TODAY'S TOP STORY: R Kelly's attorney Steve Greenberg was in court yesterday pushing for prosecutors to hand over a copy of a tape which purportedly shows his client having sex with an underage girl. Kelly's legal man says he and his team have not yet seen the tape, one of several another lawyer - Michael Avenatti - claims to have uncovered in his own investigations... [READ MORE]
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TOP STORIES R Kelly lawyer pushes to see prosecution video evidence
DEALS Troy Carter's Q&A signs with Sony/ATV
Cooking Vinyl announces deals with Swim Deep, Isobel Campbell, Saint Raymond, Sam Lee and Kerri Watt
MEDIA Rolling Stone set to rival Billboard with new US charts
INDUSTRY PEOPLE Family of Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchinson launch mental health charity
GIGS & FESTIVALS References to Michael Jackson removed from Quincy Jones show
ONE LINERS Noel Gallagher, Idles, The Raconteurs, more
AND FINALLY... Neil Young to reflect on Pono debacle in new book
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R Kelly lawyer pushes to see prosecution video evidence
R Kelly's attorney Steve Greenberg was in court yesterday pushing for prosecutors to hand over a copy of a tape which purportedly shows his client having sex with an underage girl. Kelly's legal man says he and his team have not yet seen the tape, one of several another lawyer - Michael Avenatti - claims to have uncovered in his own investigations.

Greenberg also again called for all communications between Avenatti and the Cook County State Attorney's office to be handed over. Though at a hearing last month, said State Attorney noted that all communications were already public anyway.

Speaking to reporters outside the court, Greenberg said: "Everyone treats [Avenatti] like a lawyer in this case [but] he's a witness, so treat him like a witness. He says he's got this tape [so] he's a chain of custody witness".

"The state [now] has the tape", he added. "I can't get it from them. They have to produce it. They have an obligation to produce it. Maybe the squirrels are working slowly".

In an interview with the Associated Press, Avenatti said that he was confused as to what Greenberg was doing. The tape is only of use to Kelly's case if he can prove that it has been "doctored", claims of which he dubbed "ludicrous".

He added that Greenberg's continued attacks on him as the criminal case continues are perplexing, stating: "If Steve Greenberg is hanging his defence of R Kelly on Michael Avenatti, R Kelly better start preparing to spend the rest of his life in prison".

Kelly is, of course, accused of sexually assaulting four women between 1998 and 2010, three of whom were underage at the time of the alleged crimes. If found guilty, the musician could be sentenced to up to 70 years in prison.

He is next due in court on the criminal charges on 26 Jun. However, he is also set to appear in court today for the latest hearing in his unpaid child support case. Kelly spent time in jail in March after he failed to pay an outstanding $161,000 bill. He was released when an anonymous person paid the money.


Troy Carter's Q&A signs with Sony/ATV
Sony/ATV has signed a deal to administer the publishing catalogue of Troy Carter's new artist services business Q&A.

"I've known Troy Carter and [Q&A co-founder] J Erving for many years", brags the Sony music publisher's new chief Jon Platt. "They have always stood out to me as two of the most artist-friendly and progressive executives in the industry. It's why I am excited to team up with them and their partners for this new venture as it explores fresh and innovative ways of connecting music and technology".

Carter adds: "My partners and I unanimously agreed that Sony/ATV was the right partner to administer our new publishing venture. Jon Platt has always put creators first and that's core to our mission as a company. We're looking forward to building something special with this incredible global team".

Formally launched last month, Q&A aims to offer a variety of technologies and services to artists, and incorporates the distribution and label services company set up last year by Erving, Human Re Sources.


Cooking Vinyl announces deals with Swim Deep, Isobel Campbell, Saint Raymond, Sam Lee and Kerri Watt
Cooking Vinyl has announced a whole load of new artist signings, with Swim Deep, Isobel Campbell and Saint Raymond all taking services deals, plus Sam Lee and Kerri Watt signing up to some sweet royalty deals. Watt also signs to Cooking Vinyl Publishing.

"We're really excited to be working with the great people at Cooking Vinyl", say Swim Deep. "We can't wait to release our third album which we've worked so hard on".

Campbell says of her new contract: "I am very much looking forward to releasing my new record with Cooking Vinyl and working with the innovative team there. As a fiercely independent artist signing with them felt like the right thing to do".

Meanwhile Cooking Vinyl MD Rob Collins says: "I'm so excited about these new signings. They show the breadth and depth of our approach to A&R, artist development and long-term support. This is just the start of a very active year for Cooking Vinyl and I'd like to thank the A&R team - Ollie Slaney and Stephen Budd - for all of their hard work".


Rolling Stone set to rival Billboard with new US charts
Music magazine Rolling Stone is set to go head to head with American industry title Billboard by launching its own music charts for the US. The move follows Penske Media Corporation taking full control of the media brand earlier this year.

The magazine plans to offer a number of charts, including direct rivals to the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and the Billboard 200 albums countdown. PMC reckons the Rolling Stone charts will be way better though, because they'll be updated daily, rather than weekly, and will have a deeper analysis of streaming data. There'll also be completely transparent methodologies used to compile the lists, the media firm says.

While Billboard uses stats outfit Nielsen to crunch its numbers, Rolling Stone will use Alpha Data - formerly known as Buzz Angle - a company in which PMC invested last year.

"PMC's strategy is to constantly evolve our brands and products across media platforms", says the company's CEO, Jay Penske. "What's imperative and exciting about our new Rolling Stone Charts is that they will present a transparent, granular and real-time quantification to accurately reflect listeners' evolving interests and give insight into worldwide trends".

The new charts are set to launch on Monday. As well as the singles and albums charts, Rolling Stone will also launch the Rolling Stone Artist 500 ranking of most-streamed artists, the Rolling Stone Trending 25 and the Rolling Stone Breakthrough 25.


Family of Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchinson launch mental health charity
The family of late Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchinson have announced the launch of a new mental health charity, Tiny Changes. Taking its name from a line in Frightened Rabbit song 'Heads Roll Off' - "While I'm alive, I'll make tiny changes to Earth" - it will aim to improve mental health among children and young people in Scotland.

"Mental health, and young people's mental health in particular, was a cause close to Scott's heart", says the family in a statement. "He often spoke openly of his own struggles as an anxious child, even naming his band 'Frightened Rabbit' after a nickname given to him by his mum. Tragically, the weight of his ill health became too great for him to carry as an adult".

"We want to continue the legacy that Scott built", they continue. "To channel the energy he generated in people all over the world into positive action on mental health among young people and to make tiny changes to Earth".

They conclude: "The charity has at its heart a passion for changing how young people in Scotland are affected by mental health issues. We want to see a Scotland where young people are listened to when they talk about their mental health. Where young people can access the support they need, when they need it. A country where young people are feeling better, not worse. And where youth mental health issues do not prevent people from fulfilling their potential as adults".

Research shows that 20% of adolescents may experience a mental health problem in any given year, and 50% of mental health problems are established by the age of fourteen.

Find out more about Tiny Changes and its goals here.


The CMU+TGE conferences kick off today!
The TGE Conference gets underway in Brighton today with our full day focus on music education. It's underway right now, in fact. If you are in town, come and join the debate around how music employers and the music industry can be more closely aligned with the people and institutions educating and training the music talent of the future. And hear musical genius Chilly Gonzales in conversation at 4pm discussing his ground-breaking educational initiative The Gonzervatory.

Tomorrow the spotlight is on Digital Dollars, and the five year 'Dissecting The Digital Dollar' research project undertaken by CMU and the Music Managers Forum to help artists, songwriters and their business partners better understand how streaming works from a rights and royalties perspective. As part of those proceedings MMF will launch the very latest 'Digital Dollar' guide, explaining why songwriters almost certainly aren't getting all the money they are due when their work is streamed.

The CMU+TGE conferences all take place in the main room at Jurys Inn Waterfront, the all-new home of the TGE Conference this year. See you there!

References to Michael Jackson removed from Quincy Jones show
A Quincy Jones show at the O2 Arena previously announced as a live orchestral performance of three Michael Jackson albums has been rebranded to remove all mention of the legendary producer's most famous collaborator. Now titled 'Quincy Jones: Soundtrack of the 80s - Defining Albums And Iconic Songs', the show will still feature Jackson songs, but also other 80s hits produced by Jones for other artists.

The event follows last year's 'Quincy Jones - A Life In Song' show. Its announcement in February was notable at the time for coming amid fresh controversy around child abuse allegations against Jackson.

Questions were raised about the appropriateness of launching the show at a time when the 'Leaving Neverland' documentary had highlighted accusations made by two men against Jackson. Wade Robson and James Safechuck both say that they were abused by the singer as children, although the Jackson estate says that their claims are discredited.

Previous references to the 23 Jun show have been removed from Jones's social media and he is now promoting it with the new branding. Some Jackson fans have complained at the changes and requested refunds. Neither Jones nor promoter Senbla have commented directly on the changes.


Noel Gallagher, Idles, The Raconteurs, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Noel Gallagher and those High Flying Birds of his have released the video for new single 'Black Star Dancing'. There are tour dates this month, so that's nice.

• Idles have released new single 'Mercedes Marxist'. The standalone release will be out on seven-inch in August.

• Quantic has released new single 'You Used To Love Me', featuring Denitia.

• Pixx has released new single 'Andean Condor'.

• Alyusha has released new single '48'.

• Pat Dam Smith has announced that he will release his new album, 'The Last King', on 5 Jul. Here's the video for his latest single 'Dancing'.

• Iris Gold has released new single 'Wow'. "I imagined 'Wow' in a dream, where I was in a barn, surrounded by a bunch of Jamaicans in cowboy attire, dancing in a sort of dancehall/line dance combination", she says. So there you go. Now you know. Her debut album, 'Planet Cool', is out in July.

• The Raconteurs will play their first UK show for over a decade at The Electric Ballroom in London on 22 May. You won't get tickets, shut up.

• The Lightning Seeds have announced shows to mark the 25th anniversary of their third album 'Jollyfication'. They will play the London Palladium on 7 Nov and Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on 27 Nov.

• Already preparing to tour extensively off the back of the film very, very, very loosely based on their rise to fame, Fisherman's Friends have announced new UK tour dates for February 2020. "The film has been a wonderful and is something we can all be very proud of", says the band's Jon Cleave. "But we're itching to get back on the road".

• Thrice and Refused have announced a co-headline tour of the UK in October this year. The six date run will include a show at Brixton Academy on 30 Oct. Tickets on sale this Friday.

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


Neil Young to reflect on Pono debacle in new book
Tomorrow's CMU+TGE Digital Dollars Conference at The Great Escape will kick off by remembering all the digital music services that died. Because, you know, it's always good to start the day with some positive thinking. Spoiler alert: the last dead digital music service in a very long list of abandoned ventures is good old Pono. Unless they finally switch off Tidal over night, I suppose.

Talking of which, Neil Young has just announced that he will publish a book later this year all about why digital music is awful and his efforts to improve it. Titled 'Feel The Music', it will provide a history of the development of digital audio, and then tell the story of Young's own high quality digital audio player Pono and his subsequent Xstream streaming project.

"'To Feel the Music' is the story of my efforts to improve the quality of audio that you hear", says Young. "It takes you through how the sound was and is compromised by the tech and record companies, and instead of improving over time like other technologies, it has become worse".

"The issue of improving audio quality has been one of the most important things we've been doing for decades, and [is] something I focus on every day", he goes on. "We spent a year writing this and I think you'll find it interesting and informative".

It'll certainly be interesting to get Young's perspective on the whole Pono disaster. Although I suspect he won't use the word 'disaster' in reference to it. The book is set for publication in September.


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