CMU Daily - on the inside 31 Jul 2003
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
• Warner BMG merger
• White Stripes cancel
• VUE auction
• Toronto SARS concert
• Motely Crue singer warrant
• Rock n roll legend Sam Phillips dies
• Spector case delayed
• Sean Paul profanity charge
• Review: Various Artists - 4hero Presents Lifestyles
• Darkness at Knebworth
• Justin in bed with McDonalds
• Pop Idol vs Fame Academy
• Digital explosion
• TOTP move?
• Mercury Prize doing a good job
• Immortal suing Wall?
• So Solid Crew: the rep gets bigger
• Review: Jack Planck
• To Hell With You I'll Make My Own People
• Johnny Cash MTV MVA nominee
• Spooks single and live
• !K7 celebrate 150th release
• Radiohead track pulled from BBC ad
• Kym Marsh denies marriage probs

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WARNER BMG MERGER
The Warner and BMG merger is looking more likely after BMG parent company Bertlesmann approached the European Commission for a test response yesterday.

EU approval is important because it was their competition commission that blocked an EMI Warners merger a few years back, and Warners won't want to go through the cost of that process again unless a victory is all but guaranteed. Major label execs hope that a European Court ruling that overturned a decision by the competition commission with regards mergers in the travel industry will make them more willing to approved a merger in the music industry. If EU approval looks likely Warners will have to start talking to US competition regulators.

If a Warner/BMG merger did take place the new conglomerate would control a massive 32% of the music market in the US and 20% in Europe, becoming the biggest music company by far.

If it does go ahead word is the six main labels owned by the two groups in the US (Warner Brothers, Elektra, Atlantic, RCA, Arista and Jive) would be squeezed into four – inevitably dropping many bands in the process.

It is likely Warners would take the lead in any merged music company, with Bertlesmann concentrating on its publishing ventures.

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WHITE STRIPES CANCEL
The White Stripes have cancelled their appearance at the Reading and Leeds Festivals because singer and guitarist Jack White hasn't yet fully recovered from that fracture to his left hand sustained in a car accident on 9 Jul. Organisers of the Carling Weekend events have said that the duo will return as headliners next year. No word yet on whether the Flaming Lips will save the day again.

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VUE AUCTION
The auction for Vivendi Universal's US entertainment assets just got more interesting with reports that MGM, a favourite to win the bidding war, has pulled out of the race after Vivendi put up the price tag to $14 billion. Some reckon the move may be a negotiating ploy – but if not it puts Liberty Media into the position of 'favourite to win'.

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TORONTO SARS CONCERT
Organisers estimate that last night's concert to help revive tourism Toronto, post-SARS devastated drew around 500,000 people.

Mick Jagger said: "I think it is the biggest crowd we have ever played for."

Justin Timberlake said: "I feel like a fish out of water in this line-up, but I'm honoured to take part in the good cause."

Jim Belushi, who joined master of ceremonies Dan Aykroyd for a set by their Have Love Will Travel Revue blues band said: "We're bringing this city back. We're celebrating with music and it's one of the most joyous and communal experiences."

Estimates put tourism losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars since the first SARS outbreak in Mar, with added health care costs of about £465m. 42 people died of SARS in Canada.

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MOTLEY CRUE SINGER WARRANT
Vince Neil, Mötley Crüe's singer, is wanted by police in Nevada, after allegedly attacked a prostitute at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch.

The warrant for his arrest stems from an incident on the 10 Jul when Andrea Terry accused Neil of grabbing her around the throat and throwing her against the wall at the brothel.

Neil faces misdemeanor battery charges and a bail of at least $1,000.

Neil entered a no-contest plea when he was last year accused of punching record producer Michael Schuman, and was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service, pay restitution and go through the booking process.

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ROCK N ROLL LEGEND SAM PHILLIPS DIES
The man responsible for discovering Elvis Presley and helping to introduce rock'n'roll to the world, Sam Phillips, has died aged 80, at St Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

Starting out as a radio station engineer and later as a disc jockey, in 1952 Phillips founded Sun Records in Memphis helping to launch the careers of Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Conway Twitty and Charlie Rich.

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SPECTOR CASE DELAYED
Sheriff's detectives in LA will not be ready to present a case against Phil Spector at his scheduled court date next week. The announcement comes nearly six months after Lana Clarkson was shot to death in his mansion.

Sheriff's Lt Dan Rosenberg said: "We're still waiting to get all of the reports back from the crime lab."

In an interview with Esquire magazine Spector implied that Clarkson may have shot herself, but sheriff's investigators have ruled out suicide as a possible cause of death.

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SEAN PAUL PROFANITY CHARGE
Police have confirmed that Sean Paul has been charged with using profanities during Montego Bay's Reggae Sumfest last week.

Authorities served him with a summons shortly after leaving the stage under the law prohibiting individuals from using profanity in public, and is scheduled to appear in Resident Magistrate's Court in Montego Bay today.

The last few years has seen American MCs Ja Rule and Snoop Dogg ignoring similar summons, and eight Jamaican musicians, including Grammy winner Beenieman, have also faced profanity charges.

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REVIEW: Various Artists - 4hero presents Lifestyles (Harmless)
Don't get me wrong here, I well rate Marc Clair and Dego MacFarlane's work – Two Pages was one of the best albums of the decade. But here the boys take an 18 track fuzzy walk down memory lane focussing on 70's/80's soul/jazz/funk/fusion in a well overly introspective fashion. It shows you where they came from in parts, but just can't quite explain the music they make today. From the sax fuelled Nancy Wilsons' 'Sunshine' to the cinematics of Capricorn Rising by Richard Evans with the mad latinny bits, there is plenty good material here. Tracks by Syreeta Wright and Weldon Irvine are overly sickly, but Mighty Ryders 'Evil Vibrations' sampled by De La Soul is wicked, and the awesome Gary Bartz 'Music is my Sanctuary' is thrown in. Ethel Beatty's 'Its Your Love' which they ripped off as under their Tek 9 moniker. The Ramsey Lewis 'Les Fleur' is included, the piano sounds raw and charged, but the vocals are a bit of a let down- the 4hero cover of it 2 years ago is superior. This compo is a total lesson in retro funk, but not all lessons are fun. These lads have done whatever they like without giving a shit what people think and no doubt will until their dying days: hence this very self indulgent compo.PV
Release date: 4 Aug
Press Contact: Phuture Trax [all]

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DARKNESS AT KNEBWORTH
Justin Hawkins, the Darkness' insatiably flamboyant lead singer, has commissioned two new outfits for their three Robbie support slots at Knebworth, 1-3 Aug. He added that they are so tight he will have to be naked underneath.

Hawkins, who has Kylie Minogue's stylist working on the costumes said: "The costumes are having to be chiselled on rather than sewn. They'll be really spectacular. Because I've got to change quickly I'll be going commando. It's a case of greasing round the scrotum with Swarfega and shaving my buttocks so nothing catches on the fabric. Bands like us aren't going to be cool forever. We need to get stuck in."

In a Radio interview with Jo Whiley conducted from his bath yesterday, Justin who has a longstanding contempt for the magazine, said that he was delighted to be on the front cover of the NME: "we co-operated fully… not."

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JUSTIN IN BED WITH MCDONALDS
At a time when Justin Timberlake couldn't get more popular (SARS charity, Neptunes production, dating Diaz) it has been revealed that he is in negotiation to be the new voice of McDonalds. The ad would involve Justin singing the McDonald's 'I'm Lovin' It' jingle for the next world-wide campaign. The McDonald's 'I'm Lovin' It' Campaign is expected to launch in Sep.

What next, Bono planting landmines?

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POP IDOL VS FAME ACADEMY
More on the BBC / ITV Saturday night reality TV war which began when the Beeb shifted Fame Academy onto Saturdays in competition with the second series of Pop Idol.

Now ITV1 has changed its schedule at the last minute, and will show an hour-long tribute to the hugely popular first series of Pop Idol, 'One Year On', this Saturday at 6.15pm, fifteen minutes before the start of Fame Academy on BBC1. Going out quarter of an hour later than previously scheduled, the first episode of the new series of Pop Idol will go out at 7.15pm.

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DIGITAL EXPLOSION
1.51m homes had digital terrestrial (Freeview) television at the start of Jul 2003, compared with 763,000 in Oct 2002. The figures, from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, mean digital viewing now accounts for 40% of homes in the UK, up from 36.2% this time last year

This is good news for BBC3, ITV2 and the other Freeview channels. The IPA's research director Lynne Robinson said: "The share in viewing for non-terrestrial channels is increasing, spurred on by the significant growth of Freeview."

That said not all multi-channel TV formats were on the up - only 2.16m homes had cable at the start of this month, down from a high of 2.52m at the start of the year.

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TOTP MOVE?
Following the news that Andi Peters has been drafted in to revamp Top Of The Pops in the face of declining ratings, it has been hinted that the revamp may involve a move from BBC 1 to BBC 3 this autumn.

Peters will become executive producer in Sep, after former boss Chris Cowey apparently got the hump with Peters' appointment above him.

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MERCURY PRIZE DOING A GOOD JOB
The more obscure and - dare I say – esoteric artists nominated for the Mercury Music Prize are enjoying boosted sales.

According to HMV sales of saxophonist Soweto Kinch's debut album 'Conversations With The Unseen' have risen a massive 318%, folk singer Eliza Carthy's album 'Anglicana' is up 231%, and CMU favourite hiphop/soul singer Terri Walker's untitled album is up 214%.

An HMV spokesman said: "Once again we can see the growing commercial impact of the Mercury in showcasing new talent for a much wider audience. As in previous years, it is the lower profile artists that seem to be benefiting most."

Coldplay's 'A Rush Of Blood To The Head' and Radiohead's 'Hail To The Thief' are favourites to win at the bookies when the winner is announced on 9 Sep. Remind me who Coldplay are?

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IMMORTAL SUING WALL?
Rumour has it that US record label Immortal is suing its former CEO, Kevin Wall after his sudden departure from the post. Reasons for the lawsuit are as mysterious as to why Wall left in the first place. We'll keep you posted…

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SO SOLID CREW: THE REP GETS BIGGER
Club Ice in Ayia Napa has cancelled all So Solid Crew gigs for the rest of the season blaming a number of stabbings in the local garage scene which populates So Solid's live audience.

The decision comes just days before So Solid's Lisa Maffia is booked to play London's Astoria (alongside Mark Owen at GAY this Saturday). Of course it was at the Astoria where that infamous shooting outside Romeo's birthday party two years ago led to a whole string of So Solid dates being cancelled overnight.

Commenting on her upcoming Astoria gig Maffia said: "We are not responsible for what happens at the club because it's a completely different crowd. It's not because I'm on stage that there's trouble. I can't actually prevent people from coming to anywhere I'm at or anywhere any other artist is at, performing on stage, because what I'm there to do is perform, not to worry about the crowd making trouble. That's up to the club and security. The people that are following us are maybe violent people, but we can't stop that from happening."

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REVIEW: Jack Planck – To Hell With You I'll Make My Own People (One Little Indian)
Jack Planck seems an odd signing for Bjork's home label, with its minimal techno/electro pop twinkles and dark Marine Parade synths it's a little incongruous with the Icelander. Nevertheless Planck's moody instrumental contemporary electro is a journey that doesn't need an end – just kinda nice. The Flip side is a soundtrack sampling cut driven by some beautiful bass and an uptempo hiphop groove. With its Gainsbourg-esque vocal samples and synth noodlings it's an interesting purchase.
Release date: 29 Sep
Press Contact: One Little Indian IH [all]

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JOHNNY CASH MTV NOMINEE
Word is Johnny Cash may not be well enough to attend this year's MTV Video Music Awards where he is one of the surprise nominees.

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SPOOKS SINGLE AND LIVE
Spooks (remember them?) are set to release new single 'Faster Than You Know' (In The Paint/Koch Entertainment) on 1 Sep. The single is the title track from their forthcoming album and features a guest appearance by Chali 2na of Jurassic 5, alongside Ming-Xia. Spooks will be performing on the following dates:

22 Aug: Jazz Café, London
23 Aug: Reading Festival
24 Aug: Leeds Festival
26 Aug: The Garage Glasgow
29 Aug: Puckle Pop Festival, Belgium
30 Aug: - Lowlands Festival, Holland

Press Contact Kas or Rosie at Mercenary

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!K7 CELEBRATE 150TH RELEASE
To celebrate the release of their 150th release, a double CD compilation called '!K7150' due on 18 Aug, 1K7 are throwing a special night at Cherry Jam, London on 13 Aug. It will include live performances by Ursula Rucker and MC Fat Jon of Five Deez. There will also be DJ sets from new signing Dani Siciliano (tbc), the talented vocalist from Matthew Herbert's Big Band project, Mr Stix of Futureproof, and Benji B (1Xtra).

Exact timings of the line up will be announced shortly. 7.30 - 2am.

Press Contact: Katie @ Shilland

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RADIOHEAD TRACK PULLED FROM BBC AD
The BBC has pulled Radiohead track 'There There' from its TV licence campaign, following complaints from the band's management that they didn't have the band's permission to use it. The ad, which promotes the use of direct debit payments for TV licences, will now be aired with different music.

A Parlophone (EMI) spokeswoman said: "We feel and Radiohead feel that the BBC have overstepped the mark. Therefore we are doing something about it - our legal department are on to it. Other people have asked to use the track and we have said no, and now they are saying we have let the BBC use it and we haven't. Radiohead are not interested in that kind of advertising, it's not something they would OK."

The BBC has a deal with the licensing bodies that it can use up to 30 seconds of copyright music on its trailers without getting specific permission from a band. A TV licensing spokesman told reporters: "We are confident the use of the music in the trail did not contravene any existing agreements or permissions of use, though we have made the decision to use alternative music for future airing of the trail, to reflect reported concerns from one of the band's managers."

However EMI and the band's management reckon an ad for TV Licensing is something very different than a basic trailer and that band's should have a veto on having their music associated with it.

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KYM MARSH DENIES MARRIAGE PROBS
Despite the news yesterday that former Eastenders star Jack Ryder and former Popstar Kym Marsh were now living apart, Marsh has denied that their marriage is over.

Marsh said: "We will be back together within a month. Jack and I haven't split-up, I really want to make that clear. This is a trial separation and we're going to get back together before the end of the month. Jack's only taken an overnight bag with him - does that sound like someone who's packed up all his stuff and moved out for good? He's gone to spend some time at his dad's. We just need a bit of space. If we have to go to see a counsellor then we will - but it won't come to that. I admit we did have a lot of rows but that was because I was away a lot, busy with work. I hated my children seeing us rowing and so did he. That's part of the reason he moved out for a bit. We haven't even thought about seeing lawyers because, like I say, things aren't going to come to that. I still really love Jack with all my heart and we will get through this. I can only speak for myself but I hope he still loves me. We speak all the time. My kids will be spending two weeks with their dad in the summer holidays and Jack and I will use that time to sort things out."

So now you know…

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