COHEN COULD LAUNCH MANAGEMENT AND BRANDS AGENCY
As previously reported, Cohen will depart Warner Music tomorrow after eight years with the major. Joining the company from Universal in 2004, shortly after the Edgar Bronfman Jr led acquisition of the Warner music company off Time Warner, Cohen original oversaw the firm's record labels in North America, before later being given a coordinating role over recorded music operations elsewhere too.
Since Access Industries bought Warner last year and installed its own man, Stephen Cooper, as CEO, Cohen has been seen as the major's most senior record industry expert. The Post says that he is departing now, somewhat suddenly, because of strategic differences between himself and Cooper who, now over a year into the job, has a clearer personal vision for where the company should be heading.
The Post's source says, simply: "They weren't seeing eye-to-eye on the strategy. It was better to part ways; he didn't see himself having a role going forward".
Following the confirmation Cohen was leaving earlier this week, there has been speculation he may look to return to Universal, or to Sony Music, now being run by his former Universal boss Doug Morris, though both options would likely feel like a backwards step.
Others have speculated that he might team up with a private equity group to bid for the EMI assets being sold by Universal, though with those labels being European-based, and Cohen being very much part of the American record industry, that seems unlikely; so much so the management and brand partnerships start-up option sounds much more viable. Though if he did bid for Parlophone et al, he might find himself competing against his former employer, Warner reportedly also planning to bid for the EMI off cuts.
Talking of EMI, according to Hits Daily Double, the soon-to-be-defunct major's outgoing CEO Roger Faxon, who also departs tomorrow as the Universal acquisition of his company completes, has denied rumours he has been sounded out by Warner as a possible replacement for Cohen.
INSANE CLOWN POSSE SUE FBI OVER FANBASE'S GANG CLASSIFICATION
As previously reported, the FBI said in its gang report last year: "The Juggalos, a loosely-organised hybrid gang, are rapidly expanding into many US communities. Although recognised as a gang in only four states, many Juggalo subsets exhibit gang-like behaviour and engage in criminal activity and violence - law enforcement officials in at least 21 states have identified criminal Juggalo subsets".
The Posse announced in August that they were considering taking legal action against the FBI for branding their fanbase a gang threat, and asked any fans who had suffered because of the gang classification to come forward with information.
And now, in a posting on their website, the outfit has confirmed litigation has begun. The post says: "Hertz Schram PC, by Howard Hertz and Elizabeth Thomson, on behalf of Insane Clown Posse and [their label] Psychopathic Records, has filed suit against the FBI in the US District Court for the Eastern District Of Michigan, alleging the FBI's violation of the Freedom Of Information Act for its failure to produce any documentary evidence in support of the FBI's classification of the groups' fan base, the Juggalos, as a gang in the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment: Emerging Trends".
The post adds: "Really, this is the first time in the history of rock n roll that any music fans have been labeled as a 'gang' and that's probably because it makes no damn sense! But no matter how fuckin cracked out it is there have still been a lot of 'Ninjas' [fans] who have been gettin shit for their Insane Clown Posse apparel, tattoos, and for showing support. That's what happens when music fans are lumped in with the Aryan Brotherhood, Bloods, Crips, and the Latin Kings. Juggalos are fans of music - not hardened, organised gang members! And that is why the Insane Clown Posse, Psychopathic Records, and their legal team are fighting for YOU!"
ANDY WILLIAMS 1927-2012
Born Howard Andrew Williams in Iowa in 1927, he first began singing professionally with his three older brothers - Dick, Bob and Don - as The Williams Brothers, when he was just eight years old. The group split in 1951 and Andy went solo, though he reunited with his brothers every Christmas on his TV show 'The Andy Williams Show' between 1962 and 1971, and that tradition continued into the 1990s after the television programme finished at his annual live Christmas shows too.
It was as a solo artist that he had most success, having his first US hit with 'Canadian Sunset' in 1956, which went to number seven in the US singles chart. The following year he had a number one in both the US and the UK with 'Butterfly'. Though it wasn't until 1962 that he had a hit album, his eighth (and only the third to chart), 'Moon River And Other Great Movie Themes', which went to number seven in the US. The title track of that album, of course, went on to become one of his signature songs, thanks in part to his performance of it at the 1962 Oscars, though it was never released as a single.
In subsequent years he enjoyed number one albums on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as more top ten records, releasing 42 studio albums in total over the course of his career - the last being 2007's 'I Don't Remember Ever Growing Up'.
Also involved in the business side of music, Williams launched his own record label, Barnaby Records, in 1968, through which he initially released re-issues of his own early recordings on the Cadence record label, as well as releases by other Cadence artists, such as The Everly Brothers (Williams having become the owner of the label's entire catalogue of master recordings in 1964). Barnaby also signed singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett to release debut album 'Down To Earth'. Though the company ceased to release records in the late 1970s, Williams still licensed the catalogue to other labels.
In 1992, Williams opened his own venue, The Moon River Theatre, in Branson, Missouri. As well as putting on other artists, he also performed there twice a night, six nights a week, for nine months of the year, up until relatively recently.
He is survived by his second wife Debbie, and his three children, Robert, Noelle and Christian.
AIM AWARDS SHORTLISTS ANNOUNCED
We already knew that Edwyn Collins will take the Outstanding Contribution trophy at the second ever AIM awards event, while Mute's Daniel Miller will take home the Pioneer Award. But now we also know the contenders for the other gongs.
AIM chief Alison Wenham told CMU: "We have doubled capacity for this years 'Most Difficult Second AIM Awards (!)' and the nominations are once again outstanding. These awards will recognise another great year for independents' creativity and ingenuity, with Ninja Tune and Xtra Mile leading the nominations list. The companies and artists are all so special they should all get a medal, but a decent three course meal and an evening spent amongst friends is a prize in itself".
The shortlists for this year's AIM awards have been announced just ahead of the trade body's first ever AIM Social networking event, which will take place at Shoreditch's East Village tonight. And that, in turn, is part of Indies Month, a series of indie label themed events taking place in London in the run up to the awards.
Anyway, here's some noms...
Independent Breakthrough Of The Year: Alabama Shakes, Alt-J, Django Django, Grimes, Poliça.
Hardest Working Band Or Artist: 65daysofstatic, Cancer Bats, Enter Shikari, Frank Turner, Skinny Lister.
Best Live Act: The Cribs, Dub Pistols, Enter Shikari, The Prodigy, Frank Turner.
PPL Award For Most Played Independent Act: Adele, Arctic Monkeys, Caro Emerald, Madness, Travis.
Independent Album Of The Year: Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls, Enter Shikari - A Flash Flood Of Colour, Liars - Wixiw, Future Of The Left - The Plot Against Common Sense, Rustie - Glass Swords.
Best Difficult Second Album: Admiral Fallow - Tree Bursts In Snow, First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar, Speech Debelle - Freedom Of Speech, The Invisible - Rispah, The Skints - Part & Parcel.
Special Catalogue Release Of The Year: Amon Tobin - Amon Tobin, Madness - A Guided Tour Of Madness, Can - The Lost Tapes, The 13th Floor Elevators - Music Of The Spheres, Various Artists - The Original Sound Of Cumbia.
Genre Spotlight Award: Broadcaster Ft Peggy Seeger - Folksploitation, Lorn - Ask The Dust, Neil Cowley Trio - The Face Of Mount Molehill, Netsky - 2, Wiley - Evolve Or Be Extinct.
Best Small Label: Alcopop! Records, Black Butter Records, Brainfeeder, Pink Mist, Xtra Mile Recordings.
Independent Entrepreneur Of The Year: Alex Di Savoia - Aardvark Records, Chris Goss / Tony Colman / Tom Kelsey - Hospital Records, Louis Barabbas - Debt Records, Sam Dyson - Distiller Records, Simon Raymonde - Bella Union.
Independent Label Of The Year: 4AD, Bella Union, Hospital Records, Hyperdub, Ninja Tune.
Indie Champion Award: Olli Dutton - Obscene Strategies, Ian Evans - IME Music, Steve Lamacq - BBC 6music, Katie Parsons - Kerrang!, Shell Zenner - Amazing Radio.
Best Independent Festival: In The Woods Festival, Truck Festival, Y Not Festival, Leefest, Bearded Theory.
RATKING SIGN TO XL, SHARE TRACK
BRIAN ENO TO RELEASE UNSURPRISINGLY AMBIENT NEW LP
A 75 minute composition divided into twelve parts, the label defines it as a continuation in terms of "themes and sonic textures" of Eno's long-playing 'Ambient' series - as began with 1978's 'Music For Airports' and ended (temporarily, as the case may be) in 1982's 'On Land'.
Then again, Warp also says that Eno himself views the new record as a sequel to his 'Music For Thinking' project. Oh, and that it has "evolved from a work currently housed in the Great Gallery of the Palace of Venaria in Turin, Italy".
So there you go. We assume it will resemble at least one, if not all, of those things.
And if you're curious as to what the 'LUX' tracklisting looks like, it's four tracks labelled 'LUX' 1-4. So, that's that.
AZEALIA BANKS STALLS SINGLE AMID SAMPLE FRACAS, BLAMES ILLUMINATI
Apparently, the real-life reason for the track's deferral was not an insidious cult conspiracy, but that Munchi - whose original 2010 track (itself sampling Montell Jordan's 'Get It On Tonight') Banks raps over - hadn't granted, or even been asked for, his permission for Banks to commercially release a rework of his production.
Actually, Banks has already rapped over Munchi's instrumental as part of her 'Fantasea' mixtape, but as is often the case, no such permission was sought for that by the rapper or her people, and seemingly the DJ didn't object to the distribution of the freebie mix. However, he is seemingly now very pissed off that Banks and her label announced the commercial release of the rapper's version of his track without even trying to licence his work.
He took to Twitter too after Banks confirmed the delay, writing: "Bitch trying to buy me off after trying to blame me on this shit, fuck outta here. '$25,000 and a public apology'? GTFO with this bitchshit".
Nice. So basically, The Illuminati, unauthorised sampling and whatever else aside, it doesn't look like anyone's going to hear the official 'Esta Noche' until (if ever) Munchi and Banks reach a resolution.
Saying that, the unofficial version is still available for free, so who really cares?
SAVAGES PREVIEW LIVE EP
Talking as one (and in the third person), Savages say: "Savages intention was to create a sound, indestructible and musically solid, written for the stage, designed with enough nuances to provide a wide range of emotions".
Their statement goes on: "Savages are a self-affirming voice to help experience our girlfriends differently, our husbands, our jobs, our erotic life, and the place music occupies into our lives. Savages' songs aim to remind us that human beings haven't evolved so much, that music can still be straight to the point, efficient and exciting".
'I Am Here' is released via Pop Noire on Monday.
FABRIC TO SCREEN LCD SOUNDSYSTEM FILM
In the mean time, a 'Shut Up And play The Hits' trailer will have to suffice.
USHER POSTPONES EURO EUPHORIA TOUR
Usher devotes his in-absentia love and regret to fans via his official site, UsherWorld (which I wish was a theme park), writing: "The feeling of euphoria that I get when performing for you is indescribable. I love each and every one of you and thank you for being there every step of the way. I truly appreciate and am grateful for your support while I take this time to focus on my children and continue to evolve with my fans. Evolve or evaporate".
SLOW CLUB TO PLAY CHRISTMAS LIVE DATES
And those tour dates are:
14 Dec: Glasgow, Oran Mor
Meanwhile, in extra irrelevant and inexplicable Slow Club news, this is what happened when co-vocalist Rebecca interviewed ex 'Fame Academy' prefect Lemar.
FESTIVAL LINE-UP ADDITIONS
BEARDED THEORY, Kedleston Hall Park, Derby, 17-19 May: Maroon Town, Buster Shuffle, Left Step Band, Port Erin, The Membranes, Tornado Town House Band the Boot Hill All Stars, Bootscraper, The Bakseats, Frenzy, Sunday Driver. www.beardedtheory.co.uk
DAMNATION FESTIVAL, Leeds University Union, Leeds, 3 Nov: Electric Wizard, My Dying Bride, Pig Destroyer, Belphegor, Amenra, Primordial, Extreme Noise Terror, Textures, Devil Sold His Soul, Aura Noir, Gama Bomb, 40 Watt Sun, Maybeshewill, Bossk, Vreid, Hawk Eyes, Winterfylleth, Wodensthrone, Witchsorrow, Hang The Bastard, The Atrocity Exhibit, Hawk Eyes, Ravens Creed. www.damnationfestival.co.uk
EASTERN PROMISE, Platform, Easterhouse, Glasgow, 5-6 Oct: Lightships, Adrian Crowley, Matthew Bourne, Alexander Tucker, Land Observations, Feel Right, The Monochrome Set, Sexual Objects, Richard Youngs, Plank! www.platform-online.co.uk/index.html?s=events&ec=viewEvent&event_id=503
EUROPEAN CREATIVE INDUSTRY GROUPS ISSUE DECLARATION ON PRIVATE COPYING REMUNERATION
As previously reported, in most European countries copyright law allows users of content to make private copies for personal use without permission from the copyright owner - so if a music fan buys a CD, they can legitimately rip it to their PC, transfer the files to their smartphone, and burn a back-up CDR for the car. Or, as is becoming more relevant in this domain of late, upload copies of their digital music files to a digital locker like those operated by Google, Amazon and Apple, and re-access their files via any net-connected device.
The private-copy right principle emerged in the mid-20th century when home recording devices became widely available. In most countries where the right was introduced, copyright owners were compensated by some kind of 'remuneration' system, which usually involved a levy being applied to blank recording media like cassettes and CDRs, which would be somehow passed back to the creative communities whose work was being copied.
Of course those systems have become redundant as sales of cassettes and CDRs have slumped. The challenge has been to decide what new devices to apply levies to, and around the world different countries where remuneration exists have tackled this in different ways. The obvious thing is to add the levy to MP3 players, though the technology companies which make such devices have tried to resist such a move where they can. And their arguments possibly get stronger as MP3 players become redundant, replaced by smartphones, because phone makers will say that a sizable number of consumers will never use their mobiles to make copies of music.
All of which is why European Commissioner Michel Barnier has appointed a mediator to discuss the matter with all stakeholders in Europe, and propose some long-term solutions. Which is why IMPALA, FIM et al have issued a statement on the matter now, fearing that the big technology companies will use Barnier's review to try and get the levies axed completely.
Their statement said: "Rightsholders have always been and remain willing to discuss ways of making the system work better for everyone. This compensation for hundreds of thousands of creators across Europe has not hampered device sales in countries where it is applied. Our members do not understand the heavy lobbying of electronics manufacturers to abolish this remuneration system, which, although perhaps not entirely perfect (and we, the undersigned, are open to discussions on how to improve it), clearly achieves its objectives. Consumers are able to copy legally onto and between their different devices and creators are remunerated for such uses".
"The undersigned organisations, representing authors, performers and producers of musical, audiovisual, literary and visual arts works, declare the following... Rightsholders have a right to authorise all reproduction of their works but have accepted reasonable exceptions to this right in the interest of the public and practicality provided they received remuneration for such acts. Rightsholders deserve to be fairly and proportionally remunerated for their work and all uses thereof. Private copying generates an essential part of rightsholders' remuneration. Remuneration payable on the copying media and devices is the best way of linking the act of making private copies to the payment of remuneration to rightsholders. The current remuneration system, as applied in most European countries, is not intrusive and preserves the privacy of consumers".
Of course, as also previously reported, in the UK there is no private copy right, so no such remuneration system exists, even though millions of consumers have made private copies of music for years. Though the European review is still relevant here. Two government reviews in the last decade have said a private copy right should be introduced in the UK, but without remuneration. In theory the government is meant to be looking into putting that recommendation into action, and the music industry is getting ready to lobby for a levy (or something similar).
Arguably the strongest argument for the UK copyright system providing remuneration to rights owners for private copying is the requirement to be harmonised with the rest of Europe, so those in the British industry who plan to lobby for a levy system if and when private copying is allowed here need the concept of remuneration to remain at a European level.
KIM DOTCOM PREVIEWS MEGABOX
MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom's new service has done exactly that, though its video has more people sitting at computers looking like they're working hard and 100% less Justin Timberlake. It does, however, show artists including Radiohead, David Bowie, Rihanna, Blur, Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkeys and of course Dotcom himself (his track 'Party Amplifier also soundtracks the video) listed on the site. Whether any of those other than Dotcom is actively signed up to use Megabox is another matter. I doubt it.
As previously reported, Megabox is basically a direct-to-fan platform for artists, though with the innovation that users can choose to give away tracks and earn off ads or other revenue-generating schemes instead (which isn't 100% innovative actually, but will be the big selling point it seems). Dotcom says artists will be given over 90% of revenues linked to their music.
Watch the video here.
NEW KE$HA SONG INSPIRED BY GHOST SEX
The singer told Ryan Seacrest: "It's about experiences with the supernatural... but in a sexy way. Well, I don't know his name! He was a ghost. It was just like... I had a couple experiences with the supernatural. I'm very open to it".
So there you go. The album is due out 3Dec, and here's new single 'Die Young', which may or may not be about ghosts too.