivan Show (featuring Sting, Dave Matthews, Vince Gill and Pharrell Williams) and another segment in honour of the late Warren Zevon (featuring Jackson Browne, Emmylou Harris, Timothy B. Schmitt, and Billy Bob Thornton). Meanwhile Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas confirmed she'd be making a special effort to secure all of her clothing prior to her band's performance with Justin Timberlake.

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ROCK SOUND MAN RESPONDS TO DURST
Rock Sound journalist Jordi Meya has responded to an online rant by Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst. As previously reported, Durst hit out at the reporter after he questioned him on the band's decision to cancel a show in Spain. The singer told Meya "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." 

In an open letter Meya responds: "Dear Fred, I'm still amazed that someone as important as you has taken the time to write about a nobody like me. I'm also amazed how easy is for you to make the news. You've proved your point, the world is ruled by bad press, and negativity spreads much more easily than creative innovative journalism. But remember it was you who insulted me, it was you who posted your negative article on your website, and it was you who overreacted to a question that lots of Limp Bizkit fans around Spain have in their minds."

"As I tried to explain to you, I was not judging the fact that you have cancelled the Festimad show, but trying to make you realize how important are the upcoming shows in Spain for the band. I think you had the chance to make things better by saying something like: 'We were as disappointed as the fans to have to cancel that show for security reasons, but they can be sure we'll give them 200% show this time' or something like that. Instead you got mad at me and once again disrespected your fans. As a fan myself I'm also disappointed that I couldn't talk to the new Fred Durst, and found out that maybe your bad reputation is after all well deserved. If you want, you can prove me wrong by having an intelligent adult conversation with me instead of trying to kick my ass when you come to Spain. Make something positive out of this."

Mr Durst is yet to respond.

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Rapture - Love Is All (Vertigo/DFA)
With Franz Ferdinand's 'Take Me Out' sounding exactly like Talking Heads, and this (the, er, second follow-up single to punk-funk anthem 'House Of Jealous Lovers') bearing more than a passing resemblance to early U2 (helped in no part by the production skills of U2 producer Steve Lillywhite), it's fair to say that 1981 is still very much the place to be. With its sentimental title and gentle arrangement, it's more melodic and accessible than 'HOJL', with a chorus so reminiscent of 'Gloria' or 'I Will Follow', that it's hard not to picture Bono bellowing his lungs out on a windy hilltop, with a big mac and unflattering mullet. I think A Certain Ratio must definitely be due a revival, you know... MS
Release date: 9 Feb
Press contact: 9PR [CP, RP, NP] DFA IH [CR, RR, NR]

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RADIOHEAD YORKE OUTRAGED AT HUTTON
Radiohead's Thom Yorke has joined the post-Hutton debate, hitting out at the findings that Blair et al were completely blameless in the David Kelly affair.

Writing in the Guardian Yorke said: "When the Hutton report arrived this week, I expected Geoff Hoon to have to resign. I expected, at the very least, a grovelling apology from Tony Blair. I had been looking forward to this for months. Instead, I have had to stomach the gloating and moralising of Blair, Hoon and Alastair Campbell as the establishment of this godforsaken country closes ranks to protect itself, its intelligence services and the oh so wonderful MoD."

"Lord Hutton's damning report of the BBC is a whitewash. I still cannot see why Gavyn Davies and Greg Dyke have had to resign. It flies in the face of reality, ripping all evidence to shreds."

On Blair he added: "He has made a very dangerous political mistake which endangers global stability and has sent thousands to their deaths. He tells us that he will be judged by his maker. Well, he certainly wasn't judged by Hutton, was he?." 

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R KELLY HITS OUT AT EX-GIRLFRIEND'S COMMENTS
R. Kelly has hit out at a report in the Chicago Sun Times in which Kim Dulaney, a former girlfriend of the singer, is quoted as saying the child sex charges Kelly is current facing are "warranted", adding that the R&B star has a "sexual addiction".

A spokesman for Kelly told reporters yesterday: "The Chicago Sun Times has been on a vendetta against R. Kelly for more than two years, but even so it is still hard to believe it would stoop as low as it did in this latest outrage - basing scurrilous allegations against him on a self-published work of fiction written by a vengeful ex-girlfriend. For the record, the newspaper's allegations are completely false". 

As previously reported at length, R Kelly is facing allegations of having sex with minors in both Chicago and Florida. His legal people last week tried to have the latter set of charges overturned because they are based on evidence which, Kelly's lawyers claim, was retrieved during an illegal search of the singer's property.

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PEPSI AD ONLINE AT ITUNES
Well, some thought it would be Pepsi's ad for its iTunes promotion that would cause a little controversy during the Super Bowl this year. The ad features a string of kids targeted by the Recording Industry Association of America for illegal file sharing alongside Green Day's version of 'I Fought The Law'. As it happened other events overshadowed the ad - but it's still quite good fun. Apple have put the ad and the Green Day track online at http://www.apple.com/itunes/pepsi/ads/

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MARK RAE TOUR
Grand Central have confirmed a load of Mark Rae DJ set dates for March at which we are promised a sneak preview of some of the new material due to appear on his second solo album 'Into The Depths', which should be released in Sep. Rae will be accompanied by Veba, Pete Simpson and Dual Control on the tour. 

Dates as follows:

3 Mar: Galway (with Veba)
4 Mar: Limerick (with Veba)
7 Mar: The Castle, Oldham (with Veba / Dual Control)
10 Mar: Magnet, Liverpool (with Veba)
11 Mar: Po Na Na, Leicester (with Veba / Pete Simpson / Dual Control)
12 Mar: The Honeycomb, Edinburgh @ (with Veba / Pete Simpson / Dual Control)
13 Mar: Toucan Club, cardiff (with Veba / Pete Simpson)
16 Mar: Po Na Na, Cambridge (with Veba)
17 Mar: Po Na Na, Swindon (with Veba)
18 Mar: Po Na Na, Bristol (with Veba)
19 Mar: Medicine Bar, Birmingham (with Veba)
20 Mar: Cargo, London (with Veba / Pete Simpson / Dual Control)
21 Mar: Concorde 2, Brighton (with Veba / Pete Simpson / Dual Control)
23 Mar: Tuesday Club Sheffield, (with Veba / Pete Simpson / Dual Control)
25 Mar: Foundation Newcastle (with Veba)
26 Mar: Po Na Na, Reading (with Veba)
27 Mar: Roadhouse, Manchester (with Veba/ Pete Simpson/ Dual Control)

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BMG TOLD TO GIVE FORMER EXECS SHARE OF AOL SALE
Former BMG execs Jan Buettner and Andreas von Blottnitz were yesterday awarded $130 million by a US court at the end of a long running dispute over Bertelmann's brief joint venture with AOL. Buettner and Blottnitz were both involved in the setting up the brief fling between the two companies and therefore claim they are due some of the $6.76 billion Bertlesmann received when they sold their share in the joint venture. The German entertainment conglom disagreed, but last Friday the Santa Barbara Superior Court sided with the two former execs. That said Bertlesmann are expected to appeal and that process could take another two years - so Buettner and Blottnitz can't plan any spending sprees just yet.

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FOXY SAYS "NO IDOL WITHOUT COWELL"
Pop Idol judge Neil Fox has told the Daily Mirror that if Simon Cowell were to quit the reality pop show then ITV should axe it. He was responding to rumours that Cowell was considering ditching the UK version of the show so he could spend more time on American Idol - the US Idol franchise is bigger than ever while some feel the second series of Pop Idol over here lacked the excitement of its first outing. 

Fox told the paper: "We can only really do it with the same team. Part of me thinks it would be great to end it on a high. It would become this thing where people said, 'Do you remember Pop Idol? That show was unbelievable'." 

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BUCK 65 TOUR
Alt.country / hip-hop crossover pioneer (whatever that means) Buck 65 will precede his upcoming self-remixed single '4-6-3' (out 15 Mar) with a series of headline shows around the UK - dates as follows:

8 Mar: Leicester Arts Café 
9 Mar: Oxford Zodiac 
10 Mar: Brighton Komedia 
11 Mar: Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms 
12 Mar: Nottingham Rescue Rooms 
13 Mar: Stoke Underground 
14 Mar: Glasgow King Tuts 
15 Mar: London Borderline 

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MANILOW RECOVERS AFTER STRESSFUL TIMES
Barry Manilow was still in hospital last night after being admitted with stress induced chest pains over the weekend. Manilow is said to be recovering after a gruelling few days negotiating a legal case over his musical 'Harmony', the cancellation of which last November left the singer "devastated". A spokesman for the singer said he would remain in the Palm Springs hospital for the time being to undergo various procedures to return his heart rate to normal. 

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READ IS FIRST OUT OF THE JUNGLE
Well - last in, first out I suppose. Former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read, a last minute addition to the line up for 'I'm A Celeb Get Me Out Of Here' after comedian Frank Carson had to pull out, was the first contestant to be evicted from the jungle yesterday. He received less votes of support than former athlete Diane Modahl, who the bookies reckoned would be first to be evicted. With Jordan and John Lydon still joint favourites to win the show next weekend, ITV seem to be in buoyant mood with early indications the reality show is proving as popular as ever.

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WILL LIKES TO WATCH HIS OLD POP IDOL PERFORMANCES
Will Young has told Neil Fox that he likes to watch videos of his past Pop Idol performances. He admits that when drunk he sometimes watches the finale of the first series adding: "I have been known to pick up one of my old Pop Idol flags and when they announce the winner I wave it and then I pass out drunk on the sofa."

He admitted to watching different editions of the show depending on his mood: "If I'm feeling quirky I watch the Abba week, and I'll watch Burt Bacharach if I'm in a romantic mood".

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