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CMU Info
Top Stories
Could an equity deal halt Terra Firma v Citigroup court clash? Probably not
In The City kicks off today
Awards & Contests
Music Video Awards presented
Reunions & Splits
Another Culture Club reunion planned
Velvet Revolver jamming again
Release News
Tom Waits to release charity record on a 78
Andrew Bird to release instrumental album
Toro Y Moi to launch new project
Films & Shows News
Fiddy films get cash injection
Gigs & Tours News
Zappa joined by Mighty Boosh for Frank's 70th birthday
The Sound Of Arrows announce November tour
Album review: Performance - Red Brick Heart (Too Much Information)
The Music Business
INgrooves announce new investment, extended Universal deal
EMI appoint new Aussie A&R chief
The Digital Business
Universal licence 250,000 songs to eMusic
The Media Business
Is Chris Moyles negotiating a Global Radio deal?
And finally...
Christina Aguilera splits from husband
Justin Bieber to cameo in Inbetweeners?
Fancy some B&S taco?

Chiddy Bang - aka MC Chidera 'Chiddy' Anamege and producer Noah 'Xaphoon Jones' Beresin - met at Drexel University in 2008, and shortly afterwards put together a mixtape together called 'The Swelly Express', the plan being to distribute it to fellow students. But the tape gained over 100,000 downloads in the first month alone. EMI came knocking, signing the band to its Parlophone subsidiary in the UK and releasing their debut single, the MGMT-sampling 'Opposite Of Adults', earlier this year to great success. With their debut album proper still in production, the duo released a mini-album, 'The Preview', this week and are currently on tour with label mate Tinie Tempah. They are also due to play In The City tonight, ahead of which we spoke to Chiddy and Xaphoon to find out some more about them.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
Xaphoon: I started out working in local Philly studios with jazz guys as a kid. They used to have me run errands, clean the place, roll them joints - ha! I used to stay late after everyone left and mess around with the equipment and instruments. I decided then that I wanted to make my own music.

Chiddy: As far back as I remember, me and my friends used to hang around rapping. We used to rap to each other over the phone at night, at lunch in school. Anywhere we could we were just rapping. I always knew this is what I wanted to do with my life.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Xaphoon: Well, our latest release, 'The Preview', is not really our album. It's exactly what the title suggests... a preview of some things to come. The past eight months have been such a whirlwind with the successes we've had. We never could have imagined things would go so well. It was a double edge sword in a way though, because we have been so busy with non-stop touring all over the world, interviews, promo and everything that we haven't had a chance to sit down and REALLY dedicate some uninterrupted time to making new music. We had a bunch of ideas that we want to see through for the actual album, so rather than just disappear until things are done we wanted to get a few new tracks out there for people to bop to. After we get off tour with Tinie Tempah we're going to lock ourselves up in a studio somewhere and get weird.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Chiddy: Noah usually comes up with the beat first and then he'll play it for me. I know right away if it's right. When he comes with the fire I can finish a track pretty quick. That's my barometer. If in the first few seconds of a track I can hear some ideas - I know it's something I should work on.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Chiddy: Lauryn Hill, Jay-Z, Kanye...

Xaphoon: ...Joe Strummer is one of my all time favourites, Kanye of course, J-Dilla. A lot of the old school DJ/producers like Pete Rock, DJ Jazzy Jeff.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Xaphoon: Forget what you think hip hop should sound like, and listen with an open mind. Hopefully we can create something to move people. A lot of our fans are the same age as us, so I think they get what we're trying to do.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Chiddy: We'd like to just continue to grow and move along the path we've started on. Hopefully people like 'The Preview', and we want to blow people away with our real next album 'The Swelly Life'. We'd like to keep making music that people enjoy and hopefully outdo ourselves each time out.

Xaphoon: I see a lot of hectic schedules in our future! Ha!

MORE>> www.chiddy-bang.com

CHIDDY BANG AT IN THE CITY: The Roadhouse at 11pm on 13 Oct
Belgium-born and Melbourne-based musician Gotye (pronounced "gore-ti-yeah"), real name Wally De Backer, released his debut UK album, 'Like Drawing Blood', in August 2008, which went on the be named the iTunes Album Of The Year. By that point, though, the album was old news back in Australia, where it had been released in 2006, and fans were eager for a follow-up. But once the touring and promotion that accompanied 'Like Drawing Blood' were out of the way, things went very quiet.

Thankfully, Gotye returned yesterday, premiering his new single 'Eyes Wide Open' on Australian radio station Triple J, before making it available as a free download via Bandcamp. The only piece of information I think you really need to know about this track is that its bass line was recorded using the Winton Musical Fence in Queensland. But you may also be interested to learn that the track features a more live sound that Gotye's very sample-heavy earlier recordings, and is underpinned by a driving drum beat and led by ethereal slide guitar and Gotye's as always striking voice.


According to Mark Kleinman at Sky News, EMI owner Terra Firma's last-ditch attempt to avoid a courtroom showdown with bankers Citigroup is a proposal that would see the US bank write off up to £2 billion of the music major's debts in return for a stake in the company.

As much previously reported, the London-based equity group and its top man Gary 'The Guy' Hands are due to face the American bank and Terra Firma's main advisor there, David 'The Worm' Wormsley, in a New York court from Monday. Gary claims The Worm gave him bad advice ahead of Terra Firma's audacious takeover of EMI in 2007, partly because Citigroup was representing both the equity group and the music company at the same time.

That said, the legal fight only began last year after The Worm reportedly failed to agree to Gary's plans to restructure EMI's multi-billion dollar debts to Citigroup, debts caused by the 2007 takeover. Those plans seemingly involved Citi writing off a billion or so of the debt in return for a commitment by Terra Firma to inject new cash into the flagging music giant.

As also previously reported, while both sides prepare for battle, ad hoc talks have been ongoing to try to settle out of court, mainly because it's likely neither side will come out of this legal squabble well in PR terms. The Mail reported on Sunday that such talks occurred as recently as last weekend.

According to Kleinman, Terra Firma still insists that it'll only drop its lawsuit against Citigroup if the bankers agree to restructure EMI's crippling debts. He reckons the latest proposal is that the bank writes off between one and two billion of its loan to EMI and, in return, takes a stake in the music firm.

Presumably the equity men are arguing that, while EMI is in a mess, most of that mess is directly linked to the stresses caused by the very public Citigroup loan, and day to day operations at the music firm are actually going quite well. Therefore an EMI with much smaller debt commitments would be worth having a stake in. And think of all the free Katy Perry stuff you could take home to your kids.

Makes sense. Though Sky, like the Mail, like CMU, reckon that while both sides in this dispute recognise an out of court settlement is desirable, neither side is likely to compromise enough to make it happen. Writes Kleinman on his blog: "A successful conclusion to these last-ditch negotiations still seems unlikely given the distance between the two sides during previous talks. So the smart money (not much of which seems to have been on evidence in this takeover) would probably remain on Citigroup and Terra Firma turning up in court next Monday to face the music".

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Ladies and gentlemen, please position your seats so they are facing Manchester. Because that's where it's at, you see. Yes, music business convention In The City kicks off in Manchester later today with three days of talking, networking, learning and gigging. And wondering whether the air conditioning in your hotel room is actually working. Though that last bit might be just me.

Unfortunately Jay Brown, President of Jay Z's Roc Nation company, has had to pull out of his in conversation event this afternoon because of a "serious matter concerning my family", but there's still plenty of great stuff happening on the conference side of day one of ITC, including the Musicians' Union's previously reported debate on the rights and wrongs of pay to play gigs and a panel on the potential of the Chinese music market, led by John Robb.

Today also sees the first of two panels involving CMU. Business Editor Chris Cooke will lead a debate on music sponsorship, with Janine Smith of Que Pasa Communications, Jack Fryer of Frukt, Tom Carson of Jagermeister and Steve Smith of Ear To The Ground among those taking part.

Says Chris: "Those who tell us record labels are on their way out often point out how much brand money there is out there for music people. But just how much money is there really, what do brands want in return, and how might you go about getting access to this sponsorship party? This is a great panel of experts, and I plan to get the answers to these and more questions this afternoon".

There is also an educational strand to ITC this year called The Hive, and CMU is involved in that too. Tomorrow we'll be presenting some mini-sessions from the CMU Training programme on copyright and revenue streams, while today's CMU workshop, at midday, is all about pursuing a career in music. It kicks off at midday.

Music-wise, if you fancy stalking Team CMU this evening we suggest you check out Brasstronaut, Seeräuber Jenny, Male Bonding, Oh No Ono, No Age, Chiddy Bang and Oberhofer. And look out for more ITC coverage at www.thecmuwebsite.com/inthecity2010

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So, it was the third Music Video Awards in London town last night and, perhaps unsurprisingly, Plan B and OK Go dominated. This was unsurprising because Plan B already led the way with eleven nominations, while OK Go, well, they're the 'video band', aren't they? The former took four awards on the night, while the latter got the Best Rock Video and overall Best Video prizes. Elsewhere an Icon Award went to film directors Garth Jennings and Nick Goldsmith for all their pop promo work for the likes of Blur, Supergrass, Fatboy Slim and Radiohead. Ed O'Brien of the latter presented the Icon gong.

The full list of winners on the night, with directors in brackets, were as follows:

Best Pop Video: Plan B - Prayin (Daniel Wolfe)
Best Dance Video: Hot Chip - I Feel Better (Peter Serafinowicz)
Best Urban Video: Jay Z - On To The Next One (Sam Brown)
Best Rock Video: OK Go - This Too Shall Pass (James Frost, Synn Labs, OK Go)
Best Indie Video: Charlotte Gainsbourg - Heaven Can Wait (Keith Schofield)
Best Budget Rock Video: Sour - Hibi No Neiro (Masashi Kawamura, Hal Kirkland)
Best Budget Dance Video: Example - Watch The Sun Come Up (Ben Newman)
Best International Video: Lady Gaga - Bad Romance (Francis Lawrence)

Best Animation: Gorillaz - On Melancholy Hill (Jamie Hewlett, Pete Candeland)
Best Art Direction: Plan B - Prayin (Daniel Wolfe)
Best Cinematography: Plan B - Stay Too Long (Daniel Wolfe)
Best Editing: Jay-Z - On To The Next One (Sam Brown)
Best Styling: Plan B - Stay Too Long (Daniel Wolfe)
Best Telecine: Biffy Clyro - God & Satan (Corin Hardy)
Best Visual Effects: Audiobullys - Only Man (Jonas & Francois)

The Innovation Award: The Johnny Cash Project
Best Live Music Coverage: The Prodigy Live at Milton Keynes Bowl (Paul Dugdale)
Best Music Ad: Dizzee Rascal - Tongue N Cheek (Chris Boyle)

Best Producer: Tim Francis
Best Commissioner: Ross Anderson
Best New Director: Ben Newman
Best Director: Daniel Wolfe
The Icon Award: Hammer & Tongs

Video Of The Year: OK Go - This Too Shall Pass (James Frost, Synn Labs, OK Go)

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If we all remember to stay alive until April 2012, Boy George has promised us a Culture Club reunion. So that's something to look forward to, isn't it? That and the inevitable collapse of human civilization as we know it, which is due in November 2012, if I remember correctly. Perhaps the reformed Culture Club could play the pre-collapse party.

It seems Mark Ronson was in someway responsible for this (the Culture Club reunion, not the inevitable collapse of human civilization, his sister is in charge of that). Apparently he's been busy trying to persuade Boy George to go back into the studio with his former bandmates to work on some dreaded new material. And George has seemingly agreed, with plans to coincide this latest Culture Club reunion with the thirtieth anniversary of the band's first single.

Says George: "We're definitely doing it, yeah, yeah, in 2012. Our D-Day is 30 Apr, which is the same day as our first ever single release, 'White Boy', and yeah, we're doing it, it's going to be great fun. [And] if we don't do it now we'll do it when we're 60, which will be really tragic. In fact, when I do this tour next year I will be 50 officially, because I'm 50 on the 14 Jun - in eight months time!"

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Velvet Revolver are jamming again, it seems, though they are still sans-singer of course, having parted company with Scott Weiland in 2008.

The rest of the band stopped looking for a replacement frontman last year so Slash could concentrate on his solo album and Duff McKagan could spend some time in Jane's Addiction, basically putting the whole venture on hiatus. But Slash has posted a message on his MySpace saying the band are now back working together and trying out new singers.

Writes the guitar man: "VR is back together jamming, trying out singers. No updates yet. But it's great to hook up with Duff, Matt and Dave after all this time. I'll keep you posted on any interesting developments from those sessions as they happen. The creative juices are definitely flowing. I'm positive something awesome is going to surface soon".

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Well, if my dad's to be believed, buying records has never been quite the same since they phased out good old fashioned 78s. He's very old. I can only just about remember there being a record player in my house that played such things, and I'm quite old.

But could those records that play at 78rpm be about to make a comeback? Probably not, but Tom Waits will release a version of his recent collaboration with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on the format. And, because only nine people now have the technology to play such records, he's even releasing a special record player with a 78rpm option.

Waits recently worked with the New Orleans-based jazz band on a benefit album called 'Preservation'. The whole project was apparently inspired by an old 78rpm recording of Danny Barker's 1947 Mardi Gras Indian street chant 'Tootie Ma Is a Big Fine Thing'. And it is a Waits/Preservation Hall cover of that track that will get a limited edition 78 release.

Only 504 copies of the record will be released and 100 of the new record players will be sold, all in aid of the Preservation Hall Junior Jazz & Heritage Brass Band.

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Andrew Bird will release instrumental album 'Useless Creatures' on 25 Oct through Bella Union. The album was originally released as a bonus disc in the deluxe edition of his last proper LP, 'Noble Beat', last year.

You can download a track from 'Useless Creatures', entitled 'Hot Math', here: soundcloud.com/bella-union/andrew-bird-hot-math-bella-union

And here's the tracklist for the entire album for you to peruse:

Master Sigh
You Woke Me Up!
The Barn Tapes
Carrion Suite
Hot Math
Sigh Master

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Toro Y Moi, aka Chaz Bundick, has announced that he will launch a new dance-orientated project called Les Sins next month, with a twelve-inch single featuring two tracks - 'Lina' and 'Youth Club'.

While you wait for that, Bundick, in his Toro Y Moi guise, will support Foals on their upcoming UK tour, and is playing two headline shows while he's here at the Cardiff Arts Institute on 18 Oct and London's Cargo on 19 Oct.

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50 Cent's film company has reportedly just received a $200 million cash injection from a consortium of investors, including healthcare executive Richard Jackson and real estate developers Gary Sakwa and Daniel Ret.

According to AllHipHop.com, the deal gives the investors a stake in the first ten films made by the rapper's movie outfit, a joint venture between Fiddy and producer Randall Emmett.

The film company, called Cheetah Vision, currently has a number of projects in development, including a film called 'Set Up' which is reportedly already in production.

As previously reported, a casting agency recently began legal proceedings against Fiddy in relation to fees it claims it is owed for work done on another of the hip hopper's movie projects.

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Frank Zappa's eldest son Dweezil will be bringing his acclaimed Zappa Plays Zappa show back to the UK next month to mark what would have been his father's 70th birthday, and he will be joined by The Mighty Boosh Band for the party.

The show will take place at The Roundhouse in London on 6 Nov and will see the Zappa Plays Zappa band performing Frank's 'Apostrophe (')' album in full, with a little help from the man himself, thanks to some video jiggery pokery.

Supporting them, Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt, aka The Mighty Boosh, will perform their own unique take on several Zappa tracks, as well as delivering a dialogue from Zappa's Old Bailey obscenity trial.

The show is part of a three day festival celebrating the life and work of Frank Zappa, who died in 1993 from prostate cancer. More information from www.roundhouse.org.uk/frank-zappa

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CMU Approved Swedish pop duo The Sound Of Arrows have announced that they will be in the UK for some tour dates next month, which is very nice to know. This should get you in the mood before they finally release their debut album next year.

Here's the quite astonishing video for their last single, 'Into The Clouds': youtu.be/Z21F39BCgUk

Tour dates:

7 Nov: Oxford, Jericho
8 Nov: London, Cargo
9 Nov: Birmingham, HMV Institute
10 Nov: Manchester, Trof

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ALBUM REVIEW: Performance - Red Brick Heart (Too Much Information)
Performance first came to my attention in 2005, their single 'Love Life' being a work of fizzy electro-pop genius. But implosive inter-band dramas and major label shenanigans pushed them off the radar and their debut album garnered little attention when it eventually surfaced in 2007. Since then fellow Manc electro-poppers The Whip, Delphic and Hurts have enjoyed quite a bit more critical and commercial success, but 'Red Brick Heart', the group's second album, shows no sign of bitterness. Unfortunately, it's not much cop either.

The punky 'Unconsoled' kicks off proceedings with a burst of energy but sadly not much in the way of memorable tuneage and thereon in things only improve sporadically. The sassy 'Miracles' goes some way to reminding us why the trio sounded so exciting when they first emerged, whilst 'O, Surgeon' has some nice icy, Numan-esque synths which strive to elevate it above the ordinary and into the realms of epic.

But these are bright spots in a sea of amenable but fairly unremarkable indie pop and synth-rock, of the sort done better by other bands in recent years (Shiny Toy Guns particularly spring to mind). Although it's certainly no worse than the type of stuff The Killers made their name with.

By no means awful then, but ultimately unmemorable. MS

Physical release: 25 Oct
Press contact: Work It Media

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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Digital distributor INgrooves has announced it has received a new investment from Shamrock Capital Growth, which isn't an Irish metal band but an equity firm that specialises in media and entertainment investments.

The specifics of the investment are not known, but INgrooves says it will use the capital injection to expand into new areas like eBook distribution and to make some strategic acquisitions in the digital music sector.

INgrooves has also extended the term of its distribution agreement with Universal Music, another investor in the digital firm. The extended deal relates to the major's use of INgroove's ONE Digital distribution platform.

INgrooves top man Robb McDaniels told CMU: "Our new partnership with Shamrock will give us the financial flexibility to increase the functionality of the ONE Digital platform and make strategic acquisitions to expand our global footprint. Moreover, we are honoured by UMG's continued validation of, and belief in, the ONE Digital platform. UMG's knowledge and repertoire make us a better company and we are thrilled that our overall relationship has continued to flourish".

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Bosses at EMI Australasia yesterday cleared their diaries and put on their very best trousers to announce the appointment of award winning producer and sound engineer Scott Horscroft to the job of VP A&R, to replace the departing Craig Hawker.

Horscroft produced the ARIA award winning Presets album 'Apocalypso', and is nominated for Producer Of The Year at the Aussie version of the BRITs again this year, this time for his work on the eponymous debut album from EMI signings Birds Of Tokyo.

Says EMI Australia chairman Mark Poston: "Scott's exceptional understanding of a great song and great talent together with a clearly successful business acumen and ability to balance artistic, commercial and consumer interests are rare to find. This combination together with his award-winning producer and engineer skills in making great records make Scott an ideal leader for the continuing evolution of EMI as a leader in credible and successful local talent".

For legal reasons, we should stress EMI Australasia bosses did not put on their very best trousers yesterday. I mean, think about it, they're Australian, and everyone knows that in Australia record company executives only wear shorts.

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Following the previously reported rumours that US-based digital music service eMusic was in talks with Universal, it's been confirmed that the major has licensed about 250,000 tracks to the MP3 platform.

Universal is the third major to start providing content to eMusic, which used to sell only indie label music, partly because it has always been an MP3-based platform, and for years the majors wouldn't sell their music in the most popular file format. Sony was the first to major to sign up, followed by Warner; talks are reportedly ongoing with EMI. As with the other major label relationships, the Universal deal will be primarily of benefit to eMusic's US customers.

eMusic has also announced a revamp of its pricing structure. Unlike iTunes et al, eMusic is a subscription-based service where you pay a monthly fee and get a set number of downloads in return. Previously, subscribers received 'credits' for their monthly subs, with each track download costing one credit. Now their account will be credited in dollars or pounds equal to their subscription fee, and each download will have an actual cash cost attached to it.

It basically introduces variable pricing to the eMusic platform, which was seemingly needed to get Universal on board.

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Rumour has it that Chris Moyles it planning to jump before he's pushed from Radio 1, which would figure. Half the population might think of him as an overpaid, odious, irritant, but he's clearly not stupid.

Speculation has been mounting for a while now as to how long Moyles can stay on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show, not because he's losing audience - his ratings are very healthy - but because the nation's favourite, as a youth station, should never stick to the same programming formula for too long, and the whole of the channel's daytime output is currently sounding very stale. What is really needed is a radical revamp, and that would surely mean a change of talent in the peak time breakfast slot.

But if Moyles is moved out of breakfast, he's unlikely to want a lesser slot on Radio 1, and it's hard to see where he could go elsewhere on the BBC's national station network. Which almost certainly means a return to commercial radio. Moyles has been dismissive of a lot of commercial radio in the past, but he is, nevertheless, an attractive hire for the big commercial players, given he still commands a large and dedicated following, even if the majority are out of Radio 1's core demographic.

Beehive City has pointed out that Moyles is good friends with Global Radio boss Ashley Tabor, and reckons a deal with the Capital FM owners is the most likely next step in the Radio 1 DJ's career. The website goes on to cite sources who say talks are already underway for Moyles to join Global next year when his current BBC contract expires, probably as one of the flagship presenters on the all new Capital FM network which, as previously reported, will see the London-based station start broadcasting in multiple regions around the UK.

Despite Moyles' much publicised on air rant about his bosses at Radio 1, after there were delays with his fees being paid, the DJ seemingly remains on good terms with the BBC station. And if he were able to negotiate a Global deal, he'd probably be doing his current employers a favour, allowing them to instigate the much needed revamp to the Radio 1 schedules, but following a "Moyles goes on to bigger and better things" story, rather than a "Moyles the latest BBC big name to get the axe" scenario.

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In much the same way that no one wanted the last Christina Aguilera album, turns out Jordan Bratman doesn't what Christina herself. That is to say, according to reports the popstress has split from her husband of five years, music marketing man Bratman. Though, in the same way Christina Aguilera's last album was rather dull, so is this break up. That is to say, it all seems to be rather amicable.

A source has told Us Magazine that the couple have been "separated for a few months", adding: "They are now living apart, and they will see how that goes. They are very much in love. But over the last six months, it became clear they were more like friends than husband and wife".

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Justin Bieber has a sense of humour, who knew? According to Perez Hilton, the Biebster is a fan of rather fine Channel 4 sitcom 'The Inbetweeners' and says he would like a cameo a future edition of the show.

Perez quotes the popster thus: "I came across 'The Inbetweeners' and, man, it was the funniest thing I had ever seen. It was so real to actually what goes on at school. So many high school shows try and glamorise school, but this was real and that's what made it so funny. If they are going to make a fourth series or a movie, I would make sure I was free to do a cameo. If they want me I'm there".

Of course, no fourth series is planned, though a movie is in development, and a few celebrity guest spots might just secure a bigger budget for the show's producers. So, as ludicrous as "Justin Bieber to cameo in 'Inbetweeners'" sounds, perhaps it could happen.

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Most long-running bands launch a side project eventually, though not many involve Mexican cuisine. But Belle & Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch has told the NME that his band's next project may just do that.

He explained: "I have some ideas that I might have to act upon. One of them is to open a taqueria in Glasgow. There's no decent Mexican food in Glasgow. I've had this idea for a while, to open a Belle and Sebastian taqueria. You're laughing, but I'm about to get serious about this. Because this could be the thing that allows me to carry on doing music - to serve a decent taco".

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
John Lennon
People Imaginer

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