CMU Daily - on the inside 13 Apr 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- US music sales up
- Catholics not impressed with Madonna's Sunday gig
- Abba studios to close
- Bowie wants some bootlegs
- Single Review: Wolfman Featuring Peter Doherty - For Lovers
- Global Gathering line up announced
- Leeds / Reading update
- Foo Fighters top Rock In Rio bill
- Clear Channel dump presenters amid FCC crackdown
- Eminem likes slack German TV
- Blur update
- ITV and BskyB negotiate to make way for ITV3
- Album Review: Young Heart Attack - Mouthful Of Love
- FA won't deny Blazin Squad soccer song rumours
- McFly still top
- Datsun frontman injured during video shoot
- NTL channel launches new music show
- Halliwell recovering from throat surgery
- Real won't launch Rhapsody here until 2005
- Dane Bowers charged for drink driving
- Blue boy makes official complaint against boys in blue


More good news - that's right good news - on the music sales front. Following indications in global sales stats released last week that the American industry went through something of a recovery in the latter half of 2003, there were new figures released this weekend showing music sales in US were up 9% on 2003 in quarter one of this year - the first sales growth in four years. On top of that for the first time since 2000 two albums - the new offerings from Norah Jones and Usher - had seen weekly sales in excess of one million.

Despite the rise, most key players in the US industry are airing some sensible caution regards the latest stats.

Billboard's Geoff Mayfield told reporters: "We've had a big run so far - but because we've had three years of erosion, at least for the first eight months of the year, it will be relatively easy for the industry to post increases."

Recording Industry Association of America boss Cary Sherman, while calling the latest stats "good news" added: "The numbers of 2003 were down about 10 to 12% from the year before. If we didn't have that kind of increase, it would be really terrible".

There will be much debate as to why the US is experiencing some recovery - if only to see what tactics should be used to combat acute sales decline in Japan, France and Germany.

Changes in the download sector may play a part. Some might argue the RIAA's hardline litigation approach against illegal filesharing helped rekindle sales - although with Kazaa usage in the States up again during the first quarter of 2004 that argument may not stack. However with legit download sales included in these stats it may be that the arrival of Apple's iTunes and Roxio's Napster in mid-2003 have helped.

Then again recent growth may be down to more traditional factors - the release of a string of strong new albums in recent months, payback on investment in more wide-interest artists like Norah Jones or just a simple positive swing in a natural economic cycle.


The catholic community around Dublin's Slane Castle have expressed outrage at the news that Madonna will be performing there on a Sunday. The 29 Aug date is part of Madonna's up-coming European tour and will be the singer's only Irish date. However there are now calls for the concert to be cancelled, with some threatening to try to take the concert's promoters to court over the decision to stage the event on a Sunday.

Opposition comes from both local churchmen - who describe the scheduling of the event as "inconsiderate and insensitive" in a predominantly Catholic country - but also from more secular minded locals who fear unrest akin to that which occurred when Bob Dylan performed at the castle on a Sunday back in 1984.

However Slane Castle owner Lord Henry Mount Charles has defended his decision to schedule the concert on 29 Aug explaining that it was the only possible date in Madonna's schedule and adding: "I knew people would stir up memories of 1984, but this year Bob Dylan is playing in Galway on Sunday June 27. So if he can play there on a Sunday, I am puzzled why there is opposition to Madonna playing Slane on a Sunday."


A studio complex in Stockholm founded by Abba's label and used by Sweden's famous four is likely to close because its current owners have failed to renegotiate rent levels with their landlords.

Dubbed Sweden's Abbey Road or Sun Studios, the five room facility was founded in 1978 by Polar Records and used by Abba to record their last three albums. Other artists to make use of the studios over the years include Led Zeppelin, Beastie Boys, Roxette and Backstreet Boys.

One of the studio's owners Lennard Oestlund confirmed they had been unable to renegotiate rent on the property in order to continue music operations there. Describing the studios as "a museum of Swedish music history, especially Abba", he said "I'll keep a mixer board and some microphones and try to start a new operation on a smaller scale".


With bedroom remixing getting more attention thanks to EMI and their legal threats against Danger Mouse, David Bowie is giving bootleggers the chance to remix a track off his new album 'Reality' in a mash-up competition being run via his website. All fan remixes will be judged by Bowie and remixer Mark Vidler (whose mash up of Bowie tracks 'Never Get Old' and 'Rebel Rebel' is featured on a new Audi ad in the US) - the best ones will be put online each week for six weeks from 16 Apr and fans can vote for their favourite. The most popular remixes will win various prizes, with the overall winner getting a 2004 Audi TT coupe. More info at


SINGLE REVIEW: Wolfman featuring Peter Doherty - For Lovers (Rough Trade)
Rock stars eh, why are they such wankers? I'm a big fan of the Libertines but following some dodgy comments in a recent NME from Pete Doherty even I have started to see why Carl Barat threw him out of the band last year. But this doesn't detract from the fact that he makes very good records. Wolfman and Doherty went to Whitby (where Bram Stoker wrote Dracula) to write this. It's very different to the Libertines material, although it has the same wistful romanticism. It's a slow ballad which has Doherty crooning the autobiographical words, "Hear the jailor rattling the key, but the key was mine, I kept a spare one every time," to a laidback backing which has Moby stylee tinkly piano. The b-side 'Back From the Dead' sounds more like the Libertines traditional sound. It's already had a lot of air play so it'll be interesting to see how well it does compared to the Libertines own stuff and what consequences this might have for the future of the band, apparently on the point of falling apart again amid a clash of egos. JW
Release date: 12 Apr
Press contact: Cool Delta [CP, CR] Coalition [RP, NP] Anglo [RR, NR]


More festivals news for ya. Firstly Global Gathering takes place on 29 Jul with over 100 DJs and live acts playing over nine arenas. Plus we're promised a fairground with a rollercoaster, a chill-out village with a cinema and coffee shops, a comedy club, a beach arena and an 'extreme urban park' complete with professional skaters and BMX riders. Music wise you're talking Paul Van Dyk, Armin Van Buuren, Judge Jules, Fergie, Paul Oakenfold, Roger Sanchez, Tim Deluxe (live), Nic Fanciulli, John Digweed, Sasha, Danny Howells, Carl Cox, Dave Clarke, Erick Morillo, Jon Carter, Steve Lawler, Plump DJs, Lisa Lashes, Fabio, Grooverider and loads more. More at


Elsewhere in festival land confirmation Graham Coxon will be headlining the Radio 1 stage at Reading / Leeds. He plays Reading on Friday night and Leeds on Saturday, which means he'll go head to head with the Darkness! On that he told the NME: "It's a bit scary, it means I'll have to turn up really loud and wear loud trousers. Maybe I could wear a dogtooth check catsuit? Yeah, that might be quite nice although I'm a bit funny about showing myself off in that sort of way. I'd go and see me rather than The Darkness. I don't really know why, I suppose because it's going to be raining and I'd want to take cover."

Other additions to the Leeds/Reading line up included The Vines, Hundred Reasons, Funeral For A Friend and the Von Bondies, though those hoping for some backstage drama featuring the latter and headliners the White Stripes will be disappointed. Organisers have made sure Jack White and Von Bondie Jason Stollsteimer are on the Reading and Leeds sites on different days!


Finally from the festival files - the Foo Fighters have been confirmed as headliners for the Rock In Rio festival in Lisbon - they replace Guns 'n' Roses who pulled out of the event last month. Foo Fighters headline the festival (held outside Brazil for the first time this year) alongside Evanescence, Peter Gabriel, Black Eyed Peas and Britney Spears.


Clear Channel has fired presenters Larry Wachs and Eric Von Haessler after their investigation into that 'porn star interview stunt' that went wrong. As previously reported Wachs and Von Haessler planned to mock the decency crackdown currently rippling across the American media by broadcasting an interview with a porn star backwards. Unfortunately a technical error meant the actual interview - which was meant to be a pre-record - went out live. With a certain stroke of irony that led to the aforementioned decency crackdown striking very close to home. Commenting on Clear Channel's decision to dispense with the presenters' services, the duo's agent Robert Eatman told reporters this weekend: "[recent FCC fines] have put the broadcasters in the position of having to take action they wouldn't ordinarily need to take, and shouldn't need to take. The government has no right to interfere with our First Amendment rights, either by legislation or otherwise."

Talking over OTT FCC fines, the US media regulator has thrown a half a million dollar fine at Clear Channel over its broadcast of the Howard Stern show on six of its stations. The fines relate to material aired on Stern's 9 Apr show which it said included "repeated, graphic and explicit sexual descriptions that were pandering, titillating or used to shock the audience."

The fine has persuaded Clear Channel to permanently axe Stern off their airwaves - though they had already removed his show from the schedules of the six Clear Channel stations that previously carried it. Clear Channel Radio boss John Hogan confirmed that decision on Friday saying: "The Congress and the FCC are even beginning to look at revoking station licenses. That's a risk we're just not willing to take. We had hoped to return Mr. Stern's show to the air free from indecent content. Unfortunately, the FCC's latest action, combined with deafening silence from the Stern show on their future plans to comply with the law, leave us no choice but to abandon the program for good."

Howard Stern responded on his website saying: "This is not a surprise. This is a follow-up to the McCarthy-type 'witch hunt' of the administration and the activities of this group of presidential appointees in the FCC, led by 'Colin Powell Jr.' and his band of players. It is pretty shocking that governmental interference into our rights and free speech takes place in the US. It's hard to reconcile this with the 'land of the free' and the 'home of the brave.' "

It's not clear how this will impact on Infinity - the Viacom radio group who produce Stern's show and still broadcast it on their stations. Stern seems convinced Infinity will be forced to axe his show soon and rumour has it he is already looking into setting up his own satellite radio station should that happen.


Talking of America's media decency crackdown, Eminem told a German TV show he loved their country after he was able to bare his arse twice during an appearance on a music TV show on German network Pro7. Slim Shady explained his annoyance that such action would be censored on US TV!


Blur's Alex James will fill in for radio presenter Tom Robinson on the BBC's digital music station 6Music in June. He will present the 'Evening Sequence' show for two weeks from 31 May.

Elsewhere in Blur news, the trio are back in the studio this week to record a new EP. The EP project is one of three musical ventures for Damon Albarn, who is also recording an album with the surviving members of Fela Kuti's band and working on a new Gorillaz record.

On the latter he told 6Music he is planning on using The Bees as a house band for the project and among the producers on the bill: "I've been working with Dangermouse. It's gonna be great. Gorillaz is just pure unadulterated pop fun for me."

Back on Blur matters Albarn reiterated his hopes to bring Graham Coxon back into the band: "Blur's like a family with one brother no-one talks to. It is a realistic prospect - the only reason he's not in the band is because he didn't feel he was getting enough say. We're totally capable of making music together. I can forget about all the other things."


Negotiations are underway between ITV and BSkyB in order to free the way for the launch of ITV3. As previously reported, ITV want their third channel to include classic ITV shows - however many of the big ITV shows are part of the Granada archive, and first option on those goes to the digital channel Granada Plus - which is co-owned by Granada (now ITV) and BSkyB. Original plans were for ITV3 to replace Granada Plus, giving ITV extra pay-TV revenues and full access to the Granada archives. However BSkyB bosses have indicated they would want an equity stake in ITV3 if they were to agree to that. ITV could make ITV3 a freeview channel without the Granada shows, however that would damage the quality of output and cut potential revenues. Then again ITV (and former Granada) boss Charles Allen won't be too keen to give the Murdoch empire even a tiny stake in ITV. Some reckon one solution may be for ITV to give BSkyB complete control of their other joint venture station Men & Motors in return for relinquishing Granada Plus. Despite all that, ITV seem confident they can get their third station on air by Sep.


ALBUM REVIEW: Young Heart Attack - Mouthful of Love (XL)
Beggars imprint XL have done it again - one of the most recent additions to their stable of goliaths, this Texan 5-piece - straight from the streets of Austin - have provided me with a new and powerful lease of life. I mean it. Beyond a shadow of a doubt the freshest (or at least the most honest) band to hit the scene in a while, Young Heart Attack are all straight out, good ol' rock'n'roll stylee, with an un-compromised hip-thrusting teeth-gritting Punk-Meets-MoTown sound full of fun and frolic rather that typical 'woe is me' stance. Lead singers Jennifer Stephens & Chris Hodge both have distinct and fresh voices - Jennifer's powerful tonsils blast out ear friendly 'I'm in Love's while Chris produces scream-like attacks in the back-ground, it all kind of combines into some sort of amazing equilibrium. Though I hate to admit it, their sound has a strong resemblance to the Darkness - though with notably more musical aptitude and none of that mock-rock faÁade. The resemblance is simple, like the Darkness their music brings a smile to the faces of those listening... Like label mates the Stripes, Young Heart Attack reassure you that there is still something amazing to come from rock-music. May it roll on. BS
Release Date: 12 Apr
Press Contact: Beggars [all]

The FA won't confirm or, more to the point, deny rumours that the Blazin Squad may be delivering the England football team's official song for the European Championships. Word is the FA are still in discussions with various labels and no decision has been made - though the Blazin Squad are on a list somewhere. Aaaaaaargh. Can't we just alternate New Order and the Lightning Seeds / Baddiel / Skinner every time there's some kind of major competition and never record another football song ever again?


I know we like McFly here at CMU, and we keep complaining that too many records go straight in at number one in the charts, but what a boring Top 10 this week. McFly are still number one, Usher is still number two, and both Anastasia and DJ Casper are still top five.

There are some new entries of course - Rasmus go in at three with 'In The Shadows', Special D is in at 6 with 'Come With Me', Narcotic Trust go in at 9 with 'I Like It' and Beyonce is in at 10 with 'Naughty Girl'. As expected Pop Idol Michelle's second single enters at a disappointing 16.

Albums wise equally dull - the top three remains Anastasia, Guns 'n' Roses and Usher. And the two highest new entries are best ofs - Abba at four (and that's actually a re-entry thanks to 30th anniversary hype) and Atomic Kitten at five. If it wasn't for the arrival of Delays at 17 with 'Faded Seaside Glamour' we'd have no interest in this week's charts at all!


Datsuns frontman Dolf De Datsun is recovering after suffering a head injury during the shooting of a video for the band's new single 'Outta Sight/Outta Mind' (out 7 Jun). A spokesman for the band confirmed to the NME that poor Dolf required several stitches after falling during the shoot.


NTL channel Broadband World TV (BWTV) are launching a new one-hour music show which will air three times a day from 14 Apr. Featuring six artists a week, the show is being made by VidZone - a company better known as an online music video aggregator. The music show will be filmed at NTL's London studios and presented by in-house presenters. BWTV is currently available via both NTL and Sky.


According to the Daily Mirror Geri Halliwell has been out of the public eye of late because she is recovering from throat surgery last Dec. Word is the former Spice Girl required the surgery after doctors in LA "discovered a nodule during a routine check-up". Halliwell is said to be recovering fine and has found she has a better vocal range following the operation. Oh joy.


Word is Real Networks won't launch a European version of its Rhapsody subscription music service until sometime in 2005. That news backs up comments in the German press by Real boss Rob Glaser who said the recent adoption of hardline action against illegal downloading was making Europe are more inviting market in which to step up his companies operations.


If Victoria Beckham is looking for someone with whom to share her woes perhaps she could give old mate Dane Bowers a call - cos he's got his own woes to air. Police have confirmed Bowers was arrested on suspicion of drink driving in the early hours of last Thursday. A Met spokesman told reporters: "Dane Bowers appears before Havering Magistrates Court on 16 April charged with driving with excess alcohol".


That's more or less all the police said, which is just as well because Blue member Lee Ryan is suing the police after they released his home address when he was arrested for drink driving. One newspaper published the address after the Met included it in a statement regarding Ryan's arrest last August. The singer has filed an official complaint and is seeking an official apology - police lawyers are looking into it.

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