CMU Daily - on the inside 5 Mar 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- RIAA boss on the continuing file sharing threat
- Aussie judge backs anti-piracy body - sort of
- WMC line up latest
- Single Review: The Killers - Somebody Told Me 
- Top Up TV on the EPG
- More Warner gossip
- Tarrant sidekick to join Vaughan
- Who's at the top of the hip hop tree?
- Outkast on the future
- Kravitz returns
- Usher not worried by Timberlake
- 6 Music gets FM airing in Ulster
- EP Review: Mad Action - Just Like Fresh Air 
- Music Week awards
- Beyonce backing band stop car jacking
- Mrs Lionel Ritchie on the monthly spending sprees 

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CMU'S FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Sosho
Assuming you're not planning that trip to Miami this weekend, here's one closer to home (assuming home is somewhere within the M25!). This small rather swank 'restaurant-cum-DJ bar' sees Mind Fluid resident Kev Beadle team up with none other than the broken beat, nu-jazz Detroit star John Arnold, after his awesome 'Neighbourhood Science' LP on Ubiquity Records late last year. Expect to hear some breaks, beats, disco, house, with some Latin and Afro flavour thrown into the mix, but all in a soulful and untacky fashion. Turn up early - capacity is a meagre 280, and this 'South Shoreditch' night is fast gaining a rep. PV
Sat 6 Mar, 2 Tabernacle Street, London EC2, 8pm-3am, £5 (free b4 9pm), press contact cris@matchbar.co.uk

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

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RIAA BOSS ON THE CONTINUING FILE SHARING THREAT
RIAA's Cary Sherman: "Actually, we kinda overreacted, fact is we're gonna make a mint when the mainstream start using iTunes and Napster." Nah, only joking. The Recording Industry Association of America were maintaining their 'all downloaders are evil' line at an FT organised conference in London this week.

Sherman told his audience that the impact of online piracy on the US music business had been "devastating" - more or less blaming the 31% decline in music sales in the US completely on those "pesky kids" and there "P2P shenanigans" (OK, I'm paraphrasing again). He summarised: "More music is being consumed than at any time in history, it's just that less of it is being paid for."

The somewhat editorially biased event put a positive spin on the RIAA's high profile litigation campaign against individuals who illegally share music via P2P networks. Rob Sisco, president of research firm Nielsen Music, argued both that those lawsuits were rekindling sales (in particular purchases from legitimate online services), and that that was being achieved not by striking fear in music pirates but by "educating users".

However, despite Sherman's initial assessment of the effect of piracy on the music industry, the general mood at the conference was a bit more upbeat. There seemed to be a consensus that - whether down to the RIAA's campaigning or the organic growth of iTunes-esque providers - the record labels could soon be benefiting from the growth of digital music. Most felt it was, in fact, the film industry who were facing a challenging period tackling online piracy while, for the record labels, the worst may be behind us.

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AUSSIE JUDGE BACKS ANTI-PIRACY BODY - SORT OF
Elsewhere in Download Wars - mixed messages from the Australian Federal Court. There a judge yesterday upheld the previous court ruling that allowed Australia's anti-music piracy authority to raid the offices of Kazaa owner Sharman Networks. Sharman had hoped to have the so called Anton Piller ruling revoked, banning Music Industry Privacy Investigations from accessing the documents they seized from the P2P company's Australian base on 5 Feb. However it was not all bad news for Sharman - Justice Wilcox did rule that that seized material should remain in the hands of independent lawyers with access to it being negotiated between the concerned parties. 

Although yet to decide whether or not to appeal, Sharman put a positive spin on the ruling. Their lawyers told reporters: "In practical terms, this ruling is not a clear win for either side. It effectively means that material seized will not be handed over to the record industry plaintiffs, rather both parties will discuss a regime of access. In reality, this is a way of converting the 'shock-and-awe' tactics employed by the plaintiffs by using the Anton Piller order, into a more formal, appropriate legal process akin to discovery."

However they were keen to stress "general concern" at the latest ruling saying: "This Anton Piller mechanism is widely regarded as particularly draconian. Broadening its application has widespread implications beyond just this case. It opens the door for any person or business in Australia involved in the development of new technology to have their homes and offices raided by large multinationals." 

Sharman boss Nikki Hemming criticised the actions of MIPI, suggesting it was the act of an increasingly desperate music industry who cannot come to terms with court rulings in the US and Europe which seem to favour the P2P networks. She told reporters: "We remain outraged at the heavy-handed tactics that have been used by the record industry to obtain information that we would have provided through the normal, appropriate court process. We maintain that the multinational recording companies are merely 'forum shopping' in jurisdictions around the world as they continue to lose their cases overseas." 

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WMC LINE UP LATEST
With the dance music world bound for Miami today for a week of rampant hedonism under the guise of "it's important for us to network with the industry", some last minute line up news from two of the fringe events that run alongside the main proceedings.

Firstly organisers of the Dancestar USA Awards have confirmed the line up for this year's event, which takes place at Miami's Bayfront Park Amphitheater on Tuesday night. The big performance is expected to be a collaboration between Perry Farrell, Moby and Paul Van Dyk - performing as the 'Precision Guided Musicians' - who will be performing a new electronic interpretation of the Lou Reed classic 'Walk on the Wild Side'. In addition Blue Man Group will perform the Donna Summer legendary disco number 'I Feel Love'. Organisers say over 170,000 votes have now been cast for the awards themselves, which will be presented on the night by Carmen Electra.

The award's creative director, Ben Turner, told CMU: "The collaboration is set to be another landmark moment for DanceStar USA. After P. Diddy's debut dance performance at DanceStar in 2003, we feel this will be one of the key events for the electronic community in 2004. Perry Farrell with Moby and Paul van Dyk is a breathtaking line-up and the enthusiasm from all involved is incredible. We feel such collaborations will help shine the light on electronic music in America."

Elsewhere, organisers of the Motorola sponsored M3 Summit, which aims to provide something of a hub for the WMC, have added producer Danger Mouse to the bill keen, presumably, to cash in on all the recent hype surrounding his 'Grey Album' project and EMI's attempts to stop its distribution. Danger Mouse will give a keynote speech and perform a DJ set at the summit on Sunday.

More at http://www.dancestar.com, http://www.m3summit.com and http://www.wmcon.com

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Killers - Somebody Told Me (Lizard King Records)
This is a fantastically exciting record. It's very poppy and indeed Las Vegas' the Killers have been compared to Duran Duran, but I'd say they sound like someone a lot cooler and hipper than that, Bowie in his heyday maybe but with edgy new wave under tones. The infectious chorus runs thus, "Somebody told me, that you had a boyfriend that looked like a girlfriend, that I had in February of last year." And they name check Marlon Brando and James Dean on the rather good B-sides, which is always nice. 
JW
Release date: 15 Mar
Press contact: Darling 

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TOP UP TV ON THE EPG
Pay-to-view terrestrial digital TV got a little closer yesterday with the arrival of Top Up TV on the Freeview electronic programme guide. As previously reported, Top Up are using some spare space on the terrestrial digital TV spectrum to make TV stations currently only available via cable or satellite available to Freeview customers, but at a premium. The service will only be available to those Freeview viewers whose set top box has a decoding card slot - which initially means those who are using old On/ITV Digital boxes.

Still no word on when the service will go live - though the slots on the EPG suggest the channels available by the system will include E4, UK Gold, Turner Classic Movies, UK Style, Discovery, Discovery H&L, UK Food, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Bloomberg and Television X - so no music channels.

More about the service at http://www.topup.tv.

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MORE WARNER GOSSIP
A slight change from the Warner Music gossip pool this morning - it now seems divisions Atlantic and Elektra may not actually be merged as such - rather both will see their workforces cut back, probably meaning some shared admin and marketing teams. Talking of Warner job cuts - word is both Warner Bros and publishing bit Warner Chappell will see staff cuts of 10-15%. Fun fun fun.

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TARRANT SIDEKICK TO JOIN VAUGHAN
Capital have announced that Chris Tarrant's current sidekick on their breakfast show - Becky Jago - will stay on when Johnny Vaughan takes over next month. Apparently picked from a shortlist of six for the position of Vaughan's 'sparring partner', Capital MD Keith Pringle commented: "Becky was someone who Johnny had a rapport with and the two fit together well. Obviously there is the benefit to Capital listeners of there being continuity, but that's definitely not why she got the job." Jago will no long read the news on the new look breakfast show, instead having a more entertainments based remit - Pringle: "I want her to take more of a girl-about-town role. I like the fact that she's in touch with what's happening in London."

Meanwhile, talking to Broadcast, Pringle revealed plans for Tarrant's new weekend show are yet to be made. When it was finally announced Tarrant would be quitting breakfast it was revealed Capital's star presenter would get a weekly show instead, probably broadcast across the Capital network. However Pringle says: "While we have talked about the possibility of Chris coming back to do a weekend show, we will not rush into things and will wait until Chris has had a rest." It seems that break may mean Tarrant is off the air for at least six months.

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WHO'S AT THE TOP OF THE HIP HOP TREE?
So who's the main man of hip hop? Well, Eminem would be a safe bet, of course, particularly following the news this week that the Marshall Mathers LP has now sold in excess of 9 million copies in the US, meaning it is now approaching the elite 'diamond status' (10 million copies). Despite the domination of Slim Shady's prodigy 50 Cent last year, it remains to be seen if 'Get Rich Or Die Tryin' ever reaches those dizzy heights.

Then again, perhaps you should be putting your pound down on the current flavour of the month - OutKast - though be careful, because the headline news from the stats division is a bit misleading. That is to say, the RIAA has announced that Outkast's 'Speakerboxx/The Love Below' album has also shifted 9 million units which suggests it has equalled Slim Shady in a mere six months. Except it hasn't, because, due to some technicality, each of the two component parts of the duo's most recent release are counted as separate albums - meaning in actuality only 4.5 million copies have been sold. That said, that is still a huge number and with the buzz seemingly sky high on the OutKast boys - and with a movie version of the albums in the pipeline - the duo could yet surpass Eminem's monumental sales.

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OUTKAST ON THE FUTURE
Talking of OutKast - Andre 3000 has told Rolling Stone that despite 'Speakerboxx/The Love Below' essentially being two separate solo projects - one from Andre and one for Big Boi - and despite other solo projects being on the horizon, there will be more proper OutKast collaborations in the near future. Andre also added that he was willing to accept any such future work may not climb the monumental heights of 'Hey Ya'.

Andre: "There'll be two more OutKast albums, but I'm willing to accept that no matter what I do next, it may not be as big as Hey Ya! or Outkast. But it's a growth thing. Paul McCartney and John Lennon never did anything as big as The Beatles but they still did some cool shit on their own."

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KRAVITZ RETURNS
Lenny Kravitz will return with a new album on 18 May called 'Baptism' - apparently because the album is something of a 'spiritual rebirth'.

Kravitz: "Baptism marks a musical and spiritual rebirth. That's what this album is all about."

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USHER NOT WORRIED BY TIMBERLAKE 
Usher has told Radio 1 that there's no way that Justin Timberlake has stolen his spot in the musical scene while he's been locked in the studio working on new album 'Confessions'. Usher says: "I think when you guys put Justin Timberlake in the category of being a follower it shows that he can't be a leader. I wouldn't want to be a follower, would you? I wanna lead in my own category. So I'll go ahead and put it out there if Justin hasn't already. There'll never be another Usher. There'll never be a spot filling if you know what I mean."

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6 MUSIC GETS FM AIRING IN ULSTER
The BBC's eclectic digital music station will be going terrestrial for eleven days in Belfast next month. The Beeb are planning an RSL broadcast of the station on 89.5 FM across Belfast from 23 Apr to tie in with the BBC's Music Live Festival. 

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EP REVIEW: Mad Action - Just Like Fresh Air - (Loog Records)
I was expecting something significantly different - I'm not sure what that particular expectation was, but once I gave this EP a spin I was far from disappointed. Mad Action are a very eclectic band showing influences as diverse as the Beatles, Jesus and the Mary Chain and The Seeds - think Black Rebel singing Elton John's 'Tiny Dancer'. Does such an eclectic cross-section make them original? Well, once person in the CMU office was heard making the somewhat sweeping statement - "a poor man's Delays" - but that's clearly a bit harsh. Completely original they may not be - but their sound is fine, and they show genuine talent that transcends from the moment you press the play button. Keep watching these guys. BS
Release date: 29 Mar
Press Contact: Hermana PR [all]

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MUSIC WEEK AWARDS
It was the Music Week Awards yesterday - with the industry weekly awarding the great and the good behind the scenes in the music biz. The winners on the day were as follows:

Top Singles Company: RCA Arista

Top Artist Albums: Company Sony Music

Top Compilations: Company EMI Virgin

Top Independent Label: Ministry of Sound

Top Publisher: EMI Music Publishing

Best Distributor: EMI

Best Music Sales Force: Pinnacle

Best Independent Store: Selectadisc, Nottingham

Best Music Retail Chain: HMV

The Special Achievement Award: Bob Lewis

Best Catalogue Release: Jo Brook & Nigel Reeve of EMI for Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars - The Motion Picture Soundtrack

Best Music DVD: Robbie Williams - What We Did Last Summer

Producer of the Year: Trevor Horn

Manager of the Year: Sue Whitehouse

Best Music Exploitation: Room 5 feat. Oliver Cheatham 'Make Luv'/ Lynx 'Pulse'

Best Radio Station: Galaxy 105

Best Independent Promotions Team: Intermedia Regional

Best Regional Promotions Team: BMG

Best National Promotions Team: Sony Music

Best PR Campaign: Stuart Bell of Outside Organisation for David Bowie

Best Marketing Campaign: Nikki Fabel of Island Records for Busted

Best International Marketing Campaign: Dave Shack of BMG for Dido

UK Achievement Award: Simplyred.com

Strat: Paul McGuinness

A&R Award: East West

Company of the Year: Universal

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BEYONCE BACKING BAND STOP CAR JACKING
It was Beyonce's backing band that were in the news yesterday, rather than the diva herself, after they helped stop a carjacking in West Palm Beach, Florida. The singer's drummer Nisan Stewart, guitarist Shaun Carrington and bassist Kern Brantley all helped stop the carjacking of 91-year-old Reynold Caleen by pulling their rented minivan out in front of his car as vehicle thief Malcolm Clemons tried to drive it away. The trio then chased Clemons on foot and held him until police arrived. 

Commenting on the incident Beyonce's father and manager, Mathew Knowles, told reporters: "We try to employ those individuals that fall under the criteria set forth by Beyoncé: talent, passion, work ethics and overall being just a good person. So we are not surprised that the members of her band were good citizens, yet we are very proud of their efforts of bravery."

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MRS LIONEL RITCHIE ON THE MONTHLY SPENDING SPREES
Final bit of gossip for the week - word is Lionel Richie's soon to be ex-wife has spilled the beans on the couple's spending habits during divorce proceedings. According to papers publishing by the Smoking Gun website the couple regularly get through $300,000 a month spending $15,000 on clothing, shoes and accessories, $3,000 on dermatology, $1,000 for laser hair removal and $10,000 for plastic surgery. She adds that her monthly visits to see her son at his $125,000 a year boarding school costs between $15,000 and $20,000. Quite what Ritchie will have to hand over to ex-wife Diane after the divorce remains to be seen - but if she plans to keep the same lifestyle it's gonna be quite a hefty sum.

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