HMV SET TO BREAK LOAN COVENANTS IN JANUARY
In an interim statement to the City this morning, the retail firm said that, despite a plethora of promotions, total sales across the company fell 13.5% in the six months to 27 Oct, while the firm's debts increased from £163.7 million to £176.1 million. Losses so far this financial year of £37.3 million, though, were an improvement on the same period last year.
Newish HMV chief Trevor Moore admitted his company was facing yet another challenging year, but added: "The business has started to deliver a number of new initiatives which will help to maximise the seasonal sales opportunity and provide a platform for growth in 2013. Additionally, as we trade through this period we will continue to develop further initiatives with our suppliers and I will provide updates at the appropriate time".
While its Moore's job to find the silver lining of course, critics will likely note that HMV has been in the process of "developing new initiatives" that will supposedly turn round the fortunes of the flagging retail firm for a few years now, none of which have really worked. Indeed, in the main it's been the demise of key competitors in the market that have delivered temporary rays of hope for the entertainment retail company, but those are always short-lived, and there aren't many high street competitors left to go bust to provide such glimmers of hope in the future.
As previously reported, HMV's business is now almost exclusively based around high street retail, except for its sizable stake in the ever expanding 7Digital business, which is an asset definitely worth having, though many reckon the retailer will be forced to sell that at some point next year too.
Other efforts to expand the HMV brand into growing strands of the entertainment industry, rather than those in terminal decline, hit a wall when money-lenders got all nervous about the costs involved. And, as previously reported, that strategy formally ended earlier this month with the sale of the company's live and artist services division MAMA to a consortium led by Dean James, CEO of the tours, venues, festivals and management business from before HMV's involvement.
Of course the HMV brand remains iconic, and therefore valuable, and major players in the record and DVD industries are desperate to ensure a specialist seller of their goods remains on the British high street, hence the incredibly favourable and risky credit terms they are offering the retailer. Whether that will be enough to placate bankers and keep HMV in business throughout 2013 remains to be seen.
BIZARRE BIEBER CASTRATION AND MURDER PLOT UNCOVERED
The pop teen homicide was seemingly planned by a man called Dana Martin, who is serving a neat 978 years in prison for rape and murder. According to reports, Martin is obsessed by Bieber and has a tattoo of the popstar on his leg.
Martin recruited a fellow prison inmate called Mark Staake to organise a grim plot to abduct Bieber while he was in New York to perform concerts. The plan was to strangle the singer with a neck tie, and to ultimately kill both him and his security guard. Bieber's testicles would also have been removed as part of the attack.
Once out of prison, Staake recruited his nephew Tanner Ruane to help with the crime. Quite how serious the plans were isn't really clear, but things seemingly went awry when the only recently released Staake was picked up by police in Vermont regards outstanding warrants, leaving his nephew to complete the plan alone. Police subsequently intercepted phone calls between Ruane and Martin in which the former admitted that the murder plot had stalled.
Police then confronted Martin in prison, who provided information enabling officers to track down Staake and his nephew. Media reports say that New York police found a pair of pruning shears in Ruane's car.
Bieber's management have wisely declined to comment on the bizarre story.
BRITS TO LAUNCH NEW SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD, WAR CHILD FIRST RECIPIENT
An organisation that works to save and change the lives of children in some of the world's most war-torn countries, War Child has always had a very close relationship with the UK music industry, which has participated in numerous fund-raising initiatives over the years.
Confirming the launch of the Special Recognition BRIT trophy, and that the first such award would be presented to War Child, Universal Music UK chief David Joseph, in his BRITs Chairman role, told CMU: "For two decades now, War Child has worked with artists to raise funds and awareness to help children whose lives have been torn apart by war. The BRITs are proud to give recognition for their vital work as well as saying thank you to all the artists who have given their time, help and energy to something so important".
War Child's Music & Fundraising Director Ben Knowles added: "This is fantastic news for us. When we began in 1993, in response to the Bosnian conflict, we had one simple belief - that children are the innocent victims of war and no child should be affected by it. Twenty years on, our belief remains the same. Our relationship with artists and the music industry means that we've helped children born into some of the most violent conflicts. Music has been a powerful tool in rebuilding children's lives. This award helps further highlight our work. Everybody who works for War Child and everybody who has helped War Child should feel fantastically proud of all our ongoing achievements".
The new prize will replace the Outstanding Contribution presentation at the 2013 Brits. The lifetime achievement prize was presented to Blur this year, having been rested at the previous year's event.
BRIAN MOLKO TO BE GIVEN HONORARY GOLDSMITHS FELLOWSHIP
Molko said of the award: "I am extremely pleased to be offered an honorary fellowship from Goldsmiths. I have very fond memories of my years spent there, which helped shape me into the artist that I am today. I am particularly grateful for the freedom to take risks which the staff encouraged and for the ambition they nurtured in us - no matter how brazen or off-the-wall it appeared".
BRITNEY TOPS POP LADY RICH LIST
Here's the top ten list...
1. Britney Spears ($58 million)
FACEBOOK REVEALS MOST LISTENED TO AND TALKED ABOUT
Most talked about topics:
1. London 2012 Olympics
Most played songs:
1. Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know
Gotye also scored highly in terms of song shares in the US, with 'Somebody That I Used To Know' the second most consumed track on the social media platform in 2012 Stateside, behind the UK's second placer, Fun's 'We Are Young'.
As for 1D, in America they were not only the third most talked about public figures on Facebook this year, but Americans also actually listened to their songs. Well, one, 'What Makes You Beautiful', which was fourth most played overall by US Facebookers.
THE KNIFE POST CRYPTIC VIDEO
Featuring abstract sounds plus images of feet, the duo themselves on some swings and a crowd dancing, underneath it was written the message, "Music can be so meaningless. We had to find lust. We asked our friends and lovers to help us". What could it mean? What could it possibly all mean?
Well, according to Pitchfork, it means the brother/sister duo will be releasing a new album called 'Shaking The Habitual' via Mute in the spring.
JUSTICE DETAIL HELIX EP
Starting with an extended version of its title track, also penultimate on Justice's 2011 long player 'Audio, Video, Disco', the new release also includes two new works and two remixes of 'Helix' by Gesaffelstein and Domenico Torti, the latter of which is streaming right now.
RARE TY SEGALL LPS GRANTED RE-RELEASE
'The Traditional Fools' - the first and only eponymous LP by one of Segall's ex bands - and 'Shark Attack' - his 2009 collaboration with Ty Segall Band bassist Mikal Cronin - will be released in sync on 22 Jan. View videos from the two collections now, if you like. Here's the first, and here's the second.
ROCKERS LINE UP FOR POST-SANDY BENEFIT SHOW
Though it was McCartney's pre-hyped collaboration with former Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, and Nirvana part-timer Pat Smear, that perhaps generated the most chatter beyond the venue, them performing an only slightly tedious new track called 'Cut Me Some Slack', which you can check out here.
TATE DEFENDS WEBSITE CRASH IN RUSH FOR KRAFTWERK TICKETS
Those of you who yearn for a return to those days will have been delighted yesterday when the Tate website went down almost as soon as tickets for Kraftwerk's eight shows in the Tate Modern Turbine Hall next February went on sale.
Tate Director Nicholas Serota told the BBC: "This isn't the first website that's crashed through over demand. The Olympics site did something similar ... Frankly we could have gone to a... Ticketmaster. We didn't think we wanted to give 20% of the ticket price an organisation of that kind".
The art gallery's site did get up and running again later though, and now all eight shows are sold out. Well done on your achievement if you got yourself one. Or seventeen.
FUCKED UP AND TITUS ANDRONICUS ADD CO-HEADLINING DATES
And now, preceding the specific dates mentioned above, a new video for Fucked Up's 'David Comes To Life' track 'Inside A Frame':
26 May: Bristol, The Fleece
FIDLAR TO TOUR
a) The release of FIDLAR's new LP 'FIDLAR', which is out 4 Feb, and
21 Feb: Birmingham, Academy 3
TAME IMPALA TO PLAY HAMMERSMITH APOLLO
The band will release vinyl/digital copies of their new single 'Feels Like We Only Go Backwards', as also features on their new LP 'Lonerism', on 17 Dec. This is its video.
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
Meanwhile, Butlins-based rave Southport Weekender has shared the first phase of its 2013 bill - as features Kerri Chandler, Miguel Campbell, Goldie and David Rodigan - and continental dance-athon Ultra Europe has unveiled its headlining DJs Avicii, Armin Van Buuren and Carl Cox. But first, stay tuned for similar memos from Croatian electro do Hideout and, later, Liverpool's Radstock:
HIDEOUT, Zrce Beach, Pah Croatia, 3-5 Jul 2013: Seth Troxler, Julio Bashmore, Soul Clap, Netsky, Bicep, High Contrast, DJ Hype, Joker. www.hideoutfestival.com
HIT THE DECK BRISTOL, various venues, Bristol, 20 Apr: Don Broco, We Are The In Crowd, Never Shout Never, We Are The Ocean, Bleeding Through, Title Fight, Army of Freshmen, Black Dogs, Bleed From Within, Evarose, Gnarwolves, The James Cleaver Quintet, Summerlin, Vinnie Caruana. www.hitthedeckfestival.com
HIT THE DECK NOTTINGHAM, various venues, Nottingham, 21 Apr: Don Broco, We Are The In Crowd, Never Shout Never, We Are The Ocean, Bleeding Through, Title Fight, Army of Freshmen, Black Dogs, Bleed From Within, Evarose, Gnarwolves, The James Cleaver Quintet, Summerlin, Vinnie Caruana, Departures, First Blood, Hundredth, LostAlone, Skies In Motion, Stick To Your Guns. www.hitthedeckfestival.com
RADSTOCK, O2 Academy Liverpool, 30 Mar 2013: Don Broco, Bury Tomorrow, Bleed From Within, Martyr Defiled, Blitz Kids, Polar, Marmozets, Demoraliser, Light You Up, Rat Attack, For Eyes, All Of This. radstockfestival.co.uk
SOUTHPORT WEEKENDER, Butlins Holiday Centre, Minehead, 10-12 May 2013: Prosumer, Lee Foss, DJ Sneak, Dennis Ferrer, Kerri Chandler, Miguel Campbell, Spen & Karizma, Black Coffee, Ralf Gum, Sean McCabe, Steve Butler, Body & Soul, DJ Cash Money, Trevor Nelson, David Rodigan, Goldie, DJ EZ, Shortee Blitz, Ronnie Herel, CJ Beatz, DJ MK, Firin Squad, Steve Wren, Bigger, JP, Mr Burnz, Mike Pantelli, Mala In Cuba, Ron Trent, Move D, Andres, Recloose, Gilles Peterson, Benji B, Atjazz, DJ Lefto, Phil Asher, Kev Beadle, Gavin Kendrick, Dimitri From Paris, Horsemeat Disco, Rich Medina, Kon, Paul 'Trouble' Anderson, 6th Borough Project, Sadar Bahar, The Mighty Zaf, Andy Davies, Bob Jeffries, Terry Jones, Karizma, Souldynamic, Luis Radio, Mark Stone, Phil Asher, Gavin Kendrick, Jonny Miller, Martin Lodge, Paul Stuart, Craig Bartlett, Lil Stevie. www.southportweekender.co.uk
ULTRA EUROPE, Poljud Stadium, Split, Croatia, 12-14 Jul 2013: Avicii, Armin Van Buuren, Carl Cox. ultraeurope.com
MUSICTANK ANNOUNCE 2013 LIVE MUSIC COURSE
Commenting on the next edition of the 'Get Plugged In: Live Music, Promotion & Venue Management' programme, Inglis told CMU: "We're back for a third year with more tales from the coalface of the live industry. Over three days we'll cover every major aspect of the business, getting plenty of dirt and grime under our fingernails as we dig around for the truth behind the headlines and the bottom lines behind the deals. Together with guest speakers - each experts in their field - we'll help arm some of the next generation of live industry employers and employees to better face the challenges that lie ahead, in this complex and constantly-shifting landscape, using honesty, embarrassment (my own) and swearing as our weapons of choice".
Guest speakers include WeGotTickets' Dave Newton, Schoneberg Concerts' Carina Jirsch, Beggars Group's Ruth Barlow, End Of The Road Festival's Sophia Hagberg, Evil Genius Media's Mark Muggeridge and Ross Allmark from Old Blue Last, Birthdays and Vice.
The course kicks off on 29 Jan, more info here.
MIDEM COMPANY BUYS TECH EVENT
Confirming the acquisition, Reed MIDEM chief Paul Zilk told reporters: "LeWeb fits very well with Reed MIDEM. We share the same ambition for developing premium international events where participants network and build relationships, do business, launch new products and discover the latest innovations. LeWeb's strong position in digital innovation and entrepreneurship is relevant to Reed MIDEM events and to the global portfolio of our group, Reed Exhibitions. We see many opportunities and synergies between our shows and LeWeb".
LeWeb founder Loïc Le Meur added: "Reed MIDEM is an ideal partner for us; they will bring to LeWeb the resources and expertise to solidify the growth and maintain the premium quality of our events. LeWeb's development has been incredible since 2005 and we needed a partner such as Reed MIDEM to make it even more successful".
The main Paris edition of LeWeb took place earlier this month, while a London spin-off event is due to take place next June.
SKRILLEX LABEL LAUNCHES SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE
Says the poster boy of American dumb-step: "The Nest is another chance for us to get music out to the fans quicker and easier. It's a step into the unknown future of music which is exciting, and it allows us to keep our fans up on fresh content and bring up some new artists we love".
The new venture will be powered by previously reported direct-to-fan technologies company Drip.fm, which also powers the subscription service launched by Domino Records back in June.
KLAIMAN RETURNS TO SONY AFTER BARNETT DEPARTURE AT COLUMBIA
Klaiman previously spent more than a decade at Sony Music, most of it heading up promotions for Epic. Overseeing the promotions team will be a key part of his new role at Columbia too. Confirming the appointment, Columbia US top man Rob Stringer told reporters: "We are thrilled to have someone of Joel's high calibre and experience join our team in a very important role".
Klaiman added: "I am very excited about joining Columbia. I have always admired their artists. I am really anxious to get started in collaborating with the Columbia team in breaking new music. I want to thank Rob Stringer and [Sony Music CEO] Doug Morris for this incredible opportunity!"
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TICKETSCRIPT TO CONTINUE WORKING WITH MTV IN 2013
Ticketscript Group Commercial Director Jason Thomas told CMU: "We are really pleased to have worked so closely with MTV on the MTV EMA - one of the world's most prestigious music events. To have been involved with both the initial ticketing for all competition winners, as well as the entrance control for such a high profile event, signifies the value of our ticketing solution".
FATDROP LAUNCH NEW BERLIN-BASED BUSINESS
The new division will be led by FATdrop co-founder Alex Stacey, who will have a sizable team in place at launch, including Zebralution co-founder Sascha Lazimbat, former VP Content at Beatport Ronny Krieger, another former Beatporter Michelle Owen, plus existing FATdrop workers Mai Harper (also head of the One4ho label) and Dylan Richards, who is probably better known to CMU readers under his recording artist guise King Cannibal.
Confirming the new spin-off business, FATdrop's GM Duncan Fordyce told CMU: "Berlin has a vibrant music and digital scene that is recognised around the world. My decision to locate our new services unit in Germany's capital was based on the incredible talent we were able to attract here. With our new structure we receive creative input from both the UK and German scenes, and our worldwide clients will surely benefit from the services that our Berlin unit can now offer".
Stacey adds: "Our mission is to satisfy and help grow the company's client base, and to guide FATdrop Ltd's development team by identifying important enhancements to the service. I am extremely excited to take over responsibility for this diverse mix of services that my team in Berlin will provide to the parent and platform company".
MORRISSEY ON PRANK-CALL-GATE: IT'S THE WINDSORS FAULT
Speaking to New Zealand's 3 News, the singer said: "Even with the recent story about the nurse killing herself in King Edward Hospital, there's no blame placed at Kate Middleton who was in the hospital as far as I could see for absolutely no reason. She feels no shame about the death of this woman, she's saying nothing about the death of this poor woman. The arrogance of the British royals is staggering, absolutely staggering. And why it's allowed to be I really don't know".
Presenter Ali Ikram responded that Middleton "had a health condition, she had to go somewhere". Morrissey wasn't convinced though, continuing: "Does she have a health condition? Is it anorexia or is it pregnancy? We don't know. But what is the health condition? I mean morning sickness already? So much hoo haa and then suddenly as bright as a button as soon as this poor woman dies she's out of hospital? It doesn't ring true. It doesn't ring true".
Straying off the topic of the Royals slightly, he added: "I'm sure the Palace and Clarence House put maximum pressure on this poor nurse, and of course that's kept away from the press. I'm sure the British press hounded this poor woman to her death, that's kept away. And by this time next week she'll be forgotten".
Hear more from the Morrissey on the subject of the Royal Family here.
CAT POWER MAKES CHILDREN SAD
Watch it here.