CMU Daily - on the inside 13 Feb 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Impala welcome major merger review
- NME awards 
- Love calls Stern
- Junos add sixth contender to best album after miscount
- Single Review: Amen - California's Bleeding 
- Missy tour will double up as reality show
- FCUK plan radio station
- Garfunkel pleads guilty to dope possession
- Ms Eminem faces custody over parole violation
- Album Review: The Stranglers - Norfolk Coast 
- Libertines frontman solo release
- Jacko denies cash problems
- Major label gossip
- Music press ABC round up
- Coxon tour
- EMI reject NoW's Kylie apology
- Cher announces UK tour

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CMU'S FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Stoned Asia at Redstar Bar
The Dogstar's slightly more northerly cousin, just off Camberwell Green, has hosted some pretty crazy Saturday nights, with an ever up for it crowd. This Sunday, for those post valentine hangovers, catch Stoned Asia records boss DJ Pathaan as he plays the best in electronic music with an Eastern vibe. Expect some relaxed sitar dub, future tablatronics, with some Bollywood business to jack to. Joined by fellow resident Gaudi, no all the guests are confirmed yet - but he has had legendary downtempo king Chris Coco and the Big Chill's Pete Lawrence down before now, so it should be good. A damn good way to finish the weekend. PV
Sun 15 Feb, Redstar Bar, Camberwell Road, SE5 , 6pm - 1am, Free, more at http:// www.redstarbar.co.uk

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

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IMPALA WELCOME MAJOR MERGER REVIEW
Impala, the pan-European trade body for independent labels, were very happy yesterday after the European Commission confirmed it would launch a four month long investigation into the impact of a major label merger before giving the green light for BMG and Sony to join forces. 

The announcement from the Commission confirms those reports at the end of last month that said the original 12 Feb deadline for a decision on the merger would not be met. Authorities will now examine whether they believe the market has changed since 2000 when they ruled against an EMI / Warners merger.

The decision is good news for Impala who are lobbying against the merger. They hope the extended review will enable them to present their full case as to why the further consolidation of the music business is bad for artists, musicians, songwriters, retailers and consumers.

Commenting on the decision of the European Commission, Impala President Michel Lambot - also Co-Chairman of PIAS Group/Vital - told reporters: "Impala and its members will continue to work with the Commission to provide further evidence on the horizontal and vertical concerns that this merger raises. It is our duty to safeguard artists and consumers."

Impala Vice President Patrick Zelnik added: "The doubts raised during Phase 1 show that a detailed investigation is required and we will demonstrate the full impact of the merger across the whole music sector. We will ensure that the market delivers consumer value and choice."

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NME AWARDS 
So it was the NME Awards yesterday - and if those NME readers are to be believed Ozzy Osbourne was the Godlike Genius of 2003. Daughter Kelly picked up his award at the Hammersmith event, accompanied by a video message from Ozzy himself who is now back in LA recovering from that quad bike crash last year. He told the audience at the show: "I'm far from being a genius. I'm just glad I'm still breathing."

Most of the other winners announced by host Vernon Kay were acts that are regularly championed by the magazine itself, so very few surprises really. Radiohead won Best Album for 'Hail To The Thief' and Best Video for 'There There', Kings of Leon took the awards for Best New Band and Best International Band, while the Libertines were name Best UK Band.

Media wise good news for Radio 1 - last year's new signing Zane Lowe won the award for Best Radio Show, hinting Lowe's distinctive style has gone down well with the indie crowd.

One act who did not fair so well was The Darkness. The big rock success story of 2003 were up for a number of awards but won none. Then again the Darkness' Justin Hawkins has something of a running feud with the NME after they slated his first single - so their failure to win the support of the NME faithful is perhaps not too surprising.

Those awards in full:

Best Radio Show: Zane Lowe 
Best New Band (supported by Radio 1): Kings Of Leon 
Best Video (supported by MTV2): Radiohead - There There 
Best Single: The White Stripes - 7 Nation Army 
Best Film: Lord Of The Rings - Return Of The King 
Rock And Roll Man Of The Year: Har Mar Superstar 
Best Live Band (supported by Carling): Queens Of The Stone Age 
Living Legend: Arthur Lee 
Philip Hall Radar Award: Franz Ferdinand 
Best Event: Glastonbury 
The Fuck Me! Award For Innovation: Dizzee Rascal 
Best International Band (supported by 4Music): Kings Of Leon 
Best TV Show: The Office 
Rock N Roll Woman Of The Year: Brody Dalle 
Best UK Band (supported by BPI): The Libertines 
Best Album (supported by Virgin Megastores): Radiohead - Hail To The Thief 
Godlike Genius: Ozzy Osbourne

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LOVE CALLS STERN
Despite not being too keen to talk to the courts about those pending drugs charges - Courtney Love found time to chat to Howard Stern yesterday. Having missed a court hearing earlier this week in which her legal people were hoping to get her out of a custodial sentence by committing her to attend a drugs rehab programme, Love yesterday called Howard Stern's radio show to give her side of the story.

During the not entirely coherent conversation, Love made a number of allegations, including repeating claims that various family members, including Kurt Cobain's mother Wendy O'Connor, and an unnamed bank, are after her daughter Frances Bean's trust fund.

When pulled back to her no show at court she talked a little about security threats and not having a bodyguard, before ranting: "What have I done? Other than be a woman who owns stuff and is proud of it and is arrogant about it? Why isn't the government supporting me? The DA has got it in for me and I don't know why. My house is bugged." 

Stern then tried to coach Love in how she should behave if and when she shows up to court next week - recommending she eat some humble pie to score some brownie points. Love responded "This is absurd. I went to rehab for 30 days. I'm great in court. I'm good with judges. Stop it."

Despite the seemingly unplanned nature of yesterday's phone call, Love is expected to phone in again this morning. She is due back in court next week and faces arrest if she doesn't show this time.

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JUNOS ADD SIXTH CONTENDER TO BEST ALBUM AFTER MISCOUNT
Organisers of the Canadian music industry's main awards had to expand the number of nominees for Best Album yesterday after an admin error deprived Nickelback of their rightful place on the list.

When the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced the nominations for their Junos earlier this week the nominees for Best Album went to Michael Buble, Celine Dion, Nelly Furtado, Sarah McLachlan and Sam Roberts. 

The Best Album category is based exclusively on total record sales so there was some surprise that what many felt had been one of the best selling albums of 2003 - Nickelback's 'The Long Road' - was absent. A quick check of the figures once the nominations had been announced revealed someone behind the scenes had accidently transposed a couple of figures and that had pushed Nickelback out of the top five.

To make amends CARAS yesterday confirmed they would, for this year only, have six nominations for the Best Album award.

CARAS executive producer Stephen Stohn explained: "Somebody transposed two figures. It was triple-checked. It went through the process and then when it was finally announced, we all looked at it and said 'Wait a minute, there's something wrong here. Nickelback is one of the top-selling albums of the year. How come it isn't in that list?'" 

"The company who calculate the figures looked back and immediately admitted their error and have dealt with it very professionally. But of course, it's upsetting when something like this happens." 

Stohn wouldn't be drawn on which of the other five artists in the running for the award has been nominated on a technicality, instead saying: "What we have ended up with is six very deserving nominees. In the end, of course, it will be the vote of the CARAS membership who will decide who the winner is." 

Nickelback were said to be "delighted" at getting the extra nomination. It takes their total number of nominations up to five - equalling both Sarah McLachlan and Nelly Furtado. 

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SINGLE REVIEW: Amen - California's Bleeding (Sony / Eat UR Music) 
System Of A Down's Daron Malakin set up Eat UR Music as "an outlet for all the music he wanted to tell the world about". And who wouldn't want to tell the world about Amen? A raw punk rock metal outfit that manages to get every vivid inch of the blood lust and aggressive energy on tape. Amen could teach all the faux rockers on both sides of the Atlantic a trick or two about keeping it 'real'. A blazing single, bring on the album. JG
Release date: 22 Mar
Press contact: Sony IH [all]

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MISSY TOUR WILL DOUBLE UP AS REALITY SHOW
Missy Elliot plans to take a bunch of TV cameras with her when she hits the road on that Triple Threat Tour later this year. TV producers will follow her on the co-headline tour with Beyonce and Alicia Keys and plan to make a behind-the-scenes show out of it. No word on the exact specifics of the programme as yet, though Missy was apparently talking the project up at the Grammys last weekend.

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FCUK PLAN RADIO STATION
Clothing label French Connection are launching a digital radio station which will broadcast via Sky Digital and online. Also doubling up as an in-store station, FCUK FM will be a music heavy service run out of the company's Regent Street store. No word yet on exact music policy, although the firm's head of marketing Matthew Griffiths admitted they would be interested in bidding for analogue licences for the service should the opportunity arise.

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GARFUNKEL PLEADS GUILTY TO DOPE POSSESSION
Art Garfunkel has pleaded guilty, via his attorney, of those marijuana possession charges and agreed to pay $200 in fines. As previously reported, the singer was charged with possessing the drugs after he was stopped for speeding in upstate New York on 17 Jan. The singer's representatives had been due in court this week, but authorities yesterday confirmed a guilty plea had been entered on 4 Feb. 

Elsewhere in Garfunkel news, a second leg of the sell out Simon & Garfunkel reunion tour is expected to kick off in June.

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MS EMINEM FACES CUSTODY OVER PAROLE VIOLATION
Meanwhile, and elsewhere in drugs-charges news, Eminem's ex-wife has been jailed for at least a month after being found guilty of using cocaine while on probation. 

Kimberley Mathers was put on two years probation last month relating to cocaine possession charges. Shortly after that probation began Mathers admitted to her probation officer that she was still using the drug. A positive drugs test followed and as a result the former Mrs Shady will now have to serve 30 days in the Macomb County Jail and then another 90 days on an in patient drugs rehab programme.

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Stranglers - Norfolk Coast (EMI)
In no one's book can 'Norfolk Coast' be a good name for a rock album. Let alone a really good rock album from people who DO know better. But ignoring the title, and the fact that they look like your dad (depending on how old you are I s'pose), the new Stranglers album is an excellent retro / future-spective punk clash of psychedelic organ, funny guitar and distinctive vocals. It's never nice when the old codger knows best, but this is Mr Miyagi time - and he knows. All the Danny le Rouso monkeys with their everso-honest punk ethics, clothes and music should look at these retirees with their comb-overs and listen and learn. The wisest move was not over produce; and as such the album will please old fans and no doubt net some new ones. Blakeney my arse. JG. 
Release date: 16 Feb
Press contact: EMI IH [all]

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LIBERTINES FRONTMAN SOLO RELEASE
Every NME reader's favourite former convict, Libertines frontman Pete Doherty, is set to release his first solo single through Rough Trade on 12 Apr. The single - 'For Lovers' - was one of the tracks Doherty performed at a number of solo gigs last year, while in exile from The Libertines after his major fall out with bandmate Carl Barat. Other tracks from those solo sets are expected to get official releases.

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JACKO DENIES CASH PROBLEMS
Michael Jackson's people are busy denying rumours in the New York Times yesterday that Jacko has major financial problems, and will struggle to make a $70 million payment which is due as part of a long standing loan agreement next Tuesday.

Denying that any major loan payments were pending with the Bank of America or anyone else, Jacko spokesman Charles Koppelman told reporters that, while Jackson did have debts with a number of money lenders, his financial dealings were no different to those of anyone with considerable wealth, adding that his assets far outway his debts. He did admit that significant financial transaction would be made in the next few days, but did not wish to digress any more information on that.

Koppelman again denied those rumours that the Nation of Islam had any involvement in Jackson's financial affairs, and those reports that leading Nation of Islam member Leonard Muhammad had become Jackson's chief adviser, explaining that Muhammad was simply a friend of Jackson who, like many other friends, did advise Jacko on certain issues.

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MAJOR LABEL GOSSIP
More major label shenanigans.

Firstly still much talk over at Warner Music as to what role current boss Roger Ames will take once the Edgar Bronfman sale is complete and former Island Def Jam man Lyor Cohen is installed as boss of US operations. Ames is reportedly yet to decide whether he will stay or go - leading to speculation as to whether Ames would take a role that reported to Cohen rather than Bronfmann direct, and as to who exactly would have to pay off Ames if he was to leave - Bronfmann or the Warner Group. 

Meanwhile, over at BMG, speculation is rife as to what will happen now that Clive Davis has been given a cross label US-wide role. Everyone expects the company to be split into two main divisions (excluding classical and country which will still have their own bits) - J/RCA and Jive/Arista. However which artists end up in which division is not a foregone conclusion - with some current Arista artists expected to fall into the J/RCA fold.

Elsewhere at BMG, some speculation as to how Clive Davis would get on with Sony's Andy Lack. Should the BMG Sony merger get the green light it is likely the former would report to the latter - a scenario which some aren't convinced will necessarily work too well. We'll see.

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MUSIC PRESS ABC ROUND UP
While digital downloads are hitting the music biz, it seems internet music news services and the increase of music coverage in the broadsheets and lifestyle magazines is similarly hitting the music press. The latest ABC circulation figures show readership declines more or less across the board - only the recently revamped NME and those mags targeting the more mature music fan (Uncut at IPC and Mojo at EMAP) saw a readership rise this time round. 

Although the NME's overall circulation was down slightly year on year, the weekly did manage to hold on to most of its more recent readership gains with its revamp and extensive promotional work - suggesting the IPC weekly is now properly out of that trough that followed the domination of dance music post-Britpop. 

NME will also be pleased to see that in the same period rival weekly Kerrang! saw its circulation drop by almost a fifth - ending that peak two years ago when the EMAP rock magazine overtook the NME in readership. That said, EMAP are sure to point out that if discounted copies of the NME - which were used to promote the recent relaunch - are stripped out of the figures then Kerrang! is only 871 copies behind NME. 

EMAP are likely to be more concerned by the performance of its music monthly Q - which, having gone through three editors in the last two years, continues to see its readership fall - down 5% from six month ago, and 10% from last year. With rumours that Felix Dennis is planning on launching a UK version of his popular American music mag Blender - which would most likely target Q's readership - EMAP can probably leave Kerrang! to its own devices and should be thinking about where next for Q.

More bad news over at Metal Hammer and Rock Sound who both saw ABC slides of around 17%; in the dance world Mixmag lost 16.5% of their readers and DJ Mag's ABC went down 10.3%; and on a pop bent BBC's Top Of The Pops magazine slipped 5.6% and EMAP's Smash Hits - despite the success of its TV and radio franchises - saw its ABC fall by a mega 21.2%. 

And so to those mature music mags. Good news for both IPC and EMAP on that front - the latter's Mojo increased its readership by 4%, while the former's Uncut music and movies title saw its readership soar by 22%. 

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COXON TOUR
Graham Coxon has announced four low key gigs in Mar and a full UK tour in May/June to promote up coming album 'Happiness In Magazines', which is scheduled for a May release. Dates as follows:

9 Mar: Stoke Sugarmills 
10 Mar: Bristol Firkin 
11 Mar: Bedford Esquires
12 Mar: York Fibbers

20 May: Manchester Academy 3 
21 May: Liverpool Academy 2 
24 May: Newcastle Northumbria University 
25 May: Edinburgh Venue 
26 May: Glasgow King Tut's Wah Wah Hut 
28 May Sheffield Leadmill 
29 May: Nottingham Rescue Rooms 
30 May: Birmingham Academy
2 Jun: Cardiff Engine Rooms
3 Jun: Oxford Zodiac 
6 Jun: Brighton Concorde 2 
7 Jun: Norwich Waterfront 
8 Jun: London Electric Ballroom 
10 Jun: Dublin Village 
11 Jun: Belfast Limelight 

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EMI REJECT NOW'S KYLIE APOLOGY
EMI have rejected an apology from the News of the World over suggestions they had struck a £35 million deal with Kylie Minogue. The tabloid reported that a new deal had been made with the singer in Rav Singh's showbiz column last December. The label argued no such deal had been made - and never would have been because Kylie's existing contract still has some time to run. Although arguing that the story came from a credible source, once EMI had complained to the Press Complaints Commission the paper admitted it had not actually seen any paperwork relating to a contract and agreed to publish an apology on the same page that the incorrect story had originally appeared. Although the PPC seem to think that commitment fulfils their own code of practice, EMI are now pushing for a more prominent apology - remains to be seen if they get it.

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CHER ANNOUNCES UK TOUR
Cher has announced a UK tour for later this year - and it may well prove to be the singer's last over here if she sticks to her recent statement that she is quitting music to concentrate on film work. 

In that statement Cher said: "There's a time for everything and I think this is the right time to stop. Deciding to stop is partly an age thing. The only person I know of my age who's still doing this is Tina Turner. I'm doing things on stage that would choke a girl of 20. It's not the performing that's hard, it's the going from place to place, always travelling and staying in strange hotel rooms every night. I'll still be around, it's not like I'm going to leave the universe - I just won't tour again."

UK dates are as follows:

8 May: Dublin, The Point
9 May: Belfast, Odyssey Arena
11 May: Glasgow, SECC
14 May: Birmingham, NEC Arena
17 May: Manchester, MEN Arena
19 May: Sheffield, Hallam FM Arena
21 May: London, Wembley Arena

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