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NOW THE HOUSE OF REPS IS CONSIDERING UNIVERSAL'S EMI DEAL
According to the New York Times, the letter, from the House Judiciary Subcommittee On Intellectual Property, Competition And The Internet, asks "pointed questions about how the merger would affect competition in the music industry", including whether the music sector "has unique characteristics that may increase or reduce concerns".
Universal's EMI bid is being assessed by the Federal Trade Commission in the US, of course, though this isn't the first time politicians have also shown an interest. As previously reported, in June congressmen in the Senate threw a spotlight onto the proposed acquisition with a very public hearing involving leading music industry execs both in favour of and against the deal. The Senate's anti-trust subcommittee then sent a letter to the FTC outlining the issues as it saw them.
Congressional committees have no real power to block the big EMI deal, though in theory their opinions could influence the FTC. Perhaps more importantly, interest in the deal on Capitol Hill means even more public scrutiny for Universal's expansion ambitions.
Nevertheless, the major welcomed the Representatives' letter yesterday, saying: "We welcome the opportunity to answer any questions that the subcommittee may have. The global music market has been in decline for over a decade and it needs well invested music companies to continue to create and nurture artistic talent alongside a strong and growing independent sector if it is to thrive".
XFM's THE REMIX ANNOUNCES DJ SHADOW SPECIAL
The programme will feature specially commissioned mixes of Shadow's work by DJ Food, Stereo:Type, Bare Noize, Culprit One and Irn Mnky, plus two hours of the man himself chatting and playing some of his favourite music.
For that second part of the show, Eddy is inviting listeners to submit questions for him to put to Shadow on the night. So, if there's something you've always wanted to ask him, now's your chance.
Eddy writes in his CMU column this week: "Don't hold back. I want serious questions, funny ones, clever ones, stupid ones, and while we can't answer them all we'll have a great time trying. Let's do ourselves proud and help make the deepest, widest, most fascinating show that DJ Shadow has ever done on radio".
Send your questions in to firstname.lastname@example.org now. The show will be aired on Friday 21 Sep.
TJ JACKSON'S CO-GUARDIANSHIP OF MJ'S CHILDREN CONFIRMED
As previously reported, TJ, a nephew of the late king of pop, was temporarily made a guardian of Prince, Paris and Blanket Jackson last month after concerns were raised about the Jackson matriarch's ability to care for them.
Katherine Jackson had spent ten days away from the home she shares with her grandchildren, and Paris Jackson had claimed on Twitter than neither she nor her siblings knew where their grandmother had gone. Meanwhile some claimed that other members of the Jackson family were trying to interfere, possibly linked to a dispute within the Jackson clan regards the will according to which the Michael Jackson Estate is being run.
While not all of Michael's own siblings were happy with TJ getting guardian status, an LA court confirmed he would retain that position yesterday, with a judge noting "it's clear to me the children have a very strong, loving relationship with TJ Jackson".
Meanwhile a legal rep for Katherine Jackson said her client supported TJ's status as a co-guardian, while adding, with regards allegations her client was being heavily influenced by other parties with their own motives, that: "Mrs Jackson is a well-informed, strong woman who makes her own decisions and can't be influenced by anyone when it comes to these children".
LL COOL J FIGHTS BURGLAR
Los Angeles police spokesman Richard French told Reuters that there had been "a brief physical confrontation" between the 44 year old rapper and a 58 year old homeless man in his house, and that what injuries, if any, had been sustained on either side was not clear. French did confirm that the man would be charged with burglary though.
The rapper's spokesman, Rhett Usry said in a statement: "LL Cool J, and his family, are safe and thank everyone for their thoughts and concern. As a father, husband and citizen, he is committed to keeping his family safe and is cooperating with authorities on this private matter".
THE WANTED WORKING ON NEW ALBUM, DITCH "WILD" LMFAO COLLABORATIONS
The band's Max George told MTV: "We've been working on it for, like, the last six months, but it's still not ready yet. We're still working away on that, though we've got plenty more travelling to do yet, so I'm not actually sure when the album is going to be ready".
Tom Parker added: "Everyone's talking about like November-ish, but then we were like, 'If the album's not ready for November, then we're going to do it in, like, the first quarter of the new year'. Though I think the first single off the new album will come before the new year".
One of the reasons it's taking so long is those wacky LMFAO guys, who, despite trying to help things along by coming to the studio with some "new fresh sounds", are just a bit too wacky for The Wanted.
Says Nathan Sykes: "[They're] real, real, cool guys, and their production on tracks is just insane. They've just been off to Brazil and they came back with all these new fresh sounds; it was cool working with them. I'm not sure if the sounds are a bit too wild to go on this album, but it was a great experience".
ANNIE MAC PRESENTS THIRD COMPILATION
Described by Mac as a "direct reflection of my DJ sets", the record's moombahton, trap, drum n bass and hip hop-themed first disc will feature tracks by Diplo, TNGHT, Nas, Netsky, Rudimental and Azealia Banks.
Disc two, meanwhile, represents Annie's "never ending obsession with house and garage music", and includes music by Wiley, Disclosure, AlunaGeorge, Kindness and famed house artist Frank Ocean.
The complete tracklisting is at Annie's official blog.
MACY GRAY TO COVER ALL OF STEVIE WONDER'S 'TALKING BOOK'
Devoting the project to her personal favourite soul man, a Wonder-struck Gray: "This is my own personal birthday gift to Stevie Wonder, for all that I learned from him and for his miraculous songs that change my life every time I hear them. This is not a tribute album or concert, it's a love letter and a big thank you card on record and on stage".
As promised above, Macy Gray will perform the LP - which hasn't been assigned a release date yet - at London's Koko on 28 Nov.
ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER RELEASING SPLIT LP WITH RENE HELL
Entitled 'Music For Reliquary House', Oneohtrix's half will comprise five re-rendered versions of music from an AV installation Lopatin staged with video artist Nate Boyce. Or rather, a "sequence of hallucinatory informatic assaults, a satirical re-envisioning of modernist sculpture". Or alternatively, re-constituted fragments of human speech, "dissected" by OPN by means of digital technology.
Rene Hell will present 'In 1980 I Was A Blue Square', a five-piece suite of classical/contemporary piano, synthesizer, and computer compositions.
Perplexing as all this sounds, it'll be intriguing to hear the two projects when they're released in tandem via NNA Tapes on 17 Sep.
FRANZ FERDINAND GUITARIST RELEASES HIP HOP SINGLE
Available now as a digital download, you can decide whether you like McCarthy's new direction here.
RVNG INTL TO RELEASE HOLLY HERNDON DEBUT
Previously her only solo release was a piece called 'Car', an originally 'site specific' piece released on cassette (both sides of which you can hear here and here) via Third Sex last year. Now she's preparing for the release of her debut album, 'Movement', which will be released by RVNG Intl on 13 Nov.
Catch a clip of album track 'Breathe' here.
PEGGY SUE TO PLAY FREE PUSSY RIOT FUNDRAISER
The event will feature live performances from Peggy Sue, Skinny Girl Diet, She Makes War and Neurotic Mass Movement, with New Young Pony Club, Esben & The Witch and Night Works amongst those delivering DJ sets. Actress/performance artist Penny Arcade, filmmaker Pratibha and Labour MP Kerry McCarthy will also appear as guest speakers.
Details via this Facebook page.
EGYPTIAN HIP HOP TO TOUR
And those dates happen to be:
6 Oct: Glasgow, Hug And Pint
FESTIVAL LINE-UP ADDITIONS
BERLIN FESTIVAL, Tempelhof Airport, Berlin, Germany, 7-8 Sep: Ghostpoet, Will Saul, Christine And The Queens, Lay Low, Turboweekend, HighasaKite, Le Galaxie, Muso, Tomfoolery, KMPFSPRT, FOOL, DJ Supermarkt, KRSN. www.berlinfestival.de
FROME FOLK FESTIVAL, The Cheese & Grain, Somerset, 16-17 Feb: Lucy Ward, Belinda O'Hooley & Heidi Tidow, Gigspanner, Coppin Silver, The Young'uns, Monster Ceilidh Band. www.fromefolkfestival.co.uk
I LOVE TECHNO, Ghent, Belgium, 10 Nov: Vitalic, Erol Alkan, Nero, Flying Lotus, Modeselektor, TNGHT, A-Trak, Netsky, Gesaffelstein, Dave Clarke, Zed's Dead, The Magician, Camo & Krooked, SCNTST. www.ilovetechno.be
LIVERPOOL PSYCH FEST, Camp & Furnace, Liverpool, 29 Sep: Dead Skeletons, The Time And Space Machine, Wolf People, Palma Violets, Milk Maid, Hookworms, Rosco, Ancient River, Edgar Summertyme, The Koolaid Electric Company, Mugstar, Plank!, Black Market Karma, The Lucid Dream, Thee Piactions, Baltic Fleet, The Altered Hours, Thee Piatcions, Factory Star, The Wild Eyes, Dark Bells, The See See, Mind Mountain, Black Manila, The Shook Ups!, Drenge, Helicon. liverpoolpsychfest.tumblr.com
LANA DEL REY NAMED NEW FACE OF JAGUAR
The car company yesterday announced the deal - thus marking Del Ray's second sponsorship franchise in as many months - and she will now front a promo campaign for the brand's new F-Type model, the grand unveiling of which takes place next month in Paris, not at Jaguar's Coventry HQ. Presumably then she'll be seen driving the car around, or at least standing near one. For now though, Jaguar has stuck her in a swimming pool.
Narrowly avoiding comparisons between Del Rey and an actual car, Jaguar's Global Brand Director Adrian Hallmark says: "Jaguar's allure is in large part due to its unique blend of authenticity and modernity, two values we believe are shared with Lana in her professional achievements".
RUBIN DOES AMERICAN DEAL WITH UNIVERSAL
American Recordings, first launched in 1988 four years after Rubin founded Def Jam Records, has had partnerships with various major music groups over the years. Most recently Rubin held an executive role within Sony Music, though he departed that major in February, with reported tensions at the company that the producer spent more time working in the studio with non-Sony artists than he did fulfilling his duties to the major.
American's collaboration with Universal will go into action almost immediately, with ZZ Top and Avett Brothers albums due out next month.
SPOTIFY LOSSES UP, CANADIAN AND ASIAN EXPANSION PLANNED
The figures, taken from the firm's most recent submitted company accounts, show that despite considerable growth, the streaming service is still relying heavily on venture capital funding, and noted that it "cannot exclude the need or desire to raise more funds in the future".
The document also revealed that Spotify set up new subsidiaries in Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong last year, all territories where it does not currently operate. Although the company would not confirm specific plans, this led the WSJ to speculate that launches in these countries are imminent.
THIS JUST-IN: BIEBER TO MAKE CARTOON CAMEO IN THE SIMPSONS
Writing to fans via a since-deleted tweet (apparently it was still meant to be a secret) JB said: "Just did a voice over for 'The SIMPSONS'!!! #swaggy".
Confirming the Biebs-clusive to Entertainment Weekly, 'Simpsons' executive producer Al Jean revealed a little of what Justin's role in the forthcoming episode, entitled 'The Fabulous Faker Boy', will be: "He tries to get into a talent show that Bart is playing piano in and they won't admit him, draw your own conclusions".
He adds: "It's a cameo, but all of his fans should watch every minute of the show, before and after he's on".
'The Fabulous Faker Boy' airs in the US in 2013, which - according to normal trans-Atlantic TV protocol - will mean it won't be broadcast here for approximately 100 years. Sorry, British Beliebers.