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CMU Info
Top Stories
The BBC is looking for new music TV formats
Former Jacko manager wants access to estate accounts
MGMT deny piss and control issues
In The Pop Courts
ASCAP lose twice in appeal court digital royalty hearing
Charts, Stats & Polls
Tinie v Labrinth rivalry turns out to be invented
Reunions & Splits
50% of Abba consider reunion
Ronson may quit live performance
In The Studio
N-Dubz upping the pace again
Release News
The National expand High Violet
School Of Seven Bells and Active Child announce split remix single
Gigs & Tours News
Deftones fuck about with tour dates again
Gold Panda confirms headline UK tour
Album review: Saint Etienne - Good Humor/Tales From Turnpike House (Universal/Heavenly)
The Music Business
Azoff responds to tension at top rumours following Diller's resignation announcement
Former V2 boss launches new label
BPI appoint new public affairs muggins
The Digital Business
MSN music UK to close
The Media Business
Reznor Year Zero TV series plans moving forward
And finally...
West cans free track Friday after album tracks leak

Formed in 1978 by Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark released their debut single, 'Electricity', through Factory Records in 1978, with their eponymous first album following in 1980, released through DinDisc. After enjoying success throughout the 80s, the band became fragmented in the 90s, with numerous line-up shifts. But in 2006 the 'classic' 80s line-up of McCluskey, Humphreys, Malcolm Holmes and Martin Cooper reformed. They released their first album for fourteen years last week and began a month-long UK tour last night. We caught up with McCluskey to ask the Same Six.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I started out as a bass player. I got everyone to give me money for my sixteenth birthday and went out and bought a second hand bass. So that's how I started playing. Then Paul and I discovered we liked the same music. I got into Kraftwerk but had a shit record player, while he had built his own stereo, because he was a bit of an electronics buff. So I went round to his house to listen to my records. And from there we both set off on a musical journey together.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
There was a feeling that we kind of left the stage a bit grudgingly in the mid 90s, at the height of Britpop, and that given we had been afforded the opportunity to tour again, and were getting great audiences and good reviews, and with 'electro' back in fashion, and having heard we were apparently a bit cool again, we decided to do the stupid thing and make a record. Which really is a stupid thing. Because everyone likes to hear the old songs. No one wants to hear the new songs. But fuck it. We felt like we were teenagers again. We made a record because we wanted to have a conversation with ourselves in the language of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
The music always comes first, usually inspired by a noise or drum pattern, or a sample or something. But I do have ideas about songs I want to write, lyrically or thematically. In the early days I was Mr Anorak, I had a ring binder full of proposed song titles and ideas that I tried to marry with the music we made and I'd go, "Oh, that might go on that". So the music always comes first and the words go on top.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Records sound very different to how they used to sound, there's much more presence. There's more bottom end, they're a lot drier than they used to be. So we had to try to explore something that was definitely OMD but being aware of the sonic qualities of modern production. We listen to a lot of modern music. The whole electro thing is terribly current, though we only like some of it. But when you listen to what you like and analyse the sonic profile of it, that's how you're going to make your own record sound.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
In the old days, I would have tried to get them to throw away their preconceptions. It might be electronic, but it's not boring, it's not robot, it's not inhuman. But I think people know that nowadays. So I just want them to listen to the record and hopefully they'll find something in there that they didn't have before they listened to it. Whether it be a lyric, a melody, a feeling, something to dance to, I don't care as long as they get something out of it that they didn't have before they listened to it.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album and for the future?
We have very limited expectations for this album. Which is a good thing. know everyone says, "I just made this album for myself", but we really did. That was the way we made our earlier records as well; we just did what we wanted to do. And then we were surprised when we sold millions. Now, this isn't going to sell millions, but we are very happy that we were just allowed to do what we wanted to do. The record will sell enough to pay for itself. We will go on tour and will sell enough tickets to be able to tour again. And so, effectively, we're right back where we started 30 years ago. We're just having a conversation with ourselves in the language of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. And if other people want to join in and listen, then great, and if they don't, well, we're having fun. And we made our best music when we had that mentality.

MORE>> www.omd.uk.com
We've long been fans of FM Belfast's lo-fi electronica at CMU, having been instantly won over a few years ago by their cover of Rage Against The Machine's 'Killing In The Name' and fantastically deadpan version of Technotronic's 'Pump Up The Jam'. We've never managed to catch them live, though. So, when we saw their name on the line-up for the Reeperbahn Festival, we made sure we were free to see their rather late night show.

Considering that in London they pull small audiences to back rooms of pubs, we weren't quite prepared for the packed club that met us when we arrived. We also weren't prepared for the fact that, while on record the band are a bit, well, twee, live they push everything into the red and deliver a bass-heavy dance set. It's something that needs to be seen (and not in the back room of a pub with 30 other people). If you're heading to Iceland Airwaves next month, you can catch them on the Sunday, headlining Nasa.


Domino Recordings, home to some of the most exciting music around today, is seeking an International Promotions Manager. The successful candidate would be responsible for all aspects of international promotion for the label.

This would include press, radio, TV and on-line - working closely with our international partners. At least two years experience working with artists, record labels, managers, agents and a general knowledge about international media is absolutely required.

The position is based in our London office. Applicants should send an e-mail including their CV and cover letter to: internationalpromotions@dominorecordco.com. Note - the cover letter needs to include a personal statement about your understanding of Domino and Domino artists.

Closing date 15 Oct.
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The BBC is looking to develop a new flagship music telly programme but, and this is very important, I want you all to write this down, it will not be 'Top Of The Pops'.

According to The Guardian, the Beeb's king of yoof Andy Parfitt took time to defend BBC TV's commitment to music yesterday, saying it was "absolute rot" to say there was no music on the Corporation's telly channels. Responding to criticism from some in the music industry and elsewhere that, since the demise of 'TOTP' in 2006, the Beeb has basically shunned musical output on its TV network, Parfitt pointed to the 'Later' franchise and the Corporation's summer festival coverage.

But, perhaps accepting 'Later' is a niche show and that the Beeb's festival coverage is isolated to a few weekends (and is, actually, decreasing), Parfitt admitted there probably should be a more regular, more mainstream music show somewhere in the BBC TV schedules and revealed thought was being given to what that might be. But he stressed that this did not mean a 'TOTP' revival was being planned.

According to The Guardian, Parfitt told a breakfast gathering of the Broadcasting Press Guild: "We are working on it. It would be great if we could get a new popular music-based programme with a new format, a new kind of offer that really worked for the audience".

He continued: "But we are not trying to relaunch or reinvent 'Top Of The Pops'. That is kind of a red herring. TOTP are four letters that immediately bring out all levels of prejudice. But should we be looking for a programme? Of course we should, and we are. Would it be a good thing to try to persevere and work with producers to identify a new format? Yes. That's what television does all the time. [Commissioning Editor] Jan Younghusband is actually leading that process and I am closely involved with that".

Knowing the BBC, they'll probably come up with a great new format and then have Fearne Cotton present it and it will be awful. Then they'll excitedly relaunch 'TOTP' in 2017.

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Michael Jackson's final business manager has asked that unedited copies of financial records relating to the late king of pop's estate be made public, or at very least be provided to any remaining creditors.

Tohme Tohme reckons that because the courts have allowed the estate to seal certain contracts and financial reports, creditors like him may be deprived of what they are owed. The estate has been able to keep some documents sealed, despite major agreements needing court approval, because the judge accepted commercial confidentiality was required on some deals.

Many of the people Jackson owed cash to at the time of his death have now been paid, though many others have not. Tohme's case is more complicated because he claims that - because he negotiated the contract between Jackson and AEG Live for the never-to-happen 'This Is It' shows - he is due a cut on any revenue generated by that franchise.

That, he argues, includes a cut of the 'This Is It' film release and DVD profits, which he reckons would be at least $2.3 million. He can't work out quite how much, he says, because the required financial information has not been made public. With that in mind, his lawyers have filed a legal motion with the court overseeing the estate asking for access to revenue, expense and profit information.

Reps for the Jackson estate say they are yet to see the motion so don't currently have any comment to make. A judge is due to consider the motion on 7 Oct.

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MGMT's Andrew Van Wyngarden has denied reports which surfaced earlier this week. It was claimed that the band were rescinding creative control over their next album to their label after the poor performance of this year's 'Congratulations', and that drummer Will Berman stormed off stage at a gig in Manchester on Sunday after a pint glass full of urine was thrown at him.

In an email to Pitchfork, Van Wyngarden explained that the liquid thrown was actually "hearty Manchester ale", and that this was "a sign of affection over here [in the UK]". He added that, rather than storm off, Berman had simply gone to dry off, assuming that the rest of the band would be quite capable of completing the last song of the set without percussion. As they duly did.

As for comments made about giving up creative control on their next album, he said: "We aren't even close to starting the process of making a new album; label-relations are currently quite friendly, [but] we are very proud of 'Congratulations'".

So, there you go. He didn't comment on the other MGMT news being reported on this week, which was that the band plan to work with Jedward. This is most likely because negotiations are at a very tricky stage. It is definitely going to happen, though.

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A federal court in the US has delivered two rulings in favour of digital music providers in the States to the detriment of publishing collecting society ASCAP.

The first related as to whether a performance royalty was due on downloads in addition to the mechanical royalty already paid to publishers and songwriters. It's an important distinction in the US because performance royalties and mechanical royalties are handled by different collecting societies there, whereas in the UK it all falls under the banner of PRS For Music.

To be honest, it is hard to see why a performance royalty should be paid on downloads, but ASCAP had a good go at trying to argue that it should. But the organisation failed to convince judges at the Second Circuit Court Of Appeals who, backing an earlier judgement in a lower court, ruled this week that the downloading of music online does not constitute a "public performance".

The other ruling related to the royalties paid by Yahoo! and such like on streaming services, where a performance royalty is due. That royalty structure is also based on an earlier lower court ruling, but on that count the lower court got it wrong, the appeal judges said.

The court said it felt the system was currently unfair on digital providers like Yahoo! because it failed to account for their business models, and the way royalties were calculated were "unreasonable" and "imprecise". The appeals court sent the whole thing back to the lower court asking that it rethinks the way streaming royalties work.

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This week, Tinie Tempah released his first single not produced by Labrinth, 'Written In The Stars'. Angered at this slight, Labrinth went and released his own debut single, 'Let The Sunshine', on the same day. The scuffle looks set to go to the wire, with sales of both tracks neck-a-neck in the race for number one. It is presumably planned that the pair will now meet in a south London carpark later this week to sort it out like men.

Well, according to Labrinth, this is not the case. He told The Sun: "It's funny, everyone keeps asking if there is beef between us. There isn't. We're really rooting for each other. I helped make him. My success is his success and his success is my success. Whoever gets to number one, we'll be going out together to celebrate".

However, it's a different story for Adele. Her new single, 'Make You Feel My Love', is also rocketing up the charts, and both Tinie Tempah and Labrinth are reportedly furious. Both were overheard inside my head just now plotting to smash her guitar up and spread a rumour that she's stolen all her songs off Duffy.

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Abba's Anni-Frid Lyngstad has said that she and bandmate Agnetha Faltskog have considered performing together again.

Lyngstad told the Daily Express: "It would be great to do something with Agnetha. [But] if we did, it would be hard to avoid all the pressure because of Abba. It could never be low-key".

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Mark Ronson has said that he may give up performing live on the grounds that it's quite difficult and he's getting on a bit.

The musician told The Independent: "I do try to focus on the music and not get caught up in all the other shit, but... Well, I'm 35. I'm probably in the last five years of performing on stage. That's the ideal. To do well enough that you just don't worry about dipping out of the game for a year and having everyone forget you".

He added: "I get nervous before I go on stage because I'm not a born performer. I only started playing guitar three years ago and I only started singing, like, yesterday. I do think I throw obstacles in my own path, and ratchet up the neurosis that way. But there are worse problems to have, I think".

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N-Dubz are attempting to up the intensity of their sound on material for their next album, the group's Fazer has told the Daily Star. Partly this has been achieved by adding more of a dance influence, he said.

The rapper told the tabloid: "Every record we do is better than the one before. We try to up the levels. Someone said to me the other day: 'You've gone from ground zero to ground ten million'. It's a very dancey album but it still has an N-Dubz element to it as we have gone back to the roots a bit with this one. A lot of artists make the mistake of making one album then they think they can go away for two years. Not us man, we wanna do an album a year".

He added that he's come up with a way to cheer himself up if the intense workload ever starts to get him down: "I've got a 'warming room' in my house so if I feel depressed I go in and the plaques from going gold and platinum are there. That helps me reflect and realise that everything is all right".

Where exactly is ground ten million, by the way?

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The National have announced that they will release an expanded edition of their 'High Violet' album, which was released earlier this year, on 22 Nov. The new version will feature a bonus disc with alternate recordings, live tracks, b-sides and two brand new songs.

The band will be back in the UK for a sold out tour in November. Phosphorescent have just been announced as the support act.

The tracklist for the new 'High Violet' bonus disc is this:

Terrible Love (Alternate Version)
Wake Up Your Saints
You Were A Kindness
Walk Off
Bloodbuzz Ohio (Live on The Current)
Anyone's Ghost (Live at Brooklyn Academy Of Music)
England (Live at Brooklyn Academy Of Music)

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Super exciting news, now. CMU favourites School Of Seven Bells and Active Child have announced that they are to release a split seven-inch single, with each side featuring one remixing the other, via Lefse Records.

The disc will be available exclusively through the Lefse website - www.lefserecords.com - and will be released on 26 Oct. It'll also be pressed on mixed-colour vinyl, meaning no two records will be alike.

SVIIB have chosen to remix Active Child's 'I'm In Your Church At Night', while Active Child has put his spin on 'Heart Is Strange', which you can also download for the very cheap price of free here: lefserecords.com/tracks/HeartisStrange-ActiveChildRemix.mp3

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So, you remember when Deftones announced another London date on their UK tour earlier this week? Yeah? Well, forget it. That's not happening any more. Due to "scheduling conflicts", the gig will now take place at UEA in Norwich, instead.

The press release for this suggests that the second London date has been moved, but doesn't say when to. I hope they don't change these dates around again, because I'm going to post them now, and formatting tour dates is one of the most tedious things known to man.

Actual, definite Deftones UK tour dates:

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

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With his debut album, 'Lucky Shiner', out on 11 Oct via his own NoTown label, Gold Panda has announced a UK tour, which will take place in November. Support comes from Banjo Or Freakout.

Tour dates:

11 Nov: Brighton, Audio
13 Nov: Newcastle, The Cut
14 Nov: Constellations Festival
15 Nov: Manchester, Ruby Lounge
16 Nov: Glasgow, King Tuts
18 Nov: London, Corsica Studios
19 Nov: Bristol, Start The Bus
20 Nov: Norwich, Arts Centre

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ALBUM REVIEW: Saint Etienne - Good Humor/Tales From Turnpike House (Universal/Heavenly)
The last two albums in the series of St Et Deluxe Edition reissues then; first up is 'Good Humor'. Recorded in Sweden with a live band, it's very much a reaction against both the Britpop years that preceded its release (in 1998) and the group's earlier, more synthetic material. Whilst there are no classics here (lead single 'Sylvie' always was and still remains superior in its Trouser Enthusiasts remixed version), it's a consistent album that holds up surprisingly well, and the second disc is awash with typically excellent b-sides and rarities from the era.

'Tales From Turnpike House', meanwhile, is the trio's most recent album and arguably their most fully realised yet. An album with a loose concept, it's a tenement symphony housing everything you'd want from a Saint Etienne album - pulsating synth-pop, with two Xenomania productions, impeccable retro credentials by way of Tony Rivers' gorgeous Beach Boys-style vocal arrangements, spooky ambience ('Birdman Of EC1') and quirkiness, with its David Essex vocal cameo.

The bonus disc includes nine unreleased tracks (with two corkers in 'Another Cup Of Coffee' and 'Must Be More') but the omission of three tracks from the period ('Oh My', 'Dream Lover' and brilliant b-side 'I'm Falling') is nothing short of criminal, frankly. Still, those concerned more with enjoying effortlessly fine pop than with the strange vagaries of record company compilers will do well to get hold of both of these albums, the latter in particular. MS

Physical release: 25 Oct
Press contact: Bang On

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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Live Nation's Executive Chairman Irving Azoff has taken to Twitter to respond to the news that the live music conglom's Chairman Barry Diller is stepping down.

There has been speculation that relationships between Diller - head of Ticketmaster's former parent company IAC - and the top executives at the merged Live Nation Ticketmaster - so Azoff and Michael Rapino - have been less than perfect. But, as reported yesterday, Diller insists he always planned to step down from the Chairman's role a year or so after the Live Master merger.

Hitting out at press coverage that says Diller's departure shows tensions at the top of the music firm, Azoff said on Twitter yesterday: "As usual the press reports are ridiculous. It was always Barry Diller's intention to step down from LNE [Live Nation Entertainment] COB [Chairman Of The Board] during first year after TM/LN merger. I look forward to continue to work with him during his time on the board. I thank him for the many years of dedication and loyalty to everyone at TM".

Diller's own statement issued yesterday says: "I have always said, since the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation, that I only planned to stay as chairman through the transition and integration of the two companies. It's been almost a year and I informed the board today that while there was no rush, the board should start the process now to appoint a new chairman".

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David Steele, formerly MD of V2 Music, has announced he has launched a new music company called Hi Tone Music which will operate as both a label and management company. The venture opens its doors with two artists already on board, three-piece Tape The Radio and singer songwriter Jess Hall.

Commenting on his new venture, Steele told CMU: "I was very proud of what we achieved at V2 with our artists. I have always believed in signing artists who have the ability to have long and successful careers and it is those principles at the core of Hi Tone Music. I have been fortunate to have found two music loving investors David Salsbury and Nick Yalden to enable Hi Tone Music to develop our signings on our own terms and with our shared vision".

On his artists, he continued: "Tape The Radio, I believe, have the ability to become a highly successful global rock band and Jess Hall has incredible ability for someone so young with the most amazing voice that her potential is unlimited. So a pretty good start!"

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UK record label trade body BPI have a lovely new Director Of Public Affairs to lead all their lobbying activity, pushing for stronger anti-piracy laws and such like. In these days of 4chan attacks, it's a job that should possibly come with (virtual) danger money.

The new lobbying man is Theo Blackwell, who has previously worked on the agency side of political PR for Mandate Communications and Connect Public Affairs. In his agency life he worked for a number of tech clients, which probably makes him a good hire for the BPI, know the enemy and all that.

Confirming the new appointment, BPI boss Geoff Taylor told CMU: "We are delighted to be welcoming Theo as the BPI's new Head Of Public Affairs. I have no doubt that his wealth of parliamentary experience and understanding of digital and new media issues will help us to represent our member labels effectively in the political debate going forward".

Blackwell himself said this: "I am delighted to be taking up my new role of Director of Public Affairs at the BPI. The recording industry contributes significantly to the UK's creative economy and I will seek to communicate the challenges, needs and advancements of this important sector to government, media and the wider creative industries. I look forward to working closely with the BPI's member companies and politicians alike to achieve the optimum framework that will see the UK's world-class music market continue to flourish and grow".

Blackwell replaces the BPI's former public affairs man Richard Mollet, who led the record industry's lobbying efforts on the Digital Economy Act. As previously reported, he's off to the top job at the Music Publishers Association.

Taylor again: "We are grateful to Richard for his outstanding work over the last few years and we wish him every success in his new role. I am sure we will be working even more closely with the Publishers Association in the coming years".

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Microsoft's existing UK download service MSN Music will soon be replaced by the Zune Marketplace, which, as previously reported, is due to launch in the UK later this year.

Microsoft's Zune branded digital music player and download store has only been available in the US until now, meaning MSN Music continued to operate over here, even when the white label download platform that powered it - the OD2 system eventually owned by Nokia - shut down in 2009.

But the Zune Marketplace is now due to arrive in Europe, providing music services for the Xbox and Windows-powered mobiles and PCs. The 37 people who still use MSN Music will be encouraged to switch to the Zune service - which offers both a la carte downloads and a subscription package - once it's live.

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Trent Reznor has long wanted to make his 2007 'Year Zero' concept album into a TV series, and now through a partnership with HBO and BBC Worldwide that might just happen, though he himself admits the project is still in its early days.

Confirming the HBO partnership, Reznor has told the LA Times: "It's exciting. I probably shouldn't say too much about it except that I understand that there's a thousand hurdles before anything shows up in your TV listing. It's been an interesting and very educational process and it cleared the HBO hurdle a few months ago and now we're writing drafts back and forth. So, it's very much alive and incubating at the moment".

It was originally rumoured that Reznor planned to work with director Quentin Tarantino and producer Lawrence Bender on the project. Bender is involved in the HBO production, though there's no mention of Tarantino here. Daniel Knauf, writer of HBO series 'Carnivàle', is currently working on a first draft script.

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Kanye West has suspended his previously mentioned free music promotion GOOD Fridays in retaliation for certain blogs leaking unfinished songs from his in development next album. I think he's just stopping the freebie track thing for this week, though that's not 100% clear.

He tweeted thus: "Due to blogs leaking unfinished songs from my actual album, I've decided to pass on GOOD Fridays this week. It's messed up that one hacker can mess everything up for everyone. I love to take a year to finish my songs and deliver them to you guys in their most completed form. It would have seemed like since I give [away] free music every week even the lowest form of human being would respect that enough not to leak unfinished songs from my real album".

So, take note you lower than the low bloggers.

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Katy Perry
Creche Manager
Chris Moyles
Milk Monitor

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