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RADIOHEAD DRUM TECH KILLED IN STAGE COLLAPSE
According to CNN, a large "scaffolding-type structure" 40 to 60 feet above the main stage collapsed about an hour before gates were due to open for the event, which would have seen Caribou play as well as headliners Radiohead. There was no unusual or extreme weather conditions at the time, so the cause of the collapse is not currently known.
Describing the incident, a spokesman for Toronto Fire Services told Reuters: "The roof part of the stage collapsed. It's like an arch made out of round piping similar to what they use for scaffolding. From our understanding, at this point in the investigation, there were a number of people on the stage preparing for a concert. They were setting up when the top portion of the stage collapsed on top of them. Unfortunately, four people were hurt [including Johnson]. The remainder of the people, when they heard the stage coming down, ran from the area".
Meanwhile a spokesman for Toronto Police told reporters at a press conference: "The one thing that we're going to be doing is working closely with the Ministry Of Labour, trying to determine exactly how that stage came down, and we're urging any witnesses that were in the area to come forward. It's going to take us a large amount of time to determine exactly what occurred".
In a brief statement on behalf of Radiohead, the band's drummer Phil Selway said: "We have all been shattered by the loss of Scott Johnson, our friend and colleague. He was a lovely man, always positive, supportive and funny; a highly skilled and valued member of our great road crew. We will miss him very much. Our thoughts and love are with Scott's family and all those close to him".
Meanwhile on Twitter, Geoff Barrow from Portishead wrote: "Shocking to hear the passing of crew member Scott Johnson of the Radiohead tour - my thoughts and condolences are with everyone involved".
And Jack Lawrence Brown, drummer with White Lies, wrote: "Devastated to learn that the man killed in the Radiohead stage collapse was drum tech Scott Johnson. Scott worked with White Lies on a show earlier in the year as my drum tech. A very talented man and a lovely guy all round. Glad to have known him. A big loss. RIP Scott".
Meanwhile, according to Metro, Ian West, who taught Johnson drumming in his home town of Doncaster, said: "It is a very, very big shock. He was a great student, a great drummer. He got a lucky break and made the most of it. He never looked back".
Last summer, of course, there were a number of dangerous stage collapse incidents around the world, most notably those at the Sugarland concert in Indiana and at the Pukkelpop festival in Belgium, though both of those were caused by extreme weather conditions. It remains to be seen if anything can be learned from this latest incident, in calm weather, to prevent future fatalities.
BROWN DRAKE ALTERCATION COULD LEAD TO CRIMINAL AND CIVIL ACTION
The incident occurred at New York's WiP club last Thursday. Although details remain a bit sketchy, it's thought that when Brown realised that both he and Drake were in the same club, he sent is rival music star a bottle of champagne as a goodwill gesture, there being some tensions between the two artists related to their respective past relationships with Rihanna. Drake, it seems, sent the goodwill gesture back to Brown with a rude note.
How rude we don't know, but before the night was over eight club-goers had cuts and bruises as a result of a bottle-throwing fight that occurred between the two artists' posses. Reps for both Brown and Drake played down their respective clients' personal involvement in the altercation on Friday, both insisting it occurred as their stars were leaving the venue, though Brown's lawyer has accused Drake of personally throwing "glassware", and says he has evidence to that effect.
Celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos told the New York Post: "I have turned over evidence that it was Drake who instigated this. The evidence makes it clear that Chris is the victim in all of this. I believe the police are building a case against Drake and his thugs. Clearly, Drake was the instigator, and there is evidence he threw glassware". Of course it's important for Brown that Drake or his posse gets the blame for this fight, given he is still on probation from the whole 'beating Rihanna unconscious' incident.
Some have played down the seriousness of the fight, and with one eyewitness account describing how Drake's entourage stripped off their shirts before confronting a departing Brown, it does all sound like an establishing scene in a mediocre R&B-infused Broadway musical. Though Lucy Pavlovsky, the Macy's employee who needed 12 stitches after being injured in the brawl, and who now plans to sue, tells a different story.
She told reporters: "The bottle battle was completely across the VIP room. It was like a war zone. You had guys there, 300 pounds, 6-foot-5, throwing these bottles as hard as they can. It was wild enough that some people did not believe they were going to make it out of there". Her legal rep, Javier Solano, added: "My plan is to sue anybody who threw a bottle and anybody who created that dangerous atmosphere".
On the criminal side, rumours on Friday that the police wanted to arrest Drake turned out not to be true, though the club has reportedly been shut down while investigations continue, and there were new reports yesterday that various eye-witnesses had reported hearing gun fire during the fracas, though there is no actual evidence a firearm was present. Meanwhile, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has told local media she will convene an emergency meeting between her office, police and the nightlife industry "to send a clear message to all nightclub patrons that bottles cannot be used as weapons".
CANADA REVEALS POLARIS LONGLIST
Like a number of Mercury clones around the world, the Polaris has a long list as well as a short list, and that's what's been announced, as selected by a jury of 200 Canadian music media types. This done, the same panel will now vote to narrow things down to a shortlist of ten LPs, with the overall winner crowned (and given $30,000) at the climax of a gala ceremony on 24 Sep.
Past Polaris victors have included Arcade Fire, Caribou, Fucked Up and Patrick Watson, the latter two of whom are also nominated this year.
If you'd like to see the list er... listed in alphabetical order, look at this:
A Tribe Called Red - A Tribe Called Red
FLAMING LIPS, WILD NOTHING SIGN TO BELLA UNION
A delighted Wayne Coyne and co confirmed their alliance with the London label on Friday, and 'The Flaming Lips And Heady Fwends', with its duets with Bon Iver, Tame Impala, Neon Indian and Nick Cave as well as Badu, will now arrive in UK record stores on 30 Jul via the Union. The label said it was "truly thrilled" to be signing "one of our all-time favourite bands".
The Bella Union roster has also just acquired American songwriter and 'one man band' Jack Tatum, aka Wild Nothing, the label having signed the alt-pop soloist in time to issue his sophomore long player 'Nocturne' on 27 Aug. The first single from it, 'Shadow', is out slightly sooner as a 7-inch on 6 Aug, and you can listen to it here.
And why not have a tracklisting, too:
OBEY THE BRACE SIGN TO EPITAPH
Confirming the deal, Erian told CMU: "I remember listening to my Pennywise and Rancid cassettes back in high school and daydreaming endlessly about being in a band and touring the world. If someone would have told me back then that I'd sign one day with the label that started it all, I would have never believed it. It feels unreal but my boys in OTB and I are definitely up to the challenge. We're extremely honored to now be part of the Epitaph family and are looking forward to many years of pure fucking destruction together!"
To celebrate the signing, the band recently posted the video to 'Young Blood' track 'Get Real' on the good old YouTuber-net, which you can watch here.
50 CENT REVEALS LP RELEASE DATE
The rapper has apparently backtracked on his one-time beef with his label Interscope Records, instead opting to cooperate with the Universal subsidiary in the interest of fulfilling his obligations as a hip hop recording artiste.
Breaking the release news to US radio station Hot 107.9, Fiddy said: "I'm releasing the record anyway. I said I was gonna put a record out that was completely up to album standard, and I'm gonna do that. I've worked on this album for a long period of time, and now it's comin around".
An unrepentent Cent added: "For a lot of people, they don't understand the actual business portion of what they're watching; they just see entertainment. Labels, at different points, they drop the ball. It's not visible when the momentum is feverish. For me, with Interscope, all the success I've had in music has been with them".
BON IVER RELEASING LIVE EP
CITY SHOWCASE TENTH ANNIVERSARY DATES ANNOUNCED
Confirming the dates for this year's event, City Showcase Director Nanette Rigg told CMU: "We are now gearing up for our tenth anniversary celebrations with more venues signed up to take part as well as an outdoor stage this year, and with more potential candidates wanting to take part, it should be our greatest event yet".
Bands can put themselves forward for this year's event at www.cityshowcase.co.uk/application. Meanwhile, the previously reported New Zealand-based sister event of London's City Showcase will take place from 6-8 Jul.
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
RADFEST, Hackney Downs Studio, London, 19 Aug: Diiv, Fear Of Men, Maria Minerva, Holograms and UK debutantes Fidlar crest Radfest's superlative second wave of artist bookings, with this lot thus sharing the roster with the oh-so totally rad likes of Veronica Falls, Jacuzzi Boys and Ceremony. www.facebook.com/events/285120321578069/
RAMSBOTTOM FESTIVAL, Ramsbottom Cricket Club, Ramsbottom, Lancashire, 14-16 Sep: Ramsbottom's topmost live music spectacular now houses a couple of brand new headliners in I am Kloot and Roddy Frame, who align with The Inspiral Carpets, The Leisure Society, Roddy Woomble and Seth Lakeman on the overall line-up. www.ramsbottomfestival.com
PITCHFORK FESTIVAL PARIS, Grande Halle de la Villette, Paris, France, 1-3 Nov: Pitchfork's winter bash will now accommodate The Walkmen, Liars, Japandroids, Chromatics, Fuck Buttons, John Talabot and Simian Mobile Disco, and counts M83, Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear and Robyn among its existing bookings. www.pitchforkmusicfestival.fr
T IN THE PARK, Balado, Scotland, 5-8 Jul: Alt-J, Willy Moon, Bwani Junction, The Chevin and 'The Voice' contender Bo Bruce are amongst those acts just signed up to this year's T roster, as also hosts co-headliners Snow Patrol, The Stone Roses and Kasabian alongside Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Tinie Tempah, Elbow, Skrillex and Jessie J. www.tinthepark.com
UNDERAGE FESTIVAL, Shoreditch Park, London, 31 Aug: Playing for the eyes and ears of 13-17 year olds only are just-added Underage artistes Hadouken!, Disclosure, Lianne La Havas, Tribes and Zulu Winter, all of whom join the already announced Rustie, Spector, BIGKids, Dry The River, Fixers, Iceage, Maverick Sabre and Summer Camp. www.underagefestivals.com
NISSAN TEAM UP WITH MINISTRY FOR CAR-CONTAINED SOUND SYSTEM
The sound system has been created by Martin Audio, who also designed and built the current system in Ministry's Box venue, and is a self-powered 19 kilowatt rig that is louder than a jumbo jet taking off when played at full volume (I do hope the marketing partnership includes the distribution of complimentary ear plugs to DJs and other visitors). The car also has recording kit inside it, enabling Ministry to record music played through it while on tour, and to make that content available via the clubbing brand's various online media.
Commenting on the Juke Box, and his firm's partnership with Ministry, Nissan marketing man Gareth Dunsmore told reporters: "We have made a great product that we believe creates excitement through our innovative approach to the small car market; Ministry of Sound is the industry leader in creating the moments people live for through their bespoke sound systems. Together with Nissan Design Europe, RML and Ministry of Sound we wanted to challenge the establishment and make something truly unique".
KELLY ROWLAND PUSHING BACARDI RUM (AND A "SEXY" NEW ALBUM)
Discussing the track's concept whilst filming a Bacardi promo in Barcelona, Kelly says: "You think about dreaming, you think about summer, you think about colours, you think about fabrics that blow in the wind, and shorts and hot pants which everybody's wearing right now, and how it just makes you feel cool and sexy and fly".
She also goes on to say that work on her fourth solo LP is now in its closing stages, adding: "It's a very urban, R&B, sexy, unexpected record on this next album. It's gonna make you think. It's gonna make you wonder".
CUESONGS ANNOUNCE VIDEO PRODUCTION PARTNERSHIP
CueSongs CEO Ed Averdieck told CMU: "Following on from our work with a number of big consumer brands and creative agencies to use our pre-licensed music, this is a natural next step to offer music choice and advice already at the video production stage. This is the first affiliate partnership we have done to broaden the reach of our clients and we are very excited to partner with Yantra Digital Media so that we can offer clients high-quality video production with iconic music in a convenient one stop service."
Meanwhile Yantra Digital Media CEO Gurps Nijjar added: "I am proud to announce our partnership with CueSongs. Yantra Digital Media sees this partnership as key in developing creative and engaging animations for our clients in many industry sectors. Animation with video has become a powerful tool for businesses to engage with their target audience, and demonstrate complex concepts and a simple and easy to follow manner. CueSongs allows us to quickly search through a curated catalogue of commercial music tracks from known artists which complements the concept and atmosphere of each animation and video production we embark on".
BBC RETHINKING THE VOICE FOR SERIES TWO
Of course in the UK things turned out very differently, with the winning track from the overall winner - Leanne Mitchell's cover of Whitney Houston's 'Run To You' - not even making it into the UK Top 40 the week after release. Some blamed the fact the song was only available digitally, others that its release clashed with the Jubilee festivities - but the singles market is almost exclusively digital these days, and which idiot decided to put the Voice finale on at the same time as the Queen's big bash?
It was a disappointing end for the Beeb's latest attempt to take on the Cowell-talent-show-machine over on ITV, and as much as BBC1 boss Danny Cohen insisted that the UK version of 'The Voice' had "broken all records for a new entertainment show on the BBC", that slipping ratings dominated media reports on the show in the latter half of its first series, and that the winning single performed so badly, makes the whole venture look like one big misfire.
Of course some in the commercial media had already questioned the logic of the BBC, as a public service broadcaster, buying in such an expensive talent show franchise, given ITV has that domain so well covered in the UK already. And you do sense that a constant paranoia at the BBC about being seen to be feeding the commercial pop industry at the licence fee payer's expense (Universal Music picks up the winner), further hindered the show. As did the tabloids' tendency to slate the Beeb by default.
Still, the Corporation remains committed to the programme, meaning any other pop wannabes out there who dream of having that number 45 single one day could as yet have their dreams come true. According to the Daily Star, the show's bosses are working with the BBC to revamp to programme for series two, with a bigger budget, and bigger production values.
Speculation has also begun over which judges will remain, with rumour having it that will.i.am has already hinted he won't return, though a BBC spokesman insists producers were happy with all four judges on series one, and that talks have begun about rehiring all of them. Though everyone also seems convinced Annie Lennox will be a judge on series two as well.
STING GIVES HIS SUPPORT TO AMAZING
Giving his general support to the Amazing venture, the former Police frontman has said in a statement: "For some years now I have wondered what shape the music industry might take. How would young musicians and songwriters forge a career? How might they build an audience? It's great to see that Amazing, a company from my home town already with a global reach, is showing a way forward with a music-led solution which seems both fair to musicians and helps build that audience".
Commenting on his latest celebrity endorsement, Amazing CEO Paul Campbell told Radio Today: "It's awesome that Sting has joined the growing number of people supporting Amazing's mission to help new musicians find an audience. Amazing Radio resonates with those with an insight into the future of broadcasting and the music industries".
As previously reported, Amazing dropped off the Digital One network last month after the two parties failed to reach a new deal. Since then Amazing Radio has only been available via the web. While not being overtly critical of Digital One operators Arqiva, Amazing Radio has encouraged its listeners to campaign for its return to the digital network.
Radio Today reckons that the dispute is mainly about the fees the radio service should pay for its DAB slot. It's been long assumed that Amazing got an, well, amazing deal from Digital One when it originally went on air, with the national DAB network being somewhat short of original programming at the time. Presumably Arqiva wanted to push those rates up. While Amazing fans petition to the digital firm to reinstate the new music channel on its network, word has it Arqiva is already talking to other parties about taking the spare spot.
THIS JUST-IN: BIEBER CONSIDERED QUITTING AFTER YEATER CLAIMS
Yeater, of course, claimed Bieber had fathered her child during a brief sexual liaison backstage at a concert. Her lawyers insisted they had the evidence, and asked the courts to force Bieber to take a paternity test. The pop star said he'd gladly take the test voluntarily, to disprove the claims, and enable him to sue Yeater for defamation. She then withdrew her lawsuit, swapped lawyers, and disappeared into the distance still insisting, rather unconvincingly, that she'd had sex with the teen star.
Speaking about the embarrassing and pretty obviously untrue from the start allegations, Bieber has told Fabulous magazine: "At the beginning of it all I was in Florida, away from my friends and family and I was pretty sad. I got to the point where I thought, 'I don't want to do this. I just want to be normal'. It was difficult because I'd never gone through anything like that".
But then Bieber's long-term mentor Usher stepped in. "Usher was like, 'Prepare to have this for the rest of your career because it's not going to stop'. He's gone through some stuff and most artists go through their fair share of bull. That was just my first time". Reflecting on the Yeater incident with hindsight, he continued: "I feel sorry for her more than anything. Everything that hurts you makes you stronger in the end. You've got to learn from the bad things that happen".