CMU Daily - on the inside 11 Feb 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Mixed fortunes in latest sales figures
- Queens Of The Stone Age split rumours
- Broadcasting veteran calls for independent review of BBC charter
- Live Review: Lostprophets @ The Astoria
- OfCom uphold complaints against TOTP and C4
- Music Week Awards: voting underway
- BBC Radio 5 hire Bacon
- Lillywhite returns to studio
- British Folk Awards
- Radiohead rarities EP planned
- Aussie industry may take on telco
- All star line up to pay tribute to Ronnie Lane
- Prince on the look out for a record deal
- Chuck D supports new hip hop channel
- Streets tour
- More nipplegate stuff
- Album Review: Oxia - 24 Heures
- Beck calls off rabbit competition
- Slip 'n' Slide put exclusive remix online
- Timberlake signs up for film
- Longview announce Astoria date
- Bookies slash odds on Andre jungle song topping charts


A dramatic rise in the sale of legitimate downloads and a continued growth in album sales should help compensate for the news that single sales continued to slump in the UK last year. 

Latest sales figures from the Official Charts Company show already poor singles sales fell by a third in 2003 - down from 52.5m units to just 35.9m. With a new report from the BPI showing a considerable rise in illegal file sharing, downloading is sure to be blamed for the slump.

That bad news, however, is compensated by promising figures from the legitimate download sector. The Official Chart Company only started measuring sales of legitimate downloads last October, but the format is seemingly proving popular, and figures should be even higher for the first half of 2004 given the news 50,000 downloads were bought from Coca Cola's download service during its launch week in January. That said legit download sales have a long way to go to compensate for the single sales slump.

Keeping the overall financial picture in good health for the time being is the continued growth of album sales in the UK - which were up by 6% last year. That growth has been attributed to falling retail prices, but also the high number of exciting new artists on the scene covering a number of different genres from rockers The Darkness to new jazz stars like Jamie Cullum and Katie Melua. 

Despite the bottom line figures showing the UK music industry is generally in good shape, according to British newspaper the Guardian, industry leaders tried to delay the release of the stats until after next week's Brit Awards fearing the media would dwell on the decline in singles sales rather than the growth in the album and legit download sectors. They quote the BPI press chief as telling his internal team: "This is a stunning result considering the pressure the business is under worldwide, but needless to say we can expect most focus on the singles figure. We would 'normally' release these figures in the course of next week, but I guess we will want to steer clear of the Brits." 

Although the sales figures have now been released, the full results of that BPI survey on illegal downloading are unlikely to be published until after the Brits event next week.


Various websites are reporting that there has been a split between the creative duo behind the Queens Of The Stone Age with frontman Josh Homme kicking out bassplayer Nick Olivieri - apparently because the latter has been putting partying before work. 

With rumours that other occasional collaborator Mark Lannegan has also quit the band, it is unclear whether Homme will continue under the QOTSA name with a new line up. He already is involved in another band - Eagles Of Death Metal - as are both Olivieri (Mondo Generator) and Lanegan (The Mark Lanegan Band).

One unnamed source has told music website Playlouder: "It was their last tour in Australia that gave [Nick] the push, it was all out of control. But it's not hard to believe they are ready to split after 19 months of solid touring basically. That's rock and roll."


Sir Paul Fox - a former BBC, ITN and Channel 4 boss - is urging the government to appoint and independent committee to review the BBC's Royal charter - which is up for renewal in 2006. Writing in the Evening Standard he says the Department of Culture - charged with the task of reviewing the charter - cannot guarantee it will take a completely independent viewpoint on the BBC because Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell is so close to Tony Blair politically. Fox's article comes among fears that politicians reviewing the BBC's role will use the recent Hutton Inquiry and Greg Dyke's recent departure as an excuse to be more hardline in deciding what commitments the BBC must make in order to secure its licence fee funding. 

Writing in the Evening Standard Fox says: "The renewal of the charter of the BBC in 2006 should be taken out of the hands of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Tessa Jowell may be an admirable person but she is too close to Tony Blair and too unsure about what sort of BBC we need to make the right decision on her own."

He added the Charter review job should not go to new media regulator OfCom either: "This is not a job for Ofcom: it is too new, too inexperienced and has enough on its plate."

Instead Fox proposes setting up an independent committee along the lines of the Pilkington Committee which reviewed the state of British broadcasting back in 1960: "Its hearings should be in public and should be televised and it should report to parliament within 12 months." 


LIVE REVIEW: Lostprophets @ the Astoria on 9 Feb
Exploding onto the Astoria stage the six clinically hyperactive Welshmen launched into a breakneck and ear-splitting set of anthemic metal. Despite admitting that he hates being a front man, Ian Watkins belts out the vocal decibels. He is flanked by two blurry-handed guitarists - axes at solar plexus - and frequent visits from the trucker-cap keyboardist who's hardcore growling and stage-thrashing helps fill the ex-theatre with enough noise to cause melt down. The album has only been out ten days, but already the crowd knew the words; pogoing and moshing like 1200 spaniels in a playpen. Thundering through older material and the instant classic new single, 'Last Train Home', the six-piece from an unpronounceable Welsh village are set to take the universe by storm - getting 1500 kids sweaty at a time, shifting fuck loads of records (the album was number two in the midweeks) and conquering the genre at the same time. The power and intensity of the show was like pissing on a mains socket. We may well be witnessing the start of something good: a band who better their previous album, write and play songs like they fucking mean it, and put on a show that would make you shit you pants with joy. JG


It's time for another round of amusing 'slaps on wrists' for broadcasters as new media regulator OfCom releases its first report on TV complaints - having taken on that role from the now defunct Broadcasting Standards Commission.

First up the BBC have come under criticism for a dance routine on Top of the Pops from the raunchy runners up from Popstars The Rivals, Phixx. Their routine last November which involved half naked band members being chained to chairs received eight complaints - and regulators agreed the bondage overtones of the performance wasn't suitable for the airtime of the show. Phixx are back on TOTP this weekend, so let's see what they can do to piss people off this time.

Meanwhile Channel 4 was criticised for that show where children interview adults about dodgy topics, make crude jokes and swear a lot. The main 'kid' on 'Little Friends' was actually 16, and Channel 4 argued that given that his parents vetted all scripts his involvement was no different than that of children who appear in controversial dramas such as 'The Exorcist'. But OfCom argued that it was "offensive to cast a young person who looked considerably younger than his age" and wrong to undertake the stunts on the show "solely for entertainment purposes".


Voting is underway for the 2004 Music Week Awards which take place on 4 Mar in London. Unlike most other music awards this one aims to celebrate the achievements of companies and individuals working behind the scenes in the UK music industry. Industry players can this year vote for most of the categories online - more details at


Five years after they fired him over a tabloid expose of a "cocaine binge", Richard Bacon is back with a permanent job at the BBC. Having used the scandal to build the kind of post-kids TV career most Blue Peter presenters fail to achieve, Bacon will take over BBC Radio Five Live's Late Night Live weekend show currently presented by Edwina Currie.

Announcing the new show Bacon told reporters: "I love Radio Five Live and this is a superb opportunity to take to the national airwaves. There's a real intimacy about late night shows and I'm delighted to have been given this opportunity."

Although since being sacked from Blue Peter Bacon has relied on commercial broadcasters to build his career - in particular Channel 4's Big Breakfast on the TV front and Xfm on the radio side - the presenter has hosted a number of editions of Top of the Pops in recent years, so the move back to a permanent role at the Beeb isn't too surprising. 


Former-music-producer-turned-label-exec Steve Lillywhite is now a former-label-exec-turned-music-producer-again. He has quit his role as joint MD of Universal division Mercury to return to the studio, and his first project is to produce U2's next album.

Speaking to Billboard, Lillywhite said: "It's the first time I'll have gone in to actually start a record with them in 20 years. I worked on 'The Joshua Tree', 'Achtung Baby' and 'All That You Can't Leave Behind', but this will be the first time I've really set up the mikes and done everything for a long time."


In the world of British folk, June Tabor is Beyonce this week, having taken two key awards at BBC Radio 2's Folk Awards on Monday night. She was named Folk Singer Of The Year plus won the award for Best Traditional Track for her song 'Hughie Graeme'.

Jim Moray was the Justin Timberlake - also winning two awards: Best Newcomer Prize and Best Album for his debut long player 'Sweet England'. 

And UK fiddle player Dave Swarbrick and US artist Steve Earle were the Duran Durans of the night - taking Lifetime Achievement Awards. 

The awards, compered by Mike Harding and Mary Ann Kennedy, will be broadcast on Harding's BBC Radio 2 show tonight at 7pm, and will be screened on BBC 4 on Friday at 9pm. 


Good news for Radiohead fans - word is the band will release a new EP of rarities, remixes and B-sides to coincide with their upcoming tour of the Far East. The bad news is the collection is only likely to get an official release in Japan - meaning European fans will have to get copies on import. 

The ten track EP (which sounds more like an album than an EP to me) will include b-sides and remixes from all the singles taken from 'Hail To The Thief', a live version of '2+2=5' and the Ed Holdsworth video for 'Sit Down, Stand Up'.


It's getting all exciting in Australia, where the record labels seem keen to really crack down on illegal downloading RIAA style. And some reckon Aussie telephone company Telstra could be the next target.

Animosity between the labels and the telco initially grew when Telstra chose to advertise its legitimate download service via Kazaa. Tension increased earlier this week when the internet giant supported Sharman, the owners of the P2P network, in objecting to way the music industry were conducting their campaign against Kazaa, and particularly to those raids of Sharman's offices undertaken by the music industry last week.

Some in the music industry question the motives of the internet companies. Although most ISPs are developing their own legal download services, some inside the majors point out the internet service providers benefit as much from the illegal services - P2P file sharing being one of the most compelling motivations to opt for the broadband services the phone companies are so keen to sell. They join those in certain parts of the US and UK music industry who are claiming ISPs could and should do more to block the illegal file sharing of copyright material.

Aussie music industry analyst Phil Tripp told reporters this week: "The music industry isn't pleased because they saw the ad that Telstra had on the Kazaa site. It's not exactly a good thing for a telco that's trying to legitimately deliver songs to consumers to be advertising at the house of the devil, so to speak. The problem is that people like Telstra want to use music to sell broadband. Apple wants to use music to sell iPods. There's nobody really in the game that just wants to sell music for music's sake. They all have other agendas." 

Michael Speck, who heads up Music Industry Piracy Investigations who undertook those raids on Kazaa premises last week, told Aussie technology website ZDNet: "It will be hard for Telstra to reconcile the conflict between its apparent support for its online music model and its apparent enthusiasm for file-sharing technologies like Kazaa".


Pete Townshend, Paul Weller, Mick Jones and Glen Matlock have all confirmed they will take part in a charity gig paying tribute to former Small Faces and Faces man Ronnie Lane. The Royal Albert Hall show on 8 Apr will also feature Lane's former bandmates Ronnie Wood, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan. The gig will raise money to support the family of Lane who died in 1997, aged 51, after a long battle with muscular sclerosis.


Following rave reviews for his performance at the Grammys last weekend - and critical acclaim for his post-Grammys show at LA's House of Blues - word is Prince is on the look out for a record deal again. Prince quit the major label scene a few years back preferring to self-release new material and to sell direct to his dedicated fanbase via his online fan club. But - having inked a new publishing deal with Universal Music last year - rumour has it Prince is considering re-signing to a major to release his next album. We hear BMG are the front runners. 


A new hip hop TV network in the US has secured the support of an interesting combination of key players. On the corporate side the people behind the Real Hip-Hop Network, a new cable channel dedicated to hip hop culture, is supported by CNN co-founder Reese Schonfeld and former Viacom executive David Houle. But credibility among its target 18-34 demographic is more likely to be achieved through the network's other advocate - Public Enemy's Chuck D.

The new TV station has been created by hip-hop concert promoter Atonn Muhammad, who believes MTV and BET, the US network that targets black Americans, are both overlooking much of what constitutes the hip-hop world. Announcing his intentions Muhammad told reporters: "America only gets to see a fraction of what true hip hop represents. We want to offer a grittier, more real representation." 

RHN hopes to distinguish itself from two other new hip hop channels - one backed by P Diddy's Bad Boy Entertainment and another involving Eminem's Shady Records. Both those channels are based around late night programming that gives air time to the raunchy or controversial hip hop material that is shunned by the mainstream music channels. However RHN hopes to be more all embracing in terms of target audience - distinguishing itself from the mainstream channels in covering all aspects of hip hop culture, not just the big videos.

In that regard Public Enemy's Chuck D - a long time critic of the over commercialisation of hip hop - should prove a suitable advocate. 


The Streets have confirmed details of a UK tour to promote the upcoming second album - dates as follows:

14 May: Manchester Apollo
15 May: Glasgow Barrowlands
17 May: Leeds University Union
18 May: Bristol Academy
20 May: Birmingham Academy
21 May: London Brixton Academy


A survey by Billboard found that 65% of people reckon Janet Jackson's breast-revealing routine at the Superbowl was intentional - with only 35% accepting the incident was a complete or partial accident. The majority seemed to think the whole thing was a pre-planned publicity stunt.

Elsewhere in Nipplegate news - that Tennessee woman who was suing Jackson, Timberlake and the TV networks because of the stress the routine caused has withdrawn her lawsuit. Reporting that she had received hundreds of letters and phone calls of support from concerned parents, Terri Carlin says she is holding back on her legal action to give government regulators a chance to make amends - presumably hoping media regulator the FCC will slap sufficient fines on everyone involved to ensure Janet et al don't get the last laugh. 

Of course she might reconsider when she hears rumours that Jackson is planning to add an extra song to her forthcoming album all about the Super Bowl show. Her producer Jimmy Jam told reporters at the Grammys: "We're finishing up these last four or five songs, you never know - something may slip in there. Whatever's happening in her life tends to be what she writes about. It'd be kind of interesting to see what her feeling is about it."


ALBUM REVIEW: Oxia - 24 Heures (PIAS/GoodLife) 
Olivier Raymond is Oxia, often called France's leading techno producer, and that title is well earned. From the electro based thumper 'Le Temps' to the hi octane 'Reflexion' and the tribal 'Intuition' there is plenty of good stuff here. 'TNN' uses some hefty Detroit strings - excellent; 'Flashback' takes us back to the days of techno rave; while in 'Never Forget' you find yourself back into dark electro. There's a few weaker tracks - 'Different Way' has some off kilter beats, '6for1' fails to cut it and the 'House Nation' rerub is a bit average - but with the tribal trance that is 'The Night' Raymond makes up for it. If you like the proper techno of old, this is definitely worth a check. PV
Release date: 23 Feb
Press contact: PIAS IH 


Beck has cancelled that competition where fans were promised the chance to win the rabbit that appeared in the video for 'Lonesome Tears'. As previously reported Beck fans were being encouraged to write an essay on why they should be allowed to keep the rabbit - called Rocket.

Saying the competition had been cancelled for "unforeseen circumstances", a statement on Beck's website says: "I wanted to apologise to everyone who had either taken part in or been upset by our recent efforts to find the best possible home for Rocket. As too often happens with the best intentions, the plans got tripped up by technicalities. We thought we had made every precaution and secured every necessary clearance and authorisation, but it's better not to take chances and just give Rocket up to an appropriate and certified rescue organisation."

Rocket will now be adopted through the Pasadena Humane Society as part of the ASPCA's Adopt-A-Rescued-Rabbit Month.


Slip 'n' Slide are making a new acoustic soul mix of Strut's 'Look To The Light' available to download from their website. The main version has a vinyl only release on 15 Mar - but the remix will be available online. Slip 'n' Slide tell us: "The MP3 release makes it possible for those DJs who only use CDRs and MP3s to put the track in their sets without having to copy it from the vinyl". More details at


Justin Timberlake is branching out from breast-revealing dance routines into the movies. The singer has reportedly signed up to appear in a new crime film from writer / director David Burke called 'Edison'. Apparently Timberlake will play a small time wannabe journalist who stumbles across a big government corruption story by mistake - and so the plot thickens. 

Confirming the news 'Edison' producer Randall Emmett told reporters: "Every studio has been after Justin. We're so lucky and so excited to have signed him."


Having played an intimate little gig at the Infinity Club for fan club members last night, Longview have confirmed they will play the Astoria on 12 May. The bigger gig follows the sell out success of the recent storming gig downstairs at the Mean Fiddler.


Bookies have slashed the odds of Peter Andre scoring a number one hit with the song he penned in the jungle from 50/1 to 3/1. Apparently there has been a "flurry" of bets on the track being released and topping the shows since 'I'm A Celeb Get Me Out Of Here' climaxed on Monday night. 

Ladbrokes spokesman Warren Lush told reporters: "We initially dismissed the chances at 50/1 but weight of money has seen the odds shrink to just 3/1. Peter had a sweat on when faced with a tank of cockroaches and spiders and now we're sweating on a five figure loss. Kerry winning was a great result for us but number ones have cost us a lot of money recently. First we had the gamble on Mad World at Christmas and now everyone thinks Insania will be a hit. If Insania goes to number one it really is a Mad World."

Word is you can already download a ringtone of the track Andre premiered to his bemused competitors in the jungle last week. Joy oh joy.

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