CMU Daily - on the inside 1 Mar 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- R Kelly gets seven child-sex charges dropped 
- Neptunes renegotiate BMG relationship
- Junos add another last minute nomination
- Brown in jail for 60 days
- Macca announces European tour
- EMAP revamp pop channels
- British Eurovision entry selected
- Police ask Jacko to reveal himself
- Snoop Dogg's glad he kicked the dope
- Maverick may stay with Warners post-takeover
- Andre tops the chart
- Seventies popsters pay tribute to Gray
- T Mobile sign deal with Sony
- IOW line up update
- Beeb back down on Top-Up TV 
- Piracy people stop illegal Live Aid DVDs
- Channel 4 founding father shocked at Five merger rumours
- Puffy are so two-dimensional
- Ruby wax to host Music Week Awards
- Telegraph takeover takes new turn post court ruling
- Boom Boom Satellites play Underworld tonight


There was good news, of sorts, for R Kelly on Friday when seven of the 21 child pornography charges against him were dismissed on a technicality. As previously reported at length, the child sex case against Kelly has dragged on for a long time, and much of the case is based on a video tape that allegedly shows the singer having sex with a minor. 

The technicality that forced seven charges to be dropped is based around the vagueness of prosecution wording and as to when said tape was recorded. Seven charges were based around the claim that Kelly "solicited, used, persuaded, induced, enticed or coerced" the alleged victim into making the sex tape. Kelly's lawyers argue that elements of that charge (the enticement and coersion) only became illegal with the June 1999 Safe Neighborhoods Act, and given that it is unclear when, between 1997 and 2002, this video was made, there is a chance no law was broken even if Kelly did coerce a minor into making the tape. 

The court agreed with that logic leaving Kelly's defence team buoyant as they begin to fight ten other motions against the prosecution's case. 

At the same hearing Kelly was given permission to attend the Soul Train Music Awards on 20 Mar in LA. Because of his bail conditions Kelly has to get court permission each time he wants to leave his home state.


Premiere league producers The Neptunes are in talks with BMG to end the relationship between their record label Star Trak Records and the major's Arista division.

The award-winning producers set up their label under the BMG banner back in 2001 to create a platform through which to release the music of new artists they had discovered. However, more recently they have forged a new relationship with Universal and Star Trak's latest signing, Fam-Lay, is being released via Def Jam.

It is likely BMG will try to keep certain Star Trak artists on their rosters as part of the 'split deal'. Both Kelis and rap duo Clipse are expected to stay with Arista or one of its sister labels. The former is one of the Neptunes' real success stories, though she has criticised the production team in recent interviews for their failure to properly balance their music and business duties.


Another last minute addition to the nomination lists for the main Canadian music awards, the Junos - this time in the Best Blues Album category.

As previously reported, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts have already added an extra nomination since the formal launch of their awards last month. That addition followed an admission that a mis-calculation in sales figures had deprived Nickelback of a Best Album nomination. The nominee list for that award is made up of the five biggest selling albums of the year, so key players in the Canadian industry started to ask questions when the rock band didn't appear on the list. A quick investigation found a counting cock-up on the part of the research firm that coordinate the voting - following which a decision was made to go with six nominations in that category this year, with Nickelback competing against the five existing nominees.

On Friday organisers made a similar move with Blues Album Of The Year, adding another nomination in the form of Rockit 88's 'Too Much Fun'. This time there was no explanation for the last minute addition - a spokesman for CARA simply said: "Too Much Fun by the Rockit 88 band will be added to the list of nominees." The Best Blues nominees are based on Academy votes rather than sales figures, so it is unclear why the addition was necessary.

The Junos take place on 4 Apr and will be hosted by Alanis Morrisette.


Following the news last week that Bobby Brown faced a month in jail over alleged probation violations - on Friday a judge slapped the singer with a 60 day jail sentence, claiming he could have ordered 120 days, but was going easy because of some positive moves on Brown's part. 

Probation officers claimed Brown had refused to submit to a drug test, failed to pay his court-supervision fees in a timely manner and failed to provide proof he completed his substance-abuse rehabilitation program. Although the judge admitted Brown had paid $105 of his fees, had attended counselling and completed community service obligations, he found him guilty of the other violations and ordered him to stay in jail for a total of 60 days.

Brown is on probabtion relating to an earlier drink driving offense. He is due back in court on 5 May to face allegations of misdemeanor battery charge after allegedly hitting his wife, Whitney Houston, in an altercation earlier this year.


Paul McCartney has announced a European Tour for the early Summer - taking in a number of places he has never played before, and climaxing with his only UK date - his headline set at Glastonbury. So keen were the organisers of Lisbon festival Parque Bela Vista to have a McCartney gig in their programme they moved forward their dates by a day to accommodate his schedule!

Dates as follows: 

25 May: Gijon, Spain (Estadio El Molinon)
28 May: Lisbon (Rock In Rio)
30 May: Madrid (La Peinta Estadio)
2 Jun: Zurich (Letzigrund Stadium)
4 Jun: Leipzig (Leipzig Stadium)
6 Jun: Prague (Prague Stadium)
8 Jun: Horsens, Denmark (Horsens Stadium)
12 Jun: Gothenburg (Ullevi Stadium)
14 Jun: Oslo (Valle Hoven Stadium)
17 Jun: Helsinki (Olympic Stadium)
20 Jun: St. Petersburg (Palace Square)
24 Jun: Paris (Stad De France)
26 Jun: Glastonbury, England (Glastonbury Festival)

Elsewhere in Macca news, a release date has been set for the follow up to the 1984 Rupert and the Frog Song animation that featured that Frog Chorus song. As previously reported, Macca is a real animation fan and has long wanted to produce a follow up to his Frog project. The DVD, due to be released on 19 Apr, will feature a new cartoon called 'Tropic Island Hum' based around the adventures of a Liverpudlian squirrel called Wirral. The original 1984 cartoon will also feature. 


EMAP have confirmed an image revamp for their two pop TV channels - The Box and Smash Hits TV. The former will lose the bouncing boxes for what EMAP describe as "warmer more personality driven images". Smash Hits TV gets new neon style graphics plus a new strand called Smash Hits Classics where viewers will be able to request tracks from a list of 'greatest hits' from the last two decades. 


It occurs to me that, these days, if you come last in the Eurovision Song Contest you are meant to be barred from the following year's competition. That rule doesn't seem to affect us though - presumably the BBC pound is too important in making the whole thing happen for the UK to be disqualified after that dismal Jemini performance.

Anyway, the sexed-up Song For Europe competition took place on Saturday night in a bid to find a contender to represent Britian at this year's award in Turkey. After much phone voting the British public decided it wanted James Fox to represent us on the night with his song 'Hold On To Our Love'. 

Fox beat favourites - boyband Hyrise - who came in second in the public phone vote. 


Police in Colorado had to ask Michael Jackson to remove his 'face mask' this weekend after a supermarket security guard thought a masked shopper might be a thief. As previously reported, Jacko is in Aspen, Colorado on holiday (and not, repeat not, in rehab as those evil US newspapers claimed). 

A local police spokesman explained: "The police car pulled to the side and just asked that he show his face, and he did, and that was it. There was no altercation or any kind of encounter".


Snoop Dogg has told Radio 1 that he has become a better person after kicking his dope habit. He explained: "I was really starting to feel like a drug addict, because you associate Snoop Dogg with weed. It wasn't good movies or great music, it was Snoop Dogg... weed... I just said: 'I don't want it no more'. I just left it alone, and once I started leaving it alone... I'm so controlled now, you know what I'm saying, I'm a better person, I'm a better father - it helped me to coach football. When I stopped smoking, I put signs up at my studio: 'No smoking, no alcohol, no nothing' and the homies were coming over and they were like: 'Damn, he really ain't smoking, he's really serious!'"


With Edgar Bronfmann Jnr's takeover of the Warner Music Group due for completion over the weekend, announcements are due very soon about who is staying and who is going post-takeover.

Some change of thinking on the gossip train regarding Madonna's label within the Warner group - Maverick. Initial thinking was that Maverick would be one of the first rosters to leave Warners - with its partnership contract including a post-takeover get-out clause. But thinking now is the Maverick team may be offered a wider remit in a restructured Warner Music Group - probably overseeing other smaller imprints - and that might be enough to convince them to stay.

As for current Warner Music boss Roger Ames - consensus all round is that he will be offered an international (ie non-North America) coordinating role, and that he won't take it. We'll see...


No surprises at all on the singles chart as Peter 'see, the jungle was a good career move' Andre stormed to number one with the re-release of 'Mysterious Girl'. He outsold Westlife whose new single 'Obvious' only managed to get in a number three, they were also beaten by Jamelia whose track 'Thank You' went straight in at number two. 

Elsewhere, 50 Cent and G Unit went in at ten with 'If I Can't', Placebo's 'Summer Rain' got a new entry at 23 and Elbow went in with 'Not A Job' at 26.

Albums wise and it's all pop-jazz, with Katie Melua's 'Call Off The Search' back at one, Norah Jones' 'Feels Like Home' at two and Jamie Callum's 'Twentysomething' at three - see, Radio 2 really is the important player when it comes to album sales.


Fellow seventies pop stars paid tribute to Les Gray this weekend at a charity gig where the Mud frontman had been booked to appear. As previously reported, Gray died last week after a long fight with throat cancer. He had been due to play at a 70s music show in Glasgow on Saturday - that show was rejigged as a tribute for the Mud man.

Alvin Stardust, Les McKeown of the Bay City Rollers and Marmalade all paid tribute to Gray during the event, while David Cassidy added his words via a live link from Florida.


Following their deal with Universal, T Mobile have confirmed they have now done a deal with Sony Music which will give them access to the major's music for their real tone and caller tune services. Images of Sony's artists will also be available for download as part of the network's Screen Styles product. 


More from the bulging file marked 'festival line ups'. Both The Stands and Jet have been added to the line-up for this year's Isle of Wight Festival on 11-13 Jun. They join previously announced headliners The Who, the Manic Street Preachers, David Bowie and Stereophonics on the bill.


According to Broadcast magazine the BBC has dropped its objections to new terrestrial digital TV firm Top-Up TV from mixing its pay-to-view channels with the free-to-air channels on Freeview. 

As previously reported Top-Up TV have bought up some spare terrestrial digital broadcasting space and will offer a pay-to-view service to viewers who access Freeview via old ITV Digital boxes, or one of a number of new set top boxes soon to be launched. Top-Up TV customers will be able to buy access to channels like UK Gold, E4 and Discovery.

The BBC had objected to giving Top-Up TV prime space in the Freeview electronic programme guide, arguing it would confuse viewers and damage the Freeview brand which is kinda based on the concept that channels are free-to-view. 

But after the Top-Up TV people complained to media regulator OfCom about the BBC's objections, the Beeb seems to have fallen in line. Apparantly The Digital Network Consortium - which includes the BBC, ITV, C4 and tech company Crown Castle - have agreed to incorporate the Top-Up TV channels amongst their own.


Well, here's one anti-piracy mission it would be hard to object to. The BPI's Anti-piracy unit and the West Yorkshire police have seized equipment that was allegedly being used to create pirated DVD and CD recordings of Live Aid. The 11-disc DVD set was selling for £110, while the CD recordings were going for £6 each - needless to say nothing was being passed back to the Live Aid charities. The action by the BPI and police followed a complaint by Bob Geldof's lawyers last year. 


Following rumours that Channel 4 may be considering a merger with Channel 5, one of the station's 'founding fathers' has told the Guardian that the mere fact they are considering such a move shows the network is no longer run as it should be. 

Anthony Smith, the president of Magdalen College Oxford, is the former television producer who, in an article for the Guardian, first came up with the idea of a 'publisher' TV station that formed the backbone of the new Channel 4. 

He told the paper this weekend: "Channel 4 takes place within a public space; Channel Five is a purely commercial channel which has not earned itself any credit. I don't see how a not-for-profit broadcaster can have the gall to suggest such an idea. I think it's sad and bad." 


CMU's favourite J-pop duo Puffy (because we have favourite J-pop duos here you know) are to star in their own US cartoon show. According to Variety magazine the duo will appear in 'Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi', a new series duo to be launched on the American Cartoon Network at the end of the year. It will follow Ami and Yumi adventuring from concert to concert, and is set to include live-action segments featuring the real and very wonderful Ami and Yumi. 

Puffy aren't new to this whole telly thing. For many years in Japan they hosted 'PaPaPaPa Puffy', their own variety show, and in the last year or so have recorded the theme to American smash cartoon 'Teen Titans' (currently airing in the UK on Toonami). 

Elsewhere in Puffy world, Japanese punk label CycleHit Entertainment has released a Puffy tribute album. The girls' songs are reworked by underground bands including Noodles, Supersnazz and DJ Taki-shit, the latter of whom was featured on 'Adam And Joe Go Tokyo!' last year wearing a long-nosed mask over his little fella (yeah, that DJ Taki-shit). The album is out now on import. For more information, contact


Music Week have confirmed Ruby Wax will host their annual awards event, which takes place at London's Grosvenor House Hotel on Thursday. Full nominations lists are online at 

The nominees for best radio station have now been added (that category was tbc when we published the list) - and the nominations are as follows:

Beat 106
Galaxy 105
Mercia FM
Radio City 96.7
XFM 104.9


More on the various takeover attempts on the Daily Telegraph. 

As previously reported, there's been a takeover battle for the broadsheet ever since former boss Conrad Black was forced out after alleged financial irregularities. Black proposed selling his shares in the Telegraph to the Barclay brothers, the property-gurus-turned-media-barons who own the Scotsman Group. However some at the top of the Telegraph's parent company Hollinger didn't like that idea and so various in fighting began, with a number of rival bids for the Telegraph falling on the table. Then things turned nasty, legal action began, and last week a judge in Delaware ruled that the Barclay brothers couldn't buy Black's control of the Telegraph. 

Andrew Neil, editor in chief of the Barclay brother's titles admitted this weekend that that court ruling was a blow to his bosses' ambitions: "It seems to me that the Barclays' hopes of getting a hold of Hollinger International through the Conrad Black route have been stopped by this judgment."

However Neil hinted the battle wasn't over - and that the brothers may now bid for the whole of Hollinger: "They're still open to make a bid for Hollinger International in total to buy them all - though that will be very expensive." 

Other people said to be interested in buying the Telegraph include Express owner Richard Desmond, the Daily Mail & General Trust and private equity groups Candover and 3i.


More from CMU's Japanese music department (that's the bit that deals with Japanese music, alas we don't actually have an office in Tokyo). The Boom Boom Satellites are playing the Camden Underworld tonight, and you should all go (apparently).


Franz Ferdinand press is handled by Coalition and not Hermana as we said in Friday's Daily.

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