MONDAY 15 SEPTEMBER 2014
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The Australian media group at the heart of the hoax call incident involving the hospital treating Kate Middleton in December 2012 has reportedly donated AUS$500,000 - about £278,000 - to the family of the nurse who took her own life after being unknowingly pulled into the stunt, which became a global news story. As previously reported, nurse Jacintha Saldanha, working at the... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Formed less than a year ago, Role released their debut single, 'Ocean', in January. While the band themselves seem to be tagging themselves 'trip hop', the rest of the world seems to be going for the more zeitgeisty 'post-R&B'. Whatever, comparisons to The xx seem inevitable, even though a Massive Attack influence does seem more prominent in their work. Following various bouts of... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Hoax call radio firm makes donation to nurse's family
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LEGAL Frank Ocean's dad sues Russell Simmons website for defamation
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DEALS SFX buys Brazilian agency and promoter
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Facebook courting MCNs to increase video content in its news feed
Pandora creates head of artist marketing role
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MEDIA SpinMedia fires staff, ceases print on Vibe
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ARTIST NEWS Crystal Fighters drummer dies
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Ja Ja Ja Festival to return to London in November
Rolo Tomassi add 'intimate' October shows
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ONE LINERS Odd Future, Wretch 32, The Vamps and more
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AND FINALLY... Grimes bins songs because they "sucked"
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Hoax call radio firm makes donation to nurse's family
The Australian media group at the heart of the hoax call incident involving the hospital treating Kate Middleton in December 2012 has reportedly donated AUS$500,000 - about £278,000 - to the family of the nurse who took her own life after being unknowingly pulled into the stunt, which became a global news story.

As previously reported, nurse Jacintha Saldanha, working at the hospital caring for Middleton, answered the spoof call from Southern Cross Austereo's 2Day FM station. She then transferred DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian, pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles respectively, through to the ward caring for Middleton, where another staff member discussed her condition.

2Day FM aired the hoax call without the permission of London's King Edward VII Hospital or the nurses involved, though subsequently insisted it had tried to get clearance but could not get through to the medical centre. Just days after the incident Saldanha died by suicide, a fact confirmed at an inquest into her death last week, at which Coroner Fiona Wilcox concluded that the call was "clearly pressing on her mind" at the time of the nurse's death.

Although Southern Cross Austereo has insisted it has no liabilities relating to Saldanha's death - the UK's Crown Prosecution Service decided not to press any charges and Wilcox declined to place blame on either 2Day FM or the hospital where the nurse worked - details of the broadcaster's donation surfaced as the inquest reached its conclusion. The media firm reportedly said that it knew no amount of money could relieve the sense of loss suffered by Saldanha's relatives, but that it hoped the donation to a trust fund would "help them in the future".

Although Christian returned to broadcasting on another Southern Cross Austereo radio station not long after the hoax call incident, Greig has stayed away from the airwaves. She appeared at the inquest last week, saying in a tearful and apologetic statement: "This tragedy is always going to stay with me as a constant reminder".

The former DJ said that she had not been happy with the hoax call being aired, adding in here statement, "I wish I'd tried harder to stop the prank call from airing".

She went on: "There is a lot to learn from this tragic event. I believe that hospitals and media organisations should look into their procedures and policies to ensure a tragedy like this never happens again. To fellow announcers and DJs I urge you to speak up if you don't feel comfortable and to consider the feelings of others when trying to make a joke. The joke should always be on us the DJs".

Frank Ocean's dad sues Russell Simmons website for defamation
Frank Ocean's father is suing hip hop mogul Russell Simmons for defamation relating to statements made on a website headed up by the Def Jam co-founder, Global Grind.

According to TMZ, Calvin Cooksey claims that Global Grind unfairly portrayed him as a bad father. And while he may not have been part of his son's life since Ocean was just five years old, that, says Cooksey, was because the singer's mother took their son away and refused him access.

In his litigation, Ocean's dad accuses Global Grind of publishing lies about him without first checking their facts. The somewhat optimistic lawsuit is reportedly pushing for $142 million in damages, relating to the loss of future income likely as a result of the alleged libel.

Simmons and Global Grind are yet to respond.

SFX buys Brazilian agency and promoter
After Live Nation occupied the acquisitions spot in last week's CMU Daily, buying up ticketing firms Sherpa and Eventjoy, it's not surprising to see SFX pushing its way back into the takeovers limelight; they're nothing if not acquisitive at the ever-expanding EDM company.

The latest deal expands SFX's presence in the South American market, it buying Brazil-based talent agency and event promoter Plus Talent, the latter having recently partnered with the former to bring its Tomorrowland festival franchise to the country.

Confirming the deal, SFX chief Robert FX Sillerman told reporters: "Plus Talent is an extremely talented and creative company, with the deepest experience in the Brazilian market. [Its management team] understand every aspect of the business and we are delighted to have them in the SFX family of companies".

Plus Talent co-founder Luiz Eurico Klotz added: "Partnering with SFX is the next logical step for our company. Bringing brands like Tomorrowland to Brazil is a watershed moment for the scene we have so carefully nurtured here for the last 20 years. We are excited to continue to bring new brands, experiences and partners to Brazilian fans".

Facebook courting MCNs to increase video content in its news feed
With video becoming an ever more important part of the Facebook news feed, and with pretty much everyone who would ever want to having now poured icey water over their heads, Facebook is reportedly courting the so called multi-channel networks with a view to them plonking their video content straight onto the social network.

As previously reported, the MCNs are something of the record labels of the YouTube-verse, signing up celebrities, media brands and, crucially, bedroom vloggers and helping them extend their audience and ad income on the Google video platform, while looking for other revenue opportunities.

The bigger MCNs now represent big chunks of the most viewed content on YouTube, and Facebook seemingly wants its newsfeed to become a first port of call for new buzzy videos. Though achieving that will require Facebook to develop ways for the MCNs and their video creators to monetise their content.

To that end, according to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook has been working with some of the MCNs testing the water, with a view to introducing a pre-roll video ad option later this year to help video owners generate income.

Though whether Facebook users, already having to adapt to auto-play videos in their feeds, would tolerate such ads, well, that's one of the things being considered during this testing phase.

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Pandora creates head of artist marketing role
Pandora has created a new role called Head Of Artist Marketing which will be filled by Jason Feinberg, formerly VP Of Digital Strategy at Epitaph Records.

In an email confirming his new job, which begins at the end of the month, Feinberg said he would be "focused on building a division to directly serve the artists powering the platform". Which possibly means he'll be part of Pandora's strategy to placate those in the music industry critical of the digital service, mainly over the royalty rates it pays, by providing them with better data and marketing tools on the platform.

According to Hypebot, Feinberg added: "I have spent my entire career working directly with artists, labels and managers. In that time I've experienced first-hand what the community needs regarding data, communication, and marketing tools. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to help artists better understand and engage with their share of almost 80 million monthly users at Pandora".

SpinMedia fires staff, ceases print on Vibe
So, Stephen Blackwell's first significant (read: drastic) action as the new CEO of SpinMedia has been to fire nineteen of the company's staffers, and to axe the print edition of Vibe magazine, which Spin acquired last year. Clearly Steve is not a man to be trifled with.

Speaking to Capital NY, Blackwell said that some of the axed jobs were directly linked to the print version of Vibe, and were therefore redundant roles. He added: "If we're not going to be putting together print pages anymore and designing print, we really don't need those design platforms. We really don't need the capacity to negotiate with printers".

Blackwell's cancelling of the printed Vibe isn't a massive shock really, most of us having actually expected the shift to online-only sooner, given that's what the company, then Buzzmedia, did to Spin magazine after acquiring it in 2012. As with Spin, Vibe will live on as a digital brand, Blackwell's plan being to drive growth and traffic across SpinMedia's portfolio of digital channels.

Blackwell told Capital on his decision to make Vibe too an online-only title: "When I look at what was going on here prior to my tenure, I think that some of the resources... if we're directing resources toward print, that intrinsically means that we're directing resources away from digital. I'm here to commit to directing all of our resources toward the digital side of Vibe".

  Approved: Role
Formed less than a year ago, Role released their debut single, 'Ocean', in January. While the band themselves seem to be tagging themselves 'trip hop', the rest of the world seems to be going for the more zeitgeisty 'post-R&B'. Whatever, comparisons to The xx seem inevitable, even though a Massive Attack influence does seem more prominent in their work.

Following various bouts of touring, the Madrid-based band's second single, the double A-side 'Holy/Shine II', hit Bandcamp earlier this month. Lead track 'Holy' features a great percussion track, intricately but forcefully programmed, and leaning more into techno than their previous release. 'Shine II' is also pushed forward by a staccato bass drum, while wispy vocals are laid over the top.

Role's debut album is due out in November, and they're also working on the soundtrack for an as-yet-unnamed film, due out next year.

Listen to 'Holy' and 'Shine II' here.
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Crystal Fighters drummer dies
Crystal Fighters confirmed on Friday that the band's drummer Andrea Marongiu had died. The cause of death is not currently known, though Marongiu had posted on his own social media earlier in the week that he was now "at home recovering".

In a posting on Facebook, the band wrote: "It is with deep regret and great sadness that we announce the tragic passing of our drummer and friend, Andrea Marongiu".

"Andrea was not only one of the most brilliant, skilful and charismatic drummers to have ever graced the stage, but also an incredibly kind, fun and loving friend to us all. Our condolences go out to anyone who was lucky enough to have known him, and most particularly to his family".

"We are all completely heartbroken by this news and we can't hold back the tears as we write this message to you. Andrea, thank you for all the incredible joy and life you brought to this band and to our lives for the last four years. We love you and we miss you more than words can say right now"

Originally from Sardinia, Marongiu was invited to join Crystal Fighters ahead of their appearance at Bestival in 2010, just before the release of the band's debut album 'Stars Of Love'. He had performed with the group ever since.

Ja Ja Ja Festival to return to London in November
The Ja Ja Ja Festival has announced that it will return to London for a second edition in November. The celebration of Nordic music, food and film will be headlined by Emilíana Torrini.

The event is a spin-off from the Ja Ja Ja club night, which has been running in the capital for five years. The first two nights of the festival will take place in the same venue, The Lexington, while a final all-day event on 15 Nov will be held in the Great Hall at Queen Mary University.

Ja Ja Ja Festival Director Anna Hildur Hildibrandsdóttir told CMU: "We are very excited to be bringing the Ja Ja Ja Festival back for 2014, especially as it marks the fifth birthday of our London club night. We are bringing some of the most exciting current bands and artists from the Nordic region to perform across our two venues. Alongside we will have a delicious and innovative food programme from Antto Melasniemi, screenings from the Nordic Music Video Awards and a lot more still to be announced".

Other music on the line-up includes When Saints Go Machine, Jenny Wilson, Highasakite, Asbjørn, Death Hawks, Rytmeklubben, Blaue Blume. Plus there will be screenings from the Nordic Music Video Awards and food available to purchase - the menu put together by Finnish chef and former Him keyboard player Antto Melasniemi.

Tickets for the festival are available here.

Meanwhile, the next London club night takes place on 25 Sep, with performances from Cancer, Aurora Aksnes and Neøv. Ja Ja Ja also recently announced a new regular club night in Berlin, the first of which will take place at FluxBau on 9 Oct, with performances from Naomi Pilgrim, Alfred Hall and Blaue Blume.

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Rolo Tomassi add 'intimate' October shows
The boys and girl of Rolo Tomassi have listed some small-sized shows they'll be playing with Brontide in October, as a means of easing fans into new tracks from their long-playing follow-on to 2012's 'Astraea', which it's anticipated will be available in spring 2015.

Speaking well ahead of the dates, vocalist Eva Spence says: "Having taken a break from playing shows to work on new material to follow up 'Astraea', we're very excited to come out and play a few shows to give people the chance to hear what we've written. We're very close to finishing the new album and its great to have the opportunity to road test a few songs before we hit the studio".

RT have also confirmed (albeit without a release date) that they'll soon release a split seven-inch single with the Australia-based Stockades, so look for that on sale at the following shows:

17 Oct: Nottingham, JT Soar
18 Oct: Norwich, Epic Studios
19 Oct: Brighton, Bleach

Odd Future, Wretch 32, The Vamps and more
• Last Friday, Odd Future switched on their own ad-free radio station which they'll be manning 24/7 till the end of time, featuring "their shows, their shit and their friends". OF manager Christian Clancy has said it will either be "absolutely amazing or a complete disaster". Go hear which first hand via dashradio.com.

• UK producer Lukid has signed to Mute sub-label Liberation Technologies. Deal signed, he will on 29 Sep release an EP titled 'Drawlers'. From it, this is 'Nine'.

• Smoked rock sprat Mac DeMarco has hired a new guitarist and his name is Andrew Charles White. DeMarco has also done a cover of Herb Alpert/Burt Bacharach's 'This Guy's In Love With You' and shot a short film starring, well, Andrew Charles White. Watch it now.

• 'Former grime MC from Tottenham' and now pop/rap star Wretch 32 is back with a single titled '6 Words'. It's. Released. On. The. Sixteenth. Of. November. Listen here yo.

• 'Alternative'-peers-to-1D The Vamps are headed to British and Irish arenas (practically all of them) for a springtime trek beginning in Glasgow on 18 Apr 2015, and finally ending in Birmingham on 8 May. Save 18 Oct in your diaries/iCals now, Vamps fans, as that is the date tickets to the shows will go on sale.

• Alternative to no one One Direction meanwhile have announced that they'll release their new single, 'Steal My Girl', on 12 Oct. I'm not sure if that title is an invitation or not. I guess we'll just have to wait until it receives its global radio premiere on 29 Sep. While you wait, here's some info on the group's new album, 'Four'.

Grimes bins songs because they "sucked"
Grimes has told the New York Times that she's scrapped all the initial recordings for her follow up to 2012 album 'Visions', declaring that the work so far "sucked, so I threw it out and started again".

And it seems that the mixed response to her recent single 'Go', originally written for Rihanna but released by Grimes herself in June, had an impact on that decision. She says of the track, which was rather different to 'Visions': "It upset a lot of my fans, and I get why it upset them. Everybody was like, 'Oh, Grimes is pandering to the radio'".

Word has it Grimes has now relocated to LA to work on the reboot of her next longplayer.

 
ANDY MALT | Editor
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