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EMI POSTS LOSS, DRAWS PROF GREEN WRATH
Though, to be fair, much of that loss was as a direct result of the sale of the two constituent parts of the British major, recordings and publishing, to Universal Music and a Sony-led consortium respectively. The two deals struck last year between current owners Citigroup and the major's buyers required the music firm to write down the value of its catalogues and reputation by £372 million. Add to that the £37 million in redundancy pay outs, and that's what took an otherwise profitable EMI into the red.
Removing the anomalies, underlying earnings were £290 million, and operating profit was up to £133 million. According to The Guardian, EMI boss Roger Faxon told staff that the figures represented an "incredibly strong performance... set against the backdrop of a challenging state of the music market and wider economic conditions".
He added: "These results are a demonstration of the success of how our strategy has really helped us to enhance the way we connect our artists and writers with a worldwide audience. This isn't a success story that you're seeing at other music companies. It's our job to make sure that these businesses are ideally positioned for the next stage of their storied histories under new ownership".
So, well done Team EMI. Though Professor Green likely won't join in with the commendations, having taken to Twitter yesterday to accuse staff at the major of bungling the marketing of a recent single and missing deadlines on having pop promo videos ready. He posed the question: "Why would your own record label hinder you? How would you feel if a company taking 25% of your earnings weren't doing their jobs properly?"
When a Twitter follower suggested that the rapper must be loaded despite the alleged fuck ups by EMI, Green responded that much of the money he generates goes elsewhere - in doing so revealing a little about his 360 degree style deal with the record label which, if the Prof's tweets are to be believed, gives the record company a 25% cut of live income. He wrote: "A live gig = 10% to agent, costs and expenses, 20% management commission then 25% to a label who hardly even come to gigs let alone help".
Noting Universal's attempts to buy EMI, and the expected job cuts that will follow the acquisition, Green concluded: "If everyone at EMI is quaking in their shoes about their jobs because of the Universal situ, why not do your jobs properly? Simple solution?" Harsh.
ELTON JOHN SUES THE TIMES
The Times has already acknowledged that it made an error by claiming that John's former accountant had been involved in setting up offshore tax avoidance schemes (and stating the singer's relationship to him) in an article published on 21 Jun. However, says John's lawyer, a correction published the following day was "wholly inadequate".
William McCormick QC said in legal papers filed yesterday: "The allegations are particularly damaging to the claimant's reputation in the sphere of charity fundraising. [They caused] severe damage to his reputation and personal distress and embarrassment".
John is seeking undisclosed damages for "the sense of insult and injury".
PUSSY RIOT MEMBERS "MUST BE ISOLATED FROM SOCIETY", SAYS PROSECUTOR
As previously reported, the charge against Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich stems from an incident in February this year when the ten strong band performed a song in the Cathedral Of Christ The Saviour Of The Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, protesting against Vladimir Putin ahead of elections that saw him win his third term as the country's president. Billed as a "punk prayer", the song called on the "Holy Mother, Blessed Virgin" to "throw Putin out". All three women have pleaded not guilty.
Federal prosecutor Alexei Nikiforov told the Moscow court that the band's motivations could not have been politically motivated because they named "no politicians" in their song, and instead had "violated the traditions of our country".
Yelena Pavlova, acting as lawyer for nine people who said they were offended by the band's performance, added: "All the defendants talked about being feminists and said that is allowed in the Russian Orthodox church. This does not correspond with reality. Feminism is a mortal sin".
Earlier, one of the lawyers acting for the Pussy Riot members, said: "Russia has no rule of law. Russia has no justice system. Nothing has changed from Soviet times. [A guilty verdict will] definitely tear up relations between society and government. Society will never forgive the government. [But] if the order is handed down from above to jail them, then they will be jailed".
A verdict in the trial is expected later this week.
JAMES MCLAREN 1978 - 2012
When Sound Nation closed in 2005, McLaren joined BBC Wales, initially as a freelancer, and was eventually put in charge of the BBC Wales Music website.
In a statement, the Welsh Music Foundation paid tribute to McLaren yesterday, saying: "We at Welsh Music Foundation are shocked and saddened to hear of the death of James McLaren. James was one of the original WMF team - creating, editing and managing our monthly newsletter Sound Nation. His passion poured out of every issue, and with his energy, skill and enthusiasm he quickly became a popular figure in the Welsh music industry".
BBC Cymru Wales director, Rhodri Talfan Davies, said: ""James was a talented assistant producer who joined BBC Wales six years ago. Most recently he worked on the successful launch of the new BBC Wales homepage and many of you will know him through his inspiring commitment to and support for Welsh music. His regular blogs on Welsh music for our online services showed a real love for his subject, an encyclopaedic knowledge, and a deep commitment to support new talent. I know that his lively personality, his inimitable sense of humour and his prodigious talents will be sadly missed by all those who worked with him. Our thoughts are with his family, colleagues and friends at this difficult time".
Yesterday another of his colleagues, Joe Goodden, took to the BBC Wales blog, which McLaren regularly updated with music news, to carry out the unenviable task of writing a tribute and an obituary, which you can read here.
MIA TALKS NEW LP
Basically, from MIA's insights, we now know (well, we're pretty sure) that it'll feature between five and fifteen tracks, one of which will be her past single 'Bad Girls', and that it will be free of any collaborations with other artists.
MIA also defined its genre as "Paul Simon on acid", said that it may feature a cameo by an extortive parrot, and assured fans that its production staff were all "ones that don't act like fame whore colonisers". So no sign of Diplo, then.
And finally, the LP's release will apparently be preceded by the rapper's self-titled book - an "autobiographical monograph in collages" set for publication in October - and will itself precede a documentary and December art exhibition. In that order.
BEST COAST DETAIL NEW SINGLE
By the magic of PR and SoundCloud, you needn't wait till then to hear it though, because here it is.
Having just played at London's 100 Club as part of that previously reported series of Converse Represent nights, the band's Bethany and Bobb will also stop at London's The Borderline on 18 Sep.
MOON DUO TO RELEASE NEW LP, SPLIT 7-INCH
You can preview LP intro 'Sleepwalker' here.
The band are also down to split a seven-inch single with Psychic Ills (fellow signees to their US label Sacred Bones), and thus will match a track titled 'Zoned' to Psychic Ill's donation 'Take Me With You'.
And you can listen to the latter here.
AZEALIA BANKS, TRICKY AND (MAYBE) GRIMES TO REMIX ZEBRA KATZ DEBUT
A totem of New York's blossoming 'queer rap' culture, the duo's original will feature beside remixes by Tricky, Gangsta Boo, Mao, Ira G, Cauzeone, Moroka, I Am A Camera, Ripley, Bais Haus, Nikko and Norrit. Oh, and that Azealia Banks, whose version of the track appeared on her new 'Fantasea' mixtape. Oh and Grimes, apparently, who FACT Magazine (having had confirmation from her PR) says is in on the project too.
Anyway, this is the 'Ima Read' video.
VAN SHE LIST LONDON LIVE DATES
Available now as a digital download, the band's new full-length 'Idea Of Happiness' will have its physical release via Modular on 10 Sep.
In celebration of the above, why not share in this Hervé remix of the LP's title track.
FESTIVAL LINE-UP ADDITIONS
ETHER, Southbank Centre, London, 5-19 Oct: Mount Kimbie. ether.southbankcentre.co.uk
FEEL GOOD FESTIVAL, Rochdale, 31 Aug - 1 Sep: Martha Reeves, The Heartbreaks, The Beat, The Shinies, Jesca Hoop, Songs For Walter and We Are Willow. www.rochdalefeelgoodfestival.co.uk
ITUNES FESTIVAL, The Roundhouse, London, 1-30 Sep: Example, Hadouken! and DJ Fresh. www.itunesfestival.com
MUSEXPO DATES FOR 2013 ANNOUNCED
Commenting on his 2013 edition, MUSEXPO boss Sat Bisla told CMU: "Every year, our entire team sets a new standard to ensure we continue to make each MUSEXPO better than the last. We are determined to make 2013 our best MUSEXPO ever, by bringing back the highly-successful A&R Worldwide Global Synch & Consumer Brands Summit and introducing the A&R EXPO - an evolution from last year's International Songwriting Summit".
He continued: "The morning sessions will be panels focused on the creative science and business development of songwriting and developing artist careers locally and globally. After the networking lunch, the participants will be broken up into roundtable face-to-face meetings with some of the most powerful and influential A&R executives, managers, producers, songwriters, music supervisors, brands, publishers and content creators from around the world".
Organisers also confirmed that, at the event, an International Music Person Of The Year Award will be presented to Daniel Glass of Glassnote Entertainment.
SOME FESTIVALS ARE LISTED ON A MAP
UK Music and the tourist board types at Visit Britain have just published the Great British Music Festivals Map. It's a map. Of festivals. Imagine it. I bet you can't. It's just too marvellous to picture, right?
Well, worry not, get you to this link, and you can see it for yourself by clicking the festival map button. And not only that - wait for this, this is the real clincher - it's only fucking 'interactive'. You can zoom in. And then, you can zoom out. That's right, zoom out. I mean, technically that's just a function of the Flash software it's built on, but still. Interactive! And just as well, because without that function you'd never be able to read the names of each of the festivals listed (all of which are links to said festivals' websites).
Of course, given how things are going this year, half the festivals on the map might be dead by 2013 (at least one is already, by all accounts), but worry not, I immediately spotted about ten that aren't even listed on it, so there's quite a bit of contingency at play here. The map went live yesterday as part of Visit Britain's wonderfully shit Music Is GREAT campaign that no one's heard of. Good times.
Here's some quotes...
UK Music boss Jo Dipple: "I am thrilled that we could work with Visit Britain on the Great British Music Festivals Map. The music industry makes a huge contribution to the economy and tourism, and I am glad this is recognised. The map clearly shows the strength and diversity of the festivals on offer, with all tastes catered for - it is clear to see why people travel from all over the world to enjoy what we offer".
Live Nation UK COO and chair of the Live Music Group wing of UK Music, Paul Latham: "Live Nation promote and manage the biggest names in the business. We as a company are proud to be at the heart of the live industry, entertaining millions each year. Through my work as chair of the UK Live Music Group I have been able to extend the reach of the live group, through the industry and UK Music. This map is a part of that as it shows just how vibrant the scene is. I am incredibly proud of the contribution that my industry makes to the economy, and long may this continue".
And Laurence Bresh, Director of Marketing at VisitBritain: "Music is very much part of the British DNA and the fantastic Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Games showed the world the amazing variety of music that we produce here. Overseas visitors can come and enjoy all kinds of music at our unrivalled range of year-round festivals, concerts and gigs. From Glastonbury to Glyndebourne we know how to throw some of the biggest music celebrations and how to celebrate a great tune".
FRENCH CULTURE MINISTER CRITICAL OF THREE-STRIKES
The Hadopi department has been prolific in sending out the warning letters that play a key role in the three-strikes approach to deterring web users for accessing content via unlicensed file-sharing networks, with over a million warning e-mails and 99,000 physical letters sent so far.
Of those targeted, 134 are currently being investigated as possible contenders for strike three, which in theory would see those who carry on file-sharing despite warnings having their net connections cut by a court order. However, no disconnections have as yet happened, and it's seemed for a while that if strike three was ever struck, actually the sanction would likely be less severe.
But now the future of Hadopi is in doubt, somewhat, after new French culture chief Aurélie Filippetti said, according to The Register, that trios-strikes was "unwieldy, uneconomic and ultimately ineffective". Filippetti seems most concerned about the cost to government of running three-strikes, but also said that the content industries had not yet done enough to fulfil their side of the bargain - making more attractive legal digital content services available.
Meanwhile Pierre Lescure, appointed by Filippetti to review piracy laws in France, said in a separate interview: "The error of Hadopi was to focus on the penalty. If one starts from the penalty, it will fail".
Although some are now predicting the demise of Hadopi altogether, what seems more likely is that the anti-piracy unit's budgets will be cut, and that strike three - should it occur - will be a lot less severe than originally planned.
French political types going lukewarm on three-strikes could be a blow for the content industries in the UK who are still trying to get the British variation of the system - introduced by the 2010 Digital Economy Act - live. Some in the music and movie industries here have pointed to the success of Hadopi in cutting piracy in France as justification for getting three-strikes moving over here. But Filippetti does not seem to be so positive in her conclusion of the effectiveness of the trios-strikes programme.
NBC DENIES DISCRIMINATION AGAINST JACK OSBOURNE AS SHARON QUITS AMERICA'S GOT TALENT IN PROTEST
Announcing that she was resigning her position as a judge on 'America's Got Talent', Sharon told the New York Post earlier this week: "I just can't be fake. It's discrimination, and it was badly handled. It's time to move on. They can't make me do something I don't want to do. All they can do is stop me from being a judge on another network for five years".
Although at a press conference 'Stars Earn Stripes' producer David Hurwitz said that Jack had never been contracted to appear on the show, Sharon said that while Jack's contract had not been formally signed, discussions were ongoing with the view that he would take part right up until he went public with his diagnosis.
Yesterday, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt issued a statement, published by The Hollywood Reporter, rejecting the Osbourne's allegations of discrimination, saying: "First, we have the deepest affection for Sharon Osbourne and consider her to be part of the NBC family. And our hearts go out to her, Ozzy, Jack and his family at this time. We hold medical information in strict confidence and therefore cannot comment specifically about Jack, but as a company that cares deeply about the health and safety of everyone on our shows - especially one like 'Stars Earn Stripes' that requires dangerous water stunts, strenuous physical activity, and uses live ammunition - we required all potential participants to undergo medical vetting to ensure that they could safely participate".
He continued: "Although we did not ask Jack to participate in the competition, we were able to offer him two substantial alternative roles on the show, both of which he declined. This network does not discriminate on any basis".
Following her initial statement, Sharon tweeted that her departure from 'America's Got Talent' would not happen with immediate effect, saying that she would remain on the judging panel until the end of the current season. She wrote: "Please don't misunderstand. I love ['America's Got Talent'] with all my heart and will of course finish out the season. It is still one of the best shows on TV".
LINE-UP UNVEILED FOR ALL-NIGHT TV RAVE
A Trak, Erick Morillo, Soul II Soul, Horse Meat Disco and Charlie Sloth are amongst those aligning with Annie Mac and Grandmaster Flash, and will all play interactive sets (as in, chosen by the show's TV audience via a social media vote) between midnight and 6am.
"JACK BLACK SAVED ME FROM THE ABYSS", SAYS TENACIOUS D MAN
Interviewed in last weekend's Sunday Times Magazine, Gass says: "I went insane last year. I had to be sent away to the loony hatch. Just rehab. I was eating large amounts of marijuana in brownies... Every day... I'd send my assistant to the store. We have stores where you can buy it. It's crazy".
He adds: "I had a desperate need to be Van Gogh or something. Some tremendous artist. 'Jack's so successful, what's wrong with me, why isn't this working for me?' I hated myself".
The singer-guitarist, who has since re-joined Black to tour the band's third LP 'Rize Of The Phoenix', remembers travelling to the private clinic in Utah: "Thank God we went on a private plane. I didn't want any fucking Southwest Airlines passengers capturing it on their phones. Us hugging in the aisle, crying".