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Top Stories
Les Paul dies
Tyler's injuries force Aerosmith tour cancellation
New Radiohead song online?
Jacko ticket scam deadline today
In The Pop Courts
Teddy Afro freed from jail
Rashied Ali dies
Awards & Contests
Mercury announcement to include all twelve nominees live
Reunions & Splits
A reunion
Release News
Weezer set release date
The Music Business
Universal Distribution expand INgrooves deal
EMI do Dubai deal with Fairwood
The Digital Business
Warner expands EOS use
Top US downloads revealed
The Media Business
Music mags slide in ABCs
Wogan on Moyles
And finally...
Manager plays down GaGa's penis
Madonna branded "crypto-Satanist"
Manson takes swing at Black Dahlia Murder frontman
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CMU Credits + Contacts

Playing pop-punk, though with 90s skate punk and melodic hardcore influences to flesh it out a bit, beyond the other run-of-the-mill stuff that clutters the genre, Set You Goals released their second album, 'This Will Be The Death Of Us', earlier this month via Epitaph. Currently on tour in the US, they will be over here very soon for a slot at the Reading festival on 29 Aug and a headline show at the Garage in London on 31 Aug. We spoke to co-frontman Matt Wilson to find out some more.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
This is my first real band, but I met Jordan, Dan and Mikey through going to hardcore shows in the San Francisco Bay area. They were already playing in a hardcore band together at the time. Jordan and I started jamming out some demo songs that were a little more melodic than what was going on in the local scene. One by one we stole all of his bandmates and filled out the band roster. We've had a few line-up changes over the years but the 4 of us are original members and we met Junior and Joe through other bands we toured with on some of our first few tours.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
The trials of life and the confusions of reality.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Typically Jordan will present a 'skeleton' to a song and he and Mikey will structure it by piecing together drum parts. From there, Jordan and I write the vocal melodies then put lyrics to them that we've written independently using a central thesis. Somewhere in there, Joe writes bass parts. Then, for this record, we did the leads and all the minor tweaking of the song last.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Saves The Day, New Found Glory, Lifetime, Gorilla Biscuits, The Police, Pantera, Metallica, Bane, Reach The Sky, the list goes on and on. All kinds of stuff really.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I would urge them to see us live.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single/album, and for the future?
Complete global dominance.


VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Unabombers at East Village
It may seem like I'm on the payroll of East Village, so often have I tipped their nights, but with endlessly brilliant line-ups like this no cash needs to change hands. This time it's The Unabombers, who hosted Manchester's legendary Electric Chair nights for well over a decade. The duo are Luke Cowdrey and Justin Crawford and they will be rocking the Village, playing a kaleidoscopic mix of cool house fused with jazzy beats and... and... well, generally decent tunage. If you have heard the awesome Electric Souls compilations you'll know exactly what I'm on harping on about. This night is sadly their last here for a little spell, so be sure to get to this one, whatever you do.

Saturday 15 Aug, 10pm-3am, East Village, 89 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A, £10, , press info from Rosalia at Ferrara PR



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Legendary guitarist Les Paul has died in New York, aged 94, from complications arising from pneumonia, it was announced yesterday.

Credited with inventing the electric guitar as it is known today, the eight-track tape recorder and numerous recording techniques and effects, Les Paul - it could be argued - is the man responsible for almost all modern music. His signature range of guitars, manufactured and sold by the Nashville-based Gibson Guitar Corporation, is one of the most iconic and popular on the market.

Announcing Paul's death, Gibson chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz said: "The world has lost a truly innovative and exceptional human being today. I cannot imagine life without Les Paul. He would walk into a room and put a smile on anyone's face. His musical charm was extraordinary and his techniques unmatched anywhere in the world. We will dedicate ourselves to preserving Les' legacy to insure that it lives on forever. He touched so many lives throughout his remarkable life and his influence extends around the globe and across every boundary. I have lost a dear, personal friend and mentor, a man who has changed so many of our lives for the better".

Born Lester William Polsfuss in Waukesha, Wisconsin on 9 Jun 1915, Les Paul began performing publicly at the age of 13, and dropped out of school at 17 to join Sunny Joe Wolverton's Radio Band in St Louis. His first recordings were made under the name Rhubarb Red, a name given to him by Wolverton, on an acoustic guitar in 1936.

Keen to find a way to play louder, Paul had experimented with electronics and guitar amplification since his youth. But disappointed by the first generation of hollow-bodied electric guitars, which became commercially available in the mid-1930s, he was inspired to build his own solid instrument. Although Rickenbacker had made solid instruments from Bakelite since 1935, he recognised that wood was the material needed for a good tone. With the permission of Epiphone president Epi Stathopoulo, he used the company's factory in 1941 to build it, affectionately referring to the result as 'The Log'.

During World War II he was drafted into the army, but permitted to stay in California and play guitar for the Armed Forces Radio Service. During this time he honed his distinctive jazz and swing-inspired style, influenced by Django Reinhardt, and by the end of the war had, with the Les Paul Trio, become quite well known. In 1945, the trio scored their first million-selling record with 'It's Been A Long, Long Time' and were regular performers on Bing Crosby's popular radio show.

In 1948, Paul was nearly killed in a car crash, which shattered his right arm and elbow. This, of course, also threatened his career as a guitar player, until he convinced doctors to set his badly broken arm in the playing position. While recovering from the accident, Bing Crosby gave him a first generation Ampex tape recorder. Always keen to experiment, he added a fourth head to the recorder to allow multi-track recording, and at the same time also invented tape delay. Using these inventions, along with another recent innovation, close mic-ed vocals, he recorded another hit, 'How High The Moon', with his future wife Mary Ford, in 1950.

However, Paul still hadn't found his perfect guitar. Though The Log did a good job, it was lacking something. Rickenbacher and Fender had also both produced their own solid-body guitars. However, it was Gibson who brought Paul what he had been looking for. Literally. Keen to have him on board, the company's then president Ted McCarty personally delivered the first of its own solid-body guitars to the guitarist in 1950.

McCarty remembered: "Les played it, and his eyes lighted up". He signed up to have his name attached to the guitar and the first Gibson Les Paul Gold Top went on sale in 1952, with the Les Paul Custom and Les Paul Junior following in 1954, the Les Paul Special in 1955 and finally, the Les Paul Standard in 1958. The design of the guitars has changed little since then.

Last year, Paul told the Guardian about the effect his efforts had on music, saying: "The electric guitar was laughed at [in 1941]! They called me the character with the broomstick with pick-ups on it. It was terrible. Before we came along the guitar was an apologetic wimp - the weakest, most unimportant guy in the band. As soon as we put a pick-up on him, and a volume control, he became the king".

Les Paul continued to perform at New York's Iridium Club every Monday night up until his death, despite crippling arthritis, and still devoted to advancing the possibilities of sound, had been attempting to build the perfect hearing aid.

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Aerosmith have cancelled the remainder of their tour dates for this year, due to injuries sustained by frontman Steven Tyler when he fell off stage at show in South Dakota last week.

As previously reported, Tyler had to be airlifted to hospital after falling off stage just three songs into a set at a motorbike rally at the Buffalo Chip Campground. At the time the band were playing the song, 'Love In An Elevator' (this is apparently not a joke).

Although initial reports claimed that his injuries were not serious, Tyler broke his left shoulder and needed 20 stitches in his head. Following advice from doctors, the band have decided to cancel their tour to give Tyler proper time to recuperate.

Lead guitarist Joe Perry said in a statement: "Words can't express the sadness I feel for having to cancel this tour. We hope we can get the Aerosmith machine up and running again as soon as possible. My hat's off to our crew for putting up with this crazy stop and start tour. In my estimation, it was one of the best looking and best run tours we've ever had. All of us here in the Aerosmith organisation and all of the people who contribute to making our shows possible are in a state of shock".

The band's other guitarist, Brad Whitford added: "We never anticipated this tour coming to such a swift and unfortunate ending. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Steven for a speedy recovery and return to good health".

In a separate statement, Steven Tyler thanked the band's crew and the emergency services "for getting me outta there before I bled to death", adding: "I just want to say that I'm plain grateful that I didn't break my neck. In truth, after thousands of live shows, falling off the edge four times ain't too bad".

Refunds for tickets are available from the point of sale.

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Honestly, you wait ages and then two come along at once. After the official release of charity single, 'Harry Patch (In Memory Of)' last week, another new Radiohead song has apparently surfaced online.

An MP3 of a song called 'These Are My Twisted Words' was posted on fan site without explanation yesterday morning. It has also found its way onto YouTube, which, given that seems to have gone down at the moment, is the best you're going to get:

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If you want a to have a ticket to the Michael Jackson O2 show that you didn't get to see as a memento of not seeing that show, today is the deadline for getting your request in. Of course, as previously reported, if you choose to do that, you will forfeit your refund. But what would you rather have, 50 quid or a piece of card?

If you actually want your money back, there is no deadline, and those who bought their tickets through third party sellers are also able to get their money back.

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Ethiopia's biggest pop star Teddy Afro has been freed early from prison in the country, after being convicted of manslaughter in December last year.

As previously reported, Afro was convicted in relation to an incident in the country's capital Addis Ababa back in 2006, in which a homeless man was killed in a hit-and-run accident. The singer, real name Tewodros Kassahun, stood accused of running the man over and driving away without reporting the incident, as well as being charged with driving without a licence. He was sentenced to six years in prison, though this was reduced to two years in February on the grounds that the dead man had been lying in the road.

Fans of Afro, and the singer himself, maintain that the charges were fabricated and politically motivated; his music was used as an anthem for anti-government protesters during the country's 2005 elections. Details about the actual evidence presented in the trial are sparse, though we do know there is confusion over which date the man actually died on, so how they claim to know that it was Afro that did it is anyone's guess. There were two possible dates cited for the homeless man's death; on one Afro was out of the country, the second he claimed to be out with friends.

Leaving the court after being convicted, he told journalists: "I never killed anyone, I didn't get justice from this court".

However, upon his release for good behaviour this week, eight months into his sentence, he told state TV: "I would like to express my respect and gratitude to all the people of our country. I was able to meet many good people in prison, from the lowest-ranking policemen to the highest administrator. I had a nice time. My relations with other prisoners were also good".

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Influential jazz drummer Rashied Ali has died aged 74. No cause of death has yet been announced.

Born Robert Patterson, Ali is most associated with saxophonist John Coltrane, particularly the 'Interstellar Space' album the duo recorded together in 1967, although it wasn't released until 1974, after Coltrane's death. He also played with musicians like Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp, Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders and Carlos Santana.

He owned the Survival Records label and, up until his death, still regularly recorded and played with his band, The Rashied Ali Quintet.

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The party at which the winner of this year's Mercury Prize is announced will feature performances for all twelve nominees for the first time. It's usual for some of the short-listed bands to play, but this is the first time all the nominated acts will perform.

It's not clear if that's because of a concerted effort to get all twelve bands on stage, or just because it's fortuitous none of the nominees have other commitments that night. The winner will be announced on 11 Sep, and the event will be screened on BBC2 live.

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Okay, yesterday it was Skunk Anansie, today it's A. And Faith No More reformed earlier this year. Is every band I listened to when I was 15 going to get back together? Yes, the band with the worst name ever, in light of the growth of internet search engines since they first got together, have reunited.

A (the band A, right? See, you can't even write about them) split in 2005, following the release of their fourth album, 'Teen Dance Ordinance'. Brothers Giles, Jason and Adam Perry, plus guitarist Mark Chapman, are back, but bassist Daniel P Carter will be replaced by producer John Mitchell, on account of Carter's busy schedule as the presenter of Radio 1's Rock Show. The band will tour in December and are working on new material.

Speaking about what brought the band to a close four years ago, drummer Adam told Female First: "Basically the machine killed us! We literally couldn't operate any more. We'd had hits, big hits, toured the planet and sold a ton of records, but label problems, and a long wait in between albums made it impossible for us to continue. We never split up, just called it a day and pursued other exciting avenues".

Asked why they had decided to come back now, Adam said: "It feels like the time is right. We got back together last Christmas to do the Wildhearts tour and had a wicked time, plus there was a big support out there for us, we didn't kill each other, and playing those songs again made us all rethink about getting A back on track. The plan is to get writing, and start recording new tracks, Jase will produce it, we'll do it at our studio, put it out on Medical [the Perry brothers' label], and go on tour. We once said, 'When it stops becoming fun, we'll stop playing until it becomes fun again, and that's exactly what's happened. Plus, we've always loved Christmas, so touring in December is gonna be ace, we might even bring back the snow machine!"

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Weezer have set a release date of 27 Oct for their as-yet-untitled Jacknife Lee-produced seventh album. Their second album, 'Pinkerton', is also set to get a deluxe edition re-release.

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Universal Music's distribution division has announced it is expanding its relationship with UK-based digital distributor INgrooves. It's a deal which will see the independent handle the mobile distribution for the major's own labels, as well as those for whom Universal provide sales and marketing services.

Previously INgrooves did all things mobile for Universal's independent distribution services company Fontana, and for some of the labels who have full-service distribution partnerships with the major, including Hollywood and Concord Records. Under the expanded partnership, though, they will work on the mobile distribution of all artists associated with Universal, including those signed to the major's own Interscope, Island Def Jam and Motown divisions in the US.

Confirming the new deal, Universal Music Group Distribution's top bloke Jim Urie told CMU: "The expansion of our agreement with INgrooves is a natural evolution for us and our business partners. Since we began our relationship with the INgrooves team, we have been impressed with their unmatched technology and the value-added services they bring to the table. This comprehensive approach will enable us to provide even more services, all of which will result in more opportunities for our labels and artists".

INgrooves chief Robb McDaniels added: "We're thrilled to have earned the respect of Jim and the entire UMGD family, and are more than ready to take this next step in our service to that great company. We look forward to working closely with UMGD and its labels to maximize efforts on the mobile front".

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EMI Music Publishing has entered into a deal with a Dubai-based music company called Fairwood who will start pushing the major's publishing catalogue in the United Arab Emirates, particularly in the sync rights domain. EMI have had a relationship with Fairwood for eighteen months now, but the new deal ramps up that relationship somewhat. Fairwood will also work with EMI to try and improve the mechanical and performance royalty framework in UAE - ie hit all the people who are probably currently using their songs without licence.

Confirming the deal, EMI Music Publishing's UK-based Head Of Business Affairs Jo Smith said this: "The United Arab Emirates is still a relatively new market for music publishing, but we're seeing tremendous growth and vitality and want to make sure that our songwriters are able to take advantage of the opportunities that are beginning to emerge".

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Warner Music has announced it is expanding its use of a so called "social entertainment platform" made by those Cisco types. Warner has been playing with the IT firm's Eos system since the start of the year, apparently it lets content owners build social networking functions into their websites, should they want to do such a thing. Warner Music were Eos' first customer, and apparently played a role in the final stage development of the product. Previously it was used by the major on a handful of its websites, but the plan is to now make it available to all of its digital teams. Lucky them.

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Neilsen SoundScan has released its annual chart of the most downloaded songs in the US. Flo Rida's 'Right Round' sits at the top with 3.69 million downloads, and Black Eyed Peas' 'Boom Boom Pow' close behind with 3.67 million.

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Oh dear, not a nice day to be working in the inky music media. While outgoing NME editor Conor McNicholas has done a great deal in recent years to expand and diversify the magazine's brand - and possibly safeguard its future through its new online, on air and live spin offs - he hasn't managed to stop the probably inevitable decline in readership of the flagship print bit of the operation. In the latest set of ABC figures IPC's big music mag saw its circulation slump 27% year on year to just 40,000.

The only compensation for Team NME, and their new editor Krissi Murison, is the news that main rival Kerrang! didn't fair any better, the Bauer rock weekly seeing its circulation fall 28% year on year to 43,253. The monthlies were also down, including Uncut, Mojo and Q, while Metal Hammer, a recent growth title, also saw sales slide a little, down to 46,004. It's sister title Classic Rock was the only mainstream music title to report good news, its circulation up to 70,301.

After years of people discussing if and when print media will die, for the first time it really feels like traditional publishers are on the skids, with the ever more expansive normally free internet and a severe advertising recession proving to be a killer combination. From daily newspapers to the once flagship weekly and monthly music, entertainment and lifestyle mags, expect a number of iconic print media brands to disappear off our newstands in the coming 18 months.

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Terry Wogan has sort of praised his sort of rival Chris Moyles. While Wogan and Moyles work for the same company, and broadcast to very different audiences, as the hosts of the two biggest radio breakfast shows in the country the media sometimes pitch them as rivals. And more so when Moyles increases his RAJAR ratings meaning his theoretical audience figures get ever closer to those of Wogan.

Speaking at some Children In Need thing, Wogan told reporters this week: "I've always had a gap on Chris Moyles - it's nothing new. The little chap does his best and I think eventually he will broadcast for at least six hours a day in a desperate attempt to catch me up. I wish him well - he's a really nice fella. The idea that we are somehow at each other's throats is nonsense. We hardly see each other for a start".

So there you go.

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Lady GaGa's manager has said that rumours that Lady GaGa has a penis are "ridiculous". However, those rumours have been going round for a while, and a YouTube video purporting to show her penis falling out of her pants at Glastonbury hasn't helped matters.

Gossip website Bossip recently published a source-less quote claiming to be from the singer, saying: "It's not something that I'm ashamed of, just isn't something that I go around telling everyone. Yes, I have both male and female genitalia, but I consider myself a female. It's just a little bit of a penis and really doesn't interfere much with my life. The reason I haven't talked about it is that it's not a big deal to me. Like come on. It's not like we all go around talking about our vags. I think this is a great opportunity to make other multiple gendered people feel more comfortable with their bodies. I'm sexy, I'm hot. I have both a poon and a peener. Big fucking deal".

Asked by ABC News to comment on the quote, GaGa's manager said: "This is completely ridiculous".

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Madonna has been called a "crypto-Satanist" after it was announced that she would perform in Poland on a religious holiday. The show is planned for 15 Aug in Warsaw, which is the day that Polish Catholics commemorate the Virgin Mary's ascension to heaven.

Anyway, a spokeswoman for the Committee For The Defence Of The Faith And Tradition Of Poland, Marian Baranski said at a press conference: "Madonna specialises in offending religious feelings. It is possible to suspect her of being a crypto-Satanist".

Former Polish politician Zygmunt Wrzodak added: "Madonna sneers at Jesus Christ, the symbol of the cross and all Christians".

Madonna has apparently refused to move the date of the show, despite protestations.

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Marilyn Manson just can't help starting fights with people, can he? Recently it was just idle threats that he would murder journalists who wrote anything incorrect about him, following a claim that he is addicted to cocaine. But at a signing session in Florida this week, things turned physical. Almost, anyway.

According to reports, things started when Black Dahlia Murder frontman Trevor Strnad shouted, "Welcome to the freak show!" at Manson. Marilyn responded by writing "I hate those cunts" on a table. So far, so passive-aggressive. However, things seemed to have turned suddenly, with Manson issuing a threat that he would rape Strnad's face, before attempting to punch him. Security guards then stepped in a broke things up before anyone was actually hit. Or raped.

Fun, fun, fun.

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