So, the big Michael Jackson tribute gig went ahead in Cardiff on Saturday. The live stream on Facebook may have been cancelled, and both the Black Eyed Peas and Jennifer Hudson pulled out at the last minute, but Jackson’s kids turned up. It seems a bit odd that it wasn’t televised, like the previous memorial concert in LA was. But then a lot about it seems odd. Especially as now we’re going to turn our attentions back to another Jackson-related event that is being televised; the Conrad Murray trial. This week the defence should start trying to paint the doctor in a better light, his character and conduct having been ravaged by the prosecution. Here are some other things that are happening this week…
01: iCloud launch. Apple’s iCloud is due to launch over here on Wednesday, something of a bummer for rival digital music service Deezer, which last month bumped its own UK launch back to this Tuesday. Apple’s online locker service will allow users to download and playback any tracks bought from the iTunes store via any net connected Apple device. The scan and match bit, which will automatically add to your locker any music you already own on your Mac that is also available in the store (regardless of its origin), will not, however, be available initially. Although it is due to go live in the US this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook was not clear on when that function would hit the UK at the big announcement last week.
02: EMI statement? Citigroup collected up the final round of bids for EMI last Wednesday, and it’s possible the US bank could be ready to make a statement on the winner this week. Some insiders have suggested that Citi is keen to have a deal completed by the end of this month, which would mean moving swiftly, and the Mail Of Sunday reckons that Universal is currently the frontrunner for the record labels. However, with some bidders dropping out of the running recently, it’s possible that none of the bidders have come close to the £2.56 billion target price, in which case there’s still a chance the bank could hold onto EMI for a while longer and try again when the economy picks up, though the aforementioned insiders say this is not now likely to happen.
03: Karen O opera. Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O will premiere her debut opera at St Ann’s Warehouse in New York on 12 Oct. Entitled ‘Stop The Virgens’, the show will run for eight performances at the venue. Created by Karen O and design director KK Barrett, the show is part of The Creator’s Project, which is producing various events in NY in October. O’s opera will feature performances from members of The Raconteurs, Money Mark, Yeah Yeah Yeahs drummer Brian Chase, and actress Lili Taylor. Musical direction was handled by O’s other YYYs bandmate Nick Zinner and producer Squeak E Clean.
04: New releases. Björk’s ‘Biophilia’ album is out today, which is what you’re most interested in, right? After months of listening to track previews recorded off the singer’s own car stereo and in a series of mobile apps, the finished record is finally here. And a wonderful, confusing thing it is too. Also out this week are Rustie’s ‘Glass Swords’, the final part of Matthew Herbert’s ‘One’ trilogy ‘One Pig’, plus albums from Will Haven, Neon Indian, Ryan Adams, William Shatner, and James Blake’s new EP, ‘Enough Thunder’.
05: Gigs. Following last night’s acoustic show at the Hackney Empire, Iron & Wine plays a full band show at the Shepherds Bush Empire tonight. And on tour this week are Bob Dylan, The Horrors, Brett Anderson, The Joy Formidable, Erasure, Katy B, Apparat, We Were Promised Jetpacks, The Icarus Line, Planningtorock, Chapel Club, and former Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy.
After all that talk of what’s to come you probably want some discussion of what’s already happened. Thankfully the CMU podcast is here for you. Currently featured on the front page of the iTunes podcast section, Chris and I as ever talk our way through the last week’s major music events. For more details on how to get it, or to just stream it, go to www.theCMUwebsite.com/podcast.
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