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CMU Info
Top Stories
Ninth Circuit refuses to rehear Eminem royalty split case
In The Pop Courts
Terra Firma v Citigroup: Why no phone call Guy?
Bez loses assault conviction appeal
European Court limits private copying levy
Jammie Thomas file-sharing case to return to court, again
Charts, Stats & Polls
Rising rapper appears on hottest MC list before debut even released
Release News
New sound for new Iron & Wine
Gigs & Tours News
Numan goes Back To The Phuture
Album review: K's Choice - Echo Mountain (Sony)
The Music Business
EMI does Fuck Me deal
MU announces teaching partnerships
The Flowerpot looking for a new home
Sony stops making Walkmans
The Digital Business
MOG man does not agree with Imeem founder over the viability of digital music start ups
The Media Business
4music viewers to vote for favourite videos
Bieber interested in X-Factor judge post
And finally...
Celine Dion gives birth to two
Perry and Brand wed
Cliff to tour with Boy George shocker

Hello. How were your weekends? On Saturday, I went to a brothel. Not a sex brothel, mind. A theatrical brothel, where I paid actors money to tell me short stories under a railway arch. One of the stories did involve me getting into a bed with two other people. But it was all innocent, I promise. This was the first outing of a show called Story Whores. It was only on for two nights, but I think the plan is to do it again on a bigger scale. If and when that happens, you should go. But as it's not happening this week, you should go to these things instead...

01: SongFest. From today until Wednesday, BASCA is hosting a conference for songwriters, called SongFest, in London's glittering Brick Lane, with various panels, interviews and networking opportunities, which will see music business people and award winning songwriters like Iain Archer, Rob Davies and Sacha Skabek sharing their knowledge with songwriting types. With it all taking place at the Brickhouse, the venue will also be given over to songwriter showcase gigs in the evenings.

02: Q Awards. So, you've been to all the special gigs laid on in London in the run-up to the event (you all went, right?), and now the big day has come. The 21st Q Awards takes place tonight in London. Arcade Fire and Plan B have done best on the nominations front, with three each, while Suede have been named the winners of the Inspiration Award and Neil Finn is to get the Classic Songwriter Award.

03: Music Mind Exchange. A new programme of events discussing developments in the music business aimed at both digital and music types, Music Mind Exchange will look at music project funding this Wednesday. Advocating different methods will be Richard Lyne from fan-funding service Pledge and Tom Bywater and Paul Bedford respectively from music investment firms Power-Amp and Ingenious. CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke will also speak.

04: New releases. The album you should just about have chewed your hand off waiting for this week is 'The Fool' by Warpaint. Their debut, released through Rough Trade, is a real grower that will gradually tunnel under your skin. Also out this week is the very-much-worth-a-listen debut from The Good The Bad, '001-017', plus Bryan Ferry's guest-heavy new solo album, a huge number of Apple Corp re-issues, more re-issues from St Etienne, Andrew Bird's instrumental album, 'Useless Creatures', and School Of Seven Bells and Active Child's split remix single.

05: Gigs. Tinie Tempah and Warpaint are playing in London on Wednesday and Thursday, hooray! Also on Thursday, Kings Of Leon play a secret gig for Radio 1 and the first Now Playing show, put on by Spotify and Three, takes place at Shoreditch Town Hall. Plus, Elton John and Robert Plant both play BBC Electric Proms shows. On tour this week are Magnetic Man, Lissie, Stone Sour and Avenged Sevenfold, !!! and The Hundred In The Hands, Flying Lotus, Hafdis Huld, and the Eastpak Antidote Tour.

So, that's all very exciting, isn't it? Also, if you're a student music journalist or photographer, don't forget that Sunday is the deadline to put yourself forward in the Best Student Journalist and Best Student Photographer categories at the Record Of The Day Music Journalism & PR Awards, both of which are judged in collaboration with our sister site, CreativeStudent.net. More information from www.creativestudent.net/recordoftheday/.

Andy Malt
Editor, CMU
The Scaramanga Six are a big band. I don't mean this because there are six of them. For one thing, there aren't six of them, they number just four. I mean big in a musical sense.

Formed in 1995 by twin brothers Paul and Steven Morricone, the Leeds-based band write grand rock songs, mixing big riffs with enough theatrical bombast to nudge things firmly over the top, but without slipping and falling into the realms of pretentiousness that would take away all the fun.

The band have just made a compilation available to download for free (or for money) via Bandcamp, featuring sixteen tracks from their six albums. Each song is a poke in the ribs to ask why you've not been listening to this band for years, but tracks like 'Soul Destroyer' and 'Vesuvius' see them at their explosive best. Meanwhile, 'Horrible Face' could be a Bond theme, if it weren't for the boomed refrain, "You ugly, ugly cow!"


America's Ninth Circuit court has refused to reconsider its ruling in the previously reported legal dispute between the production company which helped launch Eminem and the rapper's record label, Universal's Aftermath.

As previously reported, when Aftermath signed Slim Shady, the production company which had previously been working with him prior to the deal - FBT Productions - got a slice of the revenues generated by some of the rapper's early recordings. As is common in record contracts, the slice was bigger on licensing deals than record sales. Because the deal was pre-iTunes etc, it didn't mention what slice of money FBT was due on downloads though, as is also common practice, Aftermath has been treating them as record sales and paying the lower royalty.

But FBT argued that the relationship between a record company and download store was based on a licensing deal rather that the supply of recordings for sale, and therefore its royalty share on download sales should be calculated using the higher rate. It's not first time such an argument has been presented - some other artists with pre-internet contracts have also said download royalties should be calculated at the usually higher licensing deal rate - though when cases have previously gone to court on this issue judges have generally ruled in the label's favour.

FBT also lost the argument in court first time round, but appealed to the Ninth Circuit court which overturned the original ruling last month finding in the production company's favour. Universal almost immediately asked for a second hearing on the dispute, but the Ninth Circuit court last week refused.

It is not clear if there are other appeal options still open to Universal, or whether the major will now have to pay FBT higher digital royalties on the Eminem songs in which the company has a stake. Of course, this whole thing would be much bigger news if the principle in this case could be applied to all other pre-net record contracts where there is a distinction between licensing and record sale royalty payments. Though, needless to say, Universal was keep to stress it could not when the Ninth Circuit originally ruled against them last month.

The major's Peter Lofrumento told Bloomberg: "It should be noted that this ruling sets no legal precedent as it only concerns the language of one specific recording agreement".

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So, Terra Firma boss Gary 'The Guy' Hands took to the stand for a third time on Friday to diss his old mate David 'The Worm' Wormsley of Citigroup Inc in the ongoing court battle over the former's claims that he only bought dead weight EMI for four billion because the latter gave him dud advice.

As much previously reported, Citigroup denies providing any advice that could be labelled "dud", and its legal team is trying to convince the New York jury hearing the case that Gary is just bitter about how much money he lost in what turned out to be a catastrophically bad investment, and now wants someone else to take the blame for his decision to buy EMI.

On Friday, Citi's legal man Ted Wells questioned Hands on why he had never tackled Wormsley directly about the advice he believed to be dud, if and when it was revealed to him that the information The Worm had provided just before Terra Firma bought EMI was inaccurate. That is to say, why did he only start making allegations about Wormsley's conduct once he'd decided to sue Citigroup, shortly after Citi knocked back Terra Firma's proposal they write off a billion of the debt owed by the music company to the bank?

"You are accusing a good friend of ten years of lying and defrauding you, yet at no time did you pick up the phone and tell him you thought he had misled you?" Wells asked. Hands confirmed that was the case, adding that he believed it would be "inappropriate" for him to have made such a phone call.

Hands is expected to wrap up his testimony this morning after which Terra Firma's legal team is expected to call The Worm to the stand as a hostile witness. Insiders say the case could run for up to another fortnight before the jury are sent into a room to deliberate.

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Goggle-eyed space cadet and tedious Madchester throw back Bez has lost his appeal against that previously reported assault conviction.

As previously reported, Bez - real name Mark Berry - was jailed for a month earlier this summer after a Manchester court found him guilty of assaulting a former girlfriend. He would have got away with community service, but he told the magistrate hearing the case "I'm not doing it. Bothered? I'm going to appeal and take this to a real court".

The promised appeal occurred last week in Manchester's Crown Court, with a judge and two magistrates taking less than one day to uphold the original ruling. They also ordered the famously broke one time 'Celebrity Big Brother' winner to pay £500 in costs.

Still a little hazy on the concept of being in contempt of court, Bez declared: "What a stitch up - I'm paying nothing".

The judge responded: "I would be very careful what you choose to say. If you express yourself in that way again I will have you arrested".

Berry vowed to appeal a second time, though his lawyer indicated that may not be viable. With Bez seemingly too angry to speak after the ruling, said lawyer also read out a statement on behalf of his client, which went: "I am disappointed at the appeal ruling and have undertaken this appeal to clear my name, nothing more".

While not making any apologies for Berry's demeanour, the legal man added for himself: "Bez is Bez, there is nothing behind the curtain, that is how he is and what he is. But he is not a violent man".

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The European Courts moved to limit the extent of the private copying tariff last week in a ruling on a dispute between the Spanish collecting society SGAE and electronics company Padewan.

In most European countries - though not the UK - the music industry applies a levy to certain recordable media or recording devices in return for allowing users to make private copies of records they buy. Most commonly, this levy was applied to the sale of blank cassettes and CDRs and handed over to a relevant collecting society to distribute back to the music community.

In the digital era, the system has become more complicated as sales of blank cassettes and CDRs have slumped and collecting societies look for other items they can apply the levy to instead, most commonly consumer electronics.

In the case before the European Court last week, SGAE had charged Padewan a levy on all CD, DVD and MP3 players it manufactured. But the electronics firm argued the levy could only be charged when a device was sold to a customer who would likely use the technology for the purpose of private copying, and not indiscriminately on all technology that may or may not be used in the private copying process.

And the European Courts last week concurred. While recognising the legitimacy of the private copying levy in principle, it said that because the levy was to make good for the "harm" of private copying, only the person directly involved in that "harm" should pay.

Moreover: "The indiscriminate application of the private copying levy to all types of digital reproduction equipment, devices and media, including in the case expressly mentioned by the national court in which they are acquired by persons other than natural persons for purposes clearly unrelated to private copying [is not allowed]".

Padewan also accused SGAE of applying the private copying levy inconsistently, though the European judges said that was a matter for the national court.

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Possibly the most famous of all the sue-the-fan lawsuits (or possibly the second most famous), that involving Jammie Thomas, is set to return to court for a third time.

As much previously reported, the Recording Industry Association Of America is continuing to pursue its outstanding copyright infringement lawsuits against individual file-sharers, despite dropping its sue-the-fans approach to tackling file-sharing sometime ago. The outstanding cases are those where the person accused of file-sharing decided to defend themselves in court.

As in the Jammie Thomas case, said people have generally failed in their bid to convince the courts they are not guilty of copyright infringement, that is to say the RIAA has generally won its legal actions with little drama. However, there has been much more debate as to what sorts of damages defendants should pay to the owners of the copyrights they infringed.

On first hearing, Thomas was ordered to pay the record industry $222,000 in damages, but that ruling was subsequently dismissed, leading to a second trial, where a jury again found the file-sharer guilty of infringement and damages jumped up to a massive $1.92 million. But a subsequent hearing on the damages alone slashed the sum Thomas must pay down to the much more modest $54,000.

Despite the much lower bill now facing the file-sharer, and rumours the RIAA was actually willing to accept about half that sum to end the case, Thomas decided she wanted to return to court for a third time. This hearing will just consider damages, but presumably Thomas thinks she can persuade the jury to slash the money she must pay the record industry even further.

It is a risk. Having had their lower damages offer knocked back, it is thought the RIAA's legal people will now push for mega-bucks damages again and, if they win them, argue that, if a jury awards major league damages twice, it is not for a judge to slash them. Which could leave Thomas facing a bill of hundreds of thousands, or even millions, once again. Not that she has any money to speak of, making the whole thing a bit pointless really.

The third Jammie Thomas case will reach court on 2 Nov.

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Rising American rapper Nicki Minaj has been put at number six on MTV's Hottest MC List despite the fact her debut album isn't even out yet, which sort of piles on the pressure for the lady hip hopper. Though, as she's guested on tracks with all manner of big names this year, maybe she's somewhat prepared. Her debut album, 'Pink Friday', is due out next month.

Eminem tops the list, issued for the fourth time this year, while Jay-Z is at two, Kanye West is at three, and Drake is at four.

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Sam Beam has revealed that his next Iron & Wine album, his first for 4AD (and Warner Music in the US), will be more poppy than you'd expect, albeit influenced by 1970s pop.

He's told Spin magazine that he has dropped his folky rootsy sound for the new album, and that a few different sounds will appear instead, including "jazz, blues, and African elements", though much of the long player will "sound like the music people heard in their parent's car growing up".

The new album is called 'Kiss Each Other Clean' and will be out next year.

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The wonder man that is Gary Numan will play live at two gigs being hosted in early December by Wall Of Sound chief Mark Jones under his Back To The Phuture brand.

The gigs will take place at the Manchester Academy on 2 Dec and at London's The Troxy on 3 Dec. Also on the bill at the Manchester gig will be Recoil and Motor, while in London John Foxx, The Whip and Motor will play live. Richard H Kirk and Jones himself will DJ at both gigs.

Jones told CMU: "Its amazing to see Back To The Phuture evolve into a live 'happening' and to be able to present inspiring artists that've paved the way for all of us alongside amazing current talent. Their music has never been more relevant to what's happening - tomorrow is today".

More at www.backtothephuture.net

Oh, and look, here's a playlist Gary Numan put together for us earlier this year: www.thecmuwebsite.com/playlists/garynuman.html

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ALBUM REVIEW: K's Choice - Echo Mountain (Sony)
Another comeback album from ties broken a little less than a decade ago, 'Echo Mountain' is the fifth full-length studio recording from Belgian alt-folk outfit K's Choice.

A band more recognised for their work in the early to mid 90s - when every indie chick's poster girls of choice were Alanis Morissette and Fiona Apple, and boy was I no stranger to that - K's Choice did and continue to cater to a certain demographic of coolly sensitive but passionately outspoken young women (and men, I suppose). I'm slightly embarrassed to say I discovered them via a guest spot in an early episode of 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'. But, despite that exposure, they were never so widely embraced as they perhaps should have been.

The new album is split into two discs of seven tracks each and is clean and delicate, sometimes sadly to the point of mundane. But where it shines, it shines, and standout track 'Killing Dragons' is geared more towards the echoing and beautiful melancholy that KC are so good at churning out. Though, I remain a little confused as to why it's been spread across two discs; stylistically, each side is not too different from the other, and the music would work just as well sitting together without a moment for a quick breather. The album is so relaxed as a whole you really don't need a rest.

'Echo Mountain' has been touted as a hopeful rebirth, and while its subtle minimalism and borderline poppy hooks may not reap any new fans, the old ones can be assured that the Betten siblings are more or less back on form. TW

Physical release: 18 Oct
Press contact: Partisan

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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"Fuck me", EMI's CEO of recorded music outside North America, David Kassler, was heard to exclaim on Friday. At first everyone assumed he'd just seen coverage of the Terra Firma v Citigroup court case and had finally realised he was working for a company owned by idiots. But no, he was merely warming up to announce his firm's latest new business partnership.

EMI has teamed up with Guetta Events, the clubbing company owned and run by David Guetta and his wife Cathy, to further exploit their Ibiza club night 'Fuck Me I'm Famous'. The aim is to stage FMIF nights around the world, expand the club's compilation series, and launch a range of Fuck Me merchandise. You know, t-shirts bearing killer slogans like "Fuck me, we owe the bank three billion", and "Fuck me, I'm employed by idiots", and "Fuck me, this time next year I'll be working for Warner Music".

Confirming the partnership, which expands Guetta's existing artist relationship with the major, the aforementioned Kassler told CMU: "You only have to attend one of the club nights in Ibiza to understand the importance of FMIF to dance music fans. Cathy and David have done a great job establishing it as such a strong brand in Ibiza, and everybody at EMI is excited about working in collaboration with them to take it on to the next stage of its development".

Cathy herself added: "This association with EMI will help us to ensure that the success of the Ibiza FMIF nights will now be felt around the world. We're looking forward to working in partnership with the team there to create a truly international brand".

For legal reasons we must point out David Kassler does not work for a company owned by idiots. Well, not just idiots.

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The Musicians' Union has announced two new initiatives to help musicians who teach, after the organisation's Teachers Conference' in Leeds last week. One initiative will see the launch of a new resource advising those who teach young people music skills outside of the school room on their child protection duties, while the other will see the MU work more closely with website MusicTeachers.co.uk.

Diane Widdison, the MU's National Organiser for Teaching, told CMU: "People often don't appreciate how isolated instrumental teachers can feel, and these conferences provide an invaluable opportunity for them to make contact with each other as well as a forum to discuss issues that are of importance to them in their work. We hope that the launch of these initiatives will be of a great benefit to musicians who work in education".

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North London venue The Flowerpot is looking for a new home after the lease on its current building on Kentish Town Road was sold. According to a statement on the venue's website, it will have to shut as soon as next week.

The statement reads: "We're completed gutted to inform you that from 1 Nov The Flowerpot will no longer be at this venue. We will of course be taking everything and everyone with us when we go and promise to find a new HQ quicker than you can say Jager Bomb".

A Flowerpot New Years party at the near by HMV Forum will not be affected.

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You might be surprised to hear Sony was still making cassette Walkmans, but they were. Until earlier this year. According to reports, Sony has confirmed it stopped shipping the portable cassette players in April and once the last batch have been sold no more will ever be made available.

I'm not sure in which territories the old-style music players were still being sold, possibly Japan. But if you want one for old time's sake, you better get out and there and find one quick, because very soon there will be no more on offer. Though I think there's one in a large red box of junk in my mum and dad's garage if you're really desperate.

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The mouthy boss of US-based streaming music service MOG, which is planning a UK launch as we speak, has hit out at comments made by the founder of the now defunct Imeem last week about the challenges of developing viable digital music services.

Imeem founder Dalton Caldwell said in a speech last week that the demands and inflexibility of the record companies made it impossible for digital start-ups to launch viable music services, because the upfront fees and royalties that have to be paid are unrealistic.

He also postured that the only way the digital music market could gain proper momentum would be if government added digital to the compulsory licensing system, so that labels would be obligated to license their music to digital firms at pre-agreed rates via collecting societies.

But MOG man David Hyman does not concur. Writing for TechCrunch, he says: "It's hard work getting deals done with the labels. They have limited business development resources and can't make thousands of bets. [But] contrary to what Dalton conveyed, the labels don't require you to do deals that make no economic sense. For example, MOG is very happy with the realistic minimum guarantees that were set, all of which we've hit. You have to come to the labels with a great idea, a great product and a model that works".

On the compulsory licensing point, he added: "As for Congress getting involved with statutory rates, it's my opinion that these rates and not letting the free market dictate how this area evolves will be the death of the music industry. Can you imagine, Congress coming up with how much a label (and ultimately an artist) can make by placing caps on the industry? I assure you that would be the industry's quickest decline, as it would become impossible for labels to make bets on new talent".

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4Music has launched a vote to decide the best music video of 2010, because if there's one thing this world really needs, it's more surveys about what music people like.

The music telly channel is currently airing a number of shows under the '4Music Video Honours' banner reminding viewers of the pop promos they might want to vote for. There will then be a public vote before a results show is aired on 27 Nov. As well as the main rather boring award for Best Video, there'll also be gongs for hottest boys, hottest girls and hottest hook ups.

Says 4Music's Dave Young: "2010 has been an amazing year for pop music, with more new acts, top singles and groundbreaking records than ever before. As the UK's favourite music TV channel, it was only right that 4Music should lead the charge on crowning the best and brightest acts and videos from the past twelve months".

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Everyone wants to be a judge of the 'X-Factor' when it launches in America next year. Well, I say everyone, I mean Justin Bieber and "one of the most famous singers in the world".

Simon Cowell confirmed last week that the Biebster had already put himself forward for a guest judge spot on the show, while this really famous but unnamed possible judge had been in touch "out of the blue" just last week. I reckon it was the blonde one out of Big Fun.

Perhaps Bieber could advise and judge on the fourth week of the live shows where contestants are charged with the task of making young children cry while being hit on the head by a bottle. For tips on the latter, American 'X' wannabes should study this video:


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Celine Dion has given birth to twins, it has been announced. She gave birth to both sons at more or less the same time after having a caesarean section at a Florida hospital on Saturday morning.

Said hospital issued a statement to the media saying: "On behalf of the entire staff of St Mary's Medical Center, I would like to offer our congratulations to Celine Dion and Rene Angelil on the birth of their twins here in our hospital this afternoon".

The singer had been admitted to hospital last week on the recommendation of doctors because of the high risk nature of her pregnancy.

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Katy Perry has married Russell Brand in an hour long Hindu ceremony in India.

The ceremony took place in the exotic resort of Aman-I-Khas in Jaipur, Rajasthan, in the company of close friends and family. Apparently the ceremony included walking around a sacred fire seven times while reciting Sanskrit mantras and the tying of a special wedding scarf.

Security guards kept the press pack at bay, meaning no one really knows whether there were any celebrity guests at the ceremony, leading to speculation in some media as to what famous faces might have been on the guest list. The Sun seem convinced Sean 'Diddy' Combs and David Baddiel were there. We're going with Kate Thornton, Bob Holness, Chris Waddle and the late, great Tony Hart.

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The Daily Telegraph is not impressed at the news that Cliff Richard is to tour Germany with Boy George or, to use the broadsheet's words, a "cross-dressing 80s star, who was imprisoned last year for the assault and false imprisonment of a male escort".

The paper exclaims: "When Sir Cliff Richard set off in a double-decker bus in 'Summer Holiday', he was accompanied by Una Stubbs and her wholesome chums. When he embarks on his latest tour, he will, though, be joined by a most unlikely figure".

And they quote one Cliff fan who squeals: "What on earth is he doing? When he can fill arenas round the globe, why does he need to headline a tour on which Boy George also features?"

But Cliff's agent Bill Latham was on hand to reassure any shocked Telegraph-reading Cliff fans. "They won't, actually, ever be sharing a stage", Bill Latham insisted, before adding, rather oddly, "Or anything else, for that matter".

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Wayne Rooney
Ambitions Monitor

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