CMU Daily - on the inside 14 Apr 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- 3MV close their doors
- Muse cancel gigs after onstage ijury
- More, yes more, Jacko allegations
- EMI deny stat fixing
- Album Review: Sugarcult - Palm Trees And Power Lines
- Reid to head up A&R at Island Def Jam
- Madonna won't play Friday
- T in the Park additions
- Ms Jackson helps Saturday Night Live get best ratings in a year
- BBC experiment with MP3 shows
- Portuguese producer to remash Furtado Euro 2004 track
- Apple investigating sound problems in iPod mini
- Electric Six tour announced
- BMG Sony merger investigation on hold
- Music Tank look into future of music retail
- More EMAP cost cutting
- Canadian industry submits appeal over copyright ruling
- Album Review: Various - Paradisco 3000 Presents Chicago Boogie
- Britney wants to make reality show
- C-Murder refused bail
- Nsync to reform for charidee

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3MV CLOSE THEIR DOORS
Of course CMU's line that record labels can and should find new revenue streams as the value of CD sales decline in the digital age (more on that in the CMU Weekly at http://www.cmuonline.co.uk) is not much use to those working specifically in the marketing and distribution of those recordings. Insecurity in that sector of the music industry became clear yesterday as independent player 3MV announced it had ceased trading.

Founded in the early nineties by Dave Trafford and Max Kenny, 3MV became a leading sales and distribution agency, mainly because of its founders' willingness to work on a revenue share rather than fee basis. With some of the key players in the mid-nineties Britpop scene on its client list, 3MV expanded its services to cover all aspects of music sales and distribution, as well as offering label management services. It won a number of major label accounts, especially in marketing products to independent retailers, and the company's future seemed to be secured in 2000 when pan-European independent music group PIAS took a majority stake.

But confirming the company's closure yesterday, one of its founders stressed the increasing challenges facing the distribution sector. Dave Trafford told reporters: "3MV is a victim of the diminishing margins in sales and distribution. The market has grown tougher and the business model that has previously worked for us is viable no longer. Our situation has been compounded by the loss of a number of key clients in the last year. It's a very sad day for Max and myself, the whole team at 3MV, our roster and the independent sector as a whole".

The company's affairs are now being managed by David Rubin and Partners and a creditors meeting will be held on 30 Apr. No word on whether aspects of 3MV's operations will be sold off or set up as stand alone concerns - although UK independent distributor Pinnacle is said to be investigating the value in acquiring aspects of 3MV's infrastructure.

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MUSE CANCEL GIGS AFTER ONSTAGE INJURY
Muse have been forced to cancel a number of shows on their US tour after frontman Matt Bellamy suffered a gruesome (well, bloody) injury onstage in Atlanta.

Describing the incident one fan has told NME: "During their fifth song he smashed his face into his guitar. I noticed something was wrong immediately because he leaned over to his roadie and pointed to his mouth, then I looked and it looked as if someone was pouring a water bottle down his face constantly, but it was blood. He kept spitting up more and more blood until he started to sing, and before he could finish the first few lines he quickly removed his guitar and only said: 'I can't sing, I've fucked my face up!' and they all rushed off stage."

The rest of the band returned to the stage a few minutes later to explain they couldn't continue. A subsequent statement confirmed a Philadelphia gig had been cancelled and a decision on other up coming dates was yet to be made.

A spokesman for Muse said: "The band were forced to abandon their show in the Cotton Club, Atlanta when Matt badly injured his mouth during the set. He was taken to hospital and received stitches. Matt's expecting further medical advice. Shows are unfortunately on temporary hold. The band are obviously very disappointed but looking forward to carrying on their new tour of the States as soon as possible."

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MORE, YES MORE, JACKO ALLEGATIONS
Frankly, it's just getting boring now. Word is LA police are investigating a new set of child abuse allegations made against Michael Jackson, this time relating to alleged incidents in the late eighties. Very little is known as to the new allegations - not even if, like the allegations currently going through court, the claims are of sexual abuse.

LAPD spokesman Jason Lee told reporters they had been asked to investigate the new allegations by the LA District Attorney's office last month. Lee: "The victim alleges the acts took place in the City of Los Angeles in the late 1980s. The Department's Juvenile Division, Child Protection Section, is currently investigating the allegations."

Jacko's legal people knew nothing of the investigations and seemed unphased by the new reports: "We have never been informed by the LAPD of any investigation that they are conducting of Michael Jackson. Since I have been involved in this case I have addressed literally dozens of completely baseless rumours on a daily basis, and this appears to be just another one of them."

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EMI DENY STAT FIXING
EMI has denied allegations in the media that it manipulated data submitted to US music stats company Neilsen SoundScan. The allegations have materialised during the ongoing court case between LA based hip hop label Avatar and EMI - the independent is suing the major over monies it claims it is owed from past joint venture projects. Media reports suggested that Avatar had claimed that while working on those projects the major forced them to hire an independent consultant to inflate their performance by falsifying record sales.

However EMI yesterday issued a statement not only denying all allegations, but stressing that Avatar Records themselves had never made such claims. The statement read: "EMI wishes to clarify the nature of the false allegations made against EMI in connection with EMI's suit against Avatar Records for non-payment of amounts due. Neither Avatar nor any other person has alleged that EMI has misstated its revenues from sales and in fact EMI has never misreported its sales in its accounts or elsewhere. The allegations relate only to the behavior of certain independent marketing consultants in respect of the manipulation of the US chart position of a limited set of recordings, as determined by the Nielsen SoundScan. EMI categorically denies these allegations."

Despite the denial State Sen Kevin Murray, who heads up the US Senate's committee on the entertainment industry and who has been examining record company accounting practices, has said he will look into the allegations.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Sugarcult - Palm Trees and Power Lines (Artemis Records)
For me the punk-rock scene of late is about as stimulating as Daniel Bedingfield on a harmonica - but that doesn't mean we can't be surprised every once in a while. I was pleasantly surprised when I first heard Sugarcult's 2003 track 'Stuck in America'. More so when I later got my hands on album 'Start Static'. And again now with the arrival of new album 'Palm Trees and Power Lines'. Admittedly there's few surprises on this long player, but there's plenty of satisfying tracks and much evidence of a progression in the Californian band's sound. Stand out track is 'Worst December' which comes close to filling my musical desire for the ultimate few minutes of Americana electric guitar and scratchy vocals. But the whole album provides a suitably emotionally charged rocking sequel to 'Start Static', and reassures you the punk-rock genre can still surprise you in a good way from time to time. DJ
Release Date: 12 Apr
Press contact: Delta [all]

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REID TO HEAD UP A&R AT ISLAND DEF JAM
The first major change over at Universal US division Island Def Jam since the arrival of new boss LA Reid is the departure of A&R head Jeff Fenster. With the senior VP of A&R, Lewis Largent, also departing, word is Reid himself will now head up the A&R direction of the label.

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MADONNA WON'T PLAY FRIDAY
Madonna's case against the catholic church in Ireland - who are opposing her playing a big gig their on a Sunday - may be somewhat weakened by news stories that the singer herself is refusing to play Friday night gigs on her upcoming world tour on religious grounds. According to the Sun, Madonna, now devoted to Juadism offshoot Kabbalah, will no longer perform on a Friday night because it would interfere with her commitment to the Jewish Sabbath.

The paper quotes a friend of the singer as saying: "This shows just how much Madonna is influenced by Kabbalah. She is completely focused on following her beliefs, no matter what lengths she has to go to."

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T IN THE PARK ADDITIONS
Another quick festival update - The Libertines and Badly Drawn Boy have been added to the bill at T in the Park.

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MS JACKSON HELPS SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE GET BEST RATINGS IN A YEAR
US TV show Saturday Night Live secured their highest ratings in a year this weekend when Janet Jackson guested. Ms Jackson mocked the outrage that followed her Superbowl Nipplegate performances by again pull back her blouse - though this time her breast was heavily pixilated and - some reckon - covered up by a flesh coloured shirt anyway.

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BBC EXPERIMENT WITH MP3 SHOWS
If you're looking for something more intellectual on your iPod then pay attention. The BBC is experimenting with making its radio shows available to download as MP3s, and it is piloting the scheme with the recently aired Reith Lecture by winning poet and playwright Wole Soyinka. Listeners will be able to download the programme and, if they wish, transfer it to their MP3 player or burn it to CD.

BBC Radio's Head of Interactive, Chris Kimber, admitted making shows available to download in this way was still at an experimental stage: "There are all sorts of views about whether the BBC should be doing downloads of programmes. MP3 might not be the right way to go forward, we may end doing something with more copy protection built in and we have to work with rights holders to find the right way forward. But we want to get our radio on demand service into portable devices because of the iPod effect. That is where a lot of people want to listen to our content."

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PORTUGUESE PRODUCER TO REMASH FURTADO EURO 2004 TRACK
Rui Da Silva is due to remix the official Euro 2004 football song which, as we reported last week, has been recorded by Nelly Furtado. The Portuguese producer will rework the track 'Forca' in time for the championships - being held in his home country. Talking of things being held in his own country, Da Silva will also be performing at the Rock In Rio festival in Lisbon later this year.

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APPLE INVESTIGATING SOUND PROBLEMS IN IPOD MINI
Apple have said they will look into "isolated reports" of sound problems being experienced with the new iPod Mini. Apparently some customers have had trouble with the headphone jack leading to screeching sounds and static. Meantime the company says anyone experiencing problems should contact the AppleCare service who will fix or replace faulty players.

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ELECTRIC SIX TOUR ANNOUNCED
Electric Six have announced a short UK tour which will precede their 5 Jun appearance at the Download Festival. Dates as follows:

31 May: Middlesbrough Arena
1 Jun: Southampton, Guildhall
2 Jun: Folkestone, Leas Cliff Hall
3 Jun: Reading, Hexagon Centre
4 Jun: Exeter, Lemon Grove

We also hear a rumour that Electric Six track 'Synthesizer', which appears on that excellent We Love You compilation released last month by Wall of Sound, may appear in some form as a single release sometime soon. We'll let you know more if and when we hear it.

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BMG SONY MERGER INVESTIGATION ON HOLD
The 22 Jun deadline for an EU decision on the proposed BMG / Sony merger may well get pushed back following news the people investigating the proposals have put their investigations on temporary hold so both companies can provide more information. A new deadline is likely to be set in the next couple of weeks.

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MUSIC TANK LOOK INTO FUTURE OF MUSIC RETAIL
Talking of the problems facing the sales and distribution sector (which we were at the top of today's Daily), the next Music Tank Think Tank event will be looking at the issues faced by related sector - music retail. What does the digital age mean for the record shop owner? Andy Lown, former MD of Tower Records Europe; Russel Coultart, CEO of Recordstore.co.uk; Kim Bayley, Secretary General of BARD and Paul Zimmerman, Head of Digital at Entertainment UK will all take part in the event at Bertorelli's on 21 Apr. More at http://www.musictank.co.uk/events_retail.htm

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MORE EMAP COST CUTTING
More cost cutting at EMAP - this time news that the major has put on hold two new title launches and confirmation that two more senior players in the music division are to go - Mojo / Q Editorial Director Paul Trynka and music publishing director Madeline Ballantyne. Meanwhile Viv Craske who, as we reported last month, has left his position as editor at Mixmag will not be replaced - Mixmag's editorial director, Pauline Haldane, will take direct control of the magazine.

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CANADIAN INDUSTRY SUBMITS APPEAL OVER COPYRIGHT RULING
The Canadian Recording Industry Association yesterday filed a five page appeal against that previously reported court ruling that current Canadian copyright law did not obligate ISPs there to hand over the names of people the record labels reckon are illegally making larges amounts of music available via file sharing networks.

On submitting the appeal CRIA lawyer Richard Pfohl told reporters: "In our view Canadian copyright law doesn't allow people to make copies of hundreds or thousands of songs that belong to other people and to put them out on the Internet for copying and distribution globally. It's a critical issue for our industry because those sorts of activities are having a devastating effect on our industry."

It remains to be seen if the appeals court changes the previous ruling - although certain ministers in Canada have indicated they will move to change the law if the courts do side against the music industry for a second time. The ruling has implications outside Canada too - as music industry bodies around the world crack down on illegal file sharing they will be looking for the reassurance of their counterparts in other territories having success in court. As yet success rates in this regard have been mixed.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various - Paradisco 3000 presents Chicago Boogie (Eskimo Records via Rush Hour)
Amsterdam's DJ Antal presents a fine tribute to Chicago over 18 tracks from 1980-1991, encompassing the vibe from his Paradisco club night. The journey runs thus: A good start with the minimal broody 'Ride' by Virgo, things sound a little dated with Electra's 'Feels Good', but then we get Larry Heards awesome remix of 'Manhasset' by Club Ice which is pure brilliant deep house. There's some 80's jack from Master CJ and some off kilter bassline from Fingers Inc. 'Battery Acid' by Six Brown Brothers is pure '88 acid house (perfect acid tweaks - exquiste), 'Waiting On My Angel' by Frankie Knuckles presents some minimal basics from the 1985, and there's a bleep fest from Pointdexter in the aptly titled 'Computer Madness'. Disco D's 'Beat It' is smooth, while Virgo's 'Free Yourself' carries that early house vibe really well. The big let down is Kasso's 'One More Round' which comes with some really annoying chipmunk vocals and some camp keys. All in all a very specialised, but well compiled, well mixed and rather enjoyable compo - except for that shite Kasso tune which is a real let down! PV
Release date: 10 May
Press contact: EPM PR [all]

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BRITNEY WANTS TO MAKE REALITY SHOW
Britney Spears' people are busy pitching a 'behind-the-scenes' show to TV networks in the US which would follow the singer on her upcoming European tour. Described as a cross between The Real World and Madonna's Truth or Dare/In Bed With project, no word yet on which networks are interested.

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C-MURDER REFUSED BAIL
The judge who granted C-Murder (real name Corey Miller) the opportunity to a re-trial over allegations he shot dead of fan back in 2002 has turned down the rapper's application for bail. Miller's legal people argued that if the courts accepted their arguments that the prosecution's witnesses in their client's first trial were dubious (the grounds for a retrial) then he should be granted bail pending the new hearing.

However State District Judge Martha Sassone disagreed, pointing out the rapper faces other weapon and attempted-murder charges relating to an incident in 2001, and battery charges over an alleged attack on a prison guard. Miller's people had hoped to dismiss the weapon/attempted-murder charges because prosecutors had failed to pursue them in the two years since the incident.

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NSYNC TO REFORM FOR CHARIDEE
Nsync are due to reform for one night only - all in the name of charity. Word is Mr Timberlake has been persuaded to rejoin band mates JC Chasez, Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick and Lance Bass for a charity show at some point this summer - no word yet on when or which charity though. The boy band are meant to be going back into the studio at some point too - though with Timberlake's schedule (and no real indication he is interested in another Nysnc project) it is unclear if and when that will happen.

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