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Job ads
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Top Stories
Music videos to return to YouTube UK
HMV buy 3.5digital
R Kelly to complete Jacko album
Steely Johnson dies
Artist Deals
Kobalt sign Darrell Brown
In The Studio
Barat working on solo album
Horrors guest on new Gorillaz track
N-Dubz to work with Barlow
Release News
The Raincoats expanded re-issue and gigs
Example announces new single
Gigs N Tours News
Them Crooked Vultures announce UK tour
Regina Spektor announces UK tour
Black Eyed Guinness gig no longer no-go for Malaysian Muslims
Single review: O.Children - Dead Disco Dancer (Deadly)
The Music Business
Sony rescue SPV
Mercury launch R&B pre-pay credit card
Digital PR firm Good Lizard Media launches
The Media Business
Is C4 boss about to quit?
Global departure, and arrival
Jo Whiley to hang out in star's houses
Chart Of The Day
Total Rock World Album Chart
And finally...
Watch Lily Allen's Neighbours appearance
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts

As they become more and more visible on the indie radar, The Dodos have resisted going too wild with their new found fame. However, they have upped the ante a little, adding vibraphone player Keaton Snyder to the duo of percussionist Logan Kroeber and guitarist Meric Long, and hiring indie producer du jour Phil Ek (Fleet Foxes, The Shins) to produce their third album, 'Time To Die', which is fresh on the shelves this week, courtesy of Wichita. The band play Bush Hall in London tonight, and will be at the End Of The Road festival on 13 Sep. We spoke to Logan Kroeber to find out more.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
My dad played music a lot when I was a kid, and there was always different equipment around the house - he would later own a music store. I also grew up when American public [state] schools still had a few art and music classes.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Musically, I think the inspiration came from playing [previous album] 'Visiter' material for so long and feeling like there was so much new stuff we could be writing if given the time. When that time came around I think we were a little paranoid that we would fall on our faces and come up with nothing at all, but it was a lot of fun just writing all the time for a couple months and I'm hyped on the record.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Meric and I usually work on getting the guitars and drums to a point where we think they would sound good live, and then he has a strong place to start his vocals from. It's never like he comes in with a stack of lyrics and tells Keaton and I to "play something funky in the key of G".

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Meric and I listen to a lot of stuff that may influence a lyric or a beat, but by the time those congeal into a song we're probably just thinking about friend's bands like the Ruby Suns or Thee Oh Sees. And whether the song would stoke them if we played a show together.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I'd steal a line from Tupac: "Only God can judge me".

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Well, I want the record to sell a few copies so Mr Phil Ek can keep going to the dog track every day, and in all seriousness I think we all just want to maintain or improve upon our ability to tour and bring friends on the road. Also if we could get a song in a Tom Cruise movie...

MORE>> and

London three-piece Trailer Trash Tracys make a fine line in 60s-pop-meets-white-noise, with plenty of My Bloody Valentine guitar shards throughout their music, spirited by the ethereal sound of Cocteau Twins. 'Candy Girl' is their debut single, a woozy, glacial drone layered with spiky bass and an undulating, somewhat soporific melody. It's being released by No Pain In Pop on 14 Sep, the label behind the excellent Banjo Or Freakout, while they also have dates lined up with Young Turks' The XX and a (shoe gaze-obsessed label and gig promoters) Sonic Cathedral headline slot.


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It's probably good news for the music industry and the songwriting community, and it's certainly good news for YouTube, but it's not good news for me. Organisations reaching amicable agreements is no fun to write about at all, where are the bitchy fallouts? And we never had the PRS v Google fist fight I'm pretty sure we were promised at some point.

Anyway, so called premium music videos will be slowly reappearing on the UK-version of Google-owned video flim flam YouTube this week after the web firm reached a deal with British songwriting royalty collection society PRS For Music.

As you'll all surely remember, YouTube pulled all premium music videos off it's UK website back in March accusing the collecting society of being unreasonable in its royalty demands for on-demand streaming services. PRS subsequently slashed their streaming royalty fees, though insiders said YouTube felt rates were still too high, while some of the publishers the collecting society represents seemed to think they'd gone too low.

Specifics of the new deal between the video service and the PRS aren't known, though it seems Google will pay the collecting society a lump sum for a licence that runs from January this year through to 2012. Presumably that means YouTube won't have to pay a per-stream royalty for the next three years.

This is interesting because I was under the impression that PRS was keen to move away from such lump-sum-based blanket licence arrangements, though big cash-rich digital service providers obviously prefer them, because it makes it easier to budget content expenditure, and reduces the risk of the service becoming a victim of its own success - ie they reach record audiences, but without an immediate increase in ad revenues, meaning content costs rise but ad revenues remain the same.

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HMV has bought a 50% stake in independent download store 7digital for £7.7 million. Shame they weren't called 9Digital, they could have made an extra £2.2 million. Because that's how these things work, I think.

The high street entertainment seller, which has been very busy diversifying its operations in the last year, has bought shares in 7digital off the download firm's venture capital backers. The deal will see 7digital power all of the HMV Group's digital operations, including a planned new e-book website for HMV's book chain Waterstones, which is interesting, if only because e-books seem like the might finally be about to take off.

Confirming the deal, HMV top dog Si Fox, told reporters: "7digital are a specialist digital company which we are not. They bring expertise and technology which up until now we simply haven't had, and it gives us a serious seat around the digital table. It gives us access not only to improving our own digital offer, but really to benefit from the growth that they're enjoying through their relationships with other people such as Spotify and Blackberry".

7digital top cat Ben Drury added: "With consumer adoption of legal digital media now reaching the mass market, this joint venture partnership is great news for our customers and suppliers".

So that's all loverly. As previously reported, HMV entered the live music space at the start of the year through a JV with the MAMA Group involving the Mean Fiddler venue network, and has been dabbling in the in-store cinema space through a partnership with Curzon Artificial Eye.

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R Kelly has announced that he plans to complete the album that Michael Jackson was working on prior to his death. I'm not entirely sure if this is an officially sanctioned project - he claims that Jackson asked him to help him finish the album, but Jackson's affairs are obviously now in the hands of the singer's estate. He seems pretty convinced it's all happening, though.

Kelly told Black Voices: "I recorded five joints for Michael Jackson [in the past]. ... And we had been talking on the phone about his new album, and I was going to finish what Michael was doing at the time. We're going to get it out though. Michael liked the way I would try to sing the songs just like him".

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Jamaican keyboardist and producer Wycliffe 'Steely' Johnson, one half of influential dancehall/reggae production duo Steely & Clevie, died on Tuesday after suffering from pneumonia; he was in his early 50s.

Steely first started working in music as a keyboardist in the seventies, backing numerous artists in the studio and on tour, including Gregory Isaacs and Bunny Wailer. But it was when he teamed up with Cleveland 'Clevie' Browne that he came to wider attention. During the seventies the duo worked as session musicians - most notably for Lee 'Scratch' Perry's Black Ark Studios - before moving into music production in the eighties. In 1987 they formed their own Steely & Clevie label, later founding the bigger Studio 2000 label set up.

Through their production work Steely & Clevie became very influential in the late eighties reggae scene, and over the subsequent years worked with a wide range of reggae and dancehall artists, and some more mainstream pop acts, including Bounty Killer, Elephant Man, Beenie Man, Jimmy Cliff, Shabba Ranks, Billy Ocean, No Doubt and The Backstreet Boys.

Paying tribute, Dwayne McKay, founder of New York based Jamaican-orientated sound system Steelie Bashment, told "I am deeply saddened by the passing of Wycliffe 'Steely' Johnson. His passing is a tremendous loss to the dancehall industry, and a tremendous loss to me personally - Steely is the man who sparked my love of music and inspired me to be a selector. Talk to anyone who grew up with me, and they'll tell you that I idolized Steely. When I struggling to establish myself as a selector in the early days, I adopted the name 'Steelie' with the goal to one day have my own sound and be at the top of the game - like Steely".

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Music publishing types Kobalt have signed an administration deal with award-winning songwriter and producer Darrell Brown, who has worked with the likes of Neil Young, Bon Jovi, Dolly Parton, Wilson Phillips, and Hall & Oates, as well as creating music for TV programmes, films and video games.

The deal will see Kobalt representing Brown's Grey Ink Music catalogue worldwide, excluding Australia and New Zealand.

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Carl Barat has announced that he is in the process of recording a solo album, presumably to keep his mind off the horror that is likely to be The Libertines' previously reported reunion for festival shows next summer.

Barat reportedly told the NME that he had been working on solo songs since Dirty Pretty Things' split last year, and is currently in talks with various labels to release the album. He is also expected to announce solo shows in the coming weeks.

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The Horrors have revealed that they recently worked with Damon Albarn for a new track on the new Gorillaz album.

Bassist Rhys Webb told BBC 6 Music: "Damon got a copy of our album 'Primary Colours' really early, contacted us out completely out of the blue and told us how much he liked it. It was kind of a strange email saying, 'Would you guys be able to come down to my studio at some point?' We had no idea really what it was about but thought that would be great to go down there, have a chat, it would be nice to meet We went down to the studio and he said, 'We're working on the new album and we've not collaborated with a guitar band before and you're album is one of the most exciting things I've heard in a long time. Would you be up for working on a track?"

He added: "Gorillaz have always been diverse and experimental and I think as a band moving forwards, that's very much they way we approach music. He played us a lot of tracks he'd been working and musically and they were just in a really similar place to where we were at the moment - rhythmically and the instruments that were going through the sound - so it made perfect sense for us.We had such a good time working with him".

He also said that Albarn had returned the favour by mixing a new song Horrors song, 'Whole New Way', which they hope to release as a single at some point in the near future.

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Take That's Gary Barlow has reportedly agreed to work on new songs for N-Dubz's second album. He will apparently start work this week. This follows news that the group will work with Kylie Minogue on her next album

A source told The Sun: "[N-Dubz] are lifelong Take That fans and can't believe their luck that Gary's agreed to do this. Hopefully Gary will end up singing on some tracks".

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The legendary and highly influential eponymous debut album by The Raincoats, which has been commercially unavailable for the last decade, will be re-issued by We ThRee in the UK and Kill Rock Stars in the US on 12 Oct. Originally released by Rough Trade in 1979, it influenced numerous bands, including Nirvana and Sonic Youth.

The album, including an additional song, 'Fairytale In The Supermarket', will be released on 180 gram vinyl (with bundled download) and, in the UK only, on CD with bonus live footage. The artwork will feature liner notes written by Kurt Cobain in 1993.

As well as this, a new documentary, 'The Raincoats, Fairytales - A Work In Progress', will be screened at the National Film Theatre on London's Southbank and the Cambridge Film Festival, and the band will present portraits of some of their icons and perform live as part of the London Iconic series at the National Portrait Gallery. Most excitingly, the band will be heading out on a world tour, which will make its way around Europe in November.

Here's some of what Cobain had to say about the band: "I really don't know much about The Raincoats except that they recorded some music that has affected me so much that whenever I hear it I'm reminded of a particular time in my life when I was (shall we say) extremely unhappy, lonely and bored. If it weren't for the luxury of putting on that scratchy copy of The Raincoats' first record, I would have had very few moments of peace".

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A producer currently sitting up front in CMU's 'ones to watch' file, Example, releases his latest single, 'Watch The Sun Come Up', on 21 Sep via Data Records. Ahead of a full UK tour in October, you can catch him at Hoxton Bar & Grill in London tonight.

Watch the video for 'Watch The Sun Come Up', here:

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Them Crooked Vultures, the previously reported supergroup formed of Dave Grohl, Josh Homme and John Paul Jones, has got the people who've seen them live very excited indeed. Capitalising on that buzz, they've announced a UK tour.

Here are them tour dates:

10 Dec: Plymouth Pavilions
11 Dec: Portsmouth Guildhall
13 Dec: Blackpool Empress Ballroom
14 Dec: Birmingham O2 Academy
15 Dec: Edinburgh Corn Exchange
17 Dec: London Hammersmith Apollo

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Even though her latest album was a massive disappointment, Regina Spektor is still a great live act who should be seen by everyone. It's lucky she's just announced some UK tour dates, then.

Tickets go on sale on Friday. Here are the dates:

30 Nov: Birmingham, O2 Academy
1 Dec: Glasgow, Academy
3 Dec: Manchester, Academy
4 Dec: London, Hammersmith Apollo

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The Malaysian government has withdrawn a ban which forbade Muslims from attending a previously reported Black Eyed Peas gig in Kuala Lumpur, for reasons best known to themselves.

It seems officials had imposed the ban not because of Fergie's raunchy dancing or revealing attire, but because the concert is part of the previously reported Guinness 250th birthday celebrations, which includes a series of gigs staged all over the world. And as all Muslims will tell you, Guinness is evil.

It's not clear why the ban has been lifted, though word has it the drink will not now be sold at the gig, and the drink firm won't put their logo on any publicity material, which possibly placated officials.

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SINGLE REVIEW: O.Children - Dead Disco Dancer (Deadly)
The sounds of the early 80s have been mined relentlessly in recent years, but new four piece O.Children somehow manage a fresh take on the era. Referencing post-punk and new-wave, the band take their name from a Bad Seeds song, and there is much about that group's early sound and dark subject matter to be found here. Plangent, cascading basslines are married to spiky guitars whilst tinny percussion is teased by quietly ghostly synths. Eerie baritone vocals are also present and in full effect on both tracks here, but whereas the likes of Interpol and Editors have sounded at times like lazy (albeit successful) Joy Division copyists, O.Children sound less calculated and contrived as they go about their art. Both 'Dead Disco Dancer' and its b-side 'Dead Eye Lover' are at times funny and frightening yet curiously addictive after even the first listen. Oh, and the video is quite entertaining too. A band and label to watch. MS
Physical release: 7 Sep
Press contact: Bang On [O]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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German rock and metal independent SPV, which went into administration in June, has entered into a new partnership with Sony Music Germany.

The specifics of the deal aren't clear, but it will seemingly allow SPV to continue to operate as a going concern under the management of founder Manfred Schütz. I don't think it gives Sony ownership of SPV, though they seemingly have the option to buy the indie outright at some point the future. Sony will also handle much of the indie's distribution moving forward.

Confirming the deal, Sony's Edgar Berger told reporters: "This partnership gives Sony an excellent rock and metal catalogue, allowing it to additionally strengthen its position in this segment as a competent rock company".

A spokesman for the lawyers who have been overseeing SPV's administration said: "We have found in Sony Music a long-term partner for SPV, ensuring successful distribution activities for our artists and label partners. With their commitment and dedication, SPV's staff - under the aegis of Manfred Schütz - have laid the foundations for this partnership. This was the only way of maintaining the company's business operations up until the present day. As a result, it was possible to retain at least some of the jobs in Hannover. I would particularly like to thank Edgar Berger and his team for the constructive negotiations which allowed us to come to a swift agreement".

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So this is interesting. Universal's Mercury Music Group has launched an R&B themed pre-pay credit card, enabling R&B fans aged thirteen or over to pay for their groceries in a propa R&B stylee.

The card is one of those pre-pay Mastercards, which can be used both online and in shops, and work a bit like a pay-as-you-go phone. The card costs twenty quid, which is quite a bit more than your average pre-pay credit card, but owners also get access to a load of R&B style goodies, including free and discounted downloads, VIP clubs and events, a social network whatnot, ticket offers and other R&B style nonsense.

The card is being marketed under the Massive R&B brand, a compo franchise released by Mercury's sister division UMTV. It is being managed by M-Cube, a London-based company who specialise in such things. Pre-paid cards I mean. Not R&B-based financial services.

Commenting on the whole thing, Mercury Music Group President Jason Iley told CMU: "The Massive R&B pre-paid card is the first financial product of its kind in the UK marketplace to be marketed and sold alongside a music brand. It represents an exciting new business opportunity, creating a true lifestyle element to the Massive R&B brand with great added value for fans".

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A new digital marketing and consultancy company called Good Lizard Media officially launched this week. Run by former Head Of Digital at Cooking Vinyl, David Riley, and former Head Of Client Relations at IODA UK, Pete Heaney, the company aims to offer "more effective marketing for the modern music industry".

The pair told CMU: "Our digital consultancy service brings a long term planning approach to digital, mapping out at least 18 months of co-ordinated digital activity that works to compliment touring, record release, merch and development plans. Backing this up with extensive analytics, we can tell you openly and honestly what is working and what isn't and, more importantly, tell you where your fans are, how they interact and how we can serve them better to sustain a lasting and profitable relationship".

Further information on Good Lizard Media can be found at their website:

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The Guardian reckons Channel 4 boss Andy Duncan may quit his job before the end of the year, leaving the struggling broadcaster without a leader as it faces the continued challenge of the advertising recession, and the tedious task of political and commercial negotiations to safeguard the public service channel's future.

As much previously reported, Channel 4 has been busy lobbying for more taxpayer support to help it meet its various public service broadcasting obligations, perhaps by getting a cut of the TV licence fee. But the government's 'Digital Britain' report made few proposals regarding alternative funding for C4, other than smiling at proposals it work more closely with the Beeb's commercial arm BBC Worldwide.

Duncan reportedly sidestepped questions about his future with C4 at the TV Festival in Edinburgh last week, but gossipers reckon he is already negotiating his departure from the company. It's thought two big C4 deals are in their final stages right now - an advertising sales alliance with Sky and the aforementioned partnership with BBC Worldwide - and that Duncan may use those achievements as an excuse as why he should bail now.

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Global Radio have announced that their COO, Don Thomson, will leave the radio giant later this month. Thomson, who helped set up Chrysalis Radio and the Heart network, has played a key role since Global acquired Chrysalis in order to enter the radio industry, and especially since Global began its acquisition of GCap.

Confirming his departure, Thomson told reporters: "Having been involved for over 24 years in the commercial radio industry, I am delighted to have served a key role in the creation of Global Radio and to have played a significant part in its success. I therefore feel that my job is now done and I look forward to taking on the next challenge and hope Global enjoys continued success".

Stephen Miron, CEO of Global Radio, added: "Don has made a great contribution to Global Radio and we thank him for all his hard work. Whilst we regret his decision, we fully understand his position and wish him every success for the future".

Elsewhere in Global news, the radio firm has appointed a Head Of Music Partnerships. Former Decca Marketing & Brands Manager Buffie du Pon will take on the new role, and she told reporters: "This is an exciting time to be joining Global Radio, when their music partnerships are thriving and there is potential to expand and develop them even further. I'm passionate about music and radio so I'm looking forward to taking on this role and being part of the Global Radio team".

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Jay-Z, Coldplay, Kasabian, Biffy Clyro and Dizzee Rascal have all been confirmed for this year's Radio 1 Live Lounge tour, which sees Jo Whiley hanging out with musicians and listening to them play stuff. JLS are a part of it too, which kind of makes the whole thing look a bit crap, but never mind.

Each band will perform a cover and be interviewed by Whiley. Much like the normal Live Lounge feature on her show, but not in the studio.

Here's the line-up and the locations:

14 Sep: Kasabian, from guitarist Serge Pizzorno's house
15 Sep: JLS, from band members Aston Merrygold and Marvin Humes' flat
16 Sep: Biffy Clyro, from their Ayrshire home let Jo come to their house in Ayrshire.
17 Sep: Dizzee Rascal, from the rapper's studio
18 Sep: Coldplay, backstage at Scotland's Hampden Park, and Jay-Z, from Jo Whiley's living room

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It's this week's Total Rock World Album Chart, as counted down on Total Rock last weekend - New entries and re-entries marked with a *.

1. Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown (Warner Bros)
2. Daughtry - Leave This Town (Sony/RCA)
3. Nickelback - Dark Horse (Warner/Roadrunner)
4. Billy Talent - III (Warner/Atlantic)
5. Killswitch Engage - Killswitch Engage (Warner/Roadrunner)
6. Shinedown - The Sound Of Madness (Warner/Atlantic)
7. Behemoth - Evanglion (Nuclear Blast)*
8. Chickenfoot - Chickenfoot (Edel)
9. Theory Of A Deadman - Scars & Souvenirs (Warner/Roadrunner)
10. Rise Against - Appeal To Reason (Universal/Geffen)
11. Dream Theater - Black Clouds & Silver Linings (Warner/Roadrunner)
12. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Best Of (Fantasy)
13. AC/DC - Black Ice (Sony Music)
14. Bruce Springsteen - Greatest Hits (Sony Music)
15. Devildriver - Pray For Villains (Warner/Roadrunner)
16. Alexisonfire - Old Crows/Young Cardinals (Warner/Roadrunner)
17. The Mars Volta - Octahedron (Universal)
18. Guns n Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)
19. Incubus - Monuments & Melodies (Sony Music)
20. Kiss - The Very Best Of Kiss (Universal/Mercury)*

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We reported that Lily Allen was set to appear on Australian soap 'Neighbours' ages ago. And look, we weren't even lying. Click below see her joining the illustrious list of British stars who've appeared on the show: Pet Shop Boys, Emma Bunton, Jo Whiley and, yes, even the mighty Wombats.

The episode will air on Five on 10 Nov.

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