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CMU Info
Top Stories
US industry hits out at PC Mag's LimeWire alternatives article
Spotify might launch in US without all the majors on board
Akon may burn remaining Jacko tapes
In The Pop Courts
Axl sues over Guitar Hero III
In The Pop Hospital
Ray Davies cancels US tour
Awards & Contests
Simon Cowell wins Emmy award
In The Studio
Deftones want to work with Eno
Release News
PJ Harvey announces new album
Films & Shows News
Bono and The Edge discuss problematic musical
Gigs & Tours News
Beady Eye announce first UK shows
Single review: Serj Tankian - Reconstruction Demonstrations (Warner/Reprise/Serjical Strike)
The Music Business
The Beatles on iTunes, selling well, though little chart impact
Gerald Newson re-elected to PPL board
Agency Group hires ITB agent
The Digital Business
Ticketmaster US adds social networking flim flam
Vodafone launches new bulk-buy deals
The Media Business
BBC local stations to share drive times
Radio 2 confirms Vanessa Feltz hire
And finally...
Gene reckons he could be the uber-judge on X or Idol
Rising producer snubs the genius

Jorge Elbrecht formed Violens in 2007 after he found himself with a growing number of songs that required an outlet beyond what he could manage on his own. A revolving line-up eventually settled on Elbrecht, Iddo Arad and Myles Matheny, and then the band began making serious moves. The trio released an eponymous EP in 2008 which pricked up a lot of ears, and their debut album 'Amoral' followed last month. Tonight they begin a UK tour supporting The Drums with the first of two nights at The Forum in London. Before that, we spoke to Jorge Elbrecht to ask the Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I started playing guitar when I was ten and got a four-track when I was fifteen. And it was all downhill for the health of my ears from there.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
We wanted to imagine and try to make what we wanted to hear on the radio, and in bars and coffee shops, etc.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
First, one of us has to have a melody or chorus idea we think is worth chasing after. Then Iddo and Myles and I work through parts and sounds and figure out the structure.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
OMD, Burzum, Crass, Martin Newell, The Wipers, Ulver, The Misfits, The Dead Milkmen.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I'd probably just let them listen and leave the room, being there's a tad awkward!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Pretty basic, we just want people to hear it and be able to access it. We're really excited about our new songs and the year ahead of us for touring, etc. We just want to keep playing and making music as long as it makes sense to us.

MORE>> www.violens.net

Rose Dagul is a kind of one-woman orchestra, which makes it difficult not to compare her to Cameron Mesirow, aka Glasser. Okay, it's not that difficult, but both names are rattling around in my head at the same time, so I thought it best to get the comparison out of the way in order to move on. But before I do, it's worth noting that both are highly adept at looping layers of instruments and vocals to create their songs.

Previously frontwoman of Wap Wap Wow, Dagul is now Rhosyn. Having worked with producers including Yannis Philippakis of Foals and Hugo Manuel of Jonquil in the past, her latest self-produced recordings take her compositions to a whole new level. Songs seemingly build out of nothing, with vocal loops placed gently on top of each other, while violins, piano and percussion slowly sidestep in almost unnoticed.

You can catch Rhosyn supporting Jonquil at CAMP Basement in London tonight.


Miloco Studios require a Bookings Manager to join our busy office in London SE1. We are one of the largest recording groups in Europe, and operate eighteen studios around the UK and Europe.

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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The American record industry has reacted angrily to an article that appeared in online computing magazine PC Mag following the shutdown of the LimeWire file-sharing service last month.

After a US judge ordered LimeWire to stop distributing and supporting its P2P file-sharing client, PC Mag recommended six other P2P services and torrent trackers its readers might like to consider instead. It came with the disclaimer "all of these services should be used for legal downloads, of course", but I'm not sure that fools anyone really.

Of course, most PC Mag readers probably knew about all the good file-sharing alternatives already, but pretty much every American music industry trade body and collecting society has still put its name to a letter bashing the magazine for promoting file-sharing in this way.

Among the signatories of the letter are the Recording Industry Association Of America, the Songwriters Guild Of America, the American Association Of Independent Music and royalty bodies like ASCAP, SESAC, BMI, Harry Fox Agency and SoundExchange.

As far as I'm aware PC Mag is yet to respond to the music biz rage sent in its direction. The angry letter reads as follows, make of it what you will:

We write to express our deep disappointment with your decision to publish Chloe Albanesius' 27 Oct article, 'LimeWire is Dead: What are the Alternatives?' as well as Sarah Jacobsson Purewal's 9 Nov article 'LimeWire is Quietly Resurrected: It's Baaack!' Both articles are nothing more than a roadmap for continued music piracy. The disclaimer in the first: "PC Magazine does not condone the download of copyrighted or illegal material" rings hollow to say the least.

Let's be honest. The vast majority of LimeWire's users were interested in one thing and one thing only: downloading our music for free with the full knowledge that what they were doing was illegal. The harm done to the creative community when people are encouraged to steal our music is immeasurable.

Disclaimer or not, when you offer a list of alternative P2P sites to LimeWire - and include more of the serial offenders - PC Magazine is slyly encouraging people to steal more music and place at risk the tens of thousands of music industry jobs - including singers, songwriters, musicians and the technical professionals who put it all together.

Even worse is offering a direct link to a "resurrected" LimeWire as follows: "I went ahead and downloaded LimeWire Pirate Edition for *ahem* research purposes, and can report that it appears to be working very smoothly. In the event that you, yourself, would like to do some research, you can download the client here (direct link)".

Our argument is buttressed by the fact that PC Magazine offered no alternatives that are 100% legal. In fact, legitimate download services, who have developed business models based on a respect for copyright and have entered into mutually beneficial arrangements with the music industry are undoubtedly outraged by your feeble attempt to undercut their ability to compete in the legal marketplace.

We would hope that your sense of decency and the realisation that even PC Magazine has a responsibility to the rule of law, would have informed your editorial decision in this matter. We suspect you'd feel differently about this issue if, like the music industry, you'd had to let go more than half of the talented writers and journalists who create your magazine because of uncontrolled piracy of their work. Unfortunately, it is clear that the rule of law was an afterthought.

We hope you will consider retracting the article and stating your strong support of only legal methods of obtaining music.

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Spotify may launch in the US without all four major record companies on board, sources have told the Financial Times.

As much previously reported, the European streaming service's launch Stateside has been repeatedly delayed as the company struggles to secure licensing deals with the US divisions of Sony, EMI, Warner and Universal that match its arrangements with said companies over here. It's widely assumed the problems lie with the free ad-funded version of the Spotify service rather than the premium subscription model.

Spotify's difficulties in the US are in part down to timing. When the Swedish company first arrived looking for licences in the European markets the majors were all convinced ad-funded platforms were the future. But excitement over the potential of advertising revenues has waned somewhat in the subsequent three years. So, while Warner Music in Europe have just renewed their Spotify deal, it's less certain they'd have signed up had the streaming service been seeking that deal for the first time in 2010.

The other issue is that the subscription model for digital music has gained more traction in the American market than over here, and some label execs fear the arrival of a free Spotify could destroy those other subscription services. Plus outfits like Pandora, which offers streaming music but with much less functionality than Spotify, are starting to become viable businesses and likewise could be screwed if free Spot was to launch in the States.

Which is why Spotify's American launch has been postponed so many times, as the majors over there remain hesitant of the streaming service's approach. Many have assumed that, with investors putting the pressure on for a US launch this side of Christmas, Spotify bosses might have to forego the free part of their business model and enter the American market solely as a premium pay to use service. But now there is gossip that the streaming platform might be willing to launch in America with only some of the majors on board.

Which majors are most likely to say yes isn't clear. There were rumours some very large upfront payments were being offered to get the big boys on board, and at least half the majors could really do with a cash boost just now. And we know Warner boss Edgar Bronfmann Jr has softened his line on free Spotify in the US, which he once said was a definite no no. Certainly, if Spot does get to go live in America this year, it will be interesting to see who's on board.

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Having firmly defended his posthumous Michael Jackson collaboration last week, after Will.i.am dubbed the whole new Jacko album "disrespectful", Akon has now announced that he may destroy remaining unfinished songs he recorded with the late king of pop. Countering Will.i.am's claims that Jackson would not have been happy about people completing work on his songs without his final approval, Akon also insists that 'Hold My Hand' - his recently released Jacko collaboration - was complete before the singer died.

Akon told MTV News: "I'm definitely excited about our single, because that was finished, complete, and I'm happy with the outcome. And I know [Jackson] was [happy] cause we were there finishing the song together, so I'm really happy about what we accomplished on that record 'Hold My Hand'".

He continued: "It was a song I was previously working on that I eventually let [Jackson] hear, and when he heard it, he fell in love with it. We clicked instantly when it came to it. That was the main concept: let's figure out something we can leave behind [and] 20,000 years later it can still be relevant".

As previously reported, Will.i.am, who worked with Jackson on unreleased tracks in 2006, recently told Entertainment Weekly: "Michael Jackson songs are finished when Michael says they're finished. Maybe if I never worked with him I wouldn't have this perspective. [But] he was very particular about how he wanted his vocals, the reverb he used ... He was that hands-on".

Now echoing this sentiment, Akon said of the possibility of more of his collaborations with Jackson seeing the light of day: "Me and Mike worked on a lot of concepts before he passed. 'Hold My Hand' was one of the records that was actually fully complete - the rest of the records are incomplete. They're just ideas, concepts, harmonies and stuff like that which the world will probably never see because I wouldn't want to put it out unfinished - so I might just burn it after this interview, cos I might just get tempted to do a remix! I know at the end of the day if it wasn't fully complete, I don't think he would [have wanted to] see it released that way. I probably wouldn't ever put myself in a position to make that choice".

'Michael' is released on 13 Dec.

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Axl Rose has gone legal over 'Guitar Hero III', which included his song 'Welcome To The Jungle', one of the "greatest hard rock songs of all time" according to the lawsuit.

Rose is suing the 'Hero' franchise's maker Activision over allegations they broke promises to ensure former Guns N Roses guitar man Slash would not appear as an avatar in the version of the game where 'Welcome To The Jungle' was featured, and also that no songs from Slash's new band Velvet Revolver would be included. Slash was included as an avatar and a Velvet Revolver track was present.

In an emotive lawsuit, Rose claims Activision's Head Of Music Tim Riley and Music Supervisor Brandon Young both gave him assurances that Slash would not appear in the game. The legal papers claim: "Activision understood the extraordinary value Guns N Roses and 'Welcome To The Jungle' could add to the 'Guitar Hero' platform ... [and] began spinning a web of lies and deception to conceal its true intentions".

The lawsuit provides lots of insights into Rose's alleged conversations with Activision - which he claims included discussions around developing a bespoke 'Chinese Democracy' game - and his bitterness towards his former bandmates. He also claims that at a party earlier this year the aforementioned Riley gave Rose a verbal apology for his company screwing him over with regards 'Guitar Hero III'.

The legal papers claim: "In tears, he [Riley] apologised for the way in which Rose and Guns N Roses had been mistreated by Activision. He said 'I can't sleep at night' and asked Rose to forgive him".

Activision is yet to respond to the latest artist lawsuit filed against it in relation to its pretend-to-play games.

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Former Kinks frontman Ray Davies has been forced to cancel an upcoming US tour on doctors orders.

It's not clear exactly what Davies is suffering with, but a statement on the musician's website reads: "Ray did not personally cancel the American dates but was ordered by his doctors not to fly or embark on the accompanying ground travel for the forthcoming four US dates until his medical condition has stabilised to their satisfaction. The doctors could not provide a time frame for this and advised Ray to cancel the dates".

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Simon Cowell was presented with a Founders Award at the International Emmy Awards on Monday night, recognising his contribution to the wonderful world of television over the last decade. In order to ensure that Cowell wouldn't be the most hated man on the stage, organisers wheeled Rupert Murdoch on to hand over the award. Murdoch is also, of course, owner of the Fox TV network, which broadcasts 'American Idol' in the US.

Accepting the award, Cowell said: "When I think back over ten years, I can genuinely say I've had the best time I've ever had in my life. Whoever said fame, money, success will destroy you is completely wrong". Let's hope that's not a soundbite that comes back to haunt him.

Cowell is, as previously reported, standing down as a judge on the new series of 'American Idol' in order to concentrate on launching the US version of 'X-Factor'. Commenting on his replacement, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, he said: "I always said it had to be someone who wasn't better looking than me and they achieved it".

What a nice guy.

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Okay, this isn't an 'in the studio' story as such; more a 'would like to be in the studio'. Deftones frontman Chino Moreno has said that the band would "love to work with Eno one day". This is so exciting that it must now happen. I order it to happen. Are you listening, Brian?

Speaking to The Quietus, Moreno said of Eno's new album 'Small Craft On A Milk Sea': "[It] has some of the really beautiful ambient stuff that he's known for on his earlier records, and I'm a big fan of that, but there's also some really interesting beats on it. I think for someone who's been in the game for as long as he has to still be making music and beats that are unorthodox and matching that with music that's still serene, that makes for a very dynamic record. Of course, we'd love to work with Eno one day".

Okay, Brian? If you're still looking for an angle on this, Chino added: "Some of the tracks [from 'Small Craft'] were rejected from a film score, and I love to put on visuals when I'm making music. I collect old films, from the turn of the century or the 60s or whatever, I'll put one up on a monitor and start writing, to me that's one of the most fun ways of making music. One day I hope to utilise that talent in some way and work on making soundtracks".

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PJ Harvey, good old Peej, has announced that she will release her eighth studio album in February next year. Here is a list of ten reasons why this is a good thing:

1) All Peej albums are good, and I see no reason why this one would be different.
2) Everyone loves Peej.
3) Albums mean tours and tours mean seeing Peej live (although all currently announced shows for next February are already sold out).
4) The album is called 'Let England Shake', which is a good title and worth the price of a CD/download/twelve-inch on its own.
5) The album was recorded in a nineteenth century church, which is always fun.
6) It was co-produced by Flood, John Parish, Mick Harvey and Peej herself, all of who are good people who do good things (especially Peej).
7) Peej might be on the telly.
8) Peej might play Glastonbury.
9) Peej might come to our office for a cup of tea (consider this an invitation, Peej).
10) Writing all this reminded me it's probably time to listen to Peej's entire back catalogue again.

'Let England Shake' will be released by Universal/Island on 14 Feb.

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Bono and The Edge off of U2 have been discussing their Broadway musical, 'Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark', which has been beset by problems, from endless delays, to a skyrocketing budget nearly bankrupting it, to lead actors dropping out and, most recently, to safety concerns pushing back the opening night yet again.

Speaking to Billboard, Bono said that putting together the show was "easier than we could ever have imagined. Harder than we ever thought".

He explained: "I mean, easier in the sense that the music came to us effortlessly. Dreaming up the show, the scale of it, the flying sequence, the pop art opera that it is - that was all pure joy. What we didn't realise was how difficult it is to stage this stuff, both technically and financially".

The singer continued: "Is there jeopardy? Yes. Because it's technically very difficult. It has never been achieved before - the kind of scale of what we're looking for. There may be very good reasons. We're going to find out. The expense of it? A lot of it was the delays".

The Edge summed up the possible outcomes of the show neatly, saying: "If the rabbit comes out of the hat, we will be, I think, rewarded. If the rabbit comes out of the leg of the trousers, we could be figures of fun for a few days. Or worse. Maybe looking for a job".

The first preview of the show is due to take place this Sunday, almost a year later than originally planned.

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Yesterday I had a five minute conversation about a band called BDI before I realised we were actually talking about Oasis-minus-Noel, aka Beady Eye. BDI would be a better name, but it's too late to think about that now. Liam and co have just announced their first UK gigs.

Tour dates:

3 Mar: Glasgow, Barrowlands
4 Mar: Glasgow, Barrowlands
6 Mar: Manchester, Apollo
7 Mar: Manchester, Apollo
9 Mar: London, The Troxy
10 Mar: London, The Troxy

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SINGLE REVIEW: Serj Tankian - Reconstruction Demonstrations (Warner/Reprise/Serjical Strike)
System Of A Down-man Serj Tankian was and continues to remain an personal musical icon for me. And while I haven't checked in on much of what he's been up to lately, System Of A Down were a huge presence for me growing up. And, I'm pleased to report, 'Reconstruction Demonstrations', which is taken from Tankian's second solo album, 'Imperfect Harmonies', sounds absolutely incredible.

Am I surprised? No. I'm just pissed off at myself for ignoring this man's solo work for so long. With a string arrangement this good and a voice that could end World War III (in yo face, James Blunt), it's a wonder he's managed to slip and stay under my radar for that amount of time. With an undeniable hint of Trent Reznor (aka perfection) underlayed in its in its composition, 'Reconstruction Demonstrations' is a powerful blast of energy, philosophical and almighty: the words of a wise man. TW

Digital release: 15 Nov
Press contact: Reprise IH

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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The Beatles may have made next to no impact on the UK charts last week, despite all the hype that surrounded their arrival on iTunes, but EMI has revealed that globally sales of the Fab Four's now legally digital catalogue have been going pretty well.

In the last week, since the Beatles arrived on the Apple download store last Tuesday, 450,000 digital albums and two million single tracks have been sold. EMI insiders say bosses there are very happy.

But The Beatles songs are still lingering in the lower part of the iTunes charts in the UK, despite some wondering if The Beatles theme on last weekend's 'X-Factor' might lead to a flurry of new sales that would fall into this chart week. To think, it was once predicted that in the week The Beatles finally went online they might dominate much of the top ten in the singles chart.

Some are saying that in its rush to make a big announcement, both Apple and EMI screwed up by putting the entire Beatles catalogue online in one go. A more clever approach would have been an album a week with some online marketing to announce each new arrival. Given how long everyone had waited for the Fab Four to appear online, a few more weeks would have made no difference.

But Apple, it seems, was keen to get The Beatles fully digitised as soon as the ink was dry on its contracts with EMI and Apple Corps. So much so even its own ads didn't start appearing until a week after launch.

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Former London Symphony Orchestra player Gerald Newson has been re-elected to the board of recording rights collecting society PPL. Two other people stood against Newson for the Performer Director post, which came up for election at PPL's Annual Performer Meeting in London yesterday.

Commenting on his win, Newson told CMU: "It is a privilege and honour to be re-elected to the PPL Performer Board. I will endeavour to do my upmost to serve and represent all performers to the best of my ability".

PPL boss man Fran Nevrkla, meanwhile, added: "I am delighted about Gerald's re-election which I believe is the performer community's recognition and appreciation of all his sterling work over many years for the benefit of all performers. Gerald has a deep knowledge and profound understanding of the performer community and I wish him every continued success".

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Booking agents The Agency Group has announced it has hired Tom Taafee, previously of London-based ITB. Specialising in alternative and heavy rock, the hire will see Taafee bring his roster of acts with him, which includes August Burns Red, Every Time I Die, Chiodos, Asking Alexandria, Bless The Fall, Whitechapel and A Skylit Drive.

Agency Group director Geoff Meall told Music Week: "I'm delighted that Tom has joined us here in the UK office. Having known him since his days promoting in Australia, we were keen to bring him here when he decided to relocate to the UK. As soon as we found out he was free again, we jumped at the chance. Tom fits perfectly into the system we have here in the UK, where we focus on developing artists".

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Ticketmaster have added some new social networking widgets to its ticketing sales website in the US, meaning that music fans buying tickets there can let Facebook friends know they are attending a show at the click of a button.

Bigging up the new service on their blog, the Live Nation-owned ticketing firm said last week: "The concept is simple: instead of letting your friends know you've purchased tickets by calling or emailing them, start sharing simply by clicking the 'Attending' button right after you've purchased. If someone else purchased tickets for you, go to the show's page on our site and RSVP from there".

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Vodafone has announced the launch of two new 'bulk-buy' download deals which will mean punters can buy MP3 downloads via the phone firm's music service at just 40p a shot.

Rather than charging a fee every time a track is downloaded, the Vodafone store sells vouchers that can be redeemed for a predetermined number of songs. Previously the company sold a ten track pack for five pounds working out at 50p per download. The new deals include a four track pack for £2.50 and a 25 track deal for £10. The latter means tracks work out at just 40 pennies a time.

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Stations in the BBC's local radio network are to share more programmes as budgets are squeezed. The aim of the move, which will mainly affect afternoon output, is to make more money available to spend on primetime morning shows. Unlike the national networks, the BBC's local radio stations have always been run on something a shoestring.

The new move to afternoon programme sharing will be tested in Yorkshire and the South East from next month. BBC Radios Leeds, York and Sheffield will all get the same drive time show, presented by Liz Green, while in the South BBC Radios Kent, Sussex and Surrey will all take a Dominic King afternoon show.

Says the Beeb's English Regions Controller David Holdsworth: "We need more production effort and we know that there simply isn't any more money available to allow us to add extra people onto the payroll. So we need to redirect resources to [certain] programmes to strengthen our journalism. This trial will allow us to assess the market impact and the audience reaction to the extension of the current practice of BBC Local radio regional sharing in other parts of the schedule".

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As expected, Vanessa Feltz has been recruited as the new host of Radio 2's early breakfast show, replacing Sarah Kennedy who announced she was leaving the station after seventeen years back in September.

Feltz will continue to host her mid-morning show on BBC London when she takes over Radio 2's early breakfast in January, which will make her a rather busy lady. She's also due to be the main fill in on Jeremy Vine's Radio 2 show when he's off, which would make doing the BBC London show tricky, though not 100% impossible.

Confirming her appointment, Feltz told reporters yesterday: "I'm overjoyed to be joining the UK's most listened to network, as I'm a huge fan of Radio 2 - home of many of the country's most beloved presenters". Noting her new show precedes the Chris Evans breakfast show, she added: "I'm utterly thrilled to be handing over to Chris Evans every morning - it's my idea of the perfect start to the day".

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Gene Simmons has been rambling on about 'X-Factor' style shows, and reckons, perhaps unsurprisingly, he'd be the best guy in the world to judge on one of these programmes. So much so, if he was on board all other judges could be dispensed with.

He told the Daily Star: "I think I could be the sole judge on 'The X-Factor', I'm more qualified than anybody on the show. Nobody on that show has written songs, then been on stage, or had record companies and managed Liza Minnelli. Nobody can shine my shoes".

That said, he's not as critical of Simon Cowell and the 'X' machine as other rock stars have been of late, admitting the Cowell-meister "is the only one on television that tells the truth. Everybody is nice, but that's not how life is. Life is: 'You suck, get off the stage'. Realistic is good".

But he does agree with other recent Cowell critics that many of rock's greatest artists would never have made it on 'X' or 'Idol' type shows, partly because they are really singing competitions, and being a rock star isn't just about singing. He concluded: "Imagine if Jimi Hendrix or Mick Jagger or Robert Plant came out. I wouldn't make it, and neither would they. We're peculiar and that's what makes stars interesting, not the fact that you can sing well. Broadway and pop is the place where people really sing correctly".

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Musical genius Chilly Gonzales has revealed that he approached rising electronic producer James Blake to ask him to remix his latest track 'Never Stop', which has been busy soundtracking an iPad advert of late, but was snubbed.

Gonzales thought a Blake remix of his latest single would be cool because the producer has covered one his songs, 'The Limit To Your Love', one of Chilly's collaborations with Feist. Having heard from his "hipster friends" that Blake was big news, he thought having him remix one of his tracks, to accompany another rerub by Erol Alkan, would be kinda cool.

"So my people called his people", Gonzales joked at a his gig at the Scala in London last night, "not that he has any people. I have people. Well, a manager and a part time assistant. But anyway, my people spoke to his non-people, and he said 'no'. He snubbed Gonzo! He got my song, what do I get?"

Earlier he'd told 6music, according to Data Transmission: "So he thinks he can just come in and pilfer what he wants from my catalogue just because he's flavour of the year. Well let me tell you James Blake, I was flavour of the year once... back in 2001! So you know, maybe you should reconsider".

Back at the gig, one audience member shouted in answer to his 'what do I get' question "royalties", to which Gonzales joked "Royalties?! You think James Blake sells records?"

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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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