A round up of music and music business events happening in the next seven days...
Live Music Act. The Live Music Bill became the Live Music Act in March this year, and today it comes into effect. It's hoped that by eliminating some of the bureaucracy involved in putting on a gig in a small venue more live music will be put on in such places. In particular, venues under a 200 person capacity will no longer need local authority permission for music gigs between the hours of 8am and 11pm, and where music is not amplified there will be no capacity limit for that rule.
Glastonbury tickets on sale. Have you all missed Glastonbury while it was on a break this year? Do you yearn for the Pyramid Stage? Well you can get yourself one step closer later this week, as tickets for the 2013 edition of the festival go on sale on Sunday. You'll need to have registered first to be able to buy tickets though - the deadline for which was last night.
Loserville opens. It has been suggested that our slightly over the top articles about 'Loserville', James Bourne's musical based on the one album released by his post-Busted band Son Of Dork, are a bit sarcastic. They are not. We are all very excited about 'Loserville', which opens in London tonight, here at CMU HQ. Well, not all of us, but at least two. Maybe only one, actually. Whatever, we're going on an office outing to see it and that's final.
Peter Hook's Joy Division book. Peter Hook may have moved on to playing New Order albums live now, but he's still finding ways flog that Joy Division horse. Today he publishes 'Unknown Pleasures - Inside Joy Division', his "indelibly personal" memoir about the band. He'll also be making various public appearances to discuss and sign copies of it, including in Manchester tonight and London tomorrow.
Noise of Art's Psychedelic Magical Mystery Tour. Noise Of Art is taking over the Picturehouse cinema in Hackney, East London on 6 Oct for a night of psychedelic music, art and performance surrounding one of the first ever cinema screenings of The Beatles' 'Magical Mystery Tour' film, and bringing to a close a week of events celebrating its 45th anniversary and release on Blu Ray and DVD.
Fabric screening of LCD Soundsystem's 'Shut Up And Play The Hits'. Night-clubbing establishment Fabric is to host a screening of 'Shut Up And Play The Hits', the documentary we all know was filmed at LCD Soundysystem's last ever live set at Madison Square Gardens in 2011. It's being shown in Fabric's Room 1 on 4 Oct.
New releases. Albums out this week come from artists in the shape of Beth Orton, Tim Burgess, Two Fingers (aka Amon Tobin), Flying Lotus, Boys Noize, Taken By Trees, John Cale, Field Music, Tilly And The Wall, Hidden Orchestra, Moon Duo, Paws and Eraas Fang. As well as that, Nico's 'The End...' gets a deluxe re-issue, The Who get an all-star tribute album, and Rinse releases a compilation of grime's greatest hits. There are also singles and EPs from Solange Knowles, Simian Mobile Disco and Savages to be had.
Gigs and tours. The fantastic Susanne Sundfør will be playing a one-off London show at the Communion night at Notting Hill Arts Club on Tuesday night, ahead of the release of her new album 'The Silicone Veil' on 15 Oct. Also in the capital for a one-off show is Murcof at the Hackney Empire with a performance that sounds stunning. And kicking off tours this week are Scissor Sisters, Cheryl Cole, Dan Le Sac, Sharon Van Etten, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Flux Pavilion, Errors, Turbowolf, NZCA/Lines, Two Wounded Birds, Van She and Palma Violets.
UNIVERSAL COMPLETES EMI ACQUISITION, ALL EYES NOW ON THE PARLOPHONE LABEL GROUP
According to its agreement with former EMI owner Citigroup, Universal had handed over most of the £1.2 billion it bid for the EMI labels at the start of September. Ownership formally transferred on Friday though, a week after the deal won crucial regulator approval in the US and European Union, the latter coming with pretty radical remedies.
Confirming the deal was now done, Universal top geezer Lucian Grainge told CMU: "EMI is finally returning to people who have music in their blood. We are acquiring incredible labels and a roster of stellar talent, including top-selling artists like Katy Perry, Lady Antebellum, The Beatles and The Beach Boys. We remain true to our vision of investing in EMI, growing the company as a vibrant source of new music, offering consumers more choice and supporting the growth of online music services".
He also thanked the outgoing EMI boss, who departed the major as the Universal deal completed, saying: "I would also like to thank Roger Faxon and his team at EMI for their tremendous support over the last year and for staying focused on developing artists and delivering new music throughout this transition".
Of course the EMI sale story isn't quite over yet. Universal still needs to sell just short of two thirds of the EMI record company in Europe, as agreed with European Commission regulators to win approval for the deal.
Although Universal was already talking to possible bidders before the EC green light came ten days ago, it's only now that the major is in a position to share with interested buyers all the details of what they would get if they bought EMI units like Parlophone, Chrysalis and Mute in the UK, and the EMI businesses in France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Poland and the Czech Republic.
As previously reported, those EMI businesses now up for sale will be separated into an autonomous unit, to be called the Parlophone Label Group, which will operate apart from those EMI divisions that will be integrated with the rest of Universal. PLG will be headed up by a so called 'hold separate manager', who will report into a trustee who will ensure Universal's commitments to the European Commission are kept.
According to Hits Daily Double, veteran EMI Music exec David Kassler is being lined up for the 'hold separate manager' role. Former EMI UK boss and current BPI Chair Tony Wadsworth had also been linked to the position, and some now wonder if he might be asked to perform the less hands-on trustee role. Announcements regards both are expected soon.
Whoever is put in charge of the Parlophone Label Group will be subject to scrutiny from the independent label sector as well as regulators in Europe, the Association Of Independent Music having called on the European Commission to make sure that Universal fully lives up to its concession pledges during the divestment process, and that the interests of the wider music community are born in mind during any deal making.
The artist community is also taking an interest, especially those artists with existing contracts with one of the EMI units on the block. One such artist is Dave Rowntree, who in his Featured Artists Coalition guise has been calling on those involved in the divestment process to consider the interests of the talent being traded. Rowntree's band Blur are, of course, a Parlophone act.
Rowntree told The Independent: "Artists are the only people currently being left out of the conversation, which is unfortunate. If the staff at the label are unhappy with the new arrangements they are free to leave, but the artists are not. The FAC was formed by musicians who were fed up with the industry taking decisions without considering the impact it would have on those who actually make the music. The FAC and the Music Managers Forum are looking to engage with Parlophone to see how we can help".
Meanwhile, speaking for the there mentioned MMF, the artists manager organisation's CEO Jon Webster told the paper: "We are holding discussions with potential bidders. We want them to understand that the future of the record business is about genuine partnership with artists and that works best when their views are involved and they are not just traded as assets. But financiers often just say 'what are you talking about?' Artists can withhold releases to get better terms if they are powerful enough - they can sit down with the new owners and get a solution. [But] it's the smaller acts that suffer most because they have no bargaining power".
PUSSY RIOT THREE'S APPEAL DUE IN COURT
As previously reported, Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich were convicted of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred", despite artists and free speech groups the world over speaking out in support of the group. Many feel the Moscow courts gave in to pressure from both the Russian government and the Russian Orthodox Church.
Ahead of the appeals hearing, a spokesman for the latter, Vladimir Legoida, told reporters that the church believes that, if the three convicted Pussy Riot members were to show "penitence" for their actions, then judges should bear that in mind when deciding whether to keep the women in jail, adding: "The church sincerely wishes for the repentance of those who desecrated a holy place, certainly it would benefit their souls".
But legal representatives for the three women said this weekend that if the Russian Orthodox Church was, in essence, demanding the Pussy Riot members admit they were guilty of the crimes they were accused of by Russian prosecutors, then no such "penitence" would be forthcoming.
Some Pussy Riot supporters hope that the comments from the Church (despite them being conditional), coupled with recent remarks by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to the effect that a suspended sentence would be a satisfactory conclusion, might mean that the three women will be freed from jail as a result of their appeal, even if their convictions are not quashed.
But not everyone is so optimistic. The father of Samutsevich said he held little hope in his daughter being freed this week, even if she was willing to "repent". He told Reuters: "The sentence is predetermined; their repentance will not affect it in any way".
CD IS 30 YEARS OLD - ABBA HAVE BEST SELLING DISC IN UK EVER
So here goes. The biggest selling CD of all time in the UK is ABBA's hits collection 'Gold', which has sold four million units to date. Though, while 'Gold' was released in the hey day of the compact disc in 1992, the second biggest selling CD is very much a hit of the digital era, it being Adele's '21', which has so far sold 3.5 million copies on CD. Oasis's 'What's The Story Morning Glory' is the third biggest selling disc, having sold 3.4 million units.
As previously reported, late last year there were rumours on the good old internet that the record industry was about to ditch the CD format in favour of digital platforms. Of course those rumours were bollocks. While the compact disc is obviously destined, ultimately, to become a niche premium product, and is already pretty much redundant in the singles market, the format is still performing well in the mainstream album domain, especially in the UK.
And elsewhere in today's CD stats, the BPI reveals that while digital does now account for the majority of rock, urban and dance music sales (though, in terms of albums, only recently), 77.7% of classical album sales are still on CD.
BPI boss Geoff Taylor told CMU: "The CD represented a great leap forward in sound technology, becoming one of the most successful consumer products in history as music fans embraced its sound quality, durability, instant track access and ease of use. Even 30 years after its launch, it still remains the leading album format in the British music market".
"There are many music fans in the UK who want to own music and value a physical product they can collect. The CD is a digital product that offers premium sound quality, artwork and lyrics - plus a permanent backup copy, all at a great price. We are working with retailers to further enhance the format with new features for consumers. There's no doubt that the CD remains an outstanding product for the digital age".
REMASTERED BEATLES SET FOR VINYL RELEASE
All twelve of the band's remastered studio albums, plus the 'Magical Mystery Tour' soundtrack and their 'Past Masters' compilation, will be available, individually, or as part of a sixteen disk box set complete with a 252 page book about all the records.
The stereo remasters will be released on 12 Nov, with mono versions due to be unleashed early next year.
UNORTHODOX BRUNO MARS LP IMMINENT
Sounding slightly like the sequel to Rizzle Kicks' debut 'Stereo Typical', without being so at all, Mars' sophomore record 'Unorthodox Jukebox' is destined to prove the perfect Christmas gift when it's made available on 10 Dec.
Bruno's been talking about 'Unorthodox Jukebox' to Billboard, supplying various quotes about how its eclectic sound represents his desire for artistic liberty.
This is one: "This is me going into the studio and recording and writing whatever I want. This album represents my freedom".
Also: "I've had big record label presidents look me in the face and say, 'Your music sucks, you don't know who you are, your music is all over the place, and we don't know how to market this stuff. Pick a lane and come back to us'. That was disgusting to me, because I'm not trying to be a circus act".
'Unorthodox Jukebox' will feature paradoxically orthodox production by Mark Ronson, Diplo and Beyonce overseer Jeff Bhasker.
KITSUNE RELEASING TENTH ANNIVERSARY MAISON COMPILATION
'Kitsune Maison 14' is released, via Kitsune, on Bonfire Night (5 Nov), and this is an aptly sparkly (and free) minimix of it by in-house DJ et producteur français Jerry Bouthier.
Saint Lou Lou - Maybe You
RHYE DEBUT NEW EP TRACK
MICHAEL CANCELS AUSTRALIAN DATES BECAUSE OF "MAJOR ANXIETY"
The singer, who said it "breaks my heart" to pull of our nine Aussie dates, says that he underestimated the mental strain of recovering from his life-threatening pneumonia, which saw the star spend a month in a hospital in Vienna, where he had been due to perform before falling ill.
Although Michael has returned to the stage in Europe since his illness, and says he plans to go ahead with UK dates later this month, he told fans that his recovery has been much harder than he anticipated.
Michael: "I have tried in vain to work my way through the trauma that the doctors who saved my life warned me I would experience. They recommended complete rest and the type of post-traumatic counselling which is available in cases like mine, but I'm afraid I believed (wrongly) that making music and getting out there to perform for the audiences that bring me such joy would be therapy enough in itself. Unfortunately, I seriously underestimated how difficult this year would be".
DIIV ADD HEADLINE DATES
Anyway, the Vaccines-free shows look like this:
14 Nov: London, Garage
STILL CORNERS TO TOUR
7 Nov: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
FESTIVAL LINE-UP ADDITIONS
HAMMERFEST, Hafan y Môr Holiday Park, Gwynedd, Wales, 14-17 Mar: Sodom, Heidevolk, Sister Sin, Sacred Mother Tongue, Flayed Disciple, Absolver, Line Of Fire, Oaf. www.hammerfest.co.uk
UNSOUND, various venues, Krakow, Poland, 14-21 Oct: Ben UFO, Metasplice, Le Gamble, Nguzunguzu. www.unsound.pl
DID SONY/ATV SCUPPER ISTREAM?
As previously reported, rumours of an iTunes streaming service circulated before the last big Apple product launch event last month. And while such a service has been mooted countless times over the last few years, the latest chatter caused the share price of publicly listed US-based streaming music company Pandora to wobble. But in the end no streaming service was announced amidst the latest iTunes updates.
According to the Post, Apple's proposed streaming music service wouldn't compete head on with either the Pandora 'interactive radio' business model or the Spotify 'all music fully on demand' system, and would be more closely linked to the sale of downloads through the iTunes store.
With that in mind, it was seemingly looking for more favourable rates, and was therefore talking to the rights owners direct, rather than the publishing sector's American collecting societies (BMI and ASCAP) and SoundExchange, the body which represents sound record rights holders in the online radio space, and which also licenses services like Pandora.
But, says the Post, Sony/ATV, the biggest music publisher since it gained control of EMI Music Publishing earlier this year, wouldn't agree to the rates being offered to the song owners, making the proposed streaming venture unviable.
Other players in the streaming music space might likewise face some tough bargaining with Sony/ATV if, as the Post also reports, the uber-publisher chooses to withdraw its digital rights in the US from the collective licensing system, and to licence all streaming platforms directly.
In the main, the music publishing sector has so far chosen to licence its so called performing rights to digital services via the likes of BMI and ASCAP, whereas the record labels have generally chosen to licence anything more interactive than Pandora directly. Though there have been exceptions - Sony/ATV's recent acquisition EMI withdrew the performing rights from one of its catalogues in the digital space last year. Though if Sony/ATV/EMI was to make that move with its entire catalogue, that would result in quite a shift in the digital licensing domain.
CLEAR CHANNEL RADIO STRIKES UP SECOND COMBINED FM/DIGITAL DEAL WITH US INDIE
Under American copyright law radio stations are not obligated to pay labels a royalty for playing their recordings on terrestrial radio (as they are over here). As licensing revenues have become more important to labels much lobbying has gone on by the record industry to change this system, though so far unsuccessfully, the US radio industry being pretty powerful in Washington.
However, broadcasters do need to pay royalties to the labels on their increasingly important digital services, and this is generally done via the statutory rights body SoundExchange. This created an opportunity in the eyes of Scott Borchetta, the boss of indie label Big Machine. He did a deal with Clear Channel earlier this year, in which the radio group agreed to pay the label a royalty on recordings played on FM in return for more favourable online rates. It's thought both are based on a share of ad revenues (whereas SoundExchange rates are charged per play).
And now the Glassnote Entertainment Group has struck up a similar deal. Billboard quotes the company's founder and CEO Daniel Glass as saying: "We built Glassnote to be a next generation music company that embraces change, including evolving technologies. One of our passions is aggressively finding new and innovative ways to make our artists' music and information more available than ever to their fans. It is no secret of our respect and love for radio. This partnership aligns our business interests more closely with Clear Channel, and we're excited about being part of the drive to grow digital radio faster and bring all of its benefits to music fans".
Meanwhile Clear Channel boss Bob Pittman said in a statement: "Not only will this agreement expand [the Glassnote] label and artists' participation in all of Clear Channel's radio revenues; it also creates a vibrant new digital radio business model that we believe will provide more money for the artists and the labels and more digital choices for the consumer".
As previously reported, another US radio firm, Entercom Communications, announced a similar licensing arrangement with Big Machine last week.
COWELL'S DJ IDOL SHOW ON HOLD
As previously reported, Cowell's Syco planned to work with the production company owned by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Overbook Entertainment, on the televised DJ contest. But the joint venture has ended, and the Post says that was because Cowell and the Smiths couldn't agree on who should get top billing in the shows credits. Which may or may not be true. But it's a damn stupid reason if it is.
Either way, a Syco rep told the paper last week: "Syco and Overbrook decided not to proceed together on a DJ competition show".
ONE DIRECTION'S LIAM PAYNE SHAVES HEAD
Despite tabloid hearsay that Payne has 'done a Britney' - aka had the drastic haircut in reaction to his rumoured break-up with girlfriend Danielle Peazer - 1D's loyal fanbase insist he's done it to benefit National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Whatever the reason, the fact remains that Liam Payne is now minus most of his once-glorious hair. And with winter on its way. But at least he still has eyebrows.
THIS JUST-OUT: BIEBER THROWS UP AT GIG
According to USA Today, having vomited for his audience twice, Bieber explained: "It's hard for me, you know, not feeling great and throwing up in front of a bunch of people. Will you love me even though I'm throwing up on stage? OK, I wanted to give you my best show ever, so do you mind if I finish it?"
Of course, this being 2012, we too can enjoy the sight of a poorly Bieber being sick on stage. Which is presumably what Berners-Lee mainly had in mind.