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CMU Info
Top Stories
George Michael: Abandons appeal, postpones Faith re-release, moved to new prison
In The Pop Courts
Rock loses wafflehouse fracas lawsuit
TI could be back in jail this week
Awards & Contests
Cowell to get Rose D'or award
Reunions & Splits
The Drums guitarist quits
In The Studio
New Fiona Apple due in 2011
Films & Shows News
Affleck admits Phoenix hip hop career a hoax
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Single review: Clinic - I'm Aware (Domino)
Talks, Debates & Conventions
German music conventions to join up for Reeperbahn event
Brands & Stuff
SEAT send artists into studio for one-take recordings
Samsung to fund next OK Go video
The Music Business
French indies call on government to do even more
Gary Howard joins Agency Group
Fascination's Loraine moving into management
Music Sales buys Rhinegold study guides business
The Digital Business
Pro-P2Pers force RIAA.com offline, Tenenbaum gives interview
And finally...
Winehouse disses Ronson, possibly
Gaga gets sex doll taken offline


It's Monday again, which must mean it's time to have a look at the week ahead. Well, whether it is or not, that's what I'm doing. Top of the list this week is the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, where Thursday and Friday's Dailies, as well as CMU Weekly, will be coming to you from. We might even write them in German, to be extra authentic. I got a B in German GCSE, how hard can it be? I'll just go and brush up on my vocab while you check out this week's Five Day Forecast.

01: Reeperbahn Festival. CMU will be basing itself in Germany at the tail end of this week, as we ship out to Hamburg for the Reeperbahn Festival. Running from 23-25 Sep, the event has three strands, an arts festival, a music festival and the convention bit, which goes by the name of Campus. In the latter strand record label veteran Seymour Stein will provide the keynote speech and CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke will also take part in a panel entitled 'The Geeks Will Kill The Creatives'.

02: DJ Mag Top 100 DJs voting closes. DJ Mag launched its annual search for the world's best DJ, as voted for by clubbers from around the world, last month. Armin van Buuren has topped the list for the last three years in a row, though with the ascension of dubsteppers like Skream and the continued popularity of Tiësto (himself a three time winner), the Dutch DJ and producer's position is looking far from assured. Voting closes on Thursday, with submissions expected to top lasts year's total of 350,000.

03: Polaris Prize. Do you miss the excitement of the Mercury Prize? Are you just looking to complain about a list of albums? This is your lucky day, because the winner of Canada's big album award, the Polaris Music Prize, will be announced today. Amongst the twelve nominees up for the $20,000 prize (see, just like the Mercury) are Caribou, Broken Social Scene, Owen Pallett, Tegan & Sara, Besnard Lakes and Dan Mangan.

04: New releases. It's another week with a lot of new releases. The one most people are getting jittery about is 'Postcards From A Young Man' by Manic Street Preachers. But causing more excitement at CMU HQ are The Hundred In The Hands' eponymous debut and Matthew Herbert's 'One Club'. Also out this week are new albums from OMD, Neon Indian, Shit Robot, Amiina, Salem, Swans and the recently split Freebass, plus there are EPs from Flying Lotus and Egyptian Hip Hop and a picture book from the Robbie Williams.

05: Gigs. If you only go to one gig this week, make it Matthew Herbert's album launch at the Hoxton Bar & Kitchen. I caught part of the same set at Field Day and it was utterly amazing. Also in London this week are Edwyn Collins at Queen Elizabeth Hall and Dimmu Borgir at The Forum. Elsewhere Professor Green and Ned's Atomic Dustbin will both be opening venues, the former headlining the launch night of the new Leicester Academy venue, the latter reopening Birmingham's Institute. Comanechi and Divorce hit the third night of a co-headline tour in Norwich tonight, and Amiina and O.Children are also touring up and down the country.

Bis nächste Woche!

Andy Malt
Editor, CMU
Frontier(s) frontman Chris Higdon previously led Elliott, a band whose last two albums, 'False Cathedrals' and 'Song In The Air', saw them step ever further away from their punk roots and gave their sound more stadium aspirations with highly emotive, soaring rock songs. Although those albums drew a strong and evangelical fanbase, the band never made it out of the smaller venues their sound was no longer designed for. They split in 2003, releasing a posthumous compilation of live recordings and alternate versions in 2005.

Higdon went on to form Frontier(s), a band which, thanks to his distinctive voice and guitar sound, is not a million miles away from Elliott, with songs pitched somewhere between 'False Cathedrals' and the pacier sound of his former band's debut album, 'US Songs'. Retreading old ground, perhaps, but to hear new material from Higdon is nonetheless very welcome. Frontier(s) released their debut album, 'There Will Be No Miracles Here', last month through the Arena Rock Recording Company. Check out the two tracks streaming on MySpace for a taste.


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Only minutes after Friday's CMU Daily had landed, advising George Michael to just grin and bear his jail time, it was announced the singer was abandoning his appeal against the eight week sentence he was given last week for driving his car while all doped up. Coincidence? Well, CMU is very popular behind bars. I heard Phil Spector's our biggest fan.

Anyway, Michael's lawyers had been set to argue the eight week sentence was too harsh, and request the singer be bailed while they went though the motions of an appeal. But those plans were canned on Friday, just before the pop-star-come-road-hazard was, as expected, moved to a slightly more cushy prison, Highpoint in Suffolk. According to the Sun and Mirror's many, many, many sources on the inside of London's Pentonville Prison, George had not enjoyed his short time there.

In related news, Sony Music have decided to postpone the release of a re-mastered version of Michael's 1987 album 'Faith', which had been due to arrive in shops next week.

Presumably of the opinion cashing in on Michael's jail time might be deemed inappropriate (which is a shame, think of the brand partnership that could have been with Snappy Snaps), a statement was posted on the singer's website on Friday that read: "Sony Music and George Michael's management have decided to postpone the release of the re-mastered Faith album. A new release date will be forthcoming. For those fans that have purchased the limited edition box set from this site, receipt will be subject to a delay until the new release date has been set".

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Kid Rock lost the civil lawsuit he was fighting in the US state of Georgia last week. As previously reported, the lawsuit related to a fracas the rocker and his entourage got into with one Harlen Akins at a wafflehouse near Atlanta back in 2007.

Rock, real name Robert Ritchie, had already served 80 hours community service in relation to the altercation, and now Akins was suing for damages. Rock argued that Akins had provoked him and his posse into the bust up, and that the claimant was nowhere near as severely beaten as he claimed. But the judge hearing the case ruled Rock et al had been at fault and ordered the six defendants to pay Akins $40,000 in damages, with Ritchie to pay at least $6000 himself.

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Rapper TI could be heading back to prison following that previously reported arrest earlier this month for drug possession.

According to E! Online, a document issued by the hip hopper's parole officer shows TI had codeine, marijuana and opiates in his system at the time of his arrest. He's already on probation for previous gun charges, of course, and it's thought the authorities will request the rapper be jailed at a hearing later this week.

US Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement last week: "We are very disappointed in Mr Harris' recent conduct. We will make our sentencing recommendation at the [probation] revocation hearing".

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Simon Cowell is due to win a Special Award at the TV industry's Rose d'Or Festival, which is taking place in Switzerland as we speak.

Festival Director Rolf Probala told reporters this weekend: "The enormous success of Mr Cowell's formats and his on-screen charisma have made him one of the most important figures ever in entertainment television. It is rare for someone to have the combination of talents to succeed at both [on-screen and off-screen careers], and he is a true star in our global business".

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The Drums announced on Friday that guitarist Adam Kessler had quit the band. Specifics as to why exactly he departed are unclear, but the rest of the outfit are apparently "devastated" by his decision to leave.

Their statement read thus: "There have been some questions as to recent events and we are sorry to say that Adam has left The Drums. Jonny, Jacob and Connor are devastated and are keeping to themselves and with friends at this time. The band are currently on the road in America. Thank you for all of the support, it means a lot".

That US tour will continue without Kessler. It is unclear if a permanent replacement will be sought.

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It looks likely that a new Fiona Apple album is incoming, a follow up to 2005's 'Extraordinary Machine'. We know this because of a piece in Modern Drummer magazine on musician Charley Drayton which remarks "among Charley's current projects [he] is playing [on], co-producing, and mixing Fiona Apple's upcoming record, scheduled to be released in the spring of 2011". So, that's exciting.

Drayton joined Apple's touring band in 2006.

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Casey Affleck has finally admitted that Joaquin Phoenix's bizarre efforts to launch himself as a hip hop star, and the accompanying fly-on-the-wall documentary film, are one big spoof.

Nearly everyone had suspected that was so, ever since previously successful actor Phoenix grew a ridiculous beard, arrived on the scene with some terrible hip hop and gave some pretty bizarre interviews on US TV. But the actor and his mate Affleck, who was directing the film documenting Joaquin's move into rap, previously denied the project was a hoax, eventually leading some to concede that perhaps the Hollywood star was, instead, having a very public nervous breakdown.

But now, with said movie - 'I'm Still Here' - out, Affleck has come clean and confirmed to the New York Times it was all a joke. Though he's done so before most of us have seen his spoof doc, meaning we won't be able to join in with the "is this for real?" thing that is surely core to the whole movie. Which makes the timing of Affleck's announcement as weird as Phoenix's hip hop persona.

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ATP BOWLIE 2, Butlins Resort, Minehead, Somerset, 10-12 Dec: Best Coast, The Phenomenal Handclap Band, Amphetameanies, Peter Parker and Them Beatles have all been added to the line-up of this Belle & Sebastian curated event. www.atpfestival.com

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SINGLE REVIEW: Clinic - I'm Aware (Domino)
Menace, discord and an undercurrent of seething fear while, somehow, incorporating a "barbecue and shit souvenir donkey" element - it could only be Clinic.

In a departure from their usual predilections for frenetically dizzying paranoia, the Liverpool band's aim with 'I'm Aware' was, according to the band themselves, to create "a slight Mediterranean Spanish package holiday feel, and subtly twist it".

But a soundtrack to Club 18-30 this aint. Three part harmonies create a haunting ethereality; with melodic haziness replacing the band's usual dark hyperactivity. Amphetamine vocals are pared down into more gentle intonations on a mantra-like chorus "and it's good / it's good", carried by harpsichords, dulcimers and strings. With a twisted Ennio Morricone feel, the precision of the arrangements is breathtaking.

The Clinic brand of 'uncomfortable' remains, but the lilting verses are almost soothing in their daydream atmospherics. Almost. EG

Physical release: 20 Sept
Press contact: Hermana PR

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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German music industry types, like their counterparts here in the UK, now have a fair few annual conventions to slot into their calendars, making the music business conference sector in Germany pretty competitive.

But three of those annual events have decided to cooperate moving forward via a new joint venture called Three Dimensions (or, really, 'Drei Dimensionen', them being German and all), and those three conferences will be hosting an event next Saturday as part of Hamburg's Reeperbahn Festival. Reeperbahn are one of the conventions involved in Three Dimensions, along with Berlin Music Week and c/o pop.

A rep for the joint venture told CMU: "For many years the three major German capitals of music have eyed each other suspiciously and focused on ostracising the others. After a couple of beers, however, the movers of the Berlin Music Week, the Reeperbahn Festival and c/o pop discovered that their situations are surprisingly similar and that, despite all competitiveness, they could cooperate extremely well".

He continued: "On the one hand our locations are in line with their vital music scenes and trade associations and on the other, they can create different core competencies for the events of their industries, thus further developing German music culture and jointly presenting it on an international scale".

Reps from the Three Dimensions will be revealing more about their collaboration at the Campus Lounge at the Reeperbahn Festival this Saturday at 6pm. More about the Reeperbahn Festival is online at www.reeperbahnfestival.com.

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SEAT have teamed up with the brand partnerships and telly bit of Universal to launch a new series of shows that will air on Channel 4 called 'On Track With SEAT' in which various artists will go into London's Metropolis Studios, record three songs, including a cover, in pretty much one take, and then design some cover artwork and watch as their recordings are pressed onto vinyl.

I think only the artist gets a copy of the vinyl record, though one of the three tracks will be available as a free download from www.club-SEAT.co.uk. Foals, Ellie Goulding, The Drums, Tinchy Stryder, Amy Macdonald, Bombay Bicycle Club and Robyn are among the artists due to take part.

Says Universal Music's MD of Commercial Media Partnerships & Globe TV, Lesley Douglas: "This has been a really collaborative and creative partnership with SEAT. The show is the heart of an integrated music campaign which offers anyone who loves music insight into the creative process".

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Samsung have signed up to fund the next OK Go video. As previously reported, the last pop promo from the band better known for their visual virals than their tunes was bank rolled by US insurance firm State Farm, in return for a couple of name checks in the video. This time the vid will be filmed using one of Samsung's cameras.

The Samsung supported video will be for the track 'Last Leaf'. Meanwhile, another OK Go video, for their track 'White Knuckles', is already completed and will premiere on US TV this week.

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A trade body for independent record labels in France has criticised their government's plans for reinvigorating the flagging French record industry. This despite the French government being more proactive in kick starting the music sector than most of their European counterparts, in the main by implementing the previously reported proposals set out by Patrick Zelnik, himself a prominent member of the country's indie label community, as CEO of Naïve and an active player in pan-European indies body IMPALA.

While welcoming the French government's hard-line stance on file-sharing and the resulting three-strikes system that is in development, and the state-subsidised music card system proposed by Zelnik's report that is designed to encourage young consumers to use legit digital music services, UPFI Director General Jerome Roger says the Naïve chief and French ministers' plans do not go far enough.

Speaking to Billboard, Roger said: "From the start, the Zelnik mission has lacked ambition: What we need is a comprehensive plan. [And] given current sales volumes, producers need financial support".

On the UPFI wishlist is a revamp of the tax break system that rewards investment in new talent, which, Roger says, is too complicated for most labels to utilise, and a new fund that directly pumps tax-payer money into smaller music companies, funding by a tax on internet service providers. Rodger argues that a similar fund has already been made available to the French movie industry.

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British pop talent agent Gary Howard, formerly of Mission Control and Marshall Arts, has joined The Agency Group, and will become their first London-based pop agent. He will bring a number of clients with him, including N-Dubz, Peter Andre, Ali Campbell and Rick Astley.

Confirming the appointment, Agency Group Worldwide's CEO Neil Warnock told CMU: "Having Gary joining us brings a new dimension to The Agency Group in London. Working in the area of pop and crossing over into urban is a very exciting development for our company".

Howard himself added: "Having a chance to join the Agency Group was too good to turn down. Neil Warnock is one of the world's best agents and after working alongside another great - Barrie Marshall - I hope to learn even more and progress my career forward. I am bringing some amazing new talent and some fantastic heritage artists who have seen and done it all. But most importantly I will be adding more new talent as breaking new artists is something I have a thirst for as new talent is the lifeblood of any agency".

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The boss of pop label Fascination Records, an imprint of Universal division Polydor, has announced he is setting up a management company that will also use the Fascination name. And Peter Loraine's first client at Fascination Management, which will also be Universal backed, will be The Saturdays. Loraine will continue to advise Polydor as a consultant while leading his new management agency.

Confirming Loraine's new venture, and that Universal will be backing it, the major's UK Chairman David Joseph told CMU this morning: "What Peter doesn't know about the pop market isn't worth knowing and his instincts for what works in this area have delivered hit after hit for Universal Music. Above all, though, he is the kind of person who would fight to the last for his artists which means The Saturdays have made a very smart move in choosing him as their new manager. We are pleased and excited to be backing Peter in his new venture".

Loraine himself added: "Management is something I always knew I would move into one day. Fascination Management will be about developing and nurturing artists with the potential to become proper pop stars, with careers which can extend beyond the traditional avenues. I've worked at Polydor for an unbelievable thirteen years now and learnt more than I ever imagined possible. I'm looking forward to the start of this new chapter".

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Independent music publishers Music Sales Ltd have acquired Rhinegold Education, which specialises in books for music and drama students. Music Sales already oversee the sales and marketing of Rhinegold's study guides, and will now be looking for new ways to expand the business. Current Rhinegold staff members Katharine Allenby and Harriet Power will join Music Sales as part of the deal.

Rhinegold Publishing, which publishes magazines aimed at the music education sector, will remain a stand alone company.

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Members of the online collective Anonymous managed to force the website of the Recording Industry Association Of America offline this weekend in the third of three cyber attacks on organisations who have been proactive in the battle against P2P file-sharing.

The websites of the Motion Picture Association Of America and software company Airplex, which has been involved in attempts to take The Pirate Bay offline, were also targeted. Members of the online community employed a so called 'distributed denial of service attack', which basically overwhelms the server hosting a website forcing it to crash. Although all three websites went offline for a time, all were back online as of last night.

Talking of RIAA-haters, Joel Tenenbaum, one of the few file-sharers to fight - albeit unsuccessfully (to a point) - a P2P lawsuit instigated by the US record label trade body, has given a rare interview to a new online forum set up to discuss copyright issues, called Copygrounds. Given the Tenenbaum case was an interesting chapter in the story of the RIAA's disastrous 'sue-the-fans' strategy, it makes for an interesting read, whatever your view of file-sharing. You can read it on the Torrentfreak website at this URL:


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Amy Winehouse has fallen out with producer Mark Ronson again, or so it seems. Rumour has it the singer no longer plans to involve her one-time collaborator in her next long-time-in-the-making album, though that rumour may stem from a rant on the Twitter account everyone seems to think Amy uses (as opposed to her verified Twitter feed).

A tweet was posted to the amyjademermaid Twitter account this weekend seemingly in response to an interview Ronson gave on 'Later With Jools Holland' in which he discussed his role on her last album 'Back To Black'. The tweet read: "Ronson you're dead to me; one album I write and you take half the credit - make a career out of it? Don't think so BRUV".

Whether or not this is reliable proof of a Winehouse/Ronson feud, I don't now. Though word has it producer Salaam Remi is now leading the production on the singer's new album, which is apparently due for an early 2011 release.

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Following those reports Lady Gaga's people are suing a comic book publisher for recreating her form in cartoon without permission, now we hear similar legal action is being threatened against a sex doll company for likewise using her image without licence. According to reports, Pipedream Products Inc have been forced to take the Gaga-style doll off their website after receiving a cease and desist.

Perhaps inspired by Gaga's success, US reality TV star and Justin Bieber mate Kim Kardashian has also got her lawyers to take action against the same company in relation to their Kinky Kim Filthy Love Doll. Though in this case the company seems more willing to stand their ground. A spokesman told TMZ.com: "The similarity between the Kinky Kim doll and Ms Kardashian is purely coincidental".

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Tom Aldridge
Russell Brand
Photo Editor

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