CMU Daily - on the inside 21 Apr 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Sigel verdict expected today
- US TV network reveal more Jacko allegations
- RIAA end download amnesty
- Chinese survey shows illegal downloading prevalent
- Album Review: The Blueskins - Word Of Mouth
- Oasis on verge of split rumours
- Actress's family call for longer sentence for rocker
- Crow to play sky high gig for Connect launch
- Big Coldplay tour may be in the pipeline
- Amp Fiddler tour
- SBN revamp chart show
- Coachella sells out
- Pink sues Austrian minister
- McDonalds plan instore downloads
- Travis cancel Japanese dates cos Fran's ill
- Soccer Six additions
- Colour Of Fire download
- Metal Hammer confirm awards event
- Artists donate tracks to charity download service
- Kid Symphony tour
- Midweeks update
- US network closes down for Friends finale

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SIGEL VERDICT EXPECTED TODAY
With unusual efficiency, a decision is expected later today in the court hearing regarding the involvement of rapper Beanie Sigel in a shooting outside a Philadelphia bar in Jul 2003 - the hearing only began last week.

As previously reported Sigel currently faces three separate sets of charges - one relating to illegal drugs and firearms possession in 2002, one to allegations he beat up a 53 year old man in early 2003, and one to the aforementioned allegations he shot and seriously injured a man in Philadelphia last summer.

On the former he pleaded guilty last week in a bid to secure a lighter sentence - that sentence will be decided in Jul. On the shooting charges, his defence team were due to sum up yesterday with a verdict expected later today.

Friends from the Roc-A-Fella label to which Sigel is signed were in court to show their support earlier this week - among them Damon Dash, Jay-Z and Kareem 'Biggs' Burke. Dash told reporters: "Roc-A-Fella is and always has been a family, and family is there for each other. We are there for him now and will be regardless of the road ahead. [We] will always support him in all his struggles, endeavors and triumphs."

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US TV NETWORK REVEAL MORE JACKO ALLEGATIONS
US TV network ABC has said it has seen a police report relating to the up coming Michael Jackson child abuse trial. Among the information they have revealed are quotes from an interview between a psychologist and the two boys said to be at the centre of the latest allegations (the 12-year-old who it is alleged Jacko abused, and his nine-year-old brother). In that it is alleged Jacko twice gave the older brother so much wine he passed out, after which the singer touched him in an "inappropriate manner". Reports say the twelve year old boy himself was too upset by the ordeal to say much, but his brother provided more detailed descriptions of what allegedly happened.

Other claims in the new report include allegations that Jacko:

- surfed the internet on a laptop computer with the boy to find images of naked women and asked him to tell people, if they asked, that they had been watching The Simpsons.

- once stood in front of the two brothers naked as they were watching TV.

- played with a mannequin of an 8- or 9-year-old girl in a sexually suggestive manner in front of both boys.

No comment from Jacko's people on these particular claims though, of course, they intend to fight all allegations - which they describe as one "big lie" - when the case finally gets to court later this summer.

Elsewhere in Jacko news - and something more positive for Michael. A court has ordered Henry Vaccaro to stop selling Jackson merchandise which he acquired during the singer's parents' bankruptcy. As previously reported, Vaccaro acquired a wide range of Jackson family memorabilia - which had been saved for a planned Jackson museum - when Jacko's parent went bankrupt. He had set up a website to showcase and sell the merchandise - and last month sold a big chunk to a foreign collector.

Jackson's people tried to stop Vaccaro from selling Michael's former belongings on the basis that he wasn't named in his parent's bankruptcy, and therefore his belongings should never have been handed over as part of any settlement. An LA court this week backed those claims - but seemingly not in time. Vaccaro has now told reporters all remaining Jacko items have already been sold. Word is Jacko's people will now seek court backing to get those items back - although the sale was most likely to another overseas collector so that might be easier said than done.

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RIAA END DOWNLOAD AMNESTY
American readers beware - the Recording Industry Association of America's illegal MP3 amnesty is over.

As previously reported, the RIAA launched its 'Clean Slate' programme last September following criticism in both media and political circles over the RIAA's decision to take so called 'serial downloaders' to court without any final warning. Music fans were encouraged to write to the Association admitting illegal downloading activity and pledging to delete their MP3s and to not use P2P networks to acquire copyright music again. In return the RIAA would not target them with legal action.

The scheme was not without its own controversy. Some argued the RIAA did not represent all copyright holders and therefore admitting illegal file sharing in writing did not stop other content owners from then taking action against you. To that end one California resident took the RIAA to court claiming the scheme amounted to 'fraudulent business practices' because it implied immunity which the RIAA was unable to deliver.

Announcing the end of the amnesty scheme the RIAA said that seven months on it should be clear to all that illegal file sharing will not be tolerated (which, to be fair, is a fair assumption to make). On the allegations of 'fraudulent business practices', insiders at the organisation say bosses hope that the court case will now be dropped given that the scheme is no longer running.

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CHINESE SURVEY SHOWS ILLEGAL DOWNLOADING PREVALENT
Talking of downloading here's a fun / distressing / useful survey - depending on where you stand on the whole illegal file sharing thing. A survey of music fans in China by e-marketing firm madeforchina.com says that 82% of the 1500 odd interviewed prefer to list the music via MP3s - 74% on their PCs, 22% on an MP3 player. Only 5% gave CDs as their format of choice.

But here's the bad bit - 62% said flat out they would never pay for their MP3s, and of the 21% who said they might pay, they reckoned 0.2 yuan a track would be a fair price - that's 2 US cents! Oh well, most CDs sold in China were bootlegs anyway (which might explain people's preference for MP3s of course, given the unreliable quality of bootlegged CDs).

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Blueskins - Word of Mouth (Domino)
A refreshing slice of punked-up blues-rock, The Blueskins, like the Zuttons, are part of that ever-growing scene who are recreating the 60's sound; except, also like the Zuttons, they manage to do it without losing the relevance and speed that we 21st Century boys (& girls) find comfort in. With Spaceman 3 veteran Richard Formby at the desk, The Blueskins have created a little montage of some of the most pivotal moments in rock history - highlighted in particular in 'Stupid Ones' which borrows it's pre-chorus refrain from the Beatles 'Helter Skelter', which would be an achievement in its own right, if it weren't for the fact that it blends into an album that does not rely on just one good track. Drawing their influences from a range of places - Zeppelin and the Cocks to Marley and the Yard Birds - they have managed to create a fresh album that is a perfect soundtrack from those summer nights in drinking beer and playing Mortal Kombat with some overly competitive mates. BS.
Release Date: 26 Apr
Press Contact: Hall or Nothing [CP, RP, NP] Rocket [CR, RR, NR]

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OASIS ON VERGE OF SPLIT RUMOURS
According to Heat, Oasis are on the verge of splitting up as Liam / Noel hostility reaches new heights. The band are in the studio, of course, working on album number six. A source tells the mag: "Liam and Noel are always fighting but they usually make up. This time though, I think things are different.

Noel has had enough of Liam's wild antics and just doesn't want to work with him any more. The argument was over the sacking of producers Death in Vegas and things got ugly." No comment from label or management.

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ACTRESS'S FAMILY CALL FOR LONGER SENTENCE FOR ROCKER
The family of the French actress who was beaten to death by her rock star boyfriend Bertrand Cantat are calling for a harsher sentence for the singer. As previously reported Cantat, lead singer of French band Noir Desir, was found guilty of killing his girlfriend, Marie Trintignant, while in Lithuania last year. Although found guilty of murder rather than manslaughter, the Lithuanian court that tried him did seem to recognise that Cantat did not set out to kill his partner - to that end they gave him a lenient sentence of eight years (though not lenient enough for Cantat's lawyers who said they might appeal).

But lawyers representing Trintignant's family now say the courts had no right to be lenient in Cantat's case and are pushing for the sentence to be extended to ten years - they told reporters: "[Lithuanian] laws provide that the count starts from the medium sentence, which in this case was 10 years of imprisonment, and allows it to be cut or increased if there are extenuating or aggravating circumstances. There are no such circumstances in this case in our opinion and that means that there is no reason to mitigate the sentence."

Trintignant's family have maintained a high profile campaign in the French media against Cantat ever since their daughter's death. His mother - Nadine Trintignant - wrote a book brandishing Cantat as a murderer.

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CROW TO PLAY SKY HIGH GIG FOR CONNECT LAUNCH
Sheryl Crow has been booked to perform a gig 5.6 miles above the earth. She will perform on a United Airlines flight between Chicago and Los Angeles as part of the launch of Sony's new download platform Connect. The publicity stunt highlights the fact music fans who use the Connect service will be able to pick up United Airline frequent flyer points as they download music. The sky high live set will be recorded and will be available for download from the Sony service.

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BIG COLDPLAY TOUR MAY BE IN THE PIPELINE
Word is Coldplay are planning a major world tour in the New Year. The story seems to have come from Echo And The Bunnymen singer Ian McCulloch who has told the NME his band will be supporting Chris Martin's band on the planned tour. More when we get it.

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AMP FIDDLER TOUR
Following the release of debut album 'Waltz Of A Ghetto Fly' back in Jan, and with new single 'Dreamin' on the way (you can check the video of that at http://www.pias.com/videos/ampfiddler-dreamin.wmv), CMU favourite Amp Fiddler has announced a string of live dates starting tomorrow in Leeds. Dates as follows:

22 Apr: Hi-Fi Club Leeds
23 Apr: Barfly Cardiff
24 Apr: Sugar Club Dublin
25 Apr: Dedbeat Festival Norwich
28 Apr: Triptych Festival, Sub Club Glasgow
29 Apr: Triptych Festival, The Venue Edinburgh
30 Apr: Triptych Festival, Lemon Tree Aberdeen
1 May: Cheltenham Jazz Festival Cheltenham
19 May: The Jam House Birmingham
20 May: Concorde 2 Brighton
21 May: Manchester Uni Academy 3 Manchester
22 May: The Forum London

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SBN REVAMP CHART SHOW
The Student Broadcast Network is revamping their weekly chart show. The countdown of the UK's student radio chart (which we publish in the CMU Weekly each week during term time) is one of the flagship shows on the syndication service, which supplies programming to some 49 college radio stations around the UK. The new show will be fronted by new presenter Duncan Wilson and will also include a download chart and slots where presenters from individual stations tip the best new music.

Commenting on the Student Radio Chart, SBN's head of music Alastair Brown told reporters: "We've been giving the most interesting and exciting acts profile since we launched. The new chart show will be indicative of how these acts are growing and achieving notoriety. It's not rocket science. We just play decent music that people want to hear."

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COACHELLA SELLS OUT
More festival sell outs - this time from the US. Organisers of the Coachella Festival have confirmed weekend and first day passes have sold out. Demand for the first night may have been fuelled by headliners Radiohead and Kraftwerk, though most anticipation seems to be surrounding the reunited Pixies - Coachella will be their first festival appearance since reforming for the current sell out US tour.

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PINK SUES AUSTRIAN MINISTER
Pink is suing Austria's foreign minister - Benita Ferrero-Waldner - after she implied she had the support of the singer in election leaflets handed out at a recent Pink gig in Vienna. A spokesman for Pink told reporters that election campaigners acting for Ferrero-Waldner "broke more than one right of the artist" adding her campaign leaflet: "was a misuse of an artist's name for a political campaign without the written consent of the artist".

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MCDONALDS PLAN INSTORE DOWNLOADS
Very soon you'll be able to buy music everywhere. Latest reports suggest McDonalds will follow Starbucks in offering a digital music service via their restaurants.

Reports in the US say the fast food chain is planning to provide both wireless internet connections and a music download service in its restaurants there. It is not yet clear if the latter will be accessed primarily by the former (ie via people's own WiFi active devices), or if terminals will be installed akin to Starbucks' plans.

Word is McDonalds bosses are talking to US WiFi company Wayport and Sony's download venture Connect about their plans.

The moves are similar to those made by McDonalds in the UK who have been introducing various initiatives to enhance their restaurants - including screens and computer terminals - with reports that they too are planning both WiFi and music programmes.

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TRAVIS CANCEL JAPANESE DATES COS FRAN'S ILL
Travis have been forced to cancel their Japanese tour because Fran Healy has been taken ill at home with a viral infection. The band was due to play six dates in the country, kicking off in Tokyo last night. In a statement on their website the band said: "It is with great regret that we must announce the cancellation of the forthcoming Travis tour in Japan. Fran was admitted to hospital suffering from a severe viral infection. Following several days of tests, doctors have advised that Fran is unfit to travel to Japan and needs time to recuperate and receive treatment. Travis would like to sincerely apologise to all their fans for any inconvenience this may cause."

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SOCCER SIX ADDITIONS
Starsailor and Snow Patrol are the latest musical additions to the line up for the charity football tournament Soccer Six, which takes place in Liverpool, Leeds and Reading on 9, 16 and 23 May respectively. As previously reported the Darkness will play at the Liverpool date. The Blazin Squad and Liberty X will also take place in the charity sports event which is held in aid of the Princes Trust and Give A Child A Chance.

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COLOUR OF FIRE DOWNLOAD
Colour Of Fire - a new York based rock band who are getting themselves some key supporters in the rock press - have released a download-only single called 'Italics'. You can hear it for yourself at http://www.colouroffire.com or http://www.xtaster.co.uk

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METAL HAMMER CONFIRM AWARDS EVENT
Metal Hammer have announced they will be staging their Golden God awards on 7 Jun at the Hackney Ocean. Finnish Goth rockers HIM - nominated for Best International Act and Best Video - will headline a bill of four at the event. No word on what other rockers will be in attendance - although Darkness, Metallica and Funeral For A Friend are all up for awards.

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ARTISTS DONATE TRACKS TO CHARITY DOWNLOAD SERVICE
A new charity download service has been launched in aid of the War Child charity, which helps children in war torn regions of the world. Set up by James Topham and former NME editor Ben Knowles the service will make tracks available at 99p a go or £3.50 for unlimited access - all profits will go to the charity. Badly Drawn Boy, Travis and Spiritualized are among the artists who have already donated tracks to the service.

Commenting on the project Topham told reporters: "We've been overwhelmed at the initial response to Warchildmusic and over the next few weeks we'll be adding plenty more artists and bands to our launch roster. Every track - and we're after everything from covers to acoustic versions, live recordings, alternative mixes, remixes or simply unreleased tunes - will be exclusive to Warchildmusic. This is an ongoing project which we're sure will quickly become essential for artists and fans alike. Although the profits are going to charity, the site is all about music."

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KID SYMPHONY TOUR
Another quick tour update for you - Kid Symphony kick off their UK tour tonight. The band, who will release next single 'Never Been A Rockstar' on Island on 7 Jun, will also play a London showcase on 29 Apr - venue tbc. Tour dates as follows:

21 Apr: Aberystwyth University
22 Apr: Lincoln University
28 Apr: Lancaster University
30 Apr: Belfast University
4 May: Newcastle University
7 May: Strathclyde University
14 May: Derby University Ball
15 May: Surrey Institute
16 May: Leeds Met University

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MIDWEEKS UPDATE
Midweeks suggest that Prince's new album 'Musicology' should go top five this weekend, most likely just behind the album from Eamon, which is being re-promoted on the back of the chart success of single 'Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)'.

On the singles side, Marillion's new track 'You're Gone' - which has been selling well thanks to a proactive online campaign by the band (encouraging fans to buy all three formats) - will most likely go top ten, but not top three as some had expected. Singles wise, Maroon 5 and Franz Ferdinand are both set for top ten new entries too.

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US NETWORK CLOSES DOWN FOR FRIENDS FINALE
Not music related - but a nice story all the same. US 'classic show' repeats channel TV Land is planning on closing down its operations when rival network NBC air the final ever episode of Friends next month. They will simply show a room with their staff watching the last ever episode of Friends! The channel's president, Larry W Jones, told reporters: "The end of Friends is the end of an era in television history. Friends has proven itself to be a modern classic, and TV Land wants to be sure no viewers accidentally miss this historic event." The final Friends airs in the US on 6 May.

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