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MEGAUPLOAD PROSECUTORS GIVEN MORE TIME TO SHARE EVIDENCE
As previously reported, last month a judge in New Zealand, where four MegaUpload executives, including founder Kim 'Dotcom' Schmitz, face extradition to the US, ruled that the accused should have access to all the evidence being amassed against them before any extradition hearing takes place.
The American authorities - who accuse Dotcom et al of copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering in relation to their involvement in the MegaUpload business - had previously proposed to only provide defence attorneys with samples of the evidence seized in January when US officials raided the American server facilities where much of the Mega empire was hosted, and when New Zealand police raided the homes of the four accused executives.
Prosecutors were initially given three weeks to provide defence lawyers with copies of all the evidence they are sitting on, but US and New Zealand officials leading the prosecution said that was unrealistic, because there was so much data it would take two to three months to make copies. The also argued that some of the data they had seized was encrypted, making it difficult to share.
But in a new court hearing in Auckand, judge Helen Winkelmann has said that, however long it takes, prosecutors should still have to provide defence lawyers with all the evidence they have access to, even if it takes considerably longer than the three weeks originally allowed. With regards digital data, she added, defence lawyers are simply expecting clones of entire hard disks, and if some of the data on those disks is encrypted that's not an issue.
However, Winkelmann conceded that it was pointless for the courts to set an unrealistic deadline for the evidence exchange, and instead of setting a target date she endorsed a proposal made by one of MegaUpload's legal reps that prosecutors simply be obliged to "immediately commence preparation" for the handing over of files.
And while at least one MegaUpload lawyer has previously expressed concerns that the prosecution will procrastinate on this if they can, Winkelmann noted that any delays in the sharing of the evidence will simply delay the date of any extradition hearing - such a hearing was originally set for early August - and that it is in the prosecution's interest to enable their extradition claim to be heard in court as soon as possible.
That said, if it will really take three months rather than three weeks to prepare to share evidence, it could be Autumn before Dotcom and his fellow Mega execs return to court in a bid to fight America's extradition attempts.
LABOUR MINISTRY OFFICIALS INVESTIGATE TORONTO STAGE COLLAPSE
According to local media, Toronto police are no longer involved in the investigation, which primarily relates to Canada's Occupational Health And Safety Act, according to officials. Ministry spokesman Matt Blajer told the Toronto Sun that his department was currently working out what roles various subcontractors played in the building of the stage that collapsed, revealing that many different contractors were involved and that his office was currently "sifting through a real maze".
Meanwhile, overall promoter Live Nation has been ordered to provide drawings of the roof of the stage construction, which is what fell, and also to propose a system by which equipment and personal affects still located under and around the collapsed stage can be returned.
Two eye witnesses of the incident told the QMI Agency that they thought too much sound and lighting equipment had been attached to the roof of the stage structure, and that that may well have caused it to collapse. Blajer said he was not currently aware of those claims, but that he was sure it was a theory already being considered by investigators.
Back in the UK, Keane were the latest artists to pay tribute to Scott Johnson, the drum tech killed in the stage collapse. Johnson also worked with the Keane boys, who said on their website yesterday: "Scott has been part of our touring family since 2004, working as drum tech, stage manager, and studio tech, but he gave us so much more - he saw the good in everything. He was the cheerful, dependable guy you could always turn to, who lifted the spirits of everyone around him. We can't believe he's gone. Our thoughts are with his family and friends; Radiohead and their crew. We love you Scotty, we'll miss you".
As previously reported, Radiohead drummer Phil Selway said in a post on his band's website on Sunday: "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".
FLYING PICKET BRIAN HIBBARD 1946-2012
Having been a teacher, steel worker, barman and chimney sweep, Ebbw Vale-born Hibbard turned his hands to acting as a member of John McGrath's left-leaning political theatre group 7:84. It was for a 7:84 production in 1981 that Hibbard and some of his fellow actors first started performing a capella music, and after continuing to sing that way while travelling from performance to performance with the theatre company, the idea of forming a full fledged a capella group emerged.
Despite being somewhat out of sync with the popular music of the day, The Flying Pickets soon proved popular, with their cover of Yazoo's 'Only You' going to number one in 1983 for five weeks, including occupying the Christmas number one spot. Iconic performances on 'Top Of The Pop's further expanded the group's profile and appeal, and further chart success was achieved with songs like 'When You're Young And In Love'.
The group's moniker referred to its members' involvement in the miners strikes of the early 1970s and, despite Margaret Thatcher revealing she was a fan of their rendition of 'Only You', when the miners unions took on the UK's then PM in 1984, The Flying Pickets became vocal supporters of the striking miners, performing for them, joining their protests, and even staging their own picket line outside a recording of 'Top Of The Pops' to communicate their support.
Such proactive support for the miners probably lost The Flying Pickets some of their newly found fans, and certainly any supporters in the right wing press, and the group's mainstream popularity started to wane in the following years. Though that may well have been simply because the novelty of having a capella pop songs in the chart wore off. That said, the group continued to record and successfully tour, albeit with a revolving line up, and, indeed, continues to perform to this day.
Hibbard, however, departed the Pickets in 1986 and, after a brief and generally unsuccessful attempt at forming another musical act, returned to acting. Over the years he popped up in numerous long running UK drama series, including 'Casualty', 'Heartbeat', 'The Bill', 'Holby City', 'Emmerdale', 'Eastenders' and Welsh-language soap 'Pobol y Cwm', and played a key character for a while in the early 1990s in 'Coronation Street'. He also had a role in the 1997 cult film 'Twin Town'.
Hibbard also appeared regularly on stage, especially in Wales, where he also performed in a number of pantomimes over the years. Paying tribute yesterday, Clare Hudson, Head Of BBC Wales Productions told reporters: "Brian Hibbard was passionate, talented, and utterly unmistakeable. His wonderful voice was well known to viewers and listeners of broadcast drama across Wales, in programmes such as 'Pobol Y Cwm' - as well as in the theatre. His quirky performances helped bring many a drama to life. He will be greatly missed, as an actor, and as someone who cared deeply about the creative health of drama in Wales".
Hibbard is survived by his wife Caroline and their three daughters.
TIM MOONEY 1958-2012
Mooney was drummer for a number of bands during the 1970s and 1980s, including Sleepers, Negative Trend and Toiling Midgets, though he will probably be best remembered for his time with American Music Club. Mooney joined the Mark Eitzel-led San Francisco-based alternative rock outfit in 1991, shortly after the release of their acclaimed album 'Everclear', and was part of the band's line up when they signed to Reprise Records.
He appeared on the 1993 album 'Mercury' and 1994 long player 'San Francisco', after which the group split up, until reforming just under a decade later to work on the album 'Love Songs For Patriots', which Mooney co-produced. The drummer continued to perform with the reformed band for four more years before Eitzel relocated to LA in 2007, changing the line up of his group in the process.
As well as his work with Eitzel in AMC, Mooney also collaborated with Red House Painters frontman Mark Kozelek on his first solo album 'Rock N Roll Slinger' in 2000, and then appeared on Kozelek's Sun Kil Moon album 'Ghosts Of The Great Highway' in 2003.
Both Eitzel and Kozelek have paid tribute to Mooney. The former wrote on his blog late last week: "I haven't seen Tim for a few years now but that still didn't lessen the impact of his passing. He was the drummer of AMC for many years. He was absolutely instrumental in whatever sound we had. His style was absolutely unique and as an artist no one could match what he did. He was a good friend to so many people and will be missed. What an absolute loss".
Meanwhile Kozelek wrote: "I knew Tim Mooney for over 20 years. As many Red House Painters' fans may know, American Music Club was very helpful in giving us our start. Later on, Tim played drums on my first solo album, 'Rock N Roll Singer', and then on Sun Kil Moon's 'Ghosts Of The Great Highway'. We shared many long days and hours together. Tim was a peaceful, patient, and incredibly talented person. The last time I saw Tim was in 2009, in Petaluma, he was having ice cream with his daughter. He was as happy and content as ever. I've been overwhelmed with memories of Tim since learning of the news yesterday. My heart goes out to his family, his many friends, and to the members of AMC".
Rooney is survived by his wife Jude and daughter Dixie. A tribute page and memorial fund have been set up, accessible via www.facebook.com/TimDMooney
STONES NOT PLANNING FINALE TOUR AND THEN RETIREMENT
A rep for the band says there are definitely no plans for the band to retire from touring, or to stage a short finale tour next year, and also denied that they were in talks with Glastonbury about headlining the festival when it returns next summer.
A spokesman for Glasto also confirmed there were no talks currently ongoing between them and the Stones, telling The Guardian: "Everybody in the year off thinks they've come up with the perfect Glastonbury line up. But at the moment there isn't anything to confirm or deny".
EMI PUBLISHING SIGN THE BEAT
Confirming the deal, EMI Publishing's SVP A&R & Catalogue Fran Malyan told CMU: "We're thrilled to be working with The Beat, they're one of the bands that truly define their genre and their era. The upcoming reissue campaign will delight all the band's long time fans as well as enabling them to reach out to an entirely new generation".
PEGGY SUE RELEASE COVERS LP
Having created their own versions of 12 tracks that feature on the 1963 movie's classic rock score - including The Angels' 'My Boyfriend's Back', The Crystals' 'He's A Rebel' and Rick Nelson's 'Fools Rush In' - the band will issue just 1000 physical copies of the album from this week onwards. Digital downloads will then be available from 26 Jul via their BandCamp page, where you can also preview the collection in its entirety.
Peggy Sue (who'll perform the LP to a select audience on 22 Jul, playing to just 50 people in a disused WW2 bunker in East London) explain the new project's origins: "In Spring 2011 we were invited to perform a live soundtrack to a film at a temporary cinema in Hackney, East London. The film we chose was Kenneth Anger's 1963 cult classic 'Scorpio Rising', mostly because of its ground breaking rock n roll/doo wop soundtrack. With no dialogue or captions Anger was one of the first to use pop music to harness and alter the meaning of his images. 'Scorpio Rising' is like a glorious 30 minute music video long before it's time".
And since we're on a vintage theme, here's an archive CMU playlist the band compiled for us all the way back in 2011. Ah, those were such halcyon days.
CAT POWER DETAILS LONG-AWAITED LONG PLAYER
Contrary to the 10 Sep date Marshall tweeted upon initially announcing the album back in April, Matador will instead release the record on 3 Sep. And if you read on a little further, you can see its tracklisting and also preview third track 'Ruin' (or download the same here).
KATE NASH DEBUTS TRACK TO MATCH NEW LOOK
The No Doubt/Le Tigre-ish track, a grunge number that Nash sings (and later, screams) in a bindi - marks what may be the first preview of the 'Foundations' singer's untitled third LP, ie the successor to 2010's 'My Best Friend Is You'. "May" being the vital word in that sentence.
Having written and recorded 'Under Estimate' over the course of a single day and night, the sleepless 'Foundations' star introduces it thus: "So the other night I was stressin out and we'd just finished rehearsing and I was like ARGHGHHGHGH [sic] I need to write a song and release something and do something creative instead of breaking all my stuff that I own".
I should at this point mention that the 'breaking all my stuff' option - had she taken it - might have proved less damaging to the Nash brand in the grand scheme of things, especially since the online fan consensus isn't pro Kate's new sound at all. But then again, what do I - or hundreds of YouTube users with eyes, ears and opinions - know?
JESSIE WARE PREPARES FIRST LP
The South London-based '110%' author - seen here being all normal and nice in Brixton - will make available said long player via PMR Records on 20 Aug, precluding it with her next single 'Wildest Moments' on 13 Aug.
In the mean time, listen to it here.
VOICE UK TOUR CANCELLED DUE TO POOR TICKET SALES
Yes, the spin-off tour to come out of the Beeb's lacklustre attempt to take on the 'X-Factor' has been cancelled due to poor ticket sales. The live show was set to include performances from the show's winner, Leanne Mitchell, whose winning single shot up to, erm, number 45 in the charts the week after release, plus other finalists Bo Bruce, Vince Kidd, Becky Hill, Max Milner, Jaz Ellington, Tyler James and Ruth Brown.
Some might say that the decision to pull the 'Voice UK' tour due to lack of demand is yet another embarrassment for the BBC bosses who bought in the talent franchise at great expense, though to be fair it might just be a sign of the times - rival ITV talent show 'Britain's Got Talent' didn't even plan an accompanying finalists tour this year after not being able to sell any tickets last year.
But still, the general lack of interest in the music of 'Voice' finalists - on record or live on stage - will certainly be very much in the minds of BBC bosses and 'Voice UK' producers, who are already trying to figure out how to maintain interest in the show beyond the quirky 'blind auditions' stage if and when a second series hits BBC screens next year.
HOT CHIP ANNOUNCE ACADEMY TOUR
Prior to looking at those live listings, let's all play a game of 'famous people bingo' whilst watching the video for the LP's first single 'Night & Day'.
BLOC PARTY TO TOUR
JAPANDROIDS ADD LIVE DATES
They're also booked to play at the Beacons and Summer Sundae festivals, which is a grand chance for British mainlanders to take in their live set too. Hurrah!
BON IVER SELLS SNEAKERS TO SAVE CREATURES
No, the real must-haves for any discerning music/footwear-lover are Bon Iver's new "pale salmon" sneakers, as have been custom-designed by the band's Justin Vernon in partnership with shoe co Keep.
And that's not all there is to the venture, part of a larger range Vernon has curated entitled 'The Ramos'. Proceeds from sales of the bespoke pink creps will be donated to various wildlife charities, not least the Best Friends Animal Society, a US-based animal advocacy group and animal sanctuary.
Ah, bless. The presumably leather-free shoes, which feature "herringbone accents, a black fishbone detail across the toe, and a canvas upper custom dyed to a perfect pale salmon", can be pre-ordered now via the Keep webstore.
And yes, they're hideous... but just consider that there are animals' lives at stake here.
PRO GREEN TO AMBASSADOR FOR RELENTLESS
The brand partnership will see the rapper appear in the Coke-owned energy drink's first ever TV commercial, which Green himself will reveal at a special event in East London next month (not since a no-show Kan-Z projected grainy footage of their new video onto the side of Shoreditch's Box Park have East London hip hop fans been so excited).
Says EMI's VP of Brand Partnerships Bob Workman: "A combination of Professor Green's artistic attitude and personality, as well as his incredible ability to engage with fans of all persuasions, has made this exciting partnership possible. Both Professor Green and Relentless Energy Drink have such a strong sense of who they are and the cutting edge creative that Relentless Energy Drink bring to the table forms an amazing backdrop for showcasing Professor Green's music".
RESTRUCTURING COMPANY POSSIBLY LOOKING TO ACQUIRE HMV DEBT
Hilco has been tipped as a possible bidder for HMV outright in the past, and bought the firm's Canadian business last year. The Mail reckons that the company is now speaking to some of the HMV Group's reported eight moneylenders about buying the retailer's debts off them. Such a deal could, the paper says, given Hilco influence over management decisions at the retail group.
Though quite how much influence isn't clear, and at least two of HMV's current money lenders have said they are not looking to offload any of the retailer's debts. It's thought the CD and DVD seller, which made a loss in the region of £10 million last year, currently has debts in the region of £175 million, and is now locked in talks with bankers about agreeing yet another new deal in relation to the money owed, with the hope of having new agreements in place sometime next month.
As previously reported, HMV will likely raise £32 million through the sale of the Hammersmith Apollo venue to a subsidiary of AEG Live. It's thought talks are ongoing regards the sale of the rest of HMV's live music assets, aka the MAMA Group, with a division of Lloyds Bank recently linked to a bid to buy that business, which may or may not be in turn linked to previous reports of a management buy out.
HMV also recently offloaded its stake in a loss-making e-books company called Anobii to Sainsburys. That deal didn't raise any cash for the entertainment retail firm, but presumably reduced liabilities.
FORMER ROADRUNNER PR EXECS LAUNCH NEW AGENCY
As previously reported, Warner Music recently announced it was streamlining the operations of Roadrunner Records outside the US, and making many of its employees beyond America redundant. Last week former Head Of Promotions at Roadrunner UK, Austin Collins, announced the launch of AC Promotions, which will represent many Roadrunner acts moving forward in the radio and TV space, as well as looking to work with other similar artists signed to other labels.
And now former Roadrunner publicists Michelle Kerr and Kirsten Sprinks have launched Cosa Nostra PR, which will also represent a string of Roadrunner acts in the UK, including Slipknot, Lamb Of God, Machine Head, Trivium, Stone Sour, Black Stone Cherry, Killswitch Engage, Megadeth, Korn and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Follow the new agency at www.twitter.com/CosaNostraPR
AMAZON READY TO RELAUNCH DIGITAL LOCKER
As previously reported, Amazon, like Google, launched a music-focused online storage service in the US last year without any licences from record companies or music publishers, arguing that its customers could upload copies of digital files to its servers without infringing copyright, utilising their private copy right.
While execs at the majors disagreed - arguing that the locker's playback function was not covered by the private copy right - talks have nevertheless been ongoing between the etailer and the music firms, because the former had ambitions to introduce extra functionality, similar to that offered by rival Apple, that would definitely require licences from rights owners.
C-Net reported earlier this month that negotiations for an enhanced Amazon locker were now well underway, and latest reports suggest deals have now been done with Universal, Sony, EMI and Warner. The enhanced Amazon music storage service is expected to launch in the US in July, with European roll out later this year.
MICROSOFT REVEALS TABLET
The new device will have a 10.6 inch screen made of break-resistant "Gorilla Glass", a built in stand and an optional magnetically connecting touch cover with multi-touch keyboard. Users will also be able to interact with the device using a digital pen, with some commentators remarking that that option, plus two inbuilt USB ports and better WiFi connectivity, are the main USPs over Apple's iPad.
Exact release dates and pricing for Surface isn't yet clear, though it will launch Stateside in the Autumn, and is unlikely to compete on price at launch.
ONE DIRECTION'S VERY BRITISH RIDER CAUSES PROBLEMS STATESIDE
Still, a few pissed off tour managers there may be, but now this story is out presumably plenty of free Yorkshire Tea and sausages from Ireland will be awaiting the pop boys on their return to Britain. By which point Liam will probably insist on drinking only Bigelow Tea and Niall will be addicted to the beef jerky products of the Oberto Sausage Company.