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Jobs and training
CMU Info
Top Stories
PJ Harvey wins Mercury prize
In The Pop Courts
Murray trial jury selection to go ahead as planned
Reunions & Splits
Former MCR drummer comments on what led to his sacking
In The Studio
Robbie deciding on tracks for album nine
Release News
Johansson plays Bardot on Serge Gainsbourg tribute
Kurt Vile preps new EP, gives away free track
Gigs & Tours News
Smashing Pumpkins announce tour
Tinchy to tour
New Zola Jesus track, tour dates
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Talks, Debates & Conventions
BASCA announce details of Songfest 2011
The Music Business
Vivendi confirm SeeTickets acquisition
BMI promote legal man
Estefan does exclusivity deal with Target
The Digital Business
Yahoo! fire CEO
7digital say they now have a million active mobile users
And finally...
Kasabian Tom disses X-Factor

Belgian alt-rock outfit Deus made their full-length debut with 'Worst Case Scenario' in 1994, later signing a deal with Island Records for the album's European release. Founder members Tom Barman and Klaas Janzoons then oversaw several shifts in the band's line-up before taking a hiatus from recording in the wake of acclaimed 1999 LP 'The Ideal Crash'. Having regrouped in time for 2005's 'A Pocket Revolution', they continued to tour and rehearse, also building their own studio in Antwerp, in which fifth album 'Vantage Point' was completed.

Inspired by acts like Can and LCD Soundsystem, Deus' latest album 'Keep You Close' was co-produced by David Botrill (Placebo, Muse) and Adam Noble (Guillemots) over a six month period. With the LP due out via [PIAS] on 3 Oct, the band's next scheduled UK appearance will be at London's Koko on 11 Oct. Multi-instrumentalist Klaas found a moment to address our Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?

Well, a band was formed in 1989 by Tom Barman, originally consisting of him and four friends. None of those friends ever made it onto a Deus album though, the band wasn't even called Deus back then. They mainly played covers, but as Tom busked on the streets and squares of Antwerp, the urge to write original songs grew, and so the band Deus began to emerge. I joined in 1991.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?

I can't say we were especially inspired by anything really, except perhaps the joy of having great vibes in the band and the creativity that comes from that. It's impossible to make an original piece of work if you have another brilliant piece of music stuck in your head, so I'd go further and say we actively tried to avoid other records when we wrote the album. If you are listening too much to something else, your song might turn out to be the same, and the last thing you want to be is a copycat of a band you really like, because they'll always be one step ahead of you.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?

For this record, we would record several jams during rehearsals, some of which we would then mould into some kind of a structure... and then we'd do the same thing over and over again until we thought: "Yep, we're getting somewhere". It's fair to say that most of the jams we recorded were utter crap, but from time to time beautiful stuff happened. Sometimes we would then shelve a song for six months before picking it back up and finishing it. Let it sit there for while. It can be a painful process, the waiting, but it's a good test. If we still like it in six months, you'll probably still like it in six years!

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

Hard to say at this point. I think with the earlier Deus stuff it was probably easier to put your finger on where we got the mustard, but nowadays... I don't know. There are so many bands being thrown at us today that it has become an even bigger pleasure to listen to the likes of Neil Young, Beefheart, Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, Ennio Morricone, Hall & Oates, and listen how they did it, you know? But now and again we get blown away by newer bands such as The Roots, Tool, Arctic Monkeys, Gorillaz, and we play their records until the neighbours stop singing along.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?

Deus songs are like a single malt: it takes a hell of a long time to make, but every time you open it, you know you're gonna want more than one...

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?

Well, first of all... release it, and then tour Europe, the UK, and eventually aim for Australia in 2012. We also have plans to release an EP with some of the better groove-jams we did while making 'Keep You Close'. So we'll be back in the studio this month to put that together.

MORE>> www.deus.be
Precocious folklet Laura Marling is only streaming her new 'A Creature I Don't Know' album in the week leading up to its official release. And you'll never guess what, it's well bloody good.

Marling seems to scribe and strum herself closer to utter greatness with each album, and 'Creature' is no exception, reading like a dark-folk novella of exquisitely-spun fables, each so sophisticated you wonder how anyone so young could have dreamt it up. Sinister centrepiece 'The Beast' has the mystic country grit of last album fare 'Devil's Spoke' amplified a thousand times, while opening song 'The Muse' lightens the record's more malevolent shades with sung-spoken lyrical licks that recall Joni Mitchell at her jazzy best.

To be found elsewhere are the two-part pleasantries of lead single 'Sophia', the slight, medieval cant of 'Rest In The Bed', and the sparse waltz of 'Night After Night', all tied up in a voice that thrives on a storyteller's cadence, and which flutters through sweet trills and plummets to a throaty hum during its darkest crimson moments. Anyway, I've probably gone on about this long enough, please do shut me up by heading over to this here Guardian-hosted stream.

West London based music company requires a dynamic marketing manager with a strong grasp of social media marketing and fully competent with digital marketing tools and online analytics. The role will include coordination of all aspects of an album release campaign through the UK, as well as liaising with European distributors and label affiliates. The position also includes day-to-day management of all artist and label platforms. For more details contact [email protected] Salary negotiable.
Anorak London is looking for a talented, experienced Digital PR to lead its ever expanding team. The successful applicant will be an expert within the digital PR field with an excellent contact base, have at least 4 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 companies board of executives. Very competitive salary offered. Please send CV and covering letter 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 build a profile for your artists - the state of the music media, traditional and new publicity techniques, social media and the future of music PR. Wed 21 Sep

A beginner's guide to music copyright - everything you need to know about copyright law, licensing, monetising copyright, the fight against piracy and the future of the music rights industry. Wed 5 Oct

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

So, around the table of business journalists I spent the evening with, in a sneaky corner safely away from the cameras at Barclaycard's big mercurial dinner in London last night, only the FT's representative guessed correctly that Team Mercury would hand PJ Harvey their big award for the second time. And this time in slightly more celebratory circumstances, Harvey's 2001 win being somewhat overshadowed by the fact that year's Mercury Prize took place on September 11.

In business terms, and assuming the Mercury organisers and/or their backers Barclaycard like their award to have a tangible impact on record sales, which they do, it was a good choice of winner. It's a critically acclaimed album, accessible - more or less - to a mainstream, slightly older audience, which has not previously reached market saturation, and which is backed by a major label able to capitalise on the benefits of a Mercury win. Though I should add that the FT's correspondent, hopefully like the Mercury judging panel themselves, picked 'Let England Shake' because she thought it was a brilliant record.

Accepting her second Mercury Prize, Harvey said: "Thanks for the recognition of my work on this album. It took a long time to write. I wanted to write something that was meaningful, not just for myself but for other people - something that would last. I'm delighted and happy to have won the Prize tonight because I put so much into this album. It's wonderful to have this recognized and to have the opportunity to reach out to a wider audience".

Meanwhile the chair of the Mercury judging panel, Simon Frith, remarked: "In a very fine year for British music, PJ Harvey's 'Let England Shake' is a record off exceptional depth, passion and imagination: a musical meditation on Englishness that is gripping and profound ".

Harvey beat competition from fellow short-listers Adele, Anna Calvi, Elbow, Everything Everything, Ghostpoet, Gwilym Simcock, James Blake, Katy B, King Creosote & Jon Hopkins, Metronomy and Tinie Tempah, all of whom performed on the night, with the exception of Adele who, having recently cancelled some live shows because of a chest infection, and therefore was unable to play live.

Elsewhere in London, with Mercury fever in the air, Popjustice presented their Twenty Quid Music Prize for best pop song of the year to The Saturdays for 'Higher', while Drowned In Sound presented their Neptune Prize to the eponymous debut long player from 'SBTRKT'. We don't have a Mercury-like prize here at CMU, though I am quietly starting a campaign for meat instead of fish for next year's Mercury dinner.

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The judge overseeing the trial of Conrad Murray, the doctor accused of causing the death of Michael Jackson through negligence, has said jury selection will begin tomorrow as planned unless the Californian appeals courts instruct him otherwise.

As previously reported, the Murray defence team are trying to have the jury in the manslaughter trial sequestered, ie kept away from external influence 24/7 during the trial. They argue that media interest in the case will be so rampant, it will be impossible for jurors to not be influenced by coverage and comment outside the courtroom.

But Judge Michael Pastor says he trusts the jurors to not allow themselves to be influenced in that way, and therefore he does not believe the cost and stress of keeping the jury in hotel rooms between court hearings is necessary. Team Murray are appealing Pastor's ruling on this point, and had asked the judge to delay starting the doctor's trial until an appeals court had ruled on the matter.

But Pastor said yesterday he intended to begin jury selection tomorrow as planned. The first part of jury selection should take about three days, with 480 potential jurors questioned before 100 are presented to legal reps for both the prosecution and defence later this month. It is unlikely a final jury will be in place before the last week in September, so Pastor is possibly confident an appeals court will have ruled re the sequestering proposal by then anyway.

The prosecution will say Murray acted negligently in administering the surgical anaesthetic propofol to Jackson at the singer's home as a cure for insomnia. Murray's team are expected to argue Jackson self-administered the lethal shot of the drug, possibly in a bid to commit suicide.

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Short-lived My Chemical Romance drummer Michael Pedicone has spoken about the circumstances around his abrupt axing from the band last weekend. As previously reported, Pedicone, who joined MCR late last year to replace previous drummer Bob Bryar, was fired last week after apparently being caught stealing from the band.

After MCR guitarist Frank Iero confirmed the reason for Pedicone's dismissal, the drummer took to Twitter to say the situation was "more complicated" than the band's statement suggested. Now, via a statement given to Kerrang!, he's revealed last week's incident was the result of an ongoing feud between him and a member of MCR's tour crew. He says he accepts that he did something very stupid - seemingly in a bid to embarrass said tour crew member - but that his actions were not straightforward theft.

Says Pedicone: "Almost as soon as I began touring with MCR I ran into problems with a member of the band's crew who I'll not name. The problems were many, big and small, but some of them were large enough that they began to greatly impact me and, by extension, my family. I'd reached my wits' end, and I made what was certainly the poorest decision of my life. I would have liked an opportunity to share my side of the story with MCR, an opportunity to express my remorse. I was never given one".

On the stealing incident, he continues: "Rather than address the issues that I had with the crew member in an open and honest manner, I tried to make them look irresponsible. My intention was to make this person look incompetent. I had no intention of profiting whatsoever. Again, I cannot overstate how poor my judgment was in this situation; it was a tremendous mistake, and it's one I'll regret for years to come. I'd like to thank MCR's members, crew, and supporters for giving me some of the best musical experiences of my life in the past several months. However brief our partnership, it was an honour and a dream come true to play with such a talented bunch of individuals".

As previously reported, Dead Country's Jarrod Alexander has been filling in on drums for MCR's live shows since Pedicone's axing.

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According to The Sun, Robbie Williams is currently working with former EMI A&R Chris Briggs to decide which of the various songs he has worked on of late should appear on his next solo album. According to various reports, and a blog post from Robbie himself, Williams has been very productive in recent months and is sitting on way more tracks than he'll need for his next long player.

Of course it still remains to be seen how Williams' and his management team at ie:music decide to release the follow up to 2009's 'Reality Killed The Video Star', he having completed his commitments to EMI. Briggs is now working with Sony, leading some to speculate they might sign up the rights to the next album, though Take That's label, Universal's Polydor, have also been mooted as possible partners.

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Serial cover-killer and some-time actress Scarlett Johannson has recorded a duet with Serge Gainsbourg's son Lulu, which will feature on a forthcoming tribute LP dedicated to the late auteur, entitled 'From Gainsbourg To Lulu'.

The duo cover 'Bonnie & Clyde', with Johansson translating the lyrics originally sung by Brigitte Bardot (the original Bonnie, circa 1968) into English, a move which is slightly odd given Lulu sings his father's part in French. I'm not sure it works to be honest, but have a listen via this video, which I think doubles up as an ad for Moet. Scarlett certainly quaffs a lot of the stuff.


Following the grand reception his latest album, 'Smoke Ring For My Halo', garnered when it came out earlier this year, singer-songwriter Kurt Vile has confirmed that he'll release a new six-track EP via 4AD/ Matador on 7 Nov.

Made up largely of deconstructed cuts from his 'Smoke Ring' sessions, 'So Outta Reach' will also feature a cover of Bruce Spingsteen's 'Downbound Train'. The track list is below, and you can glean a complimentary preview by downloading first song 'The Creature' from the Matador website.

The Creature
It's Alright
Life's A Beach
Laughing Stock
Downbound Train
(So Outta Reach)

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Those Smashing Pumpkins, aka Billy Corgan and some other bods, have announced details of a UK tour. This comes as the band reveal they are close to finishing work on their ninth album 'Oceania', Corgan et al's first full-lengther since 2007's 'Zeitgeist'.

As previously reported, EMI also plan to release remastered versions of the band's first four albums over the next year and a half, which is rather exciting.

But enough of the release talk, here are those tour dates:

11 Nov: Manchester, O2 Apollo
13 Nov: Glasgow, O2 Academy
14 Nov: Newcastle, O2 Academy
15 Nov: London, O2 Academy Brixton
16 Nov: London, O2 Academy Brixton
18 Nov: Sheffield, O2 Academy
19 Nov: Birmingham, O2 Academy

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Things are looking up for Tinchy Stryder, who, last time we saw him, was bemoaning the less than brilliant sales of his latest LP 'Third Strike'. One MOBO-nominated Dappy collaboration later, though, and the rapper is raring to debut tracks from his TBA fourth album, due out next year, on a just-announced national tour. He's also involved in Gary Barlow's Children In Need single, a collective cover of Massive Attack's 'Teardrop', which is going to be grand, I'm sure.

Anyway, here are those Tinchy tour dates:

9 Nov: Liverpool, O2 Academy 2
10 Nov: Manchester, Club Academy
11 Nov: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
12 Nov: Norwich, Waterfront
13 Nov: London, Scala

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Plummy-toned alt-pop sort Zola Jesus has supplemented her hitherto sparse UK live calendar with several new November shows, two of which are in partnership with high-ranking CMU favourite EMA, which is nice.

This announcement comes as a new track emerges from Zola Jesus' new LP 'Conatus', which is due out on 26 Sep. Have a blast of delightfully angular jam, 'Seekir', below.


Tour dates:
26 Sep: London, Toynbee Studios
22 Nov: Bristol, Anson Rooms, Bristol
23 Nov: London, Heaven, London (w/ EMA)
24 Nov: Manchester, Academy 3 (w/ EMA)
25 Nov: Liverpool, Karizmer

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CONSTELLATIONS FESTIVAL, Leeds University, Leeds, 12 Nov: Acts including Dutch Uncles, Eagulls, Gross Magic, Hookworms, Spector, Summer Camp and Vessels join Big Deal, The Antlers, Three Trapped Tigers, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks and Givers on this year's overall Constellations bill. Oh, and possibly most exciting, WARP Films will be curating a pop-up cinema. www.constellationsfestival.com

ICELAND AIRWAVES, Various Venues, Reykjavík, 12-16 Oct: Supercool new additions to the already sub-zero Airwaves bill include James Murphy with his DJ hat on, Sinéad O'Connor, Raised Among Wolves, Iceage and Mugison, who join a pleasantly frosty existing roster of such types as Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band, SBTRKT, Beach House, Tune-Yards, Austra and Glasser. www.icelandairwaves.is

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The British Academy Of Songwriters, Composers And Authors - BASCA to its closer friends - has announced details of the year's SongFest, the annual event for songwriters staged for the first time last year. This time round the event will take place at The Bedford in Balham, and already confirmed to speak are Chris Difford, Sway, Nerina Pallot, Kim Appleby and Steve Levine, among others.

Topics for discussion will include what makes a number one record, the craft of songwriting, common pitfalls when signing deals, tips on bedroom recording, and the ins and outs of promoting and monetising your music. More info at www.songfest.org.uk

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Universal Music owners Vivendi have confirmed their takeover of See Tickets UK, giving them a sizable slice of the British ticketing market.

As previously reported, CTS Eventim were thought to be favourites to win the bidding for the ticketing firm, but last weekend it emerged Vivendi had done the deal with former owners Parcom Capita. It extends a move into the ticketing space for the French conglom, which began with the buying of a 65% stake in France-based Digitick last year.

In a simple statement earlier this week, Vivendi said: "We have acquired the UK ticketing company See Tickets UK for a purchase price of approximately 96 million euros (£83 million with an enterprise value of £94 million). This acquisition complements the group's different businesses. It follows the acquisition in December 2010 of French leading on-line ticketing company Digitick".

Elsewhere in Vivendi-related takeovers, the aforementioned Universal Music has bought Danish label and music publishing group MBO, which includes labels Copenhagen Records, A:larm and RecArt.

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US-based publishing rights collecting society whatnot BMI has announced the promotion of Stuart Rosen to the role of Senior VP and General Counsel, he having previously been VP Legal. In his new role he will oversee the global operations of BMI's legal department and direct the organisation's legal affairs.

He will report to CEO Del Bryant, who told reporters: "Stuart has been a key member of the legal department since joining BMI in 1996 and he has played an instrumental role in a wide range of activities. As General Counsel, Stuart will maintain BMI's extraordinarily high standards for rights management, vigilantly protecting the creative works and legal rights of the more than half a million songwriters, publishers and content creators we proudly represent and defend".

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Gloria Estefan is the latest artist to strike up an exclusivity deal with a retailer, albeit only in the US.

Her new long player 'Little Miss Havana', out later this month and her first English language album since 2003, will only be available physically via retailer Target, and digitally will only be on sale via the iTunes store. The exclusivity deals follow Estefan's decision to work with Universal on the distribution and marketing of this record.

As previously reported, Estefan is also set to present a series of programmes about the history of Latin music for Radio 2 this Autumn.

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The boss of flagging web firm Yahoo! has been fired, despite the company's Chairman confirming his board's support for the company's current management at an AGM in June. Carol Bartz announced her sudden departure to her staff via a brief email that said, simply, "I am very sad to tell you that I've just been fired over the phone by Yahoo's chairman of the board. It has been my pleasure to work with all of you and I wish you only the best going forward".

Bartz was brought into Yahoo! in 2009 in another attempt to turn around the fortunes of the web firm which, although still a big player in terms of traffic, has seen newer competitors, and especially Google and Facebook, increasingly dominate in terms of audience and advertising share.

It was hoped Bartz could succeed where her predecessor, Yahoo! founder Jerry Yang, had failed. But, despite initial high hopes, her leadership had come under increased criticism in investment circles, particularly since public bickering between Yahoo! and the management of the Alibaba Group, a Chinese company in which the web giant has a 40% stake. Yahoo! CFO Timothy Morse will fill in as CEO until a replacement can be found. Another restructure and possible downsizing is now expected, possibly even before a new CEO is appointed.

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Digital music provider 7Digital has announced it now has one million active users for its mobile-based content services, and that said mobile-users now account for 20% of all downloads.

The firm's rapid expansion of its mobile user-base has been helped, of course, by 7Digital powered apps and players being preinstalled on mobile and tablet devices made by all sorts of electronics firms, including Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Philips, Toshiba and Blackberry. And just in case you're interested, the Samsung Galaxy SII is the most popular device among 7Digital's mobile user base, followed by the BlackBerry PlayBook.

Commenting on his firm's latest user-stats, 7Digital chief Ben Drury told CMU: "Sales to devices were less than 5% of our sales in 2010 and are now over 20% and growing fast. Our approach to be an open, agnostic digital content partner to the consumer electronic industry is really working. We know that consumers want access to their music collection on the device of their choice, anytime, anywhere and we're helping enable that. 7digital's catalogue of over 15 million high quality DRM-free tracks and open API platform mean we are the de facto choice for device manufacturers' partnerships".

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Last month Kasabian's Tom Meighan vowed to stop slagging off other artists. But that pledge said nothing about 'X-Factor'. Though it's possible slating 'X-Factor' contestants does, in fact, constitute "slagging off other artists". But I'm happy to let the European Court Of Human Rights rule on that one.

Meanwhile, here's what Meighan had to say when asked about the talent show after singing some songs on a plane for VEVO: "It's just really tragic. It's not about singing, it's about TV. You get the contestants who are all, like, drooling. Pathetic isn't it? The egos are awful. Awful!"

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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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