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Top Stories
Sony boss meets with managers - can they be persuaded to back three-strikes?
Elton too old and unmarried for adoption, says Ukrainian minister
In The Pop Courts
Universal lose Veoh claim
Carter sued over lack of album
In The Pop Hospital
Texas guitarist suffers brain haemorrhage
Awards & Contests
Swift comments on the invasion from the West
PRS Foundation open up new music award
In The Studio
Underworld working with Eno
Ne-Yo on new Rihanna
Gigs N Tours News
Slayer announce UK tour dates
The Music Business
IFPI make cautious welcome of EC copyright measures
Williams launches publishing company
Rockschool to host graduate ceremony at Roundhouse
The Media Business
Rebel Indy shareholder wants vote on parent company's plans
Observer not necessarily closing
ITV boss could be appointed this week
Chart Of The Day
Total Rock World Album Chart
And finally...
Musicians storm top award
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts

Formed in 2006, The Whip released their debut album, 'X Marks Destination', last year via Fatboy Slim's Southern Fried Records. This Friday night the band headline the CMU-approved Remix All-nighter at Matter. Currently working on their second album, the band will be showcasing some new material, as well as playing out some old favourites like 'Blackout'. But before all that, we spoke to bassist Nathan Sudders.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
Well, I think it's the same for most musicians. You start to learn an instrument because you love the band you're listening to, and your friends are learning instruments as well, then the next step is to start playing with your mates and form a band!

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
I think the last two years touring in and out of clubs, venues and festivals has been the biggest influence on the new album. We have been watching the audience's reaction to the live set and picking up on what they really get into. That has made us go a bit harder on the synth side of things and the dynamics of the band, also getting more hooks vocally etc, generally just more beef, please!

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Usually Bruce will have to nucleus of an idea - maybe vocal or keyboard line - then he and Danny lock themselves up in Bruce's attic and get the ideas down. Then when those ideas are demoed we get together as the band and start to play it. It usually has a rough bass line and drum beat, but it starts to evolve once you get four heads around the table. It's pretty organic as the first time we usually play new songs/ideas is at a gig! So you get to know what's working or not in front of an audience.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
There are so many influences on the band, we are a dance/electronic band with the traditional rock line up so we love everything from Daftpunk and Felix Da Housecat to Fleetwood Mac and The Beach Boys and everything in between. The whole Manchester scene has had its part as well, because we have grown up listening to the music that has come out of the city, but it's no more an influence than anything else. Basically a good song is a good song for us whoever made it!

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I would say it's all about having a good time and having a dance. That's the point for us - having that party vibe. You know, it's the weekend, let's forget about the bad stuff and enjoy ourselves. Unity!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
We would obviously like everyone to feel like we've moved on and made a really good album and naturally we'd love to play bigger gigs with bigger production and bigger audiences! We have a lot of ideas about the future of The Whip and it involves bringing a bigger better party experience to people who want it.


Hailing from Sydney, teenagersintokyo are the latest signing to Back Yard Recordings, a label famed, of course, for bringing artists including Gossip and Chromeo to worldwide attention. Currently holed up in a studio in the Welsh mountains with Bat For Lashes producer David Kosten, they release their second single, a double a-side, 'Isabella/Long Walk Home' on 5 Oct. While they may not hide their influences very well, the mix of early eighties sounds courtesy of The Cure, Joy Division and Tears For Fears coupled with Samantha Lim's sweet vocals make for some pleasing results. I also suspect that Kosten might be able to pull something a little more challenging out of them, so keep eyes and ears peeled for that album.


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The boss of Sony Music UK last night held a meeting at the major's London offices for the managers of artists signed to the label to discuss government relations, in particular on piracy issues. The manager gathering, which was seemingly orchestrated at pretty short notice, was motivated by the much previously reported change of heart in government circles in the last month. As previously reported, ministers who had shied away from forcing internet service providers to penalise persistent file-sharers in their big 'Digital Britain' report earlier this year are now seriously considering introducing such measures, seemingly at the instigation of that Peter Mandelson chap.

Confirming his big meeting with artist management, Ged Doherty told Music Week: "I had been thinking of holding a series of discussions about the future of our business with our artist managers in October. However, with the debate that's raging in this week's press and it being the first time any government has lifted a finger to indicate they want to help our industry, I feel we need an urgent meeting to bring forward the discussions. We have just a very short time left to convince the current government to support our industry and to show them that we are making good progress in terms of adapting our business models".

Of course it may be that Doherty wanted to assess the opinions of the managers of artists on his labels' rosters, or perhaps he was trying to lobby them for their support. Since the government announced it was rethinking its policy regarding file-sharing, and indicated it was considering some sort of three-strike system whereby persistent file-sharers might have their net connections suspended, there has been something of a split in the music industry, with half the business welcoming the government's latest moves, the other half distancing themselves from any initiatives that might lead to music fans losing their internet connections.

The split is forming quite neatly between the corporates who invest in music rights (or who retail music rights-based products - ie CDs or downloads), and the creatives who create the content in which the rights exist.

This isn't really hugely surprising. The latter group arguably have less to lose from piracy, because, given the nature of the music business until recently, many have given up the most valuable copyrights in their music to the aforementioned corporates anyway. Providing music fans who download music for free then spend money on other music-related products - eg gig tickets, t-shirts, the official book, whatever - then all is good. Because of course, the creatives, unlike the corporates whose primary business is still the acquisition of recording or publishing rights, get a cut when those other products are sold.

It has been the nature of the music industry for decades that, as far as many creatives are concerned, their recorded music (and certainly the recorded music from their early career) served two functions. Firstly it could be mortgaged to raise start-up money - ie you sell future rights for hard cash by signing a record deal. Secondly it provided a handy marketing tool to build your profile and boost your live, merchandising and, more so recently, brand partnership income. In both cases it doesn't really matter if fans then buy your music - you've sold the rights anyway, and if people accessing your music for free means more people hear it, well it's doing the marketing bit better then isn't it?

Moreover, the more business savvy artists (or managers) realise that, having given up key music rights in order to raise start up capital, they, unlike the record companies, are not in the music rights business, but the artist/fan relationship business. There are numerous ways that relationship can be made profitable, more so than ever in the internet age, as the cleverer artist managers are now discovering. But there's a strong argument that if you're in the artist/fan relationship business, where the biggest potential for growth is through the internet, it's probably best not to insist all your fans have their internet connections cut off.

All of which puts the music business in an interesting position just now. For the first time senior government players seem to be prepared to help the record industry try and tackle illegal file-sharing. For the majors record companies et al this is great news. Though now the threat doesn't come from unconvinced politicians or, really, the ISP or consumer rights lobby. The threat comes from within the wider music business, from things like the artist management community, because you have two competing business models in the music sector, one of which benefits from a crack down on illegal file-sharing, the other the does not.

Which is possibly Doherty's counterparts at the other majors could do a lot worse than having all the managers of all their artists over for tea. These are, indeed, interesting times.

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A Ukrainian politician has said that Elton John would not be allowed to adopt a child from Ukraine, despite his plans to do so, because he is not married (at least not to a lady) and at 62 he's too old.

As previously reported, John said at the weekend that he and his other half are considering adopting a child, a toddler from the Ukraine called Lev whose parents died of AIDS. While it had been Furnish's ambition to adopt a child, Elton claimed he'd been reticent about the proposal until meeting Lev, saying: "David always wanted to adopt a child and I always said 'no' ... But having seen Lev today, I would love to adopt him".

Family, Youth And Sports Minister Yuriy Pavlenko told the Associated press that according to Ukrainian adoption laws, the age difference between the child and adopter must not be more than 45 years, and also that John and Furnish's civil partnership would not be recognised as a marriage in the country. He said: "Foreign citizens who are single have no right to adopt children... and the age difference between the adopter and the child cannot be more than 45 years. The law is the same for everybody - for a president, for a minister, for Elton John".

The BBC's Ukraine correspondent Gabriel Gatehouse said that it was not quite as clear cut as Pavlenko had stated. Although he did not comment on the matter of the age difference, he said that whether or not the country would recognise their wedded status was a matter to be debated by politicians. The country is currently in the run up to a presidential election, due to take place in January, and the matter of foreign adoption was a sensitive subject in the candidates' campaigns.

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So this is interesting, mainly because of the precedent it possibly sets for the ongoing MTV/YouTube feud. Universal Music have lost a US legal challenge against Veoh, a YouTube rival who, the major label argued, was infringing copyrights by allowing punters to upload content without the content owner's permission. Because, like YouTube, Veoh vow to remove any copyright infringing content if and when they are alerted to its presence on their system, the video platform's owners argued they were protected by the so called 'safe harbour' clause in America's Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Despite various technicalities explored in this, and an earlier similar infringement case pursued against Veoh by an adult entertainment company, the US court this week ruled the video website was, indeed, operating within the rules set down by the DMCA and could not be held liable for any infringing content that was put up on its system by users and which would be live for as long as it took for the content owner to issue a take down notice.

Universal has vowed to appeal the ruling. A statement from the major read: "The ruling today is wrong because it runs counter to established precedent and legislative intent, and to the express language of the DMCA. Because of this and our commitment to protecting the rights of our artists and songwriters who deserve to be compensated for the use of their music, we will appeal this ruling immediately. The balance between copyright holders and technology that Congress sought in enacting the DMCA has been upended by this decision".

As I say, the most interesting element of the Universal v Veoh dispute is any precedent it might set that could affect the ongoing legal squabble between Google's YouTube and MTV owners Viacom. The major record companies, of course, all did licensing deals with YouTube before any legal action could real be taken against the uber video sharing platform. Viacom, whose MTV brands arguably have most to lose from the growth of YouTube style websites given that they primarily target the youth demographic, have chosen not to do a licensing deal and instead to sue on similar grounds as to that used by Universal when suing Veoh.

Some might argue the Veoh ruling seriously hinders Viacom's case against YouTube, even if Universal's appeal was to be successful. Universal are likely to claim that, while they accept a decent take-down system is sufficient for a video sharing website to get safe harbour protection under the DCMA, that Veoh's takedown system is far from being decent.

YouTube's takedown system is generally seen has being decent, or at least it is now, even if it wasn't in the video site's early days. Plus the Google-owned service has been developing new technical systems that automatically spots content previously banned by a content owner from appearing on the site as it's being uploaded by a user, so, in theory, can take it down before it's even gone live, and without receiving a specific take-down notice from a content owner.

All of which means that even if Universal did successfully appeal the Veoh ruling, that wouldn't overrule precedents already set that seemingly go very much in YouTube's favour in the Viacom dispute.

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One would have thought Aaron Carter not getting round to recording an album should be welcomed, but a US company isn't impressed with the former teen star's failure to produce any new material and they are suing him over it.

It's not Carter's record company feeling frustrated about the lack of new music, but a company called Signature Networks, who had seemingly signed a deal to distribute merchandise that would tie in with any new album release. It has been seven years since the last Carter album, and presumably Signature assumed they'd get a kick back from their merchandising partnership with the pop star much sooner. They are suing Carter and his parents (because the pop star was a minor when the original deal was done) for half a million plus legal fees.

If you're bothered that the lawsuit might prompt Carter to rush release a new long player, don't worry; he's far too busy preparing for his appearance on US TV show 'Dancing With The Stars' to be doing anything as tedious as recording an album.

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Texas guitarist Alistair McErlaine was rushed to hospital on Thursday after suffering a brain haemorrhage, The Daily Record reported on Sunday.

The band's vocalist Sharleen Spiteri told the paper that she was "heartbroken" by the news, saying: "Like everyone else, I am desperately hoping Ally will get well and pull through. It is a shock. He is a personal friend and all of us are wishing him well with all our hearts". She also cancelled her planned appearance at Radio 2's Abba tribute concert in Hyde Park.

A spokesperson for the band said: "We heard the news today [Sunday]. It is something we are still coming to terms with. Ally is a great lad and well liked by everyone. He has had a bad one. We have been told the next 48 hours are critical".

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US country star Taylor Swift has commented on Kanye West's VMA stage invasion.

As previously reported, West grabbed the mic off Swift as she accepted an award for Best Female Video at the MTV awards event on Sunday night, and then promptly told the show's audience that Beyonce not Taylor should have got that prize, even though Ms Knowles wasn't nominated in that category and won plenty of awards elsewhere during the night. Beyonce later got Swift back up on stage when she got hold of the mic to accept one of her various awards.

Anyway, here's what 19-year old Swift said at a press conference after the event: "I was standing on stage and I was really excited because I had just won an award and then I was really excited because Kanye West was on the stage. And then I wasn't so excited any more after that. I don't know him and I don't want to start anything. I had a great night tonight. I've been getting so many text messages and everybody's been really, really nice. I've had a really fun night. It's definitely been an interesting night".

Asked about Beyonce getting her back on stage, she continued: "I thought that I couldn't love Beyoncé more than tonight and then that happened. They told me to stand by the side of the stage and I didn't really know what was going to go down but I thought it was so wonderful and gracious of her".

As previously reported, with audience response to West's mic theft pretty negative, the hip hopper had issued an apology via his blog before the VMAs had even finished. He later wrote a second apology saying: "I feel like Ben Stiller in 'Meet The Parents' when he messed up everything and Robert De Niro asked him to leave. That was Taylor's moment and I had no right in any way to take it from her. I am truly sorry".

Of course given all the press coverage West's stage invasion got, worldwide, presumably he's done Ms Swift a few favours in the international profile stakes.

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The PRS Foundation has launched its New Music Award for 2009, and is inviting bands and artists to make a pitch for the fifty grand prize money. The Award, held every other year, provides funding for an artist to enable them to realise a new artistic project that pushes the boundaries.

Sally Taylor, Chairman of the PRS Foundation's Board of Trustees, said this: "We are thrilled to launch the third New Music Award, which is set to be bigger and better than ever. It is an exceptional award that celebrates new music innovation in the UK. It takes risks by encouraging creators to push the boundaries of their artistic practice and extend the possibilities of music regardless of which genre they work in. We really do encourage anyone with an inspired musical idea to apply."

If you fancy pushing some boundaries at the PRS Foundation's expense, head ye to this URL:

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Underworld have been working with producer Brian Eno in Australia, the duo's Karl Hyde has revealed. Speaking to BBC 6Music he also said that the sessions had been very fruitful, with enough new material written to fill three albums. Although it's unlikely that that's how the music will be released.

Hyde said: "Right now we don't want to think about being tied down to an album. Somehow that seems like such an old fashioned concept. There's more energy in making tracks, and putting tracks out, and then reacting to that, and then moving on to the next track. There seems to us a feeling of how we used to put 12" singles out".

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Ne-Yo has said fans should expect an "edgier" sound from the next Rihanna album, which I'm assuming he's been involved in in some way. Speaking to E!, the R&B star said: "Expect an edgier, almost angrier Rihanna on this one. Rihanna says some things on this album that you've never heard her say before".

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Slayer have announced a UK tour in November to promote their forthcoming new album, 'World Painted Blood', including two nights at The Forum in London. Tickets go on sale on Friday.

Tour dates:

18 Nov: Nottingham, Rock City
19 Nov: Birmingham, Academy
20 Nov: Manchester, Academy
22 Nov: Glasgow, Barrowlands
23 Nov: Leeds, Academy
25 Nov: London, The Forum
26 Nov: London, The Forum

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The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry has given a cautious welcome to a 'communication' issued by the European Commission which, Euro-political types say, provides "practical, non-legislative measures to combat counterfeiting and piracy".

The EC memo doesn't make any comment on member states' individual intellectual property laws, but proposes various ways in which authorities charged with combating piracy across the European Union could work together to ensure more success in stopping cross-border IP infringement. The communication observes that: "Due to the international nature of IPR infringements improving internal cross-frontier cooperation is not only a legislative obligation, it is a clear necessity".

IFPI chief John Kennedy said that any measures to improve anti-piracy activity was good news, but said that such measures could never be as productive as a tightening of intellectual property laws. According to Billboard, he said: "we will do everything to support these new measures, while at the same time working with the Commission on the next step, which in our view would consist of strengthening the legislative framework".

I think the EC's communication is concerned more with physical piracy and the manufacture and distribution of counterfeit goods than it is with online copyright infringement, though don't quote me on that.

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Robbie Williams is launching his own music publishing company, a JV with independent music publisher Notting Hill Music. All of Williams' future publishing rights, including his songwriting rights in songs on new album 'Reality Killed The Video Star', will be owned by the new company, as will any older Williams songs when existing deals with other music publishers come to an end. The new company will be called Farrell Music.

Confirming the new company and it's relationship with Notting Hill, William's managers David Enthoven and Tim Clark told CMU: "This is yet another ground-breaking deal by Robbie Williams and it's what makes working with him so exciting", while Notting Hill Music chief Andy McQueen added: "Robbie Williams has been and remains one of the defining UK artists of our generation and we are honoured to be helping him with the launch of his new music publishing company. This new agreement utilises our experience and expertise in the music publishing field while giving Robbie complete ownership and control of his songs. We are looking forward to working with Robbie and his management team and feel sure that this new venture will be a big success".

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Rockschool, an examination board which offers qualifications in pop music based music playing, will host a combined graduation ceremony and gig at London's Roundhouse on 21 Sep where the body's first batch of students will receive their qualifications. Rockschool offers diplomas in drums, guitar, bass, keyboards and vocals, as well as in pop music teaching. 82.4% of first year students have passed their Rockschool exams.

Confirming the Roundhouse event and that pass rate, Simon Pitt, CEO of Rockschool, told CMU: "This is a fantastic pass rate for our first graduating year; I put this success down to the winning combination of the high level personal support Rockschool provides to all our distance learners and the dedication of our students. We are very proud of all our students so we thought it only appropriate that we have a graduation ceremony. We have combined this with a gig performed by our students".

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The battle for control at Independent owners Independent News & Media continues.

As previously reported, the firm's second biggest shareholder, Denis O'Brien, wants the Irish media company to sell or close down its flagship UK titles, The Independent and Independent On Sunday. But the firm's biggest shareholder Tony O'Reilly, whose son chairs the company's board, remains committed to the loss-making broadsheet, arguing that closing it down would cost more than keeping it afloat.

While the board, unsurprisingly, are supporting the O'Reilly campaign, O'Brien isn't giving up without a fight. He has demanded an Extraordinary General Meeting, likely to be held next month, and now he wants a shareholder vote on the board's proposed financial restructuring plan. That would basically amount to a shareholder vote on the future of The Independent.

He argues that the board's plan involves diluting the companies stock, by giving shares to money lenders, and that that is bad for shareholders who would rather see bits of the company closed down or sold off in order to turn round the firm's financial performance.

O'Brien would need to win the support of 50% of INM's shareholders in order to block the board's financial proposals, which is probably a tall deal, but I think it's fair to say the future of the Indy still hangs in the balance until at least the aforementioned EGM.

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The Guardian Media Group has denied that it plans to close down The Observer. There has been much speculation that a review of the media company's newspaper operations is basically step one of plans to sell off or close down the firm's Sunday title - so much so that a 'Save The Observer' campaign has been launched - but bosses at the media company insisted yesterday that they are going into the aforementioned review with an open mind.

They said in a statement: "It is not accurate to characterise GNM's review of operations as a plan to shut the Observer. The review is an ongoing examination of all GNM's operations, ruling nothing in and nothing out, with the full endorsement at all stages of the group board and [ultimate owners] the Scott Trust".

A report in the Telegraph yesterday said that it is unlikely that The Observer will be closed but that it is likely the paper's operations will be integrated into those of sister title The Guardian, making the Sunday paper basically the Sunday Guardian in all but name. Perhaps that would make The Observer a whole lot less tedious, which would be nice.

Of course, the merging of daily and Sunday edition teams is occurring across the newspaper industry, the tendency to have a whole extra staff working on the Sunday edition of what, to the public, is a seven day a week newspaper having always been a bit of an extravagance. The Observer, though, has always been more autonomous from its daily sister title than with most other daily/Sunday newspaper combos.

No word on what the review might mean for The Observer's popular monthly supplements, including the Observer Music Monthly, the one bit of the Sunday title that isn't tedious at all.

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ITV could have a new CEO as soon as today. Everyone seems convinced former Sky boss Tony Ball will be given the top job at the struggling telly company, and that his appointment could be confirmed this week. As previously reported, Michael Grade, who has been Chairman and CEO at ITV in recent years, is taking a step back to be just a hands off chair.

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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. Jet - Shaka Rock (EMI)*
6. Killswitch Engage - Killswitch Engage (Warner/Roadrunner)
7. AC/DC - Black Ice (Sony Music)
8. Shinedown - The Sound Of Madness (Warner/Atlantic)
9. Chickenfoot - Chickenfoot (Edel)
10. Theory Of A Deadman - Scars & Souvenirs (Warner/Roadrunner)
11. Rise Against - Appeal To Reason (Universal/Geffen)
12. Dream Theater - Black Clouds & Silver Linings (Warner/Roadrunner)
13. Alexisonfire - Old Crows/Young Cardinals (Warner/Roadrunner)
14. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Best Of (Fantasy)
15. Guns N Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)
16. The Mars Volta - Octahedron (Universal)
17. Behemoth - Evanglion (Nuclear Blast)
18. Bruce Springsteen - Greatest Hits (Sony Music)
19. Daughtry - Daughtry (Sony/RCA)
20. Devildriver - Pray For Villains (Warner/Roadrunner)

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Okay, there are three words in that headline that might be misleading. Let's make things a bit more clear. Rachel Stevens (do we still count her as a music person?) and Russell Watson have been named as the winners of the 28th annual Rear Of The Year award.

Stevens told reporters: "I'm very flattered and I'm now going to insure each cheek for a considerable sum of money".

Watson said: "For the past ten years it's always been about The Voice but, for the first time, I'm delighted to say it's about my rear".

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