AEG ENDS LEGAL DISPUTE WITH LLOYDS OVER THIS IS IT POLICY
After Jackson's untimely death that year, AEG tried to claim compensation from Lloyds, which had insured part of the planned 50 night O2 extravaganza. But the insurers claimed that the live firm had misrepresented the state of Jackson's health when taking out its insurance policy, and sued through the US courts in a bid to have the policy declared void.
According to CNN, AEG confirmed yesterday that it had now agreed with Lloyds to withdraw its insurance claim, and as a result the insurer will have the promoter removed from its lawsuit. Michael Jackson LLC, which is now controlled by the Michael Jackson estate, was also named on that lawsuit, as it too was making a claim against the same insurance policy, and for the time being that part of the litigation will continue.
The deal between AEG Live and Lloyds comes a week after embarrassing emails between executives at the live company, and individuals involved in the 'This Is It' venture, were published in the LA Times, showing that there were widespread concerns about Jackson's physical and mental wellbeing as the show went into rehearsal, and before, which ran contrary to AEG's official line at the time.
When said emails first emerged, it was thought they had originated in evidence amassed as part of the Lloyds v AEG case. Though we now know they were provided to the LA Times by Howard Mann, an associate of the Jackson family, leading to allegations that the Jacksons themselves were involved in the leak, and that the emails came from evidence due to be used in a different legal dispute between Michael's mother Katherine Jackson and AEG. The Jacksons deny those claims.
Either way, at a first glance, the emails did seem to suggest that AEG execs had hidden big concerns about Jackson's health from public view, which might back up Lloyds' claims that it too had been misled (though obviously, without seeing the actual terms and correspondence between AEG and Lloyds, that's hard to know).
Either way, AEG's legal rep insists that talks to end the company's dispute with Lloyds had been ongoing for months prior to the LA Times report, and that the leaked emails had nothing to do with the subsequent agreement between the two companies.
Meanwhile Paul Schrieffer, a lawyer working for the insurer, confirmed an agreement had been reached, telling reporters: "In exchange for AEG withdrawing its insurance claim, underwriters agreed to dismiss AEG from the [lawsuit] and to waive any costs recoverable from AEG. The insurance case continues against the Michael Jackson Company LLC for, among other things, rescission of the policy due to nondisclosures of Michael Jackson's prior drug use".
UNIVERSAL GIVES CITIGROUP A BILLION IN PENDING EMI TAKEOVER
As previously reported, the major committed last year to pay the US bank the bulk of the money it bid for the EMI labels in early September 2012 oblivious of whether that deal had been approved by the various regulatory bodies around the world who would inevitably have to investigate the acquisition.
There were reports that the major had tried to negotiate an extension on that pay day once it became clear the regulatory process in the US and Europe was going to take longer than hoped, and even rumours it had succeeded, though in the end the early September deadline stuck. Technically Universal was due to make payment on Sunday, but Vivendi said yesterday that funds had actually been transferred at the start of last week.
The regulatory process is, of course, still ongoing, though in Europe at least it should now be in its final phase. European Commission regulators met with reps from each of the EU's member states on Friday to discuss the latest concessions proposed by Universal to allay market dominance fears. The outcome of that meeting is not known, though EC regulators must announce their final decision before 27 Sep.
It is thought that Universal will have committed to offload between a quarter and a third of its new acquisition to secure approval in Europe, most likely including the global sale of the Parlophone and maybe Chrysalis catalogues and businesses (excluding The Beatles and Robbie Williams).
If both Parlophone and Chrysalis were to be sold outright to one buyer, that would in essence create a new independent EMI business in the UK (with only Virgin Records joining the rest of Universal UK).
Unless, of course, they went to an existing music company, such as BMG, which would become a really big player in the UK music market if it added the Parlophone and Chrysalis master-recording catalogues to its existing music publishing interests (which, of course, include the Chrysalis songs catalogue it acquired in 2010).
The US regulatory investigation is also thought to be nearing its completion too. No concessions have been publicly offered by Universal in America, despite some artist and consumer groups there calling for divestments in the US in line with those in Europe. It might be that the US Federal Trade Commission decides no concessions are necessary, or that those already committed to in Europe, which will likely go beyond the European Economic Area, are sufficient.
R KELLY'S TAX BILL INCREASES
Already alleged to have not paid any taxes between 2005 and 2010, TMZ now reports that the US tax authority has added 2011's bill too, increasing the total amount owed by $1,379,695.11 to $6,227,767.82. Don't forget that all-important 82 cents.
A rep for Kelly told TMZ: "[Kelly] takes this very seriously and is already communicating with the IRS about the payment process to quickly resolve the issue".
AKON FILES FOR PATERNITY OF TWO SONS
According to TMZ, the Petition For Legitimation asks that he be formally granted joint custody of the children, and that child support be formally set - for which he has requested that his high income be taken into consideration (which presumably it would have been anyway, but it's a nice gesture). He also wants to ensure that there are no questions regards the two boy's right to inheritance on his death, and that they be granted the legal right to use his surname, Thaim, as their own.
A source told TMZ: "Akon has been a father to the boys since they were born, and this is just a necessary step to make sure he is legally recognised as such".
JAY-Z QUESTIONS OCCUPY WALL STREET, PROMPTS PROTESTORS TO STAGE CONCERT 'TEACH-IN'
The rapper, who was criticised when his fashion brand Rocawear sold (and allegedly cashed all the profits from) t-shirts bearing the 'Occupy All Streets' slogan, has been voicing his doubts to the New York Times. "What's the thing on the wall, what are you fighting for?", he asks of the protestors, before recalling a conversation with Russell Simmons - another Occupy champion within Planet Hip Hop. "I'm not going to a park and picnic" he told his fellow hip hopper, "I have no idea what to do, I don't know what the fight is about. What do we want, do you know?"
The rapper also notes: "I think [the protestors] need to really declare themselves a bit more clearly. Because when you just say that 'the 1% [is to blame]', that's not true. Yeah, the 1% that's robbing people, and deceiving people, these fixed mortgages and all these things, and then taking their homes away from them, that's criminal, that's bad. [But] being an entrepreneur [isn't bad]. This is free enterprise. This is what America is built on".
Ah yes, free enterprise, the freedom to monetise any cause without donating back to it. Very admirable.
While Simmons has shared his own Twitter clarification in answer to Jay-Z's comments, it seems representatives of Occupy subset Guitarmy also have answers to the confused MC's various questions. The pro-Occupy collective is staging a 'teach-in' at one of Jay-Z's concerts - which takes place, by inconvenient (for Jay-Z) coincidence, at a new Barclays-sponsored arena in Brooklyn in which the rapper has business interests, with a mind to ask "which side are you on?' whilst "lovingly showing Jay-Z what we want and how he can help".
SONIC YOUTH RE-MASTER LIVE RECORDINGS
The collection has its physical and digital release via SY's own label Goofin Records on 12 Nov. Meanwhile, here's a strictly unofficial (and unmastered) play of 'I Love Her All The Time', also circa 1985.
XZIBIT TO RELEASE LP
And now to a modest quote from the man himself: "If you know hip hop, you're going to love and appreciate 'Napalm'. The tone of the album is a testament to what I've been through in the last six years. I'm ready to kick some ass!"
Xzibit has also made a four-part 'v-log' documenting his experiences in Iraq (whilst shooting the video for the record's title single, in case your wondered), and you can watch that here.
State of Hip-Hop vs Xzibit
DISCLOSURE DISCLOSE NEW SINGLE
As you're about to hear, it has guest 'vox' by Sam Smith.
That is all.
MATT CARDLE SIGNS TO SO, DETAILS NEW LP
Cardle, who shares co-credits on the record with a number of songwriters, produced and plays various instruments across its ten tracks. So you see, he's a real musician. Since, one would assume, given his parting from Syco Towers, it's unlikely that he'll be invited to perform on the new series of 'The X-Factor', he'll promote the LP by means of three live dates at the Birmingham Institute (21 Oct), Concorde in Brighton (22 Oct) and London's Scala (23 Oct).
Now here's Matt's version of Peggy Seeger's 1957 classic 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' (as forms the finale to the LP), back when he was still in Simon Cowell's good books.
It's Only Love
SIGUR RÓS CONFIRM EURO TOUR, APOLOGISE OVER CANCELLED BESTIVAL BROADCAST
2 Mar: Glasgow, SECC
Also topical in Sigur Rós goings on is the quartet's apology for deciding not to broadcast their Bestival set, which took place this past weekend, via the festival's previously mentioned YouTube channel.
Apparently, the "expansive demands" of Saturday night headliners New Order - who played straight after Sigur Rós - meant that the band's performance was pushed forward from its desired "darkness" slot to one in daylight, thus undermining its custom stage visuals, which were designed to be seen at night. Oh dear.
The ensuing crux of the statement reads: "Sadly then, a perfect storm of production issues and technical problems conspired to mean that the band went on to have a thoroughly miserable experience on stage too. And to spare everyone's blushes a decision was made to draw a discrete veil over proceedings. Sorry, but we can be so much better than what you missed. Another time, for sure".
FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE TO HEADLINE ARENAS
4 Dec: Exeter, Westpoint Arena
TIM BURGESS SHARES SOLO DATES, FREE TRACK
He's also giving away a free track taken from the LP entitled 'A Case For Vinyl', so download that now.
18 Oct: Aberdeen, Lemon Tree
NZCA/LINES ANNOUNCES TOUR, NEW SINGLE
In addition to the shows you're about to see listed, he'll also play Wales' Festival No 6 this weekend, share a roster with Why at London's Electric Ballroom on 9 Oct, and appear again in the capital at Dalston's The Nest on 20 Oct as part of this year's Oxjam.
3 Oct: York, Fibbers
FESTIVAL LINE-UP ADDITIONS
ITUNES FESTIVAL, The Roundhouse, London, 1-30 Sep: Madness. www.itunesfestival.com
NAIL THE CROSS, Shacklewell Arms, Dalston, London, 19-20 Oct: oOoOO, Slime, Deptford Goth, Preditah, Panoram, Buffalo Tide, Eaux, Yola Fatoush. nopaininpop.tumblr.com/post/31237251840/nail-the-cross-v
WARNER CONFIRMS RECRUITMENT OF FORMER EMI MAN JON PLATT
He will report to Warner/Chappell CEO Cameron Strang who told CMU: "Jon's character, his leadership skills and his ability to identify, sign and nurture talent combine to make him one of the top executives in the music business. His unwavering commitment to songwriters and their music has led to his continued and long-term success. His approach makes him a perfect fit with Warner/Chappell and an outstanding addition to our senior team".
Platt himself added: "Warner/Chappell is a creative force with an incredible heritage, a world-class roster of writers and a renewed sense of energy and purpose. Cameron and the team have already achieved great things and I am excited to begin a new chapter with them, helping drive that momentum. We share a common goal: to make Warner/Chappell the best home for today's extraordinary talent and the songwriting stars of tomorrow".
A&R WORLDWIDE EXPANDS INTO AUSTRALIAN MARKET
Confirming the launch of A&R Worldwide Australasia, Bisla told CMU: "I'm extremely excited about the launch of A&R Worldwide Australasia, which furthers A&R Worldwide's impact internationally and helps us expand our efforts to the needs of those we work with, as well as our overall discovery, development and consulting efforts to and from Australasia".
He added: "I've had the pleasure of knowing Michael Chugg for the past seventeen years and he has been an incredible mentor, inspiration and friend to me. Australasia is a burgeoning economic market with incredible talent and opportunities, and Michael and his team are on the forefront of some of the most exciting new music and creative and business inspirations that are emanating out of the region. I could not be prouder of teaming up with a partner such as Michael and Chugg Entertainment".
Chugg himself said: "Sat and his hardworking team are genuinely wonderful people and I can't wait for my team and I to work with them under the A&R Worldwide Australasia business. We have been working towards getting more involved in local artist development for years, and the relationship with Sat and his team will expand our efforts and give us a global base to help develop Australian artists and bring international talent into our home markets. It's a very exciting time for all of us".
The launch of A&R Worldwide in Australia follows the expansion of the company into Europe earlier this year via A&R Worldwide Germany.
TUC BACKS MU CAMPAIGN TO TACKLE ASSUMPTION MUSICIANS SHOULD PLAY FOR FREE
MU General Secretary John Smith told CMU: "The MU believes that too many people seem to think that music and entertainment are a hobby rather than a career, and are unaware of the years of training and hard work that it takes to become a professional performer. This leads to performers being asked or expected to work for free in far too many instances".
"This summer's Olympic Games brought the issue back to the fore. Despite the agreement between LOCOG and the TUC regarding fair terms and conditions, and undertakings from LOGOG to the MU that professional musicians would be paid for their services, the MU uncovered countless examples of its members being asked to perform for no payment at events connected with the Games".
90 YEARS OF RADIO TO BE CELEBRATED WITH BBC-WIDE TRANSMISSION
The three-minute transmission will feature recorded messages from listeners around the UK on the theme of 'the future', and will be mixed together with an original piece of music created by Damon Albarn. Each of the BBC's national, regional and local stations will contribute a listener message, and listeners are being encouraged to propose messages for inclusion from this week.
The anniversary transmission will go out on 60 stations with a potential global audience of 120 million people. Confirming his involvement, Albarn told CMU: "I love the idea of stations across Britain and the World Service coming together, with all of our different lives and circumstances, even if it's only for a few minutes. It's a powerful idea".
Meanwhile BBC radio chief Tim Davie added: "This ambitious project will bring all of the BBC's UK stations together for the first time in their history to mark 90 years of radio broadcasting. It is great news that Damon has agreed to curate Radio Reunited and join us in looking forward to the next 90 years of radio".
OBAMA DOESN'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON WITH NICKI MINAJ
The couplet in question - "I'm a Republican, voting for Mitt Romney/You lazy bitches is fuckin up the economy" - was the subject of much debate last week. Was that really an endorsement for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney? Minaj has, as many have pointed out, previously said that she didn't think the president's 'Obamacare' healthcare reform proposals went far enough, so moving to support the Republicans, who are no fans of making sure that people are healthy regardless of how much money they have, would seem a bit strange. Also, as Gawker points out, she's seemingly not registered to vote.
But anyway, Obama's view. Asked if he thought Minaj was supporting Romney on Florida radio station Power 95.3 yesterday, the president said: "I'm not sure that's actually what happened. I think she had a song on that [Lil Wayne mixtape], a little rap that said that. But she likes to play different characters. So I don't know what's going on there".
So, as I said before, there you go. Obama's right though, Minaj does have various alter egos, and is prone to bending the truth. On 'Roman's Revenge' she claims to be Aladdin, and I don't think that's true either.