An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Thursday 19 December 2013

TODAY'S TOP STORY: Former Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins has been sentenced to 29 years in prison for the sexual abuse of children, plus a six year licence after his release. Two female accomplices, who cannot be named in order to protect their children, who were victims in the case, received fourteen years and seventeen years. As previously reported, last month Watkins admitted to various charges, including... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Each weekday in the run up to the Christmas break, we will reveal another of our ten favourite artists of the year. To see who we've picked so far, check this page. Our penultimate artist is Kanye West... When I think of Kanye West in 2013, I think 'I Am A God'. I think "damn croissants". I think leather jogging pants, Kim Kardashian, baby North, and hideous candle-wax/Michelin Man heels. I think... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Ian Watkins sentenced to 29 years in prison
The Pirate Bay searching for a domain name "that sticks", following latest move
LEGAL Italian comms regulator gets web-blocking powers
Ruling on BMI licence could pose problems for Pandora
Santa song to stay with EMI
N-Dubz' Fazer unfazed by finances
Pussy Riot members could be released today
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Warner confirms how Parlophone roster will be handled in US
MEDIA Clash gives away free end of year digital edition
ARTIST NEWS Cult Of Luna to go on hiatus after London show
RELEASES Angel Haze leaks LP, displeases her label
Arcade Fire, Cat Power sing Christmas songs
GIGS & FESTIVALS Brand New set 2014 dates
Lizzo lists first headline shows
AND FINALLY... Bieber not retiring from music
Johnny Marr is anti-Spotify
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Ian Watkins sentenced to 29 years in prison
Former Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins has been sentenced to 29 years in prison for the sexual abuse of children, plus a six year licence after his release. Two female accomplices, who cannot be named in order to protect their children, who were victims in the case, received fourteen years and seventeen years.

As previously reported, last month Watkins admitted to various charges, including attempting to rape an eleven month old baby, as well as making and possessing images of the sexual abuse of children. Cardiff Crown Court was yesterday told that these images included the worst levels of abuse possible.

When he changed his plea to guilty, Watkins' lawyer Sally O'Neill said that the singer could not remember the incidents of child abuse he was accused of - and again reiterated today that he had "no recollection" of these events - though the attempted rape had been captured on video and was found by police in a cloud storage account operated by Watkins.

The court was told yesterday morning that phonecalls made from prison in the days after his admission seemed to show that Watkins' claim to not be able to remember anything were fabricated. In one call, he said: "It was like either me go up there and say 'Come on, it wasn't that bad, nobody got hurt'. I do my charm or do I end up making things worse for myself or do I just say I was off my head and can't remember?"

Discussing his then pending sentencing in the same call, he added: "I'm going to put a statement on the eighteenth now just to say it was 'megalolz', I don't know what everyone is getting so freaked out about".

Asked yesterday if he would still issue this statement, Watkins told the court: "No, it's just lols now".

In another phonecall he denied his guilt, saying: "It's so hard. There's a lot of fucking meaningless bullshit like chat that I did to show off when I was fucking off my head. There was no medical evidence, nobody was harmed at all. I'm not a paedophile, I'm not. You know I pleaded guilty just to avoid a trial, not realising 'hang on, that makes me look a bit guilty' but I would never harm anybody".

In a lengthy mitigation speech yesterday, O'Neill argued that Watkins should receive a reduced sentence on the grounds that his guilty plea avoided the need for a trial. She also argued that an "obsession" with sex and being "quite addicted to a variety of drugs", coupled with being bombarded with offers of sex from fans over social media (often feature "extraordinary depravity"), had meant he'd become carried away.

She added: "I don't for one moment pretend that Ian Watkins didn't fully take part and reciprocate in these fantasies but it is marked that often the initiator was the fan, whether it is one of the co-defendants or not".

O'Neill continued the line that Watkins could not remember his attempted rape of a baby, saying that he was "very shocked" when he saw the video of it, adding that he is "ashamed and appalled by what has happened" and is keen to seek help for his drug and alcohol problems.

The lawyers for the two women sentenced alongside the ex-Lostprophets singer rebuked claims that they had manipulated a drug-addled Watkins into trying to have sex with their children, both saying that it was the singer who had initiated all of the incidents they were involved in.

Lawyer for 'Woman A', Jonathan Fuller, said that she was "certainly not an obsessive fan seeking out this individual" but was "vulnerable and exploited and allowed herself to be so". Meanwhile, Christine Laing, speaking for 'Woman B', acknowledged that her client was a "major" fan of Watkins and said that he had used this to manipulate her, referring to himself as "your master" in messages to her and telling her "you and your daughter now belong to me".

In sentencing, the judge Mr Justice Royce told the defendants that their actions plumbed "new depths of depravity", adding: "Any decent person looking at or listening to material here would experience shock, revulsion, anger and incredulity".

He also said that while judges are used to presiding over "horrific" cases, this one "breaks new ground". In this summing up, he also revealed that Watkins had told a probation officer that he may have committed worse abuse had he not been arrested, but Royce found it "difficult to imagine anything much worse" than the acts he had already carried out.

Royce said that Watkins had shown "evident delight" in abusing children, and "an almost complete lack of remorse" since his arrest. He added that the singer poses a "significant risk" to young women and children.


The Pirate Bay searching for a domain name "that sticks", following latest move
A spokesperson for The Pirate Bay has said that the file-sharing service will continue to switch its top level domain name until it finds one "that sticks", after moving its main web address to a new domain registry for the third time this month.

Yesterday, TPB announced that it had now moved to a new domain in Guyana, having already switched to domains registered in the Ascension Islands and Peru in the last week. Legal action by rights owners has led to various domain registries suspending Pirate Bay domains, with the Peru one going offline a few hours after TPB announced its latest shift. Prior to this month's moves, already this year the controversial file-sharing site has used and given up on web addresses in Sweden, Greenland, Iceland and Sint Maarten.

The latest shift came after Peru's National Institute For The Defense Of Competition And The Protection Of Intellectual Property (INDECOPI) ordered the country's biggest ISP, Red Cientifica Peruana, to suspend the domain or face a fine of up to 666,000 soles (£145,000). Although the company has apparently complied, El Comercio reports that RCP may yet appeal against the order on the grounds that any action should be taken against the owners of the domain, rather than the company it is registered with.

Whether or not that appeal goes ahead, The Pirate Bay has already moved on regardless, and will continue to do so. Speaking to TorrentFreak after the latest change, a TPB spokesperson said: "We have some 70 domain names left, so eventually we will find one that sticks. A few domains have been prepared so we can switch over whenever's needed".

This is something of a shift from comments made last week, when The Pirate Bay said it was preparing an update to its PirateBrowser software which would return everything to the days of decentralised file-sharing, and thus have no need for domain names.

Of course, for those accessing the Bay via 'proxies' set up to circumvent ISP-level blocks against the file-sharing site in the UK and other countries, the domain name changes will already be going unnoticed, because the proxies remain and quickly update. Though, while the UK music industry has secured numerous web-blocks this year, web-blocking is still only occurring in a handful of countries, and TPB told TorrentFreak that currently only 10% of its users access the site in this way.

How many more of those 70 domain names in reserve will be used, and how many more before the end of the year, remains to be seen.

Italian comms regulator gets web-blocking powers
Italian regulator AGCOM, which loosely translates as the Electronic Communications Authority, has announced that it will assume the power to instigate web-blocks against copyright infringing websites from next April, meaning that rights owners won't have to pursue civil litigation to gain online blockades.

Web-blocking has, of course, become a key part of the entertainment industry's anti-piracy work in a handful of countries including the UK, where the music and movie sectors have secured numerous injunctions forcing internet service providers to block the domains of copyright infringing websites, mainly file-sharing communities or BitTorrent search engines.

So called proxy sites, which are usually easy to find on Google, help users to circumvent the blockades, but rights owners say that anything that hinders the online search for unlicensed content is a step in the right direction, plus it's hoped the web-block notices users see educate the public on which sites are illegal. And some blocked sites have subsequently gone offline, though The Pirate Bay claims that coverage of blocks against its domains usually results in a boost in traffic.

But to date securing web-blocks has required the trade bodies of the content industries to go to court. But from next year in Italy rights owners will be able to submit complaints about copyright infringing sites directly to AGCOM, which will then investigate offending sites and, the regulator says, give the accused operations an opportunity to remove all infringing content, or links to the same. If they fail to do so, ACGOM will then be able to issue web-block notices to ISPs without having to go to court.

The plans were first revealed in October, and were sent to the European Commission for feedback. Although many have previously expressed concern about any anti-piracy system that allows sanctions (web blocking or net disconnection) without the involvement of a judge, European officials have seemingly given their approval to the Italian plans. It's hoped that the new measures will speed up and simplify the web-block process, making targeting unlicensed file-sharing operations easier in Italy than almost any other country.

The record industry's global trade body IFPI welcomed the new initiative, with boss Frances Moore telling CMU: "I thank the President of AGCOM, Angelo Cardani, and the authority's staff for all their hard work in securing the new regulation. The blocking of websites that are dedicated to violating copyright has been demonstrably effective in reducing online infringement in many countries. The new rules make the internet safer for creative content and will help in the development of the legitimate digital music sector in Italy".

In the UK, when parliament was considering new anti-piracy measures in 2010, a more efficient web-blocking system was basically rejected in favour of a three-strikes programme targeting individual file-sharers, though that programme has famously never actually been activated.


Ruling on BMI licence could pose problems for Pandora
A court ruling in the US yesterday will potentially cause problems for leading American streaming service Pandora, after it was ruled that some key music publishers can withdraw their catalogues from the licence provided to the digital firm by collecting society BMI.

As previously reported, Pandora is wholly licensed in the US via the collective licensing system. On the recordings side, in America the record companies are obliged by law to license Pandora-style set-ups collectively, and do so via SoundExchange.

The publishers initially voluntarily opted to license Pandora et al via their collecting societies ASCAP and BMI. But in the last year or so some of the big publishers have started to look to licence more digital services directly, believing they can negotiate more favourable terms that way, and remove the restrictions that come with collective licensing deals.

Even though Pandora has been busy trying to negotiate down the royalties it pays via the various American collecting societies, for the time being at least it is still set on doing its licensing deals this way, rather than cutting direct arrangements with the labels and publishers. Which means the digital firm has been trying to stop the publishers from withdrawing from the collective licensing system.

And on the ASCAP side it was successful, for the time being at least, with a court ruling in September that publishers couldn't take away from Pandora the rights to stream songs currently represented by the society, because the company's current licence from the organisation clearly guaranteed them access to the full catalogue available at the time the deal was done for the duration of the agreement, which runs until 2015.

But in a similar squabble with BMI the court has ruled in favour of the society, mainly because of the timing and wording of the most recent agreement between Pandora and the rights group, which - a judge confirmed this week - allowed for alterations in catalogue, foreseeing that the big publishers were moving toward direct licensing in the digital domain.

In theory this means that Pandora could lose the rights to stream songs owned by Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG and Kobalt in the new year, which would require the digital company to do direct deals with those publishers or suffer some substantial holes in its catalogue.

Though, that said, additional comments by the judge, and a Department Of Justice rep who testified in the case, regards how publishers can and cannot alter their 'consent decrees' that enable the collective licensing process might make the big publishers less keen to make a sudden withdrawal from the Pandora licence in early 2014. Especially as lobbying is underway to alter consent decree rules in the US, and it might be better to make the big bold withdrawal from digital collective licensing if and when those changes have been achieved.


Santa song to stay with EMI
The timings of this case seem too perfect. Almost exactly a year ago it emerged that the estate of late songwriter J Fred Coots was suing EMI Music Publishing over the rights in one of his songs, the seasonal 'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town'. And now, just as festive tunes are all over the radio and in-store sound systems once again, a judgement has been made in the case.

As previously reported, the lawsuit related to the so called 'termination right' that exists in US copyright law and which allows songwriters who assign ownership of songs they write to a publisher for the full life of the copyright to have one go at getting it back, or more commonly to negotiate more favourable terms with their existing publisher. The bit of 1970s legislation that introduced the right is only really kicking in now because of the time that must pass before termination becomes an option.

'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town' was written in 1934 and the rights in it assigned to a publisher call Leo Feist Inc, which was subsequently acquired by EMI in the 1980s. In his lifetime Coots renegotiated his deal with Feist twice, in 1951 and 1981.

More recently the Coots family has tried to issue a new termination notice, reportedly so that they could cut a deal with Warner/Chappell over the festive hit, claiming that while their father may have technically used up his one-time chance at terminating his publishing deal in 1981, the paperwork associated with that arrangement was not filed with the US Copyright Office as the termination law requires. Therefore, the Coots children and grandchildren said, they should be able to terminate their EMI deal once again.

However, according to Variety, although the judge hearing the case conceded this week that the lack of paperwork in 1981 created problems for EMI, she seemingly then concluded that the 1951 arrangement - although predating the introduction of the termination rule - used up Coots' one-time statutory right to terminate. Therefore the rights in the Santa ditty will remain with EMI until they expire in 2029.

The EMI publishing company's legal rep Donald Zakarin told Variety that the ruling "provides statutory guidance to both those resisting termination and those seeking to effect termination".


N-Dubz' Fazer unfazed by finances
So an ex-N-Dubber is in financial straits. But no, contrary to what the 'haters' are saying, it isn't Dappy, who wasn't lying when he said last week that: "I got doe now and always will have". Nor is it Tulisa, though in court to face those drugs charges as we speak, she isn't exactly having herself a happy Xmas either.

It is, in fact, Dappy's one-time bro Fazer, real name Richard Rawson, who filed for bankruptcy earlier this month. "I had to laugh at what I'm hearing today!! #Really no really I had to laugh!!" tweeted Fazer yesterday, as news of the bankruptcy filing circulated, adding: "#FFS #GetTheFacts".

Well, we have the facts, via the court records, so... erm. The end.


Pussy Riot members could be released today
Pussy Riot's Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina may be released from prison as soon as today, after Russia's previously reported amnesty bill was passed by the country's parliament yesterday.

As previously reported, proposed by president Vladimir Putin to mark the 20th anniversary of Russia's post-Soviet constitution, the amnesty bill looks to free prisoners who have been jailed for certain non-violent crimes, and could favour women with dependent children, such as Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina.

The two women's lawyer Irina Khrunova told ITAR-TASS: "As a matter of fact, the situation entirely depends on whether the administrations of their penal colonies want their soonest release, but I think they would not like to procrastinate the release process for the two girls".

It was also recently reported that Russia's Supreme Court has ordered a review of the two women's convictions (along with that of a third member of the group) for "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" last year. The court said last week that the prosecution in their case had failed to demonstrate that the three artists were motivated by hatred towards one specific group, which is required in cases of this kind.

The court also criticised the judges in the case for not taking into account that both Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina had young children when sentencing.

Warner confirms how Parlophone roster will be handled in US
Warner Music has finalised how integration of the Parlophone roster will work in the US, with most of the acts signed to the former EMI label being represented by Warner Bros in America, which makes sense given that the main UK-based Parlophone division has been joined up with the British version of the Warner Bros label over here.

That means Warner Bros US will now get to work on releases by the likes of Kylie Minogue, Lily Allen, Bat For Lashes, Eliza Doolittle, Damon Albarn, Conor Maynard and Gabrielle Aplin, and will have access to most of the Parlophone catalogue that Warner acquired. Though a handful of artists will be handled Stateside by Warner's other main division Atlantic, including Coldplay, Tinie Tempah and David Guetta.

Warner acquired the Parlophone Label Group, which consisted of the UK frontline Parlophone business, the Chrysalis recordings catalogue and various other European EMI units, earlier this year off Universal Music, which was forced to sell it by regulators in order to get a green light for its acquisition of the EMI record company. On how its new European assets would be handled in America, a spokesman for Warner told Billboard: "As you'd expect, we've been taking a very thoughtful approach to which US label is partnered with each act, working closely with the artists and their management".

Elsewhere in Warner news, yesterday it was confirmed that Dion Singer had been appointed to the role of EVP Creative Marketing at Warner Bros US, while Beth Appleton, currently Marketing Director for Warner in Australia, will return to London to become
SVP Marketing for Warner Music International.

Clash gives away free end of year digital edition
Clash Magazine is giving away a special end of year issue for free, through its iOS app. As well as various interactive year-in-review type features, Clash's fourth digital edition also includes some content from the magazine's December/January print version.

Head Of Digital Content at Clash, Matt Bennett, told CMU: "Having produced a beautiful print magazine for nearly ten years, the challenge to marry the aesthetic of physical with the dynamic possibilities of digital really fired our creative team into life. Launching our digital edition has been a scintillating learning curve and we're thrilled that all our fanaticism in this field speaks so clearly to the future of publishing and music journalism".

As well as a look through this year's musical milestones and a rundown of Clash's top 40 albums of 2013, features in the digital mag include an interview with MIA and a behind the scenes video from her photoshoot for the title.

Download the app here.

  CMU Artists Of The Year 2013: Kanye West
Each weekday in the run up to the Christmas break, we will reveal another of our ten favourite artists of the year. To see who we've picked so far, check this page. Our penultimate artist is Kanye West...

When I think of Kanye West in 2013, I think 'I Am A God'. I think "damn croissants". I think leather jogging pants, Kim Kardashian, baby North, and hideous candle-wax/Michelin Man heels. I think a big, livid ball of contradiction; the quiet, respectable man chatting affectionately with Kris Jenner vs the tyrannical rap star railing, raging, naming and shaming in Zane Lowe's face, barely taking a breath. I think of all the sense he speaks, and the rest.

Hitting at the height of June, West's sixth LP 'Yeezus' is by light years his most angrily anti-radio work to date. 'Yeezus' is built on a kind of crazed minimalism, all "reduced" (by Rick Rubin) and harsh-lit trap beats, glaring sampling (see the 'Strange Fruit' borrow) and acid lyrical ire, swerving hit 'singles' in lieu of a "sit off" (the opposite of 'sit in', as West terms it in his Zane interview) policy that flies like a red flag in the Billboard Top 100's bewildered face.

"Me as Kanye West", he told Lowe post-'Yeezus', "I gotta fuck shit up". That 'gotta', I think, suggests West not only feels obliged by his own desire to stir the pot, shake it, then tip it on its head and stamp on the pieces, but also takes pleasure in doing so. He says it with a smile, "I want to vex you". So, there's that Kanye.

Then there's the Kanye who'll 'explain' his art at length, that he's the one driving this dialogue over what he does, and what he is. And there's the Kanye sat on a hammy chat show telling his girlfriend's 'mom' that he's madly in love with her daughter. Though, sedate as he is at those other moments, I guess in a way that Kanye wants to vex you too.

But then there's his transparent desire to have his art appreciated and admired, a desire that's especially clear in the case of his fashion designs. And we've all seen them. As a high-minded (in the sense he thinks high, sky-high) artist and designer, he isn't interested in making things his fans and creative peers don't think are significant. He means to impress, even if that entails getting in their space and showing them things they might not necessarily wish to see. When Kanye rants, what isn't clear is what he's striving for - to illuminate, to agitate, or simply to blare.

West at his wayward best (or worst, depending on how you view it) can confound, infuriate, flip perspective and leave expectation bleeding in the dust like no one else. Just compare his Zane Lowe interview to the one Eminem did with the Radio 1 DJ, which comes off pallid by comparison.

West does have his tasteless side of course - the cheap "Asian pussy/All I need is sweet n sour sauce" side - which throughout 'Yeezus' rubs up uncomfortably against his love for beauty, art and sophistication. You wonder - when you hear 'Blood On The Leaves', essentially the civil rights movement's most haunting torch song, 'Strange Fruit', reduced to a petty bitch-fest - how anyone as smart as West clearly can be so dumb.

But then, that's probably the point. And its brashness and many nasty 'isms' aside, 'Yeezus' is an immense feat of engineering, a claim one only has to look at its tracklisting and credit details to believe is real.

Featuring Daft Punk, Hudson Mohawke, Evian Christ, Gesaffelstein, Arca and West making the beats, and Justin Vernon, Kid Cudi, Jill Scott and Chris Martin (and West again) contributing on the writing, it's not only the sound of a self-styled 'big deal' throwing his considerable weight around, and trying his ego for size, but also links in a vast cast of benefactors, both well known and not, 'safe' and otherwise.

Ultimately, what fascinates West-wise is the debate on Kanye as a man, as An Artist, as a celebrity, as a cartoon character, all things that are virtually inextricable, probably because he wants it that way. No doubt West is a genius of a kind - many-sided, endlessly daring, always experimental, with a well-deep thirst to learn, to do and be different. He wants parity in America, wants to change the landscapes of art and fashion, he wants his damn croissants.

And fortunately for him, going on our limitless fascination for all-things Yeezy, the world wants an agitator. Or, to phrase it an alternative way, it wants a 'Black Skinhead'.
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Cult Of Luna to go on hiatus after London show
CMU approved prog metallers Cult Of Luna have announced that they will go on hiatus, following a London performance in May. Though it's not the end. But a significant enough breaking point that former frontman Klas Rydberg will also perform with the band one final time at that show.

The Swedish band will curate and play at the Beyond The Redshift festival on 10 May, which will be spread across North London venues The Forum, The Dome and Boston Music Room. Other bands on the bill include Amplifier, God Seed and Amenra.

Writing on Facebook, the band said: "The Beyond The Redshift festival in London on May the tenth will be a very special show for Cult Of Luna. It will mark the end of an era and after that we will slowly disappear before we reappear again in some form in some indefinite future. Because of that Klas will join us on stage for the last time and we will play a whole lot of old songs which we haven't played for years or ever".

Later clarifying that this was not the end of the group, they said: "We are not quitting. 2013 has been a very active year for us and neither do we want or think it is good to continue in that pace. We will not be a band that puts out an album every 18-24 months anymore. We did that for almost ten years when we were younger and were able to focus more on the music".

They continued: "After Beyond The Redshift we might do a festival or two but after that we have nothing planned. Maybe we'll release another album next year or maybe in a decade, we honestly don't know. Sooner or later we will return in one form or another. Cult of Luna will not die".

Now, let's all watch the video for 'Passing Through', from the band's latest album, 'Vertikal'.

Angel Haze leaks LP, displeases her label
Angel Haze's first LP, 'Dirty Gold', hit the internet way (way) ahead of time yesterday, when the Brooklyn-based rap artiste began leaking it online a la Death Grips, Wiley (and nearly MIA).

She did it, she said at the time, because she was pissed that her label, Universal's Island/Republic, had initially given her a summer 2013 deadline to finish making it, on the condition they'd release it this year. Which, given its release date was set at 3 Mar 2014 earlier this week, hasn't happened.

"I have gone to bat for this music. I have gone to bat for myself. I have literally sat fucking sleepless and starved crying over this shit", said Haze via Twitter, before posting the entire record on SoundCloud.

She added: "So sorry to Island/Republic Records, but fuck you. I got here doing this for my fans and if you guys don't feel the same, it won't stop me. I don't care what happens after this. They will get the music they were promised. And you guys JUST MAY LEARN TO KEEP YOUR FUCKING WORD".

What happened after that, it seems, was that the label agreed to bring forward the album release to 30 Dec this year, so all that stomping around did achieve what she wanted, rather than getting her dropped. So she fell slightly short of 'doing a Death Grips' in the end.


Arcade Fire, Cat Power sing Christmas songs
Arcade Fire and Cat Power want to wish the world a happy holiday, the non-American translation of which is 'a nice Xmas break'.

Team AC did it via Zach Galifianakis' 'Between Two Ferns' show on Funny Or Die, rendering 'Little Drummer Boy' even weirder than it was that time David Bowie did a load of cocaine and crashed an old man's Christmas vigil. Watch Arcade Fire achieving that strange feat now.

Also, Cat Power has sold-out somewhat and softly laid a cover of 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' atop an Apple TV promo. Close your eyes and enjoy it here.

Brand New set 2014 dates
Brand New (of post-hardcore fame) have confirmed an, ahem, brand new set of 2014 live dates to stand in place of those they cancelled earlier this year. The shows, ticketing for which will start from scratch on Friday, are as follows, and may or may not find the band playing - as they've done Stateside - pairs of past LPs from front to back.

11 Apr: Southampton, Guildhall
12 Apr: London, Troxy
16 Apr: Newcastle, Academy
18 Apr: Manchester, Academy


Lizzo lists first headline shows
Odd-pop rap rat-from-Detroit Lizzo is slithering over to Britain in the New Year, to play her first headline shows post the release of her hot first solo LP, 'LIZZOBANGERS'.

She navigates Brighton's Bermuda Triangle on 22 Feb, playing Birthdays in London on 24 Feb. In the intervening time, hear one of Lizzo's 'BANGERS', the Sophia Eris-featuring 'Batches & Cookies', here.

Bieber not retiring from music
So is Justin Bieber planning on quitting this music lark, possibly to spend more time on his real passion: perfume salesmanship? Well, no, he's not. Sorry people, but the perfume industry's loss is the music industry's loss.

So yes, earlier this week LA radio station Power 106 cheekily unveiled a clip of an interview the Biebster had done with the station in which he said, when being asked about his future plans: "[After] the new album... I'm actually retiring. I'm retiring man. I'm just gonna take some time. I think I'm probably going to quit music. I'm quitting. I'm going to go golf".

Which, needless to say, was a promise that successfully got the internet talking, until last night when Power 106 posted the full interview in which Bieber immediately added: "No, I'm just messing around". So there you have it, no need to stock up on Bieber tunes today, there'll be a ready supply for the foreseeable.


Johnny Marr is anti-Spotify
Almost there now, we've almost asked all the musicians what they think of Spotify. And Johnny Marr is against it, on the grounds that it's not "punk rock".

Speaking to the NME, the former Smiths guitarist said: "It's been a strange time for music in general [this year]. Especially with the debate about Spotify. I'm not a supporter: I think it entirely hampers new bands, and the situation that Thom Yorke and Beck have been criticising makes the old record companies of the 70s look like cottage industries. I can't think of anything more opposite to punk rock than Spotify".

As for an alternative solution, Marr continued: "I have no answer to the economic side of the modern music industry, but I do think we certainly shouldn't stop valuing what bands do. I don't like great things being throwaway. Pop culture isn't just about 'the music, man'. It's a way of life, an aesthetic, and it's not just about pressing a button and getting something entirely for convenience".

Showing how much he supports new bands himself, Marr went on to diss Haim. Though, to be fair, he was calling them out on buddying up with David Cameron on BBC One's 'Andrew Marr Show' earlier this year. "It's really simple: they made themselves look like idiots", said the guitarist, who famously 'banned' Cameron from liking The Smiths. "The Conservatives tried to do the same thing with the Smiths, to re-appropriate us in a false way, to be cool by association".

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