CMU Daily - on the inside 2 Apr 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Glasto tickets going going ...
- MTV and indies agreement: both sides comment
- OD2 report tenfold increase in legit downloads
- IFPI rubbish academics' report on downloading
- US politicians get hardline on file sharing
- Album Review: Seafood - As The Cry Flows
- Pixies to make instant live CDs available
- Capital finances as expected
- Student protest puts off Nelly
- Howie Day responds
- Hut closed in EMI revamp
- Starbucks man talks up music service
- Will Young tickets go for £150 each on eBay
- Michael Grade new BBC chairman
- The Darkness cancel gig cos Justin's lost his voice
- Music body inputs on BBC charter review
- Five Star remix and revival planned
- Black Sabbath reunion may be on the cards
- Coolio not cool over reality show voting

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CMU'S FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Offcentre and 333 Mother present Aftershock 5: MSF Forgotten Conflicts
Some of you must think I have a thing for the 333. Well I do - especially when they are doing it for a charity fairly close to my heart ... Medicine Sans Frontier's Forgotten Conflicts campaign helps to provide humanitarian aid to war torn countries. Hosted on the Thursday before Good Friday (allowing for excess without all the hung over at work issues) this charity bash has an all star cast: Andy Cato (Groove Armada), ex Muzik writer Rob Da Bank (Sunday Best), the awesome future disco house legend Phil Asher (Restless Soul) with the Soul Jazz Soundsystem and junglist Addiction (Movement) with beatsters Amalgamation Of Soundz and DJ Blakey. 100% of profits go towards the fund, with all deejays and promoters working for free - all you have to do is buy your ticket and party till late. Top night for a damn good cause. PV
Thu 8 Apr, 10pm-4am, 333 Old St, EC1V, £8 all night (all proceeds to Medicins Sans Frontieres - so no blagging OK). More at www.off-centre.com
Put your club night up for the tip - vigsy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

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GLASTO TICKETS GOING GOING ...
You better get in the phone queue quickly, or you're going to be watching Glastonbury via BBC 3 again. As of 9am this morning in the region of 60,000 of the 100,000 tickets available for this year's Glastonbury Festival had been sold - just over twelve hours after ticket lines opened.

As previously reported, Michael Eavis and Co have introduced a number of methods this year in a bid to stop touts snapping up tickets. Only debit cards are being accepted to stop touts from buying tickets without an immediate lay out of cash. Tickets went on sale at 8pm in the evening to be more music fan friendly, and all tickets will bear the purchaser's names. Organisers say they will ID check on people's arrival at the festival, so tickets cannot be transferred.

With all tickets selling out within 24 hours in 2003 anticipation was high this year as the Festival's telephone and internet box offices opened. Although organisers say both systems held up, needless to say festival-goers found both route tediously slow. Reports suggest some 300,000 people were online when the Glastonbury online box office went live.

The complete line up for this year's Glastonbury will not be announced until closer to the actual festival. However Paul McCartney, Oasis and Muse have all been confirmed as headliners.

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MTV AND INDIES AGREEMENT: BOTH SIDES COMMENT
Given how far apart from each other MTV and VPL (the group negotiating royalties for Europe's independent sector) were last week, it will be interesting to see what deal was done on Wednesday that brought to an end an eighteen month dispute over the TV network's attempts to renegotiate the royalties it pays the independents for the rights to show their videos on the grounds that they had a far better deal then any other sector of the global music industry.

As previously reported, MTV completely fell out with VPL when they refused to accept anything but a renewal of the previous royalties contract. For a time the TV network side-stepped VPL and entered into talks with independents direct. While MTV claim to have had some success in this regard, the key players in the independent sector seem to have stuck together (and much kudos to them, given they could have gone and got themselves their own deals), forcing MTV back to the negotiating table with VPL last week. With the extension of the previous agreement over by the end of 2003, and the two sides in something of a limbo since New Year, MTV had set a 31 Mar deadline for an agreement, otherwise they would take the independents' videos off the air. In the end a deal was done just in time.

Neither side are at liberty to discuss the deal that was done. However speaking for the independent sector, the Association of Independent Music said it was "very happy with the deal" adding: "Independent record companies were today celebrating a deal that clearly establishes the value of the video rights licensed to MTV."

Beggars Banquet boss Martin Mills - a key player in the stand off against MTV - seemed to imply that the independents got something like the deal they wanted - ie something nearer the existing contract. He told reporters: "We're delighted that the music people at MTV have seen fit to accept the right of independent labels and artists to be fairly remunerated for the use of their valuable rights."

MTV, for their part, also gave little away about the deal. They seemed most keen to stress the role their channels has in promoting new and independent music. During the most heated moments of the dispute, key players in the independent sector started questioning how important music television was in promoting their artists (and helping to sell their records). Some argued that with so many back-to-back music channels these days some younger music fans are in fact less likely to buy singles because they pretty much have their favourite tracks on tap via their TV sets.

However, quoting research from last November, MTV told reporters yesterday: "MTV's music loving, record-buying viewers are 163% more likely than non-MTV viewers to have bought new singles in the past 12 months. The value of promotion on MTV has long been recognised by both indie and major labels. Recent examples include indie artist Craig David (Telstar), who received the equivalent of $16,150,026.04 of editorial airplay on MTV Europe channels in 2002 and the White Stripes (Beggar's Banquet) who climbed 6 places in the UK charts and 22 chart places in the Italian charts after the MTV Europe Music Awards 2003."

MTV were also keen to point out that the new deal does not restrict them from continuing to negotiate those direct deals with independent labels. It is most likely those negotiations will have particular reference to MTV's ever-expanding online operations.

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OD2 REPORT TENFOLD INCREASE IN LEGIT DOWNLOADS
After two weeks dominated by reports on the high levels of illegal music downloading (more on all that in the CMU Weekly, now online at www.cmuonline.co.uk), statistics were published yesterday concerned with downloading from Europe's legal download services like the music channels of Freeserve and MSN, and the recently launched UK service Mycokemusic. The stats were published by the company who provides the backend to most of the key live download platforms in Europe - OD2.

And the good news is for the industry that, while illegal downloading may be still growing, use of the legit service has also risen dramatically. More than a million tracks were downloaded across the OD2 services in the first quarter of 2004 - ten times more than the same quarter in 2003.

Interestingly download services seem to encourage consumers to buy a more eclectic range of music. In the traditional retail sector just under 80% of singles sales will normally come from the current top 100. However chart tracks accounted for just 11% of sales on the OD2 services. The company's chief exec, Charles Grimsdale, commented: "This indicates that OD2's legal download sites are introducing music-lovers to all kinds of new types of music."

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IFPI RUBBISH ACADEMICS' REPORT ON DOWNLOADING
Back to illegal downloading for a moment, and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has responded to that research report from Harvard and North Carolina Universities we reported on earlier this week which claimed online file-swapping had no impact on the resulting CD sales of music being swapped.

Calling the research 'skewed', the IFPI said the survey was particularly flawed because it was based on CD sales in the last quarter of a year - traditionally the busiest time of year for record sales and a period when downloading would be likely to have a lesser impact. IFPI market research man Keith Jopling told reporters: "Concentrating on the last period of the year is a major flaw, and they fail on their final answer," adding, "They establish no causality between file-sharers and music sales. The link they make is tenuous at best".

Needless to say the IFPI's own research reaches quite different results - they reckon someone is only half as likely to buy an album once they have downloaded it.

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US POLITICIANS GET HARDLINE ON FILE SHARING
Last story from the downloading file for now - promise. And some good news for the pro-legal action lobby, who may have been a little upset by that Canadian judge who this week concluded copyright law there did not bar making your record collection available via P2P networks.

Below the border in the US the politicians are doing their best to not only ensure copyright legislation is quite clear on the illegality of non-legit file sharing, but that it becomes a criminal offence carrying a jail sentence. That is to say, the House Judiciary Intellectual Property Subcommittee has this week passed the 'Piracy Deterrence and Education Act', which aims to punish anyone who has shared more that $1000 worth of music with fines up to $250,000 and a maximum of three years in prison.

Despite opposition by some committee members that the act would give the FBI too many powers to invade web users' privacy, the act passed through the committee process and will now start its way through the system in a bid to become law.

Of course such a hardline law may well backfire on the entertainment industry if they were to enact it. Pulling teenage file-sharers through the courts is one thing, throwing them in prison for three years is something quite different and the record labels could find themselves with a barrage of very bad PR if they went that route.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Seafood - As The Cry Flows (Cooking Vinyl)
As decisions go, the decision to review this album ranks up there among some of my wisest. I'm working in a quiet office today - a mellow place where notably loud rock music has been known to cause a few frowns. But as I sit here frivolously typing this review, I note that I have so far received no complaints over my musical preferences and my overly keen desire to play music as loud as decently possibly. After listening to their single 'Good Reason', I was expecting something quite different from 'As The Cry Flows'. But whatever it was I was expecting this is better - taking the theory behind rock to new levels. With a wide variety of genres poking their heads out, this band has clearly decided to try and explore their roots. With tracks that singer/songwriter's (the likes of David Grey) would be proud of, they also manage to throw in the hard scream rock tracks that influenced my decision to play this album in the first instance. There's also an eclectic range of topics covered, starting with the ever popular topic of love but then managing to spend 4 minutes on 'receiving kicks in the back side' - an impressive range. Just to complete the package - musically it's diverse too, with a Wurlitzer, pedal steel guitar, synthesisers, kazoo and gongs all appearing, helping to produce some nicely frolicking rhythms, the likes of which I have not heard in quite some-time. As David (lead) says " Previously we hid our songs behind the noise. Now we are hiding the noise behind the song." Which to me sums up the CD, accept to add that this album is a magnificent inclusion to any balanced record collection and should be obtained by any means possible... BS
Release Date: 3 May
Press Contact: Cooking Vinyl [all]

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PIXIES TO MAKE INSTANT LIVE CDS AVAILABLE
With the growing trend in the US of bands making CDs of live shows available immediately after a gig, the Pixies have confirmed that they will be selling 1000 limited edition CD runs of each of the fifteen dates on their upcoming US tour (their first tour since 1992). Fans can pre-order their CDs via the website of the company who actually run the service (DiscLive) or can order their copy on the night before the gig starts. CDs are then distributed about 15 minutes after the band leave the stage.

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CAPITAL FINANCES AS EXPECTED
The Capital Radio Group seems to be back on track financially. While its fortunes have not grown dramatically, a trading statement issued yesterday said its radio revenues had grown 3% year on year with a 2% rise during the first quarter of 2004 - all as anticipated. The Group added that the impact of the station's upcoming new look breakfast show fronted by Johnny Vaughan would not be reflected in financial terms until the next financial year.

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STUDENT PROTEST PUTS OFF NELLY
Protests at a college in Atlanta caused Nelly to cancel a public appearance there. The rapper was due to make an appearance at Spelman College as part of his US-wide drive to find bone-marrow donors. But some students at the historically black women's college objected to Nelly's involvement in the drive because of his portrayal of women in his music and videos.

The College's Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr Zenobia Hikes, told reporters: "Spelman is concerned about the negative images of women in popular culture, particularly the misogynistic lyrics and images that constantly portray women in a sexual nature." Objectors reference in particular the video to Nelly track 'Tip Drill' which includes - among other things - the rapper swiping his credit card down a woman's backside. Nice.

With such strong feelings - and an anti-Nelly protest planned for the rapper's arrival - Nelly's people sensibly cancelled the drive.

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HOWIE DAY RESPONDS
Aussie singer Howie Day has entered a not-guilty plea over that incident in Wisconsin when two female fans claimed he acted inappropriately when they refused his sexual advances. As previously reported the fans claim he tried to lock one of them in the toilet of his tour bus, and then smashed the other's mobile phone when she tried to call the police. He has been charged with charged with disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property - which could lead to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. His attorney yesterday entered the not-guilty plea.

Writing about the incident on his website Day wrote this week: "Basically, a few people were on my tour bus after the show and things got a little out of hand, stupid things were said, feelings were hurt and a cell phone was damaged. My lawyer tells me I will be given an opportunity to address these claims at the proper time, and, of course, I will do so. Unfortunately ... some wildly inaccurate and sensational stories seem to be circulating. I can assure you that there was never any improper physical contact, nor has any ever been alleged by anyone involved, and nobody was 'locked away in a bathroom.' "

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HUT CLOSED IN EMI REVAMP
Another bit of news on the EMI downsize reported yesterday - and perhaps the most important bit as far as the major's UK operations are concerned. Hut - the indie imprint which, while affiliated to EMI division Virgin, has always been run more or less autonomously, is being absorbed by the parent division. It's artists - which include Richard Ashcroft, Haven, Placebo and The Music - will be absorbed into the Virgin roster. The imprint's workforce - including MD and founder Dave Boyd - are now discussing taking roles elsewhere in the EMI group.

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STARBUCKS MAN TALKS UP MUSIC SERVICE
The boss of Starbucks has been talking up his company's music download service. Starbucks are planning to put interactive music kiosk's into their stores across the US. Coffee drinkers can preview music via the kiosk and pay to have tracks they like burned to CD.

Describing the service as "a ray of hope" for the music industry Howard Schultz told his company's AGM that the music service was a high priority. Launched in one store in Santa Monica last month Schultz said ten more stores would take on the pilot scheme very soon, with the intention still to roll out the programme across the US, and possibly into Starbucks franchises around the world.

Explaining the rationale for the service Schultz said: "Many of Starbucks' customers don't download music off the Internet, and have had poor experiences at traditional music stores. With this in mind we are in a unique position to provide an ethical way for music to be merchandized and artists to be paid."

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WILL YOUNG TICKETS GO FOR £150 EACH ON EBAY
Having successfully positioned himself out of the 'number one today, who? tomorrow' camp that many of the reality TV popstars have found themselves in, Mr Will Young's upcoming tour is reportedly completely sold out and has quite a buzz around it. So much so tickets are going for considerable sums on eBay - a four seat box at the Royal Festival Hall date is currently standing at £595!

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MICHAEL GRADE NEW BBC CHAIRMAN
The big news in the media this morning is that Michael Grade - former Channel 4 boss, former BBC 1 controller and (if you believe the Daily Mail) Pornographer-in-chief - has been given the top job at the BBC. Word is, he will be officially announced as the new chairman of the corporation later today, replacing Gavyn Davies who resigned post Hutton Inquiry. One of his first jobs when he returns to the Beeb will be to appoint a new Director General to replace Greg Dyke - who also resigned post Hutton.

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THE DARKNESS CANCEL GIG COS JUSTIN'S LOST HIS VOICE
The Darkness has had to cancel one of their US gigs because Justin Hawkins has lost his voice. In a statement delivered two hours before their Cleveland show was due to begin Hawkins said: "I am deeply saddened that we won't be able to play for our fans in Cleveland tonight. Cleveland is one of the greatest rock and roll cities in the world, and we are all eagerly looking forward to playing our first gig there. Unfortunately, it is literally impossible for me to sing at the moment, but we promise to make it up to them just as soon as possible." No word yet on whether or not any other US shows will be affected. Perhaps he should stop mouthing off so much in the future to save those valuable vocal chords.

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MUSIC BODY INPUTS ON BBC CHARTER REVIEW
Music industry group, the Music Business Forum, has submitted its comments to the Department of Culture Media and Sport with regards the review of the BBC's Royal Charter. Noting that over 60% of the Beeb's radio output is made up of music, the Forum said it felt music should "expressly be referred to as a key part of the cultural activity for both public service radio and television services provided by the BBC". It's 26 page report called for regulations to be set with regards the BBC's overall obligations in the music space.

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FIVE STAR REMIX AND REVIVAL PLANNED
If you're still recovering from the Peter Andre revival - then sit down before you read this. Rumour has it Five Star are planning a comeback with a new single. According to the Daily Record the three girls in the group - Lorraine, Denise and Doris - have teamed up with Timbaland and producer Ryan Tedder (no less) to produce a remix of 'System Addict'. That single could well be released as soon as next month.

The girl's father and manager, Buster Pearson is quoted as saying: "We are putting a new album together and our new System Addict remix is receiving great feedback from clubbers. Ryan Tedder's version has a dance R 'n' B feel. We also have a remix by Shanghai Surprise which is harder."

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BLACK SABBATH REUNION MAY BE ON THE CARDS
And now for a reunion you might get excited about (with due apologies to all the Five Star fans out there for such a comment!). Ozzy Osbourne has told an American radio show that a Black Sabbath reunion may be on the cards. Asked if there was any truth in reunion rumours Ozzy simply said: "I believe so."

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COOLIO NOT COOL OVER REALITY SHOW VOTING
A while we're on revivals - apparently Coolio was furious after he was voted off a German TV show of the same ilk of our 'Reborn In The US'. Coolio was one of the contestants on 'Comeback - Your Big Chance', but viewers voted him off a semi-final stage in favour of Chris Norman from seventies pop band Smokie and Benjamin Boyce from Dutch boy band Caught in the Act. Apparently shouting "I'm the best one here anyway" as he stormed off the stage, it is alleged he then proceeded to trash his dressing room!

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