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CMU Info
Top Stories
Could EMI go for £2.5 billion?
In The Pop Courts
Musicians sue over Grammy category merging
In The Pop Hospital
Kings Of Leon man urged to seek help
Awards & Contests
Music Producers Guild Awards nominations open
Reunions & Splits
Arab Strap cover Slow Club
Breaking Benjamin sues bandmates over remix
Release News
MGMT announce LateNightTales compilation
Bombay Bicycle Club announce new LP, plan to stream acoustic show
The Dillinger Escape Plan launch new multimedia site
Films & Shows News
Raekwon casts Cee Lo in forthcoming biopic
Gigs & Tours News
Nero announce tour dates
Is Tropical announce UK tour
Single review: Chromeo feat Solange Knowles - When The Night Falls (Back Yard Recordings)
The Music Business
Musicians' Union to campaign for private copy levy
Web video advertising boosts sales for Beady Eye
And finally...
Sean Kingston will jet ski again

The War On Drugs began when, having met as regular fixtures on the local Philadelphia circuit, singer-songwriter Adam Granduciel and fellow troubadour Kurt Vile started playing together in 2003. Expanding to a quintet, the band went on to release several EPs including 2008's 'Barrel Of Batteries', which garnered them acclaim for its honest play on ragged, Dylan-esque Americana. They then signed to Secretly Canadian for their debut LP 'Wagonwheel Blues' the same year, after which Granduciel and bassist David Hartley weathered the departures of three original members, Vile included.

Propped up by replacement sticksman Mike Zanghi, the band's present line-up put out their 'Future Weather' EP last year. Beatific lead track 'Baby Missiles' (sounds like Springsteen in the fevered throws of psych-rock daydream) gets a deserved second chance to shine on their new album 'Slave Ambient', which is due out on 15 Aug.

Following the release, the UK-based portion of the band's subsequent tour will kick off with a show at London's Cargo on 13 Sep. Furthering a promotional slog that also includes an Urban Outfitters-sponsored stream of the album and a free giveaway of standout album track 'Come To The City', Adam Granduciel found a spare few moments to answer our Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I started playing guitar when I was thirteen or fourteen. My first guitar, a 1963 harmony bobcat, is actually my number one guitar right now. I didn't have any formal training on piano or anything, so I taught myself guitar and practiced all the time. Then when I was around eighteen or nineteen I started 'getting into' writing more and learning how to record. I started out with just a cassette deck, and then got a digital eight-track when I was 21 or so... that's what a lot of the first record and early demos were done on.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Well, now the record is finished and I'm able to look back at the whole piece, I think self-discovery and really going through an intense process, both mentally and recording-wise, were the main inspirations. In the moment, however, it's all about just crafting the songs and letting them have their own identity.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
This record was really a combination of conventional writing and demoing, and a mix of extensive experimentation. I never really worked on each song individually from start to finish - I'm always working on stuff in my home studio and a lot of the songs started from hours or weeks of extensive dubbing and sampling/re-sampling - the backbone of a lot of the songs are rhythmic samples or drones or whatever, and that dictated where the song could wind up.

Eventually, I got out of the home studio and did most of the overdubs and mixing with Jeff Zeigler in Philadelphia, but also spent time at echo mountain studios in Asheville. Certain songs went through 20 or so transformations until they felt right to me... always adding and subtracting, trying to find the heart of the song. Some songs were a first take live cut like 'I Was There' and 'Black Water Falls', and others like 'Your Love Is Calling My Name,' 'Come To The City,' Baby Missiles' and 'It's Your Destiny' had been worked on for more than two years a piece.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
So many. Velvets, Dylan, Spectrum, Bob Johnston, Simon and Garfunkel, Walter Sear, Tony Visconti, the Boss, Yoko Ono, Neil Young, Roy Orbison... tons!

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Get in your car, crank up those speakers and listen to the whole thing!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Well, obviously I want a lot of people to hear the record cos I'm so proud of it and I think it's really unique. I'll be recording and making albums for a long time, but the process that I went through on 'Slave Ambient' can't be rivalled. I just hope people enjoy it and come to expect The War On Drugs' records, as a whole, to be inspiring and enjoyable.

MORE>> www.thewarondrugs.net
Carousels' newly set up Facebook page currently just displays links to the numerous blogs that have covered their music of late. It kind of makes me want to use the phrase "like a rush of blogs to the head" in this piece. But I won't because that would be awful. Let's talk about them instead and put this whole sorry thing behind us.

Nick Benton and Lucy Wilson are Carousels. They met in Cambridge but now live in Guildford. Although they've been casually making music for a few years, they only recently decided to make a proper go of it. So recently, in fact, that they will not play their first gig until October, when they are due to take the stage at the Old Blue Last. Despite this minimal level of activity to date, people are getting excited about them because the few tracks they have put online are consistently very good.

They have that shoegazey sound that I possibly said had been overdone several months ago, but they do it so well I'm going to let them through. I possibly said that about another band several months ago, too. But if people will bloody well keep being good within this genre, what can I do? The tracks could do with some better production to bring out their full potential, but the way Wilson's voice cuts through the guitar noise, rather than having it buried in reverb like so many other bands of their ilk, gives them a strong, confident sound that's well worth checking out.

You can check out two tracks on their SoundCloud page, and another, 'Carousel', via this video.

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EMI could go for up to £2.5 billion, according to reports. If it did, its current owners Citigroup would recoup about 75% of the money it lent to Guy Hands to fund his disastrous little play in the music space back in 2007.

As previously reported, Citigroup started taking serious bids for the London-based music major last month, hoping it too would enjoy higher than expected interest from possible bidders, as Warner Music did when it was put up for sale at the start of the year. Many of the entertainment groups and equity firms that bid for Warner are expected to also make a bid for EMI, including Access Industries, which won the battle to acquire the Warner Music business.

According to the Financial Times, between four and six groups have put in offers to buy EMI outright, while additional bidders have expressed an interest in buying either the firm's recordings business or its publishing catalogue. The latter is particularly sought after.

Although Citigroup has previously said it would prefer to sell EMI as a going concern, something current boss Roger Faxon obviously wants to happen, some experts reckon Citigroup could make more money from a split sale. BMG getting publishing and Warner/Access the recordings is still being mooted as a possible outcome, though BMG in particular could be outbid.

While a £2.5 billion deal does seem very ambitious, insiders have told the FT that EMI is likely to fetch more than Warner, and that Citigroup is increasingly optimistic about the amount of cash the deal could generate.

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Only in America, as they say. The campaign to stop Grammy organisers from merging certain niche categories has gone legal.

As previously reported, as part of various changes planned for next year's big awards weekend, some instrumental categories at the Grammys are being phased out, and Hawaiian, Native American, Zydeco/Cajun and polka gongs are being merged into a 'regional roots' award.

Artists active in affected genres have been grumbling with increasing volume on this issue, and this week musicians Bobby Sanabria and Mark Levine filed a lawsuit in New York in a bid to force Grammy bosses to reconsider. Don't ask me on what legal grounds, it sounds more like a publicity stunt to me.

Certainly their lawyer Roger Maldonado was stronger on rhetoric than legal argument, telling reporters: "They [Academy bosses] shouldn't have done this. Not only does it devalue the category of music and the work these musicians do, it makes it much harder for them to gain recognition. The concern is by lumping several categories together, it makes it much easier for larger record labels and those artists who have already gained recognition to dominate. Even being nominated for the award has enormous value for these musicians".

Grammy organiser the Recording Academy called the lawsuit "frivolous". Which is probably correct. But I like frivolity. Who's up for suing the BRITs? I demand the reinstatement of the 'Best Group Called Steps' Award, which was last presented in 2000. To Steps.

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According to reports, Kings Of Leon frontman Caleb Followill is being urged to go into rehab. Now, I know what you're thinking: why would someone need to go into rehab for the "vocal issues and exhaustion" that the statement announcing the cancellation of the band's US tour claimed as reasons? Well, this might come as a surprise to you, but some people are saying those aren't the real reasons.

Actually, members of the band are saying that. As you may remember, after the band cut short a show on Friday and cancelled another the following day, bassist Jared Followill said in response to the official line: "There are problems in our band bigger than not drinking enough Gatorade ... There are internal sicknesses and problems that have needed to be addressed".

Now some are claiming to know what those "internal sicknesses" are. Well, a couple of unnamed sources have been claiming such to Us Magazine. The first said: "They are trying to get Caleb to go to rehab. It is mostly for alcohol". The second added: "It's true. Caleb's drinking is out of control and they are trying to get him into rehab. It's a dark demon he has been fighting for a while".

A rep for the band denied these claims, saying: "Caleb is under doctor's orders for vocal rest. They feel terrible about [calling off the tour]. They look forward to getting back on the road at the end of September".

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Submissions for nominations for the 2012 Music Producers Guild Awards are now open. Anyone, including non-MPG members, can nominate their favourite people from the production community.

Once the nominations are in, MPG members will vote to draw up shortlists in each category, which will then be judged by a panel of producers, engineers, artists, artist managers, A&R representatives, music journalists and radio presenters.

You can enter submissions until 16 Sep at www.mpgawards.co.uk.

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Arab Strap's Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton have reunited to record a cover of Slow Club's 'Two Cousins'. Although Moffat is keen to stress that this is not a proper reunion, just two guys who happened to be in a band together recording a song that sounds like that band.

Explaining that he'd been asked by Slow Club's Rebecca Taylor to remix or cover their latest single, Moffat said: "I decided against a remix; I couldn't see how I could make it work. So my only option was a cover, but there's no way my voice could sing this song without sapping the fun from it. And then I remembered an old Arab Strap joke we used to make, about how we'd take someone else's song and just add a drum machine, slow it down and make it miserable, and hey presto, it's an Arab Strap cover".

He continued: "So, I decided it could be fun to make it sound like a recording my old band made years ago, but I couldn't possibly do that without Malcolm Middleton, and we've been professionally separated for five years now. But I asked him if he fancied it, and he did, and that's all there was to it. It's not an Arab Strap performance as such, rather it's the two guys who used to be Arab Strap recording their own, informed pastiche; think of it as an extremely accurate tribute band. Like the song itself, it was good fun, but it's not as good as the original".

Listen to the results, here: soundcloud.com/thequietus/aidan-moffat-malcolm-middleton

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Well, this is kind of interesting. Benjamin Burnley, frontman of US hard rock outfit Breaking Benjamin, has sacked his guitarist and bassist, Aaron Fincke and Mark Klepaski, and launched a lawsuit against them.

According to court documents filed by Burnley in June, seen by Pennsylvania newspaper The Citizens' Voice, he claims that earlier this year Klepaski and Fincke began making decisions on behalf of the band without his authorisation. Said decisions included agreeing to the release of a greatest hits and rarities compilation (due out later this month) and to allow their song 'Blow Me Away' to be remixed and remastered for that release, in exchange for $100,000. When released in June, the reworked version of the song reached number fourteen in Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

Klepaski and Fincke, meanwhile, argue that they no longer had to seek Burnley's permission as he has refused to tour since June last year, due to undisclosed health problems. They say this invalidates a partnership agreement they had previously signed in 2009.

Burnley is seeking a minimum of $750,000 in damages. This week, he also succeeded in having the case referred to arbitration, rather than being heard in open court, which means the rest of the case will be heard behind closed doors.

The frontman's lawyer told The Citizen's Voice: "The court declined to accept [Klepaski and Fincke's] version of the facts. The court rejected their contentions".

In an earlier statement, the band's label, Hollywood Records, said: "[The compilation was produced] with the awareness of all of the members of Breaking Benjamin. We're extremely excited about this collection, which is a fan's dream".

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MGMT have been announced as the latest act to add a mix to the LateNightTales compilation series, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year.

The band's Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser's selections are as eclectic as you might hope, featuring everything from The Television Personalities to 60's Christian folk singer Dave Bixby. The band themselves also contribute an exclusive Bauhaus cover, and the mix is completed by the second part of Paul Morley's short story, 'Lost For Words' (part one having appeared on Trentemøller's recently released contribution to the series).

The compilation will be released on 3 Oct, and the tracklist is as follows:

Disco Inferno - Can't See Through It
The Great Society - Love You Girl
Suicide - Cheree
Television Personalities - Stop And Smell The Roses
The Velvet Underground - Ocean
Felt - Red Indians
Julian Cope - Laughing Boy
Durutti Column - For Belgium Friends
Charlie Feathers - Mound Of Clay
Mark Fry - For Wilde
MGMT - All We Ever Wanted Was Everything
Cheval Sombre - Troubled Mind
Dave Bixby - Drug Song
The Jacobites - Hearts Are Like Flowers
The Chills - Pink Frost
Martin Rev - Sparks
The Wake - Melancholy Man
Spacemen 3 - Lord Can You Hear Me?
Pauline Anna Strom - Morning Splendor
Paul Morley - Lost For Words Part 2


Bombay Bicycle Club will stream a live acoustic performance in partnership with Ford's Bands In Transit programme, thereby bolstering the build up campaign to the release of their third album 'A Different Kind Of Fix'. To tune in, be at www.bandsintransit.com at 1.30pm on 9 Aug or be very, very square.

'A Different Kind Of Fix' won't be out until 29 Aug, but until then, stave off any anticipatory pangs with a quick blast of lead single 'Shuffle'.


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Mathcore punks The Dillinger Escape Plan have launched a new web platform full of jazzy multimedia features, which, when it really gets going, will include a cache of band-penned blog entries and other exclusives gleaned from Flickr, Vimeo and suchlike.

Head over to www.dillingerescapeplan.org to pick up a complimentary remix of TDEP track 'Black Bubblegum' by Deftones' Sergio Vega, the first in a series of free giveaways to be hosted on the site.

Now for some very imminent Dillinger tour dates:

4 Aug: Belfast, Spring & Airbrake
5 Aug: Glasgow, Garage
6 Aug: Hevy Festival

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Wu-Tang member Raekwon has revealed startling new details of a forthcoming film based on his early years growing up in Staten Island. Though an actor hasn't yet been chosen to portray 'The Chef' as a youngster, it seems that the role of his father will be played by none other than statuesque soul star Cee Lo Green.

XXL Magazine was first to cop this casting exclusive. The rapper explained: "Cee Lo Green is playing my pops in the film. Cee Lo is gonna play Raekwon's ol' dad! He's a good friend of mine. When I called him and told him about it he was just overwhelmed. He's just one out of the greats that's gonna be on the project". Really? Blimey.

Following the US release of Wu-Tang Clan's collective album 'Only The Rugged Survive' last month, Raekwon plans to put out a solo mixtape in mid-September.

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Dubstep production pairing Nero are to set off on their first ever UK tour in support of debut album 'Welcome Reality', which will be released on 15 Aug on Chase & Status' label MTA Records.

The duo will be tearing up live noise permits on the following occasions:

8 Oct: Manchester, Warehouse Project
9 Oct: Nottingham, Rocky City
11 Oct: Sheffield, Fusion & Foundry
12 Oct: Newcastle, Academy
13 Oct: Plymouth, Covert
15 Oct: Liverpool, The Masque
18 Oct: London, Electric Ballroom
20 Oct: Derby, Assembly Rooms
22 Oct: Bournemouth, Academy

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Is Tropical have announced UK tour dates to promote their recently released debut album, 'Native To'. If you're particularly youthful, you can also catch them at Underage this Friday, too.

Tour dates:

20 Sep: Southampton, Joiners
21 Sep: Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
23 Sep: Nottingham, The Bodega Social Club
24 Sep: Sheffield, The Harley
25 Sep: Manchester, The Deaf Institute
26 Sep: York, Stereo
27 Sep: Glasgow, King Tut's Wah Wah Hut
28 Sep: Liverpool, Wolstenholme Creative Space
29 Sep: Bristol, The Croft
4 Oct: London, Hoxton Bar & Kitchen

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SINGLE REVIEW: Chromeo feat Solange Knowles - When The Night Falls (Back Yard Recordings)
By rights, 'When The Night Falls' should be aboard a yacht in 1986. Beyonce's little sis Solange steps up into her sister's mighty-hard-to-fill-boots, donning a Madonna-circa-Holiday persona while she's at it. This is certainly no bad thing, accompanying Chromeo's sleaze-crooning as they once again prove rightly indifferent to any musical (and sartorial) parameters of good taste.

Their funky, shimmering, camped up disco is cleaned out and rendered all the more deliciously after-dark in its treatment by Hercules & Love Affair's Andy Butler, while the Lifelike Remix shows its Hi-NRG potential and Mayer Hawthorne's cover strips the song back to reveal its soulful side.

'When The Night Falls' is grinning through laser-whitened teeth and chatting up your girlfriend - a tune unashamedly sporting a white blazer and deck shoes. EG

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The Musicians' Union has announced that it will campaign for the introduction of a private copy levy if the proposal put forward this week by Business Secretary Vince Cable to introduce a private copy right (or 'format shifting') law in the UK is approved by the government.

MU General Secretary John Smith told CMU: "We are not opposed to the introduction of an exception for format shifting, as long as a system of fair compensation for rights holders is brought in alongside it. This would bring the UK in line with most other European countries, where such levy systems already exist".

He continued: "The device manufacturers readily pay for patents and the like on each device sold and yet the act of copying onto these devices the very content that the consumer is most concerned with - music - is not currently generating any income for the creative individuals who compose and perform and entertain the public".

Well, except when consumers buy that content.

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According to web analytics company Buzzdeck, a recent online video banner campaign for Beady Eye's 'Different Gear, Still Speeding' album boosted sales by 80%. Created by Silence Media for ad firm The 7 Stars, the banners allowed web users to expand the ads and view the band's videos in-page.

In a test of the ads' effectiveness, all other advertising and promotion was suspended for a period of time. Engagements were then measured against total album sales, which reportedly produced an 80% uplift in sales.

John Leahy of Beady Eye Records told CMU: "We've always known there's a correlation between video banner advertising and sales but with this test we were interested in causality - did A cause B to happen? The results are evidence that video banner advertising has matured into the most accountable and cost effective of the numerous digital advertising techniques".

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Sean Kingston has said that he intends to get on a jet ski again, despite being hospitalised earlier this year when he crashed one into a bridge.

As previously reported, Kingston and a female passenger were injured when the singer lost control of his "watercraft" and hit the side of the Miami Bridge. He suffered a shattered wrist, a broken jaw and water in his lung in the accident, as well as a torn aorta, which was only discovered as he was preparing to leave hospital. The latter injury caused his lungs to fill with blood and required immediate open heart surgery.

But speaking to MTV this week Kingston was upbeat, saying his time spent recuperating had allowed him to think about new songs, adding: "I'm definitely going to be jet skiing again. I have to overcome my fear. It wasn't the jet ski, it was not knowing the area".

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Aly Barchi
Editorial Assistant
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper

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