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PUSSY RIOT MEMBERS FOUND GUILTY IN MOSCOW
As previously reported, the three accused women - commonly known as Masha, Nadya and Katya - were arrested earlier this year amidst allegations they were amongst the five members of the ten strong band who 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 pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
In summing up, The Guardian reports, the judge said: "It was a small act but maybe not a very elegant act but they consider that it is the country which is sick. For them, individuals are not important, they consider that education in Russia is still in the Soviet mould. And that there is still cruelty in the country and that prison is a miniature of Russia itself".
Since their arrests earlier this year, support for the three woman has swelled both inside and outside Russia, particularly since the trial got underway at the end of July. Many musicians joined calls for them to be freed, including other members of the band, Madonna, Björk and, just yesterday, Paul McCartney.
In a letter published on Facebook, the former Beatle wrote: "I'm writing to show my support for you at this difficult time. I would like you to know that I very much hope the Russian authorities would support the principle of free speech for all their citizens and not feel that they have to punish you for your protest. Many people in the civilised world are allowed to voice their opinions and as long as they do not hurt anyone in doing so I believe this is the best way forward for all societies. I hope you can stay strong and believe that I and many others like me who believe in free speech will do everything in our power to support you and the idea of artistic freedom".
Critics of the trial have accused the Russian government of pushing for disproportionate punishment designed to frighten opponents of president Vladimir Putin, rather than actually serve justice. Also, it's been noted that it is unusual for people to be held in prison for five months while awaiting trial for over charges such as theirs - particularly as two of the women have young children.
As the verdict was read out, protesters around the world took part in events around the world to show support for Alyokhina, Tolokonnikova and Samutsevich - many wearing brightly coloured balaclavas, similar to the band's own trademark headwear.
Originally expected at 12pm, the verdict was delayed as a number of protestors outside Moscow's Khamovnichesky Court, including opposition leader Sergey Udaltsov and chess champion Gary Kasparov, were arrested by police.
US MUST SHARE MEGAUPLOAD EVIDENCE WITH DOTCOM, COURT CONFIRMS
A New Zealand judge previously ordered in May that the US authorities leading the case against Dotcom, MegaUpload and six other former executives from the company must share all the evidence they have gathered, but representatives for the prosecution said doing so would be time-consuming, because they have so much of it.
They then appealed the order. But this week, Judge Helen Winkelmann said in a written statement that without access to the evidence Dotcom's defence at his extradition hearing would be "significantly constrained".
As previously reported, the US authorities want to extradite Dotcom and three other former Mega execs currently in New Zealand so that they can face charges of copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering in the American courts. The extradition hearing was originally due to take place this month, but was postponed to next March, for various reasons, including the dispute over the sharing of evidence.
Presumably the US will now have to gather all their evidence together and hand it over.
DRAKE AND CHRIS BROWN SUED OVER CLUB FIGHT
As previously reported, the incident occurred at New York's WiP club on 14 Jun. 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 his 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 and a fight subsequently ensued between the two stars' posses.
Whereas past lawsuits relating to this fight have come from bystanders injured in the brawl, and have been aimed primarily at the club itself, this litigation comes from the owners of a clubbing brand that operates in the same building as WiP. Entertainment Enterprises owns the club brand Greenhouse, which is run out of the same building as WiP, by the same management team, and under the same licence.
According to the New York Daily News, the company reckons that the New York venue using its name went from being a popular clubbing destination to "worthless" overnight, because it became "associated with the kind of violent, life threatening riot engaged in by the defendants". And this, the company alleges, has caused a $4 million licensing deal to expand the name across the US to fall though.
Although both stars have always distanced themselves from the fight, the lawsuit states that it started when they "crossed paths and began to fight violently with each other", following Drake's knock back of the bubbly. The legal papers add: "Each ordered his security personnel, bodyguards, friends and entourage to joint the fight, which erupted into a violent brawl on a massive scale. Terrorised patrons ran for cover but found none. Instead, they duck[ed] behind each other, using banquettes and tables as improvised shields".
Elsewhere in Chris Brown news, Rihanna has said that after he violently attacked her in 2009, she was concerned that he would not be able to get the help he so clearly needed. Speaking to Oprah Winfrey in an interview due to air in the US this Sunday, TMZ reports that the singer said: "It was a weird, confusing space to be in ... because as angry as I was, as angry and hurt and betrayed, I just felt like he made that mistake because he needed help ... and who's going to help him?"
She continued: "Nobody's going to say he needs help. Everybody's going to say he's a monster without looking at the source ... and I was more concerned about him. I lost my best friend ... everything I knew switched ... switched in a night and I couldn't control that".
MOBO AWARDS RETURN TO LIVERPOOL
MOBO Awards founder, Kanya King told CMU: "We had a fantastic show in Liverpool two years ago and worked very well with the city and the Echo Arena Liverpool which makes it a real joy to come back and have an even bigger celebration of the best talent around this year. This year's show will have some fabulous performances as always. The nominations for the various categories will be announced early next month. Both Liverpool and MOBO are getting ready for another historic event in this Olympic year".
MELODY'S ECHO CHAMBER SIGNS WITH WEIRD WORLD
And here's an aptly weird first look at it.
BELLA UNION SIGNS PINS
10 Oct: Liverpool, Shipping Forecast
BIG BOI DIALS KATE BUSH RE POTENTIAL COLLABORATION
The Outkast MC, who has professed big love for Ms Bush on many, many occasions, yesterday conveyed his excitement over the alleged chat with no less than sixteen exclamation marks, tweeting: "Just got off the phone with Kate Bush !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!", adding a suggestive: "Stay tuned... ooooowwww!". If that last part is BB's idea of a 'Wuthering Heights' howl, it's not very good. Anyway, stay tuned.
NEW LP WILL "RE-ESTABLISH THAT WE STILL ROCK" SAY SOUNDGARDEN, BILLY CORGAN SUSPECTS OTHERWISE
Attaching a release date of 12 Nov to the untitled long player, Thayil told RS: "It re-establishes that we still rock, we're still heavy, and we're still a little weird".
And that's about all he said, apart from that the LP will feature new titles 'Blood On The Valley Floor' and 'A Thousand Days Before', the latter of which he described as having "a little Indian thing and some chicken-pickin'" to it, whatever that means.
"We call it 'country and eastern'", he clarified. Oh, now I see. Kind of.
But wait, surely what we should all be asking ourselves is: "Why?" Why the Soundgarden reunion and why the new LP? Why now? Why? Well, Billy Corgan - usually such a champion of rival bands - thinks Chris Cornell and co's 'comeback' may have been motivated by more than just a love of music and band camaraderie.
In a magnanimous mood, with The Smashing Pumpkins' being one entire LP into their high-concept, 44 song album series 'Teargarden By Kaleidyscope', Corgan told Philstar.com earlier this week: "There are those bands that are essentially coming back only to make money - playing their old albums, and maybe somewhere in the back of their minds they're thinking there might be a future".
He continued: "When Soundgarden came back and they just played their old songs, great. I was a fan of Soundgarden, but call it for what it is. They're just out there to have one more round at the till; same with Pavement and these other bands".
CHILLY GONZALES PREVIEWS SOLO LP, DUETS WITH AMATEUR BEST
Chilly will, of course, make a second live appearance at this year's Edinburgh Fringe on the eve of the LP's issue debut (26 Aug), also playing in-store at London's Rough Trade East on 7 Sep, and then again (and with the London Symphony Orchestra, no less) at the Barbican on 20 Oct.
Quite aside from all that (but still relevant) is the fact that he features as guest pianist on Amateur Best's new seven-inch single 'Ready For The Good Life', which will be released by Double Denim on 1 Oct.
Like Gonzalez's LP, that's just premiered via SoundCloud ahead of time, so listen to it here.
ROLO TOMASSI NAME ALBUM
They'll self-release the record on 5 Nov via their Destination Moon label, promoting it first via a previously mentioned tour that begins on 21 Oct at Bristol's Fleece.
Describing the experience of making the LP as her best yet, singer Eva Spence says: "I finished writing the lyrics to this album in the most positive state of mind I've ever been in. The themes I've written about are centred around light, positivity and growth through situations which seem far from hopeful".
THE XX, RICHARD HAWLEY TO APPEAR IN CONCERT WITH BBC PHILHARMONIC
Richard Hawley will also host his own evening of symphonic sounds, playing a "personal selection" of his catalogue with a full orchestra for the first time. Other events include a Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo-compered night of James Bond themes featuring Robert Ziegler and singer Ren Harvieu, and live tributes to the music of Miles Davies and Pakistani icon Noor Jehan.
Baring in mind that last year's festival featured a daring 'dubstep symphony' by DJ Nero, you can view the event's comparatively safe 2012 listings here.
HOW TO DRESS WELL TOURS, COVERS JANET JACKSON
2 Nov: Dublin, Twisted Pepper
Not only this, Krell has also shared his lachrymose play on Janet Jackson's 'Again', which will be available as a seven-inch single to all those opting to pre-order the long player.
Hear it, and weep.
SECRETSUNDAZE GO BANG! ANNOUNCES NEW VENUE
As previously reported, Secretsundaze announced earlier this month that the event would no longer be taking place at the London Pleasure Gardens - an announcement that came just days before the east London venue complex went into administration.
The festival will now take over the Roundhouse in Camden from 12pm to 10.30pm on 26 Aug, before moving to Proud Camden next door from 10pm to 4am. Tickets are still available.
Here's a video repeating half of what I just wrote down for you.
FESTIVAL LINE-UP ADDITIONS
BESTIVAL, Robin Hill Country Park, Isle Of Wight, 6-9 Sep: Beardyman, JJ DOOM, Zane Lowe, Howard Marks, Dick & Dom, King Charles, MS MR, Random Impulse, The Time & Space Machine, Valerie June, B The Gentleman Rhymer, Balearic Folk Orchestra, Daytona Lights, Bruno Charles, Isaac Danquah, Rosie Curling, Southern Man, Signals, The Bear Attack Club, In Motion, Stu Collins, The Sessions, Diminshed, Alexander Nut, Psychemagik, Slipmatt, Propaganda feat DJ Dan, Johnno's Bugged Out Mix, Across The Tracks, Bad Zuke, Tom Headfunk, Paddy Freeform, Pete Callard, The Dudes, The March Hare, The Playground Syndicate. www.bestival.net
ELECTRIC PICNIC, Stradbally Hall Estate, Co Laois, Ireland, 31 Aug - 2 Sep: Breton, Dark Dark Dark, Junior Boys, When Saints Go Machine, Rocketnumbernine, DENA, Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny, February&Mars, Jesse Boykins III, Kodaline, Laura Sheeran, Lewis Floyd Henry, Mmoths, New Jackson, Orchestra of Spheres, Romare, SertOne, The Spook of the Thirteenth Lock, TR-One, Viperflo, Young Wonder, Zemi17. www.electricpicnic.ie
ITUNES FESTIVAL, The Roundhouse, London, 1-30 Sep: Ellie Goulding, One Republic. www.itunesfestival.com
COOKING VINYL LAUNCHES NEW ROCK IMPRINT
Phil Hopwood told CMU: "DoubleCross will be the home of our rock and metal signings going forward. We are very excited about developing the roster for the label. The Virginmarys are incredible songwriters and live performers and we are very proud to be working with them. They have a high level of intensity and we feel they have the potential to be a huge international act".
The Virginmarys' manager Bruce McKenzie added: "We signed to DoubleCross because they are a genuine music company; they loved the album and loved coming to our shows. They understand that we're a great rock band with the ability to crossover. They are 100% the natural home for us".
STRANGER CONFIRMS CONTINUATION OF MERCURY PARTNERSHIP
Stranger Records co-founder Cameron Jenkins told CMU: "We have huge respect for the team at Mercury Records who have assembled an enviable roster of artists and have a refreshingly forward-thinking approach to artist development. We are delighted to collaborate in the ongoing creative growth of an amazing new talent like Seye".
RDIO ADDS MORE INDIE ARTISTS VIA DEALS WITH CD BABY AND TUNECORE
Rdio CEO Drew Larner told CMU: "We are excited to partner with Tunecore and CD Baby, two of the best distribution tools out there for independent artists. Independent music is a vital part of Rdio's catalogue. We're glad to support hundreds of thousands of self-released artists by connecting their work to new music fans from all over the world".
MUSIC MAG ABCS, GLOOM FOR NEWSTAND TITLES, JOY FOR THE FREEBIES
The good news for NME is that it was Q that was saddled with the most doom in the latest set of ABC circulation stats, released yesterday, having seen its sales slump 19.7% year on year, and 16.7% in the last six months. And unlike the NME, whose print circulation has been nose-diving for years, Q doesn't have quite as a prolific online operation to fall back on. Q now sells an average of 64,596 copies each month.
Sister title Mojo at Bauer remains healthier, losing only 2.4% of sales year on year, and selling 85,149 copies each issue. Meanwhile Bauer Media's weekly music mag, Kerrang!, saw sales decline 6.6% year on year to 40,203.
NME did incur a sales decline of 17.6% in the last year though, so isn't far behind Q in the doom stakes, and it started off with fewer print readers to lose. It now sells just 23,924 copies a week. Though publisher IPC will tell you how many more music fans consume NME online. Which, to be fair, is true. Even though all the banners and pop overs on NME.com routinely crash my browser.
For good news in the music mag market, you need to look to the free titles, which are printing and distributing more than ever (which possibly means they're selling more ads, though not necessarily). The Fly remains the biggest music magazine in terms of circulation, with its ABC up 8.2% so far this year to 108,827. Stool Pigeon also had a slight increase, up 1.7% over the year so far to 54,588, while Proper Music's Properganda was up a massive 68.8% to 76,339. No wonder I keep falling over piles of it here in Edinburgh at the moment.
CMU BEEF OF THE WEEK #123: CLEMENT MARFO V WARNER MUSIC
Clement Marfo, of course, isn't quite the household name that Professor Green is. But that, Marfo says, is only because he's not been given the opportunity. As well he might, of course, though he has received his fair share of hype in the past, featuring in MTV's Brand New For 2012 (coming fourth in the poll, behind Connor Maynard, King Charles and Lana Del Ray) and being tipped by everyone from The Guardian to T4.
"ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! I am tired of all this bullshit", he began his rant this week. "For too long I have kept quiet and played poker face, pretending that everything is okay".
Clearly something was up, and boy was he about to tell us what it was. Buckle up - if you thought Pro Green had a lot to say, just wait.
"I started this whole thing simply for the love of music! My escape, my way of expressing my emotions, my way of relating a story with others. I remember the love and excitement of creating original music - where there was no briefs or someone telling you to make a song like this. Some folks think I'm some newcomer, but if you do your research I've been doing this ting from eaaaaarly".
"All of this didn't happen overnight, I've never been spoon fed! Everything you see is from the ground up - brick for brick with my bare hands. I've been through it all... the pirate radio sets, performing at raves, bars, clubs, universities for FREE! Money wasn't on my mind".
"I remember I use to fall asleep in seminars and at work... KO'D! Drool o the keyboard and everyting because I was doing what I truly love. I thought fuck this! Why am I going to do something half hearted? Why am I turning up to seminars when all I can think about is music. I quit my job, dropped out of university and saved up to £4,000 to follow my heart!"
"There's a lot of manufactured girl/boy bands out there engineered by label execs and I can promise you this Clement Marfo And The Frontline isn't. One thing that surrounds my whole life is SERENDIPITY! As a believer of God, I believe God works in mysterious ways and engineers this plan. Dion and I were the founding members of all this. I wanted to dabble in rock, he wanted to dabble with rap! Purely for the love of music. Kojo is a STAR! I noticed it from the moment I heard the songs on his MySpace profile page - and to this day I'm humbled to share the stage. Stacey, Rich, Jonny, Dan are all FRIENDS of Dion! None of this manufactured 'I like the look of her' - these guys are REAL FUCKING MUSICIANS".
"What I'm trying to say here is... There is no secret stories behind us. We may look completely different but we all share the love for MUSIC. Together, we have written 60 BUMBACLART SONGS! We've been told it's not gonna work, there's too many of us, but we continued to keep marching".
"Most of these songs you hear now were written in 2009, before we got signed to a major label! Where the love for our music became poisoned. Fuck the politics that so often surrounds the craft and drags it down into corporate, money hungry bullshit".
"Apparently, we are not connecting with our audience.... what does that even mean? The label are so quick to come up with fucking excuses. With that statement, you are insulting everything I have worked hard for and the people I do connect to! If you bought my music, we connect. Labels are slow are making decisions! This album was created a long time ago and still the world are yet to hear it".
"If I have connected with you in some way whether its a conversation, a song, live performance - tweet me with where you're from [adding the hashtag] #fuckthelabel. Every day I am dealing with politics! If I wanted to be a politician, I would of bloody studied politics you mongooses. Seriously, if I connected with you! Tweet me from the ends you are repping with #fuckthelabel I want the world to see how many know wa gwarn. You are my fans!"
"Times have changed... The street is the A&R! The street tell you what's hot! The street makes your jobs easier. I was told this album will be released autumn/winter and still there is no release date! It's bloody August for goodness sake @warnermusic. Most of the songs on the album were written in 2009 before 'Pass Out', 'Do It Like A Dude', 'No Regrets', 'Read All About It'".
"Earlier this year we were tipped for @MTVUK Brand New for 2012 alongside Angel, Lana Del Rey, Conor Maynard, Lianne la Havas etc. Subsequently tipped for T4 Rising Stars alongside Cover Drive, Stooshe and many more that have gone on to do great things this year".
"I refuse to be one of those acts that were tipped and suddenly disappear due to label taking long with decisions. I refuse to disappear. Do you know how many talented artists we lose every year due to the label changing up the style they were interested in, in the first place... Labels are always on a long ting! Do you know how many people are still waiting on invoices... #fuckthelabel".
"I am a strong believer in making my YES my YES and my NO my NO! It is called making a DECISION instead of sitting on the fence ...and with this I have made my OWN decision! My fans want to hear songs from the album and so they will!"
And with that, he linked to a zip file download featuring five tracks from the album, plus links to the individual tracks on YouTube, put together as an EP he's called, what else, '#fuckthelabel', announcing: "These mongooses can't stop me! You can nibble into my publishing, record sales, live but you can't control my Twitter/Facebook".
Warner Music promptly issued takedown notices to YouTube and Hulkshare, which was hosting the zip file. But that wasn't the end. Returning to Twitter on Wednesday, Marfo said: "The label have now removed the music but they CANNOT put out this flame. Spread the filth like wildfire".