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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 9 Mar 2011
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THE CONRAD MURRAY CASE: TO NOTE OR NOT TO NOTE
At a pre-trial meeting to discuss evidence last week, attorney J Michael Flanagan told Judge Michael Pastor he didn't prepare notes on likely witnesses for trials like this, he hadn't done so for ten years, and didn't have to under California laws.
Pastor wants Flanagan to share notes about his witnesses with the prosecution so that both sides are fully and fairly prepared for the court hearing. When Flanagan argued that Californian law was on his side in this squabble, Pastor countered that the legal man's failure to prepare notes undermined court rules intended to prevent unneeded surprises during testimonies at trail. He called the lack of any such notes as a "recipe for disaster".
Prosecutor Deborah Brazil said Murray's trial, due to begin in late March, should now be delayed, arguing Flanagan's team would never be ready if they haven't prepared any notes on their witnesses as yet. Pastor did not concur, but did warn Flanagan that his failure to provide witness reports could delay the court case, or even result in the exclusion of some witnesses.
Among the people the defence are likely to present during the trial are former patients of Murray who will likely speak up for the doc's competence. Murray's reps expect the prosecution to portray their client as a reckless medic, and want to counter any such claims.
They are also expected to present an expert who will claim Jackson was addicted to Demerol and was suffering withdrawal from the drug when he died. Though Pastor wanted to know how said expert and Flanagan intended to make such a claim in court without having notes to consult.
All parties will regroup today to further discuss the notes issue.
Elsewhere in the Murray case, Pastor also considered an application by Flanagan and his colleague Ed Chernoff to allow a third lawyer called Nareg Gourjian to join their defence team. There may be some questions around Gourjian's involvement because he previously worked for Mark Geragos, a former legal rep of Michael Jackson himself.
Although Geragos worked for Jacko in the run up to his 2005 child abuse trial, Gourjian was only involved in the very early stages of that case. Meanwhile Geragos himself has said he has no concerns about his former colleague now working for the Murray defence. However, Pastor deferred making a decision and asked Gourjian to prepare a sworn statement detailing his past work relating to Jackson's legal affairs.
And elsewhere in Jackson legal news, legal reps for Katherine Jackson have said she will drop claims of civil conspiracy and intentional infliction of emotional distress against AEG Live in her civil lawsuit in relation to her son's untimely death.
When a judge refused AEG's application to have the lawsuit dismissed earlier this month, she did stress that Mrs Jackson would need to present better evidence for those particular claims. With that in mind, her people have decided to remove the claims from the lawsuit altogether, but will still pursue their charge that the live music conglom failed to properly supervise Murray when they hired him to be her son's personal medic.
AUSSIE RIGHTS HOLDERS LOSE SECOND CLAIM AGAINST NET FIRMS
Of course, in the UK, France, New Zealand and elsewhere, copyright laws have been changed to specifically force ISPs to help combat piracy, mainly by participating in three-strikes style systems. However, in both Ireland and Australia there have been attempts by rights holders to suggest such an obligation already exists under copyright law via the concept of contributory or authorising infringement.
In Australia, it was the concept of 'authorising' that made Sydney-based Kazaa liable for copyright infringement back in 2005 even though they didn't host any of the actual infringed content shared over their networks. AFACT argued that the same principle puts a duty on ISPs to monitor and filter unlicensed content that moves across their networks, and that a failure to do so would make them guilty of authorising.
In the US the Digital Millennium Copyright Act specifically clears net firms of any such liability, but in Australia there is no such clarity in the law.
But when the case went to court this time last year AFACT lost, with the judge ruling that iiNet could not be held liable for any copyright infringement undertaken on their networks under the current Australian copyright system. The trade body appealed, but last week the appeals court backed the original judgment, with the three judge panel ruling two to one in the net firm's favour.
There is another level of appeal still open to AFACT, though some would argue they and their counterparts in the music industry would be better off lobbying for a change in copyright law with regards online piracy, rather than trying to make a claim under existing ambiguous copyright rules written long before the internet came along.
Needless to say, iiNet boss man Michael Malone welcomed the ruling, telling reporters: "Today's judgment again demonstrates that the allegations against us have been proven to be unfounded. We urge the Australian film industry to address the growing demand for studio content to be delivered in a timely and cost effective manner to consumers, and we remain eager to work with them to make this material available legitimately".
Meanwhile AFACT Executive Director Neil Gane told reporters "it cannot be right" that the ISP takes no responsibility for copyright infringements on its network.
VINCE NEIL IS OUT OF JAIL
Although before serving his short sentence Neil told People magazine that "I made a mistake, and I have to finally learn my lesson and go do a little bit of time", he has also criticised the sentence he was given, saying it was "a little harsh" and that the judge simply wanted to "make an example" out of him.
EAR INFECTION FORCES SLAYER OUT OF SOUNDWAVE
Slayer's recent live activity has been dogged by ill health, in particular Araya's back problems. So much so that when guitarist Jeff Hanneman contracted a serious arm infection shortly before the band's latest tour, the outfit decided to continue without him. But, alas, they couldn't continue without Araya.
According to his wife, Araya is feeling much better today, though is still awaiting test results regarding his condition. Nevertheless, Soundwave promoters are confident the band will be back on stage for their Melbourne date later this week.
REZNOR ADDS AN OSCAR TO HIS AWARDS PILE
Reznor said: "Wow. Is this really happening? When we finished work on 'The Social Network', we were very proud of our work and happy to just be involved in this film, and to be standing up here in this company is humbling and flattering beyond words. I'd like to especially thank the Academy for recognising our work here, and [director] David Fincher, thank you so much for the opportunity".
In the other main music award of the night, Randy Newman got the Best Song Oscar for 'We Belong Together' from 'Toy Story 3'. He noted that the Best Song category only had four nominations, compared to five in other categories. He joked "cinematography has five, what, they couldn't find a fifth song?" Though he noted that this is only his second Oscar win despite having received twenty nominations over the years, so he concluded he was glad the shortlist only named four contenders, because the fifth would probably have beaten him.
EFTERKLANG WIN IMPALA ALBUM AWARD
IMPALA chief Helen Smith told CMU: "There were many deserving artists among the 21 nominees and it was a close run thing. 'Magic Chairs' is a great album and I'm delighted to see it winning. On top of that it's a truly European release - a Danish band with their own label working with a seminal UK independent".
Martin Mills, who heads up the 4AD-owning Beggars Group, added: "Efterklang make amongst the most joyous and uplifting sounds I've ever heard - and it's a particular pleasure, as a UK-based global record label to represent such wonderful artists from Scandinavia, making this award particularly apropos".
While the band's Rasmus Stolberg said: "We are honoured and happy to receive this award! Thank you! Just last week Owen Pallet gave us an award for Band With Best Skin, which was nice, but winning the European Independent Album of the Year beats it by far - wow".
But what if Efterklang were to compile a ten-track album of other people's records, what could that possibly sound like? If only there was a link where you would find the answer to that very question.
MTV LAUNCH DIGITALLY-FOCUSED AWARDS
MTV BASE PUBLISH UK MCS TOP TEN, ALLEGATIONS OF PRODUCER MEDDLING
There's been quite a lot of chatter about this poll online in recent days, not because of the ten rappers that were chosen, nor the fact they actually chose eleven, but because of claims that the list put together by a panel of urban music types was altered at the last minute when someone pointed out Dizzee Rascal and Chipmunk had been missed off.
It's alleged producers removed Wretch 32 and Maxsta from the final ten to make way for the big boys. And then, for some unknown reason, Lowkey was made joint tenth with Chipmunk, resulting in the eleven-man top ten.
That said, we should stress that MTV has told Billboard that while there were last minute changes to their MC poll, that was simply because the top ten was being constantly updated as new votes from panellists came in, and that there were various versions of the list before the final ten was aired, including the one in which Wretch 32 and Maxsta appeared. Which could be true. Though it does seem odd Dizzee Rascal didn't appear at all, and then shot up to position number two at the last minute, but whatever.
And while some urban bloggers have hit out at the alleged last minute meddling in the poll, others have pointed out that a Top 10 UK MCs list without Dizzee or Chipmunk would have been a bit rubbish. And no one seems to dispute that Tinie Tempah is the deserved poll topper.
Here's the list as it was finally published:
1. Tinie Tempah
PIAS SIGN SEASICK STEVE
ESSENTIAL TO DISTRIBUTE FULL DURAN ALBUM
BECOMING REAL TO RELEASE NEW DOUBLE A-SIDE
Listen to 'Closer' on SoundCloud here: soundcloud.com/becoming-real
MARTIN ROSSITER ANNOUNCES MAY TOUR DATES
1 May: Brighton, Unitarian Church (sold out)
DANANANANAYKROYD GIVE AWAY FREE SONG, ANNOUNCE TOUR
The band are on tour at the moment, catch them at the following venues:
1 Mar: Cambridge, Haymakers
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
BEAT-HERDER, Gisburn, Lancashire, 1-3 Jul: Confirmed to partake in the back-to-basics hedonism of this countryside dance fest are acts including Simian Mobile Disco, Mylo, Mr Scruff, We Have Band and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. www.beatherder.co.uk
CHESTER ROCKS, Chester Racecourse, 2-3 Jul: This new Cheshire festival is an event of two halves, with the Saturday hosting a line-up of distinctly poppy acts including Eliza Doolittle, Taio Cruz, The Saturdays, Sugababes, The Wanted and McFly. Bringing about a change of pace on the rockier second day will be weathered insurance salesman Iggy Pop & his Stooges, as well as Echo & The Bunnymen and The Lightning Seeds. www.chester-rocks.com
HUB FESTIVAL, Otterspool Promenade, Liverpool, 21-22 May: Liverpool Sound City will host a music stage as part of this street-sports festival, featuring headliners Funeral For A Friend and fellow Welsh rockers The Blackout. Also playing on the Sound City stage across two days will be acts including The King Blues, Mayday Parade, Young Guns, Chickenhawk and We Are The Ocean. www.hubfestival.co.uk
JERSEY LIVE, Royal Jersey Showgrounds, Jersey, 3-4 Sep: Taking place relatively late in the festival season, this year's Channel Island bash will welcome bill-toppers Plan B and Madness, with The Streets, The Beat and Wretch 32. Spinning tunes in The Dance Arena will be Nero, Danny Byrd, Toddla T, Dynamite MC and Breakage. www.jerseylive.org.uk
LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY, various venues, Liverpool, 19-21 May: Amongst the third batch of acts announced for Sound City this year are Canadian hardcore types Fucked Up, as well as the Young Knives, grime artist Wretch 32, Amanda Blank and Dutch Uncles. Indie moptop Miles Kane is booked to play a special hometown show at St Georges Hall. www.liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk
LOUNGE ON THE FARM, Merton Farm, Canterbury, Kent, 8-10 Jul: Big names like Annie Mac, Devlin, Jamie Woon and Example will join artists including Summer Camp, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Trophy Wife, Flashguns and Lulu & The Lapshades at this year's relaxed rural festival. www.loungeonthefarm.co.uk
MAGIC LOUNGEABOUT, Broughton Hall, Yorkshire, 29-31 Jul: Billed as "a refined unwind", this tranquil three-dayer will feature headline performances from Badly Drawn Boy and 80s faves The Human League. Also delighting campers old and young will be New Young Pony Club, Florrie, Fenech-Soler and Henry Johnson, who will appear live alongside sets from ex-Hacienda DJ Graeme Park and former carpet roller Clint Boon. www.themagicloungeabout.net
STAG AND DAGGER, various venues, London & Glasgow, 19 & 21 May: The London leg of Stag & Dagger, which takes place in six venues across the city, will host James Yuill, Wire, Toro Y Moi and New Young Pony Club. Meanwhile homegrown bands like Sons & Daughters and The Scottish Enlightenment will play alongside Warpaint, Cults, Toro Y Moi, Broken Records, Bo Ningen and Three Trapped Tigers at the Glaswegian edition. www.staganddagger.com
WESTERN AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENT TO REVIEW TOURISM GRANTS GIVEN TO PERTH FESTIVAL
The region's Estimates & Financial Operations Committee will review the Western Australia Tourism Commission's reported $2.95 million investment into the two year old festival. Some opposition politicians in the region have said the festival has delivered a poor return on that investment, and that it sometimes enabled promoters to give away more tickets than they sold.
They also want the Committee to review allegations of conflict of interest relating to the fact that a former Tourism WA exec, involved in securing the festival its government grant, went on to work for its majority stakeholder Sunset Events.
A spokesman for Sunset told The Music Network that the review had been instigated as part of a "political debate" about the work of Tourism WA, and did not reflect on their operations.
But the firm's MD David Chitty did admit: "We are disappointed that this inquiry is proceeding despite the event having already undergone considerable parliamentary analysis. [Nevertheless] our current focus is on planning the third One Movement For Music event, with local, national and international stakeholders and industry".
JULIE'S BICYCLE COMMENDS ECO-FRIENDLY VENUES
The venues getting an IG nod are the newly named Capital FM Arena in Nottingham, Wembley Stadium, Cardiff International Arena, Motorpoint Arena Sheffield, O2 Apollo Manchester and Southampton Guildhall.
Julies Bicycle Director Alison Tickell told CMU: "We are delighted to announce the award of IG certificates to six of the UK's most high profile live music venues. All have demonstrated their strong commitment to reducing their environmental impact and join a community of creative industry leaders that are setting the standard for environmentally responsible business practices through their transparency and accountability".
LIVE NATION TO MANAGE OLYMPIC STAGES
Confirming the deal, Live Nation UK's COO John Probyn told CMU: "Live Nation are delighted to be producing and promoting the London Live Sites 2012. This is a remarkable opportunity for Londoners and the UK to show the rest of the world how to celebrate en masse and embrace the spirit of the 2012 Games".
He added: "Live Nation has produced some of the biggest multi-artist events in London including Live 8, Concert For Diana, Wireless Festival and Hard Rock Calling, but this event reaches entirely new levels. Combining every magical sporting moment throughout the London sites and showcasing a world class line up of multicultural activity and internationally known artists, this will be the most exciting chapter in the history of Live Nation in the UK".
Meanwhile, that nutty mayor of London, Mr Johnson, added: "I want every Londoner and all our visitors to be able to share the experience of the greatest show on earth. These fantastic live sites will mean everyone can soak up the atmosphere and revel in the excitement of this sporting spectacular. Whether it is watching the Games as they unfold, or seeing a fabulous international act performing against these wonderful backdrops, we're in for a summer to remember".
LIVE NATION REVAMP WEBSITES
Says Live Nation's President Of International eCommerce (who knew someone still used the term 'eCommerce') Mark Yovich: "We are committed to constantly improving our customer experiences online and this upgrade is a huge step forward for our business and the millions of customers who use our website every day. Meanwhile, 'My Live Nation' makes it easier for fans to stay connected to their favourite artists with alerts, and access to presales that we are delighted to offer to our customers".
ISLAND DEF JAM FORM APP ALLIANCE, WANT DEVELOPERS
The two companies are inviting developers to use Echo Nest's technology and Island Def Jam's music to create commercial music-based apps to sell to those crazy app-obsessed smartphone-wielding kids.
Any apps created through the programme will be sold by Island Def Jam, who will make sure any publishing royalties are paid, and then split revenues between themselves, Echo Nest and the app developer. How fair the revenue split terms are to the developer isn't completely clear as yet.
But I do have a quote from Jim Lucchese, CEO of The Echo Nest, who says: "The music app is the new music format. In the same way that the music video provided a promotional wrapper around songs and artists while also functioning as a new creative work, music apps can attract new fans and raise an artist's visibility while standing alone as a creative product".
Of the partnership, he added: "This is a bold move on the part of Island Def Jam, which has become the first major label business department to embrace an open development ecosystem to attract the best and brightest developers".
CIARA AND RIHANNA PARTICIPATE IN SHORTEST EVER TWITTER WAR
Asked what she thought of Rihanna's style by Joan Rivers on a fashion show on the E! channel, Ciara said: "I ran into her recently at a party. She wasn't the nicest. It's crazy, because I've always loved and respected what she's done in fashion. It wasn't the most pleasant run-in".
Rihanna responded via Twitter, resulting in a few exchanges of words on the micro-blogging platform. I think they were playful exchanges, though it's hard to tell. To be honest I have no idea what either songstress was talking about. Perhaps I'm getting too old for this shit.
Anyway, it went like this:
Rihanna: "My bad Ci, did I 4get to tip u? Howrudeofme".
Ciara: "Trust me Rihanna u dont want to see me on or off the stage".
Rihanna: "U gangsta huh? Haaa...Good luck with bookin that stage u speak of".
I'm assuming this was playful dissing - or perhaps the shortest feud in pop history - because the Twitter exchange soon became a love-in.
Rihanna: "Ciara baby, I love u girl! U hurt my feelings real bad on TV! I'm heartbroken! That's y I retaliated this way! So sorry! Letsmakeup".
Ciara: "Rhi u know its always been love since day 1! Doing shows/everything. You threw me off in that party! Apology accepted. Let's chat in person".
What's this "chatting in person" of which they speak?