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UNIVERSAL'S EMI TAKEOVER GETS GREEN LIGHT IN CANADA
Universal said in a statement: "We are pleased that the Canadian Competition Bureau has cleared Universal Music's proposed acquisition of EMI with no objections. This follows similar clearances in Japan and New Zealand. Our investment in EMI will create more opportunities for new and established artists, expand music output and consumer choice, and support new digital services. We welcome the Bureau's decision and will continue to work closely with regulators in other jurisdictions to obtain further clearances".
As much previously reported, Universal execs are still negotiating with competition officials in Europe, where the regulator is thought to be pushing for a commitment to sell-off the global rights to some key EMI artist catalogues, in addition to offloading the various European EMI units and catalogues Universal has already pledged to sell if the acquisition goes ahead.
MADONNA SUED IN RUSSIAN FOR GAY RIGHTS PROTEST
According RIA Novosti, the singer, the promoter of her show and the venue she performed at are all being sued by nine parties who say they were offended after the singer spoke out in support of improving gay rights in Russia. They also claim that she stamped on the Russian Orthodox cross during the show.
The accusers, only some of whom actually attended the concert, are seeking damages of 333 million rubles (£6.6 million). It has also been suggested that Madonna may have broken a controversial local law in St Petersburg, which came into affect in March, making it illegal to promote homosexuality to minors.
Before submitting the lawsuit, Daria Dedova, representing three groups behind the action - The Union Of Russian Citizens, The People's Assembly and The New Great Russia Party - told RIA Novosti: "We demand that she pay for moral damage suffered by St Petersburg residents as a result of her actions during the show on 9 Aug. We must defend our right to normal cultural life without propaganda of values and views that contradict the Russian culture".
Dedova added: "Lawyers believe that we have a chance of winning... especially given that our cause is right".
Watch the offending speech here.
SCOTT MCKENZIE 1939 - 2012
McKenzie was born Philip Wallach Blondheim in Jacksonville, Florida in 1939. He moved to New York in 1960 with one of his early bands, doowop group The Smoothies, who recorded two singles for Decca. In was in New York that McKenzie took his stage name after people struggled to pronounce his real surname.
He then formed folk band The Journeymen with fellow Smoothie John Phillips and banjo player Dick Weissman, with whom he recorded three albums before the group split in 1964.
After the split, McKenzie declined an invitation from Phillips to join his new band, The Mamas And The Papas, instead choosing to go solo. However, the two remained close friends, and Phillips produced McKenzie's 'San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)', which was released in 1967 - a song inspired by the Monterey Pop Festival, which Phillips co-organised.
The song went to number four in the Billboard Hot 100, as well as number one in the UK and various other countries, selling a total of seven million copies worldwide. It became an iconic song of the 'flower power' movement, as well as the unofficial anthem of the 1968 'Prague Spring' Czechoslovakian uprising. McKenzie dedicated every performance of the song in the US to veterans of the Vietnam War, and performed the song at the 20th anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in 2002.
Although he released two solo albums, 'San Francisco' was McKenzie's only significant hit as a solo artist. In the 80s, he replaced Denny Doherty in The Mamas And The Papas for a number of years. He also wrote songs for other artists, including The Beach Boys.
FLAMING LIPS SIGN PUBLISHING DEAL WITH BMG CHRYSALIS
The band's manager, Scott Booker told CMU: "I'm very excited to be working with the long time Flaming Lips fans at BMG Chrysalis. The passion for the band and the new material we've been working on over the last couple of years has been expressed to me by Kate Hyman, Jason Hradil, and the UK office for quite a while".
The there mentioned Kate Hyman, Senior SVP Creative of BMG Chrysalis US, added: "I'm looking forward to working with such a creative group of writers and helping the band to increase the value of their songs. The coolest job in the world is where you get to work with The Flaming Lips".
The band are currently working on their next studio album, which is scheduled for release early next year.
EXAMPLE "PROUD" OF COXON COLLABORATION
Speaking to The Sun, Ex describes the moment he proposed the duet: "It was funny, I think Graham only realised who I was because his son asked for a picture. If you don't ask you don't get, so I said I'd love to work with him".
He adds: "He said he was game and invited me over to his house. The track we've produced is something to be proud of".
WU-TANG AND D-BLOCK DETAIL WU-BLOCK DEBUT
It's set for release in 8 Oct, and will feature rappers from both factions, not least Sheek Louch, Raekwon, Method Man, Jadakiss, GZA, Styles P and Masta Killah.
Says Wu-Tang's Ghostface Killah, who's also part of the project: "This is a unique street album combination like carnation milk with oatmeal and a dash of cinnamon. We got killing on lock. It's like assassination day - nothing but darts being thrown. It's like Batman and Robin shit. It's real street shit for the fans. They've been thirstin for this".
"This shit is for the street", he clarifies.
AZEALIA BANKS SETS BACK LP RELEASE
It was initially meant to be out in the autumn, but Banks assures fans there's a good reason for such a sizeable setback. She tweets: "I have A LOT of REALLY exciting [shit] happening in between! It will ALL make sense as these things start to unravel".
KAREN O PREMIERES TIM BURTON FILM SOUNDTRACK
Interviewed by Rolling Stone about her part in it, O said: "There's a magic and nostalgia in this film that reminded me of being raised on Tim Burton's catalogue. I was thinking: 'Oh yeah, this man shaped my artistic sensibility over the past 20 years alongside thousands of other impressionable offbeat youths'. Tim wanted an unconventional unconditional love song".
She added: "My music inspiration came out of the same era of B-movie fright film references sprinkled throughout the film. I went in the direction of exotica and calypso stylistically because it's quirky, good vibes music of that era, and when you throw in a Theremin solo, it's a marriage made in heaven. I remember 'Beetlejuice' introducing me to the genius of Harry Belafonte's calypso record, so I wanted to give a nod to that, too".
Hear all that in 'Strange Love' here.
SWANS STREAM LP
Set for release on 27 Aug, it features Karen O, Low's Mimi Parker, Ben Frost, Jarboe and Alan Sparhawk amongst its many guest collaborators.
Listen to it now via NPR.
PETER HOOK TO TALK ABOUT BOOK
Though, presumably, we too will know what really happened come 1 Oct, without having ever shared either a van or a car with the band, by reading Hook's book. Well, I'm sure that's what the blurb will say.
KELE OKEREKE TO PUBLISH COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES
He also said: "I'm editing it at the moment. I've finished it and all the stories are in order. In a few months it will be completely done".
He has a novel in the offing too, and commented thus on it: "It's going to take me quite a long time. I can see this already. Aspects of it draw on my personal experiences, but it's not all autobiographical. It's set somewhere else. That's all I'm going to say".
GREEN DAY MAKING 'INTIMATE' STOP AT SHEPERDS BUSH EMPIRE
As previously reported, the first part of Billie Joe and co's typist's dream of a triple LP '¡Uno!', '¡Dos!' and '¡Tré!' is out now, with the second and third volumes set for release on 12 Nov and 14 Jan respectively.
This is what they have to say about the album: "We are at the most prolific and creative time in our lives. This is the best music we've ever written, and the songs just keep coming. Instead of making one album, we are making a three album trilogy. Every song has the power and energy that represents Green Day on all emotional levels. We just can't help ourselves... We are going epic as fuck!"
In other Green Day news, the band have been turned into green pigs for a spin-off edition of the 'Angry Birds' computer game. Over ten levels, you can now throw birds (angry ones) at the band's snout-adorned faces, while listening to some of their music too.
Says frontman Billie Joe Armstrong: "We're all fans of 'Angry Birds'. It's such an addictive game that when we first started playing it we couldn't stop. Go Team Green!"
Here's video evidence, should you still be unconvinced that this game exists.
HAPPY MONDAYS PLAYING IN LONDON, TWICE
MEURSAULT TO PERFORM WITH STRING SECTION
The band, whose third LP 'Something For The Weakened' had its sold-out Edinburgh launch last week, will share the stage at London's Islington Assembly Hall with ten-piece mini-orchestra The Pumpkin Seeds. Taking place on 6 Nov, the evening's proceedings will also feature Rob St John and Withered Hand.
Tickets available here.
CEREMONY SET FREE LONDON DATE
FESTIVAL LINE-UP ADDITIONS
THE BIG FEASTIVAL, Chipping Norton, 1-2 Sep: John Osho, Karima Francis, The Chevin, The TG Collective, Lucy Rose, Sweet Lights. www.jamieoliver.com/thebigfeastival
HAMMERFEST, Hafan y Môr Holiday Park, Gwynedd, Wales, 14-17 Mar: Candlemass, Napalm Death, Enslaves, Empress, StukaSquadron, Winterfylleth, Triaxis, Senser, 4Arm, Mpire Of Evil. www.hammerfest.co.uk
UNSOUND, various venues, Krakow, Poland, 14-21 Oct: Interplanetary Prophets, Vessel, Teengirl Fantasy, Heatsick, NHK'Koyxen, Bass Clef, Helm, Ben Vida, Emptyset, Container, Bee Mask, Andy Votel, Ducktails, Holly Herndon, Shed, Oneman, Fatima Al Qadiri. www.unsound.pl
SONY/ATV TO ADMINISTRATE JACKSON'S OTHER SONGS CATALOGUE
Jackson, of course, owned half of the Sony/ATV music publishing company, having bought the firm outright in 1985, before selling 50% to Sony Corp ten years later. However, the Mijac Music company, which preceded Jackson's acquisition of ATV, was never made part of the bigger publishing venture, even when Sony became a partner in the ATV company in 1995.
However, Sony/ATV - recently expanded, of course, by gaining control of the EMI Music Publishing business - will now also administrate the Mijac catalogue, which includes Jackson's own songs plus music by the likes of Sly And The Family Stone, Leon Huff and Kenneth Gamble, and songs that became famous after being recorded by Ray Charles, Elvis Presley or Aretha Franklin.
Confirming the new deal with Mijac, Sony/ATV boss Martin Bandier told reporters: "Everyone at Sony/ATV looks forward to finding innovative ways to use these songs while protecting their legacy".
Meanwhile John Branca and John McClain, the executors of the Michael Jackson Estate, which still owns 50% of Sony/ATV, said: "We are excited that the company Michael helped found, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and in which his Estate remains a 50% partner, will represent these amazing songs along with a rich collection of other music recorded by some of our greatest popular artists".
CANAL+ BOSS TO REVIEW VIVENDI'S CONTENT BUSINESSES
There has been much speculation that Vivendi might sell off one or more of its assets, or split itself into two companies, separating the firm's flagging tel co from its entertainment businesses.
And while few firm decisions have been made so far (except to sell some of the Activision shares), it is known that bosses at the French conglom have been considering a number of restructuring options, with former CEO Jean-Bernard Levy seemingly leaving the firm abruptly in June in a disagreement over which options to give serious consideration to.
Vivendi said in a statement yesterday that Bertrand Meheut had been asked to undertake "a strategic study regarding the development of media and content, a field in which Vivendi is today one of the worldwide leaders".
BANDCAMP LAUNCHES MOBILE SITE
Testing it out just now, it all works very smoothly. The only mild downside is the fact that it's not possible to immediately download the music you buy on iPhones - instead you're emailed a link to a zip file, which you can only access via a computer. This is due to Apple's restrictions, of course, but an option to add the individual files to other services, such as Dropbox, would be nice.
But, hey, let's not end this on a down note. The move is an important one for Bandcamp, and makes it even easier for artists to sell music via the service.
PRO GREEN, EXAMPLE DEFEND CHER LLOYD AFTER V WEE SORTIE
Though, apparently it wasn't the wee (or the barrage of boos) that provoked Lloyd's untimely exit in the end, but the fact a glass bottle was used. Though the piss inside the bottle probably didn't make things any more pleasant.
Indeed, booing, while annoying for anyone in the audience trying to enjoy a performance, doesn't put them at continuous risk of being soaked in urine themselves, as missiles fail to hit their target. But that's not the only such risk you face at festival. Here's a compilation of anecdotes about people, piss and festivals. Thanks, Popjustice.
And here's another memory from V this year, captured as it was being made.