UNIVERSAL CHIEF ADDRESSES STAFF OF EXPANDED MAJOR
His first missive to go to staffers at Capitol, Virgin Records and all the other EMI units that are now part of the Universal Music Group, as well as existing UMG employees, Grainge repeated a lot of the rhetoric used by the major's execs during the regulatory investigations into the EMI deal: Universal will invest in EMI like never before; it's an end to uncertainty at the former British major; artists, entrepreneurs and technological innovation are what it's all about; Universal's multi-label architecture will ensure the EMI labels retain autonomy giving artists more choice who to work with; and at Universal everyone has music in their blood. That kind of thing.
Presumably aware that the memo would be read beyond the walls of Universal/EMI HQ, Grainge repeated his vision of a bigger better music rights industry, noting: "I have made a manifesto commitment to talent acquisition, musical and technological innovation, and broad, non-discriminatory licensing that is a call to action for the entire industry".
Very much a rally call (with a few thank yous here and there), the memo contained very little information about what the combined Universal/EMI will look like. Which EMI units will remain standalone entities as divisions of the mega-major, and which will be absorbed by existing UMG businesses? What brands will be used moving forward? Who will report into whom? And quite where will the promised £100 million in savings to be achieved by combining Universal and EMI be made? Grainge: "there will be more to tell you about our plans in the months ahead".
Indeed there will. But for now, an optimistic sign off: "For our new team members who don't know me yet, I've dedicated my entire professional career to working with people who have music in their blood. Now we can move forward and empower a new generation of artists and entrepreneurs. Our future together is going to be exciting".
PUSSY RIOT APPEAL ADJOURNED FOR A WEEK
As much previously reported, three members of the Russian punk outfit were jailed in August for two years after being found guilty of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" in relation to an anti-government protest song the defendants performed in a Moscow cathedral earlier this year. It's widely believed the conviction and sentencing was politically motivated.
All three of the convicted band members - Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich - were in court yesterday. However, before the hearing could get going, Samutsevich reportedly argued with the judge, complaining that her request for a different defence lawyer had been ignored. The dispute led to the case being adjourned to 10 October.
As also previously reported, opinion is divided regards the chances of the three women being freed on appeal. Some hope that recent comments by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to the effect that a suspended sentence would be satisfactory might mean that, even if the convictions are not overturned, the Pussy Riot members may be let out of jail. But reps for the three women have generally been less optimistic.
THE PIRATE BAY DOWN, BUT NOT BECAUSE OF POLICE RAID ON ITS HOST FIRM
Though yesterday the file-sharing site went down for hours (and still is down as we write). And then there were reports that the premises of the server company that hosts the service had been raided by the Swedish police. So, was this it? Well, apparently not, according to the site's operators. It seems some serious technical problems on the TPB site just happened to coincide with the police raid, which was unrelated to the file-sharing platform.
Operators of the Bay wrote on their official Facebook page: "Dear internet. We have not been raided. We are not shutting down. We like turtles, waffles and you. Sorry for not fulfilling your pirate needs tonight. It's OK if you cheat on us with another site, just once. We know that you still love us, deep down in your cursed pirate heart".
According to The Register, a power outage has caused the downtime. Meanwhile the boss of the Bay's hosting firm PRQ, Mikael Viborg, confirmed to Swedish newspaper Nyheter24 that four of his company's servers had been seized, though said he couldn't comment on what they contained.
Given PRQ, set up by Pirate Bay founders Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij, operates a 'no questions asked' approach, hosting sites that arguably other server firms would think twice about, there are a number of operations stored on the company's machines that could be the target of police action. Though some reports say the raid was against sites accused of copyright infringement rather than other possible cyber-crimes.
Either way, it seems The Pirate Bay will return later today (though in the UK, of course, only to those who know how to circumvent the blocks put in place by most mainstream ISPs). The uber-file-sharing service has proven very resistant over the years to various attempts to have shut it down, and when its servers really were seized in 2006 it still was back online within two days.
WHITNEY HOUSTON'S MOTHER APPLIES TO HAVE GRANDDAUGTHER'S INHERITANCE PAYMENTS CHANGED
The two Houstons say that they fear the current payment system is allowing Bobbi Kristina to "waste her assets", adding that they worry that the nineteen year old "is a highly visible target for those who would exert undue influence over her inheritance and/or seek to benefit from respondent's resources and celebrity".
Brown is currently preparing to take part in a new reality TV show in the US called 'The Houstons: On Our Own'.
NEW ZEALAND PM DENIES HOLLYWOOD TRIP LINKED TO MEGA CASE
Speaking to radio station Newstalk ZB, Key said that claims his planned meetings in Hollywood were linked to the raid in New Zealand on the home of MegaUpload founder Kim 'Dotcom' Schmitz earlier this year were "nonsense", and part of an elaborate conspiracy theory about the relationship between US and New Zealand authorities and American movie industry trade group the MPAA.
Key says he is meeting with US film studio bosses to try and persuade them to film more of their movies in his country, capitalising on the success of the 'Lord Of The Rings' movies filmed there. He told Newstalk ZB: "While we're doing very well with Warner Brothers, it's quite possible we could do it a lot better, or as well, with many other movie studios like Fox and Universal and Disney and the like, so I'm certainly keen to go and promote New Zealand as a place to make movies".
He added: "Either Kim Dotcom has broken the law in the United States and he'll face trial, or he hasn't. But that's got nothing to do with whether New Zealand is a good place to make movies or not".
Key was pulled into the MegaUpload story last week when he admitted that New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau "acted unlawfully" in gathering communications between associates of the file-transfer company before the raid on Dotcom's home back in January, part of an action in the US to shut the digital firm down. Key has ordered an investigation into the actions of the GCSB.
Dotcom, safe in the knowledge the world actually revolves around him, wasn't convinced by Key's claims that his visit to LA was in no way linked to the MegaUpload extradition case, tweeting: "Prime Minister meets studio bosses in Hollywood about doing business in NZ. Getting paid for the raid".
MORRISSEY: COACHELLA OFFERED TO GO 100% VEGETARIAN FOR 50% SMITHS REUNION
Actually, Morrissey has been talking about a Smiths reunion. Just one that didn't happen: a supposed offer from Coachella to get him and Johnny Marr together on stage. The singer says that, after that time he complained that he could "smell burning flesh" from nearby fast food stands when he played the Californian festival in a solo capacity, the event's organisers pledged to make amends if he'd come back to perform a semi-Smiths reunion.
Moz told Australia's Herald Sun: "Interestingly the agents for Coachella offered a 100% vegetarian event for the following year if I would agree to headline with Johnny Marr as The Smiths. Fascinatingly they made it clear that they would 'not require' the Smiths' bass player or drummer, which I thought certainly said something".
What did it say, Morrissey? Did it say, 'You should wait to reform the whole band until Glastonbury 2013?' You've got to read between the lines on these things.
ADELE CONFIRMS BOND THEME
Possibly realising that anyone can type some names on a piece of paper and post it to the internet, the singer return to the net a little later to write about her Bond theme experience, saying: "I was a little hesitant at first to be involved with the theme song for 'Skyfall'. There's a lot of instant spotlight and pressure when it comes to a Bond song. But I fell in love with the script and Paul had some great ideas for the track and it ended up being a bit of a no brainer to do it in the end. It was also a lot of fun writing to a brief, something I've never done, which made it exciting. When we recorded the strings it was one of the proudest moments of my life. I'll be back combing my hair when I'm 60 telling people I was a Bond girl back in the day I'm sure!"
The song will be premiered at seven minutes past midnight on Friday. Because seven minutes past midnight is... oh never mind. A sneaky preview appeared on a fan site last night, but seems to have gone now.
KATY B'S SECOND ALBUM NEARING COMPLETION
Geeneus and B were chatting to The Guardian, the latter revealing the role of the producer and Rinse in her music making so far. She told the paper: "I always think of Katy B as a band. There's me and Geeneus, and it was Rinse's idea. I had the drive for music, but it wasn't the internet or YouTube that broke it for me. Rinse gave me the break".
Meanwhile, on the new material, Geneeus added: "[The album will] be done by the end of the year. We'll work right up till the last day, because sometimes it's on the last day that you come up with a track".
INTERPOL TO RE-RELEASE DEBUT
As per deluxe special edition tradition, remastered double vinyl and CD box sets will feature lots of bonus extras, this time in the shape of various unreleased demos, alternative versions of LP tracks, and recordings from the band's 2001 Peel Session. They'll also carry a DVD and a hardcover photo book, while pre-orders also guarantee a copy of Interpol's first merch item, a badge.
Alternatively, there's always the downloadable remaster, which is out - as are its super-deluxe double-disc counterparts - on 19 Nov.
Order details and a tracklisting via www.interpolnyc.com
DEATH GRIPS SURPRISE SONY WITH UNAUTHORISED LP RELEASE
There have been disputes with the label over release schedules see. "The label wouldn't confirm a release date for 'No Love Deep Web' till next year sometime'", tweeted Death Grips prior to supplying download links, adding: "The label will be hearing the album for the first time with you".
'No Love Deep Web' was initially meant to be released in late October. But with delays seemingly likely, and the band's frustrations over said delays, we can all listen to it right now via Soundcloud, and wonder at the mysterious censored artwork in the Soundcloud player.
The uncensored artwork was available for a time, with an alternative download of the album, via the band's own website thirdworlds.net, though that mysteriously went down overnight. The folks at Sony, apparently, say that wasn't because of them.
MACHINE HEAD TO RELEASE LIVE ALBUM
Says frontman Robb Flynn: "The Head Cases [that's what they call their fans] have been so intense on this tour cycle that we had to start capturing the shows, especially with technology making it so much easier to record. We culled some of the best nights where the band and crowd were on fire and made a bad ass, nearly two hour, double live album, which is a great documentation of where the band is at eighteen years deep".
Before you check out the tracklist for the album below, check out the video for 'Darkness Within', taken from their latest studio album 'Unto The Locust' here.
I Am Hell (Sonata In C#)
LOWELL ANNOUNCES MINI-ALBUM RELEASE DATE
As previously reported, the record was recorded with Apparatjik, aka Coldplay's Guy Berryman, A-ha's Magne F, Mew's Jonas Bjerre and producer and songwriter Martin Terefe.
While you wait to grab your copy of the mini-album, you can catch Lowell live at the Notting Hill Arts Club on 18 Oct. Meanwhile, you can download album track 'Shake Him Off' here and watch the video for lead single 'Kids' here.
CHAD VANGAALEN MAKING ANIMATED SPACE MOVIE
This is Van Gaalen's intricate 'Tarboz' synopsis, as quoted to CBC Music: "Tarboz is an intergalactic trash collector on this planet, there's a magnetic field around this planet that brings in all of this space junk. He's just one of the dudes that they send out to clean up all the junk, and look for interesting debris. His species depends on this debris that floats in to evolve. They're kind of like glorified junkions. What they don't know is that there is another species of organism that's been taking advantage of these planets for billions of years and governing their evolution. So they're not really these junk robot things, they're actually these other creatures. Tarboz slowly figures this out by discovering a piece of space junk with this empathy crystal embedded inside of it".
So basically it's like The Wombles in space... or just The Clangers. Or slightly like an animated version of Katy Perry's 'ET' video with anti-gravity space debris in place of a levitating Kanye West. But wait, why this abrupt move towards making movies Mr VanGaalen?
Clarifies Chad: "The reason I made the film in the first place is because I really wanted to score a sci-fi, but nobody was asking me to score a film, so I was just like, 'I'm just going to make my own fucking movie'".
ROBBIE WILLIAMS TO PLAY LONDON'S O2 ARENA, THRICE
Fans can register interest in tickets for any or all of the shows, which take place without pause between 22-24 Nov, via tickets.robbiewilliams.com
WICHITA RECORDINGS HOSTING FREE CONVERSE SHOW
Wichita Recordings presents the first, as features Veronica Falls, Frankie & The Heartstrings, and the label's brand new signings Cheatahs.
Converse is giving away 175 pairs of tickets to the above, so register to win those via this link. The lottery closes on 11 Oct, and you'll know if you've won by the following day.
PRIMARK TO SELL CDS
As mainstream entertainment retail chains have disappeared from the high street, other retailers have started selling music products, most notably the supermarkets (which arguably contributed to the collapse of specialist mainstream music stores in the first place), but also some fashion retailers, such as Urban Outfitters and Claire's Accessories.
Primark will initially sell CDs in a small number of its shops as a pilot, but hasn't ruled out adding CD departments at all of its 242 shops around the UK. According to the BBC, a Primark spokesman said adding CDs to its product range would complement its current business, as "fashion and music have always been synonymous".
PRS LICENCES AMAZON'S LOCKER IN EUROPE
As previously reported, the Amazon locker launched in the UK, France and Germany last month, having gone live in the US last year. It enables users to store their entire MP3 collection on Amazon's servers, allowing them to access content from any net-connected device.
Although the initial Amazon locker in the US was not licensed by the music companies, the addition of so called 'scan-and-match' earlier this year, meaning that the Amazon system will scan a user's machine and automatically give them cloud access to any tracks already in the retailer's digital catalogues (saving them the hassle of uploading those tracks), necessitated licences from the music firms.
Amazon already has deals with each of the major record companies for its enhanced locker service, and the PRS For Music licence will cover music publishing rights for all the songwriters and publishers the collecting society represents. The PRS deal is a pan-European licence, meaning it will cover the Amazon locker service in other European countries for repertoire the society represents on a multi-territory basis.
Confirming the Amazon deal, PRS boss Robert Ashcroft told CMU: "We issued our first licence for a cloud music service in 2010 and have been licensing digital services for over a decade. Technology is allowing consumers in the UK and across Europe to discover music in new ways, while also providing new income sources for the creators we represent. Amazon's fourteen year success story in the UK demonstrates that it is in this country where technology and content combine so successfully for the benefit of users and creators alike".
DUMMY EDITOR STEPS DOWN
The site's MD Paul Benney told CMU: "Charlie's journalistic skill, energy, enthusiasm and ear for a good tune have been key to Dummy's recent growth and we are sorry to lose him. We wish him every success in the future".
Meanwhile Jones himself added: "After three and a half years, I'm leaving Dummy for pastures new. I want to say a huge thanks to all the friends who've lent a hand, all our contributors, Ruth Saxelby,
A new editor is currently being recruited, though Aimee Cliff will take over on a temporary basis from 8 Oct.
JACK WHITE ENDS GIG EARLY, ORDERS PIZZA
After being shuffled out of the venue, many apparently stayed behind to shout about how upset they were. And then got more upset when a pizza delivery driver arrived and went round to the stage door, according to the New York Observer.
The reason for the abrupt end to the show is not entirely clear, with people speculating that the audience hadn't been responsive enough, that someone had repeatedly heckled White, that ticket touts had irked him, and/or that he just really fancied a pizza. Though a member of the venue's security team said that White "wasn't happy with the sound".