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BRITS PRESENTED, ADELE'S SPEECH CUT SHORT
But, just as it looked like the newspapers were going to have to lead with "everyone we thought would win won", or possibly "George Michael sufficiently not dead to present an award", ITV handed The Sun and The Mirror their front pages as it insisted host James Cordon cut off the undeniable star of the evening, double award winner and Britain's biggest selling singer of the moment, Adele, as she tried to deliver her second acceptance speech. It seems that if ITV viewers don't get their scheduled news fix at 10pm they are liable to riot (word has it that's what happened last August), and while Damon Albarn's inane rambling earlier in the evening had probably pushed everything behind schedule in the first place, that was no reason to cut the Blur end-of-show set, "so get that bloody Adkins woman off the stage would you, Cordon?"
Adkins, presumably inspired by MIA, gave the cameras the finger (a "fuck off" to the show's producers, she later clarified), providing the perfect photo for what was now everyone's lead BRITS story. So much so, the PR machine was in action by midnight, with ITV telling reporters "the BRITs is a live event. Unfortunately the programme was over running and we had to move on. We would like to apologise to Adele for the interruption".
A BRITs spokesman added: "We regret this happened and we send our deepest apologies to Adele that her big moment was cut short this evening due to the live show over-running. We don't want this to undermine her incredible achievement in winning our night's biggest award. It tops off what's been an incredible year for her".
So there you go, "ITV and BRIT bosses conspire with Mastercard to embarrass Britain's favourite singing sensation". Thank God for that, prior to Cut-Short-Speech-Gate I had literally nothing to say about this year's BRITs. And look, now I've managed 448 words without even saying, here's a full list of this year's winners...
British Male Solo Artist: Ed Sheeran
British Single: One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful
International Male Solo Artist: runo Mars
Outstanding Contribution To Music: Blur
MEGAUPLOAD CHIEF BAILED
But yesterday a New Zealand judge accepted the arguments put forward by Schmitz's lawyer that, with all his client's bank accounts frozen, the accused wouldn't have the means to leave the country. Prosecutors had previously expressed concerns Schmitz still had access to other secret sources of cash, but Judge Nevin Dawson yesterday said there was no evidence that was the case.
He also noted that, while it might hard for the US to extradite Schmitz should he manage to get to Germany, he could still be prosecuted through the German courts, meaning a return to his home country wouldn't necessarily ensure he was out of the reach of the law.
Dawson ruled: "Since [the original bail hearing], all known assets have been seized and are unavailable for Mr Dotcom's use or disposal. [Meanwhile] no new assets or accounts of any significance have been revealed since his arrest. Mr Dotcom's submission that he has not concealed any assets or bank accounts has largely been borne out".
The terms of Schmitz's bail have not been revealed, though other bailed former Mega execs have been banned from using the internet. Speaking outside the court, the Mega chief told reporters: "I am relieved to go home to see my family, my three little kids and my pregnant wife. And I hope you understand that that is all I want to say right now".
As previously reported, the three other Mega executives arrested at the same time as Schmitz have already been bailed. All four, and three other men, one arrested in Europe and two still at large, are accused of copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering in relation to the now defunct MegaUpload service, and other related websites.
AEG REMOVED FROM JOE JACKSON'S WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT, CONRAD MURRAY PROSECUTORS OBJECT TO BAIL APPLICATION
Jackson Senior's original lawsuit specifically targeted Murray, the doctor convicted last year of involuntary manslaughter in relation to Michael Jackson's 2009 death. But then the singer's mother chose to sue AEG, promoters of the ill fated 'This Is It' show, who were paying Murray's fees. Katherine Jackson argued that, as Murray's effective employer, the live firm must accept some liability for her son's death at the hands of the medic.
Joe Jackson then added AEG as a defendant on his lawsuit too, possibly recognising that even if he won against Murray, the doctor has no money. But AEG's lawyers argued that if Joe Jackson wanted to sue the company, he should join his wife's lawsuit, rather than pursuing his own litigation. They also argued that Mr Jackson was not a legitimate heir to his son's fortune because he was estranged from the singer and excluded from his son's will.
And, according to the City News Service, the judge overseeing Jackson Senior's litigation yesterday agreed, dismissing AEG as defendants. The judge particularly agreed with the argument that it was inappropriate for two separate heirs to pursue separate litigation over the same issue. Joe Jackson's people are yet to respond to the ruling.
In related news, the prosecution in the criminal case against Murray have, unsurprisingly, formally objected to the doctor's application for bail. As previously reported, Murray last month requested that he serve his jail term out of prison, possibly under house arrest, so that he can better prepare for his appeal.
However, prosecutors yesterday said the prison sentence should be enforced, claiming Murray remained a hazard to society, that he could flee California if let out of jail, and adding that the doctor was still remorseless about his part in Michael Jackson's death. Prosecutors David Walgren and Deborah Brazil have told the courts: "Based on his failure to accept responsibility for the decisions he made, his complete lack of remorse and lack of insight into the danger of his criminally negligent conduct, he remains a danger to the community".
The LA courts are due to consider Murray's bail application on Friday.
SUGARLAND LAWYERS SEEM TO BLAME FANS FOR STAGE COLLAPSE INJURIES
As previously reported, seven fans died and 40 more were injured when staging collapsed in freak high-speed winds shortly before Sugarland were due to take to the stage at the State Fair last August. Various legal claims have been made since the incident, with the band themselves being hit with litigation because their contract with the State Fair gave them the right to cancel the show in extreme weather conditions.
Lawyers for some victims have claimed their failure to exercise that clause makes them liable for the deaths and injuries caused by the stage collapse. There have also been allegations that the band knocked back proposals to postpone their performance to let the storm pass, something which might have led to the area near the stage being cleared before the high speed winds hit, though exactly what was discussed back stage before the tragedy isn't especially clear.
Indeed there were reports it was the band's tour manager who requested a delay in starting the Sugarland set, a decision which arguably reduced the impact of the staging collapse because fewer fans had moved close to the stage.
Some commentators have expressed surprise that Sugarland's lawyers would even suggest fans should accept some liability for their own injuries, when it would seem more logical to try to land all the blame with State Fair organisers and the company which put up the staging.
The former have already paid out $5 million in damages to those affected by the incident, which is the most the State is allowed to pay out under Indiana State law, though word has it there are moves to make a one time exception in order to hand over more cash to those still paying medical bills in relation to their injuries. Nevertheless, lawyers for the victims are still looking for other routes to higher compensation.
As criticism emerged online and in the media to Sugarland's latest legal filing yesterday, the band issued a vague and non-committal statement saying: "Sadly when a tragedy occurs, people want to point fingers and try to sensationalise the disaster. The single most important thing to Sugarland are their fans. Their support and love over the past nine years has been unmatched. For anyone to think otherwise is completely devastating to them".
PHIL SPECTOR APPEAL REJECTED BY SUPREME COURT
As previously reported, Spector maintains he is innocent of the death of Lana Clarkson, who died at his Beverley Hills home from a gun shot wound in 2003, but his previous appeals have been denied, most recently by California Court Of Appeal in August last year. Spector's lawyer Dennis Riordan then took the case to America's Supreme Court last December, arguing that Judge Larry Paul Fidler's conduct during the producer's second trial (the first was declared a mistrial) meant the producer didn't get a fair hearing.
However, the Supreme Court does not seem convinced by Spector's arguments, and has refused to hear his appeal. This seemingly ends all routes of appeal for Spector, who is currently serving a nineteen year sentence for Clarkson's murder.
DANISH COURTS ISSUE WEB-BLOCK INJUNCTION AGAINST GROOVESHARK
As previously reported, the Danish rights body accused Grooveshark, which lets users upload music to its catalogue, of infringing copyright last November, and this week a court seems to have agreed with those claims. Three could as yet appeal, but if it doesn't successfully other Danish ISPs are likely to be served with a similar injunction.
While web blocking injunctions against unlicensed content services are becoming common in some jurisdictions, and are in theory possible in the UK since last year's Newzbin ruling, injunctions against a service like Grooveshark are possibly even more controversial in that some rights owners have licensed the platform, and its operators claim to be on the right side of copyright law because they operate a takedown system to remove unlicensed tracks if and when made aware of them.
That said, such a takedown system only really assures protection from infringement liability under US copyright law, and even there rights owners - who feel Grooveshark only pays lip service to its takedown obligations - are trying to show that a lot of the unlicensed content available on the streaming service is uploaded by staff not users, so the takedown system does not protect them from infringement claims.
Grooveshark is yet to respond to the reports of a web block being ordered against it in Denmark.
RAPPER THREATENS TO SUE SILVIO BERLUSCONI
Italian hip hopper J-Ax has seemingly accused the controversial politician of stealing lyrics for a new official anthem for his political party, Popolo della Libertà. Although not yet released, some lyrics from the song 'Gente Di Libertà' ('People Of Freedom') have been published, and J-Ax claims they bear a striking similarity to his track 'Gente Che Spera' ('People Who Hope').
On Monday the rapper tweeted (in Italian): "Tomorrow I am suing Berlusconi. Goodnight. Fucking unbelievable", though it's not entirely clear if any legal action has been launched.
ANDREW MILLER 1946 - 2012
Miller began his career in the music business in the 1970s as an agent, before setting up his own live music company, Andrew Miller Promotions, in 1975, through which he promoted concerts for the likes of Supertramp, Gallagher & Lyle, Joan Armatrading, Meatloaf, Nana Mouskouri and Barry Manilow.
His involvement with the British Nordoff Robbins charity began at around the same time, and he went on to co-found and then chair for 24 years a fund-raising committee which raised millions for the ground breaking music therapy organisation, and ensured its work was known, admired and supported by the entire UK music industry.
Perhaps Miller's best known fund-raising initiative was the Knebworth 90 concert in 1990, that featured performances from previous winners of the Silver Clef Awards his fund-raising committee had created.
Paul McCartney, Status Quo, Genesis, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Tears For Fears, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, and Cliff Richard and The Shadows all helped ensure it was a landmark event, which raised over £6 million, shared between Nordoff Robbins and The BRITS Trust, who were able to realise their plans to launch the BRIT School For Performing Arts because of the cash boost. Content recorded at the event continues to generate revenue for both charities.
Andrew is survived by his wife Anna and his two daughters Faye and Emily.
EAST 17 RETURN WITH "TRANSATLANTIC ROCK SOUND"
"Recording commitments" were the unlikely reason given at the time, though it seems this excuse was actually true. They're back, and they're bringing with them a "new transatlantic rock sound".
Says Mortimer: "I think everyone is subconsciously inspired by American music and rock n roll, and this time around we wanted to do something more live with less tricks".
Yes, obviously. A full album, entitled 'Dark Light', is due for release on 2 Apr via FOD. You can watch the video for first single 'I Can't Get You Off My Mind (Crazy)' below. It's comforting to find that for all this change, John Hendy and Terry Coldwell's contributions remain utterly pointless still.
MOTORHEAD TELLS FANS NOT TO BUY NEW BOX SET
Says Lemmy on Motorhead's website: "Unfortunately greed once again rears its yapping head. I would advise against [buying this box set] even for the most rabid completists!" The official post also notes: "Motörhead have no control over what's done with these early songs, and don't want fans to think that the band is involved in putting out such a costly box set".
The statement adds that Motorhead have a new album and DVD out, which Lemmy and co would much rather fans buy than the overpriced oldies set. That option would presumably leave fans who have set aside $600 for the box set with quite a bit of spare cash. Though last week I saw some Motorhead skis for sale, maybe they could get themselves some of those too.
MYSTERY JETS DETAIL NEW ALBUM
Says singer Blaine Harrison: "We've always wanted to make a record in America and after touring 'Serotonin' the time felt perfect to go and do it. Our first three albums were entirely conceived and recorded in London so going out to Austin felt like the furthest place from everything we knew".
The band will bolster the release with an extensive seventeen date tour, the first instalment of which is at the Leeds Brudenell on 28 Mar.
And for those Mystery Jets purists fearing that 'Radlands', given its title, might manifest itself as a flirtation with Weezer-esque quasi frat rock, here's a reassuring album trailer:
SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO TO RELEASE LP
I Waited For You
SANTIGOLD HERALDS ALBUM WITH EP
Incorporating much more of her signature sound than out-there lead 'Make Believe' single 'Big Mouth', the EP's title track will come complete with remixes by 2 Bears, Switch and CMU approved Amateur Best. The album, meanwhile, is out 23 Apr.
Stream 'Disparate Youth' here: soundcloud.com/santigold/santigold-disparate-youth
BAD WEATHER CALIFORNIA STREAM ALBUM
Signed to Akron/Family's Family Tree label, frontman Seth Olinsky said of the album: "The whole album emerged as an unintentional song-cycle revolving around the theme of the sun, but not the Sun Ra pyramid mystical paradigm - rather the sun that shines on you as you're on your way to the beach, or sneaking out of class to smoke with your friends. This is no childish record about running around in the woods and being kids forever, though, this is actually a pretty real record, one that speaks to you as if you were there, or it noticed your light on at 9pm on a Friday night and calls to invite you to walk around the streets together all night looking for something to do".
Or, more succinctly, it's like "a soundtrack to a made up movie about the summer you spent skateboarding, discovering drugs, going to the beach, falling in love".
KAN-Z ANNOUNCE WATCH THE THRONE EURO TOUR
Tickets for the three Britain-based dates, which are priced in excess of a somewhat stately £39.50, will go on sale at 9am on Friday.
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
BEACH BREAK LIVE, Pembrey Country Park, South Wales, 14-18 Jun: Pitched primarily at a sand-logged student crowd, this four day seaside sojourn will host acts including Dizzee Rascal, Nero, Friendly Fires, Chase & Status, Ghostpoet, Wretch 32, Labrinth and Maverick Sabre, with many more performers yet to be confirmed. www.beachbreaklive.com
BENICASSIM, FIB Heineken, Valencia, Spain, 12-15 Jul: Alt-rock reformers At The Drive-In are newly booked as Benicassim's third of four headliners in total, now sharing credits with bill supremos The Stone Roses and Florence And The Machine. The Maccabees, Little Dragon and Bat For Lashes sign up beside New Order, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, David Guetta, Bombay Bicycle Club, Crystal Castles, The Horrors and Spector on the roster as it exists so far. www.fiberfib.com
END OF THE ROAD, Larmer Tree Gardens, Tollard Royal, Salisbury, 31 Aug - 2 Sep: Taking place at the tail-end of the summer festival season, EOTR proves itself last but by no means least by drafting in the splendid likes of Anna Calvi, Perfume Genius, Villagers, Cold Specks, Toy and Trailer Trash Tracys. If prior line-up missives are to be believed, festival guests can also expect sets from Grizzly Bear, Tindersticks, Midlake, Beach House, The Antlers and First Aid Kit. www.endoftheroadfestival.com
FORBIDDEN FRUIT, Irish Museum Of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland, 2-4 Jun: New Order, Leftfield, Death Cab For Cutie and Wilco are notable amidst an auspicious first announcement by organisers of Ireland's Forbidden Fruit. Additional promise lies with further acts including The Rapture, Grimes, Austra, Atlas Sound, Modeselektor and Julia Holter. www.forbiddenfruit.ie
T IN THE PARK, Balado, Kinross-shire, Scotland, 6-8 Jul: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Florence And The Machine, Two Door Cinema Club, The Maccabees, The Vaccines and The Horrors make for a strong complement to T's line-up at large, joining sole prior bookings The Stone Roses on a blossoming 2012 bill. www.tinthepark.com
YARD LIFE, Hackney Downs Studios, Hackney, London, 28 Apr: Yard Life is London's first free-to-enter invite-only festival, aiming to raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis Research by encouraging its privileged guests to make voluntary donations via JustGiving. Featuring plenty of performers, who include Pete Doherty and a fleet of such tipped indie types as Babeshadow, Hatcham Social, Filthy Dukes and Gaoler's Daughter, the programme also includes a vintage fair, a beauty parlour, several art exhibitions and, for later in the evening, a DJ area. www.yardlifefestival.co.uk
MEGA YOUTUBE VIEWS ARE NOT LUCRATIVE, SAY OK GO
The royalties received from YouTube are nominal, despite the popularity of the videos, Kitman said, and all that video viewing does not result in mega record sales either (which is partly because the songs aren't all that great, but there you go). OK Go!'s main income stream is sponsorship, Kitman confirmed, with big brands keen to work with a band whose pop promos generate such large traffic and media chatter. But that option, the manager conceded, is only open to artists with an existing fanbase and reputation.
DMN quotes Kitman thus: "I can speak for an artist who gets a lot of traffic, which is OK Go. And I would say that 'trickle' is the operative word, in terms of the revenue we receive from places like YouTube and VEVO. The YouTube revenue is so small based on how many streams we've done that I would say that it's not a business model, it's like finding change on the street".
KELLOGGS DESIGNS CEREAL FOR CHARLATANS FRONTMAN
"Oh but it's such a pointless thing to do", I hear you say, like a big idiot. Yeah? Well if it's so pointless, how do you explain this?
That there is a cereal box mocked up by Kelloggs after Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess told his 21,000 Twitter followers that he'd like a rock road flavoured cereal called Totes Amazeballs. And because people in the Kelloggs product design department apparently have a lot of time on their hands, they knocked a box together.
Whose conversations are pointless now, huh? Although it does occur to me that when we tweeted that we'd like our office to have a glass floor with sharks swimming under it, not one person offered to come around and install it. Not even Kelloggs.