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CMU Info
Top Stories
Weather experts discuss whether State Fair stage collapse deaths could have been avoided
In The Pop Courts
XL settles with Contra girl
Awards & Contests
Queen to become BMI Icons
In The Studio
New Florence And The Machine album nearly complete
Release News
Mike Doughty discusses new LP
Fantomas announce live DVD
Gigs & Tours News
Red Hot Chili Peppers to perform Radio 1 gig
Emeli Sandé plots first headline tour
Single review: Films Of Colour - Capital
Brands & Stuff
Hasbro announces alliance with Swizz Beatz
The Music Business
Island Def Jam loses some staff
PRS calls on Indian government to act on radio royalties
The Digital Business
Feargal Sharkey to tell gamers how to go digital
And finally...
Lady Gaga to open Christmas gift shop
Noel Gallagher branded a liar, and not by Liam for once
Jedward talk about not talking about sex

A one-time member of The Decemberists, and prolific artist-on-loan to an array of other Portland-based acts, Dave Depper's debut full-length solo venture was to re-record Paul McCartney's 1971 album 'Ram' in just 30 days. Holding intensive, sometimes overnight sessions in his bedroom studio, Depper played all instruments featured on the LP himself, recruiting local singer Joan Hiller to supply Linda McCartney's original vocal parts.

Entitled 'The Ram Project', the finished product is due for release on 22 Aug via City Slang, with lead track 'Too Many People' available as a free download here on SoundCloud.

Having taken advantage of Dave's generosity, we asked that him to reflect on his labour of 'Ram' love, as steered by our ever seaworthy Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
My father was and still is a very gifted classical pianist. When I was quite small, like so many other children, I was forced to take piano lessons. And like so many other children, I detested them. However, my parents raised me on a steady diet of the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, etc and before long I was inspired to pick up the guitar as well. Though I spent a couple of years in university studying music composition and performance, I didn't really begin pursuing music seriously until I moved to Portland. The music scene here is so overwhelming, inspiring and inviting that I quickly fell into the right crowd and began playing with bands.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
I'd been playing with bands here in Portland for a number of years and feeling quite good about it. But over the last couple of years I'd felt a nagging dissatisfaction with the fact that I hadn't recorded an album of my own, nor did I have any idea of how to technically do it. Recording 'Ram' was an intellectual exercise in taking on a massive project and seeing it through, as well as a crash course in how to record an album in my bedroom and still have it sound OK! Also, I love 'Ram'. I think it's a masterpiece, and not recognised as so often enough.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
The first step was picking the order in which to cover each song. As I started out with limited technical ability with regard to recording, I started easy with songs like 'Heart Of The Country' and 'Dear Boy', which only featured a limited number of instruments. As I went along and learned, I was able to tackle more ambitious songs, culminating in technically overwhelming tracks such as 'Back Seat Of My Car' and 'Long Haired Lady'.

Once I picked a track, I'd have to identify all of the individual parts and figure out what order in which to perform them. Since I was playing them all myself, I'd have to first set up a metronome track and then pick an instrument that more or less formed the backbone of the song. For instance, electric guitar is certainly the most prominent rhythm track on 'Eat At Home', whereas piano forms the backbone of 'Back Seat Of My Car'. I'd record those first, meaning I'd have a guide to lay the other tracks over. Typically, I'd do drums next, which was a very tedious process as I only had one microphone and one input, so I decided to record every drum track one drum at a time. The drums would take hours and hours - I would always dread that part of it.

Things like bass and keyboards were typically quite easy. The most difficult part by far was the vocals, because 1. I'd never really sung lead vocals before and 2. Paul McCartney, in case you didn't know, has an astonishing singing voice. Doing justice to his vocal performances was extremely difficult, if not impossible. There's also a number of technically challenging guitar solos on the record - I certainly became a better guitarist during this process.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

Well, with 'The Ram Project', the only influence was, obviously, Paul McCartney, and nobody else (except maybe Linda too). In terms of people who influence my work outside of the scope of this project, I'd say Air, David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Television, early Genesis, and the many talented folks I'm lucky enough to collaborate with in the city of Portland.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I hope that this record inspires you to investigate Paul McCartney's solo work and his records with Wings. There's some bad stuff, to be sure, but the good stuff is incredibly good and often ignored. Dig deep!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Well, my ambitions for the project were initially quite personal, and not meant for public consumption. I feel incredibly lucky that a couple of record labels have shown interest in this project and helped it get out to the world. In that sense, my initial ambitions were met and then some! However, now that it's out there, I would absolutely love it if somehow Paul McCartney was made aware of this project and got in touch with me. I'd love to just sit and talk with him about music for an hour! If anybody reading this happens to know him, drop him a line, will you?

As for the future, I'm working on a record of my own original material and a couple of collaborative records with Portland artists I admire. I hope to finish those up this year. I also just joined one of my favourite bands, The Fruit Bats, and will be touring with them as a keyboardist/guitarist all over the place this fall to support their new record, 'Tripper'. I've certainly got my hands full right now!

MORE>> www.facebook.com/pages/Dave-Depper/100698585743
One of our favourite new videos of the last week or so comes from San Francisco indie quintet Girls. First of all, the track itself, titled 'Vomit' (forget that, it has next to no bearing on the music), is a sprawling soul-rock saga, with one of the finest incorporations of a gospel choir into a rock song since The Rolling Stones made 'Gimme Shelter'. And I wouldn't make that claim lightly.

Opening with lingering shots of a cherry-red Mustang, the video depicts Girls frontman Christopher Owens trawling around the seedier parts of town, 'Taxi Driver'-style, "looking for love" or something like it. It then spins out into a hypnotic, cinematic night drive; uneventful, absorbing and tailored perfectly to the song. And, after all this rich, enigmatic building up of anticipation, I love the abrupt anti-climax of the ending. You'll see. The track is still available as for gratis download, so if there's one free track you pick up this week, make it 'Vomit'.

"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 was some debate yesterday in the US as to how much warning organisers of the Indiana State Fair really had that incredibly strong winds were incoming and likely to cause havoc across the site of their event.

As previously reported, audience members at the Fair on Saturday evening were told that a storm was approaching but that it was still hoped country stars Sugarland could perform on the event's Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage. Shortly afterwards 60 to 70 mph winds struck, forcing stage rigging to come crashing to the ground, killing five and injuring dozens more. The dramatic moments when the stage collapsed were caught on camera by one audience member.

On Sunday, Indiana State Governor Mitch Daniels said that "freak gusts of wind" had caused the accident, which State Fair organisers could not have foreseen. Meanwhile, yesterday a spokesman for the Fair said that the metrological information they were relying on suggested there was at least half an hour more time before the storm would arrive at their site. He told a US radio station: "The information we had, with our meteorologist on site with constant contact with the National Weather Service, was that we had about 30 more minutes before any kind of rain or storm blew in".

A report by the Associated Press, which interviewed audience members at the Fair, found mixed views among the public as to how well organisers put out their weather warning. Meanwhile, some meteorologists claimed there were very real severe weather warnings that State Fair organisers ignored. Mike Smith from AccuWeather told CBS News that the storm at the Fair site "was very predictable", adding: "We put out a warning for 60 mile an hour winds a full half hour before the stage collapse occurred".

A memorial service was held at the Fair yesterday morning for those that died in the accident, attended by Governor Daniels. The Fair is due to continue until 21 Aug, although some of the big music events, including performances by Janet Jackson and Lady Antebellum, have now been cancelled. A double bill featuring Maroon 5 and Train will go ahead on Thursday, though at a different location from the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand that was due to host all the big concerts.

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Model Ann Kirsten Kennis, who appeared on the cover of Vampire Weekend's album 'Contra', has settled her legal dispute with the band and their label XL Recordings.

As previously reported, XL licensed the iconic photo from photographer Tod Brody, who claimed to have taken it in the early 1980s. But Kennis claimed that Brody hadn't taken the photo, that it was a personal polaroid taken by her mother which Brody had taken from her, and that he had forged her signature on a release form that seemed to give her permission for the snap to be used commercially.

Kennis sued Vampire Weekend, XL and Brody even though the band and their label had acted in good faith when securing the rights to use the photo from the photographer. But it seems that the model has now reached a settlement with the band and their label, and as a result her lawsuit has been dismissed by the LA courts.

However, a related lawsuit continues to go through the motions. Vampire Weekend and XL have subsequently sued Brody, claiming he is liable for any damages and costs they incurred as a result of the Kennis lawsuit.

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Queen are to be named BMI Icons at the US collection agency's annual BMI London Awards this year. The event recognises European songwriters and publishers who have had the most airplay on radio and TV in the States. Last year's winner was 'Born Free' composer Don Black.

The ceremony will take place at the Dorchester Hotel in London on 4 Oct.

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Producer Paul Epworth has revealed that work on the second album from Florence And The Machine is almost complete. Final mixes are in and all that remains to be done is to select which tracks will feature on the finished record.

Epworth tweeted: "[I've] had a week of wonderful mixes coming in for 'Florence 2'. I love handing something over to hear it come back better. I feel for the A&R dept having to try and whittle these tracks down to ten or twelve because there really are no weak ones. It's a weird record that sounds live in ways and like a machine in others, with sensitivity and power from both the music and Flo's voice".

Epworth has previously said that sixteen songs were recorded for the album. A release date has not yet been set.

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Cult indie auteur Mike Doughty will release a new album entitled 'Yes And Also Yes', his first since 2009's 'Sad Man Happy Man', via Snackbar Records on 7 Nov.

He wrote the LP, for the most part, at fabled artists' colony Yaddo, with Semisonic's Dan Wilson taking co-credits on several tracks. "It was founded by a railroad tycoon's wife, in her mansion, built in the 1890s", says Mike of the New York-based creative hotbed, which in the past has played host to Truman Capote and Sylvia Plath among others. "They put up artists for a month or two, feed them in an opulent dining room, and give them space and time to work".

Mike duets with Johnny Cash's daughter Roseanne on album track 'Holiday', elsewhere using a capsule of the antidepressant Duloxetine as a percussive tool, and playing the Chinese lute.

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Avant-metal supergroup Fantomas, comprised of Faith No More's Mike Patton, Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover of The Melvins, and Mr Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn, plan to release a live DVD in September.

Filmed at a show in San Francisco, it will include the band's performance of their seminal 2001 LP 'The Director's Cut' in its entirety, followed by an encore of Al Green's 'Simply Beautiful' and T-Rex's 'Chariot Choogle'. An audio recording of the gig is due to come out separately.

Take a first glance at 'The Director's Cut Live: A New Year's Revolution' via the trailer here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xF8KESRw1is

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To promote the release of their new album, 'I'm With You', which is due out on 29 Aug, Red Hot Chili Peppers will play a free show at Koko in London on 2 Sep. The performance will be recorded for Radio 1 and broadcast on 12 Sep at 7pm.

Zane Lowe, who will host the show, said: "The Chili Peppers have played such a big musical role in the lives of millions of people, myself included. I can't wait to see how they launch this chapter in their amazing journey".

Fans can register to receive tickets on the Radio 1 website, but only until 9.15am on 21 Aug. Then there will be no more registration and you will have missed out. So there.

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Much-touted Scottish R&B type Emeli Sandé, co-writer of Tinie Tempah's 'Let Go' and guest vocalist on Wiley's 'Never Be Your Woman', has announced details of her first headlining UK tour.

Her debut solo single 'Heaven', a gutsy rush of trip-hop rhythms, soul trills and lush classical orchestrations, was released by EMI yesterday. Watch the accompanying video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=883yQqdOaLg

Tour dates:

1 Nov: Glasgow, Oran Mor
2 Nov Edinburgh, The Caves
3 Nov: Manchester, Deaf Institute
5 Nov: Bristol, The Fleece
6 Nov: Brighton, Ballroom
7 Nov: London, Tabernacle

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SINGLE REVIEW: Films Of Colour - Capital
"Wasting my chances, it's all I do, all I do", opens Films Of Colour's 'Capital'. Enter synths, layered guitars, and impassioned drivel. Guitars soar - aiming for the sort of frantic energy of 'Silent Alarm' era Bloc Party, or even Foals, but crash flatly. Their bum-clenching brand of 'epic' is trite and formulaic; their lyrics merely depressing.

"If London is the meeting place I'll pack my bags and join the race", they warn the city. "I'll defeat you when you come", pouts vocalist Andy Clutterbuck, with all the bile of a GCSE student who, no, mum, won't go and revise the periodic table.

The flipside, 'Persinette', takes a more pared-down approach with stuttering guitar hinting at a darker underbelly, though this too ultimately fails to excite. A disappointingly dull palette, this is derivative, small-town 'alt-rock' at its blandest. EG

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Board games company Hasbro has announced an alliance with hip hop type Swizz Beatz who will front a new version of the 80s game Simon Flash, which has been relaunched this year.

The game is an updated version of popular 80s game, Simon. Basically players have to remember colour sequences by pressing coloured buttons the light up and make sounds. The new version works the same but doesn't look as good. Presumably they're hoping that if a celebrated hip hop producer stands next to it, no one will notice that.

Anyway, confirming their partnership deal with Swizz Beatz, the CEO of the agency who brokered the arrangement, Maurice Hamilton, told reporters: "This is another great partnership for all parties involved. We look forward to a long and healthy relationship between Hasbro and Swizz Beatz".

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There were more lay offs within the Universal Music Group Stateside last week, according to reports. And not just N-Dubz.

Although most majors have been quietly streamlining for some time, both in the US and here in Europe, Universal is going through more radical changes as part of a restructuring instigated since Lucian Grainge took over as boss.

The latest layoffs, according to Digital Music News, were in the major's Island Def Jam division. It is thought between 20 and 30 execs will be cut, mainly from the major's New York offices.

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Publishing rights collecting society PRS For Music has criticised two recent court rulings in India which negatively impacted on the rights of songwriters and music publishers to be paid a royalty when their songs are played by radio stations. PRS says that the court rulings breach India's obligations under the Berne Convention, the international agreement that ensures minimum level copyright protection for composers and songwriters in any country signed up to it. The collecting society wants the Indian government to act to ensure the country's copyright laws are able to fulfil international obligations.

PRS Chairman Guy Fletcher says: "PRS For Music is proud to represent the rights of many Indian music creators who have joined our society in order for us to collect their royalties when their music is used outside India. We diligently license, track, collect and pay music usage in our own country and look to respective governments to ensure copyright legislation is enforced in their own countries in order that local societies can properly compensate creators. Radio performances and the royalties earned are key components of any creator's income and are as important in India as in the UK".

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UK Music head Feargal Sharkey will speak at the London Games Conference later this year on what lessons the gaming sector can learn from the music industry's moves into the digital world. I hope he can think of some.

Stuart Dinsey, MD of LGC organiser Intent Media, said of Sharkey's addition to the event: "Feargal grows a line-up of influential speakers that are experts in digital distribution and connectivity and will be at LGC to help the trade improve its understanding of how games will evolve in the connected era. The London Games Conference is the only event that looks at how the industry is changing around online content and how everyone - publisher, retailer, developer and consumer - is affected".

The event will take place on 10 Nov at One Wimpole Street in London. More information from www.intentmedia.co.uk/event.php?id=11663

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To help us get back to the true meaning of Christmas this year, Lady Gaga is to open her own shop and sell some tat. Called Gaga's Workshop, the pop-up shop will take up residence in New York department store Barneys. The singer will sell books, CD compilations, sweets, toys and make-up from November until January.

Barneys CEO Mark Lee told reporters: "Holiday is about joy, sharing and inclusiveness, and to me, Gaga really represents all of that. Her platform is so much about positivity, individuality and universality in a very today way. There are a lot of things for fans of all ages, for kids and kids at heart. I think our existing and new customers will find fun things to share and give as gifts in a lighthearted and not so serious way".

"Holiday"? Is that what we're calling it now? What ever happened Festivus?

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Beady Eye guitarist Andy Bell has accused Noel Gallagher of lying about his reasons for quitting their former band, Oasis. This brings the official percentage of ex-Oasis members who have called the elder Gallagher brother a liar up to 40%. It's not looking good.

As previously reported, Noel recently said that as well as the backstage fight which ultimately caused the band's split, other contributing factors had been Liam's desire to advertise his clothing company Pretty Green in a tour programme, and claiming to have laryngitis when cancelling a V Festival performance, when he was actually just hungover (both of which Liam denies).

Bell told The Japan Times: "[Noel] lied about a lot of things. The argument about Pretty Green was lies, what he said about V Festival and the fake laryngitis was lies - I don't know, maybe he's convinced that's the truth. I don't know what goes on in his head. I know him, so I'm not disappointed. That's what he's like. I know how he spins the press. He's used the press for years. Interviews and press are secondary for us, that's his life. That's just Noel being Noel. All that shit".

He added: "There were three of us in that room, and I'm telling you it was nothing to do with Pretty Green. I'm not going to add more fuel to the fire. But I've ended up in a band with Liam, Gem, Chris, with the same management, road crew. But at the same time, I wish him all the best. I want him to be happy".

Yeah, lucky he didn't add any more fuel to the fire there. Phew.

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John Grimes, one half of Jedward of course, has been talking about sex. Well, he's been talking about how he and his brother Edward don't talk about sex. At least I think that's what he was saying. Because if you interpret this statement any other way, he seems to imply all other Irish twins are in incestuous relationships.

Speaking to The Sun, John said: "Even though we're from Ireland, sex between us is a taboo".

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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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