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GUY HANDS REPORTEDLY GETS INVESTOR CLEARANCE TO BAIL OUT EMI
As much previously reported, EMI must pay over £100 million in loan fees to the US bank next month, and must demonstrate how it will do so this week. As EMI has no money, that required owners Terra Firma to find the cash. Management there also needed to get 75% of their investors to OK them transferring yet more money over to the music firm, even though that means pumping yet more cash into the equity group's most disastrous of acquisitions.
As of last week it was reported that Hands had secured commitments from his financial backers to the tune of £105 million, which is apparently enough, even though it was widely reported EMI must pay Citigroup £120 million. However, he still needed the OK from enough of those investors who were not actively contributing this time round to continue supporting the music firm.
The deadline for votes was reportedly Monday and, according to the WSJ, enough votes went in Hands' favour. Presumably enough Terra Firma investors believe there is a good enough chance that they can still make good on their original EMI investment, eventually, that now is not the right time to cut their losses and let Citigroup take control.
Of course, Hands had wanted to raise £360 million, so that EMI had next year's loan fee payment already covered, and so a mooted hole in the pension fund could be plugged. Terra Firma chiefs had told their investors that EMI needed to be able to demonstrate two to three years of relative financial security in order to sell a multi-million dollar licence-come-distribution deal for the major's recordings catalogue in North America. It's thought that, providing EMI bosses can show they won't go out of business this time next year, there is still some interest for such a deal at both Sony and Universal.
YOUTUBE GEMA TALKS FALTER
The story is the same. GEMA says Google is generating billions from YouTube-style services on the back of its members' songs, but Google says that at the royalty rates currently being demanded by the collecting society they would make a loss every time a music video was played, even if they sold all the ad spots around their player.
Originally it was Google that insisted so called 'premium music content' be removed from YouTube when talks fell through with PRS and then GEMA, but now it's the German collecting society that is demanding the removal of videos which include songs owned by its members. Talking tough, they said in a statement: "Operators of online platforms which generate [revenue through] the use of copyrighted works - such as, in YouTube's case, millions in advertising revenue - must ensure that those who create these works, providing the so-called 'content', are properly remunerated".
GEMA say they are supported by a bunch of other collecting societies around the world in their stand off with YouTube - though PRS isn't one of them. Whether that means this dispute has the potential to hinder any future licensing deals between YouTube and the music publishing sector in other territories isn't clear. US societies ASCAP and BMI are among those GEMA claims to have support from.
SOLAR'S PR COMPANY RESPOND TO CLAIMS AND HACKS
As previously reported, producer Solar, who collaborated with Guru in recent years, issued a statement shortly after his musical partner's death which, he claimed, Guru had written. Given half of the statement was used to assign to Solar control of the Guru legacy, while the other half was spent dissing the late rapper's Gang Starr partner DJ Premier, many have questioned the authenticity of the letter. Speculation that has some credibility given that various family members, and DJ Premier, have claimed that Guru never regained consciousness after slipping into a coma earlier in the year.
As well as disputing the legitimacy of the deathbed note, some have also criticised Solar over the way Guru was cared for in his final weeks. Solar claims to have single handedly taken care of the comatose rapper, but others say Guru was in a terrible state by the time of his actual death. To that end, it seems that last week an unknown person hacked into Solar's AOL account and accessed emails, photos and documents, which were then leaked on the net. The hacker claimed the leaked correspondence and files proved Solar had provided inadequate care for Guru. The producer's Twitter account and MySpace profile were also hacked.
The leaked documents also led to some online criticism being made of the PR company that has been responsible for distributing Solar's various statements to the press, including the dubious deathbed proclamation and an earlier statement attributed to Guru regarding the rapper's health.
A rep for said PR company, Yo! Promotions, told AllHipHop.com yesterday: "We have learned from [Guru's label] 7 Grand Records that Solar's official AOL e-mail account was hacked and that various e-mail communications between Solar and Yo! Promotions are currently circulating the internet. While these confidential e-mail communications contain nothing to discredit our firm's professional work in any way, we do reject such illegal actions".
Reacting to those who dispute the legitimacy of the two statements issued by them on Solar's behalf that were attributed to Guru himself, Yo! chief Kai Denninger said his company had high "ethical standards" and "verified" every statement before issuing them to the press. He concluded: "It was an honour for Yo! Promotions to work with Guru on his last projects and we will sorely miss him, both from a personal and from a professional standpoint. Our warmest condolences to Guru's family, Solar, 7 Grand Records, and Guru's loved ones".
MORE NEW BLUR COMING BUT ALBUM "NOT POSSIBLE", SAYS ALBARN
Albarn told The NME: "I'm definitely going to do a few more of those seven-inches. I love the no pressure aspect. We can't do it all the time. So, I don't want anyone to think there's an album coming soon, it's not possible, but we've got songs!"
I hope Damon comes up with better lyrics on these other songs than his half-hearted effort on the recently released 'Fool's Day'.
REMY MA VICTIM'S UNIVERSAL LAWSUIT DISMISSED FOR SECOND TIME
As previously reported, in 2008 Ma was found guilty of shooting Makeda Barnes-Joseph the previous year and was sentenced to eight years in jail. The victim then launched civil proceedings against the hip hopper and her label. The claim against Universal was based on the somewhat dubious idea that by allowing Ma to include "violence in her music", and by allegedly continuing to financially support her after the shooting incident, they should somehow be liable for the shooting itself.
Universal had already had the lawsuit against them dismissed, but Barnes-Joseph's lawyer had that dismissal overturned on appeal in February, resulting in a new lawsuit being filed. But that went to court this week and judges quickly ruled that, because Remy Ma had, in fact, been dropped by Universal nine months prior to the shooting, all other claims against the record company were irrelevant. The lawsuit was duly dismissed for a second time.
JOEY BELLADONNA REJOINS ANTHRAX
Belladonna was originally a member of the band between 1985 and 1992, when he was fired. He rejoined in 2005 as part of a reunion of the line-up which recorded the band's 'Among The Living' album, but left again in 2007.
Guitarist Scott Ian said earlier this week: "I am super-excited about this. Joey and the rest of the band came to see me play at a club in New York, I hadn't seen Joey for years, since the end of the reunion tour. Joey taps me on the shoulder, instant big hug, it felt like no time had gone by. The band dynamic is an interesting one in Anthrax, Joey and I spent so many years of our lives together, we grew up together, we know each other so well, so it was like no time was lost".
Belladonna added: "I had been in touch with Charlie [Benante, drums] and Frank [Bello, bass], then I got a call from their manager who said that everyone wanted me back in the band. I thought, 'are you guys for real? You want me up there, fronting the band like it was before?' I was thrilled. We've already started to reconnect with the old ways of having conversations. Everything is easy going and feels really good".
The Sonisphere tour begins in Warsaw, Poland on 16 Jun, making its way around Europe before the finale at Knebworth between 30 Jul and 1 Aug.
EMI PUBLISHING EXTENDS RELEATIONSHIP WITH THE BEE
Confirming the deal, EMI Publishing's North American creative chief Jon Platt told CMU: "Greg has an amazing ear for what makes a hit record. Whether he's working as a songwriter for other artists, as a producer, or as a musician on his own material, he's able to create music that connects with fans everywhere. He keeps getting better and better, and it's a privilege to be able to continue our relationship with him".
Kurstin himself added: "I'm so happy to be continuing our relationship. EMI Music Publishing has been so supportive of me over the years".
LIAM GALLAGHER TO PRODUCE BEATLES BIOPIC
A spokesperson for In 1 productions told reporters: "This will be a film with humour and affection, providing an insider's look at what it meant to be a young man caught up in the wild swirl of the music business, celebrities and the tail end of the swinging 60s in London".
A-HA TO CELEBRATE 25TH ANNIVERSARY WITH DEBUT ALBUM SHOW
The anniversary show on 8 Oct will precede a farewell tour that will include UK dates in Brighton, Newcastle, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Cardiff, Bournemouth, and at the Wembley Arena. Hoopla.
THE NATIONAL ANNOUNCE NEW UK DATES
Back now? Okay, good. Now be excited because The National have announced that they will be back in the UK for a proper run of tour dates in November, following their show at the Royal Albert Hall last week. The band also release a new single, 'Anyone's Ghost', on 28 Jun. But, as you own the album already, this probably isn't of much interest.
26 Jun: Glastonbury Festival
YEASAYER ANNOUNCE OCTOBER TOUR
19 Oct: Cardiff, Millennium Music Hall, Cardiff
BEACH HOUSE ADD NEW LONDON SHOW
Here are all the band's upcoming dates:
30 May: Nottingham, Dot To Dot Festival
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
ALBUM REVIEW: UNKLE - Where Did The Night Fall (Surrender All)
'Follow Me Down' has an angry garage rock pulse and haze of psychedelia about its swirling atmospherics; the mood is continued in the Velvets-influenced 'Natural Selection' (which is hardly a coincidence since The Black Angels - who take their name from a classic VU track - guest feature).
Elsewhere 'Joy Factory' could almost be Broadcast or even Stereolab, whilst 'The Runaway' is redolent of PJ Harvey, all tribal percussion and subtle menace.
This is effectively a rock album for those who like mood, sound and texture as much as the songs themselves, but the eclectic, non-obvious range of guest vocalists always keep things interesting and UNKLE's melodic artistry, like their production savvy, is on fine form to create a richly rewarding listen. MS
Physical release: 10 May
PRS HOST DAY ONE AT GREAT ESCAPE - EDWYN COLLINS ADDED TO THE BILL
Day one of The Great Escape this year has been put together with and is sponsored by PRS For Music. Discussing the day, Jules Parker from PRS told CMU: "This year PRS For Music is partnering and sponsoring a third of the Great Escape convention - fast becoming the UK's answer to SxSW. The PRS For Music Day on Thursday promises to be an exciting day focusing on innovation in the music business and practical advice for songwriters, bands, managers or anyone trying to get their music noticed. A highlight of the day is certainly our exclusive interview with Edwyn Collins, don't miss it!"
Oh yes, Edwyn Collins. This is a last minute addition to the proceedings, with Mr Collins chatting to his manager Grace Maxwell about his career to date and his plans for the future. One assumes he'll bring up Warner Music stopping him from putting his own songs on MySpace even though they no longer controlled his catalogue. If not, I might bring it up during questions, can't beat a bit of major label dissing, especially when they are well and truly in the wrong.
More on The Great Escape at www.escapegreat.com.
TALKTALK RENEW 'X-FACTOR' SPONSORSHIP
The internet service provider has renewed its sponsorship of 'The X-Factor' for another three years in a deal said to be worth £20 million. It was TalkTalk's former parent company, Carphone Warehouse, that originally sponsored the Cowell franchise, before the company decided to associate its ISP brand with the pop talent show instead. TalkTalk has since been spun off as a separate company from the electronics retailer. The new deal covers sponsorship of the TV show, an online clips service, and the resulting tour.
So, TalkTalk, planning to fight the three-strikes system in court while at the same time funding 'The X-Factor'. For some in the grass roots music community that probably amounts to being fucked from both sides.
AMG TO LAUNCH O2 ACADEMY AT LEICESTER UNIVERSITY
AMG aren't the first commercial venue company to dabble with the idea of running the venue operations of a students' union complex, though often the politics associated with working with union organisations and/or universities makes it more hassle than it's worth, so most live music firms interested in tapping into the student market set up shop in venues just off campus.
But as competition for students becomes more fierce among second division universities, the provision of good social and entertainment services, as well as academic courses, will become increasingly important in the higher education sector, and therefore working with professional outfits in the live entertainment space will become more attractive. Especially for those universities - which is most of them - who have never managed to fully realise the potential of the gig and club facilities that exist within their real estate.
Confirming the Leicester University partnership, AMG CEO John Northcote told CMU: "Students now choose where to study based on the social and cultural aspects of a town or city, as well as the university's academic reputation, and it is a positive step to introduce the O2 Academy brand to Leicester in partnership with the students' union. It's refreshing to work with likeminded individuals within this sector, aiming to improve facilities and live entertainment. O2 Academy Leicester will put the city back on the touring circuit as a primary destination, with all live gigs open to the general public as well as students".
The boss of Leicester's SU, Trevor Page, added: "This stunning development will bring our union into the 21st century and establish Leicester as the university of choice for aspiring students", while the union's Student Officer said: "In years gone by, the Percy Gee building welcomed gigs from the likes of The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Jam and The Smiths and by working with Academy Music Group, we will once again attract top quality acts that music fans associate with O2 Academy venues nationwide".
NEW CHIEFS FOR EPITAPH EUROPE
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UNIVERSAL REVENUES AND PROFITS DOWN
Phillippe Capron, CFO of parent company Vivendi, told investors that the major continued to adapt and review its digital operations, and also talked up Vevo, the major's US-based ad-funded video-providing web JV with Sony Music, which he reckoned is doing rather well.
On the up side, Vivendi itself had a rather good first quarter, thanks in the main to the good
GOOGLE TURN OFF LALA STREAMS ON ONEBOX
As previously reported, Google last year launched OneBox in the US, which allows people who search for artists or tracks via the search engine to listen to music directly through the Google platform. The music is actually serviced by one of two streaming music partners, Lala.com or MySpace-owned iLike, both of whom hoped to get extra exposure and click-throughs by being part of the search service. Their involvement saves Google from having to go to the expensive business of setting up and licensing their own streaming platform.
But, of course, Lala.com is now owned by Google rivals Apple, and they've announced plans to shut down the streaming music platform at the end of the month. It is with that in mind that Google have seemingly switched all OneBox streams over to iLike. Of coursem if MySpace also collapses later this year, which it may well do, that would leave the Google streaming service stream-less.
RADAR FULLY LAUNCHES
Radar allows bands and labels to post briefs and budgets for their video needs, which signed up directors can then choose to pitch for. Labels can also utilise Radar's platform to promote their videos online and across broadcast networks. Fatboy Slim is the latest artist to commission a video through the network, while Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip recently commissioned a video from up-and-coming director David Fishel via the service.
Radar founder and CEO Caroline Bottomley told CMU: "Over the past year Radar has been one of the music industry's best kept secrets, utilised by a select group of independent labels and artists. Now we're ready to open up to the world and offer this unique service to everyone who needs a video. Before Radar existed the process for any unsigned or independent artist to get a quality video made was extremely difficult. We've lowered the barrier to entry, as well as giving film-makers the chance to work with the next big things in music, make money and grow their showreels".
Check Radar out at www.radarmusicvideos.com
CLYDE SNAP UP JIM
Probably best known as Mr New Music on Xfm Scotland, when there was such a thing, Jim has been found on BBC Radio Scotland and, more recently, Aberdeen's Original 106 since X went off air North of the border. The new Clyde show won't follow the usual breaking new bands format, but should be a great listen, taking in all sorts of classic pop old and new.
Jim told CMU: "I may have a reputation for breaking new music, but I've got wide tastes that I think reflect Clyde 1's audience, and I can't wait to come on board. I was the first person in the world to play acts like Biffy Clyro, Amy Macdonald and The Fratellis, but I've a passion for classic pop music, old or new. I'm really excited about sharing my love for the music, and it's a real thrill to be part of such a strong line-up at Clyde 1".
Radio Clyde's Programme Director, Paul Saunders, added: "I am delighted that Jim is joining the Clyde 1 team. Jim has a huge passion for all genres of music and will create a unique show on a Saturday afternoon during the summer months".
THIS WEEK'S SUBTV PLAYLIST
LADY GAGA NOT READY TO TAKE A BREAK
She told her audience: "You know when people say, 'Lady Gaga's really tired; she needs to take a break'. I just think about all those times I sang in bars when nobody was singing my lyrics. I'll sleep when I'm dead, OK?"