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Top Stories
Chris Brown sentenced
C-Murder sentenced a bit more
Larry Knetchtel dies
Magic Dirt bassist dies
Reunions & Splits
Oasis not splitting
In The Studio
Ladyhawke discusses new material
Zach Hill joins Wavves
Release News
REM to release rehearsals
Fever Ray single and album re-release
Gigs N Tours News
Ash reveal alphabetical tour dates
Maps prepare for Adventures In The Bloody Beetroot Field
Festival News
Benn discusses festival flag ban
Album review: Saint Etienne - So Tough/Sound Of Water (Universal/Heavenly)
The Digital Business
Facebook to partner with Spotify?
The Media Business
Free-to-air IPTV box coming soon, possibly
Sky signs deal with AEG
Orion restructure leads to redundancies
And finally...
Everybody hates Preston
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts

Formed in 2006, Noah And The Whale released their debut album, 'Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down', featuring the infuriatingly catchy single '5 Years Time', in 2008. They return this week with, 'Blue Skies', the first single from their new album 'The First Days Of Spring'. The album comes accompanied by a film directed by frontman Charlie Fink. The album is released on Monday, and you can watch a trailer for the film here. We spoke to Charlie to ask our Same Six Questions.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I've been making music and writing songs for as long as I can remember.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Many things.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
I don't really have a process, it's quite erratic. Although for this album I had the whole thing mapped out on a big document. Starting with a bare structure for how the story was going to go and then adding narrative ideas for the songs and then finally came the lyrics, the melody and the song itself.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Recently I've been listening almost exclusively to Neil Young, particularly the Crazy Horse records. I only recently realised what an amazing guitarist he is. I'd like to do a big rock record like 'Ragged Glory' at some point. When making the record though I was listening to a lot of people who like to experiment with sounds, like John Cage, Fred Frith and Jim O'Rourke. I was also listening to a lot of soundtrack stuff, like Richard Thompson's 'Grizzly Man' soundtrack and Johnny Greenwood's 'There Will Be Blood'. For the film itself, I love Paul Thomas Anderson, David Lynch, Werner Herzog and the film 'Into The Wild'.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I don't know, but for someone who was about to watch our film for the first time, I'd ask that they let themselves be absorbed by it, and allow yourself to be drawn to whatever grabs your attention.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
The process of writing and creating this project took about a year, and during that time I've had to put a whole load of other ideas in a pile, and now that I'm finished I'm sorting through it and deciding what to do next. It includes more things I want to do with film, music and slightly more abstract things. For me almost all my ambitions are in the creative side of what I do and once the project is finished I am either satisfied or I am not. It is a true honour to make something that can really mean something to someone else, but I feel that by doing something totally for yourself you have more chance of it making a difference.

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The world's biggest festival is taking place in Edinburgh right now. The Edinburgh Festival offers an unrivalled programme of theatre, comedy, dance, musicals, art, debate and music, music, music, all the way through to the 31 Aug. You should come! CMU's sister media ThreeWeeks is the biggest reviewer at it, and you can read some of the reviews from their music team each day for the next fortnight here at the top of the CMU Daily. For ThreeWeeks' full coverage check out


Creole Choir Of Cuba at The World @ St George's West - daily until 31 Aug
Phenomenal, spectacular, simply brilliant. The members of this choir, descendants of Haitians, sing in French Creole and tell stories from Haitian history, yet this performance is far from antiquated. Individual members introduce themselves to their audience as they take their turn to lead the choir, and their jubilation is unbelievably uplifting; the lead male only had to open his mouth and I'd burst into tears because the depth and soulfulness of his voice was so overpowering. The confidence and experience of the group obviously feeds their tangible pleasure in performing, and they welcome the crowd to join in that enjoyment with open arms. They sing with passion, dance with style and have woven together a flawless show that is best described as mesmerising.
tw rating 5/5
reviewer: Amy McLeod


Tony Monaco Organ Trio at The Jazz Bar
Opportunities to hear real jazz organ are all too rare, and this one certainly didn't disappoint. The low-key atmosphere of the Jazz Bar belied the calibre of the performance on offer: this trio are a force to be reckoned with. Organ, guitar and drums each make an equal contribution, the ensemble gelling seamlessly as three distinctive individual styles combine to give the whole an original voice. They deliver each arrangement with vivacity and zeal, with sterling performances from all three players, and Monaco's original Hammond B3 really sings in the hands of such an accomplished player; old tunes are given new richness as he exploits the instrument's full capabilities. Enchanting and electrifying, this ninety-minute performance will leave you wanting more.
tw rating 5/5
reviewer: Ajantha Chandrasena


Tao - Samurai Magical Drumming at Assembly @ Assembly Hall - daily until 31 Aug
At the Fringe, a show like this risks coming across like an Orientalist's wet dream, with lavish symbolism, drums the size of distillery vats and enough leather dress and chokers to satisfy even the most stalwart fetishist. Disregard this fear though. 'Tao' is packed full of astonishing synchronised percussion, violent, powerful rhythms and evocative bamboo-led meditations. Add elements of dance, martial arts and a sense of humour and what results is this gorgeous spectacle that, by the end, had to compete with the audience's ovations. The cast were so talented that the audience's rapt attention never wavered. Also highly recommended for any disheartened cymbal player.
Assembly @ Assembly Hall, Aug 7 - 31, 6.25pm, prices vary, ffp162.
tw rating: 4/5
reviewer: Alistair Bagley


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Chris Brown has received his sentence for assaulting ex-girlfriend Rihanna, receiving five years' probation, 180 days of community service and a year of domestic violence counselling. He was also ordered not to come with 100 yards of Rihanna (except at music industry events), an increase from a previous order of 50 yards, despite calls by the beaten singer and her lawyers to relax this rule.

Brown was due to be sentenced earlier this month, but this was delayed while Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patricia Snegg awaited confirmation that his community service would involve physical work, which may include road sweeping or collecting litter. Rumours that the judge intended to increase the community service element of the charge to 1400 hours proved incorrect.

Informing Brown of his amended restraining order, the judge also made it clear to him that any violation of this, or any other part of his sentence, may mean time spent in prison. She said: "Any violation of this protective order is a violation of your probation. [The sentence] does come with a potential of state prison if you should violate in any way".

As previously reported, Brown beat Rihanna unconscious and left her on a pavement in LA during an argument as the couple drove home from a pre-Grammy party in February this year.

Court documents relating to Brown's probation state that there had been two previous unreported violent episodes in the couple's relationship. The first in December last year, where Brown pushed Rihanna into a wall after she slapped him, the second, closer to the attack in February, where he reportedly smashed the front and passenger side windows of a Range Rover while they were visiting Barbados, where Rihanna is originally from.

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Rapper C-Murder, real name Corey Miller, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for the attempted murder of a nightclub owner and bouncer. This follows the life sentence handed down earlier this month after he was found guilty, for a second time, of the murder of a teenager fan.

This latest sentence relates to a previously reported incident at the Baton Rouge club in Louisiana. Miller refused to be searched as he tried to get into the club in August 2001. In the ensuing argument, he fired shots into the club at the club's own and the bouncer who had stopped him.

The ten year sentence, which was reduced as part of a plea deal based on time already spent in jail and under house arrest, will be served concurrently with the previously reported mandatory life sentence Miller received after being found guilty for the second time of the murder of teenage fan Steve Thomas at another Louisiana club in 2002. His original conviction for the murder was overturned when Judge Martha Sassone agreed that prosecutors had improperly withheld background information on three eyewitnesses, but a second jury found the former hip hopper guilty also.

Miller is planning to appeal against the murder charge but, as a result of the aforementioned plea deal, not the Baton Rouge incident.

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Grammy-winning keyboard player Larry Knechtel died in hospital last Thursday aged 69 after suffering a heart attack, a spokesman for Valley Hills Funeral Home in Yakima, Washington confirmed on Monday.

Born in California in 1940, Knetchtel had a long career in the music industry, recording and playing live with artists including Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys, The Doors, Ray Charles, Neil Diamond and Randy Newman, and working closely with Phil Spector as the producer developed his 'wall of sound' style. In 1970 he won a Grammy for his arrangement on Simon & Garfunkel's song 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'. He also performed on The Dixie Chicks' Grammy-winning album 'Take The Long Way'.

A private memorial is planned, though details of this have not yet been announced.

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Magic Dirt bassist Dean Turner died on Friday aged 37. He had been suffering from a rare form of deep tissue cancer. The band, including Turner, had been due to perform in Victoria in Australia on the day of his death.

As well as performing with Magic Dirt, Turner produced recordings by a number of other Australian bands, including theredsunband, Sons Of The Sun and Violent Soho.

He is survived by a wife and two daughters.

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Just because Liam Gallagher revealed that he and Noel don't speak anymore shortly before Oasis cancelled a show due to illness, The Sun's Gordon Smart has been telling everyone that the band are splitting up. But need we remind you that Noel and Liam have never really been very friendly with each other? It's kind of their thing. The day they start getting along, that's the end of Oasis.

Anyway, Liam said via Twitter: "Reports in Smartarse's column about Oasis' last British gig ever. The kid's talking out his arse".

A statement on the band's official website added yesterday:"V Festival was always scheduled as the last UK gig for this 'Dig Out Your Soul' world tour. Oasis will complete the rest of the world tour in Europe and then take some well-earned time off before they begin to think about the next album and tour".

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Ladyhawke, aka Pip Brown, has been talking about the shape her second album might take.

She told Xfm: "I'm going to experiment a lot. I'm really gonna focus on rhythm, doing all the drums myself and trying to get a good sound. I'll be experimenting with different styles of rhythm and seeing how that turns out".

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Continuing his efforts to play on every underground indie release ever, Hella drummer Zach Hill has begun playing with Wavves, aka Nathan Williams. The duo head out on a US tour next month and have already begun recording new material together.

The pair recently performed one new track, 'Hula Hoop', for, which you can watch here:

Of the song, Williams says: "This is a rough live mix from how the song will be when it's finished but once it's done the track WILL be on the next record. Lyrically/sonically the song will be pretty different but jam on it".

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REM have announced details of a new live album featuring "working rehearsals", one of which went on to make up their 2008 album 'Accelerate'. The 39 tracks were recorded during a five night residency at Dublin's Olympia club in July 2007.

Guitarist Peter Buck said of the shows, which were performed in front of friends, family and fan club members: "[They were an] experiment in terror, trying to do something we hadn't done before. Every second we were playing something we didn't know all that well. Which was kind of good - there were all kinds of terror elements going on during that show".

The two-disc album, 'Live At The Olympia', is set for release on 26 Oct.

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Fever Ray, aka The Knife's Karin Dreijer Andersson, will release her fourth solo single, 'Seven', on 5 Oct via Cooperative Music. Released on 12" and download, it will feature remixes from Crookers, CSS, Marcel Dettman, Martyn, Nic Chacona, Real Daniel and Seth Troxler.

As well as this, a new two disc edition of her debut solo album will be released on 12 Oct. The first disc features the album, plus two new tracks - cover versions of Vashti Bunyan's 'Been Here Before', and 'Stranger Than Kindness' by Nick Cave and Anita Lane - while disc two is a DVD featuring all the videos made for the project so far.

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Ash have announced dates for their 'A To Z Tour', which will promote their A-Z Singles Series - 26 singles released in alphabetical order bi-weekly for twelve months. Similarly, the tour will take the band around 26 towns in alphabetical order during October and November. Sort of, anyway, they've cheated on X. All residents of town with names beginning with X will be very annoyed.

Tickets go on sale tomorrow.

Tour dates:

19 Oct: Aldershot, West End Centre
20 Oct: Bradford, The Gasworks
21 Oct: Carlisle, Brickyard
23 Oct: Dundee, Fat Sam's
24 Oct: East Grange, The Loft
25 Oct: Falkirk, Behind The Wall
27 Oct: Gloucester, Guildhall
28 Oct: Hastings, Crypt
30 Oct: Ipswich, Corn Exchange
31 Oct: Jersey, Havana
2 Nov: Kingston, Peel
3 Nov: Loughborough, University
4 Nov: Milton Keynes, Pitz Club
6 Nov: Newport, TJs
7 Nov: Oldham, Castle
8 Nov: Plymouth, Hippo
10 Nov: Queens Park, Corrib Rest
11 Nov: Rotherham, The Vault
12 Nov: Swansea, Sin City
14 Nov: Tunbridge Wells, Forum
16 Nov: Upper Norwood, Gipsy Hill Tavern
17 Nov: Ventnor, Winter Gardens
19 Nov: Worcester, Dive Bar
21 Nov: eXmouth, Pavilion
22 Nov: Yeovil, Orange Box
23 Nov: Zennor, Village Hall

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Maps will headline Adventures In The Bloody Beetroot Field at Cargo in London on Friday night. Also on the bill are Poni Hoax, Hook & The Twin and Samuel & The Dragon, and DJ sets come courtesy of Run Hide Survive and Ben Rymer. Entry is absolutely free.

Maps will be previewing material from their forthcoming second album, 'Turning The Mind', due out via Mute on 28 Sep. You can also catch them at Offset and Bestival.

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As previously reported, idiots will be disappointed at this year's Reading and Leeds festivals because they won't be allowed to wave their stupid flags. Festival boss Melvin Benn has been discussing the decision to ban flags from this year's festival, and said that he is trying to convince Michael Eavis to do the same at Glastonbury, where Benn is Operations Director.

Benn said that the wall of flags blocking the view of the Pyramid stage at this year's Glastonbury was "a nightmare". He told the BBC: "You couldn't see the acts. The flags were everywhere. There have always been flags but not to the level that there has been [recently]. And the flags have become very long and tall. The people behind them - not immediately behind them, but 20 or 30 rows behind them - can't see. I'm doing everything I can to ban flags this year. For some reason those that buy a flag want to be closest to the stage".

So, anyone trying to carrying a flag into the main arena will have it confiscated at the gate. However, Tony Withers, who runs a flag stall at various festivals, said: "To many people, it makes the event. People use them as a tent marker and then, as the show goes on, they lift them off the ground and take them to the stage. They want to get on TV - that's the big thing now".

If you need to carry a flag around to enjoy yourself, you shouldn't be allowed outside. And what's so great about holding something so big that it's unavoidable for TV cameras? I don't think confiscating the flags is enough. Anyone found trying to get a flag into the Reading and Leeds arenas should have the flag tied over their eyes until it's time to go home.

The other thing frowned upon at Reading and Leeds this year is crowd surfing, which is less good. Rather than the usual system of security sending crowd surfers back into the audience when they get to the front, this year they will be escorted out of the arena and forced to queue up to get back in.

Benn said: "Reading Borough Council Health & Safety team consider it quite dangerous and we will endeavour to try and limit the amount of times people will do it. They won't be ejected from the festival but they'll be ejected from the arena. What that will result in is probably around a 20-minute delay before they get back into the arena. It will certainly delay their ability to get back in to watch the band".

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ALBUM REVIEW: Saint Etienne - So Tough/Sound Of Water (Universal/Heavenly)
Following 'Foxbase Alpha' and 'Continental', this is phase two of the Great Saint Etienne Reissue programme, with both albums accompanied by the obligatory treasure trove bonus CD. 1993's 'So Tough' remains the group's highest charting album but it was also a frustratingly unfulfilling listen at times, especially given the high standard set by the album's singles (the epic poignancy of 'Avenue', tear-stained 'melodrama' on 'Hobart Paving and the kitsch 'You're In A Bad Way'). 'Mario's Cafe' and 'Calico' show the trio at their best (sonic adventurers with a pure pop heart) but too much of the rest is simply filler. The bonus disc is a real treat though, comprising non-album singles ('Join Our Club' and 'Who Do You Think You Are' are worth the entrance fee alone) alongside wondrous b sides (Saint Etienne, like Pet Shop Boys, Suede and The Smiths, have always been a group whose b-sides offer an essential secret history) and improbably glorious covers of everyone from Teenage Fanclub to Right Said Fred. Whilst the trio had flirted with electronica before, 2000's 'Sound Of Water' marked the first time the group embraced their more experimental side on a whole album, working with German post rock group To Rococo Rot on an album that remains their least overtly poppy. It's a strangely anodyne affair at times, but still offers up some compelling music in places, with one classic slice of St Et social commentary married to precision-tooled electro-pop in 'Heart Failed'. The eclectic bonus disc is arguably even more interesting than the parent album, with the melancholy ambience of 'Roseneck' and 'Shoot Out The Lights' sitting alongside further diversions and experiments, including the whole of the 'Places To Visit' EP (whose 'We're In The City' is the closest thing to the trio's perfect pop from this era). Two quite different albums then; each worth exploring if you're a fan, but if you're new to the group 'So Tough' should be your first port of call out of these two. Roll on the next batch, then. MS
Release Date: 31 Aug
Press Contact: Bang On [O]

Buy from iTunes
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So, when MySpace bought iLike last week, there was much speculation over what this would mean for Facebook - iLike being their most popular third party music app. They couldn't, we all said, just ditch it, even though it's now owned by their main rival. However, a new rumour has come to light which suggests they could.

TechCrunch reports that Facebook and Spotify have been discussing a new partnership for over a year, but that "the talks have intensified dramatically in the last week".

Further fuel for this particular fire came when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg updated his status on the site to say "Spotify is so good" yesterday, while Spotify chief Daniel Ek said via Twitter last night: "Long day soon finished. We're making progress people! And I can't wait to share more exciting stuff". And there's also the fact that Facebook investor Li Ka-Shing has just sunk a load of cash into Spotify.

What sort of shape a partnership between the two companies would take is not clear. One of Spotify's USPs is its stand-alone, simple software, and they have so far avoided in-page streaming on websites. However, Ek said earlier this year that he would like Spotify to take over all of's streaming music provision, which would suggest they're not entirely adverse to the idea, given that site's current mixture of the two provision options.

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A senior BBC exec has told Digital Spy that he reckons so called Canvas boxes could be available as early as next year. As previously reported, Canvas is an initiative involving most of the UK's terrestrial TV broadcasters and BT aiming to bring IPTV - so television delivered over the internet - into the living room via a set-top box, in much the same way as the on-demand component of the existing BT Vision service.

Rather than being an IPTV service in itself, the aim with Canvas is to agree protocols for how telly-over-the-net should be delivered. The idea is that anyone using those protocols could then make IPTV services available to the owners of Canvas-enabled set-top boxes, rather than the provider of the box controlling what content is available via the unit, as is the case with existing set-top box based on-demand telly services.

Any project that involves the BBC, ITV and Five working together leads to competition concerns - as previously reported, attempts by BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4 to launch a combined on-demand platform, working title Project Kangaroo, were blocked by the Competition Commission, despite it being quite a consumer-friendly proposition.

There are opponents to Canvas (Sky in particular), and the BBC Trust, who must approve the Corporation's involvement in the venture, stepped up their investigations of the plans earlier this year so to consider the competition implications. They have set a deadline of 1 Sep for anyone wishing to make a submission to their investigation.

But the Beeb's Programme Director IPTV, Richard Halton, remains optimistic that the Trust will ultimately approve the Canvas project, allowing compliant set top boxes to be on the market as soon as next year.

He told Digital Spy: "Freeview has always been about presenting people with choice as a free option and I think next year we will see a lot of activity in the pay TV sector, so free-to-air platforms offering competitive choice to consumers is really important. That is why for us 2010 is really important".

He continued: "If Canvas is successful, then it represents a massive opportunity for content providers, particularly new players who will never get anywhere near the television because of the costs of doing something on a linear channel. We hope that the message for content provider and service providers is that this is very exciting and a real opportunity. The feedback we have had from indies, studios and content retailers of all description has been really positive. Normally it's a question of 'when can we get going?' or 'what do we do next to get on the platform?' Which is great".

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Sky has signed a five year deal with live music conglom AEG, with plans to talk a string of ailing drug-dependent popstars into gruelling touring commitments, on the off chance they'll OD, leaving hours of valuable behind-the-scenes documentary footage in the can. Coming soon to Sky One, 'Pop Stars: Before They Were Dead'.

No, not really. The sponsorship deal will see Sky become a partner on AEG's O2 Dome complex, giving the satellite broadcaster some TV rights to events staged at the arena, plus the facility to offer its customers VIP access to O2 concerts. Through the deal Sky will be the exclusive TV and internet sponsor of the venue.

And in case you think I'm just making all this up, because it's a rainy Wednesday morning in Edinburgh, look, here's Sky Customer Group MD Brian Sullivan telling you in his own words: "The O2 has created a unique position as a leader in live events and there are clear synergies with Sky in terms of our entertainment credentials. Thanks to the venue's scale of reach, we are working with AEG to create a number of branding, demonstration and customer engagement opportunities that no other single entertainment venue can offer. We will use this relationship to both engage new audiences and reward our valued customers".

Paul Samuels, Executive Director of Sponsorship at AEG Europe, added: "I am thrilled that Sky has come on board as a founding partner of the O2. We will work side by side with Sky to ensure they achieve all their objectives from the partnership. As with all our partners we strive to create innovative ideas and branding opportunities that go above and beyond 'traditional' sponsorship".

Any TV execs interested in licensing the 'Pop Stars: Before They Were Dead' franchise, usual contact details apply.

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Orion Media, the all new local radio company set up by former Chrysalis Radio chief Phil Riley, has laid off five people as part of a restructure.

As previously reported, Orion launched by buying eight Midlands based stations off Global Radio - Global being forced to sell some of its stations in the region in order to win regulator approval of its acquisition of GCap.

Riley took over the running of the network of stations at the start of the month, and while his restructure has actually increased the overall headcount, five jobs are to go, including that of Regional Operations Director Adam Bridge.

Riley told Media Week: "Orion Media has reorganised its senior roles. Some people have left, some have other jobs within the company and some other jobs have been created".

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Preston, aka him out of The Ordinary Boys, or 'formerly one half of Preston & Chantelle', has revealed that his biggest barrier to success is the general public. So nothing major then.

He told London Lite: "My main aim is that people will put the ridiculous decisions I made down to youthful naivety. Like going on 'Big Brother' and getting married in OK magazine. I just re-read the interviews I did then. I just think, 'What a dick'. My big hurdle is Joe Public. I know I'm not really liked".

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