19 SEP 2013

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We're deep into 2013 now though, just past one year since the first of these columns was published. Surely everyone's now realised how ridiculous they look when they make bold and often delusional claims about the exchange of coolness for cash? No. No they have not. And to see that, we only need to look as far as the relatively recent announcement of Shakira as the new face of Oral-B and Crest's '3D White Collection'. That's toothpaste, in case you weren't sure more>>
Fallulah released her debut album, 'The Black Cat Neighbourhood', to high acclaim in her native Denmark (and here in CMU) back in 2010. Since then she has released a reasonably steady stream of new music. I've not been instantly enamoured with everything she's put out in that time, but new track 'Dragon' hits all the criteria for a great Fallulah track dead on. Taken from her second album, 'Escapism', 'Dragon' is pop, but driven by a tense piano line and overdriven, heavy metal-style percussion more>>

- "He wanted to redeem Michael Jackson": Jacksons v AEG update
- Pandora wins one of its ASCAP legal disputes
- Ariel Pink settles million dollar lawsuit with drummer
- Gary Barlow trails long-awaited third solo LP
- Mew to release new single through app
- Oh Land, Frankie Rose, Keep Shelly In Athens streaming LPs
- Madonna confirms short film, Vice-partnered art initiative
- Morrissey autobiography still go, says fansite
- Deerhunter hold off European tour
- Television set pre-ATP dates
- Festival line-up update: Sŵn, Simple Things, Celtic Connections and more
- Morrisons to sell Signature Brew's Prof Green beer
- Oink to return as legal music service
- Avicii joins Capital FM
- Kaiser Chiefs Ricky Wilson to join The Voice
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And so the case for the defence rests. Lawyers for AEG Live presented their final arguments yesterday in the long running Jacksons v AEG court case. The Jackson family, of course, want the live firm held liable for the 2009 death of Michael Jackson, because, as promoter of the singer's 'This Is It' venture, it paid Dr Conrad Murray, the medic convicted for causing the late king of pop's demise through negligent treatment. AEG counters that Jackson himself hired and managed Murray.

Having decided not to call Jackson's mother Katherine, the main plaintiff in the case, back to the witness stand, Team AEG instead wrapped things up by showing a video of a testimony by Dr Allan Metzger. He provided healthcare to Jackson for a number of years earlier in his career, and had reconnected with the star just a few months before his untimely death. For AEG there were two key elements to Metzger's deposition: Jackson's tendency to keep secrets about his medical treatments, and his state of mind regarding 'This Is It'.

After paying tribute to Jackson - "a wonderful, generous person" - Metzger said that, when he spoke to the singer in early 2009, he was excited if nervous about the then planned 'This Is It' London residency. And while some have suggested that Jackson was bullied into 'This Is It', or certainly into agreeing to a residency of that scale, with AEG exploiting his precarious financial position, Metzger says the singer actually saw the project as an opportunity to repair his reputation as an artist, which had never really recovered from the child abuse trial of 2005.

According to Billboard, Metzger said in his deposition: "He wanted to redeem Michael Jackson. He wanted to redeem his image. He felt this was it and he wanted to go out with a flash. He was still terribly hurt about the trial and the accusations".

Jackson did raise some fears about the health implications of the project, Metzger admitted, including issues with sleeping. The doctor said he told Jackson he could recommend some sleep therapists in London, but that the singer didn't seem interested. Jackson then raised the possibility of intravenous sleep medication, though not specifically propofol, the drug that caused the singer's death. Metzger advised against such a route.

There was no mention of Murray in the conversation, Metzger added, but he said that Jackson was often secretive about any treatment he was receiving; even when talking to one doctor, he wouldn't reveal conversations had or treatments received from other medics. Jackson was also prone, Metzger reckoned, to so called "doctor shopping".

AEG will be hoping that Metzger's testimony convinces the jury that it is most likely that Jackson himself pressured Murray into pursuing dangerous treatments, and that the use of Propofol was not the inadvertent result of pressure put on the medic by the live company. They also want the jury to know how secretive Jackson could be about his health, in a bid to convince jurors that - while with hindsight there were clues to the risky treatment the singer was receiving in the weeks before his death - it would have been hard for AEG to pick up on any of them.

Lawyers for the Jacksons are now expected to deliver a rebuttal to the AEG defence, with the jury finally due to begin deliberations next week.

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Pandora has won one of its legal battles with the music industry, with a US court ruling in a summary judgement that American music publishers cannot withdraw from the streaming firm's existing deal with collecting society ASCAP and force the company to do direct deals.

As previously reported, Pandora went legal on this one back in June. The digital company argued that the Sony, Universal, Warner and BMG publishing companies couldn't withdraw their ASCAP-represented song catalogues from the existing deal the society has with Pandora (even though the rates to be paid under that deal are also the subject of a legal dispute).

Most of the big publishers in the US, which have previously licensed digital performance rights through the collecting societies, are now opting to do direct deals with digital services instead, mainly because they think they can get more favourable terms.

Said publishers argued that providing they fulfilled ASCAP's processes for withdrawing their rights, they weren't obliged to continue licensing Pandora through the society's existing licence. ASCAP, meanwhile, said Pandora knew that the catalogue available via that licence was subject to change. But Pandora disagreed, and this week judge Denise Cote backed that viewpoint, saying that the digital firm's ASCAP licence "unambiguously" covers all the works the society represented at the point the deal was done.

The ruling means that the big publishers will have to continue to licence Pandora via ASCAP until 2015, even though the digital firm had actually agreed direct deals with some of them while this litigation was going through the motions.

Pandora, of course, welcomed the ruling, while ASCAP boss John Lofrumento said in a statement: "The court's decision to grant summary judgment on this matter has no impact on our fundamental position in this case that songwriters deserve fair pay for their hard work, an issue that the court has not yet decided".

Although Pandora still has various disputes ongoing with the wider music community, including other litigation with both ASCAP and the other big US collecting society BMI, yesterday's win provided a little boost for the company's share price even as that big new competitor, iTunes Radio, was going live Stateside.

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Prolific musician Ariel Pink has settled a lawsuit with his former drummer Aaron Sperske, who claimed he had been "squeezed out" of Pink's band - Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - and should be given $1 million in damages (I know, right?), along with profits from the songs he co-wrote on the band's last album, 'Mature Themes', and royalties for future shows where those songs are performed.

According to Pitchfork, the two parties have now reached an undisclosed out of court financial settlement. Pink's lawyer Dan Kapelovitz told the website: "We are very pleased with the results of this case, and that it has been settled to the satisfaction of all of the parties. Ariel Pink and the other musicians can now focus on creating music instead of defending a federal lawsuit".

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'X-Factor' grinch Gary Barlow has confirmed he has a new solo LP on the way; his first since 1999's 'Twelve Months, Eleven Days'.

Teasing its 25 Nov release date, Gaz tweeted earlier this week: "After fourteen long years I'm proud to announce my new solo album out! I'm excited for u to hear it! More info to follow #gbsolo".

Yeah, let's get that hashtag trending. Alternatively, fans can start salivating over the idea of a new Take That LP, since - as Gary said earlier this year - one of them is due in 2014.

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Mew have announced that they are releasing a new song later this month through an app called 'Sensory Spaces', which the band have developed as part of their previously reported partnership with Bang & Olufsen's B&O Play brand.

Using the app through a mobile device, fans will have to move around to find different elements of the new song, entitled 'Making Friends', only unlocking the complete recording once all of its different parts have been discovered.

Guitarist Bo Madsen told CMU: "Mew has always been about playing. About turning things upside down and expanding the limits of the music experience. The same applies to 'Sensory Spaces'. We wanted to present our listeners with something different while also revealing some of the stuff that is in store. In addition it is a tiny peek behind the drapes of a band which in its nature is rather private".

The free app will be made available for iPhone and iPad users on 25 Sep. And if you're still a little confused about what exactly it is that it does, have a little watch of this video (it might help).

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Oh la la, Oh Land, Frankie Rose and Keep Shelly In Athens have shared online playbacks their 100%-not-linked-in-any-way new LPs, which is nice if, like me, you like that kind of thing.

Oh Land's 'Wish Bone', which it appears has been laid off (in Britain, anyway) until 4 Nov, is streaming via The New York Times' site, while Frankie's is available on Pitchfork's Advance player and Keep Shelly In Athens' 'At Home' is available via The Line Of Best Fit.

This is Oh Land's piping hot new 'Pyromaniac' vid, by the way.

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That 'mystery thing' Madonna's been trailing is, it transpires, a new seventeen minute film titled 'secretprojectrevolution' she's co-directed with Steven Klein. Set to be released as a free file via BitTorrent, it'll mark the 'birth' of Madonna's new Art For Freedom initiative, an interactive bank of online art created in collaboration with Vice and, conveniently, BitTorrent.

Madge says in a statement: "My goal is to show by the example of secretprojectrevolution my creative commitment to inspire change in the world through artistic expression. I hope my film and other submissions to Art For Freedom will be a call-to-action and give people a place to voice their own creative expression to help fight oppression, intolerance and complacency".

'secretprojectrevolution', which - says co-director Klein - "examines our private prisons and questions our governments, and our collective thought patterns; what we do, how we do it, and how we treat others", will be available as a free BitTorrent packet on 24 Sep.

Its stark trailer is playable in the meantime.

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So, Morrissey's autobiography, 'Autobiography', isn't necessarily as 'cancelled' as it seemed last week, when his reliable fansite True To You said the book had been stalled due to a "last minute content dispute" with its publisher, Penguin.

Since revising that report, True To You is now running with the line that Moz and Penguin still have a deal, and "remain determined to publish within the next few weeks". Hurrah?

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Here's something rubbish to ruin your Thursday: Deerhunter's October European tour-to-be, the one beginning in Dublin on 11 Oct, is no more (due to "unforeseen family circumstances").

Offering the usual refunds at point of purchase, and promising to reschedule soon, Deerhunter write: "We are very disappointed to have to cancel our upcoming European tour do to unforeseen circumstances. We were very excited for these shows, but unfortunately family circumstances at home for multiple members of the band have made this unavoidable".

On the slightly brighter side, here's the clip for their new single, 'Back To The Middle'.

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Iconic rock dinos Television will precede their set at ATP's End Of An Era festival with a trio of shows in November. They'll play the Sage in Gateshead on 15 Nov, Manchester's Academy 2 on 17 Nov, and London's Roundhouse on 19 Nov, finishing at the ATP fest (22-24 Nov) with a special recital of their 1977 LP 'Marquee Moon'. The end.

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Sonar has added to its cache of international festivals via a new event in Sweden. Taking place in Södermalm, Stockholm on 14-15 Feb 2014, the fest aligns with Sonar's other 2014 incarnations, in Icelandic capital Reykjavik (13-15 Feb) and Barcelona (12-14 Jun). Arriba!

Sonar's new edition advertised, it's now time to appraise the latest artist additions to next year's Bearded Theory, Celtic Connections and Hammerfest. Oh, and, coming soon(er); Cardiff's charitable Mind Fest, labyrinthine Bristol one-dayer Simple Things, and the 2013 edition of Sŵn which - despite losing Deerhunter, Amateur Best, and Danny Byrd, plus both Spectrals, and The Lay-Lows from its bill, has named brand new adds in The Wytches, Outfit and Wichita DJs.

Details lie here:

BEARDED THEORY, Catton Hall, Derbyshire, 23-25 May 2014: Oysterband, Anti-Vigilante.

CELTIC CONNECTIONS, various venues, Glasgow, Scotland, 16 Jan - 2 Feb 2014: Mogwai, Bill Callahan.

HAMMERFEST, Haven Holiday Park, Gwynedd, Wales, 13-15 Mar 2014: Tragedy, Monster Truck, Gloryhammer, Oaf, Fury, Derision, The Bastard Sons.

CARDIFF MIND FEST, various venues, Cardiff, 23-24 Nov: Gwenno, Thee Faction, The Milk Race, The Lash, Patrick Duff, Totem Terrors, Fist Of The First Man, Chris T-T, Laurence Made Me Cry.

SIMPLE THINGS, various venues, Bristol, 12 Oct: Evian Christ, Mykki Blanco, Charlie Boyer And The Voyeurs, Halls, The Wytches, Velcro Hooks, DJ Rashad, Andre Bratten, John Wizards, Misty Conditions, Ziro, Royal Blood, Glass Animals, Cheeba, Aartekt, Tommy Rawson, Shapes DJs, Crazy Legs DJs.

SŴN, various venues, Cardiff, Wales, 17-20 Oct: Outfit, The Wytches, Belong DJs, DJ Felson, Duo-Flex, Ultimate Power DJs, Valleyers, Wichita DJs.

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Professor Green's very own 'Remedy' beer, designed with help from Signature Brew, is to be sold in Morrisons, the company has announced. The beer will be available in stores nationwide for the price of £1.79 per bottle.

Signature Brew's Sam McGregor told CMU: "As a company we have been dedicated to brewing quality craft beers with bands and musicians. With the recent keen interest in music and beer partnerships, we are very excited to have the opportunity to open up one of our most popular beers to this wider market. Professor Green is heavily involved throughout and has been drinking, testing and assisting us with everything from day one. This is a proper collaboration and the start of an exciting new chapter for 'Remedy'".

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Well, we thought the days of seeing our favourite file-sharing service logo of all time were over, but it seems that Oink is on the comeback trail. And this time it's personal. Oh no, sorry, I read that wrong. This time it's legal.

As previously reported, UK-based invite-only file-sharing community Oink launched in 2004 and grew in popularity rapidly until it was shut down in 2007 following a joint investigation by British and Dutch police, working in collaboration with UK and global record label trade bodies the BPI and IFPI.

Four prolific users of the community were successfully prosecuted for simple copyright crimes, though founder Alan Ellis was tried and later acquitted of the more serious offence of conspiracy to defraud. A sixth man had the case against him dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.

And there it ended. Except it didn't, because this week a new website appeared for anyone heading to either of Oink's official URLs - and The basic website shows an image of Battersea Power Station with Oink's familiar cartoon pig logo floating above it, Pink Floyd-style.

Users are asked to sign up to a mailing list "for updates and an invitation in due time" and reminded to "never forget 23 Oct 2007", the date of the original site's shutdown. Artists are meanwhile asked to sign up to a separate mailing list, which asks for details such as links to listen to their music and if they're "independent and answer to no one". "Don't worry", it also notes, "we're on your side this time".

Who exactly is behind the new site isn't entirely clear, though subscribers to the site's mailing list are offered an address in LA, at which a number of companies are registered - the most obviously relevant being a server company. A Whois lookup on shows that the URL was registered by someone called Kyle Stevens on 28 Aug this year.

A request for comment was not returned.

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Man-child Avicii is to host his own show on Global Radio's Capital FM, so that's nice. The EDM Swede, real name Tim Bergling, will air a Saturday night mix once a month, part replacing ex-Capital weekend DJ Andi Durrant, who revealed he was leaving the station last week, apparently less than happy with its emphasis on chart hits.

Talking of which, it's back to Avicii, who says: "I'm so excited to have a monthly show on Capital FM. Being able to spread the music that I love and give my UK fans an update on my everyday life on the road, exciting projects and new releases is truly amazing!"

Similarly amazed, Director Of Broadcasting at Global, Richard Park, adds: "Avicii is a world class DJ who is loved by our audience so we're proud to have him on board to host his own show. He'll be playing the hottest dance tracks and some of the biggest club remixes around to help to keep our listeners in the party mood on the weekends".

Let's hope it's more successful than Akon's tenure at the station.

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Ricky Wilson has been announced as the second new 'coach' to join the next series of 'The Voice' when it returns in January, following the recent announcement that Kylie Minogue would also join the programme. Yes, Ricky Wilson off of the Kaiser Chiefs. He replaces The Script's Danny O'Donoghue has the person on the panel whose presence you're slightly confused about.

Announcing the news, Wilson said: "Who doesn't want to spend their Saturday night with Kylie Minogue? I spent last winter yelling at 'The Voice', and both Sir Tom Jones and were total superstars. I'm just lucky the Kaiser Chiefs have rubber stamped my temporary loan".

Claiming that Wilson is one of the UK's "great frontmen", the BBC's Controller of Entertainment Commissioning, Mark Linsey, added: "He knows all about performance and will complement the rest of the coaching line-up perfectly".

As previously reported, in addition to Kylie and Ricky, new on the next series of the show will also be recently appointed co-hosts Emma Willis and Marvin Humes.

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CMU Editor Andy Malt and CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke are both available to comment on music and music business stories. Together they have provided comment and contributions to BBC News, BBC World, BBC Radios 1, 4, 5, 6music and Scotland, Sky News, CNN, Wired and the Associated Press. Email or

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