CMU Daily - on the inside 8 Jul 2004
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In today's CMU Daily:
- Vines pull out of Carling Weekend
- iPod mini goes global
- British Academy to award five fellowships
- Sky give Lovejoy a TFI style slot
- Disney consider Polyphonic variety show
- Single Review: Radio 4 - Party Crasher
- BPI chair upbeat at AGM
- Frankie Darkness on inter-band stresses
- Artists support eco-campaigners in Vancouver
- Radio groups air caution on analogue turn off
- Disney say "no royalties due for lion track"
- MP3 picks
- Album Review: Diplo - Florida
- The Strokes back in the studio
- Mckenzie Group celebrate ten years at the empire
- George Michael closes down bitchy chat room
- Wet Wet Wet regroup


There is speculation this morning regarding the future of Australian rockers the Vines after reports they were pulling out of this year's Reading and Leeds festivals. Those reports follow the band's decision last month to pull out of a US tour supporting Incubus - supposedly to allow frontman Craig Nicholls to "deal with mental and physical exhaustion issues".

On the Reading / Leeds cancellations a spokesman for the band yesterday told NME: "The Vines have reluctantly made the decision to pull out of their scheduled Reading and Leeds performances this year. The band were unable to take part in a planned US summer tour with Incubus due to lead singer Craig Nicholls' needing to rest and recuperate following a mentally and physically demanding period. With the festival shows coming directly after the cancelled US dates, The Vines felt they would still not be ready to return to the stage."


Apple have confirmed that their iPod Mini digital music player will finally have a global launch on 24 Jul - they will sell in the UK for £179. The economy version of the popular Apple MP3 player was launched in the US in Feb, but its launch elsewhere was delayed because Hitachi, who make the miniature hard disk in the iPod Mini, were unable to keep up with even American consumer demand.

Announcing the global launch of the player, Apple boss Steve Jobs told reporters: "The iPod mini has been a smash hit in the US, and we're thrilled to finally be able to offer it to music lovers the world over".

Meanwhile Apple's VP of Hardware, Greg Joswiak, warned that while the company was working hard to produce as many iPod Minis as possible he still expected demand to exceed supply in the first few months of global sales: "We expect demand to be huge. I'd recommend people get in line early. Supply will keep up with demand by September".

Apple still dominate the digital music market, but the competition is eager to gain ground as the sector grows into the mainstream. Sony will perhaps pose the greatest threat to Apple as they aggressively market their digital Walkman and Connect download service. Apple have already criticised Sony for marketing their cheaper player on the basis that it holds more tracks. That is possible not because the player has more hard disk capacity (in fact it has less) but because Sony's music software saves music in such a way that each track has a much smaller file size. Apple argue that means Sony players play music at a lesser quality to Apple players, and therefore cannot be compared on capacity alone.


The British Academy of Composers and Songwriters will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Ivor Novello Awards next May by awarding five fellowship posts over the next twelve months. These posts are the highest honour the Academy can bestow on a composer or songwriter so to get one you have to be really good - so good, in fact, there are currently only three fellows: Paul McCartney, Malcom Arnold and John Barry. The five new fellowships will be awarded at regular intervals between now and next May.


Former Xfm presenter and host/creator of Sky Sports' cult Saturday morning show Soccer AM - Time Lovejoy - will get his own TFI-style music entertainment show on Sky One. Sky are hoping Lovejoy can combine the irreverent presenting style that has proved so popular on Soccer AM with his other passion -music. The show will most likely air early evening midweek on Sky's main entertainment channel. It will be interesting to see what the show is like - Sky One best known, of course, for combining the very best American TV shows with the very worst British ones.


Talking of new TV programmes, rumour has it Disney are considering building a new variety show around the Polyphonic Spree. Tim Delaughter told Radio 1 the show might be based around their Christmas variety show: "We kind of do this very spectacular event around Christmas time. It's very unorthodox and has a very interesting line-up where we have tap-dancing grandmas, we have break dancers, we have the zoo bring animals out and march them around, we have this Bell choir that come out and play. Oh yeah, we have all the Christmas characters, and Santa read 'T'was the Night Before Christmas' - it's a very interesting evening."


SINGLE REVIEW: Radio 4 - Party Crasher (City Slang)
Radio 4 look set to crash all the best parties with this great record. Yes it's very funky and not a little punky; this is certainly on my soundtrack for this summer. The song is clearly indebted to 80's indie funksters Pig Bag as well as other better known post punk acts, and there are hints of old skool house on here too. It's as fresh as it's infectious. This is the first single to be taken from the album 'Stealing of a Nation', and going on Radio 4's recent performance at 93 Feet East, it should be very good indeed. JW
Release date: 12 Jul
Press contact: City Slang IH [CP, RP] Dog Day on 020 7691 8686 [NP] Anglo [CP, RP, NP]


The implementation of the EU's Copyright Directive, the launch of the legal download services, the growth of support within government circles and another 250 excellent editions of the CMU Daily were all (possibly) reasons why Peter Jamieson, chairman of the UK music industry trade body the BPI, felt he could say the last year had been one of "remarkable progress" in the British music industry.

However he warned industry players at the BPI AGM in London yesterday that there was still much work to do. A particular issue of concern, he said, was persuading EU officials to increase the copyright on recorded music from the current 50 years - a bid to stop all those rock 'n' roll recordings of the fifties from coming out of copyright in Europe.

Other areas of concern for Jamieson included the failure of the BPI to make a deal with the UK's independent music trade body, AIM, and the dominance of Apple's iTunes in the digital music space. On the latter he added: "Very few of our members have expressed delight with the terms offered by Apple".

Elsewhere at the AGM, more committee style things. Sony boss Rob Stringer and Warner chairman Nick Phillips were re-elected as major label reps on the BPI Council, while Liberty Bell Production's Steve Mason, First Night's John Craig and the man behind the legendary success of One True Voice, Pete Waterman, were all elected to the Council as independent members.


The Darkness' Frankie Poullain has told Radio 1 about the stresses of having to spend quite so much time performing and recording with his band mates. "There could be some cracks appearing, but without the friction there is no spark. You can't create a spark without friction. The thing is you sacrifice, you bite your lip for the common good, the more noble goal, and that's what we're all focused on. So we're all focused on the same objective. Okay yeah, of course there's fights and everything. We get sick to the back teeth of each other. We all have our little faults. Justin is trumping all the time, or farting, or whatever you call it in this country. Ed whinges all the time. I'm perhaps a little too cynical for my own good. Dan is a bit of a martyr. But that's what creates the band, it's the chemistry, so I think it's a good thing."


Neil Young, Barenaked Ladies, Randy Bachman and his son Tal have all confirmed they will play a benefit concert on Vancouver Island in Canada in support of a local community group who are currently battling a local pulp mill's proposal to burn alternative fuels such as coal, tires and railway ties to reduce fuel costs.

Commenting on the gig Bachman told a local TV station: "I called some friends of mine, went to visit Neil Young, called Barenaked Ladies. They said, 'We're there!' I think it's probably going to be the biggest concert ever on Vancouver Island."

The benefit gig will take place on 17 Sep with proceeds supporting an independent study of the health and environmental impacts of the mill.


Three of the big radio groups have urged the government to remain cautious in planning a turn off of analogue radio signals. The comments from EMAP, GWR and the Capital group follow a foreword by Culture minister Tessa Jowell in a report on digital radio in which she implied the turn off of analogue radio signals may now be in sight.

EMAP Performance Radio boss Dee Ford told reporters yesterday: "We don't see an urgency for a timetable for analogue switchoff. Emap has pioneered the growth of digital radio. We have more digital radio listening hours than any other commercial radio group. However, there are a lot of FM radio licences that are about to be advertised that have to be given time to become viable stations before thought is given to the switchover from analogue to digital."

Presumably keen to reassure the radio industry, a source at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport suggested yesterday that it was "extremely unlikely" that Jowell would be proposing an analogue switch off date any time soon.


Disney have said they are not liable to pay a South African family $1.6 million for their use of the song 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' in the Lion King franchise.

As previously reported, the heirs of Solomon Linda, the Zulu migrant worker who created the original song on which 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' is based, are suing Disney because they argue the rights to the song belong to them but they have never received a penny from it. That claim is based on the fact that when Linda sold the rights to a South African company back in 1939 the sale was done under British copyright law, which says the rights revert to the ancestors of the songwriter 25 years after his death. By that logic the family should have been receiving royalties from the song since 1987 - and those royalties have become very high since Disney used the song in the Lion King.

But Disney have disputed the lawsuit on the grounds they arranged the use of the song with New York firm Abilene Music, who administer the rights to the song in the US. If the family think they should be receiving a share of the royalties they should, Disney argue, take that up with Abilene direct, or with whoever Abilene deal with in South Africa.


Hey, it's very nearly the weekend, so if you're looking for something to do other than work this afternoon and you've already read this week's Popbitch, how about listening to some fine music.

First of all you can check out the latest track from The Butch Cassidy Sound System - Hear What I Say' - which was released last week. Listen to it at:

Next up, why not give a listen to a new track by acclaimed singer/songwriter Ben Christophers - 'Devil To Kill ' - taken from his forthcoming Cooking Vinyl album 'The Spaces In Between'.

And finally, there's a great little mash up by one Gringo Starr that's well worth checking out at:


ALBUM REVIEW: Diplo - Florida (Big Dada)
Philly based Wes Gully presents his debut LP as Diplo, and he presents us with some wicked beats, though it's a bit downtempo compared to his DJ sets -comparisons to DJ Shadow will no doubt abound. Stand outs are 'Way More' (strings over mellow tempo with some hard hitting beats); 'Money, Power, Respect'is good; his Martina Topley Bird collaboration 'Into The Sun'; and 'Indian Thick Jawns' which comes complete with some fast rapping from Peace and a few sitars thrown in for good measure. All that said, if you're looking for one track that is typical of the Diplo sound then you should check out 'Works'. All in all, a decent slab of electronic music - or should that be nu-hop? (I give in on what to call this shit). PV
Release date: 16 August 2004
Press contact: Ninja IH


The Strokes' manager Ryan Gentles has been talking to Billboard about plans for the band's time in the studio to record the next album - which is likely to get a Spring 2005 release.

Gentles: "The recording of this record will be much different from the last two. They're not working on any deadline whatsoever and have built a recording studio into their rehearsal space so that they can just record everything that they do over the next 8 to 10 months, and shape the new songs for the next record out of that."

While working on the new album the Strokes will be squeezing in some festival appearances - including sets at this weekend's Oxegen and T in the Park festivals.


The McKenzie Group are planning a number of events in September to celebrate the fact it's ten years since they acquired the Shepherds Bush Empire venue in West London. The events will involve a number of yet-to-be-confirmed artists and will be staged in aid of the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy charity. More when we get it.


George Michael is closing down the message board on his official website because the fans that chat there have got too damn bitchy. In a message on his site George writes: "I am afraid that, having visited the forums on a regular basis over the past few months, simply to see how you guys thought the album/ interviews/promotion were going, I have decided to close them down. I feel bad for those of you who have always been supportive, but I'm afraid I want nothing to do with the bitching that has evolved between some members... Sorry guys, but that's the way it goes."

Fans now have two weeks to arrange to meet virtual friends in other chat rooms before the service is closed down. Following the announcement there was mixed feelings among Michael's fan base - with more than a few a bit annoyed at his decision. One fan called the singer a "control freak" and added: "It smacks of someone unhappy that we're not all heaping praise on him at every turn...and that's sad. It is also disappointing because the people who read and contribute to these boards are his fans and admirers of his work."


Celebrations all round surely - Wet Wet Wet are back together! Despite not talking to each other for five years after splitting in 1997, Marti Pellow et al will be back together later this year with a new single, a greatest hits album and an 11 date arena tour. Oh joy.

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