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OFFICE SPACE AVAILABLE IN SHOREDITCH
AXL WILL BE NO SHOW AT HALL OF FAME NIGHT
Writing in his ESPN column, McKagan said earlier this week: "We are not a band any more, and haven't been for some time. We are all still alive and well, but there has been some muddy water that has gone underneath the bridge. But water, muddy or otherwise, does indeed flow past and forever away, and I have nothing but the best of memories and highest level of love and admiration and feelings of brotherhood with all of those dudes. Seriously".
He continued, somewhat optimistically: "I, too, now hope that we can just play a couple of songs there, and just sort of throw the microphone down on the stage and walk off. The rock n roll world would be set ablaze once again and we could make a bunch of fans happy and sated to some degree". Though he noted that tensions still existed between his former bandmates, so perhaps the best he could hope for was the night going off "without a hitch".
Well, we know for certain Rose won't be having any run-ins with his former bandmates, because he won't be there. In a long open letter published last night, the band's frontman wrote: "When the nominations for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame were first announced, I had mixed emotions, but, in an effort to be positive, wanting to make the most of things for the fans and with their enthusiasm, I was honoured, excited and hoped that somehow this would be a good thing".
"Of course I realised as things stood, if Guns N Roses were to be inducted, it'd be somewhat of a complicated or awkward situation. Since then we've listened to fans, talked with members of the board of the Hall Of Fame, communicated with and read various public comments and jabs from former members of Guns N Roses, had discussions with the president of the Hall Of Fame, read various press (some legit, some contrived) and read other artists' comments weighing in publicly on Guns and the Hall with their thoughts".
"Under the circumstances, I feel we've been polite, courteous, and open to an amicable solution in our efforts to work something out. Taking into consideration the history of Guns N Roses, those who plan to attend along with those the Hall for reasons of their own, have chosen to include in 'our' induction (that, for the record, are decisions I don't agree with, support or feel the Hall has any right to make), and how (albeit no easy task) those involved with the Hall have handled things... no offense meant to anyone but the Hall Of Fame induction ceremony doesn't appear to be somewhere I'm actually wanted or respected".
"For the record, I would not begrudge anyone from Guns their accomplishments or recognition for such. Neither I or anyone in my camp has made any requests or demands of the Hall Of Fame. It's their show not mine. That said, I won't be attending the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction 2012 ceremony and I respectfully decline my induction as a member of Guns N Roses to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. I strongly request that I not be inducted in absentia and please know that no one is authorized nor may anyone be permitted to accept any induction for me or speak on my behalf. Neither former members, label representatives nor the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame should imply whether directly, indirectly or by omission that I am included in any purported induction of Guns N Roses".
So there you have it. Read McKagan's full column here: sports.espn.go.com/espn/thelife/music/news/story?id=7799013
MADONNA BREAKS US CHART RECORD (A SHIT ONE THOUGH)
'MDNA' shot to the top of the Billboard 200 last week, shifting 359,000 copies during its first seven days on sale. However, according to Neilsen SoundScan, this week it saw sales slip 86.7% to 48,000. This narrowly beats Lady Gaga's previous record of 84.27%, which she set in June last year when her second album 'Born This Way' sold 174,000 in its second week, having shifted 1.11 million the previous week.
As with Gaga, Madonna's slip can be mainly attributed to a promotion that inflated first week sales. In the case of 'Born This Way' it was Amazon selling the Gaga record for 99 cents as a promotional tool for its then new digital locker service. Madonna, on the other hand, achieved her early spike by bundling the album with concert tickets.
KATONA COMMENTS ON HER EXCLUSION FROM ATOMIC KITTEN REUNION
The column was seemingly written in response to claims that Frost had refused to be part of the reunited group if Katona was also involved. In it, Katona writes: "With Atomic Kitten in the pipeline, I saw Jenny Frost saying she's refusing to join the band if I'm in it. The thing is, I was the founding member of the band - I remember when I was the only member and for two months I was on my own during auditions when we first chose Liz McLarnon and Heidi Range, then when Heidi left we all chose Natasha Hamilton. When I left, the band went on to become bigger and better and I watched them with great pride".
She continued: "I'm not going to get into a slanging match over the Kittens, but Jenny got the opportunity of a lifetime when she took over from me. They were number one when she joined the band but it was my voice on the record. I'm proud of being a part of Atomic Kitten, they helped me and I helped put them on the map. So if the opportunity arose I'd love to get on stage with them - I'd be mad not to!"
Q-TIP SIGNS TO KANYE WEST'S GOOD MUSIC
Q-Tip said in a statement: "I'm excited to be a part of the great iconic Def Jam label. I'm humbled to be a part of such a storied history. To reconnect with [IDJ boss] Barry Weiss is a great thing. As far as GOOD Music, I'm excited to solidify my working relationship with Kanye, and I look forward to all the opportunities that lie ahead in our partnership. I will do my best to present the most cutting edge music I can".
Referencing his relationship with Q-Tip's former group A Tribe Called Quest when both were affiliated to Jive Records in the 90s, Weiss, now CEO of Universal's Republic and IDJ divisions, added: "I am thrilled to be working with Q-Tip once again. He is a respected voice in the music community as shown by his acclaimed solo albums and countless contributions to the work of other artists. His creativity continues to surpass all boundaries of hip-hop, R&B, pop, and jazz. We welcome Q-Tip to the Island Def Jam/GOOD Music family".
FRIENDS ANNOUNCE DEBUT ALBUM
Prior to the release the band will be heading out on a UK tour, with support from the always brilliant AlunaGeorge.
THE SON OF DORK MUSICAL IS HAPPENING. AT LAST
Son Of Dork, of course (OF COURSE), was the band formed by Bourne after Busted split in 2005. The short-lived outfit only released two singles (two top ten singles, mind) and that one album before going on hiatus in 2007 and eventually splitting the following year. Since then Bourne has been working on the 'Loserville' musical.
Set in 1971, it follows "computer geek" Michael Dork who has invented "something that could change the world" but is distracted by his love for a girl called Holly. Holly wants to be the first woman in space but is distracted by Michael's attempts to woo her. It's a classic tale.
The show received its world premiere in Bracknell in 2009, where it played for two nights at the South Hill Park Arts Centre. In June and July this year, it will enjoy a month-long run at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds before its inevitable transfer to the West End. Seriously people, isn't it about time 'We Will Rock You' was shunted out of the Dominion? I mean, that's a load of old rubbish and 'Loserville' is clearly going to be awesome.
More information on the West Yorkshire Playhouse run can be found here - www.wyp.org.uk/what%27s-on/2012/loserville/ - and you can watch a preview of the original 2009 version of the show here: vimeo.com/10906298
By the way, and despite the tone of this piece, which you might have taken to be somewhat sarcastic, I would genuinely like to see 'Loserville' and I do genuinely think that 'We Will Rock You' is a load of old rubbish. So there.
SNOOP DOGG TO PUBLISH SMOKABLE BOOK
The collection of some of his best known lyrics, entitled 'Rolling Words: A Smokable Songbook', will be printed on Snoop's own line of kingsize Rizla rolling papers. The ink is non-toxic too; he's thought of everything.
Here to tell you more is Snoop himself: www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkfC2dfNHGM
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
CAMBRIDGE FOLK FESTIVAL, Cherry Hinton Hall, 26-29 Jul: James Vincent McMorrow, Nanci Griffith, The Destroyers, Phantom Limb and Steamchicken are amongst the latest acts to join this year's Cambridge Folk Festival line-up. They join others, such as Clannad, Joan Armatrading and The Proclaimers. www.cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk
ICELAND AIRWAVES, various venues, Reykjavik, 31 Oct - 4 Nov: Another batch of acts has been announced for this year's Iceland Airwaves, including recently CMU approved acts Poliça and Philco Fiction, plus Patrick Wolf, Jamie N Commons, Rubik, Retro Stefson, Gabríel and Skálmöld. www.icelandairwaves.is
MTV PRESENTS TITANIC SOUNDS, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 13 Apr: Part of Belfast's celebrations to mark the centenary of the construction of the Titanic in the city this weekend, this MTV-sponsored bash has just added Pixie Lott and Katy B to its line-up, joining Olly Murs, Sean Paul and Rizzle Kicks. Let's hope no one sinks. www.mtv.co.uk/events/mtv-presents-titanic-sounds
TRUCK FESTIVAL, Hill Farm, Steventon, 20-21 Jul: Another bevy of acts have just been added to this year's rejuvenated Truck festival, including Tim Minchin, Frightened Rabbit, Future Of The Left, Turbowolf, Man Like Me, Dubwiser, Spring Offensive, Dead Jerichos, The Last Republic and more. www.thisistruck.com
ZOO PROJECT FESTIVAL, Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, 14-16 Sep: Ibiza record label and club promoter Zoo Project's first festival takes the company's team away from the sunshine and into a zoo in Kent. They'll be joined by the likes of Sasha, Ostgut Ton, Ben Klock, Norman Nodge, Ryan Elliott, Barker & Baumecker, Evan Baggs and more. www.zooproject-festival.com
MAMA MANAGERS TO JOIN RED LIGHT MANAGEMENT, REPORTS SAY
It's thought various key players in the MAMA management agency SuperVision are now departing, possibly resulting in the division being wound up completely. Sandom, Canning and other MAMA directors are seemingly unhappy at the way HMV has gone about selling its live division, and do not relish the prospect of the company being swallowed up by the likes of AEG Live or Sony Music, both rumoured bidders.
As previously reported, last week the SuperVision Twitter account pointed followers in the direction of a new feed for Trust Management, which counts some former SuperVision acts amongst its roster. RotD has noted that Trust Management was the agency set up in 2003 by Dave Cronen and Nigel Templeman, which combined with the MAMA management company in 2008. It therefore looks like the two managers have simply withdrawn from that partnership and re-established themselves as an independent firm.
As previously noted, some of the players bidding for HMV's live business will be primarily interested in its venue portfolio, though others might be as interested in the artist, brand and festival partnerships MAMA has set up in recent years, and those will be negatively affected if too many executives quit.
ROUGH TRADE TO OPEN NEW YORK BRANCH
Rough Trade co-owner Stephen Godfroy said in a statement: "At long last, we can finally confirm the next bold step in our evolution. We're extremely excited at the prospect of handing over the 'blank canvas', that is a Rough Trade store, to the music lovers of New York, allowing them make it their own culture agora, just as the people of London have so successfully achieved, with downturn-defying results".
XTRA MILE ANNOUNCES US DISTRIBUTION DEAL
Xtra Mile MD Charlie Caplowe told CMU: "Xtra Mile has been looking for the right distribution and marketing deal in North America for a while; Kenny Weagly and the team over at ILG were exactly what we were looking for to launch the label and great artists into this key territory for us. We're over the moon about finalising the deal and can't wait to get cracking! We are fully charged to continue growing the band on the American side of the pond".
INDEPENDENT LABEL MARKET RETURNS TO LONDON
Speaking about ILM's last East London stint in December last year, Moshi Moshi boss Stephen Bass told CMU: "This turned out to be the surprise most fun and satisfying event of the year so far. With the atmosphere of the best festival and a real sense of heart and purpose this simple but effective idea seemed to hit the nail on the head when it came to ideas about how the music industry might actually be able to start re-igniting the imaginations of the British buying public again".
Bella Unoin's Simon Raymonde added: "The sight of Laurence Bell in his Domino boilersuit, there at 8:30am, also hammering bits of metal together to create the stall, was re-assuring, and the day just got better and better. Love was all around. Special moments were in abundance. People love to buy music when they can see it and touch it like that. No question it should be a regular event".
The market will take place on 19 May. More information from independentlabelmarket.tumblr.com
SPOTIFY LAUNCHES PLAYLIST EMBED WIDGET
Well, sort of - click on the playlist widget and it fires up the Spotify player and opens it up on the selected playlist (which a website can already do with a simple hyperlink, though the widget does present the playlist info in a pretty fashion and allows users to skip to a specific track when the player opens up).
Some other streaming services, We7 comes to mind, have let bloggers and website owners embed playlists for some time, and usually the music plays via the site itself not an external player, so this development isn't particularly revolutionary, though it will probably encourage various media to start compiling playlists, pointing their readers in Spotify's direction to listen to them, which will be great promotion for the streaming platform. And a number of media partners have confirmed they'll be publishing playlists as part of the launch of the widget.
Says Spotify Chief Product Officer Gustav Söderström: "Today we're giving every blogger and web editor the ability to light up the internet with music. Adding a personalised soundtrack to your website or blog has never been this easy. You want to give your fans access to any song, album or playlist of your choosing and in its entirety, while ensuring people stay glued to your site? The Spotify Play Button does all of this for free, while making sure artists get paid for every play".
One partner at launch for the new widget is Tumblr, which will be including a playlist embed button in its user dashboard. Says Tumblr founder David Karp: "We deeply value music as a form of creative expression. That Spotify now lets our users share from millions of their favourite songs is revolutionary, and as huge fans of the product we are absolutely overjoyed about this partnership".
ITV MOVES BGT TO AVOID VOICE CLASH
As previously reported, the two rival talent shows have been clashing for 20 minutes since they launched last month. At one point it looked as if the crossover could be up to 40 minutes, but TV bosses agreed to alter their time slots slightly to avoid too big a crossover. Now the clash will be reduced to zero, as ITV pushes its talent franchise into a later slot in the schedules.
Although 'BGT' has outperformed 'The Voice' overall some weeks, in the 20 minute crossover period the BBC show has always faired better, and last weekend that resulted in the bought-in singing contest out performing ITV's dancing dog show in totality.
According to The Guardian, ITV will later this month move 'BGT' back to 8.30pm to avoid any clash. But this isn't because of ratings concerns, you should all know, but because ITV is concerned about the quandaries its viewers are having during the clash spot each week.
Said an ITV spokesman: "Viewing figures for 'BGT' are up year on year. By moving to 8.30pm we are ensuring that as many people as possible have the opportunity to watch the show in full".
DID ARIANNA HUFFINGTON JUST ADMIT TO PIRATING MUSIC?
One such site was The Huffington Post, whose founder Arianna Huffington wrote an impassioned piece about Spotify and music in general. However, across social media networks people mainly concentrated on one paragraph, in which she wrote: "My iPod is my constant travel companion, and last week Kathy and Tom Freston (my go-to world music guru) gifted me with a new iPod pre-loaded with 11,000 songs from Tom's collection. I put it on shuffle and discovered whole new worlds".
Did Huffington admit to owning an iPod containing thousands of tracks she copied from someone else? That someone being no less than former MTV CEO Tom Freston? No, I'm sure that she meant that Freston bought the iPod AND 11,000 tracks to go on it. I mean, it must have cost him several thousand dollars and taken a considerable amount of time to buy them all, but I'm sure that's what she meant.
Under US copyright law, of course, record companies are allowed to seek between $750 and $30,000 for each track found to have been obtained illegally, while juries can raise that to $150,000. That puts Huffington's bill at somewhere between $8.25 million and $1.65 billion. Luckily for her, the RIAA stopped taking individual file-sharers to court. Oh, and her music was definitely purchased legally. Definitely.