CMU Daily - on the inside 9 Feb 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Beyonce's night at the Grammys
- Aussie officials swoop on Kazaa
- Pixies London dates: confirmed and sold out
- More nipplegate nonsense
- Tower Records may file for bankruptcy
- Queen top rock survey
- LMC still top charts
- Maori music wins global song writing prize
- Single Review: Mcfly - Five Colours In Her Hair 
- Distinctive plan Y4K night
- WMC breaks day 
- Homelands announce line up highlights
- More major label shenanigans
- Basement Jaxx add second London date
- Master P pleads guilty to tax reporting violations
- Liverpool DJ praised for helping suicidal teenager
- Independent drop broadsheet in certain regions
- Album Review: The Veils - The Runaway Found
- OfCom announce radio intentions
- Sandman launch Hull edition
- Former Kitten now jungle favourite 

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BEYONCE'S NIGHT AT THE GRAMMYS
If you believe America's National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences the music year that was 2003 belonged to Beyonce Knowles - and not 50 Cent - who didn't fair so well at the Grammys last night. Beyonce picked up five of the 105 awards presented at the LA ceremony yesterday, including Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Best Contemporary R&B Album, Best R&B Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

After collecting her fifth award Knowles told reporters: "Wow. This is unbelievable. Performing was enough for me. I'm just so honoured". That performance itself nearly stole the show - the Destiny's Child girl helping celebrate the twentieth anniversary of 'Purple Rain' by collaborating with Prince on the Grammys stage.

Just behind Beyonce in the awards stake was Luther Vandross. Although not well enough to attend the event - Vandross is still recovering from that stroke last year - the singer sent a recorded message in which he added a line to the Vandross medley performed by Alicia Keys, Celine Dion and Richard Marx. The soul singer picked up four awards, including Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Album and, for 'Dance With My Father', 'Song Of The Year'.

Bluegrass singer Alison Krauss and everyone's favourite act of the moment, OutKast, got three gongs each. The White Stripes won two awards - Best Rock Song for 'Seven Nation Army' and Best Alternative Album for 'Elephant'; Eminem won Best Rap Song (for 'Lose Yourself') and Best Male Rap Solo Performance; goth-rockers Evanescence won the Best Newcomer crown and took the award for Best Hard Rock Performance; while, representing the Brits, Coldplay won the prestigious Record Of The Year title for their song 'Clocks';

Having taken the prizes for Best Male Pop Vocal and Best Pop Vocal Album, Justin Timberlake fulfilled his commitments to the CBS network by using his speech to say: "I know it's been a rough week on everybody. And what occurred was unintentional, completely regrettable and I apologise if you guys were offended." On his actual awards he said: "This is officially the greatest moment of my life. Thank you." 

There were post-humous awards aplenty for Warren Zevon, Johnny Cash and - alongside surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr - awards for Geroge Harrison and John Lennon. Collecting Lennon's award Yoko Ono told the Grammys audience that if he were alive today Lennon would say: "I say it again, 'come together, give peace a chance and love is all we need.'" 

And finally, there was even an award for ex-US President Bill Clinton and former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev - they both read on 'Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf/Beintus: Wolf Tracks' which was named 'Best Spoken Word Album for Children'. Neither were on hand to pick up their awards though! 

As there are 4983 categories at the Grammys anyone wanting a full list of the winners should pay a visit to http://www.grammy.com

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AUSSIE OFFICIALS SWOOP ON KAZAA
Much excitement in Australia on Friday as an anti-piracy group owned by the major labels there swooped on twelve sites across the country as part of an investigation into the operations of the world's most popular file share network Kazaa. The sites raided included the Sydney offices of Kazaa owners Sharman Networks as well as the homes of two Sharman executives. The operation also included raids on colleges and internet service providers. 

The operation took place after Music Industry Piracy Investigations - a group co-owned by Universal, Festival Mushroom Records, EMI Music, Sony Music, Warner Music Australia and BMG Australia - was granted the appropriate search warrants by the Australian Federal Court. 

It is not entirely clear what evidence the MIPI were looking for in the raids, but the results of the operation are expected to form part of a court case against Kazaa which many expect the industry group to launch in the Australian courts this week. MIPI's general manager Michael Speck told reporters: "This sends a very clear signal to internet pirates in Australia that the game is up."

A Sharman spokesman said they were complying with the authorities regards the search warrants, but accused MIPI of making a "knee jerk reaction" that was "wasting everyone's time". They pointed to a court decision in the Netherlands which cleared Sharman of any responsibility for the illegal file sharing that their software can be used for - predicting a similar conclusion in the Aussie courts. 

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PIXIES LONDON DATES: CONFIRMED AND SOLD OUT
Those rumours of Pixies dates at London's Brixton Academy were confirmed on Friday - and the two dates sold out on Saturday. Having confirmed they will appear at T in the Park in July, promoters of the long awaited Pixies comeback tour confirmed the band will play the Academy on 2 and 3 Jun. Tickets went on sale on Saturday morning and from what we hear were gone within minutes. No word on whether any other UK gigs or festival dates are likely to be added.

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MORE NIPPLEGATE NONSENSE
The fall out over Nipplegate still rolls on.

Firstly Jackson's boyfriend Jermaine Dupri told reporters on Friday he was quitting as president of the Atlanta chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences - the body that stages the Grammys - in protest at the lack of support the industry body has shown his other half following her controversial appearance at the Superbowl. The decision came among claims and counter-claims as to whether NARAS had actually banned Jackson from attending the Grammys, or whether she had just decided not to attend herself. 

Durpi told reporters: "I feel like I don't want to be a part of something that's not treating musical people in the right light. I feel what's going on with Janet is very unfair right now. I cannot stand by and watch a fellow member of the music community be used as a scapegoat. It comes down to the issue of fairness. Despite it all, what is happening is not fair. I feel that if I can't change this or make it go in the right way it should go, I shouldn't be a part of it." On that Superbowl routine itself Dupri admitted it was a big a surprise to him as anyone else, but added that Jackson herself remains in good spirits and that "Everybody else is making this bigger than what it is."

Secondly, the US media are saying there is such a thing as bad publicity and are speculating Nipplegate will, in fact, have a negative affect on the sales of Jackson's up coming album release on Virgin. One quoted China Danforth of urban label DKG Music who said: "I don't think it will boost sales of the CD. I don't think it was consistent with her image and the problem with it is that it came off looking just like a publicity stunt."

Thirdly - and most ridiculously - a woman from Tennessee is suing Jackson, Timberlake, MTV, CBS and Viacom "on behalf of all Americans who watched the Super Bowl" on the grounds the Justin Janet routine "caused her and millions of other unsuspecting viewers to suffer outrage, anger, embarrassment and serious injury". The legal papers, issued by one Terri Carlin, appeared on the Smoking Gun website on Friday - though details of the specifics of those "serious injuries" are not included.

Finally for now, if the Superbowl routine achieved only one thing it was this - apparently Janet Jackson's breast has become the most searched-for image on the web ever. Lycos say more people have been searching for pictures or video clips of the Superbowl routine that looked for footage of 9/11 back in 2001. And according to digital video recorder makers Tivo - who make the set-top hard disks which allow viewers to rewind live TV - a very large number of shocked Americans hit rewind so they could be shocked all over again.

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TOWER RECORDS MAY FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY
Insiders at the US based music retailer Tower Records tell us the company might file for bankruptcy later this month as the 100-store group continues to struggle with changes in the music retail sector. The chain's owners MTS Inc have been looking for a buyer for the group for over nine months now, ever since they confirmed they would be unable to pay back the $5.2million debt they accrued during a bonds sale in 1998. Some reckon any application for bankruptcy would be a move to aid a quick sale. 

The continuing decline of the company, who invented the megastore concept, is a worry for the wider music retail sector. Phil Leigh, digital music analyst with Digital Inside Media, this weekend told reporters: "It doesn't surprise me. The brick-and-mortar retailers are facing a serious problem. They've got to deal with Borders and Wal-Mart and the trend toward digital distribution." 

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QUEEN TOP ROCK SURVEY
Another survey for the best rock anthem ever and, of course, Queen top the poll again. In fact Queen take the top two spots in the survey undertaken by UCI Cinemas to mark the release of the new Jack Black comedy 'School of Rock'. 'We Will Rock You' comes top, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' sitting at number two.

Nirvana come third with 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' - other top ten entries include Bon Jovi's 'Livin' On A Prayer', Survivor's 'Eye Of The Tiger' and Europe's 'The Final Countdown'.

The most recent band in the chart were The Darkness - who came in at 19 with 'I Believe In A Thing Called Love'.

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LMC STILL TOP CHARTS
Talking of charts, LMC vs U2 (with 'Take Me To The Clouds Above') still top the UK singles chart today in a top ten pretty devoid of new entries - only Blazin Squad get a new entry in the ten (with 'I'm Still In Love With You'), and even then only at seven. The Top 4 remains unchanged, but for Outkast and Michelle McManus swapping places 3 and 4. 

That said, lower down the chart some welcome new entries, in particular: Funeral For A Friend with 'Escape Artists Never Die' at 19, the Von Bondies with 'C'Mon C'Mon' at 21 and Junior Jack's 'Da Hype' at 25 (a track which tops this week's dance charts). 

Things are much more exciting in the albums chart though. While Katie Melua is still number one, and a Leanne Rimes best of took highest new entry at two, the top ten also includes new entries from: Snow Patrol ('Final Straw' at 3), Lostprophets ('Start Something' at 4) and Incubus ('A Crow Left Of The Murder' at 6). Add to that the fact that just outside the top ten is Scissor Sister's eponymous album, straight in at eleven, and quite a good album chart all round thank you very much. 

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MAORI MUSIC WINS GLOBAL SONG WRITING PRIZE
An American based songwriting competition has awarded its Grand Prize to one Moana Maniapoto of Auckland, New Zealand for her world music song 'Moko' - quite an achievement given that it's the first time a US based award has gone to a non-American artist. 

Announcing the award a spokesman for the snappily titled International Songwriting Competition told reporters: "Moana Maniapoto has consistently pushed the boundaries of Maori music with her unique blend of traditional Maori musical elements and contemporary western grooves. Her band Moana and the Tribe tour throughout the world and are one of the most successful indigenous bands to emerge from New Zealand. The winning song 'Moko', is a compelling fusion of smooth world music and an urban sound with earthy, international beats. 'Moko' is rich in lyrical content and reflects the Maori spirit and culture. The song's social message makes a clear distinction between the traditional and sacred custom of Maori tattooing and the Western art form".

'Moko' wins one of a string of awards made by the ISC and their impressive judging panel which includes, among many others, B.B. King; Vanessa Carlton; Paul Oakenfold; Tina Davis (Sr. VP A&R, Def Jam/Def Soul); Rose Noone (Sr. VP A&R, Epic Records); and Michael Gudinski (Chairman, Mushroom Group Of Companies). Full details of this year's winners are at http://www.songwritingcompetition.com/winners.htm

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SINGLE REVIEW: McFly - Five Colours In Her Hair (Universal/Island)
If, God forbid, some sort of disaster was to send the Busted boys off to meet their collective makers (I'm not tempting fate, but all that OTT fake guitar strumming could bring on a premature heart attack) then Universal Music could probably wheel out new signing McFly and - but for the absence of Charlie's eyebrows - I doubt anyone would notice. While such extreme contingencies probably aren't part of Universal Music's plans, certainly their decision to sign a second band from the same management house that created the chart topping Busted franchise is surely motivated more by tills ringing than a love of Back To The Future references. All that said, to write off the McFly boys as being 'just another Busted' is a little unfair. Despite being almost inseparable from their sister band (they appear on one of Busted's b-sides, are supporting them on their upcoming arena dates and McFly's Tom Fletcher has co-written with Busted's James Bourne), actually McFly's sound isn't a complete carbon copy. The lyrics are from the same 'adolescent love' file (you know, boy likes girl, girl's out of boy's league, boy gets girl, boy then loses girl, repeat till fade) but musically McFly seem a little less over-produced, sounding somewhat more sophisticated by being more simplistic. And I'd even go as far to say that the sixties influences main man Fletcher mentions in his biog can be heard in all three of the tracks that appear on the first single release. Given that we started our Busted backlash when I foolishly let someone else on the CMU review team critique their new single, I'm quite happy to move over to championing this lot instead. And I'm no capitalist - for me it's all down to a genuine love of Back To The Future references. CC
Release date: 29 Mar
Press contact: Universal IH [CP, CR, RR, NP, NR] Trouserpress [RP]

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DISTINCTIVE PLAN Y4K NIGHT
Distinctive Records are hosting a special Y4K night at a secret location in London next month where we are promised a live set from Hybrid plus DJ sets from Rennie Pilgrim, the Dub Pistols and the Stanton Warriors. The event takes place on 19 Mar - we'll give you more when we get it.

The show is a one off special night as part of Hybrid's up coming live set tour - other dates include: 

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

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WMC BREAKS DAY 
Talking of breaks - which we were - as the underground dance genre gains even more momentum one of the most exciting events at this year's Miami Winter Conference looks likely to be the Breaks Day, details of which were released on Friday. Taking place on 7 Mar at a yet-to-be-confirmed location the provisional line up is a bit of a who's who of the genre including: 

Rennie Pilgrim (TCR), DJ Icey (Zone), Uberzone (Live), Adam Freeland (Marine Parade), FreQ Nasty (Skint), Simply Jeff (Phonomental), Phil K (Functional Breaks), B-Sides (Dragon Lounge), Steve Gerrard, Elite Force (W9Y), Skool Of Thought (Supercharged), Atomic Hooligan (Botchit Breaks), Ben & Lex (Functional Breaks), Moguai (Hope Recordings), DJ Hyper (Kilowatt), Lee Coombs (Fingerlickin), Krafty Kuts (Fingerlickin), Dee Kline (Rat), Chris Carter (TCR), Soul of Man (Fingerlickin), Stanton Warriors (XL), Tamsin (Breakneck / TCR), Liquid Todd (K-Rock), Barry Ashworth (Dub Pistols), Jean Jacques Smoothie (Plastic Raygun). More at http://www.breaksday.com. 

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HOMELANDS ANNOUNCE LINE UP HIGHLIGHTS
And talking of dance events, Homelands organisers gave reporters the lowdown of this year's festival on Friday which, as always, takes place on the last weekend in May. Having branched out into less dancey genres last year, the main new dimension being added at the 2004 Homelands is a hip hop arena, which is likely to play host to a number of key artists from both the US and UK hip hop scenes.

Line up highlights already released include: Live sets from The Music, Faithless, Scissor Sisters, and London Elektricity, DJ sets from Erick Morillo, Roger Sanchez, Black Strobe Dex n FX, Mr Scruff, Groove Armada and Paul Van Dyk and, in the aforementioned hip hop arena, appearances from Grandmaster Flash, Jazzy Jeff, the Scratch Perverts, Killa Kela and Ty. 

Announcing the event Melvin Benn of Mean Fiddler (who have a hand in this festival too!) told reporters: "We're unrelenting in our quest to provide the finest quality international talent. We're broadening the line up this year introducing Rock and Hip Hop as well as the freshest names from
the underground. We're confident that 2004 will see the best Homelands ever!"

More at http://www.homelands.co.uk

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MORE MAJOR LABEL SHENANIGANS
More from the old major label personnel grapevine. 

Firstly LA Reid has been confirmed as chairman of Universal division Island Def Jam taking over the job from Lyor Cohen, who jumped ship to join the revamped Warner Music last month. The confirmation concludes much speculation that the former Arista boss would join Universal, and ends other rumours he was speaking to Edgar Bronfmann Jr about a role at Warners. The speed with which Universal got him on board should please those inside the major annoyed at how procrastination from French parent company Vivendi seemingly lost them Cohen in the first place. 

Meanwhile - in the roundabout that is the major labels - it seems likely Kevin Liles, currently boss of the Def Jam bit of IDJ, will join BMG to take on a new US-wide urban music role. The deal is apparently all but signed and sealed, and will allow Reid to appoint a new man to support him on all things Def Jam. That appointment ends speculation Liles would follow Cohen to Warners - though other rumours said Liles was a bit pissed off with Cohen over his sudden departure from Universal, so that option may well have never been on the cards. 

Meanwhile the acquisition of Warners by Edgar Bronfman Jr, which should have been completed last week, is now likely to take another four weeks - though reasons for the delay aren't clear. This won't please top execs who feel they are 'hanging around' until the sale is finally complete. 

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BASEMENT JAXX ADD SECOND LONDON DATE
Due to demand Basement Jaxx have added another London date to their up coming live tour. With a second date added the full tour now looks like this:

12 Mar: Glasgow Academy
13 Mar: Manchester Apollo
15 Mar: Nottingham Rock City
16 Mar: Newport Live Arena
18 Mar: Brixton Academy
19 Mar: Brixton Academy

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MASTER P PLEADS GUILTY TO TAX REPORTING VIOLATIONS
Rapper Master P was in court last week over his failure to file a corporate income tax return for his company Bout It Incorporated some seven years ago. Master P, real name Percy Miller, pleaded guilty to the charges on Thursday and now awaits sentencing - the penalties are quite high and could include a maximum sentence of five years probation and a $200,000 fine.

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LIVERPOOL DJ PRAISED FOR HELPING SUICIDAL TEENAGER
A DJ in Liverpool has been praised for helping save the life of a suicidal teenager who rang his late night talkshow - even though doing so meant dumping his show half way through. City Radio and Magic DJ Peter Price kept the 13 year old boy talking live on air for 45 minutes before convincing him to meet up off air. The DJ then left his radio show to meet the boy and return him to his home in Anfield, Liverpool. 

After the event Price told the BBC: "Nothing like this has ever happened on the show before and I was really worried. I decided I had to find the boy and when he told me where he was I just went. He obviously felt he could talk to me and I knew I had to help, I just hope he is OK now."

A spokeswoman for the Merseyside Police said that the boy was now safe and well, adding: "Pete's actions in this situation are highly commendable."

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INDEPENDENT DROP BROADSHEET IN CERTAIN REGIONS
The Independent is taking a step towards dumping its broadsheet edition completely by announcing it will go compact only in Wales, Scotland, Ireland and south-west England. The Inde has already taken its compact edition - originally London only - national and made their Saturday edition compact only. The latest move will test whether dumping broadsheet altogether affects overall sales.

With the Times already publishing a compact edition within the M25 there is already speculation that both the Telegraph and Guardian are now testing the viability of launching tabloid sized editions in the new future. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Veils - The Runaway Found (Rough Trade)
You probably thought you'd had your fill of definitive article named bands. Don't look now but here come the second wave of The bands. These lot don't have much in common with the recent rash of garage rockers. The Veils along with New Yorkers The Stills are purveyors of a new breed of sophisticated moody pop noir. The Veils supported Suede on tour in Spain last year and this album is half produced by Bernard Butler and it has a discernible 'Dog Man Star' era Suede influence. Which is to say, this is an incredibly lush, orchestral, melodramatic and gorgeous album. There's a distinctly Smithsian influence on the oscillating guitar rhythms of the love-lorn, string-laden 'Lavina'. 'More Heat Than Light' is darker, more intense and rockier. There is an abundance of tune and melody on tracks like Guiding Light'. Finn Andrews's rich vocals match the atmosphere of the emotion-drenched album. The songs are so consistently good, the instrumentation so rewarding to listen to, that there really is no room for improvement. This is that rare thing, the perfect debut album. The Veils had already impressed me with their single 'The Wild Son', but with 'The Runaway Found' they effortlessly pole vault to the top of my new favourite band list. JW 
Release date: 16 Feb
Press contact: Coalition [CP, RP, NP] Anglo Plugging [CR, RR, NR]

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OFCOM ANNOUNCE RADIO INTENTIONS
The new super-media regulator OfCom has said it plans to introduce 35 more analogue FM licences around the UK as well as revamping the licence application process. Having taken over responsibility for radio licensing from the now defunct Radio Authority, OfCom have said they plan to have clearer timetables and a slimlined process for making radio licences available. The 35 new licences - probably the last new such licences to ever be advertised assuming digital and / or web radio take off - will cover areas in the North East, South Wales, South West and, for some reason, South Hampshire and Bournemouth. OfCom also hope to offer more support for so called Restricted Service Licences - which may mean more support for college radio in the UK.

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SANDMAN LAUNCH HULL EDITION
Independent music magazine Sandman - currently publishing monthly in Sheffield and Leeds - have announced they will launch a Hull edition later this year. Akin to its sister titles Sandman Hull will focus on the music scene in and around the city and will include live / demo and new release reviews, news, features and previews for the month ahead. The magazine's publishers are currently looking for local talent interested in getting involved - if that's you drop an email to hull@sandmanmagazine.co.uk

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FORMER KITTEN NOW JUNGLE FAVOURITE
With Jordan, Alex Best and Lord Brocket all voted out of the jungle over the weekend the grand final of 'I'm A Celeb' takes place tonight with former singers Peter Andre and Kerry McFadden and former BBC royal reporter Jennie Bond still in the race. Kerry is now favourite which when you think about it kinda makes sense - given that she can count on the Atomic Kitten, Westlife and Scouse vote (and probably much of the Sun reader vote that was going to Jordan). The overall winner will be announced tonight, after which no more jungle. What are people going to watch? When's Big Brother back?

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