TODAY'S TOP STORY: The music industry across Europe continues to shout out loud about value gaps, copyright reforms and articles numbered thirteen, as the next big vote in the European Parliament on the draft new copyright directive looms closer. Yesterday British artists and songwriters gathered outside the HQ of collecting society PRS to busk their protest - outside the HQ of PRS also conveniently doubling up as outside the London offices of big bad Google... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Musicians busk while tech bosses blog as Europe's big safe harbour vote looms
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Sentric launches new rights management tool RightsApp
Cooking Vinyl ramps up songs business, appoints new MD
ARTIST NEWS Dolores O'Riordan's death a "tragic accident", coroner confirms
RELEASES Julia Holter announces new album, UK tour
GIGS & FESTIVALS Organ Reframed festival to return to Union Chapel
Lemon Twigs announce headline UK tour
Why? to mark Alopecia tenth anniversary with live shows
ONE LINERS Warner/Chappell, Help Musicians UK, BTS, Dizzie Rascal, more
AND FINALLY... Beef Of The Week #420: Krist Novoselic v Angry Nirvana Fans
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Musicians busk while tech bosses blog as Europe's big safe harbour vote looms
The music industry across Europe continues to shout out loud about value gaps, copyright reforms and articles numbered thirteen, as the next big vote in the European Parliament on the draft new copyright directive looms closer. Yesterday British artists and songwriters gathered outside the HQ of collecting society PRS to busk their protest - outside the HQ of PRS also conveniently doubling up as outside the London offices of big bad Google.

Article thirteen of the draft directive seeks to reform the copyright safe harbour, of course, in a way that would increase the liabilities of websites like Google's YouTube. The music industry has been lobbying hard for this reform, it arguing that the likes of YouTube have exploited a safe harbour originally intended for internet service providers and server hosting companies to launch a music-on-demand platform without paying market rate royalties.

The music industry's lobbyists seemed to have the upper hand through many of the negotiations around the new directive, successfully getting safe harbour reform included in the first place, and then having the original draft of article thirteen amended in their favour during subsequent discussions in the European Parliament. But when the whole document went before MEPs in July it was voted down, in no small part because of article thirteen.

Ed Harcourt, Crispin Hunt, Dave Rowntree, Madeleina Kay, Brett Anderson and Newton Faulkner were among the songwriters and musicians who performed a rendition of Arcade Fire's 'Wake Up' in front of Google's Kings Cross offices yesterday. The sing song was part of a last minute Europe-wide push by the music community to try to ensure MEPs back the directive - and safe harbour reform - when they next consider it all on 12 Sep.

Before the musical protest, cross-sector trade body UK Music explained that the busk outside Google's offices was intended "to highlight how even the spare change from passers-by brings in more cash than tens of thousands of streams on YouTube". It added: "At present, some global tech firms, like the Google-owned video platform YouTube, pay just a tiny amount of their multi-billion pound profits to the creators of the music streamed online by millions of music lovers".

Noting that the music industry's campaign for safe harbour reform enjoyed support from across the artist community - and not just those busking yesterday morning - UK Music went on: "Paul McCartney is among the stars who have thrown their support behind the campaign and demanded that artists and creators are fairly paid for their work".

The trade body recalled how "in July, former Beatle Sir Paul called on Euro MPs to back the proposed changes to EU copyright law - specifically article thirteen of the Copyright Directive - which would compel content platforms like YouTube to stop shirking their responsibilities to properly compensate artists for their work. In a heartfelt letter to Euro MPs, Sir Paul warned that without this change the future of the music industry could be put at risk, saying: 'We need an internet that is fair and sustainable for all'".

Though just as the protesting musicians gathered outside Google's offices yesterday morning, someone inside the building pressed send on a big musical announcement. "As part of a YouTube Original special, Paul McCartney will perform a concert live on Paul's YouTube channel to celebrate the release of his highly anticipated new album 'Egypt Station'", the Google company declared. "Paul will perform songs from the new album alongside classics from his Beatles, Wings and solo catalogues".

The music industry pushing McCartney to the fore as the top celebrity YouTube critic - just as he announces a big partnership with YouTube - nicely illustrates one of the challenges the music industry has had to deal with in recent years. Everyone in the music industry wants YouTube to pay better royalties, but at the same time everyone wants to reach the YouTube audience. Being able to lobby against while continuing to also work with a tech company could be seen as a nice grown-up approach. Though some politicians find it confusing.

And the music industry hasn't just been laying into Google over YouTube royalties of late either, of course. The music community has also been critical of the web giant's relentless lobbying in Europe in a bid to derail safe harbour reform. That has included backing and supporting various groups of copyright critics. That's an approach dubbed by lobbyists as 'astroturfing', because it often hides the corporate interests that are being lobbied for by presenting campaigners as a grass roots group of concerned individual citizens.

Though YouTube presented its arguments in a much more open way earlier this week when the firm's Chief Business Office Robert Kyncl published a blog post on the matter. After talking up the way the web at large - and YouTube in particular - has removed barriers for grassroots creators, allowing them to reach an audience without placating traditional gate-keepers, Kyncl declared: "I believe this may now be at risk as European policymakers prepare to vote on a new European Copyright Directive on 12 Sep".

Taking aim at safe harbour reform in particular, he mused on: "In fact, some parts of the proposal under consideration - and in particular the part known as 'article thirteen' - potentially undermine this creative economy, discouraging or even prohibiting platforms from hosting user-generated content. This outcome would not only stifle your creative freedom, it could have severe, negative consequences for the fans, the communities and the revenue you have all worked so hard to create".

Subtly adhering to the narrative presented by article thirteen critics that increasing the liabilities of YouTube constitutes censorship, Kyncl then emotively added: "Growing up behind the iron curtain in communist Czechoslovakia without the openness we now take for granted, I have a deep personal conviction to preserve this freedom".

He concluded by encouraging the community of creators who have built audiences and businesses via YouTube - which may or may not include a certain Mr McCartney - to shout out in favour of the status quo. "I have made my voice heard here and there's still time for you to weigh in before 12 Sep", he concluded. "Every single creator, including you, deserves their say. I hope you will learn more and consider sharing your views on social media and with policymakers".

There are a lot of YouTube creators to shout about this, though the music industry is hoping that - with the support of the wider creative industries - its people can shout louder. As Kyncl was posting on his blog earlier this week, the bosses of no less than 105 organisations representing European songwriters, composers, journalists, film-makers and other authors signed a letter calling on MEPs to back the copyright directive, including good old article thirteen and the also controversial article eleven.

This round of copyright reform, they wrote, "represents a once in a decade opportunity to improve the situation of authors, thereby strengthening the European creative community and our cultural wealth in the digital era. Europe is the cradle of author's rights: it must not turn its back on both its historical values and on its creative future in the digital era".

As the next big vote approaches, it will be interesting to see who can shout the loudest for the longest. And also what impact safe harbour sing songs and pleas of "I grew up under communism, don't you know" will have when MEPs vote next week. Whichever side wins, presumably McCartney will be booked to headline the celebration party.


Sentric launches new rights management tool RightsApp
Sentric Music earlier this week unveiled a new product called RightsApp, which aims to make it easier for songwriters and their business partners to register and manage works, and track royalties being earned around the world.

The new tool - which is a 'white label' platform available to other businesses as well as individual artists and songwriters - has been, says the music rights firm, "built for a new age in the music industry, removing the administrative headache and slashing the cost of managing commercial song catalogues".

DIY music distribution platform TuneCore, which formally allied with Sentric back in July, is the first company to make use of the new technology.

Launching it all, Sentric boss Chris Meehan said: "Sentric was founded on the idea that we could use new technology to shake up traditional publishing and make it work for everyone". For twelve years, our infrastructure has enabled us to manage hundreds of thousands of songs for rights-holders at every level and offer a fast, flexible, completely transparent service. Now we're taking our technology to the next level and making it available for everyone".


Cooking Vinyl ramps up songs business, appoints new MD
Independent music group Cooking Vinyl has said that it is "refocusing" its music publishing division as a frontline operation sitting alongside the label, as it hires a new MD for the business in form of ex-Warner/Chappell exec Ryan Farley.

Cooking Vinyl boss Martin Goldschmidt confirmed "we have big plans for the expansion of our publishing company", while confirming Farley's appointment. He went on: "We are really excited to have Ryan head up our publishing company worldwide. His strength is creative A&R and he will be able to make a big difference in developing careers for our current and future writers".

Referencing Goldschmidt and Cooking Vinyl Records MD Rob Collins, Farley himself said: "When I met with Martin and Rob and heard of their ambitions for the publishing company I knew it was an opportunity that I couldn't turn down. Everything is in place for the company to grow and become a significant player in the publishing world".

He added: "I'm looking forward to leading the business with a hands-on A&R approach; creating an environment where songwriters feel valued, supported and provided with real opportunities in the knowledge that their rights are being diligently administered, protected and accounted for".


Vigsy's Club Tip: Dego & Kaidi at Jazz Cafe
Two pioneers of the West London broken beat scene - one from 4hero and the other from the Bugz In The Attic collective - Dego & Kaidi last year released their debut LP as a duo in the form of 'A So We Gwarn' on Theo Parrish's Sound Signature label.

It was a really great record, which makes their London live debut as Dego & Kaidi this weekend all the more exciting. Support comes from Jazz Re:freshed's Adam 'Rockers' Moses who will be spinning some tunes.

Sunday 9 Sep, Jazz Cafe, 5 Parkway, London, NW1 7PG, 7pm-11pm, £17.50. More info.

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Dolores O'Riordan's death a "tragic accident", coroner confirms
Dolores O'Riordan of The Cranberries died from drowning after heavy drinking, a coroner confirmed yesterday at the conclusion of an investigation into the musician's death.

O'Riordan was in London for a recording session when she died in January. No cause of death was revealed at the time, but - according to the BBC - a policewoman who attended the scene told the coroner's court that "I saw Mrs O'Riordan submerged in the bath with her nose and mouth fully under the water".

There was no evidence of self-harm or other injuries and, although O'Riordan had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, the court was told that she had responded well to treatment and was in good spirits in the days leading up to her passing. Toxicology tests confirmed that she had been drinking heavily on the night she died and the coroner therefore concluded that her death was a "tragic accident".

Following the hearing, O'Riordan's former bandmates said in a statement: "On January 15th 2018 we lost our dear friend and bandmate Dolores O'Riordan. Today we continue to struggle to come to terms with what happened. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Dolores's children and her family and our thoughts are with them today".

"Dolores will live on eternally in her music", they added. "To see how much of a positive impact she had on people's lives has been a source of great comfort to us. We'd like to say thank you to all our fans for their outpouring of messages and their continued support during this very difficult time".


Julia Holter announces new album, UK tour
Julia Holter has announced that she will release her new album, 'Aviary', next month. She will also tour the UK and Ireland in December.

The starting point for writing the album, explains Holter, was a line from a 2009 short story by writer Etel Adnan: "I found myself in an aviary full of shrieking birds". It works as a metaphor for life in 2018, she reckons.

"Amidst all the internal and external babble we experience daily, it's hard to find one's foundation", says Holter. "I think this album is reflecting that feeling of cacophony and how one responds to it as a person - how one behaves, how one looks for love, for solace. Maybe it's a matter of listening to and gathering the seeming madness, of forming something out of it and envisioning a future".

The first single from the album - 'I Shall Love 2' - is pretty incredible, and you can watch the video for it here.

And here, you lucky people, are the upcoming tour dates:

6 Dec: Manchester, Gorilla
7 Dec: Bristol, Fiddlers
8 Dec: Dublin, Button Factory
10 Dec: Edinburgh, Summerhall
11 Dec: Leeds, Howard Assembly Rooms
12 Dec: London, Hackney Arts Centre


Organ Reframed festival to return to Union Chapel
The Organ Reframed festival will return to Union Chapel in London next month. The event will feature various newly commissioned organ pieces, as well as showcasing various artists pushing the boundaries of the instrument.

Among the composers presenting new music will be Éliane Radigue, Philip Jeck, Sarah Davachi, Hildur Gu?nadóttir and Darkstar. A collection of short films by Stan Brakhage will also be screened, and there will be a sound installation created by Kathy Hinde.

"I've been writing and performing with the organ experimentally for over ten years now", says festival curator Claire M Singer. "Knowing what an incredible instrument it is and the scope of what is possible, the idea behind the festival is to commission artists to write new music for it, broadening the current repertoire and pushing the boundaries of experimental music".

She continues: "It seems that most people associate the organ with church or classical music ... the festival is about showing that it is a hugely versatile instrument, in fact it can be thought of as the world's first synthesiser and can be incorporated into many different genres of music. To have the opportunity to build on the organ's rich history and bring it to the attention of a new generation is incredibly exciting".

The event takes place from 12-13 Oct. Find out more here.


Lemon Twigs announce headline UK tour
Having started UK tour dates supporting the Arctic Monkeys this week, The Lemon Twigs have announced that they will be back for headline shows in February.

Having just released their second album, 'Go To School', the duo will play the following UK dates:

21 Feb: Manchester, The Ritz
22 Feb: Glasgow, Saint Luke's
23 Feb: Newcastle, Riverside
25 Feb: Leeds, Stylus
26 Feb: Birmingham, Institute 2
27 Feb: London, Roundhouse


Why? to mark Alopecia tenth anniversary with live shows
This year marks the tenth anniversary of Why?'s outstanding 'Alopecia' album. To celebrate, the band will perform the record in full at three shows in the UK and Ireland later this month.

Here are the dates:

15 Sep: London, Electric Ballroom
16 Sep: Manchester, Club Academy
17 Sep: Dublin, Button Factory

And look, they've also released a video for the Boards Of Canada remix of 'Alopecia' track 'Good Friday', which was included in a recent tenth anniversary reissue package. You can also watch a load of behind the scenes footage of the making of the album.


Warner/Chappell, Help Musicians UK, BTS, Dizzie Rascal, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Warner/Chappell UK has made Rich Robinson its new EVP Sync And Creative Services. "Warner/Chappell", says the company's COO Carianne Marshall. "Warner/Chappell", adds Robinson.

• Music charity Help Musicians UK has announced former Record Of The Day editor Liz Stokes as its new Communications & PR Manager. Alex Mann, meanwhile, is now External Affairs Manager.

• BTS have released a video for their alternative version of 'Idol', featuring that Nicki Minaj.

• Dizzie Rascal's released a new single, featuring Skepta, called 'Money Right'. He's set to release a new EP, 'Don't Gas Me', next week.

• Speaking of Skepta, he and Wizkid have released the video for their track 'Energy (Stay Far Away)'.

• Diplo and Mark Ronson, in their Silk City guise, have released new Dua Lipa collaboration 'Electricty'. The track is co-written with Romy Madley-Croft of The xx and Diane Gordon.

• Rina Sawayama has released the video for her latest single 'Cherry'.

• Mellah has announced UK tour dates in October, including a show at Oslo in Hackney on 17 Oct. He's just recorded a couple of videos for Yala! Sessions. Here's one, for 'Numb'.

• HMS Morris have released the video for new single 'Mother'.

• Annie Mac's going to host this year's Mercury Prize. Good to hear someone's going to take control of the whole thing.

• Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.


Beef Of The Week #420: Krist Novoselic v Angry Nirvana Fans
Currently on tour in the US, Foo Fighters played a show in Seattle last week. Since his former Nirvana bandmates Dave Grohl and Pat Smear were in town, Krist Novoselic popped by to say hello. He subsequently ended up on stage with the band to play 'Molly's Lips', the Vaselines song that Nirvana sometimes covered back in the day, and a version of which appeared on the band's rarities compilation 'Incesticide'.

It's not a long song and Novoselic was on and off stage again in under three minutes. But when the Seattle Times reviewed the show, the paper felt that this was a significant enough moment to lead on. "Nirvana's surviving members reunite during Foo Fighters' Seattle concert", was the matter of fact headline.

The review went on to describe the moment as "a two-minute thrill that was over in an appropriately unceremonious flash". But the internet. Oh, the internet. The internet went on and on and on and on and on and on about it.

Actually, the whole thing might have passed by without much comment, had the Seattle Times article not been posted to the official Nirvana Facebook page. Here, people who had read nothing more than the headline found endless reasons to nit-pick and take offence.

Some people opted to be offended by the use of the word "surviving" in the headline, even though the Nirvana members who played on stage are definitely all still alive and therefore have in one way or another "survived".

But one person complained that the use of the word in this way made it sound like "they were all in an accident". Which I suppose it might, out of context. Except that "surviving" is pretty commonly used in this way when referring to members of a band still alive when one or more of their former bandmates is dead.

Others picked on the use of the word "reunite", disputing that it was a reunion at all. "Gotta love how they make it sound like all twenty members of Wu Tang Clan reunited", said one person. "The bass player showed up. One guy".

Sure, there was just one guy who had to go slightly out of his way to be in the building that night, but Grohl and Smear where definitely there too. And they all definitely reunited.

There was another group of complainers who didn't take issue with the wording of the article's headline, but with the fact of the reunion itself. And perhaps more the fact that Grohl played the part of frontman. One angry fan banged into their keyboard: "dave grohl has no business sining or playing kurts music not right!"

Aside from the fact that they didn't actually play a song written by Kurt Cobain, I think Grohl can actually do whatever the hell he wants. But rather than tediously pointing these facts out, Novoselic himself had a better comeback.

Responding to an Alternative Nation article about the OUTRAGE, he wrote of the suggestion that no one should take Cobain's place on stage: "We tried to get a hold of him for this gig - as many times as we tried to contact Kurt, we couldn't get through. The phone just kept ringing and ringing. Kurt does not have email. In fact I have never emailed him in my life and I have been online since 1993".

Imagine actually being angry about any of this. I mean, basically some friends were all in the same place at the same time, so they played a song together. And I hope all these angry people never find out that this is something these guys have actually done quite a lot already - Grohl, Novoselic and Smear having appeared on stage together several times since 2010.

Worse, in 2014, they performed a whole show as Nirvana, with Joan Jett, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, St Vincent, Dinosaur Jr's J Mascis and Deer Tick's John McCauley on vocals. This followed their induction into the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame, where, as well as Jett, Gordon and St Vincent, they also performed with Lorde.

Anyway, the internet is stupid. And while it's true that these naysayers were very much in the minority of the people commenting on this impromptu Nirvana alumni sing song, I still think the world would generally be a better place if all people everywhere were banned from airing their opinions online. But that's just my opinion. Which I thought I might air for you here online.

Elsewhere on the Nirvana Facebook page, a picture of Novoselic, Grohl and Smear was posted ahead of the show. Lots of people wistfully imagined what it would be like if Cobain were in the picture too. Though Novoselic is literally holding a picture of his former bandmate in said photo. Maybe we should not only ban opinions from the internet, but also ponderings of any kind. I dunno, I'll have to ponder about that one later.


ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletins and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
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