CMU Daily - on the inside 25 Mar 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- MTV offers to return to the table on indies royalties dispute
- Friction grows as Warners rejig continues
- Brown back in jail
- Jacko prosecution plan pre-trial hearing
- Club Review: Rock Star @ Attica
- Usher reckons he's a sexaholic
- Travis man - "pay attention for God's sake"
- Bekham turns to Dennis for hit
- Busta in court
- Sony confirm UK release date for prince album
- Wal-mart launch download service
- Microsoft place indies high up in download plans
- Download additions
- Single Review: Dj Marky And Xrs - Moments Of Lust/ Highlights
- Darkness move up to bigger venues on us tour
- Majors start to use FBI seal
- Aretha doing fine
- Kylie interview bootleg online
- Aguilera engaged
- Pixies dates confirmed
- Madonna tix on sale tomorrow
- Verve best of
- Enrique - not big enough to pose naked?

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MTV OFFERS TO RETURN TO THE TABLE ON INDIES ROYALTIES DISPUTE
Well, they're still playing Craig David on MTV this morning, which isn't necessarily a good thing, but it means the looming MTV / independent labels mass fall out has been postponed a little longer. In fact, after a day of stand off, MTV seemed to make the first move towards settlement yesterday by going back on its refusal to meet with VPL, the agency that negotiates video royalties for the independent sector.

As previously reported, MTV and the European independent sector are in dispute after the former tried to use a scheduled royalty agreement renewal to drastically cut the monies it pays independent labels for the rights to air their artists' videos. When royalty body VPL refused MTV's offer the TV company decided to try and deal direct with the independents instead - a move which really pissed off key players in the indie world.

VPL, the UK's Association of Independent Music and the heads of some of the flagship independents held a press conference in London yesterday to set out their objections to MTV's position. MTV bosses tried to steal the independents' thunder by reiterating their argument the night before the press event took place. However the independents did not seemed fazed - in an open letter signed by hundreds of independent label owners they said:

- MTV's proposed deal would essentially cut royalty payments by 55%.

- By sidelining VPL, MTV was guilty of trying to cherry pick from the indie sector.

- MTV has many more channels now than when the last deal was done with VPL, so the network was actually offering to pay less money for playing their music more often.

- While MTV does have a promotional role - it can be argued the plethora of music TV channels is actually having a negative impact on record sales (teens are less likely to buy singles now they have music videos on tap via MTV et al).

Needless to say, the conclusion was that the independents are not willing to accept MTV's demands, and if the network go through with their threat to withdraw the independents' artists from their playlists as a result - then so be it.

Following all that, MTV bosses made something of a U-turn on their statement of 24 hours previous and confirmed that, having considered the open letter, they were now willing to return to the negotiating table with VPL. However they added "MTV remains convinced at the strength of its case and is unconvinced by the arguments and tactics of the VPL and AIM".

Key players in the independent sector were due to have a telephone conference last night to discuss this proposition. What their response will be, and whether any new negotiations can be successful, remains to be seen - although neither side benefits from taking the independents' music off the air, so some feel that is unlikely to happen, even if MTV's 31 Mar deadline for an agreement is not met. Which means we'll have to find a different reason for getting Craig David off MTV.

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FRICTION GROWS AS WARNERS REJIG CONTINUES
Despite making a number of appointments prior to completion, and confirming certain label mergers immediately, word is that the restructuring of the Warner Music Group post-Bronfmann Jnr takeover is now starting to drag, leaving a number of executives in a state of limbo, not sure what will happen to their departments or managers in the near future.

There seems to be particular concern in some quarters over the appointment by Warner's new US boss Lyor Cohen of one Julie Greenwald - the latter having worked for the former while he was over at Universal's Island Def Jam. While Greenwald is expected to have a role at the merged Atlantic-Elektra division it is not clear what that role will be, or how it will relate to the internal appointments already made there.

Some conflict is also anticipated between the new Warner management and the co-owners of Madonna's Maverick Records label, which currently operates as a Warners division. Initial thinking was that Maverick bosses would exercise a clause in their partnership contract with the major which allowed them to go it alone (or join another major) if Warners was taken over. Gossipers then suggested Bronfmann was proposing to offer the Maverick team a wider remit in an attempt to persuade them to stay. But yesterday the imprint's principals - Guy Oseary and Ronnie Dashev - told their staff that they plan to file a lawsuit against Warners at the LA Supreme Court. Quite what that lawsuit will say is not yet clear, though word is Warners will file its on pre-emptive litigation at the same time in a bid to remove responsibility for any legal costs incurred during any dispute with Maverick, and to try and have any court case moved to Delaware.

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BROWN BACK IN JAIL
Thank God they let Bobby Brown out of jail early on Tuesday, otherwise they couldn't have put him in jail last night. As reported yesterday Brown, who was in jail for violating probation conditions relating to an old drink driving charge, was let out three days early on the grounds of good behaviour on Tuesday. He immediately attended an emergency sitting of the Family Court, which turned out to be concerned with outstanding child maintenance payments the singer owes a former girlfriend with whom he has two children.

That sitting was deemed an emergency because Brown hasn't paid any maintenance since last May and the former girlfriend is facing eviction. The official overseeing the case told reporters: "It was an emergency based upon the fact that the family of Mr Brown's ex-girlfriend was without any income and his basically not having paid since last May has made their financial situation grave, to the tune that they may lose their home."

How the courts plan to force Brown to hand over back payments is unclear - but the judge threw him back in jail for 60 days anyways. That sentence will more or less take the singer up to his next court date - 5 May - when he is due in court to face battery charges relating to when he lashed out during an altercation with wife Whitney Houston last year.

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JACKO PROSECUTION PLAN PRE-TRIAL HEARING
Bobby Brown's woes are almost knocking the continued trials and tribulations of the Jackson clan off the front pages. But there was more Jacko news yesterday as the prosecution in the up coming child abuse trial confirmed they planned to present a number of witnesses to a Grand Jury - all of whom will accuse the singer of sexual abuse. The Grand Jury will hear the testimonies in private, and then decide what evidence they hear can go forward to the public court hearing later this year. The process gives the prosecution the chance to cast the net wide in terms of recruiting witnesses who are not directly linked to the current case - the plan seemingly to demonstrate that there is a "pattern of seduction" in the way Jacko treats the children who visit his home.

Commenting on the move Loyola University Law Professor Laurie Levenson told reporters: "They will be bringing in every piece of evidence that might be relevant. They're casting a wide net. And it gives them a dress rehearsal for the trial."

The courts now need to find 19 jurors to make up the Grand Jury - all of whom will need to be protected from media scrutiny given the gagging order that has been placed on everyone directly related to this case. The pre-trial hearing is expected to kick off on 2 Apr.

Elsewhere in Jacko news, Michael is suing a man who is running on online sale of Jackson family memorabilia. As previously reported the online sale is flogging off family belongings which had been intended for a Jackson museum, but which had to be sold off when Jackson's parents went bankrupt. Michael's legal people claim that some of those items are their client's personal belongings. As he was not part of the bankruptcy proceedings they should not have been sold, and therefore should not be on sale on the online auction now.

Jackson's attorney Brian Wolf told reporters: "Michael is outraged that someone would be attempting to sell his personal private property they don't have any right to, just as anybody else would be. We're going to do everything in our power to ensure that the property is returned to him."

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CLUB REVIEW: Rock Star @ Attica - every Tuesday
It's a Tuesday night and I am dressed to the nines planning on hitting London town in style. I was not overly confident as I got into the cab to head over to Rock Star - it is after all a Tuesday night and this shindig is only five-weeks old. We pulled up outside the venue at just past 11pm, to be greeted by a mÈnage of black-suits. We trotted in asking, in passing, whether the suits expect it to be a good night, the response possessed a uniform confidence, that it would start to pick up in around half an hour. Attica, has a seventies retro-meets-contemporary-louche feel, which provides a nice atmosphere for the right night. And this was the right night. The DJ produced the typical R'n'B sound that you come to expect in London, the girls wore non-existent skirts and flirted constantly, the party in the corner nodded their heads to the beat - but everyone was smiling. It was one of those few times in life that everyone feels a connection with one another, and of course to the overly helpful waitresses that ensured our glasses were never empty and that we always had clean ashtrays in front of us (G*d bless em'). Rock Star five weeks in have managed to do what a lot of other clubs have been trying to do for a long-long time - create a community vibe. I must admit I have always had a thing for weekday parties (although not the subsequent hangovers) - Cabaret on a Tuesday, China on a Wednesday and the Roof Gardens on a Thursday have all been up there in my books. But Rock Star will occupy a special place, I saw the birth of this night and it will be remembered; as this night will be BIG I guarantee you. It is a haven from work, cultural-tourists and anything else you wish to separate yourself from, even if it is just for a few hours... So, check it out NOW before the word spreads. Get in the good graces of the promoter or the bouncer (whichever one you meet first) and then stay there. BS
Press Contact: envyparties@hotmail.com

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USHER RECKONS HE'S A SEXAHOLIC
Usher - still talking to everyone in a bid to promote new album 'Confessions' - has, erm, confessed that he is a "sexaholic". He told the Sun: "I'm a sexaholic. I'm addicted to sex. But I'm not a sex freak. I am a man with strong needs. It's impossible for me to be in a relationship. At least while I'm still young." Which might, of course, explain his recent split from TLC member Rozonda 'Chilli' Thomas after a three year relationship.

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TRAVIS MAN - "PAY ATTENTION FOR GOD'S SAKE"
Travis' Fran Healy wasn't too impressed when his audience at Cardiff International Arena got rowdy and started throwing coins because they couldn't hear an unamplified solo rendition of 'Flowers in the Window'. Calling a section of the crowd 'wankers', the Daily Mirror says he then told the audience: "This will only work if you all shut up," adding, "Don't ever throw coins at a performer on stage. Show respect. Twenty-one pence - that could be the difference between blinding someone. Find out who did that and if they're standing next to you, gob on them."

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BEKHAM TURNS TO DENNIS FOR HIT
After the limited success of her collaboration with Damon Dash, Victoria Beckham has turned to Cathy Dennis for the pop hit she much desires. As Beckham's next album is put together much of the music Beckham and Dash worked on together is likely to be ditched in favour of a collection of newer pop songs. And the hope is Dennis - who has written for Kylie, Britney and Will Young among others - can create the storming track the album needs to be successful.

A source has told the Daily Mirror: "Victoria recorded a whole album's worth of material - half of the tracks were hip-hop, the other half were pop. But her record label weren't at all happy with the Damon Dash tracks. And then after her double A-side failed to sell all that well, they decided to ditch the lot."

A spokesman for Beckham's label Telstar confirmed: "Victoria is involved with Cathy Dennis at the moment and she's also talking to other writers. We don't have a release date for a single yet, but it will definitely be all new material and it'll be pop. It's exciting stuff."

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BUSTA IN COURT
If anyone from Virgin Mobile is listening - here's a plan for your next ad with Busta Rhymes on the 'Idle thumbs cause trouble' tip. A fan tries to touch the rapper. Busta pushes her away, grabs her wrist and says "if you try touching me again, I'll kill you". She reports it to the police. He gets pulled up in front of a US court and gets 6 months probation, and is ordered to pay $300 costs. He then files an assault charge back on the fan, who has to attend court the next week. Strapline - "if only she'd been texting when Busta walked past". Perfect - and cheap to film, given the court room bit all happened for real yesterday.

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SONY CONFIRM UK RELEASE DATE FOR PRINCE ALBUM
Sony in the UK yesterday confirmed they will be releasing Prince's new album 'Musicology' over here on 19 Apr. It follows yesterday's news that the singer has signed a deal with Sony label Columbia in the US.

On that deal Sony US President Don Ienner yesterday told reporters: "Prince is a true genius. Over the course of his extraordinary career he's continually taken on new artistic challenges, and in the process he has repeatedly set new standards of excellence in popular music. The songs contained on Musicology have tremendous depth, power, and range, making the album an important addition to the Prince legend, and a must-have for his fans around the globe. I look forward to working closely with Prince as we bring Musicology to audiences across the country and throughout the world."

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WAL-MART LAUNCH DOWNLOAD SERVICE
Wal-Mart have officially launched their music download service in the US. After several months of trials the Wal-Mart Music Downloads platform is now accessible at Walmart.com, selling some 300,000 tracks for 88 cents a piece. As part of the launch the retailer has done a deal with Curb Records - home of Tim McGraw and Leann Rimes among others - making their music available online for the first time. It remains to be seen if Wal-Mart's price cut strategy - they undercut iTunes by 11 cents a track - has an impact on Apple, Napster and Sony's download services in the US.

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MICROSOFT PLACE INDIES HIGH UP IN DOWNLOAD PLANS
Elsewhere in download world, Microsoft have confirmed they met with key independents at the South By Southwest convention to discuss their download proposition last week. The IT giant's MSN Product Manager, Christine Andrews, yesterday told reporters the independent sector were important in their digital music plans. "Other companies took a different route and did not engage with the independent labels early in the process," Andrews says. "We heard that the independent labels did feel neglected a little bit. But, more importantly, we want to deliver a site that is great for artists both big and small, and great for the consumers too." Andrews said it was too soon to comment on the specifics of MSN's planned service, though it is likely tracks will be sold in formats compatible with most PCs and MP3 players, though not Apple's iPod.

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DOWNLOAD ADDITIONS
Line up additions from the Download Festival yesterday. Sum 41, Slayer, Cradle Of Filth, Monster Magnet and Million Dead are the latest additions to an impressive line up which already includes Metallica, Linkin Park, Korn, Slipknot, Iggy Pop and The Stooges, The Distillers, Machine Head and The Hives. The Download Festival takes place at Donington from 5-6 Jun and in Glasgow from 2-3 Jun.

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SINGLE REVIEW: DJ Marky and XRS - Moments of Lust / Highlights (Innerground Records)
The Brazilian drum and bass lads pull the first two tracks off their killer album on their new label. 'Moment of Lust' features the Philly smooth Vikter Duplaix on vocals - soulful relaxed d'n'b with a tad of a dancefloor edge. 'Highlights' is pure positive energia taking us upbeat. The latter has been on dub plates for a long while causing damage to many a dancefloor - so about time for this release, bringing a bit of drum and bossa to the cold UK spring. PV
Release date: 22 Mar
Press contact: Innerground IH [all]

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DARKNESS MOVE UP TO BIGGER VENUES ON US TOUR
The Darkness' success in the US continues with the news that promoters of the band's tour are having to switch dates to bigger venues. Friday's opening show in Milwaukee has been moved from an 800-seat venue to a 3,500-seat venue, and MTV reports similar changes have been made on 13 of their 19 dates.

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MAJORS START TO USE FBI SEAL
Universal and Sony will start using those FBI anti-piracy marks on their US releases next week - BMG and EMI are likely to follow later this Summer. As previously reported, the new seal, similar to the FBI anti-piracy mark found on US DVDs and videos, aims to stress to young music fans just how serious music piracy is - (something along the lines of "don't illegally share you music or we'll send the Feds round").

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ARETHA DOING FINE
Aretha Franklin's people have confirmed the singer was admitted to hospital earlier this week after having an allergic reaction to antibiotics. The singer's press rep again stressed Franklin is doing just fine, quoting the diva as saying: "I am resting comfortably and responding very well."

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KYLIE INTERVIEW BOOTLEG ONLINE
An interesting bootleg doing the rounds - apparently it takes a recording of an interview between radio DJ Tony Wrighton and Kylie Minogue in which the latter gets increasingly annoyed with the former's questions, and sets it to music. We'll let you know if we get a reliable URL.

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AGUILERA ENGAGED
From the gossip mill - Christina Aguilera is set to marry boyfriend Jordan Bratman, and not in a drunken Las Vegas kind of way. Bratman's grandmother told reporters yesterday: "Jordan asked her in Los Angeles. He called me and told me two days ago. I'm very happy they are engaged. His mum and dad are very happy too. I don't know when the wedding will be - soon, hopefully."

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PIXIES DATES CONFIRMED
If you missed out on Brixton tickets, see if any of these are convenient. The Pixies yesterday announced the full dates of their European tour - which are as follows:

26 May: Reykjavik Kaplakrika
28 May: Barcelona Primavera Sound
29 May: Madrid Festimad Festival
30 May: Landgraaf Pinkpop Festival
2 - 5 Jun: London Carling Brixton Academy
7 Jun: Paris Zenith
10 Jun: Wiener Neustadt Aerodome
11 Jun: Lisbon Super Bock Super Rock Festival
12 Jun: Dublin Phoenix Park
14 Jun: Paris Zenith, France
15 Jun: Paris Park des Princes
17 Jun: Hultsfred Festival
19 Jun: Bologna Heineken Jammin' Festival
20 Jun: Ljubljana Krizanke Monastery
21 Jun: Athens Rockwave
25 Jun: Scheesel Hurricane Festival
26 Jun: Neuhausen Southside Festival
29 Jun: Berlin Wuhlheide
2 Jul: Roskilde Festival
3 Jul: Belfort Les Eurockeenes Fesitval
4 Jul: Werchter Festival
8 Jul: Kristiansand Quart
11 Jul: T in the Park Festival
21-22 Aug: V Festival

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MADONNA TIX ON SALE TOMORROW
Talking of sell out gigs - tickets for those very highly priced Madonna Earls Court dates go on sale tomorrow - so they haven't actually sold out yet (as we reported yesterday) though they are very likely to. In addition to the £150 front row tickets we've been offered a corporate hospitality package that includes some food and drink at £499 a piece - bargain!

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VERVE BEST OF
According to the NME the Verve are planning a greatest hits compilation, most likely out in October. No track listings as yet.

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ENRIQUE - NOT BIG ENOUGH TO POSE NAKED?
Enrique Iglesias speaking to the Sun on why he wouldn't appear naked on an album cover said this week: "Maybe I've not got the biggest penis in the world. Maybe if you had the biggest penis in the world, you would sell records. But I don't. I could actually have the smallest penis in the world out there". Glad we got that one sorted.

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