CMU Daily - on the inside 28 Apr 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Meltdown line up announced
- Somerset House gigs announced
- Simmons hopes to highlight campaigns with New York march
- Former Stereophonics drummer hits back
- Sigel court case put on hold
- Blackcube gig
- Confusion over WH Smith takeover
- Dandy's black album gets online release
- Album Review: Numbers - In My Mind All The Time
- Sony has change of fortune under Lack
- Captains Of Industry tour
- Pointer Sister charged for drug possession
- Midweeks
- Russian music chief highlights continuing piracy problem
- Homelands update
- Album Reviews: Cocteau Twins - Blue Bell Knoll/Heaven Or Las Vegas
- Xfm presenter signed up by army radio
- Fabric internship opportunity
- Universal bosses meet with key money people
- Capital ad gets political amendment

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MELTDOWN LINE UP ANNOUNCED
Details of the Morrissey curated Meltdown festival - which takes place from 11 - 27 Jun at the South Bank Centre - were released yesterday, and as you would expect it is suitably eclectic.

In addition to the previously confirmed reunion of the New York Dolls, on the bill music wise are Nancy Sinatra, The Libertines, Ordinary Boys, Cockney Rejects and Linder. Add to that contemporary classical music from the London Sinfonietta, an audience with playwright Alan Bennet and a performance by Italian master clown and caricaturist Ennio Marchetto.

During the festival hundreds of 9-18 year-olds will be involved in an offshoot radio project called CPR FM. Broadcasting across central London on 101.4FM the station will see the participating school children producing and presenting both music and speech based programmes.

For more info about Meltdown contact the South Bank press office on 020 7921 0632 (press) or Anglo Plugging (radio and online), or check http://www.rfh.org.uk/meltdown

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SOMERSET HOUSE GIGS ANNOUNCED
Talking of live music events in London, organisers of the Somerset House open air gigs announced details of this summer's line up yesterday - and, as always, there's quite a few treats. Announcing the line up Alex Poots, programmer of the Somerset House Series, told CMU: "When we were planning the first series at Somerset House, people said live gigs wouldn't work there. Three summers on and a raft of sell out shows under our belt, it's been described as 'London's most beautiful outdoor venue'. Hope you can come down and enjoy."

This year's gigs are as follows:
13 Jul & 14 Jul: PJ Harvey
15 Jul: Lemon Jelly
16 Jul: Bebel Gilberto
17 Jul & 18 Jul: Belle & Sebastian
19 Jul: Afro Cuban All Stars & Orchestra Baobab

More info at www.somerset-house.org.uk/summer - press info from Darling Dept.

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SIMMONS HOPES TO HIGHLIGHT CAMPAIGNS WITH NEW YORK MARCH
Hip hop mogul Russell Simmons will be hoping to grab some news space for his favourite political causes by staging a hip hop march through New York during the Republican National Convention, which takes place in the city at the end of August. No word yet on which hip hop artists will take part or what route the march will take, but the event will focus on raising awareness of some of the Hip Hop Summit Action Network's current campaigns - including their mission to get rid of the Rockefeller drug laws, their bid to raise national funding for deprived schools, and their campaign to bolster voter registration in the youth and black communities.

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FORMER STEREOPHONICS DRUMMER HITS BACK
Go for it Stuart. Former Stereophonics drummer Stuart Cable has finally spoken out about his axing from the band last year. As previously reported, Cable got axed from the band with very short notice last Sep - bandmate Kelly Jones said the decision to part company with their drummer came about because of Cable's "commitment issues".

Speaking to icWales he said: "Kelly has said a lot of things in the press and I haven't said a thing. I've looked at some of the things Kelly's said in the papers since the split and thought, 'How can he say that, hand on heart?'. And that pisses me off. He said he loves me like a brother. Well, I wouldn't treat a brother the way I got treated."

On the band's later work - and especially most recent album 'You Gotta Go There To Come Back' - Cable continued: "Kelly had already written the songs [for the last album] and he'd already done some drum machine parts. Richard had put some bass on them. So what was left? Join the dots. Which was cool by me because I'd got to the stage of 'If that's the way it's going to be, so be it'. I thought the record was OK, not a great one. The early stuff was better, especially the first and second albums. And I've been surprised since I left the band, to have people come up to me, people in the business as well as fans, and say the same. I thought the Stereophonics music was getting a bit bland. The rock stuff on the last album was few and far between."

On his relationship with Kelly, Stuart said: "You'll never change Kelly. He doesn't compromise, he doesn't delegate, you do it the Kelly Jones way or not at all. We'd go for ages being best friends then not speak for months. We were friends since childhood but you drift apart, people's lives change."

Stuart - who has done some presenting work on Welsh TV in the past - launches a new radio show on BBC Radio Wales on 3 May.

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SIGEL COURT CASE PUT ON HOLD
The latest trial involving rapper Beanie Sigel went into pause mode yesterday when the judge hearing the case dismissed the jury and ordered a re-trial. As previously reported, Sigel is in court to face allegations he shot a man in a West Philadelphia bar last Jul. After a relatively quick presentation of the prosecution and defence's cases, the jury then spent five days discussing the evidence before them, without being able to reach a unanimous decision on any of the charges - which include aggravated assault, conspiracy and weapons offences. After being told by the jury several times that no decision had been made or was likely to be made, Common Pleas Court Judge Karen Shreeves-Johns finally let the jury go - scheduling a retrial for 26 May.

Leaving the court Sigel told reporters: "At this point, I'm going to go home and get some sleep. I want to thank everybody who stuck by me, who supported me, who believed in me." His lawyer, Fortunato Perri Jr, added: "He walked in innocent and he walked out an innocent man."

Assistant District Attorney Deborah Robinson said prosecutors would now prepare for the retrial. Asked about whether her witnesses - who allegedly were reluctant to talk (and, in deed, generally denied having recognised the alleged gun man in initial police interviews) because they felt threatened by Sigel's associates - would be up to a retrial she said: "It was difficult to get to this point. Do I fear I'll lose them? No."

Sigel now remains free on a $150,000 bail. As previously reported, in addition to the current shooting charges, Sigel is also due in court on 8 Jul to face gun and drug possession charges.

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BLACKCUBE GIG
Riding the crest of that hard rock wave, up and coming rockers Blackcube will play at the Hammersmith Palais this Friday with support from West London Golden boy Gary Go. The gig will provide an opportunity to hear material from Gary's Jeff Buckley-esque debut EP, 'So So', due for release very soon, and to hear Blackcube's blistering new rock/metal anthem 'Kerosene' - also due for release this summer. For all press and guestlist enquiries contact James at G PR on 07816 777 191

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CONFUSION OVER WH SMITH TAKEOVER
No word from WH Smith as yet regarding conflicting reports in the press over the last few days about continued acquisition talks. As previously reported, the book / music / stationery / news retailer has been in talks with a consortium made up of former Smiths executives and venture capitalist Permira about a takeover.

Depending on who you believe, that takeover has been given the green light by the company's majority stakeholders (so says the Sunday Times), is likely to be overlooked in favour of new acquisition offers from other equity groups (according to the Observer), might be turned down in favour of an offer by Waterstones (Sunday Express), or is likely to be resisted altogether to give Smiths boss Kate Swann a chance to turn the company around (Independent On Sunday).

Anyone interested in throwing in their own offer for the retail chain would need to better a reported Permira offer of £950 million!

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DANDY'S BLACK ALBUM GETS ONLINE RELEASE
The Dandy Warhols have made a previously unreleased album available via their website. The album was recorded as a follow up to debut 'Dandys Rule OK' back in 1996 - but once signed to EMI label Capitol they went with the new material that made up 'The Dandy Warhols Come Down' instead.

The missing album was subsequently referred to by the band as their 'Black Album'. Although some tracks subsequently appeared as b-sides the album has never been released properly. Fans can now buy it, plus a second disk of other Dandy Warhol rarities, for £17 from http://www.dandywarhols.com.

Given that the Dandy's are, like the Beatles, signed to EMI - there's a special prize and double litigation to the first person to create 'Another Grey Album'.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Numbers - In My Mind All The Time (Tigerbeat 6 - US import)
The new Numbers record isn't so far different from the last Numbers record, 'Life'. That's not such a bad thing, p'raps, as Life was a filthy little beast that raced along in 20 minutes and demanded immediate repeat listening. 'In My Mind...' also speeds along at a merry pace, with burping keyboards and atonal guitars flirting crazily over solid drums. The boy/girl vocals sound simultaneously bored and excited, like an American kid with ADHD wanting to teach the teachers a thing or two. The lyrics are dead cool: 'Drunk With Pain', 'Disease' and 'Waiting' take everyday things such as being beaten up, catching germs and missing a boyfriend, but spaz them up and bark them out in San Fran art-punk fashion. BUT this album is lacking in the repeat-play stakes. At 24:30, you'd hardly call it a long record, but final track 'Feelings' is a five-minute indulgence in formless wankery that lacks the disco pulse and concise focus of the other two-minutes-or-less workouts that precede it, leaving a taste of lethargy when the album ends. Less is more; if you can enjoy the first 11 tracks and ignore the last, you'll find a great album in here. DR
Release date: import only
Press contact: Mingo PR [all]

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SONY HAS CHANGE OF FORTUNE UNDER LACK
Following those reports earlier this week that some at BMG felt they were increasingly the superior players in the ongoing merger talks with Sony, there is likely to be renewed confidence in the Sony camp today following the release of the company's latest financial figures.

Operating income for the last fiscal year was $182 million - all the more impressive when compared to the $72 million loss made in the previous year. The $254 million swing will secure the position of Andrew Lack, who oversaw a restructure of the music company after taking on the top job there a year ago. Coming from NBC rather than a music background, Lack was an interesting choice for the Sony top job, but given the change in fortunes he has delivered in his first year, financial backers are likely to have increased confidence in his abilities, which will help his claim to the top post at any merged BMG Sony.

The change of fortune in its music division was good news for Sony Corp, whose core electronics business has posted a $325 million loss in their latest financial figures, compared with a year-ago profit.

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CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRY TOUR
The Captains of Industry - a music, media and arts collective that exists to provide a platform for up and coming artists looking to rebel against the mainstream industry - have confirmed a UK wide tour showcasing artists on their roster. Dates as follows:

28 Apr: Belfast Auntie Annies - Minus plus supports

29 Apr: Dublin The Hub - Minus plus supports

30 Apr: Cork Fred Zeppelins - Minus plus supports

4 May: Newcastle Archer - Minus & The Ga Ga's

5 May: Birmingham Academy 3 - Minus & The Ga Ga's

6 May: London 100 Club - Minus, The Ga Ga's & Redshift

7 May: Liverpool University - Minus & The Ga Ga's

8 May: Glasgow G2 - Minus plus supports

9 May: Aberdeen Lava - Minus plus supports

11 May: London Notting Hill Arts Club - Future eX Wife, Blood Valley, The Sound Explosion & We Will Be Pilots

14 May: Preston The Mill - Future eX Wife, The Sound Explosion plus local supports

20 May: Manchester Jabez Clegg - Future eX Wife, Blood Valley, The Permissive Society plus local supports

22 May: Exeter Cavern - Future eX Wife, The Sound Explosion, The Permissive Society plus local supports

23 May: Stoke Sugarmill - Future eX Wife, The Permissive Society plus local supports

26 May: Wigan The Lux - Future eX Wife, The Sound Explosion plus local supports

28 May: Leeds Royal Park Cellars - Future eX Wife, The Sound Explosion plus local supports

30 May: London Borderline - Blood Valley, Peace Burial At Sea plus local supports

4 Jun: Newcastle Archer - Future eX Wife, Blood Valley, The Sound Explosion, Peace Burial At Sea

6 Jun: Edinburgh Venue - Future eX Wife, Blood Valley, Peace Burial At Sea plus local support

More on the Captains Of Industry in this Thursday's CMU Weekly - meantime more info at http://www.captainsof.com

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POINTER SISTER CHARGED FOR DRUG POSSESSION
According to reports from LA, the youngest of the original Pointer Sisters has been charged with cocaine possession. Word is June Pointer Whitmore was arrested on Thursday outside the Hollywood apartment of her sister, Bonnie, who was not charged in connection with the case. If found guilty the singer could face up to three years in jail.

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MIDWEEKS
Midweeks suggest that Eamon will have a third week at number one with his track 'Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)' - beating off albeit stiff competition from both The Streets and Busted.

Albums wise D12's new album is likely to top the chart on Sunday - the only other new entry of note in the top forty likely to come from the Beta Band.

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RUSSIAN MUSIC CHIEF HIGHLIGHTS CONTINUING PIRACY PROBLEM
One of the top record label chiefs in Russia has written to the Wall Street Journal to express his concern at the continued proliferation of music piracy in his country. The comments from David Junk, MD of Universal Music Russia, contradict recent statements from Russian Economic and Trade Minister German Gref who said his government's attempts to curb music piracy there had had some success cutting the number of bootleg CDs pressed in the country by 20%.

While not commenting specifically on that statistic, Junk reckons the amount of money lost to the global music industry through Russian based piracy continues to rise: "Music piracy in Russia was worth an estimated $331 million in 2003 - that's a 6% rise on top of an astonishing 30% increase the year before".

He adds that the bootleg CD industry in Russia acts as a key supply line for sellers of illegal music across the world. "It is estimated that Russian CD plants have the capacity to produce over 370 million discs containing music, films or software," Junk says, "but legitimate demand is less than 80 million. Russian-produced pirated discs have been forensically identified in 26 other countries. This makes Russia the world's leading exporter of pirated CDs."

In a final jibe at the Russian authorities, Junk adds that eight of the CD manufacturing plants suspected of producing illegal disks are government owned. Marvellous.

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HOMELANDS UPDATE
Another update from the world of We Love Homelands - Dilated Peoples were yesterday added to a storming line up which already includes The Freestylers, Faithless, The Music, Scissor Sisters, Lamb and Loose Cannons

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ALBUM REVIEWS: Cocteau Twins - Blue Bell Knoll/Heaven or Las Vegas (Beggars/4AD)
The Cocteau Twins - surely one of the more unusual acts of the 80's - were highly influential on many of the the shoegazing bands of the early 90s (My Bloody Valentine, Ride, etc) and now are inspiring another generation of groups - most prominently the Delays. Presumably in recognition of this, their two best known albums are being re-released. Elizabeth Fraser probably has the most extraordinary voice of any female singer, with a greater range even than Kate Bush, Bjork or Sinead O'Connor. Her operatic voice sweeps and trills and swoons like angel or some other creature not of this earth. She rejects the language of humans in her lyrics preferring to sing using her own made-up alien words, as the song titles bear out: 'Athol-brose', 'Cico Buff', 'Ella Megalast Burls Forever' et al. Traditional song ingredients, choruses or tunes are replaced by huge towering sonic sculptures which build around the vocals. The highly textured atmospheric sounds form layer upon layer and the resulting music is both entrancing and hypnotic. JW
Release date: 3 May
Press contact: Beggars IH [all]

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XFM PRESENTER SIGNED UP BY ARMY RADIO
Well, they might ship you off to fight stupid wars in the desert, but at least you get some decent radio shows to listen to. The British Forces Broadcasting Service, which supplies radio programmes for the armed forces, has signed up Xfm DJ John Kennedy to present a weekly new music radio show every Sunday. Confirming they had the Xposure presenter on board, BFBS programme director, Ian Noakes told reporters: "I have been a big fan of John's for some time now and am thrilled that he has joined us. Having John on the team will give us access to a wealth of new artists, bringing us tomorrow's names, today."

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FABRIC INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITY
Fabric are looking for a full time intern interested in a four month (minimum) placement working across the company's press, label and promotions operations. The successful applicant will be provided a weekly budget for lunch, transport, and associated costs. Anyone interested in applying for the post should send a CV to internship@fabriclondon.com, with a covering letter stating "what you can bring to the Fabric team". Closing date for applications is 14 May.

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UNIVERSAL BOSSES MEET WITH KEY MONEY PEOPLE
Top executives from the Universal Music Group are in the process of meeting with key investment people to discuss the future of the company, and the music industry at large. Chairman Doug Morris, President Zach Horowitz, international business boss Jorgen Larsen and Vice-chairman Nick Henry reportedly meet City people in London yesterday, and will meet with analysts in Paris and New York today and tomorrow.

The meetings are likely to discuss the long term future of the music company following the decision by parent company Vivendi Universal last year to not include its music assets in the sale of its entertainment division. On the agenda are likely to be the possible impact of a BMG Sony merger, the continued decline in global record sales and the potential of tapping into other revenue streams to safeguard their investment in specific artists.

Insiders say it is unlikely talk of a flotation of the group will be high up on the agenda. While such a move has by no means been ruled out for the future, it is thought the group will want to wait for recent downsizing and restructuring to deliver tangible results before going that route. One analyst told reporters this week: "You'd probably like to see the upside from the restructuring before going public".

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CAPITAL AD GETS POLITICAL AMENDMENT
Here's an interesting one - one of the big billboards being used by Capital to promote its new Johnny Vaughan breakfast show has been hit by a guerrilla artist. The posters show Mr Vaughan standing above London with the line "Wake up London, Johnny's Come to Capital". But someone (and Capital swear it's not them) has pasted a picture of Osama bin Laden over Johnnys face and amended the slogan so it reads "Wake up London, Osama's in Capital".

The very professional looking amendment is similar to those made to BBC billboards (a picture of Tony Blair was added to a poster advertising 'Auf Wiedersehen, Pet' and the tag line altered to "Auf Wierdersehen, Planet"), one for Fox News (the name was simply changed to Fox Spews) and one for MTV (which was altered to include the line "We own your mind. Corporate music... rots your brain").

No word on who is behind the reworkings - though the signature Dr D was added to the corner of the amended Johnny Vaughan ad.

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