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CMU Info
Top Stories
Merlin sues LimeWire
Former Idol judge's partner says no way he committed suicide
In The Pop Courts
Ministry accuses Syco of stealing song for Leona comeback
Intellectual Property Office considers Bucks Fizz name
Stone's would be attackers in court
Reunions & Splits
Suede will go back in the studio, but no promises, OK?
Gigs & Tours News
Take That cancel Danish show
Ghostpoet single, tour
Festival News
Festival line-up update
The Music Business
UK Festival Awards puts more focus on festival accessibility
Will Bronfman be side-lined at nu-Warner?
Bertelsmann chief: We'll likely bid for EMI, but probably won't win
The Digital Business
Gaga YouTube channel is back
The Media Business
Future Publishing to cut 10% of its workforce
And finally...
Lo and Ant split
Scherzinger engaged

I hope all of you who were at festivals this weekend survived the rain. It was quite rainy, wasn't it? Still, that's the rain for the summer out of the way. There won't be any more until September now. I think that's the rule, anyway. I'll have to consult my book of weather when I get home. It's not all bad, though. Yesterday I sheltered under a bridge during a torrential downpour and watched some live hip hop. Live music under bridges is the way forward, my friends. Though I don't have any in this here Five Day Forecast, sorry.

01: Mercury shortlist announcement. Hey, it's the Mercury Prize shortlist announcement tomorrow (19 Jul). I hope you're ready to put your complaining hat on. For no really good reason I can think of, I had a go at predicting who might be on the list this year. I did the same last year and didn't do that well. Looking back, it was probably foolish to select Stornoway over Mumford & Sons as my pop-folk choice of 2010. Anyway, nominations are going to happen. That's the important thing.

02: AIM Women In Music & Entertainment. The Association Of Independent Music's next Women In Music & Entertainment event will take place at Proud's City venue this evening (18 Jul), celebrating the successes of women in the entertainment industry. On the panel will be UK Music's Andy Heath, Westbury Music's Paulette Long, AEG Live's Jessica Koravos, Buzzin Fly's Marianne Frederick and AIM chief Alison Wenham.

03: Portishead curating ATP's I'll Be Your Mirror. There is a right flipping treat for you this weekend, live music fans. ATP's Portishead-curated I'll Be Your Mirror will be taking place at Alexandra Palace on Saturday and Sunday. Amongst the performers are PJ Harvey, Grinderman, Beach House, MF Doom, Company Flow, The Books, Swans, Liars, Portishead themselves, and more. It's an absolutely amazing line-up.

04: New releases. The time has come, people. This is the week that Rebecca Black unveils her second single. Although she's now got some more credible songwriters and producers on board, it nonetheless seems to be a little bit of an own goal - the song is about her sudden rise to fame and is called 'My Moment', which almost seems to suggest that moment is over. Meanwhile, if you want something to actually listen to and enjoy, how about the massive new Rufus Wainwright boxset, or the new solo album from Demdike Stare's Miles Whittaker?

05: Gigs. Let's start with a gig that's happening tonight, shall we? The CMU approved Strangers will be launching their second EP at The Social in London, which should be a great show. As well as that, Dirty Beaches will be playing at The Victoria in Dalston tomorrow night, The Good Natured will play HB&K on Wednesday, and touring the shit out of this country will be Bonjay, Iron Maiden and Vivian Girls. What a bloody week.

Now get yourself along to www.thecmuwebsite.com/podcast and download or stream the latest edition of the CMU podcast. It contains important 'Pigeon Street' news.

Andy Malt
Editor, CMU
Having spent several years honing their sound, which blends jazz and hip hop influences, Lazy Habits have really begun to step things up recently as they prepare for the release of their debut album. Two MCs backed by a six-piece band, they will release their new single, 'Starting Fires', on 1 Aug via Run N Jump Records. And you can catch them live this week on Wednesday when they officially launch the single with a show at Village Underground in Shoreditch.

'Starting Fires' is the band's strongest release to date, perfectly balancing their various influences with a soulful chorus and firmly rapped verse. The video features a good old East End pub fight, too. And I think that's something we can all enjoy. Once you're done with that, you can also find free downloads of a Stinkahbell remix of the track and previous single 'Memory Banks' on their SoundCloud profile.

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Indie sector digital rights body Merlin is suing the remnants of LimeWire over allegations the one time king of P2P has reneged on an earlier agreement to compensate the independent labels Merlin represents for the copyright infringement the digital firm enabled.

As much previously reported, LimeWire was found to be liable for the copyright infringement its technology enabled last year, leading to the digital company to shut up shop. Subsequent damages lawsuits from the US record and publishing industries resulted in out of court settlements of $12 million and $105 million respectively.

But the Recording Industry Association Of America, which pursued the main litigation against LimeWire, only represents the major record companies. According to reports, Merlin, representing many of the indies, previously reached its own agreement with the digital firm to the effect that they would pay Merlin members the same damages as the majors, if and when any such damages were agreed, on a pro rata basis based on market share.

But, Merlin's new lawsuit reportedly says, since LimeWire agreed to the $105 million pay out to the majors in May all has gone quiet. It adds that the labels Merlin represents account for about 7.5% of the US market, and that - after reasonable deductions - they are therefore due about $5 million in damages.

Neither Merlin nor LimeWire have, as yet, commented on the new litigation.

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The former fiancée of the British Sony Music executive who became a celebrity in Australia after judging on the final series of 'Australian Idol' says she is convinced he did not commit suicide.

As previously reported, Jay Dee Springbett died on 30 Jun of a suspected drugs overdose. There was speculation at the time of his death that Springbett had been dealing with problems at both home and work, having split from his partner Louisa McCole earlier in the year and, some reports said, facing redundancy from Sony Music. The implication being Springbett may have taken his own life.

However, at the former 'Idol' judge's funeral last week, Sony Music Australia Chairman Denis Handlin insisted rumours Springbett was facing redundancy were not true. Yes, the A&R man had been renegotiating his contract with the major, but those negotiations were likely to result in Springbett getting his own Sony-backed label and management agency which, Handlin said, was the exec's "dream" outcome.

Meanwhile McCole, who met Springbett while working at Sony as a publicist, and who had two children with him, has told New Idea magazine that her former fiancé was in an optimistic mood in the weeks prior to his passing, and that the couple were planning on getting back together, and had even considered moving back to the UK. She adds that it is inconceivable Springbett would consider suicide, if only for the sake of their children.

McCole: "There's no way on Earth he would do that. He just could not have left his girls. He would do anything for them, they were his world. I think he had a heart attack. I know he'd been putting up his big TV screen, ready for the girls to go over and watch 'Ghostbusters' with him the following day. He was in a good place. He was really excited. Everything was falling into place. He had made peace with what was going on in his life and was looking forward to the future".

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Ministry Of Sound has hit back at Simon Cowell's Syco record company after the Sony division seemingly claimed that the dance label, or one of its artists, had cleared the use of one its tracks as the backdrop to the new record by Leona Lewis.

As soon as the new song from one time 'X-Factor' winner Lewis premiered on Radio 1 on Friday, the internet was ablaze with comment that the music used was exactly the same as that in the instrumental track called 'Penguin' by rising superstar DJ Avicii. 'Penguin', which has enjoyed airplay on various specialist dance shows, is due to be released with vocals under the name 'Fade Into Darkness' by the Ministry label.

As reports circulated that the clubbing giant was consulting its lawyers, a rep for Syco reportedly told the tabs that there was "zero legal case to answer" because "Avicii is already credited as a songwriter on Leona's song, it's a case of sour grapes from Ministry Of Sound".

But, of course, a mere credit (or, for that matter, royalties paid through collecting society MCPS) is not enough if you want to take someone else's music, drop your own lyrics on top, and release it as a record. Therefore, for Syco's claim that there is "zero legal case to answer" to be true, Avicii or one of his representatives would have had to have given permission for his music to be used.

And, they all say, no such permission was given. Indeed, they add, they didn't even know about the Lewis track until it came on the radio, and can only assume Syco got a copy because Ministry Of Sound had been seeking a vocalist for its release and had sent demos of the original track to various music companies as part of that search.

Responding to reports about Syco's response, Avicii himself took to Twitter this weekend to say: "To answer everyone, the first time I heard Leona Lewis 'Collide' was today. I didn't produce it and neither me nor my manager could approve it... I'm just upset for someone taking credit of our idea before I had a chance to release it... And for the time and effort that has been put into this by my manager and label".

Meanwhile that manager, Ash Pournouri, released his own statement, saying: "We never got to hear the track before it was promoed on radio, how could we clear anything? We're not amateurs - we don't sign papers without knowing what we're getting into".

Ministry Of Sound is reportedly preparing a legal response to the release of 'Collide' and Syco's comments about the use of the Avicii track. Meanwhile a source close to Ministry told CMU: "Ministry Of Sound signed Avicii a year ago and have been working on vocal ideas for over six months on the 'Penguin' track. Meanwhile Pete Tong, Annie Mac, and Scott Mills have been playing the instrumental for months now. But this week we've realised Simon Cowell and Leona Lewis have stolen the record".

We await Syco's second response.

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The Intellectual Property Office has said it will take up to six weeks to decide who gets to use the name Bucks Fizz - the group containing 25% of the original line-up, or the other group containing 75%. The former incarnation of the one-time Eurovision winners is led by Bobby G, real name Robert Gubby, and although he is the only original member in that version of the group, he does own the Bucks Fizz trademark.

He registered it in 1997 during a previous legal battle over the name. Back then the other original Bucks Fizz boy, Mike Nolan, had teamed up with reality TV geezer and persistent pop man David Van Day - who had briefly performed in Gubby's Bucks Fizz - to create a new Bucks Fizz. Gubby successful forced Nolan and Van Day to perform under an alternative moniker, and five years later achieved the same thing, albeit through out of court settlement, when Van Day launched yet another Bucks Fizz venture, that time without Nolan.

In 2004 Nolan teamed up with one of the original Bucks Fizz girls, Cheryl Baker, for one of the 80s nostalgia 'Here & Now' tours. They also recruited Shelley Preston for the tour, who, although not part of the group's original Eurovision line-up, had performed with them in the 1980s. And even Gubby, although still regularly performing as Bucks Fizz with an alternative line-up, joined the bill for some 'Here & Now' dates. This new incarnation called themselves The Original Bucks Fizz to avoid confusion with Gubby's concurrent group.

Following the Here & Now tour, Nolan, Baker and Preston continued to perform under the Original Bucks Fizz name on and off. And then, when Preston became unavailable in 2009, Nolan and Baker persuaded the group's original fourth member, Jay Aston, to return to the stage, meaning the Original Bucks Fizz now consisted of three quarters of the Eurovision line-up.

This all went legal when the Original Bucks Fizz tried to trademark their name. Despite having performed himself under the Original moniker in 2004, Gubby, as the owner of the Bucks Fizz trademark, tried to block his former bandmates' trademark application. Nolan, Baker and Aston responded by filing an objection to Gubby's continued use of the Bucks Fizz name. And fans of the Original line-up set up a Facebook group to support Nolan, Baker and Aston's claims. Good times.

The IPO heard arguments for both sides last week, and said they will now give the case consideration before making a decision in five to six weeks time.

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The two men accused of conspiring to kidnap and possibly kill Joss Stone were back in court on Friday. Junior Bradshaw and Kevin Liverpool have been charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm, though neither entered any pleas at Friday's hearing.

As previously reported, the two men were arrested near Stone's Devon home in June, after various weapons, a body bag and written plans to both rob and harm the singer were found in their car.

Stone did not attend last week's hearing at the Exeter court, though her mother was seen in the public gallery. The two defendants are now due back in court on 24 Oct.

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Brett Anderson says that Suede's recent live reformation will not necessarily result in new material, though they are going to have a go.

Speaking to 6music ahead of their Latitude set this weekend, Anderson said: "We're gonna try and write a new Suede album, but if the magic's not there, no one will hear it, that's the truth. I don't want us to put a record out just because people want us to, if it's not right then it's not right".

He added that, while he'd enjoyed the recent reunion and would like to continue performing with Suede, he wasn't sure how long that could continue without any new material. Anderson: "I'd like to think there's a future for the band, though I think, realistically, unless we make a new album I don't see that there's much future in going round and playing the same set from the 90s year after year".

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Take That said they were "devastated" this weekend after having to cancel a show in Denmark. Apparently it's the first show they've ever cancelled. Which is pretty good going, if that's true.

It was all the fault of Robbie William's stomach. The band said in a statement: "On Friday night, Rob suffered serious food poisoning from something he had eaten after the show. He was violently ill all night and well into the morning. At 10am this morning, he decided to relocate to his dressing room at the stadium, in the hope that he could recover and prepare for the show. Doctors visited him twice during the day and despite prescribed medication he was still vomiting at 4pm this afternoon. The doctor insisted that he was not fit to perform tonight".

Admitting they'd considered going ahead without the Robster, given they are experienced at just that, the band added: "The five of us then had a decision to make: Should we go on with the show without Rob or should we cancel altogether? What would be fairer to our fans? What would people want? It was a very, very difficult decision. In the end we felt that as this tour is about the five of us being back together, and about celebrating that reunion, it would be wrong to go ahead with the show [without Robbie]".

The group concluded: "We would like to say from the bottom of our hearts that we are truly sorry to all of you who have bought tickets for tonight's show".

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Ghostpoet will release a new single on 5 Sep via Gilles Peterson's label Brownswood, called 'Liiines'. It will be the final single release from the rapper's debut album 'Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam', and will be followed up by a UK tour, dates as follows:

22 Sep: Cardiff, Arts Institute
23 Sep: Edinburgh, Sneaky Pete's
24 Sep: Glasgow, The Captain Rest
26 Sep: Dublin, Whelans
30 Sep: Oxford Academy 2
1 Oct: Bristol, Start The Bus
4 Oct: Birmingham Academy 3
5 Oct: Winchester, The Railway
6 Oct: Portsmouth, The Registry
7 Oct: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
8 Oct: Sheffield, The Harley
9 Oct: Manchester, Deaf Institute
10 Oct: Brighton, Digital
11 Oct: Leeds, University Union
12 Oct: York, The Duchess
13 Oct: London, Scala
14 Oct: Newcastle, The Other Rooms

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THE APPLE CART, Victoria Park, London, 7 Aug: Newly on the cards at this homespun inner-city bash is a showcase as programmed by Mumford-owned venture Communion, which will see sets from the likes of Peggy Sue, Treetop Flyers, Matthew & The Atlas, with a planned appearance from DJ Huw Stephens plonked on the end. Existing roster residents include Patrick Wolf, Badly Drawn Boy, Tim Minchin, Saint Etienne and The Magic Numbers. www.theapplecartfestival.com

ATP'S I'LL BE YOUR MIRROR, Alexandra Palace, London, 23-24 Jul: Reggae types Black Roots lead the latest additions to the Portishead-curated alt-fest that is I'll Be Your Mirror, with Team Brick, The Sundowners and Thought Forms also amongst the new announcees. PJ Harvey, Beach House, Grinderman, Liars, Doom, Company Flow and Factory Floor make up the lengthy list of previously mentioned bookings. www.atpfestival.com/events/ibymportishead.php

BESTIVAL, Robin Hill Country Park, Isle Of Wight, 8-11 Sep: Friendly Fires are set to turn up the heat at Bestival this year, just-booked as they are to put on a one-off experimental show at the festival's RizLab-hosted arena. The feverish FF trio join Pendulum, Robyn, DJ Shadow, Brian Wilson and so very many more acts on the sprawling overall bill. www.bestival.net

IBIZA ROCKS, Ibiza, Spain, 31 May - 20 Sep: Bombay Bicycle Club, The Streets and Foster The People are all fresh on this bill at the sun-kissed dance music extravaganza, which is also set to play host to acts including Katy B, Chase & Status, Tinie Tempah and Plan B over the summer. Ibiza Rocks' sister event, Mallorca Rocks, will feature an identical line-up of acts bar Bombay Bicycle Club and Foster The People, who will instead be replaced by DJ sets from Chase & Status and Nero, plus a live performance from YasmIn. www.ibizarocks.com

MERTHYR ROCK, Cyfarthfa Park, Wales, 3-4 Sep: Joining headliners Ocean Colour Scene on Merthyr Rock's first day line-up are Goldie Lookin Chain and Cast, who will warm up the Welsh crowds for a rockier second day's billing that features Skindred, Funeral For A Friend and The Blackout. www.merthyrrock.com

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The UK Festival Awards has thrown its support behind the Attitude Is Everything campaign, which aims to improve deaf and disabled people's access to live music events. They have included disabled access in the criteria used by judges assessing this year's music festivals, and have teamed up with Festival Republic to offer the winner of the best grass roots fest award a £1000 grant to enable them to improve accessibility.

Confirming his company's support of Attitude Is Everything's work via the UK Festival Awards, Festival Republic chief Melvin Benn told CMU: "At Festival Republic events we want everyone to be able to participate, feel safe, and be part of the crowd and we work closely with Attitude Is Everything to achieve this. I am very pleased to be funding the first access training bursary to the future winners of the Grassroots Festival Award so they will be able to benefit from this invaluable support".

Meanwhile UK Festival Awards chief James Drury told CMU: "Grassroots festivals are real labours of love created on very tight budgets, so the chance to get vital advice and training from the experts at Attitude Is Everything, thanks to the generosity of Festival Republic, will be really valuable for the winner of our Grassroots Festival Award. Access for deaf and disabled people is an important criterion that our judges look out for when visiting festivals. I feel proud that Attitude Is Everything chose our Awards to distribute this bursary".

The partnership with the UK Festival Awards follows another big achievement for Attitude Is Everything this festival season. Through a partnership with London Borough of Tower Hamlets, all of this summer's events in East London's Victoria Park have adhered to Attitude Is Everything's Charter Of Best Practice, to ensure the accessibility of their festivals.

Attitude Is Everything chief Suzanne Bull told CMU: "The fact that the UK Festival Awards has included access as a criteria this year is a major breakthrough in making sure that the music industry continues to meet the requirements of their deaf and disabled customers, as well as raising the general public's awareness of the issues that deaf and disabled people face at music festivals across the UK. I'm delighted that, thanks to the foresight and the generosity of Melvin Benn at Festival Republic, we are able to offer one of our training bursaries to a new, small festival. It means that this festival with have the opportunity to sign to our Charter Of Best Practice and have all the support it needs to improve deaf and disabled people's access to its festival".

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Hits Daily Double in the US is claiming that Warner Music's new owner, Len Blavatnik's Access Industries, is likely to promote Lyor Cohen. Currently CEO of Warner's North American operations, Cohen could take over from Edgar Bronfman Jr as overall CEO for the music company.

Which is interesting, because what does that mean for Bronfman Jr? Well, HDD reckons he will give up his day to day duties running Warner to focus 100% on the major's expected bid to buy EMI, and any regulatory challenges a Warner EMI merger would throw up, assuming current EMI owners Citigroup would consider selling to Access Industries.

That would make sense, as it's no secret that Bronfman Jr has long wished to follow his 1990s mega-merger of the Universal and Polygram record companies by bringing together EMI and Warner. But what would then happen to Bronfman once any EMI merger was completed or, more importantly, if Warner's attempts to buy its British rival failed?

Well, that's the doubly interesting bit, because HDD's sources reckon Bronfman will be ultimately side-lined, which is surprising given the much reported (including here) rumour that it was Warner's current CEO and former significant shareholder that pushed for Blavatnik to get ownership in the first place. He supposedly supported the Russian's bid to buy Warner outright because it would revitalise the major's balance sheet and enable him to bid for EMI, and then run a combined Warner EMI.

But, say HDD's sources, that rumour wasn't true. It was one of Warner's other big shareholders, Thomas H Lee Partners, which pushed Blavatnik's takeover through, giddy at the thought of securing such big sums for their stake in an industry everyone had written off eighteen months ago, and with no real thought or concern for Bronfman's future.

We're not saying anything, but as speculation goes, this is the most interesting rumour at the moment.

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The boss of German media group Bertelsmann has confirmed his company's music business, BMG, is likely to bid for EMI, though he doesn't seem hugely confident it'll succeed in any attempt to get ownership of some or all of the British major.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Hartmut Ostrowski said he thought Citigroup's sale of EMI would likely get as much interest as the recent sale of Warner, if not more. Despite being tipped from the outset as a possible buyer for both Warner and EMI, BMG was outbid in the battle for the former.

Although Bertelsmann's partners on the BMG venture, equity group KKR, remain in acquisitive mood, Ostrowski implied that the figure paid by Access Industries for Warner was too high, and that his music company was not interested in overbidding in order to achieve its growth-by-acquisition strategy.

The Bertelsmann chief indicated that if the bidding for EMI became unviable, BMG would focus its energy back on a series of smaller acquisitions, buying medium-sized rivals, as well as looking to sign artists directly.

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Well, that's a relief, Lady Gaga's official YouTube channel is back online.

As previously reported, the Gaga's presence on the video site was turned off last week because of, to quote YouTube, "multiple or severe violations of YouTube's copyright policy". It seems likely the switch off was linked to the upload of footage of the singer appearing on the Japanese TV show 'SMAP x SMAP', which producers of the show reportedly objected to.

Presumably the switch off of the whole Gaga channel was automatic, so by the end of last week it was back online. As also previously reported, none of this affected Gaga's official-content-only VEVO channel.

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Future Publishing, which publishes Metal Hammer and Classic Rock among many other titles, has announced a restructure which could result in about 100 job losses.

Although digital sales are up, overall Future revenues were down 5% over the last nine months, it was revealed this weekend. CEO Stevie Spring said she remained confident about her company's future, but that they were rolling out a "different form of publishing" model to safeguard that future.

In an email to staff, Future's Mark Wood admitted that restructure would likely result in about 10% of the firm's workforce being made redundant, though the company said it hoped it could downsize through voluntary redundancy.

It's not clear how the changes will affect Future's music titles which, although generally fairing better than their rivals, are nevertheless operating in an insecure market.

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J Lo's marriage to Marc Anthony is over, it seems. Who will defend Ms Lopez when Eminem goes into diss mode now? The American pop couple issued a statement published in People magazine as follows: "We have decided to end our marriage. This was a very difficult decision. We have come to an amicable conclusion on all matters. It is a painful time for all involved and we appreciate the respect of our privacy at this time".

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For every divorce there must be a marriage, these are the basic rules of nature. So here it is. Former Pussycat Doll and current 'X-Factor USA' judge Nicole Scherzinger has got engaged to fast car man Lewis Hamilton, or at least that's what her dad says.

Scherzinger's father Alfonso Valiente told the Mail On Sunday: "Yes, they are engaged. My future son-in-law is a really nice guy, really down to earth. My family all like him. The good spirit is there. He is sincere and he and my daughter seem genuinely happy together".

So that's all lovely. Which is no way to end a CMU Daily really. We'll try to find some doom or scandal, or at least something we can mock in a cheap fashion, for the end of tomorrow's Daily.

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
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Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
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