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CMU Info
Top Stories
Spotify made £16.66 million in losses in 2009
In The Pop Courts
Usher caught up in song theft allegation
Buckcherry man's former manager sues The Agency Group
Charts, Stats & Polls
Take away orders predict X-Factor loser, research shows
Reunions & Splits
Lydon postpones PiL album
Ex-Dream Theater man not happy about band's continuation
In The Studio
New Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds album coming in 2011
Release News
Fever Ray pens Red Riding Hood track
Blood Red Shoes ask fans for interview questions
Gigs & Tours News
Explosions In The Sky announce UK shows
Venetian Snares announces one-off London show
The NME Awards shows announced
Album review: Cradle Of Filth - Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa (Peaceville/Abracadaver)
Brands & Stuff
Wilco launch coffee brand
The Music Business
Amazon sells Take That and SuBo albums for a pound
The Digital Business
Vaizey claims to be pro net-neutrality, though mainly by defining it differently
Topspin and Essential announce alliance
The Media Business
Chris Moyles denies Sirius XM talks
And finally...
Dave Stewart provides AMA commentary

Formed in 2004, Bring Me The Horizon released their debut album, 'Count Your Blessings' in 2006 via Visible Noise. 2008's 'Suicide Season' saw them progress to a more metalcore sound, which they explored further on this year's 'There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret'. Next month the band are due to support Bullet For My Valentine on their UK arena tour. Ahead of that, we spoke to frontman Oli Sykes.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
When me and my mates were about fourteen, we used to just jam out in my garage - none of us could play our instruments or anything, but we'd try! From there I'd just practice doing heavy vocals and screaming in my room, until me and Matt, our drummer, ended up in a band together - which was shit too! We were called Years Of Ephemera. Then we went off to college and Matt met our guitarists Lee Malia and Curtis Ward [the latter left the band in 2009]. Matt asked me if I wanted to make another band with them and that was that.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Heaven and Hell. The album is kind of conceptual and is about Heaven and Hell being an ocean inside of everyone rather than some place where you go to when you die.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Me and Lee sit down and work out the core of the song - the riffs and the structure. Then we put some drums and some bass to it, put the lyrics in and there you have your classic BMTH track! We've always done it the same. Inspiration comes at really random times so we just try things as they come.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Dire Straits, Pink Floyd and even Freddie Mercury is an inspiration to me as a musician. People might find that strange, considering the type of music we play, but there's a lot of classic rock influences on the new album.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I'd say "Get ready" and wink at them! Seriously though, we write music for ourselves so I'd tell people to have an open mind. A lot of the people that listen to our music - metalcore fans or not - are really diverse and we take in a lot of different styles with the new album. So I suppose people would need an open mind listening to our music, whether they are listening for the first time or not, and I hope people have that when listening to any music really.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
We've never really had any ambition for this band. Ever. Crazy things keep on happening for us - for example yesterday we were told that we had an number one chart album in Australia, when we didn't even think the band would leave our garage in Sheffield way back when. I don't want to start having ambitions and goals and then not meet them and then get bitter. I also don't want things to come as less of a surprise when awesome things happen because I was thinking, yeah that was my ambition, I expected that.

We want to carry on touring and doing things they way we want to, but I wouldn't really say that was an ambition really. That's just carrying on like we are now.

MORE>> www.horizondeathcult.com
Every time I mention a 'chillwave' artist in this column, I feel the need to apologise all for using such a term. Particularly on this occasion, because although it's a tag often assigned to him, I'm not sure this artist really fits into the current bête noire of genre titles at all. Actually, he seems to use the term 'synthwave'. Is that better? I don't know. Let's stop talking about pointless categorisations and get on with agreeing that Com Truise, aka producer Seth Haley, is very good.

With an insatiable enthusiasm for vintage synths, the New Jersey resident creates instrumental soundscapes that sound like they've come straight out of that mid-80s vision of the future where it's always dark. It's the kind of music that makes you feel like slipping a cassette into your Walkman and shooting someone with your knackered old lazer gun. Because that is what it's like in the future.


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Working closely with the MD and other office staff you will act as a main point of contact for all clients booking the studios, and will be responsible for coordinating the bookings across the studios.

You will need to have excellent communication, organisational and negotiating skills, have the ability to work in a fast-paced environment and be prepared to be on call evenings and weekends. A passion for music and the recording industry is essential.

To view a full job description click the following link: www.miloco.co.uk/contact/recruitment
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According to Music Ally, who have been analysing accounts for 2009 published by Spotify's UK-based limited company, which actually operates the streaming music service across Europe, the digital firm made a net loss of £16.66 million last year.

As a breakdown, the company brought in £4.51 million in ad sales and £6.81 million in subscriptions. Its 'costs of sale', of which the biggest chunk will be royalty fees paid to labels and publishers, were £18.82 million, added to which were distribution costs of £608,711 and admin expenses of £8.29 million.

Of course, while sixteen and a half million might seem like a big amount of money to lose in a year, Spotify is a digital start up backed by a big stash of venture capital, and would probably expect to be making losses of that size at this stage in its business plan.

Plus, Spotify is a rapidly expanding company and its 2009 figures are unlikely to be representative of its 2010 performance. This year has seen a rapid expansion in both Spotify's free and premium subscribers, and a three-fold increase in its royalty pay outs to content owners. That said, many reckon losses for 2010 could prove to be much higher than for 2009.

While losses of this scale aren't really a surprise at this stage, some continue to doubt that Spotify-style services - and especially the free-to-use ad-funded version - will ever add up long term, and therefore wonder what will happen when the venture capital that allows multi-million losses runs out, especially as it is a lot less likely now than five years ago that a traditional media conglom will step in to buy the company, allowing a few more years grace. But let's leave such pessimism for another day shall we?

Commenting on Music Ally's report on their 2009 financials, a Spotify spokesman told the website: "2009 saw us focus on establishing a new and innovative music service and bringing it to millions of people across Europe. The groundwork laid in our launch year has been crucial to the significant achievements made in 2010. Further strengthening and expansion of the service remains our top priority".

You can read Music Ally's analysis of the figures here:

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Usher has been accused of stealing a little known songwriter's song, though as the person who launched Justin Bieber onto the world, that's surely the lesser of his crimes.

One Wadena Pyatt has begun legal proceedings against the R&B star claiming she wrote his 2004 song 'Caught Up', which has previously been credited to Ryan Toby, Andre Harris, Vidal Davis and Jason Boyd. I'm not sure it's actually Usher who is being accused of song theft here. Possibly it was Ryan. Or Andre. Or Vidal. Or Jason. Or possibly Alicia Keys, the song stealing bitch.

I implicate one time Usher collaborator Alicia because Pyatt claims it was while signed to Ms Key's label MBK Entertainment in 2003 that she wrote 'Caught Up'. How it ended up on Usher's 2004 album 'Confessions' is anyone's guess. Perhaps Alicia passed it to Ryan who shared it with Andre who sang it to Vidal who suggested it to Jason who presented it to Usher. Or perhaps Alicia just gave it straight to Usher when they recorded 'My Boo' together, the song stealing bitch.

Anyway, I should stress I'm not personally making any allegations against Usher, Ryan, Andre, Vidal, Jason or Alicia here, I'm sure they are all lovely people. Even if one of them is responsible for the Justin Bieber phenomenon. But Pyatt is convinced someone nicked her song and she wants all the profits it has made over the years, according to AllHipHop.com.

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This is a bit complicated. American artist manager Todd Meagher of TODD Entertainment is suing gig booking giants The Agency Group and one of its former agents, Andrew Goodfriend, over their handling of bookings for Josh Todd, frontman of LA rockers Buckcherry, between 2002 and 2004.

Meagher managed Todd for a while when Buckcherry was on hiatus between 2002 and 2005, and used The Agency Group as his booking agents. In a lawsuit filed under Texas's Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Meagher claims Goodfriend charged commissions for numerous bookings that he was not involved in. The multi-million dollar suit accuses the agent of "fraud, negligence, false representations, breach of fiduciary duty, unconscionability and breach of implied warranties".

According to Billboard, Meagher's legal rep, Buck McKinney, said in a statement: "I've never seen a case where a talent agent has so blatantly led his clients down the primrose path. Essentially, Andrew Goodfriend lured my clients and others into doing his work for him, charged my clients for the services as if he had performed them, and then turned my clients in to the California Labor Commission for performing unlicensed talent agent's services".

Josh Todd is not part of this lawsuit. In fact he is still involved in legal squabbles with Meagher himself, despite it being six years since he parted company with his former manager. Interestingly Buck Cherry now use TKO as their booking agents, the booking agency set up in 2005 where a certain Andrew Goodfriend is President.

Neither defendants have responded as yet in this lawsuit.

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Online takeaway marketplace (that's what they call themselves, and who am I to argue?) HungryHouse has found through extensive research (ie a quick look at its own site stats) that it can predict which contestants will be least popular in the public vote on 'X-Factor' each week, before the public have even started voting. Stats show that if viewers grow bored of a contender's performance as the show airs they all reach for their computers and start ordering food instead. And that boredom equates to people not voting for said artist.

HungryHouse marketing manager Graeme Horne told CMU: "Much like Paul the Octopus during the World Cup, perhaps hungryhouse.co.uk can predict the winner of 'The X-Factor'! The orders really do seem to be correlating to the eventual bottom-placed acts - with our only anomaly being Aiden two weeks ago; and in honesty, his departure was somewhat of a shock for all of us. When a viewer becomes bored of a performance, or simply isn't interested in their act, they are seemingly picking up their laptop or using their computers to order their dinner".

He added: "With regards to an eventual winner, at this rate, Matt Cardle is looking strong".

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John Lydon has announced that he is postponing the recording of the planned new Public Image Ltd album following the death of his step-daughter, Slits frontwoman Ari Up.

Lydon told the BBC: "We were going to go into the studio but in light of my step-daughter's death, I really can't be doing that at the moment. I don't want to leave my wife alone for any length of time right now. So the music side has had to be held".

He added that the band "all understand" his decision, saying: "They all knew her anyway. So it's a good thing that we've taken a breather. It would have been impossible and would have affected the outcome of the record".

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Former Dream Theatre drummer, and the band's creative driving force, Mike Portnoy, has spoken about the band's decision to continue without him after he left earlier this year.

Speaking to Classic Rock, Portnoy said: "After me giving my heart and soul, blood, sweat and tears to them and the band for 25 years, I hoped they'd value me and our relationship enough to respect my need for us to take a little break. I am truly heartbroken over their decision. I suppose it also kills me that in the past the guys NEVER would question or ever debate my direction within the band. They always let me call the shots and always trusted my vision and guidance. And NOW, with such a huge and personal conflict they disagreed with me for the first time... on the biggest decision of them all".

He continued: "Dream Theater is my baby and I NEVER wanted to abandon my child. I only felt the parents needed a little breather to help save the marriage. The big irony here is that I wanted a break to help mend and strengthen our relations and ultimately bring us closer together... and now by them choosing to move on without me it is ultimately going to seriously damage our relationship.... as well as the Dream Theater legacy I spent so long building and protecting".

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Has Nick Cave not run out of songs yet? With the new Grinderman album not yet cold, he's already talking about the next Bad Seeds album, the follow-up to 2008's 'Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!', which he reckons will be out next year.

Cave told Spinner: "There will be a new Bad Seeds record next year. I've got to write one. I haven't written anything yet, but that's not how I go about things anyway. I have the starting date for the next record and that's when I go into the office and start it. I'm not doing that until I've finished the Grinderman tour, which is amazing. The band is something else".

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Fever Ray, aka The Knife's frontwoman Karin Dreijer Andersson, has written a track for a forthcoming feature-length version of 'Red Riding Hood', directed by Catherine Hardwicke of 'Twilight' fame.

The movie is not due out until March next year, but you can hear a snippet of the track in the trailer, which you can view here: youtu.be/7NfwUkXQrHE

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Because all journalists ever do is fire the same six tedious questions at artists, Blood Red Shoes have given up on them and are asking fans what they want to know directly. To coincide with the release of the duo's new single, 'Light It Up', they will pick their ten favourite fan-submitted questions and film their responses.

The band's drummer Steven Ansell says: "We're bored of answering the same old questions in interviews and we figured the public are probably bored of hearing the same answers. So we're asking you to submit your own questions - they can be as specific as you like or as difficult as you like. We'll pick the best ones and answer them via a video upload".

Fans have until 24 Nov to send their questions to competition@bloodredshoes.co.uk.

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Post-rock types Explosions In The Sky have announced two UK shows for next year, which is nice of them. The band are also putting the finishing touches on their fifth studio album, which is due for release in the spring. How lovely.

Tour dates:

17 May: Manchester, Academy
19 May: London, The Roundhouse

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Venetian Snare will play a one-off London show promoted by God Don't Like It. The prolific electronic music maker released his latest album, 'My So Called Life', in August.

The show will take place on 23 Feb. Tickets are available now for £10, with a line-up of top class electronic acts and DJs in support of the headliner promised soon.

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Once again, not content with already having a tour snaking its way around the country, the NME has announced that it will put on a load of gigs in London in the run up to next year's NME Awards show. Lots of people you've heard of will be playing live. Lots. Look, here they all are:

1 Feb: Heaven - Metronomy
2 Feb: Shepherds Bush Empire - Los Campesinos!, Summer Camp
3 Feb: Heaven - The Duke Spirit
9 Feb: Shepherds Bush Empire - Mystery Jets
11 Feb: Shepherds Bush Empire - White Lies, Crocodiles
15 Feb: Heaven - The Naked And Famous
15 Feb: Shepherds Bush Empire - Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan, Cherry Ghost
16 Feb: Shepherds Bush Empire - Edwyn Collins
17 Feb: Hoxton Bar & Kitchen - Miles Kane
17 Feb: Koko - Noah And The Whale
18 Feb: Bush Hall - Yuck, Cults
20 Feb: Shepherds Bush Empire - Carl Barat, The Heartbreaks, Foreign Office
21 Feb: New Players Theatre - Alex Winston
21 Feb: The Garage - Mona, Neon Trees
21 Feb: Shepherds Bush Empire - Warpaint, Twin Shadow
21 Feb: Heaven - Frankie & The Heartstrings, Veronica Falls
22 Feb: Shepherds Bush Empire - Caribou, Factory Floor, Walls
22 Feb: Heaven - Les Savy Fav

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ALBUM REVIEW: Cradle Of Filth - Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa (Peaceville/Abracadaver)
For some unknown reason, I went through a fleeting but embarrassingly intense Cradle Of Filth phase as a very young teenager. It was the late 90s, my boyfriend had longer hair than I did, I had tried to write an English essay on Lestat de Lioncourt; it was a sad, deprived state of affairs. Thankfully, like I said, it was short-lived.

Now older and wiser (well, at least the former), I can stand back and look at the music less... well, like I NEED to like it in order to fulfil some sort of pre-pubescent image crisis. Which is why I'm in a better frame of mind now to appreciate* (*try to) Cradle Of Filth for what they are, rather than just saying I like them, listening to a couple of songs and then shoving their CDs to the back of my collection just to appease some - like, totally goffik - boy.

The Suffolk-born's ninth album 'Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa' opens with twinkling harps; not bad, not bad, I think - and I turn it up a little, a hopeful smile on my face. Nervous laughter erupts from my mouth at the inevitably cheesy monologue: "Mistress of the dark of Sheba... whose sweet seductions and wicked rites..." You get the general idea. My toes curl so far up in my slippers that they fall off (slippers, not my toes - it's not THAT bad), and I think to myself, "Wait, isn't Dani Filth, like... 50 years old now? Surely". A lot of people get on at bands like Green Day for sticking to a schtick that their human years have outgrown - should the same be said of dark metallers and general piss-takers Cradle Of Filth? Though one thing that separates these bands from Billy Joe and co is the fact that they aren't taking themselves too seriously at all.

Like a bad, schlocky horror film, Cradle Of Filth unroll the hot mess and don't stop, consistently garnishing it with layered organs, over-the-top imagery (ie virgin/whores sacrifices in the name of big scary demons etc), ridiculous song titles ('Harlot On A Pedestal'), blast beat drums and laryngitis-inducing screeching. It's horrible, in every way shape and form - BUT THAT'S THE FUCKING POINT. It's so beautifully and horrendously over the top that it works. And isn't that a good thing? TW

Physical release: 1 Nov
Press contact: Division

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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I'd love to have a coffee named after me. Well, assuming it got me a lifetime supply for free I would. Actually, the coffee doesn't need to be named after me at all, providing it's free.

Anyway, alt rockers Wilco have teamed up with a Chicago-based coffee company called Intelligentsia to launch a 'Wilco Selection' coffee bean brand. The Intelligentsia website, where you can order the beans, describes the drink as follows: "The body has a light and silky quality, like fresh whipped cream, that beautifully complements the ever-present note of citron, juniper berry and vanilla. As it cools, the cup blossoms into notes of confectioner's sugar, rosehips, and soft raisin, resonating on a pristine finish with a touch of milk chocolate".

There is a decaf version of the Wilco coffee brand too, though the band stress they wouldn't personally stoop so low as to drink such a thing. A statement reads: "In full disclosure, no decaf coffee was selected by the members of Wilco during the tasting field trip. But our friends at Intelligentsia tell us this is as good a decaf as it gets".

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Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the US where every single American - every last one - goes Christmas shopping, making it a big day for the retail sector, which launches products and advertising campaigns and special offers to celebrate.

Ignoring the fact that no one has ever heard of Black Friday in the UK, and that actually it sounds a bit like what you might call the day when George Osbourne hands over every penny left in the British piggy bank to our Irish friends so they can have a big piss up, Amazon is running a number of Black Friday special offers over here as well.

As a result, Amazon announced it would be making a limited, though undetermined number of Take That's 'Progress' and Susan Boyle's 'The Gift' albums available for a mere pound this week in the run up to the big Black day.

Though don't go rushing over to Amazon to take advantage of this offer right now. Firstly because both these albums are shit, and shouldn't even be bought for Aunt Mabel's Christmas present. And second because all the bargain copies of both titles, of which Amazon says there were "thousands", have already been sold.

Amazon UK's MD told Music Week: "The demand for the albums was incredible. The good news is that there are more than 300 deals still to come".

Amazon takes a hit when it sells records this cheap, of course, meaning the etailer pays the going wholesale rate. Some music industry types like moaning when Amazon does these sorts of deals, arguing it devalues music and such like. I'm too busy wondering what Wilco's coffee tastes like to care at the moment, though.

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The government's Communications Minister Ed Vaizey has responded to allegations he is against so called 'net neutrality', claiming he has been misquoted on the issue. Though his new claims that he does, in fact, support 'net neutrality' are mainly enabled by him adopting a different definition of the term than the rest of us.

As previously reported, last week at an FT conference in London, Vaizey implied he would be OK with internet service providers connecting their users to certain websites faster than others, most likely charging a fee to the website owner for guaranteed fast connection.

Some ISPs support such a system because it provides them with an extra revenue stream (they can charge a fee to website owners as well as the people accessing those sites). But many argue a 'two-tiered' internet would give an unfair advantage to cash rich website owners, hindering the growth of smaller and start up web and content companies, which are generally responsible for the most innovation.

Various people have spoken out in opposition to Vaizey's comments, including, from the music side, Peter Gabriel. Though it was allegations that his views on this issue ran contrary to those of British world wide web inventor Tim Berners Lee that has got Ed a bit hot under the collar.

Defending his comment from last week, he has told The Guardian: "I say 'don't block access'. It's my first principle. I say the same as Berners-Lee". He adds that people who say he is anti-net neutrality haven't read his speech properly.

However, while Vaizey is clear that all websites that don't breach other laws (eg copyright, privacy, fraud etc) should be assured access to the entire general public, oblivious of the ISP they use, he quite clearly supports the idea of website owners possibly having to pay for that privilege, which opens the doors for a two-tier internet which, by most people's definition, conflicts with the principles of net neutrality.

In his speech last week Vaizey remarked that future developments in the internet could include "the evolution of a two-sided market where consumers and content providers could choose to pay for differing levels of quality of service".

So, semantics aside, I think all the comments made last week by Gabriel et al against Vaizey's viewpoint on this still stand. Whatever the minister might think.

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Following up on its alliance with [PIAS] in the UK, Topspin yesterday announced another British partnership, this time with Essential. Under this deal, the US digital firm's digital widgets and technical wizadry will be available to artists and labels the UK-based label services company works with. To kick things off, Topspin technology will be used to power a four-week marketing campaign at Essential's sister company, Cooking Vinyl.

Topspin co-founder Shamal Ranasinghe told CMU: "Essential has always been a critical marketing and distribution partner to artists, and Topspin is excited to officially join forces to provide our direct-to-fan marketing platform as a key offering in their services. We're delighted that our first campaign is with Cooking Vinyl, a legendary and globally recognised independent label".

Essential and Cooking Vinyl man Mike Chadwick added: "Topspin are the market leaders in the direct-to-fan marketplace and understand how to build and manage a fanbase like no one else. Their innovative tools and direct marketing knowledge will bring new elements of creativeness to our campaigns that can only benefit our labels and artists".

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, Chris Moyles has denied allegations he is in talks with US satellite radio network Sirius XM about moving to the company when his current Radio 1 contract expires.

The News Of The World said the Radio 1 DJ was in talks with the US firm on Sunday. It is widely assumed Radio 1 will ease Moyles out of its peak time slot when his contract comes up for renewal next year. Previous rumours had it that Moyles was in talks with Global Radio about a move to Capital FM, but those were denied too.

And both Moyles's agent and the DJ himself, speaking on 'This Morning', denied the Sirius XM gossip yesterday.

Gossipers are still asking why Moyles was seen outside the Sirius offices during a recent trip to New York. But given the satellite network broadcasts Radio 1 Stateside, and he used their studios to present his show when stranded in the US city earlier this year as a result of that ash cloud thing, I'd imagine there were numerous reasons why he might call in there other than he being in deal talks.

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So, Dave Stewart, he of the Eurythmics, has been doing what one Guardian article called '2screening' the other day, providing a running commentary on Twitter of a TV show he was watching.

The show he was viewing was the previously reported American Music Awards, where Justin Bieber dominated and Rihanna and Katy Perry performed. And his Twitter commentary was rather amusing to say the least.

Remarking that the whole thing reminded him of the time "I injected amphetamines in my tearduct", Stewart remarked of the awards show: "What would Lennon think if he was alive? He would throw up..."

He mused: "We used to have amazing artists now it's fucking ridiculous, record labels are to blame... what the fuck has happened? We need artists directly communicating with their fans, get rid of the media companies fucking it up, greedy pigs..."

On Rihanna's performance he remarked: "Rihanna, I'm sure you could be interesting but what the fuck are you doing, who the hell is writing these ridiculous songs?"

He later stressed that he isn't just one of those over the hill 'it's not like it was in my day' old dudes, and that he believes there are lots of great musical talents out there, but that the media and music industry isn't presenting it right.

He said: "I love new young artists with something to say, in any style of music. Fucking TV crap, everyone is in a panic", adding: "I'm going to try [to] get a music TV show on [a] USA TV network, amazing legend artists and new artists each week, I will choose and be host. I can't just complain and not do anything, so I need to get [a] TV show".

Admitting at one point "I suppose I'm drunk and shouldn't be watching [the] AMAs", he concluded his 2screening commentary thus: "Signing off with [one] last comment: Bring back 'sex and drugs and rock n roll', [it's] better than 'botox, tits and Auto-tune'".

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Pope Benedict XVI
JLS correspondent

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