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Last weekend began in an interesting way. I found myself wandering through derelict tunnels underneath Waterloo Station, where I stumbled upon a small theatre.

Okay, I was expecting the theatre to be there, I'm not generally in the habit of wandering into damp, smelly tunnels in the hope of finding entertainment. No matter what you've heard. I was there because the Old Vic has commandeered part of the space deep underneath the train station for a series of events this year.

Last week saw two performances of graphic novel writer Alan Moore's new spoken word album, 'Unearthing', with musical backing provided by Crook&Flail (aka Adam 'Doseone' Drucker and Fog's Andrew Broder).

On paper, it doesn't sound like much: Alan Moore delivers a biography of one of his friends, writer Steve Moore (no relation), set to abstract electronic music with accompanying photographs by Mitch Jenkins projected on a screen behind the stage. In fact, it sounds quite pretentious. And maybe it was a little, but that was easily diffused by Moore's fantastic writing and unforced humour, all delivered in his distinct Northampton accent.

The story, told over the course of three hours (with two fifteen minute intervals), was far more grand, epic even, than you could possibly expect of a biography of a comic writer who has lived in the same house in Shooter's Hill - "where Kent begins and London disappears" - for his entire life, save for a misjudged period of three months. It goes back through the history of the area, treating it as much as a character as anyone or anything else in the story, and through the eventual meeting of his parents before getting on to his travels through the words of comics and the occult.

As Moore spoke, Drucker and Broder's soundtrack (played with the help of Jeff 'Jel' Logan), swooped and swelled behind him, rising up to add to the drama, or falling completely away to punctuate the story. Jenkins' photography and graphical interpretations added yet more tone and colour, though the focus was always the words.

In fact, perhaps the most impressive thing was the delivery of the words. In three hours, Moore never fluffed one of them. Never stumbled, coughed or even, as far as I could hear, breathed. It was a completely hypnotic, gripping and intense show; that intensity ramped up by the fact that we were sitting in a damp, dark tunnel with rusted corrugated iron hanging from the ceiling and the entire space often shaken around us by the deep rumble of overhead trains. Simply stunning.

Saturday was an altogether different event; it was above ground for one thing. Set in east London's Victoria Park, Field Day first launched in 2007 and has, despite its best efforts, always come in for some criticism, whether it be a lack of toilets, poor line-up or ropey main stage sound. This year, however, it was clear that the organisers had gone to great lengths to ensure that none of these accusations could be levelled at them this year.

Highlights of the day for me were Steve Mason, who put in a blood-warming early afternoon set, proving more chatty than when I saw him at Cargo in June, and The Fall, who were not chatty in any way whatsoever. True to style, Mark E Smith arrived looking like he'd just wandered in by mistake and muttered into the microphone for 40 minutes , wandering around the stage nonchalantly fiddling with the settings on the amps while the band played solidly throughout.

Matthew Herbert also deserves a mention, even though I only caught the final track of his set, which saw him rushing between equipment on stage, up a ladder and in a tent. Despite only catching five minutes of his performance, his furious techno raised my adrenalin to levels no one else seemed able to manage for the rest of the day. Still, I had a good time, and that's what matters, isn't it?

Now, CMU Weekly, eh? Best get on with that. This week there's all that stuff that we always put in it, just with different words.

The Edinburgh Festival kicked off this week, and our sister media ThreeWeeks is covering it all (it's their busyness that has made this edition of the Weekly a little late, by the way, I don't want you thinking it had anything to do with me!). With that in mind, this week's playlist is the first of a series of EdFest-themed affairs, put together by people performing at this year's Fringe. MJ Hibbett, who is putting on his two-man rock opera 'Dinosaur Planet' at The GRV until 14 Aug, handles this one. Look out for the most impressive jump between the opening two tracks you will ever see.

Andy Malt
Editor, CMU


Wyclef Jean yesterday officially announced his intention to run in the upcoming Haitian presidential election in the country's capital city of Port-au-Prince. Earlier in the day he also stepped down as chairman of his charitable organisation Yéle Haiti in preparation for his new career in politics. After registering to stand as a candidate for the Viv Ansanm party at an electoral office in the city, Jean told cheering supporters: "I would like to tell President Barack Obama that the United States has Obama and Haiti has Wyclef Jean. This is the only president who will dance when Creole hip hop is being played". The election will take place on 28 Nov.
A memorial service was held in Duisberg on Saturday, the city where 21 people were killed in a stampede at this year's Love Parade festival earlier this month. At the service, held at the city's Salvator Church and also broadcast on a screen in a football stadium and at various other churches, the governor of the North Rhine-Westphalia region, Hannelore Kraft, said: "There are many thousands who survived but whose souls were injured. They are suffering in silence". A criminal investigation into the circumstances that led to the stampede is ongoing.
An album of previously unreleased material by Michael Jackson will be released in November, according to Rolling Stone. The record will feature ten previously unheard songs, recorded between the mid-80s and 2006. Raising expectations regards the quality of the tunes likely to appear on the new album, Frank DiLeo, Jackson's manager for the latter half of the eighties, told Rolling Stone: "There are a couple of songs we recorded for the 'Bad' album that we had to cut that are just sensational".
Lady Gaga is leading the pack at this year's MTV Video Music Awards with a quite ridiculous thirteen nominations. That's not, as you might think, all of them. However, it is all of the eleven categories in which she's eligible (three of the nominations are for Best Choreography, if you were wondering). Her closest competitor is Eminem with eight nominations, while Florence & The Machine and BoB have five each, and some other people have some more. The VMAs this year take place in LA on 12 Sep.
Harper Collins has announced that it will publish an illustrated autobiography by pop star Justin Bieber, entitled 'Justin Bieber: First Step 2 Forever: My Story', in October. It will attempt to hide the fact that, at the age of sixteen, not that much has actually happened to him in his life with never-before-seen photographs. As well as that, Bieber will star in a biopic looking at the same amazing story that will hit cinemas in February next year. Best of all, it will be in 3D, so you'll be able to get the full effect of that haircut.
Britney Spears isn't going to release any new music this month, despite what producer Rodney Jerkins says. Jerkins recently said during a Ustream broadcast that "Britney fans are gonna be so happy in a few weeks", which was taken by many to mean that new songs were coming soon and that he had produced them. However, Spears' manager Adam Leber said via Twitter yesterday: "No new music news right now - wish people wouldn't mislead you guys with BS info. Not cool! PS - the guys that ARE working on Brit's next album ARE NOT talking about it".
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MJ Hibbett
MJ Hibbett and his backing band The Validators released their debut album 'Say It With Words' in 2000. Four years later, one song from the album, 'Hey Hey 16k', became an internet hit thanks to an animated video created by Rob Manuel of B3ta.com. Numerous subsequent album and single releases over the last decade have gained him cult status in the indie world.

All of this and more was chronicled in Hibbett's first Edinburgh Fringe show, 'My Exciting Life In ROCK!', in 2008. With that out of his system, he set to work on another show. Called 'Dinosaur Planet', the lo-fi rock opera promises "dinosaurs, giant robots, space invasions, high quality academic research and the outright destruction of Peterborough". This year Hibbett brings that show back to Edinburgh for a second run, boasting an expanded cast (there's now two of them), at The GRV until 14 Aug. Find more info at www.dinosaurplanet.co.uk

Ahead of the show, we asked MJ to put together this playlist for us, and here's what he had to say about it: "This mixtape reflects the inner workings of my BRAIN at the moment, as I'm up to my ears in all sorts of stuff, notably 'Dinosaur Planet', my two-man musical that we're taking up to the Edinburgh Fringe, and the Indietracks Festival, general PANIC about whether I've got everything sorted out, and some songs which have just got stuck on The Walkman In My Head. Listening to this should give you an idea of what it's like to be in my head at the moment - for which, apologies!"

01 Doris Day The Deadwood Stage
  'Calamity Jane' is one of my favourite films and definitely my favourite musical. This is the first song on the soundtrack so hearing it always prepares me for a whole lot of good times.
02 Dinosaur Jr Freak Scene
  The first song I ever learned to play, I loved this so much that when I got home from polytechnic I made my nan listen to it, only realising it was the non-radio friendly version about two seconds too late.
03 Allo Darlin Silver Dollars
  I've become mildly obsessed with Allo Darlin this year. Their album is genuinely one of the best I've EVER bought (I place it alongside 'If You're Feeling Sinister' in my INDIE HEART) and this song especially moves me to tears when they do it live.
04 Standard Fare Fifteen
  Tomorrow (as I type) we're playing the first full Validators gig for about a year. Bizarrely, and probably because it was booked ages ago, Standard Fare are supporting US. I think this is something we'll be MASSIVELY showing off about when they're mega famous, which ought to be very very soon.
05 Art Brut Formed A Band
  The gig mentioned above is a much needed warm-up for the Indietracks Festival. Last year Art Brut's set was the highlight of an amazing weekend, and this is the song of theirs that makes me want to leap up and down and shout "YEAH!" at people I don't know. YEAH!
06 Half Man Half Biscuit Bad Review
  I'm sure anybody familiar with my OUVRE will be ASTOUNDED to find that I like Half Man Half Biscuit... hem hem. I chose this song particularly because I'm probably going to be using it a LOT in Edinburgh whenever we get a less than excellent review for the show.
07 Divine Comedy Assume The Perpendicular
  I do like it when an album comes along which stops you listening to ANYTHING else for a couple of weeks, and 'Bang Goes The Knighthood' is the latest to do so for me. What other band could write such a fabulously catchy, joyous song about visiting stately homes? NONE OTHER, that's who.
08 John Otway A413 Revisited
  John Otway has always been my absolute hero and inspiration, and this is one of my favourite songs of his. It came out as one of the b-sides to 'The Hit' a few years ago, and it beautifully sums up the nervous excitement you get in bands just after you've finished all the preparations and just before you find out what people think of it. I can identify with that VERY MUCH at the moment!
09 Monkey Swallows The Universe Ice Cream Man
  I couldn't find the original on Spotify, but this is a lovely version that I've been lucky enough to hear live on a number of occasions. The original's on 'Modern Lovers Live', which wins TWO accolades: Best Live Album EVER and also Coolest Record In My Dad's Record Collection!
10 Chris T-T Words Fail Me
  Chris T-T is a lovely chap, a fantastic songwriter and the nearest thing we've got to A New Billy Bragg, especially when he plays live. He's going to be on the soundtrack album for 'Dinosaur Planet' too! This is from his most recent, brilliant, album 'Love Is Not Rescue', which I really think people will enjoy.
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Eminem says that doctors in America are far too willing to hand out prescription drugs to celebrities: "When you're famous, doctors will kiss your ass because they love the celebrity. 'Oh, I can call up Eminem and get him on the phone right now. Oh, hi Marshall, how are you doing? Do you need that [prescription]?' There are doctors that will give you certain things just because of who you are"
Lady Gaga refuses to join the other big name musicians currently boycotting Arizona over new immigration laws: "I got a call from some big rappers and big rockers. They said, 'We'd like you to boycott Arizona'. I told them, 'Do you really think that pop stars are going to shut down the state? You really think us dumb fucking pop stars are gonna collapse the economy in Arizona? We have to actively protest'"
Sub Pop general manager Megan Jasper comes up with a new business model: "We're not at all opposed to expanding into the fine world of t-shirts, hats, beer cozies, and key chains. We used to give many of these tchotchke items away for free in an effort to entice people to pay for the music, but we're considering flipping our strategy so that people pay for the toy and receive the music for free"
Gary Numan puts his success down to a lack of talent and an inability to write songs: "'Are 'Friends' Electric?' is actually two songs stuck together, because I lacked the ability to finish either of them. I became successful because I couldn't write songs very well. And I can't play very well. My success is based on not being able to finish songs properly and playing badly"
With their first reunion shows two weeks away drummer Gary Powell reveals just how hard The Libertines are working on the performance: "We start rehearsing on 9 Aug. It will be weird to go back, but if we try to replicate how things used to be it won't work. We've got to bring a new dynamic for the kids who haven't seen us before. I never got why we were fashionable in the first place"
Morrissey does not approve of Katy Perry marrying Russell Brand, says the girl-kissing pop star: "He's Russell's mate but he was giving us a hard time about getting married. He swooned and sighed, 'Oh, left hand third finger, don't do it'. It was just so eloquent and poetic and like one of his songs. It would be great to have him at the wedding but I told him, 'We can't have a Mr Misery like you messing things up'"
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  DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll. DJ Mag has launched its annual search for the world's best DJ, as voted for by clubbers from around the world. Armin van Buuren has topped the list for the last three years in a row, though with the ascension of dubsteppers like Skream and the continued popularity of Tiësto (himself a three time winner), the Dutch DJ and producer's position is looking far from assured - top100djs.net
  Losers. DJ Eddy Temple-Morris and former Cooper Temple Clause man Tom Bellamy, aka Losers, say that they wanted their debut album, released on Gung-Ho! Recordings next month, to be a 'classic dance' album, with a sound that wouldn't date in years to come. Find out if they managed it (we reckon they did, by the way) by listening to the entire album on SoundCloud now - soundcloud.com/beautifullosers/sets/losers-beautiful-losers
  Marnie Stern. There just isn't anyone like Marnie Stern, the way she runs her fingers up and down the fretboard of her guitar at mind-bending speeds and sings in that otherworldly voice of hers. Two years after her last album, she has announced that she will release her eponymous third album on 18 Oct. The opening track from the album, 'For Ash', is available to stream and download now - bit.ly/MarnieSternForAsh
  Wolf People. Psych-rock types Wolf People have announced that they will release their debut album, 'Steeple', through Jagjaguwar on 11 Oct, the follow-up to singles compilation 'Tidings'. Originally a solo project for frontman Jack Sharp, the band has now grown into a four-piece with a reputation for great live shows. You can download a track from the album, 'Tiny Circle', now - scjag.com/mp3/jag/tinycircle.mp3
  AWOLNATION. The solo project of Under The Influence Of Giants frontman Aaron Bruno, AWOLNATION arrives at considerable speed, knocking down doors, walls, small children and anything else in the way. A furious concoction of hip hop, dance beats, pop and Little Richard-esque whooping, the opening track from the EP, 'Burn It Down' is available to download for free (in exchange for your email address) now - awolnationmusic.com
  Special Benny. The Special Benny sound spans a wide range of styles, with touches of indie-rock, jazz, prog, punk and more. They themselves list Tortoise, Jim O'Rourke, Sufjan Stevens, Battles, Frank Zappa and Steve Reich as shared influences. As a result, their debut album 'Toys' is an interesting, multi-layered pop record, with plenty to keep you coming back. You can listen to it on the band's Bandcamp page right now - specialbenny.bandcamp.com
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  Q1 How did you start out making music?
BEBEL GILBERTO: I started making music without really being aware of it. I constantly sang with my parents at gigs when I was small. Then I started working on jingles and finally did my first recording with my mom on her debut solo album aged seven. After that we moved back to New York and I performed for the first time on stage at the Carnegie Hall with mom and Stan Getz. I got this gig because my dad was ill and he wanted me stand in for him"

Read more of Bebel Gilberto's answers
  Q2 What inspired your latest album?
DARKER MY LOVE: "The acceptance that we ultimately have total sovereignty over what we create. Our time is fleeting, and everything has to count. Everything we do has to mean something, and has to bring fulfilment and joy at the end of the day. Running from the grand ennui. Existential shit like that"

Read more of Darker My Love's answers
  Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
THE DIRTY DISCO: "When approaching a Dirty Disco track we work in the opposite way to most bands. It either starts with Adam having a vocal melody and singing it in my ear or us sitting down at the computer with an idea in mind of what we are aiming for. Because Adam and I are the producers we tend to get a rough idea of the track down before the other guys do their thing. We program pretty minimal drums and then "little" Kyle takes a click track to his midi kit and plays over it. We produce all in house and go to rehearsals with the tracks all ready written. It's not a conventional approach, but it works for us"

Read more of The Dirty Disco's answers
  Q4 Which artists influence your work?
LITTLE FISH: "To me, it isn't so much 'who' influences me, but more a case of 'what' the artists that I like do to influence me have in common. Artists that I love and that I heard when growing up, were all passionate, honest, high in spirit and raw in their singing and performing and so it was 'passion' that influenced me more than anything. From French artistes such as Jaques Brel, to Brassens and Barbara to American artists and singers such as Patti Smith and Jack White. For me, all of these artists have passion and fully devote themselves to their performance and embodiment of song"

Read more of Little Fish's answers
  Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
HOUSSE DE RACKET: "Be nice, we're French"

Read more of Housse De Racket's answers
  Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
PLANTS AND ANIMALS: "To play it live, try to get people to discover it and experience it. For the future: tour more, record a new album try new things, challenge ourselves, spend some time at home, use power tools to build stuff, try to do yoga, dance more, spend time with friends and family, jam more with friends and family"

Read more of Plants And Animals' answers
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#30: Will.i.am v Michael Jackson
Okay, that was a mildly sensationalist title for this particular beef. Will.i.am has not been trying to pick a fight with a corpse. Not as far as I know, anyway. And certainly not Michael Jackson's corpse. He is angry about the new Michael Jackson album due to come out in October. So his beef is really with Sony Music and the Jacko estate. But that's not as fun a title.

Although little is yet known about what will appear on the album, it has been reported that it will span unreleased songs from the mid-80s up to recording sessions in 2006, which saw one Will.i.am sitting in the producer's chair.

The album is the first release under a seven year deal signed by the Jacko estate with Sony earlier this year, which will also see some of Jackson's classic albums reissued, plus new greatest hits compilations and a DVD collection of all the singer's videos released. Producer Rodney Jenkins recently revealed to Vlad TV that he has been working on the new album.
Raising expectations regards the quality of the tunes likely to appear on the new album, Frank DiLeo, Jackson's manager for the latter half of the eighties, told Rolling Stone: "There are a couple of songs we recorded for the 'Bad' album that we had to cut that are just sensational".

But the Black Eyed Peas frontman, who was one of the last producers to work with the singer before his death when he produced the 25th anniversary edition of 'Thriller' in 2008, has hit out at the decision to begin plundering the Jackson archives. He told Associated Press: "I don't think that [album] should ever come out. That's bad. [Michael] was a perfectionist and he wouldn't have wanted it that way. How you gonna release Michael Jackson when Michael Jackson ain't here to bless it? Now that he is not part of the process, what are they doing? Why would you put a record out like that? Because he was a friend of mine, I just think that's disrespectful. What's wrong with what he already contributed to the world?"

When it was pointed out that there is still a high demand amongst fans for new material from the late singer, Will.i.am added: "So what? You don't disrespect someone when they're gone ... How much can you suck from his energy? ... Freaking parasites!"
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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Georgina Stone
Editorial Assistant
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Tom Jones
Number Two

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