CMU Daily - on the inside 6 Apr 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Telstar put labels into administration
- McGee inks deal with Mercury
- Juno awards round up
- Live Review: Delays On 31 Mar At ULU
- R Kelly in court
- Nirvana fans pay tribute to Cobain
- Judge lays off Ross
- EMAP appoint former Five / MTV / BMG man to head up FHM
- Von Bondies next single
- Campaigners not impressed with anti-British rap
- Prolific a&r man dies
- South African musician shot
- Fopp reach Manchester
- Download price war begins
- Dylan: Fleadh Festival and pants ad
- Single Review: Tali - Lyric On My Lip Remixes
- Jacko loses tax break
- Underwater Ibiza plans
- Oxegen additions
- Creamfields launch
- George Michael glad to be older

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TELSTAR PUT LABELS INTO ADMINISTRATION
Like Victoria Beckham needs more things to worry about this week. Well here it is - her record label has just closed. London based independent music company Telstar yesterday announced it was putting its main record label business (which includes Telstar Records and Multiply Records) into administration. As of yesterday those companies were being handled by Menzies Corporate Restructuring.

But joy, the news won't affect Craig David because the move does not include Telstar's joint venture with Capital Radio, Wildstar, whose most high profile artist is Mr David. Wildstar, along with Telstar's publishing company Strong Songs and media buying agency Media Mix, are unaffected.

Announcing the move Telstar Music Group co-chairman Neil Palmer told reporters: "This is a very sad day for Telstar, its directors and its staff and unfortunately reflects the very serious problems that the industry as a whole is experiencing. We have been involved in intensive talks with third parties over recent months in an attempt to re-structure the business and when these discussions failed to reach a positive conclusion we found ourselves in a position where we had no option but to put Telstar Records into administration".

He continued: "We would like to thank our staff and everyone who has worked with us over the past 22 years and we are very proud of our many achievements over that period. We will now concentrate on ensuring that, Wildstar, Strong Songs and Media Mix reach the full potential they deserve."

Exactly what will happen to Telstar Records, its imprints and roster is unclear. A spokesman for Menzies told reporters he was considering a number of ways forward, including the sale of the company's "intellectual property" and back catalogue.

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MCGEE INKS DEAL WITH MERCURY
Presumably hoping to repeat the success of his last major label hook up, former Creation Records boss Alan McGee has inked a deal with Universal division Mercury which will see the major release future albums by artists he signs through his own label Poptones.

Best known as the man who signed Oasis, McGee is no stranger to major label alliances - a co-ownership deal between his former label Creation and Sony Music gave him the resources to become one of the key men behind the Britpop scene in the mid-nineties. Since parting company with Sony his Poptones venture has not seen the kind of success achieved by Creation at its height, though involvement with bands like The Hives have ensured some success.

The exact nature of the deal is not completely clear, although it is not thought to affect Poptones singles releases which will continue to be released in partnership with Pinnacle.

Confirming the relationship Universal Music's UK chief Lucian Grainge told reporters: "The list of artists Alan has been involved with is sensational. He has an anarchic spirit which will attract anarchic, leftfield rock and roll bands to Mercury. We all like those kind of bands."

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JUNO AWARDS ROUND UP
A Montreal based musician little known outside his home country was the big winner at the Canadian music industry's main awards event - the Junos - this weekend. Sam Roberts took three awards, including Best Artist and Best Album for his most recent release 'We Were Born In A Flame'.

Other multiple winners on the night included the somewhat higher profile Nickelback who took the Best Group gong and the viewer voted Fan Choice Award; and Sarah McLachlan who took gongs for both Best Pop Album and Songwriter Of The Year.

Meanwhile, having been left out of the proceedings at his home country's Grammy Awards earlier this year, 50 Cent took the award for Best International Album.

Other winners on the night included:

Single of the Year: Nelly Furtado
Alternative Album of the Year: Buck 65
Rap Recording of the Year: Choclair
Country Recording of the Year: Shania Twain
Dance Recording of the Year: The Sound Bluntz
New Artist of the Year: Michael Buble
New Group of the Year: Billy Talent

The awards were hosted by Alanis Morisette who pleased her audience with a homage to the Nipplegate scandal that has been causing ripples across the American media. Stripping to a naked body suit the singer removed the nipples off the costume joking "we can't show nipples on national TV".

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LIVE REVIEW: Delays on 31 Mar at ULU
If you've been paying attention you'll know that here at CMU we are big fans of Delays. And not without reason, they've already provided us with three stunning, shimmmering pop singles; 'Nearer Than Heaven' 'Long Time Coming' and 'Hey Girl'. And tonight the band are previewing their debut album' Faded Seaside Glamour'. Its' multi-layered songs are sonically more interesting than the majority of their lo-fi/garage contemporaries and Greg Gilbert's unearthly vocals sound even more astonishing live than they do on record. But it seems that Delay's pop sensibilities are ruffling feathers amongst the indie rock press snobs. The band's glossy sheen and their penchant for close harmonies remind some people of the dread sound of boybands. They have also come in for a lot of flack for the way they look, disparaging remarks have been made about them being "hairdresser rock" or heaven forfend "like Nicky Clark'. It's true that Greg and brother Aaron have lovely lustrous locks and an individual fashion sense (tonight they're wearing matching stripy black and white jumpers) but since when was it a crime for a band to be good looking? There's an assumption too that a pop band can't rock but Delays can do both comfortably. There are some great textured guitar rhythms on 'Stay Where You Are' and 'On'. Each song is embellished with fresh sounds; steel drums give a tropical feel to 'Wanderlust' while 'There's Water Here' is an under stated acoustic ballad. While Greg doesn't have to do much more than look gorgeous and exude charm (and rock out with his guitar), keyboard player Aaron delights in playing the giddy goat, coming across like Liam Gallagher at a rave, but amenable with it. Delays aspire to be the perfect pop group and after seeing tonight's performance I think they've cracked it. JW

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R KELLY IN COURT
R Kelly was in court last Friday as his legal team tried to have the final 14 child sex charges he still faces dropped - mainly on technicalities. As previously reported the singer - who has been undertaking a long running battle against charges he had (and videoed himself having) sex with minor - has so far managed to get all charges against him in Florida, and seven of the 21 charges against him in Chicago, dropped. His legal team continue to argue against the remaining charges saying the possible dates the prosecution claim the video tape at the centre of their evidence was recorded are too wide to enable a fair defence. They also argue the prosecution's list of witnesses (over 200!) is too long and that possible sentences for this kind of offence are too severe when put alongside other 'more serious' sex crimes like rape or incest.

The prosecution were also in court in argument mode. They were defending their choice in paediatrics expert. That expert has been recruited to estimate the age of the alleged victim in the aforementioned video. R Kelly's defence questioned her credentials, but the prosecution said on Friday that she was uniquely qualified to establish the age of the alleged victim.

Arguments aired for the time being, Kelly is due back in court on 28 May as the case rumbles on.

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NIRVANA FANS PAY TRIBUTE TO COBAIN
Quite how Kurt Cobain's career would have progressed in the last ten years had he not committed suicide in 1994 we'll never know, but Nirvana fans were using words like "genius" and the "voice of a generation" yesterday as they commemorated the tenth anniversary of his death.

With fans amassing in Seattle to pay tribute, former Nirvana bass player Krist Novoselic told reporters: "I go into privacy mode at this time of year. It's something I don't like to think about, much less talk about."

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JUDGE LAYS OFF ROSS
The Arizona judge who was insisting Diana Ross should return to jail for another 48 hours over those drink driving charges has changed his mind. As previously reported, after being found guilty of being over the limit while driving, the diva was ordered to undergo a 48 hour jail sentence. She did this at the jail nearest her home in Connecticut. However State laws are different there, and Ross was allowed to split her 48 hour sentence over three days - meaning records showed she had not completed 24 consecutive hours behind bars, as Arizona law dictates. On those grounds Magistrate T Jay Cranshaw had ordered Ross undergo another 48 hours at an Arizona jail. However Ross' people argued that firstly it wasn't the singer's fault if the courts failed to brief the Connecticut jail properly, plus their records show she had, in fact, undergone a full 24 hour stint anyway. Having heard from Ross' lawyers, and with the prosecution not particularly keen on seeing Ross back in jail either, Cranshaw has decided to let the matter rest.

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EMAP APPOINT FORMER FIVE / MTV / BMG MAN TO HEAD UP FHM
EMAP have poached Channel Five's head of marketing David Pullan (a former BMG and MTV man) to head up its FHM brand on a global level. He takes over from Marcus Rich who was promoted within EMAP last year to head up the media company's music media outfit EMAP Performance. FHM currently has 26 editions around the world and one of Pullan's first tasks is likely to be to oversee a launch of a China edition.

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VON BONDIES NEXT SINGLE
The Von Bondies have confirmed their next single 'Tell Me' will be released on 3 May - it will be the second single release from current album 'Pawn Shoppe Heart'.

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CAMPAIGNERS NOT IMPRESSED WITH ANTI-BRITISH RAP
That naughty kiwi Zane Lowe has caused a bit of an uproar in certain circles by playing a track by Scor-Zay-Zee, a DJ and producer with Islamic leanings. The track criticises the UK's relationship with the US, accuses the Royal Family of murdering Princess Diana and at one point says: "The queen lives in a house like Saddam Hussein. They're both rich so I guess they are one and the same."

Arguing the British Broadcasting Corporation shouldn't be giving airtime to such anti-establishment viewpoints, John Beyer, the director of Mediawatch UK (one of those 'taste and decency in the media' groups), told the Sunday Telegraph, simply: "The BBC should not be playing this song".

A spokesman for the Beeb defended the inclusion of the song on Zane's Radio 1 show. She told reporters: "It is a protest song and has been selected entirely on the basis of musical merit. The track is not part of the R1 playlist but has been spot played on the Zane Lowe show on Radio 1 at 10pm. The track has provoked strong opinions but no complaints and the lyrics represent the personal views of a particular artist, not those of the BBC."

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PROLIFIC A&R MAN DIES
The A&R man who signed, among others, Abba, Bruce Hornsby, Judas Priest and Patty Smyth, has died aged 58. Paul Atkinson, a former guitarist with The Zombies who went on to lead a prolific A&R career at three major labels, died after a long battle with liver and kidney disease.

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SOUTH AFRICAN MUSICIAN SHOT
One of Southern Africa's most famous musicians has been shot dead during what seems to have been an attempted robbery. Gito Baloi - a co-founder of South African band Tananas and an established solo artist in his own right - was shot three times through the window of his car as he drove home from a gig in Johannesburg. Baloi died at the scene of the incident.

Coming just months after the lead singer of another popular South African band - Mafikizolo - was shot in Soweto in a road-rage incident, the latest tragic killing will ensure the worrying violent crime rates in South Africa remain high on the agenda during the country's elections next week.

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FOPP REACH MANCHESTER
Independent music retailer Fopp continued its growth around the UK this weekend with the opening of a Manchester store. The new store on Brown Street is the biggest in the group's sixteen shop chain.

Commenting on the latest opening, Fopp MD Peter Ellen told Music Week: "We are chuffed that our opening weekend in Manchester got us off to a great start. We had been keen to open a store here for ages as we know Manchester as the centre of independent music in Britain."

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DOWNLOAD PRICE WAR BEGINS
So, the price war has begun. Following the announcement by UK download platform Wippit that it would be selling tracks from as little as 29 pence (which translates to 54 US cents), two download companies in Australia - Telstra and Destra - have said they will keep their rates at the current promotional level of 54 cents and 67 cents respectively. Both had been expected to return to a more iTunes-esque rate of 99 cents per track once their current promotion was over. With such a price war underway before most of the major players have even launched outside the US, the pending battle for dominance in the download sector is likely to be hugely competitive and, for those that back the wrong horse, very expensive.

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DYLAN: FLEADH FESTIVAL AND PANTS AD
Mean Fiddler yesterday announced Bob Dylan and the Counting Crows would be headlining its Fleadh Festival in Finsbury Park, London. The festival with Irish leanings returns after a break last year on 20 Jul. More at http://www.meanfiddler.com

Talking of Bob - Dylan is set to appear in a TV advert for US underwear retail chain Victoria's Secret. The singer will be seen at the Palazzo in Venice dressed in black, sporting a pencil moustache, goatee beard and eyeliner, and leering at a scantily dressed model wearing angels' wings - but all in a very tasteful way you understand. The soundtrack for the ad will be a remix of his 1997 song 'Love Sick'. As part of the campaign - which is Dylan's first appearance in an ad - a CD of Bob's music will be sold in the retail chain's stores.

Confirming the campaign Victoria's Secret Creative Director Ed Razek told the San Francisco Chronicle: "We had done some spots last year with Dylan's music, and they got a great response. I can't speak for his motivation, but it certainly wouldn't be commercial".

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SINGLE REVIEW: Tali - Lyric On My Lip Remixes (Full Cycle)
Having seen Tali jumping about the stage like an ocelot last year when she played live at Cargo I was keen to hear this 2 x 12" remix collection because, you see, the original of 'Lyric On My Lip' (which also appears here), without all the live frenziness, was nothing special - just Tali over a Roni Size backed construct. So what of the remixes? Well, they're pretty good. Krust and Clipz toughen it up in that 'Warhead' Bristol bass ballism way creating a dancefloor driller which, if I'm being honest, has hardly any Tali at all. Ed Rush and Optical create some madness in their mix with a warped b-line that just gets in your mind and really grows on you. Finally Paulista's Marky and XRS take it all off road, rolling the original out with tight programming and a few bleeps - it's not as 'sunny' as you'd expect from these guys, though you can tell they grew up with techno soundtrack. All in all, an above average double pack, especially given where we started - once again begging the question - who should take the credit in drum and bass - the MC or the programmer? PV
Release date: 3 May
Press contact: Electric PR

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JACKO LOSES TAX BREAK
You might not think more insult could be thrown onto the injury, but US tax authorities have confirmed they are taking away tax exemptions from Michael Jackson over his Neverland Ranch. The decision follows investigations last year by tax authorities as to whether Jacko was really due certain farming tax breaks on the property given that the ranch really wasn't farming land any more. It remains to be seen if the tax man now applies that ruling retrospectively - if so it could leave Jacko with a very large tax bill and presumably another legal battle on his hands.

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UNDERWATER IBIZA PLANS
Darren Emerson's Underwater Records label has confirmed details of its Ibiza residency for this summer. The label will host a night at Pacha every Tuesday from 22 Jun to 21 Sep. The launch night will feature Emerson himself plus Tim Deluxe, Layo and Bushwacka and Trevor Nelson.

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OXEGEN ADDITIONS
Franz Ferdinand and Ash have been added to the bill of the Oxegen Festival in Ireland - they join a bill that already includes David Bowie, The Strokes, The Darkness, N*E*R*D, Pink , Kings Of Leon, Massive Attack, The Chemical Brothers, PJ Harvey, Wu-Tang Clan and Keane.

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CREAMFIELDS LAUNCH
While we're onto festivals - Cream will officially launch this year's Creamfields Festival on 15 Apr with a party at the club's Liverpool bar Babycream. Ladytron plus Andy McCloughlin & Tane will be on hand to provide the post launch entertainment. It's invite only, so get your press enquries to gill@cream.co.uk asap to get in.

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GEORGE MICHAEL GLAD TO BE OLDER
George Michael talking to German magazine Der Spiegel on getting old: "I'm not scared of getting old. If I were, I would dye my hair and take off my beard. But I like a bit of grey on me and feel very comfortable being myself."

On working with young pop talent akin to Madonna's MTV Awards collaborations with Christina and Britney: "I couldn't bear people saying there's this old guy clinging on to a young talent. Maybe I'm a little less worried that my star might fade than Madonna."

On staging a stunt akin to Madonna's Britney/Christina snog: "I've already called Justin Timberlake, but unfortunately, he hasn't called back."

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