CMU Daily - on the inside 6 May 2004
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In today's CMU Daily:
- Clear Channel profits up
- Sony launch connect
- Virtual Festivals let music fans choose the bill
- Starsailor join charity bill
- T Raumschmiere gigs cancelled
- Opera on the bill at Glasto
- Tony Wilson chairs accountancy conference
- Freeview expand EPG system
- Xfm select soccer song
- Innerground website launch
- Live Review: Bugge Wessletoft And Matthew Herbert Big Band Live At The Barbican
- Cream Ibiza launch line up
- Will Madonna started kicking up re Maverick dispute?
- Madonna - "get off my land"
- Gary Go headlines barfly
- European rejigs at EMI publishing
- Alanis to perform new material in London this weekend
- Avril: "don't pigeon hole me"

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CLEAR CHANNEL PROFITS UP
If struggling majors mean things aren't good in the recorded music sector, then Clear Channel's latest financial results should come as further proof things are doing very fine thank you very much in the live sector.

First quarter figures from Clear Channel show the group's live entertainment division saw revenues rise to $514 million, a 17% increase on the same period in 2003. An increase in number of shows produced and a general increase in ticket sales across the board all aided Clear Channel's revenue rise, as did the seemingly unending consumer appetite for music festivals - especially here in the UK.

While radio is actually Clear Channel's major business in the US, its live music operations continue to grow around the world. They currently run 135 major music venues - including 41 in the US and 30 in Europe. Of all US gig revenue in 2001, some 70% went to Clear Channel who are responsible for many major artists' tours.

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SONY LAUNCH CONNECT
Sony have officially launched their digital music platform Connect with that Sheryl Crow sky high gig. As previously reported, Ms Crow was booked by Sony to play a gig on a United Airlines flight between Chicago and LA on Tuesday, recognising the commercial partnership between the airline and the download service - music fans will be able to spend and collect United Airlines frequent flyer points when they buy music via Sony Connect.

Sony also confirmed their outline service. Like iTunes they will sell tracks at 99 cents a time, with the option to buy whole albums for $9.99. The platform has a launch catalogue in excess of 500,000 tracks, all of which are supplied in the ATRAC3 format, which can be played on any Sony digital music player, but not iPod or some other players made by Sony's competitors.

Officially launching the service Sony spokesman Mack Araki told reporters this week: "Apple did an excellent job in cultivating this new market. We believe we can expand the market to a much broader audience with a broader line of devices and an easy-to-use service."

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VIRTUAL FESTIVALS LET MUSIC FANS CHOOSE THE BILL
Festivals website Virtual Festival are giving their readers the chance to decide which bands should open one of the main stages at the music festival organised by the Levellers - Beautiful Days - which takes place on 21 and 22 August in Escot Park, Devon.

They invited bands to submit demos earlier this year and from that have selected a top thirteen. You can now sample tracks from each finalist at the Virtual Festival website, and check out more info about each band. Then simply text in your vote to 87023 with the band's code in the text message.

The finalist bands are as follows:

A: 50Hz
B: All Things Forgotten
C: David Saw
D: The Lovegods
E: Mangara
F: New Disease
G: Poor Old Ben
H: The Randoms
I: Rattlesnake Remedy
J: Khoi San
K: The Room
L: Urusen
M: Whitestar

Announcing the competition Virtual Festivals editor Steve Jenner told CMU: "Apart from giving audiences the chance to see some of the biggest bands on the circuit, festivals are also a great opportunity for new, young acts to gain an audience with potential fans who might otherwise not get to hear of them. This competition will ensure that the public get to choose the music that they want to hear being played, and hopefully it will help to promote the careers of acts who deserve to make it big!"

Although each vote costs 50p, profits will go to the Joe Strummer Foundation - so get picking and voting - full details at http://www.virtualfestivals.com. Any journalists interested in interview one or more of the finalists should contact john@virtualfestivals.com

This year's competition is intended as a pilot for a bigger scheme next year, perhaps involving a tour of various summer festivals for the finalists. Any festival promoters interested in supporting such a programme should contact the Virtual Festivals team.

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STARSAILOR JOIN CHARITY BILL
Talking of charity, Starsailor, Shack and Hal are all booked to play at a gig on 27 May at The Coronet in aid of Fairtrade. Confirming their involvement Starsailor vocalist James Walsh told reporters: "We're delighted that we can help raise the profile of Fairtrade, who are gradually leveling the playing field of international trade." Tickets are £16, from usual outlets.

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T RAUMSCHMIERE GIGS CANCELLED
Novamute signed artist T Raumschmiere (real name Marco Haas) has had to cancel this week's UK tour dates due to ill health. He was due to perform at a number of dates in London, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester and Nottingham this week, but has had to pull out after being admitted to hospital with appendicitis last week.

A spokesman for Novamute told CMU: "Marco was admitted into hospital last week with appendicitis - he was not operated on and whilst I was hoping he would be fit enough to play the shows this week I have now learned he is not. Obviously, this is extremely disappointing for all of us, especially at this late stage. He had already had to pull out of three Mute gigs at Triptych Festival last week, plus he missed the Coachella festival at the weekend. We were both hoping he would regain fitness to play this week's shows if he stayed in Berlin over the weekend, but he has not. On Marco's behalf, I apologise to all concerned."

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OPERA ON THE BILL AT GLASTO
Well, it is the Glastonbury Festival Of Contemporary Performing Arts remember - so it shouldn't be that strange to hear that the English National Opera are the latest addition to this year's Glasto bill. The opera company and their 91 musicians and 11 soloists will be performing Wagner's 'Ring Cycle' at the festival - hoping to introduce a whole new audience to the much maligned genre.

Confirming their appearance at Glastonbury, ENO boss Sean Doran predicted the event would be a "great spectacle", adding: "It's a great coming together of pop and classical music, but when you think of the context, we can reach such a large audience with music so thrilling as Wagner's Valkyries."

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TONY WILSON CHAIRS ACCOUNTANCY CONFERENCE
Tony Wilson - legendary record label boss, Hacienda owner, In The City co-founder and, for those of us who come from the Granada region, the Granada Tonight bloke - will be chairing a conference on the entertainment industry for the Institute of Chartered Accountants next week.

The one day event will cover many aspects of the cultural sector - including the accounting issues faced by artists and their managers, media ownership and recent media and communications legislation.

More at http://www.cchseminars.co.uk

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FREEVIEW EXPAND EPG SYSTEM
Apparently viewers of the Freeview system in London can now access an extended electronic programme guide system which gives them TV listings for the next eight days. Freeview has only been able to offer relatively limited programme guide facilities to date, but the new service - rolling out from the the Crystal Palace transmitter in London - will be extended nationally if successful.

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XFM SELECT SOCCER SONG
Xfm have completed their search for a new song for the England football team. 'Born In England' by The Wheatleys will now be released by Virgin Records in time for the Euro 2004 championships in Portugal next month. It is not clear who will be involved in the recording of the track - although The Libertines, Delays and James Nesbitt are among those who have offered their services.

The track was chosen by listeners of the Xfm breakfast show, who have been playing various contenders over the last few weeks. Over 40% of the massive 20,000 listeners who voted chose the Wheatleys track.

reakfast show host Christian O'Connell told reporters yesterday: "It's a genuinely top song that will have people singing it all round the country. It is the first rocking football anthem in a very long time - forget the shabbyness of that Ant and Dec song!"

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INNERGROUND WEBSITE LAUNCH
Innerground Records - home to DJ Marky & XRS - have launched a new label website, and to celebrate have made available the track 'Backspin', previously only available on vinyl, available to download for free. More at http://www.innergroundrecords.com

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LIVE REVIEW: Bugge Wessletoft and Matthew Herbert Big Band Live at the Barbican on 29 Apr
A full house at the Barbican and all seemed suitably excited by this line up.

Jazzland Recordings boss Wessletoft and his band were up first. This jazz pianist from Norway incorporates elements from electronic music against a more organic sound - creating both a visual and audio treat. Visually, watching Wessletoft reach over to his Mac and whole host of electronic trickery whilst still sitting behind his grand piano is quite a show in itself. He removes his tweed jacket, bobs up and down, sets up loops on his little control centre, and makes ample use of his foot pedal. Music wise, it's just as exciting. There's a mellow little number made special by Rikard Gensollen on percussion, another track with a laid back Indian vibe, a third where the double bass comes into play, and 'Film Ing', the title track from his new album, complete with percussion a plenty and some scratching from turntablist DJ Lonna (the latter actually the weakest track in the set, but still good entertainment). For watching and listening - a great performance.
Herbert came on amid considerable fanfare and began in his odd-bod way of sampling the sound of a teacup bashing against a saucer, and feeding it through

one of his many machines - no change there from his days on Evolution records some 12 years ago. Then the 16 piece big band (with conductor) arrived and the interesting collaborations began. At the start Herbert looks a little at odds with the band as a whole - standing alone at the front fiddling with his sampling equipment. But all this changed when he took up his accordion and passionately played 'CafÈ De Flore' and 'Turning Pages'. By the time up and coming soul / jazz vocalist Dani Siciliano graces the stage for 'Simple
Minds' the whole ensemble are working together - each band member simultaneously tears up a copy of the Daily Mail, Herbert samples and uses the sound of tearing paper, and the song continues with a backdrop of political Daily Mail headlines. Once again - an audio and visual extravaganza. And so the show continued - red balloons thrown into audience, again the resulting sounds are edited into the mix. Dani, with quick costume changes galore, continues to belt out the numbers - gaining considerable audience response with the encore rendition of classic track 'The Audience'. By the end of the night Herbert and his band seem inseparable, and with rumours their collaborations may soon come to an end I leave the Barbican telling everyone who will listen to "see this while you can". PV

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CREAM IBIZA LAUNCH LINE UP
Cream have confirmed details of an Ibiza launch night at their Nation club in Liverpool. The show will feature a three hour set from Paul Van Dyk plus sets from Tall Paul, The Audio Bullys, MYNC Project, NU-NRG, Paul Kershaw, Gareth Wyn, Montana, Above & Beyond and Riley & Durrant among others. The night will officially launch Cream's summer programme over in Ibiza. Tickets are £16.50 (£12.50 NUS) - press info, as always, from Gill at Cream.

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WILL MADONNA STARTED KICKING UP RE MAVERICK DISPUTE?
Some at Warner reckon Madonna's public response to the legal dispute between the major and her label Maverick has been relatively muted because the singer is concerned about breaking from the company given the relatively disappointing performance of her last album.

However, the general consensus is that Warner's competitors are already planning their bids should things turn nasty and Madonna break all ties with the major. The huge demand for Madonna's live shows are also likely to increase her standing in the recorded sector. By that reasoning perhaps Madonna is waiting until all other avenues have been explored before going for the jugular - "do right by my label, or I'm off".

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MADONNA - "GET OFF MY LAND"
Talking of Madonna - a public inquiry has opened regarding attempts by her and film director husband Guy Ritchie to stop 100 acres of land on their Wiltshire estate being classified as open countryside - and therefore open to ramblers. The couple don't want to have to let walkers cross their land, coming within 100 yards of their home. Madonna's case seems to be based on two arguments - firstly that the government officials who classified the land as open countryside were wrong to do so, secondly to have to allow members of the public so close to their home contravenes their human rights according to privacy laws.

The inquiry into the couples' case began yesterday and is expected to run for about five days.

epresentatives from the Countryside Agency and the Ramblers' Association will take part in the investigation - the couple themselves are unlikely to attend.

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GARY GO HEADLINES BARFLY
If your Thursday evening is still free, how about this one? CMU favourite Gary Go will headline at the Camden Barfly tonight. With his debut EP 'So So' ready to drop, Gary is commanding a fair amount of A&R attention for his Jeff-Buckley-meets-Thom-Yorke-in-a-more-optimistic-mood vocal tones and rough edge pop rock. Press info from James Alexander, G PR, 07816 777 191

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EUROPEAN REJIGS AT EMI PUBLISHING
EMI's publishing division has announced a restructure for its continental Europe operations.
Peter Ende, who currently runs EMI's publishing operations in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, will take on a Europe wide role, coordinating A&R, new business and exploitation across the continent.

Terry Foster-Key, currently VP for EMI Publishing in mainland Europe, will become COO, with specific responsibility for industry matters, royalty collection, administration and finance.

Ende will continue to run German operations until a replacement can be found. Foster-Key will continue to run Eastern Europe operations for the foreseeable future.

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ALANIS TO PERFORM NEW MATERIAL IN LONDON THIS WEEKEND
Alanis Morissette will perform material from new album 'So-Called Chaos' (released May 17th) for the first time in the UK this weekend (8 May) with a gig at London's Bush Hall. Press info from Warners IH.

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AVRIL: "DON'T PIGEON HOLE ME"
Teen punk popster Avril Lavigne tells Radio 1 about the stresses of being, erm, pigeon holded: "I always hate it when I get labelled punk or whatever, because I'm not and I never claimed to be punk. I always found it really hard when I came here that people would label me. I'm like 'why are doing that because I'm a person?'. You can't label people, give them one word and say 'this is what you are'. I was a growing teenager, changing all the time." So that's us told.

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