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AMANDA PALMER PASSES $1 MILLION IN KICKSTARTER FUNDING
As previously reported, the former Dresden Doll has been raising money from her fans - by taking pre-orders for future work and selling premium packages including backstage doughnut eating sessions and house parties - in order to fund a new album, art project and tour.
In celebration of the million dollar moment, Palmer tweeted: "WE. FUCKING. DID IT. $1,000,000 OF PURE FUTURE ARTMUSIC ASSKICKING". She also added a link to this picture which I think you should assume is not suitable to look at in your place of work, due to additional swearing and a large degree of toplessness. She's raised a lot of money though, so I don't think Amanda really needs to consider the blushes of your office mates any more.
As previously reported, Palmer initially said she was seeking $100,000 in pre-orders and fan investment - a target she reached in just six hours - though last week she outlined how, if the million dollar mark was passed, the money would be spent, admitting that $100,000 wouldn't have even covered the costs she has already incurred to get this ambitious project off the ground.
With the costs of fulfilling the products and premium packages fans have ordered, plus other costs related to releasing an album, publishing a book and staging a world tour, not to mention fees incurred by raising money via Kickstarter, it is unlikely there will be much more than $100,000 in profits for Palmer out of the million. And even that may be eaten up in unforeseen costs, meaning the singer could actually rely on subsequent sales via more traditional routes of the music and art the project generates in order to see any cash herself.
Some have also pointed out that the American tax man may take some of the money - though quite what kind of taxes will be due, and at what level, will depend on how Palmer has structured the project in terms of companies and personal income.
MEGAUPLOAD PROSECUTION TOLD TO SHARE EVIDENCE WITH DEFENCE
The New Zealand officials, acting on behalf of the American authorities in their legal bid to extradite MegaUpload founder Kim 'Dotcom' Schmitz and three other men to the States, have so far only shared a selection of the files they have amassed in relation to the case, including some emails and key documents, but Judge David Harvey this week said they should let the defence see all of their evidence.
The lawyer leading the MegaUpload defence, Ira Rothken, welcomed the ruling, telling reporters: "This makes the playing field more even. I think this is a very significant ruling for New Zealand, because it demonstrates that New Zealand courts will intervene to protect the rights of its residents from foreign intrusion. We're looking forward to this disclosure - once there is full transparency into the government's claims, we believe Kim Dotcom, and the rest of those involved with MegaUpload, will prevail".
Rothken is hoping to stop his clients from being extradited from New Zealand to the USA, most likely on the grounds that the crimes the MegaUpload execs are accused of do not carry a high enough sentence for the US/New Zealand extradition agreement to apply. A ruling on that matter should be made in August, though if and when he gets access to the prosecution's box of evidence Rothken will presumably also start planning his clients' defence for if and when the matter reaches the American courtroom, or in case criminal proceedings are pursued through the New Zealand courts if extradition fails.
At the same court hearing this week, Harvey said that Schmitz's electronic monitory device could be removed, and that the former MegaUpload chief could return to the multi-million dollar house where he was living when police swooped on him and his company in January. Since being released from jail Schmitz has been living in a smaller property that adjoins what some have called 'the Dotcom mansion'.
BIEBER'S PAP SCUFFLE REFERRED TO LA PROSECUTORS
As previously reported, according to eye witnesses who spoke to TMZ, the injured photographer initially stood in front of a large van Justin Bieber was driving, though the fracas occurred when the pop star got out the vehicle to ask the snapper to move, and the photo man refused.
Quite what happened next isn't entirely clear, though once Bieber and girlfriend Selena Gomez had departed the photographer complained of pains in his torso, and an ambulance was called and police report filed. Though it has been alleged that the formal complaints were only made after a lawyer who witnessed the incident advised the photographer he should report his injuries because "he could make a lot of money out of this".
Police now want to speak to both Bieber and Gomez about the altercation, though the former is currently in Norway.
Some have noted that, in theory, if Bieber were found guilty of criminal battery he could face up to six months in jail, though it seems unlikely it would get anywhere near that stage, and TMZ admits that it's common for police to refer high profile cases like this to prosecutors even while still completing their own investigations, so the referral doesn't necessarily indicate that officers think there is a particularly strong case against the Biebster.
JUDGE GIVES ALL CLEAR FOR FULL COURT HEARING IN NO DOUBT V ACTIVISION
As previously reported, while No Doubt agreed to appear in the sing-along game, they say they were misled about the way their likenesses would be integrated into the gaming franchise, in particular not realising that their avatars in the game could be made to sing other artists' songs. They aren't the only music stars to have appeared in a pretend-to-play or sing-along game to subsequently complain about this element, though Activision claims that games of this kind have always worked that way, and no artists were misled about that fact when negotiating their deals.
The gaming giant had wanted the judge to dismiss various claims made in No Doubt's lawsuit, including allegations of fraud, violation of publicity rights and breach of contract, but Judge Ramona See ruled this week that there were genuine disputes about evidence in these areas that would be best argued in front of a jury. Though the judge did reject the band's request for an injunction ordered an immediate ban on No Doubt avatars performing other artists' work in the 'Band Hero' game.
A legal rep for No Doubt told reporters that this was just the latest judicial backing his clients had received as Activision tried various ways to get the case dismissed, though the gaming giant said it was now looking forward to presenting its arguments at a full court hearing.
HANG THE BASTARD REPLACE VOCALIST
In a statement the band said: "Chris has always been a driving force of this band and a solid frontman and without him we wouldn't be where we are at this point today. We'd like to thank him for all his effort and passion that he has put in over the last five years and wish him all the best in his future endeavours".
The band's first show with Carver will be at this Saturday's Crash Doubt Fest 2 in Lincoln. You can also catch them in London supporting Fear Factory at The Underworld on 7 Jun.
Watch the video for 'River's Edge', the closing track from the band's eponymous final EP with Chris Barlow, which was released back in March: www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7MOrYwNj5U
MUMFORD & SONS ASSIGN RELEASE DATE TO NEW ALBUM
Asked about points of difference between the untitled new suite and the band's age-old debut, 'Sigh No More', Lovett replied: "There's similarities, yeah. Nothing's really changed in our dynamic as a band. We write songs together and they're very much based on our experiences. The instruments are pretty much the same, except for a few we've picked up along the way. For the most part, it's a progression. We don't want to reinvent ourselves".
He added: "Right now we're in a period between the two records, but we're very much focusing on moving forward. We're going to play some of the songs from 'Sigh No More' in the next few months and I guess every band has to go through it, but it's new to us".
The Mumford lot may or may not preview said progressive new LP during their roving caravan of 'Gentlemen Of The Road' events (surely, the worst name ever given to a festival), which take place in Huddersfield and Galway on 2 and 9 Jun respectively.
THE VACCINES CONFIRM NEW LP
It's being released via Sony's Columbia Records on 3 Sep, and will be preceded by a single, the very Strokes-like 'No Hope', which is backed by B-side 'Blow Your Mind', on 8 Jul.
And here's 'No Hope' now: soundcloud.com/the-vaccines/no-hope
SWANS NAME EXTRA LP COLLABORATORS
The group's Michael Gira soliloquises thus on the LP: "It took 30 years to make. It's the culmination of every previous Swans album as well as any other music I've ever made, been involved in or imagined. But it's unfinished, like the songs themselves. It's one frame in a reel. The frames blur, blend and will eventually fade. The songs began on an acoustic guitar, then were fleshed out with (invaluable) help from my friends, then were further tortured and seduced in the studio, and now they await further cannibalism and force-feeding as we prepare to perform some of them live, at which point they'll mutate further, endlessly, or perhaps be discarded for a while".
The successor to Swans' much praised 2010 record 'My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky', 'The Seer' will be released in its various forms on 27 Aug.
TIM BURGESS LABEL RELEASING 'BEST OF' R STEVIE MOORE
Culled from a catalogue spanning back to circa 1959, the compilation will be released via Charlatans man Tim Burgess' vanity label, O Genesis, in early June.
Meanwhile, you can track R Stevie's busy touring itinerary, as includes cameos at London's Field Day and live promoter Sex Is Disgusting's Brighton-based farewell fest, via his Tumblr: rsmtour.tumblr.com/dates
THE BEACH BOYS TO PLAY WEMBLEY ARENA
The latter is released on 4 Jun, and tickets for the Wembley date will be available from 1 Jun.
MAXIMO PARK ARRANGE ACADEMY TOUR
And they are:
1 Nov: Liverpool, Academy
BO NINGEN ANNOUNCE TOUR
Dates as follows:
8 Oct: Bristol, Fleece
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
DOUNE THE RABBIT HOLE, Duncarron Fort, Scotland, 24-26 Aug: Brand new bookings Malcolm Middleton, Miaoux Miaoux and more are destined to descend Doune The Rabbit Hole this year, and join co-headliners The Phantom Band, King Creosote and Hidden Orchestra plus Pram, Kid Canaveral, Aidan Moffat & Bill Wells, Sparrow & The Workshop, Three Blind Wolves, Bwani Junction and Holy Mountain. www.dounetherabbithole.co.uk
GREEN MAN, Glanusk Park, Powys, Wales, 17-19 Aug: With just announced headliners Mogwai now sharing the topmost part of the roster with Feist, Van Morrison, The Walkmen, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks and Yann Tiersen, further Green Man additions include Dexys, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Lower Dens, King Charles and Cate Le Bon. www.greenman.net
SUMMER SERIES AT SOMERSET HOUSE, London, London, 7-17 Jul: Cold Specks, Alt-J, Emmy The Great, Seye and All The Young are amongst those artists just confirmed as auxiliary acts to this year's Summer Series' programme, headliners of which include Charlotte Gainsbourg, Paloma Faith, The Enemy, The Temper Trap, Anna Calvi and M83. www.somersethouse.org.uk
WARNER CONSIDERING OPTIONS FOR NEW CEO, SAY REPORTS
Cooper was put into the top job at Warner after it was bought by Access Industries last year, replacing the much more high profile Edgar Bronfman Jr, who was eased out of the CEO and then Chairman roles at the major once he ceased to be a shareholder.
But Access man Cooper was, the Post says, always put in place on a temporary basis to turn around the company's fortunes (aka cut costs), and, the paper adds, Access chief Len Blavatnik intends to appoint a more permanent Warner CEO in due course. Cooper would likely then continue to oversee Warner as Chairman, it's thought.
It's not clear if an internal or external appointment is more likely. If the former, then Lyor Cohen, currently overall boss of the Warner record companies, would probably be a lead contender, but some reckon the major is more likely to find a new CEO from outside its ranks. Some have already speculated what Cohen's next move would be should that happen, though presumably his decision would be greatly influenced by who was given the Chief Executive job.
PPL ANNOUNCES NEW INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS
Says PPL's Director Of International Laurence Oxenbury: "Signing these new agreements with our European counterparts is great news and shows our commitment to maximising the rights of our members. We already cover a significant part of the global market by value of collections; we are now looking to fill in the gaps and ensure that our members are being paid from all of the smaller markets. 2012 is already shaping up to be a very encouraging year".
SAMSUNG LAUNCHES MUSIC SERVICE WITH 7DIGITAL
The Samsung Music Hub, which is powered by London-based 7Digital, is both an a-la-carte MP3 download service and a streaming platform, with some digital locker shenanigans going on too. At launch it will be available in Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the UK.
Commenting on the Music Hub, Samsung's TJ Kang told reporters: "When you ask yourself, 'what do I want to listen to?' there is now one simple answer, for every mood, every place and everyone. With the new Music Hub, we're bringing the joy back to music - listening, collecting and sharing".
Meanwhile, 7Digital chief man Ben Drury told CMU: "Being selected as the global music partner by Samsung is a major coup for 7Digital. We are now in the position to provide our partners with a global digital music download and streaming platform, with a catalogue of close to 20 million high quality tracks. The initial European launch of Music Hub is just the beginning, and we expect the service to become a global offering very quickly".
I'm glad Samsung is "bringing the joy back to music". Frankly, I was beginning to wonder exactly why we bothered listening to the stuff.
GROOVESHARK LAUNCHES NEW DATA SITE
The new site combines Grooveshark streaming data with fan research undertaken by the often controversial digital music firm, giving us insights about the demographics and location of an artists' fan base, and revealing that 97% of Ben Folds fans file their tax returns via the web, 97% of Justin Bieber fans own a nail repair kit, and that 96% of Mumford & Sons' American fans are AAA members. And I'm sure there are some business opportunities in all those facts.
Launching the new service, Grooveshark CTO Josh Greenberg told reporters: "Any artist with music on Grooveshark can leverage Beluga's revolutionary data to learn about their fans, route their tours, sell merchandise, work on building a following, and take their careers to the next level. Beluga opens doors for advertisers and brands to partner with artists who connect with their target audience, presenting endless opportunities. Best of all, we provide all of this market research information entirely for free".
Grooveshark is, of course, currently being sued by all four major labels over its streaming service which, by allowing users to upload music, often hosts large amounts of unlicensed content. The Groovesharkers insist that by operating a takedown system for content owners their service is legal, and dispute allegations that staff members at the digital firm also upload unlicensed tracks.
It has long been assumed that Grooveshark's owners hope that they can ultimately overcome legal squabbles with the music industry by having a sufficiently large user-base, and finding ways to make that audience useful to rights owners, and the new data service could be seen as a move in that direction. Though at the moment the majors don't seem likely to forgive and forget past issues, even if Grooveshark is offering the most fantastic artist-related user analytics in the world - and however much money can be made from the Ben Folds online accounts package, Justin Bieber nail repair product, and the Mumford & Sons/AAA brand partnership.
FLAGGING RECORD INDUSTRY FORCING METALLICA TO TOUR
Kirk Hammett, guitarist with the metal band, has told Rolling Stone that he and his bandmates would quite like to take a rest from touring, but with record sales income so mediocre these days those poor stadium filling rockers need to keep playing live shows just to keep them in plectrums.
Of course if you're a cynic you might wonder why a band who tours at the level of Metallica aren't making enough cash from their live work to fund the occasional year off. And if you're a cruel cynic, you might add that Metallica might see bigger pay outs from their records if they didn't spend their studio time making shit art projects with Lou Reed, but whatever.
Says Hammett: "The cycles of taking two years off don't exist anymore. We were able to do that because we had record royalties coming in consistently. Now you put out an album, and you have a windfall maybe once or twice but not the way it used to be - a cheque every three months. We've been a live band, we've had to get out there and play, play, play... nowadays that was the area we wanted to kind of lay back on a little bit, and kind of enjoy our families and things. But, you know, it is what it is, and we can't change that".