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DOTCOM CLAIMS HE WAS BEATEN BY POLICE DURING RAID
Dotcom made the allegations at a court hearing in New Zealand to consider the fate of evidence seized during the high profile raid. As previously reported, it has since been revealed that the country's police force applied for the wrong kind of warrant before swooping on Dotcom's mansion home, rendering the raid illegal. It now needs to be decided whether this means prosecution reps must return anything seized during the exercise.
Recalling the day police raided his home, Dotcom told the Auckland court this week that he was "terrified" when he realised his property was under attack. He withdrew to a safe room in the premises, which is where police located him. "And then they were all over me", the Mega man claims. "I had a punch to the face, boots kicking me down to the floor. I was screaming and I was in pain ... I told them there was no need for punching me or hurting me and please stop".
It seems unlikely the wrong warrant issue could derail the entire case against Dotcom and his fellow MegaUpload executives, though it's all rather embarrassing for New Zealand police, given the high profile nature of this case. As also previously reported, Dotcom's extradition hearing, which was due to take place this month, has been postponed to next March because of various technicalities, including the warrant issue.
In related news, Dotcom has launched a new website presenting his side of the argument in the MegaUpload debate, and disputing America's various claims against him and his company. You can enjoy it here.
PUSSY RIOT: "WE ARE NOT GUILTY - THE WHOLE WORLD IS TALKING ABOUT IT"
As previously reported, Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich were arrested earlier this year after the ten strong band performed a "punk prayer" against president Vladimir Putin on the altar of the Cathedral Of Christ The Saviour Of The Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. All three have pleaded not guilty.
Earlier this week, federal prosecutor Alexei Nikiforov told the court that the women had "violated the traditions of our country". However, in their closing statements the women denied this, and accused Nikiforov and his team of being bound by the government not to speak their minds.
The Guardian reports that Tolokonnikova said: "This is a trial of the whole government system of Russia, which so likes to show its harshness toward the individual, its indifference to his honour and dignity. If this political system throws itself against three girls ... it shows this political system is afraid of truth. Even though we are behind bars, we are freer than those people [the prosecution]. We can say what we want, while they can only say what political censorship allows. Maybe they really think it's wrong to try us for speaking against Putin and his system, but they can't say that because it's been forbidden".
Alyokhina added: "We are not guilty - the whole world is talking about it. I am not scared of you. I'm not scared of lies and fiction, or the badly formed deception that is the verdict of this so-called court. Because my words will live, thanks to openness. When thousands of people will read and watch this, this freedom will grow with every caring person who listens to us in this country".
The case gained further scrutiny this week, both at home and abroad, when Madonna spoke out about the trial at a show in Moscow on Tuesday. According to Reuters, she told the audience: "I know there are many sides to every story, and I mean no disrespect to the church or the government, but I think that these three girls - Masha, Katya, Nadya - I think that they have done something courageous. I pray for their freedom".
It is still expected that the women will be given a three year jail sentence, as requested by the prosecution earlier this week, but the judge in the case has decided to delay her decision, which has renewed hope that they may be freed.
ARTIST & MANAGER AWARDS TO RETURN
After a launch at Adidas Underground in London on Tuesday, FAC Co-Chair Sandie Shaw said: "Last year's event was a great celebration of the artist and manager community and we look forward to an even bigger and better bash this year".
"MISERABLE" DEADMAU5 TO "UNPLUG" FOR A WHILE
Says Mau5: "Right. I'm going to unplug for a wee bit. Which doesn't mean I'm cancelling any upcoming shows or anything, I'm just gonna slam on the breaks for a bit and force myself to endure some quiet time".
Assuring fans that he'll continue to write and release as usual, he adds: "I got a lot of work to do on some stuff. So, best I just chill the fuck out a bit and just get it done, and get it done RIGHT, until I'm 100% satisfied with it. Then our regularly scheduled program shall continue. But yeah, I'm basically pretty miserable right now and need to pull the fuck back and figure out whatever the fuck it is I do".
You can read the post here.
TIMBALAND MAY FEATURE ON DRAKE'S AALIYAH ALBUM
Not least Timbaland himself, who told US radio station Power 105: "I don't know what's going on. The proper way to do [a new Aaliyah album] would be for me, [Drake] and Missy to be all on the record".
But, according to Miss Info, Drake has now got in touch with Timbaland and asked him to produce a couple of tracks, though Noah '40' Shebib will apparently still work on the bulk of the recordings.
Also missed out when Drake was organising the album was Aaliyah's family, it seems. Her brother Rashad Haughton said via Facebook: "There is no official album being released and supported by the Haughton family".
That doesn't mean there is no family connection though. As well as Drake's October's Very Own label, artwork for 'Enough Said' suggests that Blackground, the record label owned by Aaliyah's uncle and former manager Barry Hankerson, is also involved in the release.
EMINEM TO FEATURE ON NEW PINK ALBUM
Entitled 'Here Comes The Weekend', the singer explained how the collaboration came about to Australia's Herald Sun: "He said 'Do you want to do a song with me?' Fuck yeah! I said 'Do you want to do a song with me?' and he said 'Fuck yeah!' Handshake. Nothing signed. Done".
I bet something was signed at some point after this conversation. Maybe she just forgot. Anyway, the album is due out on 17 Sep.
MUMFORD & SONS PREVIEW NEW SINGLE
Hear it here.
CARLY RAE JEPSEN SETS RELEASE DATE FOR JAMES TAYLOR-INSPIRED LP
Speaking via an official statement, the singer declares: "These are lyric and song ideas that I have been collecting over the years. The record is pop. It's inspired by Robyn, The Cars, Madonna, and believe it or not, James Taylor. I can't wait to share it with everyone!"
BELLA UNION RELEASING 3CD ANNIVERSARY COMPILATION
Entitled 'Bella Union 15', the collection will feature archival gold from label signees Beach House, Midlake, Lift To Experience and Explosions In The Sky, plus six all-new tracks by Jonathan Wilson, The Walkmen, The Low Anthem, Lanterns On The Lake, Zun Zun Egui and ex-Fleet Fox Father John Misty.
Set to be sold as a special edition at this year's End Of The Road festival (where the label will present a host of its roster artists) the LP will be available on general release from 17 Sep.
Bella Union founder Simon Raymonde says this of narrowing down the final tracklisting: "I decided that the only way for me to imbue this collection with the love and care it deserves was to make it as much of a personal one as I could, and most importantly to make it musically edifying to listen to. I hope I have managed to achieve this".
He continues: "So, once I had decided that personal reflection was the only way to make this set feel authentic, the tracklisting flowed pretty easily and with the exclusive tracks several artists were able to record especially for this, I feel this is a lot more than just a dip into a catalogue. It looks to the future, which is where I tend to live".
View that tracklisting and pre-order links here.
GEORGE MICHAEL, MUSE TO PLAY OLYMPICS CLOSING CEREMONY, KATE BUSH A 'MAYBE'
In fact, you can take confirmation of George's billing from... well, George, who yesterday tweeted that he was: "Spending most of the next week rehearsing like crazy for the Olympic closing ceremony", also adding: "Obviously a bit nervous not having played for nearly a year, but rehearsals sounding great so far!"
As for Muse, the band's drummer Dom Howard verified that they have been asked to perform the 2012 Games' official single, 'Survival'. Speaking to NME, he said: "It's not something we did for the Olympics. They sowed a seed by asking us to do some music but then five months went by. We showed them a few songs when they asked us about [playing the] closing ceremony and they loved it. It represented the enormous competition of what the Olympics is".
And here that song is now, in all its pomp and sports-themed splendour.
So, George Michael and Muse are (almost definitely) in. But what of infamous recluse Kate Bush, surely an obvious candidate for the patriotic pop spectacular. Well, two days ago Slicing Up Eyeballs noted the appearance on Amazon of this Olympic-looking 2012 remix of the Bush's 1985 classic 'Running Up That Hill', a listing that has since been taken off the site.
Exciting as all this is, it's more likely (especially since Bush hasn't played live in ten years) that the remix will just feature on 'A Symphony Of British Music', the commemorative compilation LP that's being released on the night of the ceremony.
PETE DOHERTY TO PLAY INDIE CLUB NIGHT
Ah, the details. Pete, either with band or without, will appear at The Hippodrome's regular New Slang event on 16 Aug. Ticket links and info here.
PEACE SHARE LIVE DATES, FREE MP3
The band - who will play at London's Village Underground on 24 Aug - have also just announced details of a forthcoming live stint, dates for which are as listed:
22 Oct: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
RIHANNA DEEMED TOO SEXY TO REPRESENT NIVEA
Citing the er... subtly provocative Nivea campaign Rihanna fronted in 2011 as evidence, the new CEO of Nivea owners Beiersdorf, Stefan Heidenreich, has said to German newspaper Welt: "The advert starring Rihanna was a no-go. I do not understand how Nivea can be brought into association with Rihanna".
He adds: "Nivea is a company which stands for trust, family and reliability".
Rihanna's retort to publication of the quotes was to post a photo of Heidenreich via Twitter with the note "no caption necessary".
EMI PUBLISHING CHIEF TO HEAD UP COMBINED SONY/EMI IN UK
Moot will be President UK and European Creative at the merged publishing business, reporting directly into top man Marty Bandier back in the US. He is one of a relatively small number of EMI execs to be given a top job in the newly combined Sony/EMI publishing outfit.
Elsewhere, it's also been confirmed that Rob Wiesenthal, the former Sony Corp Of America CFO, will be President of International for the combined Sony/EMI company, leading operations outside the US and UK. He will be supported in the UK by Sony/ATV's Guy Henderson, who becomes Senior VP International of the combined business.
GLOBAL RADIO POSTS LOSS FOR 2011
Actually ad revenues rose by over 6% across the radio group, and earnings before tax etc were up to £56.6million .
As previously reported, Global is currently trying to get approval for its purchase of the Guardian's radio group, including Smooth and Real Radio. It has asked for the Competition Commission to fast track its investigation into the deal, though this week Jeremy Hunt asked OfCom to also consider the transaction from a media plurality point of view.
JOSS STONE NOT BROKE
The suggestion that she might be close to bankruptcy stems from an interview with The Mail On Sunday last month, in which, when asked about the £10 million fortune The Sunday Times Rich List claimed she had, she was quoted as saying: "I don't have that kind of money. It all went when I left EMI. I was flat even, down to nothing. I wasn't even down to a million in the bank. What I had left was my house and three flats in Exeter and that was it".
Speaking to E! News this week, Stone said: "She [Mail journo Louise Gannon] misquoted me there. The thing is, to say I was 'flat down to nothing' is absolutely not true. I have a house. It's nice. I actually bought my family home... I feel safe in the fact that I will always have that home - and, really, what else do I need?"
Actually, that sounds pretty much like exactly what the Mail said she said. Well anyway, on her departure from EMI, she continued: "I have to feel good about what I am doing. When you alter what you're doing to fit a trend or label, if it doesn't sit well with you, you're bullshitting your fans. [Record labels] get mad when you go off the path. You're messing with their business plan. When you sign a contract you have to stick to the same thing. It is happening less now, though, because real music is happening now. The artist has to be happy".
Stone has been putting her money (see, she does still have some) where her mouth is of late too. She announced back in March that she had signed the first act to her own label, Stone'd Records - Bristol band Yes Sir Boss. The band released their debut EP through the company in May.
As for how the deal came to be done, bassist Josh Stopford recently told CMU: "We were on our way to a gig. We were lost in the fog and I accidentally called the first 'J' in my contacts, which happened to be Joss. I said sorry, wrong number, but she said no I've been meaning to talk to you - do you want to come and support me in Amsterdam? Then, when she set up her own label it was like, I want to sign you guys because I think you're wicked".
KORN FRONTMAN TELLS DUBSTEP FANS TO "GO FUCK THEMSELVES"
He said: "I make people drop their jaws because I'm just up there telling them to go fuck themselves. No one's ever done that at an EDM show and crowds are loving it. It's not like I'm offending anyone, people are like: 'Yeah, fuck you too!'"
So that's nice. Davies started the project, which as well as the insults sees him perform with blacked out teeth and eyes, following Korn's dubstep album 'The Path Of Totality', which was released last year. He honed his skills with a few production lessons from Steve Aoki. This might explain why his tracks sound more like electro-house than dubstep.
Here's one of those tracks. It is called 'Lick Me'.
KATY PERRY WEES IN A BUCKET SOMETIMES
Similarly, The Sun has now informed us, Katy Perry often pisses in a bucket backstage at shows. Why doesn't she go in the bin like Lady Gaga? Because the bin is reserved for potential vomit, obviously. According to the tabloid, she recently said: "You walk on stage feeling like Mary Poppins but really you've just had your skin zipped, peed in a bucket and been dry-heaving over the trash can".