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Top Stories
Stephen Gately probably didn't make a will
Bon Jovi fans hit out at ticket prices
In The Pop Courts
Ian Brown arrested for allegedly attacking his wife
Nas moves to block new Kelis demands
In The Pop Hospital
Slayer put touring commitments on hold as bassist has back surgery
The Soft Pack cancel two UK dates due to bronchitis
Awards & Contests
Iggy and Ross get awards
Release News
Fiddy album release brought forward
Gigs N Tours News
Xfm's Winter Wonderland announced
Green Day shows
Talks, Debates N Trade Fairs
Shain Shapiro on launching yourself worldwide at Dubai SoundCity
Album review: Various Artists - Relish Compilation II (Relish Recordings)
The Music Business
EMI New Music COO to depart
Congressman call on US music and radio industries to negotiate over royalty bill
The Orchard share price booms ahead of possible takeover
Live Nation sell theatres
AEG considering ticketing options
Digital Stores appoint new director
The Digital Business
Qtrax does deal with Baidu
The Media Business
Now UKRD quit Radiocentre
Music fans everywhere rejoice as George Lamb leaves 6Music daytime
Chart Of The Day
Total rock world album chart
And finally...
Mitch on Amy's breasts, again
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts

Since arriving on the scene way back in 1993, Super Furry Animals have released no fewer than nine studio albums in a career that has seen them attached to several peaks in the Welsh music scene. One of the best bands to come out of Alan McGee's Creation Records, they have worked with both Sony Music and Rough Trade since that label's demise, while also occasionally running their own label venture Placid Casual, which released their 2000 Welsh language masterpiece 'Mwng'. Their most recent album, 'Dark Days/Light Years', was unleashed earlier this year. We're talking to frontman Gruff Rhys this week, though, because they are one of the headline acts at the inaugural Dubai SoundCity, which kicks off on Thursday. They play the city's Irish Village venue on Saturday night. Before that, we got Gruff to answer our Same Six Questions..
Q1 How did you start out making music?
Just messing around on my big sister's guitar.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
Our most recent single was inspired by lo emission transport infrastructure and electric trams.

Q3 How do you go about creating a track?
Usually an idea strikes whilst taking a long walk.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
The biggest influence in terms of songwriting are writers like Lou Reed and John Cale.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
That's a good question. Firstly I'd say 'hello there' followed by 'do you fancy a cup of tea there pal?' Then something like 'why don't you sit down on the couch over there in front of the speakers, have a long cup of tea and suspend any musical preconceptions and just you enjoy the sonic textures and melodies...and don't forget to put your cup in the sink on the way out, I'm off to the shops'.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
It's always been an ambition to play as many places as we possibly can, so it's great coming to play Dubai for the first time.

MORE>> or

I love the little Sound Cloud streaming widget, though should stress that this isn't approved simply for its choice of previewing platform. DJ Food, which these days means the brilliant Strictly Kev, has a brand new EP coming your way next month, but for the impatient among you three of the tracks off it are streaming right now on SoundCloud, with all three available on the aforementioned SoundCloud widget that has been posted on the DJ Food website. Pay special attention to 'Sentinel (Shadow Guard)', which is the first ever studio collaboration between Kev and longtime DJ partner and Solid Steel producer DK, and which also features CMU favourite King Cannibal on the mixing desk. This combination equals a super-group in some circles. It's a hugely infectious wobbly-bleep filled track the greatness of which will only really hit you two thirds of the way through your third listen. I promise you. Go check.




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Stephen Gately's will still hasn't showed up, leading to speculation he never wrote one.

As previously reported, the late Boyzoner's other half, Andrew Cowles, reportedly believed Gately had written a will and that it was in the care of a London legal firm, but no one knew which one. However, with no lawyers as yet coming forward with the crucial document, common sense suggests no such last will and testament actually exists, given that even the most inept of solicitors can't have failed to hear about the pop star's untimely death in Majorca last month.

The Belfast Telegraph says that his family have now concluded Stephen never wrote a will, with a friend of the family telling the paper: "One would think that if a law firm did hold the will and had read reports that Stephen's family are desperately searching for it, they would have come forward by now".

What this will mean for Gately's estimated multi-million pound fortune isn't clear. Presumably it will be split between Cowles and the rest of the late pop star's family. If the courts get involved, presumably it will fall under Irish jurisdiction.

As civil partnerships are still in the process of being introduced in Ireland, I'm not sure what approach the Irish courts take to such partnerships already struck under British law, though inheritance rights are generally one of the least controversial aspects of same-sex marriage-style arrangements, so presumably they'd uphold Cowles' rights if anyone disputed them. But don't go quoting me on that.

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Some Bon Jovi fans have hit out at prices of tickets for the band's residency at The O2 arena in London next June.

Standard ticket prices are pretty par for the course really, ranging from £45 to £200, though some other high profile artists who have played the O2 have capped best seat tickets to under £100 - the highest price standard tickets for Jacko's residency would have been £75. Perhaps more annoyingly for dedicated but cash strapped Bon Jovi fans, front row tickets have seemingly been reserved for the customary silly-money premium ticket packages, which are currently selling for £1300 a piece.

Writing on the band's official message board, one fan said they would be boycotting the shows because of the high ticket prices, writing "I am going to stand up for what I believe in and use my earnings to feed my kids rather than lining some fat cat's pockets". Another wrote: "After writing an album about the world's problems with the recession the prices are just a mockery".

Nevertheless, tickets for the O2 shows are reportedly selling well, with additional dates having already been added. And their guest spot on this weekend's 'X-Factor', to promote new album 'The Circle', may have boosted ticket sales even further.

If promoters can assure me that everyone in the front row at the Bon Jovi gigs will have paid £1300 to be there, I might buy one of the cheap tickets and sneak my way to the front of the venue, just to check out what idiots look like in 2010.

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Ian Brown has reportedly been arrested for allegedly attacking his wife. According to the Mirror, Brown was arrested yesterday morning after neighbours called police to check on an altercation unfolding at the former Stone Rose's West London home. Brown's wife Fabiola Quiroz reportedly told police the singer had attacked her. He was taken in for questioning but later released on bail. A police spokesman told the tabloid: "A 46-year-old man was arrested at the address and taken to a police station".

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Nas has filed court papers in an attempt to block the latest maintenance support demands being made by his estranged wife Kelis.

As previously reported, Kelis began divorce proceedings against Nas in April, just three months before the birth of their son. Nas has been ordered to pay Kelis $44,000 per month in child support, which you'd imagine would buy quite a few nappies. But she is pushing for more.

In August her lawyer filed a motion demanding $72,728 per month in spousal support, plus back payments on both child and spousal support that would exceed $300,000. Team Kelis claim that the demands are reasonable given the $240,000 they reckon the rapper earns each month.

Nas's legal people are trying to block the new claim, and limit any additional payments their client has to make to his ex on a regular basis.

The legal disputes between the couple continue despite them being seen together at various parties in the last two months.

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Slayer have had to put their Canadian tour on hold because bassist Tom Araya needs surgery to treat a back condition. The metallers are currently touring with Megadeth, and had also been due to appear on the 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' TV show once the trek moved into the US.

Slayer guitarist Kerry King said in a statement: "What is foremost in our minds right now is that Tom do whatever he needs to to get this taken care of. While all four of us are disappointed that we won't be able to see through all of our commitments set for the next few weeks, the most important thing is Tom's health. We thank the fans in Canada and here in LA, the Megadeth camp, and everyone associated with 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' for their understanding. We look forward to seeing you all soon".

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LA-based indie types The Soft Pack have cancelled two UK dates because their guitarist, Matty McLoughlin, has got a bit of bronchitis. The affected dates are tonight's show in Glasgow and a Manchester show tomorrow. It's hoped a London show at the Barfly on Thursday will go ahead. The band are in the UK to promote new single 'Answer To Yourself', which was released yesterday.

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Iggy Pop yesterday received that previously reported Living Legend Award at Classic Rock mag's Roll Of Honour. Chrissie Hynde presented Pop with the prestigious award, which I am sure he now has well insured.

Commenting on his magazine's awards - well, really he just says how great his magazine is - Classic Rock's Editor In Chief Scott Rowley told CMU yesterday: "It's nice to end the decade on a high, with the fifth and most star-studded Classic Rock Roll Of Honour and Classic Rock as the UK's fastest-growing music monthly - and the only one whose sales went up in 2009. At a time when other publishers are scared to launch new magazines, we launched the most expensive music magazine on the market: Prog - the only mainstream music mag dedicated to progressive rock. Then we've got our very own rock festival next summer and the deluxe edition of the new Slash album. It's going to be a very heavy 2010..."

Across town, at another music industry awards bash, Jonathan Ross got his previously reported award from the Music Industry Trust, in honour of him having the only mainstream TV show on the telly where bands still get to play. Or something like that.

The boss of that award, David Munns, justified handing it to Ross, saying: "For over two decades Jonathan Ross has been an important part of the UK music landscape and has provided valuable support to artists in challenging times. His passion for music, enthusiasm for discovering and encouraging musicians and the importance of his two shows for artist development, makes Jonathan Ross a worthy recipient of the 2009 MITs Award".

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50 Cent has brought forward the release date of new album 'Before I Self Destruct' - though part of me wonders if these days labels bringing forward release dates is a bit like tour promoters adding extra dates to tours 'by popular demand', ie a pre-planned decision designed to get extra press coverage. As usual, the official line for Fiddy's album coming out on 16 Nov, a week earlier than originally planned, is that the long player has already leaked online. Well, that must have been a shock for all concerned.

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Xfm have announced that their traditional Winter Wonderland shows will take place on 8 Dec at the Manchester Academy and on 16 Dec at the Brixton Academy. The Manchester show will feature The Cribs, Liam Fray, Echo And The Bunnymen, Frank Turner, Delphic and Liam Frost, while in London the Wonderland will be occupied by Razorlight, The Temper Trap, The Big Pink, Bombay Bicycle Club and Local Natives. Xfm's music man Mike Walsh says this: "Winter Wonderland is always a great night out and I am very happy that we've secured yet another stella line-up that showcases some of the biggest and most exciting acts of today and tomorrow".

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Green Day have announced two UK stadium shows for next summer, one at Wembley on 19 Jun and one at Manchester's Lancashire County Cricket Ground on 16 Jun. Not sure why I did them in the wrong order. Tickets go on sale on Friday.

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Shain Shapiro from the Canadian Independent Music Association has been discussing the 'All Around The World' panel which he will take part in at Dubai SoundCity on Thursday. The session will be looking at the best ways for bands to crack new markets, and how to prepare to tour in different territories for the first time.

"When it comes to touring for the first time, the best markets are those where a band already has some sort of infrastructure. This is much easier in the digital age. The internet is a wonderful tool for seeding interest in artists. Making free tracks, or similar, available in the run up to a first tour can really help".

Commenting on his particular area of expertise, the European market, Shapiro told CMU: "Some say mainland Europe generally treats bands better than the UK. That may be true, but cracking the UK can really help if you want to make it across Europe in one sweep".

The 'All Around The World' session takes place on Thursday morning, on day one of this week's Dubai SoundCity convention. More info at

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - Relish Compilation II (Relish Recordings)
Relish have quietly been releasing some of the best nu-disco and electronic pop dance of recent years and this second slice of history tells a story of a strong label with as singular an aesthetic as the likes of better-known contemporaries such as DFA and Output.

Relish founder/compiler Robi Insinna includes three tracks under his Headman alias, and they're some of the best here, with opener 'Random Disco' being a particularly effective example of, well, random disco, the Zongamin remix of 'Dreampieces' coming on all minimal post- punk cold-wave (like John Foxx on ketamine), whilst Shazam's rework of 'Dirt' is a shimmering glitterball of sun-kissed Euro-pop that's pure 1984.

Elsewhere, The Units memorable 'High Pressure Days' appears twice, firstly reworked into a new wavey blast of strobe-lit fun by Rory Philips, secondly by Headman who does exactly the same trick, but slightly differently, whilst there's plenty of cosmic disco to enjoy, the best of which being Prins Thomas' typically expansive mix of Nemesi's 'Jurasico'. MS

Physical release: 2 Nov
Press contact: Toast [NP], Bang On [O]

Buy from iTunes
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EMI's COO of New Music, Jeff Kempler, is reportedly the latest senior exec to leave the major. There were reports last week that Kempler, who reported to EMI's top A&R man Nick Gatfield, was moving to a new role within the major after the COO of New Music post was abolished. However, HitsDailyDouble now reports that Kempler will simply leave the record company altogether.

Kempler is one of the very few EMI old guard (ie people who were there before the Terra Firma acquisition in 2007) still working for the major's recordings division. He joined EMI in 2005, following his former boss from Warner Music, Jason Flom, when he took over at EMI's Virgin US division. Flom departed from the all new EMI last year.

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Two senior US congressmen have called on the music industry and American radio sector to negotiate a settlement on the big radio royalties debate.

As much previously reported, US terrestrial radio stations don't currently pay recording royalties to record companies, based on the old argument that by playing songs they are giving the labels free promotion. However, as the record industry comes to rely more and more on royalty revenues as CD sales continue to decline, moves are afoot to alter US copyright law so that radio stations have to pay. Satellite and online radio services, which are not exempt from paying recording royalties, are also calling for a more level playing field in the wider radio sector.

As also previously reported, a bill that would introduce recording royalties for the radio sector has been making its way through the US legislative process for some time, and has now been approved by the judiciary committees of both houses of the US Congress, meaning it can now be voted on. That said, the radio sector is still lobbying hard in a bid to have the bill rejected.

Ahead of that, the chairs of both judiciary committees, Rep John Conyers Jr and Senator Patrick Leahy, have sent a letter to the musicFirst Coalition, which represents rights holders, and the National Association Of Broadcasters requesting that they "enter into negotiations before this legislation is considered on the floor of either House ... the negotiated resolution will be considered by Congress as it takes up passage of this Act". They propose negotiations are coordinated by the members of their committees, and that they take place in the latter half of this month.

Both sides have said they will take part in any such negotiations, though both stress their commitment for or against the bill. The NAB says there is a lot of support for its case in Congress, and that they expect the bill to be defeated.

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The share price of independent digital music distributor The Orchard shot up yesterday following reports that majority shareholder Dimensional Associates is preparing to take complete ownership of the company, offering the firm's other shareholders $1.68 a share. Shares in the company rose 40 cents to $1.45.

Inside the company, it's been announced that Brad Navish has taken over the running of the company, albeit on a temporary basis. Danny Stein had been heading up the operation since the departure of Greg Scholl from the CEO role at the end of September. It's possible no permanent replacement for Scholl will now be made until Dimensional has secured full ownership.

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As expected, live entertainment conglom Live Nation has sold its British theatre venues to the Ambassador Theatre Group. The $160 million deal includes two West End theatres and fourteen regional venues. The deal completes Live Nation's withdrawal from the UK theatre industry, having previously moved out of theatre production. Whether the move will help convince UK competition regulators to approve Live Nation's proposed merger with Ticketmaster remains to be seen.

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Talking of which, Live Nation's rivals AEG Live are reportedly in talks with other ticketing providers, possibly in anticipation that the LiveMaster merger will, ultimately, get the green light in both the US and Europe.

AEG have previously let it be known that if LiveMaster was created they would look for a new provider of ticketing services. Indeed, bosses at Live Nation and Ticketmaster have used that fact as part of their argument that any merger would not be anti-competive, arguing AEG dumping Ticketmaster's services would increase competition in the ticketing sector.

US media report that AEG are in talks with Ticketmaster rivals Veritix and about moving their ticketing business to them. Others say AEG bosses are seriously considering launching their own ticketing business, something Live Nation recently did (somewhat pointlessly if the Ticketmaster deal goes ahead). AEG Live still officially oppose the Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger, though any plans to launch AEG Ticketing may aid their competitors' attempts to get the deal approved.

Not that we should assume AEG have necessarily decided the Live Nation/Ticketmaster deal will definitely get the go ahead. In fact some gossipers are saying bosses at AEG still hope the merger falls through, so that they can reignite their own merger talks with Ticketmaster. Rumours of such a deal circulated a few months before Live Nation and the ticketing giant announced their intent to merge.

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Digital Stores, who, as you all surely know, power numerous artist and label mail-order online operations, as well as running their own website, have hired Rudy Tambala.

He will sit on the company's board, and lead a review of the firm's online operations including a "complete analysis of Digital Stores' current sites and the development of a measurable framework for consumer engagement in the social media space", which possibly means something. Tambala previously headed up the shortlived Virgin Digital download platform and was more recently Head Of Internet & Innovation for Ministry Of Sound.

Confirming his new role, Tambala told CMU: "These guys are among the few that really understand the need to fully embrace the disruption caused by digital media, and thus turn issues into commercial opportunities. I bring in frameworks for social commerce, consumer engagement marketing, niche eBoutiques and so on, and it is a tremendous opportunity - and great fun - for me to apply these to some of the worlds most loved brands".

Digital Stores main man Russel Coultart added: "I'm delighted that Rudy is joining the company. I've worked with him on a number of projects, and I'm very impressed with his knowledge and understanding of the changing retail landscape and existing and forthcoming changes in consumer behaviour in the digital world we all now inhabit. I'm confident he will work well with our team and help us maintain our position as the leading D2C music company in the UK".

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Licensed sort-of-P2P service Qtrax, which last week announced a roll out of its service into the Asia-Pacific region, has done a deal with controversial Chinese search engine Baidu, which will see customers searching for music on the Baudi platform increasingly directed to the Qtrax service.

Baidu, of course, has been subject to various litigation by the global record industry for providing an MP3-specific search service that links to primarily unlicenced sources of content (some, it has been alleged, only accessible via the search engine).

Confirming the deal, Qtrax CEO Allan Klepfisz told reporters: "As the dominant search engine in China, Baidu will provide us with substantial traffic from its music and entertainment portals".

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Independent radio companies UKRD and TLRC, which are managed by the same people these days, have announced they are quitting the commercial radio trade body RadioCentre. They follow TalkSport owners UTV Radio, who quit last month claiming that Global Radio, the UK's biggest radio firm, had become too dominant within the organisation, skewing policy in their favour.

UKRD boss William Rodgers warned at the time of UTV's departure from RadioCentre that the perceived dominance of Global within the trade body would lead to a "serious rift" among its membership.

RadioCentre boss Andrew Harrison yesterday confirmed UKRD's departure from his organisation, telling reporters: "We are all naturally disappointed by this news. Commercial radio is a small sector and we are therefore stronger when we speak with one voice. RadioCentre will continue to work on behalf of all of its members, representing the broad range of views that exist within our sector, to help secure a viable future for all stations in a digital Britain".

Harrison points out that UKRD and UTV both retain a shareholding in RadioCentre, and will continue to use some of the body's services. Nevertheless, if any other radio firms officially quit the organisation, then presumably action will have to be taken to reduce the influence of the mighty Global.

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Cheers all round among everyone I know (with one exception - yes, this summer I meet someone who actually likes George Lamb, it was at the Edinburgh Fringe though, where all sorts of strange people can be found), as BBC 6Music yesterday announced that George Lamb, one of the digital station's more controversial bookings, will leave their weekday morning slot, taking over weekend breakfast instead.

The lovely Lauren Laverne will take over the daily show. Lamb's laddish 'zoo-radio' style was always controversial on a station more commonly known for its self-deprecating humour, laid back approach and often geekish obsession with music. Confirming she was getting a daily show on 6Music, Laverne told reporters: "I'm thrilled beyond belief to have been asked to become part of the daytime team on 6 Music. It's the best station on air. I can't wait to get started!"

Elsewhere in the 6Music schedules, Richard Bacon, who will move to daytime on 5Live in the New Year, gets a Saturday afternoon show. Meanwhile, because Lamb's weekend breakfast show will air slightly later than the show it is replacing, the best show on radio, Adam & Joe, will move to a 10am - 1pm time slot. Important news for Black Squadron. They wouldn't want to get up early and tune into Lamb by mistake. Not even Black Squadron are capable of standing such torture.

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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. Paramore - Brand New Eyes (Warner/Atlantic)
2. Muse - The Resistance (Warner Bros)
3. Pearl Jam - Backspacer (Universal)
4. Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To Blue (EMI)
5. Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown (Warner Bros)
6. Flaming Lips - Embryonic (Warner Bros)*
7. AFI - Crash Love (Universal)
8. Megadeth - Endgame (Warner/Roadrunner)
9. Nickelback - Dark Horse (Warner/Roadrunner)
10. Daughtry - Leave This Town (Sony Music)
11. Five Finger Death Punch - War Is The Answer (Spinefarm)
12. Dead By Sunrise - Out Of Ashes (Warner Bros)*
13. Foreigner - Can't Slow Down (Warner/Rhino)*
14. Kiss - Sonic Boom (Warner/Roadrunner)*
15. Billy Talent - III (Warner/Atlantic)
16. Lynyrd Skynyrd - God & Guns (Warner/Roadrunner)
17. Brand New - Daisy (Universal/Interscope)
18. The Used - Artwork (Warner Bros)
19. Bowling For Soup - Sorry For Partyin (Sony/Jive)*
20. Shinedown - The Sound Of Madness (Warner/Atlantic)

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Amy Winehouse's father Mitch has been bigging up his daughter's recently enlarged breasts while defending his new online show for the Living TV website, 'Mitch Winehouse's Showbiz Rant'. Or perhaps it was the other way round.

Anyway, here is what Mitch told Digital Spy about the Aimster's recent breast enlargement: "I think she looks great. I think every bit of her looks great at the moment. She didn't do her boobs for vanity reasons. There was nothing wrong with her health, but when she lost a lot of weight and started to put it back on, the boobs didn't come back so she felt that it was something she wanted to do. I supported her in that and think she looks great."

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