CMU Daily - on the inside 12 Mar 2003
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
• LA police deny suicide verdict in Spector case,
• Rolling Stones have to cut set for China,
• ITV: competition inspections and digital shenanigans,
• Review: Biffy Clyro - The Ideal Height,
• Anti-war track from Beasties,
• Anti-war letter from hip hop summit,
• Police reform for Hall of Fame induction,
• LIVE REVIEW: Cinematic Orchestra @ Barbican Centre on 8 Mar,
• Digital radio review planned,
• Review: The Moldy Peaches - Mp2k Unreleased Cutz And Live Jamz,
• Weller on the look out for deal,
• Townshend likely to be cautioned,
• BPi welcome BT’s unlimited download deal,
• DMX quitting music for god,
• Fahey among the Chicks With Decks,
• Midweek chart update,
• Beckham pays up for autograph comments,
• Sheep alert for metal audience,
• 50 Cent’s junior bullet vest purchase

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LA POLICE DENY SUICIDE VERDICT IN SPECTOR CASE
A spokesman for LA police has denied yesterday's reports that the death of Lana Clarkson at Phil Spectors home last month was being put down to 'accidental suicide', nor that Spector would soon be cleared of any responsibility in the shooting.

Sherif Captain Frank Merriman told reporters: "No one involved in this investigation said that. My opinion is that somebody is orchestrating this to plant seeds of doubt with potential jurors."

It seems the rumours may have begun with an email sent to Spector and other friends of the legendary producer by long-time friend Marvin Mitchelson – it was him who first used the term "accidental suicide" in describing the death of Clarkson.

But Merriman said the police were not even near reaching a conclusion over the case – in fact investigations could continue until the summer because "the evidence is complex and forensic tests will take months to complete".

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ROLLING STONES HAVE TO CUT SET FOR CHINA
Chen Jixin of Beijing Time New Century Entertainment has told reporters that the Chinese government has ordered the Rolling Stones to drop four classic tracks from their live set when they play two dates their next month.

The tracks - 'Brown Sugar', 'Honky Tonk Woman', 'Beast of Burden' and 'Let's Spend the Night Together' – were also removed from the Chinese release of the band's greatest hits album by the country's culture ministry.

Chen, whose company is promoting the shows, said she didn't know why the government had banned the four songs.

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ITV: COMPETITION INSPECTIONS AND DIGITAL SHENANIGANS
More embarrassment for ITV as the fall out of its doomed digital TV service, ITV Digital, continues.

Last year the accountants sorting out the bankrupt company tried to charge former customers £40 to keep their digital TV boxes – which could now be used to receive the BBC's digital platform Freeview. The demand caused uproar and was ignored by thousands of customers – already annoyed that the TV service they'd paid for disappeared overnight when the mismanaged enterprise finally hit the wall.

In the end the company's original owners – ITV companies Granada and Carlton – decided to bail it's former customers out and buy the set top boxes from the bankrupt company on their behalf. Though that gesture turned out to be a move to safeguard the major discount they would receive in the licence fees they pay the government for 'turning people into digital TV users'.

Anyway, now the company who bought ITV Digital's web business OnNet, which lets you access the world wide web via your TV, are trying to get another £30 out of former customers to pay for the bit of kit that is needed to send emails via your telly. Even after ITV Digital died a death the web and email facility still worked – allowing customers to use the service without paying the original £5 a month fee for web use.

It is unclear what new owner Elpaa Marketing will do to claw the money out of former subscribers – though this latest demand will make disgruntled former customers even more angry. Writing on digital TV forum DigitalSpy one former customer wrote: "I really don't like the tone or manner in which it this letter is worded - it claims I have been paying a monthly subscription, but I have never used the box other than to try it out (and its absolute crap) - in fact, I only got it as Argos had sold out of the standard pre-pay packages and I got one with the onNet for the same price".

Either way the ITV brand – which has suffered from the digital debackle and continuing advertising slump – is sure to get another battering.

Which isn't the only bad news today for ITV companies Carlton and Granada – who are hoping to merge to create one big ITV business. The government, who have seemed to be smoothing the way for such a merger, have now said the merger proposals will have to go to the competitions commission for approval.

The news was welcome by various industry groups who are concerned about the implications of one all powerful ITV company who would control over 50% of the TV advertising market – they want restrictions put on the merger. One such group is the The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers who told Media Guardian: "We're just pleased to have the chance to put our case to the authorities. There is a case for a single ITV, but we are very concerned about the competition issues."

Channel 4 also welcomed the move. Deputy chief exec of sales David Scott told reporters: "Channel 4 is convinced that allowing a single company to control more than 50% of the television advertising market in the UK, through one sales house or two, is fundamentally anti-competitive."

But Carlton and Granada were confident the latest decision wouldn't delay their bid to create a merged ITV. "This merger will not affect the competition for viewers. ITV is already one network and advertisers follow viewers and viewers follow programmes. We look forward to working with the competition commission over the coming months," Carlton boss Michael Green said.

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REVIEW: Biffy Clyro - The Ideal Height (Beggars Banquet)
Aha: some new material from one of the few non-cringeworthy emo bands, Biffy Clyro. Yep, the band with the worst name in music history (you’ve heard the story behind their moniker, right?) release ‘The Ideal Height’, which may or may not be about oral sex, depending on how much you believe the rather rude cover art that made us all blush at our weekly writers’ meeting. Anyway, it’s all big riffs, angsty vocals and urgent drums round here, and it’s sounding preeetty good. Although these tracks don’t stray too far from the emo mould of badly sung harmonies and sixth-form lyrics, Biffy Clyro have a hell of a way with juicy-as-steak guitars and tunes that expand in your head like a sponge. And bless, they’ve even tried to go all Coldplay on B-Side ‘Do You Remember What You Came For?’, which I assume is the music from those Woolworths adverts on telly last year. Let’s hope they can match this stuff on their next full album, ja? DR
Release date: 24 Mar
Press contact: Beggars IH [all]

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ANTI-WAR TRACK FROM BEASTIES
Anti-war update. The Beastie Boys have made an anti-war track from their forthcoming album available to download. 'In a World Gone Mad' will be available for free download from a plethora of websites.

Talking about the decision to make the track available now Mike D told reporters: "It didn't make sense to us to wait until the entire record was finished to release this song."

On their anti-war stance Adam Yauch added: "We felt it was important to comment on where the US appears to be heading now. A war in Iraq will not resolve our problems. It can only result in the deaths of many innocent civilians and US troops. If we are truly striving for safety, we need to build friendships, not try to bully the rest of the world." Adam Horowitz concluded: "This song is not an anti-American or pro-Saddam Hussein statement. This is a statement against an unjustified war."

Among the sites where the site can be downloaded are: www.beastieboys.com, www.moveon.org, www.winwithoutwarUS.org, www.MTV.com and www.milarepa.org.

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ANTI-WAR LETTER FROM HIP HOP SUMMIT
More anti-war stuff from the States. Russell Simmon’s Hip-Hop Summit Action Network has sent an open letter to George W Bush urging him to "win disarmament of Iraq without going to war."

The letter says: "There is no justification for the massive killing of innocent people in an avoidable war on Iraq. The wrongness of this war will prevent a lasting peace in the Middle East and circumvent the progress that the UN is finally making in getting Saddam Hussein to comply… Give peace a greater chance. War on Iraq now is not the solution."

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POLICE REFORM FOR HALL OF FAME INDUCTION
The Police, The Clash and Elvis Costello were among the artists inducted into the UK Rock and Roll Hall of Fame yesterday at an event centred on the first performance for nearly two decades by Sting and his band, taking in the numbers 'Every Breath You Take' and 'Message in a Bottle'.

U2 guitarist The Edge presented the award to The Clash, and told the amassed audience how Strummer's group had inspired U2 when they played in Dublin. "By the end of the night Dublin was a different place. For everyone there that show was an awakening. The revolution had come to town. There's no doubt in my mind that 'Sunday, Bloody Sunday' wouldn't and couldn't have been written if it wasn't for the Clash." The widow of The Clash's singer Joe Strummer accepted his award saying he would have been "very proud and honoured" to be inducted.

Presenting Elvis Costello with his award Elton John said: "It's a very good night to be British because three of the finest acts of the last 30 years that came out of Britain are here to be honoured.”

Other acts honoured on the night include AC/DC and the Righteous Brothers. Music executive Mo Ostin received a lifetime achievement award while session musicians Benny Benjamin, Floyd Cramer and Steve Douglas received posthumous honours.

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LIVE REVIEW: Cinematic Orchestra @ Barbican Centre on 8 Mar
It's always interesting to hear music put in a context other than a band on a stage or record in a club. Things that dare to veer from the tried and tested path of the musical missionary position invariably fit into the pretentious novelty section, but the Cinematic Orchestra have not only proved that 'different' doesn’t have to be contrived or affected, but surpassed all expectations with the launch of their 'Man With A Movie Camera' tour at London's Barbican Centre. Taking Dziga Vertov's seminal 1928 Russian docu-film about a day in the life of a cameraman, and setting variations of existing tracks, and unreleased material to it, Jason Swinscoe has succeeded in creating a sublime aural and visual experience. The film and the music form a glib symbiosis, ranging in mood from the humorous through the light-hearted to dark and harrowing images of death and divorce – the music always apposite. After a solid hour and half of serene music and didactic images, the entire auditorium rose for a standing ovation. JG

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DIGITAL RADIO REVIEW PLANNED
Culture secretary Tessa Jowell has ordered a review of digital radio to find out how the medium is fairing nearly four years after its launch. The medium has seen a much slower uptake that digital TV, though the number of digital radio listeners doubled to 150,000 over Christmas when cheaper sets went on sale.

Announcing the review Jowell said: "I will be asking the BBC and [new media regulator] OfCom to report on the progress of digital radio in the four years since the award of the first national digital radio multiplex. I want them to canvass the views of the holders of all multiplex or digital radio service licences. This will be an ideal opportunity to take stock - to measure performance to date and consider what more needs to be done in the future."

With a sense of optimism for the future of the medium she added: "The success of Christmas sales means that the debate has shifted. After long years of having more people broadcasting digital services than listening to them, there is at last a real sense that the market is moving."

Although uptake of digital radio has grown it is still tiny in comparison with the number of services available and the amount of money being spent on it. The long term success of the medium may depend on whether internet radio takes off as broadband services become more readily available.

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REVIEW: The Moldy Peaches - MP2K Unreleased Cutz and Live Jamz (Rough Trade)
Good crikey, there’s a lot to wade through on this double CD. Rather than 4-track us a new album, Anti-Folk figureheads Kimya and Adam have hosed down over 50 dirt-covered gems from their festering basement and coughed them up here. Most of the material comprises live versions of album tracks, many of which appear two or three times, strangely. There are some brand spanking new tracks, some covers (The Spin Doctors’ ‘Two Princes’ to name but one), some early demos and all sorts of other oddness, resulting in a bloody great big mish-mash of joy that spans 1994-2002. Sure, this is probably one for established fans only; if you’re looking for a Moldy Peaches starting place, the sheer disorganised comprehensiveness of 'MP2K' will probably scare you off like a rabid bear. But you know what? CMU *is* an established fan, and this here fills the twixt-album gap nicely. DR
Release date: 24 Mar
Press contact: Cool Delta [CP, CR] Rough Trade IH [all]

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WELLER ON THE LOOK OUT FOR DEAL
Paul Weller has parted company with half Sony owned Independiente after a ten year relationship. Announcing the break on his website Weller said: "I have parted company with Independiente Records. They decided not to take up the next option so I am free (but not cheap) once again. I'm not upset or angry about it at all, it's time to move on for me anyway. I've been with Go!/Independiente for over 10 years, had good tunes and sold lots of records, but the state of play at record companies these days is that if you don't sell f****** millions it's deemed a failure." The logic behind the decision to drop Weller is unclear given that his most recent album ‘Illumination’ went to number one when released last September.

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TOWNSHEND LIKELY TO BE CAUTIONED
Police seemed to have believed The Who's Pete Townshend when he said he had visited child porn websites as part of research for a forthcoming book. Latest reports suggest Townshend will get a formal police caution but won't face proper charges – meaning no court appearance or jail sentence.

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BPI WELCOME BT’S UNLIMITED DOWNLOAD DEAL
The BPI have given formal approval to Dotmusic's decision to make unlimited downloads available to its subscribers.

Dotmusic – formerly Music Week's consumer targeted online magazine, now part of BT's broadband package – offers consumers the chance to download tracks from a library of 150,000 songs in return for a monthly subscription fee. The service is supplied by OD2, the company behind digital download day, who have arrangements with most of the majors and a string of independents. Dotmusic, like other legit download sites, limited the number of tracks that could be downloaded each month – but as of this week subscribers can download as many tracks as they want.

BPI are keen to see the growth of legit download sites, which are a key part of the battle against the Napster clones like Kazaa. Peter Jamieson, executive chairman at the BPI told reporters yesterday: "Dotmusic on demand is a trailblazer in the market, which I believe gives cause for new optimism for the music industry. Providing legitimate services to enable consumers to download their favourite music is pivotal to the future strategies of all music companies represented by the BPI."

Ben Drury, head of music at BT, added: "Over the last two years since we first started looking at a mass market online music service, things have come a long way but an unlimited package has always been the holy grail. We’ve worked very hard to get to this point where we can offer a truly compelling legal service and are very proud to be the first to do so."

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DMX QUITING MUSIC FOR GOD
DMX has told MTV he will quit the music industry after the release of his next album this summer – the reason – to spend more time with the bible. The rapper will continue to oversee his company Bloodline Group and continue his acting career, but he says religion will become a priority in his life: "I'm going into the church. I wanna take some time off – you know read my Bible and just get more into the word."

He also hopes to spend more time with his children: "I got kids, and one of my children is at that stage where you have to be around. He's eight months, and I don't wanna be a stranger to my children. That's more important to me than all this."

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FAHEY AMONG THE CHICKS WITH DECKS
Former Bananarama and Shakespeare's Sister girl Siobhan Fahey will DJ at this weekend's Chicks With Decks night at Shoreditch's 333 Club. Apparently described by Elle magazine as "the in demand spinderella for 2003's most swelegant soirees" Fahey has been Djing a trendy fashion parties recently playing what has been descibed as "pop fused together with an eclectic maelstrom of electro, rock and party classics". Other DJs on the all female line up are Nag Nag Nag resident Jo Jo Le Freak, drum and bass head DJ Storm and rock chicks Queens of Noise. It all takes place on Saturday from 10pm.

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MIDWEEK CHART UPDATE
Pop Idol. The Kumars. It's all for charity. Three markets covered, which means Gareth Gates is pretty damn likely to top the charts this weekend with his Comic Relief single 'Spirit In The Sky'. Midweek reports suggest there will also be top ten new entries for J-Lo and LL Cool J, Neighbours star Delta Goodrem, 50 Cent, Shania Twain and Placebo.

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BECKHAM PAYS UP FOR AUTOGRAPH COMMENTS
Victoria Beckham backtracked yesterday over allegations that a collectables shop at the Bluewater Shopping Centre was trying to sell a faked autograph of husband David. She made a formal apology and paid £55,000 damages for slandering shop owners Tim and Glynis McManus after her comments that the couple were selling fake merchandise was reported in the tabloids.

The McManuses' solicitor, Michael Skrein, told the court that the couple were happy with moves made by Beckham to make up for the comments: "The good-natured approach which has enabled settlement to be reached is underscored by the fact that Mrs Beckham will be providing the McManuses with a set of official merchandise which her husband has signed."

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SHEEP ALERT FOR METAL AUDIENCE
Favourite rock story of the day - a flying sheep's head hit and fractured the skull of a concertgoer in Oslo during a gig from metal band Mayhem. Part of the death metal band's set is to chop up a sheep on stage (like you do). Midway through carve up the sheep's head flew off into the audience, hitting one Per Kristian Hagen. Talking to reporters about the incident Hagen said: "My relationship to sheep is a bit ambivalent now. I like them, but not when they come flying through the air." Hagen now plans to press involuntary assault and battery charges against the band which could carry a maximum sentence of six months in prison.

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50 CENT'S JUNIOR BULLET VEST PURCHASE
According to the New York Post rapper 50 Cent has spent some of his recent riches on buying his six-year-old son Marquise, a tailor-made kiddie-size bulletproof vest. Apparently 50 Cent Jnr will model the jacket at his dad's shows this summer.

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