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CMU Info
Top Stories
More speculation over bidders for EMI
Truck not out of business, but admits financial difficulties
Amy Winehouse's home to become foundation HQ
In The Pop Courts
Lewis vs Avicii reaches court today
Reunions & Splits
Coheed And Cambria part company with bassist
Release News
The Black Ghosts announce album, offer free track
Neon Indian announces second LP
DC Recordings to release Arcadion's debut album
Gigs & Tours News
New Joan As Policewoman tour dates announced
Jens Lekman to play London show
Impending Sebadoh tour
The Music Business
Virgin Records UK gets new marketing chief
The Media Business
Speculation about future of Billboard, Music Week moves days
Paul McCartney to speak to police over phone hacking
And finally...
John Lydon no longer trusts The National Trust

I spent a lovely weekend in Victoria Park, where not one but two (actually, three) festivals took place. Too old for Underage on Friday, I went to Field Day on Saturday and The Apple Cart on Sunday. Warpaint were the absolute highlight at Field Day, while Chilly Gonzales and Patrick Wolf both stormed the much more relaxed Apple Cart. I say relaxed, there was a point when I genuinely thought Chilly Gonzales' commitment to his character was going to get him punched. It was all fine in the end, though. Let's hope this week is as much fun.

01: ThreeWeeks. The Edinburgh Festival is now officially under way, and our sister publication ThreeWeeks is, as ever, up there covering it all. By the end of August, the TW team will have seen and reviewed well over 1750 shows. As well as this, the team will publish four print newspapers - the first of which you can read here - plus 21 daily review sheets, 25 email bulletins, and 15 podcasts. It's quite an operation and, as you might expect, turns our rather small company into a reasonably large one for a few weeks. You can follow all the action at www.ThreeWeeks.co.uk.

02: Mixcloud Celebration Of Curation. CMU is one of a whole host of people and companies from across the industry who and which have taken part in this year's Mixcloud Celebration Of Curation, contributing mixes and spoken word content to the site. Amongst the other contributors are Mary Anne Hobbs, The Guardian, Channel 4, Xfm, Last.fm, Beatport and Domino Records. For our contribution, I put together a mix of fifteen of my favourite tracks that have appeared in the CMU Approved column so far this year. More mixes, podcasts and radio shows will continue to be posted until Friday.

03: Standon Calling. This year's Standon Calling festival kicks off on Thursday with the final of the Road To Standon competition, which has seen bands from all over the country battle it out to win a slot on the main stage. A panel of expert judges have been assessing all of them. Well, a panel of expert judges and me. We've got a strong line-up for the final, and it's not going to be easy to pick a winner. If you're going to be there, come and help out by cheering on your favourite.

04: New releases. This week's big release sees two of the biggest names in rap (if not the two biggest) Jay-Z and Kanye West release their much discussed collaborative album, 'Watch The Throne'. It's sparked controversy in the States due to exclusivity deals with iTunes and Best Buy, which independent record stores say will hurt them financially. Jay-Z helped calm the situation by basically saying that all online leaks are generally perpetrated by indie store staff. Good work. Also out this week is the debut album from Blood Orange (aka Dev Hynes aka Lightspeed Champion), 'Skyline' by Yann Tiersen, 'Anatomy' by Drugstore, and re-issues of Pulp's first three albums.

05: Gigs. I think the fuss over Morrissey's ill-judged comments about the massacre in Norway and the fast food trade has died down now (although there was some heated debate in the comments section of our online report on it last week). He'll have a chance to make it all flair up again tonight, though, when he plays the second of two London shows. He played Brixton Academy last night, seemingly without incident (although rioters did later try to set the venue alight, but I don't think that was Mozza's fault), and will play the London Palladium tonight. Also playing in London this week are Azari &III, Shonen Knife, and Bleeding Heart Narrative, all on Thursday night. Shonen Knife will also be touring the country, leading up to a special 30th anniversary show at The Scala in London next month.

Yes, that does all sound like fun.

Andy Malt
Editor, CMU
Originally emerging through a series of anonymously uploaded tracks and videos earlier this year, Death Grips was eventually revealed to be the work of producer Flatlander with MC Ride and additional input from Hella drummer Zach Hill, Info Warrior and vocalist Mexican Girl. Their debut album/mixtape, 'Ex-Military', was released as a free download in April and ever since their sound has been spreading and dividing opinion.

'Ex-Military' is not an easy listen. It's brash, raw and confrontational. Flatlander's tracks at their hardest are distorted, bass-heavy monsters, and MC Ride's barked, dark lyrics just add to the aggression. Even sampling the Pet Shop Boys fails to calm the situation. As a result, it's not for everyone. But anyone who enjoyed the similarly abrasive sounds of Zach Hill's last solo album should be somewhat prepared for what's in store.

You can download 'Ex-Military' for free from the group's website, and watch the video for stand out track, 'Takyon (Death Yon)', here. Death grips will be touring the UK next month, with a London show at XOYO on 25 Sep.

Europe's leading digital distributor are looking for two people to compliment their expanding UK office. We are looking for one Sales And Label Manager and a Senior Label Manager/Head Of Sales to manage a team of four. Applicants should have a strong knowledge of UK indie labels, digital retail stores and online promotional opportunities.

Please contact [email protected] for more details or call +44 20 7036 8720
Anorak London is looking for a talented Head of Digital to join its expanding team. The successful applicant will be an expert within the digital field, have at least four years experience working digital PR campaigns, have proven management experience and a solid understanding of digital marketing. This role will be suitable for someone with natural leadership skills who can exercise diplomacy at all times and give valued input. The successful applicant will become a part of the company's board of executives. Competitive salary offered. Please send CVs to: [email protected]
Anorak is looking for a talented PR person who is experienced in events and festivals. The successful applicant will be able to demonstrate experience in event PR strategy and media crisis management as well as a proven track record achieving strong PR coverage across all media. Applicants must have exceptional organisation skills and acute attention to detail. Please send CVs to: [email protected]

"The best music business training event I have attended; relevant and up to date, your knowledge of and enthusiasm for the industry is simply exceptional" from delegate feedback

We are currently taking bookings for the following CMU TRAINING courses:

How to make money out of music – both now and in the future, with a look at alternative investment and revenue streams, and a new approach to monetising artists and their music. Wed 7 Sep

For more information or to book visit www.theCMUwebsite.com/training

There has been gossip galore this weekend about the sale of EMI, as current owner Citigroup reviews at least ten offers to buy its music company.

According to Billboard, it's thought that four (possibly five) parties are bidding to buy the company outright. The first is Access Industries, which would look to merge EMI with its other recent acquisition Warner Music, subject to competition regulator approval. Also bidding to buy EMI in its entirety are the Gores Group and Platinum Equity, who also bid for Warner Music earlier this year, and equity group Permira, which bid to buy EMI way back in 2006. Apollo Global Management is also thought to be bidding, in partnership with former EMI exec Charles Koppelman, and it too may be going for the full business.

Although Citigroup has previously indicated that it would prefer to sell EMI to one suitor, some commentators reckon that splitting the business up - into publishing and recordings - would bring in more money. Thought to be bidding just for EMI's music publishing business are KKR-backed BMG, Sony Corp and Oaktree Capital Management. Universal Music, meanwhile, is seemingly bidding for just the EMI record companies, as are MacAndrews & Forbes and Rob Perelman.

Insiders say that the top bids, in terms of price, are valuing EMI at over $3.5 billion, which could immediately put some other contenders out of the running. Some wonder if, with such a high valuation, existing music companies will be at an advantage, given they could possibly bid higher because of the economies of scale that could be achieved by merging the EMI companies with existing music operations. Though, of course, Citigroup may be wary of any deal that would bring with it possible time consuming and expensive competition regulator investigations.

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The co-founder of Truck Festival's parent company has denied claims the firm is going into administration after losing too much money at this year's edition of their flagship event in Oxfordshire, but has admitted the 2011 festival has caused financial difficulties.

As previously reported, US blog Brooklyn Vegan initially reported that the US version of the festival, Truck America, which launched last year, had been cancelled. Then on Thursday afternoon eFestivals claimed to have been told by "a number of music/festival business sources" that the Truck company had "gone bust".

But last week Truck's Robin Bennett was quoted by the Oxford Mail clarifying the situation. He told the local paper: "Things are still a little unclear, but the situation is not looking good. Our revenue has not been adequate to cover the cost of this year's event and we have been left with a major hole. We are a small family business and we cannot sustain that kind of loss, and are now reaching out to find a method of dealing with it".

Explaining the situation, he said: "We didn't have enough full-price ticket holders, and bar and food spending, which we hoped would make a contribution to profits, wasn't high ... The market this year is dire. There are just too many festivals".

Finally, he said: "We are open to ideas and are looking for an investor - it doesn't even matter if they are not in the music business. We have made some popular changes to the festival, and it would be well worth an investor coming in. If we can't [find one], then Truck could be over".

The company is yet to release an official statement on the matter.

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Amy Winehouse's London home, where she was found dead last month, is to be turned into the headquarters of the charitable foundation being set up by her father, Mitch.

Mitch told The Mirror last week that the Amy Winehouse Foundation would focus on "causes close to her heart", although he wasn't totally clear on exactly what those might be. He explained: "It could include help for children in trouble, kids suffering health problems, children's hospices and more".

He has, of course, already started on work to get help for young people in the early stages of drug and alcohol addiction. As previously reported, the singer's father met with politicians to discuss access to treatment services for young people last week. Following the meeting, both he and Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz were optimistic that they could change things for the better.

Elsewhere in Winehouse news, although staying with her house, Camden Council has appealed for the return of street signs from Camden Square, where it is situated. Four signs, which were covered with tributes left by fans, were taken between 31 Jul and 1 Aug. Six others were removed by the council to prevent them from being stolen.

Deputy leader of the council, Sue Vincent told the BBC: "We are appealing to the good nature and conscience of the person or persons who stole the signs and are asking for them to be returned. We are not concerned with who took them, and will not be investigating this if we get them back. The signs can be returned to any police station in Camden and no questions will be asked".

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Swedish producer Avicii will later today go to the High Court in London seeking an injunction blocking Leona Lewis from releasing her new single, 'Collide'.

As previously reported, Avicii claims that Lewis and her label, Simon Cowell's Sony imprint Syco, used his instrumental track, 'Penguin', as the basis for the first single from her third album without permission. He's doubly pissed off because he and his label, Ministry Of Sound, were preparing to release their own vocal version of the track, renamed 'Fade Into Darkness'.

Syco has been quoted in the tabloids as saying that there is "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". Lewis has also insisted that Avicii had been aware of and had agreed to publishing splits for her version of the song.

Avicii's manager Ash Pournouri, however, issued a 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".

If an injunction is granted, it will mean that the planned 4 Sep release for 'Collide' will have to be scrapped.

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Coheed And Cambria have announced that they are parting ways with bassist Michael Todd, following his arrest for armed robbery last month.

As previously reported, shortly before the band were due to support Soundgarden at the Comcast Center in Attleboro, Todd entered a pharmacy and showed the pharmacist a note on his mobile phone which said he had a bomb, and that he'd detonate it if he wasn't given several bottles of the painkiller tablet Oxycontin. He fled in a taxi with six bottles of the pills, but was later arrested after being identified by the pharmacist and the taxi driver on CCTV footage of the robbery.

In a statement issued on Friday, the band said: "After a lot of thought, introspection and discussion, Coheed and Cambria will be continuing our journey without bassist Michael Todd. We have spoken to him and this is a mutual decision between both parties. Michael was a great contributor; our hearts go out to his family and to all those who appreciate his talents. We wish him nothing but the very best".

The band are currently working on their next album, and have been performing with replacement bassists since Todd's arrest. A permanent replacement is yet to be announced.

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Comprised of vocalist Simon Lord and part-time Fake Blood producer Theo Keating, electro-folk-tech cavaliers The Black Ghosts plan to release their new LP 'When Animals Stare' through Southern Fried Records on 1 Aug.

This will mark the duo's first new material since their eponymous 2008 debut, which earned the suitably ghoulish 'Full Moon' a spot on the soundtrack to the first 'Twilight' film. But we don't hold that against them.

Assuming you don't either, you can download a free copy of 'When Animals Stare' track 'Diamonds', here: soundcloud.com/southernfriedrecords/the-black-ghosts-diamonds/s-XFxCD

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Neon Indian, the brainchild of 20 year old electro whiz Alan Polomo, is to release a second full-length album, titled 'Era Extraña', on 10 Oct by way of Transgressive.

While his 2009 debut 'Psychic Chasms' was labelled by many as a key exponent of the chillwave trend (psychedelic synth-washes, balmy beats), it would seem from a quick blast of free-to-download (on.fb.me/mUhKFS) new track 'Fallout', that 'Era Extraña' will be an altogether shadier matter. Whilst still being quite chillwave-adjacent, of course.

Polomo wrote and recorded the album last year during a solo stint in Helsinki, channelling his isolation through the long nights of the solstice season into a first draft, which was then mixed and co-produced by Dave Fridman (MGMT, The Flaming Lips). Looking back on the experience, he said this: "It's the closest you can get to feeling like you're at the edge of the earth. And there were moments where I lost sight of what I was really there to do".

Well, never mind that, he did it. He'll also be doing a one-off show at Islington's Electrowerkz venue on 9 Aug.

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Electro-funk artist Arcadion will release his bass-laden debut album 'More Petrol' on 12 Sep via DC Recordings. The LP will feature collaborations with Trouble Funk, Davy DMX, Mad Professor and Parliament.


Dungeon Magic
Out of Deep Systems
Double Five
Don't Walk Past The Bucket
Radar Station 8
Paint Pots
Fly Vision (Edit)
Super Q
Graveyard Shift
Insect Invasion
Crooked Cards

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As she prepares for a performance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on 31 Aug, Joan Wasser, aka Joan As Policewoman, is set to bring her dulcet tones to a score of new live dates in support of latest album 'The Deep Field'.

With appearances also scheduled at this year's End Of The Road and Electric Picnic festivals, the venue-based portion of the tour will run thus:

1 Sep: York Duchess
5 Sep: Gateshead The Sage
6 Sep: Salford, St Philips Church
7 Sep: Birmingham, Institute
9 Sep: London, Shepherds Bush Empire

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Swedish singing-songwriting sort Jens Lekman has confirmed a show at London's Heaven on 17 Oct, followed by one at Manchester's Band On The Wall on 19 Oct.

This flurry of tour news coincides with Jens making the title track from his previously reported new EP 'An Argument With Myself' available as a free download here on SoundCloud. soundcloud.com/dojagsc/an-argument-with-myself-1

"In the case 'Jens Lekman vs Jens Lekman', we will look closer at the evidence presented - the photo I had carried in my breast pocket for a whole year, the pressed honeysuckle, the wind so rich on summer and so sweet - how are these things connected and why are they relevant?", waxes a lyrical Jens on the themes presented in the five track EP, due out on 19 Sep via Secretly Canadian. How and why, indeed.

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In the wake of their seminal 1994 album 'Bakesale' being re-released by Domino earlier this year, seminal grunge trio Sebadoh will be mooching their way through a trio of UK tour dates in their own inimitable way.

Speaking of the tour dates, here they are:

22 Aug: London, Electric Ballroom
23 Aug: Manchester, Academy
24 Aug: Edinburgh, Cabaret Voltaire

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EMI (when do we start saying Warner EMI?) has announced the appointment of Claire O'Brien, as a new VP Marketing for its Virgin Records division (when do we start saying Virgin Atlantic? Oh, no, hang on, merging EMI's Virgin Records with Warner's Atlantic Records isn't going to work, is it?).

O'Brien returns to EMI after a stint at Universal Music within its Geffen UK division. In her new role she will report to EMI UK's SVP Marketing Mandy Plumb.

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How about some speculation about the future of US music industry trade mag Billboard?

Digital Music News is citing various sources who claim the future of the trade title is looking increasingly uncertain, though it is unclear whether that is based on anything concrete, or just the usual speculation about the future of traditional trade publications in the digital age, especially where the budgets of the industry a title serves are being cut.

DMN notes that Billboard Pro, a subscription-based online service for unsigned and independent artists launched earlier this year, went on hold last week, though Billboard's newish publishers Prometheus Media Group say that's so the facility can be further developed, not because it's about to by taken offline altogether.

The blog also notes that Richard Beckman, who seemingly played a key role in the purchase of Billboard, and some of its sister titles like The Hollywood Reporter, from the Nielsen Company late last year, has stepped back from managing the Prometheus company on a day to day basis.

None of this means Billboard will disappear imminently, though some do wonder if Prometheus will be forced to instigate some cost cutting in the near future, maybe even going as far as merging Billboard with the Reporter, now the music and movie industries are arguably closer aligned than they once were.

In the UK, as previously reported, the traditional music industry magazine here, Music Week, was recently acquired by Intent Media, which last week told readers in no uncertain terms "without us acquiring Music Week, it would have been closed".

Intent, which already owns other entertainment industry trade titles making the company a logical home for Music Week, is expected to make a number of changes to safeguard the title's future. The first is a change in publication day - the magazine will now come out on Thursday, instead of at the start of the week to coincide with the new chart. Readers wanting up to date chart news will be encouraged to use the Music Week website.

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Paul McCartney has said that he will ask police at Scotland Yard to investigate the possibility that his voicemail was hacked by journalists at The Daily Mirror. The accusations stem from a column written by Piers Morgan for The Daily Mail in 2006 in which ther former Daily Mirror editor seems to admit that his paper hacked into the phone of Heather Mills while she was married to the former Beatle.

Morgan wrote: "At one stage I was played a tape of a message Paul had left for Heather on her mobile phone. It was heartbreaking. The couple had clearly had a tiff, Heather had fled to India, and Paul was pleading with her to come back. He sounded lonely, miserable and desperate, and even sang 'We Can Work It Out' into the answerphone".

McCartney told reporters last week: "I'll tell you that when I go back after this tour I'm going to talk to the police because I apparently have been hacked. I don't know much about it, but I do think it's a horrendous violation of privacy, and I think it's been going on for a long time and more people than we've heard about knew about it".

Scrutiny of Piers Morgan and his possible involvement in phone hacking has increased in recent weeks. Morgan, now a presenter for CNN in the US, has denied any involvement.

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John Lydon has accused the National Trust of using two Sex Pistols songs on a new compilation without permission. 'Anarchy In The UK' and 'Pretty Vacant' apparently feature on a collection of punk songs entitled 'Never Mind The Dovecotes', released by the Trust in April.

Lydon said in a statement: "I would like to be able to trust the National Trust but from this point forward I can't. I was very proud to collaborate with The National Trust back in 2003 and voice a radio advert for them. No one however has even spoken to myself or my management or had a conversation with myself or my management about this album. Never mind the... permission".

He continued: "Thievery as I have always thought seems to come from very high places. Whatever happened to the art of conversation? As of yet, I am still not sure what the game is in all this. I love my England, my honest England. My heart is true, but this particular situation seems deeply sneaky and we are waiting to be supplied with information on this chain of events, and the answer better be good".

Why is the National Trust releasing a punk compilation, anyway?

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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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