CMU Daily - on the inside 6 Feb 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Trade body propose interesting solution to P2P problem
- More nipplegate stuff
- Single Review: The Blueskins - Change My Mind 
- FCC go hardline
- Sony boss wants consensus in legal world on piracy
- Yahoo may be planning new music project
- Ryan Adams on the mend
- BBC staff continue post-Hutton protests
- Gallagher questioned over railway walk
- Press Counsel and Excess merger
- Album Review: Various Artists - MTV Mash Presents !K7 Clash
- Pixies to play T in the Park
- Labels' fortunes improving
- Deeley to host Brits
- Dido clears schedule to be creative
- Faith Evans agrees to rehab programme
- GWR also upbeat
- Darkness slag off Oasis again
- Cuban Grammy nominees refused visa
- Spector evidence may be a finger nail
- Fleetwood sues Beeb over archive releases
- Lydon quits the jungle

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CMU'S FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Innovation vs Formation at The Sanctuary Music Arena, Bletchley
Not quite a club - but a massive event. Touted as North vs South, the true legends of drum and bass step up to the Sanctuary. In the main room - the main event - the 'alleged' Northerners from Formation who comprise head honcho DJ SS, Ram leader Andy C, the hard Swift, V boss Bryan G and the ubiquitous Brockie will challenge back-to-back the Innovation Crew - DJs' Mickey Finn, the Tru Playa Hype, awesome Kenny Ken, Nicky Blackmarket and rising star Bailey. Compered by MCs.
Sat 7 Feb, The Sanctuary Music Arena, Denbigh Lesiure Centre, Saxon Street, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, 8pm 0 6am, £20, more at http://raveguide.co.uk/innovationformation and http://www.innovation.gb.com

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

JANE'S EVENT TIP: GLAM-OU-RAMA 2nd Birthday Party at Buffalo Bars 
Simple - look at the line up. DJs: Preston H Bizarre, Kitten & Emily Strange will be spinning a mix of glam & glitter, rock'n'roll & electropop, plus there will be an exclusive live performance from Patrick Duff (ex-lead singer of Strangelove) at 9:30. More at http://www.glam-ou-rama.co.uk 
Sat 7 Feb, Buffalo Bars, Highbury, 9pm - 2am, £6 (£4 with flyer or mailing list print-out)

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TRADE BODY PROPOSE INTERESTING SOLUTION TO P2P PROBLEM
An American trade group has put forward an interesting - if a bit optimistic - idea for tackling the ongoing problem of illegal file sharing via P2P networks on the internet. The Distributed Computing Industry Association yesterday said it thought the major labels should make their music available to P2P network users in a specially protected format - those who buy copies of tracks in that format can then sell it on to friends in their file-sharing networks and take a cut of the revenues. 

Supporting the proposal DCIA chief executive Marty Lafferty told reporters: "Record labels could see sales grow by 10 percent over the next four years if they embraced the new technology, much as movie studios increased their market when they embraced the videocassette recorder in the 1980s. Each time there's a technology breakthrough in entertainment distribution, once it's harnessed and embraced and an industry finds a way to capitalise on it, the industry does enjoy accelerated growth." 

The DCIA plan would make tracks available to file-sharers for between 40 and 80 cents each - those music fans would then receive an albeit small percentage of income when they share the track with (or sell it on to) another person.

However the proposal is yet to be analysed by the major labels and the Recording Industry Association of America. A rival trade group has criticised the plan, pointing out such a proposal would require unprecedented collaboration between the ISPs, record labels and P2P companies - and that the plan goes against the proposals being made the P2P networks themselves which are based around charging subscription fees or placing copyright levies on blank CDRs. Adam Eisgrau of P2P United joked that the DCIA ideas "need to be taken with a large portion of the salt shaker." 

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MORE NIPPLEGATE STUFF
More, more, more, more, more - yes, more - on Nipplegate. 

Firstly Janet Jackson has responded to rumours TV executives were still pushing for her to be axed from this weekend's Grammys by getting in their first and pulling out of the show. The singer's publicist yesterday told reporters: "I can confirm she is not attending. I won't give any more details". As previously reported, Jackson had been due to present an award at the event, but bosses at CBS - who screen the awards ceremony - are still reeling from last weekend's Superbowl performance and had been hinting they would demand Grammy bosses axe her from the show. R&B star Patti LaBelle will replace her as a presenter. 

What about little old Justin Timberlake? CBS bosses had originally hinted he too would be forced out of the Grammys show, where he is due to perform with the Black Eyed Peas. However Justin has got all serious about the whole Superbowl thing since his initial ambivalence on Monday - telling all that will listen at the Grammy rehearsals how he didn't know Janet would be bare breasted at the end of the routine, that he was incredibly embarrassed about the whole thing, that his family were really disappointed in the show, that it is all deeply deeply deeply deeply regrettable. Those comments, alongside confirmation from Jackson that the whole Superbowl thing was her idea, probably means Timberlake's performance at the Grammys is safe - presumably giving him free range to feel up Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas' arse, ala Kylie at the Brits.

Less good fortune for Justin's Nsync bandmate JC Chasez of course. As we reported yesterday, his half time performance at the NFL's Pro Bowl event this weekend has been axed following concerns it also might be too raunchy for American sports fans. Chasez also seems to have changed his tune this week - initially he seemed kinda gratious about being axed saying he was disappointed but understood why NFL had made the decision.

But then yesterday he got all angry telling reporters: "While I agree the mishap at the Super Bowl was a huge mistake, the NFL's shallow effort to portray my music as sexually indecent brings to mind another era when innocent artists were smeared with a broad brush by insecure but powerful people." Chasez also confirmed he has pulled out of the Pro Bowl opening where he was due to sing the American national anthem. He explained: "That [the way the NFL reacted] is not the America I love. Nor is this the NFL I love. I'll sing the national anthem anytime, anywhere, but not for this NFL."

As if this whole Nipplegate wasn't insane enough, CBS's rival broadcaster NBC confirmed yesterday it was dropping a scene from a new episode of ER which showed the breast of an elderly woman. The network explained that although the scene was "appropriate and in context" it could not ignore the "atmosphere" created by Jackson's stunt on Sunday. 

But you know what they say - no publicity is bad publicity and all that. According to the New York Post Janet Jackson's website has jumped up the most-searched-for music site charts from 173 to number one in the last week. Virgin Records will be hoping all that renewed interest turns into record sales when Janet's new album is released this Spring.

And hey, if nothing else, it took brother Michael out of the headlines for a few days. 

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Blueskins - Change My Mind (Domino)
Ooh, they're on Domino and they're supporting the Fiery Furnaces. They must be good. And they are, to an extent, although they're very much part of the trend for Southern dangananganang music (that's Southern as in Louisiana, rather than Romford), in this case mixed up with a bit of Terrorvision. It would be more fun if they sounded like they came from Leeds (they do come from Leeds, apparently), but hooray for knockabout fun in winter anyway. MB
Release Date: 2 Feb
Press Contact: Hall Or Nothing [CP, RP, NP] Domino IH [CR, RR, NR]

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FCC GO HARDLINE
All buoyed up by the fresh wave of outrage sweeping America this week, the boss of US media regulator the Federal Communications Commission, Michael Powell, is gaining support in high places to clamp down on the "growing coarseness" of American telly.

Having last month called for a review of last year's FCC decision that cleared U2's Bono of causing offence by saying "this is really, really fucking brilliant" on live TV as he picked up a Golden Globe for his song 'The Hands That Built America', Powell is now looking to Congress to increase the fines his Commission is able to slap on networks who air indecent language or footage. 

And he's finding some support for that and more - according to Rolling Stone eleven Republicans are sponsoring a resolution that enables the FCC to revoke the license of television stations that repeatedly air indecent material. Meanwhile congressmen Doug Ose and Lamar Smith are proposing a bill to have the words shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and asshole banned from the airwaves completely. Which is kinda fucked up if you ask me.

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SONY BOSS WANTS CONSENSUS IN LEGAL WORLD ON PIRACY
Sony boss Andrew Lack has told Variety magazine that he is looking to work with the legal community to get a better consensus on what should be done about file-sharing and music piracy. Previewing a speech he will make at an Entertainment Law Initiative luncheon later today, he said the music industry and legal profession needed to clarify their objectives in the digital music sector, and to define the most damaging aspects of illegal file sharing and decide how to target them. 

In a separate interview with Hollywood Reporter, Lack commended the Campus Action Network which is working to find solutions that tackle file-sharing in the US student sector - most prominently Napster's recent deal with a US college which supplied students with a special version of their legit download service.

Lack is not expected to say anything in particular about the ongoing BMG Sony merger in today's speech, except that it's a great idea that's gonna be good for everyone.

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YAHOO MAY BE PLANNING NEW MUSIC PROJECT
According to the New York Post, Yahoo is planning some kind of music initiative to maximise on the massive traffic that goes through its directory and search engine site each day. Reports weren't clear on whether than would be an expansion of existing music service Launch, or something completely new. Yahoo in the UK are working in alliance with BT, who merged their music service dotmusic into Yahoo's Launch platform last month.

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RYAN ADAMS ON THE MEND
A spokesman for Ryan Adams has told NME that the singer has successfully undergone surgery to fix his wrist following that dramatic fall at a Liverpool gig last month. 

The spokesman said: "Ryan is out of surgery and in the recovery room. The doctor said the operation went well. They are releasing him to girlfriend Parker (Posey)'s care. He's got a big cast on his arm."

In a previous interview Adams told NME: "They said it'll take at least six weeks or two months for my wrist to be fixed. That's for the bones to take. They might have to wire it together with metal wires. The guess now is that I could lose up to 20 per cent of the mobility in my wrist. That's the percentage I won't be able to bend it any more. My fingers and hand will be fine but I'll have to re-train my wrist. We'll see about guitar but it might make me a great piano player! I have a feeling I'll be able to pull through. It's all about making sure I can get my wrist about a guitar."

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BBC STAFF CONTINUE POST-HUTTON PROTESTS
Although slightly obscured in the news agenda by Janet Jackson getting her breast out and John Lydon walking out of the jungle, the fallout of the Hutton Inquiry and Greg Dyke's subsequent resignation as BBC Director General continued yesterday when hundreds of BBC staff protested outside key Beeb buildings. 

Alongside those protests Jeremy Dear, general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, said: "The Hutton report poses a real and grave threat to journalism. It will inevitably mean journalists face greater pressure to reveal their sources and will make sources and whistleblowers think twice before coming forward. BBC journalists have taken the lead in standing up for journalism. Their magnificent actions have sent a clear message to the governors and management of the BBC that they must stand up for the BBC's independence, integrity and commitment to quality news and current affairs. It also sent a forceful message to government - hands off the BBC. The BBC governors' abject apology will have given succour to politicians and all those who want to intimidate or influence the news agenda. The governors must act quickly to assert their independence."

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GALLAGHER QUESTIONED OVER RAILWAY WALK
Noel Gallagher was interviewed by police yesterday after strolling down a railway line in Cornwall. As previously reported Network Rail asked the British Transport Police to speak to Gallagher after the Sun published a picture of him walking along a railway line. A spokesman for the British Transport Police yesterday told the BBC: "Following a photograph which appeared in a national newspaper on 2 February 2004, around 11am this morning officers from the British Transport Police interviewed Mr Noel Gallagher in relation to him trespassing on the railway line. Mr Gallagher fully admitted the offence at Golant, Fowey, in Cornwall, and he was reported for a decision to be made as to whether he could be prosecuted or not." He could be fined up to £1000 for the offense, though rail chiefs may be more keen for Gallagher to make a statement to his fans telling them how dangerous it is to trespass on their property.

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PRESS COUNSEL AND EXCESS MERGER
Two music press companies have announced they will merge. Press Counsel and Excess Press plan to merge their operations this month.

Confirming the merger Charlie Caplowe of Press Counsel told Music Week: "This allows us to build our press team so that we can diversify into other areas. Despite the fact that we're in hard times, Press Counsel has been successful over the last year. And, in these times, it's important for press companies to diversify and seek interests in other areas."

Jayne Houghton of Excess added: "If you join forces, you're greater than the sum of your parts."

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - MTV Mash presents !K7 Clash (!K7)
Mixed by SST and Superdefekt this is a compilation to compete with the greats: the Kruder & Dorfmeister DJ Kicks, the Avalanches 'Gimix' and even Coldcut's seminal '70 minutes of Madness'. And with a back catalogue like !K7, is it any wonder? Er, nope. The album is a tight and dense mix that roars through about a million tracks from the likes of Princess Superstar, Vikter Dupliax, Spacek, Earl Zinger, Tosca, Mike Ladd, Herbert, Ursula Rucker, 45 King, Rae & Christian, A Guy Called Gerald and about as many again. The mix doesn't hang about, cutting through the tracks with lightening speed and precision using any means necessary: samples, loops and acapellas. 42 tracks in 60 minutes, need I say more. This is one of those mixes that you never get bored of, you find something new and favourite each time you hear it. Total quality, must have for beat fans the world over. JG
Release date: 24 Feb
Press Contact: Shilland [CP, RP, NP] K7 IH [CR, RR, NR]

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PIXIES TO PLAY T IN THE PARK
Good news if getting to the Coachella festival in California ain't too convenient. The Pixies have confirmed they will play at this summer's T in the Park. They are expected to play on the main stage on 10 Jul. Other UK dates are expected - mainly in support of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, although two nights at the Brixton Academy have been rumoured.

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LABELS FORTUNES IMPROVING
Right - let's talk money...

And some good news for EMI - its share value increased by seven percent yesterday after new sales figures were released in the States. The general increase in album sales in the US, coupled with specific good performances from EMI artists like Norah Jones and Coldplay, seemed to rebuild confidence in the record label - and the music industry in general - among the investment community. The boost is good news for EMI who, having been unsuccessful in their attempts to merge with Warner Music, potentially face stiff competition in the coming year from a merged Sony BMG and a rejuvenated Warner Music. Commenting on the renewed confidence in the music sector, one London broker told reporters: "It's a turnaround story - the US industry is looking better and we're seeing growth in CD sales", another added: "I think people are thinking that things are not as bad as they feared."

There was mixed news at Universal Music where overall revenues in 2003 dropped 21% on the previous year. However there is a silver lining to that cloud - sales of albums from the likes of 50 Cent, Eminem, Sheryl Crow, Toby Keith and Black Eyed Peas meant unit sales in the US were down just 3.6%, a lesser decline that in previous years. What's more the group maintained its market leader position in the US. Meanwhile parent company Vivendi reported it had reduced the massive debts it still owes following that financial melt down a couple of years back - net debt is down from £8.9bn (GBP) to £8.2bn.

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DEELEY TO HOST BRITS
Brit organisers have announced Cat Deeley will host this year's Awards. She will be joined by a number of guest presenters including Justin Timberlake who will be presenting the Outstanding Contribution to Music Award to Duran Duran. 

Performances wise Beyonce is set to team up with OutKast, Missy Elliot, Alicia Keys and Gwen Stefani are due to collaborate on a number, while The Darkness, Dido, 50 Cent, Muse, Black Eyed Peas and Busted will all perform tracks. 

Rumour has it Justin Timberlake was due to perform with Duran Duran but had to pull out because he couldn't fit rehearsals into his schedule. 

The Brit Awards take place on 17 Feb at Earls Court of course, and will be broadcast on ITV later that night.

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DIDO CLEARS SCHEDULE TO BE CREATIVE
One person who will not be appearing at the Brits this year is Dido, who has announced she is cancelling all engagements for the next four weeks to concentrate on writing and preparing for her forthcoming tour. That means she won't be at the Brits where she is nominated for three awards and is favourite to win Best Female. It also means she will miss the Grammys where she is also nominated in the Best Female category. 

Announcing her decision Dido told reporters: "The last year has been absolutely fantastic for me. However, the continual commitment to events, promotion and TV appearances has meant that any time for being creative has been non-existent. I'm therefore really excited to be clearing the decks and making space to write and record. I've also been desperate to get out on the road and this now means that I will finally be able to make that a reality. Although I'll be sorry to miss all the fun and celebrations at the Brits, I look forward to seeing everyone on tour soon."

Elsewhere in Dido news, word is the singer has forced the closure of a website run by racists. According to the Sun, a website run by white supremacists was using her tracks 'White Flag' and 'This Land Is Mine'. Apparently Dido discovered the site, and was, needless to say, horrified. She called BMG who called the BPI who called their lawyers who got the site closed down. 

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FAITH EVANS AGREES TO REHAB PROGRAMME
Faith Evans and her husband Todd Russaw have agreed to enrol on a drugs rehabilitation programme following those drug possession charges. If they successfully complete the 13-week programme police in Atlanta have said they will drop the cocaine and marijuana possession charges. 

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GWR ALSO UPBEAT
Following upbeat financial reports from both the Capital and Chrysalis groups, radio major GWR yesterday added to the general good mood in the radio industry by announcing its analogue radio revenues were up 13% in the last quarter of 2003. 

In a statement to investors GWR said: "Overall the advertising market was more buoyant in the last quarter reflecting the improving trading outlook. In January the group's analogue revenues on a like-for-like basis were up 10%."

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DARKNESS SLAG OFF OASIS AGAIN
The Darkness have again put down Oasis in an interview. Having previously accused the Gallaghers of being lazy in their attempts to break America, Justin Hawkins has now told Kerrang!: "Noel Gallagher is an overrated guitarist losing his grip on his credibility who just has to fire shots on his way down. It's kind of a shame, really." 

Noel has been surprisingly quiet on the matter - saying only he found The Darkness "inoffensive" adding "it doesn't do anything for me." 

That said, presumably Noel and Liam will become more vitriolic once they have an album to plug later this year.

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CUBAN GRAMMY NOMINEES REFUSED VISA
The Cuban Vice Minister of Culture yesterday held a press conference in Havana to announce several Cuban musicians who had been invited to the Grammys will not be attending because they have been refused visas by US authorities. Speaking alongside Cuban Grammy nominees Amadito Valdes, Manuel Galvan and Barbarito Torres, minister Abel Acosta told reporters: "Something as noble as music is being converted into a policy against Cuba." US officials are yet to comment, although when similar visa issues prevented various Cuban musicians from attending the Latin Grammys in Miami last year, American authorities blamed the Cubans, saying they put in the visa applications too late.

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SPECTOR EVIDENCE MAY BE A FINGER NAIL
The "mystery piece of evidence" in the Phil Spector murder case is more than likely a finger nail supposedly from actress Lana Clarkson. 

As previously reported the prosecution in the Spector case said they reckoned the defence had found a new piece of evidence, and that they should share it with them before the case opens in court. Defence lawyers argued that if police failed to find said piece of evidence themselves it wasn't their job to hand it over to prosecutors. 

Insiders say the finger nail is blackened with gunpowder which could be used to show Clarkson, as Spector claims, shot herself.

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FLEETWOOD SUES BEEB OVER ARCHIVE RELEASES
Mick Fleetwood is suing the commercial bit of the BBC for millions over the release of recordings by the likes of the Beatles and The Who. Fleetwood's company Bee Load claims it had negotiated the rights to co-release and market archive BBC recordings, but BBC Worldwide then released the albums on their own and did not share the profits. The lawsuit has been launched at Cumberland County Superior Court in Portland and if no settlement is reached should go to court in Sep.

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LYDON QUITS THE JUNGLE
Ant & Dec squirmed their way through an interview with John Lydon last night after the former Sex Pistol walked out on 'I'm A Celeb'. Explaining his decision to quit, despite being favourite to win the show, Lydon said: "I live in a different world. No disrespect - but I don't want to turn into Des O Connor. It is time for me to move on. I have done what I wanted to do here. I suspect that, and I am not being arrogant, that I would win outright and I don't want that." He added that he decided to quit after Razor Ruddock was voted off the show by viewers the previous day: "Razor made me decide to leave. When they turfed him out, I thought 'sod that' - that's humiliation." With Lydon choosing to walk the viewer-eviction-vote was called off and all remaining celebs stayed in the jungle. No word on how ITV plans to refund the phone call charges of all the viewers who had already voted before Lydon walked!

Elsewhere in jungle news - Jordan's agent has told reporters he will suggest the model enter the next series of Pop Idol. Apparently Jordan is keen to pursue a music career - though given her singing in the jungle she's gonna need quite some producer to make something sellable. 

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