An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Monday 28 October 2013

TODAY'S TOP STORY: Tributes aplenty have been made overnight for the late great Lou Reed, who died this weekend aged 71. The Velvet Underground frontman's literary agent confirmed to the Associated Press yesterday that Reed had died from a "liver-related ailment", adding that he had not been well "for a few months". As previously reported, it was confirmed in June that Reed had had a live transplant [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Owing a lot to Can, MBV and all the other forefathers of stormy psych dins, krautrock group The Oscillation released their new LP 'From Tomorrow', the most recent of three, last month. In it, they show a flair for teasing finesse, and fineness, from the knotted copses of drone-noise that are common to all their songs. The band play a special AV set at London's Shacklewell Arms on 24 Nov [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Music world pays tribute as Lou Reed dies
LEGAL Quincy Jones sues over posthumous Michael Jackson releases
Digital royalties dispute is brewing in Europe too
DEALS Imagem sign publishing deal with Madness
LIVE BUSINESS Live Nation acquires controlling stake in Voodoo Fest
BRANDS & MERCH O2 announces ARTPOP alliance with Gaga
Metallica to play Coke Zero show in Antarctica
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Twitter's music app likely to be incorporated into main platform
MEDIA The Box rebrands
Louis Walsh 'might stay' on X-Factor
ARTIST NEWS Flaming Lips gloss over 'split' rumours
RELEASES Greg Ginn's Black Flag releasing new LP
GIGS & FESTIVALS Gigs & tours round-up: Sophie Ellis Bextor, The Killers and Cass McCombs
AWARDS One Direction win Best UK & Ireland Act pre-EMAs
AND FINALLY... Radio 2 rings in the hour change with some double Bob
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Music world pays tribute as Lou Reed dies
Tributes aplenty have been made overnight for the late great Lou Reed, who died this weekend aged 71. The Velvet Underground frontman's literary agent confirmed to the Associated Press yesterday that Reed had died from a "liver-related ailment", adding that he had not been well "for a few months".

As previously reported, it was confirmed in June that Reed had had a live transplant earlier this year, resulting in the cancellation of his set at Coachella. And although the singer songwriter told reporters the operation had been very successful, he was admitted to hospital for further treatment in July.

Leading the tributes online was Reed's former Velvet Underground bandmate John Cale, who said simply "The world has lost a fine songwriter and poet... I've lost my 'school-yard buddy'". Meanwhile another former collaborator, David Bowie, said via his Facebook page, simply, "He was a master".

Producer Brian Eno used his short online tribute to note that Reed's influence went far beyond the modest commercial success of either Velvet Underground or his solo work, saying: "The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band".

Quincy Jones sues over posthumous Michael Jackson releases
Presumably having noted the recent conclusion of the Jacksons v AEG legal battle, and aware that there have to be at least four bits of litigation involving Michael Jackson working their way through the US courts at any one time, Quincy Jones has stepped forward with a ten million dollar lawsuit. Good times.

Jones - the producer, of course, on what some might call the "decent bit" of the late king of pop's solo oeuvre - is suing Sony Music and the MJJ Productions company, the latter now controlled by the Michael Jackson Estate, over various ventures that have utilised the singer's catalogue since his death in 2009.

And that includes the 'This Is It' film and accompanying soundtrack, the 25th anniversary edition of 'Bad' and the two Jackson-themed Cirque du Soleil productions. The latter played no small part in ensuring Jackson was declared the most profitable dead celeb of the last year by Forbes magazine last week.

The litigation says that, through the various posthumous Jackson projects, the estate and Sony Music, which released, via its Epic label, most of the singer's solo albums, including the three the legendary producer oversaw, breached agreements dating from 1978 and 1985 that gave Jones the first option to remix or remaster the records he produced.

He also reckons that Sony and the Estate constructed complicated deals for some of the projects, especially the 'This Is It' film and soundtrack, designed to filter more money to MJJ Productions rather than Sony, and in doing so cutting him out of some of the royalties he is due via his contract with the major as producer on 'Off The Wall', 'Thriller' and 'Bad'.

Confirming that matters were now going legal, the producer's attorney told reporters: "Quincy has been frustrated with these matters for a number of years, felt he was not making any progress and needed to take more formal action".

For its part, the Michael Jackson Estate has denied any wrong-doing. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, its legal rep Howard Weitzman said the estate was "saddened to learn that Quincy Jones has filed a lawsuit seeking money from Michael's estate. To the best of its knowledge, Mr Jones has been appropriately compensated over approximately 35 years for his work with Michael".


Digital royalties dispute is brewing in Europe too
The digital royalties debate could soon go legal in Europe, according to a report in The Guardian. A number of Swedish artists are reportedly threatening to sue Universal Music and Warner Music if they don't agree to more favourable splits on digital and especially streaming royalties, the latter already being a primary rather than periphery revenue stream for the record industry in Sweden of course.

As much previously reported, this is an issue that has already gone legal several times over in the US. Record contracts that pre-date iTunes obviously make no reference to digital music services, which poses questions regards the labels' right to distribute recordings digitally and, more importantly, on the share of the money generated they should pass back to artists.

Most classic record contracts gave artists a much bigger cut of "licensing" or "other" revenue as opposed to "record sales" income, partly because the label took less risk in generating that money, and partly because until recently non-record sale money was a very small part of the pie. The question with digital income, which comes from "licensing deals" agreed with the digital firms, is should artists be getting the bigger or smaller royalty share. In the main the majors have gone with the latter.

Various lawsuits have been rumbling on for sometime on this issue Stateside, though the landmark case is that between Eminem collaborators FBT Productions and Universal Music, regards the producers' cut on the early Slim Shady catalogue. The claimants prevailed and forced the mega-major into paying them a higher cut of digital income. Numerous lawsuits are now pending that will test whether that precedent should apply across the board.

But what about in Europe? Various managers of heritage artists over here who earn from their catalogue, but who haven't renegotiated their legacy deals since the arrival of iTunes, have been watching the American cases very closely.

And now, according to Helienne Lindvall in her latest piece for The Guardian, "a number of Swedish artists are threatening to sue Universal and Warner Music over the paltry royalties they get from people streaming their music". And, citing Swedish Musicians' Union lawyer Per Herrey, she adds: "If record labels don't agree to increase the share of the royalties distributed to artists from services such as Spotify, the artists will start demanding that their music is removed from the service".

While Universal Music in the US has insisted that the FBT Productions case doesn't set a general precedent regards artist royalties, behind the scenes Sony Music has been negotiating with affected artists. It remains to be seen how this pans out in Europe, though if further cases go in the artists' favour in the US, European acts are going to be pushing for a new deal on digital income too.

Imagem sign publishing deal with Madness
Independent publisher Imagem has announced a new worldwide deal with Madness covering the publishing rights in three of the band's more recent albums, 1999's 'Wonderful', 2009's 'The Liberty Of Norton Folgate' and last year's 'Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da'.

Confirming the deal, Imagem UK MD Kim Frankiewicz told CMU: "Madness are a fantastically British band; since the late 70s they've provided a sonic narrative to British culture. We're absolutely delighted to be working with them moving forward, and also representing the last three albums from their stellar catalogue".

Meanwhile Madness manager Hugh Gadsdon added: "Imagem are an exciting, relatively new company, who over the last five years have demonstrated an energy and ambition which we could not ignore and wanted to be part of. The Madness team are looking forward to working closely with Kim and Imagem, as the band continue to tour globally and record great new music".

Live Nation acquires controlling stake in Voodoo Fest
Ahead of its fifteenth anniversary edition this coming weekend, it was confirmed last week that American festival the Voodoo Music & Arts Experience, more commonly known as Voodoo Fest, has been acquired by live giant Live Nation.

Earlier this year it was widely reported that Robert Sillerman's new SFX business was taking a slice of the Voodoo Fest company - and indeed Sillerman himself discussed the deal in an interview - but as it turns out, that transaction never took place.

Stephen Rehage, founder of the annual New Orleans event, always timed to coincide to Halloween (more or less), will join Live Nation as part of the new deal to oversee other US festivals controlled by the live firm, and also input on other acquisitions in the festival market.

He told reporters: "I am grateful for the opportunity to join the Live Nation team. Our outlooks on the festival market are aligned and we look to grow the Live Nation festival roster over the coming years".

Meanwhile Live Nation exec Bob Roux added: "Stephen has built a remarkable brand and I'm looking forward to working with him to continue to enhance Voodoo and the other Live Nation festivals in the US".

O2 announces ARTPOP alliance with Gaga
Lady Gaga has teamed up with useless phone network O2 to give impatient British Little Monsters the opportunity to hear the pop lady's new album a whole six days before it's released - news, I'm sure you'll all agree, that is so exciting fireworks will likely erupt across the nation as the exclusive preview occurs.

The 'ARTPOP' preview will be available on 5 Nov via the previously reported O2 Tracks streaming service, which offers users a limited catalogue of pop content in return for a lower-than-standard subscription rate. O2 Tracks, of course, is available to mobile-users on all networks, though I think only O2 4G customers will also get access to an exclusive eight minute video offering some very special Gaga shit.

Confirming the Gaga exclusive promotion, which will also include an ad campaign featuring the pop star, O2's Head Of Brand Shadi Halliwell told CMU: "At O2 we've got a longstanding history of offering customers exclusive benefits and experiences, and we're proud to extend our priority strategy to offer O2 Tracks customers the opportunity to be amongst the first people to experience the most highly anticipated album of 2013. We're also going a step further by giving all O2 4G customers exclusive access to exciting new video content - enough to make any Lady Gaga fans heart sing".

Meanwhile Chris Elrin from Gaga's label Polydor added: "This is what brand and music partnerships are all about. Artist, record company and brand working collaboratively and most importantly creatively together. O2 were great at working together with us and Lady Gaga to deliver a fantastic campaign giving fans the opportunity to access the album ahead of release".

And as for the Lady herself, well she put on her best frock and declared: "I'm so happy that O2 Tracks is bringing 'ARTPOP' to everyone in the UK a week early. I hope that all of the UK Monsters love it as much as I do!"


Metallica to play Coke Zero show in Antarctica
It looks like Charlie Simpson is about to lose his 'world's coldest gig' Guinness World Record to Metallica, who've confirmed they're off to Antarctica for a Coca-Cola Zero-sponsored show.

In a contest open only to those living in Latin America, fans will be able to bid to watch the band play live in a "dome" near the Argentine Antarctic Base Carlini on 8 Dec. The set will be transmitted via headphones, with no amplification, which Metallica say is a "first".

They add: "After over 30 years as a band, we have been unbelievably fortunate to visit just about every corner of the earth... except for one. That is all about to change as we are set to travel to Antarctica, the only continent that Metallica has never played on until now! Pack up those warm clothes and we'll see you at the bottom of the planet!"

Apparently, the Coke-enabled show will be streamed live, but only to drinkers/fans in Latin America, though international fans will be able to see a sugar-free recording "at a later date".

Twitter's music app likely to be incorporated into main platform
Reports that Twitter's music recommendation app is about to be axed may have been exaggerated, or at least they only told half the story.

According to Billboard, rumours last week that Twitter Music was about to be shut down, having failed to generate the kind of usage expected after the service's much hyped launch back in April, likely originated in plans at the social networking firm to actually integrate the music discovery set-up into the main Twitter platform.

That Twitter's little music recommendations play sat outside the micro-blogging platform's main eco-system was a major weakness of the service, though the motivation to address that issue is possibly being driven by the commercial side of the social media company.

It is thought themed channels will soon be integrated into the official Twitter platform and apps around TV, movies and music in a bid to enable more targeted advertising.

The Box rebrands
Good news for fans of new logos and bland music television, The Box has a new image and onscreen branding as of today. Such treats, and with 58 days still to go til Christmas!

Explains Box TV's Marketing Director Melissa Pine: "As the most mature and forward thinking of our network of brands, the rebrand continues to connect with our ever demanding 16-24 audience who may not have grown up with The Box, without alienating core fans".

Good news for the "core fans" then, who were very close to being alienated there I think. Adds the channel's Art Director Francois Cassin: "The biggest challenge for us was to successfully combine a wealth of brand heritage with a new, cutting edge approach. I believe the new logo and channel identity does exactly that".


Louis Walsh 'might stay' on X-Factor
Louis Walsh has threatened to stay on as a judge on 'The X-Factor'. This despite him saying earlier this year that he planned to leave after the show's present series. And the fact that 'The X-Factor' sucks.

Talking on Jonathan Ross's ITV chat show, which aired on Saturday night, Walsh said: "Well, I said I was leaving. But I'm having so much fun this year I might stay".

And he might be the only one to do so, since current mentors Gary Barlow and Sharon Osbourne have both confirmed they'll quit once this year's 'X' wraps. Osbourne, meanwhile, wrote in her autobiography 'Unbreakable' that fourth judge Nicole Scherzinger was also considering other options. So who knows? And more importantly, who cares?

  Approved: The Oscillation
Owing a lot to Can, MBV and all the other forefathers of stormy psych dins, krautrock group The Oscillation released their new LP 'From Tomorrow', the most recent of three, last month. In it, they show a flair for teasing finesse, and fineness, from the knotted copses of drone-noise that are common to all their songs.

The band play a special AV set at London's Shacklewell Arms on 24 Nov, leading an all-day bill also featuring Theo Verney and Purson, this as part of good looking five-day fest The Trip: Sonic Delirium (21-26 Nov). In the meantime, find your way into 'From Tomorrow' track 'Corridor Part I' and its imaginatively titled other half, 'Corridor Part II'.
CLICK HERE to read and share online

Flaming Lips gloss over 'split' rumours
The Flaming Lips aren't splitting, just in case anyone thought otherwise. And you'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise, because the band announced it via their official Twitter account last week. Or did they?

Well, no, they claim they didn't, and that actually their feed was hacked by someone or other who issued the false split announcement. Which all sounds like a very likely story. In that it's very likely to be true, particularly given the band have a split EP with Tame Impala, and a new "extended play six song thang" based on a track they taped for new film 'Ender's Game', both on the way.

To recap the confusions, it all started with a tweet sent, as I said, via the Lips Twitter feed last Thursday, which read: "We have sad news. We've broken up..." This was followed shortly after by another message that ran "lol just joking guys".

A third tweet, permitted to stay on the band's tweet page, states: "That last announcement was a bit premature". It's accompanied by an image that appears to celebrate the band's 30th anniversary.

And meanwhile, Wayne Coyne allayed fans fears' a bit more by saying: "The Flaming Lips Twitter has been hijacked!"

And that's that. Now let's not mention any of this silliness ever, ever again.

Greg Ginn's Black Flag releasing new LP
'Black Flag', or at least the Greg Ginn version of Black Flag (as opposed to BF spin-off band FLAG, which features exiled members Keith Morris, Bill Stevenson and Dez Cadena), is/are releasing a new LP. This, via Brooklyn Vegan, is its terrible, terrible artwork. And its nearly-as-terrible title is 'What The...'

Ginn lost a lawsuit against his one-time bandmates (including former BF frontman Henry Rollins) earlier this month after a Californian court found he had no individual rights to use the Black Flag trademark.

Moving past that and back to 'What The...', the LP is listed on iTunes with an expected release date of 5 Nov. Oh, and 22 tracks, including 'Go Away', 'Get Out Of My Way', 'You Gotta Be Joking' and 'Shut Up'. Think Rollins and FLAG can consider themselves 'told'.

Gigs & tours round-up: Sophie Ellis Bextor, The Killers and Cass McCombs
Sophie Ellis Bextor's back! With a one-off show, and the outline of her new LP 'Wanderlust', produced, co-written and arranged by Ed Harcourt. The gig, which is at London's Bush Hall on 21 Jan, will follow 'Wanderlust', which is due to come out the previous day. Info is here.

Sticking with live goings-on, The Killers have also announced a one-off date. Like Sophie EB's, it's in London, only at the Hammersmith Apollo on 6 Nov, which coincides quite slickly with the 10 Nov release of the band's new 'best of' collection 'Direct Hits'. Spooky tickets to the show will go on sale on Halloween.

Now, to a tour. A Cass McCombs tour in support of his new LP 'Big Wheel & Others' to be precise. Starting at Bristol's Colston Hall on 8 Jan 2014, it'll progress through three further stops, winding up at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on 13 Jan. Find full listings at this URL.

One Direction win Best UK & Ireland Act pre-EMAs
What a shocker, One Direction have seen off the likes of Ellie Goulding, Olly Murs and Calvin Harris to win the title of 'Best UK & Ireland Act' at this year's MTV EMAs.

And no, you didn't miss the EMAs - they're happening on 10 Nov - this particular vote was to choose a 'regional' best act who'll then be in contention with four other North European best acts to be elected to the ten act shortlist of finalists for the Worldwide Act category. It's really pretty simple, I think.

Anyway. The EMAs are being broadcast from Amsterdam this year, and will feature live performances by Katy Perry, Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus. And shall we now cut to 1D's new 'Midnight Memories' single 'Story Of My Life'? Yeah, let's, please.

Radio 2 rings in the hour change with some double Bob
Listeners to Bob Harris's Radio 2 show in the very early hours of Sunday morning got double the entertainment for 20 minutes at 1am, when two portions of the programme were aired at the same time.

It seems that the hour change may have been behind the slip up on the pre-recorded show, with two segments of the programme possibly set to air at 1am, meaning 1am British Summer Time and then 1am GMT. But play was presumably pressed on both bits at the first 1am.

While listeners quickly started to tweet their confusion at the double output, it took Radio 2 staff 20 minutes to spot the cock up. Listeners to the show then got a little bit of daytime Radio 2's playlist - Abba and Olly Murs - from the station's emergency tape while the error was rectified.

A spokesman for the station told reporters: "Last night between 1am and 2am there was a technical glitch which affected Bob Harris's show. We are currently looking into the cause and apologise to listeners tuning in at that time".

Meanwhile Harris said on Twitter: "I am so sorry about the technical problems on my show last night. I'm particularly disappointed that you weren't able to hear Nick Capaldi. We will be re-broadcasting the Nick Capaldi session as soon as we can. So sorry that a technical fault had such a big impact on the show".

ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletin and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
Email (except press releases, see below)
CHRIS COOKE | Co-Publisher, Business Editor & Insights Director
Chris provides music business coverage, writing key business news and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business, and is MD of CMU publisher UnLimited Media.
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ALY BARCHI | Staff Writer
Aly reports on artist news, coordinates the festival, gig and release round up columns, and contributes to the CMU Approved column. She also writes for CMU's sister title ThisWeek London.
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SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, plus helps manage and deliver the CMU Insights training courses and consultancy services.
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CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of UnLimited Media she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
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