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CMU Info
Top Stories
Another big revamp at EMI while its owners prepare to fight their bank in court
xx win Mercury
In The Pop Courts
Gaga and Bieber threaten to sue over comics
Lennon killer to stay in jail
Pop Politics
Jean accuses Penn of drug use, after aid work criticism
Awards & Contests
23 more A Greener Festival awards confirmed
Reunions & Splits
Duff McKagan quits Jane's Addiction
In The Studio
Ludacris gets to work on next album
Bragg working with Cash
N-Dubz drop slang from US album
Books News
Hall discusses Jagger in new book
Gigs & Tours News
Kings Of Leon tour dates
Deftones announce UK shows
Marnie Stern announces UK tour
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Album review: Salem - King Night (IAMSOUND Records)
The Music Business
Warner Australia boss stands down
The Digital Business
People's Music Store to shut
And finally...
Skid Row guy knows why Axl is always late

Currently residing in Brooklyn, New York, Phosphorescent is the indie folk/alt country project of Matthew Houck. Originally playing under the moniker Fillup Shack, Matthew released his debut album 'Hipolit' back in 2000, before going on to release five LP's under the Phosphorescent banner - starting with 'A Hundred Times Or More' in 2003.

His band received wider attention following the release of their 2005 album 'Aw Come Wry' and the 2007 LP 'Pride', and have garnered comparisons to Iron And Wine, Will Oldham and Neil Young. The band has just re-released their most recent album 'Here's To Taking It Easy' via Dead Oceans, and are out on a UK tour this week with support from Timber Timbre.

Ahead of their gig at London's Scala tonight, and performances at the Bestival, End Of The Road festivals and Brighton's Komedia this weekend, we spoke to Houck to ask the Same Six.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
Clumsily. But with a lot of feeling.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
The idea of aiming for a straightforward or 'classic' country/rock kind of album was the jumping off point.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating an album?
It's different every time. I'm lately getting into the idea of undergoing a full scale spiritual overhaul before the next record. Shatter the walls of the mind/ego and see what's left to work with.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Today: Walker Percy, Buster Keaton, Eminem, Bill Withers, Werner Herzog.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
If I was standing next to them I would nudge them with my elbow and say, "Pretty good, eh?"

Q6 What are your ambitions for 'Here's To Taking It Easy', and for the future?
To create enough energy and momentum through these efforts that there will be a surplus. And to have the opportunity then for that surplus to be harnessed and channeled into motions that benefit many as opposed to few.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/phosphorescent
I'm always amazed at what microcosms schools can be. Speak to anyone at any length about their school days and you'll find that items that were deemed particularly cool at your school were considered the opposite at theirs, or were perhaps viewed with an indifference that you can barely comprehend. School dialects can also vary, with each school community picking its own mix of phrases, some from pop culture or the world of advertising, some more local references and some just nonsense. I'm only thinking about all this now because Foxy Shazam are named after a term for a cool pair of shoes at frontman Eric Nally's school.

This isn't the only childlike thing about Foxy Shazam. In many ways their infectious, hands-in-the-air rock n roll is similar to that of Andrew WK. But where he's all about partying hard in the style of someone in their late teens, there's something a bit more innocent about Foxy Shazam. Reading their biography, written by Nally, you get the impression he's one step away from saying, "I just hope everyone has a nice time", but he does it in a way that takes away none of the edge of the band's music.

Their debut UK single, 'Oh Lord', is out on 27 Sep and it can be heard on their website now. Their eponymous new album, their third, but first on a major (Warner/Sire) follows on 11 Oct.


Kudos Records Limited is an independent physical and digital distribution company based in Kentish Town, London. Due to expansion, we now require an in-house press and PR officer.

The successful candidate will develop and maintain a media database of key influencers, provide proactive marketing support to a selection of our distributed labels and help us develop innovative tools to enable our labels to successfully market their releases.

Applicants should be well versed in both social networking as well as traditional marketing techniques, have that rare combination of enthusiasm and tenacity, without being pushy, and, perhaps most important of all, have a genuine passion of the music we distribute.

Initial salary will be based on experience. We also offer a performance related bonus scheme. Application by email only to pressoffice@kudosrecords.co.uk. Please attach a copy of your CV.
CMU is looking for a full time (Mon-Fri 10.30am-4pm) intern to assist with editorial tasks at its Shoreditch-based HQ.

Working closely with the Editor, the intern will manage the reviews database, input content into the CMU content management system, prepare photos for email bulletins, and assist with other editorial tasks. There will also be opportunities to write, including artist biogs and reviews.

Some writing experience and a passion for music are a must, while any admin, CMS and/or Photoshop experience will also be useful. Although unpaid, this internship role will provide excellent hands-on experience and some formal training. Zone Two travel will be covered. The post runs from one month minimum to three months maximum. Immediate start available.

Send your CV and two recent examples of your writing to recruitment@unlimitedmedia.co.uk, indicating how soon you could start and how long you would like your internship to last.
The ICMP is widely recognised as being one of Europe's leading schools of modern music. As part of our ongoing expansion, the Institute is recruiting a Sales Executive who will report to our Admissions Manager, salary 25K-29K OTE.

The role of the Sales Executive is to primarily ensure that student recruitment and enrolment targets for the business are met. This generally involves taking initial enquiries, pro-actively managing the student contact database and guiding students through the process from enquiry to enrolment.

The successful applicant will have previous sales experience and be a confident self-starter. Experience in both telephone and face-to-face sales would be preferable, as well as a keen interest in modern music and musicianship.

How to Apply: Please complete the ICMP application form available at www.icmp.co.uk/about-us/job-opportunities.aspx and return to us along with your CV and a covering letter to enquiries@icmp.co.uk
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You know what EMI really needs just now? Another big restructure, that's what. I mean clearly, it's not had enough of them in recent years, has it? Yes people, as Terra Firma and Citigroup's out of court negotiations regarding their dispute over the latter's advice to the former during their big EMI acquisition in 2007 officially collapsed yesterday, back at EMI central top man Roger Fax-machine put on probably the finest trilby hat I've ever seen and sent out a memo to staff outlining his grand plan to rescue the flagging music major.

As much previously reported, Faxon, who previously headed up the more successful of EMI's two divisions - music publishing - was recently promoted to a new chief role overseeing the whole of the music firm, including its record labels. The move was widely seen as an act of desperation on the part of owners Terra Firma, their previous recordings boss Elio Leoni-Sceti having been pushed overboard with £1.5 million in his pocket (according to the Daily Mail) back in March. His temporary replacement, Charlie Allen, previously a periphery advisor to EMI and prior to that best known for running ITV into the ground, hadn't really impressed anyone.

That said, while Faxon's promotion seemed rushed, it wasn't actually that bad an idea. Popular within the company and the wider music industry, many an observer inside and outside the major noted that "if anyone can rescue EMI, the Fax man can". Well, they probably didn't call him 'the Fax man'. Others - well, me anyway - also pointed out that in an age where the recordings business is becoming more about licensing than selling plastic disks, it makes sense for record companies and publishing companies in common ownership to work more closely together, music publishers being the licensing experts.

Since taking on his new role in June, Faxon has been busy writing a brand new business plan for the major, one that will capitalise on the recent mainly catalogue-fuelled growth in EMI's recordings business, while convincing potentially lucrative new talent to sign up to the major, and, perhaps most importantly, reassuring Terra Firma's investors that they should continue to support the music company. Investor support is important because EMI continues to need cash bails outs in order to meet the tough covenants tied to the music firm's multi-billion pound loan from Citigroup, the loan used by Terra Firma to buy the music firm in the first place.

According to Billboard, Faxon's plan - as outlined in the aforementioned memo - undoes some of the previous restructuring instigated by Terra Firma twonks after the equity group's initial takeover, though it would be too easy to see the new chief's proposals as simply being a return to the old ways, it's more a mixture of the old and the new.

The so called 'matrix' structure and double boss system is out. Rather, the all new (again) EMI Group will be structured (again) around three regional divisions - North America, Latin America and the rest of the world. Faxon himself will oversee the former, though working hand in hand with Colin Finkelstein, currently President of that region, who will now have the title of COO for that division. Nestor Casonu will become CEO of Latin America, while David Kassler will have responsibility for the everything else division, which will include Europe. There will still be some global units which will provide services to the regional divisions. These will cover finance, legal, technology, HR, digital business development and artist relations.

The big post-Terra Firma innovation that will stay in place is that in each territory EMI's recordings business will consist of one team which releases music under a plethora of label names - rather than having separate teams for EMI Records, Parlophone Records and Virgin Records (or different but similar outside the UK), as had been the case pre-2007.

The plan doesn't seem to mention any serious integration of EMI's recordings and publishing teams, which would probably have been too radical a move at this time, but which may well be a clever development down the line. Though, to confirm to those in EMI Recordings that they have, in essence, been taken over by EMI Publishing, Faxon has elevated his COO from publishing, Leo Corbett, with him to a group level role.

But more interesting than all of this are the executive departures that will occur as part of this revamp. While Faxon may not be dispensing with all of the structural innovations put in place by Terra Firma, most of the star name execs hired by the equity group and the aforementioned Leoni-Sceti are for the door. Ronn Werre, currently COO of North America, Billy Mann, currently chief new music and artist relations guy outside of the US and UK and Nick Gatfield, EMI's big post-Terra Firma A&R hire, are all out.

But the major's post-2007 mantra - "were a service company not a product company" - does remain. Look, here's Faxon saying so: "EMI Music today still acts like a product company - we gear ourselves up for product launches, and we get ourselves worked up about market share and units shipped and so on. But the market has moved on, we need to understand that we are not a product company at all - we have to be a service company, and one that is obsessive about discovering great music (or rediscovering great music from our catalogue) and connecting it with an audience through every route available to us".

As a sort of mission statement that's probably as good as you'll get, but whether another big revamp to hierarchy is what is needed to achieve that aim remains to be seen. Can EMI Music's recent growth be maintained? Very possibly. Will artist managers continue do all important new talent deals with the major? Hmm, Mann and Gatfield's departure will be a surprise for some. And will Terra Firma's investors be convinced enough to keep bailing the company out? Terra Firma insists "yes", but I'm going with a "time will tell".

Talking of Terra Firma, with those previously reported last minute pre-court negotiations between them and Citigroup having achieved little (as expected) both sides moved into trial mode yesterday. As you know, Terra Firma is suing Citigroup over the advice the bank provided ahead of their EMI purchase.

Both sides filed papers with the New York court yesterday. The bankers want the case thrown out without trial, the equity group, obviously, do not. A judge is expected to consider Citigroup's quick dismissal argument later this week. Assuming he doesn't rule in the bank's favour, the case is due to come to court proper next month.

Talking of legalities, we must stress, for legal reasons you understand, that Roger Faxon did not wear a trilby hat while sending out his memo yesterday. Though he's dapper guy, I bet he'd have looked great if he had.

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So The xx have won the 2010 Mercury Music Prize, or the 2010 Barclaycard Mercury Prize, as those who like credit more than the actual music insist on calling it.

Despite that previously reported Weller wobble in recent days, when punters started betting for Mr Paul to win, seemingly on the basis that he'll die soon so should be given the Prize while there's still chance, the London-based The xx had been favourites to win the Mercury honour and its twenty grand prize money pretty much ever since the nominations list was announced back in July.

Nevertheless, frontman Oliver Sim seemed very surprised when his band were actually declared winners. According to the BBC, as he accepted the award he said: "I don't know what we were expecting but we weren't expecting this. Thank you so much. We've had the most incredible year and it has just felt like every day we've just woken up to something incredible we just weren't expecting. It has felt just like a haze. Being here is like a moment of clarity in all that's happening".

So that's nice. A well deserved win, I think you'll agree. Or maybe you won't. Either way, surely we can all unite in relief that Weller didn't get it and someone in their creative ascent did.

In related news, Example's 'Kickstarts' was declared the best British pop single of the last twelve months by the esteemed panel of Popjustice's Twenty Quid Music Prize.

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We reported last month that, along with a film and photo biography, Justin Bieber was set to have a comic book version of his life created, too. However, unlike the former two projects, it seems this latter output isn't officially sanctioned. Now the comic's publisher, Bluewater Productions, is being threatened with legal action by a lawyer representing both Bieber and Lady Gaga, who also had her life turned into a comic strip by the company back in June.

According to WENN, lawyer Kenneth Feinswog has served the company with a cease-and-desist letter, threatening to take the matter to court, but the publisher is refusing to cease production, claiming it is well within its rights to produce the books.

Bluewater's Darren G Davis said: "We are 100% within our first amendment rights. We knew our rights on this before we jumped into the biography world. These are 100% biographies on their lives. We reach out to all the celebrities and some choose to work with us and some do not. If they do choose to work with us, we donate ads and money to a non-profit [organisation] of their choice. We offered the same deal to Bieber's people".

The Bieber comic is due to be published in the US on 22 Oct.

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No surprise really, but John Lennon's killer Mark Chapman has again been denied parole, this was his sixth time of asking.

Chapman has been eligible for parole since 2000 and has been before a parole panel approximately every two years. He will have another chance to request freedom in 2012.

Lennon's wife Yoko Ono, of course, has always remained opposed to Chapman being released.

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The more time passes, the more Wyclef Jean proves that Haiti's Electoral Council was right to reject him as a candidate for the country's presidential election. The musician has now responded to criticism by actor Sean Penn of his aid work (or lack of it) following the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January by accusing Penn of taking cocaine.

As previously reported, Penn co-founded the J/P Haitian Relief Organisation after the earthquake and has been working in the country as manager of the organisation's 55,000 person camp for those left homeless in the aftermath.

Following Jean's official announcement that he intended to stand in the Haitian presidential election, Penn told US talk show 'Larry King Live': "Right now, I worry that this is a campaign that is more about a vision of flying around the world, talking to people. It's certainly not one of the youth drafting him. I would be quite sure that this is an influence of corporations here in the United States and private individuals that may well have capitalised on his will to see himself flying around the world".

He continued: "What the Haitian people need now is a leader who is genuinely willing to sacrifice. I haven't seen or heard anything of him [Jean] in these last six months that I've been in Haiti. I think he's an important voice. I hope he doesn't sacrifice that voice by taking the eye off the very devastating realities on the ground".

While performing his 2004 hit 'President' live on US radio station Hot 97 last week, Jean hit out at Penn's claims by saying: "I got a message for Sean Penn: Maybe he ain't see me in Haiti because he was too busy sniffing cocaine".

Penn's rep, Mara Buxbaum responded by firmly denying that Penn is involved in any drug use whatsoever, adding that Jean's outburst was "reckless and saddening, but not surprising". She didn't add that it's not really the sort of reasoned retort generally expected of a hopeful future politician, but I'd imagine that's what she was thinking.

In a statement, Buxbaum told New York Daily News: "Mr Jean is clearly unfamiliar with the physical demands put upon volunteers in Haiti. As aid workers there, the notion of depleting the body's immune system through the use of illicit drugs is ludicrous. More specifically, J/P Haitian Relief Organization (aka JPHRO) has a ZERO tolerance policy for any and all illegal drugs. As the leader of this organisation, Sean Penn has not only set this policy, but adheres to it. That Mr Jean would make such a false accusation is reckless and saddening, but not surprising".

As previously reported, Jean's plans to stand in Haiti's upcoming presidential elections needed court approval because the former Fugee does not pass requirements in the country's constitution regarding presidential candidates, mainly regarding citizenship and being resident in Haiti for five years before running. When the relevant court failed to give its approval, Jean vowed to appeal. It was then pointed out by Samuel Pierre of the Haitian Electoral Council's legal department that, because the council was part of the country's highest court, there was no option to appeal the decision.

Jean instead launched an attack on the outgoing president Rene Preval and the Electoral Council in song. And they still didn't let him stand. What's the world coming to?

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A record 23 UK and European music festivals have been awarded the A Greener Festival seal of approval for their efforts to reduce the environmental impact of their events. They join nine Aussie festivals who were given A Greener Festival awards earlier this year. A final list of recipients for 2010 will be published next month.

In the meantime, confirmed eco-friendly fests include (UK ones first):

Isle of Wight Festival
The Big Session Festival
The Wood Festival
Lounge On The Farm
The Glastonbury Festival
Wireless Festival
Splendour 2010
The Bristol Harbour Festival
The Sunrise Celebration
The City of London Festival
Standon Calling
The Summer Sundae Weekender
Croissant Neuf Summer Party
SOS 4.8 (Spain)
Open Air St Gallen (Switzerland)
The Øya Festival (Norway)
Malmo Festivalen (Sweden)
Grassroots (Jersey)
Rock For People (Czech Republic)
Open Air Festival (Czech Republic)
Hadra Trance Festival (France)
Rototom Reggae Sunsplash (Spain)

A Greener Festival co-founder Ben Challis told CMU: "We have had a record number of entries in 2010 and we are on track to make a record breaking 50 plus awards this year (up from 37 festivals in 2009, 32 festivals in 2008 and sixteen festivals in 2007 when the awards scheme began). This is particularly impressive, not least because of the economic downturn but also because year on year we have raised the bar and made our Awards scheme more and more focussed on a meaningful and practical responses to climate change and pollution".

He continued: "We are also delighted that we have had more European and Australian festivals entering, new entrants in the UK and growing interest in the USA, and also that a number of festivals are entering into other schemes such as the 10:10 campaign as well as using established and proven tools from [music business eco-group] Julie's Bicycle to measure and then reduce greenhouse gas emissions".

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Now look here, Jane's Addiction, if you can't look after your bassists, you won't be allowed any bassists at all. How many is it you've lost now? Don't give me that look! You're asking to go to bed without any dinner. Oi! Come back here!

That's just the sort of thing Jane's Addiction's mum probably said earlier this week when the band shuffled in and announced that Velvet Revolver and former Guns N Roses bassist Duff McKagan had left the band. By 'mum' I mean 'fans'. And by 'shuffled in' I mean 'sent an email'.

McKagan joined the band in March, after the departure of original bassist Eric Avery, and worked on new songs for their forthcoming new album. But now he too is gone. The band announced this week: "We wanted to thank Duff for helping us write songs for our new record. We love the songs we worked on with him - and the gigs were a blast - but musically we were all headed in different directions. From here Duff is off to work on his own stuff so we wish him all the best".

There's no word on a replacement as yet. Rumours that they've been unable to recruit a new member because their mum has grounded them stretch this whole imagined scenario a little too far.

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Ludacris has started work on his next album. He doesn't want to talk about it, though. Which isn't to say he hasn't, because he has.

Speaking to Billboard, the rapper said that the album's working title it 'Ludaversal' and that The Neptunes are producing some of it. Then he added: "We're just getting started, so I don't want to give too much information in terms of direction and stuff. I'll have that information soon. I just don't want to give people the wrong impression".

Did he stop there, though? Hell no. He said that in addition to The Neptunes, he plans to work with an array of producers on the record: "I don't discriminate. I definitely go and look for the big-time producers, but I also make sure that I keep my ears to the street and look for all the hungry ones. It's about getting in there and doing a couple [of songs] with somebody and making sure you pick from the best ones".

The album is due out next year.

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Billy Bragg has announced that he is working on a new album with Rosanna Cash, daughter of the late Johnny Cash, and producer Joe Henry.

Speaking to Billboard, Bragg said: "I spend a lot of time on my own records in the driver's seat, so it will be nice to sit back in [Henry's] basement with his musicians and Rosanne and sort of chip in and... riff".

Cash and Bragg apparently met at the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele festival in Germany and hit it off immediately. He said: "We had a great time singing together and since then we've been plotting on trying to get into the studio".

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In an effort to make themselves more appealing to US listeners when they officially launch themselves in the country with their upcoming third album, N-Dubz have announced that they are dropping all UK slang from their lyrics. Dappy will continue to shout "Na, na, niii" at every opportunity, though, because that doesn't mean anything to anyone, anywhere.

The Dapster told The Sun: "We aren't using any of those [British slang] words as they don't understand them. We'll keep 'na, na, niii', obviously, but not the rest. We'll never use American accents. I hate it when singers go there and do that. You lose respect from British fans".

N-Dubz's third album, a mixture of tracks from their first two albums and new material (it's not clear if they're re-recording the vocals on the older tracks with new slang-less vocals), will be released next year through Def Jam.

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Jerry Hall has written openly about her former husband, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, in her upcoming autobiography. The couple met in 1977, and married in 1990, before having their union annulled in 1999.

In the book, entitled 'My Life In Pictures', Hall refers to Jagger as a "sexual predator [who] could not help indulging himself with other women", adding: "Although I loved him and he swore undying love for me, I felt very unsure of him. I had weaned him off drugs, but they had been replaced by sex. [By 1979] Mick wasn't touring and had too much time on his hands. He started going out a lot without me. He would say he had a meeting and then call to say it was running late. He had been linked with several girls in the gossip columns, but he denied it, of course".

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Kings Of Leon have announced that they will tour the UK in December to promote upcoming new album, 'Come Around Sundown', which is due out via Sony/Columbia on 18 Oct. Tickets go on sale on Friday at 9am sharp.

Tour dates:

13 Dec: Manchester, MEN Arena
14 Dec: Sheffield, Motorpoint Arena
16 Dec: Birmingham, NIA
17 Dec: Birmingham, NIA
19 Dec: Sheffield, Motorpoint Arena
21 Dec: London, O2 Arena

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Deftones are coming to the UK. Hooray! I hope some tickets for the London show mysteriously turn up in the post addressed to me. That would be fun. The standard option for ticket procurement, though, becomes available on Friday (ie they go on sale on Friday).

The band also put a sextape online this week. By which I mean they posted the video for their song 'Sextape' on MySpace. Watch it here: mysp.ac/9V7Jpa

Tour dates:

12 Nov: Glasgow, Academy
13 Nov: Leeds, Academy
14 Nov: Manchester, Apollo
15 Nov: Southampton, Guildhall
17 Nov: Brixton Academy
19 Nov: Nottingham, Rock City
20 Nov: Birmingham, Academy

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Marnie Stern is releasing a new album on 18 Oct. As if that wasn't exciting enough, she'll be touring the UK in November, too. No London date(s) yet, as that part of the tour is some big fucking secret right now. But if you choose, for some reason, to live outside the nation's capital, you may like to attend one of these shows:

18 Nov: Nottingham, Bodega
19 Nov: Brighton, Audio
20 Nov: Bristol, Thekla
21 Nov: Sheffield, The Harley
22 Nov: Glasgow, Captain's Rest
23 Nov: Manchester, The Deaf Institute

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END OF THE ROAD, Larmer Tree Gardens, Salisbury, Wiltshire, 10-12 Sep: Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan have been confirmed as one of the secret acts set to perform at this weekend's End Of The Road festival. Yuck and Olivia Chaney have also been added to the bill, replacing Ra Ra Riot and The Hello Morning. www.endoftheroadfestival.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Salem - King Night (IAMSOUND Records)
So, then, this is 'witchhouse'. Having not heard any other bands that have been given this genre tag, I'm going to have to assume that they all sound like a vaguely threatening mix of early Wiley instrumentals, Fuck Buttons and DJ Screw. Salem's stylistic influences on this, their debut full-length, makes for a muggy, oppressive, but rewarding listen. It's dubstep by the way of goth, house made by people who never leave their own, a chopped and screwed noise record.

The band's press release repeatedly mentions the fact that they hail from the American north west, surely as a way of highlighting just how much 'King Night' cribs from Southern hip hop. Tracks like 'Trapdoor' and 'Tair' are, presumably intentionally, reminiscent of numerous codeine sodden remixes by the late, great Houston, Texas based DJ Screw. Severely slowed down vocals bounce over a low-riding, slow-motion, candy-painted Cadillac of a beat. The whole album is damp with a uniquely Southern kind of humidity.

'King Night' is also clearly sonically indebted to dubstep's lurching half-speed rhythms and the harsh, gloopy sonic palette of the finest UK grime. It's an album that on the first few listens is confusing, labyrinthine, confused with what it wants to be (is that a rip-off of the vocal melody of 'When You Were Young' by The Killers on the closing track 'Killers'?). It's beguiling, inviting its listener to listen again, to listen harder. In time it uncoils itself. A friend of mine summed 'King Night' well: GABBAGABBAGABBA90seurohouseGABBAhiphopGABBAnoisepopGABBAGABBA. So there you have it. This is witchhouse. JAB

Physical release: 20 Sep
Press contact: Toast Press

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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Aussie music business veteran Ed St John has stood down as President and CEO of Warner Music Australasia. He reportedly left Warner Oz's HQ in Sydney for the final time on Friday. The major's official line is that he has left to "explore new opportunities outside the company". An interim management team headed up by the major's Aussie finance boss Mark Narborough has been put in place.

St John's departure from Warner (which was quite sudden but expected) was accompanied by a resignation from the role of Chairman at Australia's record label trade body ARIA, of which he has been an active board member for ten years.

Confirming that resignation, St John told reporters: "I am very proud of what we achieved in this time, particularly the increase in stature of both the ARIA Awards and Hall Of Fame. Our mandate has always been to advance our artists and industry rights to achieve a healthy industry that provides Australian music fans with exciting music entertainment and it's a challenge we have continued to meet. It's time now to hand over the reins".

A new chairman will be appointed at the next meeting of the ARIA board.

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The People's Music Store, the UK-based digital venture which aimed to let individual music fans set up and run their own download stores, will go offline later this week.

Co-founder Ged Day wrote in an email to existing users: "Unfortunately, [co-founder] Ed and I have made the difficult decision to take our company in a different direction and so have decided to take peoplesmusicstore.com offline. This is something that has loomed over us for a while now, and I am happy to say that we really did hold on for as long as we could given the circumstances, but it has now reached the point where we must consider alternative routes".

The venture, which encouraged fans to curate their own digital stores in return for 10% of revenue generated, launched last year and had licensing deals with Universal and a number of independents in place.

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Sebastian Bach, formerly of metallers Skid Row and a good friend with a certain Axl Rose, has an explanation as to why his buddy always seems to take to the stage at least half an hour late.

After a run of shambolic Guns N Roses shows in the UK and Ireland recently, Blabbermouth quote Bach as explaining: "Everybody has all these theories as to why he acts the way he acts. And there's no big mystery. He tells me the source of all of the insanity - it's his voice. It's his job to sing like that, and sometimes that sound is hard for him. And a lot of singers, you know... To sing in that range is just not an easy thing to do. And he does what he can, and if it takes him 45 more minutes to warm up his pipes so he can sing 'Sweet Child O' Mine' [so be it]".

Given the feedback I've heard of his vocal performance at Reading and Leeds, perhaps he should just mime in the future. Then the songs might sound good and he could start on time. Another rock problem sorted by your friends at CMU.

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Georgina Stone
Editorial Assistant
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Kanye West
Speech Writer

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Chris regularly gives interviews on music business topics, and has done so for the likes of BBC News Channel, BBC World, BBC 5Live, Radio 4, Sky News, CNN and the Associated Press. Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9050 for more details.

CMU music business expertise is also available on a consulting basis via UnLimited Consulting, click here for more information, email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk to discuss a project.

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