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CMU Info
Top Stories
[PIAS] announces temporary plans for distribution clients
Awards & Contests
Amy Winehouse to receive posthumous MOBO, maybe
Charts, Stats & Polls
Kanye and Jay-Z set to break iTunes record
Reunions & Splits
Alexisonfire guitarist becomes new Gallows frontman
The Monkees call early halt to comeback campaign
Release News
Radiohead to release remix collection
Example to release second LP
Gigs & Tours News
Ash and Hatherley reunite for Free All Angels tour
The Icarus Line announce tour
Thomas Dolby tour dates
Noise Of Art announce autumn shows
The Music Business
Don Was made chief creative officer of Blue Note
The Digital Business
Walmart to close download store
Century Media pulls content from Spotify
And finally...
MGMT showered with shoes

Alt-pop musician Bastille, aka south Londoner Dan Smith, first came to wider attention earlier this year, when he edited footage from Terence Malick's 1973 film 'Badlands' to fit debut track 'Flaws'. Showing off a solid pop sensibility and distinctive melodic flair, both 'Flaws' and its b-side 'Icarus' were released by singles specialists Young & Lost Club last month.

Ahead of an appearance at this weekend's Standon Calling festival, plus a series of October dates culminating in a show at London's Barfly on 28 Oct, we spoke to Dan about his work-in-progress debut album, using our Same Six Questions as a rough guide.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I learned to play the piano when I was a little kid. I didn't really start trying to write songs until I was a bit older. It was always very much a private thing though, until I was at uni and one of my friends found out about my music and made me enter into a competition. It was winning that which forced me to record properly and play my first gig and made me realise how much I loved making songs.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
I'm working on the first Bastille album at the moment and I guess it will have been inspired by all kinds of things that have happened to me and the people I know. I find it quite difficult to write about myself or in the first person, so I tend to often use and incorporate well known stories or themes into the songs.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Lots of my songs start with an idea that seems to come out of nowhere. That normally involves me having to try and sing it into my phone whilst not looking completely deranged. I'll then work out the idea on the piano or on my laptop. I use really basic recording software to write all the parts and then I take them to my friend Mark, and we re-record bits and use better sounds and live instruments, and just try to make them sound like proper recordings, I guess.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
I love classic pop songs by people like The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel which to me still feel really relevant and timeless. Because I can't play the guitar, for a while I was obsessed with piano-based singer-songwriters like Antony and the Johnsons and Regina Spektor and even Elton John, who all influenced me a lot. Production-wise though, it's a big mix, but I do love the sound of lots of Brooklyn bands like Vampire Weekend, Yeasayer and Grizzly Bear.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I probably wouldn't have much to say because I find it excruciatingly awkward listening to my songs with other people.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
It would be amazing to be able to have a proper career making music, so I just hope that people like the songs and the album that I'm making. I would love to do lots more touring with the guys in the band, and I really hope that these songs enable us to do so.

MORE>> www.bastillebastille.com
Comprising vocalist Aluna Francis and producer George Reid, pop duo AlunaGeorge self-released their double A-side debut single, 'Analyser/We Are Chosen', in May. Along with a handful of demo tracks posted online, it instantly marked them out as a name to write on a piece of paper and sellotape to you face to ensure you and everyone else looking in your direction was paying attention to them. OK, maybe not the piece of paper bit, but definitely the paying attention.

Reid brings together 2-step beats, wobbly basslines and more eperimental electronica, but wraps it all up in mainstream pop production. As a result, the tracks could appeal to chin-stroking Zomby fans just as much as they might Girls Aloud aficionados, allowing the listener to enjoy them at surface level or to wallow in their smartness. And then there's Francis' voice, which is equally contradictory, flitting through multiple personalities in a matter of moments. From sweet to soulful, her style is unique and utterly infectious.

The duo release their new single, 'You Know You Like It', through Super Recordings on 22 Aug. Their strongest track to day, with a killer chorus, you can check it out here. They'll also play a free show at the Old Blue Last in London on 21 Aug, details of which can be found at their website, along with various other tracks, including a free download of the excellent 'Disobey'.

Europe's leading digital distributor are looking for an intern to assist with a rang of duties in our expanding UK office, including expenses and hotel bookings for our artists. You should be able to demonstrate a passion for music, and a good knowledge of the indie label scene, as well as having some general experience in an office environment. Please contact [email protected] for more details or call +44 20 7036 8720
Europe's leading digital distributor are looking for two people to complement their expanding UK office. We are looking for one Sales And Label Manager and a Senior Label Manager 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.

Full details can be found here www.blogbelieve.com/new-staff-position-august-2011/
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

[PIAS] has announced interim plans for its physical product distribution clients, following the previously reported fire started during riots on Monday night which destroyed the Sony DADC distribution centre in Enfield, north London. The [PIAS] distribution business, which was housed in the facility with various other companies from across the entertainment industry, held stock for over 150 independent labels. It was confirmed yesterday that the building and all of its contents had been destroyed in the fire - Beggars Group alone losing 750,000 CDs.

In a statement yesterday, [PIAS] announced that temporary plans to keep what stock was still available in the distribution chain were already in motion. The company said: "Sony DADC have actioned their Business Continuity Plan and are back up and running from a new control room in Enfield. [PIAS] continue to work with them to minimise the impact on the business, a number one priority for all labels and clients. Sony DADC have identified a temporary distribution partner and it is envisaged that they will be in a position to pick, pack and ship orders in the course of next week".

Martin Mills told Music Week yesterday that it would take Beggars ten days to replenish its CD stock and three months to completely replace lost vinyl, and the company expected to recoup losses through insurance. However, he added that the main issue for all affected labels (especially those which may struggle to replenish stock as quickly) was what happens "while they don't have anything to sell".

Sunday Best owner Rob Da Bank told the NME: "Nothing's going to be sold for months, and I don't know what will happen. There's no way of distributing records. My back catalogues are all gone. I can't afford to get another run done for older releases. Everyone's going to have to think about the next few months. It's a reminder of how on a knife edge these things are - some labels and shops are going to be really affected by it. It just shows how precarious the indie thing is".

It's also not clear at this stage if all labels are covered by insurance, and what sort of payout they would get if they are.

Yesterday, the Association Of Independent Music has issued a statement calling on music fans to help the independent labels affected by purchasing records both digitally and physically - independent record shops are also faced with uncertainty as they do not know when they will be able to buy in new stock from affected labels.

In its statement, AIM said: "What music fans can do to show their support for the indie label community, and help them survive this disaster is to buy a digital download of an album from any one of the digital retailers in the UK, as well as going to their local record store while stocks last. This way, the labels will be able to remanufacture their CDs and vinyl more quickly, to resupply the record shops who are also affected by the riots".

The organisation's CEO and Chairmen, Alison Wenham added: "This is a disaster for the music community, but with the fans' help, labels and artists will survive. Please show your support for the music community by buying a digital album from an independent label today".

Writer and musician Fion Chadd has also begun organising a fundraising event for affected labels, details of which can be found here: cognitivedissonancerecords.com/labellove/

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Reports claim that Amy Winehouse could be honoured with a posthumous award at this year's MOBOs ceremony, which will take place in Glasgow on 5 Oct. She was a six-time nominee at the annual awards, winning out in the Best UK Female category in 2007.

The Mirror quotes a source as saying: "In many ways Amy began her career at the MOBOs. Even before she was famous she would perform acoustically at their launch parties. We are working out a way for her to be remembered during the show itself in terms of artists performing her songs and it's quite possible there will be an award".

Many have credited the late singer, a long-time jazz advocate, with fuelling the upsurge of interest in retro R&B and soul-inspired music observed in the wake of her second album 'Back To Black'. Which, strangely enough, didn't earn her a single MOBO gong.

In other Winehouse news, fashion company Fred Perry has announced that it will go ahead with plans to put on sale autumn and winter collections of clothes designed by the late singer before her death. In a statement, the company said: "After much consideration and with the blessing of Amy's family, we have decided to release the AW11 Amy Winehouse for Fred Perry Collection. Amy was passionate and dedicated to the collaboration, and her signature style is clearly stamped across each piece. Amy's royalties and fees from both collections will be donated to the soon-to-be-established Amy Winehouse Foundation. Fred Perry will also make a seasonal donation to the Foundation".

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It turns out the collaborative album by Jay-Z and Kanye West, 'Watch The Throne', is quite popular. Who would have guessed? The album is currently on track to hit the top of the Billboard chart in the US and will likely break iTunes' first week sales record. The album, as previously reported, is available exclusively through iTunes in America until Friday, which has presumably helped it along the way to this record.

The album currently holding the biggest first week seller title on the Apple download service is Coldplay's 'Viva La Vida', which sold 282,000 copies in its first seven days on sale in 2008. While Chris Martin et al are set to lose that title, sources have told Billboard that 'Viva La Vida' will retain the first day sales record on iTunes, 'Watch The Throne' having come up 20,000 downloads shy of Coldplay's 175,000 sales in 24 hours.

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In a statement published earlier this week announcing their split, Alexisonfire frontman George Pettit said that part of the reason they had decided to call it as day was because lead guitarist Wade MacNeil had quit to join another band. Who could that band be, we all wondered? Well, it's time to check your sweepstakes, because MacNeil has now revealed that he is to be the new frontman of Gallows, replacing Frank Carter, who left earlier this year.

Speaking to Alternative Press, MacNeil said: "After the boys decided they were going to keep going, my name kind of popped up, and they all thought it made sense. It didn't overcomplicate itself. I talked to Steph [Carter, guitarist], and I said I was definitely interested. He pretty much said: 'Okay, let's do it', and I got on a plane and we're writing right now. Everything's happened within the last couple weeks".

On the subject of new material, he said: "I flew over here and got here in the morning two days ago. I didn't sleep on the flight; I was listening to the first two Gallows records and writing lyrics, trying to get the right headspace for it. We showed up, and I wasn't really sure what the guys wanted to do, if they wanted to run the old stuff. I said: 'Let's just jump into some new stuff', and they played me some tracks. We arranged stuff a little differently, and I told them some ideas where I wanted to go with stuff. The first day, we wrote something that I think is the most brutal thing the band has ever written. It's just the harshest, heaviest song that's, like, 35 seconds long. I think that's going to be the first thing the band puts out".

Meanwhile, Alexisonfire's other guitarist, Dallas Green, who was the first to announce his departure from that band, has told Spinner why he decided to leave and concentrate on his other outfit City And Colour instead. He said: "They didn't want me to leave the band. They said: 'Why can't you just keep doing what we're doing, go back and forth?' Well, that's why I'm leaving, because it's killing me. As much as they saw me always on tour and always putting records out back to back to back, I don't think they really understood that I was literally never home. I've had nervous breakdowns. I was in the hospital with pneumonia. I've lain in the bus crying uncontrollably at night ... It just got to a point when I had to make a decision. But after ten years, part of my heart is there [with Alexisonfire], but most of my heart is with this [City And Colour]".

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The Monkees have only gone and cancelled the rest of their 45th Anniversary tour. A curt statement on Davy Jones' Facebook page reads: "It has been determined that the remainder of The Monkees 2011 tour has been cancelled. No reason has been given at this time... We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your continued support of The Monkees".

After ten years apart, the group hit the comeback trail earlier this year, hoping to seal off some of the more torrid chapters of their 45 year history with a series of triumphant live shows. Well, look how that turned out.

Rumours began to circulate last night that the band's Micky Dolenz had checked himself into rehab, but a rep told TMZ: "Management had booked a number of dates with the venues without running them by the group first ... so we had to cancel the remaining dates. Micky is disappointed but his solo tour is still going strong for the rest of the year. It has nothing to do with any sort of substance abuse whatsoever".

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Radiohead are to release a compilation of reworked tracks from their 'The King Of Limbs' album, following that series of remix twelve-inches. Entitled 'RADIOHEAD TKOL RMX', fansite At Ease reports that the collection will be released on 16 Sep.

The tracklist looks like this:

Little By Little (Caribou Remix)
Lotus Flower (Jacques Greene Remix)
Morning Mr Magpie (Nathan Fake Remix)
Bloom (Harmonic 313) Remix)
Bloom (Mark Pritchard Remix)
Feral (Lone Remix)
Morning Mr Magpie Scavenger (Pearson Sound Remix)
Separator (Four Tet Remix)

Give Up The Ghost (Thriller's Houseghost Remix)
Codex (Illum Sphere Remix)
Little by Little (Shed Remix)
Give Up The Ghost (Brokenchord Remix)
The King Of Limbs (Altrice Remix)
Bloom (Blawan Remix)
Good Evening Mrs Magpie (Modeselektor Remix)
Bloom (Objekt Remix)
Bloom (Jamie xx Rework)
Separator (Anstam Remix)
Lotus Flower (SBTRKT Remix)

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Pop-rap pusher Example has revealed the tracklist for his forthcoming second album 'Playing In The Shadows', which he will release via Ministry Of Sound on 4 Sep. Chase & Status, Faithless and Skream are amongst those taking production co-credits on the LP, the successor to Example's 2010 debut 'Won't Go Quietly'.

Encompassing the monotone club miracle that was chart-topping lead single 'Changed The Way You Kiss Me', here's the aforementioned tracklist:

Skies Don't Lie
Stay Awake
Changed The Way You Kiss Me
The Way
Natural Disaster
Never Had A Day
Playing In The Shadows
Midnight Run
Under The Influence
Wrong In The Head
Plastic Smile
Shot Yourself In The Foot Again
Changed The Way You Kiss Me

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Hurrah! Ash have persuaded former member Charlotte Hatherley to join them in a tour celebrating ten years since the band's classic album 'Free All Angels' was released. The alt-rockers are also set to release a career-spanning greatest hits compilation on 17 Oct.

Now for the dates:

20 Oct: Birmingham, Institute
21 Oct: Bristol, Academy
22 Oct: Glasgow, ABC
23 Oct: Manchester, Ritz
25 Oct: London, Forum

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As US rock quintet The Icarus Line prepare for the release of their latest album 'Wildlife' on 29 Aug, the band have confirmed their first UK dates in over two years.

These are as follows:

10 Oct: Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
11 Oct: Manchester, Ruby Lounge
12 Oct: Glasgow, King Tut's
13 Oct: Wakefield, The Hop
14 Oct: London, Lexington

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Acclaimed producer, artist and all-round synth innovator Thomas Dolby has announced plans to tour in support of his new album 'A Map Of A Floating City'. His first studio LP in 20 years, due out on 24 Oct, will feature guest artists including Mark Knopfler, Regina Spektor and Imogen Heap.

Describing the three-part album as "a travelogue across three imaginary continents", Thomas goes on to say: "This album does not sound electronic at all. I have zero desire to add to the myriad of machine-based, synth-driven grooves out there. So I'm returning to what I do best, which is write songs, tell stories".

Tour dates:

6 Nov: London, Shepherd's Bush Empire
7 Nov: Hertfordshire, The Forum
8 Nov: Bournemouth, Academy
9 Nov: Leamington Spa, The Assembly
11 Nov: Isle Of Man, Gaiety Theatre
12 Nov: Liverpool, Stanley Theatre
13 Nov: Birmingham, Academy
14 Nov: Oxford, Academy
16 Nov: Glasgow, ABC
17 Nov: Sheffield, Academy
18 Nov: Holmfirth, Picturedrome

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Following events earlier this year at Latitude, The National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and Denmark's SPOT Festival, cultural collective Noise Of Art have announced a series of upcoming shows and events for September and October.

Full details will be available from www.noiseofart.org later this week.

The dates are as follows:

17 Sep: Metiss'age Junior Street Art Festival and Music Picnic
17 Sep: London, Village Underground - Metiss'age Nite featuring Peter Kruder, Si Begg, Ashley Beedle, and more
24 Sep: London, Big Chill House - Noise of Art vs Slipped Disco
30 Sep: London, 93 Feet East - Noise of Art presents Paris, Rome and London featuring Acide Washed, Hyena Stomp, Dec Shoes and more
6 Oct: London, National Maritime Museum - Traders Unpacked
14 Oct: London, Big Chill House - Noise of Art vs Slipped Disco featuring Serge Santiago vs Ben Osborne and more

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Founder member of Was (Not Was) and Grammy-winning producer Don Was has been announced as the Chief Creative Officer of EMI's Blue Note Records. Was will also produce some artists on the legendary jazz label.

President of Blue Note & Manhattan Ian Ralfini said: "Blue Note has such incredible history, and I'm very happy that we can welcome Don Was to the label to help us write the next chapter. This appointment demonstrates our strong commitment to building on Blue Note's remarkable musical legacy".

Was himself added: "It's a profound honour to be a part of this legendary company alongside such prodigious record men as Dan and Ian. We dedicate ourselves to furthering Blue Note's artistic tradition of unbridled creativity, talent, intelligence and GROOVE!"

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US retailer Walmart has announced that it will close its music download store at the end of this month. The service was launched in 2003 shortly after iTunes, offering tracks cheaper than the Apple service. Although initially thought to be a serious competitor, it failed to match the success of the iTunes Store, or many of the other key services that have risen up in recent years, particularly Amazon MP3.

In a statement, the company said it had "recently notified our music partners that we've made a business decision to no longer offer MP3 digital tracks as of 29 Aug 2011", but gave no reason for the decision.

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Metal label Century Media has pulled all of its content from Spotify, saying that the streaming service "in its present shape and form isn't the way forward".

The label issued a statement yesterday, saying: "While everyone at the label group believes in the ever-changing possibilities of new technology and new ways of bringing music to the fans, Century Media is also of the opinion that Spotify in its present shape and form isn't the way forward. The income streams to the artists are affected massively and therefore that accelerates the downward spiral, which eventually will lead to artists not being able to record music the way it should be recorded. Ultimately, in some cases, it will completely kill a lot of smaller bands that are already struggling to make ends meet. At the same time, Century Media also believes that Spotify is a great tool to discover new music and is in the process of reintroducing their bands to Spotify by way of putting up samplers of the artists. This way, fans can still discover the great music released by the label".

It continued: "Physical sales are dropping drastically in all countries where Spotify is active. Artists are depending on their income from selling music and it is our job to support them to do so. Since the artists need to sell their music to continue their creativity, Spotify is a problem for them. This is about survival, nothing less, and it is time that fans and consumers realise that for artists it is essential to sell music to keep their heads above water".

Finally, it concluded: "Obviously, it is ultimately up to the music fan and consumer how they access their music, whether it is buying, streaming or stealing. There needs to be awareness, though, that how you will consume your music has direct consequences for the artists, who we are all trying to support".

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MGMT fans filled the stage with shoes at a recent gig in California. Only their left shoes, though. Why? Because guitarist James Richardson had asked the audience to throw their left shoes at him, of course. MGMT fans will do anything MGMT tell them to do. A fact, unfortunately, that Richardson was seemingly not aware of until he made the request.

Watch the shower of shoes here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST5UrXY_6kk

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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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