A round up of music and music business events happening in the next seven days...
Q Awards. We're still deep in awards season, and this week it's the turn of Q to tell music people how great they are. Taking place in London this lunchtime, the ceremony will reveal who the magazine's readers have chosen as the favourites, on record, live and in general. Plus the best act of the last 25 years will also be named. Prepare thyselves.
A Greener Festival Awards. A Greener Festival, the charity which monitors festivals and rates how eco-friendly they are, announced an initial list of events to receive its badges of approval last week. The full list will be made available this week, rating festivals as Improving, Commended, Highly Commended or Outstanding. It will also announce the winner of the new Green Inspiration award, for events which have thought up an innovative new way to make live music greener.
David Byrne book tour. David Byrne is going out on a literary tour this week, primarily to speak about various facets of his just-published new book, 'How Music Works'. He'll be popping into London's Curzon Cinema on 24 Oct first, to pose the question 'Do We Need Any More Music?', before calling at Manchester's Royal Northern College Of Music the following evening to muse on whether or not 'Music Matters Less In The Current Era?' Third and finally, he'll grace Glasgow's Film Theatre the day after that (26 Oct) to converse re 'How To Survive As A Label And Artist'.
New releases. There is a new Taylor Swift album this week, which is exciting news because it features 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together', which is one of the best singles released this year. Yes, it is. Even with that cringey talking bit. Also releasing albums this week are Interpol's Paul Banks, the ever marvellous Peter Broderick, Vitalic, and Main Attraktionz. As well as that, Villagers have a new single out, and Egyptian Hip Hop and Scarlet Soho both release new (and CMU Approved) EPs.
Gigs and tours. It seems like every artist in the entire world is touring at the moment. It's amazing any gigs are getting any audience at all, given how thinly people's time is being spread (perhaps they aren't). Anyway, this week's batch playing one-offs or kicking off tours are as follows: Muse, Nicki Minaj, The Killers, Every Time I Die, The Cribs, The Joy Forminable, Efterklang, The Walkmen, Beach House, Rolo Tomassi, Peace, Tall Ships, Faye, Delphic, Japandroids, Herbert Gronemeyer, Francois & The Atlas Mountains, Wave Machines, Sauna Youth and Cold Pumas, Bleeding Heart Narrative, Laurel Halo, FaltyDL and Budo Grape. Plus the NME Generation Next Tour kicks off with Howler, The Cast Of Cheers and Gross Magic, plus Nordic showcase night Ja Ja Ja is scheduled for Thursday.
BRITNEY SPEARS' FATHER FEARED FOR HIS DAUGHTER'S LIFE IN 2007
Sam Lutfi, who became a close friend to Spears in 2007, and subsequently positioned himself as the popstar's manager and chief gatekeeper, is suing the singer for a cut of her earnings during that period, which he claims he is due because of his management role. The case will also consider Lutfi's previously reported libel and assault claims against the Spears family. He accuses Britney's mother of defaming him by holding him responsible for her daughter's mental breakdown in a book, and Britney's father of assaulting him during an altercation in 2008.
Recalling that tumultuous period in Britney Spears' life, which saw the popstar lose custody of her children, spend time confined to a psychiatric ward, and ultimately hand over control of all her financial affairs to her father, a legal rep for the Spears family said on Friday "[During this time Spears Senior] was scared to death, and he's thinking to himself 'My daughter has lost everything. Here she is, in a psychiatric ward, out of her head'".
The Spears family's legal rep, Leon Gladstone, admitted that Britney's mental decline had begun sometime before 2007, most likely with her high profile split from pop star boyfriend Justin Timberlake in 2003, though many have accused Lutfi of making matters worse in 2007, by exploiting Spears' delicate state for personal gain, and cutting off her friends and family members to secure his own position.
Those claims may now be assessed in more detail during the libel element of this case, though most attention on Friday was given to Lutfi's claim to have been Spears manager during this time, and the resulting 15% cut he is demanding of her earnings over that period.
The Spears family argues that, while Lutfi called himself Spears' manager, he did not have a legitimate management relationship with the singer. He had no previous experience in artist management, and his professional relationship with Spears was based on one basic contract downloaded off the internet and an oral agreement. They add that Lutfi did nothing to secure deals or revenues while calling himself Spears' manager, and that the earnings of which he wants 15% all stemmed from deals that pre-dated his involvement in the singer's career.
But at the start of the court hearing, Lutfi's attorney, Joe Schleimer, insisted his client did have a valid management contract with the singer, adding that the portrayal of Lutfi by the Spears family is incorrect, and that he had, in fact, tried his best to keep the pop star out of trouble while managing her affairs, even if those efforts had been ultimately unsuccessful.
Spears, who, of course, has staged a commercial comeback since 2008, having seemingly got her personal life back together, is not expected to testify as part of the civil case, though her parents will.
MADONNA SUED OVER BRANDO IMAGE
The case could centre on some interesting areas of US law regards image rights, given the Brando estate doesn't seem to be claiming any control over the actual copyright in the footage Madonna uses.
Though there is a contractual element to the dispute as well, given Team Madonna did negotiate permission to use Brando's image during her Superbowl half time show earlier this year, but then couldn't agree on fees with Brando Enterprises when trying to negotiate similar permission for the MDNA tour. The Estate says that that meant Brando Enterprises had implicitly barred Madonna from using the Brando image in her shows, but she did so anyway.
There's also reportedly a second lawsuit going on here, between CMG Worldwide and Brand Sense, which respectively represented Madonna and Brando Enterprises in those negotiations regards the use of Brando footage in the MDNA shows. CMG says Brand Sense initially agreed a $5000 fee but then unreasonably ramped that up to $20,000 with little warning.
Brando Enterprises wants general and special damages, costs, and an injunction banning the use of Brando's image at future Madonna shows.
MICHAEL STIPE TO PRESIDE OVER GIF COMPETITION
Stipe's participation at the Miami-based 'Moving The Still' festival was confirmed via a post on the REM webpage. If you like, you can look at it here.
Head GIF critic, Johnny Misheff, gushes thus about the venture: "There is perhaps no one better suited to sit on this council than Michael Stipe, for his love of beauty and his executed works of digital media and art, and his passion for the evolution of the image is strong and profound".
Yeah, cool. Stipe also has prior association with animated gifs, the artwork for the digital release of REM's greatest hits package 'Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth Part Garbage 1982 - 2011' having featured what was claimed to be world's first animated gif cover artwork. And in a Tulisa-performing-on-'X-Factor'-style bid to prove oneself to one's public, Michael has also created his own gifs, so look at those via movingthestill.paddle8.com
Or, if it's just general GIF goodness you're after, look at this.
JAMES BLUNT ON HIATUS
According to the Mail, Blunt said: "I just want to take some time out for myself. I haven't got any plans to do more songwriting. I have been chilling out since I finished my world tour and I've spent a lot of time in Ibiza, where I have a villa".
La-di-dah. As you can see, there is some ambiguity in that statement, so Blunt may yet decide that rather than being on temporary hiatus he is actually splitting up permanently.
GIRLS ALOUD TALK ANNIVERSARY SINGLE, LP, ARENA TOUR
For Kimberley, Cheryl, Nicola, Sarah and Nadine, being back equates - as anticipated - to the official 18 Nov release of the band's first single since 2009, 'Something New', a headline arena tour in 2013, and - on 26 Nov - a tenth anniversary greatest hits LP entitled 'Ten'. Adverse to the 'ten'-themed campaign, the collection will comprise eighteen tracks chosen by the Girls, which are as follows:
Deluxe 'Ten' editions will also feature a bonus disc of less-obvious demos, B-sides and alternative singles. Fans voted for their favourites over the weekend, and the winning bonus disc tracklisting will be revealed one-by-one from today onwards via www.girlsaloud.com/ten
And now, those tour dates I mentioned, plus a chance to screen the kinda invasive video for 'Something New':
21 Feb: Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena
BLACK LIPS, KILLS, SHINS RECORD LIVE THIRD MAN SETS
Having appeared at Third Man back in June as part of a grand remodel, Black Lips have just released an analogue-taped live set, while The Kills and The Shins, who graced the Third Man stage at the start of this month, also have live LPs in the offing. Future shows, also to be committed to vinyl and MP3, will feature Seasick Steve and musician/filmmaker Olivia Wyatt. All details at thirdmanrecords.com.
This is the tracklisting for Black Lips' 'Live At Third Man' playback, as features a cover of the Lollipop Shoppe's 'You Must Be A Witch'. Happy Halloween!
JULIO BASHMORE PREVIEWS NEW SINGLE
Oh, and NB, Julio is also available to play house parties (any house parties and for no money) but only if you can beat him at a game of Pong. It sounds straightforward, but it's not, as you'll realise via juliobashmore.com
FOALS NAME "MEANINGFUL" NEW LP
According to a note on the band's Facebook page, 'Holy Fire' - which may or may not feature a gospel choir (that's just us surmising based on the title) - is "coming soon".
The note reads: "Word Up. Big news from our thirrrd rekid. Namely: the name. It's called 'HOLY FIRE'. It's like meaningful or something. Dig it, or don't. Either way it's coming soon. Thanks to everyone who bought tickets for our mini tour this winter. Like we said elsewhere it is only a tease, and for us to get back 'into it', so don't stress if you missed out, or if we weren't coming near to your home... because there will be many, many more shows coming up".
FESTIVAL LINE-UP ADDITIONS
SNOWBOMBING, various venues, Mayrhofen, Austria, 1-6 Apr: Carl Cox, Seth Troxler, Maceo Plex, Skream, Andy C, James Zabiela, Jack Beats, High Contrast, Norman Jay, David Rodigan, Fake Blood, Netsky, Shy FX, Kerri Chandler, Justin Martin, Henrik Schwarz, Dixon & AME, London Elektricity, Camo & Krooked, Spy, Eats Everything, Mistajam, Anja Schneider, Scuba, Subb-an, Artwork, Toddla T, Todd Edwards, Deetron, Pan-Pot, Loefah, Boddika, Mickey Pearce, Klose1, Oneman, Mosca, EZ, P Money, A Skillz, Krafty Kuts, Plump DJs, Stanton Warriors, Will Saul, Bicep, George Fitzgerald, Breach & Midland, Paul Woolford, System of Survival, Alex Niggemann, Doorly, Marcus Nasty, Geddes, Huxley, Dusky, Crazy P Soundsystem, Maxxi Soundsystem, Brackles, Norwood Soul Patrol, Futureboogie, Smash HiFi, Marc Roberts, MC GQ, Dynamite MC, MC Wrec, Stamina, MC Serocee, Chunky. www.snowbombing.com
PRS INTERNATIONAL REVENUES ROSE AGAIN IN 2011
It means that the society is collecting twice as much money internationally for the songwriters and music publishers it represents than ten years ago in 2002, partly because of the continued popularity of British songs and compositions abroad, the massive success in the live space of British stadium acts like The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Muse, and because the collecting society has simply got better at collecting international royalties.
Karen Buse, Director Of International at PRS, told CMU: "These are very strong trends which underpin the success of our songwriters and the UK music industry on the global stage. While it has been a particularly strong year for music distribution via platforms such as the 2012 London Olympics, this much is clear: music is a great British success story. It contributes significantly to our economy and promotes our endemic creativity and culture".
HMV PILOTING THIRD PARTY ONLINE MARKETPLACE
Commenting on the new service, an HMV spokesman told Retail Week: "It's very early days and purposely low key for the time being, while we test the functionality to ensure everything works and the experience is a good one for the customer. Our priority is to focus on delivering a successful Christmas, but we will look to officially launch early next year with a wide range of partners. We should have at least ten partner offerings up over the next few weeks, including with DVD Gaming, which are the first to go live. Ultimately it's about complementing our existing core offer and filling any gaps so that we can extend an even greater content-related choice to our customers".
Elsewhere in HMV news, the flagging entertainment retailer has announced the appointment of Nadia Akhtar to the role of Business Relationships Manager, reporting to Partnerships Manager James Flett and overseeing the firm's corporate and third party gift vouchers. The new role will take over responsibilities previously handled by Corporate Sales Manager Kate Barton, who recently left the company.
Confirming her new role, Akhtar told CMU: "I'm delighted to be part of the HMV team and working with such as iconic brand. A number of exciting projects are now already underway and I'm very much looking forward to working with HMV's existing partners to help strengthen these ties further, as well as building new relationships as the business looks to expand its gift voucher platform and third party corporate activities".
BBC RADIO BOSS TO MOVE TO WORLDWIDE
Davie's move to BBC Worldwide has seemed certain ever since George Entwistle became Director General of the Corporation at large, the new DG wanting a closer relationship between the main part of the Beeb and its commercial spin-off, and favouring Davie as the man to make that happen. However, negotiating Smith out of his current contract at BBC Worldwide required some work.
Confirming Davie's new role, Entwistle said on Friday: "Tim has done an excellent job leading the BBC Audio & Music division and has a fantastic vision for the opportunities that lie ahead for BBC Worldwide. Tim will now take the BBC's commercial arm into the next chapter of its development. I am delighted he will be joining the team at this crucial time".
BBC Audio & Music's Controller Of Production Graham Ellis will lead the Corporation's radio and music division on an interim basis until a full-time replacement is appointed. Current Radio 2 Controller Bob Shennan and Roger Mosey, currently leading the Beeb's TV division on an interim basis, are both possible contenders for the A&M top job, according to The Guardian.
Though it's thought that Entwistle wants to overhaul the current structure of the BBC, which might alter the Corporation's senior management make-up, and therefore change the remit of any radio and music director. How quickly such changes will occur isn't clear, and will rely, of course, on the new DG surviving the storm that has erupted over the Jimmy Savile scandal and the axing of a 'Newsnight' investigation into the child abuse allegations against the former BBC star just as BBC Vision, then under Entwistle, was planning its Savile tribute shows last Christmas.
Meanwhile, it will also be interesting to see what Davie's new role means for the previously reported BBC Playlister venture, first rumoured earlier this month, and which was reportedly being personally led by the A&M boss.
This would make available online large portions of the music recordings sitting in the BBC's archives, such as sessions, concerts and music shows produced by the Beeb over the years. It's not clear whether such a service would be a standalone platform, or made available via other third-party streaming set ups, or a combination of both. If third parties were involved, it would make sense for the new music venture to be handled by BBC Worldwide, enabling Davie to retain control of this project in his new role.
ONE DIRECTION TO APPEAR ON CAPITAL FUNDRAISING WEEKEND
The 1D boys will join JLS and Little Mix in hosting special shows as part of the Capital FM fundraising weekend which kicks off this Friday, while a backstage meet-and-greet with Ed Sheeran and the chance to see Example play at the Stereosonic Festival in Sydney will be among the packages being auctioned off. The latest Help A Capital Child appeal will benefit the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Confirming this weekend's fund-raising activities, Dalton Leong, MD of Help A Capital Child, told reporters: "This month marks a year since we launched our first ever Capital FM network charity appeal, which was a huge success and raised over £180,000. Through the great work of our charity, we're delighted to continue to support the work of Teenager Cancer Trust, making such a difference to so many young people living with cancer across the UK. I am confident that this year's appeal will create another landmark and we thank our amazing listeners for getting involved".
As previously reported, an interview with One Direction on Capital the day after the BRIT Awards in February was cancelled after the group's Harry Styles thanked Radio 1 but not the Global-owned station at the music industry's big awards bash. The group's songs then disappeared from the Capital playlist, and no mention of the band was made on the station's website. Though the ban officially ended in late May when occasional 1D tracks started to reappear on the station, ready for the big autumn of promo work around the boy band's second album.
ADELE GIVES BIRTH TO BABY BOY
In June the singer posted on her own website: "I'm delighted to announce that Simon and I are expecting our first child together. I wanted you to hear the news direct from me, obviously we're over the moon and very excited but please respect our privacy at this precious time".
STYLES BROKE SWIFT'S HEART TOO
A source has told the tabs that "Taylor really liked Harry and he hinted at making their relationship official", but then shortly after the 1D boy had arrived in New Zealand he texted Taylor "telling her not to believe everything she reads", leading her to Google where she saw the pictures of Styles and Ostilly together (pictures that came as a bit of a shock to Ostilly's boyfriend too).
That said, Swift soon got over her brief liaison with the 1D heartthrob and hooked up with Conor Kennedy, son of Robert Kennedy Jr. And this is all coming out now because the singer apparently met up with Styles again, briefly, while over in the UK two weeks ago, though it's not known what she had to say to the top pop womanizer.
Meanwhile, Robbie Williams has said that he sympathises with Styles, because when he was a teenager in a chart-topping boyband it was easier to avoid public scrutiny by choosing to party away from the tabs and the paps. But in these days of camera phones and social networks, it's impossible to hide from the public glare.
Now Magazine quotes Williams as saying: "I feel a bit for Harry. At his age I was in this lilywhite boyband Take That. But I was meeting up with mates, jumping out of the tour bus, and I would get off my face and have compete anonymity. No one had a camera phone so I could go and enjoy myself properly. Harry is finding out it's not so easy for him".
HOOK "OPENED GATEWAYS OF HELL" WITH UNKNOWN PLEASURES TOUR, SAYS SUMNER
Asked about the Hook shows by Billboard, Sumner said: "I think it sucks to be honest. We found out that he was touring [debut Joy Division album] 'Unknown Pleasures' through the press. He didn't tell us, which we thought was pretty low. It just seems like a real commercial thing to do. He seems to be doing it for the money. To me, Joy Division and New Order were never about that. I thought it was disrespectful to the rest of us".
But asked if Hook's Joy Division themed shows had actually motivated him to return to the stage with Stephen Morris, Gillian Gilbert and Phil Cunningham as New Order, Sumner added: "$20 million question, that is. I don't know. But we did think, why should we hold back if he's doing that? He opened the gateways of hell. So, in a way - if you'll excuse the pun - he showed us the light".